Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 8, 2011
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 3-01-11 Wright County Board minutes.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Agenda.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: K. Chrissis, Atty.; J. Gutknecht, Recorder; D. Carlson, R. Erickson, C. Graham, A. Lund, B. Steen, Sher./Corr.
2. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Agreement With ISD #877 To Lease Space.
3. Set County Auction For 6-25-11 @ 10:00 A.M., Public Works Site.
4. O/T Report, Period Ending 2-18-11.
1. Approve Auditor/Treasurer Office Remodel Project (Cost Increase From Approved $7,500 Estimate To $9,200).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said at the last meeting, Mattson requested that the Allina Medical Contract be brought to this meeting for discussion. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said by contract, the County pays Allina $17,484.25 monthly for medical services provided on site at the Jail. If a patient needs to be taken to the hospital, those costs are outside of the contract. Pat O’Malley, Jail Administrator, said Allina Medical provides a broad range of services under the scope of the contract. Anything that can be handled in the Jail is covered under the contract. The County is responsible for any costs for treatment not handled on site. O’Malley provided detailed information on the services provided by Allina within the contract in 2010. There were 2,122 inmates treated. Of those, there were 511 who were diabetic and 68 who had dental issues. There were 100 detoxifications completed. O’Malley said the cost to detox an inmate in St. Cloud is about $3,000. There were over 200 doctor visits and 206 mental health issues where care must be provided while the person is in Jail. There were 174 mental health intake assessments (required by the State). Mattson said this is the type of information he was requesting and would like this type of update in the future. O’Malley said the Allina nurses provide services above and beyond the contract. One service is accompanying inmates to appointments so accurate information is conveyed to the provider. The inmate may request a range of services that should not be funded by the County. The nurses also take calls on the weekend which is not part of the contract. A wide range of services are provided that O’Malley could not quantify. Every time these services are provided, it saves the County transport costs and time waiting at the hospital. The services provided by Allina affect safety, security, and transport. Mattson said claims occasionally come through for transport costs through Allina. O’Malley said this relates to an ambulance transport. This was provided as an informational item.
Hiivala presented a resolution which designates the classification of tax forfeited properties as conservation or non-conservation land. The list of properties is attached to the draft resolution. Thelen moved to adopt Resolution #11-14, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-01-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0:
Hiivala briefly walked the Committee through the “2010 Revenue-Expenditure Summary” report (see attached) which addressed fund and department summaries using pie charts and reports to illustrate revenue sources and expenditures.
Hiivala provided a breakdown of how the County receives its revenues and how it is spent:
“All Funds: Where it came from”
Taxes 47%
State Gen. Purpose Aids 5%
State Shared Revenue 2%
State Grants 14%
Federal Grants 10%
Fees 10%
Transfers In 4%
Interest/Contrib 2%
Miscellaneous 6%
“All Funds: Where it went”
Personnel 49%
Services 5%
Rent Repairs/Maint 7%
Human Svs. Programs 7%
Highways 15%
Supplies 2%
Capital Outlay 2%
Debt Service 9%
Miscellaneous 4%
*Note: State General Purpose Aids are Market Value Credits and County Program Aid.
Hiivala outlined the “Budget Summary Fund Summary”, found on the second page of the report, which is presented on a cash basis. He stated that the General Fund was able to turn back $3,036,564.23, Road and Bridge $2,011,631.31, and Human Services $810,039.57. He stated that the General Fund figure is net of absorbing the State Unallotments of County Program Aid and Market Value Credits. The County did not receive the budgeted revenues for County Program Aid and Market Value Credits; otherwise, it would have turned back over $4 million to the General Fund.
Hiivala stated that Road & Bridge took in an excess of $726,965.15 in revenues than what was budgeted for in 2010. They also under spent by $1,284,466.16. He stated that the net amount of $2,011,631.31 is likely deferred revenue from an outstanding project. Therefore, the $2,011,631.31 will not all be turned back to the General Fund.
Hiivala then referred to page 7, “Human Services Budget Summary: Department Net Summary.” Income Maintenance was over budget by $101,740.18, Social Services was under budget by $688,385.11, and Public Health turned back $223,394.64. He stated that overall, Human Services turned back $810,039.57. This is partially due to better-than-anticipated State and Federal revenues.
