The Cavalier County Commissioners had a short agenda but completed a lot of business and addressed concerns brought to them by the public.
Posted on 11/7/15
By Melissa Anderson
The first major piece of business that was addressed by the commission was the ongoing need to reassess not only the City of Langdon but all residential properties in Cavalier County. The county commission met with Langdon City Commissioners Marty Tetrault and Cody Schlittenhard as well as Interim City Auditor Roxanne Hoffarth and City Attorney Quentin Wenzel.
The city reported that Jerry Retzlaff had been contacted and agreed to do the assessing for the City of Langdon but that he would not be able to do a full reassessment in the allotted time frame.
County commissioners Stanley Dick and Elsie Magnus along with County Auditor Lisa Gellner and County Tax Director Pam Lafrenz had been in contact with Vanguard Appraisal. The four officials stated that this would be the best option for the county and city reassessments.
Dick explained that Vanguard would be able to come and reassess the entire residential and commercial properties in 2018 with a meeting taking place prior to the equalization meetings in 2019 for residents to ask questions on the new assessments.
Dick continued by stating that in talks with state officials, this would be an acceptable solution despite missing the reassessment deadline of 2016 as the county and city had made a good faith effort to comply. The decision to go with Vanguard as the assessment company will also help as Vanguard has a very good reputation across the state. In the meantime, the county residential properties can expect a blanket increase in assessments until the reassessment is completed.
The plan moving forward with this solution is to notify all townships and cities so that the process of budgeting for the future expense can begin. The county officials will work with Vanguard to create a contract and have it signed and taken care of as soon as possible to lock in the rates for assessments.
The discussion then turned to how this would impact the city’s need for an assessor. The county informed the city commissioners and officials present that state legislature will mandate additional training for city and township assessors, making it more difficult for counties and cities such as Cavalier and Langdon to have enough qualified assessors. This need for training in the future is something that the city should have in mind while searching for and hiring an assessor.
The county commission met with the snow plow operators who presented three possible options to replace a worn out truck. The commission reviewed the information given and had some discussion.
The commission approved the purchase of a new snowplow from an Ohio dealer. The snowplow truck is a 2015 Western Star with a Cummings engine. The county will finance $65,000 of the $127,000 purchase price through Choice Financial.
The commission met with Richard Flanders and several other members of the Grey and Glenila Township boards who were present to complain to the commission about the condition of County Road 12.
The road in question is in dire need of gravel as there are numerous ruts. Flanders provided pictures to show the commission the condition the road is currently in.
The commission explained that they were aware of the situation with County 12 and that other roads in the county such as a section of County 32 is also in need of additional attention and maintenance.
The commission stated that they were hoping to appropriate some left-over funds from HB 1176 for use on gravel next year. Cavalier County Treasurer Cindy Stremick notified the commission of a investment CD that would be reaching maturity. The CD contained about $185,000 and had a low interest rate. The commission removed $85,000 of that CD to be used for emergency road maintenance funds.
In Other Business
• Cavalier County Recorder Vicki Kubat gave the commissioners an update on the situation with the old record books kept in the vault in the basement of the courthouse. The maintenance director has been able to locate a leak and fix it as well as reduce the humidity down to 37 percent.
A commercial dehumidifier was brought in and the books were cleaned. Kubat has found a company to complete the microfilming of the books and will be in contact with the commission when she gets a price.
• NDSU Extension Agent Macine Lukach introduced the commissioners to the new agent, Anitha Chirumamilla.
• Cavalier County Clerk of Court Anita Beauchamp informed the commission on the grant funding for remodeling the court facilities and what the cost would be to the county.