Most recently approved County Commission Minutes

 

 

Mercer County Commission
Minutes
January 7, 2015

 

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM CT by Chairman Murray, also present was Commissioner Scheurer, Commissioner Entze, Commissioner Tveit, Commissioner Gunsch, State’s Attorney Binder and Auditor Brost.

Chairman Murray turned the meeting over to Auditor Shana Brost to re-organize the board for 2015. Auditor Brost called for nominations for the Chairman. Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, seconded by Commissioner Scheurer to cast a unanimous vote for Commissioner Murray as the Chairman. Upon roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.  Commissioner Murray was declared Chairman for the Board of Mercer County Commissioners. Auditor Brost called for nominations for Vice-Chairman. Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, seconded by Commissioner Murray to nominate Commissioner Scheurer. No further nominations received. Upon roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried. Commissioner Scheurer was declared Vice-Chairman for the board of Mercer County Commissioners. Auditor Brost turned the meeting back over to Chairman Murray. Chairman Murray thanked the board for the vote of confidence.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Gunsch to approve the agenda with additions. On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried. 

Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, seconded by Commissioner Tveit approve the minutes of December 17th commission meeting. On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, seconded by Commissioner Scheurer approve the minutes of December 22nd special commission meeting. On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board reviewed the bills.  Commissioner Gunsch stated the county should look into the cell phone plan to see if they could be getting better rates.  Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Tveit to approve the payment of bills as follows:  Beulah City Park District, $57,492.94; Beulah Fire Protection District, $2,536.06; Beulah School District, $328,642.66; Center Stanton School District #1, $23,684.37; City of Beulah, $195,395.78; City of Golden Valley, $4,569.39; City of Hazen, $185,654.09; City of Pick City, $11,062.68; City of Stanton, $9,778.58; City of Zap, $5,822.94; Fort Clark Irrigation District, $1,396.20; Glen Ullin Rural Fire District, $103.00; Glen Ullin School District #48, $2,533.72; Golden Valley Rural Fire District, $2,579.72; Halliday Public School District, $469.35; Halliday Rural Fire Protection District, $997.72; Hazen City Park District, $40,559.22; Hazen Rural Fire District, $13,132.04; Hazen School District 3, $134,378.81; Hebron Public School District 13, $20,970.35; Hebron Fire Protection District, $1,149.70; ND State Treasurer, $8,714.12; Soil Conservation District, $6,808.88; Southwest Water Authority, $8,609.03; Stanton City Park District, $1,490.55; Stanton Rural Fire Protection, $1,725.84; Underwood School District, $49,381.34; Zap City Park District, $1,847.78; Zap Rural Fire Protection, $2,624.33; Custer Health District, $28,112.68; Thomas D. Kaspari, MD PC, $200.00; McLean Mercer Library, $32,650.84; Mercer & McLean Counties, $13,221.81; Mercer County Ambulance Service, $24,402.58; Mercer County Fair Association, $7,844.63; Mercer County Historical Society, $2,146.20; Mercer County Regional Airport, $20,368.60; Verizon Wireless, $68.49; Water Resource District, $30,165.15; Beulah Lumber Co., $14.99; Bronson’s Supervalu, $38.81; City of Beulah, $58.13; City of Hazen, $34,500.00; Filter Care of Grafton Inc., $14.98; Hedahl’s Inc., $56.77; J & M Hardware, Inc., $150.39; James Wenning, $79.86; Mercer County Historical Society, $5,000.00; Napa, $278.62; NDACo Resources Group, $17,463.00; ND Association of Counties, $75,699.69; ND 911 Association, $25.00; Northwest Tire Auto Service Inc., $278.07; Venture Marketing, $29.95; Verizon Wireless, $1,169.62; West River Telecommunications, $3,102.02; Advanced Business Methods, $77.31; Carol Aichele, $25.76; AmeriPride Services Inc., $49.29; Craig Askim, $548.24; BHG, Inc., $2,531.98; Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND, $51,980.32; Bob Baker Company Inc., $841.04; Shana Brost, $56.00; Butler Machinery Co., $16,071.30; CenturyLink, $272.26; Coal Country CHC, $83.00; Colonial Research Chemical Corp., $146.65; Comfort Inn, $37.00; Cretex Concrete Products West, Inc., $50,580.00; D & E Supply Co., Inc., $160.05; Dakota Central Social Services, $48,991.96; Dakota Fire Extinguisher Inc., $760.40; Dakota Pump & Control Co., Inc., $560.00; DirectMed, $393.34; Eide Ford Company, $67.65; Gary Emter, $45.50; Cindy Entze, $25.76; Farm Service Agency, $777.00; Fireside Office Plus, $30.48; Implementation Specialists, $3,896.25; J & L Automotive LLC, $3,421.14; Jensen Jewelry, $477.00; Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson, Inc., $5,000.00; Free Karges, $25.00; Dena Kemmet, $39.96; Lewis & Clark Regional Development, $6,291.00; Mark Dagley, $1,500.00; 24/7 Contracting Services LLC, $92,838.00; 3-D Specialties Inc., $780.55; City of Stanton, $4,231.05; Farmers Union Oil Co., $6,873.12; Farmers Union Oil Co., $121.16; Hazen Hardware Inc., $62.41; Hiway Express, $126.20; Matthew Thuney, $30.00; Patrick R. Haugen, $339.00; Mercer County Ambulance Service, $300.00; Moritz Sport & Marine, $6.93; NDACE Conference, $660.00; NDACo Resources Group, $.60; ND Association of Counties, $9,440.00; ND Association of Counties, $1,435.98; ND Attorney General, $1,370.00; ND County Commissioners Association, $1,500.00; ND State Radio Communications, $720.00; Premier Enterprizes Inc., $1,319.70; Red Wing Shoe Store, $203.99; Carmen Reed, $305.35; Reliance Telephone Systems, Inc., $1,300.00; RockMount Research & Alloys Inc., $616.09; Southwest Business Machines Inc., $5,089.00; Sunrise Youth Bureau, $7,000.00; Uniform Center, $1,329.95; Verizon Wireless, $179.02; West River Telecommunications, $1,005.84.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board discussed the Water Board member appointment.  Auditor Brost stated she has yet to get in contact with Bruce Jaeger to see if he is willing to serve another term.  The topic will be placed on the next agenda.

