Wright County Board Minutes

JANUARY 2, 2007
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
Bob Hiivala, County Auditor/Treasurer, called the meeting to order and asked for an election of the Chairperson for the coming year. On a motion by Heeter, second by Eichelberg, all voted to elect Russek as Chairperson for 2007; and then Commissioner Russek presided at the meeting.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to elect Commissioner Eichelberg as Vice Chairperson for 2007.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Heeter, all voted to dispense with the reading of the minutes of 12-26-06 and approve them as written/revised.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to transfer back any unused funds in the County Attorney’s Contingency Fund, the Sheriff’s Contingency Fund, and the Incidental Fund to the General Revenue Fund.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Heeter, all voted to recall all unused clerk hire and unused budgets for 2006.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to set the County Board’s regular sessions for every Tuesday for 2007. The meetings shall be called to order at 9:00 A.M.
The Chairperson presented the 2006 list of committee memberships and asked the members of the County Board to convey their preferences and suggestions regarding committee designations for 2007.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted that the appointments of committees for 2007 be made by the Chairperson with the approval of the Board and that the first member named act as Chairperson of the Committee and the County Coordinator act as Secretary. Alternates are designated on the Committee by ( ).
The following is a list of the 2007 appointments:
Area Transportation Planning (ATP); Mattson
Budget; Russek, Mattson, Aud./Treas., (Ex-Officio), Norman, (Sawatzke)
Budget Committee Of The Whole; All Commissioners
Building, Furniture & Equipment; Heeter, Mattson (Eichelberg)
Capital Improvement/Finance Committee; Heeter, Russek, Aud./Treas., Attorney, Norman (Eichelberg)
Central MN Jobs & Training Jt. Powers Board (JTPA) Workforce Center; Eichelberg
Civil Defense; Heeter, Sawatzke
Committee to Inspect Roads; All Commissioners
Committee to Inspect Ditches; Two Commissioners as appointed by Board, Aud./Treas.
Compost Finance; Russek, Sawatzke, C. Davis
County Extension Svc.; Russek, Mattson
Court Security; Mattson, Norman
Deferred Compensation; Heeter, Sawatzke
Delegates to AMC; All Commissioners, Aud./Treas., Coordinator, Hwy. Engineer
Detention Facilities; Mattson, Heeter, Court Administrator, Sheriff, Court Services Director Norman
EMS Joint Powers Board (Regional); Heeter (Sawatzke)
Forfeited Tax Sales; Russek, Mattson
Great River Regional Library Board; Sawatzke
Highway 55 Coalition; Heeter, Russek (Fingalson)
Labor/Mgmt. Health Insurance; Russek, Eichelberg, Coordinator (Mattson)
Labor Management/Loss Control; Mattson, Eichelberg, Coordinator, Civil Def. Dir., Spec. Proj. Admin, 1 Rep. from Teamsters/LELS, AFSCME, 49’ers and Teamsters
Law Library Board; Eichelberg
Legislative Matters; All Commissioners
Personnel & Employee Relations; Eichelberg, Sawatzke (Heeter)
Planning & Zoning; Russek
Public Works Labor/Management; Russek, Norman (Mattson)
Purchasing Steering; Eichelberg, Mattson, Purchasing Agent (Heeter)
Solid Waste Task Force; Eichelberg, Sawatzke
Technology; Eichelberg, Heeter, IT Director, Aud./Treas., Highway Engineer, Human Services Rep., Sheriff Rep., Surveyor (Russek)
Transportation; Eichelberg, Mattson, Highway Engineer
7W Transportation; Mattson
Union Negotiations; Russek, Sawatzke (Eichelberg)
Water Management Task Force; Eichelberg
Ways & Means; Mattson, Sawatzke (Russek)
Wright County Community Action Council; Heeter, Eichelberg, City Representative
(Ex-Officio Members)
Clearwater Watershed District; Heeter
C.R.O.W.; Russek (Mattson)
East Central Joint Powers Board; Sawatzke, MacMillan
Economic Development Partnership Board; Sawatzke
Historical Society; Sawatzke
M.E.A.D.A.(Meth Education Drug Awareness); Heeter
Mid Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D; Russek
Monticello Joint Planning Board; Sawatzke
Parks; Eichelberg
Safe Communities of Wright County; Heeter
Soil Conservation; Russek
Wright County Ag Society; Heeter
On a motion by Heeter, second by Sawatzke, all voted to accept the Advisory Board (Ex-Officio Member) appointments as recommended.
