Wright County Board Minutes

APRIL 30, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
Husom moved to approve the 4-16-19 County Board minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Husom made a motion to rescind approval of the 4-16-19 Board Minutes for correction. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Husom made the following correction to the 4-16-19 Board Minutes: Page 12, paragraph 1, first and second sentences should read, “Borrell made a motion to order a redetermination of benefits for County Ditch 35. The motion was seconded by Daleiden.”
Husom made a motion to approve the 4-16-19 Board Minutes with the correction. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0:
1. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Form LG220, Arthritis Foundation, Inc., Gambling Date: 8-18-19, Gambling Site: Stockholm Carting Center, 13185 US Highway 12 SW, Cokato MN 55321 (Stockholm Twp.)
1. Position Replacement:
A. Confidential Legal Administrative Assistant
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between April 10, 2019 And April 23, 2019
1. Approve Request For Proposal For Guardianship & Conservator Services
2. Refer To May 8, 2019 Personnel Committee
A. Approve Two Grant-Paid Public Health Positions Through Four-Year Multi-County Evidence-Based Home Visiting Grant Through MN Department Of Health (1.0 FTE For The Healthy Families America Program & 1.0 FTE For The Nurse Family Partnership), Effective 5-01-19
1. Approve Receiving Bids At The Highway Department For The Following Construction Projects:
A. Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 11:00AM CSAH 19/38 Reconstruction Project, Contract No. 1904; SP 086-619-034 & 086-638-007 In Albertville & Otsego
B. Tuesday, May 28, 2019 At 11:00AM CSAH 39 Corridor Buffer Lane Project; Contract No. 1903; SP 086-070-018 In Monticello & Otsego
1. Position Replacement:
A. Technical Support Specialist
1. DINGMAN CUSTOM HOMES - (Franklin Twp.) Correction To Previous Action Dated January 22, 2019 (Incorrectly Listed R-2a). The Correct Action Is Listed Below:
A. Accept The Findings And Recommendation Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezoning:
1. DINGMAN CUSTOM HOMES - (Franklin Twp.) On A Vote Of 3/2 The Planning Commission Recommends Rezoning Approximately 22.5 Acres From AG General-Agricultural And S-2 Residential- Recreational Shorelands To R-2 Suburban-Residential And S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands
1. Authorize Signatures On Joint Powers Agreement With MN Department Of Corrections For Work Release Services, Eff. 7-01-19 To 6-30-20
Approve Out-Of-State Travel For IT Staff To Attend Hyland OnBase Training, Cleveland OH, September 9-14, 2019
Strobel said the request is for attendance at the conference by the Business Analyst in the IT Department. The budget includes two staff to attend the training, but the request is for one staff.
Daleiden moved to approve out-of-state travel for one staff member to attend the Hyland Onbase Training as detailed. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Great River Regional Library 2018 Activities
Pundsack shared a PowerPoint presentation on Great River Regional Library 2018 activities. Some of the highlights:
- Wright County’s libraries include Annandale, Buffalo, Clearwater, Cokato, Delano, Howard Lake, Monticello, Rockford and St. Michael
- The Wright County library population was 134,365 with 30,800 library cardholders
- GRRL 2 Go is a three-year pilot locker system project located in the Sartell Community Center. The pilot is half way through. The locker system receives deliveries two times/week with book drop pick ups four days/week. There are currently 44 lockers in that location.
- Traditional checkouts were 3,025,124 (94%) and digital checkouts were 205,922 (6%).
- A study of library users and phone survey of non-users was completed with the assistance of St. Cloud State University. Data from the survey reflects that 26% accessed the digital library but only 6% used digital check out. Additional research will be completed on that variance.
- The Summer Reading Program included 4,700 Wright County participants
Amy Wittman has worked at the Buffalo Library for 30 years. She mentioned three initiatives she was involved with over the past year:
- Telescopes. Based on a suggestion from a Buffalo Rotary member, Buffalo Library offered check out of three telescopes. The wait list is long. With assistance of the Buffalo and Monticello rotaries, there are now 20 telescopes available. Rotary was able to access regional grants for the purchase.
- Seniors Interacting with Seniors Program. The Buffalo Area Dementia Friends approached the Buffalo Library to provide dementia friendly check out materials. Kits were developed that can be checked out to aid those with dementia.
Pundsack referenced the Minnesota Libraries Transform information. She highlighted three active bills at the Capitol on regional libraries.
Approve Performance Management Resolution And Acceptance Of The Performance Management Grant Application.
The resolution will set at least ten performance measures throughout the County. A report will be generated on the results and provided annually to the Board, State, and Wright County citizens.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #19-53, Performance Management Resolution and acceptance of the Performance Management Grant Application. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Findings Of Fact And Order Regarding Redetermination Of Benefits For County Ditch 16 Pursuant To M.S. 103E.351; Approve Viewing Professional Services Contract For Redetermination Of Benefits And Grass Strip Acquisition On County Ditch 16 Between H2Over Viewers, LLC and Wright County.
Approve Resolution Findings Of Fact And Order Regarding Redetermination Of Benefits For County Ditch 19 Pursuant To M.S. 103E.351; Approve Viewing Professional Services Contract For Redetermination Of Benefits And Grass Strip Acquisition On County Ditch 19 Between H2Over Viewers, LLC and Wright County.
Matt Detjen, Ditch Coordinator, said Ditch 16 is located in Albion Township. Requests for repair have been received. The last time a redetermination of benefits was completed on Ditch 16 was in 1922. The recommendation is to proceed with the redetermination in preparation for future repairs.
Ditch 19 is located in French Lake Township. A request for repair has been received. The last time a redetermination of benefits was completed on Ditch 19 was in 1914. An informational meeting was held on Ditch 19. An official vote was not taken, but a majority of the landowners were in favor of ordering a redetermination.
Ditch 16 and Ditch 19 are connected. The idea would be to proceed with repairs on Ditch 19 first to make sure it is functioning properly. The Ditch 19 branch services crop land in the area. Ditch 16 is a tiled, open ditch which flows into French Lake. French Lake has been experiencing water issues. The redetermination of benefits will take about 12-16 months, but the repairs will be completed in the meantime. Billing will follow the redetermination of benefits.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution 19-54, approving the Findings of Fact and Order regarding Redetermination of Benefits for County Ditch 16 pursuant to MN Statute 103E.351 and approving the Viewing Professional Services Contract for Redetermination of Benefits and Grass Strip Acquisition on County Ditch 16 between H2Over Viewers, LLC and Wright County. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-55, approving the Findings of Fact and Order regarding Redetermination of Benefits for County Ditch 19 pursuant to MN Statute 103E.351 and approving the Viewing Processional Services Contract for Redetermination of Benefits and Grass Strip Acquisition on County Ditch 19 between H2Over Viewers, LLC and Wright County. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Conveyance Of Tax Forfeit Parcel To The City Of Otsego
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #19-56 for conveyance of a tax forfeit parcel, PID #118-800-251101, to the City of Otsego. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated that the City acquired this parcel for a park but that did not happen. The choice is to either reconvey the parcel to the State or allow the City to purchase the parcel. The resolution authorizes the City to use the parcel for any public use. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The COTW Minutes follow:
I. General Obligation Capital Improvement Plan Bonding Timetable & Process
Chair Vetsch opened the meeting stating that the purpose of this meeting is to discuss how the County proceeds. If there is not a 4/5 vote to approve the Capital Improvement Plan and authorize the Bond issue for the proposed government center building, then is there no need to hold the public hearing.
