Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
FEBRUARY 24, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Husom moved to approve the 2-17-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item G, “Sheriff’s Office, Authorize Signatures, Annual Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification” (Hoffman); Aud./Treas. Item 2, “Reconvene the Tax Forfeit Committee to Review September, 2014 Tax Sale Parcels” (Hiivala). Sawatzke requested that Consent Item B, “Solar Generation Legislation” be moved from Items For Consideration to discussion at 9:15 A.M. when the Planning & Zoning Administrator presents items. Daleiden requested that Consent Item F, “Sheriff’s Office, Request County Board approval to add 15 external phone lines in the Sheriff’s Office Incident Command Center” be pulled for discussion. Sawatzke moved to approve Consent Agenda Items A-G with the exception of Item F, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0:
A. ADMINISTRATION
Claim, Madden, Galanter, Hansen, LLP, $15,654.98 (January 2015 Labor Relations)
B. ADMINISTRATION
Approve Labor Contract - Wright County Deputy Association 2015-2016
C. ADMINISTRATION
Authorize Signatures on Quit Claim Deed & Temp Easement - Hwy 25 Project
D. ADMINISTRATION
Refer Hiring Wage Range to Personnel Committee
E. ADMINISTRATION
Refer Courts Security to Building Committee
G. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Authorize Signatures, Annual Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification
Daleiden referenced Consent Item F, “Sheriff’s Office, Request County Board approval to add 15 external phone lines in the Sheriff’s Office Incident Command Center.” He asked for additional information on what the 15 external phone lines will be used for. Sgt. Todd Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office has the responsibility of establishing an Incident Command Center in their role of securing incidents at the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant. The Incident Command Center will be used as a backup to the County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Based on recommendations from Homeland Security, 15 external phone lines are required for each authorized agency. The phone lines will be used as part of an exercise being held in August, 2015. Husom said that depending on the training or incident, the location of the lead agency may vary (EOC versus Incident Command Center). Hoffman said a mobile command post was utilized in past drills but found to be inadequate in size. Sawatzke asked that information be provided to the Board on the monthly cost of the 15 phone lines, including whether there is a cost difference when they are stagnant. Sgt. Hoffman said he will also advise the Board whether the Radiological Emergency Preparedness Grant may be an appropriate funding source. Sawatzke moved to approve adding 15 external phone lines in the Sheriff’s Office Incident Command Center, seconded by Husom, noting that Hoffman should provide information to the Commissioners as outlined. The motion carried unanimously.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, recommended a Tax Forfeit Committee Meeting be scheduled on 3-09-15 at 9:30 A.M. for the purpose of reviewing unsold parcels. The Meeting will be held in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Conference Room. Sawatzke moved to schedule the Tax Forfeit Committee as requested. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Husom, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $417,119.92 with 145 vendors and 222 transactions.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested the Board award the Pavement Preservation Project (Contract 1501) to Knife River Corporation-North Central in the amount of $4,096,869.69. Project funding will be through CSAH Regular, CSAH Municipal, and the Local Levy. Bids were opened on 2-13-15 and Knife River Corporation was the low bid. Engineer’s estimate was $4,295,540.14. Hawkins said this was a very competitive process with a bid difference of $2,000 on a $4 million project. Daleiden moved to award the bid to Knife River Corporation in the amount of $4,295,540.14, seconded by Sawatzke. The motion carried 5-0.
Hawkins requested Board approval for preparation of a Highway Plat by the County Surveyor for the CSAH 3 Project (SAP 086-603-018). The 5-Year Highway Construction Plan specifies that right-of-way be acquired in 2015 and construction commence in 2016. State funding requirements indicate all right-of-way must be under the control of Wright County before construction bidding will be allowed. The Highway plat accurately describes the right-of-way and simplifies the acquisition process. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #15-12, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the Wright County Planning Commission will be inspecting Advanced Disposal Landfill on 3-03-15 at about 2:30 P.M. He invited the Commissioners to attend the same inspection or to schedule another if desired. Husom and Potter indicated their schedules do not allow them to attend the 3-03-15 inspection. Sawatzke moved to set a site inspection by the County Board at approximately 2:30 P.M. on 3-03-15 at Advanced Disposal Landfill in Monticello Township. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. Sawatzke then made a motion to set a second site inspection date of 3-06-15 at 10:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
Riley said Planning & Zoning and the SWCD received correspondence from the MN Board of Water & Soil Resources relating to a FY 2015 Clean Water Funds grant opportunity. The grant is to inventory riparian buffers to better understand where they exist in Wright County. The funds are on a first-come, first-served pool for Minnesota counties and their partners. Riley said this grant was previously discussed by the SWCD Board and the County Board. Riley provided copies of the survey that relate to the grant. He stated this is an inventory, but includes an education and compliance or enforcement piece. Shoreland Regulations 6120 apply, but it is a “hit and miss” scenario across the State as to whether counties actively implement the rules. He viewed the grant as a means to kick start current regulation and go forward with education, a database, and moving residents into existing programs. Riley said his purpose today was to present information and obtain direction on how to proceed.
