Wright County Board Minutes

JANUARY 30, 2018
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
Potter moved to approve the 1-23-18 County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Borrell, and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Vetsch, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Authorize Attendance, AMC Legislative Conference, Feb. 28th - Mar. 1, 2018, St. Paul, MN
1. Approve Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes For The 2013 - 2017 Budget Sessions
1. Approve Tobacco License Name Change From Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. DBA Walmart #3624 To Walmart Inc. DBA Walmart #3624 In Monticello
2. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between January 17, 2018 And January 23, 2018
1. Bid Opening Scheduled At The Wright County Highway Department March 2, 2018
a). 11:00 a.m. Franklin Township Bridge Project (Meridian Ave)
b). 11:15 a.m. Seasonal Requirements (Equipment Rental, Bit Mix, Pavement Markings, Seal Coat)
2. Bid Opening Scheduled At The Wright County Highway Department March 23, 2018
a). 11:00 a.m. 2018 Pavement Preservation Contract
b). 11:15 a.m. CSAH 3 Federal Overlay Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) Project
1. Refer To Personnel Committee Request To Hire Corrections Officer Applicant Above 12%
Schedule Public Hearing for Ordinance 18-1, Amendments to the Wright County Restated and Revised Code, Article I - Powers of Special Deputies, Chapter 31
Kryzer said the purpose of the Ordinance Amendment is to establish a special deputy position in the Sheriff’s Office. On a motion by Husom, second by Vetsch, all voted to schedule the Public Hearing for 3-13-18 at 9:30 A.M.
Adopt Resolution Authorizing The Public Sale Of Tax Forfeit Properties On February 28, 2018 At 1:00 p.m.
Hiivala stated the resolution includes three tax forfeit properties that have not sold. It is suggested that a reduction in price be authorized for one parcel. The other two have special assessments so that is why a reduction is not being requested at this time. The following language change was made to the draft resolution: Item 1 should read, “That all parcels of tax forfeited land contained on the attached list, with basic sale price as listed and special conditions of sale as listed, shall be sold at public sale on February 28th, 2018 at 1:00 PM, by Wright County Auditor-Treasurer, at the Wright County Government Center, for not less than the basic sale price;” (Hiivala).
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-08 as amended, authorizing the public sale of tax forfeit properties on 2-28-18 at 1:00 PM. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
As Drainage Authority For CD 33, Approve The Proposal For Survey And Engineering Services On County Ditch
Matt Detjen, Ditch Coordinator, requested approval of a proposal from Houston Engineering Inc. for County Ditch 33 for $9,500 and includes document review, field survey, and a system assessment and summary memo. Missing ditch maps were recently located and Houston Engineering will review them as part of this process. The entire Ditch 33 system is 10.5 miles, but the work relates to outlet repair north of I-94. Approval is in the County’s Board’s role as Ditch Authority.
Vetsch moved approval of the proposal for survey and engineering service by Houston Engineering Inc. on County Ditch 33 in the amount of $9,500. The motion was seconded by Borrell. Borrell asked about the benefited rolls for County Ditch 33. Detjen said Ditch 33 is one of the worst in this regard, but to have any productive meetings in the future this information is needed. The motion carried 5-0.
