Wright County Board Minutes

DECEMBER 18, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
The minutes of 12-11-12 were corrected as follows: Page 2, 3rd paragraph, 5th line, sentence should read, “Hiivala said application was made and the Board Of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will allow extension of the Grant for another year” (Norman); Page 2, last paragraph, 3rd line, sentence should read, “This contract includes a new construction fee of $25.00 for each new home, a $25.00 fee for each new commercial/industrial/apartment with an estimated market value of less than $500,000, and a $100.00 fee for each new commercial/industrial/apartment with an estimated market value of greater than $500,000” (Russek). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg. The motion carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #9, “Fee Schedule Adjustment” (Hiivala). Jim Sheldon, City of St. Michael and representative of the Great River Regional Library Board, said he wanted to express his thanks to the Board for appointing him to that position. The motion to approve the Agenda as amended carried 5-0.
Russek moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0:
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Kirscht, Bldg. Maint.; C. Hemming, N. Larson, B. Olson, M. Pullis, Sher./Corr.
2. Set Mileage Reimbursement Rates At 50.0¢/Mile, Eff. 1-01-13.
3. Increase Employer’s Contribution Toward Insurances By $50/Month, Eff. 3-01-13, For Non-Union Employees With Family Health Insurance.
4. Authorize Continuance Of The Voluntary Leave Without Pay Program For 2013.
1. 2013 Tobacco License Renewals: Don’s Auto Service & Repair (Albertville); Iron Horse Grill (Cokato); Dave’s Town Club (Delano); Lantto’s Store (French Lake Twp.); The Original Tom Thumb (Hanover); Ditto’s Bar (St. Michael).
George Gmach, Trusight, provided a final report on the Wright County Employee Classification Study. The last time this was discussed by the County Board, there was discussion relating to an appeals process that was going to be offered to the employees. It was also an opportunity for managers and supervisors to have further input on the jobs they supervise. It was a fairly significant part of the project and more than was anticipated. The project status is that appeals are complete and all points have been reviewed and updated based on job description edits. The Appeals Process provided employees with a memorandum outlining steps associated with an appeal, a form to complete, and a copy of their job description. Forms and appeals were directed to Human Resources and submitted to Trusight. Gmach said he and Lee Kelly, Wright County Special Projects Administrator, spent many hours working through the job description appeals. In many cases, they took the manager’s suggestions verbatim. Other things that were changed included language that may have been redundant.
Gmach said there were 73 appeals out of 150 classifications (48.6%), and 14 classifications out of 150 (9.3%) received a change in points as a result of changes made during the appeal process. Today, Gmach provided a list of points and changes to the Board. Job points that were adjusted include: Park Maintenance, Civilian Communications Officer, Support Enforcement Aide, Director-Vet Services/Civil Defense, Parks Administrator, Social Services Supervisor, Shop Maintenance Superintendent, Prop. Tax Admin./Chief Deputy Aud./Treas., Land Records Administrator, Sr. Engineering Technician, Office Manager I-Highway, Property Appraiser, Accounting Technician, and Property/Evidence Technician.
Gmach said the action of the County Board would be to accept the Report if it meets their approval. The motion would be to approve the project and complete the project. The points can be adopted and used in future planning for pay increases, adjustments, and contract negotiations, etc. The points assigned are part of compliance with pay equity. Every job has points assigned, and the system recognizes the qualifications of the job, decision making, problem solving, relationship, effort, environment, hazards, etc. The total amount of points guides jobs to a particular level of pay. Because of unionization within the County, it is necessary to negotiate pay for any changes that may occur. Gmach said the creation of a new pay structure and market study was outside the scope of the project. He said the Classification Study strictly relates to the establishment of points for pay equity.
Gmach referenced the handout entitled “Wright County Classifications” which reflects Current Job Classifications, Recommended Classifications, Department, Union, FLSA (exempt/non-exempt), Points Pre-Appeal, Post Appeal Points, and the Change in Points based on the Appeals Process. Thelen asked whether Gmach was looking for approval of this. Gmach stated he is. Thelen said there wasn’t time to digest the information provided today. Next week the County Board will hold a claims only meeting, which is the last meeting the current County Board members will have together.
Thelen asked for the number of appeals through the Classification Study. Gmach stated there were 73 appeals and 14 changes. Thelen asked whether most of the changes related to suggested changes by Department Heads. She understood the appeals process involved meeting again with Department Heads after the jobs were released. Gmach said that was correct. They had a couple of different meetings with departments. He said there were a couple of meetings before they released the first iteration of points. Many of the concerns had already been addressed at that point. What remained was people needed an opportunity to review their job descriptions. There was concern on the relatively short time frame of a few weeks. In many instances, the appeals process provided a vehicle for getting some of the edits into the job descriptions. Many of these edits were clarifications, and they did not change the description in terms of its classification value. In most cases, the accuracy of the description was improved. Gmach worked with Kelly to review the appealed descriptions to make sure they came up with a finished result that is agreeable to all. Gmach said that because of the timing, not everyone agreed with where they were rated but in many cases, there were suggestions to improve the accuracy of the descriptions. Some of that depended on the input from the Department Heads.
Mattson asked whether the Negotiation Committee will address those that do not agree with the points assigned. He referenced the jobs of Civilian Communications Officer and Office Manager I – Highway. Gmach said a change of 10 points assigned to a position is not that significant. The higher the points assigned, the higher the amount of point change required to make a difference in classification. The numbers increase geometrically not linear. A difference of 10 points in a job with a point value of 200 is fairly significant as opposed to a job that has a point value of 400.
Gmach understood the question is whether this is the final or whether there would be an opportunity for employees to review descriptions at a future date. Gmach explained there is always an opportunity to review a job if it changes in the future. Any one of these jobs could be reopened and looked at again in light of any new information that may be presented. Thelen asked whether Gmach got back to Department Heads after the changes were made (from appeals) and whether they were satisfied. Gmach said he was unsure how happy everyone was but they were provided. He asked Lee Kelly if he wanted to comment. Lee Kelly said some people have not seen everything yet. Audience members commented that they did not believe anyone has seen anything yet.
Mattson moved to approve the report on the Job Description Appeals. He said the next Board can take care of it. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said for those jobs listed on the report that are non-union, he will be looking at the classification system for non-union employees and the salary schedule. It is his intent to place the 2013 salary schedule for non-union employees on the next Board Agenda for approval. Norman will incorporate these into the salary schedule where they fit with other jobs with similar job point totals. Thelen asked Mattson for clarification of the motion, whether the motion is for approval of the changes or everything. Mattson said his motion including approval of the report. He thought next week’s Agenda included claims only and asked if this will be discussed at that meeting. Norman said this will not be discussed next week. The Board should approve the salary schedule unless the Board wants to take action at a later date. He felt payroll should be given an opportunity to incorporate these into the system prior to January 1st. Mattson said maybe the Negotiating Committee could give that recommendation.
Norman feels the goals have been met from when they started the Study of having all new job descriptions and consolidating where possible. When Gmach first presented the Classification Study to the Board, it was stated the Appeals Process would occur at the very end of what Trusight would do for the County. He said the points are not appealed; they are applied by the Consultant to the job descriptions. The County’s role after that will be to look at the pay structure. Sawatzke asked Norman if he is satisfied with the result of the Appeals Process. Norman said he has no reason to question the document. Thelen stated she has a problem with the process as it seems as though the Department Heads were left out of the loop. She questioned whether there are bad results because of the bad process.
Tom Kelly, County Attorney, asked if what the Board is reading will be shared with those that were supposed to be part of the process. He is unsure what the Board is reading and what the results are. The last communication he had was 6-8 months ago when the Appeals Process was discussed. About three months ago, Tom Kelly emailed Lee Kelly asking for the status of the process. Yesterday, he was informed by his Office Manager that the Trusight Appeals Process would be on today’s Board Agenda. He asked that the Board provide the information to everyone so that the process can be more transparent and the results are shared. Tom Kelly said his statements were on behalf of himself and probably 99% of those in attendance.
Thelen said the Board received some of the documentation today and she did not feel ready to act on it. Sawatzke said it is unfortunate that this item is up against the last full meeting of this County Board. The process has gone on for two years. Sawatzke said he feels that since this has gone through 99.9% of the process, it would be inappropriate to hand it off to the new County Board when they have not been involved. He would also have liked to receive the information a week or so ago for review but unfortunately, they did not. He felt the current Board would be better prepared to take a vote. Russek said the Appeals Process and the entire process took longer than expected. This is the final step in the process and an answer to the appeals. He felt the Board should take action and not hand it off to a new Board with no experience on this issue. Thelen said the Board had about three bullets of involvement. She said that is what happens, things get scheduled and they have a short time line to do things. She said the Department Heads have not been spoken to. She also feels the new Board could be brought up to speed and they did not need to address it at their first meeting. Thelen’s opinion is that there are some flawed steps in the process.
Sawatzke said it appears that an open mind was kept when reviewing appeals to job descriptions. About 20% of job descriptions changed. Gmach stated that the descriptions were looked at with a significant amount of detail. He said all of the reviewed descriptions are available in Human Resources. Gmach could not explain why the Department Heads were not provided descriptions. He stated it is not their situation at Trusight. He said they have done as much as they can to ensure accuracy in the ratings. He referenced a comment made by Norman earlier that the ratings are a management decision. The descriptions are owned by the management of the organization. Gmach said descriptions can be changed in the future if something is brought forward that appears should be changed. By the Board’s approval of the points today, that will provide Norman guidance to properly slot those non-union jobs in the structure for next year. If there is a job description discrepancy, it is within the purview of the Department Head to send an edited job description to the Board and Human Resources for review. Thelen said that is one of the things she hopes to avoid.
