Wright County Board Minutes

JANUARY 23, 2018
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
The following correction was made to the 1-09-18 County Board Minutes: Page 2, 7th paragraph, 4th line should read, “He questioned whether that is the right thing to do as a government entity to hand pick an ordinance for a particular entity” (Husom); Page 3, paragraph 3, line 3, the sentence should read, “A State license is required” (Husom). Vetsch moved to approve the 1-09-18 County Board Minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
The Agenda was reviewed. Daleiden asked that the date be corrected from “2017” to “2018”. Potter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom, and carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Husom referenced Item D1, “Approval of the Pay Equity Implementation Report for 2017” and noted this might be of interest to people. Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said the County is required to submit the Report every three years. The document will be forwarded to the State. On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Adopt Corrected Non-Union 2018 Wage Scale
1. Authorize Attendance At Wright County SWCD Annual Planning Meeting, 2-01-18 @ 8:30 AM, Community Room Jail/LEC
1. Refer To Personnel Committee: A. Review Of Proposed Teleworks Procedures & Guidelines
1. Approval of the Pay Equity Implementation Report for 2017
1. Claim - Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, December 2017 Services, $1,466.44
1. Approve Master Subscriber Agreement with State Court Administration
1. Refer To Ways & Means Committee Amended Joint Powers Agreement With Wright Soil & Water Conservation District for Wetland Conservation Act
A. Authorize Signatures On Contract For Dangerous Dog Services With Crossroads Animal Shelter
1. Position Replacement:
A. Taxation Process Specialist
2. Approve Renewal Of Seasonal On Sale Liquor License For Whispering Pines Golf Club
3. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between January 3, 2018 And January 16, 2018
1. Refer to the 1-24-18 Technology Committee:
A. Zuercher Update
B. Onbase Standardization
C. Project Prioritization
1. Accept A Donation Of Wildlife Mounts To Be Used As Part Of The Educational Displays At Robert Ney Regional Park and Environmental Education Center.
2. Bid Openings Scheduled At The Parks and Recreation Office:
A. 1-30-18 @ 1:00 PM, Bertram Chain Of Lakes Regional Park-Consulting Services
B. 2-06-18 @ 2:00 PM, Collinwood Regional Park Improvements
1. Position Replacement:
A. Communications Officer
1. Position Replacement:
A. Deputy
1. Approve The 2017-2018 Otsego SRO Contract
Employee Introduction - Britta Holland, IT Project Portfolio Analyst
Tagarro introduce Britta Holland who was hired in November, 2017, as the IT Project Portfolio Analyst. Holland was welcomed.
Approve Release Of North Fork Crow River One Watershed One Plan For 60-Day Public Comment Period
O’Hare and Sander requested County Board approval to release the North Fork River One Watershed One Plan for the 60-day public comment period. The draft Plan and Appendices are located on the CROW’s homepage, www.crowriver.org. The Board requested that the link be placed on the Wright County homepage as well. Sander noted that the documents are large and may take a few minutes to download.
Three informational meetings will occur during the public comment period and will be located in various areas of the watershed. The meetings will be coordinated with neighboring counties. At the end of the 60-day comment period, a public hearing will be scheduled that will utilize the policy committee for the One Watershed One Plan. Borrell serves on this committee.
Borrell supports proceeding to the comment period. He was unable to attend the last meeting so hasn’t reviewed the final draft. However, he thought it was close to what they had discussed. He does not want this to become a taxing authority and suggests adding that to the comment area. Wright County pays the highest share. Sander said the formula is based on land in the watershed and population. Potter said there were concerns voiced about Wright County having the most land and one vote. He supports making sure the language reflects these concerns. Borrell said there are two watershed districts in the One Watershed One Plan and so certain counties end up with a double vote. He said they have to trust they are doing what is best for the watershed.
Potter moved to approve the release of the North Fork Crow River One Watershed One Plan for a 60-day public comment period. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Schedule a Public Hearing for the Local Comprehensive Water Management Plan
O’Hare stated a public hearing is required for an amendment to the Local Comprehensive Water Management Plan. On a motion by Borrell, second by Vetsch, all voted to set the public hearing for 2-20-18 at 9:30 A.M. as part of the County Board Meeting.
Approve A Plat “Registered Land Survey No. 45” (Silver Creek Twp.)
Vetsch moved to approve the Plat. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
Approve Temporary Liquor License For A.B.A.T.E. Of Minnesota, Inc. For Event On 2/3/2018
This is for an event at Rockford Township Hall on 2-03-18. All documents have been signed and the fees have been paid. Potter moved to approve the Temporary Liquor License, seconded by Husom. Potter noted that A.B.A.T.E. stands for “American Bikers Advocating Training & Education.” The idea behind the group is to educate not legislate. Education of the public is viewed as the first step. The motion carried 5-0.
Approve Temporary Liquor License For Maple Lake-Lake Properties Assn., Inc. For Event On 2/3/2018
This is for the ice fishing derby on Maple Lake on 2-03-18. All documents have been signed and the fees have been paid. Husom moved to approve the Temporary Liquor License, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0.
Approve December Cash Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report
Hiivala explained the Report is reflected on a cash basis. He referenced Page 17 reflecting a $1.9 million transfer to the General Fund. He referenced Page 35, Boarding of Prisoners, with anticipated revenue of $700,000 and actual revenues of $1.69 million. He said those two figures almost offset one another. He will modify the Report in February to an accrual basis and present 2017 figures again sometime in March.
