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Commissioners meet with townships

By Staff | Jan 25, 2019

Representatives from 14 Pierce County townships met with county commissioners at Memorial Hall last Friday to discuss maintenance issues and legislation with the potential to affect their communities.

All townships were represented at the meeting except for Alexanter Township.

Pierce County resident Stephanie Steinke presented information from a bill before the North Dakota State Senate that would bar counties from using zoning ordinances to ban storage, disposal, or site testing for storage of high-level radioactive materials.

Steinke said the bill, SB 2037, “got in there because two years ago, we submitted a bill that would have just outright banned it (exploration drilling to find a nuclear waste disposal site).”

Commissioner Dave Migler said, “The bill was introduced by Senator Klein…but they took our bill they referred it.”

“So, now,” added Steinke, “here we find our bill kind of went through the sausage grinder, and it has the opposite of everything we wanted. So we almost gave them a roadmap of what we wanted, and they reversed the whole thing.”

Steinke urged Pierce County residents to attend an informational meeting at Dakota Farms Restaurant the following Monday afternoon.

Also on the annual meeting’s agenda were reminders for townships to display signage at their township limits per state law. Commissioner Dave Migler reminded residents the townships had a 2015 deadline to put up signs. “Here, we’re into 2019,” he told the attendees. “Go figure.”

Migler said county workers would put up signage if necessary, at the townships’ expense.

Other issues included summer weed control in ditches near county roads. Attendees told Commissioner Mike Christenson that problem areas “stayed the same” last summer, with property owners or renters not controlling weed growth in their ditches.

Migler said the mowing was “not getting done like we would like to see. We leave it up to you guys. Farm to market roads are for commissioners to take care of, but in townships, you guys do what you want.”

The townships voted to adopt a uniform fine of $300 minimum per mile for land not mowed by the 15th of each month. Migler suggested township officials give property owners in violation a call on fifteenth and informing them their ditches must be mowed. After three days, townships would mow and assess a fine on landowner.

Auditor Karin Fursather informed townships that any fees billed for mowing must be reported to her office by November 1.

In other business, Migler reminded residents that Pierce County requires permits for all construction done on rural and town properties.

“Residential (permits for construction costing)$25,000 is $25; $25-$100,000 is $50, over $100,000 is $100,” Migler said. It just lets our tax assessor know what’s out there. It’s just a policy that’s been in place. Just give her a call.”

Christenson informed the group culverts were available for their properties in 40 foot lengths.

Commissioner Mike Brossart presented information on a road project in his district. The gravel road, which goes to Knox, had 7 miles of a 9-mile tract improved. Brossart said the project cost $363,521.36. The remaining 2 miles are scheduled for upgrading next year, he added, and will cost $22,000.

Road projects scheduled for 2020 include graveling and reshaping for 7 miles of North Dakota Highway 17, at an estimated cost of $500,000, and graveling and reshaping from Orrin Township, south to North Dakota Highway 19, at an estimated cost of $350,000.

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