Wright County Board Minutes

BOARD MINUTESBOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS JULY 20, 2021 DATE APPROVED: JULY 27, 2021
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden, and Kaczmarek present. Wetter was absent.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 7-6-21 MEETING
Vetsch moved to approve the minutes from 7-6-21. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
AGENDA
Husom moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0.
CONSENT AGENDA
Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer requested to pull Item F1 (Planning & Zoning) for discussion. Kaczmarek requested to pull Item B5 (Administration – Finance) for further discussion and clarification.
Vetsch moved to approve the Consent Agenda with the removal of Items B5 (Administration – Finance) and F1 (Planning & Zoning) for discussion and clarification. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
* Items B5 and F1 for discussion.
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Schedule Ways & Means Committee on July 28, 2021 to discuss the New Government Center space for outside agencies
B. *ADMINISTRATION - FINANCE
1. Approve Budget Amendment to increase grant revenue and expense for STAY (Successful Transition to Adulthood for Youth) Grant
11-430-710-0000-5435 FED GRANTS – STAY (SELF) - $44,500
11-430-710-1460-6030 ADOLESCENT LIFE SKILLS - $44,500
2. Approve the reimbursement of $2,818.98 from 01-099-493.6910 transfer out into 01-100-493-5910 transfer in. For the updates to the new jail holding area to accommodate remote court, as discussed at the 07/06/21 Committee of the Whole meeting. Approval of $81.99 for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Health and Human Services’ (HHS) disinfect supplies
3. Approve Tobacco License for LGS Pawn & Repair, LLC DBA Buddha Glass (Monticello) for the period July 20, 2021 through December 31, 2021
4. Request position replacement for License Center Specialist
5. Acknowledge Warrants issued between June 30, 2021 and July 13, 2021 (See Below, Item IX. Warrants Issued)
6. Motion to approve the reimbursement of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Funds as follows:
County ARP Funds:
Approval of county reimbursement of $11,653.82 from 01-099-493.6910 transfer out into 01-100-493-5910 transfer in as follows:
$11,105.85 for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 1.5
$17.75 for COVID Testing 1.2
$530.22 for Capital Investment or Physical Plan Changes 1.7
C. ATTORNEY
1. Refer proposed amendments to the Tobacco Ordinance to the Ways & Means Committee
D. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position replacement
A. Social Worker II
B. Public Health Nurse
E. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer to 7/8/21 Technology Committee:
A. Project updates
1. CAMA
2. Admin – Event Scheduler
3. Admin – Government Center
4. SQL Server 2014 replacement
5. ERP
B. Solution architect updates
1. ECM
C. New project requests
1. Elections software
2. Elections: Assistive voting device upgrade from AutoMARK to OmniBallots
3. Tax – CLA
D. 2021 project summary
E. Project review – Parks Spraylogger
F. Quarter 2 2021 summary
F. *PLANNING & ZONING
1. Accept the Findings and Recommendation of the Planning Commission for the denial of the request to rezone:
A. ANTHONY M. RIEGER-BORER – (Corinna Township) Planning Commission on a 4/2 vote recommend denial of the request to rezone from AG General Agriculture to A/R Agricultural – Residential
ITEMS PULLED FROM CONSENT AGENDA TO BE DISCUSSED
B. ADMINISTRATION – FINANCE
5. Acknowledge Warrants issued between June 30, 2021 and July 13, 2021 (See Below, Item IX. Warrants Issued)
There was an amount of $6,557.20 paid to AEM Workforce Solutions LLC. This is an ongoing personnel investigation from earlier this year that Kaczmarek brought to the board’s attention. This issue should be wrapping up this month and there will be a closed session with the board for a briefing regarding the matter.
There was an amount of $1,602 paid to Madden Galanter Hansen LLP. This is a personnel investigation with a potential policy change. Madden Galanter Hansen is the county’s labor attorney. Madden Galanter Hansen helped with a policy review that was adopted into the policy manual about a month ago which also included a grievance. This claim is not related in any way to the claim paid to AEM Workforce Solutions LLC.
There was an amount of $9,245 paid to All State Communications Incorporated. This item was coded as repairs, but there were questions if it was actually a new item. Kaczmarek thought this should be coded differently. County Administrator Lee Kelly spoke with Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek who explained there are cameras overlooking the new campus that failed and needed to be repaired. Kaczmarek requested to have a separate code for new items and a separate code for repairs for accuracy purposes. Assistant Finance Director Heather Lemieux added when Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is in place it will be streamlined. It’s a judgment call and sometimes its correct and sometimes it’s not.
Kaczmarek moved to approve Item B5 under the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
F. PLANNNING & ZONING
1. Accept the Findings and Recommendation of the Planning Commission for the denial of the request to rezone:
A. ANTHONY M. RIEGER-BORER – (Corinna Township) Planning Commission on a 4/2 vote recommend denial of the request to rezone from AG General Agriculture to A/R Agricultural – Residential
Kryzer informed the board the Planning Commission conducted the public hearings, compiled the record and came up with draft findings for the board. Corinna Township was pushing in favor of the rezoning. When creating a new A/R zone the board has to take into consideration what is special or unique.
The Planning Commission discussed this item extensively and there was a site inspection done. The proposed rezoning did not conform to the county’s land use plan. It is surrounded by property owned by the State of Minnesota. The proposed rezoning would be considered spot-zoning under Minnesota law.
Kaczmarek moved to approve Item F1 under the Consent Agenda as recommended. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
Kryzer added since Anthony M. Rieger-Borer is not present at the board meeting the findings will be mailed to him.
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, VIRGIL HAWKINS
Approve Resolution of Final Acceptance for Contract No. 2102 and Authorize Final Payment to Allied Blacktop Co. in the amount of $519,439.86. Contract No. 2102 included seal coating of various County Highways (3, 4, 5, 37 & 129) in Wright County. The work was completed by Allied Blacktop Co. of Maple Grove, Minnesota.
