Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 1, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Vetsch, Husom, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Potter moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
The following changes were made to the Agenda:
- Remove from the Agenda, Auditor/Treasurer Item A1, “Accept The Purchase Agreements For The Land Acquisition For The CD 10 Holding Pond” (Hiivala)
Husom moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0:
1. Authorize Attendance at the AMC District 5 Fall Conference, Monday, October 21, 2019 from 8:00 A.M. till 1:00 P.M. at the Isanti County Historical Society
1. Appoint Sen. Bruce Anderson to Wright County Community Action (WCCA) Board for a Three-Year Term, Beginning October 10, 2019 through October 11, 2022
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between September 18, 2019 And September 24, 2019
1. Position Replacement
A. Social Worker
1. Refer to 10-09-2019 Technology Committee:
A. ERP Update
B. Project progress
C. Status of CIP
1. Seeking Board approval and signatures on a contract for an increase in SRO hours for the Maple Lake School District
Approve the lowest bid for tile repairs on County Ditch #20
Matt Detjen, Agricultural & Drainage Coordinator, said the Board authorized seeking bids for repair on 7-30-19. It will include 2500’ of 12” dual-wall tile repair, proper bedding, and connections to the existing system. County Ditch 20 is in Corinna and Maple Lake Townships. Two bids were received:
MSB Tiling & Excavating, $72,500
Consolidated Landcare Inc.,$192,407.50
Detjen said a public hearing will be held in November for redetermination of benefits for County Ditch 20. The billing for this repair will be in 2020, after the redetermination of benefits occurs.
Daleiden moved to approve the bid from MSB Tiling & Excavating in the amount of $72,500. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Rena Johnson, 4-H Rockin’ Riders Club member, presented the Extension Office agenda items.
Pass Resolution Declaring October 6-12, 2019 As National 4-H Week In Wright County
National 4-H Week is an opportunity to showcase the benefits of the Wright County 4-H Youth Development organization and honor the contributions they provide to Wright County communities.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #19-99 declaring October 6-12, 2019 as National 4-H Week in Wright County. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Introduction Of New 4-H Program Coordinator, Kimberly Fox
Kimberly Fox was introduced as the new 4-H Program Coordinator who started last week. Fox said she is excited to be part of the Wright County 4-H Program.
Presentation Of 4-H related Work By Kelly Strei, Kimberly Fox, and Adam Neumann
Strei presented information on the Wright County 4-H Program. Wright County 4-H has over 630 youth members and 150 adult volunteers. Almost 500 members participated in the Wright County Fair (increase of 13%). General project entries included almost 1200 exhibits (increase of 32%). Over 150 4-H members exhibited at the State Fair. Other events include participation of 50 members at the 4-H State Shooting Sports Wildlife Invitational, 20 members at the State Horse Show, 10 members at the State 4-H Dog Show, 50 members for the Engineering Design Challenge, and 280+ at the Residence and Day Camp (89% increase). The goal is to increase participation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) but this may be a challenge due to the limited amount of Extension staff. Input received from the community includes 4-H offering more in areas such as career opportunities and after school activities. Ultra Machining Company of Monticello would like to partner with Extension to expose 4-H members to machining careers.
They offer an apprentice program open to ages 16+.
Adopt Resolution Awarding Bids for 2019C Bonds for Trailblazer Facility
Chris Mickelson, Municipal Advisor for Ehlers, provided an overview of the Sale Day Report for $4,820,000 in General Obligation Tax Abatement Bonds, Series 2019C. The purpose of the bonds is to finance the acquisition of the Trailblazer Transit facility from the City of Buffalo and costs associated with the expansion of the facility. The County’s S&P Global Rating is AA+. Six bids were received with the low bid from Baird of Milwaukee, Wisconsin at an interest rate of 2.3224%. There is about a $650,000 interest savings from what was presented a month ago in the Presale Report. After post sale adjustments, the true interest cost is 2.2653%. The principal amount was reduced by $440,000 because a premium bid was received from Baird, so the final amount is $4,820,000. The bonds will mature 12-01-30 and are callable on 12-01-29 or any date thereafter. The closing date is scheduled for 10-24-19. Mickelson said Board action today will be to adopt a resolution awarding the bids for the 2019C Bonds.
Borrell asked that Mickelson provide information on history and risk. Mickelson explained the City of Buffalo issued bonds for the facility in 2015. The bonds will allow the County to purchase the facility from the City, and the City will use the proceeds to defease or fund an escrow account that will be used to pay the remaining interest and principal through the call date of the City’s 2015C Bonds (2-01-24). It will then no longer be an obligation of the City. Once the bonds become callable, the funds in escrow will be used. Escrow verification agents work to ensure that investments being purchased and proceeds from the sale are sufficient to cover the principal and interest rates until 2024 on the 2015C bonds. Yield burning by the Federal Government is used to ensure there is no excess from the investment.
