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Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 5, 2002

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Mattson, Eichelberg, Sawatzke, Jude, and Russek present.

Jude moved to approve the minutes of 10-29-02, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0. Russek abstained from the vote as he was not present at the 10-29-02 meeting.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, "Update On County Ditches #38, #16, #19, #33, and #14" (Gruber). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: B. Aanerud, Aud./Treas.; K. Gunnerson, Ct. Admin.; L. Anderson, Hwy.; K. Eich, Parks; M. Koscianski, K. Perkins, E. Picht, Sher./Corr.

2. Review & Approval Of Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes, 2003 Budget Process.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, requested that the Board establish a Public Hearing date for the Capital Improvement Plan. On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to establish the Public Hearing for 11-26-02 at 9:30 A.M.

Gruber provided an update on the following ditches:

Ditch #38: Gruber is in the process of researching records to determine the ditch path. Once this is determined, quotes will be obtained.

Ditch #16 & #19: Ditch #16 flows into French Lake and Ditch #19 is the outlet to French Lake. A meeting was held last week with attendance by Jude, Mattson, Gruber, Steve Meyer and several landowners. The ditch was walked and it was the consensus that cleanout should start at CSAH 37 and continue back to CR #3 to see what impact this has on the flow of water. There appeared to be blockage between CR #3 and Peloquin Avenue. North of French Lake, there is an approximate 1000' area which needs cleanout. The plan would be to clean out this area and cut the trees to 6-8 inches so erosion does not occur. Gruber suggested that clean out of Ditch #16 should start at the pasture and move back. Discussion followed on whether a letter is required from benefitted landowners. Gruber said he received a verbal request for cleanout. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said that the County Board, as the Ditch Authority, has the obligation to keep the ditch in repair. The request for clean out would not be required in writing. Even if the majority of the landowners did not support cleanout, it would be up to the Ditch Authority as to whether the work was authorized. Jude moved to authorize Gruber to secure bids for Ditch #16 and Ditch #19 and to bring them back to the Board for review. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.

Ditch #33: At their last meeting, the County Board authorized Gruber to obtain proposals and proceed with cleanout. Two proposals were received for approximately $1000 each. Gruber said there is an issue with some corn remaining in the field where the ditch would open into. He will contact that landowner and attempt to have the work completed by the end of this week or early next week. It was the consensus that since the proposal costs were very close, Gruber was authorized to determine which would be in the best interest of the County in relation to completion of the work in the most expedient manner.

Ditch #14: A meeting was held last week in Cokato and attended by Mattson, Asleson, and Gruber. There are three tiles that run in different directions. It was the consensus to repair some of the bad spots and to obtain quotes for tile replacement. There are some trees which will need to be removed. The landowners can then discuss how they would like to proceed.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

A Budget Of The Whole Meeting was held on 10-29-02 (A.M.). A summary of the minutes and discussion at today's Board meeting follows:

Tax Abatement Policy. At the 9-24-02 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting a request was made to use tax abatement financing for CSAH 19 improvements in Albertville. Further discussion on this issue took place at the 10-08-02 County Board Meeting. In 1997 a law was passed allowing political subdivisions to grant tax abatements under certain circumstances for the purpose of economic development. In 1998 the County Board adopted a resolution that Wright County would not grant economic development tax abatements. The County does have a policy dealing with individual tax abatements. A draft Wright County Tax Abatement Policy which was presented at the 10-08-02 County Board Meeting was reviewed. The City of Albertville is committing $100,000 to the upgrade which is the limit allowed under tax abatement financing, and is looking to the County for $50,000/year to cover the remainder of the cost. Fingalson stated improvements to #19 are on the 10 year plan but there is no financing for it and he is supportive of finding other ways to move ahead with the improvements. Jude and Mattson expressed concern that Waverly, Delano and Montrose projects which are in the five year plan not be bumped because of development and growth in other parts of the County. Jude was not opposed to looking at ways to fund the improvements, but is concerned that what is done for one community would be precedent setting for others. Sawatzke stated he would like to see a breakdown for comparison purposes on the County's cost for improvements to #19 with tax abatement financing versus traditional funding. He favored bonding or levying for the funding. Sawatzke stated tax abatement financing gives an impression of free money. There was discussion on the possibility of a gas tax increase, reduction in State aide, expiration of levy limits at the end of this year, and whether the City can legally bond on County roads. Peper stated the tax abatement policy proposed for Wright County is different than Stearns and Benton Counties where they are allowing the tax abatement to go directly to the developer. Recommendation: Fingalson to provide cost comparison data; Gruber will research bonding options between the County and City; and Peper will gather additional information from other counties for a meeting on November 19, 2002 at 10:30 A.M.

