Wright County Board Minutes
WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JULY 31, 2007
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Heeter, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the minutes of 7-24-07 as presented.
On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented, noting the Marked Crosswalk Policy addendum to Agenda Item #1 under Wayne Fingalson, Highway, “Approve Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting Minutes From 7-23-07 And Act On Recommendations.”
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
1. Performance Appraisals: V. Hawkins, Hwy.; H. Gillham, P. Mackie, Sheriff.
2. Claim, KKE, $225,814.53 (June Service-Jail/LEC Project).
3. Claim, Frank Madden & Assoc., $2,275.10 (Service For June, 2007).
1. On Sale Liquor License Renewal For “Rasset Bar & Grill” (Chatham Township).
2. Seasonal 3.2 Beer License For Church Of St. John’s Education Center Benefit (Cokato Township).
3. Tobacco License For Albertville Mobil (Transfer To New Owner).
Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, stated that Chuck Davis, Environmental Health Supervisor, is retiring after 36 years of service to Wright County. Salkowski stated that Davis is a native of Wright County and a 1963 graduate of Annandale High School. Davis attended college in St. Cloud from 1963-67, served in the Army, and is a decorated Vietnam War Veteran. Davis worked as a well driller before and after his duty. He started working for Wright County in 1971 in the CETA program. He became a full-time employee in 1973. Salkowski came to Wright County in 1979 and added that Davis helped orient him to the County and the Department. Salkowski stated that Davis cares about Wright County because this is his home. Salkowski joked about how he and Davis have given each other a lot of grief over the 25 years they’ve worked together, however is proud to call him “friend”. Davis stated that he has been a witness to fellow staff members’ kids who have grown and now whose grandchildren are growing up. Davis expressed his appreciation in having a fair and good boss in Salkowski. Russek thanked Davis for his many years of service and issued an invitation to visit the Courthouse at anytime. Mattson added his thanks by stating that Davis has always been quick to provide answers to questions he had. Sawatzke thanked Davis for his efforts in taking on a lot of serious issues related to the Compost Facility. Heeter noted how Davis has been a permanent fixture in this establishment and will be missed. Eichelberg and Davis promised to exchange hunting and fishing tips.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented Draw Request #1 for the Jail/LEC for $477,705.56. Hiivala explained that the reason he has the Draw Request as part of his Agenda is to inform the Board that all future draw requests on this project will be paid electronically. Once the Board approves this, he will execute the transfer. Hiivala stated that from this date forward, the Owner’s Committee should review the pay applications and recommend approval for the following Board Meeting as a Consent Agenda Item. Russek supported Hiivala’s comment as he felt the Owner’s Committee could review the Pay Application with Tara Martin, A&P and Cliff Buikema, KKE. Sawatzke had questions about A&P’s portion of the Pay Application, specifically their reimbursable amount. Hiivala asked if the Board could approve Julian M. Johnson Construction’s pay application. Sawatzke stated he’d be in support of paying Julian Johnson’s portion as they have been working on site and the payment request is for half of their total contract amount. Sawatzke moved to approve the Julian M. Johnson Pay Application amount of $170,567.51 to be paid out of the Capital Projects Fund and laying over A&P’s Pay Application, and all future pay applications to the Owner’s Committee, seconded by Heeter. Hiivala noted that in the County records, he will be delineating the Jail from the LEC construction costs. He added that he will bring Pay Application #2 to today’s Owner’s Committee. The motion carried 5-0. Hiivala stated that the Jail/LEC Pay Applications will no longer be a part of his agenda. It will be presented as a claim on the Consent Agenda.
The Wight County Tax Forfeit Committee met on 7-30-07. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes with a correction to the first sentence to read “The meeting was called to order by Bob Hiivala at 9:30 A.M.” The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.
The meeting was called to order by Bob Hiivala at 9:30 A.M.
Those Attending: Jack Russek, Dick Mattson, Brian Asleson, Greg Kramber and Bob Hiivala.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the list of eligible tax forfeit properties.
The list of properties was reviewed for Conservation and Non-Conservation classifications of property.
The Wright County parcel viewer was used by pulling up each individual parcel and looking at all photos to determine the appropriateness of each classification.
Of the 61 parcels on the list, eight (8) were determined to be classified as Conservation properties.
A list of all of the tax forfeit properties, their legal descriptions, Section, Township and Range, estimated market value and classification of Conservation or Non-Conservation will be provided to the full Board at one of the next Board meetings.
The final list will then be submitted to the MN Department of Natural Resources for their approval.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 noon.
Hiivala submitted the claims listing for approval. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Kerry Saxton, SWCD, presented the State of Minnesota, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, 2007 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement in the amount of $123,220. The Agreement Period is from 7-01-06 to 6-30-08. The Board has already committed cash match amounts through budgeting for the Water Management Plan and the Wetland Conservation Act. The DNR shoreline for $10,640 does not have to be matched. Saxton noted that the STSS amount is $9,885 which is quite an increase from last year which was $1,500. The MPCA feedlot portion has $43,715 in funding. On a motion by Mattson, seconded by Heeter, all voted to authorize signatures and approve the 2007 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement in the amount of $123,220.
Heeter presented the 7-25-07 Building Committee minutes and recommendations. Discussion and action at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
I. Designated Parking Slots, West Parking Lot. Hayes reported that the West Parking Lot has the base bituminous coat, and the apron and driveway entrance have been installed. Additional work is required including leveling the landscaping dirt, the second coat of bituminous needs to be applied, and the lot will be signed and striped. There are no plans for a crosswalk. The lot currently has six designated parking slots (4-Dispatch, 1-Court Services, 1-Assessor). Melvin provided an outline of those departments requesting designated parking spots (attached). The request from Dispatch to increase the designated slots to 6 or 7 is to cover shift overlap. The problem occurs during the 3:00 P.M.-11:00 P.M. shift change. When those employees come to work, the designated parking is already being utilized by employees from another shift. The concern by employees is security when they leave the building after their 11:00 P.M. shift. Melvin was instructed to inform Dispatch that the designated Dispatch slots should be utilized by those employees who start or leave a late shift. The spots should not be utilized by Dispatch employees who work the 7:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M. shift or if nearby parking is readily available. Recommendation: This issue will be referred to the next Building Committee Meeting. A more specific list will be provided at that time on how many designated parking slots are being requested for departments. The Committee recommends signing 16 reserved slots in the West Parking Lot to include one slot for Employee Of The Year. The Public Works site and Human Services Center will have designated slots for Employee Of The Year as well. Signs will be installed by the Highway Department.
II. Request To Purchase Furniture & Equipment For Attorney/Client Conference Rooms. Nordeen said the request is for the County to purchase new furniture for the six conference rooms located in the Judicial Corridor. Recently, Nordeen replaced the desks in the conference rooms with folding tables and the former Community Room chairs were also utilized. Other departments contacted Nordeen indicating that the furniture could use replacement. A handout was distributed outlining the cost of $3,230 to place new tables, chairs, clocks, and telephone stands in the rooms. Kelly supported the request and said there is a need for additional conference rooms. MacMillan concurred.
Norman recently looked at the furnishings in the conference rooms and thought they were adequate for what they are used for. Carlson, HS Child Support, utilizes the rooms frequently and felt that some were lacking basic requirements (clock, phone, garbage can). Nordeen said Hayes could do some price comparisons through Office Depot. Norman referenced previous conversations on the State takeover of Courts and understood that office furnishings are the State’s responsibility. Nordeen explained that the State purchases furniture for the staff and judges. The County is responsible for purchasing furniture for courtrooms and conference rooms as they are public spaces. Mattson voiced frustration with another expenditure and the request being submitted just prior to budget sessions. MacMillan and Kelly interjected that Wright County is conservative with furnishings compared to other counties. During the time the Attorney’s Office has occupied the 4th Floor, Kelly stated they have not requested new furnishings. Discussion followed on possible ways to reduce costs. It was suggested that instead of purchasing new chairs, they could be replaced with extra chairs located in the Board Room. Human Services recently purchased 24 new telephones and those that were replaced could be utilized in the conference rooms. Recommendation: Approve request to replace furnishings in the six conference rooms at a cost under $2,000. Chairs and telephones will be replaced as discussed.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter stated that the Parking Lot signs will read “Reserved” and will be sequentially numbered. Heeter moved to approve the minutes with a change to the 7th line of the 1st paragraph on Page 2 to read, “During the time the Attorney’s Office has occupied the 4th Floor,…” and the recommendations made by the Building Committee. Mattson seconded the motion. Russek stated that he thinks that it is good that the public knows that the Board is being cost conservative with furnishings. The motion carried 5-0. (End of Building Committee Minutes and discussion.)
