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Walsh County Press
Park River , North Dakota
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May 3, 2017     Walsh County Press
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May 3, 2017
 

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MUNITY THE WALSH COUNTY PRESS WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 Page 5 By Daryle Nickerson PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Ap- proximately 2 or 3 years ago the City of Park River began the mas- sive project of replacing sewer lines: Where this is a necessary project, it was in my opinion, not well planned out. There were no funds set aside for such a huge project. Somewhere our City Council came up with the idea of billing every parcel of land that had sew- er and water lines attached a min- imum charge of $60 or more for water and sewer even if they were not receiving this service. That is not legal in my opinion. I don't mind paying for services received but no way should we get billed for water and sewer not being used. This billing practice has caused a financial hardship for many of our elderly residents. Some have had to go to extra expenses of hav- ing their property demolished to avoid continued billing. I brought my complaint to our Mayor and when we compared bills, he was not billed the same. This was mentioned to the billing deputy and I was told it must have been overlooked. I was also told that the only way I would not be billed for water and sewer was to have the lines dug up and re- moved from my property! The City did not install those lines to my. shop and if anything hap- pened to the lines on my proper- ty they sure wouldn't replace them. Their responsibility ends at the curb hookup. I ot a petition going last fall . , . protesting the bllhng procedures with over a hundred signatures and as far as I know nothing hag been done about it. For a few rhonths I deducted the costs of the sewer and water from my billing. In December I re- ceived a delinquent notice threat- ening to have 'my power shut off if it wasn't paid. Under duress I paid the past due balance only to find out it was sent to the county and added to my property taxes. I am curious to know how many others delinquent bills are handled this way. Editor 'S Note: Nickerson is a Vietnam Veteran and concerned citizen from Park River, ND By Ronnie Setness When we become too large, we PARK RIVER, N.D. -- Our lose contact with community. I culture and community is chang- still remember when my son got ing. Since the 1930's we have al- old enough for kindergarten. We ways focused on farm programs lived by Edinburg and our Super- for the family farm however it has intendent Bill Galloway drove always better for the mega farm. the new anticipated bus route and We have always tried to focus visited with our family. Do we on a better education for our chil- have that kind of outreach and con- dren. We went from a one room cem for our community today? As school house with eight grades to we become larger this becomes a town or community of larger more difficult. size. For example, in the western I have a daughter-in-law who parts, of the county, Lankin, teaches her children at home. Fairdale, Adams, and others, they How is it we spend 12 million on have lost their entire school sys- a new school, and don't run a pro- tern. It won't be long until busi- gram which is attractive enough nesses and churches disappear for these two kids to be in public and they will be left with nothing, school? I mentioned this to my but a rural living community, daughter-in-law and her comment Our large school system has lost was, "I'm saving the State of touch with the commurdty in the North Dakota 20 thousand dollars capacity it had in the past. It was a year in foundation payments only a couple years ago we the and they are getting a better edu- people voted on a building project cation." which, architects estimated cost Perhaps with our new Secretary about 8million dollars. We vot- of Education, Betsy DeVos, we ed for this, however bids came in might focus rriore on family val- around 12 million. We have a very ues, state and local things. Our nice school, something to be proud school system should be run more about; however, we the community by our local community and state should have been brought along and have less control by our fed- and asked to vote on the increased eral government. It's my hope we cost. When we work with people move more in this direction. it's good to have everyone on' Editor's Note." Setness is from board. Park River, ND ~-_f,L,.:-L.:2~.-..-- Z227"- ~.-L,.-'-2.:/~. -::-=~L.--d?-~ 2-j2~u- longer near as productive as it was not decrease them! 80 years ago, again NDSU work has I ask you please to consider trees identified it. We have low residue in a conservation plan. They solve crops like potatoes, beets and beans way more problems than they ere- that either need trees or buffer ate. They improve yields, reduce the strips. Trees are the more effective loss of topsoil and maintain the pro- and permanent solution. How many ductivity for future generations. buffer strips have you seen in these Are trees so 30s? I say they were put fields? There are a very few.but not in for a reason and that reason still many. University research shows exists even with all of our ad- shelterbelts actually improve yields vancement in agriculture. RN WANTED Full time RN wanted for Walsh County Health District, located in Grafton. Work within a small public health office delivering services