Norman said during the Appeals Process, those appealing the description filled out a form. They indicated what they felt were the inaccuracies in the draft job description. Thelen asked whether the process included getting back to them with the changes. Norman said it did not. Thelen asked Gmach about his comment that it was not his job to do that. Gmach said Human Resources would normally make those available. Thelen asked when Human Resources received them. Gmach said it depended on the timing of the appeal but they were scattered over several months.
Russek asked Mattson if the motion was to approve the report. Mattson said it was. The motion was seconded by Russek. Thelen said she assumes Trusight is done with the Classification Study and this is in place. She asked whether the Department Heads can appeal. Gmach said Department Heads always have the right to look for changes in job descriptions. Norman said that in the Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual, there is a sub section that deals with the reclassification process. That is what should be followed. If someone wants to look at a job description or have a new job description, there is a reclassification procedure that is outlined. Sawatzke said he accepted both the last statements made but questioned if the Department Heads had a chance for review of the job descriptions. Gmach said that the job description reviews in many cases came from Department Heads. In some instances, they came directly from employees where the Department Head signed off. In almost every instance, the language that was provided was accepted verbatim. Some descriptions had to be edited because they may have been wordy or included redundancies. They did not want 7-8 page job descriptions. Sawatzke asked, but for editing for brevity, whether every single job description was signed off by Department Heads. Gmach said that was right. He said the editing for brevity was the exception. In the majority of descriptions, everything was pretty much accepted as given. Sawatzke felt there shouldn’t be people coming back saying their descriptions are wrong when six months ago it was indicated that this is what the job is. He said it is understood that some jobs change over time. He did not think the County should see a lot of descriptions coming in because the descriptions have all been reviewed. That was part of this process. The motion carried 4-1 with Thelen casting the nay vote.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, asked the Board to authorize signatures on the CommUNITY Adult Mental Health Initiative Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) between Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright Counties. The JPA was presented on 12-10-12 to the Human Services Board and was referred to the County Board for action. Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright Counties have received State grant funds for this initiative for a number of years. The JPA is designed to provide additional structure and protection from liability for the individual County members. Over the past six months, the Counties involved decided there should be a more formal structure for such things as how the initiative will be run, which county will be the fiscal agent, how the Board will be selected. The JPA is not meant to change the Program but to provide some structure and liability protection. Mattson said this item was discussed at length at the Human Services Board Meeting. Mattson moved to approve the request. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg.
Sawatzke said an appointment will need to be made to this Joint Powers Board, either by the Human Services Board or by the County Board. Asleson said it is up to the Board how they want to handle that. The reason it was brought to the Board is that the issue is to have the County enter into a JPA. Asleson’s opinion is that it is fine to place the appointment on a Human Services Board Agenda. The appointment does not need to be an elected official; it can be supervisory staff. Sawatzke said information was provided by Jay Kieft, Human Services Director, on the economics of the organization. A few million dollars per year goes through this organization. Kieft said that the reason for the JPA is the money flowing through the organization has increased as it relates to mental health. There is a $2.2 million budget. The four Counties are mentioned in the JPA. Appointments should be made prior to the 1-03-13 Joint Powers Board Meeting. The intent is not to change the culture of the organization. They want to keep it simple and cover any liabilities. Appointments can include a Commissioner or leadership staff. Kieft recommended that the Human Services Director be appointed with the Social Services Manager as the alternate. The 1-03-13 Joint Powers Board Meeting is an organizational meeting, and they will be signing contracts.
Thelen asked Kieft to provide information on the purpose of the group. Kieft said a deinstitutionalization route occurred over the last 15 years at the State level, and there was concern as a State on filling the gaps in services for severely, persistently mentally ill adults. The organization is all about serving individuals in best practice ways as a consortium. The State has continued to funnel mental health dollars to this group to make community based decisions on how best to fill those gaps. There are a number of initiatives and programs that this Joint Powers Board makes decisions on to make sure there is coverage of services. As they have lost some of the options for longer term, inpatient, and immediate care, the monies have flowed more toward the community-based treatment and decisions. There is a mix of Federal and State dollars (about a 50/50 split). There are no County levy dollars involved. Mattson voiced concern with filling up the County Board or Human Services Board Agendas on 12-24-12. It was agreed that this appointment will be a very short item and should be placed on the 12-24-12 Human Services Board Agenda. At that meeting, the Board will discuss whether to make an appointment for a certain term (i.e., two-year period) or whether that appointment can be changed after the first meeting in January, because of the four new Board members taking office. The motion to authorize signatures on the JPA carried 5-0.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the County received a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from Corinna Township relating to Shoreland Authority. At the last County Board Meeting, Corinna Township had requested the JPA be changed to an MOU and to change the term from five years to one year. The County Board then took action by asking the Township to draft an MOU for review by the County Board with those terms. At today’s County Board Meeting, Riley stated that the MOU has been received from Corinna Township and reviewed by himself and Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney. The changes are minor and relate to changing the document to an MOU and for the MOU to be for a one-year period. Eichelberg moved to approve the MOU to extend the Shoreland Agreement with Corinna Township for 2013. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Kryzer reiterated that the changes to the MOU were very minor. The most significant change relates to the time period. He said the document is basically what has been done for two years.
Thelen asked what the newly elected County Board members should look for in terms of final approval on Corinna Township’s request for Shoreland Authority. She said Corinna Township has made a case over the last number of years on their capacity to do this. Thelen asked Sawatzke for his opinion. Sawatzke said he previously referenced the SONAR report and the issues raised there relative to a township’s abilities and resources comparable to counties. Sawatzke said those are things he looks at in that report and how the request is supposed to be evaluated relative to that. Beyond that, Sawatzke said he was not prepared to answer that question today. Thelen summarized that Sawatzke’s response is that SONAR is part of it. Sawatzke responded that it is not part of it, it is it. Thelen felt it was worth getting more clarification on the SONAR piece. She said they have received information from the DNR previously on whether they think that should be the arbiter of the decision here. She said there could be some more information for the future Board in that regard. Thelen recommended a workshop for the new Board members to look at this, and that they should contact the DNR and others on this issue. She did not feel it was fair for Corinna Township to have to keep coming back to the County. She stated that the Township has gone through every hoop that has been put in front of them. Sawatzke said that one year ago, Thelen did not allow the Township to have it and pushed it off a year. Thelen responded that she didn’t push it off for a year; rather, she requested their Ordinance be changed so the final decision authority wouldn’t rest with the Corinna Township Board and it would parallel the County’s decision-making process. She said Corinna Township did that. Sawatzke said in any event, he recalls her not being supportive of allowing them to have Shoreland Authority a year ago. Thelen said it was because she wanted them to change their Ordinance. She said Corinna Township has done everything in an exemplary fashion. She said a decision can’t be made based on one group of disgruntled people. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the MOU with Corinna Township for one year.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested approval of a Master Partnership Contract with MnDOT (Agreement #02586). This is a renewal of a Contract where the County partnered with MnDOT five years ago. It allows each road authority to perform work for the other road authority and may include routine maintenance or professional and technical services. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-78. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-27-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
1. Discuss Purchase of Skid Steer Loader:
Hawkins explained that the current skid steer loader needs to be replaced. It has broken hydraulics and the motor has already been rebuilt twice. Purchase of a new skid steer was not included in the 2012 Budget, but because of the higher than expected trade-in price that was received for three of the old tandem trucks, the skid steer could be purchased and the equipment portion of the budget would still be under budget for the year. The purchase of a skid steer was not included in the 2013 Budget either, and it was not scheduled to be swapped out until 2016. Jans said that they have already put $13,000 into repairs of this equipment, but now would be a good time to replace it since there is money in the budget. This piece of equipment is also used to clear snow from the parking lots at the courthouse and belonged to the Parks Department before the Highway Department acquired it. A new skid steer, probably a Bobcat on the state contract, will cost about $51,000, and the old one should have some trade-in value. There was general agreement that Jans should move ahead with the purchase and thanked him and Hawkins for bringing this to their attention and asking for approval.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that the Wright County Board of Commissioners approve the purchase of a new skid steer loader for the Highway Department, and that this be purchased off the state contract with funds from the equipment portion of the 2012 Highway Department Budget.
2. Discuss and Finalize 5-Year and 10-Year CIP Plan:
A 5-Year Public Meeting was held on October 9, and there were representatives from several cities to present suggestions for improvements on various roadways. The City of Monticello did not present anything at that meeting, but they have since submitted a project that they would like to have considered. When presented last year in an application for federal funds, it received a high technical score for its merits, but it was not awarded federal money because the City didn’t have any state or county money identified. The new rules of Region 7-W include the criteria that there should be support from agencies that own the road, such as from the County and the State for the improvements proposed by the City of Monticello for the intersection of TH 25/CSAH 75. The proposed improvement would be a good value for Wright County to help lower congestion on CSAH 75, and the County would be responsible for only a part of the 20% not covered by federal funds. This project could be shown on Wright County’s 5-Year Plan, and if federal money is awarded, it will be for 2017. Bruce Westby, City Engineer for Monticello, said that if Monticello is awarded the money, they would consider advancing it to get this project done sooner (2014) and make the payback when the funds are released in 2017. According to the plan submitted by the City, it appears that some of the buildings on the southwest corner of TH 25 and CSAH 75 will have to be removed to accommodate the improvements. If this improvement is included in Wright County’s plan, the City of Monticello will still have to submit their request to Region 7-W.