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented the Transportation Committee of the Whole Meeting (TCOTW) minutes from 7-23-07 and requested that that Board act on the recommendations. Discussion and action at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
1) Public Works Building Space Issues. Fingalson addressed the need for more space in the office area and in the maintenance area of the Public Works Building. He said that the current building has served the three departments well, but there has been and will continue to be growth in the demand for services from all three departments. This will result in more storage needs, more office space needs, and more space needs for the maintenance area. Fingalson said that he and Jobe met with several others to come up with some ideas to reconfigure the current arrangement of spaces within the footprint of the building, but it was determined that this would not adequately address the long-term needs of any of the three departments. He said that he thought a space analysis would be the appropriate step to take so that all options can be considered. A firm could be hired to come up with a plan that would meet both current and future needs. Fingalson had contacted two different firms and obtained quotes from them for a professional space study. One quote was $4,900 and the other was in the neighborhood of $8,000. Fingalson provided examples of the present problem including having two Crew Supervisors having to share one office with 5-6 maintenance men. Also, our Shop/Equipment Superintendent does not have a private office. Jobe concurred that he and Fingalson had discussed the need for more space. He has two supervisors whose desks are in cubicle areas and who don’t have the desired privacy for meeting with staff for direction or correction. He first considered rearranging some of the areas within the building a year ago, and since then, has added another employee to his staff. After working together to try and find a solution within the footprint of the current building, Jobe agreed that this would be just a temporary fix. He said that he would like to have a study done to help determine what space will be needed in five years and in ten years. Mattson said that the jail construction and the need to go with the 800-megahertz radio system are the focus of the Board right now. Jobe said that he definitely sees more growth coming in the GIS area and the need for more square footage. Marc Mattice was not able to be present at this meeting, but Jobe said that he sees the need to look to the future also. Even with the recent adjustments in the maintenance area, there are still concerns about entering and exiting the building and the tight quarters. Sawatzke said that he doesn’t disagree that there are some needs here, but he agrees with Mattson in that this may have to wait, and said that he doesn’t see the need for a study unless we are prepared to follow through on its recommendations. He said that there are other departments whose needs are a higher priority at this point, such as the Jail and Law Enforcement. Mattson commented that he does not want to push the taxpayers of Wright County too hard, and Sawatzke added that the road projects of the Highway Department have been allotted a big portion of the available budget funds in the past. Fingalson said that he understands the frustrations and challenges of the impending 2008 budget, but he wants the Board to know that there are space needs at the Public Works Building too. The current jail construction is a big ticket item, but there are other departments that need consideration as well. Today’s information is an attempt to let them know that these space issues will need attention at some point. Wright County is a growing county, and both staff and facilities will also have to grow in order to accommodate this. Jobe added that he and Fingalson wanted to make sure that the Board is aware of the space needs. Eichelberg suggested that they work with Pat Melvin to see if a space study of the PWB could be combined with one of the courthouse jail area for a more economical price. Russek said that he would have to concur with Mattson and Sawatzke that timing is important, and that the current projects need to be managed before others can be considered. There was general discussion that it might be wise to consider looking at space throughout the County system so that all options can be considered. Russek said that space issues will have to be considered, but right now resources are being dedicated to the current jail and 800 megahertz projects. Fingalson said that though he understands the desire and possible advantage of combining space studies, one of the firms that quoted a price specializes in public works facilitiesthey have completed about 55 public works studies and are familiar with the peculiarities that public works facilities present. Russek said that it would be at least two years before the County would be ready to initiate any space improvements at the PWB, and he didn’t think that it would be a good idea to pay for a plan now that might be outdated by the time construction could begin. Fingalson mentioned that moving the vending machines out of the current lunchroom would free up some space for meetings and asked if the Board members would approve that change. Al Buskey, County Building Maintenance Supervisor, has agreed to allow the vending company to place two machines in one of the supply closets near the front of the building. Some wiring and minor construction work would be necessary if this move were to be made. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Wayne Fingalson bring to the Building Committee the request that he be allowed to move the vending machines from the front lunch room to the small supply closet area near the front of the Public Works building, and that he get an estimate of expenses to accommodate that change.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated that Pat Melvin, Special Projects Coordinator, completed a space study of all departments. Norman questioned what an outside space study could show that wasn’t already covered by Melvin’s study. Fingalson stated that Melvin was at the TCOTW Meeting, and the concern was that the CIP Committee hasn’t been very active and the Department feels that having a space study done by somebody that is familiar with the Public Works Building would be valuable. However, the consensus is not to have the space study done. Heeter stated that she does not recall Melvin completing a space study. Norman stated that the Board agreed that the study be added to a Board Agenda in August, with a Committee of the Whole Meeting to be scheduled in September, 2007.
2) Rural Addressing System. This is an agenda item that the County Board wanted to discuss at the meeting. There was some discussion about the address that will be assigned to the new jail, located just north of the PWB. Currently, the road is “Braddock Avenue,” but the City of Buffalo plans to name the newly annexed portion of this road (the east half of Braddock Avenue up to the jail access) “First Avenue Northwest.” A confusing element is that the annexed portion is not directly adjacent to Braddock Avenue. Pooler said that he contacted the cities in the county and found that the county grid system is used in some cities, but that other cities use their own grid system. He distributed a recap of this information. The density within some cities makes it impossible to completely follow the county’s system. Jobe said that the county grid works well on a rural system. There was discussion about the difficulty that might arise when one road curves and lines up with a number of different grids. Addresses along that road can be varied in names and cause confusion for the person who is trying to locate a specific address. Though some cities try to follow the county’s grid system to a greater degree than do others, Pooler said that he could find examples in every city where the addressing is not consistent with the county’s system. Sawatzke commented that new developments within the City of Monticello would be on the county’s grid system. He feels that it would be advantageous for law enforcement if all the other cities followed suit. Sawatzke said that he would like to see a meeting held with the cities so that this can be discussed. The reason that Monticello decided to make an effort to follow the county-wide grid was because one of the members of the Council was also a fireman. Russek suggested that this issue be brought to Wright County’s Emergency Manager [Steve Berg] to see if he can contact emergency services (ambulances and fire departments) to see how they feel about it. Pooler commented that people and agencies are becoming more and more dependent on GIS, which makes it easier than ever to find locations. With today’s technology, finding certain addresses isn’t as much of a problem as it would be without GIS. Sawatzke conceded that this technology might diminish the need or dependency on a county-wide grid system, but he would like to find that out from the various fire departments. Heeter agreed to contact Steve Berg so that fire chiefs can be canvassed for their input. The next Fire Chiefs’ meeting is scheduled for August 15, and Pooler agreed to attend that meeting with Heeter. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the issue of Rural Addressing System be referred to a future agenda of the County’s Fire Chiefs and possibly to the next meeting of the City Mayors’ Group.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter expressed concern on whether deliveries will be made correctly to the new Jail/LEC during construction. Fingalson stated that there was some confusion with the City in what was annexed. Sawatzke stated that the Committee will be able to meet with the cities to discuss and determine which addressing system is in the best interest to all.
