Cavalier County Commissioners with light agenda hear from NDSU Extension

At the regular semi-monthly meeting, Cavalier County commissioners discussed several small items. First, they voted to send all seven of the county’s motor grader operators to LTAP training on September 19. The course includes classroom training and hands-on training delivered on-site using the hosting agency’s facilities and equipment.

Posted 8/23/18

By Lisa Nowatzki

The commissioners also voted to change the speed limit on the Pembina Gorge road to 40 mph for all vehicles. Currently, only trucks are limited to the 40 mph speed limit.

County Recorder Vicki Kubat gave an update on her project with US imaging. She reported phase one was complete with phase two and three to go. Kubat said that the office had received a check for $5047, filed 861 documents, collected $125 in copy fees, and filed 54 land surveys in the last six months. The county recorder’s office has also received a new copier that will save the county about $30 a month.

New Tax Director Steph Bata met with the commissioners to update them on her time at the state equalization meeting. Bata informed them that all North Dakota property taxes are required to *** between 90 and 100% of the fair market value.  ***not sure what word should be here to make it sound right.

Bata and County Auditor Lisa Gellner have received the unofficial word from the state that Cavalier County residential property values have been assessed over the allowed threshold. In September, Gellner’s and Bata’s offices will receive direction from the state to lower residential property tax values by at least five percent.

Debra Olson, the Executive Director of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Center for Cavalier, Pembina, and Walsh counties, met with the commissioners and asked them to approve a grant and award pass through for $3250 to go toward the salaries of the employees of the Center. After some discussion, the group agreed to work as the receiving center for the grant and to pass it through to the Center.

Finishing off their light agenda was a presentation from Macine Lukach, Anitha Chirumamilla, and Kim Ruliffson, District Director of Eastern North Dakota.

During the presentation, Chirumamilla acknowledged that with past budget cuts and the possibility of new cuts looming on the horizon that some changes at the NDSU Extension had to be made. In 2017, the entire NDSU Extension went through a planned review. A new strategic plan for the future was devised from the information and data received as a result of the review.

Chirumamilla began by explaining the mission of the NDSU Extension. The organization strives to empower North Dakotans to improve their lives and communities through science-based education. Extension offices achieve their mission by responding to the concerns and needs of local citizens. “Citizen input plays a huge role in shaping the Extension’s educational programs,” Lukach added.

Chirumamilla noted that NDSU Extension provides more than just general education. Extension programs provide a transformational education experience that solves problems not only in the private but also in the public sectors. Through the knowledge gained, people and communities are changed and revitalized.

The review also found that Extension agents and staff were not good at letting the general public know about all the great things the NDSU Extension does for local communities. The first step involved finding and showing the strengths of Extension education and education programs.

Some of the strengths of Extension programs include the NDSU Extension mission, educational programs, and effectiveness and efficiency. The plan for the future consists of a re-evaluation of the role of the Extension in the community, increasing educational programs for all age groups, communicate better with decision-makers, form an advisory that involves local citizens at the state level, increase brand recognition, and reduce administration.

The final part of the presentation illustrated how some of the past educational programs have affected the community and demonstrated some of the impact the programs have had in the community and for individuals.

The commissioners adjourned after some discussion about how the representatives of urban areas in the state do not understand how vital the NDSU Extension programs are to local farm communities like Cavalier County.