Potter moved to approve the December Cash Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Review And Act On Recommendations From The Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council And The Wright County Parks Commission:
A. Authorize Director Of Parks And Recreation To Explore And Discuss With Willing Seller The Feasibility Of Adding Additional Lands To Stanley Eddy Park Reserve Including Appraisal Process
The parcel is landlocked within Stanley Eddy Park. The Parks Commission recommends obtaining a fair market value appraisal of fair market value. Potter moved to approve, seconded by Vetsch, and carried 5-0.
B. Appoint Jim Lindberg, Resident Of Monticello, As An At-Large Representative To The Bertram Chain Of Lakes Advisory Council
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Borrell, all voted to appoint Jim Lindberg as an At-Large Representative to the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council. Lindberg was formerly a School Board Representative on the Bertram Advisory Council and is active in the Friends of Bertram Lakes group.
C. Review and Approve Recommended Changes To The By-Laws For The Bertram Chain Of Lakes Advisory Council
In 2014, the County Board established the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council and approved of the By-Laws (Resolution #14-11). The Advisory Council recommends minor language changes:
A. Article II, Membership, reflecting a reduction from a 13 to a 12 member Board.
B. Article VII, Committees, a reduction from four active committees to three active committees, removing “Negotiations Committee” and modifying “Park Use Committee” to reflect “Regional/Passive Park Use Committee.”
C. Mattice said the document was originally adopted by resolution but that is not a requirement so the associated language will be stricken.
Vetsch moved to approve the bylaws as amended for the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Approve 12-20-17 Transportation Committee of the Whole Minutes (TCOTW) & Act On Recommendations
Hawkins distributed a revised set of TCOTW minutes based on public input received. He stated that minutes of meetings are not verbatim and are meant to be a summary of discussion rather than a detailed account of what everyone says. The revisions are on Page 2 and relate to the discussion on Construction Projects Update for Highway 18. Husom requested the minutes be amended to include listing all attendees based on the sign in sheet.
Husom moved to approve the amended TCOTW Minutes, seconded by Potter. Mattice stated that during the discussion for Briarwood Avenue, the potential funding source for the study was not identified. Hawkins anticipates the cost at $8,000-$10,000. Vetsch said the cost will be split between the City and the County. It was the consensus that it made sense to fund this from the Parks budget. Potter asked about soil borings for the Highway 18 project. Hawkins stated that a decision on how to proceed will be made in the next week based on an evaluation by technical engineers. Potter said there has been reference made that there are cost overruns but thought this was unwarranted as there are no facts to back that up. He suggested letting the public know the results of the borings tests and what options are available. Hawkins stated that the estimated County cost share is $2 million. With the soil correction, it appears the cost will be $2.2 million. Project information pages for the Highway 38 and Highway 18 projects are available on the website. The motion carried 5-0. The revised TCOTW Minutes follow:
1. Introduction: Mark Daleiden opens meeting.
2. 2018 Wright County Transportation Plan Update
Virgil Hawkins gave an update. The Highway Dept. received proposals from two engineering firms. This is a long range plan that looks beyond our current 5 yr. plan. The county budgeted $100,000 in 2018. While it does exceed the county budget, we received financial commitments from St. Michael, Otsego and Albertville totaling $30,000. MnDOT may also contribute financially towards the plan but no solid commitment as of this date. The county staff reviewed the two proposals received, one with an estimated cost of $139,600 from SRF and the other for $169,000. Highway would like to hire SRF to do the plan. Hilgart asked why they wanted to go with SRF? Hawkins explained that not only were they the low bid, but they have done many similar projects for MnDOT and other local agencies.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus that a recommendation be made to the Wright County Board of Commissioners to accept the proposal and hire SRF for this project.
3. Construction Projects Update (Highway 9, 38 and 18)
9: Chad Hausmann gave an update on said projects. Construction plans are being prepared by consulting engineer incorporating county roadway improvements with needed city utility upgrades. Approx. 75% complete. Acquisition of necessary easements (9 parcels) will begin in January 2018 with construction planned to begin in the spring. It is expected to take a full construction season to complete. Potter tells Hausmann that people are happy with this improvement but make sure it is done correctly.
38: Mark Daleiden asked about 38. Construction plans for 38 (from O’Dean to TH101) are being prepared and are approx. 75% complete. Offers have been presented to all property owners where easements are needed. Over 1⁄2 the involved properties have agreed to offers at this time. Construction is planned for May 2018 and estimated to be completed fall 2018. Daleiden asked Jeremy Carlson what notice he sent out to residents on 38. Carlson said survey work and boring notices were sent and that the project was upcoming. Potter says it will be a great project for that area as it will alleviate much congestion. Daleiden asked about a speed study being completed MnDOT on 38 by Martin Farms. Hausmann said they wanted to establish a speed limit there and MnDOT has completed the field work for the speed study on 38 (from 19 to TH101). There is a disagreement within MnDOT to make an official determination, which we are currently waiting on.
18: Preliminary plans are nearing completion. Revisions have been made to reduce the impacts/address concern of property owners. Final construction plans are expected to be completed within the next month.
An appraiser will be hired shortly to determine the land acquisition values. Construction is planned for May 2018, but impacts and detours must wait until the school year is over in early June. The contract will require the roadway to reopen to traffic by the beginning of the new 2018-2019 school year. Daleiden asked if it will go into school time for sure? Hausmann said that depends on the soil borings – did new soil borings yesterday, we should be able to get the project done in the summer time frame. The road will be open for school regardless, and work may extend into 2019.
