Wright County Board Minutes

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the 3-11-08 County Board Minutes as presented.
Russek moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Heeter referenced Consent Item A6 and questioned whether this was approved by Personnel. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the item was addressed by the Negotiation Committee. On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as listed:
1 . Performance Appraisals: K. Crandall, IT; A. Boverhuis, J. Hanson, G. Eldred, M. Kaczmarek, E. Kunkel, R. Nevala, C. Stine, L. Stine, Sher.
2. Claim, Frank Madden, $8,324.51.
3. O/T Report, Period Ending 3-07-08.
4. Approve Amendment To Personnel Policy 506, Business Related Expense Reimbursement.
5. Schedule Negotiation Committee Meeting For 11:30 A.M., March 25th.
6. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Agreement With Teamsters Local No. 320 To Reclassify Assistant Jail Program Coordinator & Recreation Program Coordinator Classifications To Civilian Correction Officers.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Norman referenced a claim on Page 15, Wayne Fingalson ($479.00) for airfare reimbursement for the NACE Conference. Norman requested the claim be pulled as the NACE Conference will not occur until April. Reimbursement can be sought after that time. Norman said the Reimbursement Policy reflects that these types of expenditures are not paid in advance. On 12-11-07, the County Board approved attendance at the NACE Conference for Fingalson and Hawkins. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, with the removal of the claim to Wayne Fingalson for airfare reimbursement. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Mattson referenced page 10, Wolf Protection Agency Inc. ($4,310.06). He contacted the Jail Administrator and it was explained this expenditure related to supervision of an inmate. The motion carried 5-0.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried unanimously:
Update, Administration Department Remodeling. Hayes contacted Climate Air, Intereum, Loberg Electric, Ernst Construction, and Larson Architects to obtain cost estimates on the proposed remodel (attached). As discussed at the last meeting, it was anticipated that the $127.944.15 Contractor’s cost estimate from KKE would be reduced. That figure includes such items as demolition, new walls, doors, and finishes. The revised figure is $90,000. A $10,000 contingency is also recommended. The card key door will be funded from the contingency fund at a cost of $2,000. It is anticipated that HVAC problems currently experienced in a portion of the office will be addressed by opening up the office area and adding an additional heat pump and floor radiators. This has an estimated cost of $17,940. The lighting update will bring all lights in the office up to current standards and will result in a 20% efficiency gain. This has an estimated cost of $3,125. There will be two phases to the project and staff would be moved to Conference Room C 111 in the interim. Hayes will develop bid specifications to be forwarded to potential bidders (to include demolition, new walls, doors, finishes and lighting). The specifications will reflect that the office must remain operational during remodel, there must be a clean work site, security must be addressed, and that noisier demolition will occur during early morning or after normal work hours. The bid specifications will indicate that the bid must include the time frame of the project. A two week advertisement is required. Funding for this project will be from the Site Improvements line item. Norman said the line item is budgeted at $300,000 for 2008 and there are no encumbrances to date. Recommendation: Authorize advertising for bids for the remodel project. Schedule the bid opening for 4-15-08 at 10:00 A.M. Authorize use of C 111 for staff during remodel. (End of Building Committee Minutes)
A Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Russek extended thanks to Melvin for the work he has completed on the Capital Improvement Plan. The motion carried 5-0:
Update On Capital Improvement Plan.
Clarification On Distinction Between A Capital Improvement Project & An Operating Expense.
Identify County-Wide Categories For Project Type Classification.
Discuss Designation Of Funding Sources.
