Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 26, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
The following corrections were made to the 3-19-13 Board minutes at the request of Mark Mattice, Parks Administrator: Page 4, 1st paragraph, 6th line, change to read, “Mattice said the trail design process will go through the County Parks Commission, and Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board.”; Page 7, 3rd paragraph, 5th line, sentence should read, “Mattice said 14.25 percent of the Legacy Funds goes to Parks and Trails of Regional and Statewide significance.”; Page 7, 3rd paragraph, 7th line, sentence should read, “Mattice said more than 19 percent goes to arts and cultural entities, 33 percent to habitat Projects controlled by Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (much of which is funneled to the DNR), and 33 percent is for clean water Projects.”; Page 7, 4th paragraph, 1st line, sentence should read, “Sawatzke said citizens would have to vote on renewing the Legacy Fund in 2033.”; Page 7, paragraph 4, 2nd line, sentence should read, “Mattice said the Legislature would have to vote to include this on a ballot for 2033.”; Page 7, 5th paragraph, 8th line, sentence should read, “Sawatzke interjected that Greater Minnesota ended up getting 11.5 to 12 percent in the first year.”; Page 7, 6th paragraph, 2nd line, sentence should read, “Last year the Legislature grew tired of the battle over these funds.”; Page 7, 6th paragraph, 4th line, sentence should read, “Discussions were difficult but respectful, and they drafted a funding split proposal to the Legislature.”
The following corrections were made to the 3-19-13 Board minutes at the request of Daleiden: Page 2, 1st paragraph, 1st line should read, “Daleiden asked if this abatement does not preclude the owners from contesting 2013 taxes.” Potter moved to approve the 3-19-13 minutes as corrected, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, seconded by Husom, all voted to approve the Agenda.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Borrell, and the motion carried 5-0.
Mattice requested authorization and signatures on a Trail Easement Agreement (Agreement) between Wright County and the Three Rivers Park District (TRPD). He said Three Rivers holds fee title to Beebe Lake Regional Park (Park), encompassing 67 acres. The County has managed, operated and developed this property since the late 1970s through a lease agreement with TRPD. The County must receive approval from TRPD whenever improvements to the Park are made. The Trail Easement Project is a cooperative effort between the County and the Cities of St. Michael and Hanover.
Mattice said the City of St. Michael, with support from Wright County, has secured funds for the construction of a Trail that follows County Road 34 from County Road 19 to the Park. Part of the Project includes a trail segment with the Park boundary. The County and TRPD must execute an Agreement to complete the Project. The parties feel this Easement is the proper way to give the County the option to work with contractors and sublet the Project out to St. Michael, who will be bidding the entire Project and doing construction throughout the Park. The County is not contributing funds to the construction, design or engineering of this Trail or the Trail segment within the Park. The County will be responsible for the operation, control and maintenance of the Trail segment within the Park. Mattice showed a map illustrating the Project. He said those involved considered a variety of options. They feel this is the safest option. The Attorney Office and Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) have both reviewed the Agreement. Mattice said MCIT also insures TRPD.
Daleiden asked how long the County lease agreement extends with TRPD. Mattice said the lease is for 25 years. It was renewed in 2002. TRPD now has a new Board. They would like to discuss options to transfer title of the Park to the County, rather than retaining fee ownership of the property. Mattice is not sure how that will work out. In 2002, the Board had local funding from matching Land and Water Conservation (LAWCON) grants. The TRPD Board indicated they would like the County to pay either $36,000 or $63,000 of their original investment (Mattice did not have the exact dollar figure available). Mattice responded that the County has invested a lot of money into the Park over the years. The issue was subsequently dropped, and only recently surfaced again.
Sawatzke said the property must remain a Park due to the way it was acquired. He thought it made sense for the Park to be under County ownership. He was not certain the County should pay to acquire the Park. Sawatzke added that the Park attracts many visitors from the Metro Area due to its close proximity to the Cities. He said the investment the County made in Park improvements over time exceeds the initial investment made by TRPD. Sawatzke questioned whether the County should have to give more.
Mattice said the Cities of St. Michael and Hanover worked with the County on grant applications. The Trail construction is funded by Enhancement and Legacy Funds and no local matches. The Enhancement Funds are Federal, the Legacy Funds are State. Mattice said these Funds may match each other. Other than administration costs, the Trail is a grant-funded Project. The Trail starts on County Road 19 and follows County Road 34 west along some developments, eventually coming through the Park. To the east the Trail connects to County Road 19, and crosses over to the Crow-Hassan Park Reserve. It is a substantial Trail connection, linking Hennepin 19 and integrating it into the regional trail that goes to Baker Park Reserve. The Trail connects three park districts to the St. Michael-Hanover area.
