Wright County Board Minutes

AUGUST 19, 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 8-12-08 were discussed. Russek made the following correction to the minutes: Page 9, last paragraph, 6th line, change from “…getting assistance from the Township…” to “…getting assistance for the Township…” Yesterday, Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, submitted a request to the Administration Department asking to have the language amended on Page 9, last paragraph. The request includes removing the entire last paragraph and replacing it with language suggested by Fingalson. He felt the revised language more accurately depicted the discussion at the meeting. He was particularly concerned that the minutes did not reflect that Franklin Township would be required to bring Brighton Avenue up to County standards. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the proposed change was reviewed. His position is that the changes are not substantive enough to warrant revision of the minutes. Norman said the paragraph provides the inference that the Township will bring the road up to standards. The motion within the minutes reflects the following language, which Norman felt addressed the Township being required to bring the road up to standards:
“Russek moved to authorize sending a letter to Franklin Township informing them of the County’s intent to only take over Brighton Avenue if they brought it up to County standards. Mattson seconded the motion. Fingalson asked if the Board desires adding a specific recommendation that Farmington Avenue not be approved for County take-over. Sawatzke stated that the County would not consider either Avenue unless they meet County standards. Russek stated that he would consider either road if they were brought up to County standards. Russek and Mattson agreed to amend the motion to state that the County would take over either road if brought up to County standards. The motion carried unanimous.”
Fingalson said the proposed revision also includes a clarification on a detour route. However, the key item would be noting the responsibility of the Township to bring the roadway up to County standards. The Highway Department uses the Board minutes as a reference tool. Russek said the County’s policy is that townships are to bring roadways up to County standards prior to the County taking the roads over. Fingalson stated that there is not a written policy in this regard. Mattson said he previously brought up a correction to a set of minutes on a different issue and was told that the tape reflected differently so the minutes would not be changed. Russek felt the minutes presented by the Administration Department are accurate other than the one change recommended. Russek moved to approve the minutes as presented noting the one change as presented, seconded by Heeter. As requested by Sawatzke, Russek and Heeter amended the motion to include the following change to the minutes on page 10, 1st paragraph, 4th to the last sentence, change from “Russek stated that he would consider either road if they were brought up to County standards” to “Russek stated that he would consider either road if they were brought up to County standards by the Township.” Mattson felt strongly that the minutes should not be changed unless the tape reflected this language. Norman referenced the original motion from last week’s meeting, “Russek moved to authorize sending a letter to Franklin Township informing them of the County’s intent to only take over Brighton Avenue if they brought it up to County standards.” He felt the motion indicates that Franklin Township is responsible for bringing the road up to County standards. Russek and Heeter rescinded the amendment to the motion. Therefore, the motion is to approve the minutes as presented noting the one change as presented (Page 9, last paragraph, 6th line, change from “…getting assistance from the Township…” to “…getting assistance for the Township…”). The motion carried 4-0-1 with Eichelberg abstaining, as he was not present at the last County Board Meeting.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, “Set 2007 Audit Exit Meeting With Larson/Allen, 8-26-08 at 3:00 P.M.” (McCalla). Richard Norman, County Coordinator, removed the 9:20 Agenda item, “Noel LaBine, Wright County Economic Development Partnership RE: Wright County Enterprise Loan Fund Applications, Chance Investments, LLC (EPC).” Heeter moved to approve the Agenda with the two changes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Russek moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke questioned the purpose of Consent Item A5, “Refer Discussion To The Building Committee RE: Lighting In The Administration Department.” Norman said the discussion is requested due to additional lighting that is required. The motion carried 5-0:
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Pulvermacher, Aud./Treas.; T. Macleod, Sher./Corr.; C. Majkrzak, VS/CD.
2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, St. John’s Catholic Church, St. John’s Education Center, Cokato Township MN & Waive 30 Day Waiting Period.
3. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, MN 244 Delano Ducks Unlimited, Rockford Township Hall, 3039 Dague Ave SE Buffalo MN & Waive 30 Day Waiting Period.