Vetsch moved to approve the resolution for the final acceptance for Contract No. 2102 and authorize final payment to Allied Blacktop Co. in the amount of $519,439.86. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Award Contract No. 2108, Monticello Township State Park Road Account Fallon Avenue reconstruction project to Knife River Corporation of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Pending concurrence from Monticello Township at their July 19, 2021 Town Board meeting. We recommend award of Contract No. 2108 to low bidder Knife River Corporation in the amount of $292,603.45
Hawkins attended the Monticello Township meeting on July 19, 2021. The township unanimously agrees with awarding Contract No. 2108, reconstruction project to Knife River Corporation. There is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) landing access off Fallon Avenue. This project will pave Fallon Avenue leading to the access and beyond.
Husom moved to award Contract No. 2108, Monticello Township State Park Road Account Fallon Avenue reconstruction project to Knife River Corporation in the amount of $292,603.45. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0.
Daleiden asked Hawkins for an update on the construction projects in the county. Hawkins said because of the lack of rain construction projects are ahead of schedule. Next week, paint markings will be added to Highway 39 in Otsego and should be reopened to traffic by the end of next week.
Construction on Highway 118 has started and there has already been good progress on the grading process. The mini roundabout on Tiger Drive in Delano is on schedule if not ahead of schedule.
The issues with the semaphore on Jamison Avenue and County Road 18 are in the process of being resolved.
AG & DRAINAGE, MATTHEW DETJEN
Approve the finding and order correcting Drainage System Records for Wright County Ditch #13 under Minnesota Statute §103.101(4A)
Detjen said AG & Drainage submitted the original reestablishment of records without some evidence of where a tile was located upstream and the DNR disagreed with the original. AG & Drainage dug up the tile and took survey elevations on the tile and then submitted the second draft of the report.
Vetsch moved to approve the findings and order correcting Drainage System Records for Wright County Ditch #13 under §103.101(4A). The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
Approval of Payment Application #4 of $65,982.42 to Blackstone Contractors, LLC for County Ditch #10
There are nine proposed payouts for County Ditch #10. This payout includes spoil leveling, and additional ditch cleaning that happened after the third payout.
Vetsch moved to approve Payment Application #4 of $65,982.42 to Blackstone Contractors, LLC for County Ditch #10. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0.
Permission to apply for the Multipurpose Drainage Management Grant for Joint Ditch #25
This project has already received additional approval to move forward utilizing American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. The request is for water and sediment control basins. This grant would help offset some of the ARP funds and try to stretch the funds out as much as possible.
Husom moved to grant permission to apply for the Multipurpose Drainage Management Grant for Joint Ditch #25. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
Schedule public hearing on the petition for partial abandonment of County Ditch #14 under Minnesota Statute §103E.806
This ditch is located in Buffalo Township, south of Mary Lake. Working with the landowner, it was decided the best date would be Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
Vetsch moved to schedule a public hearing on the petition for partial abandonment of County Ditch #14 under §103E.806 at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 21, 2021. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0.
Schedule a Ditch Committee of the Whole to discuss upcoming Redetermination of Benefits
There was an initial public hearing for three different redeterminations of benefits, but it was continued and has not been finalized.
Kaczmarek moved to schedule a Ditch Committee of the Whole to discuss the Redetermination of Benefits at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 10, 2021. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
ADMINISTRATION
Schedule public informational meetings to share information about Wright County’s Broadband Feasibility Study: 4:00 p.m., Monday, August 23, 2021 and 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Design Nine Consultants is conducting the feasibility study and as part of the process is having two meetings open to the public to help provide input and answer questions. The Commissioners are not required to be at these two meetings.
Husom moved to schedule public informational meetings to share information about Wright County’s Broadband Feasibility Study at 4:00 p.m. Monday, August 23, 2021 and 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 24, 2021. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES 7-6-21
Vetsch moved to accept the Committee of the Whole meeting minutes and recommendations from 7-6-21. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
I. Continuation of American Rescue Plan Discussion
Commissioner Vetsch stated he would like to allocate more of the funds to investments; approximately $9-10 million total. Finance Director Meyer stated the County should receive a return around 3 basis points. Investing the money would yield a higher return than leaving it in an account.
a. Update on American Rescue Plan – State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Guidance and County Process
Project Administrator Elizabeth Karels stated the process has been documented and IT is working on developing a portal for the collection of ideas.
Karels shared the Department of Treasury’s Appendix 1: Expenditure Categories document. Any of the funds that are spent must fit into one of the expenditure categories. There are different reporting requirements for each of the categories.
Commissioner Daleiden mentioned the Attorney’s Office request for additional staff members. This may fit under category 2.14 Rehiring Public Sector Staff. Vetsch questioned if the direction from the board is to allocate funds to utilize reimbursable staff time. Karels stated $2 million has been allocated to Public Health and $400,000 has been allocated to Administration for reimbursable staff time.
Karels stated reporting guidance has been released and the process may be more cumbersome than CARES.
b. Discuss consultants to provide ARP Guidance / Grant Navigation Services
i. Baker Tilly
Karels stated Baker Tilly could be helpful in assisting with compliance and reporting requirements. Commissioner Husom expressed concern with Baker Tilly’s expertise in this area, as the company is known for class and compensation studies. Karels reassured the commissioners an entirely different division has the expertise to assist the County.
Commissioner Kaczmarek suggested completing reference checks. Karels will be contacting other counties that have used Baker Tilly’s compliance and reporting requirement division.
ii. Flaherty and Hood
Flaherty and Hood could provide assist in looking for additional funding sources.