Melvin distributed the draft 2008-2013 Wright County Capital Improvement Plan (attached). In 2005, Capital Improvement Plan Software was purchased from Springsted Financial Advisors. The Capital Improvement Plan was developed from information gathered from department heads on potential projects. Melvin’s intent was to distribute the draft Plan today but not review it in detail. Any suggested changes will be incorporated and the revised Plan forwarded to departments for final input. At the next Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting, the final draft Plan will be presented. In the future, the Plan will include a brief narrative which will explain what a Capital Improvement Plan is, the process, and how it will work. The overall goal of the Plan is to track and archive projects funded, as well as any projects which are delayed. Melvin said the key is to proceed and to recommend the Plan so it is included as part of the 2009 budget process. Melvin distributed a handout entitled Capital Improvement Planning Model (attached) reflecting the potential funding sources for the prospective projects outlined in the draft Plan. The Capital Account is listed as one of the funding sources and is made up of turn back dollars from each General Revenue department at the end of the year. One of the goals of the Capital Improvement Plan is to move away from heavy reliance on the use of turn back dollars. This is not a funding source that can be relied upon every year. After discussion, Melvin was directed to work with Hiivala and Norman on identifying sources of funding for the various proposed projects. Hiivala will involve Springsted in this process. Melvin provided an overview of the Capital Improvement Plan process. In the future, the Committee will decide which projects are included in the Capital Improvement Plan. Any projects arising during the year that are not in the Plan would have to be presented to the Committee with an explanation of why they were not included. The Committee would decide from there whether the project should be recommended for funding. Each year, the Committee will review proposed projects to be included in the Capital Improvement Plan (January-March). The Plan will then be updated and presented to the Committee for review and recommendation (April-June). The recommended Plan would be forwarded to the Budget Committee Of The Whole for review and incorporation into budget reviews for departments (July-August). Norman added that in April-June of 2008, the Capital Improvement Finance Committee will review requests from departments. With regard to funding, Norman said he would like less reliance on the Capital Fund as a funding source and more reliance on other funding mechanisms available. Norman and Hiivala recommended a meeting with the Highway Engineer to discuss potentially creating a Capital Account within the Road & Bridge Budget. Each year, the Highway Department has a cash balance which is rolled into the upcoming year’s budget. Those funds could instead be placed into a Highway Department Capital Account to draw from when projects arise instead of utilizing the General Fund’s Capital Account. Norman stated that when the Highway Department budget is presented each year, it includes the current budget, a projection, and the request for the following year. He did not feel that the projection amount was needed as the budget itself is a projection. The budget could be categorized between the general budget and construction. This would provide a better picture of the operational budget outside of construction. Norman said a recommendation will be presented to the Committee at a future date. Melvin summarized that the Capital Improvement Plan will be a good tool for departments to utilize and communicate their needs. Instead of short notice on projects, the Committee would be able to review and plan. Initially, the Plan will encompass a five-year time frame. In the future, he hoped that departments will think more long range and if necessary, start saving for projects to stabilize the levy. Melvin said any comments on the Plan should be forwarded to him. A final version of the Capital Improvement Plan and narrative will be presented to the Committee in about one month. Norman said this will be the initial startup of rolling the Capital Improvement Plan into the 2009 budget. Projects will be reviewed with departments and a recommendation will then be made to the Budget Committee Of The Whole. Hiivala added that a Capital Improvement Plan is required when the County bonds for projects. Norman said he hoped the Plan would assist the County in becoming more visionary and planning more strategically. Recommendation: The consensus of the Committee is as follows:
•The Capital Improvement Plan will include items such as land, bricks and mortar, or a capital improvement project. Rolling stock and vehicles will not be included and should be incorporated into the department’s annual budget. Digital cameras for squad cars (page 78) and the dynamic digital photo station (page 80-82) will not be included in the Capital Improvement Plan and should be included in the Sheriff Department budget.
• The Capital Improvement Plan Project Types will include: Acquisition, Development, New, Remodel, and Replacement. Examples of Development will include development of park land which is made available for public use. The Replacement Project Type will include equipment that cannot be repaired due to age and technology advancement (i.e., 800 Mhz Radio System, aerial photography, Manatron, and CAMA).
• Schedule a Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting for 4-14-08 at 9:00 A.M.
(End of Capital Improvement Finance Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-08. At today’s County Board Meeting. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Russek. Sawatzke referenced the recommendation reflecting that the squad equipment would be funded in 2009. After review, it was noted that the handout provided by the Sheriff’s Department indicates this is correct. Mattson referenced Silver Creek Township’s request for additional patrol coverage and questioned whether this would involve overtime. Sawatzke said the County would be responsible for the overtime whether it occurred at the end of the roving patrol’s shift or during the contracted patrol’s shift. The motion carried 5-0:
