WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MARCH 31, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
The following correction was made to the 3-24-15 County Board Minutes: Page 4, 2nd paragraph, 3rd to last sentence should read, “Potter said that Pope County is small enough where they could have opted out.” Husom moved to approve the County Board Minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
The following was petitioned onto the Agenda: Consent Item B2, “Refer to Personnel Committee Request to Hire Technology Supervisor Position Above 12% of Beginning Hiring Range” (Goodrum-Schwartz). Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was presented for approval. Husom asked that Item A1 be removed for discussion. Sawatzke moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0:
B. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement:
A. Accounting Clerk
B. Financial Worker
2. Refer to Personnel Committee Request to Hire Technology Supervisor Position Above 12% of Beginning Hiring Range.
C. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Position Replacement:
A. Technical Support Specialist
Husom referenced Consent Item A1, Administration, Authorize Approval and Signatures on Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Community Behavioral Health Hospital (CBHH) for Temporary Housing. The MOU will allow temporary housing within the former Jail facility as an alternative site for CBHH in the event of an emergency or critical event. Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said the request was presented to the County in the spring of 2014. At that time, the direction of the County Board was to entertain the request provided it did not come at a cost to the County. Kelly said that the use would be short term, not to exceed seven days per event, and that it would be for approximately 16 patients and 10 staff members. The likeliness that this will occur is small as the County is listed as the second site for temporary housing. State Statute requires this type of facility to have an emergency plan in place. Sawatzke said there is a 60-day opt out clause. Daleiden moved to authorize signatures on the MOU with CBHH for temporary housing in the former Jail. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Husom.
Cathleen Gabriel, Attorney, CGW Law Office, provided the 2014 Child Protection Cases Report (CHIPS). In 2008, laws changed which require counties to provide legal representation for parents in child protection cases, and Gabriel was contracted for these services in Wright County. Gabriel provided an annual update which reflects there were 54 CHIPS and Termination/Permanency cases in 2014 compared to 55 in 2013. A total of 1069.5 hours were spent in 2014 working on cases. Gabriel said that the Legislature allows an attorney to represent both parents in child protection cases. However there were six conflict cases that required another attorney, whereas in past years there were only 1-2. The current Contract runs until the beginning of 2017.
Potter referenced the reduction in case load in 2012 to 35 cases. Gabriel said this probably was an exceptional year. However, even if there is a reduction in cases it may include the same amount of her time due to waiting for court. The average in 2014 was 21 hours per week. Jami Goodrum-Schwartz, Human Services Director, anticipates the caseloads and CHIPS petitions to increase. Tom Kelly, County Attorney, is pleased with the working relationship between his office and Gabriel. In 2018, there were 18 emergency protection cases that Gabriel attended. When the County contracted with Gabriel, it was noted that she is not required to attend these emergency protection hearings but she stated she would. T. Kelly said this results in a quicker resolution. Gabriel said that last year, Wright County representatives (Gabriel, Judge McPherson, and Attorney Kari Willis) taught other counties the methods Wright County uses for CHIPS cases and emergency protective hearings. Potter asked what will be done if a spike is seen in cases. Gabriel responded that she will contact the County Board if the situation arises where she cannot handle the amount of cases. The report was provided as an informational item.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of the February Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report. Daleiden moved to approve the Report, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
Hiivala referenced IRS Publication 15 (Circular E) relating to employee business expense reimbursements which reflects in part, “A reasonable period of time depends on facts and circumstances. Generally, it is considered reasonable if your employees receive their advance within 30 days of the time they incur the expenses, adequately account for the expenses within 60 days after the expenses were paid or incurred…” Hiivala asked that the County Board set a 60-day policy for expense reimbursement for employees.
Sawatzke asked what is in current policy. L. Kelly said there is language in the Personnel Policy citing 7 days for business related expenses but there is quite a variation by department on whether it is being followed. After further discussion, it was decided to refer this topic to the Leadership Team to obtain input from the department heads and to educate them on the IRS Regulations. Sawatzke moved to table discussion until after the Leadership Team Meeting with department heads. The motion was seconded by Borrell. Hiivala said the goal is to move to E-checks both for employees and for vendor payments. The motion carried 5-0.
The claims listing was presented for approval. Hiivala referenced a claim on Page 17, Midway Ford ($47,346.14) for a Parks Department vehicle. The claim is coded to Furniture & Equipment (521-6621) as that is how it is budgeted. Hiivala plans to amend the budget to code the purchase to Vehicles Purchased (521-6633), which is consistent with other departments. With approval, he will amend the 2015 budget. Borrell made a motion to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $482,304.51 with 190 vendors and 320 transactions. The motion includes the change in funding source from Furniture and Equipment to Vehicles Purchased. Daleiden seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, presented five recommendations of the Parks Commission.
