Wright County Board Minutes

SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Vetsch, Husom, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Borrell moved to approve the minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
The following was petitioned onto the Agenda:
- Consent Item J, “Schedule Negotiation Committee Meeting, Closed Session, For 9-25-19 @ 9:00 AM RE: Labor Negotiations” (Kelly)
Potter moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Potter requested Consent Item H be pulled for discussion. Potter made a motion to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0:
1. Schedule Committee Of The Whole, Closed Session, For 10-01-19 @ 1:00 PM, Labor Negotiations Strategy
1. Authorize Delegates To Attend Association Of Minnesota Counties Annual Conference, December 9-11, 2019, St. Cloud
1. Amend The County Board Workshop Schedule to Move The Topic, “2020 Board Meeting Schedule” From December To November
1. Schedule Ditch Committee Of The Whole Meeting, Closed Session, On September 24, 2019, At 8:30 A.M. To Discuss Purchase Of Real Property (CD 10 Holding Pond)
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between August 27, 2019 And September 9, 2019
1. Position Replacement:
A. Office Technician I
B. Office Technician II
2. Refer To First Personnel Committee Meeting In November - HHS Supervisor Reclassification
1. Position Replacement:
A. Public Health Nurse
1. Approve & Authorize Signatures On The 2020-2021 Radiological Emergency Preparedness Grant, $447,500
1. Schedule Negotiation Committee Meeting, Closed Session, For 9-25-19 @ 9:00 AM RE: Labor Negotiations Strategy
Consent Item H Pulled For Discussion:
1. Accept The Findings And Recommendation Of The Planning Commission Public Hearings Held August 8, And August 29, 2019 For The Following Rezoning:
A. GARY FEHN - (Marysville Twp.) - On A Vote Of 5/1 The Planning Commission Recommends Rezoning Approximately 38 Acres From AG General Agricultural To A/R Agricultural-Residential
Potter expressed concern with approval given the timing of the request and because the property is a mining operation. Deviating from the Land Use Plan may set precedence. Potter made a motion to deny the request to rezone as outlined. The motion failed for a lack of a second.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the property is not in the Land Use Plan. Historically it has been mined. The Planning Commission Minutes reflect that the intent would be to stop the current mining operation if the property is subdivided. Borrell, who sits on the Planning Commission, said it would be more difficult to have buildable lots if mining is to continue. Riley referenced a map of the area which shows areas previously rezoned to A/R; those that are still zoned AG, and properties to the north that are not included in the Land Use Plan. Riley said the Land Use Plan does not indicate land has to be contiguous or that it carries a different weight in the decision-making process if it is contiguous.
Potter said the documents reflect that Marysville Township does not support this request. He is not against the Fehn request but is concerned with setting precedence. Borrell said he cannot argue with Potter’s points. The Planning Commission does address the highest and best use of the property. Other individual requests have been approved outside of the Land Use Plan. The County may need to address whether changes to the Land Use Plan are in order long term. Some townships have conveyed that not enough A/R land was set aside in the Plan. Vetsch suggested developing methodologies or criteria for deviation from the Plan. Borrell said that is the job of the Planning Commission. He also spoke with a member of the Marysville Township Board who conveyed the Township’s vote against the request is because it does not follow the ordinance. The person conveyed that some of the township board members were undecided but followed the ordinance in their decision.
Borrell moved to accept the Findings and Recommendation of the Planning Commission Public Hearings held August 8, and August 29, 2019 for the following rezoning: A. GARY FEHN - (Marysville Twp.) - On A Vote Of 5/1 The Planning Commission Recommends Rezoning Approximately 38 Acres From AG General Agricultural To A/R Agricultural-Residential
The motion was seconded by Husom. Potter said it is not that Fehn’s application doesn’t make sense. It is outside of the Land Use Plan and may be moving forward a bit early. He does not want to create the precedence for a situation or request that may not be desirable. Potter thought the Land Use Plan should be updated before addressing these types of requests. Borrell agreed and thought it might be a subject for a workshop meeting with the Planning Commission. It may not be a rewrite of the Plan but rather to address certain geographical areas. Vetsch said he will vote with Potter on this issue; he would like either some methodology developed or a review of the Land Use Plan. He wants to protect the Land Use Plan. Husom believes townships recognize the growth in the County and that review of the Plan may be in order. Husom said the County Board has approved other requests to rezone from AG to A/R and feels those are closely aligned with this request.
Daleiden said his largest concern is that the townships should have input. With this request, Marysville Township conveyed that they do not support the request as it is not in the Plan. Daleiden said he will vote in support of the request but will not support additional requests until discussion with the townships has occurred. Potter said Planning & Zoning could identify AG and A/R areas and suggest modifications to the Land Use Plan. The goal would be to preserve prime ag areas, but areas of the Plan should be reviewed.
The motion to approve the rezoning request for Gary Fehn carried 3-2 with Vetsch and Potter casting the nay votes. Borrell said discussion needs to include allowing the Planning Commission the ability to make changes as appropriate. Daleiden said it is important for the townships to have their input as they represent the residents. It was restated that this could be a topic for a workshop meeting with the Planning Commission. Potter said update of the Land Use Plan would be good discussion at the next Township Quarterly Meeting. Daleiden plans to attend and will bring the topic forward.
Approve 2019 Tobacco License For CTP, Inc. DBA Clearwater Travel Plaza (City of Clearwater) For The License Period September 17, 2019 Through December 31, 2019
Potter moved to approve the tobacco license as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Approve To Claim Email Domain For The Amazon Business Account; Approve Purchasing Amazon Prime For the Business Account
Hiivala said the Auditor/Treasurer Office monitors activity on procurement cards. It was found that a substantial savings could be realized on shipping costs if the County moves to Amazon Prime. The cost of Amazon Prime is $1,299 annually and all department Amazon accounts would be redirected to the Prime business account.
Potter moved to approve the claim of email domain for the Amazon Business Account and to approve purchasing Amazon Prime for the business account. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Approve Minutes From CD 33 Public Hearing On August 27, 2019; Approve Minutes From CD 33 Informational Meeting On August 27, 2019
Matt Detjen, Drainage and Agricultural Coordinator said a public hearing was held for County Ditch 33 on 8-27-19. The public comment portion of the Public Hearing was closed at that time, with a continuation of the Hearing to today’s Board Meeting at 9:30 AM. Detjen and Vetsch have been meeting with Monticello Township and the request is to leave the Hearing left open for a date to be determined. Monticello Township would like to consult with a law firm regarding the redetermination of benefits and the timeline is unknown.
The following corrections were made to the 8-27-19 Ditch Committee Of The Whole (COTW) Minutes, Public Hearing, County Ditch 33, 2:00 PM Meeting:
- page 1, delete paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 as the language is repeated in the paragraphs following
- change the spelling of “dike” to “dyke” as in the name of the structure throughout the document
- page 8, 1st sentence, change to read, “Vetsch questioned if legally you can charge the entire county for the repairs of the ditches.”
Daleiden moved to approve the 8-27-19 Ditch COTW Minutes, Public Hearing-County Ditch 33, 2:00 PM Meeting, as corrected. The motion includes approval of the 8-27-19 Ditch COTW Minutes, County Ditch 33, 3:00 PM Meeting. The motion includes leaving the hearing open on CD 33 as requested. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The public comment period is closed.
The 8-27-19 Ditch COTW Minutes, Public Hearing-County Ditch 33, 2:00 PM Meeting Minutes as corrected, follow:
Vetsch opened the Public Hearing for County Ditch 33 at 2:00 pm stating the following:
This is a public hearing on the redetermination of benefits and damages on Wright County Ditch 33 under statutes section 103E.351.
I would like to welcome everyone who has come today. Under consideration at this hearing is the redetermination of benefits and damages for Wright County Ditches 33 which includes the acquisition and valuation of buffer seeding areas.
The purpose of this hearing is to review the viewer’s report and receive comment from those affected by or interested in the proposed redetermination of benefits and damages report.
This is an evidentiary proceeding. The proceedings are being recorded to preserve the record.
The order of business for the hearings will be as follows. First, the Drainage Coordinator will present the procedural and legal requirements. Following the staff presentation one of the viewers will make their presentation. After the viewer has made his presentation, I will open the hearing for public comment. The Board would like to hear your comments on the proposed redetermination of benefits and damages of the drainage system and any information relevant to that purpose.
During the public hearing, commissioners may ask questions of staff or the viewers making presentations and of commenters, to clarify any testimony.
In addition, if a member of the public asks a question and a commissioner believes that a response from the Drainage Authority staff or a viewer can readily resolve the question or enrich the testimony, the commissioner may ask me to have the appropriate staff member or viewer speak to the question. I will exercise my judgment as to whether to allow such discussion.
However, commissioners’ expression of their positions and general discussion concerning the subject of the public hearing should be avoided during the public comment portion of the public hearing. Board discussion will occur after all members of the public have had a chance to speak and the public comment period has been closed. Board discussion may occur and be concluded at this or a subsequent meeting, as the Board decides.
If a member of the public would like to make a comment, please stand and address the Board when I recognize you. Speak clearly and state your name and address for the record. If you have a specific question concerning the proposed viewers report, we may ask our drainage coordinator, one of the viewers or legal counsel to respond. If you have anything in writing you wish to submit, you can provide it to me before the close of the public comments and I will note its receipt in the record.
To ensure that all wishing to comment on the proposed viewers report concerning the redetermination of benefits and damages of the public drainage system may have time to speak, I may limit the time any single speaker may comment to three minutes. Please limit redundant or repetitive comments.
Would any of the board members wish to offer any further remarks before we begin? As there were no comments by the board members Vetsch turned the meeting over to Matt Detjen.
Detjen stated the following:
» This is a public hearing on the redetermination of benefits and damages of Wright County Ditch 33.
The drainage system is located in Sections 8, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 32 and 33 of T121N, R24W, and Sections 13 and 24 of T121, Range 25W of Monticello Township and the City of Monticello, Wright County and generally flows from the south to the north. The drainage area is mainly developed for agricultural, rural residential and urban development.
» As part of the viewers analysis of the drainage system, the viewers have provided the Drainage Authority with a report showing the following:
• A description of the lot or tract, under separate ownership, that is benefited or damaged;
• The names of the owners as they appear on the current tax records of the county and their addresses;
• The number of acres in each tract or lot;
• The damages paid for the permanent strip of perennial vegetation under MN ST section 103E.021;
• The total number and value of acres added to a tract or lot by the proposed drainage of public waters, wetlands, and other areas not currently being cultivated;
• The number of acres and amount of benefits being assessed for drainage of areas that would be considered conversion of a wetland under United States Code, title 16, section 3821, if the area was placed in agricultural production;
• The amount of right-of-way acreage required; and
• The amount that each tract or lot will be benefited or damaged.
»To properly manage the drainage system in a way that recognizes its intended, beneficial public functions, the Drainage Authority initiated proceedings to redetermine the benefits and damages over the system. The Board initiated the redetermination of benefits and damages process by resolution adopting findings and an order dated May 29, 2018.
» The Drainage Authority adopted the Resolution because the original benefits or damages do not reasonably reflect current land values or because the benefited or damaged areas have changed.
» Pursuant to the requirements of 103E.351 subd, 2, the Board mailed notice of this final hearing to all property owners benefited or damaged by the drainage systems on August 6, 2019. The viewers report was mailed to the property owners. Other interested parties were provided notice by publication in the Herald Journal. Evidence of all notices are on file with the Drainage Authority.
» Substantive comments received during today’s hearing, if any, will be incorporated into the final findings for the Board.
» Evidence of all actions in this matter, including the viewers report, preliminary orders, appointments, oaths, affidavits of mailing, publication or posting as well as hearing agendas and presentation materials shall be considered the record of proceedings in this matter.
» At this hearing, the viewers will present their report. The viewers will also provide an explanation of the process and information used to determine the benefits and damages and valuation and acquisition of the right-of-way of the drainage system.
» The intent of this proceeding is to confirm the benefits and damages and the benefited and damaged areas and to also acquire any permanent strips of perennial vegetation under Minn. Stat. § 103E.021
» The redetermined benefits and damages will be used in all subsequent proceedings relating to the drainage system.
» Based on your comments and testimony today, the Drainage Authority may make one or more of the following decisions:
a. Rise and report to the full board an order accepting the redetermination the benefits and damages as described in the viewer’s report
b. Direct the viewers to further review the area or portions of the drainage systems and determine if adjustments should be made to the proposed benefits and damages and perennial strips of vegetation.
c. Rise and report to the full board that it adopts an order rejecting the viewers report and directing a new report be conducted.
d. Direct the viewers to adjust and submit a revised report.
» As requested by the Drainage Authority, please limit your comments to the Redetermination of benefits and damages. Comments related to repair of the drainage system are not germane to this public hearing unless the repair or lack of ability to make the repair will alter the benefit or damages of the system.
» The decision standard for the Board is whether, based on the proceedings herein, the evidence presented at this hearing and the testimony of the viewers and the public, the Board finds that the viewers report accurately reflects the benefits and damages of the watershed for Wright County Ditch 33.
