Mercer County Commission
February 6, 2019
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Duane Scheurer. Present were Commissioners Dwight Berger, Wayne Entze, Marv Schwehr, Wes Gunsch and Auditor Shana Brost. Others present during portions of the meeting were Carmen Reed, Russ Duppong, Candy Strand, Elroy Opp, Ken Miller, Shelly Sailer, Jim Albers, Wanda Knutson, Brenda Cook, Darbie Berger and Daniel Arens of BHG News.
Entze moved to approve the agenda with the additions of roundabout at HWY 200 & 49 and goals. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Gunsch moved to approve the minutes from the January 16th meeting. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye motion carried.
The board reviewed the bills. Schwehr moved to approve the bills. Gunsch seconded. The following vouchers were approved for payment: ADVANCED BUSINESS METHODS, $241.17; ACME TOOLS, $59.98; ACTION MOTOR SPORTS, $59.99; ARMOR INTERACTIVE, $1,866.00; ASKIM, CRAIG, $198.64; BEULAH JOB DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, $606.34; BHG INC., $114.00; BINDER, JESSICA, $122.96; BRONSON’S MARKETPLACE, $2,894.03; BROST, SHANA, $119.60; CAPITAL TROPHY INC., $86.00; CARDMEMBER SERVICE, $283.19; CENTER MACHINE INC., $100.00; CHARM-TEX INC., $87.36; CITY OF BEULAH, $72.68; DAHL, CHUCK, $40.00; DAKOTA PRAIRIES RC & D, $100.00; ESCO CORPORATION, $71.40; FARMER’S UNION OIL CO., $3,401.74; FARMER’S UNION OIL CO., $6.81; FIRESIDE OFFICE SOLUTIONS, $406.77; WEX BANK, $1,964.43; GILLIG, JANE, $43.50; HAZEN DRUG, $161.49; HAZEN HARDWARE HANK, $110.34; HAZEN MOTORS, $63.25; HIRSH FLORAL, $45.00; INDUSTRIAL FABWORX, $185.00; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT, $901.60; JOB SERVICE OF NORTH DAKOTA, $24.30; KEMMET, DENA, $306.24; RELX INC. DBA LEXISNEXIS, $224.80; MERCER COUNTY HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, $1,185.43; MONTANA DAKOTA UTILITIES, $330.73; NDACE CONFERENCE, $50.00; ND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES, $1,807.00; ND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES 911, $912.35; OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL, $1,430.00; ND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORATION, $78,546.86; ND ONE CALL, $2.40; ND COUNTY RECORDERS ASSOCIATION, $200.00; ND SHERIFF’S & DEPUTIES ASSOC., $350.00; NELSON INTERNATIONAL, $467.20; NEWMAN SIGNS INC., $85.60; NORTHERN PLAINS EQUIPMENT CO. INC., $196.60; NORTHWESTERN EQUIPMENT INC., $299.32; OK AUTOMOTIVE-BISMARCK, $63.96; OLHEISER, DENNIS, $21.00; PHARMCHEM, INC., $1,211.00; RDO EQUIPMENT CO., $2.469.38; RDO EQUIPMENT CO., $456.57; REDWOOD TOXICOLOGY LABORATORY INC., $43.00; ROTO ROOTER, $455.00; SAILER SEPTIC SERVICE, $140.00; SOUTHWEST WATER AUTHORITY, $50.54; TESKY, LEONARD, $179.50; TROTTER CONSTRUCTION INC., $5,040.00; UNIFORM CENTER, $209.00; VENTURE MARKETING, $29.95; VERIZON WIRELESS, $1,512.31; WEST RIVER TELECOMMUNICATIONS, $3,017.50. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve Treasurer Bills. Gunsch seconded. Gunsch, Schwehr, Entze, and Scheurer voted aye. Motion carried.
