Mercer County Commission
November 3, 2017
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Duane Scheurer with the meeting being videotaped. Present were Commissioners Wes Gunsch, Gary Murray, Wayne Entze, Dwight Berger, State’s Attorney Binder and Auditor Shana Brost. Others present during portions of the meeting were: Wanda Knutson, Colin Peterson, Darbie Berger, Ashely Miller, Lonny Jacobson, Zandy Agustinus, Monte Erhardt, Shannon Senger, Rachel Grimm, Elroy Opp, Eric Urness, and Dan Ahrens of BHG News.
Gunsch moved to approve the minutes from the October 18th meeting. Murray seconded. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, Scheurer voted aye. Berger No. Motion carried.
Gunsch moved to approve the bills, excluding the Treasurer’s bills and the payment to Bergstrom Electric. Entze seconded. The following vouchers were approved for payment: Advanced Business Methods, $116.78; Apco International, $92.00; Bergstrom Electric, $50802.10; Best Western, $283.70; Beulah Job Development, $606.34; Beulah Lumber, $14.58; Braun Intertec, $4155.25; Butler Machinery, $362.16; Cardmember Services, $2933.71; CBM Management Services, $2095.30; Coal County CHC, $260.00; Coal Country Inn, $75.60; Cofell’s Plumbing, $12077.28; Cofell’s Plumbing, $611.00; Comfort Suites, $83.70; Quality Inn, $83.70; Contegrity Group, $31871.75; Ronald Crowley, $374.74; D & E Supply, $1387.43; Dakota Fire Extinguishers, $927.04; Dent Master, $351.96; Brandon Doll, $228.96; Lawrence Dunn, $701.88; Matt Entze, $553.18; FUO Beulah, $92.98; Fastenal Company, $97.26; Fireside Office, $10001.99; Galls, $193.25; Hazen Hardware Hank, $110.81; Herzog Roofing, $603.25; Holiday Inn Fargo, $324.00; J & M Hardware, $61.95; J-S Sanitation, $528.00; Job Service ND, $272.04; McArthur Tile, $5000.00; Mercer County Weed Board, $600.00; Kenneth Miller, $63.00; Molin Concrete, $14585.25; MDU, $92.55; Napa, $297.30; NDACO, $2065.00; NDDOT, $10.00; NDLTAP, $50.00; Neuberger Oil, $2831.95; Northern Plains Inn, $840.00; Elroy Opp, $63.00; Oxentenko, $1365.00; Amanda Palmer, $133.60; Postmaster, $660.00; Ramada Fargo, $240.30; Ramkota, $343.96; Redwood Toxicology, $40.50; Carmen Reed, $327.35; Rud Propane, $2087.87; Sauder Manufacturing, $14021.05; Colette Schilling, $110.30; Seatol, $700.00; Sletten Excavating, $13500.00; So Clean, $245.00; SBM, $414.04; St. Alexius, $477.75; Straightway Construction, $89953.04; Strategic Equipment, $6410.25; Stutsman County Auditor, $123.50; Sweeper Metal, $1273.95; Ryan Taylor, $316.46; Total Control, $1800.00; Trans Trash, $2125.00; Twin City Hardware, $54674.57; Verizon Wireless, $2671.97; Vision West, $190.00; Wagon Wheel, $60.15; Thomson Reuters, $507.00. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve the Treasurer’s bills. Murray seconded. The following voucher was approved for payment: Darbie Berger, $56.16. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, and Scheurer voted aye. Motion carried.
Entze moved to approve the NDRIN refund in the amount of $9,694.00. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
State’s Attorney Binder updated the board on the Department of Labor claim with Sheila Bruner. Binder stated the claim is now complete and Bruner settled for $2,000 and signed a release for anything in the future.
State’s Attorney Binder also gave the board some feedback on the new courtroom since it has been in operation for a little over a month. Binder stated it is going well and has heard feedback that Mercer County has the nicest courtroom in the district. Binder added she has also received emails from judiciary with compliments on the Sheriff’s Department and the security measures put in place at the county. Binder noted she has had positive feedback from court administrators and judges as well. State’s Attorney Binder stated the county held its first jury trial in the new courtroom that ended with a guilty verdict.
Will Janisch, Mercer County IT, discussed the Bergstrom Electric bill with the board. Gunsch moved to approve the payment to Bergstrom Electric in the amount of $999.00. Murray seconded. Gunsch, Murray, Entze, Scheurer voted aye. Berger Nope. Motion carried.
Lonny Jacobson, Energy and Environmental Research Center, discussed the temporary use permit on the agenda in regards to the CarbonSafe Project. Jacobson stated once the permit is approved they will start dirt work and then start to drill around Thanksgiving. Jacobson added they will build a 400’ x 400’ level pad to drill the stratigraphic test holes. He noted the goal of the project is to drill a temporary stratigraphic test hole to collect 300’ to 350’ of core. The drilling will take 21 days. After the drilling, they will plug the test hole and abandon the well. Jacobson stated they will reclaim the land in the spring of 2018. The board thanked Lonny for coming in.
