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Coming down . . . A track hoe sits near the former laundromat and
muffler shop on the west side of Kenmare's business square
Tuesday morning. The excavator will be put to use soon
for demolition of the two buildings.
By Terry Froseth
It may be the largest total value for building permits ever issued at one time for the City of Kenmare, but the City Council approved them all with little fanfare at their Monday meeting.
The Kenmare Planning and Zoning Commission submitted 14 building permits they had approved earlier, amounting to over $5.5 million.
The list includes 12 residential units, along with several office and commercial retail properties, and one addition to a commercial building.
The new Gooseneck Implement machinery dealership accounted for $2.8 million of the total. The facility will be constructed south of the Kenmare airport.
The first part of a strip mall for the west side of the downtown business square was projected at $1.36 million of the total.
The application from Antediluvian LLP would construct new commercial retail space on the north 160 feet of the west side of the downtown business square.
The former laundromat and muffler shop buildings will be demolished. The remainder of the building site is vacant, previously being the locations of a variety store, bar, and department store which were each destroyed by fire in previous years.
The permit application stated this would be Phase 1, with Phase 2 plans for tearing down the remaining buildings of the west side, then building a similar structure to Phase 1 to complete the renovation of the whole block.
The KDAK company was approved for five single family houses, ranging in projected cost from $99,600 to $153,000, totaling $611,200.
Three of the houses are to be constructed on lots in the cul-de-sac north of the baseball field in northeast Kenmare.
The other two houses will be constructed on two lots where KDAK purchased dilapidated houses and demolished them. One lot is located on 3rd Avenue Northwest and the other on 3rd Avenue Northeast.
Van Way Construction was approved for a $375,000 5-plex apartment building on Sixth Street (County Road 2), pending approval from the Ward County engineer for driveway access to the county road.
This was the only permit that raised questions from council members. A zoning change had been approved last month for the property, when it was presented as a duplex project.
Wayne Van Wey was at this meeting. He said a PDF file of the plan had been sent with the permit application, making reference to a multi-family dwelling. “It was never our intention to put in a duplex. I don’t know where that come from,” Van Wey said.
A plan for the project was available to the council members. Van Wey said the five-plex would be a two-story structure. Each unit would be 1500 square feet, he said, with two parking spaces (a garage and driveway) for each.
Public Works director Mike Thompson said the planning commission had approved the project as it fit the footprint of the property and concerns about parking had been addressed.
Van Wey will be responsible for getting approval from the county for driveway access to the street.
Van Wey was also approved for a $250,000 building south of the BNC Bank, consisting of two offices and an apartment unit.
Other building permits included an addition to the Recon Oilfield Service building north of Super Valu, a garage at the Ron Martinson residence, a garage at the Mike Zimmer residence, and fence and deck at the Bobbie Nelson residence, and a single family house to be moved to a vacant lot on Central Avenue (across from Nazareth Lutheran Church) by Paul Munch.
City offered perch pond
Does the city want a fishing pond?
That’s the question Mayor Roger Ness put to the city council.
Ness said the Ward County Water Resource Board wants to give up responsibility for the Nelson Perch Pond located about six miles southwest of town. “They are looking for someone to take it over.”
Ness added, “It’s a very good resource for our kids to go fishing.”
The dam at the site went bad last year but has now been repaired.
The facility is otherwise in good shape, with a new concrete boat launch recently built, a new fishing dock, and a picnic shelter.
An easement agreement for the property, owned by Larry and Carol Nelson, is due to be signed by June 18th.
“The water board will shut it down if the city isn’t interested,” Ness said. “I think my biggest concern is liability.”
Council member Terese Skjordal said, “I’d like to know how much money it’s going to cost us.”
Ness said he’d check to see what expenses were the last five years and also confer with the city attorney.
“I’ll have the park board decide” if they want to take it over, Ness said.
Three Renaissance Zone projects were approved. The first to KDAK for four remaining lots in their cul-de-sac in northeast Kenmare.
The second was to Triple H Properties for two new homes to be located at Pioneer Estates, just south of the Pioneer Village.
The third was to Antediluvian LLP for their 160’ x 140’ site for new construction on the west side of the downtown business square.
Renaissance Zone project approval allows a five-year property tax exemption on the increased value of a property in an approved zone. It may also allow some income tax credits for commercial enterprises.
ATV use in the city
Kirk Hennix attended the meeting to question the city’s policy on ATV use within the city limits. “Why are we more restricted than Williston?” he asked.
Police chief Gary Kraft said the city ordinance requires the driver and vehicle to be licensed and insured. The ATVs can be driven directly out of town and into town. “It’s okay as long as there’s no joy riding,” Kraft said. He added that they have allowed some riders, such as Hennix, to drive the ATVs around town for tasks such as snow removal.
Mayor Ness added that the policy for ATVs is the same as for snowmobiles.
Kraft said he would contact Williston to find out what they allow for ATV use in town.
In other action:
• Justin Froseth of Ackerman-Estvold Engineering presented a proposal for a fix to the standing water at the intersection south of the baseball field. This would involve boring in a 4 inch PVC pipe and outletting to the curb about two blocks down the street at an estimated cost of $50,000. The council took no action. Last month Froseth presented options for a fix, ranging in cost from $151,510 to $194,155. Mayor Ness told Froseth, “Get something for five grand, then we can do it.”
• Two raffle permits were approved to the Kenmare Community Development Corporation towards its fundraiser for a new digital projector for the movie theater. A grill and a bike will be raffled during the Rib Rally, Classy Car and Hog Roundup this Saturday.
• A raffle permit was approved to the St. Agnes Catholic Church Altar Society for a $1125 cash raffle.
• Some discussion took place regarding cleaning up of the old landfill, possibly by capping it off with soil, somehow concealing the scrap and white goods piles, and enclosing the rolloffs for garbage transfer. Ness said it cannot be left as it is now if the city wants to develop the area to the north for housing. “We’ve got to start making it look better,” he said.
• Council president Chuck Leet said a few campers have been popping up around town where it appears people are living in them. Police chief Kraft said they have got two of them moved out in the last month and a half.
• Alderman Todd Ankenbauer said the city will begin sealing the streets once it dries up.
• Council members Ken Barnhart and Owen Medlang were thanked for their time on the city council. They each chose not to run for reelection to the council.