Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 27, 2018
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Husom, all voted to approve the 3-20-18 County Board Minutes as corrected.
The following item was petitioned onto the Agenda, Consent Agenda Item L1, “Approve Budget Revision Acknowledgement Form, $15,600 Grant From MN Department Of Agriculture, Noxious & Invasive Plant Grant Assistance” (Kelly). Matt Detjen, Ditch Coordinator, said Erik Heuring applied for a grant with the SWCD and it was approved. Funds will be used to cover the hire of outside contractors and travel expenses associated with spraying railways. Potter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Vetsch. The motion carried 5-0.
Husom moved to approve the Consent Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0:
1. Position Replacement:
A. Human Resources Representative
1. Approval Of Revisions To Section 711.09, Acceptable Use Of Technology-Enterprise Applications, Of The Wright County Personnel Policy
1. Approval Of Revisions To Section 309, Employee Recognition, Of The Wright County Personnel Policy
1. Schedule Finance/CIP Committee Meetings:
A. 4-11-18 @ 1:00 P.M., Review Park Projects
B. 4-25-18, Time To Be Determined, Review Highway & Other CIP Projects
1. Authorize Attendance Of County Board Members At The Following:
A. SWCD Conservation Tour, 6-14-18 @ 9:00 AM
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between 3-14-18 And 3-20-18
1. Position Replacements:
A. Accounting Clerk
B. Case Aide - Public Health
C. Social Worker
1. Bid Openings Scheduled At The Wright County Highway Department On May 11, 2018 And May 25, 2018:
Friday – May 11, 2018 Bid Openings
• 11:00AM CSAH 18 Reconstruction Project CP 086-018-171
• 11:15AM CSAH 3 Federal Overlay Highway Safety project; SP 086-070-012 and SAP 086-603-022
Friday – May 25, 2018 Bid Openings
• 11:00AM Rural Intersection Street Lighting HSIP SP 086-070-016
• 11:15AM CSAH 12 Multi Use Trail Paving SP 086-090-007
• 11:30AM CSAH 34/CR 134 Roundabout CP 086-034-135
• 11:40AM CSAH 8/57 Mini Roundabout Maple Lake SAP 086-608-032
1. Refer to the 3-28-18 Personnel Committee Discussion On Hire Of IT Strategy and Portfolio Manager Above 12% Of Minimum Hire Range
1. Authorize Environmental Health Officer (EHO) To Sign Agreement For Services With Terracon For Solid Waste Management Plan Update (SWMP), $13,765
1. Accept The Findings & Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezoning:
A. JAN ANDERSON - (Clearwater Twp.) Planning Commission Unanimously Recommends Rezoning Approximately 4 Acres Of The Riparian Portion Of The Property (South Of 120th Street) As Shown On The Concept Plan, Prepared By Otto, Associates, Project No. 17-0333, From AG General Agricultural & S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands To R-1 Urban-Rural Transition & S-2
1. Approve Budget Revision Acknowledgement Form, $15,600 Grant From MN Department Of Agriculture, Noxious & Invasive Plant Grant Assistance
Approve 3-13-18 Committee Of The Whole Minutes For Ditch Meeting For County Ditch 10
At today’s County Board Meeting, Vetsch moved to approve the COTW Minutes, seconded by Husom. Daleiden made the following correction to the minutes: Page 10, last sentence of paragraph 1, change from “peat” to “peak.” The motion carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
Kryzer opened the meeting with introductions and the purpose of the meeting. The Wright County Drainage Authority wants to get the landowners input in regards to moving forward to the next steps on County Ditch 10. Currently we have a Re-Determination of Benefits that is ongoing, and we have a Re-Establishment of Records that is ongoing. A lot of you were at the Informational Meeting held last summer where ISG presented the Multi-purpose Drainage Management Plan that the Engineers have now completed. We are now at the point and time where we are ready to spend a significant amount to repair the system back to its as built condition. To complete that task the Engineers have come up with a plan that is fairly aggressive and we are hoping to have this construction started and improvements made by 2019.
Daleiden pointed out that not only is the Engineer’s plan going to repair the system but it also addresses water quality. Borrell reminded the landowners that a year ago the Drainage Authority worked with SWCD and voted for hiring ISG, an Engineering Firm, to prepare a Feasibility Study and to look at water quality. I have seen work done by ISG in other counties, that was very impressive and we are hoping that CD 10 becomes the pilot for other Wright County ditches in the future. Kryzer turned the meeting over to Mark Origer from ISG.
Origer stated that the information he was going to go over today was a continuation of what they have been working on since last August when we had our Informational meeting at Victor Township. I will go through the findings and then I will look for public comment at the end as well.
I will cover the following today:
1. ISG and Drainage
2. Existing Conditions
3. Repairs
4. Practicability and Feasibility
5. Multi-Purpose Drainage Management (MDM)
6. Next Steps
7. Outside Funding
8. Re-Establishment of Records
Just a little bit about our firm; we have more than 30-years of Agricultural Drainage experience in Minnesota and Iowa.
