Wright County Board Minutes

SEPTEMBER 23, 2008
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 9-16-08 minutes as presented.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda under Items For Consideration as follows: Amend Item #3 to include, “Purchases Made From Construction FF&E” (Torfin); Item #4, “AMC District V Meeting” (Russek); Item #5, “Quad County Meeting Announcement/Agenda” (Norman); Item #6, “Meeting RE: Buffalo School District Levy Referendum” (Norman); Item #7, “Claim, Willen Inc., Jail/LEC, $6,545.00” (Norman); Item #8, “Schedule Closed Session RE: Property Purchase Near Wright County Fairgrounds” (Asleson). Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, explained that the item relating to the purchases made from the Construction FF&E budget relate to four invoices that require payment. In meeting with A&P last week, it was discovered that the invoices are being tracked by A&P but not paid by them. Subsequently, finance charges and collection calls have occurred. The purchases were previously approved by the County Board. On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.
On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: S. Kile, Ct. Svcs.; M. McGill, Sheriff.
2. Authorize Hire Of Roof Spec. Inc. For Government Center Roof Replacement, Professional Services, $31,622 (Design Phase) & $19,670 (Construction Phase Estimate).
3. O/T Report, Period Ending 9-05-08.
1. Wright County Jail & LEC Application For Payment #15, $1,645,745.13 (Aug. 2008).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Tom Zins, Assistant County Attorney, requested the Board schedule a Closed Meeting to discuss litigation which has been brought against Wright County by Corinna Township. Wright County was served with a summons complaint on 9-19-08. The purpose of the Closed Meeting will be to discuss how to proceed with legal counsel. A letter was sent to MCIT yesterday informing them of the summons complaint and requesting that John Baker serve as the outside legal counsel in this case. MCIT will make this determination. Zins said the Closed Meeting would allow some preliminary discussions with legal counsel. Zins suggested the Closed Meeting be held prior to 10-08-08. Yesterday, Zins received correspondence from Chuck Marohn, on behalf of the Township, making further assertions on various administrative practices regarding building permits. Heeter questioned whether the County will cease permitting until the settlement of the lawsuit. Zins said that is not what he reads in the lawsuit. The Township would like the court to rule that the Township is the exclusive building permit authority and that the County stop exercising its authority to issue building permits in the Township. Zins said it is a relatively narrow issue at this point but there are a lot of things this could lead into. There is a possibility that the County could counter claim to establish more issues. This could be a topic of discussion with counsel as well. Heeter moved to set a Closed Session with legal counsel for 10-07-08 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, provided an overview of the 9-08-08 Parks Commission Minutes and recommendations. The following reflects discussion that occurred at today’s County Board Meeting:
A. Send Archery Range Agreement To Ways & Means Committee To Review & Discuss Liability Issues.
Mattice explained that the Parks Commission and the Sportsman’s Club are satisfied with the language in the lease agreement. However, they felt the County Board should address the insurance issues directly. Mattice recommended the issue be referred to Committee where Mark Nolan, Safety Director, could explain the liability issues. Mattson moved to refer the issue to the Ways & Means Committee, seconded by Heeter. The Ways & Means Committee will meet on 10-08-08. The motion carried 5-0.
