KITTSON COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS
August 1, 2023
The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on August 1, 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 Kraulik and unanimously carried to remove from the agenda Jeanna Kujava, Kittson County Public Health.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the August 1, 2023 agenda as amended.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to amend the July 11, 2023 minutes to state that Trish Harren has rescinded her acceptance of the Kittson County Administrator position.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve the July 18, 2023 minutes as amended.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the Bills and Meal Reimbursements.
Auditor’s May 31, 2023 $64,666.58
July 14, 2023 $2,640.83
July 21, 2023 $90,428.01
Meal Reimbursements $244.06
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the per diems.
Leon Olson $450.00
Ryan Swenson $60.00
Loren Younggren $330.00
Paul Hajduk, MN Counties Insurance Trust (MCIT) County Administration Auditor, came to present to the Board the bi-annual MCIT report. Hajduk reminded the Commissioners that Kittson County was a charter member of the 81 counties that make up the member counties of MCIT. MCIT provides member counties with long-term, stable rates for their insurance coverage needs. Hajduk reported that the member counties 2022 Worker’s Compensation dividend was $5,000,000.00 and the 2023 dividend was $4,000,000.00. Some of the services that MCIT provides is loss control; risk management; and data security. The Commissioners thanked Hajduk for his presentation.
Discussion on the necessity to appoint an Interim County Administrator and an Interim Chief Financial Officer. Discussion was held that Harren was appointed the position at the rate of $55.00 per hour. It was noted by Administrator Buhmann that the Administrator position is not placed on the County’s salary chart. Buhmann also stated that both the appointees for the two positions also had longevity pay to consider when considering a proposed wage.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to appoint Kathy Johnson as the Interim Kittson County Administrator at $63.25 per hour. Johnson will also continue her duties as the Director of Kittson County Social Services.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gille, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to appoint Shirley Swenson as the Interim Chief Financial Officer at the band, grade and step D-61-8 at $45.63 per hour.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to accept the bid from Lincoln Financial for employee life insurance. There is no cost increase for this product in 2024.
Jim Trojanowski, director of the Northwest Regional Library, appeared before the Board to ask for a 3% increase to Kittson County’s annual payment to the Northwest Regional Library. Trojanowski stated that a 3% increase was being asked of all cities in the region. He stated that the increase was necessitated by several factors: 1. They have been deficit spending for several years and need to increase their reserves. 2. They have problems recruiting employees to work part-time at the libraries and need to increase the pay for these positions. Trojanowski stated that Kittson County had 16% of the total usage of the library system and that the City of Karlstad had “exceptional usage” of their library. Trojanowski reported that there are many additional programs that Northwest Regional Library provides, such as wireless hotspots; DNR park passes to check out for a week; and many on-line programs.
Jeremy Benson, Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District, updated the Board of Commissioners on the wetland conservation issue with Wagon Wheel Ridge. It was reported that if KSWCD receives a good faith compliance restoration plan from Wagon Wheel Ridge by 12:00 midnight, KSWCD will work with them to come into compliance. If that restoration plan is not received, at 12:01 on August 2nd Wagon Wheel Ridge they are out of compliance and legal action needs to be taken. Benson asked for two actions from the Board: Action 1. Approval of a letter being sent to the Kittson County Attorney to start legal enforcement of this issue.
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Olson and unanimously carried to send the letter.
Action 2: If the Kittson County Attorney’s Office has a conflict of interest in this matter, to approve the necessity to seek outside legal representation elsewhere.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to seek outside legal representation if necessary.
Administrator Buhmann discussed the letter sent from Kittson County Veterans Services Officer, Wayne Jacobson. Officer Jacobson is requesting additional funding from Kittson County to support the costs for transporting our Veterans to their medical appointments. Using the 2020 Census data, it is estimated that Kittson County has 420 veterans living in our County. The request if for an annual $3.50/veteran or $1,470.00. The same request is being made to the other regional counties. These funds would help support the DAV Medical Van costs to help ensure that the medical needs of our Veterans are being met.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gilie, by Commissioner seconded Olson
and unanimously approved to send $1,470.00 to support the DAV program.
Administrator Buhmann presented Resolution #23-24 to the Board of Commissioners to remove his name as an authorized signer from the listed financial institutions.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously approved Resolution #23-24 to remove Administrator Buhmann’s name as an authorized signature from the listed financial institutions.
Administrator Buhmann brought to the Board the necessity for the Board to rescind the sale of the tax forfeited automobile and decide how to relist the vehicle.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously approved to accept the rescindment of the bid for the tax forfeited vehicle and to ask the next highest bidder if they would like to purchase the car. If the second highest bidder declines to buy the car at their stated price, the car will be reposted for new bidding.
Administrator Buhmann reported on the discussion topics of the July 28th workshop which included the requests for raising a township road and cleaning a township ditch. Buhmann also reported that a 2024 budget workshop will be held on August 2nd, with additional workshops being help on August 8th, 22nd, and 29th. Topics will include the Tyler Credit Card Contract Amendment; discussion on developing a policy concerning cannabis use and employee usage; and Tax Forfeited Property.
Commissioner Gillie reported that she attended a meeting at Alluma where a presentation was delivered emphasizing Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity. A demonstration of presenting services in different languages emphasized the barriers new Americans encounter when seeking services. Commissioner Olson reported he attended a meeting on northern land use. Commissioner Younggren reported that the Kittson County Opioid Task Force had a booth at the County Fair that was well received by those attending the fair. Commissioners Kraulik and Swenson had no reports.
Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Kathy Johnson,
Kittson County Interim Administrator
(August 23, 2023)
KITTSON COUNTY BOARD PROCEEDINGS