1. The first recommendation is that Franklin Township be allowed to negotiate to purchase and/or develop a parcel as a park. Acquisition must follow regular County protocol as pertaining to acquisition, and Franklin Township agrees that they will be the owner, if successful with the purchase, and be responsible for all future development, maintenance and operations of the park area. The Wright County Board will then authorize a maximum of $114,000 in funding to Franklin Township upon request by the Township after proper documentation is provided.
Mattice said the Parks Department has been working with Franklin Township during the past 1.5 years on the possible siting of the Park in Franklin Township. Various scenarios were reviewed, with the last action being a suitability study. The Parks Commission does not feel this fits into the mission and goals of the overall County/Regional system. Mattice said the Parks Commission agreed this would be a Township park and indicated they could assist administratively (i.e., appraisals and deed restrictions).
Borrell moved to allow Franklin Township to negotiate with the landowner to purchase or develop the land as a park.
Wallace Johnson is a resident of Franklin Township and serves on the Franklin Township Parks Subcommittee. Johnson requested that the use of Park Dedication funds be contingent upon the Township first obtaining an architectural design and building cost estimate approved by the County Planning & Zoning Commission. Johnson said the Township is very intent on buying this land and it has been a contentious discussion over the past couple of years. Johnson is concerned that the Township will buy this land without knowing if there is money to build a first class canoe launch and park. He said he is basing this concern on the Study that was conducted. He spoke with both authors at length trying to understand what is included in the Study. He said he brought forth information at the Subcommittee meetings on these discussions.
Johnson feels the recommendations from the Study are being disregarded. The Study includes use of posts and wire along the steep banks, a corridor separating the south border from the adjacent property, and a study of the entrance off of Farmington Avenue which was marked as dangerous. The response he received from the Township was that these things don’t need to be done. He said discussion has included the Gun Club maintaining the Park to avoid maintenance costs. He said it should be known whether the Township can afford to do this project prior to them being given authorization to spend funds from the Park Dedication Fund.
DeWayne Bauman is a Franklin Township Supervisor and also serves on the Subcommittee. He said the Study has been reviewed extensively and they are moving forward based on the vote of residents at the Annual Meeting held three years ago. Bauman said they are looking for a simple, small park including a canoe launch, picnic shelter, and a restroom. He said they are proceeding based on County recommendations and will not alter from that. They will work with the Sportsman Club as they are looking for small projects. Bauman said the Township does not feel there is an issue with the road, but they will abide by what the County Highway Department indicates. In response to the reference on fencing, borders and safety, he said it is not needed. He said the best parks in Three Rivers Park District do not have fencing. He said the area is very visible and so there shouldn’t be an issue of people going where they shouldn’t. Bauman said it is a beautiful area and well suited for the small park they are looking for.
Husom asked whether Bauman feels the Park Dedication Funds are adequate to provide what is needed. Bauman said it will be a good start but the total cost will not be known until the studies are completed. Park Dedication Funds are currently at $114,000. He anticipates an additional $20,000 to be placed into the Fund and hopes they can access that as well.
Daleiden said these are Park Dedication Funds dedicated to Franklin Township. The funding comes from development and is set aside for parks in the Township. He serves on the Parks Commission and a number of discussions have taken place with regard to the proposed park. There are various options, one of them being the possibility of a 99-year lease of the property. He hopes the Sportsman’s Club is willing to look at various options.
Sawatzke asked whether the Sportsman’s Club is the current owner of the property. Bauman said the Sportsman’s Club owns approximately 80 acres and the Township is looking to possibly acquire the western 12-18 acres. They would like to straighten the eastern boundary to potentially double the length of the river frontage and provide a more scenic access as well. Bauman said the shelter and restroom are planned for the high ground and the canoe launch would be located further to the east.
Borrell asked Bauman whether, as a Township Supervisor, he has concerns with obtaining shelter funding. Bauman does not feel there will be a problem but said it will be thoroughly discussed before moving forward. The processes that will follow include negotiations with the landowner, a decision on whether to acquire or lease, determining if the purchase is feasible and affordable, and determining what funding is available.
Borrell said he is okay with the motion he put forth to approve the request of the Township, as the Township will be looking at the concerns voiced by Johnson before anything transpires. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Potter restated that the motion would be to allow Franklin Township access to the $114,000 in Park Dedication funding. Mattice referenced the recommendation of the Parks Commission which refers to the $114,000 in funding to be used for acquisition and proper documentation. Mattice said he would be willing to write an agreement on the funding and would have it reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office. Other things include a review of the recreational site plan by the SWCD, assurance of the Township’s insurance coverage, and a Park perpetuity deed restriction. He said these procedures are what the County follows when buying park land. A review of the appraisal would follow.
