Hens Do Crow! March 6, 2020

By Deborah Banish

The Rutland City Council held a public hearing on Monday, March 2, on a petition to amend the City Zoning Ordinance to include the Kathleen Brakke Addition to the City of Rutland and to approve the plat as presented. The property, currently zoned agricultural, is within the legal limits of the City. The water/sewer lines are adjacent to the area; if the lines are extended to the Addition in the future, the cost would be assessed to those specific property owners as a special assessment district. The Zoning change was approved as submitted. Following the public hearing, the Council convened the regular meeting and adopted the Arbor Day resolution required to apply for tree removal and planting grant funding and approved the Auditor’s bond. A City-wide clean-up day was scheduled for Saturday, May 2. The City’s municipal waste site will be open from 1-4 p.m. Council Member Erickson reported that the City is losing about 12,00 gallons of water daily based on the tower fill needs and the daily readings. The source of the leak was found on Tuesday evening near the City Shop and repairs are in process.

On Saturday, March 7th, the Rutland community will have a Celebration of Life for Jerry Sapa who passed away on February 26 in Fargo. The event will be held at the Rutland City Hall from 2-4 p.m. with a short service at 4 p.m. followed by a light meal. Another Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, March 8th from 2-4 pm. With a short service at 4 p.m. at the Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! March 6, 2020”

Hens Do Crow! Feb. 7, 2020

By Deborah Banish

The Rutland City Planning Commission met on Wednesday, January 29, to receive a petition for changes to the City Zoning Ordinance. As required, the Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, February 17, at 5:00 p.m. in the Rutland Hall. The purpose is to consider the petition of Bill Anderson to amend the Rutland Zoning Ordinance by changing the the property located at the SW ½ of Section 19, Township 130N, Range 54W of the Principal Meridiance, Sargent County, ND, from an Agricultural District to a Residential District. The Kathleen Brakke Addition to the City of Rutland would add privately-owned land to the City for possible future development. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council for a final public hearing on March 2.

Sonja Christianson has provided a wonderful report on the Anderson Pinochle Tournament held on Saturday, February 1:

On a beautiful Saturday morning with daylight peeking over the trees to the east, cars began to arrive in Rutland on February 1. Smiling faces with great expectations were paying their fees, enjoying coffee and donuts, and shaking hands with fellow card players. It was soon discovered that pinochle players were arriving from Minneapolis, Grand Forks, Ellendale, Aberdeen, Audubon, Fargo, Sargent County, Oklahoma, and many places in-between. At 9:00 a.m. the Town Hall became quiet as 48 cards were dealt and play began. About 6½ hours later prizes began to be handed out and the declaration made that Diane Degenstein from Oakes and her daughter Sarah Oster of Fargo (both with Sargent County roots) had achieved the top position with a score of 1614 points. They edged out John Eye and Howard Lenius of Britton by 17 points. 3rd place winners were Roger McLaen and Dennis Goltz scoring 1590 points, followed by Orvin Hogness and Raymond Hogness with 1570 points.

First time player and granddaughter of Rudy and Edna Anderson, Stephanie Watson of Minneapolis, enjoyed the activities immensely. She commented about the delightful conversations, the learning experience, and the patience and enthusiasm of all participants. NOTE: It appears that Stephanie is “hooked” and will return for future pinochle events.

The Rutland Community Club scored many points with players by serving “World Famous Scalloped Potatoes.” Praises were given to the kitchen crew of Sarah Pavek, Roger Pearson, Hal Nelson, Diane Smith, Lori McLaen, Marcia Brakke, and Kayla Mahrer for brewing up a good meal.

A drawing of names ended the tournament with recipients carrying home a number of prizes including lefse made by Carolyn Christensen, the same variety made famous on Uffda Day. Marilyn Anderson of Arizona, widow of Arden, contributed to the prizes by requesting the purchase of gifts from Fairmount Lockers. 4th grader Lucy Mahrer and 6th grader Whitney Mahrer helped with scoring and were true “Gophers.” Five-year-old Corbin Carlson, with help from his father Bryce, set up tables and organized the main hall.

Bonnie Anderson of Rutland and Brookings SD helped Shannon Mehrer, Joanne Harris, Janice Christensen, Dianna Anderson, and Bev Kulzer keep the correct scores. Bonnie says she will be back next year to chat with all workers, helpers, and players.

