Wright County Board Minutes

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 7-21-20 Wright County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Vetsch moved to approve the Agenda as presented. 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. Claim - Madden, Galanter & Hansen, Attorneys At Law, June 2020 Services, $6,561.55
1. Requesting Board Approval To Increase The 800 MHZ Radio Fee To $105.00 Per Radio For 2021 And 2022
1. Repeal The Wright County Policy On Face Coverings And Replace With Executive Order 20-81 Retroactive To
July 25, 2020.
1. Adopt Compliance Updates To The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan For Wright County.
1. Authorize Order Of Justice Center Ancillary And Public Area Furniture
1. Authorize Order Of Justice Center Technology Package
1. Approve The Budget Amendment To Move Waverly Salt Shed Funds, JWork Funds, And Unallocated Funds To Briarwood Avenue Improvement Project.
34-150-521-8212-5801 REIMBURSEMENT - CITY PORTION $203,414
34-170-091-8019-6600 CIP BUDGET - Jworks $(100,000)
34-150-003-8062-6600 CIP BUDGET - Waverly Salt Shed $(30,000)
34-170-000-8000-6600 CIP BUDGET - UNALLOCATED $(45,000)
34-150-521-8212-6600 CIP BUDGET - BRIARWOOD AVE $378,414
2. Approve Transfer Of $1,200.00 From Fund 02-022-Reserve Fund To 02-096 Reserve Fund. This Is For A Correction For A Transaction From 2013.
02-022-000-0000-6910 Transfer Out $1,200.00
02-022-000-0000-5910 Transfer In $1,200.00
3. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between July 15, 2020 And July 21, 2020.
1. Approve Request To Apply For COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program Request-For-Proposals (RFP) Application To Serve Wright County Residents Facing Homelessness
1. Refer To Ways & Means Committee Discussion RE: School Resource Officer Contract Rate
1. Request Approval Of User Agreement With First Amendment Between Wright County And Panoramic Software Inc. For VetPro Software Used By Veteran Service’s Department Customer Relationship Management System. The Time Period Of The Agreement Is Indefinite Until Officially Terminated By Either Party, Per Terms Of Agreement. The Annual Cost, As Of Jul 2020, Is $450 Per User ($1800 For The Entire Department) With Cost In Future Years Adjusted Per The Agreement.
Approve A Plat “Sandy Shores At Sugar Lake” (Corinna Township)
Vetsch moved to approve the plat. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Vetsch moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell said he spoke against approval of the positions at the COTW Meeting, but he will support the recommendation to further research them. The motion carried 5-0. The 7-21-20 COTW Minutes follow:
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, provided a brief overview. Strategic Planning started in March of this year at a four-day Strategic Planning Initiative retreat. There were a number of follow-up discussions, and another retreat on July 6th. L. Kelly said the County is financially sound. The Audit Exit report was good. COVID-19 has posed challenges, but County revenue remains healthy. Department heads have made it clear that they are here to serve constituents. Departments are working well together. A few areas of conflict were noted. The County is making strides to become more cohesive. As the County grows, so will the needs of County government, including staffing.
Discussions were held regarding coordinating efforts or leveraging existing staff in various ways. Some areas are not able to support the goals of the County. L. Kelly said the Administration Department is not able to properly serve needs related to some projects. He would like to discuss staffing in Administration.
L. Kelly added that the County may have to look at the Land Use Plan. Communication to the public has improved, but more could be done.
Darek Vetsch, County Commissioner, said it is good to look at internal deficiencies. The biggest issue is insufficient manpower in Administration to administer the mandates, the Economic Development Authority, grant writing, CARES Act funds, the Central Mississippi Regional Planning Partnership (CMRP), as well as provide oversite of all advisory groups. Administration needs a position to assist with those functions.
Christine Husom, County Board Chair, said Administration has no one to research grant opportunities. Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, said an independent person could observe Department functions and determine if there is a better way to operate.
Discussion continued regarding moving Business Analysts from Information Technology to Administration. L. Kelly said he has discussed that with different Departments. It may be better to centralize the function. Administration and Information Technology both support the entire County government operation.
Vetsch wants to streamline duplication of services. Transitions must be done over time, and only if they make sense financially, such as centralizing the Finance Department. Vetsch said there is a need to develop future organizational charts to achieve the goal of centralizing services over the next 3, 5, and 10 years.
