Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 18, 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 11-04-08 were corrected as follows: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, 2nd line should read, “Mn/DOT has agreed to partner in the project and will contribute $25,000 and some in-kind services” (Norman); Page 2, 4th paragraph, 6th line should read, “The County previously had a garage on a nearby site” (Sawatzke); Page 4, 2nd paragraph, 8th line, should read, “Heeter wanted the applicant to know that they denied the Findings and she questioned whether the property could be rezoned” (Heeter). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Heeter, carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #7, “MCIT Dividend” (Norman); Item For Consid. #8, “Notice, Midwest Medical Examiners Open House” (Eichelberg). Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek. Bob Hiivala, Auditor Treasurer, then requested that the following be added to the Agenda: Aud./Treas. Item #5, “Update On 12-01-08 Note Sale.” Heeter and Russek agreed to amend the motion to include this petition to the Agenda. The motion carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Mattson referenced Item A5, “Acknowledge Receipt Of The Minnesota Department Of Corrections Jail Facility Inspection Report.” Mattson hoped these inspections will not lead to extra costs associated with the Jail project prior to the facility being opened. Lt. Pat O’Malley explained that the Report relates to an operational inspection for the current Jail and corrective action has been taken. The Jail goes through an annual inspection, which is a self audit tool that is sent by the Department of Corrections. However, this year the inspector came to Wright County. A couple of issues were brought forth and have been addressed at no cost. Mattson inquired as to when the new Jail will be inspected. O’Malley responded that the Department of Corrections has reviewed the plans and has made two site visits. No issues have been brought forward. Mattson was concerned with the use of the Project Contingency funds. Sawatzke said approximately half of those funds have been used and the project is over 90% complete. Mattson said change orders generally show up at the end of projects. Sawatzke said the goal from the start was to not use the entire fund. Mattson moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Heeter. The motion carried unanimously.
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Paumen, Aud./Treas; S. Murphy, Ct. Svcs.; C. Robert, D. Kotila, Hwy.; M. Brandenburg, C. Canton, B. LaRose, J. O’Dowd, B. Olson, Sher./Corr.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 10-31-08.
3. Claim, Frank Madden & Assoc., $4,857.79 (Service for 10-08).
4. Claim, Willen Inc., $7,735.00 (Service through 10-19-08).
5. Acknowledge Receipt Of The Minnesota Department Of Corrections Jail Facility Inspection Report.
6. Schedule Committee Meetings For December 17, 2008.
7. Refer Discussion RE: Parenting Through Divorce Program To The Personnel Committee.
B. ASSESSOR
1. Approve Abatement, PID# 118-194-003010, Michael Larson. (City of Otsego).
2. Approve Abatement, PID# 118-204-003020, 118-204-003030 & 118-204-3040 Eagle Crest Townhomes Inc. (City of Otsego).
3. Approve Abatement, PID# 213-100-302101, Klinefelter Living Trust. (Monticello Twp.)
4. Approve Abatement, PID# 116-034-000020, Stevens West 2 LLC. (City of Waverly)
C. SHERIFF
1. Approve A Personal Leave Of Absence For Medical Reasons.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested that the Board schedule the Truth In Local Taxation Public Hearing for 12-04-08 at 7:00 P.M. Russek moved to approve this request, seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke questioned whether every property owner in the County receives notice of this meeting. Hiivala explained this is the case. Sawatzke noted that at last year’s Truth In Local Taxation Hearing, one person brought forth a concern that they didn’t feel there was proper notice provided on the Hearing. Hiivala said all property owners receive notice of the meeting through their tax statement. The Auditor’s Office is reviewing whether to place a notice on the County’s website as well. The motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, seconded by Heeter, all voted to approve a plat, “IRONSIDE ADDITION,” as submitted by John D. Ironside, as trustee of the John D. Ironside Revocable Trust Agreement dated July 31, 2001 and Diane C. Ironside, as trustee of the Dianne C. Ironside Revocable Trust Agreement dated July 31, 2001, fee owners of property described in part as: Part of Gov’t Lot 1, Sec 32-Twp 122-Rg 27; and Part of Gov’t Lot 1, Sec 33-Twp 122-Rg 27; and Part of Gov’t Lot 1, Sec 4-Twp 121-Rg 27, have caused the same to be surveyed and platted as Ironside Addition; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#124717); the Township has a written agreement to accept the roads; and Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, has reviewed the mylars, title opinion and accompanying legal documents prepared by Timothy L. Young and finds the plat to be ready for recording.
Hiivala was contacted by Northern Communications who will be laying a fiber optics cable that will cross Ditch 10 on the east side of CR 6 within the road right-of-way. Correspondence was also received from Colleen Allen, Wetland Specialist-SWCD, regarding the work and impacts on the Ditch. The letter reflects that Northern Communications will bore under the Ditch and this should not cause disturbance to the Ditch, as long as proper procedures are followed. The letter further states that if drilling mud is used, they should monitor this carefully to make sure none of it enters the Ditch system. If any does, the letter states that Northern Communications is made aware that they would be responsible for removal and protecting downstream resources. Mattson questioned whether the Township has been notified of the utility activity. Hiivala stated the Highway Department has been notified and inspected the project specifications. He was unsure about notification to the Township. Heeter moved to approve the crossing of Ditch 10 by Northern Communications, seconded by Russek. Russek noted that they will bore under the Ditch instead of an open cut through the Ditch. Mattson had concern with making sure the company covers up where they bore the line. Hiivala will notify Northern Communications to make sure this is done. He also said the SWCD will inspect the boring work so there are no impacts to the Ditch. Hiivala will forward information to the Township as well. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala provided an update on the issuance of a Capital Equipment Note. At the 11-04-08 County Board Meeting, the Board voted to move forward with the issuance of the Capital Note. The bond sale date was projected to be on 12-01-08 with the award of the sale at the 12-02-08 County Board Meeting. Due to a miscommunication on information that was to be forwarded to Springsted Financial Advisors, it is their opinion that the bond sale date should be held on 12-15-08 with the award of the sale at the 12-16-08 County Board Meeting. Mattson moved to approve the bond sale date for 12-15-08 with award of the sale at the 12-16-08 County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, requested the Board schedule a bid opening for roof replacement at the Government Center site. The work will be completed late spring/early summer of 2009. Hayes felt an early bid will provide an opportunity for competitive pricing. Mattson said that with their church project, they were advised not to take bids at this time because the cost of roofing has doubled. They were advised to wait until spring. Russek said the County has the ability to reject bids if the cost comes in extraordinarily high and the project can be re-bid. If the County waits until spring, that will not be an option. Russek moved to advertise for bids for roof replacement, with a bid opening date of 12-16-08 at 10:00 A.M., seconded by Heeter. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the project will encompass roofs for both the Government Center and the Annex building and inquired as to the roof type and warranty. Hayes explained that the current roof is a ballast rubber membrane roof. The new roof will be a rubber membrane roof which will be fastened down. This type of roof holds some advantages over the current roof. It will carry the standard 10 year warranty and the County will have the option to purchase additional warranty. The roof project is included in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan. Replacement of the roof has been pushed out for years. It is finally at the point where the main body is failing. The work is estimated to take about two months. Norman said with the anticipated move of the Sheriff and Jail to the new Jail/LEC location, he would suggest the use of the parking area behind the Sheriff Department as a staging area for the contractor once work begins. Eichelberg questioned what type of roof is being used at the new Jail/LEC. Hayes stated that site has a ballast rubber membrane roof, which is the same as the one at the Government Center. Heeter understood this would be a favorable bidding time as many people are out of work. She agreed with Russek’s position that the project should be bid now and the County can re-bid the project in the spring if desired. The motion carried 5-0.