Potter asked about the Haus property – how much were impacts reduced? Hausmann said it was reduced from 0.8 acres to about 0.3 acres. Vetsch asked if they are doing a roundabout on 18. Hausmann said yes. Hausmann said they are finishing study on roundabouts vs. a 4 way stop at the intersection of MacIver/Hwy.18 and Naber Ave/Hwy.18. Looking at crash rates, in comparison based on other roadways. Looking at volume and delay and if in the long term it can handle the traffic. Potter asked about future developments – how do they plan for handling the extra traffic? Hausmann said this is based on the future development proposals themselves, they will determine if there is a need to improve the highways to handle the extra traffic. Developers would then be responsible for any additional improvements. Daleiden asked if they are closing off an entrance to Big Woods Elementary? Hausmann said they are talking of potentially adding an entrance East of Naber – to give alternates. Potter asked if the St Michael fire chief has been made aware of alternate routes? Yes, he’s been made aware. Hausmann stated that they are doing a traffic study which will let them know what they need to do for school access routes during construction.
Daleiden opened the discussion for comments by attendees with any new business. Darlene Haus asked if there are any state or fed funds being used for the roundabouts? Hausmann said there are no state or federal funds being used by the county. The City may be using state funds for their share and says the plans will go thru MNDOT review. Haus asked, in reference to MacIver & 18, what is the critical crash rate at that intersection, adding that the numbers she has do not match up to what the county has given her. She indicated that the Sheriff’s Dept. Crash map analysis tool showed zero accidents on the entire stretch and both intersections from May 2015 to the present and that the above average crash rate applies to half of all existing intersections in the county, and what really mattered was the critical crash rate.
Hawkins said they look at current traffic volume and 20yr projected volumes. He said that adding a roundabout provides more safety and reduces crashes, especially severe crashes. Haus questioned the critical crash data and made mention of there being no need to add a roundabout. Haus stated that the traffic data she had from the Wright County Highway Department went back to 2006, showing no fatalities. Daleiden added that the ultimate goal is to reduce the potential for any type of accident, not just critical, and this would include looking ahead at future potential. Accompanying Haus is Jack Fulton who commented that the only real way to prevent critical crashes is to not drive. Haus then continued, stating that she “wanted to remind everyone that the farm is in Ag Preserve. And when a woman says NO, it means NO. It’s a No take option.” Haus continued and mentioned two vehicles that had trespassed on her property, one being an unidentified Wright County Surveyor vehicle and the other a truck (Glacial Ridge Drilling) who Haus stated told her Wright County Highway Dept informed them that the property was “a community owned garden and had permission to park there.” Haus stated she called their (Glacial Ridge Drilling) dispatch to have the truck removed. Haus stated to the committee that she wouldn’t tolerate any more trespassing on her property and to make sure any county vehicles stayed within the right of way.
No further comments.
4. Federal Funding (FY2022) Project Application
The current design on CSAH 19 in the area of TH241 one way pairs was constructed in 2008 as an interim solution. Since 2004, traffic has grown on CSAH 19 approx. 50% to 12,900 cars in the area based on 2016 count. The plan is to remove confusing lane drops and shifts. This will increase accessibility by increasing capacity, decreasing delays and reducing crashes. The project would likely require acquisition of several properties along the corridor. Wright County applied for funding last year and was unsuccessful. With the support of St Michael, they are proposing to apply again January 2018 for approx. $2,000,000.00 in Federal Funds to reduce local costs. Federal Funds would be available in 2022. Potter believes the application will be approved this year. Applications are due January 5 and results of the application should be available by April, 2018.
5. Major Equipment Budget Update
Hawkins said they purchased all equipment identified in the budget and have two additional items not budgeted for that could be purchased as they had money left over. The two items are: A message Board that needs to be replaced (was hit and needs to be replaced) and trade in the wheeled bobcat for a tracked bobcat. Brian Jans said the person that hit the message board, their insurance paid for the repair/replacement so there is still money left over there. Daleiden asked how many message boards we currently have? Steve Meyer indicated they have 4 as of now.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus that a recommendation be made to the Wright County Board of Commissioners to support the purchase of the tracked bobcat, the needed attachments for the bobcat and the message board.
