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City council passes housing development

By Staff | Apr 22, 2013

The Rugby City Council passed three resolutions at a special meeting on April 9, clearing the path for construction to begin on the Chalmer’s First Addition, a housing development in southeast Rugby.

Lots in the development, which are owned by the city’s Job Development Authority, will be sold through an initial bid process. If lots aren’t bid on at a minimum price of $7,500, they will be sold after the bidding sale is complete.

The first two resolutions passed were to award the streets and the water and sewer to Minneapolis company Park Construction, which came in at the lowest bid and very near the engineer’s estimate for the project.

The call for bids on the project included two portions, a base bid of approximately half of the development and an alternative, which would cover the remaining area in the 52-lot development.

Only council member, Neil Lotvedt, voted against awarding the two contracts to Park Construction.

Although he is in favor of the project, Lotvedt preferred the base bid, which would have also included the foundation work for the entire project. Lotvedt said if he was the developer, he would’ve just done the base bid and didn’t want to devote extra city funds to the alternative as well.

“I’m all for the project, 100 percent,” he said. “If I was the developer, that’s how I’d do it. I made a point. In my own mind, I couldn’t do it all.”

The project will move forward this spring, after plenty of discussion over how the project’s funding and responsibility would be shared between the city and the JDA.

“Everybody came together in the end and worked together to get it done,” JDA board president Kipp Johnson said. “When you do projects like this, they never go as fast as you want, but it came together and hopefully everything works out and lots are sold.”

Johnson said the JDA board believes that the project will make more available housing for both people currently living in Rugby and new residents who move to town to capitalize on an expanding job market.

“I think it does a complete circle where you have people looking for a certain style of house that can fit their profile and someone who is looking for another (type of housing),” he said. “For people who are coming to town with jobs who are looking for housing, this may be an opportunity for them to build a home.”

The final resolution, which passed unanimously, vacated the current plats on the lots so they can be replatted.

In total, the development will have 38 lots exclusively for single family units, and 14 lots available for multi-family dwellings.

Johnson views the development as a long-term solution to housing as Rugby expands for the next decade.

“I don’t see it being filled up in even 5 years,” he said. “It’s a long-term project for Rugby. If it’s 10-20 years, it all depends on the oil activity and the farming economy and the state of North Dakota and how are we doing. I look at it as an opportunity for Rugby to grow. Hopefully it’s something good for the city.”

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