City of Leith faces possible dissolution

Published: Jun. 22, 2018 at 1:21 PM CDT
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A small town in North Dakota that caused quite a stir in 2013 might be dissolving at the end of July.

A petition was submitted to Grant County calling for a vote on whether or not to dissolve the town government of Leith, N.D.

"We all love the town and we don't want to see it go completely, but I don't know what'll happen with it now, I just don't know," said Judy Roth who lives south of Leith.

The dissolution comes on the heels of the June 12 election, leading some to believe that it is to stop Michael Bencz and Deby Nelson from entering office. They moved to town around the time that white supremacist Craig Cobb called for like minded individuals to take over Leith in 2013.

"We were plain people when we lived in Wisconsin and we're plain workers here. There's nothing special about us, we don't belong to any clubs, any organizations," said Deby Nelson, Leith Resident.

"Not a political party, not so here. We're just trying to help the city," said Michael Bencz, Leith resident.

According to the mayor this decision was a long time coming. He says the city only receives about twenty five hundred dollars a year in taxes, which are mostly spent on running the street lights and plowing the roads.

"If you really look at the nuts and bolts of this thing. Not having a city council, it's not wiping Leith off of the map. Leith is always going to be here, the Leith signs are always going to be there. It's just not going to have a council and a mayor anymore if this resolution goes through," said Leith Mayor Ryan Schock.

On July 23 the 16 voters of Leith will decide whether the city continues to be self governing or hands over its assets to the County.

The Schock says that if the vote goes through they'll spend what's left in the general fund on gravel for their roads.