Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JUNE 30, 2009
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Russek, Eichelberg and Thelen present. Commissioner Mattson was absent.
On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the 6-23-09 County Board minutes.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Paripovich, Atty.; C. Goodrich, B. Major, Aud./Treas.; K. Crandall, C. Nelson, IT; M. Aitchison, K. Clemence, B. Cramb, J. Diers, S. Hoover, G. Sorensen, Sher./Corr.; R. Babler, Surv.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 6-12-09.
3. Auction Report.
4. Refer Discussion RE: Fees For Service Changes To The Ways & Means Committee Meeting Of 7-22-09.
5. Schedule Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Meeting, 7-22-09 @ 9:00 A.M.
6. Claim, KKE Architects, $62.92 (Professional Services, May 2009, Jail/LEC Project).
B. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Combination On/Off Liquor License Renewal, “Up The Creek Grill & Bar” (Silver Creek Twp.).
2. Optional 2:00 A.M. Closing Permit For Norm’s Wayside (Formerly Boonedock’s-Rockford Twp.).
C. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Schedule Technology Committee Meeting For 7-08-09. Agenda Items: 1) Report On Technology Planning; 2) Technology Capital Improvement Projects; 3) 800 MHz Radio Maintenance-2010 Budget.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried unanimously.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 6-24-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0:
Consider Running Off Duty Law Enforcement Employment Through The County Payroll System.
Norman distributed correspondence received from Frank Madden and a response from MCIT to the Special Detail/Outside Employment Directives Manual (attached). Norman said the most critical statement from Madden’s document is on Page 1, Item #1, which reads, “The special detail work must be performed solely at the employee’s option.” If something different is occurring, then the County may have some exposure. Sawatzke questioned whether the County will have exposure because of incidences which can occur during volunteer work. Norman explained that any claims which arise will probably be handled by MCIT. The MCIT document states, “The Directives Manual clearly defines the guidelines for the Wright County deputy sheriffs and puts Wright County in control of outside employment.” Norman questioned whether Madden’s opinion, as outlined above, counters the opinion of MCIT. Dave Miller explained that if a Deputy is assigned special duty, it is assigned as part of the normal work day. Volunteer activities are not part of the normal work day and completed during an employee’s free time. Volunteer activities are posted and offered to all deputies. Norman referenced the Wright County Sheriff’s Office Directives Manual, Section G201.04, Procedures, which states, “All requests for special detail employment shall be forwarded to the Sheriff’s designee for approval. If approval is granted, the Sheriff’s designee will prepare a schedule to cover the special detail employment, making sure the shift assignments are distributed equitably among interested employees qualified to do the work.” It was explained that Gary Miller uses discretion on which events will be allowed, as there are certain functions that he would not like a licensed deputy associated with. Volunteers have been available for most events. If a volunteer is unable to attend, then an on-duty deputy will patrol the event. The Sheriff Department does not bill for these services. Norman said the County must make sure there is a distinction between on-duty and off-duty activities. The Committee discussed Madden’s opinion on separate and independent employers. Gary Miller said when a deputy works volunteer events, the employer is considered to be the person hosting the event. The funds paid by that group to the Sheriff Department are run through the County’s payroll system. Gary Miller felt that Madden may be referencing other types of activities, such activities as escort services for funerals.
Norman felt that as long as the employee chooses whether to volunteer for an event, the language in the Sheriff’s Office Directives Manual is appropriate. The Sheriff Department currently charges $40/hour to have a deputy at special events. This figure is based upon the overtime rate of a Grade 3 deputy ($36/hr. plus workers compensation and insurance). The County also charges a $10 administrative fee (scheduling and payroll) for each volunteer that works at an event. When there is a large event, such as a city function, a supervisor may work as well. The County may not make up the supervisor’s salary through the $40/hour rate. Norman brought forth concern on salaried employees being compensated for volunteer events, as it could affect the exemption status for the position. It was the consensus that the directive will need to make it clear that salaried employees will not work special events. Recommendation: Increase the rate for Special Detail/Outside Employment to $45/hour. Support the request to run the off-duty law enforcement employment through the County’s payroll system.
Performance Appraisal, Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator.
Based on the review of four appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”
Performance Appraisal, Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer.
Fingalson was not available for today’s Committee Meeting. His review will take place on July 8th.
