Most recently approved County Commission Minutes

 

 

Mercer County Commission
Minutes
February 1, 2017

 

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

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

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Berger to approve the minutes from the January 18th meeting. On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Berger, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the bills, excluding Baranko Brother’s bills, as follows:  Advanced Business Methods, $321.84; AED Everywhere, $318.75; American Welding, $224.19; Ameripride, $55.53; Barbot Funeral Homes, $450.00; Bergstrom Electric, $281952.00; Beulah Job Development, $606.34; Beulah Lumber Co., $24.16; Jessica Binder, $363.72; Braun Intertec, $1901.25; Cardmember Services, $1185.70; Charm-Tex, $144.50; Civic Plus, $2995.00; Coffell’s Plumbing, $117864.90; Contegrity Group, $32141.98; D & E Supply, $542.33; Dakota Fence, $5960.00; Dakota Prairies RC & D, $400.00; Dakota Staffing, $1171.80; Dent Master, $384.90; Eide Ford Lincoln, $557.64; Electronic Communications, $2625.00; Little Falls Machine, $170.95; Expressway Suites, $5978.70; FUO Beulah, $1073.86, FUO Hazen, $1093.90; Farmers Union Insurance, $71397.00; Galls, $818.07; Glass Doctor, $745.02; Weslie Gunsch, $164.16; Hazen Hardware Hank, $116.96; Heartland Engineering, $289.00; Implementation Specialists, $7071.25; Industrial Fabworx, $1020.00; J & M Hardware, $128.88; J-S Sanitation, $1053.00; Job Service ND, $5599.30; Johnson Controls, $341.20; Gontran Langowski, $97.20; NDSU Extension, $156.04; MSOCIC, $150.00; Kurt Milbradt, $245.00; Vickie Brodkorb, $384.47; MDU, $158.34; Napa, $848.05; NDACO Resources Group, $260.00; ND EMA, $30.00; ND One Call, $9.00; ND Secretary of State, $36.00; NDACTVSO, $50.00; ND 911 Association, $25.00; Neuberger Oil Company, $17046.21; North Central Rental & Leasing, $9760.00; Nova Fire Protection, $23400.00; OK Automotive, $209.74; Olson Electric, $289.04; Ronald Olson, $92.80; Prairie Supply, $2400.00; RDO Equipment, $1381.32; Redwood Toxicology, $86.00; Carmen Reed, $110.16; Sailer Septic, $125.00; SBM, $104.16; Straightway Construction, $118663.00; Sweeper Metal Fabricators, $49750.00; The Hub, $47.30; Trans Trash, $1200.00; Verizon Wireless, $1949.93; Westlie Motor Co., $40808.24.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to amend Mercer County’s Blue Cross Blue Shield benefit books to include the implementation of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to include coverage for the following transgender medical services: hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgeries, with prior approval.  Excluded benefits include cosmetic procedures.  Commissioner Berger stated he didn’t think the county couldn’t amend their benefit book because it would be discrimination.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to reappoint Casey Voigt to the Mercer County Water Resource Board with the term expiring December 31, 2019.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Berger to approve the December Sheriff’s Fees in the amount of $18,094.84.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Berger, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the December Recorder’s Fees in the amount of $4,696.10.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Next on the agenda under Other Business was the Extension Agency Performance Review.  Commissioner Berger expressed he would like to sit in on the review but he will be out of town on March 16th.  The board discussed putting it on the next agenda when portfolio holder, Commissioner Murray, was present.  Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to table the Extension Agency Performance Review topic until the next meeting.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Next on the agenda was the second reading for Policy 507: Overtime.  Auditor Brost read the policy as follows:  “When operating requirements or other needs cannot be met during regular working hours, employees may be scheduled to work overtime hours.  When possible, advance notification of these mandatory assignments will be provided.  All overtime work must receive the supervisor's prior authorization.

