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When the city governing board determines that there is a surplus in the municipal utilities fund over and above any amount necessary to provide adequately for the operation and maintenance of the utility, it may transfer from the surplus in the fund to the general fund or to any other fund a total sum of not more than twenty percent of the gross receipts of the municipal utilities for the fiscal year during which the transfer is made. So, for example, if a city had $500,000 in gross receipts to the utility fund for the year, they could transfer twenty percent ($100,000) to the general fund by motion of the governing body provided the utility fund had that much in surplus. A larger amount may be transferred upon resolution of the governing body and approval by the voters at a regular city election. (NDCC 40-30-12)
During the session of the city board of equalization, any person feeling aggrieved by anything in the assessment roll may apply to the board for the correction of the alleged errors, and the board may correct the errors as it may deem just. (NDCC 57-11-04)
The board of equalization shall add to the assessment roll any real property subject to taxation that has been omitted by the assessor and shall enter the property at a valuation that will bear a just proportion of the taxation. (NDCC 57-11-05)
No change in a zoning regulation, restriction, or boundary may become effective until after a public hearing at which parties in interest and citizens shall have an opportunity to be heard. Notice of the hearing must be published in the official newspaper once a week for two successive weeks prior to the time set for the hearing. The notice must contain the following items: (1) the time and place of the hearing, (2) a description of any property involved in any zoning change, by street address if streets have been platted or designated in the area affected, (3) a description of the nature, scope, and purpose of the proposed regulation, restriction, or boundary, and (4) a statement of the times at which the proposal will be available to the public for inspection and copying at the office of the city auditor. (NDCC 40-47-04 and 40-47-05)
Annually, on or before May first, the street commissioner shall file with the city auditor a list showing the amount assessed against each lot and stating the name of the owner of each such lot so far as known. The city auditor shall give notice of the hearing and confirmation of the assessment report of snow and ice removal at the regular June meeting of the city governing body by publishing a notice of the hearing once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper. The last publication shall be not less than eight days before the date set for the hearing. The governing body shall hear any objection to the snow and ice removal assessment and may make corrections before confirming. The city auditor shall attach to the assessment list a certificate that the list is correct as confirmed by the governing body and shall certify the assessment to the county auditor along with other special assessments before August twentieth of each year. (NDCC 40-29-18, 19, 20)
Ordinances adopted by the city governing body that require publication (the title and penalty clause of every ordinance imposing a penalty shall be published in one issue of the official newspaper of the city) shall take effect after the required publication unless otherwise expressly provided in the ordinance. Ordinances that are not required to be published (no fine or other penalty) shall take effect after the final approval by the governing body unless a different effective date is expressly provided in the ordinance. (NDCC 40-11-07)
The provisions of state law relative to referring city ordinances to the voters apply only in cities operating under the commission or modern council forms of government. (NDCC 40-12-01) Most cities in North Dakota (approximately 90%) operate under the council form of government. In those cities, there are no provisions for referring a city ordinance unless the city has included that power in a home rule charter. In commission or modern council cities, an ordinance that has been adopted by the city governing body may be referred to the voters by a petition protesting against the ordinance. The petition must be signed by qualified electors of the city equal to at least ten percent of the entire vote cast for all candidates for executive officier of the city at the preceding regular city election. (NDCC 40-12-08) A different precentage may be provided for in a home rule charter. The petition shall be presented to the governing body of the city before four p.m. on the tenth day after the ordinance became effective.
