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Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
April 1, 2021     Golden Valley News
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April 1, 2021
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April 1 , 2021 Golden Valley News Page 5 PUBLIC NOTICES Billings County School District BILLINGS COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT #1 Minutes of Regular Meeting March 9, 2021 UNOFFICIAL MINUTES (Subject to review and revision by the board) The regular meeting of the Billings County School Board was called to order by President Joey Kessel at 5:05 pm. MT, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at the DeMores School in Medora. Pres- ent on site were board members Eric Bock, Kwirt Johnson, Joey Kessel, and Julie Reis. Also onsite were Superin- tendent Shae Peplinski, Assistant Su- perintendent Danielle O'Brien, Business Manager Tammy Simnioniw, Mainte- nance Supervisor Bob Huska, and Jessie Berger. Present via teleconfer- ence was board member Anita Adams. M/S Bock/Reis to approve the con- sent agenda with the addition of two agenda items. All in favor. Bob Hushka provided a written maintenance report and discussed var- ious maintenance issues. He also re- ported that the metal cabinet from surplus property was sold for $102.00. The tiller is still available and it was the consensus of the board to advertise on Consolidated for best offer. Discussion was held on when the best time to add fuel oil for backup to heating system. Kessel asked that this be placed on Oc- tober agenda since contract for fuel oil is set until November 30, so it may be prudent to fill the tanks at that time. Jessie Berger reported that the Lutheran Bible Camp in Medora wants to rent the floor stripper. Jessie said she volunteered to operate it for them. It was consensus of board to allow the use without charging rental. We have had the honor of serving Billings County for well over a quarter century. Recently a letter was placed in the Billings County Pioneer and Golden Valley News, and a postcard was mailed out, concerning what has been called a “Bridge to Nowhere” across the Little Missouri River. We are :writing this letter to set the record stiaight! This bridge should really be called “The Bridge to the Fu- ture.” Commissioners as far back as the 19703 had the fore— sight and saw a need for the bridge, for that we thank you. The county had initiated a study in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administra- tion and North Dakota DOT to determine if there was a pur— pose and need for a bridge across the Little Missouri River. After an extensive study it was determined there was a purpose and need, and a record of decision was signed in June 2019. The bridge fits the true multiple use mission for the county. 1. The bridge will greatly enhance our emergency. re— sponse times On the west side of the river, i.e., ambulance, fire and search and rescue. 2. The bridge will greatly enhance our efficiencies with our road and bridge depart- ment, saving hundreds of miles of unnecessary travel. Travel around to serve both sides of the river not only ex- poses our drivers to unneces- sary safety issues, but also costs us a lot of valuable time and money in the budget. 3.1 It will enhance our tourism and hunting industry. It will give access to thousands of acres of public land, not to mention better access to the Maah Daah Hey Trail and Theodore Roosevelt's cabin site. 4. Commerce will be able to be conducted in a more effi- cient manner from moving agricultural products, cattle, hay, as well as serving the oil and gas industry. 5. It would be better for the environment by reducing the Simnioniw stated that the Prairie Roof project timeline was adjusted to allow adequate time for advertising. It will be offered on sealed bids since HTG stated bids are coming in high and we may hit the threshold where sealed bids are required. Bid opening is scheduled for April 13th meeting. Peplinski submitted a quote from Dave Netzer Painting & Decorating, Inc. to repair, smooth, and texture walls in several rooms and hallways of De- Mores. M/S Johnson/Adams to ap- prove moving fonrvard with the DeMores wall repair project. All in favor. The board conducted the Superin- tendent evaluation for Shae Peplinski. Action was taken on the various per— formance indicators as follows: 1. Goal and 'Vision Setting. M/S Reis/Bock to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. 2. Board Relations. M/S Adams/Johnson to rate this perform- ance as satisfactory. All in favor. 3. Human Resource Management. M/S Bock/Reis to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. - 4. Curriculum Student Support Services. M/S Johnson/Bock to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. 5. Community Relations. M/S Reis/Adams to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. 