Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 3, 2008
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
The minutes of 5-27-08 were corrected as follows: Page 7, 3rd paragraph, 2nd to last line, change sentence to, “Russek said the motion (to reconsider the negative declaration on an EIS) would need to be made by one of the three who originally voted against the need for an EIS” (Russek); Page 1, 2nd to last paragraph, list of parcels under City of Monticello, change last parcel to read, “155-500-144200” (Gooler). Heeter moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda under Items For Consideration as follows: #3, “FEMA Meeting” (Russek); #4, “Comment from Tom Salkowski regarding Bernard Kirscht” (Eichelberg). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: R. Casey, C. Davis, Hwy.; M. Janckila, IT; D. Johnson, K. Kangas, K. Klatt, D. Nystuen, G. Sorensen, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, Willen Inc., $5,525.00, Jail/LEC Project (Service Through 5-23-08).
3. Refer Discussion On Provision Of A Nursing Mother’s Room To The Building Committee.
4. Claim, KKE Architects, $21,387.57, Jail/LEC Project (Service For April 2008).
1. Approve Cooperative Agreement 08-51 With City Of St. Michael For CSAH 19 Project.
1. Authorize Signatures Of Board Chair, Coordinator, & Sheriff On Supplemental Federal Boating Safety Grant Agreement.
Eichelberg called for a moment of silence for the Howard Lake/Waverly students recently involved in an accident. The accident resulted in the death of one student. Russek said the High School handled the graduation ceremonies very well given the circumstances.
Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, announced that Bernard Kirscht passed away on 5-24-08. On behalf of the Board of Adjustment and County Board, Salkowski extended condolences to Kirscht’s family and friends. Kirscht served on the Board of Adjustment for ten years and on the Monticello School Board. Salkowski was appreciative of Kirscht’s many years of service to the community and Wright County. Sawatzke said Kirscht moderated township board meetings on numerous occasions and recognized his efforts to be involved with government to better the community.
On behalf of the Auditor/Treasurer, Gloria Gooler, Administrative Confidential Secretary, presented the claims listing for approval. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. Mattson referenced Page 14, Unallocated Non-Highway Operations, reflecting the purchase of two vehicles. Mattson previously checked with Craig Hayes, County Purchasing Agent, to verify whether the State Contract pricing is compared to that of local dealers. Hayes informed Mattson that State Contract pricing has been under that quoted by local dealers. Mattson wanted to make sure this was being done. The motion carried 5-0.
Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, brought forth discussion on space use analysis and criteria, and the request for Board endorsement of efforts going forward to package and evaluate space use options. Melvin asked for clarification on the Board’s intentions for the space vacated by the Sheriff Department in 2009 when they relocate to the new Jail/LEC site. He asked for direction on whether the County will move forward in allocating use of the space or whether they were comfortable in leaving the area vacant for a period of time. Heeter’s opinion was that the space should be utilized for growth or future needs. She thought the County has been handling space needs that have arisen (i.e., expansion of Administration, discussion at the Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting regarding expansion of the Assessor’s Department). Heeter felt the County should not spend a lot of time trying to figure out what should move into the space and envisioned it as possible future space for a courtroom. Sawatzke agreed. Eichelberg felt that potential use should be discussed as it may impact the budget process. One example could be the use of space to temporarily house employees from the 3rd floor while upgrades are made to systems (i.e., heat pumps). Russek felt there was no rush and supported making decisions over time. Heeter agreed, stating the Board could make a decision at some point on whether to break ground for a Courthouse but not commit to a certain date. That would assist in planning rather than making shift moves that may not be long lasting. Mattson said the Court Administration Department (which is run by the State) has a hiring freeze and is lacking five people. With no State funding support, he felt the County should possibly have a hiring freeze. Heeter felt it may be appropriate to make a plan on space use so Department Heads feel they are moving forward with discussion. They could possibly begin that process in January, 2009. It will be May-June of 2009 before the Sheriff Department is entirely vacated. She felt the recommendation could be to reconvene in January to review space needs. Eichelberg felt this would be okay except if there is a high priority item. Then funds should be allocated during the budget process. Heeter said space needs are related to the number of employees. Looking at upcoming restrictions such as levy limits, she didn’t see staff growing like in the past and envisioned some difficult budget years ahead. Sawatzke said the population growth is not like it was which affects the amount of staff required for services. He didn’t see a problem with the area being vacant for a year. With gas at $4/gallon and 2/3 of the population commuting, what is expended by the County impacts those people. He did not feel there was a reason to make a hasty decision that relates to spending when it is not necessarily needed. He supported placing the discussion on hold until January, 2009. The Board extended thanks to Melvin for his work thus far on use of space. Russek said storage space is one issue that should be addressed. The basement is not necessarily conducive for records storage. Heeter suggested that vacated areas of the Jail may be prime storage space. It was the consensus that nothing will be done at this time with planning for the space which will be vacated by the Sheriff Department. The issue will be revisited in January, 2009. It was felt that storage options in the Jail should be explored. The Sheriff Department, once vacated, should not be used for storage as it may be needed for other space options in the future.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested the Board reschedule the Road Tour. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to cancel the 6-26-08 Road Tour and reschedule it for 7-02-08 at 9:15 A.M.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 5-28-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0:
Performance Appraisal – Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer. Based on five performance appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Superior.”
