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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE STARK COUNTY COMMISSION TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2021 Chairman Franchuk called the regular meeting of the Stark County Board of Commissioners to order at 9:00 AM.

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE STARK COUNTY COMMISSION
TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2021
Chairman Franchuk called the regular meeting of the Stark County Board of Commissioners to order at 9:00 AM. Commissioners Present: Dean Franchuk, Carla Arthaud, Bernie Marsh, Neal Messer, and Ken Zander. Department Heads Present: Acting Auditor-Karen Richard, State's Attorney-Amanda Engelstad, Human Resources Director-Joetta Pearcy, Recorder-Kim Kasian, Tax Director-Natalie Wandler, County Planner-Steve Josephson, County Park Director-Lisa Heiser, Sheriff-Corey Lee, Road Superintendent-Al Heiser, and Veteran's Service Officer-Jessica Clifton, City Assessor--Joe Hirschfield
RATIFY AGENDA
Commissioner Franchuk removed Red Trail Energy from the agenda; Commissioner Arthaud added Commissioner Longevity pay; Commissioner Arthaud added the Marathon Wind Turbines.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To approve the agenda with additions.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion Carried.
MINUTES
Chairman Franchuk called for approval of the minutes from May 4, 2021 meeting.
On page 3, Under Stark County Spirit of Excellence Award - change Jamie Obergewitch to Julie Obergewitch. On page 4, Under Planning & Zoning - add details to include the change being made from ag to rural residential.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer
To approve the corrected minutes of May 4, 2021.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion Carried.
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE
Commissioner Messer inquired as to whether the TMI bill from the Social Services building had been completed. The invoice was cleared by Diane Mortenson.
MOTION BY: Commissioner Messer SECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To approve the resolution and supplement as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion Carried.
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE - COMMISSIONER'S ATTORNEY'S FEES
Carla has submitted her attorney bill for her defense against a former employee. She feels legal guidance from the former Stark County States Attorney was inadequate to assist her and she should not be personally responsible for her outside legal bills in the amount of $10,125.00. State's Attorney Engelstad is unaware of any policies currently in place and indicated the States Attorney is the county attorney. Commissioner Messer would like to have more information to review if we are setting a precedent.
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To table this discussion until the next meeting in July.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion Carried.
COREY LEE - SHERIFF REPORT
Sheriff Lee presented a report to the Commission for May.
Total calls for service was 1,468 - this is up from 1,127 last year; 358 traffic stops - this is up from 271 last year (speed & underage drinking grants); 136 stops in the City of Dickinson - 222 stops in the county and neighboring small towns; 215 PR stops - up from 192 last year; 8 bar checks - down from 16 last year
99 school zone related activities; 12 theft related calls for service - up from 8 last year; Responded to 12 accidents - 1 pedestrian (4-year old boy Richardton); 1 fatality (Dickinson); 1 hit and run (Gladstone); 1 injury (Dickinson); 8 property with 67 total arrests. Officer involved shooting; multiple fires; vehicle issues - Sheriff's Dept has recently acquired 2 vehicles. Lt. Eldon Mehrer requested out of state travel to South Dakota for training. The training will consist of leadership training, international and domestic challenges to homeland security, card cloning and drone programs. A case study on the kidnapping of Jamie Klass is also being offered. Cost is $275 per person with pre-registration. Lt. Mehrer and Sheriff Lee will be attending August 31st to Sept 3rd with funds would coming out of the Sheriff's budget.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To approve out of state travel to attend the training in South Dakota.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion Carried.
AL HEISER - ROAD SUPERINTENDENT REPORT
Al Heiser updated the board regarding the rainfall. The rain has been good but it also shows which roads need more gravel. Mr. Heiser informed the Commission that they hauled 24,000 gallons of water to the last big fire south of town.