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to appoint Commissioner Entze to another term on the North Dakota Department of Human Services advisory group.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board discussed the townhouse in Beulah taken back for taxes.  Gary Emter, Tax Director/Land Use Administrator, stated the minimum price set in November on the townhouse was $74,000.  The NDCC states a sale between annual sales the minimum sales price can be anything due against the property.  Emter stated the previous owner Bridgette Lindemann took all the appliances and cut the water heater out.  Emter added there are no special assessments against the property.  Terry Gerhardt offered the board to pay all the back taxes and any costs incurred so far on the county’s behalf.  Marie Johnson offered the board $30,000.  Commissioner Gunsch stated the right thing to do would be to go with the highest bidder at this point.  Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Tveit to accept the offer of $30,000 from Marie Johnson to sell the townhouse to Johnson in as is condition.  On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Auditor Brost updated the board on the grievance that was talked about at the December 17th board meeting.  Brost stated the grievance has now gone to Step 2 and advanced to the Policy Committee.  At this time, there will be no other updates to report.  State’s Attorney Binder added that it is not necessary for the board to know about grievances and should have no involvement in the underlying issues because that is what compromises the process.  Binder stated the board should be trusting in their officials to do their jobs and the grievance process has to work itself through.

Leslie Bakken Oliver, Vogel Law Firm, stated she is representing Treasurer Darbie Berger and Clerk of Courts Wanda Knutson.  Oliver stated she sent a letter dated December 18, 2014 stating her concerns of the grievance being handled improperly.  Oliver stated because of the wide range of issues, she would encourage the commission to look at a conflict of interest of the employees who sit on the Policy Committee so the matter can be resolved through a neutral process.

Emter presented the board with one rezoning case, one conditional use permit, and five temporary use permits.  Emter stated he is trying to get all the temporary use permits to run from January 1 to December 31 to make them easier to track; all are existing gravels pits now.  On a motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Tveit, the Board of Mercer County Commissioners adopted the following resolution:

“RESOLUTION TO AMEND THE MERCER COUNTY ZONING DISTRICT MAP

BE IT RESOLVED by this Board of Mercer County Commissioners to amend the Mercer County Zoning District Map so as to change from Agricultural District to Industrial District the following parcel which was also given a Conditional Use for a Water Depot.

