Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 19, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden and Borrell present. Commissioner Potter was absent.
Daleiden moved to approve the 2-12-13 Wright County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: D. McCalla, C. Nelson, Aud./Treas.; D. Chapman, Bldg. Maint.; L. Lehmberg, IT; A. Riebel, Parks; C. Badeaux, K. Day, J. Gutnecht, L. Schallock, Recorder; M. Pooler, Surveyor.
2. Set County Auction, 6-15-13 @ 10:00 A.M., Public Works Building, DesMarais Auction Service (same terms as previous years).
1. Approve Of Centurylink Three-Year Agreement For Local & Long Distance Services.
Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, requested approval of a proposal with Elert & Associates to conduct a Request For Bid (RFB) process for the upgrade and maintenance of the 9-1-1 Dispatch Communications System. The cost is $3,500. Swing consulted with Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, and it was determined that a RFB is appropriate due to the estimated cost of the project (under $100,000). The part of the Dispatch operation involved is that which receives the 9-1-1 call. Swing said only a couple of vendors in Minnesota handle the hardware and software involved. The hardware and software are over four years old and there have been some incompatibility issues involving integrated systems between Motorola, Tiberon, and Centurylink.
Daleiden asked whether updates were included in the bid process completed four years ago. Swing said they were, but they have been paying on a time/material basis for troubleshooting certain items. Daleiden asked for clarification on why the County should hire Elert & Associates to write specifications, as there are only two companies that provide the services needed. Swing said the $3,500 cost is worthwhile, and staff does not have the insight the vendor has in putting together the RFB. Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, stated this involves a complex upgrade with several companies. Elert & Associates has expertise in the upgrade of 9-1-1 Dispatch Centers in Minnesota. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, did not recall this issue being discussed during budget sessions. He asked how this project came about and whether there is a cost estimate. Swing said the upgrade is estimated around $90,000 with funding from the 911 Surcharge Account in the Sheriff’s Office. Swing said meetings have been held with the County’s current vendor, Centurylink, to obtain an understanding on requirements. It has been a struggle juggling multiple vendors that support Dispatch and a challenge for standard operating procedures. Swing said the proposal with Elert & Associates would define Wright County’s needs. He said Centurylink has not met the County’s needs. The County needs to know how the services will be rendered, especially with the service agreement.
Borrell inquired whether the County should just meet with the vendor, who should know as much as the consultant. Lt. Hoffman said County staff does not have the expertise in 9-1-1 centers. Ehlers & Associates will work with the vendors, IT, and the Sheriff’s Office on the new 9-1-1 upgrades and will assist through implementation. He viewed the $3,500 proposal from Elert & Associates to be an insurance policy for the project. Borrell felt that the vendor could provide information on what is needed if they were consulted first. Lt. Hoffman respectfully disagreed with Borrell, stating that companies are in the business of selling a product and may tell the County what they want to hear.
Daleiden referenced Consent Agenda Item B1, “Approve Of Centurylink Three-Year Agreement For Local & Long Distance Services” that was approved earlier in the meeting. He asked why the County would approve the Agreement if the vendor may be changed. Swing stated that Centurylink is a very large Company. The Agreement approved through the Consent Agenda relates to land lines for the four buildings and is a completely different section of the Company than 9-1-1 services. Daleiden wondered if going to a complete system for all services may be advantageous. Swing said these are two distinct contracts. With regard to the local and long distance services, that Agreement was evaluated by Renodis. He offered to hold a meeting with the County Board on local and long distance services if they so desire.
Husom viewed the proposal as the most efficient means of addressing this upgrade. Husom moved to approve the Ehlers & Associates proposal to conduct a RFB for upgrade and maintenance of the 9-1-1 Dispatch Communications System. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell asked about the County’s experience with the vendor. Swing said that Ehlers & Associates has assisted with strategic planning in the Sheriff’s Office. They assisted with one of the first major lifts of the phone system in the mid 1990’s. Sawatzke asked whether the hire of Ehlers & Associates for strategic planning came before the County Board for approval. Swing said that in retrospect, is should have. The strategic planning effort for the Sheriff’s Office is being funded from the E-911 Surcharge Account. Sawatzke cautioned Swing that contracts and agreements should come to the County Board for approval. He felt the opinion of Bob Hiivala, County Auditor/Treasurer, would be that the State Auditor would prefer that. Swing said he agrees as well. Borrell suggested that Ehlers & Associates be invited to the vendor presentations. The motion carried 4-0.
Ted LaFrance, Executive Director, Wright County Economic Development Partnership, presented a Wright County Enterprise Revolving Loan Request for PTI (manufacturing start-up, S-Corp) in Hanover, MN. The loan request is for $50,000. The primary lender is Crow River Bank of Delano. Other partners include CMDC, Initiative Foundation, and the City of Hanover. It is anticipated that 8 jobs will be created ($18/hour). Total project cost is $1,732,500. The terms are as follows: Lending to PTI, 6% interest, 10-year term with monthly payments, personal guarantees required, security in A/R and inventory alongside Initiative Foundation, and all costs incurred by the Partnership shall be deferred to the borrower. The Finance Committee supports the request, as it fits within the Policy guidelines of the Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund. The project connects directly to the purpose of the Fund by providing assistance and gap financing. The $50,000 requested will assist in leveraging over $1.7 million of investment in Wright County. The Finance Committee has reviewed all appropriate financial statements, tax returns, and related documents. The Management Committee recommends approval of this Fund request for $50,000. Daleiden moved to approve the Wright County Enterprise Revolving Loan request for PTI of Hanover in the amount of $50,000. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
Hiivala said a County Ditch 38 work group meeting was held 2-13-13 and was attended by two County Commissioners and representatives from Montrose, Waverly, and the Railroad. Kurt Deter (Rinke Noonan) ran the meeting. Hiivala said minutes were not taken of the meeting as it was a work group meeting. Part of the purpose was to identify where to go next on County Ditch 38. A Findings of Fact and Order document was drafted by Deter. The Findings document reflects that the County recognizes Ditch 38 is out of repair and that issues of concern are involved relative to agricultural interests, the City of Waverly, the City of Montrose, MnDOT (due to T.H. 12), and possibly the Railroad. Hiivala said there are a lot of unanswered questions on Ditch 38, part of which relates to where it was initially established. He said previously, the majority of the Ditch lay south of T.H. 12 but there is now quite a large part that is north of the system. The Findings document further reflects that there is a desire to obtain a cost estimate for completing an Engineer’s Repair Report. If adopted, the Findings of Fact and Order would order that a cost estimate for an Engineer’s Repair Report be obtained from engineering firms as directed by the Drainage Authority and County Auditor to provide an Engineer’s Report to answer the following:
1) An opinion as to the location and extent of the legally established Wright County Ditch #38;
2) Possible repair options including its present location and other locations should Wright County Ditch #38 be ordered and repaired;
3) Provide a cost estimate of the proposed alternative repair options; and
4) Provide a watershed boundary map for the area that drains to Wright County Ditch #38.
Hiivala said that Joel Toso is willing to assist the County in drafting up the cost estimate. Information was also provided by Kerry Saxton, SWCD, at the County Board Meeting relating to the cost estimate of $113,585 to tile a portion of Ditch 38.