The following items were petitioned onto the Agenda: “Refer CSAH 12 & CSAH 17 Discussion To Transportation Committee Of The Whole” (Mattice). On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as presented:
1. Performance Appraisals: R. DesMarais, Assr.; J. Carpenter, R. Fisher, K. Kremer, P. Walker, J. Winkelman, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, MCIT, $503,987 (2007 Property/Casualty Insurance Premium).
3. Claim, MCIT, $506,531 (2007 Workers’ Compensation Premium).
4. Claim, Wright County Economic Development Partnership, $45,000 (2007 Allocation).
5. Claim, KKE Architects, $79,956.04 (Service For Nov., 2006).
6. Claim, NACO, $1,676.00, (Membership Dues 1-01-07 to 12-31-07).
7. Refer Health Insurance Rates & Voluntary Dental Plan to The Health Insurance Labor/Management Committee.
8. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-15-06.
1. Tobacco License Renewals: Casey’s General Store #2412, Croix Convenience (Albertville); Clearwater Legion Post #323, Short Stop , Holiday Stationstore #254 (Clearwater); Casey’s General Store #1647 (Cokato); Delano American Legion Post #377, Holiday Stationstore #214, Snyder Drug Store #5002 (Delano); Tom Thumb #586 (Hanover); H&H Outdoor Outfitter & Sports Shop, Madigan’s Pub & Grill (Maple Lake); Dennis’ Service Station, Monticello Liquor Inc., Snyder Drugstore #5032, Holiday Stationstore #344, Holiday Stationstore #196 (Monticello); Casey’s General Store #1881 (Montrose); Holiday Stationstore #378, Rockwood’s Grill & Backwater Bar (Otsego); Casey’s General Store #2156, Quik Shop (Rockford); Olson’s Truck Stop, Smokin’ Joe’s Roadhouse (Silver Creek Twp.); Corner Bar, Ditto’s Bar (St. Michael); Mark’s Service (Waverly).
1. Refer To Building Committee:
A. Redesigned Work Space For Clerks In Courtrooms 1 & 5.
B. Secure & Properly Designed Appearance Area For Defendants In Custody In Courtroom 5 & Means For Group Rights Advisory In Holding Area.
C. Space Needs For Bailiff/Courthouse Security Personnel.
1. Refer Land Rental To Ways & Means Committee.
1. Refer To Technology Committee Recommended Fees For Web Based Recorder Information.
1. Update & Approve Delegation Of Authority Appointing A Deputy Wright County Surveyor.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, recommended that the Board approve the Herald Journal as the 2007 Official County Newspaper, as they were the low bidder. A question had arisen previously on whether to approve a second newspaper as well. Hiivala said it is not required to approve the second newspaper as this is done as a financial statement requirement. Russek questioned the cost difference in column inches for legals between the Herald Journal ($0.06) and the Dassel Cokato Enterprise Dispatch ($1.99). Hiivala said the bid reflects the cost of $0.06. Mattson moved to approve the Herald Journal as the 2007 Official County Newspaper, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
Hiivala stated the County has not retained an audit firm for the 2006 audit of the financial statements. His recommendation was to proceed with the firm of Larson Allen. The Auditor in charge was an ex-State Auditor and has worked closely with the vendor providing assistance with the new financial system and GASB 34 implementation. The audit will be funded by Professional Services so bids are not required. Sawatzke moved to direct Hiivala and Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, to create contract language with Larson Allen for both one and three year periods. The contract should be brought back for review by the County Board. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested that the County Board refer the following item to the Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) scheduled for 1-05-07, “CSAH 12 & CSAH 17 Timeline/Road & Trail/Grant.” Heeter moved to approve the request, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 12-13-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Mattson. With regard to Item #2, Parking Lot Design, Mattson said an attempt will be made to move as many trees as possible to other locations. The following correction was made to the minutes: Page 1, 5th paragraph, last sentence should read, “The Sheriff Department should obtain at least one additional bid, consult with the Township, and check with Planning & Zoning to see whether a building permit is required.” The motion and second were amended to include this change. The motion carried unanimously:
Shooting Line Range Cover. Hoffman stated that a few years ago, the County Board authorized a shooting range for the Sheriff Department at the Rasset Site. The request is to purchase a shooting range line cover with a concrete pad underneath to protect employees and equipment from the elements. The range day is eight hours in length plus the instructor spends an additional two hours at the site. The 130 deputies go quarterly to the range. Due to patrol scheduling, these days are scheduled 1-1.5 months in advance. Therefore, scheduling cannot be done around weather conditions. One bid was received from Lyman Post & Beam for $15,700 (material/labor). Construction is anticipated in the Spring of 2007. The Sheriff’s Department has utilized the Waverly and Monticello Gun Clubs for training. The Monticello Gun Club has required Deringer to be present during range use as he is the Gun Club Member. There have been scheduling conflicts due to NSP training at that site. The Sheriff Department no longer utilizes the Waverly Gun Club due to scheduling conflicts. Norman inquired why this request was not submitted as part of the 2007 budget process. A memorandum was directed to Department Heads requesting any capital needs be included in the Department’s budget proposal. Hoffman said the range cover would be treated like the narcotics shed, where the County paid for construction and the Sheriff’s Department utilizes it. Discussion followed on whether additional bids should be obtained. Wright Lumber would not bid the job as it was too small. Names of potential bidders were supplied to the Sheriff Department. Recommendation: Authorize purchase of a Shooting Line Range Cover at a cost not to exceed $15,700, with funding from the Site Improvements Line Item. The Sheriff Department should obtain at least one additional bid, consult with the Township, and check with Planning & Zoning to see whether a building permit is required.
