Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 26, 2008
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
Heeter moved to approve the minutes of 2-19-08, seconded by Russek. Mattson understood that the Owner’s Committee would be discussing the $44,000 Dayroom Stairs change order for to the Jail/LEC project. Sawatzke explained that this change order discussion is reflected in the Owner’s Committee minutes of 2-12-08 and was reported back to the Board on 2-19-08. The motion to approve the minutes carried 5-0.
Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Kowalczyk, Atty.; L. Huber, Hwy.; K. Mass, Sher./Corr.; M. Pooler, Surv.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 2-08-08.
1. Approve 2008 Seasonal Beer License For St. Mary Of Czestochowa Church (Franklin Twp.).
2. Approve 2008 Tobacco License Renewals: Snyder Drug Store (#5032 (Monticello City); Olson’s Truck Stop (Silver Creek Twp.).
1. Authorize Unpaid Personal Leave To Newly Employed Deputy Due To Family Medical Condition.
1. Authorize Signature On Contract With Merrick And Company For The 2008 Aerial Photography And LiDAR Project.
2. Refer To Personnel Committee RE: Surveyor Department Re-Organization.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. The January through December Guidelines were recently distributed also but have already been amended. Hiivala said the General Fund was at 99% of budget for the year and felt it had been a good year. Heeter moved to approve the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced the comment by Hiivala indicating that it was a good year at 99% of budget. He felt that it was nice to see a good year but didn’t support charging fees to stay ahead of the curve. Hiivala clarified that his comment referred to departments staying within their budgets. Some revenues actually were over budget. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala asked for approval of the MCCC Joint Powers Agreement and Amendment. The Agreement was originally presented to the Board on 7-17-07. The Board requested language changes in the Liability section of the Agreement. The Addendum addresses those concerns. Mattson asked Richard Norman, County Coordinator, whether he was serving on the MCIT Board of Directors at the time this Agreement was discussed. Norman stated he was on the Board when it was agreed to look at it. He assumed MCCC worked with MCIT on the language changes. Hiivala affirmed this was the case. Russek moved to authorize signatures on the Joint Powers Agreement and the Amendment. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Hiivala brought forth discussion on the Fairgrounds Property rental contract with Craig Gruenhagen for tillable land. Gruenhagen contacted the Auditor/Treasurer’s office with a request for a three-year extension of the contract. The current contract runs through 2008 (2006, 2007, 2008 contract). Gruenhagen needs to order chemicals ahead of time and would like to know whether the County was willing to enter into another three-year agreement. Dennis Beise, Wright County Fair Board, said the Fair Board is asking that the County proceed with the contract on a one-year basis. This would accommodate possible future use of the land by the Fair Board. One project that is forthcoming is the need to place clay in front of the footings at the grandstand. There is the possibility that dirt may be obtained through the City of Howard Lake with one of their upcoming projects. Otherwise, Beise explained the Fair Board may want to utilize clay from a portion of the land rented to Gruenhagen. Beise also suggested that if the County continues with land rental at this location that they accept bids. This would be the process used for other properties owned by Wright County. Mattson questioned the use of the land by the Fair Board and how not renting it may impact the budget. The land rental contract generates income, which is budgeted. He inquired as to how that funding would be replaced. Beise was unsure but said the Fair Board does not want the land tied up for another four years. He estimated land values at $185-$200/acre in the Howard Lake area. Mattson felt it would be okay to seek bids for land rental. He suggested that the County Board walk the area to make sure they are comfortable with the possible use of the land by the Fair Board. Beise added that the County could realize some revenue from the hay taken from the land as well. He estimated that Gruenhagen was able to farm 3-4 crops of hay last year. Beise said the project involving the clay would not be done this year. They previously discovered the clay when they tiled by the dairy barn. After further discussion, Heeter moved to refer this issue to the Ways & Means Committee. Eichelberg indicated that the Fair Board should be notified when this meeting will occur. Sawatzke requested that when the meeting occurs the current contract should be available for review. The motion was seconded by Russek. It was clarified that the meeting will occur sometime in June. The motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, requested the Board ratify a three-year Maintenance & Support Agreement between ACS and MCCC for CAMA USA (through 12-31-11). CAMA USA is the software package used to value real and personal property and has been used in the Assessor’s Office since about 1996. Prior to the Manatron project, this was included in the MCCC contract with the tax system as a package expense. Staff feels this is the best option. The cost over a three-year period is $33,108. If approved, the expense will be budgeted from Professional Services for the period of 2009-2012. Kramber stated extensive research was performed on other CAMA systems and the proposed is the most reasonable. To change would also result in additional training costs. The document has been reviewed by other counties within MCCC, the Attorney’s Office, and MCIT. Bill Swing, IT Director, supports the request. Sawatzke said the cost of this was previously included in the MCCC Agreement for the tax system. He asked whether those costs will go down. Kramber stated that ACS is restructuring. They previously had as many as 60-70 counties under their tax system. ACS is not involved as much and so this is not included in the new contract. Any counties going with CAMA USA will experience an additional fee. Hiivala stated that CAMA has always been part of the tax program. With the move to Manatron, they are extending the CAMA portion of it. They have always paid for CAMA support. Although he did not have the associated costs available, he felt the costs were close to what they had always been paying. A contract needs to be signed specifically with CAMA. In response to Eichelberg, Kramber said the County will experience a better rate with a three-year contract. Sawatzke moved to approve the Maintenance and Support Agreement between ACS and MCCC for CAMA USA. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