General discussion was held relative to proceeding now versus later. There are costs that will be incurred if the choice is to stay in the current facilities for the next 10 years, as well as increased costs to construction if they delay the project. It is estimated that there are $1.1M in annual maintenance repairs; the projected cost of the construction project, if delayed for 10 years, will be $81M; whereas now the cost is estimated at $53.7M.
Commissioner Borrell stated that he would like to see the County invest the additional levied dollars over the next 10 years and not have to borrow the money.
Commissioner Husom stated that she was originally in favor of waiting until she saw all the facts, interest rates are favorable, construction manager is already on site, have people interested in acquisition of the government center and the Health & Human services center. We still have the ability to capture tax base from Xcel, but the future is uncertain. We have planned for the debt; therefore, we will have the ability to retain a level tax rate.
Chair Vetsch stated that there are two philosophies, a roller coaster with levies, or plan for the future so that it the levy can stay level. Another concern is that the County has already spent approximately $600,000 for the planning and design of the building.
Daleiden noted tht he has been concerned with the cost of the building increasing, would prefer to see it come in between $40-45M.
It was clarified that the County does not need to know the exact cost of the building when they approve the bonding, they need to set it at a not to exceed amount, but could consider bidding the project first, then setting the bond amount.
Commissioner Borrell stated that if he was in favor of the building, which at this time he is not, he would not look to cut corners on the building, he would build out the basement and the third floor.
Chair Vetsch identified other resources that are available to the county to minimize budget impacts, the sale of the properties, turn back dollars, and the debt on the LEC will fall off in a few years.
Commissioner Husom stated that the Board made the tough call this year, in efforts to help us down the road.
It was clarified that the CIP bond will include the Tactical Facility and Government Center, either combined or broken apart, but only one public hearing is required.
Facilities Services Director Wilczek stated that there are impacts to the Justice Center construction depending on the decision for the Government Center. Site work is very dependent upon what construction is going to take place, as there are overlaps. Decisions need to be made so that appropriate planning can be done.
Commissioner Potter arrived. Sheriff Deringer stated that there are time restraints that they need to be aware with regards to the Tactical Facility.
Chair Vetsch stated that he would prefer to know what the consensus is of the Board before heading into the public hearing process.
Commissioner Potter stated that he is not receiving any negativity from his constituents in moving this project forward. With the growth that is occurring this should set the County up for many years. Do it now, the need is here, and it won’t get any cheaper if we wait.
Commissioner Husom noted that there is disruption now occurring at the LEC site with the construction of the Justice Center, why wait and do it again, do it now and get it over with.
Sheriff Deringer added that the county can operate much more efficiently with a campus setting. Now that the Justice Center will be near the LEC they will not have to transport prisoners and the traveling between buildings for meetings will be reduced. The County has spent a lot of money over the years with these inefficiencies.
Chair Vetsch closed the Committee of the Whole meeting at 12:40 PM.
4-12-19 COTW Minutes submitted by: Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 4-12-19 COTW Minutes)
Adoption Of A Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan
Issuance Of General Obligation Bonds To Finance Construction Of A New Government Center And A New Law Enforcement Training Facility Within The County
At 9:31 A.M., Commissioner Vetsch opened the Public Hearing. He invited public comment on the adoption of the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan and the issuance of bonds for the capital projects.
Teri Lachermeier, Mayor-City of Buffalo. Lachermeier said the City supports creating the Government campus and said it will provide efficiencies. If the project is approved, she would like City staff to become involved, as this project affects the City’s downtown revitalization project. The City is behind in transitional housing, and the land would provide space for housing. Lachermeier conveyed appreciation to the Board for the time spent and work on the proposed project.
Jami Goodrum-Schwartz, Director of Wright County Health & Human Services (HHS) and Buffalo resident. Goodrum-Schwartz supports bonding for both buildings. She referenced the Justice Center that is under construction and the importance given to staff safety with that project. She said the HHS staff also need security, including a secure weather shelter. In 1998, one of the former Commissioners stated that the capacity of the HHS Center was 150. There are currently 190 staff in that location.
Goodrum-Schwartz said HHS staff has been housed in separate locations for 20 years which has provided inefficiencies for the public as well as staff members. Daily, clients are sent between the two locations to receive services. The goal of coming together on one campus is to provide better service. She said HHS and providers bring $206 million annually into the County through payments to providers, healthcare, and individuals providing services. Good infrastructure is required to provide services to the community.
In 2004, a space study was completed by DLR Group with included five options that evaluated needs. Some buildings have been built since that time, but HHS is still located in two facilities. Goodrum-Schwartz feels it is a disservice to the community to be housed in two locations and away from other departments that they closely work with.
Jessica Nelson, HHS Social Services Supervisor. Nelson said that Shane Simonds, County Attorney’s Office, was unable to attend because of court. He asked her to provide comment on the forensic interview room at the HHS building that is utilized for victims of sexual abuse. From a prosecutor’s standpoint, the room does not work. They have done what they can to make the room feasible but due to the structure of the building, the sound quality is poor. From a prosecution standpoint, it makes it difficult to aid in the prosecution of sexual offenses.
Dan Bravinder, Cokato Township, said he is representing the west side of Wright County which is primarily agricultural land. Farmers are dealing with high taxes. There are farmers in Cokato Township that are paying $20,000-$30,000 per year in taxes and that farm land does not require any services. The proposed building will be the third that will be indebted, and the debt service will be close to 10% of the total budget. The debt service is about $10 million. Vetsch stated that it will be about $11.3 million when full payments come in on this bond.
Bravinder asked if there is a way to accomplish what needs to be done by moving employees from the HHS building to the area that will be vacated by Court Administration. The money that is budgeted could be saved for 5-10 years toward a future building project. He said that in 2008, the Board of Commissioners took into consideration the declined income levels in the County when budgeting. Bravinder said property values declined almost 30% in 2010. In the time period from 2009-2018, his property tax increased about $130. From 2018-2019, it went up $147. Bravinder said one commissioner represents the western part of the County, and they don’t feel they have a voice. Farmers are having a hard time, and residents may not understand that. He asked that the Commissioners consider not placing this debt on future generations.
Dave Schwartz, Buffalo, said his property taxes increased 60% this past year and he would like to see something for that money. He supports a new building, and viewed it as a disservice to not move forward as the new building will be constructed at some point. Bonding is at an all-time low and it will cost more down the road.
Jason Franzen, Delano resident. Franzen serves on the Delano City Council but said he is not representing that body. Franzen has served on the HHS Advisory Board and the Public Health committee. He is familiar with policies as a volunteer and resident, and is sympathetic to needs. Serving as an elected official, the goal is to drop bond debt before adding to it. He asked that the commissioners reconsider the construction of the building. There have been plausible alternatives that should be considered for remodel and delay of construction. Franzen referenced comment made on the impact on farmers. This also holds true for those on fixed incomes. The economic situation will not stay static, and the future closure of the Xcel nuclear plant will have impacts. Franzen asked that remodel of the existing facility be reconsidered, as well as the move of the HHS staff to the Government Center once the Justice Facility.
Dean Mahlstedt, Cokato Township Board Chair. Mahlstedt said Cokato Township discussed this topic at their last meeting and feel it is an irresponsible move. He personally would like the Board to look at other options. He looked at spending in the past five years and what is projected for the next five years. He thought some Board members may be counting on the growth on the eastern side of the County for funding. He thinks the economy will get to a point where it will even out again.