ISG PowerPoint Presentation:
Importance of Drainage:
• Most of MN needs artificial drainage to support agriculture
• MN Drainage Statutes developed in 1800’s refined in early 1900’s
• 1900’s to 1920’s –Numerous Public Drainage Systems Constructed
• Over 10,000 Public Drainage Systems in MN-many more private ditch and tile systems
Original Drainage System Designs:
• Drain shallow wetlands and basins for agricultural practices
o Designed for 0.10 to 0.25 in/day drainage coefficient for tile, 0.50 to 1.0 in/day open ditch
o Designed for 3-4 different crops, small grain and hay generally in low areas
o “Send water downstream”
Modern Drainage System Designs:
• Change in farming practices, crops, equipment, weather patterns
• Design for 0.50 to 0.75 in/day drainage coefficient for tile, minimum 1.0 in/day open ditch
• Largest increase in peak flow rates and timing of drawdown on 2,5, 10-year events
• Current outlets are not always adequate for improvement, downstream impacts
• Storage and water quality designs for drainage improvement and environmental impacts
ISG and Drainage-Process
• Feasibility Study/Inventory
• Analyze Existing conditions
• Identify Repair/Improvement Alternative
• Develop Cost Estimates
• Landowner Meetings
• Begin Full Design and Reports
• Construction Administration
Wright County CD 10 Existing Conditions
• Constructed 1906
• Watershed size – 17,000 Acres
• Open Ditch – 86,000 Feet of Public open Ditch
• Improvement of open ditch in 1944 – Added 3 branches
• Some cleaning of mainline in 1950’s
• Drainage system in need of repair
• No Redetermination of Benefits on record since construction in 1906
Some of the issues with County Ditch 10:
• Sedimentation
• Vegetation Growth
• †ree Removals
• Sloughing (bank failure)
• Washouts (flow and sediment get deposited into the ditch)
• Tile Outlets (broken tile, restricted at the banks, erosion)
• Majority of system has no buffer strips in place
• Field Crossings (poor conditions, wash away, erosion, flow restriction)
o Field crossings are part of the system costs
• Road Crossings (culverts are not tight with big drops, erosion)
o Road Crossings costs are allocated to those road authorities
Repairs and what they would look like:
• Open Ditch Cleaning
o Restore original trapezoid bottom (clean the bottom 1/3 of the ditch)
•Tree, Brush and Shrub Clearing
• Slough Repairs
o Remove sediment that has accumulated, flatten out bank slope, and seed it with erosion control blanket. Sometimes add in riprap to prevent washed away soil.
• Tile Outlet Repairs
o Cut back in the bank up to 20 feet to find a good chunk of tile or side inlet that is existing. We will connect on with a new piece of pipe with a concrete collar around the junction of those 2 pipes with the newer pipe one size bigger and then armor it with riprap.
• Alternative Side Inlets (good water quality practice and great drainage practice)
o Install drop structure with a reduced inlet at the top so we can control how much flow
o We have been very successful getting outside funding for these practices
• Buffer Seeding
• Culvert Crossings (riprap all the way around it-erosion control blanket)
Repair Item; Item Cost
Ditch Cleaning; $277,125
Tree Clearing; $247,211
Bank Stabilization and Slough Repair; $35,000
Alternative Side Inlets; $84,000
Field Crossings; $110,322
Tile Outlet (riprap, grading, & geotextile fabric); $156,175
Buffer and Side Slope Seeding; $108,500
Mobilization; $51,040
Repair Cost Estimate; $1,069,372
10% Contingency; $106,937
Administrative, ROB, Surveying , Engineering, Construction Administration Cost; $275,000
Temporary Damages; $19,500
Potential Storage; $175,000
Total Repair Cost; $1,645,809
Buffer Acquisition; $348,000
Total Landowner Cost; $1,993,809
Road Crossings; $492,264
(Does not Include Wetland Mitigation)
Multi-Purpose Drainage Management (MDM):
• Preventative Measures
o Cover Crop
o Crop Rotation
o Residue Management
o Nutrient Management
• Control Measures
o Grassed Waterways
o Controlled Drainage
o Alternative Side Inlets (temporary storage-drain off within 24 hours)
• Treatment Measures
o Wetland Restoration (weir structure with a impoundment behind it)
o Westland Enhancement (weir structure to protect flooding from downstream)
o Storage-Treatment Basin
• Reroute open ditch and do some substantial excavation create burns around it essential treat it on a large scale impoundment or base storm water pond for peat flow and flooding reduction. You can get some water quality benefits as well depending on how they are structured.
o Water and Sediment Control Basin (WASCOB’s)
o Woodchip Bioreactor
o Buffer Strips
Process and Next Steps:
• Re-determination of Benefits (By Ditch Viewers, July-September 2018)
• Re-Establishment of Records Final Report/Hearing (April 2018)
o Outlining what is legally part of the system and what we can repair to
• Full Repair Report and Repair Proceedings (July-September 2018)
o Full plan and profile documents
o Preliminary construction plans
o Preliminary storage option designs
o Cost estimates and alternatives
o Landowner Meetings
o Revisions to repair report/alternatives/potential mitigation and permits
o Public Hearing
• Construction Documents (September-October 2018)
o Detailed construction plans and designs
o Potential Mitigation/Permits
o Construction specifications
o Public bidding documents
o Bidding preparation and awarding contracts
• Construction Administration (November 2018-December 2019)
o Complete entire repair at one time/one contract
o Construction staking
o Construction observation and inspection
o As-Built survey and documentation
Outside Funding Opportunities:
• SWCD Received Grant $178,000
o Major erosion areas
o Side inlets
o WASCOBs-(in field)
• BWSR Clear Water Funds
• 319 Grant (Federal Clean Water Act thru MPCA)
• North Fork Crow River 1W1P
• Other cost share opportunities with SWCD
Andrew Grean, SWCD, explained that there is in general a lot of funding opportunities available for water quality projects, and projects that are specifically targeted for drainage improvement as well. The Engineering Reports provided seems like a lot and they are expensive. However they provide a foundation for SWCD to target projects and then acquire this grant funding.
