Cavalier County Commissioners approve 2018 annual budget

The Cavalier County Commissioners had a very productive meeting after a long Labor Day holiday weekend on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Posted on 9/8/17

By Lisa Nowatzki

Old business was discussed. The board voted to have an employee wellness lunch for county employees. During the lunch, employees will be offered flu shots and a chance to speak with AFLAC and Nationwide Insurance representatives for open enrollment.

The commissioners also discussed and voted to continue contracting HR services provided by Jolene Ullyott and approved her working up to 16 hours a week. They mapped out what her duties included, especially if she works on Fridays.

The hiring of one or two new employees to drive the snow plows was discussed without reaching a consensus. The suggestion was made to conduct quarterly training for all the county employees since prior training has been successful.

The need for GPS monitoring was discussed again along with the need for additional monitoring services and a neutral third party to keep up with billing hours and locations. An initial annual budget to equip county equipment with GPS monitoring and third-party billing would exceed planned budget costs for 2018. Because of budget concerns, the commissioners decided to wait to see if any other businesses like John Deere and RDO Equipment provided the same GPS services at a lower price.

Housing assessments by Vanguard was discussed. If a homeowner missed the Vanguard employee or if the homeowner disagrees with the assessment, several avenues are available to the homeowner including making a follow-up appointment and changing inaccurate home assessment data online.

Road Supervisor Terry Johnston gave the road conditions and county roads project’s update. Johnston updated the commission on the gravel budgets for each of the five Cavalier County districts. Several concerns by constituents regarding the conditions of some of the unpaved roads in the county was discussed.

One constituent felt that the gravel road by her home was not properly taken care of and wanted to see more attention given to her road by the county. The condition of several ongoing paved road projects was also discussed.

The Commission adjourned and called a special budget meeting to order. Tom Borgen asked the commission not to accept the seven percent portion of the employee pension paid by the county. Borgen wanted to use other methods of compensation like more comp time. The other commissioners stated that the comprehensive benefits package provided by the county is one of the reasons employees stay, and the compensation provided attracts quality employees. With no more questions, the commissioners voted to approve the 2018 annual budget.

The special budget meeting was adjourned, and the regular commission meeting called to order. The board voted to open the FEMA account at the bank. Vicki Kubat gave the commissioners a report on the US Imaging Digitizing project. Kubat asked the board to approve an early loan from F&M bank for $33,000 to go with the $20,000 payable to US Imaging for the digitizing project. The commission voted to approve the early loan. Kubat’s fees has increased the income by 40 percent. Kubat proposed paying the interest for the remaining months on the $33,000 loan with the increased fee income. The board agreed.

The commissioners voted to formally adopt the ADA transition plan for the courthouse. Some of the items on the plan have been completed. The west side handicap accessible ramp and the bathrooms on the west side are in compliance with the ADA plan.

The county property appraisal and inventory proposal was discussed. Each department needs to put together a list and price of all county property.  The commissioners did not decide if the inventory needs to be updated annually or biannually. A question was also raised about the process of verifying the value of the county property and the need for the insurance company to come out and evaluate all county equipment.

Finally, open discussion was held and the meeting was adjourned.