Wright County Board Minutes

JULY 23, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Vetsch, Husom, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Husom made the following changes to the minutes:
- Page 6, 3rd paragraph, 3rd line, change from “Bergstrand” to “Reynolds”
- Page 6, 4th Paragraph, change from “John Bergstrand, Lake John resident” to “John Reynolds, Southside Township Board of Supervisors and Lake Marie resident” and from “Bergstrand” to “Reynolds” in the 1st and 3rd sentences
- Page 8, Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes, Item II, CR 106/85th and Gowan Street Intersection (Maple Lake Township & Corinna Township), TCOTW Action/Recommendation, change to “Corinna Township”
Husom moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows:
- Consent Item I, “Information Technology, Request For Out Of State Travel, Business Analyst, DataBank’s Florida Government Day, Tampa FL, August 5-7, 2019, Expenses Covered By DataBank.” Lee Kelly, County Administrator, noted that ConnieMae Cooper, Wright County’s Business Analyst, will be the keynote speaker at the event.
- Timed Agenda Item B, “Direction On Local Share For Trailblazer & The County’s Portion Vs. The WCAT (Wright County Area Transit) Portion” (Vetsch)
Potter moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Husom. The motion was amended to include pulling Item G for discussion. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Claim - Madden, Galanter & Hansen LLP, 06-2019 Services, $5,794.46
1. Refer Discussion Of CAMA To 8-13-19 County Board Workshop
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between July 10, 2019 And July 16, 2019
2. Approve Temporary Liquor License For Clearwater Lions Club For Event On August 16-18, 2019
1. Approve & Authorize Signatures On DataBank To Proceed With Phase II As Outlined In The Statement Of Work For The HHS Social Services EDMS Implementation
1. Approve 8-04-19 - 8-9-19, Denver Out-Of-State Travel And Training For Julie Heidelberger, New PHN Hired For Nurse Family Partnership. Training Is Mandatory.
1. Set Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting for August 9, 2019 at 9:00 A.M., Highway Department Building. Agenda Items:
A. Update On CSAH 35 Retaining Wall Project, City Of Buffalo
B. Update On CR 106/85th Street Intersection (Maple Lake Township & Corinna Township)
C. Update On Parcel In Annandale For Potential Truck Station Location
D. CSAH 36 Right-Of-Way Options For Parcel East Of I-94
E. Update On Potential Future TH 25 Access Request (For Justice Center/New GC)
F. Final Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP)
G. City Of Monticello Route Designation Change Request For CSAH 39/Chelsea Road
1. Refer To 7-24-19 Technology Committee:
A. CIP / Project Portfolio
B. Project Updates
1. Request For Out Of State Travel, Business Analyst, DataBank’s Florida Government Day, Tampa FL, August 5-7, 2019, Expenses Covered By DataBank
Refer To 7-24-18 Personnel Committee The Reclassification Of The Office Technician I Position
Vetsch said he has received information on the request and that the position warrants reclassification. He would be willing to move on a recommendation. Husom stated that the item is being referred to the 7-24-18 Personnel Committee Meeting for discussion and doing so will provide a record of the justification for the request. Daleiden did not want to set precedence by not referring to Committee.
Borrell moved to approve Consent Item G, Information Technology, Refer to 7-24-18 Personnel Committee the reclassification of the Office Technician I Position. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Resolution For C.R.O.W. (Crow River Organization Of Water) Dissolution
Kelly said the County and member entities of the C.R.O.W. were presented with a resolution of dissolution for the C.R.O.W. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said Wright County is the fiscal agent for the C.R.O.W. Members of the C.R.O.W. have inquired whether Wright County could perform an audit prior to the closure of the books. Borrell thought a fee should be involved for this service. He referenced the closure of the River Rider, and said there are many things that needed to be addressed. The C.R.O.W. is in the process of liquidating physical assets. A vehicle is being sold through the online auction site. The cash on hand will be distributed back to member counties using the same formula used to create the fund.