SURVEY DEPARTMENT REORGANIZATION PLAN. Jobe distributed four organizational flow charts (see attached). One represented the current status which is staffed with a County Surveyor, a Senior GIS Specialist who manages two Automated Mapping Specialist II’s, and a Senior Survey Tech who manages two Survey Tech II’s (office and field based) and a Survey Tech I (field based). The Surveyor Department has two vacancies: Automated Mapping Specialist II and a Survey Tech I (field based). He stated that there is a clear split within the Department between the traditional survey side and the GIS side, however, he treats his Senior GIS Specialist and his Senior Survey Tech as equal partners. The Survey Tech I is an entry level position which needs to be occupied by a self-starter. He stated that his Senior Survey Tech, who has been an employee for 33+ years, has indicated that he intends to retire in May, 2008. He described how the Senior Survey Tech’s job duties have changed over the years. The largest challenge right now is to be able to provide the right amount of supervision within the office and out in the field. Jobe then referred to the other three organizational flow charts (Option A, Option B, Option C). He explained the benefits of each plan. After much discussion, the Committee agreed that Option B best fits the County’s vision for growth. Jobe explained that Option B structures a Senior GIS Specialist and an Assistant County Surveyor to report to the County Surveyor. Jobe stated that he would likely hire a “Land Surveyor in Training” to be his Assistant County Surveyor. Upon viewing other counties’ job descriptions, the new hire would be expected to attain their license within a one to three year period. The Assistant County Surveyor would aid Jobe in running the plat checks, the coordinates system, and providing overall office assistance. The Senior Survey Tech and two Survey Tech II positions would report to the Assistant County Surveyor. The current vacant Automated Mapping Specialist II position would become a GIS Specialist position, which would be managed by the Senior GIS Specialist. The GIS Specialist would be required to have a four-year degree and would be involved in more of the CAD mapping. Norman stated that he was in favor of Option B because of the reporting relationships. Sawatzke stated that he was concerned about the levels of bureaucracy in an eight-person organization. He stated that the Board is not looking to create new classifications or categories of positions. Norman noted that the County has been attempting to consolidate job descriptions. Pooler recapped today’s Technology Committee discussion where he presented his vision for GIS. The vision of the County is to treat GIS as a Department, even though it is officed in the Surveyor Department. GIS is a central service that supports other Departments. The intent is to have GIS support the entire County. Eichelberg affirmed Pooler’s comments by stating that GIS is like the I.T. Department. Its employees service our Departments. Jobe stated that reorganization was part of the Surveyor’s five-to-ten year staffing plan, however, with the recent retirement notification he would like to try to move into a GIS specific realm. Norman stated that a GIS Specialist job description would have to be created. Sawatzke stated that a job description would also need to be written for the Assistant County Surveyor. Jobe stated that they were able to draft a job description for the GIS Specialist with input from Sherburne and Carver Counties. Norman asked Jobe if a GIS Specialist is paid more than an Automated Mapping Specialist in other counties. Jobe stated yes because the position would require a four-year degree. The Mapping Specialist only requires a two-year degree, or a High School degree with years of related experience. Jobe and Pooler described how the two positions vary greatly in their duties. He added that in this field, if you are not proactive in learning software and the technology, you could get left behind. Jobe stated that he has sample job descriptions for the Assistant County Surveyor. He did not want to pursue writing the description until he received a formal recommendation from the Board. Norman noted that due to the extensive changes in the duties of personnel in the Surveyor’s Department, it might be wise to review all job descriptions. He requested that Jobe submit the job descriptions to the Personnel Department by 5-01-08. Jobe stated that he understood the Committee’s concerns and requested that the Committee recommend pursuing a GIS Specialist. Norman explained that since they have a draft available. the draft would be reviewed by Judy Brown, Personnel Representative, and forwarded to him for review. The draft would then be returned to Jobe for revisions. Once approved, the description is forwarded to HAY Group. HAY determines the point value of the description. Upon return of the evaluation results, the County will have to enter negotiations with the Union. He expects the process to take several months. Norman thanked Pooler for his work on putting together a drafted job description. He stated that this will help to fast forward the process. RECOMMENDATION: Approve proceeding with drafting job descriptions to meet the needs of the Surveyor Department Re-Organization Model, Option B.
ADDITIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRACT HOURS, MONTICELL0. Miller explained that the City of Monticello has requested an increase of four hours additional police protection a day beginning 7-01-08. Miller stated that the City’s decision came after they received their annual report at their March City Council Meeting. He stated that it is anticipated that Silver Creek Township will request 8 weekend hours to also begin 7-01-08. Silver Creek Township is looking for more visibility on the weekends. Miller stated that if the County accepts the contracts, an additional deputy and squad car is needed to fulfill the demand. Miller presented a handout that (see attached) delineates the contract revenue and resulting expenses. Norman stated that the wording in the contracts for Law Enforcement Contract Hours states that the cities and townships are to notify the County by April 15th of each year that they are looking to increase their contract hours. This notification allows the County to build the request into its projections for the following budget year. He stated that when requests trickle in throughout the year, the County has to make constant amendments. Miller stated that the Board has the option to deny requests. Miller stated that his Department does not promote the service. The Cities and Townships approach the County with their requests. They are told that as a member of Wright County, they receive a base level of service. If they want municipal services, they have to pay for the additional service. Hagerty explained that he does sit down with the parties to educate them on the cost versus benefit. Eichelberg asked if the Sheriff’s Department is fully staffed. Hagerty stated that the Department is nearly fully staffed. Four positions are on active military leave. RECOMMENDATION: Approve request to hire one deputy and purchase additional squad car in 2008, and squad equipment in 2009. (End of Personnel Minutes)
