The Cavalier County Commissioners met Tuesday, December 15 for their normally scheduled meeting. New items on the agenda were the Clerk of Court’s application for a court facilities improvement grant, JDA appointments, and the Sewage Treatment Systems Rules and Regulations.
Clerk of Court Anita Beauchamp requested the commissioners approve her application for a court facilities improvement grant. This year she is asking to put new flooring in the jury room, the two bathrooms in the jury room, and the judge’s chambers small bathroom. It is a relatively small grant request this year, $1800.00. Commissioner Dave Zeis made a motion to approve the application grant for improvements, seconded by Commissioner Nick Moser, and the motion carried.
Beauchamp also reported that the Supreme Court decision to keep the dual chambers was unanimous. The governor has 30 days to appoint the new district judge after the nominating committee submits their list. It is possible there may be a district judge in Langdon a majority of the time. She was extremely pleased the decision was unanimous and credited the outpouring of community support.
Commissioner Greg Goodman, a member of the Langdon Research Center advisory board, reported that going into the upcoming state legislative session there is apprehension with funding from the state for the Research Center, and they are being asked to make cuts. Commissioner Stanley Dick reported the same is happening for the Extension Center. Since the work done there is a great benefit to the community and region, Goodman said he may inquire if they will need support from the county level to keep their funding where it was.
A discussion ensued regarding an employee who has not followed instructions in changes to timekeeping that were implemented a few years ago. Though actual pay is not affected, he accrues comp time improperly. One-on-one discussions have occurred with the employee, but it continues to happen. It was agreed to have the employee meet with Zeis, Chairman Austin Lafrenz and Human Resources and have documented training on timekeeping.
Road Supervisor Terry Johnston reported that he received an email from DOT that the state may have special funding available for bridges. He responded back that there is one structure south of Milton on County 45 with a triple 6 X 5 X 120 foot large pipe that is rusted out, and the county would be interested in replacing it with this funding. 2022 is the first year it would come through. If approved it will be all state funds with no local cost for the project itself. If the funding does not get approved, the project will need to be done anyway using other funds. Johnston also reported that the federal funding for removing bridges that are closed is not available anymore. There are a few in the county that are closed and marked with barricades. When they are inspected, the county gets charged for them. The county would be money ahead to remove at least some of them.
Zeis presented information on behalf of the sheriff’s department about a computerized virtual simulator for active shooter training. They plan to purchase the computer and equipment that goes with it. About half of the purchase price has been raised from donations so far. State’s Attorney Scott Stewart verified that donations to county government were tax deductible. The computer puts up real-life scenes and goes through an active shooter situation. It is good training for law enforcement and does not use ammunition. It can be moved to different locations, and they might bring in other agencies. They do have certified instructors. It may eventually be made available to the general public.
Goodman raised questions about the current Rules and Regulations that govern Cavalier County regarding sewage treatment systems. The 42 page document was adopted May 1, 2019, by the Cavalier County Board of Health. Members of Lake Region Public Health Candace Carlson and Allen McKay, local realtor Abby Borchardt, and Steph Welsh were present or online for the discussion. Goodman had questions as to when inspections were required, who requests them, and that the rules and regulations seem to take away local control. McKay explained that the document was written by a large group of invested parties to make the regulations more uniform across the state. Contractors were complaining that they could do one thing in one county but not in another. The rules and regulations are also meant to prevent disease outbreaks and contaminated water systems. If there is sewage above ground, in a basement, or running into a slough, it needs to be fixed. It is similar to electrical and other types of inspections. The commissioners want to revisit the issue after doing more background research with local contractors, realtors, buyers and sellers.
The JDA Board terms of Patrick Rime, Austin Lafrenz, Jeff Stanley, Marcus Lewis, and Duane Otto are set to expire. The JDA requested that all of them be reappointed. Moser made a motion to approve, seconded by Zeis, carried with Goodman and Lafrenz abstaining. JDA would return next month with another recommendation as there may be two openings with three interested parties.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 5, 2021.