Wright County Board Minutes

DECEMBER 31, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Vetsch, Husom, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Husom moved to approve the 12-17-19 County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Husom made the following change to the Consent Agenda:
- Item J1, 1st sentence should read, “Appoint Seth Hansen As Central MN EMS Advisory Committee Delegate For Wright County And Steve Berg As The Alternate” (Husom)
Husom moved to approve the Consent Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0:
1. Authorize Signatures On Contract With Flaherty And Hood
1. Authorize Signatures On Letter Of Intent With Health Partners For Well @ Work Clinic
1. Authorize Participation in the Minnesota City Participation Program (MCPP) for 2020
1. Authorize Attendance Of County Board Members & Provide An Update Of County Business At Quarterly Township Meetings:
1-09-20 @ 7:30 PM, Buffalo Township Hall
4-02-20 @ 7:30 PM, Middleville Township Hall
7-08-20 @ 6:30 PM, Silver Creek Township Hall
10-01-20 @ 7:30 PM, Cokato Township Hall
1. Authorize Attendance Of County Board Members & Provide An Update Of County Business At Quarterly Leadership Team Meetings:
1-07-20 @ 11:00 AM, 120A
4-07-20 @ 10:30 AM, 120A
7-07-20 @ 10:30 AM, 120A
10-06-20 @ 10:30 AM, County Board Room
1. Authorize Attendance Of County Board Members @ Wright SWCD (Soil & Water Conservation District) Planning Meeting, 2-13-20 @ 8:30 AM, Room 120A, Wright County Government Center
1. Refer To 1-14-20 County Board Workshop:
A. Economic Development
1. Presentation By Heidi Peper On Economic Development
2. Future Of Economic Development
B. Review Of County Board Workshop Topics Listing
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between December 11, 2019 And December 20, 2019
2. Approve Renewal Of 2020 Tobacco License For:
City Of Albertville: 152 Club, Inc. DBA 152 Club
1. Approval Of Short Term Loans To Negative Fund Balances. These Funds Include Trust And Agency Fund, Historian Fund, Soil And Water Fund, & Ditch Fund. We Have Expenditures For These Funds And Then Bill The Entities For These Expenditures. Please Reference GASB Statement No. 54 For Fund Balance Reporting.
1. Appoint Seth Hansen As Central MN EMS Advisory Committee Delegate For Wright County and Steve Berg As The Alternate. Thank You To Brian Nord For His Many Years Of Service On The Committee.
1. Position Replacement
A. Social Worker
1. Reappoint Dan Bravinder (5th District) & Ken Felger (4th District) To Three-Year Terms On The Planning Commission, To Expire December 31, 2022 (Current Terms Expire December 31, 2019)
2. Reappoint Paul Aarestad (4th District) To Three-Year Term On The Board of Adjustment, To Expire December 31, 2022 (Current Term Expires December 31, 2019)
1. Approve The 2019 Wright County Radiological Emergency Plan (REP)
1. Approve The 2019 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG Grant), $61,244.00, Eff. 1/01/19-12/31/19
Approve Temporary Liquor License For Maple Lake-Lake Property Owner’s Association, Inc.
Tammi Vaith, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, said the ice fishing derby is scheduled for 2-01-20. The license has been approved by the Sheriff, Attorney, and the Maple Lake Township Board.
Potter moved to approve the License. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director, presented information on the status of the project.
Husom moved to approve the 12-17-19 Owners Committee Minutes and recommendations for the Tactical Training Center. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Daleiden questioned who will be providing propane service. Wilczek said he is in discussions with CentraSota, the vendor that supplies service for the Highway Department outlying shops. Daleiden asked about the tank for flammable waste. Wilczek said this a code requirement for the garage storage area. The motion carried 5-0. The 12-12-19 Owners Committee Minutes follow:
I. Tactical Training Center Updates
O’Hearn spoke to the upcoming schedule. The precast is scheduled to be completed on 12/23/19 with the steel installation scheduled to start immediately after. Planking over the shooting range will be arriving 12/18/19 and the pavilion steel will be completed this week. There was discussion on needing feedback from IT on the data room layout and sheets ES101 and ES602. Wilczek to follow up. Hoffman has requested installation of an electronic keybox device, so there will need to be power and data placed for it. He has spec and the project team will confirm a location for install.
O’Hearn noted that a supplier is coming to the site 12/17/19 to look at propane tank locations and propose installation. Wilczek said he will join the meeting and work through cost proposals for future approval.