The second component of the issuance is $2 million in net proceeds that the County will use to expand the Trailblazer Facility. The annual debt service payments will remain under the $350,000 threshold that Trailblazer has requested. There are three final maturities at about $180,000 annually. That is to be paid by lease revenues from Trailblazer Transit to the County on a monthly basis sufficient to cover the annual debt service. The risk associated is if there is a shortfall in revenues by Trailblazer payments, the County pledges to make sure investors in these bonds are paid on time and in full. Mickelson said Trailblazer Transit has made every payment to the City of Buffalo. He described it as a limited risk.
Borrell asked who will own the Trailblazer Transit facility. Vetsch responded that until the final payment is made, the County. Once the final payment is made, there will be a transfer from the County to Trailblazer. Vetsch said that if Trailblazer Transit dissolves, the County will own the building and can sell it. Borrell asked about the County’s ability to realize a profit because of State transit dollars being involved. Vetsch said that stipulation does not apply as the County is a lease holder in this arrangement.
Discussion led to a lease agreement between Trailblazer Transit and the County. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, expects language to be similar to the agreement between the City and Trailblazer Transit. The lease agreement will be presented to the Board soon. Vetsch said MnDOT has approved funding for the first two years of payments. Hiivala said a request has been made to Trailblazer to fund one year of debt service up front. The idea is that Trailblazer Transit will give the County $350,000 plus the first payment in November.
Daleiden referenced page 2 of the draft resolution reflecting annual interest rates over the course of the bonds, with a true interest cost of 2.265%. He asked Mickelson to explain as the interest rates by year do not reflect that interest rate.
Mickelson said it relates to a reoffering premium and being in a very low interest rate environment for the last 10+ years. Potter asked Vetsch to explain the urgency as it relates to service levels. Vetsch stated that 50% of service needs are being met. There are 17 buses and there should be 30 buses to be fully mature based on requests, population, and demographics. It may take a decade to get to that end route. Vetsch said two additional buses were approved in the annual cycle over the next two years. Borrell asked that the County track expenses, in-kind contributions, etc. When River Rider Transit shut down, he said it was difficult identifying those costs.
Borrell questioned whether the lease agreement should be presented prior to adopting the draft resolution. Husom said both parties will have an opportunity to review and approve the lease agreement prior to closing. Asleson expects the lease to be presented for approval on 10-15-19.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-100 awarding the sale of General Obligation Tax Abatement Bonds, Series 2019C, in the original aggregate principal amount of $4,820,000; fixing their form and specifications; directing their execution and delivery; and providing for their payment. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Hiivala reaffirmed that the Board is approving an abatement bond and the County pledges to cover the payments.
With the advance payment and the funds in the debt service, the County can cancel that abatement annually. Hiivala said the County’s levy dollars are not being put at risk.
Potter moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 10-15-19 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
1. Mental Health & Suicide Awareness Event. Husom said the event will be held on 10-02-19 at the Buffalo High School, Performing Arts Center. Dinner starts at 5:30 PM and the presentation is at 6:30 PM.
2. Wright County Transit Advisory Committee Meeting. Vetsch and Potter attended a recent meeting where information was provided on Trailblazer Transit use. The meeting was well attended by cities. It was suggested that townships be notified of upcoming meetings. The ribbon cutting ceremony and open house will occur on 10-12-19 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The event is open to the public.
3. CMRP (Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership). Vetsch and Kelly attended the meeting. Revisions are being made to the joint powers agreement because of the switch in the group (from the Highway 25 Coalition) and the change in focus to regional planning. The group will be going out for request for qualifications for a planner. One of the first exercises will be goal setting. The next meeting will be 10-24-19 at 7:30 A.M., Sherburne County Board Room.
4. Negotiations Committee. Daleiden said the Committee met last week and discussed moving ahead with negotiations. A Negotiations Committee Of The Whole Meeting, Closed Session, is scheduled for today.
5. Daleiden referenced an email that was sent by the Crisis Nursery indicating the County cut their funding through the budget process. He said this is not correct. The company overseeing the funding is pulling out. The Crisis Nursery requested double the amount in the budget process but did not explain what their additional funding request relates to. Husom said the Crisis Nursery provides a tremendous service to the community and it is important to have this service. The consensus was that the Health & Human Services Director should be invited to the 10-15-19 Board Meeting to provide more information.
6. County Park Website. Daleiden said fall and winter activities are listed on the Parks website. He encouraged people to check out these activities.
7. 610 & I-94 Coalition. Potter attended a recent meeting in Maple Grove. Planners and district representatives attended. Information was provided on current topics. The lack of transit in Rogers was discussed.
8. Transportation Alliance, St. Paul. Potter attended a transportation summit with the union leadership. Discussed was bonding and transportation funding.
9. Administrator Updates:
A. City Administrator’s Group. Kelly and Sheriff Sean Deringer attended a meeting last week. Topics of discussion included the Sheriff’s office, operations, and contracting.
B. County Administrator’s Executive Committee. Kelly attended a meeting last week. Discussion included the budget/levy figures, membership rules, the AMC Pathways Program, and the AMC HR call-in service.
The meeting adjourned at 10:16 AM.
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 25, 2019.