Wright County Board Minutes

JANUARY 6, 2009
Bob Hiivala, County Auditor/Treasurer, called the meeting to order and asked for an election of the Chairperson for the coming year. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to elect Sawatzke as Chairperson for 2009; and then Commissioner Sawatzke presided at the meeting. Sawatzke extended appreciation to Eichelberg who served as Chairperson in 2008. He introduced Rose Thelen, District 1 Commissioner. Thelen, who is from Clearwater Township, said she looks forward to representing the residents of Wright County.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to elect Mattson as Vice Chairperson for 2009.
The minutes of 12-30-08 were corrected as follows: Page 2, 1st paragraph, 2nd to last line, change to “Mattson said Sherburne County is looking at various options including freezing wages” (Mattson). On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to dispense with the reading of the minutes and to approve them as revised.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to transfer back any unused funds in the County Attorney’s Contingency Fund, the Sheriff’s Contingency Fund, and the Incidental Fund to the General Revenue Fund.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to recall all unused clerk hire and unused budgets for 2008.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to set the County Board’s regular sessions for every Tuesday for 2009. The meetings shall be called to order at 9:00 A.M.
The Chairperson presented the 2008 list of committee members and asked the County Board to convey their preferences and suggestions regarding committee assignments for 2009. It was the consensus that Thelen will be appointed to all committees that Heeter previously served on unless changed today. Mattson asked to be appointed to the Highway 55 Coalition because of his experience serving on the 7W Transportation and District 3 ATP Committees. Heeter previously served on the Highway 55 Coalition Committee. Eichelberg will be appointed to the Building, Furniture & Equipment Committee and Thelen will serve as the alternate. It was the consensus that the members should have some experience with the buildings and grounds. Heeter previously served on that Committee. Discussion followed on the EMS Joint Powers Board (Regional). Richard Norman, County Coordinator, received correspondence this week reflecting the schedule of that Board. Their 2009 meetings are scheduled for 1-30-09, 5-29-09, 7-31-09, and 10-30-09. The 1-30-09 meeting will be held at 9:30 A.M. The Advisory Committee is scheduled for 1-26-09 at 6:30 P.M. Both meetings will be held at the Stearns County Administration Center. Sawatzke said the Advisory Committee is made up of EMS professionals who advise the elected Board. He thought there was already an EMS appointment to that Committee. Thelen agreed to serve on the EMS Joint Powers Board. Norman referenced the Owners Committee appointments and said that Russek was appointed to the Committee during 2008, replacing Heeter. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted that the appointments of committees for 2009 be made by the Chairperson with the approval of the Board and that the first member named act as Chairperson of the Committee and the County Coordinator act as Secretary. Alternates are designated on the Committee by ( ). The motion includes the three changes as noted. The following are the 2009 appointments:
Area Transportation Planning (ATP); Mattson
Budget; Mattson, Russek, Aud./Treas., (Ex-Officio), Norman, (Sawatzke)
Budget Committee Of The Whole; All Commissioners
Building, Furniture & Equipment; Mattson, Eichelberg (Thelen)
Capital Improvement/Finance Committee; Russek, Thelen, Aud./Treas., Attorney, Norman (Eichelberg)
Central MN Jobs & Training Jt. Powers Board (JTPA) Workforce Center; Eichelberg
Civil Defense; Sawatzke, Thelen
Committee to Inspect Roads; All Commissioners
Committee to Inspect Ditches; Two Commissioners as appointed by Board, Aud./Treas.
Compost Finance; Sawatzke, Russek, B. Stephens
County Extension Svc.; Mattson, Russek
Court Security; Mattson, Norman
Deferred Compensation; Sawatzke, Thelen
Delegates to AMC; All Commissioners, Aud./Treas., Coordinator, Hwy. Engineer
Detention Facilities; Mattson, Thelen, Court Administrator, Sheriff, Court Services Director, Norman
Drug Task Force; Mattson
EMS Joint Powers Board (Regional); Thelen (Sawatzke)
Forfeited Tax Sales; Mattson, Russek
Great River Regional Library Board; Sawatzke
Highway 55 Coalition; Russek, Mattson (Fingalson)
Labor/Mgmt. Health Insurance; Eichelberg, Russek, Coordinator (Mattson)
Labor Management/Loss Control; Eichelberg, Mattson, Coordinator, Civil Def. Dir., Spec. Proj. Admin., 1 Rep. from Teamsters/LELS, AFSCME, 49’ers and Teamsters
Law Library Board; Eichelberg
Legislative Matters; All Commissioners
Owners Committee; Russek, Sawatzke, Miller, Torfin, Asleson, Swing, Hayes & Norman
Personnel & Employee Relations; Sawatzke, Eichelberg (Thelen)
Planning & Zoning; Russek
Public Works Labor/Management; Russek, Norman (Mattson)
Purchasing Steering; Mattson, Eichelberg, Purchasing Agent (Thelen)
Solid Waste Task Force; Sawatzke, Eichelberg
Technology; Eichelberg, Thelen, IT Director, Aud./Treas., Highway Engineer, Human Services Rep., Sheriff Rep., Surveyor (Russek)
Transportation; Mattson, Eichelberg, Highway Engineer
7W Transportation; Mattson
Union Negotiations; Sawatzke, Russek, (Eichelberg)
Water Management Task Force; Eichelberg
Ways & Means; Sawatzke, Mattson (Russek)
Wright County Community Action Council; Eichelberg, Thelen, City Representative
The 2009 Advisory Board appointments were discussed. Russek requested appointment to the Wright County Ag Society Advisory Board. On a motion by Thelen, second by Russek, all voted to accept the Advisory Board (Ex-Officio Member) appointments as recommended, noting that Thelen will replace Heeter on all her Advisory Board appointments, with the exception of the Ag Society.
