.Mercer County Commission
August 16, 2017
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Duane Scheurer with the meeting being videotaped. Present were Commissioners Wes Gunsch, Gary Murray, Wayne Entze, Dwight Berger, State’s Attorney Binder and Auditor Shana Brost. Others present during portions of the meeting were: Rachel Grimm, Darbie Berger, Wanda Knutson, Sarah Bauer, Robb Floyd, Mike Seifert, Darrold Bertsch, Craig Askim, Dan Daly, Lonny Jacobson, John Wang, Carmen Reed, Buster Langowski, Steve Reiser, Linda Oestriech, Beth Bruestle, Renee Lindemann, Lani Meyhoff, Edward Grunett, Greg Lange, Sarah Tunge, Jim Theurer, Ronald Crowley, and Dan Ahrens of BHG News.
Entze moved to approve the minutes from the August 2nd meeting. Murray seconded. Entze, Murray, Gunsch, Scheurer voted aye. Berger voted No. Motion carried.
Gunsch moved to approve the bills, excluding the Treasurer’s bills. Entze seconded. The following vouchers were approved for payment: Advanced Business Methods, $135.23; American Welding, $124.96; Craig Askim, $634.12; Balco Uniform, $266.03; Harlan Benz, $100.00; Dwight Berger, $140.50; Beulah Drug, $10.00; BHG, $1170.00; BCBS, $62976.82; Shana Brost, $144.72; Burleigh-Morton Detention, $3975.00; Butler Machinery, $2769.04; Center Machine, $17.39; Charm-Tex, $1410.10; City of Golden Valley, $79.00; City of Stanton, $7319.46; Colonial Research, $386.53; Custer Health, $5020.06; D & E Supply, $94.32; Dakota Central Social Services, $51683.70; Electronic Communications, $1510.00; FUO Beulah, $27167.48; FUO Hazen, $16.59; Fastenal, $38.93; Ryan Flemmer, $10.80; Garrison Veterinary, $51.00; Weslie Gunsch, $149.04; Hanna Instruments, $42.91; Hazen Drug, $31.44; Hazen Hardware Hank, $80.93; HACTC, $825.00; ITD, $896.20; J & M Hardware, $204.88; K & D Services, $550.00; Free Karges, $122.95; Dena Kemmet, $140.08; Kim’s Appliance Service, $20247.59; Language Line Services, $90.00; LexisNexis,$186.43; Lignite Tire, $140.90; Lyle Signs, $1088.10; Mclean County Sheriff, $8190.00; Mees Masonry, $350.00; Menards, $66.92; Mercer County Shop, $692.99; MIDCO, $237.51; Kurt Milbradt, $289.95; Mobile Binders, $758.08; Gary Murray, $98.60; Napa, $951.42; NDACO 911, $751.11; ND Post Board, $50.00; ND Department of Health, $45.00; Neuberger Oil, $3626.71; Glenn Neuberger, $30.00; Newman Signs, $655.00; Northern Safety, $6964.60; Office of Attorney General, $2850.00; OK Automotive, $129.20; David Olson, $15.00; Pharmchem, $950.00; Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, $100.00; Pump Systems, $94.74; Queen City Motors, $38.40; RDO Equipment, $1813.70; Roughrider Electric, $911.85; Rud Propane, $5733.24; Scheels, $447.96; Colette Schilling, $169.80; Duane Scheurer, $244.94; Bradley Seifert, $59.90; So Clean, $1907.50; SBM, $138.41; SW Water, $41.78; Ryan Taylor, $191.69; James Theurer, $400.00; Titan Machinery, $49.53; Uniform Center, $849.00; Verizon Wireless, $90.54; WDALA, $50.00; WDALA, $100.00; Warne Chemical, $57.18; West Dakota Lumber, $3.29; Wex Bank, $2269.41; WRT, $2913.04; WRT, $564.00. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve the Treasurer’s bills. Gunsch seconded. The following vouchers were approved for payment: SBM, $18.64; WRT, $88.67. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, and Scheurer voted aye. Motion carried.
The board reviewed the monthly financial statement. No further action was taken.
The board reviewed the monthly landfill tonnage report. No further action was taken.
Murray moved to approve the July Recorder’s Fees in the amount of $8,156.90. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Gunsch moved to approve the July Sheriff’s Fees in the amount of $1624.50. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board reviewed the NDSU Extension Highlights. No further action was taken.
Darrold Bertsch, Sakakawea Medical Center, gave the board an update on what is currently happening with healthcare. Bertsch stated the overall cost of the newly constructed hospital was $30.5 million, adding the Coal Country Hazen clinic is now within the hospital. Bertsch added the Coal Country clinic in Beulah would be doing a $7 million expansion with construction to begin in the spring and completed by the end of the year. Bertsch stated any county financial support would be appreciated. The board thanked Bertsch for the updates.
