Most recently approved County Commission Minutes

 

Mercer County Commission
Minutes
August 20, 2014

 

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

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

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve the minutes of the August 6th commission meeting.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, seconded by Commissioner Scheurer to approve the payments of bills as follows:  City of Stanton, $5,085.62; Farmers Union Oil Co., $20.89; RDO Equipment Co., $1,580.25; Advanced Business Methods, $80.12; Craig Askim, $390.88; Beulah Drug, $46.74; Jessica J. Binder, $143.36; Frank Bitterman, $103.04; Bob’s Photo Inc., $193.99; Jamie Bradley, $133.20; Bronson’s Supervalu, $7,332.88; Shana Brost, $28.00; Capital City  Restaurant Supply Co., $62.00; Chief Supply, $430.80; Coal Country CHC, $89.00; Colonial Research Chemical Corp., $730.87; James Connolly, $63.28; Cretex Concrete Products West, Inc., $2,303.40; D & E Supply Co. Inc., $631.62; Dakota Central Social Services, $56,123.26; Jared Danzeisen, $137.78; Donald E. Mutzenberger, $95.80; Electronic Communications Inc., $300.00; Wayne Entze, $161.28; Farmers Union Oil Co., $14.97; Farmers Union Oil Co., $72.00; Wright Express FSC, $3,111.82; Ryan Flemmer, $3.92; Galls/Quartermaster, $105.83; Hazen Drug, $192.20; Hazen Hardware Inc., $131.01; Hedahl’s Inc., $95.06; Implementation Specialists, $6,567.00; Information Technology Department, $1,364.05; J & M Hardware, Inc., $853.14; Dena Kemmet, $488.04; Klein McCarthy Architects, $22,665.39; Krause Supervalu, $384.58; Gontran Langowski, $398.30; Language Line Services, $90.00; Lyle Signs Inc., $138.63; Maas Electric, Inc., $750.00; Mercer County Shop, $2,692.96; Midcontinent Communications, $66.24; Ashley Miller, $201.60; Kenneth Miller, $64.52; Mini Computer Services, LTD, $3,527.50; Vickie Brodkorb, $1,428.28; Gary Murray, $94.08; Napa, $13.23; NDACo Resources Group, $1,291.30; ND Attorney General, $1,240.00; ND Department of Trust Lands, $3,665.40; ND EMA, $60.00; Nelson International, $195.12; Neuberger Oil Company, $5,196.88; Northern Safety Co. Inc., $114.02; Quality Printing Service Inc., $1,941.59; Quill Office Products, $104.46; Redwood Biotech Inc., $86.00; Donald Reichenberg, $203.89; Reliance Telephone Systems, Inc., $400.00; Kathy Repnow, $74.00; Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Inc., $834.20; Sailer Septic Service, $90.00; Sakakawea Medical Center, $558.28; Kirkwood Scheels, $59.97; Duane Scheurer, $169.68; Seatol, $350.00; Severin, Ringsak & Morrow, $1,504.50; Stroup Insurance Inc., $50.00; Team Electronics, $5,034.35; Patrice Tunge, $45.00; William Tveit, $58.24; Uniform Center, $641.32; Verizon Wireless, $669.93; Warne Chemical And Equipment Co., $108.45; Thomson Reuters, $269.84; West River Telecommunications, $4,107.77; Bronson’s Supervalu, $25.70; Farmers Union Oil Co., $24,837.68; Midcontinent Communications, $119.97; Kathy Repnow, $24.00; Terrance Ternes, $50.00; John Williamson, $4,200.00.  Upon roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board reviewed the NDSU Extension Highlights.  No further action was taken.

Motion made by Commissioner Scheurer, second by Commissioner Bitterman to approve the July Recorder’s Fees in the amount of $6,552.00.  On roll call vote; Scheurer, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Tveit to approve the July Sheriff’s Fees in the amount of $14,963.37.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Bitterman, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve the request for duplicate warrant #53974 dated 2/26/2013 in the amount of $65.46 issued to Gary Benton.  On roll call vote; Bitterman, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Jim Albers, Maintenance Engineer, discussed with the board what his responsibilities were in regards to the rental properties.  Commissioner Bitterman stated it was Albers responsibility to line up work that needs to be done.  Commissioner Tveit stated Albers would wait for the tenant to call and then line up the work for repairs as necessary.  Commissioner Scheurer stated Road Superintendent Ken Miller would be the contact person for the tenant and then Miller would let Albers know what needed to be done.  On a side note, Auditor Brost stated she had spoken with the tenant and he was asking for some compensation for being without water while the hot water heater was being replaced and his concern with the water being yellow.  The board agreed there would be no compensation for the tenant being without hot water.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Entze for the Auditor to contact Custer Health and order a water test to be done at the FEMA trailer site.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Albers also discussed Risk Management with the board and how he has not received all of the designated medical provider forms from the Planning & Zoning and Weed Board members.  State’s Attorney Binder suggested Albers send a letter, copy the chairman of the board, copy the board of commissioners, and also put a deadline in the letter of when the forms need to be returned.  Binder stated for new board members, Albers could send a letter with a deadline or state they could come into the office in the meantime.  No further action was taken.