6. Operations & Resource Manage- ment. M/S Bock/Johnson to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. The board conducted the Business Manager evaluation for Tammy Simnioniw. Action was taken on the various performance indicators as fol- lows: 1. Coordinate Board-Meetings. M/S Reis/Johnson to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. 2. Oversee District Finances. M/S Johnson/Adams to rate this perform- ance as satisfactory. All in favor. 3. Perform Risk Management Du- ties. M/S Adams/Bock to rate this as satisfactory. All in favor. ‘4. ‘ Perform Personnel Management Duties. M/S Bock/Adams to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. r 5. Oversee District Elections. M/S Reis/Adams to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. 6. Perform Other Assigned Duties. M/S Johnson/Bock to rate this perform- ance as satisfactory. All in favor. 7. Demonstrate Professional Com- petencies. M/S Adams/Johnson to rate this performance as satisfactory. All in favor. Peplinski and Simnioniw informed the board of various legislative bills being considered that would impact the school district. Peplinski and O’Brien reported on upcoming events. Contracts were is- sued March 1 through March 3 to certi- fied staff and remaining outstanding contracts are due back on March 15. It is anticipated that all staff will be return- Ing. Peplinski reported on a meeting she attended regarding the TR Presidential Library and the anticipated timeline for construction. Peplinski submitted the following open enrollment requests. Two stu- dents entering Kindergarten and fifth grade from the Dickinson Public School District to attend Prairie Elementary. M/S Reis/Adams to approve the open enrollment request. All in favor. Three students entering second, fifth, and eighth grades from Beach Public School District to attend DeMores Ele- mentary. M/S Johnson/Bock to approve the open enrollment request. All in favor. Simnioniw reported that ND Century Code requires the Superintendent to be bonded. She checked with bonding agency and all staff employed by the district are covered. Simnioniw reported that she and DeeAnn Bock had researched enrolling in an E-Fund program whereby parents and staff could pay hot lunch, registra- tion fees, fundraising contributions, etc. through electronic means such as credit or debit cards or automatic bank trans- fers. There is a fee charged to the con- stituent for each transaction, but this would be at no cost to the school dis- trict unless they chose to cost-share on the transaction fees. It was the con- sensus of the board to move forward .with setting this service up, but not to cost share on the transaction fees. Kessel reported that he and John- son had met to discuss options for pro- viding raises to classified staff. They asked for suggestions from the board members. No action taken at this time. Kessel also reported that he and Johnson will_ be meeting shortly with Peplinski and O'Brien to negotiate their contracts for the 2021—22 fiscal year. No action taken at this time. Policies were reviewed. M/S Adams/Johnson to approve the second reading of policies DAB Definitions for Personnel Policies, DDAB Health Restoration Leave, DDAC Chemical Dependency Leave, DDAD Childcare Leave, DDBC Bereavement Leave, and DDC Unpaid Leave. All in favor. M/S Adams/Bock to approve the first reading to amend policies FAAB Early Entrance Requirements, FAAC Enroll- ment of Suspended or Expelled Stu- dents, FC Student Safety and Supervision, FCAA Accommodating Students with Allergies and Special Di- etary Needs, FCAD Student Accidents, FCBA Student Dismissal Precautions, and FCBB Student Transportation Safety and Supervision. All in favor. M/S Adams/Reis to approve the first reading to adopt policy FCBD Student Custody. All in favor. The board reviewed FC—E Missing Student Reporting Form, FCAA-AR General Guidelines for Reducing Risk of Exposure to Allergens, FCBA-AR Procedure for Entering and Leaving the Building, and FCBB-AR Student Trans- portation Safety and Supervision Regu- lations. Peplinski reported on RESP activi- ties discussed at the March 3 meeting regarding the summer conference and training sessions being planned. BUILDING FUND Check Number Entity Name Amount 227 HTG ARCHITECTS 3,290.00 GENERAL FUND Check Number Entity Name Amount EFT JP MORGAN 10,317.58 EFI' AFLAC 1,248.16 EFT FED WH TAXES 25,360.21 EFT NDPERS RETIREMENT5,539.12 EFT NDPERS HEALTH |NS.20,300.64 EFT STATE TAX COMMISSIONER 839.00 20535 BCSD 1,140.82 20536 BC/BS‘ 521.04 20537 HORACE MANN 2,050.00 20538 MT DEPT. OF REVENUE 335.00 20539 ND UNITED 695.24 20540 VOID ' 0.00 20541 JACKOLENE ANHELUK135.27 20542 ABM 473.26 20543 BC/BS 1,288.16 20544 CERBERUS SECURITY245.00 20545 DICKINSON PUBLIC LIBRARY 4,938.23 20546 HORACE MANN 426.11 20547 KEMPS LLC 420.43 20548 THE LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY 653.52 20549 MEDORA CONVENIENCE 408.76 20550 MT DEPT. OF REVENUE : 100.00 20551 ND SCIENCE OLYMPIAD 170.00 20552 PETER ODERMANN 6,225.12 20553 JESSICA SHIREY 36.10 Patrons of Billings County: number of miles traveled. It will reduce the amount of dust created. The bridge project ranks up there with one of the best Environmental SoCial Governance (ESG) projects in the western part of the state. It will greatly reduce the carbon footprint in our county. 