(Ex-Officio Members)
Clearwater Watershed District; Thelen
C.R.O.W.; Russek (Mattson)
East Central Joint Powers Board; Sawatzke, MacMillan
Economic Development Partnership Board; Sawatzke
Historical Society; Sawatzke
M.E.A.D.A. (Meth Education Drug Awareness); Thelen
Mid Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D; Russek
Monticello Joint Planning Board; Sawatzke
Parks; Eichelberg
Safe Communities of Wright County; Thelen
Soil Conservation; Russek
Wright County Ag Society; Russek
The following items were petitioned onto the Agenda under Items For Consideration: Item #7, “Appoint Bernie Beneke and John Wisecarver to the Parks Commission” (Mattice); Item #8, “Bertram Chain of Lakes Task Force Appointments” (Mattice); Item #9, Add To 1-12-09 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting Discussion RE: Permitting Fee For Moving Heavy Equipment” (Russek). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as presented:
1. Performance Appraisals: C. Badeaux, Aud./Treas.; M. Johnson, Hwy.; T. Johnson, P&Z; J. Benn, Sheriff.
2. Claim, MCIT Workers Compensation Insurance Premium, $450,060.
3. Claim, MCIT Property/Casualty Insurance Premium, $478,452.
4. Claim, NACo Dues, $1,676.00.
5. Authorize The County Board Chair To Sign The Minnesota Cities Participation Program (First Time Homebuyer) Application.
1. 2009 Tobacco License Renewals: Don’s Auto Service & Repair, Albertville Pitstop, Croix Convenience, Casey’s General Store #2412, Hack’s Liquor (Albertville City); Clearwater Travel Plaza, Clearwater Travel Plaza Fuel Center (Clearwater City); Casey’s General Store #1647, The Marketplace (Cokato City); Dave’s Town Club (Delano City); The Original Tom Thumb (Hanover City); Super Express, Monti Smoke Shop, Monticello “Liquors” (Monticello City); Casey’s General Store #1881, The Ugly Bar (Montrose City); Riverview Liquorette (Otsego City); Casey’s General Store #2156 (Rockford City); St. Michael Liquors, Ditto’s Bar (St. Michael City); Mark’s Service (Waverly City).
2. Approve One Day On Sale Liquor License, submitted by Maple Lake Property Owners Association (Greg Thomes) for Annual Fishing Event to be held on Maple Lake on January 24, 2009.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 9, Maple Lake Lumber Company ($148.47) for batteries. Hiivala reported the claim relates to three batteries purchased for cordless drills. Mattson referred to a claim on Page 14, Ancom Technical Center ($9,621.71) for a repeater system and said he understood the County was phasing out repeaters and not replacing them. Capt. Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, explained they are purchasing a new repeater system for the Jail’s interior radio system. This has nothing to do with the system purchased from Motorola. The purchase of the repeater system was authorized by the Owner’s Committee and will be funded through FF&E for the Jail/LEC project. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, said that in July, 2008, Russ Leistiko, RW Farms LLC, met with the Committee Of The Whole to discuss a proposal to lease a portion of the Compost Facility for yard waste composting and possibly source separated organics. The Committee was uncomfortable with the scale of the proposal and also had reservations with source separated organics. Leistiko has since scaled back the proposal to 25% of what was proposed in July, 2008. He would like to meet with the Committee Of The Whole to discuss the proposal to improve and expand composting services for Wright County residents, businesses, and surrounding communities. Sawatzke requested that at the Committee Meeting, information be made available on the size of the operation previously run at the Compost Facility by the City of Hutchinson. Stephens said if the County is receptive to the most recent proposal, Leistiko would potentially like to proceed in early spring. Eichelberg moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 1-20-09 at 10:30 A.M. If this date does not work with Leistiko, then a meeting will be scheduled in February. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Mattson indicated he has been against the proposal since it started. He will want to know exactly what materials will be used compared to what was used at the site by the City of Hutchinson. Mattson felt the residents near the Facility have endured enough odor problems. He said he will listen to what is presented but will not vote to support the proposal. Mattson felt the City of Hutchinson had been honest about what materials were brought to the Facility. Sawatzke added that no odor complaints were received during that time. Stephens elaborated that yard waste was included in that situation, not source separated materials. Sawatzke requested that Stephens take Thelen on a tour of the Compost Facility to familiarize her with what the Facility was used for in the past and what services are currently provided on site. The motion carried 5-0.
