BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
JUNE 4, 2019
DATE APPROVED: JUNE 11, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 5-28-19
Daleiden made a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Items were petitioned to the Agenda as follows:
- Aud./Treas. Item #6, “Update On Postponement Of 2019A and 2019B Bonds” (Hiivala)
- Items For Consideration F, “Schedule Committee Of The Whole Meeting RE: Legislative Update From Flaherty & Hood” (Vetsch)
Husom moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0:
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between May 21, 2019 And May 28, 2019
2. Approve Renewal Of Annual On-Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Albion Ridges, LLC DBA Albion Ridges Golf Course In Albion Township For The License Period July 1, 2019 Through June 30, 2020
3. Approve Renewal Of Annual Club On-Sale Liquor License For Cokato Town And Country Club In Cokato Township For The License Period July 1, 2019 Through June 30, 2019
4. Position Replacement:
A. Assistant Finance Director
B. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement
A. Social Worker
C. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Accept The Findings And Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings:
A. STEVE D. LANGANKI - (Silver Creek Township) Unanimously Recommend Approval To Rezone Approximately 34 Acres From AG General Agricultural & S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands To A/R Agricultural Residential & S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands
B. EVAN H. SILTALA - (Cokato Township) Unanimously Recommend To Rezone Approximately 6 Acres From R-2a Suburban Residential And S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands To R-2 Suburban Residential And S-2
C. STANLEY J. & CAROL E. VANDER KOOI - (Rockford Township) Unanimously Recommend To Rezone Approximately 40 Acres From AG General Agricultural And Part S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands To A/R Agricultural-Residential And Part S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
ADAM AUSTING, EXTENSION EDUCATOR
Recognition Of The Swenson Family (Keith, Becky, Britta, & Luke Swenson) As Wright County’s 2019 Farm Family Of The Year
Adam Austing, Extension Educator, said the Farm Family Recognition Program has existed for over 30 years and honors farm families from throughout Minnesota for their contributions to the agriculture industry and their local communities. The Wright County Extension Committee selects the Farm Family each year and this year recognizes the Swenson family of Swenson Gardens near Howard Lake. Swenson Gardens has become the world’s largest chemical-free peony producer since its birth in 2002. The farm is approximately 40 acres. They nurture thousands of peony plants in hundreds of varieties. They sell new seedlings, intersectional, garden peonies, and bare-root peonies. They use innovative ground covers to reduce weeding. They also participate in many different community events and gardening workshops. Keith and Becky, along with their children Britta and Luke have created a thriving operation in the heart of Wright County. The County Board extended congratulations to the Swenson Family.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-70 recognizing the Swenson Family (Keith, Becky, Britta, & Luke Swenson) as Wright County’s 2019 Farm Family of the Year. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
CAPT. TODD HOFFMAN, SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Request Approval Of The 2019 MN DNR Boat & Water Safety Grant In The Amount Of $21,352
Sgt. Brian Johnson, Sheriff’s Office, presented the Sheriff’s Office Agenda items.
Johnson stated that the Boat & Water Safety Grant increased about $3,000 from 2018 and supports activities including patrol, enforcement, watercraft inspection, search and recovery operations, etc. Grant funds will be allocated as set out in the 2019 Budget Spending Plan. The Grant period is 1-01-19 through 6-30-20.
Daleiden moved to approve the 2019 MN DNR Boat & Water Safety Grant, $21,352. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Request Approval Of The 2019 Federal Supplemental Boating Safety Patrol Grant In The Amount Of $9,500
Johnson explained the Federal Supplemental Boating Safety Patrol Grant assists the Sheriff’s Office in providing additional boating safety patrol hours during the summer. This is a non-matching grant. The Grant period is 5-10-19 through 9-02-19.