Potter asked for the amount of the grant and the required match. Riley said the grant has an April deadline and requires a 25% match. The costs associated with inventorying and studying the existing databases have not yet been determined. Borrell said that the grant is available to all MN counties. He said Kerry Saxton, SWCD Office Manager, thought staff could inventory a couple of townships per day using LIDAR. Saxton would then estimate the number of hours and apply for that amount. Riley said did not envision this to be costly because of the data available. Other things to consider would be education, sending out materials, conducting site inspections, speaking with operators, and staff time.
Daleiden referenced the Buffer Inventory, Question #4, which asks what partners will be involved in implementing a riparian buffer compliance program (choice of SWCD, County, Watershed District, Ditch Authority, and Other). Daleiden said it appears that the inventory will involve all of the named parties. Borrell questioned whether the grant is for compliance or an inventory. Riley said the questions emphasize inventory. However, Question #6 reads, in part, “…to implement a riparian buffer compliance program during the three year timeframe of this grant.”
Borrell referenced county ditches and the desire to have a 1-rod buffer. He said enforcement efforts elsewhere have ended up in court and lost. This was because the farmer that the buffer was imposed on was not compensated for land lost. He stated that when a ditch redetermination of benefits is completed, a farmer is compensated for the value of the land so the buffer is maintained. Borrell did not see a difference with the riparian buffer. Riley said the Buffer Compliance Inventory Grant, which deals with Shoreland Regulations, applies to lakes, rivers and streams. That may differ from what applies to ditches. Borrell did not feel there would be a difference between buffer strips located on public waters versus a ditch. Sawatzke said the difference relates to State statute. Statute requires buffer strips on public waters but does not specifically require them on ditches. Borrell said it did years ago and that is why court cases have been lost. Land is now being purchased from farmers. Daleiden said ditch setbacks are 16’; this statute involves a 50’ setback. Borrell thought there would be many locations in the County that do not meet the 50’ setback from public waters.
Potter asked for the dollar amount that the County will be pursuing through the grant. Joe Jacobs, SWCD, said the grant funds available in the pool total $1 million. They have not yet determined what amount will be requested through the grant. Jacobs said the inventory will involve a concerted effort, but most work will be able to be done in the office utilizing GIS technology. Site visits may be needed for verification of results. He stressed that if an inventory is completed, the assumption is that the County will proceed to the next step of enforcement. Potter wanted to make sure that the County does not end up with a large match amount because of the amount requested.
Borrell agreed that the inventory will not be costly; however, any type of enforcement activities will generate a lot of cost and staff time. He said the SWCD Board did not discuss the enforcement piece. Jacobs said the grant will be for the inventory component. The enforcement is already a State rule. The decision will be the effort put into enforcement.
Jacobs addressed Borrell’s comments on the differences between setbacks for ditches versus public waters. He said a different statute deals with shoreland rules versus drainage authority rules. Planning & Zoning uses the shoreland rules frequently to enforce setbacks and impose use restrictions. The 50’ setback is already in place. He said there are distinctly different statutes dealing with shoreland rules and county ditch buffers.
Sawatzke asked for an estimate on the number of linear miles that are involved and the percentage of compliance. Jacobs did not have that information available at the meeting. He did not see a large issue along lakes because of the current buffers and tree lines. Where he views a large issue is where there is no natural buffer (i.e., along road systems that are next to lakes, where there is a field next to the road). He said the State may view the road as part of the buffer.