Overtime compensation is paid to all nonexempt employees in accordance with federal and state wage and hour laws.  Time worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a work week or in excess of 171 hours in a work period (Sheriff's Deputies and Detention Officers) shall be considered overtime, and shall be compensated by overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half (1 1/2) times the employee's regular rate of compensation.  All overtime payments shall be made on the next regular payday for the period in which such overtime occurred.”  Commissioner Berger stated he thought a lot about this policy and if the county got rid of comp time how are they going to compensate the salaried people and how they would pay Road Superintendent Ken Miller overtime.  Commissioner Entze stated he will not get paid overtime but if he chooses to take a half a day off he can do that.  Commissioner Berger stated that would be comp time.  Auditor Brost stated that would be considered flex time because it happened within the same work week.  Commissioner Berger asked how Miller would be compensated at one and a half times his wage for overtime hours worked.  Auditor Brost stated he wouldn’t get overtime because he is a non-exempt salary employee who doesn’t receive comp time or overtime.  Berger stated Miller could take comp time in lieu of overtime worked.  Auditor Brost stated no because he is non-exempt salaried employee and the only way around that would be to change his classification.  Commissioner Entze asked if Miller writes his hours on a timesheet and Brost stated yes, but he doesn’t qualify for overtime or comp time.  Commissioner Berger stated there isn’t very many employees that are non-exempt employees, but we need to make sure everyone is treated the same.  Commissioner Berger stated he is afraid to take the comp time away, but Brost stated it wouldn’t matter because Miller doesn’t qualify for overtime/comp time anyway.  Berger stated he just wants to make sure that it is done the same throughout the county with the Sheriff’s department and the Highway department.  Auditor Brost stated there isn’t an issue in the Sheriff’s department because the Sheriff allows them to flex their hours if need be.  Commissioner Entze stated the Sheriff is there to oversee the timesheets, whereas Miller is the department head so there isn’t really any checks and balances.  Auditor Brost stated the record keeping with the employees is the problem because comp time was never recorded on timesheets.  Commissioner Berger stated doing away with comp time is going to create more problems.  Auditor Brost stated a motion was made years ago taking away comp time and this reading was just a formality to clean up the handbook.  Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to send Policy 507 Overtime back to the Policy Committee.  Commissioner Berger asked if an employee is on their day off but ends up working are they covered under insurance even though they are not on county property.  Auditor Brost stated if they are in a county vehicle they are covered under the county’s insurance.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Carmen Reed, 911 Coordinator/Emergency Manager, presented the Joint Powers Agreement between Mercer County and Oliver County.  Reed stated the only changes to the agreement were her salary and fringe benefits.  Reed stated the agreement states Oliver County would be responsible for one-sixth of all equipment, office expenses are 50/50, and also now includes Emergency Management as of two (2) years ago.  Oliver County also pays for one dispatcher, which is $40,000 this year.  Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Berger to approve the Amended Joint Powers Agreement.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Berger, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Colette Schilling, Tax Director/Land Use Administrator, presented one Temporary Use permit to the board for the removal of scoria for resale.  Commissioner Berger stated he did not see a problem with it but would like to hear from Road Superintendent Miller.  Schilling stated there is a haul road agreement in place and Miller is okay with it.  Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve Temporary Use Permit #497 issued to Casey Voigt for the removal of scoria for resale, 10 acres in the NW ¼ Section 31 T143N R88W with work limited to daylight hours.  The area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent.  The haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent.  The permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Schilling informed the board that she has a Winter Workshop to attend February 16-17 and her part-time secretary will be out on vacation.  Schilling asked permission from the board to have the Auditor’s office to cover her office/phones in the afternoon of February 16th and morning of February 17th.  Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Berger to allow Schilling to attend the Winter Workshop.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Berger, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve Raffle Permit #2017-01 for Leland Olds Station, Gone in 60 seconds, St. Baldrick’s raffle.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board reviewed the Emergency Management/911 Coordinator quarterly report.  No further action was taken. 

The board reviewed the budget amendments for 2016.  Commissioner Berger stated he would like to see how the protest effected the budget once all the reimbursements have come in.  Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Berger to approve the 2016 Budget Amendments as follows:  General Fund $452,329.66, expenditures exceeded appropriations; Special Vehicle Fund $20,605.68, expenditures exceeded appropriations; Sheriff Game & Fish Grant $160,995.46, expenditures exceeded appropriations; Youth Bureau $1,648.00, expenditures exceeded appropriations; Landfill $160,761.65, expenditures exceeded appropriations.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Berger, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve Duplicate Warrant #33833 to Westlie Motor Company in the amount of $40,000.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

The board recessed at 9:56 AM.

The board reconvened at 10:01 AM.

