The Cavalier County Commission had a busy meeting day on October 20.
Posted on 10/24/15
By Melissa Anderson
The commission met with Terry Johnston, the Road Supervisor, along with Dean Rueger and Pat Kram to discuss the culvert that Rueger replaced earlier this fall.
The commission viewed photos of the culvert in question that Commissioner Tom Borgen took prior to the meeting and determined that the ditch that was created was in fact a dangerous ditch.
Johnston spoke with the insurance company that covers the county and was informed that the previous decision made by the county to not approve the culvert replacement was correct as it would place all liability on the county should an accident occur in association with the ditch.
Rueger explained that the reason that he and Randy Mikkelsen replaced the culvert in the first place was because the old culvert was not draining the ditch properly and upon investigation the culvert was over a foot to high. Rueger approached Mikkelsen and received the go ahead to conduct work on the culvert after receiving a verbal approval from the Cavalier County Water Board.
Rueger went on to state that the work he had done has benefitted area industry and the county by creating a better drainage path for the ditch.
Commission Chair Rick Ring explained that while that may be the case that the issue was that the proper paperwork had not been filed previous to the work nor had protocol been followed.
The commission agreed that because the proper procedure has not been followed coupled with the now dangerous depth of the ditch, the county commission could not approve the reimbursement for the work.
“It is a township problem and up to them to pay for it,” Ring stated.
The commission met with two members of the Langdon City Commission and their legal council to receive an update from Cavalier County Tax Director Pam Lafrenz on her search for a company who could reassess the residential properties in all of Cavalier County. Lafrenz reported that she had not yet found a company that could complete the reassessment for 2016.
Langdon City Commission Chair Charles Downs and Langdon City Attorney Cameron Sillers argued with the county commission that they felt a reassessment of the City of Langdon was unnecessary on the grounds that the residential properties within the city were within the state mandated 90 percent of true and full value.
Lafrenz stated that when she spoke with the State tax department that this was not the case and one reason why the entire county was originally set have a 45 percent blanket on properties. The county commission agreed that the issue was not the percentage within the necessary range but that all the residential properties were accessed fairly and equally.
The county commission asked Lafrenz what she thought the state would do if the county and city did not have reassessment done in 2016. Lafrenz stated she believed that the state would either do a blanket increase again or if the county had made progress and was working on getting the county and city reassessed they may do nothing since the county was making a good faith effort.
Lafrenz is hopeful that the reassessments could be done by 2017. The commission and the city representatives agreed to have Lafrenz continue to work on finding a company to reassess the residential properties within the county and that the two entities would continue to work together and correspond. The City of Langdon will continue to search for a new assessor.
In Other Business
• The commission met with Cavalier County Treasurer Cindy Stremick to discuss an inactive bank account that the county has with Horizon Financial in Munich. Stremick received a letter from the financial institution asking that the county either use the account or close it. The commission agreed to close the account and transfer the funds to the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Langdon.
• The commission heard semi-annual department updates from the following departments: Cavalier County Weed Board, Cavalier County Job Development Authority, Cavalier County Water Board, Cavalier County Veterans Services, Cavalier County Emergency Services, Cavalier County Recorder, Cavalier County Extension Services, Cavalier County Courthouse Maintenance, and Cavalier County Social Services.
• The commission set the prices for properties that are set to be auctioned at the next Cavalier County Commission meeting.