BOARD MINUTES BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 DATE APPROVED: SEPTEMBER 29, 2020
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9 a.m. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES OF 9-15-20
Daleiden moved to approve the 9-15-20 Wright County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0
Vetsch moved to approve the Agenda as written. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between Sept. 5, 2020 and Sept. 15, 2020
2. Motion to Approve the Reimbursement of CARES Act Funds as Follows:
*County CARES Act Funds: Reimbursement of $3,893.35 from 01-099-489.610 Transfer Out Into 01-100-489.5910 Transfer In
* School District Reimbursement of $21,117.17 from 01-099-489.6813 CARES School District Expense: Dassel-Cokato School District $21,117.17 (Maximum Allocation is $187,499)
* Election CARES Act Funds: Township Reimbursement of Election CARES Act Funds of $1,313.69 from 01-099-490.6812; CARES-Townships as Follows: Monticello Township $1,313/69
* Cities Reimbursement of Election CARES Funds of $5,318.93 from 01-099-490.6816 Election CARES Cities as Follows: City of Hanover $1,896.25; City of St. Michael $3,422.68
* Wright County Economic Development Partnership Funds of $100,000 from 01-099-489.6814 Economic Development
B. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement
A. Case Aide
C. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Request Approval and Signature on Purchase Agreement for Body Scanner
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA EXTENSION
Adopt a Resolution Declaring October 4-10, 2020 As National 4-H Week in Wright County
Presentation of Extension-Related Work by Extension Staff: Kelly Strei, Kimberly Fox, Lori Vicich, Adam Austing and 4-H member Adam Neumann
Lori Vicich, U of M Extension West Central Region Director, explained that the university was hit very hard by COVID-19. As a result, there will be no cost of living increase for employees, so the 2021 budget will be identical to 2020. Vicich said the Extension office has done all the Aquatic Invasive Species testing for the county, as well as private pesticide applicator training. Extension has done a lot of work over the last several months with farmers and families that have been struggling with financial issues resulting from COVID-19. Her office hasn’t been doing in-person outreach, but has done extensive work remotely. Gardening programs have increased exponentially, as well as canning and jarring seminars, which require safety training to do properly. She said the mission of Extension is to bring the resources of the University of Minnesota to improve the quality of life for residents. She encouraged people to check out the Extension website to take advantage of the programs, most of which are free.
Adam Austing, Extension Agriculture & Horticulture Educator, said the county has 40 volunteer Master Gardeners. COVID-19 has significantly impacted the work Master Gardeners can do, so they have been working internally and will be launching a new website shortly to provide virtual teaching. There are currently seven people signed up to become Master Gardeners. Austing has received approximately 10 times the normal number of calls regarding health issues with trees, which can impact the value of properties by tens of thousands of dollars. He plans to come to a future board meeting to honor the 2020 Wright County Farm Family (Nick and Amelia Neaton of Woodland Township). Austing pointed out that this week is National Farm Safety and Health Week and he is working with farmers to promote safe practices, which are heightened at harvesting time. Borrell asked about protecting trees from Emerald Ash Borer and if it is cost prohibitive. Austing said treatment is well into the hundreds of dollars per tree, adding that, thanks to cold winters in Minnesota the last two years, it has slowed the spread of the pest.
Kim Fox, Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator for Wright County, said there has been an 8 percent increase in the youth 4-H participation there are currently 647 youths and 199 volunteers. The pandemic forced their programs to go virtual. They held their first virtual residence camp that allowed youth to attend camp that hadn’t had the chance before. In-person meetings began to come back in August. Fox said COVID-19 has opened a new door for 4-H because it has allowed them to do many programs with youth they weren’t able to reach before and it was an unexpected learning opportunity.
Borrell moved to adopt the resolution declaring Oct. 4-10, 2020 as National 4-H Week in Wright County. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Approve County Auditor/Treasurer Signature on Letter of Engagement to Retain Ehlers as Arbitrage Consulting and Monitoring Agent Related to the Arbitrage Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and Related Treasury Regulations
Hiivala said the county has issued project bonds and, given continuing disclosure requirements, that his office has to be sure not to make more money on investment income than it paid on the interest. Ehlers has been used in the past to work for the county on arbitrage borrowing money from bondholders and investing the portions yet to be used and deriving investment income.