6. Briarwood Avenue (Access to Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park)
With the recent and proposed development of Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Monticello Township believes additional regional park traffic will create impacts to Briarwood Ave NE. They have requested that Wright County and the City of Monticello make the necessary improvements needed to Briarwood Ave NE due to extra traffic generated by the regional park. The City of Monticello completed a feasibility report for the Athletic field’s portion of the park. Currently, Briarwood Ave NE doesn’t meet the requirements to become a county hwy. A traffic count was done in July 2015. Tom Moores said that once the park is built out, there will likely be 1400-1500 cars a day. Christine Husom asked what is the capacity for the road to handle? Vetsch mentioned that there are now more heavy weight vehicles like buses and RV’s using the road. Moores said the city study was just for the athletic facility, not the parks and talked about the budget and how fast the project will be completed. The plan has been broken into phases due to budgeting. There is no field construction taking place in next phase. No detailed traffic count was given, they just had a projected attendance for when all the fields are up and running. Potter asked how many fields in total there will be? Angela Schumann said roughly 14. Husom asked how much involvement is County? Marc Mattice said the city & county agreed to a cost share. Mattice also said they would like the Hwy Dept. engineers to help them properly apply for possible State Park Road Account funding. Potter reiterated that Briarwood does not qualify to become a county road. Bob Idziorek said the township is concerned with the cost of maintenance, saying that they don’t necessarily benefit from the park complex going in so the extra wear on the roads would become their issue, and is a cost they didn’t ask for. Hawkins asked if city could annex the road to make it a city street? Schumann said there are several things to consider when annexing. Moores said the park/complex IS a benefit for the township and hopes the township takes into consideration that this involves growth & development. Schumann asked if a study would be able to determine the estimated additional new wear vs. the current wear? Hausmann said yes. Tom Pawelk said the City agreed to help fund improvements but not maintenance. Daleiden asked about county sales tax for Briarwood. Can they use any sales tax for this project? Hawkins said there would have to be a public hearing to approve that, but it is possible. Mattice asked what the biggest cost concern was for the township - if they are more concerned with seal coat/cracks or snow plowing? The response was the long term maintenance/repair based on additional use, not the snow plowing. Meyer indicated that they have to be very careful what we do, listing several roads leading to county parks with some temporary repairs. Schumann said if there were a study performed, maybe there could be a funding allotment discussion for long term shared maintenance. Hilgart explained his perspective, that the City and County decided to do this improvement and why, in his opinion, it is not fair for the township to have to pay for what they didn’t want. He further explained that the township already pays for certain things like maintenance, so what they already spend on maintenance/repair would be worked into a cost share so that their cost doesn’t increase. Pawelk suggests that they do a study to see the cost for adding the improvements vs. what is there already, including current maintenance vs. future maintenance, indicating they should have a study on the north and south end in the spring of the year and fall. And also a study on 90th street. Husom said they should perform the study several times a year to get accurate numbers. Vetsch asked who funds this study? The response is the City & County share the cost of the study. Hausmann said it could take about a year to get a complete study with an estimated cost under $10,000. WSB would likely cost less since they have already done some work on it for the city. Pawelk asked if the township is agreeable to discussions on how to proceed? Response is yes, the agreement is to move forward. Hawkins said they will get some quotes to get study done. Pawelk asked when goal date for study would be? Hausmann indicated the end of September 2018.
RECOMMENDATION: It was agreed upon that a recommendation be made to the Wright County Board of Commissioners to continue to move forward with this project and to have cost analysis and maintenance studies performed.
Other: Nothing.
(End of 12-20-18 TCOTW Minutes)
Approve Agreement No.17-51 For The Replacement Of Franklin Township Bridge No.L9396 Using Township Bridge Program Funding
On a motion by Potter, second by Vetsch, all voted to approve Agreement No. 17-51 as presented.
Approve Condemnation Resolution For Unsigned Parcels Of Right Of Way On CSAH 38 (SP 086-638-06)
Hawkins said that as of today, there are six unsigned parcels. The draft resolution reflects nine parcels but three were signed including 11, 14, and 30. He expects Parcel 50 to be signed but it is technically not signed as of the time of the meeting. They typically reach agreement with all parcel owners but this is a step in the process. Their minimally take what is needed in order to build the project and accommodate utilities.
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #18-07 for unsigned parcels of Right-of-Way on CSAH 38 (SP 086-638-06) with the removal of Parcels 11, 14, and 30. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Tabled item from the January 9, 2018 meeting:
Accept the Findings and recommendation of the Planning Commission and adopt 17-3A the amendment to modify Section 155.48 to allow schools with 150 students or less as a Conditional Use in the AG General Agriculture district of the Land Usage of the Wright County Code of Ordinances
Riley said this item was continued from the 1-09-18 County Board Meeting as Borrell was absent.
Vetsch voiced reservation on allowing schools in townships. He did not want to tailor the ordinance to 2-3 parcels that can achieve the standards. That is why he moved to table this item until Borrell was present for discussion.
Vetsch has since worked with staff to find resolution. If the ordinance change is made and in 1-4 years the school is no longer there, it would allow that property owner to advertise for a replacement school which no other property can do based on the current ordinance. He suggested allowing a period of time to provide history. He referenced an amendment that was drafted by staff to allow the school to operate for two additional calendar years. It can then be reviewed to see whether to permanently amend the ordinance allowing schools in townships. Vetsch added his concern for township infrastructure (roads, medical response, etc.).
Husom said she also has concerns with tailoring to one organization and the fact that there is a time frame included. She referenced the closing of charter schools, averaging about 20/year. She also has concern with this school being located in a rural district. Husom favors proceeding with something that has a sunset.
Borrell stated that when the ordinance amendment was first presented to the Planning Commission it was broad. After comment, the Planning Commission decided the amendment was too broad and staff was directed to reduce it. The result is a tailored request to the applicant. Borrell is in support of the amendment and is not opposed to a sunset. If the school closes, the process would require starting from scratch for another applicant.
Discussion followed on the requirement for the conditional use permitting process. The proposed amendment would expire on a specific date. Husom asked whether the applicant has been operating under a CUP through Corinna Township’s Planning & Zoning. Riley responded that they were given an interim use similar to what is spelled out in the documents being reviewed. At the start, it appeared it was going to be very short term and a move to a new school operated on State land. For whatever reason, it did not go that way so the amendment is in front of the County Board.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said staff recommends a proposed motion to approve Ordinance Amendment 17-3 with Amendment 17-3A and 17-3A1. He clarified that the action would adopt Ordinance Amendment 17-3, then Amendment 17-3A amends 17-3, and then 17-3A1 amends again.
Borrell moved to adopt Ordinance Amendment 17-3 with Amendment 17-3A and 17-3A1. The motion was seconded by Husom.