HIGHLANDS ENGINEERING -- KENZIE ROBERTS
(1) Bridge replacement 45-147-1.0 on 83rd Ave SW 8 miles North Richardton & 4 miles East ND8 (HES Project 210271) is waiting on funding and the 404 core permits. (2) Lehigh Drive Bridge 45-126-10.0 over Heart River (HES Project 210272) on hold for funding, looking for repair options to extend the bridge's life.
(3) 32nd ST SW (HES Project 200206) is 100% complete. (4) 30th ST SW HES Project 210239. Hlibechuk Construction is planning to start in June. Billings County is taking the lead.
NORTHERN PLAINS ENGINEERING PROJECT REPORT-- JEREMY WOOD
Jeremy Wood presented summary updates for design and construction projects. (1) 35th St & 107th Ave CP-45 (20)06 - paving is finished except for striping and clean up. (2) 30th St Bridge Replacement NE Dickinson BRO-0045(068) costs are split with Dunn County. Bidding is scheduled for June 11 with construction set to start in 2021. Stark County's cost is estimated to be $70,000. (3) Bid opening with DOT for 127th and 131st bridges by Belfield BRR-0045(069) is scheduled for bids June 11th with construction to start in 2021. Stark County's cost is estimated to be $290,000. (4) The funding for the 83 and 86 bridge replacement in south Richardton BRO-0045(070) has been approved. Estimated cost is $1,150,000 with construction expected in 2022. It will be bid as one project. The archaeological and wetland delineation reports have been completed and the environmental documents and plans are nearly complete.
KADRMAS, LEE & JACKSON -- ANDREW KREBS
Andrew Krebs reported project updates. (1) Box culvert south of Taylor has been completed BRO-0045(066). Schwartz will start their work in July after submitting forms to KLJ and meeting with them. (2) There is a wetland monitor on 47th Street CBP-0045(17)02 - we want to give it more time for vegetation to establish.
DISCUSSION ITEM: EMERGENCY SERVICES DIRECTOR POSITION
Commissioner Franchuk moved to a discussion item on the agenda. Shawna Davenport - Interim Emergency Manager, highlighted the last several months in her role as the Interim Emergency Manager. Commissioner Arthaud acknowledged her accomplishments and dedication to success in the department, especially with her role in IT. Ms. Davenport introduced the hiring of Ms. Nikita Lorenzen.
MOTION BY: Commissioner Zander SECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To appoint Shawna Davenport as the Emergency Services Director
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion Carried.
Commissioner Messer requested information confirmation regarding the burn ban for Stark County. Ms. Davenport clarified the information along with where to monitor the information.
OUT OF STATE TRAVEL REQUEST - SHAWNA DAVENPORT
Shawna would like to attend a NENA 911 conference in Columbus, Ohio in July. This is a great learning and net-working opportunity. Funds are available in her budget as she hasn't attended any trainings this year.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To approve out of state travel in July for Ms. Davenport.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion Carried.
CUP RENEWAL - DICKINSON INDOOR RANGE
Conditional use Permit 119. This was approved in 2019 for the indoor shooting range. Renewed in 2020 and looking for renewal again. Steve will notify the applicant.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer
To approve renewal of Conditional Use Permit for Dickinson Indoor Range another year.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion Carried.
STARK COUNTY POLICY HANDBOOK UPDATES - JOETTA PEARCY
Section 9: Sick leave-add language: "If an employee leaves employment within the first 30 days of hire, no sick leave will be paid out".
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To update section 9 of sick leave policy in employee handbook.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
Vacation payout-add language: "If an employee leaves employment within the first 30 days of hire, no vacation will be paid out". Vacation payout-add language: "All accrued vacation will be paid out at their current rate of pay". Policy change: "Employees may only carry over 240 hours of vacation each year as of June 1st of each year". It is no longer based on individual employee anniversary months. The effective date for all employees is June 1, 2022. Commissioner Arthaud asked which elected officials were at the department head meeting when this policy change was discussed. The following elected officials were present: States Attorney Amanda Engelstad; Sheriff Corey Lee; Acting Auditor Karen Richard and Commissioner Dean Franchuk.
