Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 18, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden and Borrell present. Commissioner Potter was absent because of travel to Washington D.C. with the Transportation Alliance.
Husom made the following correction to the Board Minutes:
- Page 3, 2nd to last paragraph, 2nd sentence should read, “He thinks that if the T21 ordinance is enacted, youth will just get it from others.”
Husom referenced Page 9, 5th paragraph, and the sentence that reads, “A report recently received indicates payment will be less than 5% of the budget.” She clarified that the current debt service is less than 5% and the new Government Center it will bring it up to about 7%.
Husom moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows:
- Add Auditor/Treasurer Timed Item #3, “Schedule Committee of The Whole Meeting To Set The Audit Exit Meeting With CliftonLarsonAllen For July 16, 2019 At 11:00 A.M.” (Hiivala)
Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 4-0:
1. Authorize Signatures On wRight Choice Lease Agreement, 2019-2020
1. Claim - Madden, Galanter & Hansen, May 2019 Services, $5,807.02
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between June 5, 2019 And June 7, 2019
2. Approve Renewal Of Annual On-Sale (including Sunday) Liquor License For Norm’s Wayside In Rockford Township Contingent Upon Town Board Approval For The License Period July 1, 2019 To June 30, 2020
3. Approve Temporary Liquor License For American Legion Post 323 For Event On July 20, 2019
4. Informational: The Petition Filed By Lake John Landowners Is Sufficient For The Creation Of A Lake Improvement District. The Public Hearing Is Scheduled For 9:30 a.m. On July 16, 2019. Hearing Notices Will Be Mailed To Affected Landowners And Published In The Official Newspaper.
1. Refer To Technology Committee:
A. ERP Update
B. Office 365 Update
C. IT Project Portfolio Update
D. Call Center For HHS E. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
Approve A Plat “Elphinstone Shores” (Southside Township)
Hiivala said the Agenda incorrectly reflects a plat approval request for “West Ridge (South Haven).” The correct request is for plat approval for “Elphinstone Shores (Southside Township).” The Agenda will be amended to reflect this correction.
Borrell moved to approve the Plat for Elphinstone Shores in Southside Township. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 4-0.
Approve MN Department Of Public Safety Deputy Registrar Reimbursement Grant Agreement And Supporting Resolution To Accept Grant Funds In The Amount Of $85,108.73
Legislation includes an appropriation of $13 million for deputy registrar reimbursement grants related to the development and deployment of MN License and Registration System (MNLARS). Hiivala said the State recognizes the additional costs borne by deputy registrar offices. Wright County’s share is $85,108.73. His understanding is that each deputy registrar office received an application for grant funding, so he assumes deputy registrar offices in other locations (i.e., Monticello) will apply and receive their own funding.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-75 approving the MN Department of Public Safety Deputy Registrar Reimbursement Grant Agreement to accept grant funds in the amount of $85,108.73. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Schedule Committee Of The Whole (COTW) To Set The Audit Exit Meeting With CliftonLarsonAllen For July 16, 2019 At 11:00 A.M.
Husom moved to set the COTW Meeting for 7-16-19 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 4-0.
Continuation Of Petition For An EAW For Valley Paving, Asphalt Plant (Silver Creek Twp.) From The June 11, 2019 Agenda.
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.)
Borrell asked for clarification possible motions with an absent Board member. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said if there is a tie vote, no action is taken whether approval or denial. The item can be brought to a future Board Meeting by a person on the prevailing side. If there is no prevailing side, any Board member can bring the item back for discussion.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said a decision needs to be made by 7-03-19 on the petition submitted for an EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheet). A site inspection was held with the Planning Commission last week. This topic will be on the 6-27-19 Planning Commission Meeting Agenda. He reminded the Board that at the 6-11-19 Board Meeting, the Board closed public comment on this topic and then continued the topic to today’s Board Meeting. Husom said this was done to allow Board members an opportunity to make a site visit.
Borrell stated he has been to the location twice and thinks it is a good location for an asphalt plant. He questioned whether an EAW will be required of all applicants for asphalt plants, and said this adds cost to the project and to the taxpayers. He said the water flows away from Locke Lake. When he visited the site, gravel crushing was occurring, and he said the noise from crushing is far less than freeway noise. He favored situating the plant on the property, so it is the furthest away from residents as possible. Riley said the Planning Commission will implement those conditions and restrictions through the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) process.