Potter asked whether the Township understands this and Bauman said they do. Daleiden said cost is why they had discussions with the Sportsman’s Club about other options, as all of those items could deplete those funds quickly. Sawatzke said the shelter would be of benefit to the Sportsman’s Club as well. He said the 99-year lease may be a good concept. Sawatzke referenced the Park Dedication Funds for Franklin Township. He said they are County funds that can only be used for park purposes in Franklin Township unless Franklin Township authorizes the County to use the funds elsewhere. The motion carried unanimously. Mattice expects to present documents to the Board for review at a future date.
2. The second recommendation from the Parks Commission is for the Wright County Board of Commissioners to deny the request by Cokato Township for Park Dedication Funds. The requested use of the funds is for pavement maintenance on the trail between Dassel and Cokato.
Mattice indicated the trail was put in along TH 12 in 1994 when the highway was improved between Cokato and Dassel. It crosses the School District, City, and a couple of Townships. A Cokato Trail Group was established and includes representatives from the City of Cokato, City of Dassel, School District, Cokato Township, and Dassel Township.
Mattice said the trail is in disrepair and there has not been much for preventive maintenance. There is $10,413 in the Park Dedication Fund. The request was discussed by the Parks Commission, and they did not envision acquiring much land in Cokato Township because of Collinwood Park to the south and Stanley Eddy Park to the north. The Parks Commission reviewed the Statute relating to Park Dedication Funds (§ 462.358, Subd. 2B, Item G) which relates to parks and trails which reflects:
“Cash payments received must be used only for the acquisition and development or improvement of parks, recreational facilities, playgrounds, trails, wetlands, open space based on the approved park systems plan. Cash payments must not be used for ongoing operation or maintenance of parks, recreational facilities, playgrounds, trails, wetlands, or open space.
Mattice said the Parks Commission discussed whether the repair is considered an improvement or operations and maintenance. Mattice thought the Parks Commission determined that such things as sealcoating and crack sealing would fall under operations and maintenance, where a mill and overlay would be an improvement. Mattice said the letter from Cokato Township does not identify what the Park Dedication Funds will be used for. The Parks Commission decided to deny the request at this time not knowing what function that was going to be used for. The Parks Commission also discussed that at the time the trail was constructed, the partners (Cities, Townships, and School District) created a commitment letter stating they support the trail both financially and for routine maintenance on the portion of the trail that falls within each other’s jurisdictions. Daleiden said no one has done anything about maintenance of the trail. Discussion followed on whether something is considered an improvement or operations and maintenance. Mattice said if there is fog sealing, chip sealing, or crack sealing it would be maintenance. If something is ripped up, milled, subgrade checked, and a section is completely repaved, that would be an improvement.
Dan Bravinder, Cokato Township Supervisor, said the Township treats an overlay as an improvement. From a real estate standpoint, it improves property when this is completed. They treat crack filling and seal coating as maintenance. Improvements done on roads every 10-12 years would be considered an upgrade. He said Cokato Township is asking this to be treated the same way as far as the Park Dedication Funds. Sawatzke asked whether the Township is looking at doing an overlay project. Bravinder responded that there is about a one mile section that needs to be finished with an overlay and that is located in part of Cokato Township. Sawatzke said the response could be that the funds should not be used for crack sealing but they could be used for an overlay.
Sawatzke said the trail in Cokato Township is the only one that he could recall where a township ever paid any money toward it. The County and granting agencies funded trails. In this case, the County did not contribute. Borrell said he would like the Township to be able to use the Park Dedication Funds. Sawatzke does not support the County contributing to this trail, as the County was not involved when the trail was original completed. However, if this is a legal expenditure from the Park Dedication Fees he is fine with allowing Cokato Township access to those funds.
Bravinder said that at the last meeting of the members in the Trail Group, discussion involved putting together a joint powers board. That will not involve the counties.
Dean Mahlstedt, Cokato Township Supervisor, said when the Trail was completed in 1992, those involved possibly didn’t realize the cost of maintenance. The Township funded $5,000 toward the $145,000 trail project. The trail is used about half of the year because it is not plowed in the winter. He said the Trail benefits the two Cities and should be maintained. There are 6 miles of trail. About 2 miles need to be overlaid, as 4 miles were completed last year.
Mahlstedt said the path connects the two Cities, Wright and Meeker Counties, and the Dassel Cokato School System. Collinwood Park is located just to the south of the Trail. He said in the long-term safety plan, he would envision CR 100 being extended down to Collinwood Park. There is a gravel road located 1/8 of a mile to the west that could be made into a County Road, connecting a County Park directly to the School System. The Trail could be extended to the south as well and the system would make sense.
Mahlstedt does not know what the Joint Powers Agreement will involve but said he will not vote for Cokato Township participating as it benefits the two Cities and the School District. However, he feels the money in the Park Dedication Fund could be used so people can utilize the Trail. Daleiden suggested plowing and maintenance be discussed as part of the Joint Powers Agreement.