4. Claim, Hunerberg Construction Company, $19,083.00 (Pay App. #2 – Admin Dept. Remodel).
5. Refer Discussion To The Building Committee RE: Lighting In The Administration Department.
6. Refer Discussion To The Ways And Means Committee RE: Property Near The Fairgrounds.
1. Approve Amendment No. 1 To Maintenance Agreement No. PW 44-73-05 With Hennepin County.
2. Approve Personal Leave Of Absence For Travis Laage, Highway Maintenance Person.
1. Authorize Robert Rolfzen To Work Out Of Class As A Corrections Sergeant Effective 8-23-08.
Denise McCalla, Property Tax Administrator/Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, requested Board approval of the Application by a Governmental Subdivision for Conveyance of Tax-Forfeited Lands for an Authorized Public Use. The property, PID #210-100-204400, is located adjacent to Robert Ney Regional Park. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said Wright County Park Land surrounds the property on the north, west and south sides. The parcel is about 20 acres. The southern portion is part of a larger wetland complex. Asleson said the history of the parcel is that the original owner passed away and the taxes were unpaid for a number of years. The owner’s relatives were contacted and they felt it may have been sold on a contract for deed but they didn’t know who to. There are no recording records of a contract for deed or a subsequent deed. The relatives have expressed no interest in the property. The land was submitted to the DNR and back to the County as tax forfeited property. The procedure is for the land to be offered to the County, School District, and Township. Asleson said Mattson previously was in contact with an individual who owns property north of the parcel. At one point during the redemption period shortly before the parcel went tax forfeit, the individual tried to pay the taxes in hopes of gaining ownership interest. The law provides conveyance by interest through the original owner (inheritance, etc.) but no connection was found between that party and the original owners. The taxes paid by the neighboring landowner were refunded. The parcel then moved to tax forfeit. There was another party that was interested in farming the land. However, they have not been in contact with Asleson and no new information was provided on the land ownership. When property becomes tax forfeit, the County has the option of selling it back to a prior owner (i.e., an original owner is deceased and passes it to their children who would have the right to pay up the back taxes). Sawatzke noted that if the County does not take the property, it would have to be auctioned. If an heir is not interested in the property, the County’s use of the land would be the next best scenario versus the County paying thousands of dollars per acre for park land. Russek said the land will be for public use and that is allowable. Sawatzke moved to approve the Application by a Governmental Subdivisions for Conveyance of Tax-Forfeited Lands for an Authorized Public Use, PID #210-100-204400. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to set the 2007 Exit Meeting with Larson/Allen for 8-26-08 at 3:00 P.M.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, requested approval to pursue an extension with the MN Commissioner of Revenue for full implementation of the new Green Acres Legislation until the 2010 assessment. Kramber did not feel his office will be able to fully implement the changes for the 2009 assessment with the timeline given. He did not want an audit to result due to not meeting deadlines. This will be a difficult tax burden and will be hard and costly to administer. He envisioned negative public response upon distribution of tax information. Kramber has discussed the issue with Wright County Senators and Representatives in hopes of seeing changes in the payback area during the upcoming Legislative Session. Kramber said the objective is to hold press meetings once full documentation has been completed and they understand if fully. He felt the Department of Revenue will attend these meetings to meet with the community and township officers. Russek moved to authorize sending a letter to the Department of Revenue requesting an extension, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.