(End of Personnel Committee Minutes)
Russek moved to cancel the 7-15-08 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in July. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said 7-15-08 is also a regularly scheduled meeting of the Owners Committee. It was the consensus that the Owners Committee will discuss their July schedule at their meeting today. The motion to cancel the Board Meeting carried 5-0.
At 9:30 A.M., Commissioner Eichelberg closed the bid process for the CSAH 17 Reconstruction Project, SP 86-617-08, (0801). The project involves improvements from Delano southerly to the South County Line. The Engineer’s Estimate is $4,818,000. Both Federal and State Aid funding is involved. With Federal funding, there is a 6.1% target which needs to be met for civil rights (either must be met or proof of a good faith effort to attempt to meet). The Highway Department will provide notice to Mn/DOT today and award of the contract will be deferred to a future Board Meeting. There are two addendums involved with the project. On a motion by Sawatzke, seconded by Russek, all voted to lay the award of the project over to a future Board Meeting. The bids are as follows:
Bidder; Bid Security; Acknowledge Addendum; Total Bid
Duininck Bros. Inc.; Yes; Yes; $5,226,624.28
Knife River Corporation; Yes; Yes; $5,120,193.73
Mathiowetz Construction; Yes; Yes; $4,820,182.06
Park Construction Co.; Yes; Yes; $5,581,646.92
Russek attended a FEMA Meeting on flood and insurance control. Russek informed the group that the County expects aerial photos and LiDAR information in November. The group was interested in the information but felt it may be too late to use for their benefit.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 5-13-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek. Russek commented that since so many on the Lake are interested in improvements, they can complete them without the assistance of the County. The motion carried 5-0:
Mattson introduced Bob and Elaine Fleskes to the Committee stating that the Fleskes have brought forth concerns regarding Lake John and have requested the County Board’s assistance. Bob Fleskes, 7295 Newcomb Ave NW, Annandale, stated that a letter from the president of the Lake John Association initiated today’s meeting. The letter, dated 10-07-07, requested the County’s support in slowing boat traffic in the north arm of Lake John. He stated that he is in favor of a no-wake zone to slow changes in the lake environment. No-wake discussions began in 2005 when Paul Diedrich, DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor for Wright County, discontinued placing buoys that once protected a known spawning area. Development was to occur along the northwest side of the lake, resulting in the removal of the buoys. Planning and Zoning turned down the development, the land was sold, and the buoys were never put back. In 2006-07, a ski jump was placed in the arm. Fleskes stated that the concern is that the native vegetation and sensitive forage fish will be eradicated. He is concerned that high-speed boats that travel in the area may affect the habitat. Sawatzke asked the Fleskes how wide the north arm is. Fleskes stated that the width is approximately 167 yards. Russek stated that he estimated the width of the north arm at 500-600 feet. The western end of the arm is shallow and contains cattails and lily pads. Sawatzke asked how fast the boats travel through the north arm. Fleskes stated that a boat must travel 28 mph to pull a water skier, and 34 mph to pull a bare foot skier. Sawatzke questioned how a boat traveling at those speeds could safely turn around at the western end of the arm. Sawatzke asked if a permit was required for the ski jump. Fleskes stated that the owner does take out a permit and leaves the jump in the water most of the summer. Russek asked Fleskes if he lived on the lake. Fleskes stated that he lives along the east side of the lake and his personal enjoyment of the area is not involved in the decision to create a No-Wake-Zone. He stated that he enjoys watching the water skiing. He further commented that he performs lake readings and water quality readings. He stated that as a member of the Association, he feels it is his responsibility to slow or stop anything that may change the water quality of the lake. Eichelberg asked if Fleskes was concerned about one particular type of fish. Fleskes stated that his purpose is to protect the fish and vegetation in the lake. Ray Valley, DNR Fisheries Research Biologist, presented a handout of the study he performed regarding the “Status of Lake John, water quality, aquatic habitats, and fish communities” (see attached). He read nine bulleted points providing an overview of Lake John and its water quality, aquatic plant community, curly-leaf pondweed, sensitive native non-game fish species, “integrity” of its fish community, and Lake John’s watershed. He stated that Lake John’s water quality is above average in comparison to other lakes in the area. Phosphorous levels were higher in 2006-2007 compared to other recent years, and the water clarity went down in relation to the elevated phosphorous levels. Lake John is relatively shallow and the wind frequently mixes nutrients. Curly-leaf pondweed has been introduced to the lake. Shorter winters and more lake disturbances have increased the sediment runoff and invasiveness of the curly leaf pondweed. Curly leaf pondweed