Wright County Board Minutes

BOARD MINUTESBOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERSSEPTEMBER 15, 2020DATE APPROVED: SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9 a.m. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 9-01-20
Daleiden moved to approve the 9-01-20 Wright County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
AGENDA
The following additions were made to the Agenda under Consent Agenda:
* Refer to the Sept. 23 Technology Committee agenda:
A. Project Updates
1. O365
2. iSeries
3. New Building Updates
4. Admin – Event Scheduler
5. HHS – Contact Management Center
6. ERP Implementation
7. Strategic Project Updates
B. New Project Requests
1. Parks & Recreation Reservation System
C. Project Portfolio Scoring
* Refer to Personnel Committee a discussion of SharePoint Administrator reclassification to O365 Architect
CONSENT AGENDA
Daleiden moved to the approve the consent agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Request Approval of the Bid Proposal that was submitted by the Hartford Company for the County’s life insurance, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance coverage effective January 1, 2021
B. ADMINISTRATION
1. Authorize Signatures on Contract with Wright County Economic Development Partnership for CARES Act Funding
C. ADMINISTRATION
1. Approve 2020-21 Lease Agreement with WRight Choice
D. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between August 26, 2020 and September 4, 2020
2. Motion to Approve Reimbursement of the CARES Act Funds as Follows:
* County Cares Funds: County Reimbursement of $4,837.42 from 01-099-489.6810 Transfer Out Into 01-100-5910 Transfer In
* Election CARES Funds: Township Reimbursement of the Elections CARES Funds of $2,439.52 (01-099-490.6812); Election CARES Townships as Follows: Rockford Township $1,423.78; Southside Township $290.57; Woodland Township 725.17
* Cities Reimbursement of Election CARES Funds of $4,307.86 (01-099-490.6812); Election CARES Cities as follows: City of Otsego $2,862.17; City of Waverly $814.59; City of Clearwater $631.10
3. Motion to Approve The Reimbursement of CARES Act Funds as Follows:
* County Reimbursement of $16,232.19 from 01-099-489-6910 Transfer Out Into 01-100-489.5910 Transfer In
* School District Reimbursement Of $143,526 from 01-099-489.6813; CARES School District Expense: Maple Lake School District $124,080 (Maximum Allocation); St. Cloud School District $19,446 (Maximum Allocation)
* Election CARES Funds: Township Reimbursement of The Election CARES Funds of $1,458.47 (01-099-499-6812); Election CARES-Townships as Follows: Maple Lake Township $728.73; Silver Creek Township $729.74
* Cities Reimbursement of Election CARES Funds of $844.12 (01-099-490.6812) Elections CARES City As Follows: Annandale $844.12
E. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Request:
A. Social Worker
F. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Position Replacement:
A. FTE Communication Officer Position
G. REFER TO THE SEPT. 23 TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE AGENDA
A. Project Updates
1. O365
2. iSeries
3. New Building Updates
4. Admin – Event Scheduler
5. HHS – Contact Management Center
6. ERP Implementation
7. Strategic Project Updates
B. New Project Requests
1. Parks & Recreation Reservation System
C. Project Portfolio Scoring
H. REFER TO PERSONNEL COMMITTEE
A. Discussion of SharePoint Administrator Reclassification To O365 Architect
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
SEAN DERINGER, SHERIFF
Introduction to the Board Of Most Recent Promotions:
Deringer introduced Sheriff’s Office employees who have recently been promoted – Lieutenant Jason Kramber, Sergeant Nick Lee and Sergeant Mike McGill. Deringer praised the three, saying they have earned the trust and respect of their peers and supervisors and represent the future leadership of the Wright County Sheriff’s Office. The item was informational.
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Adopt Resolution Setting the Preliminary 2021 Budget & Levy
Hiivala recommended the board adopt a resolution setting the preliminary 2021 budget at $153,827,373 and the preliminary levy (without Lake Improvement Districts) at $82,381,407. Daleiden said that these preliminary numbers can’t go up after being approved but could be reduced before December. Husom said the goal was to keep the levy increase at the 5 percent mark and the department heads worked with the County Board to achieve that, with a slight decrease in the tax rate. Vetsch added that much of the reduction was the result of Road & Bridge projects that were funded by the state and federal government that the county did in 2020 and won’t be doing in 2021. Hiivala said that, once adopted, his office will prepare taxation statements that will be sent out to property owners.
Daleiden moved the resolution to approve the preliminary 2021 budget and levy. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. The resolution carried 5-0.
Authorize Signatures on Certificate of Occupancy
Hiivala said the type of bonding the county approved for the Tactical Training Center is something the county hasn’t typically done and requires a Certificate of Occupancy. The county has drawn down the bond proceeds, so the trustee asked that the county sign the certificate to affirm the trustee has completed the building it issued the bonds for.
Vetsch moved to authorize signatures on the Certificate of Occupancy. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
MATT DETJEN, AGRICULTURAL AND DRAINAGE INSPECTOR
Schedule a Ditch Committee of the Whole Public Hearing on the Repair Report for County Ditch #10 Under Minnesota Statute 103E.715
Detjen said an informational meeting has taken place and landowners have received notices on the repair report. Detjen anticipated the meeting would take 1/2-2 hours.