Steve Berg, Emergency Management Director, requested the Board authorize signatures on the Certification of Plan Approval for the Emergency Operations Plan. The County is in the third year of a four year cycle for approval of the Plan. In 2006, a Regional MNWALK review was completed where 69 items were checked (18 mandated along with other suggestions). In 2007, a Peer MNWALK review was completed. This involves the review of the Plan from another county’s Emergency Management Division. In 2008, the State’s Homeland Security Management completed the review by MNWALK standards. Today, Berg said he was looking for the Board to authorize signatures on the Approval to update the EOP. In 2009, the County Board will complete a review of the Plan by MNWALK standards. Mattson moved to authorize signatures on the Certification of Plan Approval for the Emergency Operations Plan. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, recognized two snowplow operators, Tom Waldron and Bob Erickson. Waldron and Erickson competed in the Snow Fighters Roadeo which is part of the Fall Maintenance Expo in St. Cloud (October 1st & 2nd). The Roadeo brings together city, county, state, and tribal agencies to sharpen operator’s skills, share information, and help them prepare for the rigorous challenges posed by a Minnesota winter. There were 110 drivers that competed Statewide. Waldron placed 3rd and Erickson placed 9th. They were recently recognized at a luncheon. The top two competitors will compete at the National level. If they are unable to attend, Waldron may be competing at the National level as well.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to approve Highway Right-Of-Way Plat No. 62 for the CSAH 6 Project (SP 86-606-13).
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said at the November meeting of the Parks Commission, it was requested by an equine citizens group to be on the Agenda to discuss recommendations from the September Parks Commission meeting to close Stanley Eddy Park and portions of Ney Park to horse traffic, and to re-designate trails at Ney Park for equestrian use. At the November meeting, good discussion occurred on this topic with the equestrian group. Public comment was also taken. Today’s recommendation to the County Board from the Parks Commission is for trails at Stanley Eddy Park to remain open for equine use and that by the year 2011, additional trails should be established in the “Alama Unit” for equine trail activity. Implementation would be 5-15-09 through 11-15-09. Mattson stated he received many emails on this subject and a few of them were not cordial. This is the first time he has experienced this in 16 years and this upset him. His response to the issue is that when the Parks Commission sent forth a recommendation previously to deny the request (on a 6:1 vote), he voted based on that recommendation. Now the Parks Commission has rescinded their motion and passed a new motion in support of horse trails in Stanley Eddy Park (on a 6:1 vote). His response to the issue is that he will vote by the recommendation of the Parks Commission. Mattice provided a brief update on why the vote was rescinded. He said the Parks Commission member who, in September, made the second to the motion to not allow horses in Stanley Eddy Park has since received correspondence from user groups. He also has talked with Parks staff and toured the trails. After review and discussion with those who contacted him, he decided to rescind his second to the motion made in September. Mattson moved to approve the recommendation of the Parks Commission to allow trails at Stanley Eddy Park to remain open for equine use, and that by the year 2011, additional trails should be established in the “Alama Unit” for equine trail activity. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Mattice brought forth another recommendation from the Planning Commission to continue working in partnership with the USFW and DNR on the restoration of a wetland basin located in Robert Ney Regional Park. This is a 63-acre wetland basin drained in the early 1960’s. It was the consensus that this is an informational item and that the project should be continued.
Mattice said the Parks Committee Of The Whole met on 11-04-08 to discuss the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project. The recommendation of the Committee is to authorize signatures on the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Wright, Monticello City, and the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis. The purpose of the MOU is to establish certain terms, conditions and responsibilities of the parties in the event the land is purchased in Monticello Township by the City and County from the YMCA. Mattice said the document being presented for approval is the same as that reviewed by the Committee with the exception of a change to a signature line. If approved, the MOU will be forwarded to the City for signatures. It was approved at their 11-10-08 Council Meeting. It will then be sent to the YMCA for signatures. Sawatzke said the purchase agreement will be presented to the County prior to 12-31-08. The purchase price of $3.6 million is for Parcels 5A, 6 and 11, with $1.2 million each coming from the County, City and from matching grant sources. Mattice stated that the County previously received and signed a grant in the amount of $200,000. He is also presenting a request today for the Board to authorize signatures on a State Regional Park Grant Agreement for $1 million. Sawatzke said the City has just over $1 million in their Park Dedication Fund but they want to use some of this toward ball fields on Parcels 1 & 2. The City has $550,000 available for acquisition of the land. The remaining $650,000 will be paid up front by Wright County on behalf of the City. The City will reimburse the County $325,000 plus interest in 2010 and $325,000 plus interest in 2011. In response to Sawatzke, Hiivala stated the approximate interest rate for CIP investment funds is about 3%. The interest rate will be determined at the time the funds are dispersed. Mattice referenced Article 16 of the document stating the City will be the lessee for the ball fields, and a lease will be drawn up between the City and the YMCA. Mattice was unsure whether those documents will be presented to the County Board for approval. The documents relating to the $3.6 million purchase will be presented to the Board prior to 12-31-08.
The Board then reviewed the minutes from the 11-04-08 Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Heeter. Sawatzke noted that the minutes don’t specifically acknowledge approval of the concept of funding for the City of $650,000, with payback of $325,000 plus interest in 2010 and $325,000 plus interest in 2011. Russek and Heeter accepted that condition into the motion. With regard to the interest rate which will be applied to those payments, it was the consensus that the rate will be determined by the end of 2008 when the purchase agreement is reviewed. Mattson questioned whether it is within the YMCA’s parameter to use a portion of one of the lakes (for their use only) and which lake, in the future, they would use. Sawatzke responded that in the future, the YMCA will move all of their operations to Area 12 of the map. They would lease a portion of Area 12, specifically the north portion. In the meantime, since there is only the acquisition of Areas 5A, 6, and 11, and a lease of 1 and 2, the YMCA plans to keep their operations in Area 8 and a portion of Area 12. Until they sell the County and City more land, they did not see the need to spend more to move to Area 12. As more land is purchased over time, they will move to Area 12. The YMCA will use the rest of the park similar to how the public would use it. As time goes on, the lakes will be available as the City and County make them available, as the access points would be owned by those entities. Discussion followed on lake accesses and security of those accesses. It was explained that the County has a Park patrol and there will be other methods (i.e., cameras, campground managers, or limiting park hours) that can be implemented if needed. Sawatzke did not view the accesses any differently that those of other County Parks. The motion to approve the minutes and recommendations carried 5-0. The minutes of the Committee Meeting follow:
BERTRAM CHAIN OF LAKES PROJECT.
