WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
AUGUST 19, 2014
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 8-12-14 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Request for Employee Personal Leave.
1. Authorize Signatures On wRight Choice Lease Agreement With ISD 877 For The 2014-2015 School Year.
1. Reduce The Minimum Bid Of Parcel 118-037-003050 To $42,000.00.
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, introduced Adam Tagarro who was hired as the Information Technology Director effective 8-18-14. Tagarro was welcomed.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the 8-05-14 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes for approval. Borrell made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Potter. Daleiden referenced PID #114-125-002080 and the chemicals that are in the building on the property. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the previous owners will be notified of the chemicals through a process that must be followed relating to personal property. The Highway Department may be interested in some of the equipment on the property. With regard to the chemicals, he said that some are useable but others may not be. The County may not sell the property “as is” because of the disposal of these chemicals. This issue may be presented to the Board prior to the public sale in September. Asleson will follow up with Bill Stephens, Wright County Environmental Health Supervisor. Sawatzke asked that the minutes be amended to include the location of the parcels (what township) and that a list of the Private Sale parcels be attached to the minutes. After discussion, it was also concluded that the maps attached to the minutes should be disregarded as they do not relate to the parcels identified in the minutes. Borrell and Potter accepted the changes to the minutes. The motion carried unanimously. The 8-05-14 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes follow:
1. 216-000-053100 (Silver Creek Township) Gillham gave background about the property. The house currently has a large hole in the roof, and she suggested the property be sold with a condition of the demolition of the home. Potter moved to go public sale and to go with Tony Rasmuson’s recommendation of $22,000 as the starting bid. Borrell seconded the motion for the opening bid and public sale. The recommendation of selling with a condition of demolition was also agreed upon by Potter and Borrell.
2. The Private sale date was set for September 11th 2014 by noon for misc parcels (see below).
3. The Public Auction was set for September 24th at 12:30 in the County Board Room.
4. 114-125-002080 (City of St. Michael) Bill Stephens stated there are industrial chemicals in the building more than the county would like to deal with. He believes these chemicals should be removed by a licensed contractor. Discussion was on the table about selling the building with the chemicals in the building with a sale condition they had to be removed of by a licensed contractor by the new owner; and that the City should be notified about the chemicals being removed upon sale. Brian Asleson notified us that the owners were notified about the personal property inside the building and that he was going to try again. Brian is going to look up the statute for the personal property in the building and the condition upon sale of the chemicals inside. This issue is tabled until further information is available.
Private Parcel Sale Listing
Sale price Parcel
(End of 8-05-14 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes)
The claims listing was presented for approval. Daleiden made a motion to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $372,381.84 with 157 vendors and 333 transactions. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Asleson requested the Board set a public hearing date relating to a petition filed by Mattamy Homes for school district detachment and annexation of land. The petition was filed with the Auditor/Treasurer pursuant to MN Statutes, Section 123A.45. The hearing must be held between 10 and 60 days from when the petition was presented. The petition by Mattamy Homes is to possibly swap properties with the St. Michael-Albertville School District and the Elk River School District on an “acre-for-acre” swap. This will create a school boundary based more on geographic features than on past ownership and will put property in sight of a school in the actual district. Daleiden moved to set a Public Hearing on 9-16-14 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Potter, carried 5-0. Sawatzke questioned whether property owners in the affected area will receive notice of the Public Hearing. Asleson said Statute does not require this nor does it provide a clear process, other than calling for a hearing and providing notice to the School Districts. Sawatzke referenced Exhibit C showing the boundaries after the detachment/annexation. He questioned why a small disconnected portion is being left in the Elk River School District. Asleson thought it had to do with the residents of a farmstead but will try to confirm that as well.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested the Board authorize him to execute a Contract with SGA Group Inc. to prepare a report documenting the suitability of a land parcel in Franklin Township for park development. Over the past year, Franklin Township has been discussing a desire to create a park. Ideas have been reviewed and presentations made both to the Township Supervisors and the Wright County Parks Commission. The Franklin Township Supervisors recommend that the County Board execute the Contract with SGA Group Inc. with funding from the Park Dedication Account. Mattice said that Franklin Township has about $175,000 in the Park Dedication Fund. The Fund is set up so that 75% of the funds collected have to remain within the Township and 25% can be spent County wide. The Township can take action to spend funds in a different part of the County. The cost for the Contract with SGA is $4,000. Mattice said his goal is for this to become a Township Park and not part of the County’s Parks System. This may involve both the City of Delano and Franklin Township. Daleiden moved to authorize the Parks Administrator to enter into a Contract with SGA Group Inc. with funding from the Franklin Township Park Dedication Account. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Mattice asked that the Board authorize him to prepare and submit a Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Application for the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park in the amount of $1.4 million, which includes a proposed local match of 10% (half each from Wright County and the City of Monticello). If successful, the acquisition would take place in 2016. This is being recommended by the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board. The funding source was discussed. Mattice said the Capital Improvement Fund would be an option. If the Grant is awarded, he will bring this back for authorization and acceptance by the County Board. At that time, the Board has the option for denial. Borrell initially indicated he would vote against the motion but changed his mind after determining the Board has the option to deny this in the future. His concern is paperwork has not been completed to delineate responsibilities between the County and the City. Sawatzke said they have taken the first steps by formalizing the group and approving bylaws. Potter made a motion to allow the Parks Administrator to prepare and submit a Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Application for the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Phase 9. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell said if the Agreement with the City is not completed prior to this topic coming back, he will vote against the request. The motion carried 5-0.
