BC Still Debating 911 Issue

The Barnes County Commissioners addressed city concerns regarding changes to the county’s 911 system at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Valley City City Administrator was present to address the city’s concerns in regards to the county taking over 911 operations after contracting with the city for 911 operations for more than 20 years.

In other business the County Commission agreed to publish the deadline for applying for county board appointments as Mon. November 26.

The Commission approved a $1.00 per hour pay raise through Jan. 8, for Human Services Assistant Katy Palmer for her additional seasonal workload. Commissioner Eldred Knutson voted no because he was not informed of the details of the vote prior to the meeting, he said.

The commission also voted to send Human Services staff to ASSIST suicide prevention training at a cost of $2,800. The commission also agreed that Social Services Director Heather Pautz should look into the cost of updating her child welfare staff to smartphones to make it easier for them to schedule appointments, keep in touch with clients, etc.

Missouri River Energy Services shared a lighting assessment for the Barnes County Courthouse, and the highway building. The Commissioner agreed that the county should continue to investigate cost savings by changing lighting in both building.

The commission also approved setting a deadline Mon., November 19 as the last date that owners of property eligible for sale for back taxes may redeem the property for the total amount of taxes owed. A public sale on tax-forclosed property will be at 8 a.m. on Fri., November 9.

The commission considered an appeal from Carol Nelson, who represented Doris Smith, regarding back taxes on property Smith owns. Smith inherited the property after her husband died in 2009. Smith found that the property had a 99-year lease on in by Koch Asphalt, which may have gone out of business and had never paid property taxes on it. Nelson would like for the commission to consider reducing the amount of tax owed on the property, since it has not been a commercial property since 2006. After discussion, the commission decided to table the issue until legal issues have been determined including whether the county could legally reduce the amount of tax owed on a property for more than two years.

A small wooden bridge southeast of Butler is in need of repair, according to Kerry Johnson, Highway Department Superintendent. According to Johnson, the waterway there is dry, so now would be an ideal time to repair the bridge. The commission agreed that Johnson should look into the cost of repairs before the next meeting.