REGULAR MEETING OF CASS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS JANUARY 3, 2022 1. MEETING CALLED TO ORDER Chairman Rick Steen called the meeting to order at 3:30 PM with all members present as follows: Duane Breitling, Jim Kapitan, Mary Scherling, Rick Steen, and Chad M. Peterson. 2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE Taylor Albrecht led the Pledge of Allegiance. 3. MINUTES APPROVED MOTION, passed Mr. Kapitan moved and Mr. Breitling seconded that the minutes of the previous meeting be approved as written. Motion carried. 4. AGENDA, Order approved MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to amend the order of the agenda and move item 4. Facemask policy update to item 1. Motion carried. 5. CONSENT AGENDA APPROVED MOTION, passed Mr. Kapitan moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to approve the consent agenda as follows: On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. a. Designate bank depositories as submitted by the Cass County Finance Office as follows: Bank Depositories Wells Fargo Bank/Fargo Bell Bank Bank North Arthur/Buffalo/Casselton Alerus Financial b. Authorize Cass County Government to accept a grant awarded to the Cass County Sheriff’s Department in the amount of $65,418.79 from the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services for the purchase of a camera system for the Law Enforcement Center. c. Approve raffle permit for FM Crusaders/FM Legion Riders to be held on September 17, 2022, at the Wild Rice Bar and Grill in Wild Rice, North Dakota. d. Approve payout of annual leave for the year ending December 31, 2021, for annual leave accrued over 240 hours for Tami Hansen to be paid out on her January 2022 paycheck. e. Authorize Chair to accept the low bid and sign the purchase order with BDS Laundry for four washing machines for the Cass County Jail in the amount of $59,347. f. Contract approval— -Flood lot lease renewals for 2022; -Jensen Brothers Construction—home and bridge demolition at 88th Avenue South in Fargo, ND. 6. PUBLIC COMMENT Mr. Steen asked for public comment and hearing none, moved on to the regular agenda items. 7. CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, County Facemask Policy The Board considered changes to the County Facemask policy on December 6, 2021, and again at their last meeting held on December 20, 2021, where they took action to table the item until further information was received from Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH). County Administrator, Robert Wilson was present and said for Board consideration today is an update to the current County Facemask Policy changing the policy from visitors and staff “shall” wear masks to visitors and staff “are encouraged” to wear masks while in County facilities. FCPH Director of Public Health, Desi Fleming was present and said FCPH is seeing an increase in reinfections which are cases where a person has already had COVID infection in the past. She said there are also increasing numbers of breakthrough cases which are infections in a person who has been vaccinated and, in some cases, had their booster shot. She said people who are vaccinated seem to have more mild cases of the infection. Ms. Fleming said the health care system and hospitals are still overwhelmed with COVID and other conditions such as influenza. She said the community is done with the pandemic; however, the pandemic is not over or going away anytime soon. She said FCPH still requires masks and local public schools are planning to change their mask policies to recommended rather than require masks. Ms. Flemming said there is not much else FCPH can do or say to change the mind of people in the community to encourage mask wearing at this point. Mrs. Scherling asked what the point of the County making a recommendation to wear masks is if a majority of people will not wear them. Ms. Scherling said she doesn’t see a way to protect staff and the public without a requirement as majority of people do not follow the recommendation. Ms. Fleming said it is a difficult prevention strategy if people wear a mask at work and then do not wear a mask anywhere else in public. She said FCPH has not changed their message, she still recommends masking. She said people who wear a mask in public spaces are often a minority and having a recommendation versus no policy helps give support to those who still wish to wear a mask. 8. CASS COUNTY JOINT WATER RESOURCE DISTRICT, Request approved to take immediate possession of necessary right of way for Metro Flood Diversion project The role and responsibility of the Cass County Joint Water Resource District (CCJWRD) is to acquire property rights in Cass County needed for the Metro Flood Diversion project. The CCJWRD is asking to continue with procedures laid out in North Dakota Century Code Section 61-16-1.09 for the Commission to review whether the process was followed by the CCJWRD and grant them authorization to use quick take eminent domain for right of way easements. The Commission is not responsible for appraisals or negotiations. The sole responsibility of the Commission is to determine whether the CCJWRD has followed the statutory process and steps as outlined in state law. Eric Dodds, Diversion Program Manager from AE2S, provided a brief overview of the process. AE2S manages acquisitions with four land firms involved with the process. The first step to acquire a property is obtaining an appraisal. OIN 25 (Kelly Roseen) Mr. Dodds said OIN 25 is residential property required for the Drain 27 Wetland Project. The appraisal value was set at $241,950 on January 13, 2021, and there was a counteroffer made by the owner of $1,213,000. The CCJWRD did not take action on the counteroffer. Mr. Dodds said the process was followed by the CCJWRD and discussed communications between the land agent and property owners or their legal counsel. MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to authorize the Cass County Joint Water Resource District to utilize quick take eminent domain under section 61-16.09(2) of the North Dakota Century Code to take an easement for a right of way regarding OIN 25. