Pennington Co. Board of Commissioners Meeting

January 11, 2023
OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS
PENNINGTON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
JUSTICE CENTER BOARD ROOM
DECEMBER 29TH, 2022 – 5:00 P.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 Thursday, December 29th, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Members Present: Seth Nelson, Bruce Lawrence, Darryl Tveitbakk, David Sorenson, and Neil Peterson. Members absent: None.
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lawrence and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Chairman Lawrence asked if there were any amendments to the agenda. The County Coordinator noted that Chief Deputy Sheriff Seth Vettleson will replace EMD Erik Beitel at 5:45 p.m. and Constituent Michael Lorenson has been added at 5:50 p.m. Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Sorenson, to approve the Board agenda with the changes presented. Motion carried.
Recognition of Citizens: None.
Motioned by Commissioner Sorenson, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to approve the Board of minutes of December 13th, 2022, with one correction as presented by the County Coordinator. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Sorenson, to approve the Human Services warrants totaling $286,473.22 and the following Commissioner warrants. Motion carried.
County Revenue $ 81,952.91
Road & Bridge $286,242.06
Penn Co.
Human Service I. $ 484.50
Ditch Funds $ 24,054.25
Per diems and meal reimbursements in the amount of $1,510.73 were also approved.
Human Services Director Julie Sjostrand presented the consent agenda from the December 20th, 2022, Human Service Committee Meeting. On a motion by Commissioner Peterson and seconded by Commissioner Tveitbakk, the following recommendations of the Pennington County Human Service Committee for December 20th, 2022 (detailed minutes on record) are hereby adopted:
SECTION A

I. To approve the November 15, 2022, Human Service Committee Meeting minutes.
II. To approve the agency’s personnel action as presented.
III. A. To approve the CY 2023 Behavioral Health (Community-Based Services/Residential/ Temporary Confinement) Purchase of Service Agreements Between Sanford Behavioral Health and Pennington County Human Services as presented. B. To approve the Provider Participation Agreement by and between UCare Minnesota and Pennington County Human Services as presented.
C. To approve the CY 2023 Child Welfare Opiate Allocation Agency Plan as presented.
D. To approve the CY 2023 CSP (Community Support Plan) MDH County Grant Contract as presented.
SECTION B
I. To approve payment of the Agency’s bills.
Ms. Sjostrand expressed her appreciation and thanks to Commissioner Tveitbakk for his years of service to the County and the Human Services Dept.
MN DNR Supervisor Doug Franke discussed a potential land acquisition by Pheasants Forever and the Prairie Chicken Society in Bray Township, consisting of approximately 330 acres. If the sale occurs, it is expected the land will be donated to the State/DNR and likely would become part of the Goose Lake WMA. Discussion was held on the property and the loss of tax value should the land be donated to the State. Motioned by Commissioner Sorenson, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to support and approve the potential McCullough/Pheasants Forever, Prairie Chicken Society land sale. Discussion followed with Mr. Franke noting the County will have to determine the property value if the sale occurs, which will determine the PILT payment if the land is in fact donated to the State/DNR. Commissioner Peterson requested the MN DNR and the County discuss state-owned properties in Norden and Numedal Townships if this sale/donation takes place. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
County Engineer Mike Flaagan discussed an agreement between Pennington County and the State of MN-MnDOT regarding federal funding, whereas the county desires that MnDOT act as its agent in accepting federal funds on its behalf for a CSAH#7 project. The funds would move to the county as needed and as the project is completed. Motioned by Commissioner Peterson, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to approve an agreement between Pennington County and the State of MN – MnDOT as stated above and also the following related resolution. Motion carried.
RESOLUTION
BE IT RESOLVED, that pursuant to Minnesota Statute Sec. 161.36, the Commissioner of Transportation be appointed as the Agent of the County of Pennington to accept as its agent, federal aid funds which may be made available for eligible transportation related projects.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Pennington County Board Chairman and the Pennington County Auditor-Treasurer are hereby authorized and directed for and on behalf of Pennington County to execute and enter into an agreement with the Commissioner of Transportation prescribing the terms and conditions of said federal aid participation as set forth and contained in “Minnesota Department of Transportation Agency Agreement No. 1052185”, a copy of which said agreement was before the County Board and which is made a part hereof by reference.