Hawkins distributed a draft of the Highway Department’s newly formatted 5-Year Plan with modifications as suggested in the Recommendation following this text]. He said that items have been added to it as a result of the input at the recent 5-Year Public Meeting previously referenced. Both the City of Otsego and City of St. Michael had representatives speak to their desire for safety spot improvements at various locations, and these concerns had been brought up at the previous 5-Year Public Meeting also. Hawkins and staff updated a draft plan incorporating the concerns that were addressed at this meeting. The purpose of this plan is to provide midrange planning, share the information with the public, post it on the website, and create the opportunity to apply for federal dollars jointly with cities. As explained on Page 3 of this draft, this plan can be modified as funding levels and priorities change, which is likely to occur about every two years. The goal is to maintain the highway system to the best of Wright County’s ability with the available resources. In order to apply for state and federal grants, the projects must be included on the County’s transportation plan, so it is in everyone’s best interest to include all that are likely to be pursued. Page 4 of the draft plan shows how pavement management helps identify the trends in highway conditions. It shows how systems change and indicates the categories for identification. Overall, 77% of Wright County highways are in ‘good’ shape as compared to 64% in 2005, but the percentage of highways identified as ‘very good’ have decreased from 32% to 7% since then. The percentage of highways in ‘very poor-fair’ condition have increased from 5% to 16%, which is a trend that Hawkins is concerned about. It is important to keep up with maintaining the level of the highway system. Hausmann said that the best time to improve the roadways is when they are still in the ‘fair’ stage. Once the condition deteriorates to ‘very poor,’ the project turns from rehab to reconstruction, and the costs are greatly increased. Wright County is in good shape compared to many other counties, but conditions are starting to slip a bit. Sawatzke asked about a tour to the sites of the proposed projects, and Hawkins agreed that it would be good to get the plan approved now and hold a tour sometime in the spring after the new County Board is seated. Hawkins said that he has a federal solicitation request which is due in January, so it would be good to have the 5-Year Plan adopted before the end of the year so that these projects are eligible for federal funding, as one of the criteria for funding is to be included on an approved plan. It can always be modified. Sawatzke commented that the plans for 2015 local funding seem to be a bit aggressive, and Hawkins explained that the local is higher and state aid is lower, as they are in the process of catching up with what they owe for advanced funds, as the State is not advancing funds anymore. He said that there is the possibility that state aid regular funds would be higher in 2015 and that there might be federal dollars to supplement the budget. This draft plan, even when approved, is a flexible document. Hausmann said that all of the right of way for the CSAH 6 project (2.5-3 miles) is in the ‘local’ line, and it is state aid eligible. It’s also possible that federal money could be awarded for the CSAH 6 project, which would help lower the local share. Hawkins said that there could even be a new plan by the time 2015 arrives. Eichelberg said that it’s good to have a plan in place so that there are more options to acquire money. Hausmann said that more detailed estimates on the overlay projects would be drawn up before the final draft plan is submitted to the Board for approval. Hawkins said that he would like a recommendation from the TCOTW and would then present the final version of the 5-Year Transportation Plan to the County Board.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that the Wright County Board of Commissioners approve the 5-Year Transportation Plan as presented today, with modifications as discussed, and that a road tour of the proposed projects on this plan be scheduled for sometime in April 2013 for the County Commissioners and some members of the Highway staff.
(End of 11-27-12 TCOTW Minutes)
Hawkins requested approval of Agency Agreement (#02644) with MnDOT for Exchange of Federal Funds for State Aid Funds between Wright County and Crow Wing County. This Agreement, for exchange of Federal funds for State Aid funds, is a streamlining initiative by MnDOT that provides for greater efficiencies for administering Federal funds. This Agreement allows Wright County to receive an additional $704,000 of Federal funds (from Crow Wing County) for the CSAH 75 Federal Overlay Project (SP 86-675-18) in exchange for $704,000 of State Aid Regular funds that will go to Crow Wing County. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-79. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 12-12-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke provided an overview of the Minutes. He referenced Item II relating to employee’s time while attending Wellness Committee sponsored events. He said apparently there is some discrepancy on how this is handled between departments in that some Department Heads allow attendance by employees at Wellness events on County time while others Departments require employees to take personal time. That sort of discrepancy can create problems within the organization, so it was felt some clarity was needed on this issue. Norman then made the following correction on Page 11, Recommendation Item #1, should read, “Authorize replacement of two Family Based Service Provider positions with one Case Aide and one Public Health Nurse.” Sawatzke said that there will be the same number of staff within the organization. A contract worker will be eliminated at a savings to the County. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Russek serves as the Chair of the C.R.O.W. He referenced the discussion on health insurance and PERA for C.R.O.W. Watershed District employees. Initially, it was thought that the County may have to pay back years for PERA for these employees. It has since been learned that this is not the case. He understands C.R.O.W. employees may try to find health insurance on their own as it may be less expensive than the County’s health insurance. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the Minutes and recommendations. The Minutes follow:
I. Discuss Allowing CROW Watershed District Employees To Be On County’s Health Insurance Plan & Be Members Of PERA.
Norman said Personnel Representative Judy Brown informed him that the County does not determine whether someone is eligible for Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) benefits. Hiivala contacted PERA. They asked for a copy of the CROW Watershed District (District) Joint Powers Agreement. The PERA contact indicated CROW employees are eligible for PERA, and perhaps should have contributed since the origination of the District. The District was established under Minnesota Statute 103D. Sander said the District would be liable for retroactive contributions from 1-01-09. The County would bill the District for the retroactive contributions. Sander asked whether District employees could opt out of PERA for the retroactive contributions if they are included under the County insurance and PERA plans. Hiivala replied that since the District was formulated by a Joint Powers Agreement per Minnesota Statute, they are a legal entity and are required to contribute to PERA. As the District’s fiscal agent, the County is responsible for all employee and employer contributions. Sander said the retroactive amount is daunting. Norman asked if PERA would impose an additional penalty. Hiivala did not have any further information. He doesn’t believe Prairie County Resource Conservation & Development (Prairie RC&D), the District’s former fiscal agent, was informed of the PERA requirement.
Sawatzke asked about Prairie RC&D. Sander explained that when the organization was initially established, there was a coordinator, a bookkeeper and eventually an additional person. The first two were considered Federal employees. By the time the third person was hired, the staff was considered employees of Prairie RC&D.
Hiivala said the retroactive contributions would be the District’s responsibility. He was not certain whether the District would be required to pay them. Norman asked how the PERA accounts would be set up for District employees. Hiivala said PERA requires both the employee and employer to contribute. The County would pay the contributions and then bill the District. He said it would be most efficient if the Auditor/Treasurer Department could take in the grant monies for the District and process them through the County checking account. If the District deposits grant monies in their own checking account, the County will bill them monthly for wages, medical, Social Security, PERA, and other charges. Sander said the District would then write the County a check as reimbursement.
Eichelberg said the only discussion is whether the County would allow District employees to be on the County insurance plan. Sawatzke asked how many people were employed at the District. Sander said there were two. Sawatzke asked whether they were full time. Sander said in the future there may be a total of three employees if they obtain enough grants. The third employee may be part time or summer help.
Sawatzke asked regarding the likelihood that funding for the District will continue in light of the current economic situation. Sanders said Federal funding cuts are the reason Prairie Country RC&D is disbanding. The District receives contributions from ten counties in the Watershed District and also gets matches from a State grant. She said they have been very successful at obtaining grants since 1999. Sander does not see that changing in the future.
Norman asked Hiivala to clarify that the PERA representative said District employees may participate in PERA, and should have been members since the origination of the District. Hiivala verified that District employees should have contributed since the establishment of the District. Sawatzke commented that perhaps someone determined in the past that District employees were not eligible.
Sander asked about a defined retirement plan. She did not know whether PERA considered a Roth IRA, for example, as a defined retirement plan. Hiivala said he was not sure whether a Roth IRA was included in that definition. He asked whether District employees could be covered under County insurance. Norman said he believed District employees would be classified the same as Historical Society or Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employees, who pay all the premiums. Sawatzke asked whether the County was expected to perform fiscal agent functions for the long term. Sander said yes.
Eichelberg asked Hiivala to confirm that Sander will work out the details regarding PERA. Hiivala recommended the County be the fiscal agent and write the checks for the District. He explained to Sander that under that arrangement, the County would pay all District bills and send them a monthly report. That would eliminate the need for the County to bill the District monthly.
Sawatzke asked Sander how many transactions the District does per month. Sander estimated as many as a dozen. Sawatzke asked the number of deposits. Sander did not have an exact number. She said District grants are typically reimbursed. The District spends some money, and the State reimburses them. Hiivala said he will work with the District and ask the State to pay the County. Sander said the SWCD has their own vendor identification number. The District will need to get one as well.
Norman asked when Hiivala recommended implementing the insurance plan. Hiivala said the County’s fiscal agent responsibilities would begin 1-01-13. He added that employees are required to participate in the County insurance program. Hiivala asked if an employee would have to participate in the County plan if they are covered under a spouse’s insurance plan. Petersen said that would be optional. If one of the employees has other insurance, it would be a savings to the District. Sander said she is currently covered under her husband’s insurance. Sawatzke asked whether the second District employee would utilize the County insurance program. Sander said most likely they would.
Sawatzke asked what portion the District provides for insurance expenses. Sander did not know but will find out and report back to Sawatzke. Petersen was not aware of the premium that SWCD employees pay. Hiivala will email Petersen and copy Sander regarding the SWCD premium amounts. Sawatzke said the premiums SWCD employees pay may be entirely different from County premiums. Hiivala reminded Sander that the District is responsible for the employer share.
Recommendation: Approve CROW Watershed District employee coverage under the County insurance plan and eligibility to contribute to PERA.
