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2/9/2005 – News

Volume 122, Number 1             Wednesday, February 9, 2005

PPTV tower may host county communication
The Benson County commissioners met for their regular meeting Feb. 1 at the courthouse in Minnewaukan. Present were chairman Jason Lee of Maddock, vice chairman Ed Ripplinger of Leeds, Curtis Hvinden of Maddock, Barry Cox of Warwick and Dwain Brown of Sheyenne.
County nurse Shelley Aabrekke told commissioners she has radon test kits and water testing kits for those who want them.
Commissioners approved a construction agreement with the ND Department of Transportation for an overlay on existing pavement from the Gavin Foss farm west to the end of the pavement. An April 22 bid letting is planned.
Commissioners were unanimous in voicing their opposition to HB 1422 which would split the state into eight waterfowl hunting zones. A resolution to that effect will be sent to state representatives.
A request from the US Board on Geographic Names concerning renaming a bay of Mud Lake to Beaver Bay was turned down by the commissioners. "The people I talk to say they don’t want any change in the name," said Ripplinger, who represents that district on the commission.
Todd Allmaras of New Rockford, representing Nodak Communications, told commissioners that the new Prairie Public TV tower going up west of Minnewaukan adjacent to ND 19 would probably be a better place to put the county’s planned communications repeater than a tower in The Buttes north of Harlow. Allmaras said the $2.3 million tower will carry Prairie Public TV and public radio. The 700 ft. tower could easily accommodate the county’s repeater and would be in a central location so the entire county could be covered. In addition Allmaras said the tower is adjacent to ND 19 and easily accessible.
The site in The Buttes would require the county to put up some type of rodent-proof building to house the equipment. The building would cost at least $3,000, probably more. The county would have to heat the building.
Renting a spot on the Prairie Public TV tower at $250 per month would probably be cheaper. Allmaras said if the county moved snow at the site when necessary a lower rent might be able to be negotiated.
It was pointed out at a previous meeting that the tower does not meet the setback required by the county’s zoning ordinance which was adopted April 20, 2004. Some of the guy wires for the tower are within the 250-foot corridor required by the zoning ordinance. Commissioners felt they would probably grant a variance if the county can use the tower at a reasonable cost.
Ralph Olson of Maddock, chairman of the Benson County Townships Supervisors Assn., told commissioners the annual meeting of that group will be held Tuesday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Free Lutheran Church in Minnewaukan.
County Auditor Bonnie Erickson told commissioners the electric heating bill for the courthouse in 2004 was a little over $7,000, almost exactly what Otter Tail Power Co. had estimated it would cost before the system was installed.

Irrigation test project
This irrigation boom is located at Site No. 7 of the Upper Basin Water Utilization Test Project which will be operated by Duane Anderson of Leeds.
The site is located just east of Leeds and about a mile south of US 2.
Total contract cost for irrigator pivots, erection, etc. with K&T Irrigation of West Fargo is $750,000 for the 10 sites in the test project which will utilize water that otherwise would ordinarily flow into Devils Lake. The Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board has contracted with NDSU to provide the technical assistance under the direction of Dr. David Hopkins and Dr. Dean Steele. Plans call for the 10 sites to be operational by June 1, 2005. There are three sites in Towner and Ramsey Counties, two sites in Benson County and one site each in Pierce and Rolette Counties.
Total estimated cost of the 3-year test project is approximately $1.5 million with funding provided by the USDA-NRCS, ND State Water Commission, the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board and other local contributors. (Photo by Duane Anderson)

Wins snowmobile
Touria Campbell of Devils Lake is shown seated on the Arctic Cat M-7 snowmobile she won at the Spirit Lake Casino Jan. 30. Mrs. Campbell and her husband, Clint, own rental property in Minnewaukan.

Win Savings Bonds
Rhiannon Johnson and Cody Lunde were winners of $50 US Savings Bonds given away by Ramsey Bank and the North Star Community Credit Union at the 2005 student financial aid meeting.

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