The Trail follows County Road 34 west through a native Prairie planting restoration in Beebe Lake and connects to the rest of the trail system within the Park. The County will mow the edges and maintain the asphalt Trail as long as it is in County jurisdiction. Sawatzke asked Mattice to verify that the Trail will be maintained by the County. Mattice clarified that only the portions of the Trail that fall within the Park will be maintained by the County. The remaining segments of the Trail will be maintained by the cities through which it passes.
Daleiden moved to approve the signatures on the Trail Easement Agreement between Wright County and Three Rivers Park District, seconded by Husom. Potter said the City of St. Michael has an objection to the cost of moving the Excel Energy utility lines that impedes the Trail. They are seeking help from the County to alleviate the costs involved, as the amount is substantial. He asked Mattice if he has heard from Steven Bot, St. Michael City Administrator about this issue. Mattice said per emails he has seen, the City would like Excel to move the power lines where they are adjacent to the Trail. Virgil Hawkins, County Highway Engineer, feels the Project falls within the City’s purview, although he will work with the City and contact Excel about the matter. Hawkins has no authority to act as it is not his Project. Potter asked whether the Franchise Agreement allows the County to require Excel move their lines if they are in the way. Sawatzke said he believes the County Board was copied on those emails. He said it appears Hawkins’ position is that the County does not have the authority to require Excel Energy to act. Daleiden said Hawkins had emailed Excel about the issue, but has not heard anything back yet. Potter said the high cost is an important issue for the City of St. Michael. Mattice said Hawkins is working with the City.
Sawatzke asked whether there would be a contract between the City of St. Michael and the County. Mattice said there may need to be a temporary construction easement. This Agreement allows the County to do so. Sawatzke asked Mattice to clarify that the cost will be covered. Mattice said the cost of Trail construction will be covered through the grants. Sawatzke asked whether the City of St. Michael will be required to pay the cost to move the power lines. Potter said that was his understanding. Husom asked if that could stop the Project. Potter said the City has concerns. Sawatzke did not remember a specific dollar amount mentioned in the emails about moving the power lines. Potter said the uncertain cost is part of the problem for the City of St. Michael. He added that another issue is whether this Project is part of the County Parks and Trails program. Mattice confirmed that the Trail connection is part of the County Regional Bikeway Plan adopted in the last year or two.
Sawatzke said it is a County-wide Plan. He told the other Board members that cities provided the greatest input regarding where trails should be plotted. The County did not require cities to take part. The goal was to work together so all trails connected. The County served as a facilitator to a great extent. The cities promoted building the trails. He asked Potter to keep the Board apprised regarding concerns from the City of St. Michael.
Sawatzke asked if the Highway Department had the authority to position the Trail around utility poles. Mattice said Highway has given leeway to building within the right of way. Sawatzke asked whether the utility poles are on the edge of the right of way. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said he read a reference to possibly moving the Trail in the previously mentioned emails. He said the County has encountered resistance from utility companies on prior Projects regarding moving utility lines at their cost, albeit more so for trails than for roads. The utility companies do not feel trails are a safety issue. Asleson said the rules the utility companies and road authorities play by are not clear regarding what constitutes a safety issue. The parties are in discussion regarding the issue. Hawkins continues to work with Bot from the City of St. Michael and the City of Hanover. Sawatzke said if they moved the Trail in a few feet, perhaps ten feet from the road versus fifteen feet, it would be a lot safer than being on the road or the shoulder. A little flexibility on the part of the utility company would help a lot. Sawatzke said Daleiden made a motion, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of the February Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. He said there was not much to comment on since only two months of the year have gone by. He drew attention to a correction he made to the Commissioner Department regarding postage reflected in the February Guidelines. Potter moved to approve the February Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala referenced the application for a new On Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for Whispering Pines Golf Course (Corinna Township). He said he received the application as well as appropriate fees and signatures. Asleson said this type of application is always routed to the Sheriff and Attorney Offices to confirm the applicant’s ability to obtain an Intoxicating Liquor License. They check for felony convictions within the last five years, or any willful violations of liquor laws. Both the Sheriff and Attorney Offices approved the application. Asleson said this establishment has held a 3.2% Malt Liquor License in the past. Asleson explained that counties are limited by number and type of establishments to whom they may issue Liquor Licenses. Cities have more leeway. The Statute the County operates under states that the County may issue such licenses to bowling centers, restaurants, hotels or clubs in unincorporated areas with the approval of the Commissioner of Public Safety. He is not clear regarding whether Whispering Pines Golf Course qualifies under any of those categories. He said the closest is the restaurant category. The definition for a restaurant is a minimum seating capacity as established by the licensing authority. Asleson said Gloria Gooler, Office Manager I, Auditor/Treasurer, said the County in the 1990s set the minimum of 100 seating capacity for restaurants regularly serving food. She said this has not changed. The Auditor/Treasurer’s Office does not receive these requests often. The County has issued only a small number of licenses in unincorporated areas. Asleson said his purpose was to advise the Board regarding their role in the process.