Norman questioned whether two County Commissioners attended the work group meeting. Hiivala confirmed this. Norman asked whether there is a recommended action item. Hiivala said it does not have to be an action item; he is presenting what Deter drafted as a Findings of Fact and Order. He stated that the meeting was held to discuss where to go next with County Ditch 38. Hiivala viewed that as the action item. Norman’s opinion is that this type of meeting should have an Agenda posted and minutes taken. Daleiden said he thought it was posted. Hiivala said the Ditch 10 meeting agenda was posted.
Sawatzke asked what specific action is being recommended. Hiivala stated that the work group made a recommendation to address Ditch 38. Saxton could further describe the repair and how to proceed. He said in this fact finding meeting, discussion included whether the Ditch should be rerouted around the trailer park. The line running under the trailer park toward Clementa was not viewed to be as much of a benefit. Hiivala said the Railroad does not see an issue with rerouting if the proper permits are obtained. Hiivala said the recommended action is to pursue obtaining a cost estimate or perfecting Saxton’s estimate.
Borrell said there is apparently no previous documentation on the location of the Ditch and tile line. He asked whether that will be determined. Sawatzke said it appears there are four action items that were included in the Findings. With regard to Item #1, relating to the opinion on the location and extent of the Ditch, he asked who would provide that for the County. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated this would be completed by the engineer. Item #2 of the Findings reflects, “Possible repair options including its present location and other locations should Wright County Ditch #38 be ordered and repaired.” Sawatzke said there is one repair option and questioned whether there are others. Borrell said instead of running the line under the trailer park, it would be diverted around it.
Saxton said the cost estimate relates to rerouting the tile line totally from where it ends in the Ditch on the west side of Clementa north of the railroad tracks and then cutting across the tracks near the wetland. The cost estimate is $100,000, with $50,000 of that cost to run the line through the train tracks. He feels the Board needs to make the decision on whether that is viable on the existing assessment roles. Through the GPS survey and the use of a wire in the line, they have a pretty good idea of the location of the existing Ditch. The tile line is in pretty bad shape as far as age, but it still seems to be functioning. Consideration should be given as to whether it is worth it to spend that amount of money to reroute the line around the trailer park, or whether the existing line should be maintained and kept functional.
Sawatzke asked for the highest property owner share involved. Borrell said the trailer park, in total, is about 15%. Saxton is unsure whether that cost is passed along to those renting in the trailer park. Sawatzke felt it may be worth it to the trailer park to not have the line run through it. He inquired what the gain will be for agricultural landowners. Saxton said that Mr. Duske asked the Board to fix the Ditch. At that time, the cost was unknown. Saxton said it will be expensive to run the line through the train track. There are other options that could be looked at, including running a pipe to the open pipe at the train track to remove surface water. This will not make the area agricultural. There are a number of things that could be explored including the involvement of the cities and MnDOT and what the future holds. In response to Borrell, Saxton said the repair will not touch the open ditch. Borrell said that it is the recommendation of the Engineer to just do that portion. Clearing of the open part of the Ditch could be completed at another time. Saxton said that will have to be discussed, as that is a concern of some of the farmers on the end. Saxton said the estimate is to provide an idea of what can be done, so that it can be discussed and decisions made. It is not a suggestion that it be done. Borrell asked whether the estimate involves anything south of T.H. 12. Saxton said it does not. The size of the pipe will be increased to 15”, as 14” (current size) is no longer available. Wetland law allows for an increase in pipe size to the next size available.
Daleiden said an advantage is that it will provide a watershed boundary. The roles on this Ditch are very old. Saxton said the repair will not do that. A redetermination would have to be ordered to get that done. Daleiden asked whether it is known where the water is coming from. Saxton said the watershed was mapped and it is fairly small. The redetermination would include upland, so the amount of acreage would increase to help fund the repair. Borrell asked about the time line involved with a redetermination. Saxton said a redetermination was already ordered on Ditch 38 and given the small acreage involved, it could possibly be started this spring. Borrell wants to make sure the area across T.H. 12 is included and that the work continues to the outlet. The business on the south side has received damage from the water. Saxton viewed the area to the north as more of a simple cleaning. He said there is residential in that area but felt that the problem area would be more to the north where there is agricultural land. As far as the question Borrell has on drainage on the south side, Saxton said there are culverts that bring the water across now. There will be surface drainage. There is a tile under the highway. It would involve hooking up to both sides. Borrell felt the action would be to connect to the tile and hopefully it would still drain. He stated a 15” tile can only take water so fast. If the water is pre-drained on the south side and a substantial rainfall is experienced, the water could be absorbed without impacting the business. Borrell said if there is just a culvert running across and there is a large rain, he feels there is a good chance the water will back up. He thinks that if the water is drained down and the area tiled like it was in the 1970’s, there will be less of a risk of the business on the south side of T.H. 12 going under water. Saxton said if the surface water is moved fast enough, the culvert will handle it and the business will be protected. He said Borrell is right in that if the tile is rerun and the soil drained, it will provide an additional safety factor.
Sawatzke asked if there is a cost estimate for the redetermination. Saxton estimated this at $3,000-$4,000. Borrell wants to make sure the scope is not being narrowed too far. Landowners on the south side of T.H. 12 could object and say the Ditch is not being repaired to the way it was previously. Hiivala said there are properties south of T.H. 12 that are on the assessment role, but not as many as there had been. Borrell asked how they were removed from the role. Hiivala said in 1969, the Ditch Committee presented a redetermination. He said they can’t locate the viewing documents in support of the redetermination. They were able to locate the minutes where the Board accepted the finding of the Committee but they don’t know what that was. Hiivala said since that time, that same assessment role has been used repeatedly for the allocation of these expenses. He said they assume that was the redetermination.
Daleiden supports having an engineer look at the Ditch to define the watershed and the hydrology, the cost, and the different options. Borrell said if the redetermination has already been ordered for Ditch 38, it could include the area to the south. He said the watershed drawn up by Saxton shows a lot of the water flow from the south. He said they are benefitted landowners, and the process would allow them to be charged. Daleiden said even if they are not benefitting, they are providing the water that is causing the issues. Sawatzke said ditch viewers follow the statutory requirements when determining benefited acreage.
Hiivala said the action of the Board would be to proceed with establishing the engineer’s relationship. What Saxton is providing is more of a band aid approach. They will look at the possible re-route of the Ditch so as to provide for a functioning Ditch. Hiivala said Keith Duske provided information reflecting that his father worked with the railroad in putting in the two culverts.
Norman said Hiivala referred to this meeting as a work group session, but it sounds as though a Ditch 38 meeting was held. He said it is critical to have ditch records in order. He respectfully requested that Ditch 38 minutes be drafted and presented for approval so there is a record and because there is an action item coming out of the work session. Hiivala said minutes were taken but an agenda was not posted. It was a meeting held with the cities to find out their desires. They did not intend to have this in depth of a conversation. Minutes were drafted, as they are responsible to keep minutes for the ditch system. Today’s presentation was a verbal report of the work group meeting. The minutes will be presented at a future Board meeting.