Vetsch said that in his business, he was inspected annually by the Department of Health and paid annual property taxes to Sherburne County. This asphalt plant will not add tax capacity. Vetsch said part of being a good business owner is being a good steward to the neighbors. Borrell said if the County makes the process so restrictive, gravel pits will remain where they are and will not close. Vetsch said there are continuous issues with pits and it is fair that the County is asked to do its due diligence. Residents purchased their land based on the surroundings at the time. If the asphalt plant were located there first, that would be a different argument.
Daleiden stated that with the EAW process, the Planning Commission can still approve the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) request for the asphalt pit. There is no guarantee the EAW will stop the plant. The EAW is an information gathering process. Husom stated that the EAW will provide an answer on whether this is a good location for the asphalt plant. As much as she supports this industry, sometimes the location needs to be different than proposed. During her visit to the site, she noticed a lot of traffic activity with gravel being hauled. Vetsch said part of being a good business owner is being a good steward to the neighbors.
Riley said this process includes guidance, and it is not an arbitrary approval/disapproval to an EAW petition. If it is decided an EAW is needed for this request, it does not mean from this point forward an EAW will be required of all requests. The Attorney’s Office has requested this topic be continued to the next Board Meeting, so a resolution can be prepared consistent with action taken.
Borrell moved to direct staff to draft findings that the EAW is not required. The motion failed for lack of a second.
Borrell moved to table this for one week until Commissioner Potter is present. The motion failed for lack of a second.
Husom moved to direct staff to prepare findings to require an EAW for Valley Paving, Asphalt Plant (Silver Creek Twp.). The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell questioned whether an EAW will be required every time a citizen group comes in. Daleiden said that if an EAW is done, it does not stop the asphalt plant from being approved. Borrell stated he would like this topic to wait until Potter returns from D.C. as the plant is critical for the I-94 Project. The motion carried 3-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0. The COTW Minutes follow:
I. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said the goal of this meeting is to provide an update to the County Board on the ERP process. However, he had hoped the vendors would provide more information than was received today. The objective is to discuss next steps moving forward. Kelly referenced a PowerPoint presentation titled, “Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Vending Selection Project” (see attachment).
Kelly said thousands of hours have gone into the ERP project including the Request For Proposal process, staff meetings, and facilitation of three on-site vendor demonstrations facilitated by Infotech. The decision was made to proceed with Oracle. The Board needs to approve Oracle as the official vendor and Ciber as the implementation partner.
Kelly said negotiations on master service agreements (MSA) has begun with the two firms. The Ciber MSA is close to completion. Staff has not received a response yet from the Oracle legal team. St. Croix County in Wisconsin has utilized Oracle for their ERP system and report that efficiencies have been gained. They are overall happy with the process but have temporarily paused the phases that haven’t been fully implemented.
Darek Vetsch, County Board Chair, said there is no hard and fast timeline. He asked how costs are affected if the County incurs a loss of key staff and decides to pause during the process. Kelly said there is usually an initial payment and then milestone payments. Tim Dahl, Risk Manager, said at this point the County is establishing the terms of their contractual relationship. Once the rules of the contract are established, price and other details will be negotiated.
Scott Weiland, Business Analyst, said Oracle invoices monthly in arrears. Ciber requests set monthly payments. The master services agreements establish the ground rules regarding how the entities will operate. Once details are decided, the pricing will be locked in. Weiland said Ciber has worked with cities but did not know if they have worked with other counties. Oracle chose them as implementation partner for Wright County. After Ciber implements and trains County staff, Oracle will provide support.
Kelly said the initial timeline targets Phase I completion in April 2020, Phase 2 by June 14, 2020, and Phase 3 by August 2020. In order to meet those deadlines, the process would need to begin with Oracle in August of 2019. Phase 1 would address the foundational financial components such as financial management, procurement, contract management, grant management, and budgeting. Phase 2 would encompass human capital management and payroll. Phase 3 would cover supplemental concerns such as advanced collections, inventory management including capital assets, health and safety, performance management, and learning.
Vetsch objected to the two proposed positions, including an ERP Business Architect and a Procurement Analyst. Both are proposed to report to Administration. He did not see the need to add more staff and did not feel it made sense to place these positions in Administration. Vetsch would consider adding contract staff for these positions on a temporary basis.
Weiland said the Oracle costs are set. The Ciber costs are still being negotiated.
Discussion continued regarding the need for the two additional positions and how they would function in the ERP implementation process.
Shawna Athman, Business Manager, Sheriff’s Office, cited examples regarding the inefficiencies of the current processes she utilizes, and how an ERP system would streamline her work. Vetsch said he wholeheartedly agrees with the ERP concept. He is concerned about who would lead the charge and does not want to enter into something the County is not prepared to do, given the loss of a number staff in recent months.