1. Presentation by Bryan Lewis from H2Over Viewers
A. Definitions:
a. Drainage Authority, the Board or Joint Drainage Authority having jurisdiction over a drainage system or project.
b. Benefits, Improvement of properties in terms of increased value, increased production capacity, and/or increased utility resulting from the construction of the public and private drainage system. Benefitted acres are lands that drain towards the ditch system and contribute to the need to maintain the capacity of the system.
c. Notional Amount, Dollar amount that would be charged to the landowner, in a theoretical project scenario. (part of the Property Owners Report mailed out)
d. LiDar, Acronym for light detection and ranging. A method of mapping topography where as a laser light is used in a similar fashion as radar uses sound.
B. Reasons for a Re-determination of Benefits (CD 33 was established in 1917)
a. Original benefits no longer reflect current market values (Benefits determined many years ago when land was selling for a fraction of what it is selling for today).
b. Division-system has been divided into two or more separate systems.
c. Lands utilizing the system not originally included in the benefiting area.
d. Remove lands no longer receiving benefits.
C. LiDar Explained
a. LiDar is fundamentally a distance technology. From an airplane, LiDar systems actively sends light energy to the ground. This pulse hits the ground and returns to the sensor. Basically, it measures how long it takes for the emitted light to return back to the sensor. The time it takes the light to travel determines if it is high ground, low ground, wet ground, vegetative or hard surface. LiDar is used in many different industries such as forestry, agriculture and one of the most common is Autonomous vehicles. It was developed to create a full 360-degree environmental view. It gathers this information at a hundred of thousands of times a second.
b. LiDar can also be used to detect things that a person cannot see.
i. Carbon Dioxide
ii. Sulphur Dioxide
iii. Methane
City planners use LiDar to detect pollutant particles which helps create a better planning of the city. Viewers do not use it for such a sophisticated thing but do use it to create a digital elevation map. The colors on an elevation map show the difference between high lands and low lands. It also becomes visible as to which way the water flows across a landscape.
D. Other data used by viewers
a. SRTM Data (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission from the 90’s)
i. SRTM provides more complete digital elevation data. A space shuttle endeavor orbited the earth and captured earth’s topography.
ii. Virtual Dam
iii. Watershed Map
iv. Drainage Boundary
v. Aerial Imagery
vi. Ditch Alignment
vii. Soil types that are within the watershed
viii. Road Alignments
ix. PLSS (Sections, Quarters, QQs)
x. Parcels
xi. Data collected from field work
As viewers we start to stack all the information gathered to determine how we classify the lands with different values to calculate the percentage of total benefits for each landowner. A tabular report generation map is then created showing the different classes of land. Agriculture lands are classified into four different classifications.
All the gathered data is sent to HEI who then produces a Tabular Report which is now automated and eliminates having to enter the data manually and some of the errors that could occur. With the maps accurately showing where the different land classifications are, it makes it much easier for a county to reassign benefits for a parcel that has been split.
2. Overview of H2Over Viewers process
1. An Oath of Office was signed on May 29th, 2018 per MN. Statue 103E.305
2. A Public Informational meeting regarding the redetermination was held on July 30, 2019
3. Redetermination of Benefits Process
a. Review historic drainage system records including original plans/profiles/survey/reports used to create the original drainage system.
b. Identify lands/properties currently utilizing the drainage system.
c. Review contour maps, aerial photos, LiDar and other data to determine drainage patterns and boundaries.
d. Evaluate land use within the drainage system including those lands restricted from receiving drainage benefits (wetlands).
e. Determine property values based on similar groups of property/classifications.
f. Identify acres using the existing ditch system.
g. Identify areas for the establishment of the 1 rod grass strip & the amount of the damage payment(s)
3. Extent and Basis of Benefits
Factors used in analysis:
a. Land values based on extracted sales data, tax valuations and land use.
b. Drainage value based on the drainage system operating in its as constructed or subsequently improved condition.
c. Benefit based on before and after project condition less private improvement cost.
d. Topography used to analyze proximity of channel and relative influence (Direct vs. Indirect)
e. Crop productivity index used to rank soils based on their potential for intense crop production.
There is a section that has been diverted away from the CD 33 system that belongs to the City of Monticello. This section is part of the foot print of the watershed. However, the water has been diverted away so that it no longer runs into the CD 33 system but into a stormwater system. Vetsch pointed out that the Viewers did verify that the water from this section no longer runs into CD 33 and it was not just based off maps from the City of Monticello.
4. Final Report Benefits and Damages
Class 1 Acres/Benefits 42.96 Acres/$160,756.32 Benefits
Class 2 Acres/Benefits 478.99 Acres/ $1,397,692.82 Benefits
Class 3 Acres/Benefits 525.02 Acres/ $816,931.12 Benefits
Class 4 Acres/Benefits 126.70 Acres/$65,250.50 Benefits
Residential Lands Acres/Benefits 285.72 Acres/ $61,144.08 Benefits
Roads Acres/Benefits 178.27 Acres/ $232,793.16
Woodlots Acres/Benefits 602.69 Acres/ $116,319.17
Total Benefits CD 33 = $3,025,267.21
Total Damages CD 33 = $37,186.94
5. Vetsch opened the Hearing for public comments
Brad Fyle; 9697 Harding Ave NE, Monticello: The parcel that I live on now was never assessed any benefits in the past since the 1950’s and I do not see any increase in land use because of the ditch system. I would like to know if I can dyke my property so that the water does not flow to CD 33. I do agree if I were to develop my property and additional water to the system, I should be paying benefits. I do believe the redetermination was needed. I purchased my grandfather’s last house which is a 1-acre parcel near the freeway and I paid the whole assessment for the 20-acre farm because it remained with my grandfather’s name, it didn’t go with the parcel. So, the benefitted roles are not accurate and needed to be redetermined. The buffer strip to me is a band aide. I have done many repairs to CD 33 over the years, as an excavating contractor, and it needs major repairs. Near the freeway you see a big lake near CD 33 that was my grandfather’s potato ground and many years ago CD 33 worked, today it does not at all. The only people that will benefit is maybe those who bought the low lands and will be able to farm it again. It is a difficult process to determine a fair assessment.
Vetsch stated that depending on where Fyle’s land was located would determine if he would be able to dyke his land or not. Other landowners upstream would have to petition as well, for Fyle to be able to dyke the water on his property. Fyle would have to have a holding pond to hold water indefinitely.
Fyle felt it would not be anything major to stop the water from going to CD 33. Vetsch stated it would be an issue open for discussion with Matt Detjen and the drainage authority in the future. There are other landowners that are looking at diverting water from the system. This again is an issue we can discuss outside of the public hearing for a redetermination.
Mark Berning; 7526 Co. Rd 37, Monticello (Green Waves Farm Inc): I agree that CD 33 needs repairs. My questions were not answered at the informational meeting on the 27th of August. I have parcels in section 32 and 29 that have an open ditch and one has a wetland. Neither section has the one rod buffer strip, although I was required to put one in by the County Soil and Water. I would like a reconsideration on having to install the one rod buffer strip. I have already had a discussion with Matt Detjen regarding rediverting the water away from CD 33.
Vetsch stated that after a discussion with Detjen, the drainage authority will work with Mr. Berning regarding the diversion piece of land. As far as the buffer strip piece, Detjen will check into the request. Detjen added that a lot of the requirements in the past Soil and Water was looking at aerial photography, so there are some areas on the system where there was once tile there. The tile wasn’t functioning so the landowner dug it out and made a section of the ditch an open ditch. It is kind of an illegal improvement doing something like that, because obviously an open ditch conveys more water than a tiled system. So, from a legal standpoint though we must consider that as a tiled section. I believe that is what happened on the Berning property and I can speak with Soil and Water regarding the request for reconsideration of a required buffer strip in that area.
Brian Murphy wanted to comment at this time that there was an error on the Property Owners report, in that Monticello Township was not notified of all the road benefits on CD 33. The Township is requesting additional time to review the road benefits with the Township Board. Vetsch added that in view of the information presented, the drainage authority will leave the public hearing open for the portion of benefits for the Monticello Township.
Ted Holker; 5764 Co. Rd 37 NE, Monticello: I have a few parcels on CD 33, where a couple of them, the water goes in a different direction then the viewers thought it did. The viewers also talked about tile being put in, lowering the value on the benefitted amount after the redetermination process. The ditch system was established in the 1900’s and if the viewers talk with some of the landowners that have lived there their whole lives, they would be able to tell the viewers where the tile is located and where all the culverts are located. The water drainage really has not changed over the years. My parcels were never assessed benefits in the past. I have elevations up over one thousand feet that they are talking about going down over 930 feet where the ditch is on the top end by my land. Even with the total benefits of 3 million, after the redetermination, it is going to cost more then that to repair this system. By adding four parcels of mine, the viewers got the benefits up higher, but where I am located it doesn’t matter if the ditch system works or not. The way the viewers redetermined the land classification for residential areas seems incorrect to me. If the ditch system does not work the entire house cannot be located there. The water would backup and the house would be worth nothing. My theory on fixing the ditch systems is to charge the repairs across the entire county the same way you charge assessments for a county road.
Vetsch questioned if legally you can charge the entire county for the repairs of the ditches. The drainage authority could classify it as “neglect in the system”. Therefore, with that justification we are not going to damage these individual property owners, but the assessment would go across the county. Detjen felt that doing that would go against MN. Drainage Law. Vetsch felt you could do it with justification that the drainage authority in the past neglected to do repairs. Asleson felt that consulting with Rinke Noonan regarding this issue would be a good idea.
Brian Murphy wanted to clarify how the land classification was calculated for residential areas verses agricultural land. When the viewers are looking at lands, they are looking at all the land in the foot print of the watershed. If a parcel is within the foot print of the watershed the water is draining in the direction of the ditch system. Some landowners were closer to the low lands, so those landowners are draining their land and able to produce a crop there. Those on higher ground are contributing to the capacity of the system. That is why the viewers have those green and blue classifications. Those who are contributors to the capacity of the system, get a direct drainage benefit and that’s why values are different. Values in the red are higher then values in the blue. Residential land is a little bit different because viewers are not going out and appraising every single house. Viewers are not appraisers. Agricultural land can produce a crop year after year after year, but a home is a one-time sale. There is a level of benefit to the residential areas as they contribute to the capacity of the system just like any other benefited landowner.
There is also a factor in the calculation for an economic benefit. The benefit to the landowner is to keep that house above water or to keep the basement dry. This benefit is figured in the analysis. Agriculture land is valued at a different rate system then residential land.
Nathen Monhardt; 9700 Goodrich Ave NE, Monticello: I was wondering how much data still needs to be collected regarding the repairs?
Detjen stated that the repairs will be discussed at the informational meeting following the Public Hearing.
Vetsch asked if there was anyone else who would like to comment for the record. As no one from the public had further comments Vetsch asked for a motion to close the Public Comment with the Public Hearing continuing to allow Monticello Township time to review or comment regarding the road benefits. The motion was made by Daleiden and seconded by Potter.
Vetsch closed the Public Hearing with a continuation scheduled for September 17, 2019 at 9:30 am. Motion carried 3-0.
County Drainage Authority Minutes Submitted by: Janice Edmonson, Drainage Administrator
(End of 8-27-19 Ditch COTW Minutes, Public Hearing-County Ditch 33, 2:00 PM Meeting Minutes)
The 8-27-19 Ditch COTW Minutes, County Ditch 33, 3:00 PM Meeting Minutes follow:
Presentation by Joe Jacobs, Houston Engineering
1. Purpose of Landowner Informational Meeting
a. Present condition of ditch system
b. Age of the ditch system
c. Overview of what some of the next steps might be for the Drainage Authority
d. Next steps regarding analysis and design of future repairs
Jacobs stated that HEI follows MN. Statue 103E drainage law and the redetermination process. From an Engineer’s perspective our role is to provide technical analysis, project design and specifications. Also, HEI provides an Engineer’s Report showing when, what, where, and how much capacity of the system. We are reviewing CD 33 for what it is meant to do and how to get the system to its originally intended function. We also look at a few different alternatives to repair and restore the function of the system. Our intention today is not to give detailed analysis of repairs, but I will present a few rough estimates of repair costs.
2. County Ditch 33 Condition
a. Roughly 8 or so miles of tile on CD 33, including the main portion that runs from South to North and various branches that come into the main trunk.
b. Tile condition after it has been in place for several years.
i. Joint Separation
ii. Uneven profile between pipe sections
iii. Root intrusion
iv. Soil deposit
v. Deformations
c. The tile condition can limit capacity by 30-40% and will continue to get worse if not replaced. The calculation of limited capacity has not been completed on CD 33 yet. We do know a few things about the current condition of the tile on CD 33 through inspections, surveys, maps, and by speaking with several landowners.
d. The size of tile varies on CD 33 anywhere from 6-28 inches
e. Approximately one mile of open ditch on CD 33
i. There is sediment accumulation in open channels
ii. Vegetation, brush and trees
f. Channel capacity is reduced, and water elevations are higher
3. Conditions of CD 33 where HEI has some information or documents
a. North side of Interstate 94 in Monticello
i. 39,550 feet of tile that is approximately 100 years old (28-inch pipe in this area)
a. There are segments of pipe that are not even connected anymore, and the condition of the pipe is poor
ii. 6,500 feet of open channel ditch
a. 1-2 feet of sediment in channel and that would be above what it was excavated to originally or what it was repaired to at some point.
b. Further South on Branch 3 of the system
i. Plastic or PVC pipe that is 10-12-inch in diameter that is in bad shape. There is tile separation and broken tile that will need to be updated or replaced.
ii. There is a segment of pipe on the Main Trunk that is disconnected. This is a case where there was originally tile installed in the low area and upstream to the south but now in some locations it functions as an open ditch. The tile has either been removed or it is degraded, and you cannot see it anymore.
c. Harding Avenue tile blowout causing a sinkhole
i. There was a failed pipe or separated joint where the water moving through the tile over time just sucked material into the pipe and carried it downstream and caused a void under a private driveway. This is a conveyance problem where you have sediment or soil that constantly enters the pipe which will limit your hydraulic proficiency of the pipe and is also a safety issue.
d. South of Interstate 94
i. HEI does not have any evidence of the condition of the pipe in this area from blowouts or failures, but we do have a few spots HEI looked at where the water enters the tile system. There are areas where it was a tile system at one point but now there are segments where there is a combination of open ditch and metal pipe that is in poor condition. The tile is relatively all the same age and believed to be 100 years old.
