By Bill Anderson
Rain, rain, rain! With the rest of the world experiencing global warming, North Dakota, as usual, is bucking the trend. The Winter of 2018-19 was brutal, with more cold and snow than mortals should have to endure, the last blizzard was in mid-April, the snow didn’t go away until May and the temperature didn’t warm up until the end of June. July seemed to be hot only because it was warmer than June with higher humidity, and the weather has been cool and damp since the beginning of August. Now September has begun with 6 inches of rain in the first 10 days of the month, the same pace it hit back when Noah built the Ark. We are looking forward to an Indian Summer by the end of the month, but you have to have a Summer before you get an Indian Summer, don’t you?
Mr. Keith Olson of Minneapolis was in Rutland over the Labor Day Weekend visiting friends and family here. Keith is the son of the late Morris and Marcine (McNeil) Olson, Rutland natives who maintained loyalty and affection for their home community throughout their lives. Violet (Olson) Wyum; Shirley (Olson) Mahrer; and, Sharon (McNeil) Pearson are Mr. Olson’s aunts. Keith reports that his twp sisters also reside in the suburbs of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. He was heading for home on Wednesday, September 4, but stated that he plans to be back in Rutland for Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 6.
Mr. Larry Job of Cogswell was working at “The Bunkhouse” at 205 First Street for several days during the first week of September, installing the metal trim on eave supports, window casings, door casings and corners. The Bunkhouse is owned by Lori McLaen of this community and is used as a short-term rental unit to accommodate vacationers, hunters and others who need a place to stay in Rutland for a few days, weeks or months. Lori obtained the new old metal siding being installed on The Bunkhouse from Russ Boutaine at Forman Fireworks & Lumber, and also retained the services of Mr. Job from the same source. Mr. Job is a native of Edgemont SD and has been residing in the Cogswell community for the past several years.
Travis Tischer and a crew of workmen from Dakota Design Landscaping of Wahpeton arrived in Rutland shortly after 8:30 on the morning of Thursday, September 5, to commence work on the yard of The Old Parsonage at 217 First Street. Since the remodeling and renovation project began in September of 2018 the yard had most closely resembled No-Man’s Land on a World War I battlefield, but the men of the landscaping crew tore into it with power equipment, hand tools, toil & sweat, and, by the time they packed up to make the trek back to Wahpeton at 9:30 on Thursday night, the holes had been filled, the high spots leveled off, the yard shaped and sloped, grass had been seeded, and 5 trees, including two American Lindens along Main Street and twp Autumn Blaze Maples along Anthony Street, had been planted. Mr. Tischer and his crew intend to return to install landscape fabric and lattice work beneath the wrap-around front porch later this month. Mr. Tischer reports that 3 types of grass seed, including: rye grass; fescue; and, Kentucky blue grass, were planted in the lawn. The rye grass and fescue are expected to sprout in 7 to 10 days, while the blue grass usually takes about 30 days to germinate. Mother Nature provided 1.3 inch of rain in the form of an all day drizzle on Saturday, September 7, and another 2.8 inches on Monday, September 9, to get the newly planted grass seed and trees off to a good start. Dakota Design may be contacted at 701-640-4805, or at 701-640-7355.
Local carpenter Jerry Sapa and Mayor Ron Narum were hard at work on Friday, September 6, replacing the platform on the Rutland Depot Museum at 206 First Street. The old platform, constructed of 2 X 8’s, had been built when the old Great Northern Railway depot was moved from its original location on the north side of the railroad tracks, east of Main Street, to its present location back in 1987. The depot, consisting of a freight house, office and waiting room, had originally been built 100 years earlier, back in 1887, the year after James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway reached the present site of Rutland. The new platform built by Jerry & Ron is also made of 2 X 8’s, and it is reminiscent of the original depot platform and board sidewalks that graced the streets of the pioneer community 132 years ago. Thanks to Jerry & Ron for getting the work done, and to the City’s Dads & Moms for seeing to it that the improvement was completed prior to Uff-Da Day in Rutland on Sunday, October 6.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 9, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Deb Banish; and Council members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and, Bertha Siemieniewski present. Council Member Mike Mahrer was absent. Also present were the City’s Engineer from Moore Engineering in Fargo, and 3 Rutland residents: Dave Young; Roger Pearson; and, Bill Anderson. Mayor Narum began the meeting by calling the public hearing on the 2020 budget to order. It was suggested that the City’s budget should include a designated fund to finance unanticipated repairs or major infrastructure projects. Council member Erickson noted that the City had increased property tax revenues by 7% within the past few years and had also increased the water rates to make sure that the fund remains solvent. The water and sewer enterprise funds as well as the General Fund have increased to help cover some projects. The City Auditor noted that the City is projected to receive approximately $20,000 to $23,000 through the Prairie Dog Initiative legislation approved during the 2019 Legislative Session. That funding may be used for infrastructure projects, but details, including