Wright County Board Minutes

BOARD MINUTES BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS NOVEMBER 17, 2020 DATE APPROVED: November 24, 2020
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 11-03-20
Vetsch moved to approve the 11-03-20 Wright County Board minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
AGENDA
Vetsch moved to approve the 11-17-20 agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
CONSENT AGENDA
Potter moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
A.ADMINISTRATION
1.Approve Contract with Crossroads Animal Shelter for Dangerous Dog Services
2.Approve Contract with Flaherty & Hood for 2021 Legislative Services
3.Authorize Signatures on Engagement Letter from Flaherty & Hood for Legal Services Associated with Dental Center Project
4.Approve Contract with Wright County Economic Development
B.AUDITOR/TREASURER
1.Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between October 28, 2020 and November 9, 2020
2.Approve Renewal of 2021 Tobacco Licenses for:
City of Albertville – Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Coborn’s #2029; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Coborn’s Liquor #6038; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Little Duke’s; Dooley’s Petroleum Inc DBA Emma’s Express LLC
City of Clearwater: Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Coborn’s #2008; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Coborn’s Liquor #6034; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Little Duke’s; CTP Inc. DBA Clearwater Travel Plaza; CTP Inc. DBA Clearwater Travel Plaza – Fuel Center
City of Cokato: 4-Way Liquors, LLC DBA 4-Way Liquors; Lake Region Co-op DBA Lake Region Co-op Oil Association
City of Delano: Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Holiday Stationstore #4073; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Coborn’s #2028; Hansoline Inc. DBA Flippin’ Bill’s; Super Tobacco 2, LLC DBA Delano Tobacco
City of Hanover: Jonwall, Inc. DBA The Original Tom Thumb
City of Maple Lake: DHT, LLC DBA Maple Lake BP; Lake Region Co-op DBA Lake Region Co-op Oil Association
City of Monticello: Walgreen Co DBA Walgreens #13938
City of Otsego: ARF Enterprises, LLC DBA Riverview Liquorette; Napa Valley Inc. DBA Napa Valley Liquors; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Coborn’s #2047; Coborn’s Incorporated DBA Cash Wise Liquor #7043; Walgreen Co DBA Walgreen’s #13842
3.Motion to Approve the Reimbursement of CARES Funds as Follows:
*Affiliates CARES Funds: Wright County Community Action Agency $24,987.50 01-099-489.6815
*County CARES Funds: County Reimbursement of $23,009.70 from 01-099-489.6910 Transfer Out Into 01-100-489.5910 Transfer In
*School District CARES Funds: Reimbursement of $1,208,271.82 from 01-099-489.6910; CARES School District Expenses: Rockford $12,299.15; Dassel-Cokato $79,753.21; Monticello $167,614.60; Buffalo- Hanover-Montrose $819,944.00; Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted $128,660.86
*Cities Reimbursement of Elections CARES Funds of $1,393.08 from 01-099-490. Election CARES Cities Cities as Follows: City of Annandale $191.37; City of Rockford $345.71; City of Howard Lake $856.00
*County Reimbursement of Affiliates $36,766.29 from 01-099-489.6815; Affiliates as Follows: Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperative $19,256.84; United Way $2,492.91; Central Minnesota Mental Health Center $15,016.54
*Township Reimbursement of $41,468.43 from 01-099-492.6812: Townships as Follows: Clearwater Township $6,538.21; Corinna Township $34,930.22
*Approve the Reimbursement of the Remaining Business Loans That Have Been Disbursed
C.HUMAN RESOURCES – ADMINISTRATION
1.Approve 2021 Non-Union Salary Ranges, Effective January 1, 2021
2.Request Approval and Authorization of Signature of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Contributions for the 2021 Health Insurance Plans with the Teamsters Local No. 320 (Sheriff Essential Supervisory Unit)
3.Request Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the County Contributions for the 2021 Health Insurance Plans with the Wright County Deputies Associations (WCDA)
4.Request Approval of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the County Contributions for the 2021 Health Insurance Plans with I.U.O.E. Local 49
5.Approval of Section 806 (Political Activity) in the Wright County Employee Handbook
D.HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1.Position Replacement
A.Social Worker III/MHP
E.INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1.Position Replacement
A.Business Analyst
2.Refer to the November 25, 2020 Technology Committee:
A.Project Update
1.ECM Architect
2.O365
3.ISeries
4.CAMA
5.CM Migration
6.Admin – Event Scheduler
7.HHS – Contact Management Center
8.ERP
B.New Project Requests
C.Strategic Project Summary
D.Discretionary Project Summary
F.SURVEYOR
1.Authorize County Surveyor to Sign on Behalf of the County the Agreement Between Pictometry, MCCC, And Wright County for Ortho and Oblique Imagery
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
MATTHEW FOMBY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Introduce to the Board Recent Hire: IT Security Analyst Tou Pha
Fomby said that Pha initiated a security assessment of the county’s technology infrastructure and will be patching vulnerable elements in the system. Pha said he was looking forward to better serve the taxpayers and Wright County government.