2003 Budget. The budget is $54,320 over the levy limit. Court Administration and Court Services revenues were mentioned as being below projections. Interest income is also significantly down. Revenues in the Auditor/Treasurer and Recorder's Budgets show significant increases for mortgage registry and deed taxes. Several areas of the budget were discussed and identified for further review by Gruber and Norman. Recommendation: Gruber and Norman will review areas of the General Revenue budget and send a memo to the Committee of the findings and recommendations.

VS/CD Budget. Norman referenced discussion at this morning's County Board Meeting regarding the VS/CD Budget request for new positions. Norman stated that he will review the budget tapes for clarification. There was brief discussion on job descriptions and noted that job descriptions for new positions should be submitted as early as possible due to the length of the process. It was suggested that following review of the tape a meeting be scheduled with Reese to clarify any misunderstandings. Recommendation: Norman will review the tape and provide clarification on the 8-20-02 budget session with Reese.

At the last County Board Meeting, the Board directed the Administration Office to review the audio of the 8-20-02 Budget Of The Whole minutes dealing with recommended staff changes for the VS/CD Office. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said a transcript of this portion of the meeting was subsequently distributed to the Board. Sawatzke spoke with Reese and her impression was that the Committee approved a half-time employee in VS and a half-time employee in EMS. Sawatzke felt the transcript was consistent with this. Eichelberg noted that a job description must be submitted and approved before anyone would be hired. Russek felt that if the local fire departments needed assistance that the cities should possibly hire the individual. Jude responded that it would be a coordinated effort comparable to Dispatch. Jude made it clear that the County would not be telling fire departments what to do but provide a coordinated effort throughout the County. Jude said many firefighters are volunteers and someone is needed to coordinate the system. Sawatzke moved to approve the 10-29-02 Budget Of The Whole minutes and that the recommendation of the Committee is to include approval for a half-time employee in VS and a half time employee in EMS. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Reese will develop a job description and information on how job functions may be rotated within the department. Russek abstained from the vote as he was not present at the Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting, but he did not support the half-time person for EMS. He felt it was a half time employee for CD and a half-time employee for VS. The motion carried 4-0 with Russek abstaining.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 10-29-02 (P.M.). At today's meeting, a correction was made to page 3, Data Voice Wiring, insert the following after sentence 4: "He also recommended that $20,000 be appropriated for paging." Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg. Norman stated he had not received any additional information from the Architect since the meeting relating to the estimate for the upgrade of the heat pumps and lights. Gruber said costs need to be obtained in order to move forward with the CIP Plan. His recommendation was to proceed with the $2.2 million bond figure. The County would not have to bond for that amount but if something wasn't included, it could not be added at a later date. To complete the CIP, Gruber needs to provide the amount of funds which will be expended each year. The motion and second were amended to include the $2.2 million figure as the target figure for the CIP Plan and for improvements to include carpet and wallpaper replacement for interior offices as well as corridors. Gruber pointed out that the Board would not be required to bond for the entire amount if they wanted to pull projects in the future.

The motion carried 5-0. The minutes follow:

Capital Improvement Plan

A Design Development Report was distributed by Engel. The report is an update of the 1995 Wright County Government Center Facilities Study and of the 1999 follow-up studies. The Report recommends a remodeling program, entitled Phase II, which slightly modifies the original studies and provides recommendations that conform to the current and projected space needs for a number of departments. The interior remodeling would occur within the Annex (First Floor) and within the Government Center West Building (First & Second Floors) and is planned to be constructed in two phases. All capital improvements are planned to be achieved within the perimeter walls of the existing Government Center complex.

