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County Burn Ban

By Staff | Jul 9, 2015

During a regular Tuesday meeting, the Pierce County Board of County Commissioners approved a burn ban that would change conditions of the ban previously set in place.

During times when the N.D. Fire Danger Index is in “extreme” or when a “red flag warning” has been issued for Pierce County, the ban would prohibit burning of garbage, pits, farmland, cropland and ditches as well as using fire to demolish structures. Individuals who violate the ban will be, as per chapter 37-17.1-10.1 of the N.D. Century Code, guilty of a class B misdemeanor – maximum penalties for which are up to 30 days in jail and up to a $1,500 fine.

The previous ban was set during times when the index was in “high”, “very high” or “extreme”, and burning was allowed in designated areas with permission from fire district chiefs during “low” or “moderate” index times.



Sheriff Josh Siegler informed the board that a new vehicle was ordered and would be ready in six to eight weeks.

In a special meeting on June 19, the board purchased a 2015 Dodge 1500 for $15,996, and an additional $5,600 would be paid from the Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center for equipment, lights and cage installation.

Siegler gave a monthly report to the board, discussed a sheriff’s sale in June that brought in $22,000, and briefly discussed overloaded trucks with the board.

The board questioned Siegler on a bill from Rugby Veterinary Service. Siegler said a wild horse was found near Klein’s Trucking. Veterinarians tranquilized the horse and brought it to a nearby farmer, and the bill was for drugs and a service call.


HACTC Administrator Mike Graner informed the board that prisoner boarding contracts for three counties were signed.

The facility will house inmates from Mountrail County at a rate of $70 per day, and from Burke and Williams counties each at a rate of $75 per day.

Graner informed the board that the facility is fully staffed; 118 inmates were housed there in June and he discussed towing of abandoned vehicles with Brad Odden of Brad’s Towing. Graner also discussed with the board the possibility of an annual percentage of HACTC’s profits being given back to the county’s general fund.

Graner informed the board the N.D. Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s lease was to expire. The board voted to renew the lease on an annual basis.


The board met with Balta Bar owner Stephanie Hackel, who asked what procedures she’d need to follow to conduct off-sale beer sales at the Balta Dam on Aug. 2 – the day of the Balta Derby.

States Attorney Galen Mack reviewed the law regarding special events permits. Hackel must fill out a form and submit to the county, provide the location of where the beer will be sold and must pay a $25 fee.

Hackel expressed concerns that “persistent” police enforcement in Balta has affected business, to which Sheriff Siegler said any concerns should go to him.


The board approved a payment of $612,656.38 to Wm D. Scepaniak, Inc. for regraveling and reshaping the Orrin Road. Jessica Tagestad, of Wold Engineering, informed the board that $34,500 in liquidated damages were figured into the project costs.

Tagestad informed the board that Braun Intertec would be able to test the pavement on the west truck bypass, Balta and Selz roads at a cost of $3,446. The board approved the testing.

The board approved a payment of $45,972.20 to Rendezvous Region Construction, Inc. for the alternate route in Hillside Township.

Tagestad and the board discussed a right-of-way project in the NE 1/4 of Section 36, Township 158 N, Range 71 W, near Wolford. The landowner expressed concerns about the project to Wold Engineering, including the timing. The board decided to hold off until they heard from the landowner.


Auditor Karin Fursather inquired as to whether the board would consider Pierce County becoming a vote-by-mail county in the next election. The subject would be discussed again at the next meeting.

The board approved a payment of $3,214.24 to the State Fire & Tornado Fund.

The board re-appointed Migler and Richard Eckart to the County Weed Board.

The board approved a quit claim deed for land acquired by the Board of University School Lands.

The board approved Pledge of Assets from Bremer Bank, Merchants Bank and Ramsey Bank.

The board approved permit applications from SRT Communications to install fiber optic cables in the areas of White and Truman townships.

The board approved a tax abatement application for tax year 2015 for inundated land submitted by James Selensky. The board also approved a Homestead Credit tax abatement application for Stuart Weigel for tax year 2014.

The board met with Harold Alexander of the County Park Board. Alexander informed the board that at Buffalo Lake the bathroom on the south end is in need of repairs; the ramp on the south dock has been fixed; a memorial tree will be planted on the grounds and the Club de Skinautique will hold a show next Saturday on the lake.

The board approved payments from the 2009 Disaster Fund to Ness Township ($461.42), from the 2011 Disaster Fund to Antelope Lake Township ($22,884.49), from the 2013 Disaster Fund to Jefferson Township ($2,781.39) and from the 2014 Disaster Fund to Rush Lake ($23,425.15) and Ness ($18,700) Townships.

The board approved June minutes, bills, financial statements and treasurer’s checks.

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