Mahlstedt referenced staff needs. There have been discussions on the HHS building for many years and he thought some of the minor requests could be addressed. He is not opposed to a one campus situation. Sometimes, buildings can be extravagant, and he encourage reconsideration. Mahlstedt suggested holding off and re-planning.
Scott Bakeberg, Corinna Township. Bakeberg has been a provider for needy families in Wright County for 29 years. He encouraged one location for departments to provide better service for families. Working with families that are clients of HHS and Court Services has been a challenge with the separate locations. At times, clients are directed to another location and do not get there in a timely manner. He is an advocate of having everything on one campus for collaboration.
Jill Pooler, HHS Social Services Manager and Buffalo resident. As a resident of Wright County, Pooler is willing to forego additional taxes to bring the new building to light. She noted the shared efficiencies of having services on one campus. This includes maintenance and operation of one location versus two, overhead costs and efficiencies, and a benefit to the clients. Pooler commended the Board for the presentations made to staff and the community on the project. Different remodel plans have not been as financially feasible as a new building, being done with the long-term plan in mind.
Pooler referenced a meeting held a few months ago with HHS staff where input was received on efficiencies that would be created for clients. Many HHS staff are also Wright County residents. Pooler said 5000 clients are served just in social services. That does not include the other three units within HHS. She referenced the impact of sending families between buildings to get their priorities and needs met. This is significant considering the population that is served. Many of the families are under significant stress and adding that barrier is hard for them. She referenced Bakeberg’s comment on some families not getting to the other building. She said that is a real occurrence that happens daily. Pooler said the clients being served may not be here today to provide input, but they are also Wright County residents. She said their voice should be considered and given as much weight as other comment. She said a new building clearly makes a long-term financial decision seem reasonable.
Bob Neumann, Albion Township. Neumann encouraged delay of the project and reuse of the space at the current Government Center for HHS. Neumann said he is one of those people that pays $30,000 in property taxes; his property taxes increased over $5,400 this year as a result of the increase in the budget. He attended township meetings where the presentation was given on the Government Center project. His concern is the inflation of budgets that the debt service would not support. He said taxes are becoming a burden and favors reducing debt before taking on more.
Pat Holthaus, Monticello. Holthaus opposes the timing of the new Government Center project and supports delay of $60 million in bond indebtedness for several reasons.
- Enhanced communication. Holthaus said there are taxpayers who don’t understand the terminology, how money is being spent, and why taxes have increased. She had conversation with two people that did not realize another building is being proposed. Holthaus encouraged more information to the public.
- Changing technologies and workforce. Holthaus said the younger workforce should provide input on work environments, such as working from home. A delay in the project of 5-10 years would aid in that input.
- Actual numbers rather than projections. Holthaus said a census will be completed in 2020 which will provide population data for locations. She said social services at the state level needs to be revamped.
- Financial. The County is paying bonds on the abandoned jail, the Law Enforcement Center, the Highway Building, and the Justice Center. She said the $60 million cost of the proposed project at 3.5% interest is not free money. That equates to $2,100,000 annually. If the planning and consultation will be outdated in five years, then she prefers to be out the $800,000 associated planning costs and not have a building that is outdated in 5-10 years.
With delay of the project, the result would be enhanced communications, advanced technologies could be pursued, and more up-to-date numbers could be obtained through the census. Holthaus does not support saddling future generations with this debt and supports delay of the project until some of the debt is paid down. Vetsch acknowledged her thoughts on changing technologies. With regard to interest, if the County waits 5 years and the interest raises to 5% for example, that would result in the County paying double that amount of interest. Holthaus suggests reducing current debt before taking on more debt.
Kim Johnson, HHS Financial Services Manager. Johnson said her former profession was in the lending business and she purchased her first home when interest rates were at 9%. She asked the Board to make the fiscally responsible decision. She is a taxpayer in Wright County, and her taxes have increased. The growth projected in Wright County over the next 20 years is substantial. She supports making the decision now while the County can afford it. Wright County has been fiscally responsible in the past and for that she is grateful. Johnson said it is a struggle to provide adequate services with HHS workers being housed in two locations. She said not moving forward with the building now would not be the best decision financially.
Dustin Grage, Buffalo. Grage described himself as a millennial and libertarian who cares deeply about debt. He viewed it as irresponsible not to move forward with the project and burden taxpayers in the future with higher interest rates. Space is needed based on growth, the past census, and projections. It is almost impossible to find contracted space. Regarding satellite offices, that is an important issue that will affect the County down the line. As a business owner, he works satellite and relies on space offered by coffee shops, homes, and businesses. He doesn’t need space in his business unless he needs to collaborate. The amount of collaboration that needs to occur between all of the County entities is immense and valuable. A single campus is exceptional both fiscally and for the collaboration aspect. Space is needed whether for employees or for data storage and equipment. Grage concluded saying it would be irresponsible not to move forward with this building.
John Uecker, Albion Township. Uecker said this has been discussed many times, but thought three of the Commissioners’ minds had been made up over a year ago. He commended Daleiden for remaining neutral on this topic. He said there are other options, such as a building for HHS, and suggested revisiting the topic. Uecker said it is possible to stop this project with a petition which could delay the project for a year. He suggests revisiting how to move forward.
Don Schmidt, Buffalo Township Supervisor. Schmidt has been farming for 55 years. There are farmers in the County that will not put in a crop this year due to low market prices. He said the Commissioners and employees received a salary increase. He asked them to envision cutting that salary by 60%. Wright County imposed a 17% levy increase, which is the largest in Wright County’s history.
Schmidt said comment hasn’t been made today on access to the campus. There is currently one two-lane road which is not sufficient with all employees being in one location. He also does not support one campus because of security and risk.
Sara Grosshuesch, HHS Public Health Director and Delano resident. Grosshuesch said she a millennial and provided input as to why she moved to Wright County just over a year ago. She owns hunting property in Wisconsin and pays $1,500 in taxes. That is over 125% of taxes that she pays in Wright County. She commended the Board for many years of fiscal responsibility. When she researched the move, amenities that were important included schools, library services, parks, and best resources and leaders in employment. She left one of the poorest counties in Wisconsin and yet was paying 125% of the taxes compared to Wright County. Grosshuesch said that is something to think about as to why Wright County is one of the fastest growing counties -- the resources that are being provided to families moving here. Amenities are required to continue to attract growth, and part of that is the ease in obtaining county resources. She referenced the building problems at the HHS location (no windows, water leaking from the ceiling) and said a new campus will show that Wright County cares about all people. Grosshuesch supports having resources in one location. The amenities mentioned are reasons she chose to move here, and a new building will help to provide that.
LeeAnn Thimmel, HHS Social Services Supervisor. Thimmel has been a Wright County employee for almost 30 years. She spoke of when all HHS employees were housed in the Government Center and the minimal time (minutes) it took to bring a client to another HHS unit or another department. Now, clients and staff must commute from one location to another. Parking is another issue. The same holds true when attending court. Thimmel explained it is not her time that she is speaking of, it is the client’s time. Also, the concern whether their needs are being met. Aging plays a part as well, and may impede communication or the ability to seek services when spread amongst different buildings.