Borrell said the Cokato Township Board voted unanimously to allow the Park Dedication Funds to be used for the trail repair. Borrell made a motion to allow the Park Dedication Funds to be used for pavement maintenance on the trail project. Sawatzke seconded the motion. After discussion, the motion was changed to “pavement overlay improvement.” Sawatzke said he did not want the motion to include crack sealing or other maintenance items, which could result in other townships approaching the Board for funding. It was decided that the Township will pay the invoices directly for this project and request reimbursement from the County. The motion carried 5-0.
3. The third recommendation of the Parks Commission is to have the Parks Administrator or representative attend and participate in planning sessions with Three Rivers Park District on the establishment of a Crow River Regional Trail Master Plan.
Mattice said Three Rivers Park District is starting to work on a Crow River Regional Trail Master Plan. In the County’s Trail and Bikeway Plan adopted in 2011, this was shown as a possible project. Three Rivers Park District is interested in holding the meetings, doing the master plan, and showing how that trail could intersect between Hennepin County and Wright County. They have requested representation from the Wright County Parks Department at the meetings. The Parks Commission is recommending that the County Board authorize Mattice to attend these meetings. Daleiden said this will allow application for grants in the future. Potter said the Mayor of Hanover indicated Hanover is supportive of this regional project. Sawatzke moved to authorize Mattice and Daleiden to participate in these meetings as appropriate. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
4. The fourth recommendation of the Parks Commission is for the County to provide funding for the unbudgeted costs associated with the replacement of directional signs for Mud Lake and Collinwood Park along State Highway 12.
Mattice was contacted by MnDOT on sign inventories they are completing on Highway 12 in the southwest corner of the State. Three directional signs are in need of replacement: 1) Mud Lake County Park East Bound, 2) Mud Lake County Park West Bound, and 3) Collinwood Regional Park West Bound. The replacement project will be completed in the summer of 2015 at a cost to Wright County of $3,389.40. Mattice told MnDOT that notice one year in advance of a project would be helpful, as this expense is not included in the 2015 budget. The Parks Commission is recommending the signs be replaced knowing this is an unbudgeted cost. Mattice said the plan would be to fund the cost from the Parks Department Repairs and Maintenance line item. He will attempt to absorb this into the 2015 budget. The sign replacement must be done by 5-01-15 or the State will take the directional signs down.
Borrell made a motion to authorize replacement of the signs and for funding to come from the Parks Department Repairs and Maintenance line item. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke commented that these parks are in rural areas. If people are in unfamiliar areas, they may be unable to locate the Parks. Mattice restated that he will do his best to absorb his cost within the Repairs and Maintenance line item of the Parks Department Budget. The motion carried 5-0.
5. The last recommendation from the Parks Commission is for the County Board to approve the Wright County Parks Department 2014 Year End Report. On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the Report.
The meeting recessed at 10:24 A.M. and reconvened at 10:34 A.M.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 3-25-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke. Discussion followed on annexation and the Sheriff Impound Lot.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, clarified that the County originally started talking about annexation of one parcel when dealing with the construction of the new Public Works Building. It wasn’t until 3-19-15 that the County discovered the City of Buffalo is considering annexing the gravel pit parcel as well as the proposed site for the Sheriff Impound Lot. This was approximately six hours prior to the Public Hearing on the Impound Lot held 3-19-15 by the Planning Commission. He said they proceeded with bringing this to the Planning Commission at that time, as they did not know the reaction of the Board on annexation.
Sawatzke said the County is the property owner of the gravel pit and is not seeking annexation of that area. Kryzer said the County was originally seeking annexation only for the new Public Works Facility. The City has indicated that they would like to do this for all County parcels and also bring in some of their City owned parcels at the same time.
Discussion led to mining. Sawatzke is unsure whether mining is allowed in the City of Buffalo and may be considered a non-conforming, pre-existing use. He viewed it as setting up a potential conflict for the future that they would not need to create. Kryzer stated the City has provided assurance that gravel mining would continue under the existing CUP (Conditional Use Permit). It would be considered a legal, non-conforming use and would be grandfathered in. Kryzer said this was provided in written confirmation from the City.
Husom said the County applied for a CUP for the Impound Lot through Buffalo Township and attended two Township Meetings. She said the annexation caught the County by surprise, and it would be good to obtain clarification from the City. The City plans to hold a Public Hearing on the annexation on 4-20-15 but she is unsure of the location. Sawatzke asked whether annexation would require the County to approach the City for a CUP. Kryzer stated that the City assured the County that the CUP granted by the Planning Commission for the construction of the Sheriff Impound Lot would be considered a pre-existing condition if annexation occurs and the County can continue on with it. He stated from a legal and administrative perspective, if annexation occurs everything will go on as the County has planned.
