Face of Ray may change
The city of Ray could look very different in five years if developers can be found to bring to fruition a vision now being formulated.
City Planner Brent Moore has been working with Ray’s Planning Commission over the past six months toward the development of a Comprehensive Plan, with the highway corridor and Main Street targeted as growth areas.
“Comprehensive Plans really create the framework for how a community moves forward,” explained Moore, with the focus on a design for growth rather than how any specific building is used.
Though city officials have already given their input, a three-day series of meetings April 7, 8 and 9 will seek public comment.
Several years into an oil boom that has already swelled the city’s population beyond the 2010 census figure of 600, and with two major residential projects coming online this year, the city so far has only kept up with infrastructure demands.
With that capacity now increasing, the planning commission is looking to add shopping, office space and other amenities -- maybe even a new community center -- to improve the quality of life for all residents.
The Tioga Tribune
Watford airport upgrade set
Oil-related activity has filled McKenzie County roads and highways but also its flight paths.
With air traffic roughly five times more than it was three years ago, plans have been launched for a $3.5 million upgrade of the Watford City Municipal Airport.
“A lot of the flights landing and taking off here are related to the building and construction going on in Watford City,” said Tim Taylor, chairman of the airport board.
In 2014, the airport board plans to spend $3.5 million to expand the parking apron and build a new airport terminal.
“For a lot of folks flying into Watford City, the airport is the first thing they see,” Taylor said. “It’s their first impression of Watford City.”
The new airport terminal will offer a place for people who are flying in to meet family or business partners and for pilots to relax between flights.
The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is providing $2.33 million for the projects, and the Federal Aviation Administration is contributing $327,000 for the apron project. Another $700,000 will come from city sales tax funds, leaving $216,000 more to come up with locally.
McKenzie County Farmer, Watford City
McLean sees building boom
It seems everywhere you look in McLean County there’s some type of building going on. Homes, garages, storage buildings . . .
Ryan Oberg, McLean County assessor, said the county is in the middle of the building permit boom.
He said the increase in building permits is due to several factors, including the petroleum industry.
“Though McLean County itself isn’t in the red-zone, we are situated close enough to high-activity centers that we see substantial run-off,” he said.
Another factor is the number of people leaving high-activity areas for nearby locations.
The other factor is the energy industry that has long been established in the county. Oberg said those two things will continue to be two of the biggest factors contributing to the continued spike in building permits and population.
McLean County Independent, Garrison
Noonan mayor ‘disgusted’
After all the hub-bub over the discovery of an illegal dump of radioactive filter socks in an old building, Noonan resident Michelle Eide decided it was time to lighten things up a little bit.
Even as national news media got a hold of the story, Eide and some friends were ordering tshirts that say “I survived the nuclear disaster at Noonan, ND 2014.”
But not everyone has been able to find the humor in the situation.
Noonan Mayor Cyndie Fagerbakke is disgusted by the dumpers and the state’s reaction to the discovery.
“The people who did this, they’re not from around here,” said Fagerbakke. “They’re people who don’t give a rip, people who think it’s all about themselves, that they can make a quick buck and get out. I’m disgusted by the lack of regard they have shown for human life and health with this.”
Fagerbakke’s comments came prior to news the state health department would like to access a fund administered by the state industrial commission to pay for a cleanup of the Noonan site.
The Journal, Crosby
Another school looks to build
Patrons of the Lewis & Clark School District will head to the polls Tuesday, April 8, to decide whether to approve a $15 million bond issue.
A number of public meetings are planned to discuss the bond issue. Meetings will be a Ryder, Plaza, Makoti, Berthold and Carpio.
The election will include the question of approving the bond issue to fund the construction project. Patrons also will be asked whether the district’s debt limit should be increased beyond the 5 percent limit of indebtedness now fixed by the constitution.
The district operates high schools in Berthold and Makoti and elementary schools in Berthold and Plaza.
Mountrail County Record, Parshall
Tribal youth face more risks
Growing up on the Fort Berthold Reservation has never been easy. With the influx of unfamiliar people and oil money, the temptations and risks for youth on the reservation have never been greater.
Members of the Three Affiliated Tribes juvenile justice system work to help young tribal members stay on the straight and narrow. A group that includes correctional workers, court and police officers came to Edwin Loe Elementary School Tuesday in the first of what they hope will be presentations to every classroom on the Fort Berthold Reservation. Jordan Dionne and Jennifer Lenning from the Gerald “Tex” Fox Justice Center, JoAnn Baker with TAT Tribal Court and Officer Cris Cruz of the TAT Police Force were the presenters for the inaugural round of school visits.
“We have an anti bullying program in our school,” said Elementary Principal Dan Anderson.
“To have community resources provide that instruction is very beneficial. The more communication we have with the juvenile justice system, the better the children can understand how the system works and come to trust it and use it to keep their family safe.”
New Town News
Mercer County Commissioners have a plan for paying for much of the $9.8 million courthouse expansion: the state.
Commissioners this month voted to seek a $7 million loan from the state Energy Impact Office.
The coal conversion loan would be paid back by future coal conversion taxes. The remainder of the cost of the project, about $2.8 million, would be paid out of funds already on hand.
Commission Chairman Gary Murray said he felt it was the best option for the county if the county qualified for the loan.
County Auditor Shana Brost said if the loan isn’t approved, another option would be a bond issue.
The Beulah Beacon
Bank closed over security
Concern for the security of employees, operators of the only bank in Lignite have closed its doors.
A statement from First National Bank and Trust of Williston said that there were many days when only one employee worked at the bank, creating an unacceptable level of vulnerability.
“Without city police or Burke County Sheriff’s Department deputy stationed in Lignite, even with state-of-the-art security and surveillance equipment, all of the threat assessments done indicated the bank personnel in Lignite were highly vulnerable.
The bank’s statement said the possibility of any monetary loss from any potential robbery was secondary to potential harm to people.
The Journal, Crosby