At 9:31 A.M., the Public Hearing was held on the 2009 Solid Waste Debt Service Charge. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, distributed an Analysis of the Solid Waste Fund, Payable Year 2009, as well as a draft resolution for consideration. The spreadsheet was compiled by the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office and provides the data supporting the recommendation to set the Solid Waste Debt Service Charge at $25.00 for 2009. The Service Charge is assessed to cover the Compost Facility bond costs. There are four years remaining on the bonds. Sawatzke said that in 2006 and 2007, there was a surplus in this fund. Hiivala responded that the surplus has been used toward the bond payments and there is no balance remaining. The proposed Service Charge will cover the bond payments. No public comment was received and the Public Hearing was closed at 9:35 A.M. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #09-01 establishing the 2009 Solid Waste Debt Service Charge at $25.00. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A request was submitted by Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, for appointments to the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. Salkowski was unable to attend today’s meeting. The documentation reflects that the recommended appointments will expire at the end of 2008. Part of Sawatzke’s request was to reappoint Jack Russek as the County Board Member appointment to both groups. That action was taken earlier in today’s meeting. Mattson moved to approve the appointments to the Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0:
Board of Adjustment
David Wagner (finishing term of Bill Lieb) (1st District)
Don Schmidt (4th District)
Planning Commission
David Pederson (1st District)
Ralph Douglas (At Large)
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 12-19-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Page 1, Others Present, include “Rose Thelen, Commissioner Elect, District 1” (Thelen). Mattson moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Thelen. The motion carried 3-0-2 with Eichelberg and Russek abstaining (as they did not attend the meeting):
1. Green Acres and Agricultural Land Classification.
Kramber distributed a handout which included the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO) Legislative and Position Statement, a letter from Legislative Committee Members to the MAAO Executive Board relating to Green Acres Issues and Options, the DOR’s Position on Green Acres, Concerns that Wright County has relating to Green Acres, and other Legislative Issues including Unfunded Mandates, Special Programs, and Market Farming/Primary Use. Kramber is the Region 3 Director of the MAAO. The MAAO’s position is that the classification system should be made more understandable by the consolidation of existing classes and avoiding the creation of new classes. Kramber said that the Commissioner of Revenue appears to support designating agricultural land in 2a production and 2b non-productive classes as a worthwhile policy objective that supports consistent assessment and equalization across all Minnesota counties. The document from the MN Department Of Revenue Property Tax Division reflects they are working on a bill that would provide two options including a full grandfather or keeping the 7-year payback with changes. Kramber said it does not appear the bill includes the productive/non-productive land issue. As the County Assessor, Kramber is looking at the administrative costs associated with the Green Acres Legislation. He anticipates $100,000-$200,000 being expended next year. With the budget crisis, he extended appreciation to the Legislators on any assistance they can provide in rectifying the situation. He felt the breakdown of productive versus non-productive land is the key issue. There are over 300,000 acres in Wright County enrolled in the Green Acres Program. There are 12,000 properties classified as agricultural and 6,300 are receiving Green Acres. Determining whether land is agricultural is challenging. From an equitable standpoint, the County can provide 10 years of information on a property. Kramber was unsure whether the issue arises from some counties not providing data on properties. Another concern with the productive versus non-productive classification is that a farm operates as one unit and cannot be dissected. A farmer utilizes land to earn an income and protect the environment. Separate classifications do not work. Staff has spent thousands of hours administering the program. A rural vacant land classification was added to State Statutes. Agricultural non-homestead and rural vacant land classifications both share the same tax capacity rate as each other so Kramber questioned the logic of splitting the class. The intent of the 2008 Legislative action was to break out productive versus non-productive land and allow only productive land to qualify for Green Acres. Central Minnesota is greatly affected by the Green Acres Legislation whereas its impacts aren’t as great in Northern Minnesota, as it is wooded, and Southern Minnesota, as it is tillable land. Kramber asked the Legislators to give consideration to properties that have horses and are not classified as agricultural. Areas in Franklin Township and near Lake Maria are being affected dramatically. The rural vacant land classification is tied to valuation and the valuation cannot be adjusted as it is non-productive land, where valuation is based on growth. Mattson asked whether minutes are kept of Tax Committee Meetings where the Green Acres Legislation was discussed. Representative Anderson said minutes are kept. Mattson said the minutes should reflect the reasoning behind the Green Acres Legislation. Asleson said the County Attorney’s Office deals with tax appeals involving mostly valuation appeals for homestead status. He could foresee Green Acres appeals increasing the work load. Another issue is the veteran’s exclusion, which provides an exemption for veterans with disabilities. Kramber said many wealthy people with disabilities applied for the exemption. There have been other issues as well over the past 10 years. Kramber requested that if any additional programs are considered, that they be run through the property tax refund process in an effort to save money. The Assessor’s Office does not have income data, and that data cannot be obtained from the Department of Revenue. Kramber said as State Aid is cut in certain areas, the cost is pushed to property taxes. There were 753 foreclosures last year, and 1200 are expected this year resulting in an overall reduced tax capacity. Sawatzke said that the County establishes the levy, which is not affected by whether land is classified as Green Acres. He viewed it as a fairness issue and did not feel property owners should pay more for trying to do the best thing environmentally. Kramber said another area of concern is the Market Farming classification which applies to acreage over three acres. If income of $300 is generated from the sale of garden items, the property may qualify for $1,500 in tax savings. Sawatzke said the County Board is comfortable with Kramber’s position on these matters. As issues arise during the upcoming Legislation Session, he encouraged the Legislators to contact Kramber for more information and to obtain feedback on how their decisions may impact Wright County. A letter is being sent by the Quad County group to the Legislative Delegation outlining their position on Green Acres. Rep. Anderson said that every commissioner from the 32 counties affected by the Green Acres Legislation should be contacting their respective delegates. Kramber said Wright County has applied for an extension with the Department of Revenue and has not heard anything to date. The Department of Revenue has indicated there may be a possible exemption in 2010. Discussion followed on what other ideas there may be for Legislators to promote relating to proper environmental impacts and the preservation of open space and wildlife areas. One idea is to offer additional incentives to property owners. Representative Urdahl stated that if the problem lies with hunting preserves, then that should be the area discussed. Sawatzke did not view negatively the purchase of hunting land for preservation. The other choice would be for government to purchase the land and then taxes would not be generated. Des Marais said that by law, any transfer of property creates a payback on non-productive land. If land is transferred to a family member, there is a payback associated.
2. Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment, Update On Bertram Chain of Lakes.
Mattice distributed and provided an overview of a handout entitled, “Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, Protecting Our Lakes, Lands and Our Ways of Life.” The Amendment increases the State’s sales tax by 3/8ths of one percent for the next 25 years with funding distributed to four areas: 1) 33% dedicated to clean water purposes; 2) 33% dedicated to outdoor heritage; 3) 19.75% may be spent only for arts, arts education; 4) 14.25% of receipts deposited in the Parks and Trails Fund to support parks and trails of regional and statewide significance. Funds are subject to a legislative audit and citizen councils are either authorized or anticipated. A variety of meetings have taken place relating to the park and trail funding portion with discussion revolving around positioning of the groups in an effort to obtain the funding. A Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails group has formed which is a coalition of non-metro Regional Park and Trail providers. The group has formed a position statement on the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment. The group’s position is that funds should be divided equally between the State Parks & Trails, Metropolitan Parks & Open Space Commission, and Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails. Mattice said that one of the largest differences between the metro and non-metro groups is the perspective on how the funds could be used. The Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Group feels the funds should be used toward capital acquisitions and not operations and maintenance. Representative Urdahl said many Legislators spoke at a recent meeting of the MN Environmental Initiative Committee. The theme was that the intent of the funding was not for current expenses but for new projects. Representative Anderson felt there will be inequities in funding from metro to outstate, much as is seen with schooling. Representative Urdahl anticipates being appointed to the Culture and Outdoors Committee which will deal with parks and trails funding. An update was provided on the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project. Wright County and the City of Monticello are acquiring about 280 acres (land base only) for $3.6 million from the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis. The funding is split between the City and the County ($1.2 million each) along with $1.2 million in State grant funding (lottery proceeds). A purchase agreement has been signed with an option to purchase the remaining property (about 920 acres) through 2013. Sawatzke said it is hoped the State will contribute $9 million, and the County and City will each contribute $5.75 million. The City and County will make investments in infrastructure as well. The LCCMR for 2009 will not be appropriating any funding to the MN Department of Natural Resources Local Grants Program. They will be requesting $590,000 for State Parks Land acquisition and almost $1.3 million for Metropolitan Regional Park System acquisition. AMC will develop a platform on how the park and trail funding should be distributed. Sawatzke asked that the Bertram Project be considered if park land is eligible for funding through the bonding bill. Sawatzke serves on a committee created by AMC to have a voice on outstate and collar county projects. Sawatzke felt the Bertram project would be competitive with other projects and warrants funding as much as any other. Representative Anderson inquired why the two parcels purchased were selected. Sawatzke said LCCMR grant funding is used to preserve natural resources and so the City, County and YMCA chose those parcels. If future acquisition occurs, areas 1, 2, and 7 will be purchased to provide natural resources and promote recreational areas. Areas 8, 9, 10, and 12 will follow with areas 5, 4 and 3 thereafter. The reason areas 4 and 3 are last is they are the closest to the City and its sewer system. If those parcels are not acquired by the County and City, the YMCA can sell them for development. Sawatzke said the land was purchased with the intent of it being used by many people. They did not want to create a park that is used by a small percentage of the population. Sawatzke said the economy has made the land affordable. Senator Koch said the Governor has indicated there may be a bonding bill put forward as a stimulus package to create jobs. Representative Urdahl felt that the bonding bill next year will be smaller than usual and infrastructure centered. He thought the best funding source may be Legacy money, but said the request should be presented to the Bonding Committee as well. It was the consensus that Mattice will draft language for a bill to be introduced relating to funding for the project in 2010.
3. Attorney Representation in CHIPS Cases and Termination of Parental Rights.
In 2008, budget cuts were made to the State Public Defender’s budget, resulting in them not providing representation for parents in child protection and termination of parental rights cases. Statutes reflect that if the State does not provide the service, the County is to provide the representation. Asleson said this type of case load has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. Last year, the County signed a contract with a local attorney who is providing the majority of these services. The contract for 2008 cost $34,000 and was not budgeted. The extended contract with the attorney for 2009 comes at a cost of $73,000 and has been budgeted. In addition, there will be costs associated with retaining attorneys for cases where a conflict of interest arises. Asleson felt total costs may approach $100,000. The County is trying to determine how best to handle the situation but thought it was best to contract for services rather than to pay an hourly rate. Sawatzke said AMC is opposed to this shift of responsibility to counties. Some counties have elected not to fund these services. Lawsuits may arise in those counties where judges have ordered an attorney and the bills are left unpaid. Sawatzke said Wright County is trying to do the responsible thing by contracting for services. By contracting with an attorney experienced in these cases, more effectiveness should be realized through the Courts system. Sawatzke spoke of the costs associated with having to provide separate attorney services in cases where multiple parents are involved. The same attorney cannot represent each party and numerous attorneys can be involved in one case. He feels in some cases, those parents that the County is required to hire representation for are the perpetrators.
