Wright County Board Minutes

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 a.m. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter and Daleiden present. Borrell attended remotely.
Daleiden moved to approve the 10-27-20 Wright County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
The follow items were petitioned to the Consent Agenda:
* Highway Department request to fill a vacancy for a Highway Maintenance Worker position due to the recent resignation of a Highway Maintenance Worker
* Approve the release of CARES funding for Small Businesses through Wright County Economic Development Partnership in the amount of $778,760 for Small Business Grants That Have Successfully Gone Through the Approval Process The following item was petitioned to the Timed Items portion of the agenda
* Auditor/Treasurer – License Bureau closure Nov. 11-13
Potter moved the Agenda with the three modifications added. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the modified Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
1. Schedule Meeting with Legislators at 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020, LEC Community Room
2. Refer Items to November 10, 2020 County Board Workshop
A. Wright County EDA Update
B. Flaherty & Hood Contract
C. Crossroads Animal Shelter Dangerous Dog Contract
D. CARES Act Funding Update
E. Topics for Meeting with Legislators
1. Request Approval of the 2021 Wright County Non-Union Benefits Contribution
2. Request Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the County Contributions for the 2021 Health Insurance Plans with the Teamsters, Local 320 (Courthouse)
3. Request Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the County Contributions for the 2021 Health Insurance Plans with the Assistant Wright County Attorneys Association
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued between October 21, 2020 and October 27, 2020
2. Requesting County Board Approval, Board Chairperson Signature and Authorization for County Auditor/ Treasurer to Sign the 2020 Audit Engagement Letter
3. Approve the Renewal of 2021 Tobacco Licenses for:
* Cokato: Jack’s of Cokato Inc.
* French Lake Township: Jack’s of French Lake Inc.
* Maple Lake: Ske Inc. DBA H&H Sport Shop
* Montrose: Doug & Sally Roepke Inc. DBA The Ugly Bar
* Waverly: Mid-County Coop DBA Mid-County Holiday of Waverly
4. Motion to Approve the Reimbursement of CARES Funds as Follows:
* County CARES Funds: County Reimbursement of $17,012.74 from 01-099-489.610 Transfer Out Into 01-100-489-5910 Transfer In
* School District Reimbursement of $1,315,600.54 from 01-099-489.6813; CARES School District Expenses: St. Michael-Albertville $883,925.92; Rockford $12,296.27 Wright Technical Center $32,647.95; Monticello $386,730.40
* Township Reimbursement of the Elections CARES Funds of $838.58 from 01-099-490-6812; Election CARES – Townships as Follows: Buffalo Township $838.58
* County Reimbursement of CARES Funds – Affiliates of $34,564.16 from 01-099-489.6815; Affiliates as Follows: Wright Soil & Water Conservation District $19,369.23; Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy $15,194.93
1. Request to Fill Vacancy for a Highway Maintenance Worker Position (Due to Recent Resignation of a Highway Maintenance Worker
1. Position Replacement
A. IT Systems Engineer
Accept the Findings and Recommendations of the Planning Commission for the Following Requests to Rezone:
A. BUFFALO LAKE LLC (Marysville Township) – Recommend Rezoning from AG General Agriculture & S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands to A/R Agricultural/Residential and S-2 and a Rural Planned Unit Development District
B. TIM MCGUIRE (Rockford Township) – Approval of the Rezoning from R-2a Suburban Residential & S-2 Residential Recreational Shorelands Back to AG General Residential & S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands.
C. PETER LAMPI (Monticello Township) – Approval of the Rezoning of 26 Acres of the Property From AG General Agriculture & Part S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands to A/R Agricultural-Residential & Part S-2
Approve Release of CARES Funding for Small Businesses Through Wright County Economic Development
Partnership in the Amount $778,760 for Small Business Grants That Have Successfully Gone Through the
Approval Process
Approve Wright County Reconveyance Resolution
The action being requested was a reconveyance of a tax-forfeited parcel that the Wright County Highway Department was conveyed by the State of Minnesota as a right-of-way parcel for the CSAH 39 construction project in Otsego that wasn’t needed when the final design was completed. Assistant County Attorney Brian Asleson said the initial conveyance to the County was one year ago. The County now has no use for this property and, under tax-forfeit statutes, if a parcel is not used for the purpose it was conveyed for, it must undergo a reconveyance back to the original jurisdiction. Asleson said the reconveyance is effectively a Quit Claim Deed that needs to be signed off by Husom and County Administrator Lee Kelly.