The group discussed fiber installation to the facility and the fact that it needs to be resolved soon. Hoffman indicated he will bring it up at technology committee as a reminder, Wilczek indicated he will follow up with Lee Kelly. It was noted that it will take some time for engineering and installation, but the facility will not be fully operational until fiber is delivered. Hoffman requested a meeting to walk through the plan set one more time, Enright to set up a meeting at the LEC for the group.
There was discussion with the group about camera locations and installation. Plan sheet A106 shows rough in locations, but Wilczek will set up a meeting with All State to review the placement. All State has been working on design of the Justice Center system, however now that installation is taking place at that site they will start plans on the Tactical Training Center.
Walden asked about what plans are to dispose of and store used brass. The group agreed to continue discussions and develop a plan; it may either be a large container or several small.
O’Hearn walked through the PR cost items and spoke to PR4 - Earthwork. There are changes requested to drive south from the building garage to a new gravel range parking area, etc. Wilczek to present information at the 12/31/19 Board Meeting. He will also speak to the required paved turn lane.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Next meeting January 21, 2020.
12-17-19 Owners Committee Minutes Submitted by: Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director
(End of 12-17-19 Owners Committee Minutes)
Wilczek said that Commissioner Husom asked that he speak to PR 4 - earthwork and PR 12 – turn lanes for the Tactical Training Center.
PR 12 – Turn Lanes for the Tactical Training Center. Wilczek referenced maps of the area showing the proposed location of a turn lane on the south side of the road on CR 35 per requirements by the Highway Department. The earth work contractor can complete the work. Cost of time and materials is a not-to-exceed figure of $37,088. Discussion followed on why the turn lane is being requested and the relocation of the entrance to the site. Daleiden said most of the traffic is from the east where there is already a bypass turn lane. Wilczek said the Highway Department could be consulted on the requirements. Potter supports the relocation of the site entrance due to the site line. Wilczek spoke with Highway Department staff on the possibility of moving forward with this work in the spring and possibly combining it with another project near Maple Lake for a cost savings. Daleiden said PR 12 was included in the approval of the 12-17-19 Owners Committee Minutes, Tactical Training Center.
PR 4 – Earthwork for the Tactical Training Center. The current layout of the site and ranges does not allow access to the back of the site. The wetland area extends closely to the three-sided berm. PR 4 includes cutting in a road and installing a small boulder wall along the berm to allow access to the back portion of the property. Discussion followed on the justification for extending the road which includes a future driving/training area, access to Judicial Ditch 2, and access to the farm fields. The perimeter fence would need to be relocated if the land is farmed. The Sheriff’s Office also has requested a small parking lot in the back area using on-site soils. The topsoil would be scraped back and the gravel/sand from the site would be used.
After discussion, the consensus was to proceed with moving the fence, authorize placement of the road, and approve the parking area by the range.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter said the change order total to date is $1,576,934 or 4.7%, leaving a contingency balance of $470,215.
PR 100. Potter referenced PR 100, Public Corridor Ceiling Changes, $25,154 and asked for more detail. Wilczek said there are lighting changes required in the west corridor of the Justice Center on all four levels. The lighting was designed with 8’ ceiling lights that run from the window glass to the Court Rooms. When the lights were to be installed, it was discovered the mounting hardware was longer than 8’. The change order would be to turn the lights 90 degrees. This would involve reframing the front of the Court Rooms. Wilczek is researching options, and has directed BKV Group to render images to include the impacts on the corridor. Daleiden does not feel this is the County’s issue to resolve. The County paid for design and submittals. Wilczek agreed with that position and is working to determine what was submitted for design. Daleiden said the County paid for architectural, engineering, and construction management services. Potter said that the final PR will be submitted for Board approval.
Update on East Parking Lot. Work continues on the east lot which has been widened since acquisition of the Bremer property. Kelly, County Administrator, thought the County would take possession of the property on 12-31-19 and said the house will probably need to be removed. Daleiden suggested offering it to a house moving company.
Potter moved to approve the 12-18-19 Owners Committee Minutes-Justice Center. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Daleiden asked for the estimated completion date. Wilczek said they are targeting mid-July for department moves, and possibly August 1st for the Justice Center Facility to be up and running. The motion to approve the minutes carried 5-0:
I. Justice Center Construction Updates
Paulsen updated the schedule progress.
