Councilmen seek appointment to vector board

Richland County, N.D., would appoint three Wahpeton leaders — Councilman Brett Lambrecht, 3rd Ward; Councilman Don Bajumpaa, 4th Ward; Councilman-at-large Kelly McNary — to a vector control board.

Another round of reassigned positions is expected in Wahpeton.

With a 3-0 vote Tuesday, June 25, the Public Works and Safety Committee approved a change to the Vector Control District No. 5 Board. The committee is recommending the Wahpeton City Council approve a request to Richland County, North Dakota.

The county would appoint three members of the Wahpeton committee — Councilman Brett Lambrecht, 3rd Ward; Councilman Don Bajumpaa, 4th Ward; Councilman-at-large Kelly McNary — to the vector board. Councilwoman-at-large Tiana Bohn completes the committee and serves as its chair.

“Keeping this (vector) board intact with a joint powers authority allows the city to enter onto private property for vector control purposes,” the meeting’s minutes state.

The three council members would serve staggered five-year terms on the Vector Control Board.

Engineering Project Manager Kyle Rogahn presented estimates for repair to R.J. Hughes Drive near the Bois de Sioux Golf Course. Repairing a 2-3 block span with a bituminous surface would cost approximately $341,665.66, while repair with a concrete surface would cost approximately $456,920.10. The item is expected to remain on the committee’s agenda.

Earlier in June, resident Darby Casper questioned the council on whether or not the well-traveled, city-owned road was receiving enough maintenance. Casper was present at the committee meeting.

“We feel it’s a safety hazard for bicyclists, motorcycles and cars that are kicking up dust,” she said previously.

Officials are looking into possible grants to assist with the project, Lambrecht said. Revenue from the “Prairie Dog” infrastructure bill was mentioned as a possible funding source.

Improvements continue at the Bois de Sioux Golf Course. Building Official Todd Johnson said bridge plank, deck and railing projects are complete and came in under budget.

“The (clubhouse’s) east and west doors need repairs to function properly,” the minutes continue. “Johnson will get quotes.”

Committee members tabled the issue, pending further information, of a possible grease trap installation at the golf course clubhouse. The facility presently has a garbage disposal.

“Discussion (was held about) educating the employees about what is acceptable in the sewer system. Funds are still available from the previous allocation for repairs,” the minutes continue.

Eusebio Mendoza, owner of the Asbury Apartments in Wahpeton, is required to appear in district court on Friday, July 19. The apartment complex has received complaints about conditions including lack of timely dumpster clearance. Mendoza has been criminally charged based on violations and is also in a civil case, Daily News previously reported.

The meeting did not include discussion about the possible sale of Wahpeton’s excess black dirt. The issue was tabled on Monday, June 24 by the city Finance, Personnel and Economic Development Committee.

Finally, the public works committee voted 3-0 to recommend the first reading of an ordinance to double Wahpeton’s existing fees for traffic violations.

The 66th Legislative Assembly, held from January-April 2019, included the adoption of legislation allowing North Dakota cities to double traffic fines. City Attorney Steve Lies suggested comparing Wahpeton’s current fee structure with the new proposed fees.

McNary was absent from the meeting.

The next city council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, July 1 at City Hall, 1900 Fourth St. N. in Wahpeton.

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