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Commission Minutes—August 15, 2012 4042 <br /> SPECIAL MEETING OF CASS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS <br /> MEETING IN BUDGET SESSION <br /> AUGUST 15, 2012 <br /> 1. MEETING CALLED TO ORDER <br /> Chairman Scott Wagner called the meeting to order at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, August <br /> 15, 2012, with all members present as follows: Vern Bennett, Ken Pawluk, Robyn <br /> Sorum, Darrell Vanyo, and Scott Wagner. Also present were County Auditor Michael <br /> Montplaisir, County Administrator Keith Berndt, and Accountants Mary Matheson and <br /> Alicia Hildebrand. <br /> 2. BUDGET OVERVIEW, 2013 budget summary <br /> Mr. Montplaisir gave an overview of the 2013 preliminary budget prepared with the <br /> General Fund mill levy rate at 63.60 mills compared to the 2012 rate of 65.75 mills. One <br /> reason the mill levy is able to be lowered is due to strong valuation increases seen over <br /> the years. <br /> Employee Salaries and Benefits <br /> Mr. Montplaisir said employee compensation is one of the largest areas of the county <br /> budget. The 2013 budget includes a 2.4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) and normal <br /> step increases for employees. <br /> Mr. Montplaisir said increases in retirement costs are due to legislation to help with <br /> funding issues for the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System (NDPERS). <br /> The proposal was to increase the percentage by 2% each year over the next four years. <br /> The legislature approved the request for two years and will look at the remainder in the <br /> next legislative session. The 2013 budget includes 1% of the cost to be paid by the <br /> county and 1% by employees. <br /> Health and Dental Coverage <br /> Mr. Montplaisir said estimates were received from Blue Cross Blue Shield for insurance <br /> rates. He said the budget was figured using a 17.5% increase in health insurance <br /> premiums. <br /> He said health care continues to increase and there will need to be some changes to <br /> preserve the health care reserve fund. An employee wellness committee was formed <br /> about a year ago, however; they are at a standstill with no funding for programs. He said <br /> it will be necessary to spend dollars to ultimately save dollars on health care. Mr. Berndt <br /> said it is time to make a serious investment in getting employees to lead healthier <br /> lifestyles. Mr. Montplaisir said there are many options that can be pursued to reach the <br /> employees and some changes in the health care plan may be needed. <br /> New Employees <br /> Mr. Montplaisir said the 2013 budget includes: a new position in Information Technology; a <br /> new position in Maintenance; a promotion at the Jail; and six new employees in Social <br /> Services. <br />