By Bill Anderson
The year of 2022 is one-third gone and we are now enjoying the merry month of May, when a young man’s fancy blithely turns to thoughts of a new fishing boat with which he can pursue those lunker walleyes. Sometimes romance enters into the equation, but neither a boat nor a walleye are capable of returning much in the way of affection. Well, at any rate, at least we are now getting some sunny days and some temperatures in the low 60’s that are in the “normal” range for this time of the year. Of course, we had all of those “below normal” days in April that must be made up in the coming weeks. Cam Gulleson reports that he had recently heard a weather expert explaining that the month of April 2022 was the coldest, wettest, and windiest April since the year of 1886. 1886 was the year that James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway constructed its tracks and brought its trains to Rutland, and the year that Prindiville’s Saloon was built. None of Rutland’s residents who were residing here in 1886 are disputing Cameron’s report, so it must be true. Rutland’s current residents are just hoping for “normal” in 2022. That’s not asking for too much, is it? Just once, once in 136 years, can the month of May, and maybe June, be normal? Well, we do live in North Dakota, where “normal” is a point on the weather spectrum that we pass on our way from too cold to too hot, too wet to too dry and back again.
Another report from Cam Gulleson is that the Gulleson Ranch is nearly done with Spring calving. As of Monday, May 2, the Gullesons had delivered more than 600 calves, and had about 70 to go. They didn’t think that they would have to be battling Winter in April, but this is North Dakota, after all.
Four young ladies of this community: Greta Bladow, daughter of Brian & Trish Bladow and the late Wendy Bladow; Kaycee Hamilton, daughter of Kenny & Tanya Hamilton; Whitney Mahrer, daughter of Mike & Kayla Mahrer; and Charlize Willprecht, daughter of Kevin Willprecht and Wendy Willprecht; affirmed their baptism and became confirmed members of Nordland Lutheran Church here on Sunday, May 1. These young women impress all who meet them. Their families, their church and their community are justifiably proud of them all.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 2, at the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Mike Mahrer; City Auditor Deb Banish; and Council Members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and Lori McLaen present. City Council member Colton Corry was absent. Sargent County Water Resource Board Member Mike Wyum and Water Resource Board Engineer Nathan Trosen of Moore Engineering, Fargo, were present to discuss Drain 8 with the City Council. Mr. Wyum said that the Water Resource Board had discussed what it can legally do with the Drain, and what the city would be legally able to do with the drain. The State of North Dakota requires a cost-benefit analysis for all County Water Resource Board water projects. Engineer Trosen discussed the slope and pipe requirements of the project that would have to meet State criteria. An economic analysis is required by the State to determine the cost and benefits of any future project. Mr. Wyum said that safety is a big concern but that is not a factor in the State’s analysis. Another option is for the Water Resource Board to abandon the drain to the City and the adjoining property owners. The Water Resource Board currently has about $103,000 in the Drain #8 fund that is available for a project; and, that an engineer’s analysis of a proposed project would cost about $20,000. Mr. Trosen said that a storm water model analysis could be done comparing the cost and effectiveness of 8”, 10” and 12” pipes. a full summary had been done in 2015 and that data could be used. The Council discussed the cost of an analysis and the different size pipes. The Council agreed that a 12” pipe would be the minimum needed. Moore Engineering will use the existing data and studies and develop an analysis based on those figures using a 12” pipe. There are also minimum standards and safety issues that must be complied with in any project. The Drain #8 matter will continue to be discussed at future meetings.
A new mower for City use has been ordered. The city will receive a $2,400 trade-in credit for the old City mower.
The Council reviewed the proposed increases in the values and insurance coverages for buildings owned by the City and adjusted the coverage for City Hall and for the Maintenance Buildings on the east and west sides of Main Street.
The location for the collection of most materials during Community Clean-up Day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, has been changed from the City’s Inert Landfill to the City Shop on the east side of Main Street due to the recent rains and the muddy road leading to the inert waste landfill site. Electronics, white goods, car & pickup tires, and large items such as furniture and mattresses will be collected at the City Shop, and lawn clippings and branches can be brought to the Municipal inert Waste landfill Site.
The Council discussed the recent water break at Rutland Oil. The break is before the City’s water meter. However, the city had to excavate a large area to get to the shut-off valve. The City’s water usage was 125,000 gallons more than the City’s recent average monthly usage. Lysne moved and McLaen seconded that Rutland Oil be billed for an additional 50,000 gallons of water due to the break under Rutland Oil’s building. Motion carried unanimously.
