WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MAY 19, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 5-12-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
The Agenda was presented. Hiivala requested removal of Consent Agenda Item D, Auditor/Treasurer, “Approve Renewal of Club On Sale Liquor License for Cokato Town & Country Club in Cokato Township.” The Certificate of Liability Insurance needs to be provided by the applicant. Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Husom, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:
Approve Revisions to the Wright County Personnel Policy, Eff. 6-01-15, Definition Section “Probation” and Section 205 “Probationary Period”
Schedule Security Committee Meeting, Closed Session, for 5-27-15 @ 11:00 A.M.
Approve Abatement, PID# 212-000-183300, Brad and Kari Skatter (Middleville Twp.)
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of Wright County taking fiscal ownership of the AgBMP (Agricultural Best Management Practices) Loan Program. Present for discussion was Dwight Wilcox, Department of Agriculture, who works with the AgBMP Loan Program. Hiivala said that Wright County has a septic loan program administered through the CRWD (Clearwater River Watershed District). Hiivala said the AgBMP Program is a program that the SWCD is administering. The SWCD approves participation in larger ag-related programs through local banks. Hiivala understands that banks are requiring collateral which is making it harder for people to participate.
The SWCD and Wilcox met with Wright County to propose Wright County becoming a lender. Hiivala recommends approval of Wright County’s participation in the AgBMP Loan Program. Wright County would serve as the lender, assessing against property taxes, and charging a 3% interest rate. In the case of default, the property would be forfeited to make the County whole. The County could become a lender for other programs, but it will require the adoption of an ordinance.
Wilcox said the 24 Minnesota counties that are participating have limited the loans to septic and wells. Loans for feedlot, tillage equipment, etc. are referred to commercial lending institutions. Borrell asked whether a loan for equipment would decrease the funds available for wells and septic. Wilcox clarified that a county, as a lender, can choose to participate in any loan. The program has $74 million in a revolving State-wide pool. Funds are continually revolved to the same county as old practices are repaid. Over time, counties can request more if funding is exhausted. If counties have a buildup of excess capital and they have run out of projects or priorities, they will be asked to give up the funds for another county. Wilcox said there is a history of cooperation from county to county.
Wilcox said that people would have the choice of securing a loan through a participating bank or through the County. With the decline in property values, property owners have experienced a loss in equity and may not have the collateral to secure a loan against their property. As a lender, the County would have the ability to implement a special assessment against the property so no collateral is required.
Wilcox said the State holds all of the funding. The current availability of funding in Wright County is $200,000 and another $600,000 has already been loaned. All loans, whether through the County or through a lender, will be from the same pool of money. The lender can assess 3% interest on the loan but they are responsible for the loan if the person defaults and they do not have access to collateral. When the County serves as the lender, the State is reimbursed when the special assessment is paid. Hiivala said the County is also responsible for defaults but will have tax forfeiture as the remedy.
Hiivala said interested parties will still go to the SWCD to determine which program fits best. Those referred to the County will be in contact with Bill Stephens, Wright County Planning & Zoning Office. The same procedures will be followed as with the septic loan program.
Wilcox explained that the primary source of funding is from the Federal government and funds must be used to address water pollution prevention reduction. In 1988, the State Legislature provided $4 million in loans for wells that do not comply with drinking water standards. Counties can tap into this funding if an ordinance is adopted setting up procedure. Wells with cracked cases can be funded. If a well has an intact casing with arsenic or nitrates, the well is not the source of the problem. In that situation, State funds would have to be used. State funds can only be used for wells when the intent is to address drinking water standards.
Hiivala recommended adoption of a resolution indicating participation as a lender in the AgBMP Program, and authorizing Hiivala to sign an Agreement with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Hiivala said the County will not be taking over the loans already issued. Daleiden said the SWCD does not have the authority to be a lender as they cannot levy against property taxes.
Borrell made a motion to approve Wright County taking fiscal ownership of the AgBMP Program. As requested by Hiivala, the motion was amended to reflect authorization for Wright County to participate as a lender in the AgBMP Program. The motion was seconded by Husom. Hiivala clarified that with approval of the County as a lender, it will be strictly for the septic loan program. Further action will be required for wells, and equipment is not included. The motion carried 5-0.