Husom asked the definition of a club. Asleson said the club definition is similar to that of a fraternal organization. The club is an incorporated organization formed for civic, fraternal, social or business purposes, intellectual improvement or the promotion of sports or a Congressional chartered veterans association. There must be more than 30 members and have a board of directors. Asleson said the definition of club focuses less on private business and more on nonprofit organization where no one makes any money. Asleson cited Moose and Elks clubs as examples.
Borrell asked which Statute describes these criteria. Asleson said it is State Intoxicating Liquor Statute 348. License applications go to the State office in St. Paul for final approval after Board authorization is received. The main hurdle at this point (unless the applicant’s business is changing from its current status) is the 100 seating capacity requirement set by the Board in the 1990s. One of the applicants, Mark Dvorak, owner of Whispering Pines Golf Course, was available to answer questions about plans to expand or change the establishment.
Dvorak explained that he purchased the establishment from the bank in June 2012. He said they are making changes as part of a three to five-year plan. This first year, Dvorak said they are applying for the Intoxicating Liquor License at the request of their golfing clientele. He realizes his establishment does not fall within the restaurant or club category. He is seeking an On Sale Liquor License only. Currently his establishment seats 55 people. He has plans to add onto the clubhouse after this year. During the third year, he and his partner plan to add an event center. He is seeking to attract other groups and events to help develop the Golf Course, build the funds to add on, and increase traffic. At this time the establishment serves hot dogs, deli sandwiches and pizzas. Dvorak said he also serves larger groups for which he brings in catering services. At this time, Dvorak said Whispering Pines does not have seating for 100 people. Once they add onto the patio, they will be able to seat as many as 200 people. He has long term plans to make the establishment bigger.
Sawatzke asked if the food they currently serve is available daily. Dvorak said pizzas, hot dogs and deli sandwiches are available every day they are open. They are getting quotes on the cost of electric fryers to be able to serve fried chicken, chicken wings, and other items.
Sawatzke asked Dvorak to verify whether they were open in the winter. Dvorak said they are closed in the winter. They hold a few events in the summer such as a 5k race. He plans to do more activities in the winter as well. Borrell asked if Dvorak would keep Whispering Pines open all year with winter activities once they added an event center. Dvorak confirmed he would offer a restaurant and activities year-round once the event center was built.
Sawatzke asked Dvorak to describe the type of seating he has on the patio. Dvorak said they have tables and chairs. The largest group they served this year was 180 people with no problem. Sawatzke asked if the outdoor seating is continuously ongoing. Dvorak replied he did not serve that many people on a continual basis. There are usually only a few tables and chairs on the patio. Dvorak said between the seating capacity on the patio, inside the building and on the asphalt area to the south of the building, he has room for a lot of people.
Borrell said he would like to see this application work, and asked whether the Board would consult with Asleson to align the County definition of restaurant with State Statute. Husom asked whether the County must update the minimum Statute from the 1990s to include more seating. Sawatzke said the County set a minimum seating capacity. Asleson said according to Gooler, the County Ordinance established the 100 seat capacity in 1996. Sawatzke said the only concern he has with lowering the capacity is that they will experience a surge in Intoxicating Liquor License applications from smaller enterprises. Asleson said State law requires the licensing authority to set the minimum seating capacity for the definition of a restaurant. The Intoxicating Liquor Licenses in unincorporated areas of the County are in Silver Creek and Norms Wayside on Highway 55. Both serve food on a regular basis.
Sawatzke said he recalls the Board chose the 100 seating capacity figure after researching surrounding counties. The current applicant does not operate in the winter. In the summer, outside seating is available. He asked Asleson whether the County could grant a license recognizing that the establishment is only open in the summer. In the winter, they would not be able to serve liquor, as their capacity is only 45. In the summer, Dvorak meets the 100 seating capacity requirement. The limitation would be Dvorak could not run a bar year-round. Sawatzke said he was concerned about lowering the requirement to 40. He added that the plan has to fit within zoning restrictions as well.
Asleson said the Statute under which the County operates addresses seasonal licensees. The Board may issue as many as ten seasonal On Sale Intoxicating Liquor Licenses for restaurants and clubs, not to exceed nine months. Nine months is more appropriate in this case, because the golf season sometimes starts as early as March or April and can extend into November.
Daleiden said a golf course is different from a restaurant. Borrell asked Hiivala whether Dvorak would need a different application if the Board approved a seasonal license, or could he use the current form. Sawatzke asked Dvorak if he could wait a few weeks before getting the license. Dvorak said it would not be an issue. Gooler said that she was not aware of a different application other than the one for Intoxicating Liquors. There is a temporary license normally issued for nonprofit organizations. Gooler said their Office has an application for a seasonal 3.2% Malt Liquor License. She said the application that Dvorak and other applicants complete are State forms. The license period runs from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. If there is a seasonal form, she will need to inquire of Al Erickson at the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division. She is not aware of any other application forms other than the one Dvorak filled out.