Mattice distributed a “Memorandum of Understanding Between the County of Wright, The City of Monticello and the Young Men’s Christian Association Of Metropolitan Minneapolis, RE: YMCA/Bertram Lake Regional Lake Project”. Mattice stated that this particular topic has been discussed at a task force level for several years. The task force, met on Friday, 10-31-08 to review the latest version of the Memorandum. Asleson has received a copy of the Memorandum and continues to make his final changes. Sawatzke provided a brief history of how this project came about. The YMCA is granting the County until 2013 to solicit funds and grants to purchase 12 parcels of their land. A $20.5 million agreement is being finalized between the YMCA, City of Monticello, and the County. Sawatzke stated that the attached Memorandum is consistent with what the City and County Board authorized. Mattice stated that the Memorandum spells out the relationship between the City and the County with the YMCA. The YMCA will continue to run a day camp. The City’s main goal is to put ballparks on Parcels #1 and #2.
Asleson gave a summary of the Sections within the Memorandum;
Section 1: The first paragraph summarizes the entire agreement. There is a 50/50 cost share of the purchase price between the City and the County. The paragraph provides a long list of possible improvements to be made to the property. This is for grant purposes. The Legislative-Citizen Commission On Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) wants to know what types of improvements the County/City is contemplating.
Sawatzke stated that the County has discussed financing with the City. The County could front the City’s share, and have them pay us back with interest over time. Sawatzke stated that the City has approximately $550,000 available in their park dedication fund as part of their initial payment. The remaining payment, fronted by the County, would be paid back over the next two years. Sawatzke stated that the City would like to use some of their park dedication funds to build the baseball fields.
Section 2 describes the purchase price. There will be a purchase agreement conducted for each incremental purchase. The purchase is contingent on the Camp Manitou lease to the YMCA.
Section 3 contains a list of parcel numbers. The surveyor has done some work out there. It would be to the County’s benefit to have all of the properties surveyed before closing.
Section 4 describes that both parties have a chance to do appraisals of the property. The purchase price for each increment is based on the values of what Greg Kramber, County Assessor, has in his system.
Section 5 describes how each of the incremental purchases would be made. The first purchase will be for Parcels 5A, 11, and 6. Asleson stated that the YMCA would require an executed lease document for Camp Manitou after the initial purchase.
Mattson asked if the task force is concerned about the upcoming election and the number of new City Council members it may acquire which may affect the decision of the future purchase. Sawatzke stated that based on the turn-over of the new Council, it could go either 5-0, or 3-2.
Section 6 stated that “The County agrees to provide said legal descriptions and surveys, as needed using the services of the County Surveyor.”
Section 7 dictates that a formal purchase agreement must be made prior to each incremental purchase.
Section 8 discusses how the County/City may conduct investigations, provided notice is given to the YMCA.
Mattice stated that there was a gas leak from an Amoco gas pipeline approximately 20 years ago. Russek expressed concern that with an 80’ ROW to the gas company, the value of Parcel #3 could greatly diminish.
Mattice stated that prior to each incremental purchase, the County will have to conduct an updated appraisal. Russek asked what would happen if the land value went down. Sawatzke stated that when the offer was made, the land values had already fallen. There are approximately 1,200 acres of land at approximately $20,000/acre. He stated that bare farmland in Monticello was going for $45,000. He stated that it is his opinion that $20,000/acre represents a deflated value.
Section 9 states that the County will receive a marketable title from the YMCA for each purchase.
Section 10 provides a break down of the various properties and their specific purchase prices.
Sections 11-13 outline specific purchase details of Parcel #’s 5A, 6, and 11. Asleson stated that the task force believes the initial purchase is doable by the end of year.
Section 14 addresses the YMCA’s concern in wanting access to 90th Street NE.
Section 15 is important as it describes the YMCA’s responsibility to keep this property available for purchase to the City/County until 2013. The term could be extended if all parties agree.
Section 16 is a benefit to the City. This section describes how the City can make improvements to Parcels #1 and #2 beginning in 2009. The YMCA would be willing to lease the parcels for a $1.
Mattson asked if the entire park facility, including baseball fields, would be alcohol-free. Sawatzke stated that this was a subject that never came up. Mattson stated that allowing alcohol on park property adds a liability that the County does not need. Asleson stated that this would be clarified. Mattice stated that County Parks allow alcohol on park premises with a special permit.
Section 17 describes how the buyers would have the option of making the purchase of the properties described in Section 16.
Section 18 states that the YMCA would continue to have the right to collect agricultural rent as long as the YMCA is the owner on the unpurchased parcels.
Section 19 contains bullet points discussing how the leased premises would be reconfigured to include minimum parameters. The YMCA wants to have access to Bertram Lake for its beach area, and access to use horseback trails, and seasonal trails. Asleson stated that the YMCA would like to continue the NYPUM (National Youth Program Using Minibikes) school participation program. The program gives an incentive to at-risk youth by granting use of mini bikes for their continued school attendance.
Section 20 dictates that any activities planned for the property shall be permitted to take place, with any rental or fees payable to the YMCA. Proper insurance must first be obtained.
Norman stated that the Bond Council might want to see a Joint Powers Agreement between the City and the County. Asleson stated that a Joint Powers Agreement is sensible. Sawatzke stated that the City is to manage the upper parcels, and the County is to manage the lower parcels.
Mattice stated that he foresees obtaining public input regarding the programming of the entire park facility. He stated that he could not foresee City and County staff attempting to develop a master plan for the land. He stated that he thinks the public would want to be heard on an acquisition of this size.
Mattice stated that the task force is hoping to obtain the County Board’s authorization of signatures on the Memorandum and related grant agreements (also attached) at the County Board Meeting on 11-18-08. Asleson stated that the City would review the Memorandum on 11-10-08 so the County would know the City’s intent by the 11-18-08 County Board Meeting. Sawatzke asked if the Committee had authorization to relay the County’s intent to front funding to the City for the initial payment. The City would pay back half of the initial payment amount in 2010, with the remaining half due in 2011. Heeter stated that she is in favor of authorizing signatures on the Memorandum and grant agreements. Norman requested that Mattice present a clean copy of the Memorandum for the County Board’s approval on 11-18-08. Today’s Committee minutes will be presented at the 11-18-08 Board Meeting along with the Committee’s recommendation. Russek asked if the County would bond for this project. He was concerned on where the funds were going to come from in order to purchase the park property. Sawatzke stated that part of the funds would come from grants. He proposed taking some of the money from Capital Improvement Funds. He also proposed that the County might have to obtain a small bond for the first payment. The initial payment is $3.6 million. Mattice stated that the grant paperwork indicates that the State shall provide grants on a reimbursement basis. Mattice stated that he would draft the reimbursement papers for $1.2 million from the State. The reimbursement is an electronic transfer. Mattice stated that the task force would work with Hiivala and Norman to determine the best payment options. Norman asked if the initial payment would be due prior to year-end. Sawatzke stated yes. Norman stated that Hiivala should be notified so the County can prepare for the initial outlay. The payment will impact the end-of-the-year financial picture. Based on Sawatzke’s suggestion of using Capital Improvement funds, the Committee discussed that the funds within that particular fund have projects encumbered against the balance. For instance, the Government Building is in need of a new roof. Mattice proposed using County park dedication fees to supplement the Capital Improvement fund for the initial payment. Sawatzke stated that the YMCA is agreeable to accepting payments without interest over five years. The County is assuming the risk of the value and market of this property. Mattson asked if the County has to agree to purchase each phase, or if the County has the right to negate future purchases. Sawatzke stated that the County is agreeing to buy three parcels, however, we are not required to buy all of the parcels. The YMCA will have a 99-year lease for Camp Manitou. Eichelberg stated that he hopes that the legislators will be in favor of funding the parcel purchases each year. Sawatzke stated that he has been to several legislative meetings and it is his opinion that the DNR Commissioner was extremely impressed with this potential purchase. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize signatures on the Memorandum Of Understanding Between The County Of Wright, The City Of Monticello, And The YMCA Of Metropolitan Minneapolis, RE: YMCA/Bertram Lake Regional Park Project, and related Grant Agreement.
