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Published January 10, 2012, 09:10 PM

Tiny Churchs Ferry, ND, Saved at Election by 5-2 Vote

CHURCHS FERRY, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Residents in a small central North Dakota town voted Tuesday night to have it live on, although most of its residents have left.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

CHURCHS FERRY, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Residents in a small central North Dakota town voted Tuesday night to have it live on, although most people have left.

Preliminary results show two votes in favor of dissolving the town, and five votes in favor of maintaining it.

The Ramsey County Commission will meet Friday to certify the election.

It was once was home to hundreds of people, but rising water has nearly drowned the town.

There are only a few people left.

"That's my understanding, nine or ten by looking at what we have on our system for people that can vote," Ramsey County Auditor Elizabeth Fischer said.

Some of the few remaining citizens signed a petition to dissolve the town, saying there aren't enough services to continue as an incorporated city.

Petition orgainzers said it's not worth the cost to keep the town incorporated.

Their sewer system has shut down, so the only city-provided services are garbage collection and street maintenance.

Supporters only needed to collect one signature to trigger the recall election. They collected four, which matches the entire voter turnout from the last election.

But even with that kind of support there are still people who say the election was a bad idea.

"It's a waste of everybody's time", says Churchs Ferry mayor Paul Christenson

Christenson says he spoke out against dissolving the town. But there's nothing he can do if the voters say otherwise.

"There's due process", he explains. "This still is a free country, and people who disagree with my thought process, there's things in the state constitution that say they can make this vote happen, and they chose to do that.

The vote to remain a town is just the first step in a long process.

Christenson says taking the town off the map wouldn't make people leave. Only mother nature can do that.

"We'll still be here, until the water takes us."

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