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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • City recognizes volunteers’ contribution to the community

  • At the outset of Monday’s Devils Lake City Commission meeting Mayor Dick Johnson signed a proclamation recognizing how valuable to the city are volunteer programs like RSVP and the Amachi mentoring program.
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  • At the outset of Monday’s Devils Lake City Commission meeting Mayor Dick Johnson signed a proclamation recognizing how valuable to the city are volunteer programs like RSVP and the Amachi mentoring program.
    “Volunteers logged over 40,000 hours of service in our community last year,” Johnson pointed out.
    “Where would we be without their contribution and commitment?”
    The Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service fell earlier this month on April 9 and he invited Amy Heilman and Diane Hill from the Volunteer Center to attend Monday’s meeting and witness his signing of a proclamation thanking them and the many volunteers who help in so many ways to make our community a great place to live and work.
    That completed, he also signed a second proclamation recognizing Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
    Then it was time for visitors or delegations to come before the commission.
    First up was Jimmie Robinson who had earlier  been denied a taxicab driver’s license. Robinson came before the commission Monday to appeal that denial, claiming that he had no infractions for several years and that his past criminal history should not keep him from being able to drive a cab.
    Devils Lake Police Chief Keith Schroeder did not agree and provided Robinson’s records for the commission to review.
    Following both presentations and a rebuttal from Robinson, the mayor called the question three times, “Do I have a motion from the commission regarding this appeal?” No motion was forthcoming, the commission had sided with the chief’s decision and the denial of the license will stand.
    Second, the commission discussed a problem with speeding in a residential area. Schroeder explained that he and his officers have stepped up enforcement and presence in that neighborhood and said that only one vehicle passed them by that could have been cited. He promised to keep and eye on the situation and asked the residents to document what they were witnessing.
    Next it was Mack Traynor from Ultra Green who stepped up to the podium and  gave an update to the commission about what was happening with the company.
    He said, “We are six months behind,” explaining that the building they’d secured needed far more work than they’d anticipated. He said the fiber molding equipment had arrived today [Monday] and that more would be coming this week. He stated that it was his opinion that the first plate would be off the line sometime in June, but they were already manufacturing the plastic covers.
    He introduced two of the plant’s managers who accompanied him to Monday’s  meeting, one was a man who had been imported from Spain because of his expertise in wheat straw pulping.
    Page 2 of 2 - Traynor said they would be hiring 80 to 90 people before the end of the year and that they already had on file over 160 applications without officially advertising for openings. He was optimistic about the potential of the factory as they begin to produce in spite of these early set backs.
    Chris Schilken gave an update on the proposed community/convention center.
    BCI agent Travis Zahn gave a presentation that made the case for an additional BCI agent to work drug investigations in the area. This shared position would be partially funded through a grant that Zahn was going to apply for. The city said they would look at what they could contribute come budget time. The position would begin in the 2014 fiscal year and be shared with several counties and the city of Devils Lake.
    Two special meetings of the commission were set. The first will be Thursday at noon to expedite the development of a hotel coming to town. The second at noon on May 22 as a tax equalization meeting for the city.

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