KITTSON COUNTY BOARD
FEBRUARY 7, 2023
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on February 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Younggren. The pledge to the flag was given.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the agenda.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from the January 17, 2023 Board Meeting.
Sheriff Matt Vig presented for approval the estimate for new dispatching furniture for the dispatcher area. The quote was in the amount of $14,589.19 from Connect Interiors. Vig included a request for up to an additional $10,000 for the disconnection and reconnection of the computers systems. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie to approve the purchasing of the furniture. Motion passed unanimously. A motion made by Commissioner Gillie and seconded by Commissioner Swenson to approve up to $10,000.00 if the re-installation of the computer equipment required two breakdown/disconnections and two set ups/installations. Motion passed unanimously.
Administrator Buhmann presented a request for an unpaid leave of absence for Matt Vig following Minnesota Statutes 3.088 which permits a public employee elected into a governmental position to take a leave of absence. Administrator Buhmann shared that after consulting with the County’s labor attorney as the request came to the County after Matt Vig had taken office as Sheriff, the attorney’s opinion was that this is permissible. Vig would be reinstated to a position of road deputy sheriff and not the Chief Deputy position. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously approved the leave of absence.
Randi Jensen presented a brief update on the services offered through the Northwest Community Action organization. Jensen made a request of the County Board regarding the Opioid Settlement Funding that the County has received to consider contributing funds towards a RAY Tool Project developed between Northwest Community Action and the regional probation agency. Buhmann provided information that a Kittson County Substance Abuse Prevention Team (SAPT) had been formed with Jeanna Kujava, Public Health Director, taking the lead role on this committee. The SAPT committee has met once this year and Buhmann recommended that Jensen seek out joining as a committee member. Buhmann also encouraged Jensen to work with Kathy Johnson, Social Services Director on making referrals to the Social Services agency on the vehicle repair requests that her agency receives.
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Bills and Expense sheets.
Commissioner’s $142,058.72 Auditor’s $1,038309.32
Meal Reimbursement $200.00 A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Per Diems.
Theresia Gillie $340.00
Ryan Swenson $390.00
Nathan Kraulik $160.00 Administrator Buhmann presented a candidate for appointment to the Two Rivers Watershed Board -Mark Langehaug of Lake Bronson to fill-out the term of Paul Johnson’s of October 2021-October 2024. A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the appointment.
Administrator Buhmann presented for approval the authorization of signatures document for the investment firm Stifel, formerly known as Vining Sparks. Kittson County has investments with Vining Sparks and with the merger new documentation is required to work with Stifel. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the that the authorized signatures of the County Board Chair-Loren Younggren, County Administrator Brian Buhmann and the Deputy Registrar/Financial Accounting Specialist Shirley Swenson be listed as authorized signers.
Presented for approval was a five-year lease agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture for office space rent in the Kittson County Courthouse. The lease agreement is $16.70 per square foot, 4584 rentable square feet at a monthly payment of $6,379.40 or $76,552.80 annually. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and passed unanimously to approve the lease agreement.
Administrator Buhmann provided the following updates:
• Reminder that the February 21 Board meeting has been moved to February 28, 2023
• Reminder of Commissioner workshop- February 14, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
• Requested the Board to set Ditch Authority meeting for March 13, 2023 at 11 a.m. for the County Ditch #8 redetermination- A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the meeting date.
• Updated on 2021 Audit
• Tax-forfeited Property-Northcote options Commissioner Swenson and Administrator Buhmann lead a discussion on a tax forfeited property in Northcote parcels 09.0212340 and 09.0212540 as a possible new highway shop location to replace the Humboldt shop. Properties currently have access to County Road 4 and is close to U.S. Highway 75. Power and cable are on site along with a 40 foot by 100 foot outbuilding. Consensus of the Board was to pull the property off the tax forfeiture property auction and to continue to explore this site as a possible building site.
• MCIT Employee Assistance Program Utilization Report 2022 no utilization by the County employees was reported.
• Reminder of AMC Legislative Conference February 21-23, 2023
Commissioner Younggren reported on attending the 4-H Extension Committee meeting. The 2023 County Fair will be July 26-30 and will have carnival rides this year. Elected as chair and vice Chair of the committee for 2023 Sander Dagen and Kalli Peterson. The committee provided a recommendation for Farm Family of the Year. Younggren also shared that he attended the first Kittson County Substance Abuse Team Committee meeting in January. An informal budget was agreed upon with the investment of $20,000 of the Opioid settlement funding be placed in a Certificate of Deposit (CD) with United Valley Bank. Sheriff Vig was also in attendance and shared what was happening in our community which was eye opening to the committee members. Commissioner Swenson share his training at the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC Government 101 Conference). He shared that one of the areas discussed at the conference by the experienced Commissioners has already occurred within his early few weeks as a new Commissioner. No reports from Commissioner Olson and Kraulik. Commissioner Gillie stated that she attended Alluma and was re-elected as Chair for another year. She reported the struggles Alluma is facing to meet clinical hours and in keeping staff. Alluma continues to review the employee compensation and benefit package it offers to their staff. Attendance at the Quin County Committee where more county contributions were discussed. Commissioner Gillie attended two Zoom meetings-the first was with Kittson County Soil and Water and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Conversation discussed was finding more feedlots in the County to regulate as a provider needs to be registered as a feedlot to qualify for Farm Service aid and provide more fund to our providers. Discussion on mentoring of older ranchers with newer providers. Second zoom meeting was with the Association of Minnesota Counties legislative updates- public health basic funding, broad band funding, county program aid ($150 million earmarked), Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) HF 825 and SF 697, local control on marijuana manufacture, distribution and sales of food products. Transportation funding is down 2.5% in state aid for 2023.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to adjourn at 11:00 a.m.
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
Kittson County Administrator
(March 8, 2023)