3) Braddock Avenue Options. Fingalson reminded the Board members that he had been instructed to get an estimate of what it would cost to lower Braddock Avenue so that it would be closer in elevation to the jail site. He talked with the City of Buffalo and with the neighboring landowner, Bill Davis, and both would be very agreeable to this alteration of the road’s height. Fingalson said that there would also be a secondary benefit of being able to mine some of the gravel that is currently in the roadbed. The road could be lowered as much as 15 feet from its highest level, and the berm on the east side could also be eliminated. Bill Davis has offered to donate the right of way on his property (west side of Braddock Avenue) because it would be of benefit to him to have the road lowered. He would also donate the gravel under the right of way and would grant a temporary easement free of charge. Fingalson said that now would be a good time to make this improvement, as the City of Buffalo would be replacing the current electrical poles with new and bigger lines (a new transformer is needed by the Fall of 2007 for jail site security), and Wright County won’t have to pay to have this done. However, if the road were lowered in the future, then Wright County would be responsible for the expense of moving the poles to a lower location. Hawkins commented that lowering the road now would also help in getting the power lines set beyond the clear zone. It seems logical to have the roadwork done before the City’s activity in the fall. Fingalson said that the gravel beneath the road is worth about $1.25/yard and it would cost about $1.00/yard to move it, but money would be needed to cover this expense. The temporary surface of the new road would be reclaimed materials from the current roadbed, but it wouldn’t be paved until after the jail construction is completed. There are five inches of bituminous, all of which would be milled off, including seven inches of gravel. This is the material that would be used for the temporary road surface. The remaining gravel would be mined and stored in the gravel pit area for crushing in the future. The surface of the road could be included in the 2008 overlay program. Fingalson said that he had talked with both Rick Streich (Field Superintendent for Adolfson & Peterson) and Dave Wray, Consultant Engineer, and they agreed that lowering the access to the jail would be a much better long-term solution for the access. When the architect and engineer designed the turn lanes into the jail site, they mistakenly used a wrong model in figuring out the layout. However, this resulted in a credit to the County because they had over designed it. They also didn’t take into consideration that they would need to acquire more right of way on the west side of the road, just north of the access. A turn lane will be needed for traffic coming from the south, but neither is expected to be necessary for southbound traffic. Fingalson said that Brad DeWolf, Buffalo City’s engineer, had contacted him and said that they would like to see a bypass lane for southbound traffic to accommodate future development north of the jail. However, they are willing to delay this requirement for two years. Because of the annexation limits, there is a question of the City’s involvement in road decisions. The estimate of $240,000 to lower the road and prepare it properly for traffic (not including pavement) includes the cost of the bypass lane. Approximately 140,000 yards of material is available for mining if the road is lowered 15 feet from its highest point. There is a small window of opportunity to get this road lowered before fall and before the poles are moved. Eichelberg said that he would like to see this done right and asked if a formal agreement with Davis to donate the right of way could be arranged. Fingalson said that he could see to this, but asked if there are funds available to make the project happen. He feels that this road project is tied to the jail construction and should not be part of the highway budget. Sawatzke said that the two reasons for lowering this road are for aesthetics and for the gravel. Fingalson added another reasonsafety. It would look better and help make up for the gravel that was lost to the jail site. Fingalson said that the County could stockpile the gravel and crush it as time allows. Currently, Wright County crushes 25,000 yards of gravel per year. About half of the gravel located under the jail site is now unavailable, which leaves about 400,000 yards available, or 17 years’ worth of gravel. Fingalson said that a decision needs to be made on this issue no later than July 31 in order to meet the necessary deadlines. He offered to talk with several contractors to see what kind of price quote he can get for this job. Fingalson said that the reconstructed road would have four-foot gravel shoulders, but that the new inslope would be safer than the current inslope. There was some disagreement about whether this expense would be eligible for inclusion in the jail bond, and all agreed that this should be researched. Sawatzke said that he would like to learn the cost of the project before giving final approval. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the County Engineer be given permission to advertise for bids for the improvement of Braddock Avenue from CR 138 to the Jail access, approximately one-half mile in length. Bids are to include the cost of lowering the road and the mining of gravel from beneath the current surface. The bids will not include the cost of paving, but will include the placement of a reclaimed road surface.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson stated that Davis is willing to donate up to 45’ of ROW along Braddock Avenue as well as the gravel under the ROW. He added that this is a win-win situation for the County and Davis. The road will be safer, it will blend in nicer with the terrain and provide the County with more gravel. A question was posed whether this cost could be incorporated into one of the bonding proposals. In speaking with Bruce Kimmel of Sprinsted Financial, Fingalson stated it can’t be included in the Jail construction, but would be an acceptable use of the LEC bond. The recommendation is to give permission to advertise for bids and Fingalson proposed setting a date of 9-04-07 so that the work can essentially be completed in September. This would allow for the City of Buffalo to install their poles prior to snowfall. The road would be able to be paved the following year depending on the construction of the Jail. Sawatzke stated that Fingalson gave him a tour of the site on 7-30-07 and noted that he was previously pessimistic of the road improvement. Sawatzke continued to debate whether the cost of moving the gravel was financially feasible. Fingalson confirmed that Davis would be responsible for turf establishment and he would keep his black dirt on his side of the road, and the County would maintain the black dirt on its side of the road. Sawatzke questioned why the proposed construction costs of $230,000 are as high as they are when the materials are being donated by Davis. Fingalson noted that the cost is in the seed and mulch and assumes that the final price tag will be much lower than $230,000 once the project goes out for bid. Davis stated that the farmer would reseed the field with alfalfa and wheat. Sawatzke questioned whether the farmer could plant up to the shoulder of the road and Fingalson stated yes. Eichelberg added that this project would provide an overall cost savings to the County as the power poles will be able to be placed permanently and 140,000 yards of gravel will be available to the County. Fingalson agreed with Eichelberg by stating that the County would have paid to move the poles again following the construction of the Jail/LEC. Russek stated that he is advocating for saving gravel. Heeter stated that she agrees with Russek, however, saving gravel for the sake of saving gravel has been an issue in the past as its been often saved at more than it’s value. Mattson moved to authorize advertising for bids for the improvement of Braddock Avenue and conduct the Bid Opening for 9-04-07 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke expressed his appreciation to Davis for his donation. Motion carried 5-0.
4) Snow/Ice Control Proposals. Fingalson said that both Meyer and Jans had attended a conference in St. Paul that acquainted them with technology for the treatment of frost not currently used by Wright County. However, with the completion of TH 101 and the four interchanges with our county system and with the tremendous growth in the northeastern portion of the county, this technology will be very useful in creating safer conditions under winter conditions. Meyer commented that there is a lot of condensation from ethanol use in vehicles, and this condensation contributes to a moister road surface, particularly noticeable in areas of heavy traffic. He said that the Road Weather Information System could do a pretty good ‘frost probability’ on the road system, which gives a crew time to treat the surface of the highway before the danger exists. There are several products that work well to help prevent frost from forming on the surface, including a corn based liquid and a non-corn based liquid. He offered pictures that showed the difference between surfaces treated with this preventative solution and those surfaces not treated. Meyer said that one of the tandem units would be available to treat the roads with a frost-preventative liquid, but a tank would be needed in order to have that capability, and the 2007 budget does not include funds specifically for this purchase. By using one truck, roads could be treated two to three days in advance of the forecasted frost conditions, and this would allow for better road surfaces during the heavy traffic timestimes when it is not feasible to have the County’s trucks on the road. A number of area counties, cities, and Mn/DOT are already treating their roads in this manner. By delaying the purchase of one of the mowers that was approved in the 2007 budget, Meyer said that the necessary equipment could be purchased to put this frost-preventative measure into practice. One tank can cover 100 lane miles, which is one-tenth of Wright County’s road system. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Meyer said that this wouldn’t necessarily cut down on the need for salt, but that this would help improve the safety under some conditions that are not improved with the use of salt. He is asking for permission to use the funds allocated for the purchase of one mower to begin this program instead. The advantage of this program is that roads can be treated prior to a weekend, if the forecast shows that this would be helpful. This might save on salt and on overtime, but more importantly, it will benefit the public with safer road conditions. Meyer would like to continue this program in the future and said that it wouldn’t make sense to invest in a tank if it is not used in following years. If this program were to be continued, the expected costs for 2008 would be the purchase of a storage tank for $15,000 and the cost of materials for $30,000. The liquid needed for this program is available in Shakopee, so a truck would have to pick up the supplies there until we were equipped to receive transport loads. The liquid is already blended and comes with a guarantee. This liquid is less corrosive than salt and is environmentally safe, but Jans cautioned that care would have to be taken when relying on the forecast. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the Highway Department be allowed to reprioritize allocated budget funds to implement this frost-preventative program for the 2007 snow/ice season, and that they prioritize their 2008 Budget request to allow for the continuation of this program.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson stated that this discussion will be continued at the 8-14-07 Budget Committee of the Whole Meeting for Road and Bridge. Mattson expressed concern for the price of the corn based liquid due to the drought Minnesota is experiencing this year.