Daleiden moved to authorize the Auditor/Treasurer’s signature on the Letter of Engagement to retain Ehlers as Arbitrage Consulting and Monitoring Agent. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Approve County Auditor/Treasurer Signature on Letter of Engagement to Retain Ehlers as Dissemination Agent for Issuer Continuing Disclosure Required Under Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c2-12
Daleiden moved to authorize the Auditor/Treasurer’s signature on the Letter of Engagement to retain Ehlers as Arbitrage Dissemination Agent. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Approve August Revenue/Expenditure Budget and CIP Report
Vetsch moved to approve the August Revenue/Expenditure Budget and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Report. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
MATTHEW FOMBY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR
Approve Resolution to Support Midco in Applying for 2020 State of Minnesota Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program
Fomby explained that Midco is seeking grant funding for a fiberoptic line between Lake Ida and Silver Lake, primarily in Silver Lake Township and potentially small portions of Maple Lake Township and Monticello Township. Midco is seeking $1.2 million in grant funding from the Minnesota Office of Broadband. It will support 740 homes in the area. Fomby said Wright County is woefully underserved in broadband and internet connectivity. The county is not putting any taxpayer money into the project. Fomby said the project will be in only a small percentage of the county, but getting fiber in the ground is a place from which to expand for everyone else. Husom said the county has to start somewhere and it is worth pursuing. Vetsch said the pricing offered is competitive and that he hopes to see a lot more of these ventures in the future, because there is a clear need and those forced to work or learn remotely during COVID-19 have struggled without available broadband. Potter added that the state has had a broadband mandate for years, but the pandemic has brought to light that more needs to be done and that having fiber in the ground improves the quality of life in Wright County.
Vetsch moved to adopt the resolution to support Midco in applying for 2020 State of Minnesota Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
PUBLIC HEARING FOR CHANGES TO 2021 FEE-FOR-SERVICE SCHEDULE
1.Auditor Treasurer Add Fee as Follows: “Septic Loan Processing Fee, $50.00”
2.Parks & Recreation Add Fee as Follows: “Mobile Food Truck Vending Permit County Parks and Recreation Areas, $100
3.Planning & Zoning Add Language as Follows: “Planning Commission Rezoning or Text Amendment, $400.00
Husom opened the public hearing and asked if anyone wished to speak to the proposed changes. Nobody from the public was at the meeting to speak on the matter. She then closed the public hearing.
Potter moved to approve the changes to the 2021 Fee-for-Service schedule. The motion was second by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
MARC MATTICE, PARKS & RECREATION DIRECTOR
Take Action on Parks Commission Recommendations from Sept. 14, 2020 Meeting
1.Approve $6,000 from the Campground Dedicated Account as the Funding Source for Replacing Existing Registration Software
Mattice said the county has been using MaxGalaxy software for its campground/shelter online reservation system. The software is operated off of Microsoft Silverlight, which will no longer be supported by Microsoft by 2021. After conducting research, Mattice said the best option he found was PerfectMind, a Canadian company with experience dealing with Parks & Recreation Departments across North America. The software has a $6,000 start-up fee and a $6,000 annual maintenance fee. The contract with MaxGalaxy was $5,800 annually. The Parks Commission suggested that the start-up cost come from the Campground Dedicated Account. The new software will provide an improved registration portal that will make it more user-friendly to provide a wider window for locating open campground locations and is much more smartphone friendly. The proposed launch date for the new software is Jan. 1, 2021.
Vetsch moved to approve the request with funding for replacement of existing registration software coming from the Campground Dedicated Account. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
2.Approve Recommendation Related to Seasonal Campsite Management, Season Dates as Well As Approval of Updated Fees Related to Seasonal Sites for Year 2021
Mattice said there are currently six seasonal campsites at Collinwood Regional Park & Campground and eight seasonal campsites at Schroeder Regional Park & Campground. There has never been an additional fee for non-Wright County residents. The recommendation from the Parks Commission was not to have seasonal sites at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, which will begin offering campsites in 2021. The plan is to, through attrition, eliminate seasonal sites gradually at Collinwood and Schroeder. In addition, a non-resident fee would be included in existing seasonal sites. The current rate is $2,000 per season, which will remain the same for county residents, but non-residents will be charged $2,300 per season. The full-service sites at Collinwood would increase to $2,300 per season, with a non-resident fee of $2,600. Husom said those prices are very reasonable for a campsite for an entire season and agreed that attrition of the seasonal sites is a positive for Wright County residents who want access to campsites that aren’t currently available.