Daleiden made a motion to adopt Resolution #15-23 for special assessment as security for loans issued under the Agricultural Best Management Practices Loan Program. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
The claims listing was discussed. Borrell referenced claims for per diems in the Extension Department. Members of the Extension Committee did not understand they were allowed per diems. Therefore, the decision was made to allow reimbursement back to 2014. The Extension budget has funding available from open positions that will be used. On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $309,504.92 with 192 vendors and 351 transactions.
At the request of Hiivala, the consensus of the County Board was to allow the claims listing to be approved as part of the Consent Agenda on future Agendas.
Daleiden would like the cost of doing business (utilities, insurance, workers compensation, etc.) to be included in individual department budgets instead of general government. Hiivala said he can present a report reflecting costs allocated to departments but felt it would be administratively easier to code items such as utilities to a specific line item. Kelly said utilities are coded to Budget 111, Building Care & Maintenance. The bills can notate the facility it is for if that is desired. Daleiden would like to be able to see the cost of doing business per location. Hiivala said it may be difficult to allocate certain expenses to departments. He could work with Kelly to come up with a report showing expenses that could include the cost allocation plan information from Maximus. It was the consensus that Kelly and Hiivala should determine the type of information that can be provided.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, requested the Board schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the FEMA Floodplain Map Modernization Update Project. This project has been ongoing for a few years and has included open houses. It is to the point where decisions need to be made. At the meeting, information will be presented on what has been done thus far. FEMA and the DNR will be invited. Daleiden made a motion to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 6-15-15 at 2:00 P.M. with a backup date of 6-17-15 at 1:00 P.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
Tim Dahl, Risk Manager, said Wright County received a Governor’s Safety Award. Since 1934, the annual Governor’s Safety Awards program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance. Applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with their industry’s national statistics, and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program. Winners are recognized at three levels including Meritorious Achievement, Outstanding Achievement, and Award of Honor. Wright County received the Outstanding Achievement Award for superior performance in workplace safety and health at the Governor’s Safety Awards luncheon on May 7 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Wright County is one of 267 employers to be honored through the awards program, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council.
A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 5-12-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, discussion focused on the quotes for bond advisors. Barry Fick, Springsted, was present for discussion. Fick confirmed that Springsted’s bid will be based on $1 per $1,000 dollars of bonds issued. Sawatzke asked about obtaining the budget for the new Public Works Facility. Kelly had contacted the Highway Engineer. Bid Package #1 is outstanding, but the estimated cost is between $16.5 million and $17 million. Sawatzke asked whether costs include potential change orders and a contingency. Kelly did not ask that specific question but presumed that to be the case. The County will have more information when the bids come in for Bid Package 1. Hiivala made the following corrections to the minutes: Page 1, move Hiivala from “Others Present” to “Members Present.” Sawatzke moved to approve the Budget Committee Of The Whole minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0. Those minutes follow:
I. QUOTES FOR BOND ADVISORS.
Hiivala distributed a packet of documents, including:
• Wright County Requests for Board Action from the 4-14-15 and 4-21-15 County Board Meetings regarding quotes for Bond Counsel; and
• 2015 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Budget Update & Process for 2016 (see attachments).
Hiivala said the County solicited a request for Bond Advisors. The bids were originally presented at the Wright County Board meeting on 4-14-15. At the 4-21-15 meeting, he clarified that the bids were for equivalent services. Hiivala said he asked the three companies to bid for the new bond issue for the Public Works Building (PWB) project, and on refunding and combining the bonds.
Hiivala referred to the third page listing the summary of bids. He said if the Board decided to issue bonds only for the new PWB, the lowest bidder would be Springsted for $18,000. If the bonds were combined, then the bid from Northland Securities would be lowest at $48,575.
Hiivala said the current Bond Advisor for the County is Bruce Kimmel at Ehlers. He said the County has also worked with Springsted in the past. Both were positive experiences.
