Wright County Board Minutes

MAY 8, 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 Board Minutes: Page 8, Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates #6, change to read, “Foster Care Appreciation Banquet: Vetsch and Husom will attend the banquet on 5-03-18” (Husom). Husom moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
The following item was petitioned onto the Agenda: Aud./Treas. Timed Item #3, “Credit Card Processing” (Daleiden). Vetsch moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom, and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Schedule Closed Session - Committee of the Whole Meeting, 5-14-18 @ 11:00 AM, To Discuss Litigation, MCIT Claim(s) 17WC2332 & 17WC2336
1. Approve Abatement, PID # 112-026-001270, Marvin Streich
1. Approve Renewal Of Annual On-Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Albion Ridges LLC In Albion Township, License Period 7-01-18 To 6-30-19
2. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between 4-25-18 & 5-01-18
1. Position Replacement:
A. Office Technician II
1. Accept the findings and recommendation of the Planning Commission for the following rezoning:
A. DELORES HANCE - (Chatham Twp.) The Planning Commission On A Unanimous Vote Recommend Approval Of Rezoning The West 10 Acres From AG General Agricultural To A/R Agricultural-Residential
1. Accept the findings and recommendation of the Planning Commission for the following rezoning:
A. DARREN R HANSEN - (Rockford Twp.) The Planning Commission On A Unanimous Vote Recommend Approval Of The Request To Rezone From AG General Agricultural To A/R Agricultural-Residential
1. Position Replacement:
A. GIS Specialist
Approval For Out Of State Travel For County Veteran Services Officer To Attend National Association Of County Veterans Service Office Annual Training
Pickard said his position requires continuing education requirements to stay accredited. He requested approval to attend the National Association of County Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) Annual Training in Reno Nevada from June 3-8, 2018. Costs will be covered by a CVSO State Grant.
Vetsch moved to approve the out-of-state travel for Pickard, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0.
Adopt Resolution Authorizing Sale Of Bonds
Review Recommendations For The Issuance Of Bonds
Hiivala introduced Chris Mickelson, Ehlers Financial Specialist, who provided the sale date report information for $45,465,000 in General Obligation Capital Improvement Plan Bonds, Series 2018A. The sale date was 5-07-18. The purpose of the bonds is to finance the construction of the new Justice Center.
The final par amount was reduced from $47,890,000 to $45,465,000 because of receiving a premium bid. The winning bidder bid a purchase price that is above par, allowing them to use coupons on the bond that are actually higher than what the bonds would yield to the investor. As part of the sale, the County’s bond rating of AA+ was confirmed by S&P Global Ratings. Thirteen bids were received and the low bidder is Morgan Stanley & Co., LLC, New York, New York. The true interest rate is just under 3.1%. Mickelson said thirteen bids were received, all within 10 basis points, reflecting competitive bidding on the part of the underwriters. The total net principal and interest is $66,759,124. The closing date is set for 6-07-18. The action requested of the Board is to adopt the resolution authorizing the sale of the bonds. The draft resolution provided in the packet will be updated with the final numbers.
Mickelson provided an overview of the remainder of the sale date report. He referenced the debt service schedule. The fifteen basis points of difference from the revised presale estimate to today’s final debt service schedule translates to $81,000 in annual interest savings. The report includes an updated rating from S&P Global Ratings. The AA+ rating was affirmed. This is a result of the strong economy, strong management, strong budgetary performance, flexibility, and liquidity, weak debt, contingent liability position, and strong institutional framework score. The first payment is scheduled for June 2019 and will be interest only.
On a motion by Potter, second by Vetsch, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #18-39 awarding the sale of General Obligation Capital Improvement Plan Bonds, Series 2018A, in the original aggregate principal amount of $45,465,000; fixing their form and specifications; directing their execution and delivery; and providing for their payment.
Credit Card Processing
Daleiden said meetings have been held to discuss credit card processing at the County. The original thought was to proceed with Paymentus as the vendor but they are unable to service the County in the manner needed. The consensus of those that met is to proceed with Forte. US Bank will be used for property tax payments and Department of Motor Vehicle payments. Daleiden requested the Board authorize moving forward with Forte and for the Auditor/Treasurer to proceed with negotiating a contract. The contract will be for five years. Vetsch said staff is optimistic this vendor will be aggressive and have the credit card option up and running within 60 days.