Hiivala provided a breakdown of how the General Fund (eighth page of the report) receives its revenues and how it is spent:
“General Funds: Where it came from”
Taxes 55%
State Gen. Purpose Aids 6%
State Shared Revenue 4%
State Grants 1%
Federal Grants 1%
Fees 16%
Interest/Contrib 3%
Miscellaneous/Licenses 12%
Transfers In 2%
“General Funds: Where it went”
Wages & Benefits 66%
Services 8%
Rent Repairs/Maint 12%
Travel/Conferences 0%
Supplies 5%
Capital Outlay 3%
Miscellaneous 6%
*Note: State General Purpose Aids are Market Value Credits and County Program Aid.
The County budgeted $4,456,150.00 in State General Purpose Aids. It only took in $3,144,144.71. Hiivala noted that the County took in almost 100% of its levy due to delinquent taxes, penalties, and interest.
Hiivala referred the Committee to the “Budget Summary, General Fund, Analysis of Expenses Category/By Department” table. The table depicts how each Department budgeted and expended each of its line items. He announced that the Auditor/Treasurer went approximately $30,000 over budget on Services. This is due to the County’s decision to return to ACS Property Tax Services. He was not aware that this change was to occur and therefore didn’t account for it in his Professional Services line item. In Personnel Services, $2,367,573.99 was turned back due to vacant positions, turnover, and the Voluntary Leave Without Pay Program. The Departments turned back funds in each of the following expense categories: Services, $283,851.83; Rent, Repairs, & Maintenance, $154,387.35; Travel, Meals & Conferences, $33,926.65; Supplies, $358,299.32; Capital Outlay, $360,067.09; and Miscellaneous, $57,956.80.
Hiivala referred to the fifteenth page of the report, which again is a pie chart to demonstrate “Where it came from” and ‘Where it went” under the Road & Bridge Department. The majority of the revenue source is from taxes and State grants and spent in Highway construction and maintenance, and personnel expenses.
“Road & Bridge: Where it came from”
Taxes 34%
State Gen. Purpose Aids 4%
State Grants 49%
Federal Grants 4%
Fees 5%
Repairs/Travel 2%
Miscellaneous 1%
Transfers In 3%
“Road & Bridge: Where it went”
Highway Construction 48%
Highway Maintenance 23%
Personnel 19%
Capital Outlay 3%
Debt Service 3%
Miscellaneous 2%
Hiivala noted that the Road & Bridge fund received more than 100% of its budgeted taxes. This is due to property and gravel taxes. Road & Bridge has four major departments: Highway Administration, Highway Engineering, Highway Maintenance, and Shop Maintenance. He noted that Highway Engineering (Dept. #320) budgeted $9,945,600.00 for construction expenses. They spent $8,796,916.39. This indicates that there are a few projects that haven’t been paid for yet.
Hiivala referred to the 19th page of the Report again demonstrating “Where it came from” and “Where it went” under the Human Services Department. Hiivala noted that 31% of total expenditures was spent on programs on behalf of the citizens of Wright County.
“Human Services: Where it came from”
Taxes 35%
State Gen. Purpose Aids 4%
Federal Grants 36%
State Grants 16%
Fees 7%
Miscellaneous 2%
“Human Services: Where it went”
Personnel 58%
Programs 31%
Repairs/Repairs 5%
Travel/Conf 1%
Services 3%
Supplies 1%
Miscellaneous 1%
Human Services came just short of budgeted levies and spent more in their program expenses than budgeted. Hiivala explained that Human Services has three major departments: Income Maintenance, Social Services, and Public Health. On the analysis report of the expense categories, Income Maintenance came in $304,885.53 over budget. This is largely due to the Medical Assistance Program. Sawatzke questioned Mleziva how the expenses linked to the Medical Assistance Program could have been over budgeted when the County utilizes pass-through monies from the State and Federal government. Mleziva stated that the County does receive State reimbursements for this expense, however the County is responsible for a portion of the match. Essentially, the overage is due to an increased demand from the public for Medical Assistance. He commented that the money is not entirely pass-through dollars because the County does have to provide a match at the local level which comes out of the County levy. Sawatzke stated that he is confused about this process because it was his understanding that the County is reimbursed by the State. Mleziva stated that the County does pay for some medical expenses. The State of Minnesota has a higher rate of participation for medical assistance. Sawatzke asked whether Wright County property taxpayer money is directly paying for these Medical Assistance services.
Hiivala directed the County Board back to the “Budget Summary, Analysis of Revenues by Category/By Department” table. The State and Federal Grants did come in over budget, so there may be a receivable for a portion of the overage in Medical Assistance.
