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Park River , North Dakota
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May 13, 2020     Walsh County Press
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Pae6 COMMUNITY THE WALSH COUNTY PRESS - WEDNESDAY, MAY I3, 2020 North Dakota Outdoors: ND Game and Fish Department Doug Leier Photo: NDGF Above:Lastwarin North Dalotawasoneofthewettestandprovidngao oesstofishingwalersisaspring Once ice starts to inch away from shorelines each spring, the business of managing North Dakota’s fisheries hits full stride rather quickly. Nets go in select waters for pike and then walleye spawning. Distri- bution of catchable trout to com- munity fisheries begins, and the development crew hits the road to start work on boat ramps, docks and other facilities to get things ready for the rush of open water anglers. In a recent edition of Outdoors Online, the North Dakota Game and Fish Departrnent’s weekly we- bcast, fisheries development super- visor Bob Frohlich provided a rundown of that development work on the list for the coming months. Here’s some excerpts fiom that in- terview. Ramp Maintenance The crew goes around the state and repairs damaged boat ramps that buckled up from the ice. They also are hauling and installing new courtesy docks. We spend the win- ter months building new docks along with fixing used docks and fishing piers . . . and then they're de— livered to lakes around the stat in partnership with local entities. And then we're also doing signing and maimenancs activities that alters- quired. . High Water Last year in North Dakota was one of the wettest, especially in the eastern and southeastern part of the state. So that did fill up a lot of our lakes and reservoirs, and so overall, access is good. It did flood and in- undate a couple of existing ramp sites,so we’ll have to go back in boating aCcess at those sites. New Ramps We have four or five new boat ramp projects planned. Two or those are ramp extensions where we're extending the top or bottom of the existing boat ramp. The other three are new ramps. We have one down in Emmons County, Rice Lake, which is needed because of high water. Access on the Big Waters Access on our Big 3, Sakakawea, Oahe and Devils Lake at this time is very, very good. On Sakakawea, back in the 805 and the mid-2000s when we were going in a drought, at this time of the year, in March and April, we only had one usable boat ramp on the entire lake. Right now, we've probably got 40 on Sakakawea. Oahe is kind of 'in the same boat. The Missouri River System has good water, good flows and good lake elevations. Praise for Partnerships We only have two people who work in the field on development activities, so they cover the entire state. With more than 400 lakes and several thousand facilities out there, it would just be impossible for us to , doit all. Most of those facilities are not owned or managed by the Game and Fish Department, but rather by a local managing entity, whether it'sa park board, a water board or wildlife club. We rely heavily on those folks for not only a cost share to initially develop the facility, but then also for the long- tenn maintenance such as putting the docks in, picking up garbage, and just overall maintenance of the site. mashing. ‘Refried Beans 16 oz. pinto beans, dry 1 1/2 c. onion, diced 7 c. low-sodium vegetable broth 6 oz. can green chilies, undrained I 1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce (or adjust to taste) Place all ingredients in a pres- sure cooker and stir until com- bined. Close the lid and set to high pressure for 60 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 m " " 'M previously stated, this vaccine pro- tects against pneumonia, which hos- pitalizes around 250,000 Ameri- cans and kills about 50,000 each year. It’s recommended that all seniors, 65 or older, get two separate vaccines — PCVl3 (Prevnar l3) and PPSV23 (Pneumovax 23). Both vaccines, which are administered one year apart, protect against different strains of the bacteria to provide maximum protection. Medicare Part B covers both shots if they are taken at least a year apart. Shingles vaccine: Caused by the same virus. that cauSes chicken pox, shingles is a painful, blistering skin rash that afi‘ects more than 1 million Americans every year. All people over age 50 should get the new Shin- grix vaccine, which is given in two doses, two to six months apart. Even if you’ve already had shingles, you should still get this vaccination because reoccurring cases are pos- sible. The CDC also recommends that anyone previously vaccinated with Zostavax be revaccinated with Shingrix because it’s significantly more effective. All Medicare Part D prescription drug plans cover shingles vaccina- tions, but coverage amounts, and re- minutes, then release the remaining pressure. Remove lid and turn off cooker. Stir mixture and then drain, reserving some liquid for blending. Mash beans, adding liquid as needed to reach desired consis- tency. Serve immediately. Makes 16 (1/2-cup) servings. Each serving has 220 calories, 0 grams (g) fat, 12 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber and 860 milligrams sodium. Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., LED, is a North Dakota State University Extension fiiod and nutrition specialist and professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences. Follow her on Twitter @jgarden— mbinson irnbursement rules vary depending on where the shot is given. Check your plan. Tdap vaccine: A one-time dose of the Tdap vaccine, which covers tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) is recommended to all adults. If you’ve already had a Tdap shot, you should get a tetanus- diphtheria (T d) booster shot every 10 years. All Medicare Part D pre- scription drug plans cover these vaccinations. Other Vaccinations Depending on your health con- ditions, preferences, age and future travel schedule, the CDC ofi‘ers a “What Vaccines Do You Need?” quiz at www2.CDC.gov/nip/adultirnm— sched to help you determine what ad- ditional vaccines may be appropri- ate for you. You should also talk to your doctor during your next visit about which vaccinations you should get. To locate a site that offers any of these vaccines, visit VaccineFind— er.org and type in your location. Send yoursenior tions to: Sen- ior, PO. Box 5443, orman, 0K 70, or visit SavvySeniororg; Jim Miller is a con- tributor to the NBC oday show and author of "T he Savvy Senior” book. 4654 V0 66 Legislative Report: COVID— 19 and Education numbers B David Manson ep. District 10 BISMARCK, N.D. — I wanted to report to my constituents that a lot has been occur- ring and will continue to occur in our state due to the Covid-19 issue. As ND begins to open up more, there is a lot of planning going on at all levels of our government. The Oflice of Management and Budget (OMB) is reaching out to legislative leaders and committee chair— men for input on costs associated With what has occurred and what costs will be incurred as we move forward. As chairman of the Ed- ucation and Environment section of House Appropriations I have reached out to both Higher Education and K— 12 department heads to supply us numbers as to what the Covid- 19 costs have been so far and what they feel it will cost us to get up and Mg again in the fall. We had a conference call on Wednes- day, May 6, where we conferred with OMB and relayed some of those numbers in prepa— ratlon for our next Interim Budget Section meeting on May 15. Various agencies and government entities have already asked the ND Emergency Commission for needed fiinds. We will vote on those at the May 15 meeting. Others will be voted on at the June meeting when numbers are more accurate. Some of the types of costs We are seeing are already covered by the first round of CARES federal money which we voted to ac- cept at our April meeting. ND K-12 school districts got $33.1 million as of May 5. Not all schools got that money as it was desig- nated as being provided for schools that are Title I schools. The decision was made to pro- vide even those that did not get CARES money in that first round with at least $8,000 per school. This would go to non-Title I schools and come from state funds. Most schools are Title I schools, and those that are not are usually the smallest schools. Although $8,000 is not much money, to a small school it can fill some gaps. The Title I schools in dis— trict 10 that got these CARES federal dollars (called ESSER Funds) are: Cavalier $78,865; Drayton $82,057; Langdon Area - $76,397; North Border $73,890; Park River Area - $75,738; and Valley Edinburg - $49,075. The school districts not listed are slated to get the $8,000 per school as I ex- plained. Some private 'schools get these ESSER Funds if they are Title I schools, and St. Alphonsus in Langdon is slated to receive $8,007. The way the money was allocated is through a formula set up by the Federal Gov- ernment, and I’m not sure what that formula was. I am simply reporting the numbers as prOVided to me by the ND Superintendent of Public Instruction. The schools, even though they are not holding classes, are providing breakfasts and lunches to students flee of charge. The schools are eating those costs for food, labor, and delivery without receiving funds other than CARES funds. There are going to be many more costs involved going forward to open our schools. Cleaning sup- plies, masks, and other costs will be much higher than pre-Covid-l9 days. Overall, though, K-12 schools will fare better than higher education schools, I believe. Higher Education institutions have in- curred approximately $24.3 million in ex- penses and lost revenue since March. Direct expenses that have been paid or will be paid by the end of May are $3.7 million while re- funds and lost revenue exceed $20.6 million. These costs will continue to grow over time, and the higher education institutions don’t qualify for much in the line of CARES fimds.