KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
October 4, 2022
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on October 4, 2022 at 9:04 a.m.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Younggren. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to approve the agenda.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from September 20, 2022.
Darcy Hestekind, Director of the Tri-County Living at Home Nursing Program presented an opportunity for an extension of the Living at Home Nursing Program into Kittson County. Funding through a Human Services grant of $25, 000 with a required local match to develop the services was discussed. In-kind volunteer hours can be used towards the match requirements. Local volunteers from the Hallock Senior Center have volunteered to coordinate the program. Priorities are to develop and coordinate a local volunteer driver program to assist citizens needing a ride to medical appointments. Kathy Johnson and Diane Younggren from Kittson County Social Services gave their support of the potential expansion into Kittson County. It is a service that compliments the services that are offered through social services without duplication.
Jim Butler from the Warroad and Roseau Area Disabled American Veterans (DAV) of NW MN Chapter 41 was joined by Wayne Jacobson, Kittson County Veteran Services Officer and Shawn Anderson, interested community member and presented a brief program description to the Commissioners. The primary discussion included the possibility of having a vehicle donated for use for the veterans in Kittson County and a place to park a vehicle at the courthouse for volunteer drivers to pick up and utilize the vehicle. Discussion expanded to include the possibility of sharing the vehicle for other community needs and the possibility of the county purchasing a vehicle to be shared by all the interested groups trying to provide transportation services to the veterans and other citizens of Kittson County.
Jamie Osowski, Kittson County Soil and Water Manager presented to the Board a feedlot permit for the Frame Farm. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the permit. Heather Donoho from the Kittson County Soil and Water District joined the discussion regarding the September 30, 2022 video meeting with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Governor Walz’s Office, our local state legislator, Commissioners Younggren and Gillie, Soil and Water personnel and the County Administrator. Information shared at the meeting was the decision made by the former feedlot staff member that Kittson County would be better off being an undelegated county and chose not to perform the probation requirements required by MPCA to get the county off probation. This decision lays only with the County Board and is not a decision that the staff member could make on their own. Heather Donoho has stepped up and has made progress with our local producers to meet the requirements set by MPCA. From the meeting, Kittson County Administrator requested an extension from MPCA and received it as there was a time constraint in meeting a 20 day “Good Neighbor Notice” for a feedlot permit to be voted on at the November 1, 2022, Commissioner’s meeting. Also discussed at the meeting was the MPCA Blog covering “Meatless Mondays” to reduce pollutions as the article stated that animal producers cause the high level of environmental pollution. The Blog was removed 1 hour after it was posted by an MPCA staff member and MPCA Commissioner Kessel informed the group that this is not representative of her agency and that the employee‘s actions were addressed.
10:13 a.m., A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to recess the County Board meeting.
A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve to open the Ditch authority meeting at 10:13 a.m.
The first item for discussion was the replacement of culverts in Ditch #29 and who is reasonable to pay for the replacement. Administrator Buhmann shared the Ditch inspector’s recommendation that the culverts are seen as being a part of the township roads and so the responsible parties would be the two township who share this road. He also covered the potential of setting precedence for other culvert replacements in township roads. Commissioner Johnson shared that the County has paid for the replacements in the past and that the landowners in the benefited areas served by the Ditch #29 pay taxes to have these types of repairs completed. A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to have the Ditch authority pay for the culvert repairs. In discussions Administrator Buhmann asked that the County reimburse the township for the work completed and the board consensus was to follow this recommendation. Administrator Buhmann asked the Board members about scheduling the Ditch levy meeting to set the 2023 ditch levies. The Board instructed him to find a date towards the end of October or early November and to have the Ditch inspector provide information on the needs of the individual Ditches. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to close the Ditch Authority meeting at 10:25 a.m.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Johnson and unanimously carried to re-open the County Commissioners’ meeting at 10:25 a.m.
Administrator Buhmann shared that most county employees have selected a vision plan from the list presented to the Commissioners at its last Board meeting. Choosing the VSP Program. Administrator Buhmann shared that this is a volunteer opt in benefit for employees and that there is no cost to the county to offer this benefit to them. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to go with the VSP vision plan.
