Wright County Board Minutes

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden, Potter, and Borrell present.
Husom moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Vetsch. The motion carried 5-0.
The following items were petitioned onto the Agenda:
- Consent Agenda, “Information Technology, Refer The Following Items To The 9-26-18 Technology Committee: ERP Status Update, Office 365 Status Update, and Project Portfolio” (Adam Tagarro)
- Consent Item, “Administration, Authorize Attendance, Township Officers Meeting, 10-04-18 @ 7:30 PM” (Lee Kelly)
- Items For Consideration, “Schedule Committee Of The Whole Meeting RE: Proposed New Government Center” (Lee Kelly)
Potter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Vetsch. The motion carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Borrell requested to pull Consent Item C, “ADMINISTRATION, Authorize Attendance Of Darek Vetsch, 2018 Minnesota/Wisconsin Public Transportation Conference & Expo, October 15-17, 2018, Lacrosse WI, With Conference Attendance Funded By Trailblazer Transit.” Potter included the removal of Item C in the approval of the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Authorize Signatures On Revocable License For VA (U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs) Parking In Wright County, Eff. 10-15-18 To 4-14-19
1. Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Agreement Allowing Teamsters Local 320 Courthouse Members To Donate Accrued PTO To Charles DeLong, IT Technical Support Specialist
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between September 12, 2018 and September 18, 2018
1. Request To Hire a 67-Day Temp Worker for Social Services
1. Authorize Signature On 2019 SSTS Grant Program. No cash or in-kind match required
Consent Item C. ADMINISTRATION, Authorize Attendance Of Darek Vetsch, 2018 Minnesota/Wisconsin Public Transportation Conference & Expo, October 15-17, 2018, Lacrosse WI, With Conference Attendance Funded By Trailblazer Transit
Borrell asked whether the Trailblazer Board voted on authorizing attendance. Vetsch stated that there are funds allocated in the Trailblazer budget for attendance. He wanted to gain approval of the County Board prior to approaching the Trailblazer Board. Borrell viewed negatively the portion of the conference that involves a riverboat cruise. Daleiden responded that Wright County may be in the transit business in the future. Potter added it will provide an opportunity to identify who is involved, funding mechanisms, and how to obtain that funding. Borrell moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0.
Great River Regional Library (GRRL) 2019 Budget Presentation
Pundsack and Murphy provided an overview of the GRRL budget process. Wright County is part of a six-county Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with Benton, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, and Todd Counties. The total borrowers in those counties is 110,178 (based on patrons that have borrowed books in the past three years). Wright County has 32,941 library cardholders and libraries in Annandale, Buffalo, Clearwater, Cokato, Delano, Howard Lake, Monticello, Rockford and St. Michael. Wright County is one of the larger members of the JPA. One-third of the population in Wright County uses library services.
Murphy provided an overview of the 2019 GRRL budget. The overall budget increase was 1.28% with Wright County’s portion being 0.694% or $14,884. Revenue sources include County Signatories (76.5%), St. Cloud Reimbursement (1.1%), Regional Library Basic System Support (17.2%), Fines/Miscellaneous (3.7%), and Other (1.5%). The GRRL Board approved an increase in the regional library basic system support from $1.5 million to $1.6 million for FY 2018-2019.
Three funding formula factors include borrower numbers, net tax capacity, and population. Wright County’s population is growing more than other signatories and there is a lot of library usage. Net tax capacity increases year after year as well. Potter said that a few years ago, Wright County overtook Stearns County in net tax capacity and took on more of the share.
Fundraising efforts continue, and the revenue stream is being actively pursued. The High Five campaign is being rebranded to Locally Grown. A Communication Specialist was recently hired. Upcoming projects include WIFI hot spots and dementia friendly projects (kids working with seniors). The GRRL Board used resources to waive fines across the six-county region dating back to 1995. Most were deemed uncollectible. One of the next steps is to clean up records and remove data from files. The goal is to have wireless printing launched in all locations by 2020. Express check outs are being expanded to include eight additional stations across the region.
At 9:32 A.M., Daleiden opened the public hearing for County Ditch 22 and County Ditch 34. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the Board is acting in their capacity as Drainage Authority.