Borrell explained the C.R.O.W. is disbanding for multiple reasons. The BWSR (Board Of Water & Soil Resources) developed the 1W1P (One Watershed One Plan) that encompasses the entire North Fork of the Crow River. Wright County will still need its own Water Plan. Eventually BWSR will administer the 1W1P throughout the State. Because of staff terminations, it is not feasible for the C.R.O.W. to carry this forward.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-81 dissolving the Crow River Organization of Water. The motion was seconded by Husom. Daleiden agreed with the idea of having the Wright County Auditor perform an audit and also to determine what funding should be withheld until a State Audit is performed. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Vetsch said additional funding was received from the State this year, which reduces the local share to $7,953.28 for 2018. Payments are one year behind. In 2018, the County was in 50/50 partnership with WCAT. Vetsch’s recommendation is for Wright County to absorb the local share of $7,953.28 instead of billing it back to the cities in WCAT, due to the work involved and as a sign of good faith. The County had $200,000 budgeted for Trailblazer Transit in 2018.
Vetsch said there is a reserve balance of about $150,000 at Trailblazer for years that MnDOT underfunds transit. He suggested another $25,000-$50,000 to increase that reserve.
Borrell said he can’t understand how Trailblazer can lose money when the State pays 80% of the purchase for buses and 85% of operational costs. Vetsch said the 5311 Public Transportation Participation Program administered by MnDOT provides coordinated Dial-A-Ride bus service to the public. SMART-Ride is not part of the 5311 Program and can operate out of the normal business hours with rides to anywhere in the State. The City of Buffalo contracts for that service. Per State law (post River Rider), a profit cannot be realized and must be turned back. Daleiden said he would like to know the data on the Smart Rides within Wright County. Vetsch said that Trailblazer will present information at a future Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting.
Vetsch asked for Board direction on whether to split 50/50 with WCAT the $7,953.28 share. It as the consensus of the Board that it will cost more to bill it out. Potter supports moving the $50,000 into reserves in case the State has a future shortfall and doesn’t allocate funding.
Potter made a motion for the County to cover the $7,953.28 share and to move $50,000 into reserves. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell did not support this action. If the State cuts funding, the County will also need to do make cuts. Potter clarified that sometimes the State makes a cut in funding, and it is after the expense has been incurred. Vetsch said the Auditor’s Office will receive a bill for $57,953.28. Borrell said he supports payment of the $7,953.28 but does not support the $50,000 transfer so will vote against the motion. The motion carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell moved to approve the COTW Minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Potter referenced the audit and the Health and Human Services compliance. He said that at times, the State Department of Human Services provides incorrect information. He said other counties are having the same issue. The motion carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
Doug Host, CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) provided a presentation entitled, “Wright County, Buffalo, Minnesota Audit Presentation – Year Ending December 31, 2018 Exit Conference: Communication with Those Charged with Governance” (attached).
Host stated that the Commissioners were each provided a governance letter and noted that the highlight of the letter was that CliftonLarsonAllen issued a clean opinion on the County’s financial statements.
Host walked through the provided presentation, detailing CLA’s findings. It was discovered that there were a couple of typos and an omitted slide, and Host agreed to make the necessary corrections and resend the presentation for inclusion in the minutes.
Host stated that it was a pleasure to serve the County again, and staff were great to work with in every department.
Host noted that the County developed new procurement policy one or two years ago, and due to federal government changes, CLA recommends that the County’s policy be updated to match these changes.
There was further discussion regarding Human Services compliance and the need for internal controls. Host responded that the County’s rate of error is similar to many surrounding counties, and the County has good policies and procedures in place for prevention. He noted that other counties he works with have responded by providing additional training for caseworkers, spot check processes, and checklists to ensure all info gets into the MAXIS system. Kate Dahl noted that Human Services supervisors and lead workers are actively addressing these issues within the County. The Commissioners discussed the challenges presented by the current DHS requirements, software, turnover, and federal regulations.
There was an inquiry seeking to clarify the State statute that requires counties to publish all individual claims over $2000, as CLA mentioned the County was out of compliance on this issue. Bob Hiivala clarified that he believes the County is currently publishing weekly all claims over $2000, but it was possible that a claim or group of claims had been missed.
RECOMMENDATION: None. Information item provided.
