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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
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August 22, 2013     The Billings County Pioneer
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August 22, 2013
 

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' L- :- USPS 056-180 Vol. 96, No. 49 75 cents August 22, 2013 -- , (hat's Happening? Listings for high school sporting events, plus public events that are free to anyone and aren't fund-raisers or aren't family or business invi- tations, can be published free of charge in this column. Wibaux County Fair, Aug. 22-25 Golden Valley County zoning meeting, 3 p.m., Mon- day, Aug. 26, at county court- house 8th annual Badlands Trail Run, Medora, Aug. 24 ay 1642: The English Civil War began between supporters of King Charles I (Royalists or Cavaliers) and those of Oliver Cromwell ( Roundheads ). 1775: King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in open rebellion. 1846: The United States annexed New Mexico. 1851: The U.S. yacht America out- raced the British Aurora off the Eng- lish coast to win a trophy that became known as the America's Cup. 1902: Theodore Roosevelt became the first United States president to ride in an automobile. 1910: Korea was annexed by Japan. after five years as a protectorate. 1989:'Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton was shot to death in Oakland, Calif. 2003: Alabama's chief justice, Roy Moore, was suspended for refusing to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse. 2004: A version of Edvard Munch's painting The Scream was stolen in Norway. Another version had been stolen in 1994. Dec: 16, 1937: Art Anderson is running the Howard Young butcher shop while Mr. Young is out of town. (Art will later become the operator of the business, located in the building now occupied by the Old Tyme Meat Shoppe). A fire was discovered at the Brown Derby Roller Rink on Sunday after- noon. An overheated furnace was the cause of the fire but put out before much damage was done. Dec. 23, 1937: Fred Klingman had a narrow es- cape then he didn't realize a train was coming as he was about to cross the tracks. He managed to slam on his brakes and just managed to avoid being struck by the passenger train. (Stop, Look and Listen before you cross the tracks!) The old warehouse from the Man- dan lumber yard is being moved to the Heaton lumber yard. The Belfield Review is no longer in print, but the Belfield News will be- come our source of information for the next few years. The Belfield News is a mimeographed weekly paper, but it does the job. The following items are from The Belfield News, Vol. 1 No. 1, Dec. 8 1937, Carl Indergaard, publisher The Belfield News is sent out with the complements and good wishes of the Belfield Civic Association and busi- ness firms of Belfield, of which 48 are listed. Kids set out after a chicken Harvest Hoedown on Aug. 17. 440 Chicken catchers released at a city park as one of the (Photo by Richard Volesky) may activities during the Belfield By Richard Volesky Reporter BELFIELD - Farmland about 3 miles east of Belfield could become an industrial area used by a Aus- tralian company, and as a railroad off-loading facility, according to a proposal presented at an Aug. 14 meeting. Stu Stiles and Jim Hereford, de- velopers from Colbert, Wash., out- lined the project at an informational gathering, which was attended by 14 people at Memorial Hall. A request to rezone the 440 acres, currently owned by Paul and Donna Kuntz, is scheduled to be before the Stark Courtty Zoning Board at a 3 p.m. meeting on Aug. 29 at the Stark County Courthouse. The land is situated south of Highway 10 and north of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Rail- way tracks. Creating the facility would cost in excess of $40 million, according to Hereford. The site is envisioned as a place where pipe, refrigerated goods and building materials can be unloaded from the railroad, said Stiles. The land could be leased to various other businesses, with there being a range of five to about 20 tenants. "It's really a multi-use rail facility is how we're describing it," said Stiles. Australian firm Epropp Ceramics has expressed an interest in locating a proppant manufacturing plant on the land, said Stiles. Proppant is used in the completion process of fractur- ing oil wells in order to bring the wells into production. Epropp would employ about 105 people. Overall, the rail facility may employ 200, said Stiles. i strial By Richard Volesky Reporter MEDORA - Meetings regarding budgets or taxes usually are sparsely attended, but an exception was an Aug. 19 meeting here that caught the attention of taxpayers. At issue was a property tax in- crease of about 131.2 percent that was proposed by the Billings County School Board. About 50 people at- tended a hearing held at the Medora Community Center. The board ap- proved of the increase after the hear- ing. "It's severe. It's drastic," Board President Darren Baranko, referring to the tax increase, said at the hear- ing. But Baranko said an alternative scenario would be to dissolve the school district. In that case, perhaps the school district's property would be divided up among the Killdeer, Beach and Belfield school districts, but the result could be school taxes that are higher. The tax increase is the result of what school officials described as a last-minute law that was approved in the last session of the state Legislature. Some effects of the law are still yet to determined by the state's Department of Public Instruction, the spectators at the Aug. 19 meeting were told. The situation is actually the result of two laws. In counties that receive more the $5 million in oil and gas production taxes, one law decreases the allowable amount that a school district can receive, and in the case of the Billings County School Dis- trict, the change represents a de- crease of about $965,000 per year. Hub cities - Williston, Dickinson and Minot - will be benefiting from the oil