Potter moved to authorize the reconveyance of the land parcel along CSAH 39 in Otsego back to the State of Minnesota. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
* License Bureau Closure Nov. 11-13
Becky Aanerud, Wright County License Bureau Supervisor, told the Board that her office will have extended open hours Monday, November 9, 2020 and Tuesday, November 10, 2020 to accommodate extra License Bureau appointments because the State of Minnesota will be closing all License Bureaus and DMVs from Wednesday, November 11, 2020 through Friday, November 13, 2020 to download the MnDRIVE operating software used for Department of Motor Vehicle transactions, replacing the failed MNLARS system. Aanerud stated the dates were chosen because Veterans Day falls on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 and the office would have been closed anyway, leaving just two work days that the office will be closed. MnDRIVE will go live at 8 a.m. Monday, November 16, 2020. Aanerud said the number of daily appointments for driver’s license renewals will be reduced over the first two weeks of the new operating system to allow staff to get accustomed to the changes. She said walk-ins without appointments will be accepted, adding that even with the appointment schedule of 90 per day, her office has accommodated up to 50 walk-ins per day in recent weeks. All License Bureau staff have received approximately 40 hours of training on the new system, but they need tangible practice on the new equipment to get up to speed. No action was taken, as the item was informational.
Introduce the Board Recent Hire: IT Security Analyst Tou Pha
Kelly said there was a miscommunication and asked that the item be placed on the November 17, 2020 agenda.
Set Transportation Committee of the Whole Meeting to Discuss Transportation Items, Tentatively Including the Following for Board Consideration: Review and Approve/Adopt Five-Year Plan & Map Update (2021-25); Review and Approve/Adopt Update to Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP); Review CR 138 Route Change Status & Staff Recommendation. Suggested Dates: Monday, November 30 (PM), Tuesday, December 1 (PM), or Thursday December 3 (PM)
Hawkins said there was questions as to where to conduct the meeting, suggesting that since the County Boardroom is set up to conduct meetings virtually, it would allow representatives from cities or townships that may have an interest in some of the agenda items to attend remotely. Husom said Tuesday, December 1 would work because all the commissioners will be at the Government Center for the annual Budget/Levy hearing (often known as Truth in Taxation) at 6 p.m. on that date.
Potter moved to set a Transportation Committee of the Whole meeting for 3 p.m. Tuesday, December 1, 2020 to discuss the items listed by Hawkins. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board meeting, Vetsch moved to approve the 10-27-20 Committee of the Whole minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
In discussion pertaining to the old County Jail kitchen, Husom said a tour the commissioners took was very helpful to see what inventory remains. Potter added that there had been some confusion as to whether Wright County Community Action was seeking to re-open the jail kitchen and that it would have been difficult and costly to bring the mothballed kitchen up to Minnesota Department of Health standards. In the discussion pertaining to the succession of the County Attorney, Vetsch said he was honored that the County Board can move forward to name Brian Lutes as the new county attorney later on today’s agenda.
I. Wright County Attorney Successor
County Attorney Tom Kelly said that pursuant to Minnesota Statute 382.02 to fill vacancies, he is recommending that Brian Lutes, Chief of the Criminal Division of the Wright County Attorney’s Office, be selected to fill out the remainder of his term, which runs through December 31, 2022.