Potter said the public has contacted him on this topic since it was tabled. He said he tends to follow the Planning Commission recommendations. The Planning Commission went through all of the requirements and legal counsel was present. Public input was taken. The Planning Commission heard the testimony and made a unanimous recommendation to approve. Borrell extended appreciation to Potter for supporting the recommendation of the Planning Commission. Vetsch clarified that felt additional people (County Board) reviewing the request may provide a better result. He said the Planning Commission minutes reflect long discussion on this request. He viewed it as they were almost forced to come up with some sort of resolution for the school to go forward. Borrell said the Planning Commission had concerns. When the applicant comes in for the CUP, the Planning Commission will again have a thorough review. The motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations. The 1-10-18 Building Committee Minutes follow:
I. Board Room Sound System
Kryzer presented feedback that he had heard complaints that it was difficult to hear in the rear portion of the Board Room within the past couple months. Tagarro stated that EPA Audio Visual, Inc. had recently done some work to the sound system and the speakers should be working better. He stated the audio has never been great however, and should be looked at as a whole system. Approximately two years ago, a proposal was received for around $40,000 to upgrade the audio throughout the room and bring the video to HD level for streaming. Kelly added that there was a budget item to look at an A/V system upgrade as well as carpet, however plans were put on hold until the Master Space Study was completed. Tagarro stated the next minimal step would be to look at new microphones to make the current system more functional. Daleiden agreed and said we may need to look at a change in frequency anyway due to FCC requirements and recent modifications.
Recommendation: Potter & Daleiden recommended that IT work with Administration to further look into microphone options and replace if necessary to improve functionality and achieve FCC compliance. Cap for the project spend to be $15,000.
(End of 1-10-18 Building Committee Minutes
On a motion by Husom, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations. The 1-10-18 Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
I. HHS Workplace Expectations & Professional Standards
Social Services Manager Michelle Miller distributed a document entitled “Workplace Professional Standards” for the Health and Human Services Department (attached).
This item was tabled from the 12-13-17 Personnel / Employee Relations Committee. Miller said Health and Human Services Director Jami Goodrum Schwartz drafted a new plan.
Schwartz said they are in the process of streamlining and organizing the administrative memos that have accumulated over the past decades to remove those that are no longer relevant. Schwartz said the memos are primarily procedural in nature. They come into play when roles and responsibilities intersect between Units, such as Fiscal and Social Services. A few memos target all Health and Human Services (HHS) staff, but most deal with issues within a specific Unit.
Husom asked whether these memos are needed if they are already reflected in County policy. Schwartz said these are clarifications regarding how County policy is implemented in the HHS Department. HHS Business Manager Christine Partlow gave an example using the motor pool policy. She said the HHS policy is more prescriptive than the County one, but falls within those parameters and allows them to better manage their Department budget.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson said this is a good opportunity to determine what policies the County Board considers important to evaluate and review. The County Personnel Policy has language that says the County Coordinator must review any policies and procedures, and the Administration Department should receive copies. Any issues or concerns should go to the County Board of Commissioners for review. Husom said the process should go through Administration.
Schwartz asked whether items specific to procedures within HHS units need to be approved. Husom said they do not. County Coordinator Lee Kelly said Schwartz is referring more to procedural issues versus County policy. Sometimes it is hard to say when that line is crossed.
Husom said the Board should have copies of each Department’s policies that are not in the Personnel Policy manual. Schwartz said HHS policies and procedures are on SharePoint.
Kelly said typically Personnel Policy changes must be reviewed and adopted by the County Board. Husom said she did not think procedures had to be approved, as policies are separate from procedures. Kelly said when a Department uses procedural items to rate an employee’s performance, it is difficult to know which set of rules apply. Husom said there are union issues to consider as well.
Schwartz said HHS has developed core competencies and performance expectations based on job descriptions, and posted them in administrative memos to be transparent to employees.
Johnson said the labor attorney explained that the County is in compliance as long as Personnel Policies are consistently referenced when addressing discipline issues and union contracts. He said there are many areas in the Personnel Policy that can be used as descriptors to show expectations and the reason why disciplinary action is being taken.
Daleiden said to clarify the points recommended by the labor attorney, and then proceed. Schwartz said they will be rolling out the document to staff. Employees do not have to sign it.
Recommendation: Authorize use of the Health and Human Services Workplace Professional Standards document for onboarding without requiring employee signatures.
II. Request to Hire MH SWIII/MHP Above 12%
Miller said the request is to hire a Mental Health Social Worker III in the Social Services Unit above the 12 percent minimum wage scale. This position has been very challenging to fill for years. Part of this is due to the degree requirements, postgraduate work, and supervision experience needed. Candidates who are generally eligible are already therapists in the community and earning far above the wage range offered by the County. It took more than a year to fill a similar position in the Mental and Chemical Health Unit. Currently, the Intake and Assessments Unit has had a Mental Health Social Worker III position vacant for six months. This is an open, continuous posting until it is filled.
Miller said more than five rounds of interviews have been conducted with ten candidates in the last six months. The time invested by the County has been costly, with no one hired. Candidates are often not licensed or not qualified. Several candidates showed interest in this position until they are told the wage range. Every candidate has stated a minimally acceptable wage range that is significantly higher than 12 percent above the minimum. The current candidate has gone through two interviews. She has the necessary degrees and experience with both adults and children. She works two part-time jobs. One employer offered her $74,000 full-time per year. Miller said the request is to hire her at $35.65 per hour, or 26.5 percent above the minimum 2018 pay scale. Miller distributed a document regarding this request (see attached).