HEI Conclusions regarding County Ditch 33
1. Based on the age and condition of the system, a repair is necessary to restore drainage
2. Repair will replace the existing tile and remove sediment from the open channel ditch
3. Engineer’s Report will develop a detailed cost estimate and preliminary construction plans
4. Approximate repair costs are expected to be between $2-2.25 million
5. Is the restoration of the original system capacity adequate?
Repair vs. Improvement on County Ditch 33
• Repair – Restores the original design capacity. It cannot increase capacity.
• Improvement – Increases the capacity (i.e., bigger pipe sizes)
• Is the original design capacity enough for the system?
• Why it might not be enough for the system
• How do we analyze it?
• A repair cannot increase system capacity
• If the original design capacity is not sufficient, then an improvement should be considered to increase capacity.
County Ditch 33 Realignment
• Alternative repair reroutes the alignment to outlet at the Mississippi River
• There was a plan for realignment in the mid-2000’s to avoid difficulties of working in a residential neighborhood
• Done in conjunction with a proposed development
• Realignment will require significant installation cost due to the large cut required to place tile
Repair Steps and Schedule
• Engineer’s Report
• Design
• Get bids/quotes
• Construction late 2019/2020
Improvement Steps and Schedule
• Petition (requires 26% of affected landowners/land)
• Engineer’s Report and preliminary design
• Hearing
• Viewing
• Final design and hearing
• Get bids
• Construction late 2020/2021
Preliminary Cost Estimates
• Repair - $2-2.5 million
• Improvement (bigger tile sizes) - $2.5-2.75 million
• Realignments will affect sots if it increases pipe length or is more difficult to install
Jacobs ended his presentation by stating that CD 33 is in poor condition. A repair project is necessary to restore drainage. The repair costs would be allocated based on the new list of benefitted landowners from the redetermination process. An improvement should be considered to serve current and future drainage needs. Also, the feasibility of a realignment should be considered.
Comments from Landowners present:
Carmen Williams; 7165 County Road 39 NE, Monticello: Williams stated she was concerned if there would be environmental studies completed on CD 33 prior to any repairs. The amount of water going to the Mississippi River will increase and what is being placed in the ditch system is not environmentally safe. Also, the tile that goes under County Road 39 needs to be upgraded to a larger size to handle anymore water. In the spring of the year it is above full capacity and backs up onto my property. Williams added that she has open ditch on 3 sides of her property and was concerned her land would be flooded out because there would be more water coming down from the ditch.
Vetsch stated that this is part of the Engineering study that will be looked at. This is the reason things would be completed from the outlet back so that it can be assured that when water is sent downstream that there is enough capacity to handle it. The drainage authority is looking at doing improvements and extending the ditch all the way to the Mississippi River.
Williams also added that there should be an environmental study done on animal life. I do not want all my trees cut down and I already have a buffer zone on my side of the property. I don’t want that destroyed and I don’t want our trees cut down.
Vetsch stated this is one of the reasons the drainage authority has had discussions on an alternative outlet. It would be costlier. Thus, the drainage authority is looking for feedback from the landowners regarding this matter. There is a lot of development benefits for the City of Monticello for an alternative outlet and perhaps a possibility the city would be willing to pay for a part of the realignment.
Detjen added that an environmental study would be one of the tasks HEI would complete as part of their process in preparing an engineer’s repair report for the project.
Colin Kiefer; 7127 84th St. NE, Monticello: Kiefer stated that he is beginning to get a sink hole that runs through his property. One of them is on his blacktop driveway.
Vetsch requested that Mr. Kiefer get a Repair Request form from Matt Detjen to complete and submit so that the issue can be addressed and taken care of immediately as an emergency basis.
Pete Stuper, Monticello Township Supervisor: Mr. Stuper just wanted to confirm that there has been development on wetlands in the past that was approved by Planning and Zoning.
Potter stated this is one of the reasons the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act of 1991 passed by legislature which was meant to balance public and private interests.
Detjen added that is why the drainage authority looks at upland storage practices all the time because it reduces the need for system capacity and system maintenance in some areas. Staff has looked at preliminary designs for a wetland bank but with that we must have all willing landowners. Some of these wetlands are forming due to a lack of maintenance on the system.
Ted Holker; 5764 County Road 37 NE, Monticello: Mr. Holker wanted to know if the drainage authority had checked into the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council Fund for helping with repairs on CD 33.
Vetsch stated he is not familiar with the Lessard Council Fund but would happy to do some research on it. Detjen added that a lot of the funds he has checked into are for water quality practices that restore, protect and enhance Minnesota wetlands so staff would not be able to get grant funding for replacing tile on CD 33.
As there were no more questions or concerns the Informational Meeting adjourned at 3:49 PM
County Drainage Authority Minutes Submitted by: Janice Edmonson, Drainage Administrator
(End of 8-27-19 Ditch COTW Minutes, County Ditch 33, 3:00 PM Meeting Minutes)
Approve Minutes From CD 10 Informational Meeting On August 13, 2019
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the 8-13-19 Ditch Committee Of The Whole Minutes, County Ditch 10. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The 8-13-19 Ditch COTW Minutes follow:
An informational meeting was held for County Ditch #10 to discuss an updated timeline given to staff by the engineering firm ISG. Matt Detjen was in contact with Mark Origer from ISG who stated that updated engineering plans would be provided for the water storage treatment pond that will be put on Craig Broses’ property. Matt was informed that these plans would be completed before the end of August, and bidding would take place sometime in early September. A few changes were made to these plans since the last bidding process in the hopes to reduce costs.
An update was also given on a general timeline for full system repairs to County Ditch #10. Matt Detjen stated that the repair report would be available sometime in December or January of 2020. Commissioner Borrell questioned when the repair work could begin. Matt stated that a majority of repair could be completed in 2020 pending board approval.
A discussion began about the scope of the repair work on County Ditch #10. Bonnie Miesen asked about water quality issues that would occur because of ditch cleaning. Commissioner Borrell referenced the Outlet Feasibility Study and the Multipurpose Drainage Management Plan that had previously been completed by ISG. He stated that the county has been working to alleviate high water issues on Lake Ann and Emma through this study. Courtland Arlien, a resident on Emma Lake, referenced the high-water issues on his property. Commissioner Borrell stated that the county has investigated options to reduce flooding on the lakes, one option being a possible extension of the ditch through the two lakes to provide flooding relief.
Matt Detjen showed videos from ISG that depicted the results of the XPSWMM model completed for County Ditch
#10. Bonnie Miesen referenced the high-water issues shown in the model. Commissioner Borrell brought up the point that the water storage treatment pond would help alleviate some of the high-water issues but referenced the issues with rocks being placed at the outlet of Lake Ann that were also attributing to the high-water levels on the lakes.
Meeting was adjourned at 4:25pm.
County Drainage Authority Minutes Submitted by: Matt Detjen, Drainage Coordinator
(End of 8-13-19 Ditch Committee Of The Whole Minutes, County Ditch 10)
Accept Bid For Repairs On CD 22
Two proposals were received for repair on County Ditch 22:
MSB Excavating & Tiling LLC $70,207.32
Consolidated Land Care, Inc. $81,144.80
Potter moved to approve the bid from MSB Excavating & Tiling LLC for $70,207.32. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Detjen said County Ditch 22 was discussed about a month ago. Joe Gallus attended the meeting to address tree removal. Detjen said now they are looking to clean out the ditch. Daleiden asked if this relates to a crossing that was not approved where a property owner placed tires in the ditch without permission. Detjen explained that it is. Tires were essentially used as rip rap. Daleiden asked whether the road will be taken out as it was not approved. Detjen said if the culvert or crossing is in good shape, they will reset at the correct elevation and remove any obstruction. If it is an issue with a culvert rusting out or insufficient size, the landowner would pay to purchase the new culvert and the County would have it installed as part of the project. Daleiden stated the landowner should be paying for the entire cost in this case as they installed the crossing without permission. He stated others on the Ditch should not have to pay for something that was done illegally. Detjen said they can continue to discuss the crossing issues if the Board desires. Daleiden affirmed this should be done. The motion carried 5-0.
Approve August Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report
Daleiden moved to approve the report. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Adoption Of The Wright County Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), And Approval Of Resolution. The Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Was Distributed At The August 9, 2019 Transportation Committee Meeting Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting For Review And Comment. (see attached LRTP attachment at the bottom of the Agenda).
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #19-94 approving the Wright County LRTP. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Of Final Acceptance For Contract 1811 And Authorize Final Payment To Landwehr Construction, Inc. In The Amount Of $12,284.19. Contract No. 1811 Included The Replacement Of Woodland Township Bridge L8124 With New Bridge 86J16 (16’x11’ Box Culvert). The Final Value Of The Work Certified Is $427,017.50.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #19-95 for final acceptance of Contract 1811 and authorizing final payment to Landwehr Construction in the amount of $12,284.19. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Of Final Acceptance For Contract 1902 And Authorize Final Payment To Pearson Bros., Inc. In The Amount Of $89,534.19. Contract No. 1902 Included The Seal Coating Of Various Highways In Wright County. The Final Value Of The Work Certified Is $607,976.46.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-96 for final acceptance of Contract 1902 and authorizing final payment to Pearson Bros., Inc. in the amount of $89,534.19. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Award Contract 1907 (Contingent Upon Concurrence Of Award By The City Of Delano At Their Evening City Council Meeting On September 17, 2019). CSAH 17 Slope Repair/Flood Wall In Delano. Bids Received On September 11, 2019 With The Low Bidder Being Redstone Construction, LLC, Of Mora, MN In The Amount Of $813,485.50.
Hawkins explained this project was a collaboration with the City of Delano on a flood control project involving slope stabilization. The County agreed to fund the amount that it would have cost for that repair. Approval will be contingent on the City’s action at their meeting this evening.
Borrell moved to award Contract 1907 (contingent on concurrence of award by the City of Delano at their 9-17-19 meeting) to Redstone Construction, LLC, in the amount of $813,485.50. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
1. Authorize Signatures on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Agreements With Oracle America, Inc. And Ciber Global, LLC - Oracle Practice
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said at a COTW Meeting in July, the Board directed staff to negotiate agreements related to the ERP. At that time, the Board authorized signatures on the Master Services Agreement. Before the Board today are the ERP Agreements with Oracle America, Inc. and Ciber Global, LLC-Oracle Practice.
Phase I is expected to commence in October 2019 depending on the availability of the vendor and when they come on site. Daleiden referenced Ciber’s document reflecting a 36-month term. He questioned whether there will be additional cost if it takes longer than the reflected timeframe. Kelly said Oracle’s licensure is broken out over that period and he assumes they tied that to that timeframe. The documents reflect when payments are due. As far as implementation, the target was to start sooner. Phase I will be October 2019-October 2020, with Phase II anticipated for December 2020. The third year will include any changes that result during the project that may be needed, contingencies, etc. Vetsch said the original plan was to utilize the ERP during the 2020 budget sessions. Kelly said that may not be feasible in 2020. He feels confident in the hurdles they have been overcome, and extended appreciation to Scott Weiland, IT, and Tim Dahl, Administration, for their efforts.
Borrell referenced the cost of this venture and questioned whether the technologies will need to be replaced again at a cost in the future. Kelly responded that software is typically provided as a service. This is a cloud-based product, so the County will be subscribing annually. The current agreement with Oracle will be for 36 months. He said that does not prevent the County with selecting a different provider in the future. It was noted that a savings will be realized by the software reduction that will occur for programs the County will no longer continue with.
Daleiden said there was a team that vetted the selection of the vendors. Information Technology led the discussions but did not vote. It was a unanimous decision that Oracle would meet the County’s needs for the future. Vetsch said he feels more comfortable moving ahead with the ERP after having attended meetings. He said the group took the time to make sure his questions were addressed and that the project has merit for the cost. Kelly said any new opportunity or potential change can be unnerving. It will be a big impact for the County, but it will greatly move the County forward to set the stage for the next phase of growth and meeting those needs. Potter referenced the report from Infotech which reflects how far the County is behind in terms of technology. Kelly extended appreciation to the Board for allowing them to bring in Infotech to determine what the true needs are, aid with vendor selection, and coordinate demo’s with vendors.
