Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
OCTOBER 28, 2014
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, made the following correction to the 10-21-14 County Board minutes: Under Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates, Item 2, Page 4, Paragraph 5, Line 1, sentence should be changed to read, “Sawatzke attended the session on 10-16-14 which provided a good exchange of information on how Human Services can better deliver services.” Potter moved to approve the County Board Minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Daleiden, and carried 5-0.
The following item was petitioned onto the Agenda by Sheriff Hagerty: Timed Agenda Items, 9:05 A.M., “Presentation of Retirement Plaque to Sergeant Jan Rivers.” Captain Todd Hoffman petitioned under Items For Consideration, Item B, “Schedule Fees For Service Public Hearing” be changed to include discussion on two additional fees for the Sheriff’s Office. Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, seconded by Potter, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Refer Sheriff Impound Lot to Building Committee.
B. ADMINISTRATION
1. Extend Employee Personal Leave for up to 4 weeks.
C. ASSESSOR
1. Authorize Signatures on Memorandum of Understanding with Teamsters 320 for Donation of Vacation Time to an Employee.
(End of Consent Agenda)
Sheriff Joe Hagerty acknowledged the retirement of Sergeant Jan Rivers. He said she started with the County in 1991, and worked at all three County Jail facilities. Hagerty said Rivers was instrumental with implementation of civil process work at the Government Center, which resulted in great efficiencies for the Sheriff’s Office. Hagerty said Rivers kept her sense of humor throughout her career. He presented her with a plaque recognizing 23 years of service. Rivers said she worked with three different sheriffs and many situations. She enjoyed her job and her coworkers. She thanked the Board for the many opportunities she received while employed at the County.
Hiivala asked for approval of the September Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. He said two line items are above what was expected - fees for services in Planning & Zoning, and boarding of prisoners. Both items have had favorable impacts on the bottom line. Hoffman said the majority of the revenue from boarding prisoners is due to increased prosecution in other counties resulting in a greater number of inmates. Hiivala said they cautiously look at this revenue when they set budgets, as it is not an annual occurrence. Daleiden moved to approve the September Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala said the next item is to schedule the General Election Canvassing Board Date. After the election, the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office certifies the election results totals. At the canvassing date, the County randomly draws three precincts for post-election review. On the Monday following the election, representatives from those precincts will come to the County to hand count ballots. Hiivala suggested Thursday, 11-13-14 for the Canvassing Board meeting. Daleiden moved to schedule the General Election Canvassing Board meeting for Thursday, 11-13-14 at 2:30 P.M. Sawatzke and Borrell will serve on the Canvassing Board. Potter seconded the motion, which carried 5-0.
Hiivala presented the claims listing for approval. On a motion by Potter, seconded by Borrell, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $356,568, with 180 vendors and 238 transactions.
Captain Todd Hoffman requested approval of the Zuercher Contract Addendum regarding the Mobile Printer package. He said they are changing the mobile printer package for squad cars to enable printing of e-Citations and other uses. The original contract listed 75 packages of the Zebra brand printers. The amended contract reflects the change to the Brother brand, which costs the same but provides more functionality. Potter clarified that the contract includes six rolls of paper per unit. Hoffman said that was for 75 mobile printer packages. Sawatzke moved to approve the Zuercher Contract Addendum, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, requested approval of a proposal received from American Legal Publishing Corporation for Re-Codification of all County Ordinances. He said currently all County Ordinances are scattered throughout various County Departments. This proposal would gather them all, catalog the Ordinances and place them in one central location, as well as on the County website.
Kryzer said the overall cost for the base proposal is just under $9,000. There are some additional add-ons, such as the annual $495 fee for posting the Ordinances on the web that would be a worthwhile investment. He has reviewed this proposal with the Information Technology Department (IT), and they feel it would interface very well with the County website. Sawatzke asked how Departments will find all the Ordinances related to their area to ensure that they are included in the codification project. Kryzer said it is his job to find them. Most of the Ordinances are in the Administration Department. He said it will not take long to accumulate them. The most important priority is to send the vendor the most updated product. Kryzer said the Ordinances will be combined into one consistent format and cataloged into chapters for easier, content-based searching.
Daleiden said this will allow County residents to search the Ordinances on the website. He said this process will make researching Ordinances more user-friendly. Sawatzke asked Kryzer for clarification regarding whether an Ordinance would no longer be in effect if an Ordinance is overlooked in the codification process. Kryzer said that is his understanding. He anticipates repealing and adopting all the Ordinances in the same meeting at the conclusion of this project. Anything missing from the final binder would be considered obsolete.
Daleiden said there are a number of County policies which are guidelines that need to be made searchable as well. They may be considered Ordinances in the future. For example, the Highway Department has a snowplow policy that isn’t an Ordinance, but people need to be made aware of it. Sawatzke said the snowplow policy should not be an Ordinance. That is an internal policy related to how employees respond to a situation. Hawkins said that policy is on the website now. Borrell cited the example of mailbox standards. Hawkins said a written mailbox policy exists. Daleiden said he wants these policies to be in one location on the website so residents can easily find them. Husom said there is a State statute related to mailboxes. Kryzer said there may be an opportunity for some policies to be included in the project in the future. They are not enforceable like Ordinances. The Board can decide if this is important enough to make them searchable.
Sawatzke asked whether all the Ordinances will fit in one binder. He cited the Water Management Plan and the Land Use Ordinance as examples. Kryzer said the Land Use Ordinance is 200 pages long. He anticipates that the Ordinance binder will be 400 pages. He did not think the Water Management Plan and Land Use Plan would be codified. Sawatzke concurred, saying the Ordinances that reflect those plans will be codified. Kryzer agreed.