Husom asked whether there are any problems with leapfrogging. Discussion ensued regarding how much Mental Health Social Worker III staff at the County earn. Daleiden said to verify that no leapfrogging will occur, and then proceed with hiring this candidate since she sounds well qualified, as the position has been open for six months. HHS should talk with Johnson if there are any concerns or questions.
Recommendation: Approve request to hire a Mental Health Social Worker III at $35.65 per hour, or 26.5 percent above the minimum 2018 pay scale.
III. Extension Office Staffing
Regional Director Sarah Chur said she supervises two office staff (1.5 FTE) in the Extension Office who are Wright County employees. The rest of the Extension staff are University of Minnesota employees. With the move to the Public Works Building, Extension office staff are able to assist Director of Parks and Recreation Marc Mattice. The Director of Extension does not office on-site. Chur said there are benefits to on-site supervision. She is transitioning to work with different counties beginning this year. The new University of Minnesota Extension Regional Director will be Lori Ann Vicich, who starts 1-29-18.
Chur said she and Mattice thought this would be a good time to consider shifting the reporting relationships of Extension staff who are County employees to an on-site supervisor. Vicich’s main office will be in St. Cloud. She will be supervising five counties, including Wright. Chur said she typically solicited observations from staff and Mattice when doing performance reviews. Vicich will work with the Extension Committee and the budget. The direct supervision piece is what Chur seeks to change.
Husom asked how the logistics would work, since Mattice is not always in the office. Mattice said that is his concern as well. There are times during the Fair when Extension staff are gone for a week and a half. Parks staff also spends a lot of time out in the field. Responsibility for the Public Works front office has never been identified. The Board has not given any particular direction in that regard. In his opinion, when the Extension staff is present, they serve as the front office people.
Vicich’s main office will be in St. Cloud. Chur said when Extension staff aren’t there, Mattice and Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Brad Harrington will answer the door.
Mattice said this is not so much a supervision issue, but rather a building issue. There are two front Departments. He asked whether they should lock the inside door when both Parks and Extension are out, and change the doorbell to also ring in the Surveyor’s Office. Daleiden and Husom said “Yes”. Mattice said they could put a sign on the door telling people that Parks and Extension staff are out, and to ring the doorbell or leave a voicemail message using a phone posted outside. Daleiden said to let Surveyor staff know when Parks and Extension employees are gone. It wouldn’t pay to hire someone else, as the situation doesn’t arise that often.
Husom asked whether Mattice thought the front and inside doors should be locked when Parks and Extension aren’t there, but Surveyor staff is on-site. Mattice said the public could come in the vestibule to ring the bill and get out of the weather.
Mattice said the building is his main concern. He is fine with supervising the office staff, signing timesheets, and doing performance appraisals. He said perhaps the office staff could also take minutes at Park Commission meetings. Johnson said it is best to have a Wright County employee supervise County staff. Mattice volunteered to be a backup signature for claims when Vicich is out.
Husom said it sounds like the supervision piece is not a concern. Daleiden said the doorbells should ring together and back to the Surveyor’s office. Mattice said he would review the changes with the County Surveyor to make sure he is agreeable. Chur said Mattice and Vicich will work together on performance issues.
1) Approve logistics needed to make the doorbell ring from outside the Public Works Building to the Surveyor Department, as well as at the front desk;
2) Approve changes requiring Extension staff to report to the Director of Parks and Recreation.
IV. H1B Visa Sponsorship
Information Technology (IT) Director Adam Tagarro said he is seeking clarification regarding the County’s position regarding H1B Visa Sponsorships for international employees. He does not have an employee needing this kind of visa at present. Hennepin County has language in their recruitment statements that say a candidate does not qualify for employment if they require sponsorship. Tagarro said they are seeing a lot of international applicants. He has not allocated funds for visa expenses in his Department budget. It is an expensive, time-consuming, and complex process.
Johnson said the County’s labor attorney indicated that a statement such as the one Hennepin County uses in their job descriptions and position postings is acceptable. It states:
Candidates must have the right to work in the U.S. that is not based solely on the possession of a student visa or a visa sponsored by an employer.
Johnson said the above language is included in Hennepin County job postings. The labor attorney said the County has the right to include such language in job postings if the County Board so directs.
Kelly asked whether Johnson is saying that the County will not hire anyone with a visa. Johnson said this is strictly related to student visas that are sponsored by an employer, such as the H1B Visa. The wording would be included in job postings and position descriptions.
Recommendation: Approve addition of the following language to all job descriptions and postings: Candidates must have the right to work in the U.S. that is not based solely on the possession of a student visa or a visa sponsored by an employer.
(End of 1-10-18 Personnel Committee Minutes)
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Potter, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations. The 1-10-18 Technology Committee Minutes follow:
I. Office 365 Status
Presented by Adam Tagarro
The Office 365 rollout is on track. The IT Department as a whole has migrated IT staff email to O365. As planned other departments are being tested for rollout as well. Current testing issues have been Planning & Zoning’s CityView not working well with O365. Court Services has had various issues as well. The IT Department is actively working on solutions. The O365 Governance committee has met with a specific topic being license usage of G1 or G3 for staff. Hiivala brought up the Board’s recent move on opioid litigation, if it would impact O365 at all. Nelsons stated that it is still being looked into but that overall it will not be a large factor. Technical Liaisons within each department have been very helpful in continuing to ensure the progress of O365, as they are the frontline for their departments testing how the rollout may affect the rest of their teams. O365 continues to be a major project for the IT department and rollout is on schedule.
