By Deborah Banish
After being postponed by bad weather on February 24, the Rutland Community Club Family Fun Night was not going to be defeated by the latest snowfall. Fun Night on March 10th drew a large crowd of kids, parents, grandparents and Rutland residents for the annual festival. Katie McLaen and Morgan Peterson spearheaded the event with the help of a crew to run the games and serve the free-will spaghetti feed. The kids took their chances playing bean bag toss, putt-putt golf, fish pond, kerplunk and plinko to win tickets to enter for prizes or play the cakewalk, fishing booth or claw machine or just get some good old-fashioned cotton candy. It takes volunteers to pull off events and the workers included Bonnie Anderson, Tyler Banish, Marcia Brakke, Carolyn Christensen, Abbie Erickson, Lori McLaen, Sara Pavik, Ione Pherson, and Bert Siemieniewski. Larry Christensen and Hal Nelson operated the bingo games: Tony Banish won the first bingo and Yvonne Johnson won the blackout. All the kids went away with lots of goodies and prizes; the coveted iTunes gift card winner was Eli Olson. Katie will make a report on the event at the next Rutland Community Club meeting.
The March Sargent County Breakfast was held on Monday, March 11 at the Golden Corral in Mesa and Curt Larson submitted a report: This month was our largest attendance of the winter season. The following were present: Charles Anderson & Patty Boehm; Al Ciota & Clarice Ordahl; Jim & Kathryn Gaukler; Carolyn Hopewell; Curt & Renee Larson; Duane & Sharon Lock; David & Lavonne Nelson; Orvis & Alphie Pearson; Pat Prindiville; Clarice Renschler; Kenny & Faye Waloch; Gwen Young; Harold Young. Guests: Dorn Crandall; Carol Kramer, daughter of Clarice Renschler; Carlie Jelacie, daughter of Carol Kramer. Many will be going back to North Dakota in the next few weeks. This is my last meeting for the season, as Renee and I are leaving on April 2 for Orlando, Florida first before driving back to Forman. We are hoping the snow will be melting before our arrival during Holy Week. That’s all from sunny Arizona and remember…keep smiling; people will be wondering what you’re up to. Curt Larson
The Rutland City Council held a public hearing on Monday, March 11, on the Emergency Lagoon Repairs Project 2019-1. In addition to the City Council, City Auditor, and City Attorney, there was one member of the public, Calvin Jacobson, present for the hearing. The lagoon bank is being eroded by the sewer force main due to a broken pipe. Plugged discharge and transfer pipes do not allow the lagoon to function as needed. Potential failure of the lagoon bank will cause untreated waste water to discharge uncontrollably with the potential to threaten land, water and residences. There is a great threat to the public health and safety if the lagoon is not repaired. The public hearing was administrative in nature to authorize the CDBG application of $116,400 all coming from the Governor’s Fund; the City will also apply for a loan through the Clean Water Sate Revolving Fund for the total project cost of $220,000. The cost of the project loan repayment will be covered through the City’s Sewer & Lagoon Fund. Residents currently pay a $15.00 Lagoon surcharge that will fund the repayment so there will be no additional costs to residents for this project.
Following the public hearing, the regular City Council meeting was convened. The Council approved the gaming site authorization for the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club to continue with the gaming machines at The Lariat Bar for another year. The City Auditor presented the 2018 year-end financial report that had been published in the Teller on March 1 as required by law. The February financials, bills, and delinquent lists were also presented. The Auditor informed the Council that representatives from the Main Street Initiative will be visiting Rutland on March 29 to tour and meet with the elected officials and ten to fifteen Rutland business-owners. The Auditor will send invitation letters to Rutland business-owners to RSVP attendance. There will be a listening session and a debriefing session at the Lariat Bar over lunch. The Mayor reported that the City has located the source of the recent water loss in a residence due to no heat and frozen water pipes. The City Auditor will work with the City Attorney on the issue to send a written letter to the owner. The Council also discussed the issue of sidewalks and snow removal along First Street. All property owners are required to clear the snow and if the walks are not cleared the City will need to proceed to clean and bill the owners; the issue is not confined to just one property. The Auditor will send a letter out to the business owners regarding the need to maintain the walkways especially in the winter. The next regular City Council meeting will be April 1 and the Board of Equalization meeting will be April 15.
