Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 20, 2007

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the 02-13-07 County Board minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Eichelberg moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Heeter. Heeter made note of Consent Agenda Item C1 which is to schedule a Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 2-28-07. Mattson referenced Item A5 and questioned whether the County was ahead of schedule by approving this. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, indicated that this was within the correct timeline. The motion to approve the Consent Agenda carried 5-0:


1. Performance Appraisals: T. Frazier, T. Zins, Atty.; C. Barthel, R. Hagel, Bldg. Care & Maint.; W. Workman, Hwy.; M. Rhodes, Sher.

2. Refer Draft School Resource Officer Contract To The Personnel Committee.

3. Approve & Authorize Signatures on MCIT Drug and Alcohol Testing Participation Agreement, Addendum #2.

4. Claim, Frank Madden, $7,415.01 (Service For January 2007).

5. Authorize Signature On Agreement With Center Point Energy Resources Corporation to Install Natural Gas Main/Services for Jail/LEC Site.


1. Defer Memo Of Understanding Regarding I-94 Task Force To The Board Agenda of 2-27-07.


1. Refer To 2-28-07 Technology Committee Of The Whole:

A. Overview Of Phase Three 800 Mhz Project Followed By Q&A.

B. Regional Radio Board Joint Powers Agreement.


1. Refer to 2-28-07 Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Additional Personnel/Equipment To Fill Additional Contract Hours, Backfilling Military Activations & A School Resource Officer Position For The Delano School District.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 11, Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department ($6,095), and questioned why two amounts were listed making up that total. Hiivala responded that only one invoice was involved but the costs were delineated between the male and female prisoners. Russek referenced a claim on Page 19, Wright Hennepin Electric ($2,127.78), under the Highway Department. Russek was not questioning the claim but rather pointing out that utility claims for the Public Works site are paid to Wright Hennepin Electric and not the City of Buffalo. On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 2-14-07. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:

HUMAN SERVICES CENTER ENERGY AUDIT. Mleziva stated that three weeks ago he approached Norman about the Human Services Center. The building is insufficiently heated and Mleziva receives constant requests for thermostat changes. Mleziva had Buskey take the temperature on an egress steel security door during a cold snap and found it to be at 50 degrees with cold air drafts. In the last capital plan audit, a request had been placed for $80,000 to reinsulate the existing walls. Funding was not available and several proposals have been received from Loberg Electric. Loberg originally proposed blowers for over the doors, as well as suggested placing floor vents in the aisles between the cubicles to blow heat down the aisles at an estimated cost of $6,500. The most recent suggestion was to place a 4000 BTU thermostatically controlled 2’x3’ blower unit by the steel door. The unit plus installation was approximately $500. The unit was installed at floor level into the wall and staff has been quite pleased with the results. Mleziva stated that he would like to add one unit along the east wall and 3 more blowers along the north wall. The heating problem may be solved for approximately $2,500. Mleziva proposed forgoing the energy audit giving the new units a chance for the rest of this season. Mleziva requested that the Building Committee recommend to the County Board that we purchase 4, 4000 BTU blower units. Heeter and Mattson expressed concern in regard to the potential increased electricity usage and costs. Buskey stated that the thermostat is set for 72 degrees and the blower shuts down once the surrounding air reaches the set temperature. Buskey confirmed that the units would be heated by electricity, as opposed to gas. Norman proposed that Buskey program the units at lower temperatures after hours and on weekends. Buskey stated that new wiring will need to be run. Norman stated that he was in favor of this type approach to the problem. Mleziva stated that it is likely Human Services will be in the building for 8-10 years, and to insulate the building at $80,000-100,000 was not sensible at this time. Hayes stated that the heat is lost out through the ceiling of the building. The building was built slab on-grade which provides for a cold floor. Insulating the building will help a little. However, making adjustments to the roof is a concern, as the structure cannot bear the extra weight. The County did not pay much for the building, so spending remodeling dollars on the building is not wise at this juncture. The building is 22 years old and has a projected lifespan of 30-40 years. Hayes stated that he’s concerned about air leaks and proposed caulking the seals as a solution. Mleziva stated caulking may cut down on the electric costs. Heeter asked if caulking could be something the County could do itself this Summer. Norman stated that this would have to be outsourced; however caulking should be part of general maintenance that should be performed every five years. Norman stated that the County is obligated to provide a warm, comfortable, safe, and healthy work environment to its employees. Mleziva stated that he has employees that wear their coats while working. Mleziva asked if the Board would meet on 2-20-07. Norman stated that the minutes and recommendations will be voted on at that time. Mleziva asked the Commissioners how confident they were that the purchase would be authorized. Mleziva requested that Buskey have Loberg Electric order the equipment immediately to avoid further delay. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize purchase and installation of 4 – 4000 BTU thermostatically controlled 2’x3’ blower units at the Human Services Building and to monitor the rate of increase in the electric bills for future evaluation. (End of Building Committee Minutes)

