Two street reconstruction projects affecting northwestern and north Wahpeton continue to take shape. Professional services agreements for these projects are expected to be approved at the city council’s next meeting.
With a 4-0 vote Tuesday, Oct. 29, the Wahpeton Public Works and Safety Committee is recommended approving an engineering agreement with Interstate Engineering for reconstruction on Loy Avenue and 12th Street North. The project is scheduled for the 2021 construction year.
The vote involves two resolutions. Resolution No. 3732 offers up to $317,512 for the engineering work. Resolution No. 3733 relates to the project financing.
A second 4-0 vote recommends approval of an agreement of an engineering agreement with Interstate Engineering for reconstruction of Eighth Avenue North. The project is scheduled for the 2022 construction year.
“This project is an urban road and will have participation from the Federal Highway Administration,” the committee minutes state. “This agreement is only for engineering services. There will need to be a request for proposals done for the construction engineering.”
The vote also involves two resolutions. Resolution No. 3734 offers up to $324,833 for the engineering work. Resolution No. 3735 relates to the project financing.
Later in the meeting, Engineering Project Manager Kyle Rogahn said extension of sewer and water on Wheatland Road was completed under budget. The project, completed at a cost of $39,570.60, was located in a tax increment financing district.
A 4-0 vote recommended approval of the final pay application to Agassiz Underground, Fargo.
Following discussion held in executive session, the meeting re-adjourned and included a 4-0 vote to approve an addendum to an existing agreement. The Cargill domestic wastewater treatment agreement is expected to be extended for one year.
Discussion of storm water utilities is expected for the committee’s next meeting, scheduled for 12 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Wahpeton City Hall. Discussion of work on R.J. Hughes Drive, Wahpeton, is not expected to be on the committee’s agenda.
An additional unanimous vote recommends the city council approve Ordinance No. 1013, concerning city maintenance and assistance to cemeteries.
“This ordinance will become effective once approved and published once,” the committee minutes state. “There are no enforcement concerns by the police chief. The second reading is scheduled at the next council meeting.”
Finally, committee members and city officials observed the 2019 vector control season’s conclusion. Earlier in October, Daily News reported Wahpeton had a season without a sample pool of mosquitos testing positive for West Nile virus.
The problem areas of vector control, committee minutes state, include tall grasses and truck tile piles. Public Works Director Dennis Miranowski, Assistant City Attorney Brittany Hatting and Engineer/Appraiser Technician Josh Meyer are expected to work on Wahpeton’s vector ordinance.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4 at City Hall, 1900 Fourth St. N. in Wahpeton.
The Breckenridge Port Authority met Wednesday, Oct. 30 to discuss a Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) loan request and area Chamber of Commerce business.
The committee approved a recommendation to the city of Breckenridge, Minnesota, to approve a $75,000 MIF loan to the owner of Bruders’ Butcher.
This loan would go toward opening a butcher shop in the old Dairy Queen building off of Highway 75. The planned opening date for the Breckenridge butcher shop would be Sunday, Dec. 1, for the retail side of the operation to be open for service of upcoming holidays.
“I think it’s a good deal for us and it’s a good attempt to bring in a new business, improve a less desirable piece of property and potentially have a really nice retail business on our main street,” Port Authority Commissioner Scott Nicholson said.
The owner, whose name was not given, currently has a butcher shop in Melrose, Minnesota. He took over the old Melrose City Meat Market in February 2019.
The majority of production and butchering is planned to occur in Melrose while the market in Breckenridge is getting started. The business’s midterm plan is to continue sausage making in Melrose and moving additional cooked products in Breckenridge. Butchering would be done at both locations at this point to optimize space in producing larger variety to customers.
This recommendation will go to the Breckenridge City Council for approval of the MIF loan on Monday, Nov. 4.
Wanda Seliski, executive vice president of the Wahpeton Breckenridge Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke to Port Authority.
In previous years, the chamber has asked the committee to donate $2,000 for their Shop Local campaign. This year, the chamber has changed the program into a Twin Town Business Partners, Seliski said. The chamber asked for a $1,500 donation for advertising and promotions for the new program. The city of Wahpeton previously gave the chamber $10,000.
“The Daily News called and they’re still printing the Shop Local (special section). They are asking for $1,012.50 to help print it in color. So the board will need to decide if you want to pay that thousand dollars to have that printed it in color and support all of Wanda’s requests or just do one or the other,” City Administrator Renae Smith said.
Seliski shared insight on the cost situation.