BILL STEPHENS, PLANNING & ZONING
Adopt the Wright County Solid Waste Management Plan 2020 Update and Authorize the Chair’s Signature
Stephens said the updated plan incorporates management practices for all levels of solid waste, recycling and hazardous waste in Wright County – both from the residential and commercial perspective. He stated that the plan had input provided by several members of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) staff. The plan is a 10-year plan and will be revised in 2027 or 2028 and, like the most recent revision, will likely take about two years to complete. Stephens requested adoption of the plan by the County Board so it can be submitted to the MPCA for a finding of fact and provide final approval. He added that the 30-day public comment period expired November 9, 2020. Husom and Potter commended Stephens on the thoroughness and detail of the 248-page plan. Stephens said the plan will be an evolving document that will take into account issues that his office will be dealing with and incorporate those issues into the document as needed. Vetsch commented that, in recent years, the increase in recycling numbers has grown significantly while the increase in Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) has grown at a slower rate. Daleiden asked if there was any public comment during the 30-day public comment period. Stephens responded that neither Wright County nor the MPCA had received any comments pertaining to the plan. Vetsch commented that finding markets for plastics taken in has been a challenge in many parts of the country, but Wright County has done a good job of finding markets to utilize the plastics it takes in at the Compost & Recycling Facility. Stephens said staff has done a good job of finding markets for the materials brought to the facility and, if there is a down trend in the market, Wright County has storage space available to hold on to the materials and wait for the market to improve.
Daleiden moved to accept and approve the 2020 updated Wright County Solid Waste Management Plan. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
MATTHEW DETJEN, AG & DRAINAGE
Approval of the Minutes from the Public Hearing on the Petition for Removal of Property from County Ditch #10 From Peaceful Meadows LLC Under Minnesota Statute 103E.805 Submitted by Clint Fall. Meeting Held at 2 p.m. Monday, October 19, 2020
Vetsch moved approval of the minutes from October 19, 2020 from the public hearing on the petition for removal of Peaceful Meadows LLC property from County Ditch #10. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Approval of the Minutes from the Public Hearing for Property Not Assessed Benefits Under Minnesota Statute 103E.741 for County Ditch #10 from Meeting Held at 2:30 p.m. Monday, October 19, 2020
Vetsch moved approval of the minutes from the October 20, 2020 public hearing for property not assessed benefits for County Ditch #10. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Approval of the Minutes from the Public Hearing on the Repair Report for County Ditch #10 Under Minnesota Statute 103E.715 from Meeting Held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Daleiden moved approval of the minutes from the October 20, 2020 public hearing on the Repair Report for County Ditch #10. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Resolution to Approve the Findings and Order Accepting the Withdrawal of Petition to Remove Property from County Ditch #10
Potter moved to adopt a resolution to approve the findings and order accepting the withdrawal of petition to remove property from County Ditch #10. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
COMMITTEE MINUTES
11-3-20 COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MINUTES
At today’s meeting, Potter moved to approve the committee minutes and recommendations as presented. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
1.Bertram Chain of Lakes Park Nature School
Mattice said that, in 2019, Wright County Parks & Recreation and the Monticello School District (MSD) partnered to develop a nature-based preschool at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, citing that the success of the program has led to expansion for the 2020-21 school year. He stated that MSD has been very proactive in offering different education styles and currently has a pre-K through 5th grade nature-based education at Bertram, where MSD has a lease to use the facilities. MSD has 140 students in the program and a waiting list. Mattice has met twice with MSD and City of Monticello officials to discuss future options and MSD is looking to expand the program to 300 students and Bertram Park does not currently have the facilities to handle that expansion. Mattice said the master plan for Bertram Park includes the construction of a larger facility to host weddings and large gatherings, but the building wasn’t in the plan until 2022 at the earliest. He said Parks & Recreation is looking at options to expand nature-based education, including private partnerships with different financing mechanisms.Eric Olson, MSD Superintendent, said MSD’s nature-based education began two years ago as a pre-school program and expanded this year. MSD’s desire is to have students at one site – they are currently at three sites (the chalet in the park, a YMCA building and a church), as well as expanding the number of students from 140 to 300. He said the city and MSD looked at potential sites and deemed Bertram Park to be the best suited. MSD proposed potentially entering into a lease agreement for a building in the park. He felt a partnership would be a win-win for both the county and MSD, since the county intends to build a facility and having a lease agreement in place in advance could assist with defray the initial costs. He hopes to get the project fast-tracked to open in August, 2021. The building could serve as a school on weekdays during the academic year and be rented out on weekends and in the summer. He added the proposal would be for a long-term agreement.
Mattice said there are many nature preschools in the state, but very few pre-K-5. He said lease agreements can be complex and wants to determine if there is interest from the County Board to proceed. One proposal would have the building itself owned by a private LLC during the term of the lease. He has spoken with the New Mexico-based Bradbury Stamm Construction, which has done many private-public partnerships and has a branch office in St. Cloud. The positive about a public-private partnership is that the construction can get done quickly, as well as a financing mechanism so the county wouldn’t have to put out bonds for the project.
Vetsch said that, if for some reason, MSD experienced insolvency, Bradbury Stamm would own a building on county property. He added there are multiple learning options that are growing and a project like this would allow MSD to compete with those alternative options, saying he likes the concept, but also wants to protect county assets. Husom said she agrees with the idea of nature-based learning, but her concern is with the county leasing from a private entity that owns the building and the county leasing to MSD is an extra step that creates a three-way financing agreement.
