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Pipeline project nears homestretch

BOWMAN -- About 1.3 million feet of the Bison Pipeline right of way road has been cleared to date.

The total length of the project is about 1.6 million feet.

Cole Buergi, spokesperson for Bison Pipeline, updated the Bowman County Commission on the projects progress at Tuesday's meeting held at the Bowman County Courthouse.

"The heavy work in the county is about to start," Buergi said.

Bison Pipeline workers have cleared about 1.3 million feet of the corridor.

The area where the corridor was cleared has been mowed flat, Buergi said.

"To date we have 929,000 feet of the corridor graded, 441,000 feet trenched, 562,000 feet strung, and 256,000 feet lowered into the ground," Buergi said.

The Bison Pipeline Project is an interstate natural gas pipeline designed to transport gas from the Powder River Basin to the Midwest market, according to the TransCanada website.

After moving through North Dakota, the Bison Pipeline will connect to the Northern Border Pipeline stemming from Canada.

The project's capacity is designed to carry approximately 477 million cubic feet per day.

Besides the pipeline update, commissioners also heard from Susan Shunway, owner of J and S Animal Shelter.

"We are coming today to ask all of you for your support, not only in spirit but also in helping us to pay for food and the veterinary care of our animals," Shumway said, adding any amount or even donations of pet food would be greatly appreciated.

Shumway reasoned that the cost of taking the animals to the vet to have them spayed or neutered and given shots was getting costly, and seeing that the shelter takes in a lot of area strays, maybe the county would be able to help.

"Although we appreciate your efforts and feel that your business is very beneficial to the community, it (giving you money) can't work," Commissioner Kent Steiner said. "We can't take taxpayers' money and use it for a private business."

In other business, the county will soon have a new 2011 John Deere 7726 motor grader.

Commissioners approved a bid from RDO Equipment for $156,700 which includes a trade in allowance for a Cat 140G of $59,500.

The motor grader will be used to grade gravel roads, said Sandy Tivis, Bowman County auditor.

Other bids included one from Swanton Equipment for a FOB Volvo 6936 motor grader for $143,800, which includes a trade in allowance of $74,000, and a bid from Butler Machinery for a Cat 2011 140MT motor grader for $178,991, which includes a trade in allowance of $68,000.

The Commission accepted RDO's bid over Swanton's because the commissioners "found the reviews on the Volvo to be middle of the road/poor," said Nici Meyer Clarkson, Bowman County states attorney.

Bowman County commissioners also discovered the closest place to take the Volvo in for repairs would be Fargo.

"That is a long trip to take a piece of equipment in for repair. Taking it to Fargo could mean having to go a month without the motor grader," Steiner said.