BOARD MINUTESBOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OCTOBER 6, 2020 DATE APPROVED: October 20, 2020
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 a.m. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 9-29-20
Daleiden moved to approve the 9-29-20 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 Potter and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
1. Approve BKV Group Outline of Additional Services, Primarily Revisions and Additions To Interior Layouts for Multiple Departments Throughout the Building Project. Detailed Scope and Associated Fees for All Requested Changes Total: $40,920
1. Refer Items to October 13, 2020 Workshop
A. Strategic Planning
B. Commissioner Handbook
C. Discuss November and December Meeting Schedules
1. Authorize Warrants Issued Between September 23, 2020 and September 29, 2020
2. Approve Budget Amendment to Move Montissippi Picnic Shelter to Unallocated
34-150-521-8094-5315 State Grant DNR ($87,500)
34-150-000-8000-6600 CIP Budget Unallocated Fund ($98,500)
34-170-521-8094-6600 CIP Budget Montissippi Picnic Shelter ($11,000)
3. Approve the Budget Amendment to Move DMV Cash Drawer to Unallocated Fund
34-170-000-8000-6600 CIP Budget Unallocated Fund ($10,000)
34-170-041-8204-6600 CIP Budget Digitalization DMV Cash Reconciliation ($10,000)
4. Motion to Approve Reimbursement of the CARES Act Funds as Follows:
* County CARES Act Funds: County Reimbursement of $6,131.13 from 01-099-489.6813 Transfer Out into 01-100-489.5910 Transfer In
* School District Reimbursement of $293,596.30 from 01-099-489.6813 CARES School District Expense: Dassel-Cokato $52,684.24 (Maximum Allocation Remaining $113,697.60); Delano $205,136.95 (Maximum Allocation Remaining ($130,677.10); Wright Technical Center $35,775.11 (Maximum Allocation Remaining $32,647.95)
* Election CARES Funds: Township Reimbursement of the Election CARES Funds of $690.99 01-099-490.6812; Election CARES Townships as Follows: Clearwater Township $690.99; County Reimbursement of the Election CARES Funds of $7,198.75; 01-099-490.6910 Transfer Out Into 01-071-490.5910 Transfer In
D. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer to County Board Workshop October 13, 2020 for I.T. Department Discussion
E. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Refer to Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Business Manager Position Re-Class to Office Administrator
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
WRIGHT COUNTY EMERGING LEADERS (ADMINISTRATION)
Wright County Emerging Leaders Local Food Shelf Initiative
Erin Baker and Kara Kampa, both social workers for Wright County Health & Human Services, represented Wright County Emerging Leaders. The Emerging Leaders group has started the Season of Giving Initiative to assist Weight County food shelves to increase donations. The time frame for the initiative is from Oct. 26 to the week before Thanksgiving. Husom expressed her appreciation of the group and their work in increase community awareness and participation.
Daleiden moved to express the support of the Wright County Board for the Season of Giving Initiative from the Wright County Emerging Leaders group. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
SHAWNA ATHMAN, SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Resolution to Accept the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Through the Department of Justice
Athman said the Sheriff’s Office has not gone after funding from the Byrne Grant for several years. The grant is specifically identified as being required to target drug interdiction. The Sheriff’s Office’s purpose for seeking the grant funding to promote the facilitation of a female officer in the Special Investigations Unit. This would be done over the summer when there are more School Resource Officers to choose from. Athman said female agents can do more female-to=female interactions and some men are more willing to talk to a female agent. The grant is a one-year grant in the amount of $12,065 and will be used to pay salary for the agent next summer.
Daleiden moved to accept the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant through the Department of Justice. The motion was seconded by Borrell and the resolution passed 5-0.
Resolution to Accept the 2021 Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Enforcement Grant from the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety
Athman said this is a grant the Sheriff’s Office receives every year, but this year’s amount ($37,525) is approximately $10,000 more than last year. The Sheriff’s Office got local police departments in the county to participate in the program. In the past, some police departments had declined to participate in the program. The grant covers enforcement of issues like DUI, distracted driving, speeding and the state’s Move Over Law, which deals with law enforcement/first responder vehicles stopped on the side of roads.
Vetsch moved to accept the 2021 Toward Zero Deaths Enforcement Grant from the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and the resolution carried 5-0.
