Kittson County Board Proceedings
June 21, 2022
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on June 21, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Younggren. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the agenda with the addition of the bills.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from June 7, 2022.
Matt Vig, Kittson County Chief Deputy Sheriff, Mark Austin and Ken Hultgren addressed the Board on the need to develop a succession plan for the transportation of deceased persons within Kittson County as the current process is expected to end with an anticipated retirement of Mark Austin. Discussion included the purchasing of a vehicle, 800-pound capacity load cart/gurney, contracted driver and possible supplies. Suggestion to have Vig meet with the County Administrator and the Purchasing Committee to develop a cost estimate for the succession plan.
Keith Klegstad, assistant County Engineer presented:
• Drainage Guidelines- Tabled from May 3, 2022 to next meeting.
• Legal Ditch Policy -Tabled May 3, 2022 to next meeting.
• Updated that the bridge work in Lancaster should be finishing up by middle part of July
• A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve a utility permit for Frontier Communications for work on CSAH 1.
• An update on CSAH 1 construction going full speed, reclamation, milling of pavement, responding to land-owner requests for larger driveway approaches.
• A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve hiring Mitchell Lindgren as motor grader, class B-22-3 Step 1 at $21.41/ hour.
• A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the resignation of Michelle Reese, highway tech.
• A motion made by Commissioner Gillie, 2nd by Commissioner Olson and approved unanimously to advertise the highway tech position opening.
Jeanna Kujava, Kittson County Public Health presented a quarterly update to the Board. Kujava shared that she has a sixteen-hour nursing position working with her proving services to the Lancaster and Kittson Central School districts. Kujava and Commissioner Gillie both attended a spring meeting of the State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC). With the recent state legislation on the calculating the Opioid settlement money, Kujava request to be involved in the county response to utilizing the funding with a primary goal of prevention. She is currently working with Kathy Johnson, Kittson County Social Services Director on Project REACH bringing leadership training and coaching to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
Heather Bruley, County Assessor presented a tax abatement for the City of Hallock’s airport. Initially classified as commercial property, Bruley’s research discovered that if the City has a population below 50,000 that an airport can be classified as exempt and is asking for this change. A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and approved unanimously to classify the airport as exempt.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve a recess of the County Commissioner Board meeting at 5:59 p.m. so that the Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting could begin.
A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve reopening of the County Commissioner Board meeting at 6:45 p.m.
Administrator Buhmann presented to the board from a Personnel meeting that payroll was having difficulty in addressing longevity pay for two appointed staff members who are still on the hourly pay schedule. The Tyler payroll software was set up to automatically calculate the longevity pay into the hourly rate for other county employees, the two appointed employees longevity required a manual input process. The request was to allow the Tyler payroll system to process the longevity pay for the two appoint employees. A slight increase in pay totaling less than $500.00 (approximately $228.80 and $187.20 for the year). Adjustment would take place with the first payroll check in July. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve the payrate adjustment.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve bills and meals as presented.
No per diems and expense sheets were submitted
Administrator Buhmann provided the Board with a briefing on the courthouse elevator still looking at a fall timeline to have the elevator up and running again.
Administrator Buhmann provided an investment report to the Board which outlined the county’s investments placed in certificate of deposit (CD), checking and saving accounts. Buhmann mention that he is seeing an increase in interest rates being offered. As the CD’s mature, Buhmann has been rolling the funds into new CD investments. Buhmann mentioned a laddering of the CD maturities dates to have flexibility to utilize the funds if needed at different times of the year.
Administrator Buhmann described the 2022 State Legislative Session as “nothing passed “as most of the bills that would benefit the counties were side-lined with the non-action of the legislators to pass their tax bill. Minnesota counties lost out on an increase in County Program Aid, PILT payment increase, and matching state funds to be used to secure federal funding for transportation projects. If there is a special session it would occur well after the deadline for the election filing for state offices.
