BOARD MINUTESBOARD OF WRIGHTCOUNTY COMMISSIONERSMAY 18, 2021DATE APPROVED: MAY 25, 2021
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Daleiden, Wetter, and Kaczmarek present. Vetsch attended remotely.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 5-4-21 MEETING
Husom requested a clarification be made on Page 3 regarding the need for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
Husom moved to approve the minutes from 5-4-21 with the change. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0.
Kaczmarek moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Wetter and carried 4-0.
Kaczmarek requested to pull Item A2 (Administration). Daleiden suggested the item be discussed following the Dental Clinic Project Steering Committee Minutes. Kaczmarek also requested to pull Item A3 (Administration) and Item B2 (Administration Finance, Warrants) for further discussion and clarification.
Kaczmarek moved to approve the Consent Agenda with the removal of Items A2, A3 and B2 for discussion. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
* Item A2, A3 and B2 for discussion.
1. Approval of revisions to Sections 100 and 200 of the Wright County Personnel Handbook
2. Authorize signatures on a Professional Services Contract with Auromira Architects to provide architectural services on the Dental Clinic Project
3. Approve and authorize signature to extend the ABM Cleaning Services Contract for one year.
4. Approval of Charitable Gambling Application, Form LG220, Church of St Mary of Czestochowa, gambling premises: Church of St Mary of Czestochowa, 1867 95th Street SE, Delano, MN 55328, date of activity: July 17, 2021
B. *ADMINISTRATION - FINANCE
1. Approve transfer of $34,988 from Project Papercut MF Print Management Solution (8220) to unallocated 34-170- 100-8220-6600 CIP Budget -$34,988, 34-170-000-8000-6600 CIP Budget $34,988
2. Acknowledge Warrants issued between April 28, 2021 and May 11, 2021 (See below, Item IX. Warrant Listings)
3. Review Monthly Finance Report for April 2021
1. Confirm Commissioner District 3 County Extension Committee Appointment Sandy Thares, of Otsego, MN, effective May 18, 2021, term ends on December 31, 2023 (three-year term)
2. Confirm Commissioner District 2 County Extension Committee Appointment Scott Peterson, of Monticello, MN, effective May 18, 2021, term ends on December 31, 2023 (three-year term)
3. Confirm Member At Large County Extension Committee Appointment Gary Cobus, of St Michael, MN, effective May 18, 2021, term ends December 31, 2023 (three-year term)
D. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position replacement: Social Worker
1. Requesting approval to enter into a Professional Engineering Services Agreement with WSB & Associates, Inc. to provide construction engineering (Inspection & Testing) services for the County Road 118 Improvement Project
F. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer to 5-26-21 Technology Committee
A. Project Updates
2. Admin Event Scheduler
3. Admin Government Center
4. Attorney MNCIS Court Notice
5. SQL Server 2014 Replacement
6. Enterprise Resource Planning
7. Website redesign
B. Solution Architect Updates
C. New Project Requests
1. HHS Uniflow Public Scanners
D. 2021 Project Summary
E. CIP Technology Planning
F. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Request Board approval and signatures to extend current contract with MN DOC Work Release Unit
ITEMS PULLED FROM CONSENT AGENDA TO BE DISCUSSED
3. Approve and Authorize Signature to Extend the ABM Cleaning Services Contract for One Year
Kaczmarek said he reviewed the supporting documents provided to the board and had several questions. Kaczmarek stated the contract costs $625,000 and plus $75,000 in supplies are provided by the County. Daleiden asked Kaczmarek if he had contacted anyone regarding his questions. Kaczmarek responded that he had not but thought it would be appropriate to schedule a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the topic, Daleiden agreed.
Facilities Services Director, Alan Wilczek said that the contract with ABM Cleaning Services was discussed a few years ago. The term of the contract expired two weeks ago, and a one-year extension would get the County through the transition to the new buildings. Following the extension, a Request for Proposal (RFP) would be posted for the services or the topic would be discussed if the Board wanted to move in a different direction.
Husom said this item was previously discussed and ABM Cleaning Services provided cost savings. She added it is always good to re-visit these topics and analyze the cost-saving benefits. Kaczmarek clarified he would like a further explanation of the current services ABM is providing the county, rather than discussing the benefits of contracting the services versus providing them in house.
B. ADMINISTRATION - FINANCE
2. Acknowledge Warrants Issued between April 28, 2021 and May 11, 2021 (See below, Item IX. Warrants Issued)
Kaczmarek said there was an expenditure issued to Tyler Technologies Inc. in the amount of $52,800 for SAAS CAMA Software. Kaczmarek explained the payment is for a Computer Aided Mass Appraisal System for the Assessor’s Office.
There was an expenditure issued to the Star Tribune, in the amount of $4,499.04 for Pubs Star Tribune Sat/Sun. Kaczmarek clarified it provides inmates with reading material in the jail.
There was an expenditure issued to SkyNorth Software LLC., in the amount of $2,873 for O365 Prof Svcs. Kaczmarek stated the payment was for consulting services for IT relating to O365 subscriptions.
There was an expenditure issued to Diamond Tower Service Inc., in the amount of $23,395 for Completion of Tower Install. Kaczmarek said a dispatch radio tower was installed at the Training Center.
There was an expenditure issued to the Department of Corrections, in the amount of $20,470 with the description of Apr 2021 Juv Corr Fees. Kaczmarek stated three juvenile offenders were placed at the Redwing Facility for the month of April.
