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Investing in water

By Keith Norman Jamestown Sun

Water and economic development organizations in Stutsman County are investing $210,000 in the planning and development of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project. A recommendation to fund $154,000 through the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. passed the JSDC Board of Directors Monday.

The money will be combined with $56,000 pledged for the project by the Stutsman Rural Water District.

The investment is based on a community request for 15 cfs of water supply from the pipeline for industrial use in Stutsman County. The developers of the water project are requiring an investment for project planning of $14,000 per cfs of water reserved from the project or a total of $210,000.

Steve Burian, project engineer for AE2S Engineering, said the total planning cost is about $14 million with 90 percent of the costs covered by an appropriation from the North Dakota Legislature. The remaining $1.4 million in planning costs will be spread among communities seeking to benefit from the water based on the amount of water each community reserves in the system.

Current plans for the Red River Valley Water Supply Project call for a pipeline to carry water from the Missouri River at Watford City to Baldhill Creek or the Sheyenne River above the Baldhill Dam north of Valley City. From there, the water would flow through the Sheyenne to Fargo and the Red River.

A separate branch from the main pipeline would carry water from the Glenfield, N.D., area to Spiritwood in Stutsman County for industrial use.

Community planners along the water pipelines were encouraged to plan water usage needs through 2075, Burian said.

“You’re buying space in the design,” said Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen, a member of the JSDC Board. “If you buy too little you have to redesign or the water won’t be there when you need it.”

The current investment by Stutsman Rural Water District and the JSDC covers planning costs through June 2017. At that time, organizations involved with the project will be asked to refine their water needs and commit to a definite water capacity which will become the basis for their project and operational costs.

In other business, the JSDC approved a $50,000 grant to Spiritwood Ingredients contingent on the company receiving a $150,000 grant from the Agricultural Products Utilization Commission.

Todd Hylden, president of Spiritwood Ingredients, said the money would be used to do large-scale testing of the stripping process used to remove the protein from high-protein barley for use as a commercial fish food.

The remaining components of the barley would be processed by Dakota Spirit AgEnergy into ethanol.

Hylden said the high-protein barley is often rejected by malt plants, but is useful for the production of fish food, which could then be marketed to fish farms in the United States and abroad. The plant would ultimately purchase 5 million bushels of barley and produce about 25,000 tons of fish feed and 10 million to 12 million gallons of ethanol per year.

“If all goes to plan we could start construction late this fall,” Hylden said. “Construction would take about one year.”

The JSDC Board of Directors also approved a $75,000 grant for the Jamestown Tourism Board for funding local events and projects. Jamestown Tourism uses funds from restaurant and lodging tax collection to match the grant. The funds are then used for grants to event organizers and projects related to tourism in Jamestown.

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