Another community in the southeast is looking back on the year that was, and looking forward to the year that is ahead. For North Portal, it appears that 2018 will be another busy 12 months, just like 2017.
Last year ended off with a bang as the village hosted the Holiday Train once again, and at the same time was able to present said train with a $1,000 cheque.
"It was our biggest turnout yet," said Mayor Kaylah Turner, "We had Weldon school come, and the school from Lignite, North Dakota. A ton of people showed up and it was really awesome."
Their hall roof suffered damage as a result of last year's spring thaw, due to heavy snow. Turner was happy to share that it has finally been fixed, and will be reopened at the end of January.
"It was really disappointing to not have a hall working for us for the holiday season. We do a lot of potlucks and different types of gatherings there, so we're excited to have that back and are able to use it again."
When it comes to entertaining activities, it appears that there will be no end to the fun that is in store in North Portal. Not even counting the reopening of the hall, there will be a skating party and potlucks. When it comes down to the serious, the budget and associated discussions and number crunching will be a major topic to discuss at their next few council meetings.
"We did really good this past year. We saved a lot of money in areas we weren't expecting. Probably our biggest hit was definitely the hall roof going in, but insurance did help cover a good portion of that. We were really pleased with our year and this year, so we know that balancing this year isn't going to be too difficult," shared Turner.
In addition, they discovered that they have grant funding left over from upgrades towards their water treatment plant.
"We've just kind of been deciding, do we need to add anything else, what do we want to do? So right now, we're just brainstorming and making some decisions. I think we have a couple ideas, so once we figure that out, we'll use up our grant," she said, adding that the water treatment plant has already paid for itself.
"Everything's going smoothly. We're pretty happy about not having too much snow to be dealing with. That's definitely tricky in a small town, figuring out where to put snow, so we're really happy we don't have to deal with that so far this year. I'm sure it's coming, but fingers crossed it won't be too bad."