Sawatzke said at some point, a meeting needs to be held with landowners to inform them of the work and the associated cost. Hiivala said the Board is acting as the Ditch Authority. The appropriate action would be to approve establishing the relationship with an engineer for the purpose of obtaining a cost estimate. Hiivala said the drainage authority could establish a relationship with Wenck for the purpose of drafting the schematics which the cost estimates would be based on. That could include all alternatives. Wenck would provide this for free. The schematics would be like the bidding documents. If the County chooses to go out for bids, Wenck would bid on their own documents.
Borrell moved to proceed with obtaining a cost estimate for an Engineer’s report from the Engineering firm. Hiivala clarified that the motion could be to work with Wenck to draft the document which will incorporate all four parts of the Findings document. He thought the Engineer could look to see whether there are benefited areas. Borrell amended the motion to include looking at alternative routes for the Ditch. In clarifying the motion, Borrell said that the motion should include the four steps as outlined in the Findings. Hiivala clarified that the motion should be to work with Wenck to get the cost estimate document put together. The output of that could move to addressing the four other issues. Borrell said alternative routes need to be looked at so they are not going under the trailer court. Daleiden said that will happen eventually. Right now they are just looking at how much it will cost to do this report. Sawatzke said that the motions Borrell made to this point would not be accepted.
Borrell made a motion to proceed with obtaining a cost estimate for the Engineer’s repair report through Wenck & Associates for Ditch 38. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 4-0.
Hiivala said a Ditch 10 Meeting was held on 2-13-13 and was attended by Commissioners Borrell and Daleiden, Joel Toso, and Kurt Deter. Others attended as well, but a sign in sheet was not used. An agenda was posted and minutes were taken. Hiivala provided an overview of the meeting, where Toso presented a scope of repair to include 13 areas. The preliminary engineering estimate for Ditch 10 Cleaning is as follows:
Contract Item; Units; Quantity; Unit Price; Total
Mobilization/Demobilization; 1 job; 1; $1,000; $1,000
Tree Clearing (piled beside Ditch); Tree; 100; $100; $10,000
Clearing & Grubbing; Acre; 11; $3,500; $39,150
Ditch Cleaning; LF; 14,765; $1.50 ;$22,148
SUBTOTAL $72,297
Contingencies 25%, $18,074
Total Construction Cost, $90,371
Hiivala stated that Deter clarified at the meeting that the assessment role is from 1906 (not 1915). If there is a redetermination of Ditch 10, it would bring the values up to today’s standards. The lead time for viewers is 3-5 years. Hiivala said Joe Jacobs, SWCD, brought up two concerns from Lake Ann and Lake Emma residents in that they want an adequate outlet for both Lakes. He said Borrell stated that could be done through perfecting the private ditch out of Lake Emma.
At the meeting, Deter indicated that the Drainage Authority only has authority over the established ditch system and it does not include the private ditch out of Lake Emma. Deter said the County can extend an existing ditch system by one mile each year. Hiivala said a petitioner did bring this repair to the Drainage Authority’s attention but the Drainage Authority is aware of the scope of the work that needs to be done. The County is limited to $100,000, not the original benefits of $30,000. Hiivala said Deter maintains that as long as one person is requesting cleanout, the Drainage Authority shall maintain the ditch system. Daleiden asked if others came forward with a request for cleanout of other parts of Ditch 10. Hiivala said after the Ditch 10 Meeting, there were areas identified by some of the attendees (who spoke with Toso and Saxton).
Kerry Saxton, SWCD, said Wenck and Associates only included in their cost estimate areas that were originally identified. Since that time, there have been a number of other areas that have come up which need cleaning including the furthest west south lateral, and at Spring Lake, the furthest west north lateral. Daleiden said the repairs are limited to $100,000 and questioned whether the repair can only include the original scope (from Wenck & Associates). Saxton said the Board could consider completing the repairs of those requests that were originally brought forth. If the Board wants to commit to the additional expense up to $100,000, they could start at the beginning and working through with the understanding that another $100,000 will need to be spent next year to get close to cleaning the entire Ditch. Saxton said that is a large amount of money so the Board will have to consider how people will react to that. If a redetermination is done, Saxton said the Board could elect to clean the Ditch and leave the standing trees. The Ditch will function much better. The tree removal costs are enormous and to cut that part of the project would reduce costs. The redetermination could then be completed and the whole Ditch cleaned after that.
Daleiden asked whether leaving trees on the banks would cause problems. Saxton said the issue is keeping up with removing the dropped branches. Borrell said there was discussion after the Ditch 10 Meeting about starting cleanout at Lake Ann and working back. The way it was drawn up was more like patchwork. He asked if there is some benefit to that. Saxton said the cleanout should start downstream and work back up. The question is whether the petitioners that came forward with identified cleaning should be addressed first. Borrell asked if there is flooding at the point where the Ditch flows into Lake Ann. Saxton said there is sediment that has developed at the mouth of the Lake, causing the flow to meander before it enters the Lake. There could be some cleaning there as well. The County may want to clean the Ditch initially at a fairly low cost and then decide to start cleaning at Lake Ann and working back up.
Sawatzke asked how many property owners attended the Ditch 10 Meeting and what their position was on repair. Borrell estimated at least 30 people attended. Hiivala said a letter was sent to all benefited landowners. Two petitioners who requested repair were in support of the repairs. Saxton has heard from a number of people who do not want cleanout. Some farmers have indicated they will not receive any benefit and will get more water. Saxton said there is quite a bit of residential land ownership around ditches. He did not feel there were many people that spoke up at the Ditch 10 Meeting. Saxton said when a petition is received for cleanout, landowners may not understand ditch law and funding. Those present at the Ditch 10 meeting now understand that and may have changed their minds. Daleiden asked if Saxton has heard from any of the petitioners since the meeting. Saxton indicated he has not but felt there are a number of people that would support the cleanout.
Sawatzke asked what clearing and grubbing relates to in the cost estimate. Saxton said the estimate includes removing all the trees within the 16.5’ buffer. Saxton said these are large trees. Borrell said even if 1-2 people come forward with a cleanout request, it must be done. Hiivala said that Deter indicated at the Ditch Meeting that as the Ditch Authority, they must maintain the ditch. Borrell asked how to proceed, whether to start at Lake Ann and work up or do what the engineer suggested and pick out the worst areas.
Sawatzke said 7-8 years ago, Sentence-To-Service (STS) inmates and a crew leader removed trees from smaller areas of Ditch 33. The crew leader would run the chain saw and the inmates could haul the wood to the banks. The farmer could take care of it from there.
Hiivala said that Deter also provided an email to go along with the Findings. Hiivala said there was repair identified by Toso at $90,000 and there could be an additional repair. That repair could be another $90,000, or it could be less dependent on what is going to be scoped. Hiivala said Saxton estimated the buffer strip cost to be about $400,000. It is Deter’s position that it is not justified to do a redetermination at this point.
Hiivala said the motion before the Board would be to pursue the repair work. Hiivala referenced the last sentence of the Findings of Fact for Ditch 10 which reflects that “the engineer is directed to provide the necessary plans and specs in order to seek bids for this Repair Report.” Hiivala said they can work with the engineer to scope it out to best fit the needs, maybe starting from the outlet and going backwards. Saxton has some additional ideas to help mitigate some of the costs.
