Mercer County Commission
March 16, 2022
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM by Chairman Travis Frey. Present were Commissioners Liza Taylor, Wayne Entze, Gene Wolf, Marvin Schwehr, State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz and Auditor Shana Brost. Others present during portions of the meeting were Wanda Knutson, Cyndi Zueger, Candy Strand, Ken Miller, Charlie Hankins, Kurt Milbradt, Chris Friez, Rylan Sundsbak, Mike Murray, Jean Schaefer, Shauna Laber, Jennifer Goos, Ron Boyko, Joe Grannis, Terry Ternes, Ashley Miller, Jim Albers and Dan Arens of the Hazen Star.
Schwehr added wind ordinance to the agenda.
Wolf moved to approve the agenda as amended. Schwehr seconded. Wolf, Schwehr, Entze and Frey voted aye. Taylor voted nay. Motion carried.
Wolf moved to approve the minutes of the March 2nd meeting as presented. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve bills as. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. The following bills were approved for payment (#45703-47569): ARMOR INTERACTIVE, $1,881.00; ASKIM, CRAIG, $85.55; THE BEACON, $1,835.76; BEULAH PUBLIC SCHOOL DIST #27, $42.60; BLOOM'N HOUSE, $80.00; BOSCH, GWYN, $70.80; BRONSON'S MARKETPLACE, $2,229.14; BROST, SHANA, $266.60; CITY OF BEULAH, $86.85; CITY OF GOLDEN VALLEY, $29.75; CITY OF STANTON, $6,004.20; COBBLESTONE HOTEL & SUITES, $86.40; CUSTER HEALTH DISTRICT, $3,677.05; D & E SUPPLY CO INC., $607.51; DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY, LLC, $3.00; DIRECT MED, $848.67; DIRT PRO SERVICES, $155.00; ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS, $1,684.50; ENTZE, WAYNE, $137.32; FARMERS UNION OIL CO., $20.00; FARMERS UNION SERVICE ASSOCIATION, $2,748.00; FITTERER OIL HAZEN LLC, $2,429.02; WEX BANK, $4,549.51; GALLS/QUARTERMASTER, $200.38; GRINSTEINNER, ALICE, $116.30; HAZEN DRUG, $5.71; HAZEN STAR, $250.00; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT $1,294.39; KADRMAS, LEE & JACKSON, INC., $394.91; LANGUAGE LINE SERVICES, $90.00; RELX INC. DBA LEXISNEXIS, $193.00; MIDCONTINENT COMMUNICATIONS, $144.44; MUL T SERVICES & CONTRACTING, $450.00; NAPA, $799.02; ND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES 911, $859.80; OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, $785.00; ND DEPT OF CORRECTIONS & REHAB, $3,419.76; ND EMS ASSOCIATION, $260.00; ND STATE RADIO COMMUNICATIONS, $2,138.56; NDSU, $125.00; NEUBERGER OIL COMPANY, $2,511.60; NORTHWEST TIRE AUTO SERVICE INC. $607.84; NOVA FIRE PROTECTION, INC., $645.00; OK AUTOMOTIVE, $236.51; NORTHERN PLAINS EQUIPMENT, $84.70; OST, CAITLIN J., $13.00; OTTER TAIL POWER COMPANY, $648.00; PENGUIN MANAGEMENT, INC., $5,388.00; PFLIGER, METTA, $115.64; PHARMCHEM, INC., $94.35; POSTMASTER, $84.00; LINDE GAS & EQUIPMENT, INC., $186.87; RAMADA BISMARCK HOTEL, $96.00; RDO EQUIPMENT CO., $772.90; REDWOOD TOXICOLOGY LABORATORY INC., $745.20; ROSENAU, TAUNI, $10.00; ROUGHRIDER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INC., $2,036.53; SOUTHWEST BUSINESS MACHINES INC., $70.48; SOUTHWEST WATER AUTHORITY, $54.57; STUDIO 6 – MINOT, $223.96;THE HUB CONVENIENCE STORES, INC., $59.95; TITAN MACHINERY, $365.06; UNIFORM CENTER, $59.99; VERIZON WIRELESS, $83.94; WEST RIVER TELECOMMUNICATIONS, $3,564.80; WOLF, GENE, $100.00; ZUEGER, CYNDI, $112.69. (Total: $60,056.08)
Cyndi Zueger, Tax Director/Land Use Administrator, discussed the taxation of vacant lots. Schwehr moved to leave all vacant and contiguous lots taxes as is as advised by the State’s Attorney. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Zueger presented a formal complaint to the board from TeeJay Zenker and Kay Zenker about their neighbor’s garage that is not within the 10’ setback as laid out in the Planning and Zoning ordinance. State’s Attorney Schwarz stated the county cannot enforce the ordinance without building permits and/or building inspector. Schwarz stated it is a civil issue and the board does not have the authority to tell a landowner to tear down a building and create waste and the county needs to get their ordinance up to date. TeeJay Zenker stated the garage is implicating their ability to sell the property. Zenker stated according to NDCC 11-13-16 and 11-13-17, he does not see where the commissioners cannot enforce the ordinance. Schwarz stated he did not believe this board has the authority to do anything after the building is built. Schwarz asked Zenker to seek a civil attorney to resolve the issue. Schwehr moved the Board of Mercer County Commissioners not to act on the complaint presented by TeeJay by the advice of the State’s Attorney. Wolf seconded. Schwehr, Wolf and Frey voted aye. Entze and Taylor voted nay. Motion carried.
