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City of Killdeer grapples with school construction timeline, development code

Killdeer's City Commission met Monday evening for its bimonthly meeting. A wide array of issues were discussed, including the new school building, cleanup week and the old Killdeer rodeo grounds.

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Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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KILLDEER, N.D. — Concerns with the timeline of construction, which was originally slated to be complete by school opening this fall, was front and center of discussions by the Killdeer’s City Commission during its regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting on Monday evening.

A logistical supply chain issue is being cited as the cause of delay for the delivery of a water booster station. The delay, tentatively expected for August 8, has raised concerns for AE2S' engineer Brett Morlock. Morlock noted that the delay would not provide sufficient time to see the project completed and operational by the beginning of the forthcoming fall semester.

Fire and water

Morlock continued an April discussion with the commission on a construction timeline for the new public junior high and high school building, noting that their supplier has delayed delivery of the water booster station. The delay has caused operational concerns for meeting fire code requirements needed to begin the 2022-23 school year in the new building as originally touted.

He noted that there is legal recourse available to push back against such delays, but personally advised against pursuing them.

“Unfortunately there’s liquidated damages set out with construction schedules. So the city could go after the contractor and go after the supplier, who could go after their suppliers,” Morlock said. “But my feeling of the situation is that we could start a big fight, still not get a booster station and not be able to recoup anything for that.”

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Commissioner Logan Wallace said he’s a father with children who will be attending the new school, and said he would be frustrated if they’re unable to do so as planned.

Killdeer Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Simmons said he had conversations with state officials and that contingency plans are in place that would satisfy code requirements.

“On June 15, the state Fire Marshall will be here to visit with Curt Janssen, who’s our construction manager with Kraus-Anderson. We’ll have a meeting to discuss our occupancy requirements,” Simmons said.

He explained that two temporary electric water pumps, one of which will serve as a backup to meet fire code requirements regulating water pressure and how many gallons per minute must be immediately available for emergency sprinklers for emergency sprinklers, would alleviate the concern.

Simmons praised Kraus-Anderson Construction for their ability to navigate a tough supply chain efficiently and maintain schedule, noting that prior delays on valves for the fire sprinkler system and door components were mitigated effectively.

“They have found ways around the issues. They’re very diligent. They spend extra time getting the job done and just simply make things happen. So I’m very pleased with Kraus-Anderson and what they’ve been able to do,” he said.

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Killdeer City Commissioner Logan Wallace, left, Commissioner Ryan Schleppenbach and City Auditor Matt Oase.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

Public Works

Public Works Director Cameron Deperalta said he is hiring for summer help, and would like a couple of extra temporary employees specifically for tarring roads. The positions pay $15.50 per hour, and anyone 16 years of age or older is eligible. Commissioner Kelly Summerfield said he worked on a road tarring crew when he was 14 for $3.35 hourly. Deperalta jokingly asked if he wanted to do it again.

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The commission pointed out that this is citywide cleanup week. The city’s rolloff facility will be open free of charge to Killdeer residents Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. After this week, the facility will return to its normal rates and hours of operation: Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. In cases of inclement weather, the facility will be closed. Fees after this week will be $20 per pickup truck bed or small trailer, $20 per appliance and $30 per large dump trailer.

Other business

Commission Vice President Kevin Candrian said the grandstand at the old Killdeer rodeo grounds needs to be torn down and destroyed, citing safety concerns. Commission President Carey Praus agreed and said the commission has asked the Killdeer Rodeo Club to tear it down before to no avail.

Candrian suggested they send a letter to the Killdeer Rodeo and Saddle Clubs giving them two weeks notice that such action will be taken. A motion to that effect was passed unanimously.

Candrian also floated an amendment to the city’s 2008 land development code to require street lights in new subdivisions. A motion to approve the amendment was passed unanimously.

“The purpose for this proposed text change is to include a requirement for all new platted streets to include street lights,” the amendment states. “This provision would apply to plats submitted after approval of the text amendment. Street light construction specifications would follow the City of Bismarck’s specifications as other city infrastructure improvements have followed."

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