Potter asked for clarification as to whether there will there be an expectation of enforcement after the inventory. Jacobs responded that he hopes that will be the case. Sawatzke said there are different ways of enforcement. After the inventory is complete, the Board can review areas with serious problems. Sawatzke does not have a problem with collecting the database. The Board can take a common sense approach on how to use the information. Sawatzke said the 50’ setback is what the State imposed. There are situations where setbacks less than that are not a problem due to elevations and drainage patterns. There are other situations where setbacks are more than 50’ but can be a problem. He has seen areas where manure is floating in lakes. He viewed those as the situations to worry about, not the ones where someone is technically violating but not impacting a lake.
Daleiden referenced the material from Dakota County on the 50’ setback requirement and thought it may be helpful for Wright County going forward. The material reflects that a 50’ vegetative cover strip will be taxed at the same rate as the parcel on which it is located. Daleiden supported completing the inventory. The County can figure out how to help residents by reaching out to Legislators about common sense approaches to some of these issues.
Riley said data is available so Wright County can complete a preliminary inventory. If enforcement is going to be questionable, he would prefer not to use State funding. Sawatzke responded that whether the County receives a grant or not to complete the inventory, State law is the same. Sawatzke thought the inventory would show there is not a lot of conflict. Borrell thought the Board would be surprised at how many non-compliant areas there are. Riley suggested completing an inventory on one or two townships. The inventory may not be to the level of detail that the grant inventory would be but would provide details on such things as the public waters involved, the number of lineal miles of exposed, non-buffer areas, and weak spots, etc.
Borrell thought there should be a public hearing on the inventory. The Board will be voting on something that will have a major impact in the District he represents. Husom said there is an April deadline for the grant and funds are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Completing a sample inventory will prolong that process. This is State law and it will benefit the County to receive grant funding.
Potter asked whether Riley prefers to complete a sample inventory at the County level prior to going forward with the grant application. Riley responded that he would. He said the grant money will not solve the enforcement/compliance issue.
Borrell asked to lay this issue over for two weeks to have staff from the SWCD or Planning & Zoning inventory a township to determine how many properties are non-compliant. Before applying for the grant, he would like a public hearing scheduled. Borrell said completing the inventory is small compared to the remainder of issues that are being opened up. He said it could cost Wright County a lot for enforcement efforts. Husom asked for clarification on whether the grant is for an inventory and if they will have an opportunity later to decide on enforcement. Borrell said it is for both. If the County applies for the grant, a plan will need to be created to bring landowners that are non-compliant into compliance, identify a time frame to achieve an inventory, and include an enforcement plan.
Borrell said he will not vote to apply for the grant until an application is written, because part of it will be to indicate how the plan will be enforced. Sawatzke said the County could identify that as “by educating property owners and trying to create environmental incentives for them to do better.” It was the consensus to complete an inventory at the County level for two townships in different areas of the County. Riley suggested the townships selected should be those that include a lot of farming, many lakes, and a river. Borrell said when this returns to the County Board for review, he would like to have the inventory completed on 1-2 townships, have a grant written to show what is planned, data on financial incentives and programs available, and information on whether the same taxes will be paid on farmland with a buffer strip.
Daleiden moved to have Planning & Zoning and the SWCD complete an inventory on two townships, as in-depth as possible. The information should be brought back to the 3-10-15 County Board Meeting for additional discussion on associated costs and suggestions on funding available for enforcement and for farmers. The draft grant application should be presented at that meeting. Daleiden viewed it as a way to help taxpayers. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Borrell clarified the motion stating that an inventory should be completed on two townships and staff should draft the grant application showing what incentives are available for farmers to come into compliance. Sawatzke was unsure whether the grant application will reflect the incentives. Daleiden said the incentives should be presented to the Board as a means of education on what is available. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke said Representative Marion O’Neill is carrying forward Legislation on Solar Generation (HF 891 as introduced) at the request of the City of Monticello and other local jurisdictions. The City is concerned with the proximity of a proposed solar field to the City, as the City has already made investments relative to infrastructure. The proposed solar field would be located in an Orderly Annexation Area that the City and Monticello Township have agreed will be part of the City in the future. The City has land uses planned, and a solar field may be in conflict with those uses. The Legislation, if passed, will allow a county board by resolution to assume responsibility for processing applications for permits for large energy facilities powered by solar energy generating systems. The Legislation as proposed reflects a solar energy generating system must maintain a current, valid corporate surety bond in an amount sufficient to pay the entire cost of disassembling/removing the solar energy generating system and land reclamation.