(End of 11-04-08 Parks Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Sawatzke made a motion to authorize signatures on the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Wright, Monticello City, and YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Sawatzke said this is a very big step. He assumed that the County/City will acquire all of the property over the next five years. He said those people that are aware of what is out there are very excited about the purchase. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke moved to authorize signatures on Grant Agreement RP09-001 for the Bertram Chain of Lake between the State of Minnesota and Wright County. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Mattice said that the $1 million and $200,000 are coming from lottery proceeds. Heeter extended thanks to Mattice for what he has done to accomplish the acquisition of this property. She said he has spearheaded the project and been the lead person, whether working with people at the Capital, LCCMR, or those interested in the project including Legislators. She said Mattice almost single handedly made this transaction happen. Eichelberg said with the passage of the sales tax at the State level, he hoped there will be some monies available in future years to help with this process. Mattice said the outstate Park Directors met and are positioning themselves for that. A meeting will be held on 11-19-08 with the Greater Minnesota Regional Park Providers to discuss how monies will be spent. Mattice said on 12-01-08, the City will host a forum to provide people an opportunity to learn more about the project. The motion carried 5-0.
The meeting recessed at 10:01 A.M. and reconvened at 10:11 A.M.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 11-12-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter stated she was pleased with the costs associated with the requested modifications to the existing Jail. She stated that retrofitting can be very expensive. Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Mattson. Mattson said he was assured that the requested modifications will not interfere with any remodel of the Jail area. The motion carried 5-0:
Minor Modifications To The Existing Jail
A. Construction of A Wall in J212.
O’Malley commented that in the future the Jail/LEC facility could be used by the County for miscellaneous reasons. It was previously decided that Central Control will not be staffed full time day and night. Torfin brought forth a request to use the existing library, J212A, as a control/monitoring station and an area for attorneys to meet with their clients. Torfin commented that in order to do this, a wall will need to be constructed between J212A and J212B. Heeter clarified that inmates will be brought through the by Sally Port, transported to third floor via the elevator, and then use the walk way to courts. Torfin agreed and stated that the area will be used by attorneys, clients, bailiffs, and juvenile holds. The restrooms will be utilized as well. Torfin commented that it will also be closer for the inmates coming from second and third floors. Torfin stated that since there currently is no monitoring capability in some of the areas, the monitors and elevator controls will have to be moved. Torfin stated the project would consist of steel studs, a double layer of sheet rock, paint, and reinstalling acoustical tile. Ernst Construction provided an estimate for time and materials totaling $1,805. Torfin suggested moving forward with Ernst Construction, they are reliable and will work with the Counties schedule. Funding for the project was discussed and Torfin questioned using the Repairs and Maintenance budget. Mattson questioned if the project could be funded by the bond. Norman stated that a logical source would be funding out of Budget 100, Site Improvements Line Jail/LEC Item.
B. Re-Route Elevator Control Panel
O’Malley received an estimate from Minnesota Elevator, in the amount of $19,980. This amount is to convert the elevator from being monitored by staff, in Central Control, to manual use. O’Malley stated that others will be using the building and individuals should be able to use the elevator and select floors manually. The project would involve removing the current panels and relocating them so that office staff can operate the elevator as needed. This would allow access Monday through Friday to the first and second floors. The third floor will be accessible by key only. Buskey questioned how custodial staff will access each floor during the night and on holidays. O’Malley clarified that custodial staff will be provided with keys to reach the third floor. Minnesota Elevator provided an additional quote in the amount of $8,470 which would only cover pulling wires from Central Control and setting up remote access to J212B. O’Malley explained there would be new elevator panels on every floor, a phone in the elevator, and a key switch installed for reaching the third floor. The two lowest floors will be manually operated by buttons and the third floor would be accessible with keys only. Custodians would have keys and access to every floor for maintenance, cleaning, and to make the building accessible to the Fire Department. Heeter commented that there are implications with data management and questioned if the County should spend the $19,980 up front. Heeter stated that she agrees to make the area more useful and available to everyone and eventually this work would have to be completed. Torfin agreed with making the building available to alternate use and having the work completed upfront. Norman agreed with spending the $19,980 and getting the work done now. The consensus is to proceed with $19,980 modification.
C. Re-Route CCTV Video Monitor Cables & Monitors
Torfin stated this project would include moving the main switch for the cameras from J215 to J212.
This project would be relatively inexpensive according to Russell Security Resources. O’Malley stated that the costs will be kept down by reusing existing monitors and brackets. New cable will need to be installed for the additional 50 feet. Heeter questioned the use of the area as the bailiffs’ did show an interest in obtaining an area for a break room. Hagerty stated that having the bailiffs visible would be a good idea and does not see a problem with them using an area. O’Malley stated that with the Rule Five issue and the public, it will work out very well.
D. Add Anchored Benches w/Cuff Rings
Torfin is requesting to have anchored benches with cuff rings installed in the corridor on third floor. These benches would be used to restrain inmates. These products can be ordered through Bob Barker and installed by Ernst Construction.
E. Possibly Add One Sprinkler Head
Torfin explained that there is a sprinkler head located very close to the wall that will be installed in J212. This will decrease coverage to the area. Torfin is not sure what the limits are in regards to coverage per square foot. The building inspector may require installation of another sprinkler head. Mattson question if we need to obtain a building inspection for the wall. Torfin replied no inspection is necessary.
F. Add Remote Control for Sally Port Garages
Torfin stated that the Sally Port is currently controlled by Central Control. Since Central Control is not going to be staffed, remote controls will need to be installed for access to the Sally Port garage. O’Malley commented that all materials can be purchased from Monticello Garage at minimal costs. The doors would not be replaced as the remote equipment attaches to the current operating system. New remotes would be provided.
G. Move Existing Fingerprint Machine & Associated Data Jacks
Torfin explained that the equipment is being moved into Jail Administration to accommodate our Rule Five Bookings. O’Malley stated that all data jacks are in existence and will need to be switched out to accommodate the network.
