City Council identifies site of potential Highway 85 bypass
By Neal A. Shipman
While the final decision as to whether or not there will be a bypass built around Watford City to accommodate the increased traffic on U.S. Highway 85 may be years in the future, the Watford City City Council wants the North Dakota Dept. of Transportation to know that the city has identified a possible route.
“We want the state to know that if there is ever going to be discussion on a bypass, we want them to know that we have identified our preferred route,” stated Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford during the council’s April 4 meeting.
The proposed route, which was identified in the city’s new extraterritorial land use plan, would extend west of the existing Highway 23 bypass and rejoin U.S. Highway 85 on the west side of Watford City.
“We need to be proactive and have a suggestion,” stated Sanford. “If we aren’t, someone else will come up with a bypass plan that could move the bypass farther away from the city.”
While Sanford acknowledged that there will be some criticism of identifying the bypass route, he believes the city needs to act now to keep the highway as close to the existing intersection as possible.
“The last thing that we would want to see is a bypass that would start at the substation road or even further south at the Redwing Road,” stated Sanford.
During Monday night’s meeting the council also approved a conditional use permit for temporary workforce house for Montana-Dakota Development, LLC on property located south of U.S. Highway 85 and east of the Little Missouri Grille contingent on the developers providing a revised site plan providing for a second exit, adequate amount of fire hydrants on the premises and signage to be posted at the second exit.
The council also approved granting Craig Nelson 30 days to submit a drainage plan to correct the drainage issues on a site that he is proposing to develop as a temporary workforce housing area.
However, during the discussion Nelson contended that not all the drainage problem is coming from his property.
“All of the water from Taylor Ag Services and the Simonson’s property is heading our way,” stated Nelson. We’ve got new water that we have to deal with.”
In addition, Nelson told the city council that the city’s culvert on one of the streets in the area is not working which is also creating drainage problems for him.
“You’ve got to get the water flowing,” stated Curt Moen, city building inspector. “You built in a flood plain and the water is not flowing because the land is flat.”
According to Moen, it is the city’s position that Nelson must correct the drainage problem before they will allow him to develop the temporary workforce housing area.
“We’ve had meetings with other property owners in that area to fix the roads and to improve drainage,” stated Moen. “You have to show me how you’re going to mitigate the problem so that you can develop the site.
In other business, the city council:
• Approved for recording the Final Plat Rearrangement of Irregular Tract 2006, Creekside Second Addition, City of Watford City in part of the NE1/4 SW1/4, Section 19, T150N-R98W, 5th P.M. McKenzie County, ND without accepting the dedication of the streets or utilities until such time as they have been evaluated.
• Approved the purchase of five spike strips and evidence lockers for the interview/evidence room for the Watford City Police Dept.
• Approved a Land Use and Growth Management Plan Map for the city.
• Approved the Extra-Territorial Zoning Boundaries as shown on the Annexation Concept Map “A” with legal description and be Zoned A-2 - Agriculture District.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance amending Section 3 of Article XXIX, Chapter XV of the City of Watford City Ordinances regarding building permits required in extra-territorial zoning jurisdiction.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance adding Article IX (A) to Chapter XV of the City of Watford City Ordinances establishing zoning District A-2.
• Approved a zoning variance application submitted by Nathan Aasen to allow for a 4 foot front yard variance located at 100 3rd Street NW.
• Approved the second reading of ordinance #232 adding Section 11 to Article XXII of Chapter XV of the City of Watford City Ordinances relating to storage containers.
• Approved an agreement for Advanced Engineering to conduct a water distribution system evaluation at a cost of approximately $48,000.
• Was presented with a copy of Temporary Housing Development Standards for review.
• Tabled action on placing a moratorium on temporary workforce housing in the city limits.
• Approved, upon the recommendation of the Board of Health, an application by Mark and Dori Sparby to allow six animals at their residence located at 212 6th Avenue NE.
• Approved a step increase for Daniel Blood from Category 4, Step 0 to Category 4, Step 1 effective April 1, 2011 and also a step increase for Peni Peterson from Category 3, Step 5 to Category 3, Step 6 effective April 16, 2011.
• Approved Nathan Weber’s resignation from the W.C. Police Department effective March 7, 2011 and to advertise and fill the position.
• Approved adding Category 10 – City Planner/Zoning Administrator to the salary step schedule and to move Curt Moen to Category 10, Step 3 effective April 1, 2011.
• Approved a special event permit to the Fraternal Order of Eagles to serve beer and liquor at the McKenzie County Fair in the Beer Garden at the fairgrounds on July 14-16, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and to serve beer and liquor at the NDRA State Rodeo Finals in the beer garden on the south side in the Multi-Purpose Building at the fairgrounds on Sept. 9-10, 2011 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. contingent on Chief Herfindahl visiting with them concerning compliance with liquor laws.
• Approved a raffle permit application for Friends of Relay For Life.
• Approved payment of a $3,040 Energy Impact Office grant for the Watford City Fire Department.
• Declared May 1, 2011 as “Red, White & Blue Day” and to have Mayor Sanford sign the Loyalty Day Proclamation dated April 4, 2011.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Watford City City Council will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 2.