MINOT — The lightning strike that took out the town office telephone system two weeks ago caused an estimated $5,000 damage, Town Administrator Arlan Saunders told selectmen Monday.
This is the second time in just a few years that the town's telephone system has been so affected, with damage this time about half what it had been before.
Saunders said it appeared the strike hit at Central Fire Station and traveled out from there.
Saunders said the majority of the telephones in the town office, town garage and Central Fire Station had to be replaced and, this time, lightning arrestors have been installed at all three locations.
Saunders will be submitting a claim to the town's insurance company once all bills are in.
Saunders also told selectmen that the road crew had spent just over $1,600 to repair the X-Mart mower.
“Next year we need to look at budgeting for another one,” Saunders said.
The mower, according to Saunders, is only five years old, but has seen a lot of use. He noted the town ball fields are being mowed twice a week, and the town is responsible for keeping its many cemeteries presentable.
Selectmen agreed that it might be a good idea to have a second mower, using the present one more as backup. Saunders said a new mower would cost between $8,000 and $9,000.
In other business, selectmen authorized town treasurer Holly Packard to cut a pre-pay check to the registry when she files for tax liens next week. Packard said that while some delinquent property taxpayers may correct their situation in the next few days, it would appear she could be filing more than 100 liens.
Selectman Eda Tripp said the town was looking to collect more than $134,000 in back taxes.
Selectmen also authorized Saunders to sign and send the first payment on the town's new mini-pumper, once the builder has shown proof of the performance bond and the town attorney has approved various other documents.
Selectmen accepted and signed a certification for $66,500 to be made available to the town through the state Urban-Rural Initiatives Program for the support of town roads. The amount is down slightly from last year's $68,228.
Jim Allen, Dean Campbell, Steve French, Scott Parker and Arlan Saunders were placed on a list of town officials with permission to obtain items for town use from the state's surplus property program.