County Ditch 22
Kryzer said the Public Hearing was continued to today from the Public Hearing on 9-11-18, as a parcel was identified that should be included in the viewers report. Kryzer said his position is this matter should be continued for at least two weeks in order to notice the property owner.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Husom, all voted to continue the Public Hearing for County Ditch 22 to 10-09-18 at 9:30 A.M. There was no public comment received at today’s Public Hearing.
County Ditch 34
Kryzer said the Public Hearing was continued to today to have the viewers report updated to include the Durand parcel. Joe Jacobs, a Viewer for Ditch 34, said he looked at the Durand parcel. Based on that, a slight reduction was made in the percentage for the overall system. Consideration was given to the proximity to the culvert going under the road and where the parcel is located in the watershed. All tile lines servicing the property are using the County ditch system. No public comment was received at today’ Public Hearing.
The Public Hearing for County Ditch 22 and County Ditch 34 was closed at 9:37 A.M. and the Board Meeting was reconvened.
Borrell made a motion to direct staff to draft a resolution accepting the Viewer’s Report for County Ditch 34. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Distribution of the 2017 Highway Department Annual Report
Hawkins said this is an annual item. Acceptance of the Report will be brought back in two weeks to the Board.
Schedule Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting To Discuss Transportation Issues
Hawkins explained that a meeting is needed to discuss the Federal requirement for noise walls pertaining to the CSAH 19/38 project. This is because of the expansion of lanes and trails on both sides of the road for the project. The suggestion is to hold the TCOTW meeting just prior to the public open house meeting on this project being held at the City of Albertville on 10-29-18 at 5:00 P.M. In response to Daleiden, Hawkins said the noise receptors indicate the noise levels are exceeded for the trails but not for the homes. The noise walls would be for those using the trails, and the residential homes are secondary beneficiaries of noise walls. The County is the landowner as the trail is located within the right-of-way. The County Board will vote on whether noise walls will be put up. Hawkins said the funding policy indicates that trails are maintained by cities. However, if noise walls are put up, the costs cannot be passed to the cities.
Potter moved to set a TCOTW Meeting on 10-29-18 at 4:00 P.M. at the Albertville City Hall to discuss transportation issues, seconded by Vetsch. The motion was amended to include authorizing the County Board’s attendance at the Public Open House Meeting on the CSAH 19/38 Project scheduled for 5:00 P.M. on 10-29-18 at the Albertville City Hall following the TCOTW Meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
Approve Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) For Law Enforcement Records Management System
Asleson presented a JPA between Wright County and the cities of Annandale, Buffalo and Howard Lake. All three cities are replacing their law enforcement records systems and switching to Zuercher, which is the same technology the County uses. Under the JPA, Wright County will be the host and data sharing between the law enforcement agencies will become much easier. Asleson understands that the three cities have approved the JPA. The technology piece is not yet completed, but it is anticipated to be in place by the first of October. Borrell asked if this will cost less for the cities. Asleson was unsure of the contract details, but the County is not charging the cities. He said attention will be paid to records or data requests, making sure each entity responds on its own. Each city will have staff with expertise to deal with technical issues. The County may have to be involved when it comes to network or storage issues.
Borrell moved to approve the JPA for the Law Enforcement Records Management System to include the cities of Buffalo, Annandale and Howard Lake. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Tammi Vaith, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, presented the Auditor/Treasurer agenda items.
Approve Transfer Of Tobacco License For Northern Tier Retail, LLC DBA SuperAmerica #5048 (Formerly Croix Convenience #52) In The City Of Albertville)
On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to approve the transfer of the Tobacco License for Northern Tier Retail, LLC DBA SuperAmerica #5048 (Formerly Croix Convenience #52) In The City Of Albertville).
Approve Minutes From County Ditch 22 Public Hearing On 09/11/18
Approve Minutes From County Ditch 34 Public Hearing On 09/11/18
The minutes were referred to the 10-09-18 County Board Meeting for approval as copies were missing from the County Board’s printed packets.