Borrell questioned the advantage of annexation and whether a Committee Of The Whole Meeting should be held to meet with the City. Sawatzke said annexation was not part of the discussion early on and asked why this has become an issue.
Potter asked for clarification on the other properties that Kryzer mentioned would be annexed. Kryzer said one parcel is located north of the Buffalo Airport and there is another stray parcel owned by the City. L. Kelly said the document supplied by the City reflects one other parcel south of the Law Enforcement Center will be annexed. It is owned by a private individual and located on TH 25. Sawatzke does not believe the property owned by the County is within the annexation area agreed to by the City and Township when they met with the County on the NE Quadrant Plan. He thought this would be asking the Township to allow something that isn’t included in the Plan.
Sawatzke suggested obtaining an opinion from the Township on the annexation. Kryzer said in the end, the tax base will remain the same. Sawatzke said this doesn’t really have to do with taxes; it has to do with the Land Use Plan and the integrity of that Plan.
It was the consensus that L. Kelly should contact the City and the Township to discuss setting up a Committee Of The Whole Meeting prior to the 4-20-15 Public Hearing being held by the City.
Capt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, said the County was granted a CUP by the Planning Commission. Due to time constraints with the Public Works Building project, they are looking for approval from the County Board to proceed with the excavation portion of the project. The Highway Department would like to start that work in the next week or two. Sawatzke asked whether all of the recommendations by the Building Committee are still in play regardless of whether the land is within the City or the Township. Daleiden said they are.
The motion to approve the 3-24-15 Building Committee Minutes and recommendations carried 5-0. The Minutes of that Meeting follow:
I. Sheriff Impound Lot.
Daleiden asked whether the City of Buffalo will require the County to annex the Sheriff Impound Lot site. Kelly said Hawkins, Kryzer and he met with the City last week. City officials said they want to annex the site, but have no issue with the proposed plans. This means the County may proceed with the proposal. The County may install the septic storage tank and tie into the Law Enforcement Center’s (LEC) water line if that method is chosen. The City will bring in Fibernet and connect to the Storage Building as part of the annexation.
Kryzer added that the City will look at the improvements as a “work in progress.” Once the plan is accepted, it would be deemed a permitted use under “Essential Services.” Kryzer said from a legal perspective, annexing is the way to go.
Hoffman said it was his understanding that the County may continue working with Planning & Zoning on the Conditional Use Permit. The annexation should not affect the project timeline.
There was discussion regarding the annexation, permit application, and construction dates. Hayes recommended that the County ask the builder to be responsible for buying the permits and working with inspectors. Hoffman asked if there was a benefit to do so. Hayes said it is important for the builder to communicate with the inspector and to be responsible for signing off inspections. Hoffman said the specifications say the permits and inspections will be the responsibility of the contractor.
Hoffman said the preliminary bid specifications are before the Building Committee today. If the Committee approves them, he would like to bring the final bid specifications and engineered plans before the full County Board for approval on 4-07-15. Hayes said the Board also has to set a bid opening date, which must be advertised for two weeks.
Hayes said the builder will bring in “as built” plans. The best model is for the builder to acquire the permits. Riley said a permit is only issued after all required documents, plans, and specifications have been reviewed.
There was discussion about electrical and septic permits. Hoffman said the contract with the architect requires development of an engineered plan to submit with the building permit application. The contract would then ask the builder to be responsible for coordinating inspections and also the electrical and sewer. Hawkins said a water runoff permit has been obtained from the State.
Kryzer suggested adding the following clause to the contract: “Contractor upon receipt of the bid will take responsibility for inspections.” He said the City has a sewer connection that touches the LEC parcel on Highway 25. They could not get City sewer service to the Impound Lot. The LEC has a private water system. The City said the County could tie into that for the Storage Building and Impound Lot.
Hawkins read from a letter to Lee Kelly from Merton T. Auger, City Administrator for the City of Buffalo, dated 3-19-15:
After meeting with the City Engineer, we have determined you will not be required to hook up the impound lot building to sanitary sewer service since it is not practical at this time. You may, however, hook up to the existing private water service that you installed as part of the previous project. You would also be able to connect to your private sewer service if you so choose to do as well.
Hoffman said the architect will speak with the County Building Inspector and make sure the engineered and architectural plans are complete. On 4-07-15, he will request County Board approval of the engineered plan with the bid specifications to be advertised for bid, and authorization to apply for a building permit.
