Mercer County Commission
April 19, 2017
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM CT by Vice Chairman Gunsch, also present was Commissioner Murray, Commissioner Entze, Commissioner Berger, State’s Attorney Binder and Auditor Brost, with the meeting being videotaped. Chairman Scheurer was absent.
Others present during portions of the meeting were: Ashely Miller, Darbie Berger, Brenda Cook, Jim Albers, Elroy Opp, Eric Urness, Sheriff Dean Danzeisen, Kurt Milbradt, Colette Schilling, Ronald Crowley, Carmen Reed, Melissa Hochmuth, Jamie Gentile, and Jim Theurer.
Murray moved to approve the agenda. Entze seconded. Murray, Entze, and Gunsch voted aye. Berger voted No. Motion carried.
Murray moved to approve the minutes of the April 5th meeting. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve the bills, excluding the Treasurer’s bills. Murray seconded. The following claims were approved for payment: Advanced Business Methods, $145.39; AED Everywhere, $1772.10; American Welding, $124.96; Ameripride, $111.06; Craig Askim, $239.98; Dwight Berger, $239.00; BHG, $6.00; BCBS, $64366.54; Bronson’s, $130.36; City of Stanton, $5764.77; Cofell’s, $612.60; Corner Express, $151.40; Custer Health, $4461.44; D & E Supply, $591.38; Dakota Central Social Services, $35639.86; Dean Danzeisen, $224.00; Direct Med, $144.00; Don’s House of Flowers, $43.95; Expressway Suites, $901.45; Expressway Suites, $901.45; FUO, $132.37; Fireside Office Plus, $95.99; Wex Bank, $2800.87; Ryan Flemmer, $5.40; Galls, $1397.09; Weslie Gunsch, $266.76; Hazen Drug, $81.15; Hazen Hardware Hank, $94.98; Implementation Specialists, $3202.65; Industrial Fabworx, $200.00; ITD, $896.20; J & M Hardware, $56.05; J-S Sanitation, $31.00; Free Karges, $303.60; Dena Kemmet, $27.54; Klein McCarthy, $11622.94; Gontran Langowski, $242.90; Language Line Services, $90.00; Menards, $13.98; Mercer County Shop, $178.50; Midco, $228.27; Gary Murray, $98.60; Napa, $2045.56; NDACO 911; $935.94; Office of the Attorney General, $720.00; ND State Radio, $720.00; NDSU, $130.00; NDSU Extension, $23184.15; Neuberger Oil, $17027.56; David Olson, $280.00; Ronald Olson, $129.60; Pharmchem, $300.00; Pitney Bowes, $626.70; Roughrider Electric, $1354.67; Running’s, $83.96; Safariland, $895.00; Sailer Septic, $125.00; Scheels, $15.00; Duane Scheurer, $222.26; Bradley Seifert, $51.47; Sherwin Williams, $531.88; SBM, $475.88; St A’s, $250.00; Staples Credit, $1030.19; Leonard Tesky, $243.21; The Hub, $181.70; Turnkey Corrections, $24.85; Uniform Center, $170.94; Uniform Center, $170.94; Gregory Vietz, $320.00; Verizon Wireless, $660.53; Christopher Waller, $164.50; West Dakota Lumber, $71.88; WRT, $2981.98; Wilmington Trust, $192417.58; Menards, $380.89; WRT, $499.00. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve the Treasurer’s bills. Murray seconded. The following claims were approved for payment: SBM, $23.92; WRT, $98.86; Darbie Berger, $24.84. Gunsch, Murray, and Entze voted aye. Motion carried.
State’s Attorney Binder addressed open meeting laws with the board. Binder stated it was brought to her attention there was an email in violation of the open meeting law and reminded the board meeting is defined any gathering of a quorum where there are discussions of public business by phone, email, or any other electronic communication either at the same time or in a series of individual contacts. Binder stated it was her understanding there was an information email sent to the board and Commissioner Berger then replied all and it related back to the comp time issue. Binder noted no one else replied so no decisions were made. State’s Attorney Binder added if the Attorney General’s office were to get involved they would want to discuss it. Binder reminded the board the only time a gathering of a quorum of members is not a meeting is if it is purely a social gathering.