Chris Uecker, Albion Township. Uecker said a common discussion theme has been one campus. He thought technologies could be utilized (skype, etc.) to assist with some of the issues. That is what is utilized in companies he is associated with. He said the County’s track record with the Jail and the Compost Facility is not good. Uecker suggested a referendum which would allow more time to look into this.
Dustin Grage, Buffalo. Grage referenced Uecker’s comment on technologies and one campus. He said that a HHS building can’t be built, for example, in another location such as Minneapolis to serve residents. Square footage is also needed for growth. To move HHS employees back to the current Government Center would result in being at 99% capacity on day one. A new building would provide the opportunity for growth and collaboration.
James O’Dell, Wright County resident and HHS Technology Supervisor. O’Dell commended the County Board for the amount of effort that has gone into the planning for technologies in the new building. HHS is planning on 20% of future staff to be working mobile. Increased use of technologies will decrease costs and increase efficiencies in the future. That does not mitigate the need for a facility where the public can come to obtain services and a place for workers to collaborate.
Jennifer Rasset, Maple Lake Township resident and Wright County employee. Rasset and her husband are dairy farmers. She referenced the HHS building and thought it would be beneficial and more productive for employees to work in an atmosphere with more light. In 2017, Rasset built a new home. She named the departments she worked with during this process. She referenced elderly and disabled citizens and the ability to move within the building to obtain services. Rasset would agree to increased taxes if the result is improvements to customer service.
Greg Pickard, Wright County Veteran Services Director. Pickard lives in Benton County where taxes are higher. He said the Wright County Commissioners went through much deliberation to find a solution. He felt it would be a mistake not to look at building a new Government Center. Waiting will result in higher costs and interest rates. He fully supports the County Board moving forward with the project.
Vetsch commented that whether the County chooses to build or not, taxes will remain the same. The debt service is included in the current budget. It is a matter of whether that money is used for bond payments or starting a savings to fund building repairs.
Sheriff Sean Deringer, Wright County. Sheriff Deringer said the project also includes a FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) training center. As elected officials, the public entrusts them to spend appropriately and wisely. He thought putting $20 million into remodel of the current Government Center to attain 5-10 years of use is not a wise decision. Regarding safety, security and efficiencies, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent with transport of inmates from the Law Enforcement Center to the Government Center. At last week’s Committee Of The Whole Meeting, Deringer asked a question on what type of efficiencies are desired as a County government agency. He believes the taxpayers deserve better. Elected officials are tasked with making the prudent decisions on money spent.
Dean Mahlstedt, Cokato Township. Mahlstedt asked for clarification on the cost to the taxpayers. Vetsch stated that the money for debt service is already included in the levy. The funding can be used for repairs to toward a bond. Borrell said about $2.5 million will go toward the bond. About half of the HHS employees could be brought back through a remodel. He favors starting a fund for a future building project.
Potter moved to close the Public Hearing at 10:48 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Vetsch outlined options. The CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) could be approved as provided and the draft resolution considered. The resolution could also be modified to separate out the Government Center from the Tactical Training Center.
Commissioner Daleiden said he has struggled with this topic. He viewed property taxes as one of the most unfair taxes. Regarding the comment that the property taxes will not increase, Daleiden said the property tax burden can shift between classifications. Vetsch said the tax will remain the same whether or not the decision is to proceed with the building. Property taxes could change for other reasons. Daleiden said the levy could be lowered. As Commissioner, he has worked to improve technologies in the County. As far as space needs, there are situations where people need to meet with multiple employees of the County. He referenced articles in the Star Tribune reflecting some states electing to have the state manage services. He does not think inefficiencies at the state level will change. It will not change unless HHS is rebuilt at the state level. Daleiden said having multiple buildings does result in inefficiencies for departments and for the public. He believes in satellite offices and understands that transportation is an issue for many residents.
Daleiden said low interest rates are an advantage right now. He voiced frustration in the building design, feeling it should be rectangular resulting in potentially lower costs. He struggles with remaining at the current Government Center. Space is an issue. DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) is out of space. He prefers offering the testing and licensure at one location.
Vetsch said he has struggled as well. He has concluded that moving forward is the correct decision, mostly for financial reasons as they will not find a better investment at this point. Daleiden said relative to a new building, it is not a matter of if but when. Husom said that the County should have been incrementally increasing the levy as they knew four years ago of the Justice Center. However, they were trying to keep the levy low. Husom said the County has been looking at options including remodel of the current Government Center. If HHS employees are moved to the current Government Center location, the building will be at capacity on day one. In addition, the County would need to acquire more land for parking. Husom is supportive of moving forward. When it comes to the final decision on whether to build, they need all the information to make the most judicious decision. Vetsch said if the County waits two years and the interest rate goes from 3.3 to 3.9 percent, it will result in an additional $4.6 million in interest costs. That is assuming the construction costs don’t increase.
Potter referenced the 2004 space study by DLR Group that included various options. The numbers were staggering, and he guessed the commissioners at that time were shocked. Most recently, Wold was hired to complete an analysis on options at the Government Center. Instead of the perception of remodel at $5-$7 million, it comes in at over $20 million buying 5-10 years. There is still the construction time and parking issue. That is what started the process of looking into other options. Bond rates and the construction climate is in the County’s favor. The Board is entrusted by the public to make decisions. Population counts could be 200,000 by 2040 and the County must deal with laws. The County’s bond rating was recently upgraded to AA+, even with the proposed Government Center project on the horizon. Wright County is the 10th largest county in the state and ranked 70th out of 87 counties in taxes per capita. Potter said he wants to utilize good decision making in this process. He does not support remodel of the current site at $20-$25 million knowing there are issues.
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said the Board can proceed with adopting the resolution approving the CIP and allowing the County to move forward with bonding. Action can be taken today, or the Board can direct staff to provide documentation at the 5-07-19 Board Meeting.
Potter made a motion to adopt Resolution #19-57 approving the 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan, providing preliminary approval to the issuance of bonds. The motion was seconded by Husom.
Borrell addressed comment by Dean Mahlstedt. The County did levy for the project already. His preference is the County should save for the project, such as what townships do. He favored less debt to ride out any possible bad times. Borrell said he represents largely the agricultural area which is being highly taxed. He does not like the message sent that the County is proceeding with new things when farmers are struggling.
The motion to adopt Resolution #19-57 carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
Vetsch recessed the meeting at 11:17 A.M. and reconvened at 11:33 A.M.
Due to the length of the Board Meeting, it was the consensus that the Personnel Committee Of The Whole (COTW) Meeting scheduled at 11:00 A.M. today should be rescheduled.
Husom moved to cancel the 4-30-19 Personnel COTW Meeting and reschedule it to 5-07-19 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Kelly said the purpose would be to discuss the bond structure for the Government Center and the Tactical Training Center with bond counsel.
Husom moved to set a COTW Meeting with Ehlers-Inc. on 5-09-19 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Authorize Signatures On Renewal Contract With MN Department Of Corrections For Sentencing-To-Service Program, Eff. July 1, 2019 To June 3, 2021
Wright County has a partnership with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to run and supervise the Sentence-To-Service crew. The County covers 75% of the cost and 25% is paid by the DOC. The contract covers FY 2020 and FY 2021 and includes a 3.5% increase each of the two years to cover salary increases (approximately $4,000 over the life of the contract). O’Malley said this is a cost efficient and beneficial program.
