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By Terry Froseth
Kenmare’s proposed downtown improvement project may get a jump-start if a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is made available.
The project would include new lighting, new curb and gutter, and new sidewalks that are handicap accessible. It won’t include repaving.
Justin Froseth, project engineer with Ackerman-Estvold Engineering and Management Consulting, informed the Kenmare City Council on Wednesday of funds available from the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Division of Community Services.
Cities within Ward County that qualify as Low to Moderate Income communities, such as Kenmare, may apply.
The Souris Basin Planning Council, which administers the CDBG program, stated cities must also have projects ready to go that have a wide community benefit such as improvement to accessibility and safety.
Ackerman-Estvold worked up a plan for the improvements in 2009, but funding for the project has been a question mark since then.
Froseth said an application for $700,000 is in the hands of the Ward County CDBG committee, which may meet on the topic this week.
“We may stand a good chance” of receiving the grant, Froseth said.
In the spotlight
Ackerman-Estvold is looking into putting the new water tower’s flying geese/ Kenmare mural in the spotlight.
According to the plan, two high quality LED spotlights would be mounted on a pole in the alley to the east of the tower.
Cost for the equipment and installation would be $5000, with an additional $35 per month for electricity.
The council approved paying the costs out of the infrastructure city sales tax fund.
Skating rink in rough shape
Kenmare sixth-grader Jeneca Kostad presented a report to the council on the condition of the city’s skating rink and sledding hill.
Kostad requested permission for her and friends to clean up the area, make improvements such as signs for the sledding runs, skate rentals, and to play music from the warming house.
She said they would like to work on it during the summer and have the rink ready to be flooded in November.
Council members offered the city’s cooperation in getting the sledding hill and skating rink back in shape and in operation for next season.
Fund Itt grants
The council gave its approval to a Fund Itt grant of $2000 to the Kenmare Country Club for a project to remove caragana bushes along the golf course road. Green ash trees along the road will be trimmed, but won’t be removed.
The row of caraganas have always held back snow onto the road, causing the road to be unusable until it dries out later in the spring.
A Fund Itt tourism grant of $4300 was approved to the Lake County Historical Society for three signs to be displayed at various points within the Pioneer Village.
The Beautification/ Tear Down program conducted by the Kenmare Community Development Corporation was approved for reimbursement of $17,000 expended for eight grants during 2012. Participation in the program by Fund Itt was previously approved.
A Fund Itt grant of $899.55 was approved to the Kenmare Community Development Corporation for 2012 expenses for the Development Corporation executive director.
The Fund Itt Committee approved $1700 per month towards funding the combined position for Development Corporation executive director and city auditor office assistant. The city council approved raising the amount to $2000 per month.
Jennifer (Knutson) Nelson of Kenmare has been hired for the position, and will begin working February 28.
The Fund Itt financial report showed an available uncommitted balance of $270,330.
In other action:
• Jan Kostad presented the city financial report.
• The council approved paying off the balance of loan on the Butch Norrie property from the infrastructure sales tax fund.
• Raffle permits were approved to Lake County Historical Society Pioneer Day, Ducks Unlimited banquet, and Kenmare Lions Club/ Kenmare Country Club.
• A liquor license transfer for City Limits to the Memorial Hall for the Ducks Unlimited banquet on February 21 was approved.
• A change order amounting to $3,675 was approved for modification of starters and circuit breakers to make the lift station motors compatible with 3-phase service provided by Burke-Divide Electric.
• The city’s Bobcat loader will be put up for sale on bids. It will soon be two years old and has 200 hours. Because of the incentive program for municipalities, the city should be able to sell the Bobcat for more than they paid for it. The dealer has a new Bobcat waiting for the city. Bid opening will be held at the next council meeting.
• March 9th will be City Day at the state capitol.