Posted 8/18/15 (Tue)
By Nicky Ouellet
Timing was the issue of the night at Monday’s city commission meeting:
One company will be penalized for failing to pay a permit fee before beginning construction; construction of the dog pound ground to a halt after unexpected weaknesses in the city shop’s structural integrity; and on a happier note, the city welcomed Ronica Pederson to her new role as Deputy City Auditor.
Cease and desist
North Dakota LNG will be issued a cease and desist order after failing to pay for a building permit issued last January for $39,000.
The company began construction of a plant that converts natural gas feedstock into motor fuel by supercooling methane into a liquid state. The plant uses methane from the nearby Hess facility.
Commissioners were alerted to the unpaid fee by City Auditor Abby Salinas at the last city commission meeting. At that time, the board was unsure whether LNG had paid the permit fee to the county instead of the city.
Salinas received word last week that neither the Williams County Building Department nor the county’s planning and zoning department had received payment.
Commissioners moved to issue a cease and desist order until the fee is paid.
Dog pound blues
Police Administrator Jeff Spivey informed commissioners that construction of the new city pound ground to a halt after a building inspector deemed the structure unsafe due to damage from a previous fire.
Phase one of the pound project, which included installing new plumbing, has already been completed. Spivey suggested purchasing a new steel structure that would cover the building’s existing footprint so as not to lose the plumbing.
“Once we buy this building I can continue with the approved plan,” he said, likening his suggestion to a change order.
Commissioners voted to close the old city shop, which houses the recycling center, and moved to have the building demolished, which Spivey estimated could cost between $15,000 and $20,000.
That would leave roughly $200,000 of the project’s initial budget remaining. With the steel structure clocking in around $99,000, additional funds will likely be needed. With the commission’s blessing, Spivey will seek a grant from the Tioga Fund, and other outside funding, like EPA brownfield grants, may be available.
The new structure may also need additional Federal Emergency Management Agency approval because it is located in a floodplain.
In other business: