Roseau County (Minn.) Commissioner Proceedings

SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE JUNE 23, 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, June 23, 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, Russell Walker, and Daryl Wicklund. Staff present were Joleen Kezar, Jeff Pelowski, Martie Monsrud, Amy Carlson, Brian Ketring, and Rich Gross. Others attending through WebEx were Russ Anderson, Sue Grafstrom, Diane Gregerson, Martin Howes, Kristy Kjos, Karla Langaas, Chris Stauffer, Cindy Tangen, Mike Trinka, and Sandi Weiland. APPROVAL OF AGENDA Commissioner Swanson requested the addition of a discussion on the NACO Virtual Annual Conference to County Board Items. Coordinator Pelowski requested the addition of a discussion regarding the Highway Engineer position to County Board Items. Commissioner Wicklund requested the addition of a discussion on flood damages in the western portion of the County added to County Board Items. The Board approved the amended Agenda. COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Coordinator Pelowski noted that the Northwest Regional Library system will be re-opening by Monday, June 29th. Coordinator Pelowski requested Board direction regarding the upcoming July 7, 2020, Operations Committee/County Board Work Session. Board consensus was to hold a Special Board Meeting, but to include a Roundtable Discussion with the Department Heads as a part of the meeting Agenda. APPROVE BILLS The Board approved the payment of bills totaling: $5,695,392.96 CONSENT AGENDA The Board, by adoption of its Consent Agenda, approved the June 9, 2020, Regular Board Proceedings; approved the Warroad River Watershed District Board Appointment Authorization to Advertise; approved the Warroad Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited Application for Exempt Permit; approved the 2020 Boat and Water Safety Grant in the amount of $2,694.00; approved the Roseau/LOW Sportsman’s Club Request for Reimbursement in the amount of $29,058.44; and approved a Payroll Change request for the Social Services Director, (annual step increase – 13C to 13D), effective July 1, 2020. PUBLIC HEARING – County Auditor Position Coordinator Pelowski provided the following background information to the Board: Auditor Monsrud agreed to start the public process to make the office of Auditor an appointed position on May 19, 2020; the Board authorized advertising for a June 23, 2020, Public Hearing at their May 19, 2020 Special Board Meeting; the Public Hearing Notice was published in both the Greenbush Tribune and the Roseau Times-Region for two consecutive weeks prior to the June 23, 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 Auditor’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 approved by a 4 – 0 vote, (roll call vote with Commissioner Falk abstaining), to approve the following Resolution: 2020-06-01 RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE APPOINTED OFFICE OF COUNTY AUDITOR WHEREAS the office of Roseau County Auditor is currently an elective office; and WHEREAS the elected Roseau County Auditor has agreed to enter into an “Appointed Employment Agreement” (Agreement) which authorizes the Roseau County Board of Commissioners (Board) to establish the position of appointed County Auditor; and WHEREAS the 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 Auditor may be rendered an appointive office by Resolution of the Board pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 375A.1205, Subd. 6; and WHEREAS the June 23, 2020 meeting of the Board did provide an opportunity for public comment. 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 Auditor appointive, effective the later of July 23, 2020, or the date the Employment Agreement is finalized. DEPARTMENT REPORTS Auditor/Recorder Deputy Recorder Job Description Revision/MRA Rating Auditor/Recorder Monsrud requested Board approval of the revised job description for the Deputy Recorder position and the MRA rating of 220 points, which is a Center Grade 5, Extended Range Grade 4 rating. Following discussion, the Board approved the revised Deputy Recorder job description and the MRA position rating. Chief Deputy Recorder Job Description/MRA Rating Auditor/Recorder Monsrud requested Board approval of the job description for the new Chief Deputy Recorder position and the MRA rating of 269 points, which is a Center Grade 6, Extended Range Grade 7. Auditor Monsrud also requested Board approval to promote Renae Hamilton to the Chief Deputy Recorder position at a Grade 6, Step E, effective retroactively to May 26, 2020. Following discussion, the Board approved the revised Chief Deputy Recorder job description, the MRA new position rating, and the promotion of Renae Hamilton to the position at a Grade 6, Step E pay rate, effective May 26, 2020. 2020 County Board of Appeal and Equalization Meeting Minutes Auditor/Recorder Monsrud requested Board approval of the June 16, 2020, County Board of Appeal and Equalization Meeting Minutes. The Board approved the minutes. COUNTY BOARD ITEMS COVID-19 Situation Update Coordinator Pelowski and Emergency Manager Grafstrom provided an update for the Board; including, a summary of the June 22, 2020, Public Health meeting, (no additional positive cases in Roseau County); the legislature did not pass the CARES Act prior to adjourning the Special Session; there is ongoing debate whether or not there will be another Special Session called by Governor Walz; State-wide numbers are going up in Counties where there are meat processing plants; and the number of ICU cases are down while the testing capabilities have improved. NACO Annual Conference Commissioner Swanson informed the Board that the NACO Annual Conference will be a “virtual conference” this year, but they will need to register for the conference if they plan to attend. Board consensus was that Commissioner Falk be designated the registered voter for Roseau County at the conference, which will begin on July 13, 2020. Highway Engineer Discussion Engineer Ketring met with the Board to submit a Letter of Resignation for Board consideration. If accepted, his last day of employment with the County would be July 24, 2020, as Mr. Ketring has accepted a position with MnDOT as the Region 2 State Aid Engineer. Following discussion, the Board accepted Engineer Ketring’s resignation and approved advertising for his replacement. Flood Damage to Western Portion of the County Discussion Commissioner Wicklund discussed a culvert that was installed at the intersection of Sections 35 and 36 in Dewey Township. Dewey Township Board member, Russ Anderson, addressed the Board via WebEX. Mr. Anderson stated that after each rain event, the Township Board members receive calls requesting that they approach the County for assistance. His suggestion to address the problem is to clean the whole ditch system and move the culvert one-quarter mile north. Engineer Ketring stated that that ditch system is on the schedule to be cleaned, and he suggested that the Township Board initiate the process to relocate the culvert by contacting/ petitioning the Watershed District. The Board and Engineer Ketring also discussed a damaged culvert in the SD 95 system. There was no action taken. Commissioner Committee Reports (June 9 – June 23, 2020) Commissioner Falk reported on the following committee(s): Social Services Board; County Board of Appeal and Equalization; Association of MN Counties (AMC) District 3 Meeting; Northwest Community Action Board. Commissioner Horner reported on the following committee(s): Social Services Board; County Board of Appeal and Equalization; AMC District 3 Meeting; Warroad City Council; Lake Township Board. Commissioner Swanson reported on the following committee(s): Jadis Township Board; Northwest MN Emergency Communications Board; Community Meeting(s); Roseau City Council; Roseau Community; Roseau School Board; AMC Blue Ribbon Governance Panel; AMC District 3 Meeting; Emergency Management Pandemic Response; Social Services Board; County Board of Appeal and Equalization; AMC Public Safety Policy Committee; AMC Board of Directors. Commissioner Walker reported on the following committee(s): Social Services Board; County Board of Appeal and Equalization. Commissioner Wicklund reported on the following committee(s): Social Services Board; County Board of Appeal and Equalization; Land of the Dancing Sky Agency on Aging Committee; Two Rivers Watershed 1W1P; Moose Township Board. Upon motion carried, the Board adjourned the Regular meeting at 10:30 a.m. The next Special meeting of the Board is scheduled for Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 8:30 a.m., and the next Regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. SUMMARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE JULY 7, 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, July 7, 2020. CALL TO ORDER The Special 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, Jack Swanson, Russell Walker, and Daryl Wicklund. John Horner attended through WebEx. Staff present were Jeff Pelowski, Joleen Kezar, Martin Howes, Brian Ketring, Martie Monsrud, and Mike Trinka. Others attending