The Langdon City Commission had a full agenda at their recent meeting on May 8.
By Melissa Anderson
The commission met first with Cavalier County Job Development Authority (CCJDA) Executive Director Shannon Duerr. She had three requests to present to the commission.
CCJDA presented two financial requests, one for the annual $2,000 support of Music Fest and another for $2,000 annual support of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Devils Lake. The SBDC works with all of CCDJDA’s loan clients in writing business plans which are required for their loans.
The third request was for the transfer of a loan balance originally given to Heidi Witzel to be transferred to Leon Pederson. Witzel will be moving, and Pederson is taking over her business. The request has been approved pending due diligence. The commission agreed to all requests, including the loan transfer pending the completion and final result of the due diligence.
Following last meetings recommendation by Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth for the city to consider encouraging the repair of curb stops, Hoffarth reached out to contractors for bids. Witzel Construction placed a bid for $980 per curb stop as being the probable cost. The commission felt that was a reasonable cost, and it would fall onto the property owner to cover the cost of the repairs or replacements. Letters will be sent out to those affected with the information and request.
Darol Hoffman put a request to place a valley gutter on his property to better the drainage. The commission discussed at length with Langdon City Superintendent Rob Gilseth about the options as well as Langdon City Attorney Quentin Wenzel on what is legally required. The issue was tabled until next meeting to allow Wenzel to review the laws more thoroughly.
Mark Fisk informed the commission that he will be building a large garage outside of city limits but within the half mile jurisdiction that the city has. The structure and location was discussed with Langdon Building Inspector Gary Bimler. Because details were vague on size and style of the structure, this issue was also tabled until more information could be given.
The final item of business that the commission discussed was the acknowledgement and approval of a building permit for a new Dollar General that will be built in Langdon. The parent company of Dollar General, Colby Capital, LLC, submitted numerous letters of endorsement from other communities where they have built as well as statistics on the impact that the stores have on communities.
The commission thoroughly discussed the pros and cons of having the new business join the Langdon area community and heard concerns from Langdon Area Chamber of Commerce board member Marcus Lewis and local business owner, Marie Chaput, who is part owner of Langdon’s General Store. Both voiced that they were afraid of the negative impact that the new corporate business could have on Main Street businesses.
Duerr also presented data collected from similarly sized communities about the impact that stores such as Dollar General have once they are introduced. Duerr noted that while statistically speaking, sales tax went up, which was good for the municipality, businesses such as the local grocers saw significant decreases in sales percentages.
The commission understood the concerns as well as the impact that the new store could have on the community but ultimately could not deny the requests nor turn away a prospective business without legal, valid reasons. The commission approved the building permit and will send a letter of acknowledgement to the North Dakota Department of Transportation to allow access to the construction site of the building.
In Other Business
• During department reports, Gilseth informed the commission that they have begun treating water for mosquitoes, are on the second sweeping of the city streets and have begun mowing properties. Gilseth recommended that on one property recently acquired by the city that the building standing on the property be removed to allow more room for snow removal. Commission agreed.
• The old water treatment plant is slated for demolition.
• Langdon City Clean-Up Week is May 15 through the 20.
• Brittanie Mostad will be holding gymnastics classes during the month of June on Mondays and Thursdays.
• The commission approved a fireworks permit for Gail Breyer.