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Kittson County Board Proceedings November 7, 2023

Kittson County Board Proceedings
November 7, 2023

The Kittson County Board of Commissioners met, pursuant to adjournment on November 7, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Younggren. The pledge to the flag was given.
Some additions to the agenda were presented by Chairperson Younggren: Add approval for resolution #23-35 LRIP for Poppleton Township, add Sky Olsonawski-KSWCD for the Feedlot Performance Report, add H2Overviewers Amendments. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson and unanimously carried to approve the agenda with the additions. Motion carried.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik and unanimously carried to approve the Board minutes from the October 17, 2023, Board meeting.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson, and unanimously carried to approve the Bills and Meal Reimbursements.
Commissioner’s $332,958.25
Auditor’s
09/27/2023 $46,605.24
10/20/2023 $15,196.79
10/30/2023 $112,605.65
Meal Reimbursements $340.19
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie and unanimously carried to approve per diems and expenses.
Loren Younggren $270.00
Leon Olson $600.00
Nathan Kraulik $ 60.00
Theresia Gillie $270.00
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie seconded by Commissioner Kraulik to approve the Kittson County Trailblazers 2024 Maintenance and Grooming Grant. Motion carried.
Beth Seed Income Maintenance Lead presented MN-DHS MN Family Investment Program agreement for approval. This is a two year agreement. CareerForce is part of this agreement which manages our employment services. There is also a new additional budget item for crisis assistance of $1000, which Seed stated isn’t sufficient for our County’s needs. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie. Motion carried.
Mark Goldberg attended the meeting via Teams to give a progress update on the current salary study. He needed an estimate for the upcoming changes in salary. The Board told him to use 4% considering what has been discussed at the current negotiation meetings. Interim CFO Swenson will send the Sharepoint link to the study to all Board members for their review. The next Teams meeting will be held with Mark at the Commissioner’s workshop on November 28th.
Greg Mitziga wanted the Board to be aware he has been appointed as a board member to the Kittson Marshall Water System.
Interim County Administrator/Social Services Director Kathy Johnson requested permission to advertise for a front desk position as the front desk position person currently held by Daniella Steyn will be moving to an Eligibility Worker position. This will be posted internally as well. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik to approve advertising for the front desk position. Motion carried.
Johnson also presented the 2024-2025 Behavioral Health Division grant contract with MN DHS for approval for $2,748.00 per year. A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Olson. Motion carried.
Mary Olson Kittson County Fiscal Supervisor met with the Board to request permission to purchase new software for their Case Management Reimbursement Process. The new software is called Pavillio, a MN based company which will help streamline three current software processes reducing errors and employee time. The implementation cost is $2,500.00 with a $300.00 monthly fee. This will eliminate the $1,500.00 payment for the current annual fee for the old software. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to approve the purchase of Pavillio, seconded by Commissioner Olson. Motion carried. There was a question on whether or not this was a two or three year contract. Olson will get clarification before Chair Younggren signs the contract.
Meeting with the Board was Brian Ketring, MN DOT District Engineer and JT Anderson, MN State Aid to make introductions and inform the Board of upcoming events. A discussion was held with the Board giving updates on current issues around the district. The Board also gave feedback to Ketring and Anderson with their questions and concerns.
