Cavalier County Commission purchases social services building

The Cavalier County Commission held a special meeting on Friday, December 21 to close out the end of the year and discuss the purchase of a building. The Commission opened the bid for the purchase of the building that currently houses the Cavalier County Social Services Department located at 324 7th Ave, Langdon. The building is currently owned by Kevin Stein.

Posted 12/27/18

By Melissa Anderson

Stein submitted a bid price of $245,350.00 for the building. The assessed value of building is set at $89,000. The recent Vanguard assessment placed the buildings value at $122,900.

The Commission, along with state’s attorney Scott Stewart and Stein with his legal representation of Cameron Sillers, discussed the options that were available to make the purchase possible.

The current rental contract was considered to be invalid as it had been signed by Cavalier County Director Jill Denault instead of by the governing body of Cavalier County, the County Commission. The invalid contract was in year three of 10 with a monthly rent of $2,000. Stewart’s opinion was that the county had a verbal agreement with Stein for the rental of the building as a result.

As a whole, the Commission could not justify the asking price put forward by Stein with Commissioner Stanley Dick stating the board should not implement a mill for the purchase of the building. The commissioners explained, in no uncertain terms, their interest in purchasing was with bringing down the funding that Social Services had available currently to ensured the continued rate of funding from the state. If the department still had over $100,000 in their fund at the close of the year, the state would decrease the funding accordingly for the second half of next year’s funding cycle.

Stein’s bid was rejected, and the discussion turned to leasing of the building. The Commission was uncomfortable with more than a year or two contract as the decision of the future of the county social services location is with the State. Commissioner Nick Moser suggested a prepaid one year rental agreement of $24,000. Stein and Sillers continued negotiations stating that Stein was not interested in leasing, either short or long term, and wanted to sell the building. After a private discussion between Stein and Sillers, Stein gave a new bid amount of $175,000.

The Commission and Stein worked out an agreement to the satisfaction of all, with a $24,000 payment being made before end of year with a closing date before or on February 1, 2019. Should the county not be able to fulfill the agreement the payment will revert to prepayment on a one year lease.

In Other Business

The City of Munich presented a request for the county to be a sponsor for their proposal for the same grant that the City of Langdon applied for earlier. The Commission approved the request to be a sponsor and pass through for funding should the City of Munich receive the grant.

The commissioners reviewed the HR joint powers agreement with Ramsey County for the contracting the services of Crystal Beggs. They also discussed where HR will be located within the courthouse, but no final decision was made as other offices are in flux for moving to other locations within the courthouse.

The Commission approved all but two of the year-end vouchers presented. One voucher was presented by one of the road man but questioned as needing to be paid as there were no real services rendered. This voucher payment was denied. The Commission, during review, came across a voucher for $5,000 in prepaid fuel for the Social Services Department. Commissioner Stanley Dick questioned the voucher as it had never been discussed at the recent social services board meeting. The Commission called Denault who agreed to rescind the voucher.