Sawatzke brought this forward to determine if the Board has interest in supporting this legislation. If so, this motion of support could be conveyed to Legislators and AMC. Potter supported this effort because of the importance of preserving City infrastructure and to provide for local approval. The current process allows an applicant to follow the path of least resistance because various statutes apply. He thought the public may not be informed of proposed projects with the current process. Husom said the proposed solar field in Monticello Township is separate from the Aurora projects. Final studies are due on those projects in April, and response from the Public Utilities Commission will be within a few months. Riley said the Aurora Projects are going through the Public Utilities Commission permitting process. Proposed HF 891 relates to the permitting process. He said with this legislation, a county board can adopt a resolution allowing approval at the county level.
Sawatzke said he is not opposed to the solar field concept. The solar fields have the ability to provide energy for 30 years. At that time, it can be determined whether to replace the solar fields or return the land to another purpose. In this case, the City has concern because they feel the land is within a few years of development. Riley referenced the proposed legislation and said there may be some counties that haven’t had to deal with this yet. There might be concerns of taking on a project of this scope locally. He said this legislation deals only with solar and it is optional. He is unsure what AMC will hear overall from local units of government. Sawatzke felt this will be a topic of discussion by the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee at the upcoming AMC Legislative Conference in March. He said this could go to the full assembly at the Conference. Husom said she supports this legislation, as the townships she represents were blindsided when the State said the Aurora project was happening. She is in support of local control.
Husom made a motion to support this legislation (HF 891 as introduced) relating to solar facility permit authority. Borrell said he supports local control as well and so he will vote to support this. He does not support taking someone’s property without compensation. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke said the Land Use Plan in place for the Monticello area provided public hearings when that was planned. He does not recall the property owners conveying to the City their desire to use the land differently than what the City was planning. He believes they were supportive of the planning. After that, the City invested in infrastructure. In a scenario where a property is sold and a new landowner has a different mindset than the person who owned the property when the planning was done and the utilities installed, it could create a hardship. Borrell said he understands that but feels a city should own the land prior to installing utilities or they should enter into a contract with the landowner. He said there are ways to do this without government taking land and telling people what they can use it for. Sawatzke asked that Kelly relay the County’s support of this legislation to AMC and the Legislative Delegation. The motion carried 5-0.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 2-18-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Husom said she would abstain from the vote because of being related to the person being selected for architectural and engineering services. The motion carried 4-0 (Husom abstaining). The Building Committee Minutes follow:
I. Sheriff Impound Lot.
Kelly said he wanted to discuss several items related to the new Sheriff Impound Lot:
1) Approval of the architectural and structural engineering design services proposal from Larson Associates, Inc.;
2) Report on the Buffalo Township and Planning Commission meetings held last week; and
3) Review additional quotes received.
Kelly distributed the Proposal for Professional Services from Larson Associates, Inc. (Larson). The Committee directed staff at the 1-28-15 Building Committee meeting to obtain a quote from Larson for architectural and structural engineering design services not to exceed $2,500. The bid came in not to exceed $2,400. Kelly said proceeding with these services is the next step in the process (see attachment).
Kelly said plumbing and other components will have to be figured in the future. He assumes this project will be included in the bonding for the new Public Works Building (PWB). The County has been funding the PWB project out of the Capital Improvement Fund. Kelly said the County has passed a resolution to be reimbursed for these project-related expenses through bonding. He said unless he hears otherwise, he will assume the Sheriff Impound Lot and the PWB project will be paid out of Bond proceeds.
Kelly reported on the Buffalo Township and Planning Commission meetings held last week. He said many neighbors turned out at both meetings. The biggest issue raised by residents was how the Impound Lot will be screened. Neighbors also expressed concern about the impact on their property values. A site visit by the Buffalo Township Board and the County Planning Commission is scheduled for 3-03-15 at 1 P.M.