Vetsch asked whether Hiivala, as the Chief Financial Officer for the County, is in support of the program and whether he will do his due diligence in supporting this program going forward in its implementation. Hiivala said he will, and that whatever decision is made the ERP is something the County needs. Vetsch asked whether Hiivala is comfortable that this will meet the fiscal controls, and the ability of the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office staff to work with Ciber and Oracle without struggle. Hiivala said he is. It will provide controls that the County currently does not have. Hiivala said his position is that the group decision was not unanimous to move ahead, as he was a member of the group. Daleiden asked Hiivala whether he is against this. Hiivala said Wright County will be the only Minnesota county on this product and said there is strength in having other counties use the same product. Daleiden asked whether Hiivala was present when the companies were interviewed. Hiivala said he participated but then delegated attendance to the former Assistant Finance Director. The updates he received were possibly not consistent with what occurred. Hiivala said this is a great product and they will do what they can to make this a success.
Daleiden made a motion to authorize Signatures on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Agreements with Oracle America, Inc. and Ciber Global, LLC - Oracle Practice. The motion was seconded by Potter. Borrell said he will vote in support of the motion but is placing his trust in the recommendation of others. Vetsch said to a certain degree, ERP systems are customized. Referencing the Auditor’s comment that Oracle is not operating as the prime vendor in other counties, Vetsch stated that Oracle is providing ERP services across the nation. Hiivala said he is supportive of the ERP system and that Wright County will be the example for other counties. Vetsch stated that departments that will see a considerable savings in manpower will be the fiscal offices of Health & Human Services and Sheriff. The Auditor/Treasurer’s Office will also realize some time savings. The motion carried 5-0.
BUDGET COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MINUTES (8-07-19, 8-08-19, 8-14-19, 8-15-19, 8-19-19, 8-21-19, 8-22-19, 8-23-19, 8-26-19, 9-11-19)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell made a motion to approve the Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes for August 7, 8, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26 and September 11. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Husom made the following change to the August 22 minutes: Page 2, 5th paragraph, 2nd line, delete the redundant word “that.” The motion to approve all sets of the Budget COTW Minutes carried 5-0. The Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes follow:
8-07-19 Budget COTW Minutes
I. 2020 Budget Overview
Administrator Kelly provided an overview of the 2020 preliminary budget, as well as a review of the contents of the budget books.
It was noted that the 2-year forecast is included in the budget book, but the Board also wants the 5-year forecast included. Staff will be sure that a copy is distributed at the next budget meeting.
Kelly identified the many long-term projects that have been planned for, which include new facilities, the Justice Center, Government Center and Tactical Training Facility. The Budget also looks to retire debt in 2020, will recall 2012A Bond which is not due until 2023.
The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget will be reviewed on Thursday, August 8, 2010.
Kelly expressed that there are large items within the 2020 budget, the CIP includes the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, personnel impacts with the class and compensation study and union negotiations, as well as renewal of health insurance, these are all big things. The proposed preliminary levy increase of 8.17% does reflect all of those.
In addition, there are ten departments requesting a total of 21 positions, of which 3 are reclasses. All of the staff requests will be reviewed on August 14.
It was noted that there is $25,000 in fund 100 for the ditch inspector, if the decision is to proceed with the staff request for a new ditch position than those funds would no longer be needed and could be redirected to the new position.
Discussed what information to share with the public at this stage of the budget planning process. It was suggested to share the 2019-2020 Draft Budget Summary comparison. Noting this is the start of the process and is only a draft.
Commissioner Borrell requested consideration be made to provide funds to the Highway 12 Coalition, and also provide $50,00 in funding to the Fair Board for improvements to the 4H building.
Commissioner Potter noted that the director for the Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) will soon be retiring and the County needs to look at how we view this entity, should we leave it as is, or do we look to hire that person under the county umbrella to assist our cities with economic development.
Concerns were expressed by other members of the Board, questioning if this is a function of County government, moving it to the County would lose out on the private funding that currently assists the WCEDP, and what impact does this have on existing businesses. Commissioner Vetsch noted that Sherburne County is currently looking at doing economic development through the county.
Due to a conflict in scheduling, the Budget Committee of the Whole on August 8, 2019 will begin at 1:15, rather than 1:00 PM.
It was questioned as to when the Sheriff’s Organizational Study would be shared with the Board. Business Manager Athman replied that it will be shared as soon as it is completed, which is anticipated to be the later part of August.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:04 PM
Budget COTW Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator
(End of 8-07-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-08-19 Budget COTW Minutes
I. 2020 - 2024 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
Assistant County Administrator Vergin was present to provide an overview of the proposed CIP. Vergin stated that in 2018 the County had identified more defined parameters and goals for the of the CIP. One of those being that we would not rely on turnback dollars. We also identified funding resources to be utilized, levy dollars, MCIT dividends and excess CPA funds over the 2017 allocation.
During the 2019 budgeting process we identified funding as follows, ERP at $1.1M, Parks at $700,000, Highway at $450,000, Sheriff at $300,000 and IT CIP /Other Departments would share $800,000. This brought the CIP levy to 2.55 M and an allocation of MCIT/CPA of $800,000, total CIP funding of $3.35M.
Then later in efforts to reduce the levy the Board reevaluated the CIP allocations and reduced the levy to 1.8M, by reducing the allocations as follows, ERP to $800,000, Parks to $600,000, Highway to $100,000, the Sheriff retained the $300,000 and IT CIP /Other Departments would continue to share $800,000, total CIP funding of $2.6M. It was noted the allocations would increase back for 2020, which would require approximately $700,000 in additional funding.
Vergin stated that during a Technology Committee meeting it was requested that IT evaluate what projects can be achievable based on IT resources. A meeting was held to address both priority and barriers, barriers being human resources (IT staff) and money. Based on that exercise there are still 3.8M in IT projects, and $1.75M in other CIP projects, for total projects of $5.56 in the CIP for 2020.
It was further identified that there many factors that come into the CIP, which impact what funding is available. Those being the timing of the ERP, new projects identified, as well as the delay of projects. The CIP funding allocations spreadsheet identifies the projected project costs, available allocated monies (Levy, CPA and MCIT), as well as anticipated carry over funds.
The Board asked that the projects within the CIP be reviewed, identifying their need and the purpose. Olga Strobel, IT Manager assisted in providing an overview of the technology projects. Others as well, within the audience, provided input when needed, on projects that impact their department. Some projects, such as “Redaction Tool” would reduce staff time spent redacting and allow them the ability to focus on other duties of their position(s). Also, spoke to the efficiency that the ERP will bring to the County; it will not reduce staff, but may delay the need to add additional staff.
It was expressed that the list of projects and the needs within departments clearly identify the need for additional IT staff.
Additional funding sources, or reallocation of CPA funds may need to be addressed in order to meet the needs of the CIP.
Adjourned at 2:55 PM
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator
(End of 8-08-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-14-19 Budget COTW Minutes:
The Board reviewed positions requests, which included reclassifications, temporary, interns, and new positions.
County Assessor
Tony Rasmuson, County Assessor, requested:
1) Reclassification of the Office Technician I position to an Appraisal Process Specialist: This is a technical position that impacts internal and external processes. This position requires certification to perform the necessary duties. He asked that this request go to the next County Board meeting for approval in order to fill a vacant position. Rasmuson is not requesting any new staff but is reclassifying two positions. The Appraisal Technician position will go away.
Recommendation: Consensus to forward the request to the 8-20-19 County Board meeting to allow the reclassification of the Office Technician I position to the Appraisal Process Specialist position in the Assessor’s Office.
Information Technology
Olga Strobel represented IT regarding this request:
1) Reclassify the Senior Technical Support Specialist to Supervisor: The Technical Support Supervisor would supervise the TSS positions as well as the proposed audio position, if approved. There were questions regarding whether the human resources legal consultant would need to score the positions. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, and Schawn Johnson, Human Resources Director, will review the request.
Recommendation: Consensus to proceed with approving the reclass at this time.
Planning & Zoning
Sean Riley, Planning and Zoning Administrator requested:
1) Temporary Position: This position will assist with the Compost facility and will be funded through SCORE money.
Recommendation: Consensus to authorize the temporary position.
County Recorder
Tanya West, County Recorder requested:
1) Reclassify a Deputy Recorder position to a Torrens Specialist: Schawn Johnson, Human Resources Director, suggest noted that this position is a result of the Classification and Compensation Study. Currently it is proposed to reclass the OT1s to Deputy Recorders. As part of this, Recorder West would like to reclassify one of those positions to a Torrens Specialist, effective 1-01-20.
Recommendation: To approve the reclassification of a Deputy Recorder to a Torrens Specialist, effective January 1, 2020.
Steve Jobe, County Surveyor, presented two requests:
1) Reclassify Senior Survey Technician to Deputy County Surveyor: A new job description will be required, and the position will need to be pointed and evaluated by Baker Tilly. This position would be a licensed surveyor. Jobe suggested reclassifying one of the current Senior Survey Technician positions and posting it internally. He would not seek to fill the other Senior Survey Technician if the Deputy position was approved.
Recommendation: The consensus was to move forward with the reclassification of the Senior Survey Technician position to a Deputy County Surveyor. The position would not be filled until 2020.
2) GIS Specialist: Jobe said a lot of data cleanup is needed for the GEN 911 system and address points, CAMA work, property locations, addresses, as well as work for the Parks Department, Auditor / Treasurer Department related to ditches, mapping properties for the Assessor’s Department, and others. Jobe said this position is enterprise-related, and should work within the Surveyor’s Office, while assisting County-wide.
Recommendation: Explore this position and its structure further prior to making a decision.
Health and Human Services
Jami Goodrum Schwartz, Health and Human Services Director, presented 2.5FTE positions:
1) Social Worker – MN Choices: This reassessment position is needed based on demand due to long waiting lists for the elderly. There is a potential loss of revenue if not meeting these needs. The overall reimbursement is 19 to 20 percent of the position costs.
2) Social Worker II / Trainer: There is a 20 percent turnover in Child Protection and caseloads are high. This position is important to ensure that processes are consistent and accurate. A promotional opportunity is possible, as this is a new position.
3) Social Worker III (Mental Health): The request is to take the current .5 FTE position, which currently is unfilled and make it a full-time position. It is structured at a high level within the Agency organization. This position would assist with caseload management and serve as a housing resource. This position requires a master’s degree.
Commissioner Potter said the mental health focus is important. Board Chair Vetsch said the trainer is a critical component. Commissioner Borrell asked what happens once everyone is trained. Goodrum Schwartz responded that the Trainer position could float. Also, with program changes occurring constantly this position will stay busy. Commissioner Husom said the HHS position requests are in line with their needs.
Recommendation: Consensus of Board is that they are in agreement with what is being requested, but modifications could occur later in the budget process.
Sheriff Sean Deringer said they are monitoring their needs. Three of the positions being requested were denied last year.
1) Deputies / Sergeant: The first three would assist in the northeastern area of the County - two deputies on patrol and one is a sergeant. The purpose is to provide relief in the schedule.
2) Civilian Communications: The Department is severely understaffed in this area.
3) Deputy / Detective Assigned to HHS: They are collaborating with mandates for in-takes, adult and child protection, which assign approximately 200 cases per year. This position would be licensed and would be under the Sheriff but would be housed at HHS.
4) Confidential Secretary: This conforms with State statute, although former Sheriff Hagerty never utilized this position. Deringer would like to hire internally or externally. If internally, the County Board has the authority to deny backfill. This position would support the Sheriff and fill in for tasks that are not getting done, as well as screen and direct phone calls.
Deringer noted that the study is in the process of identifying the needs of the Sheriff’s Department. He will work with the County Board to implement what the study findings.
5) HHS Fraud Investigations: This position involves collaboration with Adult and Child Protection social workers.
Goodrum Schwartz said most fraud is civil, which does not go through the Sheriff.
Commissioner Vetsch asked for the positions to be prioritized. Commissioner Daleiden said he would like to see the study findings first, as well as the scheduling changes which were discussed previously. Sheriff Deringer did not want to increase staff if the schedules change. Retention could be an argument in favor of that, but he would not proceed with that at this time.
Commissioner Husom stated three School Resource Officers (SRO) were approved, which can be assigned in the summer for coverage in other areas. She is okay with the Confidential Secretary and Communication Officer position, but she struggles with the others. Vetsch agreed and said the HHS position is the lowest priority. He was inclined to grant three to possibly four positions.
Deringer said the SROs were requested by the School Districts, and he has little control over those positions. SROs take most of their time off in the summer and work during the school year. Regarding collaborating with HHS, he is excited to provide that service as it assists both the Sheriff’s Office and HHS. Husom concurred with the need for an HHS position.
Husom asked whether there is a need or request for more contract hours in the northeastern part of the County. Deringer said there wasn’t, but the population warrants additional resources in that area.
Daleiden said the Confidential Secretary is the least important request, as there is enough existing staff to do some of those tasks. He suggested reclassifying that position. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said by Statute, the Sheriff can appoint to this position. Daleiden preferred to see the study findings first. Shawna Athman, Business Manager for the Sheriff’s Office, said they have identified needs within their budget after discussions with Administration and others. They hope to have the final study available with their budget presentation.
Vetsch does not want an 8.13 percent increase, so he will not support all the position requests. He would most likely support three positions, but the Sheriff has to decide which are most important to him. Ideally, Vetsch would like the levy increased by no more than 6.8 percent, although he would accept 7.2 percent or less.