7-16-19 COTW Minutes submitted by Amanda McCallum, Administrative Specialist
(End of 7-16-19 COTW AM Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Potter. In response to a question by Daleiden, Sarah Grosshuesch, Public Health Director, said State Statute continues to address what occurs when youth sell tobacco products. Borrell said he will vote against the revisions to the Tobacco Ordinance. He said the HHS Director provided study results that were used to compile the proposed changes. In one area where the law was enacted, cigarette smoking went down but alcohol consumption went up. He favors better parenting skills and education. He thought the changes will provide marginal effect. The motion carried 4-1 to approve the minutes, with Borrell casting the nay vote. The minutes follow:
I. Revisions to The Tobacco Ordinance Including Increasing the Purchase Age To 21
Kryzer presented Ordinance Amendment Number 19-5, outlining the modifications. The language used in this ordinance closely mirrors ordinances passed by other counties, namely, Benton and Hennepin Counties. The City of Rockford requested that Wright County’s ordinance be closely aligned with Hennepin’s new ordinance as the city borders both counties and they would like consistency of the ordinances.
At the onset of the meeting, Borrell opined that this ordinance has more negative economic impact than curbing the number of youths smoking cigarettes. He reiterated his belief that legislation ought to focus more on preventive measures such as education and home values. He asked to see a study proving that Wright County will have less smokers if this law is passed. Husom stated there have been studies on this issue, that this legislation itself is an educational tool and that this is one of the steps to protect our youth.
Proposed amendments are as follows:
Section I, Definitions and Interpretations
Subpart (A) – Compliance Checks: if adopting T21, Wright County will still conduct compliance checks as required by State Law for ages 16, 17 years old. Then perform compliance checks for ages 18 - 20 as secondary.
Subpart (C) – Flavored Product – Public Health sought to regulate the flavored tobacco product definition constituting as any taste or smell, except menthol, mint or wintergreen, as flavored tobacco product.
Vetsch recommended to remove Subpart (C) Flavored Product as it is too restrictive to 21-year-olds and older. Vetsch also argued the economic impact of prohibiting gas stations from selling flavored products. Borrell and Husom agreed. Kryzer assured the committee that this does not ban the sale of flavored products in the whole county. Grosshuesch also stressed that this measure is not to restrict the sale but to limit youths’ easy access to the products aimed at the youth market. Regardless, Vetsch emphasized that over 21-year-olds should still have the choice where products can be obtained. Husom and Borrell agreed at a later discussion. Kryzer counter-proposed to limit flavored product just to vaping liquid instead.
Subpart (G) – Loosies: the set minimum amount, after sales tax and discounts, is $3.00 per cigar. Vetsch asked to remove Subpart (G) Loosies due to the high cost, which hurts businesses. Borrell agreed.
Potter stated he needs time to consider the issues and will look at other counties. On Grosshuesch’s offer to reduce the cost, Vetsch proposed to be closer to Benton county and agreed to $2.50.
The rest of the following amendments were approved, as follows:
Section 1Subpart (P) Youth-Oriented Facility
Section 2, Prohibit Sales, Subpart (E), (F)
Section 3, 110.005
Section 5, Compliance Checks and Inspections, 110.008(A)
Section 6, Application, 110.026 (A)(1)
Section 7, Basis for Denial of License, 110.35 (B) (1), (6), (7)
Section 8, Illegal Sales, 110.051
Section 9, Illegal Procurement, 110.054
Section 10, False Identification, 110.055
Section 11, Penalty, 110.999, (A), (C), (E), (F), (G), (H)
Tom Kelly asked for clarification on “possession versus purchase,” Section 1, (K) – Sale: any transfer of goods for money, trade, barter or consideration – is there a violation of this definition if a 22-year old gives an 18-year old a cigarette? Kryzer confirmed no violation is committed since it is not a sale. Additionally, Section 8 states that it shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to sell or provide tobacco to any person under 21 years old; this results to administrative penalty and/or misdemeanor.
Recommendation: Provide a cheat sheet of what other counties passed in their ordinances for the public hearing Q&A.
CONSENSUS: Remove Flavored Products. Retain Loosies for $2.50. The rest of the language stands.
Hold a Committee of the Whole public hearing on September 17, 2019, 1:00 p.m. School personnel are expected to participate.
7-16-19 COTW Minutes submitted by Noami Blomberg, Administrative Specialist
(End of 7-16-19 COTW PM Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Strategic Budget Planning
The Board received a document of “Budget Scenarios for 2020 thru 2024”, which included projected annual levy increases, tax capacity growth, net county tax rate and projected capital outlay budgets.
