WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
APRIL 28, 2009
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Eichelberg and Thelen present.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the 4-21-09 County Board Minutes as presented.
Russek moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Thelen, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: D. Anderson, D. Lee, T. Rasmuson, Assr.; N. Tallman, Ct. Svcs.; J. Corrigan, Hwy.; S. Albrecht, J. Eaton, J. Fox, D. Olson, S. Sims, T. Strege, J. Thinesen, Sheriff.
2. Approve Final Payment, Knife River Corporation, $7,085.25 (Retainage, West Parking Lot Project).
3. Accept Low Quote From Western Waterproofing For Annex Parking Deck Repairs, $9,550.
1. Renewal Of On Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License Cokato Town & Country Club (Cokato Twp.).
1. Approve Abatement, PID #101-141-001030, Curt Gentile (City of Albertville).
2. Approve Abatement, PID #114-295-001020, Daleiden Properties LLC (City of St. Michael).
3. Approve Abatement, PID #107-082-004090, Naomi Thoele (City of Delano).
4. Approve Abatement, PID #114-251-016020, Matt & Kari Christner (City of St. Michael).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented correspondence from the State Auditor’s Office granting a three-year release from State Audit Services. This will allow Wright County to contract with a CPA firm to complete the audits. Hiivala recommended pursuing a three-year contract extension with Larson Allen at equal to or less than the current contract rate. Russek moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Russek referenced Page 10, Michael Woodford, $26.95, for mileage reimbursement and questioned the reimbursement rate as it appeared to be half of what it should be. Hiivala said the claim is for 98 miles (49 miles each on April 9th & April 10th). Hiivala recommended the claim be paid as submitted. If additional reimbursement is needed, it will be included on a future claims listing. Mattson referenced Page 23, Unlimited Electric, $1,724.98, for maintenance at various highway shops. Mattson said he checked into the claim and Unlimited Electric is a Wright County business. He would like to support Wright County businesses when possible. On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 4-22-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Thelen moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:
I. BACKFILL VACANT DEPUTY SHERIFF POSITIONS.
Hagerty stated that this item is purely informational. Following County Board budget discussions, the Sheriffs Department is to leave five Deputy positions vacant. He stated that they have 137 Deputies and are authorized for 144 Deputy positions. They will hire up to 139 positions and leave five positions vacant.
II. CONSIDER RUNNING OFF-DUTY LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYMENT THROUGH WRIGHT COUNTY PAYROLL.
Norman provided background information (see attached) to the Committee regarding this subject. The last action taken was at the 11-27-96 Ways & Means Committee Meeting. The consensus of the Committee was to have the Sheriff develop a draft policy for review by the Committee and Frank Madden regarding special function assignments. A policy was never written. However, Miller stated that language was drafted in the 2000 Sheriff’s Department Directives Manual. Hagerty stated that the current process is fairly maintenance-free. Sgt. Brian Johnson is the point of contact for the cities when scheduling special assignment work. He distributes the work to Deputies inquiring about off-duty work. Miller stated that the non-city entities requesting the off-duty work pay the Deputies directly and the County charges them a $10 administrative fee. Coverage provided for City events are run through the County’s payroll department. Miller collects the administrative fee from the Deputies. The goal behind turning the entire process over to Payroll would eliminate the extra steps in collecting payment and administrative fees. Sawatzke asked Miller how much the County charges for off-duty work. Miller stated that the top Deputy makes $29.15/hour. Miller stated that the Sheriffs Department charges $40/hour as the overtime rate. However, he thinks the County should charge $45-49/hour to cover costs associated with PERA, Medicare, workers compensation, vehicle maintenance, etc. Hagerty stated that he attended an insurance seminar last year and found that Wright County is about the only County that is not running off-duty employment through payroll. He referenced an article published in the January, 2009 MCIT Bulletin stating its position on insurance coverage regarding law enforcement “moonlighting”. Norman asked how much of the off-duty activities are being run through payroll. Hagerty stated that approximately 60-70% of off-duty activities are run through payroll. Hagerty explained that most City events are run through payroll. Other entities provide individual checks to the Deputies. The Sheriff indicates the number of hours the City would need for an event, and they are charged according to the estimate. The event is then paid for based on the Deputy’s OT rate. Miller stated that the Sheriff is concerned about liability and exposure and therefore feels it is proper to run this operation through payroll. Nolan stated that MCIT is concerned about the level of exposure the County retains when an uniformed officer is performing off-duty work and is paid directly through payroll. The Deputy is still driving a County squad car. The activities of a Deputy performing off-duty services would