Adopt Resolution On The Finding & Order That An Environmental Assessment Worksheet Is Not Required. Project Is For Excavation Of A Public Water Course Located In Middleville Township, MN DNR Permit Application Number 064-015-001
Riley stated the request relates to a private property owner, Bob Marketon, needing to complete work in a public water body (ditch). The DNR and SWCD are involved with the permit project review. The DNR has requested a determination by the County as to whether an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) is required. Riley explained that the work is similar to the level completed in 2011 by Marketon and this is an amended permit from that time. Riley understands that this has been a functional, maintained ditch for many years. The request relates to Marketon completing the project from 2011, and the DNR is requiring a permit to complete the work in a public water body.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #18-09, approving the finding and order that an EAW is not required for excavation of a public water course located in Middleville Township, MN DNR Permit Application Number 064-015-001. The motion was seconded by Potter. Daleiden asked Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, if he had any concerns. Kryzer said he did not and is unsure why the DNR is requiring this. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Annual Resolution Regarding Spring Load Restrictions
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-10, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve MnDOT Detour Agreement; MnDOT Agency Agreement No.1030300 Which Provides For MNDOT To Use Highways 30 And 13 As Detour Routes During Construction Project
The Agreement provides for MnDOT to use County Highways 30 and 13 as a detour route for the TH 25 Mill, Overlay, and Bridge Replacement Project from Carver County to Montrose in 2018. The resolution authorizes Wright County to enter into MnDOT Agreement No. 1030300.
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #18-11, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve MnDOT Detour Agreement; MNDOT Agency Agreement No.1030304. This Agreement Provides For MNDOT To Use CR139 As A Detour Route During Construction
The Agreement provides for MnDOT to use CR 139 as a detour route for their TH 55 Full Depth Reclamation Project from Buffalo to Rockford in 2018. The resolution authorizes Wright County to enter into MnDOT Agreement No. 1030304.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-12, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution of Support For The I-94 West Corridor Expansion To Be Included In The Corridors Of Commerce Program. MNDOT Is Requesting Input From Stakeholders Regarding Projects For The Corridors Of Commerce Program
Hawkins said MnDOT is requesting solicitations for the Corridors of Commerce Program. The resolution would be in support of the expansion of I-94 from Hwy. 241 in St. Michael to Hwy. 19 in Albertville to six lanes.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-13, seconded by Husom. Daleiden requested that the Resolution include signatures of all five Board members. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Borrell moved to approve the COTW Minutes, seconded by Husom, and carried 5-0. The COTW minutes follow:
Coordinator Lee Kelly said the Wright County Style Guide (Guide) has been discussed at Leadership Team meetings, and was received positively. The Branding Committee is made up of representatives from multiple Departments. The Guide contains templates for letterheads, memos, logos, color and font specifications, PowerPoint slides, and County forms. There are also templates that allow cobranding between the County and another entity. The goal is to create a unified presentation of County documents. Kelly asked the County Board to authorize the Guide and give direction to Departments to implement by a specified date. Kelly suggested a date that would allow individual Departments to use up letterhead and other paper stock first, and then move forward with the new branding.
Daleiden asked whether the Branding Committee had received any complaints. Information Technology Director Adam Tagarro said some people did not like the new email signature template. The objective is to ensure that anyone who interacts with the County will know that the communication is official.
Tagarro said business cards with the new branding are also cheaper. They are ordered online, and allow smaller quantities. Kelly said there are options to add another phone number or information on the back. Daleiden said he would like staff to talk with local printers to see if they are willing to come closer to the Vistaprint price. Tagarro said the advantage with Vistaprint is that it is a centralized account with one template, creating a consistent product, and one place to go.
Kelly said the request is for Board approval of the Guide and authorization for the Administration Department and Branding Committee to oversee implementation of the new standards. He asked for input regarding a deadline for the changeover. Daleiden suggested 12-31-18.
1. Approve the Wright County Style Guide;
2. Authorize the Administration Department and Branding Committee to oversee implementation of the new standards;
3. Designate a changeover deadline of 12/31/18.
Daleiden said this is an informational item only. The property is on County Road 36 east of Highway 101 along the Crow River where the Highway Department raised the road three feet at the highest point several years ago. The river frontage on the property is losing ground. Daleiden said the Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has been there to inspect it. The site is not on the County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan at this time. The current owners claim the problem was caused by increased water flow that occurred after the road surface was raised. Daleiden said Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins and Assistant Highway Engineer Chad Hausmann told him yesterday that the previous owner complained about the problem before the road was raised. Daleiden displayed photographs of the site.
