Kittson County Board Proceedings April 18, 2023
Kittson County Board Proceedings
April 18, 2023
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on April 18, 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 Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the agenda with the addition of Scot Olson, Emergency Management Services director-update on 2023 Flood and approval of 2022 State Homeland Security Program for Region 3.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from the April 4, 2023 Board Meeting.
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Bills and Meal Reimbursements sheets.
Heather Bruley, Kittson County Assessor presented the finalized property valuations for 2023, payable in 2024. Valuation statements were recently mailed out to property owners. Ms. Bruley shared recent sales information by township for properties sold/brought. She stated that a 2.9% increase in valuations was observed. The Assessor’s office will continue to monitor new construction which is occurring within the county. June 20, 2023 at 6 p.m. will be the Board of Appeals and Equalization with the Commissioners. Any property owner who has questions regarding the change in their property values are encouraged to contact the Assessor’s office.
Deputy Pat Klegstad presented for approval the lease agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) for space on one of their own towers. The agreement is for ten (10) years in the amount of $300.00 annual payment. The Northcote communications tower is located just off County Road 1, north of Hallock.
Sheriff Vig informed the Board of an anticipated resignation by Deputy Alex Rudnik. A verbal notice was given to Sheriff Vig with an employment ending date of Thursday May 18, 2023. Sheriff Vig was asked the Board for permission to begin the hiring process to fill this position by advertising the job opening. Administrator Buhmann request that if a motion was made to approve the advertising, that it be contingent on the county receiving a written resignation from the deputy. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the resignation and advertising of the opening, contingent of the county receiving a written letter of resignation.
Andrea Weleski, Highway Engineer presented for approval:
• Approval of utility permits for Ottertail Power -power line along County Road 65 and Wiktel boring fiber optics cable within the county. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve both permits.
• Approval of crack sealing maintenance quote MP Asphalt for $22,362.58. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the bid.
• Approval of county wide regraveling bid to Thygeson Construction for $201,177.77. A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve the bid.
• Approval to advertise for a highway tech I or II. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to approve advertising for the position.
• Approval of Soil and Water Conservation District cooperative agreement for ditch projects. Slope stabilization on County Ditch # 31 and State Ditch #1 and surveying County Ditch #19. Funding through the Two Rivers Plus program and ditch funding will cover the match costs to the authorized amount of $54,375.00. Matching funding of $5,437 by Kittson County. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the cooperative agreement.
• Update on 2001 John Deere loader transmission. Transmission has weakened and will need to be replaced. Estimates to rebuild/repair current transmission or to replace with a new transmission is projected to be somewhere around thirty-two to forty thousand ($32-40) thousand dollars. Plans are to bring this back at a future Board meeting. Weleski also informed the Board that a second large piece of equipment, a motor grader is also currently out because of a wiring box issue.
Administrator Buhmann presented Resolution #23- 14 Conveyance of Tax Forfeited Parcel for Public use. Parcel for Public Use Parcel #38.0038600, legally described as Lots 7 & 8 Block 11, Original Lancaster, forfeited to the state for failure to pay property taxes on the 18th day of September 2021. Buhmann stated that the Board had approved pulling this parcel off the public auction list at the February 4th meeting to allow the city of Lancaster and Kittson County to negotiate the conveyance. Buhmann read a copy of the City of Lancaster’s passed resolution asking for the conveyance and financial assistance towards the demolition the structures on the property. Buhmann shared that there is funding available in the tax forfeiture account and that additional revenues were anticipated to come into that account with the upcoming tax forfeiture property sale. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve up to twelve thousand ($12,000.00) towards the demolition. A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the resolution conveying the property to the city of Lancaster.
Scot Olson, Kittson County Emergency Management Services Director presented an update on the 2023 flooding situation. Olson shared that a sand bagging brigade composed of high school students were currently working on filling sandbags, with a goal to fill three thousand (3,000) bags. Mr. Olson presented for approval the Region 3 State Homeland Security Program grant, which provides one hundred seventeen thousand ($117,000.00) in regional funding. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the regional grant agreement.
Administrator Buhmann presented a three (3) year renewal service agreement with Johnson Controls who services our heating and cooling systems. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the agreement.
Administrator Buhmann presented a quote from MARCO for upgrading county’s firewall and WIFI improvements. It was recommended that action be tabled at this time.
Administrator Buhmann reminded the Board of the scheduled Commissioners workshops-April 25, 2023 starting at 9 a.m. He also reminded the Board of the June 20, 2023 County Commissioner Board meeting is an afternoon meeting starting at 5 p.m. and then moving into the Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting at 6 p.m.
Buhmann request Board action to move the first Commissioner Board meeting in scheduled for July 4, 2023 to the following week July 11, 2023 due to the holiday. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to move the meeting date
Buhmann lead a brief discussion on finalizing plans for the tax forfeited properties public auction. Anticipate a June auction.
Commissioner Swenson reported meeting with property owners from the North Red River Township steering committee regarding the North Red River Dike. Good ideas shared and will be applying for permits through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource regarding the plans for the dike. Commissioner Olson, Younggren and Kraulik shared attending the MARKIT monthly meeting. A new Packer is scheduled to arrive in June. They shared that there is some interest in selling the older packer to Polk County. Commissioner Kraulik reported attending a recent Deerwood Township regarding failing pipes. He also attended the first convened county GIS committee meeting with a follow up meeting scheduled for May. Discussed how the County nor State of Minnesota has no ATV trails available to riders within the county. Commissioner Gillie reported a scheduled meeting with local volunteers, Dancing Sky and a representative from the North Central Mobility agency to discuss our transportation challenges that Kittson County is facing, for April 27th at 10 a.m. at the senior center. Gillie shared attending the Quin Counties meeting and reported that they have a new accountant hired. Covered at the meeting was the public health act, public health responsibilities, guest speaker from Countryside agency provided information on county collaborations and fiscal support for public health. Gillie also announced that she has been recruited by the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) to be a county representative on the regional agriculture committee for the National Association of Counties Organization (NACO).
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting at 10:19 a.m.
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Brian E. Buhmann,
Kittson County Administrator
(May 10, 2023)