Adopt Resolution Declaring October 7-13, 2018 As National 4-H Week In Wright County
Justin Crowley, 4-H Program Coordinator, stated Kelly Strei, 4-H Program Coordinator, and Eileen Otto, 4-H State Ambassador Wright County 4-H Ambassador, were unable to attend the Board Meeting. Crowley provided an overview of the 4-H Program in Wright County, with 700 members with 20 clubs and 200 volunteers. Strei works with after school programs which serves another 600 youth. The first week of October is the annual celebration of 4-H Week in Wright County, and a time to showcase and recruit for 4-H.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #18-67 declaring October 7-13, 2018 as National 4-H Week in Wright County. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
At the Board Meeting, Potter stated there is a potential add on related to wall panels for tip-up construction. The work schedule is slightly behind. Putting the roof and membrane up ahead of the wall panels will provide 60 days of work on the 3rd Floor. Potter said associated costs are being researched but the opinion is the costs with doing it this way will be negated by being allowed to work on the interior items. The Board will be informed of the final decision on how to move forward.
Potter made a motion to approve the 9-22-18 Owners Committee Minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. Daleiden questioned the change order related to doors and frames at a cost of $18,944. Potter will have BKV send information on what this change order relates to. The motion carried 5-0. The Committee Minutes follow:
I. Justice Center Updates
Currie opened the meeting and Paulsen gave an update on current construction status & schedule. Masons are working to complete the final elevator shaft and topping out the elevator into the mechanical penthouse. Steel erectors have a large portion of the west have of the building set to the roof line. They will finish to the south, and then complete the east half to the roof. Concrete is poured on levels 1 & 2 in the north portion of the current structure, setting in-floor heat tubing to the south and then will also get poured the first week of October. Most of the footings are complete, working on front entry and retaining walls. Plumbing is being installed underground at level 0, they have a few weeks of underground work remaining. The electrical service is currently being run from HWY 25 to the north of the Historical Society, the connection to the LEC generator is being scheduled.
Currie noted approximately 10 days total lost to rain on the project, however some work has gone quicker than planned so the overall schedule is on track. Currie brought up a concern with underground rainwater piping and the installation of that piping due to the unknown location of the future Government Center building. After review of the building plans, it was determined that rainwater from the roof runs east and will not be an issue. There is currently a hold on installation of west utilities & piping from the parking lot to the storm water pond until the building location is determined due to potential reconfigurations. Once determined, work will be released for completion.
Enright stated the security package for the site has gone to Contegrity Group to review and a meeting is being set with County staff to work through the details and release.
Currie discussed change orders and commented the cost and number of change orders has overall been favorable on the project, commenting things are going well. (see attached change log and budget)
PR 15 (adding a storage room under LEC connection conference rooms) came in higher than originally projected and discussed. It was estimated to be between $50-60k, however the pricing came back at ~$88k. Currie is working to get the numbers brought back down through negotiation with the contractors, feeling that he could get it back to $65k or less. Through discussion with Potter and a recommendation, the group was given approval to move forward if pricing could be reduced to a cap of $65k. That cost represents a construction cost of ~$40 psf.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Move forward on the storage room construction if cost < $65k, work with Wilczek on finalization of numbers.
Committee Minutes Submitted by: Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director
(End of 9-19-18 Owners Committee Minutes)
Kelly provided an overview of the budget process. It began earlier in the year with discussions on the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) and various projects. Departmental budgets were submitted, and budget sessions followed in August and September. The draft resolution for consideration is based on those meetings. The draft reflects a draft 2019 budget of $147,090,953 and a draft certified levy of $73,524,014.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-68 setting the draft 2019 budget and levy, seconded by Vetsch.
Borrell said he will not vote in support of the draft resolution. He expressed concerns during budget sessions on the amount of increase in the levy and was asked to come up with a list of discussion items. He did but another budget session did not follow. Borrell thought construction of a new Government Center should be delayed for 15-20 years and the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) should be delayed for one year. Daleiden said the County Board is acting today to set the draft levy and the amount cannot increase but it can decrease. Husom stated the County Board has not voted to approve building the proposed new Government Center in 2019. That discussion still needs to take place.