The projection for 2020 anticipates 4 additional staff positions, $2.2M for completion of the Compensation & Classification study, with a deficit for the ERP of $400,000. This equates to a 6.45% increase in levy.
The Board noted that they would like to see the tax capacity values to see where the tax rate comes in at, prior to setting the preliminary budget in September.
Addressed the Highway CIP with regards to a new shop facility. With the funds that have been carried forward and the sale of the existing property we may be able to reallocate some of the CIP dollars in 2020.
Noted that the County will be using 5% of the excess levy for debt reduction.
For better transparency it was suggested that “Miscellaneous” revenues be explained, as well as Infrastructure Maintenance”. LOST should be spelled out as Local Options Sales Tax.
The timeline for review of the 2020 budget, will include time to discuss the CIP and staffing requests first, then move into the department budgets.
The Board was in consensus that if a department has minimum changes, which are primarily inflationary impacts, then they do not need to present to the Board, unless they wish to.
It was clarified that currently the budget projection assumes an increase in insurance benefit costs of 5%.
Discussed the mandate versus core function information being gathered by each department. It was suggested that it may be more valid if that was prepared in October, rather than in August.
Administrator Kelly will revise the Budget Timeline based on the discussions from this meeting.
Recommendation: Informational Only
7-09-19 Workshop Meeting Minutes submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 7-19-19 County Board Workshop Meeting Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Daleiden referenced the request for approval of PR 52 for Stair A Changes at a cost of $16,549. Potter said the PR relates to raising the railing height in public areas because of the incident that occurred at the Mall of America when a child was thrown over the railing. He confirmed that the original design included building to code, but the PR will add extra height for the railings. The motion to approve the minutes and recommendations carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Justice Center Updates
Paulsen spoke to the short term schedule & progress on the site. On the exterior, crews are working on completing the longboard installation and will also be completing the mechanical penthouse exteriors in the next two weeks. The main building entrance will receive wall sheathing in the next week and windows will be installed in the next three weeks. Level 0 CMU walls continue to be installed with approximately three weeks of work left. Two elevators are currently installed and three more are on site awaiting installation. Level 1 has building controls wiring going in and courtroom wood panels will begin installation 7/22/19. Plywood backer is being installed in the level 2 courtrooms with level 3 receiving most of the current contractor activity. Crews are sheetrocking and taping areas B & C and work will continue on level 3 through area A. Temporary dehumidifiers and air conditioners will be running to acclimate the courtrooms for wood installation.
Currie spoke to the budget and the overall project schedule with no significant changes to note.
PRs and change orders were reviewed as listed in the agenda, noting that four items needed committee approval. PR39 for water heater venting through the sallyport roof, PR52 for changes to the stair A glass rail height and steel detail changes, PR54 for electronic door hold work revisions, and PR68 for boiler venting to the sallyport roof were all presented by Currie & Hieb.
McPherson asked about parking availability at the opening of the Justice Center given the construction activity at the Government Center site. There was some discussion about the areas being proposed for staging and construction, however the final plan is still being developed. McPherson also requested the installation of gates for the staff parking area and some additional landscape installation. Potter spoke to potential options for access onto Hwy 25 and Wilczek confirmed that the Highway department is currently working on a concept plan for discussion at a later date.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Approval of PR39, PR52, PR54, and PR68. Next meeting 8/21/19 @ 1:00 pm.
Owners Committee Minutes Submitted by: Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director
(End of 7-17-19 Owners Committee Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded Husom. Kelly said meetings have been held with the IT Management Team on projects within the CIP Technology fund for the 2020 budget. Resources were reviewed and there is a shortage of more than one full-time employee for projects scheduled for 2020 in the Business Analyst area. Daleiden referenced a memorandum from the Highway Engineer relating to fleet management software, and encouraged review by Board members. The motion to approve the minutes and recommendation carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Draft CIP – 2020 Projects
Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator, began the committee meeting with a review of the CIP Technology (Capital Improvement Projects) requests to date as part of the 2020 Budget process. The discussion began with Department specific requests.
Administration – HR EDMS (Human Resources Electronic Document Management System), this project is included in Enterprise requests due to staff records having a County Wide impact. The project is finishing up so no 2020 funding was identified.