There was discussion regarding whether to send bids out on 4-07-15 or later. Hoffman said they will apply for the building permit and send out for bids, assuming the Board gives approval on 4-07-15. They will also have to make a final determination on whether to install a private or city water system. There was discussion about the options. Hayes said it would be best to hook up to the city water system. Kelly said in the long term, the County will eventually have to connect to it anyway. The consensus was to hook up to the City water system. Hoffman said Liman Post & Beam (LP&B) will need to know the details to include them in the bid specifications by 4-07-15. Deringer and Hoffman will meet with the architect and the LP&B representative sometime next week to go over the engineered plans and specifications. Hoffman said the bid specification should show the water hookup to the building to be studded out. Deringer said it could read, “To Be Provided By Owner.”
Kelly said the City of Buffalo sent an estimate on the cost to run Fibernet to the Storage Building. However, that amount also includes the new Public Works Building. Both projects are going to be funded from the same bonding source. Kelly said the City indicated what they would need for their fiber run. Hoffman said the estimated cost noted on the drawing is $37,200 total. A percentage of the cost would be allocated to the Impound Lot, and the remaining percentage to the new Public Works Building.
There was discussion about the construction timeline and when the builder would be able to start. If the builder is not available to start on the Storage Building right away, Hayes suggested installing part of the fence around the Impound Lot after excavation is completed. Impounded cars could be stored in the secured auction area while the Storage Building is finished. There was additional discussion regarding whether there was enough room to store cars in the auction area, and when to lay the power lines to install light poles.
Hawkins said the Impound Lot grading may be done about mid-April. It will take a month to complete. Hoffman said by mid-May they will know the contractor and construction schedules for the new Public Works Building. Fencing can be determined at that time.
Deringer said the best estimate he received for moving impounded vehicles to the auction area is $9.85 per vehicle. The contractor will bring in two tow trucks and will work nonstop until the job is done. Other bids were $35 to $70 per vehicle.
There was discussion regarding items for which the Owner or County is responsible. The following were determined to be the Owner’s responsibility: Site grading, architect, card keys, security cameras, hardware, fire monitoring, and fencing.
Recommendation: Approve project moving forward. Request approval of engineered plan with bid specifications, set bid opening date, and authorize application for building permit at 4-07-15 County Board Meeting.
(End of 3-24-15 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 3-24-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The 3-24-15 Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
I. Discussion RE: Four 10-Hour Days in a Work Week, I.U.O.E., Local No. 49.
Kelly distributed copies of an email from former Human Resources Director Tamara Bigelow to Highway, Parks, and Surveyor staff dated 6/26/14, and a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) entitled, “Memorandum Of Agreement Between County Of Wright And International Union Of Operating Engineers Local No. 49 AFL-CIO” (see attachments).
Kelly explained that in the past, the Board allowed County staff who were members of Local No. 49 (49ers) to work four 10-hour days from the third Monday in April until the third Friday in September. Kelly said the discussion arose in 2014 about the work schedule for holiday weeks between April and September. He referred to the MOU which states: “For a week with a holiday the employees will work a normal work schedule.” Last year, staff approached Administration with a request to work four 10-hour days during a holiday week.
Mattice said historically his staff worked three 10-hour days and took two hours of vacation in addition to the holiday. Then the policy changed to work four eight-hour days with the holiday off. Mattice said staff accomplishes more during four 10-hour days than five eight-hour days. He said Highway and Parks staff are affected by this policy more than Surveyor staff.
Mattice said they would like to go back to four 10-hour days on holiday weeks. Although Surveyor staff do not currently wish to work four 10-hour days, they should be left in the MOU in case they need to in the future.
Sawatzke asked if Mattice ever scheduled some staff on Monday through Thursday, and others Tuesday through Friday. Meyer and Cordell both said they have scheduled staff this way. Sawatzke said the scheduling should be for the benefit of the County and the public.
Sawatzke said past County Board members were concerned about coverage on the day when no one was scheduled to work. Hawkins said an employee would be called in if necessary. Meyer said he often takes care of such issues.
Hawkins asked whether the MOU has to be renewed every year. Sawatzke said it should not be part of the contract for flexibility depending on staffing needs. Meyer said the MOU states that “Either party may terminate this Memorandum of Agreement with seven (7) days’ notice to the other party.” Kelly asked whether the Committee members wished to consider a two-year term for the MOU. Husom agreed as long as this would follow the term of the current labor contract.
Sawatzke said Paragraph 1, Line 5 in the MOU should read, “The Employer may find it necessary to require an employee to work eight (8) hour days in the Shop Maintenance and Engineering Divisions of the Highway Department, the Parks Department and Survey Department.”
Mattice suggested removing the words “Monday through Thursday” in Paragraph 2, Line 2 of the MOU to allow flexibility to schedule workers on different days. Sawatzke said the language will be corrected to benefit both staff and the County.
Mattice asked if staff was always allowed to use either compensatory time off (comp time) or vacation time. Meyer said they always used vacation time. Mattice said they have the employee use all their comp time before they receive overtime. Sawatzke said the comp time option could stay in the MOU.
