Mercer County Commission
September 1, 2021
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM by Chairman Gene Wolf. Present were Commissioners Wayne Entze, Liza Taylor, Travis Frey, Marvin Schwehr and Auditor Shana Brost. Others present during portions of the meeting were Wren Murphy, James Kasper, Vicki Steiner, Brad Siefert, Richard Scheid, Cyndi Zueger, Darbie Berger, Ken Miller and Dan Arens of BHG News.
Frey moved to approve the agenda as amended. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Frey moved to approve the August 18th minutes as presented. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Frey moved to approve the bills. Entze seconded. The following vouchers (#44629-44656) were approved for payment: ADVANCED BUSINESS METHODS, $700.50; BEULAH JOB DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, $806.13; BUTLER MACHINERY CO., $91.22; CARDMEMBER SERVICES, $1,335.88; COLONIAL RESEARCH CHEMICAL CORP., $136.62; DIRECT MED, $24.82; DONALD E. MUTZENBERGER, $40.00; EGGERS ELECTRIC MOTOR CO., $2,510.49; FITTERER OIL INC., $2,132.00; FREY, TRAVIS, $72.82; HAZEN FIRE DEPARTMENT, $864.00; HAZEN MOTOR CO., $742.18; HAZEN STAR, $24.10; HOUSTON ENGINEERING INC., $8,085.50; MARQUERT, ANDREW, $288.00; MONTANA DAKOTA UTILITIES, $66.80; NEUBERGER OIL CO., $3,854.52; NORTHWEST TIRE AUTO SERVICE, INC., $5,987.37; OK AUTOMOTIVE, $35.40; BOYER, AMANDA, $123.20; PLATINUM MOTOR SPORTS, INC., $9,777.10; PRAXAIR DISTRIBUTIONS, INC., $530.41; RDO EQUIPMENT CO., $289.20; REED, CARMEN, $36.63; RIVER CITY SPORTS, INC., $239.94; SOLEM LAW OFFICE, $57.67; VERIZON WIRELESS, $827.07; WDALA, $160.00 (TOTAL $40,949.77) All voted aye. Motion carried.
Schwehr moved to allow the Weed Board to purchase a Can-Am per their recommendation. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board held the first reading of policy changes 201 Employment Categories, Policy 303 Vacation Benefits, Policy 305 Holidays, Policy 307 Sick Leave Benefits, and Policy 403 Paydays. Auditor Brost read the following changes aloud:
201 EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES
NUMBER OF HOURS PER MONTH BENEFITS ELIGIBILITY—FOR ALL EMPLOYEES
0-40 hours No Paid Benefits
41-80 hours 50% Paid Benefits
81-120 hours 75% Paid Benefits
Over 120 hours 100% Paid Benefits
Employee’s vacation/sick leave hours may be used towards monthly benefit eligibility.
303 VACATION BENEFITS
Vacation benefits will be prorated based on the number of actual hours worked per pay period. Employee’s vacation hours may be used toward monthly benefit eligibility.
Mercer County will grant holiday time off and/or compensation to employees which holidays are listed below:
Juneteenth (June 19)
307 SICK LEAVE BENEFITS
Sick leave benefits will be prorated based on the actual hours worked per pay period. Employee’s sick leave hours may be used toward monthly benefit eligibility.
Employees hired after [DATE COMMISSION APPROVED] will be required to have paychecks direct deposited.
The second reading of these policies will be at the September 15, 2021 commission meeting at 9:30 AM in the Mercer County Boardroom.
Frey moved to approve duplicate warrant #44191 to the City of Golden Valley in the amount of $29.60 for utilities. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Schwehr handed out a spreadsheet of employee fringe benefits from Custer Health, stating it shows total employee compensation.
Schwehr discussed several options of how the audit report could be presented to the board.
Darbie Berger gave the board the Treasurer’s report.
Cyndi Zueger, Tax Director/Land Use Administrator, presented one (1) zoning case to the board.
#21-08-01: A request from James Kasper to construct within 75’ from the center of the road and a request to construct within 25’ of the Corp of Engineers property on Tract 2 in the NW ¼ of Section 4 T146N R87W. The Planning Commission recommended a 25’ variance from the Corp setback on August 19, 2021 and recommended a 75’ variance from the center of the road on August 19, 2021. By zoning regulations in the Agricultural Zoning District, the county setback from the road right-of-way is 150’ from the centerline of the road and 50’ from both the side and rear lot lines. Frey moved to approve the variance as requested in zoning case #21-08-01 as previously recommended by the Planning & Zoning Board. Taylor seconded. Frey and Taylor voted aye. Entze, Schwehr, and Wolf voted nay. Motion failed.
Zueger discussed the Solar Moratorium with the board. Schwehr moved to extend the Mercer County Solar moratorium to May 4, 2022. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Vickie Steiner discussed a strategic plan for Lake Sakakawea lots. No further action was taken.
Road Superintendent, Ken Miller, stated the chip seals on County 20, County 26, and Beaver Bay Road will begin on September 9, 2021. Miller also stated the annual meeting with the NDDOT is on October 5th at 9:45 AM.
Entze moved to approve the 2022-2026 Federal Aid Program. Taylor seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Auditor Brost presented four (4) internal control policies to the board: GASB 54, Capital Assets, Credit Card Policy, and Fraud Prevention. Frey moved to adopt the policies as presented. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board discussed the social services building and directed Maintenance Supervisor, Jim Albers, to discontinue the services he can.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10:39 AM. The next regular meeting is scheduled for September 15, 2021, at 9:00 AM at the Mercer County Boardroom at the Mercer County Government Center in Stanton, North Dakota. The meetings can be viewed online at www.mercercountynd.com
Approved: Gene Wolf, Chairman
Attest: Shana L. Brost, Auditor