“You never miss the water till the well runs dry,” the old-timers used to say, but last week in Rutland it was, “You sure miss the water when the tanks goes empty!” A water main break 1½ block west of Main Street, right in front of the Shantelle Setter residence at 211 Arthur Street, emptied the municipal water tower in about 20 minutes, at 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon of Thursday, January 4. Local plumbers Calvin Jacobson and Brandon Hogness were called to the scene and, despite arctic conditions, excavated the site and located the break. The plumbers discovered that a coupler sleeve that joined 2 lengths of 4” diameter PVC water main together had split, allowing the pipes to separate, releasing the water. Due to the heavy snow cover, the frost had only penetrated the ground over the water main a short distance, allowing the excavation to proceed at a faster pace than would normally be expected at this time of year. Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Hogness had the repairs completed and water service restored to the community by 10:00 o’clock on Thursday evening. Calvin states that he doesn’t mind repairing winter time water main breaks any more, particularly if Brandon is down in the trench and Calvin is in the cab of the backhoe. Rank still has some privileges.
Pastor Katy Jerabek traveled to Texas for a family gathering during the post-Christmas week. She departed on Sunday, Dec. 27, following services at the Nordland and Trinity congregations in Rutland and Havana. She reports a very enjoyable time.
Rutland has another new resident. Gerald Leland Erickson was born to Shantelle Setter and Adam Erickson at a Fargo hospital on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. “Jerry Lee” is residing at 211 Arthur Street with his parents. He does not yet play rock & roll on the piano while standing up and dancing, in the manner of his namesake, Jerry Lee Lewis, but give him time. Welcome to Rutland Jerry Lee, and congratulations to Shantelle and Adam.
Wayne Maloney has been home since before Christmas, after completing a season of highway construction work in 2010 that concluded with a blacktop paving job near Barnesville, Minnesota. Wayne has been employed by Central Specialities of Alexandria MN, a company that has handled several Sargent County paving projects in recent years. Wayne states that Central Specialities has several projects in both North Dakota and Minnesota that are set to commence as soon as conditions permit this Spring. At the present time it is unlikely that work will begin before mid-April, Wayne states, and possibly even later in those areas in which wet conditions will keep the roads soft and load limits on for a longer period. In the meantime, Wayne is enjoying the snows of Winter with the rest of us.
Carpenters and electricians have been at work at the home of Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke this week, doing some remodeling and rewiring in the living room of the house at 318 First Street. John Buskohl and Jason Lehman are doing the carpentry, and the electrical work is being completed by Harvey Kleingarn and Mike Nadler.
Snow buildup on rooves is becoming a concern as this Winter progresses with no let up in the onslaught of snow. Jim Brown has been in the roof snow removal business this Winter, and has already taken care of several snow loads on community residences. Anyone who is in need of Jim’s roof snow removal services can contact him at 724-3821. There is an unwritten rule holding that anyone over the age of 50 should not go up on anything that is higher than they are tall. It’s not the height that’s the problem. It’s not even the fall from the roof. It’s the sudden stop at the end of the fall that requires more recuperation time after 50. Be safe. Let your checkbook do the work.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 10, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Narum, Auditor Hoistad and Aldermen Christianson, Mahrer and Siemieniewski present. Alderman Lary Arneson was absent. Also present were Deborah Banish and Bill Anderson. The financial report showed all funds in the black. Mayor Narum reported that a New 2011 Bobcat skid-steer loader is now scheduled for delivery to the City in March or April. The original schedule called for delivery of the new machine in January, but production at the Bobcat plant is not keeping up with demand, necessitating the delay in delivery. The City’s current 2010 Bobcat is already sold, and will be delivered to the new owner as soon as the new Bobcat is received. It was decided to advertise the 1997 8’ Lorenz snowblower for sale, with the price set at $2,500.00. The snowblower has not been used since the City acquired its first Bobcat several years ago. The Council reviewed the schedule of fees for Town Hall Rent, work performed with City equipment, building permits and licenses. Town Hall rental rates received some minor adjustments. The fees for municipal liquor, beer & wine licenses will be compared to the fees charged by other communities in Sargent County and reviewed at the February meeting. The Council read a letter from Lake Agassiz concerning the $45,000.00 Town Hall Accessibility Grant that was approved in 2010. According to Lake Agassiz, a contract for the work must be in place before the end of the month, or the grant will have to be returned. Bert Siemieniewski reported that she is trying to coordinate all of the sources of funding to get the contract in place, but getting them all to head in the same direction at the same time is much like herding chickens. Deb Banish reported on the implementation of the City’s new bookkeeping and billing programs. The February bills will be done with the new program, and will be sent out with a cover letter explaining the new format. The Council also discussed the need for new Christmas decorations for Main Street before the 2011 holiday season. The Rutland Community Club has offered to assist with the acquisition of new decorations. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council will be at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 7, in the Rutland Town Hall.