Commissioner Tveit discussed with the board Southwest Water Authority weed control.  Tveit stated on the north end of the county the SWW contractors did a poor job of vegetation control and now there is wormwood and Canadian thistle in every trench.  Commissioner Tveit wondered if the county should contact the weed board or SWW; he didn’t know who was responsible.  Chairman Murray stated it should be SWW responsibility per the contract and the county should send a letter to inform SWW of the problem.  Commissioner Entze stated the alternative is the county could hire the weed board and send the bill to SWW.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to have State’s Attorney Binder look into the permits and send a letter to SWW.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Kyle Ferebee, Farmers Union Oil of Beulah, addressed the board about adding another bulk anhydrous tank to the north side of their site.  The tank is 30,000 gallons and will be plumbed together with the existing tank.  This tank will sit 50 feet from the edge of the property line and 400 feet from the occupied building.  Motion made by Commissioner Bitterman, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve the request of adding an additional anhydrous tank to the Farmers Union Oil site.  On roll call vote; Bitterman, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board recessed at 9:40 AM.

The board reconvened at 10:00 AM.

In road issues, Commissioner Tveit discussed the Oster section line and stated he thought it was resolved because of the land sale, but in talking with the Osters the discussion led to them needing a culvert between Sections 13 & 24 T146N R85W.  Tveit stated this is not a closed section line and the Osters need to move cattle across.  Currently, only an ATV can be driven on this section line.  Commissioner Tveit stated this is not a closed section line issue, and he is looking for direction from the board on how to handle this.  Commissioner Bitterman asked what size pipe they were looking at.  Commissioner Tveit stated it would have to be sized by the engineer, and recommended Mamer, Miller and himself go out and look at it to see what needs to be done.  Commissioner Tveit wondered if the county paid for this or if they would be willing to assist the Osters to take care of this.  Commissioner Bitterman stated the county should provide the pipe so the Osters can get to their land.  Commissioner Entze added that he did not know how this had been handled in the past.  Ken Miller, Road Superintendent, stated the county provides culverts for farmers/ranchers who need access to their land for agriculture, which this would fall under the same scenario.  Chairman Murray stated this should be tabled until Commissioner Tveit, Mamer, and Miller look at it and decide what needs to be done.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Bitterman to table the Oster culvert discussion until September 2nd.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

State’s Attorney discussed the matters concerning whether or not the road in Sakakawea Estates is a county road.  Binder stated in reviewing past minutes she found direction from the board in the early 1990s to have the State’s Attorney write a letter stating residents would not be able to maintain the road themselves due to it being a county road.  Then in 1999, the board directed the State’s Attorney to write a letter stating it is not a county road.  State’s Attorney Binder stated the more information she finds the more confusing the situation becomes.  Binder added the easement that was filed in 1973 there was no direct acceptance from the county as well as no designation of the road on the Department of Transportation maps.  State’s Attorney Binder stated this was a mess and she needed to seek an Attorney General’s opinion on it.  Chairman Murray stated in the meantime nothing is getting done for the residents in Sakakawea Estates, and wondered if the county could bring gravel up there and blade.  Road Superintendent Miller stated they were going to blade up there, but with all the recent rain there were other federal aid routes that need attention first.  Dennis Rohlfs, Sakakawea Estates, presented the board with a plot designating the road as a county road, an abstract stating the road is a county road, along with minutes, letters from previous State’s Attorneys, and a DOT map dated 2007 all stating this road is a county road.  State’s Attorney Binder stated yes, up until 1999 it is believed to be a county road but the language from the minutes in 1999 states it is not a county road and it fell in line with not being a county road when the residents were billed for work done.  Rohlfs stated he feels that is just the issue of snow removal.  State’s Attorney Binder stated she is going to have to get an Attorney General’s opinion.  Rohlfs stated it is clearly a county road and board actions states it is a county road.  Rohlfs feels this board should stand behind that.  State’s Attorney Binder stated it is contradictory information because there is also information stating it is not a county road.  Binder stated she has been looking for a motion stating it is or isn’t a county road, but it isn’t that clear.  Rohlfs asked how long it would take to get an Attorney General’s opinion because in the meantime the road needs maintenance and the safety hazards need to be removed.  Commissioner Tveit stated some of the trees that were considered the safety hazards are on private property.  Rohlfs stated they were within the 60 foot right-of-way.  Commissioner Tveit stated the county could go in and blade no problem, but would be cautious of cutting down any trees since the road has migrated onto private property.  Rohlfs stated sometime back there was a motion made to put a pipe in to correct drainage issues and wondered where that pipe was.  Commissioner Entze stated the board can make a motion, but if the funds are not there to pay for it, the county cannot do it.  Motion made by Commissioner Bitterman, second by Commissioner Scheurer to table the issue of who owns the road in Sakakawea Estates and in the meantime haul gravel up there and blade; the county will keep a running total  for the gravel that is hauled in.  On roll call vote; Bitterman, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board reviewed the outstanding accounts receivable.  State’s Attorney Binder is to send out a collection letter to the account that has been outstanding since January 2014.  No further action was taken.

