Most recently approved County Commission Minutes

 

 

Mercer County Commission
Minutes
May 17, 2017

 

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

Others present during portions of the meeting were: Ashely Miller, Brenda Cook, Jim Albers, Ken Miller, Eric Urness, Ronald Crowley, Sarah Bauer, Wanda Knutson, Chris Friez, Jesse Noel, Jessica Unruh, Tyler Barth, Jason Bohrer, Pam Pehl, Elroy Opp, Ron Isaak, Lyle Winkler, Travis Fuechtmann, Dan Arens, and Jim Theurer.

Gunsch moved to approve the agenda with additions. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Entze moved to approve the minutes of the May 3rd meeting. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Gunsch moved to approve the bills, excluding the Treasurer’s bills and the Community Health Coalition bill. Murray seconded. The following claims were approved for payment: Advanced Business Methods, $214.16; Aflac, $1443.75; American Welding, $121.25; Ameripride, $55.53; Annuity Premium Reserve, $1203.78; Annuity Premium Reserve Account, $473.09; Craig Askim, $449.96; Assurity Life, $1990.24; Dwight Berger, $48.60; Bloom’n House, $48.00; BCBS, $61721.56; Bronson’s, $2132.94; Business Radio Licensing, $360.00; Butler Machinery, $45.76; City of Beulah, $79.76; City of Golden Valley, $80.25; City of Stanton, $5018.83; Clerk of Supreme Court, $25.00; CMFG Life Insurance, $1496.96; CMFG Life Insurance, $340.58; Corner Express, $71.32; Custer Health, $4692.42; D & E Supply, $1223.97; Days Inn & Suites, $245.70; DCI $594.04; Brandon Doll, $234.26; Electronic Communications, $158.00; ETSystems, $364.00; FHP, $685.00; Farmers Union Insurances, $1543.00; Fastenal. $1.44; Federal Eftps, $86876.14; Fitterer Oil, $82.00; Ryan Flemmer, $5.40; Guardian, $91.00; Guardian, $273.00; Weslie Gunsch, $138.24; Hazen Drug, $53.35; Hazen Hardware Hank, $313.03; ITD, $896.20; Interstate Engineering, $16277.20; Jonathan Publishing, $130.00; J-S, $52.00; Dena Kemmet, $839.77; Klein McCarthy, $13239.94; Wanda Knutson, $264.63; Krause Super Valu, $143.94; Language Line Services, $90.00; Leeroy Fischer Construction, $5896.00; May Advances, $9850.00; Mercer County Treas-BC, $11554.04; Mercer County Auditor, $97060.08; Mercer County Shop, $2270.64; Mercer County Treasurer, $4132.48; MIDCO, $228.27; Gary Murray, $225.50; Napa, $62.48; Nationwide Retirement, $11567.95; Nationwide Retirement, $1122.85; NDACO 911; 943.01; ND Public Employee Retirement, $15596.14; NDPERS, $29650.46; NDSU, $82.00; Neuberger Oil, $1263.55; NW Tire, $17.18; ND Attorney General, $1310.00; Office of the State Auditor, $165.00; OK Automotive, $358.94; Pharmchem, $675.00; Postmaster, $52.00; Rath & Mehrer, $10000.00; RDO, $344.06; Relx, $186.43; Kent Roth, $140.00; Roughrider Electric, $1533.82; Duane Scheurer, $154.76; Shopko, $87.78; Snappylogo’s, $287.00; SBM, $306.03; SW Water, $43.22; The Hub, $15.32; Thor, $78396.95; Underground Vaults, $336.00; Uniform Center, $1030.85; Vanguard Appraisals, $375.00; Vaxserve, $143.22; Verizon, $36.50; Christopher Waller, $140.00; Warrant No:56105-56151; 8680-8740, $229136.50; WRT, $506.00, WRT, $2998.34; Wex Bank, $1867.80; Wilmington Trust, $400.00. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Entze moved to approve the Treasurer’s bills. Murray seconded. The following claims were approved for payment: SBM, $31.15; WRT, $100.80. Scheurer, Gunsch, Murray, and Entze voted aye. Motion carried.

Murray moved to approve Duplicate Warrant #52145 issued to Cody Theil for tax overpayment in the amount of $1101.08. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

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

The board reviewed the Monthly Financial Statement. No further action was taken.

The board reviewed the Landfill Tonnage Report. No further action was taken.

The board reviewed a request from the Mercer County Ambulance requesting a donation for the addition to the building in Hazen. Since there is no money set aside in the budget for this, the board declined to donate.

Entze moved to approve the April Recorder’s Fees in the amount of $6642.80. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Murray moved to approve the April Sheriff’s Fees in the amount of $9887.82. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Gunsch, Murray, and Berger gave the board their portfolio updates.

