Getting to Know Garrison Diversion Directors - Sheridan County

Posted: Jul 29 2020
ND Water - July 2020 - Getting to Know Garrison Diversion Directors - Richland and Sheridan County
By Kimberly Cook

The Garrison Diversion Conservancy District (Garrison Diversion) board of directors consists of an elected official from each member county of the 28-member district. Directors are elected to serve their county for a four-year term. The full board meets quarterly, with additional committees meeting at various points throughout each year.

A large variety of interests and backgrounds provide a diverse group of individuals, but collectively, they all have the same purpose in mind. The members work to fulfill Garrison Diversion’s mission to provide a reliable, high-quality and affordable water supply to benefit the people of North Dakota.

As we continue profiling the directors who comprise the board, we introduce to you Kelly Klosterman, Richland County, and Jim Pellman, Sheridan County.

When former Sheridan County board member Tim Schindler was set to retire, he knew Jim Pellman would be a good fit. As a former businessman, a farmer and irrigator, and a dedicated community participant, voters in Sheridan County agreed, and Jim started with the Garrison Diversion board in 2017.

“When I started on the board, I didn’t realize Garrison Diversion had so many irons in
the fire, so to speak. There are many more facets to Garrison Diversion than just the McClusky and New Rockford Canals, and I’m not sure most people understand the complexities of Garrison Diversion,” says Jim. “The water projects and recreation projects we are involved in throughout the state benefit a large portion of North Dakota.”

Garrison Diversion has provided assistance in Sheridan County to enhance recreation facilities in the area. The Hoffer Lake recreation area, located three miles north of McClusky, has been a large beneficiary. Garrison Diversion manages the water levels of the lake by pumping from the McClusky Canal to provide optimal recreational opportunities. The Sheridan County Park Board manages this area. Swimming, fishing and boating can be found at Hoffer Lake.

Jim grew up in Mantador and attended school at NDSU, graduating with a bachelor of
arts in ag economics. For nearly 25 years, Jim worked as the vice president of the First National Bank in McClusky, while farming in his “spare” time. He retired from the bank
several years ago, and the farm hobby turned into the full-time job.

A few years back, Jim became the first Sheridan County resident to irrigate from the McClusky Canal. He is irrigating approximately 270 acres of corn and canola. Jim continues to enjoy farming full-time and works with his two boys on the family farm.

“I’m happy irrigation is taking place from the McClusky Canal,” says Jim. “Though the irrigation is still limited in Sheridan County, being able to utilize the canal for a secondary benefit besides recreation is promising!”

An active citizen, Jim has been a volunteer fireman for more than 30 years, serves as treasurer of the local Dollars for Scholars program, is on the ND Wheat Commission and is also president of Parkview Housing, a nonprofit housing group.

Jim lives in McClusky with his wife, Candace.