Hawkins said this section of the road would flood two to three times per year prior to raising the road surface. Often the road would have to be closed due to the flooding, which caused problems for emergency vehicles. Hawkins said flooding was usually three feet or less. The road runs between the river and a wetland. He displayed a drawing of how the road surface was raised. A pipe runs under the road between the river and the wetland. When the river level rises, water is directed to the wetland. Hawkins said the river has flooded two or three times in the years since the road was raised requiring closure, but only a small area of the road was affected.
Daleiden said the Army Corps of Engineers will not address the situation until the project is placed on the County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. Daleiden said there is not much the City of Otsego can do.
Recommendation: Informational Only. (End of 1-23-18 COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Hawkins stated the position has been hard to fill as there are not many candidates coming from schools and the private sector pays more. There is one job description for both positions with an addendum that outlines experience and certifications required. Vetsch moved to approve the minutes and recommendations including providing the Highway Engineer discretion on whether to post the post the position as Highway Technician I or II. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Highway Technician II Position
Assistant Highway Engineer Chad Hausmann gave a brief background of the recent recruitment history for the Highway Technician positions and reported that they have been down two positions since May 2016. Although, they have recently recruited for a Highway Technician I position to replace these two open positions, the department has struggled to find qualified candidates to fill these two openings. During the last recruitment, the Highway Department interviewed three candidates that met the minimal qualifications for the position. The County hired an international student that unfortunately had to leave his position due to issues with his student visa. At this time, the County currently has two Highway Technician I positions open, and has recently posted for one of open Highway Technician I position.
One of the issues pertaining to the hiring a Highway Technician I position is that they end up having to spend a couple of years learning on the job before they can manage their own project without supervision. Employees that are hired as a Highway Technician I cannot do their own testing without two years of experience and the necessary work related certifications.
At the current time the department has three Highway Technician II on staff. The current Highway Technicians II have receive the necessary certifications and field experience needed to manage a job site with minimal supervision. The Highway Department is requesting approval from the Personnel Committee and the County Commissioners to advertise for a Highway Technician II position. By advertising for a Highway Technician II position, the Highway Department is hoping to receive applications from more qualified candidates that already have the certifications and experience necessary for this position. Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins added that it would broaden the field of Highway Technicians that currently have the experience and qualifications that we are trying to recruit for and that those candidates would be more likely to apply. He also mentioned with the projects that are coming up, they would like to add new employees that are at the Highway Technician II experience level.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson stated that the current salary range for a Highway Technician I is $20.42 – 28.58 per hour and the Highway Technician II hourly range is $23.63 to $33.09 per hour.
Mr. Hausmann stated that it would mean an additional $10,000 to $15,000 per year difference to entice potential applicants to apply.
Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins added that it would actually save Wright County money in the long term. When the County was down these positions, they had to hire outside consultants, which in turn ended up costing more money than hiring a full-time employee. Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked why we have to hire someone to perform these types of inspections, couldn’t we share these costs with other counties and cities. Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins explained that the Certified Plant Inspector works exclusively for the county due to township regulations, however, there are certain cases where they are allowed to share plant managers with other government entities.
Commissioner Daleiden suggested an apprentice program for the Highway Technician I position, and thought it would be an opportunity for hands on learners. Mr. Hausmann replied that the entry level requirements already is a 2 year degree or 3 years of related experience and would still require a few years until an apprentice would have the necessary certifications and experience needed to work on their own. Mr. Hawkins also noted that there are others skills required for this position such as being proficient with AutoCAD.
Commissioner Darek Vetsch asked what the first 2 years are like for a Highway Technician I position. Mr. Hausmann and Mr. Hawkins replied that they take part in the survey crew, work outdoors, minor planning work, and shadow more experienced technicians. They help out with testing and gathering samples. Managing small overlay jobs would also likely added into the role after a few of years of experience during construction season.
Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins also added that looking into the future, they have two employees that are close to the retirement. One of these employee’s works mainly in the office and the staff member works mostly outside. Mr. Hawkins stated that they would like to avoid have 3 or 4 in-experienced Highway Technicians on staff.