Borrell moved to authorize signatures on the contract. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. An annual report of project will be provided to the Board. Daleiden suggested providing the report to the public. The motion carried 5-0.
Adopt Resolution Proclaiming May 5-11, 2019 As Correctional Employee Week In Wright County
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-58 proclaiming the week of May 5-11, 2019 as Correctional Officer Week in Wright County. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Award Contract No. 1905 For The Sinusoidal Centerline Rumble Strips (Highways 34, 35, and 37) To Surface Preparation Technologies, Inc. In The Amount Of $106,260
Bids were received on 3-29-19. The recommendation is to award to the low bid received from Surface Preparation Technologies, $106,260.00. Funding sources will be HSIP Safety Grant funds ($95,634.00) and Local Levy funds ($10,626.00).
Potter moved to award Contract 1905 to Surface Preparation Technologies. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Approve A Resolution & Quitclaim Deed Requested By MnDot To Clear The Title For A Parcel In Albertville, South of I-94 And North Of Space Aliens Restaurant
Hawkins stated this relates to a title issue with the property and recommended approval.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #19-59 accepting the offer to convey and quitclaim to the State of Minnesota property described for quitclaim deed for C.S. 8680 (94=392) 901, parcel 629B, Wright County. The motion was seconded Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve 2-19-19 Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Minutes
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the 2-19-19 TCOTW Minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The TCOTW Minutes follow:
I. Briarwood Ave Traffic Study
WSB was retained to perform a traffic study. Sean Delmore of WSB presented their findings. The purpose of the Study is to determine the potential traffic impacts of the proposed Bertram Chain of Lakes (BCOL) Athletic Complex site, Bertram Campground development, and other uses would have on the in-place and planned roadway system.
Traffic Impacts were evaluated on the adjacent roadways at the following locations:
• Athletic Park Parking Entrance
• Existing County Park Road / Beach Parking Entrance
• Trailhead Parking Entrance
The Study was conducted utilizing the following steps:
• Documenting existing conditions including traffic counts
• Preparing traffic projections
• Preparing traffic analysis at impacted intersections and roadway segments
• Determine required improvement mitigation
• Roadway pavement condition review
• Document improvement costs and splits
• Recommend short term, midterm and long-term recommendations
Existing Traffic Conditions were studied considering the following:
Existing Traffic Volumes:
• Average weekday and Saturday daily approach
• Average weekday and Saturday hourly turning movements
• Counted over a one to two-week period
• April 2018 off-peak season
• July 2018 peak season
Projections were made based upon the following:
2020 Phase 1:
• Soccer / Lacrosse/Football – 2 Fields
• Mass grading of fields – Assumed to 1 baseball field for use of the area
2040 Full Development:
• Soccer / Lacrosse / Football – 3 Fields
• Baseball / Softball – 8 Fields
• Tennis Court – 2 Courts
• Bertram Campground – 96 Sites
Background Non-Development Traffic Growth:
• 2% / Year
Proposed Site Trip Generation:
• ITE for all but baseball / softball fields
• Baseball / Softball assumed: 72 trips/game
The traffic operations analysis is derived from established methodologies documented in the Highway Capacity Manual 2000 (HCM) using Synchro/SimTraffic analysis modeling software.
Existing Conditions
• Existing roadway configuration and traffic control
• Existing traffic volumes
• All intersections operating at an overall LOS B or better and all movements operating at LOS B or better during the weekday PM peak hour and Saturday peak hour
2020 No-Build Conditions
• Existing roadway configuration and traffic control
• Projected background traffic only (no new site traffic)
• All intersections operating at an overall LOS B or better and all movements operating at LOS C or better during the weekday PM peak hour and Saturday peak hour
2040 No-Build Conditions
• Existing roadway configuration and traffic control
• Projected background traffic only (no new site traffic)
• All intersections operating at an overall LOS C or better and all movements operating at LOS C or better during the weekday PM peak hour and Saturday peak hour
2020 Build Conditions
• Construction of the planned improved site driveway to a two-lane approach (left turn lane and right turn lane) at the Briarwood Avenue NE and the new Athletic Park Entrance, and; the exiting lane configuration and traffic control at the other intersections.
• Projected background traffic plus the addition of the proposed site improvement traffic
• All intersections operating at an overall LOS C or better and all movements operating at LOS C or better during the weekday PM peak hour and Saturday peak hour
2040 Build Conditions
• Construction of the planned improved site driveway to a two-lane approach (left turn lane and right turn lane) at the Briarwood Avenue NE and the new Athletic Park Entrance, and; the exiting lane configuration and traffic control at the other intersections.
• Projected background traffic plus the addition of the proposed site improvement traffic
• All intersections operating at an overall LOS D or better and all movements operating at LOS F or better during the weekday PM peak hour and Saturday peak hour
• Movements at LOS E or LOS F
• Southbound Left Turn: Briarwood Avenue NE to Athletic Park Entrance
• Northbound Right Turn: Briarwood Avenue NE to Athletic Park Entrance
• Southbound Left Turn: Briarwood Avenue NE to Existing County Park Entrance
2040 Mitigated Conditions
• Based on the traffic operation analysis the following mitigation improvements would improve the operations at the impacted driveway intersections during the 2040 conditions with the proposed development.
o Briarwood Avenue NE at Athletic Park Entrance – Construction of a southbound left turn lane and a northbound right turn lane.
o Briarwood Avenue NE at Existing County Park Road – Construction of a southbound left turn lane and a northbound right turn lane.
Projected background traffic plus the addition of the proposed site improvement traffic. All intersections operating at an overall LOS C or better and all movements operating at LOS D or better during the weekday PM peak hour and Saturday peak hour.
Based on the corridor pavement review the follow was concluded:
• Briarwood Avenue NE (CR 39 to 90th Street NE): Using the visual inspection, existing pavement structure from the as-built plans, the roadway is in good to fair condition and is estimated to have a life expectancy of 10 years assuming routine maintenance.
• 90th Street NE (Briarwood Avenue NE to Cahill Avenue NE): Based on the visual inspection this section of roadway is in poor condition and with the severity and frequency of the alligator cracking the life expectancy is less than 5 years. At that time a mill and overlay should be considered.
• Cahill Avenue NE (90th Street NE to 85th Street): This roadway appears to have sufficient pavement structure in place, this pavement should last 5 to 10 more years.
Improvement Cost and Splits:
The proposed improvements that are identified for the area roadways includes pavement rehabilitation (mill & overlay) and the addition of turn lanes. Pavement rehabilitation could include either mill & overlay or full depth reclamation. The planning level estimated cost for each is based maintaining the existing roadway width and cross section with no subgrade corrections. These would include:
• 2” Mill & Overlay = $30/LF
• 4” Full Depth Reclamation = $55/LF
The estimated costs for the turn lanes was determined based on the assumption of widening the roadway to include:
• Rural cross section with ditches and no shoulders
• 45:1 taper to the left turn lanes
• 250ft turn lanes
• 180ft tapers into the turn lanes
• 6” of Class 5 and 4” of Bituminous
With these assumptions the planning level cost for each turn lane is as follows:
• Left Turn Lanes = $250/LF
• Right Turn Lanes = $225/LF
The responsibility for any recommended improvements will be split between the three stakeholders:
• City of Monticello/Athletic Fields;
• Wright County/YMCA/Bertram Campground, and;
• Monticello Township.
The cost splits were determined based on the percentage of traffic associated with each of the stakeholders. The splits were determined for both an average weekday condition and an average weekend condition during the summer.