Fomby said the Business Analyst position provides service to everyone in the County organization. The Information Technology (IT) Department is trying to identify where there is duplication of software and equipment.
Vetsch suggested two positions, Project Administrator and Finance Director, that would potentially provide value to the County. L. Kelly needs to decide what makes the most sense and then do a timeline for implementation. Vetsch also suggested a Centralized Service Administrator position down the road. Discussion continued regarding how to restructure the County organization.
Charles Borrell, County Commissioner, expressed concern that County government is growing too much. He said there are finance people in the Auditor / Treasurer’s Office who could work with Administration. Husom said the County is growing exponentially and that growth needs to be managed. The goal is not so much to grow government but to become more efficient. Borrell said the answer is not to add more people.
Discussion continued about when it is beneficial to hire contract workers, and when hiring a full-time employee makes more sense.
Vetsch said drafting proposed job descriptions and salary ranges enables the Board to evaluate and plan for the future. Husom said this process will identify County needs. Nothing is being approved at this point. Vetsch added that these positions do not have to be new. Some could be redefined. He asked L. Kelly to draft job descriptions for proposed Project Administrator and Finance Director positions, and develop organizational charges for the next ten years.
Recommendations: Direct Lee Kelly, County Administrator, to:
1. Draft job descriptions for proposed Project Administrator and Finance Director positions.
2. Develop organization charts for the next ten years.
The meeting adjourned at 11:46 AM.
7-21-20 COTW Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 7-21-20 COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and the recommendations. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0. The 7-22-20 COTW Minutes follow:
I. Back-Up Dispatch Center Update, Presentation by True North Consulting Group
Peter Behnke from True North Consulting Group presented the Wright County Backup Dispatch Center Implementation Plan (see attached). Behnke said during the last six months, he has seen backup centers being used for social distancing for staff and not just in emergencies or during repair of primary centers. Many entities are keeping their backup centers running 24/7. In lieu of the changing needs brought about by the pandemic, Behnke said he and his coworkers at True North reassessed this proposal to make sure both the primary and the backup centers could function simultaneously.
Turning to the Budget With Options page, Behnke explained that the proposal includes 2- and 3-Year options. The total cost of the 2-Year plan is $656,168. The total cost of the 3-Year plan is $662,168. All but $102,543 are covered by 911 Funds.
The components of the backup dispatch center include workstation furniture, heavy use chairs, 911 equipment, phone lines, radio consoles, PC hardware, logging recorder, computer aided dispatch (CAD), tower system, and the microwave system.
The workstation furniture includes four 24x7 workstations for an initial investment of $58,636. The goal is to provide the same feel and equipment as the primary dispatch center. Four 24 x7 heavy-use chairs will cost $8,320. They have a 6-Year warranty on parts and a lifespan of 10+ years, and are similar to the quality in the primary dispatch center.
Behnke referred to the 9-1-1 Equipment page. This equipment includes four Intrado 9-1-1- positions, functionally identical to the primary center. The initial investment is $165,150. There is an annual maintenance cost of $7,919 per year starting in Year 2. This includes equipment support for Intrado. IES will do any necessary updates and maintenance. The lifespan of the equipment is five to six years.
Behnke directed attention to the General Equipment / Circuits page. There will be a number of phone line circuits. The primary center uses CenturyLink, and the backup center is in the Windstream area. This will pose some additional work with translations, but will be addressed. It is difficult to estimate the cost until the work is begun. For this reason, Behnke added a contingency of about $25,000 in the budget, which should be sufficient.
The radio console system looks a lot like computers. The operator can talk on different channels to people in the field. To replicate the primary center, they will initially take two of the seven Motorola consoles from the primary center and install them in the backup center. There will be three consoles at the backup and four at the primary dispatch center. The fourth position at the backup center will have options including a base station. All four backup stations will be able to take 9-1-1- calls. The initial investment is $275,519. The annual maintenance agreement is $3000 per year beginning in Year 2. The lifespan of the equipment is five to six years.
Decision continued regarding accommodating more backup dispatch center staff as the County grows in population.
Behnke said the $275,519 covers the labor of moving the two Motorola consoles from the primary dispatch center to the backup center, and the installation of the new console and corresponding equipment.