Heeter questioned if the inmates coming in will be shackled and handcuffed. Torfin clarified that inmates will enter on the first floor to interview stations or for client and attorney visits. If there is an issue with inmate security, six cells are available to house inmates. Torfin continued that there is one restroom facility that would be available in this area. O’Malley stated that staff will be assigned to monitor people entering and leaving the area. Torfin explained that there is a keying schedule with enough locks that can be switched out to minimize the number of keys for each area. This will be a transit area for inmates and seeing that it is a jail, we will need to provide different levels of access. Torfin continued that minimum work would be involved to change locks and that each cell block would be standardized with their own locks. Discussion around the total project costs took place. Heeter felt that the costs would be around $25,000. O’Malley stated that he was not sure of the exact costs for wiring, labor, and moving equipment. O’Malley will contact Ernst Construction, and does not feel like this will be a big ticket item. Torfin stated that timing to start work is an issue, as relocation will take place in the first quarter of 2009. O’Malley stated that a two week notice would be needed in order for construction to be completed in one night. RECOMMENDATION: Approve the minor modifications to the existing LEC/Jail. Total project estimated at $25,000; to be funded out of Budget 100, Site Improvements Line Item.
(End of 11-12-08 Building Committee Minutes)
A Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 10-28-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter made the following change to the minutes: Page 1, 3rd paragraph, line 1 should read, “Sawatzke stated that he sees two issues regarding this subject: whether there should be an exercise facility on site, and is the basement a proper location for an employee fitness area.” Heeter moved to accept the minutes as corrected and the recommendations, seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke stated he is looking forward to a report from the Building Inspector on the mechanical room with the low hanging pipes next to the boilers where people want to have an exercise room. The motion carried 5-0:
DISCUSS VACATED SHERIFF AREA AND EMPLOYEE FITNESS AREA.
Mattice stated that he is speaking on behalf of the Wellness Committee regarding an employee fitness area in the vacated Sheriffs space. Mattice stated that he asked Melvin to provide assistance to today’s topic because he uses the facility. Mattice read aloud the attached memo (see attached memo dated 10-28-08) which discusses the desire of the Committee to preserve the basement workout area and first floor showers and locker-rooms for a County Employee Fitness Area. Mattice also referenced two articles (attached) from the MCIT Bulletin, “Employer Liability for Sponsored Exercise Programs”, and “Exercise in the Workplace”. One article specifically addresses the Workers’ Compensation Act regarding injuries that occur during recreational activities that are employer sponsored, and the other article addresses risk management recommendations. Sawatzke stated that he sees two issues regarding this subject: whether there should be an exercise facility on site, and is the basement a proper location for an employee fitness area. Sawatzke stated the County Board never authorized the original fitness area. He stated that it is his opinion that a building inspector would never approve the current site as a proper work-out facility. Sawatzke stated that it is his opinion that the basement is not a proper location for an exercise facility. Sawatzke asked Miller if he would be open to allowing County employees to use their work-out room at the new Jail/LEC. Miller stated that he would have concerns regarding security. Currently, the basement exercise facility has limited access, so it is manageable. Miller added further comment that the basement facility has functioned for eighteen years. The air exchange is good down there. The location of the facility and the shower/locker rooms has not been disruptive to his Department’s daily operation. Sawatzke asked Miller if he thinks a building inspector would have approved the use of the room as an exercise facility. Miller stated he is not familiar with the work of a building inspector. Melvin stated that it is his opinion that the County needs to address rising health insurance costs and what the County can do to combat that. He stated that he believes that we need to do something to change the Wright County culture. He stated that he believes that there are employees that would like to walk on the treadmill during their breaks. Melvin stated that the Wellness Committee is doing good things in demonstrating that fitness can be fun. He stated that personally, he feels he is more productive after a noon workout.
Heeter stated that the employees are not asking for a palace to exercise in. She stated that employees are asking to retain the use of the basement area. Promoting the health and wellness of County employees not only affects the overall health insurance costs, but it can also improve work productivity. Russek stated that he is not opposed to the idea of providing an exercise facility, however, he is concerned that if the County goes to such length to provide a facility, it should provide a nice room for such a facility to encourage its employees to manage their health. Melvin stated that it is his opinion that the current basement facility would provide a good test as to whether there is adequate interest in such a service. Sawatzke stated that he could have understood this request five years ago. Now, the County’s current healthcare provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, offers $20 toward a monthly membership at a local gym. He stated that with that incentive, he did not understand why an employee would want to work out during their break time only to return to work in sweaty clothes. Miller stated that the majority of the Sheriffs staff that uses the facility choose to work-out before or after their shift. He stated that using the on-site facility provides convenience. Melvin stated that convenience is the reason why people buy exercise equipment for their homes versus joining a health club. Sawatzke stated that he could not understand why a person would spend money on equipment for their home, if their insurance provider provides discounts to exercise at a health club. Heeter stated that it is her opinion that creating a work out facility on site is making an investment in County employees. Sawatzke stated that it is his opinion that creating a work out facility on site would be a headache. Mattice stated that the Wellness Committee is not asking for any funding. They will acquire proper equipment via donations. Miller stated that is how the original facility began: through donations and later through seizure funds. Sawatzke repeated his comment that he feels the space should be inspected to determine if it is legal for occupancy. Eichelberg asked if the County has spoken with MCIT about the possibility of having an on-site Employee Fitness Area. Melvin responded that Nolan has contacted MCIT. Melvin again referenced the attached articles from MCIT which discusses specific waiver language releasing the County from any liability. Eichelberg asked Melvin if he knew if Nolan has seen the potential site. Melvin stated that Nolan is familiar with the site. Eichelberg stated that he would be willing to give the project a try. He stated that he thought it would be valuable to have data regarding how many employees would use the service. Norman proposed that a sign-up sheet could provide data on the number of employees using the area, and how often. A tour of the current basement fitness area was provided. Sawatzke expressed concern regarding the low hanging pipes. Miller responded that the equipment is set up so that there is no risk of hitting one’s head. Miller stated that there can be up to six persons working out at one time in the facility. Mattice stated that the Wellness Committee heard that the floor mats would remain; a value of $300-400. Melvin stated that the radio within the fitness center cannot be heard upstairs. Norman proposed that in consideration of future remodeling, a direct corridor to the facility, locker rooms, and the boiler room might be logical. Miller proposed that the outdoor access could have a keycard entry. Upon exiting the area, Mattice showed the Committee another option for a fitness area in room S163, Squad Room. The room is approximately 20’x22’ in size, comparable to the current basement facility. The room is adjacent to the shower/locker rooms. Melvin proposed that the Wellness Committee put together a business plan outlining the details of the facility and its functionality including information on how to market the facility to employees. Russek stated that he is concerned that if this type of facility is offered in the Government Center, the other buildings will request they have the same type of facility provided to them. Sawatzke stated that there is no room at the HSC for a fitness center. Eichelberg asked if the Committee has reached a consensus to approve the Fitness Area. Heeter stated that she is in favor of authorizing the Wellness Committee to put together a plan. She stated that it is her opinion that the County should not rescind the use of a facility that has been in successful operation for almost twenty years. She stated that the basement location is not ideal, but it is a step in the right direction for promoting healthy lifestyles of County employees. Heeter stated that offering the use of the shower/locker rooms could promote employees biking to work. Russek stated that he would be in favor of having a test period to determine if this is something the employees would actually use. Sawatzke asked whether the future remodeling of the vacated Sheriffs Department would affect whether the showers and locker rooms remain available for use. A brief discussion occurred regarding how the hallway to the locker rooms could be closed to prevent disruption to future operations in the vacated Sheriffs Department. Sawatzke asked who would consult with a building inspector regarding the space. Mattice stated that with Board approval of the concept, the Wellness Committee would draft a plan, check on procedures, determine how to monitor the use of the space, look further into risk management, obtain an opinion from a building inspector on the occupancy of the area, assemble a list of donated equipment, and schedule a Building Committee Meeting to review the information. RECOMMENDATION: Approve the concept of an Employee Fitness Area and authorize the Wellness Committee to perform further research of the topic.
