Written by Angela Miller
Planning is well underway for the 2014 Roosevelt County Fair and the board is excited about what is in store.
Back for the second year is the popular rib cook-off. A new category, “Anything But Ribs,” was added. Not only can grillmasters show off their rib skills, they can also enter other creations.
Headlining Friday night is the Charley Jenkins band. Jenkins was a top 12 finalist on the hit NBC show Nashville Star. Jenkins will perform Friday night after the livestock auction.
Fair books will soon be distributed. Visit the fair’s Facebook page and website, www.rooseveltcountyfair.com, for information about how to obtain fair books.
Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The Lower Missouri River Basin Advisory Council has completed a draft report of recommendations it will forward to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at the end of May.
Before the report is submitted, however, a series of meetings, including one in Wolf Point, will be conducted around the basin to allow the public to comment on the recommendations.
Comments will be considered by the council as the report is finalized.
The Montana Water Supply Initiative project began during the summer of 2013, when Basin Advisory Councils were established in the Clark Fork, Yellowstone, Upper Missouri and Lower Missouri river basins.
The councils conducted public scoping meetings in the fall, and winnowed issues raised by the public down to the most pressing to guide the work of recommendation development.
In January, the councils began the difficult process of finding solutions to water resource issues that exist now, and may arise in the future.
The final recommendations development reports adopted by each of the four Basin Advisory Councils will assist DNRC staff in preparation of a state water plan that will be presented to the 2015 Montana Legislature.
Draft recommendations crafted by the LMR BAC include: requesting legislative funding support for additional research on the state’s aquifers; urging accurate completion of the ongoing water rights adjudication process; investigating water resources such as new off-stream storage sites to help meet future demands for water; seeking funding partners for expanding and maintaining the network of streamflow gages in all the watersheds across the state; and encouraging measurement of water wherever it is used.
Public meetings will be held in Harlowton at the Kiwanis Youth Center Tuesday, April 29; in Lewistown at the Yogo Inn Wednesday, April 30; in Havre at the Great Northern Inn Tuesday, May 6; and in Wolf Point at the Elks Club Wednesday, May 7.
All meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last approximately two hours.
Written by John Plestina
The Great Northern Development Corporation website might have gotten a little more user friendly.
GNDC grant administrator Brianna Vine said during the GNDC board meeting Thursday, April 10, that the new website is now online.
The site had been outdated. The improved version is smart phone compatible and uses the same web address at www.gndc.org.
“This year is our 20th anniversary and it hadn’t been updated in that time,” Vine said. “We want to make it a tool and an asset.”
It includes links to GNDC projects completed within the last five years, all programs GNDC works with, the newsletter and an archive of past newsletters. The business of the year is showcased on the website, which is Glasgow Floral and Gifts.
“It’s not very exciting, but it’s necessary information for people trying to get a loan,” Vine said.
GNDC also has a Facebook page.
Other business included a possible expansion and or remodeling of the GNDC building.
The 16-county GNDC provides services to businesses, which include assistance when applying for grants.
The board also discussed the annual meeting in July and possibly making it a golf event.
Written by John Plestina
After decades of off-and-on discussions about repairing and realigning Secondary Hwy. 327 in and near Bainville, the Roosevelt County Commissioners finally approved a Montana Department of Transportation memorandum of understanding Tuesday, April 15, that will allow the project to move forward.
The project includes paving, a bypass of Bainville and bridge replacement over Little Muddy Creek from U.S. Hwy. 2 to the North Dakota state line.
The commissioners delayed a decision Tuesday, April 1, in part because the full three-member commission wasn’t present.
With the MOU now signed, all phases of the project will be completed in one project with expected completion in 2017. If the county hadn’t signed the MOU, the project could have been done piecemeal and be spread out over far more than three years.
“That was one of our concerns that they would try to split the project,” commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said.
“[The agreement with the MDT has] everything in there I wanted to see,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
Discussions during the April 1 commission meeting included that current and projected heavy truck traffic from the Bakken Oilfield has made the project urgent.
Highway 327, also known as the Bainville-Snowden Road, runs from the North Dakota state line southeast of Bainville into the town with access to U.S. Hwy. 2. The roadway also connects to a North Dakota state highway that goes to Williston, N.D.
Oasis Petroleum is planning to drill at least 50 new oil wells south of Bainville, according to Oasis spokesman Larry Skaare.
Bainville resident Wagner Harmon expressed concern about the current condition of the road and bridge and a projected increase in heavy truck traffic due to planned drilling during the April 1 meeting.
Written by John Plestina
The message from several speakers during a public meeting held in the Fort Peck Lake Interpretive Center Thursday, April 10, was that flooding along the Missouri River in eastern Montana is unlikely this year unless there is substantial rainfall.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations project manager John Daggett said there were 53.2 million acre feet of water in the total system on April 1.
There were 62.7 MAF in the total system on the same date in 2011.
Fort Peck Lake is 9.2 feet below annual flood control.
The Corps of Engineers is looking at potential mountain snowpack runoff during May and June, but there is not expected to be enough moisture to cause flooding without significant rainfall.
Snowpack water content is not as high as it was in 2011 when flooding impacted several communities along the Missouri River, including Wolf Point and Poplar.
The April 1 forecast was 32 million acre feet of water, 127 percent of average.
Mike Swenson of the Corps of Engineers reservoir control office in Omaha, Neb., said run-off started with an additional 5.5 MAF of flood control storage along the six-dam system due to the 2012 drought.
Fort Peck Lake’s share of that was 9.2 feet below the flood control level on April 7.
Record-high runoff and flooding in June 2011 damaged the spillway at the dam. A $42.9 million repair project has been ongoing.
Col. Bill Leady, deputy commander in the Corps of Engineers Northwest Division in Portland, Ore., said the spillway is usable, if needed, but use would add to contractors’ costs.
Fort Peck Dam, built during the 1930s, is the oldest of the six dams along the main stem reservoir system of the Missouri River Basin between Montana and St. Louis, Mo., and the second largest in capacity. Only Garrison Dam in North Dakota is larger.