to residents in Walsh County. Duties include professional nursing services to 5 county schools, agency immunization program, community education and outreach, public speaking, managing grant activities, and other public health nursing duties. Experience in public health nursing and chNhood immunizations a plus, but not required. Must have a driver's license and vehicle that can be used for some work travel (mileage reimbursed). Working hours are generally Monday-Friday 8-4:30 with holidays and weekends off. Benefits include fully paid family health insurance, vacation and sick leave, NDPERS retirement, and a county wellness program. Pay is based on experience. Position will be open until hired. Applicants can find the job application @ www.walshcountynd.com/health or call Wanda at 701-352-5139. Submit applications to Walsh County Health District 638 Cooper Ave Suite 3 Grafton, ND 58237. Equal Opportunity employer. and finaUy m sine By Mike Jacobs ND Newspaper Association BISMARCK, N.D. -- The North Dakota Leg- islature got ahead of itself last week. Lawmakers celebrated the end of the session at a "sine die" party on Tuesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, a piano appeared in Me- morial Hall of the Capitol building, ready for a song fest to end the session. Sine die is Latin for "without a day" but in leg- islative speak it means, "We're otta here." Except they weren't. The session didn't end until after 8 p.m. Thurs- day, almost two weeks after Easter. Republican leaders in charge in both houses had confident- ly predicted adjournment by Good Friday, April 14. That would have left at least 10 days for a re- cessed session if one became necessary. The state constitution limits lawmakers to 80 days each biennium. Officially, Thursday was Day 77, which leaves three days, barely enough for a recessed session to consider and pass any leg- islation. Except the session actually lasted 80 days. Lawmakers used three days for committee hearings, and those didn't count against the to- tal. Days are couiated only if lawmakers meet as a whole. They call this "gaveling in." Running out of time increased pressure for a grand compromise that would make a recessed session unnecessary, and one was reached. It in- volved the Public Employee Retirement System and the budget for Dickinson State University. This may seem an unlikely pairing. Except that each issue was critically impor- tant to one of the legislature's Republican lead- ers. AI Carlson, the House leader, has worked for several sessions to reform the PERS system; Sen- ate Leader Rich Wardner wanted funding for DSU, where enrollment declines resulted in less money from the state. The compromise moved North Dakota clos- er to a self-funded insurance system, one of Carl- son's goals. The Senate had opposed the idea, expressing unwillingness to assume the risk in- volved and reluctance to break the state's con- tract with Sanford Health. In the.end, the Legislature gave notice that it would back out of the existing contract when it comes up for renewal. That would open up what Senate Leader Rich Wardner called "a compet- itive marketplace" and create the opportunity for the state to move to a self-insurance program, in which it would assume the risk that payments might outrun premiums. Self-insurance would lower costs to the state. At least that's the ex- pectation. In the case of DSU, the ': compromise provid- ed more operating funds for the institution and paid off debts incurred by the DSU Foundation that are the subject of a lawsuit. As part of the deal, Dickinson and Stark County agreed to direct some of their oil impact money to the college. Plus the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library funding was retained. Project sponsors By Mike Jacobs ND Newspaper Association BISMARCK, N.D. -- The 2017 legislative session did- n't produce many winners. There wasn't enough money for that. There were losers, however. Among them: Native Americans The session began without an address from one of the state's tribal leaders and end- ed with suspension of the Tribal State Relations Com- mittee, accomplished in a conference committee on the last day of the session. In be- tween lawmakers refused to allow display of tribal flags in the Capitol's Memorial Hall and considered a bill to allow state-owned casinos that would compete with Indian gaming sites. The bill was re- jected. Some lawmakers ex- pressed frustration that the relations committee has not at- tracted consistent participation from Native American leaders. In its place, they created a two- year committee composed of the state officials, including the governor, tax commissioner, Indian affairs commissioner and legislative leaders. That will examine issues that arise between the tribes and state govemment, starting with tax- ation. Tribal leaders will be in- vited to the meetings, which are intended to be advisory. This arrangement will last for two years, at which time the relationship committee would be reconstituted. Sanford Health Lawmakers forced rene- gotiation of a lease between North Dakota State Universi- ty and the health care com- pany, and they gave notice that the State will end its contract with Sanford's insurance corn- pany. The first arose when NDSU bought the Sanford nursing program in Bismarck, and then leased space from Sanford to operate it - all without legislative approval. This brought one of the most dramatic moments of the ses- sion, when AI Carlson and other Republican leaders pub- licly rebuked NDSU President Dean Bresciani