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101 1st St NE
Box 12
Bowman, ND 58623-0012

City identifies top projects for use surge funds

February 23, 2015

WHAT DO THE PEOPLE WANT? A survey Ã�¢ï¿½ï¿½ unrelated to the city of Bowman and not answered by the city of Bowman's residents Ã�¢ï¿½ï¿½ indicates that residents in urban areas want six things. Do these priorities line up with what you want? WHAT DO THE PEOPLE WANT? A survey — unrelated to the city of and not answered by the city of ’s residents — indicates that residents in urban areas want six things. Do these priorities line up with what you want?

By Bryce Martin | Pioneer Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

As the North Dakota is set to vote today on sending the $1.1 billion “surge” fund bill to the governor’s desk, city of Bowman officials already made headway this morning on how to spend its share of the funds.

If the legislation moves forward, which several senators indicated would likely happen and potentially be signed into law on Tuesday, the city of Bowman would receive about $6.75 million. The bill stipulated that those funds could only be used for oil-related projects.

The North Dakota House of Representatives voted last week to approve a version of the one-time funding legislation that would allocate money to oil-impacted cities and counties. An early draft of the legislation, before several amendments were attached to the bill, allocated about $9 million for the city of Bowman.

Because of the reduced amount, the city had to pare down its list of proposed infrastructure projects, which it did during a special meeting held at 9 a.m. Monday.

Bowman City Board of Commissioners President Lyn James said it was the intent of the special meeting, during which each of the city commissioners were present, to “get the ball rolling” so that the city could get some projects going provided the legislation passes.

A committee comprised of James, Commissioner Darren Limesand, Bowman County Development Corp. Executive Director Teran Doerr and Dan and Jon Brosz of of Bowman previously worked on project proposals that they felt were directly related to oil activity in the area.

James reiterated that the surge funds were solely focused on projects related to oil, whether in the past, present or future.

During the committee’s most recent meeting, which also involved Todd Hofland, city street superintendent, and Bill Mason, city water and sewer supervisor, three infrastructural needs around the city were identified and prioritized to immediately use the surge funds.

The reconstruction of 11th Avenue West was one of the three projects recommended for immediate action. James said the city didn’t have enough funds when it was constructed for the road to be built “the way it should’ve been built.” The paved, two-lane street stretches from Highway 85 and north to Farm to Market Road. It was said to have seen a large increase in use since the start of the Bakken oil boom and has the potential to feature several new subdivisions, including an access to the proposed airport industrial park.

The portion the city is concerned with, however, is from the highway to the railroad tracks. The remaining road stretch is co-owned by the county.

That project was estimated by Brosz Engineering to cost about $2.2 million, though he indicated that was a “ballpark” figure.

The second project that should take precedence, according to the city, is an update to its water system.

That large-scale project encompasses the sewer main rehabilitation on the west side of the city, feeding into the lagoons.

A process called slip lining would be completed in that area, which is a process when soft PVC piping, filled with resin, is put into the lines and would turn hard once the resin is heated and pressurized. That would prevent the city from needing to make open cuts to the existing line and would be cheaper.

The city’s sewer main has reached an age of deterioration to handle additional inflow, according to a report of the city’s infrastructural needs by Brosz Engineering. Southwest Healthcare Services is in need of a larger and updated facility to accommodate greater use stemming from the oil boom. The main to which the hospital and long-term care flow into has had problems in the past and the rehabilitation of the main would increase capacity as well as reduce the chance of having to shut all users off due to a break, the report said.

The third priority concerned the water system in the northeast part of the city.

The city only has two water main crossings under Highway 85, which are the only mains leading from the city’s water storage tanks.

An extension of the 3rd Avenue NE water main would protect the city during breaks, add needed flow to the east side of Bowman and improve developable property, the report said.

The commissioners unanimously approved a motion that would allow Brosz to go ahead with the process of surveying, design and bid letting for the three priority projects.

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