Craig Askim, Extension Agent, gave the board his quarterly report and also reported on the haying and crop condition throughout the county. Askim stated over the last few weeks the county has seen two (2) to five (5) inches of rainfall. Askim reported the rain is too late for small grain crops but it could help the corn and sunflowers. Askim noted that he now has the ability to test for nitrogen and blue algae in his office. The board thanked Askim for his update.
Auditor Brost discussed with the board a property that was taken by the county for taxes several years ago. Brost stated they have utility bills for a building in the City of Stanton, but in reality the building needed to be torn down. The board suggested Brost talk to Road Superintendent Miller to see if that is something they could do. No further action was taken.
Jim Theurer, Contegrity Group, gave the board an update on the Courthouse Expansion/Remodel project. Theurer stated the soils corrections for the north parking lot would cost $41,121.43. Gunsch moved to approve payment in the amount of $41,121.43 for soil corrections. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board discussed the open invoices from the Sheriff’s Department with State’s Attorney Binder. Binder stated she would get an updated list from the Sheriff’s Department and will work on turning them over to collections. No further action was taken.
Rachel Grimm, Highway Administrative Assistant, presented the three (3) lowest bidders for County 12 Re Route project. Grimm stated the lowest bidders were as follows: Dakota Westmoreland - $642,211.75; Foothills Contracting - $848,047.02; Edward Schwartz Construction - $855,555.71. Gunsch moved to award the County 12 Re Route project to Dakota Westmoreland in the amount of $642,211.75 pending the clearance of the bond check being deposited into an escrow account. Murray seconded. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, Scheurer voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
The board reviewed the outstanding road accounts. No further action was taken.
The board recessed at 10:04 AM.
The board reconvened at 10:11 AM.
Carmen Reed, Emergency Manager/911 Coordinator, discussed rescinding the burn ban with the board. Murray moved to rescind the Mercer Amended Fire Emergency Declaration and Burn Ban Proclamation. Gunsch seconded. Murray, Gunsch, Entze, and Scheurer voted aye. Berger was not available. Motion carried.
Gunsch gave his portfolio updates. Gunsch stated he believes in the chain of command and if there is an issue with an employee it should be addressed with the department head. Gunsch moved to send out a memo from the board stating if there are questions or issues with employees it needs to be taken to the department heads. Murray seconded. Gunsch added that it would be the polite and courteous thing to do. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, Scheurer voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
Murray and Berger had nothing to report.
Entze stated the Regional Airport Authority had a bid letting on the taxi way and it came in $100,000 higher than the estimate so all bids were rejected and will be re-bid next year.
Scheurer reported the landfill business has been on the rise.
State’s Attorney Binder discussed the Mahto Bay memorandum of understanding (MOU) and told the board if they agree with what she drafted it will be sent onto the Three Affiliated Tribes next. Mike Seifert stated there was a miscalculation in the mileage in the MOU. Seifert stated he would also like the county to consider a small reimbursement for the tribe for the maintenance of the road from January until present. Seifert noted he would like to see the duration portion of the MOU to state for cause. Gunsch moved to approve the Memorandum of understanding draft with the mileage correction. Entze seconded. Seifert asked about the termination for cause. Binder stated she wasn’t sure if the tribe would want it either and this draft was a starting point. Seifert stated he would like their attorney to review it as well. Binder stated that would be okay. Berger stated he agreed with Seifert on the good faith. Scheurer stated that would be a separate issue from the MOU. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Dan Daly, geologist with UND, and colleague Lonny Jacobson, met with the board to introduce the North Dakota Carbon Safe Project. Daly stated it is a Department of Energy funded project and they are working with Basin Electric and North American Coal. The project will look at the feasibility of large scale storage of carbon dioxide that is generated by the use of coal to be stored underground at 6,000 feet. Over the next couple of years they will be looking at geology in the area to see if it holds promise for a project like this and looking at regulations, permitting, and other community factors. Daly stated at the end of the two (2) year period they will provide a final report. Daly will be scheduling community meetings in the near future to provide additional information on the project. He added there are field sites in both Mercer and Oliver counties that have been proposed to drill down 6,000 feet and collect geological samples. The board thanked Daly and Jacobson for coming in.
The board recessed at 10:47 AM.
The board reconvened at 1:00 PM.
The board met with Keith Johnson, Custer Health District, to discuss the 2018 budget.
Next the board met with Ronald Crowley, Veterans Service Officer, to discuss his budget. Crowley requested an increase in his budget of $500 for a fax line, $30 for office supplies, and decreased his budget $25 for registrations.
