Kevin Bonham covers news from northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota for the Grand Forks Herald. A North Dakota native, who grew up in Mandan and Dickinson, he has been a reporter or an editor with the Herald and Forum Communications for nearly 30 years.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
The Grand Forks County Commission on Tuesday approved a 2009 budget that includes a 1.39-mill cut in property taxes. The County Board unanimously approved the budget after conducting a public hearing in which no one addressed the group. "This is the first time in my time on the commission that we've had no commentary on the budget," Commission Chairwoman Connie Triplett said. The 2009 budget contains 118.84 mills, down from 120.23 mills this year.
The company building a $5 billion pipeline through North Dakota has donated $15,000 to the city of Mountain, N.D., for a proposed $1.5 million community center. The donation from TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Co. moves the campaign past the 75-percent fundraising mark, according to campaign co-chairman Curt Olafson, who lives in rural Mountain. The campaign has been awarded more than $700,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture grants. It has raised more than $430,000 in matching funds.
When Walsh County Highway Superintendent Sharon Lipsh submitted a $3.5 million 2009 county road budget to the County Commission last month, she figured she'd have to do some cutting. Well, that trimming turned into an $800,000 gash. "That was a budget that was not asking for anything that wasn't needed," said Lipsh, adding that this year's budget is more than $3 million. "We don't have any major projects." Road maintenance costs -- like expenses everywhere -- have exploded during the past few years.
When the new 16-unit Northwood (N.D.) Village Apartments is completed next month, the complex likely will have a waiting list of potential residents. While the Region V Community Development Corporation, Fargo, is just beginning to make applications available, the agency already has received inquiries from at least 20 people -- including some who were displaced by the EF-4 tornado that devastated the community in August 2007, and a few who left Northwood years ago and now want to move back. About half of the inquiries so far have been from people who were forced to leave Northwood after the
HILLSBORO, N.D. -- Joyce Fankhanel spent more than 40 years assisting customers who stopped by Fankhanel's Variety Store but, today, 13 years after retiring, she has friends waiting on her. But only when she wants the assistance. Fankhanel moved into Comstock Corner, a new assisted-living apartment facility at Hillsboro Medical Center, when the facility opened about two weeks ago. "It's ideal.
While there may be some hope for "Smiley," the Grand Forks water tower, there apparently is only a fading glimmer for the Smiley water tower in Hope. The Hope (N.D.) City Council will open bids tonight to build a new 100,000-gallon water tower in the Steele County community of 300. The city plans to have the old water tower demolished after the new tank is placed into service. That old tower, a smaller, silver version of the Grand Forks Smiley tower, has a face painted that is almost identical to its big-city cousin.
Grand Forks County taxpayers could see a small decrease in their 2009 property tax bills. The Grand Forks County Commission approved a preliminary 2009 budget Tuesday that lowers the county's real estate taxes by an estimated 1.41 mills. "It's a very modest decrease," commission Chairwoman Connie Triplett said. If the budget is approved as is, residents would see a tax decrease of about $6.35 for each $100,000 of property value, according to Debbie Nelson, county finance and tax director. The county will conduct a budget hearing, beginning at 4:20 p.m., at its Sept.
Herald Staff Writer Moisten Lips Dip in Butter Enjoy R Corn Like No Other -- Erik & Aaron's Sweet Corn People old enough to remember the Studebaker Hawk, the Ford Edsel and the Nash Rambler likely recall the Burma Shave road signs of the 1950s. Well, a couple of Thompson High School students have put a 21st Century spin on the historic advertising slogan campaign -- and are cashing in. Erik and Aaron Bratager are sweet corn-growing entrepreneurs who just might end up earning $9,000 this summer -- after expenses. At 17 and almost 16 respectively, Erik and Aaron are business veterans.
A judge has denied the appeal of a Grand Forks County Commission decision to deny a special-use permit to would-be landfill developer John Scott, Gilby, N.D. Northeast Central District Judge Lawrence Jahnke, in an opinion issued Wednesday, said the County Board's August 2007 decision to deny the permit request "was not arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable.
Pembina County officials hope to start building a new temporary access road to Icelandic State Park this fall in order to begin a nearly $7.26 million renovation to Renwick Dam on the Tongue River in the park. The federal government will provide 65 percent of the project cost. The North Dakota State Water Commission will contribute 17.5 percent. In addition, the Red River Joint Board will add 8.75 percent, according to Neil Fleming, attorney for the Pembina County Water Resource District. That leaves 8.75 percent local funding, which now totals about $497,500.