Travis Fuechtmann and Jim Theurer, Contegrity Group, gave the board an update on the Courthouse Expansion/Remodel. Fuechtmann explained to the board to replace the asphalt north of the sally port would be an additional $11,456. Gunsch moved to approve PR#7 in the amount of $11,456.00 to asphalt the north drive of the sally port. Murray seconded. Murray questioned if it wasn’t done now, how long the driveway would last. Theurer stated maybe a year or two. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Fuechtmann explained to the board the valves for the computer room cooling unit in the security electronics room were not included in the plans, but needed to be purchased. Entze moved to approve PR#19 in the amount of $5211.41 for the computer room air conditioning unit valves. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Fuechtmann informed the board they came across soft spots while shaping the north parking lot. As of today, he did not have any numbers but estimated it would take 700 yards of fill to rectify the situation.

Theurer updated the board on the ongoing schedule for the expansion and remodel stating the demolition has started in Area C, curb and gutter is poured on the south side, asphalt for south parking lot will begin May 23rd, and Dakota Fencing will be putting in guardrails to protect the CRAC unit and propane tanks. The board thanked Theurer and Fuechtmann for the update.

State’s Attorney Binder addressed the board about tabled motions. Binder stated the board is to be run by the Chairman and is not aware Mercer County’s board ever formally adopted Robert’s Rules of Order, and it is just a guideline. Binder added there is a difference to lay a motion on the table versus tabling it to another time, where the board typically tables to have the issue at a different meeting and it just goes under new business and doesn’t need a motion to bring it back. No further action was taken.

Commissioner Entze gave his portfolio update. Entze stated the Weed Board is hiring two (2) seasonal employees for the summer.

Next on the agenda was Road Issues. The board reviewed the Outstanding Road Accounts. No further action was taken.

Road Superintendent, Ken Miller, presented an estimate to the board from Tommy Winkler in the amount of $5800.00 for the Ron Isaak Crossing. The estimate included an 18x20 top with six (6) inch pad and half inch (½) rebar. Miller stated the road department would put in the culverts and create the berm. Miller stated the previous estimate of $1890.00 was if the road department would do the work themselves but they do not have concrete tools. Ron Isaak stated he was supposed to get a contractual letter from the county and never received anything back in September of 2015. State’s Attorney Binder stated the letter was going to go out after the county received an estimate. They now have one so that is why they are here. Scheurer stated concrete is expensive so the county can leave it as is or Isaak would have to pay for the concrete. Isaak stated if the county leaves it as is it will wash out. Scheurer noted the concrete pad would only benefit one home. Gunsch added Mercer County has a lot of creeks and cannot afford to help everyone out. Isaak stated he was hoping since the county agreed to pay half back in 2015, they would agree to half now. Gunsch moved to honor the motion where the county agreed to pay half or up to $945 of the cost share and the county can assist with building the berm. Murray seconded. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, and Scheurer voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.

Entze moved to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1690 issued to Roughrider Electric Cooperative for a new home service to bore under 11th St SW. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Eric Urness, Interstate Engineering, discussed the scope of work from the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for the intersection of ND HWYS 200 & 49. Urness stated they would be installing blinking LED stop signs, destination lights at the intersection, intersection signs, pavement markings, and getting rid of the flashing beacon. Urness stated the county could install a digital display in the 45 mph speed zone and have more patrol at the intersection until there is enough funding for a roundabout.

Urness stated the County 13 Overlay Pre-Construction meeting will be held on June 7th at 3 PM at the Interstate Engineering office in Beulah.

Jesse Noel, Dakota Westmoreland, presented two (2) petitions to the board. The first petition reads as follows:

“PETITION FOR OPENING A SECTION LINE ROAD

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF DAKOTA WESTMORELAND CORPORATION FOR AN ORDER OPENING A CERTAIN SECTION LINE ROAD THAT INTERFERES WITH SURFACE COAL MINING OPERATIONS

 

Pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 28-01-07.1 and 38-01-07.2, north Dakota Century Code, Dakota Westmoreland Corporation (“Petitioner”) states the following:

 

  1. Petitioner is a surface coal mining operator with the right to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on or in the vicinity of the lands hereinafter described.

     

  2. Petitioner requests that the road hereinafter described be opened due to the fact that such road interferes with the Petitioner’s surface coal mining and reclamation operation.

 

  1. Petitioner asserts that the road hereinafter described is an alternate route that will be constructed.

     

  2. The road that the Petitioner is requesting to be opened by virtue of this Petition is described as follows:

 

The north-south section line between Sections 29 and 30, Township 143N, Range 88W, as shown on the attached map.

 

  1. The road that the Petitioner is being asked to complete and reopen upon completion of mining and reclamation activities is described as follows (the original location of County Road 12):

 

The east-west section lines of the following: Sections 14 and 23, Sections 15 and 22, Sections 16 and 21, Sections 17 and 20, and the SE1/4, SE1/4, Section 18 and NE1/4, NE1/4, Section 19, Township 143N, Range 88W.

 

WHEREFORE, Petitioner requests that the Board of Mercer County Commissioners set this matter for hearing and that thereafter Petitioner be granted the relief requested.