Buster Langowski, Superintendent of Schools, discussed his budget with the board. Gunsch moved to increase Langowski’s rent from $225 a month to $250 a month. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. The salary line was increased to $10,000 and Langowski added the education line could be cut to $500 if need be.
Steve Reiser presented the Dakota Central Social Services budget to the board. Reiser recommended the board put $9000 into the coroner budget for county burials. Gunsch moved to approve the 2018 Dakota Central Social Services budget. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board recessed at 2:02 PM.
The board reconvened at 2:15 PM.
Linda Oestriech presented the Mercer McLean Commission on Aging budget to the board.
Beth Bruestle presented the Mercer McLean Regional Library budget to the board. Bruestle noted she was only requesting two (2) mills from both Mercer and McLean counties this year and would spending down her reserves.
Renee Lindemann and Lani Meyhoff presented the Mercer County Historical Society budget to the board.
The board recessed at 3:05 PM.
The board reconvened at 3:15 PM.
Edward Grunett and Greg Lange presented the Mercer County Water Resource Board budget to the board.
Steve Forvarp presented the Mercer County Regional Airport budget to the board. Forvarp is requesting slightly higher dollars due to the Runway Rehab project slated for 2020 in the amount of $1.5 million.
Sarah Tunge presented the Soil Conservation District budget to the board.
Marcy Sailer, Codi Soland, and Marcia Steffen presented the Mercer County Ambulance budget to the board. Noting they are asking for more dollars due to higher expenditures.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 4:11 PM. The next special meeting is scheduled for August 24, 2017, at 8:30 AM in the courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse. The next regular meeting is scheduled for September 6, 2017, at 9:00 AM in the courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse, Stanton, North Dakota.
The special meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Chairman Duane Scheurer with the meeting being videotaped. Present were Commissioners Wes Gunsch, Gary Murray, Wayne Entze, Dwight Berger, and Auditor Shana Brost.
Motion made by Commissioner Murray, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the agenda. All members voted “Aye”, motion carried.
The board reviewed the Commissioner’s budget with Auditor Brost. The board requested a telephone reimbursement be added to the budget.
Motion made by Commissioner Gunsch to approve the purchase of new software from Tyler Technologies using $100,000 out of the 2017 budget and the remaining out of the 2018 budget. Murray seconded. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, Scheurer voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
The board reviewed the miscellaneous budget striking out the $5,000 donation for the Stanton Fire Department.
The board reviewed the Sheriff, Task Force, Youth Bureau, Coroner, Game and Fish, Homeland Security Grant, and Special Vehicle budgets with Sheriff Danzeisen.
The board recessed at 10:14 AM.
The board reconvened at 10:29 AM.
The board reviewed the State’s Attorney budget with State’s Attorney Binder.
The board reviewed the Emergency Management and 911 Coordinator budgets with Carmen Reed.
The board reviewed the Tax Director, Land Use Administrator, and Planning and Zoning budgets with Colette Schilling.
The board reviewed the Landfill budget with Candice Strand.
The board recessed at 11:18 AM.
The board reconvened at 12:32 AM.
The board reviewed the Highway Department budget with Road Superintendent Ken Miller, Assistant Superintendent Elroy Opp, and Eric Urness from Interstate Engineering. All operators will be budgeted under line item #141—Patrol Operators. Budgeted overtime will be as follows: Opp—80 hours; Operators—100 hours; Truck Drivers—80 hours; Utility—80 hours; and Mechanic—80 hours. Urness and Miller stated the necessary projects that needed to be completed in 2018 are as follows: County 25 Chip Seal (pass through with Coyote Creek), County 5 Chip Seal, County 37 Chip Seal, and County 26 Chip Seal. Mercer County share/costs of $322,720 and Engineering costs of $200,000.
The board reviewed the Janitor, Buildings and Grounds, and Risk Management budgets with Jim Albers. In Building Maintenance line an additional $1,400 was added.
The board reviewed the Recorder’s budget with Recorder Brenda Cook.
The board recessed at 1:40 PM.
The board reconvened at 1:47 PM.
The board reviewed the Treasurer’s budget with Treasurer Darbie Berger. $54 was added to office supplies and $150 was added to education.
The board reviewed the Clerk of Court and District Court budgets with Clerk Wanda Knutson.
The board reviewed the Weed Board budget with Chairman Don Reichenberg.
The board reviewed the Extension Agency budget with Dena Kemmet.
Motion made by Murray to approve the 2018 Preliminary Budget. Gunsch seconded. Murray, Gunsch, Entze, Scheurer voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
There being no further business, on motion duly made and second, the meeting was adjourned at 2:34 PM CDT. The next regular meeting of the commission will be September 6, 2017 at 9:00 AM CT in the courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse, Stanton, North Dakota.
Approved: Duane Scheurer, Chairman
Attest: Shana L. Brost, Auditor