Potter made a motion to approve proceeding with a contract with Forte after the Attorney’s Office has an opportunity to vet the contract. The motion was seconded by Husom. Hiivala will place approval of the contract on the Consent Agenda at a future meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. Borrell said his perspective is the County isn’t seeing tangible benefits but does realize tangible costs. He referenced a Star Tribune article from 2017 that reflected the high salary and large buyout for an employee of Greater MSP. He said taxpayer dollars are being used toward an organization that is mismanaged in that regard. Borrell said the County should have some control in the funding given to the EDP, and will vote against the recommendation to allow the Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) to determine how to allocate their funds. Discussion followed on not micromanaging organizations that receive funding from Wright County. Potter said there was considerable discussion at the Board of Directors Meeting on the concerns raised by Borrell and some changes have been made. Borrell said that the County has never gotten a lead from Greater MSP and does not feel County taxpayer dollars should be used toward this organization. The motion to approve the minutes and recommendations carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote. The minutes follow:
Kelly noted Northagen had requested a board discussion regarding Greater MSP membership when he attended the board meeting a few weeks ago. Borrell stated that at the 2018 budget sessions it was decided to maintain the current contribution level for the Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP). However, the $10,000 in funds that have traditionally been used for Greater MSP membership dues would be given to the WCEDP to use, but the County would no longer be a member of Greater MSP.
Daleiden asked about the value that the County has gotten from Greater MSP membership. Northagen discussed an example of how Greater MSP assisted in developing properties in Otsego along Hwy 101. Elam noted these are a team effort with many parties involved. He felt that even though some of the projects Greater MSP helped bring to Minnesota did not land in Wright County, there was still value to the region as employees in the west metro often drive out further for cheaper housing. Business is generated in the county through sales tax and groceries.
Northagen acknowledged the County’s decision at last year’s budget sessions. He explained that the WCEDP board of directors discussed membership in Greater MSP at four separate meetings and came to a consensus that they wanted to retain membership. He is here to ask the County to reconsider.
Borrell did not feel that there has been a benefit to membership. Business leads have not been developed by Greater MSP. He believes the private sector businesses should be supporting this membership, rather than public sector. Elam reviewed the membership dues and noted most of the dues come from private sector.
Vetsch thought the WCEDP Board of Directors should determine how to spend their funds and how to best run the partnership, rather than the County Board. If they decided to maintain Greater MSP membership he would support that decision. Husom supported maintaining membership as any extra business that is brought to the county helps the tax base and helps to keep taxes low.
Potter supported Greater MSP membership, but expressed concern that the Greater MSP board of directors does not include anyone from Wright County or other outstate counties.
RECOMMENDATION: Allow WCEDP to determine how to allocate their funds.
(End of 5-01-18 COTW Minutes)
The County Board received an invite to the tour on 5-31-18. The tour will begin at 9:30 AM and the conference at 10:30 AM. National Association of Counties (NACo) will also hold a briefing the evening of 5-30-18 in their Washington Office. The estimated cost is approximately $700-$750 per person for flight and two nights lodging. There is no cost for the tour and conference. Vetsch moved to authorize attendance by Board members, the County Coordinator, and the Assistant County Coordinator. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. Borrell and Daleiden indicated they will not be attending.
Discussion led to the schedule of upcoming committee meetings and whether any would need to be changed because of attendance at the White House Conference and White House Residence Tour. Committee meeting day on 5-30-18 includes a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Meeting. Vetsch prefers to attend that meeting and requested it be rescheduled. It was agreed that the 6-01-18 COTW Meeting at 10:30 AM should not be rescheduled. That meeting is to discuss the furniture, equipment, and technology cost share for the Justice Center.
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Potter, all voted to:
· Cancel the 5-29-18 COTW Meeting and reschedule it to 6-12-18 at 11:00 AM (Review of County Administrator Job Description)
· Schedule a CIP Meeting for 6-01-18 at 9:30 AM. (Review proposed allocations for CIP)
· Designate Daleiden and Borrell to attend the Personnel and Technology Committee Meetings on 5-30-18
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said with groundbreaking scheduled for the new Justice Center and the bond accepted, it is timely to decide on a schedule for Owners Committee meetings and set change order approval limits. Owners Committee appointments are currently Borrell and Potter with Daleiden serving as the alternate. Past discussion followed on approval limits for committee members and staff, and the desire for few changes orders. Vetsch would like to have an accrued total limit for change orders.