T. Kelly summarized Lutes’ career, which included being in private practice for six years and serving as an Assistant City Attorney for Golden Valley and Crystal, where he had extensive litigation experience, including jury trials. He began employment with Wright County in 2000 as an Attorney I. T. Kelly said Lutes shared his philosophy of team prosecution that includes a strong working relationship with law enforcement. T. Kelly has consistently received positive feedback from law enforcement about Lutes and his job performance. In 2001, he advanced to Assistant Attorney II, where the positive feedback he received concerning Lutes came not only from law enforcement, but judges and probation employees as well. In 2005, he was promoted to Attorney III and prosecuted numerous types of cases. In 2005, T. Kelly wrote of Lutes’ performance “Brian is a very important piece to my office, I rely on him to carry the weight of the day. His work ethic is exceptional. His attitude, professionalism and leadership are great.”
In 2010, the Chief of the Criminal Division was an open position and T. Kelly promoted Lutes to fill that role. He was responsible for all prosecution and CHIPs cases, supervising nine attorneys in the office. He continued to maintain his caseload and continued prosecuting jury trials. He maintained the team approach T. Kelly espoused and continued to build a strong working relationship with law enforcement. In 2011, when assessing Lutes’ job performance, T. Kelly wrote, “His attitude, work ethic, values, commitment and professionalism are all attributes that confirm my decision to make him Chief.” In 2012, Lutes began working with T. Kelly on grand jury proceedings. T. Kelly said that prosecuting cases and making a case to get an indictment from a grand jury are two very different aspects of being an attorney and he excelled at both. In 2014, T. Kelly wrote of Lutes’ job performance, “Brian continues to have the trust and respect of judges, defense attorneys, probation, law enforcement, attorneys and the support staff he supervises.” In 2014, he served with T. Kelly in a homicide case that had six defendants and all six were successfully prosecuted and convicted.
T. Kelly said his office would not be the same without Lutes’ leadership and common sense. T. Kelly said Lutes doesn’t micromanage his division. He said his philosophy has been to hire the best people available, get out of their way and allow them to do their jobs. By doing so, the attorneys take ownership of their workloads. In 2019, T. Kelly wrote of Lutes, “His attitude, loyalty, work ethic, values, common sense, commitment and professionalism are all exceptional.” T. Kelly said Lutes’ leadership has been on display as the office has been forced to adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his retirement letter, T. Kelly recommended that Lutes be his successor as Wright County Attorney, adding that, without reservation, he would recommend Lutes to the County Board.
T. Kelly wanted to go on record with his admiration of the performance of Chief Deputy Brian Asleson during his career. One of Kelly’s first acts after being elected to his first term was to appoint Asleson as his Chief Deputy. Kelly said Asleson has been everything he expected he would be and more, citing his attitude, academics, common sense, humility, leadership and work ethic. T. Kelly said he would have recommended Asleson to fill out his term, but Asleson had let him know his plans to retire in 2021. T. Kelly thanked Asleson for the public service he has done for the citizens of Wright County. T. Kelly said that there is a transition plan in place and, when Asleson retires in 2021, if Lutes is appointed, Lutes will be tasked with appointing the next Chief of the Civil Division to replace Asleson. If Lutes is appointed, T. Kelly said the transition of the office would be smooth.
Asleson echoed the praise of Lutes. In his career, Asleson has worked under four county attorneys with the last 30 years in Wright County. He said that, without hesitation, he would support the appointment of Lutes to replace T. Kelly and wholeheartedly supported the statements T. Kelly made about his qualifications. Asleson praised Lutes’ tireless work ethic. He stated that any elected official – county attorney, sheriff and auditor/treasurer – needs to be active in their communities. Lutes has been active in Monticello for years in coaching youth sports and in his church. Asleson said the reason he chose to speak was to lend his support for the appointment.
Lutes addressed the board and provided his work history. He attended law school at the University of Minnesota starting in 1991. He was in private practice for six years before spending the last 21 years as a prosecutor. He said he has built a strong working relationship with the Minnesota State Patrol, Wright County Sheriff’s Office and city police departments in Buffalo, Annandale and Howard Lake. He has felt it is important to maintain those relationships and earn the trust of law enforcement to work together in the criminal justice system. He felt given his experience working with so many local and state agencies, he feels being appointed County Attorney to fill out Kelly’s term is a natural stepping stone for his career. He said it was an honor to work under T. Kelly and hear the words T. Kelly spoke to the County Board at today’s committee meeting. He felt that his career has led him to this point and is looking forward to the opportunity and challenge in front of him. Lutes said he has learned a lot from Kelly, especially his management style. He added the most important thing he has are his employees, which he said is exemplary and he is confident if he maintains the same management style as Kelly, the office will thrive moving forward.
