Rugby metro, construction proposals discussed by municipal committees | News, Sports, Jobs

Sue Sitter / PCT An employee of Pipe Detectives in Jamestown sends a camera down a sewer line on First Street Northeast in Rugby.

Members of the public works committee got a glimpse of the Rugby Underground during their committee meeting on July 21 at Town Hall.

City engineer Jim Olson shared the results of a camera survey of sections of the city along the main avenue, describing problem areas and work being done to clear blockages. As he passed photos of crumbling manholes to committee members, Olson said work to televise Rugby’s northeast corner was underway.

One odd item reported in the sewer lines was a fiber-optic cable apparently carried through the pipe. The information prompted jokes about the quality of Internet service from some committee members.

Olson showed the committee a manhole he said was 75 percent plugged 50 feet east of First Street Northeast.

Olson described the appearance of manholes on camera as “like spaghetti in the cracks.”

Workers also found a 2-inch white plastic pipe connecting to the water system running north of Main Avenue to Otter Tail Power Company. “It goes into our manhole where our main runs east and west.”

City auditor Jennifer Stewart researched water meters in the area, noting that the line went to an unmetered user. The committee agreed to send a public works employee to close the curb on the site of the user who may have received unmetered water. Mayor Sue Steinke suggested that a municipal police officer accompany the worker. The committee agreed.

Members also heard updates on the progress being made with the electrical wiring of the lift stations of the city’s water system. The committee also discussed the purchase of a payload lifting platform to be delivered to the public works department.

President Dave Bednarz said committee workers were hired to haul the limestone deposits away from the city’s water lagoons.

Olson spoke to the committee about developing a comprehensive land use plan, which would be due to state offices “Late November to early December, or we lose our funding. “

North Dakota District 14 Representative Jon Nelson also attended the meeting, offering his contribution as state legislator and board member for All Seasons Water District, which is located in the North west of town.

When the committee discussed developing a new comprehensive plan for the city, Nelson suggested including the new Heart of America Medical Center, which will be located near US Highway 2.

“I am part of the steering committee and they are about to appoint an architect” Nelson said of the proposed hospital.

“The goal is to get started and there are infrastructure considerations there, obviously with water, sewers and streets” Nelson added.

Olson told the group that nine miles of water pipes running from wells to the city’s factory were a problem, mainly because they were aging and contained asbestos cement. Olson said Rugby was on a list with the towns of Horace and Valley City competing for dollars from the state water commission to replace the lines. “They will watch it in August and I will walk past them in January (to advocate for rugby)”, Olson said.

Nelson and committee members pointed out that other infrastructure projects already underway, such as repairs to the neighborhood near 2 1/2 Avenue in Rugby, have already stretched the city’s budget. Nelson asked if the committee would consider waiting until the next legislative session to allow it to seek funding for the pipe replacement. Nelson also noted the possibility of accessing money from the state revolving fund.

Funds for city council-approved projects occupied much of the discussion among members of the city’s finance committee.

The committee considered financing bonds to pay for repairs to water and sewer infrastructure near 2 ¢ Avenue. Stewart told the committee that the funded revenue bond would amount to $ 4,934,000.

Olson, who attended the meeting, told the project’s finance committee “Is a very standard operational funding mechanism” in order to receive USDA grants for the project. “They wouldn’t allow us to move forward if we didn’t” Olson said.

Committee member Wayne Trottier, who said he has overseen federally funded school projects, said he was familiar with the need for financial commitment.

“One of the procedural obstacles they are looking for is (a financial commitment)”, he said.

“You have to have skin in the game” added Steinke.

Olson said the USDA grant would be $ 1.7 million. Another $ 300,000 would come from city funds.

Other business of the finance committee included revisions to the salaries and wages of city employees and the executive director of the Rugby Job Development Authority. The committee also voted to transfer funds to an account for a new fire truck and reviewed other funds set aside for air packs for fire fighters. Stewart told the committee that a loan taken out for the town’s fire hall would be paid off in 2025.

Committee members also discussed funds set aside for the town portion of a North Dakota Department of Transportation project on a section of Highway 3 through Rugby.

Committee members also reviewed the finances of the city’s buildings.

Stewart shared information about the Rugby Armory. “In 2020, we had a cost of just over $ 61,000 to operate the armory. In 2019, these costs were $ 70,000 ”, she said.

For income, said Stewart, “The school is a major player; we have other functions that (provide income), but it’s very small. “

“We are starting to try to make the Armory a better building for the community and everyone who uses it. These costs (for renovations) are not minimal ”, Stewart added.

“We recommend that the cost of rent be $ 17,000 for the next two years. Currently, it is $ 14,500 per year ”, said Stewart. Under the agreement, the rent for the armory offices would drop from $ 3,200 to $ 3,800.

Rugby Schools Superintendent Mike McNeff attended the buildings committee meeting and accepted the increase on behalf of the district. He also told committee members that the district was looking to “Keep the lines of communication open” on school projects, such as the expansion of the Ely primary school campus.

The buildings committee voted to meet with the school district on August 4 at 11 a.m. regarding the proposed construction on the Ely Elementary School property.

Other budget issues for the finance committee included budgeting to replace filters and other worn parts at the city’s water plant.

“Overall, I think there will always be high expectations when it comes to quality water. I appreciate the water we have. I have been to towns where the water is terrible. There is going to be a strong expectation regarding the water in rugby ”, Trottier told the finance committee. “Every time you increase the cost of water in rugby, that expectation stays the same and even increases. We appreciate good water.

However, Trottier noted the large number of patches required for the city’s crumbling infrastructure.

“We have this list of needs. I think we will have to try to prioritize them ”, he said.

Other committee business included a decision by the members of the buildings committee to approve a construction bid of $ 189,660 for a project to replace doors and windows on the Rugby pool. The committee approved a separate bid for the rooftop pool building for $ 110,576.

Committee member Maurus Brossart recommended soliciting a separate offer for new joists, or supports, for the building.

Other business of the committee included transferring a light bar from a Ford Taurus belonging to the Rugby Police Department to another police vehicle, plans to place electronic speed limit signs in town, and the creation of a police sergeant’s post for the force.

Police Chief John Rose told the Public Safety Committee that June was a “Fairly active” months for the department with five arrests for drunk driving. However, he added, “Things were quite calm” at the Pierce County Fair.

Rose told the committee that the department hired Sean Hurly as an officer. Hurly is the brother of Judge Michael Hurly, who told the ministry he would recuse himself from any court cases involving his brother.

Other committee business included the recreation committee’s discussions on canoes at the softball fields of the Rugby Recreation Complex. Other areas of concern included a leak in the recreational building and work on a picnic shelter at the complex. Committee members also drafted new job descriptions for the recreation director, recreation director and gardener.

A special city council meeting followed the committee meeting. Members discussed a civil case the city brought against Larry and Margaret Vetsch during an executive session. Steinke has not commented on the case, which Pierce County Clerk Karin Fritel was scheduled to have July 27-29.


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Shawn G. Randall

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