Potter moved to set the public hearing for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Schedule a Ditch Committee of the Whole Public Hearing on the Petition for Removal of Property From County Ditch #10 From Peaceful Meadows LLC Under Minnesota Statute 103E.805
Detjen said that Peaceful Meadows LLC has petitioned to be removed from the benefitted landowner rolls because the property doesn’t benefit from the ditch. Borrell moved to set the public hearing for 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Schedule a Ditch Committee of the Whole Public Hearing on the Petition for Property Not Assessed Benefits Under Minnesota Statute 103E.741 For County Ditch #10
Borrell moved to set the public hearing for 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
There were six Budget Committee of the Whole meetings that were conducted and Husom asked County Administrator Lee Kelly to give a high-level summary of the minutes, explaining that the full minutes are available on the county website.
Dealing with the Aug. 21 BCOTW meeting, Borrell questioned the Sheriff’s Office building rent, citing it was the only department that listed rent as a budget reduction and gave a distorted view of savings. Kelly explained that the item had since been corrected from the BCOTW meeting because it was a “money in, money out” scenario in the Sheriff’s line item budget.
A motion was made by Vetsch to approve all six Budget Committee of the Whole minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
COMMITTEE MINUTES
Budget Committee of The Whole (8-17-20)
I. 2020 Budget Overview
Administrator Kelly provided an overview of the 2021 preliminary budget, as well as a review of the contents of the budget books
Kelly identified departments/divisions that had been added to the 2021 budget. Fund 02-Non-Levied Funds, 522 Ag & Drainage (Parks), 350 Hwy Sign Department, and 480- HHS Administration. Some object codes were changed in efforts to be more standardized. Based on preliminary department budgets, the levy increase stands at 9.2%. It is higher than expected, but can work through that to get it reduced.
Commissioner Vetsch stated that his preference is to have the tax rate under 44%.
Commissioner Borrell sated that he would like to see the County budget $15,000 for the planning of Hwy 12 corridor improvements.
It was estimated that the Board would need to cut approximately $3.8M from the budget to achieve the 44% tax rate.
II. Position Requests
Reviewed the summary of positions requested, which includes 25 new positions and three reclassed positions.
Discussed current approved positions from previous budget year, that are still unfilled, Administration’s Admin Specialist, and the Auditor/Treasurer’s Business Analyst position. It was suggested that perhaps they be shifted to reclasses, taking those budgeted dollars and allocating to new proposed positions.
Consensus was that the Board would review position requests when the departments are before the board presenting their 2021 budget.
III. Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
Assistant County Administrator Vergin provided an overview of the CIP. Based on status of 2020 projects that will be completed in 2021 and additional projects identified for 2021, the CIP budget is at $5,957,839. There is $2,838,902 in the CIP fund that is available to be reassigned. Additionally, the county board is allocating CPA and MCIT funds in the amount of $701,453 to reduce the CIP levy. This reduces the levy needed for the CIP to $2,327,484, which is $1,526,061 less than the 2020 CIP levy.
Vergin also noted that there are a few minor CIP policy changes being recommended. These will be brought back to the Board when the budget is approved.
Vergin also referenced the Recorder’s CIP. Projects that qualify to use recorder’s funds include the appraisal system for the Assessor, property tax system for the Auditor, and aerial view project for the surveyor. All projects are reviewed by the County Attorney to ensure that the Recorder’s funds can be used, as defined by state statutes.
IT Director Fomby stated that in order to get more projects done IT needs to have more staff. That is why he is looking a reorganization of the IT department, so that they can be better staffed to meet the needs of the County. Fomby also provided an overview of the IT technology projects within the CIP.
IV. Appropriation Requests
Administrator Kelly provided an overview of the appropriation requests the County has received for 2021.
Wright County Economic Development Partnership requested $130,000. Board consensus to approve.
Initiative Foundation requested $7,400. The County has provided $7,000 since 2016. Board was in consensus to retain the level of funding at $7,000
Historical Society requested $311,000. The Board was in consensus with keeping the Historical Society appropriation at the same level as 2020, $298,000. Noting that the electronic door upgrade ($13,000) would be taken care of through the Building Care budget.
Friends of the Maple Lake Library requested $12,500, this is a biennial request. The Board was in consensus to approve $10,000. (On 8/19/20 the Board choose to split the $10,000 to $5,000 per year rather than every other year donation.)
Great River Regional Library (GRRL) appropriation request is at $2,145,134, which is a reduction of $16,514 from 2020. This was approved by consensus of the Board.
The Wright County Fair Board provided a request to the Board in the amount of $136,925. In 2020, the Board approved an appropriation in the amount of $111,000, $76,000 for the fair and $35,000 for paving improvements at the grounds. It was recommended and approved by consensus to approve an appropriation in the amount pf $76,000.
V. Fund 100 Overview
Administrator Kelly provided an overview of Fund 100. Changes included reducing County Transit from $95,000 to $85,000, and Investment Income to be increased from $1 million to $1.1 million. No other changes were recommended for Fund 100.
Budget Committee of the Whole (8-19-20)
Commissioner Daleiden brought up discussion regarding the Friends of the Maple Lake Library appropriation. At the meeting on August 17, the Board had approved a biennial appropriation of $10,000, he would like to suggest that the Board approve a $5,000 appropriation for 2021 and $5,000 for 2022; this would eliminate a spike every other year. The Board was in consensus with Commissioner Daleiden’s suggestion. Staff will make the appropriate change to the preliminary budget.
I. Attorney
County Attorney Tom Kelly provided an overview if his 2021 proposed budget. Expenses increase by $3,880, but revenues are anticipated to be down $5,000 in 2021. An overall increase to his budget of 4.3%. Attorney Kelly noted that he is not seeking any additional staff, however, he anticipates that there will be some future shifts in his staff do to retirements and reassignments. The Board accepted the proposed budget with no changes.
