WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
DECEMBER 2, 2014
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Borrell moved to approve the 11-25-14 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Refer Parenting Through Divorce Contract To The Ways & Means Committee
1. Delay Effective Date of Wright County Personnel Policies Revisions on Various Employee Leaves to 4-01-15
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 11-19-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell move to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0:
I. Project Updates.
Tagarro said the Information Technology Department (IT) is continuing to research email archiving retention and how that applies to all types of emails. Currently the plan is to archive County emails for five years. Daleiden asked when the County began retaining emails. Nelson said IT began actively archiving all emails in employee mailboxes in 2012 or 2013. The old email system allowed manual archiving. IT processed all manual archives into a centralized archive system. Currently each mailbox can hold 2 gigabytes. She would like to reduce that capacity.
Hoffman asked for more training on archiving emails. Daleiden said that would be good for all County employees.
Tagarro said IT is on the cusp of deploying Office 2013. Nelson said she plans to push it out one Department at a time. She will send an email to all Departments. IT will purchase the software before the end of the year. Tagarro said they haven’t discussed Office 2013 training yet.
Partlow said Human Services (HS) has a five-year retention policy for email. Some health care related items extend to ten years. However, if staff gets the information into an appropriate system in OnBase, the emails would not need to be retained that long. Tagarro said it is a retention policy based on content. Daleiden said it would be important to find out what the State requires. Tagarro said email is not the appropriate place to store information on a long-term basis. Some counties do no archiving, some do 90 days, and some do three to six years.
Tagarro said IT has a list of equipment for the new Public Works Building. They are pricing it and designing the room where the server equipment will be located.
Borrell asked whether supervisors are trained on the new phone system. He asked what capabilities are available now that weren’t available with the old system. Tagarro replied that the phone upgrade is in the planning phase. The kickoff meeting was 11-07-14.
Borrell said he was referring to the ability for a supervisor to monitor when a call comes in. Nelson said that function is not available yet. The base system must first be upgraded. The voice center project is another pending endeavor. Hayes said the project upgrade finishes in January 2015, and the next phase won’t start until then at the earliest.
Jobe asked if the new phone system will allow forwarding a desk phone to a mobile device. Partlow said she was told that is not a possibility. Daleiden said that should be researched. Tagarro noted the request.
Tagarro said the Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative (MCCC), the County’s OnBase vendor, harnesses group buying power for the system. There are 26 full members. Tagarro invited MCCC, Sherburne County, Wright County Human Services, Benton County, and DataBank to form a new group. This would allow MCCC to deal with setting up a contract with DataBank to get lower prices for big systems. It would also allow collaboration between different counties. It opens up opportunities for more enhancements in the future. Borrell asked Tagarro to keep the Board informed.
Tagarro said IT is involved in a host of other projects. One includes a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) upgrade. IT is waiting for equipment to arrive for the fiber ring, with major equipment set to be delivered to the vendor about 1-07-15. The County will likely see it around the end of January 2015.
Tagarro said there is a project for an OnBase conversion from Oracle in Land Records. IT is working with DataBank. The goal is to standardize everything into OnBase. Nelson said the current product has an end life of 2015. If the County did nothing, new hardware would have to be purchased. She said IT would rather centralize using a standard product like OnBase.
Tagarro referenced the Land Records Management System (LRMS). The latest information from Xerox and MCCC is that the entire project is on hold. This affects new property taxes and Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA). They ran into issues being able to meet specifications. When the contract was written for the software, there were certain benchmarks the vendor was supposed to meet. The vendor is doing a gap analysis. IT is re-evaluating. Nelson said dollars were targeted from the Technology Fund to support that system as it comes in. This situation provides budgeting flexibility.
Tagarro moved to the Court Services Enterprise Document Management System (EDMS) project. Nelson said IT has worked on this for a long time. The purpose is to seamlessly store scanned documents in OnBase. Court Services staff retrieves documents from Court Services Tracking System (CSTS). Other Departments also have access to it. IT did a test version of the data. Currently they are testing the converted system. They will go live in another month or so.
Nelson said previously there was an integration between the Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s OnBase system. The next step is to integrate Zuercher to OnBase functioning. Hoffman said currently there is no interface between Court Services and the Sheriff’s Office only with the Attorney’s office.
Hoffman said they are on target for the mid-second quarter of 2015.
Tagarro said they have hired a new Network Analyst. He will introduce Joseph Ihrig to the Board of Commissioners soon.
Tagarro asked if one of the vendors for the County’s mobile device system known as Air Watch may use the County logo on their web page. Kelly said this issue has come up at Web Committee in the past. Former Commissioners and the previous Coordinator were against this sort of passive endorsement. Tagarro said the County will not advertise Air Watch on the County web site. Borrell said he didn’t have a problem. Daleiden did not object. Tagarro said barring objections, he will tell Air Watch they may use the County logo on their web page.
Tagarro said he spoke with C. Hayes about utilizing the auction web site to sell old County computers. Tagarro said C. Hayes had no concerns. Currently the County auctions equipment once per year. In the past, Tagarro has used PublicSurplus.com. They only deal with government agencies, various school districts, and a number of sheriff’s offices. Tagarro said they do all payment transactions on site, and charge buyers a ten percent premium so the seller gets full price. The money is deposited monthly into an ACH account.
The buyer has to arrange for pickup of the items, and it is all tracked. Tagarro said he found it to be a fantastic resource at his former place of employment. It does involve some work for the IT Department.
Tagarro said the auction is ongoing, similar to EBay. The seller posts photos and descriptions. Nelson said the prices vary widely, from $20 to about $100 for laptops. Tagarro said in the past he has sold them in batches of five or ten when there are many items. The County is in a good location for this.
Daleiden said more people can see the items online. Tagarro asked for permission to proceed with online auctioning of computers. Borrell said yes. Tagarro said Maintenance used the site for office furniture. Hoffman said State Statute says all surplus equipment has to go through the County Purchasing Agent.
Hoffman said electronics at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) are aging in their sixth year. When the building was initially built, only a Sprint amplifier was installed. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon don’t work in the LEC. Because the Sheriff’s Office is required to have a command post, the State is interested in possibly purchasing the needed equipment to get service from the other companies. One quote was $160,000. Hoffman has not approached the State with this issue. He will also meet with Minnesota Homeland Security, Launette Figliuzzi, Veteran Services Officer / Nuclear, County Administration, and IT Staff.
Recommendation: Informational only. Tagarro will speak with PublicSurplus.com regarding online auctioning of County computers and other property.
(End of 12-02-14 Technology Committee Minutes)
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of the October Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report. Hiivala said revenues are positive in Motor Vehicle and Boarding of Prisoners. Budget adjustments are still needed. Some departments delayed 2013 expenditures due to tax savings that would be realized in 2014. Discussion will be required on whether those purchases will be included in the 2014 Budget. Daleiden moved to approve the October Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Daleiden, all voted to set 12-22-14 at 12:00 PM as the final cutoff for 2014 claim payments.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Potter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $363,367.06 with 154 vendors and 222 transactions.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the County was contacted by Elim Care, the parent organization of Lake Ridge and Parkview Care Center in Buffalo, regarding the sale of $10 million in revenue bonds for construction of a new senior independent living facility. The County has worked with Elim Care several times in the past. As with the prior issuances on behalf of Elim, the taxing power of the County will not be impacted and the County will not be responsible for payment of the bonds. The action today is to a set a Public Hearing for 12-23-14 at 9:30 A.M. which is required by state law. Asleson said the advantage to Park View Care Center requesting this action in 2014 is to realize better interest rates as the County has not completed any financing in 2014. He introduced representatives of Park View Care Center including Kathy Youngquist, Finance Director, and Ann Dircks, Administrator of one of their facilities. The bonds will be used to finance, construct, and equip an 81-unit senior independent living facility. Ground breaking is planned for the spring of 2015. Youngquist said cities, counties, and government entities are eligible for bank qualified financing in the amount of $10 million/year which provides for a lower interest rate. The County has not utilized the funding in 2014. She said the Public Hearing is required to notice the public in case another non-profit entity or a member of the public had objection. Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #14-72 giving preliminary approval and setting the Public Hearing for revenue bonds for the Park View Care Center Project. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Capt. Pat O’Malley, Wright County Jail, requested signatures on two addendums to the current Medical Services Contract with MEnD Correctional Care, LLC. The addendums include an additional 20 hours of RN services and 60 hours of Health Technician Services. O’Malley said the level of RN coverage was established with an average daily population (ADP) of 135. The current ADP at the Wright County Jail is approaching 170. O’Malley said that the average population from January to November has been 149 inmates/day. The last two months the population has risen to over 160/day.
The addendum for additional nursing services will add nursing hours to assist with the number of inmates. He said because this is directly related to boarders, it is something that can be renegotiated if the inmate population goes down. The Contract with MEnD could be renegotiated to eliminate these hours. Commissioner Daleiden asked for the effect on the budget. O’Malley said that the Contract with MEnD started in 2014. There has been some start up costs to create the clinic, which was not required when they were working with Allina. He thought about half of the costs of the addendums could be covered under the current budget. He estimated a $50,000 cost outside of that for both addendums. However, boarding revenues will cover that within a month. In contacting other counties, it is not anticipated that there will be a major decrease in boarding. They typically see a decline in counts starting around Thanksgiving and then it picks up after the first of the year. The decline is not being experienced this year. O’Malley restated that they should be able to cover half of the cost in the current budget with both addendums. They are on track to come in $20,000 under budget. There will not be startup costs next year.
Sawatzke asked for the number of boarders today and their point of origin. O’Malley responded that they are boarding for Sherburne and Stearns Counties and for the Department of Corrections. The average is about 35 boarders/day although they are seeing numbers increase slightly. That equates to just under $60,000/month in revenues. Year to date, revenues are at about $580,000.