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 3-12-08. Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke referenced page 3 of the minutes where discussion occurred on the annual fee versus employee time. He questioned how much employee time is being expended. Mike Pooler, Senior GIS Specialist, estimated that he and Cheri Nelson, IT Systems Analyst, spend five hours per week. He further explained that they are not programmers and that it may take someone specialized in this area far less time. Sawatzke added that the County is only collecting a couple thousand dollars in revenues. With the switch to Schneider Professional Services, the hope is that revenues would increase to $10,000. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes:
GIS UPDATE. Pooler introduced the topic by stating “GIS is its own phenomena”. He provided a handout (see attached) that shows his observations of the progression of GIS since his employment with the County approximately two years ago. He stated that the GIS component is not strictly Surveyor Department orientated. GIS has the potential of assisting/involving all County Departments, as well as a number of outside agencies. He stated that the most efficient GIS structure would be a central service oriented method. By keeping GIS centralized, rather than dispersing it to positions within each Department, the quality of the work and service will be better. He stated that by focusing GIS as a central service, the County would likely move away from software contracts, allowing the County to aggressively pursue better technology, with the long term goal of providing a more user-friendly GIS. He referred to his handout by stating that “the placement of a County GIS is secondary to the idea of central service. The most important part of placement is the vision of the Department Head in charge of this area.” He stated that currently, most of the work GIS does is land records based. GIS has been actively used by Highway, Surveyor, Auditor/Treasurer, Assessor, and a few cities and townships. He stated that without a Department Head, there is a potential for the work to be focused solely in Surveyor-related work. He stated that the goal is to provide a formal recognition of a GIS “division” or “subdivision” of the Surveyor Department. He added that the recognition would give other County Departments, as well as outside agencies, a “landing pad” for where to direct GIS related questions or concerns. The “division” would be ideal for any new hire needs related to GIS for the County (Department or task specific). Eichelberg asked if any other counties have specific GIS departments. He likened Pooler’s request to having an I.T. Department. I.T. is its own department; however, it has employees that work specifically to meet the needs of individual departments. Pooler responded that Dakota and Scott Counties do have GIS Departments. He agreed with Eichelberg’s comment that GIS would be similar to I.T. He added that GIS and I.T. also work cooperatively. He stated that he and Cheri Nelson meet weekly, and monthly, he, Nelson, Jobe, and Swing meet. Norman stated that he recalls at the onset of bringing in GIS, there was discussion regarding where GIS would be located. He stated that he agreed that GIS is not so much about location, but about a central service, recognizing that it will cross department lines. People should be aware that someone is in charge in GIS. Swing stated that he endorses Pooler’s statements. He affirmed that I.T. and Pooler do meet frequently. He stated that he believes the key to success is to work together and to come to an agreement, despite variances of opinions. Jobe stated that Pooler has the background and expertise in GIS. He brought GIS to the County. He stated that two other employees are working with Pooler and do not have a similar background. They are learning as they go, which is a slow process. There is a learning curve to GIS. Pooler stated that it would be more efficient to keep GIS centrally located, rather than adding GIS to job descriptions in Departments throughout the County. Norman proposed giving a GIS demonstration at the next quarterly Leadership Team Meeting. This would give the Departments an idea on how it could be a valuable tool within their work. Jobe stated that he embraces GIS and understands the value of it. He announced that he would be discussing a reorganization plan at today’s 1:00 P.M. Personnel Committee Meeting. He stated that his presentation would demonstrate how he has deliberately designed GIS to work independently from the rest of the Surveyor’s Department. Recommendation: Re-affirm that GIS is a division of the Survey Department.
SCHNEIDER GIS SERVICES AGREEMENT. Swing stated that as a result of the monthly meetings with Pooler, Jobe, and Nelson, the team has sought a proposal for a “hosted” portal. This means that the County’s land record information is not going to be hosted internally at Wright County. Swing presented a handout (see attached) which describes the service Schneider Professional Services will provide. The thrust of this service is to take GIS to the public and private sector and other local governmental units. Swing stated that Schneider’s services would replace what is currently offered to the public on the County’s website. Swing stated that Schneider is a proven vendor and is utilized by multiple counties. He stated that one of the advantages is that this “service positions the County with other central MN counties for the option of collaborating on a regional system since Stearns, Sherburne, and Morrison counties are currently on or planning to be on the system.” He stated that positive feedback was given from the Commissioners and Administrators at the 2006 Quad County Meeting. Swing stated that GIS is a new concept for the County, and collectively, I.T. and the Surveyor’s Department came to the realization that they cannot do this all on their own. Meanwhile, time will be spent internally on something else GIS related. Swing stated that this is being aggressive. He added that they see this as a strategic step toward the County’s customer service goal. He stated that they foresee some revenues being generated from the service. Swing stated that Sherburne County reported receiving $10,000 annually from the businesses in the private sector. Norman asked if 100% of the fees generated from the service would go to the County or if some of it would go to Schneider. Pooler stated that the County pays Schneider an annual contract fee. Subscriber fees are collected by the County. Swing stated that their recommendation would be to utilize the Recorder’s Compliance Technology fund to pay the contract fees to Schneider. He stated that the statute allows for this. The revenues generated from the service would be applied to the General Fund. Pooler