July 7, 2011 Regular Commission Meeting
Minutes of the Board of Ward County Commissioners
July 7, 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, Deputy States Attorney Robert Slorby, and Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the agenda with additions or corrections. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the minutes of the June 21, 2011 regular meeting. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Smestad presented the bills. Moved by Comm. Nybakken, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to approve 2011 Social Welfare bills of $37,152.37 and the regular bills totaling $1,049,038.56. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Director of Tax Equalization Mike Vendsel appeared. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Christianson to approve the following disabled veteran’s exemption:
Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Vendsel presented a letter to Governor Dalrymple requesting evaluation abatements for those homes affected by the 2011 Flood. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Erickson to authorize the Chairman and Vendsel’s signature on the request. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Zoning Administrator/Building Inspector Mitch Flanagan appeared and presented a plat previously approved by the Commission but needing correction for recording purposes. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Erickson to rescind the portion of the motion made in the June 7, 2011 meeting to approve “Outlot 1 in the SWSE Section 29-156-82, McKinley Township”. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Erickson to approve a plat submitted by Jonathon and Karen Myers for Outlot 3 of the SWSE, Section 29-156-82, McKinley Township as recommended by the Ward County Planning Commission. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Comm. Gruenberg asked Deputy States Attorney Robert Slorby’s opinion regarding if the subdivisions within the County could apply for assistance through FEMA by using the County as the applicant agent or would they first have to organize. Slorby stated that they would have to organize as an entity and that would be a very timely process. Slorby also stated nothing would allow them to organize as a subdivision at this time. Smestad stated that the County is the applicant agent for Townships for infrastructure purposes. Individual Assistance is available for individuals to work with FEMA. Highway Engineer Dana Larsen stated that debris removal and dewatering of property would either fall under the Ward County Water Resource Board, the County, or the individual, depending upon the area. Before pumping begins the area should be reviewed by an engineer to determine how the water should be removed safely.
Highway Engineer Dana Larsen appeared. Larsen advised the Commission that the position of Engineering & GIS position had been offered to 2 qualified applicants with both declining the positino. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to re-advertise for the Engineering & GIS position at the midpoint. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to send a request for Long Term Recovery Assistance under ESF 14. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Fjeldahl to authorize the Highway Engineer to advertise the Request for Proposal for a debris removal management company. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Comm. Christianson asked the Commission if someone else could take on the duties that Larsen has been doing in addition to his regular duties. Greg Wilz of the ND DES stated that the company that is granted the debris removal may be able to assist in supervising these duties. He also recommended that someone at the County should assist in overseeing the work and duties of this company. Comm. Gruenberg asked if there may be an individual from a local engineering firm that would be hired under contract to do these duties. Larsen said he would call and ask. The Personnel Committee was asked to bring to the Commission recommendations of Ward County Employees that could also assume these duties.
Bonnie Turner of the Lutheran Disaster Response appeared. Turner stated that their organization helps with individual assistance and cleanup. They have a network of national and local individuals. They also would like to use the existing flood phone line to obtain information from people in the County that need assistance. Comm. Gruenberg requested that a memorandum of understanding and a letter stating exactly what the organization is requesting from Ward County be prepared. He also asked Smestad to check with the Ward Co. Insurance to see if there would be any problem adding the volunteers under the County’s policy for liability purposes.
Sheriff Steve Kukowski appeared. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded Comm. Fjeldahl to approve the Memorandums of Understanding for man power between Ward County and the City of Grand Forks and Cass County, and authorize the Chairman to sign. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Kukowski stated that at this time, no MOU needs to be in place between Ward County and the City of Bismarck.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to accept the grant award for saturation patrol. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Kukowski informed the Commission that the Ward County website will contain information for homeowners inquiring about access to their homes. As the Sheriff’s Department and the Utility Companies deem an address safe, that address will be placed on the website and the resident can access their home between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
General Sagsveen appeared. He informed the Commission that he would be in the Minot area Tuesday through Thursday weekly to assist with the 2011 Flood Recovery.
Comm. Gruenberg asked who from the Robinwood/Country Club Estates areas would like to speak for all the residents. Tim Keller stepped to the podium and asked the Commission if the residents in the areas whose homes are not on the access list could assist those who have access. Comm. Gruenberg stated that if an individual has access and you enter the area with them, you will be able to assist them, but if you are found in a restricted area, you will be prosecuted.
The City of Burlington and the City of Minot have sent out a questionnaire for mitigation and the question was asked if Ward County will be doing the same. Dana Larsen stated that the County is reviewing areas that material will be sent to and that the questionnaire would be similar to that of both Cities. Dana asked for Devra and Mike’s assistance in creating these lists.
A gentleman in attendance asked if individuals could begin pumping in the Eastside Estates area. The water is no longer entering this area and the area slopes to the corner of 30th Avenue and 50th Street. Comm. Gruenberg reaffirmed that pumping by individuals will be allowed but they need to have an engineer review the area first to make sure it is safe to do so. Also, the Ward County Water Board’s Engineer, Allen Estvold, is the one that needs to be contacted for the rural areas.
Auditor/Treasurer Devra Smestad appeared. Moved by Comm. Christianson, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to receive and file the following correspondence: ND Dept of Transportation – HB1012 Funding; Garrison Diversion – Recreation Grant; NDACo – President’s Tour; Cary Fisher – Disaster Mgt, Document Recovery and Restoration; Alliance Pipeline – Lateral Natural Gas Pipeline. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Smestad asked for 2012 budget input. Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Nybakken to approve the proposed budget schedule. Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Erickson, seconded by Comm. Christianson that the following payroll amendments be approved: Claudia (Riegel) Dean – Extension Service – Senior Office Assistance (Level 12); Ross Olson – Sheriff’s Department – Correctional Officer (Level 16). Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
Moved by Comm. Fjeldahl, seconded by Comm. Christianson to approve the following Personnel Committee recommendations:
1. Approval of a policy change which may allow overtime for exempt employees during a time of a Ward County Emergency Declaration;
2. Approval of the updated application form;
3. Approval to update the 1998 purchasing policy;
4. Approval indicated from survey’s to increase the following10 positions in grade based on the market;
1. Tech Support Specialist
2. Building Inspec/Zoning Admin.
3. Tax Assessors
4. Senior Office Assistants
5. Legal Asst/System Coordinator
6. Legal Admin. Assistants
7. Office Assistants
8. PT Secretary
9. Library Associates
10. Library Assistants
5. Approval for the Sheriff’s Office request for their civil process clerk to be moved from Grade 10 to Grade 13 based on the level of job responsibility;
6. Approval for all department heads to increase one grade, except the Superintendent of Schools position and the Weed control Officer, which will remain at grade 23 and 25 respectively, and the sheriff position increase from grade 33 to 35.
Roll call: all voted yes; motion carried.
At 11:16 a.m., with no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
ACCEPTED AND APPROVED THIS 19th DAY OF JULY, 2011.
s/ Jerome Gruenberg
Chairman, Ward County Board of Commissioners
s/ Devra Smestad
Auditor/Treasurer, Ward County
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