Borrell moved to approve the 2019 Federal Supplemental Boating Safety Patrol Grant, $9,500. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
VIRGIL HAWKINS, HIGHWAY ENGINEER
Set Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting (TCOTW) To Discuss Transportation Items. Suggested Dates For Meeting: Wednesday, June 12th (AM); Monday, June 17th; Tuesday, June 18th; Monday, June 24th (PM); Wed. June 26th
Potter moved to set a Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 6-26-19 at 1:00 P.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Agenda items include:
5-Year Plan Update (adjustments/revisions)
CR 106/85th Street Intersection (Maple Lake Township & Corinna Township)
Braddock Ave Traffic Study & Recommendations/Process for access request to TH 25
Bertram Park Road (Briarwood Ave) Plans Update
LRTP Next steps/Adoption of the plan by the County Board
Long-term gravel source for County
City of Buffalo Retaining Wall Project Update (CSAH 35)
Update on Highway Outlying Shops Plan
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Approve The Findings And Order Accepting The Petition From The City Of Monticello And The Partial Rescission Of A Prior Transfer Order On County Ditch #33
The City of Monticello requested portions of County Ditch 33 be transferred to the City in accordance with an outlet petition from a proposed developer in 2006. This was done in anticipation that the development would go through, and that a new larger outlet would be created, thus making the transferred portions obsolete. The development failed, and a new outlet was not created, making all benefited landowners reliant on the current outlet managed by the City. As part of the agreement to rescind the transfer, the City has transferred $167,000 in outlet fees to the County Ditch 33 fund.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #19-71 to approve the Findings and Order accepting the Petition from the City of Monticello and the Partial Rescission of a prior Transfer Order on County Ditch 33. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Purchase Of Sixty-One DS200 Ballot Counters From Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S, Inc.) At A Cost Of $316,110.00
Hiivala stated that the request is to purchase 61 ballot counters to replace the M100 ballot counters. This is due to the age of the M100 counters and maintenance issues. The funding source will be VEGA Grant Funds ($38,869.65) with the remainder from earmarked CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) Funds.
Borrell asked whether the equipment will be connected to the internet. Hiivala explained that the equipment has the capability, but he is not looking to add this feature. If that feature is desired in the future, it would be through a secure Wi-Fi connection.
Borrell moved to approve the purchase of sixty-one DS200 ballot counters from Election Systems & Software, Inc. at a cost of $316,110.00. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Approve Purchase Of Two DS200 Ballot Counters From The City Of Delano At A Cost of $10,750 ($5,375.00 each)
With Wright County standardizing election equipment and opting to provide equipment to precincts, Hiivala recommended reimbursing the City of Delano for their prior acquisition of two DS200s. Wright County will then own all the tabulators deployed on election day.
Borrell moved to approve the purchase of two DS200 ballot counters from the City of Delano. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Approve Purchase Of One DS450 Ballot Counter From Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S, Inc.) At A Cost Of $43,385.00
The DS450 ballot counter will be used to:
• count absentee ballots received via the mail;
• count ballots election night for a precinct experiencing balancing problems
• act as a backup for the precincts for their ballot counting equipment
• perform the initial sort of ballots for a post-election review or recount.
Hiivala said this will expedite the process and serve as an emergency backup if equipment in a precinct fails. The purchase will be for a slightly used counter.
Daleiden moved to approve the purchase of one DS450 ballot counter from ES&S, Inc. at a cost of $43,385.00. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. Funding is through CIP Funds.
Approve Purchase Of Electionware (Election Reporting Manager) Software And Hardware From Election Systems & Software, Inc. At A Cost Of $10,873.00
Potter moved to approve the purchase of Electionware software and hardware from Election Systems & Software, $10,873.00. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Update On Postponement Of 2019A and 2019B Bonds
Hiivala stated that award of the sale of 2019A&B Bonds was scheduled for today’s meeting. However, a petition was filed with the Auditor/Treasurer Office, and they are still validating the petition. Hiivala contacted the financial advisors This was provided as an informational item.
SEAN RILEY, PLANNING & ZONING ADMINISTRATOR
1. Review Petition For An EAW For Valley Paving, Asphalt Plant (Silver Creek Twp.).
Petition Link Can Be Found At The Planning & Zoning Home Page: http://www.co.wright.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/17117/Valley-Paving-Asphalt-Plant-Petition (The full record can be found on file at the Wright County Planning & Zoning Office.)
Riley provided an overview. The Wright County Planning Commission received a petition for a temporary asphalt plant and existing gravel pit in Silver Creek Township. The request was placed on the 5-16-19 Planning Commission Agenda. Prior to that meeting, a citizen petition for an EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheet) was received. Because of the petition, a decision was not made at the Planning Commission Meeting. The matter was continued to the 6-27-19 Planning Commission Meeting. The intent is to schedule a site inspection by the Planning Commission on 6-06-19. The PCA (Pollution Control Agency) validated the petition as complete and designated Wright County as the RGU (Responsible Government Unit). Wright County has legal requirements to follow when deciding whether to require an EAW, which includes a timeline of 30 working days.