Daleiden asked whether a back hoe can be used with trees in the way. Saxton said they would have to remove some of the trees that are in the way of getting to the areas where flow is impeded. All of the trees would not have to be removed so that would considerably cut the cost. Eventually, the County or the landowner will have to deal with the trees. Borrell asked where dirt would be moved in areas that are cleared. Saxton said there is very little sediment in the Ditch and there would be very little dirt, except where stumps are grubbed. There will be large piles of trees and brush. It would need to be decided whether the landowners would agree to take care of the piles or whether the contractor will deal with them at a cost. Saxton said they recommend Ditch repair at a time when it can be stabilized. Ditch 15 was opened up late last year and there is the potential for problems if there is much rain this spring. He suggested early fall.
Borrell said the estimated cost of $400,000 for the redetermination is high because of the 16.5’ filter strip (on each side of the ditch) that will need to be purchased from the landowner. The value of the land is what makes the redetermination so high. Much of the $400,000 will be paid back to the farmers when the land is purchased. Hiivala said the $400,000 figure is an estimate of just buying the land. There are other costs associated with bringing in the ditch viewers, holding public hearings, and testimonies. Sawatzke said the draft Ditch 10 Committee Minutes reflect a cost of about $480,000 for the purchase of the buffer strip. Saxton said that is a rough estimate based on $8,000 an acre. If wetland is purchased, that value may drop. Sawatzke felt that either way it may be cost prohibitive to purchase the buffer strip. There will be benefited property owners on the Ditch that will pay their percentage but not receive anything in return, as they do not own land that is needed for the buffer strip. Others may realize a profit because what they are paid for the buffer strip may be more than their portion paid. Hiivala said some farmers may look at the buffer strip as a loss of revenue.
Daleiden said he would like to proceed with the bare minimum, including not cutting down the trees, and clean further in the Ditch. Sawatzke asked again whether the STS crew could assist. Borrell felt that may work. He said some landowners maintained their land along the Ditch while others did not. Saxton said the crew could possibly work with the removal of debris in the Ditch. If trees are cut down, he thought equipment might be needed as some of the trees are quite large. Lt. Hoffman suggested talking with the Parks Department and the STS Crew Leader.
Borrell asked Hiivala for the recommendation and whether the work will start at Lake Ann and then work back. Hiivala said his recommendation is written in the Findings of Fact and Order which states, “…the engineer is directed to provide the necessary plans and specs in order to seek bids for this Repair Report.” He said this would be with the caveat that they would like to do as little as possible that is effective and with the idea of going from the outlet backwards. Sawatzke said that the hand labor could be completed first and specs could be completed afterwards. Borrell again asked whether cleaning needs to be done from the outlet back. Hiivala said he trusts the engineer to ascertain what needs to be done. Hiivala said that Wenck & Associates met with the petitioners in Victor Township and subsequently scoped the Ditch. That is where the engineer identified the 13 points. Borrell spoke with one of the petitioners who did not feel the initial project would benefit him.
Hiivala said it is important to identify that the engineer for this project is Wenck and that the Board wants to do the minimum that is effective. If the Engineer says the only way to be effective is to remove the trees, then that can be presented back to the Drainage Authority. Otherwise, he felt that direction could be given to the Engineer.
Borrell made a motion to order Wenck & Associates to initiate repairs as best determined by their firm and that which is most cost effective. Hiivala said the motion should be to reflect that the Engineer is directed to provide the necessary plans and specs in order to seek bids for this Repair Report. Borrell restated that the motion, based on Hiivala’s recommendation, is that the engineer is directed to provide the necessary plans and specs in order to seek bids for this Repair Report. The motion includes that it should be the most cost effective method. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Sawatzke asked whether a bill will be received from Wenck & Associates to prepare the specifications. Hiivala thought that would be the case. Borrell said the County needs to look at utilizing the STS crew in any way possible. He said Hiivala should let Wenck & Associates know that is a definite possibility. The engineer could work with STS to see if there is some clearing that could be done by hand. Sawatzke suggested contacting the STS crew leader to go on site to make a determination of what can be done. The motion carried 4-0.
Borrell moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $328,707.98 and 195 vendors. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 2-13-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0:
Hagerty began by summarizing the history of card key access at County facilities. His Office and the Board have discussed this for the past four years. The County transitioned to card key access a number of years ago to provide an electronic record of access into the buildings. Hagerty said the 2-08-12 Building Committee meeting accomplished much. Hoffman worked with Norman on an audit of the Government Center security camera system. The Sheriff Office needed remote access to the camera system in the event an incident occurred in the Government Center. The camera system is web-based. Hagerty said this allows the Sheriff Office to monitor the Government Center remotely.
Hagerty said data privacy was also a concern. For example, a judge may require someone appearing in court to get photographed and fingerprinted if they hadn’t done so prior to the court date. Hagerty said the office used for this purpose in the Government Center was small and also served as a break room for Bailiffs, potentially compromising data privacy. The former visiting room in the old Jail on the first floor of the Government Center was remodeled last year to accommodate finger printing in a more secure environment.
Hagerty said the Board voted to install metal detectors at the main entrances to the Government Center several years ago. State law requires protection for judges, as well as the presence of Bailiffs in the Courts area. Hagerty said there used to be one metal detector in the Courts corridor of the Government Center. The Office hired three people to address this need. Korbel supervises the Bailiffs at the Government Center, some of whom are part time, retired and seasonal staff. Hagerty explained that he also rotates a variety of Deputies through the Government Center. His staff is assigned a variety of card key access groups. Bailiffs have more access in the Government Center than Deputies. Hagerty said this causes inconvenience as his staff works interchangeably between different County facilities. He has called Administration at times to have an employee’s card key access modified. Hagerty said Norman is in charge of the Government Center building, and the Sheriff Office provides the security force.
Hagerty continued that he now has as many as ten staff in the Government Center. Not all are licensed, but all are uniformed. There is an expectation that when an employee is in uniform, they must respond to any altercation. There were four courthouse incidents in the State in 2012. Hagerty’s concern is that his staff is unable to gain access to inside offices in the Government Center after business hours. Last month, an employee in Financial Services on the third floor called the Buffalo Police Department regarding an incident with a client. The Sheriff Office advised them to call 911 so they would also be notified. Korbel went to Financial Services in response. His card key denied access, preventing him from getting into the Department.
Hagerty said other areas in need of increased security include Veterans Services. Some veterans struggle and come to the County for help. If Sheriff Deputies and Bailiffs do not have access to interior doors at the Government Center, they would not be able to respond adequately should an incident occur. Hagerty said the Administration Department could also become vulnerable if a disgruntled employee threatened staff. He said it would take some effort for Deputies to get into the office. In addition, Hagerty said Court Room 6 is located directly next to Administration. Incidents in the Court Room could impact Administration Department staff.
Hagerty said his concern is that limited access to the Government Center (GC) could delay his officers from responding to any incidents that occur after business hours. He added that employees in Financial Services on the third floor of the Annex building and County Attorney staff on the fourth floor both work late periodically. The Attorney’s office may also have witnesses in the Department after hours. Hagerty said his officers are trained in emergency response, and should be given expanded card key access to respond quickly.