Commissioner Gillie provided an update from her attendance of the SCHSAC meeting with Kujava covering public health’s value and ability to adjust on the fly with the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioner Gillie discussed the Dancing Sky meeting and that a resolution will be brought to the board in July asking for support of SF4208/HF4633 for appropriations to support senior nutritionally programs. Commissioner Gillie also shared that she received several positive comments from peers on their recent visit to Kittson County for an Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) District 3 meeting hosted at the Lake Bronson State Park Visitor’s Center.
Commissioner Olson shared that the Northwest Community Action Board has a new director-Sharon Miller.
Commissioner Younggren shared of his experience touring the Polaris plant in Roseau as an activity for the Northwest Regional Development Commission.
Administrator Buhmann shared that the Personnel Committee had met and will be bringing recommendations for salary/compensation for the highway engineer’s contract to the July 5th Board meeting.
Correspondence- Administrator Buhmann shared a letter from the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST Board) informing the county that it had passed the review that was conducted on site June 6, 2022.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik to adjourn the meeting at 7:20 p.m.
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
Kittson County Administrator
Kittson County Board of appeal and equalization
June 21, 2022
The Kittson County Board of Appeal and Equalization met Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. The following members were present: Commissioners Gillie, Olson, Kraulik, Younggren, Johnson and County Administrator Buhmann. Also in attendance were County Assessor Heather Bruley, Deputy Assessors Alyssa Gustafson and Jennifer Koskela and Assessor trainee James Bowlin.
The meeting was called to order by County Board Chair Younggren. County Administrator Buhmann administered the Oath of Office to the board.
Chair Younggren volunteered to serve as Chairperson to the Board of Appeals and Equalization for 2022. County Administrator Buhmann volunteered to serve as Clerk to the Board of Appeal and Equalization for 2022.
No appeals were presented to the Board of Appeal and Equalization by the County Assessor’s Office.
Two valuation changes were presented to the Board of Appeal and Equalization by the County Assessor’s Office. The first was for parcel R26.1364720 belonging to Neil and Renae Wiese. It was the Assessor’s recommendation that the value of the property be reduced by $7,500.00. Assessor removed 2.6 acres tillable and placed to road zero value. The second was for parcel R32.0016400 belonging to the City of Hallock Airport. The property was classified as commercial property. The Assessor’s recommendation after conducting her research determined that the classification of commercial should be moved back to exempt status due to the city population.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the County Assessor’s recommendations and reduce the value on parcel R26.1364720 and the classification on R32.0016400.
No change orders from the State of Minnesota were presented to the Board of Appeal and Equalization by the County Assessor’s Office.
Bruley reviewed and presented several charts and graphs showing the average tillable land values per section and values of bordering counties; average tillable and values per township; estimated market value comparisons for 2021 and 2022 and new construction and destruction by township and city. Tillable land values increased 15% and is expected to increase another 10% payable in 2024. Vacant land values moved from $750/acre to $900/acre. Busiest location for land sales is in the township of Clow. Estimated Market Value by Taxing District 2021/2022 showed and estimated value increase of $500 million for the County when the state assessed properties are included in the report. The townships of South Red River and Svea saw values increase over 150% due mainly to the recent Endbridge line and plant improvements/replacements project.
Bruley presented the results of the city-wide assessment completed in 2020 in the City of Hallock in response to a State of Minnesota request to do a blanket valuation increase of 30%. By visiting each property, the increase in the city was 27.6%, adding $9.3 million in residential property values and commercial values raising $2.4 million for a total increase of $11,767,500.00.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to accept the assessments for the unorganized townships of Klondike, Peatland, McKinley and North Red River.
A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to accept the 2022 Assessments, Payable in 2023 for Kittson County as presented to the County Board of Appeal and Equalization by the County Assessor’s Office.
As there were no appointments made to present an appeal to the Board, a motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to adjourn the 2022 County Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting at 6:44 p.m.
County Board Chair
Kittson County Board
of Appeal and Equalization
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
County Administrator and Clerk
Kittson County Board of
Appeal and Equalization
(July 13, 2022)