There was an expenditure issued to Buffalo Township, in the amount of $4,600, for Snow/Ice Control Maint 2020. Kaczmarek said in talking to Highway Engineer, Virgil Hawkins, he found out the payment is for a road swap agreement. The County took over maintenance on a township road and the township took over a county road. The amount paid was the difference owed.
Kaczmarek moved to accept the consent agenda with those clarifications. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
RECORDER, TANYA WEST
Plat Approval. Authorize the Recording of Franklin Woods, (Franklin Township)
West requested approval of a plat in Franklin Woods which is located in Franklin Township and includes six new lots. County Assistant Attorney Greg Kryzer has given final approval and the Planning Commission approved it on Thursday, May 13, 2021.
Kaczmarek moved to approve the recording of Franklin Woods (Franklin Township). The motion was seconded by Wetter and carried 4-0.
Vetsch joined the meeting remotely at this time.
AG & DRAINAGE, MATTHEW DETJEN
Approval of Minutes from County Ditch 24 and County Ditch 39 Public Hearings on April 27, 2021, Regarding the Petition from MNDOT to Replace Culverts on I-94
Husom moved the approve the minutes from County Ditch 24 and County Ditch 39 Public Hearings on April 27, 2021. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approval of a Wright County Drainage Authorization Resolution Altering a Public Drainage Ditch by Trunk Highway under Minnesota Statute §161.28 for a Culvert Crossing on County Ditch #24 under I-94
Kryzer stated the resolution would adopt a petition to alter a public drainage system on County Ditch #24 under I-94. Alterations must comply with the plan submitted on file.
Kaczmarek wanted to clarify the wording on Item 8, “No credible evidence has been presented to the Drainage Authority to show that the proposed alteration by MnDOT for the culvert going under Interstate 94, a trunk highway, will not affect or impair the efficiency of CD 24”. Kaczmarek asked if the word “NOT”, should be taken out of the text. Kryzer said the text was taken directly from the statute.
Wetter moved to approve Wright County Drainage Authorization, altering a public drainage ditch by trunk highway for a culvert crossing on County Ditch #24 under I-94. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approval of a Wright County Drainage Authorization Resolution Altering a Public Drainage Ditch by Trunk Highway under Minnesota Statute §161.28 for a culvert crossing on County Ditch #39 under I-94
Kryzer said the resolution would adopt a petition to alter a public drainage system on County Ditch #39 under I-94. Alterations must comply with the plan submitted on file, invert elevations the culvert must be set at, and the southern upstream inlets of the culverts to be bank stabilized and protected with riprap.
Vetsch moved to approve Wright County Drainage Authorization, altering a public drainage ditch by trunk highway for a culvert crossing on County Ditch #39 under I-94. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Kaczmarek asked Detjen for an update regarding County 6 culvert replacement, road obstruction/closure. Detjen said barring any setbacks it, the hope is to have it completed and the culvert replaced by Friday, May 21, 2021 in the afternoon. Paving would be done the following week.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
Designate the Week of May 16-22, 2021, as Emergency Medical Services Week
Husom moved to designate the week of May 16-22, 2021 as Emergency Medical Services Week. The motion was seconded by Wetter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Schedule a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. for a Tobacco Compliance Check Violation Hearing
County Administrator Lee Kelly said a violation took place and requested to schedule the meeting following next week’s Board meeting.
Husom moved to set a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. for a Tobacco Compliance Check Violation Hearing. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Schedule a Committee of the Whole Meeting to Discuss: Buffalo Clinic Memorial, American Rescue Plan, and Commissioner space in the New Government Center
Daleiden requested to add discussion of the ABM Cleaning Services contract to the agenda.
Vetsch moved to set a Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss: Buffalo Clinic Memorial, American Rescue Plan, Commissioner space in the New Government Center, and ABM Cleaning Services. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS (CONT.)
PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AMENDMENT INTERIM ORDINANCE NO. 21-1, SOLAR FARM ENERGY MORATORIUM TO ALLOW PENDING APPLICATIONS TO PROCEED
Kryzer explained the proposed Amendment Interim Ordinance no. 21-1. The Board was provided with the strike throughs. Staff is proposing striking Section 2, on Page 2 and striking the words “or pending” in Section 1. The remaining sections would be renumbered. This would allow pending solar applications to move forward and allow staff to negotiate developer agreements on possibly approved solar farm Conditional Use Permit’s (CUP).
Kaczmarek asked how many applications are in the pending status. Planning and Zoning, Sean Riley said there are two that the developer’s agreement could move forward. Those two already have CUP’s and can work on the developer’s agreement and at most there are two that are considered pending that could move forward.
Daleiden opened the public hearing. No one from the public came forward to speak regarding the ordinance.
Vetsch moved to accept the proposed Amendment Interim Ordinance No. 21-1, Solar Farm Energy Moratorium to allow pending applications to proceed. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION (CONT.)
Department Budget Review: 420 Health and Human Services Financial Services
Kaczmarek worked with Health & Human Services (HHS) Director, Jami Goodrum Schwartz to narrow the discussion to a few questions. Kaczmarek said there is a procedure and a process for financial assistance for County burials. There was a budget of $55,000 and $38,587.56 was spent. Kaczmarek stated it was surprising to see what was spent considering last year’s COVID deaths. This financial assistance program is for people who are dealing with unexpected hardships. Goodrum Schwartz said there has been a trend towards cremations which are less expensive than burials.