Behnke said the initial investment for PC hardware is $6,000, with a lifespan of five years. There will be four Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) workstations. There is an existing disaster recovery server at the primary dispatch center that will be moved to the backup center in the data room. This server will be connected back to the primary server. The disaster recovery server will be constantly updated. In the event that something happens at the primary center, the disaster recovery server will be available for use. Behnke said this server has to work at all times, especially in an emergency.
Discussion continued regarding running a redundant fiber route in lieu of a microwave tower. Behnke said the tower is usually the preferred method. The initial investment for the 140-foot tower system is $53,000. Its lifespan is expected to be 25+ years. This tower provides connectivity to the ARMER Network. The initial investment for the microwave system is $49,900. The annual maintenance cost is $3,500 beginning in Year 2. The lifespan of this system is 25+ years.
Shawna Athman, Business Manager, Sheriff’s Office, said $102,543 of the costs are not reimbursable by the 9-1-1 Fund. Discussion continued regarding how to fund the non-reimbursable costs and the annual maintenance fees.
Suggestions included using the Sheriff’s Capital Improvement Plan funds or CARES Act funding.
Mark Daleiden, County Commissioner, suggested that the annual maintenance be free for both Years 1 and 2, instead of just Year 1. Behnke said he will ask the vendors to provide the first two years of maintenance free of charge.
Recommendations: Fund costs for the Backup Dispatch Center with turnback dollars.
The meeting adjourned at 11:21 A.M.
7-22-20 COTW Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 7-22-20 COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. The 7-22-20 Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
I. IT Budgetary Specialist Position.
IT Director, Matthew Fomby provided an overview to the Personnel Committee of the request to reclassify the current Office Technician II (OTII) position to an IT Budgetary Specialist position.
Fomby explained that the IT department’s budget is roughly $4.7 million per year. The IT department currently does not have a position assigned to manage the department’s annual budget. Other County departments have individuals assigned to this responsibility. He continued to describe with the growth of the County and needs of the IT department (equipment purchases, software licensures, and licensed modules) warrants someone to be specifically assigned the responsibility to manage the budgetary process for the department.
Fomby added that presently the OTII position job description lists budgeting under one of its tasks, however this position has changed over the past few years and no longer reflects the department needs and does not recognize the accountability of that growth. He commented that the employee that currently holds the OTII position has been doing an extraordinary job, adding that if this position would remain as an OTII position, it would not reflect the expectations or the needs of this position. He commented that he highly believes in building, recognizing and rewarding talent in his department and strongly believes that the IT department needs warrant the request to transition the OTII position into a budget specific position.
A discussion was held regarding the challenges of creating a new position. Human Resources Director, Schawn Johnson and Assistant Human Resources Director, Lori Pawelk have worked with Fomby and researched the responsibilities of the current position request and found that it is similar to an Accounting Technician position. The Accounting Technician is an existing job description and it is the Administration Department’s recommendation that the OTII position be reclassified to this position. The Accounting Technician is a shared position description with other departments in the County. Johnson added that the Accounting Technician is two grades higher than the current OTII position which also rewards and recognizes the increased job responsibilities for this position. Pawelk, clarified that with the reclassification of the OTII position to an Accounting Technician, that the OTII position would not be filled.
County Commissioners Christine Husom and Mark Daleiden agreed to the recommendation.
RECOMMENDATION: Approve to Reassign the Office Technician II to an Accounting Technician Position.
II. IT New Position - Electronic Contract Management (ECM) Solutions Architect
Matthew Fomby, IT Director requesting to add a newly created position that is a hybrid of a Business Analyst and the OnBase Administrator positions. He explained that the OnBase Administrator position has been vacant for roughly two years and they have been unsuccessful in filling this position and stated that this position is realistically not what the IT department needs at this time. Fomby added that by creating a new position that it would not just be an analyst or an administrator position but rather a combination of the two; two-parts analyst and one-part administrator, which would meet the County’s short-term needs. He added that the intent would be to shift the work load of the ECM Solutions Architect position to oversee data records and electronic document management for the County. Fomby commented what is in place right now is currently not working and he knows that the demands on the other IT infrastructure will still exist, however this will allow for him to assign these types of projects to the ECM Solutions Architect which will allow him to free up other staff members to work on other department and county project needs.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson agrees that it has been a struggle filling the vacant position, either they cannot get candidates that meet the qualifications, or the candidates expect the top range of salary and that going this route would likely be more successful. Johnson added that with this new position, it will have to follow the proper procedures of posting and interviews.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden commented that if there are current employees that qualify for this new position, it would certainly follow in recognizing the skillset that already exists. Assistant Human Resources Director Lori Pawelk commented that it’s important not to create a position for an employee rather the needs of the department.