Husom said that T. Kelly has been planning his retirement for some time and appreciated that he put a succession plan in place that brought forward Lutes as his recommended candidate to be the next Wright County Attorney. Potter said that T. Kelly is well respected not only in Wright County, but throughout the state and that, if Lutes is T. Kelly’s choice to replace him, Potter has the confidence and trusts his judgment as to who is the best person to be his successor. Potter added that he would fully support the recommendation of Lutes. Vetsch and Husom also voiced their support for the recommendation brought forward by T. Kelly.
Recommendation: Approve the recommendation of appointing Brian Lutes as Wright County Attorney upon the retirement of Tom Kelly December 31, 2020 and place a resolution for the appointment on the November 3, 2020 Wright County Board agenda for final approval.
II. Wright County Community Action (WCCA) – Old Jail Kitchen Area
Daleiden began the discussion saying that Wright County Community Action (WCCA) is seeking storage space for equipment WCCA was able to acquire through grant funding as WCCA finalizes out a long-term agreement with a private business to be the site where WCCA employees prepare and distribute food to needy residents in Wright County. Daleiden said there are shipping bays at the old County Jail that aren’t being utilized and one of those bays could serve as a storage area. Daleiden said he was surprised that so many of the items that remain in the kitchen of the old County Jail hadn’t been sold or removed from the Government Center previously.
WCCA Director Jay Weatherford addressed the board, saying that WCCA has partnered with local organizations to deliver 60,000 pounds of produce since the pandemic began. He said WCCA was offered as much as 95,000 pounds of produce, but didn’t have the space or manpower to handle that level of volume without it potentially spoiling and not getting out to those who need it. He feels there may be more opportunities with other growers to bring in even more produce and preserve more of it through freezing or canning instead of it ending up on a compost pile. He added that the canned and frozen produce could be utilized by food shelves in the off season between fall harvest and spring planting. Weatherford said WCCA received a grant for a refrigerated truck that has freezing capacity to store vegetables longer and preserve their shelf life.
Weatherford said WCCA is accumulating commercial kitchen equipment and those items need to be purchased by the end of the year under CARES Act guidelines, so there is a need for additional storage space. He said the idea had come up to use the abandoned County Jail kitchen in the Government Center as a commercial kitchen, but WCCA has found another location where the kitchen can be operated. WCCA is looking to have the commercial kitchen in operation long-term, not just during the COVID-19 time frame. Husom asked how does the process of commercially processing food work with canning and freezing and meeting all of the USDA and Minnesota Department of Health requirements for such operations. Weatherford said they are going through that process at this time.
Vetsch said that there are numerous checklist items that need to be maintained on an ongoing basis in terms of planning, tracking and federal and state laws pertaining to the mass production, packaging and distribution of food. Vetsch said he had concerns about the potential of WCCA using the County Jail kitchen in the Government Center because of liability issues. He added that he was not in favor of upgrading the existing kitchen because remaining Government Center employees will be moving out the new Wright County Government Center in September 2021 and he didn’t see the viability of making upgrades for one growing season only to have the building vacated next summer. Husom also expressed concerns about liability issues if the commercial kitchen was located inside the Government Center, but did not have an issue with using one of the garage bays for temporary storage space.