At the last County Board Meeting, bids were opened for the Jail/LEC Voice & Data Network Systems. Today, Bill Swing, IT Director, presented an overview of the proposal evaluation and assessment process which was performed by staff from Sheriff/Jail, IT, and EDI Consultant Rick Sorenson. The process involved cost (50%); quality of service (20%); contractor integrity, experience and strength (20%); and configuration and integration capabilities (10%). Bids were received from Collins Communications, $559,339.42; Spectrum Solutions, $529,340.36; and Verizon, $540,122.23. The final scores based on the evaluation and assessment were as follows: Collins Communiations-73, Spectrum Solutions-90.5, and Verizon Business Systems-75.5. Swing said the recommendation is to proceed with Spectrum Solutions. He would like to continue negotiating the contract with Spectrum Solutions, involving the Attorney’s Office and Purchasing. He would then bring the revised contract to the Owner’s Committee at their next meeting. Most of the discussion will relate to options. Sawatzke moved to authorize Swing to negotiate with Spectrum Solutions on the Agreement with the final recommendation to be presented to the Owner’s Committee. Sawatzke felt to award the bid to Spectrum at this time may make negotiations more challenging. Competitive bids were received for this project. Sawatzke referenced the “Notes” section which reflects, “It is anticipated that the cost of option 5, on-demand recording, will not exceed $32,000 ($36,742 lower) once negotiations have been completed.” Sawatzke said the bid reflects $68,000 but the note reflects $32,000. Swing explained that the on-demand recording was bid for all phones but did not feel this was appropriate. The bids received were not comparable on that proposed option. Collins Communications did not bid this option. The motion was seconded by Mattson. It was noted that approval of the 3-04-08 Owner’s Committee Minutes will not occur until the 3-11-08 County Board Meeting. Swing felt the timing should work well with A&P’s schedule. The motion carried 5-0.
At 9:30 A.M., Eichelberg closed the bid process for the 2008 Overlays (CP 86-36-082; CP 86-39-082; CP 86-42-082; CP 86-42-0822; CP 86-113-082; CP 86-148-082; and Clearwater/Pleasant County Parks Alternate Bid CP 86-766-08). Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, explained there are two alternates. Alternate 1 relates to the Clearwater/Pleasant Lake Access and Alternate 2 is for the Braddock Avenue Improvement (CR 148 project near the Jail/LEC). The project budget is $2.4 million and includes the base bid. The CR 148 project is not included in the budget and is set up to fit in with the timing of the work on the parking lot. The project has one addendum relating to pavement striping and mobilization. Three bids were received:
Bidder; Bid Bond; Addendum 1; Alternate 1; Alternate 2; Base Bid
Duininck Brothers; Yes; Acknowledged; $18,545.00; $124,722.67; $2,621,203.75
Knife River; Yes; Acknowledged; $16,447.59; $128,594.26; $2,604,764.43
Hard Drives; Yes; Acknowledged; $19,622.00; $130,833.00; $2,541,816.70
Fingalson requested the bids be laid over to the next meeting for recommendation. In the meantime, he will discuss Alternate 1 with the Parks Administrator. Alternate 2 is not included in the budget so another funding source will have to be determined. He felt possibly the Capital Improvement Fund. Russek moved to lay the bids over for one week for recommendation. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
At 9:45 A.M., Eichelberg closed the regular meeting for a Public Hearing on the Bertram Chain of Lakes Non-Metro Regional Park Grant. Mark Mattice, Parks Administrator, said the Public Hearing is part of a grant application process through the Local Grants Program for Non-Metro Regional Parks. The grant is an attempt to secure funds for the acquisition of the Bertram Chain of Lakes. The land is currently owned by the YMCA of Minneapolis and used for day camp operations. The acquisition area is in Monticello Township and encompasses four undeveloped lakes (Bertram, Long, Mud and First), covering about 1200 acres of land and water. If successful, Wright County and the City of Monticello will work towards establishing a Regional Park. The purchase is contingent upon State funding, as well as a local match from the County and City. If State participation is successful, it is the intent that the purchase will be completed by the end of 2008. The total proposed price for the Bertram Chain of Lakes is $20.5 million. The grant request is for 9 million with the remaining balance to be split between the County and City. The County’s share of this local match would have about a $7/year impact on a home valued at $200,000. The City has done a similar cost relationship for their share of the local costs associated with this purchase. Future costs associated with this project will include facility development, operations, and maintenance. Once the acquisition is completed, the County and City will be soliciting input in regard to recreational activities and facility development. If the facility is developed and staffed to the fullest, including campgrounds, it is anticipated that annual operating and maintenance costs may be around $125,000/year, with possible revenue of $100,000. Sawatzke cited Mattice’s efforts on this project and said he has done a spectacular job working with the State of Minnesota, the Legislature, the Legislative committees, and various other bodies to move this project into a position where it may happen. He felt this was due, to a great extent, to Mattice’s effort.