Sawatzke said the words “Monday through Thursday” should be removed from Paragraph 2, Line 2. Kelly said they will also remove Paragraph 3, “For a week with a holiday the employees will work a normal work schedule.”
Husom suggested changing the term of the MOU to two years. Kelly said that will align with the Union contract.
Recommendation: Approve Memorandum Of Agreement Between County Of Wright And International Union Of Operating Engineers Local No. 49 with changes noted above and an effective date to align with the current Union contract.
II. Discussion RE: Authorizing Members of I.U.O.E., Local No. 49 to Work at Wright County Fair.
Kelly distributed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) entitled “Memorandum of Understanding Between Wright County And International Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 49” (see attached). The County’s labor attorney raised concerns during negotiations regarding the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) related to County staff working at the Wright County Fair (Fair). The implication is that the County cannot allow employees to use up this time over a period of months.
Hawkins said they prefer to have County staff at the Fair at all times, as there are items of value in the booth. Sawatzke said the County shouldn’t have to pay overtime for someone at the Fair. Hawkins said he is not endorsing overtime. It is good public relations to have a continuous presence at the Fair. Sawatzke asked if Hawkins and his staff were ready to make a decision on the issue, or whether they needed time to think about it. Hawkins asked if there were any other options. Sawatzke said the only options to use the time in the same pay period are comp time, or time and a half. Meyer said the current plan was working well. He said staff policed themselves well.
Sawatzke asked the length of the shifts at the Fair. Meyer said the shifts are usually twelve hours, from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Two employees staff the booth at a time. Sawatzke suggested only having one employee staff the booth. It would be a lot easier to track 60 employee hours versus 120.
Kelly said further discussion is advisable. He said he favored using up the time with the same pay period. He agreed that staffing the Fair is good for public relations.
Recommendation: Memorandum Of Understanding to stipulate that staff time spent working at the County Fair should be used within the same pay period.
III. Request to Hire Full-Time Temporary Sign Maintenance Worker.
Cordell distributed a document titled “Wright County Traffic Signing Needs” (see attached). Hawkins explained that one of the full-time Sign Maintenance Workers is out on leave for an undetermined time. The Highway Department is nearing its busy season. Ordinarily Cordell has two full-time Sign Maintenance Workers and two temporary staff for the summer.
Cordell said the Highway Department needs at least one temporary full-time Sign Maintenance Worker. Due to the absence of a seasoned Sign Maintenance Worker, there will be no time to train or supervise summer help this year. Cordell said the computerized sign inventory system is too complex to teach in a short time.
Recommendation: Approve request to hire full-time temporary Sign Maintenance Worker.
IV. Performance Review: Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator.
Recommendation: Based on four reviews received, the Committee recommended a rating of “Exceeds Expectations.”
(End of 3-24-15 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 3-24-15. Husom moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke. L. Kelly said staff have developed a parking plan which will place the motor pool vehicles in the south lot behind the Assessor’s Office. The Administration Department will implement this change. The motion carried 5-0. The 3-24-15 Ways & Means Committee Minutes follow:
I. Motor Pool.
Vergin distributed a document entitled “Motor Pool Vehicle Usage” (see attached). Kelly said the program is ready to launch pending County Board approval. The Information Technology Department modified an online reservation system that Health & Human Services uses. Vergin said the front lobby receptionist will serve as the primary contact for staff who wish to reserve a Motor Pool vehicle. The Office Technician in Administration will be the secondary contact.
Vergin said each department will be billed at 40 cents per mile. At the end of the year, Administration will evaluate the costs. If any additional costs remain, they will be distributed among County departments based on the percentage of use.
Vergin said three vehicles are ready, and a fourth one will arrive soon from Court Services. This year will be a time to refine the system. Long term, Administration hopes to see the number of Motor Pool vehicles increase as departments with their own County vehicles find it more cost effective to participate in the Motor Pool.
Vergin said the policy encourages the use of the Motor Pool and discourages the use of personal vehicles. It also establishes an emergency contact procedure, requires staff who drive the vehicles to have valid drivers’ licenses, track mileage, report mechanical issues, refuel at the Highway Department pumps, and keep the vehicles clean. The recommendation is to park the Motor Pool vehicles at the South lot behind the old Sheriff’s area.
Sawatzke said they can review in six months. Kelly said they will probably identify a few details to modify as the motor pool is implemented.
Recommendation: Approve Motor Pool Vehicle Usage Policy.
(End of 3-24-15 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Sawatzke moved to authorize Potter to attend the 44th Annual MN Transportation Alliance Washington Fly-In being held in Washington, D.C. on June 2-4, 2015. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. Potter said he intends to focus on federal funding for transportation issues relative to I-94. Part of that includes six lanes to Monticello because of the nuclear evacuation route.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Husom, all voted to authorize attendance at the King Banaian Wright County Economic Outlook event on 5-13-15 at 11:30 A.M. in Annandale.