We have a great foundation for where we are at right now. SWCD has had some success with other systems in the County as well. Joint Ditch 15 we started working there as well and found success with this approach. To be clear, the grant funds cannot be used for traditional ditch clean-out. There has to be a water quality component associated with the project. There is issues with the functioning of County Ditch 10 as well as water quality issues. The Lake Association has brought up issues and SWCD see this as an opportunity to find some middle ground. SWCD is not looking to plug the ditch and just flood out and restore all the wetlands but at the same time I think that we need to do something more than just simply dig the ditch out. So this funding is just the start of what we have received so far, what we are hoping is that as we show the State that we are organized, spending this money, and we are getting projects done it will hopefully set ourselves up for some more funding options. I see this as an investment in the system by bringing it up to current standards and technology.
Origer reinforced that in order for SWCD to apply for these grants there must be a plan in place and it is really a big step in getting the outside funding. The fact that the plan was already put together on another grant, and it was paid for by the drainage authority, is really a big step for this group of people.
Origer added that ISG did look at Lake Ann outlets and we know there is flooding on Lake Ann and further downstream. We looked at Ingram Ave. which is a culvert that flows upstream going into Lake Ann along with the culvert that goes into Lake Ann. We looked at flow elevations, flow capacities and we looked at the crossing between the two lakes. We also looked at open channel and the culvert downstream of Lake Emma. We came up with where the biggest restriction are at as far as flow goes that is between Lake Ann and Emma. However, we are limited as to how far we open up the flow between lakes, before we run into the next restriction downstream, which is the outlet to Lake Emma. As it lays today, Lake Emma’s outlet is sufficient for capacity. However we were looking at a combination of putting some storage in the watershed and fixing the outlet of Lake Ann and Emma just to get overall capacity and less peat flow generating over the whole system. There is some options there, the next step is meeting with the DNR and going through some of those options to see what is available. It helps to show the DNR that we are doing work in the watershed to address some of the flows that are going downstream.
Daleiden invited the public to come up to the podium for additional questions or comments.
Ryan Bakeberg; 6804 County Road 30 SW, Waverly:
Bakerberg commented that he has been going to drainage meetings for about 15 years now. I clearly understand the water quality of Lake Ann. I am a farmer for about a thousand acres with about 200 head of cattle. We try to do the best that we can, but if we do all of this to fix CD 10 and if you fix that outlet to Lake Ann going down from Emma, which Mark Origer said was sufficient for capacity, then Engle’s get flooded out, Diers gets flooded out, and we get flooded out south of Emma. We are also getting backed up do to the area between Long Lake and CD 10. If you keep dumping the water, you are going to just keep dumping it on us. There is a 13 foot fall right before Highway 12 that has to get fixed. We got Howard Lake’s water coming in there also and that is not even on this report.
Borrell stated that what Ryan is saying is that between the outlet of Lake Emma and all the way down to probably 70th Street, it is real flat across there.
Origer added that is why when we looked at that outlet, we wanted to look at more options and not just solely focus on one thing where the problem is. We need to look at how we can best address overall flow and hydraulics for the entire system. We need to look at increasing some flows and restrictions downstream but still holding some of that water back so that we just don’t start sending it down and flooding it on the next guy. There is a private ditch after Emma that is not listed on the DNR protected waters. Kryzer added that when we are looking at the outlet from Lake Ann to Emma it is also important to remember that the drainage law restricts us to what we can do. We can’t just go start cleaning out the outlet. The first step we are going to have to do is to have an improvement proceeding between Lake Ann and Emma and then at some point in time in the future, depending on what the benefited property owners want to do, the drainage authority may end up extending that ditch one mile downstream which would get us somewhere half way into Lake Emma. After everything would be finalized from that proceeding, we could do it another mile that then gets us into the private ditch. So, at this point and time we are only looking at doing an outlet improvement project between Lake Ann and Emma and just that process in and of itself is going to require a heavy lift on the part of ISG. They will need to go through a lot of engineering work that the DNR is going to require. Just that little area is probably going to be in the cost of about $200 thousand due to the DNR’s requirements.
Origer added and that’s the route that is most beneficial to go with just so that we can keep on top of the decision going forward. There is a couple of different routes you can go, but what Greg just described is probably the most beneficial. Right now the one thing that I guess that is a positive, as far as the outlet, is the outlet runs thru an area that is not a DNR protected water. So, we would not need to get a public water permit to clean that out, but we are affecting two water basins so it then essentially forces us to work with the DNR to come up with a solution. I think the best thing for the outlet is to start working with the DNR and see what options we have.
Bruce Jagodzinski; 10749 Kilbury Ave SW, Howard Lake:
I was interested if you had done any water quality tests coming out of the three major areas that you want to back up as wetlands? My property is the one on the south end on section 29. Is there a bigger benefit to set that wild life area up at Grass Lake? Is there a bigger water quality problem there or by Tuey Lake or up by Section 29? Is that what the number 1 priority means on the Storage Map you handed out, that we would get the most benefit if we went with the one by Grass Lake wetland?
Origer responded that the Storage Map that was handed out and the way that we stacked the priority numbers was a combination of a lot of things really; Hydrology, storage, flooding, sediment capture, and potential nutrient reduction. So, we looked at a combination of soils, watershed area, how much peat flow reduction was available and what the ditch capacities are. All these options shown on the Storage Map are good projects there certainly is not one that is substantially worst then the other. Ranking them was another thing that we used to help with the grant funding’s so that we could look at those dollars and decide which one to target.