Husom made a motion to set the change order approval limit to $10,000 for the Administration Office and $20,000 for the Owners Committee. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. Kelly said the list of Owners Committee Meetings will be brought to a future Board Meeting for approval.
Kelly suggested a COTW meeting to review the design services proposal received from BKV. Kelly was directed to consult BKV for their availability and to place this on the 5-15-18 Agenda.
1. Buffalo Safe Schools Meeting. Husom attended the last meeting of the school year. Central MN Mental Health will have an Open House on 5-16-18 in Buffalo. Topics include Common Issues in Early Chemical Dependency Recovery, Medication Education Basics, and Positive Behavior Toolbox for School-Age Children.
2. Foster Care Banquet. Husom and Vetsch attended on 5-03-18. Husom said the foster care providers are providing a great service to the communities helping with children and adults who need care.
3. Community Book Read. The “Gifts of Imperfection” Community Conversation will be held on 5-16-18 at 7:00 PM at the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center. Free admission.
4. Buffalo Area Dementia Friends, “Sweet Moments in the Making.” The event will be held on 5-30-18 at 6:30 PM at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo. Guest speaker is Karla Heeter.
5. Wright County Sheriff’s Office Open House will be held on 6-08-18 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM.
6. Bertram Lakes Advisory Board Meeting. Daleiden and Vetsch attended the meeting held last week. Museum quality educational/informational signs will be used in the Park. A University of Minnesota student working on a Master’s Degree designed the signs and obtained National Park grant funding.
7. Law Day will be held on 5-11-18.
8. Ditch 36 Meeting. Vetsch attended a meeting where approval was gained from the DNR for work that needs to be completed on Ditch 36 because of flooding. He extended appreciation to Representative Marian O’Neill for her assistance in bringing all parties together to get this achieved.
9. Corridors of Commerce. Potter said Wright County was successful in obtaining $56 million in Corridors of Commerce funding in 2020 for expansion of I-94 from Monticello to Albertville. Feedback has been received as all the projects that received funding were within 40 miles of the metro area. He said MnDOT followed the rules set by the legislature and the highest ranking projects received funding. The list of projects will be held and used during the next solicitation process.
10. Election Equipment. Potter said the initiative to allow counties with more options for election equipment is having a hard time passing the Senate. Senator Mary Kiffmeyer is not going to allow a hearing on this topic. They will try to schedule a demonstration on the equipment for Senator Bruce Anderson and possibly Senator Paul Gazelka.
11. Transportation Alliance Executive Committee. Potter attended a meeting on 5-07-18.
12. House Tax Committee Hearing on the Auto Parts Sales Tax. Potter said the issue has been at the Transportation Committee, is now at the Tax Committee, and it may proceed to another Committee. The topic is still being discussed in the House but he is not as optimistic in the Senate.
13. Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha Subordinate Sewer District (SSD). Potter met with Asleson and Hiivala today. In 2020, there will be a shortage of funding from the SSD and there is $670,000 owed on the bond. They are working to make sure that the list of connections is up to date. There are 190 connections authorized with the ability to go up to 235.
14. State Auditor Lawsuit Reimbursement. Daleiden said there is not yet a companion bill in the Senate to reimburse Wright and Becker Counties for costs incurred defending the State Auditor lawsuit. Daleiden urged Board members to email Senator Bruce Anderson, Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, and Senator Scott Newman to bring forward a companion bill for reimbursement.
15. Coordinator Updates:
A. Kelly said last week a Leadership Team Meeting was held. Ann Antonsen from Springsted presented on the upcoming Classification and Compensation Study. The kickoff is scheduled for next week, and seven employee sessions will be held.
B. The Sherburne County Government Center Expansion Grand Opening will be held 6-06-18 at 3:00 PM. Kelly said Sherburne County sent an invite for Board members. Ribbon cutting is at 3:00 PM and tours of the facility are scheduled from 3:00-6:00 PM.
The meeting adjourned at 10:31 AM.
Respectfully submitted,
Susan Backes, Clerk to the County Board
Published in the Herald Journal May 25, 2018.