Staff suggested hiring both firms as a hybrid; each focusing on an expertise. Commissioner Kaczmarek inquired if there is an anticipated cost. Assistant Finance Director Heather Lemieux stated, for reference, the county paid less than $10,000 for CARES. Karels suggested the combined contract not exceed $125,000. The cost of hiring the consultants would be paid using ARP funds.
Representatives from Baker Tilly and Flaherty and Hood will be invited to the next Committee of the Whole meeting at 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
c. New Program/Project Requests
i. Water Quality Projects
Ag & Drainage Coordinator Matthew Detjen presented the water quality projects being proposed. Several projects were listed under the Additional Potential Projects category because the projects were still in the early planning phase.
Kaczmarek questioned if the proposed projects meet the ARP requirements. Karels stated Clean Water projects are eligible if they are eligible under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). Kaczmarek stated the projects would be a good use for the ARP funds as many citizens are affected by ditches.
The commissioners previously allocated $10 million of the ARP funds for Broadband projects. Commissioner Vetsch stated he did not know if that was the best use of the funds because the State is also allocating funds for Broadband. He questioned if the amount for Broadband should be lowered to $4-6 million. Husom and Kaczmarek agreed.
Information Technology Director Matthew Fomby suggested waiting until information is gathered from the broadband study to make a firm decision. Vetsch stated he did not want to put too many things on hold and run into timeline issues. Daleiden stated the Broadband estimates are based on today’s costs and they may change.
Vetsch stated there are other ways funds can be matched for ditch repairs. Husom expressed concern that it may appear the commissioners are picking and choosing which ditches to repair. Alicia O’Hare stated many of the ditches have water quality issues.
The Commissioners approved the proposed Water Quality Projects in an amount not to exceed $2.5 million.
ii. Parks Projects
Parks Director Marc Mattice requested playground equipment updates, campground updates, and improved access and ADA accessibility. The parks were heavily used throughout the pandemic. Mattice stated he thought the projects would fall into the physical health and public health as well as tourism and economic development categories.
Lemieux stated there is an exemption for Parks, making projects eligible. Vetsch questioned if the County would have to prove the individuals benefiting from the improvements come from a disadvantaged area. Karels suggested asking the consultants to weigh in on the eligibility of the proposed projects.
Discussions will continue once consultants have a chance to provide input.
iii. Facility Modifications at LEC
Jail Captain Patrick O’Malley discussed the changes that took place due to Covid-19. The jail was not set up or prepared to handle the new court hearings via video. The updates and changes were already made, and the money has already been spent.
The updates took place during eligible dates, therefore will be reimbursed with ARP funds.
d. Infrastructure Discussion– Broadband and Water/Sewer
Vetsch stated there are several cities that are interested in knowing if the County will be providing grant opportunities for Water/Sewer projects. He suggested allocating grant funds based on population. Cities would like to know if additional funds will be available so they can appropriately develop a scope of work.
Vetsch stated additional funds would greatly benefit each city’s ability to provide infrastructure updates. Kaczmarek suggested checking the ground rules for eligible uses of funds.
Wetter expressed concern with not providing grant opportunities for townships and other rural areas. Daleiden suggested giving them the same amount per person as the cities.
Kaczmarek stated there is a good case for water/sewer projects but has concern that the cities will not do all the research.
$4 million will be allocated for cities to use for water/sewer projects.
e. Program details – Refer to future Committee of the Whole (tentatively 7/28/21)
i. Volunteer Recruitment for Safe Families through Wright County HHS
ii. Expand Emergency Assistance through Wright County HHS
iii. Technology Support and Training for Seniors through Senior Community Services
iv. Economic Assistance for Wright County 4H through Wright County 4H
Set Committee of the Whole Meeting at 10:00 am on July 26, 2021
COUNTY BOARD WORKSHOP MEETING MINUTES 7-13-21
Husom moved to accept the County Board Workshop meeting minutes and recommendations from 7-13-21. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek and carried 4-0.
I. Schedule Meetings as Needed
County Administrator Lee Kelly stated in speaking to Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins, questions regarding right-of-way management practices and culvert improvements arose at the Township Officer’s meeting. Kelly requested the topics be added to the Transportation Committee of the Whole agenda on July 27, 2021.
Additionally, Kelly suggested moving the Fiscal Agent Contracts discussion from the Finance/CIP Committee Agenda on July 19, 2021 to the Committee of the Whole (COTW) Agenda on July 26, 2021. Commissioner Daleiden requested to have it remain on the Finance/CIP Agenda for preliminary discussion as well as adding the topic to the COTW Agenda.
RECOMMENDATION:
Additional items to be added to the Transportation Committee of the Whole Agenda (7/27/2021):
• Right-of-Way Management Maintenance Practices (weed spraying & mowing)
• Hwy. Maintenance Culvert Improvement Practices (lining & aprons)
Additional items to be added to the Committee of the Whole Agenda (7/26/2021):
• Fiscal Agent Contracts
II. Dental Clinic Project
Project Administrator Elizabeth Karels presented the project schedule, which is currently in the predesign phase. Construction is targeted to begin at the end of 2021 and will take approximately 60 days to complete. The Dental Clinic is anticipated to open in June 2022.
The county must complete several submittals to receive funds from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Grant. Once the grant agreement is in place, the county can request reimbursement of funds for the project.
Community Dental Care has requested scheduling a Steering Committee meeting to discuss the overall project budget and the Use Agreement, including the lease rate. After discussion, the Dental Clinic Steering Committee was scheduled for 1:00 pm on July 26, 2021.
Auromira Architects has drafted the predesign report and it is currently being reviewed by the project team. The target date for submittal to the board for approval is early August 2021.