Hagerty reiterated that his request is for 24/7 access for licensed Deputies and unlicensed Bailiffs who work in the GC. He has spoken to all Department Heads, and 90 percent of them agreed to allow 24/7 access to their offices. Hagerty said Deputies would not have access to individual offices, but only the main entrances into Departments. He assured the Committee that he would discipline any of his staff found to be prying into unauthorized areas. Hagerty said he monitors his employees thoroughly. He mentioned several incidents when his staff could not gain access through exterior doors at the GC. Hagerty said it makes sense from a security standpoint that his Deputies and Bailiffs have additional access to the GC. The County Board did not address this last year.
Potter expressed concern regarding data privacy. He said there are many files with sensitive information on the premises. Hagerty replied that he has addressed that situation as well. He said Maintenance staff has access to offices in the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). His employees sign statements agreeing to abide by data privacy practices. His Office executes agreements with the State warranting that Sheriff Office staff will not disseminate private information. Hagerty said he trusts his employees, and none would snoop into private data. He promised that his staff would be courteous.
Hoffman commented that an advantage of the card key system is its ability to track employee movements. He understands data privacy concerns. The Sheriff Office has dealt with similar issues. Hoffman said access granted to them by Departments at the GC will only be used in emergencies. He said during election times people are in the building at all hours. Planning Commission meetings draw people in the evenings. He acknowledged that the Buffalo Police Department is the primary criminal responding agency, but the Sheriff Office already has employees on site.
Daleiden asked whether the Buffalo Police Department has access. Korbel said they take the reports, but the Sheriff Deputies and Bailiffs are the first responders. Norman said if any agency should have 24/7 keys, it should be the Buffalo Police Department.
Hoffman remarked that the Buffalo Police Department calls the Sheriff Office in serious situations because they do not have a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) or emergency response team. He said the Committee has the responsibility to weigh data privacy with security concerns. Hoffman said lack of access to the GC is a security concern for the Sheriff Office. He worked with Norman to get Board approval for scanners so Deputies and Bailiffs do not have to use intrusive tactics such as searching women’s purses. However, after investigating other agencies, they realized there is not sufficient room at GC entrances for such a system. Hoffman said the additional card key access is a security loophole the Office would like to close.
Kieft said his staff on the third floor of the GC asked him to relay their concerns about personal safety at work. He said the inability of law enforcement to gain access to his Department creates problems. Kieft supports reasonable access for law enforcement. He added that Hagerty is his safety consultant. With the number of incidents around the country in the last few years, he asked Hagerty to meet briefly and walk around the Human Services Center (HSC). He gave Hagerty copies of current safety policies. Hagerty will review them and advise Kieft on best practices. Human Services staff encounters many people in various states of mind. He is eager to hear Hagerty’s recommendations on how to improve security for Human Services staff. Kieft said if law enforcement is on site, it is only practical to allow them access.
Potter asked how late Human Services employees on the third floor work. Kieft said about five o’clock P.M. Occasionally some employees work later, but not on a regular basis. Daleiden said Parenting Through Divorce classes are held after business hours and on weekends.
Norman commented that Hagerty stated he has talked with Department Heads about this issue, but has not talked to him personally. Hagerty said he discussed the matter at several Leadership Team meetings. He said all but Genell Reese, Veterans Services Director and Norman have agreed to give the Sheriff Office 24/7 access to their Departments.
Norman suggested the Committee permit each Department Head to decide whether they want to allow Sheriff Deputies and Bailiffs 24/7 access to their respective offices. Hagerty affirmed that suggestion, saying he wants the issue to be a matter of record.
Norman said some Counties do not allow night or evening meetings. Hoffman said the Judicial Corridor is the only area that can prohibit the presence of firearms. Norman said the last meeting about this topic discussed security gates that used to be in place in GC corridors that were closed and locked after hours to limit access to parts of the building. The gates were removed when the GC was remodeled. Norman said he would like to reconsider that solution or something similar. Hagerty said schools and malls utilize gates. Norman commented that would be a viable solution. Daleiden said there is no reason for the public to have complete access to all parts of the GC after business hours. Korbel said it may help. Potter said the gates were especially important for the Judicial corridor. Hoffman remarked there may be recent changes to security gates. He explained that the trend is moving away from gates for fire safety reasons. Egress cannot be hindered. Glass doors are often installed instead. Hoffman said the glass doors have motion sensors on the inside to allow egress but not ingress. Hoffman said providing 24/7 access to County law enforcement is a no-cost issue. He suggested the Committee talk with Norman about security gates if they wish to enhance building security.
Potter preferred that every Department Head sign off indicating whether or not the Sheriff Office has permission to enter their Department office area. Norman recommended the Committee allow each Department Head to decide whether or not they allow 24/7 access to their Department office. Potter commented that he was more sensitive to the data privacy issues in the Administration Department due to the nature and scope of the work performed there.
Hagerty asked about exterior door access for his staff. Norman replied that they have 24/7 access via the east and west exterior doors. Daleiden suggested the Sheriff Office receive 24/7 access for all exterior doors. Korbel explained that they would like to be able to set up a fast perimeter. Potter asked if access would include the parking garage. Daleiden said it would. He continued that an audit could be done to verify no access had been abused. Hagerty doubted there would ever be an issue. Korbel said he only wants access to curtail incidences.
Daleiden asked Norman and Hagerty to examine ways to tighten security for the GC in the evenings. Norman added that access could be narrowed. Hagerty said sometimes Planning Commission meetings become contentious. He said his Deputies always come to the GC by request in the evenings. On Thursdays, Deputies stay until 6 P.M. until the License Bureau closes. Two months ago, Deputies had to apprehend a man by the License Bureau.
Hagerty said the updated camera security system enables Deputies and Bailiffs to view altercations in the GC. Korbel said the cameras provide back up for them. Hagerty added that the cameras provide clear viewing of the GC. Norman agreed that the video quality is much better. Hagerty said if an incident occurred, it could be viewed remotely from the LEC.
Norman suggested that either the Sheriff Office or Administration send the letters to Department Heads. He said the Sheriff Office is in charge of security and Administration is responsible for the buildings. Daleiden said Administration should send out the letters. Potter asked that the Committee also consider security in the Judicial corridor, perhaps utilizing doors. Norman offered to check regarding fire codes. If doors are not a viable option, they will look for others.
Recommendation: Administration Department will draft a letter to Department Heads requesting a response regarding whether or not to allow licensed and unlicensed Sheriff Staff 24/7 access to their Department areas.
(End of Building Committee Minutes)
A Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 2-05-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, the Board reviewed proposed changes to the minutes as suggested by the Parks Administrator. Sawatzke made an additional change on Page 4, 4th Paragraph, 2nd Sentence, change to read, “What if the City prefers to confine use of the Regional park to local residents.” Daleiden moved to approve the changes as recommended, seconded by Borrell. Borrell said that since the Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting, he spoke with a Parks Board representative about the need for a Memorandum Of Understanding delineating County and City responsibilities. Sawatzke felt that document will be brought to the County Board in the next 1-2 years, but the goal is certainly to have that in place by the time the last piece of property is acquired. The motion carried 4-0 to approve the minutes as revised:
I. Bertram Chain Of Lakes Regional Park.
Mattice presented his PowerPoint presentation entitled “Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park: Preserving a Resource And Providing Opportunity” to the Board (see attached). He also distributed a booklet to the Board with the title “Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park” (see attached). Mattice began by explaining that the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project (Project) has been unfolding for a number of years, and those involved hope to continue the process. He will discuss the Project history, planning, partnership, timelines, agreements, funding and grants.
