- Associated Press - Monday, December 8, 2014

MANNING, N.D. (AP) - Dunn County officials are exploring whether it’s feasible to pave the gravel streets in the county seat of Manning.

The estimated price tag is $8.1 million, and the County Commission hasn’t discussed how the work would be financed, County Auditor Tracey Dolezal told The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1qjRlsu ).

The oil-patch county has oversight because Manning is not incorporated. Dunn County has a cash reserve of $24 million, but it also has $54 million in projects on the drawing board, she said. It’s hoping to get tens of millions of dollars from the state Legislature next year to help address the impacts of the oil boom.

Manning hasn’t had any infrastructure upgrades except rural water since it was established in 1908. Resident Emanuel Stroh is pushing for paved streets, curbs and gutters, as well as storm sewers for the town of about 125 people.

“I just felt with all the oil revenue, since this is our county seat, it’s time to do something with our streets in town,” he said. Because there is no drainage system in place, streets can become a “soft, muddy mess,” he said.

Resident Jessica Kirchoffner said she worries about her taxes possibly going up, but likes the idea of paved streets.

“Our streets are so low, it’s awful, really muddy,” she said. “I’d love if there was no dirt and dust and I had a clean vehicle.”

The County Commission hired an engineering firm to study the proposal and has scheduled a public meeting Dec. 16.

“Hopefully, we can decide which way to go,” Stroh said.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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