Mandan News

Vern Davis: Rains delay parks schedule

Hello from Morton County Parks.

This column is a week behind schedule, just like everything else in the parks.

Due to the rain, in excess in some areas (yes I know, I’ve been taught to never, never complain when it rains in North Dakota) we are a week or so behind in our mowing. The parks barely were finished for the Memorial Day weekend and our guys never got to the cemeteries. We sincerely apologize for that, but it just couldn’t get done.

In addition to the rain, we had belt problems that have never happened before, like all three drive belts on the mower getting chewed up at once. Then you have to take about half of the mower deck apart to replace one belt, let alone three. It wasn’t a fun couple of days.

Then it was time for the old dog – me – to teach the younger one a new trick. Tim was getting all the water turned on at Fort Rice Campground when I received a call from him: “Vern, do you know how to solder pipes?” “Well, of course I do, don’t you?” This I gave a lesson in putting a new section of pipe in the camper dump station, which hadn’t drained all the way down last fall. We turned the water back on and farther along, another shower. It seems like everything was against us. A quick trip back to town for a broken brass faucet and another hour reassembling the unit – we had our plumbing done. Think again Charlie – now one of the toilets wouldn’t flush – that had to be fixed by a real plumber because we didn’t know how these units worked. Well, Fort Rice is taken care of.

Next – people were getting shocks when they used the fish cleaning station at Graner Park. Tim and I don’t do electric problems – it scares me. Problem: the grinder in the unit had the bearings go out and the 220 volt electric motor was grounding out. Fix? Put in a new spare grinder and rebuild the old one. Well, this isn’t cheap folks – new grinders are about $2,700 and a rebuilt on the old one will be about $1,200.

That was a real problem, and luckily we had a spare grinder. From what I hear, the walleye fishing in May was great. The Bis-Man Reel and Rec walleye tournament was a huge success according to reports I received, so the cleaning stations are needed.

Then last week, the strong winds over powered us. The boat dock at Harmon Lake was literally blown 90 degrees off center. Ever see a guy in 47 degrees water with hip boots full of water trying to put a chain on a boat dock in the mud? Tim bought hip boots instead of waders. The floating fishing pier at Fish Creek was blown off the bank and in to the water, that should be back in place this week. The Missouri River came up at Little Heart – had to pull it out a ways.

This was a May to FORGET. Hope we have a better June – see you here next month.