The following assumptions were used to determine the stakeholder costs:
• The turn lane improvements would be 100% City of Monticello for the Athletic Field entrance
• The turn lane improvements would be 100% County for the County Park entrance / future Bertram Campground entrance.
The stakeholder costs were based on an average of the average weekday and average weekend traffic splits.
The planning level cost estimates were used for each improvement discussed above.
Based on the anticipated cost splits the following stakeholder costs could be anticipated:
Briarwood Avenue:
Pavement Rehabilitation by 2025
• County = $66,270 to $121,495
• City = $105,750 to $193,875
• Township = $109,980 to $201,630
Turn lanes at Athletic Park Entrance by 2025
• County = $0
• City = $339,250
• Township = $0
Turn lanes at County Park Entrance by 2025
• County = $339,250
• City = $0
• Township = $0
90th Street
Pavement Rehabilitation between 2020 and 2025
• County = $19,875 to $36,440
• City = $11,530 to $21,135
• Township = $48,095 to $88,175
Cahill Avenue
Pavement Rehabilitation between 2030 and 2040
• County = $3,975 to $7,290
• City = $10,730 to $19,675
• Township = $64,795 to $118,785
WSB Recommendations based on all information gathered:
Short Term (2020 - 2025):
• Construct the site driveway to a two-lane approach (left turn lane and right turn lane) at the Briarwood Avenue NE and the new Athletic Park Entrance as planned with the next phase of the BCOL Athletic Park development
• Provide pavement improvements on 90th Street NE from Briarwood Avenue NE to Cahill Avenue
Medium Term (2025 - 2030):
• Construct a southbound left turn lane and a northbound right turn lane at the Briarwood Avenue NE and Athletic Park Entrance intersection with development of future BCOL Athletic Park phases or when the Briarwood Avenue NE pavement is replaced
• Construct a southbound left lane and a northbound right turn lane at the Briarwood Avenue NE and Existing County Park Road intersection with development of future BCOL Athletic Park phases or when the Briarwood Avenue NE pavement is replaced
• Pavement Rehabilitation of Briarwood Avenue NE from CSAH 39 to 90th Street
Long Term (2030 - 2040):
• Pavement Rehabilitation of Cahill Avenue from 90th Street to CR 106 (85th Street)
The City of Monticello noted that they may have up to 8 fields completed prior to 2020. Bob asks if the city is planning on moving up date for development. City replied that Phase I has been approved.
Borrell asked who will be responsible for plowing and maintenance. Virgil states that it will be jurisdictional and doesn’t think it will meet the requirements to be a County Highway and is likely to stay a township road.
Highway Staff Recommendation:
Recommends that Parks, City, and Township budget accordingly for future improvements.
It was the consensus of the TCOTW that an agreement be made between the County Parks, the City and the Township regarding who is responsible for what.
II. Long Range Transportation (LRTP) Review/Next Steps
Presented by Craig Vaughn – SRF Group, Inc.
Craig summarized the LRTP process as follows:
Coordinated with NE Stakeholders regarding sharing info, answering questions, and developing an outline of project. There was an Open House held last June. They have a website for the LRTP for Wright County. The goal of Wright County’s Long-Range Transportation Planning is to lay the groundwork for preparing the County’s transportation system for continued growth and corresponding travel needs over the next 20+ years.
The study process involves:
• Wright County Residents
• Project Management Team
• County Board and Commissioners
• Townships/Cities
• NE Area Stakeholders Committee
• SRF Consulting Group
Long Range Transportation Plan Process:
• Existing Conditions
• Goals and Objectives
• Traffic Forecasts
• Future System Analysis
• Implementation Plan
Existing Conditions:
• Current Roadway System
o Functional and Jurisdictional Classification
• Pavement Condition
o Increase in revenue and focus on pavement condition for the last 6 years has improved system condition to “Good”.
• Traffic Volume and Congestion
• Crash History and Safety Analysis
• Multimodal
Highway Preservation Analysis
• Current funding amount is sufficient for the short-term
• Funding gap anticipated by year 2027
• Impacts of funding gap:
o Loss of economic development opportunities
o Increased safety risks
o Increasing system costs
o Public dissatisfaction
o Effect on other roads in the system
Traffic Volume, Safety, Multimodal
• Minimal Capacity Issues in Rural Wright County
• Crash History and Safety Analysis
o 36 Fatalities
o 66 Incapacitating injuries
• Key Crash Factors:
o 50% Single vehicle crash
o 30% Occurred during dark/night conditions
o 25% Failure to yield right-of-way
o 20% During winter months
o 2011 Trail and Bikeway Plan
Goals and Objectives (See Attachment #1)
Traffic Forecasts (See Attachment #2)
• Year 2040 Traffic Forecasts
• Year 2040 Congestion
Future System Analysis
• Future Roadway System
o Functional and Jurisdictional Classification
o Proposed Functional and Jurisdictional Changes
• Highway Preservation Analysis
• Right-of-Way
Functional Class and Jurisdictional Changes
• Functional Class Changes
o Upgrade all County highways to collector function
o Match future land use and road purpose
• Jurisdictional Changes
o Match management with intended function
• Preserve ROW While Controlling Cost
• Provide Public Consistent Guidelines
• Accommodate “Complete Streets Initiative”
• Define Roadway Type for Future Projects
Capital Improvement Projects (2019-2023) (See Attachment #3)
Recommended Projects (Long Term 2024-2040) (See Attchment #3)
Final Deliverable
• Draft Plan
o Board Presentation (Today)
o Open House (2/21/19)
• Final Long-Range Transportation Plan
This is an informational item, no action by the TCOTW.
III (A). I94 MnDOT Project Updates (Clearwater to Monticello and Albertville to St. Michael)
Claudia Dumont sent a status update regarding this project.
I-94 St. Michael to Albertville
• On schedule to open bids on March 20, 2019. There are two design-build teams that will be bidding on the project.
• Wright County Cooperative Construction Agreement will be submitted this week.
• The total cost share is $1,300,094.00.
• The total construction estimate is around $65 million.
• The public may see some work off the I-94 travel lanes this summer such as temporary widening, loop ramp and pond construction.
I-94 Monticello to Clearwater
• On schedule to open bids on May 22, 2019. There are three design-build teams bidding on the project.
• Wright County may have a cost share if we replace the Fish Creek Culvert under I-94 and CSAH 75. This work will only be included if the base project bid comes in under the $85 million cap. If the work is included, the county’s cost would be about $275,000.00. MnDOT would be able to work with the county to cover the costs until the county can get it in the budget.
• The public may see some temporary widening, pond and cross-over construction late in the 2019 construction season.
This is an informational item, no action by the TCOTW.
III(B). I94 MnDOT Project Updates Freight Update
Presented by John Tompkins - Task Leader, Metro Freight Operations and West Area Planner
Metro District developed a new position in Freight Operations to assist Area Managers, Area Engineers and Project Managers in developing construction projects having significant impact to commercial vehicle traffic. A freight lens on the project from scoping through delivery and evaluation.
• Market research has shown freight haulers and shippers want to be more involved in the project delivery, i.e. staging if warranted, and receive advanced traveler information.
• Having advanced and just-in-time travelers information increase truck productivity and supports supply chain efficiency.
• Advanced and just-in-time traveler information mitigates the impact of HOS Federal Regulatory requirements:
• Truck Parking.