II. Discussion RE: Employee’s Time While Attending Wellness Committee Sponsored Events.
Norman asked the Committee to determine which Wellness Committee sponsored events should be attended on employee time and which are appropriate to attend on County time. He read an email from Judy Brown, Personnel Representative, regarding Health Partners “Healthy Thinking” program.
Norman also read the Monthly Health and Wellness Meeting attachment from a meeting with Health Partners representatives on 11-14-12. He said the Wellness Committee recently sponsored a brown bag presentation regarding dealing with difficult people. He received comments from several participants that while some attendees ate their lunch during the presentation, others did not. Apparently they went to lunch either before or after the presentation. It is not fair for some Departments to allow an employee to attend events on County time and others to require the employee to use their lunch break. When looking at the Wellness Committee events for 2013, Norman said the Poker Walk should be done on employee time. The Super Chili Bowl can be done as part of a lunch break. He believes the Bloodmobile event could be done on County time.
Mattice said the Yoga class is provided outside of work hours. The most recent event approved by the Board that involves employer time was the Health Screening. Brazelton said the Wellness Committee has been presented with other opportunities to promote employee health such as smoking cessation. She asked whether it would be possible to offer on-site programs for which employees could use sick time. She said preventive measures such as these programs could have a significant impact on County insurance costs.
Petersen attended the Health Partners meeting referenced on the Monthly Health and Wellness Meeting document. She said Health Partners will make $20,000 available to the County in 2013 to promote wellness programs. However, Petersen said, if the County does not make it convenient for employees and attendance is low, it is difficult to take advantage of the entire sum. She suggested employees be allowed to participate in an activity on their break, and then give them a few additional minutes to quickly eat their lunch. She said the recent Walk to Key West program was very successful. Health Partners was delighted that 204 employees took part, and 184 completed the program. Much of the walking was done outside of work time on their breaks. The program encouraged healthy behavior. Brazelton said initial lost work time is offset by increased productivity when employees are healthy and active. She said if 50 percent of County employees would participate, the County would realize cost savings. Brazelton said it helped that Health Partners provided a $20 gift card to participants. She said much greater support from top County officials is needed to achieve a 50 percent participation ratio.
Petersen referred to the Healthy Thinking seminar proposed by Health Partners. The program involves 15 employees in three 45 - 60 minute sessions. The cost of one program series is $2,000. However, County employees only get a 30 minute lunch break. Sawatzke said if there aren’t 15 employees interested enough in this program to attend outside of work hours, there is not enough demand. Petersen said perhaps employees do not want to come back to work at 5:00 P.M.
Norman said he is not opposed to Wellness activities, but some should be done on employee time. Sawatzke agreed. Petersen said Health Partners requires three 45 minute Healthy Thinking sessions for 15 people. Norman asked how the participants would be selected. Petersen said employees would sign up. Norman said the first 15 would get in the sessions. Petersen added that if 30 sign up, Health Partners could conduct two series. Norman said the program is not open to everyone. Petersen replied that limits are set because there are not enough funds to offer the sessions to everyone. Attendees would receive homework assignments. Eichelberg said the hope is that attendees will continue the same healthy activities on their own following the sessions. He added that doing something three times is not enough to establish firm habits.
Brazelton interjected that many employees have families or second jobs. Even if the County does not pay employees to exercise, the County ultimately pays for their unhealthy lifestyles by increased health care costs. Sawatzke said he did not think the County would achieve lowered premiums just because some employees participate in exercise programs. Sawatzke said he does not object to exercise programs. However, he also does not consider County-sponsored employee exercise programs an effective way to reduce health care costs. Petersen said they were not asking the County to pay employees to exercise. Sawatzke responded that a person needs to walk every day and not just twice per year. Brazelton said there are very innovative companies that have treadmills with a computer and phone. Employees walk and work at the same time. Sawatzke said enrolling in a health club achieves a similar end. Brazelton said some insurance plans cover the cost of health clubs and others don’t. Health Partners covers $20 per month.
Sawatzke asked Norman whether he wanted to come back with a proposal at a later date. Norman said he is looking for consistency and doesn’t see it in a lot of Departments. He is not opposed to the Wellness Committee. He was one of the initiators. Some activities should legitimately be sponsored by the employer. Norman said the County recently sponsored the Healthy Communities Partnership program. However, he sees inconsistencies with other activities. Norman said part of his job is to administrate, monitor and evaluate things. When he sees inconsistencies, he brings it to the attention of the Board. Schefers agreed, saying it would help managers to encourage employees to participate, even if an activity is on employee time. She said managers need to have established guidelines that state which activities are allowed on employer time. She said there are companies that do more to get their employees to engage in healthier activities. However, employees must participate. In reality, Schefers said the employees who participate are the ones motivated to take action. She did not envision many employees applying for the Healthy Thinking sessions. Schefers said she would like a clear standard that indicates which activities are allowed on employer time and which are relegated to employee time. She reiterated that managers should apply the standard consistently.
Norman asked if Health Partners offers training opportunities in a large group format. If 50 to 60 employees attend on a voluntary basis, the message would be conveyed to many more people. Hiivala asked if the money from Health Partners will be unavailable if not utilized by the County. Petersen said Health Partners set aside a certain amount of money each year over the three-year contract period. There is $8,700 remaining from the 2012 fund that she hopes Health Partners will roll over to 2013. They allow five percent of the money to be used at County discretion. The rest (approximately $1,000) Health Partners wants the County to spend on their programs.
Hiivala asked whether there are 15 employees who would be willing to use one hour of their vacation time for the purpose of improving their health. Petersen said employees are skeptical. Hiivala replied that success breeds success. Petersen said the Healthy Thinking program is phenomenal. Hiivala said the employee would contribute three hours of vacation time to participate. Petersen said sick time would not qualify. Hiivala inquired whether the Healthy Thinking program could be offered to employees with the stipulation that they use vacation time. Petersen said there would be a maximum of 15 employees per session for three separate meetings. Trained Health Partners staff conducts them. Hiivala encouraged the Committee not to deny the program but to allow employees to participate on their vacation time.
Mattice said in the past this type of activity has been allowed. He wants consistency as well. Members of the Wellness Committee frequently ask him whether an activity can be done on employee or employer time. The problem is there is no standard. Mattice feels the goal of this discussion is to get all Department Heads on the same page. Health Partners has a wide variety of programs. The question from the Health Partners meeting is whether the County would allow employees to use a little work time – perhaps 15 minutes per week - for three weeks.
Mattice said exercise programs like Yoga and the Poker Walk are on employee time. However, programs such as Healthy Thinking that bring in outside speakers and are sponsored by the Wellness Committee are typically on employer time. Hiivala wondered whether the Healthy Thinking program would have mass appeal.
Mattice reiterated that the Wellness Committee is seeking consistency. Norman said the County has sponsored speakers in the past. Health Partners programs that span two hours and accommodate larger groups could be employer sponsored. Hiivala said if Health Partners does not offer such a program, employees would at least have an opportunity to do the three Healthy Thinking sessions.
Norman commented that Mattice made a good point. Exercise activities should be on employee time. The Chili Bowl and Salad Bar are held during employee lunch breaks. The County has sponsored participation in the Bloodmobile in the past. Sawatzke did not consider that a health-inducing activity, although it is a good public service gesture.
Norman said brown bag lunches should also be on employee lunch time. He asked whether a Department Head could allow an employee to take two fifteen-minute breaks with their half hour lunch. Sawatzke said that would be fine if it is applied consistently. Unfortunately, it tends to vary from Department to Department. Norman hoped that if the policy is clarified, Department Heads will treat these activities consistently. Health Partners seminars for larger groups involving greater employee participation should be employer sponsored. Norman said if access is limited to 15 people, it should be on employee time (including vacation time). He suggested the Committee wait to see if 15 people sign up. If more are interested, Health Partners may hold two or three sessions. Brazelton agreed. The Wellness Committee is concerned that brown bag lunches last longer than 30 minutes. Norman said Health Partners could conduct a two-hour session in the Community Room that would be considered a seminar. Brazelton said that format would work well with these topics. Sawatzke asked who on the Wellness Committee decides regarding speakers. Brazelton said Mark Nolan, Safety Director, coordinates them.
Sawatzke suggested to Eichelberg that they support the suggestions as articulated by Norman. Eichelberg concurred. Petersen said nothing has been decided regarding programs in 2013. The $20,000 for 2013 will go fast given the $2,000 cost per Healthy Thinking series, brown bag seminars and so forth. The Walk to Key West program used a fair amount of money. That is why Personnel decided to do the health assessment initially.
Schefers said from a Public Health standpoint, the more people you serve, the faster money is spent. The positive outcome is more County residents are engaging in healthy activities. Brazelton said the Healthy Communities Partnership by Allina is similar. She added that 80 percent of obese adults have a myriad of health problems. That is why foundations are willing to spend money to help people get healthier. The more participation, the greater the level of benefits achieved.
Recommendation: Approve the following Department guidelines regarding use ofemployee versus employer time for Wellness activities:
1) Exercise programs should be done on employee time.
2) Brown bag lunches should be done on employee time. Department Heads may allow employees to take their 15-minute breaks with the 30-minute lunch break on those occasions.
3) Health Partners seminars for larger groups held in the Community Room that span two hours and involve greater employee participation will be on employer time.
4) Bloodmobile events will be considered employer time.