A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 2-13-07. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:

State Audit Exit Conference. Erickson provided a summary of the 2005 Audit (attached) reflecting the overall financial position of the County, budget to actual results, and the State Auditor’s position on internal controls, legal compliance and management practices. With regard to management practices, it was suggested that an actuarial study be completed to review future costs associated with bridging an employee’s medical benefits to retirement and how that should be reflected on the financial statements. The County does experience some liability with bridging due to the potential increase in health insurance premiums. As a first approach, Hiivala suggested the materiality calculation method as a means to avoid the costs associated with an actuarial study. The State Auditor’s Office suggested that the County implement a credit card policy to govern the use of purchase accounts, credit cards, and gas accounts (i.e., who is eligible to use them, what they are used for, the maximum purchase per item, and that no personal use is allowed). Mleziva said Human Services has a Credit Card Policy, adopted by the Human Services Board. The State Auditor’s website also includes information on credit cards. The State Auditor’s Office will not be completing the audit for the next several years. Larson Allen has been retained to complete the 2006 audit. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

A Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting was held on 2-13-07. At today’s County Board Meeting, it was noted that action on this item was taken at the last Board Meeting. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Heeter, all moved to approve the minutes as presented:

Request To Withdraw Funds, Unforeseeable Emergency. The Committee reviewed an employee’s request to withdraw funds. It was determined that the circumstances meet the definition of an unforeseeable emergency. Recommendation: Allow employee to withdraw funds from the Deferred Compensation Program. (End of Deferred Compensation Committee Minutes)

A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 2-14-07. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Heeter. Mattson referenced the second paragraph of the minutes which describes that all bidders hold contracts with the State of Minnesota. He inquired whether there have been any contacts with private firms. Norman explained that very few vendors would even qualify for consideration on this project and that all were on the State Contract. The County will also realize a discount from vendors on the State Contract. This may be a situation where the County may not necessarily want to accept the low quote. This issue will be discussed further at the Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 2-28-07. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes:

Request Quote For A Storage Area Network. The Storage Area Network (SAN) is considered to be a key component in enhancing the integrity of the County’s network. On 10-25-06, the County Board approved proceeding with SAN at the recommendation of the Technology Committee with the funding source to be determined at a later date. Estimated cost is $170,000. Swing presented an RFQ (Request For Quotes) which will be distributed to vendors after County Board approval. Quotes will be due by 3-16-07 at 4:00 P.M. The potential bidders all hold contracts with the State of Minnesota. Some minor changes will be made to the draft. Copies of the draft have been reviewed by Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, and Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent. Swing highlighted Section 2 of the draft relating to Background, Scope and Context. This Section describes the vision and how this will fit in with the County’s network once installed in the new building. It outlines the process of working with the engineer on the new Jail/LEC, the integrity of the County’s network including the fiber ring to the four buildings with SAN, and disaster discovery including replications from building to building. Swing would like the SAN in place prior to the install of the Manatron System (property tax system) scheduled for the second half of 2007. Recommendation: The Committee recommends distribution of the RFQ with quotes due by 3-16-07 at 4:00 P.M. At a future Board Meeting, Swing will provide a summary of the quotes received and a recommendation.

Update On LEC Technology Planning. At their 11-28-06 Meeting, the County Board approved EDI (Engineering Design Initiative, ltd.) as the Technology Coordinator for the Jail/LEC. Since that time, Swing has held various meetings with EDI, the City of Buffalo, and County staff. Swing distributed information on the timeline of the Jail/LEC project and who is responsible for technology design and procurement. Swing is responsible for voice data requirements, Greg Howell for radio communications, and Capt. Gary Torfin for the Jail. Swing has been in contact with Blue Earth County, who has the same engineer for their Justice Center project. They are eight months ahead of Wright County in their project. Norman said the County will receive a presentation by KKE and A&P in March on the completion of the Design Development Phase. If approved, they will proceed to bid specifications and final design drawings. Bid opening is anticipated for August or September. Early bid packages will include site work, utilities, footings and the precast cells. Swing said that technology is somewhat independent. He said he was involved with the space discussions and the technology would be overlaid into the building layout. Discussion occurred on the 800 Mhz radio system. All radios and associated equipment will need to be purchased and installed prior to the switch to the new system. Norman said associated costs should be included in the overall bond issue. It was clarified that when the switch is made to the 800 Mhz system, they will be operating dispatch stations at the Courthouse and LEC for a period of time. A total of $9.5 million in equipment grant funding has been allocated to this corridor. The State will cover the annual subscription costs. The 800 Mhz System will be discussed at a 2-28-07 Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting. (End of Technology Committee Minutes)