Vetsch summarized that Borrell would propose to set a levy increase not to exceed a 13.2% increase based on removal of $2.1 million of building debt service and $1.1 million on ERP. Vetsch said the amount of the ERP has been reduced to $800,000 so the suggested action by Borrell would bring the levy to 14% based on the reductions. Borrell said he has more reductions in mind, but he would vote in support of the draft budget with removal of the two items (proposed new Government Center and the ERP). Borrell thought some park projects could be delayed and the public health budget could be trimmed, including not replacing positions that become vacant.
Vetsch said the model that Borrell is proposing includes no funding for repairs to the current Government Center. By levying $2.1 million, it provides the opportunity to either repair the current Government Center or construct a new building. He does not want to tell the public they can have a 12-13% levy increase when they can’t. Otherwise, the County will have to spend reserves to make repairs if that path is chosen.
Daleiden said further discussion will occur on a proposed new Government Center, and that decision has not been made by the Board. Husom said if it is decided to remain at the current Government Center site, there is over $3 million in repairs projected over the next few years which does not involve any remodeling. The motion carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote. Resolution #18-68 follows:
BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the draft 2019 Budget as follows:
General Fund; $63,074,577; $70,138,336
Road and Bridge; $27,572,846; $35,056,877
Human Services; $28,524,293; $29,012,877
Debt Service; $6,579,435; $10,178,885
Capital Projects; $2,675,000; $2,591,453
LID’s; $112,525; $112,525
2018 Amount: $128,538,676;
2019 Amount: $147,090,953
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the draft 2019 Certified Taxable Levy as follows:
General Fund; $39,562,534; $46,454,852
Road and Bridge; $9,697,372; $8,877,122
Human Services; $11,524,168; $11,691,477
Capital Projects; $1,815,427 ;2$,241,453
Sub-Total: $62,599,501; $69,264,904
Less: County Program Aid; $5,277,847; $5,719,300
NET TAXABLE LEVY; $57,321,654; $63,545,604
Plus Special Levies
Debt Service; $5,246,354; $9,865,885
LIDS’s; $112,525; $112,525
$62,680,533; $73,524,014 - $73,411,489 w/o LID’s
(End of Resolution #18-68)
Vetsch asked for Board interest in directing staff to draft a press release based on the preliminary levy. He would like to use a PowerPoint that has been used at various meetings as the groundwork for the press release. He felt it was important to provide information on how the Board arrived at the preliminary levy. Kelly said staff will draft and send the information to the Board for review. It was the consensus that the information can be disseminated through the website, a social media press release, and in the newspaper. Daleiden said the press release could reference that information will be available on the website on a specified date.
Borrell said the PowerPoint presentation provides good information. However, it doesn’t reflect that once there is a large levy increase, it sets the bar higher from that point forward on what the levy is set at. Vetsch replied that the County is not operating in a model that is sustainable. When reserve dollars are used, it results in the need to levy at some future date. Husom said it is not good to dip into reserves like was done this year. Daleiden said the County also needs to plan for the closure of the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant. Borrell said taxpayers are paying for the Justice Center, the Highway Building, and the Jail. He preferred a delay in some of the spending and feels areas could be cut. Husom said a meeting could be held to discuss those items and any public input received. Potter said it is best to keep the tax rate stable. If the tax rate had been more consistent, there wouldn’t be a need for a 17.3% increase. He noted that with the Jail refinancing, the County is realizing $600,000/year savings. If that refinancing hadn’t been done, it would have been worse for years to come. Kelly said staff will draft a press release based on today’s discussion and the PowerPoint. It will be provided to the Board for review.
Potter moved to set a special Board Meeting on 12-06-18 at 6:00 P.M. for review of the proposed 2019 budget and levy. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Kelly said this topic was discussed at the 9-11-18 County Board Meeting. Since that time, it was requested by one of the Commissioners in support of the prevailing motion to bring back an amended Flaherty and Hood proposal. Kelly said the amended contract is in front of the Board today with the same cost, capped at $45,000, and would run for a year beginning upon approval.