Borrell asked whether there will be cross-referencing of related laws and Ordinances in this project. Kryzer said the vendor will have their staff go through the Ordinances and look for items that should be cross-referenced or are obsolete.
Daleiden moved to approve the contract with American Legal Publishing Corporation for codification of all County Ordinances, funded 50 percent from the web design budget and 50 percent from Budget 100-Professional Services. He said the IT Department has funds set aside for updating the County website. Potter seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested approval of the Minnesota Department Of Transportation (MnDOT) Agreement No. 06810 with MnDOT for a Traffic Signal at CR 106 and TH 25, and adopt the resolution for the same. Hawkins said this covers reconstruction of TH 25 at CR 106. This project is budgeted for 2015. Hawkins said it is a $6 million project that possibly includes relocation of public utilities and surveying. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #14-69 approving Minnesota Department Of Transportation Agreement No. 06810 for a Traffic Signal at CR 106 and TH 25. The motion was seconded by Borrell, and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Hawkins presented the 9-30-14 Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Minutes and recommendations for County Board approval. He summarized the minutes. Pending approval of the minutes by the County Board today, Hawkins said they will meet with Steve Berg, County Emergency Management Coordinator and appropriate agencies. The purpose will be to create a County snow and ice control policy directing the use of County equipment to aid emergency vehicles during severe weather conditions.
Hawkins said the second item involved discussion of intersection warning systems at CSAHs 8 and 35, CSAHs 6 and 35, and CSAH 9 and CR 107. Hawkins said these systems were part of a first-generation pilot project when originally installed. The technology has become unreliable. Discussion centered on removing the systems at these intersections and seeking funding for a new system at CSAHs 6 and 35.
Hawkins said they received information from the City of Monticello since the TCOTW meeting regarding updating the intersection of TH 25 and CSAH 75. They are drafting the agreement to move forward. Sawatzke asked whether the agreement is acceptable to Hawkins and the City of Monticello. Hawkins said yes. The agreement is being reviewed and will be brought to the County Board when completed.
Hawkins said staff will investigate the rumble strips on CSAH 35 near St. Michael to see if filling in the strips will alleviate the noise generated when vehicles drive over them. Potter said those rumble strips are deeper than average.
Husom asked why there is a stop sign on 35 at CR 6. She suggested a four-way stop. Hawkins said they could look at it to determine whether it qualifies for a four-way stop. Hawkins said there have been a number of accidents there. When the intersection warning system was operating, it did show reduced crashes. Since the system is unreliable, they would like to replace it with a fourth-generation system. However, Hawkins said they will look at the intersection to see if a four-way stop would be beneficial.
Potter moved to approve the 9-30-14 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes and act on the recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried unanimously. The Minutes of the 9-30-14 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting follow:
1. Introductions
Chairperson Husom called the meeting to order and introductions were made.
2. Request by EMS Providers for Review of County Snow & Ice Control Policy
Hawkins explained that he had received a call from Denny Bobrowske of the Wright County EMS Advisory Committee requesting that Wright County’s Snow/Ice Control Policy be reviewed to see if changes can be made that will benefit EMS services during severe winter conditions. A copy of the existing policy [Attachment 2] was distributed to all present. Bobrowske explained that this committee meets quarterly at different locations, and that he has met with Steve Berg, Wright County Emergency Management Coordinator, to discuss options that might be helpful when ambulances are having trouble navigating the roads in severe winter conditions. He said that this committee would like to work with the cities, townships, and county to achieve better access to patients and hospitals during the winter. Sawatzke asked how the highway personnel who work a later shift might be useful for this purpose, and Hawkins said that when the Highway Department is fully staffed, there are two employees working, usually hauling materials to different places, and they will respond to requests by the Sheriff personnel whenever possible. Borrell asked if there is direct communication between EMS and the county. The EMS communication is with the Sheriff’s Dispatch, not with the Highway Department.
Hawkins said that the logistics are difficult when trying to get snow removal equipment to a certain location in a timely manner during winter conditions, because the equipment and the emergency could be many miles apart. Efforts can be made to try and mobilize someone, but the drivers are familiar with their own routes on county roads, and the EMS vehicles could likely travel on more than just county roads. Husom suggested that it might be a good solution for emergency responders to have contracts in place in various areas so that road clearing would be available wherever the ambulances need to go. Wright County could be the secondary people to go out. If the situation were within city limits, then the city could take action. These types of situations do not happen often, but when they do, they need immediate attention. Sawatzke asked what other counties have for service at night, and Hawkins responded that some places have 24-hour snow removal and do this by rotating shifts. However, only a handful of counties can afford that. He has contacted other counties to see what their plan of action is and found out that they follow a protocol similar to what the Wright County Highway Department follows; that is, they respond at night when possible when the Sheriff’s Department contacts them. Sawatzke said that his experience has been that the Wright County roads are generally much cleaner than either Stearns or McLeod Counties’ roads. He feels that Wright County provides a good service now, relative to other counties. He understands that there will be some problems, and he is not sure how many resources should be applied to this activity as opposed to other needs. Husom asked if there would be a way to prepare for this in the event that a serious weather is predicted. Bob Van Lith of the Delano Fire Department said that he would contact the Mayors’ Association and city administrators to see if they can offer support, too. The townships might be able to help, but often they have only one or two crew members for plowing. He asked if Wright County could increase the number of night guys during heavy snowfalls so that help could be available in four different directions; and Daleiden said that trucks are already in different areas, but there needs to be a driver in them, and he doesn’t know if any employees could do a shift change. Sawatzke commented that it is difficult or even impossible to have roads totally passable at all times or to go out ahead of the ambulance. He asked if some trucks are pulled off the road in bad conditions, and Meyer said that the tough decision to pull the trucks had to be made several times this past