II. Court Services
Court Services Director Mike MacMillan reviewed his proposed 2021 budget. Overall expenses are increasing by $14,101 while revenues are decreasing $37,733. The decline in revenues is due to the reduction in grant monies. They are not looking at adding any additional staff, but are looking at some reorganization of the department with case aide services. Discussed the wRight Choice program. Currently, there are seven (7) schools that participate and three (3) that do not. Those that do not participate have their own program in place. The Board accepted the proposed budget with no changes.
III. Veteran Services
Veteran Services Officer Greg Pickard presented his 2021 proposed budget. There are no changes to his revenues, and expenses are increasing by $1,000. The Board accepted the proposed budget with no changes.
IV. Planning & Zoning
Planning and Zoning Director Sean Riley presented his department’s 2021 budget. He is anticipating revenues to increase by $50,000, while his expenses will remain flat.
Riley raised discussion regarding his staffing at the compost facility. Currently he has one temporary/seasonal staff person and would like to add one more seasonal position to accommodate being open an additional Saturday a month.
The board indicated that Riley should work with HR Director Johnson regarding the seasonal position, they also questioned if he could use staff from Green View. Riley indicated that he would address this further with Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Supervisor, who oversees the compost facility. It was also noted that if additional staffing was added, Score funds could be used to fund the position, therefore budget neutral. The Board accepted the proposed budget.
V. County Board
Commissioners reviewed the line items of their budget. Commissioner Borrell raised concern with the cost of the NACO dues, which are $1,927. It was clarified that NACO dues are actually in Fund 100’s budget, as they are for the entire County. It was the consensus of the Board to continue membership with NACO, as there are benefits. Commissioner Husom expressed her concerns with the costs of conferences. This budget does include conferences, training opportunities and meetings. It was pointed out that the majority of their budget increase was due to the replacement of three computers. The Board accepted the budget as presented.
VI. Assessor
County Assessor Rasmussen provided an overview of the parcels that his office is now responsible for, in 2021 they will have an additional 3,500 parcels to review. Approximately 4,400 parcels are assigned to an Appraiser. It was also noted that, depending upon type of property, some appraisals are much more complicate than others. In order to meet the needs of his department he is requesting an additional Principal Appraiser, who would start in the 4th quarter of 2020, the focus of this position would be on lake shore appraisals. He is also seeking an additional Property Appraiser to hire in 2021. The Assessor’s office currently has an OTI position open that has not been filled, if granted the Principal Appraiser position he would eliminate the OTI position.
The Board was in consensus with allowing the Assessor’s office to proceed with hiring a Principal Appraiser in October of 2020, which would give him a total of 2 Principal Appraisers. The Board also agreed to adding one additional property appraiser in 2021, allowing him to have a total of 12 property appraisers. The 2021 budget was accepted with the staffing request.
VII. Surveyor
County Surveyor Jobe expressed his thank you to his staff Eric Stennes and Alex Halverson that worked in the 2021 budget in his absence. There are not many changes for 2021, no vehicle is planned for. He anticipates revenues to be the same as they were in 2020. Jobe also noted that due to the COVID situation he will be holding off on hiring his Administrative Specialist. Fly overs (aerial photography) are budgeted for in the Recorder’s CIP, which are done every three years. There were some increases to the budget (uniforms, conferences, meetings and training), as well as operating supplies, but overall there was a decrease to the budget of $24,385. The Surveyor’s budget was accepted as presented.
VIII. Road & Bridge
Highway Engineer Hawkins along with Assistant Highway Engineer Hausmann, presented a PowerPoint highlighting 2021 projects, 2020 accomplishments along with funding successes. They have been awarded two grants for FY 2024 for a total of $2.280,000. For 2021 there are plans for 4 miles of reconstruction, 27 miles of pavement preservation, 32 miles of sealcoating, and replacement of 3 culverts.
Discussed their 2021 strategic initiatives and goals which includes organization changes with staff. During this discussion it was suggested that the Highway staffing requests come back to the Board, as Administration and the Auditor’s office do not agree that they are budget neutral. It was requested that the staff requests come back to the Board for review on Monday, August 24 at 9:00AM allowing time for review.
Other initiatives and goals include updating the Five-Year construction plan; gain clarity on the LOST program, which is set to expire on December 31, 2022; construction of a new maintenance shop in Annandale; acquire a long-term gravel source for maintenance operations; continue pursuing grant funding opportunities, update the Long-Range Transportation Plan, and update the County Road Safety Plan.
Highway noted that it has created a new division “Sign Department”. Expenditures previously in other divisions of the Highway Department that relate to signage operations are now identified in this new division.
Budget Committee of the Whole (8-21-20)
I. Administration
Administrator Kelly provided an overview of his department’s budget. There was reduction in expenses, however the overall budget increased due to staffing requests. Briefly touched on the positions that are being sought – a Finance Director, a Projects Administrator and the department still has a vacant Administrative Specialist that was approved for 2020. It was noted that there are very capable people in Administration but are just spread too thin. The Board approved the proposed budget with no changes.
II. Building Care
Facilities Services Director Wilczek addressed his budget. It is pretty straight forward, there is additional square footage being added with new facilities coming on board. The current Government Center will still be occupied for a portion of 2021, but what areas will be utilized is still unclear. What impacts the utilities and the cleaning services, which are all going up in 2021, by 2022 will have a much better picture of costs when everyone is in the new buildings. There are no new staffing requests. There is one vacant position which he hopes to fill yet this year.