Engel stated the plans for each department have been approved with the exception of revisions to the offices of Extension, Planning & Zoning, License Bureau and Vet Services/Civil Defense. The proposed schedule is: Construction Document Phase (10-30-02 to 12-14-02); Bidding Phase (12-15-02 to 1-14-03); Construction Administration Phase, Step 3 (1-03 to 5-03) & Step 4 (6-03 to 9-03); Final Inspection, Clean-up & Occupancy, Step 3 (Projected to end May-June, 2003) and Step 4 (Projected to end October, 2003).

The revised remodeling sequence is as follows:

Step 3

Remodeling of Government Center West Area (First Floor):

*At former Public Corridor for new Juvenile Holdover and in former County Attorney's Office for new Sheriff's Conference Room and new Toilet Room.

*At former Court Services Office for relocated Vet Services/Civil Defense, relocated Extension & new Conference Room.

*At Conference Rooms C117 and C118 with new moveable divider.

*Departments and uses listed above will move into respectively remodeled areas.

Step 4

Remodeling of Annex Building (First Floor):

*At former Extension Office for relocated Law Library, new Conference Room, expanded Janitor's Closet & expanded Information Technology.

*At Lunchroom for continued use as Lunchroom.

*At Planning & Zoning Office for improvement in space utilization and at Deputy Registrar for replacement & expansion.

Remodeling of Annex Building (Second Floor):

*At Auditor/Treasurer Office and at former Veterans Service/Civil Defense Office for remodeling of and expansion of Auditor/Treasurer.

*Departments and uses listed above will move into respectively remodeled areas.

*Temporary quarters during construction for portions of IT and for entire License Center are recommended.

Remodeling of an office will include new or updated mechanical, lights and ceilings. Other areas will be refurbished. At the last meeting two options were discussed for remodel of the License Center. Option B was selected which will include remodel of the office including the removal of walls.

Engel estimated the cost of the project at $845,000, including $640,000 for construction costs and 205,000 in soft costs (i.e., furniture, security, telephone, relocation). These costs have risen from previous studies due to: 1) Option B being selected for extensive remodel of the License Center; 2) A larger area being utilized for the Law Library; 3) A new conference room being created; 4) The remodel of the lunchroom.

Moulton explained the mechanical systems which would be used. As completed on the 4th Floor remodel, the existing pumps, duct work and controls will be removed and new pumps will be installed and zones determined. The replacement of heat pumps and controls is planned in areas which will be remodeled. Moulton suggested the County entertain replacement of a portion or all heat pumps on 1st and 2nd floors due to issues such as higher efficiency, sound, zoning, and costs associated with replacement. The estimated cost of completing mechanical/electrical in remodeled areas only is approximately $210,000. Payback on lighting is 7-8 years and heat pumps is 7-10 years. Use of digital controls provides efficiency and with use of setbacks, have a payback of 6-7 years. If the heat pumps are old, the maintenance costs will escalate at a higher rate. Buskey said some heat pumps have already been replaced in the Community Room and Vet Services. Moulton said that maintenance, higher efficiency, increased electrical costs and zoning are all considerations. Replacement would provide an opportunity to correct areas which do not heat or cool properly. Digital controls would offer decreased maintenance costs and the ability to respond to problems immediately. Hierseman explained the lighting plan which would be similar to 4th Floor. Motion sensors would be installed in small offices with switches in large areas. Outlets would be provided for voice/data requirements.

Swing requested that the current plan be changed to exclude the proposed conference room adjacent to the Information Technology Department, allowing the Department to grow into this space. It was the consensus that both the existing lunchroom and proposed conference room remain in the plan. These areas will be remodeled as planned and potentially could be used as office space for Information Technology in the future.

Kramber said the Assessor's Office has been approved for one additional staff member next year. As the office does not have space for this position, he proposed removal of two walls and some reconfiguration covering short term needs. A long term goal may be to acquire some of the hallway space. Engel said the 1998 plan reflected use of a portion of the hall by the Assessor's Office but that a corridor is required for a public exit. The consensus was to direct Engel to obtain a cost estimate for this request.

Nordeen referenced the proposed location of the Juvenile Hold. The corridor currently serves as the severe weather shelter for the public utilizing the courtrooms. Nordeen also questioned whether the space vacated by the Law Library would be remodeled. She anticipated that this would be a future Judge's chambers. The response was that an alternate weather shelter would be designated and that the remodel was not included in this project.