5) Truck Station Status. Fingalson said that he had estimates for improving the driving surface of the area around the cold storage buildings north of the PWB. Problems with the surface are particularly troublesome in the wet spring of the year. A bituminous surface was estimated at $19,000 and a crushed granite surface was estimated at $1,800, as was indicated on the handout. Fingalson said that the City of Otsego has determined what curbing and bituminous would be necessary at the county’s truck station in Otsego. They agreed to cut back on the required curbing, but it is still over and above what the county had expected. The estimated cost of bituminous is $40,980 and the estimated cost of curbing is $8,562, as shown on this same handout. Russek commented that there doesn’t seem to be much a choice here, as the City dictates the requirements. Fingalson said that he would have to discuss this expenditure with the County Auditor to see if funds are available. The other county shop consideration is the status of the truck station in French Lake. If the county continues to operate out of that shop, major improvements will have to be made. The projected 2008 budget has provisions for these improvements, but Fingalson said that consideration should be given to consolidating this shop with two others, thereby making these improvements unnecessary. It might be possible to split the French Lake shop and have one employee work from the Cokato shop and one work from the Silver Maple shop. The French Lake salt storage facility could then be moved to the Silver Maple shop. If the French Lake shop continues as a truck station, improvements will need to be made to the bituminous pavement and the building will have to be enlarged, which will require that more property be purchased. The building is not adequate in size for the equipment that needs to use it and the garage doors need work. When the brine tank is in the shop for purposes of filling it, there is no room for any other equipment to be there. The add-on to the building is roughly estimated at $100,000 while the lot paving would be another $15,000. Improvements also need to be made at the Silver Maple shop. Fingalson commented that public perception can make it difficult to decide to consolidate and remove a truck station. If the French Lake truck station were to close, routes would have to be changed, and this would take some time. A new salt shed is also needed at the Silver Maple shop, which was on the 2007 Capital Improvement Plan, but that did not happen. The Cokato shop does have room for another employee and also has adequate space for salt storage. Fingalson said that he is trying to point out to the Commissioners how to get the most efficient use of the budget dollars. He feels that consolidation of this shop would be one way to do that. He understands the considerations for keeping the French Lake shop open, but if they do, then improvements will have to be made. RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that the issue of making improvements to the French Lake shop and of considering the consolidation of the French Lake shop with the Cokato and Silver Maple shops (which would require improvements to the Silver Maple shop) all be part of the 2008 budget discussions.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson stated that this topic will be brought forth at the 8-14-07 Budget Committee of the Whole Meeting for Road and Bridge.
6) Crosswalk Policy. Cordell distributed copies of the existing and proposed Wright County Crosswalk Policy for the Commissioners’ review. Fingalson reminded the Commissioners that this policy had been introduced to them at a previous meeting, and the Commissioners had asked that an inventory be done to see what impact the new policy would have on Wright County’s crosswalks. Cordell explained that the new policy is basically a written policy of the guidelines that they had been following when making decisions about allowing or not allowing crosswalks to be installed on county routes. It has been refined and revised in order to offer the safest recommendation for pedestrians in crosswalks. The new policy clarifies the criteria that are used when determining which locations can be marked as crosswalks. He said that the Commissioners had formerly approved of the policy as it was written, but that they asked him to do a survey of the existing crosswalks and apply the new policy to them. Of the 67 crosswalks that exist on county routes, 66% of them are authorized, and 84% of them meet the criteria. Twenty-one of the crosswalks are not authorized but would be allowed to remain on the system. Eleven crosswalks would have to be removed if this current policy were adhered to, and three additional crosswalks are questionable. Cordell reviewed the survey of crosswalks with the Commissioners and pointed out to them the reasons that they will be removed. With the Board’s final approval of this written crosswalk policy, a copy will be sent to every city in the county. Cordell explained that a crosswalk tells a pedestrian that this is the safest place to cross. However, if certain criteria are not met, the pedestrian then gets a false sense of security and might assume that the crosswalk offers extra security when crossing the road. The current, non-qualifying crosswalks that will be removed were reviewed.
A) City of Delano: Unauthorized crosswalk at Hidden Hills does not lead to a sidewalk on one side of the road.
B) City of Delano: Unauthorized crosswalk at 3rd Street is in a 40 mph zone.
C) City of Hanover: Authorized crosswalk was allowed and used during construction at the elementary school. It is no longer necessary and student traffic will be redirected to the signal light.
D) City of Howard Lake: Unauthorized crosswalk at Haywood Drive does not lead to a sidewalk on the Haywood leg.
E) City of Rockford: Unauthorized crosswalk at Ravenrock is in a 45 mph zone.
F) City of Rockford: Authorized crosswalk 500’ north of Winfield Road was allowed as a school crossing; but the school is no longer there, and the crosswalk is mid-block in a 40 mph zone.
G) City of Rockford: Authorized crosswalk at Winfield Road was allowed as a school crossing, but the school is no longer there and the crosswalk is in a 40 mph zone.
H) City of Rockford: Authorized crosswalk at High Street was allowed prior to the 1989 policy, but it does lead to a sidewalk.
I) City of St. Michael: Unauthorized crosswalk at Mayelin Avenue does not lead to a sidewalk and is in a proposed 40-45 mph zone.
J) City of St. Michael: Unauthorized crosswalk at Frankfort Parkway is in a 40 mph zone.
K) City of St. Michael: Unauthorized crosswalk at 47th Street is in a 40 mph zone.
L) Questionable: City of Monticello: Authorized crosswalk at 3rd Street does not have authorized crossing guards.
M) Questionable: City of Monticello: Authorized crosswalk at Otter Creek does not have authorized crossing guards.
There was some discussion about the liability that might arise for the County if a current crosswalk were removed; but if the crosswalk does not meet the current policy, it could be a greater liability to leave it in place. Cordell explained that all the cities would receive a copy of the policy along with a cover letter explaining why the crosswalks, if any, need to be removed. There are two crosswalks on CSAH 22, which the County acquired from St. Michael as the old Naber Avenue. The current speed limit is 40 mph and Cordell asked if the Commissioners want to ‘grandfather’ them into the current inventory of authorized crosswalks even though they don’t meet the speed limit criteria. There is also one in St. Michael located on CSAH 18, which is in a 40-45 mph zone. Eichelberg offered to contact officials at the city to see what their wishes were before the decision is made to remove them or to allow them to stay on the system. RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that the Wright County Marked Crosswalk Policy as presented by Bill Cordell, Senior Traffic Technician, be approved, with the understanding that St. Michael’s wishes be respected in regard to the three crosswalks, not meeting the criteria, presently located on CSAH 22 and CSAH 18.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson stated that the Board had tentatively approved the Marked Crosswalk Policy. The Board wanted staff to do a crosswalk inventory. There were 67 crosswalks located in the County. 66% of them are authorized, and 84% of them meet the criteria. Eichelberg was to speak with the City of St. Michael. It was determined that the questionable crosswalks would be allowed because they were authorized by the City. Staff’s recommendation is that they should be allowed to remain. Fingalson presented the Marked Crosswalk Policy with the new language. Fingalson requested that the Board adopt the policy with the change. Sawatzke stated that he is not in favor of removing the unauthorized crosswalks at 3rd Street and Otter Creek in Monticello. The two locations are schools. Sawatzke stated that if there is further discussion to remove the two crosswalks from the Policy, then he would like the discussion to be brought to the Board. Fingalson clarified that the two crosswalks do not have authorized crossing guards and there is concern about the liability that might arise for the County if an accident were to occur. Sawatzke stated that it did not make sense to him that because adult crossing guards were not present, the cross walk signage would be taken down. Russek stated that crosswalks at elementary schools require at least one adult guard. Sawatzke stated that he disagrees with the policy and is concerned that the crosswalks won’t have signs to alert drivers that there are 6th grade student guards in place. Fingalson stated that the school principal and City officials have been consulted. Generally, schools do understand the policy and see the importance of the Policy requirements. Sawatzke stated that there are sidewalks on both sides of the road at that location in Monticello. Sawatzke stated that he does not think it is up to the Board to dictate to the school that they cannot have a crosswalk that is guarded by 12 year old students that have attended Safety Patrol Camp. Fingalson stated that the Board does have the option to remove the requirement of the adult guard from the Policy. Heeter moved to lay over the Marked Crosswalk Policy for further discussion at a future TCOTW Meeting, seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson proposed that staff contact the schools to determine what their policies are. Sawatzke asked what the history is of accidents that occur in school crosswalks. Fingalson stated that he is not aware of the statistics, but is confident that the information could be retrieved. Motion carried 5-0. On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the minutes and remaining recommendations of the TCOTW Meeting.