Kaczmarek requested further clarification on the following accounts: Northwoods Fraud Control, $130,000 was budgeted yet $170,210 was spent; Professional Services, $52,041.25; and Full-Time Personnel, $52,579 was budgeted but only $14,078.51 was spent. Health & Human Services Business Manager, Christine Partlow said she has an email she will be sending to the Board which details expenses out line by line. There were two contracts for Northwoods, one was on a calendar year and one was on a state fiscal year. Those were combined which increased the total contract because HHS applied for and received additional state funding for fraud prevention. The budget amount does not always align with the spending pattern with the contract on the state fiscal year due to the fact it runs July through June. The budget for full-time personnel was not set by HHS. When the budget was modified to adopt the class and comp a percentage was transposed which inflated the budget.
Health & Human Services Financial Services Manager, Kim Johnson showed the Board the Financial Services organizational chart. She said Financial Services is made up of two areas: Financial Assistance and Child Support. Financial Assistance has 40 staff members, split into three teams: Adult Family Team, Adult Family LTC Team, and a Health Care Team. The Financial Assistant area determines eligibility for all the programs HHS administers. Child Support has 17 staff, and they establish paternity, modify orders, and enforce court orders. The budget for Financial Services is mainly funded by, pass through dollars from the federal and state government. Reimbursement in financial assistance is approximately 50 percent and child support reimbursement is approximately 66 percent of the overall budget.
Add Highway 12 Safety Coalition to the Committee listings
Kaczmarek said the Highway 12 Coalition has been in existence for a few years but it is not on the Board’s list of committees. Kaczmarek stated that he believes it is important to have representation from county townships and city officials. Highway 12 goes from one end of the county to the other. The meetings are every other month, and the committee is made up of law enforcement and city officials from Wright County and Hennepin County. Kaczmarek volunteered to serve on the Highway 12 Coalition.
Husom moved to add the Highway 12 Coalition and appoint Kaczmarek to the committee. The motion was seconded by Wetter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES 5-4-21
Kaczmarek moved to accept the Committee of the Whole meeting minutes and recommendations from 5-4-21. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
I. American Rescue Plan
County Administrator, Lee Kelly stated the Department of Treasury still has not issued guidance regarding allowable uses for funds. Guidance will likely be sent out next week as the first payment was said to be issued within 60 days of March 12th. Staff members have come up with some ideas for the funds, however, the County is still waiting on further guidance.
Health and Human Services Director, Jami Goodrum Schwartz shared the following ideas:
1) Transportation for residents experiencing mental health crisis to get them to the not yet built Emergency Mental Health center in St. Cloud. The hospitals and clinics in Wright County would benefit by getting people who don’t need hospital care to a mental health center. There are not any withdrawal management (detox) facilities in Wright County.
2) Accessibility will be more problematic once services are moved to the new Government Center Campus. It would be beneficial to have transportation routes to and from the campus.
3) Add secure drop boxes in each of the five districts in Wright County to help improve accessibility.
4) Transitional housing would be very helpful for people who find themselves homeless. It would help them find and secure employment, keep kids in school and provide better health and wellness for residents.
5) Purchasing a large, programable sign. Health & Human Services is currently using a sign from Highway for vaccination clinics.
6) Purchase a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System. Each client would have an ID number that would transcend to each system and allow for interoperability between systems. It would vastly improve service delivery across the department.
Project Administrator, Elizabeth Karels and IT Director, Matt Fomby have been working on broadband. Karels has researched other counties broadband plans. There is currently over saturation of the market and the funds must be spent by 2024. She suggested developing a strategic vision to help move the project forward. Matt Fomby stated the County does not want to be in the business of providing internet to residents. He suggested connecting county facilities and laying extra fiber in the ground. The extra fiber could be used to attract business. Commissioner Vetsch mentioned he would like to give municipalities an opportunity to use a portion of the funding for water, sewer, and ditch projects.
RECOMMENDATION: Schedule Broadband Committee Meeting on May 11th at 1:00 P.M. to further discuss broadband options.
DENTAL CLINIC PROJECT STEERING MEETING MINUTES 5-5-21
Wetter moved to accept the Dental Clinic Project Steering Committee meeting minutes and recommendations from 5-5-21. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
I. Architect presentations
The Dental Clinic Project Steering Committee listened to architect presentations from three different firms. The first firm was Auromira Architects, Mythili Thiagarajan and Tim Keppel gave the presentation. Donovan Geske and Gregory Lyford attended remotely.
The second firm was BDH, Beth Nordstrom gave the presentation. Laura Schmidt, Larry Justin, and James Sommers attended remotely.
The third firm was Mohagen Hansen, Stacy Collins, Mark Hansen, Lauren Miller, and Dan Fox gave the presentation.
II. Discussion and recommendation on selection
After the Dental Clinic Project Steering Committee heard the three presentations the group compared the firms.
All the people in attendance agreed that Auromira Architects and Mohagen Hansen were the top two.
Auromira Architects had the lowest bid, making it the most cost effective of the three firms. The firm was very knowledgeable when it comes to dental clinics. Thiagarajan is familiar with state bonding and understands how it works. The committee could see that Thiagarajan has great attention to detail because of the presentation.
The committee was concerned that Auromira Architects is a small firm consisting of Thiagarajan and an intern. Daleiden posed the question, if the Thiagarajan is ill or out of town will the work still be completed on time.
RECOMMENDATION: For the Dental Clinic Project Steering Committee to do its due diligence, Karels will call the references that Auromira Architects has listed in their request for proposal. If the references check out Karels will send an email to the committee members and start drafting the contract, for the May 18, 2021 County Board meeting. Karels, Wilczek, and Goodrum Schwartz will tour the Rochester and Maplewood Community Care Dental Clinics.