O’Malley said the second addendum to the MEnD Contract relates to the request for additional Health Technician Services to dispense medication to inmates. This has been discussed for a number of years and has been an issue since they opened the Jail. The number and volume of medications has gone up regardless of the jail population. Currently, Corrections staff is completing the medication passes on weekends and evenings. O’Malley referenced the issues faced including risk, liability, and drug abuse potential. Corrections staff is trained but they are not medical personnel. The addendum would provide a Health Technician to cover the medication passes for evenings and weekends. Those in the health field understand the medications, possible drug interactions, and medical nuances. He said this would greatly reduce the County’s risk and liability. O’Malley said there would probably be two Health Technicians trained by MEnD for coverage. MEnD is currently contracting to provide service with Sherburne, Stearns, and Anoka Counties. There would be a person dedicated to the Wright County Jail but coverage is required for time off. O’Malley said the Health Technician would be a full-time position.
Sawatzke asked about the current contract and cost. O’Malley said the Contract with MEnD went into effect January, 2014 at an annual cost of $217,600. The Contract cites 135 inmates. Sawatzke referenced the increase of inmates from 135 to 165 in the proposed amendments. He said that equates to about a 20% increase in inmates. However, the Contract cost is projected to have just under a 50% increase (from $217,600 to $322,600). Sawatzke asked why the contract is going up at a much higher percentage compared to the inmate population.
O’Malley said there are two parts to the request. The first addendum relates to additional nursing services at a cost of $40,000. This directly relates to the number of inmates that are being housed and adds 20 hours of nursing coverage/week. O’Malley said he would be coming to the Board with the second piece (Health Technician Services) regardless of the number of boarders. They have been struggling with the medication passing issue for years. The number of medications, inmates, and sick people coming into custody are increasing. It is suggested to add this to the Contract with MEnD to reduce the risks.
Discussion led to the hours the current Health Technician covers which O’Malley estimated at about 8 hours/day. The remainder of the medication passes is being covered by Corrections staff. There are 3 medication passes, 7 days/week. With the addition of a Health Technician, all medication passes would be handled by MEnD staff and Corrections staff would no longer be in the mix. Sawatzke said with the proposed additional Health Technician, this could free up 40 hours of Corrections staff time. O’Malley said with medication passes, it takes two Corrections Officers off the floor. With a Health Technician, it only takes one Corrections Officer off the floor. The addition of a Health Technician would allow Corrections staff to be redirected to other responsibilities in the running of the Jail. Husom asked how many inmates are on medications. O’Malley estimated this at about 1/3 of the population. He said one inmate can be on many types of medications.
Sawatzke asked what the Contract amount was prior to 2014 (with Allina). O’Malley said it was about $240,000. Sawatzke asked whether adding a Health Technician will result in less overtime. O’Malley did not feel it would. He said the Jail is down 5 full-time employees. Adding a Health Technician will free up Corrections staff to complete other correctional needs within the Jail.
Potter asked why these addendums were not presented during budget sessions. O’Malley said with regard to the Nursing Services Addendum, they were aware the inmate counts were probably going to increase and this could become an issue. Budget was started in May and it is now December. Those 6 months have allowed staff to better assess what is needed at the Jail. O’Malley said they have been looking at the Health Technician position for a long time. Staff has been addressing the different problems that have been occurring within the Jail. He said it was decided to present both issues to the Board. Potter recalled a conversation with O’Malley on the medication issue and the associated struggles prior to the preliminary budget being done. He asked that if something like this arises in the future that it is brought forward as it can have a major impact on the budget. O’Malley said they do try to present things during budget but it didn’t happen in this situation. When they discussed the Health Technician piece with Allina previously, Allina did not feel they could find someone to fill the position (based on the weekend hours required). O’Malley said the Jail has tried doing some different things with training and MEnD, but it still comes down to people who are not medical staff passing medications. The primary function of Corrections staff is security and inmates. It is also difficult to have a consistent person do medication passes. He said the topic of the daily population came up during discussions with MEnD. O’Malley asked MEnD to provide the addendums so they could be presented to the County Board.
Sawatzke said the issue is whether Correction Officers are going to pass medications if the Health Technician Addendum is approved. O’Malley said they would not continue making medication passes. Sawatzke asked whether passing medications is reflected in the job descriptions for Corrections Officers. O’Malley said the job description does include passing medications. There may be emergency situations but the plan is that staff would not complete regular medication passes. There could be times when an inmate is brought in and a medication may need to be given when it is not the normal medication passing time.
Sawatzke asked how many nursing hours are covered in the existing Contract with MEnD. O’Malley said the Contract includes 60 hours/week routine nursing coverage by a Registered Nurse. The addendum would increase this to 80 hours/week. The current Contract provides for 4 hours/week on-site Physician coverage. Sawatzke said the addendum would increase nursing services by 33% but the population is being increased by less than 25%. He suggested the nursing number possibly be increased by 12-15 hours/week instead of 20 hours/week. O’Malley responded that this coverage is with a medical provider to provide service; it isn’t simply based on the number of hours and inmates. It is about being able to take care of the needs that are presented and to keep the County’s risk as low as possible. Sawatzke said he understands that but the addendums would include going from 64 hours/week to 124 hours/week for medical contracting which is a substantial increase in hours. As Commissioner Potter pointed out, this was not included in budget sessions held several months ago. He understands that things do happen after budget sessions but this is a lot of hours to add at one time, as the medical contract is almost being doubled.