The only big impact on his budget is the Rent, due to how that is now being allocated. It was clarified that Operating Supplies are actual maintenance operations, while Janitorial is cleaning supplies. His Equipment budget includes $60,000 for a Tool Cat, which includes buckets, brooms, other attachments, a much more functional piece of equipment for their uses, and an additional $15,000 for other miscellaneous equipment. The Board accepted the proposed budget with no changes.
III.Recorder
Recorder Tanya West provided an overview of her department’s budget. Overall, she is projecting an increase in revenue of $22,000 due to increases in development and home sales. Expenditures were increased by $4,722. No staffing requests are being sought for 2021. The Board accepted the proposed budget with no changes.
IV. Information Technology
IT Director Fomby discussed the IT budget with the Board. The biggest change is the additional cost they will be incurring for ERP licenses which is $300,000. Fomby stated that he will support HHS including an OnBase Administrator in their budget. He feels that it would be more efficient, but he will not allow that position to have administrative rights, only IT staff are able to have Admin rights. Discussed the nine position requests, the current five vacant positions, and professional services budget. Fomby stated that he feels the need to build the team in another direction and transition positions to meet the County’s needs. Use professional/contracted services to fill voids. Still unclear at this time as to what the needs are so he would like flexibility.
After additional discussion the Board came to a consensus to put $300,000 in Fund 100, to hold for IT positions, allowing time to determine which positions would be most important to the department. No changes were made to the Professional Services budget. The Board also agreed to the reclass of the SharePoint Administration to an 0365 Architect.
V. Parks & Recreation
Parks Director Mattice provided a PowerPoint presentation identifying the facilities and assets that the County has to offer to the public. Mattice tied his goals and objectives for 2021 to the Value Streams that the County Board has identified for the County. Overall his levy increase for 2021 is $171,050, which includes two staff requests. The largest impact to his budget is the Bertram Chain of Lakes Campground. He is also realizing revenues that will come from the Campground once it is open. Positions being requested include a Guest Services Manager and a Parks & Natural Resources Technician. Reviewed the equipment being purchased. The Board recommended that the revenues in Parks be increased to a total of $285,000.
Reviewed the Ag and Drainage division of this department. This division was created in 2020, with the Ag & Ditch Coordinator position moved from the Auditor’s office to Parks & Recreation. It also contains the appropriations budget for the SWCD which previously lived in Fund 100. Discussed the retention of the Ag Inspector and Drainage Inspector, which are currently under contract with the County. Previously, it was the intent that these two contracted positions would no longer be necessary with Ag & Drainage moving to Parks. After further discussion, it was suggested that these positions could be utilized on an as-needed basis, through professional services. It was recommended that a Ways & Means meeting be held in November to address this further. Mattice and Detjen provided an overview of an AgTerra Spray Logger, equipment that they intend to purchase for the purpose of spraying. Discussed costs that are charged to the Ditch system. It was recommended that a formula be created for how to charge the systems for spraying.
VI. Auditor /Treasurer & Elections
Overall revenues were reduced by $6,340 and expenditures were reduced by $2,746 (net budget impact of -$3,594). There is one staff request for a Taxation Process Specialist for $84,936, moving this position from a Grade 6 to a Grade 10. Plus, they would then move the other 4 that are currently Tax Process Specialist in the department to a Grade 10. The consensus of the Board was to review the reclass and add one other Tax Process Specialist but give up their current BA position that is still vacant. An additional $25,000 was added to the budget to allow for any increase in wages based on the outcome of the reclassification, which will need to go through the proper HR process.
Discussed the Elections budget. They are keeping the operating levy the same in 2021. It is a non-election year, so the budget is used for the purpose of election equipment. Costs for the Automark equipment is $203,650, the grant is for $53,000, leaving an unbudgeted amount of $13,000. Board agreed that the County should proceed with pursuing the grant and will find the resources to fill the gap. The Auditor was directed that the Election Coordinator and a portion of the Office Manager’s wages should be budgeted under Elections.
VII. Sheriff
Sheriff Deringer provided an overview of his department structure, referencing the Baker Tilly study, that provided a recommendation of a five-year implementation plan, to get the department where it needs to be relative to staffing.
Discussed the 10-hour shift schedule that they have implemented. They are seeing a $135,000 savings due to less overtime being paid. Would like to utilize these funds for a Wellness initiative and mentorship program. This schedule also ensures that they work a full 2,080 hours a year and provides for more coverage. Deringer expressed the need for physical and mental health initiatives, the stress level is much higher in the Sheriff’s office than any other county department. PTSD and suicide rates are much higher in these types of occupations.
Business Manager Athmann provided an overview of their budget. They are projecting that their revenues for 2021 will increase by $600,000. Athmann expressed concern that if body cameras become mandated, which they anticipate may come soon, there will be huge costs to the County. Currently there is $300,000 a year being allocated to the Sheriff’s CIP plan, which currently is being used for squad cameras.
Two staff requests have been approved for 2020, those are the Training Lieutenant and the CID Sergeant. Above those two positions they are seeking five additional positions for 2021 – four positions in the Sheriff’s department and one in the Corrections department.
It was agreed that the additional positions would be reviewed by the Board next week, August 26, when all outstanding staff requests will be reviewed.
Budget Committee of the Whole (8-24-20)
I. Road & Bridge
Highway presented its budget on August 19, 2020. This time was set aside for additional discussions if needed. The outstanding item yet to be addressed is the staffing requests for 2021. It was noted that staff did meet to review current staffing and proposed staffing to get a clearer understanding of what Highway was requesting. There are two new staff requests, along with three reclasses. The reclasses are for a Sign Tech to move to a Lead Sign Tech, and two Senior Engineering Technicians would be reclassed to a Construction Engineer and a Design Engineer.