The Project is a cooperative effort between Wright County and the City of Monticello. Mattice referred to the Property Highlights slide of the presentation. He compared it to the Lakes area in Minneapolis. His goal is for the Regional Park to become similarly well known and utilized. Growth along the adjacent Twin Cities to St. Cloud Corridor on I-94 has slowed in the past few years, but Mattice feels confident that growth will resume soon.
Mattice named the four lakes in the Regional Park: Bertram, Long, Mud and First. He added that there is no shoreline development around the lakes, which is a rare feature. Mattice said the Regional Park is part of a 4550 watershed which filters runoff, providing a significant benefit to the Mississippi River.
Mattice described three important geological features of the Regional Park: an Esker Tunnel, a Kame and a Kettle Hole. An Esker is a long ridge of gravel and other sediment deposited when water melts off a glacier. The Esker/tunnel in the Regional Park snakes between Bertram and Long Lakes. Mattice said the Kame is an irregularly shaped hill that was formed from a depression or hollow in a glacier that filled with sand and gravel as the glacier receded. The Kettle Hole is a sediment-filled wetland that was created when the glacier retreated.
Mattice referred to the photo following the Property Highlights slide which shows a bridge on the trail to the Esker in the Regional Park. Moving to the Project Overview slide, Mattice summarized the history of the Project, and read organizations represented on the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council (listed under Tab 2, Vision To Reality section of the attached booklet).
Mattice said in 2013 they will continue maintenance and improvements to the Regional Park, and complete a design for sustainable mountain bike trails. The Project is working with a group called Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC). Husom asked whether MORC will maintain the proposed biking trails. Mattice said yes, they are interested. He is currently working on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with MORC, and will bring it to the County Board in March 2013.
Mattice continued with the Planning and Public Input slide that described a Family Fun Event held 6-13-09 to provide information and encourage involvement in the Regional Park. Approximately 1,400 people attended. Organizers distributed a survey to participants. Mattice said the results illustrate the wide appeal for the Regional Park, and enabled them to define its regional significance.
Mattice turned to the slide entitled Recreational Opportunities that specified which amenities survey respondents are seeking for the regional park.
The Projected Service Area slide indicates the distance and locations from which future park users could be drawn. Ideally, a regional park should be accessible to residents within a 30-minute drive.
When reviewing the Concept Plan slide, Mattice cited research showing a direct relationship between experiencing nature and subsequent health benefits. Nature provides an opportunity for physical activity. Nature is also important for human development in the intellectual, emotional and social realms. In 2005, Mattice reported that the American Medical Association cited cognitive benefits as well, including creativity, problem solving, focus and self discipline. Mattice said natural environments provide other advantages, such as cooperation, stress reduction, increased happiness and higher property values. Mattice said Hennepin County did a study a few years ago that showed homes located within 1/2 mile of a regional park have higher property values by 3 to 4.5 percent. Mattice said parks attract businesses and retain residents. He was confident the Regional Park would provide similar benefits to the County and its communities.
Mattice moved to the slide entitled What Is Being Accomplished. The goal is to protect and preserve the natural resources of the Regional Park by keeping 75 – 80 percent of it in a natural state. The Project focus is to contain development to one area of the Regional Park. The concept includes trails, but the design is closer to a park reserve.
The County is striving to make the Project affordable. The Past and Future Funding Proposals slide indicates the years, award amounts and sources of grants received to date. Mattice said Tab 5 in the attached booklet provides more details on local matches. So far the Project has received $5,892,193 in grants and State funding. He added that they have not been successful with State bonding. The Lessard Sams Heritage Council has the largest amount of funding available, but stipulates that the land must be open to hunting in all seasons. The Bertram Lakes Regional Park Advisory Board has not favored complying with that requirement.
Husom asked whether there is a detrimental aspect to having the Regional Park open to hunting all year. Mattice explained that all-season hunting includes rabbits, squirrels, deer, and turkeys. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board felt this would detract from the Regional Park. There may be special hunts to assist with wild life management in the future, similar to what occurred at Ney Park in 2012.
Mattice moved to the Recreational Site Plan slide. The dotted green lines on the map south and west of Bertram Lake illustrate Phase IV of the Project. Mattice said they are waiting for one more Agreement with the land owner. The foldout map in Tab 4 of the booklet shows proposed amenities of the Project in detail.
The solid yellow lines on the Site Plan outline Phase VI. The Project was awarded a Park Legacy Grant and a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Non-Metro Regional Park Grant totaling $1.9 million in December 2012. Phase V is an outdoor recreation grant, which can only be used for active play spaces and ball fields. They were successful in obtaining an Outdoor Recreation grant for $370,000. Non-Metro Regional Park Grants are typically funded by lottery proceeds. Park and Trail Legacy Grants are usually funded by Clean Water and Legacy dollars.
Borrell asked Mattice to define road access to the Regional Park. Mattice said the Regional Park is bordered by County Road 39 on the north, Briarwood on the west, 90th St. on the south, which then angles northeast back to Monticello. Borrell said the Regional Park is quite accessible. Mattice explained that the Regional Park currently offers a parking lot and trails on the southern end, with access to Bertram and Long Lakes.
Borrell asked where a future overnight camping site would be located. Mattice said in a number of years, camping would be located on the north end of Bertram and Long Lakes. The beach would be situated near Bertram Lake, about 1800 feet from the future camp site.
Mattice turned to the booklet and listed the titles on Tabs 1 through 5 (see attached). He described the purpose of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council (Tab 2). Mattice explained how the process started with the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) noted in Tab 3. The first MOU established the terms, conditions and responsibilities of the parties relative to the acquisition of 1200 acres of park land. The second MOU addresses the first acquisition. Tab 4 illustrates the overall concept, including athletic fields and plans for the northern end of the Park. Tab 5 contains funding and grant information.
Husom asked whether the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) camp still exists on the site. Mattice confirmed it is still there. Environmental education became a top priority during the survey and planning process. The negotiation team sought to reduce the YMCA’s footprint in the Regional Park while utilizing their staff for environmental education as a cost savings. The YMCA will redevelop their camp on a ten acre section on the north side between the campground and beach. Mattice said this site will be available to the public during the hours the YMCA is not in operation. The YMCA will have a ground lease with the County and City.
Sawatzke explained that the property was acquired for less than the appraised value. Part of the agreement included a 99 year lease with the YMCA. Mattice confirmed that the YMCA agreed to invest $2-3 million in improvements to the property. Sawatzke said the YMCA is not paying now as part of the terms of the original Agreement. The property appraised from $21 - $24 million. The County and City of Monticello signed an MOU with the YMCA to purchase the entire property for $20.5 million. Sawatzke said the reduced sales price compensated for the continuation of YMCA Day Camp located within the park.
Sawatzke said the YMCA camp has become a popular summer camp for children. Sawatzke said it will likely become even better in the future as they improve their amenities. He is confident that more local residents will utilize the YMCA camp as the Regional Park becomes developed. Potter said his children went to the YMCA camp and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Borrell voiced a concern about the legal aspects of the partnership with the City of Monticello. He asked Mattice whether there was a way to legally separate the County and City so that responsibilities of each entity are specified. He gave the example of the City agreeing to maintain the tennis courts. Borrell said the lack of specification in the MOU regarding individual responsibilities increases the potential for future legal battles. He added that he views the partnership between the County and City as a positive endeavor. Problems may arise, for example, if the County wants to invest in a campground and the City does not.
