September 7, 2010 Regular meeting minutes
Minutes of the Board of Ward County Commissioners
September 7, 2010
The regular meeting of the Ward County Commission was called to order by Chairman Christianson at 9:00 a.m. with Comms. Fjeldahl, Gruenberg, Erickson, and Nybakken present. Also present were Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad, Engineer Dana Larsen, and State’s Attorney Roza Larson.
Moved by Comm. Gruenberg, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the agenda with additions. Roll call vote: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Nybakken, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve the minutes of the August 17, 2010 regular meeting and August 18, 2010 department budget hearings meeting. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Auditor Devra Smestad presented the bills. Dana Larsen appeared to comment on the 55th Street and 72nd Street bills. Moved by Comm. Gruenberg, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the 2010 Social Welfare bills of $39,013.58 and the regular bills totaling $1,415,510.29. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Emergency Manager Al Reynolds appeared to comment on the Trek the Trees 9/11 Commemoration.
Highway Engineer Dana Larsen appeared. He updated the Board on construction, noting that CR14 west of Minot, 72nd Street, and 55th Street projects are complete.
Larsen commented on the road repair work needed in Rushville Township. Quotes have been given to FEMA. The cost may exceed the Township’s budget. Larsen asked for guidance from the Board for funding options. The issue will be referred to the Highway Committee.
Larsen noted the Prairie Winds Project is near completion. The Highway Department is working with Basin Electric and RMT to bring the new section line roads up to standard specs. Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Gruenberg to authorize the Highway Department to sign the Basin Electric Construction Contract, and have Excavating Inc. repair, improve and restore CR 22 and the remaining sections of roads in Rushville Township not covered under Basin Electric’s current contract with RMT. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Larsen’s final items were the investors of Thunder Mountain Rockfest have been sent a copy of the bill for dust control; and the upcoming Local Government meeting will be at 4:40pm on October 11, 2010 at the NDACo Conference.
Director of Tax Equalization Mike Vendsel appeared. By movement from Comm. Nybakken, seconded by Comm. Erickson, a full and complete copy of which is available for review in the office of the County Auditor, the Board approved the following: nine applications for abatement of taxes and/or corrections of errors of assessments, two applications for two-year new construction exemption, three applications for Disabled Veteran’s credit exemption, and three property owners who no longer qualified for the Disabled Veteran’s credit exemption due to the sale of property. Roll call: all voted yes: motion carried.
Vendsel then presented items from the Planning Commission. It was moved by Comm. Nybakken, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve the following plat application as recommended by the Township Board, the Water Resource Board and the Ward County Planning Commission: Derek, Cari, Brent & Victoria Morey for Outlot 7 of a portion of Outlot 2 Section 36-154-82 (Sundre Township). Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
It was moved by Comm. Nybakken, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve the variance request for a reduced set back on a planned building for Darryl & Pam Haugen for property located at Rice Lake. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
With Vendsel still present, it was moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the denial of a Special Use Permit as recommended by the Planning Commission: Kerry Fernholz for a combination restaurant, bar and gentlemen’s club in the former Speedway Restaurant building located in Harrison Township. Bob Fuller from the Speedway appeared and questioned the Board about Liquor License and Special Use Permit requirements and restrictions in regards to bars and cabarets. The Board acknowledged the Planning Commission needed to establish an ordinance or resolution that clearly defined these issues. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
IT Administrator Jason Blowers presented various items to the Board including End-of-Life cycle for Microsoft Windows XP and how it will impact the inventory of Ward County’s existing PCs, IT considerations for the courthouse expansion/building project, reimaging of PCs, and discussion regarding a Pictometry server.
Chairman Christianson commented on the Building Space Needs, with further consideration scheduled for the next meeting.
State’s Attorney Roza Larson appeared to discuss an upcoming vacancy due to retirement. Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Gruenberg to authorize the vacant Assistant State’s Attorney position be advertised for at a salary range of $46,000 to $50,000. Human Resource Coordinator Colleen Houmann commented. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad then presented the 2011 Preliminary Budget. She noted the State has concerns regarding Ward County being ten percent behind on farm land values. It is anticipated the State will take agricultural values to 100 percent, so Smestad prepared the budget two ways. She calculated it using the high end figures, as if the state had made the change, because the State Board will not meet until after the preliminary budget is published, after which the budget cannot be increased. Comm. Fjeldahl made remarks regarding the Board’s accountability to taxpayers and the Board’s position in setting the county land values. Chairman Christianson noted it was prudent and fiscally responsible to have the budget reflect the higher number, as it can always be decreased. It was moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Gruenberg to reduce the preliminary budget by removing the proposed Building Inspector position and reducing the Water Board mill request from four to two. Dana Larson commented on the Puppy Dog coulee project. Roll call: Comms. Fjeldahl and Gruenberg voted yes; Comms. Nybakken, Erickson and Christianson voted no; motion failed.
Discussion returned to valuations and the budget. Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the preliminary budget as presented in the Auditor’s memo, with the mil value set at $180,044, and with an increase of $7,000 to the General Office Equipment account to purchase a new server to support the Lidar/Pictometry software. Roll call: all voted yes except for Comm. Fjeldahl who voted no; motion carried.
Smestad then presented items to the Board.
Moved by Comm. Gruenberg, seconded by Comm. Erickson to receive and file the following correspondence: : Alvin Wollan – housing shortage; Mitch Holbach – complaint; Ackerman-Estvold –6th St SW grade change; ND Dept of Health – McDaniel Landfill; ND Dept of Commerce – building code proposed amendments voting meeting; Terry Traynor – lodging reimbursement rate increase; NDDOT - project applications. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Gruenberg to receive and file Ward County Pledged Securities report. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the request for duplicate warrant from Sawyer City Auditor in the amount of $1,514.81 and to receive and file the NDSU Extension Service quarterly report. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the application for Raffle Permit from Minot Y’s Mens Indoor Rodeo from October 7, 2010 to October 10, 2010 with prizes totaling $2,300 and the application for Event Permit from VFW on September 18, 2010 for wedding reception. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Gruenberg to recognize North Dakota 4-H Foundation as a public spirited organization and to approve their application for Gaming Site/Raffle Permit for July 30, 2011, with prizes totaling $11,999. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Gruenberg, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to appoint Kenneth Gillespie and Kandi Mikkelson to the two open positions on the North Dakota State Fair Association, each for a one year term. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Smestad noted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties will be held on September 30, 2101 in Dickinson.
Moved by Comm. Gruenberg, seconded by Comm. Erickson to receive and file the information from Thrifty White Drug about their discount card program. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the following applications for payroll amendments: Kathy Holte – Administrative Assistant – Veteran’s Services – Level 12 and George Saltsman – Court Security Officer – Sheriff’s Department. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Recorder Sheila Dalen appeared to display the NACRC Land Records Best Practice Award that was presented to the North Dakota County Recorders.
Vendsel reappeared with research classifying Special Use areas.
At 11:15 a.m. with no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
ACCEPTED AND APPROVED THIS 21st DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2010.
s/ Bruce I Christianson
Chairman, Ward County Board of Commissioners
s/ Devra Smestad
Auditor/Treasurer, Ward County
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