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1497(14) issued to Roughrider Electric Cooperative to bore the underground facilities in Section 7 T144N R86W.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Bitterman, second by Commissioner Entze to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1498(14) issued to Roughrider Electric Cooperative to bore the underground facilities in Section 6 T144N R86W.  On roll call vote; Bitterman, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Scheurer to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1499(14) issued to West River Telecommunications Cooperative for fiber optic telecommunications facilities by boring under County 13 south of Golden Valley in Sections 2 & 3 T144N R89W.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Bitterman to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1500(14) issued to West River Telecommunications Cooperative for fiber optic telecommunications facilities by boring under County 20 south of Golden Valley in Sections 24 & 25 T144N R90W.  On roll call vote; Tveit, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Bitterman to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1501(14) issued to West River Telecommunications Cooperative for fiber optic telecommunications facilities by boring under County 12 south of Golden Valley in Sections 27 & 28 T143N R88W.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Bitterman, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

State’s Attorney Binder discussed the Basin Transload/TAO Ceramics Haul Maintenance Agreement on County 17.  Binder stated Epic Ceramic took over for TAO and they are looking to take over the Haul Maintenance Agreement as well.  State’s Attorney Binder stated she would bring it back to the board for final approval at a later date.  No further action was taken.

Commissioner Tveit discussed farm access to Section 5 T147N R87W, land just north of Lakeshore Estates.  Tveit explained the road is narrow and the farmer cannot get in with a sprayer because the residential trees are encroaching in the section line.  Commissioner Tveit wondered if the board should send out letters to the lot owners stating they are in violation.  Chairman Murray asked if the county knew exactly where the section line was because years back it had happened that a survey was done and the farmer was actually farming the section line.  Commissioner Entze stated it was surveyed in 1997 or 1998 and the road went around the trees.  Commissioner Tveit asked Miller to look into it.  No further action was taken.

Jessica Unruh, Coteau Properties, presented the board with a petition that would permit and approve the conducting of surface coal mining operations within 100 feet of the outside right-of-way line of the following public roads:  the south side of the section line road between Section 23, Township 146 North, Range 87 West and Section 26, Township 146 North, Range 87 West and the west side of the section line road between the SE¼ Section 22, Township 146 North, Range 87 West and the SW¼ Section 23, Township 146 North, Range 87 West.  Coteau asserts that the interests of the public and the interests of affected landowners will be protected from the proposed mining operations.

Unruh also presented the board with a petition requesting the following section line roads be temporarily closed for the purpose of conducting surface coal mining and reclamation operations:  The section line road between Section 26 and Section 27, Township 146 North, Range 87 West;  The section line road between Section 26 and Section 35, Township 146 North, Range 87 West;  The section line road between Section 4 and Section 5, Township 144 North, Range 88 West along with the unnamed county road which runs parallel with said section line road;  The section line road between the SW¼SW¼ of Section 4 and the NW¼NW¼ of Section 9, Township 144 North, Range 88 West along with the unnamed county road which runs parallel with said section line road; The section line between Section 5 and Section 6, Township 144 North, Range 88 West;  The section line between Section 5 and Section 8, Township 144 North, Range 88 West; The section line between the NE¼NE¼ of Section 8 and the NW¼NW¼ of Section 9, Township 144 North, Range 88 West; The section line road between Section 5, Township 144 North, Range 88 West and Sections 34 and 35, Township 145N, Range 88 West;  The section line road between Section 6, Township 144 North, Range 88 West and Section 34, Township 145 North, Range 88 West.