Peter Klein, Vice President-Finance, for St. Paul Port Authority, provided information on the PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Program. The request is for the County to enter into a Joint Powers Agreement with the St. Paul Port Authority for the PACE Program providing energy improvement financing programs to eligible business properties in Wright county. Interested property owners evaluate measures that achieve energy savings and receive 100% financing, repaid as a property tax assessment for up to 20 years. PACE overcomes challenges that have hindered adoption of energy efficiency and related projects in our nation’s buildings. It does this by eliminating up-front costs, providing low-cost, long-term financing, and making it easy for building owners to transfer repayment obligations to a new owner upon sale.
The benefits are that it saves on utility bills, it is tax neutral, and it promotes local jobs. Klein also provided information on the Trillion BTU Program which is a partnership between the St. Paul Port Authority, the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), and Xcel Energy. Money saving opportunities are identified by energy audits and engineering studies (Xcel Energy co-funding and CEE technical assistance available). The St. Paul Port Authority uses Federal stimulus monies through the Minnesota Department of Commerce to create this program for Minnesota businesses. The customer chooses the project and contractors, Xcel Energy provides the rebate, and the St. Paul Port Authority provides the financing (100%). Klein said there is no economic risk to the County and no financial commitment. This is paid by the local business. An administrative fee of .5% is charged on top of the interest rate.
A risk that Commissioners identified would be if a property becomes tax forfeit as special assessments are funded prior to taxes. Kelly concurred with Sawatzke that this would be a risk. Kelly contacted the Sherburne County Administrator who conveyed support for the program. Kelly’s recommendation was to move forward. Daleiden moved to approve the Joint Powers Agreement with the St. Paul Port Authority for the PACE Program. The motion was seconded by Potter. Sawatzke referenced the draft Joint Powers Agreement and requested the following change, Page 1, 8th paragraph, should read, “WHEREAS, the Improvements will serve citizens of the City of Saint Paul as well as Ramsey and Wright Counties, and the State of Minnesota.” The change was accepted to the motion and it carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #14-54 declaring participation in the Statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke made the following change to the Resolution: Page 1, last paragraph, 1st sentence, change from “entire” to “enter”. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Tammy Bigelow, Human Resources Director, requested the Board set an interview date for the Veteran Services Officer-Nuclear Director position. Borrell understands that six potential interview candidates have been identified based more heavily on the Veteran Services aspect rather than Nuclear. Borrell feels that the skill set for each is different and suggested having the applications reviewed again. He asked that those with stronger nuclear experience be considered as well. Bigelow said when the pool was narrowed to six, all candidates had met the minimum qualifications for emergency management and some indicated they had more nuclear experience. Bigelow said HR focused most on the Veteran Services experience of the candidates. The HR Director previously contacted Sawatzke and Husom on screening criteria (as members of the Personnel Committee). Both supported the candidates selected as they had Veteran Services experience, as well as basic emergency management experience. After discussion by the County Board, it was the consensus that the HR Director will review applications to add two candidates to the pool. The additional candidates should be those with the most nuclear experience and who possess leadership skills. Husom said the Personnel Committee recently met on the job description for this position. Daleiden said the job description should include language that this position needs to work closely with the Emergency Management Coordinator. It was the consensus that this requirement will be discussed with candidates during the interview process. Sawatzke thought this was also addressed in Items 7 and 7.1 of the job description. Potter moved to set 9-05-14 as the interview date for the Veteran Services Officer-Nuclear Director position. The interviews will be scheduled between 8:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 8-13-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke made the following correction to the minutes: Page 1, 7th paragraph, last sentence should read, “However, the Sheriff has questioned whether Berg’s position should fall within his Department.” Sawatzke moved to approve the Personnel Committee minutes as corrected, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0. The minutes of the meeting follow:
I. Veteran Services / Nuclear Position Review.
L. Kelly explained that Karla Heeter, Resident and Buffalo Hospital Leader, proposed changes to the Veterans Services-Civil Defense-Nuclear Director (VSO) job description at the 8-05-14 County Board meeting.