Level 0 – Crews are sheetrocking area C & mechanical / electrical / plumbing are being installated. Construction and finishes will continue to move north into areas A & B.
Level 1 – Crews continue to install sheetrock in areas and ceiling grids are going in. The coiling doors area being installed in area A security and at Court Administration.
Level 2 – Not as much activity as other areas of the building. The ceiling grid is being completed and crews are working on the east corridor taping and paint. Work continues with framing in stair A (lobby) and drywall installation. Willmar Electric is pulling security cabling.
Level 3 – Work continues on millwork framing and install in courtroom 3042. Final delivery is expected on 12/19/19 for the rest of 3042 millwork, then crews will move to 3030. Restroom fixtures are being set with most of them already in place. Casework and countertop installation is still needed to complete the restroom finishes. Security cabling is being pulled through the floor with framing and sheetrocking of soffits also continuing. Terrazzo floors and venetian plaster will be the next significant finishes to be installed, however Wilczek noted the plaster isn’t approved to continue.
Currie spoke to the spring schedule and the number of workdays needed. He is getting the total sitework schedule pulled together and will present when ready. Potter asked about the status of the parking area to the east of the facility, Wilczek explained plans will be coming soon and will be presented after the Government Center 3rd floor redesign is completed. Currie also spoke to the budget and status of current payments with no abnormal activity to report.
Wilczek spoke the status of the furniture package. He indicated there are mock workstations on order and will be delivered later in January. When the schedule is finalized he will communicate the dates to allow for departments to schedule review of their spaces. Wilczek also noted that cell boosters, 800 mhz distribution system, soundmasking, and PA systems are all currently being installed.
Meeting attendees toured the facility.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Next meeting January 15, 2020.
12-18-19 Owners Committee-Justice Center Minutes Submitted by: Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director
(End of 12-18-19 Owners Committee-Justice Center Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. New Government Center
A. Trunk Access Charges
Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director, provided a quick update. When the City of Buffalo received the permit for the new Government Center, they asked the County to pay for trunk access fees for Sewer and Water as well. The Sewer Access Charge (SAC) and Water Access Charge (WAC) are for the infrastructure at the treatment plant. There is a Trunk Access Charge that connects to the trunk that maintains the infrastructure at the site. The City sent Wilczek a breakdown of charges which included the Law Enforcement Center (LEC), the Justice Center (JC), the Government Center (GC) and the Highway building (HWY). The City said the County never paid the bill when it was due back in 2007.
Wilczek said after staff did some research, it turns out the County did pay those charges. There may still be some fees for the Highway Department site. Wilczek is still trying to determine whether the County paid for the acreage for trunk access at that location. This issue is mostly resolved. He will update the County Board further when he has more information.
Wilczek said in the development agreement, water and sewer mains were extended out to that property, but there are a number of adjacent parcels that the County is actually reimbursed for as much as $730,000 for the properties that connect to those mains. He will check to see if the County was reimbursed for those charges.
Wilczek said the charges for which the City billed the project were approximately $170,000. The County paid $855,000 for the system in January of 2008. Wilczek believes the calculation for the trunk access was for only a couple of parcels. The Highway Department is on a separate parcel, and he is not sure whether that was included in the calculation. The $855,000 covers a majority of the $170,000 that the City billed the County. Potentially, Wilczek said the County may owe another $40,000 to $50,000, depending on the calculation and whether the Highway parcel was included. The County paid about $300,000 for SAC and WAC charges on the Government Center alone. The permit fees were just shy of $500,000. The other permits were more than $100,000.
Recommendations: Informational only.
B. Dental Clinic
Sarah Grosshuesch, Public Health Director, has been working with several architectural and bonding firms on this project, but was unable to attend this meeting. Wilczek said the sanitary line is now installed in the clinic. Also, the exterior structure for the lift pumps has been determined to be fine. The pump itself has to change inside, but the structure does not have to come out.
Recommendations: Informational only.
C. HealthPartners Health Clinic
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said staff toured Anoka County’s clinic in September. Health Partners would like a Letter of Intent from an entity to show interest in pursuing an on-site clinic. No obligations on the part of the County are created by this letter. The initial plan is to have the clinic open three days per week. It will be paid for by employee claims processed through Health Partners. Clinic services are limited to employees, their spouses, and dependents. Laboratory and pharmacy services would also be available at the clinic.
Sue Tobias from Health Partners said the County would enter into an annual contract with Health Partners. There is a fixed cost amount for staffing, administration, and liability insurance. There are also variable costs depending on the services provided. The clinic can run whether Health Partners is the County insurer for employees or not.