ConnieMae Cooper, Business Analyst, said there is a core team of people representing the County enterprise-wide who meet regularly. The proposed Architect position would have an enterprise or system perspective, not just a technical one.
Lindsey Meyer, Assistant Finance Director, said a many of the people present agree strongly that this project should go forward. She said the current system she and her staff uses requires manual payroll entries which can cause errors, which potentially affect the budget. The more manual intervention, the more errors result. There is too much redundancy between Department procedures. She felt the two additional positions would make important contributions.
Discussion continued regarding the benefits and disadvantages of hiring the two positions.
Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, said the core team should be capable enough to make decisions regarding when to implement ERP. He questioned the benefits of hiring a Procurement Analyst.
Daleiden agreed with Vetsch that the contracts should allow the County to pause the process when needed.
T. Dahl, Risk Manager, said contingencies could be built in. Vetsch suggested a six-month period at the completion of Phase I where the County is held harmless in case two or three key players leave employment. Dahl said the vendors will provide options for the County. Weiland said the proposal includes concurrent work streams of nine months and eleven months. Some internal planning needs to take place first to see if the County is ready.
Weiland asked if the two additional positions are acceptable to the County Board. Daleiden said he would prefer a contract person for the Architect position who has good experience with this sort of project. He was not sure a Procurement position was needed.
Kelly said more information is needed. Vetsch asked to be informed of the various options.
1. Authorize staff to continue negotiating with Oracle and Ciber on the terms of the master services agreements.
2. Authorize the County Board to sign master services agreements with Oracle and Ciber, when received.
3. Staff to provide more information on the proposed ERP Business Architect and Procurement Analyst positions.
Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 6-11-19 COTW Minutes)
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said a core ERP team meeting was held on 6-14-19 and was also attended by Commissioner Vetsch. Discussion included timelines and positions. It was the consensus that there will be value in bringing the Business Architect on staff while moving forward with the ERP. Kelly stated that it is a centralized position that will provide service across the County and will be the point person for the ERP. The decision will need to be made what department this position will fall within.
Daleiden moved to proceed with posting for the Business Architect position. The core group will determine the appropriate department for this position. The motion was seconded by Husom. Discussion followed on pointing of the position, funding, and the budget. Kelly stated this will need to be a 2019 position. It was the consensus that the process to point and hire the position should proceed and funding can be determined as this moves forward. Kelly can bring this to the appropriate forum (workshop, committee) at a future date. The motion carried 4-0.
Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 4-0. The minutes follow:
County Assessor Tony Rasmuson explained that over the past year his department has acquired the property assessing responsibilities of two additional districts. This has resulted in an overall net gain of 1500 parcels. Rasmuson explained that his department was approved for an additional appraiser position in the 2019 budget. This position was approved to be hired in June 2019. However, the Assessor Department is seeking to upgrade this position to a higher-level appraiser position that would assist with more complex properties and technical aspects of the assessing process.
Rasmuson noted that each of the County’s appraisers are responsible for assessing around 4,000 properties each year. The complexity of each parcel depends on what type of property is being assessed. The County is also experiencing an increase in the number of commercial properties that need to be assessed. He explained that the increase in the number of complex properties that they are dealing with has increased the need for the department to create a new position that has a much higher level of technical expertise to be able to help with the more complex properties and the technical aspect of assisting management staff.
Rasmuson commented that with the recent staff turnover in the IT department, his staff members are finding themselves doing a lot more of the computer technical work and it has become extremely taxing on his department.
Rasmuson stated that he has worked with Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson with what they would need to do in order to reclassify the current open appraiser position to a Principal Appraiser position. Johnson explained that this would need to first be approved by the Board, then submitted to George Gmach for grading under our current Compensation and Classification system and then submitted to Springsted (Bakertilly) for grading under the new
Classification and Compensation system. A copy of the proposed position description was shared with the committee members (see attached).
Sr. Property Appraiser, Tammy Anderson distributed a staffing comparison of surrounding counties that included Olmsted, Wright, Scott, and Stearns showing numbers comparing the total parcel count of each county to the number of employed appraisers (see attached). Wright County is the first point of contact for all parcels in Wright County despite many of the districts contracting private assessors. When it comes to the commercial, industrial and apartment properties Wright County handles much of the work that determine values, including verifying all the sales and handling the appeals on these properties.
Rasmuson noted that if the local appraiser doesn’t complete their assessment, his staff members would be required to complete these assessments. The County’s appraisers already have high parcel counts and workload. They are doing the best they can with the training that has been provided to them and the resources available. He just doesn’t want to see them get burnt out.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked what is the difference between the current Appraiser position and the proposed Principle Appraiser position description? Rasmuson replied that the new position would require higher education and additional years of experience.