Action: Informational update only
II. ERP Follow-up
Presented by Adam Tagarro
With direction from the committee & board, Kelly has scheduled a four day Informational Planning Workshop with InfoTech. This workshop will come with minimal additional cost to the county, as it is included in IT’s 2018 InfoTech Membership. Commissioner Vetsch and Daleiden equally expressed concern for what the end goal of the Workshop would be, noting they think it is valuable but want to ensure it is worthwhile. Tagarro stated that InfoTech has very specific goals to provide a quality deliverable of a roadmap of what we need to do to move forward with an ERP. They will evaluate, utilizing on premise discovery combined with current research done by staff, what we have, what we need, and what we want. Tagarro stated that InfoTech may not be the vendor of choice to manage the ERP project, but this process will provide the starting point needed. In discussion on the costs of the actual project management, Hoffman stated that the cost of planning the rollout of Zuercher was about $60,000 and the implementation was between $15,000 and $20,000. That the prices given by InfoTech were similar to this in reference to the overall project management costs for an ERP. The workshop itself will be Feb. 5th thru the 8th with the goal of a small group of key players working on the deliverables. More communication will come on the meeting in future weeks.
Action: Kelly, Hiivala, and Tagarro will continue to plan the InfoTech Meeting for the week of February 5th
III. Project Portfolio
Presented by Britta Holland
Tagarro introduced the committee to the Project Portfolio Manager, Britta Holland. Holland presented the committee an overview of the current IT Project Portfolio. The 2018 goal of the IT Department concerning Project Management is to align IT Department goals and work with County goals and work. Another key goal is to ensure that the skillsets of the IT team are accurately matched to the project being worked on, that the right person is working on the right project at the right time. Long term goals are to develop capacity planning capabilities to provide stakeholders with accurate estimates. Commissioner Daleiden stated that having a true grasp on capacity will allow the County to know if outside resources are needed to complete a certain project, or if it can be handled with available staff in house. Hoffman noted that in relation to case load management the Sheriff’s department has found that completing a certain amount of smaller ones helps to devote time to larger cases. Standardization of the project process is also a goal that will allow IT to provide an accurate status of the project, is it on hold, has it morphed into something else, to really provide a true reflection of where it is at. Hoffman questioned if part of this would be a timeframe, for example 30 days, for a new proposal to be reviewed. Tagarro stated that each request is different so there is not a set time limit for the project process. Holland proposed the Technology Committee conduct a Project Prioritization exercise with a small amount (up to 7) of Enterprise projects. Enterprise projects being those that affect many departments. A future goal being to bring different departmental projects to the committee to decide which has priority over another in relation to the impact on the county as a whole. Nelson noted this will give the IT Department a plan for usage of “project time”. Holland added that often there is hand-off time with a project, where one staff member has completed their step and further action is held until another staff member completes a step.
There is always a project to work on in-between, but the exercise will provide a clear vision for which should be the next priority for that staff member. The Technology committee is being asked to aid in providing that clear vision to staff of what priority the next project should be. For the 24th exercise the IT team will score a small set of top Enterprise projects and present them to the committee to review. Tagarro stressed that the score is a starting point, that it is not an end all be all for prioritization by staff, that the discussion and guidance of the committee will provide the map staff are looking for.
Action: Conduct Project Prioritization Exercise at Jan. 24th Technology Committee meeting.
IV. Zuercher
Presented by Deputy Todd Hoffman
A status update of the notification by Zuercher that three local PD departments will need to be added to the County network. Hoffman stated that an initial meeting was held with stakeholders, but not all of the questions raised were answered. Nelson stated that from her discussions with Zuercher that their view is of the process being simplistic in nature, when in reality it likely will not be. Many technical questions have not yet been answered. The committee discussion revolved around the financial impact to the county that this addition will have. That if there needs to be a memo of understanding of financial obligation created it should be done. Tagarro questioned how other communities are handling the process financially and technically. He again noted that this is a good partnership to create with our communities but he is also cautious in assigning resources to a project that we didn’t start. Commissioner Vetsch stressed that the information be discovered and provided sooner than later to provide stakeholders time to plan. Commissioner Daleiden asked about Zuercher’s perceived timeline in reference to how the project would affect other projects. Nelson stated that her interpretation was that Zuercher was on a fast track to implement this change. In response to the general discussion Strobel indicated that it would be prudent to call this project a project, assign a BA, and start the discovery process to answer needed questions. She also noted, which agreed with previous positive responses, that this initiative really was part of the Law Legal initiative taking place with the sharing of data. But that it does need project management. Hoffman stated he will submit the project request form.
Action: Hoffman will submit a project request form, to which IT will assign a BA and begin the process of managing the project. Include the Zuercher update in the next Technology meeting, Jan. 24th.
V. Additional topics for next meeting
• OnBase Standardization
• Zuercher update
• Project Prioritization Exercise
Action: Informational
(End of 1-10-18 Technology Committee Minutes)
The following changes were made to the minutes: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence should read, “Once the time came to construct the rapid flashing beacon for the crosswalk, Borrell suggested the County could provide additional funds to the Fair Board to construct an extension of the sidewalk onto the Fairgrounds” (Borrell); Page 2, 3rd & 4th paragraphs, change the language from “crosswalk light project” to “crosswalk” (Borrell). Borrell stated the City does not have the funding to construct the sidewalk. Although not tied together, the City of Howard Lake turned back $77,000 in TIF funding which was placed in the County’s General Fund. The decision will be to give the Fair Board funding toward this project.