William Rose; 7526 Norling Ave SW, Cokato:
I live at the top corner of Grass Lake, and have been getting bills for this project. We have lived there for 5 years. When I look at the presentation today it seems like the people at the lakes are getting hammered with water. My thought is that when you look at every one of the map handouts, the quality of water is only going to get improved if you stop dumping nutrients and all that stuff in the water. Everybody tiles and the water has got to go somewhere. People that are adjacent to the system are dumping water onto those places, and it is going to end up down in the lakes. The people on the lake are not going to be happy because of the water quality. I live at the top and my water quality is not good. Whatever process you are trying to figure out, it would be great that whoever is putting the most into the pollution in the water be the ones who pay for it. Farmers are trying their best for better quality but still there has to be other ways for people to be assessed for what they are putting in the water. Before you figure out who is going to pay what, you should figure out who is contributing the most to the problem.
Borrell said let me address this a little bit. When we do the redetermination of benefits I think it will largely address those issues. Right now the benefited roles are just very unfair and it is just basically those people that are right along the ditch. When the redetermination of benefits is complete, someone way down on the southwest part of this watershed is going to be assessed. Lands are assessed at different values, but everyone in the watershed will pay something.
Detjen added that essentially the redetermination of benefits look at the amount of water actually going into the system because obviously when you have water going into the system it causes future maintenance issues. Looking at the nitrogen’s and nutrients stuff is a whole separate deal and a change in statue to try and regulate that. I do want to point out that there is obviously some natural mineralization. If you just reduced nitrogen input to this system, that’s probably not going to be enough for levels that we are talking about to reduce it.
Nadeau stated that there is actually a lot of farmers that he works with that are doing a program where SWCD got a grant from BWSR for guys to look at not only their own land but their rented land. We wrote a grant that will pay for a farmer on some of this rental ground to have it gritted. So the farmer knows where he has put fertilizer and where he doesn’t need it. Centra Sota Coop is one of the ones that helps farmers run this program. There is a lot of programs farmers can get into. There is still farmers out there that can apply for this program. We have a cover cost program where farmers can get some seed down early. In August SWCD will be writing another grant to cover some of the costs for storage stations on CD 10.
Kryzer reminded landowners that what the drainage authority is really looking for today is if there is a majority of them that want to proceed with the MDM Repairs presented by ISG and to spend the two million dollars to get this ditch functioning properly again and to also fix the drainage to Lake Emma.
Vetsch asked Kryzer to clarify what the two million dollars equates to. Can you explain how big this watershed is? Kryzer responded by saying the approximate Watershed area is 23,000 acres divided by the 2 million which equates to about $90 an acre assessment. The County Drainage Authority may elect to divide those assessments over a number of years to try and lessen the impact to landowners.
Gerald Diers; 9283 County Road 6 SW, Howard Lake:
My question is, if the ditch gets fixed and everything works and gets repaired in 2019, will from Lake Ann on be fixed by then? Generally when I run water, all my water seems to go downhill and if this all gets fixed, the water is going to come a lot faster to Lake Ann. It was alluded to that you looked at Lake Ann and Emma and downstream from Emma but that is not going to be fixed before this all comes flooding down right?
Kryzer responded by saying he appreciates the question and what I can tell you is, if we proceed with this plan we are going to also start working with the DNR on trying to improve that outlet from Lake Ann to Emma. I can’t put a timeline on that, but we are going to start this year and hopefully have it going by next year. The DNR is a State Agency and I can’t make them move faster. We will start an outlet proceeding as soon as we can with the DNR, but it is a long process.
Potter stated that there is a Senate and House File to help smooth some of these proceedings. Borrell let landowners know that anyone who is willing to contact their State Representative or State Senator, it is House File 2687 and the Senate File is 2419. Basically what it says is if we have as-built records, or reestablished records the drainage authority may proceed with a drainage system repair without further concurrence, review, or permission of the commissioner under section 103E.011 subdivision 3.
Kryzer clarified that Lake Ann residents are currently not in the watershed and would not be considered benefited landowners after the redetermination, unless we were to do an extension of 1 mile to the ditch. Origer pointed out that with the Feasibility Study that we looked at for the flows downstream, the process that Greg is talking about is getting everything all the way taken care of. However, when we clean the ditch there will be more flow coming back to what the legal capacities are. The biggest issue right now is the crossing in between the lakes and that is possible within this time frame given before we do repairs upstream. The thing we have to do is keep the foot on the gas because there is timelines and deadlines with review from the DNR. Its 60 days for submittals on the public waters. As far as construction we can’t lower that outlet but we can expand it to get more flow through to prevent as much bounce going on. So we are not lowering the lake but just getting some additional capacity but not too much where we are flooding Emma as well. So, that is something that we are going to start moving on basically after this meeting today to keep that going forward. That is why storage in this system is so important so that when we do these repairs and add more flow we have a place for it to hold onto in the upper watershed before it keeps on going downstream. The storage areas also help the drainage ditch function because now you are putting less water pressure on the entire ditch system and you’re not beating it up as much with the fluctuations in the peak flows and the timing of everything.
Rhonda Rae; 8100 Imhoff Ave SW, Howard Lake
I appreciate that I am allowed to speak and we appreciate the work that you have been doing. The Lake Association really loves the idea of storage upstream and the buffer strips. I know it takes away from farming land which we want back also. The Lake Association wants the farmers to be profitable. The ditch was put in at a time when people thought as water as a waste product. I really like that I am starting to hear that water is a resource. It is not just Lake Ann residents that enjoy it. We are concerned about the options we are hearing regarding the opening to Lake Ann and Emma. However, we know you are going to work with the DNR regarding the bounce in that lake. We don’t see our lake as an extension of the ditch for drainage. We are a lake and we do not want to be part of the ditch.
Daleiden asked for a show of hands from the landowners who would want the drainage authority to move ahead with this project. A majority of the landowners were for moving ahead.
Gail Hayhurst; 8987 Hollister Ave SW, Howard Lake
We are technically on Lake Ann and Emma, our property includes the outlet between the 2 lakes. Will we have a separate hearing to discuss the DNR proposal for managing that outlet or reconstructing that outlet between Ann and Emma or how will that decision be made?
