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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
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February 24, 2019     Sidney Herald
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February 24, 2019
 

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I SUNDAY, FEB. 24, 2019 Around our area City, county officials concerned about possible funding legislation BY Bill. VANDIR WEEK SlDNEY HERALD Proposed legislation and current bills were among the topics when the Montana Associa- tion of Counties held its mid-winter conference in Helena last week. One concern for area county and city officials was hearing about an in- terim study that permits taking state entitlements from counties and cities in order to decrease the Office of Public Defend~ er‘s more than $7 million of overspending. “It’s basically to study and get input,” Richland County Commissioner Shane Gorder said of the proposal’s current status. “i feel the timing was great when they chose to have the study because of MACo and the League of Cities be— ing there.” Gorder said it’s not out of the question that the idea might become a bill by the end of this Mon— tana Legislative session. “Both MACo and the League of Cities took a strong stance against it,” Gorder said. City of Sidney’s clerk and treasurer Jessica Redfield noted, “The City of Sidney strongly opposes the use of the State Entitlement Share for local governments for anything other than the discretionary use by those local governments. This is local government money from gambling fees, license fees, alcohol license fees, and other items to be used by them for their costs of courts, police, fire, and many more.” Redfield added, “If the public defenders’ costs are increasing, isn’t it safe for the State to as- sume our court and pub- lic safety costs are in- creasing also? The State of Montana receives portions of fines and forfeitures, along with many other revenues, to offset these costs. Local governments are not allowed to increase or create new revenues for such items. Local governments have had to tighten their belts, make cuts, tighten procedures, and live within what little revenues they are allowed to have for public safety. and maybe the State needs to look at doing the same before robbing us.” Richland County commissioners were also busy testifying in favor of House Bill 124 that would allow county commissioners to lift agricultural covenants in certain situations. Gorder said the bill would allow the soon ties to have more control and will be more cost efficient. “We testified on that,” Gorder said. “It went well.” Richland County Clerk and Recorder Stephanie Verhasselt was pleased that Senate Bill 162 passed through commit- tee during the week and the Senate this week. Verhasselt explained the bill would allow election administrators to start counting ballots the day prior to the election. The early count, however, won’t be made public prior to polls being closed. “That will help the extra big counties,” Verhassel‘t explained. Gorder noted that the week also included county officials hearing from DEQ and DNRC as well as MACo‘s general counsel. Other speakers includ- ed Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, Attorney General Tim Fox and state budget director Tom Livers. MDU: DECISION COULD IMPACT AREA SCHOOL“ non PAGEl that receives such funds. Without the coal mine, Savage’s school may be forced to cut staff and increase mill levies. MDU also plans to close the coal-fired portion of the Heskett Station in Mandan, N.D., around the end of 2021. The analysis done while preparing the integrated resource plan (IRP), which MDU puts together every two years and files with regulatory commissions, points to the retirement of two ag- ing coal-fired plants and the construction of the natural. gas combustion turbine. Low-cost power available on the market, due to low-cost natural gas and increasing wind resources, as well as rising costs to operate these facilities, led to the decision to retire the coal plants. Montana-Dakota on r- rently employs 77 people between the two coal stations. Once the units are no longer in opera- tion, Montana-Dakota estimates appmximately 10 employees will be needed to operate the two natural gas-fired combustion turbine units at Heskett and the two natural gas—fired reciprocating internal combustion engines at Lewis & Clark. A plan is in place intended to maintain staff until the plant retirements, and the company will offer training for employees who wish to fill open positions in other areas of the company. Mark Hanson, senior public relations rep- resentative for MDU, said, the company has begun the development process to construct an Bamegawatt simple- cycle peaking unit at the Heskett Station site, and anticipates submitting an advance determina— tion of prudence request with the North Dakota Public Service Commis- sion this fall. The new generation resource was selected as part of Montana-Dako- ta’s IRP. The company believes a second com- bustion turbine at Hes- kett will be costaeffective because the site has existing infrastructure and natural gas supply that serves an existing combustion unit that went online in 2014. “Our main objective is to provide our customers with safe, reliable and lowcost service,” said Nicole Kivisto, president and CEO of Montana—Da- kota, in a press release. “The IRP process helps guide us in