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Betsy Simon, Forum Communications, Published October 20 2012

Dunn County mulls roads agreement

MANNING, N.D. – Put it back where and how you found it when you’re finished.

Just like parents often tell their children, Dunn County road superintendent Mike Zimmerman asked the County Commission at its meeting Wednesday to consider putting the same lesson into action with oil companies by having them sign an agreement saying they will restore the roads to the condition the companies found them in.

“I’ve got to keep after them, day after day,” he said. “Something has to be done eventually since many pits are coming in into the county.”

Zimmerman said is it imperative that the main roads are restored to better condition before winter sets in.

“If we don’t do that and people drive on the roads all winter, we are going to have a problem,” he said.

Commissioner Tim Steffan suggested that the roads most in need of repair might be best served if they were restricted, in order to prevent the roads from being overused.

Zimmerman added that it might be a good idea to require companies to have a dust control plan.

But enforcement of any new regulations could pose a problem, Commissioner Daryl Dukart reminded the other commissioners.

“To go back and pick up old road issues and ask companies to fix them would be hard, but these companies are making some heavy incomes and could afford to keep the roads in good condition,” he said. “I have visited with someone from Mountrail before, and they suggested that taxing or making the companies sign an agreement could help the road situation.”

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Betsy Simon writes for The Dickinson Press