Husom asked if other non-profits might get the impression that WCCA is getting a benefit from the county that other organizations do not receive. Daleiden said there is a state statute directly dealing with Community Action organizations that allows county governments to deal with them differently than other non-profits, adding that he also doesn’t support putting any money into making the jail kitchen operational again. Daleiden asked Asleson to clarify for the Commissioners the statute he referenced. Asleson said Wright County Administrator Lee Kelly had reached out to him prior to the committee meeting about the topic being discussed and he looked into the applicable statutes. Asleson said there is a general statute that states if equipment is valued at less than $15,000, there is no requirement to go out for bids. He said there is another statute specifically dealing with Community Action agencies and stated that the statute provides for a County Board to supply whatever assistance it deems appropriate for Community Action agencies. Husom, Potter and Vetsch said they would like to tour the kitchen area following the committee meeting to get a firsthand look at what equipment is there and Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek said he would give the Commissioners a tour.
Potter said that, in light of the statute and that WCCA provides service to the neediest of Wright County residents, it makes it easier for him to support this request. He added that there should be some sort of deadline for WCCA to have the equipment out of the Government Center given the move that will be taking place in September 2021 and the current Government Center being vacated. Husom said that the requirement of having the commercial kitchen off-site would preclude the county having to deal with the Minnesota Department of Health over the working conditions in the kitchen.
Wilczek said he had some concerns about the use of the jail kitchen prior to the meeting, but most of those concerns and questions involved the potential use of the kitchen for food preparation. He said with that issue apparently off the table, he doesn’t have many remaining questions. Wilczek said some of the coolers are in good working order while others are not. He asked whether this was a donation and if the equipment is donated “as is” or if staff is expected to perform maintenance work on the equipment. He is unsure whether any of the other equipment is in working order. He said in discussions with Weatherford, the items he was most interested in were things like the prep tables, a steamer, dishwashers and sanitizing equipment. He added that there is a commercial refrigerator and freezer in the jail kitchen, but was uncertain if either are in good working condition. Weatherford said he was also interested in an oven and grill top that is in the kitchen.
Potter said he would like Weatherford to complete a checklist of the items WCCA wants so there is a proper paper trail. Vetsch expressed concerns about WCCA employees having access to the building after hours when few to no county employees are present.
Wilczek said there could potentially be issues with the keying system that might require maintenance staff to unlock the garage bay doors to provide access to WCCA and throughout the rest of the jail, but that should be an issue that can be figured out. Daleiden said the issue of keys could be resolved by setting a specific timeframe in which WCCA employees could access the garage bay and have the doors locked and unlocked by county maintenance staff. Husom said there is the potential to open and close the door with a garage door opener.
Vetsch suggested setting a deadline of July 1, 2021 for WCCA to have all of its equipment in storage removed from the Government Center. He added that he wants there to be a clear deadline so there isn’t any ambiguity for an expectation 1that WCCA will be able to continue to access the existing Government Center after county staff moves out to the new Government Center. There is going to be a massive liquidation of equipment in the weeks and months leading up to the move out of the Government Center and he felt July 1, 2021 gives WCCA sufficient time to move all of its storage items out of the facility. Potter agreed with the idea of a July 1, 2021 deadline.
Husom asked how long WCCA believes it will be continuing its increased meals program that has been in place since mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic began having positive tests in Minnesota. Weatherford said the intent is to make the produce program of distribution, freezing, canning and fresh delivery to residents to be a long-term program. As for the meal delivery program, Weatherford estimated it would remain at the same level at a minimum through the end of 2020 and likely at least through the first quarter of 2021. At that point, WCCA will assess how the program will be funded and at what level it will continue.
1. Approve a request from Wright County Community Action to have access to equipment storage in one of the garage bays of the old Wright County Jail in the Government Center.
2. Direct the County Attorney’s Office and the County Risk Manager to draw up a contract agreement with Wright County Community Action to hold the county harmless of liability for the items being stored on county property.
3. Explore the potential value of items in the jail kitchen to determine what items may have a viable market value and to determine what items can potentially be donated to Wright County Community Action.
4. Wright County Community Action will provide the county with a detailed listing of items in the jail kitchen it wishes to remove from the Wright County Government Center for WCCA use.