Discussion continued regarding the merits of having an on-site clinic at the new GC for employees, such as reducing the amount of time away for employees, convenience, and variety of services. Tobias said there are two main types of services: Acute Care such as for strep, ear infections, urinary track infections, and sinus infections. The other type of service is for Chronic Disease Management, such as monitoring blood sugar for diabetics, or blood pressure checks. Behavioral health services are often used. Annual physical exams can also be done. Tobias said there are a number of options based on services employees typically use. Wilczek said there will be an office and two exam rooms, with an option for a third exam room. Tobias said the medical staff will be either Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants.
Recommendations: Authorize signing a Letter of Intent with Health Partners indicating interest in pursuing a Health Partners Clinic at the new Government Center, to be presented at a future County Board meeting.
D. Café Space
Kelly asked what type of vendor the County Board envisioned for the space designated for a café at the new GC. Discussion ensued regarding: 1) having one vendor versus a different one every day; 2) a specialty coffee/ sandwich/soup shop; 3) the structural aspects of the space; 4) potential seating arrangements; 5) hours of operation; and 6) the type of lease.
Vetsch suggested that bids be solicited. Kevin Currie, Contegrity Group, advised that the Request for Proposals (RFP) be very specific to avoid a flood of questions from vendors. Anthony Enright of BKV Group said they will draft a package with information on the structure, space, square footage, and parameters.
The next Owners Committee Of The Whole is set for 12/19/19 at 1:30 P.M.
Recommendations: Wilczek and Enright will develop a Request for Proposals and present it at a future County Board meeting.
12-13-19 Owners COTW Minutes submitted by: Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist.
(End of 12-13-19 Owners COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom. Husom made the following change to the minutes:
- Page 2, Item II, 1st paragraph, change from “Wilmer” to “Willmar”
The motion to approve the minutes as corrected carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Pricing Changes for the 3rd Floor, New Government Center
The following documents were distributed at the meeting and are attached to these minutes:
1) PR #09 – Level 3 Added & Changed Area Summary, Graphic A-103
2) Third Level Floor Plan 8/05/2019
3) Drawing depicting paving, landscaping, site improvements, fine grading and top soil to new Government Center
4) Third Level Floor Plan 12/19/2019
5) Pending PRs (2 pages)
6) DD Estimate Takeoff C-10 (3 pages)
7) Electrical Site Plan E-010
Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director, provided an update. The total project cost of the new Government Center (GC) was $48,755,000. The net proceeds from bonding were about $53.9 million. The Tactical Training Center bond proceeds were approximately $6 million. Due to the excess in bonding funds, consideration was given to shelling out the third-floor expansion space of the new GC and extending the south, west, and east walls. Future finishes would be more easily accomplished if the shell is built during construction.
Wilczek said BKV Group redesigned the third floor. In the process, direction was given to look at the Information Technology (IT) Department space and square footages on the third floor and whether this area should be expanded now or in the future. The rationale is that with the rapid growth of IT staff and future needs, the IT area should be expanded in the southwest corner. Expanding the IT space resulted in moving the break room to the north east corner. The Administration Department did not change significantly, but expanded on the southern perimeter of the building.
Wilczek said when BKV Group designed the building, rooftop units were planned to be installed at a later date on top of the expansion space. If the third floor is expanded now, it would make sense to install all the mechanicals for the expansion space at this time. The details of the third-floor expansion are in the PR. It is a very complex document of 410 or more pages. Wilczek touched on other changes made based on feedback from the County Board and Departments, such as expanding the stairwell to the roof, reconfiguring IT floor plans, relocating the breakroom and others that were additions to the original Contegrity proposal.
Larry Filippi from Contegrity Group said currently the price of PR 9 is $3.8 million. They are seeking information from a few more contractors to finalize numbers. There are areas where the numbers may come down. Michael Potter, County Commissioner, said if the County doesn’t do this now, it will cost more in the future.
Discussion continued about the original space designed for the IT Department and how it would soon become inadequate for staff.
Wilczek said the County is currently under contract for construction with the low bidders. The item under discussion is a change order, which is a revision to the original contracts. When the bids came in lower than expected under the projected $60 million mark, the decision was made to expand the third floor. While this is not a competitive bid situation, Contegrity Group will narrow the PR quote and make sure it is qualified. They provide a great deal of backup information.