Husom moved to accept Auromira Architects. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-1 on a roll call vote with Kaczmarek casting the opposing vote.
COUNTY BOARD WORKSHOP MEETING MINUTES 5-11-21
Husom had two corrections on Item 2, there was a misspelling of Scott Carriveau’s last name, and the word Engineer needed to be added to the recommendation in the same item.
Husom moved to accept the County Board Workshop meeting minutes and recommendations on Items 1, 2 and 4 from 5- 11-21. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
I. Parking Lot Alongside Buffalo Library
County Administrator Lee Kelly said there have been some inquiries regarding the parking lot located to the east of the Buffalo Library. Commissioner Darek Vetsch said he is hesitant to sell it before a comprehensive plan for the current government center buildings has been developed. He suggested postponing the discussion until after the next Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting, giving the EDA a chance to review the Requests for Proposal (RFPs). Commissioner Michael Kaczmarek said he believes it would be in the best interest of the taxpayers to keep it as a package deal.
The Board agreed to put this item on hold until after the next EDA meeting so the RFP’s can be discussed.
II. Compost Facility
Environmental Health Officer Bill Stephens stated the Compost Facility accepts hazardous waste, recycling, yard waste and brush, and problem materials such as electronics and appliances. The Parks Department uses a portion to store soils and aggregates.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked if anything can be done to get more use out of the facility. Stephens said the problem with a recycling facility is, whatever you take in you must have an outlet to recycle it. If there isn’t, then the facility would be a transfer station, which would not be permitted. The facility was not designed as a drive thru drop off facility. Stephens added that the facility is being used at its maximum potential at this point.
Commissioner Christine Husom said there should be discussion regarding the costs associated with operating the facility and the cost associated with disposing of items. Vetsch said if the County started charging more to dispose of items, chances are people would dump the items on the side of the road instead of paying more. Stephens explained that other counties have Solid Waste Management Taxes which is a special assessment that gets added to every piece of property in the county. The tax would cover the cost of these programs and residents would not be charged to drop off items.
Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek said there are things that can be done to help with the cost of heating the entire facility, such as, building an office or installing a drop-down ceiling rather than heating the 40-foothigh ceilings. He said the facility has been put on the backburner and some of these issues need to be addressed.
Risk Manager, Tim Dahl said he has been periodically monitoring the site for health and safety. Several safety hazards are due to the condition of the building. There should be increased venting due to chemicals and products that get dropped off, along with more fire suppression and fire mitigation systems.
Husom said the Buffalo Fire Chief John Harnois was looking for an area for a training facility near the fire station; however, it didn’t work out. He said the fire department is running out of buildings for control burns. Harnois and Scott Carriveau, Customized Fire Rescue Training, pitched the concept of a training facility which will be simple to build. They asked about building on the compost facility site which is 30 acres. If built, the training facility could be used by all fire departments in the County.
Vetsch asked if this would be funded by the County or if it would be a Joint Powers Board to make it a cost sharing mechanism in the construction and ongoing operating costs. Daleiden said money is already set aside to build it; they just need a piece of land.
Kaczmarek said the Fair Board is making about $60,000 a year for outdoor storage of cars, boats, and other items from residents. The residents are charged by the square foot, length, and months. If it was cleared out, the compost facility could also be used for storage. Dahl said as far as storage at the compost facility, there would be a mixture of stored items and flammable items, so insurance would need to be discussed beforehand.
Daleiden suggested allocating $10,000 to $15,000 from the Admin-Professional Services for a Civil Engineer to complete a site layout of the property and determine what is feasible.
The Board recommends Stephens, Wilczek and Dahl develop a service proposal for potential uses of the compost facility hangar. A Civil Engineer Assessment will be completed for the site with grading and a possible location for a fire department training facility.
III. County Assessing and Local Appraisers
Information Technology Director Matthew Fomby said the County is legally liable for all local assessments done in Wright County. Independent Assessors have been hired; however, the County is required to support the technology for these positions. The IT Department has been issuing old laptops to the independent assessors but has had to purchase additional licensing and virus protection software. Fomby said IT is assisting with the switch to a new appraising system referred to as CAMA (Computer Aided Mass Appraisal).
Dahl discussed the risk factors involved with having independent assessors and ways to mitigate those risks. Allowing non-county employees access to the County’s network is one problem. Another issue is independent assessors are not an employee of the county and therefore the county’s coverage may not extend to those individuals. The County has first-party coverage, not third-party coverage.
The Board recommended Assessor Tony Rasmuson develop a 2022, 2023, and 2024 budget with revenue and expenses as if the County were doing all assessments with no independent assessors. Also, a notice will be sent to the independent assessors to let them know they will not have access to laptops unless they are on campus at the County.
IV. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Kelly said there have been numerous issues with the implementation of the project. The initial “go live” was scheduled for December 2020. A change order was signed in February 2021, changing the date of the first release. Ciber informed Project Manager Scott Wieland that the company would not be able to make the June 2021 release and most likely would not make the release in July 2021 either. After discussion it was decided to end the contract with Ciber.
Kaczmarek asked what the County has spent on the ERP. Kelly said the initial budget was a little over $2 million. There is a cost for the licensing of Oracle which is billed quarterly for a total of $306,000 a year. Ciber has been paid to date, approximately $550,000. With the change order the cost increased by $200,000.
