Written by Al Stover
The Roosevelt County Commissioners met July 18 to approve several items on the agenda.
Commissioner Duane Nygaard said the Assiniboine and Sioux Rural Water System has asked the county for easements on several pieces of land, adopting a resolution that allows the commissioners to sign for easements.
Before the commissioners could approve the resolution, they opened it for discussion. Audience member Bill Juve asked for clarification as there is only one easement held by the U.S. government and it is for the Fort Peck Tribes. Nygaard explained the land is held in trust by the government on behalf of the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.
Juve said the resolution was misleading because of the wording and that the resolution is specific to one drawing. He also wanted to know specifically what kind of line it was.
“This organization should tell you what you’re getting,” Juve said. “To say it’s a water line doesn’t mean nothing … they should tell you what kind it is [and] what it’s made of. That’s common practice in the industry. If someone wants to put something on your property, they should at least tell you what it is.”
Sabrina Labatte, who works for Roosevelt County Conservation District, said the line itself is two inches in diameter with 50 pounds of pressure, countywide.
Gary Macdonald also said that just because they approve the resolution does not mean they will sign every easement.
Juve asked if the commissioners had a copy of the plans. When they said they did not, Juve asked “Don’t you think you should?”
MacDdnald said when he did his easement, he received a map and, when he requested changes, they were fixed. Labette said she should be able to get digital copies of the maps.
She also said she thinks the Bureau of Reclamation wants a resolution for each easement.
Nygaard also said he received a request for the airport, but he would wait to sign it until he has the city’s signature. After he stated Juve had a good point, he mentioned that the resolution said nothing about a pasture tap. Labette stated that according to the Statute of Publication, they will provide two taps if the owner is qualified. One will be a home tap while the other would be a pasture tap, which will be run off one meter, not as a second service.
Juve asked about the statute since it impacts the county and Labette said she would work on getting a copy of it for the courthouse.
Jim Shanks asked when they would begin the project and Labette said it would be either be in the fall or next spring. She said they would first do the old water lines in Poplar, then in the Wolf Point Hwy. 13 area because they have most of the easements for that area.
Nygaard said they should sign the easement in case it is part of the Aug. 1 bid. A motion was passed to bring digital copies of the map to the courthouse.
After taking public comment, Nygaard said he had been asked to address the Poplar School District’s plan for building a professional school village on Red Thunder Road. According to Nygaard, the village will be on trust land and the district made a lease with the tribes. He also said that while the commissioners had no jurisdiction, but he wanted to bring it to the attention of everyone.
There will be two phases, the first of which will happen immediately with six lots being built and 20 lots total.
In addition to the water supply system and school village, the commissioners approved the meeting minutes of July 11, as well as the claims made for the same day, which amounted to $219,618.12.
They also approved the purchase of server racks for the sheriff's office, which came to $2,029.09, and the hiring of Louis Delong as a full-time seasonal employee of the road department.
The commissioners tabled the discussion for the treasurer’s report of investments and pledged securities.