Kryzer replied stating that the DNR normally does not require a public hearing as part of that process. What I can tell you is that after talking with the engineer, Mark has done this process before, but the DNR requires a fish channel be put in and an ordinary high water mark to be maintained. Right now there is a lot of rock at the Lake Ann exist that is causing a substantial amount of water being held back. We can get you the numbers to show you, but I think once we open that up and try to clean that out, you will see better flow. Husom pointed out that landowners will be notified before anything will be done by the drainage authority or by the DNR, it won’t be a surprise to landowners. Origer stated that essentially the DNR is the owner of the lake and you go through them to work on it. You can’t lower the water level without any permission. With what we are seeing with restrictions there, we are only going to be allowed, in working with the DNR, to open up essentially the flood gates so much. There is no DNR Public Hearing process, but I would suggest we keep landowners aware of our progress.
Tyler Trende; 10999 82nd St. SW, Howard Lake:
I was wondering what the difference is between and what is involved with certain proposed plans as far as wetland enhancements and wetland restorations?
Origer stated that as far as wetland enhancements there is already some low ground areas that are not farmed anymore and have been retired. We have got wetland properties that flood a lot and are more of a flood plain. Essentially we would take those areas and put more water on them to help with some extra storage and reduce flows downstream. Wetland restoration is taking farm land now and totally flipping that around back to what it was, pre-sentiment. It allows for flexibility to re-direct water flowing during a high-flow even. To create pot holes where there is physically water pooled the whole time and slow down or manipulate the water flow.
Sean Groos; 8082 CTY Rd 6 SW, Howard Lake:
How can you have an outlet on Emma and that ditch be all private? If the landowners don’t want to do anything about it and it is restricting the natural flow water, how did that happen or come about?
Kryzer pointed out that the establishment of the ditch happened in 1906 and it is what it is now. We don’t know why they stopped the ditch where they did.
Origer then covered the Re-Establishment of Records:
We are in the process of re-establishing the records because we have incomplete documentation to establish the as-built in 1906. In the 1940’s we found that the branches and laterals off of Hempel Lateral were and are part of the system. Whether we do repairs on that or not we can discuss in the future. The biggest one is Hess Lateral, which is in Stockholm Township, and that is one of the leading edges into Grass Lake with an outlet into Spring Lake. With the re-establishment we are going through that is not legally part of the ditch system right now. It has been straightened and cleaned and someone has dug this out. If you are a landowner or the drainage authority, do we want that to be part of the system? It needs to be cleaned, it needs to be repaired but right now there is not a legal way to do that. It’s a decision yes or no do we want to address that now or leave that private? Maybe there is a landowner that we talk to. It drains a large portion of the watershed but the records indicate that it is legally not a part of the system. I would personally recommend making this part of the system just because of its function unless there is objection from the landowner.
Kryzer stated that the recommendation to the Drainage Authority would be to proceed with the full repair report and repair proceeding as providing in the estimate from ISG and to direct staff and the engineer to work with the DNR on the outlet proceeding between Lake Ann and Lake Emma.
There was a consensus with the Drainage Authority to follow the recommendation stated by Kryzer.
The meeting was adjourned at 12 noon.
(End of 3-13-18 COTW Minutes)
Adopt Resolution In Support Of Legislative Change Regarding Election Equipment
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-24, a resolution in support of legislation for alternative ballot styles to be used in the voting process, specifically with assistive voting technology that creates a marked paper ballot indicating the voter’s selection for each office by use of a touch screen or other electronic device. The motion was seconded by Borrell. Hiivala said the House has passed the omnibus bill to proceed to the floor of the House and will likely pass. They are trying to get a hearing before the Senate. Thirty states have allowed for this. The draft resolution is consistent with NACO and AMC. It was pointed out that even if the bill passes, it still has to be certified by the Secretary of State. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Transfer (New) 3.2% Liquor License For Albion Ridges LLC. Previous Owner Was Known As NOSLO, Inc. DBA Albion Ridges
Borrell moved to approve the liquor license transfer for Albion Ridges LLC. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Pundsack introduced Marla Scherber, Library Services Coordinator in St. Michael, and Sara Sealey, Library Services Coordinator in Monticello. A PowerPoint presentation was made on the services provided by GRRL to Wright County citizens. GRRL has library branches in Annandale, Buffalo, Clearwater, Cokato, Delano, Howard Lake, Monticello, Rockford, and St. Michael. Of the 132,598 residents in Wright County (2017 population), there are 32,941 library cardholders. Wright County libraries saw 367,580 patrons in 2017, and there were 900,996 books checked out. It was noted that physical books are the core of the library business. Scherber and Sealey provided information on various programs offered through the St. Michael and Monticello libraries and communities. Pundsack referenced HF 1382/SF 1033 which involves a request for an increase and more stabilized funding for Regional Library Basic System Support and Multicounty Multi-type Library System Support. HF 1484/SF 2218 relate to support of the appropriation of $10 million for construction and remodeling of public library buildings. Pundsack thanked the County Board for the support of the GRRL. Potter extended appreciation to Pundsack for her efforts, initiatives, and efficiencies that have been realized in the organization.
Approve The Recommended Contract For Janitorial Services Company & Approve Execution Of The Service Agreement
Alan Wilczek, Facilities Director, said in 2017 discussions were held on the future direction of Building Maintenance. Currently, the County has in-house custodial staff to perform cleaning. In the past year, cleaning of additional County buildings was added including the Justice Center once constructed. Maintenance staffing has reduced by five employees since 2016 due to retirements and other conditions outside of employment. The team is working hard and are operating efficiently. In 2017, discussions included not backfilling positions but to move toward contracted services for janitorial cleaning. Current staff would move to day hours and focus on maintenance activities.