Sawatzke said the purpose of this meeting is to more closely align the job description to its current duties, and eliminate any that overlap with the responsibilities shouldered by Stephen Berg, County Emergency Management Coordinator. Sawatzke asked Ernst if the position has changed since Berg was hired that the VSO job description does not reflect. She said it has.
Lanegran interjected, saying the role of an emergency manager encompasses all hazards. It is not limited to natural disasters such as tornadoes or floods. Lanegran said the Sherburne County Emergency Manager oversees all those functions. She said Berg has a great understanding of the needs and functions of emergency management. She questioned the need to divide Nuclear from emergency management. Lanegran said one of the main functions is the potential evacuation of an area.
Sawatzke replied that Lanegran’s topic is not the subject of this meeting. The County Board asked the Committee to evaluate the VSO job description and remove duties that overlap into Berg’s roles.
Lanegran said she thought the discussion was regarding the need for separating the Nuclear position. Sawatzke said this was discussed several months ago. It was decided not to place Nuclear responsibilities under Berg’s position. The Sheriff, who supervises Berg, did not suggest that the Nuclear position be transferred to his Department.
Lanegran said no one on the Wright County Emergency Preparedness Committee was notified. Edwards said Buffalo Hospital is a strong stakeholder. She said the County’s role affects patients, families and employees. The VSO position needs to be looked at differently. Edwards said many first responders in the area feel strongly about this as well.
Sawatzke said Edwards is implying Nuclear should be supervised by the Sheriff Department. However, the Sheriff has questioned whether Berg’s position should fall within his Department.
Lanegran said Nuclear should be under emergency management. Some counties have a dedicated emergency management department. Some do not. Sawatzke said he understands her rationale, but the Board decided two months ago to leave the Nuclear portion of the job description with the VSO position for now.
Lanegran said evacuation is one of the biggest responsibilities of the Nuclear job description. Berg has created Memoranda of Understanding with transportation companies, something that is outside his current job description. Lanegran said evacuation is a huge issue and must be stated in the job description. The VSO job description does not mention coordination of evacuation.
Husom said Nuclear is emergency management. She said they recognize the need for the Nuclear Director to work closely with emergency management.
Lanegran suggested that Berg supervise the Nuclear position. Edwards said Excel Energy provides funding for a full time equivalent (FTE) in emergency management. She would like this position to be supervised by Berg and function as Deputy Emergency Management Director, so that the County would have a backup in case Berg was not able to work, or retired.
Sawatzke said the new position could back up Berg, and he agreed they should work closely together. The purpose of today’s meeting is to align the VSO job description with the former VSO Director’s most recent duties.
Discussion resumed regarding changes to the VSO job description (see attachment).
Bigelow said recruitment closed 8/3/14. She asked if she should go to the 8/19/14 County Board meeting to set an interview date. If the Board were to remove the Nuclear portion of the VSO duties, the position may need to be re-evaluated.
Recommendation: Present proposed changes to the Veterans Services-Nuclear Director job description at the 8/19/14 County Board meeting.
II. Request To Fill Highway Maintenance Position.
Bigelow said she supports this request. She said recruitment takes six to eight weeks. Sawatzke and Husom also supported the request. Sawatzke stated that if another employee leaves in the future, the Department agrees not to hire another person, but will reduce the staffing level to the authorized level.
Recommendation: Approve request to fill Highway Maintenance position.
III. Request To Hire Social Worker (HS Board).
IV. Leave Policies.
Bigelow brought forward discussion on County leave policies. The Committee discussed the types of leave and their administration practices.
Recommendation: Discuss voluntary leave without pay at quarterly Leadership Team in October. Additional leave discussion will be brought to a future County Board meeting.
V. Performance Evaluation Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator.
Based on four reviews submitted, the Committee provided the rating of Exceptional.
VI. Performance Evaluation Steve Jobe, Surveyor.
Based on five reviews submitted, the Committee provided the rating of Exceptional.