Auromira Architects, Mythili Thiagarajan said there is a cost estimator at the predesign phase, schematic design phase, and at the construction documentation phase. The numbers will get tighter as the project moves forward
because there will be more information put into the drawings. At the predesign phase, more guessing is involved because the finishes are not specified.
The predesign report will be listed as design-bid-build (best value).
For the county to receive the Grant Award, Sources and Uses of Funding must be included in the grant application. Documentation must show that all project funding has been received or a legally binding commitment is in place. Project funding includes funding for all items needed to finish and equip the dental clinic space so it can operate. Community Dental Care is responsible for providing funding and is working on grant applications. The county should be notified around October 2021 if the private grants were awarded.
The county previously committed to funding the construction of the shell for the dental clinic space. The concrete floor was put on hold until the dental clinic design was completed. Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek explained the floor is currently under contract with Northland Concrete. The dental clinic floor is approximately 6,200 square feet.
Kaczmarek wanted reassurance that the county would not have to pay for the Dental Clinic if the grant fell through. Karels explained the county does not plan to authorize the contractor to start until after the DEED Grant is in hand to help minimize risk to the county.
Karels said there must be a Real Estate Declaration proving the county has legally separated the dental clinic space from the rest of the Government Center building. Flaherty & Hood’s Robert Scott explained when the county receives a grant through the bonding bill, the property that will be improved by the grant funds becomes subject to extensive restrictions under state statute. One of the requirements is the local government must record a Real Estate Declaration against the property that has been improved so the public is on notice that it’s bond-financed property and is subject to extensive restrictions which limit the ability of the local government to sell or lease the property. The Government Center is one parcel, and it would be to the county’s benefit to legally separate the Dental Clinic, so the Declaration is just against the clinic.
Flaherty & Hood’s Alissa Harrington explained there are two options to legally separate the Government Center from the Dental Clinic. The first option is a Registered Land Survey (RLS) which would put the land into the Torrens System and requires an action to register the title of those two separate parcels in district court. With this option there must be a 3-D registered land survey. Once completed, two legally separate parcels will exist with no further administrative burdens.
The second option is Common Interest Community (CIC). With this option the county can record a Declaration defining the separate units and common areas. An issue with this option is the structural and mechanical systems must be substantially complete. There also must be an Owner’s Association created to manage the common areas. This option is potentially quicker to create, but there will be ongoing administrative involvement.
Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer recommended the county choose option one, Registered Land Survey. The abstract will need to be updated. Most of the Government Center’s parcel has been found, a sliver of the parcel was taken off the highway parcel. Kryzer explained the process for the Registered Land Survey to the Board for clarification.
Karels informed the Board the county must enter into a Use Agreement with Community Dental Care for operation of the space which is required to be sent into the state for review and approval. Flaherty & Hood has started drafting the Use Agreement. Internal staff have discussed the methodology for calculating the lease rate
and the county has received some guidance from the state. To determine the lease rate the county can take into consideration the building operating costs and the interest on bonds for the Government Center project.
Kaczmarek wanted to confirm that no one would be turned away from the Dental Clinic regardless if they do or do not have insurance. Community Dental Care’s Phil Walker confirmed that no one would be turned away that needs dental care.
RECOMMENDATION:
It was the Board’s decision to list the predesign as design-bid-build (best value). Wilczek will speak with Northland Concrete regarding the possibility of doing a change order for the dental clinic concrete floor.
It is the Board’s recommendation to move forward with a Registered Land Survey on the new Government Center and Dental Clinic.
Steering Committee meeting scheduled for 1:00 p.m., Monday, July 26, 2021. Agenda items to include:
• Project budget
• Use Agreement, including Lease Rate
III. New Government Center space for outside agencies
Kelly said there is space planned on the first floor of the new Government Center for the Wright County Economic Development Partnership (EDP), the space is about 950 square feet. It has not been determined how much the lease rate will be for the EDP.
There has been discussion regarding the state allowing testing services at the License Center in the new Government Center. The License Center was designed to allow for testing. The Legislature provided funds for testing agencies to open, but the timeframe is unclear. Commissioner Vetsch provided some language for the letter the County Board will be sending to Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) regarding the possibility of testing at the License Center in the new Government Center.
The Department of Corrections (DOC) lease rate for the Justice Center is $21.10 per square foot. The $21.10 includes additional costs for security. The county has had other lease rates in the past and should stay consistent with how its applied.
Kaczmarek would like more information regarding how much DVS paid to lease a space in downtown Buffalo before it closed. Comparison information for renting a space in other locations in Buffalo or at the Government Center would be good information to have to make an informed decision. Finance Director Lindsey Meyer said there has been some analysis regarding DVS occupying the space to do road tests and/or knowledge tests. Based on the idea that if an individual were to test at the county’s facility it can safely be assumed most of the test takers who pass will then go into the License Center and the county would receive the revenue that is associated with the person passing the test.
RECOMMENDATION:
It is the board’s recommendation to send this agenda item to the next Ways & Means Committee meeting for further discussion.
IV. 2022 Budget status update
Budget books were due at the end of the day on Friday, July 9, 2021. Documents are in the process of being reviewed and there are some additional documents that still need to be turned in. There are items that are still
waiting to be passed from outside entities such as Great River Crime Lab, Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT), etc. There will be a dividend the county will receive this year from MCIT which needs to be reflected as current as possible.
There are several position requests that have been submitted that need to be circled back to for more discussion. Due to having new Commissioners on the Board, Kelly wants to make time for all departments to come in for discussion regarding the budget. In years past it’s been condensed for those departments that didn’t have a lot of change to the budget.
RECOMMENDATION:
Kelly would like the Board to adopt the final schedule at the board meeting on July 27, 2021.
V. American Rescue Plan (ARP)
The committee continues to revise the documents to prepare for the upcoming meeting. The Committee of the Whole was scheduled to meet tomorrow, Wednesday, July 14, 2021 for interviews with Flaherty & Hood and Baker Tilly.
