County commissioners wrap up 2013

The Cavalier County Board of Commissioners held its last regularly scheduled meeting of the year on Tuesday as the Board wrapped up business until the next meeting on January 7.

Posted on 12/21/13

By Lee Coleman

With the primary election coming up in June, the Board approved the courthouse as the polling place for the county.

The Cavalier County Water Resource Board has an opening due to the retirement of Bill Hardy.

The commissioners invited the three candidates to the meeting Tuesday. The applicants included Van Howatt, Kevin Lill and Brian Hardy.

There was some concern the Board may have not known the candidates well enough to vote without further knowledge.

“How can we be comfortable if we don’t know anything about them” asked commissioner Tom Borgen. “We should be entitled to talk to each one of them.”

Commissioner Rich Flanders suggested the Board interview each candidate and with unanimous unity, a list of six specific questions were prepared.

Howatt and Lill were interviewed but Hardy was a no-show at the meeting.

Rather than make a decision without interviewing Hardy, the vote was tabled until Jan. 7 when Hardy will be extended another opportunity to appear for his interview.

“Thanks for coming but we won’t make a decision today,” commission chairperson Elsie Magnus told the candidates. “Thank you for your application.”

Ken Nelson came before the Board requesting authorization to borrow money for the building of a new bathhouse at Mt. Carmel Recreation Area.

The loan would be for $125,000 with a possible $50,000 grant from the Heritage Fund off-setting the costs of the proposed seven to 10 -year loan.

The Board approved the request in an unanimous vote.

“The old bathhouse has basically served its purpose and is beginning to deteriorate,” Nelson said after the vote. “It’s time to get a new one in there.

“Our park has expanded so much, we need a little more space with our bathhouse. We have a real good chance for the grant. It is a worthy cause and the way the Heritage Fund is set up, we’ll fall within the guidelines of it.”

The courthouse will soon see an upgrade to the telephone system as the Board approved a new deal with United Telephone for approximately $25,000 with costs to be spread over an unspecified period of time.

The new system will have improved features but the selling point was the installation of ‘panic buttons’ on each phone designed to give county employees a means to immediately contact the sheriff’s office in the event of any dangerous or unruly scenario.

Finally, with the year nearly over, the county commission voted Flanders as the new chairman for next year with Ole Nowatzki taking over the vice-chairman position.