Deringer said residents requested a written statement confirming there will be a visual barrier between the inside of the Lot and outside the fence. County Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins says a berm is not feasible, as it would need to be nineteen feet tall due to the steep grade that drops off on one side. Deringer displayed a drawing that illustrates an alternative screening plan (see attached). The plan shows two rows of evergreen trees that span the length of the north and west sides of the Impound Lot. Deringer said the dark line on the plan represents the drainage ditch. He said he believes there is no need for trees on all sides of the Impound Lot, as the south side faces the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) parking lot, and the east side faces existing trees.
Riley cited Wright County Zoning Ordinance 704, Screening and Fences, page 115:
Where any business (structure, parking or storage) is adjacent to property zoned or developed for residential use, that business or industry shall provide screening along the boundary of the residential property. Screening shall also be provided where a business, parking lot, or industry is across the street from a residential zone, but not on that side of a business or industry considered to be the front (as determined by the Zoning Administrator).
All exterior storage shall be screened. The exceptions are: (1) merchandise being displayed for sale; (2) materials and equipment presently being used for construction on the premises; (3) merchandise located on service station pump islands.
Riley said the screening does not have to be on the property line, but the exterior storage must be screened. The plantings on the north side of Deringer’s drawing are appropriate. He said anything that can be done to screen the Impound Lot from the road will be advantageous when the County presents its plans to the Township and Planning Commission.
Deringer said he asked for the second row of trees so that the fence wouldn’t be visible after the first year or so. Riley the County is making a good attempt to screen the Impound Lot.
Riley said lighting is also a concern, but if they install lights similar to the LEC exterior lighting, they will not be too bright, too tall, or directed at neighboring residential dwellings. Deringer confirmed that the light poles are similar to the ones at the LEC.
Deringer said residents mentioned the possibility of using the Compost Facility or the Rasset Pit sites. Deringer said he explained that those sites were not viable options for safety reasons.
Borrell asked whether the Planning and Zoning Ordinance allows a fence with barbed wire on top. Riley replied that electrical or barbed wire fencing is not allowed unless a parcel is zoned Agricultural. Riley asked whether that was for additional security. Deringer said the current Impound Lot has three strands on top of the chain link fence.
Kelly said the intent of the most recent design was to make the impervious footprint smaller. Deringer said that has been accomplished.
There was discussion about the visibility of the building and Impound Lot from the street view, as well as the drainage and topography of the site.
Hausmann said he will provide a drawing that shows the elevation of the building and Impound Lot from Braddock Ave. NE prior to the 3-03-15 on-site visit.
Deringer said a CenterPoint Energy representative told him they will be able to tap into the existing gas line and run it out to the Sheriff Storage Building and Impound Lot site. She will send him the necessary paperwork to get that in motion. Deringer said the County will need to give CenterPoint Energy an easement, even though the County owns both properties. Hayes suggested Deringer provide the details to the Attorney’s Office.
Hayes said he spoke with the City of Buffalo (City). They informed him that the site is in their service district. They said connecting an overhead power line to the new building will be a minimal cost. Underground utilities would cost more. Riley asked whether there was a way to tap into the LEC underground. Kelly said it would be good to have the cost to run the utilities underground. Hayes said he will get a quote for both overhead and underground utilities from the City.
Deringer said he will go back to the Buffalo Township Board to keep them apprised of the status of the project.
Hausmann said they received three quotes for site grading:
1) Terning Excavating $ 99,700.35;
2) Hickman Excavating, Inc. $157,125.33;
3) Fehn Companies $149,030.56.
Meyer said the Highway Department will do the final finish work with Class 5 gravel, at a savings of $20,000 - $30,000. Meyer said they also received quotes for crushed rock. Borrell cautioned them not to start before the Board approves the bids. Meyer said they have paperwork to do first. They would like to know when they can move forward. Borrell said not to proceed until the project is approved by the Planning Commission. Meyer said the projected start time would be around April 15. Hausmann asked permission to send Terning a contract contingent on approval by the Planning Commission. Borrell said that would be fine.
Hausmann said a fencing contractor also has to be contacted. Deringer said the new Impound Lot will be 638 feet x 235 feet, with a six foot high fence. Hoffman said they will get another quote.
