Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 18, 2014
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Potter moved to approve the 3-11-14 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
The Agenda was discussed. Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, removed the 9:05 A.M. Agenda item, “Recognition of Wright County Highway Department Receiving Two 2013 Asphalt Paving Awards, CSAH 75 & CSAH 10.” This item will be referred to a future meeting. Husom requested the following be added to the Agenda: Item #4, “AMC Summit To Undo Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking In Minnesota, Arrowwood Conference Center, Alexandria, April 24-25, 2014.” Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as revised, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, $780.00.
2. Schedule Boy/Girl Day For 4-22-14.
1. Approve Reverse Abatement, PID #118-800-152300, William & Charles Hamlet (City of Otsego).
2. Approve Reverse Abatement, PID #204-100-221301, Alan Kamrath (Clearwater Twp.).
3. Approve Abatement, PID #118-112-001040, Ralph Klocke & Sheila Baron (City of Otsego).
1. Authorize Signatures On Quit Claim Deed To Resolve Boundary Discrepancy At Bertram Chain Of Lakes Park.
1. Position Replacement:
A. Office Technician I, Office Support Unit.
B. Child Support Officer.
C. Social Worker.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Potter. Kelly stated that the Administration Office is in the process of developing specifications for the bid process. It is felt an architect is not needed because of the scope of the work. Sawatzke asked if discussion has included what the current Assessor Office space will be utilized for in the event they are moved to the new location. Daleiden said discussion has included potentially moving some of the Attorney’s Office but no decision has been made. Daleiden said that quotes will be brought back to the County Board instead of to Committee. The motion to approve the minutes carried 5-0:
I. Former Sheriff’s Administration Area.
Kelly explained that expansion of the Assessor’s Office has been in the CIP for many years but has not progressed beyond discussion. In late January, staff from the Offices of Administration, Assessor, and Recorder met to discuss options and toured the area where the former Sheriff’s Administration was housed. Discussion included possible ways to alleviate current and future space needs of Departments on the 2nd Floor Annex. The Recorder’s Office is hesitant to give up space to the Assessor’s Office because of potential future space needs. The Assessor’s Office currently occupies 2,201 sq. ft. Moving the Office to the former Sheriff’s Administration area would provide an additional 1,000 sq. ft.
There is the potential that several of the Local Assessors could retire because of licensure changes. The County would need to hire more staff and if this occurs, additional space will be needed to house those employees. A staff member will be added to the Assessor’s Office in July, 2014. The current layout of the Assessor’s Office does not provide adequate space to meet privately with the public. Utilizing the former Sheriff’s Administration area will allow for separate offices, a conference room, and future expansion. This location would also place staff close to vehicles that are used for field work.
Hayes provided a rough cost estimate of $47,475 which does not include the furniture move, reconfiguration costs, and additional computer wiring. Discussion involved whether the Assessor’s Office should be located near the Offices of Auditor/Treasurer and Recorder (Land Records Departments). Rasmuson’s opinion is that with the advances in technology, the magnitude of the three Offices being together is not as large as it once was. Other discussion included space at the Government Center, space needs for other Departments, potentially housing staff from the Assessor’s Office in two locations in the Government Center, and staff working from home.
The Committee discussed space needs of the County as a whole, including the timeline for relocation of the Courts and affiliated Offices to the Jail/LEC site. Because of the timeline and magnitude of that project, it was felt that addressing current space needs will have to move forward at this time.
The Committee agreed that three quotes should be obtained and should include a contingency amount. Additional costs will be associated with furniture for the new hire. Hayes said the County can look at leaving furniture in the Assessor’s Office if the idea is to possibly house other employees in that space. Rasmuson said the intent would be to reuse as much of the furniture as possible.
Recommendation: Obtain three quotes to move the Assessor’s staff to the former Sheriff Administration location. The quotes should include reconfiguration, moving and furniture. A contingency should be built in for unknown items. The quotes will be brought directly to the County Board.
II. Suggestion Box.
The Committee reviewed the items from the Suggestion Box. It is recommended that one additional clock will be added in the Lunchroom.
(End of 3-12-14 Building Committee Minutes)
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said a meeting was held on Ditch 10 3-13-14, which Commissioners Borrell and Daleiden attended. Borrell said approximately 40 people showed up. The meeting was to discuss redetermination of benefits. Borrell extended appreciation to Jan Edmonson of the Auditor’s Office who put together a PowerPoint that helped reflect what is involved with the redetermination process. It was the consensus of those that attended the Ditch 10 Meeting that funds should be expended to invite Kurt Deter, Rinke Noonan, and the Ditch Viewers to the next Ditch 10 Meeting. Hiivala envisioned there would be some estimates of cost available at that meeting. This was provided as an informational item.