The RFP process included postings and tours. Seven companies participated in the RFP and interviews with six firms followed. One of the firms did not meet the requirements in the RFP and did not complete a required site walk through. Wilczek said the suggested vendor, ABM Services, is not the lowest RFP. It was decided to recommend the best value package based on a point system used through the entire process.
Wilczek recommended award of a janitorial services contract with ABM Services for a three-year contract at an annual cost of $431,966.16 and to proceed with negotiation and execution of the service agreement which will be signed by the Board Chair. Sites include the Government Center, Human Services Center, Public Works, Law Enforcement Center/Jail, and Highway Department.
Borrell questioned why the topic has not been presented to Building Committee. Wilczek responded that it was discussed during budget sessions in 2017. Daleiden agreed and said the direction was that they could move forward. Wilczek said there are a couple of vacant positions in the budget, and the cost of the janitorial services contract will be taken from Professional Services. Borrell said the Board met as a COTW to discuss the Class/Comp Study which was about half the cost of the janitorial agreement. Discussion led to the agreement. Wilczek said a standard services agreement is being used. He worked with the County Attorney’s Office and Risk Management.
Vetsch made a motion to award and develop a contract with ABM Services for janitorial services for County buildings, seconded by Potter. Vetsch said the motion is with the stipulation that the Board is able to review the contract. Borrell said it makes sense for the contract to proceed to the Building Committee for review. Vetsch and Potter amended the motion to include the contract going to Building Committee. The motion carried 5-0.
Approve 3-14-18 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes & Act On Recommendations
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden requested that the spelling of his name be corrected in the TCOTW minutes. Potter moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Briarwood Ave Traffic Study Proposals (Bertram Regional Park)
Wright County received 3 bid proposals for the Traffic Study. All three firms submitted complete bids. The Highway Department is recommending that WSB be awarded the contract, as they were the lowest bidder and we have done work with them in the past. Angela Schumann asks how the bids compared, if everything needed was included on the bid. Chad Hausmann says everything was met in all three bids and mentions that the high bid covered more than what was needed. All three bidders were qualified and the Highway Department is good to go with WSB. Virgil Hawkins asked for approval to proceed.
Derek Vetsch asks what the proposed dates are for the traffic study to be completed. Hausmann says the plan is to gather preliminary data in the early spring and then collect data at the peak and then at the end of the summer. Vetsch asks how the cost of the study will be split, 50/50 City and County. Marc Mattice says he had a conversation with Lindsey Meyer, Assistant Finance Director, who asked that the 50% from the County come from the Parks Department. He said Parks will do their best to do that but it was not in their budget to begin with. L. Meyer wants clarification stated in the minutes as to who is paying what portion. It is agreed that it will be 50/50 split between the City and the County and that the 50% from the County will come from the Parks budget. Daleiden asks if Monticello Township is satisfied with the plans – Bob Idziorek says yes. It is also agreed that the County Highway Department is going to sign and administer contract.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus that a recommendation be made to the Board of Commissioners to accept the proposal and accept the bid from WSB and proceed with the traffic study.
II. Marked Crosswalk Policy Update
Hausmann discussed some revisions that needed to be made to the policy, being it hasn’t been updated in 20 years. The overall criteria of when and where for crosswalks hasn’t changed, but the ownership, responsibility and cost sharing has. Ownership of a crosswalk depends on who maintains it. The County doesn’t maintain crosswalks – typically they are the responsibility of the schools or the City.
Another update to the policy was in regards to the signing and markings for crosswalks. Signage and maintenance used to be the responsibility of the City or school, but now the County will maintain the signage in order to keep an inventory and for consistency. The County will then bill the responsible party. . Painted crosswalk markings will remain the responsibility of the city or school districts.
Tom Moores asks if the county will maintain the signage on all county roads. Hawkins and Hausmann both say yes.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus to proceed with the policy updates.
III. Highway Maintenance Planning Items (Outlying Shops, Long Term Gravel Source, Future Staffing)
Long term gravel source.
Hawkins gives an update of the current situation. Due to our building and the new Court Services building going in, we can no longer mine material here and are in need of locating a long term gravel source. We’d like to find a long term source rather than buying the material. Hawkins says they would like to test a few sites to see if they would be viable sources. Christine Husom asks about the gravel at Rasset Pit, if that would be a good source. Steve Meyer says it’s not good material there. Mattice says he is aware of a good spot but it is a distance away. Meyer notes that the ideal spot would be on a paved road. Vetsch asks how many acers we need for a good long term source. Hausmann says the jail footprint would be nice. The goal would be to find a 20-30 year source. Vetsch questions what the ballpark of cost would be needed to buy the land for the long term source and asks if Sales Tax Revenue can cover purchase of land. Meyer says it would all depends on quality of spot. Hausmann would determine cost vs. source vs. what it costs us to buy material then crunch the numbers to find the breakeven point.
Daleiden asks Bob Hiivala how the gravel tax works. Hiivala says at this time it is based on the honor system, that the miners work with the owners and remit a statement of what they mined. Vetsch says that that money then gets split between county and townships and says there is about 20% kept in escrow. Hawkins requests to let us use some of our savings from the bids to allow us to go do some test drilling. Daleiden asks who will do the drilling work. Steve says most likely Braun or a similar testing firm. Hawkins said we will get quotes from Braun and others. Daleiden says yes move forward with testing. Potter would like a ballpark on cost prior to budget time.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the committee to proceed with researching potential gravel sources.