County Administrator Lee Kelly would like to see a proposed organizational chart for the IT Department moving into the future.
Johnson commented that the OnBase Administrator position is currently a grade 14 in the County’s compensation plan.
The Personnel Committee members agreed that creating an ECM Business Architect position would be in the best interest of the County moving forward and eliminating the OnBase Administrator position for the IT Department.
RECOMMENDATION: Approve the creation of an ECM Business Architect position and eliminate the OnBase Administrator position in the IT Department.
7-22-20 Personnel Committee Minutes submitted by Kathleen Brannan-Merritt
(End of 7-22-20 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Vendor Proposals
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said proposals were received from three vendors to assist with the administration of the CARES Act, as discussed at the last County Board Meeting. A meeting was subsequently held with CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) and it is the consensus that CLA will provide the assistance the County is seeking. Vetsch said they had good methodology and a grasp of the rules associated with CARES Act funding. From an auditing standpoint, they assured the County it would remain segregated.
Vetsch made a motion to proceed entering a contract with CLA for assistance and administration of CARES Act Funding. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. The contract includes an hourly rate which will be paid with CARES Act funding. As an example, if CLA is used about 12 hours/week, the cost would be $60,000-$65,000. The motion carried 5-0.
Cities and Townships
Vetsch said cities and townships have expressed an interest in utilizing the contract with CLA. He thought this would provide better communications and coordination through CLA. Kelly said meetings with townships or cities could be done via TEAMS along with social distancing for those that attend in person. Attendees could be polled to determine how many plan to attend in person. Vetsch said the plan would be to send correspondence this week and hold a meeting mid-August in the evening. CLA will be invited to participate in the meeting.
Vetsch moved to schedule a COTW Meeting on 8-12-20 at 5:30 PM with townships that are interested. The motion was seconded by Potter. Vetsch stated that the meeting will be with townships only as Administrator Kelly is working with cities via the City Administrator meetings. Kelly will follow up with cities. CLA will be invited to the meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
Vetsch suggested formalizing the addition of temporary sub-committees related to the CARES Act. Kelly envisioned a meeting with all members of the County Board first to address high-level matters. Sub-committees will be held separately.
Vetsch moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 8-04-20 at 10:00 AM to discuss CARES Act Funding. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Vetsch suggested formalizing and appointing Board members to the sub-committees. The sub-committees will be added to the Committee Appointments listing, as recommendations from those meetings will be forwarded to the County Board for approval.
Husom asked whether it is the intent to invite interested parties to the meetings for the Economic Development Advisory Committee and Non-Profit/Affiliates Advisory Committee. Vetsch envisions the group to review the applications created. At that point, they can work on marketing and targeting who applications will be sent to. The review process will follow. He said the group will reach out to the affiliates, but the meetings are not the venue for affiliates to explain rationale for funding requests. The committee will meet to vet out the applications. Husom noted these are public meetings, so interested parties can attend to listen.
Vetsch made a motion to create the following County Board Sub-Committees and to schedule meetings on 8-05-20 at 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, and 11:00 AM. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Committee Name Appointees
9:00 AM CARES Act Wright County Economic Development Advisory Committe
Potter, Vetsch
10:00 AM CARES Act Non-Profit/Affiliates Advisory Committee Daleiden, Husom
11:00 AM CARES Act County Advisory Committee
Borrell, Vetsch
Kelly requested Board members review prior to the meeting:
- Information sent relating to funding allocation ideas and provide any suggested changes
- Program ideas they would like to see developed
The meeting discussion will include designating funding sources. If the County decides to proceed with programs for assisting individuals, a decision will need to be made whether to utilize the funding allocated to Economic Development.