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To accept vacation policy changes as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
DISCUSSION ITEM: MEETING DATES AFTER HOLIDAYS
Commissioner Franchuk moved to a discussion item on the agenda. The following dates fall after a holiday: July 6 and September 7. Do we leave or change? The October 5 meeting is an out of town conference.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To move the October 5th meeting to October 7th, 2021.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion carries.
SOCIAL SERVICES STORAGE BUILDING
Mike received bids for a storage building at the new building. It will be insulated, finished and available to be heated in the future. Commissioner Arthaud would like to see a bill with all amenities including potential future add-ons. Commissioner Zander indicated building was always in the plans to be there but was cut due to costs. Commissioner Arthaud requested minutes from initial meetings for this building to be pushed back due to the costs involved. Discussion was held on the timeline for heat installation on the new building. Discussion was tabled to later in the meeting. Board of Equalization is set to meet.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer
To approve storage building according to the submitted plan with funds coming out of Capital Improvements.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. Zander-aye; Messer-aye; Arthaud-no; Marsh-aye; Franchuk-aye. Motion carries.
LONGEVITY PAY
Commissioner Arthaud introduced longevity payments that were made in 2019 and questioned why they were made. Commissioner Arthaud stated it is in policy that Commissioners don't get longevity. Chairman Franchuk indicated when he was in the Sheriff's Department, he was told by then auditor there was a mistake and that longevity was owed. Longevity starts after 5 years and so when he became a commissioner, it included his years with the sheriff's department. He wasn't aware commissioners didn't get it and that was his statement on that. A 2006 Commission Meeting discussion over employee longevity pay but not including the commissioners was tabled. According to 2019 direct deposit receipts, prior year back payments were made to Commissioner Zander ($5,560), former Commissioner Jay Elkin ($2,164), Commissioner Franchuk ($468), and former Commissioner Pete Kuntz ($11,172). Direct deposits for longevity in 2020, payments were made to Commissioner Zander ($759.50), former Commissioner Jay Elkin ($507.50), former Commissioner Pete Kuntz ($1,344) and Commissioner Franchuk ($324). Commissioner Messer would like to review all the paperwork and have further discussion on the topic to clarify position descriptions on whether or not commissioners should receive longevity payments.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To table the discussion until the next commissioner meeting in July to give State's Attorney time to better define the definition of if an elected official is considered a county employee.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
WIND TURBINES
There have been no applications submitted by Marathon for the turbines they are proposing. Commissioner Arthaud made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Marsh putting a moratorium on all wind energy in Stark County. Commissioner Messer stated he would like to receive the application from Marathon. The commission wanted discussion on Stark County's position to happen before the application is received. Mr. Josephson (County Planner) wanted to bring up the difference between wind farms and wind turbines. Wind farms contribute energy to the grid, but wind turbines are for power specifically for that customer's location. There was discussion with erecting wind farms vs just a couple wind turbines. The motion was withdrawn. Commissioner Arthaud stated she has received many phone calls from Stark residents in opposition of any sort of wind turbines being erected, after the article was recently published in the Dickinson Press with Marathon.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To put a moratorium on all wind turbines in Stark County.
Commissioner Arthaud withdrew motion.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To put a 2-year moratorium on all wind energy generation if it is going to be used just for the customer or also by offsite customers.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote: Commissioner Arthaud-aye; Commissioner Zander-no; Commissioner Marsh-no; Commissioner Messer-aye; Commissioner Franchuk-aye. Motion carries.
Mr. and Mrs. Farren Richard from Lefor shared their thoughts and experiences with the turbines located near their home.
BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
Ms. Wandler reviewed housekeeping guidelines. Commissioner Franchuk called the Board of Equalization meeting on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 to order at 10:03am. Those present: Dean Franchuk, Carla Arthaud, Bernie Marsh, Neal Messer, and Ken Zander. Department Heads Present: Acting Auditor-Karen Richard, State's Attorney-Amanda Engelstad, Tax Director-Natalie Wandler, County Planner-Steve Josephson, County Park Director-Lisa Heiser, Sheriff-Corey Lee, Road Superintendent-Al Heiser, Veteran's Service Officer-Jessica Clifton.
MOTION BY: Commissioner MarshSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To approve the minutes from June 4, 2020 meeting.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion Carried.
BELFIELD: Ms. Cindy Ewoniuk called in to indicate others had concerns although she had none for herself. She had concerns with losing business and new building allegedly being done in the flood plain.
Market Value 2021$57,341,100Taxable Value 2021$2,671,133
Market Value 2020$56,737,100Taxable Value 2020$2,642,587
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To approve Belfield market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
SOUTH HEART
Market Value 2021$35,704,500Taxable Value 2021$1,646,536
Market Value 2020$35,350,800Taxable Value 2020$1,630,220
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To approve South Heart market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
GLADSTONE
Market Value 2021$14,337,700Taxable Value 2021$650,619
Market Value 2020$14,206,600Taxable Value 2020$644,605
MOTION BY: Commissioner MarshSECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To approve Gladstone market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
TAYLOR
Market Value 2021$13,166.300Taxable Value 2021$601,182
Market Value 2020$13,255,500Taxable Value 2020$605,256
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To approve Taylor market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
RICHARDTON
Market Value 2021$67,997,714Taxable Value 2021$3,244,759
Market Value 2020$74,737,220Taxable Value 2020$3,581,171
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To approve Richardton market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
CITY OF DICKINSON
True value commercial 2021$1,071,046,344True value residential 2021$1,491,504,100
True value commercial 2020$1,073,464,544True value residential 2020$1,462,718,300
MOTION BY: Commissioner Zander SECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer
To approve City of Dickinson market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
Commissioner Messer inquired as to when citizens receive notice about the Board of Equalization meeting. Notices go out in March for the city and May for the county (15 days) as is required.
TOTAL COUNTY (City of Dickinson listed in totals)
Market Value 2021$1,321,795,801Taxable Value 2021$63,908,075
Market Value 2020$1,245,246,865Taxable Value 2020$60,126,857
Residential Land 2021$ 30,448,800Commercial Land 2021$ 80,900,800
Residential Structures $406,176,600Commercial Structures$442,285,600
Market Value Stark County 2021Taxable Value Stark County 2021
County$1,321,795,801$ 63,908,075
Small Cities$ 188,547,314$ 8,814,229
Dickinson$ 2,562,550,444$120,673,358
TOTAL$ 4,072,893,559$193,395,662
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To approve total county market and taxable values as presented.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
Board of Equalization adjourned at 10:35am.
PUBLIC HEARING AUDITOR'S POSITION ELECTED TO APPOINTED
Commissioner Arthaud presented the Auditor's job description. Mr. Dave Beaudoin spoke to the effect that he previously read the state code and it states the position is elected. He indicated there are several influences that can come into play with elected vs appointed and that we need someone of integrity so we don't have to redo past work. Mr. Clarence Tuhy shared his thought that the position should stay elected. He asked where will we stop, who's next? He stated we have the power to vote and we should be able to do that. He also has concerns with outside influences. Ms. Micky Thompson would like to keep the position elected. She doesn't want the right to vote taken away. Now is not the time to do this after past actions. She feels people deserve the auditor to be chosen according to the law and the auditor needs to be available. There is a need for transparency. Mr. Andrew Kordonowy would also like to leave the position elected. He stated that there's a role that is not expressed. That is the role the citizens have toward the county, the commission. Auditor should not be subservient to the commission. There should be a level of fear with the auditor not due to error etc. Acting Auditor Richard, indicated nothing was promised when she was hired and she acknowledged she knew she might have to run for the position. Mr. Kordonowy fears being appointed would affect the auditor's accountability to the people. Public hearing is closed.
