Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 4, 2020
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
Husom said the last time she served as Board Chair, she listed various goals she wanted the Commissioners to implement. These included providing Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates, holding Lean Training for departments, and holding County Board Workshop Meetings in addition to regular Board Meetings. These goals have all been met.
Husom said the County Board has taken a visionary role in the last few years. Tough decisions have been made moving the County forward to increase efficiencies and deliver improved customer service. Husom would like to continue to be visionary and is excited for upcoming efforts in 2020 which include plans to:
- Implement strategic planning with cities and townships
- Continue with budget forecasting
- Keep the tax rate level
- Open the Justice Center and Tactical Training Center in the summer of 2020, to include planning of the move to the locations
Vetsch moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Borrell asked to pull for discussion Consent Item F1a. Borrell moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
1. Claim: Madden, Galanter & Hansen, Attorneys at Law, 12/2019 Services, $10,010.71
1. Approve and Authorize Signatures on the Labor Agreement with the Assistant County Attorney’s Association for the 2020- 2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement
1. Approve and Authorize Signatures on the Labor Agreement with the Teamsters Local 320 (Sheriff Essential Supervisory Unit) for the 2020-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement
1. Approve and Authorize a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Teamsters Local 320 (Sheriff Essential Supervisory Unit) for Off Duty Law Enforcement Work During the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement
1. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Form LG220, Three Of A Kind, Gambling Location: 17363 Cty. Rd. 7 NW, Clearwater Township, MN 55320. Event Date: 7-18-20
1. Refer to 2-11-20 County Board Workshop:
b. Women Infants Children (WIC) Program
c. CAMA - Tax d. State Vehicle Testing
1. Authorize Signatures On Contract For Professional Services of Guardianship And/Or Conservatorship With G.S. Ridley LLC, Contract Period Of 1-01-20 Through 12-31-20
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between January 22, 2020 And January 28, 2020 2. Deny Tobacco License Application From Super Tobacco 2, LLC For A Tobacco License In The City of Delano Due To Proximity To Youth Oriented Facility Per Wright County Ordinance, Chapter 110, Tobacco Regulations
1. Award Contract To Minnesota Native Landscapes, $159,640, And Authorize Signatures For The Stanley Eddy Regional Park Reserve “Alama” Unit Habitat Restoration And Management Activities
1. Authorize signatures on 2020-2021 Natural Resources Block Grant, $138,298
Discussion followed on the Consent Item pulled for discussion:
1. Refer to 2-11-20 County Board Workshop:
a. Agricultural Drainage Coordinator Position
Borrell said with half of the County ditches being in the District he represents, he should have been informed the position was being referred to County Board Workshop. Lee Kelly, County Administrator, replied that the position has been approved in the 2020 budget and there are some logistical items to work out. Borrell moved to approve Consent Item F1A, Administration, Refer to the 2-11-20 County Board Workshop the Agricultural Drainage Coordinator Position. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. Discussion followed on commercial drivers tests and road tests, and setting the gas tax at the national average. State Vehicle Testing will be referred to the next County Board Workshop Meeting to discuss further. The motion to approve the minutes carried 5-0. The COTW Minutes follow:
I. Meeting with Legislators Regarding 2020 Legislative Priorities
Valuation and Taxation of Utility Properties –
The County supports legislation that would limit exposure or include funding to local governments in the event that utility companies move from value-based to production-based taxing that creates a loss of tax capacity.
The County supports legislation that would limit the reduction in public utilities property valuation, with a trigger to transition aid for the local government.
Bonding for Dental Health Care –
County will be seeking bonding funds for a Medical Assistance (MA) Dental Care Clinic. Currently there are very few locations that offer this. Many dental providers are not willing to take MA due to the smaller reimbursements. But many would like a resource to be able to send them to. Intent would be to provide this service to the west central area of MN. Would utilize approximately 6,200 square feet in the lower level of the new government center currently under construction. It is estimated that the cost for the facility would be between $1-2M. Kleinhans and Zahrt will work together to lobby for this bonding. Senator Anderson stated that it would more likely be higher on the list, if it is shovel ready. The bonding committee will want to see architecture design as proof. Also, support from surrounding counties, area hospitals, as well as insurance providers would be beneficial. The Committee Administrator of the Bonding Committee would be the appropriate contact person.
Public Waters and Public Drainage Repair Statutes –
County supports revisions to MN Statute 103E and 103G to clarify the relationship between drainage repairs and public waters work permit requirements. Allow the County as the “Ditch Authority” to make repairs within a public drainage system when it meets the definition of repairs. The proposed provides the Commissioner (DNR) 60 days to respond, which is more reasonable. Allowing the County to be able to react to situations immediately when events occur, such as a road under water. Attorney Kryzer, John Kolb with Rinke Noonan, and Shane Zahrt with Flaherty & Hood will coordinate efforts in moving the proposed bill amendments through the process. It was noted that the preference will be to move this through the Senate first.
Health and Human Services Items -
Goodrum Schwartz spoke of the issues that impact HHS.
• Experiencing unprecedented growth and demand on the County’s child protection system. Wright County would like to see the Legislature pilot and adopt a child wellbeing model that makes an investment in families via prevention strategies and practice initiatives. Wright County has as instituted is Rapid Response, which is an earlier intervention service, as well as working with Safe Families to support families with community-based services, while addressing safety, and to prevent out-of-home placement.
