Subscribe for 33¢ / day

BISMARCK, N.D. --Bismarck City Commissioners on Tuesday added a new $20 fee for motorists who don’t properly secure garbage loads coming through the city landfill. The new fine starts June 1.

Public Works Director Jeff Heintz said the new fine is not required for heavy construction materials that are weighted down, but loose materials that can blow out must be secured and covered.

The extra fee will be charged at the scales when violators come to the landfill. Heintz said vehicles not securing the materials are being warned in the coming weeks about the change. The policy was approved in January, but commissioners decided on the fee Tuesday.

The commission also accepted a new growth management plan to prepare the city to nearly double its 61,300 population by 2040.

The purpose is to help the city in orderly growth through the next 25 years, said Bill Troe of SRF Consulting. “It doesn’t stop growth. It helps manage it,” he said.

One way to do that is for the city to invest more in how arterial and collector roads are built.

The plan showed the city could need $500 million more in new road projects, but Troe said the city wouldn’t pay for the whole cost.

Financing options are negotiating more investment from developers, raising the sales tax, increasing the mill levy of the property tax and creating a street utility fee, according to Troe. He added federal funds are decreasing to support the cities on the road projects.

Bismarck resident Robert Verke didn’t favor any new taxes for development outside city limits. ”That’s way too much tax on citizens when it can be avoided,” he said. Verke said the city should have new rules and regulations for the developers instead.

Troe said the new plan phases in growth options in three parts. Growth would be favored in areas nearest to city services. The plan includes a cluster development around scenic areas like waterways and allows rural property owners to keep parts of rural housing properties rural. Owners can also designate parts for future urban use if they wish.

City Commissioner Parrell Grossman said it was important to balance landowners’ rights with future development. He added there will be difficult challenges in deciding financing.

How and if land development occurs still is decided by the property owner, Troe said.

For more information about the plan, visit

Later, Troe presented information about a fringe road study the city is participating in. The consulting firm is taking comments on arterial and collector roads in the plan that might reduce traffic congestion on major highways nearby. Visit for more information.

Commissioners also agreed the city will apply for a planning grant to help decide projects for the Downtown Bismarck Sub-Area Study such as a bus transit area, pedestrian underpass and parking ramp.

Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or