still go against the County’s claims loss history. He stated that if the County Board were to decide not to create a policy and run the off-duty hours through the Payroll Division, then MCIT would advise that the Deputies should not be wearing County uniforms or driving County cars and would not be covered by MCIT insurance. Nolan stated that he is aware of only one claim resulting from an off-duty service call. Norman stated that these types of activities do increase the County’s liability and it does come at a higher cost. Norman explained that through payroll, the Deputies would be paid a “gross pay” amount for their off-duty work. The workers compensation insurance premium is based on gross payroll dollars. MCIT will not differentiate those Deputies who are getting paid for off-duty services versus their normal shift. Sawatzke asked that the Sheriffs Department draft a policy describing the policy and process. Miller asked if a policy is required since the memo from Frank Madden, dated 11-14-96, describes the process. Norman stated that the County should have a written policy regarding this process. He would like Frank Madden to review the policy as there have been a lot of changes made in labor law since his letter dated 11-14-96. Hagerty clarified that the hours worked for off-duty activities are not included as part of a Deputy’s 171 hours of straight time in a 28 day pay period. Deputies are rarely allowed to exceed their 171 hours working directly for the County. Hagerty stated that cities utilizing the Reserves are asked to make a donation to the Reserves fund. These services are not run through the off-duty program. The Reserves Fund is then used to pay park patrol at an amount equal to the lowest unlicensed wage. Norman stated that after the policy is drafted, the County Board will decide what the proper amount should be charged to the cities and entities requesting off-duty activities. RECOMMENDATION: Sheriff Department to draft a policy regarding off-duty employment and present it at the 5-13-09 Personnel Committee meeting.
III. PRIORITY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT HIRES.
Sawatzke asked Swing to list his priority order for the three proposed I.T. hires. Swing stated that priority wise, he needs the following: Network Analyst, Lead Developer, and Office Assistant. However, he stated that logically, it would make sense to turn his current part-time Office Assistant position to a full-time position. Then move forward with hiring the Network Analyst. Sawatzke asked Swing how many employees he has on staff. Swing stated that he has 10.5 employees and is authorized an additional 2.5 positions, which have not been filled. He stated that I.T. is a service department meant to service other departments. Filling the 2.5 positions would accommodate the County’s planning objectives that were decided upon in 2007. Sawatzke asked Swing if he has job descriptions for the 2.5 positions. Swing stated yes. Norman stated that Swing was asked to rewrite the Department’s job descriptions and Hay Group has yet to present the results of the evaluation of these job descriptions. The results would then be sent to the Negotiation Committee because some are union positions. Swing stated that he submitted the job description for the Network Analyst position in early 2008 and was not happy with Hay’s results. Therefore, he rewrote all of the job descriptions in early December, 2008. Norman stated that he anticipates a response from Hay within a week or two. Sawatzke stated that he would be in favor of recommending turning the part-time Office Assistant into a full-time position and authorizing hiring for the Network Analyst position when the results come back from Hay Group. The Committee discussed using 5-04-09 as the start date for the full-time Office Assistant position. Swing stated that during budget discussions, he proposed to the County Board that he’d like to fill the Network Analyst position on 4-01-09, and the Lead Developer position on 7-01-09. Sawatzke stated that he would be in favor of keeping the Lead Developer position vacant. Thelen stated that she is not in favor of keeping the position vacant for an indefinite period of time and would like to make it date specific. Swing stated that his Department has flagged several projects that are on hold until they receive proper staffing. Sawatzke stated that by authorizing 1.5 positions, the County Board would not require I.T. staff to take on any more work than they can handle. The projects would just remain on hold. Thelen stated that perhaps the County Board would have a better idea of its economic status after the June, 2009, forecast has been revealed. Swing stated that the County needs to get better at planning. Sawatzke stated that if there is less money for software and hardware, then there is less need for new staff. Norman stated that at budget time, each of the Departments come forward with their requests based on their needs. It is the job of the County Board to list the priority of their requests. Thelen stated that the job of the I.T. Department is to make the entire County run more efficiently. She stated that the needs of the I.T. Department are different than those of other Departments. Swing stated that technology has the ability to make the County more efficient. Overall, the County is very conservative on the dollars it spends in technology. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the full-time Office Assistant position as of 5-04-09 and authorize hiring for the Network Analyst position when the results come back from Hay Group.