Daleiden made a motion to approve an additional 20 hours/week of Nursing Services. The Health Technician Services will be discussed at next year’s budget sessions. Lt. Todd Hoffman thought it was important for the Board to consider removing staff from situations with potential medication abuse and reducing the County’s liability. He referenced comments by Potter and Sawatzke that this was not brought up during the initial budget sessions. He said boarding fees were also not brought up during the budget process, which will compensate for the increase in the medical cost. At this point, the added revenue from the boarding fees will eliminate the levy being affected. The motion was seconded by Borrell.
Husom asked whether it is more important to have additional Health Technician services versus Nursing services. It appears the Health Technician position is more critical. O’Malley said that is his opinion. He did not have that conversation with MEnD so is unsure of their perspective on where they see the greater liability. The current Contract includes language that reflects the County will negotiate in good faith for an increase in nursing hours when the average daily population is over 135. He thought MEnD might see the Health Technician coverage as the more important piece. However, the Contract says there is an obligation to discuss Nursing hours, not Health Technician hours.
Daleiden and Borrell withdrew the motion and second.
Sawatzke asked whether O’Malley could contact MEnD for a less expensive plan recognizing the Board feels this is too much of an increase. O’Malley said he has already worked with the vendor on reducing costs. Sawatzke asked if the Health Technician hours could be reduced to 30 hours/week. O’Malley did not know how the Health Technician hours could be reduced. There could possibly be a reduction in Nursing hours. Sawatzke asked whether the RN’s administer medications. O’Malley said the Health Technicians administer the medications. The Nursing staff provides nursing services for the inmates. In the current Contract, there are 60 hours of Nursing service hours and 40 hours of Health Technician services. The current Health Technician administers medications during the day as well as completing other duties in the medical unit. Sawatzke thought if the Health Technician hours could be increased from 40 to 60, then the Corrections staff could possibly be kept out of this for the majority of the time. O’Malley said he would welcome a Board visit to observe their operation. Sawatzke said he does not understand the operation as O’Malley does but said he didn’t feel the number of hours needed to increase from 40 to 80 to substantially help things out. Husom said it would be helpful if different scenarios would be presented at budget time of what is expected. O’Malley said he should have brought the Health Technician piece forward at budget time. He said he could not have foreseen the nursing piece other than they knew the count was likely to go up. He knew that the provider could ask for a Contract increase due to the number of inmates that are being seen. Last year when the Contract was brought forward, Husom said she may have missed that inmate numbers would impact how much service is required. She said that does not mean the request is not warranted. The Board just didn’t see this coming. She thought it might be good to discuss cost versus coverage and liability.
Potter referenced Lt. Hoffman’s comment on the increase in boarding fees and revenues. He thought it was important to see that portion of the equation to determine how the expense is offset and where the funding is coming from. Borrell asked about whether the expense will still be there if the inmate numbers decrease. O’Malley said that the Nursing hours can be renegotiated in the Contract. The Health Technician services are part of what Corrections currently assists with. Medical is a big part of the Jail’s operation and it comes with a large liability.
Sawatzke offered the suggestion of the Health Technicians preparing medications ahead of time for distribution by Correction staff. O’Malley said it is illegal to set up medications ahead of time. It is required by the State for the Jail to abide by pharmacy rules. Passing medications can be a very difficult thing and there are many different nuances during medication passes. Some inmates refuse medications or only want to take certain ones. Having medication passes taken care of by a Health Technician would take a lot of the risk away. Sawatzke asked whether the past Allina Contract included 40 hours of Health Technician services. O’Malley said it did not; they are receiving a lot more services through MEnD. The Corrections staff was doing all of the medication passes when the County contracted with Allina.
Daleiden made a motion to approve an additional 20 hours/week of Nursing Services because of the terms of the original Contract relating to more inmates. He said there is no question the cost will be covered by boarding fees. Daleiden said the Health Technician Services should be discussed at a future time by a Committee of the Board. Sawatzke seconded the motion with the Health Technician Services component being sent to the Ways & Means Committee on 12-17-14. Sawatzke said the Nursing Services portion will be effective 1-01-15. He did not see a problem with having the Health Technician portion effective next year at some point. Daleiden said having this sent to Committee will provide O’Malley the opportunity to put together additional information for review by the Committee. He restated that the current Contract reflects that it should be re-negotiated with an increase in the number of inmates. Sawatzke agreed. The motion carried 5-0. In response to O’Malley, it was confirmed that the Additional Nursing Services Addendum was approved.