There was discussion whether the fence should be built before or after the construction of the building, as well as the relocation of cars from the current Impound Lot, and the location of the fence.
Hayes said the advertisements for building construction bids have to be published for two weeks. Kelly said the plans would be contingent on approval from the Planning Commission. Potter said there is no County Board meeting on 3-03-15. Kelly told Hausman to send the grading contract out after the Board approves it at the 2-24-15 County Board meeting.
Hayes said he, Hoffman and Deringer met with Liman Post & Beam. He said they could solicit bids from building contractors for the fencing contract in addition to the building. Hoffman said once the building and Impound Lot plans are done, they will give them to Hayes to obtain a State bid on fencing. He asked if there was consensus on the Impound Lot lighting. Hayes said yes. Hoffman said they will be in the electrical specifications.
Hoffman said he asked for a separate bid for a basic alarm and one for fire. Hayes said a vendor will provide a proposal for that. Hoffman said that is not part of the bid package.
There was discussion on key hardware and systems. Hayes said the contractor who builds the Sheriff Storage building could be asked to specify hardware that would accept Medeco cylinders. That would enable the vendor the County used for other County facilities to install the locks. Hoffman said he thought the vendor for the electronic card key system would need special strike plates. He asked for clarification on those details soon so that bid specifications can be done in the next few weeks. Hayes said he contacted the vendor regarding which doors will have electronic card keys on the Storage Building. The vendor will supply Hayes with a template. He said both vendors will meet with staff on the hard key, alarm, and card key systems.
Hayes said his concern is with the mechanical aspects of the project, and receiving comparable bids. The Liman representative said he can write a specification that specifies a brand that says “equal to” so that anyone can bid.
Borrell asked whether there is anyone on County staff who could act as the general contractor on the project to coordinate the details and pull it all together. Hayes said they are putting the responsibility on the bidders to provide a total package according to the specifications presented. The County has an inspector. The electrical contractor will have to get a permit. The winner bidder will be responsible for obtaining all building permits.
Kelly said he has been gathering the quotes. There was discussion about creating a spreadsheet to track progress. Hoffman said he is still waiting on quotes on fiber, the fire alarm system, gas, electric, water and sewer.
There was discussion regarding security cameras and adding them to the existing system. Hayes said he would set up a meeting with the vendor.
Hayes said the fence could be included as an alternative with the building bid. The builder could bid on both or just the structure. Hoffman said he will ask the Liman representative to add the alternate bid for fencing.
There was discussion about upcoming Committee, Planning Commission, and Buffalo Township Board meeting dates. Hoffman said if the County Board approved this request by 3-31-15, bids could go out shortly thereafter. Hayes said there is a two-week waiting period. Bids could be opened by 4-15-15 or 4-21-15.
Recommendation:
1) Authorize Larson Associates, Inc. to do architectural and engineering plans not to exceed $2,400;
2) Accept bid by Terning Excavating for site grading for $99,700.35;
3) Project to be funded from the Capital Improvement Fund, to be reimbursed by bond proceeds;
4) Work to begin contingent on Project approval by the Planning Commission.
(End of 2-18-15 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 2-17-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations. Sawatzke asked Kelly whether he was in contact with legal counsel on the reclassification of the Natural Resource Technician from part-time to full-time. Kelly said he spoke with legal counsel and the union, and both are agreeable to what is proposed. If approved, Kelly will work with them for implementation. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. After discussion regarding the duties of the position, the motion carried 5-0. The Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
I. Developmental Disabilities Social Worker Position (HS Board).
II. Reclassification Of Natural Resource Technician Position From Part Time To Full Time.
Mattice explained that the Parks Department has a position entitled Natural Resource Technician / Parks Maintenance.
The previous County Board asked that the position description detail the percentage of time the position spends performing Natural Resource Technician duties, and the time they spend doing Parks Maintenance Worker tasks, as the pay scales are different. Mattice said he combined the two sets of duties in the position description when the job classification study was done. The person employed in this position is required to complete two time sheets. Mattice said he thinks the position should be classified at the Natural Resource Technician pay grade.
Sawatzke said the Natural Resource Technician / Parks Maintenance Worker is two grades above a regular Parks Maintenance Worker. Mattice said the Natural Resource Technician job description also requires a two-year post secondary education, while the Parks Maintenance Worker position requires a high school diploma.
