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Haul road agreement becomes untangled

The knotty issue of a haul road agreement between Apex Energy and Codington County got a bit untangled at Tuesday’s county commission meeting. The tentative agreement is designed to allow work to proceed on the Dakota Range I and II Wind Project and protect the county against potential road degradation during the expected 30-year lifespan of the project.

The knotty issue of a haul road agreement between Apex Energy and Codington County got a bit untangled at Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

The tentative agreement is designed to allow work to proceed on the Dakota Range I and II Wind Project and protect the county against potential road degradation during the expected 30-year lifespan of the project.

Apex submitted its proposal two months ago. The county decided to send it to Banner Engineering for review, which has been completed. But State’s Attorney Becky Reeves Morlock, in a quick read of the multi-page document Monday, saw some items that she believes needs changing.

Apex is anxious to get a signed agreement because it has an Aug. 28 deadline with Excel Energy regarding project deliverables. Mark Mauersberger, project manager for Dakota Range, asked the commissioners if some type of framework could be formulated giving both parties what they want.

The entire discussion took about 25 minutes. Finally, County Zoning Officer Luke Muller, an expert in parliamentary procedure, helped the commissioners draw up such a motion.

“Conditionally approve a road use agreement... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The knotty issue of a haul road agreement between Apex Energy and Codington County got a bit untangled at Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

The tentative agreement is designed to allow work to proceed on the Dakota Range I and II Wind Project and protect the county against potential road degradation during the expected 30-year lifespan of the project.

Apex submitted its proposal two months ago. The county decided to send it to Banner Engineering for review, which has been completed. But State’s Attorney Becky Reeves Morlock, in a quick read of the multi-page document Monday, saw some items that she believes needs changing.

Apex is anxious to get a signed agreement because it has an Aug. 28 deadline with Excel Energy regarding project deliverables. Mark Mauersberger, project manager for Dakota Range, asked the commissioners if some type of framework could be formulated giving both parties what they want.

The entire discussion took about 25 minutes. Finally, County Zoning Officer Luke Muller, an expert in parliamentary procedure, helped the commissioners draw up such a motion.

“Conditionally approve a road use agreement upon satisfaction of the state’s attorney and the highway superintendent within in the next 30 days and be brought back to county commission board for approval,” read Commissioner Brenda Hanten.

The motion allows Apex to move on with its business but also gives the county officials the unlikely option of bringing the Dakota Ridge project to a halt if the two sides can’t agree on the final version of the haul road agreement.

In another lingering but far less complicated matter, the commissioners gave final approval to a resolution dealing with riparian buffer strips. The strips of grass, planted along bodies of water, can provide landowners with breaks on property taxes. Riparian buffers intercept sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and other materials in surface runoff, reducing nutrients and other pollutants in shallow subsurface water flow..

Jay Gilbertson, executive director of the East Dakota Watershed Develop District, was the author of the proposal with input from Roger Foote, project coordinator of the Upper Big Sioux Watershed Project. UBSWP offers its own payment to landowners who participate in the riparian program.

The only real change to an earlier version of the proposal was to include the small section of Stray Horse Creek in Codington County.

Hartley’s appearance before the commission included his monthly report and to seek approval of a budgeted $220,000 for a new sign and storage building. The current building will be demolished following an asbestos check.

Hartley explained that currently any assembly of signs requires bringing them into the maintenance shop, which interrupts work in that building.

The new pre-engineered pole building will be 60x100x16 and will not be insulated. Bids will be taken on the project until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the county auditor’s office.

Facilities Manager Milo Ford and Weed and Pest Supervisor Steve Molengraaf also gave their monthly reports.

Ford told commissioners that revenue at the county’s Memorial Park is up about 10 percent this season and reviewed ongoing projects at the park. He also said a project to allow memorial trees to be purchased and planted at the park is almost ready to begin.

Ford also said that repairs at the County Expo Complex are finished. The roof repairs caused by a 2017 hail storm cost an additional $90,000 due to improved materials for insulation of the roof, Ford explained. That decision also resulted in some other planned projects being delayed.

Regarding the courthouse renovation, Ford said the new Clerk of Courts Office is almost ready. A walkthrough is planned for 11 a.m. Friday at which point the office may be turned over to the county.

Ford reported that tuckpointing of the courthouse’s exterior, which was purchased in 2017, may yet get done this fall. The Iowa company that won the bidding has the courthouse on its schedule but completion may depend on weather. If the project isn’t completed in 2018, allocated funds will be returned to the general fund.


Source: https://www.thepublicopinio...

AUG 22 2018
http://www.windaction.org/posts/48969-haul-road-agreement-becomes-untangled
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