III. Discuss Employee Retirement Bridging.
Hiivala said Commissioner Thelen asked him to bring this item to the Personnel Committee. He also spoke with other counties regarding Employee Retirement Bridging. The counties he spoke with indicated they experienced monetary savings. However, Hiivala said that doesn’t equate total savings since a lot of talent goes out the door when the experienced employee leaves. Norman asked which counties provided the information. Hiivala said he spoke with Chisago and Kanabec Counties. Chisago implemented the program three separate times as a one-time opportunity. Sawatzke stated that it was not an ongoing program. Hiivala said it was not. Chisago paid one year of single health insurance for the retiree. If an employee has family coverage, they have to pay the balance. Hiivala said his understanding is that if an employee leaves under this plan, they are not prohibited under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). Petersen clarified that applies when a retiree works until age 65 or longer. Norman said if a person resigns from a position before 65, they may stay on COBRA 18 months. Petersen added that if they retire, they may COBRA for a longer period of time.
Hiivala said Kanabec has a higher payout of sick leave. He is not sure if that saved them money. He thinks the County can arrive at an incentive for a short duration of time. Employees must meet PERA retirement requirements and be a year from turning age 65. He said the savings to the County are quantified. Sawatzke said he would like to see the math. He sees two issues with this situation: 1) The County pays experienced employees more because they are considered more valuable. He questioned whether a new employee is worth X dollars less, if Hiivala considered that a savings. Petersen said PERA and Social Security rates are less for a new employee as well. Hiivala said the savings would be less during Year One for a new employee. Norman said if someone meets retirement requirements, they could retire and stay on the County insurance plan for a year and use severance pay for insurance premiums. Sawatzke said he is skeptical but would look at the numbers. He does not believe they will show a savings.
Sawatzke brought up issue 2): Would the County designate that only certain positions are allowed to take part in the Retirement Bridging Program? He asked how many County employees retire before age 65.
Petersen did not know the exact numbers. Norman said deputies would be most likely to retire earlier due to the Police and Fire Pension Fund. Sawatzke said others retire earlier as well. They must also be considered. Early retirees would be paid insurance for a one-year period that they would not have been paid without the Retirement Bridging program. Sawatzke said the formula should include data from the last three years multiplied by the percent of employees who were retired already. The cost of that percentage and their cost should be included in the calculations.
Norman asked who requested Retirement Bridging. Hiivala said he responded to Thelen’s request. He found counties who claim there is a fiscal advantage to the program. Norman asked whether Thelen mentioned input on the subject from any other Departments. Hiivala said the Assessor Department, Human Services and two employees in his office (Auditor/Treasurer). Petersen asked whether they were planning to retire anyway. She questioned why the County would pay someone to retire. Norman said private sector companies often utilize Retirement Bridging prior to laying off employees.
Sawatzke illustrated his points on the white board. He said to hire a new person at Step One is a savings. A discussion ensued regarding whether this program would incur savings or additional costs to the County.
Norman suggested further analysis on the topic. Lee Kelly, Special Projects Administrator, was asked to acquire information on Retirement Bridging. He is not in the office this week. Sawatzke said the County should consider costs and savings beyond the first year.
Petersen said a retiring person may have earned as many as 20 days of vacation versus 12 days available to a new employee. There are many scenarios. Hiivala said if the County replaces a retiree with a new employee at Step Two, the savings would be $14,000. Sawatzke said that does not consider that the retiree would have retired either way. The proposal encourages employees to retire one year earlier. To fully calculate the cost of the proposal, Sawatzke said the Board needs to consider the Step increases a new employee is given annually for twelve years. Hiivala countered that every year it takes a new employee to achieve a new Step increase represents a savings to the County. Sawatzke said those savings are realized only in the first year. After that, the former employee would have retired anyway. He said the plan motivates someone to retire earlier. Hiivala replied that one year of insurance premiums does not equate to two or three years. The Board won’t implement this proposal unless it makes fiscal sense. Sawatzke said in any scenario, it is important to calculate the math beyond what costs are incurred by the County. He suggested Hiivala run the figures and present it to the Committee. He projected the numbers would not support the proposal.
Petersen said it is a one-time opportunity that must be taken advantage of during the offering period. Hiivala said Chisago County offered the option three separate times. He did not receive a strong endorsement of the Retirement Bridging option from them. Hiivala said there were fiscal savings, but they reiterated there is a cost in the person who retires. Sawatzke disagreed that there were potential savings. Petersen conjectured that some employees may be upset if another person received the offer that was not made available to them. Eichelberg commented that there is also a cost to train a new employee.
Sawatzke said if there were a cost savings, the County would implement Retirement Bridging on a permanent basis. He added that the only time the program works is when the position vacated by the retiree is not filled. He asked Petersen the amount of the health insurance premium the County pays. Petersen said the County pays $995 per month toward the purchase of insurance per employee. Single coverage costs approximately $870. Sawatzke said the Board needs to consider the County’s premium costs. Norman suggested the issue be laid over until Kelly presents his data. Sawatzke asked that the presentation include scenarios that show the savings, advantages and disadvantages of the plan.
Norman said he envisioned Retirement Bridging as an option in the event of a State budget crisis during which the County lost $2 million in aid. In that case, the County budget would need to be balanced, and Retirement Bridging could possibly avert layoffs, especially if the vacated positions were not filled. Sawatzke agreed, but felt there were few areas in the County that could afford to leave positions unfilled.
Hiivala said if employees are aware of this opportunity, there will be more participation. Norman said employees must understand that by retiring early, they impact their PERA benefits. Petersen said that is why some employees will hesitate to participate. She thinks employees will be skeptical about the benefits of the program.
Hiivala said Chisago and Kanabec Counties educated their employees. Sawatzke said the employees who would retire early are the ones who were planning to retire anyway. Petersen agreed. She added that there are employees over the age of 65 who are still working and will not retire. Hiivala said there are also employees who are 64 who would be interested in Retirement Bridging. Sawatzke does not feel that savings realized in other counties ensure that Wright County would also achieve savings with this program. Hiivala did not know how accurately he could pinpoint potential savings. He would not endorse Retirement Bridging on a long-term basis.
Petersen asked Hiivala whether the vacated positions at Chisago and Kanabec Counties would be filled. Hiivala did obtain that information. One incentive was initiated a third time to accommodate a department restructuring. However, the department did not ultimately participate. Sawatzke remarked that the person they thought would retire did not do so. He asked Hiivala to advise the Board regarding the potential savings of a Retirement Bridging program.
Recommendation: No recommendation at this time.
IV. Position Openings.
A. Deputy Sheriff (2).
Norman distributed copies of two emails dated 11/20/12 and 12/11/12 from Captain Howell. In addition to the initial two Deputy Sheriff position openings noted on the Agenda, Howell stated that he received another letter of resignation effective 12-28-12. Since there will likely not be a Personnel Committee meeting in January due to a new Commissioners’ Conference, Norman suggested the Committee decide on the third position at this meeting as well.
Sawatzke said the Office is short two Deputies at this time. Norman said there is now a third.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of three Deputy Sheriff positions.
B. Corrections Officer.
Norman distributed copies of an email from Captain O’Malley dated 12/11/12 to replace a Corrections Officer. Sawatzke noted that the person vacating this position was promoted to Deputy Sheriff.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of Corrections Officer position.
C. Assistant County Attorney
I. Kelly explained that in addition to the need to fill this recently vacated position, another attorney will be on leave as of 1-16-13. Kelly would like to post this position internally for seven days to utilize the last pool of candidates interviewed recently for the vacated position. There was another close candidate, and if things fell into place, Kelly could move forward quickly. Kelly said Lori Pawelk, Personnel Representative, thought posting seven days would be sufficient due to the recent posting and interview process. Kelly hoped to get the new position approved at the 12-18-12 County Board meeting, and if not by then, perhaps the Board would make an exception to the “Claims Only” status of the 12-24-12 meeting and approve it at that time.
Sawatzke asked Norman whether it was acceptable to utilize the recent pool of candidates. Norman said it is an acceptable practice. Sawatzke asked Kelly to have the new person start no sooner than 1-02-13. Petersen doubted they would start before then. Kelly hoped the new attorney would start by 1-15-13, or at the latest, 2-1-13.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Assistant County Attorney I position.
D. Office Technician I, Human Services.
Elletson distributed documentation regarding the part-time Office Technician I position currently vacant in the Human Services Department (Agency). The previous person in this position moved to a full time position within the Agency. The part-time position works from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M., 20 hours per week.
Sawatzke is concerned that part-time positions work no more than 20 hours per week. He has heard that there are a number of them in the Agency that work more than 20 hours per week. He asked how many hours per week the previous Office Tech I worked. Elletson responded that she worked 20 hours per week. She asked Larry DeMars, Fiscal Manager, if the part-time employee could work full time for two weeks when the previous receptionist left. She was hired 8-11-11. Sawatzke clarified that during the ensuing 16 or 17 months, the part-time Office Technician worked more than 20 hours per week for only two weeks. Elletson said yes. Sawatzke said this creates a problem with unions when part-time employees work more than 20 hours per week. Elletson said it is not common for this position. Sawatzke asked which positions in the Agency are more likely to experience this situation. He asked Norman if he could receive a report on hours worked by part-time employees.
Kieft was not aware of union concerns about part-time employees working more than 20 hours per week. He did not see a general trend to utilize part-time employees more than half time. He can get more detailed information from managers and supervisors in the Agency. Kieft said there are not that many part-time employees. Petersen said there are eleven. Sawatzke asked how many work more than 20 hours per week. Schefers said they have fewer part-time employees. In the past, there was a part-time person who was changed to full time. She has no one in her Public Health Unit who consistently works more than 20 hours per week. They have to get her permission to do so. If this situation occurs, it is usually due to a vacancy.
Norman suggested Hiivala perform an audit of part-time employees in the Agency for the last six months.
1) Authorize replacement of part-time Office Technician I position in the Human Services Department.
2) Hiivala to audit average weekly hours worked by part-time employees in the Human Services Department for the last six months.