6. The bridge has over- whelming support from our public safety and fire protec— tion people, as well as our con- gressional delegation and governor. 7. The alleged cost of $54,540 for each taxpayer, is NOT correct. The fact re- mains that the bridge was planned to be paid for over thirty years, with a low—inter- est infrastructure loan from the Bank of ND, with payments being made from revenue from oil and gas production. Grants will also be applied for to pick up as much as the cost as pos— sible. Billings County has been very successful in obtaining millions in grant monies for roads and bridges in the last 10 years and we believe it will hold true for this bridge proj- ect. 8. No property tax increase was ever planned to pay for the bridge and none should be nec— essary. ' " 9. Building this bridge re- quired approval by ‘the US. government. Under federal law this requires an Environmental Impact Statement. It is important to note — Contrary to what the Short family is claiming, the decision to locate the bridge on federal land or private land was made by the .S . government through the Federal Highway Administration, not the Billings County Commission. To quote the Federal Highway decision “The F HWA concludes that the selected alternative is alterna- tive k, option (The Short Lo- cation). The selected alternative is also the Environ- mentally Preferable Option. 10. We both have gone on record voicing our opinion that federal land should have been chosen first, but the Federal Highway Administration’s de- termination was the most fea- sible alternative and the envi- ronmentally preferable option was (Kl). Facts are facts. The years- long studies show a need for this bridge. The location se- lected was based on these stud- ies. The location, among the many considered, is on private property; We are very proud of what *theBil’lings County Team has accomplished, they have brought our county to where it is today. Road and Bridge The Road and Bridge De- partment has made great strides over the last ten years. A county—wide road superintend- ent was hired. He had the vi- sion. to see the county as a whole by taking a team ap- proach and collaborating with all three districts as one for the common goal of the county. He implanted a county-wide purchase program where all equipment is the same make and model. This has not only helped With safety but also en- ables the employees to be very efficient and familiar with all of the operations of the equip- ment. We have also made it a prac— tice to use private operators from our county to help out in times of need to prevent excess and under-utilized equipment. The county has also built or re— modeled all three district shops to give our employees a func- tional and safe place to work on equipment. Our sign safety division under Jeff Baranko, was na— tionally recognized with his in- novations. County Road Superintendent Jeff Iverson has led efforts on many fronts, in- cluding applying for and re- ceiving over $20 million in grants, allowing us to resurface over 90 miles of roads, recon— structions of 13 miles and paving 10 miles of roads. Many culverts and box culverts have been replaced throughout the process. The new bridge will continue to allow them to safely and effectively maintain our county infrastructure. Schools Our commissioners have al- ways been strong supporters of our schools. The school board's insight and vision has set our students apart, while providing a safe and comfort— able learning environment for our children and grandchil- dren. Our teachers and admin- istrators provide excellent education to our suldents. Public Safety Our emergency service providers are second to none. Our county has taken our first responders to a new level. Starting with hiring our first full-time paramedic, Keri Rummel. She started the ground work to get us to where we are today. Mitch and Kyle have continued to enhance our services. They have incorpo— rated full-time advanced trained professionals with our dedicated volunteers. Billings County has teamed up with Belfield and Medora to truly provide a first-class, state-of the-art regional first response medical service. The fire board's forward thinking along with Kyle and many dedicated volunteers have enabled the fire department to build new buildings, buy new trucks and equipment and provide valu- able training for our team. Law Enforcement Law enforcement has made great advancements from the days of one sheriff. The tran— sition started with Dave Jur- gens and continued on with Pat Rummel. The Sheriff’s De— partment's dedication to pro— tecting the community is