First, the city must have an ordinance in place that makes a property owner responsible for the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks. Then, if snow and ice are not removed from sidewalks within the time and in the manner provided by the ordinances of the city, the snow and ice may be removed by the city and the necessary expense thereof shall be chargeable against the abutting property. Annually, on or before May first, the street commissioner shall file with the city auditor a list showing the amount assessed against each lot and stating the name of the owner of each such lot so far as known. The city auditor shall give notice of the hearing and confirmation of the assessment report of snow and ice removal at the regular June meeting of the city governing body by publishing a notice of the hearing once each week for two consecutive weeks in the official newspaper. The last publication cannot be not less than eight days before the date set for the hearing. The governing body shall hear any objection to the snow and ice removal assessment and may make corrections before confirming. The city auditor shall attach to the assessment list a certificate that the list is correct as confirmed by the governing body and shall certify the assessment to the county auditor along with other special assessments before August twentieth of each year. (NDCC 40-29-18, 19, 20)
The governing body shall provide the newspaper, for publication, the minutes from its meeting within seven days after the meeting. When applicable, the minutes may be labeled as being published subject to the governing body's review and revision. (NDCC 40.01.09.1)
When the city governing body determines that there is a surplus int he municipal utilities fund over and above any amount necessary to provide adequately for the operation and maintenance of the utility, it may transfer from the surplus in the fund to general fund or at any fund a total sum of not more than twenty percent of the gross receipts of the municipal utilities for the fiscal year during which the transfer is made.
A larger amount may be transferred from the utility fund upon resolution of the governing body and approved by the voters at a regular city election. (NDCC 40-33-12)
a. First quarter is from six a.m. to twelve noon and the sum must be $6.00. First quarter reimbursement may not be made if travel began after seven a.m.
b. Second quarter is from twelve noon to six p.m. and the sum must be $9.00.
c. Third quarter is from six p.m. to twelve midnight and the sum must be $15.00.d. Fourth quarter is from twelve midnight to six a.m. and the sum must be the actual lodging expenses not to exceed an amount established by policy by the director of the office of management and budget plus any additional state or local taxes. Political subdivisions may reimburse their officials and employees for actual lodging expenses beyond the state rate if they have the required lodging receipt.
The allowance for out-of-state meals is based on a per diem rate for that particular city. The allowance for lodging outside the state must be the actual lodging expense.
Reimbursement is allowed only for overnight travel, or other travel, away from the normal place of employment, for four hours or more. Verification of expenses by receipt is required only for lodging expenses. (NDCC 44-08-04)
Most cities follow the state mileage reimbursement rates for use of personal vehicle when traveling for city business. That rate is set by rules established by the director of the office of management and budget. (NDCC 54-06-09)
The Highway Tax Distribution Fund is comprised of collections of motor vehicle registration fees and fuel taxes. It is distributed on a percentage basis with 61.3% going to the state, 2.7% going to the township highway fund, 1.5 percent going to the public transportation fund, approximately 21.5% going to counties, and approximately 13% going to cities. (NDCC 54-27-19) The share that goes to counties and cities is first allocated to counties in proportion to the number of motor vehicle registrations credited to each county. The share that goes to cities is then distributed on the basis of the per capita population of all of the incorporated cities situated within the county as determined by the last official census. Therefore, your city’s revenue from the Highway Tax Distribution Fund will be impacted by changes in the number of motor vehicle registered within your county as well as changes in city population within your county. Check the June issue of CITYScan each year for the current revenue estimates.
Section 11 of article X of the Constitution of North Dakota states, “Revenue from gasoline and other motor fuel excise and license taxation, motor vehicle registration and license taxes, except revenue from aviation gasoline and unclaimed aviation motor fuel refunds and other aviation motor fuel excise and license taxation used by aircraft, after deduction of cost of administration and collection authorized by legislative appropriation only, and statutory refunds, shall be appropriated and used solely for construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of public highways, and the payment of obligations incurred in the construction, reconstruction, repair and maintenance of public highways.”
If the vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, the city council may call a special election to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term or may, after fifteen days from the date of such vacancy, elect one of its own members to act as mayor until the next election. Upon petition of five percent of the qualified electors, the council shall call a special election to fill a vacancy occurring more then six months prior to the next city election, provided such petition is submitted within fifteen days of the date of such vacancy. During the interim between the date when a vacancy occurs and qualification of a successor, the president of the city council shall be the acting mayor. (NDCC 40-08-16)
If a vacancy occurs in the office of a city commissioner or president of the board of city commissioners, the board may call a special election to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term, or may, after fifteen days from the date of such vacancy appoint a person to fill such vacancy until the next city election, at which election the unexpired term shall be filled. Upon petition of five percent of the qualified electors, the commission shall call a special city election to fill a vacancy occurring more than six months prior to the next city election, provided such petition has been submitted within fifteen days of the date of such vacancy. (NDCC 40-09-10)
When a petition to refer an ordinance is submitted, the city governing body shall reconsider the ordinance described, and if it is not entirely repealed, the governing body shall submit it to the vote at the next regular city election or at a special election. Unless the ordinance protested was passed by a four-fifths vote of the members of the governing body for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety and contains a statement of its urgency, it shall be suspended upon the filing of the petition.