E. Family Based Services Provider.
Schefers distributed a Public Health Proposal for Staffing Changes. The movement of two Family Based Service Provider employees to other positions within the Agency presents an opportunity to reorganize staff. Schefers said Public Health Nurses are able to perform a variety of functions, and the staff as a whole is very flexible. Schefers read the proposal.
Presently the Public Health Unit has a half time contract person that would be eliminated. The funding for the contract position would be used for one of the proposed Case Aide positions. Sawatzke asked the rationale for hiring a contract worker versus an employee. Was it due to limited grant dollars? Schefers said the State required the Agency hire someone quickly and the work needed to be done. Sawatzke asked the likelihood that grant funding would continue. Schefers said it should for the foreseeable future, as it has been very consistent in the past. Sawatzke asked Schefers to verify that the Agency may use those grant funds for the Case Aide instead of the contract worker. Schefers said the State prefers the Agency to allocate the funds toward an employee position versus a contract worker. If the proposal were approved, the funds would cover the half time Case Aide position (formerly a half time Family Based Service Provider position). Sawatzke asked if the contract position is noted in the budget so that he can easily monitor dollars spent month to month. Schefers said the data should appear. Sawatzke did not want the Agency to replace this contract worker somewhere else. Schefers assured him they would not. Nesseth said the contract worker appears in the Child and Teen Checkup Outreach line item.
Schefers referred back to the proposal. Item 3 is an addition. Schefers said they would like to change the two remaining Family Based Service Provider positions to Case Aides. The compensation is the same. She feels the Case Aide job description is more flexible related to the work this position performs. Case Aides may do home visits and perform other functions within Public Health as needed.
Schefers said the Agency formerly received Prepaid Medical Assistant Program (PMAP) funds for home visits. That revenue stream stopped this summer, providing the impetus for this proposal. The Agency utilized local tax dollars and other funds when that occurred.
Regarding Item 5: Schefers said the Agency needs more Public Health Nurse time for home visiting to meet the needs for evidence-based programs. They require professional versus paraprofessional staff. The case loads for Family Based Service Providers is cyclical. She prefers to utilize Public Health Nurses. If they do home visits, Schefers said the Agency can get reimbursed by PMAPs. There are other resources to pay them as well. She added that PMAPs reimburse one full time Public Health Nurse $21,000 per year.
Sawatzke referred back to Item 3. Schefers said their request is to change the job description from Family Based Service Providers to Case Aide. Sawatzke asked her to verify that there would still be one F.T.E. and one .5 FTE. Schefers said that was correct. She likes Case Aide positions. The job description is valuable. Case Aides function as the right hand of the professional worker. Sometimes the Agency is able to get payment for their services.
Schefers referred to Item 5 again. When they did the budget process, the Agency requested another Public Health Nurse based on extra funding. The extra funding did not materialize. This is an opportunity to hire another Public Health Nurse and stay within the current budget.
Schefers turned to the budget portion of the document. She stated that the Agency saves money with this proposal even without the extra $21,000 income. Case Aides and Family Based Service Providers are on the same pay scale. Postings for these positions usually yield many applicants, making them easier to fill. Schefers would look for a Case Aide with well-rounded experience.
Nesseth said the budget sheet compares the cost and calculates the Child &Teen Checkup Reimbursement (C&TC) with the current two Family Based Service Providers and a .75 FTE contract worker to one Case Aide and one Public Health Nurse at Step 1. A similar scenario at Step 3 is illustrated as well. Nesseth read from the document. If the Agency replaced the positions as noted at Step 1, the net savings would be $14,550. At Step 3, the savings would be $6,337. Nesseth said there would be additional revenue if they hire a Public Health Nurse. Schefers noted that the Agency has currently been hiring at Step 1.
Sawatzke asked if the current contract worker would be a candidate for the Case Aide position. Schefers said the person meets the criteria, especially since they work on Child and Teen Checkout. Sawatzke said the County will have less staff time but will pay at a higher level. The Agency will have the same number of employees but no contract worker. Nesseth said the contract worker is reimbursed through Child and Teen Checkup. Sawatzke said the number of county employees stays the same but the positions are more advanced.
Norman suggested the Committee recommend Items 1 and 2 of the proposal.
It would be beneficial to have Madden, Galanter Hansen, LLP evaluate Item 3 regarding the ramifications of changing the job descriptions of the Family Based Service Provider positions to Case Aides. Schefers said that was not an immediate need. The other need is to hire someone immediately.
1) Authorize replacement of two Family Based Service Provider position with one Case Aide and one Public Health Nurse.
2) Eliminate half time Contract Worker in Child and Teen Checkup Outreach.
3) Proposal #3 will be researched by Norman and Madden. (
End of 12-12-12 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a draft resolution which would allow repurchase of a tax forfeit parcel (#218-000-034402) by Timothy P. Robbins (applicant/former owner). Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said this involves a small, one-acre parcel in Stockholm Township. The person that will repurchase the parcel has adjacent property that is homesteaded. Asleson said the applicant has requested to pay over a year’s time but there is no provision for this in Statute. By adopting the Resolution, it authorizes the Auditor/Treasurer to sign off on the repurchase agreement with the previous owners. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-80, seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson referenced another tax forfeit parcel and questioned how actions today will affect that parcel. Asleson stated that anytime a property goes tax forfeit, the prior owner has the opportunity to repurchase. In this situation, the County approached the previous owner. During a private sale, all landowners who have property adjacent to the tax forfeit parcel are notified. It was discovered that this is part of the homestead of the previous owner. The property that Mattson is referencing is non-homesteaded property. Sawatzke asked for additional clarification on Statute language that does not allow the applicant to pay off the property in a year’s time. Asleson said there is no penalty for prepayment. Some payments are made in a lump sum but the applicant is unable to come up with that payment. The applicant requested monthly payments but Statute doesn’t allow for that. When the property has been paid off, application can be made for the State deed. Asleson said although the County cannot create an arrangement to allow for monthly payments, the applicant can make them. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A draft resolution was presented authorizing conveyance of Parcel Nos. 116-026-0001070, 116-026-001010, 116-026-003020, 116-027-002110, 116-027-001160 & 116-027-001060 to the City of Waverly to correct blighted condition of the property and prepare it for affordable housing development. Asleson said this was discussed about two months ago and relates to Carrigan Estates in the City of Waverly and some small townhome lots. The developer went under and the homeowners association was never developed or put into place. The City has requested the County convey several parcels to them. Owners of the townhomes may own the walls of their townhome units, but all of the lawn and driveway areas are owned by the State of Minnesota. It is the intent of the City to acquire all of the State owned lots and replat them into single family home lots. The lots will be conveyed to those owning the townhomes so they have a normal single family lot. These are detached townhomes. It is the intent to do this at the City’s cost, which includes such things as legal costs and surveying. The costs will be divided amongst the owners. The minimum price has been set at $1 each. The City has acquired somewhere between 12 and 20 lots. These are the last 6 lots for that neighborhood. Russek said the City should be given credit for cleaning up a blighted area, as no one takes care of the open lots. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-81, seconded by Eichelberg. Thelen noted that Connie Holmes, City of Waverly, was present. She asked Holmes if she had additional comment. Holmes said she did not and that Asleson outlined the situation as it is. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Hiivala requested the Board set a cutoff date of 1-07-13 at 4:30 P.M. to receive bids for the 2013 Official County Newspaper. The intent is to receive the bids at the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office until 4:30 P.M. on 1-07-13. The bids will then be opened, tabulated, and presented at the 1-08-13 County Board Meeting. Russek moved to set the bid cut off date for 1-07-13 at 4:30 P.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Hiivala said the County Board adopted a Fund Balance Policy a couple of years ago. A template from the Office of the State Auditor was used in developing that Policy. There have since been changes to that template. Hiivala presented a revised Fund Balance Policy that meets State Auditor’s requirements. Eichelberg moved to approve the revised Fund Balance Policy, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Hiivala requested approval of a draft Policy for Direct Deposit. Wright County employees are being trained on a new process for electronic time sheets. Hiivala said it is an advantageous time to approve the Direct Deposit Policy. He anticipates saving costs through printing, folding, stuffing, routing/mail, and reconciling payroll checks. The new timesheet reporting system will provide a paystub module. A survey of neighboring counties reflects savings in not having to issue checks. Eichelberg moved to adopt the Direct Deposit Policy, seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke asked if Hiivala plans to have the Policy in place by 1-01-13. Hiivala said that is the plan if the Board approves the Policy. There will be 71 employees to work with. He will then perform a test. The second option is to implement this as quickly as is possible. The motion carried 5-0.
A written Ditch Report was provided by Kerry Saxton, SWCD:
Ditch 16 Near French Lake on Frank Lantto’s property.
Lantto’s were concerned as suck holes had appeared in their field and the tile didn’t seem to be draining well. We excavated down to the tile and found that when the tile was laid they left very large gaps between the tile and the tile was better than half full of water (see photo HPIM 3984). When tile sits full of water the soil around the tile gets to a fluid state and if the gaps are large enough it will suck the soil into the tile and create voids. From here we investigated why the tile was sitting with water in it after a prolonged drought? This system has had work done in the past where tile was removed which formed a deep outlet channel on Collin Alama’s property to the west. At some time about 320 feet of 24 inch plastic tile was replaced for a portion of the tile on the lower end to allow cattle to use this area. This left about 750 feet of open ditch between the two pipes. For some reason the flared inlet end of the tile was not buried well and it began to float up about 5 feet which allowed no water to flow through this section of pipe and it flooded the ditch and the tile on the other end. We worked to get this flowing again and once the water was out we found the ditch was filled with sediment to the level that it plugged the tile outlet on the other end. The contractor had to spend a number of hours cleaning this ditch to allow the water to drain out of the tile. The tile on Lantto’s property drained and was in amazingly good condition. Noting the good condition of the tile and the fact that other work may be needed in the near future we fixed a broken tile and laid shingles over the top of the line where we found large gaps and closed the line back up (see photos HPIM 3898-3903). The ditch where the tile outlets, is deep with very steep side slopes and consideration should be given to replacing this part of the line. Discussion on what to do with the rest of the line could be had at this time. A ditch committee meeting is probably warranted this winter to discuss options and how to move forward. For now the line is functioning. At a minimum some minor repair should be done to the outlet end in the ravine as it was damaged during this process of cleaning out the sediment.
