Mandan News

Vern Davis: The year that was – 2011

Hello from Morton County Parks. As the end of 2011 approaches, I must give a few thank yous for another successful year.

Without Tim, Roger, Bill, Monte and Cecelia, Morton County parks could not exist. These people work their tails off to keep the parks, trails, cemeteries and camping spaces in good shape for all to enjoy.

I must mention Glen and Gloria Finck who took care of Graner Park the last couple years, were flooded out and did an excellent job of moving to the Fort Rice Campground and taking care of things there.

Thanks Park Board – Jerry and Ray and our County Commissioners for all your help. These people are the real bosses. With their help (read dollars in the budget) we were able to get a new truck and mower, which were needed. The 2001 truck is approaching 180,000 miles so you never know when it will need major repair and time off.

Thanks to Belinda who keeps me on the straight and narrow at the office. She does my computer work when needed – which is quite often.

Of course there were a few downsides as well, I won’t go to any length about the shambles Graner Park is in, but I have had a lot of people ask when it will be up and running again. The most common thing they say is “It’s got to be rebuilt.” I sure hope so, and we’re slowly working on getting estimates for repairs.

Another downer was the large overrun for fuel that occurred in the budget. This was always a gamble, but when even a fairly higher budget item gets overrun by quite a bit – well, that’s a bummer.

With the flooding, we saw larger increase at the other parks; especially Sweetbriar and Harmon Lake. People still will camp and have a good time even without a riverside camping space.

So, I guess I may as well turn this page over on the calendar and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I know I’m OLD SCHOOL and probably wouldn’t be able to put it that way in certain circles, but this is Morton County, North Dakota, U.S.A., and last I knew, there is still free speech!

Oh yes, there is one last thank you – thank you a zillion times over goes to my bride, Beverly. She has put up with me and may shenanigans over 50 years on Dec. 27, and so I must say – how did you do it? I will always be grateful for all you have given me and done for me. Love ya.

Thanks and to all a good night!