Water high all over service area

Printed in the August 2011 issue of Dakota Valley News Magazine. by Connie Krapp

Russell Remboldt used to drive four miles into town. These days, his trip to Gackle is often 27 miles, depending on recent rains and whether County Highway 87 is under water. His jaunts to Jamestown—or anywhere else, for that matter—have become quite a journey, too, thanks to roads that have become encroached with water.

But Russell is one of the lucky ones. The road from 87 to his farm is passable. Sure, he’s had to raise it himself three times this spring—and sometimes he’s had to drive in the field to get out. But at least he can get out. For months his neighbors Gordon and Kathleen Heller couldn’t drive off their farmstead at all; they were surrounded by water that took out their road. The condition of their road isn’t unique—so many of the roads in southern Stutsman County are submerged in water that it almost takes a professional navigator to get around. And Stutsman isn’t alone. Countless North Dakota counties have water woes and submerged roads. All across the south central portion of the state—from one end of Dakota Valley Electric’s service area to the other—roads, both gravel and black top, have become impassable. Farmers have lost land and access to it; farmsteads have been inundated. Communities have occasionally lost use of their parks; golf courses have lost holes, creeks are often swollen beyond their banks; wetlands have become lakes, reservoirs are full.

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29 years of service, a lifetime of memories

 From the August 2011 issue of the Dakota Valley News Magazine. By Kirsti Craig

Former chairman of Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative’s board of directors, Tom Mund, retired from his position at the 2011 annual meeting, held on June 9 in Milnor. In honor of his 29 years of service, we asked him to reflect on his role and relationship with Dakota Valley—a history that began with a child attending cooperative meetings with his family. That little boy didn’t know at the time that he would one day become president of his rural electric cooperative board, but we’re grateful he did.

“As a kid, I remember going to the RSR Electric Cooperative annual meetings. We were always involved as a family. We knew the linemen from church and the main offices for RSR were in Milnor, North Dakota, which is and has always been my hometown. My dad ran for the board in the early 1970s and lost. We’ve just always been interested.”

Mund, standing on the far right, with the RSR board of directors.

“I decided to run when Bob Lloyd was retiring in 1982. I was 33 years old. My wife Shirley and I had two young children—Teresa was nine, Scott was five. At the time our rates had been going up significantly and varied from month to month. I was very interested because I was an irrigator and was very affected by rate changes.”

“I’ll never forget my first board meeting. I was young, eager and new, so I of course arrived early. In fact, I was the first to arrive and had my choice of seats in the board room. My back was to the door. All of a sudden, I heard a brusque, deep voice behind me. ‘Tom, you’re sitting in my chair.’ It was Armand Tiegs, a fellow board member. He had such a gruff voice, and was a good-sized man. But he was such a soft, gentle person. I quickly moved to a different seat, and never made the same mistake again.” Continue reading

Headin’ to higher ground

Printed in the August 2011 issue of Dakota Valley News Magazineby Connie Krapp

Like so many of his neighbors in the Gackle-Streeter-Cleveland area, this farmer has waged war with water for over a decade.  Though he’s put up a valiant fight, the water is winning.

Russell Remboldt says his great-grandfather was a typical German:  he built his farm by a slough.  “They came from Russia and homesteaded here,” he says.  “And they weren’t about to use up their best land for buildings.”

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