Daleiden moved to approve the recommendation brought forward from the Parks Commission dealing with seasonal campsites. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
3.Approve Proceeding with an Appraisal for 40 Acres Next to Harry Larson County Forest
Mattice said he has been approached by a willing seller of 40 acres of property connecting to Harry Larson County Forest. He said the property is the on the county’s biological survey (a scientific study of organisms to assess the condition of an ecological resource) and this parcel meets nine of the 10 Parks Commission decision-making processes for potential purchase. He added that the action requested is not to buy the property, but to authorize an appraiser to provide a fair market assessment on the parcel to determine whether Parks & Recreation would seek out grant funding opportunities. Mattice said the funding for the appraisal would come from the Park Dedication Fund for Silver Creek Township, which has a current balance of $36,000. Mattice said the owner would retain a separate 40 acres of property and the county would transfer the building entitlement to that property to keep it on the tax rolls. Borrell asked if the county would be better off to sell the building entitlement to an adjoining landowner to the park, which he estimated had a value of $80,000-90,000, adding that, without the entitlement, it should lower the appraisal value of the 40 acres for sale. Mattice said he would instruct the appraiser to give a valuation with or without the building entitlement. Potter said the county has invested heavily in parks and that he would be voting against adding more land to the parks system and taking it off the tax rolls. Borrell agreed with Potter, saying the county will gain park land via donations and doesn’t need to spend any more taxpayer dollars for park land purchases. Vetsch said he supports looking into this parcel is its uniqueness and it is an ecological property that checks a lot of boxes. He added that if the property could be acquired for a reasonable price with grant funding involved.
Daleiden moved to authorize an appraisal of the 40-acre property connecting to Harry Larson County Forest. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. The motion carried 3-2, with Daleiden, Vetsch and Husom voting in favor and Potter and Borrell voting against it.
4.Authorize Parks & Recreation Staff to Develop and Submit Grants for: A) Robert Ney Regional Park Ski Trail Lighting; B) Collinwood Regional Park Native Prairie Restoration; C) Crow River Regional Trail Phase II
Mattice said Parks & Recreation would seek Legacy Grant funding for the lighting project in Ney Park to allow residents to cross country ski after work hours. The Native Prairie Grant Restoration would seek funding through a Conservation Partnership Grant for Collinwood Park. The Crow River Regional Trail Phase II would be a Transportation Enhancement Program which would be five years out this would be the initial application to get the process started.
Vetsch moved to authorize Parks & Recreation to develop and submit the three grant applications as identified. The motion was seconded by Borrell and passed 4-0 (Daleiden briefly stepped out of the board room prior to the vote being taken).
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1.Training Center Tour. Vetsch attended a tour with Wright County mayors of the Tactical Training Center. He praised thetechnological capability of the facility and that it will serve the county well for years to come.
2.Safe Communities of Wright County. Husom was part of the interview process for SCWC’s new executive director. She stated thata candidate will be brought in to meet the SCWC board on Thursday, Sept. 24 to get final approval.
3.Association of Minnesota Counties. Husom attended the AMC Public Safety remote meeting Friday, Sept. 18. The group was askedto choose the three priorities that would be going forward. The top priority was having stable funding for EMS (Emergency MedicalSystems). Another priority was stable funding between counties and the state for corrections. A third priority was reliable funding forEnhanced 911.
4.Great River Regional Library. Potter attended. There was discussion about the Summer Reading Program and Wright County’sparticipation numbers based on percentages was very strong in comparison to the GRRL district as a whole.