The Public Hearing was closed at 9:51 A.M. and the regular meeting convened. Mattice requested adoption of a local government resolution authorizing him to submit the grant for the local units of government, apply to the Department of Natural Resources for funding, and to execute agreements to implement the project. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #08-11, seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson questioned if the grant is approved, would the County be obligated to purchase the property. Sawatzke said the purchase agreement has not been officially signed. The County has agreed in principle to some general terms. Mattice said the County Attorney and City Attorney have received a purchase agreement back from the YMCA with some redlined items. They continue to work on the language. It will be presented to the Board and City Council to authorize signatures on a purchase agreement in the near future. Sawatzke said once the purchase agreement has been signed and the $9 million is received, the County would be bound to make the purchase. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 2-19-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following corrections were made to the Minutes: Page 1, 1st paragraph, 4th line should read, “However, she felt there was an apparent lack of trust by the Township and County” (Heeter); Page 3, 3rd paragraph, 3rd line should read, “Mattson was happy to see this happen, with the idea that if it was done in Corinna it could be done elsewhere” (Mattson); Page 3, last paragraph, 11th line should read, “Jude said Corinna Township was watching what happened in Southside Township as well” (Mattson); Page 5, 2nd paragraph, 4th line, should read, “She previously asked the same question of Dick Naaktgeboren, Corinna Township Supervisor, who said the County has to come out of the 1980’s” (Heeter); Page 5, 4th paragraph, 3rd line should read, “Sawatzke stated that Marohn is a consulting planner in Emily” (Sawatzke); Page 5, 4th paragraph, 3rd line, sentence should read, “There is an area in Emily that has a proposed sub-division with many 1-acre lots in the rural preservation area” (Sawatzke); Page 5, 4th paragraph, 4th line should read, “Sawatzke was apprehensive of rural preservation or similar terms” (Sawatzke). Russek referred to the comment made by Dearing at the Committee Meeting that it took two weeks to obtain a building permit last summer. Since the meeting, Russek learned that it only took four days because of a computer system update in the Planning & Zoning Office. Otherwise the permit would have been issued the same day. Heeter did not want the public to misunderstand that issue. She said that of the seven building permits Dearing received since 1994, five of them were issued the same day or the next day, one was issued in three days because he applied on a Friday and got it on Monday, and the last one took four days as the office was updating to a new computer program. She said it does not take two weeks as a rule or 4-5 trips to Buffalo. Russek moved to approve the minutes with the changes and the recommendations. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0:
Discussion With Corinna Township Board RE: Planning & Zoning.
Heeter thanked the Township for attending and said it was a long, overdue meeting. She understood from Chuck Marohn’s previous presentation that dialogue has been occurring for three years and the two Boards have never had an opportunity to discuss the issue. Heeter hoped this was the beginning of more productive dialogue. However, she felt there was an apparent lack of trust by the Township and County. Heeter presented three issues that she felt needed attention:
1. The Township has made it clear that they would like to do their own Planning & Zoning in a more restrictive manner. In that case, Heeter said the County was willing to assist.
2. Through letters from Chuck Marohn, it is conveyed that the Township would like complete autonomy in the shoreland areas. Heeter explained that no matter what is decided tonight or in the future, Corinna Township will always be a part of Wright County. The County’s Planning & Zoning will always be the ultimate planning authority. Complete autonomy will probably not happen.
3. There has been a lack of coordination and communication. In the Townships Comprehensive Plan, it reflects the Township will work with Wright County. This has not happened for whatever reason. The Township has hired Community Growth Institute to assist.
Heeter felt a partnership could be formed and the Township could work with the County to become more restrictive. Corinna Township could become a model in this regard. She reiterated the need to address the three issues and conveyed that she would like this to be the beginning of more lengthy dialogue.
Dearing referenced lack of communication and did not feel this was on the Township’s part. The Township’s lawyers attempted to schedule a meeting with the Planning Commission in December. Six dates were given initially, followed by another six dates, and the County was unable to meet. Heeter said she was unaware of this. She made the suggestion previously that the County meet with the Township and that is what is happening today. With regard to the transfer of documents between the County and Township, Dearing said there is probably some fault on both sides. He said the last time the Township sent information, it was done so by registered letter. The County still indicates that they have not gotten the documents. Russek said the County Board just received a copy of what was sent by Marohn on 2-11-08. Dearing replied that there was other documentation requested by the County and a letter was signed indicating it had been received.
Russek stated that the County must confirm the Township is ready to take over their Planning & Zoning. Otherwise, lawsuits may arise and the County would be involved as well. Russek cautioned the Township that lawsuits do arise. The County has a full-time Attorney working on Planning & Zoning issues. Heeter understood the Township wants to be more restrictive than the County but could not understand why the Township would want to hire additional staff to do so. The County currently has staff for these functions. The County can assist the Township in becoming more restrictive. However, she felt a responsibility to taxpayers to avoid having them pay for the same services twice. Dearing referenced Otsego and other townships and said those areas are paying twice. Russek said they have the same option. If Corinna Township desires to do their own Planning & Zoning, they have the right to do so. However, the County’s Planning & Zoning Office still will need to be involved.
Sawatzke recognized that townships are allowed to do their own Planning & Zoning as long as their process is as strict or more strict than the County’s. He asked about the goal of Corinna Township. Dearing said the plan is to be as restrictive as the County on some issues and more restrictive on others. Sawatzke referenced the couple years of planning and debate and asked what areas would be more restrictive than the County. Dearing said one area would be with gravel. The Township would like better control of what happens in a PUD. He referenced a 40-acre property that was recently annexed into Annandale. He felt if a deed restriction had been placed on the property, the City would not have been as eager to annex. Now residents will have light industry in their back yards when they felt it would be a 29-acre field. The Township desires better control. Russek stated that annexation will happen whether the County or the Township is in charge of Planning & Zoning. The County has no control over what is annexed into a City. If a property is zoned agricultural in the County’s Plan, it will also be zoned the same in the Township’s Plan. The Township will have the same problems with annexation and will not be able to stop annexation by doing their own Planning & Zoning. Dearing did not feel a PUD should have been allowed in that area. There are now lots that do not fit in with Annandale either. Russek said the Planning Commission always asks for a recommendation from the Township in these matters. Dearing was sure the Township did make a recommendation, but at that time they felt the 29 acres would be open.
