Barnes County drain dispute puts board members at oddsBarnes County (WDAY TV) - A dispute over a drain in Barnes County is pitting members of the Water Resource Board against each other..
Barnes County (WDAY TV) - A dispute over a drain in Barnes County is pitting members of the Water Resource Board against each other.
The project went over budget, and now the county is left wondering who will foot the bills -- the water resource board, or an individual member with land by the drain.
This is the drain dividing the Barnes County Water Resource Board. The dispute started over a project to clean out cat-tails blocking the drain.
Duane Lettenmaier - Barnes County Water Resource Board: "If you don't clean a drain it just gets worse and worse and the water keeps backing up."
The Water Board says that $10,000 was set aside to clear the drain. It's the cost over that that concerns them. Lettenmaier says he would've taken care of what went over budget because it benefits him.
Duane Lettenmaier: " 'm affected personally, naturally, with my real estate being right there. "
However, Lettenmaier says now, he's not reaping the benefits.
Duane Lettenmaier: "They've terminated the project as of last meeting. I was paying up until that point."
Pat Hurley - Barnes County Water Resource Board: "We got a call from Lake View excavating saying there was another $22,500 with the bill and it caught us way out guard. We had no idea they were out there."
Water Resource Board member Pat Hurley says the project wasn't approved to go over-budget, yet clean-up kept going. The board's required to take certain steps with high-cost projects.
Pat Hurley: "We are dealing with tax payers money. It's a different story."
Things are getting even more heated.
Pat Hurley: "During the meetings I asked him to resign."
Yet Lettenmaier says the project didn't go further than what was discussed.
Duane Lettenmaier: "From the get-go, it was to extend the drain and get this whole thing solved."
Lettenmaier says he could be cut from the board during a hearing with the Barnes County Commission next month.
Lettenmaier says the commission meeting is on Tuesday, August 7th at 1 PM.