Sawatzke asked whether the bids would vary depending on the amount of the bond issue, as the quotes show differing bond amounts. Daleiden asked the advantages of refunding. Hiivala said the Springsted bid is $1 per $1,000 dollars of bonds issued. He said refunding gives the County the opportunity to combine the two bonds to save money on the cost of issuance. Kimmel told him the savings would be significant if the bonds are issued together.
Sawatzke said Kimmel also mentioned that if rates increase only marginally or not at all, it would be more advantageous to wait to reissue the existing bond at the call date. Sawatzke said he prefers to bond for the PWB project and wait for the call date on the existing bond. The County will get the best available rate at the time.
Daleiden recommended that the Board approve the Springsted bid of $18,000 based on a new bond issue of $18 million. Borrell concurred.
Sawatzke suggested amending the recommendation without specifying a bond amount until further information is available. He does not feel the project will cost $18 million. He would prefer to issue a more conservative bond amount. Daleiden said they need to go over the budget in order to determine the necessary bond amount, and funds that may be available in reserves. The bond amount will have to be decided in the future. Potter clarified that the recommendation is to go with a new bond issue, and not the refunding or combined bonds.
Hiivala said the attached Springsted documents show the deposit in the construction fund would be $18 million. Springsted would determine how to package the bond before it goes to market.
Sawatzke asked whether the goal is to include the new Impound Lot costs in the new bond, or pay for it outright. Daleiden said that will be determined during the second part of this meeting.
Hiivala said he will speak with Springsted and ask them to label the project as a new construction bond issue. He asked for authorization to contact Springsted today to let them know they were awarded the Bond Advisor role for the County. Daleiden said the approval assumes the quoted price of $1 per $1,000 is similar for a new bond issue only (without refunding or combining bonds). There was consensus among the Board members regarding proceeding in this manner.
Recommendation: Authorize Springsted as Bond Advisor for the County to issue a new bond for the new Public Works Building project, and potentially the new Impound Lot. The bond amount will be determined at the next County Board meeting.
II. 2016 BUDGET WORKSHOP.
Husom said she favors using surplus money to fund the new Impound Lot. The County has been fortunate to have excess funds for the last few years. She would rather withdraw a million dollars from reserve funds than issue bonding for the Impound Lot. Daleiden said other considerations for reserve funds are potential future improvements that the County needs over the next five years. He said he would prefer to take funds from reserves to pay for the Impound Lot instead of bonding for the project, if it is financially feasible. The scope of future projects also have to weigh into this decision.
Sawatzke said the County may incur enough revenues such as prisoner boarding to pay for the Impound Lot. Theoretically, there would be no need to withdraw the money from reserves. Kelly said that is a necessary discussion. He asked the Board if they wish to set aside money every year for a future building project. Borrell said that would set a good precedent. Hiivala said revenue from boarding of prisoners to May 2015 is $221,870. Investment income will not earn $1.3 million. Sawatzke said revenue from prisoner boarding could pay $300,000 to $400,000 of the cost of the Impound Lot.
Hiivala said Assistant County Coordinator Sue Vergin will present a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) update. The Board will need to make decisions regarding funding capital technology. Vergin explained that the balances are anticipated to be expended this year. Two projects that are being pushed into next year are the Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) and the Xerox Property Tax System (ACS) projects. She said they want to make sure those dollars are extended and not reallocated.
Sawatzke said the new bond could be issued for $17 million, which would cover not only the new PWB, but also the new Impound Lot. The County could pay cash for the balance. He suggested they budget for the PWB and determine a specific bond amount at the next County Board meeting.
Hiivala asked whether the Board would like Barry Fick from Springsted to attend the next County Board meeting. The consensus was to invite Fick to attend. Borrell suggested bonding a smaller amount and paying for the rest in cash. Potter said the County is required to have at least three months’ operating expenses in reserves. Hiivala said the County could start earmarking money for future construction. The Board must take formal action to do so, as well as to reverse it. He is expressed concern about coming up with $7 million in the next six months. Currently, the County is cash-rich due to first-half property tax payments. Once they County meets payroll and other expenses, Hiivala said he would have to start selling investments to keep the County functioning.
Sawatzke suggested taking a conservative approach with bonding. He would like to bond a few hundred thousand dollars less than the known costs of the projects. That would avoid any excess bond money being expended on unnecessary items. If the costs go higher than anticipated, the balance owing may be taken out of reserves.