Attorney Brian Asleson reviewed the contract and was surprised the language stated the County can terminate for convenience with 90-days written notice. Vetsch asked if the County owns the work that has been done. Fomby explained the County owns the work that has been coded. Once the contract with Ciber is terminated, IT will put a freeze on the work.
The Board recommends sending a letter to Ciber today, May 11, 2021, ending the County’s contract. An assessment will be completed by another company to determine the current status of the ERP and when it can go live.
Regarding Item 4, Kelly sated a letter was sent to Ciber. Ciber acknowledged the letter in the afternoon on May 11, 2021. Access to the ERP for Ciber has been closed off. There have been discussions with potential firms and are working on proposals to move forward. The first step is to have a firm come in and do an assessment of what has been done up to this point and what will need to be done. Then the second step would be creating a contract for the plan.
Daleiden asked the other board members if they saw the letter County Assessor, Tony Rasmuson sent out to the independent assessors regarding Item 3. He said he believed there was some miscommunication as to when the letter was going to be sent out, and that the board would have liked to have reviewed it before being sent. Vetsch suggested for staff to send another letter putting a pause on the previous letter so the Board can circle back and look at what options are available.
Vetsch moved to pause the previous communication letter that was sent out until all other options are looked at. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Steve Bot with the City of St. Michael said this letter was a complete blindside. He said another assessor has just been hired to help keep up with the demand and the growth. He said the partnerships with the County has been great up until this point. He said there is always a discussion or notice when they city could be impacted. Bot said there are employees that would be greatly affected along with the budgets.
Ken Yaeger works as an assessor for Silver Creek Township, Corinna Township, Delano, and Maple Lake said he agreed with Bot’s statements. He told the Board if a decision is made that he would hope it would be at the end of budget process because the assessors start making commitments in the fall for the next cycle which always starts July 1st.
Tom Praska works as an assessor for Middleville Township and Albion Township, said this is his income and how he provides for his family. He said he does his data entry in the evenings, weekends and holidays. Only being able to come in on Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. is a major concern.
Daleiden said he would like to schedule a Committee of the Whole to discuss this further.
Information Technology Director, Matthew Fomby said one of the reasons he was hired was because of his extensive background in cyber security. He said there are cyber security rules and guidelines that must be followed. Having external parties, that are not county employees, will not be covered under the County’s cyber insurance.
Vetsch moved to accept the County Board Workshop meeting minutes and recommendation on Item 3 from 5-11-21. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
FINANCE/CIP COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES 5-12-21
Vetsch moved to accept the Finance/CIP Committee meeting minutes and recommendations from 5-12-21. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
I. Cash Flow Review
Commissioner Vetsch stated he would like to develop a policy that would provide the Auditor/Treasurer, Bob Hiivala, guidance on how much of the County funds should be invested at any given time. It may be difficult to set a percentage of funds to be invested due to varying factors. The greatest amount of cash needed on hand at any point throughout the year is approximately $14 - 18 million. Vetsch sated he feels the County is currently under-utilizing its funds. As things fall out of investments, they are not getting invested fast enough.
Vetsch stated the County should have short-term investments in second, third, and fourth quarters as less cash flow is needed. Hiivala stated there currently is not an incentive for the County to place funds in short-term investments because Wells Fargo is paying 40 basis points. Basis points can vary, and short-term investments may be more profitable in the future.
Finance Director Lindsey Meyer compiled a cash flow analysis of the past five years. Historically, the lowest cash balance at any given point during the year has been in March. Her analysis shows approximately how much money is needed on hand as of December 31st the prior year to support us through the first three months of the following year. This should be a rolling balance.
Commissioner Daleiden stated the County does not start collecting tax payments until May, yet March has the lowest cash balance. Meyer explained that when payments are collected early, the funds remain in the checking account until the money is assigned to the County and other jurisdictions in May or June.
Vetsch suggested approximately $40 million should be invested in long-term investments, $10 million in mid-term investments (6 months 2 years), the rest of the funds should be invested in short-term investments based on current cash flow needs. The goal should be to yield between 2 2.5% return. Hiivala stated he does not think that goal is attainable in this market. Vetsch would like to increase from the current return of 1.6%.
RECOMMENDATION: Use the cash flow analysis to invest a larger portion of County funds into long-term and mid-term investments. Strive to yield between 2 2.5% return on investments.
II. Debt Refinancing
Vetsch stated the County is not committed to paying off any debt services for at least three years. Daleiden stated bonds will not be callable until 2023. He questioned whether to refinance or pay off the bonds at that time. The goal is to pay off the bonds, however it may be favorable to re-finance.
Daleiden questioned how much the County owes on the Justice Center. The money allocated to the Justice Center in the MAGIC fund is used to pay bills. County Administrator Lee Kelly will check with Facilities Director Alan Wilczek to find out how much is owed on the Justice Center. Hiivala stated the MAGIC funds is yielding 3 basis points.
Daleiden questioned why the county has multiple checking accounts. Hiivala stated the County would receive competitive rates in the past by having multiple accounts, however there is no longer a benefit. Hiivala’ s plan is to get rid of all the local banks and have one main checking account.
Bruce Kimmel from Ehlers stated the debt burden is manageable and moderate for the size of the county, especially considering rapid growth. There are options for refinancing or redemption of bonds. In 2023, there will be a significant opportunity to refinance the 2015 and 2016 bonds for interest cost savings. The choice will be refinancing all of it at a lower interest rate, accelerate the debt service and knock years off the maturity schedule, redeem bonds with cash on hand, or a combination of those things. The County may have the ability to do an advance refunding before 2023 depending on market conditions. Overall, the County is in good shape but should keep track of future opportunities.
