Nodland to assist Dunn County on projects
MANNING -- Dunn County has hired a former state senator at a cost of $50 per hour plus $25 per hour for travel, to assist with projects when needed.
George Nodland, 67, a one-term, rural Dickinson Republican state senator who represented District 36, was hired to assist the county in talks with the North Dakota Department of Transportation about using a 55,000-yard gravel pile in the Killdeer Mountains area for its county roads.
Among Nodland's first tasks will be to persuade state officials to enhance county roads and see about expanding water services.
Counties, particularly those in the southwest part of the state, are looking for good source of gravel to tame dust on unpaved roads. It is becoming a hard commodity to find in the region.
"I am starting something new," Nodland said. "Basically, what it is that I am selling is my 67 years of experience to anyone who might be interested in a part of it."
Nodland, who represented most of Stark County and parts of Dunn and Morton counties, decided not to run for reelection last year.
He told the Dunn County Commission when he presented his proposal to them that he started work with the North Dakota Department of Transportation in Bismarck, which has allowed him to make both state and national connections that may be helpful to counties.
Nodland, who was raised in Dunn Center, said he wanted to start his endeavor by coming to his home county.
"I've been trying to think of different issues the county might have," he said. "I know you have your state's attorney to handle all of your legal issues, an engineering firm to work with those issues, but I know there are times that there are conflicts in personalities or with different people, and sometimes a third-party person doesn't hurt."
Nodland said he would work based on what projects the county requests his help.
"In the Legislature, the secretary of state said I should try and get a lobbyist card, but I have no intention of doing that," he said. "You pay a county association quite a bit of money to do the lobbying for you and you belong to so many groups, like the (North Dakota) Oil and Gas Association that are down there working for you.
"But I'm more interested in something that comes up throughout the year that you have issues with."
Commissioner and former Dunn County auditor Reinhardt Hauck also said there was interest in trying to get the Southwest Water Authority to push its service further into the county. Commissioner Glenn Eckelberg said it might not hurt to have Nodland onboard to make the county's position known to the state.
"There are people sitting back and waiting to sign up (for Southwest Water), but that's not good if we want something done," he said.