The Cavalier County Commission met on the afternoon of September 6 to conduct business and work on the new budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Posted on 9/10/16
By Melissa Anderson
The first order of business that the commission addressed dealt with the condition of the county roads. The commissioners discussed at length the current condition of County 24 and 33. The commission focused mostly the issues that County 24 has in regards to its driveability. There was some concern about the road now becoming too dangerous for vehicles to traverse.
The commission met with Road Supervisor Terry Johnston to discuss not only County 24 but also the quality of gravel that was being supplied by certain contractors. Johnston also went over normal items of business including current funding available from the state for road projects, paperwork, and requests. Johnston discussed the idea of purchasing road counters for the county’s use as the State does not allow the borrowing of their equipment. The commission felt the equipment would help in the justification for work done on roads.
The commission moved forward to review updates regarding the upcoming Vanguard reassessment of residential and commercial properties of Cavalier County. Cavalier County Tax Director Pam Lafrenz joined the commission to discuss and answer any questions regarding the assessment. The commission discussed how the county will pay for the assessments.
Commissioner Stanley Dick proposed that the county make each property owner cover the cost of the assessment for their property. Dick’s argument for the individual property owner paying for the assessment is that when all the residential properties are assessed, they will have a basis for equality for assessments should any property’s status ever change.
Jill Denault presented the budget for Cavalier County Social Services. Denault stated that overall the budget has decreased by opting to not fill one position and reducing the hours for another. Denault stated that salaries for those positions were used to give the remaining employees a five percent raise. The commission questioned Denault’s decision to not fill those positions and instead give other employees raises. Denault stated that she has restructured and adjusted the work load and responsibilities to make the office more efficient.
The commission met with Cavalier County States Attorney Scott Stewart to review the contract that the county has with Honeywell regarding the boiler project. Stewart had reviewed the contract and found that the bidding process for the boiler project was done incorrectly. The commission and Stewart discussed at length how to rectify the situation, and the commission decided, under advisement by Stewart, to have the bidding process redone for the project.
In Other Business
• The commission discussed the upcoming North Dakota Association of Counties(NDACo) conference. Commissioner Elsie Magnus requested that her fellow commissioners discuss and submit any resolutions that they would like to have brought before the NDACo and the 2017 North Dakota State Legislature. Two resolutions were discussed.
• The commission met with Cavalier County Clerk of Court Anita Beauchamp to continue discussion on the grant for a video feed system for the courtroom. After much discussion the commission and Beauchamp decided against the application for the grant in favor of pursuing other possible grant funds for a different project.
• The commission reviewed the budgets brought forward by the departments and non-departmental budgets. The commission reviewed the county agent budget and decided against the additional raise request for the administrative assistant. The commission went over the raise proposed by Jill Denault for social services and decided against the full five percent, favoring instead a two and half percent raise for the employees.