The claims listing was reviewed.
• Hiivala referenced a claim on page 32, Bolton & Menk Inc., $6,967.50, for Joint Ditch 14 improvements. Hiivala said two of the petitioners for that improvement have contributed $10,000 each. With this bill, the amount expended has exceeded the pool of funds. Hiivala will pull the claim as more funds are needed from the petitioners. Daleiden asked whether those petitioners will receive their money back at some point. Hiivala said the petitioners do not receive their money back if the improvements are not completed. If the improvements are completed, then the petitioners will receive their money back. Costs of improvements are then proportioned out to all benefited landowners.
• Daleiden referenced a claim on page 17, Benton County Treasurer, $1,540.00 for inmate boarding in February. Pat O’Malley, Jail Administrator, explained that an inmate was housed in Benton County because of the need to separate defendants in a case for safety reasons.
Borrell moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $338,004.18 with 131 vendors and 378 transactions. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the February Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report.
Lt. Todd Hoffman introduced Peter Behnke and Tom Pavek from Elert & Associates (E&A). A presentation was given on the Wright County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Software System (CAD/RMS). E&A started working with the Sheriff’s Office in early 2013, producing a report that detailed the status of the software systems that run the department and made recommendations for future options. The current Public Safety Software System is approaching end of life. It is limited in functionality, support, and availability of training. There have been no updates, upgrades, or formal training since delivery of the system in 2008.
E&A was chosen to assist with a two-phase process of system acquisition. The first phase involved a Request For Information (RFI). It allowed selected vendors to provide market knowledge and exposure to modern software for the Project Team and staff. The second phase was a Request For Proposal (RFP), geared towards providing detailed information related to the software, hardware, and services to assist with system acquisition.
Six vendors presented in August, 2013 including Tiburon, Tyler Technologies, Zuercher, Tac-10, Tri-Tech, and LETG. The RFP was released and advertised on 11-26-13 with bids due on 1-17-14. RFP’s were received from: Archonix Systems, Capers, LETG, ProPhoenix, and Zuercher Technologies. Upon review of the RFP’s, it was determined that two of the vendor responses did not meet the basic criteria and dropped from continued evaluation. Specifically, Archonix Systems and Capers failed or provide the requirement of having at least three customers in Minnesota. The project team decided the three client minimum was extremely important, and Wright County did not desire to be the development site for a vendor working into the Minnesota marketplace. During reference checks, ProPhoenix was found to have issues which caused them to be removed from further consideration. In addition to the RFP responses from the final two proposers, the Project Team was tasked with visiting several law enforcement agencies in Minnesota and South Dakota who utilize one of the final two vendor solutions. In response to Daleiden, Behnke stated that the current software in the Sheriff’s Office is provided by Tiberon. It was noted that Tiberon decided not to put in a RFP.
The Year One cost difference between Zuercher ($796,123) and LETG ($659,151) is $136,972, and largely attributed to the manner in which Zuercher is proposing their solution. This includes a full suite of computer hardware including all required servers (primary, warm backup, and training). The proposed Annual Maintenance services include server health monitoring and server replacement. Zuercher also includes in their proposal magnetic strip readers and portable citation printers required for mobile ticketing. Based on the adjustments, the true price difference for Year One is $29,053 less than LETG. Behnke said the $166,025 Adjustment figure referenced in the handouts relates to making sure the bids were an apples-to-apples comparison (removing those items LETG did not include in their RFP).
Borrell asked whether the server can be removed from the RFP and provided otherwise. Bill Swing, IT Director, said the proposal includes a combination of servers, support and configuration. The proposed vendor, Zuercher, plans to support the system which relieves this workload from Information Technology Department staff. Zuercher will provide the servers, software, and support. Lt. Todd Hoffman said during a site visit to Todd County, they saw how the software support provided by Zuercher was beneficial. Zuercher provides 24/7 monitoring. He understands that Zuercher will provide a new server when needed, only requiring minimal assistance from the IT Department as the server is remotely brought up. This replacement is included in the Annual Maintenance fees. Annual Maintenance costs are Zuercher at $113,410 and LETG at $96,392.