5. Set a deadline of July 1, 2021 for all equipment being stored in the jail garage bay to be removed.
At today’s County Board meeting, Potter moved to approve the 10-28-20 Ways and Means Committee minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
I. Review Ag Inspector and Drainage Inspector Positions
Parks & Recreation Director Mark Mattice stated that this matter was discussed during the 2021 budget process. Now that Matt Detjen, Agricultural & Drainage Supervisor, is now under Parks, and they have added an Agricultural & Drainage Inspector, Cody Lehn, to their staff, they would like to address the current contracts for these services.
The 2021 budget includes a budget for professional services to assist with the transitioning and necessary training to have these duties taken on in-house. Detjen has a very good handle on the ditches. The need is more for weed inspections, weed spraying, identification of plants, and time of year to watch for them. Concern is that current contractor, Erik Heuring, also has a full-time job, so his availability to train Lehn is very limited. Mattice suggested that perhaps they work with Eric Mattson, of SWC., He has worked closely with Heuring and would be available to provide Lehn with the necessary training.
It was clarified that both current contracts for the Drainage Inspector, Mike Young, and the Agricultural Inspector, Erik Heuring, expire on December 31, 2020, and that they are both required to provide an annual report to the Board.
Commissioner Husom questioned Attorney Kryzer if he agreed with the Committee’s direction. Kryzer stated that he has no concerns.
Commissioner Potter added that the services of both Mike Young and Erik Heuring has been appreciated by the County.
Recommendation: Provide training to Agricultural & Drainage Inspector, Cody Lehn, to be paid from 2021 Parks 522 Professional Services budget. Duties of both contracted services, Drainage Inspector and the Agricultural Inspector will be absorbed into the Parks Department commencing in 2021. Current contracts for the Agricultural and Drainage Inspectors will not be renewed and will expire on December 31, 2020. Both contracted positions will be required to complete their duties and provide their final 2020 report, per their contract to the County Board. All records and data shall be transferred over to the County.
At today’s County Board meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the Information Technology Committee minutes (all items were informational only). The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Vetsch praised the work of the Information Technology Department in the progress that it has made in completing numerous projects, despite facing several roadblocks over the last six months. Husom said the department has accomplished many things despite having the majority of its workforce working remotely. Kelly said the schedule for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is being recalibrated from 2020 to 2021. The first goal for early 2021 will be to get the financial backbone and the core Human Resources systems installed with the hopes of using the new ERP systems for the 2022 budget process. The second phase of ERP, scheduled for late in 2021, would involve payroll, Health & Safety and other items that would be incorporated into the ERP system. Kelly added that the scope of the project and the budget have not changed, just the timeline has been altered.
I. IT Status
Matthew Fomby, IT Director, reviewed recent IT organizational structure changes with the Committee. Members were encouraged to contact him with any concerns.
Recommendation: Informational Only
II. Project Updates
Andrea Benedict, IT BA (Business Analyst), noted that the iSeries project, which allows for a hosted backup of crucial data, will be transitioned to the vendor on November 7. There has been a large amount of testing this summer and fall to ensure the rollover is successful. Benedict also touched on the SharePoint Upgrade project, which will be happening soon. Departments will be included in continued updates and testing with that initiative.
Fomby discussed building updates, highlighting that the recent move to the Justice Center went well, with the team being able to utilize the experience to plan for the move to the New Government Center. Commissioner Daleiden asked if the fiber was in at the Sheriff’s Training Center. Fomby replied that it was and that the DSL line would be kept as a backup.
The Administration Event Scheduler was discussed by IT BA, Kevin Kaszynski. Kaszynski noted the Recorder’s Office is utilizing Acuity and will be tweaking the application a little to provide more usage. He is also working with Health and Human Services (HHS) on use cases and finding a robust product that fits their needs.
The Health & Human Services (HHS) Contact Management Center, previously referred to as Call Center, was touched on by IT BA Kevin Kaszynski highlighting that a Statement of Work (SOW) has been signed and approved by the Board. Work will continue this Fall 2020 in order to utilize CARES funding.
The Enterprise Resource Planning Project (ERP) was briefly reviewed by Lee Kelly, County Administrator. Kelly noted there have been fruitful discussions with Ciber and IT ERP BA, Scott Weiland to move the project forward. Weiland is continuing to work with Staff on various functions of the ERP project.
