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KITTSON COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS March 21, 2023

KITTSON COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS
March 21, 2023

The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on March 21, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. Commissioner Olson with an excused absence.
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 Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the agenda with the additions of -Approval of funds for Vehicle Repair Program and the Substance Abuse Prevention Team reimbursement recommendation.
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from the March 7, 2023 Board Meeting.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Bills and Expense sheets.
Commissioner’s $283,076.17 Meal Reimbursements $100.65
Sheriff Matt Vig presented for approval the 2021 Stonegarden grant with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in the amount of $145,800.00. A motion made by Commissioner Gillie and seconded by Commissioner Swenson and passed unanimously to approve the grant. Vig shared that the grant cycle for the Stonegarden grant is a delayed two-year reimbursement for expenses the Sherriff’s Department had occurred.
Theresa Ebbenga, Northwest Region Director for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource (DNR)introduced herself and her staff in attendance. Ebbenga covers 23 counties in Northwestern Minnesota and presented current updates on projects in Kittson County:
•  Payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) was discussed on the nearly 76,000 acres of public land in Kittson County and the reimbursement of $268,207 to Kittson County. Discussed legislation to begin improvements to the reimbursements as PILT payments are grossly larger in southern Minnesota counties when compared to reimbursement in the northern counties.
•  Border to Border Touring route was presented to the Board.
•  Discussion on replacement of the water control structure at Skull Lake was discussed
•  Discussion on cleaning of spoils in public ditches not being allowed to be placed on public land and the expense of transporting them to an alternative site.
•  DNR staffer Ben Bergy, northwest regional manager of State Parks and Trails provided an update on the Lake Bronson Dam project.
•  DNR staffer Jason Wollin, area wildlife supervisor presented on legislation which would re-introduce elk into northeastern Minnesota by capturing elk from the current Kittson County herds and relocating them to northeastern Minnesota.
•  DNR staffer Nathan Kestner, northwest regional ecological and water resources answered questions posed on the Great Diversion project in Fargo/Moorhead area and the possible ramifications to lands downstream from this project.
Andrea Weleski, Highway Engineer presented for approval the following:
• Approval of Hitch & Mower bids
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the recommendation of purchasing the Bush Hog mower for $35,168.00 and the hitch swing arm for $38,538.31 for a total of $73,706.31 from Titan Machinery of Roseau, MN
•  MNDOT resolution detour U.S. Highway 75- Contract No.: 1048715 ‐2‐ Detour Agreement without Local Maintenance (Cooperative Agreements)
Stage 1 – C.S.A.H. 6 and C.S.A.H. 16 for a total distance of 10.6 miles.
Stage 2 ‐ C.S.A.H. 6 and C.S.A.H. 12 for a total distance of 8.0 miles. MnDOT Stage 3 ‐ C.S.A.H. 16 and C.R. 71 for a total distance of 2.0 miles
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the detour proposal.
•  Approved Aggregate bids- A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the bid for $117,600.00 from Davidson Construction.
•  Approved striping bids- A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Sir Lines A Lot bid for $81,411.80. Discussion on trimming number of miles to be striped.
•  5 year plan update presented a new map of the projected road construction projects for the county.
Administrator Buhmann presented Resolution #23-8 Opioid Participation Revision. Per a request from the state of Minnesota, counties who are participating in the Opioid settlement have been asked to pass a revision of the original Resolution passed stating our desire to participate. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve Resolution #23-8.
Beth Seed and Twyla Preble Kittson County employees were present to hear the Board decision on developing an ambulance on-call policy. A policy that allows trained and certified staff to sign up for on-call ambulance runs during their work hours. Administrator Buhmann presented the policy for consideration:
Proposal:
A county employee will be allowed to sign up two (2) three hour on call shifts a workweek to respond to the community ambulance service needs with county approval. Employees are encouraged to sign up for concurrent shifts, when possible, to lessen the interruption to their primary county position.
A maximum of four (4) three hour on call shifts per work period is suggested. Employees are asked to schedule their on-shifts and to share the calendar with their immediate supervisor.