Kelly stated that the Law Library Board supports the donation of $25,000 in Law Library funds toward the move of the Law Library. Norman said the current Law Library fund balance is $234,563. This has increased from $71,400 in 1997. This fund is comprised of fees paid by those who commit crimes. Kelly said that a portion of the fund will be utilized for expenditures related to the new space. Kelly will consult the Law Library Board to determine whether an increased donation would be a consideration.

The consensus of the Committee was for Engel to respond to Norman with an estimate of cost to upgrade the lighting and heat pumps in the Annex and also the estimated cost of the Assessor improvements.

Records Management Project. Hayes and Swing have completed site visits on record management projects. Swing proposed use of the lower level to accommodate records management storage, shipping/receiving, and a mail room. The records management coordinator would be housed next to the storage area. He suggested the mail room stay in its current location freeing up valuable space on the 2nd Floor, Annex. The clerk could potentially handle the mail room and record management duties. A vendor was brought in to review the lower level space and type of storage recommended. With a high density moveable shelf system, several thousand boxes could be stored. Problems include the unknown number of boxes currently stored, purging of data not needed, and removal of excess furniture that departments have in their storage areas. The previous cost figure was projected at $75,000 but Hayes felt that may be doubled with the system proposed. More research would need to be done to determine space needs and how long the system would service the County. The estimate from Mid America was $157,000 if all high density shelving was used. Air conditioning would be brought into the office space occupied by the records management coordinator.

It was felt that if the wings of the lower level were not utilized, the cost could be brought down considerably. Swing felt $150,000 would cover the costs associated with this request. Gruber said the current mail room would need to be enlarged to accommodate a folding machine and stuffing machine. It was requested that the Architect provide drawings of possible layouts.

Data Voice Wiring. Swing indicated that the voice/data closets will be on the east end of Floors 2, 3, and 4. Wiring has been completed in the areas of Human Services Center, 4th Floor Annex, Court Administration, Highway, EOC and Administration. Swing felt this was an excellent opportunity to review the remainder of the data voice wire. The projected cost for the proposed remodel is $136,000. He also recommended that $20,000 be appropriated for paging. An RFP process would be required and it would be handled separately from the remodeling project. M & E Engineering will work with Swing for the location of conduit and boxes. The wiring in the Annex which has not been updated to Ethernet is outdated and this would be a prime opportunity to upgrade.

Fire Alarm System. Originally, there were three alarm systems in the Government Center. When the 4th Floor was remodeled, a panel was installed on 4th Floor by Edwards Company and sized to accommodate the entire building. The remainder of the building currently uses the old Simplex system which barely passes code and requires ADA upgrades. Estimated cost to upgrade to the Edwards system is approximately $210,000 if the current wiring is reused. Upgrade would include over 600 fire devices, 480 smoke sensors and alarm devices, bringing them up to the latest technology. The new system would include addressable devices to reflect which device is sounding an alarm and those which require cleaning. The alarm panel would also be located in another area. Currently, it is in Dispatch and the alarms are disruptive to the area.

The ADA portion is approximately $70,000. This would include increasing the number of alarms and strobe lights. The lights currently do not strobe. Hayes recommended moving from two systems to the Edwards system and upgrade to the ADA requirements. The Edwards system is used on the Annex 4th Floor, at the Human Services Center, and at the Public Works site. The digital system would couple with the security, door and camera systems allowing for one central control panel. Engel indicated that the soft costs he proposed did not include furniture, security systems, relocation of offices, or telephone systems.

Delano Highway Maintenance Garage. Fingalson brought to the Safety Committee concerns on the building. He referenced the Building Inspector's report on upgrades required and said contractors are prepared to provide estimates for repair. The recommendation of the Highway Department is to not use the Delano facility but rather service the area through the Buffalo and Waverly shops this winter. Based on the analysis completed and the list of repairs/improvements needed at the facility, it was the consensus of the Committee that bonding for the Delano shop not be included in the CIP.