Fingalson stated that Wright County was allocated $380,000 in Federal funds through the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition’s SAFETEA-LU authorization. In order to make sure that the Federal funds are expended in a timely manner on projects that will benefit Highway 55, the Coalition is requesting each agency that was allocated funds to certify that the project is advancing and that the funds will be used prior to 9-30-09. Fingalson presented a copy of the Certification of Project Status for CSAH12/TH 55. Fingalson stated that the frustration is that the Technical Corrections Bill has not passed, however, it is anticipated to take place prior to the August, 2007 recess. There is the potential for Federal dollars through a community grant that the County has applied for. The other option would be to use State aid money. Fingalson stated that he would recommend not using State aid money and delaying the project until next year. Mattson stated that it appears work is already being done at the CSAH 12/TH 55 intersection. Fingalson explained that the City is pulling the water and sewer lines to the new Jail/LEC. They are auguring under the road. Heeter requested that Fingalson keep her informed as to when the funding will become available for the project so that she can alert the school. Heeter commented that people are assuming the project will be completed this year due to the construction taking place at the intersection. On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Mattson, all voted to authorize signature and approve Certification of Project Status for CSAH 12/TH 55 Project.
Fingalson stated that the 2006 Annual Report for the Highway Department was distributed at the 7-24-07 Board Meeting. Fingalson stated that he is seeking acceptance of the Report. On a motion by Eichelberg, seconded by Sawatzke, all voted to accept the 2006 Annual Report for Highway Department with noted correction to the first sentence of Page 1 to read, “The following summary of accomplishment has resulted from the ….”.
Tara Martin, A&P, presented the following recommendation of award on the bids received for the 7-24-07 Bid Package #2:
BC; DESCRIPTION; CONTRACTOR; CONTRACT AMOUNT; ESTIMATE; VARIANCE; RECOMMENDATION
3A; Cast-in-place Concrete; Stellar Concrete & Masonry; $1,436,800.00; $1,974,318.00; <$537,518.00>; Award
3B; Arch./Struc. Precast; Hanson Spancrete; $4,071,582.00; $3,510,384.00; $561,198.00; Award
5A; Structural Steel Materials; Std. Iron & Wire Works; $487,000.00; $536,062.00; <$49,062.00>; Award
5B; Structural Steel Erection; KMH Erectors; $310,000.00; $206,371.00; $103,629.00; Award
13A; Precast Cells; Oldcastle Precast; $4,799,500.00; $4,600,189.00; $199,311.00; Award
Martin stated that A&P has budgeted $12,984,068.00 for the first two bid packages and has contracted out $13,027,142.00. The project cost is currently over the estimated value. Martin stated that she is confident that the $43,074 overage will be made up elsewhere in the remaining Bid Packages. Mattson asked if the overage of Hanson Spancrete’s contract versus estimate was due to material demand. Martin stated that the overage is due to the demanding schedule. Sawatzke asked Martin at what point she would suggest re-bidding some bid sections. Martin stated that after meeting with contractors, the submitted proposal amounts were deemed fair. Martin noted that the contract amount for Bid Section 5B was very low in comparison to the other bidders for that section. On a motion by Eichelberg, seconded by Mattson, all voted to authorize awarding contracts to the lowest qualified bidders as recommended by A&P.
The meeting was recessed at 10:29 A.M. and reconvened at 2:00 P.M. Eichelberg was not present.
At 2:00 P.M., Russek closed the bid process for 11A Detention Equipment for the Jail/LEC Project. Martin opened and read the bids:
Bidder; Bid Security; Acknowledge Addendums; Total Base Bid
Cornerstone Detention Products; Bid Bond; 1, 2 and 3; $1,100,000.00
The G-S Company Wire & Iron; Bid Bond; 1, 2 and 3; $1,244,698.00
Norment Security Group, INC.; Bid Bond; 1, 2 and 3; $1,230,000.00
Pauly Jail Building Company; Check; 1, 2 and 3; $1,329,000.00
Martin reminded the Board that the Estimated Value of this Bid Category was $2,689,810.00. Martin also stated that the bid documents specifically stated that the base bid amount was not to include the frame installation. The G-S Company should not have included it in their base bid amount. The frame installation is included in the masonry and drywall scope which will be bid out in Bid Package #3. Norman asked why there is a large discrepancy between the Estimated Value and the Base Bid Amounts. Martin stated that when Bid Package #2 was originally going to be put out for bid, A&P had combined 11A and 13A. To separate the Bid Sections, A&P attempted to separate out materials and the scope of the work appropriately. Martin noted that last week’s bid opening was bid out higher than the estimated value and now this week’s bid opening is proving to be lower than the estimated value. A&P did not readjust its budget. Martin stated that she will call and qualify the bid amounts and contractors. She envisions bringing forth a recommendation at the next county Board Meeting.
Sawatzke presented the 7-24-07 Owner’s Committee minutes and recommendations. Discussion and action at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
I. COMMISSIONING RFP. Torfin stated that he has received proposals from 4 commissioning agents: Willen, Inc., Sebesta Blomberg, National Commissioning Services, Inc. and Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc.
Torfin stated that he recommends Willen, whose proposed cost was $115,260 (following a correction to the hourly fee). John Williamson of Willen provided a detailed schedule of the number of hours he will commit to the project which is based on a 28-month schedule running until well after completion (training, post construction, and document review). The proposal specifies the number of hours per week/month to equal a total of 1,356 hours at $85/hour. Willen has Corrections experience with the Scott County Jail, Hennepin County Jail, Nobles County LEC, DOC Oak Park, DOC St. Cloud, DOC Lino Lakes, DOC Faribault, Federal Prison in Sandstone, Barron County, and WI LEC. Other local projects include schools in Buffalo, Rockford and Sauk Rapids. Torfin also explained that he has a comfort level with Willen because he has already checked their references and the County has utilized him as an hourly consultant. Torfin stated that he is assuming that Willen will not be charging for reimbursable expenses as they were not noted in the proposal. Torfin then stated that KFI was his second choice at $111,000 as they listed an “unknown” for their reimbursable expenses for mileage and report printing. Their hourly fees would be $130-165/hour. It is his opinion that KFI does not have Corrections/Jail/LEC experience other than re-commissioning of the Ramsey County Criminal Justice Center which essentially was a new building that was having problems. Torfin’s third choice would be Sebesta Blomberg who listed their services at $117,500 plus reimbursable expenses of $5,500. Again, in his opinion, Sebesta Blomberg is lacking in relevant Jail/LEC commissioning experience. They have project experience with Oregon DOC and Maricopa County Jail Central Services (heating plant, laundry, food service, etc.) A concern that Torfin had was that a former key employee left to start her own company, Questions and Solutions, and several other employees left with her. Torfin stated that he has some concern over the stability of the commissioning team. National Commissioning Services provided a very vague proposal for $183,000. Norman asked Torfin if it would be in the best interest of the County to verify with Willen whether the proposal was an all inclusive figure that includes mileage and copying costs. Torfin stated that he would verify with Williamson. Torfin stated that according to the proposals from Karges and Sebesta Blomberg, they place a lot of importance on their reporting and documentation, however, they didn’t place a lot of value on actual on-site visitation, inspections and consulting. Sawatzke asked if the proposals were conducive to picking and choosing the most critical components in order to save costs. Torfin stated that there is a lot of cross-over in each of the categories and all impact the smooth operation of the Facility. The life safety system is required. The plumbing, mechanical, electrical, HVAC, and geo-thermal heating systems are all tied together. Heeter stated that it doesn’t seem to make sense to pull components out of the commissioning services as each of the categories are correlated. Torfin stated that he agreed. Sawatzke asked if A&P has worked with Willen on previous projects. Martin stated that Willen was the commissioning agent at Scott County and she heard from Tim Clark, A&P Project Manager on that project, that Willen was very involved in the project. Buikema stated that he has worked with Williamson before when he worked for another firm and appeared to do a fine job. Martin stated that Tim Clark will be at today’s 2:00 P.M. Bid Opening and the Board would be free to ask him of his experience with Willen. Torfin stated that he spoke with Mark Liska, A&P, about Willen’s services at the Scott County project. Torfin added that Scott County hired commissioning for their life safety systems as part of their contract with their architect for special inspections. Following project completion, Scott County had so many problems with their mechanical system they hired a commissioning agent to do additional commissioning of the entire mechanical system on a separate contract. Williamson caused some friction with contractors and trades people to force them to straighten out problems that were found with the construction. Torfin added, however, this is what the County needs. Martin stated that there were some design issues with the Scott County project which was the main cause of the problems. Heeter commended Torfin for his work of studying the proposals and summarizing them to the Committee. She added that she supports Torfin’s recommendation as he is most comfortable with Willen. Heeter stated that she’d like to see a contract or something in writing from Willen confirming that there are no reimbursable expenses (that the proposal amount is all inclusive), total project hours, and the hourly rate reflecting the corrected proposal amount. Sawatzke asked if there is a standard contract document for this type of service. Buikema stated that he is not aware of any. Sawatzke proposed reviewing Willen’s contract at the 7-31-07 Owner’s Committee Meeting. Sawatzke noted that he would also like Torfin to verify with Willen whether they plan to charge for any hours they have conducted on the project that surpasses their projected 1,356 hours of commissioning services. Sawatzke asked how many employees Willen has. Torfin stated that only John Williamson and one other person were listed on the contract. Sawatzke expressed his concern whether two people were sufficiently knowledgeable in each of the components that would require commissioning. Sawatzke noted one of the proposals that listed eight team members who would service the project. Torfin stated that he does believe that Willen is sufficiently knowledgeable in each of the components, minus the electrical component, which is why he has corporate alliances. Hayes stated that the commissioning services would have a four year payback. Martin clarified that the proposed service falls within 2% of the total mechanical systems cost. Sawatzke asked Buikema if he recommends that Wright County pursue commissioning. Buikema stated yes and referenced Hayes’ comment from the 7-17-07 Owner’s Committee Meeting that “commissioning services may appear to be a redundancy, however commissioning has the nature of an insurance policy”. Buikema stated that it doesn’t hurt to have a second set of eyes. The Engineer is ultimately responsible for the design, and the commissioning agent can provide input particularly if they see a mistake or a design concern. Sawatzke asked how much of the design is based on science and how much is based on subjective opinion. Buikema explained that for engineers, design is all about equations, processes and formulas. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize moving forward with reviewing a contract for commissioning services with Willen Inc.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke stated that the commissioning contract was reviewed at today’s 1:00 P.M. Owner’s Committee Meeting. The contract does acknowledge that there are no extra fees. It is noted that the only additional fee would be if Willen was asked to travel out of state and have overnight stays. There won’t be any additional costs beyond the $115,260 contract amount. The Committee does recommend that the Board enter into a contract for that amount. Sawatzke stated that they will be testing every single component of the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical components, pumps, meters and etc. to verify that they are working as they are supposed to.
II. A&P PROJECT UPDATE. Streich stated that the site work continues: Julian Johnson completed the silt fence this morning, the ponds are graded out, the storm and sewer will be completed at the end of this week, the water is 100% complete, and the sanitary will be completed by 7-31-07. The first deliveries of the geo-well field will begin next week. Six rigs will be brought out which will be able to dig 30 holes a day. A total of 472 holes at 230’ deep will be dug; five holes per rig, drilled, piped and grouted per day. Buikema asked for a progress update on the City of Buffalo. Streich stated that the sanitary was brought under the road and was hooked up on 7-20-07. The water is being hooked up today. Flushing of the system, testing and water samples will need to be taken so that the concrete can be mixed on site and poured for the geo wells. Until the water is brought on site, the trucks will have to fill up using the hydrant at the Public Works Maintenance Building. Sawatzke asked Streich whether he is aware if the newly transplanted trees are being watered weekly. Streich stated that the trees haven’t been watered this week due to the site work that was being done, however the trees were watered last week. Equipment and trucks were grading and hauling dirt for the ponds, making it difficult for the water truck to gain access to the trees. Martin stated that A&P has received the CD documents for Bid Package #3. A&P will present an estimate of the construction amounts for each of the 15 categories to the Board for their review on 8-07-07. Martin requested that the Board hold off on asking any questions during the bid opening process at today’s 2:00 P.M. Bid Opening until after the Bid Opening closes. Martin explained that contractors are in a hurry to get the numbers and leave. Martin added that the documents will be going to the printer for Bid Package #3 on 8-23-07 so that they are available to the contractors by 8-27-07 for the actual Opening on 9-25-07.
III. KKE PROJECT UPDATE. Buikema stated that KKE has completed the work on Bid Package #2 and is working on Bid Package #3. KKE has 8 staff (including Buikema) working on the design. So far, Bid Package #3 is running on schedule. The design team is looking at the building envelope, roofing, the interior millwork, ceilings, and the stairs and elevators. Sawatzke asked if the surface finishes have been decided upon or if Board/staff will be consulted. Buikema stated that KKE will present the interior finishes at the Board Meeting on 8-07-07 and Torfin has been included in the discussions on the flooring functionality throughout the Jail/LEC. Torfin stated that color wasn’t discussed, however decisions were made whether to design for carpet, polished concrete, etc. Sawatzke stated that he’s not concerned about colors, but feels the overall maintenance of the finished product and the material cost is of most concern. Buikema stated that the floor finishes will be included as part of Bid Package #3. Hayes presented his concerns regarding maintaining Wright County government buildings under a network of central management. Hayes specified that there are some current systems that Building Maintenance would like to have carried over to the new Jail/LEC building: the digital controlled heating/cooling and heat recovery system, the card key system, having Medeco keys for doors that will have locks/keys, and the interior signage. Hayes stated that he has spoken with A&P and KKE prior to today’s meeting about the digital controls and has proposed they consult with the current County vendor, Climate Air. The specifications would ask for a certain type of controller and a specific installer. Hayes asked Buikema how he envisions the HVAC system to be designed at the new facility. Buikema stated he understands Wright County is requesting to have a sole source for the control system so that all of the buildings are compatible. The advantage in using a sole vendor is that the systems will be compatible, however, the disadvantage is that the County may end up paying more. Hayes asked if there was a way to qualify the numbers to determine if the proposed costs are competitive. Sawatzke questioned the significance of having system compatibility between the new and the old facilities. Sawatzke questioned whether the value of keeping the same system is worth thousands of dollars in controls. Hayes stated that perhaps it could cost the County over $200,000 to keep the same system. The controls are a major component in keeping the building operating with the best efficiency. The reason for a compatible system would be so that the monitoring of the buildings could be done on an internet loop from a remote location. The system could be monitored by a central building engineer from a remote location and perhaps be able to fix the problem remotely. The controls are currently made by Reliable. Hayes proposed that the engineers provide a plan that shows points (measuring device on each mechanical component). The vendor, if the County chooses to use the current vendors Climate Air and Reliable Controls, can provide a price per point so that the County can qualify that the pricing is competitive. EDI, using their expertise, should also be able to tell the County that the vendor’s prices are in the right price range. Martin clarified that the mechanical contactor would subcontract the controllers. Heeter questioned whether the current system in the Government Center is the best system or most state-of-the-art. Hayes stated that he doesn’t know if it is the best system, however, the County has a lot of money invested in the current system. Buikema stated that there are several levels of compatibility; using the same manufacturer or using a different manufacturer whose system can communicate with the current system. He proposed requesting it as an alternate in the proposal package. The base bid would be for the current system, and the alternate would seek bids for a different system that can communicate with the current system. The alternate would encourage the bidder not to tack on a large profit margin and would give the County two options for selecting a price effective system. Sawatzke asked if other systems can be compatible. Buikema stated there is a possibility. Hayes stated that there may be a limited compatibility. Buikema stated that the worst case scenario would be that the Facility Manager would have two computer screens in front of him instead of one. One person would ultimately be running the two systems. Hayes stated that he thinks that the County will be moving towards central control of all buildings. Hayes stated that he thought staff would be pursuing a facility director to be involved in the process within the near future. Sawatzke stated that it would make sense to have a person on-site. Hayes stated that this position won’t necessarily have the expertise of a building maintenance employee; however every organization has a Facility Director, whereas Wright County does not. Buikema suggested asking KKE’s mechanical engineer to attend the Building Committee Meeting on 7-31-07 to provide an educated discussion as to what the County’s options are and what “compatibility” means. It is of the essence to get competitive bids even if there isn’t any other system that is compatible with the County’s current system. The alternate could be comparable and may even be able to communicate with the current system. Sawatzke stated that it will be interesting to see the price variance, as the price may be the determinate whether the County continues with the same system or takes on a more state-of-the-art system. Hayes asked if the Jail/LEC will be designed to have the same card key system and if it will be part of the bid package. It costs approximately $2,000/door for the components to be installed and it would gain efficiency to put the system in during the construction phase. Buikema stated that he understands the intent is to have a compatible system so that there is one card making process. Sawatzke asked if there are any other vendors that sell/install the current card key system. Hayes stated no as Keri Systems is one of the major players in this field. Buikema stated that KKE will return to next week’s Owner’s Committee with answers to the above questions. Torfin asked if the meeting Heeter and Sawatzke had with the Highway Department on 7-23-07 has any bearing on today’s meeting. Sawatzke stated that those minutes will go to the Board on 7-31-07. Torfin stated that there is concern with the timeliness of getting the utilities on site. Streich stated that power poles will need to be placed along the west side of the road. Sawatzke confirmed that the County won’t need to purchase ROW. Torfin stated that the City of Buffalo will be completing their projects this Fall and does not want us to be one of their last projects on their list. Torfin stated that the City has been great to work with.