Administrator Buhmann presented for consideration Resolution # 22-28 Adopt and Implement the Middle Snake Tamarac Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan. This plan is like the Two Rivers Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan approved earlier this year by the Board and Buhmann stated that the Board will need to approve a future plan yet to be submitted from the Roseau River Watershed. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the plan.
Jeremy Benson, District Technician, Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District presented a report on the Two Rivers Plus 1W1P progress consisted of having spent $335,325.00 on Non-Structural Land Management Practices (Cover Crops and Conservation Tillage Practices). These dollars have been used to treat 1,360 acres annually, which is 4,080 acres over the next 3 years. They are waiting on the return of a few signed contracts for their Structural Ag Practices from landowners and Streambank projects that will be covered under these funds as well. Jeremy offered that if the county had any projects, they would like to inquire about for funding assistance please let him know and he can make sure that it gets brought to the Two Rivers Plus Joint Powers Board.
Administrator Buhmann presented Resolution #22-29 Setting the Levies for the Unorganized Townships for Road and Bridge, Fire and Ambulance purposes for:
Klondike Township $14,519.00
McKinley Township $ 9,722.00
North Red River
Peatland Township $ 5,046.00
Commissioner questions raised regarding setting the levies covered the higher budget amount for North Red River Township. Administrator Buhmann shared that the budgeted amounts include any highway projects planned for the townships in 2023 and the costs for fire and ambulance coverage. A motion was made by Commissioner Johnson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve Resolution #22-29.
Administrator Buhmann requested Board approval to post openings for two (2) Two River Watershed positions. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve posting the openings.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve bills and meal reimbursements.
$159,338.36 A motion was made by Commissioner Younggren, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve per diems and expense sheets.
Per Diems $300.00
Meal Reimbursements $116.39
Administrator Buhmann provided an update on the repair work being completed on the courthouse elevator. A new cylinder seal is needed for the elevator and a new hole needs to be dug/drilled to install the seal. The two vendors quotes were:
Midwest Drilling- Estimated Time only: 24-32 hours
Preparation and mobilize to job site: $9,500.00
Hourly crew rate on site for hand dig: $495.00
Casing for the new jack hole, $ per foot $245.00
Start time October 10, 2022
Jetway- sucking material out for hole estimate is $8,000.00
Otis Elevators change order to install cylinder seal and working with Jetway $400.00/hour.
Administrator Buhmann asked for approval to use the Jetway option with the hope that it would be successful. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve go with the Jetway quote.
Administrator Buhmann passed out tax forfeited property packets to the commissioners, which included properties in their districts to view and set a minimum asking price for auctioning properties in 2023.
Buhmann passed out copies of the Minnesota County Intergovernmental Trust 2021 annual report for their review.
Committee reports- Commissioner Gillie reported attending the Alluma meeting where their representatives shared that the investment income is taking a hit. A matrix has been developed to find the gaps of membership representation to the Alluma Board. Mention that NCLUUB has asked for Kittson County to join its association. Commissioner Gillie also attended the MPCA meeting with on September 30, 2022. Commissioner Olson discussed attending a Land Use meeting with the MN DNR on the subject of the Sovereign Nations conducting up to five (5) elk hunts within northwest Minnesota following the rights established in the federal treaty of 1863. Commissioner Kraulik covered that he has been approached with concerns over moving a motor grader from the Karlstad shop to Hallock. After meeting with the highway engineer, he has a better understanding of the plan to do so to reduce the deadheading or travel time for the operators moving from site to site. Commissioner Johnson shared that he had assisted Hallock Township in acquiring two used culverts from the CSAH #1 project for a township road in Section 17.
Correspondence- Buhmann shared that he had received an email from Garnett Hanson, City Clerk for the City of Karlstad in which she requested that upon her expected retirement of October 31, 2022, that the Commissioners appoint her replacement Shelby Lee to the MN HRA a motion was made by Commissioner Kraulik, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to appoint Shelby Lee to the NW Multicounty Housing & Redevelopment Authority for the City of Karlstad.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Johnson to adjourn the meeting at 10:58 a.m.
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
Kittson County Administrator
(October 26, 2022)