The board reviewed the Nurse’s Quarterly Report. No further action was taken.
Murray moved to approve the March Sheriff’s Fees in the amount of $31,245.97. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve the March Recorder’s Fees in the amount of $4,493.00. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Murray moved to approve Duplicate Warrant #32796 in the amount of $1413.91. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. The resolution reads as follows:
“WHERE AS, Hazen Rural Fire Department stated County Warrant #32796 dated 08/14/2016, for the amount of $1413.91 was either lost or destroyed and requests that Mercer County issue a duplicate thereof; and
WHERE AS, said party agrees to reimburse Mercer County for any loss or damage suffered by reason of the issuance of such duplicate warrant of the payment of such obligation.
THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that a duplicate be issued for such Warrant, pursuant to the provisions of Section 21-06-03 of the North Dakota Century Code.
/s/ Wes Gunsch, Vice Chairman”
Jim Albers, Maintenance Engineer, discussed the ductwork with the board stating the only quote he received was from Fladeland Mechanical in the amount of $14,630.00 to replace the fresh air duct in the basement of the LEC building to avoid mold. Albers stated the monies would come out of either the Building Maintenance fund or Building Improvement fund. Murray moved to accept the quote from Fladeland Mechanical in the amount of $14,630.00. Entze seconded. Albers stated the duct will be raised to the top of the roof, so this situation shouldn’t happen again. Murray, Entze, and Gunsch voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
Albers discussed the sprinkler system with the board stating he needs to replace the valve unit because the timer is not working right. Albers presented an estimate from Prairie Landscaping with an estimate of $3,200.00 not to exceed $4,800.00. Entze moved to accept Prairie Landscaping’s estimate of $3,200.00 not to exceed $4,800.00. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Commissioners Berger and Entze gave their portfolio updates.
Colette Schilling, Tax Director/Land Use Administrator, presented one zoning case to the board. Melissa Hochmuth and Jamie Gentile were representing NextEra Energy Renewables Holdings, LLC. Hochmuth and Gentile explained to the board the permit taken out by Antelope Hills Wind Project on October 1, 2014 did not expire until 2018, but were requesting the permit be transferred to NextEra due to a change in ownership. Murray moved to transfer Conditional Use Permits 14-09-01 and 14-09-04 from West Branch Wind Project LLC to NextEra Energy Renewables Holdings LLC. Entze seconded. Murray, Entze, Gunsch voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
Commissioners Murray and Gunsch gave their portfolio updates.
The board recessed at 9:41 AM.
The board reconvened at 9:51 AM.
Carmen Reed, Emergency Manager/911 Coordinator, discussed putting a burn ban on in Mercer County only when the ND Fire Danger Rating Map shows high, very high, extreme, and/or a Red Flag warning has been issued for Mercer County. A Stage I burn ban means no controlled burns, no large fire pits, and not burning garbage of any kind. No throwing cigarette butts out in a grassy area or any area that may start to burn. No special burning permission will be given for any reason but you can have a campfire in a developed recreational site or improved site, while always keeping an eye on it. Reed explained you can use grills and units that have on/off switches in an area that you can safely operate without starting a fire. Murray moved to approve the Fire Emergency Declaration and Burn Ban Proclamation that states a Stage I Burn Ban will be in effect whenever the Fire Danger Rating is High, Very High, Extreme and/or a Red Flag warning has been issued for Mercer County, to include all incorporated cities. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The declaration reads as follows:
“FIRE EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND BURN BAN PROCLAMTION
WHEREAS, the county of Mercer, North Dakota is under abnormally dry conditions compiled with significant fuel supplies resulting in extreme fire potential; and
WHEREAS, all available resources remain committed to protecting life and property; and
WHEREAS, the impact of fires could threaten the health, well-being and public safety of citizens of Mercer County; and
WHEREAS, the cost of emergency response and the inordinate equipment wear may be far in excess of available County resources.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Mercer County Commissioners declare a Fire Emergency Declaration for all Mercer County to include incorporated cities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Mercer County Commissioners proclaims that a Stage I Burn Ban is in effect for all of Mercer County, North Dakota, to include all incorporated cities, until further notice.
ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO WILLFULLY VIOLATES THIS BURN BAN IS GUILTY OF A CLASS B MISDEMEANOR (NDCC 37-17.1-10.1) PUNISHBALE BY A FINE OF UP TO $1000.00 AND 30 DAYS IN JAIL. THE MERCER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO ISSUE CITATIONS TO VIOLATORS.
DATED at Stanton, North Dakota, this 14th day of March 2015.
MERCER COUNTY COMMISSION
/s/Wes Gunsch, Vice Chairman
/s/ Shana L. Brost, Auditor”
Next the board discussed Road Issues with Assistant Road Superintendent, Elroy Opp. Opp stated the engineer’s estimate for County 25 Chip Seal was $227,545.00. Opp added the total cost to pave County 25 was $2,862,340.18, with Coyote Creek paying $862,340.18 of those costs. Eric Urness, Interstate Engineering, stated they are planning to chip seal 30.5 miles of road in 2018 to include County 27, 37, 26, and 5 with an estimated cost of $1,542,249.44. Commissioner Gunsch stated he was under the impression Coyote Creek would be paying for the chip seal on County 25. Berger suggested Coyote Creek pay for the chip seal, stating there is a 10 year agreement with Coyote Creek but no one can find it. Tyler Barth, Coyote Creek, stated Coyote Creek is willing to do the chip seal but questioned if it could hold off until 2019 when more federal funding would be available. Urness recommended it be done in 2018. Barth questioned since there is limited truck traffic if they could wait three (3) years to chip seal. Gunsch stated Mercer County needs to go by the recommendation of their engineer and would like to see an agreement that states Coyote Creek will pay for the chip seal on County 25. Gunsch added it is a very good road and doesn’t want to lose what they have by waiting three (3) years. State’s Attorney Binder stated her and Chris Friez could visit and go from there. Commissioner Gunsch stated he does not remember a 10 year agreement with Coyote Creek, but does remember it verbally agreed upon that Coyote Creek would pay for the chip seal. No further action was taken.
The board reviewed the Outstanding Road Accounts. No further action was taken.
The board discussed the Southwest Pipeline Project Agreement, Mercer County 1st Street NW Raw Water Line Crossing. The agreement states the county is not responsible for any cost, settling, providing traffic control, or to restore the damaged portion for the open cut on County 28 for the SWW pipeline. Entze moved to approve the Southwest Pipeline Project Agreement as amended. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Murray moved to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1686 issued to West River Telecommunications to bore under County 2 for the installation of new fiber optic facility for Jordan Bauman. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Murray moved to approve Utility Occupancy Application and Permit #1685 issued to Bartlett and West for directional drilling for a 30” raw water main transmission pipeline. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The board recessed at 10:22 AM.
The board reconvened at 10:30 AM.
Jim Theurer, Contegrity Group, gave the board an update on the courthouse expansion/remodel. Theurer stated the county received a $39,011.00 credit for the revisions to the parking lot, noting AECOM cleared the parking lots after eight (8) hours of observation yesterday. Theurer added additional security mesh in the jail day rooms and east side cells will cost the county $10,893.00. Berger moved to approve Proposal Request #20 for the security mesh in the amount of $10,893.00. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. Murray moved to approve Proposal Request #23 in the amount of $13,601.00 for changes in concrete. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to close sealed bids for the 2016 foreclosed properties. Berger seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried. There were no sealed bids submitted to the county.
There being no further business, on motion duly made and second, the meeting was adjourned at 11:02 AM CDT. The next regular meeting of the commission will be May 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM CT in the courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse, Stanton, North Dakota.
Approved: Wes Gunsch, Vice Chairman
Attest: Shana L. Brost, Auditor