• Electronic Logging.
• Estimating the Value of Commerce on the I-94 Corridor between the Twin Cities and St. Cloud Study.
The growth in traffic on I-94 on the northwest side of Minneapolis hassled to congestion and growing concern from citizens and businesses along the corridor. In response to these concerns, MnDOT has launched several projects on the corridor to increase capacity, including adding another lane to traffic between Rogers and St. Michael, funded by the Corridors of Commerce program and in MnDOT District 3 to Clearwater. To assist in outreach and construction management as these projects advance, the MnDOT Metro District would like a better understanding of the businesses that reply on the corridor, and the commerce that flows through it.
MnDOT working with the consulting team will also provide a summary report providing details and analysis of the estimated I-94 corridor freight flows. This report will consist of text, maps, charts, and other figures to highlight the local industries utilizing the corridor as well as their relative usage patters compared to non-local industries traversing the corridor passing through to their final destination. The report will also include a list of businesses utilizing the corridor for stakeholder outreach.
• A kickoff meeting will be held in late March providing a collection of information for reaction and comments.
• Hosting a freight forum in mid-April and wrapping up the project in late May.
This is an informational item, no action by the TCOTW.
IV. 2019 County Highway Construction Projects Update
2019 Construction Projects Map attached (See Attachment #4)
There have been some changes to the 2019 Construction Program (from what was presented at the 2019 Budget Meeting in July 2018).
A mutual decision was made with the City and County staff that the CSAH 37 reconstruction project in Albertville (LOST Funds) planned for 2019 be delayed. This is due to the I-94 project occurring in the Albertville area in 2019/2020/2021 and the potential traffic issues with detour routes.
The CSAH 30 Reconstruction (from Delano City limits to CSAH 13) has been moved up to 2019/2020 construction using LOST funds. There are imminent housing developments along CSAH 30 that will impact CSAH 30 and would require mitigation improvements for safety and this segment of CSAH 30 is included in the LOST funding list as a reconstruction project.
This is an informational item, no action by the TCOTW.
V. Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Update - Revenue Report
LOST Spreadsheet with updated information attached (See Attachment #5)
The LOST program has been authorized for five (5) years and is scheduled to expire in September of 2022. The initial estimates for LOST revenue were in the $5 million to $6 million/year range and the actual revenue for 2018 was over $7 million. The higher than expected revenue will help go towards funding additional projects on the list of eligible projects (shown in spreadsheet attached).
Jeff O’Neill said it’s great that there is a plan identifying what needs to be done, noting the importance of keeping Monticello in mind for future planning due to the new/potential traffic increases which will cause issues. He said Monticello will want to make a pitch for applying future funds in the future.
This is an informational item, no action by the TCOTW.
Meeting Adjourned: 3:14pm
(End of 2-19-19 TCOTW Minutes)
Michelle Miller, Social Services Manager, reported that since the time of the Committee Meeting, the candidate referenced in the committee minutes has accepted a position with Sherburne County. The candidate referenced the two-week period it took for Wright County to make the offer versus Sherburne County making an offer within 48 hours. It was the consensus that future discussion should be held on the process. Husom moved to approve the Personnel / Employee Relations minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. The 4-24-19 Personnel / Employee Relations Committee minutes follow:
Social Services Manager, Michelle Miller stated that they currently have an available Social Worker position which they have completed the recruitment process. Human Services (HHS) Department would like to re-hire a Social Worker who was previously employed with the County for 12 years. The Social Worker resigned due to a relocation out of state.
Miller explained that the candidate worked for HHS for a total of 12 years in Child Protection and Adult Services. Miller stated that the candidate left the organization in 2018 at the top of the pay grade and has agreed to accept a proposed wage of $30.11 which is in the middle of the existing pay grade. Miller commented that the candidate left in good standing, continued in the same field of work and HHS would be happy to have this employee back.
Commissioners Chris Husom and Mark Daleiden both agreed that the County would benefit by having a Social Worker with the work experience and job knowledge that require minimal additional job training. Both agreed with the recommendation of offering the Social Worker candidate $30.11 per hour.
(End of 4-24-19 Personnel / Employee Relations Minutes)
Daleiden moved to approve the 4-24-19 Finance / CIP Minutes and recommendations and to proceed with the timeline. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Review Finance Policies and Procedures
Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator, distributed the following information (see attachments):
1) Draft Finance Policies and Procedures, Table of Content 4.23.2019
2) Timeline of Process
3) Public Purpose Expenditures – relative to food, refreshments and meals
Vergin and Lindsey Meyer, Assistant Finance Director discussed the process, which started back in September of 2018. Once the ERP became a project of focus the policies were put on hold. In March 2019 they regrouped and shared the policies with Christine Partlow, HHS Business Manager, Shawna Athman, Sheriff Business Manager, and Patsy Waytashek, HWY Accountant to gather their input. Other appropriate staff members were included during the process on matters that applied to them.
There are two outstanding items still in process, Public Purpose Expenditures, which is being sent to the Leadership meeting on May 2; and Disposition of County Property, to clarify additional opportunities to the County that will meet the State and Federal regulations when disposing of properties. It was clarified that this does not include real property, as that process is defined by State Statute.
The Committee reviewed the table of contents as an overview of what the Policy addresses.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor Treasurer stated that there are two items that need to be added to the Debt Policy, Arbitrage and Continuing Disclosure.
Public Purpose of Expenditures will contain a link to the Personnel Policy with regards to meal per diems. So that in the future if there are any changes made, both will be updated accordingly.
Conflict of Interest, currently there is a conflict of interest section contained in the Personnel Policy, it is being recommended that that one be repealed, and that it be included in the Finance Policy.
Discussed a Ditch Policy. It was the consensus of the Committee that it should be incorporated into the Finance Policy when completed.
There will be ongoing revisions to this document even once it is adopted, to ensure that we are complying with all applicable rules and regulations, as well as the needs of the County.
Reviewed the timeline going forward:
May 2 – Leadership input on Public Purpose Expenditures
May 6 – Revised Draft Policy emailed to Finance/CIP Committee and Board members for their review
May 22 – Finance/CIP Committee meeting held to discuss any additional changes or concerns
May 24 – Final Draft Policy emailed to Finance/CIP Committee and the Board members for their review
June 12 – Finance/CIP Committee meeting for final review and recommendation
June 18 – Board receives final Policies with recommendations from Committee
When the Policy revisions are sent to the Committee and Board members, all changes will be tracked, and the revision date will be on the document.
Commissioners Daleiden and Husom thanked staff for their work on the policies.
RECOMMENDATION: To proceed with the timeline as identified
(End of 4-24-19 Finance / CIP Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Justice Center Updates
Paulsen spoke to the short term schedule & progress on the site. The exterior windows and metal panels are being installed around the facility. The aluminum window sets are mostly in on the east side and the remainder will be installed over the next 1-2 weeks. Area A of the site (entry and north end) is scheduled to follow the rest of the project due to needed metal work and the focus to get the rest of site ready for more detailed and longer duration finishes. The LEC community room windows are planned to be removed and the wall finished over the first two weeks of May. The room will be closed for the duration of the work. Level 0 is having block layed up and concrete will be poured over the next week. All underground work is complete. Level 1 MEP rough-ins are installed with 80% of the sheetrock completed. Level 2 MEP rough-ins are currently being installed and the sheetrock will start to go up in about a week, pending inspections. Level 3 is receiving fireproofing on the deck and framing will follow immediately behind.