Sawatzke asked what impact Zuercher’s support will have on Information Technology staff workload. Swing estimated this savings at 1/4 of a staff position. The County currently expends around $86,000 for annual maintenance for the Tiberon System. If $20,000 is added to that for server maintenance and support, the cost is about $107,000. Lt. Hoffman said that Zuercher has offered to lock in annual maintenance costs over the next 7 years. Behnke noted that they have not proceeded to contract negotiations. After site visits, it was the unanimous decision of the Project Team to support Zuercher. Some of the things this decision was based on include cost, user interface (including look and feel), functionality, Minnesota specific items (interface to the court, criminal justice, and jail systems), references, site visits, and the organization overall. On the deployment side, it is the philosophy of Zuercher to train each person. Although more expensive, it provides a much better product. As stated, the Annual Maintenance cost is guaranteed for 7 years. Zuercher has been in business for 10 years and never lost a client.
Daleiden referenced Minnesota specific interfaces. He inquired whether Zuercher will charge additionally for the module. Lt. Hoffman said that Zuercher is working with the St. Louis Park Police Department and that system is set to go live in June. Their system should be operational prior to the system going live in Wright County. Zac Bradish, Zuercher Representative, said that Zuercher has contracted with 16 agencies in Minnesota (both sheriff and police departments). The Minnesota Counties are Cass, Todd, Traverse, Nobles, Rock, Cottonwood, and Steele. Lt. Hoffman said that in Minnesota, Wright County would be their largest account. Compared to accounts held nationally, Wright County would fall in the middle of client size. With LETG, Wright County would be their largest account both in Minnesota and nationally.
Borrell questioned whether the three Wright County Police Departments will be able to contract with Zuercher and utilize Wright County’s system. Bradish said this is something done with a lot of system configurations. This is a possibility and a huge benefit as data is shared, and it would be a major cost savings for those agencies. Lt. Hoffman said the projected cost for the three Departments combined is about $37,000 and includes up-front costs, mobile units, and records. There would be annual costs as well. Costs would be split on a percentage, based on size of Department. Lt. Hoffman said the County has not met with the other law enforcement agencies yet. The idea was to obtain approval from the County Board first. In addition, Wright County has an end of life system and so they didn’t want the addition of the three departments to slow the process.
Borrell made a motion to authorize the Sheriff’s Department to begin contract negotiations with Zuercher for the Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Software System. The contract will be presented back to the County Board for approval. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Husom recessed the meeting at 10:05 A.M. and reconvened at 10:13 A.M.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested that Tom Salkowski be appointed to represent Wright County as a member of the Executive Board of the Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Coalition. Salkowski would be considered a volunteer and not be paid or receive mileage reimbursement. Mattice also requested that Salkowski be authorized to use a County vehicle as part of his official duties, as he will be required to drive to meetings that are a distance (Brainerd, Bemidji, St. Cloud, and St. Paul). Mattice said the vehicle would be from the Parks Department. Borrell moved to appoint Salkowski to the volunteer position, seconded by Daleiden. After discussion, the motion and second were amended to include authorizing Salkowski use of a County vehicle for meetings outside of Wright County. The motion carried 5-0.
Mattice presented recommendations from the Parks Commission Meeting held on 3-10-14.
• Accept and acknowledge donation for a Trailside Shelter by the Wright County Snowmobile Association at Robert Ney Regional Park “East Unit.” The shelter is being donated in memory of Chad Peitz, a long-time member of the Wright County Snowmobile Association. Daleiden moved to approve the donation of the Trailside Shelter, seconded by Borrell. Husom asked if there are any financial implications for the County. Mattice said it would involve his time. The shelter will be positioned so deputies will be able to view it while patrolling. The motion carried 5-0.
• As recommended by the Parks Commission, Potter moved to establish 3-02-15 as the first day of reservations for camping and shelters within the Wright County Parks System. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Daleiden.
