City of Langdon stresses importance of voting on the water issue

It’s been heavily covered by the Cavalier County Republican over the past two years and the issue is now coming to a head as the city residents of Langdon are being asked to vote on whether the city should join Northeast Regional Water District (NRWD) in purchasing water from the City of Devils Lake.

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Posted on 5/7/16

By Melissa Anderson

The ordinance must be voted on in order to give the residents the choice to remain with the current City of Langdon water source of Mt. Carmel Dam which is treated in and by the City of Langdon or join NRWD and purchase water from Devils Lake.

“This is a long-term decision for our community so our residents need to know all aspects of the project,” Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth said.

The residents of Langdon have to vote on the ordinance because the Langdon City Commission is not authorized to enter into a long-term contract to purchase water without approval from the voters. This is because of North Dakota Century Code 40-33-16 which states the following:

“Any city owning a system for the distribution of water for fire protection and other public purposes and for selling water to its inhabitants and industries, but for which the water supply is unsuitable or inadequate, may contract to purchase water at wholesale for such purposes from any person, firm, public or private corporation, or limited liability company able and willing to furnish the same, upon such terms and during such period, not exceeding forty years, as the city governing body shall deem appropriate. Any such contract shall be authorized by an ordinance submitted to the voters for approval by a majority of those voting on the proposition before it takes effect.”

As a result of this law, before the City of Langdon and NRWD can move forward with the project, the residents of Langdon must first approve the contract.

The ordinance will appear on the June 14 primary ballot as “Langdon City Measure #1 for Ordinance 6.0231”.

• A “Yes” vote means residents want to join with NRWD and purchase water from Devils Lake.
• A “No” vote means residents want to remain with the current water source at this time.

For residents who want to be able to ask questions of the Langdon City Commission or NRWD about the ordinance or water project in general, there will be a informational meeting allowing them to do so on May 31 at 6:00 p.m. at the Langdon Research Center.

“It’s beneficial for everyone to understand the options and ask the questions to vote in June for the future of our community,” Hoffarth said.

The vote will be held June 14 at the Cavalier County Courthouse. Cavalier County active voters will also receive a post card and may vote by mail. New residents can call or stop by the courthouse to get a vote by mail card.

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