VI. Update on Compost Facility Structural Assessment
Two Engineers are scheduled to be onsite at the Compost Facility Friday, July 23, 2021 to do an assessment.
VII. Board room technology needs
Wilczek said an extensive specification book was put together as part of the project. All items listed in the book are under contract as part of the original bid documents for technology in the building. Wilczek explained all the equipment and how it works in the board room.
There was a request for a stop clock in the new board room and a light to alert individuals if there is currently a meeting that is live.
RECOMMENDATION:
Wilczek will look into adding two stop clocks in the board room and a light showing if the meeting is being broadcast live.
WAYS & MEANS MEETING MINUTES 7-14-21
Husom moved to accept the Ways & Means meeting minutes and recommendations from 7-14-21. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
II. Roof replacement of Historical Society Building at Wright County Fairgrounds
Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer informed the committee that Risk Manager Tim Dahl filed a claim with Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT). There may be some coverage for the Agricultural Society building and the Octagon Building due to wind damage. Dahl and Kryzer are not sure of the dollar amount because its only portions of the roof that are damaged.
Dahl said there has been some previous work done to the Octagon Building. There are two different types of shingles on the roof. The newer architectural shingles do not show any signs of damage. The three-tab shingles show evidence of wind damage.
Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek and Dahl met with MCIT. The scope was focused on the asphalt shingles on the Welker Schoolhouse, the barn, the octagon, and the cedar shingles on the two log cabins. Early
estimates show there will be some coverage, but the total is unknown at this time. Kryzer added that if all the roofs are done at the same time there will only be one deductible because the site is insured instead of each building.
Wetter wanted to know who owns the Octagon Building. Kryzer said the county owns the building and the Agricultural Society maintains, improves it, and is responsible for all costs. The way the contract reads is the county is responsible for the Historical Society building. Anything that is not covered for the Octagon Building, under contract the county is required to bill back to the Agricultural Society. Since there is only one deductible and the county’s paying for the Welker Schoolhouse, the Agricultural Society will have to pay for the Octagon Building.
Kryzer explained there are a few different options regarding the deductible. Husom suggested splitting the deductible on a cost basis percentage, depending on what the numbers come in at.
The cedar shakes are in bad shape, but there wasn’t any evidence indicating weather had anything to do with it. Wilczek will get estimates for the repairs on the buildings. Sally Stevens, Historical Society Busines Manager, recommended contacting a historical organization or another group that could redo the roof as a learning project. There is also a possibility of finding some tradespeople who would donate time and skills. Any time the community can be involved it’s better for all.
Dahl said MCIT should have definite numbers within three weeks. For a typical claim, the county has replacement cost coverage and in order to get the full replacement cost there will either need to be a contract stating the county is going to replace the shingles and do the work or just show the work has been completed, but the initial funds will be at a depreciated value.
RECOMMENDATION:
The committee recommended sending this item to the next Ways & Means Committee meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. If the definite numbers from MCIT come back sooner this item could be moved to the Wednesday, July 28, 2021 meeting.
III. Disposition of excess equipment
County Administrator Lee Kelly said discussion regarding the disposition of excess equipment started after Commissioner Daleiden took a tour of the old jail with Wright County Community Action (WCCA). There have been various ways the county has disposed of equipment such as online auctions which had mixed results. Wilczek said staff spend more time, effort, and labor moving equipment and furniture around in order to get it posted online than what the county gets back from selling the items.
Wilczek suggested waiting until all the departments are moved to the new Government Center before staff takes inventory.
Husom wanted to know if it’s the county’s responsibility to get everything out of the buildings when its sold. Kryzer said it can be negotiated during the sale of the building.
Information Technology (IT) Technical Services Manager, Mark Kellogg said IT is trying to determine what can be reused at the new Government Center building. Finance Director Lindsey Meyer told the committee that some of the finance employees are asking if they can purchase their chairs for a home office. Kryzer and Kelly explained that legally employees are not able to purchase items. Wilczek said by statute unless it’s deemed trash, you must sell through a public process to obtain the highest value possible.
Kelly said the county can donate items to other public entities if there is interest.
RECOMMENDATION:
The recommendation is to wait to take inventory of equipment and furniture until all departments have moved to the new Government Center.
PERSONNEL/EMPLOYEE RELATIONS MEETING MINUTES 7-14-21
Husom moved to accept the Personnel/Employee Relations meeting minutes and recommendations from 7-14-21. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
I. ATTORNEY
a. Full-time Attorney for the Civil Division
b. Full-Time Legal Administrative Assistant
County Attorney Brian Lutes made a request to the Personnel Committee to hire a full-time attorney in the Civil Division. He explained that his current Chief Deputy, Brian Asleson, is planning to retire in the near future, and although a date for Asleson’ s retirement has not been set, he has concerns about the impact his departure could have on the Civil Division if they wait to fill his position after he retires. The time that it takes to post, interview applicants, and wait for background clearance can take up to 60 days or longer. He commented that this void would cause the work to back up in the Civil Division and slow the responsiveness of his office to other departments. Lutes added that it will also be beneficial to have some overlap with a new civil attorney working with Asleson leading up to his retirement.
Lutes explained that Asleson has a particular expertise in data practices, tax appeals, and eminent domain. No other lawyer in his office has expertise in those areas. The new attorney could also assist Asleson in some future tax appeal trials.
Lutes stated that there is a need for attorney assistance in the Civil Division beyond providing for a smooth transition once Asleson retires. He added that Attorney Greg Kryzer fulfills many duties in the office including being the primary point of contact for the Board of Commissioners and many other county departments. He explained that Kryzer reviews and provides legal guidance to many county departments and conducts legal reviews of contracts. Additionally, he doesn’t want to limit Kryzer’ s responsiveness by spreading him too thin with other duties. The addition of a new civil attorney position would allow Kryzer to delegate some of his other duties such as forfeiture matters and post-conviction proceedings.