Sawatzke said if State law refers to a seasonal license, such a license must exist. Borrell asked Asleson whether the Board should lay this request over to allow him to research the issue. Borrell thought a seasonal license made the most sense. Sawatzke said Whispering Pines Golf Course does not meet the definition of restaurant as currently defined. Asleson said the restaurant criteria describe an establishment under the control of a single proprietor or manager where meals are regularly prepared and served at tables to the general public. It addresses a minimum seating capacity, and is a fairly broad definition. Asleson suggested the Board lay the item over for a week or so until they can verify the correct application form. That will make the application process easier when it gets to the State office in St. Paul. Sawatzke said he would like to lay the matter over. He thought the concept of a seasonal license made sense. Sawatzke expressed concerns about changing the entire County Ordinance for one operation. Daleiden moved to lay over approval of a new On Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for Whispering Pines Golf Course (Corinna Township) until the 04-02-13 County Board Meeting for the purpose of reviewing seasonal applications and verifying the forms needed. Borrell seconded the motion. Husom asked whether the County has to allow ten of these establishments. Asleson said Statute allows up to 10 seasonal applications. Sawatzke clarified that this would be the only seasonal license in the County at this time. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala provided an update on County Ditch 10. He spoke with Bryce Cruey, Water Resources Engineer for Wenck Associates, Inc. The field work is completed and they are drafting plans. He also spoke with Asleson. When the Board approved Wenck to draft plans and specifications, they also approved them to do the bidding process and oversee construction. A copy of the contract is included in the Board packet. Hiivala requested that the Board authorize him to sign the contract with Wenck for Task 1 and Options 2 and 3, for a total of $16,000 to complete the County Ditch 10 work.
The contract includes:
1) Preparing plans and specifications for ditch repairs with the objective of completing up to $100,000 cleaning work for an estimated $9,500;
2) Optional Task 2 to draft up the formal bid contract and award/select the contractor for an estimated cost of $1,500;
3) Optional Task 3 to be present on-site to oversee construction, survey final cross sections and ditch profiles, and regulate compliance with plan specifications (approximately 5 site visits) for an estimated cost of $5,000.
Borrell commented that they were considering several options. He asked whether Wenck offered a final recommendation. Hiivala said he did not have their plans and specifications yet. They have been in conversation with Kerry Saxton, Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Sentence to Serve, but Hiivala did not know their plans and specifications yet. Daleiden moved to approve the Agreement with Wenck Associates, Inc. for Plans and Specifications for County Ditch 10 to include Task 1 and Options 2 and 3. Potter seconded the motion. Borrell asked whether the contract locked the County into approving whatever Wenck recommends regarding the type of work to be performed on the Ditch. Hiivala responded that the Board is the Ditch Authority. Once the plans and specifications are delivered, the Board has the authority to modify them. Hiivala added that the Board is approving Wenck to draft the plans and specifications for the County. Sawatzke said there will be $16,000 that benefitted land owners will have paid whether the County likes the recommendations or not regarding the work to be done. Hiivala said the County had a hydrological study and scope work done on County Ditch 10. They held public hearings and informational meetings. Now the work is being done, and hopefully completed this year. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala asked the Board to approve the contract with Houston Engineering for Ditch Records Modernization. This project includes research of County records, proofing and editing GIS layers and the purchase of a web viewer. The recommendation is to have Houston Engineering host the County data as well.
Chris Otterness, Engineering Project Manager and Brian Fischer, Principal/GIS Project Manager from Houston Engineering (Houston) were present to answer questions. Hiivala said Houston previously demonstrated their product. The County asked for updated plans and costs. The County Drainage Modernization Project, including three phases of work plus project schedules, totals an estimated $41,751.00 for core services.
The three phases include:
1) Historic documentation and records preservation. This process involves three tasks:
a) Separate scanned documents and rename PDF files;
b) Create historic document and summary repository;
c) Comprehensive review of drainage system documentation and records research.
2) GIS data development. This process involves two tasks:
a) Review, create and attribute As-Current Drainage Centerline Layer;
b) Quality Control.
3) Drainage record accessibility, involving the creation of an Interactive Web Mapping application.
Sawatzke asked whether this Project would be covered by the Ditch Modernization Grant (Grant). Hiivala said yes. The County received a little more than $50,000 with the Grant. Saxton requested $10,000 for equipment that would perfect County records regarding establishing the location of County ditches. The remainder would be paid to Houston and the in-kind costs would be for County labor for assembling records and delivering them to the public.
Sawatzke asked the cost of hosting the Project. Hiivala said the ongoing cost of hosting would be $2,500 per year. Sawatzke asked what services the first $41,751 outlay covers. Hiivala said $11,256 of that amount is for the web portal. The County is buying that product and will pay an ongoing maintenance fee. He said there is no maintenance fee the first year. Sawatzke asked when the Project would be operational. Otterness said the schedule sets completion by the end of the year. Houston staff hopes to have it completed earlier. Their goal is to at least have a draft product done for the web viewer sometime in September. The cost of hosting the site for the first year (2013) would be included in the estimated total Project figure of $41,751.00.