whether or not the money will actually materialize are not yet known. The public hearing on the 2020 Budget was adjourned and the Council then proceeded to take care of regular business. The City Engineer discussed the Emergency Lagoon Project work, noting the contractor has been on site since August 30, and has begun some draining and clay fill work on the project. Due to delays caused by recent rains, the Contractor is requesting a 2-week extension of the contract completion date. The contractor has also requested a change order for the clay which was needed as the existing fill at the site does not appear to meet the contract specifications for the work. The Council approved the change order for $3,000 pending the soil test to confirm the need for the fill substitution, and also approved an extension of the date for substantial completion of the contract from September 16 to September 27, with the contract final completion date being changed from September 30 to October 11. It was reported that the new radar activated electronic speed signs will be installed as soon as weather permits and the operation/installation manuals have been received. Council Member Delores Lysne presented three written bids for the removal of 15 diseased, damaged & dying trees from City property. The Council accepted the bid from Schumacker Tree Service of Oakes ND in the amount of $2,000, stump removal not included. The Council, by a unanimous vote, gave final approval to the City’s new Health Ordinance. The Financial reports were approved as presented, and, after reviewing and authorizing payment of the City’s bills, the meeting was adjourned at 6:05 p.m. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 7, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and constituents are invited to attend.
The Rutland Community Club (RCC) met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 9, with ten members present and with Club President Katie McLaen presiding. Secretary Andrea Erickson presented the minutes of the August meeting, and Treasurer Hal Nelson delivered a financial report showing approximately $16,000.00 available for projects in the community. Katie McLaen reported that the RCC will present the freezer meal sessions on two successive Wednesdays, October 16th and 23rd, in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall. Anyone wanting to sign up for the Freezer Meals sessions should contact Katie McLaen. Sessions are limited to ten participants at each one. It was also reported that Zoomba exercise sessions will start on November 3 in the Town Hall, and are open to all ages. More information on those sessions will be publicized soon. Club members also voted to donate $770.00 to the City of Rutland to pay for the new platform at the Rutland Depot Museum. The main focus of Monday evening’s meeting was Uffda Day XXXV planning and preparations. Uff-Da Day Co-Chairperson Paul Anderson presented an update on the Norski competition, 5-K Run/Walk, Nickle Scramble, pedal tractor pull and other events including live music, and a wine tasting sponsored by a North Dakota vineyard & winery. Committee Chairs are getting to their tasks. Lefse production is proceeding with four sessions left this week. Sandkaker and krumkaker will be made when Uff-Da Day lefse production has been completed. Sheila Wyum reported on the publicity plan for Uffda Day, which will include advertising on the internet, radio and print media. In other business, club members decided that Santa Claus Day will be on Saturday, December 14, depending on Santa’s availability. Bingo, crafts, and a soup & sandwich meal are planned along with the drawings for Christmas ham donated by Rutland area businesses. Watch The Teller, the Rutland internet web site and the Rutland Facebook page for more information. The next RCC meeting is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 14, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Lefse Lena and her lefse crew have been hard at work making lefse for Uff-Da Day during the past few weeks. On Tuesday, September 10, 5 of Lefse Lena’s helpers: Larry Christensen; Paul Anderson; Doug Olstad; Bill Anderson; and, Dick Meyers; were pressed into service to make “lefse balls”, the second step in the lefse making process that begins with mixing and cooling the lefse dough on the night before a production session. The lefse balls, each containing ¼ cup of lefse dough are made shortly before the real artists show up to roll, fry, turn and cool the lefse before it is packaged and frozen to be ready for the enjoyment of Uff-Da Day lefse gourmets. Lefse Lena reports that as of the evening of Tuesday, September 10, the 2019 lefse count is at 2,302, with several sessions to go. Uff-Da Day XXXV will be celebrated in Rutland on Sunday, October 6.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President’s tweets, twitters and typos have the stock markets gyrating, bankers sweating, trigger fingers nervous and our enemies laughing. What a deal! A President who alienates our friends, gives the field to our foes and makes our country the laughingstock of the world. The world hasn’t seen anything like this since Nero fiddled while Rome burned. The true believers, though, despite having their markets trashed, their incomes slashed and their futures bashed, continue to march in lock step with der Donald as he marches them off the cliff and tells them that they are enjoying the trip. Well, as of Friday, September 13, there are 71 weeks remaining until January 20, 2021, when there is a chance that some degree of sanity may be restored in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
That’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, the Rutland blog, the Rutland Facebook page and the Uff-Da Day Facebook page, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.