The Cavalier County Commission had a short agenda for the last meeting of May but that did not mean the meeting was short by any means. From funding county road projects to how the funding for the social service redesign will work, budgeting was the main focus.
By Melissa Anderson
Cavalier County Road Supervisor Terry Johnston informed the Commission of the bids that had been received for one project. All three bids came in way over the engineering estimate with the chosen bid being $92,000 over what the project had been estimated at. The Commission and Johnston discussed at length how this will affect the budget that they have in place for not only the bidded project but other upcoming projects. The Commission approved the resolution accepting the low bid for the project.
Commissioners Stanley Dick and Nick Moser reviewed what the county will need to do in order to get maximum funding from Operation Prairie Dog. Some of the things that will assist the county in getting maximum funding are having up-to-date traffic counts, mapping all structures including minor ones, and gravel road costs as well inventory of grit. Dick shared that he does not believe county road miles are what will be the factor that decides funding- information on the condition of the roads will be.
“The more information we get to them, the better it will be for us,” Dick said.
The commissioners moved forward with their agenda and discussed, for the majority of the meeting time, the requirements being put to the county for the social service redesign as a result of the legislation passed this session. The extensive discussion covered the issue of pay scales, benefits, and the most appropriate county to be the host county for the zone. The other counties in the zone include Pembina and Walsh.
Cavalier County Auditor Lisa Gellner was against Cavalier County being the host county. The complex issue has many different questions being raised with very few answers available to the county auditors and commissions. The Commission extensively discussed the time frame that requires budgets, zonal director, and host counties to be selected. The county ultimately decided that the three county commissions would need to meet in full to discuss what should be done and which county will be the host county.
In Other Business
• No letters of interest were received for the open position on the Education Committee.
• Frost Fire’s application for a beer and liquor license was approved.
• The Byron Township abatement request was denied as there were no mistakes found in the assessment and no documentation provided to support the reason of the abatement request.
• Discussion on the NDSU Extension budget that was passed in state legislature has left an opening in the pay percentage for agents between county and Extension. The open part-time position in Cavalier County has garnered interest from several locals according to the Commission, but the position cannot be filled until NDSU Extension puts it as open.