The minimum age of employment in North Dakota is 14 years of age. (NDCC 34-07-01)
Employees ages 14 and 15 are limited in the types of work that they can perform. Examples of prohibited employment activities are operating power-driven machinery, construction work, work involving the use of chemicals, door-to-door sales, driving, cooking, and work on elevated surfaces in which the work is performed higher than six feet from the ground. (NDCC 34-07-16) Lawn mowing is also prohibited by employees aged 14 and 15 under federal law. ( 29 CFR 570.33)
Federal law also restricts employees that are ages 16 and 17 from roofing, most driving, and most work involving power-driven machines. (29 CFR 5760 et seq)
Employees ages 14 and 15 may only work between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM from Labor Day through May 31 and between the hours of 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM from June 1 through Labor Day. In addition, 14 and 15 year-old employees are limited to working a maximum of 3 hours on a school day and 8 hours on a non-school day. Further, weekly hours for employees ages 14 and 15 are limited to 19 hours in a school week and 40 hours in a non-school week. A school week is condsidered any week, Sunday though Saturday, in which school attendance is required for any park of four or more days. (NDCC 34-07-15)
Every employer employing 14 and 15 year-old employees shall post, in a conspicuous place, a printed notice stating the hours of work required of the minors each day of the week, the hours of commencing and stopping work, and the hours allowed for dinner and other meals. The printed form of the notice is furnished by the North Dakota Labor Commissioner.
In council cities, the mayor, with the approval of the city council, appoints the city auditor. (NDCC 40-14-04) In commission cities, the board of city commissioners appoints the city auditor. (NDCC 40-15-05)
In council cities, the term of the city auditor commences on the first day of July after his or her appointment, unless otherwise provided by ordinance. The city auditor holds office for two years, and until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. (NDCC 40-14-05)
In commission cities, the term of the city auditor commences on the first day of July succeeding his or her appointment, unless otherwise provided by ordinance. The city auditor shall hold the office for the term by ordinance, and until her or her successor qualified. (NDCC 40-15-06)
The city auditor, with the approval of the governing body of the city, may appoint a deputy. (NDCC 40-16-02)
The deputy auditor shall aid in the performance of the duties of the city auditor, or if there is a vacancy in the office of the auditor, the deputy shall perform the duties of the city auditor. (NDCC 40-16-02)
If a contract of a governing body for the construction of a public improvement is estimated to cost in excess of two hundred thousand dollars (NDCC 48-01.2-02.1), the governing body shall advertise for bids by publishing for three consecutive weeks, the first publication to be at least twenty-one days before the date of the opening of bids. The advertisement must be published in the official newspaper and in a trade publication of general circulation, except the advertisement for a public improvement financed by special assessments need only be published once each week for two weeks in the official newspaper with the first publication being at least fourteen days before bid opening. (NDCC 48-01.2-04)
The city council or city commission has two options when a vacancy on the board occurs. They can either (1) call a special election to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term, or (2) wait fifteen days from the date of the vacancy and appoint a person to fill the vacancy until the next city election. The governing board is required to wait fifteen days before making an appointment because, during that fifteen day period, the electors may petition the governing board for a special election if the vacancy occurs more than six months before the next city election. (NDCC 40-08-10)In city council cities, once an appointment has been made, within fifteen days of the appointment, the electors are allowed to petition for a special election again. (NDCC 40-08-08)
Yes. A city may charge a one-hundred-dollar fee for a site authorization for bingo, electronic quick shot bingo, raffles, calcuttas, pull tabs, punch-boards, twenty-one, paddlewheels, poker or sports pools. (NDCC 53-06.1-03)
A city election candidate may begin collecting signatures on a nominating petition on January 1 for the regular city election in June. (NDCC 40-21-07)
The forms are available on the North Dakota Secretary of State's webpage.