Recommendation: The Personnel Committee recommended to proceed with the recruitment of a Highway Technician II position.
(End of 1-24-18 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said mental health bonding was identified by AMC’s membership as one of the top legislative priorities for Minnesota counties in 2018. The AMC Board of Directors is requesting all Minnesota counties adopt a resolution of support. Jami Schwartz, Wright County Health & Human Services Director, spoke in support of passage of the resolution. She said it is an infrastructure that needs support, and there are no step down facilities for transitioning patients. Discussion included impacts on such agencies as Law Enforcement, Emergency Response, Court Services, Courts, and Health & Human Services. Wright County experienced $35,000 in associated costs in 2017. Husom recently spoke with an individual instrumental in pushing the Legislature for the closure of the State Hospitals, and that individual indicated that it was a mistake. Husom said the closure of state hospitals resulted in people ending up on the streets.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-14, in support of the AMC Mental Health Bonding Resolution. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. It was the consensus that all Board members should sign this Resolution.
Kelly said a meeting was held on 1-25-18 for a project status update. Material was presented by Bruce Schwartzman, BKV, and Bruce Kimmel, Ehlers Inc. Additional changes will be made to the final report by BKV. Kelly anticipates receiving the updated report by early next week. There are also workshops occurring.
Husom moved to set a COTW Meeting for 2-13-18 at 10:30 AM. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Kelly said the request to schedule a COTW Meeting is based on discussions with the Auditor/Treasurer and individual Commissioners on putting together the 5-year projection of large projects included in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Kelly said it will be about a month before the CIP Process commences, and additional information on the Space Study will be available soon. Vetsch suggested placing a 30-day hold on CIP projects to allow discussion on funding. The amount of turn back dollars from 2017 to 2018 has not yet been identified. Vetsch said if there is not enough funding for projects identified in the CIP, they may have to be funded from reserves or potentially not completed. It was the consensus that more than one meeting may need to be held.
Potter moved to schedule a COTW Meeting for 2-12-18 at 10:00 AM for Strategic Planning: Budget, Finance, & Capital Improvement. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
1. Economic Development Partnership Annual Meeting. The meeting was attended by Husom, Vetsch, and Potter and included a guest speaker and an awards presentation to businesses being recognized for innovation.
2. Trailblazer. Vetsch attended a meeting on 1-18-18. A recap of 2017 activities was provided which reflected that there are a large number of rides being turned down in Wright County due to means, equipment, and funding. The Buffalo employment market for drivers is good but that is not the case in Glencoe. They will advocate for legislators to leave rural transit funding alone so that services can at least be maintained.
3. WCAT. Vetsch and Potter attended a meeting on 1-16-18. Potter said the transition of fiscal agent from the City of Annandale to Wright County will be completed soon.
4. GRRL Board. Potter attended a recent reorganizational meeting. There are many new players as prior members termed out.
5. Wright County Historical Society. Potter attended a meeting on 1-24-18. He referenced the Festival of Trees event which has been occurring since 2007. This past year 1,800 people attended, whereas the prior year’s attendance was 900. The Board commended Sally Stevens and Historical Society staff for the extra work to make this event happen. It brings awareness of the Historical Society. Potter referenced the recent remodel which has proven to be more functional. Daleiden suggested the Wright County website include information on the Historical Society hours of operation.
6. Transportation Alliance Meeting. Potter attended a meeting on 1-29-18. Transportation Day at the Capital will be March 7, 2018 and the Washington Fly In is May 22-24, 2018. Discussion at the meeting included fall regional meetings and trying to get more funding statutorily and constitutionally dedicated, Corridors of Commerce scoring, and flexibility for metro projects due to the time it takes them to cycle through. Scoring of the I-94 project will occur in February/March with results in April.
The meeting adjourned at 10:04 AM.
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 16, 2018.