Kittson County Board Proceedings March 17, March 20, March 24 and March 31, 2020 Meetins

KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
PROCEEDINGS
March 17, 2020
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.  All members were present.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gillie. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as amended.
A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve the minutes from the March 5, 2020 County Board meeting as presented.
Meeting with the County Board was Kathy Johnson, Kittson County Social Services Director.  Johnson presented an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to allow Carrie Gjerde to participate in testing the PRISM software child support module.  Gjerde will be one of 3 child support officers in the state to participate in the project. The State of Minnesota will reimburse 20% of Gjerde’s expenses plus any mileage.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to approve to enter into the agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to allow Carrie Gjerde to participate in testing the PRISM software.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve the payment of the following amounts, with a detailed listing kept on file in the Finance Office:
Auditor’s Warrants
January 2, 2020    $     5,692.02
January 24, 2020     $        729.74
January 31, 2020    $ 794,235.85
February 20, 2020    $   12,002.93
February 20, 2020    $     6,786.80
February 21, 2020     $     7,377.68
February 25, 2020    $   78,276.84
February 25, 2020    $        159.27
February 28, 2020    $   13,239.80
March 11, 2020    $ 226,046.56
Commissioner’s Warrents
March 20, 2020    $ 127,073.25
Meal Reimbursements:    $ 213.87
Committee reports were given.
Meeting with the County Board was Cindy Urbaniak, Kittson County Public Health Nurse.  Urbaniak updated the County Board on the current status of the
Covid-19 virus pandemic.  Urbaniak noted that the clinic now had enough testing supplies but that the clinic would be screening patients for risk factors as well as other possible viruses before testing for the coronavirus. So far there has been one Kittson County resident tested for the virus with the results still pending.  She also mentioned that the 843-8888 info hotline was being reactivated and the importance of a consistent message to the public.
The County Board then began discussions on procedures and policies for the courthouse and county staff during this pandemic.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to approve the following policy changes:  employees traveling using mass transit would be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to work; travel for any reason should be limited to essential travel; employees needing to take sick leave could get an advance on future sick leave, or accrue a negative leave balance; the limit on donating sick leave of 80 hours per year is waived; anyone who feels it is not safe to be at work due to possible exposure will be allowed to use vacation time; those that have to stay home because they cannot find daycare for their children, because they are in self-quarantine, or to care for someone in self-quarantine may be allowed to work from home with Department Head approval; the 2 employees that recently returned from out of state trips be self-quarantined at county expense; all offices must have at least one person in the office during business hours unless all employees are being quarantined.
Meeting with the County Board was Keith Klegstad, Kittson County Assistant Highway Engineer, to update the Board on maintenance issues and road conditions around the County.  Kittson County will be receiving $423,000 in Highway Safety Improvement Program funds for 2021: $265,500 for shoulder paving, striping and rumble strips on CSAH 1 from CSAH 7 to CSAH 10 and $157,500 for 8 new intersection lighting projects.  The FEMA reimbursement for debris removal for the Spring 2019 flood will be $178,922.26 to be split between the County and unorganized townships.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Wikstrom and unanimously carried to accept the low quote from Ziegler Cat of $256,015 for a Cat 140M3 motor grader.  The quotes for a motor grader were presented at the last meeting and a decision was then tabled.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the purchase of a new Trimble R10-2 Global Navigation Satellite System for surveying.  Cost of the unit with trade-in of the old system is $20,442.85.
Pursuant to published notice, bids were received for project CP-35-20-100 (County-wide re-gravel) and read as follows:
Thygeson Construction  $175,229.89
Anderson Bros.
Construction    $263,262.90
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to accept the low bid from Thygeson Construction of $175,229.89 for project CP35-20-100.
Pursuant to published notice, bids were received for project CP-35-20-100A(1) (40,000 tons of Class 5 aggregate production) and read as follows:
Schenkey Inc.    $116,000.00
Davidson
Construction Inc.    $140,000.00
Donarski Bros. Inc.    $175,600.00
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to accept the low bid from Schenkey Inc. of $116,000 for project CP35-20-100A(1).
