County Commission to fine Mt. Carmel campers

The Cavalier County Commission had a short agenda of business for their last meeting of March.  The majority of the Commission’s time was spent in open discussion after completing regular business.

Posted 3/21/19

By Melissa Anderson

The Commission met with Cavalier County Road Supervisor Terry Johnston to review gravel bids for the county as well as motor grader bids from RDO and Butler. The Commission discussed at length the options between the two bids. Commissioner Stanley Dick proposed extending out the loan payments by two years for a total of a seven year loan.

Commissioner Greg Goodman reviewed the numbers and stated that while it would add $10,000 in interest paid, it would also provide an additional $10,000 in cash flow for the county. It was decided to ask area banks if they could match the interest rate provided in the bid and also pursue purchase of  an additional motor grader. RDO and Butler were asked to appraise an additional motor grader for trade and return for a special meeting on April 1 for bid opening.

Members of the water board came to discuss an issue they had with the Commission. Water board member Van Howatt informed the Commission that the water board does not feel it is their responsibility to enforce tabs on campers in the public area of Mt. Carmel Dam camping area. During the Vanguard assessment, the private camping area with mostly mobile homes was assessed as residential properties. The public area was not addressed.

The assessor for Mt. Carmel Township, Lisa Buchweitz, was present and explained that she would rather have those campers get their tabs for $20 than go out and assess each one as a property including any additions such as decks and sheds that they may have. Buchweitz also does not believe the township would want to pay for her to assess those campers as such.

The Commission and those members of the water board present decided to issue a notice to the owners of campers on the public side that they have until July 1 to get tabs on their campers. The Cavalier County Sheriff’s Department will be asked to check, and those that do not have tabs visibly placed on the outside of the camper will be fined. A re-check will occur at a later date, and those that do not have tabs at that time will have their campers assessed as mobile homes.

Howatt and fellow water board members asked who would be responsible for the notice to the campers. The Commission stated that it would be easiest for the water board to have notices posted at Mt. Carmel Dam. The Commission also requested that the water board include this as a requirement in the board’s rules and regulations packets that are sent out each year.

Commissioner Nick Moser proposed that the County Commission purchase tablets or laptops to cut down on the amount of paper that is used. Goodman was in agreement and stated he believed laptops would be better and also suggested the Commission use county-specific emails rather than personal. Deputy Auditor Monica Porterfield explained the process that the auditor’s office goes through to prepare for county meetings and also what software is used by the courthouse. The Commission directed Porterfield to ask the IT support to put together an estimate for laptops for the commissioners that would be strictly for commission use during meetings.

In Other Business

• The auditor’s office is still requesting an additional person in a support position to assist the office with their duties. The issue was tabled.

• Cavalier County Sheriff Greg Fetsch presented the preliminary contract that will start negotiations with the City of Langdon. Fetsch had a staggered increase for the life of the contract starting at 4 percent, decreasing in percentage each year with the final year of the contract only increasing by 2 percent. The City will also be required to purchase a vehicle for the Sheriff’s Department as was agreed to in the previous contract. Moser stated he felt that the contract should have a 4 percent increase every year rather than the staggered. After discussion, Fetsch stated he would change the contract to Moser’s suggestion.

• Cavalier County Emergency Manager Karen Kempert applied for and was approved for a grant totaling over $3,000. The grant required no matching funds and will be used to upgrade network and cybersecurity. This will be done as a result of a recommendation from ITD. The Commission approved the grant and commended Kempert for pursuing it.

• HR Officer Crystal Beggs gave an update on her work with the inclement weather policy as well as the salary analysis requested by the Commission. Beggs also is working on the flex-time issues that the county has been experiencing.

• Walhalla Country Club was approved for a beer and liquor license.