Mattice said at this time the partnership is operating under the original MOU in Tab 3 of the booklet. He explained that this Board may wish to amend certain aspects of the MOU. The County is administering programs, facilities, trails, within the passive use areas and development of the Regional Park. The City might consider investing in the beach area as a cost share. Perhaps the two parties would consider a Joint Powers Agreement. However, until that development occurs, separating responsibilities is difficult.
Borrell said he is looking at the real estate involved. If future tennis courts and ball fields will be operated by Monticello, it makes sense to separate the legal ownership of the land. The County will bear the majority of the responsibilities for the Regional Park, which will benefit both City and County residents. Sawatzke responded that it would be problematic for the City to ask the County to take on 100 percent ownership of the Regional Park. He agrees that responsibilities will need to be specified in the future, but he sees no cause for concern. Sawatzke said if the City wants to change to a course of action contrary to the previous MOU, they will only accomplish it by agreeing to increase their investment in the Project. Sawatzke said he was on the Board during this process. It would be a mistake for the City to try to take control, as that would require them to invest more money in the Park. Sawatzke agreed that at some point a more specific Agreement than Clause 6 of the first MOU (Tab 3) outlining County and City responsibilities may be advisable.
Borrell said the goal of the County is to draw people from surrounding areas. What if the City prefers to confine use of the Regional Park to local residents. These are conflicting interests. Borrell said a legal description of responsibilities would alleviate this problem. He asked the ramifications if the County sought additional access that the City denied.
Daleiden said the Concept Plan shows soccer fields. He added that there is never a lack of people at soccer tournaments. The concept is designed to accommodate as many people as possible.
Borrell predicted a future conflict with the City, reiterating his desire for a legal mechanism to separate the County and City. Sawatzke sees the need for a better division of responsibilities in the future. He did not envision the City asking for more control. Sawatzke added that this Board will not give the City more control without requiring them to increase their investment in the Regional Park.
Sawatzke asked about future operating costs. Mattice did not have them at this time. Sawatzke said if campgrounds are built, the operating costs are approximately equivalent to the operating expenditures (not counting capital, acquisition or infrastructure costs). He said that was cause for concern in the past. He said there has been discussion regarding adding a full time person. By doing so, Sawatzke said it allows for revenue-generating recreational activities that would ultimately offset the cost of the additional employee. Mattice said all County campgrounds break even for operating costs.
Borrell compared the Project partnership with two people who buy a business together. As long as the business is making a profit, everything runs smoothly. When revenues decline, problems begin. Sawatzke commented that he was not suggesting campgrounds were a large profit center. Borrell stated there will be issues down the road. Hence, a legal separation would remedy the problem. Both entities should work together.
Sawatzke agreed to keep those ideas in mind. He and Daleiden are on the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council. He said he did not think the County or the City will agree to divide the land, if that is Borrell’s intent. Daleiden said he was not sure that was possible based on the funding sources. Mattice said it is not possible due to title restrictions. He thought a division of roles and responsibilities could be broached in the future within the confines of a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). Mattice explained that partnerships like this one are not new to the County. The County also has a partnership with the City of Maple Lake regarding Ney Park. The Park is held in joint title with the City of Maple Lake. Sawatzke asked if all the acreage in Ney Park is included in the partnership agreement. Mattice said some acreage was purchased by the County. Mattice said the original land and trust funds are encompassed in the partnership with the City of Maple Lake. There are ways to address such issues throughout the process.
Mattice said his staff is concerned regarding how they work with the City on the Project. The City of Monticello has been cooperative to date. Mattice has taken the lead to pursue grants and work on passive recreational activities. Mattice said his Department has asked the City to help at times, but his staff assumes primary responsibility for development of passive use areas. He added that templates exist for the type of agreement Borrell seeks.
Potter asked if the County is fortunate to have the City of Monticello as a financial partner. Sawatzke responded that considering the amount of money the City has contributed, the MOU is unprecedented. The City decided that it would be more advantageous to have one large park versus many small ones. They dedicated all City park funds for the Project.
Sawatzke introduced Dibben and said he is very knowledgeable on resources. Dibben said purchases have been shared by both the City and County. They are equally involved in the Project. He said the parties are better off in the long term by executing an MOU. Dibben said they will have a much bigger problem if they try to undo a legal agreement. He suggested asserting control via negotiation rather than through legal action. He cautioned the Board that attempting a legal agreement regarding separation of responsibilities is heading in the wrong direction. An MOU, Dibben concluded, is a far better arrangement.
Borrell expressed concern that the County pursue a legal separation agreement at some point. The City could say no. Dibben said it is more effective to talk with a partner if there is an MOU versus wading into a legal quagmire. Borrell said he would agree if the MOU stated the County has the majority of control over the passive recreational sites and the City controlled the ball parks and other active recreational sites. He said it is likely the County and City will not agree on some issue in the future. Dibben advised that the County negotiate with the City and be more open minded, trusting, and communicative. He said the Project is not a business, it’s a nonprofit situation. Borrell replied that the issue is about dollars as well.
Mattice said he did not anticipate any action at this meeting. He will come back with action items in the future regarding Phase IV, detailing another MOU stating the County has secured local match and grant funds. There will also be action items regarding Phase V and Phase VI regarding receipt of the local match and on negotiations and appraisals.
Sawatzke commented that this Project has been the highest-rated project in every grant process to which they have applied. It has always received more money than competing grant applications. Mattice concurred, saying the last Park and Trail Legacy Fund Grant award was $1.5 million to the project, the highest amount awarded. Sawatzke said that comprised nearly 25 percent of available grant funds. The County received all available funds from the Non-Metro Regional Park Grant recently. Sawatzke said grant agencies rank this Project very high relative to others. He anticipates funds will continue to be available. Potter said the Project has to be a top priority. Sawatzke suggested the Board tour County Parks this May or June.
Borrell reiterated that residents of south and western Wright County may not be inclined to come to the Regional Park for a day due to the distance. An overnight campground could convince them otherwise. He asked whether the Parks Department would work with a citizen group that could donate time and money toward creating an overnight campground at the Regional Park. Mattice said there are park dedication accounts available. These will be illustrated in the Annual Parks Report in two weeks.
Borrell again commented that overnight camping would be a positive amenity for the Regional Park. He suggested they start with primitive sites, and then graduate to accommodating Recreational Vehicles with generators in a different area, depending on the interest level of area residents. Sawatzke said there has been some group camping for nonprofit organizations on the south end of Bertram. Project organizers do not want to overrun areas now in the short term and change the landscape due to over use. They do not want to build roads that will be needed for only two years. In addition, the County does not own land where the campsites would be located. Mattice agreed.
Husom asked if the County has received donations for County parks. Mattice said there are donation accounts for Ney and Bertram Parks. The Ney Park account has as much as $28,000 and Bertram has $11,000.
Mattice said a group called Friends of Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park was formed through the Minnesota Parks and Trails Council. It is the only Park in the County system that has such a group. They help with funding events and cleanup every spring. Dibben added that the group has nearly 300 members. Mattice said a link to the Friends Group is provided on the County website.
