Mandan News

Vern Davis: Recovery work underway at parks

I know a lot of people are weary of the news and views of the flood damage that has happened throughout the region, but I feel I must update you on the situation in Morton County parks.

We were finally able to get into Graner Park on Aug. 30. The place is a total mess, but not all is lost; on the 30th the North Dakota Game and Fish Department sent a machine to Graner and put it to work clearing debris off the paved road and parking lot next to the boat ramp. As of Sept. 7, the parking lot was mostly clear except for the resident rockpiles waiting to be put in the new ramp project. In addition, there is a huge pile of sand on the upstream side of the parking lot that will eventually find a new home.

The good news is the boat ramp is open for business! The boat dock is in place, but the T-shaped floating dock will not be put in for now. By the time you read this, the “necessary facility” will have all the sand shoveled out and will be pumped and power-washed.

There will not be any electricity, so no fish cleaning station will be available, nor will there be any camping this fall.

There is a huge amount of floating debris that must be removed and the sand is 2 to 3 feet deep in places. The way it looks, we will have to get a contractor to move the sand around. I feel that quite a bit will be used to fill holes and channels that were washed out in the park.

Taking out the dead trees will be a huge project. There are many that fell over during the flooding and a lot that floated downriver. As soon as it dries out, we will start to cut and move them.

Most of the electrical boxes were flooded, so they will have to be replaced as well. Right now, Tim is saying he “hopes” we will have the west half of the park up and running by the Fourth of July next year. I sure hope he is right!

The Little Heart/Schmidt Bottoms boat ramp will be in fairly good shape (my opinion, but that is no Guarantee). The road east of the Little Heart ramp is gone. No use to even try to go east from there!

The Fort Rice Recreation Area is in good shape. There was excellent fishing for two or three weeks but it has slacked off. Reports were that the fish maybe moved north, so is Graner going to be hot? Who knows?

That’s about it from my point of view. All we can do is hope for the best in the future.

So long until next month.

Trash is waiting to be removed from Graner Park. Submitted photo