B. Equestrian Trail Use/Closures Recommendations For Stanley Eddy & Robert Ney Regional Park.
Mattice provided a history of the issue. In November, 2003, the Parks Commission recommended to the County Board that the North and South Units of Stanley Eddy Park be opened for horse traffic for a period of five years or until the Ney Park Trail expansion is usable for horse traffic. Mattice said the trails at Ney Park are now established and ready for use. The Parks Commission discussed the status of the Alama Unit (181 acres plus easements at Stanley Eddy Park), future plans to link Lake Maria State Park and Robert Ney Regional Park, ecological effects of heavy use in Stanley Eddy Park, and provisions for suitable recreation activities and amenities nearby. The Parks Commission recommends that trails at the Robert Ney Park east of Endicott Avenue be authorized for use, that the North and South Unit of Stanley Eddy be closed, and that equine trails be established, with a goal date being the Fall of 2011, in the “Alama Unit” of Stanley Eddy. Park Commission Member Bergquist explained at the Parks Commission Meeting that the rationale for the motion is that the trails east of Endicott were established to minimize the effects of higher use and a parking area exists that would allow the separation of uses. The trails west of that location would remain open only for hiking and environmental educational purposes. In the “Alama Unit” new trails would be designed to allow horse use, minimizing negative effects on the property, and that trails should be specifically designed and maintained for this use. Members also discussed using the easement as a connection from the South Unit of Stanley Eddy to the “Alama Unit” and the possibility of parking at the South East entrance and connecting from that location to the easement, rather than establishing additional parking areas. The Parks Commission further recommended that the Board authorize use of trails at Robert Ney Park east of Endicott Avenue, and to close the North and South Unit of Stanley Eddy, and to establish equine trails in the “Alama Unit” of Stanley Eddy with a goal of being established by the fall of 2011. The Parks Commission vote passed 6-1.
Russek did not support restricting horses from some areas of the Parks. Although he is not a horse owner, he did not feel this should be done. He felt everyone paid taxes and should have access to Parks. Heeter referenced the closure of the North and South Units of Stanley Eddy for horse traffic and the possibility of adding 181 acres of the “Alama Unit” in Stanley Eddy Park for this purpose in 2011. She said Stanley Eddy currently has limited riding time (1 hour) and felt the 181 acre addition may only add an additional 20 minutes. She felt the proposal would be a significant decrease in trails. She questioned why trails would be closed only to spend money in a different area. Heeter suggested including the “Alama Unit” and the South Unit of Stanley Eddy. As a horse owner she has concern with the proposal, and questioned how many Wright County Parks there are total and how many offer horse trails. Mattice stated there are 29 County operated Parks and currently Stanley Eddy and Ney Park allow horse traffic. When part of the Ney Park land was purchased from the previous owner, there was an agreement that they could ride horses in that Park. The agreement actually says “horse traffic” and doesn’t specify only the previous landowner can ride in the Park. The horse trails in Ney Park have never been advertised but there are some people who ride there. Heeter said she wants to support recommendations from the Parks Commission, but she did not feel she could on this issue. Heeter pointed out that the one Parks Commission member that voted against the recommendation was Durst, who the property (181 acres) was purchased from. She agreed with Russek’s position that many taxpayers in Wright County own horses. With the price of fuel, she felt it would be nice to offer areas for riding in Wright County. Mattson said Stanley Eddy Park was donated by the Eddy family. He spoke with Professor John Eddy who explained to Mattson that the parks in Texas have been closed to horse traffic due to disease and flies. Mattson had concern with a person donating land and then using it in a manner that they oppose (horse traffic). Professor Eddy said he would not get involved as he does not live in Wright County. Mattson also referred to an occasion where a family member was hiking in Stanley Eddy Park. The condition of the trails was poor (manure and ruts on the ground). He did not feel that horses and people are a good mix for trails. He supported the Parks Commission recommendation. Heeter said only 1-2 of the Wright County Parks have horse trails. She suggested that people could hike in the other 27 parks. The County Board has worked hard to preserve ag land and keeping the County rural. This is an opportunity to preserve the Park. She understood Mattson’s concern that the intent of the Eddy family was not to use the land for horses. Heeter asked whether there is documentation of this intent when the land was purchased or donated. Mattice said Professor Eddy wrote a letter 6-7 years ago indicating his position on horses in the Park. Sawatzke referred to the recommendation of the Parks Commission, “to authorize use of trails at Robert Ney Park east of Endicott Avenue, and to close the North and South Unit of Stanley Eddy, and to establish equine trails in the ‘Alama Unit’ of Stanley Eddy with a goal of being established by the fall of 2011.” Sawatzke inquired whether the North and South units will remain open until the other things take place. Mattice responded that they would not be open. The trails east of Endicott Avenue and Ney Park will be opened immediately