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Cavalier officials want suit dismissed

It could be a week or more before Northeast District Judge Donovan Foughty decides whether a lawsuit filed by Pembina County against Cavalier County will go forward.

It could be a week or more before Northeast District Judge Donovan Foughty decides whether a lawsuit filed by Pembina County against Cavalier County will go forward.

Foughty listened to arguments Monday in Cavalier County District Court in Langdon, N.D.

The Cavalier County Water Resource Board and Cavalier County Commission are asking the judge to dismiss a suit filed by the Pembina County Water Resource Board and Pembina County Commission.

The Pembina County boards filed the suit earlier this year, seeking to force Cavalier County to help pay the estimated $500,000 local share of a $7 million renovation project of Renwick Dam on the Tongue River at Icelandic State Park.

The Pembina County governments want Cavalier County to contribute 57 percent of the local costs because that is the percentage of land in the watershed that is located in Cavalier County.

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The Cavalier County Commission and water resource board voted last year not to participate in the project.

The Renwick Dam, built in 1962, is considered a high-priority project for rehabilitation under the Watershed Rehabilitation Act of 2000. The dam is located just upstream from the city of Cavalier, N.D., a town of 1,500 people.

The project, which originally was planned to begin this year, called for retrofitting some new features into the dam. The top of the dam will be raised by 5.4 feet. In addition, a structural emergency spillway will replace a vegetative spillway that is used today.

The Pembina County Commission and water resource board already have approved establishment of an assessment district in the 43 percent of the watershed that lies in Pembina County.

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.

That leaves 8.75 percent local funding, which would total about $500,000, according to the 2008 project estimate.

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