5.Trailblazer Transit. Potter praised Kevin Kassel, who attended his last meeting as a member of the Trailblazer Joint Powers Board,for his integral work as Wright County became a member of Trailblazer in turbulent times early on. Potter said he was going topresent Kassel with a Certificate of Appreciation at the Sept. 22 St. Michael City Council meeting. Discussion took place about thesolicitation of Isanti and Chisago counties into Trailblazer. Potter said that neither county has shown a great deal of interest topotentially join the Trailblazer system. Vetsch added that, for the first time, the Trailblazer facility in Buffalo is fully staffed. Husom,Vetsch and Potter all attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the expansion of the Buffalo bus storage facility Thursday, Sept. 17.
6.I-94 Coalition. Potter attended a debriefing virtual meeting of the group. He informed that the board that Wright County didn’treceive funding for any of its projects through the federal BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant program. However, two Minnesota projects did receive funding Hwy. 14 in southern Minnesota and the Hwy. 10 bridge project in Anoka. Potter said the positives are that Minnesota got two federal projects and those remaining projects now move up the list for future funding.
7.AMC Annual Conference. Daleiden said that AMC has announced that the annual meeting held in December each year will be donevirtually in 2020. Daleiden met with the Health & Human Services Policy committee Thursday, Sept. 17. The committee wants to dialin counties in the budget process regarding MnCHOICES, mental health and substance abuse disorder funding and Public Healthgrants because those are critical to every county and counties should be at the table of those discussions. Daleiden added that thecounty board needs to have a meeting with legislators that represent the county before the 2021 legislative session. He added thatwaivers that have been allowed during COVID-19 have streamlined operations and has made many processes more efficient.
County Administrator Lee Kelly said that the application process for small business/non-profit grants being accepted by the county through the Wright County Economic Development Partnership has been open for less than two weeks, but the WCEDP has already received 76 small business applications and seven applications from non-profits. The application period runs through Oct. 8.
The meeting adjourned at 10:17 a.m.
County Board Minutes submitted by John Holler, Communication Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 16, 2020.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 9/11/2020 For Payment 9/11/2020
ALL STATE COMMUNICATIONS INC 20,000.00
AMAZON BUSINESS 2,378.13
BOUND TREE MEDICAL LLC 2,084.28
BRADBURY STAMM CONSTRUCTION WINKELMAN 341,173.85
BUFFALO/CITY OF 137,400.43
COTTENS INC 5,774.66
GLOVER CONSULTING LLC 12,825.00
GUARDIAN FLEET SAFETY LLC 2,100.00
HELLMAN’S OUTDOOR SERVICES INC 9,520.00
INTEGRIPRINT INC 2,148.49
INTEREUM INC 461,542.48
JEDDELOH & SNYDER PA 3,000.00
KONECTA LLC 3,500.00
M-R SIGN COMPANY INC 11,983.50
MN COUNTIES COMPUTER COOPERATIVE 3,240.00
MN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY 2,273.65
NORTHLAND BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC 5,683.60
OFFICE OF MN IT SERVICES 3,000.00
ON-DEMAND SERVICES GROUP INC 30,788.00
SPECIAL COUNSEL, INC. 15,169.00
STREETLIGHT DATA, INC. 5,000.00
SUBURBAN TIRE WHOLESALE INC 6,136.00
TENVOORDE FORD 31,934.56
TWIN CITY SEED COMPANY 3,081.32
WRIGHT HENNEPIN ELECTRIC 2,193.59
73 Payments less than 2000 29,740.56
Final Total: 1,161,024.20
Warrants Approved On 9/14/2020 For Payment 9/14/2020
ALBERTVILLE BODY SHOP INC 12,695.41
ANOKA COUNTY 104,164.25
DELL MARKETING LP 4,228.54
DYNAMIC LIFECYCLE INNOVATIONS 3,629.80
FS3 INC 3,279.84
GREEN VIEW INC 25,343.47
GUARDIAN FLEET SAFETY LLC 5,091.07
JTK SEALCOATING 7,996.88
PUBLIC EMP RETIREMENT ASSN 4,973.94
RADIANT MISSION SOLUTIONS INC 4,888.00
RDO EQUIPMENT CO 2,955.00
TRUE NORTH CONSULTING GROUP, LLC 3,727.00
VERIZON WIRELESS SERVICES LLC 2,205.95
42 Payments less than 2000 20,241.42
Final Total: 223,900.57
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 16, 2020.