• Approve implementation of a Campground Host Program for the 2014 season at Schroeder Park and Campground. Mattice said this will be a test pilot and considered a volunteer program. The goal will be for a volunteer to provide services (bathroom check, trash pickup, firewood sales, and disturbances) during hours when staff is not available. The volunteer would be provided with a campsite and electrical services for the summer. Kelly was concerned this position would be viewed an employee or independent contractor rather than a volunteer. His recommendation is to allow further review and not proceed at this time. Mattice said there is a time frame involved with the Park opening on 4-25-14. He requested authorization to seek interest on the volunteer position while this is being reviewed by the county. Borrell moved to approve the implementation of a Campground Host Program for the 2014 season at Schroeder Park and Campground, subject to approval by the Administration and Attorney’s Offices. It was clarified that there is a cost to Wright County of $1,900 associated with the seasonal campsite. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Mattice presented recommendations from the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council:
• Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council Bylaws. In a process to begin formalizing the partnership between Wright County and the City of Monticello, the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council began by drafting a formal set of Bylaws as part of their 3-07-14 Meeting. The Council recommends adoption of a resolution creating the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park Advisory Council and associated bylaws. The next step will be a Memorandum of Understanding. Mattice said the draft resolution should be modified to remove the word “ordinance.” Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #14-11, seconded by Sawatzke. Borrell said he doesn’t want to tell the City of Monticello what to do with their portion of the Park and vise versa. He favored delineation and the Resolution puts things together. Sawatzke said Article 10 of the bylaws reflects that recommendations are made to the County Board and City Council. Borrell questioned whether this group will become inactive in the near future. Daleiden envisioned the group to be active while the Park is developed. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
• On 8-06-13, Mattice was authorized to apply for grant funding for Phase 7 acquisition of Bertram Chain of Lakes Park. Wright County was awarded $1.4 million in Parks Legacy Funding. Over $32.2 million in grant requests were applied for Statewide, with $3.39 million available in funding. The local match contribution for Wright County, including appraisal and closing costs, is expected at $440,000. This acquisition includes all the Mud Lake shoreline and the west shoreline of First Lake. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council recommends acceptance and approval of the grant funding. Mattice said that acquisition is not planned until 2015. Sawatzke did not foresee budgeting or levying for this match. He thought the County should utilize the Capital Improvement Account as they have in the past. Sawatzke made a motion to accept the grant funding for Phase 7 acquisition of Bertram Chain of Lakes Park. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Mattice said the motion is for acceptance of the grant. Husom asked for a recommended funding source. Potter questioned whether the County is committing $440,000 as part of the motion. Sawatzke said by voting yes, that would be the action. The project received nearly half of the grant funding available so he said it is fair to say this project received the highest priority. Borrell said he agreed and stated the Park will be used heavily by those in the metro area. Potter told Borrell that he hopes Borrell has the same position when it comes to transportation funding. The motion carried 5-0.
Discussion followed on funding sources. Sawatzke said his idea would be the Capital Improvement Fund. Kelly said last year, the Capital Improvement Account had $1.2 million in it and just over $1.2 million encumbered against it. He anticipates the County will need to make a transfer from Reserves to the Capital Improvement Account. Sawatzke said the balance of the 2013 budget is probably $2 million to the positive. This topic can be addressed at an upcoming meeting where the 2015 budget is discussed. He also thought technology funding should be discussed this year. Mattice referenced Consent Agenda Item C1, “Authorize Signatures On Quit Claim Deed To Resolve Boundary Discrepancy At Bertram Chain Of Lakes Park.” Mattice said the paperwork is being filed with the State. About $833,000 is anticipated to be placed into the Capital Account in April, 2014. The closing on the property occurred in December but a boundary discrepancy was found later.
Mattice presented a request for the Board to approve a $1,000 contribution to the Government Relations Fund of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition over each of the next two calendar years for the purpose of protecting and enhancing the allocation of Parks and Trail Legacy funding for Greater Minnesota. Mattice read the following:
Wright County has supported Parks and Trails Legacy Funding for the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails System in the past and plans to continue to compete for these funds in the future, should funding continue to be available. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park Project alone has been provided with $3.9 million from the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund since the year 2011 (this includes the $1.4 million grant award for 2014). Evidence indicates that metro activists and their lobbyists will continue to flex their muscle at the Capitol for a larger percentage than the Funding Committee has recommended (40% Metro/40% DNR/20% Greater MN). If they succeed it will be at the expense of Greater Minnesota Counties and Cities. Wright County and other Greater Minnesota Counties and Cities deserve access to a fair share of the Parks and Trails Legacy Funding. Supporting the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition Government Relations Fund helps protect funding formulas which provide access to greater MN park funding. The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition are and have been actively seeking financial support to continue their parks and trails funding protection efforts. It is requested that the Wright County Board of Commissioners contribute $1,000 over each of the next two calendar years in support of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition Government Relations efforts to protect and enhance greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Legacy Funding.
