Langdon City Commission-NRWD discuss next steps for project

The Langdon City Commission and Northeast Regional Water District (NRWD) received very good news last week as the North Dakota State Water Commission approved a 75 percent grant funding for the proposed regional water project that would bring water treated at the City of Devils Lake Water Treatment Plant to the City of Langdon and NRWD customers.

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Posted on 3/19/16

By Melissa Anderson

NRWD headed the cost-share request for a grant and loan funding toward the project to address a water supply for the Langdon Rural Water branch of NRWD and the City of Langdon during a drought similar to the 1930s. The project also provides system capaCity for an additional project to add 150 new users in the Langdon Rural Water branch.

The project involves an extensive pipeline to bring treated water from the City of Devils Lake water treatment plant up to Langdon. The project cost includes a 20.7 percent buy-in to the City of Devils Lake Water Treatment Plant which is non-grant funded. The project will have Devils Lake providing 600 gallons per minute from their water supply system which has a capaCity of up to 2,900 gallons per minute.

At the March 9 meeting of the State Water Commission, North Dakota State Engineer Todd Sando gave the recommendation that the commission approve funding for the NRWD-City of Langdon project. The construction cost-share grant was awarded at 75 percent for a total of $16,696,920 with $15,010,000 in the form of a grant and $1,686,920 will be a loan with a term of 20 years with an interest rate of 1.5 percent.

This recent approval is in addition to the grant that was awarded in early December for pre-construction engineering.

With the funding from the State Water Commission secured, the local share that the City of Langdon will be responsible for is $4,076,400. Residents can expect to see an increase of $20.93 on the water bills per month.

It should be noted that a $10 increase was put in place over a year ago for this which will decrease the overall cost to residents.

NRWD’s local share is $3,812,863. The customers of NRWD will see an increase of $14.62 per month on their bills. These numbers are the most recent and accurate calculations for the water project.

At the recent Langdon City Commission meeting, the commission reviewed the proposed ballot for the ordinance that will be voted on in the June election which is required by law for the contract between NRWD and the City of Langdon.

The commission discussed the letter that was received from the State Water Commission informing them of the approval of funding with NRWD General Manager Gordon Johnson.

The commission and Johnson discussed the letter and what this would mean moving forward with the project. The commission asked Johnson if Cando had expressed any further interest in the project, and Johnson replied he had not discussed the topic with Cando officials recently as he wanted to ensure the project would be moving forward as planned first.

The commission and Johnson then discussed when would be the best time frame to hold the informational meetings regarding the water project and the other options that the City has should the citizens vote down joining NRWD.

Commissioner Marty Tetrault suggested that the first meeting take place in early April to catch as many area producers before spring fieldwork begins. Another meeting could be held in mid-May when those who travel south for the winter should be back so that they, too, will have information regarding the water project before the June 14 vote. Everyone was in agreement with this plan.

The next topic covered was the planning of how the meetings would proceed. The commission and Johnson agreed that the informational meetings could not be conducted like previous meeting that occurred last spring. The commission and Johnson both stated that the meeting turned into a very unproductive meeting that left many with unanswered questions.

The commission and Johnson agreed that 20 minutes of presenting the option of joining NRWD and approving the proposed ordinance would be sufficient.

The other three options that the City has should the ordinance be voted down will also be presented at the meeting. Currently, none of those options that include construction have funding guaranteed as the City and Moore Engineering are waiting for an answer.

The City application has been sent to the North Dakota State Rural Development office. The department is still working on the application but should have all final comments and review completed this week. The application will then be submitted to the national office in Washington, D.C.

“They are working hard to get answers back to the City on a grant/loan funding package for this option as soon as they can,” Kent Ritterman of Moore Engineering said.

While no set date has been put in place, the Langdon City Commission and NRWD hope to have the meetings at the Langdon Research Center in the coming weeks.

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