Attorney – Jworks, a record keeping system for the Attorney’s office. They are looking at updating or replacing the tool. The department has elected to carryover their 2019 funds into 2020. The Committee was ok with this request.
Auditor Treasurer – it was identified that the current DMV cash boxes will need to be replaced due to age and maintenance issues. This project was scoped as part of a larger initiative, but the project key stakeholder has left. The Committee stated that the project should remain on the CIP list due to the need for replacement, but that it needs a leader.
Highway – The Highway Department has two EDMS projects that are currently in progress. The department felt if the EDMS projects were in need of funding that they were at a state where they could be held till year 2021, thus they were moved out of 2020 CIP funding and placed in 2021 CIP funding. Highway then brought to the board their present immediate need of a new Fleet Management system. Highway found themselves in need of a new fleet system, which after research they found that the County as a whole could benefit from an enterprise program. Thorough research has been completed on this project with a product and vendor being identified, AssetWorks. Highway has monies available in their 2019 budget to utilize toward the purchase of the product, however CIP funds are also needed. Due to the immediate need of this system the Committee decided that $90,000 would be moved to CIP 2019 for this project, as well as moving the project to the Enterprise section of CIP Technology Funding, with Highway remaining as the project sponsor.
Health & Human Services – The Department identified that the HS Collection Officers EDMS funding could be moved to a 2021 request. They also split the eHealth mandate item out to $50,000 funding in 2020 and $50,000 funding in 2021 due to a need existing for a partial implementation of the items. The EDMS projects that were requested to be left as is were Social Services and Public Health. Provider License was also left in its current funding state of $20,000 for 2020. The Call Center request will be discussed at the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, July 23rd. The Committee gave the ok to the HHS funding as discussed.
Sheriff – The Sheriff’s department delayed funding of Body Camera projects due to various decisions at the State level. The Squad Camera funding was left as is. The Committee discussed that there will be upcoming expenses related to 800 MHz ARMER system, but they felt that the 800 MHz budget will be able to handle it. The Tactical Training Facility was discussed and noted that costs for it are included with the recently approved funding for the building. This item will be left as is, as the Board is awaiting bids on the Tactical Training Facility to come in towards the end of August.
The Committee then moved to Enterprise CIP Technology requests. The ERP has budget numbers in the CIP; Commissioner Vetsch and Assistant County Administrator Sue Vergin will be handling budgetary numbers for ERP. Law-Legal Departments – EDMS, includes Zuercher Integration, it is proposed that the dollars from 2019 be carried over to 2020. Supervisor Files was a new project that was identified. This item deals with staff files that are created at the supervisor level, that are not owned by HR. Supervisors from various departments have expressed a need for this EDMS system. The dollar amount is an addition to the ERP requests. Another project is OnBase Upgrade 2018. This is the next upgrade to OnBase, currently the County is using OnBase 2015. It was advised that we don’t want to wait to update due to functionality. Discussion was had about how long an upgrade lasts and it was clarified as about every 3 years an upgrade needs to happen to allow OnBase to function correctly. It was also advised not to skip to the latest update due to the common occurrence of fixes and patches. Text Messaging Retention project was brought up next, with requested CIP funds. This item would allow text messages that contain County data to be retained. Court Services and Human Services have present business needs for this item. Commissioner Vetsch pointed out that there is a lot of record management debate happening right now amidst government in general, also questioning how it would work if staff members had personal devices on the County’s Bring Your Own Device program. It was discussed that there are a lot of different requirements that a solution would need to address. Commissioner Daleiden questioned if phone carriers such as Sprint or Verizon offer any service that would assist with this need, he also questioned if the amount requested would be enough. The next project reviewed was Social Media Archiving. Olga Strobel, IT Business Solutions Manager, noted that County usage of FaceBook and Twitter may present data liability issues, archiving tools would assist with this. Since the applications have been in use for some time it was thought a solution wouldn’t be too expensive. Fleet Management Solution was another requested project. This was discussed earlier in the meeting and it was identified that this would be for business policy surrounding the county fleet, that there wasn’t a hard technical part of it, thus the item was zeroed out. EDMS redaction was the next project, with Sheriff, Attorney, and HR being the departments that would utilize redaction the most. The County can test an OnBase product on a trial basis, but a high volume user would need to be identified.