or as soon as they can sign for that use. The period that horseback riding is permitted in Wright County Parks is from May 15th to November 15th. There will be about one month left of continued operation. Next year, everything east of Endicott Avenue and Ney Park would be open. The North and South units would be closed in Stanley Eddy next year, and they would work on establishing trails on the “Alama Unit” for 2011. Sawatzke asked whether the rationale for having these proposed locations, as opposed to the current locations, was the terrain of the land and the environment. Mattice responded that one person’s reasoning is the ecology of Stanley Eddy Park, as it is a remnant of the Big Woods and it is listed on the biological survey. He said horses have more impact on the trails than walking. Sawatzke asked whether the other five members of the Parks Commission agreed with this perspective. Mattice said that most of them felt the “Alama Unit” has been grazed for the last 50-60 years and that impacts have already occurred there. Stanley Eddy Park has not been grazed since the County has owned it and the ecology is different. He said there was a lot of conversation between the Parks Commission members at their meeting that the South Unit could be used as an access point to the “Alama Unit,” where they would take a small portion of the trail to get to the easement rather than establishing a new parking lot. Mattice felt the Parks Commission agreed not to go in that direction at this time. Once a trail is established, the discussion would take place on how they will stage the trail to the “Alama Unit.” Eichelberg said when the property was purchased, he would not have been in favor of doing so unless it was purchased with the intent of connecting it to that area and allowing horse access. At that time, he was assured that this would be a topic of discussion at the time when trails are made in that section and when it is determined where parking will be for horse trailers (whether the South unit will be used or a new parking area established). With that understanding, Eichelberg said he went along with the recommendation. Sawatzke referenced the trails being open from May 15 to November 15 and inquired whether this is a Parks policy and whether riding in the Parks during other time periods is a violation. Mattice explained this is a Parks policy and using the Parks for riding other than this period would be a violation. Mattson moved to approve the recommendation of the Parks Commission, seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke said the Parks Commission had lengthy discussion on the item and it was a 6-1 vote. Russek noted that one of the members is adamantly opposed to horses in the Parks, however, 10 years ago he felt the member very much supported horses in the Parks. The person does not have horses any longer. Russek said he would vote against the motion as it is not fair to horse owners to have almost nothing. Heeter said she would vote against the motion as well. She felt there should be an opportunity for taxpayers to dialogue on this as well. She felt this was unjust and wrong. Eichelberg said the motion should include that when the trail is made on the new section, there will be a way to get to that place so people can ride horses. The bottom half of the South side of Stanley Eddy could be opened at that point to include the addition. Heeter encouraged horse owners to contact County Board members or Parks Commission members to let them know how they feel on this issue. The motion carried 3-2 with Heeter and Russek casting the nay votes.
Mattice requested the Board adopt a resolution in support of a 2009 LCCMR Funding Application for the Bertram Chain of Lakes, as prepared by the City of Monticello. The action would mimic the 2008 application but will be submitted by Jeff O’Neill, Monticello City Administrator, rather than the County. The City adopted the resolution at their 9-22-08 meeting. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #08-38, seconded by Heeter. Mattson questioned the funding source. Mattice explained this is an application for grant funding. The resolution states that the City and County, in partnership, have begun developing the necessary financial agreements to meet the match requirement and proper acquisition of the proposed project. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
The Board discussed quotes received by Adolphson & Peterson for final cleaning of the new Jail/LEC. Quotes ranged from $33,000 to $59,950. The recommendation is to accept the low quote from DGS Classic Cleaning for $33,000. Sawatzke explained the company will provide the equipment to clean interior/exterior windows and electrical and mechanical fixtures; vacuum/mop all floor surfaces; clean/dust all walls and partitions; clean inside and outside of all casework, lockers, doors, and doorframes; and clean all interior glass and mirrors. As part of the final cleaning all dust, dirt, finger prints and labels are to be removed from the exposed interior and exterior surfaces and glossy surfaces will be polished to a clear shine. A project schedule is as follows: Area A: 10-3-08; Area B: 10-10-08; Area C: 11-14-08; Area F: 11-28-08; Area E: 12-01-08; and Area D: 1-09-09. The Owner’s Committee discussed having custodial staff complete the work but recommends proceeding with DGS Classic Cleaning. Mattson questioned whether areas cleaned per the schedule will remain clean and not be affected by surrounding work. Lt. Todd Hoffman confirmed that construction will be complete prior to an area being cleaned. Sawatzke moved to accept the bid from DGS Classic Cleaning for $33,000, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
There will not be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today.
Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, presented a request to purchase ancillary furniture for the Jail/LEC project. The request would normally be presented for recommendation by the Owner’s Committee. However, it is being presented to the County Board to expedite the order for chairs and tables due to an 8% price increase scheduled to take effect on 10-01-08. The cost of the Sit-On-It products is $41,078 if ordered in September, reflecting a cost savings of $3,286. All furniture will be ordered off existing contracts. Furniture in existing Government Center conference rooms will remain and new furniture will be purchased for the Jail/LEC site. The proposed order will furnish areas such as conference rooms, training rooms, attorney consultation rooms, public hallways, and the lobby. The plan used was developed by the architect on a room-by-room analysis. The total cost of chairs and tables is $106,815.91 (including sales tax). The architect’s estimate was $124,000. Colors were selected by a color committee made up of Sheriff Department staff. The pricing represents State of Minnesota contract pricing with one order from University of MN contract pricing. Considerable discussion followed on the furniture. Sawatzke referenced page 1 reflecting the purchase of task chairs and questioned what type of chair this is. Hayes said this is a standard quality office chair. Sawatzke asked how many people sit in task chairs. Lt. Hoffman said that approximately 2-3 months ago, discussion occurred at the Owner’s Committee on furniture. At that time, they inventoried all chairs (task & side chairs) used for offices and cubicles. In the past, the Sheriff’s Department has utilized chairs that were sent to storage by other departments for auction. The inventory took into consideration current chairs and those that were required to be ordered. Hoffman indicated he could not address specific questions today as he did not have the inventory in hand. He estimated that 95% of the current task chairs will be brought to the new site. Sawatzke asked whether there are staff members who do not currently have task chairs. Hoffman said there are staff who are sitting on side chairs, which is a lower grade chair that is not adjustable. A task chair is an 8-hr/day chair. Sawatzke asked how many staff will occupy what is deemed a task chair (those that would occupy an office/cubicle as their primary work area). Hoffman estimated that in the Sheriff’s Office, they are occupying about 65 task chairs on a day-to-day basis. Sawatzke referenced page 2 reflecting a quote for 50 conference chairs and 108 training room chairs. He asked what training room will hold 108 chairs. Hoffman said the chairs are for three training rooms (one in the Sheriff Department and two downstairs). With regard to side chairs, the original plan called for more side chairs. Side chairs will not be ordered for cubicles and clerical staff where it is not required. Side chairs will be used in areas such as detectives and narcotics. The number required was compared to the current inventory and what is being ordered is what is needed. Hayes stated they have worked hard to come up with the correct number of chairs and tables to be ordered. A room-by-room analysis was completed and the request is for furniture that fits the design the Board approved. Sawatzke moved to approve the purchase of Sit-On-It products at a cost of $41,078. The remainder of the furniture will be presented to the Owner’s Committee for review. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Hiivala presented three claims for approval which were petitioned onto the Agenda by Gary Torfin. They include: Uline, $415.57 for a pallet truck; Lab Safety Supply, $475.53, for a platform truck; and Bob Barker Co. Inc., $6,940.82, for mattresses and pillows. The three claims have been approved by the Owner’s Committee, purchase orders have been issued, and a claim has been generated. Sawatzke inquired whether the pallet truck and platform truck are for custodial staff. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, confirmed this is the case. Sawatzke moved to approve the three claims as presented, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Russek said there will be an AMC District V Meeting on 10-23-08 in Sherburne County. Russek moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Heeter, carried unanimously.
A Quad County Meeting Agenda was received. The meeting will be held on 9-30-08 at the new Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud. Heeter moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
A notice was received from the Buffalo School District inviting the County Board to attend a Public Meeting regarding the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District Levy Referendum. The following are the public meeting dates: 9-30-08 at 7:00 P.M, Discovery Center Board Room; or 9-29-08 at 7:00 P.M. at both the Hanover Elementary and Montrose Elementary Schools. Heeter moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Russek. Mattson did not recall going to such meetings in other school districts located in the County and questioned why the County would be involved. Heeter stated the School District is a taxing authority and they are looking to increase taxes. She felt they want the Board to be aware of this. Sawatzke thought those that represent the Buffalo area should attend if so desired. The motion carried 5-0.
