The Cavalier County Commission conducted business during their regular meeting on Tuesday, November 15.
By Melissa Anderson
The commission met first with Cavalier County Road Supervisor Terry Johnston. Also in attendance was John Markeson representing KLJ Engineering. Markeson gave an update on funding that is left from house and senate bills that the county can utilize on projects. Markeson also updated the commission on other projects as well as informing the commission that he is recommending the commission approve penalty payments against a contractor who was behind schedule on a project.
Johnston presented the truck plow bid, which the county only received one bid from Butler Machinery. After extensive discussion on the truck, the engine, and the warranties that Butler offered in the bid as well as a comparison to what the county could get from the state fleet, the commission approved purchasing the truck from Butler for $154,000.
Johnston than presented culvert requests and replacements. The commission approved all the requests.
The commission met with Cavalier County Tax Director Pam Lafrenz next. Lafrenz stated that she was made aware that previously, the soils committee board members were compensated $40 per meeting. Currently, the board members are compensated mileage. Lafrenz also informed the commission that she has received an updated cost for the Sidwell program which amounts to over $7,000 due the increase in data that the program will need to maintain. Lafrenz stated that the compensation to the board members was not included in her submitted budget, and the Sidwell increase was also not budgeted. The commission acknowledged that these two items would push the tax department over budget and approved giving the soils committee $40 in compensation and the increase to the Sidwell program.
Lafrenz informed the commission that she had received a letter to update the school and fire districts but was not able to afford that additional expense in her budget. Cavalier County Auditor Lisa Gellner stated that the auditor’s office would cover that cost as it would be helpful to have those districts outlined for not only the tax director and auditor but many offices in the courthouse. The commission agreed and approved the expense.
The commission met with Tom Valentine who went over the soils committee recommendation of lowering the break point to 10 PI. The commission and Valentine discussed at length the effects lowering the breakpoint to 10 would have on land values, taxes, and landowners. After reviewing the numbers presented, the commission rejected the soils committee recommendation to lower the breakpoint to 10 PI and asked that the committee meet again and decide on a different break point. The commissioners asked the entire soils committee review the numbers and determine if 29 would be a better breakpoint based on the figures presented by Valentine.
In Other Business
• The commission held the delinquent tax sale. No parcels were sold, but a representative from the City of Nekoma stated that the city would be interested in purchasing the parcels located within their city limits. Cities within the county have the option of purchasing parcels within their city at $1 per parcel but must buy all the parcels.
• The commission met with Cavalier County Treasurer Cindy Stremick to discuss the Department of Motor Vehicle account and the funds that Stremick would need to run the DMV. After discussion, the commission moved to transfer $20,000 from the DMV account to pay down the cost of the snow plow truck purchased earlier in the meeting.
• During open discussion, the commission reviewed the HR contract prepared by Cavalier County State’s Attorney Scott Stewart. The commission noted that “team building activities” had not been included in the HR duties and asked that Stewart include that language.
• A representative from Farmers and Merchant’s State Bank presented the financial documentation and plan for the upcoming boiler project.