New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

701 Rundown: Jan. 2, 2023


January 2, 2023

Here’s your weekly rundown of some of the most interesting headlines from newspapers across North Dakota.

Basin Electric to build largest single-site generation project in western North Dakota since ‘80s

Northwest of Williston, N.D., Basin Electric Cooperative is planning to construct up to 583 megawatts of natural gas generation near Generation Station.

The project is called Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV and Todd Telesz, Basin Electric CEO and general manager, said it will serve the growing needs of their CoOp’s members with more reliable and affordable electricity in western North Dakota.

“Our cooperative members in western North Dakota and eastern Montana continue to grow quickly due to economic development related to oil and gas, and also more recently, data storage and the ancillary services that go along with this development,” Telesz said.

According to preliminary estimates, the budget of the new project is around $790 million.

Telesz said, “Basin Electric and our cooperative family’s network of distribution, transmission and generation facilities helps our members thrive, and our all-of-the-above energy portfolio ensures the engine that feeds and fuels our nation remains reliable, affordable, and responsible.

“Cooperative electric power powered the coal industry’s growth in Wyoming decades ago, the ethanol industry’s boom in the mid-2000s, and the oil and gas industry’s operations today.

“Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV, along with other investments we have made in the region over the past decade, supports the development of the Bakken shale formation and enhances the energy security and independence of our nation,” Telesz concluded.

(Story from McKenzie County Farmer)

Northern Cass awarded $500K in Yass Prize Competition

Northern Cass won a $500,000 STOP award as one of nine finalists in a Yass Prize Competition, recognizing highly successful, sustainable, transformational and outstanding education programs.

The $1 million Yass Prize Competition is annual and is one of education's more prestigious awards. Northern Cass wasn’t chosen as the winner of the $1 million prize, but was nationally recognized for being one of America’s most innovative and effective education providers.

Northern Cass Superintendent received the award at a banquet at the New York Hilton in midtown Manhattan on December 14.

Steiner said, “This will allow us to formalize partnerships and begin the next phase of work with our communities and partners.

“This prize creates a pivotal moment in our history as we have a chance to provide essential services to all of our communities. It can allow the school to be the hub of the community and ensure our communities thrive and not merely survive.”

Steiner added that the honor is one of the highlights of his career.

At the award ceremony, Northern Cass was specifically recognized for being one of the first school district’s to create blended learning models for its students, reimagining education not only for its students but for all rural districts.

(Story by Angela Kolden, Cass County Reporter)

Man survives vehicle rollover accident

At approximately 11:44 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, approximately 7 miles west of Hope, N.D., one man was seriously injured after his 2005 Chevrolet left the road, rolled and came to a rest on its passenger side.

The person involved, a 29-year-old male, lost control while traveling westbound on 6th Street SE near the 125th Avenue SE intersection.

During the incident, the man was ejected from his vehicle. He was later rushed to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo by the Hope Ambulance Service. Also responding were the N.D. Highway Patrol, Steele County Sheriff’s Office and Hope Fire and Rescue.

The crash remains under investigation, and the report states a charge for DUI was issued to the driver.

(Story by Jill Larson, Steele County Press)

Walsh County ag land values increase 5 percent

The North Dakota State Tax Department has announced an anticipated increase in land values for Walsh County, which prompted the Walsh County Commission to increase values by 5 percent at their December meeting.

The state tax department determined the 2023 average value per acre for all agricultural land in Walsh County to be $1,080.94 an acre.

Ed Sevigny, Walsh County’s Tax Equalization Director said last year’s number was $1,021.11, meaning this is an increase of 5.9 percent.

“I think most of us were anticipating an increase (in valuation) considering commodity prices this year,” said Sevigny. He also said the increase is a result of the capitalization rate decreasing in addition to the high commodity prices.

“When the capitalization rate decreases, valuations go up,” he said. “The cap rate they (state tax department) used decreased from 4.32 percent to 4.24 percent.”

At their December meeting, Sevigny told commissioners that they must stay within 90 percent of the calculated average of $1,084.94.

(Story by Todd Morgan, The Walsh County Record)

Linton Council discusses building permit violation

One Linton resident has failed to meet the stipulations and deadline set by the Linton City Council regarding building permits, and they could face consequences.

The Linton City Council discussed the matter at their regular December meeting. The resident in question, Kevin Evenson, had attended the Nov. 7 meeting to receive the building permit for attaching a deck to a house.

Council members were hesitant to approve the permit because the house did not have electricity or water service, but eventually did so with the stipulation that all work be completed and the property cleaned up by Dec. 1.

The property was inspected after the Dec. 1 deadline, and photos of the property were submitted to the council members ahead of their December meeting. The photos showed the work was not done properly and the area not cleaned up.

“(Evanson) promised to sand and paint the deck, which obviously didn’t happen, and although I haven’t seen it close up, the deck appears to be broken on these pictures,” one council member said. “It appears to me that (Evanson) didn’t do any of the things that were condition for this permit. In other words, he ‘flat-out lied’ to us.”

Council members also remarked that Evanson has a history of failing to comply with building permits. Potential ramifications the council discussed were removal of the deck as well as fines.

(Story by Mark Weber, Emmons County Record)


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