Vetsch said if the county leased the building with investment funds, it could yield 5 percent interest, twice what it typically yields, on potentially a $4 million project. Heather Lemieux, Wright County Assistant Finance Director, said she has concerns about a third party in the middle of the agreement and the potential legal implications. She said there is a fine line to walk because some partnerships are very successful, but some are not and that there will likely be a lot of paperwork that will need to be completed before entering into any third-party agreement.
Potter asked if the project is exclusive to MSD, because he could envision other school districts seeing this as favoritism to MSD and not all schools. He added that he thought the project was progressing too quickly before coming to the County Board, that there are a lot of boxes that need to be checked and he needs more details. Mattice said the purpose of coming to the board was to see if the Commissioners were in favor of the concept before they flesh out the details because, if there is no interest from the Board, it would be a waste of time to dig in any further.
Mattice said the only other school districts the Parks system could handle in in a similar request would be Maple Lake and Dassel-Cokato School Districts, because of their proximity to Ney Park and Collinwood Park, respectively. He added that this conversation is precedent-setting. Olson said without proactive programs like this, school districts are going to have a difficult time retaining students.
Vetsch said a deeper discussion with the stakeholders is needed to get more clarity on the cost/benefit analysis. Mattice said the guiding principles of development in the parks system is to follow the guidelines of the Parks & Recreation master plan and a facility like the one being proposed is in the master plan. Mattice said he liked many things about the proposed lease agreement, but appraised value buyout proposal was the least palatable. Husom said that, ultimately, the county should own this building. Mattice said the cleanest, simplest, cheapest and fastest way to get the project completed is to have the county finance the building and lease/levy it back to the city and MSD.
Lemieux said before the county gets too far into the project, it needs to look at the financials because the county is already carrying debt service. That analysis will be needed before any decision is made. Vetsch said bonding is not an option from his perspective and construction costs are high at the moment. Vetsch added that he wants to Lemieux come up with the financial pros and cons, MSD to provide a cost/benefit analysis, as well as input from Wright County Planning & Zoning and the Wright County Attorney’s Office. The recommendation was to meet as a small group to further discuss the issue.
RECOMMENDATION: Schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting for 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, 2020 to discuss the proposal to construct a building in Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park to include Commissioners Vetsch and Daleiden, Assistant County Attorney Brian Asleson, Planning & Zoning Administrator Sean Riley, Mattice, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director Brad Harrington, Lemieux and two representatives each from MSD and Bradbury Stamm.
II.CARES Act Funding Update
Lemieux provided an update on the status of CARES Act funding silos. School districts in the county were allotted $4.29 million and just $34,155 remains ($33,994 of that coming from the Dassel-Cokato School District). In the Affiliates funding silo, despite the reallocation of more than $511,000 into the Small Business Grant program out of the Affiliates portion, there remains $510,873.86 that is eligible to be reallocated back to the county. In the summary of township allocations from CARES Act, there is $181,256.68 remaining to be reallocated.
In the Small Business Grant program, Lemieux said that she has received 48 of the more than 200 grants that made it through the initial approval process. Of those, 24 have been completed and are eligible for $393,000 in CARES Act funding. She added that the full allocation of $2,565,221 is expected to be expended if all businesses meet the eligibility requirements.
In the allocation retained by Wright County, of the $8,031,676 that was allocated, $4,711,877.52 has been expended, leaving a balance of $3,319,798.48. Outstanding items include the purchase of computers, Health & Human Services (HHS) purchases that have yet to receive invoices and salaries from the Sheriff’s Office and Public Health. That total does not include funds that are going to be turned back from the remainders in other funding silos.
It was the consensus of the County Board that there are more than enough eligible county expenses to cover whatever remains in the sub-accounts in the CARES Act allocation.
RECOMMENDATION: Informational Only
11-10-20 COUNTY BOARD WORKSHOP MEETING
At today’s meeting, Vetsch commented that the county didn’t jump into the creation of an Economic Development Authority (EDA) lightly. The process began three years ago when the County Board approved moving out of the current Government Center and Health & Human Services Center and discussions began about creating an EDA to market and sell those two properties. Since then, Vetsch said the county has looked at an EDA as a method to access grant programs from the state and federal government that are unavailable without having a county EDA in place. He added that the county is not looking to create a taxing authority, the purpose is to make the county’s toolbox bigger at no cost to the taxpayers.
In discussion pertaining to the Flaherty & Hood contracts, Vetsch said when the County Board increased the levy for 2019 by 17.3 percent, it coincided with an administrative adjustment by the Minnesota Department of Revenue that reduced the value of the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant by almost 10 percent. That prompted the County Board to get more involved in how and when such decisions are made. Part of that engagement was to hire Flaherty & Hood to represent the county’s interests at the State Legislature. Potter said he was initially skeptical of hiring Flaherty & Hood but has come around because the firm has brought value for what they are paid. Vetsch said Flaherty & Hood gave the commissioners and other county employees an education to the issue that Wright County would not have had if the firm had not been hired.
Vetsch moved to approve the minutes and the recommendations of the November 10, 2020 Wright County Board workshop. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
AGENDA ITEMS
I.Schedule Meetings as Necessary
County Administrator Lee Kelly stated that the second and fourth Wednesdays in December will be available for committee meetingsbut was unclear if they would be necessary given that fewer meetings take place near the holidays. There had been a Committee of theWhole meeting scheduled for Monday, November 9 to discuss matters dealing with the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office-Finance that wascancelled. Kelly asked that it be rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 24 following the County Board meeting. He addedthat Wednesday, November 25 remains open as a committee day.
