Among major discussion topics this week by the Beulah City Council was initial talk on a developer’s agreement for proposed development along the 11th St. NE area south of the old Boeckel Trailer court between Parkway Drive and Blackstone Lane Councilor Kathy Kelsch brought forward a draft developer’s agreement for the area between the city and developer Howard Covert, noting it was important to consider why affordable housing was needed in the city. Kelsch then asked for input from the council on any questions they had regarding its language. Issues brought up included the amount of funding for infrastructure to be held in eschrow, an indemnity provision, legal and engineering fees and establishing a venue for contract disputes.
Last week Beulah residents had a chance to have their questions heard during a public hearing on a proposed mill levy increase. The public hearing was held due to the proposed increase in this year’s mill levy by the city of Beulah. Mayor Darrell Bjerke noted that the exact total mill levy would not be figured out until the county finalized its budget, but what was being presented was in the form of dollars and cents to easier explain. He added that the city had tried to “hold the line” in the past, but quite a few new factors contributed to an increase in mills, such as salary increases and funding for the dilapidated building initiative.
Last week the Beulah Centennial Committee met to discuss further planning for next year’s big party in August. One major topic included the centennial book, which was coming together. The book committee encouraged families and businesses to get their biographies in as soon as possible, as the final date for accepting submissions was approaching quickly. On the entertainment side of things, that committee was in the process of booking approximately 18 musical acts for music starting Thursday night and continuing both Friday and Saturday from noon until midnight. Music is planned for two stages on Main Street, as well as the Grandview Steakhouse.
After months of discussions and rewrites, a contentious policy will have to go back to the drawing board after a motion for its approval failed last week. The Mercer County Commission voted 2-2 on the “No Use” policy after Commissioner Gary Murray and Commission Chairman Frank Bitterman had motioned to adopt it during last Wednesday’s meeting. Commisioners Duane Scheurer and Wayne Entze voted against adopting the policy. Commissioner Bill Tveit was not present.
The Beulah Board of Education focused in on two major topics during its last meeting - the Imagination Library and a public hearing on mill valuation increase. Superintendent Todd Kaylor noted that the increase of 12.76 didn’t necessarily mean a tax increase of the same percentage. “In essence it takes the mill levy from last year, calculates the same amount of revenue as requested in this year,” Kaylor said. “The percentage is the increase in mills levied based on that comparison for the 2013 tax, which is a misrepresentation that there is a significant tax shift in property taxes to state responsibility related to educational funding. Patrons can expect to see a significant decrease in property taxes despite this posted 12.76 percent increase.”
Last week the Beulah City Councilors took a lengthy review of the proposed 2014 budget. Mayor Darrell Bjerke noted at the beginning of the meeting that the council needed to keep in mind that the revenue and expenditures would have to be balanced in moving forward.
The state’s Native American tribes have openly opposed Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s plans to build a transmission line across a battlefield site that researchers call “the Gettysburg of the Plains.” But the company is not backing down from the project that would provide much-needed electricity to western North Dakota.