SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE APRIL 14, 2020 ROSEAU COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING
The Board of Commissioners of Roseau County, Minnesota met in the Courthouse in the City of Roseau on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Board Chair Roger Falk. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Commissioners present were Roger Falk, John Horner, Jack Swanson, and Russell Walker. Daryl Wicklund connected through WebEx. Staff present were Jeff Pelowski, Joleen Kezar, Martie Monsrud, Brian Ketring, and Rich Gross. Others connected through WebEx were Sue Grafstrom, Pam Grand, Diane Gregerson, Steve Gust, Kristy Kjos, Karla Langaas, Liz Lund, Chris Stauffer, Cindy Tangen, Diane Roseen, Renae Hamilton, Brenda McMillin, June Wensloff, James Whitlow, Lori Peppel, Tracy Halstensgard, and Bruce Kimmel.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Consideration of an Addendum to the GIS Addressing System Grant was added to the Consent Agenda. The Board approved the amended Agenda.
COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Coordinator Pelowski confirmed with the Board that the Special Board Meeting scheduled for April 21st will start at 9:30 a.m. following the Social Services Board Meeting. Commissioner Swanson commented that Moe Lutheran Church Council has agreed to provide office space for the Team EPIC Coordinator if needed.
The Board approved the payment of bills totaling: $310,011.55
The Board, by adoption of its Consent Agenda, approved the March 31, 2020, Special Meeting Board Proceedings; approved a Letter of Resignation from the Sheriff’s Department; approved the Roseau County Trailblazers 3rd Benchmark payment, in the amount of $31,949.91; approved the Roseau/LOW Sportsman’s Club Request for Reimbursement, in the amount of $2,888.23; and, approved the GIS Address Grant Agreement Addendum as presented.
Maintenance Supervisor Hire
Engineer Ketring requested Board approval to promote Heavy Equipment Operator Jason Monsrud to the vacant Maintenance Supervisor position.
Following discussion, the Board approved the promotion of Jason Monsrud to the Maintenance Supervisor position, effective April 5, 2020, at a Grade 7, Step D ($27.04/hour).
Call for Bids – CSAH 7 Project
The Board discussed a Call for Bids for CP 068-599-101, a Flood Repair/Base Stabilization project. 2019 Fall flooding caused major damage to CSAH 7 in multiple locations west of CR 103. The road was temporarily repaired before freeze-up last fall and the road needs to be permanently repaired.
The bids would be received electronically and opened on May 18, 2020, 2:00 p.m., at the Roseau County Highway Department. Following discussion, the Board authorized Engineer Ketring to Call for Bids for this Project.
Local Bridge Replacement Program (LBRP) – Grant Agreement Engineer Ketring requested Board approval of a Resolution, which authorizes execution of the Grant Agreement for the LBRP, (SAP 068-598- 038). Following discussion, the Board approved the following Resolution:
2020-04-02 MnDOT Contract #: 1036821
For Grant Agreement to State Transportation Fund
Local Bridge Replacement Program
Grant Terms and Conditions
April 14, 2020
WHEREAS, Roseau County has applied to the Commissioner of Transportation for a grant from the Minnesota State Transportation Fund for construction of Bridge No. 90658; and
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of Transportation has given notice that funding for this project is available; and
WHEREAS, the amount of the grant has been determined to be $76,248.00 by reason of the lowest responsible bid;
NOW THEREFORE, be it resolved that Roseau County does hereby agree to the terms and conditions of the grant consistent with Minnesota Statutes, section 174.50, and will pay any additional amount by which the cost exceeds the estimate, and will return to the Minnesota State Transportation Fund any amount appropriated for the bridge not required. The proper county officers are authorized to execute a grant agreement and any amendments thereto with the Commissioner of Transportation concerning the above-referenced grant.
Repurchase of Tax Forfeited Property
Auditor Monsrud requested Board approval of a request to repurchase tax-forfeited property, located in the City of Warroad, by the previous landowners, Alfred and Laurence Stoskopf, and authorize the Auditor to submit the required paperwork to the State of Minnesota. Following discussion, the Board authorized the repurchase of the tax-forfeited property.
County Auditor Position
Auditor Monsrud requested Board approval to set a public hearing for 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 12, 2020, to solicit public comment concerning the possibility of changing the County Auditor position from elected to appointed. The Board discussed the current COVID-19 situation and the inability for the public to attend a hearing in person. Following a lengthy discussion, Board consensus was to table this request/discussion until the July 14, 2020, Regular Board meeting.
