Cavalier County Commissioners hold meeting with heavy agenda

On January 16, the Cavalier County Commissioners met to discuss several topics of interest. The Commissioners present were Commission Chairman Stanley Dick and Commissioners Richard Ring, Elsie Magnus, and Nick Moser. 

Posted 01-18-2018

For open discussion, Commissioner Dick notified the Commission that the City of Munich wanted to do some paving. They wanted to know if the County would participate and help fund the paving, which was discussed previously, three years ago. Commissioner Dick questioned why the County should discuss this issue when the City of Munich does not know what they want to do yet.

The City of Munich has hired an engineering firm. The firm wants to do a five-inch overlay on the road to pave it. According to Commissioner Dick, the County has never discussed any paving with more than a three-inch overlay.

The town leadership wants a quick response because they have to go to the taxpayers. The City of Munich is having a town hall meeting on February 8. The cost for the truck route with a three-inch overlay is $150,000. Commissioner Dick wants to table the discussion until the January 30 Commission meeting.

Next, the Commissioners viewed and signed the Community Development Block Grant. The Commissioners then looked over the amendments to the 2017 expenditures and accepted and approved them without discussion.

The County received the expected  half from the state for the County Poor (Social Welfare) which amounted to $462,000. The account balance is $750,071.15.

Any portion over $100,000 effects the next year’s funding, so it is better not to carry a balance. The Commissioners did a role call vote to transfer the full amount to the County Poor account with some discussion. Stanley Dick voted yes; Elsie Magnus voted yes; Richard Ring voted yes, and Nick Moser voted yes.

Terry Johnston, Road Supervisor, did not have a lot to report. Johnston did ask the Commission to ask the State’s Attorney to send a letter to an irate county citizen to stop piling snow on county property or they would have the snow removed at the citizen’s expense. After reviewing the problem, all commissioners agreed that a letter was the best option.

Another issue was chevron signs that were not included by KLJ in advance of a curve. Some signs were placed too close to the road right of way. Johnston asked if the missing chevrons on the correction line should be replaced. The Commission voted not to place the chevron signs since KLJ did not put them there and other signs are included before the curve.

Next, the Commission discussed a letter to oppose possible legislation regarding the limits of 129,500 pound trucks on certain state and county roads. The concern was that the increased weight would be detrimental to the smaller bridges and infrastructure. After some lengthy discussion, the Commissioners decided to sign the letter opposing the possible legislation.

The Commissioners moved on to discussing an accident by District 2’s motor grader operator on January 2, 2018. The operator had an accident and reported that he did not know what he had hit. He bent a post on the motor grader and took it to Osnabrock to get it fixed. Others took pictures and agreed that he had hit a railroad track. The operator got the truck back on Thursday and then the transmission went out.

The concerns were that the operator did not talk to the Risk Manager and a supervisor when the accident occurred. The Sheriff’s Department had to be notified, and an accident report had to be filed.

Commissioner Moser expressed his concern for the safety of the driver, for the county liability for turning in the accident information later than 24 hours after the accident, and the possible fines that go with reporting the accident late.

Commissioners Dick and Moser also commented on the lack of drug and alcohol testing three days late and how that is a liability for the county.

At the current time, the employee was on administrative leave at the time. One of the Commissioners made a motion to discuss the  termination of the employee for not following through with the proper procedures listed in the handbook for an accident.

Commissioner Moser wanted to know what incident Commissioner Dick had with the employee. Moser also related that he had several complaints about the speed of the current employee. Then the Commissioners took a roll call vote to terminate the employee. All the commissioners voted yes and the employee was terminated.

The Commissioners then called on Cindy Stremick to give the Treasury Department update. As of last week, the county has collected 46% of the $11,049,000 taxes and another large percentage of those taxes will come in before February 15, 2018. The Treasurer’s Office is also readying the delinquent tax list and county deeds that need to be signed for parcels purchased by the cities.

It is time to review the Security of Pledges at the financial institutions. The Commissioners voted to approve the Pledge of Securities and the County Deeds. The Treasurer asked for permission to attend two days of training in Bismarck and the Commissioners approved the request.

Jolene Ullyott, the HR representatives for the county came in to discuss the changes to the shared leave policy. Employees made various comments on the shared leave policy. One question brought up was whether shared leave should run concurrent with FMLA, and the Commissioners concluded that they should run concurrent. Finally, after lengthy discussion, the Commission adjourned.

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