‘ So far they have received only about $9 mil— lion in federal funds. We learned on our May 6 conference call that students are getting di— rect payments made to them by the Federal Government, but only those that were taking courses on campus and not those taking on- line courses. No one seems to have a clear handle on how or why these payments are ap— pearing since the ND University System is not involved with those direct student pay- ments. One of the things that is particularly trou- blesome to me with the lost revenue to higher education is the fact that most colleges and universities have bonded over the years to build or remodel dormitories and food service facilities. They use what we call “revenue bonds” to fimd these construction projects. The revenue the campuses get fi‘om students who live in the dorms and have meal con- tracts goes to make the bond paymentsNow the institutions are not receiving any revenue when the schools have been shut down, plus they refunded about 1/3 of the money the stu- dents had paid for their dorm rooms and meal contracts. Without revenue to make the rev- enue bond payments, guess who will have to make the bond payments if the schools de- fault? Hopefully they had a little reserve built up to make the payments as they come due, but if not, the state of ND will be on the hook for them. In all the years that I have been in the legislature taking care of budgets, I can only remember one time this happened when a university had a sharp decline in student numbers and the dorm was mothballed until sold. The institutions are expecting some de- clines in enrollment this fall due to the Covid- 19 issue, so fliat could be an extra hurdle to overcome in the near future. Other conference calls will be forthcoming with other agencies spotlighted. Human Serv— ices will definitely be facing some even big- ger challenges than what education faced on our call. Job Service ND and the Commerce Department, two of my budgets, will have to solve some problems in the near future, too. As you can see, even though the legislature is not in session and this is supposed to be our ofi“ year, things are not quiet in ND govem- ment. If you have questions, comments, or concerns you can contact me by email at: dmonson@nd.gov. Editor is Note: Manson is a Representative for District 0 in the North Dakota House of Representatives. Legislative Update: COVID- l9 and budgetary concerns By J anne Myrdal en. District 10 BISMARCK, N.D. — As I am " Writing "this report North Dakota is in its’ first week of “r opening”. Who would have thought we would ever normal— ize such an expression? The Re— publican Senate Caucus had been urging the governor to open our state back up and return to as normal as possible, so I am grate- fill for this progress. While our interim committees have been postponed this last month, the legislature has been working with our leaders and the gover— nor to make sure needs and con- cerns have been addressed across the state. Some have asked if we intend for a special legislative session to address COVlD—l9 and budgetary con- cerns mostly due to the energy crisis. While it may seem a good idea, calling for a special session at this time would be premature and honestly misuse of taxpayer dollars. We are still awaiting the full impact of federal fimding such as Paycheck Protection Pro- gram (PPP) or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) payments, and we have not received fiill guidance on the CARES Act agriculture assistance program. Most of the response related to COVID-19 are already handled at both the state and local levels without requiring legislative ac- tion. One example is the author- ity the Bank of ND already has to address loan program gaps in federal funding. In order for a Special Session to be effective, we must have the defined rev- enue information that impacts budget decisions, something that is currently not clear especially with the volatile energy market. Any additional spending or ad- justments that require approval in the meantime can be addressed by the interim Budget Section, ; which is the norm during every? interim. Another question that has come up is the role the State’s current funds, such as the Legacy Fund, play and how to access these funds. I have put together an overall chart of the different finds the state holds, the AP- PROXIMATE value of each and the restrictions of each by either Constitutional provision or by ND Century Code and hope this is of interest and clarification. It totals approximately $22.92B (Earnings dependent on mar— kets). Constitutional Funds: Legacy Fund $7.1B Can spend up to 15% of principle with 2/ 3 majority of both legisla- tive Chambers. Earnings that go into General Fund can be spent. Common Schools Trust Fund. $4.7B Earnings (only) fund K— 12 Schools. 10% oil extraction feeds principle. (Earned $377 million for the current biennium) Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund (15%) $0.4B Restrictedto. be spent during revenue shortage to keep K—12 fiom being cut. Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund (85%) $0.1B Restricted, can only be used for K—12. (Foundation Aid S. Fund is fed by 10% oil extraction tax.) Resources Trust Fund. $0.4B Restricted to water projects across state. Other: North Dakota Public Employ- ees Retirement System (ND- PERS) $3.1B Restricted for pensions only Teachers’ Fund for Retirement Fund (TFFR) $2.6B Restricted for pensions only Workforce Safety and Insur- ance Fund. $2,1B Remote! for. f liberty WW workforce’injury'claims. ' Higher Education $0.6B Partially restricted. Budget Stabilization Fund $0.72B This is the back up rainy day fimd for the General Fund. General Fund and other $1.1 State general expenditure Fund Again, this is to give a rough overall account of the state’s funds and are approximate bal— ances for the current biennium. The information is based on early March 2020 . The invest- ments of funds have reaped great average returns and follow strict Fund . transparent rules. We are in un- precedented times, especially as the energy and AG markets are suffering, so numbers will change as investment earnings will reflect the market. How- ever, I firmly believe our state is strong, we are in this together and will rebound and grow. We have the good and stubborn na- ture of determination, faith and leadership to get through this and emerge stronger. As we endeavor on this back to normalcy road together, we must continue to protect the eld- erly and the most vulnerable, while using common sense. Many have contacted me with concerns for their elder family members. We cannot live in fear, we must live in and with free- dom, apply wisdom, and ration- ally realize that an ongoing assumption that all are equally vulnerable to a fatal coronavirus result is not a reliable nor scien- tific conclusion. It is untenable to keep our society on lockdown. We must guard against a fimda— mental and wrongful shift of our perception of risk, which will lead to loss of basic peace and ‘rsonally and as a society. '1 " of us have eld- erly family or fiiends that espe- cially are paying a high price of isolation and fear during these unprecedented times. Many are wondering, myself included, how we can remedy some of this, now or next time a new Virus hits. I honor, and am utterly grateful for, all medical person- nel during this time, I cannot image how tough it must be. The decision to lock down elder care units and hospitals was nec- essary, yet what can we learn from this? The mental health is- sues facing these patients and residents with confiision, loneli- ness and angst may be worse than any other risk. We are in discussions with health authori- ties as to how we can manage this problem. I think decisions must be made locally to the best of our abilities and I again com- mend the caretakers at nursing homes, clinics and medical facil- ities and ask for their input as we learn for the fiiture. Meanwhile, farmers are in the field, students are finishing the year with distant learning and seniors in both high school and college are wondering how to celebrate graduation. Blessings and challenges hand in hand. What strange times, yet I lean on the fact that none of this takes away our faith in God, actually it grows our faith and our grati— tude for life itself. Editor 19 Note: Myrdal is a Senator in the North Dakota Senate for District 10. Invest in the community by divesting in power By Joe Miller PARK RIVER, N.D. —— Greetings my fellow citizens: Since joining the city council, I have learned a great deal more about the challenges of small— town life. The cost of proj ects versus the size of the tax pool are constantly at odds with each oth- er. Money ofien comes up short. HOWever, we do have a great deal of advantages and in some cases our greatest problems are our own process- es. It is time to step out of our comfort zone and start competing regionally and nationally. A cou- ple months ago, I had Ottertail Power do an analy- sis of our city and make a presentation to the coun- cil. They concluded that they could potentially buy our city’s electrical grid and cover our cur- rent contracts, while supplying our city with elec- tricity for approximately twenty percent less to the rate payer than what we currently pay. A to- tal savings of over $600,000 to the entire city’s rate payers annually. Impressive!!! This is based on the rates charged by Ottertail to neighboring communities. The divestment of the power company is not well received and nothing further has been dis- cussed because it is believed the city is making its money on the sale of electricity and it is keep- ing taxes low. The city earns approximately 100 to 150 thousand dollars annually in profit fiom the sale of electricity to you the rate payers. Do the math, $600,000 minus $150,000 equals $45 0,000 more revenue circulating in our com- munity. Additionally, analysis done in the past has indicated that the reserves held by the city for the power company is insufficient. This needs to be further examined. Maybe it won’t be the answer but it can’t be ignored. If it is decided to move forward, there will be plen- ty of opportunities to say “not interested” if it looks to be a bad plan. Please voice your support and tell the council to invite Ottertail Power and oth— er electrical companies to examine our infra- structure and make a proposal. It could mean mil- lions of dollars in savings and cash to the com- munity. ' Editor s Note: Miller is fiom Park River; ND, and serves as a member of the Park River City Council. He will be resigning his post at the end of the month as he is moving outside of city lim- its.