After 63 consecutive days of below freezing temperatures the mercury finally yielded to the pressure and exploded right through the freeze/thaw line and into the 40’s on Tuesday, March 12. Mayor Narum had the City’s snowplow in action on Tuesday afternoon, scraping the slush of melting snow from the streets before it could re-freeze into icy ruts. Roads, such as County #10 from ND #11 to Rutland, that had been covered with rock hard packed snow after last Saturday’s 12-inches of wet snow were bare pavement by Tuesday afternoon after receiving the solar treatment of a rare sunny day. Winter is not over yet, though, as another possible blizzard is being forecast for Wednesday & Thursday, March 13 & 14. This might be Winter’s last gasp, but lawn mowers and air-conditioners are not likely to be needed for a couple more weeks, at least.
Bill Anderson of Rutland and Lyle Bopp of Cogswell were among the County Commissioners who attended the North Dakota Association of Counties’ County Officials Academy in Bismarck on Monday & Tuesday, March 11 & 12. Also attending the Academy was Sargent County Treasurer/Recorder/Clerk of Court Alison Toepke of Forman. The purpose of the Academy is to acquaint newly elected county officials with the duties and responsibilities of the various county offices, and to provide refresher training to veteran county officials, both elected and appointed. Mr. Anderson has served on the Sargent County Commission since 2004; Mr. Bopp served as Sargent County States Attorney from 1982 until his election to the County Commission in 2018; and, Ms. Toepke has served as Sargent County Treasurer/Recorder/Clerk of Court since 2015. In one of the training sessions that involved a quiz testing both historical and technical knowledge and skill, Ms. Toepke earned the highest score of all participants, winning a big pad of “sticky notes” for use in her office. The officials also met with State Legislators at a reception in the North Dakota Heritage Center on Monday evening, and during the Legislative session on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 12.The County Officials Academy is held every other year, following the election of County and State officials in the November General Election. The next Academy will be held in 2021.
Paul Anderson departed Rutland on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 12, bound for Sun City West AZ via Fargo & Mesa. Paul and Carol Fridgen of Nevis MN were scheduled to depart from Fargo’s Hector Airport on Allegiant Airlines in the early afternoon of Wednesday, March 13. While in Arizona they intend to visit Paul’s Mother-In-Law, Etha Quinlan, and other friends who have been wintering in the sunny south. Paul expects to be back in Rutland on Wednesday, March 27, barring blizzards, floods and insurrections.
The Sargent Central Ambassadors of Music will be hosting a freewill meal following the Rutland Community Club play on March 24. Diane Smith, play Director, promises another fun original production so be sure to plan your theater night for March 24. Posters and more information will be out soon.
The fundraising brunch that was scheduled for March 10 was postponed due to the weather (what else?) has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 7, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Forman Community Club is hosting the brunch and half of the proceeds will go to the Sargent Central Ambassadors. The students are hoping to host at least one more event before they leave for their European Music Tour in July.
This Saturday, there will be a Legislative Forum at the Forman Senior Center starting at 9 a.m. sponsored by the Sargent County Farm Bureau and Sargent County Farmers Union. Senator Jim Dotzenrod and Representatives Sebastian Ertelt and Kathy Skroch will attend. Come for bars and coffee and to listen and ask questions of your Senator and Representatives.
Saturday is also the District Reorganization Meeting for the ND District 26 Dem-NPL. District Dems will select officers and an Executive Committee. The 26th District consists of all of Sargent and portions of Richland, Ransom and Dickey Counties. It stretches from just south of Kindred, to the east side of Ellendale, a distance of more than 90 miles, and it includes within its boundaries North Dakota’s largest manufacturing plant, the Bobcat factory at Gwinner. All District 26 residents who are interested in enlightened, progressive government are invited to participate in the District’s reorganization meeting on Saturday, March 16, starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Rutland Town Hall.
Keep warm and just remember there are only five days until Spring on March 20, 2019. If the sun shines and the outdoor temperature rises, the snow will melt and we will have to trade our winter boots for rainboots.