Unruh stated there are roads that are now able to be reopened that Coteau had closed in 1992 and 1996.  Coteau asked Mercer County to accept the south 4,516 feet of section line road between Sections 17 and 18, the entire section line road between Sections 17 and 20, the north ¾ mile of section line road between Sections 20 and 21, and the small portion of trail in the SW¼ of the SW¼ of Section 17, all Township 145 North, Range 86 West, after which Mercer County will be responsible for all maintenance costs.  Coteau also asked Mercer County to accept the west one-half of the section line road between Sections 5, Township 145 North, Range 87 West and 32, Township 146 North, Range 87 West, after which Mercer County will be responsible for all maintenance costs.  Motion made by Commissioner Bitterman, second by Commissioner Scheurer to accept the petitions and set the public hearing for September 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM for the purpose of receiving testimony and evidence bearing upon the above request by the petitioner.  On roll call vote; Bitterman, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, Tveit, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Murray, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board recessed at 11:25 AM.

The board reconvened at 11:39 AM.

Darrold Bertsch, CEO of Sakakawea Medical Center (SMC), presented to the board the Capital Campaign for SMC.  Along with Bertsch was Christie Obenauer, Chairman of the SMC Foundation; Clayton Hoffman, Foundation board member since 2013; and Harvey Huber, Foundation board member since 2014.  Obenauer, who has been on the foundation since 2003, stated they have been talking about the expansion of SMC for over a decade and felt it was the right time with the right people to move forward.  Bertsch explained the expansion and renovation of SMC represents their continued commitment to deliver the best possible healthcare and meet growing patient demands within the service area.  Bertsch went on to say the facility enhancements will provide a modern and welcoming environment for the patients and their families for years to come.  The project, along with continued collaboration with Coal Country Community Health Center will truly enhance the joint service to the area and further SMC’s mission of working together as partners to enhance the lives of area residents by providing a neighborhood of patient-centered healthcare services that promote wellness, preventions, and care coordination.  The need for facility improvement/expansion will ultimately provide many healthcare benefits including: improved access to clinic and outpatient services, additional clinic exam rooms to accommodate current providers and allow for growth, the ability to incorporate a patient-centered medical home design into the clinic, allowing for a more comprehensive team approach to the provision of ambulatory care, and provide additional clinic exam rooms to house visiting specialists for more convenient access to specialty care.  Huber explained the foundation is looking for $4.1 million in private support fundraising and was hoping he could count on a donation of $250,000 from Mercer County, Union State Bank, and the City of Hazen.  Chairman Murray stated that this donation would be brought up during budget hearings next month and the county would get an answer to the SMC foundation real soon.  Chairman Murray thanked the SMC foundation for coming in to present the Capital Campaign.

Due to the recent flash floods throughout the county, Mercer County declared a flood emergency.  Motion made by Commissioner Tveit, second by Commissioner Scheurer the Board of Mercer County Commissioners adopted the Flood Emergency Declaration that reads as follows:

“WHEREAS, the County of Mercer has a very high soil moisture content from precipitation received through 2014;

WHEREAS, the significant rainfall has produced overland flooding and high river levels to occur from the rains received during August, 2014 and;

WHEREAS, the impact of this precipitation threatens the health, well-being and public safety of citizens in Mercer County; and in particular, cities of Hazen, Beulah and Zap, and;

WHEREAS, necessary mitigation measures, preparedness actions and other responses must begin immediately to protect public health and safety; and

WHEREAS, the potential damage to public and private property in addition to County and City roads are beyond normal anticipation and budgeted funds; and

WHEREAS, the cost of cleanup, repair and replacement of such damaged facilities likely will be in excess of County and City resources.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Mercer County Commissioners declare a state of emergency exists in Mercer County, North Dakota and orders the activation and utilization of the local emergency operations plan, its procedures, attachments and appendices to recover from the situation, develop a detailed damage assessment, reduce hardship and initiate the appropriate relief actions and mitigation measures by departments and agencies of local government to limit the hardships and impact of this emergency upon the citizens of Mercer County.

DATED at Stanton, North Dakota, this 17th day of August, 2014.

/s/Gary Murray, Chairman

ATTEST

Shana L. Brost, Mercer County Auditor”

There being no further business, on motion duly made and second, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 PM CDT. The next regular meeting of the commission will be September 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM CT in the basement of the Mercer County Law Enforcement Center, Stanton, North Dakota.

 

 

Approved: Gary Murray, Chairman

Attest: Shana L. Brost, Auditor