- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Fifth through eighth grade students form Culbertson attended a music festival in Bainville Thursday, March 19. Other schools present were Froid, Medicine Lake, Westby, and Grenora, N.D. The Culbertson Music Festival will be held Thursday, March 26, at 7 p.m. (Photo by Nancy Mahan)
- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissions delayed a decision to make needed fencing repairs at Big Sky Field, the county-owned airport in Culbertson, saying the airport is over budget, during the weekly commission meeting Tuesday, March 24.
Commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said the airport has far exceeded the budget for the current fiscal year.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said the airport committee did not submit a budget last year for the airport, so a budget was prepared without airport committee input.
Culbertson’s airport is about $27,000 over budget for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Nygaard said the commission could approve repairs to or replacement of the fence with a rider that no money be expended until after July 1, which would be the beginning of the next fiscal year.
Commissioner Allen Bowker of Culbertson said he wants to discuss the matter with members of the airport committee.
The commissioners voted unanimously to reject funding for a fence and will revisit the issue in the near future.
In a related matter, the commissioners approved a request by Dustin Harmon of Bainville to build a hangar on the south side of the ramp area at the airport.
- Written by John Plestina
The Fort Peck Tribes plan to build a $33 million casino resort, illustrated above in this artist’s rendering, near Fort Kipp with a May 2016 opening date.
With a $29 million loan from a Minnesota tribe, the Fort Peck Tribes are now planning to break ground in mid-June for the $33 million dollar Buffalo Rivers Casino & Lodge that will be located near Fort Kipp.
Buffalo Rivers is projected to open in May 2016, on U.S. Hwy. 2 at BIA Route 170.
Anticipated proceeds from the resort are more than $5.8 million.
Many months of preparation, research, planning, meeting, designing and forecasting went into the project.
“To finally see this wonderful casino become a reality is very good for our tribes,” Fort Peck Tribes Executive Board member Garrett Big Leggins said in a prepared statement.
Buffalo Rivers will be designed to be an entertainment and vacation destination with a 75-room hotel, 150-person restaurant with a buffet, gaming floor with 400 Las Vegas-style video gaming machines and four poker tables, events center that will seat more than 400 people, a lounge that will accommodate live entertainment, snack bar and a gift shop.
Aesthetically, Buffalo Rivers will honor Native American culture.
Once completed, an estimated 220 full-time jobs will be created in addition to part-time positions. The estimated annual wage income for all employees is projected at just over $5.4 million. Job training will be provided. There will be an estimated 80 to 100 construction jobs created.
“I believe the jobs and the training that this project will provide is a huge boost for our people, both now and for our future generations,” Big Leggins said in the prepared statement.
Buffalo Rivers will also encourage an atmosphere of employee growth, allowing strong employees to gain more responsibility in their positions year after year, according to the statement from the tribes.
According to information provided by the Fort Peck Tribes, the Fort Peck Economic Development Committee and the Tribal Executive Board will be tasked with the allocation of Casino profits, with opportunities to advance and enhance tribal health care, education, employment assistance, construction of new amenities and many other options.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, located about 25 miles from Minneapolis, Minn., will finance the majority of the cost of the casino project. The Minnesota tribal community owns and operates the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel with a full casino that includes most table games and slots, 586 hotel rooms and a championship golf course.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
An oil train awareness and response training workshop will be offered next week in Wolf Point and Culbertson.
The workshop will include: safety considerations while working around a railroad; flagging procedures to stop a train; emergency contact phone numbers and methods; types of hazardous materials transported; shipping papers used in transportation of hazardous materials; understanding and use of a train list; hazard classification review; placarding and marking [criteria and anomalies]; the railroad’s role in an incident command system; types of railroad cars and locomotives; features of low pressure tank cars; features of high pressure tank cars; features of intermodal portable tank containers; features of railroad locomotives; basics of tank car damage assessment; characteristics of petroleum crude oil; emergency response to petroleum crude oil.
The workshop will be held Tuesday, March 31, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Culbertson School cafeteria and Wednesday, April 1, at 6 p.m. at the Wolf Point Senior Citizens Center.
- Written by Jaimee Green
If you live in Roosevelt County, there’s a new Facebook page to like!
In an effort to make the Roosevelt County Local Emergency Planning Committee more visible to the community, its members have created a Facebook page to serve as one more vital place for community members to receive pertinent information about potential hazards pertaining to natural and man-made disasters, as well as tips for everyday safety and preparedness.
The Facebook page is Roosevelt County, MT Local Emergency Planning Committee.
“In addition to its formal responsibilities, the LEPC often serves as a focal point for information and discussions about hazards within the county. The LEPC’s ability to improve and maintain the safety and health of its community is greatly enhanced by the support of an informed community. Having a Face-
book page is just one more way to reach out and keep everyone connected,” said Lee Allmer, chairman of the LEPC.
Several members of the committee are managing the Facebook page and continually adding content that is relative to potential weather and seasonal hazards, as well as other threats such as railway Bakken oil traveling across the county.
“Utilizing social media is a great way to connect with the community and keep them informed about potential threats that could affect them,” said Dan
Sietsema, disaster and emergency services coordinator for the county.
For the past several years, the members of the LEPC have worked to build up the committee’s membership. Now that the volunteer membership is growing, they are better able to begin doing public awareness activities in the county. Last summer, they hosted weather-spotter courses in Wolf Point and Culbertson in collaboration with the National Weather Service and John Pulasky, a meteorologist with the Northern Ag Network.
The beginnings of the national push to create LEPCs dates back to 1986 when Congress passed the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act which established a national baseline with regard to planning, response, management and training for hazardous materials emergencies. SARA mandated the establishment of both State and local planning groups to develop and review hazardous materials response plans.
The state planning groups are referred to as the State Emergency Response Commission and are responsible for developing and maintaining the state’s emergency response plan.
In the county, the scope of hazards has widened to include hazards not related to hazardous chemicals. The LEPC and the county DES coordinator are responsible for developing an emergency plan for and responding to chemical and non-chemical emergencies within the community. It is the main function of the