Kittson County Engineer Andrea Weleski presented Resolution #23-30 to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Swenson to adopt the following resolution, and unanimously carried: #23-30
LOCAL ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM GRANT APPLICATION
WHEREAS, the State Aid Office governs the Local Road Improvement Program Fund, and
WHEREAS, these funds are to be used for routes of regional significance and/or safety improvements, and
WHEREAS, Kittson County has plans to recondition a segment of its County State Aid Highway No. 16 which includes a Seal Coat and Fog Seal, and
WHEREAS, Kittson County feels this is a regionally significant route which directly serves the American Crystal Sugar Beet Humboldt Piling Station, farm to market for adjacent agricultural growers and is a regional corridor for tourism to the MN DNR Hilltop Public Access Boat Landing in Hill Township.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Kittson County would like to be considered for a grant from LRIP for this project (SAP 035-616-014)
Kittson County Engineer Andrea Weleski presented Resolution #23-31 to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Olson to adopt the following resolution, and unanimously carried: #23-31
LOCAL ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM GRANT APPLICATION
WHEREAS, the State Aid Office governs the Local Road Improvement Program Fund, and
WHEREAS, these funds are to be used for routes of regional significance and/or safety improvements, and
WHEREAS, Kittson County has plans to recondition a segment of its County State Aid Highway No. 20 which includes Bituminous Milling, Bituminous Paving and Shoulder Base Aggregate, and
WHEREAS, Kittson County feels this is a regionally significant route which directly serves the Halma area Aggregate Producers, farm to market for adjacent agricultural growers, the adjacent newly formed Amish Community and is a regional corridor for tourism to the Lake Bronson State Park in Kittson County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Kittson County would like to be considered for a grant from LRIP for this project (SAP 035-620-008)
Kittson County Engineer Andrea Weleski presented Resolution #23-32 to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson, seconded by Commissioner Gillie to adopt the following resolution, and unanimously carried: #23-32
BRIDGE PRIORITY
WHEREAS, Kittson County has determined that the following deficient bridges on the CSAH, County Road and Township systems are a high priority and require replacement or rehabilitation within the next five (5) years, and
Estimated
Year Old New Project Proposed Project Number Bridge No. Br. No. Road Number Cost
2024 SAP 035-598-012 6181 35J63 Co. Rd. 55 $250,000
2024 SAP 035-607-030 None 35J64 CSAH 7 $439,315
2025 SAP 035-599-122 L-4350 35J65 NRR T-67 $175,000

WHEREAS, local roads play an essential role in the overall state transportation network and local bridges are the critical component of the local road systems, and
WHEREAS, State support for the replacement or rehabilitation of local bridges continues to be crucial to maintaining the integrity of the local road systems and is necessary for the County and the townships to proceed with the replacement or rehabilitation of the high priority deficient bridges described above, and
WHEREAS, Kittson County intends to proceed with replacement or rehabilitation of these bridges as soon as possible when State Transportation Bond Funds are available,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Kittson County commits that it will proceed with the design and contract documents for these bridges immediately after being notified that funds are available to permit construction to take place within one year of notification.
Kittson County Engineer Andrea Weleski presented Resolution #23-33 to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik to adopt the following resolution, and unanimously carried: #23-33
Purchase of Right of Way
WHEREAS The Kittson County Highway Department proposes to replace Br. 6181 with Br. 35J63 on County Road 55 under SAP 035-598-012, located 0.2 miles west of the Jct. of County Road 64,
WHEREAS the improvements consist of 2-Lines of 10×5 Precast Concrete Box Culvert and grading of said roadway as herein determined necessary to provide for ultimate safety of the traveling public, and
WHEREAS in addition to the existing highway easement, certain lands are required to provide for reconstruction, and
WHEREAS Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, the Kittson County Highway Department has prepared a right of way plan. The plan is on file at the Engineer’s Office at 401 2nd Street SW, Hallock, MN 56728 and made a part of hereof, and which lands are more particularly described therein as follows:
SAP 035-598-012
Parcel Names
1 Blake L. & Sophie A. Nelson
Richard & Wanda Clow
2 Jane C. Sobolik-Kelly and Michael R. Kelly
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the County Engineer to proceed to acquire the fee simple absolute over said land in accordance with Minnesota Statutes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That the Kittson Count Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the acquisition of said land by eminent domain and to take title and possession of that land prior to the filing of an award by the court appointed commissioner, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That those lands as described herein, which cannot be acquired by direct negotiation, shall be acquired by eminent domain and the County hereby request the County Attorney to file the necessary petition therefore and to prosecute such action to a successful conclusion or until it is abandoned, dismissed or terminated by the County or Court.