Miller provided a tour of the Sheriffs Department noting that all cubicles would be moved to the new Jail/LEC. Norman confirmed that the file storage components would remain. Norman stated that there is over 13,000 square feet, including the space across the hall for the Lieutenant and investigations. This equates to more square footage than in one floor of the Annex building. Norman stated that the Board would have to consider whether it is viable to spend money on remodeling for a permanent re-location of some department or function or for some short-term use. Norman proposed developing a list of department needs, assigning priorities, and determining the cost vs. benefit. Norman clarified that he thinks it is too early to start looking at plans; however, it is not too early to start assessing space needs. He added further comment that the Government Building has not had a major remodel since 1990. Carpet, paint, and wallpaper need to be replaced in several areas. He stated that it takes a lot of effort and expense to keep up this facility. He stated that he would advocate proceeding with the initial planning process of determining how the vacated Sheriffs area could be utilized. Norman reminded the Committee that the 3rd floor of the annex has not received an update of its heating/cooling and ventilation system. He proposed that the third floor Human Services Department could move to the Sheriffs vacated space allowing for the entire floor to be updated. Sawatzke stated that he is unaware that there are problems with the 3rd floor units. Heeter stated that the 3rd floor has been built-to-suit individual offices to accommodate the need for client privacy. She stated that it would be expensive to relocate the 3rd floor to the 1st floor vacated space. Sawatzke stated that it was his understanding that discussion regarding the Sheriff’s area was laid over until January, 2009. Howell stated that one of the major concerns that the Sheriffs Department has is a need for storage space for archived records. Space was not allotted in the new Jail/LEC building. The Department will transfer two years worth of ICR files, however the older files will be archived and sent to the basement storage area which is currently full. Howell stated that with the immediate need, they would start stacking boxes and files along the walls in their Department. Norman stated that the topic of an overall records management system has repeatedly been brought to budget discussions. A proposed location for a climate controlled storage area could be the soon-to-be vacated Jail recreational area. The annex garage is not a climate-controlled area. Nordeen stated that her Department is looking at offsite storage as a solution to their storage space needs. RECOMMENDATION: Layover further discussion regarding the vacated Sheriffs area until January, 2009.
An Owner’s Committee Meeting was held on 11-04-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, it was noted that all the change order amounts within the Committee Minutes are below the level that the Committee has authorization to approve. Therefore, there are no recommendations to the County Board. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek. Reference was made to Item VI, Concrete Costs For Signage & Additional Sidewalk. Russek said the two additional quotes for concrete work provided a $5,000 savings plus the addition of a sidewalk to the evidence area. Sawatzke felt the number of change orders on this project was small in comparison to the change orders associated with the remodel of the Government Center in the early 1990’s. Mattson felt that it was due to A&P being more watchful on the project. Sawatzke said that both A&P and KKE have been responsible for some of the changes orders. He referenced a training that he and Heeter attended prior to the construction of the Jail/LEC where they learned that a project of this size cannot be completed without change orders. Heeter said there are just over $500,000 in change orders on a $50 million project. At the beginning of the project, both KKE and A&P made statements that they would not tolerate many change orders and she felt they had done a good job of holding that down. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes:
Blotske stated that she would like to remove Agenda Item III.A. PCO #039 – BP#3 PR 013 Change Wall Type M10 To Type M1 - $5,907.00. She stated that there is a discrepancy in the pricing. She may present the PCO at a future meeting. Torfin stated that he would present an invoice under Item V. Project FFE Budget, as an informational item only.
A. A&P.
I. PROJECT UPDATE.
Streich provided a project update (see attached “Schedule Look-A-Head 2 Week”, dated 11-04-08). Streich stated that Area A of the LEC is complete. The punch list for the area was handed out to each of the trades and will be completed by 11-11-08. The landscaping and sod will be completed today. The sprinkler system will be tested this week. The lines would be blown out on Friday, 11-07-08.
II. PCO’S APPROVED BY CAPTAIN TORFIN.
Torfin approved the following:
A. PCO #087 – BP#3 RFI #171 Stair At Jail Chase - $4,801.00.
Torfin stated due to a shift in the building design, access was required to a second floor chase. A ship ladder was created to provide access.
B. PCO #113 – BP#3 PR 057 Soffi-Steel Slope Top of Sprinkler Enclosure - $4,030.00.
Torfin stated that this PCO is to enclose piping that is exposed in the dayrooms.
C. PCO #123 – BP#3 Credit for markings on Plastic Shower Doors - $8,818.00.
Torfin informed the Committee that there was some tape on the plastic shower doors that was written with permanent marker. The marker bled through the tape onto the glass. The vendor gave the County an $8,818 credit.
D. PCO #124 – BP #3 Mogul Cylinder Rework – Per Hoffman - $300.00.
Torfin stated that Hoffman requested a separate lock keying scheme to keep the evidence items separate.
E. PCO #125 – BP #3 Portland Cement Stucco - $2,079.00.
Torfin stated that a wall in the Evidence Return Area was not finished. This PCO is to provide material and installation of Portland Cement Stucco. Russek asked why the wall was not finished. Mattox stated that the wall detail was shown as a finished product in the drawings, but was missed in the bid specifications.
III. PCO’S REQUESTED FOR OWNER APPROVAL.
B. PCO #096 – BP#3 PR 041 Locker Changes - $10,450.00.
Blotske stated that changes were made to the male and female lockers. This PCO is to supply sloped tops to locker cages, and concrete and/or wood locker bases. Torfin stated that the sloped tops are easier to clean, and storing contraband on top of lockers will not be an issue.
C. PCO #107 – BP#3 PR 054 Mechanical Room Floor J3000 - $5,405.00
Mattox stated that this PCO is to correct a missed detail in bid package #2. The top of the stair, located at the south end of the Mechanical Room, needs to be separated from the Mechanical room with two-hour fire rated construction.