The EDMS Law-Legal Planning was briefly discussed by IT BA, ConnieMae Cooper. The initiative was temporarily suspended due to many of the key stakeholders being impacted with the recent move to the Justice Center. Cooper is reaching out again to resume this process.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only
III. Incremental Approach Concept
Rebecca Murphy, IT, brought up a new project approach that will deliver incremental value throughout a project. The scope will allow focus to be placed on items that deliver the most value first. Committee members were encouraged to reach out with any questions.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only
IV. New Project Requests
Rebecca Murphy, IT, noted there were no new project requests at this time.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only
V. Project Portfolio Scoring
Rebecca Murphy, IT, touched on the updated scoring of incoming IT projects. The scoring will allow consistent value assignments to compare projects. After a review of the Strategic Project Summary the Committee did not have any further updates. Murphy will update project priorities as several projects have closed. The project form is also being updated to incorporate the new Strategic Plan Value Stream and Strategic Objectives as well.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only
VI. Quarter 3 Project Portfolio Update
Rebecca Murphy, IT, reviewed the project deliverables for 2020 Quarter 3. The EDMS – HHS Social Services project was closed. Several operational improvements of excellence were highlighted with one being the project allowed efficient remote work with electronic forms during COVID. The closed Online Appointment Scheduling with Acuity was another project that worked well under COVID circumstances, allowing civic engagement to continue. Other highlighted closed projects were a WatchGuard project for the Sheriff’s Office, Conference Bridge solution of Microsoft Teams County wide again allowing for opportunities to collaborate remotely, Windows Server 2008 replacement for IT, and several other closed projects. For 2020 Quarter 4 there are 14 Strategy, three Technical, and six Discretionary projects on the books. Fomby noted that the remote work environment has not delayed the IT team from completing projects but instead seems to have encouraged a higher production of work. Commissioner Vetsch was encouraged by the progress, noting that it appears the IT team is making small steps forward in making a dent in the project backlog. Commissioner Daleiden concurred with a Thank You to everyone for working hard amidst challenges.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only
Resolution Appointing County Attorney
Kelly said this resolution is being brought before the board because Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly announced September 30, 2020 that he would be retiring as County Attorney with his final day in office will be December 31, 2020. Brian Lutes was recommended to fill out the final two years of the current County Attorney term. Vetsch made a motion to appoint Brian Lutes as Wright County Attorney effective January 1, 2021 and the motion was seconded by Potter. Before coming to a vote, Asleson asked the Board to make a suggested change to the resolution, citing that the County Board needs to accept Tom Kelly’s resignation according to PERA regulations in order for him to qualify for retirement benefits.
Asleson asked that the sentence in the resolution that read:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby appoints Brian A. Lutes as Wright County Attorney, effective January 1, 2021” be changed to:
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby accepts the resignation of Tom Kelly, effective December 31, 2020 and appoints Brian A. Lutes as Wright County Attorney, effective January 1, 2021.”
Lutes addressed the board, expressing his appreciation of the faith Tom Kelly has placed in him. Lutes said he has lived in Monticello for more than 20 years with his wife, five children and one grandchild and been active in the community in youth sports and his church. Lutes has worked with the Wright County Attorney’s Office for 21 years, including the last 10 as the Chief of the Criminal Division. He has served as the chief liaison between the County Attorney’s Office and the law enforcement agencies that operate within the County. He said that he appreciates the faith and support placed in him by Tom Kelly and the County Commissioners. Potter commented that respect is earned, not given, and that Lutes has earned the respect of his peers and the County Board and will continue the high level of professionalism displayed by the office.