thrives in this type of environment. There are three sensitive native non-game fish species that were found in Lake John and their diminishing numbers are an indicator of the lake health. They are the first to disappear when the health of the lake declines. He presented a graph (see attached) showing how the Phosphorus levels relate to lake clarity. He concluded his presentation by stating, “Protecting the future integrity of Lake John’s habitat and fish community will require minimal in-lake disturbances to the Lake’s west shore and northwest finger. In addition to minimizing disturbance from boats, habitat protection will also require low-impact agricultural and development practices that minimize the amount of runoff entering the lake.” Valley provided a contour map demonstrating five and ten foot no-wake recommendations. He stated that a study has been performed on a lake similar to Lake John that used no-wake buoys and proved that the affects of no-wake zones effectively protect zone habitats. Valley stated that five feet would protect 230 yards of shore and ten feet would protect 350 yards of shore. He stated that a no-wake regulation may keep the shore in tact. Eichelberg asked if the buoys would remain in the north arm throughout the entire summer. Valley stated yes. Sawatzke asked if there are no-wake laws that exist along all shorelines on Minnesota lakes. Valley stated that Wisconsin has a 100’ setback from shore, but MN does not have a statute. Sawatzke questioned whether speed boats have setback restrictions along shorelines. Valley responded that Chapter 6120 of the DNR’s Shoreland Management Rules grants the DNR permission to delegate surface use regulations to local governments. He stated that he could not recall if there was a setback minimum along shorelines for boats. Fleskes stated that there is a 150’ setback for jet skis. There is no minimum setback for boats. Mackereth stated that the reason the State mandated a 150’ setback for jet skis is due to the poor reputation of jet skiers who would jump the wake of other crafts, causing danger to those that were swimming close to shore. Collisions would occur when the jet skis got too close to other crafts. According to the State, boaters simply need to be responsible for the wake of their craft. Mattson inquired about a no-wake zone that was recently requested. Miller stated there was a no-wake situation after the major flooding in 2002. There was risk of high water erosion in St. Michael, therefore, a local ordinance was passed for a temporary no-wake zone within their municipal boundaries. Sawatzke stated that approximately ten years ago, residents of Birch Lake had requested a specific ordinance regarding jet skis. It was the same year that the jet skis setback was enacted by Legislation. Mattson asked if the Lake John Association could meet with the Sheriff to discuss placement of a slow-no-wake zone. Miller stated that the State pays a stipend to each County Sheriff to perform protective patrol. The stipend is based on the number of accesses in a county to perform protective patrol. The State may have advocated local zoning to the local authority; however, the lakes are State waters. It is not the Sheriff’s role to determine regulations on county lakes and rivers. Miller stated that he is familiar with Lake John, however, Wright County has nearly 300 lakes. The Board would have to decide if they want to enforce an ordinance that would require enforcement of regulations on all water surfaces. Miller stated that he would like an education on State Code as he does believe that the State is advocating protection of waters to the local jurisdictions. He stated that he would like clarification on the State’s role regarding a sensitive area. Miller stated that he only has one Deputy patrolling the waterways of the County. Mattson stated that this Committee Meeting is a chance for the County to hear the concerns of the Lake John Association, and to create an understanding of the County’s role. Deidrich stated that for many years, they posted signs warning boaters that the north arm was a bass spawning area. The DNR was only given the authority to close the area until July 1st. He stated that property owners in the north arm wanted access to the lake and he felt that it defeated the purpose of putting buoys in the area. New research indicates that spawning occurs along Lake John’s west shore and north arm. It would be difficult to create a slow-no-wake zone along the west shoreline, however, it seems reasonable to post “Slow, No-Wake” buoys in the arm. Deidrich stated that he does not feel the County needs to set precedence, as this protection does not need to occur on all lakes. He stated that it would be difficult to defend the need for the no-wake in a court of law. It would be difficult to prove that boat activity is critical to bass spawning. He stated that Cedar Lake is the only other lake within the County that has spawning activity. Jim Splinter, Lake John resident and former Association board member, stated that he has lived on Lake John for 14 years and was a member of the Lake John Association for 12 years. He stated that he lives in the northwest arm and he is totally opposed to a no-wake zone. He stated that it is his opinion that Mother Nature is the cause of the damage to the shoreline and vegetation. Joel Fleskes, resident of Lake John, stated that he is a wildlife research biologist. He