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City of Killdeer discusses infrastructure, park

During their bi-monthly meeting on Feb. 22, the City of Killdeer's commission deliberated on a project to pave 27th street, as well as addressing running sewer lines to its businesses.

Killdeer City Council
Councilman Ryan Schleppenbach, left, City Auditor Matt Oase and Mayor Carey Praus review documents related to an infrastructure project during a City of Killdeer meeting on Feb. 22.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

KILLDEER, N.D. — The City of Killdeer discussed several issues during its bimonthly meeting on Feb. 22, including water and sewer projects, North Prairie Park and staffing issues.

Infrastructure

The city discussed plans to run a water line to the businesses on 27th Street, as well as potentially paving the road and connecting this subdivision to the city sewer system.

“You could string out the costs over up to a 30-year period to limit the cost load on the landowner. The issue is that the $1.3 million water project turns into a $6 million project,” City Engineer Brett Morlock said. “So it’s quite a cost increase as you might expect. Plus, the water project has 60% state cost share and there’s no (state) cost share available for road and sewer.”

Mayor Carey Praus said those businesses currently rely on well water, septic tanks and a gravel road; and that these changes would be a great improvement. The council unanimously passed a motion for City Auditor Matt Oase to get an estimate for the total expense of the project before reaching out to the landowners to discuss sharing the cost burden of a paved road and sewer line.

Public Works Superintendent Cameron Deperalta told the council there is a section of the storm drain line on Rodeo Drive that needs to be protected with a layer of concrete. During a phone conversation with The Dickinson Press on Thursday, Oase said the section is approximately 750-feet long. The council approved a motion for Deperalta to get an estimate on the project.

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This spring, the contractor BEK Consulting will break ground on another city project to replace the water main and water line from the water tower to Fifth Avenue, for a cost just over $1 million. Funding had already been approved in a previous meeting.

Track and field in the park

Killdeer Public School Athletic Director Brock Pittsley requested the city’s permission to use the outfields of the baseball diamonds at North Prairie Park for the school's track and field teams. Pittsley said it’s common for schools to do this with baseball fields, pointing to Hazen as an example. He said one field would be used for javelin and another for discus.

“We’ll still be able to throw competitive shot put right on school campus. This is a one year deal that we’re looking for because we’ll have the open field once the school is actually built and the grass is established,” he said.

The Killdeer Public School District is currently building a new school for its seventh through 12th grade students which is slated for completion by July of this year.

The council unanimously passed a motion to approve Pittsley’s request, contingent upon verification by City Auditor Matt Oase that this use of the park facilities would be covered by the city’s insurance provider. Councilman Ryan Schleppenbach said he would be happy to see the track team using the park.

“I’ve seen the fields they use at Hazen after these events because I play softball there. There’s hardly any (difference). I think it’s more of a beneficial thing that it’s actually being used,” Schleppenbach said.

Other business

Deperalta asked permission from the council to appoint an assistant superintendent from the three sanitation and maintenance workers he supervises to more easily delegate responsibility and leave someone in charge when he goes on vacation.

Vice President of the council, Kevin Candrian, expressed apprehensions about hard feelings that could result because all three employees started at the same time.

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“I just don't want to lose some employees and I don't want to go through hiring again,” Candrian said.

Schleppenbach supported the idea and said there was more potential for tension if it was unclear who is second in command of the department. The council approved 3-1 motion to allow Deperalta to pick an assistant, with Candrian voting nae. They resolved that a potential wage increase for the assistant could be discussed at a later date.

Councilman Logan Wallace was absent from the meeting.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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