Hiivala referred the Committee to the “General Revenue; 5 Year Financial Data” table. The General Fund has a $26 million cash balance. This accommodates 53% of the 2010 operating budget. He commented that this is a good position to be in. Road & Bridge has $7.2 million in revenues, 37% of the operating budget; Human Services has $4.6 million in revenues for 21% of the operating budget. The State Auditor suggests that the County should have 35-50% of its operating budget in cash.
Norman asked whether there has been an analysis done to determine whether some of the revenues could be used to cover expenses in departments budget requests (i.e. Sheriff Gun Permits). Hiivala stated that this is a topic that should be researched.
Hiivala noted that the Compliance Funds was looked into on where else the funds could be allocated. Initiatives were brought to the County Board regarding a new property tax system, a records imaging system, and furniture and equipment. He stated that he thinks the County can investigate how else funds can be allocated toward other areas.
Hiivala stated that to satisfy his role as it relates to the County’s adopted investment policy, he is to disclose the condition of the County’s checking account and investment balances. The bulk of the County’s investments are in money market funds and savings accounts. The interest rates are not conducive for long term savings; therefore the money is invested in short-term accounts. He does have some money invested in Minnesota municipals which have good interest rates and are very secure.
Hiivala provided a synopsis regarding the levy stabilization fund (Fund 34-150). He provided a “Levy Stabilization Usage Summary Report For The Period 2003 To Present). The beginning cash balance (1-01-03) was $351,522.61. Since then, $7,482,676.00 was transferred from General Fund turnback dollars. Projects were funded through this account, less the reimbursement of State grants. As of 12-31-10, the County has a balance of $1,464,628.11 in the Levy Stabilization Fund. The County does have some projects that are earmarked to come out of this fund: CSAH 12 $46,000; Waste Facility Damage, $297,233.25; and Ney Park (w/Potter), $32,000.
Hiivala distributed a handout on the history of the unallotments. In 2008, the State unallotted $775,000 in County Program Aids. In 2009, they unallotted $593,177; In 2010, $1,204,329 and also took away the Market Value Credit of $971,664. The total unallotments for the last three years was $3,544,794. Hiivala stated that the County levies 105% of its annual debt service.
Hiivala noted that the departments did a great job of watching their budgets. The County does have contingencies imbedded in its budgets for the unallotments (i.e. personnel expenses).
He stated that he would not recommend making a transfer to the Levy Stabilization Fund. The County does have a very good fund balance in the General Fund which is where the transfers into the Levy Stabilization Fund come from. He stated that the County Board should determine the intent of the Levy Stabilization Fund. Going forward, the County is going to have to determine how to address relying on the County Program Aid which is 5% of the County’s revenues. A discussion of how to strategically use the Levy Stabilization Fund should be had.
Russek thanked the Department Heads for their efficiency and operating during tight economic times.
RECOMMENDATION: Hiivala to return to the County Board with a formal recommendation.
(End of 3-01-11 Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Laid over from the last meeting, the Board discussed cancellation of a Board Meeting in May due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays. Thelen requested the May 3rd meeting be cancelled. Asleson said that at the last meeting, Norman informed the Board that the May 3rd meeting includes an agenda item relating to the review of property classifications (parcels that will be sold for tax forfeiture as non-conservation land). Today, Asleson said that the resolution adopted today does away with the requirement of having that agenda item heard on May 3rd. Notice of the property classifications has been provided to cities and townships. The townships and cities have 60 days to respond to this notice. On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to cancel the 5-03-11 County Board Meeting.
The Board addressed a request by Sheriff Joe Hagerty to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the roles and communication of the Sheriff’s Office and Wright County government. The purpose is to present ideas for partnerships and improved communication with other departments and elected officials. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the Sheriff has also requested that three position openings scheduled on the 3-09-11 Personnel Committee be pulled from that agenda and referred to the Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Those positions include Deputy Sheriff, Civilian Corrections Officer, and Sergeant’s Eligibility List. Thelen moved to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 3-15-11 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested for a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting be scheduled with the following agenda: 1) Status of CSAH 37/CSAH 19/I-94 Project in Albertville; 2) Report of 7-W Policy Board Meeting-Settlers Parkway (Future CSAH 34); 3) Discuss Enhancement Project Review Process; 4) Construction Project Status-CSAH 12-CSAH 75-CSAH 40 Bridge; 5) Flood Control Project In Otsego; and 6) Status of Former Chouinard Property. Fingalson said they were successful in obtaining funding at the 7W Policy Committee for the Settlers Parkway/CSAH 34 project. Sawatzke moved to schedule a TCOTW Meeting for 4-05-11 at 1:00 P.M. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0. Sawatzke questioned whether the meeting will require decision making or whether it is being held for the purpose of updates. Fingalson responded the Committee will need to address recommendations on Items 2 and 5. The remainder of the Agenda items are updates.