winter when several roads were impassable and vehicles were stranded. He said that he understands where EMS is coming from, and two guys on at night may not be in the right area at the right time. Meyer said that they concentrate on certain routes in areas with higher volumes, and it’s tough to cover the rural areas. In conditions of wind and precipitation and cold, the roads ice over and curves are dangerous and the plow guys have a rough time too, not able at times to cover even half of the roads on their routes. In one event, Meyer had to keep the guys off the roads to save them for the next day. Daleiden asked about having on-call drivers, and Meyer said that this is nice in theory, but even the MnDOT has trouble finding those people. There are some people on unemployment who could drive, but they don’t want their unemployment benefits to be affected. Some people don’t have the right licenses to drive the plows, and they can’t be put out on the roads without the proper license. He added that former Sheriff Hozempa was a big influence of going to two night drivers to treat trouble spots, but it was never the intent to keep all the roads clear at night. Bobrowske said that he understands that there are conditions that prevent the roads from being open from time to time, but it is frustrating when the ambulance cannot navigate the roads to the residence of the client or back to the hospital. It happens only a couple times/year where a fire truck will be needed to lead the way with a police car in the rear trying to get to Buffalo from the southern part of the county, but it does happen. He understands that severe weather conditions are dangerous for the plow drivers, but they are also dangerous for the eight or so people who are helping with emergency services. Sawatzke said that there are only three or four bad storms per year, so why wasn’t one of the drivers able to drive down there and lead the way? Meyer said that if it is after 9:00 p.m. or 10 p.m., he may have sent the drivers home after eight hours if they were not gaining on the storm. Sawatzke asked if it would be possible once or twice/year if a true emergency arises in the Howard Lake area (for example) to have one of the guys called out who works from the Cokato shop. If they can get there, they are to go there. Is that possible? Bobrowske said that if they are told that someone is coming but that it will take time, they will still try to get as far as they can. They are now being told that no one is available during these off hours. Meyer said that he usually lets Dispatch know that there is no one on until 1:30 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., and then the crew supervisors come on and call the crew out to get the roads ready for the morning commute. Sawatzke asked what emergency qualifies to have someone available, and Borrell said that in cases where a person has had a stroke, time is of the utmost importance. Having plows available in cities and townships, which would be closer to the emergency locations, could be discussed at a Township Association meeting. Available communication methods and a good contact list might be key in finding a solution or making improvements to the current practices. This would probably be a lot better than having just the two county night drivers. Sawatzke asked about the advisability of even using a skilled plow truck driver to plow unfamiliar roads, and Meyer said that this would not be desirable. Borrell said that the townships could take care of the township roads, but if there is a total snowout, no one can get anywhere. Potter mentioned that the next Township Officers meeting is scheduled to take place in French Lake, and he asked if this topic should be discussed at that time. Husom agreed that efforts need to be coordinated. Meyer added that the two employees working the night shift are typically the newest employees. They might be experienced in driving, but they are the least familiar with the county highways. Sawatzke said that they would still be better than having a private ‘on-call’ service, and Meyer agreed. Meyer said that he typically calls the watch commanders and lets them know that no one will be on until a certain time. He likes to let them know so that they are aware that no one is on duty. Van Lith asked if there could be consideration given to having employees parked at the PWB rather than sending them home, so that they would be here for emergencies in particularly bad weather. If something happens in Howard Lake, at least he can meet them halfway. Cordell commented that he once had to sleep in the shop because he couldn’t get home, but there are no facilities in the shops for sleeping, and it would be impossible to get any rest. Van Lith said that he was just throwing out suggestions, but there was only one time last year that this might have been beneficial, and it hasn’t happened in many years before that. He said that someone got stuck and a city truck was sent down to get them. Three of the squads froze up because they were out all night, and this doesn’t happen often. Meyer said that he felt good about this past winter and the efforts that were made to keep the roads in good condition. Van Lith said that getting support from the county will help them get better support from the townships and cities. He feels that if the county is not willing to change anything, the townships and cities might follow suit. Bobrowske said that he would like to get a list of emergency contact numbers and find out what these contacts might be willing to do in an emergency, though it would probably be put to use only once a year. He doesn’t care where the plow comes from, but he needs someone there in order to get the patient to the hospital. There was further discussion about the methods of communication that might be employed, such as cell phone, 800 MHZ radio, or other radio. Bobrowske said that Howard Lake plows do not carry radios in their trucks, and not all townships have their own trucks because some contract for services. Berg said that storms are usually predicted ahead of time. This is a discussion that could take place when setting a policy for dealing with emergency situations. With a policy in hand, decisions could be made based on that policy when severe weather is predicted. This is something that the County Board would have to agree to fund and follow through on, as well as the cities and townships. Perhaps an emergency contact could be on-call through the radio or cell phone, and they wouldn’t necessarily have to be at the city, township, or county shops. The frequency would probably be only twice a year or maybe not at all, but discussion could continue so that a policy could be developed and be put into action when the time comes. Daleiden said that there might be some funding available under Emergency Management that could help with getting radios for each township. Berg said that he would check that out, but grants are pretty slim right now, and radios probably retail about $2,000-2,500. They could also be used for summer storms, and he would like to set up an emergency plan dictated by a policy, but this discussion needs to be fine tuned and held with the townships and cities. Daleiden said that he thinks the county would be interested, but the townships and cities would also need to be on board. Hawkins said that the guys do respond to emergency requests from Dispatch already, but Sawatzke said that if Dispatch is told that the guys are called off for the night, they are of the understanding that no one is available for the emergency. He agrees that the guys should be sent home under