Dated this 17th day of May, 2017.

DAKOTA WESTMORELAND CORPORATION

/s/Jesse Noel, Regional Environmental Manager”

The second petition reads as follows:

“PETITION FOR CLOSING A SECTION LINE ROAD

 

IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF DAKOTA WESTMORELAND CORPORATION FOR AN ORDER TEMPORARILY CLOSING A CERTAIN SECTION LINE ROAD THAT INTERFERES WITH SURFACE COAL MINING OPERATIONS

 

Pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 28-01-07.1 and 38-01-07.2, north Dakota Century Code, Dakota Westmoreland Corporation (“Petitioner”) states the following:

 

  1. Petitioner is a surface coal mining operator with the right to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on or in the vicinity of the lands hereinafter described.

     

  2. Petitioner requests that the road hereinafter described be temporarily closed due to the fact that such road interferes with the Petitioner’s surface coal mining and reclamation operation.

 

  1. Petitioner asserts that the road hereinafter described is not required due to an alternate route that will be constructed.

     

  2. The road that the Petitioner is requesting to be closed by virtue of this Petition is described as follows:

 

The east-west section line road between sections 20 and 29, Township 143N, Range 88W, being part of County Road 12, as shown on the attached map.

 

  1. The road that the Petitioner is being asked to complete and reopen upon completion of mining and reclamation activities is described as follows (the original location of County Road 12):

 

The east-west section lines of the following: Sections 14 and 23, Sections 15 and 22, Sections 16 and 21, Sections 17 and 20, and the SE1/4, SE1/4, Section 18 and NE1/4, NE1/4, Section 19, Township 143N, Range 88W.

 

  1. The road that the County is being asked to complete and reopen (the alternate route) is described as follows:

 

The north-south section line between Sections 29 and 30, Township 143N, Range 88W, as shown on the attached map.

 

  1. After the completion of surface coal mining and reclamation operations, the Petitioner will restore the closed road to the extent required by the Board of Mercer County Commissioners.

 

WHEREFORE, Petitioner requests that the Board of Mercer County Commissioners set this matter for hearing and that thereafter Petitioner be granted the relief requested.

Dated this 17th day of May, 2017.

DAKOTA WESTMORELAND CORPORATION

/s/Jesse Noel, Regional Environmental Manager”

Noel stated Dakota Westmoreland has leases signed by two (2) of three (3) parties and the third party is Coyote Creek Mining Company. Gunsch stated he would like to see a farmer access road written into the resolution. Chris Friez, Coyote Creek Mining Company, stated they have mining operations within the right-of-way on the north-south section line between Sections 29 and 30 so they would need to get together with Dakota Westmoreland to draft a resolution. Gunsch moved to accept the petitions and set the public hearings on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 10:30 AM. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.

The board recessed at 10:36 AM.

The board reconvened at 11:00 AM.

Jason Bohrer addressed the board about the closed Manhaven Road located between sections 2 & 11 T146N R85W. Bohrer stated the land has been between his family for generations stating they have not done anything with it in decades. Bohrer came before the board to explain there is a locked gate on the section line and tried to work with the adjacent landowner to get a key but was not successful. Bohrer stated his only access to the land is by walking. Gunsch asked State’s Attorney Binder for her opinion. Binder stated obstructions are not wrong but they still have to allow adjacent landowners access. Binder added Bohrer could request access from the adjacent landowner and if that doesn’t work he’ll need to take the next step to reopen the section line. Gunsch instructed Binder to write a letter to the adjacent landowner. Binder noted if Bohrer came back to the board it wouldn’t mean reopening the closed Manhaven Road, but just the section line. Adding, if Bohrer wanted to improve the section line he would need the blessing of the board. Murray suggested to first try and communicate with the adjacent landowner. Gunsch moved to direct State’s Attorney Binder to send a letter to all parties involved and see if they can come to an agreement and notify the legalities regarding the closure of section lines. Murray seconded. Gunsch stated he knows the frustrations of people using section lines and is really hoping the two parties can work together for access. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Scheurer gave his portfolio update.

Scheurer discussed the St. John’s Cemetery and now that it has been declared abandoned by the county it needs a fence and the grass needs to be cut. Gunsch moved to have the Road Department construct a four (4) wire steel post fence around the St. John Cemetery and start doing maintenance on it. Entze seconded. Entze stated the county cannot put up a chain link fence because of livestock and snow, noting barbed wire is easier to maintain. Gunsch stated when you do see a chain link fence around a cemetery, it is usually families who pay to put them there. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Scheurer asked the board who was going to maintain the Golden Valley lots and house the county owns. Gunsch asked if the county needed to keep the house now that it is vacant. Auditor Brost stated she would check with Sheriff Danzeisen. No further action was taken.

There being no further business, on motion duly made and second, the meeting was adjourned at 11:26 AM CDT. The next regular meeting of the commission will be June 7, 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