Kelly said he had a few items he wanted to address before the meeting adjourned. The Board has discussed the role and purpose of the CIP in the past. Department Heads have asked him whether a project included in the CIP and approved in September of the budget year has to go before the CIP Budget committee for approval. He would like to clarify that process.
Sawatzke said last year he and Daleiden prioritized which projects would be done this year. They forwarded the projects to the Budget Committee. Daleiden said that was done last June. He asked about upcoming projects for 2016. Vergin said that information is being gathered now, and will be made available to the Board next month.
Daleiden asked whether they should meet about the CIP in June. Sawatzke referred to the first page of Vergin’s handout, “2015 CIP Budget Update & Process for 2016.” He said the Board should allow the Capital Improvement / Finance Committee to take ownership of the CIP and provide a recommendation to the Budget Committee. He said it is often not possible to decide in June whether a project should be included in the budget, since the entire budget isn’t determined at that point. Daleiden asked for direction regarding instructions for Department Heads regarding requests for hiring and new projects. Hiivala said he and Kelly told them to ask for what they need.
Husom directed discussion back to the CIP budget. She favored having the CIP prepared by staff, who would then present items to the Capital Improvement / Finance Committee. Department Heads and staff know their needs. Sawatzke agreed, and said that would be Option 3 as described on the first page of the 2015 CIP Budget Update handout. A recommendation would then be provided to the Budget Committee Of The Whole.
Kelly said he wants to tell Department Heads what the funding sources are for their projects or budget requests at the end of the budget process in September. Daleiden said if the Board approves the request in the CIP plan, the projects should move forward, provided no major issues arise.
Kelly said he will hold a CIP meeting in late June or early July, and then distribute budget work books to Department Heads with instructions to turn them in by late July or early August. The budget meetings will be held in mid-August and early September.
Recommendation: Authorize staff to prepare the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and present to the Capital Improvement / Finance Committee. Approved CIP requests will be submitted to the Budget Committee Of The Whole.
(End of 5-12-15 Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Sawatzke made a motion authorizing Wright County to proceed with a bond issuance with Springsted at a figure of $17 million for the Public Works Facility. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Hiivala said a letter of engagement will be presented at the next Board Meeting for approval. Further discussion occurred on current interest rates, and the length and call date of the bonds. The motion carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 5-13-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0. The Building Committee minutes follow:
I. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES BUILDING REMODEL MODIFICATION.
Schwartz stated that approval was received previously to implement modifications at the Health & Human Services Building. One of the modifications included creating a wall between reception and the workspace directly behind reception. Quotes were received from Intereum (attached) and costs were higher than anticipated at approximately $4,600. A quote was obtained from Ernst Construction (attached) to install a permanent wall at a cost of $2,200. Adding a window in the door would be an additional $101.
The purpose of the wall is to mitigate noise. Gillman said the quotes from Intereum are high due to the use of Plexiglas to bring the panels to the ceiling. The consensus is that the quote from Ernst Construction is preferred due to cost. Gillman will follow up with the Building Maintenance Supervisor on the electrical setup, sprinklers, and ventilation but those appear to be adequate. Kelly requested that Gillman work with Building Maintenance and Purchasing.
General discussion occurred on safety and security improvements that were suggested after the Active Shooter presentation that staff attended. Schwartz stated that some items have been completed but there are some remaining that should be addressed. Those will be brought forth at a future Building Committee meeting. Daleiden said panic buttons were approved previously for the 3rd Floor and should be implemented.
Recommendation: Approve the quote from Ernst Construction for $2,301 (includes the window in the door) with funding from Budget 100, Site Improvements. Building Maintenance will paint the wall. It was the consensus not to key the door at this time but it can be added at a later date if needed.
(End of 5-13-15 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 5-13-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke. Borrell asked about adding a full-time deputy for an additional four hours of law enforcement coverage in Albertville. Sawatzke explained that an economic analysis was provided to the Committee but a full-time deputy covers about 32 hours with training, etc. With a first year deputy, the County may realize additional revenue but at the highest pay the County loses money. The motion carried 5-0. The Personnel Committee minutes follow:
I. ADDITIONAL DEPUTY POSITION DUE TO INCREASE IN PATROL CONTRACT HOURS.
Hoffman said there are officially 138 deputies employed through the Sheriff’s Office. However, one is a temporary filling in for someone on leave. When the permanent deputy returns, the staffing level will drop to the approved level of 137.