Mattice said when the Natural Resource Technician / Parks Maintenance Worker is out with the crew, he performs duties for both aspects of the job. It is hard to separate how much time he works in either category when he often does them at the same time. For example, Mattice said if the person is doing hazard tree maintenance, he first identifies the trees, and then works with the crew to take them down. Parks Maintenance Workers assist with cutting the trees down.
Kelly said combining the position and requiring only one time sheet at one pay grade would make the administrative tasks easier for Mattice. Traditionally, the Board’s position was to pay two separate rates. Kelly said he thinks Mattice’s request is workable. Initially the current arrangement was outlined in a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) in the early 2000s. Sawatzke asked if the MOU still exists. Kelly said the County has continued the practice outlined in the MOU. It states that the position will be paid at two different rates. Kelly said the County should notify the Union if there is a change.
Sawatzke asked Mattice if the position is performing more duties in the Natural Resource Technician area than Parks Maintenance. Mattice said he is, because of trends such as an increase in invasive species. The employee indentifies and then treats those situations.
There was a discussion of the Natural Resource Technician / Parks Maintenance Worker current compensation. Sawatzke said the person would not be getting a promotion. The question is where to place him on the Salary Schedule. He asked if the request is to place him at the Natural Resource Technician Salary Schedule grade. Kelly said that it would make sense to do so for all 40 hours per week. Husom agreed.
Sawatzke asked whether they should have legal counsel review the request. Kelly concurred.
Recommendation: Approve the designation of the Natural Resource Technician / Parks Maintenance Worker as a 40 hour per week position at the Natural Resource Technician / Parks Maintenance Worker pay grade on the Salary Schedule, pending a favorable opinion from legal counsel.
(End of 2-17-15 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates
1. Local EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Meeting. Husom attended a meeting last week where the group discussed their 25th Anniversary. The next meeting is schedule on 5-20-15 at the Hanover Fire Department.
2. Commissioners vs. Legislators Event at Cub Foods. Husom, Borrell and Sawatzke participated in a fundraising event for local food shelves. The event was sponsored by the Farm Bureau and Cub Foods.
Bills Approved
American Databank LLC $109.00
Aramark Services Inc 7,749.12
Bob Barker Company Inc 455.85
C Walker Trucking 4,200.00
CDW Government Inc 442.01
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 8,802.14
CenturyLink 690.08
CenturyLink 1,613.35
Chamberlain Oil Co 1,852.80
Compass Minerals America 22,864.34
Cornerstone Chevrolet 531.74
Databank IMX LLC 4,462.50
Dell Marketing LP 963.69
Diamond Mowers Inc 34,115.00
Ehlers 1,725.00
Ehlinger/Michelle 149.50
Envirotech Services Inc 20,527.50
Federated Co-ops Inc 297.49
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc 3,852.36
Grainger 808.80
Huston/Tarah 100.00
I State Truck Center 65,138.25
Intoximeters Inc 102.85
L3 Communications Inc 5,875.00
M & M Express Sales/Service 340.84
M-R Sign Company Inc 630.00
Marco 78,845.00
Marco Inc 1,845.80
Menards - Buffalo 629.86
Midway Iron & Metal Co Inc 1,266.85
Mies Outland Inc 25,950.00
MN Counties Comp. Coop. 55,000.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 349.08
Office Depot 1,164.16
Performance Kennels Inc 103.20
Ramada Mall of America 479.96
RCM Specialties Inc 595.01
Regents of the Univ. of MN 145.00
Rupp,Aanderson,Squires,Waldspurger
750.00
Ryan Chevrolet 159.04
Sawatzke/Pat 377.50
Schmaltz/John 335.75
Seachange Printing/Marketing 1,578.93
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PA 152.92
Suburban Tire Wholesale Inc 5,891.00
Target 3,975.00
Total Printing 595.00
Towmaster 22,864.00
VaritechIndustries Inc. 5551.17
Verizon Wireless 9,283.58
West Payment Center 1,063.90
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec. 6,088.45
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,007.51
Xcel Energy 1,867.20
19 Payments less than $100 805.84
Final total $417,119.92
The meeting adjourned at 10:27 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal March 23, 2015.