through WebEx were Kristy Kjos, Sue Grafstrom, Diane Gregerson, Steve Gust, Karla Langaas, Liz Lund, Pam Shaw, Chris Stauffer, Rich Gross, Cindy Tangen, and Patty Ignaszewski. APPROVAL OF AGENDA Engineer Ketring requested the addition of Highway Department Pay Grade revision requests to County Board Items. Commissioner Swanson requested the addition of a discussion on possible locations available for future Board meetings to County Board Items. The Board approved the amended Agenda. COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Commissioner Swanson commented that he received an e-mail from the Association of MN Counties (AMC) regarding the National Association of Counties Annual Conference registration. AMC is requesting that Commissioners planning to attend the conference register as soon as possible. COUNTY BOARD ITEMS Roundtable Discussion – Commissioners / Department Heads Assessor – The vehicle they purchased has arrived in time to assist in ongoing assessments. Auditor/Recorder – The CARES Act funding has been received by the County. That funding can be used to reimburse eligible COVID-related expenses. Also, Auditor/Recorder Monsrud has not yet heard back on the Malung easement issue which was brought up at a previous meeting. Coordinator – Coordinator Pelowski requested direction from the Board regarding the logistics concerning future Regular Board meetings. Board consensus was to stop holding WebEX Board meetings; begin holding in-person meetings in the Boardroom; and, to allow the general public and County staff to attend the meetings by appointment only in order to ensure the social distancing requirements are addressed. Court Administration – They have been working on a plan for conducting jury trials, as they are being scheduled for August, 2020. Their plan is to conduct Health screenings prior to allowing entrance to the Courthouse, and the Courtrooms have been re-aligned to accommodate social distancing. Emergency Management – A State of Emergency Declaration for flood issues is included in today’s Agenda for Board consideration. In addition, EM, along with IT and the Sheriff’s Office have been moving forward with the new 911 system. IT – In addition to the 911 system discussion, it was noted that the County website is getting a GIS upgrade, which will be more user friendly for mobile users. Social Services – Director Langaas dispelled the rumor that the Social Services building has a COVID outbreak; however, they have some employees that are self-isolating and working from home. Treasurer – Property tax revenues are still coming in; and, the traffic has increased for Vital Statistics Records since the Courthouse reopened. Veterans Service Office – His office received a COVID Response Grant for Veterans. To-date, approximately 20 veterans have received assistance through this grant. COVID-19 Pandemic – Situation Update Emergency Management Director Grafstrom provided an update; including, LifeCare has the capability for conducting Rapid Tests; Public Health has started contract tracing; the recent positive tests reported in the County were due to exposure at events located outside the County; and, the Department of Education will be determining how schools will be operating this fall. Coordinator Pelowski reported that the County, Cities and Townships in the County will receive a total of $2,534,816 in CARES Act funding. The County will ultimately have to develop a program to allocate their share of that funding. He read an excerpt from a Stearns County letter on how they are administering their funding; however, he recommended that the Board take no action at this time as we are awaiting further guidance from AMC. Temporary Employee Policy Coordinator Pelowski presented the Temporary Employee Policy which sunsets on July 7, 2020. He recommended extending the existing Policy through August 12, 2020. Following discussion, the Board approved the updated Temporary Employee Policy. The updated policy is available for review in the County Coordinator’s office. Building Maintenance Supervisor – Job Description Review (MRA) Authorization Supervisor Trinka has completed the required six-month probationary period; the existing job description for the Building Maintenance Supervisor is no longer accurate; the job description is being re-written and, when completed, will require MRA review and rating. Following discussion, the Board approved submitting a revised job description to MRA for review and rating. Pay Grade Revision Request – Veteran Services Officer (VSO) Position The VSO position was rated at 292 