PENNINGTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
JUSTICE CENTER BOARD ROOM
JANUARY 24TH, 2023 – 10:00 A.M.
Pursuant to adjournment, the Pennington County Board of Commissioners met in the Pennington County Justice Center Board Room in Thief River Falls, MN, on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Members Present: Seth Nelson, Bruce Lawrence, Roy Sourdif, and Neil Peterson. Members absent: David Sorenson
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Peterson and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
The Chairman asked if there were any amendments to the agenda. The County Coordinator noted that Deputy Sheriff/Investigator Scott Mekash will present on behalf of Sheriff Vettleson, and Jail Administrator David Casanova will also present. Commissioner Nelson motioned, seconded by Commissioner Lawrence, to approve the Board agenda with the changes presented. Motion carried.
Recognition of Citizens: None.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve the Board of minutes of January 3rd, 2023, as presented. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve the Human Services warrants totaling $286,323.62 and the following Commissioner warrants. Motion carried.
County Revenue $204,657.36
Road & Bridge $ 96,272.82
Per diems and meal reimbursements in the amount of $57.44 were also approved.
Human Services Director Julie Sjostrand presented the consent agenda from the January 17th, 2023, Human Service Committee meeting. On a motion by Commissioner Lawrence and seconded by Commissioner Nelson, the following recommendations of the Pennington County Human Service Committee meeting for January 17th, 2023 (detailed minutes on record) are hereby adopted:
I. To approve the December 20, 2022, Human Service Committee meeting minutes.
II. To approve the Agency’s personnel action as presented.
III. A. To approve the 2023 Child Support Division Security Officer Agreement for Pennington County.
I. To approve payment of the Agency’s bills.
Deputy Sheriff/Investigator Scott Mekash presented the following items on behalf of Sheriff Vettleson.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve the transfer and promotion of Scott Mekash from Deputy Sheriff/Investigator to Chief Deputy Sheriff effective January 25th, 2023, at Step 4 of the non-union scale. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to authorize the County Sheriff to post internally and advertise externally if needed for the position of Full-Time Deputy Sheriff. Motion carried.
Jail Administrator David Casanova informed the Board that MEnD Correctional Care has filed for bankruptcy and has provided a March 1st, 2023, termination notice. He believes their services may end earlier than listed, and without medical services we cannot house inmates beyond 72 hours. He presented a proposed agreement with Advanced Correctional Healthcare (A.C.H.) for jail medical services at a cost of $20,583.25 per month. Following discussion, Commissioner Lawrence motioned, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to approve a contract agreement between Pennington County and Advanced Correctional Healthcare for jail medical services effective January 30th, 2023. Motion carried.
County Assessor Carl Bruzek presented an abatement application from Melinda Helle regarding Parcel Number 11.01402200. Ms. Helle incorrectly filed for special ag homestead and then later filed correctly for ag relative homestead, however, she failed to provide the required signature page. Motioned by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve the abatement application and abate the 2023 tax to reflect the agricultural relative homestead classification. Motion carried.
The County Board asked the County Coordinator to present his items to the Board.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve issuance of a duplicate warrant to Erin Johnson-Balstad in the amount of $46.91 to replace lost warrant 112354 dated June 2nd, 2023, without the issuance of an indemnifying bond. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to approve issuance of a duplicate warrant to Paul Maloney in the amount of $51.99 to replace lost warrant 195625 dated November 23rd, 2022, without issuance of an indemnifying bond. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to approve the appointment of Teresa Sands and Meg Kolden to the Pennington County Extension Committee for three-year terms effective January 1st, 2023. Motion carried.
The County Coordinator provided an update on asbestos removal on the 3rd floor of the Gov’t Center, noting that the work is expected to take two more weeks. Schmitz Builders, Inc. can be expected to begin their work on February 6th, 2023.
The Board discussed the $52,500 alternate bid by Schmitz Builders, Inc. for the remodel project, noting that it is for complete outside window replacement on the 3rd floor. Following discussion, Commissioner Lawrence motioned, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to approve the alternate bid of $52,500 by Schmitz Builders, Inc. for the Government Center 3rd floor project. Motion carried.
The County Coordinator informed the Board that the online auction of surplus items through Public Surplus was successful with over 50% of the items being sold to the public. Remaining surplus items were disposed of or sold as scrap metal.