At Today’s County Board Meeting, on a motion by Sawatzke, second by Heeter, voted to approve the minutes and recommendation made by the Owner’s Committee. Mattson asked if the corrections that are recommended by the Commissioning Agent will be made at no charge. Cliff Buikema, KKE Architects, stated that commissioning is a quality control measure. The contractor is responsible, within his scope, to ensure that his portion of the project functions properly and as designed. The commissioning agent is going to perform inspections and tests to verify that each component works. If it is flawed, the contractor will fix it at no charge. Sawatzke stated that the private sector also hire commissioning agents for large construction projects. Heeter stated that Martin had cited 3M as a company she had worked with that had hired a commissioning agent. Motion carried 4-0. Russek asked Norman if the Board can approve the commissioning contract if it was not placed on the Agenda. Norman stated that it was part of the Owner’s Committee recommendation to the Board, however, it can be added to the 8-07-07 Board Agenda. Sawatzke stated that Eichelberg has not had an opportunity to discuss his concerns and felt that it would be best to discuss the contract at next week’s Board Meeting. Sawatzke asked Captain Gary Torfin if he could inform Willen that the Owner’s Committee has recommended approval of their commissioning contract for the 8-07-07 Board Meeting. (End of Owner’s Committee Minutes and discussion.)
Salkowski presented the recommendations of the Planning Commission for the Northeast Quadrant (NEQ) Land Use Plan and Maps and introduced Dan Jochum of SEH. Jochum thanked the Board for allowing SEH to work on this project. He stated that it is not often that he sees a governmental agency act as proactively as Wright County. He stated that he thinks the Plan is a good one and would welcome any of the Board’s questions. Salkowski provided a timeline overview of the NEQ process. The idea of putting together a plan started almost two years ago. In February, 2006, the first Task Force met. Since that time there have been several Public Hearings, Task Force Meetings and Workshops. Salkowski referenced the 75 page Plan document and stated that most citizens are concerned about the Plan Map which is a small significant factor to the Plan. Salkowski provided the last two pages of the 7-12-07 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes which discusses the final action on the Plan, the changes that took place and the recommendation to the Board. The Planning Commission has made revisions to the Plan and unanimously recommends approval of the Plan to the Board. Salkowski stated that the Plan document contains type-o’s, however the corrections won’t be made until the Plan is adopted by the County Board. The Plan Map is the final version as proposed by the Planning Commission.
Salkowski briefly touched on the changes that were made to the original Plan draft dated 3-08-07. The definition of “Aggregate Resources” was updated, changes were made to the Plan Map, and language specifics that belong in a zoning ordinance (i.e. home placement) were removed. The Plan is worded a little more generally. Salkowski stated that the Planning Commission had received a lot of comments on both viewpoints of having a Land Use Plan.
Sawatzke expressed appreciation for the efforts of everyone involved in the planning process. Sawatzke posed questions regarding the colors and their meaning on the Land Use Plan Map. Salkowski provided clarifications and described how the mapping software prioritizes annexation agreements that already exist when it assigns color to an area. It also follows property lines when assigning color. The Orderly Annexation Areas (OAA) should be transition areas. Salkowski described how he would rather not use double codes/colors in the Plan Map. Sawatzke questioned the land use codes/colors of the areas north of CSAH 37 including the land purchases made by the DNR. Sawatzke expressed concern for the area west of County Road 117 that is labeled brown for Aggregate Resources (AGR) when there are areas that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be acquiring within the labeled area. Ample discussion on the green areas for Resource Land (RES) north of CSAH 37 also took place. Russek stated that the colors on the Plan Map do not change or affect the use of the land.
Sawatzke stated that he doesn’t oppose the AGR labels, however he has had six property owners express concern that areas are being coded on the Plan Map that haven’t been officially defined yet. Sawatzke stated that he has been informed that an official aggregate resource study will be performed and questioned whether the land use should be defined at a later date after the study has been performed. Sawatzke stated that the study has been a concern of the property owners and he understands why. Sawatzke asked Salkowski why the County can’t complete the study prior to assigning parcels of land as AGR or Agricultural (AG). Russek stated that the property owners aren’t gaining or losing use of their land by waiting for the County to perform the study. Salkowski stated that he thinks that people are reading way too much into the Plan Map, however, he understands how a new “plan” can be frightening. The Plan simply highlights areas that have gravel or old/new mines. The Plan identifies areas that could potentially have gravel mined in the future. Salkowski reiterated that the Plan is for informational purposes only. The Plan discusses how zoning applies in each of the areas, however does not dictate what one can or cannot do on their property. Salkowski stated that the proposed study will mainly focus on environmental impacts (the benefit and detriment) of gravel mining as gravel mining is a controversial subject in Wright County. Gravel is critical to Wright County’s economy and the County cannot afford to ignore the impact of gravel mining.
Sawatzke stated that he believes the same goal can be achieved; the controversy is in the route that will be taken in order to achieve the same goal. Sawatzke stated that he is not comfortable labeling a map when there are “unknowns” still out there. Russek stated that the same goal can be achieved by leaving the Plan Map as-is because the color/code can be changed at a later date. The color/coding on the map will not affect the use of the land. Heeter commented that she’s heard from citizens that are concerned about the Plan because they don’t know what the rules are. Salkowski stated that the rules are clear within the zoning regulations.
The meeting was recessed at 3:08 P.M. and reconvened at 3:19 P.M. Eichelberg was not present.
Salkowski stated that in addition to the Plan Map, there are a set of policies on pages 49-51 of the NEQ Land Use Plan. The implementation stage discusses the transitional area north of CSAH 37 along Pelican Lake. The Plan is mainly informational, a guide for the County’s future. Salkowski stated that he understands Sawatzke’s concerns, however, the Plan is not as unclear as some people think it is. Russek stated that changing zoning requirements from 1 for 40 to 1 for 20 would be a completely separate battle not related to the adoption of the Plan. Salkowski reminded the Board that a plan cannot be created until lines are put on a map.
