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Speed limit change likely

By Staff | Oct 10, 2014

The Pierce County Board of Commissioners approved a motion to recommend the DOT reduce the speed limit on N.D. 2 from 70 mph at Northern Equipment (west of Rugby) to 55 mph; and have the limit set at 45 mph from Rugby Livestock east through town. The limit will return to 55 mph at Golf Course Road before returning to 70.

Levi Heisler, owner of North Central Ag Services, and landowner Gary Laughridge, requested the commissioners act to decrease speed limits on N.D. 2 through the City of Rugby. Heisler said he spoke with the North Dakota Department of Transportation and was told the commissioners are required to send a letter to NDDOT.

“With my office and Northern Equipment and Gary working there every day, we’ve seen a lot of near misses and accidents,” Heisler.

Heisler had an employee in a vehicle struck by a truck last month. He also requested consideration of speed limit signs with flashing lights.

Laughridge requested a yield sign be put on the south side and a stop sign on the west side of the truck route on the northwest side of Rugby.

Final budget approved

The commissioners approved the final budget for 2015 in the amount of $10,381,084.60. Little discussion was held.

“We did trim a lot of money,” Board chairman Duane Johnston (District 4) said. “I think we were diligent. Do we want to see our taxes go up? No.”

LEC discussed

District 1 Commissioner Joe Bohl requested a meeting with Rugby City Council to further discuss funding for the Law Enforcement Center, which is a separate entity from Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center.

“They’re not doing due diligence to the cause,” Bohl said.

Auditor Karin Fursather said that city taxpayers pay 24 percent of costs for the dispatch center, amounting to about $26,000.

Bids approved

The board approved bids from Envision for propane and fuel oil and from Hi-Way MVP for gasoline. The No. 2 fuel oil is priced at cost of day plus $0.04 per gallon plus freight charges. The propane is $1.59 per gallon. Gasoline cost is a net reduction from pump price, less $0.03 per gallon from Envision. From Hi-Way MVP gasoline price is $0.10 per gallon off pump price effective through Sept. 30, 2015.

A bid was awarded to Rendezvous Region Construction, Inc., at $190,475 for an alternate route located in Hillside Township. Rendezvous, of Edinburg, expects to start work next week on a new road to the Peterson Farm. Jensen Brothers Construction of West Fargo bid $251,750 and EHC, LLC, of Deaver, Wyo., bid $541,150.

The cost of the new motorgrader from RDO Equipment is $304,000, but the company is accepting trade for the 2009 motorgrader, so cost to the county is $156,486.

Fair market rents discussed

The commissioner held a brief conference call with Tom Alexander and Mark Austin of Minot Housing Authority to review fair market rents and pay standards for Pierce/McHenry Counties Housing Authority. The numbers were effective at the beginning of October and subsidized by the federal government. The board approved the fair market rent and pay standards. For more information contact Pierce County auditor Karin Fursather.

LEPC Board approved

The board approved members to the Local Emergency Planning Commission at the request of emergency manager Kelsey Siegler.

Included on the board are all City of Rugby council members, county commissioners, Balta and Wolford mayors, state’s attorney, sheriff, police chief and more. For a complete list contact the auditor.

Siegler also met with the board for a hearing on the minimum sale price for real estate acquired through a tax deed action. No one else appeared for the hearing and a motion was approved, as recommended by Siegler, who also serves as tax director. Terms of sale on Nov. 18 will be for cash only.

FEMA money paid to townships

The board approved 2011 Disaster money in the amount of $13,060.36 to Antelope Lake Township general funds and road and bridge fund. The following townships had 2013 Disaster money moved to their respective general funds and road and bridge fund: Truman, $690.93; Walsh, $3,299.49; Wolford, $464.95; Balta, $16,810.88; Spring Lake, $505.83; Torgerson, $55,484.80.

County agent report

NDSU County Agent Yolanda Schmidt said her administrative assistant is expecting a child in March and requested she be able to work with her newborn for a short time. Because the assistant is part-time, daycare would likely cost too much.

Schmidt also inquired about heat in the Rugby Park Board’s community building at the Pierce County Fairgrounds. The building was brought up along with the armory as possible venues for 4-H shooting sports.

Other meeting news

The board approved the minutes from meetings Sept. 2, Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, and a public hearing Sept. 24. The board approved bills, financial report and treasurer’s report for September.

The board approved abatement applications for homestead credits for Lorna and Brian Gibbs, and another for Ann Mack. An abatement application based on homestead credit and an active farmer exemption was approved for Christopher Heilman.

A transfer of $100,000 from the highway distribution fund to the road and bridge fund was approved.

The board read a letter from the North Dakota Township Officers Association and decided against paying membership dues of $125 for unorganized townships. District 1 Commissioner Joe Bohl stated that the county is already a part of the North Dakota Association of Counties.

The board appointed Yolanda Schmidt and Don Jesling as delegates to the North Dakota State Fair, which meets Nov. 20 in Bismarck.

Details of the board’s regular meeting with Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center administration can be found on page one of the Tribune.

The board approved a motion to add benefits for part-time employees to be prorated for vacation and sick time for employees working at least 20 hours per week.

The board met with Kenny Rogers, of Red River Basin Commission, to discuss the Assiniboine River Basin Initiative, which will hold a conference in Regina, Saskatchewan in November. The initiative hopes to set up a similar commission among North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to better deal with water-related issues across the Qu’Appelle, Souris and Assiniboine Rivers. Rogers requested the board give consideration to having a member join the commission.

The board also met with Matt Johnson and Greg Hagen of Wold Engineering. At the request of Bohl, the representatives said they would look into putting the Knox Road back in the Federal-aid secondary highway system and taking the York Road off.

The board authorized chairman Duane Johnston to sign projects scheduled for the Federal Aid Program in 2014-2015.

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