Ditch 41
Todd and Mark Wurm did install some private 12 inch tile near County 41. In talking with them the county line had been altered they think in the past. They are going to get there notes together after talking to the contractor who did the work and come into the office and we’re going to try to figure out how to proceed and if any action needs to be taken on the county line. We will follow up on thisditch as we ascertain more information.
Ditch 38
As the board has been informed Ditch 38 in Montrose has a number of issues. There are a number of options to deal with this situation depending on what the benefited landowners want to accomplish. We have patched the line together and installed a second inlet to the system that we can control to see if flow is increased. The state of the line under the trailer court is dubious at best. We should consider the possibility of total failure this spring and what the consequences might be. If those consequences seem grave we should have contingency pumping plans ready to put into place. We have talked about a redetermination of benefits on this system to help craft actions in the future. A decision and action on that should commence soon as it will take some time to complete the process and look at options. One other possibility is to look at turning this over to the city as a stormwater conveyance system as its agricultural use is quite limited howeverit’s highly questionable as to if the city would have any interest in accepting it.
Ditch 15
Repair on this ditch continues. We have had a number of complaints about the work being done. The contractor has been talked to and he has reworked part of the ditch and improved the situation. This is an extremely deep ditch and he must go down the slope to reach it which is tearing up the one side of the ditch. Side inlets in this section of the ditch were not done well and erosion off the fields and holes in the areas of the inlets has brought in large amounts of sediment (see photos HPIM 3880-3888). As the contractor removes the sediment it is too wet to work it into the slopes and must be allowed to dry. Work to stabilize the slopes and fix or restore the side inlets will need to be conducted as soon as possible. With the snow and freezing temperatures it might not be possible to stabilize slopes now. This should be done as soon aspossible in spring to prevent erosion back into the ditch and downstream affects. As far as I know we have no written agreement of the scope of work so there’s not a clear understanding of what the contractor is to complete. Some small trees and brush are being left on the slope and they should be removed or sprayed next year.
(End of written 12-13-12 Ditch Report by Kerry Saxton, Office Manager-Wright SWCD)
Kerry Saxton, SWCD, attended the Board Meeting and provided the following updates:
Ditch 16: Saxton referenced a map of the area that reflects a green line where the 24” plastic line runs and a red line where the original 22” clay line runs. There is an open ditch between the two. He referenced sink holes in the field. The landowner dumped rock in the holes over the years but became concerned.
Saxton said they anticipated finding broken tile. What they found was the tile was in good shape. Only one tile was broken and that is the one that was hit with a backhoe. The tiles had large gaps in them and the tile was half full of water. The tile was not draining properly, so the soil becomes like mush. The soil gets sucked into the tile, and it starts creating voids along the line. It works its way to the surface and then these sink holes are seen. The next thing questioned was why the water is sitting in the tile when there has been three months of drought. Saxton said they went downstream and the plastic line was sitting in about 5 feet of water. It floated to the surface and had a flared inlet. Saxton instructed the backhoe operator to push the tile back down; however, when it was released it floated back to the top. To get it working, they flipped the inlet and placed rocks on it.
When the water was gone in the tile, Saxton said they went to the top and could not find the outlet of the clay line. The clay line used to extend through the Ditch but areas have been removed over the years. They decided to dig to look for it and hit a plastic line. Saxton said it appears a plastic line was added on the upper end of the clay line and outletted to the Ditch as well. They found remnants of the old clay line there. He said there was discussion on replacing about 90 feet in the pasture. That cost is about $17/foot plus installation. Saxton decided they were not going to proceed in that fashion. He said the line has been in there for 80 years and is in amazingly good shape. Normally when clay lines are dug up, they are not in very good shape for that period of time. He felt this was some sort of premier tile. The decision was made to lay shingles over the top of the gaps and the line was closed. Next, they tried to figure out why there was water in the line. The inlet was located and because the sediment never left, the inlet floated up. This was cleaned, and the tile line is clear and functioning.
Saxton said the question is what to do from here. There is an open channel with almost vertical walls. That needs to be filled in. To lay a 24” line would be expensive. Saxton suggests a Ditch 16 meeting with benefited landowners on the Ditch to discuss possible options.
Ditch 41. This involves a landowner who had requested to connect a private tile line to a portion of County tile. They were told not to do that. The landowner had a contractor complete some work. He understands the area where they crossed the County’s tile line was not in good shape. Saxton is waiting for an update from the contractor on what work was done. If the landowner wants to connect to a line that is solely on their property, the County may be able to abandon that portion and give it to the landowner. That would take some pressure off from Ditch 41 which is very overloaded.
Ditch 38. Saxton said Ditch 38 runs under the trailer park in Montrose. He reported previously to the Board that the tile is back together. They put in another intake which they will be able to check this spring. The line is in very bad shape and could collapse at any time. He is unsure what will happen in the spring. They have not surveyed where the water is, how high it will go, and where it will run out. Saxton suggested that a contingency fund be put into place. If water levels become high, it will be close to the property on the south side of the road. He feels that will likely flood if the line fails. He said they are close to being done, with only a small amount of inlet work remaining. They will have the ability to open another inlet in the spring if needed. A metal line that runs under the trailer is downstream of that. If that fails, neither inlet will work. There has been talk of a redetermination there as well when Ditch 14 is done. Things have happened on that Ditch that are in question, and there are things that need to be cleaned up. That should be done this winter as well. Russek said the trailer park was built over the Ditch, and that is what happened to that Ditch. Saxton said he is unsure how that happened.
Ditch 15. There have been a number of complaints on the work being completed on Ditch 15. Saxton reviewed it and it is pretty rough. He spoke with the contractor who is trying to do a better job. Saxton said part of the problem is the Ditch is extremely deep so the contractor has a hard time reaching it with his equipment. He ends up going half way down the slope. The contractor intends to clean it up. Saxton said it looks much better from Highway 1 west, as the Ditch is not as deep there. The Ditch should be stabilized in the spring. They anticipated spraying mulch this fall but it was not done. Saxton said that needs to be done immediately in the spring.
At 10:24 A.M., it was decided to move forward with the presentation of retirement plaques to the Commissioners because of the audience members present for this item.
As 2012 President of the Leadership Team, Sheriff Joe Hagerty had the opportunity to present the four outgoing County Commissioners with their retirement plaques. The four outgoing Commissioners are Dick Mattson, Elmer Eichelberg, Jack Russek, and Rose Thelen. Sheriff Hagerty said it is rare to have four Commissioners leave at once. This happened partially because of redistricting. He said all four Commissioners have taken great pride in serving their constituents. Although some of the decisions they make are not popular, they have always felt they have done what is best for their constituents. The four take great pride in representing the citizens of Wright County and are represented well in the public. Sheriff Hagerty presented a retirement plaque to Rose Thelen for service from 2009 to 2013; to Elmer Eichelberg for service from 1999-2013; to Dick Mattson from 1993-2013; and to Jack Russek from 1993-2013. Commissioner Russek has been elected to the Delano City Council.
Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said it is not often that a person loses four bosses at one time. He said they should be proud of their accomplishments in their years of service as County Board members. Norman said they have provided great service to the citizens of Wright County.
Sawatzke said it has been a privilege to work with the Commissioners. Commissioners Mattson and Russek were elected to the Board in 1993. At that time, Sawatzke had served two years. He felt that over the years, the Board has done a pretty good job. He referenced Russek’s service on the Planning Commission. Sawatzke viewed that position as one of the few jobs that is more difficult than being a County Commissioner. When a Commissioner serves both on the Planning Commission and the County Board, it can become difficult because of the political pressure. Sawatzke said Russek handled that role as well as anyone could. Sawatzke then commended Mattson for his dedication. He said no one has put in more time and gotten to work earlier. Mattson arrives to work at 8:00 A.M. Sawatzke said Mattson’s dedication is unbelievable. Sawatzke said Eichelberg was elected 14 years ago and replaced a very popular Commissioner, Judie Rose. Sawatzke said Eichelberg has served equally as well. He extended appreciation to Eichelberg for his service. Sawatzke told Thelen it was an unpleasant situation to have to run against one another in the last election. Sawatzke said he appreciated Thelen’s efforts and recognized her for the work she completed over the past four years.
Russek thanked his family for putting up with his schedule over the past 20 years and his constituents for electing him to the County Board for 20 years. Russek said this is the second time in Sawatzke’s career that he has started out with four new Commissioners. It was a learning process for all and he said Sawatzke helped them through it. He thanked Sawatzke for his guidance.
County Attorney Tom Kelly said he has worked for Wright County for 29 years. In that time, he has worked with Russek and Mattson for 20 years, Eichelberg for 14 years, and Thelen for 4 years. Running a County the size of Wright County is not an easy thing and there are many issues. Kelly said they have not agreed 100% of the time with regard to life, vision, policy, where the County is going or headed, but they normally got there. He said they have agreed to disagree, and agreed more often than not. Tom Kelly spoke of Russek’s service on the Planning Commission with former Assistant County Attorney Tom Zins and with current Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer. He said Russek always had the best interests of Wright County in mind. Kelly said Wright County is a great place to live and raise a family, and the Board played a large part in that. He wished the Board members the best. Russek said those serving on the Planning Commission must uphold Statutes and the County Ordinances. He said the period of 2005-2006 was particularly tough on the Planning Commission.