Laid over from the last meeting, the Emergency Management Performance Grant was discussed. Russek said the reason the item was laid over is to receive a breakdown on how funding is spent. Mattson asked for clarification on the grant amounts being requested. He felt less grant funding should be requested so that it would have a lower impact on the levy. Steve Berg, Emergency Management Coordinator, said this is not a grant that is applied for. It involves Federal funding that is provided to the State. The State, through Homeland Security, distributes the funding to counties based on a formula (1/3-base rate, 1/3-total allocation based on population, 1/3-net tax capacity). Wright County is ranked 9 out of 87 counties. If counties elect not to proceed with the Emergency Operations Plan, the funds are distributed to other counties. Last year, Wright County initially received $31,500. At a later date, $4,000 additionally was received because the State received funding from non-participating counties so the funds were redistributed. The grant is to fund the Emergency Operations Plan from the State. Counties do not have to apply or participate. Grant funding is received and the local levy supports matching funds. Sheriff Gary Miller said the County’s match funds the Emergency Management Director position. When the position was established in the budget, a line item was not designated for operational costs. The funding that is leveraged through this grant goes toward acceptable expenditures for the position. Examples of grant funding expenditures include the labor, vehicle, and putting together Plans. Miller stated that this year’s budget information includes what was expended in the 2007 budget and provides a breakdown of the grant and expenditures. Norman clarified that revenues are listed in the revenue section of the budget and the expenditures are reflected in the Sheriff Department budget. Miller explained that in the past, there was not a specific line item established for Emergency Management. Grant funding was being received and shown as revenue but there was no correlation on tracking these funds to expenditures. Heeter moved to approve the Emergency Management Performance Grant, seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson’s concern is that funding received through grants is spent wisely. Sawatzke referenced the newly created Emergency Grant Expense line item totaling $40,000. He felt what the Board was ultimately looking for was a breakdown of the expenditures. Berg confirmed that there is a list reflecting expenditures. Sawatzke said the understanding always was that grants would be used to offset the costs of this position. The grant either is funding the salary of the position or 50% of the total costs related to the position (salary + operational costs). The motion carried 5-0
A Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 8-11-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0-1 with Eichelberg abstaining (as he was not at the meeting):
Nolan stated that on Sunday, 5-25-08, a storm went through Wright County that resulted in substantial hail damage to County vehicles and property. Nolan distributed an outline of the noted damages, MCIT’s evaluation, and his recommendation (see attached interoffice memorandum dated 8-08-08.) Nolan reminded the Committee that the storm generally affected the north and northeastern portions of the County, and was the same storm that resulted in a tornado touch-down in Hugo. The County sustained damage to 28 Sheriffs Department vehicles, one Human Services vehicle, and one Planning and Zoning vehicle. One of the Sheriffs vehicles was totalled. Working with Mitch Flemming, Judy Ashley, and Gary Miller, it was determined that only 13 of the damaged Sheriffs Department vehicles were reported as a loss to MCIT. Two estimates for each vehicle were acquired, and MCIT sent out its appraiser. A total loss of $29,000 - $34,000 was calculated. Nolan stated that the damage would be reimbursed at actual cash value (ACV), not replacement cost. The depreciation amount on the property is held back from the replacement cost value (RCV) amount. This is not reimbursed unless the vehicle/property is repaired. The County will have two years from the date of incident to fix the property for reimbursement. Nolan explained that MCIT issued a check for $4,900.00 for the totalled squad car. MCIT capped the $500 deductibles at $3,000.00 because this one event caused multiple damaged properties. Sawatzke questioned whether all reported vehicles were going to be repaired. Nolan stated no. Nolan stated that four properties sustained roof damage. Three Parks properties and the Compost Facility were affected. The three Parks were Clearwater Pleasant, Schroeder, and Ney. The Parks dwellings mainly received damage to their shingles. However, major damage occurred at the Compost Facility. Nolan provided a breakdown of the damages incurred on each of the individual