Recommendation: None at this time, waiting for Staffing Study to be completed.
The County Board recessed for five minutes, and resumed at 10:30 A.M.
Marc Mattice, Director of Parks and Recreation requested two positions:
1) Parks and Maintenance Aide: This position would assist with programs. There is potential to generate revenues of at least $2,000, but the amount is unknown at this time. This position would allow for better utilization of staff to help with programs, events, and the bike fleet.
2) Ditch Inspector: This position is carried in the Auditor / Treasurer Department budget. This would replace Mike
Young, resulting in a decrease of the Professional Service line item by $25,000. The County would absorb Matt Detjen’s (Ag & Drainage Coordinator) wages but allocate the inspector position through Ditches. At a minimum, 50 percent will be utilized by Parks. Mattice asked whether the cost code on the position will be based on when the position is working in Parks versus Ditches. This position, when working for Parks, would do GIS park mapping, utilities, location of signage, office work, and report to the Parks Maintenance Supervisor. This position would be in the 49er’s union. When doing ditch work, coordinated with the Ag and Drainage Coordinator they would perform duties such as operating the Mobitrac, remove beaver dams, spraying, and culvert alignment. Initially it would work 50/50 for Parks, but later may reduce to about 10 percent allocation to Parks. Related expenses for this position: $106,810 including a truck and equipment.
Bob Hiivala, County Auditor / Treasurer, said revenues have not been identified for this position yet. If approved, there will be an allocation to Parks, and the position will take direction from the Ag & Drainage Coordinator and the Parks Supervisor. The proposed pay grade is 18. The request is to have this position start in March of 2020 but will budget for a full year. Mattice said this position is similar to the Natural Technician position. He will create an addendum to the job description.
Recommendation: None at this time.
Court Services
The request is for an Intern. No one from the Department was present.
Recommendation: Consensus to approve.
Information Technology (IT)
Olga Strobel, IT Business Solutions Manager was present representing IT’s requests:
1) Application Portfolio Analyst: This position ensures staff resources with projects and differs from the Portfolio Analyst. The Application Portfolio Analyst will maintain all applications that are used within the County. There are approximately 3,000 applications and about 300 versions. This position would maintain that inventory and minimize the duplication of applications. There would be better collaboration between departments and ensure the compatibility with applications, as well as tracking end of life. This would be a centralized function.
Commissioner Borrell prefers to wait for input from the new IT Director, who starts on August 26th. Administrator Kelly stated he sent the new IT Director the IT Department budget for his review. Husom said 14 IT positions were recommended but several are still not approved. Commissioner Vetch said the Business Analyst position is a given, as well as the Audio Video Technician. Strobel responded that they will re-evaluate the Department needs with the new IT Director. Demands are growing, and there is more automation and devices. Today’s state is different from when the study was completed several years ago.
Recommendation: Consensus was to hold off on the Application Portfolio Analyst but are in favor of supporting the other two positions.
Kelly requested four positions:
1) Administrative Specialist: The Department needs more support for initiatives. Over the past few years the number of agendas, resolutions, and minutes prepared by administration staff have continued to increase. The Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership (CMRP) is anticipated to consume forty hours a month of clerical support, which is being provided by Deb Schreiner. The scope of this group has changed and will need clerical support for at least eighteen months.
2) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - 2 positions:
• Business Architect: This position was approved in 2019 but has not yet been filled.
• Procurement Analyst: This position is needed for Phase II of the ERP which is anticipated to happen in December 2019. Currently purchasing has been decentralized, but the goal with ERP is to re-centralize. This position would involve inventory, vendor lists, and facilitate purchasing County-wide. This position would start prior to Phase II to be in on the ground level of development. Long-term, it would save money County-wide with ERP bulk/bunch orders.
Vetsch said they will need to revisit these positions. He does not want to stay at an 8.13 percent increase. There have been 2.5 FTE positions added in Administration since 2014. As the County grows, the expectation is that Administration will play a more active role in regional planning.
Recommendation: Consensus was to revisit the positions once all department budgets have been reviewed.
The meeting adjourned at 11:35 A.M.
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator
(End of 8-14-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-15-19 Budget (COTW) Minutes:
Court Services
Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, said federal grants in the amount of $27,000 will go toward salaries. No expenses will be incurred by them. Revenues are increasing for service fees charged to offenders. Telephone costs are cheaper with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), a $50 per month fee; however, some employees may need to go to County owned smart phones. He has budgeted for County owned devices, which increased the budget, but he will encourage BYOD.
MacMillan said he has also budgeted for an intern at $11,440. The Department has been using interns for the last 26 years as a way to help them get experience. A vehicle is also budgeted for $22,000.
MacMillan projects $105,000 in revenue, $188,224 in expenses, or a 9.73 percent increase.
MacMillan may make a change in Case Aides to Agent positions, as these are tied to reimbursements. There were no changes or concerns with the Court Service Budget.
Recommendation: Budget accepted as presented.
Tony Rasmuson, County Assessor said no work has been done related to one of the local assessors, which is a concern. The two districts are Middleville and Albion Townships. If the Local Assessor does not complete this work, it will fall back onto the County. The County can charge the actual cost since they are not under contract. State Statute states that if the appraisals are not completed by December 1st, the County then takes it over. Due to this situation, they may need to look at an appraiser for 2020.
The uniform allowance line item is new. The purpose is to better identify them as assessors when out assessing properties. The cost is $2,250 for shirts. Previously staff purchased their own. Now the Department will pay for them.
The Department currently has six total vehicles. The new vehicle Rasmuson has budgeted for $25,000 will replace one of them.
Rasmuson noted that if an extra GIS person is approved in the Surveyor’s Office, that would greatly assist his office.
The increase in software/maintenance is to make agricultural assessing better. Assessor staff are meeting with a different CAMA vendor in November, including Tyler. Anoka, Scott and Dakota Counties have used Tyler.
Recommendation: Budget accepted as presented.
Planning & Zoning
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, informed the Board that there are two full-time staff currently working at the Compost Facility, due to usage being up substantially and for safety reasons. Based on that Riley stated he is requesting a temporary person to assist with the Compost Facility, as needed. It is budget neutral, as all compost staff’s overtime as well as regular hours are reimbursed by SCORE. This will adjust revenue and expenses by $10,000 (SCORE). Overall the Planning and Zoning budget is increasing by 6.09 percent.
Recommendation: Budget accepted as presented.
County Board
Overall there is an increase of 4.03% to the County Board budget. Changes in the budget include a new Marco copier, and increases to per diems, conferences, meetings and travel due to an increased number of meetings and conferences being attended by Board members.
Recommendation: Budget accepted as presented.
Lori Vicich, Regional Director, Wright County Extension, discussed copier and computer budget items, as well as an increase to mileage due to the new location. The University of Minnesota increased the contract by two percent to pay salaries.
The new staff request is an increase of $79,256. This would support the youth population and add more programs. Vicich said there are essentially no fees, as most services are free or there is a minimal charge. She said the focus is leadership development and mentorship.
The 4H Federation offers grants to support those that can’t afford to go to camp, for example. She said the focus on agriculture is declining as the County grows, while Master Gardeners are increasing.
Vicich said the youth programs are underfunded, so she would not like to see reductions. Vicich said data shows that by adding this position, the County could potentially handle an additional 1,000 youth participants.
Recommendation: To leave the budget as is at this time but may want to revisit the staffing increase.
The meeting adjourned at 11:30 A.M.
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator
(End of 8-15-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
I. Recap from Earlier Staff Meeting
Discussed the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) shortfall. To make the CIP whole they are forecasting a 10%+ levy increase. Identified other shifts to reduce the levy to a 7.3 percent or $79 million decrease. Christine Husom, County Commissioner would prefer to see a 6.7 percent levy increase. Darek Vetsch, County Board Chair, said one/half of positions have received approval, and Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) has gone from $1 million to $600,000 for the revolving loan piece. Husom said WCEDP is important, but there are other needs the County Board should address.
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said depending on the CIP, IT may be able to address Professional Services. He said the other factor is the Classification and Compensation funding that may have monies available in 2019 that can be carried forward.
Vetsch suggested scheduling another Budget Committee of The Whole (COTW) to discuss the matter further.
Jami Goodrum Schwartz, Health and Human Services (HHS) Director, said the 2020 Goals and Strategies for her department is to have a budget increase of 3.8 percent inclusive of everything, including the 2.3 positions. That equates to an overall two percent budget increase.
HHS will be reviewing processes and procedures to better capture revenues and maintain expenses.
Regarding MN Choices Assessments: There are 45 cases currently that are waiting for County staff to address. They need to know the available resources and their role in reviewing them. HHS will be audited in 2020 on MN Choices Assessments.
Public Health: They are getting more grant revenues and use the tools and staff available. They plan to go live in 2019 with EDMS and will have more capacity then.
Goodrum Schwartz said it is too early to tell how the DHS changes will impact HHS or what changes will occur. There are 7300 employees in the Minnesota DHS.
Jill Pooler, Social Services Manager, referenced MN Choices regarding intake workers to assist with assessments. They are considering a re-assessor to fill the gap and allow intake workers to do their jobs. Goodrum Schwartz said HHS did a reclassification in 2019 to a re-assessment position. They are leveraging their internal staff to best meet the needs, but they are still behind.
Daleiden asked whether Social Worker III positions are hard to fill. Goodrum Schwartz said part-time is hard to fill. They are going with full-time in the hopes of filling it. They would also utilize this person to assist with housing needs.
Vetsch asked whether a Social Worker/Mental Health Professional classification would help. Goodrum Schwartz said they are hoping the Classification and Compensation study will assist in hiring this position and increase wages. Goodrum Schwartz said their real desire is to move this full-time position to 2019, as the funding is available in the budget.
Two new vehicles will be added to their fleet. They will move out the older vehicles, that will have 150,000 miles on them by the time they go to public auction. The Ford Fusion was suggested by the Highway Department as it is a little larger than the Chevy Cruzes.
There is potential to reduce the detox budget. Medical Assistance will be picking up some of those costs. Starting July 1, 2020, the County will no longer share funding for Medical Assistance, for a savings of $130,000.
The new building will have increased overhead, which means HHS will receive higher income. The current situation with higher caseloads and lower overhead results in less dollars per case.
Michael Potter, County Commissioner, noted a $4,400 increase for Line Item 420-6335 for Training. To date, only eight percent has been spent, but HHS is requesting a large increase. Christine Partlow, HHS Business Manager, said the $3500 increase is grant related. Goodrum Schwartz said the Department spends $380 per each staff person for training, and when they capture Public Health funds, they are identified as such.
The $18,000-line item for postage was questioned. Partlow said Child Support mailing through the Auditor/ Treasurer’s Department had the highest increase based on allocation of 37,000 to date. The allocation is 29 percent Financial Services, 54 percent Social Services, and 17 percent Public Health, but they reallocate based on actual usage.
County Burials Actuals per Line Item 420-6020 is $41,000 in six months. The State requires the County to pay for burials and cremations for those that do not have the money. They will be watching this closely.
The consensus was to reduce the Language Interpreter category 6150 6030 from $15,000 to $12,500.
Some of the $6,000 for Home Delivered Meals is reimbursed. Donations are also accepted, such as from Catholic Charities. This helps keep the elderly in their homes. The consensus was to reduce that from $6,000 to $5,000.
Daleiden referenced Adult Shelter, category 6030 at $5,000. He asked whether it could be reduced to $2,500. Michelle Miller, Social Services Manager, said some years have higher expenses than budgeted, but the last few years have not been so. This is for those adults who need foster care assistance and housing.
The next meeting with Information Technology was delayed in order to get through today’s Agenda.
The recommended changes will be made to the HHS budget based on suggestions from the meeting. These can be revisited later if needed.
The meeting adjourned at 11:15 A.M.
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator
(End of 8-19-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-21-19 Budget COTW Minutes:
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, gave a PowerPoint presentation reviewing 2019. The spring was wet, resulting in flooding and road closures. He discussed remedies to prevent future road closures. CSAH 9 in Waverly was the first Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) project. CSAH 38 is almost wrapped up, and CSAH 39 has not started yet. That is a safety project and involves pavement preservation. Highway maintenance patching, seal coating improvements and other safety projects were the bulk of 2019 activities. Hawkins gave a history of improvements to the 512 miles of the County highway system.
Chad Hausmann, Assistant Highway Engineer, presented proposed projects for 2020, including CSAH 19 and 38 in Albertville and Otsego, CSAH 39, and CSAH 30 reconstruction. He discussed roads they are considering delaying until 2021 and 2022 due to I-94 projects. Also proposed is 31 miles of pavement preservation. Parks will bid the Briarwood project, but there is ambiguity regarding who is paying for it. The approximate amount of the County share is $300,000.
Construction Comparison Funding for 2019 and 2020 Projects will carry approximately $5 million in restricted funds. Darek Vetsch, County Board Chair, would like the interest to go to the General Fund. Heather Lemieux, Assistant Finance Director, thought that was allowable.
Concern was expressed about the impact of future Highway 169 construction. There are questions regarding how traffic will be routed.
Vetsch said the Highway 25 river crossing is more than 25 years old. No new location has been identified yet, although it will likely be on the west side of Monticello.
