« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Lauren Donovan, The Bismarck Tribune, Published October 27 2013

Tiny Amidon building on: Several projects planned for smallest county seat

AMIDON, N.D. - Anna and Travis Allard had a hole where an old house once stood in Amidon, so they decided to fill it with a new opportunity.

In fact, North Dakota’s smallest county seat community will soon see several “holes” that will mark progress in the town over the next several months.

The Allards, who purchased property to build campgrounds and cabin rental in Amidon, are just weeks away from opening a new underground bar they’re calling Mo’s Bunker Bar of Amidon at the same location.

They’re building on the site of an old house that was too far gone to save, and decided that building a basement-style bar would be a practical and cheaper way to use the space.

Anna Allard said they’re hoping to have the bar open in time for deer hunting season, making it the first time in five years or so that the town’s had a watering hole. It’s been without one since the popular Georgia and the Owl steakhouse on Highway 85 closed for business.

The bar won’t be completely underground. Patrons will be able to wander back upstairs to a large, windowed indoor patio area for an outside view of Amidon.

Allard said the plan is to use the large lot, also, for an outdoor games area.

“I think it’ll be fun for people in the community. There’s no real gathering place to hang out,”

she said.

She said the Bunker will be open evenings to start.

There’s construction activity on the other end of the highway in town, also.

The city of Amidon recently awarded an $86,000 bid to Woodley’s Construction, of Bowman, to build a city hall.

Mayor Jerry Erickson said the 40- by 80-foot building will house the city’s equipment and storage, a city meeting room and serve as a tourism information stop.

He said the city plans to hire seasonal help to acquaint visitors with the many area attractions, which include the south extension of the Maah Daah Hey Trail, the highest point in North Dakota on White Butte, and the nearby Badlands and Burning Coal Vein Campground area.

“There are a number of things that we can promote from here,” Erickson said.

In between the two locations will be the biggest construction project to ever occur in Amidon.

The Slope County Commission awarded an approximate $4 million bid for construction of a new courthouse.

Auditor Lorrie Buzalsky said the plan – pending weather – is to start construction this fall, with occupancy scheduled for 2014.

The new courthouse will be built in front of the existing courthouse, which is the last remaining wood frame courthouse in North Dakota.

Buzalsky said it’s likely the old courthouse will be demolished, unless someone wants to tackle moving the structure.