Nodak Electric Cooperative has suddenly reappeared in the Devils Lake power conversation as they and Ottertail Power Company plan to work out a service agreement.
The Devils Lake City Commission revisited a bit of old business on Monday night, including the decision on whether or not to grant Nodak Electric Cooperative a limited franchise agreement in Devils Lake.
The Commission visited the issue in August, and initially, the proposal made by Nodak was not approved, effectively making Ottertail Power Company the only supplier in town. However, it seems that since that time, Nodak has come to power certain buildings and facilities in Devils Lake, including the Elks building and the Devils Lake Regional Airport, something that the Commission was unaware of, and it’s something that commissioners still don’t quite understand how it came to be.
Nevertheless, it was discussed and decided on Monday night that both Nodak and Ottertail were to meet among themselves, discuss the parameters of an agreement between the two companies, and come back to the Commission with a proposed service agreement, one that would draw lines as to where Nodak would supply power and where Ottertail would.
“We don’t know how it actually happened, because there’s no history for us to look back on. That’s what has put us in a bind here,” Mayor Richard Johnson said. “So, in order for it all to be formalized and legal, the commission needs to be involved in that agreement between Nodak and Ottertail.”
Nodak is hoping that a new agreement with Ottertail would include their overseeing possible expansion areas in town, including the new industrial park and also for the new developments popping up on the east side of town. The Journal will have more details to follow on this ongoing dilemma once these two companies have decided on an agreement and are ready to present it to the Commission.
In other news, the Commission also granted $5,000 from the city’s infrastructure fund to the Devils Lake Kids childcare center in response to their growing list of maintenance projects, which include improvements on tiles, light fixtures, window screens, the center’s heating system and even the functionality of the front door.
The center, which has recently inherited new leadership with directors Lisa Grafsgaard and Jen Eback, and it seems like things are moving in the right direction for this childcare facility, a place that has potential to become a successful resource for Devils Lake families.
“When people move, a lot of times their first two questions are: ‘Where is housing?’ and ‘Where is childcare?’” Johnson said. “Everyone needs childcare, and that not the case just here in Devils Lake. It’s all over.
“That’s why we felt we had to get some money into it, because you can’t have cold rooms and rough tiles. Having things like that doesn’t represent the community very well.”
Finally, the Devils Lake Fire Department will lead a public meeting for the town’s landlords at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5 to discuss the fire inspection process and to answer any questions that landlords might have about that.