Borrell said Monticello is already involved with this lobbying firm. He suggested a County contribution of $10,000-$15,000 to Monticello to aid in the funding of more lobbying hours. Vetsch said there was discussion about that, but the Coalition of Utility Cities is not interested in having counties join. Vetsch feels there needs to be a stronger presence and would like to be a part of the drafting of legislation. He said Flaherty and Hood is one of the forefront experts on property valuation.
Potter said the revised proposal reflects, “...to provide services related to Wright County’s legislative needs during the 2019 session, including utility taxation, potential bonding projects, and other issues of interest to the County.” Potter did not feel the proposal had changed from the last time it was discussed. He referenced Lockridge Grindal, a lobbying firm that has been able to attain transportation funding for County projects. Vetsch viewed this no differently than using two other consulting firms in the County. Potter does not think the County needs to hire a lobbying firm for everything. When this was first brought forward, it was for lobbying services related to the nuclear plant. Now the proposal includes much more than that.
Borrell said the proposal was to be brought back if the scope were narrowed and it has not been. Husom said Potter’s primary concern was addressed which was the elimination of transportation lobbying from the document. Flaherty and Hood will only lobby for those things the County requests. Borrell suggested narrowing the scope to the power plant. Vetsch stated that the amount of the proposal will probably not decrease from the cap of $45,000, as the cost relates to estimates associated with lobbying efforts for utilities.
Kelly said following this topic of discussion at the 9-11-18 Board Meeting, the proposal was revised based on the comments received at that time. That revised proposal was sent to Board members for comment. Borrell did not feel the scope was narrowed. He does not want to hire a lobbying firm and so hopes this is a short-term thing. Husom said she has no interest in lobbying services for bonding.
Potter wanted the record to reflect that he has nothing against Flaherty and Hood as they are a reputable firm but does not feel their services need to be engaged at this time. Vetsch asked whether it is because of the expenditures or the closure of the nuclear plant and associated impacts to the County. Potter responded that Monticello is already fully engaged with the firm. He does not the County proceeding with lobbying will change anything and viewed this as a redundancy of services.
Asleson said if the Board narrows the scope of the proposal, it should be for utility valuation services and not the nuclear plant. Notice was received that Xcel Energy, Wright Hennepin Electric, and Great River Energy have all filed valuation notices. Some of the utility valuation appeals can take years. The Attorney General’s Office does represent the County, and the Department of Revenue does the utility valuation. Borrell favored bringing the proposal back in two weeks. He would like the scope of the services narrowed to utility valuation services. Asleson said anytime professional services are hired, the County is working with the firm on the focus of the services.
Vetsch made a motion to approve the contract with Flaherty and Hood as presented. The motion failed for lack of a second.
Daleiden asked about the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant facility in Red Wing and whether Goodhue County hires a lobbyist. Vetsch said Goodhue County relies on the City of Red Wing but the impact of closure is much less. Daleiden said if they have a lobbyist, they should be consulted.
Borrell made a motion to send the proposal back to Flaherty and Hood to narrow the scope to lobbying for utility services and nothing else. The motion was seconded by Husom. It was clarified that the proposal is for one year. The motion carried 4-1 with Potter casting the nay vote.
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Husom, all voted to set a COTW Meeting on 10-11-18 at 11:00 A.M. The Agenda will be:
11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. County Board Areas
12:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. Executive Committee
· Concept Floor Plans
· Site Utilization Plan
· Building Design Visioning
Husom made a motion to schedule a COTW Meeting for 10-08-18 at 9:30 A.M. to discuss: 1) Per Parcel Rates and Fees for the 2020 and 2021 Assessment Contracts; and 2) Front Reception Desk. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-69 approving the Charitable Gambling Application, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
1. Husom said the Dementia Friendly Group will have an overview of financial assistance programs for seniors on 9-26-18 from 9:30-11:00 A.M. at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo.
2. The Caregiver Support Group of the Buffalo Area Dementia Friends meets every Thursday from 9:30-11:00 A.M. at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo and the third Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 P.M.
Kelly reminded the Board that there will be no County Board Meeting on 10-02-18.
The meeting adjourned at 11:00 A.M.
County Board Minutes Submitted by: Susan Backes, Clerk to the County Board
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 19, 2018.