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City looking at Home Rule Charter options

The city council has formed a committee to look into adoption of a home rule charter. Home rule is a granting of certain powers to cities by a state legislature to allow the cities more opportunities to make decisions about the issues that affect them. The committee will look at the powers available to the City of Center, determine which should be included in the home rule charter, and then submit the proposed charter to the voters for approval in an election. Committee chair J.D. Hanson and member John Green appeared before the council to report on the committee’s progress. Hanson told council members that the committee had met, and its members are reviewing background information, process and procedures for implementing home rule, and sample charters. He also provided a list of information the committee needs in order to begin drafting a proposed charter. The proposed charter will be presented at a public hearing for comment and discussion.

Posted 3/19/14 (Wed) read more »

OCAS gets lift device demonstration

People come in all shapes and sizes. Children and small adults can, for the most part, be easily transported by ambulance service volunteers. But what happens when the patient is more than the crew can safely handle? More than a dozen Oliver County Ambulance Service squad members watched a potential solution in action Monday evening as Bill Kolb, territory manager for Stryker EMS Equipment, demonstrated the Power-Load system. The system supports the cot while it’s lifted into or lowered out of an ambulance.

Posted 3/19/14 (Wed) read more »

Commission reviews data storage needs, roads

County Auditor Judith Hintz presented the information requested last month by the commissioners to follow-up on discussion about the need for and costs to purchase a new server to increase data storage capabilities. The current server works well for the recorder/clerk of courts office, but is not sufficient for the storage needs of the tax director, treasurer, and auditor. Adding a server will ensure all offices’ storage requirements are addressed. “You have to make sure you’re getting what you need,” Commission Chairman Lee Husfloen said, indicating future needs are to be considered during the decision-making process to ensure sufficient capacity is purchased. County Treasurer Lee Benjamin researched the storage issue and concurred that a second server is needed. According to quotes received by Benjamin, total cost will be about $20,000, which includes $9,650 for the main server hardware, plus software and additional materials needed for installation. “The intent is to purchase a server that is capable of handling future needs,” Benjamin said. “This is a good-sized server, probably about twice the size of what we have.” “My thoughts are that we’re going to need it,” Commissioner Darrell Berger said. “I don’t see any other way around it.”

Posted 3/12/14 (Wed) read more »

Preschoolers get hands-on roping instruction

Laurie Thompson’s Center-Stanton afternoon preschool class got some hands-on roping experience last week during Western Day. Drew Erhardt told the class about the ropes cowboys use and why they rope cattle, demonstrated how to rope a calf, and then gave students a chance to try their hands at roping Buford the practice steer. “I liked it when I caught the horn,” Auslyn Manifold said. “It was so much fun!” Western Day was part of a week spent learning about the letter “w.” Preschool students wore cowboy hats to school, beaded western necklaces, and used candies shaped like cowboy hats, cowboy boots, spurs and horseshoes to do a math lesson about graphing.

Posted 3/12/14 (Wed) read more »

Minnkota transmission line work progressing

Assembly of the final transmission line structures in Oliver County for Minnkota Power’s Center to Grand Forks Project transmission line will soon be complete. The foundations are complete and tower bases have been erected; construction contractor Michels Corporation is working to finish placing the top sections of the towers. The structures are assembled in three parts—bases, mid-sections and tops, which are hoisted in place using track cranes. Once the structures are in place, the transmission line is strung. The mid and top sections of the remaining structures have been hauled to their locations and framed, which includes mounting the tower arms and hanging the insulators before the structures are set. The mid and top sections are bolted together and set on the bases in one operation.

Posted 3/05/14 (Wed) read more »

ND First Lady, CSPS meet to discuss Imagination Library

North Dakota’s First Lady, Betsy Dalrymple, was at Center-Stanton Public Schools last week to provide information about a cause that’s near and dear to her heart: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The program provides free books to children from birth until their fifth birthday. “It’s the perfect program, I think, to get young people excited about books,” Dalrymple said. Dalrymple met with CSPS Superintendent Curt Pierce, Deb Clarys of Security First Bank, and Elementary Principal Kathy Bullinger to discuss the possibility of starting an Imagination Library program in Oliver County. Imagination Library requires a non-profit organization to become the “local champion”; the local champion then works with partners in the community to publicize the program, register children, and raise funds to pay the monthly costs for books, postage and mailing.

Posted 2/26/14 (Wed) read more »

Washouts, zoning top county agenda

Scott Hopfauf and Paul Mahlen of Minnkota Power appeared before the Oliver County Commission at its regular meeting Feb. 13 to provide an update on the low water crossing washouts. After discussion at the January commission meeting, Mahlen checked back in Minnkota’s records but was not able to locate any reference to taking care of anything below the dam. He asked if the county might have background information. County Roads Superintendent Bruce Nelson reported that he had checked county records, including minutes from commission meetings, but did not discover an agreement or discussion on the subject. Discussion ensued as to the number of crossings that have been washed out due to high discharges from the dam, and noted that Lee Orgaard and Allan Jacobsen’s properties have been affected.

Posted 2/26/14 (Wed) read more »

Center-Stanton state assessment scores in

North Dakota State Assessment scores have been received for Center-Stanton Public Schools students, Elementary Principal Kathy Bullinger reported to the CSPS board at its Feb. 11 meeting. The state assessment is given each fall to students in grades 3-8 and 11 as required by federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Students are assessed on state grade level standards in mathematics, reading and English language arts. Students in grades 4, 8, and 11 are also assessed on state grade level standards in science. Scores have been given to teachers to share with parents at the next parent-teacher conferences.

Posted 2/19/14 (Wed) read more »

Council passes snow, ice removal ordinance

The council adopted a new snow and ice removal ordinance at its regular meeting Monday night. The ordinance addresses safety concerns related to snow and ice build-up on sidewalks and owners/occupants piling snow in the streets when clearing sidewalks, and calls for owners/occupants of city lots to remove ice or snow which forms, accumulates on or obstructs sidewalks within 24 hours after the ice forms or the snowfall ends. In cases where it is difficult to remove, sprinkling ash, salt or sand within the 24-hour timeframe is an acceptable means to make the sidewalk safe for pedestrian use. Owners/occupants are prohibited from blowing or shoveling snow into public streets except with prior permission from the City of Center. Violators of these provisions will be subject to a $50 fine. Home rule charter The council is researching and considering adoption of a home rule charter.

Posted 2/12/14 (Wed) read more »

FFA chapter holds Ag Day activities for CS students

The Center FFA Chapter will be hosting Ag Day for Center-Stanton students on Thursday, Feb. 20, as part of its National FFA Week celebration Feb.17-21.

Posted 2/12/14 (Wed) read more »