(End of 4-22-09 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a draft letter to Representative Michele Bachmann reflecting the County Board’s support for the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition’s request for authorization of $6 million to assist with the Highway 55 Corridor Preservation Project in the new Surface Transportation Authorization Bill. If approved, the letter would be signed by the County Board Chair. The letter was drafted in response to Representative Bachman’s request for any projects that should be included in the Bill. Sawatzke questioned the funding for the 20% local share. Fingalson said that the 20% local share match language is standard and Mn/DOT will more than likely fund the $1.2 million, as this has been past practice. Russek moved to authorize signature of the Board Chair on the letter, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
There will not be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today. The next meeting will be held at the Jail/LEC on 5-05-09 at 1:00 P.M. and will include a tour.
A copy of a resolution adopted in 2008 was presented relating to the Wright County Snowmobile Association grant-in-aid funding. The request by the Parks Administrator is to adopt a similar resolution for the 2009-2010 season. The Snowmobile Association receives funding from the State and reimbursement of funds is handled through Wright County. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #09-21, seconded by Russek. It was noted that the resolution language needs to be updated for the current year. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Allina Hospitals & Clinic. $500.00
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 4,554.30
American Institutional Supply 1,498.08
American Society of Civil Eng. 225.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 422.42
Ancom Communications Inc. 929.75
Ancom Technical Center 280.00
Appraisal Institute 320.00
Aqua Green Lawns 189.00
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 119.85
Automatic Garage Door & Firepl 121.41
Bankers Advertising Co. Inc. 450.14
Bob Barker Co. 2,499.01
Bruce Bersie 125.00
Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 450.00
Bryan Rock Products 689.20
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 147.19
Buffalo Hospital 1,283.03
CDW Government Inc. 3,064.00
Center Point Energy 2,138.90
Climate Air 439.04
Commissioner of Transportation 349.50
Corinna Township 1,008.00
CPS Technology Solutions 262.00
Dash Medical Gloves 359.40
Deatons Mailing Systems, Inc. 225.78
Dell Marketing LP 312.74
Ben Ehlinger 116.60
Farm Plan 101.12
Fastenal Company 193.69
Tom Feddema 223.30
Federal Signal Corporation 1,301.03
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Excava 32,359.37
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 204.20
Forestry Suppliers Inc. 161.19
Franklin Township 922.00
General Office Products Co. 3,319.57
Granite Electronics 61,992.41
H&R Const. Co. 2,691.40
City Hanover 1,689.40
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 1,888.36
Integrated Fire & Security 1,171.50
Intereum Inc. 336.19
Interstate All Battery Center 197.49
Matthias Jordan 2,846.00
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 400.45
Klatt True Value Electric 128.60
LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,831.23
LexisNexis Mathew Bender 110.00
L3 Communications Inc. 378.96
City Maple Lake 495.80
Marco Inc. 1,976.11
Marysville Township 991.00
B McNamara Inc. 39,910.88
Menards - Buffalo 370.45
The Metro Group Inc. 2,939.29
MN Alcohol Traffic Safety Assn. 319.00
MN Board of Assessors 715.00
MN CLE Inc. 495.00
MN Copy Systems 162.94
MN Dept. of Labor & Indus 600.00
Melissa Monson Ltd. 197.20
City Montrose 1,053.00
Multi Health Systems Inc. 220.00
Munson Lakes Nutrition 158.00
National Assn. of Cty. Engineers 450.00
Nextel Communications 1,496.69
North American Salt Co. 11,067.61
Northland Chemical Corp 180.29
Office Depot 3,092.22
Pavement Resources Inc. 4,872.16
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 284.36
Frank Ramacciotti 300.00
Thomas Richards 100.00
Rockford Township 2,118.70
RS Eden 9,435.85
Ryan Chevrolet 623.16
Save-Suicide Awareness Voices 777.38
Shell Fleet Plus 274.79
Software House International 7,097.16
Specialty Turf & Ag 138.40
St. Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc. 125.06
St. Michael Veterinary Clinic 678.67
State Supply Co. 719.52
William Swing 172.70
T & S Trucking 9,520.00
Total Printing 420.25
Uniforms Unlimited 745.39
Unlimited Electric Inc. 1,724.98
Verizon Wireless 1,017.48
Victor Township 1,774.00
Voss Lighting 1,303.98
Wolf Protective Agency Inc. 669.32
J. Wolff 125.00
Wright Co. Auditor Treasurer 1,484.32
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 4,430.32
Wright Hennepin Co-op Elec. 672.28
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,732.83
Xcel Energy 1,407.90
21 Payments less than $100 1,297.42
Final total $275,761.27
The meeting adjourned at 9:16 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 1, 2009.