The Board discussed funding percentages and the importance of the use of lobbyists for this type of effort. Mattice said the metro is looking at new bills to change the funding formula, possibly in 2015. They are working to develop a statewide plan for greater Minnesota Parks and Trails over the next couple of years. The Legacy Funding was passed in 2008 and will be in effect for 25 years. Potter stated that lobbyists are needed when addressing things at the Capitol. Husom was concerned with precedence and asked whether the $1,000 could be funded through Parks. Daleiden made a motion to approve a $1,000 donation for each of the next two calendar years to support the Government Relations fund of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition for the purpose of protecting and enhancing the allocation of Parks and Trail Legacy funding for Greater Minnesota. Funding will be from the Parks Professional Services line item. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Daleiden suggested the replacement of the Administrative Specialist position be placed on hold. He wanted to discuss further the duties of the Lobby Receptionist position and has previously suggested routing work from Administration. At this point, he said he could not vote in favor of filling the position in Administration. Husom said the Auditor/Treasurer supervises the Lobby Receptionist position (not Administration). Administration has brought a few items to the Lobby Receptionist but some work cannot be completed in that area due to privacy issues (laying documents out where the public can view them). Sawatzke asked about tracking phone calls that come to the Lobby Receptionist. Kelly stated that the Auditor/Treasurer is tracking call data but he does not have that data. Daleiden then questioned whether the Lobby Receptionist should be an employee under the supervision of the Auditor/Treasurer. Sawatzke said this probably dates back to when the Auditor/Treasurer acted as the County Coordinator. One of the reasons this position has remained with the Auditor/Treasurer is because that Office has more staff members to back up the position during break, vacation, and sick time. Administration has a much smaller pool to draw from. Husom suggested a Personnel Committee Meeting and to invite Department Heads. Potter said he preferred to move forward with replacement of the position in Administration. He does agree with having discussion on the Lobby Receptionist position. Borrell asked Daleiden what he would like to see. Daleiden said he does not want to postpone the position replacement in Administration but would be okay doing so with the caveat that the Lobby Receptionist position discussion moves forward. Potter and Sawatzke agreed the motion stands to support replacing the position in Administration with the understanding that the other issue is referred to the Personnel Committee. The motion carried 5-0. Sawatzke made a motion to refer to the Personnel Committee discussion on finding ways to make the Lobby Receptionist position more efficient. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Sawatzke said he would like to know historic and current telephone volumes from the Auditor/Treasurer. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Request to reclassify Case Aide to Social Worker, Licensing and Resource Unit. (HS Board)
II. Administration Department Staffing.
Kelly said an Administrative Specialist position in the Administration Department (Department) became vacant in August 2013. At that time the Board recommended to postpone the decision to replace the position until the new County Coordinator was hired. The County Coordinator position was filled in November 2013. Kelly said part of the direction given by the Board was to evaluate the position related to the needs of the Department.
Kelly explained that he did not fill the position immediately for several reasons: 1) The Risk Manager and Assistant County Coordinator positions needed to be filled; and 2) Time was required to assess the impact of the implementation of NeoGov on the front desk workload. The overriding factor for requesting another Administrative Specialist position, Kelly said, was the backlog of work. He distributed a document listing the rationale for the position (see attached).
Regarding projects that need to be addressed, Kelly said the County has no central records manager. Susan Backes, Office Manager, Administration Department, has functioned as department records manager, but has had limited time to work on the process. With only two administrative support staff in the Department, if one is out, someone has to cover the office. There has not been enough staff to address the scanning project that started years ago and has not been touched since August 2013. Another item budgeted is scanning of Human Resources records.
Kelly said he wants to provide good customer service to the public and employees. If the current Administrative Specialist or Office Manager are at meetings or away from their desks, the Purchasing Agent, Assistant County Coordinator, or Human Resources staff has to cover the door. Kelly said that is an inefficient use of resources. When the Administrative Specialist and Office Manager are present and working on meeting minutes, there are often interruptions from the phone or walk-ins.
Sawatzke asked if Kelly is requesting the same position (Administrative Specialist), as before. Kelly responded that was the big debate. The main consideration is whether to hire someone who is capable of typing and formatting Board and Committee minutes. The typing speed needed is hard to find. Another clerical position may be more applicable.
Kelly said he also considered utilizing the Government Center front lobby receptionist for extra projects, but decided that option is less viable than first thought due to certain logistical challenges.