Kittson County Engineer Andrea Weleski presented Resolution #23-34 to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson to adopt the following resolution, and unanimously carried: #23-34
Purchase of Right of Way
WHEREAS The Kittson County Highway Department proposes to reconstruct and improve a portion of CSAH 7 known as SAP 035-607-030, located between the Jct. of CSAH 5 and 4.6 miles east,
WHEREAS the improvements consist of centerline culvert replacements and lining, Br. 35J34, aggregate base and bituminous paving of said roadway as herein determined necessary to provide for ultimate safety of the traveling public, and
WHEREAS in addition to the existing highway easement, certain lands are required to provide for reconstruction, and
WHEREAS Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, the Kittson County Highway Department has prepared a right of way plan. The plan is on file at the Engineer’s Office at 401 2nd Street SW, Hallock, MN 56728 and made a part of hereof, and which lands are more particularly described therein as follows:
SAP 035-607-030
Parcel Names
1 Jeffrey J. & Amanda D. Rickenberg
2 Jeffrey J. & Amanda D. Rickenberg
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the County Engineer to proceed to acquire the fee simple absolute over said land in accordance with Minnesota Statutes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That the Kittson Count Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the acquisition of said land by eminent domain and to take title and possession of that land prior to the filing of an award by the court appointed commissioner, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOVED That those lands as described herein, which cannot be acquired by direct negotiation, shall be acquired by eminent domain and the County hereby request the County Attorney to file the necessary petition therefore and to prosecute such action to a successful conclusion or until it is abandoned, dismissed or terminated by the County or Court.
Kittson County Engineer Andrea Weleski presented Resolution #23-35 to the Board of Commissioners for approval.
A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik to adopt the following resolution, and unanimously carried: #23-35
LOCAL ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM GRANT APPLICATION
WHEREAS, the State Aid Office governs the Local Road Improvement Program Fund, and
WHEREAS, these funds are to be used for routes of regional significance or safety improvements, and
WHEREAS, Poppleton Township has plans to reconstruct a segment of its Township Road No. T-238 which includes Permanent Erosion Control Measures and Bituminous Paving, and
WHEREAS, Kittson County feels this road is eligible as a Route of Regional Significance being it directly serves farm to market and corrects an annual safety hazard to the driving public within Kittson County and Poppleton Township.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Kittson County would like to request on behalf of Poppleton Township to be considered for a grant from LRIP for this project.
Weleski then gave an update on the Highway Department’s winter policy. Just a reminder that the County no longer does private drives. If the Sheriff’s Office is advising no travel she will be pulling the plows off of the roads. Weleski is in contact with the schools when she does this.
Weleski gave a construction update on CSAH 10. This project isn’t due for completion until June of next year so even though the project looks done it isn’t. Due to it being unfinished and the safety issues with this CSAH 10 will remain closed this winter.
Weleski then asked for approval to advertise SAP 35-607-030 and SAP 35-598-012 for the 2024 construction. A motion was made to approve advertising by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Meeting with the Board was Sky Olsonawski KSWCD Feedlot Manager and Jamie Osowski KSWCD Director to present the feedlot annual work plan. Olsonawski is taking over the feedlot program for the County. She has met with producers and performed inspections to help livestock producers get in compliance, which went very well. She gave an overview of the plan. KSWCD will be working hard to repair the prior problems from last year’s livestock supper this year. A motion to accept the plan was made by Commissioner Gillie, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik. Motion carried.
IT Director Lance Henrickson presented an IT policy for the Board’s review. He updated the policy we currently have. Two factor authentication was discussed due to a ransomware issue. This is going to be a requirement of connecting to the County’s VPN. A decision will have to be made on how to handle this with employees. After the Board reviews the policy Henrickson will bring it back to the Board for approval.
A short discussion was held on the amendments to the H2Overviewers contract and closing the current meeting as the ditch authority to approve H2Overviewers amendments. Due to the notice of public meeting posting requirements these amendments will be tabled until the next meeting.