Sawatzke asked if $2,500.00 is the annual cost to host. He commented that Houston is not hosting anything for the County now, and one fourth of the year has passed. Otterness responded that the $2,500 goes to the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), which provides the Geographic Information System (GIS) software. They also provide the license. Sawatzke asked whether it costs as much to host in 2013, even though the County is not using it until later in the year. Otterness said yes, as the fee is based on a calendar year. Daleiden said by the time Houston has completed the Project, it will be September or October. There will only be three months of actual usage.
Otterness said he will check with the GIS Coordinator to find out exactly how ESRI runs the licensing. His understanding is that the term goes from January to January. Sawatzke said prorating the fee would be a more fair option. Borrell said ESRI could delay the fee until January 2014. Otterness said Houston can be flexible. Mike Pooler, GIS Coordinator, said this option was developed based on conversations with the Information Technology Department and Houston. Pooler explained that the County holds a current subscription with other ESRI software. That license period runs from February to February. Pooler’s goal is to have ESRI prorate the ArcGIS Online subscription on a February to February basis beginning February 2014 to match up with other ESRI software licensed to the County.
Sawatzke asked Pooler if he was suggesting the cost would be less than $1,250 through February 2014. Pooler said he will definitely ask that question. His intent is to get all the annual fees on the same schedule. Sawatzke said it doesn’t seem fair to have use of a product for one week but pay the same as other entities who used the product for 52 weeks. Pooler said the County will only pay from the actual start date. Sawatzke asked Pooler to clarify whether the County will not necessarily pay Houston the $2,500. Pooler responded that Houston will do the work but under the County’s ESRI account. Sawatzke asked Otterness if he agreed that the County will not be liable for the $2,500 for an ESRI ArcGIS Online Subscription for 2013. Otterness said that was correct. Sawatzke said it appeared in the contract that the $2,500 was part of the $41,751 being paid to Houston. Otterness said Houston had accounted for the $2,500 under their budget to pass on to ESRI. This is a detail the two parties can work out. Otterness reminded the Board that they work on a time and materials basis. Houston will only charge for work actually done.
Daleiden referred to the bottom of Page 4 of the Houston proposal under the Assumptions category that states, “The County will purchase an ArcGIS Online subscription for publishing map services. The annual subscription cost for the organization is $2,500 for five users with 2,500 credits.” He asked Pooler whether that meant only five people will be able to view the ditch maps.
Pooler said he is not an expert on this software since the County does not yet have ArcGIS Online yet. It is not pertaining to five users at one time. He said it is more complicated than that. Pooler said he will come back to the Board with a better explanation. They have not proceeded down that path to date. Pooler said the way the contract reads and what it means is not the same thing. Sawatzke asked if a user was someone who implements the data versus retrieves it. Pooler said it could be mobile-related, but he doesn’t think so. Otterness said the statement is referring to five applications. He asked Pooler to confirm his statement. Pooler said it would not affect the number of people accessing the data. Pooler said he has to familiarize himself with the new ESRI software. The County has other ESRI software that allows two users and unlimited websites open. Based on that, Pooler did not think the clause regarding five users has to do with only allowing five people to use the software at a time. Daleiden asked Pooler if the County needed to have five users. Pooler deferred to Fischer, saying he thought the $2,500 annual subscription fee was an entry level fee for ArcGIS Online. He will provide more information at a later date.
Daleiden asked why the County has to pay ArcGIS when there is a current subscription. Pooler said the difference between the ArcGIS Online and the ArcGIS software the County currently uses is ArcGIS Online will get the County onto the Cloud, but through the County’s current provider versus internally. It eliminates the necessity for the County to host the site. Daleiden said he did not understand why the County has some GIS subscriptions hosted internally and others externally. Pooler said the County currently does not maintain any services, but does have a large GIS service for internal use only. Pooler said anything that goes to the public is not hosted internally. He said based on discussions with IT and the current lack of infrastructure, it would be very difficult to meet the September or December time frames and host it internally. Daleiden said he understands it could be cheaper to have another entity host it. Pooler said ESRI has a newer technology than the GIS system currently utilized by the County. ArcGIS Online is Houston’s way to compete and get in the Cloud. ArcGIS Online is not included in the County’s current subscription because it is different technology.
Hiivala said his understand after talking with Otterness is that Houston’s original proposal was to pay them to host County data. The County’s data is in a different format than the one Houston uses. Houston was going to incur the additional cost of the ArcGIS online license up to $2,500. The quote from Houston is just to acquire the license, and not a fee to host County data. They are reducing the scope of the County project and passing on the license expense incurred by the County. Otterness said Houston would not have a separate fee to the County for doing any of that work. They are just passing on what is required by ESRI to set up this kind of web viewer using their software and technologies.