Sawatzke asked when the next item will come to the Board for action. Mattice hopes to bring the fourth addendum ground lease for Phase IV and the local match for Phase VI to the Board in three weeks.
Recommendation: None – informational only.
(End of 2-05-13 Parks Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 2-13-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0:
A. Financial Worker, Human Services
Maloney distributed a document describing the position and stated it would work with a variety of programs including Food Support, Health Care, and various Cash programs (see attached). The Financial Worker processes all programs and determines eligibility for new clients, as well as reapplications on cases closed more than thirty days prior.
Maloney stated that the Food Support and Health Care programs have increased significantly in the past couple of years and that each Financial Worker typically averages about 400 cases, which has gone up from 250-275. Maloney stated that some applications are done electronically which helps with the work load. She said that it is required by the Government to allow the public access to these programs. This position also receives Federal reimbursement and in 2012 the reimbursement amount was $15,152.00.
Sawatzke questioned if the reimbursement amount would increase as the employee’s salary increases. Kieft stated he believes the reimbursement amount is based on a percentage so it would increase but stated that he was not positive and would get a definite answer. Sawatzke stated that it was currently at about 49% of the annual salary. He questioned if it would go up for the year of 2013, but also stated that since they was no general increase for 2013, it could possibly stay the same. Norman stated that was correct.
Sawatzke stated that this position deals with a lot of pressure and due to the increase in case loads he is in support of filling the position. Husom stated she agreed with Sawatzke.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of Financial Worker position.
B. Child Support Officer – A-K Unit, Human Services
Johnson handed out a position replacement request for the Child Support Officer in the A-K Unit (see attached). Johnson stated the position collects child support and identifies cases that need legal action to enforce the court order.
Johnson said the position is federally funded at 66%, which includes salary, benefits and other related expenses. Filling this position is important to the incentive funding because incentives are compromised when there is an unfilled position. Johnson stated currently Wright County collects more than one million dollars a month in child support and if the collection amount decreases, then so does the incentive amount. Sawatzke questioned what the actual reimbursement was. Johnson stated that she was unsure because the amount changes constantly. Johnson stated two/three years ago, the incentive was 17% more than it is now.
Husom questioned if some was federal and if some was State. Johnson stated that the federal amount is the 66% reimbursement and the incentives are State amounts. Sawatzke questioned how many employees there were for the A-K Unit. Johnson stated that there are about 15 people who split A-Z cases. Husom questioned if it was challenging to enforce payment. Johnson stated that with the downturn in the economy, it has been difficult to receive some payments. She said that the workload is directly related to the economy. Husom questioned if the case load has increased. Johnson stated the number of cases have not increase that much.
Sawatzke stated that the amount of cases might not increase, but the number of people who do not pay child support might. Husom questioned the number of people that pay on time. Johnson stated that she does not know an exact number but she would estimate about 70% of people pay on time. Sawatzke questioned if the other 30% do not pay because they cannot afford it or simply because they do not wish to. Johnson stated that the Court usually takes the payment directly out of their paycheck.
Johnson stated that a big part of the position would be keeping up with modifications to the Court Order. Johnson stated that when someone has a change in circumstances, there is a process in which the payment amount can be changed. Johnson stated that if both parties are informed and neither objects, then the modification is granted. However, if one side objects, then a hearing is scheduled. Sawatzke stated this position is primarily funded through reimbursement and the work load seems to be there. Norman asked if he recommended filling the position. Sawatzke stated he does. Husom stated she agreed.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of Child Support Officer – Unit A-K.
Kieft asked the Commissioners if they would accept a request to hear an additional request for a temporary employee. Sawatzke asked Norman if that would be acceptable. Norman stated that discussion regarding this request would not meet the three day notification requirement. Sawatzke stated that Kieft should take the position to the Human Services Board Meeting if he needed approval quickly. Kieft stated that the notification requirement was missed by one day. Norman stated that Judy Brown, Personnel Representative, informed the supervisor about the in timeline requirements for it to be scheduled on the Agenda today. Sawatzke stated that Kieft should add it to the Human Services Board Agenda on 02-25-13 and to make sure Kieft is prepared to present the position so it does not get laid over.
C. Deputy Sheriff
Sawatzke questioned if there had been any correspondence from the Sheriff’s Department regarding this position. Norman stated that he did not receive any correspondence and that he checked his email before coming down to the meeting. Sawatzke suggested to lay over the position until next months meeting.
Recommendation: Lay Over the Position to the March 13, 2013 Personnel Committee Meeting.
(End of 2-13-13 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Bills Approved
Allina Health Laboratory $188.20
Allina Health System 102.70
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 18,358.50
Ameripride Services 300.20
Anesthesia Assoc. of St Cloud 316.74
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 635.73
Aramark Services Inc 6,504.97
Association of MN Counties 600.00
Beaudry Propane Inc 1,804.80
Bendpak 1,831.50
Buffalo Auto Value 406.98
Center Point Energy 9,618.18
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 39,091.65
CenturyLink 6,350.09
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 22,860.00
Climate Air 296.30
Corporate Payment Sys. 844.24
Design Elect.-Cold Spring Elec. 397.00
Edocument Resources 4,514.75
Envirotech Services Inc 17,188.09
Fibernet Monticello 359.80
Frontier Precision Inc 440.00
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
Grainger 738.57
Greenview Inc 1,198.16
Hennepin Co. Treasurer 3,481.72
Herald Journal Publishing Inc 100.50
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 4,826.31
Impact Proven Solutions 17,472.00
Interstate Battery Systems 521.28
Jahnke/Chris 132.00
Johnson Larson Peterson PA 100.00
Johnson/Troy 294.99
Keaveny LTC Pharmacy 2,472.73
LaPlant Demo Inc 938.37
Loberg Electric 149.21
Marco 2,710.33
Marco Inc 1,417.41
Menards - Buffalo 971.98
Midwest Protection Agency Inc 324.47
MN Assn of Co. Prob. Ofcrs 1,000.00
MN Chemical Company 1,260.93
MN Counties Comp. Coop. 600.00
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 136.50
MN Monitoring Inc 1,670.25
MN Office of Enterprise Tech. 1,150.00
Monticello/City of 19,567.40
Morries Parts & Service Grp. 361.86
Neopost Great Plains 345.21
North American Salt Co 98,102.92
Office Depot 1,160.54
Pakor Inc 282.65
Pope/Douglas SWM 421.20
Prairie Lakes Youth Prog. 2,220.00
Ramada Mall Of America 525.65
Royal Tire Inc 782.60
RTVision Inc 760.31
Ryan Chevrolet 102.70
Sand Creek Group LTD 972.50
Sawatzke/Pat 359.50
Schmaltz/John 149.78
SHI International Corp 1,189.52
St Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc 128.62
Stockholm Township 419.80
Terminal Supply Co 187.03
Total Printing 479.60
Towmaster 12,382.54
Verizon Wireless 8,654.17
Voss Lighting 349.16
Westside Wholesale Tire 521.49
Windstream 285.49
Wright Co. Journal Press 138.47
Wright Hennepin Electric 274.50
14 Payments less than $100 804.64
Final Total: $328,707.98
The meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal March 11, 2013.

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