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Rural development’s gravel roads a concern

Stark County Park Board Chair Arnie Binek speaks during the park board meetings following the county commission on Tuesday at the Stark County Courthouse.

Stark County’s road superintendent and a homeowner at a rural development north of Gladstone told county commissioners Tuesday during their regular meeting at the county courthouse that something must be done to alleviate gravel road problems in the seven-home community.

Al Heiser stood beside rural resident Mathew Rothstein as they spoke about road concerns in the Bakken Estates development located off Highway 10 about 10 miles east of Dickinson.

Rothstein showed the commission several photos he took of deep washouts -- some as deep as 5 feet -- alongside gravel roads within the development.

“It keeps on wearing out and washing back in, wearing out and washing back in,” Rothstein said.

Heiser said issues range from deep and dangerous washouts on the sides of roads to soft spots created because some of the roads are as wide as 40 feet.

Commissioners said the developer, Dale Crowe of Gladstone, has been unresponsive to requests for improvements. No contact information could be found for Crowe, who was not at the meeting.

Commissioner Ken Zander said because school buses run on the roads -- Rothstein noted at least three families in the development have school-aged children -- there could be a public safety concern at play.

“What we don’t want to have is a school bus slide in there in the winter, or off a muddy road,” Zander said.

Heiser recommended the county fix the roads and put a special assessment on Crowe for the amount of work it does. State’s Attorney Tom Henning said he’s uncertain if the county was within the law to do that, but he would look into it.

“I don’t know what else to do,” Heiser said.

$400,000 to cover rodeo grandstands added to project

The Stark County Park Board agreed Tuesday to spend an additional $400,000 to complete the grandstands at the new Stark County Fairgrounds rodeo arena set to be constructed south of Dickinson later this summer.

The cost of construction for the fairgrounds and rodeo arena is now at $5.3 million, which included more than $1.7 million to purchase 89 acres of land. Stark County commissioners, who are members of the Park Board, said all of the money was accumulated through county land sale income.

The costs include around $312,000 for a canopy to provide full cover for 2,500 permanent grandstand seats, as well as a closure beneath the canopy to prevent wildlife from nesting inside of it.

Park Board Chair Arnie Binek made the request during the board’s meeting following the County Commission meeting.

“I want to do this right and get it so we don’t have to do it again,” Binek said, later adding it’s more cost-effective to do the canopy work immediately rather rather than in the future after the grandstands were already constructed.

Another $61,200 would be spent on portable bleachers and $37,400 for running lighting wires and conduits beneath a gravel parking lot. While Binek’s was more than $410,000, he kept the request lower.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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