Pursuant to published notice, bids were received for project CP-35-20-100A(2) (10,000 tons of Class 1 aggregate production) and read as follows:
Schenkey Inc.    $  33,000.00
Davidson
Construction Inc.    $  37,500.00
Donarski Bros. Inc.    $104,950.00
A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to accept the low bid from Schenkey Inc. of $33,000 for project CP35-20-100A(2).
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to authorize the Highway Department to advertise for 12 summer employees.
Meeting with the County Board was Justin Muller with the Kittson County Soil & Water Conservation District.  Muller presented the 2019 County feedlot report for approval.  Muller also discussed the District’s interest in obtaining more space.  The County Board discussed possibly tearing out the old boiler and remodeling the boiler room for more space.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve the 2019 feedlot report.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to reappoint Charles Dziengel and Tom Dowdle to 4 year terms on the Kittson-Marshall Rural Water Users Board.
The County Board discussed the possibility of establishing a county tax incentive to promote housing development in the County. The incentive would likely take the form of a one year abatement of the county’s portion of the 1st year property taxes.  The Board agreed to look into the matter.
The County Board addressed the step increase requests made by several employees which was tabled at the last meeting. After discussing the various options, a motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to again table the matter until labor negotiations begin later this spring.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to postpone the tax forfeit land sale until a later date.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to have weekly regular board meetings during the current pandemic situation.  Meetings will be each Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m.
The Board adjourned to April 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Theresia Gillie, CHAIRMAN
ATTEST: Eric Christensen,
Kittson County Administrator
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KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
PROCEEDINGS
March 20, 2020
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on Tuesday, March 20, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. All members were present via GoToMeeting.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gillie. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as presented.
Meeting with the County Board was Cindy Urbaniak, Kittson County Public Health Nurse, with an update on the Covid-19 virus. So far there have been 115 positive tests in Minnesota with a case in Clay County the closest. There are also 20 confirmed cases in North Dakota with Cass County the closest.  Regular influenza is also still circulating in the County.
Meeting with the County Board was Scot Olson, Kittson County Emergency Management Director. Olson mentioned that the majority of courthouses in the area were closing to the public but not closing outright. He noted that supplies are in short supply and that people should practice good hygiene as a preventative measure. He also recommended that the County pass a disaster resolution.
County Administrator Christensen then provided an update on the recent federal law guaranteeing employees 80 hours of paid leave for specific Covid-19 related absences.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to pay workers if they have to take time off because of the pandemic.
A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren and seconded by Commissioner Wikstrom to adopt the following resolution:           #20-14
STATE OF EMERGENCY
DECLARATION
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic event will impact the population of Kittson County and its cities due to the disruption of services  including schools, healthcare facilities and other services that will negatively impact day to day life; and
WHEREAS, the COVID – 19 pandemic event will cause a significant amount of disruption to public services due to the closure of schools and other services; and
WHEREAS,  the  Kittson  County  Emergency  Management  Director  requests  the  Kittson County Board of Commissioners to declare Kittson County in a STATE OF EMERGENCY for the COVID – 19 pandemic of 2020;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Kittson County Board of Commissioners declares Kittson County in a STATE OF EMERGENCY for conditions resulting from the COVID – 19 pandemic event.
Voting in favor: Commissioners Gillie, Wikstrom and Younggren.
Voting against: Commissioner Johnson
Not Voting: Commissioner Olson (due to internet communication problems).
A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson and seconded by Commissioner Wikstrom to adopt the following resolution:    #20-15
TO CLOSE COURTHOUSE OFFICES
WHEREAS, On March 11, 2020 The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic.
WHEREAS, On March 13, 2020, Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHEREAS, On March 13, 2020, Tim Walz, Governor of the State of Minnesota, issued emergency executive order 20-01 declaring a peacetime state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHEREAS, On March 20, 2020 the Kittson County Board of Commissioners declared a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHEREAS, the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and employees of Kittson County are of the utmost concern to the Kittson County Board.
WHEREAS, pursuant to Minnesota Statute § 373.052 subd. 2 a County Board by resolution may authorize the closing of County offices if there is an emergency situation, public business is transacted at other reasonable times and places, and the public interest is served.
Voting in favor: Commissioners Gillie, Johnson, Wikstrom and Younggren.
Voting against: none.
Not Voting: Commissioner Olson (due to internet communication problems).