Based on additional costs discussed at today's meeting, Gruber and Norman estimated the cost of the remodeling project at just over $2 million. This would also include the request from the Historical Society and concrete surfaces discussed at a previous meeting. The CIP is approximately one week away from completion. The County Board would be required to approve the Plan by resolution and announce their intent to issue bonds. An advertisement announcing a public hearing would need to be published 14 days prior to the hearing. The public hearing can be held and the concept approved at the same time. These steps must be taken prior to the CIP being submitted to the State for approval. The State is allowed 90 days to approve the Plan but approval can take 1-2 weeks with prior notice that it is forthcoming. The County would have three years to spend the funds and 5% of the total must be spent within the first 90 days. It was recognized that some projects may never be completed and there is an option to drop them at a later date.

Norman said the purpose is to meet needs that are present, some of those being legal obligations. When the Board first addressed this issue, a schedule was presented for a $5 million bond issue using excess bond proceeds. If a $2.2 million bond issue is presented, those proceeds will be used toward the bond indebtedness. This would have no effect on the levy. Gruber said that as part of the CIP, it will need to be decided whether the project will be completed in 2003. It was the consensus that the figures should be verified and brought to the County Board meeting of 11-5-02 for discussion. The Architect was directed to provide a letter prior to the Board meeting reflecting estimates of cost and returns on investments for lighting and heat pumps. The recommendation from the Committee would include directing the Architect to move into development of construction documents.

(End of Budget Of The Whole Minutes).

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to cancel the 12-10-02 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in December.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #02-63 accepting a VSO State Grant in the amount of $4,332.80, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Jude moved to adopt Resolution #02-64 approving the Resolution of Final Acceptance and authorizing final payment ($1,340.54) to Latour Construction Inc. for Contract 0208 (CSAH 6 Culvert). The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop, Inc. 200.00

Ancom Communications, Inc. 6385.58

Ancom Technical Center 207.68

Arrow Terminal, LLC 126.68

Auto Glass Center, Inc. 511.67

B&D Plumbing & Heating 1100.00

Beaudry Propane, Inc. 618.42

BEST, Inc. 4604.02

Borrett, Jim 311.54

Bowman Distribution 132.47

Braegelmann, James 20,575.00

Buffalo Bituminous 43,770.27

Burdas Towing 158.69

Central Lock & Safe 324.51

Climate Air 811.16

Commissioner of Transportation 600.00

Cub Foods 124.82

Education & Organization Devel 195.00

Eichelberg, Elmer 247.86

Facility Systems, Inc. 2208.30

French Lake Township 1647.92

Gateway Companies, Inc. 1071.40

GCS Service, Inc. 222.07

Going Under Dive Center 268.17

W Grainger, Inc. 259.78

HTE, Inc. 852.00

Interstate All-Battery Center 532.39

Interstate Battery Sys of Mpls 387.44

KNR Communications Services In 463.50

Lab Safety Supply, Inc. 553.25

Latour Construction, Inc. 1340.54

Lee's Farm & Garden Store 109.05

Maple Lake Lumber Company 192.34

Marco Business Products 3994.39

McMaster-Carr Supply Co. 332.37

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix, Inc. 6500.00

Minnesota Copy Systems 591.61

Minnesota Elevator, Inc. 5255.20

MN State Auditor 120.00

MN Weights and Measurers 190.00

Monticello Auto Body, Inc. 101.18

Motorola Communication & 8986.20

Natl Center For Victims of Cri 105.00

Nextel Communications 128.54

Office Depot 2029.11

Ohio University 752.25

Oman Brothers, Inc. 348.90

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 525.05

Record Preservation, Inc. 731.56

Reds Auto Electric 207.63

Russells Lock & Key 101.00

Sensible Land Use Coalition 200.00

Software House International In 460.08

State of Minnesota ITD 132.30

State Supply Co. 206.50

Stepp Mfg. Company, Inc. 246.31

Titus, Kevin 298.86

Total Printing 1365.87

Trimin Systems, Inc. 2502.01

United Parcel Service 104.59

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 423.30

Victor Township 3998.55

Wal-Mart Community Brc 421.42

Wal-Mart Store 01-1577 271.45

Westside Wholesale Tire 277.90

Wright County Auditor-Treas. 150.00

Wright County Highway Dept. 25,981.31

Zack's, Inc. 807.27

Ziegler Cat 1107.60

36 payments less than $100 1274.62

Final Total $162,343.45

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 A.M.

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