A tract of land lying in the Northeast Quarter and the Southeast Quarter of Section 7, Township 145 North, Range 90 West of the Fifth Principle Meridian, Mercer County, North Dakota, more particularly described as follows:

Commencing at the northeast quarter of said Section 7, also the POINT OF BEGINNING; thence from said POINT OF BEGINNING, along the east line of said Section 7, S 01°09’31”W a distance of 808.18 feet; thence N 88°50’29” W a distance of 433.10 feet; thence N 01°09’31”E a distance of 808.93 feet to the quarter line of Section 7; thence along the quarter line of Section 7, S 88°44’32”E a distance of 433.10 feet to the said POINT OF BEGINNING.

Said tract contains 350,180 square feet or 8.039 acres more or less.

The above described parcel is subject to any previous easements, agreements, conveyances, and surveys.

Dated this 7th day of January, 2015 by the Board of Mercer County Commission.

/s/Gary Murray, Chairman

Attest:

Shana L. Brost, Mercer County Auditor”

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve Conditional Use permit #14-12-02 issued to Jon Schields for a Water Depot with the following legal description: A tract of land lying in the Northeast Quarter and the Southeast Quarter of Section 7, Township 145 North, Range 90 West of the Fifth Principle Meridian, Mercer County, North Dakota, more particularly described as follows:

Commencing at the northeast quarter of said Section 7, also the POINT OF BEGINNING; thence from said POINT OF BEGINNING, along the east line of said Section 7, S 01°09’31”W a distance of 808.18 feet; thence N 88°50’29” W a distance of 433.10 feet; thence N 01°09’31”E a distance of 808.93 feet to the quarter line of Section 7; thence along the quarter line of Section 7, S 88°44’32”E a distance of 433.10 feet to the said POINT OF BEGINNING.

Said tract contains 350,180 square feet or 8.039 acres more or less.

The applicant needs to contact County Road Superintendent Miller and put in place a plan for dust control, road repairs, approach permits, and speed limit signage if necessary.  Miller will review in one year the policy sent out on the above listed remarks.  Miller stated there are no visibility issues but there are soft spots on County 1 and he doesn’t want to compromise the road, but there will be a haul agreement.  Commissioner Entze asked what was going to be used for dust control.  Schields stated he plans on using water and dust control is as big of an issue for him as it is for the county since agriculture is his main source of income.  State’s Attorney Binder stated it could be conditioned on an annual review of the haul road agreement.  Commissioner Tveit asked they could have trucks enter one way and exit another.  Miller stated County 1 is a wide road so it should not be an issue.  Commissioner Gunsch asked if County 1 was a federal aid route.  Miller stated it was. Commissioner Scheurer stated there should be proper signage put in place for highway safety.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Tveit to approve Temporary Use Permit #452 issued to LeeRoy Fischer for the removal of scoria for resale in SE ¼ Section 2 T143N R89W.  Work is limited to daylight hours.  The condition attached include: area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, and the permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect.  The permit expires December 31, 2015.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve Temporary Use Permit #453 issued to LeeRoy Fischer for the removal of scoria for resale in E ½ Section 20 T144n R87W.  Work is limited to daylight hours.  The condition attached include: area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, and the permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect.  The permit expires December 31, 2015.  On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Tveit to approve Temporary Use Permit #454 issued to LeeRoy Fischer for the removal of scoria for resale in SE ¼ Section 2 T141N R89W.  Work is limited to daylight hours.  The condition attached include: area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, and the permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect.  The permit expires December 31, 2015.  On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve Temporary Use Permit #455 issued to LeeRoy Fischer for the removal of scoria for resale in NE ¼ Section 1 T143N R89W.  Work is limited to daylight hours.  The condition attached include: area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, and the permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect.  The permit expires December 31, 2015.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Scheurer, second by Commissioner Entze to approve Temporary Use Permit #456 issued to Randy Byrum for the removal of scoria for resale in NW ¼ Section 33 T145N R87W.  Work is limited to daylight hours.  The condition attached include: area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent, the permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect, and the approach must be moved back to original site.  The permit expires December 31, 2015.  On roll call vote; Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Gary Emter spoke with the board that he was not happy with the grievance process.  State’s Attorney Binder stated having any dissatisfaction with the process is premature due to the process not being complete.  Binder added there needs to be a level of professionalism demonstrated amongst the county’s officials.  Emter stated this has been handled as unprofessional as possible.  State’s Attorney Binder stated she strongly disagrees with that statement.  Dwight Berger asked State’s Attorney Binder why Commissioner Tveit was made aware of the grievance, and as far as he was concerned Binder didn’t follow the policy handbook either.  State’s Attorney Binder told Berger she and him were not going to get into this now.  Berger stated he supposed they wouldn’t in the public.  Chairman Murray called for a point of order.  No further discussion took place.