4. State Budget Forecast, Impact and Concerns on Local Government Aid.
Norman said the County has established the 2009 Budget. The Budget includes the approximate $4.2 million figure received from the Department of Revenue for County Program Aid, which is used to reduce the impacts on property taxes. The County is also faced with levy limits. If the Aid is lost, the County will realize a $4.2 million budget deficit. Norman said the County is in the business of projects, programs, and people and is a labor intensive organization. Possible solutions are a hiring freeze or layoffs. This is occurring in other jurisdictions. Norman strongly urged the Legislators to look at mandated programs from a cost benefit standpoint, and also to look at the outcomes of the delivery of services. There may be areas which can be reduced or eliminated entirely. He felt this review should be an ongoing effort, not just occurring during one Legislative Session. Sawatzke suggested the use of video arraignments which will result in cost savings relating to transporting prisoners. Video arraignments are being used in Wisconsin and Colorado and are working well. He said this is an example of where the County could potentially save $100,000 next year and he anticipates the costs to increase over the years. The question is to what extent the Legislature can control this versus the Minnesota State Supreme Court. Sawatzke asked that the Legislature indicate that this is an acceptable practice. He suggested that a bill be passed and that Wright County could serve as a pilot project. Norman stated that Washington County had special legislation for this. This is an example of efficiencies that could be put into place. Representative Urdahl asked that any other options, efficiencies, or mandates that could be suggested or reviewed should be forwarded to the Legislators. Senator Koch attended a meeting recently with Governor Pawlenty. The Governor provided information on a meeting held with county representatives. He spoke highly of the presentation made by county officials on possible options to reduce spending. Senator Koch said the Governor is strongly encouraging this type of input and used it as an example of what is needed. She said AMC is on top of this but the League of MN Cities must also come forward with options, as cities may not get their December Aid payment. She encouraged the formation of concrete ideas that can be used to relieve some of that burden. Sawatzke said cities don’t have to abide by as many controls as counties. Sawatzke viewed counties being slightly behind school districts on flexibility. He used Human Services as an example of maintenance of effort issues. Just because a certain amount of funding has been expended in the past, that does not mean it necessarily should be the same the next year. Senator Koch said the Governor is working to solve the State’s $400 million deficit. Just as the County’s budget includes State funding, the State’s budget is impacted by the Federal Government. There have been discussions of a wage freeze for State employees. They are also encouraging local governments and school boards to look at wage freezes for the next biennium. The alternative is layoffs. Mattson said that a few years ago, AMC and Governor Pawlenty indicated an overhaul of Human Services is needed. Mattson distributed a handout of the “Wright County Department of Human Services Contracts and Grants” and the associated pass through funding. The handout reflects the nearly $29 million in State dollars run through the Wright County Human Services Agency for State programs. Sawatzke explained that Wright County contracts for licensed services for clients and the County oversees the programs. It was suggested that these programs could be reviewed.
5. Primary Seat Belt Legislation.
A handout was distributed, “Stop Ignoring Traffic Deaths. Start Preventing Them. The Case for a Primary Seat Belt Law.” Norman said AMC supports the passage of the law. Mattson recently attended an AMC Transportation Committee Meeting and only two people out of the entire group did not support the Legislation. This was provided as an informational item.
6. Senator/Representative Updates.
Senator Koch extended appreciation for what counties have done with their budgets and setting examples. She hoped that schools and cities will get more involved. Senator Koch viewed future legislation as starting with a blank white board; starting from the ground up. Representative Urdahl viewed this as an opportunity to address some needed changes and challenges.
Representative Urdahl was contacted by a constituent on Sugar Lake on a property issue related to contiguous lots. The person purchased a lot next to the lot he owns. Subsequently, the person found they could not afford both lots and attempted to sell the most recently acquired lot. The County has informed this person that the property can only be sold as one unit. Representative Urdahl said it seemed fair to allow this person to sell only the lot he just purchased and not all of his property. Sawatzke said this is State law. Representative Urdahl said they are prepared to submit legislation to address this. There are gray areas between the State and County on how the law is interpreted with regard to land usage and contiguous lots. Sawatzke asked that the Legislature proceed with caution and not throw the entire system out entirely. Representative Urdahl said this was not his intent and he understands why these laws are in place. If needed, he will fashion legislation toward this specific case. Representative Anderson spoke of a situation where a person purchased a lot with a cabin. The cost to remodel would be more than the cabin was worth. The State would not let the person put up a new building. If the property is sold, however, the new owner can put up a new building. It was suggested that these types of situations be discussed with the County Planning & Zoning Administrator to obtain his interpretation.
