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Tioga to look for new chief, wrestles over standpipe


Posted 8/02/16 (Tue)

By Kevin Killough
The City of Tioga agreed to advertise for a police chief and juggled Monday with issues related to a faulty water standpipe.
Commissioner Tim Sundhagen said a committee has begun reviewing three applications for a patrol officer. He made a motion to advertise for a new police chief, which the commission approved.
Police Chief Larry Maize has set a retirement date of Dec. 31. The goal, Sundhagen said, is to have a new chief hired by Nov. 1.
“That way he can learn a little a bit about the town before we hand him the keys,” Sundhagen said.
Fee agreement
The city received a fee agreement from Johnson and Sundeen, the law firm selected to handle its case against Ackerman/Estvold over the standpipe on N.D. 40. Ackerman inherited the liabilities of the standpipe when it acquired Ameritech.
Commissioners determined money for the suit will come from the infrastructure fund. The fee agreement was then approved.
Storm damage
The standpipe was sold to the Western Area Water Supply Authority last April. In June, a storm that took out utility poles along N.D. 40 also dented the standpipe. Now WAWSA wants the city to repair the standpipe before the sale takes place. The authority has yet to take possession of the property.
A purchase agreement has been signed but will not be finalized until a bidding requirement is met and no one outbids WAWSA. 
“Generally, a purchase agreement puts risk on the owner until the signing,” said City Attorney Ben Johnson. 
City Auditor Abby Salinas is in the process of completing an insurance claim to pay for the repairs to the standpipe so the sale can move forward.