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Dickinson approves water agreements with refinery

The addition of the Dakota Prairie Refinery between Dickinson and South Heart has solidified the smaller city's use of the under-construction water reclamation facility.

On Tuesday at its regular meeting at City Hall, the Dickinson City Commission approved two water use agreements with the refinery, making the planned hook-ups to South Heart feasible.

"Without (Dakota Prairie Refinery), South Heart would have been difficult at best to try and happen," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said. "Without them, our ability to assist the city of South Heart probably wouldn't happen."

The refinery needs to have stores of water in case of emergency, spokesman John Stumpf said.

"Water supply is needed both to run the industrial processes of the refinery under normal operating environment scenario," Stumpf said. "We also need a water supply for the event of an emergency -- the most catastrophic emergency would be a fire -- under certain industrial standards and requirements for water supply to fight a fire out at the refinery."

In its regular operations, the refinery is set to use 150 to 200 gallons of recycled water per minute and it has to enough water on hand to fight a fire for eight hours.

The commission unanimously approved an agreement to both supply the plant with water and treat the water from the plant, with Commission President Dennis Johnson abstaining from voting as he is on the Montana-Dakota Utilities board. MDU is one of the partners in the project.

"We felt there's really an opportunity for a mutually beneficial scenario with these two projects," Stumpf said.

The plant would be using the recycled water and would overbuild the system, allowing the city to use it for irrigation if need be, Stumpf said.

"We would -- we again being Dakota Prairie Refinery -- would build our service access line along 116th Avenue Southwest and then would also build that pressure and gravity trunk line along Highway 10 along with a lift station that's adequate to accommodate the proposed tie-in of South Heart and other future needs," Stumpf said.

The refinery is set to be fully-operational by Dec. 1, 2014, Stumpf said.

In other news:

The Dickinson Area Public Library is in need of a new roof.

The roof was subcontracted out with the 2008 remodel and addition, and the shingle work was subcontracted by the subcontractors, Library Director Renee Paasch said. The whole roof needs to be redone.

Shelter's Construction LLC of Dickinson was the only bid on the project, totaling less than $67,000.

The commission unanimously approved the bid, but Johnson suggested the city look further into warrantees or other guarantees on the work completed five years ago.

"I'm concerned that, just due to the newness of the building, I think we should do a little research -- I'd like to feel better about this -- and determine if we do have any recourse," Johnson said. "Roofs are normally supposed to last 20 years unless there's been a major weather event."

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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