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City Tables Feasibility Study

By Staff | Feb 5, 2016

At its February meeting, the Rugby City Council voted to table deciding on whether or not to do a feasibility study on bringing natural gas into the city.

Dave Blair, of Kadrmas Lee & Jackson Engineering presented a proposal on the costs of bringing in a pipeline or liquid natural gas, distribution, operations and market with an overall cost estimate between $25,000 to $30,000.

“It’s exciting times right now,” Blair said.

Ward 1 Councilman Neil Lotvedt questioned what costs the city’s residents would incur per decatherm of natural gas.

“I know everyone wants it,” Lotvedt said. “It has to pay itself back somehow.”

“That’s why we need firm figures,” Blair said.

Ward 2 Councilman Dave Bednarz said he was in favor of the feasibility study.

“Yes, it’ll probably cost us some money, but in past years we’ve spent money on things we haven’t got a return on,” Bednarz said.

Blair said the city didn’t have to decide to go through with the study right away, but he also said gas could be in place as early as next winter if the city acted quickly.

Rugby resident Doug Hauck said it would “look foolish” if businesses had natural gas but the residents did not.

Job Development Authority Executive Director Joseph T. Pelt questioned whether or not the feasibility study could be done in stages, with businesses first. Blair said it could, but it would be unknown whether the purpose of the study would be served by going that route.

Rugby resident and business owner Sue Steinke asked if KLJ would do a feasibility study for businesses if the city did not. Blair said that while distribution would be less expensive, feasibility would be determined by the amount of businesses running natural gas.

Rugby Public Schools Superintendent Mike McNeff said the school district supports alternative options, as Ely Elementary is still using coal and the Environmental Protection Agency is mandating coal emissions.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Public Safety: Will Griffin was elected fire chief and Danny Raymond was elected assistant chief; the fire department is sending 6-8 people to the Fire School in Minot; calls and traffic decreased in January, although the severity of calls increased.

Ordinances/Recreation: The committee heard a request by the Rugby Amateur Hockey Association for the purchase of skates-approved by the council; discussed the recreation director description; ordinances for garage height, off-street parking.

The Public Works and Personnel committees did not meet.

OTHER ACTIONS

The council voted to accept the Pierce County Courthouse as a polling place in the 2016 elections. Originally, the Rugby Armory was designated the polling place for the city, however the county voted to become a “Vote By Mail” county. Ward 1 Councilman Bruce Allen Rheault said he would’ve liked to have seen more public education on it from the county.

The council received a notice of resignation from Bednarz, effective June 1.

The council approved an application for tax exemption for newly-build residences for Michelle & Steve Schoneberg.

The council approved a tax abatement for Calvary Evangelical Free Church.

The council approved a variance request from St. Paul Lutheran Church.

The council approved a 2 a.m. closing for I.C. Dubbles on Feb. 20 and 21.

The council met with County Planning & Zoning Administrator Kelsey Siegler and voted to accept the extraterritorial jurisdiction within 1/41/4 sections within the mile.

The council approved the results of an audit from Brady Martz, which had no adverse opinion.

The council approved the January meeting minutes, bills, financial statements, Municipal Judge’s report and the JDA minutes and financials.

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