Discussion continued regarding a possible additional $100,000 to $200,000 for covered motor pool parking and parking lot expenses, as well as the building cost per square foot.
Vetsch preferred a number of $3.4 - $3.5 million. Wilczek suggested a recommendation to move forward with the structural plans. Once final numbers are received, they will be brought back for approval. He will present a progress report at the next Owners Committee meeting on 1-15-20.
Recommendation: Authorize moving forward with structural components of the third-floor expansion. Revised pricing to be presented at a future Owners Committee meeting.
II. Justice Center / New Government Center PR63 Site Paving, Concrete, and Lighting
Pete Filippi, Contegrity Group, explained the handouts. He is confident of Knife River’s pricing at $383,738. Wilczek said this number is in the original project budget. Referring to the last page of the handout regarding Willmar Electric for site lighting, Filippi said they ended up with fifty additional fixtures on that job. Willmar Electric’s fee for each is $2,900. The goal is to originate all the parking lot lights from the Justice Center. It is easier for Maintenance staff to maintain and program the lights from one location.
Filippi said the landscaping is more than $100,000 over budget. Contegrity will meet with BKV Group and their landscaping architect in January to scale this design back to allow a clear view for exterior cameras. Filippi said he will bring a revised number back for approval after that meeting.
Wilczek said this item is to approve site improvements for the campus. This is the next phase of improvements. The last phase of landscaping will come in the spring.
Recommendation: Approve site paving, concrete and lighting changes per PR63.
III. Justice Center / New Government Center Site Camera System Electrical & Fiber
Filippi referred to the pink highlights on the Electrical Site plan. They are proposing terminating the connections for the cameras at these locations. The price currently is $78,812.61. They are running almost five miles of cable. They are also picking up the GC parking lot cameras, and will have to remobilize in the future. Wilczek said they are IP cameras from Avigilon and need a network connection which is the fiber. The camera itself needs power. Filippi said power via a network connection is needed because the runs are more than three hundred feet. Wilczek said the County is using All State Communications. They have the State contract for cabling, cameras and the card access systems.
Recommendation: Authorize moving forward with the PR for the new Government Center Site Camera System Electrical & Fiber PR.
12-19-19 Owners COTW Minutes submitted by: Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist.
(End of 12-19-19 Owners COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Borrell. Daleiden requested that the Administrator notify County employees that all software must be routed through Information Technology, even if it is cloud based. The motion carried 5-0. The 12-17-19 COTW Minutes follow:
I. IT Director Report To The Board
IT Director Matthew Fomby provided an overview of his career prior to joining Wright County and how it has prepared him for his role. The purpose of Information Technology (IT) was discussed. Fomby views IT as a central nervous system for an organization to transport the right information from point A to B. Failures in this system can cripple an organization.
Fomby explained some of the challenges that the IT department is facing. He believes delivery of IT has been poor which has led to problems within the department as well as lost confidence from customers. He stressed that all IT items have to go through IT, and this is currently not happening. He has taken a fresh view of projects and is trying to find an offramp to move projects forward that require minimal IT involvement. He is trying to streamline the process of getting projects moving.
Fomby expressed concerns with compensation. We have lost employees to other organizations for pay increases that were not substantial. In some areas we have needed to leverage contractors to complete work due to the inability to fill positions.
Fomby stated the department and the County needs to figure out who they are and what they want to be in the future. Strategic planning is needed and he has been in discussions with Administration.
Fomby noted there are many talented employees at Wright County. There are good people that want to be here and to do good work. He is working on the culture of the department and future strategies.
The first strategic focus is mobility, connectivity, and agility. Technology is rapidly changing and the county needs to be positioned to allow access to our data on the go and have flexibility to adapt to changes in operations. This will include leveraging an ever increasing set of cloud based solutions.
Fomby requested the following from the Commissioners:
• Support the formal lines of communication and reinforce departments to follow the chain of command.
• Additional money for certifications. Certifications are key in today’s IT environment. These help improve employee skills and promote retention.
• Fomby reiterated that IT projects need to go through IT. It is difficult to manage and limit what is getting purchased for technology related items if the department is not involved.
After assessing the needs for 90 days he felt the County would benefit from 3 additional positions.
• Security specialist. A position dedicated to security and prevention of issues. A great deal of resources is being utilized addressing phishing issues. Each event requires 15-20hrs of work to address and we have been averaging about one per week. Fomby believed the position could be cost neutral as we are already paying for it in lost productivity of other staff.