The board recessed at 10:10 AM.

The board reconvened at 10:20 AM.

The board discussed the county engineer.  Commissioner Scheurer stated he doesn’t feel Interstate Engineering is the issue.  Scheurer stated the county does not have enough expertise to oversee the engineering process and the board is quick to turn work over to the engineer and there will be costs associated with it.  Scheurer stated when there is a project it is assumed Interstate Engineering is the project manager and maybe the county should assign someone to oversee the engineering firm on hand.  Commissioner Scheurer stated the county has expected a lot from Interstate Engineering over the years and cost has never been discussed.  Scheurer added he has had concerns over the billing but no matter who the engineer is the county needs to be better at reviewing the billing.  Commissioner Gunsch stated he agrees with Commissioner Scheurer and stated the board needs to be asking how much things will cost before they assign the engineer to do it.  Commissioner Tveit asked if the county has a contract with Interstate Engineering and Auditor Brost stated they do have a yearly contract with them.  Commissioner Tveit stated in having reviewed all the proposals from the engineering firms he thinks the county could possibly save money by switching firms but in fairness to Interstate Engineering there have been issues in the past but he isn’t sure Interstate Engineering knew there was any and feels those can be addressed.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to extend the contract with Interstate Engineering through 2015 and thanked the other firms for their interest.  Commissioner Scheurer stated Interstate Engineering has surveying services along with other services and have done everything they have been asked to do.  Scheurer stated he has looked into hiring an engineer on the county’s payroll to oversee and manage projects.  Scheurer added Interstate Engineering has made some proposals to correct the issues and he will make sure they follow through with them.  Scheurer stated the Highway Department and Interstate Engineering should get together for a weekly review and the county has to be mindful that any time they ask for anything, there will be a cost associated with the service.  Commissioner Entze stated there has been a shortage on communication and the county is expecting Interstate Engineering to do things but no one is overseeing the project.  Entze added the county needs to be more active with the engineers cost analysis, how much is being spent, and what projects are being done.  Entze feels Interstate Engineering will get the job done.  Commissioner Gunsch stated he supports this decision and feels there is a need to sit down and come up with a chain of command so everything is cycled through the right people.  Commissioner Tveit thanked the other firms for their participation and stated based on client recommendations, these firms also do a great job.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Commissioner Scheurer stated since Commissioner Tveit holds the Highway Department portfolio, he and Road Superintendent Miller should sit down and figure out a chain of command.  Miller stated they need to figure out what didn’t work versus what did work so they are able to stay within their budget.  Herb Bargmann, Wold Engineering, thanked the board for their consideration.  Steve Dorval, Heartland Engineering, thanked the board for the opportunity.

In other road business, Miller stated he, Commissioner Tveit, Sheriff Danzeisen, and Elroy met to figure out how to recoup the money for overweight fines.  Miller stated they had tossed the idea around of confiscating the trucks, but Danzeisen informed them they would be responsible for everything on the truck.  Commissioner Entze stated that would be a big liability.  Miller stated they talked about getting a credit card reader to pay on the spot or using the online permitting system they already have in place as an alternative. Commissioner Tveit stated Danzeisen was going to check into a card reader and get back to them.

Miller presented the board with the Mercer County Road Policy and feels this should be looked at on an annual basis.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the Mercer County Road Policy.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Miller spoke with the board about the truck hauling prices and would like to see the price increase from $0.35 per loaded mile to $0.40.  Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the $0.05 increase in truck hauling prices.  On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Miller talked to the board about the current timeframe of outstanding road accounts.  Miller stated currently the customer does not receive a letter from the State’s Attorney until the account is 180 days past due.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Entze to have the State’s Attorney send out a letter after 60 days instead of 180 days.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Miller informed the board the A-133 Single Audit Certification from the NDDOT did not apply to the county since they expended less than $500,000 in total federal awards for the 2014 fiscal year.  Miller also stated the CAT motor grader is now at the shop and the drop-in sander should be arriving the 16th of January.

