1/11/2020 1:55:00 PM Cass County Board: Commissioners elect Gaalswyk as chair for 2020
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
WALKER -- Cass County commissioners elected Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk chair and Commissioner Jeff Peterson as vice chair for 2020 during their first meeting of the year, Jan. 7, 2020.
They set the board rules of business the same as 2019, with regular meetings set to begin at 9 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the courthouse in Walker and at 9 a.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the land department building in Backus.
Exceptions will be the third Tuesday in May, June, July, August and September, which will begin at 6 p.m. at city and town halls throughout the county. Locations will be announced within the next month and in the county newsletter that comes with property tax statements in April.
Exceptions also will be made in the month of December when the first meeting of that month will begin at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, at the courthouse in Walker and will precede the annual 6 p.m. Truth in Taxation public hearing on the county's proposed 2021 budget and levy.
The second December meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 15 at the courthouse in Walker rather than at 9 a.m. and will be at the courthouse in Walker instead of the land department building in Backus.
The commissioners approved paying the county's 2020 membership dues of $16,129 to the Association of Minnesota Counties. They named all five commissioners, Administrator Joshua
Stevenson, Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane and County Engineer Darrick Anderson as the county's delegates to AMC.
Commissioner Dick Downham will serve on the AMC Environmental and Natural Resources Policy Committee.Commissioner Bob Kangas will serve on the AMC General Government Policy Committee.Peterson will serve on the AMC Health and Human Services Policy Committee. Gaalswyk will serve on the AMC Public Safety Policy Committee. Commissioner Scott Bruns will serve on the AMC Transportation and Infrastructure Policy Committee.
The county board approved all county committee appointments for 2020, with only two vacancies remaining. Those are for a school administrator appointee and a Leech Lake Reservation appointee to the county's Health, Human and Veteran Services Advisory Committee.
Walker Pilot Independent presented the low bid to serve as the county's legal notice publication for most notices in 2020, with the Pine Cone Press Citizen winning the bid for second publication of the financial statement.
The commissioners adopted the IRS standard 2020 mileage rate of 57.5 cents per mile as the county's mileage rate to be paid to county employees, elected officials and committee appointees. Employees, however, will be paid 17 cents per mile if a county car is available for their use and they choose instead to drive their own vehicle.
The reimbursement rate for use of a motorcycle will be 54.5 cents per mile. The reimbursement rate for statute air miles will be $1.27 per mile.
Cass County reimburses employees attending conferences involving overnight travel for meals, lodging and incidental expenses as published by the General Services Administration and outlined in the county personnel policy. Receipts are required.
Daily meal and incidental expense involving overnight travel is $55 per day, with the following exceptions: Olmsted County, up to $61 per day; St. Louis County, up to $76 per day; Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, up to $76 per day; and Dakota County, up to $71 per day. Receipts are required.
No meal reimbursement is available within the county, but may be claimed without overnight travel up to $20 per day outside the county. Receipts are required.
The commissioners approved $50,000 insurance coverage for employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty bond through the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust for the administrator, assessor, auditor-treasurer and deputies, county commissioners, county recorder, registrar of titles, highway engineer, health/human/vets services director, sheriff and surveyor.
They approved the final two three-year contracts with unions representing county employees. Those are with Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees' Union Local 320, representing jail personnel, and with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2195, representing HHVS staff.
Both contracts mirror contracts approved earlier with other unions, which call for 3% pay raise Jan. 1 of 2020, 2021 and 2022 and another approximately 3% increase in July each year for a step increase on the county's 10-step pay scale for those who have not already worked for the county for 10 years.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.