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To table Auditor/Treasurer position discussion until next commissioners meeting.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
BEST FRIENDS MENTORING - ANGIE RABBIT
Ms. Rabbit is the new Executive Director. She presented a brief background on the program indicating recruiting and fundraising are two of the hardest challenges. She is requesting the same donation for 2022 as was given in 2021 which is $15,000. The commission will take the request into consideration when they do the budgets for 2022. Discussion was held to add an additional $5,000 donation this year from the COVID fund.
MOTION BY: Commission ArthaudSECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To provide an additional $5,000 in funding for 2021 to assist with fundraisers in the current year. It will come out of the COVID fund.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
ROOSEVELT-CUSTER REGIONAL COUNCIL - TRISHA KELLY
Ms. Kelly has been the new director since September. She is requesting $33,670 for 2022. There is $213,297 available from the 2021 Community Development Block Grant and pre-applications need to be in to them by Sept 1. She stated that Hettinger County has a couple of projects going. Mott Rural Development is installing new storm doors and ramps with new concrete. Able is installing 2 new handicap restrooms at the T-Rex Mall. Bowman is doing a heater/air conditioning project for an apartment complex. Adams is finishing a lagoon project and Hettinger just completed an emergency water main project. Request for $33,670 will be considered while doing the budget for 2022.
PARK BOARD
Park Board Meeting called to order by Randy Schwartz at 11:15AM
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To ratify the agenda.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion carries.
Park Board minutes posted separately.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ArthaudSECONDED BY: Jason Zohs
To adjourn meeting at 11:33AM
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion carries.
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Arthaud
To approve the $100,000 purchase price of the land out of the Park Board Fund.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
ABATEMENTS - JOE HIRSCHFIELD
Mr. Hirschfield informed everyone on the mass appraisal process, sharing that many were not on board as a lot has happened over the years. Dickinson and Stark County both use mass appraisal. To do single appraisals, would require a staff of 15 or more.
EXECUTIVE SESSION
Commissioners entered executive session to discuss property abatements with States Attorney Englelstad.
MOTION BY: Commissioner MesserSECONDED BY: Commissioner Marsh
To enter into Executive Session at 12:15 PM.
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion carries.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer
To end the Executive Session at 12:40 PM
DISPOSITION: All voted aye. Motion carries.
REGULAR SESSION-Continued
MOTION BY: Commissioner Messer SECONDED BY: Commissioner Zander
To allow States Attorney Engelstad to negotiate abatements for years 2016 thru 2018 with clients: Sierra Ridge, Jefferson and Lincoln Properties.
DISPOSITION: Roll call vote. All voted aye. Motion carries.
VICTIM WITNESS PROGRAM
Commissioner Arthaud stated that the Victim Witness program was only funded for another 30 days from the May 4, 2021 meeting. Amanda expressed concern with no ratification made on this agenda to add Victim Witness. Commissioner Arthaud said VW employee should have been at this meeting and she isn't here. There was a meeting with Commissioner Franchuk, Commissioner Messer, State's Attorney Amanda Engelstad and Victim Witness employee. A compromise was reached where VW employee would draft a letter. The Commission was supposed to receive the letter and did not. State's Attorney Engelstad has the letter in her possession and the Acting Auditor Richard will give commissioners copies after the meeting.
MOTION BY: Commissioner ZanderSECONDED BY: Commissioner Messer
To fund the Victim Witness Program for another month until next commissioners meeting.
DISPOSITION: Commissioner Marsh, no; Commissioner Arthaud, no; Commissioner Messer, aye, Commissioner Zander, aye; Commissioner Franchuk, aye. Motion carries.
Commissioner Zander made MOTION to adjourn at 12:34 PM, Commissioner Messer SECONDED.
Meeting adjourned.
Karen Richard, Acting AuditorDean Franchuk, Chairman
(July 14, 2021) 2896466