The City Auditor reported that the Tree City USA grant application deadline was April 30. An application was submitted prior to the deadline asking for grant funds to help with the cost of planting 14 new trees on Rutland City property this summer. The Auditor also reported that the American Rescue Plan Act report was due, and was filed, by April 30. This was the first report on the use or non-use of these Federal funds. An application has been filed so that the funds can be used for non-water or sewer improvement projects that meet the ARPA requirements. After reviewing the City’s financial reports and the bills presented for payment, the Council authorized the payment of the City’s bills and adjourned the meeting at 6:30p.m. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 6, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and Rutland residents are invited to come on in and observe their City’s Governing Board in action.
Rutland Housing, Inc. held its 51st Annual Meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, in the Rutland Town Hall. Rutland Housing owns 3 apartment houses: two 4-plexes; and one 6-plex; in Rutland. The corporation’s annual financial report showed a net operating profit of $4,438.00 for the preceding year. Rutland Housing’s President, Delores Lysne, was re-elected to another 3-year term on the Board of Directors. During the Board of Directors meeting that immediately followed the Annual Meeting, all officers were re-elected to their current positions: Delores Lysne, President; Bill Anderson, Vice-President; Carolyn Christensen, Secretary; and Bert Siemieniewski, Treasurer and Manager. In recent years Rutland Housing has completed some significant improvement and renovation work on its apartment houses, and the corporation has been restored to financial health. There is currently one vacancy on the Board of Directors, awaiting a volunteer. Rutland Housing was established by the Rutland Community Club back in 1971 to provide affordable housing for low-income and elderly residents. It has been doing its duty ever since.
Some upcoming events in the Rutland community include: Mother’s Day Seafood Boil at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on Saturday & Sunday, May 7 & 8; Rutland Community Clean-up Day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 7; Rutland Community Club meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, at the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Cemetery Association Annual Meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, in the Community Room of Stock Growers Bank’s Rutland Station; and, Memorial Day observances in Rutland on Monday, May 30, beginning at 10:15 a.m. with Military Rites at the Nordland Cemetery 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of Rutland, Military Rites at the Rutland Cemetery, on the east edge of town, at 10:30 a.m.; American Legion Auxiliary program at 11:00 a.m. at the Rutland Town Hall; and, Community Pot-Luck Dinner at the Rutland Town Hall following the Memorial Day Program.
Rutland and surrounding area received a little more than 2 inches of rain during the final week of April. Mark Bopp reports that the Bopp Farm, located between Cogswell & Forman, was blessed with a little more than 2½ inches during the same period. At this point in time, no area of Sargent County is short of moisture, and most of the County can most accurately be described as saturated. Some local tillers of the soil are optimistically thinking that they will be in the field by May 9 or 10, but the most realistic estimates are that there won’t be much planting getting done until Syttende Mai, May 17, or later. We’ll see who’s right, but, in the meantime, there are a lot of nervous farmers driving around, looking for a dry spot to land on. One of Sargent County’s old-time implement dealers, the late Pete Kiefer of Cayuga, used to say that “A wet Spring is always good for parts sales. First to fix the implements that get pulled apart while trying to extricate them after getting stuck in the mud during the planting season, and second, to repair the machinery that gets smashed and broken dropping into the holes created while pulling implements out in the Spring while trying to harvest in the Fall.” Look for a brisk business in repair parts in 2022.
Meanwhile, on the local scene, the proposed Summit Carbon Sequestration Pipeline, intended to transport carbon in the form of compressed CO2, carbon dioxide, to northwestern North Dakota for storage in deep wells, is provoking opposition among the landowners whose property it would cross, and among other local citizens who are concerned about the potential health & safety risks in case of a pipeline leak. Carbon dioxide is usually not thought of as potentially dangerous because it is present in soft drinks and other beverages to give them a little fizz and snap, but the old rule of “If a little bit is good, a lot more must be better,” does not hold true for this gas. According to pipeline opponents, large volumes of concentrated CO2 are potentially fatal. Some of the opposition has been generated by the pipeline developers heavy-handed approach to acquiring easements to cross privately owned land, and to the developers threat to use the process of Eminent Domain to seize right of way easements if landowners do not give them up willingly. The Sargent County Commission recently adopted a resolution opposing the use of Eminent Domain to obtain easements for this pipeline project, basing its opposition on health and safety concerns. Supporters of the pipeline project claim that it is needed to get excess carbon out of the atmosphere and deliver it to a location where it can be safely stored below ground. David & Pat Bladow of this community have attended several information meetings on the pipeline project, and Dave says that they are convinced that the disadvantages and dangers of the pipeline as currently proposed far outweigh any potential benefits which might be derived from it. To the Summit Carbon Sequestration Pipeline developers, the message from Sargent County is, “Go back to the drawing board, boys, and do it right this time!”
Well, 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, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office and remember to keep the pressure on the U.S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.