Eichelberg felt communication seemed to be an issue at the forefront. He was unsure whether it could be resolved at this meeting. He felt individual incidences were being brought up today with no discussion on resolution. He suggested the formation of a group represented by 1-2 members from the Township Board, one member from Planning & Zoning, and 1-2 County Board members. The group could meet and discuss key issues.
Jude questioned whether there are copies of items that the County has requested and not received. Eichelberg could not answer for the Planning & Zoning Office. Heeter said she could obtain a list of the information desired. Heeter echoed Eichelberg, stating she was not a planning expert. She understood there were concerns about the readiness and ability to hand over the jurisdiction of shoreland areas. As stated previously, she did not feel the Township would receive complete autonomy for shoreland. She felt there are trust and motive issues. Heeter has heard from constituents that seem to think once Corinna Township takes over Planning & Zoning, they will be able to develop land. She has conveyed this to the Township before and it concerns her. Jude said they have heard those same comments and informed people that this will not happen. Corinna Township intends to be as restrictive or more restrictive. They would like to work with the County when it comes to being more restrictive. He referenced the parcel by Annandale that was annexed into the City and asked about control of the parcel. Russek explained that when a property is annexed into a City, the City has control of it. The County cannot stop the process and neither can the Township. Dearing asked whether there were other legal means to change this. Sawatzke asked Salkowski to respond to the question. Salkowski said there is not a process under the current County or Township Ordinances. If the owner voluntarily agrees to never develop the land, a deed restriction is possible. This was not discussed when the plat was approved many years ago.
Heeter felt time has not been spent by the Township to identify how Wright County’s Planning & Zoning operates. For example, she questioned how the Township would obtain addresses to mail variance notices. The Township will be required to work in partnership with the County. She did not feel the attempt has been made to get things in order and was uncomfortable handing the process off, knowing there is the potential that the County could receive the authority back in the future.
Mattson previously served on the Marysville Township Board. During that time, constituents asked that the Township provide Planning & Zoning services. Upon checking into the cost, they dropped the issue. Corinna Township previously imposed a moratorium on gravel. Mattson was happy to see this happen, with the idea that if it was done in Corinna in could be done elsewhere. However, Corinna lifted the moratorium and sold gravel. Mattson was disheartened with this action as he felt they were moving in the right direction. Jude explained the Township’s attorney indicated the moratorium could be imposed for only so long. After one year, they either had to remove it or impose it for another year. There is currently no moratorium on gravel in Corinna Township. Mattson said the County previously had a moratorium on the landfill. A complete study was performed and not just for the landfill. He questioned whether the Township had documentation outlining a study. Jude said they did have one. Sawatzke requested that the County be provided with this documentation.
Jude agreed with the position Salkowski has taken in the past, that there is gravel only in certain parts of the County and that it must be used wisely or not much will be accomplished. Jude said Corinna Township is based around water. The gravel moratorium slowed things up as far as opening pits and closing them as quickly as possible. He felt that the Township would have been in trouble with the Hwy. 24 project if the gravel was not available for the project. Mattson referenced the action by the Township to lift the moratorium. He had concern that if other restrictions were imposed by the Township that they may also be lifted. He did not have a major problem with the Township performing their own Planning & Zoning, but he said there is the potential the County could receive this authority back at some time. Mattson said there were residents in his District that were concerned with gravel pits being reclaimed properly instead of becoming junk yards. Jude said Corinna Township was watching what happened in Southside Township as well. That is why they felt something needed to be done with gravel and aggregate mining. They wanted some restrictions to slow things down.
Eichelberg inquired who would be hired for sewer inspections, building inspections, and whether those hired had the necessary qualifications. Dearing and Jude responded that this is outlined in the documentation from Marohn on 2-11-08. Eichelberg said this was a question brought forward from Planning & Zoning. As he is not part of the Planning Commission, he is unsure whether those listed meet the credentials required. Sawatzke said those listed are licensed so it would be assumed they would have the proper credentials.
Sawatzke referenced the correspondence dated 2-11-08 from Marohn which outlines responses to the 40 questions posed by the Planning & Zoning Department. He also referenced the memorandum from Salkowski to the County Board dated 2-19-08. The memo from Salkowski reflects the action suggested by staff, “. . . to direct staff to inform the MN DNR that Corinna Township and its consultant CGI have failed to demonstrate to the Wright County Board that their proposed ordinance and administration are at least as restrictive as the County’s.” Sawatzke said that does not point to any one area but speaks in general about the Township’s capability compared to the County’s; specifically as it relates to the statement of what the County is supposed to look at when making the decision. He referenced page 7 of the 2-19-08 memorandum, Shoreland Regulations, Statement of Needs and Reasonableness, which states,
“Counties and cities are the primary planning and zoning authorities in the state with few exceptions. Townships have exerted their authority to zone in a number of instances, some with a great deal of success and others with very little success when measured against the purposes of the shoreland program. The problem with the zoning authority of townships is an issue of capability and accountability. . . [T]ownships in general are not managing their shoreland programs as effectively as counties. . . . In most instances, rural townships do not have the financial capabilities to administer an ordinance meeting statewide standards. . . . The [proposed shoreland] rule would require a township to demonstrate to the county that the township ordinance is at least as restrictive as the county’s and that the township has equal or greater capability, staffing, expertise and financial capability, to administer the program.”