properties (see attached memo) and the anticipated checks that will be issued for each of the properties. The difference in the amount of the losses, and the money received from MCIT, is the depreciation held until the structures are repaired. The County will be fully reimbursed after the repairs are made. Nolan stated that the County could be reimbursed up to 150% of what the buildings are scheduled for. Nolan stated that this year’s losses would not have a direct affect on the 2009 premiums. It would however affect the dividend the County would receive this year. Nolan cautioned the Committee by saying that if the Board opts not to fix a damaged property, and future damage occurs, the County would not receive a second reimbursement unless the loss involved additional damage. Nolan stated that with the advice of Marc Mattice and Ralph Borell, it is recommended to repair all park structures that were damaged by the 5-25-08 storm. Nolan stated that the County Compost Facility received major damages. Bill Stephens spent numerous days out at the Compost Facility, working with an independent appraiser and a structural engineer. Nolan stated that a majority of the damage is seen in the metal siding and metal roofs. The office building had its windows blown out, the rooftop cooling unit was totalled, the processing building and a large condensing unit were totalled, the membrane roofing on the office building was torn, and damage was sustained to the fascia and siding. The hanger building, which consists of approximately 160,000 sq. ft., sustained damage to every square foot of its roof. Major denting occurred on the tipping/processing building. MCIT provided a replacement cost (RCV), itemized by building. The replacement cost is estimated at $533,891.88. The metal roof would receive a salvage value of $18,300. Applying a $5,000 deductible, the new calculated replacement value is $510,519.88. Nolan stated that it is up to the Board to decide what portions of the building they would want to fix. He stated that the above numbers are not final as they are awaiting additional information from a structural engineer. Nolan stated that he would recommend that the Board consider fixing the office building: windows, roof, and A/C unit. Mattson asked how old the office roof is. Sawatzke stated that he thought it was approximately 18 years old. Nolan stated that the estimate for the new roof is approximately $14,000. The Committee agreed that the office building needed 100% repair. Nolan stated that removing the roof of the hanger building would cost approximately $250,000. Sawatzke asked if the dented metal roof was noticeable and leaking. Stephens stated that residents would not notice the dented roof. He added that the roof has always leaked at the seams. The amount of leaking has not been a concern. Nolan stated that the hanger is an open air building. It does not have side walls. Nolan reminded the Committee that they would have two years from the date of the storm to make a decision. MCIT issued a check for $25,000 to start the County in its repair efforts. Norman stated that the funds were credited to Budget 100, Liability Insurance. Stephens commented that the processing building was not used during his employment. Nolan stated that it would be the responsibility of the County to retain proof of repairs. Sawatzke proposed that the Board Members tour the facility to determine necessary repairs. Norman proposed taking the insurance funds and setting it aside for uninsured claims. Sawatzke stated that he would be in favor of placing the funds aside for uninsured claims, or for the Compost Facility. RECOMMENDATION: Repair all Park structures, and the windows, roof, and air unit to the Compost Facility office building.
Hayes stated that the Dispatch Center is currently located within the Government Center. The fire alarm and panic buttons have all been routed through the Dispatch Center. Hayes questioned how the building’s system would be monitored once Dispatch moves to the new Jail/LEC. Hayes stated that he and Mark Nolan had meetings with the Sheriffs Department to get their opinion. The Court Administration Department was contacted for their input. He stated that Wright Hennepin monitors the Sheriffs Storage Building, HSC, and Public Works. For a monthly service fee, they monitor for fire, alarm, and burglary. They directly alert Dispatch. Sawatzke stated that his concern is in the amount of redundancy the County enlists: panic button, armed guards, ID badges, enhanced 9-1-1 system, etc. He questioned whether some of the alarms are obsolete. Hayes stated that he agreed with Sawatzke. The panic buttons have proven to be faulty whether through the fault of the user, or the system. Sawatzke stated that it was his opinion that dialing 9-1-1 is more foolproof and less time consuming than a panic button. Korbel stated that the Judges are for the use of panic buttons. Miller stated that the Sheriffs