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Titan Machinery facility set to open Tuesday in Jamestown lacks city permit

JAMESTOWN -- The status of the occupancy permit for the new Titan Machinery building in Jamestown remains in limbo while the business is days from its planned opening, according to City Attorney Ken Dalsted.

Without the permit it would be illegal for the public or the employees to enter the building.

"We're two-thirds moved in and plan to be open to the public Tuesday morning," said Rob Thompson, project manager and president of C.I. Construction.

However, Dalsted said, the city had not approved an occupancy permit as of Friday afternoon.

"It's still in the air," he said. "We have calls in to (Stutsman) rural water regarding pressure and volume (of water). The concern of the city is in regards to fire protection of the building."

Dalsted said he received the information Friday afternoon but would need to discuss the data with other city officials, possibly on Monday.

The city of Jamestown and Stutsman Rural Water District were involved in an eight-month dispute over which had the territorial rights to the Titan Machinery location. The issue was tentatively resolved in June, although the contract has not been signed by the city.

Geneva Kaiser, Stutsman Rural Water executive director, said water flow information sent to the city was likely below the city's standards.

"We've told them from day one we couldn't make them (fire flow standards) until we get our new water tower," she said. "They (the city) couldn't make those flows now before they complete their new tower."

Thompson said Titan had sent a "hold harmless" letter to the city acknowledging the problems with water flows and pledging not to hold the city responsible for any damage in the event of a fire.

"It is our way of holding out a hand and saying let's move on," he said.

Dalsted said the city had received the letter and felt it was inadequate indemnification for the city's interests.

"The letter is meaningless," he said. "We may go that route, but we need something more than a little letter."

Thompson said he had not received any reply to the letter and had not received any information on an occupancy permit.

"My assumption is no news is good news," he said. "I highly doubt the city would try anything. If they do, there will be a battle."

Dalsted said the city hoped to avoid problems.

"We're trying to find a way to accommodate everyone, but we're a little short on information right now," he said.