Sawatzke said when he reads what the Township intends to do and compares that to what he knows the County’s Planning & Zoning Office does, he felt it was a very high bar to reach and did not feel the Township could meet it. He favored discussion more in line with the opinion contained within the Conclusion section on page 10, “If, on the other hand, Corinna would care to discuss the proposal that the County Board has made for partnership and true cooperation, we seem to be near acceptance of such a proposal by Stockholm Township, discussions with Middleville are promising, and it would certain make sense to craft a uniform partnership agreement that will work for all three townships.” Sawatzke supported spending time and negotiating toward creating a partnership. He felt this would be more successful than another avenue. Based upon the language of the State, he did not feel he could vote for action that states Corinna Township can do this as well as the County. He did not feel Corinna Township has met the intent of the State’s rules.
Heeter asked Dearing whether he felt the Township would be willing to be in partnership or whether it was an all or nothing situation. Dearing replied it was all or nothing. Sawatzke viewed this approach as a problem. Heeter and Russek agreed. Eichelberg again suggested a meeting comprised of a couple representatives from each Board and a Planning & Zoning member.
Heeter questioned whether the Township would be interested in talking about issues and concerns. She previously asked Dearing why he felt the Township should perform their own Planning & Zoning. His response was that people have to come to Buffalo 4-5 times to obtain a building permit. She previously asked the same question of Dick Naaktgeboren, Corinna Township Supervisor, who said the County has to come out of the 1980’s. Jude’s response to the same question was that the Township is unique. She again posed the question to Dearing on whether the Township was interested in working together on issues. Dearing’s response was that last summer, it took two weeks to obtain a simple building permit. He did not feel that made sense. He thought he should be able to obtain it the day he came to the County. There are no inspections or review of plans involved. He understood the holdup had to do with obtaining signatures on the documents. Heeter said the County needs to know whether the Township is interested in working with the County. This is a huge project and a costly undertaking. It is one thing to pay the planner and inspectors. It is another thing when the first lawsuit arises and there are legal fees associated.
Jude referenced the question of “all or nothing.” He supported working toward the common good. The Township would eventually like more control over their destiny. There may be special needs in their Township. He said the County has very legitimate concerns. He did not consider the Township to be experts but felt they had a good plan. He suggested the County may want to do something similar. To answer the question of whether it is an all or nothing situation, the answer would be yes and no. With the County’s permission, they would like control more in their hands.
Sawatzke referenced the initial plan drafted by Marohn (Community Growth Institute). In the plan, an area was labeled as rural preservation. Jude said the rural preservation area scared the Township for a long time. Sawatzke stated that Marohn is a consulting planner in Emily. There is an area in Emily that has a proposed subdivision with many 1-acre lots in the rural preservation area. Sawatzke was apprehensive of rural preservation or similar terms.
In his perspective, that was not preservation. Jude agrees with the 1 per 40 and 2 per 40 concept. His dream, and he felt it was the Township Planning Commission’s dream, would be to cluster in corners. The rest would remain rural. Sawatzke said the County is currently doing this. Jude referenced the 27 acres by Annandale that was sold to residential people. They were not told they would be backed up to commercial property. Russek said that is what happens at the Planning Commission level and will happen for the Township as well. Sawatzke said many times, owners of lots own a percent of open space. It could be required through Ordinance that it remains that way, if this is the desire of the Township. Russek said they generally ask for this. If it doesn’t get tied into the plat that the open space is part of everyone’s lot, the person owning it can sell it.
Heeter asked Dearing if he would be willing to dialogue on something in between solely doing their own planning and being willing to partner. Jude said that ultimately, it would be the Township’s plan with the County’s graces. He supported sitting down in a smaller group. Dearing said the County wants to keep control of all permits, therefore realizing the revenue. He felt it was about the County not wanting to give up the revenue. He referenced a comment on the bottom of the 2008 County Planning & Zoning budget that reflects the budget would be impacted if Corinna Township did their own Planning & Zoning. He asked whether this was a big concern. Heeter responded it should be a concern to Dearing as he is a taxpayer. Sawatzke clarified that the notation made on the budget was to draw attention that the income projection for fees was down $100,000 from the year before. This is sizeable enough where it impacts the budget. He felt an even larger issue as it relates to Planning & Zoning is what is left for future societies, much more important than the money factor. Heeter said that the fees collected only cover 40% of the costs associated with administering Planning & Zoning.
Eichelberg said the suggested meeting would be a forum where they may be able to come to resolution on issues. The County would not make a final decision at the meeting. It would be considered an open meeting and minutes may be taken. Jude said they do want to discuss this for a better understanding of what each side wants to do. However, the County should understand they want to retain some control. He supported meeting as a smaller group and not taking questions from those who may attend.
Dearing asked whether the questions asked by Salkowski in his earlier correspondence were answered. Heeter said she had not reviewed them individually. Eichelberg referenced the correspondence from Salkowski to the Board dated 2-19-08 which reflects that some of the questions were answered. Dearing said the Township recently received additional questions.
It was agreed that Russek and Heeter would meet with the Township in the smaller group. Heeter was interested and willing to do this as long as the Township was willing to work on a partnership. Jude said if they can work together, that is what they are after. Sawatzke supported this type of meeting provided the goal is to fashion an agreement similar to what is being done with other townships, to give the Township more of a role than what Corinna feels they have. There cannot be a County system and three separate township systems; there needs to be some consistency or problems occur with administration. Dearing said it sounded like the County will take authority away from Middleville and Stockholm Townships. Sawatzke said Salkowski would be better able to answer that. There are various aspects they are working on with the Townships. Heeter said the one difference is that the County is in dialogue with those Townships. Dearing said he has been in contact with the Middleville and Stockholm Township Board members who indicated they have not been contacted by the County. Sawatzke questioned Salkowski on who he has been in contact with at the Township level. Salkowski indicated most of his conversations have been with Byron Sangren (Stockholm Township Board Chair), Leonard Wozniak, and Joey Berg (Middleville Township Clerk). They have met 1-2 times at the Middleville Township Hall. The Townships want to see what happens with Corinna Township before they commit. Salkowski said the County has a good relationship with those townships.