Norman received correspondence from Dorsey and Whitney LLP relating to a conflict waiver for Wright County and Veolia Environmental Services. The letter reflects that Dorsey and Whitney LLP has represented Veolia for many years in various matters, including matters in which Veolia is adverse to the County. They have been asked to act as bond counsel to the Crow River Organization of Water and several counties, including Wright County, in connection with proposed loans to be made by the MPCA to the counties to finance a project for the CROW. The letter reflects that the project to be undertaken by the CROW and financed by the counties is not related to any of the matters on which they have represented Veolia. Veolia has indicated it is willing to consent to Dorsey and Whitney LLP acting as bond counsel to the County in connection with the Crow River Project, and the request is that the County consent to their continuing to represent Veolia in matters, including litigated matters, unrelated to work on the Crow River Project. The letter reflects that their representation of Veolia will not affect Dorsey and Whitney LLP’s representation of the County as bond counsel, nor will it involve the County’s confidential information. The request is for Wright County to sign a conflict waiver in this regard. Asleson recalled that there may have been a past conflict waiver request with this firm that was denied. In this case, their serving as bond counsel for the CROW would be unrelated to work done for Veolia. Asleson recommended the County sign the conflict waiver as long as both parties do so. Sawatzke questioned whether Wright County is acting as the fiscal agent. Russek replied the CROW is the fiscal agent for this project. Sawatzke said this involves a Joint Powers Agreement. He asked whether the waiver conflict would be required by all members of the Joint Powers. Asleson was unsure but he felt Dorsey and Whitney LLP would be very careful on conflict searches with a new client. Asleson felt it was appropriate for the County to sign the conflict waiver in this case. Thelen moved to approve signing the conflict waiver. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
At 9:30 A.M., Russek closed the bid process for the CSAH 40 Bridge Replacement project (SP 86-640-02). Fingalson said this is a joint project with Stearns County, and Wright County is taking the lead in the project. The Engineer’s estimate is $716,700. The project will not be awarded today as it is a Federal project that has to be approved by Mn/DOT. Fingalson stated the Highway Department has a new procedure for bid openings which allows them to have a better handle on who is the prime contractor. The new process does not require the contractor to submit a complete document but rather a smaller bid proposal package. The bids were opened:
Bidder; Bid Security; Bid Amount
Dallco, Inc. (Finlayson MN); Yes; $824,539.45
Duininck, Inc. (Prinsburg MN); Yes; $756,019.90
Redstone Construction Co., Inc. (Mora MN); Yes; $708,330.21
Robert R. Schroeder Const., Inc. (Glenwood MN); Yes; $724,256.70
Structural Specialties, Inc. (Hutchinson MN); Yes; $795,406.22
Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc.; Yes; $831,538.40
Fingalson asked that the bids be laid over to a future Board Meeting to allow for the double check of the figures in each bid and to allow obtaining approval from Mn/DOT. Mattson moved to lay the bid award over to a future meeting. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 9:37 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. for the Employee Recognition Ceremony. Each year the Board recognizes employees for individual and group achievement. The recipients were announced for the 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 Year Service Awards. Each recipient received a Certificate of Recognition and a coffee mug to honor their years of service.
Margo Block, Senior Office Support Specialist in Human Services, received the Individual Achievement Award. Debbra Swanson presented the Award to Block. She said the main reason Block was nominated was because she found a way to save the County over $100,000 by utilizing other funding sources. Block was described as having great organizational and computer skills. She re-worked the filing system in their Unit so that it is efficient and organized. Swanson said Block is kind and patient with those she works with. Block not only contributes in her position with the County but also volunteers in her community. Her compassion is evident in all areas of her life. Swanson stated that it does not matter what level you are as a worker, everyone can shine. She said that Block shines for the County. Sawatzke extended appreciation for Block’s efforts in saving the County money. Block was congratulated on her award.
Thelen recognized the work of public employees at Wright County. She said the work is valuable and necessary and feels that employees don’t receive enough recognition for the work they do. She recently put together a family history and realized how the lives of her relatives would have been positively impacted if they would have been able to realize the benefits of the services and regulatory functions that County employees now provide.