Daleiden asked if Hiivala planned to have Houston do the seven or eight Optional Tasks listed in the proposal. Otterness responded that those services could be provided after the contract was completed or if the project got completed under budget. These are value added items provided to the County to help utilize any remaining grant monies. Otterness said these are also items Houston could provide the County in the future, since they would be building the structure that would accommodate them.
Daleiden asked whether someone living on County Ditch 10 would be able to look at the entire Ditch from the online aerial map, as well as historical photographs. Otterness said the viewer will be able to see a birds eye view of the Ditch system and acquire pertinent information, including the year the Ditch was constructed, its width and slope, and links to an organized list of all historic documents. Mark asked Otterness to clarify whether some historic photographs are not part of the list yet. Otterness said they could be included in the historical documentation. Houston would have to know the geographic location to assign applicable links. Pooler said easily incorporated digital photos are available from 2005, 2008 and 2011. The rest are not digital photographs.
Sawatzke asked whether the County could do Optional Tasks 1 – 8 in the future without the help of Houston Engineering. Pooler replied that there is potential to do so, however, Houston brings drainage and water issues expertise to the table. The value of Houston Engineering, Pooler said, is in their proficiency entering the information. In the future, they could work as a team.
Sawatzke asked which maps are being included in the system. Otterness said the maps referred to are paper maps created digitally. Houston could also provide paper wall maps. For example, Faribault County chose large color maps. Sawatzke said Option 7 would create large maps. This contract would provide maps that can be viewed online.
Borrell asked how large maps are printed. Sawatzke said there are huge printers in the Survey Department. He said the County does not need Option 7. Borrell asked whether there would be a penalty if the County decided to bring the hosting in-house. Otterness said the fee listed is just for ESRI products. Houston has no hosting service. The site is hosted at the County level.
Sawatzke asked if the County can keep doing this without buying an annual license or will there always be an annual fee as long as they use the service. Otterness said the license is for the ESRI system and they charge the annual fee. Borrell said at some time in the future, Houston could double their price. Sawatzke added that, in that situation, the County would have to terminate the subscription and start the project all over. Pooler said theoretically the County could cancel the ArcGIS Online two years from now and host internally without a penalty. Sawatzke said the product used by the County would not fall under their license. Pooler said yes, but the County currently maintains the license. Hiivala said one of the services Houston will provide is the perfection of County GIS layers. Hiivala said Pooler indicated the County does not have information regarding how those ditch layers were created. Houston will identify those layers. That will give greater assurance of County data.
Daleiden moved to approve the contract with Houston Engineering for Ditch Record Modernization, seconded by Husom. Borrell asked for clarification regarding the $2,500 ESRI ArcGIS Online Subscription fee. Sawatzke asked whether the County pays that to itself and not to Houston. Pooler said that was his preference. Otterness said they are only working on a time and materials basis. If the charge goes through Houston, they don’t add any additional charges. The County and Houston can definitely work it out. Sawatzke said the estimate is actually $2,500 less than the total $41,000 or $39,300. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke asked whether the motion should be changed from $41,800 to $39,300. Hiivala said the motion is that Houston would not invoice the County for charges not incurred. Unless the County is certain that cost would not be paid, Hiivala suggested the Board leave the original amount in. Sawatzke said if the County does pay it, it will be prorated.
Hiivala requested approval of engineering services for drafting a technical memorandum on alternatives for County Ditch 38. Hiivala said last week he had an informational meeting with Wenck Associates. They inspected the area and presented a quote on the technical memorandum. Last week the Board asked Hiivala to get a quote from Houston. He gave them a generic scope of work to be done. Both quotes are included in the Board packet. Wenck quoted an estimated cost of $7,200 for Tasks 1 through 4, including:
1) Compile existing information;
2) Determine extent of the Ditch;
3) Define alternative concepts to restore Ditch conveyance;
4) Prepare a technical memo.
Two Optional Tasks for an added cost of $2,800 were:
5) Organize a meeting with the City of Waverly and Montrose to discuss possible cost share opportunities ($500);
6) Coordinate a video inspection of the existing pipe crossing the railroad tracks and observe field activities while on-site during the field visit describe in Task 2 ($2,300).
The quote from Houston Engineering included two tasks for a cost not to exceed $7,000, including:
1) Research records and establish the extents of the public drainage system;
2) Review alternatives.
Four additional services were offered beyond the scope of this proposal, but no cost was given. They are:
1) Wetland delineation, impact determination, and permitting;
2) Construction plans, specifications, staking, and observation;
3) Surveying; and
4) Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling.