Highway Engineer Hawkins stated that the staffing changes he is proposing are not budget neutral. Hausmann stated that the addition of two Sign Technicians/ Maintenance Worker would allow them to operate two sign trucks. Hausmann noted that they are required to do locate requests within the County right of ways, these requests are much more frequent than usual. Meyer added that this would allow them the ability to operate more effectively and efficiently. The Board was in consensus to approve the Road and Bridge budget with the staffing requests as identified.
I. Health & Human Services
HHS Director Goodrum-Schwartz provide an overview of the goals and objectives, and the performance trends identified in their budget narrative.
HHS has created another department/division for budgeting purposes “Administration” 11-480-895; this allows them to detail the expenditures more accurately and then split them between the other three departments.
The budget narrative indicates that their overall budget increased by 3% with a corresponding 14.2% increase in the levy with the main contributor being the negotiated increases in salary based on the class and comp study.
Public Health Director S. Grosshuesch addressed her staff request for a Public Health Nurse. This position is driven by a grant, which has already been approved by the Board. This position is funded at 100% through grant dollars that will last for four (4) years, July 2021 will be Year Three. HHS will evaluate the position when the grant ends to see if revenue will continue to support the position.
Took a brief recess to fix the templates so that they would show the percentage changes.
It was explained that the HHS Administration budget now contains all of the rent expense for HHS. There were some other shifts in the budget with object codes, as we saw in other departments’ budgets, this is an effort to be more consistent and as we rebuild budgets to assist with the transformation into the ERP system.
J. Pooler, Social Services Manager (Adult Services) provided an overview of her department. They are on track to make revenue predicted for 2020 and anticipate continuing on track for 2021. Pooler noted that for the first time they no longer have a waiting list for MNChoice, however still not meeting the time frame of providing an initial assessment within 20 days as required by DHS.
M. Miller, Social Services Manager (Child Services) provided an overview of her department. She is not seeking any additional staff in 2021. Primary focus has been assisting families in areas where they are struggling, an example is vehicle maintenance. She noted that they are spending less for foster care.
K. Johnson, Financial Services Manager, stated that there is very little change in her budget. Planning on expanding telework within her department, once the phone system has been updated.
Discussed the staff request for an OnBase Administrator for EDMS. J. O’Dell noted that since IT would not allow this position to have administrator rights, then they would change it to an OnBase Process Analyst, which would go down to a Grade 11 or 12. The expectation of this position is not to generate projects, but will assist with what they have.
No changes were made by the Board to the HHS proposed 2021 budget.
Budget Committee of the Whole (8-25-20) I. Wright Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)
Luke Johnson, District Manager, provided an overview of the SWCD budget request. It was noted that previously their budget was in the General Fund 100 budget, beginning in 2021 this budget will be in the Ag & Drainage Division of Parks and Recreation. Appropriations that they are seeking for 2021 is $633,500. There was discussion regarding the deficit that is identified for the 2021 budget, as well as the deficit projected for 2020. Johnson stated that he does not anticipate that they will have that large of a deficit. Discussed revenues and timing when those are received. The Board accepted the budget as presented.
II. Lake John LID (Lake Improvement District)
Steve Benzchawel, Chair and Peter MacMillan, Secretary of the Lake John Lake Improvement District were present to address their budget and special assessment for Lake John. Their 2021 budget is $30,000 which will be assessed against 149 properties ($201.34 per parcel).
This is an increase of $10,000 over the 2020 assessment. The assessment for 2021 includes $5,000 for Starry Stonewart, which is very expensive to treat, trying to build funds for if or when they need to treat. It was clarified that ILIDS budget of $2,800 is for maintenance and insurance on their camera system that monitors the access area.
Commissioner Daleiden questioned the meeting and voting process of this assessment among the property owners. P. MacMillan responded that they did have a Zoom meeting and a mailing to each of the properties impacted. Commissioner Borrell suggested that a roll call should have been done, so they can keep a good record of the process.
III.Recap of 2021 Budget to Date
Administrator Kelly stated that the Budget Team had met and discussed where we are at, and what are other changes that the Board may want to consider.
Discussions ensued with varying ideas and suggestions to reduce the 2021 budget. The following changes were suggested:
• Reduce Professional Services in IT by $250,000 (Discuss with IT Director Fomby first)
• Reduce Health Insurance by $250,000 (Rate cap is at 6%, had budgeted at 8%)
• Reduce Liability/Work Comp Insurance by $100,000
• Reduce Unallocated Personnel to $750,000
• Buy down the levy with 1.25M of reserve funds
The Board was in consensus that it would like to see a flat tax rate. Requested Chief Deputy Auditor Tammi Vaith to prepare scenarios using a 4.9, 5.2 and 5.5 percent levy increase. Scenarios should include residential, business and Ag properties. These will be reviewed at their next Budget meeting.
Budget Committee of the Whole (8-26-20)
I. 2021 New Staff Requests
The Board reviewed the positions requests as outlined in the summary.
• Administration
o Finance Director – Approved for hire in 2020
o Project Administrator - Approved for hire in 2020
• Assessor
o Principal Appraiser – Approved for hire in 2020
o Property Appraiser – Approved for hire in Spring of 2021
• Auditor/Treasurer
o Tax Process Specialist – Remove Business Analyst from budget and add this position in 2021
• Health & Human Services
o Public Health Nurse – Approved for hire in 2021
o Business Process Analyst – Approved for hire in 2021
• Highway
o 2 - Sign Technician/Hwy Maintenance Workers – Approved for hire in 2021
• Information Technology
o Positions requests were denied, however $300,000 was budgeted in the Unallocated Personnel budget for potential hiring in 2021, when needs have been better defined. Any added positions will be required to go through the Personnel Committee.