State Senator Jim Dotzenrod, D-Wyndmere, Representative Jerry Kelsh, D-Fullerton and Representative Bill Amerman D-Forman, all representing the 26th Legislative District in the 2011 session of the North Dakota State Legislature, will be hosting a Legislative Forum from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, in Rutland. The Forum will be held in the Community Room of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland station. Everyone, whatever their political persuasion, is invited to attend, says Sen. Dotzenrod. The legislators will inform the citizenry on current happenings in the Legislative Assembly and will seek input from citizens on the issues of the day.
Rutland native Shar (Breker) Spieker reports that her husband, Doug Spieker, is currently a patient at the Sanford Health Hospital, formerly Meritcare, in Fargo. Doug had knee surgery at the beginning of December and has been battling a staph infection since shortly thereafter. Doug and Shar are frequently in residence at the Breker Family Farm in Tewaukon Township, and are well known in this community. Their many friends here wish Doug a speedy recovery, and a quick return to his usual exuberant, enthusiastic and optimistic good humor.
Some upcoming events in Rutland include: the 35th annual shareholders meeting of the Rutland Community Development Corporation at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 24, at the Rutland General Store; the 16th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament commencing at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 5, in the Rutland Town Hall; American Legion pancake & sausage breakfast/brunch from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 13, in the Rutland Town Hall; Annual Valentine’s Day Gourmet Supper, reservations only, on Monday, February 14, at the Rutland General Store; Rutland Sportsmen’s Club Annual Fish Fry on Friday, March 4, in the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Community Club’s Annual Supper & Play on Saturday, March 19, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Paul & Sue Anderson arrived back in Rutland on Tuesday evening, concluding a week long round trip to Houston TX and return. The Andersons had assisted their daughter, Betsy, move to Houston, where she is now teaching at a community college. Paul reports that the temperatures in Houston rose into the 60’s during the day when they were there, but the same cold spell that is gripping the rest of the nation moved into the Houston area as they departed. He stated that roads between here and there were in generally good winter driving condition, except for the area around Wichita KS, where snow removal work was still on-going.
With the price of corn at $5.85 a bushel and soybeans bringing $14.00, high commodity prices were the primary topic at Wednesday afternoon’s Round Table discussion in the Rutland General Store. Mark Wyum stated that $14.00 beans are nice, but not for the guys who are hauling in $9.00 beans on a contract signed several months ago. Hindsight, it was agreed, is still 20/20. While the current high prices are also pushing up land values and cash rent rates, it was noted that commodity prices tend to be cyclical, with high prices invariably followed by low ones in short order. In the meantime, though, the input costs that were pushed up during periods of high prices tend to remain at their higher levels. Those farmers who have managed to be in sync with the cycle usually do all right, but those who get on the wrong side of the curve can expect tough times ahead. The trick is to get the best crystal ball available to predict the course of future trends. In Rutland, though, if you want to know what’s going to happen next week, come back in 2 weeks, and the Assembled Wise Men might have an answer for you.
Well, that’s it for this week. For more information about what’s going on in Rutland, The Little City That Can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook pages while you’re cruising the web, too. Later.