Correspondence was received from Wright County Community Action (WCCA) indicating that the appointed term of Daniel Dawson as Public Sector Representative on the WCCA Board of Directors will end on 5-13-15. The request from the WCCA is for the Board to reappoint Dawson to another three-year term. Borrell moved to reappoint Daniel Dawson to another three-year term on the WCCA Board of Directors, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Sawatzke, all voted to schedule an Owner’s Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 4-22-15 at 10:30 A.M.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 5-12-15 at 10:30 A.M. (following the Board Meeting) regarding the 2016 Budget.
L. Kelly introduced discussion on the Public Works bond issuance timeline. An Owner’s Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held in late February on financing and the bond issuance. The Board indicated at that time that they wanted to push back the timeline on issuing or refinancing bonds. Kelly said a 2-3 month process is involved and so wanted to clarify with Board members whether they would like to move forward with seeking proposal for bond counsel services. Discussion followed on selection of bond counsel and time associated with obtaining bids. There is a 60-day window to obtain funding once a firm has been selected. Daleiden made a motion to direct Kelly to seek three bond counsel proposals, seconded by Sawatzke. The motion was amended to include that Springsted Inc. and Ehlers and Associates, Inc. be contacted as two of the three firms to seek proposals from. Borrell will provide Kelly with the name of another firm to contact. The motion carried 5-0.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates
1. GRRL. Potter attended a recent GRRL meeting where they discussed the procedures which will be used to interview for the Executive Director position. Interviews will be held on 4-09-15 so he will not attend the Township Officers Meeting that evening.
2. Central MN EMS. Husom said Steve’s Law (House File and Senate File) has an amendment which would direct $850,000 to the MN Department of Health and divided amongst the eight EMS regions to help coordinate training and assist with narcan purchases, which is used to save lives for people that are overdosing and on heroin, etc.
3. I-94. Potter said there was an I-94 project open house in St. Michael last week. They are waiting to pave the last shoulder for the fourth lane. He anticipates a lane shift next week. The lanes will be 11.5’ instead of 12’. The traffic will be shifted to the east bound lanes until July. From July to September traffic will shift to the west bound lanes.
Albertville/City of $2,839.40
American Pressure Inc 136.79
APEC Industrial Sales/Services 590.00
Aramark Services Inc 8,157.99
Association of MN Counties 675.00
Bestfriends Veterinary Clinic 546.98
Bolton & Menk Inc 103.50
BP Amoco 711.29
Bryan Rock Products 140.35
CDW Government Inc 3,515.43
Cenex Fleetcard 1,118.01
Center for Ed. & Employ. Law 159.00
Center Point Energy 3,506.94
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 16,666.20
Chamberlain Oil Co 133.65
Climate Air 705.40
Craguns Corporation 929.70
Crow River Tools 195.98
Databank IMX LLC 5,917.50
Dell Marketing LP 4,603.75
Excel Systems 420.00
Fastenal Company 198.64
Ford of Hibbing 118,645.00
Frontier Precision Inc 654.00
Glunz Constr. Septic Serv. LLC 130.00
Greene Espel PLLP 2,021.81
Hagen, Christensen, McIwain 87,435.27
Hardings Towing Inc 150.00
Harper Brooms 356.25
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 1,442.28
Impact Proven Solutions 19,901.58
Lacount Sales LLC 245.58
Lundeen Brothers Inc 185.41
M & M Express Sales/Service 1,003.88
Madden Galanter Hansen LLP 3,172.15
Marco Inc 1,667.80
Martin Marietta Materials 676.79
McKesson Medical-Surgical 443.33
McLeod County Auditor 517.08
Menards - Buffalo 630.55
Mend Correctional Care LLC 213.19
Metro Group Inc/The 4,349.60
Midway Ford 47,346.14
MN Sheriffs Association 883.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 406.82
O’Reilly Auto Parts 152.79
Office of MN IT Services 111.25
Ranger Chevrolet Inc 31,424.38
RCM Specialties Inc 1,234.87
Regions Hospital 1,212.18
Royal Tire Inc 665.32
SHI International Corp 60,416.00
Spike Tree Service 1,150.00
State Supply Co 165.16
T & S Trucking 12,672.50
Thrifty White Pharmacy 610.34
Total Printing 287.50
United Parcel Service 100.76
Walmart Community RFCS LLC 913.21
Waverly/City of 306.86
Wright County Ag Society 260.00
Wright Co. Auditor Treasurer 2,961.00
Xcel Energy 2,055.89
25 Payments less than $100 1,352.03
Final total $482,304.51
The meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
Published in the Herald Journal April 20, 2015.