Recommendation: Schedule a Committee of the Whole meeting for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 24, 2020 to discuss Auditor/Treasurer-Finance topics
II.Flaherty & Hood Contract
Kelly provided an overview of two contract proposals from the lobbying firm of Flaherty & Hood – one to represent Wright County inconnection with the Community Dental Clinic project that was approved in the State Legislature’s 2020 Omnibus Bonding Bill andthe other for lobbying efforts on behalf of Wright County during the 2021 session of the State Legislature. Vetsch said the contract dealing with the dental clinic has numerous procedural and legal hurdles and the firm should be retained to finalize that process, since much of the work is specialized and complicated. Potter said Flaherty & Hood has the expertise to find funding sources that the county doesn’t have the resources to go after to lessen the burden on Wright County taxpayers and that Flaherty & Hood could help the county navigate that process. Husom added that the medical community is excited about the dental clinic – not just dentists, but all medical professionals, because there is a connection to health issues related to extended periods of sub-par dental care. She added that Community Dental would be involved in fundraising activities to help cover costs.
Vetsch said Flaherty & Hood has assisted the county on multiple fronts in lobbying the State Legislature, including Wright County’s effort to keep a DVS driver testing facility in Buffalo. Potter said the county needs someone advocating for its interests in St. Paul to help the county access potential funding, from current projects to a proposed Mississippi River bridge crossing in the future, adding that the payoff to having a lobbyist to forward information to the county and finding potential funding sources will pay for itself.
Daleiden asked when the $1.4 million approved by the Legislature would be available. Zahrt said that as soon as the bonds are passed into law, funded projects can proceed and backfill the funding when it becomes available. Scott said the timing of the bond sale likely won’t be relevant because, by the time the county finalizes the project budget and the lease agreement with Community Dental, the funding will be available.
Recommendations
1.Forward a contract proposal from Flaherty & Hood to represent the County’s interests in the advancement of the CommunityDental Clinic project to the November 17, 2020 County Board agenda.
2.Forward a contract proposal from Flaherty & Hood to represent the County’s interests in lobbying services for the Minnesota State Legislature’s 2021 session to the November 17, 2020 County Board agenda.
III.Crossroads Animal Shelter Dangerous Dog Contract
Kelly said Wright County has had a working relationship with Crossroads Animal Shelter dealing with dangerous dogs for approximately 20 years. Crossroads has provided the contract at a low rate and has barely covered its own costs to provide the service. Crossroads wishes to continue providing the service, but feels it needs to adjust the fee structure to make it viable for its business. Crossroads provided two contract options – a flat fee proposal for $33,000 for 2021 to be paid semiannually or to be compensated on a per-hour basis. Kelly recommend continuing the contract with Crossroads, leaving it up to the County Board to determine which option to choose.
Vetsch said the numbers aren’t consistent from year to year and that, while he likes the idea of a fixed cost, there could be years where the county would save $10,000 a year or spend $10,000 more than the flat rate fee. Potter said if the County Board opts to go with the flat rate, it can be revisited after a year to determine if it was the better option and potentially go back to an hourly rate. Potter and Vetsch both said, for the short-term, they were inclined to go with a flat rate. Asleson said the County Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office are both in support of continuing the working relationship with Crossroads.
Recommendation: Approve continuing to contract with Crossroads Animal Shelter for Dangerous Dog Services and entering into a one-year, flat-rate contract in the amount of $33,000 for 2021.
IV.CARES Act Funding Update
Lemieux provided an update on the Small Business Loan portion of CARES Act funding. She said that $1,292,998 of the $2,565,211 allocated for small business has been expended. As of November 10, 2020, 35 of the 118 applications are still in the process of gathering paperwork, such as profit loss statements, W-9 forms and taxes paid. She said that, due to a miscommunication early on in the process about the paperwork requirements, in many respects the program had to start over in mid-October, creating a significant increase in the amount of time and effort put in by the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. Vetsch asked if there is an estimated timeline for completion. Lemieux said her office is working with each request individually and as soon as the proper paperwork is submitted, the funds are expended.
Lemieux suggested that the County Board not extend further payments to the Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP), because the majority of the actual work being done is coming from the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office and not WCEDP. She added that she hopes to have the small business grant program completed by November 16, which was the original deadline. Lemieux said her office is also dealing with CARES Act reporting for elections, so the hope is that all of the programs will be completed by December 1 if not sooner. Lemieux stated Wright County Community Action (WCCA) submitted a request for reimbursement today (November 10), but the deadline for submissions was Friday, October 30. Husom said WCCA had a capped allotment of $200,000 and this request is to bring WCCA up to that limit. Lemieux said she would review the WCCA request again.
Kelly discussed WCEDP payment for administering the small business loan program, stating the first payment of $100,000 had already been made, with a second payment of $100,000 as well as a contract amendment for an additional $50,000 because more applicants than expected participated and additional funds were put in the small business funding silo. He added that the cleanest way to handle the situation is to make the full payment to WCEDP since the funds will be used for the purposes of economic development in the county. Vetsch said that many decisions surrounding the small business program were done on the fly and to back out of making a contract payment to WCEDP, despite miscommunication that left much of the onus to complete the work on county staff, would be politically messy to amend the agreement and withhold money. He suggested making the payment given that WCEDP will use the administration money to benefit residents of Wright County. Daleiden expressed his disappointment with how the program was administered.