• Software portfolio analyst. A position is needed to monitor the software of the county in terms of what is in use, what needs updates or patches, and what capabilities exist with add on modules.
• Office Manager. Fomby stated he needs someone to work with the IT budget on a frequent basis and have the positional authority to impact decisions.
A proposed organizational chart for the IT department was requested to illustrate the reporting structure of the new positions.
Recommendation: Get Security Specialist and Software Portfolio Analyst position descriptions written and pointed.
Fomby is to attend the Committee of the Whole on 12-31-19 regarding strategic planning.
12-17-19 COTW Minutes submitted by: Lee Kelly, Administrator
(End of 12-17-19 COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Potter pointed out that the Social Worker position is currently part time. If it is changed to full time, it will not be eligible for grant funding and that will result in budget implications. Husom said the plan is to move this to a full-time position. Vetsch said the County needs to provide the tools for the Jail Release Assistance Program.
The following change was made to the minutes: Page 1, Item I, Paragraph 1, 4th line, the sentence should read, “The documentation described the collaboration between Wright County HHS, Wright County Court Services, and Wright County Jail/Sheriff’s Department that has led to a reduced recidivism rate in the Wright County Jail.” The motion carried 5-0. The 12-18-19 Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
I. Approval of .5 Social Worker Position
Social Services Manager, Jill Pooler distributed a handout that included a personnel request for a .50 Adult Mental Health Social Worker Position request along with background information that was provided at a previous Health and Human Services (HHS) Board Meeting pertaining to the Wright County Jail Release Assistance Program (both attached). The documentation described the collaboration between Wright County HHS, Wright County Court Services, and Wright County Jail/Sheriff’s Department that has led to a reduced recidivism rate in the Wright County Jail. This program began in August 2018 and concluded in January 2019 with 93 inmates participating in this program. Only one of the participants in this program was a repeat offender and returned to the jail. The program was reinstated in March of 2019. At this time, 88 inmates have participated in this program with only 4 participants being repeat offenders.
Jami Goodrum, HHS Director reported that the pilot program was highly successful, and HHS will be receiving an additional $57,000 in grant funding from CommUNITY Adult Mental Health Initiative (CAMHI) to provide enhanced release assistance planning services at the Wright County Jail in 2020. Goodrum explained that the Release Assistance Program helps inmates’ transition to the community successfully, thus reducing the likelihood of re-entry back into the criminal justice system and reliance on County resources and support. She added that the Court Services and the Sheriff’s Office support increasing the number of hours HHS spends working with the inmates in Wright County.
Pooler commented that through the grant, the schedule was limited, however they were still able to serve 93 clients. The Sheriff Office understood the benefits of this program and funded an additional $1,000 per month to provide an additional four hours of client services per weeks for the Release Assistance Program. The additional funding has been able to increase the number of clients served to 120 clients. Goodrum added that she plans to follow through with a metrics report and share the findings with the County Board in the near future.
Captain/Jail Administrator Patrick O’Malley stated that the County jail serves close to 130 people per day and said even though 120 in a year may be a drop in the bucket, he believes that this program is a great start and he would like to see this position become full-time in the future. Commissioner Husom recommended Goodrum present the merits of this program at the Annual AMC Conference next December or hold a workshop once she has the metrics in place to share the benefits of this program and the metric results with other counties.
Commissioner Husom said she was extremely impressed with the program. Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked what are the benefits that the inmates from Wright County receive. Captain O’Malley stated they are working in collaboration with Sherburne and Anoka Corrections, in addition a representative from Sherburne County visits twice a week to provide client services to Sherburne County residents that are being hosted at the Wright County jail.
Administrator Lee Kelly commented that any cost offset due to this program have the potential to create other future cost savings for the County in other service areas. This is a very positive program for the County.
RECOMMENDATION: APPROVE the .5 FTE Adult Mental Health Social Worker position.
II. Position Replacement – Surveyor Department Administrative Assistant
A discussion occurred regarding the vacant Administrative Assistant position in the Surveyor Department which had been removed from a recent County Board Meeting agenda for further discussion. County Administrator, Lee Kelly explained that through the exit interview process the previous candidate had held this position for only 2 1⁄2 months. The former employee had raised some concerns about workload issues and Administrator Kelly wanted to discuss the workload concerns and future planning prior to starting the recruitment process for finding a replacement for this position.