• Parks
o Guest Services Manager – Approved for hire in 2021
o Parks & Natural Resources Technician – Approved for hire in 2021
• Sheriff
o Deputy Sheriff - Approved for hire in 2021
o Deputy Sheriff - Approved for hire in 2021
o Sergeant (Patrol) - Approved for hire in 2021
o Civilian Communications Officer - Approved for hire in 2021
o Civilian Corrections Officer – Not Approved, if a Pod is opened, then the Board will reconsider adding this position.
II. 2021 Reclass Position Requests
• Highway
o Sr. Engineering Technician to a Construction Engineer - Approved reclass for 2021
o Sr. Engineering Technician to a Design Engineer – Approved reclass for 2021
o Sign Technician to a Lead Sign Technician – Approved reclass for 2021
• Auditor / Treasurer
o Taxation Process Specialist – four positions to be re-evaluated/reclassed in 2021, pending the outcome from reclass process through Human Resources.
• Information Technology
o SharePoint Administrator to an 0365 Architect - Approved this reclass for 2021
Administrator Kelly stated that the Board will receive an update on the 2021 budget at the September 1 COTW meeting. At that time, if in agreement with where we are at, the Preliminary Budget will be approved at the September 15, 2020 County Board meeting.
Committee of the Whole (9-1-20)
At today’s County Board meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the 9-1-20 Committee of the Whole minutes. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
I. 2021 BUDGET
Assistant Finance Director Heather Lemieux shared that there were updated budget numbers from MCIT sent via email. A line-by-line discussion was had to clarify any budget number discrepancies between what was in the original budget books and what was provided by MCIT. There were also additional adjustments for rent that needs to be kept in the budget for those areas that are rented out to other agencies.
RECOMMENDATION: Add back in an additional $125,000 for liability insurance and increase auction proceeds by $200,000. Recommend adoption of budget as revised with 5.0% levy increase.
II. NEW GOVERNMENT CENTER PROJECT – DISCUSS POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS & BUDGET
Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek provided an update and handouts on the Government Center and Justice Center progress and budgets. There was discussion regarding the details of the budgets including the $1.5 million balance remaining in the Justice Center account and the $838,000 contingency line item related to the change order. Wilczek stated that at approximately $47.5 million bond with roughly $600,000 contracted under the bond amount, he felt it unlikely money would need to be transferred back to the Justice Center project.
Regarding the Government Center, Wilczek mentioned that taking into account the PR63R items that are no longer planned to move over to the Justice Center will benefit this project. He also noted that the one piece that is not acknowledged in the budget because it’s not completed is the East parking lot revisions as a portion is still out for pricing. Wilczek stated that overall the projects are sitting in a very good position and close to budget.
Wilczek also spoke about the Training Center, and he will be closing out this project and will report back to the Board. This project is approximately $400,000 over budget. The Board will need to identify that revenue source.
About the Government Center project and the Wright County Economic Development Group and the 1st floor space, Wilczek stated that he has toured the space with Economic Development Director Jolene Foss regarding the viability of the space for their specific needs and provided a concept floorplan handout for review. The consensus of the Board is to move forward with this plan.
Regarding Government Center Level 0, Wilczek provided another handout for review as there had been questions about potentially moving a storage area against the North wall. He noted that if this area is going to be moved, the decision would need to be made promptly as some of the high-density file storage units have track systems that need to be poured into the concrete. Discussion ensued regarding accessibility, conditioned air for record storage, and space flexibility. There was a request for a cost estimate which Wilczek agreed to provide.
County Administrator Lee Kelly spoke about the Government Center 3rd floor. A handout of a general concept layout for the shelled spaces on NW & SE corners was provided. Kelly noted that he brought this forward for discussion as changes in the future would be more costly than completing the spaces during current construction. There was discussion about flexibility of these spaces, cost, and the potential disruption of completing these spaces after construction is complete. Wilczek noted that the spaces are bare shells, so finishing them would include everything from the studs up and provided a rough ballpark estimate of $175-180K as provided by Contegrity to finish out the space. There was agreement that the concept provided on the third page was preferred, and Wilczek agreed to work with Kelly to identify the number of offices needed.
RECOMMENDATION: Proceed with development of 1st floor office space for Wright County Economic Development Group; and revise plans for additional office space in the administration department on 3rd floor.
III. STRATEGIC PLANNING
Kelly noted work on strategic planning has been ongoing since March. He stated that he had been planning on having a Personnel Committee meeting on September 9 to address staffing in the Administration office, but would like to discuss at this time. Administration has now received two resignations within a week of each other, and this provides an opportunity to discuss what changes would be efficient for their office. Kelly stated that he would like to move forward with reorganizing his department, by replacing the Clerk to the County Board position with an Office Manager and would like to backfill the Administrative Specialist position that is being vacated. Administration also has a vacant Administration Specialist position that was approved with the 2020 budget and is still part of 2021’s budget which can be addressed at a later date. The Project Administrator has been approved as part of the 2021 budget process. He would like to proceed to fill the position in 2020.
RECOMMENDATION: Have the Office Manager position pointed. Proceed with backfilling the Administrative Specialist position. The Project Administrator position has been pointed and that was agreed to move forward in 2020.