Hiivala extended appreciation to the Commissioners. He thanked them for what they had taught him, especially with regard to ditches.
Carol Schefers, Public Health Director, thanked the Commissioners for their support in Public Health and through the Community Health Board. They have been through some rough times in Wright County, and the Board’s support helped them through it. She acknowledged support of the W.O.W. Van.
Kerry Saxton, SWCD, thanked the Board members for their support with the County’s resources. He said county ditches can be like the Planning Commission. Nothing gets people more excited than water. He thanked Russek for his work on the SWCD Board and C.R.O.W. Board.
Connie Holmes, Mayor of the City of Waverly, extended thanks on behalf of the Wright County Mayor’s Association. She said Wright County is probably the best run County, and all Board members have been extremely helpful.
Eichelberg thanked his wife, Karol, who encouraged him to run for the position and to his constituents who gave him the opportunity to serve for 14 years. He appreciated the work of the Department Heads and receiving their perspective on how to accomplish things. He thanked the Administration Office as well. He said he appreciated working with all of the Commissioners, not only the present Commissioners but past as well.
Mattson thanked his wife, Rene’e and his son, Jeff, for being present today. He also thanked Administration. He said that he always arrived at work early so constituents could get ahold of a Commissioner. He thanked the press, Department Heads, and his fellow Board members. Mattson said the time has gone by fast and he appreciated everyone who came to the meeting today.
Jeff Young thanked the Commissioners for their service. He has been attending Commissioner Meetings back to when the Compost Plant was discussed. He felt a couple of the Commissioners ran for Commissioner positions because of that Facility. He said the Board has been a fantastic group to work with. There have been a couple of disagreements but the group has shown professionalism. Young said Wright County is in much better shape because of their service.
On behalf of Woodland Township and all the Townships in Wright County, Gene Janikula extended congratulations on a fine career and a job well done. He said they couldn’t have done what has been done without the Commissioners help over the years.
Thelen said it has been a pleasure as the newest member of the Board. She learned a lot from Department Heads, the Board, and Administration, and enjoyed it immensely. She also thanked her constituents.
A reception for the Commissioners was held in the Community Room following the Board Meeting.
Hiivala presented ditch assessments to be levied against benefited landowners on the following ditch systems for expenses incurred in January 2011 through November 2012:
County Ditch #10; (658); $18,209.00; Hydrological Study
County Ditch #24; (671); $4,295.00; Bog removal
County Ditch#30; (676); $75.00; Beavers
County Ditch #38; (681); $3,752.98; Tile under trailer park repairs
Joint Ditch #4; (687); $4,275.96; Carver/McLeod County
Joint Ditch #11; (688); $351.89; McLeod County
Joint Ditch #14; (689); $1,548.54; Rinke Noonan/Ron’s Appraisal
Hiivala said the expenses were incurred over the past two years. There were no assessments last year. The expenses do not include bills from Brad Fyle, and additional expenses from Ditches 16 and 38. There are Ditch 38 expenses that are outside of the charges from the SWCD. Sawatzke asked whether the list of expenses includes the prorated portions of the SWCD bill. Hiivala said it does not. In talking with other counties, some allow expenses to accumulate through August and assess after that. Hiivala said the Board should approve the bills presented today. He will return in August with another list of expenses. Russek moved to approve the ditch assessments to be levied against benefited landowners (listed above). The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
Hiivala presented a change to the Auditor/Treasurer Fee Schedule. At the 11-20-12 Board Meeting, he received approval of the entire Auditor/Treasurer Fee Schedule including those set by State Statute. However, one of the fee amounts included in that listing was not correct. The “Marriage Application (w/o Class)” fee was listed at $105.00 ($5.00 increase from $100.00). Hiivala said State Statute lists the fee at $115. Eichelberg moved to approve the “Marriage Application (w/o Class)” fee at $115.00, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Russek moved to approve the claims, as listed in the abstract, subject to audit to include $417,778.92 with 208 vendors. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Correspondence was received from Mark Sexton, Wright County Community Action (WCCA) Executive Director, indicating that Trish Taylor has resigned from her Public Sector Representative appointment to the WCCA Board of Directors. The WCCA Board of Directors asks that the County Board consider the appointment of Marlene Stumpf-Johnson to this vacant seat for a three-year term. The letter further states that Stumpf-Johnson has previously served on the WCCA Board and has extensive knowledge, experience, and numerous years of community service in Wright County. Eichelberg moved to approve the recommendation from the WCCA Board of Directors to appoint Marlene Stumpf-Johnson as the Public Sector Representative on the WCCA Board of Directors for a three-year term. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke acknowledged the time and work of Trish Taylor on the WCCA Board of Directors and for her service on the Workforce Center Board. She also received the Wright County Citizen of the Year from the Wright County Economic Development Partnership in recent years. Eichelberg stated that Taylor has taken a Planning and Zoning position with Corinna Township. The motion carried 5-0.
Norman said that at the last County Board Meeting, the Board discussed the Rental Contract for the Fairgrounds Property. At that Meeting, the Fair Board representatives indicated the Fair Board was handling the Rental Contract. Norman said the last Rental Contract in his files for that property dates back to 2009 and the land rental payment was sent to the Auditor/Treasurer. He could not find documentation where the Fair Board was authorized to enter into this Contract with the renter. Russek said the Fair Board held the Rental Contract last year. Sawatzke said the County owns the land and leases it to the Fair Board. It should be discussed whether the County should lease the land or whether the Fair Board should sub-lease the land. Sawatzke moved to lay this item over and for staff to bring back a recommendation at a future date. The motion was seconded by Russek. Mattson said the County asks for at least three bids for rental property. He thought the County should obtain the best price possible. Russek said last year, the Fair Board did take bids. The land is used for hay. The motion carried 5-0.
Bills Approved
3 D Specialties Inc $22,139.16
Ag Neovo Technology Corp. 143.00
Air Science USA LLC 1,386.40
Ameripride Services 222.97
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 1,125.00
Aramark Services Inc 6,513.28
Aspen Equipment Company 7,967.53
Bauman/Lawrence R 216.00
Befort/Stephan F 2,533.30
Boyer Truck Parts 2,586.40
Buff. Chamber of Commerce 105.00
Center Point Energy 7,722.88
Centra Sota Coop Cokato 117.32
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 38,487.19
CenturyLink 7,256.32
Climate Air 1,762.62
Constr. Serv. Diversified 1,744.20
Core Professional Services 800.00
Cotten/Daniel 285.22
Cottens Inc 478.69
Dahlman/Craig M 767.00
Dahlman/Duane E 767.00
Dahlman/Kevin A 767.00
Dell Marketing LP 13,378.33
Design Elec. Inc-Cold Spring 1,916.00 .
Diers/Carter 750.00
Election Sys. & Software 13,096.60
Excel Systems 4,298.09
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc 46,060.88
Fibernet Monticello 359.80
First State Tire Recycling 1,104.65
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
Goodpointe Technology 2,250.00
Grainger 2,552.45
Greater MN Reg. Park & Trail 300.00
Green Touch Systems LLC 1,593.24
Hardings Towing Inc 374.06
Herald Journal Publishing Inc 160.49
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 1,465.90
Holt Motors Inc 293.87
Howard/Jolanta 100.00
Huemoeller/Neal 750.00
Huston/Tarah 182.59
Hutchinson Community Hosp. 940.21
Intereum Inc 624.32
Interstate Automotive 187.03
Interstate Battery Systems 210.44
Intoximeters Inc 158.90
Jerrys Towing & Repair 161.34
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 981.65
Kustom Signals Inc 240.00
LaPlant Demo Inc 518.05
M & M Express Sales/Service 547.15
M-R Sign Company Inc 30,293.72
Macmillan/Michael 118.00
Marco 113.85
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 1,025.26
Mattson/Richard 130.50
Maximus 6,175.00
Messaging Architects Inc 11,000.00
Mid-America Business Sys. 1,977.19
Midway Iron & Metal Co Inc 310.41
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 430.61
MN Elevator Inc 2,955.00
MN Monitoring Inc 10,091.00
Motorola Inc 2,868.70
New River Medical Center 800.00
Niebolte/James 125.00
North American Salt Co 58,481.20
Office Depot 2,195.77
Performance Kennels Inc 101.00
Peterson/Todd E 7,280.00
Pioneer Rim & Wheel Co 184.94
Powerplan OIB 600.00
Quetel Corporation 29,789.59
Quiggle/Charlotte 225.00
Royal Tire Inc 452.57
RTVision Inc 2,671.88
Safelite Fulfillment Inc 185.14
Schmidt/Donald M 196.50
Setter/Randi 200.00
Shenehon Company 4,500.00
St Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc 132.85
St Croix Solutions 24,672.94
St. of MN-Office Enterp. Tech 1,150.00
Stoll/Brian 750.00
Syntax Inc 4,000.00
TASC 1,069.00
The Brainerd Hotel/Conf Ctr 302.54
Thingvold/Lori 102.50
Tires Plus 1,252.49
Total Printing 127.72
Traffic Marking Service Inc 748.13
Trueman Welters Inc. 1,296.92
Verizon Wireless 694.41
Voss Lighting 1,184.87
West Payment Center 967.20
Windstream 289.30
Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc 150.73
35 Pymts. less than $100 1,859.97
Final total $417,778.92
The meeting adjourned at 10:52 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 7, 2013.

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