certain conditions or at the end of their shift, but he wonders if Meyer could be contacted so that he could call the closest driver to the scene. Hawkins said that this is what is happening now, but Sawatzke said not if the drivers have already gone home. Meyer said that there was one particularly bad storm situation where a plant in Howard Lake did not close down before the shift was over, and many vehicles got stuck in the snow on the roads. All trucks were out by 2:00 a.m., but some trucks couldn’t get through because of the stuck cars. It took until almost 8:00 a.m. because of the traffic. In that case, the road should have closed down. Meyer said that he is in constant communication with the Sheriff’s Watch Commander at night and with Dispatch. Borrell said that he doesn’t think there should be any hesitation if it is a life and death situation, and Meyer said that it still takes a while to get someone out. Sometimes, the vehicles are gone by the time they get there. Hawkins said that emergency calls should go to the Sheriff’s Department, and then they can call Meyer; but if it is life and death, perhaps a driver could be sent to the nearest shop as soon as possible. Daleiden said that the next step to take is to have a conversation with the townships and cities so that a solution can be formulated. Meyer said that a driver can be contacted to get to the location, but if it takes 40-45 minutes, will that be acceptable? Bobrowske said that they will keep going even if it is slow going, and they won’t call unless they can’t get through. Meyer said that he knows certain places that will be plugged every time there is a snow event, and he doesn’t want to send a truck out in bad weather if the driver is not familiar with the road. He added that this is a good discussion to have as the population grows and ages. Borrell suggested that emergency contact phone numbers from the townships and cities be given to Berg, and Berg said that he is already trying to gather them, but it would be easier if they called him to give him their numbers. Meyer said that he has good communications with the Sheriff’s Department and could keep some guys on if needed. The EMS can communicate with the Sheriff’s Department and they can call Meyer. Berg said that the cities and townships need to be contacted about this discussion and see if a policy can be put in place for emergency situations in exceptional times, and this will need to be tweaked for an extended emergency plan. He tries to get communications out on potential weather information so that good decisions can be made when to go into an extra mode. Hawkins said that it would be good to set up protocol with all agencies, and the Sheriff’s Department can determine whom to contact based on the location. Those contacts will know ahead of time that they are on call. Husom added that there are usually very few surprises with the weather, so we’ll know what’s coming. Bobrowske said that if things are in place, perhaps the townships and county might agree to have someone else plow their road ahead of an emergency vehicle under certain circumstances. Daleiden asked if county plows would be able to continue through on a state highway, and Meyer said that if the plowing was for an emergency vehicle, it will keep going. He said that the hard roads are the smaller roads at night in the snow where the risk of going off the road into the ditch, or even into a lake, is a higher probability.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that further discussion take place regarding the creation of an acceptable and realistic policy that will direct the use of county equipment for the purpose of aiding emergency vehicles during severe weather conditions. It was also recommended that contact be made with the cities and townships to ascertain their interest in following a protocol for this same purpose that would complement Wright County’s policy.
3) Discuss Intersection Warning Systems at Intersections of: CSAHs 8 & 35, CSAHs 6 & 35, and CSAH 9 & CR 107
Cordell gave a PowerPoint presentation about the intersection warning light systems that are installed at the aforementioned locations. This included information on funding application, costs, power sources, maintenance, effectiveness, and reliability of these warning systems. The lights at CSAHs 6 and 35 were installed due to the number of crashes over the years, while those at CSAHs 8 and 35 and CSAH 9 and CR 107 were installed due to the severity of crashes over the years. The systems are extremely fragile, and lights at two of the intersections have not been working since December 2013. Snow cover, damage to the boxes, and water seepage in the battery box all hindered the effectiveness of these systems. MnDOT has been working on perfecting the systems that it uses, and they have recently completed the fourth generation of a warning system, which is a big improvement over the three systems on Wright County roads (first generation systems). The initial cost of each warning system highlighted above was $50,000, with Wright County paying a share of 10 percent (10%). The cost per system developed by MnDOT is $95,000.
Cordell said that it is the recommendation of the Highway Department to remove the current systems at this time. If they are not reliable, they become a liability. Hawkins said that he would like to remove all of them, and Potter and Husom indicated their agreement with this suggestion. He said that he would like to apply for federal dollars and then pursue getting better systems. The system at CSAHs 6 and 35 is a good example on how effective it is at cutting down the crash events when properly working. The lessons we learned about maintenance with our systems helped MnDOT create a better system. If Wright County repairs the current systems, they would not be reliable systems. Potter agreed that learning to rely on the systems with the chance that they might fail would be dangerous. Borrell commented that he likes the one on CSAH 9 & CR 107 when it is working but agreed that its unreliability creates a dangerous situation.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the advance warning systems located at the intersections of CSAHs 8 & 35, CSAHs 6 & 35, and CSAH 9 & CR 107 be removed, and that research continue for the purposes of finding a suitable replacement system.
4) Update on TH 25/CSAH 75 Intersection – City of Monticello
Hawkins said that highway staff met with the City of Monticello staff on August 14 to discuss different options for traffic flow at the intersection of TH 25/CSAH 75 in Monticello. The city was going to come back with additional options to consider, but nothing has been sent to Wright County as of today. If and when other options are presented, Hawkins will present a report on them at a later date. Sawatzke said that he had expected Monticello to attend this meeting, and Hawkins said that they were notified; and he spoke to them yesterday regarding waiting to receive information from them. Monticello is interested in community development at this location, but for safety reasons, Hawkins doesn’t want to reduce the capacity of CSAH 75. He said that he suggested to the City a temporary variance and moving the curb out. The variance would only be temporary until there is reconstruction for development, and then it would be widened out. This would be for the first block on the west side of the intersection, and it would be put back when this area is developed. Sawatzke said that he has heard lots of talk through the years about tearing down and rebuilding, but all that can be done at this time is to wait to hear back from the city.
