County Holds Regular Meeting

The Barnes County Commission approved allowing Theresa Will, Executive of City-County Health, to purchase new video conferencing equipment using funds from the Center for Disease Control for the City-County Health Department during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

According to one of the CDC’s stipulations, equipment purchased with CDC funds can only be used by the health department. Currently, other departments use the equipment including the Barnes County office of the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

The commission agreed that it should approve the issue now, but later it may need to purchase its own video conferencing equipment at a later date if no agreement can be reached with the CDC for sharing.

Commissioners discussed the 9-1-1 transition plan, and who would run the 9-1-1 system once the county takes over day-to-day-operations on or before July 16.

Barnes County Emergency Manager Kim Franklin was charged with making a transition plan and has determined a pay and benefit package for dispatchers who currently work for Valley City.

Franklin submitted a transition plan in December. Since that time, the commission has not discussed it, according to commissioner Phil Leitner.
Leitner said he assumed the commission was going to move forward with the transition plan. He would like to see a total budget on the plan.

According to commissioner Eldred Knutson, costs estimates for an office in the Law Enforcement Center may need to be put on hold until it is known if lead contamination in the building is a problem. A different site for the 9-1-1 answering center may be necessary.

Leitner suggested that the new 9-1-1 coordinator should be the department head for the 9-1-1 department so it could stand alone.
Commissioner John Froelich would prefer that the 9-1-1 coordinator not report to the emergency manager. Instead it should be under the control of the commission portfolio instead, or perhaps report directly to the commission.

Barnes County Sheriff Randy McClaflin presented the commission with bids for two new vehicles for the sheriff’s department, one SUV and one sedan. Bids from Miller Motors and Perkin’s Inc. were opened. Before discussion or commission action, McClaflin was instructed to look over the bids to make sure each vehicle met the department’s specifications.
McClaflin also requested a promotion to Corporal for corrections officer Jeremy Wolf along with a $1 per-hour raise.

Wolf will be taking over the county’s 24/7 program, a 24-hour drug and alcohol monitoring system. The commission approved the request unanimously.

The commission approved a tax abatement for a flood-damaged home owned by Tom Cruff. The tax value of the home was lowered from $89,800 to $50,000 for 2012. The commission denied lowering the valuation for 2011.
The commission also approved raising residential property taxes 9.5 percent over the amount set by the state.