The Cavalier County Commission had a short agenda for their meeting on Tuesday, May 16.
By Melissa Anderson
The commission went over the top topics following the closing of the legislative session including the Medical Marijuana measure known as the Compassionate Care Act and Senate Bill 2206 which redirects funding for social services from county funded to state funded instead.
The final form of the Compassionate Care Act reduced the number of dispensaries and growers to two a piece in the state from the working legislature of four each. The act will not go into effect for a number of months.
The commission also discussed the upcoming County Equalization meeting. The commissioners discussed some concerns that had been raised of residents coming in to talk about the modifiers removal. The commissioners were in agreement that because of the past decisions made in regards to that matter, their hands were tied.
The commission met Cavalier County Human Resources Officer Jolene Ullyott to discuss the salary negotiations. Ullyott had met with the negotiating committee and explained how the committee came to their recommendation of a six percent pay increase for county employees. Ullyott explained that this increase does not put the employees at the highest pay range in comparison to neighboring counties but is significantly higher than raises given over the past few years.
The commission discussed the proposed increase at length and looked at it from varying perspectives including the increase in health insurance premiums and how it affects employee paychecks. Some on the commission did not feel the six percent was feasible in conjunction with the health insurance increase. Nick Moser stated that he felt the commission could forgo an increase in compensation in an effort to give the county employees a greater pay increase. Fellow commissioners agreed.
The final approval of the increase was apporved and given to Cavalier County Auditor Lisa Gellner for working numbers in the budget was a total of a four percent increase, totaling roughly $145 per month per employee.
The commission met with Cavalier County Recorder Vicki Kubat in regards to the digitizing of county records. US Imaging accepted the $20,000 up front payment with the remainder of the $57,000 cost of the phase one project to be paid in 2018 when financing is in place. The commission discussed how Kubat will budget for this and accepted the proposed method.
The commission met with Terry Girodat, Courthouse Maintenance Director, to discuss the finalization of the courthouse boiler pipe project. The representative present for the contracting firm stated that there were a few final items that needed to be finished and recommended the county withhold five percent of the final payment until those items were taken care of. The commission agreed and accepted the recommendation.
In Other Business
• The commission met with Cavalier County Road Supervisor Terry Johnston to discuss contracts for two of the upcoming road projects. Johnston also informed the commission of a culvert requests, one of which was for Henderson Township. Johnston explained that the necessary amount of excess levy , 28 mills, was not in place for the township which was currently set at only 27.5. The commission denied that culvert request due to the policy on culvert cost sharing recently put in place.
• The commission discussed the payment schedule for Vanguard and approved requesting financing proposals from local financers.