Kelly said he envisions the front desk person to be the initial contact for walk-ins and calls to the Department. This would free up the current Administrative Specialist and Office Manager to do other projects, such as a Doors Audit.
Bigelow said scanning Human Resources files will be a huge project. There are many records Human Resources must keep permanently. The goal is to transfer them to an electronic format.
Sawatzke asked whether hiring a temporary or contract worker for the scanning project was a possibility, and then re-evaluate the need for a front desk person later. Husom asked if the Department needed someone with comparable keyboard skills in case either the current Administrative Specialist or Office Manager is out. Kelly said that would be optimal.
Sawatzke asked why they couldn’t view the streamed video and type minutes from that source if staff was not available for the meeting. Backes said they would need dictation equipment. Husom said it is hard to recognize voices from a recording. Sawatzke said if the situation occurred only once every few months, it shouldn’t be a problem. Backes gave the example of the current week when there were four meetings. If she were sick or on vacation, the Administrative Specialist would have been responsible for Board and Committee-related functions, as well as duties of the three positions. Backes said she and the Administrative Specialist meet weekly deadlines and accomplish primary functions, but larger projects require dedicated time to be completed. Additionally, two positions have been filled in the Department, which increases the administrative support workload. As a result, large projects don’t get addressed.
Kelly said the new Risk Manager is doing a lot of reorganizing and creating new processes. He wants to enter Workers Compensation data into Optimum. Kelly doesn’t want the Risk Manager to do data entry.
Kelly said ideally he would like it to find someone capable of taking meeting minutes, but that skill set is hard to find. The other option would be to hire someone as an Administrative Assistant I or and Office Technician II. Backes said she worries about back-up for minutes. She said there’s a lot of work to do when only one administrative support person is in the office.
Recommendation: Authorize Coordinator the discretion to replace vacant Administrative Specialist position with the same position or with an Administrative I or Office Technician II position.
(End of 3-12-14 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell stated that the hire of the SWCD as a Drainage Inspector could pose a conflict of interest. He suggested this would be the opinion of Kurt Deter, Rinke Noonan. Sawatzke said it was the position of the Committee members to allow Kerry Saxton, SWCD, to participate in the interview process. Sawatzke agreed there are some advantages and disadvantages with the SWCD providing this service. On the positive side, Saxton knows Wright County ditches better than most. Sawatzke made a motion to set a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 4-22-14 at 1:30 P.M. for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the Drainage Inspector position. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. Hiivala should survey more counties on who they utilize as Drainage Inspector. Borrell does not think other counties have their SWCD serve as Drainage Inspector. Sawatzke said Hiivala indicated that all three County responses have indicated they do use SWCD for these services. Daleiden said other counties may not have a stand-alone Drainage Inspector; the position may also work with septic systems. Sawatzke said those may be county employees who possibly work in the Planning & Zoning Office. Borrell said there are a number of counties who utilize their County Board members as Drainage Inspectors. The minutes follow:
I. Drainage Inspector Applications.
Hiivala said a survey was received requesting information on Commissioners acting as Ditch Inspectors. It is acceptable for a Commissioner to be an Inspector but not a Viewer. Asleson clarified the Commissioner can’t be both a viewer and a decision maker. Hiivala said responses reflect that some counties have their Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) act as their Ditch Inspector.
Hiivala stated that Kerry Saxton, SWCD, has expressed interest in the Drainage Inspector position, and the SWCD Board encouraged his application. An appropriation has been given annually to the SWCD of up to 150 hours; anything above that is billed at a rate of $25/hour. The SWCD uses the amount billed hourly to fund projects and local matches. Drainage Statute 103.E has increasing conflict with water quality issues (right to drain versus right to water quality). Asleson said if maintenance is not done on a ditch for 25-30 years, there is not an exemption under wetland rules. The Committee discussed the conflict that could arise with a SWCD representative or the Ag Inspector serving in both the areas of weed inspection and wetland management. The flip side is that a dual benefit could be seen if the SWCD representative is familiar with landowners and programs available.
The Committee reviewed two applications for Drainage Inspector in addition to the email interest indicated by Saxton. Compensation will be based on qualifications. The County can elect to continue with the annual SWCD appropriation and an hourly fee of $25 past the 150 hours. Sawatzke questioned how many counties use the SWCD as their Ditch Inspector. Hiivala said the responses thus far have indicated three out of three counties. He informed the two applicants that the position must act as enforcement.