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 9. FARGO TAX INCREMENT FINANCING FOR ENCLAVE DEVELOPMENT LLC, County to participate in TIF for fifteen years The City of Fargo’s Director of Strategic Planning and Research forwarded information to the Cass County Commission regarding a request received for a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for up to $1.45 million to assist with the redevelopment of the old Kmart site located at 2301 University Drive South for up to fifteen years. TIF funds would be used for demolition and site cleanup, and public works improvements and administration. City of Fargo Director of Strategic Planning and Research, Jim Gilmour was present and said work has been in process on this project for over a year and the TIF would benefit Beyond Shelter that is building 80 units of affordable housing and Enclave Development who is developing commercial buildings. He said Beyond Shelter was approved for a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) on the same project by the City and County this summer, and has been granted additional funding to complete their affordable housing in one phase rather than two. He said this project cannot be completed without this incentive. Mr. Steen asked how the PILOT and TIF work together. Mr. Gilmour said the PILOT pertains to Beyond Shelter not paying taxes on the improvements to the property and they will continue to pay taxes on the land. He said the TIF income will be the increase in building and property value, and most will come from the commercial development. He said Enclave Development will receive a TIF note and the City will pay them back as a future property tax income credit. He said if there is not property tax income, there is no TIF revenue, and the developers do not get paid. Mr. Steen said there is a $50,000 upfront fee and a small yearly fee from the applicant to the City, he asked if the fees are typical for a TIF. Mr. Gilmour said the upfront fee is used to pay for legal costs and ongoing accounting costs. Mr. Steen said he believes the County collects and reports to the City the property taxes. Mr. Gilmour said the City has to report to the County how much is TIF income and how much is regular income along, with other accounting figures. Mr. Peterson said he supports development in this area. He said on a past TIF, the application included a breakdown of line items for where the dollars from the TIF will be allocated, he asked if this was provided for this project. Mr. Gilmour said a member of the City planning department verifies all expenditures and reimbursements. MOTION, passed Mr. Kapitan moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to participate in the request for a Tax Increment Financing in the City of Fargo submitted by Enclave Development for housing and commercial redevelopment located at 2301 University Drive South for up to a fifteen-year period. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 10. ABATEMENT HEARINGS, Values to remain unchanged for Charleswood Commercial Estates, LLC County Tax Director of Equitization, Paul Fracassi was present to discuss abatement applications submitted by Sanjay Patel for Charleswood Commercial Estates, LLC. The applications are for properties located at 740, 752, 823, 833, and 837 Beaton Drive East in West Fargo. The applicant requested a reduction in the 2019 and 2019 values for all five parcels from $2,715,100 ($8.03/square foot) to $815,000 ($2.21/square foot). The City of West Fargo Assessor’s Office and West Fargo City Commission denied the abatement applications. The applicant was invited to the meeting, but was not present in person or remotely. Mr. Fracassi said the appellant submitted an abatement for the same properties last year for the 2018 taxes and provided no new information for the 2019 and 2020 applications. Chairman Steen opened the public hearing for comments and hearing none, closed the public hearing. Mr. Breitling said there was a map provided with platting and asked if any of the properties have been sold recently. City of West Fargo Assessor, Nick Lee was present and said the property owner has not recently sold any property; however, a neighboring property with a different owner has recently sold their property for $12.24 per square foot. Mr. Peterson asked if the property owner provided any comparable properties. Mr. Fracassi said no, the property owner did not provide any comparables or sales information supporting their claim. MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to retain the 2019 values on abatement applications 4525 through 4534 submitted by Sanjay Patel for Charleswood Commercial Estates, LLC as previously approved by the West Fargo Assessing Office and West Fargo City Commission. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 11. FLOOD CONTROL, State Water Commission reimbursement request #120 approved For consideration today is the 120th request for eligible costs incurred from November 1, 2021, to November 31, 2021, for local matching share requirements outlined in House Bill 1020 for the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Flood Risk Management project. The request is for residential and commercial relocation assistance for homeowners and businesses living in the project area including land and easement purchases for homeowners living in various areas of the diversion project; right of entry for biotic and geomorphic services; asphalt patching for temporary CR17 bypass and diversion inlet structure; pay application #9 for WP43G- OHB wetland mitigation; pay application #3 for WP50D- property structure mitigation; pay application #4 for WP43D5- OHB ring levee; and graveling of Main Avenue and 50th Street. MOTION, passed Mr. Kapitan moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to authorize the Chair to sign reimbursement request #120 in the amount of $5,380,812.43 to the State Water Commission to distribute to the Metro Flood Diversion Authority according to the terms and conditions of House Bill 1021. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 12. VOUCHERS, Approved MOTION, passed Mr. Steen moved and Mr. Breitling seconded to approve Voucher No. 328085 through Voucher No.328217 and Electronic Payments 11486 through 11509 for a total of $1,400,431.04. On roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously. 13. MEETING UPDATES, Committee reports Commissioners and staff reported on meetings they attended or will be attending in the upcoming weeks. 14. CORRESPONDENCE, Received and filed MOTION, passed Mr. Breitling moved and Mr. Kapitan seconded to receive and file correspondence outlined by the secretary as follows: Motion carried. - Letter from the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality regarding a new permit for MTW ND, LLC’s regulated infectious waste facility located near Fargo, ND. - Letter from the North Dakota Supreme Court informing Judgeship Vacancy No. 4, with chambers in the East Central District be filled in its current Fargo location and be filled by election. 15. ADJOURNMENT MOTION, passed On motion by Mr. Kapitan, seconded by Mr. Peterson and all-in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 4:18 PM. ATTEST: Brandy Madrigga, County Finance Director Cass County, North Dakota APPROVED: Rick Steen, Chairman Cass County Board of Commissioners (Jan. 19, 2022) 22799