At 9:53 A.M., Commissioner Husom closed the Board Meeting and opened the Public Hearing to modify the Fees For Service Schedule. The following fee changes were presented (proposed in bold):
Change to Existing Item:
Current 2014 Rate
Special Detail/Outside Employment $50.00 per hour
Proposed 2015 Rate
Special Detail Fee $55.00 per hour
Court Ordered Transfer of Firearm Fee
Per Incident/Order Fee $65.00 initial fee
Per Gun Fee $30.00 initial & annually (until released)
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, did not receive any public comment on the proposed fees prior to the Board Meeting. Borrell referenced the Court Order Transfer of Firearm Fees. He did not have much of a concern with the amount of the fees. He asked in what situations are firearms confiscated or people are told they have to turn them over (after they are convicted, charged, etc.). Lt. Hoffman said the fees have nothing to do with the Sheriff’s Office. This is court ordered by a Wright County Judge. The person has three options for turning over their firearms including the Sheriff’s Office, a federally licensed firearm dealer (for a fee), or a third party. It is the hope that the person would turn their firearms over to a third party (possibly a family member) at no cost. Hoffman thought some of the cases would be domestic related or involving orders for protection.
Borrell said he will not have his name on anything that is confiscating a gun unless the person is convicted of a crime or the person has used a gun in a threat. Lt. Hoffman said the County Board does not have a vote on whether firearms are confiscated. Borrell said he does have a vote on the fee, and he will not vote for the fee.
Lt. Hoffman provided additional background. With the court orders that have come in, they have been working with people to get their firearms turned over to a third party. Hoffman referenced issues such as upkeep of the firearm while it is in the County’s possession and how long it should be kept. He said in two years, the Sheriff’s firearm storage could be at capacity and then additional storage will be needed. The 10’ x 10’ room is almost at capacity and includes weapons the Sheriff’s Office has seized. When the order is issued by a judge, all weapons the person has must be turned over to one of the three locations. Borrell said most residents do not understand State law. He said that Orders For Protection (OFP’s) are handed out all of the time any may not involve a weapon.
Hoffman said the fee would be paid either way if the person does not turn their firearms over to a third party. The Sheriff’s Office does not have the space to store the weapons. Borrell asked how many times in the last 6 months weapons were brought in that related to a domestic charge. Hoffman thought about 6 times and involved situations where a relative could not hold the weapons for them. A meeting was held last week with staff from the Offices of Court Service, County Attorney, and Sheriff to discuss issues involved with notice of an OFP and possible weapons drop off. There is no notification at this time unless the person comes in with the weapons.
Daleiden questioned whether the Court is relying on people to turn the guns over to one of the three sources. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the Sheriff’s Office has adopted a Policy on accepting firearms. What the Statute indicated is if a person is ordered to turn over their firearms, they must do so to the Sheriff’s Office, a federally licensed firearm dealer, or a third party. The Sheriff, in that instance, can say that they do not want the guns. The Sheriff’s Office Policy says they will not accept guns unless the Court orders them to pick them up because of a safety threat. Kryzer said the Sheriff’s Office does not have room to store them. Borrell asked Kryzer if anyone has challenged the constitutionality of the law. Kryzer said not at this time. Borrell said he can see this if someone uses a firearm in commission of a crime or threatens someone. However, he felt constitutionality could be challenged in other OFP situations where a firearm was not involved. Borrell said OFP’s can be handed out for situations not involving a weapon. Daleiden did not think the order to take guns away is applied to every OFP. Borrell said it can be.
Potter said the proposed fees apply to something the Sheriff’s Office is required to do. The fees apply because staff time is taken away and there is a cost associated with holding the firearms. Potter is not against the fees but hopes there is appropriate application of when guns should be taken away.
Husom closed the Public Hearing at 10:05 A.M. and reconvened the County Board Meeting.
Borrell made a motion to approve increasing the “Special Detail Fee” from $50/hour to $55/hour effective 1-01-15. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
Daleiden made a motion to approve implementing the following fees:
Court Ordered Transfer of Firearm Fee
Per Incident/Order Fee $65.00 initial fee
Per Gun Fee $30.00 initial & annually (until released)
Potter seconded the motion. Borrell said he would vote against the motion as he does not want his name associated with confiscating guns unconstitutionally. He thought it was giving credence to the law by agreeing to participate in it. He encouraged the Board to vote against this. Daleiden said the County must take the firearms either way. Charging a fee might help people to make the decision to find a third party to store their weapons because it will cost to have them stored at the Sheriff’s Office. Husom agreed. Borrell said there will be people that have their firearms taken when guns were not used in commission of a crime. Borrell said he will vote against the motion.
Sawatzke asked for examples of when guns would be taken away. Kryzer said it is generally done as a condition of release when someone is brought in on a domestic assault charge, stalking, or possibly any sort of domestic issue. Husom asked whether all OFP’s include removal of weapons from a person. Borrell said the judge has the option to order this for any OFP. He said these types of laws come about because of the anti-gun people in the Legislature. He said he will not go along with this.
