KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
August 2, 2022
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on August 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.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 Johnson and unanimously carried to approve the agenda.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from July 19, 2022 with corrections.
Cody Underdahl-District Supervisor for the MN Department of Corrections introduced himself to the Commissioners. Underdahl was appointed into the supervisor’s position in May of 2022, having served as the Interim Director after the former Supervisor Marc Bloomquist passed away unexpectedly earlier in the year. Underdahl reported that his agency has worked with 36 adults and 5 juveniles from Kittson County. He will approach the Board in the early fall with a budget request.
Cindy Pic, Tr-Valley asked to reschedule her appearance as she was unable to attend the meeting this morning.
Jim Trojanowski, Director of the Northwest Regional Library presented a request for an increase of three (3) percent toward their 2023 budget in the amount of $2,066, for a total Kittson County contribution of $70,916.00. This is approximately five percent of the Regional Budget. Trojanowski also shared the circulation comparison of all the libraries in the region. He highlighted the usage of the Karlstad link site, though this site is open less than four hours a week, its circulation of 9,007 could be compared to other regional sites that have longer business hours. The COVID pandemic brought an increased interest from the public in the library’s offering of digital media, audio books and eBook usage. Charly Lindberg was recognized for her dedication to the Hallock library and responding to the interests of the users of the local library and its services.
Andrea Weleski, County Engineer presented:
• Motion made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and approved unanimously to hire Andy Cedergren as the Highway Tech II, B-32-wc2-step 4 at $27.01/hr. start date to be determined.
• Drainage Guidelines- Tabled from May 3, 2022 to first meeting in September.
• Legal Ditch Policy -Tabled from May 3, 2022 to first meeting in September.
Heather Bruley presented the service agreement with Vanguard to add an additional user license for the Avenue software. Motion made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and passed unanimously to approve the service agreement with Vanguard.
Pat Klegstad, Deputy Sheriff addressed the Board concerning the need to replace the current dispatch radio system and consoles in the dispatcher area. Klegstad informed the Board that the current radio system is no longer being supported and is researching an 800 GH radio system through Motorola. Funding from the 911 account can be used to offset the costs of this project. Early estimates are around $400,000.00 because of the need to upgrade the microwave transmitter/receivers and some possible fiber optic connections with the radio tower. Klegstad will research and bring back to the Board potential expenses of the project.
Kathy Johnson, Social Services Director presented to the Commissioners an option for succession planning for her department, along with some potential efficiencies in creating three supervisor positions within the social services department. Supervisory job description positions for child support, eligibility services and fiscal were shared. Administrator Buhmann shared that Johnson had met with the Personnel Committee regarding these positions and that the new job descriptions were forwarded to Robert Bjorklund for rating. Kittson County is currently in talks with a neighboring County to job share the experience and knowledge of our child support officer, who if approved would supervise staff in both Kittson and the neighboring county. Board requested that Johnson bring this back at the first meeting in September, allowing for the contract discussion to be completed before acting on the new supervisory positions.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve bills and meal reimbursements.
Commissioner’s Warrants $178,403.87
Auditor’s Warrants July 22 $208,461.94
July 14 $30,091.63
July 27 $33.25
July 22 $81,745.84 Per Diems $180.00
Meal Reimbursements $31.49
A motion was made by Commissioner Kraulik, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve per diems and expense sheets.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve applying for the County Veteran Services Officer Grant.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson seconded by Commissioner Gillie, and unanimously carried to approve the following appointees to the Kittson County Canvassing Board for the 2022 elections:
District #2 Commissioner Gillie
District # 1 Commissioner Kraulik
Court Administrator Pamela Shaw or their delegate
City of Hallock Mayor Dave Treumer or their delegate
County Administrator Brian Buhmann
The canvassing board will certify the 2022 State Primary Election results August 12 at 9 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Board room.
The Commissioners reviewed the second quarter overtime report.
Administrator Buhmann presented a request to upgrade the computer server to allow for the transferring of the program New Roads, from the highway department, off of an aging AS400 server which is scheduled to sunset within the year. The quote from MARCO was approximately $15,000 and an additional $1,000 expense from the vendor Avenue to assist in the transfer. A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson seconded by Commissioner Gillie, and unanimously carried to approve the server upgrades. Commissioner Olson did question if MARCO could handle this project in a timely manner and was assured by Buhmann that they would be able to complete this project.
Administrator Buhmann briefly discussed the 2023 Budget Committee meetings that are taking place. He mentioned that the County is still awaiting some final state assessment appeals made by the utility companies on their valuations.
Buhmann shared with the Board the unexpected reimbursement of $35,647 from MN Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) as our portion of a larger $11.3 million reimbursement received from the MN Reinsurance Association (WRCA) to MCIT. The amount of $9.6 million is to be sent back to the member counties with $1.7 million being retained by MCIT for building improvements.
Buhmann shared that the courthouse elevator repair has been pushed back to early September for a start date due to supply issues that Otis Elevator was having in securing the parts needed for our elevator.
Reviewed by the County Commissioners was the Annual Tax Increment Financing Report for 2021 from the City of Hallock.
Committee reports- Commissioner Gillie reported attending the Enbridge Tax meeting where their representatives shared that the estimated tax revenue for counties originally estimated to be $35-40 million dollars is expected to be closer to the $47-50 million dollar range. This increase is expected even with Enbridge meeting with the state of MN to ask for a 11-12 percent valuation reduction. Participated in the interview process to fill the 4-H coordinator’s position with Commissioner Younggren and Administrator Buhmann. We had two good candidates and shared our input with the University of MN staff who will make the selection. Shared from her Alluma meeting the concern of investments lost with the current market. Struggles retaining and recruiting staff, exploring opening satellite offices to offer more mental health services. Exploring the possibility of developing a five-bed mental health section at the Northwest Apartment facility in Crookston to better serve our regional clients. Commissioner Gillie also shared that she had graduated from the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) Leadership class, achieving a 99%. Commissioner Younggren report visiting with Mark Austin surrounding the possible renting his equipment to transport bodies if needed. More discussion to follow. Commissioner Johnson discussed a future zoom meeting he is attending to discuss a pilot transportation model just for Kittson County to address our transportation needs.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Younggren to adjourn the meeting at 10:58 a.m.
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
Kittson County Administrator
(August 24, 2022)