Summit Food Service Contract Amendment
Sheriff Gust requested Board approval of an amendment to the existing Summit Food Service Contract. The Amendment would be in effect from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, and it does include a small increase to both the management and administrative fees. The Board approved the amended Summit Food Service Contract Agreement.
COUNTY-OWNED LAND SALE
Auditor Monsrud opened the one bid submitted for the purchase of a 1-acre parcel of County-owned land located in Hereim Township. As previously directed by the Board, this parcel was offered for sale to the adjacent landowners only. The only bid submitted was by O’Neil Lund for $1,000.00.
The Board approved the bid.
PUBLIC HEARING – County Recorder Position
Coordinator Pelowski provided the following background information to the Board: There will be a vacancy in the office effective May 22, 2020, as Recorder Pam Grand is retiring from her elected position; the Board authorized advertising for an April 14, 2020, Public Hearing at their March 10, 2020,
Regular meeting; the Public Hearing Notice was published in both the Greenbush Tribune and the Roseau Times-Region for two consecutive weeks prior to the April 14, 2020, hearing date; and, the Board may, or may not, take action at today’s meeting following the Public Hearing. It was also noted that if action is taken today, the Resolution changing the Recorder’s Office from elected to appointed must be approved by at least a 4/5 vote. The Board opened the Public Hearing. Board Chair Falk stated that no written comments had been received from the public prior to the hearing. He then called for any oral comments from the public attending the meeting via WebEx. There were no oral comments received. Chair Falk then asked the Commissioners if they had any comments or concerns. Hearing none, the Board closed the Public Hearing. The Board unanimously approved the following Resolution:
RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE APPOINTED OFFICE OF COUNTY RECORDER
WHEREAS the office of Roseau County Recorder is currently an elective office; and
WHEREAS the elected Roseau County Recorder will be retiring effective May 22, 2020, prior to the term expiration date of December 31,
WHEREAS the office of County Recorder will be vacant within the meaning of Minn.Stat. § 351.02(2); and
WHEREAS the Roseau County Board of Commissioners (Board) wants to ensure that the individual holding this position possesses the skills and/or experience necessary to properly carry out the responsibilities of this position; and
WHEREAS the office of Roseau County Recorder may be rendered an appointive office by Resolution of the Board pursuant to Minn. Stat. §
375A.1205, subd. 6; and
WHEREAS the April 14, 2020, meeting of the Board did provide an opportunity for public comment of the Board’s decision.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 375A.1205, the Roseau County Board of Commissioners shall render the office of Roseau County Recorder appointive, effective May 23, 2020.
Following adoption of the Resolution, Coordinator Pelowski pointed out the Resolution would automatically be rescinded if only 10% of eligible voters sign a petition opposing the change within 30 days of the adoption date.
COUNTY BOARD ITEMS
COVID-19 Situation Update
Emergency Manager Grafstrom provided a detailed update for the Board. Following discussion, Coordinator Pelowski presented an updated Temporary County Employee Policy. In short, the Policy requires an update as the existing Policy expires on April 19, 2020, and the Federal “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (FFCRA) needs to be referenced in the updated Policy. Following review of the updated Policy, the Board approved the updated
Temporary County Employee Policy as presented.
Commissioner Committee Reports (March 24 to April 14, 2020)
Commissioner Falk reported on the following committee(s): County Board Special Meeting; Operations Committee/Board Work Session.
Commissioner Horner reported on the following committee(s): Inter-Government Policy Committee; County Board Special Meeting; Line 3 Informational Meeting; AMC COVID-19 Webinar; Roseau County Stakeholder Webinar; Operations Committee/Board Work Session.
Commissioner Swanson reported on the following committee(s): Northwest Emergency Communications Board Grants Workgroup; Community Meeting; Roseau Economic Development Authority; Minnesota Department of Health Public Information Officer Teleconference(s); Zoom Training; Roseau City Council Emergency Meeting; Roseau County Board Special Meeting; Roseau Community; Association of Minnesota Counties COVID-19 Webinar; Emergency Management Stakeholders Teleconference; Roseau City Council; Roseau School Board; Operations Committee/Board Work Session; Community Meeting; National Association of Counties Community, Economic and Workforce Development Subcommittee; Statewide Emergency Communications Board Finance Committee Teleconference; Team EPIC; Minnesota Department of Health Public Information Officer Teleconference; Roseau City Council Emergency Meeting.
Commissioner Walker reported on the following committee(s): Minnesota Rural Counties Executive Committee; County Board Special Meeting; Operations Committee/Board Work Session.
