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Sandpiper to Go Through Pierce County

By Staff | Aug 7, 2015

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Pierce County Board of County Commissioners gave North Dakota Pipeline Company, LLC, the green light to install the Sandpiper Pipeline in parts of the county.

At 616 miles in length, the pipeline is expected to carry oil from Enbridge’s Beaver Lodge Station near Tioga, through Clearbrook, Minn., and to a terminal in Superior, Wis. The section from Tioga to Clearbrook will have a pipe that is two feet in diameter, and from Clearbrook on, the pipe will be 30 inches in diameter.

The pipeline is a $2.6 billion joint venture between Enbridge and Williston Basin Pipeline, LLC, which is an indirect subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation.

In Pierce County, the pipeline will be installed in Tofte, Hurricane Lake, Rush Lake, Walsh and Torgerson townships.

Road Repairs

Jessica Tagestad, of Wold Engineering, informed the board that the Federal Highway Administration approved the request to add the Knox Road, from Pierce County to Highway 17 south to the Pierce/Benson County line, to county major collection routes. Tagestad and the board also discussed the alternate route project in Juniata Township, and the environmental assessment for the alternate route in Hillside Township is awaiting FEMA approval.

The board met with county residents Jason Marchus, Bob Mitzel, Curtis Mundahl, Steve Guty and Norval Johnson, who expressed concerns about Highway 30 and water saturating the ground in the area. District 1 Commissioner Mike Brossart informed them that 1500 feet of Highway 30 is expected to be prepared next week. District 5 Commissioner David Migler informed the residents that the Pierce County Water Board is meeting next week and that they should bring water issues to that board as well.

Conference Call

The board met with Mark Austin, of the Minot Housing Authority, via conference call. Austin shared with the board new fair market rent rates. For a one-bedroom dwelling, the new rate is $588. For a two bedroom, $730; $1,028 for a three bedroom; $1,120 for a four bedroom and $1,288 for a five bedroom. Austin also informed the board that the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development allows housing authorities to correct voucher payments at 90 to 110 percent of the market rate.

Other Actions

The board met with Don Jelsing of the Pierce County Fair Board. Jelsing informed the county board that the Fair Board wanted to build a new 60’x100′ barn, as the current on is not in good shape, and asked if they were willing to consider funding it. No decision was made.

The board reviewed correspondence from the CONAC REAP Board, asking the commissioners to appoint someone as a representative. The county representative was former Rugby Job Development Authority Director SyAnn Graber, with David Cichos as an alternate. The CONAC board meets on via teleconference on the second Wednesday of each month and face-to-face twice a year.

The board approved a payment of $3,022.35 from the 2014 Disaster Fund to Torgerson Township.

The board approved a transfer of $100,000 from the County Poor Relief Fund to the Social Welfare Fund.

The board approved a variance request from Central Power Electric Coop. for the Wolford substation.

The board approved renewing the preventative maintenance agreement the Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center has with Trane, for $6,385.

The board heard Sheriff Josh Siegler presented a quote for a new camera system for the interview room at the Law Enforcement Center: $4,430. Since the room is also used by the Rugby Police Department, the board advised Siegler to discuss it with Rugby Police Chief John Rose and inquire as to the possibility of costs being split between the county and the city.

The board approved, on a trial basis, allowing Rugby Gymnastics to purchase portable air conditioners to use in the fall and spring, with the county incurring electricity costs.

The board approved the treasurers checks and the bills, financial statements and meeting minutes from July.

Salary Study

The board met in a special session last week with Galen Cariveau, of Cariveau Workforce Services, to go over a draft of a salary study for county employees.

Cariveau emphasized the results were only preliminary, as at the time of the meeting the study wasn’t finished for corrections officers, administrative assistants for Social Security, the States Attorney and the NDSU Extension Service, custodians, Veterans Service coordinator, the States Attorney, the Emergency Manager and the Community Service Coordinator. Once completed, the salary study results would be used at budget time.

Using information from Towner, Cavalier, Benson, Pembina and Ramsey counties, Cariveau established a market average salary for employees in various departments. For departments with employees making 90 percent or more of the market average, he recommended one percent cost of living raises. For departments with employees making $5,000 or more less than the market average, Cariveau asked the board to consider making adjustments over a three-year period.

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