The Board adjourned to March 24, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Theresia Gillie, CHAIRMAN
ATTEST: Eric Christensen,
Kittson County Administrator
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KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
PROCEEDINGS
March 24, 2020
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. All members were present via GoToMeeting.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gillie. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as presented.
Meeting with the County Board was Scot Olson, Kittson County Emergency Management Director. Olson provided a quick update on emergency preparations and the County’s Covid-19 response.
A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren and seconded by Commissioner Wikstrom to adopt the following resolution:     #20-16
CHANGE TO LEAVE POLICY DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC
WHEREAS, On March 18, 2020 the President of the United States signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act in which government employees and employees of companies with 500 or fewer employees were granted paid leave and/or extended FMLA leave benefits, and
WHEREAS, On March 20, 2020 the Kittson County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution declaring Kittson County in a State of Emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and
WHEREAS, The schools in the State of Minnesota have been closed due to the pandemic leaving families struggling to find daycare, and
WHEREAS, Employees of the County of Kittson may be faced with the possibility of having to self-quarantine or care for someone who is in self-quarantine, and
WHEREAS, it is the intention of the Kittson County Board of Commissioners to establish a uniform leave policy to deal with the hardships faced by its employees and their families;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Kittson County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the following emergency leave policy:
1) That paid leave will be extended to employees who must be absent from work due to   an issue related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2) That employees who are absent for non-Covid-19 related purposes (i.e.: other medical appointments, dental appointments, etc.) will continue to use comp time, sick leave and/or vacation leave as per county policy.
3) That all Covid-19 related hours, whether worked from home or time off, are to be tracked with department Heads responsible for tracking the hours.
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, That where there is conflicting language between this emergency leave policy and the existing Kittson County leave policy, the emergency leave policy shall supersede the existing Kittson County leave policy, and
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, That leave taken for purposes not related to the Coronavirus pandemic shall be treated as sick leave, vacation, or comp time in accordance with the existing Kittson County leave policy, and
BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, That this leave policy shall be in effect until December 31, 2020 or until the emergency declaration is rescinded by either the Governor of the State of Minnesota or the Kittson County Board of Commissioners, whichever occurs first.
Voting in favor: Commissioners Gillie, Johnson, Olson, Wikstrom and Younggren.
Voting against: None
The Board adjourned to March 31, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Theresia Gillie, CHAIRMAN
ATTEST: Eric Christensen,
Kittson County Administrator
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KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
PROCEEDINGS
March 31, 2020
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.  All members were present via GoToMeeting.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gillie. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Wikstrom and unanimously carried to approve the agenda as amended.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wikstrom, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the payment of the following amounts, with a detailed listing kept on file in the Finance Office:
Auditor’s Warrants
March 30, 2020    $ 250,282.80
February 19, 2020    $        871.26
March 6, 2020    $ 103,129.86
March 18, 2020    $ 115,518.38
March 20, 2020     $   11,353.52
Commissioner’s Warrants
March 31, 2020    $  60,848.68
Meal Reimbursements:    $0.00
The County Board then received an update on the coronavirus and county preparations. County Administrator Christensen informed the Board that per the Governor’s orders only essential employees were at work. Eighteen employees had been set up to work from home. Emergency Management Director Scot Olson noted there were now cases in Grand Forks as well as Walsh County North Dakota. Far North Spirits has been making hand sanitizer and cleaner and donating it to the County for distribution.  The Department is donating part of its cache of masks to the hospital. Olson noted that he is trying to acquire more protective equipment. He concluded with a spring flood update. The flood prediction is for a flood similar to last spring.  They will be filling sandbags at the highway department next Monday.
The Personnel Committee made a recommendation to increase the pay for Keith Klegstad by $10.00 per hour on a temporary basis until we get a new County Engineer in place.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Younggren and unanimously carried to approve a temporary pay increase for Keith Klegstad of $10.00 per hour retroactive to February 26, 2020.
The County Board discussed per diems for all the extra meetings and conference calls related to the Coronavirus pandemic. The County Board decided that the meetings and conference calls fell within the scope of their normal duties and decided to track the extra time but not submit requests for per diem payments.
The Board adjourned to April 7, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Theresia Gillie, CHAIRMAN
ATTEST: Eric Christensen,
Kittson County Administrator
(April 15, 2020)
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