SET SPECIAL BOARD MEETING, 2021 BUDGET & LEVY, FOR 6 P.M. DEC. 1, 2020
Kelly explained that the annual public meeting to discuss the coming budget and levy, by state statute, must be held at 6 p.m. or later to allow public attendance. Daleiden moved to set the Special Board Meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Emergency Management/Public Health. Vetsch attended the meeting of the group to discuss vaccinations and funding sources for COVID-19.
2. Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership. Vetsch chaired the meeting. In October, CMRP is expected to have a more robust discussion concerning a river crossing. The September meeting will focus on the second round of public engagement with residents in the CMRP district. Six to seven engagements are planned to be completed by the first week in November. In the first round of public engagement, CMRP received 7,000 responses and the hope to get more.
3. Safe Communities of Wright County. Husom attended. A second round of interviews was scheduled for Sept. 15 to hire a new executive director. Provided a safety fact: the 100 most traveled days in Minnesota are between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In 2019, there were 136 deaths on Minnesota roads and 152 in 2020. The group has applied for a Toward Zero Deaths grant to assist in SCWC’s safety initiatives.
4. Public Works Labor Management. Husom attended. The group is working on its 5-Year Plan. There are a number of sign replacements needed in the county due to vandalism. Soil corrections are currently being done for road and culvert projects in 2021.
5. Central Minnesota Jobs & Training. Husom attended. CMJT did a tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11. CMJT has reported that it hasn’t had as many dislocated workers seeking assistance because they were receiving unemployment benefits under the CARES Act.
6. Trailblazer Transit. Potter and Kelly announced that the groundbreaking for the expansion of the Trailblazer facility in Buffalo will take place 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17.
7. Lake Charlotte/Martha Subordinate Sewer District. Potter attended. A hearing was scheduled to discuss issues with the district this summer, but it was postponed due to COVID-19. The hearing is scheduled to be held in October.
8. Minnesota Transportation Alliance. Potter discussed gas tax collection. Restrictions were put on the gas tax in March due to COVID-19. Revenues from the gas tax dipped significantly in April and slowly climbed back up. By August, the numbers had returned to where they were pre-COVID. There wasn’t a decline in the Local Option Sales Tax. The Transportation Alliance will do a virtual Washington D.C. Fly-In Sept. 24.
9. Association of Minnesota Counties HHS Policy Committee. Daleiden attended. The Blue Ribbon Committee asked participants for a number of ways to streamline/reduce the HHS budget and be more cost effective. The committee came up with 25 menu items. It was stressed that only the most critical issues specific to individual counties should be expressed to area legislators before the State Legislature begins its session in January to enhance the potential of getting action on the most critical items.
10. Parks Committee. Daleiden attended. Daleiden toured the Collinwood Park Campground improvements, which he said look very nice. Parks & Recreation will be switching over to new reservation software. The current provider was purchased by a different company and the cost would have increased as much as $35,000 a year. The new system allows more flexibility for making campsite reservations. It was decided there will be no seasonal campsite reservations at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. It is part of a policy decision to reduce the number of seasonal campsites.
Administrator Updates
A. Applications for COVID-19 small business/non-profit grants through the Wright County Economic Development Partnership went live Sept. 9. One day later, WCEDP had already received 21 applications from businesses and three from non-profit groups. The application period runs through Oct. 8.
B. The CARES Act Committee is meeting every Wednesday to discuss applications for reimbursement for schools and townships.
The meeting adjourned at 10:08 a.m.
County Board minutes submitted by John Holler, Communication Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 9, 2020.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATION
Warrants Approved On 8/28/2020 For Payment 8/28/2020
ABM BUILDING VALUE 37,451.47
ALBERTVILLE BODY SHOP INC 2,653.37
AMAZON BUSINESS 7,479.61
BRUNTON ARCHITECTS, LTD 2,690.38
BUFFALO HOSPITAL FOUNDATION 3,200.00
CAMPION, BARROW AND ASSOCIATES, INC 2,300.00
CARLSON/JERALD & LOIS 2,073.28
DELL MARKETING LP 8,070.66
ERGEN/ARNOLD & JANE 2,271.32