revenues instead, according to information presented at the meeting. Another law says that school dis- tricts with a relatively low property tax levy, such as the Billings County School District, can increase their levy to the maximum amount allow- able in 2013 only. Districts otherwise can only raise their levies by 12 per- cent a year. The district wouldn't be able to sustain itself on 12 percent annual in- creases, which is how the figure of 131.2 percent was developed, said Tammy Simnioniw, the district's business manager. The district has a $7.1 million building fund, which can be used for items such as roof repairs and car- peting in the district's Medora and Fairfield schools, which are now 30 years old. Enrollment at the two schools includes 94 students. The Medora school is becoming short on space, while the Fairfield school could yet accommodate more stu- dents, said Simnioniw. Figures presented at the meeting show that for a home valued at $100,000, the tax rate increase would "Schools are the heart of the commu- nity ...." "It was so hard to come to this conclusion." Lynn Arthaud results in $167 more in school prop- erty taxes. For every $100,000 in agricultural land, the tax increase would be about $186. The school district also has a $3.1 million general fund balance, but that is expected to be depleted in about 18 months, and then the school dis- trict would be eligible for state foun- dation aid, which is money that the state pays per student. But also fac- tored in is that oil and gas production revenue that the school district would receive would be deducted from the state's foundation aid pay= ments. Another source of funding for the school district can be federal land utilization funds, which is money generated from the national grass- lands and paid to Billings County. The County Commission determines the amount it retains and pays out to the school district. School Board members and county commissioners last month discussed the situation. But Simnioniw said the county faces substantial demands because of the oil boom, and the school district ddesn't want c0unty~services to suf- fer due the county having provided more money to the school district. Simnioniw said one recent budget cut has been undertaken - the district cut its library service from Dickinson to every other week instead of every week. Audience member Kevin Kessel questioned whether a previous board decision on a bussing contract made financial sense. He also questioned whether students open enrolling from other districts was having a fi- nancial impact. Board President Baranko said stu- dents from outside of the district who are open enrolled have in the past helped fill classrooms, and that al- though there is a cost associated with open enrolled students, the cost isn't considered to be substantial. There seemed to be a sentiment in the audience that the problem lies with the Legislature and not the school district. Baranko said that it may be that in 2015, when the Legislature again meets, that changes can be made to alleviate the district's situation. The decision to suggest the tax in- crease wasn't easy, said Lynn Arthaud, board member. "Schools are the heart of the com- munity .... "said Arthaud. "It was so hard to come to this conclusion." TRNP to celebrate Founders Day MEDORA - The National Park parks are 'America's Best Idea' and Service will celebrate its 97th birth- were established for everyone to Dennis Beamis of Northern Plains Engineering, left, and Steve day on Sunday, Aug. 25. Entrance enjoy," said Superintendent Valerie Josephson, Stark County planner, discuss a proposed rail facil- fees will be waived at Theodore Naylor. "This is an excellent chance ity east of Belfield after an Aug. 14 meeting at Belfield Memorial Roosevelt National Park. for visitors to help us celebrate this President Woodrow Wilson legacy and take advantage of a fee Hall. (Photo by Richard Volesky) signed the legislation establishing free day in the park." Belfield Zoning Board member lem for emergency vehicles that need the National Park Service on Aug. Special guest Theodore Roo- Peggy O'Brien expressed a concern to use the crossing, he said. 25, 1916. It stated that the agency sevelt, portrayed by actor Joe Wie~ about an increase in truck traffic Hereford said the proposed facil- "...will conserve the scenery andthe gand, will call at the South Unit from the site. The intersection of ity would result in three additional natural and historic objects and wild Visitor Center from 11 a.m. until Highway 10 and Highway 85 at trains through the area per week. life therein, and to provide for the en- 1:30 p.m. to chat with visitors. Re- Belfield is "already challenging," Resident Curt Buckman also ex-joyment of the same in such manner freshments will be served throughout said O'Brien. pressed a concern about traffic, and by such means as will leave the day in the North and South unit Similarly, South Heart Mayor Truck traffic and agricultural traffic them unimpaired for future genera- visitor centers by the Friends of Floyd Hurt said he wondered about with farm equipment can make for a tions." Theodore Roosevelt National Park. increased train traffic, which would difficult mix, he said. "That was the Today, the national park system is Ranger-led interpretive programs affect the railroad crossing in South last safe road we have," said Buck- comprised of 401 units and over 84 will be offered in the park's North Heart. More trains could pose a prob- man. million acres of lands. "National and South units. Practice Farm Year Lon Agriculture is the second most dangerous occupation in the U.S. Each year, nearly 1,000 people lose their lives and over 300, 000 are injured in farm accidents. Tractor-related injuries account for more than half of all farm fatalities. Be alert! Remember to practice Farm Safety all year long. Beach 872-4444 Golva 872-3656 Medora 623-5000 24 hr. ATM in Beach & Medora lobby Medora Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m We now offer Internet banking] www.fsbofgolva.com Member FDIC