Policy to be reviewed by the county Board in six months (September 19, 2023). A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously approved to the on-call policy.
10:55 a.m., Chairperson Younggren recessed the County Board so that the North Red River Township Board could be opened.
11:00 a.m. Chairperson Younggren opened the North Red River Township Board meeting.
Administrator Buhmann presented the first agenda item of a request for reimbursement for work to clean-up from the 2022 flood event by Jason Cadieux. The invoices were submitted to Scot Olson, Kittson County Emergency Services Manager (EMS) by Cadieux for reimbursement from FEMA funds. Deadlines to submit invoices to FEMA had closed prior to the submission and when researched, the proper approval for the expense was not obtained by Cadieux from the Highway Engineer or the EMS manager. By default, the authority to approve or deny the payment is placed with the North Red River Township Board. Buhmann explained that if the Township Board approved the invoices, that the costs would need to be collected through a township levy to pay for the bills. Buhmann also cautioned the Township Board that this could set a precedent for future bills being submitted to the Township Board. A motion was made by Swenson, seconded by Kraulik and unanimously carried to deny the payment. Gillie expressed the importance of following proper procedures to have work authorized and in the submitting of bills for FEMA reimbursement.
In attendance at the township meeting were DNR staff-Nathan Kestner and Stephanie Klamm who participated in the group discussion on the North Red River dike and the steps needed to address the returning of the flood waters back to the Red River after a flood event. It was suggested that a steering committee be formed, who will develop an operations plan. This operations plan would be used by the township board to apply for a permit through the DNR. This approach will provide more local control of the levee functions rather than seeking out additional permits. Commissioner Swenson was asked to head the committee which will include the Highway Engineer, DNR staff and local landowners. Another township meeting will be scheduled when an operating plan has been developed and an application for the modification will be submitted to the Minnesota DNR for approval.
A motion made by Swenson, and seconded by Kraulik and passed unanimously to adjourn the North Red River Township meeting at 11:55 a.m.
Chairperson Younggren reconvened the County Board meeting at 12:05 p.m.
Administrator Buhmann presented for approval the $15,000.00 funding to support the approved vehicle repairs program with Northwest Community Action. At the last meeting the program was approved, the funding for the program was not. A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously approved to the funding.
Administrator Buhmann presented recommendations from the Substance Abuse Prevention Team (SAPT) asking to follow the county’s policy for per diems and the reimbursement of the facilitator’s time using the Opioid settlement funding allocated to the Kittson County. Administrator Buhmann shared his concerns of utilizing potential funds to reimburse participants to attend the planning meeting rather than to utilize the funds to support community education and training. He supports the recommendation of reimbursing the organizer’s time as outlined by the grant’s requirement that no more than ten percent of the Opioid funding could be used towards administrative expenses. A consensus to table the action and have the SAPT committee revise their recommendation at their April meeting.
A brief discussion on the March 14, 2023 Commissioner workshop in which Everette Butler and Andrea Swenson from Kittson HealthCare attended and shared the hospital’s current financial situation. Several approaches were discussed with no decision made as the community input sessions were scheduled with the first one to begin that night in Hallock.
Buhmann shared the recent Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) annual report and how Kittson County benefits from our involvement with AMC.
Commissioner Gillie reported on attending Dancing Sky where she is no longer chair, however she shared that she was voted in as vice-chair of District 1. A year in review was shared at the meeting where it was mentioned that Senior Nutrition funding has not increased in over twenty years. Currently there is an audit being conducted on the CARES funding used by the committee. Commissioner Younggren shared attending the March SAPT committee which is still developing and researching programming like Teen Challenge.
No report from Commissioner Kraulik. Commissioner Swenson reported attending a transportation zoom meeting with the highway engineer and shared that he had attended the annual pipeline safety training in Kennedy, offered by the Minnesota Pipeline Community Awareness Emergency Response Association.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 12:32 p.m.
Loren Younggren,
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
Kittson County Administrator
(April 12, 2023)
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