Heeter asked whether the Township Annual Meeting will contain discussion on the budget related to administering Planning & Zoning. Jude said the Township has line items in their budget for this purpose. If this issue is not brought up on the floor, a report will be given on the status. Heeter asked whether Jude feels the majority of people in Corinna Township feel the Township should be in charge of their Planning & Zoning. Jude said this is what is reflected in the phone calls they receive. Jude stated that for the meeting today, the Township requested that their planning staff and legal staff not attend. At the next meeting, he felt planners should be in attendance. He did not feel legal counsel was needed.
Recommendation: Schedule a meeting to further discuss Corinna Township’s desire to administer their own Planning & Zoning. Representatives at the meeting will include two County Board members (Heeter and Russek), 1-2 Corinna Township Board members, and their respective Planning & Zoning, and support staff. The goal is to continue to try to resolve issues.
(End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
An Owner’s Committee Meeting was held on 2-19-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:
Project Update.
Streich provided an update. In Area A, the fireproofing was started on the 2nd level yesterday and should be finished on Thursday. They will then move downstairs. Framing has been started on the 2nd level walls and the exterior walls are up. On Friday, ductwork will begin on the 2nd floor and will continue into next week. They will be setting door frames. On the lower level, they are working on the underground electrical. The plumbing in the underground of Area A is complete. A slab was poured last Friday for half of the lower level. The other half will be poured this Friday. The first stairway will arrive this Thursday. It will be installed the beginning of next week and pouring will occur the following Thursday. The interior masonry walls will be started next week. They are finishing the decking in Area B. Roof blocking and framing will be started at the end of the week. Roof drains will be installed at that time. Next week they will start the temporary heat. In Area C, they are doing roof blocking and roofing at the sallyport. They should finish at the end of the week. Underground plumbing was started in the sallyport today. They started the underground in Area C. The detention frames will arrive this Friday and next Friday for installation in Area F. Due to the cold weather, they will be unable to pour footings until next week in Area E.
Blotske said the status of potential change orders was discussed two meetings ago. Today an update was provided. The original Contingency Fund was set at $1,110,370. With approval of the current stair change order, the balance remaining in the Fund would be $1,034,833.90. Outstanding potential change orders have a value of $200,000. That includes the public address system, revisions to the hardware schedule, and the correction to the manholes (rubber boot issue). They are working on resolving this with David Rey and the estimated cost is about $24,000. Sawatzke asked why the County should incur the cost of this change order if it was a building code requirement and KKE chose not to include it in the specifications. He also asked for a cost breakdown. Blotske said the $24,000 is made up of approximately $9,000 in labor and $14,000 in materials. The change affects 48 locations. Streich said the labor is more extensive due to the 12” waterproof paint band that must be sprayed inside the manhole. Blotske said construction contingencies are carried for this type of situation. With regard to the change order, Blotske said an error was made. Sawatzke disagreed, stating that the explanation given was that it was not done and intentionally omitted. Blotske said it was not intentional. The cost to place a boot at each of the 48 manholes would be $36,000. As requested by the Committee, Streich will contact Dick Mattson to explain the change order for the manholes. Martin will provide the Committee with a summary of change orders to date. In the future when a change order is approved outside of Committee, it will be brought forth at the next Owner’s Committee Meeting as an update.
Project Update.
Mattox provided an update. KKE continues to work on shop drawings for the curtain wall, stairs, and main entry. Mattox requested that a meeting be scheduled on proceeding with FF&E items (to include what is currently in inventory and what will be required for different areas). With regard to the FF&E budget, discussion at the last meeting included audio/visual equipment for the conference rooms. The counter and booking area are considered part of the construction budget. Blotske met with Todd Hoffman and they went over a list of items that should be included in the FF&E budget. FF&E is included in the total construction costs and Blotske is tracking those figures. Hayes has been supplying this information to Blotske. Norman said the file storage units will be funded from FF&E. Sawatzke questioned whether the list created by Hoffman for FF&E items would be coming before the Committee for approval. Norman explained there is not a process in place but the Committee should be aware of what is being included in the FF&E budgeted line item. His experience has been that funding for FF&E is depleted early on. Hayes said the large ticket items include the modular furniture and high density storage units. The modular furniture has been planned but costs have not been obtained. An order has been placed for the high density storage units. There will be a meeting on 2-21-08 to discuss furniture for conference rooms, lunch rooms, training rooms, and the lobby. An estimate will be brought forth at a future Committee Meeting. Sawatzke said anything expended from the $50 million earmarked for the project should be brought to the Committee. If something is purchased for the new facility by the Sheriff Department out of their regular budget which is allocated annually, that does not need to come to Committee. Swing said the estimated costs for technology related items were presented at the 7-25-07 Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Actual costs are anticipated in early March, along with the cost of the 800 Mhz System. He did not foresee costs above what was estimated. Swing questioned whether Blotske needed to be updated on technology costs. Blotske requested an update on any costs that come in different than projected so the total cost at the end of the project is accurate. Discussion led to the Dispatch work stations. Blotske stated these are included in the FF&E budget. Hayes questioned whether the Committee had reviewed a layout of the Dispatch stations and felt this is something that should be brought forth to the Committee for review. The Committee did not feel they had seen the layout. Blotske said what was discussed at a previous meeting was the floor box locations. A layout of the Dispatch area was required for this. Hayes understood there was only one vendor for those stations. Blotske said that the County received a budget figure last year for Dispatch furniture from a specific vendor, but they have not gone any further with that. Hayes questioned whether the vendor was Motorola as this would provide furniture that links with their equipment. Blotske was unsure. Heeter felt it was time to determine the status of the FF&E budget. Swing requested clarification on the paging system. He originally