Area leaders recognized by ND Rural Water

Submitted Photo Jon Nelson, right, receives the Clark Cronquist Water Line Award from Board President Matt Odermann with the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association at the association’s 38th annual Rural Water EXPO Conference Feb. 7 in Fargo.

Area individuals who have contributed to the rural water programs in their communities were recognized with awards at the North Dakota Rural Water Systems Association’s 38th annual Rural Water EXPO Conference Feb. 7 in Fargo.

Jon Nelson of Rugby was presented with the Clark Cronquist Waterline Award, which recognizes an individual who shows distinctive leadership and perseverance in going above and beyond the call of duty in the promotion, development or enhancement of rural water on a state or national level.

Darwin Saari, City of Turtle Lake, was presented the Outstanding Office Employee award for going above and beyond the call of duty to promote water issues and provide support to management and other decision makers.

Nelson has been an integral part of All Seasons Rural Water Users District board since 2005 and served as president for the N.D. Rural Water Systems Association’s executive board. He is involved in various state and federal rural water initiatives. In 1997, He was elected to the N.D. House of Representatives and has been a steadfast supporter of rural water, playing a crucial role in advancing the cause of rural water and addressing the needs of communities, according to the association.

Known for his willingness to facilitate meetings and find solutions to challenges, Nelson has fostered positive relationships with rural water managers and stakeholders. His collaborative approach has been instrumental in the success of initiatives aimed at enhancing water services in rural areas, the association stated.

Saari has been involved in the water industry since 1980. He currently serves or has served on various boards such as the local park board secretary, McLean Sheridan Rural Water Board, Lewis and Clark Board and the McLean County Planning and Zoning Commission. As city auditor, his expertise and dedication were invaluable during the water tower project and the replacement of water and sewer mains on Main Street in Turtle Lake.

Cory Chorne, an engineer and employee owner with AE2S, Bismarck, was honored with the “Friend of Rural Water” award. Chorne has more than 20 years of rural water experience, mostly working in western North Dakota.

Jeremy Schuler, manager of Northeast Regional Water District, Langdon, received the “Outstanding Water Works Employee” award. The award is given to a water operator or rural water system manager who has shown outstanding leadership abilities and has performed beyond the normal requirements of their job.


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