Steve Mamer, Interstate Engineering, thanked the board for their confidence in Interstate Engineering and he is looking forward to working with the county.  Mamer presented the County 21 Thin Lift Overlay Construction Agreement to the board.  Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve the County 21 Construction Agreement in the amount of $765,228.30.  On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Mamer stated the County 17 soil boring should have been done last week, but due to a few issues they are scheduled to get done this week.  Mamer noted that they were adjusting quantities to shorten that route on County 17 grading project.  Mamer stated he would entertain the idea of the commission meeting to review the plans together for the County 15 Cut-Across project. 

A.T. Funkhouser, DGC, had contacted Mamer about safety issues on County 26, such as additional lighting and the turning lane for the loading facility.  Mamer informed the board they would be having an informative meeting on Friday, January 9th at 10 AM.

Mamer discussed Right-of-Way formalization with the board.  Currently the policy states the county pays $600/acre for cropland and $300/acre for pasture land.  Mamer thought $1400/acre and $700/acre would be reasonable numbers and the landowner would still have the right to an appraisal according to the North Dakota Century Code.  Mamer stated the county currently pays $35/acre for a temporary construction easement, with a minimum payment of $50.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Gunsch to increase the Right-of-Way rates to $1400/acre for cropland, $700/acre for pastureland, and increasing the temporary construction easement to $50/acre with a minimum payment of $75.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Commissioner Gunsch asked Mamer if Coyote Creek was paying for the all the construction on County 25.  Mamer stated the agreement states they are.  Gunsch asked who was responsible for the maintenance.  Mamer stated during construction it was Coyote Creek, but the agreement states the county is after construction.  Gunsch stated it should be Coyote Creek’s responsibility because County 25 was a good road to start with.  Commissioner Entze stated it will not just be cars driving that road after construction, but delivery trucks and heavy equipment.  Entze suggested not taking on the maintenance of the road until the mine is done operating.  Commissioner Gunsch stated heavy equipment will be using that road for the life of the mine and the county shouldn’t take on the maintenance until the mining is done.  Mamer stated it is already in the agreement with Coyote Creek the county assumes maintenance after the construction.  Commissioner Scheurer stated the Mercer County Road policy states they are responsible for the road.  Commissioner Gunsch added he would like to see an agreement for County 15 as well.  Mamer stated it is in the works.

Joe Armstrong, Golden Valley Lodge Crew Housing, spoke about the redevelopment of the Golden Valley School into lodge crew housing.  Armstrong stated 85% of the money spent on the project will be spent in Mercer County.  Armstrong added Golden Valley Mayor, Deen Brecht, had hand delivered to him the Temporary Use and Conditional Use permits today so everything is coming together.  Armstrong stated the project is set to be online May 2016.  Armstrong told the board he found North Dakota by reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about the housing needs in Williston.  Armstrong stated the process has been cooperative from the start and was here today to just make the county aware of the process.  Construction is set to start May 1.  Commissioner Gunsch asked how many rooms will be in the facility.  Armstrong stated it would be a 70 bed facility with dorms and 8’ by 8’ cubical style with a common area.  Armstrong added there will also be a recreation room and a trained chef to run the kitchen.  Buster Langowski, Hazen Community Development, stated they had recently purchased the old Pioneer Home in Hazen hoping for state funding and turn it into senior low income housing.  Langowski reported Armstrong agreed to be the head of the grant application.  Chairman Murray thanked Armstrong and Langowski for the information.

The board recessed at 11:25 AM.

The board reconvened at 11:40 AM.

