July 19, 2011 Regular Commission Meeting
Minutes of the Board of Ward County Commissioners
July 19, 2011
The regular meeting of the Ward County Commission was called to order by Chairman Gruenberg at 9:00 a.m. with Comms. Fjeldahl, Erickson, Christianson and Nybakken present. Also present was Highway Engineer Dana Larsen, States Attorney Roza Larson, and Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the agenda with additions or corrections. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Nybakken, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve the minutes of the July 7, 2011 regular meeting. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Smestad presented the bills. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve 2011 Social Welfare bills of $359,995.17, the Human Services bills of $45,293.46 and the regular bills totaling $576,369.28. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
State Flood Recovery Coordinator General Sagsveen appeared. He first began by discussing buildings that were damaged by the flood. He advised the Commission that he is currently meeting with City and County inspectors, along with members of FEMA and the Corp, to determine what funding may be available for those buildings that are not repairable.
Secondly, Sagsveen will be meeting leaders of the Financial Institutions today to discuss homeowners’ options if their home is not repairable and they have a mortgage. Also, for individuals, he is meeting with the State Housing Authority to find housing for those individuals displaced or homeless due to the flood.
Finally, Sagsveen asked the Commission if the contractor one-stop-shop hours are adequate or do they need to be extended? Comm. Gruenberg stated a concern that has been brought to him regarding local established contractors. They are also being required to register and get id badges just like those contractors from out of State. Is there anything they can do to speed up the process for the local contractors? General Sagsveen stated he would look into it.
General Sagsveen informed the Commission he is also looking for legal support for the County. The individual attorney that would qualify for this position needs to have experience in the acquisition, demolition, and buy out process. States Attorney Roza Larson has made the suggestion of Howard Swanson. He has the experience from the Grand Forks Flood. He is currently the City of Grand Forks attorney. This position does need local office space to assist in any legal situations that may arise.
Highway Engineer Dana Larsen appeared. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the budget amendment of $468,600.00, which came from the auction of 4 old motorgraders, to the Highway Department “Capital Improvement” line item (150-7400-430.80-50). Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve the purchase of the T750 Bobcat Compact Track Loader for the amount of $47,108.00. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Larsen updated the Commission on the NE Bypass project. Due to Injunction paperwork served to Chairman Gruenberg prior to the meeting, the acceptance of the bid contracts will not be signed at this meeting.
Larsen requested that the Commission consider hiring a full time temporary accountant to process all of the bills generated by the County during the 2011 Flood. Also, this individual could assist in doing the accounting with the FEMA money received for the individual Townships. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to refer this to the Personnel Committee and delegate them to take action regarding the advertising and hiring of this position.
Interim Emergency Manager Amanda Schooling appeared. She let the Commission know that as of this morning, Jay Crawford, the PA Coordinator had resigned.
ESF#14 representative Timothy Gelston presented a slideshow for the Commission and explained the purpose and goal of this agency in the Long Term Flood Recovery Plan. He also introduced some of the people who will be working in Ward County during the recovery.
Schooling appeared to discuss the need for building inspectors. Mitch Flanagan also appeared. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Erickson to publish a Request for Proposal and authorize the Personnel Committee to accept and/or deny any RFP received. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Comm. Fjeldahl asked how the Letter of Intent due on July 29, 2011 is coming. Schooling advised that the Ward County Water Resource Board has sent out a survey and a letter. Once the surveys are collected and compiled, the Letter of Intent will be sent out.
Building Supervisor Ron Overly appeared to request guidance with respect to the Library Building. The Commission advised Overly to do the maintenance required to keep the building operational but to hold off on any major repairs or renovations and to coordinate with the Library Board.
Director of Tax Equalization Mike Vendsel appeared. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the following for the homestead credit exemption:
The following property needs to be removed from the 2011 mobile home tax rolls:
Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
At 10:20 a.m., the meeting was recessed.
At 10:27 a.m., the meeting reconvened with all members present.
The Commission asked Vendsel if it would be possible for the Planning Commission, during this time of recovery, to hold special meetings to help expedite the approval process of proposed plats. Zoning Administrator/Building Inspector Mitch Flanagan appeared and stated that the office has been in touch with several surveying companies. He has asked that they let him know when they are getting close to sending the plats to his office for review and presentation before the Planning Commission. A meeting will then be scheduled. Comm. Christianson suggested that they hold Planning Committee meetings the Thursday after the Commissioner meeting so the office has time to finalize and prepare all of the meeting material for the Commissioner agenda.
Flanagan reappeared. Property owner Larry Schimmelpfennig has requested a replacement home on the SW¼ of Section 33-157-83. Comm. Christianson stated his concern about the clear zone surrounding the Minot Air Force Base and the potential precedent being set if this home is place. Flanagan stated that according to Section 7, part a of the Ward County Ordinance, a home can be replaced within 2 years and this request falls within the 2 year time limit. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to grant the application of a replacement home as long as Waterford Township and the Minot Air Force Base Engineer approve of the application. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Human Resources Coordinator Colleen Houmann appeared to update the Commission on the vacant Emergency Manager position and ask direction on what is the next step for the 10 applications received. The Commission referred the applications to the Personnel Committee. Upon their review of all applications, they shall choose the top three and refer those to the Commission who will conduct the interviews and make the final decision.
Interim Emergency Manager Amanda Schooling asked the Commission if the Home Land Security Planner position for the 2012 Budget will again be a contracted position or will it become a full-time Ward County employee. The Commissioner determined that this position will remain a contracted position with a 3% increase for 2012.
Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad appeared. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to receive and file the following correspondence: Alliance Pipeline – pre-open house; Crowley/Fleck Attorneys – Enbridge Pipelines (booklet on Commission table); Fredrikson & Byron, PA – 10 plan for Meadowlark Wind I; City of Minot – annexation; ND Dept of Health – Oak Valley Solid Waste Facility; Helping Hands Solution – Flood Clean Up; Rockwell Collins – Elimination of their Company’s Minot Air Force Base Operations. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to receive and file the monthly Reports including the financial report. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to receive and file pledged securities report. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the following Resolution to cancel taxes on tax deed sale of Ward Co Replat Prop Niederriters Plat All Blk 26; KM000102600000:
WHEREAS, sales of the tax deed properties have been made in the office of the County Auditor with the approval of the board of County Commissioners, and the purchase price thereof has been made in full and tax deeds thereto have been issued to the purchasers; and
WHEREAS, the purchase prices thereof were less than the delinquent taxes on the respective properties, with the result that the proceeds of the tax sale left an unpaid balance on the taxes on the descriptions listed as set forth in a certificate of the Deputy Auditor/Treasurer under dates of February 15, 2011.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that under and pursuant to Section 57-28-21 of the North Dakota Century Code, the unpaid balances as set forth be canceled and the County Auditor/Treasurer is hereby authorized to remove said balances from the records.
Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to receive and file the Title VI policy draft. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Erickson that the following payroll amendments be approved: Jerald Johnson – Highway Department – Seasonal Hire (Level 12); Lawrence Zimmer – Highway Department – Seasonal Hire (Level 12). Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
At 10:58 a.m., with no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
ACCEPTED AND APPROVED THIS 2nd DAY OF AUGUST, 2011.
s/ Jerome Gruenberg
Chairman, Ward County Board of Commissioners
s/ Devra Smestad
Auditor/Treasurer, Ward County
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