FEHN COMPANIES INC 39,596.51
FORD OF HIBBING 39,112.40
FRSECURE LLC 24,462.50
GERTKEN BROTHERS INC 8,950.48
GLOVER CONSULTING LLC 13,775.00
GRANITE CITY WINDOW CLEANING INC 4,400.00
GREAT KIDS, INC 4,776.00
HILLYARD INC - MINNEAPOLIS 2,184.12
JK LANDSCAPING 7,800.00
KAPSEG INC 2,576.24
M&K CONSTRUCTION LLC 31,783.01
MARCO TECHNOLOGIES LLC 13,481.33
MINNESOTA PAVING & MATERIALS 48,786.77
PRINSCO INC 3,628.00
RDO EQUIPMENT CO 176,089.00
RICHARD SCHMITZ TRUST 11,174.16
SPRINT 2,371.17
SULLIVAN/MARY & FRANK 2,829.64
TRUENORTH STEEL 7,853.76
WM CORPORATE SERVICES, INC. 2,017.49
WRIGHT HENNEPIN ELECTRIC 5,109.57
ZIEGLER INC 4,050.00
48 Payments less than 2000 20,922.87
Final Total: 545,920.11
Warrants Approved On 9/01/2020 For Payment 9/01/2020
ALLINA HOSPITALS & CLINICS 4,050.00
AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION 2,700.04
ARAMARK SERVICES INC 14,791.15
BOARMAN KROOS VOGEL GROUP INC 52,281.40
BUFFALO/CITY OF 103,463.50
FLAHERTY & HOOD P.A. 3,174.75
GUARDIAN FLEET SAFETY LLC 5,025.98
HILLYARD INC - MINNEAPOLIS 2,492.45
INTEREUM INC 543,714.69
JEDDELOH & SNYDER PA 8,070.50
MARTIN-MCALLISTER CONSULTING 2,500.00
MINNESOTA MONITORING INC 14,972.50
MURRAY/GAYLE 2,041.36
PREMIER BIOTECH LABS LLC 2,497.31
REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MN 6,303.65
SPYE LLC 249,283.86
THOMSON REUTERS WEST PUBLISHING CORP 2,510.37
TW VENDING INC 8,113.42
ZAUHAR/DEBORA 7,749.45
49 Payments less than 2000 23,044.49
Final Total: 1,058,780.87
Warrants Approved On 9/02/2020 For Payment 9/02/2020
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 728 674,953.12
Final Total: 674,953.12
Warrants Approved On 9/02/2020 For Payment 9/02/2020
AXEL H OHMAN INC 5,055.90
GEORGE F COOK CONSTRUCTION CO 15,617.24
RJM CONSTRUCTION LLC 24,267.79
2 Payments less than 2000 1,349.00
Final Total: 46,289.93
Warrants Approved On 9/03/2020For Payment 9/03/2020
ANOKA COUNTY CORRECTIONS 24,434.47
ARAMARK SERVICES INC 7,645.97
CUNNINGHAM/JOHN 2,386.50
DAIKIN APPLIED 3,520.00
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 19,995.00
GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT GROUP INC 4,500.00
MID-MINNESOTA HOT MIX INC 41,958.90
NEXUS MILLE LACS FAMILY HEALING 11,278.73
O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 4,836.00
TENVOORDE FORD 95,803.68
VILLAGE RANCH INC 18,509.30
30 Payments less than 2000 16,371.92
Final Total: 251,240.47
Warrants Approved On 9/04/2020 For Payment 9/04/2020
CHOSEN VALLEY TESTING INC 10,947.25
CONSTRUCTION SYSTEMS INC 31,420.30
CONTEGRITY GROUP 58,579.58
DESIGN ELECTRICAL INC-COLD SPRING ELEC. 63,783.23
E G RUD & SONS INC 3,967.50
FORD METRO INC 7,511.65
HEATER RENTAL SERVICES LLC 2,436.80
INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT 3,590.00
MASTERS PLUMBING HEATING & COOLING 79,800.00
NELSON SANITATION & RENTAL INC 3,232.02
NORTHLAND CONCRETE & MASONRY CO LLC 265,116.50
PATRIOT ERECTORS INC 199,500.00
ROOF 1 RBR INC 69,036.98
RTL CONSTRUCTION 153,749.04
WEIDNER PLUMBING AND HEATING CO 41,132.92
WELLS CONCRETE 243,282.74
4 Payments less than 2000 3,894.32
Final Total: 1,240,980.83
Warrants Approved On 9/04/2020 For Payment 9/04/2020
ABM BUILDING VALUE 8,388.50
B & D ASSOCIATES INC 6,504.65
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 29,838.55
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 16,844.30
CHOSEN VALLEY TESTING INC 3,555.00
COMMERCIAL FLOORING SERVICES 38,000.00
CONTEGRITY GROUP 37,581.68
CORNERSTONE DETENTION 67,111.71
EMPIREHOUSE INC 14,781.05
GARAGE DOOR STORE 4,479.25
GOEBEL FIXTURE COMPANY 16,125.55
GRANITE CITY WINDOW CLEANING INC 10,575.00
GRAZZINI BROTHERS & COMPANY 20,539.95
HALLBERG ENGINEERING 4,545.00
HEATER RENTAL SERVICES LLC 7,215.00
HUMERA TECH 3,425.43
KNIFE RIVER 574,403.25
KONE INC 10,193.75
NELSON SANITATION & RENTAL INC 4,080.31
ST CLOUD ACOUSTICS INC 86,770.63
ULTRA CONCRETE LLC 4,530.68
US SITE WORK INC 64,106.94
VEIT DISPOSAL SYSTEMS 2,920.00
WEIDNER PLUMBING AND HEATING CO 61,503.95
WILLMAR ELECTRIC SERVICE CORP 124,115.94
6 Payments less than 2000 3,037.61
Final Total: 1,225,173.68
Warrants Approved On 9/04/2020 For Payment 9/04/2020
APPLIED CONCEPTS INC 44,244.00
BOYER TRUCK PARTS 2,315.83
BRAUN INTERTEC CORPORATION 6,663.50
CAMPANA/SHANDA 3,450.00
CENTRA SOTA COOPERATIVE - BUFFALO 29,690.45
CONSTELLATION JUSTICE SYSTEMS 3,721.00
FARM-RITE EQUIPMENT INC 9,622.00
FEHN COMPANIES INC 32,141.35
GABRIEL/CATHLEEN 7,280.00
KNIFE RIVER 492,177.93
MID-MINNESOTA HOT MIX INC 13,486.25
MN COUNTIES COMPUTER COOPERATIVE 5,187.00
MORRIES PARTS & SERVICE GROUP 2,997.20
PLAGGERMAN/MARGARET M 3,415.25
REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MN 5,878.52
ROYAL TIRE INC 9,978.68
RUDE/GARY 4,300.00
STREETLIGHT DATA, INC. 5,000.00
TERNING EXCAVATING INC 5,910.10
48 Payments less than 2000 28,462.99
Final Total: 715,922.05
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 9, 2020.