Next on the agenda was road issues.  Commissioner Berger addressed the two (2) bills from Baranko Brothers with Road Superintendent Miller.  Berger asked Miller if it was possible for Baranko to be that expensive.  Miller stated yes.  Berger stated that it was awful inflated.  Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the bills from Baranko Brothers in the amounts of  $15,093.50 and $43,444.44.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Commissioner Berger addressed the south parking lot with Miller.  He stated they should get the south parking lot empty and get salt on there.  Maintenance Engineer, Jim Albers, stated he didn’t know how the parking lot would be with all that salt on there since it is a gravel parking lot.  Berger stated February will be a busy month with taxpayers so the ice needs to be moved.  No further action was taken.

The board reviewed the HB 1358 Final Project Certification for County 17.  No further action was taken.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to give Road Superintendent Miller permission to advertise for the 2017 Annual Bids setting the bid letting date for March 1st at 10 AM.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Entze, second by Commissioner Berger to approve the annual maintenance certification.  On roll call vote; Entze, “Aye”, Berger, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.

Motion made by Commissioner Berger, second by Commissioner Entze to approve the Road Policy Declaration.  On roll call vote; Berger, “Aye”, Entze, “Aye”, Scheurer, “Aye”, motion carried.  The policy reads as follows:

“ROAD POLICY DECLARATION

MERCER COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA

WHEREAS, Mercer County has rural non-agricultural development including residential subdivisions; small acreage non-farm residential parcels; commercial development; industrial development; and

WHEREAS, the cost incurred by the county to provide road services to rural non-agricultural development including construction, maintenance, gravel, and snow removal; exceeds tax revenues generated from taxes allocated to roads; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE Board of Mercer County Commissioners adopt a rural non-agricultural road policy in Mercer County, North Dakota, as follows:

  1. Road maintenance including snow removal places top priority on major collector roads, which are roads that lead into a city; followed by minor collector roads, which are roads that lead into major collector roads; followed by rural collector roads; followed by other rural roads.A copy of a county map identifying these roads is attached as Addendum “A”.

  2. Emergency road maintenance will only be for medical emergencies, fire response, and other life threatening situations.School busing, mail service, fuel needs, and other services are declared to be outside of life threatening emergencies.Road maintenance and snow removal services that are not life threatening emergencies will be billed to the party making the request according to the county fee schedule.

  3. The cost of road construction needed for rural development including commercial, industrial, and residential used are to be the responsibility of the applicable company, individual, or developer.

  4. Residents of Mercer County may have their private drive bladed twice per year upon their request if the time is available by the county road department.This does not include snow removal.

  5. Mercer County has no obligation to open new roads or upgrade and maintain section lines for the public travel.

  6. The County Road Policy should be a standard for future decisions regarding zoning matters, road maintenance and snow removal.

Dated at Stanton, North Dakota, the 1st day of February, 2017.

MERCER COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

/s/Duane Scheurer, Chairman

/s/Wayne Entze, Commissioner

/s/Dwight Berger, Commissioner

/s/Wes Gunsch, Commissioner

/s/Gary Murray, Commissioner”

Miller updated the board stating they have been working on pushing back snow and cutting windrows.  Commissioner Berger stated he received a call from Southwest Water Authority and they were not very happy with the bill they received from the 26th of December.  Berger stated if people want to be out in the country they better be able to get themselves in and out of the country.  Berger asked if it is legal for SWW to clean the county road themselves.   Miller stated it wasn’t without a road agreement.  Commissioner Berger told Miller the board had discussed comp time and he kicked it back to the Policy Committee to discuss so they can figure out how to handle Miller’s overtime.  No further action was taken.

The board gave their portfolio updates.  Berger commended the road department for a good job in keeping up with the snow. 

Commissioner Entze didn’t have anything to report on.

Commissioner Scheurer reported the landfill loaded out four (4) loads of steel to make room for more.  Scheurer reported the Ambulance Board is working on changing some bylaws and discussed the building expansion in Hazen.  Commissioner Scheurer reported there is a draft in place for the expansion and things are moving forward.  Scheurer also discussed the engine issues on one of the rigs.  No further action was taken.

There being no further business, on motion duly made and second, the meeting was adjourned at 10:32 AM CST. The next regular meeting of the commission will be February 15, 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