stated that this service would be a replacement for the existing fee schedule. He stated that the County already has a short list of subscribers. The annual subscriber fee would be $480. Nelson stated that in 2006, the County collected $3,600 from its subscribers. In 2007, $1,500 was collected. Nelson explained that with the current service, the County has not been up on collecting from its subscribers. The service does not shut off once a subscriber has initialized the service. Nelson stated that with Schneider’s service, their administration software would specifically assign deadlines which will terminate service at the end of a paid term. Jobe stated that Schneider’s services would tie in with the Recorder’s Land Shark program. Eichelberg asked if the County would be able to “opt out” of the contract at any time. Pooler stated that it is a three year contract. However, by signing into a three year commitment, Schneider will waive the set-up fees and development time. The County would be required to pay for half of the term’s service fee if the County opted out of the contract early. Eichelberg asked if the Recorder’s Compliance Technology Fund has enough of a balance to pay the contract fee. Hiivala stated that according to the 2008 budget, the compliance fund has enough in the 2008 budget, to cover the 2008 projects, and even the potential 2009 projects. Hiivala stated that the income generated from the service would need to be recognized as new revenue. Norman stated that the potential income should be one of the last reasons for promoting this service, as the potential income seems less than the expense of the service. Pooler stated that the $16,860 annual fee is worth the cost in employee time. Schneider has development teams to make the service better. Swing stated that aside from the revenue, the strategic piece of making the move to Schneider is the customer service aspect. Hiivala noted that the County’s employees would make use of this service as well. Currently, the Auditor/Treasurer’s Department uses the Parcel Viewer. Norman stated that this project is in the 2008 budget. Swing further commented that this service would provide a redundant service in the event of disaster affecting the delivery of technology services in the County. Recommendation: Approve and authorize signatures on the Schneider Professional Services Agreement.
TECHNOLOGY PLANNING. Swing stated that last year, the County made its first effort at strategic planning for the technological needs within the County. A company called Saturn met with I.T. and interviewed each Department to determine their needs and receive clarification on the direction of the County. He stated that there was an assumption that I.T. can forecast what each Department, and the County, needs. With additional planning meetings, which include high level brainstorming sessions, he foresees the County moving toward a more mature and strategic technological planning process. Norman stated that the Capital Improvement/Finance Committee met this morning and computer devices were not included in the discussion. Norman stated that while discussing five-to-ten year capital improvement plans, the Board will need to know how technology will impact large projects. Swing stated that by being kept in the loop regarding Capital Improvement projects, I.T. would be able to better determine how technology would fit into, or drive, the plan. Norman stated that there is a need for visionary thinking when addressing the County’s five year plans: Technology, Capital Improvement, and Road & Bridge. Swing stated that in addition to the visionary thinking, a discussion should be considered on whether the County should be collaborating with other regions and city administrators. Norman stated that he would be meeting with Administrators to plan the Quad County Meeting in April. 2008. He proposed adding Technology Planning as an agenda item. Norman stated that he would contact Swing in order to identify the agenda topic and time frame. Norman stated that this morning’s Capital Improvement/Finance Committee Meeting discussed developing a Capital Improvement Plan as an annual process. It was proposed that Pat Melvin would meet with Department I leads during January through March to solidify their requests. The Capital Improvement/Finance Committee would meet April through June. The Department Heads would be called in to discuss their specific projects. The Committee would make recommendations to the Budget Committee of the Whole during their August/September meetings. The proposed Capital Improvement projects would then be included as part of the budget process at the Truth & Taxation Hearing. Jobe stated that it seems that all three planning processes tie together. The Department Heads would have a better idea on what the budget would allow for. Nelson also expressed her support for the process. She stated that I.T. has become more reactionary. When projects are planned and I.T. is not brought into the loop, they have found that they are working that much harder to meet deadlines, construction schedules, and budgetary concerns. She stated that it is never efficient when you have to be reactionary. (End of Technology Committee Minutes)
A Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-04-08. At today’s County Board Meeting. Mattson voiced concern with the cost of the ARMER 800 Mhz Radio System.He felt that most technologies decline in price after being on the market but that is not the case with this system. The system used in his personal business covered many miles with one antenna. He said the County will spend millions on this system and he hopes it works. Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
UPDATE/RECOMMENDATION RE: ARMER 800 Mhz RADIO INFRASTRUCTURE. Swing distributed his agenda (see attached) noting that he would be making introductions, discussing the Motorola Proposal and results of the 2-14-08 State Radio Board Finance Committee Meeting, presenting the proposed timeline of the project, and encouraging discussion. Mazzitello provided an overview diagram (see attached) of the radio tower site locations within Sherburne and Wright Counties. He referred to the tower sites that are being provided by MnDOT and those that are supplemental. He discussed how the tower sites allow for some amount of overage and at times, an extra layer of redundancy for roaming purposes. Mazzitello stated that they have received proposals for the console and the overall radio infrastructure. The proposal for the console, included within the construction costs of the Jail/LEC, equates to $1.1 million. The total cost of the radio infrastructure, proposed by Motorola, equates to $5.4 million which will be split between the two counties. He stated that both Sherburne and Wright Counties have met to fine tune the timing and