Recommendation: Schedule a Committee of the Whole for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 2, 2020 to recap the status of CARES Act funding programs.
V.Topics for Meeting with Legislators
Kelly stated that a virtual meeting has been scheduled for the Wright County Board of Commissioners to meet with legislators that represent the county at 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 18. He said that the objective of similar meetings has been for the county to convey three priority topics that it seeks to get its legislators to promote in the coming session. Last year’s priority topics included bonding for the dental clinic in the Government Center, maintaining a Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) testing center in Buffalo and revisions to the Public Water and Drainage Statutes.
Potter said that, with the difficult decisions the Legislature is going to have to make due to a projected budget deficit resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the county should be focused on a limited number of priorities and make them aware of how decisions and mandates made at the state level impact counties. After discussion, Vetsch summarized the priorities the County Board should convey to its legislative delegation. One was increased funding for DVS to retain local testing stations like the one in Buffalo that has been closed since March. Another is election funding and election processes, because of the paradigm shift in how and when people voted in the November 3 election is likely going to remain the new normal moving forward. A third was to prioritize what issues Health & Human Services believe are the most pressing, as well as discussion of state mandates that have been imposed on county HHS departments. Finally, discussion of funding to combat Aquatic Invasive Species, which has been flat for the last decade and has become an increasing danger to lakes in Wright County and throughout Minnesota.
Recommendation: Informational Only.
VI.Wright County Economic Development Authority Update
Kimmel presented the County Board with the final report of the Wright County Economic Development Authority (EDA) Advisory Committee. There were a number of required findings that were dictated by state statutes that govern the Advisory Committee process, as well of comments concerning the preferred scope of the EDA. The committee met in August and October to come up with a recommendation for the County Board. Kimmel said the Advisory Committee wanted to telegraph three strategic purposes for an EDA. First was the redevelopment of the current Wright County Government Center and Health & Human Services facility – both of which will be vacated when the new Government Center is completed. Second was partnering with local governments on their projects and efforts, so the county EDA isn’t leading the way but offering the assistance and resources of a county EDA to further projects and initiatives across Wright County. Third was identifying state and federal funding opportunities that are available to larger public agency EDAs like counties and attempting to capture and leverage some of those dollars.
Kimmel said it is vitally important for the county to communicate what a county EDA is and isn’t. There was concern from township representatives and survey respondents that an EDA would get involved in land use or planning issues, which is not the case. A county EDA doesn’t have the statutory authority, nor is it the intent of the Wright County EDA, to get involved in land use issues. The County Board has been clear and the Advisory Committee affirmed that there is no interest now or in the foreseeable future to have an EDA tax levy. While the EDA would have the ability to do so in the future, it would require a County Board buy-in to accomplish. Kimmel added that participation in the process was tremendous and very helpful from the residents of the county and representatives of cities, townships, local EDAs, nonprofit and private business representatives. It allowed for significant feedback and sharing of ideas that made the process proceed smoothly.
Kelly said he was impressed with the level of participation and engagement of those involved in the process. Potter added that Wright County is large enough to have a county EDA and it can provide a clearinghouse of information. Daleiden asked about the process involved with cities and townships whether or not they want to be included in the EDA. Kimmel said the first step is to adopt a resolution establishing a county EDA and the next step would be to reach out to determine what cities and townships wish to participate. One of the recommendations from the Advisory Committee was, after adopting the resolution, to select a seven-member EDA Board, which would include the five county commissioners and two non-county representatives. Kimmel added that the other two members could be WCEDP Executive Director Jolene Foss and a city representative of a city with robust EDA of its own. Vetsch felt the city representative should be from the most populated city in the county and potentially rotate every two years as the metric. Kimmel said that the EDA Board can have up to nine members. Husom suggested, for the first year, to have a representative from the City of Buffalo since the initial objective of the EDA is the sale of the Government Center and HHS facility – both in Buffalo – and the
proposal of a member from the largest city would likely narrow the list down to one or two cities. Daleiden said he agreed with having a representative from Buffalo initially, but favors a nine-member board to represent more of the county.
Kimmel stated bond counsel may recommend starting with a seven-member board and, once established, the EDA Board could be expanded to nine members. The first meeting of the EDA Board will be to approve bylaws and reach out to cities and townships, based on the scope of work and authority to operate in the cities and townships. Cities and townships will be given the opportunity to either opt in or opt out of joining in with the County EDA. The EDA would come up with a template resolution to send to cities in townships in January or February 2021 for their respective city councils and town boards to consider. Once that process is complete, a second EDA meeting would be scheduled and focus on strategic initiatives. A city or township must opt in for the county EDA to use any of its authority within its jurisdictional borders. Vetsch said that he would like to see any municipal member of the EDA Board be an elected official. Kimmel said that Foss should be a member of the board given her position in promoting economic development in the county. Kimmel said he will discuss options for the resolution with Administrator Kelly and bond counsel. Once the bylaws are discussed at the first EDA Board meeting, parameters of board membership can be discussed further.