understood paging was to be part of the technology items but it was left out. Blotske said a proposal request was sent out adding the public address system back into the project as it wasn’t included in the bid. Because it is a proposal request, it will be a change order to the contract. Blotske sent the proposal request to Phasor Electric and All State Communications. Pricing has been obtained and is being reviewed. Blotske said the County can publicly bid this item. At this point, they have two contractors to seek pricing from. The estimated cost is $34,000 and is planned from the Contingency Fund. Swing said that there was a potential change order discussed at the last meeting relating to placing a satellite dish at the Jail/LEC. It has been decided that this will not be needed. Recommendation: Obtain quotes on the public address system from the two contractors on site. Funding for the paging system will be from the Contingency Fund. Hayes will schedule a meeting with KKE and Torfin in 2-3 weeks on FF&E items. (End of Owner’s Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 2-13-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Under Others Present, add “Swing and Reese” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke said with regard to the request to amend a 3/5’s position in the Sheriff’s Department to full time, he felt the additions of staff are best handled at budget time versus mid year. At the end of the Committee Meeting, it was a split decision for approval to change the position from 3/5’s time to full-time. Sawatzke moved to approve the Personnel Committee Minutes and recommendations including having the request for Item 1 referred to the next Budget Committee Of The Whole Session in August for review during the Sheriff Department budget. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Eichelberg asked that the motion be amended to include approving Items V & VI only at this time. The Board could then open Item I up for discussion so the full Board can hear from the Sheriff Department on their request. Mattson said he seconded the motion because he felt this type of change should be looked at when looking forward to staffing for the new Jail/LEC. He felt a decision at this time was premature. Eichelberg said that was one reason the request came forward as the Sheriff Department is planning for next year. That way, they know whether the request to amend the position to full time will be supported or whether they should plan for the organization in another fashion. He felt the Sheriff Department should be provided an opportunity to explain their request prior to the final vote on the motion. The motion carried 4-1 with Eichelberg casting the nay vote. The Personnel Minutes follow:
Amend 3/5’s Clerical Position To Full Time, Sheriff Department.
The request is to change a 3/5’s clerical position to a full-time position in the Sheriff Department. The employee’s schedule was changed to 3/5 time during a medical leave many years ago. This a reception position which must be staffed full time. To accommodate this, either the employee works an additional 1-2 days per week or other staff must cover the position. The Sheriff stated that for several years the employee has been working 4/5’s time. Temporary staffing has also been utilized. It would be advantageous to bring the employee to a full-time status to maximize efficiencies. Those covering reception in the employee’s absence may not be trained to complete other work that is required. Currently, there is a line item designated to fund the 3/5 position. If the employee works more than 3 days per week, the wages are funded through that line item. Part-time and temporary employees are funded from a different line item. Sawatzke did not support the request as the County does not typically add staff during the middle of the year. He felt the request should have been presented during the Budget process. Sheriff Miller said a review of current operations was completed as they look to transitioning to the new Jail/LEC. The Department is looking to find more efficient methods. The request would not have much impact on the budget and the change would allow for more uniform functions. Miller referenced the over $500,000 in turn back funds by the Sheriff Department this year. Discussion led to the employee working additional hours. Norman explained that the County Board is the budgetary authority. The Sheriff, as an elected Department Head, has the discretion within the overall budget on hiring extra staff, overtime, etc. Dave Miller stated that the line item designated for the employee was at 267% last year, due to extra hours required for that position and use of the line item by other Divisions. It was clarified that if approved, the employee would work a full-time schedule the entire year. Overtime hours cannot occur to cover for an employee who utilizes voluntary leave without pay (granted at the discretion of the Department Head). Eichelberg supported the request based on these parameters. He understood the concern Sawatzke voiced about granting requests outside of budget. Sawatzke suggested that instead of approving the request at this time, to readdress it during budget sessions. Recommendation: The Committee makes no recommendation due to a split decision. The issue will be referred to the County Board for discussion.
Request To Change Dorothy Hietanen’s .5 FTE Family Based Services Provider Position To A .3 FTE Public Health Nurse. (H.S. Board Item)
Request To Change Classification Of New Social Worker Position, Children’s Services Unit, To A Mental Health Professional/Social Worker III. (H.S. Board Item)
Review County Policy 506-03, Mileage Reimbursement (H.S. Board Item).
Network Analyst Class Assignment. Swing provided information on a request to readdress the classification of the Network Analyst position in the IT Department (attached). This is a new position approved in the 2008 budget. The job description was evaluated by HAY Group and assigned to Class G of the Salary Schedule. The request is to have HAY Group reevaluate the position in an effort to have it moved to Class H. Swing supported the request by explaining that the job duties of the Network Analyst position (2004 points) surpass those of the Technical Project Leader (1955 points), which is also in Class G of the Schedule. HAY may have used the Organizational Chart for Information Technology to base the points on instead of comparing the two positions. There are three exempt positions in the Department, one position in Class A, one position in Class G, and the remaining positions in Class F. The Network Analyst position is part of the Teamsters Courthouse Union. The Negotiation Committee reviewed the points assigned by HAY and recommended it be placed in Class G of the Salary Schedule. Correspondence was sent to Leland Johnson and his response was that this was acceptable to the Union. Discussion followed on potentially sending job descriptions of employees in the IT Department to HAY for review. Recommendation: Swing will update job descriptions for all positions within the IT Department. The updated descriptions will be provided to the Administration Department by April 1st for review and forwarding to HAY Group
Performance Appraisal – Genell Reese, Nuclear/Veteran Services Director (County Board Item). Based on four appraisals received, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”
(End of Personnel Committee Minutes)
There will not be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today.