County Surveyor, Steve Jobe explained that the first time posting the vacant Administrative Assistant position there had been close to 80 applicants along with two internal candidates. Jobe noted that there is still a department need for this position and commented that his hope was to have candidates that had experience/knowledge in the land surveying, GIS mapping fields. These are skill sets that are beyond typical clerical duties and he realizes that it would take additional time to properly communication and train the selected candidate.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden commented that this department has a unique situation and environment and indicated that it would be beneficial to have a plan on what the employee will be working on and what those expectations are moving forward. Commissioner Christine Husom agreed that a new employee plan would be good. Husom suggested that the Surveyor Department develop an outline of job duty expectations along with a training development plan that can be tracked and followed over time.
Human Resources Director, Schawn Johnson suggested including a weekly or possibly a daily work plan for communication and scheduled trainings to allow the new employee to become efficient in each of their assigned job duties. It was recommended that Jobe use the existing job description as a starting point for developing the new employee work plan that this document would address work performance expectations, training needs, and goals for this person to be successful in Administrative Assistant position. The new hire work plan should also be shared with the interview candidates for this position so that they can better understand the work expectations for this position during the interview process.
Administrator Kelly requested Jobe to work with and submit a New Hire Work Plan to himself and HR Director Johnson prior to reposting for the vacant Administrative Assistant position.
RECOMMENDATION: Develop a New Hire Work Plan with Administrator Kelly and HR Director Johnson prior to reposting for the Position Replacement – Survey Department Administrative Assistant.
12-18-19 Personnel/Employee Relations Minutes Submitted By: Kathleen Brannan-Merritt
(End of 12-18-19 Personnel/Employee Relations Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. The Administrator was directed to send a copy of the 2019 Year-End Reports for the Agricultural Inspector and Drainage Inspector to the township officers. The motion carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
Erik Heuring, County Agricultural Inspector, provided a document, 2019 Annual Report (see attachment). Commissioner Charlie Borrell requested that Heuring summarize this detailed report. Heuring noted that a continuing challenge he faces is the lack of a set office space, which limits his ability to administer commercial pesticide applicator testing. At times he has had to refer people elsewhere if he is not able to accommodate them in a timely manner, which an office space in the building could help prevent.
On the topic of seed sampling, Heuring explained how he has relied on the expertise of others in the field as they have access to equipment and programs that Heuring does not have. Matt Detjen, Agricultural and Drainage Coordinator, inquired about portable equipment, such as an iPad or field laptop. Attorney Greg Kryzer noted that as an independent contractor, the County cannot provide Heuring with this equipment. Heuring mentioned mapping programs that he has used extensively in the past which would be beneficial to his role, and he noted that he would also need to pay for these himself.
Heuring explained that he sent out 43 general notices, which is the same as in previous years. He has seen a decline in MnDOT’s responsiveness compared to previous years. Borrell inquired if it would be possible for the County to hire a contractor, and bill MnDOT for the expenses. It is unlikely MnDOT would pay.
Heuring spoke about his experience seeking support from the State, and Kryzer noted that he also has the County’s backing. Heuring stated that he understands that roads take precedence over vegetation management. Heuring also noted that he took his own pesticide test at the state capital and stated that Wright County is quite clean comparatively.
Heuring reviewed the Cooperative Weed Management meeting that is held in April of each year. Borrell requested the date of 2020 meeting as he would like to attend. Heuring agreed to send the date and praised the meeting as a great way to share information and ideas.
Heuring applied for a 2019 MDA Noxious Weed grant and the County was awarded $5,000. He explained the focus of his work on non-native Phragmites, which has been challenging to combat and will require intensive and specialized management to control this aquatic species. There are currently 57 verified sites of varying sizes around Wright County.
Heuring provided an overview of areas in the County that have seen improvement, and some problem areas that are being addressed. He noted that over a seven-year period, significant impact has been made. There was discussion regarding some of the solar farm sites around Wright County, and it was noted that some were pre-ordinance and do not have to comply.
There was discussion regarding the County’s ability to provide a permanent office space with a suggestion of housing Heuring in Soil & Water. Heuring noted that his certification is specific to the current Government Center building, and he is unable to provide testing elsewhere unless his certification changes. He also noted that the current system of reserving a room through Administration staff is workable, as he’s never had an issue getting space, but the process sometimes adds up to a brief delay.
Borrell commended Heuring for doing a great job and encouraged him to come to Board with frustrations to stay on top of issues. He also noted that maintaining the current knowledge base and expertise is to the benefit of the County.