If a city is making a hiring decision from three or more applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for a vacant position, the city shall designate three or more applicants as finalists for future consideration before making an offer of employment to fill the position.
If the city does not wish to consider any applications and descides not to make an offer of employment, the public entity does not need to designate any finalists. (NDCC 44-04-18.27)
The applications and any records related to the applications that contain information that could reasonably be used to identify an application who either:
does not meet the minimum qualifications for the vacancy; or
was not designed as a finalist
is confidential and cannot be released to the public. The city shall comply with all requirements for an executive session to discuss confidential applications. (NDCC 44-04-18.27 and 44-04-17.1(3))
If, by the close of the application period for a vacant position, a city receives applications from fewer than three applicatnts who meet the minimum qualifications, the appplications and records related to the applicatiosn are open to the public. (NDCC 44-04-18.27)
We only have one meeting a month, and then we get together once a week to have coffee and discuss upcoming agenda items. These aren't meetings, are they?
Yes, they are. "Meeting" includes informal gatherings or work sessions, and discussions where some or all of the members of the governing body are participating in the meeting by telephone. The only time a gathering of a “quorum” is not a meeting is if it is a purely social gathering – no public business can be considered, or else it becomes a meeting
But I can talk to one other member of a governing body without it being a meeting, can't I?
Yes, as long as the two of you are not a quorum of a three-member governing body (including committees) and the discussion is not part of a sequence of individual conversations, which collectively involve a quorum of a governing body. But be aware that if members of a governing body participate in a series of individual conversations that collectively constitute a quorum of the governing body, those conversations are a meeting.
If we hold an open meeting, do we have to allow the public to address the governing body?
No. The right to attend an open meeting does not include the right to participate in that meeting. However, other statutes may require a public hearing at which the public is allowed to comment on specific subjects.
Remember - a recorded roll call vote is required on all votes that pertain to the merits of a matter before the governing body.
The time in which you are required to respond to a request is generally measured in hours or a few days, rather than several days or weeks.
Under the city council form of government, the council may prescribe by ordinance the manner in which special meetings may be called (NDCC 40-08-10) A typical ordinance would provide that a special meeting may be called by the mayor or any two council members. Under the city commission form of government, special meetings may be called at any time by the president or any two members of the board to consider matters mentioned in the call of such meeting. (NDCC 40-09-11)
State law does not have a minimum notice period required for special meetings; however, public notice needs to be provided at the same time that members of the governing body receive notice. (NDCC 44-04-20) Please note that some cities have city ordinances that set minimum notice requirements for special meetings.
Upon the establishment of any zoning regulation, restriction, or boundary or of any changes or amendments to zoning regulations, restrictions, or boundaries, the city governing body shall file a certified copy with the city auditor and shall cause notice to be published in the official newspaper. The notice must describe the nature, scope, and purpose of the regulation, restriction, or boundary, and must state the times at which it will be available to the public for inspection and copying at the office of the city auditor. (NDCC 40-47-04, 40-47,05)
a. One mile if the city has a population of less than five thousand. A city that has exercised its authority under this subdivision has joint zoning and subdivision regulation jurisdiction from one-half mile to one mile with the other political subdivision.
b. Two miles if the city has a population of five thousand or more, but less than twenty-five thousand. A city that has exercised its authority under this subdivision has joint zoning and subdivision regulation jurisdiction from one mile to two miles with the other political subdivision.
c. Four miles if the city has a population of twenty-five thousand or more. A city that has exercised its authority under this subdivision has joint zoning and subdivision regulation jurisdiction from two miles to four miles with the other political subdivision. (NDCC 40-47-01.1)
The county treasurer shall add to all special assessments the same interest and penalties that are added in the case of general taxes and at the same time. (NDCC 40-24-17)