Sargent County participants, both present and former, included Eunice Thorson, Sandy Hanson, Turk Nelson, Caleb Nelson, Bryce Carlson, Marshall Thol, Hilary Mehrer, Diane Smith, Steed Nelson, Kyle Dallman, Kathy Hayen, Jason Hayen, Keith Shasky, Stephanie Watson, Jessica Hayen, Jeri Christiansen, Sandy Popp, Clem Severson, Sandy Mund, Diane Degensteirn, Sarah Oster, Roger McLaen, Dennis Goltz, Orvin Hogness, Raymond Hogness, Wade Anderson, Pam Thol, Dave Shasky, Vern Shasky, Alfred Resler, Harvey Preble, George Resler, Stella Bell, Sue Seelye, Roger Ziegler, Benita Ziegler, Dennis Nelson, Trent Nelson, Joel Hoistad, Leonard Miller, Ruth Larson, and Harvey Bergstrom. They are all invited to return on Saturday, February 6, 2021 for the 26th Annual Anderson Pinochle Tourney. Hats off to Stella Bell and Roger McLaen who have been present for all 25 tournaments. Close behind are Benita and Roger Ziegler who have made 24.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! Feb. 7, 2020”

The Rooster Crows – August 31, 2018

By Bill Anderson

September arrived a week early, with morning temperatures bouncing off the 50 mark every day from Saturday, August 25 to Wednesday, August 29, and daytime highs hovering in the 60’s. The forecast calls for a warmup for the Labor Day weekend, but we have been given a taste of things to come. As the late Clayton McLaen often observed, “North Dakota has two seasons: winter; and, getting ready for winter.” There are plenty of pleasant days remaining in 2018, and the wise resident of the northern plains will use at least some of them to get ready for what’s on the way. Dick Meyers has informed The Assembled Wise Men at The Lariat that he is following Clayton’s advice and is getting ready for winter by making airline reservations for a flight to Arizona at the first sign of frost.

Joanne Harris reports that she attended the 60th Anniversary Reunion of her high school graduating class, the Morris High School Class of ’58, on Friday & Saturday, August 10 & 11, in Morris MN. Six decades ago there were 92 graduates in the class, states Joanne, and 62 still survive. Of those, 33 attended the reunion, and 29 were unable to attend, for a variety of reasons. Morris is the county seat of Stevens County MN, and the Stevens County Fair was going on during the same weekend as the MHS Class of ’58 reunion, so there were many old friends from her childhood days in town. According to Joanne, some of her classmates are beginning to show their age, prematurely of course.

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Rutland’s Vision

A “Vision Statement and Strategic Plan” was developed for Rutland using the collated input from the Study Circles, Community forums and other Horizon work during the year. The Vision Statement is shown below and future blog segments will address where we are in working on each of the goals and strategies.

GOAL 1: Volunteers will be the driving force in providing services and activities that would otherwise not be available in a community the size of Rutland. Those currently active in the community will invite and encourage individuals of all ages not currently active, to engage in leadership roles and will be open to the new ideas these new volunteers bring to the table.

STRATEGIES RESPONSIBILITY BY EVALUATION
Appoint two (2) Volunteer Coordinators to coordinate service needs and match with volunteer interests, abilities and availability. Horizons Steering Committee June 1, 2008 Volunteer Coordinators appointed and services are coordinated with Seniors, the Senior Center, and volunteers to provide needed services.

GOAL 2: Rutland will be a clean and inviting community in which to live and work

STRATEGIES RESPONSIBILITY BY EVALUATION
“Clean Up/Help your Neighbor Day” will be held Volunteer Coordinators; all able-bodied community members September 30, 2008 Trees are trimmed, yards and debris cleaned up, minor repairs are made.
Remove or renovate substandard buildings Building owners, City Council January 2010 Buildings are improved or demolished
Repair and replace sidewalks City, Property Owners January 2009 Sidewalks are repaired or replaced on a regular cycle to ensure safe pathways for visitors, Seniors, youths
Establish a Renaissance Zone City, Renaissance Zone Committee January 2009 A Renaissance Zone is created for future development and funding possibilities
Install a “Welcome to Rutland Sign” or move burger to outskirts City, Community Club October 2008 Sign is installed near highway to draw passing motorists

GOAL 3: Rutland’s economy will expand and diversify providing a thriving Main Street, while retaining existing business and services. Tourism will be a significant area for economic growth.

STRATEGIES RESPONSIBILITY BY EVALUATION
Upgrade and maintain current commercial infrastructure City, Business Owners December 2008 Infrastructure improvement plan is developed and guidelines established for ongoing physical plant maintenance
Identify potential community amenities for a tourism publicity campaign Horizons Advertising Committee Spring 2008; ongoing Publicity draws increased tourism
Explore possible niches and incentives for new business Rutland CDC Start in 2008; ongoing Needed businesses and available incentives will be identified
Explore the feasibility for a new business “incubator” City, private investors, Rutland CDC December 2012 Incubator potential explored; report presented on pursuing project or identifying alternatives to draw new business
Develop an advertising program for needed services/businesses Community Club, RCDC, Advertising Committee June 2009 Targeted advertising program is developed and publicity appears in local, regional and national publications
Identify potential routes for a hiking/biking trail Hiking/Biking Trail Committee 2010 Potential trail routes are identified along with possible funding sources
Identify potential funding sources for projects City, Advertising Committee, Hiking/Biking Trail Committee June 2008; ongoing Funding sources are identified and applications submitted for various projects

GOAL 4: Rutland will have appropriate housing and services for disabled and elderly with the goal of keeping that population in the community.