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Information Item: The Wright County License Bureau Will Be Closed Wednesday-Friday (Nov. 11-13) for the New Software MnDRIVE to Be Installed
Hiivala informed the board that all License Bureaus and DMVs will be closed Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 11-13, while the software for the new MnDRIVE system is being installed. The License Bureau will be open extended hours Monday and Tuesday Nov. 9-10 to make more appointments available before the temporary shutdown. Hiivala said staff has been going through training. License Bureau Supervisor Becky Aanerud said all employees must go through 40 hours of training with MnDRIVE. Daleiden asked about plans for the walk-up exterior window where non-driver’s license transactions take place. Aanerud said she has met with county staff on an alternative plan to keep the walk-up window open during the winter months and provided limited appointments for non-license transactions and a walk-up indoor option. Currently, the License Bureau processes 90 driver’s licenses a day and plans to drop that number to 60 a day in winter, opening 30 appointment slots for non-license transactions. It will be a trial run to see if it will work to reduce the number of driver’s license appointments. Vetsch and Husom commended the License Bureau staff for being able to adapt during COVID-19, implement an appointment system and quickly complete transactions. Vetsch suggested that the county board discuss a plan for the License Bureau during the winter months at its Oct. 14 workshop meeting. Hiivala and Husom thanked the Sheriff’s Office for providing uniformed deputies near the License Bureau for crowd control and professionalism.
Approve 2020 Tobacco License for Jack’s of French Lake Inc. (French Lake Township for the License Period of Oct. 6, 2020 Through Dec. 31, 2020
Daleiden moved to approve a 2020 tobacco license for Jack’s of French from the period of Oct. 6, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Approve 2020 Tobacco License for Ske, Inc. DBA H&H Sports Shop (City of Maple Lake) for the License Period of Sept. 24, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020
Vetsch moved to approve a 2020 tobacco license for H&H Sports for the period of Sept. 24, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Authorize Private Sale of Tax-Forfeited Properties to the Preserve East HOA and Approve Conditions for Sale
Hiivala said his office has been trying to clean up numerous small tax-forfeit parcels. Assistant County Attorney Brian Asleson said the county has been dealing with two homeowners associations the Preserve HOA and the Preserve East HOA. There are six parcels three parcels on the east end of the development by Hwy. 241 and three parcels in between the two HOAs that has become something of a dumping ground for litter and grass clippings. The Preserve East HOA has sought to acquire the parcels, but the paperwork isn’t available to convey the parcels for free. The recommendation is to sell the six parcels for $100 each, plus document recording fees. The HOA has already submitted payment to the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office.
Potter moved to approve the private sale of tax-forfeited property to the Preserve East Homeowners Association. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Authorize the Auditor to Do Improvements/Demolition to the Tax Forfeited Parcel #209-000-223103
Asleson said the property is located in French Lake Township and is deteriorating. Its location is an issue because it is on a high bank on the shores of the Crow River and is crumbling. The owner passed away and is a very neglected property. The proposal is to demolish the property. Hiivala has received two bids to conduct the demolition. The property has not had taxes paid for so long that it is now the property of the State of Minnesota. The property is deemed as non-buildable because of its location and lack of septic system. Potter said a distressed property like this in a remote location is the kind of site used for a meth lab and the county would be better suited to simply remove it. Potter made a motion to authorize the demolition of the property. The motion was second by Vetsch. Asleson said the county can recoup its costs out of proceeds for sales of other tax-forfeit properties in the county because it is unlikely this property would ever be sold. Borrell stated that if the house is torn down, the property would be unbuildable. Potter said the house could be repaired, but it will still need a septic system up to code. Borrell countered that a tank system could be installed, the house remodeled and maintain a buildable lot with more value. Asleson said the Department of Natural Resources has expressed concerned because of the home’s condition and its proximity to the Crow River. Hiivala said the county could explore to see if there was any potential value to the property. Borrell suggested bringing the matter to the Tax Forfeit Committee to determine if there could be any potential value if the property was rebuilt instead of being torn down. Potter withdrew his original motion and Vetsch withdrew his second.
Borrell moved to refer the Tax Forfeit Parcel #209-000-223103 to the Tax Forfeit Committee for review. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
VIRGIL HAWKINS, HIGHWAY ENGINEER
Approve Quit Claim Deeds for the Transfer of Property to the Delano Economic Development Authority. The City of Delano has Requested a Swap of Land Along CSAH 30 and CSAH 16 Between the City and County That Would Be Mutually Beneficial for the Both the County Highway Department and the Delano Economic Development Authority
Hawkins said the City of Delano proposed a land swap that included three parcels in exchange for highway easement along CSAH 30 and CSAH 16. The county acquired the three parcels 20 years earlier when the Minnesota Department of Transportation did an improvement project on Hwy. 12. The swap allows the city to redevelop the parcel where a gas station used to be next to the Dairy Queen. The Delano City Council already approved the swap.
Daleiden moved to approve the Quit Claim Deed for the transfer of property to the Delano Economic Development Authority for land located along CSAH 30 and 16 in exchange for highway easement. The motion was seconded by Potter and the carried 5-0.