Commissioner Sourdif recently attended a Chamber of Commerce meeting and was informed that the Career Workforce Center may be interested in the Human Services Building should the county decide to lease or sell in the future. Commissioner Peterson noted that another entity looking to relocate to TRF may also be interested in that building.
Commissioner Nelson attended an I.C.C.C meeting yesterday and the Director questioned if other members are needed on the Pennington County Opioid Committee. Commissioner Lawrence stated the committee is working on details and at this time is only looking within the county for members.
Commissioner Peterson recently attended a Northern Counties Land Use Board meeting. He reminded the Board that the AMC Conference is scheduled for February 21-23 and all Board members are scheduled to attend. He and Commissioner Lawrence also recently attended the first TRF Regional Airport Authority meeting of 2023.
At 10:30 a.m. the Chairman recessed the Board meeting and opened the Public Hearing on the Economic Development Tax Abatements.
Present at the Hearing: Commissioners Nelson, Peterson, Lawrence, and Sourdif, Auditor-Treasurer Jennifer Herzberg, County Coordinator Kevin Erickson, Mike Lorenson, Scott Mekash, and April Scheinoha – TRF Times.
Auditor-Treasurer Jennifer Herzberg reviewed the Economic Development Tax Abatement Policy and submitted those parcels that the City of Thief River Falls has determined as qualifying parcels. There are six new parcels that are part of this hearing and 14 parcels from previous years.
Hearing no comments on the abatements, Chairman Peterson closed the Public Hearing at 10:33 a.m. and the Board meeting was called back to order.
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve the abatement of the County’s portion of real estate tax for the following properties, as per the abatement policy and recommended by the City of Thief River Falls, and authorize the County Auditor-Treasurer to issue payment by Auditor’s warrant. Motion carried.
• 818 Alice Drive: First Southeast Addition Lot-015 Block-003. Parcel number 25.033.041.29 – James Trojanowski. Total estimated abatement is $1,378.39.
• 208 Willow Road: Noreen’s First Addition s122 of lot 21 & lot 22 less the SO 12’ Blk 4 Parcel Number 25.062.052.00 – Margaret Porter. Total estimated abatement is $962.60.
• 2024 Nelson Drive: MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition Lot-015 Block-001 Parcel number 25.121.015.10 – Shelby Hagen. Total estimated abatement is $961.51.
• 219 Duluth Avenue North: Original Townsite of Thief River Lots 9 & 10 Blk 39. Parcel number 25.003.332.90 – Lester John Larson. Total estimated abatement is $895.70.
• 212 Willow Road: Noreen’s First Addition SO 12’ of Lot 22, Lot 23, Lot 24 Less SO 44’ Blk 4 Parcel number 25.062.053.00 – Adrian Prestebak. Total estimated abatement is $971.83.
• 2028 Nelson Drive: MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition Lot-013 Block-001 Parcel number 25.121.013.10 – Bryce Gillie. Total estimated abatement is $1,202.38.
• 2004 Nelson Drive: Lot 4 Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition Lot-025 Block-001. Parcel number 25.121.025.10 – Lori Alvarado. Total estimated abatement is $682.38.
• 2022 Nelson Drive: MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition Lot-016 Block-001 Parcel number 25.121.016.10 – Shelby Erickson. Total estimated abatement is $1,396.87.
• 2015 Greenwood Street East: Lot 4, Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition. Parcel number 25.12100410 – Kellie Dagg. Total estimated abatement is $807.63.
• 2013 Greenwood Street East: Lot 3, Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition. Parcel number 25.121.003.10 – Tanner Nessen, Total estimated abatement is $983.79.
• 2103 Greenwood Street East: Lot 9, Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition. Parcel number 25.121.009.10 – Brandi Dorge. Total estimated abatement is $848.47.
• 2021 Greenwood Street East: Lot 7, Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition. Parcel number 25.121.007.10 – Mackenzie Swick. Total estimated abatement is $978.36.
• 1301 Labree Avenue North: Fairfield Addition s 137.4’ of Lot 16. Parcel number 25.022.017.00 – Diana Donarski. Total estimated abatement is $998.27.
• 2101 Greenwood Street East: Lot 8, Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition. Parcel number 25.121.008.10 – Tanner Dicken. Total estimated abatement $1,026.96.
