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Council discusses annexation south of city

By Staff | May 9, 2014

Submitted The striped square area to the east is Gooseneck Implement’s land and the striped irregular area west of that square is private land. Both areas are part of a proposed annexation.

The Rugby City Council is looking into a proposed annexation southeast of the city. The council discussed that, along with a service area it is requesting from All Seasons Water Users District, at a regular meeting Monday.

Landowners can sign individual petitions and ask to annex into the city or the council can pass a resolution and hold a hearing where landowners can state their approval or disapproval of annexation.

The councilmen plan to meet with landowners, including Butch Beaver, who would be affected by the annexation and determine the exact number of acres. Beaver was present at the meeting.

If annexed, landowners would see their mill levy increased, and hunting prevented on the land.

The council will look to clarify whether the landowners in the proposed area would be grandfathered and not have to hook up to city services.

Gooseneck Implement has asked to have it’s new property along U.S. 2 annexed into the city. That land alone can’t be annexed as annexations must be contiguous with city limits, city auditor Dawn Hauck said.

Ward 2 Councilman David Bednarz issued a stern request at the meeting to have all council members informed “when a situation develops with one our employees.”

“I believe I should be involved or at least notified when things take place with our employees,” Bednarz said. “I believe our auditor deserves the utmost respect.”

Bednarz did not elaborate or name any member of the council or city workforce with whom he was dismayed, but added comment later in the week.

“There have just been some instances where people have quit the city and we’ve had some issues and I don’t think they’ve been addressed the way they should’ve been,” he said.

The council was introduced to the Rugby Police Department’s latest hire, Cody Miller, who graduated from the North Dakota Police Academy last week. Miller brings the department to five officers, including Chief John Rose.

Miller, 19, grew up in Japan on a military base and his father recently took a job in Ward County.

“I’ve always been interested in law enforcement,” Miller said. “The size of the town is not too big and not too small. The people have been very welcoming.”

The council discussed a citizen’s complaint about the fire siren being too close to Ellery Park. Ward 4 Councilman Arland Geiszler requested the fire department and emergency manager look into the coverage area of the sirens around the city. Ward 3 Councilman Jim Hoffert made a motion, which was approved, to have the fire department make a recommendation on any changes to siren placement with the expansion of the city considered.

The council approved a recommendation by ICON Architectural Group, LLC., for bids on the new fire hall. The $903,600-project will be done by general contractor American Builders of Minot ($617,200), mechanical contractor Johnson Plumbing of Rugby ($202,400) and electrical contractor Bartsch Electric ($84,000).

The city approved a nomination by Hoffert to have Tim Ostrem join the Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission now has four members from the city and two from the county.

The city also approved two land rent bids from Joe Axtman at $30 per acre. One 18-acre plot is for pasture and a 50.1-acre plot is for hay land.

The city postponed a decision on whether to place a ballot question for the November elections. Because of state legislation passed last year, a city of under 40,000 may grant a property tax exemption to a retail sector project if voters have granted that authority at an election held in conjunction with a statewide general election.

If the City of Rugby wants the option of granting a property tax exemption to a new or expanding retail sector business during 2015 or 2016, voters must approve granting that authority this year.

Currently, the city can offer tax exemptions for five years. The first two years are 100 percent exemptions, and the number drops by 25 percent each of the following years. Ward 1 Councilman Neil Lotvedt requested clarification one what businesses qualify for retail.

The council heard a report from the Ordinance and Recreation Committee. Alex McClintock was hired as the recreation director and Bonnie Berginski was hired as pool manager.

The council reviewed a letter from a citizen requesting information on whether someone can live in a camper on residential property. An update is expected at the June meeting.

The city passed a motion approving the city workers to paint the airport runway lines with the cost going to the airport.

In the Water, Sewer and Streets Committee report, the city declined to grant more gallons per minute in a pending agreement with ASWUD. The city wants to know more about the costs of maintenance to the water plant first.

The city approved applications for steel and tin roof permits Michael and Lynette Haggerty and St. Paul Lutheran Church.

The city approved a Renaissance Zone Request from Fruition Developments, LLC., for renovation of the apartment building on 3rd Street SE -building east of Third Street Station. Fruition plans to renovate the building for 10 apartments. The company plans to replace the roof, repaint the interior and exterior, rewire, repipe, and install electric heat and air conditioning in each unit. The current value of the building is nearly $41,000. The tax assessor’s projected value upon completion is $250,000. The expected date of occupancy is Oct. 1.

Mayor David C. Cichos proclaimed May 15 as Poppy Day 2014 and asked “that all citizens to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom by wearing the Memorial Poppy on this day.”

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