Vetsch suggested calling the 2017A and 2019B bonds in 2027, a total cost of approximately $13.5 million. It would save approximately $4.5 million in debt service, bringing the annual debt service payment down to approximately $7.1 million.
RECOMMENDATION: Call the 2017A and 2019B bonds in 2027, a total cost of approximately $13.5 million. It would save approximately $4.5 million in debt service, bringing the annual debt service payment down to approximately $7.1 million.
III. Investment Policy
Vetsch proposed investing a portion of the first payment American Rescue Plan funds for 12 18 months. The second payment will come in a year. Daleiden stated the Board needs to determine what projects they would like to use the funds for first.
Daleiden suggested contacting banks to see if they would provide a higher return. Hiivala stated Wells Fargo is the only bank that is integrated with the ERP system.
RECOMMENDATION: Meet at least twice a year to discuss investments.
Capital Improvement Projects (CIP)
Vetsch asked Assistant County Administrator Sue Vergin for more information regarding IT projects. Vergin stated the IT department has managed projects better. The draft is complete and Hiivala, Meyer, and Kelly have access to it. Health & Human Services is asking for a large amount of money for technology integration with ERP. Vergin stated the Parks and Highway Departments manage CIPs very well based on allocations. The Sheriff’s Office has an RMS project coming up which is estimated to be $2.5M.
Health and Human Services Director Jami Goodrum Schwartz stated the department was looking at a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to integrate County systems with the State system. Now, this could potentially be funded through the American Rescue Plan.
Vetsch would like to develop a new policy and hold departments accountable.
Vergin will send Vetsch and Daleiden the draft CIP document for their review.
RECOMMENDATION: Meet again before budgets are due to further discuss. Meet twice a year to discuss CIP.
BROADBAND COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES 5-11-21
Husom moved to accept the Broadband Committee meeting minutes and recommendations from 5-11-21. The motion was seconded by Wetter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
I. Establish Purpose of Broadband Committee
II. Update on Outreach / Data Gathering
a. Survey Responses from Cities, Townships, and School Districts
b. Minnesota Rural Broadband Coalition Speed Test
III. Proposed Projects
a. County-Owned Infrastructure
b. Matching Grant Program
Project Administrator Elizabeth Karels shared the American Rescue Plan (ARP) guidance relating to broadband infrastructure. Broadband infrastructure must be designed to provide service to unserved or underserved households and businesses. Service must reliably meet or exceed symmetrical 100 Mbps download and upload speeds. Funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and paid by December 31, 2026.
IT Director Matthew Fomby explained his plan to connect all county-owned buildings. In the process of laying fiber to connect county-owned buildings, additional fiber strands would be installed. The Wright County Economic Development Partnership could market the fiber to internet service providers (ISPs) and possibly incentivize businesses. This could be executed for approximately $9 million. However, the County would not be providing service to households or businesses under this model. Based on the newly released guidance, the county may not be able to use the ARP funds to do this.
Commissioner Vetsch suggested using the funds to award grants. The amount of grant funding would be weighted based on the need of the area. Fomby stated he does not think this is the most cost-effective use of the funds.
IT Technical Services Manager Mark Kellogg stated many other counties also have a need to provide service. Some may be willing to work together to get more done. Karels researched what other counties have done. For example, Cass County used CARES funding to provide grants for ISPs. Companies proposed projects by responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP). Additionally, Le Sueur County had a more strategic approach. They conducted a feasibility study and posted more targeted RFPs. Both counties had success.
Vetsch stated before putting fiber in the ground, the County must have a contract in place with an ISP to ensure utilization. He suggested reaching out to providers to gauge interest. Fomby expressed concerns with establishing contracts with ISPs prior to breaking ground. He does not feel the County can set up contracts fast enough.
Karels stated there was variability in the responses submitted from the survey the county sent out. The MN Rural Broadband Coalition’s speed test can provide more detail information.
Communications Specialist John Holler asked if areas of the county have been prioritized. Fomby stated the western portion of the county is underserved compared to the eastern portion. Holler also questioned the cost per mile. Kellogg stated there may be variations in the cost. If the fiber crosses protected areas, DNR permits are required. Alternate routes may save time and money.
Vetsch stated a grant program will incentivize ISPs to provide service in rural areas. Karels suggested collecting data and developing criteria to award the grant funds.
Fomby suggested opening the funds to the installation of cell phone towers as well. Vetsch stated that would be fine but contracts would still need to be in place prior to putting fiber in the ground. Karels urged everyone to keep in mind the project will not be completed at one time. It will take several years.
Holler questioned if the grant program would create competition between ISPs. Fomby stated it is possible. Vetsch stated most companies will expand on their current locations. The closest provider to a particular area will likely bid. Kellogg stated smaller companies could take advantage of the program and service residents of the county.
Kellogg asked permission to lay a redundant line for the training center. Vetsch stated there may be a chance the project will not qualify for ARP funds and the county may have to use its own funds to pay for it. Meyer stated it is abundantly clear in the guidance that there must be a focus on areas that are unserved or underserved.
IV. Action Items / Agenda for Next Meeting
. Karels will contact providers in throughout the County to gauge interest.
. Fomby will work on scaling back the map.
. The Surveyors Department will work on creating a map.
. Next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 2:00 P.M.
WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES 5-12-21
Husom moved to accept the Ways & Means Committee meeting minutes and recommendations from 5-12-21. The motion was seconded by Wetter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
II. Sheriff’s Contract Rate for Cities for 2022-2023
Sheriff’s Office, Office Administrator Shawna Athman explained to the committee that the Sheriff’s Office contract with the cities is for them to operate as the city’s police department rather than having their own. She discussed the contract rates for the last few years with the committee. She went over the new rate. Since 2004 on average the rate has increased by 3.5 percent which averages about $2.05. The Sheriff’s Office contract rate is currently $81.75, and recommending a three percent increase for 2022, for a rate of $84.20. The recommendation from the Sheriff’s Office for 2023 is an increase of 3.02 percent, for a rate of $86.75.
Athman said generally the budget comes in right where it should be or even ahead which helps with all the unexpected things that come up throughout the year. Husom added that departments can’t always predict what is going to happen so a lot of budget transfers happen on a regular basis.
Husom and Wetter thanked Sheriff Deringer and his Deputies for the great work they do.
Athman said when the rate becomes official a letter will be sent to the cities, generally it’s the week after it’s voted on and the minutes are approved.
The Sheriff’s Office is recommending a three percent increase for 2022, for a rate of $84.20 and an increase of 3.02 percent, for a rate of $86.75 in 2023.
Vetsch logged off the Board meeting to attend another meeting.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
Solar Work Group. Kaczmarek said the group discussed water mitigation, weed control, decommissioning, and production tax. The next meeting is scheduled for June.
Law Library. Husom attended the annual meeting and received the inventory report. The Law Library has been helping with Zoom trials for people who don’t have access to a computer or the internet. There were 29 attorney’s that volunteered their time. There were 69 free, one-on-one consultations with attorneys.
Safe Communities of Wright County. Husom attended the meeting last Friday, May 14, 2021. There was discussion regarding Highway 39 and complaints regarding the road from Otsego to Monticello, due to people passing vehicles using the center turn lane. The committee has been trying to coordinate the Wright Road and Wright Road for Teens. There are posters regarding distracted driving that have been hung up throughout the community. The crash car was in an accident last year which resulted in a fatality and has been visiting different schools in the community.
State Patrol. Husom said State Patrol is going to be participating in a speed saturation starting July 1, 2021 and running through July 31, 2021. There was a Serious Injury Committee review, there was one motorcycle crash in Clearwater Township. There will be a First Annual Local Hero’s Day on August 19, 20, and 21, 2021 in Monticello.
Parks Department. Daleiden said at the meeting on May 17, 2021, the Parks Department reviewed the 2020 annual report. There were two residents trying to sell property to the Parks Department; however, they were turned down.
Central Minnesota Council on Aging. Wetter attended the meeting on May 6, 2021. The Council discussed the Older American’s Act which approved supplemental funding requests due to the increased demand for homemaker and chore requests and transportation reimbursements.
Soil and Water Conservation District. Wetter attended the meeting on May 10, 2021, there was discussion regarding Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). An auxiliary water tank is being purchased for the decontamination station.
Digital Signatures. Kelly said there was a test a few weeks back for digital signatures which will be run again this week which will hopefully be used as the standard moving forward.
Administration Office. Kelly said there were two retirements from the Administration Office in the last two weeks. The new Human Resource Representative Zach Robideaux will be starting on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. He is coming to the County from Elk River Schools. Holly Wilson was offered the Assistant County Administrator position and has accepted. Her tentative start date will be June 21, 2021.
The meeting adjourned at 10:52 a.m.
County Board Minutes submitted by Angie Fisher, Administrative Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, June 11, 2021.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 4/29/2021For Payment 4/29/2021
CDW GOVERNMENT INC 2,866.29
EAST CENTRAL REGIONAL JUVENILE CENTER 121,176.00
GRANITE ELECTRONICS 12,780.00
MADDEN GALANTER HANSEN LLP 5,691.72
OFFICE OF MN IT SERVICES 3,000.00
RUSSELL SECURITY RESOURCE LLC 2,296.00
SCUBA CENTER 2,039.79
STAR TRIBUNE 4,499.04
TW VENDING INC 13,489.01