Discussion continued regarding 2020 acquisition of land and the 2021 roundabout at the Monticello – I-94 crossing.
Hawkins requested a 6.1 percent increase in the local levy, which is lower than in 2018. He has no position requests. De-icing materials are up 16 percent due to salt prices.
LOST funds can only be used for projects listed in their plan. LOST was approved for five years ($86 million over 15 years), so the Highway Department is trying to do as much as they can. They may need to reprioritize Braddock to be on the LOST plan. Another public hearing / open house is planned for next spring. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, suggested that they schedule the public hearing and open house in February or March.
There is money in the budget under 340 for improvements to the salt shed in Buffalo. Hawkins asked if that could reside under Facilities. The inside needs to be re-sheeted, as well as normal maintenance. The structure is 28 years old, and has undergone minor repairs over time.
Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, said it appears to be a Highway cost. Hawkins said some items fall under Facilities. Kelly preferred to keep salt sheds under Highway. More discussion is needed. Parks has also been discussed. More clarity is needed there as well. Michael Potter, County Commissioner, wants a plan in place regardless of where the cost falls in the budget.
There was general discussion regarding miscellaneous roads within the County, future needs, and turn backs to the cities.
Recommendation: No changes to the Road and Bridge budget were made.
The Committee of The Whole recessed at 10:05 A.M. and reconvened at 10:45 A.M. Potter was not present.
Steve Jobe, County Surveyor is proposing an overall budget increase of 12.94 percent. System support is up $5,500.
Conferences and Meetings increased to $1,300 to include a national conference in 2020. Jobe identified increases and decreases to each line item. Furniture and Equipment was $31,600 to replace an R10 GPS receiver. He budgeted $28,000 for a small SUV. Rather than selling the Impala, it will be moved to the County fleet, thereby reducing fleet Fund 100 by one vehicle.
Positions will be reviewed will all others once the budget is closer to completion.
Recommendation: No changes to the Surveyor’s budget were made.
Recommendation: Schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole for 9-11-19 at 2:00 P.M. to review position requests.
(End of 8-21-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-22-19 Budget COTW Minutes:
Tanya West, County Recorder, informed the Board that there are 46 plats expected, with 36 so far recorded, for a total of 750 lots. There were 43 plats in 2018. Her overall budget increase for 2020 is $5,530. Revenues are down from credit card surcharges, but the new expenditure for this is $3,600.
Discusses increasing passport photos from $10 to $15. That would adjust the budget to $52,000. The fee increase could be done in the fall when the fee schedule public hearing is held.
The credit card surcharge shows as an expense and a revenue. There will be a convenience fee charged to download data online. Currently the convenience and credit card fees are lumped together, but will be investigating this further, it may be a “Landshark Fee.” The credit card company receives the fee that is paid by the consumer. The convenience fee would go to the County.
Recommendation: Increase the Passport Photo fee to $12.00, increasing that budget to $42,000.
Marc Mattice, Director of Parks and Recreation reviewed his 2020 proposed budget.
CSAH 39 to the Briarwood Park entrance. He is bidding gravel for turn lanes which is an alternate with the campground project. This is a 2021 Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) project. A public hearing is required and is planned for February. Professional Services was reduced by $62,000 for 2020 as planning expenses are not needed.
Mattice said the fees charged at the Parks are currently at about 90 percent of competitors. He will increase fees once Collinwood comes onboard because there are electric/sewer hookups. Wright County fees are comparable to State parks, or maybe a little higher. Non-residents are charged a higher fee - $30 per night versus $27.50 for residents for electric and water hookup. The average for Anoka County is $28 per night for electrical. He suggested staying comparable to Anoka County. It was also noted that 40% of park users are non-residents.
The recommendation was to increase rates to $28 per night for residents and $35 for non-residents. The estimated increase in revenues is $13,000. Miscellaneous Revenues would increase from $207,000 to $220,000.
Discussion turned to utilization of a proposed Recreation Aide position. The Scholarship Fund has not been implemented, as of yet. It would offer reduced or waived fee for those who can’t afford the fees. The Recreation Aide position will be reviewed at the 9/11/19 Budget Committee of the Whole meeting with other positions.
Mattice said he does not plan to modify the Parks Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
Recommendation: Increase rates to $28 per night for residents and $35 for non-residents and authorize Mattice to proceed with securing a trail construction contract for the 2020 project and bring the contract to the County Board for final approval.
Information Technology (IT)
Olga Strobel, IT Business Solutions Manager, Pat Spaude, IT Strategy and Portfolio Manager, along with OTII Jennifer Rasset, were present to address the IT Budget.
Strobel stated that if another Business Analyst is added they should be able to do what has been identified for Enterprise-wide projects. Currently IT is using Personnel funds for some of the contract worker positions. Adding that into the 2020 budget will be an increase of $493,690. She compared the differences between a full-time employee and a contracted professional. The full-time person is day-to-day and keeps the lights on. The contractor has to get acclimated to the Department functions and processes. Jennifer Rasset, Office Technician II in the IT Department, said to date Professional Services is at $212,000, not including contracted services for the O365 project.
Christine Husom, County Commissioner, said if positions were filled, there wouldn’t be a need to increase Professional Services that much. Kelly said there is a need for funds in that line item. Strobel said there are currently two contracted staff for the vacant positions they have not yet been able to fill. If those positions were filled, then yes, the Professional Services line could be reduced. With vacancies, however, those services are needed. Vetsch said this could be reduced by $100,000 with the unfilled positions. Potter suggested $89,000 to make it $500,000. Charles Borrell, County Commissioner, advocated for contracted services, as IT staff come and go. Bring in the expertise that knows what needs to be done. Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, preferred to provide education for staff to be able to retain the expertise in house. The consensus of the County Board was to reduce Professional Services to $500,000.
Strobel said the increase in Training is due to hiring new positions. The consensus was to trim this line item by $2,899 to $100,000.
Rasset clarified items in the CIP versus the IT budget. Equipment Maintenance covers items housed at LEC but used for the Justice Center. She asked why this was not charged under the Justice Center project. Fiber upgrades are in the CIP. They need to follow up to see where the fiber run in the Tactical Training Center has been budgeted in the building project.
Highway Fleet Management will be talked about at the next Technology Committee. Strobel said when projects move, they also require staff resources.
Vetsch said text message retention is set for late 2020 to early 2021 needs more discussion., as HHS is a key player in this project at $30,000. Vetsch wants to see the CIP down to $1.1million for new funds.
Recommendation: Reduce Professional Services to $500,000 and trim the Training Budget by $2,899 to $100,000.
The meeting adjourned at 11:30 A.M.
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 8-22-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-23-19 Budget COTW Minutes:
Wright Soil and Water Conservation District
Luke Johnson, District Manager, Wright Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), said their budget is a little higher than last year due to building relationships. The SWCD has $53,000 in carry-over dollars that can be put toward future projects. Michael Potter, County Commissioner, said the County is scrutinizing ways to keep the levy rate down, with a preference to be below seven percent. Johnson said they are trying to be as fiscally conservative, but the needs are there.
Johnson said there are requests for two part-time employees. The SWCD Board will talk about staffing in the future, and there is still a $76,000 deficit.
Discussed engineering services. SWCD usually provides services for free, but fees are a possibility if they bring in an engineer.
The Crow River Organization of Water (CROW), now dissolved, has a budget of $9,900. Hiivala said small projects collaborate through the SWCD. Perhaps some of the Agricultural and Drainage Coordinator’s wages could be shifted to the levy to free up monies for SWCD and offset some costs with grants. Fifty percent of the Agricultural and Drainage Coordinator’s current wages are allocated to ditches and 25 percent is for buffers. Hiivala suggested allocating 25 percent of his wages to the ditch system and 75 percent to the levy.
Johnson said Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) funding is based on lake accesses and parking spaces with accesses. The contribution stays fairly level. The SWCD budget indicates some carry-forward.
The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) billable rate is $67 per hour. If it is not a BWSR or State-funded project, the rate is higher. Daleiden said to leave it as is and do not adjust the Agricultural and Drainage Coordinator’s salary.
Recommendation: The SWCD budget request is fair, no changes made.
(End of 8-23-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
8-26-19 Budget COTW Minutes:
Sheriff Deringer and Business Manager Athman provided an overview of the proposed 2020 Sheriff’s Budget. Revenues and Expenses.
• A new revenue line, Tobacco License/Fines has a budget of $5,000 per year. The goal will be to reduce that revenue as licensees comply with the laws.
• The Police Aid line has a sunset clause in 2022. The mandate with Mental Health will most likely see a reduction in required training.
• The Boat Water Grant line is consistent. Equipment has been paid by grants but will most likely need to be replaced in the future.
• Civil Process Fees are offset by civil warrant expenses. During a bad economy, this line item increases.
• The Contracts line item reflects the increased fees to the city and the additional School Resource Officers (SROs).
• Fines and Patrol increased. The Fee Schedule under Miscellaneous was modified. The liquor license background investigation fee will now be $100 for an annual license and $50 for temporary licenses. The increase is to help recover staff time associated with the process.
• Corrections revenues are currently on track, but a variety of things affect this income stream, making it a very fluid and moving target.
• The Shift Differential/Specialty Pay/On-all Pay have been built into the Personnel line. Temporary – Dispatch is the highest user of that line.
• Overtime is flat for 2020. They have changed some of the ways in which staffing is being done and are actively working to control that line item.
• Court time always fluctuates.
• The PERA rate contribution by employer increased.
• Employees that receive a Workers Compensation settlement retain their health insurance until they reach Medicare eligibility. Noted that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is now being considered a Workers Compensation situation. It was questioned if this should be funded through Fund 100.
The consensus was to keep that expense within the Sheriff’s Office budget. It was recommended that the expense goes into a separate line item (currently under Health Insurance). There is a revenue and expense related to this item.
• Telephone Apps/Vitals App allow a person with special needs (i.e. sensory issues) to be registered. They would like to go to a smart phone for all deputies at a cost of $100,000, however, that is not planned for 2020, but in the future. Athman said all but 86 deputies have smart phones. Daleiden questioned the need for cameras and recorders if they are available on smart phones. Hoffman said there are concerns with storing that information on phones. They would prefer to keep them separate.
• Software Systems Support is increasing. The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) annual fee is $34,000. It’s another $10,000 for scheduling software.
• The purchase of a new canine will be funded under Professional Services. It takes one year to transition and train the dog until it is ready to go out on the road. A girl named Josie is coming to the LEC at 11 AM on 8/30/19 to donate money earned from a lemonade stand and Go Fund Me page. A new dog and trainer are an eight to 20-year commitment.
• Training was increased. They secured more than $16,000 for mental health training. Nuclear training will now be reimbursed into this account. It is at $80,000 currently, but they expect to see this increase each year. The Sheriff’s Office is providing more training for front staff due to their interaction with the Jail.
• Operating Supplies, such as ammunition was purchased earlier in the year, which is why 80 percent of the fund has been expensed.
• Small Equipment, this is a new line item from last year. This includes vehicle equipment that they will not be able to swap into new vehicles. Guns are traded in, so usually the Sheriff’s Office gets about 50 percent of the investment back.
• The Electronic line item reflects the replacement of squad radios.
• Vehicle Increase is due to transitioning to SUVs a few years ago since Ford is not making cars anymore. Detectives drive used cars.
• EMPG Grant is for Emergency Management, which is reimbursed dollar for dollar.
• Staffing Requests will be dealt with at the 9-11-19 Budget Committee of the Whole meeting.
• Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, asked about changing the deputy schedule. Sheriff Sean Deringer said they will be ready to present that in four to six weeks. Kelly said they could hold a closed session if there is impact to the union.
• Deringer said he is taking the confidential position off the table for 2020, but it will be coming back in the future.
• Corrections shows an overall budget increase of $10,000.
• Overtime is due to having to deny PTO in September and October. By the middle of November it should improve. The new Jail schedule has worked to reduce overtime.
Recommendation: Accepted the Sheriff and Corrections budgets as presented.
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said Administration draws very little revenue, with the exception of data requests and card keys. Most expenses are related to Staff. A .5 FTE was approved in 2019. There is $15,000 for Temporary staff for occasional projects. He has been able to leverage some return to work employees in the past. There was a 60- to 90-day intern at one time. With Communications Specialist, there is more outreach to assist.
He is requesting 2 FTEs, an Administrative Specialist and a Procurement Analyst. The Procurement Analyst is Enterprise Resource Planning-related (ERP), how this position would work with County-wide purchasing has not yet been determined, as this is still up in the air. Staff requests will be discussed at the 9-11-19 Budget Committee of the Whole meeting.
Discussed reduction to the Temporary Staff budget. The temporary line was reduced to $10,000, or $15 per day for 67 days. If for some reason the Department budget goes over, the Board will not be upset.
Recommendation: Reduce the Temporary Staff budget to $10,000.
Potter left the meeting.
Budget 100
Lee Kelly, County Administrator highlighted the budget for Fund 100.
• Investment Interest is conservative, increase to $1,360,000.
• Unallocated Personnel Services will be left as it is.
• Reduce Transit by $30,000 to a budget total of $95,000.
• Line item 6245 was renamed Membership Dues, from NACO/AMC Dues.