Rasmuson explained that they were approved for a new Appraiser to be hired on June 1st and they are past that date, and by the time we complete the posting and hiring process we could potentially fill the position by September.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked why they are not interested in hiring an appraiser now, and upgrade to a higher-level position after the first of the year. Assistant Human Resources Director, Lori Pawelk, explained that the minimum qualifications for the two positions would be different. Rasmuson commented that the last few hiring processes that they completed, there weren’t many candidates that met the minimum qualifications. He realizes it may be difficult to find someone qualified for this higher level position, but feels it is necessary for his department.
Rasmuson also stated that there is an Office Technician I position that has been open since October of last year and they are looking closely at the position duties. The amount of walk-in’s (over the counter traffic) has slowed down greatly with the new online resources available allowing customers to assess information and forms on-line. But he added that there is a great deal of work that continues behind the scenes to make these documents available on-line.
Rasmuson suggested not to fill the Office Technician I position this year to offset the budget for the remainder of this year, which will also give them more time to evaluate duties and move forward with the hiring of a Principal Appraiser.
Commissioners Mark Daleiden and Christine Husom agreed.
(End of 6-12-19 Personnel / Employee Relations Committee Minutes)
Husom moved to schedule the COTW Meeting for 8-13-19 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 4-0.
Kelly said that Lutheran Social Services (LSS) reached out to the County on this Program, as a grant was received. To accept the grant, a resolution from the County is required. The County has worked with LSS for some time and Kelly viewed it as more of a formality. Due to the timeline of submitting the resolution, it was brought to the County Board instead of the Health & Human Services Board.
Daleiden questioned what services LSS provides in Wright County. Tammi Martens, HHS Financial Assistance Supervisor, said LSS manages the State Funding for Stearns, Sherburne, Benton and Wright Counties. Some of the areas of service include homeless prevention and job retention. Salvation Army and Catholic Charities are part of the Committee that works with LSS. Daleiden referenced a recent Wright County Community Action Summit he attended where homeless prevention was discussed. It was the consensus that LSS should present information to the County Board on their services in Wright County.
Daleiden moved to table this to the 6-25-19 County Board Meeting and to request LSS make a presentation at that meeting. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 4-0. Daleiden said he wants to make sure efforts are not being duplicated. The discussion focused on that at the Wright County Community Action Summit he recently attended.
1. Administrator Updates:
A. Kelly said Sherburne County Administrator Steve Taylor is retiring 6-21-19. There is a gathering on 6-19-19 in Sherburne County. Kelly acknowledged the service Taylor has provided for his 27 years in government.
2. Daleiden participated in Information Technology Director interviews last week.
3. Wright County Community Action (WCCA). Daleiden attended a WCCA Board Meeting on 6-11-19. The State cut some funding to the Head Start Program, but federal funding was increased so there is not a deficit. An increase was made in COLA and the benefits package which will help with employee retention. The implementation of one-year contracts has helped reduced unemployment costs.
4. Vetsch attended meetings last week relating to Information Technology, including the ERP and interviews.
5. M.E.A.D.A (Mentorship Education and Drug Awareness Coalition of Wright County). Husom attended a meeting on 6-12-19. Methamphetamine use is back with vengeance. M.E.A.D.A. provides $500 grants to schools that have programs promoting abstention from drugs. Public Health has provided funding through the S.H.I.P. (State Health Improvement Partnership) Grant Program. Opioid summits are being offered in schools.
6. TURN Steering Committee. Husom said a presentation was made on drug trends. The cost of drugs is less than it used to be. People get hooked on the drugs and the prices then increase. Husom said the TURN Program will have four graduates at the end of the month and it continues to be a successful program.
7. Public Works Labor Management Committee. Husom attended a recent meeting. Two long-term employees recently retired including Ralph Borell and Augie Riebel. The Committee discussed Parks and Highway projects, training, and the upcoming Fair.
8. Workforce Development Board. Husom said there was a presentation at the last Health & Human Services Board Meeting. At the Joint Powers Board Meeting, more detail was provided on the technology and financial committees.
9. Crime Lab. Husom reported that in the month of May, three biology requests in the lab resulted in forensic hits. She said the Lab provides a valuable service.
10. SWCD. Borrell said a SWCD (Soil & Water Conservation District) Meeting was held last week. He said there are projects being completed, and much of it has to do with the farmer buy in. The projects can be extensive and are having a positive impact in preventing erosion into lakes and rivers.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:12 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal July 12, 2019.