(End of Personnel Committee Minutes)
Kelly was contacted by AMC and PERA on the PERA Correctional Plan and Social Security. PERA recently discovered that paperwork done in 2004 did not meet Social Security requirements. SSA states a retirement system referendum should have been conducted when the employees moved into the Correctional Plan. A statewide referendum is needed to sanction the coverage and to extend participation in Social Security to all new employees enrolled in the Correctional Plan. A referendum vote for all active Correctional Plan members will be conducted between 12-01-14 and 12-31-14. Before members can vote, the County Board must decide the voting procedure. The two choices include Majority vote or Divided vote. Kelly said in polling other counties, some have chosen not to take action and leave it up to PERA and Social Security to work it out. AMC recommends the Majority Vote procedure. Kelly said the method will be used by employees voting in December, 2014. With a referendum, if an employee does not vote it would count as a “no” vote and it could result in social security not being an option for certain employees in this plan. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #14-55 approving the Majority Vote voting procedures, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Borrell brought forth information on the Zimride software program through Enterprise Car Rental which connects drivers and passengers through social networking. Borrell said Enterprise is willing to put on a webinar on this service to the County. With regard to cost, he understands that there is a cost associated if the decision is to proceed with a promotional package (2 year commitment). Otherwise, there would be no cost to the County. The ride price is worked out between the driver and the rider. Anyone is eligible to use this. More information can be obtained at www.zimride.com. Borrell made a motion to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting at 10:00 A.M. on 8-27-14 for the purpose of a webinar on the Zimride Program. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
1. TH 55 Coalition Meeting. Potter attended a meeting last Friday. The group is working on funding formulas and anticipate resolution by May, 2015. The Settlers Parkway project is moving forward. Portions of the project will commence this summer with others being completed in 2015.
2. PCA Meeting on the Landfill. Daleiden said the PCA held a meeting at the Government Center on 8-13-14 and received comment from the public. Written comments are being accepted by the PCA until 8-29-14, and it is understood the PCA will respond to those comments.
3. Tri-County Regional Lab. Husom attended a meeting on 8-12-14. With the new accreditation, the Lab is moving toward faster and better service. Scott Ford has been hired as the new Lab Director. Husom said the funding formula for the Lab will be discussed in December or January, as it was desired to wait until the Lab had been accredited for six months. The budget for the Lab is flat from last year other than a 2% salary with PERA and IT increases. The Lab has been under budget for a number of years because of unfilled positions.
Advanced Disposal Services $ 618.64
AERCOR Wireless Inc 1,232.53
Ameripride Services 767.20
AP Technology LLC 795.00
Arctic Glacier USA Inc 689.74
Boyer Truck Parts 335.07
Buffalo Auto Value 124.60
Clearwater Township 1,588.75
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 28,400.00
Climate Air 560.79
Comm. of Transportation 4,684.05
Cornerstone Chevrolet 169.66
Corporate Payment Systems 1,359.73
Culligan of Buffalo 1,195.81
Databank IMX LLC 165.00
Dell Marketing LP 134.99
Domestic Abuse Programs 1,000.00
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc 108.94
Fastenal Company 207.52
Forestry Suppliers Inc 284.41
Granite Electronics 336.65
Greenview Inc 24,601.34
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 2,467.10
Interstate Automotive 150.00
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 620.00
Knife River Corp. - N. Central 694.50
LaPlant Demo Inc 1,227.14
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 121.00
Martin Marietta Materials 108.56
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 900.00
Menards - Buffalo 315.84
Mend Correctional Care LLC 232.89
Metro Group Inc/The 7,056.00
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc 173,459.31
Mini Biff LLC 827.11
MN Assn of Co. Feedlot Officers 150.00
MN Elevator Inc 549.00
MN Monitoring Inc 12,652.00
MN Secretary of State 480.00
Motorola Inc 13,527.45
North American Salt Co 55,591.60
O’Ryans Conoco Marathon 145.00
Office Depot 1,320.92
Office of MN IT Services 2,100.00
Pakor Inc 289.88
Royal Tire Inc 873.00
Sherwin Williams 291.91
SHI International Corp 1,359.00
St Michael/City of 3,198.00
Suburban Emerg. Associates 189.41
T & M Towing and Snow Plowing 110.00
Verizon Wireless 10,210.15
West Payment Center 1,166.86
Westside Wholesale Tire 496.40
Wright County 4-H 150.00
Wright County Highway Dept 475.70
Wright Hennepin Electric 174.10
16 Payments less than $100 701.95
Final total $372,381.84
The meeting adjourned at 10:39 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 15, 2014.