pricing of this project. An update of the firm numbers will be provided at an April Technology Committee Meeting. He stated that additional discussions would occur to determine how the sites would be connected: fiber or microwave point-to-point. Sawatzke asked how today’s numbers compare to the budgetary estimates presented at the 7-25-07 Technology Committee of the Whole Meeting. Swing stated that the total estimated cost of the radio infrastructure and County radios/pagers was $5,154,160. The console equipment was estimated to cost approximately $1.6 million. Swing stated that in approximately a month, they would be seeking a hard recommendation from the Committee on the console proposal for the Jail/LEC. There is an urgency to get the console portion approved in an effort to be in sync with the Jail/LEC construction schedule. in May, they will then seek a hard recommendation on the infrastructure costs. Norman asked Swing if the intention is to equip the Dispatch Center fully at the initial construction stage. Howell stated that currently, Dispatch is staffed with four persons, sometimes five. The Dispatch Center was designed to accommodate 10 staff members. Consultants have recommended equipping the room with eight stations. Eight stations will also accommodate Sherburne County if their system was to go down. He stated that Thineson agrees that six to eight stations would be adequate. Sawatzke asked if a compromise of seven stations could be considered. Howell stated that it would cost approximately $65,000 per station for furniture. It was discussed that stations could be added in the future without penalty until console technology changes. Mattson inquired whether the estimated costs included repair and service fees. Mazzitello stated that with maintenance, related costs increase annually. In speaking with Motorola, a three-year warranty at approximately $100/radio has been arranged. For the infrastructure portion of the project, the first year service/maintenance cost will be approximately $200,000. The following years, the cost of the service agreement will drop dramatically to $30-50,000/year. Mattson stated that he was concerned because he does not want to see monthly maintenance repair claims. Mazzitello reassured Mattson that the equipment would be covered under a maintenance agreement. Mazzitello explained that there are software subscription agreements for the consoles and radios that also keep the equipment operational and functional. He repeated that everything would be covered under a very elaborate and comprehensive service agreement, which is turning out to be very cost efficient. Swing stated that he understands there is a perception that this project’s pricing lacks competitiveness. He introduced Tim Lee, MnDOT Assistant Director, Electronic Communications, who explained that the original bids for the metro system were conducted under a competitive RFP. Motorola was awarded the contract. Since then, during the out-state expansion, the State went to Motorola for pricing. It was a sole source bid, however, their prices were compared to the original bid, and the prices were equal to or better than the original prices. Swing discussed how the County’s due diligence will keep the project rolling. He stated that he believes the County will be in a position to sign the contract with Motorola by May, 2008. This will would put the County in line with having the 800 Mhz operational by the second quarter of 2009. The Dispatch console would be installed in the first quarter of 2009. Swing stated that he and Howell attended the State Radio Board Finance Committee Meeting on 2-14-08. He stated that their purpose for attending the meeting was to find out if the County would jeopardize its chances to obtain grant funding if the County executes the contract with Motorola. He introduced Scott Wiggins who is the Program Director at the Dept. of Public Safety, overseeing the ARMER and 9-1-1 programs. Wiggins stated that he meets with county commissioners across the State. He reassured the Commissioners that counties across the State have radio systems that are barely functioning. He related the capital replacement costs of the ARMER project to replacing the furnace in the home. The County has an outdated radio system in place that is barely functional, and to replace it will be very expensive. However, the new, expensive equipment will be better and more efficient. Wiggins stated that Swing and Howell posed their question at the Committee Meeting on 2-14-08 and the answer is no, the County will not be penalized. He stated that the 2005 legislation, with regard to phase 3 of the ARMER roll-out, set aside $9.5 million for local enhancements. Matches are for up to 50% of local enhancements. Thirteen to fourteen counties are eligible to receive those funds. He stated that the State is funding a study to determine whether the counties in the southeast are planning to transition to the ARMER system. Once the study is complete. the State will be able to determine who is expected to utilize the $9.5 million. He stated that based on the funding breakdown, the County can expect to receive a minimum amount of $718,200. The County can expect to receive these funds assuming the County spends up to 50% of the match. If, for example, some counties do not participate in the ARMER system, the County may be eligible to receive up to $873,000. He stated that there would be no reason for the County to delay their project. Through consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, the State’s fiscal division would like to see the County pursue putting the ARMER system in place, and commit to making the expenditures. The Dept. of Public Safety’s Fiscal Administrative Services will then extend the grant service. He stated that the County is also eligible for another set of funds through the Public Safety Inter-Operable Communication Funds (PSIC). The fund is a one-time allotment from the Federal Government to the State for $14.262 million. The allotment is broken out into seven different funds, of which $5.3 million has been set aside for the mobile and portable radios. As a County, looking to transfer into the ARMER system, the County will be able to utilize its portion of the specific allotment to offset the cost of purchasing the portable and mobile radios. He commended the County for its due diligence. Sawatzke asked what the total cost of the portables and mobiles is currently estimated at, taking into account the available PSIC grants. Mazzitello stated that the Countywide radios and pagers would cost approximately $1.2 million. Wiggens explained that the PSIC funds would be an 80/20 match. The County would have to provide a local 20% match. Sawatzke stated that he understood that the State was going to provide a 50% match, and was confused to hear that now the