Jim Jackson and Terry Fasteen of KLJ appeared before the Oliver County Commission to provide an update on the Hensler Road overlay project. Requests for bids will be published and distributed to qualified contractors, with bids due on April 25 to allow for selection of a contractor at the May commission meeting. Estimated project costs are just under $2 million, with the county’s cost share at 10 percent. The remaining costs will be paid by state and federal transportation funding programs. “The cost hasn’t changed a great deal from the original estimate,” Jackson noted, providing commissioners with a handout that listed estimated materials quantities and equipment and labor hours.
Landowners have a new resource for wildlife habitat questions, technical assistance, and possibly even help locating funding sources for habitat development. Justin Edwards is the Pheasants Forever Farm Bill biologist serving Oliver, Mercer and Morton counties through a partnership between Pheasants Forever, the USDA National Resource Conservation Service and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Edwards will also work cooperatively with the Oliver Soil Conservation District. “I’ll be working with the Farm Bill programs, particularly CRP and some EQIP,” Edwards said. The CRP, or Conservation Reserve Program, is a Farm Service Agency land conservation program intended to re-establish land cover in order to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Farmers enrolled in CRP agree to take environmentally sensitive land out of production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality in exchange for a yearly rental payment.
Center-Stanton students Macauley Haag, Abby Hintz, Mykaela Jacobson, Seth Johnson, Remi Sack and Devin Ternes joined more than 80 eighth-grade students from the Hazen and Beulah school districts at Scrubs Camp, a health career awareness event held last week at Hazen High School. The camp was one of 10 held throughout the state as a part of a campaign to increase awareness, interest, and understanding of health careers available in rural North Dakota. During the camp, students had opportunities to participate in hands-on experiences and learn about health career tracks such as public health; emergency medicine; nursing; physical, respiratory and occupational therapy; social work; health informatics; and pharmacy. “Occupational therapists help people at home (re-learn how to) get dressed, and shower and eat and do their hair,” Sack said.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.