Outlying shops
Hawkins says we have a short term plan to build a new shop in the Annandale area which would be used to then combine the two shops from French Lake and Maple Lake. French Lake needs to be phased out. There are two locations that Meyer indicated they are looking at as possibilities to purchase. The first property is located on the south side of TH 55 in Annandale and is a more desirable location wise but the current owners don’t seem interested in making the property available in the near future. The other property on the north side of TH 55 is an industrial site that is about 45 acres of city owned land that we could buy a portion, about 5 acres of. Hawkins says we have the money budgeted in the C.I.P. for 2019 to buy land and build. He wanted to start bringing it up now that we are looking for land already. Vetsch asks that we get a good estimate of the cost factor for doing this and that C.I.P. will have an idea of amount for budgeting purposes. He would like to have a good hard number. Husom also mentions to consider how much we are selling our properties, French Lake and Maple Lake, for.
Vetsch mentions that politically, residents will be worried that a shop closing will mean a reduction of services. Alan Wilczek said that has been mentioned to him as well. Hausmann said they would have to be very aware to notify people that services wouldn’t be impacted. Greg Kryzer suggests they move to a closed session to acquire the real estate when it comes time for that.
Meyer continues with updates saying they are looking at less than 5years to need to expand the Otsego shop due to growth and expansion of the highways. He also indicates that they will be in need of another snow plow once the lanes are expanded in Otsego. Wilczek asks how long we are good for space currently in the building – Meyer said two years or so. Potter would like Meyer to get an estimate for moving one wall in the bay that would expand the shop.
Ultimately Meyer says he would like us to go to tandem plowing when the lanes are expanded in Otsego. Meyer also says that by July 2018, he wants to talk about 2019 budgeting with the intent to fulfil the staffing needs and bring another person on board starting the winter of 2019. Meyer wanted to give everyone an early heads up on his needs for staffing and a future snow plow.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the committee to look into potential properties for the new Annandale shop and to calculate hard numbers for an estimated cost of buying the land and building.
IV. Updated 5 year Plan
Hawkins gives an update. For 2018, the estimated Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) spending on construction is approximately $4.4 million. Money collected for LOST in 2018 is approximately $5-6 million. In 2019 it is projected we will have a balance in the lost account that will cover the projects on books we estimate will amount to $7million.
Hawkins says we want to update the 5 year plan on the website to include the Local Option Sales Tax projects and that we will update it every couple of years based on new funding options. Vetsch asks how it works for safety items, such as new signs or safety lanes. Hawkins says we budget extra for safety projects.
Vetsch asks if we can accelerate LOST projects if funding is available at the time. Hawkins says yes. Hausmann said the list is not in any order of importance besides short term, midterm, and long term. There is flexibility to move some if revenue is available.
Schumann asks if we have a way to identify (to get specific detail) where sales tax money specifically is coming from. Hiivala says he has requested that info.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the committee to have the Highway Department update the 5 year plan to show the LOST projects.
V. Local Option Sales Tax Discussion
Went on in October and has netted for 1st three months, including the first half of December, $1.446 million. Still waiting on information from the state to see what, specifically, funds can all be used for. Kryzer said their office’s conservative version/translation says it’s a grey area, when dealing with funds from sales tax, and the safest option is to go with what is clearly stated in the statutes and also notes that if you want to add anything to the list of projects, there must be another public hearing to add it.
VI. Other:
Hilgart asks about potential for CSAH 39 and the Gillard intersection for 3 way stop signage. Hawkins said there is not enough volume on Gillard to meet warrants for an all way stop condition.
Also, crosswalks on county roads – by Pinewood and east of Von Hansen’s on 39 – Hawkins said we are going to sealcoat and re stripe it this summer. The City would need to apply for permission to put in crosswalk if it meets the criteria.
Vetsch asks when the last time a car count was done on 18 by Jason. Hausmann says 2016. With a volume of 4800. Hawkins said we may be able to review speed limit sign location.
(End of 3-14-18 TCOTW Minutes)
Approve Agreement No.1030633 With MNDOT & Resolution For The Revised Signal System At TH12 And County Road 139 In Delano, MN
On a motion by Potter, second by Borrell, all voted to adopt Resolution #18-25 approving Agreement No. 1030633 with MnDOT for the revised signal system at TH 12 & CR 139 in Delano, MN.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom referenced the following sentence of the minutes: Page 1, last paragraph, 3rd line, “The Board would continue to provide input on the performance reviews for department heads, but would no longer review the 360 performance evaluations, that would become the responsibility of the Administrator.” She understood that the County Board would continue to see the evaluations. After discussion, it was the consensus to remove the sentence from the minutes and discuss this further when the Coordinator vs. Administrator topic when is brought back to the COTW. Daleiden referenced Page 2, Item b. under Recommendations, and asked that the word “contact” be changed to “contract” in that sentence. Vetsch moved to approve the minutes and the recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning
Discussions overall were regarding the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding with an ERP system. Our current state has many inefficiencies that an ERP could be correct. Project costs have been estimated at approximately $80,000 for a consultant to develop a Request for Proposals, with an additional $1.5 - 4M for the ERP system. This can be leveraged across the County encompassing key functions.
Discussed funding concerns. Structure the project so costs are incurred over two years; will replace other systems; thereby reducing those costs. There are also the benefits of streamlining processes and mitigating risks to the County.
Discussed other counties that are utilizing ERP systems. Of the five researched, they are all structured differently. Some were not as successful as others were. It was suggested we reach out to other counties to see why they like their ERP, why they don’t, what went wrong, what went right.
Recommendation: Move this project forward with the next steps, which is to retain Info-Tech to create an RFP, so that the County can have estimated costs for an ERP system prior to setting the 2019 budget.
