The Cavalier County Commission had a full meeting of discussion that paid particular attention to the upcoming Vanguard assessment and the taxes on ag land that have seen a significant increase now that the modifiers have been removed.
By Melissa Anderson
Over the course of the morning, the commission and Cavalier County Tax Director Pam Lafrenz along with several members of the soils committee reviewed and answered questions and concerns about the upcoming Vanguard assessment and the fall out of the decision to remove the modifiers from agricultural land.
The commission had a phone conference call with Vanguard to have some questions answered about the upcoming assessment as well as to get a plan of how the assessment will go once it starts.
Richard Flanders, along with several other township supervisors, voiced their discontent with how the commission handled the cost sharing of the Vanguard assessment in terms of having the City of Langdon covering their share and the townships covering the rest. The supervisors stated that this cost would be a big hit to their already strained budgets. The commission responded by stating that the county would be covering the interest and that the townships would have five years to cover the cost of the assessment.
Other concerns revolved around the decision to remove the modifiers which have now, in some cases, doubled the land values in the county. The soils committee members present explained that they understood that this decision to remove the modifiers has increased the value, but that this may not reflect into the actual tax amounts. The modifiers were removed for the one year in order to create the blank slate for the ag land values. The soils committee members stated that landowners need to get their FSA maps and work with their township’s assessor to get an accurate value on their land.
The commission further reviewed the Community Development Block Grant application put forward by the Pembina Gorge Foundation for Frost Fire. The commission approved the application as well as agreeing to cover the cost associated with publication of notices for public hearings.
The commission also held an abatement hearing. The commission reviewed the evidence and after discussion approved the request.
The commission approved the utility permit request for United Communications to put in more fiber optic cables in the rural areas. There was some discussion about the pedestals put in place being hazards with blocking the view as well as snow. The commission advised that townships address their concerns with United Communications as the permits allow for placement within the easements.
In Other Business
• The commission approved a culvert request for Grey Township.
• The commission received updates on the boiler project which is in its final stages. The commission also received department updates from the Job Development Authority and the Roadmen.