Schwehr moved to close bids for RFP for Federal Aid Project BRO-002-(056). Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Wolf moved to accept the RFP from Interstate Engineering, Inc. for BRO-0029(056) PCN 23132 Structure Replacement Mercer County, ND. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Schwehr moved to approve the purchase of 150 cutting edges in the amount of $19,717.50. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Road Superintendent, Ken Miller, reported they have started to crack seal this week and frost laws will be implemented on March 18th.
Schwehr updated the board on the bridge south of Beulah 17 miles and two (2) miles west. He stated the repairs on the bridge were $18,000 but Ken had it in his budget so he is not worried about it.
Taylor discussed the truck for the landfill/maintenance departments. She stated her biggest concern is why we need to purchase a new truck when the Highway Department has one. Taylor questioned who is going to keep paying for repairs since neither the landfill or maintenance departments have this in their budgets. Taylor noted this is something that could be scheduled to avoid any extra costs. Schwarz stated he does not see where sharing a truck between departments would be an issue.
Shauna Laber and Mike Murray presented a pore space lease to the county. Schwehr moved to approve Pore Space Lease No. 281-45Q-190 between Mercer County and Dakota Gasification Company. Wolf seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Ron Boyko and Jennifer Goos, City of Stanton, requested an extra half mile of extraterritorial zone that isn’t joint with the county. Wolf moved to approve the request from the City of Stanton to allow one (1) mile extraterritorial zone and the county relinquishing the control of the last half mile. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board recessed at 11:16 AM.
The board reconvened at 11:20 AM.
Terry Ternes gave the board an update on the Federal Prisoner contract. Ternes stated the contract was complete as of March 10th and was waiting on the blessing of the board to start taking federal inmates. Ternes stated the contract states Mercer County would receive $80/day per prisoner, $35 per officer per transport, all medical would be paid by the Federal Government, no prisoners would be released into the community, and the contract was signed for three (3) years with termination by either party with a 30-day written request. Ternes added they would start with five (5) federal inmates bringing in a total of $112,840 a year after all expenses are paid. Eventually they would like to work up to 20 federal inmates bringing in $451,360 a year after all expenses. Ternes noted at this time he does not foresee the need to hire any more staff. Wolf moved to approve the Federal contract for prisoners. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Schwehr moved to accept the language of Levy 1204 County road and Bridge changing the word from continue to obtain. Wolf seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. The ballot measure reads as follows:
“As per N.D.C.C 57-15-06.7(5), shall the governing body of Mercer County obtain the additional 10 mills for County Roads and Bridges above the 10 mill levy limitation set out in the N.D.C.C. Chapter 57-15-06.7 for a total of 20 mills?
The increase of 10 mills is to replace the loss of 15 mills allocated to Farm to Market Roads per SB 2144.
Yes—Means you approve the measure as summarized above.
No—Means you reject the measure as summarized above.”
Wolf moved to approve the February Sheriff fees in the amount of $9661.99. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board gave their portfolio updates.
Schwehr gave a wind ordinance update stating he would like it on the next agenda.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 11:59 AM. The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2022, at 9:00 AM in the boardroom of the Mercer County Government Center in Stanton, North Dakota. The meetings can be viewed online at www.mercercountynd.com
Approved: Travis Frey, Chairman
Attest: Shana L. Brost, Auditor