has a bachelor of science degree in fish and wildlife biology, a masters in wildlife biology, and a PHD in wildlife ecology. He stated that he and his brother have lived on the lake for many years. He stated that he was attracted to Lake John because of the quality of the lake. The DNR proved that the water quality of the lake is above average in comparison to other lakes in the rest of the County. He explained that to maintain the quality, it is important to avoid stirring up bottom sediments, suspending nutrients which increase algae blooms along the lake. The west shore and the arm are important areas for fisheries and the healthy quality of the lake. Speed boats and fishing boats, especially in the shallow areas, stir up nutrients. He stated that it may or may not be a coincidence that the lake quality has declined in the past two years. There is a lot of variability in the environment, and a lot of climate change. He stated that he feels it is fairly common sense: disruption of the shallow areas leads to destruction of the vegetation, which affects the water quality and sensitive fisheries. Richard Meyers, resident of Lake John for 8-10 years, stated that he is presently a board member of the Lake Association and lives along the north shore. His concern is achieving balance of restricting an owner’s use of the lake in favor of protecting the environment. He stated that there are other environmental pressures: local commercial gravel pits are growing in numbers. Valley stated that the watershed along the north arm of the lake is susceptible to the gravel pits. Meyers commented that Wright County has been considered the “golden belt of gravel”. He stated that he does not believe that the answer to preserving the lake is strictly in limiting the access of the lake. He stated there needs to be a balance between all the factors affecting the lake. Charles Nuremberg, resident of Lake John since 1966, stated that he is Vice President of the Lake Association. He stated that the impact of the Association is small in comparison to the County. He stated that there is a concern for balance: recreation on the lake, protecting the erosion of the lake, gravel industry within reason, protection of the fisheries. He stated that the fishing is not what it was 42 years ago. He stated that he believes that the DNR, Sheriff, and Lake Association working together will produce results. He thanked the Committee for providing a valuable hearing. Gordy Peterson, President of the Lake John Association, stated that he lives in the last house on the south side of the bay. Peterson stated that he endorses everything that has been brought forth at today’s meeting. He stated we need to use good common sense to protect the environment. By using common sense, everyone can use the lake. Jeff Gavin, resident of Lake John, stated that he lives in the last house in the western end of the north arm. He stated that from a personal view, the lake is an amphitheater that amplifies the excessive waterskiing. He stated that it gets to a point where he has to shut his house windows. He commented that he has seen deterioration of the vegetation and lily pads. Sawatzke stated that on paper, the north arm looks like a narrow area. He asked how congested the area gets when speedboats are attempting to make turns and fishermen are in the area. Gavin stated that he has seen near collisions between skiing boats and fishing boats. He stated that the boats can get within 50’ of each other. He stated that he used to see pontoons on nightly cruises, but has seen far fewer cruises. He has seen how the wildlife (i.e. loons) is threatened. He confirmed that the arm is calm, making it desirable for waterskiing. Splinter stated that Lake John is a premier lake. He stated that he has lived on the lake for 14 years and is not aware of one injury or boating accident. He lives along the north end of the lake, has a 24’ dock that has a 6’ depth at that point. He stated that boats are very polite and he would argue that the speed boats make a minimal wake. He stated that he is a realtor for lake shore properties and has sold 15 lake shore properties in the area. He stated that by closing the north arm, all boats would be pushed into a smaller area, producing safety issues. He stated that limiting the recreational use of the lake would decrease the values of the homes on the lake. He questioned who would enforce the “slow-no-wake” zones. He added that he felt that if the County Board were to pass an ordinance for limiting the north arm to boaters, then all lakes should receive the same consideration. He commented that not everybody on the Lake Association, nor the residents of the lake, agree with the Fleskes point of view. He stated that it is his opinion that Mother Nature causes more damage to the vegetation than water skiers do. The whitecaps on a windy day are damaging. John Berkstrand, a Lake John resident and Association board member, stated that he lives along the north side of the lake as a neighbor of Gavin. He has lived on the lake since the summer of 1999. He thanked the Committee for providing a platform for Lake John’s concerned residents. He stated that the lake concerns all of its residents. He stated that it is his opinion that none of its residents want to damage the lake. He stated that the folks who do most of the wakeboarding are very safety conscious. He stated that he does not feel that the “slow-no-wake” zone