Pete Filippi, Contegrity Group, and Scott Fettig, Klein McCarthy, presented the board with the Design and Development Estimate on the courthouse expansion.  The current DD estimate was at $10,271,086.00 and the board unanimously felt the county should stick with the original estimate of $9,895,406.00, which is the number they went to the voters with in June.  Filippi stated the project was set to bid within the first two weeks of April.  The board discussed the timeline and was disappointed in the late bid date, thinking it was going to be in February or March to achieve better bidding results.  Fettig suggested Filippi make a list of items that could be omitted from the project and have a committee review them before the next board meeting to speed things along.  The committee would be made up of Auditor Brost, Jim Albers, Commissioner Entze, and Commissioner Gunsch.  The committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 20th and when departments were discussed, those department heads would be called in for input.  Filippi also addressed the construction phasing for the project.  Filippi stated since there was some upset about moving out of the courthouse completely, they have figured the departments just moving around during the construction, but to keep in mind the noise and dirt.  Phase one would be the new construction of the courts functions and jail addition.  Phase two would be the remodel of the existing jail and courthouse.  Phase three would be the remodel of the State’s Attorney’s area.

The board recessed at 12:42 PM.

The board reconvened at 1:35 PM.

Candy Strand, Landfill Supervisor, brought in two estimates for the purchase of a 2015 F250 XL Regular Cab, Long Box, Gas Engine truck.  The estimate from Bill Barth was for $24,920 and the estimate from Eide Ford was for $28,700.  Motion made by Commissioner Scheurer, second by Commissioner Tveit to accept the estimate from Bill Barth.  On roll call vote; Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Strand discussed with the board the estimates between purchasing a new computer and rebuilding the computer she had.  Strand stated a new computer would cost approximately $901 and a rebuilt computer approximately $435.  Strand stated she would just like to rebuild her old computer and then purchase a battery back-up for it.  The board thanked her for keeping in touch with them.  No further action was taken.

The board discussed the Tax Director/Land Use Administrator position.  Emter stated he felt Collette Schilling was the most qualified candidate because of her assessment and Vanguard experience.  Emter added being the city assessor for the City of Beulah; he would not want to leave the city in a bind and would like to hold off until the end of May so she can finish up the equalization.  Commissioner Tveit asked Emter how long he planned on staying with the county.  Emter stated until June 2016.  Commissioner Tveit suggested reposting the job and see if they could get more applicants.  Tveit stated there are big shoes to fill and he would encourage Schilling to reapply.  Commissioner Gunsch stated Schilling picked up on her job as a city assessor and handled the people well.  Gunsch stated it may not be fair to make her wait through May to take the position, but it wouldn’t be fair to the city to start her right away either.  Emter stated it would be best to hire her at a later date.  Treasurer Berger stated Schilling has done an excellent job with assessments and is great to work with.  Commissioner Scheurer stated Schilling seemed to be a commander of a ship, and was very comfortable during her interview.  Emter stated she will need direction because the Land Use Administrator part of the job can be tough, it will just be a learning curve.  Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch, second by Commissioner Tveit to hire Collette Schilling as the Tax Director/Land Use Administrator as of June 29, 2015.  On roll call vote; Gunsch, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to set the starting wage for Collette Schilling at $50,000 for the combined position, with a review at the end of her six month probationary period.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Auditor Brost presented the Detention Service Contract Renewal with the Youth Correctional Center.  Motion made by Commissioner Scheurer, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the contract with the Youth Correctional Center from January 1, 2015 until December 31, 2018 at the established per diem rate of $284.98.  On roll call vote; Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Gunsch, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board discussed portfolio updates.  Chairman Murray stated the Library Board is in the process of purchasing a new bookmobile for approximately $200,000.  Craig Askim, Extension Agency, had requested a commissioner be assigned to their portfolio; Chairman Murray agreed to take on the Extension Agency.  Commissioner Tveit stated he me spoke with Dennis Rohlfs and he doesn’t want Sakakawea Estates to fall out of the picture for the county.  Commissioner Gunsch stated he met with Rohlfs and the question is whether or not it is a county road because they have big drainage issues.  Commissioner Gunsch updated the board on the PSC meeting he and Commissioner Tveit attended.  Commissioner Gunsch stated the hearing was Casey Voigt versus North American Coal for inadequate reclamation practices. 

Commissioner Gunsch stated there will be a Water Resource meeting January 8, 2015 at 1:30 PM.

Commissioner Gunsch stated he will speak with County Engineers Steve Mamer and Daren Peterka about turning County 21 over to ND Highway 49.

There being no further business, on motion duly made and second, the meeting was adjourned at 2:24 PM CST. The next regular meeting of the commission will be January 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM CT in the courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse, Stanton, North Dakota.

 

Approved:  Gary Murray, Chairman

Attest:  Shana L. Brost, Auditor