Approve Resolution of Final Acceptance for Contract No. 1907 (CP 086-017-195) and Authorize Final Payment to Redstone Construction LLC in the Amount of $59,974.16. The Final Value of the Work Certified is $771,243.43 ($125,000 County Share & $646,243.43 City of Delano/FEMA Grant Funds
Hawkins said the project in question was the building of a flood wall in the City of Delano and was a collaborative effort between the city and county. The city was able to use FEMA funds to pay for the floodwall.
Potter moved to approve final acceptance and authorize final payment to Redstone Construction LLC in the amount of $59,974.16. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
MATT DETJEN, AGRICULTURE & DRAINAGE
Vote on the Order Directing Further Investigation by the Viewers on the Redetermination of Benefits for County Ditch #16 and County Ditch #19
Detjen said that the CD 16 and CD 19 require complex hydrological modeling and that the ditch viewer (H2Over Viewers) can perform itself. It was suggested to retain Houston Engineering to perform the advanced modeling scenarios at a cost of $6,000. Borrell said he received many calls from people who live on French Lake and that their share of a ditch repair cost would be minimal. Borrell said he isn’t sure if the additional modeling would substantially change the redetermination of benefitted land owners and there is no guarantee it would work. Vetsch said the county is not looking to make the watershed bigger, just shift the numbers within the current pie. Borrell said he didn’t believe what is being proposed would be equitable. Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer the viewer is looking to change the assessment and increase the value of benefits of properties along the lakeshore, the resolution presented is the best way to do that. He added that, if the board was to unilaterally reassess benefits on the ditch, the county would be in a weaker legal position than if the viewer recommended the assessment changes. Kryzer said the board has the authority to tell the viewers to go back and look at things the board believes they may have missed and the resolution directs them to do that. He added that the county should follow the science and let the science lead the way to solutions. Detjen said no matter what viewing method is done, there is a single residential classification and applies to people in lowland areas and who are at a higher elevation. Vetsch said that there needs to be equity because, historically, benefitted landowners on ditches have been viewed as agricultural properties, not residential. Borrell said he is reluctant to vote for the resolution because he doesn’t believe all options have been explored. He proposed excluding properties that are more than four feet above the ditch system and as the ditch authority, the county board has the authority to do it. Borrell asked if the board would stipulate to pay $100 for a clean-out every 10-15 years. Husom said the county would have more options going forward with the hydrology study. Kryzer said if the board veered away from the viewer’s recommendation, it would have to articulate those reasons, adding the board can’t act unilaterally against the recommendations of the viewer without the evidence to back it up opening itself up to litigation, which was cost far more than the $6,000 for the hydrology study. Borrell asked if there could be a prediction made with a high number, low number and medium number before committing to the hydrological study to see how the models impact individual property assessments. Vetsch said this would be a total 180-degree departure from past practices, adding if it was viable he would consider it, but it is a significant change from how the county has done ditch business in the past. Kryzer said the purpose of the hydrological study would be to determine the value of properties with or without the ditch. Borrell added that anyone whose property is two feet higher than the ditch level should be removed from the rolls of benefited landowners. Potter asked Kryzer if the $6,000 proposal puts the county in the safest position against litigation, adding that if something is done arbitrarily on this ditch, it will set a precedent for other ditches. Vetsch said the county has already stepped outside the box on this matter and is looking to find mechanisms within the law to be in compliance. Kryzer said Wright County is very unique as a county. Most counties with ditches have flat agricultural land that drains water. Wright County has ditches that drain into bodies of water protected by the State of Minnesota. The viewers are trying to adjust to the unique terrain of Wright County. Kryzer affirmed that going with the modeling to assist the viewers is the safest route to avoid potential litigation. Borrell said he’s not opposed to the study if it will work, but he wants to see the hypothetical numbers of a high, low and medium model. Vetsch said he would like to see the cost of the hydrology study to come out of Professional Services. Potter made a motion to approve having Houston Engineering conduct the hydrology study for Ditches 16 and 19 to provide further investigation. Daleiden asked if the $6,000 would come out of Professional Services. Potter asked if the county was heading down a slippery slope. Kryzer recommended approving the work, but not assigning where the funding would come from until there was further review. Husom said that, upon review of all the information and recommendations from attorneys, the county should take the safest route and approve the hydrological study. Vetsch said this isn’t a race that needs to be decided today and would be against voting for Potter’s motion at this time. Husom said she wants the board to be comfortable with the final decision and not be a divided board, suggesting maybe tabling the matter for two weeks to get more information.
Borrell moved to table the discussion for two weeks. A motion to table doesn’t require a second. The motion passed 4-1, with Borrell, Daleiden, Husom and Vetsch voting to table the matter and Potter opposed to the motion.