is the sole solution. He stated that out of respect to Bob Fleskes, who has been a very fine member of the Lake Association, most of the Board members do not share his concerns of a no boating zone or no-wake zone. Berkstrand stated that he would encourage the County Board not to take action. Eichelberg asked Berkstrand if he knew how many non-residents use the lake. Berkstrand responded that he did not believe that Lake John was a heavily trailered lake. He stated that he did not think it is an over used lake because it is a smaller lake. He stated that the 4th of July holiday is the busiest time for lake traffic. He also stated that waterskiing is not an activity that goes on from dawn to dusk. His observation is that people use common sense when out on the lake. Valley approached the podium to say that he felt his science is being insulted when he hears that the majority of the residents do not believe their activities are causing harm to the lake. Lake John is one of the few lakes that contains sensitive habitats. He stated that there many citations that prove frequent disturbance by boat propellers in shallow areas lead to declined lake water quality. He stated that in some cases, the winds may have an affect on shoreline, however, it doesn’t help to have boat motors stirring up the sediments, creating more phosphorus suspension and algae growth. He stated that as a team, they have to make a decision on whether they want a lake that is more nutrient rich, or a lake that is more conducive for fishing using a trolling motor, or a non-motor lake. He stated that the DNR is caught in the middle. He stated that his bias is toward habitat preservation. Boat disturbances, over the long term, have a negative impact. Russek stated that everybody wants to protect the lake. He commented that if this is a sensitive lake, residents, of their free will, will protect the area by staying out of the north arm. Russek stated that he is not in favor of passing an ordinance on this matter as he feels there are to many laws, and too many controls. He stated that he is in favor of leaving the care and quality of the lake up to its residents. Fleskes stated that he believes the water quality can be maintained while the skiing can still be done on the rest of the lake. Stirring up the sediment should be a personal concern. In 2005, the buoys were removed. He stated that a survey was conducted in February, 2005, to see how residents felt about a “slow-no-wake” zone in the north arm. Eighty persons responded with a “yes” they were in favor of a no-wake zone and eighteen responded with a “no”. Another survey was sent out later by a different Association president which asked if the Lake Association wanted a no-wake zone in the area. The response was 50/50. He stated that his concern is with water quality, losing forage fish, and the annual spawning. He stated that he has two grandkids that he tows, and has pulled barefoot skiers as well. He tries to stay out of the north arm. Mattson asked if there is an all lake association in the County that comes together to discuss major issues, such as gravel mining. Heeter stated that she believed it was the Wright County Lakes and Rivers Association (ALARA). Russek stated that the Board cannot make a decision because it cannot put a blanket ordinance on the entire County. He stated that the Lake Association should get together and discuss options. Heeter stated that she agrees with Russek and can appreciate the science and concerns regarding water quality. She stated that she has pulled barefoot water skiers and understands that the quality of life in Wright County is related to its lakes. She stated that she is not willing to govern how folks use their lakes. Enforcement is very difficult. Wright County has one of the finest Sheriff Departments, however it does not have a crew of 50 deputies to enforce an ordinance for each of the 300 lakes in the County. Russek stated that his intent is not to disqualify what the Lake Association members have said today. However, if its members are concerned, they should be able to get together to figure out how to protect the area. Valley commented that the fish spawning should be protected all summer. Heeter stated that there is a clear split on what the residents and Lake Association Members want for its lake. She stated that she is not willing to govern a no-wake zone. Eichelberg announced that there isn’t a consensus to govern a no- wake zone. Sawatzke questioned why Deidrich stopped placing the buoys in the north arm even after the plot for development was denied. Sawatzke stated that the buoys may not carry the weight of law, but some people would respect them. Diedrich responded that the DNR does not have the authority to close an area of a lake. The State has turned over the responsibility of surface water management to the local entities. Sawatzke stated that he is not ready to act on anything today. He stated that he does not know the Lake John area well enough and is not ready to pass any laws here today. He stated that he does not think the discussions on how to take appropriate action should stop. Apparently, the State thinks that there are circumstances that could exist where the County needs to step in and enforce surface water restrictions. Mattson asked if Brian Asleson could put together any information about a slow-no-wake zone. Asleson stated that he could do that. Eichelberg thanked everyone who attended today’s meeting and expressed their opinions. The consensus is to not govern this particular area at this time. He stated that he would not be surprised if this gets discussed quite a bit more with the Sheriff’s Department. Eichelberg repeated earlier comments that the County does not have the personnel to enforce a County-wide water surface ordinance. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