Lutes listed staffing comparisons of surrounding counties with populations and the number of attorneys on staff. He stated he could not remember the last new attorney position added in this office that wasn’t a replacement for someone who left.
A discussion occurred regarding the position request being out of the budgetary process. However, Lutes clarified prior to the meeting that these position requests will be included in next year’s budget. Lutes stated Brian Asleson’ s projected salary for 2022 would be equivalent approximately to the salaries of two Attorney I positions. There are benefits in addition to the salaries.
Commissioners Mark Daleiden and Christine Husom recognized that the request for a new attorney is a long time coming and would like to have more discussion during the upcoming 2022 budget meetings.
Lutes added that he also submitted a request for an additional full-time legal assistant. As County Attorney, he expressed that he has taken an active role in supervising the legal assistants and has learned a great deal in the last seven months about the processes utilized by his legal assistants to keep up to date on paper files and the Case Management System (CMS). Lutes shared that the CMS and the Records Management System (RMS) utilized by the Wright County Sherriff’s Office (WCSO) is outdated and in the process of being replaced. He continued that this is a very time-consuming process for his legal assistants to perform these duties. He added that the current RMS with the WCSO creates problems with the CMS consisting of countless importing issues. Lutes also explained that the legal assistants are required to update paper files and the CMS records. Lutes said that the plan for the CMS to be updated and go live is approximately a year from now and they hope to go paperless in the Attorneys Office. Lutes also expressed that his legal assistants are currently overworked and recognizes that it’s not good for employee morale.
Lutes continued that COVID has changed the way we all do business; this is especially true in the court system. The way matters were handled during COVID has created additional work for the legal assistants. More things are done outside of the courts such as sending forms to defendants and e-filing forms with the courts. COVID has increased the work obligations of our legal assistants. There is an immediate need for an additional legal assistant within the Attorneys Office. He also suggested that for most of the hearings that are uncontested, they would most likely be going into a hybrid model of work going forward with much of the time spent emailing, phone calls and e-filing documents. He commented that it has added additional steps to the process for the Attorney’s Office legal assistants.
Lutes reported that he projects the starting salary for a new legal assistant would be approximately $46,000 per year.
Commissioner Husom asked if the American Rescue Plan (ARP) could be utilized in this case, due to the overload of work and time spent since it’s a direct effect of the COVID pandemic? Attorney Greg Kryzer noted that he believes that the County could elect to use a portion of those dollars to cover the costs for the balance of this year and possibly into the future for the additional work placed on the legal assistants.
Both Commissioners Daleiden and Husom agreed to move forward with the hiring of the legal assistant position. The need for additional legal assistants will also be reviewed during the 2022 budget meetings held by the County Commissioners.
RECOMMENDATION: APPROVE TO HIRE A FULL-TIME ATTORNEY FOR THE CIVIL DIVISION AND APPROVE TO HIRE A FULL-TIME LEGAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT WITH THE CONDITION THAT ADDITIONAL POSITIONS IN THE ATTORNEY’S OFFICE BEING PROPOSED IN THE 2022 BUDGET AND WILL BE DISCUSSED BY THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DURING UPCOMING BUDGET MEETINGS.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING MINUTES 7-14-21
Kaczmarek moved to accept the Committee of the Whole meeting minutes and recommendations from 7-14-21. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 4-0.
I. American Rescue Plan Consultant Interviews
Project Administrator Elizabeth Karels stated representatives from Baker Tilly and Flaherty & Hood joined the meeting remotely to present proposals.
Baker Tilly
Principal Terri Heaton began the presentation, providing a brief history and overview of the company. Heaton introduced the other Baker Tilly representatives present: Firm Director Nick Dragisich, Senior Manager Sheanne Hediger, and Director Doug Green. American Rescue Plan (ARP) resources are available on the Baker Tilly
website. Since the County has already been preparing for ARP, Baker Tilly could provide complementary services to assist the County.
Eligible uses of Fiscal Recovery Funds were discussed. The U.S. Treasury published an Interim Final Rule on May 16, 2021. A Frequently Asked Questions document was published on May 27, 2021; five updates to the document have already been published. Compliance and Reporting Guidance was published on June 17, 2021. New information is being released weekly.
Baker Tilly has assessed each eligible use category and provided an initial risk assessment, ranking categories low, medium, or high risk. Categories needing further clarification have been ranked high risk. All procurement procedures must be followed.
Dragisich discussed the services Baker Tilly could provide including: a strategic needs assessment, ongoing support, compliance, development of programs and procedures, and assistance pursuing other funds that may be available. Baker Tilly also offers online surveys and focus groups to gain stakeholder input.
Baker Tilly has previous experience with CARES in tracking and facilitating pass-through funding and developing criteria for recipients of funds. The company can provide enterprise solutions for application and distribution of funds, audit preparedness and reporting processes, and ongoing support.
Overall, Baker Tilly has experience assisting Minnesota counties with CARES and ARP, it has a deep bench of auditors, finance and management consultants, a local presence, extensive resources, and a committed team ready to assist.
Commissioner Kaczmarek questioned where Baker Tilly was located. Heaton responded most of the team is in St. Paul, however some members are spread throughout the Midwest. Commissioner Daleiden questioned the cost of services. Heaton stated it would be difficult to pinpoint a price when it is unclear what the scope of services will entail.
