Mandan News

Morton orders action on Fort Rice building

By LeAnn Eckroth
Lee News

Morton County commissioners on Tuesday again attempted to clamp down on Fort Rice property owners who have neglected a steel storage building because commissioners say loose metal flying off it has become a safety risk.

County Building Inspector Tom Liebel was ordered to send Cendak Development Corporation properties and its listed company official Ivan Gange a letter ordering that all the metal be stripped from the building.

County Engineer Mike Aubol was directed to hire a surveyor for the building to determine whether it sits beyond Cendak’s property lines as the county claims and violates setback standards on N.D. Highway 1806.

The survey was requested after Ben Pulkrabek, attorney for Cendak and Gange, argued with commissioners for an hour that the county could not prove that part of the building was off the Cendak property. He suggested a surveyor, but county commissioners asked that Aubol choose one instead.

Neighbors have been complaining about the poor conditions of the property for six to eight years, said Bruce Strinden, county commission chairman. Custer Health District had ordered junk cars and trash be cleaned up, and county officials confirmed Cendak and Gange have complied with that.

Neighbors of the Cendak property said they have cleaned the property up themselves to prevent mice, skunks and other vermin from occupying the building’s grounds, but believe animals are using the open building anyway.

Strinden expects if Cendak and Gange don’t like the findings of the county survey, they will do their own survey. He said it will give the county a paper trail if the issue goes to district court.

He said it was State’s Attorney Allen Koppy’s decision whether the county takes criminal or civil action on the case.