At 9:40 A.M., Eichelberg closed the bid process for the Edge Line Rumble Stripe Project, SP 86-030-18 (0808). The project provides for the construction of milled rumble strips and the placement of four-inch wide solid line all weather pavement markings over the milled strips on portions of CSAHs 18 and 35. There are no addendums to the project. With Federal funding, there is a 1.5% target which needs to be met for civil rights. This will have to be verified or there must be proof of a good faith effort that they attempted to meet this figure. Russek moved to accept the bids and lay them over to a future meeting. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. The bids are as follows:
Bidder; Bid Security; Total Bid
Diamond Surface, Inc.; Yes; $52,551.20
Penhall Company; Yes; $39,220.05
Traffic Marking Service; Yes; $40,680.57
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 5-28-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek. Heeter said there are other space issues related to the Parks and Survey Departments. The tour will provide an opportunity to review the use of space at Public Works by all Departments housed there. The motion carried 5-0:
Fingalson stated that a new road to the gravel pit has been created resulting from the new Jail/LEC construction. Jans presented a drawing (see attached) of the new road along County Road 148. Mattson noted that the culverts along the new pit road are open and exposed. Fingalson stated that the Department has placed barricades along the road. Yet, they feel it is important to gate the area. Jans explained that people can drive through the shed areas to access the dumpster and grounds. Mattson expressed concern that the pit and culverts will be open during the Sheriff Auction. Jans affirmed Mattson’s concern by stating that the Department does not want the auction attendees coming in through the pit entrance. Fingalson stated that the Highway Department would attempt to barricade the area during the auction proceedings. Jans stated that typically, they place semi-truck trailers throughout the area to block persons from wandering the grounds. Jans stated that he has acquired quotes (see attached) from four fencing contractors for gates to cross the new pit road along County Road 148, and the entrance east of the sign shed. Each contractor quoted a 6’ chain link fence and two 30’ cantilever gates with key pads. The gates may have remote control capability. The lowest bidder was Century Fence, Forest Lake, who originally quoted $28,475.00. Due to an increase in material cost, the price has increased $2,000. Approximately 710’ of underground wiring will need to be installed to bring power to the gates, costing an additional $7,100.00. Norman asked if this project has been included in the Department’s Capital Improvement Plan. Fingalson stated no, this was an oversight. He further commented that they do not have this project included in this year’s budget. Fingalson stated that the option would be to hold off on the project until the following year, however, he feels there is a need for the gates and fencing. Mattson stated that it is his opinion that the need for the gates and fencing is more important than the recent request for courtroom remodeling. Norman stated that the County has relied on the Budget 100, Site Improvements Line Item. Mattice asked how the source of the Budget 100 fund is derived. Norman explained that the Budget 100 line item is comprised of turn-back dollars from the General Fund. Norman stated that the Board is trying to drive large projects through the Capital Improvement Meetings. Fingalson stated that his Department could put this in its budget for next year. He stated that his Department had the gas pump improvement project during this budget year. Norman stated that he and Hiivala are advocating that the County move to a budget system for Road and Bridge that allows them to build up their own capital account. Fingalson stated that he would be in favor of that. He stated that it would be nice to have a separate capital improvement fund for Road and Bridge. Eichelberg asked Jans if the quotes he obtained are sound figures. Jans stated that he called Century Fence five minutes prior to today’s meeting and updated their quote at $30,475.00 due to an increase in material costs. He stated that depending on the contractor, quotes are sometimes only good for 15-30 days. Eichelberg requested that Jans find out how many days the quote will be good for. Eichelberg stated that he is concerned that by the time the Board approves the project, the price may increase again. Mattson reiterated that he wants the area to be secured by the Auction. Eichelberg stated that he agrees with Mattson that the County does need to beef up security, yet keep a close watch on the line item. RECOMMENDATION: Approve proceeding with the installation of underground wiring for $7,100.00 and two gates and fencing for $30,475.00; to be funded out of the Budget 100, Site Improvements Line Item.