5) Rumble Strips
Daleiden said that someone had complained to him about the noise generated by the rumble strips on a curve on CSAH 35 near St. Michael and had requested that they be filled in a bit. Hausmann said that some areas had already been ground down a bit, but not at the location in front of this resident’s home. Application of sealcoat can help take the aggressiveness away, and the grooving pattern for strips has been changed. Hausmann said that he would take a look at this particular location.
6) Adjourn
The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
(End of 9-30-14 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 10-22-14. Daleiden said the discussion revolved around the existing Public Works Building (PWB) roof. Some modifications were done in the past, but no follow up was conducted afterward. There are still issues with the roof leaking. Several ideas were discussed, including the use of foam insulation. The recommendation is to have a representative from Climate Air investigate options to improve the PWB if they will do the research at no charge to the County. Borrell moved to approve the 10-22-14 Building Committee Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. Sawatzke asked if the architect mentioned whether the PWB roof was designed or built incorrectly. Daleiden said the architect did not express an opinion. Daleiden said in his opinion, the roof was designed wrong, and there was no follow-up on the part of the County to rectify the situation. The motion carried 5-0. The Minutes of the Building Committee follow:
I. Public Works Building Roof.
Kelly said the purpose of today’s meeting is to provide a status update on the existing Public Works Building Roof. Randy Engel, RA, Buetow 2 Architects, Inc. toured the property with Craig Hayes, County Purchasing Agent, Brad Hatfield, Facilities Manager, and Brian Jans, Shop Maintenance Superintendent, on 10-08-14. Engel also viewed the attic area of the building. Kelly distributed a letter from Engel with a report of his findings, along with an email from Hayes that summarizes his thoughts (see attachments).
Hayes said Engel was an employee of the company that designed the existing Public Works Building, which was constructed in 1998. The company Engel now represents is a different company with a similar name. Hayes said in 2001 the County hired Norwest Contractors to investigate ice damming. Their conclusion was that there wasn’t enough air flow through the eaves. At the recommendation of Norwest Contractors,
Buetow (the company that originally designed the building) paid to mitigate the problem by creating more airflow.
Daleiden said that didn’t solve the problem. Hayes said at that time Buetow and the County each paid $10,000 to install digital controls.
Hayes said the County has drawings that show how the building was built. He said Norwest Contractors noted in 2001 that there wasn’t enough insulation between the heated space and the outside.
Potter said it is best to move forward with repairing the existing Public Works Building roof to a fully functioning status when the new Public Works Building is built.
Hayes said he asked Engel if foam insulation would be an option. Hayes said Engel did not think foam insulation was an option because it doesn’t contain a fire barrier. Hayes said the County Board rejected a metal roof when the existing Public Works Building was built due to cost, even though it would have lasted longer. He suggested considering upgrading the roof to metal when a decision is made regarding insulation. Potter thought the payback would be relatively quick. He stressed energy efficiency.
Jans said a local vendor looked at the heat distribution problem in Hawkins’ office. The vendor stated that fire retardant foam exists, contrary to Engel’s comment. This vendor said the problem is that the attic is cold in the area above Hawkins’ office. He said spraying four inches of foam on the bottom of the sheet metal would provide a barrier and a fire retardant, in addition to addressing the heat distribution problem. The vendor estimated $5 per square foot to spray foam in the attic. The foam would insulate and serve as a fire retardant.
Daleiden directed staff to have the local vendor investigate the roof at no cost.
Recommendation: Contact Climate Air for a proposal to insulate the existing Public Works Building roof.
(End of 10-22-14 Building Committee Minutes)
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 10-22-14. Borrell said there was discussion about converting from Microsoft Office to Office 365. The recommendation was to postpone consideration of the conversion until 2016-2017. The Committee also discussed updates to the fiber ring to improve the reliability of the system. Information Technology Department staff solicited quotes from four vendors. One quote received was for $132,000. Subsequent quotes will be evaluated when received.
Borrell said the phone upgrade process will begin at a kickoff meeting on 11-07-14. The Committee also discussed email archiving. Currently the County saves emails indefinitely. There was discussion about archiving emails in SharePoint which would save space as well. The recommendation was for the Technology Committee to meet again in November to discuss project updates further, and to discuss the email retention schedule at the Leadership Team meeting. Borrell moved to approve the 10-22-14 Technology Committee Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0. The Minutes of the Technology Committee follow:
I. OFFICE 365.
Tagarro distributed a document entitled, “Traditional Microsoft Office vs. Office 365 Comparison Chart” (see attached). He said he discussed the option of converting to Office 365 at the last Leadership Team Meeting. He gathered more information from Microsoft, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), and other counties. Tagarro said Office 365 is subscription-based and costs more than Microsoft Office. However, Office 365 offers many advantages.
Tagarro said the BCA anticipates an agreement with Microsoft in the future. He said it would be a massive undertaking to convert the County system from Microsoft Office to Office 365, as it includes email, file storage, SharePoint, and more. Currently, many County Departments have budgeted for Microsoft 2013 licenses. There are some compatibility issues as well. Tagarro said he would like to wait for three years before implementing Office 365 to allow time for the BCA and Microsoft to negotiate a contract. Tagarro said it makes more sense to research Office 365, observe other counties, and make an educated decision before implementing it.