Parking Lot Design. The Committee discussed modifications to the parking lot located to the west of the Government Center. The County recently purchased the parcel located adjacent to the lot. Quotes are being solicited to remove or demolish the home on the property. It is anticipated that trees will need to be removed to maximize space for the lot. One large spruce tree near the Government Center will remain. An attempt will be made to move remaining spruce trees to other locations. The shrub line would be removed. A layout of the parking lot was provided (attached). Norman stated additional issues which need to be addressed include ingress/egress, parking lot lighting, whether a CUP is required from the City of Buffalo, and who will write specifications on bidding the work out. Hayes said the future lot would contain 107 stalls (91 additional stalls). Stalls would be added along existing driveways and handicap stalls would be moved along 1st Avenue NW. The plan would allow traffic to flow through all lots. A CUP will be required from the City of Buffalo. Otto Associates is willing to represent the County on the CUP and they can write the bid specifications. Otto Associates originally provided cost estimates on developing a Site Plan, Grading and Drainage Plan ($4000); Civil Specifications for incorporation into bid documents ($1500); and Storm Water Management Plan, if required ($3000). The County previously calculated there were 70 additional stalls required to accommodate employees. The lot currently is open for public parking as well. This includes a potential 60 spots on jury days. Recommendation: It was the consensus that the layout of the parking lot should be revised by Otto Associates to reflect the entire parking lot and what is proposed. This layout should be the same as what will be outlined in the bid specifications. A narrative will be required with the layout. Hayes will work with Otto Associates on the revisions and bring back for Committee review. (End of Building Committee Minutes)
A Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting was held on 12-13-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
Discuss Capital Improvement Planning/Procedures. Wright County previously purchased a CIP Software Package. Norman suggested developing procedures and protocol on how projects are placed into the CIP Plan and how the information will be used. The County has annually relied on turn back dollars from the General Fund to roll into the Capital Account. There is no guarantee that source of funding for Capital projects. Norman said the County either needs to determine a funding source through the levy or provide some other means (bonding, equipment notes). Hiivala endorsed this concept. He felt the software program will provide a tool to determine what projects are pending and dollars associated. As the budget has been established for 2007, the County will have to look to 2008 and beyond. Norman suggested a Committee Meeting prior to 7-01-07 to obtain 5-year CIP requirements and associated costs from Department Heads. The funding mechanism would be determined and that information would be utilized during the annual budget process. If the County would decide to levy, project priorities and possible grant funding would be determined. Projected revenues for 2007 are $400,000 less than 2006, including revenue generated from the most recent increases to the Fee Schedule. Some of the major projects were highlighted including the 800 Mhz, the Monticello YMCA land purchase, the Jail/LEC Project, and annual highway maintenance. It was felt bonding may be required for all but highway maintenance. Russek suggested levying for those funds. Norman would like to retain the Site Improvement Line Item in the budget as well, as there are needed projects that come up annually. At the last Human Services Board Meeting, it was reported that Human Services will have a $1 million deficit next year. Russek said the Human Services reserve will be depleted soon. Melvin will be the primary person responsible for keeping the CIP up to date. Melvin will work with Department Heads to update the 5-Year CIP. This information will be presented to the Budget Committee Of The Whole as part of the budget process for 2008. Melvin will also update the space study in 2007. Recommendation: It was the consensus that this Committee should meet early in 2007 to review CIP funding after turn back dollars are determined. The Committee will meet regularly thereafter. Department Heads should submit their 5-Year Plan requirements as well. After Committee review, the County Board would have the option on whether to bond or levy for projects. A meeting will be scheduled with bond counsel during the first quarter of 2007.
Records Management Plan. This item will be laid over to the next Committee Meeting.
(End of Capital Improvement Finance Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 12-19-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. Sawatzke noted that action on this issue was taken at the last County Board Meeting.