Flaherty and Hood
Senior Attorney/Lobbyist Shane Zahrt and Attorney David LaBerge presented for Flaherty and Hood. LaBerge provided a brief overview of the ARP guidance and requirements. Flaherty and Hood has experience evaluating specific expenditure requests for eligibility under the ARP legislation and U.S. Treasury guidance. Additionally, Flaherty and Hood has analyzed CARES Act and federal guidance on eligible expenditures and transfers and advised clients on specific expenditure requests.
The Flaherty and Hood team will use a unique mix of legal and public policy expertise to help Wright County analyze all funding options and make the best use of State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Additional members of the Flaherty and Hood team include: Policy Analyst Ania McDonnell and Shareholder Attorney Robert Scott.
Kaczmarek questioned if Flaherty and Hood would represent the County in the case of a misuse of funds. Zahrt stated Flaherty and Hood will advise on compliance and eligible uses of funds. Litigation is a service that could be provided depending on the scope of work requested.
Daleiden stated staff needs to determine the scope of work necessary and work with each company to establish pricing. Karels suggested setting a not-to-exceed amount for both firms.
Kaczmarek emphasized the need to ensure each company can meet deadlines and suggested contacting
references. Karels has completed on reference check for Baker Tilly and is conducting another on Friday, July 16, 2021.
RECOMMENDATION:
Staff next steps are to firm up the scopes of work with each company, identify a not-to-exceed amount of each, and bring the contracts to the board via the consent agenda.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
Veteran Services. Daleiden said the Veteran Services Office went above and beyond the normal scope of work to help find family members of a deceased Civil War veteran. Veteran Services Officer Greg Pickard was contacted last week by an employee at Midway Iron in St. Cloud. There was a grave marker found in the trunk of a car that had been recycled. Pickard drove to St. Cloud and picked up the grave marker which was roughly four feet tall and made of granite. Pickard and Communications Specialist John Holler posted it on the county’s Facebook page. Pickard was able to track down a family member of the deceased veteran. The website, Find A Grave is a great asset to help locate family of the deceased. The grave marker is a national monument.
Broadband. The broadband survey has been sent out to residents via mail and it is also on the county’s website. There will be several locations at the Wright County Fair giving out flyers with the web address for the survey.
American Rescue Plan (ARP). The portals are being set up for the ARP. The committee is working on claims that have been received by the county. On Wednesday, July 21, 2021 the computer lab will be opened to the townships to receive assistance with the ARP application.
Budget. The budget schedule will be brought to the next board meeting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 for approval.
Economic Development Partnership (EDP). Vetsch attended the Management Committee meeting to review the budget requests. There is no change this year from last year. There was discussion regarding funding allocations for programs for the next year. A program that the EDP would like to have done is a market area profile. Those studies are used extensively by large retailers, and hotels to determine needs in different areas to be developed. The EDP wants the Wright County Economic Development Authority (EDA) to be a 50/50 partner for the study.
The Management Committee also discussed the title for memberships. At the inception of the EDP members were called partners and it eventually morphed into membership. The Management Committee would like to transition back to partners.
Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Campground will open the week of July 25 but will only open half of the campsites at a time because the turf needs to be reestablished due to lack of rain. Bertram Campground has camper cabins that can be rented.
Parks Advisory Board. The Parks Advisory Board met at Otsego Park and discussed several items. The board took a walk by the river which is extremely low. The board is hoping to get the shoreline rehab started while the river is low.
Mental Health Advisory Council. The council met Tuesday, July 13, 2021 and discussed different needs in the county and how to meet those needs. There will be money from the pharmaceutical companies’ lawsuits that will be almost 100 percent earmarked for drug rehabilitation.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory Board. The AIS Board met on Thursday, July 8, 2021 and discussed its budget. The state has over $8million dollars for AIS Prevention Aid used by 61 counties, in several different areas. There are bait compost bins at 12 different stations in Wright County. A master gardener constructed the bins for people to use when they get done fishing.
The AIS Advisory Board was given an update regarding violations. There were 3,095 license plates tracked, 7.4 percent entered with a drain plug violation, 5 percent had species found on their boat, and four incidents of zebra mussels were found. The board is presenting a Starry Trek 2021 event on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at Clearwater Pleasant Park Access. There will be volunteers looking for Starry Stonewort.
Safe Communities of Wright County. Husom attended the Safe Communities of Wright County meeting on Friday, July 9, 2021. One of the county’s sober cabs went out of business, but a new Town Taxi service has started in Annandale.
There were message boards put on the Highway 39 Monticello/Otsego route due to people using the center lane as a passing lane instead of a turn lane. Fatalities are up in 2021, as of the meeting date there were 217 fatalities. Speed related deaths are up 63 percent and motorcycle fatalities are up 65 percent.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., August 19-21, 2021 will be Local Heroes Day in Monticello. This is an event to thank law enforcement, fire personnel, and health care workers.
Township Officers Meeting. Kaczmarek attended the quarterly Township Officers meeting. There was discussion regarding ARP money. The members are interested in an update regarding the local and county assessors. There was also discussion regarding weed mitigation in the road right-of-way on county highways. It has been added to an upcoming agenda.
Highway 12 Coalition. The coalition discussed fatalities on the roadway and the three major factors are speed, alcohol, and no seat belts.
Planning Commission. At the meeting the members went on three field trips to the southeast part of the county.
Wright County Fair. The fair starts Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at 12 p.m. There were lots of pre-sale tickets sold in all the categories for the fair. Kids 17 and under are admitted free.
Saturday, July 24, 2021 is Veteran’s Day at the fair. Veterans park for free and get into the fair for free. There will be a program starting at 11 a.m. hosted by the American Legion. There will be a guest speaker, presentation of the colors, and a high school band will play all the services songs.
The meeting adjourned at 10:28 a.m.