Commissioner Wicklund reported on the following committee(s): County Board Special Meeting; Operations Committee/Board Work Session; Northwest Regional Development Commission; Land of the Dancing Sky Committee.
DELEGATIONS – BOARD APPOINTMENTS
Bruce Kimmel, Ehlers – Roseau County Bond Options Presentation Mr. Kimmel, the County’s Bond Counsel, presented an overview of various bonding options available to the County should they decide to move forward with the proposed Highway Department Project. A detailed presentation consisting of six options, a bond sale schedule and a timeline was provided to the Board. Following the presentation, a lengthy discussion ensued. Ultimately, Board consensus was to take no action at this time, but will continue this discussion at a future Board meeting.
Upon motion carried, the Board adjourned the Regular meeting at 11:40 a.m. The next Special meeting of the Board is scheduled for Tuesday, April=21, 2020, at 9:30 a.m., and the next Regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.
SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE APRIL 21, 2020 ROSEAU COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING
The Board of Commissioners of Roseau County, Minnesota met in Special Session held at the Courthouse in the City of Roseau on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
CALL TO ORDER
The Special Meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Board Chair Roger Falk. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Commissioners present were Roger Falk, John Horner, and Russell Walker. Jack Swanson and Daryl Wicklund attended through WebEx. Others attending through WebEx were Jeff Pelowski, Joleen Kezar, Kristy Kjos, Brian Ketring, Martie Monsrud, Chris Stauffer, Sue Grafstrom, Diane Gregerson, Martin Howes, Karla Langaas, Liz Lund, Pam Shaw, Cindy Tangen, Sandi Weiland, and Mike Trinka.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The Board approved the Agenda.
COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
There were no comments or announcements.
COUNTY BOARD ITEMS
COVID-19 Pandemic – Situation Update
Emergency Management Director Grafstrom provided an update, as follows:
• Minnesota has the lowest mortality percentage rate. What the State of Minnesota has been doing is working.
• There will be a drive for homemade masks this weekend at the fire stations in the County.
• Northwest Community Action has applied for a grant to house people that test positive, but do not require hospitalization, in hotel rooms in order to contain the spread of the virus. Essential services such as food, medicine, and transportation would be provided.
• A New York Times article dated April 20, 2020, was distributed. The article was entitled “COVID-19 Vaccine Truths regarding Vaccine Development, Vaccine Production, and Drug Treatments”. According to the author of the article, it will take at least 12 to 18 months to have a marketable vaccine.
• According to Director Grafstrom, four goals need to be achieved in order to reopen the State of MN: 1) A sustained reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases for at least 14 days; 2) State and regional hospitals must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization; 3) Must have the capacity to test anyone who has symptoms; and, 4) Must be able to aggressively trace all known contacts of COVID-19 positive patients.
• Director Grafstrom believes that Roseau County needs to develop a “Plan for Responding to a Roseau County COVID-19 Outbreak”, including: 1) The County needs to develop plans to aggressively trace the known contacts of COVID-19 positive cases, (the MN Dept of Health performs this task at the current time); 2) Coordinating a concerted effort between Altru, Lifecare, and Roseau County Public Health to perform a number of COVID-19 related tasks, (the County medical facilities/agencies currently perform this task).
Following discussion, there was no Board action taken.
There was a discussion on what the County could do to help re-open small businesses with social distancing still in effect. This would require a modification of the State-mandated stay-at-home order.
The topic of property tax relief options was discussed at length. Approximately 10 counties have enacted some sort of property tax relief; with the most prevalent being delaying penalties and interest on delinquent 1st half payments for a two month period. It was pointed out that payment of 2nd half taxes may be a bigger issue if the current situation continues. The MN Legislature is still debating the property tax relief issue as well. The Association of MN Counties (AMC) is recommending that individual counties hold off on enacting relief measures until the Legislature decides what they plan to do. If the State plan is not adequate, then AMC would lead a coordinated effort amongst counties to develop a property tax relief plan. Following a lengthy discussion, Board consensus was to continue to follow the guidance being provided by AMC.
Finally, Coordinator Pelowski informed the Board that the Federal Legislature is currently working on the massive COVID19–3.5 legislation. Both NACo and AMC are lobbying for direct relief payments to counties. The current version of the legislation contains approximately $500M for MN counties; Roseau County’s share would be approximately $1.34M. He urged the Commissioners to contact our Federal legislative delegation and ask them to approve direct payment to Counties.
Upon motion carried, the Board adjourned the Special meeting at 11:00 a.m. The next Regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.
(May 6, 2020)