Sawatzke asked for input regarding Tasks 5 and 6 of the Wenck proposal. Daleiden said the Committee had a discussion with the Cities of Waverly and Montrose, and they do not feel a meeting is necessary. The County Soil and Water Conservation District ran a camera as far as they could in the pipe, rendering Task 6 unnecessary. Daleiden continued that Wenck appears to plan more on-site visits than Houston. Houston will do more via GIS. In his opinion, he would rather contract with Wenck because on-site visits will provide more realistic information. Borrell agreed. He thought the on-site visits were worth the additional $200 because Wenck has already invested the time at the informational meetings.
Hiivala said the Board just approved Houston to be the vendor for Ditch Records Modernization. He said both vendors will have to research ditch records to establish the extent of the ditch system. Hiivala agreed that Wenck has indicated more on-site visits. He said the advantage of choosing Houston is that the County would get part of records modernization done on County Ditch 38 by virtue of their work on this project.
Husom asked if that would save the County money. Hiivala replied that it might allow the County to do more with the grant funds. Sawatzke said the bids are close. He asked if Houston knew Wenck was submitting a bid. Hiivala said they had no idea. He received quotes from both firms on the hydrological study, and they were within hundreds of dollars there as well. Hiivala said both Wenck and Houston are bidding respectable amounts.
Borrell said the Wenck estimate describes the Ditch route in detail. He did not see that in the Houston proposal. Borrell said he is familiar with County Ditch 38. One of the proposals Wenck mentions as an option is the best, in his opinion. He does not see that particular option listed in the Houston proposal. Sawatzke asked whether Houston would provide that service, or did they simply not include it in the proposal. Borrell responded that what Wenck is offering is extra. They listened to the farmers regarding how the Ditch was maintained before. Houston did not have that advantage, and it is not spelled out in their listed options.
Hiivala said Wenck has intimate knowledge of the Ditch. He added that it is hard to detail exactly what work would be done in the body of the quotes. Houston has done a lot of ditch work around the State. Otterness said Houston would do a site visit as part of this task. It is not explicitly listed, but it is one thing they would definitely do. When he drafted the Houston proposal, Otterness said he did not assume the County would approve the Ditch Records Modernization contract. There are a few hours in the proposal allocated for records research which would overlap the Ditch Records Modernization project. That would save a few billable hours. Otterness stressed that the Houston agreement is a time and materials contract, not to exceed $7,000.
Sawatzke said there are two ways to look at this scenario: The County can use the benefit of information gained by Houston from the Ditch Records Modernization project to save time on the Ditch 38 project, or vice versa. He asked Otterness which would be more appropriate. Otterness said it does not matter to him. He thought it would probably be more appropriate to put the research of the system on the Ditch Records Modernization billing as they will be doing for the rest of the systems. Sawatzke asked him to clarify that the savings in hours would then be deducted from the County Ditch 38 project. Otterness confirmed it would. Daleiden said that work would have to be done sooner than the other project.
Borrell said it was a mistake. He said the County has not priced out similar services, as Wenck has noted different items than Houston. He has nothing against Houston, but Wenck was at the meeting and he believes they know the Ditch better. Daleiden said Hiivala is the County Ditch expert. He prefers to go with Hiivala’s recommendation. Sawatzke said the County received bids from two competent vendors. One would not necessarily do a better job than the other. He would like Hiivala to look more closely at what each vendor proposed. If there is something Wenck proposed that is not in the Houston proposal, he would like Houston to verify it would be included, and vice versa. Hiivala said he believes the quotes are for similar services. Wenck was detailed. Hiivala said the Board can ask Houston to review the quote. The County could ask Houston to redo the proposal. He added that at this level of cost, the County does not have to go with the lowest bidder. Sawatzke agreed. If they are both equally capable, then the Board could simply look at the numbers.
Borrell said Wenck has already done a lot of work, knows more details about the Ditch, and has spoken to residents. Houston was not at the meeting. Husom asked whether the history of County ditches would be revealed for use by Houston. Borrell said not to the depth of detail provided at the meeting. Sawatzke said Houston gave the low bid and put time into their proposal.
Sawatzke said the other positive aspect of Houston’s proposal is their quote stipulates a “not to exceed” amount, whereas the Wenck total is an estimate. Borrell asked if Houston will go to the site and draw a few specifications. The farmers in the area and he could meet with Houston, give them more details, and Houston could go back to redraw their specifications for no additional charge. Hiivala said Borrell could meet with Houston to provide information on his expectations. Daleiden said the informational meeting elicited a few alternates, but nothing specific to County Ditch 38. There were no real ideas generated regarding what will happen other than something needs to be done. Hiivala said he thought Joel Toso commented that Houston has ideas in mind.
Otterness said he would personally work on the Ditch 38 project. The estimate includes creating a construction cost estimate for each one of the three alternatives. Borrell contended that Wenck has the edge in his mind since they were at the meeting. However, if Houston gets the project, he wants to be able to explain his concerns on the issues to them. Otterness said the very first thing they would do is talk with Saxton and the Board regarding the alternatives.