The board discussed the budget amendments. Gunsch moved to amend the following 2018 budgets: General Fund $33754.57, expenditures exceeded revenue; Special Vehicle Fund $10126.28, expenditures exceeded revenue; Sheriff Game & Fish Grant $43763.65, expenditures exceeded revenue; Youth Bureau $4322.04, expenditures exceeded revenue; Veteran’s Services $1971.20, expenditures exceeded revenue; Health Insurance $222364.26, expenditures exceeded revenue; State Highway $59197.38, revenue exceeded estimates; County Library $22717.76, revenue exceeded estimates; Historical Society $272.59, revenue exceeded estimates; Commission on Aging $689.40, revenue exceeded estimates; Water Resource District $1769.77, revenue exceeded estimates; Custer Health $3165.38, revenue exceeded estimates; Airport $4527.46, revenue exceeded estimates. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Berger moved to approve liquor licenses 429 and 430 issued to Hazen Golf Club for on sale beer and liquor and Sunday openings. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Berger moved to approve the December Recorder’s fees in the amount $4048.40. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Schwehr moved to approve the Sheriff’s policy and procedure manual. Gunsch seconded. Schwehr stated he would like to see the policy manual signed and dated by the Sheriff to make it official. Schwehr amended his motion to approve the policy and procedure manual as long as all policies are signed and dated by the Sheriff. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Auditor Brost stated Colin Peterson asked for permission of the board to write a letter of recommendation for Accurate Controls. Gunsch stated he would agree to let Peterson write the letter of recommendation. The rest of the board was in agreement. No further action was taken.
The board discussed Storm Days—Policy 606. Schwehr stated he did a search of what other counties do and wrote a new policy for the board to consider because what the county has now is not working at all. Scheurer stated the procedure itself has drove him nuts and the policy states it is up to the Chairman and Sheriff. Scheurer explained the issue with it is the Sheriff never called him and he doesn’t have the Sheriff’s number to call him. Scheurer stated this isn’t working and the Sheriff is supposed to call the Auditor to tell her what decision was made so she can notify the department heads. During the last storms, the Auditor has been doing the calling and it shouldn’t be her responsibility or decision. Scheurer added he thought this would be a struggle the rest of the winter and to move forward it should be sent to the policy committee. Berger asked Scheurer what direction he has for the policy committee. Schwehr stated on that line he would like to add it was stated the policy was broken at the last meeting, and not by the commissioners either. Gunsch stated he has asked for the Sheriff’s number and the board cannot have it. Gunsch said he wasn’t sure why the Sheriff turned in his county phone and got his own number. Gunsch wonder for the sake of the policy if the board could appoint a designee in the Sheriff’s place. Entze stated the Highway Department should be getting double time when called out for a storm because they are putting their lives on the line. Schwehr stated the board needed to decide who declares the storm day and policy committee can decide the rest of the policy. Schwehr asked if the Chair and Auditor could make the decision. Gunsch moved to temporarily appoint the deputy on duty to make the decision. The motion died due to a lack of a second. Schwehr moved to have Chairman and Auditor declare the storm days. Gunsch seconded. Scheurer stated he would like to leave the Auditor out of it and would like to see the Road Superintendent and Chairman make the call. Berger stated he agreed with Duane. Schwehr stated he did not see the Sheriff giving the board a designee and he chose the Chairman and Auditor because the Chairman can make the decision and the Auditor makes all the calls. Road Superintendent Miller stated he would be okay advising the Chairman but asked when the Sheriff was going to be held accountable. Miller expressed his frustration that no one can get a hold of the Sheriff. All voted nay. Motion did not pass. Gunsch moved to temporarily have the Chairman and Road Superintendent declare storm days until the policy committee reviews it. Schwehr seconded. Berger asked if Miller would be receiving double time. Auditor Brost stated policy states anyone who works on a storm day receives holiday pay. Entze stated that the Sheriff is supposed to protect the public and that is what he gets paid to do. Gunsch and Schwehr voted aye. Berger, Entze, and Scheurer voted nay. Motion did not pass. Entze stated the Sheriff is jerking the board’s chain and the board is allowing him to do so. Berger stated the board could hire a lawyer to do an investigation. The Sheriff is supposed to be protecting the public. Scheurer stated he agreed with Berger. Berger moved to refer Policy 606 back to the policy committee and in the meantime declare no storm days. The motion died due to a lack of a second. No further action was taken.
The board reviewed the outstanding road accounts. No further action was taken.
Road Superintendent Miller discussed a purchase agreement for MC800 Cutback Asphalt Road Oil. Miller stated the purchase agreement was for up to 32 ton at $783.66 ton. The oil is used for crack sealing in the spring of the year. Miller stated they are currently working on the coils under the tar tank. Entze moved to approve the purchase agreement for the MC800 Cutback Asphalt Road Oil in the amount of $25077.12. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Miller discussed the overlay on County 20 and stated the remaining $40,000 of HB1176 will go towards this project.