Fingalson stated that as a result of the 1-23-08 Building Committee Meeting, the Board authorized Jans to obtain quotes for installation and materials for two gates and fencing with a not-to-exceed amount of $5,000. Jans has obtained quotes from four contractors, and the lowest bid amount was $6,320.00. Norman asked if the Sheriff Department has been informed of the change. Fingalson stated no, and indicated that he will inform them of the increased amount. RECOMMENDATION: Approve quote amount of $6,320 from Century Fence and proceed with the work to install two gates and fencing to be funded out of Budget 100, Site Improvements Line Item.
Fingalson distributed an office layout of the Public Works Building (see attached). He stated that the purpose of this discussion is to address space needs within the Highway Department. He stated that the Shop Office is a shared office for Jans and the mechanics. The Maintenance Office is an office that is shared by the two Crew Supervisors and seven other employees. Fingalson stated that he would like to move the two Crew Supervisors into Storage A, eliminating the need for the Supervisors to share an office with their crew. Storage A would need to be equipped with a door. He stated that Storage A contains storage items from the Surveyor, Recorder, and the Highway Departments. The Recorder is storing micro files in the room, which could be moved, and the Highway files could be moved to the mezzanine in the sign shop. By shifting the Crew Supervisors into their own office, the mechanics and crew could share the Maintenance Office, leaving Jans to have his own office. Fingalson explained that it is important that the Crew Supervisors have their own office to deal with personnel issues and have privacy. He stated that the two Supervisors would also need computers, as they are not currently using computers. Norman asked Fingalson how often the office is “shared”. Fingalson stated that the mechanics and crew use the office to complete timesheets and check the radar. He stated that the staff reports to the office daily. Norman asked how much storage the Recorder’s office is utilizing. Fingalson stated that the Recorder’s office needs off-site storage, the exact location is not important. Mattson stated that he remembers the building as being spacious and did not appear to have crowded conditions. Fingalson stated that the Supervisors are sharing their desks. Jobe stated that he does not want to give up his storage space as the records he stores in Storage A are the records that a Surveyor is required to keep. He stated that Storage A is the only secure place to store his records. Jobe proposed that the two Supervisors take over Storage B. He stated that a hallway door would be required for Storage A. Norman asked what was contained in Storage B. Fingalson stated that there are a lot of shelves which contain the supplies for each of the outlying shops, plans for Highway, etc. Fingalson stated that he might be in favor of using Storage B for the Supervisors. Mattson proposed that the Building Committee take a tour of the facility. He would like Fingalson, Mattice, and Jobe to be present. Mattson proposed that Fingalson put together a list of costs pertaining to the change (i.e. data/voice, door, furniture). Norman stated that the tour could begin at 9:00 a.m. at the Public Works Facility; however, any remaining agenda items would need to be continued at the Government Center. RECOMMENDATION: Schedule a tour of the Public Works building during the Building Committee Meeting on 6-11-08 at 9:00 a.m. (End of Building Committee Minutes)
A Capital Improvement Finance Committee was held on 5-28-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:
A. Remodel of Recorder’s Department
Project Year 2010 (Page 71)
The request is to remodel Recorder’s Department to provide computer terminals in the hallway for public use and minimize the need for the public to enter the Recorder’s Department. Unger felt five computer terminals would be required during busy periods. Moving the public into the hall would provide security and less disruption to staff. The Committee discussed the potential of combining the public area for the offices of Assessor, Auditor/Treasurer, and Recorder. Unger felt the remodel request could be combined with the request by the Assessor for office expansion. Recommendation: Present the request to the Capital Improvement Finance Committee in 2009 if the project is still a priority for 2010.
Hiivala was unavailable for the meeting. The Auditor/Treasurer’s CIP requests will be discussed at the next meeting.