Borrell said he does not want a request for an EAW to arise every time there is a request from an asphalt company. The proposed plant is on an existing gravel pit, is well screened, and uses the latest equipment. He does not support placing an extra burden on companies. This request relates to the I-94 project. Borrell said many of the complaints were in the Locke Lake area south of I-94.
Husom asked whether this is a request for a temporary plant. Riley responded that the request is for a temporary hot mix plant. Nothing prevents additional requests for temporary CUP’s (Conditional Use Permits). Discussion followed on plants being located near residences. Sometimes, landowners purchase knowing there is a plant located nearby. Vetsch said in this situation, the residents who own property on Locke Lake did not know there would be a future plant in this location. He thought the Board should use due diligence on behalf of those residents. Another option would be to locate the plant within right-of-way, so it would only be there during a specific period.
Riley said the County Board’s decision is whether to require an EAW; it is not a decision on whether to approve the CUP. Vetsch supported using due diligence for residents in the area. Daleiden asked about the timeline for the EAW and whether that would affect the opportunity for the plant. Riley does not know the time line, but it requires the petitioner to complete the EAW in proper format. The decision returns to the County Board for approval. Borrell disagrees with the requirement for an EAW and the extra expense it adds.
Borrell made a motion to not require an EAW For Valley Paving, Asphalt Plant (Silver Creek Twp). Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the motion should be to direct staff to draft a resolution declining the EAW pursuant to MN Rule 4410.1100, subpart 006. The motion was seconded by Potter. Vetsch urged Commissioners to vote against the motion. Not completing the EAW sets a precedence. The desire is to get the I-94 project done and this is a process that needs to be completed for the residents in that area. Potter said residents want roads fixed so these plants must be located somewhere. The further away they are located, the more expense that is associated. The requirements in Minnesota are stricter compared to other states. Borrell said many of the current plants have upgraded their systems to minimize odors. He said asphalt plants are scrutinized by the State. Vetsch said the impacts on residential housing would be less if the plant would move approximately a mile in either direction.
Potter asked to call the question on the motion. The vote on the motion failed as follow: Borrell and Potter voted for approval; Vetsch voted against; and Husom and Daleiden abstained for more information.
Daleiden moved to table this issue to the 6-11-19 County Board Meeting. Vetsch said each side of the issue will have 10 minutes to state their case. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
5-28-19 PERSONNEL COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE (COTW) MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Potter. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, asked whether position replacements will continue to be placed on the Consent Agenda. Daleiden and Vetsch stated they should be. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Discussion RE: Hiring Of Positions Above 12% Of Minimum Grade Range
Darek Vetsch, County Board Chair, said the County needs to be able to move as quickly as possible in this competitive labor market. The County has lost potential candidates during the one- to two-week process it takes to bring requests for hiring above 12 percent of minimum grade range to the County Board. Vetsch requested monthly or quarterly reports on new positions hired above minimum grade range. Vetsch suggested delegating that authority to County Administration to be able to respond more quickly in these circumstances. The monthly or quarterly reports would keep the County Board involved.
Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, said the quarterly reports should indicate the percentage above minimum grade range at which the position was hired. The County Board will then have the necessary information to change this process if positions are hired at percentages too high above the minimum grade range.
Vetsch said he is giving Administration authorization to determine the percent above minimum grade range that will be offered to candidates in competitive situations. Most are currently between 20 percent and 40 percent.
Schawn Johnson, Human Resources Director, distributed two sets of documents: Hires Over 12% in 2018 and 2019, and three job descriptions (see attachments). He said the pending Classification and Compensation Study will help, but there will likely be a few cases that may require hiring above 12 percent of minimum grade range. It is also a matter of supply and demand in the labor market. Lori Pawelk, Assistant Human Resources Director, said the Human Resources team reviews candidates, their education and experience, and earnings of current employees to make sure a request to hire above minimum grade range is justifiable before it is brought to the County Board.
Vetsch requested quarterly reports that indicate the total number of new positions hired, including those hired above 12 percent above minimum grade range, percentage above the minimum grade range, position title, and name of the Department requesting the hire.
Christine Husom, County Commissioner, requested a list of the names of new employees, as well as those who terminated employment within the reporting period.
Recommendations: Human Resources will provide the County Board with a quarterly report on all newly hired employees, indicating those hired at more than 12 percent above the minimum grade range and specifying the percentage. The reports will also include the name of the position and the department requesting the hire. The County Administrator will review and approve requests to hire above 12% of the minimum grade range and will provide an update to the County Board on a quarterly basis.
Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 5-28-19 Personnel COTW Minutes)
SCHEDULE COUNTY BOARD MEETING FOR 6-11-19 AT 9:00 A.M.
Potter moved to schedule a County Board Meeting for 6-11-19 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
SCHEDULE COUNTY BOARD WORKSHOP FOR 6-04-19 AT 10:30 A.M.
Workshop Topic: Discuss Next Steps With Bond Counsel
Potter moved to schedule a County Board Workshop for 6-04-19 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
SCHEDULE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING, CLOSED SESSION, COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR’S PERFORMANCE REVIEW
Potter moved to schedule a COTW Meeting, Closed Session, for 6-25-19 at 11:00 A.M. The purpose of the meeting will be the County Administrator’s Performance Review. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING FOR LEASE OF PARKING SPACES IN THE WEST GOVERNMENT CENTER LOT
Kelly stated there have been ongoing discussions with the City of Buffalo and a development company relating to City property (former St. Francis Xavier School property). This property will be discussed at the City’s Planning Commission Meeting next week.
The development company would like to rent parking space in the Government Center’s west parking lot. Kelly responded to the development company last Thursday, indicating the County received a petition relating to the bonding for the new Government Center.
Kelly asked for Board direction. The Board conveyed there is a parking shortage already and it is not feasible to discuss the request. Kelly said the development company is working to develop the site and part of that is the requirement for parking spots. Potter attended the City’s Planning Commission Meeting on this topic, and there was a lot of opposition to the development by residents. The thought is that there is too much being planned for the site, as the City plans to locate the Fire Department there as well. Leasing the property will impede what the County can do with the property in the future. Potter understands the project is tied to the MN Housing Finance Agency and so it is site specific. Husom said another concern voiced is for the safety of children because of the proximity of the Fire Department. She does not think the County has 30 parking spaces to lease. Potter said although the developer has time constraints, it would be tough to move forward with the amount of concern voiced by residents in that area, and because of the site plans for that location. Kelly will carry that message forward to the City and the developer.
SCHEDULE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING RE: LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FROM FLAHERTY & HOOD
Husom moved to schedule a COTW Meeting for 6-20-19 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Administrator Updates:
A. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Sessions. Sessions were held last week on Human Capital Management. The ERP will be discussed at the 6-11-19 COTW Meeting. Vetsch requested a short demo video or written overview of the project for that meeting if possible. The County is currently negotiating the contract with the vendor, and a quote is expected in the next few days.
B. A group is being formed to review the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Plan and mobile device management.
C. AMC District V Meeting. The meeting will be held on 6-10-19.
2. MN Freight Advisory Committee. Potter attended a meeting on 5-31-19. Discussion included how to support the regions economic competitiveness. A MnDOT update was provided on the I-94 Corridor Project. The CR 19 bridge over I-94 is back in the plan. Work on I-94 this year will include non-driving lanes (utilities, shoulders).
3. Wright County Community Action Summit. Daleiden and Vetsch attended on 5-30-19. Discussion included the lack of affordable housing, lack of transportation, and mental health issues. The purpose of the summit was to look at ways to provide service without duplication of effort.
4. Xcel Energy Quarterly Meeting. Vetsch attended the meeting.
• Xcel is entering their administrative review process on valuation. Every year, the value increases. Xcel is arguing the increase not necessarily the base amount.
• A flexible power demonstration was provided. The goal is for nuclear energy to be a good base load match with solar and wind. It can be dialed up or down depending on demand.
• Trump tariffs on uranium and the potential impact on the nuclear plant. The cost of uranium in the U.S. is dramatically higher. Much of the uranium in this area is received from Russia and Canada.
• Yucca Mountain. There is a push to get the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) to finish the licensing process on Yucca Mountain. Monticello Nuclear Plant and Xcel Energy will submit their certificate of need for 2021-2022 to the Public Utilities Commission. If approved by the Public Utilities Commission for a 10-year extension, application will then be made to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2025 for a 20-year extension.
5. Central MN Emergency Medical Services Region. Husom attended a meeting on 5-31-19 which included discussion on a two-year budget summary. The proposal was submitted to the state for the EMS Systems Grant which will be used to support first responders. A key piece is the critical incident team. Central MN EMS continues to look for a stable funding source.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:29 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal June 21, 2019.