Berger went back to the storm policy and asked Miller and Road Supt. Assistant Elroy Opp what they would want to be compensated if the decisions fell on them. Opp stated it is all about accountability and asked if anyone has tried to get the Sheriff to a meeting. Miller added the policy would work if the Sheriff would communicate.
Gunsch stated he spoke with Rob Rayhorn, NDDOT, and the roundabout planned for HWY 200 & 49 has been moved to next year. The roundabout was originally designed with asphalt for $600,000 and new decided to do a concrete base for $3 million. Gunsch added this was all tentative depending on funding. Miller added HWY 200 crossroads to HWY 1806 will be milled and overlayed this summer.
Next on the agenda was the Sheriff’s update. No one was present to give an update.
Dennis Flemmer came in to the board to discuss a letter he received from the Sheriff’s department that he was in violation of NDCC 24-7-01. Flemmer stated he was in to visit with the commission several years ago to discuss this and was told by State’s Attorney Binder and then Land Use Administrator, Gary Emter, that this piece of his property was neither a quarter line or section line; therefore, it was his property. Berger stated he doesn’t see if it is not on a section line that it isn’t private property. Gunsch stated it would be nice to have the Sheriff and State’s Attorney present for this conversation. Scheurer recommended Flemmer has a conversation with State’s Attorney Binder. Berger thanked Flemmer for coming in to try and remedy the situation. Scheurer stated they would add it to the next agenda to see if Auditor Brost can find the previous discussion in the minutes. No further action was taken.
The board recessed at 10:48 AM.
The board reconvened at 10:55 AM.
Gunsch moved to appoint Carmen Reed to the Southwest Coordinated Regional Interoperability Board, with Sheriff Danzeisen as the alternate. Entze seconded. Berger stated the board is now putting another one of Dean’s responsibilities on a different department head. Scheurer agreed. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Schwehr discussed disposal of assets with the board. Schwehr stated he contacted NDACo to see how to dispose of assets and the Sheriff should have contacted the commission for permission to sell vehicles, and luckily Auditor Brost published them so the sale was in compliance with the law. Schwehr added he disagrees that the Sheriff should have the authority to open the bids as stated in the ad. Schwehr moved to have the commission send the Sheriff a certified letter stating the expectation of him to follow NDCC 11-27 and while the Sheriff can open the bids, no bid shall be awarded until they are reviewed and approved by the board at the February 20th meeting. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. Schwehr stated he would like to further discuss disposal of assets. Gunsch stated that everyone on the board should visit with their portfolio holders to see where they are at with their inventory. No further action was taken.
Gunsch stated he had calls from both Beulah and Hazen mayors asking the county commissioners to write a letter of support of HB 1066 “Operation Prairie Dog” to District 33 representatives, as they had done the same. Gunsch moved to have the board send a letter of support to the county’s three (3) representatives and would like to recommend they allow a portion of the funds allocated be used to pay down debt for newly constructed infrastructure. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Gunsch moved to have the maintenance department to clean up and paint the Golden Valley house. Gunsch stated Albers gave an estimate of $1500-1900, and his assistant Russell would do the work. Schwehr seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Gunsch moved to acknowledge the appointment of Gerald Bieber to Beulah Planning & Zoning board and waive the requirement the board member must reside within the extra territorial area. Entze seconded. Russ Duppong, City of Beulah, stated the Beulah Planning & Zoning has one (1) member who is in the extra territorial area to represent them folks. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Duppong also informed the board the DOT will be chip sealing from HWY 49 to Morton County this summer. Duppong also discussed legislative bills with the commissioners.
The board reviewed the monthly financial statement. No further action was taken.
The board reviewed the landfill tonnage report. No further action was taken.
Entze moved to approve the January Sheriff’s fees in the amount of $3968.59. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board discussed who will represent the board at the Extension Agency’s annual performance. Gunsch will attend.
Marv discussed goals for the county commission. No further action was taken.
The board gave their portfolio updates. No further action was taken.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 11:54 AM. The next regular meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2019, at 9:00 AM in the board room of the Mercer County Government Center, Stanton, North Dakota.
Approved: Duane Scheurer, Chairman
Attest:Shana L. Brost, Auditor