Recommendation: Schedule interviews with the applicants. The County Board will determine whether this should be scheduled as a Committee Of The Whole Meeting.
(End of 3-12-14 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
• Annandale Safe Schools. Husom said the Annandale Safe Schools group is looking into a School Resource Officer.
• Safe Communities. Husom said there was an annual review of all traffic fatalities, with 13 deaths in 2013. Failure to yield was a prime reason. Another was vehicles crossing over the center line with no known reason.
• Transportation Day at the Capitol. Potter attended on 3-13-14 and met with numerous Representatives and Senators. One of the things being researched is funding mechanisms for transportation.
(End of Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates)
Kelly said the County Board cancelled their meeting on 4-08-14. He inquired whether they would like to change the Committee Meeting date that week as well. Training will be held for staff that week on the new website. Kelly proposed setting the Committee Meeting dates for 4-16-14 and 4-30-14 (replacing 4-09-14 and 4-23-14). Sawatzke moved to approve the change in schedule, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0.
Husom said AMC will be hosting a “Minnesota Sunset Summit to Undo Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking in Minnesota.” Minneapolis is the 13th worst City in the U.S. for sex trafficking, and the average age is 13-15. Trafficking is found in the metro area and greater Minnesota as well. This issue was discussed at the Annandale Safe Schools Meeting. Daleiden moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0.
Bills Approved
Albertville Body Shop Inc $393.21
Albertville/City of 90,938.03
Ameripride Services 379.01
Annandale/City of 794.91
Aramark Services Inc 7,059.72
Association of MN Counties 450.00
Atrix International Inc 340.00
Battles/Rick 812.00
Beaudry Propane Inc 2,494.20
Benton County Treasurer 1,540.00
Bob Barker Company Inc 107.85
Bottiger/Shawna 150.00
Boyer Truck Parts 256.64
Buffalo Auto Value 185.89
Buffalo/City of 70,470.83
Center Point Energy 14,909.30
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 2,688.40
CenturyLink 4,894.26
CenturyLink 1,401.53
Claessens/Allen R 6,757.00
Collins Brothers Towing 135.00
Coolen/John 125.00
Corporate Payment Systems 2,888.87
Cottens Inc 229.00
Culligan of Buffalo 223.40
Dell Marketing LP 1,174.08
Envirotech Services Inc 11,401.02
Evans/Karen 223.50
Grainger 136.60
Granite Pest Control Services 326.33
Greenview Inc 1,046.31
Hagen, Christensen, McIlwain 9,829.54
Hedlund Plumbing 410.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 201.80
Holiday 113.18
Howard Lake/City of 451.80
Integrated Fire & Security 2,670.00
Interstate Automotive 130.59
Jeddeloh & Snyder PA 600.00
Laplant Demo Inc 1,133.69
Loberg Electric 143.26
Marco 3,351.65
Menards - Buffalo 563.57
Mid-States Org. Crime Info Ctr 300.00
MN Assn of County Officers 300.00
MN Continuing Legal Education 724.00
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 100.00
MN Juvenile Officers Assoc. 555.00
MN Law Enf. Explorers Assn. 2,000.00
MN Office of IT Services 2,100.00
MN Safety Council 1,601.40
Monticello/City of 5,248.60
Morries Parts & Service Group 879.37
Mumford Sanitation 129.87
North American Salt Co 37,314.59
Office Depot 609.43
Opsal/Daniel E and Linda L 5,200.00
Pippo/Timothy 1,389.96
Procise Solutions Inc 420.00
Rinke-Noonan 200.00
Royal Tire Inc 354.58
Sandino/David L 3,100.00
SHI International Corp 196.00
Sirchie Finger Print Labs 967.50
St Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc 136.30
State Supply Co 121.59
Stockholm Township 412.60
Terminal Supply Co 188.06
Total Printing 188.20
Towmaster 2,518.15
Uline 119.97
United Parcel Service 123.04
Verizon Wireless 6,998.50
Warning Lites of MN Inc 349.50
Waste Management-TC West 316.82
West Payment Center 1,013.24
Westside Wholesale Tire 768.42
Windstream 190.88
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 593.25
Wright Hennepin Electric 256.56
Zee Medical Service 357.10
Ziegler Inc 13,577.00
28 Payments less than $100 1,553.73
Final total $338,004.18
The meeting adjourned at 11:33 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal April 7, 2014.