A request was received from the University of MN Extension Office to increase the per diem rate for the Wright County Extension Committee members from $25 to $30 to keep in line with other County committee per diem rates. At the 2-13-07 Extension Committee Meeting, the vote was unanimous to support this request. Eichelberg moved to approve the request, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #07-12 for the spring load restrictions. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 169.87 provides local authorities, with respect to highways under their jurisdiction, for seasonal load restrictions, and

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 162.2 subd. 3, the County Board, or the County Engineer if so authorized by the board, may impose weight and load restrictions on any highway under its jurisdiction,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the County Highway Engineer be authorized to place seasonal load restrictions on County State Aid Highways and County Roads within Wright County, and also,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the gross weight on any axle on any vehicle or trailer, shall not exceed the posted limit, and also,

BE IT RESOLVED, that load limitations will go into effect when the signs are erected and will remain in effect until the signs are removed. The timing of road postings, which is dependent on weather conditions, will be determined by the County Highway Engineer.

(End of Resolution #07-12)

Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #07-13, for final acceptance of the CSAH 37 & CR 117 Safety Improvement Project, Contract #0602, with Mathiowetz Construction Co. and to authorize final payment of $16,277.65. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #07-14, for final acceptance for the Silver Creek Township Bridge, 86J12, Contract #0612, with Sundblad Construction, Inc. and to authorize final payment of $2,784.50. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The County Board discussed a draft resolution forwarded by AMC relating to Comprehensive Road & Transit Funding in 2007. Eichelberg stated that the draft requests various funding options which may not all be passed by the Legislature. The list is all inclusive with the anticipation that some items would be passed. Eichelberg moved to adopt the Resolution as presented. The motion failed for lack of a second. Sawatzke was part of the AMC work group that addressed this issue. The work group had varied opinions on what should be included and it was decided that all options should be listed.

Sawatzke did not want to go from too little funding to an overabundance with less efficiency. Russek was not in favor of continued bonding for transportation. The County Board is scheduled to meet with Senator Amy Koch, Representative Bruce Anderson and Representative Tom Emmer on 2-26-07 to discuss jail funding. It was suggested that this topic be addressed as well. Mattson moved to lay this issue over to the 3-13-07 County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.

The meeting was recessed at 9:30 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. for the Employee Recognition Ceremony.

Russek congratulated those that were to receive Employee Recognition at today’s Ceremony. Sawatzke, Eichelberg, Heeter and Mattson announced the recipients of the 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 Year Service Awards. Each of the recipients received a Certificate of Recognition and a mug to honor their years of service.

Russek announced Peter Forare and Kevin Johnson, Highway Department, as recipients of the 30 Year Service Awards. Russek congratulated them for 30 years of devoted service. They each received a framed certificate and mug. Russek then congratulated Richard Marquette for his 35 years of service by stating that the County really appreciates his commitment.

Heeter read the letter of nomination for the Individual Achievement Award being presented to Susan Backes, Administration Confidential Secretary. Backes performed the duties of two full-time employees in a time of transition in the Administration Office which saved thousands of dollars in staff time. Heeter stated that Backes is conscientious, and an award winning team player. She went on to say that while we understand that employees across the County may be asked to go above and beyond the call of duty from time to time, Backes always rises to the occasion, meets and exceeds expectations, and does it with the utmost of professionalism, promptness and proficiency. Backes stated that she really enjoys her position working for the Board and for Dick Norman. She stated that working in Administration is a team effort of which she thanked the entire Administration and Building Maintenance staff. Norman stated that he was really happy to be the one that was able to tell Backes she won this award and that Backes was being formally recognized for the exemplary job she does. Also, he stated he was very happy that she was part of the great team in the Administration Department.