Currie spoke to the long term schedule and even though the roof was delayed for approximately 5 weeks, much of the time was picked up on the interior finishes and delays were absorbed in the overall schedule. The project as a whole is currently on-schedule.
Currie spoke to the overall budget and the contingency balance which currently stands at $1,679,906. He stated that extrapolating the rate of change orders to the end of the project at the rate they have been experienced to date would leave a contingency balance of $1,149,179 at completion.
The group spoke about PRs #16 & #26 and discussed the request for approval. #16 is related to plumbing vent changes and code requirements at a value of $23,908. #26 is related to coiling door details and various small finish changes throughout the project at a value of $12,398.
Wilczek spoke to project tours and advised groups or departments to schedule walkthroughs with him in order to catch changes that might be needed. The facility is being constructed to plan, however it is a good opportunity to review the construction to be sure everything will be properly operational.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Approve PR #16 for $23,908 and PR #26 for $12,398. Next meeting 5/15/19 @ 1:00 pm.
Owners Committee Minutes Submitted by: Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director
(End of 4-17-19 Owners Committee Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Update
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, gave an ERP update to the committee. The ERP team is honing in on the scope of the project. They have done additional product demonstrations with Oracle, ERP vendor, including reviewing a Human Resources module as well as an Advanced Collection System. Commissioner Daleiden stated that he knew of forthcoming meetings in May, to which Scott Weiland, IT Project Manager, responded that those will be on-site visits reviewing Billing and Materials aka what needs to be done and when will we do it. Weiland also reminded the committee that Oracle is our ERP product but we will have the most contact with the professional services vendor Ciber who works with Oracle to complete our project. Weiland further clarified that there are 2 scoping sessions planned for the end of May, Ciber & Oracle are still finalizing the agendas, but in general they will cover the Finance, Budgeting, Procurement piece in one two-day session and then Human Capital Management, Human Resources, in another two-day session. The discussion then moved to the project start date, with Christine Partlow, HS Business Manager, stating that staff closely involved with the project would like to see it move forward as soon as possible. The timing of starting the project sooner would allow fewer conflicts to occur, some major struggles of a later start being the annual audit and the 2021 budgeting season. Key players would also like to leverage the financial piece for the 2021 budget development cycle. Kelly stated that staff were hopeful for a September start date at the latest, again to have a best fit for the training and rollout of all the pieces into our present financial schedule. Kelly did note that in other discussions it was suggested a later start date of 2020 would allow for the billing costs to be spread out. Commissioner Daleiden responded that we don’t yet know the true costs until after the meetings in late May. The timeline of module completion was also discussed, the estimated time for the finance piece being 9 months, after that is complete, the HR module work would begin with an estimation to take 10-11 months. Weiland added that the HR piece is dependent upon 4 distinct times of the year that payroll could be switched over, again timing being very key to the entire rollout. Weiland stated that Oracle has a 6-8 week lead time from our decision to move forward to the actual start of work. Commissioner Daleiden concluded that in the May Technology Committee meeting we may have a better idea of costs, Kelly added that a Committee of the Whole would likely be scheduled in the 2nd week of June for the Board to discuss the ERP project plan.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only. Committee of the Whole to discuss ERP is likely to be scheduled at conclusion of negotiations with Oracle, target date of 2nd week in June.
II. Office 365 (O365) Status Update
Teresa Friedsam, O365 Project Manager, and Tim Dahl, Risk Manager, reviewed recent updates for O365 to provide additional security measures. They stated there was some internal confusion on why some of the actions were taken as part of the implementation of the O365 product InTune. Dahl stated he attended a recent League of MN Cities Loss Control conference where attendees discussed information security measures taken by various entities. Dahl showed a video that was discussed at the meeting, City of Albert Lea Victim of Phishing Scam, stating that the recent actions with InTune were taken to prevent this type of incident. Further in the presentation Dahl noted that 53% of organizations have been hacked, that the new O365 tools allow us to detect attacks on the County. Primary causes of data security incidents are 68% employee or contractor mistakes, 20% lost or stolen devices, 11% hacking incidents. The InTune tool assists with the protection of data. Members present stated frustration with the business disruption and loss of time during the InTune rollout. There was also an expression of a lack of communication surrounding the rollout. Some stated frustration with the applications device limitations as well. Further discussion also brought to light other security concerns with emails. Members present stressed that IT security education is needed for end users, especially given the statistics reviewed earlier. Pat Spaude, IT Manager, stated that there is a security awareness product, KnowBe4, that the County will soon be implementing, also that as staff we have to be diligent in questioning what we receive and interact with. Friedsam ended by reviewing the O365 implementation timeline for remaining pieces, highlighting that some areas moved ahead quicker due to the InTune rollout. The completion of the project has an end goal of January 2020, which may change. Commissioner Daleiden concluded the discussion with steps for improvement identified as enhanced staff education for security awareness as well as better explanation and communication to all staff on any upcoming changes.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational only.
Britta Holland, IT staff, stated that the Project Portfolio Update can be held till the next meeting.
RECOMMENDATION: Review Project Portfolio Update at next meeting in May.
IV. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, VDI
Pat Spaude, IT Manager, brought the project to the committee to discuss its present state and the need to adjust it if the County is to expand its use. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is virtualization technology that hosts a desktop operating system on a centralized server in a data center. At the County it is used for remote work, aka working while away from the County network, such as at home or at a conference. It allows connection to your desktop environment and the County network. The tool was used by several staff who worked remotely this past winter during the Polar Vortex and the large snow storms. Citrix has historically been the tool utilized by the County for remote work. In May of 2018 the Human Services (HS) Department along with IT moved ahead with a pilot project to allow for more full-time remote work by HS staff utilizing the Microsoft VDI product. At the time Microsoft VDI was identified as an improved product over Citrix for remote work. Spaude stated that presently staff from several departments are ready to move beyond the pilot stage, they would like to see expansion of the use of the ability to utilize the product. The current pilot is constrained by equipment and needs an architectural review before adding additional VDI licenses. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff Operations Manager, stated that before increasing the number of users it would be beneficial if testing were completed, noting that VDI is not working properly for Sheriff personnel, which has over 200 employees. Commissioner Daleiden questioned if VDI is indeed a better product than Citrix? Response was that the product was identified as better, however those who worked closely with the pilot implementation are no longer with the County, although several present stated that there was discussion and documentation about the benefits of VDI. There was more discussion surrounding the number of VDI and Citrix licenses available for staff in the present state. Internal invoicing for VDI and Citrix licensing was also discussed, with Partlow noting that HHS paid for licenses to allow their entire team of 200+ staff members have the ability to work remotely, that in the present state this is not the case. Scott Weiland, IT, noted that VDI is an identified project under IT projects. With this knowledge the IT team will review VDI from its beginning to its present state and future needs.
RECOMMENDATION: IT will review historical VDI project information along with researching needs for present testing and future expansion regarding remote work.
Technology Minutes Submitted By: Jennifer Rasset
(End of 4-24-19 Technology Committee Minutes)
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-60 accepting the following donations. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Colleen Berhard - $1,000 for Memorial Bench at Otsego Park
Monticello District Education and Scholarship Fund - $1050 for Memorial Bench at Bertram Park
Due to the length of the Board Meeting, no updates were provided.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 P.M.
Published in the Herald Journal May 24, 2019.