TYLER TECHNOLOGIES INC 60,342.00
23 Payments less than 2000 12,895.03
Final Total: 253,018.04
Warrants Approved On 4/30/2021For Payment 4/30/2021
AT&T MOBILITY 2,152.27
BUFFALO TOWNSHIP 4,600.00
CANON FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC 2,082.31
MATHIOWETZ CONSTRUCTION 119,729.40
RCM SPECIALTIES INC 2,048.58
TRUENORTH STEEL 2,631.80
VONCO II, LLC 2,826.82
WRIGHT COUNTY AREA UNITED WAY 6,942.03
WSB & ASSOCIATES INC 52,643.55
19 Payments less than 2000 7,010.41
Final Total: 202,667.17
Warrants Approved On 4/30/2021For Payment 4/30/2021
AMERICAN STRUCTURAL METALS INC 3,650.00
ARCHITECTURAL PANEL SYSTEMS INC 47,898.89
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 19,784.70
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 12,257.95
BRETH ZENZEN FIRE PROTECTION LLC 103,815.24
CLEAN RESPONSE INC 3,295.51
CONTEGRITY GROUP 79,916.60
DESIGN ELECTRICAL INC-COLD SPRING ELEC. 110,200.52
EBERT CONSTRUCTION 5,776.00
GEORGE F COOK CONSTRUCTION CO 14,850.40
HEATER RENTAL SERVICES LLC 3,372.40
HUFCOR INC 18,586.75
HUMERA TECH 61,608.18
INSTITUTE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT 3,590.00
KONE INC 115,038.35
MASTERS PLUMBING HEATING & COOLING 159,695.00
NELSON SANITATION & RENTAL INC 7,149.91
NORTHLAND CONCRETE & MASONRY CO LLC 4,302.55
RTL CONSTRUCTION 115,344.25
VEIT DISPOSAL SYSTEMS 5,155.00
WEIDNER PLUMBING AND HEATING CO 187,975.99
7 Payments less than 2000 4,416.15
Final Total: 1,087,680.34
Warrants Approved On 5/03/2021For Payment 5/03/2021
B & D ASSOCIATES INC 77,570.10
BOSER CONSTRUCTION INC 2,641.38
COMMERCIAL FLOORING SERVICES 32,282.32
EMPIREHOUSE INC 86,293.90
HALLBERG ENGINEERING 11,205.00
JK LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION 66,500.00
KONE INC 52,000.00
POLISHED CONCRETE PLUS 11,890.00
WILLMAR ELECTRIC SERVICE CORP 2,055.97
1 Payment less than 2000 907.00
Final Total: 343,345.67
Warrants Approved On 5/04/2021For Payment 5/04/2021
AMERICAN TOWER CORPORATION 7,887.79
ARAMARK SERVICES INC 8,612.64
BUFFALO PLUMBING & HEATING 9,858.81
BUFFALO/CITY OF 15,488.24
CIBER GLOBAL LLC 76,716.78
DIAMOND TOWER SERVICE INC 23,395.00
HEALTH PARTNERS 844,733.40
HEALTH PARTNERS - DENTAL 25,507.36
HILLYARD INC - MINNEAPOLIS 3,919.45
SKYNORTH SOFTWARE LLC 2,873.00
ST MICHAEL AUTO BODY SHOP 2,147.06
WRIGHT CO SNOWMOBILE TRAIL ASN 20,739.72
45 Payments less than 2000 16,220.55
Final Total: 1,066,802.60
Warrants Approved On 5/06/2021For Payment 5/06/2021
ALBERTVILLE/CITY OF 2,752.20
AMERICAN DOOR WORKS 3,827.65
BOARMAN KROOS VOGEL GROUP INC 16,800.71
CENTERPOINT ENERGY 7,986.76
CLIFTONLARSONALLEN LLP 12,075.00
CONVERGEONE, INC. 15,810.00
DELANO/CITY OF 2,768.80
FLAGSHIP RECREATION 17,134.87
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP 2,083.60
FRSECURE LLC 11,875.00
HILLYARD INC - MINNEAPOLIS 4,017.38
LEGACY OF DELANO HOLDINGS LLC 13,843.46
MN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY 3,047.94
NOREX, INC. 5,000.00
ON-DEMAND SERVICES GROUP INC 16,815.00
35 Payments less than 2000 17,990.07
Final Total: 164,371.63
Warrants ApprovedFor Payment 5/06/2021
QUADIENT LEASING USA INC 10,000.00
1 Payment less than 2000 5.00
Final Total: 10,005.00
Warrants Approved On 5/07/2021For Payment 5/07/2021
BROCK WHITE CO LLC 3,073.65
CENTERPOINT ENERGY 5,745.73
CHAMBERLAIN OIL CO 2,313.53
CONSTRUCTION SERVICES DIVERSIFIED 5,856.50
H&R CONST CO 6,775.00
INSIGHT PUBLIC SECTOR INC 294,641.92
INTERPROSE CORPORATION/THE 2,657.26
M-R SIGN COMPANY INC 40,815.57
MONTICELLO TOWNSHIP 3,710.00
RCM SPECIALTIES INC 4,131.36
ROYAL TIRE INC 3,035.95
RTVISION INC 2,070.44
26 Payments less than 2000 9,400.31
Final Total: 384,227.22
Warrants Approved On 5/07/2021For Payment 5/07/2021
AFSCME LOCAL 2685 4,072.44
AIG RETIREMENT COMPANY 7,347.92
FIDELITY SECURITY LIFE/EYEMED VISION CAR 2,349.03
HEALTH PARTNERS 35,696.43
HEALTH PARTNERS - DENTAL 11,631.48
MATRIX TRUST COMPANY 3,475.00
MN CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT CENTER 2,245.00
MN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION 2,301.00
MSRS HEALTH CARE SAVINGS PLAN 69,000.69
NATIONWIDE RETIREMENT SOLUTIONS 2,787.00
PUBLIC EMP RETIREMENT ASSN 385,443.68
WRIGHT CO CAFETERIA PLAN 29,277.58
WRIGHT COUNTY - CAFETERIA 82,500.00
WRIGHT COUNTY DEPUTIES ASSOCIATION 7,150.00
3 Payments less than 2000 1,290.00
Final Total: 658,655.25
Warrants ApprovedFor Payment 5/10/2021
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS) 472,666.71
MN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES 8,203.25
MN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE 97,031.45
Final Total: 577,901.41
Warrants Approved On 5/11/2021For Payment 5/11/2021
DELL MARKETING LP 3,854.58
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS 20,470.00
PRAIRIE LAKES YOUTH PROGRAMS 7,689.59
PROCISE SOLUTIONS INC 5,600.00
SHI INTERNATIONAL CORP 2,278.08
VILLAGE RANCH INC 31,588.20
WRIGHT SWCD 80,000.00
15 Payments less than 2000 4,321.66
Final Total: 155,802.11
Published in the Herald Journal, June 11, 2021.