“In the past, the chamber has supported that and paid for it,” she said. “When looking at advertising dollars, it is such a gamble. I know in the past just the Shop Local for Daily News has been over $5,000 in advertising. Are we getting the bang for our buck on it? Nothing against Daily News by any means — we still advertise with them a lot — but is that where we want to put our funds, so we have stepped back from that portion,” Seliski said.
Daily News’ advertising department said the request was for approximately $3,500 for both the Early Gift Guide and Shop Local special sections.
The committee approved funding Daily News with $1,012.50 to print the Shop Local section in color and $1,500 to the chamber.
The next Port Authority meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at City Hall.
Chahinkapa Zoo held its 25th annual Halloween tradition, ZooBoo, on Wednesday evening, Oct. 30. The event brings children and their parents to trick-or-treat around the zoo.
“It’s trick-or-treating in a Halloween decorated atmosphere all in one location,” Zoo Director Kathy Diekman said. “We like to do it the day before Halloween so people are free to have Halloween with their parents or trick-or-treat in their neighborhood.”
Trick-or-treaters are given Halloween bags sponsored by the Wahpeton Fire Department to collect many goodies. Children and adults walk through the zoo lit with 200 jack-o-lanterns, stopping at business-sponsored stations to pick up treats and other items.
Some animals are out in the zoo for the trick-or-treaters to see, but many are inside to stay warm.
A total of 1,272 children and adults attended ZooBoo this year. Diekman and her team expect 2,000-2,500 to come to the event with nice weather. However, because of the cold weather, she was not surprised they were less. Diekman commented that although the number was down from previous years, the zoo was filled with happy trick-or-treaters.
The zoo had over 50 sponsors to help this event take place and support the zoo. Sponsors set up candy Halloween decorated stations for trick-or-treaters while some provided donations.
ZooBoo is a good time for businesses to show their community support, Diekman said.
“It was very successful,” she continued. “It started as a fundraiser for Chahinkapa Zoo but even more importantly than that, and this is really important and we’re proud of this part, it’s become a community event more than anything and I just love that.”
All donations and proceeds go toward animal care and zoo upkeep.
Rock ’n’ roll, film favorites, pop standards … all were on the setlist of a Tuesday, Oct. 29 concert at North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton.
A near-capacity crowd filled the Bremer Bank Theatre on NDSCS’ campus. They enjoyed the performances from the Wildcat Jazz Band and Wildcat Singers, as well as the antics of Willie the Wildcat. Willie’s clowning included a Freddie Mercury impression during the climactic Queen medley.
The concert, while eclectic, did have a theme of sorts. It recreated the shows NDSCS’ musicians and singers put on for youth throughout North Dakota. For decades, the college entertainers have shown off their performance talent to countless audiences.
Under the direction of Dr. Adam Hollingsworth, the jazz band segued from the swinging sounds of “Sing, Sing, Sing” to the mellow “Yesterday.” Shortly after, director Bryan Poyzer and accompanist Karen Hendrickson led the Wildcat Singers through pieces including “Shallow,” “Rolling in the Deep” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
The evening included numerous soloists. Cassie Boelke performed “Straighten Up and Fly Right” for the jazz band before returning for “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Madison Hagen and Timothy Wright led “Shallow,” which featured Poyzer’s guitar playing.
Danielle Maher soloed on “Rolling In the Deep,” followed by Grace Weller and Kierstyn Johnson soloing on “The Middle.” Whether a soloist or ensemble member, the 2019-2020 Wildcat Singers were well received by the Wahpeton audience.
Perhaps the most unique soloist was a non-human. Chris Church, a trombonist in the jazz band, debuted “MOPPY.”
Short for “Musical Floppy,” the soloist featured Musical Instrumental Digital Interface (MIDI) files. Twelve individual tones were exported to individual floppy disc drives. MOPPY performed the “Imperial March” from “Star Wars” and the “Wildcat School Song.”
The concert is the prelude for an autumn of performances on NDSCS’ Wahpeton campus.
“Clue” opens Thursday, Nov. 14. A mystery, “Clue” will be performed for one weekend only.
NDSCS will hold its holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. The event will feature guest artists The A’cappella Express.
Just a week after NDSCS’ holiday concert, “A Magical Medora Christmas” returns to Wahpeton. The fifth annual tour features performers from the Burning Hills Amphitheater in Medora, North Dakota. “A Magical Medora Christmas” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18.
Look to Daily News for coverage of autumn events in Wahpeton, Breckenridge, Minnesota, and surrounding communities.