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County Awaiting Salary Study Results

By Staff | Dec 4, 2015

At a regular meeting Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners expressed displeasure at not having results of a study for county employee compensation.

The board met with Tanya Weiler, of Dakota Dynamics, who said that Galen Cariveau, who had been working on a regional market-based salary study, was almost done with it but could not meet with the board due to health difficulties.

The board wanted to have the results of the study before the county did its budget. A sample draft of the salary study Cariveau showed at an October meeting indicated rates of pay based on a regional market and years of service. The study would offer recommendations on pay raises at 95, 97.5 and 100 percent of market values. Employees who were at 100 percent or over the market recommendations, as well as employees with over 20 years of experience would receive 1 percent cost of living increases. In the sample, which was for corrections officers, the county would pay $37,234 to adjust pay and provide 1 percent cost of living increases in a 100 percent comparison, $25,673 in a 97.5 comparison and $18,022 in a 95 percent comparison.

“Employees have been waiting. It’s been frustrating for us,” District 5 Commissioner Dave Migler said, adding that he thought the board had given enough time for the study to be done.

Weiler offered to finish the study if Cariveau could not and potentially have results by Friday, Dec. 11.

“I’d like to see what [Galen]’s got,” District 2 Commissioner Mike Christenson said.

District 1 Commissioner Mike Brossart said: “To start over again, I don’t think it would be a good idea.”

Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center Administrator Mike Graner questioned whether or not the county has an alternate option should results of the salary study not be received.

“It’s nice to have cushion,” Graner said, “But it’s nice to have an answer for employees.


Jessica Tagestad, of Wold Engineering, informed the board that aggregate work on the permanent alternate route in Juniata Township is nearly complete and that Pinky’s Aggregate had an estimate of $101,415.50. The board approved paying for aggregate work.

Tagestad informed the board of recommended highway safety improvement projects in the county, which included rumble strips at the edge of the Balta and Selz roads, edge strips on the west truck route and signage at the intersection of the truck route and Highway 3.

Tagestad informed the board that McHenry County is expected to contact the county soon regarding work on an alternate route project going from Orrin to the Pierce-McHenry line, and from there to George Lake.


Graner informed the board that HACTC housed 120 inmates in November, 27 of which were male prisoners from the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation – with three more on the way. He also informed the board that while no major incidents have been reported, tattooing among prisoners has increased.

Graner said that one instance of tattooing occurred after an inmate removed the motor from a tape deck in a storage area and built a tattoo gun.

Graner informed the board that he received boarding contracts from Rolette, Divide and Renville counties at a rate of $70 per day, and from Wells and McHenry counties at $68 per day .


The board nominated Migler to serve as chairman of the board in 2016, and Brossart as vice chairman.

The board approved payments from the 2014 Disaster fund of $17,036.98 to Tofte Township and $22,871.80 to Antelope Lake Township. A payment of $11,704.82 to Truman Township from the 2013 Disaster Fund was also approved.

The board approved a transfer of $100,000 from the County Poor Relief fund to the Social Services fund. The board also transferred $7,000 from the General fund to the Library Elevator Project.

The board reinstated liquor/beer licenses for Larry’s Bar, Selz; the Rugby Eagles and the Rugby Golf Club.

The board reappointed Ron Kremer to the county water board; Deb Schiff to the North Central Community Service Advisory board; and Tim Ostrem, Michael Voeller and Lonnie Anderson to the county planning and zoning board.

The board approved two additional credit cards to be used by deputies.

The board approved hiring Weiler as a human resources consultant effective Jan. 1, 2016.

The board approved tax abatement applications for Sharon Munyer and Elizabeth Larson.

The board approved a noon closing of the Pierce County Courthouse and shops on Dec. 24.

The board approved November meeting minutes, bills, financial statements and treasurer’s checks.

District 4 Commissioner Duane Johnston was absent.

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