A. CAMA (Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal) System
Project Year 2009
(Page 15)
The project includes replacement of the existing ACS System that is AS400 based with a new PC based System. CAMA Systems are used by appraisers to record data necessary to calculate home and property values and typically include a sketching component. Estimated cost is $350,000. Kramber said a three-year CAMA agreement was signed with ACS. The current system is AS400 based and ACS hopes to move to a PC based system. The Manatron System has not been implemented. There are 64 counties involved with MCCC and out of those, 40 will move to the Manatron System. The other counties are remaining with ACS. A standard flat file is being created between ACS and Manatron so the data can transfer easily. Kramber hopes to have more information on these systems after attending a conference in a few weeks. Recommendation: Change CIP from “2009” project year to “2010” with funding through the Recorder’s Compliance Fund.
B. Expansion Of Assessor’s Department
Project Year 2010
(Page 16)
The request is to remodel the Department to create additional cubicle space and expand the records room. The request would include expanding into the hallway between the Assessor and Auditor/Treasurer Departments, shutting off the 2nd floor east hallway. Kramber said the Recorder and Auditor/Treasurer support the request. Kramber consulted with the Auditor/Treasurer on utilizing a portion of the vault for storage of field books. The Committee discussed the importance of an overall plan for space usage at the Government Center once the Sheriff and Jail move to the new site. Recommendation: Change project year from “2010” to “2009.” The request should be submitted to the Budget Committee Of The Whole as part of the 2009 Assessor Budget requests with funding from G.O. Bonds.
Recommendation: The Committee will meet on 6-09-08 at 8:30 A.M. with the Departments of Auditor/Treasurer, Information Technology, Sheriff, and Veterans Services. An additional meeting will be scheduled thereafter to discuss Capital Improvement requests from Administration, including Building Care, and Court Administration. The Committee will then finalize their recommendations to be presented to the Budget Committee Of The Whole when they meet in August. (End of Capital Improvement Finance Committee Minutes)
There will be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today at 1:00 P.M.
Bills Approved
Allina Health System. $1,904.04
Allina Medical 750.48
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 262.39
Larry Anderson 105.00
Apec Industrial Sales & Serv. 1,810.61
Aramark Correctional Services 10,265.80
Automatic Garage Door & Firepl 1,760.00
Bankers Advertising Co. Inc. 652.30
Boyer Truck Parts 477.31
Brothers Fire Protection Co. 1,800.00
Buffalo Hospital 11,604.69
Business Ware Solutions 357.84
Centra Sota Lake Region Inc. 30,960.28
Central MN Mental Health Ctr 190.00
Comm. of Transportation 55,364.90
Consulting Radiologists Ltd. 296.40
Contech Construction Product 22,916.70
Carter Diers 507.02
Emergency Physicians PA 146.25
Federal Signal Corporation 259.07
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Exc. 36,383.25
Gateway Companies Inc., An 1,741.70
GCS Service Inc. 169.35
Janet Gholson 274.72
Grainger 176.09
Graphic & Printing Services 252.00
Hardrives, Inc. 602,258.01
ICMA-Distribution Center 215.00
Jude Vending 134.00
Keeprs Inc. 324.93
Thomas Kelly 188.37
Michael Laurent 304.10
Marco Inc 4,858.76
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 1,237.28
Minncor Industries Central 165.08
MN Counties Ins. Trust 6,583.00
MN Department of Revenue 425.00
MN Elevator Inc. 288.61
Monticello Ford Mercury Inc. 990.00
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 1,726.87
Office Depot 832.21
OSI Environmental Inc. 1,090.00
Polar Chevrolet 45,177.54
Quality Challenge Coins Inc. 864.00
Frank Ramacciotti 300.00
Thomas Richards 200.00
Rigid Hitch Incorporated 124.30
Road Machinery & Supplies Co. 1,101.68
Royal Tire Inc. 635.54
Ryan Chevrolet 152.10
Sherwin Williams 184.67
Sprint 1,447.68
St. Joseph Equipment Inc. 247.71
Star Tribune 1,097.80
Total Printing 493.63
Traffic Technologies LLC 644.33
Walmart Community BRC 493.63
Wolf Protective Agency Inc. 1,013.18
Wright Co. Ag Society 240.00
Wright Hennepin Co-op Elec. 668.55
Wright Soil & Water Conserv 244.00
Xcel Energy 1,025.74
Zarnoth Brush Works Inc. 1,648.62
26 Payments less than $100 1,009.54
Final total $861,859.02
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal July 7, 2008.