August 26, 2011

New Town city council eyes expansion issues

New Town city council eyes expansion issues
By Jerry W. Kram
Interim Editor

The New Town City Council approved the extension of city sewer services to an area being developed by the MHA Nation on the north side of the community and to lots along Dakota Drive on the west side. The council also finalized a decision to create its own police force.
Most of the discussion on the sewer extensions dealt with how the city was going to pay for the expansion of services into the new subdivision north of NewTown. The land and homes will be tribal property and used to build housing for staff members of the new Elbowoods Memorial Clinic being built nearby. The council wasn’t sure how the funding had to be routed – whether the city could pay for the construction directly or if the money needed to be funneled through the MHA nation or the Indian Health Services.
The issue was important because some of the project could be eligible for federal reimbursement that could be jeopardized if handled incorrectly. If the project is approved, the Indian Health Service will design and install the system. However, Mayor Dan Uran said the city was committed to moving forward with the project.
“We are going down the road,” Uran sadi. “We just need to know what vehicle we are using. We have to make sure we do it the legal way. The Indian Health Services housing they want to put is a tribal project. They were struggling for funds, so what we were trying to do is help with that. We were able to get some money from the state to do that. Now we just have to make sure we do it the proper way, whether we pay the contractor or the tribe.”

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