D. PCO #128 – BP#3 Electrical Connection Within The Intereum Furniture - $5,834.00.
Blotske stated that she received pricing from Phasor Electric to complete the wiring inside the Intereum furniture. Their scope of work is to include all the electrical components to tie in the furniture to the building electrical. Hoffman stated that this is a time sensitive issue as the cubicles are being installed and the electrical contractor and All-State are on-site to perform the work. Hoffman solicited the Committee’s authorization to proceed with the work tomorrow. Norman asked if this was the same work that was previously discussed and Loberg Electric provided pricing. Hayes stated yes and said that he obtained an hourly rate from Loberg Electric which is far less than Phasor’s quote. Discussion occurred regarding the actual work that is required to be done by an electrician. Torfin stated that it is his opinion that bringing another contractor on at this time is a poor choice. Having two contractors on the same jobsite who both work in the same field could cause a lot of finger-pointing. Hoffman stated that Jason Shaw of Intereum indicated that Intereum would not make any of the electrical connections. Blotske proposed having Phasor perform the work under time and material. She added further comment that she feels Phasor is knowledgeable and is aware of the work that is involved with the furniture set-up. The Committee unanimously agreed to authorize Phasor Electric to proceed with their work to provide electrical connections within the Intereum furniture for time and materials for a not-to-exceed amount of $5,834.00. The Committee also approves PCO #096 and PCO #107.
IV. PROJECT CONTINGENCY $1,110,370.00
Blotske stated that the current contingency amount, prior to approval of the above PCOs, is $513,198.00. With the Committee’s authorization of the above PCOs, the contingency amount will be $491,509.00. Sawatzke asked Blotske if she knew how far along the project has been billed. Blotske stated that the project will be billed at 90% in two weeks. She stated that she anticipates one large change order for approximately $40,000 for additional roofing. Sawatzke asked Blotske if she could estimate how many more change orders the Committee could anticipate. Blotske stated that she estimates that there will be approximately $100,000 of change orders prior to project completion.
V. PROJECT FF&E BUDGET $1,879,314.00.
Blotske stated that the current FF&E Budget is $1,273.942.00.
Torfin announced that he received another invoice from Plasticon for drying racks, delivery carts, and plastic trays. The invoice total is $9,864.85. The County Board previously approved the equipment purchase. He will forward the invoice to the Auditor/Treasurer for payment out of FF&E.
VI. CONCRETE COSTS FOR SIGNAGE AND ADDITIONAL SIDEWALK.
Blotske stated that A&P received two additional concrete bids: Ultra Concrete, and CMC. These were received in addition to the original proposal from Stellar Concrete. Both contractors included in their bids a 150’ sidewalk at Evidence Pick-Up.
Ultra Concrete $8,159.00
CMC $8,270.00
Stellar Concrete $11,731.00 (not including 150’ sidewalk).
Blotske stated that Ultra and CMC are non-union contractors. Blotske stated that Stellar is located out of Lakeville and their bid reflects mobilization costs. Stellar has completed their contractual work and is no longer on site. Discussion continued on whether the Committee felt the sidewalk near Evidence Pick-Up was necessary. Hoffman stated that there is not a connecting sidewalk from the front of the building to the back of the building where Evidence Pick-Up is located. Sawatzke asked Hoffman how often he thought the sidewalk would be used by stating that 150’ of sidewalk is a long way to walk. Hoffman stated that he did not think the sidewalk was critical, however, it may be sensible at this time. Hoffman stated that it would be another sidewalk maintenance staff would have to maintain. Russek stated that after seeing the area during the 10-21-08 site tour, the idea of a sidewalk seemed sensible.
Blotske asked for the Committee’s direction on how to pay the contractor for their work. She explained that it cannot be considered a change order as the contractor does not have a contract with the County on this project. Norman proposed that the County approve the work, and issue a purchase order. The Committee agreed to pay for the work out of the project contingency. The Committee unanimously agreed to authorize Ultra Concrete to proceed with work for $8,159.00.
B. KKE ARCHITECTS.
I. PROJECT UPDATE.
Mattox distributed a packet of exterior signage drawings and information. He stated that KKE is reviewing the information and will perhaps make one modification to one of the directional signs. Sawatzke questioned Mattox on whether the color of the lettering on the exterior of the building will stand out from the color of the building. Mattox stated that he believed that KKE was looking into the matter. Sawatzke stated that he had valid concerns since the aluminum lettering on the white HSC building does not stand out. Torfin distributed a color sample of the interior signage which will be discussed at the next Owner’s Committee. He stated that KKE and staff are continuing to work on the coordination of room numbers. Rooms located in the Sheriffs Department will begin with an “S”, and rooms within the Jail will begin with a “J”.
(End of 11-04-08 Owner’s Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 11-12-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Norman stated that funding for Child Protection Legal Services will be from the Professional Services line item. Sawatzke made the following correction to the minutes: Page 2, 4th paragraph, last sentence should read, “After an explanation of the process, Karvel, Gabriel, and Sawatzke were able to estimate that one out of six cases involve a judge appointed conflict attorney.” Mattson moved to approve the minutes as corrected and the recommendation. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0:
I. DISCUSSION RE: ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION FOR PARENTS IN CHILD PROTECTION MATTERS (LAID OVER FROM THE 9-10-08 MEETING).
Prior to today’s meeting, Karvel distributed a memo dated 11-06-08, “Information on CHIPS Representation” (see attached). The research was to primarily show how counties are addressing the legislative change on CHIPS representation. Asleson stated that Gabriel submitted a contract extension for the remainder of 2008, and a six month contract for 2009 services at a not-to-exceed cost of $36,400. Asleson stated that the new contract is identical to this year’s version, sans the dates and compensation. Gabriel explained that she raised her contract amount from a rate of $65/hour for 20 hours a week, to $70/hour. She stated that each month varies in the amount of time she dedicates to cases which depend on the nature of the case, and her case load. She stated that it generally balances out. Her workload can actually vary from 20-40 hours a week. Her new rate is lower than the lowest rate an attorney charges in Wright County ($85-100/hour). Mattson stated that he received an email (see attached email dated 11-11-08) from Sharon Benson, Benson Law Office, stating her concerns regarding an open bid process for contracting services in CHIPS cases. Asleson stated that he understands Benson’s concerns; however, the County is using attorneys who are knowledgeable in child protection matters. Karvel described Gabriel’s role as a contract attorney with the County. The County Attorney’s office contacts Gabriel first for her professional legal services in representation of individuals in child protection cases in the district court. Karvel stated that if there is a conflict, Court Administration has a list of attorney’s experienced in child protection matters that can be retained. Nordeen explained that Court Administration did not solicit the services of attorneys with experience in child protection matters. The attorneys on the list alerted her office that they would like to be on the list. Karvel stated that Benson’s email indicated that she has concerns regarding Emergency Protective Care (EPC) hearings. EPC hearings are conducted within the first 72 hours of a child’s court appointed removal from the home. The Court reviews the grounds for why the child was removed from the home. Karvel confirmed that there is proper representation at EPC hearings. Gabriel stated that she is at the Courthouse at 1:00 p.m. on the day of an EPC hearing. She meets with the family(ies) beforehand to discuss their case, attends the hearings, and is then appointed if the family qualifies for her services. Karvel explained that these are pivotal stages within a case that are covered at the expense of the County. Karvel explained that this is a process that was established approximately a year and a half ago by the Public Defenders office when they did this type of work. Karvel clarified that the Public Defenders office still represents children at ten years of age or older. For children under the age of ten, it is up to the judge and their discretion whether the child(ren) needs a court appointed attorney.