Recommendation: Draft a resolution for the establishment of the Wright County Economic Development Authority and place the resolution on the November 24, 2020 County Board agenda for consideration.
SCHEDULE MEETING TO RECAP THE 2021 BUDGET AND DISCUSS PUBLIC MEETING PRESENTATION
County Administrator Lee Kelly said this item was put on the agenda to determine if the Commissioners want to meet before the 2021 Budget/Levy public hearing (also known as Truth in Taxation), which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Kelly added that Wright County has one of the lowest per-capita levies in the state. Vetsch said he would meet with Kelly to discuss any issues he has prior the public hearing. Daleiden said the commissioners did the best they could to keep the levy as low as possible and all the issues they encountered were vetted out during Budget Committee meetings in the summer. Borrell added that the levy figure shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone because it is in keeping with what neighboring counties have for their respective levies. It was the consensus of the board that no additional meetings would be necessary prior to the December 1 public hearing.
2021 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Kelly identified four items that had been discussed at the November 10, 2020 County Board workshop as priority topics when the Commissioners meet with the county’s legislative delegation Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Those items included reopening and retaining a Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) testing station in Buffalo, the need for additional funding for elections given that voting patterns changed during the pandemic and will likely become the new normal, Heath & Human Services issues (looking to maintain a waiver system that has been put in place and telehealth opportunities created by COVID-19) and funding for combatting Aquatic Invasive Species. Kelly said the strategy for meeting with legislators is to focus on three to five priority topics and open the discussion with those items. No County Board action was required.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
Association of Minnesota Counties. Borrell virtually attended a meeting of the AMC Environment & Natural Resources Committee Monday, November 16. Renville County brought forward an item that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking to add to its public waters inventory list – up to 500 more lakes. Borrell said Wright County would likely be on that list at some point. The Committee voted unanimously to oppose such a move by the DNR. Goodhue County brought forward discussion about a company that is looking to come into Minnesota and pump 500 million gallons from an underground aquifer to send by rail to the western United States – a rate of 1.4 million gallons a day. The Committee voted unanimously to oppose this proposal.
Wright County Community Action. Daleiden informed that the board that WCCA had its PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan forgiven, so it will have additional money available to provide meals for senior citizens.
Health & Human Services Policy Committee. Daleiden attended the meeting Monday, November 16. He expressed some concern of the potential cost to counties for a proposal to have legal representation for parents at child protection hearings. Often times, at the first court appearance, parents don’t have legal representation. There are advocacy groups that believe representation for the parents will result in better outcomes, but it is unclear where the funding for such legal representation will come from. Daleiden added that counties often end up paying when such decisions are made. Borrell said that 90 percent of child protection cases are resolved before they get to court, so there wouldn’t be an extraordinary amount of cases. Daleiden said the County Board may want to look at the 2022 budget to see if there is any interest among the Commissioners in setting aside funds for this purpose.
Aquatic Invasive Species Committee. Vetsch attended the AIS Committee meeting. Discussion centered on the 2021 budget, which is approximately $273,000. He said the portable boat cleanup unit at Cedar Lake was utilized more than he expected it would be. Husom said volunteers have been checking lakes throughout the state looking for AIS. Daleiden said that a volunteer in Stearns County found two golden clams in Lake Cornelia, an invasive species that has never been seen before in Minnesota.
Safe Schools. Husom attended the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Safe Schools meeting. She said enrollment is down in the district and, while school officials have stressed the importance of having students in school, the district has gone to hybrid and distance learning models as COVID-19 cases have surged.