Miller distributed several documents:
1. A letter from Albertville City Administrator Adam Nafstad regarding increasing law enforcement coverage effective 7-01-15;
2. A document entitled “Request for Additional Deputy to Fulfill Albertville Contract Increase of 4 Hours,” and
3. A spreadsheet entitled, “2015 Contracts.”
Miller said Albertville is requesting four additional hours of coverage per day effective 7-01-15. The second document outlines the personnel costs to provide this coverage. Miller said there are also vehicle and maintenance costs. He estimated that approximately $20,000 in costs will be incurred, in addition to the total annual personnel costs of $65,531.17. Miller said contract revenue from Albertville will increase $94,170 per year for the additional 4 hours per day. He added that these figures were for an entry level deputy at $21.40 per hour. In summary, the additional revenue from the Albertville contract will be $94,170, with costs increasing to about $85,000. Miller said there could be additional changes between now and the end of the year. The current contract rate is $64.50 per hour.
Miller said the request is to add one more deputy to the roster by August of this year. That will temporarily bring the total to 139. When the person on leave returns, the staffing level will drop to 138. He added that there are three openings currently. Hoffman said it takes about three months from the start of the hiring process, including training, before a new deputy gets on the road. Sawatzke said they may begin the hiring process for the additional deputy pending approval from the County Board at the 5-19-15 meeting.
Recommendation: Approve hiring one additional full-time deputy.
(End of 5-13-15 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Security Committee Meeting was held on 5-13-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell said the Committee would like direction from the County Board on how long it will be before Courts is moved to the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) site. That will impact the decisions made on improvements at the Government Center. Borrell suggested a Committee Of The Whole (COTW) Meeting. He stated there are relatively inexpensive changes that can be done at the Government Center relating to security. Another recommendation of the Security Committee is to hold future meetings in closed session due to the subject matter. Borrell made a motion to approve the 5-13-15 Security Committee Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Husom. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said notice and purpose of a closed session will need to be posted. Kelly added that there is a recording requirement under Statute. Notes will be taken but not official minutes. Asleson will review that requirement and provide an opinion to Kelly. Asleson did not suggest written minutes of the meeting.
Daleiden referenced the minutes. He asked whether those listed under “Others Present” should actually be listed under “Members Present.” Discussion also included who should be present during closed sessions. Asleson said that with closed sessions, it is not unusual and is appropriate for affected staff to be present, as well as any Committee members. Designees of Committee members may attend. Members of the public cannot attend a closed session. Kelly said for purposes of the minutes, those listed under “Others Present” should be moved to “Members Present” as that is consistent with the membership set by the Board. Borrell said he and Husom agree there should be discussion on how each Board member feels relative to investing at the Government Center for Courts to delay the inevitable building at the LEC location. That information is not necessary for the next Security Committee meeting.
Sawatzke said a suggestion discussed previously was to have an arraignment court at the LEC. That would eliminate the need to transport inmates. However, the judges need to be supportive of that type of arrangement. Sawatzke suggested the possibility of video arraignments. He asked Asleson the status of the constitutionality of those arraignments. Asleson did not feel it was as much of a problem with constitutionality as with objections from the court or public defenders. Sawatzke said video arraignments are occurring all over the country. He said this is something that might work in the interim until Courts is moved to the LEC location in the future. Asleson said ITV is utilized for certain mental health commitment hearings and with sexually dangerous offenders. He is unsure whether this can be explored in the context of the Security Committee, but it may be as it is a security issue relative to the transport of inmates. Sawatzke asked that Husom and Borrell have this discussion at the Security Committee meeting. He said the judges needed to affirm that they are willing to explore video arraignments before a COTW meeting is scheduled. Borrell asked to schedule the COTW meeting shortly after the 5-27-15 Security Committee Meeting. Potter suggested Borrell place that request on a Board Agenda following the Security Committee Meeting. The motion carried 5-0. The 5-13-15 Security Committee Minutes follow:
II. ESTABLISH COMMITTEE GOALS.
Kelly said the County Board authorized the establishment of the Security Committee (Committee) in March 2015. His goal is to create a forum for all Departments. Kelly said future Security Committee meetings may be closed in accordance with State Statute. Borrell recommended that all future Security Committee meetings be closed. The consensus was to meet in closed session in the future.