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #08-12 providing Tom Kelly, County Attorney, with $4,582 in additional salary in 2008 as recognition of the enhanced responsibilities he has for providing attorney services in the city law enforcement contracts. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke said this has been a challenging process. He said he will vote against the request today. He did not have criticism for those voting to support the resolution as he recognized there is an argument on the other side. He felt the County started with a fair offer and it was legally challenged by the County Attorney. They reviewed the offer and amended it to what he recalled as over a 6.5% increase. That was also not accepted by the County Attorney who indicated he would challenge Wright County in court. What Kelly was seeking was an additional $500 more than the offer and others did not feel it was worth fighting over. Sawatzke respected that position and felt it was a reasonable position to take. However, he felt the offer was more than reasonable. The Wright County Board has the authority to set the salary. They reviewed the Statute and the offer was an increase of over 6.5%. He felt it met the intent of the law. He was disappointed it was not accepted. For that reason he would vote against the resolution. Russek agreed with Sawatzke but said the fact remains that the County would spend $20,000 in court to save $500. He did not want to proceed to court over the issue. The motion carried 3-2 with Heeter and Sawatzke casting the nay votes.
Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #08-13 providing Gary Miller, Sheriff, with $3,197 in additional salary in 2008 as recognition of the enhanced responsibilities he has for administering the city law enforcement contracts. The motion was seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced both resolutions and said the County has been advised by legal counsel, recommending the County approve the additional compensation for the Sheriff and Attorney to avoid going to Court. He felt that when legal staff is hired for this purpose, the County should listen to their advice. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Charlotte Quiggle, Corinna Township, said as a follow up to the discussion that took place at the 2-19-08 Committee Of The Whole Meeting, the Township would like to schedule a meeting with Heeter and Russek to continue discussions on the Township’s request to perform their own Planning & Zoning. Heeter conveyed that the Township Officials should contact her with possible dates. Russek said that there is an upcoming Township election and that may change who would be representing the Township. Quiggle felt the Township may not want to wait until after the election to continue these discussions. Quiggle was instructed to have the Township representatives contact Heeter to schedule a meeting.
Bills Approved
Brian Abrahamson. $275.73
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 242.29
Ancom Communications Inc. 186.38
Ancom Technical Center 117.10
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 143.82
B & B Products - Rigs and Squa 4,746.70
Baers Body Shop Inc. 531.00
Boyer Truck Parts 248.53
Budget Lock & Key 260.00
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 409.75
Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Comm. 3,232.60
City Buffalo 100.00
Cargill Inc. - Salt Division 14,180.90
Carver Co. Treasurer 684.41
Carver Co.- Financial Serv. 4,023.00
Center Point Energy 5,963.08
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 14,045.86
Climate Air 1,265.80
Comm. of Transportation 3,096.86
Craguns Lodging & Conference 798.00
Crow River Tools 635.23
Cub Foods 156.36
Cub Pharmacy 3,650.25
Embarq 191.16
Emergency Physicians PA 494.25
Dale Engel 400.00
Envirotech Services Inc. 2,842.58
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Exc. 98,613.14
FirstLab 195.00
Gateway Companies Inc. 2,915.97
Globalstar USA 155.47
Grainger 636.40
Granite Pest Control Services 143.58
Greene Espel PLLP 410.33
GS Direct 162.72
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 105.05
Indenti-Kit Solutions 708.00
Indelco Plastics Corp 977.74
Interstate Battery Systems 261.83
Rick Jensen 571.00
Keeprs Inc. 518.66
Klein Heating and Cooling 1,899.00
Kustom Signals Inc. 134.09
Lilia Lantto 115.00
LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,131.37
Marco Inc. 1,799.87
The Metro Group Inc. 1,222.09
Mid-Minnesota Mississippi 150.00
MN Assn. of Co. Officers 305.00
MN Dept. of Labor & Indus 105.00
MN State Bar Association 420.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,876.33
MTI Distributing Inc. 100.22
Office Depot 1,468.74
Positron Public Safety Systems 4,866.66
Qwest 911.33
Reed Business Information 182.52
Royal Tire Inc. 3,422.94
RS Eden 892.50
John Russek 287.05
Ryan Chevrolet 613.17
Sherry Schliesing 386.41
Sherburne Co. Sheriff 22,838.69
Software House International 141.65
Spectrum Solutions 252.37
Sprint 1,144.78
Star Tribune 819.20
State of MN-Office Enterprise 172.10
Stearns Inc. 163.38
Sterling Solutions Inc. 700.00
Sun Press & Newspapers 1,049.60
Target 4,365.00
Toms Towing Service 143.77
Total Printing 1,275.77
U S Banks NA 8,355.00
University of Minnesota 990.00
Verizon Wireless 1,357.62
Walmart Store 01-1577 670.51
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 347.91
Wright Hennepin Co-op Elec 1,815.52
Wright Hennepin Electric 365.66
Xcel Energy 1,866.94
30 Payments less than $100 1,301.20
Final total $241,722.49
The meeting adjourned at 10:33 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal March 17, 2008.