match was only $718,200. Heeter stated that she remembers a $6-8 million project was presented at the 7-25-07 Technology Committee Of the Whole Meeting. Of that, 50% of the infrastructure costs were to be reimbursed through grants. Swing stated that the infrastructure piece was to cost approximately $5.1 million. There was discussion that 50% was to come back to the County through grants. The total cost of the infrastructure and subscriber radio costs was approximately $6.68 million. Sawatzke asked what the estimate is today. Swing stated that it is too early to say; however, the pricing is favorable relative to the estimates. Mazzitello explained there are too many unknowns at this point. Another update will be provided in April, 2008. Norman asked if Swing would have a timeframe prepared by May’s Committee Meeting which would include the anticipated capital outlays that the County would have to make. Swing stated that within one month, he anticipates that they will have the final LEC technology costs. At the May Committee Meeting, he anticipates that they will be able to present the final numbers alongside the original estimates. This will provide a definitive comparison. Mazzitello stated that they are anticipating signing the contract with Motorola in June so that the other contractors and scheduling can be procured. Sawatzke asked if the grant money is looking less favorable than anticipated. Swing stated that the impression we had was 50% reimbursement. He stated that the optimism relative to the grant funding looks less favorable. Norman asked what the County was anticipating to receive. Swing and Russek both responded that they thought the County would receive approximately $2.5 million because the infrastructure costs were estimated at approximately $5.1 million. Russek noted that the State is going to have a $1 billion shortfall in the next two years and was concerned whether the County would see any funding. Wiggens stated that the funds are bond funds passed from 2005 legislation. Wiggens stated that typically, the General Fund covers budget shortfalls. He repeated that the County’s minimum amount they can expect to receive is $718,200. Norman expressed concern that the State will not be funding the costs of the much needed State-wide radio system, as anticipated. He was concerned that this cost will turn into another property tax component, not just for Wright County, but every county in the State. Russek asked if the cities within the County will have the funds to purchase the equipment they need. He stated that it did not do the County any good to purchase a system that its cities cannot access due to the expense. He expressed concern that they may not be able to afford to purchase the equipment for their fire stations. Heeter stated that the County Board has made a commitment to bond for, or help the smaller cities, finance their radios. She stated that she has forwarded this information at Fire Chief’s Meetings. Eichelberg stated that he was under the impression that these smaller cities were able to apply for grants to purchase their radio equipment and they would then reimburse the County. Howell stated that in addition to Heeter’s comments, some of the cities are setting aside funding in preparation for this project. Some of the eastern border cities already have their radios because they are currently responding to portions of Hennepin County. The Fire Chiefs have collectively applied for a Countywide grant to purchase subscriber units (mobiles and portables). They have hired a person from Kandiyohi County that was successful in obtaining funding through fire grants. He stated that he assumed that the fire grants would alleviate the amount of money that the County would have to pay up front in order for them to get their mobiles and portables. Wiggens offered his clarification with regard to the concern that the State is not fulfilling its commitment. He stated that the language from the 2005 legislation had always said “up to 50%”. Because of that piece of legislation passing, he has worked with a consultant to determine the approximate local enhancement costs. From the local enhancement study, the cost estimates were determined and have not changed. He stated that he has only been in his role for the last 7 months. He stated that typically, the metropolitan counties received 25-27%. He stated that the reason the language said “up to 50%” was to allow for some flexibility in the situation that not all counties would participate in the transition. Swing introduced Tom Hannon, ARMER Radio Consultant, who was the IT Director for the City of St. Cloud. He stated that with Hannon’s representation at the negotiations table, he is going after the grant funding, and aids the group in pursuing all that it can. Hannon stated that he would like to offer his clarification relative to the debate about the grant money . He stated that the $9.5 million grant reimbursement program is relative to the infrastructure costs. Infrastructure costs of $5.4 million are to be shared between Wright and Sherburne Counties. The County’s portion is approximately $2.7 million. The range of reimbursement of $718,200- $873,000 is on a $2.7 million dollar investment for the infrastructure portion. The County was aware that the consoles and technology for the LEC were not eligible for the infrastructure funding. However, purchases of the mobiles and portables will be eligible for reimbursement through the PCIP grants. The rules are not out for the PCIP funding for these pieces. He discussed the success counties had by going after other significant sources of funding: safe schools grants, health department grants, and fire grants. He stated that by working together, the County should be able to find ways to buy down the cost of radios. Legislation provided for the backbone costs of the infrastructure to be paid by the State. The majority of the infrastructure components will be State assets, accessed by Wright and Sherburne Counties. This benefits Wright and Sherburne because they will not be paying for the long-term maintenance costs of these components, yet the counties will be able to enjoy new technology. The counties are required to pay for the add-on pieces. The counties will then need to take advantage of other methods of funding to buy down the basis of the add-ons. Hannon stated that he’d urge the County not to delay moving forward with the project. He stated that the State has an excellent process in place that has involvement from all regions. Swing informed the Committee Members that they would be seeking a hard recommendation on the final costs at the next Meeting. No recommendation for action. (End of Technology Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
There will be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today at 1:00 P.M.