Borrell made a motion to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Husom. Vetsch asked that the record reflect that the County is not in the business of using turn back TIF dollars for municipal road projects. This is a Fair Board project and is being treated as such. Borrell said the reason he brought up the TIF funding was to clarify where the $77,000 came from. The motion carried 5-0. The 1-10-18 Ways & Means Committee Minutes follow:
I. Howard Lake Sidewalk/Trail Request
Howard Lake City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller said he has been working with Commissioner Borrell for several years to find a way to fund a sidewalk trail along County Road 6 through downtown Howard Lake to the County Fairgrounds. Haggenmiller said the Fairgrounds represent a unique circumstance for the County. He has tried unsuccessfully to work out agreements with the Highway Department and the Fair Board in the past few years. Most recently, a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in Howard Lake decertified itself at the end of 2016. The remaining funds from an economic development project in Howard Lake were to be sent back to the County and redistributed to the taxing authorities. Haggenmiller said the City could have retained those funds by law to use in a manner consistent with the original TIF District, but only $77,000 remained. The funds were generated from a Howard Lake project. Haggenmiller said his hope is that the County would work with the City on this project utilizing those funds.
Borrell said it is best that the funds returned to the County from the TIF District be kept separate from the proposed sidewalk/trail project. He asked Haggenmiller to clarify the cost of the project. Coordinator Lee Kelly said the returned funds would go into the General Revenue Fund.
Borrell said it is a worthwhile project, since pedestrians are at risk when walking along County Road 6, as cars have to swerve to avoid them. There is also a proposal to install a rapid flashing beacon light at a pedestrian crosswalk to the main entrance to the Fairgrounds.
Haggenmiller said the projected cost is approximately $148,000 to 150,000, including construction and engineering soft costs. He distributed the following documents (see attachments):
1) Letter from the City of Howard Lake to Wright County dated 7-30-17;
2) Letter from David Drown Associates, Inc. to the City of Howard Lake, dated 12-13-16;
3) Confirmation of Decertified TIF District;
4) Rendering of proposed CSAH 6 Trail Improvements;
5) Conceptual Development drawing, Street View, Howard Lake.
Haggenmiller said the City is working with the feed mill building at 10th Avenue / CSAH 6 in downtown Howard Lake to reshape the Highway 12 frontage road. If this building were torn down, a future building could be set back to allow for the trail and open up a Right-Of Way. The trail would start at the intersection of 10th Avenue/County Road 6 and Highway 12 and run north along 6. The Burlington Northern track funnels street traffic under two concrete uprights. Pedestrians who wish to walk across have no sidewalk, and therefore have to walk in the street. The proposed trail would go underneath the railroad tracks, which is allowable with Burlington Northern. The trail would continue north along County Road 6 across from the main entrance to the County Fairgrounds.
Borrell suggested that the County give $77,000 to $80,000 toward the trail. Once the time came to construct the rapid flashing beacon for the crosswalk, Borrell suggested the County could provide additional funds to the Fair Board to construct an extension of the sidewalk onto the Fairgrounds. Haggenmiller said the City has not surveyed or gone out for bids; they only have an engineer’s estimate.
Husom said this is two separate projects. Once the trail gets to the Fairgrounds, it becomes County property. She thought the crosswalk should be discussed with the full County Board.
Recommendation: Allot $77,000 to the Fair Board for construction of a sidewalk/trail from downtown Howard Lake along County Road 6 to provide safe pedestrian access to the County Fairgrounds. Further discussion regarding funding the crosswalk at the entrance to the Fairgrounds may be discussed in the future at the initiative of the full County Board.
II. Enforcement Ordinance for Parks Patrol/Special Deputy
Lieutenant Matt Treichler from the Sheriff’s Office said they have reviewed revisions to the Special Deputy job description, and seek clarification on language regarding governing and zoning regulations. The current job description does not address zoning. He asked whether the County Board has another vision for that position.
Ordinance Amendment Number 18-1, Amendments to the Wright County Restated and Revised Code, Article I – Powers of Special Deputies, Chapter 31 was distributed (see attached).
Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer said the delegated authority is at the discretion of the County Board. He suggested adding language to the Ordinance that meets the needs of the Sheriff’s Office now to avoid going through another Ordinance process in the future. The Sheriff does not have to assign the duties, even though they may be in the Ordinance, but the language is there should he decide to do so in the future.
Chief Deputy Todd Hoffman said the job description for the Parks Patrol/Special Deputy position does not include zoning. The Sheriff’s Office wants the County Board to be aware that the job description going forward currently is for Parks Patrol/Special Deputy. In the future, there may be a need for a Community Service Officer/Special Deputy with different duties. Kryzer said it is easier to change a job description than an Ordinance.
Recommendation: Publication and adoption of Ordinance 18-01, and schedule a Public Hearing.
(End of 1-10-18 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Kelly stated that the Request For Proposal process closed on 1-12-18 and eight proposals were received. He requested a Committee Of The Whole (COTW) Meeting to narrow the candidate listing.
Husom moved to schedule a COTW Meeting on 2-14-18 at 1:30 PM. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Kelly stated eight of the ten legislators have confirmed they can attend a 2-07-18 meeting at 1:30 PM. The other two legislators may attend as well.
On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to schedule a COTW Meeting on 2-07-18 at 1:30 PM.
There were no updates given because of attendance at the COTW Meeting scheduled for 10:30 A.M.
The meeting adjourned at 10:41 AM.
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 9, 2018.