RECOMMENDATION: Continuation of The Agricultural Inspector contract with the same conditions for 2020.
Mike Young, Drainage Inspector, provided a document: Wright County Drainage Inspection, 2019 Yearly Report (see attachment). Young explained that his report reflects the way this position is evolving from what was initially a very technical role. He noted that his report addresses how he and Detjen have come up with a system to ensure the County is within statute with regard to inspections. In previous years, the reports required photographs and details on multiple problem areas, whereas now he is able to provide a broader overview which shows that water is flowing downhill, while calling out a handful of issues that need to be addressed.
There was discussion regarding ditch spraying, as cost estimates previously received have been unrealistic. Young noted that his report can assist with the creation of a new employee job description, to help establish what this worker will be expected to accomplish. Overall the position is developing structure as it evolves. Borrell commended the expertise that Young brings and emphasized the benefits the County has seen from his role.
RECOMMENDATION: Continuation of the Drainage Inspector contract with the same conditions for 2020.
(End of 12-18-19 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-128 appointing Erik Heuring as the Wright County Agricultural Inspector for 2020 and authorizing execution of the Agreement. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-129 appointing Michael Young as the Wright County Drainage Inspector for 2020 and authorizing execution of the Agreement. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Husom made the following change:
- Change from “TURN Steering Committee” to “The TURN Steering Committee”
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-130 setting the County Board per diems at $50 for groups identified on the Committee/Advisory Board Listing. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-131 setting the per diems for appointees to the County Board and Health & Human Services Board Committees, Boards and Commissions as listed. This includes $40 for all groups except Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment which receive a per diem of $60. The motion was seconded by Potter.
Discussion followed on increasing the $40 per diem to $50 as that is what the County Board receives for attending the same meetings. Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment would remain at $60 because of the time commitment and work involved. Jami Goodrum-Schwartz said the HHS budget can support the per diem increase to $50 for HHS Committees.
Borrell moved to amend the motion to increase the $40 per diems to $50 per diems. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Resolution #19-131 as amended carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
1. County Administrator Updates:
A. History Wall at the Justice Center. Kelly said Husom and Wilczek have been working with the local art guild for concept and possible images to be included in a history wall at the Justice Center. Drawings of a concept for a history mural were provided and include vinyl graphics with mounted acrylic lettering and mounted acrylic photos. The wall would be located in the Justice Center Lobby and is approximately 12’H x 35’L. Wilczek said it will be a representation of the County’s history, not necessarily the Judicial Branch. The Historical Society has been involved with providing some of the document images but not necessarily the concept. Husom thought it would be good to have the art community create the concept and the Historical Society assist with photos and information. Wilczek said a committee could be formed to work on the History Wall. Wilczek sent an email to department heads seeking interest. It was suggested that the Communications Specialist become an integral part. It was the consensus that the County Administrator will determine who will be assigned to work on the history wall.
B. Kelly said meetings on Enterprise Resource Planning continue as well as union negotiations.
2. Met Council. Potter said Charles Zelle is the new Chair of the Met Council. Potter looks forward to meeting with Zelle after the first of the year on behalf of the TH 55 Coalition projects. Daleiden suggested that TH 12 be addressed as well.
3. Trailblazer Transit. Vetsch attended a meeting. Focus of the group is end of year close out.
4. CMRP (Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership). Vetsch said Silver Creek Township was formally accepted into the CMRP. Action will be taken for Monticello Township to join next year. An upcoming bus tour will include portions of Wright and Sherburne Counties.
5. MEADA (Mentorship Education and Drug Awareness Coalition of Wright County). Husom invited everyone to check out MEADA’s new website. The group will move to meeting every other month.
6. Public Works Labor Management. Husom said federal standards are being adopted for drivers relating to alcohol and workforce testing.
7. Central MN Jobs & Training Workforce Center. Husom attended a breakfast where testimonials were provided by those who have been displaced or need to reenter the workforce for the first time. The meeting was also attended by several Legislators.
8. Safe Harbor Task Force. The group is working on writing protocols for the various agencies involved.
9. AMC Conference. Husom said the AMC Conference was good and she attended quite a few sessions.
10. Borrell said a SWCD Planning Meeting will be held on 2-13-20 at 8:30 AM. A tour will be scheduled sometime this summer.
The meeting adjourned at 10:38 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 17, 2020.