Husom asked how long this law has been in effect. Kryzer said since 8-01-14. The motion carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-25-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Daleiden. The minutes of the Committee Of The Whole Meeting follow:
I. Corinna Township Services Contract.
Riley said this meeting is to discuss the Services Contract (Contract) between Wright County Planning & Zoning (P&Z) and Corinna Township (Township). The current Contract will expire at the end of this year. The proposed Contract includes changes requested by the Township (see attachment).
Riley initially addressed a few cleanup items. They include:
Item 16: Insurance
This clause eliminates the first sentence of the insurance provision, since the Township and County no longer have a Memorandum Of Understanding.
Item 13: Accounting
P&Z (versus the Township) will submit a monthly report to the Township listing all fees due in relation to Building and SSTS Permits. Initially the Township submitted a monthly report to P&Z. Riley said the changes originated from the Township, but they discussed them with P&Z.
Item 8: Term
Under the Addresses and Indicated Contacts section, the name of the County Coordinator was corrected to reflect Lee Kelly, and the Township Clerk’s name was corrected to read Mary Barkley Brown.
Item 6: Information and Data Processing
P&Z and the Township discussed working on a way for the Township to access electronic data at P&Z. This item states that if there are licenses involved to access the software, the Township agrees to cover that cost.
Riley said they are proposing a three-year Contract. The two issues of substance include the fee split and Item 14: Status Reporting. He has had preliminary discussions with the Township about providing electronic data from a software program utilized by P&Z. Riley is working with the Township on an efficient way to provide them the data they need on a monthly basis, since they do not have access to this system. Riley said he has not determined the logistics of how to format the report. He prefers that the Contract not state specifics about the report until both parties agree on the format.
Sawatzke asked the Township representatives what they thought about revising the Contract to describe in general terms the data P&Z will provide the Township. Oleson said he spoke with Riley about this. The main purpose is to enable the Township to track the progress of permits so they can follow up with property owners who haven’t completed their permits. Sawatzke said Riley wants to provide the information, but does not want to be inconsistent with the Contract. Riley said they may find another way for the Township to access the information. Currently P&Z is having difficulty tying the property identification number (PID) with the permit number. The system is based on permit numbers. Riley said P&Z provides the Township with hard copies of the permit numbers. The process now is to find the best way to provide the data electronically. Riley said currently P&Z can provide individual reports, but not an overall report.
Husom asked if the plan was to rewrite the language to the satisfaction of both parties. Daleiden said the first line of Item 14 should cover the proposed change. It currently reads on Page 4 of the Contract: “Wright County shall submit a monthly report to the Corinna Township Clerk listing the status of Building and SSTS Permits.” Riley said the listing will indicate the type and status of permit, and a method to identify the project to which it is tied. Daleiden said he assumed the software has a report feature. Riley said it does.
Borrell said Item 14 is a new concept. He asked Riley to clarify that they are not paying any more, but are just adding it to the Contract terms. Riley said that was correct. Borrell said since there is not consideration, the clause is fine. He recommended not spelling everything out in the Contract. Riley said the concept is agreeable, and P&Z is 90 percent capable of doing the desired report now. Borrell agreed with Daleiden in that he wished Item 14 be revised to state only the first line.
Kryzer said the Board agrees with the concept. Perhaps between now and when this Contract is adopted, the two parties can work together to refine the language. The Contract could be amended after the Board initially approves it, if necessary.
Daleiden said he thought other townships that deal with the County on building permits would like this type of information as well. Riley said they all get a copy of their permits. Borrell said if P&Z does this electronically for Corinna Township, they could do it for others. Riley said the key is the application. They are the building permit authority. The Township wants to know if property owners have completed their permits.
Sawatzke said the Board is agreeable to giving the Township the information as long as it can be done without hardship to the County. Perhaps the Contract should be less detailed than it is currently. Kryzer said that should not hold up the signing or approval of the Contract.
Daleiden asked if the first line stated above would be sufficient until the language is refined. Kryzer suggested leaving the language as it is and continue to refine it. Sawatzke suggested, “Wright County shall submit a monthly report to Corinna Township listing the status of Building and SSTS Permits. Ideally, such report would include…” In other words, the listed items are the goal, but if one of those components isn’t provided immediately, the County would not be in violation of the contract. Riley said a component could also be provided in a different form. Naaktgeboren said the key is the Township can see the final permit. Currently, the Township does not have a way to track when a project is ended.
Riley said he will determine what the software report capabilities are in the next few weeks. Borrell asked Riley if he felt comfortable leaving the wording the way it stands for now. Riley agreed.
Riley said the remaining issue of substance is the fee split. He listed the expenses incurred by the County overall, including the building permit fees and associated work, building inspectors, environmental health officers, cars, fuel, mileage, training, code books, scheduling inspections, and staff needed to perform associated tasks. Some buildings require less work than others. He suggested a ballpark fee split of 75 percent to the County and 25 percent to the Township.
Daleiden asked whether Corinna Township does their planning and zoning work. Riley said they have their own Zoning Administrator. Daleiden asked about the functions P&Z performs. Riley said they do all the plan review, soil verifications on septic systems, all building inspections, all follow up with contractors and vendors associated with building permits, all scheduling of inspections, and driving to the site.