Sawatzke stated that Benson’s email indicates she is interested in working in Wright County. However, this meeting is to discuss Gabriel’s contract. He asked Karvel if she is satisfied with Gabriel’s work. Karvel stated that she has no complaints with Gabriel’s work. She’s prompt for court, she returns phone messages quickly, and she is knowledgeable about child protection law. Asleson stated that based on previous discussions at Ways & Means Committee Meetings, Gabriel’s new contract is for a six-month term. This is to accommodate any legislative changes that could occur in 2009. Sawatzke stated that there is a clause within the contract allowing either party to cancel the arrangement upon thirty days’ written notice. Gabriel stated that she would not be opposed to a year contract if the County Board would be interested. Sawatzke asked Gabriel how many cases she’s been involved in since the PD’s office ceased their services. Gabriel responded that she has been involved in 30-40 cases since July, 2008. Sawatzke asked Karvel if she could estimate how many times an outside attorney was appointed to a case because Gabriel had a conflict. After an explanation of the process, Karvel, Gabriel, and Sawatzke were able to estimate that one out of six cases involve a judge appointed conflict attorney. The Committee was in favor of Asleson revising Gabriels’ drafted contract to extend for the 2009 calendar year at the price of $72,800. Norman stated that within the first quarter of 2009, he would like to see a summary of activity (i.e. number of cases and related costs) of the cases in 2008 that the County assumed since the 7-08-08 July ruling by the Minnesota Board of Public Defense. Norman asked if Gabriel’s services are included within the Court Administration budget. Nordeen stated that it was included within the 2008 budget, but not in the 2009 budget. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize signatures on Gabriel’s Contract For Child Protection Legal Services for a one year term for a not-to-exceed amount of $72,800.
(End of 11-12-08 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
There will be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today at 1:00 P.M.
Mattson brought forth a flag that he accepted on behalf of the County from Lt. Col. John Peterson, U.S. Marine Corp. Mattson accepted the flag in appreciation of the men and women in Wright County who have served and currently are serving. The flag flew through the skies of Iraq in a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM in honor of Wright County. The flag will be placed in the Government Center Lobby display case. Russek moved to accept the Flag, second by Heeter. The motion includes the Administration Office sending a thank you to Lt. Peterson. At the request of Heeter, Eichelberg will contact the Veteran Services Office to find out how many active soldiers there are in Wright County. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke moved to adopt the 2008 Christmas Eve Policy, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. The Policy reads:
1. County Offices will be closed to the public starting at Noon, Christmas Eve.
2. Employees wishing to take half a day off on Christmas Eve must use vacation, floating holiday, or no pay.
Compensatory time or flexible scheduling is not an option that can be used for time off on Christmas Eve.
3. Employees who do not desire or are not able to take advantage of the time off will remain on their normal work schedule.
Russek moved to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 12-02-08 at 10:00 A.M. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss 2009 salaries for elected department heads. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to cancel the 12-09-08 County Board Meeting due to the Commissioners’ attendance at the AMC Conference. Eichelberg questioned the final date for submitting claims for 2008. Norman explained that Hiivala will be presenting this at an upcoming Board Meeting.
Norman said MCIT has issued dividend checks to member counties. Wright County received a dividend of $302,755.00, which is larger than the anticipated dividend discussed during the budget process of $225,000.
Notice was received from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey of an open house on 12-04-08 from 1:00-3:30 P.M. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office currently serves the counties of Anoka, Crow Wing, Isanti, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Sibley, Todd, and Wright, along with other Minnesota and Wisconsin Counties. Heeter moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
Bills Approved
A Catered Event. $152.94
Brian Abrahamson 531.18
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 4,818.88
James Alsdurf PH D 6,900.00
American Messaging 708.21
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 130.45
AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 3,867.45
Annandale Rock Products 504.60
APEC Industrial Sales & Service 3,015.46
Aramark Correctional Services 100.00
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 175.78
Baers Body Shop Inc. 6,420.13
Beaudry Propane Inc. 512.27
Big Time Towing 200.00
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 133.00
City Buffalo 49,047.51
Bureau of Criminal Apprehensio 250.00
Center Point Energy 5,068.60
Climate Air 12,332.89
Cokato Township 261.60
Consolidated Container Corp. 4,033.70
Corporate Payment Systems 349.00
Cub Pharmacy 2,794.48
Nicholas Eastman 150.00
Elmer Eichelberg 290.16
Debbie Ernst 108.23
Eulls Manufacturing Co. Inc. 133.55
Tom Feddema 184.28
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Exc. 652,840.77
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 158.40
Firehouse Auto Repair & Towing 159.75
French Lake Township 1,916.05
Marvin Gasper 109.99
General Pallet Inc. 484.50
Geocomm Inc. 4,000.00
Grainger 1,584.65
Greenview Inc. 2,805.18
Hardrives, Inc. 104,597.47
Amy Hertzog 428.81
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 3,196.41
Home Solutions 400.00
Integrated Fire & Security 1,171.50
International Assn. of Assessin 350.00
Interstate Automotive 223.65
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 1,028.80
Justice Benefits Inc. 2,477.42
Kaplan Professonal Schools 795.00
Lakedale Communications 478.16
LaPlant Demo Inc. 888.81
LexisNexis 110.00
Loberg Electric 1,346.02
Loren Lovhaug 2,500.00
M & M Express 262.52
Maple Lake Lumber Company 333.83
Marco 535.80
Marysville Township 1,390.90
Mathiowetz Construction 904,423.97
Richard Mattson 162.04
McDowall Company 14,760.00
McKesson Med-Surg Minnesota 226.97
Menards - Buffalo 1,317.83
The Metro Group Inc. 2,767.66
Midland Corporate Benefits SVC 997.95
MN Counties Computer Coopera 2,821.47
MN State Bar Association 100.00
MN West Community & Technical 199.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 133.12
Monticello Times Inc 216.60
City Montrose 1,013.80
Morries Parts & Service Group 103.46
MPELRA 150.00
Office Depot 2,720.74
Pearson Education 183.69
Photo I 227.23
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 528.24
Quetel Corporation 4,895.00
Qwest 5,732.64
Frank Ramacciotti 500.00
Ridgewater College 598.00
Rockford Fire Department 5,000.00
City Rockford 2,615.80
RS Eden 7,601.50
John Russek 223.47
Russell Security Resource Inc. 2,201.82
RW Farms LLC 9,825.00
Barbara Schneider Foundation 720.00
Sigma Aldrich Inc. 152.20
Southside Township 856.00
Specialty Turf & Ag Co. 730.33
Spectrum Solutions 1,029.90
Sprint 297.33
St. Cloud Times 223.73
City St. Michael 6,397.62
Star Tribune - Subscriptions 283.40
State of MN-Office Enterprise 344.37
Super Express 178.92
Tilsner Carton Co. 902.59
Tims Tower 2000 2,100.00
Toms Towing Service 186.37
Total Printing 875.96
Trimin Government Solutions 3,798.75
Veripic Inc. 4,060.00
Victory Corps 546.04
Waste Management - TC West 2,373.36
City Waverly 440.60
Janelle Webb 222.30
West Payment Center 839.27
Wright County Collision 2,397.35
Wright County Journal Press 191.89
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,014.27
54 Payments less than $100 8,277.22
Final total $1,901,435.31
The meeting adjourned at 11:00 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 15, 2008.