Tagarro said converting to Office 365 cannot be done by Department, as the County’s entire email server would be moved to Microsoft’s data cloud. The Information Technology Department (IT) currently has 60 to 70 active projects. Adding the conversion to Office 365 at this time would not make sense.
Hiivala said the deployment of standard Microsoft 2013 next year will place demands on IT as well. Tagarro said that is anticipated and plans have been laid. He recommends the Committee consider launching Office 365 by 2017.
Hiivala said the County is about to purchase a number of Microsoft 2013 products. Nelson said they have determined that a three-year time span is about the break-even point when purchasing licenses.
Tagarro said IT staff can see the advantages of Office 365, but now is not ideal. Daleiden said to start planning in 2016 and roll out Office 365 in 2017.
Recommendation: Plan conversion from traditional Microsoft Office to Office 365 for 2017.
II. PROJECT UPDATES.
A) Fiber Ring Upgrade:
Tagarro said the fiber ring upgrade is one of IT’s largest projects. They have worked directly with Cisco Systems, Inc. engineers to redesign the County’s structure. Tagarro said the redesign adds equipment, but also implements the vendor’s best practices to keep the network up and running. They have received one quote so far for $132,000. They are still waiting for another quote. Nelson said they solicited quotes from four vendors.
Borrell asked Tagarro where the fiber lines are located. Tagarro said they form a ring around the four County buildings, all within the city of Buffalo. They are leased from the city. Nelson said IT staff worked hard on divergent entry, or having two entry points so both the Government Center and the Law Enforcement Center have entry on two sides of the building. They are including 24 x 7 x four- hour replacement on the switches. If one dies, it will be fixed within four hours. Nelson said a lot of the County’s traffic travels on the fiber ring unnecessarily. Tagarro explained that when an employee is on the computer in one building, IT would like the system to keep traffic within the building instead of travelling around the fiber ring. Nelson said only one vendor provides support for the current system.
Tagarro said he would like a decision on the fiber ring upgrade as soon as possible. Implementation will be an after-hours event. He will also check with the Sheriff’s Office regarding timing of the upgrade to minimize the inconvenience to their operations. Nelson said in general the Sheriff’s Office prefers three to four o’clock in the morning for such activities.
Tagarro said the vendor will build the system in their own facility before deploying it at the County. He is confident it will be properly configured. One vendor told him a replacement could occur within two hours, although the guarantee is four. The County’s Network Analyst is well versed in this vendor’s system.
Borrell asked how much space the switches take. Nelson said the newer switches are in one piece. One switch will be replaced in each building. Depending on the building, there may be more space. Some switches will be removed after the transition is finished. Tagarro said they are adding more than four switches due to segregating traffic.
Jobe asked the life expectancy of the switches. Tagarro said these switches have a life expectancy of seven years, and possibly longer. Nelson said the County purchased the current switches in 2008. The company declared bankruptcy after the purchase, but the County has been receiving support from the buyout company. The challenge is finding people who know how to program the switches.
Recommendation: Quotes for the fiber ring update are pending - informational item only.
B) Phone Upgrade:
Tagarro said the kickoff meeting for the phone upgrade is 11-7-14. Telephone equipment will be upgraded in every County building.
C) Other Projects:
Tagarro said there are many other IT projects related to infrastructure, development and operations. One important project concerns email archives. Currently there is no end date established for retention of emails.
Daleiden asked whether there is a way to see how many times old emails have been accessed. Nelson said the system audits every email she views as an Administrator when she conducts a search. She was not certain whether the same audit process was in place for individuals who look at their archived emails.
Tagarro said the County cannot continue to archive emails indefinitely due to space constraints.
He would like the County to establish three-year retention for email archives. Tagarro will bring this up at the next Leadership Team meeting. Daleiden suggested a five year retention schedule.
Jobe requested guidelines for County staff regarding what should and shouldn’t be saved and for how long. Nelson said the email archive saves everything. Any emails staff deletes within 21 days is saved in the archives for 90 days. Anything deleted after 21 days is archived indefinitely. She added that for some investigations, it is necessary to keep data longer than 90 days.
Borrell suggested an initial retention schedule of seven years, with the option to shorten it later. Tagarro did not want to archive past five years. He said the County is under no obligation to archive any emails. Tagarro said hard copies of emails with confidential data could be printed. Jobe contended that confidential data should not be stored in the email system, perhaps instead converting the document into another format and storing it elsewhere. Tagarro said modern email archiving has the ability to change the retention date for certain emails. Nelson said the current system allows for different lengths of time based on various parameters. She would like the system to transition away from long term storage, as that is not it’s primary purpose.
Tagarro said it could be as simple as creating a Word document and saving it in a folder named as the document title and date. This process would enable easy searching. Nelson said once the County converts to Microsoft 2013, they could explore whether permanently retained emails could be saved in a SharePoint repository.
Partlow said County staff should be trained on County and State retention policies so they know what information they are required to keep and where it is stored. She said client information should not sit in emails. Nelson said staff will store emails in their mailbox, but there are size limits to those as well. As the mailboxes fill up, staff deletes them to make room for new ones because they know the older ones were archived. Daleiden said the Leadership Team should discuss email retention. Different departments have different requirements.
Tagarro said they have support issues with the current archiving system. Office 365 has built-in archiving capabilities. The current system grows by as much as a gigabyte per day. Daleiden asked how far back the current email archives date. Nelson said the County began archiving in 2007, but if individuals saved emails from earlier dates, those were archived as well.