• The County continues to use too many resources due to the State’s limited ability to improve functions which impact County services. Program simplification is needed to allow counties to effectively manage caseloads by improving program integrity, county accountability and reducing fraud.
• In 2019 the County paid $57,000 for “Mental Health Does Not Meet Criteria”, the county is required to pay 100% of the cost when a client no longer needs hospital level care, but no other placement is available to them.
• Concerned with increasing costs for MnCHOICES. The Legislature should “sunset” the County cost share; identify completion of MnCHOICES 2.0 as a priority; remove Rule 185 Case Management eligibility from the MnCHOICES process; and develop a reassessment option to validate eligibility by review of documents and non-face-to-face contact when there is no change in service need for the person.
• Wright County would support a Case Management Redesign model that replicates the current fee-for-service waiver case management reimbursement.
Goodrum thanked the Legislatures, noting that Wright County is one of the recipients of $5M in bonding funds for a mental health facility, which will be in Stearns County. This is a partnership with Sherburne, Stearns, Benton Counties, as well as Central MN Mental Health Center and CentraCare.
Transportation -
Discussed commercial drivers tests and road tests. The delays occurring are impacting employment opportunities and ability for new drivers to obtain their licenses. It seems to be a very broken system. It was discussed that an option may be to allow other entities such as Counties to take on this roll. Standards need to be the same throughout the state, but it would increase efficiencies to constituents of the County. Currently testing is only done 3 days a week, could go to 5 days a week.
Commissioner Borrell stated that he would like to see the gas tax set at the national average currently at 28 cents, if additional money is needed then the State should bond for it. He would like to see the debate end on gas tax.
Representative Lucero stated that there is an initiative being considered to shift the sales tax to sales of vehicles.
Discussed exemptions for road restrictions. Currently school buses and refuse haulers are exempt. There has been a request from the septic industry to allow septic haulers to be exempt. Currently there is a permit process, which is a cost to the homeowner and a delay in getting the septic systems pumped which could cause damage to the home. The Governor has ability to allow for emergency exemptions. Do not want to take that authority away from the Governor so perhaps by adding to a transportation bill would be better. The Minnesota Association of Townships would be a good driver/ supporter of this exemption.
Legislators where thanked for their success in getting Wright County reimbursed from the audit done by the State Auditor.
Minutes submitted by Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 12-31-19 COTW Minutes)
The grant application is through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for possible purchase of trail maintenance and grooming equipment. As part of the annual Parks & Recreation Budget the local funding contribution for $60,000 will be requested for year 2021 as part of the equipment line item, and the grant application will be requesting $120,000 to complete the purchase.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #20-08 for the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Application through the DNR. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
The draft JPA was approved at the last meeting of the Central MN EMS Joint Powers Board. The change relates to the removal of Sherburne County as a member and requirements for withdrawal from the JPA.
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #20-09 authorizing signatures on the revised Central MN EMS JPA. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Husom stated that Sherburne County withdrew as they felt they were more aligned with the metro.
Kelly said the purpose of the meeting will be for a presentation by Ehlers to provide an overview of HRA (Housing & Redevelopment Authority), EDA (Economic Development Authority), and CDA (Community Development Agency).
Daleiden moved to schedule a COTW Meeting for the Ehlers presentation on 2-18-20 at 10:30 AM. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
1. Administrator Updates:
A. Kelly and Vetsch met with Xcel Energy Power Plant representatives on 1-29-20 to discuss what is going on with the facility. Kelly will coordinate a tour date of the facility by the full Board.
B. Wright County Economic Development Partnership (EDP): Kelly and Board members attended the EDP Annual Meeting on 1-31-20. Borrell extended appreciation to Potter for donating $500 toward retaining speaker Ross Bernstein for this event. Potter said having a dynamic speaker led to the strong turnout for the meeting. There are a few more people indicating interest in joining the EDP. Husom said the EDP Annual meeting included the presentation of officers and an awards presentation.
C. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Meetings. Human Capital Management will be the topic focus starting later this week.
D. Additional discussions have occurred with the City of Buffalo on their updated downtown plan including how that relates to the current Government Center site.
E. Kelly was notified that the County was awarded a certificate of achievement for excellence in reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 2018 report.
2. Highway 55. Potter plans to meet with Charles Zelle, Metropolitan Council Chair, on TH 55 on a bonding proposal for $5 million for preliminary final design, right of way, and associated costs to make the project shovel ready from the arrowhead to Loretto. The goal will be to get this project ready in case the congressional delegation gets an infrastructure package done.
3. Husom attended a recent Rotary meeting where it was reported that Lake Ridge Care Center and Park View Care Center in Buffalo now have a new parent company, Cassia. Both facilities recently received a five-star rating. She said it is great to know there is quality care locally.
4. Kites on Ice on Buffalo Lake Event. The event will be held on 2-08-20 from 11:00AM-3:00PM. Events include kite showing, kite building, dog sled rids, and a cornhole tournament.
5. Fair Board. Borrell attended a meeting on 2-03-20. He announced the Wright County Fair will celebrate its 150th Anniversary. The Fair will be held on July 22-26, 2020. A 5K run is being planned.
The meeting adjourned at 9:32 A.M.
Minutes submitted by Susan Backes, Clerk to the County Board
Warrants Approved On 1/15/2020 For Payment 1/15/2020
MCIT $1,170,956.00
MN Dept. of Motor Vehicle 20,512.37
MN Dept. of Natural Resources 8,997.40
Final total: $1,200,465.77
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 28, 2020.