making decisions to meet those objectives. Heskett and Lewis & Clark have met that objective for many years, but our analysis is showing those units are no longer cost competi- tive for our customers.” Hansen said ttotal cost of building and operat- ing a new simple—cycle combustion turbine. coupled with market purchases, is expected to be about half the, total cost of continuing to run the Heskett and Lewis & Clark coal-fired units. “The plants have served our customers well, providing low—cost energy for many years. operating roughly twice as long as expected when they were constructed in the mid-19505 and early 19605.” Kivisto said. “The age of the plants, lowcost competition on the market, and the on- going cost to operate the plants all have contrib— uted to the plants being too expensive to operate much longer.” Montana-Dakota has conducted an IRP for Booth 39m Prime. Party $39 . Double, Spain. or ‘ Barium 3:30 mam W lllllllll lllli till! it lllilllll Bl lllllll is a way to consider all resource options reason- ably available to meet the end-use customer’s demand for reliable and cost-effective energy, and provide a road map for Montana—Dakota’s future resources. The IRP process includes four areas: Load forecasting, demand-side analysis, supply-side analysis, and integration and risk analysis. Montana-Dakota feels customers also have benefited from low-cost energy available on the M130 market and the long—range forecast calls for similar savings in fu- ture years. MISO, or the Midcontinent Indepen— dent System Operator, is a not-forprofit member based organization that ensures reliable, least- cost delivery of electric- ity across all or parts of 15 US. states and one Canadian province. In cooperation with stake holders, MISO manages approximately 65,000 miles of high-voltage transmission and 200,000 MW of power—generating resources across its footprint. usual "MG- FFA week SIDNEY HERALD NICOLE LUClNA SIDNEY HERALD Sidney Mayor Rick Norby signs a proclamation for National FFA Week as Sidney High School FFA members Cole Roberts and Emma Torgorson look on. New indoor garage sale gaining interest in area BY NICOLE LUClllA SIDNEY HERAiD For the first time ever, the Sidney Herald will host an indoor garage sale, on March 30, from 9 am. to 3 pm. at St. Matw thew’s multipurpose center in the Ned Shin- nick Hall and gym. There will be more than 40 vendors with 29 already signed up for the day Entry fee will be $1 per person. All proceeds will go toward the News papers In Education lNlE] program. Tentativer Macho Si will provide food for the event. If they aren’t available to provide food, then hot dogs and pop will be available for purchase. Vendors will be able to get in and start setting up at 7 am. and will need to be torn down by 5 pm. Booth rentals cost $20 for one or $35 for two and are a 10x10 area. Sidney Herald Pub- lisher Kelly Miller said, “It’ll be good to get out and walk around and be warm. It’s going to be fun and it’s for charity” There will be a huge variety of items in- cluding antiques, kids clothes, furniture, paintings, body care products, jewelry, hand- madethings and much more. The event will also feature a few local bou- tiques as well as some direct sellers. There will be some tables available for vendors to use, but if you have your own it’s recommended to bring them. OL SAVINGS! Montana’s Brawl ol' Banking lv‘lft‘ll’ll’ll'tl Fii‘lc l l‘l’l.illl“il'€l1-{jll":let ; ll Month Flex CID-Annual percentage yield accurate (APY) as of l/22/20l9. Non-institutional funds only. Opening ; balance minimum of $500.00. You must maintain a positive balariCe in the account each day to obtain the disclosed ADV. You may make unlimited deposits, minimum of $250 each during the initial term until 14 calendar days prior to maturity date or until the balance of your atcount reaches $300,000.00. Penalty may be imposed for early ? withdrawal. Automatically renews to a lZAmonth Term CD. You will have 10 calendar days after the maturity date to District 4 -,— Circle (485), Lambert (774), Lindsay (584) and South Wolf Point (525) District 5 - Bloomfield (583), E Fairview (844), Falrvlew (742), Richey (773), Savage (776) and District 6 - Sidney (433, 488, 798) and West Sidney (798) change terms or withdraw funds Without! penalty. scockman Bank, proudly servlng our neighbors for over 65 years! Candidates Sought. for Trustee Election at May 301i!l Annual Meeting Candidates are being sought for the election of Trustees for Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative, lnc., Which will take place on Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Circle, MT. Nominations made by petition must be received by 5:00 pm. on March 31, 2019, to be included on the official ballot and have a candidate profile in the Annual Report which is mailed to all active members. All petitions must be received by 5:00 pm. on April 30, 2019. Petitions may be obtained from your local Mld-RlversOffice or by calling Mid-Rivers at 1-800-452—2288 and returned to your local office or mailed to Mid—Rivers Telephone Cooperative, lnc., PO Box 280, Circle MT 59215. Candidates must be a member of Mid-Rivers Telephone Cooperative, lnc., and maintain residence in the district where the candidate seeks election. Nominations for trustee candidates can be made by petition from members, or from the floor at the Annual Meeting. The districts up for election are: ‘ w Glendive (687) um Mid-Rivers