(End of 12-19-08 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
An Owner’s Committee Meeting was held on 12-23-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Thelen. Russek clarified that the motion includes approval of the recommendations reflected in the Committee Minutes. Norman said a Certificate of Occupancy was received for Areas A&B of the LEC. Capt. Gary Torfin said the first move to the LEC is underway. There are several phases of the move planned. An open house for the public will be discussed at today’s Owner’s Committee Meeting. The motion to approve the minutes carried 5-0:
Torfin petitioned adding an informational item under FF&E regarding a previously approved purchase requisition and its resulting claim (V.B. Claim, Dynamic Imaging, $15,069.75). He also requested adding a discussion regarding a shelving order (Item V.C. Shelving Frames For Jail Storage), and a purchase request for a security key control system from Morse Watchman (Item V.D.). Hoffman petitioned adding a purchase request of a keyminder system for the non-detention areas of the building (Item V.E.).
Buikema stated that he would like to discuss the Dedication Plaque (VI. KKE Update).
A. A&P.
Streich provided a project update (see attached “Schedule Look-A-Head 2 Week”, dated 12-22-08). He stated that the building received its temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Areas A & B this morning (see attached). He commented that Area C is complete except for the installation of the security ceiling tile. A&P has conducted a punchlist for each of the trades in Areas C, F, and E. He stated that the final inspection for Area F will take place soon, and the gym equipment will be delivered the second week in January. Commissioning is taking place in Area E and Norment is installing the security system. The floors are being sealed and polished in Area D. The epoxy contractor has been working Saturdays to get caught up. The final painting is occurring in that area. A&P is still waiting for the exterior signage. Russek asked if the basework has been completed for the exterior signage. Streich stated yes.
Torfin approved the following:
A. PCO #091 – BP#3 PR 042 Add Electrical Receptacles For Storage Network Area - $1,253.94.
B. PCO #126 – BP#3 Repair Geothermal Well Field - $1,435.00.
Torfin stated that due to the relocation of the light poles around the front parking lot, the electrical contractor accidentally hit the geo-well field while drilling. The electrical contractor agreed to cover half of the repair costs. Streich stated that if the front entry sidewalks would not have been redesigned, the poles would have been placed as originally designed and no damage would have occurred to the well field. Buikema stated that he would caution the County to require contractors to only hand dig in these areas for all future construction. Russek asked if this damage was the cause for how all the sand got into the system which recently caused delays in the project. Streich stated no.
C. PCO #149 – BP#3 Megnite Thresholds at Shower Floors - $2,400.00.
Torfin stated that his PCO is to install forty (40) Megnite thresholds at shower floors to prevent over flow of water into the dayrooms. Buikema explained that the concrete for the shower areas was bid as part of bid package #2. The shower curb detail wasn’t shown until bid package #3. He stated that although there are floor drains, and the floors are sloped for proper drainage, water tends to find its way out. These thresholds will help contain the water.
D. PCO #150 – BP#3 Modifications to Door J1099 - $986.00.
Torfin stated that this PCO is to modify a door that was ordered per specs and not per field verification. The opening is too small for the door.
A. PCO #039 – BP#3 PR 013 Change Wall Type M10 To Type M1 - $5,907.00.
Buikema stated that he thought this PCO was previously approved. There is no documentation in the agenda documentation regarding this PCO. He stated that KKE had a design change where M10 walls were changed to M1 walls to provide privacy for the interview rooms in the LEC. These rooms need to be sound proofed for confidentiality.
B. PCO #103 – BP#3 Additional Roofing Required - $36,591.00.
Buikema stated that he asked for more time to research this PCO. There were a number of issues concerning this PCO. One of the reasons for this PCO was regarding the scheduling of the precast panel work. The second issue was in order to keep the roof waterproofed for the siding contractor the roofer had to return to flash the siding. The drawings showed the roofing materials going up underneath the siding. However, the roofing manufacturer required that the walls be flashed behind and over the siding; meaning the walls were flashed twice. The third issue was related to a disagreement in the height of the siding.
C. PCO #118 – BP#3 PR059 Laminated Oak Cap At Lobby Railing - $8,974.00.
Buikema stated that it is his recommendation to add a laminated oak cap to the glass railing in the lobby. The cap will give the perception that the railing is solid and secure. The cap will also soften the sharp edging of the glass. Sawatzke stated that when the railing was originally discussed, the Committee was informed that the alternate to glass would be a metal railing with wood handrails. He stated that it is his opinion that KKE should have chosen that alternative. Buikema stated that the glass railing is beautiful and provides a clear line of site from the lobby area. Sawatzke stated that the clear view would be obstructed by a wood cap. He stated that he would recommend KKE not design projects using this type of building material. Sawatzke asked how many contractors bid on the oak cap. Streich stated that three contractors were contacted. Two of the contractors stated that this was not within their field. Tekton Construction Company found a local wood worker to supply and install the laminated oak cap. Russek stated that he remembers the glass paneled railing from the 12-16-08 tour and did not feel the railing looked compete. He stated that the oak cap would give the railing a completed appearance and give it strength. Streich explained that the cap will be siliconed into place and comes in three pieces.