The Highway Department submitted a request for approval of the CSAH 19 Improvement Project Environmental Assessment/Environmental Assessment Worksheet. The Findings of Fact and Conclusions were included. Russek moved to accept the Findings of Fact and Conclusions and adopt Resolution #08-14, seconded by Sawatzke. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Bills Approved
ABM Equipment & Supply Inc.. $838.89
Advanced Spine Associates 208.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 355.45
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv 224.08
Aramark Correctional Services 5,411.80
Armor Holdings Forensics Inc. 668.20
Auto Glass Center Inc. 463.67
Automatic Garage Door & Firepl. 1,198.00
B & B Products-Rigs and Squa. 4,547.45
B & D Plumbing & Heating 268.00
Boyer Truck Parts 192.78
Buffalo Hospital 112.19
Buffalo Hospital-Otpt. Commerci 1,312.20
City Buffalo 829.68
Campbell Abstract 200.00
Cargill Inc.-Salt Division 19,562.23
Center Point Energy 20,983.00
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 20,910.51
Central McGowan Inc. 138.05
Chamberlain Oil Co. 1,759.14
Civic Research Institute Inc. 169.95
City Cokato 129.48
Cottens’ Inc. 1,383.13
Creative Forms & Concepts 1,023.52
Culligan of Buffalo 400.00
Design Electrical Contractors 2,839.07
Dale Engel 1,000.00
Engineering Design Initiative 8,531.00
Envirotech Services Inc. 2,844.33
ESRI 11,440.85
Fastenal Company 132.32
Federal Signal Corporation 496.73
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 110.20
Gateway Companies Inc., An MPC 660.20
GCS Service Inc. 149.11
Geocomm Inc. 4,000.00
Raymond Glunz 110.00
Greene Espel PLLP 1,842.90
H & R Const. Co. 790.00
Hardings Towing Inc. 317.88
Karla Heeter 149.98
Highway Technologies Inc. 322.96
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 268.69
Holiday 18,214.47
Integrated Recycling Technolog 955.15
International Assn. of Property 150.00
International Code Council 180.00
Interstate Battery Systems of 1,102.96
Keith Streff Animal Humane Soc 2,525.00
Kris Engineering Inc. 7,099.29
Lilia Lantto 157.50
LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,398.68
Little Falls Machine 528.14
Lorman Education Services 349.00
M-R Sign Company Inc. 509.13
Richard Miller 125.00
MN Copy Systems 175.66
MN Counties Computer Coop 2,821.47
MN Department of Labor & Indus 200.00
MN Department of Transportation 102.24
MN Spring & Suspension 1,396.22
Morries Parts & Service Group 3,819.17
MTI Distributing Inc. 346.99
National Business Furniture 519.80
Network Instruments LLC 616.64
Nextel Communications 717.16
Office Depot 1,494.11
Photo 1 165.06
Postmaster-Buffalo 200.00
Qwest 7,200.20
Real Estate Equity Strategies 22,200.00
Ryan Chevrolet 118.69
Scenic Signs 179.70
Sherry Schliesing 184.33
Douglas Schmiginsky 125.00
Sherburne County Treasurer 100.00
Sirchie Finger Print Laborator 574.62
Software House International 1,008.56
St. Joseph Equipment-Mpls. 266.97
State of MN-Office Enterprise 925.00
Brian Stoll 221.19
Streichers 2,436.05
Suburban Radiologic Consultant 333.00
Tires Plus 711.38
Uniforms Unlimited 1,554.02
Voss Lighting 219.42
Waste Management-TC West 451.03
West Central Industries 2,199.32
Westside Equipment 4,840.00
Wolf Protective Agency Inc. 4,310.06
Wright County Highway Dept. 51,166.43
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec Assn. 6,742.94
Wright Hennepin Electric 820.32
Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc. 311.74
Xcel Energy 104.57
Zack’s Inc. 1,530.62
39 Payments less than $100 1,776.00
Final total $277,775.62
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal April 21, 2008.