ALICIA O’HARE, WRIGHT COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
Water Management Task Force Bylaws Update
O’Hare brought forward an update of the Water Management Task Force bylaws. She said that it has been difficult to fill seats on the Task Force, so it has expanded the parameters to fill those seats. The discussion at the task force level was to determine who fills these vacant seats. The bylaws currently are filled by the county board, but the sentiment was that the Wright Soil & Water Conservation District does the majority of the hands-on work with the membership of the Task Force and the SWCD should be allowed to make the decisions regarding membership of the Task Force. Vetsch said it makes sense to let SWCD made the decisions to add membership. Potter said he had concerns about the county board not having input on the Task Force membership, citing that the Task Force could be “stacked” with members that have agendas that may conflict with the county board’s vision. Husom said if the commissioners have interested individuals that would be willing to serve on the Task Force, those names should come forward. O’Hare said there are open seats on the Task Force and board recommendations would be welcome. Vetsch said the Task Force is much less political now. Borrell said once the One Watershed, One Plan statewide system is implemented that the Task Force will likely fade away. O’Hare said the Task Force is a recommended committee, not required.
Vetsch moved to approve the Water Management Task Force update request. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
Set a Committee of the Whole to Discuss Elected Officials Salaries
Potter moved to set a Committee of the Whole meeting for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 to discuss elected officials salaries for 2021. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Schedule Closed Session for Labor Negotiations
County Administrator Lee Kelly said the county has received renewals for health insurance and there needs to be a discussion on the contribution from the county to the plans. He stressed that the discussion should happen sooner than later.
Daleiden moved to schedule a closed session of the board for noon Monday, Oct. 12. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Proclaim Oct. 1-7 as Minnesota Manufacturing Week
Borrell moved to proclaim Oct. 1-7, 2020 as Minnesota Manufacturing Week. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and the resolution carried 5-0.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Emergency Services Board. Borrell attended the Sept. 30 meeting and was notified that 911 service went down Sept. 29 that impacted several states. Borrell said the public needs to know that if 911 doesn’t work, the non-emergency number will still go to Sheriff’s Office dispatch. The numbers that residents can call are (763) 682-1162 or (763) 682-7600. Sheriff Sean Deringer said it was frustrating that it happened in such a widespread manner in several states and that the carriers in charge of the trunk lines are investigating why it happened.
The meeting adjourned at 10:31 a.m.
County Board Minutes submitted by John Holler, Communication Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 30, 2020.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 9/24/2020 For Payment 9/24/2020
ANOKA COUNTY CORRECTIONS 10,498.20
ARAMARK SERVICES INC 7,961.93
BOB BARKER COMPANY INC 3,545.72
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 19,995.00
DYNAMIC LIFECYCLE INNOVATIONS 3,354.28
MINNESOTA MONITORING INC 19,332.25
NEXUS MILLE LACS FAMILY HEALING 10,914.90
ST CLOUD HOSPITAL 5,668.12
VERIZON WIRELESS SERVICES LLC 13,823.89
VILLAGE RANCH INC 30,514.01
29 Payments less than 2000 18,243.52
Final Total: 146,194.60
Warrants Approved On 9/25/2020 For Payment 9/25/2020
DELL MARKETING LP 5,655.11
GUARDIAN FLEET SAFETY LLC 2,832.70
INTERPROSE CORPORATION/THE 2,451.01
MARCO TECHNOLOGIES LLC 17,466.73
MINNESOTA RECOVERY CONNECTION 2,716.17
NORTHLAND BUSINESS SYSTEMS INC 2,194.58
NORTHWOODS FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS 20,175.00
PEARSON BROS. INC 12,720.63
REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MN 50,046.24
SANOFI PASTEUR INC 3,618.13
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 466 21,117.17
ST MICHAEL/CITY OF 3,422.68
TENTCRAFT INC 7,442.92
THOMSON REUTERS WEST PUBLISHING CORP 2,510.37
TRUENORTH STEEL 7,853.76
UMB BANK, N.A. 3,000.00
WRIGHT CTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNER 100,000.00
WRIGHT HENNEPIN COOP ELEC ASSN 2,574.72
41 Payments less than 2000 18,603.20
Final Total: 286,401.12
Warrants Approved On 9/28/2020 For Payment 9/28/2020
MATTSON WELL COMPANY 25,255.10
MCKESSON MEDICAL-SURGICAL 5,243.63
NEXUS MILLE LACS FAMILY HEALING 7,954.30
TW VENDING INC 11,300.01
11 Payments less than 2000 4,553.93
Final Total: 54,306.97
Published in the Herald Journal, Oct. 30, 2020.