D. PCO #122 – BP#3 PR063 Paddle Type Flow Switch For Geo Thermal - $5,484.00.
Torfin stated that in order to protect the heat pumps, additional paddle type flow switches were required. Buikema explained that flow switches are currently installed, however, they need to be located on both sides of the valve. These will protect the five heat pumps. Streich commented that this work has already been completed.
E. PCO #142 – BP#3 Additional Roofing Required At Jail Windows - $6,700.00.
Buikema stated that this PCO is related to the earlier discussed PCO #103 – BP#3 Additional Roofing Required - $36,591.00. The drawings showed the siding going up over the windows. This PCO is to carry the roofing up over the curb and wrapping it up on the sides.
The Committee approved IV. A, C, D, and E.
RECOMMENDATION: Committee recommends approval of PCO #103 – BP#3 Additional Roofing Required - $36,591.00.
Sawatzke asked how many additional change orders KKE and A&P anticipate. Buikema stated that he is aware of three other change orders. The building inspector requires additional exit lights. Buikema stated that he would like to propose adding guard rails throughout the main corridors to protect the walls from damage by carts, etc. He stated that in an effort to save money, KKE removed the guard rails early in the design process. Sawatzke asked about the width of the corridors. Buikema stated that they are 8’ wide. Buikema stated that he is proposing a wood guard rail to run the length of the walls. He stated that the other option is to re-paint the hallways once they get marred.
Sawatzke noted that the current contingency amount, prior to approval of the above PCOs, is $504,391.00.
VI. PROJECT FF&E BUDGET $1,879,314.00.
Sawatzke noted that the current FF&E Budget is $1,177,687.00.
A. Jail Furniture, Interem, $20,288.71.
Torfin stated that no furniture has been ordered for the Jail office spaces. He distributed a listing (see attached) of the necessary furnishings for these work spaces. He stated that Pat O’Malley, Assistant Jail Administrator, reviewed this information with Sarah Hoppe and Dan Judd of Intereum. Torfin stated that nine rooms would be furnished. Chairs are not included in this proposal. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the purchase of Jail furniture via Intereum for $20,288.71.
B. Claim, Dynamic Imaging, $15,069.75.
Torfin stated that he received an invoice from Dynamic Imaging for $15,069.75 for the picture length capture software. He stated that there would be a balance owed of approximately $3,400.00 for the installation and training. C. Shelving Frames For Jail Storage.
Torfin stated that they need to order 60 upright shelving frames for the storage areas within the Jail. He stated that because they modified the shelf spacing in the inmate property storage area, there is an excess of shelves. Because of the excess, they only need the free standing shelving frames. He stated that the shelving would be 88” high and 12”/24” in depth.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize purchase of shelving frames to supplement the excess shelving in the Jail area.
D. Morse Watchmans System.
Torfin stated that they are looking to acquire security key rings (hubs) from Morse Watchmans Inc. for the security of their Jail keys. These locking hubs hold Jail/prison keys. He stated that the Jail is currently using this same system within the Government Center. In case of sabotage, the proposed locking mechanisms would have to be destroyed in order to obtain the individual keys. Russek stated he is in favor of the locking hubs because he feels it is important to secure the Jail/prison keys.
E. Key Control System.
Hoffman stated that the LEC also needs a key control system. He researched two computerized key control systems from Morse Watchmans Inc. (see attached quote). He described the key control systems as a key safe. He stated that currently, keys are held in a desk drawer. He stated that O’Malley and Brad Hatfield, Building Maintenance Supervisor, recommended a trackable storage unit for the LEC keys. The computerized storage system would only grant access to authorized personnel. Those accessing the system would be required to log in, allowing the keys to be tracked to its user. The user code would only allow him/her access to certain keys. He stated that for instance, custodians would not have access to keys for the evidence, narcotics, or arms rooms. He stated that he obtained two quotes, the only difference is size: an eight key slot holding system for $2,948.86, and a 32 key slot and 8 credit card system for $7,454.60. The larger cabinet would be 16” wide and 24” in height. Hoffman clarified that the Jail keys would also be kept with the LEC keys in the locking hub. Hoffman explained that for an additional $10,000, the key system could be connected into the County’s network. He stated that he did not feel this was necessary. The larger unit is a stand-alone with an attached data cable. Hoffman noted that the new LEC has approximately 32 Medco keyed doors, not including the Jail security areas. Of these 32 doors, there are approximately 250 actual keys. He stated that he assumed only 100 of the 250 keys would be distributed. Sawatzke questioned the quoted $800.00 for training and $700.00 for shipping and handling. Sawatzke noted that $700.00 for shipping and handling seems high. Hoffman stated that he would inquire about this. Sawatzke asked if this item is an in-stock item. Hoffman stated no. Sawatzke stated that he is in favor of the larger unit. Hoffman stated that when the Courts move to the facility, additional key holding systems could be linked/connected together. Hoffman verified that there is an outlet already located near the proposed key system.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize purchase of the KWIII Illuminated, 32 Locations, 8 Credit Card Slots & 48 Smartkeys System for $7,454.60.