II. Strategic Planning – Coordinator vs Administrator
Updated Strategic Plan copies were distributed. This plan, created in 2015, reflects the status of the tasks identified. Coordinator Kelly noted that the Board last reviewed this plan in fall of 2017. Kelly further stated that he needs to hear from the Board as to what role they would like see, Coordinator or Administrator.
Discussed the structure of the County and the role that an Administrator could provide. Department heads would report to this positon, but the Board would retain oversight. This positon would ensure that policies and procedures are followed. The Board would continue to provide input on the performance reviews for department heads, but would no longer review the 360 performance evaluations, that would become the responsibility of the Administrator. The Board would be responsible for the review of the Administrator. If there are concerns with a department head, and a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP) becomes necessary, it will be the responsibility of the Administrator to oversee that.
The County has governances in place, without an Administrator enforcement of these is not easy; IT governances, records management, purchasing processes, and so on. In addition, concerns with departments going around processes and procedures to get an end result that they want, but may not be in the best interest of the County.
Commissioner Daleiden stated that he wants to see the Committee structure retained, does not want that to go away if they proceed with an Administrator.
Discussed lobbying efforts, should it be at staff level or a paid lobbyist to assist the County on matters that have impact or are of importance to the County.
A. HR Director Johnson will put together a job description for the Commissioners to review.
B. Labor Attorney Madden will be contacted to draft a contact for the Commissioners to review.
C. Administration is to reach out to other counties to see how they are handling their lobbying and the cost for lobbyist services.
D. A meeting to continue this discussion will be set for April 24 at 10:30 am, at a future Board meeting.
E. When updating the Strategic Plan document identify dates of progress and accomplishments.
(End of 3-20-18 COTW Minutes)
On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to set a COTW Meeting on 4-24-18 at 10:30 A.M. Agenda items include Strategic Planning, and Coordinator vs. Administrator.
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said the resolution reflects any expenses prior to bonding will be paid with bonding funds once received. He said this is a standard process. Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #18-26, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Kelly said a letter was sent by Tom Gile, BWSR (MN Board of Water and Soil Resources) to counties that have not taken action related to the election of jurisdiction to enforce the buffer law. If the Board wishes to make a change, he said it should be decided prior to the 6-15-18 deadline. Borrell thought the Board had already decided not to take action. Vetsch said he asked Kelly to place this back on the Agenda for discussion. Since the time the Board addressed this topic previously, Matt Detjen, Ditch Coordinator, has been hired. He suggested taking back local control and utilizing the funding toward that position. Detjen said the County’s role would be more administration and enforcement. The SWCD would still be in charge of determining non-compliance. Borrell suggested not taking this on if the State already is taking care of enforcement. The funding may not cover expenses and this could end up being an unfunded mandate. Vetsch said the County is expending a lot of money on ditches, and the funding could be used toward those expenses. It would involve sending out letters of non-compliance. By the time of the third notice, it is cited as a misdemeanor. Detjen stated there is less than 2% non-compliance.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the law provides a means for a county to rescind jurisdiction at a future date. It is not an annual election, so the change in jurisdiction would remain in place until changed.
Potter does not see the cost benefit. He favors staying out of this for a year to see what transpires, as the law has not taken effect. There is also not unanimous support from all Minnesota counties.
Hiivala stated that as drainage authority, the Board has the responsibility to enforce buffers for drainage systems. The County will also take on enforcement of national waterways. He encouraged the Board to give this consideration; it would provide them with more authority. Vetsch said it is good when there are opportunities to maintain local control with no new staff time. The County would receive the funding to offset current expenses, and there is a method to rescind it if it doesn’t work out.
Vetsch made a motion to adopt the resolution affirming Wright County’s jurisdiction to carry out the compliance provisions of MN Statutes 103B.101, Subd. 12A and 103F.48. The motion failed for lack of a second. Husom would like additional time for consideration. Kryzer said if the Board intends to move forward, he would like them to do so by the end of April to allow adequate notice time for the public hearing, etc. It was the consensus that this item can be brought back to the Board if desired.
1. COOP Tabletop Exercise. Vetsch attended the exercise on 3-22-18. Another exercise will be scheduled in the future, and he encouraged participation of Board members.
2. Mayor’s Association Dinner. Vetsch and Potter attended the gathering last week. A presentation was made by Justice Department advocates.
3. Potter was at the Capital on 3-26-18 with Hiivala regarding election equipment.
4. HF 3174. Potter said HF 3174 relates to an appropriation of $500,000 for feasibility of the expansion or construction of I-94 from St. Michael to St. Cloud. Other bills have been introduced to have MnDOT make the third lane between Monticello and Clearwater a permanent driving lane versus a temporary lane. He said MnDOT is against it because they are fiscally constrained.
5. Transportation Alliance Board Meeting. Potter attended a meeting on 3-26-18. Support is being sought for sales tax on auto parts, providing another funding mechanism that would generate about $150 million in funding. There is almost $1 billion in projects yet to be funded, including bridges. Another hearing is scheduled on 3-28-18.
6. Albion Township Meeting. Husom attended a meeting last week.
7. Husom recognized the passing of Waverly Fire Assistant Chief Doug Ault, and said it impacts the entire fire safety community.
8. Joint Ditch Meeting. Husom and Borrell will attend the meeting on 3-29-18.
9. Water Management Task Force. Daleiden attended a meeting where discussion involved AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species). This summer, 7000 hours each have been slated for the ramps and regional inspection site. A contest was held for most inspections per hour. It was awarded for inspections held at Beebe Lake with 4.6 per hour.
The meeting adjourned at 10:36 AM.
Published in the Herald Journal April 13, 2018.