unsurpassed. They have im- plemented robust systems and protocols that not only keeps the public safe, but also com- plements all entities in the county. Weed Control Billings County’s weed cen— trol program has become a na— tionwide leader in care of public arid private land, sup- pressing weeds with the latest in biological and traditional control. Senior Citizens Our assistance to senior cit- izens has been extensively proactive. Billings County’s reputation for efficient and fair administrative service has re— sulted in our county being cho- sen by the five southwestern counties' social services to be the hub county for the newly created social services zones. Our county auditor was asked to help draft the regulations governing the whole state sys- tem. Comprehensive Land Plan We' hate "ébtnpfeiiEn‘s‘tize land use plan, which is ex— tremer important to guarantee that the federal government follows the law which provides the county millions of dollars every year from oil production on federal land. (This is the main way, along with grants, the bridge will be paid for with no expected increase in taxes to our residents.) Most of you are probably aware of the leadership role Billings County has provided in support of the Medora Graz- ing Association. We are aware that ranchers are the lifeblood of our community. We have helped them deal with the US. Forest Service. We have led the fight against the Forest Service attempts to arbitrarily close roads in our county to the pub— lic. We had to go to court when the Forest Service tried to claim the county’s 6 1%: royalty interest on federal land, a major source for county financing. We won that court battle. In Conclusion 'The Short family, in their ads and postcards, would like you to believe that the bridge project just “suddenly arose” despite the fact that feasibility studies have been going on for years; that there have been nu— merous public hearings; that they were given notice of those meetings and, in fact, attended some of those meetings to op— pose the bridge. As a matter of fact, we have a documented record of a meeting in OCTO- BER 2017, requested by the Short fainily at the offices of KLJ in Bismarck, where a member of the Short family in- quired about the process of em— inent domain!!! For them to claim that they were “sur— prised;" “dismayed” etc. to learn just fairly recently that 20554 SMART COMPUTERS3,225.00 20555 SW WATER AUTHORITY63.17 20556 SYSCO NORTH DAKOTA 4,008.08 20557 WALMART 380.83 20558 WR STUDENT SERVICES 5,104.46 DD MARCH PAYROLL 84,733.59 DD TFFR 20,814.35 DD DENNIS OBRIEN 10,802.76 DD STEPHANIE KLYM 34.68 DD KATHLEEN MALKOWSKI5,574.42 DD GARY MEDUNA 6,911.64 DD LORETTE NOBLE 40.32 DD DANIELLE O'BRIEN 511.00 DD SHAE PEPLINSKI 409.60 DD JAMIE PRELLWITZ 130.00 DD TAMMY SIMNIONIW 191.72 DD KATHLEEN SOLGA 52.64 The next regular school board meet- ing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 5:00 pm. at DeMores School in Medora. M/S Johnson/Bock to adjourn. All in favor. The meeting adjourned ’at 6:58 pm. Recorded by Tammy Simnioniw, Business Manager Put Your Money Where Your House Is! local Independent strengthen our busmesses are community your best value and our economy new a 6 mm. when.“ Please support your local merchants! This Ietter is an advertisement paid for by Jim Arthaud and Joe L. Kessel. their property, (a matter of very few acres) might be subject to eminent demain is not Correct. On, the subject of eminent domain, it is important for you to know that not one of the commissioners ever said that this was the preferred choice. It is not accurate, nor fair to us, to state that the» commission chose the location of this bridge. It was the federal agency whose I approval is needed to even build the bridge that ultimately decided where it was to go. We have also stated, publically and at more than one meeting, that OUR PREFERRED LOCA- TION should be on Forest Service land. The city of Medora was faced with the same problem: It couldn’t settle with the landowners for a la- goon, so it had to resort to em- inent domain. You would not be able to travel on I—94 or Highway 85 without eminent domain. Years and years ofiplanning and study and expense have been invested in this project. The county has fully complied with every state and federal re- quirement to build it. The fed- eral highway department has considered all the options for the location of the bridge and has made an independent as- sessment based on engineering, expenses, joining existing roads and systems. It is neces- sary for us to move forward. It is easy for the Short family to live in another state and sec— ond guess what is best for our residents and the public that live and work in Billings County. Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy, but very heartfelt response to what we very strongly feel was not accurate information you might have previously received in the mail or read in the newspaper. Jim Arthaud Joe L. Kessel