and demand- ed the lease be renegotiated. That saved the state $1.1 mil- lion. Center for Tobacco Control and Prevention The center was created by an initiated measure passed in 2009, and undertook a pro- gram of advertising and mak- ing grants to entities that work to control and prevent tobac- co use in the state. Lawmak- ers ended the center and redi- rected money from the state's share of the tobacco lawsuit settlement to the state Health Department. It's the first time in the state's history that an initiat- ed measure has been over- turned by the Legislature. The action became possible be- cause seven years had passed since voters approved the measure. Before that deadline, repeal would have required a two-thirds vote in each home. Higher education Budgets were cut at each of the state's 11 state colleges and universities, without objec- tion from the State Board of Higher Education. Two facets of the system are on the list for study during the legislative interim, ad- ministration of the five two- year schools, and nursing ed- ucation, now offered at nine of the campuses. Public information " Lawmakers removed pro- visions in state law that re- quired publishing notices in the state's papers. Some pro- visions for open meetings were also rolled back. The most important withholds the names of applicants for state jobs except for three finalists. This is aimed at protecting the identity of people who seek public jobs in the state, whether they be with local or state government entities or colleges and universities. Representatives of the state's newspapers objected that the bill is so broad that it creates opportunities for pub- lic bodies to discuss other business behind closed doors. will be able to use a portion of the funds for op- erating expenses- mostly fund raising- and they are bound'to begin construction by Dec. 31,2018. With this deal done, lawmakers spent Thurs- day waiting for a conference committee to fin- ish work on the bill funding the Office of Man- agement and Budget. Except the bill does much more than that. The OMB budget has become a catchall to make corrections to billsalready passed, to have another shot at including bills that might have failed, and to direct studies of potential legisla- tion that can be presented to the next session. All of that happened in the committee, whose six members were the floor leaders from both par- ties and the chairs of appropriations committees in both houses. During a day-long meeting, Democrats at- tempted unsuccessfully to restore raises for state employees and turn back tax breaks for cor- porations - items that might well become cam- paign issues. Carlson, the Republican House leader, did win approval for a study of energy tax- es. This was aimed at the wind energy industry, a frequent target during the session. The study specifically mentions a production tax, which would be based on how much power a wind tow- er actually generates. During the session, law- makers twice rejected a moratorium on new wind farms in the state. Those are but two examples of last-minute ad- ditions to legislation. Walsh County is seeking to hire a full-time administrative assistant who will work part-time in the Auditor's Office and part-time in the Highway Department. Applicants must be able to communicate effectively with members of the public, handle multiple tasks, prioritize importance of work, and meet deadlines in a timely manner. Work involves working with legal descriptions (deeds), occasional payroll, operation of various software programs and standard office equipment. This position is responsible for processing routine billings and payments, maintaining basic bookkeeping records, preparing recurring reports, and assisting ttie Auditor/Highway Superintendent with various duties including but not limited to election process, commission reporting, GIS, equipment maintenance records, and permits. Qualifications: Possess a minimum of two years' experience working in an office environment. Work experience must reflect an ability to communicate effectively, perform basic math skills, and have a clear understanding of Microsoft Applications including Word, Excel, Publisher and Access. Applicant should also have the ability to use the internet and email. Benefits include health insurance, flexible spending, life insurance, vacation, sick leave and retirement. EOE. For more information, assistance or accommodation contact: Sharon Lipsh, Walsh County Highway Department at 701-352-1530 or Kris Molde at 701-352-2851. Please send application and resume to: Walsh County Highway Department, Sharon Lipsh, 600 Cooper Avenue, Grafton, ND 58237. Applications are avaitab!e oa ths, y ,, te at www.walshcountynd.com. SEEKING BOAliD MEMBER Walsh County is seeking a helpful resident to serve on the Water Resource Board The term is set to expire De- cember 31st of 2017. The Water Resource Board is a 3- member board appointed by the County Commissioners of Walsh County, and is responsible for the effective management of Walsh County's water resources. Mem- bers of the Water Resource Board serve 3-year terms and are compensated for each meeting plus mileage Please send letter of intent and application (found online at www.co.walsh.nd.us under human resources) to Walsh County. Auditor Kris Molde, 600 Cooper Avenue, Grafton, ND 58237 no later than May 10th Hove you read the Start or renew your subscription: [n.C0unty $34 / 0ut.0f.C0unty $38/0ut.of.State $42 R0. Box 49, Park River, ND 58270 ND-Henson ND S te Certified V' E lent V' 3,112 seeds peFIb.:' " I im