Daleiden asked what fee split the County receives from Monticello Township. Riley said the County receives 100 percent of those fees because they perform all planning and zoning tasks. In general, on average, Riley said he would come up with a similar 75/25 percent split.
Sawatzke asked the Township representatives whether their offer of a 50/50 split is their final offer, or is there room for negotiation. Naaktgeboren said it was a starting point. Previously, the Township paid a contractor on a 50/50 split.
Naaktgeboren said currently applicants pay the Township, and the Township pays the County 75 percent. Sawatzke said he believes the County provides better service than the previous contractor, as P&Z has more staff, resources, and longer hours of availability. He suggested a 2/3 to 1/3 split.
Riley said the P&Z inspector knows all of the Township contractors and is available Monday through Friday. He said the split fee ratio is up to the Board. Daleiden asked what impact this would have on the 2015 budget. Riley said Daleiden was speculating on the amount of revenue that would be taken in next year and how much would be given to the Township. Sawatzke asked the estimated total revenue from fees the Township realizes in a calendar year. Naaktgeboren said through October 2014 the Township grossed more than $72,000. In 2013 the Township’s revenue from fees was $116,000. Sawatzke said of $100,000, the County would get $66,000 instead of $75,000 with a 2/3 to 1/3 split. Riley said it would impact the County $5,000 to $10,000 per year.
Borrell said an internal cost study should be done on how many hours an inspector spends. Daleiden said the study would have to encompass more than one inspector to get an average. Riley said there are other costs to consider with the Township, too. Borrell interjected, saying there are economies of scale to be considered, for example, doing inspections that are located close to each other. Riley said the fees are not a money-making venture for either party. They are providing a public service and are trying to establish an equitable split. Borrell said the parties shouldn’t lose money, however. Sawatzke said when the County set up the building permit fees, expenses were not examined. Rather, the attempt was to stay within market prices. Husom said it would be helpful to have the information to determine a percentage. Sawatzke said there are other costs associated with these services as well, such as payroll, personnel, and utilities.
Riley said he does not do micro-accounting when charging the Township. The P&Z Department works 8:00 A.M. till 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday. The Department has fielded a few legal calls for the Township and referred them to Kryzer. He said a private contractor may be more inclined to count the clock and extra paperwork. He hopes the Township values this practice on the part of P&Z.
Potter asked what fee schedule the County uses. Riley said the fees come from the Uniform Building Code. He did not have the schedule with him, but thought it was adopted seven to ten years ago. The Building Code spells out plan review and how fees are calculated. Riley said the County adopted the fee schedule five to seven years ago to address rising costs. He said the County’s fee schedule is lower than St. Paul, Minneapolis and Hennepin County, and is behind the curve with other counties. Regardless, P&Z is committed to avoiding having to raise the fee schedule. Riley prefers increased revenue from activity, not fees.
Oleson said the Township’s fee schedule is from 1997. Sawatzke asked whether their fee structure for building permits corresponds with the County’s fee schedule for like properties. Riley said it is the same.
Sawatzke asked the Township representatives if they intend to continue to align their fees with the County. Oleson said the Contract requires it. Kryzer said the Contract was written that way to make it consistent for inspectors.
Riley said he would have to research surrounding counties and evaluate whether the County should change the fee schedule. He said the Township does not want to be different, but strives to be fair to their contractors and not charge more than other townships. Sawatzke said he would like to see where the County stands compared to Stearns, Sherburne, McLeod, Meeker, and Carver Counties, and other rural areas. Riley said the County charges more than some and less than others.
Daleiden asked about cities within the County. Sawatzke said their fees are likely higher. Daleiden said the County should not be significantly behind the fee schedules of comparable entities. Sawatzke asked the Board their thoughts on the 2/3 to 1/3 fee split, with the County receiving 2/3. Husom asked Naaktgeboren why they asked for a 50/50 fee split. He said that was what they received from the previous private contractor.
Borrell said it is wise to start with small steps, but if at some point the Township wants to do it all on their own, or go with another contractor, they have that option. The County does not do inspections for Middleville and Stockholm Townships. Riley said a town hall is equipped to reproduce the County’s licensing, soil verifications, data retention, ability to sign septic certifications for people, and being open every weekday all day.
There was discussion about reaching out to other townships and cities that do not utilize the County for the building permit process. Riley said he has done so. Sawatzke said Corinna Township has more in place than other townships in the County.
Daleiden said he prefers that the fees be split 2/3 to the County and 1/3 to the Township. Potter said the math is simpler at 65/35. Sawatzke said he would agree to that. Borrell concurred. Naaktgeboren asked if the Board would consider a 60/40 split. Sawatzke said 65/35.
Daleiden’s biggest concern at this time of year is that the 2015 budget has been set. There aren’t excessive amounts to utilize for increases. Husom said this gives the County time to analyze a 65/35 fee split.