The Group Achievement Award was received by the Temporary STS Crew Facilitators Pat O’Malley, Jo Carpenter, and Bill Locke. Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Supervisor, nominated this team for their efforts related to the appliance collection event that is held at the Wright County Compost Facility. Two days before the collection, Stephens learned that the STS Crew would not be available to assist. This left him in an uncomfortable situation not knowing whether he would have the staff to run the event. He contacted Jo Carpenter at the Jail. Through the efforts and ingenuity of Jo Carpenter, Pat O’Malley, and Bill Locke, the group came up with a solution that would allow the STS Crew to work a double shift in order to accommodate assisting with the appliance collection event. Stephens said that these three individuals had bigger issues to deal with in their own jobs at the Jail but took the time to come up with a solution that made a large difference in the outcome of the event. The manner in which they responded illustrates how this type of assistance can make a far greater impact than is realized. The group was thanked and congratulated.
Individual Honorable Mention (nominations for Individual Achievement Award) included Tom Salkowski(Planning & Zoning) and Richard Nevala (Communications-Sheriff’s Office). The Board acknowledged the Awards Review Committee members (Cindy Hohl, Lee Kelly, Mike Pooler, Carol Schefers, and Tanya West). Norman stated the employees receiving their 5-Year Service Award will be recognized within their individual departments.
Bills Approved
All State Communications. $987.00
Allina Medical Clinic 189.75
Allina Medical Transportation 500.00
American Institutional Supp 489.40
American Messaging 416.81
Ameripride Services 217.46
APEC Industrial Sales & Service 458.30
Aramark Services Inc. 6,412.61
Black Moore Bumgardner M 100.00
Boiler Services 625.00
Boyer Truck Parts 122.53
Buffalo/City of 884.42
Burdas Towing 198.46
Canon Business Solutions-C 363.49
Carver County Treasurer 3,703.63
Catco Parts Service 704.21
Cenex Fleetcard 789.71
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 11,471.52
Centracare Clinic 943.74
CenturyLink 160.17
Chamberlain Oil Co. 654.60
Climate Air 1,134.33
Collins Brothers Towing 135.20
Cottens Inc. 776.86
Delano Sports Center Inc. 319.37
Dell Marketing LP 2,513.13
Eichelberg/Elmer 255.00
Elk River Municipal Utilities 111.39
Emergency Physicians Prof 670.50
Fastenal Company 149.17
Glunz/Raymond 120.00
Grainger 327.84
Granite Electronics 3,345.00
Greenview Inc. 865.90
Hermes/Richard 100.00
Hewlett Packard 6,050.48
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 486.15
HR Specialist Employment 249.00
Interstate Battery Systems 560.77
Karels Towing 178.48
Kris Engineering Inc. 9,429.60
Kustom Signals Inc. 134.28
LaPlant Demo Inc. 332.50
Maple Lake Messenger 178.48
Marco 4,162.34
Marco Inc. 839.18
Mattson/Richard 167.50
Mazzitello Professional Se 400.00
Midland Corporate Benefits 997.75
MN Sheriff’s Association 150.00
Morries Parts & Service Gro 439.81
Motorola Inc. 12,593.31
MPELRA 150.00
North American Salt Co. 41,499.54
Office Depot 1,336.70
Palmer Johnson Power Sys 851.24
Reich/Cathy 1,814.12
Richards/Thomas W. 500.00
Ridgewater College 362.50
Road Machinery & Supplies 153.02
Royal Tire Inc. 713.80
RS Eden 6,494.25
Russell Security Resource 2,127.22
Ryan Chevrolet 474.99
Schneider Corporation 4,215.00
SHI International Corp 17,698.50
Siteimprove Inc. 1,950.00
St. Cloud Fire Equipment Inc. 147.51
St. Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc. 132.48
Steeles Collision 488.40
Total Printing 1,357.53
Towmaster 129.40
Transcend United Technol 647.50
Truck Utilities Inc. 3,357.63
US Bank 862.50
Watchguard Electronic Ho 503.75
Weighing Systems & Services 1,088.26
West Metro Buick-Pontiac-G 132.75
West Payment Center 110.08
Wright County Journal Press 394.07
Xcel Energy 117.61
42 Payments less than $100 2,088.91
Final total $170,465.39
The meeting adjourned at 10:23 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal March 28, 2011.

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