points by MRA, which is a Center Grade 7, Extended Range Grade(s) 6 or 8 rating. The request is to move from the Center Grade (7) into the Extended Range (8) of the pay chart, as the 2020 Association of MN Counties Salary Survey data supports this request. Following discussion, the Board approved the Payroll Change for VSO Howes (Grade 7G to Grade 8E), effective July 12, 2020. Highway Department – Pay Grade Revision Requests Engineer Ketring met with the Board to request approval of Payroll Change Forms for the Office Manager/Accountant, Senior Highway Technician, Assistant Engineer-Construction, and Assistant Engineer-Maintenance positions. Ketring provided the Board with data from surrounding counties to support these requests. Following discussion, the Board approved the following payroll changes: Office Manager/Accountant – from an Extended Range 6 to a Center Grade 7; Senior Highway Technician – from an Extended Range 7 to a Center Grade 8; Assistant Engineer-Construction – Center Grade 10 to an Extended Range 11; and, Assistant Engineer-Maintenance – Center Grade 10 to an Extended Range 11. All of the changes would be effective July 12, 2020. Auditor/Recorder Position After the merger of the Auditor and Recorder positions, a new job description was written and submitted to MRA for review and rating. MRA has rated this position at a Center Grade 13, Extended Range Grade(s) 12 and 14. Following discussion, the Board approved the revised job description; MRA rating results; and, the subsequent Payroll Change from Grade 11G ($41.39/hour) to Grade 13F ($47.59/hour), effective retroactively to May 26, 2020. The last step in the process of converting the Auditor/Recorder position from elected to appointed is the execution of an Employment Agreement. Following review of the Agreement, the Board approved the Agreement, effective July 23, 2020. State of Emergency Declaration – Resolution Roseau County has met the $28,000.00 damage threshold to declare a State of Emergency for conditions resulting from the significant rainfall during June 17 and June 18, 2020. The Townships of Dewey, Lind, Moose, Polonia, Dieter, Dewey, and Barto responded with the property damage reports in each of their Townships. Following discussion, the Board approved the following Resolution: 2020-07-01 RESOLUTION DECLARING A STATE OF EMERGENCY WHEREAS, the significant rain June 17, 2020 through June 18, 2020 has the potential to impact the population of Roseau County and its cities; and WHEREAS, the potential for a high water or major flooding event could cause a significant amount of public property damage; and WHEREAS, Roseau County Homeland Security and Emergency Management requests the Roseau County Board of Commissioners to declare Roseau County in a STATE OF EMERGENCY for the preparation of mitigation of and/or flood response. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Roseau County Board of Commissioners declares Roseau County in a STATE OF EMERGENCY for conditions resulting from the significant rainfall during June 17, 2020 through June 18, 2020. Wannaska Sewer District Discussion Commissioner Walker initiated a discussion of the Wannaska sewer project, and the Sanitary District who administers the project. Commissioner Walker stated that the District is having financial difficulty and that they have asked if the County could provide any assistance. Coordinator Pelowski provided a detailed background of the project and the formation of the District. Following discussion, there was no action taken. Future County Board Meeting Locations/Options Commissioner Swanson requested that the Board consider moving County Board meetings to the Roseau City Center. The City Council Chambers can accommodate more people than the County Boardroom, which would allow the County to discontinue holding WebEX meetings and revert to holding in-person meetings. Following discussion, Board consensus was to hold in-person bi-monthly Regular Board meetings, and the monthly Social Services Board meeting, in the County Boardroom. Access to these meetings by the general public and County staff would be by appointment only. In addition, consensus was to submit a request to the City of Roseau for the County to use the Council Chambers for the monthly Operations Committee/Board Work Session/Special Board Meetings. This would allow enough space to accommodate the Commissioners and County Department Heads. Upon motion carried, the Board adjourned the Special meeting at 11:15 a.m. The next Regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (July 22, 2020)

Leave a Comment