Borrell said initial topics could include:
• Perceived threats and security issues based on Department input; and
• Areas to invest County resources to mitigate issues.
Kelly proposed that the Committee bring up issues, incidents, and near-misses at every meeting. He asked how frequently Committee members would like to meet. Borrell preferred monthly. Tschumper said some issues may require meeting more often. There was discussion regarding availability of Committee members.
Husom said the first priority is to set ground rules before discussion. Husom suggested setting short- and long-term goals. For example, a long-term goal might be relocating Courts and related Departments to a new building by the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). That time frame has not yet been set. She asked for input on short-term goals.
Tschumper mentioned a recent incident in one of the courtrooms that presented a serious security risk. Judge Tenney said the deputy was very effective at de-escalating the incident.
MacMillan addressed the structure of the Committee. He met with a number of other Department Heads recently. MacMillan said there appears to be confusion among Departments regarding what is being done to improve security at the County. He asked what measures are being taken to ensure the safety and security of Department staff. MacMillan said security issues must be identified. He has been tracking incidents and following up with debriefings. MacMillan said the Committee should document such incidents. Dahl said he monitors near misses in his position as County Safety Coordinator. MacMillan said this Committee should decide how to monitor incidents.
Dahl said two challenges with County security include a fragmented (versus unified) approach, and accountability. He also recommended closed sessions for this Committee to help mitigate liability from near misses. MacMillan said building and staffing assessments should be done.
Lutes said his biggest concern is protecting staff. Judge McPherson agreed. She asked Husom and Borrell if the County Board could give the Courts a general time frame regarding when the new Courts building project would begin. Judge McPherson said she understands that it is a long-term goal. However, in order to plan in the short term, the Courts need to be aware of the County’s long-term plans.
Kelly agreed that a time frame should be set. The last facilities assessment was done in 2004, and focused on the Government Center building. There was an impetus to do another assessment in 2011, but was voted down by a prior County Board. Perhaps the current Board could address that subject again. Husom said that would provide the County and the Courts with a time frame within which to work. Judge McPherson said the only assessment done recently related to Courts space needs, but will not comment on constructing a new building. Kelly said the Board could look at long-range planning for a new Courts building. Borrell was concerned about incurring more debt. Scherber said planning and spending are two different things. A study would provide the Board with the information they need to plan for the future.
Borrell said he realizes the Courts are cramped. He said if the recommendation is to plan for three years from now, he will vote against it. Judge McPherson said the Board asked the Courts to do a space study. They are not asking the Board to make a decision about building soon. The Courts need to know when it would be financially feasible. Borrell said he is opposed to building in the next five years. Husom said planning takes years, and doing so will enable the Board to proceed at the most appropriate time.
Borrell said a lot can be done now to make the current facilities more secure, and at a reasonable cost. Judge McPherson recommended that the Committee ask the County Board to decide on an approximate time frame when the new Courts building project may begin. Borrell and Husom agreed.
MacMillan said a new Courts facility has been discussed for fifteen or more years. The time has come given the security issues faced at the Government Center. Tschumper said the public is also at risk in the Courts area due to overcrowding. Staff has to juggle rooms, and it has slowed Court Administration staff in disposing of cases in a timely manner.
Dahl said from a risk perspective, the longer the Board delays, the more expensive the new Courts building will be. He encouraged planning to replace the Courts facility. Dahl asked how much it costs to run the Government Center (GC) versus a new building.
Judge Tenney said it would not be worth remodeling the courtrooms if it costs five to ten million dollars. Dahl said if the County can secure debt at a lower rate, the project could be done sooner and cheaper than five or ten years in the future.