Commissioner Peterson wished to express his thanks and commended the Highway Department for their good work on our roads during the recent snow storms.
Chief Deputy Sheriff/Sheriff Elect Seth Vettleson met with the Board and also commended the Highway Dept. for their work on our roads and for their assistance with an ambulance that became stuck during a recent transport. Mr. Vettleson also congratulated Commissioner Tveitbakk on his retirement and thanked him for his service to the County and support of our law enforcement.
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to approve a leave of absence for Deputy Sheriff Seth Vettleson pursuant to Minnesota Statute 3.088, Subd. 1, effective January 3rd, 2023. Motion carried.
County Attorney Seamus Duffy notified the Board and others present that the swearing in of elected officials for 2023 will be held on January 3rd, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in the Justice Center Board Room.
Mr. Duffy noted that the sentencing hearing for Eric Reinbold will be held on January 11th, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.
Mike Lorenson, County Constituent and TRF Ward 3 City Councilman, met with the Board and wished to commend the efforts by the City and County in their work to remove snow and maintain our roads following the recent storms.
Mr. Lorenson discussed the subdivision south of Challenger elementary school, noting that there is only one access road, which is off CSAH#8. He noted a recent emergency in the subdivision and how CSAH#8 congestion during school pick up and drop off times could pose safety issues. He would like to see the city and county work together on a resolution to this issue. Commissioner Peterson asked that Mr. Lorenson contact Travis Giffen of the City of TRF and work with the County Engineer on this issue.
Mr. Lorenson made a formal request to the County Board to publicize or stream and record their Board meetings. The Board took his request under consideration.
County Sheriff Ray Kuznia presented and discussed the following LEC items:
Motioned by Commissioner Peterson, seconded by Commissioner Tveitbakk, to approve a M.O.U. between Pennington County and Teamsters Local 320, thereby delegating the duties related to fraud/juvenile welfare investigations to Deputy Sheriff Melissa Larson, with compensation at 4% above Deputy Sheriff pay. Discussion was held with Commissioner Lawrence noting the matter has gone before the Personnel Committee and is recommended for approval. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to approve the adjustment of Records Clerk Krystal Carlson from Step 3 to Step 5 of the wage scale effective January 1st, 2023. Discussion followed with Sheriff Kuznia noting the change is due to additional duties delegated to the position. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
Sheriff Kuznia thanked the Board for their cooperation and support throughout his years as County Sheriff, and he feels confident in the future of the department with the Sheriff Elect. The Board also thanked Mr. Kuznia for his years of service as County Sheriff as well as his years as a Deputy Sheriff and wished him well in his retirement.
Auditor-Treasurer Items:
Motioned by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to approve issuance of the following licenses for 2023. Motion carried.
Goodridge Municipal Liquor Store Cigarette & Tobacco License
Kruse In of St. Hilaire Cigarette & Tobacco License
Kruse In of St. Hilaire 3.2 Off-Sale Liquor License
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to transfer $78,679.04 from various ditch maintenance funds to the Road & Bridge Fund for work done by the Highway Department in 2022. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Peterson, seconded by Commissioner Sorenson, to authorize the County Auditor-Treasurer to make temporary transfers, as outlined by Auditor-Treasurer, to bring ditch balances to a positive balance at the end of 2022. Motion carried.
County Coordinator Items:
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Nelson, to approve and authorize the County Coordinator to sign Memorandums of Understanding between Pennington County and the following unions, whereas the County will increase annual employer contributions to HSA/VEBA accounts for the MSI PP MN $5000-0% HSA/VEBA plan to $3,150 for single plans and $3,800 for family plans, effective January 1st, 2023. Motion carried.
Teamsters Local No. 320 – Dispatch/COs/Jail Program Director/STS
Teamsters Local No. 320 – Deputies
International Union of Operating
Engineers (I.U.O.E.), Local #49
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Sorenson, to approve a Memorandum of Agreement between Pennington County and Carolyn Beck Glesne regarding the removal and transfer of ownership of the mural currently located on the 3rd floor of the Government Center and authorize the Chairman to sign the same. Commissioner Lawrence noted that the location references of mural in the document must be changed from the east to west. The County Coordinator will make the changes. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Tveitbakk, to approve a 3% C.O.L.A. for the position of Crime Victim Advocate effective January 1st, 2023. Discussion followed with it noted that the wage and COLA are determined by a grant that funds the position. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Sorenson, to approve a salary increase for Assistant County Attorney Kristin Hanson to $105,000 effective January 1st, 2023. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Nelson, seconded by Commissioner Tveitbakk, to approve a pay increase for Veteran’s Service Officer Stephen Stone to $36.62/hour effective January 1st, 2023. Motion carried.