Potter would like to see fee schedules from neighboring counties. Sawatzke said the Contract should be revised to state a 65/35 fee split. Perhaps the County would decide the fees need to go up at the end of the three-year Contract. He wants to work with Corinna Township, but if Riley says the expenses are closer to 75/25, he does not want to sell the County short. Daleiden suggested trying the fee split at 65/35, with the higher percentage of fees going to the County. Riley said the Contract has an out clause. If there is truly a hardship, all parties will listen.
Recommendation: The Contract between Wright County and Corinna Township will be amended with the proposed language changes. Revenue from fees will be split 65% to the County and 35% to the Township. The Contract will be effective 1-01-15 through 12-31-17.
(End of 11-25-14 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
The Owners Committee Meeting #2 was held on 11-12-14 for the Public Works Department Expansion Project. A meeting will be held next week to review the final design. Sawatzke made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0.
Kelly requested the Board schedule an Owners Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 12-10-14 at 10:00 A.M. at the Public Works Building. The Agenda Items will include: I) Meeting with Wright County Public Works to Review 95% Schematic Design Package; II) County Commission Work Shop Presentation (date/time to be determined); and III) Review Preliminary Project Costs. Sawatzke moved to set the meeting as requested. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Kelly presented a draft resolution stating the County’s intent to reimburse certain expenditures from bond proceeds that will be issued by the County. This relates to the Public Works Department Expansion Project. The resolution is being presented now as it must be in place before the County incurs a certain dollar threshold toward the Project and within 60 days of the first cost. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #14-73, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Sawatzke asked for the Auditor/Treasurer to provide an update at a future meeting on the bonding process (i.e., where firms such as Ehlers and Springstead present figures on what they would charge to complete the financial component of the bonding and to handled the bid process for the County). Kelly said there may be an opportunity to save on existing bonds as well. He will consult with the Auditor/Treasurer and present this information possibly in January. Sawatzke said he is okay with that but does not want the timetable stretched so a decision needs to be made last minute.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Sawatzke, all voted to adopt Resolution #14-74 appointing Dr. Quinn Strobl as the Wright County Medical Examiner for the period of 1-01-15 through 12-31-15.
Kelly presented a reminder to the public that the County Board will meet on 12-04-14 at 6:30 P.M. on the 2015 Budget and Levy. This is the Meeting formerly known as Truth In Local Taxation.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates
1. Fair Board. Borrell attended a meeting on 12-01-14. The Fair Board has received grant dollars through the Legacy Fund. One possible use is toward cementing the hoop building over a two-year time frame.
Ag Neovo Tech. Corp. $135.00
Albion Township 3,053.10
Anoka County Sheriff 42,868.44
Aramark Services Inc 7,833.11
Archonix Systems LLC 4,250.00
BP Amoco 1,069.33
Brooks Internet Software Inc 291.49
Buffalo Auto Value 189.90
Buffalo Hospital 308.27
Burrell Printing 945.74
Cenex Fleetcard 1,465.92
Center Point Energy 6,115.54
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 35,112.51
Clearwater Township 1,101.70
Climate Air 570.00
Compass Minerals America 30,246.47
CPS Technology Solutions 1,429.99
Crow River Tools 195.86
CRS Inc 104.00
Dell Marketing LP 12,863.68
Design Elect. Inc-Cold Spring 852.62
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 161.65
DS Solutions Inc 2,947.50
Envirotech Services Inc 29,866.26
Fleet Computing International 775.00
Forestry Suppliers Inc 305.37
Frontier Precision Inc 379.74
Gen. Office Products Company 705.47
Glunz Construction Septic Serv 330.00
Hanover/City of 3,002.30
Helena Chemical Company 127.36
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 7,746.47
ICC Upper Great Plains 1,197.00
International Code Council 861.50
J & N Tactical LLC 1,797.00
JWC Environmental LLV 16,750.00
Kjolhaug Environmental Serv. 2,550.08
Kris Engineering Inc 16,936.60
LaPlant Demo Inc 696.28
Loberg Electric 484.54
Maney International Inc 39,988.25
Marco Inc 3,509.65
Menards - Buffalo 287.14
Milana P Tolins LLC 200.00
Minn. Conway Fire & Safety 421.50
Minnesota Monitoring 1,195.50
MN Supreme Court 1,270.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 249.60
Northern Safety Technology 986.97
Office Depot 1,992.80
Performance Office Papers 248.56
Potter/Michael J 231.00
PSC Alliance Inc 6,240.00
Richards/Thomas W 100.00
Royal Tire Inc 4,374.82
RTVision Inc 750.00
Ryan Automotive 3,355.66
Ryan Chevrolet 182.73
Schedule Soft 3,640.00
Seachange Print/Marketing 34,282.55
SHI International Corp 4,316.00
Strategic Equip. and Supply Co 266.42
T & S Trucking 1,480.00
Waverly/City of 146.88
World Med. Gvt. Sol. LLC-PSS 447.36
Wright County Highway Dept 467.58
Xcel Energy 465.21
20 Payments Less Than 100 1,096.48
Final Total: 363,367.06
The meeting adjourned at 10:28 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 29, 2014.