• Unallocated Personnel Services is at 2.5M for 2020, this amount is adjusted to actual, as other Department budgets are adjusted. This is for the Classification and Compensation Study and for staff that are not budgeted for or are hired at higher than minimum wage. It also serves as a place holder for negotiation.
• Professional Services needs to be increased by $20,000 to put the contracted Ditch Inspector position back in the budget and eliminate the staff request that was identified within the Auditor/Treasurer’s budget, which will be addressed further during the review of the A/T budget.
• Crime Lab cost has been set, with Wright County’s share is $416,657.
• Wright County Fair will be set at $76,000 and $24,000 for the $4H building, for total of $100,000. The County will be seeking an audit of their books.
• Site Improvements was budgeted at $100,000, the same as the prior year. Consensus was to decrease this to $75,000.
• Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP) would reduce the $1M, to $665,000 (Otsego project $600,000 + Annual dues of $65,000).
• Health Insurance was decreased $450,000.
Recommendation: See items in bold.
The goal of the County Board would be to come in at a levy increase of 6.8 percent and that will be supported unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 11:54 A.M. and reconvened at 1:10 A.M.
Building Care and Maintenance
Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director, provided an overview.
• Regarding Staffing, Wilczek is in the process of hiring a custodian to fill one vacancy. Another vacancy is still on the books that he anticipates will be filled in 2020 for the Justice Center.
• Utilities are currently at 48 percent at mid-year for utilities. The Tactical Training Center is coming online in 2020, and the new Government Center will be completed in 2021. The existing buildings will be in operation during the overlap.
• The Fuel line item reflects the new Justice Center. Propane will be used for the Tactical Training Center as there is no natural gas nearby.
• Line item 6301 Repairs and Maintenance have been held back and doing only what needs to be done on the existing Government Center. Site Improvement funds are also available if needed. Building Care and Maintenance is taking on more repair and maintenance of the Highway buildings.
• Staff changes occurred in 2019, including an HVAC and an electrical professional to do more repairs in-house.
• Contracted Services as provided by ABM is based on the square footage of the new facilities
• Vetsch questioned Fixtures and Furniture as related to the sale of or repurposing in the new building. Court Administration and the fourth-floor furnishings will mostly be staying in the existing Government Center.
Recommendation: Accepted Budget as presented.
Auditor/Treasurer & Elections
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer provided an overview of his 2020 budget request.
He is requesting a Ditch position which would be 1 FTE which would be shared between Parks and Ditches. The annual cost with wages and equipment, including a vehicle, would be $202,807. Borrell preferred to wait one year, expressed his concern that he was not part of this discussion, especially since most of the ditches are located within his district. Borrell indicated that he wants more research with Mobitrac. It was the consensus to eliminate this position.
Overview of the line item changes:
• Revenues included a Performance Management Grant of $18,000.
• Publication Fees have increased by $22,500 or .02 to $3 per inch. This will drive the 2019 budget over.
• Eliminating OpenGov, which expires September 2019, reduced the budget by $39,600.
• DMV fees increased by $1 per transaction. MNLARS vehicle revenue under 5508 increased by $5,000 to $15,000.
• Professional Services in 100 was adjusted to reflect the $20,000 for the Ditch Inspector.
• Discussed the wages of the Ag and Drainage Coordinator position. 40 percent of wages are from Buffer funds, 10 percent from property owners, and 50 percent by levy. The proposal was to increase the buffer to 50 percent for the Ditch Inspector’s wages.
• Elections bought equipment in 2019 as 2020 is the Presidential election. The budget is only increasing $37,000.
Recommendation: Eliminate the proposed Ditch Inspector position. Adjust the allocation of the Ag and Drainage Coordinator wages with 50 percent coming from Buffer funds. Adjust Fund 100, to add back in $20,000 for the contracted Ditch Inspector.
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 8-26-19 Budget COTW Minutes)
9-11-19 Budget COTW Minutes:
Commissioner Vetsch expressed frustration with the CIP process. Cash flow versus budgeting as well as the complexity of the CIP document. Commissioner Daleiden noted that the ERP would be helpful to this process.
Discussed the allocated funding to departments, as well as the dollars needed to fund the ERP and other IT projects.
During discussion of the Highway allocation for future land and buildings, Commissioner Vetsch stated that the allocated department funds can carried forward and when they have reached 90% of their monies necessary that they could proceed with the project.
Discussed the funding of the ERP. Assistance Finance Director Lemieux informed the Board that regardless of when paying for the ERP project, it will be in the financial statements as a liability in the year that we commit, therefore the financial statements will look as though we are in the negative.
Discussed the underfunding of the IT projects. Either projects need to go away or be pushed out to future years. IT Director Fomby noted that if the Board cuts the funding, he won’t be able to provide services to the other departments which also impacts services to citizens.
Kotila, Fiscal Officer, informed the board that by adjusting the levy to reflect the department CIP allocations, and a $1.1M allocation for ERP (underfunding the ERP and IT projects), that brought the levy increase down to 8.75%, In order to reduce the levy to 7.45% the Board would need to cut an additional $1.2M out of the budget.
Administrator Kelly identified areas that he felt could be cut. Reduce Health Insurance by an additional $350,000, for a total reduction to Health Insurance of $800,000, and reduce Professional Services by $100,000.
Additional cuts agreed upon where:
• $75,256 – Extension Position
• $ 24,000 – Fair Board
• $20,000 – County Newsletter
Sheriff Deringer stated that he could recognize an additional $20,000 in revenue from contracts for School Resource Officer and could reduce his vehicle expense line by $50,000.
Discussed positions that may be delayed or removed. It was the consensus of the Board that they would not look at budgeting positions for part of the year, all positions approved will be funded for the full year. IT Director Fomby stated that he would be agreeable to holding off the hiring of the Application Portfolio Analyst in 2020, a reduction of $98,549.
HHS Director Goodrum Schwartz, stated that she could reduce Foster Care by $30,000.
Auditor/Treasurer Hiivala suggested reducing the CIP by an additional $27,000.
It was the consensus of the Board to reach a levy rate increase of not more than 6.89%. Kelly and Hiivala will continue to look at the budget to reach that goal.
Vetsch requested that staff provide the Board with tax impact statements prior to the adoption of the preliminary budget. The Board will consider the adoption of the preliminary budget at the September 24, 2019 Board meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 3:35 PM.
Minutes Submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 9-11-19 Budget COTW 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 9-09-19 COTW Minutes follow:
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, distributed the following documents (see attachments):
1) Wright County Tax Abatement Finance Policy
2) Application for Tax Abatement Financing
3) Wright County Intergovernmental Loan Program
4) Intergovernmental Loan Agreement form
Discussion centered around qualifications for Tax Abatement Financing, including businesses with full-time employees only, number of employees, dollar value of the project, application fee, loan interest rate, and type of business eligible. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said the financing would be limited to cities and townships, and not private businesses or developers. A supermajority of the County Board would be required for approval of applications.
Revisions to the Tax Abatement Finance Policy were discussed. Changes will be made and presented to the County Board for approval.
RECOMMENDATION: Revise the Tax Abatement Finance Policy and bring back to the County Board for approval.
9-09-19 COTW Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 9-09-19 COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Vetsch stated that the group, formerly known as the Highway 25 Corridor Coalition, has transformed into the Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership (CMRP). The group changed from an organization seeking to address a bridge crossing to becoming a regional planning organization. The PowerPoint presentation was put together to inform members and their elected bodies.
Potter moved to approve the County Board Workshop Minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Vetsch said a Joint Powers Agreement is being developed which will outline membership. Potter said there are two other entities looking for river crossings (Ramsey and near St. Cloud). By moving to regional planning, it will better position the group for federal and state funding. He noted that Wright and Sherburne Counties are the two fastest growing counties in the State. The motion to approve the Workshop Minutes carried 5-0. The 9-09-19 County Board Workshop Minutes follow:
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 11:00 A.M. with Vetsch, Husom, Daleiden, and Potter present. Commissioner Borrell was absent.
Darek Vetsch, County Board Chair, distributed a PowerPoint presentation from the Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership (CMRP), formerly the Highway 25 Corridor Coalition. The documents are attached.
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said CMRP members will present this information to each of their respective elected officials. The goal is to provide updates on an ongoing basis to keep each jurisdiction informed. Kelly said the Sherburne County Attorney recommended changes to the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA). Kelly will forward those to the County Board when he receives them.
Kelly said the Highway 25 Corridor Coalition started out with a focusing on transportation and building a bridge crossing. He said Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, was more involved when the CMRP concentrated primarily on Highway 25. With the renaming and broadening of the project scope, Hawkins has stepped back, and Kelly has become more involved.
Vetsch referred to the map on page 7 of the presentation that shows the area impacted by the CMRP plan. The inner ring is the primary focus and will encompass infrastructures like utilities and planning and zoning alignments. The outer ring involves transportation and regional impacts. Vetsch said the group may invite Elk River and Otsego to join the CMRP. Daleiden also suggested changing the outer perimeter of the CMRP area to include Wright and Sherburne Counties, but not Anoka County. Christine Husom, County Commissioner, said Hennepin County should be excluded as well. Vetsch will bring that input to the CMRP.
A Request For Proposals (RFP) was sent out recently to six firms, however, no proposals were received. Vetsch said the CMRP is now considering doing a Request For Quote (RFQ). None of the six firms contacted had experience with a regional comprehensive plan of this scope. Other feedback received was that the time frame and $200,000 budget were unrealistic, as it could take 18 to 24 months to complete. No regional plans such as this have been done in Minnesota. Initiative Foundation funds were paying for 50 percent of the $200,000 study. There is some play in the current funding to go above that amount, but Vetsch is not sure how much more will be needed. Member Counties and Cities all pay a certain amount toward the CMRP based on population per the JPA.
Vetsch said the new dollar amount will be discussed at the CMRP meeting on 9/18/19. An RFQ will be drafted to get cost figures from vendors.
Vetsch said the CMRP would like one more County Board member from Wright County to be involved as the other entities all have two elected representatives.
The meeting adjourned at 11:50 A.M.
Recommendation: Informational only.
9-09-19 County Board Workshop Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 9-09-19 County Board Workshop Minutes
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the 8-28-19 and 9-11-19 Technology Committee Minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
8-28-19 Technology Committee Minutes:
I. Discuss / Prioritize Projects
Commissioner Vetsch began the Technology Committee Discussion with a request to review CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) first as the need to finalize the proposed budget is approaching. The Committee Reviewed several projects that have requested funding from the CIP 2020 Budget.
A. 0365 EMS
Commissioner Vetsch questioned the O365 (Office 365) projects in general, wanting to clarify what was being requested. It was noted that the line for Office 365 M365 Licensing was solely for licensing, not for professional services. Olga Strobel, IT Manger, stated that IT is currently analyzing the present need for M365 licensing, which IT may not be able to implement at the current time, due to other projects. Commissioner Vetsch questioned holding it till 2021, with Commissioner Daleiden wondering if there are security concerns that M365 Licensing would help address. Strobel stated that currently the O365 InTune / EMS security licensing is included in current funding costs. More discussion will be needed on this item.
B. Enterprise Remote Access
IT Manager, Mark Kellogg, stated that this line item will fund the Teleco and remote network access as a whole for the County. Presently Kellogg is looking at a VPN (Virtual Private Network) solution to utilize and tie in existing technologies. Jami Goodrum Schwartz, HHS (Health & Human Services) Director, stressed the need for 48 telework positions to accommodate all staff in the new Government Center building. Kellogg responded that IT analysis has pointed them to fulfill the County need as a whole, which is closer to accommodating remote work for 500 staff members at any given time. Commissioner Vetsch questioned if the full $380,000 will be needed for the project in 2020. Kellogg responded that he was tasked by the Board in July to come up with a plan for remote access for the County within 3 months timeframe. The plan is still being developed, as such true costs have not been identified, but noted the network will be extended and it will integrate with the phone system, so higher dollars are advised. IT Director, Matthew Fomby, also advised to keep the full amount to ensure IT can provide a spectrum of services as well as to address continuity concerns.
C. Highway Fleet Management
Funding of the Highway Fleet Management project was discussed next. The 2020 CIP Budget had a line item of $200,000. In previous discussions it was requested for the project to begin in 2019 as the present system being utilized is barely functioning. Per previous Technology Committee meeting discussion (07/10/2019) and Patsy Waytashek, Highway, the project had been requested in 2018, was identified as a County impact, IT analysis had been completed for vendor selection, as such Highway has been working on vendor agreements with County Legal and Risk Management Staff. The Committee presently discussed delaying the project or prioritizing it higher as IT resources are currently fully allocated to other projects. Project Business Analyst (BA), Andrea Benedict, stated that the need for this to move forward now is immediate, the Highway team is struggling with the current failing system. Benedict suggested splitting the project into two phases, 1st get Highway online with the system, which funding would be $35,000 out of Highway 2019 Budget and $90,000 out of CIP 2019 Budget. This would allow Highway to move forward with a functioning system. It was also noted that IT resource impact will likely be limited as the product is Cloud based. The 2nd phase would be to utilize the products Unlimited Licensing feature to bring the rest of the Departments online (at no extra per user cost). Prioritization of this project is being held till the next Technology Committee Meeting.