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to approve advertising for one, Full-Time Deputy Registrar Assistant in the Motor Vehicle Department. Motion carried.
County Coordinator Kevin Erickson provided an update on the Government Center 3rd floor remodel, noting that surplus assets are being sold via public auction and will be removed from that floor prior to asbestos removal, which is expected to begin January 9th, 2023.
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to set the salary of the County Sheriff Elect Seth Vettleson at $102,000 effective 01/03/23. Discussion followed with Commissioner Tveitbakk stating that the Board reviews elected official salaries annually with any adjustments effective July 1st, except for County Commissioner salaries which are effective January 1st of the following year. Following discussion, the motion was carried.
The County Coordinator noted that a bid opening regarding the 3rd floor remodel of the Government Center was held on December 13th, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. in the County Board Room. The following three bids, including alternate bids for window replacements, were opened at that time:
BCI Construction, Inc. $1,775,000 (base); $66,000 (alternate)
Diversified Contractors, Inc. $1,598,000 (base); $61,000 (alternate)
Schmitz Builders, Inc. $1,445,000 (base); $52,500 (alternate)
Brian Bergstrom, Principal/Project Manager from SEH, Inc. (via Zoom) was called upon to review the bids. Mr. Bergstrom stated that Schmitz Builders submitted the low base and alternate bids of $1,445,000 and $52,500, respectively. The bids have been qualified and he is recommending the base bid of Schmitz Builders be approved. Commissioner Tveitbakk questioned if any subcontractors are known at this time, with Mr. Bergstrom stating they are not. Commissioner Lawrence questioned the deadline to respond on the alternate bid, with Mr. Bergstrom stating they have 30 days from when the base bid is accepted. Commissioner Tveitbakk asked that Mr. Bergstrom review and provide his recommendation to the Board on the alternate bid. Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to accept and approve the base bid of $1,445,000 by Schmitz Builders, Inc. for the remodel of the Pennington County Government Center 3rd floor as the best and lowest bid received. Discussion followed with the County Coordinator noting that A.R.P.A. funds will be used to fund this project. Following discussion, the motion was carried. The Board thanked Mr. Bergstrom for his assistance with the bidding process.
Committee Reports/Commissioner Updates:
On behalf of the County Board, Commissioner Peterson expressed his thanks to Commissioner Tveitbakk for his years of service as a County Commissioner and wished him well in his retirement.
Motioned by Commissioner Tveitbakk, seconded by Commissioner Peterson, to adjourn the Board meeting to January 3rd, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Motion carried.
ATTEST:
Kevin Erickson,
County Coordinator
Pennington County
Bruce Lawrence, Chairman
Board of Commissioners

PENNINGTON COUNTY’S
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATION Warrants approved on
December 29, 2022 for payment on December 30, 2022
Vendor Amount
AMERICAN SOLUTIONS
FOR BUSINESS $2,985.10
BERT’S TRUCK EQUIPMENT
OF MOORHEAD $132,395.00
CLIMATE CONTROL, INC. $2,463.96
DEPT OF CORRECTIONS
FINANCIAL SERVICES $6,522.38
HOFFMAN, PHILIPP, & MARTELL,
PLLC $7,910.00
HUDSON ELECTRIC, LLC $3,450.00
ISTATE TRUCK
CENTER $117,433.00
JEFF OLSON
CONSTRUCTION $36,583.00
MN COUNTY ATTORNEYS
ASSN $2,850.00
MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS $4,995.00
NORTHDALE OIL INC. $9,287.52
QUALITY SPRAY FOAM
LLC $10,620.25
READITECH
IT SOLUTIONS $16,955.79
SKILLET KITCHEN $12,463.00
79 PAYMENTS LESS THAN
$2000 $25,819.72
Final Total: $392,733.72