Chief Deputy Assessor Jenny Koskela asked for approval to hire Suzann Duchene as the Appraiser Trainee beginning November 27, 2023 at a B22-2 step 8 at her current pay rate of $24.56. Duchene will continue to work her hours under the CFO’s budget in her payroll position training the new payroll specialist until year end 2023. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to approve the hiring and position change for Duchene, seconded by Commissioner Olson. Motion carried.
Koskela also presented a band and grade change for Deputy Assessor Danielle Weleski after she successfully completed her CMA licensing requirements to a B31-2, step 2 at $24.82 per hour. She is currently at a B22-1, step 2. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson to approve the band and grade change for Weleski, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Interim Administrator Johnson requested the approval to hire Interim Chief Financial Shirley Swenson as the Chief Financial Officer. Swenson was appointed the interim position at the August 1st Board meeting at a D61-1. Her position was then submitted to David Drown & Associates for new banding and grading with the addition of the auditor’s duties. The position was then evaluated as a D62-1. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to hire Swenson as the Chief Financial Officer at a D62-1, step 8, at $47.20 per hour, seconded by Commissioner Kraulik. Motion carried.
CFO Swenson asked for permission to hire Cassie Wilebski as the Taxpayer Services Specialist at a B22-1, step 4 at $22.82 per hour. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to approve hiring Cassie Wilebski, seconded by Commissioner Olson. Motion carried.
Swenson then asked for permission to hire April Klecker, current Taxpayer Services Specialist as her Assistant CFO/Taxpayer Services Specialist at a B23-1 step 3, at $23.56 per hour. A motion was made by Commissioner Swenson to approve the hire, seconded by Commissioner Gillie. Motion carried.
Swenson then asked for permission to internally post the payroll position for 5 days. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to allow Swenson to post internally, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Chair Younggren then asked for approval to add authorization for Shirley Swenson, CFO to all banking authorities. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson to add authorization, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
CFO Swenson presented for approval the MN Department of Revenue Recapture Service Level Agreement. This agreement is needed to have the MN Department of Revenue recapture delinquent mobile home taxes for the County. A motion was made by Commissioner Olson, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Approval for the electronic signing of the 2024 USI Consulting Group contract was submitted by Swenson. The contract is for $2,400 for OPEB 75 reporting. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to approve the contract, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Swenson also submitted for approval the United Valley Bank Cash Management Services contract. This is to allow the electronic filing of online property taxes and electronic accounts payable. A motion was made by Commissioner Gillie to approve the contract, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Swenson reported to the Board that MNIT has scheduled the County for a network upgrade on January 10th, 2024. This will significantly impact our connection speed.
A request came from the Kittson County Zoning Variance board members to receive two per diems on a day they had two variance meetings on the same day. The request was denied.
Committee reports were given. Commissioner Gillie met with the Law Library Board over their budget, kiosks and a legal agreement with SCAO. A discussion was held on the size of the law library and possibly doing some space restructuring. Some research will be done on the subject. She also met with Quinn County on their 2024 budget.
Commissioner Younggren attended the County Department Head meeting, questions were mainly concerning bonding and what expenses that would include. There will be a County Career Day on February 15, 2024 for sophomores to seniors to come and learn what our County jobs are all about. The hope is to promote County jobs to high school students. Commissioners will rotate attendance at these meetings. They are held the first Wednesday of every month.
Interim Administrator Johnson reported that she had secured rooms for the Commissioners while attending the annual AMC conference December 3rd through 6th. She also gave an update from the October 24th workshop. The meeting started with a closed session to discuss the current wetlands conservation issue. The Board held a Teams meeting with George Eilertson from Northland Securities to discuss the steps moving forward with the County’s bonding process. The tax forfeited property we sold is now finalized and the new owner is living there.
Commissioner Olson made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Swenson. Motion carried.
Loren Younggren, Kittson County Board Chair
ATTEST: Shirley Swenson, Kittson County CFO
(November 29, 2023)
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