Season of Giving. Husom said that the “Season of Giving” program will run through November 23, 2020. Season of Giving is a program created by Wright County employees to collect baking supplies for area food shelves in the county for distribution during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.
The meeting adjourned at 10:11 a.m.
County Board minutes submitted by John Holler, Communication Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, Dec. 18, 2020.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 10/28/2020 For Payment 10/28/2020
CAREY GROUP PUBLISHING 6,545.00
CENTURYLINK 3,066.10
DELL MARKETING LP 14,192.04
DS SOLUTIONS INC 5,176.60
ELECTION SYSTEMS & SOFTWARE LLC 17,110.00
HOWARD/JOLANTA 3,120.00
INTEREUM INC 314,803.23
MINNESOTA MONITORING INC 19,989.25
MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS INC 25,656.18
ON-DEMAND SERVICES GROUP INC 13,585.00
PERFECTMIND, INC. 12,000.00
POWERDMS INC 9,600.64
PRESIDIO NETWORKED SOLUTIONS GROUP LLC 13,632.19
SAUDER MANUFACTURING CO. 89,020.38
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 111 TR 45,712.80
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 879 130,523.14
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 883 122,084.85
SEACHANGE PRINTING AND MARKETING LLC 47,274.88
STAR TRIBUNE 4,171.44
TACTICAL SOLUTIONS 2,998.00
39 Payments less than 2000 18,929.25
Final Total: 919,190.97
Warrants Approved On 10/30/2020 For Payment 10/30/2020
3 D SPECIALTIES INC 46,612.72
AAA STRIPING SERVICE INC 33,832.80
BRAUN INTERTEC CORPORATION 4,150.00
BUFFALO AUTO VALUE 3,730.18
COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION 5,011.41
ERICKSON ENGINEERING COMPANY 6,201.35
FASTENAL COMPANY 2,028.19
FURTHER 2,565.60
GREYSTONE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 122,111.97
INTERPROSE CORPORATION/THE 2,456.09
MID-MINNESOTA HOT MIX INC 3,293.12
MN COUNTIES COMPUTER COOPERATIVE 5,942.90
NUTRIEN AG SOLUTIONS, INC. 2,628.79
PETERSON COMPANIES INC 768,607.58
RCM SPECIALTIES INC 3,405.15
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CONSTRUCTION, INC. 4,822.50
TIERNEY BROTHERS INC 2,824.21
35 Payments less than 2000 18,671.65
Final Total: 1,038,896.21
Warrants Approved On 11/03/2020 For Payment 11/03/2020
BUFFALO/CITY OF 6,632.38
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES 2,850.69
IMPACT PROVEN SOLUTIONS 20,600.00
JAKES EXCAVATING 13,580.00
KOTHRADE 24,678.00
MADDEN GALANTER HANSEN LLP 8,443.89
MATTER EXCAVATING LLC 17,200.00
RICK OLSON SEMINARS 7,000.00
SEACHANGE PRINTING AND MARKETING LLC 12,355.72
VEOLIA ES TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS LLC 21,407.66
13 Payments less than 2000 8,902.56
Final Total: 143,650.90
Warrants Approved On 11/03/2020 For Payment 11/03/2020
AXEL H OHMAN INC 9,507.35
DONLAR CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 37,203.16
FEHN COMPANIES INC 36,425.95
FOCAL POINT FIXTURES INC 49,372.70
GEORGE F COOK CONSTRUCTION CO 8,461.15
GR MECHANICAL 13,973.70
GREAT NORTHERN LANDSCAPES 15,006.60
HERZOG COATINGS 3,180.00
LAFORCE INC 5,117.30
MIDWEST SPECIALTY MAINTENANCE INC 14,926.00
NORTHERN GLASS & GLAZING LLC 3,826.00
QUALITY DRYWALL MIDWEST INC 20,473.00
RJM CONSTRUCTION LLC 2,307.85
ROOF 1 RBR INC 22,793.81
STEINBRECHER PAINTING COMPANY 7,829.00
WEIDNER PLUMBING AND HEATING CO 57,867.80
2 Payments less than 2000 1,957.60
Final Total: 310,228.97
Warrants Approved On 11/04/2020 For Payment 11/04/2020
GABRIEL/CATHLEEN 7,280.00
JANE GOODALL ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES ACAD 15,194.93
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 882 386,730.40
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 883 12,296.27
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 885 883,925.92
WRIGHT SWCD 19,369.23
WRIGHT TECHNICAL CENTER 32,647.95
3 Payments less than 2000 3,855.25
Final Total: 1,361,299.95
Warrants Approved On 11/05/2020 For Payment 11/05/2020
AGER INC 20,000.00
ANDYS PRO TIRE & AUTO LLC 20,000.00
BID PARTNER INC 16,000.00
BUDGET INN CLEARWATER LLC 20,000.00
BUFFALO BAUGUS LLC 20,000.00
CENTRAL AVENUE HOSPITALITY LLC 20,000.00
CLAYS LLC 10,000.00
COUNTRY CHEVROLET INC 20,000.00
CREDO LLC 20,000.00
CURDCO INC 20,000.00
DGA CORPORATE LLC 10,000.00
EL BAMBA TRES 20,000.00
HUIKKOS BOWLING CENTER INC 20,000.00
JAY JALARAM INC 20,000.00
JSM FOOD SERVICES LLC DBA UPTOWN BAR 20,000.00
KIDS HAVEN CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOL INC 20,000.00
LGM INC 15,000.00
MELVIE/REBECCA 20,000.00
MONTICELLO AUTOMOTIVE INC 2,050.00
RENDEZVOUS BAR AND GRILL LLC 18,000.00
RINNE CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC LLC 5,000.00
SWANSON PETERSON FUNERAL HOME INC 14,000.00
T & L RESTAURANTS INC 20,000.00
THOMPSON CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC 20,000.00
TOM N GARY’S BOWING CENTER ANNANDALE 10,000.00
TRAVEL GALLERY/THE 10,000.00
WALDON WOODS ANTIQUES 6,260.00
WHATS THE SCOOP 15,000.00
WORLD TAEKWONDO ACADEMY ROCKFORD LLC 10,000.00
YAGER ENTERPRISES INC 10,000.00