Dahl said increasing communication and updating the County Emergency Action Plan with lockdown procedures would be a start. Borrell said those are low cost items. He said if the Committee prioritizes, they could implement ten ideas by the end of the year. They need to decide on specific goals, get quotes, and submit requests to the County Board.
MacMillan suggested touring Anoka, Carver, and Washington County court centers. Borrell said that was not necessary. Kelly said the County can learn from the experience of other counties. Borrell preferred to begin with implementing ideas to improve security in the current building. He said perhaps a tour would be beneficial later.
Judge Tenney said the scope of this Committee should include short- and long-term goals. Each category would contain sub-items for security, policy, and training. Tschumper distributed a document from her to County Department Heads related to a special training session on courthouse security and emergency response, to be held Thursday, 6-18-15 at the Tenth Judicial District Office in Ramsey, Minnesota (see attachment). She invited the Committee to attend. She also suggested they arrange to sit through a judge’s calendar and experience the different courtroom situations at the County.
There was discussion regarding how space study results, financial analysis related to bond and interest rates, and the County’s debt load would assist with determining short- and long-term goals. Husom asked how many courtrooms the Courts need. Tschumper said that will be more evident after they receive the current space study results.
Kelly said Committee members could come to the next meeting with a list of short-term goals and known security issues. Judge Tenney suggested that short- and long-term goals be standing Committee agenda items, with training, policy, and security issues as sub-items.
Judge Tenney said a single repository could be established related to near misses and other incidents. Dahl agreed. He has information on the County intranet related to incidents and near misses. He is familiar with the various safety committees. Compiling that information would be of value to the Committee. He would like to be the go-to person for the Committee for these issues. He said the County will aggressively train on safety issues in 2016.
The consensus was to convene the Security Committee again on 5-27-15 at 11:00 A.M.
1) Schedule the next Security Committee on 5-27-15 at 11:00 AM.
2) All future Security Committee meetings will be held in closed sessions.
3) Standing Security Committee Agenda items to include short-term and long-term goals.
III. IDENTIFY AND DISCUSS SECURITY ISSUES.
There was consensus to begin this discussion with the next closed session.
(End of 5-13-15 Security Committee Minutes)
Potter announced that on 6-18-15, the Tenth Judicial District is holding a training session in Ramsey at 1:00 P.M. on emergency response. Daleiden made a motion to authorize County Board members to attend, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
The meeting recessed at 10:35 A.M. and reconvened at 10:42 A.M.
Kelly said a letter was sent to the Anoka and Sherburne County Boards relating to the funding formula for the Tri County Regional Forensic Crime Lab. The letter reflects that in September, 2014, the Wright County Board indicated their intent to consider withdrawing from the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) if changes to the funding formula were not adopted prior to the end of June 2015. It further outlines the requested funding formula based on 60 percent population and 40 percent usage, and includes an invitation for the three counties to meeting jointly prior to the 6-23-15 Wright County Board Meeting where this issue will be discussed. Kelly also contacted the BCA to inquire about a tour for County Board members.
Kelly said a response was received from Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart. The letter indicates that Sheriff Stuart will consult with the Anoka and Sherburne County Boards as to whether they are willing to re-visit this topic again either at their 8-11-15 Regional Forensic Lab Meeting or at a larger Tri-County meeting.
Sawatzke said the funding formula for the Crime Lab is part of the JPA and not what the Regional Forensics Laboratory Advisory Board should be concerned with. The funding formula is approved by the County Boards of participating Counties. He said the response should come from the Anoka County Board, and he did not feel this should wait until the 8-11-15 Meeting. The Advisory Board does not have the authority to change the JPA.
Kelly stated that was in contact with both Administrators from Anoka and Sherburne Counties and subsequently forwarded copies of Wright County’s COTW minutes on this topic. The Administrators expressed interest on how the 60/40 funding formula was arrived at. Kelly stressed to them that the information should be placed in the hands of their County Board members. The information was also sent to the Sheriff of each member County. Daleiden made a motion to direct Kelly to follow up with the Administrators of Anoka and Sherburne Counties to assure the County Boards have been made aware of this issue. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Husom.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
1. I-94 Chamber of Commerce. Potter attended the Annual Meeting. Two First Responders were honored from Wright County including former Fire Chief Tate Mills and Assistant Fire Chief Gordy Dehmer from St. Michael.
