Local water projects awarded state funds

Two area rural water projects and a Ward County drainage project received additional funding from the North Dakota State Water Commission Thursday.

The water commission approved spending another $191,940 to assist with a drainage project to benefit Ward County Road 18.

Ward County highway engineer Dana Larsen said the county requested additional funds due to an increase in costs. With the new funding, the total state commitment is $235,208 or 45 percent of the eligible costs. The project, estimated to cost $845,000, will be bid as soon as all property easements are obtained.

Ward County Road 18 runs east and west about 10 miles south of Minot, or about four miles north of South Prairie School. The problem area is located about 12 miles west of U.S. Highway 83. The county raised the road four feet in 2010 only to have it go under five feet of water in 2011. It has been closed since, and water continues to rise, Larsen said.

North Central Rural Water Consortium was awarded additional funding from the water commission to advance rural water projects in Ward and McHenry counties.

The commission approved another 75 percent cost share on the Carpio/Berthold Phase II project, or up to $1.1 million. The money is in addition to $1.95 million previously approved by the commission. The consortium requested additional money because the number of customers signed up has increased from 88 to 160, said Teresa Sundsbak, manager of North Prairie Rural Water District, which is part of the consortium.

Phase II includes 82 miles of pipeline and carries a total cost of just over $4 million. It would serve northwestern Ward County from Des Lacs to Carpio, including Foxholm and residences on the south side of the highway at Donnybrook.

Phase I and Phase II together are expected to bring rural water to about 350 customers. Phase I involved 140 miles of pipeline serving customers in Carpio and south and northeast of Berthold.

The water commission granted the consortium $4.8 million to continue work on a rural water project to serve the Granville, Surrey and Deering areas. The commission previously had awarded $180,000 toward $240,000 in design and study costs on the project, estimated to fully cost more than $7.6 million. The project will serve 191 rural water users and 69 users in Deering.

The commission also gave the City of Minot permission to extend home buyout offers to more homeowners in the flood protection plan footprint. The state previously had approved funding to purchase houses listed in the latest buyout round. The recent action by the commission allows the city to move on to additional houses if some of the homeowners on that list decline to sell.