Mattson stated that he thought Planning and Zoning was working well prior to seeing this Plan. He stated that he viewed the DNR map for the rural residential areas and noted that the area is very rich in aggregate. Mattson noted the map doesn’t hold any significance to him because he feels the County is operating well as-is. Mattson stated that he has approximately 40 acres of rich wheat crop on top of gravel. Mattson stated that he is not happy with the Plan. Salkowski stated that he has heard from another Township Officer who identifies with Mattson. The Officer does not want a Land Use Plan. On the other hand, there are several townships in Commissioner Heeter’s district that want something done. Salkowski stated that if a township doesn’t want development, there is no reason for the County to push any more development. The County is supportive of those townships that want to stay AG and don’t want to see growth. Mattson stated that he doesn’t have a problem with the gravel mining, he does not like the result. Sawatzke stated that he is in support of the environmental study.
Sawatzke asked what Salkowski’s first step will be in proceeding with the aggregate study. Salkowski stated that the first step is meeting with the Board, operators, cities and townships about funding and then deciding with the Board how the County wants to proceed. There are two areas of consideration: determining policy (change the way the County regulates mining) and performing an environmental study. This is an expensive process leading to a lengthier Plan document. He stated, the County knows that gravel mining will be an issue in the NW Quadrant. Heeter asked if a moratorium would be placed on gravel mining if the County were to place an AUAR in that area. Salkowski stated that a formal AUAR could lead to a moratorium on certain items, however he has not done research to determine the effects of an AUAR.
Sawatzke made a motion to approve the Plan in its entirety with the exception of the Plan Map. The Plan Map is to be colorless in the areas north of CSAH 37, and be removed from the Resource Land (RES) designation, and the coloring be removed from the map to the areas marked AGR, noting that the coloring will be changed following the completion of future studies. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Russek stated that he feels the AGR coloring should remain in the areas north of CSAH 37. Salkowski cautioned the Board that the 75 pages of policy, paired with a colorless Map, will define a district that does not exist. Sawatzke stated that it is not his intent to stop aggregate mining; however he doesn’t feel that the County has done its homework. He stated that he is not opposed to the concept of the Plan, however feels it is premature. Salkowski stated that it would be useful to adopt the Plan Map as-is and then in a separate motion, before any further regulations are adopted, require a meeting with the Monticello Township Board and the land owners in that area to make clarifications.
Salkowski stated that if people don’t know what the effects of the Plan mean, then it’s the County’s fault for not explaining it better. Salkowski added that if people think that a whole new set of regulations are being set because of this Plan, they are mistaken. Salkowski stated that he recommends leaving the Plan Map as-is as it defeats a lot of the Planning Commission’s work and the purpose of the work. Sawatzke stated that he disagrees with Salkowski’s statement and stated he has an issue with adopting a number of policies addressing how the County should proceed. Sawatzke stated that the County is immediately going to perform a study to hammer out the changes. Salkowski stated that the study that is being proposed is not for the purpose of making regulation changes, it is to study the impact of the gravel mining.
The motion passed 3-1 (Russek cast the nay vote).
Heeter stated that she appreciates all the work that went into the construction of the Plan and commended the Planning Commission. She stated that in her opinion, the brown (AGR) means the same as the white (AG) color codes. Gravel mining is a huge issue and she advocates that the County do the study before determining the color on the Plan Map.
The Northeast Quadrant (NEQ) Land Use Plan is a document approximately 75 pages long which includes numerous color maps and cannot be practically published as part of these minutes. Copies are available online at the Wright County website or for purchase from the Wright County Office of Planning and Zoning. The primary purpose of the plan is to designate future land use districts for the townships of Buffalo, Monticello and Rockford, which will serve as a guide for the application of official controls by Wright County.
Mattson presented the 7-25-07 Purchasing Steering Committee minutes and recommendations. Discussion and action at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
I. CREDIT CARD POLICY/USE. Gooler distributed information compiled by the Auditor/Treasurer (attached). This includes a credit card use policy, a summary of State Statutes, other specific practices from the State Auditor’s Office, a copy of the McLeod County Credit Card Policy, and an article on credit card purchases by the City of Colorado. Gooler said discussion is prompted by the opinion from the State Auditor’s Office that a credit card policy needs to be developed and adopted by the Wright County Board. Currently, the County holds credit cards at Wal-Mart, Sears, for fuel for County vehicles, and for telephone calls. DeMars stated Human Services would like to expand their ability to purchase on credit to include purchases through the Internet. Most purchasing needs are met by the current system. However, Human Services has a client base where unique things need to be purchased (medical or specialized apparatus that is not available locally). Although these can be purchased through medical suppliers, it can be less expensive to buy directly. Kelly explained that occasionally, the Attorney’s Office is required to provide lodging for witnesses and a credit card would provide options for situations which arise on short notice. MacMillan referenced the article he provided on savings realized in Colorado by purchasing on credit (potentially through discounts, rebates, and a reduction in time/paperwork). Hayes contacted Klein Bank and the County could obtain a single credit card at no cost if the balance were paid monthly. He envisioned a $5,000 limit. Norman referenced the Statement of Position on Credit Card Use and Policies from the State Auditor’s Office which reflects “claims presented for payment must be in writing and itemized. Bills received from a credit card company lack sufficient detail to comply with these statutory requirements. As a result, entities using credit cards must have the invoices and receipts needed to support the items charged in the bill from the credit card company.” Hayes felt that Wright County’s policy could be modeled after Stearns County, which requires the use of a requisition and purchase order. Hayes could hold one credit card which would allow a faster process than when something is purchased by check. Part of the reason for centralized purchasing is to identify good sources and to negotiate discounts. The cost to generate a purchase order is about $200 so employees are discouraged from purchasing $20 items unless they are through vendors such as Office Depot. With use of public funding, there needs to be a record reflecting controlled purchases. This is also for the protection of employees. Recommendation: Norman, Hayes, Hiivala and Asleson will draft a credit card policy for review at a future Committee Meeting.
At Today’s County Board Meeting, on a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, voted to approve the recommendations made by the Personnel Committee. Motion carried 4-0. (End of Purchasing Steering Committee Minutes and discussion.)
Albertville Body Shop Inc. $1,081.04
Allina Occ Med 375.00
American Instit. Supply 508.88
Ameripride Linen & Apparel 288.46
Ancom Technical Center 405.55
Apec Ind. Sales & Service 412.16
Aramark Corr. Services 11,142.76
Assn. of MN Emerg. Mngrs. 125.00
Auto Glass Center Inc. 486.96
Barnes Distribution 955.76
Batteries Plus 138.00
Buffalo Hospital 10,500.00
Burdas Towing 374.87
Bureau of Crim. Apprehen. 120.00
Business Ware Solutions 525.48
Center Point Energy 1,060.41
Centra Sota Co-op-Buffalo 127.48
Centra Sota Lake Region 25,934.65
Climate Air 212.47
CPS Technology Solutions 262.00
E Central Reg. Juvenile 4,825.00
EPA Audio Visual Inc. 632.44
D. Fehn Gravel & Exc. 649,180.83
Gateway Companies Inc. 7,286.73
Granite Electronics 2,524.05
Hardings Towing Inc. 402.88
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,696.32
Interstate All Battery Ctr. 1,424.79
Junction Towing/Auto Repair 138.45
Lund Industries Inc. 189.40
Marco Inc. 3,926.24
The Metro Group Inc. 2,362.17
Mid-Minn. Hot Mix Inc. 48,478.92
MN Counties Ins. Trust 389.00
MN Sheriffs Assoc. 650.00
Nagell Appraisal & Cons. 1,050.00
Office Depot 1,648.69
Timothy Pippo 123.42
Plansight LLC 5,710.00
Fred Pryor Seminars 299.00
Redwood Biotech Inc. 188.75
Rhodes Lock & Glass 145.00
RS Eden 1,082.10
Ryan Chevrolet 560.37
Shell Fleet Plus 361.74
Software House International 170.40
Specialty Turf & Ag 405.23
St. Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc. 662.23
Star Tribune 819.20
State of MN-Office Enterprise 965.00
Stumpf Acoustics 390.00
Sylva Corp. ONC 1,405.80
Tech Depot 2,251.02
Total Printing 103.84
United States Plastic Corp. 139.52
Verizon Wireless 247.02
Walmart Community BRC 210.03
Walmart Store 01-1577 339.59
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 39,209.32
Wright Henn. Co-op Elec. 110.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 743.13
Xcel Energy 2,622.25
Zee Service Company 222.59
21 Payments less than $100 1,093.80
Final total $857,511.90
The meeting adjourned at 3:52 P.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 20, 2007.