There was discussion regarding purging emails archived by former employees. Kelly said the County has to be careful regarding data governed by State records retention statutes. He is concerned about files being prematurely deleted. There are logistical challenges pertaining to staff going through the files to determine what should and should not be deleted. No concise guidance has been issued from the State regarding retention schedules for data stored in digital formats.
Partlow said it is the responsibility of individual employees to follow the County records retention schedule if it states that documents must not be retained in email but stored elsewhere. Jobe said all staff must be informed of the rules and requirements. Tagarro said he will bring up the subject at the Leadership Team meeting. Borrell asked that Tagarro bring several options for them to consider.
Nelson said IT originally chose an unlimited archive schedule because they knew eventually they would be switching from Groupwise to Microsoft Outlook. Having made the transition, IT could now explore other options.
Tagarro will bring discussion about retention schedule duration and rules and requirements for staff to the Leadership Team.
There was discussion regarding the process IT follows when ordering computers for Departments. Tagarro said decisions are made based on the age of the existing computers. Nelson said at the beginning of the budget year, IT determines the number of devices needed per Department, and places them on an estimated ordering schedule at various times throughout the coming year. If a Department needs a device sooner, IT staff will work with them. An order is placed monthly.
Daleiden asked if a blank Purchase Order is issued. Perhaps the County could get a volume discount if computers and other devices were ordered in large quantities. Nelson said IT does not do that, as she assumed that buying off the State contract provided the best possible price. She will talk with Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent.
Jobe asked the usual time frame from ordering to installation. Nelson said they sometimes get behind at the end of the year. Daleiden said computers should not sit in a box when they could be utilized. Tagarro said IT staff would like to get new computers placed within a month of delivery, depending on how many are delivered. Nelson said she would like to have new IT Technicians focus on placing new computers to address that issue.
Daleiden recommended that the Technology Committee meet again in November.
Recommendations: 1) Discuss retention schedule for email at the Leadership Team meeting.
2) Schedule a Technology Committee in November to discuss project updates.
(End of 10-22-14 Technology Committee Minutes)
Kelly requested scheduling a Fees-For-Service Public Hearing. He said changes to the County Fee Schedule must be posted. He has several items to add to the current schedule. The Sheriff’s Office would like to change the Special Detail/Outside Employment fee from $50 per hour to $55 per hour.
Hoffman said legislation passed earlier this year allows the courts to order certain parties to turn over firearms to the Sheriff’s Office or a federally licensed dealer. This is creating a long-term storage issue for the Sheriff’s Office. There is a need to increase fees to provide the space for these firearms. There are two items: $65 per incident and $30 per gun.
Sawatzke moved to schedule a Fees-For-Service Public Hearing on 12-02-14 at 9:30 A.M. during the County Board meeting. Kelly said fees from all County Departments are included in the hearing. Sawatzke moved to set the Fees-For-Service Public Hearing for 12-02-14 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0.
Kelly said last week the Board assembled the Owners Committee and set up a Committee Of The Whole meeting on 11-04-14 to get the Board’s input on the Public Works Building construction. He would like to schedule the Owners meetings at 10:30 A.M. on Wednesdays at the Public Works Building. The first meeting is 10-29-14. He posted it last week.
Sawatzke clarified that Kelly proposed the first Owners meeting to be held prior to the Committee Of The Whole meeting on 11-04-14. Kelly said that was correct. Sawatzke said that would be fine as long as nothing is decided that can’t be changed at the 11-04-14 Committee Of The Whole meeting. He asked Kelly what items would be discussed at the 10-29-14 Owners meeting. Kelly said they will review the proposed site with the engineers and discuss the schematic design. Sawatzke said the 11-04-14 Committee Of The Whole Meeting will give the entire County Board a chance to review the design.
Daleiden said the City of Buffalo should have a site review process as well. The PWB isn’t in the City of Buffalo, but the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) is. He asked how this was possible. Sawatzke said the gravel pit is at the location of the proposed new PWB site, and the Board wanted to stay within the County’s jurisdiction and rules versus the City’s jurisdiction. Daleiden asked if the County would be required to annex the site. Hawkins said the intent is to stay within the Township as long as possible due to the gravel mining operation. The County would annex the parcel where the new building will be situated in order to obtain sewer and water services from the City. The property north of that would stay within the Township so mining could continue.
Hawkins said one question that could arise with the Sheriff’s impound lot potentially moving to the property next to the LEC is whether the impound lot should be annexed. Sawatzke said it would be non-annexed because it won’t have city sewer and water. Hawkins said that was the discussion. Sawatzke said the current building does not have city sewer and water. The type of structure that is built may not be acceptable to the City, but may meet County ordinances.
Hoffman said the understanding within the Sheriff’s Office was that the new facility would have a fleet management area where the squads would be serviced and changed over. That is not in the current plans. Hawkins said that part was taken out along with repurposing the existing PWB. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office needs a shop area for the changeovers, which would require a wash basin and bathroom. Sawatzke questioned why that couldn’t be accommodated in the plans for the new PWB. The goal is to build one with adequate space. Hawkins said that is under discussion in the schematic design phase of the project. Sawatzke said he did not want to build the new shop too small and then have to build an additional space somewhere else to accomplish squad changeovers. Hoffman said currently squad changeovers are done in the garage space under the Sheriff’s Office. Staff removes everything on the inside to make room for the squad cars. There also needs to be room for storage of all the cages, computers and other items.
Hawkins said the Building Committee will discuss the impound lot at a future meeting. He thought the Committee could discuss the best location to do squad changeovers. Sawatzke said originally the squad cars were moved because of lack of space. Ideally, that won’t be an issue in the new shop. Hawkins said there should be adequate space to maintain the vehicles. Whether there will be storage to do switchovers or not should be discussed at Committee.
Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office contracts with Emergency Automotive Technologies, Inc. (EATI) to switch out the squad cars. They come with a van and equipment. They dismantle the old squad car on-site, bring in new squad cars and cycle them through. They also service vehicle equipment. There was discussion whether this could be incorporated into the new Public Works facility with the same dimensions. Hoffman also stated that Administration had inquired whether the Sheriff’s Office would be better served long term by having a new impound facility north of the LEC with sewer and water. Hoffman thought this may be a more efficient way of doing business since the squad cars and equipment were already on site at the Sheriff’s Office. He stated that the current Sheriff’s storage building is used for many different functions. The recreational enforcement division uses it to store and maintain equipment. The major crimes unit uses it to process and inspect vehicles. Hoffman thought this should be planned this facility for the future. He was open to discuss this at the Owners or Building Committee meetings.
Daleiden said this could be phased in and sewer and water could eventually be brought in. Hawkins said the most efficient uses of the PWB and the Sheriff’s Impound Lot should be considered. There was discussion regarding how much space was needed to do the squad car changeovers.
Sawatzke asked the annual labor cost to do the changeovers. Hoffman said he would provide that to Sawatzke. Daleiden said the Board needs more information regarding how much time it takes to do the changeovers and when they are scheduled.
Daleiden moved to schedule the Owners Committee Meetings at 10:30 A.M. on 10-29-14, 11-12-14, 11-26-14, and 12-10-14 at the Public Works Building in Room 114a with Commissioners Potter and Borrell as designated members, with Sawatzke as an alternate. Potter seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates.
1. River Rider. Sawatzke said he and Borrell will attend a River Rider meeting at 1 P.M. today. There are two audits to complete and an issue related to unemployment compensation. Once those items are completed, River Rider will close.
2. Wright County Agriculture Society. Potter said he and Borrell attended the Wright County Agriculture Society meeting. Borrell said the terms of three members were up, and with no one opposing them, they were all unanimously re-elected.
3. Monticello Chamber of Commerce. Potter said he attended the Monticello Chamber of Commerce luncheon on 10-21-14. There was a presentation with the I-94 Coalition. Monticello has joined that Coalition, which will help move the project forward.
Bills Approved
Allina Health $190.00
Ancom Communications Inc 12,696.78
Annandale Rock Products 310.77
Annandale/City of 377.54
Anoka Co. Fiscal Services 8,346.00
Anoka County Sheriff 25,502.78
Aramark Services Inc 7,719.20
Astleford International 155,474.86
Atom 950.00
Atrix International Inc 1,272.50
Barthels Auto Body 243.00
Bear Graphics Inc 266.68
Beaudry Propane Inc 2,212.70
Bigelow/Tamara 470.26
Black Box Resale Services 126.00
Borrett/Jim 102.50
Boyer Truck Parts 419.17
BP Amoco 1,232.70
Brownells Inc 260.81
Buffalo Township 1,405.90
CDW Government Inc 690.00
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 22,765.68
Central MN Mental Health 141.65
CES Imaging 640.00
Climate Air 2,520.72
Comm. of Transportation 3,675.19
Compass Minerals America 1,835.94
Creative Forms & Concepts 751.47
CWP Enterprise Inc 165.76
Dell Marketing LP 1,722.65
Dixon/Linda 114.50
Evans/Karen 319.63
Evident Crime Scene Products 297.90
FS3 Inc 425.00
Fyles Excav. & Honey Wagon 175.00
Gutknecht/Julie 178.00
Harolds Towing & Recovery 432.00
Hedlund Plumbing 1,435.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 718.96
Howard Lake/City of 223.80
Integriprint 342.78
Intereum Inc 243.52
Interstate Automotive 300.00
L3 Communications Inc 215.50
LaPlant Demo Inc 994.31
Lawson Products Inc 216.55
Leander/Eric 213.02
M-R Sign Company Inc 163.12
Madden Galanter Hansen 5,458.46
Marco Inc 820.00
Martin Marietta Materials 219.31
Menards - Buffalo 410.00
Metro Group Inc/The 2,116.80
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc 914.20
Midwest Safety Counselors 667.71
MJB Concrete Lifting 400.00
MN Composting Council 175.00
MN Onsite Wastewater Assn 340.00
MN Secretary of State 120.00
Monticello Community Center 108.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 570.09
Office Depot 641.74
Omni Rail Products Inc 13,556.00
OSI Environmental Inc 955.00
Pope Douglas Solid Waste 152.10
Precision Dynamics Corp 771.61
Quetel Corporation 6,895.00
Ramacciotti/Frank 100.00
Raptor Center/The 323.00
RCM Specialties Inc 603.98
Richards/Thomas W 300.00
RS Eden 2,650.99
Ryan Chevrolet 1,030.24
Safelite Fulfillment Inc 227.97
Sand Creek Group LTD 807.50
South Haven/City of 301.80
Sprint 4,935.82
Sprint 2,918.16
St Cloud Fire Equipment Inc 849.00
Total Printing 1,795.00
Traffic Marking Service Inc 4,389.88
Ultramax 2,256.00
Veolia Environmental Serv 18,231.11
Victor Township 936.10
Voss Lighting 337.68
Walmart Store 01-1577 437.70
West Payment Center 114.36
Windstream 217.45
World Medical Gov. Solutions 853.84
Wright County Highway Dept 6,200.51
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 4,858.68
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,838.89
Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc 124.50
Xcel Energy 975.82
26 Payments less than $100 $1.163.20
Final total $356,568.00
The meeting adjourned at 10:12A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Nov. 17, 2014.