Murray moved to approve the Blue Cross Blue Shield 2018 renewal. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Berger and Entze gave their portfolio updates.
Colette Schilling, Tax Director/Land Use Administrator, presented the board with four (4) zoning cases.
Temporary Use #510: Issued to Energy & Environmental Research Center to drill a temporary stratigraphic test hole in the SW ¼ SW ¼ Section 32 T145N R89W. Work is limited to daylight hours. The area disturbed under this temporary use permit must be reclaimed by the applicant and must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent. The haul road must be approved and released by the County Road Superintendent. The permit holder shall control weeds in an acceptable manner during the time this permit is in effect. The permit expires on December 31, 2017. Berger moved to approve Temporary Use #510. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Conditional Use Permit #17-10-01: Issued to Anthony Floreno for a non-farm residence on a 14.95 acre parcel and is described as Parcel 1 within the NW ¼ less Parcel 5 (2 acres) and less Lot A of Parcel 1 (0.87 acres) of Section 17 T144N R85W. Present and future owners are responsible for snow removal and maintenance of private roads and approaches. The septic system must meet Custer Health District Standards and owners must provide a school bus turnaround if needed. Murray moved to approve zoning case 17-10-01. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Conditional Use Permit #17-10-02: Issued to Rory and Jennifer Flemmer for a non-farm residence on an 8.51 acre parcel and is described as a tract in the SE ¼ of Section 25 T142N R88W. Present and future owners are responsible for snow removal and maintenance of private roads and approaches. The septic system must meet Custer Health District Standards and owners must provide a school bus turnaround if needed. Gunsch moved to approve zoning case 17-10-02. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Conditional Use Permit #17-10-03: Issued to Jennifer Vermaas for a non-farm residence on a 2 acre parcel and is described as a tract in the SE ¼ of Section 36 T147N R90W. Present and future owners are responsible for snow removal and maintenance of private roads and approaches. The septic system must meet Custer Health District Standards and owners must provide a school bus turnaround if needed. Gunsch moved to approve zoning case 17-10-03. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Gunsch, Murray, and Scheurer gave their portfolio updates.
Gunsch stated since before he was commissioner, Mercer County had talked about the combination of the Auditor and Treasurer offices. Gunsch moved to direct State’s Attorney Binder to have options and procedures drafted for future discussion of the combination of offices. Murray seconded. State’s Attorney Binder stated the county would have to adopt a resolution, implement a plan, hold a public hearing, and adopt a final plan. Binder added a lot of other counties have done this so she wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel. Binder noted this motion by no means this is combining the offices, it is just to get the ball rolling. Berger asked what the benefits would be. Binder stated less salaries, more efficiencies, and technological advances. Gunsch, Murray, and Scheurer voted aye. Entze nay and Berger Nope. Motion carried.
The board recessed at 9:55 AM.
The board reconvened at 10:00 AM.
Gunsch moved to close the bids on 2017 or Newer Motor Grader. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
The following bids were opened and read aloud:
Butler Caterpillar 2018 Motor Grader
Base Bid $329,850
Snow Wing $15,650
Trade Snow Wing $2,500
Total Bid $191,000
RDO 2018 Motor Grader
Base Bid $320,900
Snow Wing $13,125
Trade Snow Wing $3,000
Total Bid $179,025
Entze moved to table the awarding of bids until the next meeting. Murray seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Opp recommended to the board, after reviewing the bids for the 2017 or Newer Dump Truck, Westlie Motor Company 2018 Freightliner in the amount of $108,159. Berger moved to accept Opp’s recommendation. Gunsch seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
Gunsch discussed with the board County 12 reroute. Gunsch stated the grades are too steep and has had complaints that the road is unsafe to travel. Eric Urness, Interstate Engineering, stated Dakota Westmoreland is in the process of cutting down on the north side of the hill and hauling material to the south side of the road. Urness added the road itself isn’t wide enough and there are blowouts on the top of the road that need to be fixed. Urness noted that if the weather continues to be cold, the reroute project will not be completed this year. Gunsch stated he is concerned about the county’s liability on this road. Urness stated he will not let them cut through County 12 until the reroute is done correctly. Once the reroute is complete, the county will have to sign off that it is to specifications.
Next Berger addressed concerns to the board.
The board recessed their regular meeting and opened up the public Hearing on Appraisal. Tax Director Schilling appraised the following properties as follows: 221 2nd Ave NE, Hazen, ND - $3,122.19; 500 1st Ave SW, Beulah, ND - $5,631.19; 2nd Ave NE, Golden Valley, ND - $111.72; 3rd Street (Old School Property), Golden Valley, ND - $7,120.38. With no public input on the values, the hearing was closed. Gunsch moved to approve the minimum asking prices. Entze seconded. All voted aye. Motion carried.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 10:38 AM. The next regular meeting is scheduled for November 15, 2017, at 9:00 AM in the courtroom of the Mercer County Courthouse, Stanton, North Dakota.
Approved: Duane Scheurer, Chairman
Attest: Shana L. Brost, Auditor