YES 2 HEALTHY LIFE INC 15,000.00
1 Payments less than 2000 30.00
Final Total: 486,340.00
Warrants ApprovedFor Payment 11/04/2020
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 111 TR 93,361.20
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 2687 588,305.75
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 466 333,028.60
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 728 2,880,376.50
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 742 174,750.75
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 876 993,016.56
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 877 3,214,108.58
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 879 1,220,556.02
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 881 552,415.17
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 882 2,387,986.50
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 883 506,952.83
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 885 3,061,469.37
STATE OF MINNESOTA-TREASURER 2,428,535.07
Final Total: 18,434,862.90
Warrants Approved On 11/05/2020 For Payment 11/05/2020
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 15,159.15
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 2,103.75
BRETH ZENZEN FIRE PROTECTION LLC 61,180.00
CONSTRUCTION SYSTEMS INC 8,602.25
CONTEGRITY GROUP 58,550.17
DESIGN ELECTRICAL INC-COLD SPRING ELEC. 8,193.26
FORD METRO INC 53,024.25
INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT 3,590.00
MASTERS PLUMBING HEATING & COOLING 33,250.00
NEW LOOK CONTRACTING INC 690,134.28
NORTHLAND CONCRETE & MASONRY CO LLC 444,552.50
PATRIOT ERECTORS INC 92,591.69
ROOF 1 RBR INC 587,724.15
RTL CONSTRUCTION 121,267.50
WARRIOR FITNESS INC 10,000.00
WCS1 LLC 26,600.00
WEIDNER PLUMBING AND HEATING CO 60,240.74
WELLS CONCRETE 67,325.55
6 Payments less than 2000 6,221.36
Final Total: 2,350,310.60
Warrants Approved On 11/05/2020 For Payment 11/05/2020
ABM BUILDING VALUE 3,306.01
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 36,661.93
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 16,908.65
CHOSEN VALLEY TESTING INC 5,927.00
COMMERCIAL FLOORING SERVICES 83,210.35
CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY INC 11,157.75
CONTEGRITY GROUP 27,163.27
CORNERSTONE DETENTION 54,649.00
GRAZZINI BROTHERS & COMPANY 7,561.05
HEATER RENTAL SERVICES LLC 8,603.00
HIGH PERFORMANCE COATINGS INC 10,877.52
INNOVATIVE BUILDING CONCEPTS LLC 9,642.50
JK LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION 294,010.75
KONE INC 8,000.00
RTL CONSTRUCTION 2,414.56
ST CLOUD ACOUSTICS INC 20,950.34
SUNRISE SPECIALTY CONTRACTING INC 8,506.30
TWO RIVERS ENTERPRISES 5,350.92
US SITE WORK INC 167,699.70
WEIDNER PLUMBING AND HEATING CO 4,847.85
WILLMAR ELECTRIC SERVICE CORP 19,583.45
15 Payments less than 2000 11,580.05
Final Total: 818,611.95
Warrants Approved On 11/06/2020 For Payment 11/06/2020
AMAZON BUSINESS 2,278.58
ANNANDALE ROCK PRODUCTS 5,386.82
BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY 124,600.00
CENTRA SOTA COOPERATIVE - BUFFALO 48,630.68
DAKOTA COUNTY FINANCIAL SERVICES 2,317.17
H&R CONST CO 12,750.00
M&G TRAILER SALES SERVICE AND RENTAL 9,173.00
MATHIOWETZ CONSTRUCTION 1,466,150.46
MID-MINNESOTA HOT MIX INC 12,679.19
MN COUNTIES COMPUTER COOPERATIVE 7,585.25
SUBURBAN TIRE WHOLESALE INC 4,955.28
TRIMIN SYSTEMS INC 22,901.60
WSB & ASSOCIATES INC 98,762.62
27 Payments less than 2000 15,213.56
Final Total: 1,833,384.21
Warrants Approved On 11/09/2020 For Payment 11/09/2020
APEX INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS INC 20,000.00
ARETE PROVIDERS INC 20,000.00
ARTISTIC ME 15,000.00
AST SPORTS INC 20,000.00
ATHLETE WORKSHOP LLC 20,000.00
BILLY D’S CROOKED TAVERN 20,000.00
BK HOSPITALITY GROUP 20,000.00
BREW FITNESS LLC 20,000.00
BUFFALO AMERICAN LEGION 20,000.00
BUFFALO CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC 12,000.00
CAFE JULES LLC 20,000.00
CENTRAL MINNESOTA REALTY LTD 10,000.00
CLEAR LAKE FITNESS LLC 20,000.00
COWGIRL TUFF COMPANY 20,000.00
CUSTOM BAGFITTERS LLC 17,500.00
D MICHAEL B’S II, INC 20,000.00
DAYLIGHT ENTERPRISES INC 20,000.00
DELANO LANES & ENTERTAINMENT INC 20,000.00
DLO HOLDINGS LLC 9,800.00
DON SEALOCK OD PA 20,000.00
E.K. RESTAURANT LLC 20,000.00
EWINGS GOING IN STYLE INC 9,900.00
FAMILY COUNSELING CENTER INC 10,000.00
GRINDSTONE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES INC 20,000.00
HAYES PUBLIC HOUSE 20,000.00
INSPIRATION FITNESS LLC 20,000.00
JLM1 LLC 5,000.00
JSCAMPION LLC 10,000.00
LUCILLE MURRAYS STUDIO OF DANCE 10,000.00
PALMETTO FITNESS LLC 20,000.00
PRICILLA MOOSEBURGER ORIGINALS 10,000.00
PURAM LLC 10,000.00
RBB&G LLC 20,000.00
RCBA LLC 20,000.00
RIVER INN BAR & GRILL 20,000.00
RUSTECH BREWING COMPANY LLC 20,000.00
SHOOTING STARS GYMNASTICS CLUB LLC 10,000.00
VIVIAN NGUYEN INC 20,000.00
WEST RIVER RESTAURANTS INC 20,000.00
WRIGHT COUNTY JOURNAL PRESS 20,000.00
ZAHLER LAB INC 17,488.43
Final Total: 696,688.4
Published in the Herald Journal, Dec. 18, 2020.