Discuss 2007 Salaries Of Elected Department Heads. Kelly presented a request for a one-time increase for elected department heads of 5% or approximately $5,000. The request is based upon elected officials not receiving accumulated benefits (sick time, vacation, and the ability to utilize the Health Care Savings Plan). Miller said this is a quantifiable benefit that appointed department heads and other employees receive. Elected officials are being compensated on the same pay scale as appointed. Miller requested compensation equal to his peers. He suggested being placed on a salary schedule to compensate for the difference. Considerable discussion followed on salaries, how benefits accrue for appointed employees and how they can be utilized, and severance pay previously paid to the elected department heads at the time they became elected. Elected department heads must run for re-election every four years. Appointed department heads are subject to the reappointment process of the County Board or serve on a day-to-day basis. Hiivala requested that his salary be set at Step 10 of the salary schedule. He is currently at Step 7. He based his request on his 17 years of experience. In addition, wages in the Auditor/Treasurer Department have been under budget the past two years due to turnover ($43,000 under in 2005 and $63,000 under in 2006). He believed the top step was commensurate to the responsibilities. Heeter noted that although Hiivala has 17 years of experience, 2.5 years has been in the position of Auditor/Treasurer. She felt additional time and experience were required for the top step. Mattson supported the request and acknowledged the efforts of Hiivala to bring the offices of Auditor/Treasurer together. Sawatzke supported an increase of one step and bringing consistency to requests for placement on the salary schedule. Russek and Eichelberg supported the move to Step 8 for Hiivala to provide additional experience before moving to the top step. Recommendation: The Committee does not support the request for additional compensation for Kelly and Miller who are currently at the top step of the Salary Schedule. It is recommended that they receive a 2.75% increase effective January 1, 2007. The majority of the Committee recommends Step 8 of the Salary Schedule for Hiivala plus a 2.75% increase effective January 1, 2007. (End of Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Truth In Local Taxation Public Hearing was held on 12-07-06. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss and take public comment on the proposed Budget and Taxable Certified Levy for 2007. Eichelberg moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #07-01 revoking CSAH 54 in the City of Delano. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
The Board discussed the GRRL Board term expiration of Wayne Rebishke. Mattson requested that this item be laid over for two weeks in an effort to seek another appointee. Mattson said Commissioner Sawatzke and the City of Maple Lake supported the request for a library in the City of Maple Lake. Rebishke voted against the request with no explanation. Mattson felt that as a representative of the County, he should have supported the request by Sawatzke and the City. Mattson moved to lay this issue over for two weeks, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Heeter, second by Eichelberg, all voted to reappoint Jerry Durst to the Parks Board.
Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said quotes were solicited for the removal of the home located on the property to the west of the Government Center. The property was recently purchased by the County for parking lot expansion. Two proposals for home removal were received: Pfeifer Construction, $8,940; and Veit Construction, $11,961. Both proposals include an asbestos survey as required by MN Statutes. Additional costs may be incurred and would be on a time and material basis. The recommendation is to accept the low quote from Pfeifer Construction. Sawatzke had concern with the “open checkbook” approach to asbestos removal and felt the asbestos removal should be competitively bid as well. Heeter moved to approve the bid from Pfeifer Construction noting that the County Board should be made aware of the costs associated with asbestos removal. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Russek extended thanks to Heeter as Chairperson of the County Board in 2006.
Bills Approved
AMI Imaging Systems $24,461.92
Ancom Technical Ctr. 113.17
Assn. of Minn. Counties 22,900.00
BP Amoco 1,473.04
Buffalo Hosp.Otpt Comm. 3,081.00
Burdas Towing 199.16
Business Ware Solutions 274.65
Election Sys. & Software 46,229.52
Emergency Physicians PA 373.00
HDR Inc. 3,579.66
Hewlett Packard 4,821.13
Keeprs Inc. 135.80
Marco 7,571.03
Marco Business Products 2,123.61
MN Assn. of Assessing Ofcrs. 100.00
MN Counties Comp. Coop. 148,247.41
MN Sheriffs Assoc. 4,336.00
MNJ Technologies Direct 4,839.79
Morries Buffalo Ford Merc. 17,500.00
MPELRA 100.00
National Assoc. of Counti 1,676.00
Nextel Communications 3,125.06
Office Depot 2,533.14
Prosource 4,770.00
Pat Sawatzke 281.68
Shell Fleet Plus 3,641.11
Software House Int’l Inc. 1,573.01
State of MN-Office Enterpr 965.00
Walmart Store 01-1577 531.70
10 Payments less than $100 596.35
Final total $312,152.94
The meeting adjourned at 10:39 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 22, 2007.