Norman presented a claim for approval from Willen, Inc. for $6,545.00. The contract with Willen, Inc. includes a not-to-exceed figure. Norman felt that as long as that figure has not been reached, the invoice is okay to pay. When the project comes to an end, the County will have to make sure payments equal the contract. Sawatzke moved to approve the claim, seconded by Heeter. Mattson questioned why the claim was petitioned onto the Agenda. Norman said claims for Willen are normally placed on the Consent Agenda. Since the Board is not meeting on 9-30-08, it will be two weeks before it will be approved with payment the following Friday. The motion carried 5-0.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the Board schedule a Closed Session to discuss the purchase of the property near the Fairgrounds. Sawatzke moved to schedule the Closed Session for 10-07-08 at 8:30 A.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Bills Approved
Accurate USA. $287.83
ACU Print 790.00
Air Science USA LLC 9,597.20
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 2,677.51
Allina Health Systems 438.63
Allina OCC Med 410.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 230.58
Anoka County Sheriff 10,845.33
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv 676.28
Aramark Correctional Services 23,008.28
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 191.76
Auto Glass Center Inc. 754.44
Bob Barker Co. 459.77
Beaudry Propane Inc. 106.50
Big Time Towing 281.75
Brock White Co. LLC 531.40
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 170.00
Buffalo Hospital 11,279.59
Climate Air 2,502.34
Corinna Township 1,499.25
Cub Foods 258.19
Dell Marketing LP 207.68
Carter Diers 487.31
Emergency Physicians PA 425.25
Fairbanks Scale Inc. 3,049.11
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Excavat 261,348.47
First State Tire Recycling 626.27
Force America Inc. 237.42
GCS Service Inc. 234.88
Hance Utility Services Inc. 144.00
Karla Heeter 219.96
Robert Hiivala 167.90
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 6,681.44
Holiday 17,943.16
Gregory Howell 129.97
IAR Inc. 219.00
Interstate All Battery Center 271.13
Interstate Battery Systems of 473.42
Cheryl Klinger 100.00
Lab Safety Supply Inc. 408.16
Lake Region Coop Oil 261.99
LaPlant Demo Inc. 332.50
Larson Allen LLP 34,750.00
M & M Express 1,003.19
M-R Sign Company Inc. 13,249.67
Michael McMillan 285.42
Marco Inc. 521.85
Marties Farm Service 132.91
McCarthy Well Company 986.29
Merrick & Company 6,909.89
The Metro Group Inc. 4,734.99
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 2,451.34
Midland Corporate Benefits SVC 997.75
MN CLE Inc. 125.41
MN County Attorneys Association 593.54
MN Sheriffs Association 145.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,165.05
North Suburban Towing Inc. 346.92
Office Depot 6,908.63
Omann Brothers Inc. 1,077.45
City Otsego 173.45
Peas & Corn Co. Inc. 381.16
Pioneer Rim & Wheel Co. 123.60
Qwest 3,094.01
Frank Ramacciotti 900.00
Royal Tire Inc. 6,255.27
John Russek 174.33
Russell Security Resource Inc. 104.40
Ryan Chevrolet 4,106.38
Sirchie Finger Print Laborator 374.78
SRF Consulting Group Inc. 3,339.33
State of MN-Office Enterprise 370.00
Stockholm Township 359.20
STS Consultants LTD 7,880.96
Suites at Waterfront Plaza 106.22
Super Express 159.75
T & M Towing and Snow Plowing 133.13
Tennant 229.36
Thermal Technologies Inc. 1,089.32
Thwate Inc. 349.00
Total Printing 274.77
University of Minnesota 750.00
Verizon Wireless 801.67
Voss Lighting 153.36
Gordon Weber 215.10
Wright County Highway Dept. 7,278.49
Wright County Human Services 285.00
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec Assn 568.14
Wright Hennepin Electric 640.70
20 Payments less than $100 1,045.10
Final total $479,066.93
The meeting adjourned at 10:05 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Nov. 24, 2008.