2. Economic Development Partnership. Potter said the EDP toured the Room and Board facility on 5-15-15. They also lease space in Rogers. Room and Board will eventually occupy the entire 400,000 sq. ft. building. The EDP is receiving more inquiries on business distribution centers in Wright County.
3. Solar Farm Tour of St. John’s University. Sawatzke, Husom and Borrell attended the tour. Sawatzke said the tour provided an outstanding understanding of solar panels, including general and technical information. The St. John’s site currently is 4 acres but will increase to 23 acres in the future. The excess energy produced in the summer is sold to Xcel Energy. Sawatzke encouraged other Board members to attend a tour to become more informed on this topic.
4. Husom said that the Wright County website recently include an emergency alert notice for the closing of CR 35 by Wolf Swamp. She supports this type of notice on the website.
5. Safe Communities. Husom said that crash statistics provided by the Highway Engineer reflect that at a four-way stop, there are 32 points of possible contact. In a roundabout, there are only 4.
Advanced Disposal Services $395.71
AGC Networks Inc 34,886.77
Ameripride Services 617.21
Archonix Billing 4,250.00
Benson Psychological 297.00
Black Box Resale Services 151.00
Boyer Truck Parts 111.29
Buff N Glo Inc 139.62
Buffalo Hospital 3,442.90
Carten/Dr Roger 500.00
CDW Government Inc 750.45
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 2,625.46
Central Fire Protection 204.00
Central McGowan Inc 189.48
Chamberlain Oil Co 128.88
Clearwater Township 559.80
Community Lawn Care 247.00
Core Professional Services 800.00
Corporate Payment Systems 4,911.87
Culligan of Buffalo 600.00
Dell Marketing LP 6,715.48
Election Sys. & Software Inc 9,749.08
Engel/Dale L 200.00
Franklin Township 4,000.00
Hancock Concrete Products 3,213.20
Hardings Towing Inc 150.00
Hewlett Packard 4,562.28
Interstate Automotive 300.00
Jerrys Towing & Repair 157.00
LaPlant Demo Inc 550.83
Larson Associates Inc 2,400.00
Lawson Products Inc 554.89
M & M Express Sales/Service 139.90
Marco Inc 462.00
Menards - Buffalo 389.37
Midway Ford 34,276.00
Mini Biff LLC 179.02
Minn. Dept. of Human Serv. 1,292.29
Minnesota Monitoring 1,462.00
MN Assn of Co. Probation Ofcrs 125.00
MN Bureau of Crim. Apprehen. 480.00
MN Continuing Legal Ed 1,025.00
Mn Counties Comp. Coop. 7,634.85
MN Co. Engineers Association 100.00
MN Dept of Labor & Industry 1,751.67
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 230.00
Monticello Towing LLC 150.00
Morries Parts & Service Grp. 550.78
Motorola Inc 13,527.45
Nelson Auto Center 25,855.95
Neopost Great Plains 199.50
Net Transcripts Inc 1,412.90
Office Depot 264.07
Office of MN IT Services 2,100.00
Pleasureland Rv Center Inc 222.82
Prairie Lakes Youth Programs 5,910.00
Precision Prints of Wright Co 412.92
Pts of America LLC 1,373.13
Royal Tire Inc 829.99
Running’s Supply Inc 481.96
Ryan Chevrolet 106.42
Southside Township 455.80
Suburban Tire Wholesale Inc 5,032.80
Summit Companies 2,258.75
Terning Excavating Inc 74,775.26
Tomar Electronics 1,975.00
United Parcel Service 112.35
Verizon Wireless 10,006.15
W D Larson Companies LTD 235.02
Waste Management of WI-MN 334.73
West Payment Center 1,238.90
Wright County Highway Dept 4,297.23
Wright Hennepin Electric 157.45
WSB & Associates Inc 2,831.85
Zee Medical Service 178.85
Zuercher Technologies LLC 2,090.00
25 Payments less than $100 1,147.51
Final total $309,504.92
The meeting adjourned at 10:58 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 8, 2015.