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           The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.  All members were present.

            The meeting was called to order by Chairman Bouvette.  The pledge to the flag was given.  The agenda was approved as amended.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Spilde and unanimously carried to approve the minutes from the October 15, 2013 County Board meeting.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Anderson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the payment of Commissioner Warrants and Auditor Warrants as follows:

(15)-MSOP-MN Sex Offender Program - 462

2,385.00

 

Cloud Sherpas

4,300.00

 

Dept of Human Services

18,946.70

 

Kittson Memorial Healthcare

3,555.86

 

Markit

25,000.00

 

Pathfinder Children's Treatment Center

3,635.70

 

Stan's Communications Inc

13,503.57

 

Todd's Electric

5,171.50

 

Carol Wappula

2,369.10

 

Comstock Custom Mowing

5,661.22

 

Brink, Sobolik, Severson, Malm

3,000.00

 

Independent School Dist 2171

83,781.40

 

Independent School Dist 2358

38,027.12

 

Independent School Dist 356

26,895.06

 

Kittson Health Insurance

5,054.00

 

PERA 0156-00

18,625.24

 

City Of Hallock

4,306.46

 

Independent School Dist 2171

83,781.40

 

Independent School Dist 2358

38,027.14

 

Independent School Dist 356

26,895.03

 

Mn Commissioner Of Revenue

4,945.38

 

Nationwide Retirement Solutions

2,595.00

 

United Valley Bank

28,136.21

 

MN Dept of Revenue

8,948.76

 

104 Payments less than $2000

36110.02

 

This list does not include salaries paid to county employees,

 

nor does it include individuals who received federal county

 

or human service aid.

 

 

           

            Meal Reimbursements:                        $49.22

 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Spilde, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the expense reports and the following Per Diem payments for the month of October:

                        John Anderson                        $ 0

Joe Bouvette                        $ 120.00

                        Leon Olson                        $ 120.00

                        Craig Spilde                        $ 180.00

                        Betty Younggren                        $ 120.00

 

            Committee reports were given.

  The County Board discussed the vacant seat on the Two Rivers Watershed District.  County Administrator Christensen informed the Board that Darrell Klegstad had approached him about the position. 

             A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to appoint Darrell Klegstad to fill the vacant three (3) year position on the Two River Watershed District.

            County Administrator Christensen presented the Board with an update on the discussion to renew the office lease with the Soil and Water Conservation District.  The SWCD has offered a counter proposal which includes a 25% increase and a request for new carpet and paint.  The rate proposed by the County Board is the same as what the FSA office currently pays and historically the two offices have always paid the same rate.  After a lengthy discussion of the possible options, the Board instructed Christensen to offer a new proposal using the originally proposed rate and agreeing to the new carpet and paint.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Spilde, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to reappoint Joe Bouvette and Bill Sugden to four (4) year terms on the North Kittson Rural Water Board.             

            The Board discussed a grant application to help fund the implementation of the new PRISM software.  Christensen explained that the software was being developed by the State of Minnesota to consolidate the reporting of property information and that implementation was mandatory.  The State of Minnesota was offering $300,000 to be split among the 87 counties to help with any costs associated with implementing the new software.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Anderson and unanimously carried to approve the PRISM Implementation Grant application.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Anderson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the 2014 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement with the State of Minnesota.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Spilde and unanimously carried to accept the Title IIIB grant award for $2,640 from the Land of the Dancing Sky Agency on Aging.

    A motion was made by Commissioner Spilde, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the funding agreement from the State of Minnesota on behalf of the Kittson County Trailblazers for $99,298.20 for trail grooming in 2013-14.

            County Administrator Christensen addressed the County Board to present an unofficial report of the recent IRS audit and stated that overall the audit went well. The County was not assessed any penalties or interest, but does have to fix a few issues.  The only major issue dealt with the County’s dental plan and its tax treatment.  The IRS informed Kittson County that though it was legal to deduct the dental insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis, the dental plan must be listed in the County’s cafeteria plan documentation as being a pre-tax benefit.  A review of the plan documents adopted since the dental insurance was first offered showed no such language.  The County will have to recalculate the payroll for years 2010 through 2012 and treat the premiums deducted as being taxable.  This will require issuing amended W-2s to those employees who had dental insurance.  The problem is that Medicare and Social Security taxes will need to be collected on these premiums and submitted to the IRS and there is no way of doing this through the payroll software.  Also, he added that the employees in question were told that they were signing up for dental insurance on a pre-tax basis and the mistake was not their fault.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to have the County pay both the employer share ($4,121.08) and the employee share ($3,406.33) of the Medicare and Social Security taxes which are due for years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

            Meeting with the County Board was Kelly Bengtson, Highway Engineer to update the Board on maintenance issues and the status of various projects around the County.  Bengtson informed the Board that the county roads have held up well during harvest.  There have been some damage issues but many farmers have made their own repairs.  He asked that the Transportation Committee meet to discuss a few instances of damage that still need to be addressed.  Canadian Pacific Railroad officials were in the County to look at raising the maximum speed to 49 MPH.  The railroad has made an offer to pay public entities up to $75,000 for each unneeded railroad crossing that can be closed.  Two recent County road projects have been nominated for award by the Minnesota Asphalt Paving Association and the Association of General Contractors of Minnesota.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has finalized its specifications for the upcoming project to correct the survey errors in Kittson County.  This work will be paid for by the DNR since it was their surveyor that made the errors.  Finally, cost estimates to fix problems at the highway shop building came in at $934.30.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Spilde, seconded by Commissioner Younggren to authorize repairs to the sewer vent pipes at the highway department shop building.

            The County Board heard recommendations from the Zoning Committee concerning how to move forward with zoning in Kittson County.  Currently the existing ordinance is not being enforced and Barb O’Hara, Kittson County Zoning Administrator, has previously expressed that she does not have the time to properly enforce the ordinances with her other duties.  County Administrator Christensen offered the option of eliminating the current zoning ordinance in favor of doing what Marshall, Roseau and Pennington County do.  These counties provide zoning that is required by state or federal law and allow towns and townships to zone the rest as they see fit.  This option would not spend any additional money or require any additional taxes to be levied.  Estimates from the Soil and Water Conservation District show that adding an extra person to properly enforce the County’s zoning ordinance could cost as much as $50,000 annually.  After much deliberation, the County Board decided to pursue discussions on keeping the zoning enforcement as it is and to see if the highway department could incorporate the duties within its current staffing.

            The Board adjourned to Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

 JOSEPH E BOUVETTE, CHAIRMAN

ATTEST: Eric Christensen, Kittson County Administrator


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