The weather looked promising with some sunlight this past week, but it quickly changed to cloudy and gloomy. That certainly doesn’t help the mood of everyone who is staying close to home and social distancing themselves. More events have been cancelled and it doesn’t look like there will be much going on during Easter this year. Watch out summer when the coast is clear!
Students at Sargent Central School began their online classes on Wednesday, April 1, and they will be continuing them for the next several weeks. As ordered by the Governor, in-person classes were suspended on March 16th and all 175 school districts were required to submit an online learning plan to the State Department of Public Instruction. Sargent Central’s plan was approved and students and parents received specific details on the process earlier this week. The online classes will continue during the COVID-19 restrictions. College students have been home since spring break and will not be returning to in-person classes for the remainder of the school year.
The Sargent County Complete Count Committee has initiated a City Census Contest that began on Wednesday, April 1. The cities of Rutland, Milnor, Forman and Gwinner are competing to see which city will have the highest response rate for the 2020 census. The forms have been mailed to residents with house numbers. Residents with post office box mailing addresses will not receive a form in the mail. Everyone has the option to simply go online to my2020census.gov and complete the census. There are only a few, easy questions so be sure to get your census form completed. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how federal funding flows to the communities every year for the next decade. The losing City Mayors will have to promote the winning cities. It’s even more important to get your Census questionnaire submitted! As of March 31, Rutland has had a 31% response rate. You can check Rutland’s progress at https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html
Paul Anderson & Carol Fridgen returned to Rutland from winter quarters in Sun City West AZ on Friday, March 20. Paul reports that they made the trip in 2½ days, disinfecting gas pumps, rest rooms and hotel rooms from there to here. Paul said that the hotel they stayed in at Sioux City IA on Friday, March 19, told them that the hotel’s occupancy rate had declined nearly 85% since the 1st of March. They stopped at Sioux City because of a raging snowstorm that prevented safe travel. Most cafes and other dining establishments along their route were closed, according to Paul, but pizza joints and Mexican restaurants had carry-out available.
Retired Pastor Curt Larson and wife, Renee, of Forman, also made the trip home from AZ this past week, driving the entire distance non-stop, except for fuel stops, in 26½ hours. They are sheltering in place for 14 days before going out and about.
Rutland native David Sundlie, now a resident of Bismarck, reports that some of the younger residents in the Bismarck-Mandan area are ignoring the “social distance” advisories and are having parties on the sandbars along the Missouri River. Fifty years ago, Dave might have been out there, too, but the coronavirus wasn’t around back then. He would just as soon that they didn’t come back to Bismarck and distribute the virus to others. It has been suggested that the Corps of Engineers could solve the problem with a release of water from Lake Sacajawea that would move the sandbars, and presumably the partiers, too, downstream, to South Dakota.
The Rutland Community Club (RCC) has switched the Easter Egg Hunt to an Easter Egg Sale as a result of COVID-19. Parents are welcome to pick up eggs and drop off a donation at the City Hall starting on April 1. RCC members stuffed the eggs in anticipation of the Hunt so they are asking parents to pick up a package or two to hide at home for their kids and to return the empty eggs after Easter to the same location.
The Rutland City Council will hold the Board of Equalization meeting on Monday, April 6, starting at 5 p.m. at City Hall. The Sargent County Tax Equalization Director, Denise Ferderer, will be participating by telephone. Residents who have questions about property taxation and assessments should contact Ms. Ferderer before noon on Monday, April 6, so that the information can be shared with the Council at the meeting. The City Council will hold its regular meeting immediately following the Equalization meeting. Council agendas and approved meeting minutes are available on the City of Rutland website.
Election Certification of Nomination and Statement of Interest forms are due to the City Auditor by 4 p.m. on Monday, April 6th. In Rutland, the June 2020 ballot will include the positions of Mayor, City Council (2 positions) and Park Board (3 positions). Complete instructions and online fillable forms may be found at the ND Secretary of State website on elections or they may be obtained from the Rutland City Auditor by calling 724-3081.
That’s the news from Rutland. Be sure to check the City of Rutland website for news and updates. Get outside and take a walk — wave as you pass the neighbors!