Russek stated that the recipients of the Group Achievement Award belong to Genell Reese, Debbie Ernst and Ruth Bonk of Veterans Services. Russek stated that they were nominated by Sheri Schliesing, Career Corrections Agent, however she was unable to attend today’s ceremony. Russek read Schliesing’s nomination letter. Schliesing’s letter stated that today and for the past several years, Vet Services individually and collectively has responded to the needs of retired military staff. No request is too small and each is handled confidentially and respectfully. Their response to routine information is handled with sensitivity. Collectively, Reese, Ernst and Bonk have over 65 years of service. Barb Peterson, Personnel Representative, announced that Reese, Ernst and Bonk have their names engraved on the “Group Achievement Award” plaque located out in the main lobby.

Russek stated that Individual Achievement Award Honorable Mention goes to Lisa Gertken of HS and Nancy Borrett of Sheriff/Corrections. Group Achievement Honorable Mention went to the Court Services Department.

Russek expressed gratitude to those who wrote nomination letters and to the Awards Review Committee. Russek stated that the County appreciates all that the employees do. Refreshments are to follow the ceremony.

Bills Approved

Advantage Police Supply $1,530.19

Albion Township 15,227.33

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 613.06

Anoka Co. Juvenile Center 2,000.00

Aramark Correc. Serv. 5,319.35

Auto Glass Center Inc. 249.15

Auto Garage Door & Firepl 1,526.58

Bachman Printing 323.02

Bauerly Brothers Co. 137,375.82

Berntsen Int’l Inc. 4,265.00

Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 252.50

Braun Intertec Corp. 14,950.00

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 261.68

Buffalo Township 15,945.88

Cargill Inc.-Salt Division 37,217.22

Centra Sota Lake Region 18,551.85

Chatham Township 11,072.19

Clearwater River Watershed 5,952.72

Clearwater Township 13,031.52

Climate Air 2,191.29

Coborns Inc. 133.85

Cokato Township 15,758.12

Comm. Solutions LLC 295.00

Corinna Township 23,065.47

Crow River Tools 122.86

Decorative Designs Inc. 184.57

E Central Reg. Juvenile 56,669.80

Emergency Physicians PA 129.75

Dale Engel 575.00

Joyce Farrell 1,300.00

Jeffrey Fox 255.58

Franklin Township 25,657.11

French Lake Township 14,181.00

Frontier Precision Inc. 295.00

Gateway Companies Inc. 3,695.55

Janet Gholson 233.58

Gopher State One Call 117.40

Karla Heeter 120.43

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 3,798.68

Industrial Supply Co. 353.69

Int’l Code Council 180.00

Chris Jahnke 303.13

Junction Towing/Auto Repair 243.62

Kandiyohi Co. Sheriffs Dept. 6,095.00

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Kris Engineering Inc. 147.50

LaPlant Demo Inc. 538.11

Loberg Electric 2,800.70

Maple Lake Township 20,000.19

Marco Business Products 221.52

Lee Martie 115.79

Marysville Township 17,652.28

Mathiowetz Construction 16,277.65

The Metro Group Inc. 1,920.83

Middleville Township 13,831.51

Richard Miller 450.00

MN Bookstore 236.43

MN Hwy. Safety/Research 7,682.00

Monticello Township 27,208.30

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 2,654.78

Robert Mossman 572.68

Mountain Stream Sports 188.53

Jeffrey Namie 5,570.00

Nat’l Business Systems 28,000.00

Network Instruments LLC 495.00

Northern Safety Technology 114.09

Office Depot 3,025.68

Performance Kennels nc. 142.54

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 213.00

Qwest 6,413.34

Rockford Township 26,372.72

Romtec Inc. 384.34

Royal Tire Inc. 3,231.65

RS Eden 273.00

Joel Ruder 2,913.29

Scenic Signs 145.44

Scharber & Sons Inc. 272.24

Silver Creek Township 23,376.06

Software House Int’l 3,706.20

Southside Township 13,749.26

State of MN-Office Enterprise 370.00

Walter Stephens Jr. Inc. 431.94

Stockholm Township 13,071.47

Sundblad Construction 2,784.50

Uniforms Unlimited 4,025.33

United Locating Services 120.00

University of Minnesota 825.00

Victor Township 14,528.45

C Walker Trucking 640.00

Michael Woodford 106.70

Woodland Township 12,822.14

Wes Workman 174.60

Wright Hennepin Electric 2,433.76

31 Payments less than $100 1,722.15

Final total $726,673.23

The meeting adjourned at 10:27 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal March 26, 2007.