Vetsch moved to approve the resolution appointing Brian Lutes as Wright County Attorney, effective January 1, 2021 including the revised language recommendation to acknowledge and officially accept Tom Kelly’s resignation. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Schedule A Committee of the Whole Meeting – Fees Associated with Ditch Assessments
Vetsch moved to set a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss fees associated with ditch assessments for 11 a.m. Friday, November 13, 2020. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Schedule a Committee of the Whole Meeting – Auditor/Treasurer & Finance
Vetsch moved to set a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss matters pertaining to the Auditor/Treasurer & Finance for 11 a.m. Monday, November 9, 2020. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Economic Development Authority Committee. Vetsch and Potter met with several members of the EDA Committee about the next steps and a future recommendation to bring back to the County Board. The discussions have centered on the scope and the makeup of a potential EDA Board. The County Board will be receiving a packet of information in the coming weeks and will schedule a Committee of the Whole meeting at a future date to discuss the future of a potential EDA in Wright County.
Health & Safety Committee. Husom attended the meeting of the Committee Wednesday, October 28, 2020. The committee reviewed accident/incident reports and reviewed any safety suggestions.
Central Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Board. Husom attended the meeting virtually. She said the CMEMS Board continues to support frontline first responders with grant funds to meet their individual requests for assistance. There was an investment made in “Super Soakers” for ambulances so first responders can spray disinfectant at a scene without requiring all surfaces to be wiped down. Medical Director Mary Thomas delivered a presentation on COVID-19 that indicated that, while COVID-19 cases are up, deaths are down.
MnDOT District 3, Region 7W Committee. Potter attended the meeting via Zoom, which had some technical issues. Hennepin County has eliminated Zoom for virtual meetings due to security issues with the platform. MnDOT presented an update on its 50-Year Vision/Long-Term Plan, which was initiated in 2011 and has evolved over the last decade. A new 5-Year Plan for District 3, Region 7W was also discussed. The current plan was approved in 2017 and is in need of updating by 2022. Because of hurdles associated with the pandemic, the group will likely be looking for an extension to present MnDOT with a revised plan.
Union Negotiations. Daleiden and Husom met virtually with representatives of County union employees. Two of the new union contacts have been approved and progress is being made with the remainder of them.
Bertram Chain of Lakes Park. Husom attended a tour of the new cabins that were constructed on the site as part of a campground that will be opening in 2021. Daleiden said temporary speed bumps will placed on the paved road in the park because of safety concerns with so many small children in the park during the camping season and summer months. The speed bumps will be removed in the winter to allow for plowing.
Dental Center. On Thursday, October 29, Administrator Kelly met with the lobbying firm of Flaherty & Hood and representatives from Wright County Health & Human Services to discuss the next steps in the construction of the Dental Center in the new Wright County Government Center.
The meeting adjourned at 10:05 a.m.
County Board Minutes submitted by John Holler, Communication Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, Nov. 27, 2020.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 10/21/2020 For Payment 10/21/2020
AT&T MOBILITY 5,211.27
CXTEC 2,016.00
LOVE INC. 7,099.10
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 2687 35,763.14
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 876 255,416.00
TW VENDING INC 10,762.96
WRIGHT SWCD 24,786.48
58 Payments less than 2000 27,597.90
Final Total: 551,588.39
Warrants Approved On 10/23/2020 For Payment 10/23/2020
KNIFE RIVER 245,818.36
11 Payments less than 2000 3,062.42
Final Total: 703,981.37
Warrants Approved On 10/26/2020 For Payment 10/26/2020
UMB BANK, N.A. 2,089,314.80
Final Total: 2,089,314.80
Warrants Approved For Payment 10/26/2020
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 2687 588,305.71
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 466 333,271.55
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 728 2,880,376.33
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 742 174,750.79
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 876 993,016.41
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 877 3,220,053.34
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 879 1,220,556.08
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 881 552,415.12
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 882 2,387,986.35
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 883 506,952.92
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 885 3,061,919.19
Final Total: 18,444,645.53
Warrants Approved On 10/26/2020 For Payment 10/26/2020
FLAHERTY & HOOD P.A. 2,325.25
GREEN VIEW INC 36,942.10
SPRINT 2,289.71
TOP 20 TRAINING LLC 3,000.00
61 Payments less than 2000 29,064.80
Final Total: 235,206.28
Published in the Herald Journal, Nov. 27, 2020.