• 108 Breezy Drive: Narverud’s First Addition South 45.5’ of North 116’ of Lot 3 Blk 2. Parcel number 25.043.004.21 – Wendall Wegge. Total estimated abatement is $1,481.99.
• 108 Gabbi Court: Useldinger First Addition Lot 003 Southerly Part of Lot 3. Parcel number 25.115.003.00 – Marcia Sandahl. Total estimated abatement is $1,284.89.
• 2017 Greenwood Street East: Lot 5, Block 1, MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition. Parcel number 25.121.005.10 – Jamie Englund. Total estimated abatement is $802.93.
• 2107 Greenwood Street East: MMCDC’s Greenwood Neighborhood Addition Lot-011 Block-001. Parcel number 25.121.011.10 – Christina Pribyl. Total estimated abatement is $983.48.
TRF City Councilman/County Constituent Mike Lorenson met with the Board. He stated that he is working to organize a meeting between the County Engineer and appropriate City of TRF staff regarding traffic congestion, access, and safety concerns near Challenger Elementary. Mr. Lorenson also wished to file a verbal complaint regarding the Board’s decision to hold all regular Commissioner meetings at 10:00 a.m. He stated that most constituents won’t be able to attend the Board meetings now due to work commitments. He voiced his concerns that the meetings are not being recorded, leaving the public unable to view meetings later. Discussion was held on the area internet service providers and streaming options. Commissioner Peterson noted that the county Technology Committee is discussing all options at this time and will take his concerns under advisement.
County Engineer Mike Flaagan presented a revised Cooperative Construction Agreement between Pennington County and MnDOT and a related resolution regarding the roundabout planned at the intersection of TH#59 and CSAH#8. The County will be responsible for electricity for lighting and the maintenance of two legs of the roundabout. The project is expected to go out for bid in March 2023. Motioned by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to approve the Cooperative Construction Agreement between Pennington County and MnDOT regarding the TH#59/CSAH#8 roundabout, and the following related resolution. Motion carried.
IT IS RESOLVED, that Pennington County enter into MnDOT Agreement No. 1051525 with the State of Minnesota, Department of Transportation for the following purposes:
To provide for payment by the County to the State of the County’s share of the costs of the roundabout construction to be performed upon, along, and adjacent to Trunk Highway No. 59 from 3055 feet north of County Road No. 61/County State Aid Highway No. 8 to County Road No. 53 and from 2590 feet north of County State Aid Highway No. 26 to TH 92 under State Project No. 5705-61 (TH 59=174) (“Project”).
Motioned by Commissioner Lawrence, seconded by Commissioner Sourdif, to authorize the County Engineer to advertise for bids for fuel, culverts, and equipment rental for 2023, and to open such bids on March 14th, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in the County Board Room. Motion carried.
Engineer Flaagan noted that ISD#564 and City of TRF-Public Works will meet this Thursday to discuss the traffic and access concerns at the subdivision south of Challenger school. Mr. Flaagan stated he monitored traffic in the area one day during peak school traffic, he noted that most vehicles were able to exit the subdivision within 10 seconds, with the longest wait being about 30 seconds.
County Attorney Items: None.
Motioned by Commissioner Sourdif, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to adjourn the Board meeting to February 14th, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Motion carried.
Neil Peterson, Chairman
Board of Commissioners
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATION
Warrants approved on
January 24, 2023 for payment on
January 27, 2023
ADVANCE THIEF RIVER $25,000.00
ASSOCIATION OF MN
CARGILL, INC. $8,103.58
FARMERS UNION OIL $16,240.24
CENTER INC. $5,000.00
HOFFMAN, PHILIPP, &
MARTELL, PLLC $2,800.00
KARPEL SOLUTIONS $2,662.49
CARE, PLLC $10,778.00
COMPUTER COOP $35,328.74
NORTHERN MOTORS INC. $40,620.00
READITECH IT SOLUTIONS $6,881.05
RED LAKE COUNTY COOP $2,414.82
SKILLET KITCHEN $24,809.84
ST. LOUIS COUNTY $2,000.00
TRUE NORTH STEEL $17,404.20
WEST GROUP PAYMENT
LESS THAN $2000 38,037.13
LESS THAN $2000 $38,037.13
Final Total: $300,930.18