County Board Minutes submitted by Angie Fisher, Administrative Specialist
Published in the Herald Journal, Aug. 20, 2021.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATIONWarrants Approved On 6/30/2021 For Payment 6/30/2021
AERCOR WIRELESS INC 8,682.19
ALLEY EXCAVATING INC 17,185.00
CDW GOVERNMENT INC 13,110.00
INDEPENDENT EMERGENCY SERVICES LLC 161,866.24
22 Payments less than 2000 10,768.52
Final Total: 211,611.95
Warrants Approved On 7/02/2021 For Payment 7/02/2021
ANOKA COUNTY - MEDICAL EXAMINER 83,294.25
CANON FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC 2,714.21
CROSSROADS ANIMAL SHELTER 16,500.00
DHS- SWIFT 7,732.56
GABRIEL/CATHLEEN 7,280.00
GREAT RIVER REGIONAL LIBRARY 536,283.50
LOTUS PHARMACY 3,679.69
MATTHEW BENDER & CO INC 2,166.34
POTTERS INDUSTRIES LLC 2,816.00
SUBURBAN TIRE WHOLESALE INC 4,473.15
WRIGHT COUNTY COURT ADMINISTRATION 6,760.00
WRIGHT COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY 71,250.00
WRIGHT SWCD 113,750.00
WSB & ASSOCIATES INC 26,282.58
34 Payments less than 2000 9,901.30
Final Total: 894,883.58
Warrants Approved On 7/02/2021For Payment 7/02/2021
AFSCME LOCAL 2685 4,078.25
AIG RETIREMENT COMPANY 7,347.92
FIDELITY SECURITY LIFE/EYEMED VISION CAR 2,389.87
HEALTH PARTNERS 36,221.17
HEALTH PARTNERS - DENTAL 12,029.56
ING 12,523.00
MATRIX TRUST COMPANY 3,240.00
MN CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT CENTER 2,153.00
MN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION 2,262.00
MSRS HEALTH CARE SAVINGS PLAN 2,091.36
NATIONWIDE RETIREMENT SOLUTIONS 3,978.36
PUBLIC EMP RETIREMENT ASSN 376,589.98
WRIGHT CO CAFETERIA PLAN 31,320.66
WRIGHT COUNTY - CAFETERIA 81,625.00
WRIGHT COUNTY DEPUTIES ASSOCIATION 7,300.00
5 Payments less than 2000 1,629.98
Final Total: 586,780.11
Warrants Approved On 7/06/2021For Payment 7/06/2021
AEM WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS LLC 6,557.20
ALL STATE COMMUNICATIONS INC 9,245.00
ARAMARK SERVICES INC 7,948.81
BARTHELS AUTO BODY 2,608.03
CLIFTONLARSONALLEN LLP 15,750.00
DELL MARKETING LP 2,086.40
GRANITE ELECTRONICS 49,917.66
HILLYARD INC - MINNEAPOLIS 13,663.13
MARCO 16,504.85
MCIT 4,010.76
MEND CORRECTIONAL CARE PLLC 42,321.35
OFFICE OF MN IT SERVICES 3,660.10
ON-DEMAND SERVICES GROUP INC 13,537.50
TW VENDING INC 33,864.53
VEOLIA ES TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS LLC 14,790.34
XCEL ENERGY 3,206.58
55 Payments less than 2000 27,955.00
Final Total: 267,627.24
Warrants Approved For Payment 7/06/2021
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS) 462,928.23
MN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE 91,562.49
Final Total: 554,490.72
Warrants Approved On 7/08/2021For Payment 7/08/2021
AXON ENTERPRISES INC 7,721.81
COMM OF MMB, TREAS DIV 51,454.50
COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE 12,805.00
GUARDIAN FLEET SAFETY LLC 2,146.04
MN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH 3,697.50
MN NATIVE LANDSCAPES 27,100.00
QUADIENT LEASING USA, INC. 2,470.11
RED CONSTRUCTION LLC 40,399.41
12 Payments less than 2000 3,919.12
Final Total: 151,713.49
Warrants Approved On 7/09/2021For Payment 7/09/2021
ASHWILL COMPANIES 52,425.00
FRONTIER PRECISION INC 35,927.34
HILLYARD INC - MINNEAPOLIS 2,243.92
KNOW iNK LLC 5,625.00
MARCO 2,455.06
NUTRIEN AG SOLUTIONS, INC. 2,628.79
REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MN 5,918.00
RICK OLSON SEMINARS 7,000.00
THOMSON REUTERS WEST PUBLISHING CORP 2,008.89
TRIMIN SYSTEMS INC 10,000.00
TRUST IN US LLC 2,484.89
32 Payments less than 2000 9,103.06
Final Total: 137,819.95
Warrants Approved On 7/09/2021For Payment 7/09/2021
ALBERTVILLE/CITY OF 78,766.14
CENTRA SOTA COOPERATIVE - BUFFALO 72,783.36
CHAMBERLAIN OIL CO 2,997.41
COTTENS INC 3,640.71
MARTIN MARIETTA MATERIALS 8,672.32
MID-MINNESOTA HOT MIX INC 249,666.98
OMANN BROTHERS INC 137,631.93
PARK CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 1,138,901.93
RCM SPECIALTIES INC 16,729.05
ROYAL TIRE INC 3,535.05
TAPCO 8,062.23
TRUENORTH STEEL 31,664.18
28 Payments less than 2000 15,349.30
Final Total: 1,768,400.59
Warrants Approved On 7/12/2021For Payment 7/12/2021
VERIZON WIRELESS SERVICES LLC 5,161.53
2 Payments less than 2000 1,060.00
Final Total: 6,221.53
Warrants ApprovedFor Payment 7/12/2021
MN DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE 24,582.98
MN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES 4,089.23
QUADIENT LEASING USA, INC. 10,000.00
Final Total: 38,672.21
Published in the Herald Journal, Aug. 20, 2021.