Buikema stated that KKE has begun its role in the final inspection and creation of the punch lists. He stated that he is finding very few items to be corrected. He credited A&P for their work in creating preliminary punch lists. Buikema stated that he sent a mock-up of the proposed dedication plaque. He stated that he has not received any feedback regarding the proposed names on the plaque. Norman stated that he emailed Buikema stating that Bill Swing, I.T. Director, should be included in the list of names. Miller stated that he would recommend adding Todd Hoffman’s name to the plaque. Hayes informed Buikema that the local vendor, Trophies Plus, could manufacture the plaque. RECOMMENDATION: Approve plaque with the addition of Swing and Hoffman’s names.
Norman stated that the next meeting date is scheduled for 1-06-09.
(End of 12-23-08 Owner’s Committee Minutes)
There will be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today at 1:00 P.M.
Norman asked to reschedule the Committee Meeting dates in November and December. In November, the regularly scheduled Committee Meeting date is 11-11-09 which is a Holiday. The recommendation is to schedule the Committee Meeting date for 11-18-09. The alternate would be to schedule two committee dates of 11-04-09 and 11-18-09. In December, there are Holidays and the AMC Conference. Norman’s recommendation for December is to schedule the Committee Meeting date for 12-16-09. Eichelberg moved to schedule Committee Meeting Dates for 11-18-09 and 12-16-09. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Norman said clarification is needed on the address of the new Jail/LEC. The correct address is 3800 Braddock Avenue NE. The address is being kept in the County’s grid system so the address is northeast instead of northwest. Capt. Torfin indicated that the clarification was needed as there was an error made in some correspondence he sent initially. The sign at the site reflects only “3800”.
A Seminar entitled “Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government” will be held on 1-22-09 at the St. Cloud Civic Center. Norman plans to send the two Building Maintenance Supervisors to the Seminar. Russek moved to authorize attendance of Board members, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke said registration should be completed by 1-15-09 to obtain the reduced rate. The motion carried 5-0.
Norman stated the County normally makes the entire payment in January to the Wright County Economic Development Partnership. He asked that the County Board consider making only half the payment, $22,500, in January. The remainder of the allocation can be discussed after the County finds out from the State what will happen with local program aid. Sawatzke thanked Norman for identifying this and asked that he review other possible reduced allocations (i.e., Fair Board, Historical Society, organizations where grants are given). The County must honor any contracts held. It was felt that this action was reasonable, especially given that County Departments may be asked to take reductions in their budgets. Eichelberg moved to approve the $22,500 claim to the Wright County Economic Development Partnership. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
At the request of Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, Eichelberg made a motion to appoint the following Parks Commission members: John Wisecarver (District 1) and Bernie Beneke (District 2). The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Mattice also requested that appointments be made to the Bertram Chain of Lakes Task Force. Sawatzke and Heeter previously served on the Task Force with Russek serving as the alternate. Russek moved to appoint Sawatzke and Thelen to the Bertram Chain of Lakes Task Force with Eichelberg serving as the alternate. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.
Russek said a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting will be held on 1-12-09 at 10:00 A.M., Public Works Building. He has been contacted by a couple of trucking firms that move heavy equipment through the County on the associated County permitting fee. A copy of Scott County’s policy has been forwarded to Russek. It has been suggested that Scott County’s Policy is simpler than Wright County’s. Russek moved to add the following agenda item to the 1-12-09 TCOTW Meeting, “Permitting Fee For Moving Heavy Equipment”. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
Norman reminded the Board that a Leadership Team Meeting will be held today at 10:30 A.M. in Meeting Room C118.
Bills Approved
Robert Adams. $200.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 7,414.74
American Messaging 740.46
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 287.94
AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 28,499.74
Ancom Technical Center 10,551.46
Anoka County Sheriff 4,968.21
Association of MN Counties 25,327.00
Bear Graphics Inc. 641.16
BP Amoco 1,569.83
Buffalo Floral & Landscaping 200.00
Buffalo Transmission 3,499.26
CDW Government Inc. 141.51
Climate Air 6,383.68
CPS Technology Solutions 262.00
Embarq 163.78
Excel Systems LLC 183.60
Tom Feddema 125.19
Geocomm Inc. 4,000.00
Granite Electronics 495.87
Hewlett Packard 5,989.59
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2,050.15
Intereum Inc. 12,334.30
Loberg Electric 2,933.26
L3 Communications Inc. 484.47
Maple Lake Lumber Company 148.47
Marco Inc. 1,747.87
Richard Mattson 531.09
Midland Corporate Benefits SVC 997.75
MN Assn. of Co. Admin. 260.00
MN Assn. of County Officers 3,090.00
MN City-County Mgmnt. Assn. 107.00
MN Co. Computer Co-op. 55,257.84
MN Department of Health 263.75
MN Deputy Registrar Association 414.00
MN Recreation & Park Ass’n, Inc. 197.00
MN Sheriffs Association 5,319.00
City Monticello 263,200.00
National Emerg. Number Assn. 120.00
Nextel Communications 152.81
North Suburban Towing Inc. 351.45
Office Depot 1,866.83
Philips Medical Systems Hsg 365.30
Positron Public Safety Sys. 28,684.60
Frank Ramacciotti 600.00
Smith Micro Technologies Inc. 735.50
Software House International In 154.43
Spectrum Solutions 620.00
Springsted Inc. 25,312.30
Verizon Wireless 165.61
13 Payments less than $100 751.01
Final total $510,860.81
The meeting adjourned at 10:23 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 6, 2009.

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