STRATEGIES RESPONSIBILITY BY EVALUATION
Provide improved handicap accessibility in current apartments Housing Association, Horizons Housing Group 2017 Current apartments are handicap accessible.
Build housing specifically for elderly and disabled Rutland Housing Authority, Rutland Housing Inc., Private investors 2017 One- level housing has been built with walk-in showers, lever door handles and other handicap appropriate devices.
Provide improved mobility for seniors Volunteer Coordinators, Senior Center, Community Club   Increased mobility is provided through volunteer efforts or through existing services such as Sargent County Health Services
Identify potential funding sources for projects Horizons Housing Group, Rutland Housing Authority June 2008; ongoing Funding sources are identified and applications submitted for various projects

GOAL 5: Rutland will provide a recreational program addressing the social, educational and cultural needs of all age groups.

STRATEGIES RESPONSIBILITY BY EVALUATION
Develop a recreational program for the entire community Park Board, Rec/Community Center Committee, Community Club Immediately; ongoing Activities are regularly occurring in the community for all age groups.
Provide better management oversight and fuller use of existing infrastructure Facility owners, Community Club, Park Board, City December 31, 2008 Existing infrastructure is available and utilized more for community needs and services
A multi-use building will be available for recreational and educational purposes. Facility owners, Community Club, Park Board 2015 A multi-use building is available – either through existing or new
Identify potential funding sources for projects Park Board, Rec/Community Center Committee, Community Club, City   Funding sources are identified and applications submitted for various projects

The Rooster Crows – April 4, 2008

By Bill Anderson

March, the month that was put on the calendar to let people who don’t drink know what a hangover feels like – too depressing to live, too tough to die – departed on Monday, throwing a snowstorm and several inches of wet, sloppy snow our direction as it slammed the door on its way out. April Fool’s Day, Tuesday, April 1, fooled us by pretending it was still March.

The Spring conservation snow goose hunting season has been open since mid-February, but there were no geese here until the last 10 days of March. For the past 2 weeks, millions of the birds have been moving through this area, feeding in last year’s corn and soybean fields and providing some great hunting for those hardy enough to go afield and smart enough to outfox them. The purpose of the conservation season is to reduce the numbers of snow and blue geese to a level that can be sustained by their Summer range in northern Canada, so the usual rules that govern waterfowl hunting during the regular Fall season don’t apply. Hunters may remove the plugs from the magazines on their automatic and pump action shotguns, making 5 shots available before reloading is required, and there is no limit, other than their shooting ability and carrying capacity, to the number of snow and blue geese they are allowed to harvest. They must, however, have a valid North Dakota hunting license to avoid running afoul of the law. It’s not a sure thing, either, as the geese seem to fail to appreciate that all of this shooting is for their own good and continue to outsmart the hunters on many occasions, even if they are birdbrains. Hunters from Minnesota, Iowa and Montana, as well as North Dakota, have landed in Rutland, along with the geese.

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Zoning Changes

Members of the Zoning Committee, City Council and Renaissance Zone Committee attended the public hearing on the Rutland Comprehensive Plan and proposed Zoning Code changes.  We met for about one hour to review the proposed changes to the two documents and agreed upon a final version of each that will be presented to the Rutland City Council on Monday, April 7, for final approval.  Diane Smith and I will attend the Council meeting, which begins at 5:00 p.m., to present the documents to the Council and to address any questions that may arise at the meeting.  Once the Council approves the document, Renaissance Zone Committee members will work on the State application to designate Rutland a Renaissance Zone.

Rutland Zoning Progress

After several meetings of the Rutland Zoning Board and the Renaissance Zone Committee, drafts of a revised Zoning Ordinance and a Comprehensive Plan will be presented for public comment.  On Monday, March 31, a public hearing will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Rutland City Hall to solicit input.  Comments and any suggested changes will be incorporated into the two documents for formal approval by the City Council on Monday, April 7.  Following formal approval, members of the Committee will prepare the State application to designate a Renaissance Zone to provide tax exemptions and credits to encourage investment in residential and commercial properties that need to be revitalized and redeveloped to attract businesses and residents.