Mandan News

Vern Davis: Work continues on Graner Park

Hello from Morton County Parks.

By the time you read this, we will be in a semi-shut down mode for the season. By that I mean we will have turned off the water and electricity at the Fort Rice Campground and Recreation Area. We will have “winterized” the systems. This will be done Oct. 11 or 12, which is approximately a week later than last year. With the pleasant weather we have had, we were able to make the extension of a week.

By this time, Glen and Gloria Finck who were the caretakers at Graner before the flood and moved to Fort Rice Campground during and after will have bid us farewell for the year and headed to Arizona for the winter. We appreciate all the work they have done during a very trying camping season and hope to see them back here in late April or early May of 2012.

Now a little of what I know about Graner Park. We have been working with the people from FEMA and they have been very helpful in setting up the requirements of things to be done and in what order they need to be done. Without their help, we – the park employees and I – would have been in the wilderness not knowing what had to be done and when.

For instance, the crew took down and piled the trees that were fallen or looked like they could go at any time in the section of the park with electricity. This is a major safety issue because there have been quite a few people launching boats at the ramp. There have also been a few people coming down in motor homes and staying over to do a little shore fishing. Don’t get me wrong, there is no water or electricity on at the parks, and probably will not be until next summer.

We have closed off the part of the park from the boat ramp and all the rest of the way downstream with orange fence because of downed trees and washouts, some of which are 4 or 5 feet deep and wide.

There will be a huge amount of sand and silt to be moved, but hopefully we can have that piled just a short distance from where it was deposited. This is because there has never been a 100-year flood plain line drawn because there are no homes in the area.

All in all, I think with the help of FEMA and other agencies like what has already been done by North Dakota Game and Fish, Graner Park will rise up again and be a viable recreation area. It will take time but I feel that we will “Git’er done!”

See you hopefully on time next month.