County Assessor, Tony Rasmuson, brought up the CAMA, Property Tax Manager system in use by the County. An improved product has been in the works for several years. Rasmuson noted that there will likely be a planned product demonstration in October that he would appreciate IT to be present at, in order to grasp the possible IT impact. Bob Hiivala, County Auditor, added that further analysis would be needed if they decide they like the product. Because of the project’s importance to the County, currently prioritized as number 1, yet on hold due to the project being held in various stages of development, it was determined that assignment of a BA, Business Analyst, would be necessary. Funding discussion revolved around IT capacity with present BA’s and the need for additional IT staff.
E. Datifi
Tony Rasmuson brought to the Committee Datifi, a digital picture management system for use with property assessment pictures. Rasmuson stated that 2250 staff hours are spent annually to simply name the tens of thousands of property assessment pictures. It is time that could be better spent doing property analysis, for this reason he is bringing the project forward to the Committee. Goodrum Schwartz noted that the expected savings equates to 1 FTE, Full Time Employee, which is significant. The funding was identified as Recorders CIP, which wasn’t questioned. The IT staff time involved was questioned by the Committee in order to determine prioritization. Alek Halverson, Surveyor’s Department, stated that it is a lightweight web solution that Schneider already has built in support for its Beacon product. Halverson would assist the WSB vendor with implementation of the product. Commissioner Vetsch questioned if it is plausible to complete the project by April 2020, the Surveyor’s goal date as that is the beginning of a new Assessment Season. Because of the unknown time needed by IT the Committee was hesitant to move the project forward. Fomby stated that IT will take a look at it to determine if there are any security or risk management concerns, as well as IT resource impacts.
F. Sheriff Office Key Management
Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, requested discussion of the Sheriff’s Office Key Management program. The current key box and software has many limitations and inefficiencies. To ensure that staff are able to get the access they need they would like to look into amore robust Key Valet software system. It was questioned if the planned Fleet Management system had a Key Valet module. Waytashek stated that it does have a Key Valet module that matches the other software the Sheriff’s office is looking at, the module had a rough plan to be implemented in 2020 or 2021. Fomby stated he would rather not be supporting two systems that can do the same thing. He suggested for the short term another box is purchased and software is given to another staff member to eliminate access limitations. Then to look at the Fleet Key Valet sooner than later, given the additional time sensitive need.
G. General Discussion
Christine Partlow, HHS, noted that there is a dilemma with the lack of IT staff available to complete projects. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, agreed stating the Project In-Take flow is held up by the unavailability of Business Analyst time to determine the quantity of IT time involved so that the project can then move to the Prioritization point. The Committee recognized the bottleneck created by the lack of sufficient staffing in the Business Analyst position. This has delayed the progress of numerous projects. It was confirmed that there are current funds available in the 2019 IT personnel line, the recommendation was to proceed to hire the Business Analyst that was planned for the 2020 budget as soon as possible. Goodrum Schwartz noted that hiring the BA now will put the County in an advantageous spot going into 2020 projects. Other IT Staffing discussion also included the possibility of utilizing HHS Staff as a contingency for assistance in completing the Public Health EDMS project. This thought will undergo further analysis and discussion.
Discussion also revolved around project prioritization. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, noted projects were both requesting funding and prioritization. The Commissioners had a spending limit in mind in order to be watchful of tax payer impact via the Levy. Projects were being analyzed both in the mind frame of fitting into the funding goals as well as reality of IT’s ability to complete the projects, while also considering present prioritization. Goodrum Schawartz suggested that perhaps the CIP Technology Budget needs to conform to what the Commissioners need it to be, give the Budget a funding amount and then work out which projects remain. Susan Vergin, Assistant County Administrator, noted that with the project movement already suggested the CIP has been lowered to near the level of the Commissioners goal. Commissioner Daleiden suggested coming back on the next Committee Day to discuss actual dollars available as well as prioritization of projects.
RECOMMENDATION: Due to the identified need for a Business Analyst, the Committee recommends proceeding to hire the BA position now that was originally planned for in the 2020 budget. Schedule a Technology Committee Meeting for 10:30am on Sept. 11th 2019.
II. ERP Update
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, gave an update on ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning. Currently the county is refining the Statement of Work with involved parties, the County, Oracle, Ciber, Maverick, and Training Solutions. The goal is to present the Statement of Work to the County Board mid-September. Commissioner Daleiden questioned if the delay has caused any issues with the implementation timeline. Scott Weiland, project Business Analyst, stated that the Core Team has worked out the Phases and Start date, noting that the project can begin 14 days from signing. The Committee also recognized that due to the size of the ERP project Weiland’s work as a BA will encompass almost entirely the ERP, that he will not have the capacity to work on other projects. He noted he has begun working on the transition process for other projects he is working on.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only.
III. Text Message Retention Project Update
Andrea Benedict, Project BA, informed the Committee that with Records Manager, Scott Larson, the main identified need for Text Message Retention lies with Health & Human Services. This is based on compliance with the data that is being communicated between associated parties. Based on requirements identified Benedict and Larson are looking into a Demo with HHS to see if a nominated product might fulfill needs.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only.
8-28-19 Technology Committee Minutes submitted by Jennifer Rasset
(End of 8-28-19 Technology Committee Minutes)
9-11-19 Technology Committee Minutes:
I. Ongoing Projects and Process Changes
New IT Director, Matthew Fomby began the Committee discussion with a review of his plan to streamline the Technology Committee to provide a more agile approach to decision making. The Committee reviewed the current technology project list for the County, viewing Active and on Hold projects, see attachment. The quantity of projects was noted as well as the priority. Fomby stated that he would like to see changes made to the presentation of projects so Committee members have an accurate understanding of where a project sits. He would like to add financial data to the information as well, giving a full picture of project status. The prioritization of projects was discussed, that in his short time here it appears that a given priority isn’t always adhered to. His aim is to ensure that the IT team is keeping to the priority assigned. Commissioner Daleiden stressed the importance of keeping the job of prioritizing the projects to the Technology Committee, not IT alone. Fomby agreed stating that the prioritization will remain with the Committee but his goal is to ensure prioritizations do not dramatically change each week. He also stated that the IT team will need to begin to follow a more strict process with new project requests, that it may be advised they end up at the end of the que after review. The Committee discussed that there are projects that pop up that need to be addressed and prioritized appropriately, but on the whole did not challenge this plan.
Fomby next brought the Committee to the IT Project Intake Process, see attachment. He stated that in order to provide this Committee with more accurate information he would like to have Departments be more actively involved in the IT Project Intake Process. The IT team will review new project requests at the IT Project Intake meeting, Fomby would like to have Department representation at these meetings to provide active response to the who, what, when, where, why questions that the IT team may have about a project. For example, the Sheriff’s Key project request, a Sheriff staff member with immediate knowledge of project needs would attend the IT Project Intake meeting at the invitation of IT. That Sheriff staff member should be able to answer IT questions that are department appropriate for requirements. IT will respond to IT requirements, but the department staff member will be expected to provide information during the intake meeting on department needs. Fomby noted there will be a follow-up meeting in this process with IT and associated Department representatives, after this second meeting the project would then be brought to the next step, this process providing needed information allowing Committee members to make informed decisions. Technology Committee members were open to this process change.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only. Note process changes at department level.
II. Project Updates
A. Highway Fleet Management
Matthew Fomby brought up the Highway Fleet Management project with a recommendation to move forward immediately with the project, with a priority level allowing the IT team to work on it immediately. Fomby stated that the current fleet management system is out of compliance, which places the entire County Fleet at a risk. Virgil Hawkins, County Engineer, reminded the Committee that this project was approved to move forward at the July Technology Committee meeting. Hawkins also stated that because this project has been reviewed for over a year, as well as approved to move forward in July the Vendor agreements have been vetted by legal and are ready to be signed. Due to the present need and previous discussion this item is recommended to move forward as well as to prioritize higher to allow IT work to begin. Funding of the project was discussed as well. Hawkins noted that Highway will cover $35,000 out of its 2019 department Budget, and it was stated that CIP would cover the remaining $90,000.
B. Datifi
Andrea Benedict, IT Business Analyst (BA), stated that the Datifi project for the Assessor’s office has been vetted and that they are ready to move forward with it. Fomby stated that due to the present project list and that this project is a newish request, as well as not being a compliance need, that the Committee approve the project but prioritize it at the bottom below the previously approved projects. Tony Rasmuson reminded the Committee that this is a discretionary project due to the low need for IT resources, that the Assessor’s department would like it to be implemented for the 2020 Spring Assessment season. Rasmuson also noted the high financial impact the project will have in savings on staff hours, close to 1 FTE (Full Time Employee); the funding is already available for the project so that is not in question. It was decided that this project will be approved but placed on the end of the project priority list.
C. Sheriff Office Key Management
Due to the Fleet Management product having a confirmed key module solution that may work for what the Sheriff’s office is needing, this project is being advised to be sent through the Project Intake Process which was discussed earlier in the meeting. The IT team would like the opportunity to gather additional information about the needs. This was plan was approved by the Committee.
D. Enterprise Remote Access
IT Manager, Mark Kellogg, stated that the plan for Enterprise Remote Access is coming into place with the timeline established by the Board in late July. Fomby directed that IT is working to provide the best plan in the three-month timeframe assigned ensuring that IT executes on Business need while providing a viable program approved by the board. Jami Goodrum Schwartz informed the Committee that HHS (Health & Human Services) is waiting to introduce more staff members to telework until a plan is in place. They would like to introduce staff members to a nimble, agile system. Commissioner Mark Daleiden responded that the present situation for remote access is no worse now than it was before. IT will continue their present work to provide an enterprise solution to remote access; this item will also be reviewed as part of the IT Project Intake process.
RECOMMENDATION: Approve the Highway Fleet Management project to move forward to start now in 2019, as well as prioritize it in a position to devote IT Resources to the project. Approve the Assessors DataFi project to be added to the Project list, however it will remain as a low priority for the time being.
III. Prioritization and 2020 Budget
Heather Lemieux, Auditor Treasurer Office, noted that presently there is an overcommitment of funds for the requested 2020 CIP (Capital Improvement Project) Technology Budget in reference to the 2020 Budget Levy Goal. Commissioner Daleiden stressed that the CIP Fund total needs to be discussed before the Board will decide on 2020 Budget Staffing Requests later that afternoon. Lee Kelly noted that without all the Board members present the discussion at this meeting would likely replicate itself again during the meeting at 2pm. Committee consensus was to delay Budget / CIP 2020 funding discussions till the 2pm Budget meeting being held that afternoon.
RECOMMENDATION: Discuss CIP funding fully at 2020 Budget Meeting being held at 2pm on Wednesday, September 11th 2019.
9-11-19 Technology Committee Minutes submitted by Jennifer Rasset
(End of 9-11-19 Technology Committee Minutes)
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said discussions have occurred on whether to fund the Lake John Lake Improvement District (LID) for 2020 or wait until after the LID Annual Meeting in the summer of 2020, which will result in them not receiving any funding until 2021. Per State Statute 103B.555 the Board can assess service charges onto the District. This can be done for the 2020 budget with the caveat being the funds cannot be expended until after the LID Annual Meeting is held in August. Moving forward with the assessment would facilitate building a reserve for the LID. The Auditor/Treasurer’s Office is the fiscal agent of the LID funds. Vetsch noted that the County Board has not been given a budget for the LID for 2020.
Husom supports placing funds in reserve. The LID did their due diligence to take care of forming the LID as quickly as possible. Delays were experienced because additional properties were included in the LID. Potter supports the LID’s efforts. By having a reserve available, it will allow them to fund the local match for grant funding.
Daleiden moved to approve authorizing $10,000 in Lake John LID funding. Daleiden rescinded the motion.
Elaine Fleskes, resident of Lake John, provided figures for the LID’s 2020 budget. Daleiden said that budget needs to be voted on by the LID and he is not comfortable approving until that is done. Fleskes said that the Lake Association’s June newsletter reflected how much had been expended in 2019, which was over $23,000. There are 167 properties in the LID.
Daleiden moved to authorize the Auditor/Treasurer to impose a $20,000 service charge to the LID which is not to be spent until the LID Annual Meeting has been held and the budget is submitted to the Auditor/Treasurer. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
County Board Meetings
Daleiden moved to cancel the December 10 County Board Meeting because of five Tuesdays and the Association Of Minnesota Counties Conference. The motion was seconded by Potter. Discussion followed on whether to cancel the December 24 Board Meeting. Daleiden and Potter rescinded the motion.
Daleiden moved to cancel the December 10 and December 24 County Board Meetings. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Committee Meeting Dates
Daleiden moved to set Committee Meeting dates for November 6, November 20, and December 18. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
1. Soil & Water Conservation District Meeting. Borrell attended a recent meeting. A Minnesota Pollution Control Grant was awarded in the amount of $250,000 with the possibility of growing to over $1 million in the next few years. It is one of 16 grants in the State. The grant is for the watershed and will include Little Waverly Lake (where 12-mile creek intersects), to include Ditch 10 and Lake Emma.
2. Annual Street Party of Hope, Buffalo. Husom said the Street Party will be held from 4:00-9:00 PM today.
3. Albertville 100th Anniversary. Potter reported that the City of Albertville will hold their 100th Anniversary celebration next Saturday in Central Park in Albertville.
The meeting adjourned at 11:05 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 4, 2019.