Borrell said there are issues not only around the trailer court. There are also landowners who have been assessed for Ditch 38 and are receiving no benefits, such as not having the Ditch cleaned out. Borrell said the problem with this Ditch is there are poor records. Nothing is definitive. At the meeting, farmers relayed Ditch information received from their fathers and grandfathers.
Hiivala said County Ditch 38 was ordered for redetermination. He asked whether Houston received information from Ron Rinquist, the viewer from Sioux Engineering. Rinquist is planning to be here in April or early May, with field work being completed and public hearings held by the end of the summer. Hiivala said the bid winner will need to know this information and decide whether that will impact the project.
Sawatzke said it sounds as though Houston intends to do a similar project to Wenck. Their bid is slightly less. They have given the County some assurance that it would be slightly less than the number bid due to economy of scale with the other Ditch Records Modernization project. They will save the County at least a few hundred dollars. Otterness agreed. Daleiden said the advantage of Houston is they have no preconceived ideas. Borrell asked whether Houston has looked at County Ditch 38 with detail when they drafted this proposal. The Ditch goes under Highway 12 and is connected to a tile line, which is probably broken. Borrell said there is a lot of detail of which he is not sure Houston is aware. If Houston holds their price and does whatever it takes, Borrell said he will support their choice, although he believes Wenck knows more about the Ditch.
Otterness said he was able to look at GIS layers in the County, the location of the project, and the alignment of Ditch 38. He was able to use GIS data to look at the topography. Houston will be ferreting out a lot of details from the initial meeting about the background and history of the Ditch.
Daleiden moved to choose Houston Engineering to draft a technical memorandum for alternatives for County Ditch 38 not to exceed $7,000, and to produce three options. Husom seconded the motion. Sawatzke asked Otterness how much he would lower the price because Houston was awarded the Ditch Records Modernization project. Otterness said $300. Daleiden asked if Houston would amend the bid to $6,700. Sawatzke clarified that the bid should state “not to exceed $6,700.” Hiivala said Houston will send him a contract, which he will present at the 04-02-13 Board meeting. The contract will be for an amount not to exceed $6,700. The motion carried 5-0.
The claims listing was discussed. Daleiden moved to approve the claims, subject to audit, in the amount of $312,398.68, with 141 vendors and 196 transactions. Potter seconded the motion, which carried 5-0.
Bills Approved
10000 Lakes Chapter LCC $150.00
3 D Specialties Inc 547.11
Albion Township 2,014.80
Anoka County Sheriff 29,772.93
Aramark Services Inc 6,593.35
Bakeberg/George 231.00
Berntsen International Inc 132.60
Bersie/Bruce 125.00
BP Amoco 2,587.59
Bryan Rock Products 577.73
Buffalo Postmaster 200.00
Center Point Energy 4,275.46
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 6,601.54
CenturyLink 626.49
Chamberlain Oil Co 2,101.49
Citrix Systems Inc 2,164.23
Climate Air 770.90
Consolidated Container Corp 560.57
Cooks Correctional 185.42
Dell Marketing LP 9,221.86
Douglas/Ralph D 213.00
Dynamic Imaging Sys. Inc 5,603.17
Encompass Group LLC 149.53
Envirotech Services Inc 5,730.83
Evident Crime Scene Products 104.50
Globalstar USA 184.67
Hardings Towing Inc 187.03
Harris Computer Systems 17,012.31
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 3,220.12
Howard/Jolanta 300.00
Intereum Inc 10,565.85
Interstate Automotive 160.31
John Deere Financial 429.72
Keaveny LTC Pharmacy 2,465.81
Laplant Demo Inc 524.59
Laurent/Michael 176.10
Lifeline Training LTD 139.00
Magento Power LLC 113.91
Marco 544.26
Marco Inc 1,690.89
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 115.93
Menards - Buffalo 321.38
Milana P Tolins LLC 100.00
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 170.00
MN Elevator Inc 504.37
Mol/Daniel 222.00
Moore & Moore Advantage 259.23
Morries Parts & Service Group 768.27
North American Salt Co 13,461.19
O’Reilly Auto Parts 149.19
Office Depot 1,995.92
Pederson/David 130.00
Rhodes Lock & Glass 305.61
Royal Tire Inc 2,134.42
RS Eden 1,096.86
Streichers 129.99
Towmaster 2,093.68
Voss Lighting 1,106.16
Wadena Co. Mtd. Sher. Posse 1,339.00
Walter Stephens Jr Inc 215.97
Waverly/City of 345.78
Wright County Ag Society 240.00
Wright Co. Highway Dept 35,156.98
Wright Henn. Coop Elec Assn 3,742.56
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,028.27
Wright Soil/Water Cons Dist 125,010.00
22 Payments less than $100 1,300.25
Final total $312,398.68
The meeting adjourned at 10:23 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal April 15, 2013.

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