Department is in favor of the 9-1-1 system. The Sheriffs Department has been trained in 9-1-1. He stated that he is in favor of contracting with a private monitoring company. A call would be routed to 9-1-1 as a dispatch call, Dispatch would call the Buffalo PD, and the alert would be broadcast across the County Sheriffs intercom system. Nolan stated that the advantage of alerting Dispatch directly is that Dispatch has to make sure somebody responds to the panic alarm. Norman asked if staff would have to dial a “9” to dial out in order to call 9-1-1. Howell stated that the system could be used either way. Hayes explained that Wright Hennepin follows a protocol when alerted. (i.e. They are to call staff if there is a water sensor, and they call 9-1-1 if there is a fire.). A brief discussion ensued regarding false alarms and related charges by the City of Buffalo. The City of Buffalo charges $50.00 for each false alarm after three answered false alarms in a year. Hayes stated that Bill Swing is in agreement with voiding the panic alarm system. He supports using Wright Hennepin as an outside monitoring service. Norman asked if the deadline to put the new system into place would coincide with the Sheriffs Department moving to the new Jail/LEC. Hayes stated yes, however, Wright Hennepin would have to install new monitoring devices before the deadline so that the system is in place by the move date. Hayes commented that the Jail would only be staffed during daytime hours, Monday through Friday. A concern was raised regarding Maintenance staff needing access to the Jail during evening hours to respond to alarms. A key box may be an option. Korbel stated that there is a liability of staff getting locked in, leaving a potential weapon, or leaving a door unlocked. Hayes stated that the Jail is monitored via cameras, and can be viewed by select staff on the intranet. Korbel asked if the cameras in the atrium area could be moved to view the metal detectors at the two main entrances. Hayes responded that he would check into it. Miller stated that he would meet with the Judges in September and would discuss the new security measures with them. Korbel stated that he would accompany Miller to discuss other issues as well. RECOMMENDATION: Disband the panic alarm system and contract with Wright Hennepin to provide monitoring services once the Sheriffs Department moves to the new Jail/LEC. (End of Building Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
There will be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today at 1:00 P.M.
Bills Approved
Brian Abrahamson. $707.91
Milo Alama Trucking 2,859.00
American Institutional Supply 411.05
Ancom Communications Inc. 367.10
Annandale Advocate Inc. 128.40
Annandale Rock Products 221.10
Aramark Correctional Services 10,926.66
Arctic Glacier Inc. 889.10
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 199.75
B & B Products - Rigs and Squa 300.00
Backman Printing 511.24
Bob Barker Co. 120.30
Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 125.00
Antonio Brown 108.00
Buffalo Floral & Landscaping 200.00
Buffalo Hospital 169.90
Builders Carpet Inc. 1,612.00
Climate Air 2,306.53
Cub Pharmacy 2,874.68
Pam Dahlman 183.57
Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo 209.00
Carter Diers 605.74
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 107.16
E-Z Flush 522.90
Nicholas Eastman 150.00
Debbie Ernst 192.92
Expert Towing Inc. 138.45
GCS Service Inc. 256.75
Janet Gholson 235.48
Glock, Inc. 180.00
Greenview Inc. 14,843.04
H & H Sport Shop Inc. 114.00
Hardings Towing Inc. 213.00
Hewlett Packard 32,770.05
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 990.85
International Personnel Manage 1,149.95
Interstate All Battery Center 454.17
Interstate Automotive 159.75
Chris Jahnke 260.33
Karels Towing 148.50
Janet Klein 164.91
Cheryl Klingler 100.00
Michael Laurent 192.08
Law Enforcement Training Servi 200.00
Marco 8,500.00
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 1,600.00
Marysville Township 596.75
Mid-America Business Systems 141.40
MN Assn. of Co. Feedlot Offi 130.00
Morrell Towing Inc. 251.35
Motorola Inc. 3,257.38
Mumford Sanitation 807.21
Office Depot 1,646.04
Performance Kennels Inc. 171.19
Photo 1 356.03
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 1,438.82
Premier Sun Control 874.72
Qwest 7,750.17
Anthony Rasmuson 194.00
Genell Reese 145.13
Rockford Township 2,735.80
Sherburne County Sheriff 17,105.00
Software House International 2,231.18
Spectrum Solutions 125.00
State of MN-Office Enterprise 370.00
Streichers 320.49
Superior Striping Inc. 425.00
T & M Towing and Snow Plowing 181.06
Nancy Tallman 193.55
Total Printing 201.02
Keith Triplett 194.00
Uniforms Unlimited 676.04
Viking Coca Cola Bottling Co. 123.25
West Payment Center 839.27
Wright Hennepin Electric 783.31
22 Payments less than $100 1,126.99
Final total $135,071.47
The meeting adjourned at 9:53 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 29, 2008.