1. CMRP (Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership). Vetsch said a meeting was held last week. The 2020 budget was amended, and the 2021 budget was approved. The 2030 Framework will come out in January identifying goals, which may result in the budget being amended later this year. The river crossing was discussed. A workshop is planned for November with the Federal Highway Administration.
2. Meeting with School Superintendents. Vetsch said the Board met with school superintendents on 7-21-20. He said the federal government is looking at funding for schools, but it will not be distributed until October. He voiced concern that schools were looked at as an afterthought, as they have a definite start date. Daleiden said that one of the first schools to open will be in Georgia next week and that it will be interesting to see what transpires. Governor Walz is scheduled to speak on Minnesota schools this week. Vetsch said some school districts received approximately $65,000-$67,000 in State funding. He said the County is giving them twice what the State is to administer remote schooling. Daleiden said even without remote schooling, the funding will be used rapidly with costs of cleaning and PPE (personal protective equipment).
3. Safety Committee. Husom attended a meeting last week. The Safety Committee is working with departments on safety checks.
4. Safe Communities of Wright County. Husom met with s sub-committee to discuss the hire of a new Executive Director position.
5. Potter said the bonding bill did not get approved, placing projects on hold. When the legislature goes into session next year, he hopes the bonding bill will be one of the first things addressed.
6. Trailblazer Transit. Potter said the pre-bid meeting was held for the Trailblazer building expansion at the location on Hwy. 25 north. The bids are due 7-29-20.
7. Library Board. Potter attended a virtual meeting last week. The GRRL proposed budget was discussed. They had almost eight months of operating expenses in reserves, so the plan is to utilize investment dollars to reduce the signatory share by $16,292. That portion is less than last year, even though the population increased. He said this may happen for the next 1-2 years. He said the GRRL operates for 20% less than the state average for a library system.
8. Parks Commission Meeting. Daleiden attended a meeting on 7-13-20 at Schroeder Park. The group discussed the Collinwood addition project delays. The Bertram Park project is moving ahead. Parking may need to be expanded on the southern end as it is becoming overcrowded. The budget and upcoming projects for next year were discussed. Vetsch said paving the entrance and road was a great decision.
9 Wellness Committee. Daleiden attended the meeting on 7-21-20. The group discussed the budget and plans to ask for reimbursement for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that was provided for employees. Recent events include the Poker Walk and Paths to Positivity. Mindful Matters Bingo ends 8-05-20. Make A Move Step Challenge will begin mid to end of August. HealthPartners is looking into potentially placing a treadmill in the lunchroom with leftover funding.
10. Daleiden voiced concern with a comment posted relative to County employees needing a safe and healthy work environment. He said if employees do not feel safe, they should contact the County Board. Otherwise, the post may not include correct information. The County has taken steps toward safety for employees, so he does not know what this relates to. Husom said the County has a Safety Committee and policies in place to protect employees.
7. Administrator Updates:
A. 2021 Budget Sessions. Kelly said budget work books are due from departments on 7-31-20. He anticipates budget sessions will be held the weeks of 8-17-20 and 8-24-20. Further sessions may be scheduled if needed.
B. Kelly toured the new Government Center building recently.
C. Staff has been working on CARES Act related items and keeping up to date on changes that develop.
The meeting adjourned at 9:59 AM.
County Board Minutes submitted by Susan Backes, Clerk to the County Board
Published in the Herald Journal, Aug. 21, 2020.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 7/16/2020 For Payment 7/16/2020
BOLTON & MENK INC 8,025.62
BUNN/BEN A 5,906.40
13 Payments less than 2000 4,947.73
Final Total: 958,474.75
Warrants ApprovedFor Payment 7/17/2020
Final Total: 14,943.83
Warrants Approved For Payment 7/17/2020
Final Total: 60,364.56
Warrants Approved On 7/17/2020 For Payment 7/17/2020
AT&T MOBILITY 5,203.02
KNIFE RIVER 458,329.85
TW VENDING INC 20,473.37
55 Payments less than 2000 26,728.09
Final Total: 725,239.99
Warrants Approved On 7/20/2020 For Payment 7/20/2020
KONECTA LLC 35,000.00
30 Payments less than 2000 12,132.88
Final Total: 1,027,617.83
Published in the Herald Journal, Aug. 21, 2020.