Sheriff’s was identified as the group to do this with. The project was seen as valuable in the cost saving of staff time involved. Document Knowledge Transfer Module was another project discussed. This would keep track of policy versions, staff policy management in general, administration of official records, field training module for Sheriff’s office. It was noted that this was the lowest priority on the ERP per Weiland, as such is wasn’t included. At this point in the discussion Commissioner Vetsch questioned if realistically there is time to do this project with all the other projects happening. Commissioner Daleiden agreed stating that there are more projects to review and IT needs to take an honest look to see what can be done. The Commissioners stressed that there are positions that are continually open in IT, contractors may have to be looked at simply to allow the County to move forward with projects. They also noted that the CIP fund has a limit, that the County doesn’t have the ability to fund all the projects that have been requested. In conclusion they directed that with the funding limit in mind IT needs to really ask themselves what projects they really think they could handle, especially with ERP and the new buildings being large initiatives. With this analysis being completed the rest of the projects, as well as the entire list can be reviewed accurately. The CIP funding document in its present status still needs to be reviewed.
RECOMMENDATION: More discussion will need to happen as the list of projects and dollars available are not prioritized the same. IT was tasked with looking at the requested CIP projects to see what they can realistically handle.
7-10-19 Technology Committee Minutes Submitted By Jennifer Rasset
(End of 7-10-19 Technology Committee Minutes)
Potter moved to schedule a COTW Meeting on 8-09-19 at 11:00 A.M. to discuss ERP. The meeting will be held at the Highway Department Building. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Kelly presented a draft Budget Committee Of The Whole schedule reflecting proposed budget sessions.
After discussion, the following changes were made to the schedule:
- Extension – move from August 26 at 1:45 PM to August 15 at 11:15 AM. The remaining departments presenting on August 26 will move up in time because of this change.
- Soil & Water Conservation District – move from August 28 at 9:00 AM to August 23 at 9:00 AM
- Health & Human Services - move from August 28 at 9:45 AM to August 23 at 9:45 AM
Daleiden moved to approve the Budget COTW Schedule as revised. The motion was seconded by Husom and it carried 5-0.
1. Administrator Updates:
A. State Auditor Lawsuit. Kelly stated that the County will be reimbursed $70,303.41 by the State for expenses related to the State Auditor lawsuit. Borrell suggested that when the funds are received, the item should be placed on the Board Agenda. He thought a thank you letter should be sent to legislators on behalf of the Commissioners.
B. IT Manager. Mark Kellogg was hired as the new IT Manager and started last week.
C. Highway 25 Coalition. Kelly has been attending recent Coalition meetings. The group will be rebranding because of the move to a regional focus. Vetsch said the group name will be changed to Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership (CMRP) because of this regional focus. He extended appreciation to Administration for resources used for the Coalition. The Coalition is meeting twice a month plus two meetings a month for staff. Daleiden questioned why the Coalition’s activities have increased to a high priority. Vetsch said the focus will be on collaborating with Sherburne County and other entities on regional planning. The group’s focus has evolved into more than just the focus on a bridge crossing. A consultant has been hired who has implemented an aggressive schedule for the first three months. The consultant will present to the elected bodies in the next two months to show the plan and vision of the group.
Potter added that to acquire a river crossing takes 20-30 years. The idea behind the activities are to help speed this process at the federal level so that the crossing can be acquired in 10 years or less. Regional planning is required when applying at the federal level. Daleiden asked that some of the CMRP meetings be postponed for a month because of the full meeting schedule at the County level.
2. Transportation Alliance. Potter attended a meeting on 7-22-19. Discussion included next year’s legislative sessions, funding mechanisms for transportation because of the funding shortfall at the State, and possible funding through the general fund appropriation.
3. Safe Communities of Wright County. Husom said Susan Robinson, the new Executive Director, is becoming certified in the new Car Fit Program. The Program aids elderly drivers (i.e., seat belt and rear-view mirror extenders, head rests, and assistance with seat height and reaching the accelerator/brake pedals). The MN Department of Public Safety website is a resource for information on the Hands-Free Legislation which takes effect August 1st. Safe Communities also received a report from the State that there were more speed-related deaths in 2018 than in a decade. Husom reminded drivers to slow down and pay attention.
4. Wright County Fair. The Fair runs from July 24th through July 28th.
The meeting adjourned at 10:25 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 16, 2019.