(End of 6-24-09 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Ryan Dolan, Census 2010 Campaign Coordinator, provided an overview of the Census 2010 outreach strategy. Information was also provided on the Complete Count Committee. Over the past year, Dolan has been traveling the State meeting with various elected officials to prepare for the census. The US Constitution mandates a headcount every 10 years. This process has been completed since 1790. The population totals from the 2010 census will determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. States also use the census totals to redraw their legislative districts. These totals affect funding in the community, with about $300 billion in Federal funding distributed annually to communities. Local government aid is based on the census figures. The population figures are so close that Minnesota could potentially lose a Congressional seat. There is one state ranked higher than Minnesota at this time based on population. Dolan said if this comes out as close as anticipated, the ranking for the Congressional seat may be as close as the Minnesota Senate race. What is unique with the 2010 census is that everyone is counted (citizens and non-citizens). The data retrieved is confidential, meaning no court of law, government agency, or even the President has access to it. He said people may be reluctant to provide information but it is very important they provide accurate information in order to retain the Congressional seats and Federal funding. Dolan predicted Minnesota may be 1,700-1,800 people away from losing the seat. The 2010 census will be handled in 10 questions. Less data is retrieved from each household than with the 2000 census. The forms will be mailed in February-March and are due back on Census Day, which is April 1, 2010. The anticipated response is about 75%. The remaining 25% will be contacted directly by the Census Bureau. Dolan encouraged completion of the American Community Survey, included in the information distributed and can also be obtained on the website (www.census.gov/2010census). The Census Bureau faces some challenges for not obtaining a successful count. Dolan said it is important to get the word out to those residents who live in warmer states for a portion of the year. Those residents should answer the census as Minnesota residents if they reside here for most of the year. Those living in college dormitories will also have to be counted as a resident at the college, not as a resident of their parent’s household. The foreclosure crisis also impacts the census. There will be many vacant homes and those who have experienced foreclosure may be living with others. It is important they are counted even if they are not residing there permanently. Dolan said there may be a reluctance to provide information as some may be violating code by letting those in need live with them. However, the data provided is protected under law (Title 13 of the U.S. Code, Section 9). Dolan strongly suggested the County form a Complete Count Committee (CCC). He described the CCC as a megaphone for promoting the census. The CCC serves as a local liaison with the Census Bureau. The County can apply for partnership assistance funds to assure residents are aware of the census. Word can also be put out through newsletters. In past censuses, cities that had a CCC had better results on the census. In each of the Congressional Districts, about 1000 people will be hired to assist with the census ($12-$30/hour for part-time and full-time work, 4 months to 1.5 years). Applicants must be U.S. citizens and pass a basic skills test. To apply, contact www.census.gov or 1-866-861-2010. The Census Bureau will hold a meeting toward the end of July at the St. Cloud City Hall. Local government officials are invited to attend to learn more about the census. Russek asked for additional information on the CCC (should it be formed in each city or just one in the County). Dolan said the goal, whether city or county wide, should be to make sure every pocket of a city and every type of citizen is represented. It is important to reach the grass roots of the population to make sure they are comfortable with completing the census. Dolan estimated that the majority of people will participate, most likely the same population that participates in elections. The other portion of the population needs to be focused on (younger, people of color, those without citizenship status). Eichelberg inquired whether the census is sent out in different languages. Dolan stated that the census is available in six languages. It is only mailed in English unless it is known that an area is highly populated with residents speaking another language. Citizens can also obtain the census in their language through a helper or a translation form. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, asked whether there is an appeal process for states where it is felt that the population is undercounted. Dolan was not aware of this but felt there may be a process available. Norman said the handout reflects that the U.S. Census Bureau must submit state population totals to the President by 12-31-10. Norman asked for the time schedule that relates to redistricting. Dolan said that should occur very shortly afterwards as the information is required for the 2012 general elections. Sawatzke referenced the comment made about available funding. Dolan said the deadline passed today for some of the funding. There is one more deadline approaching allowing for reimbursement of costs associated with the census (about $2,499 in professional service costs and up to $2,999 in material costs). Dolan said the County should contact him if interested. Dolan was thanked for the information.
Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, presented a draft resolution which would authorize execution of an Agreement with the Office of Juvenile Justice Programs, MN Department of Public Safety, for the JABG Grant (Juvenile Accountability Block Grant 10), for the period of 7-01-09 to 6-30-10. MacMillan said this is a continuation of the Grant they have received since 2001. Each year the County Board must adopt a resolution for continuation of the funding. The total Grant amount is $15,105. Sawatzke asked if the same amount is received annually. MacMillan explained that the Grant funding was reduced in 2004 and in 2007. They have been able to capture funds annually that are available. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #09-30 authorizing execution of the Agreement, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
MacMillan requested approval of a resolution authorizing use of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $12,281.00. This amount has been allocated to Wright County for juvenile services in the criminal justice system. The funds are available on an annual basis for up to 4 years. The intent is to use the funds toward the caseload of the intensive aftercase supervision agent. Funding for this was originally through the JABG Grant but was reduced over time. The Grant funding will be used toward the Agent position that exists (it will not create a new position). The funds will be used to offset losses over the past few years and to cover the costs associated with juvenile sex offenders as they integrate back into the community. The application deadline is 7-09-09. Having this item on the Agenda today meets the public notice requirement. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #09-31, seconded by Thelen. Thelen inquired about the increased supervision required for sex offenders over the past few years. MacMillan said it is a result of community awareness, law enforcement efforts, and mandatory notification in schools. The increase appears to sometimes be cyclical. The County saw a spike in out-of-home placements 10-12 years ago due to juvenile sex offenders. MacMillan said that spike has occurred again in the last 1.5 years. A committee has been formed with representatives of the County Attorney’s Office, Court Services, Human Services, and Sheriff Department to talk about how best to handle sex offenders. These offices deal with the person on the front and back ends. This will help on the back end with supervision of the person as they work back into the community. Thelen asked if there is a re-socialization aspect. MacMillan said that those juveniles being treated for sex offenses will move into the agent’s caseload. The agent ties in the treatment with their aftercare, and provides an enhanced level of supervision to monitor them and properly transition them back into the community. The motion carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, requested that the Board waive the $20.00 disposal fee for computers and televisions for a one-day collection being held at the Wright County Compost & Recycling Facility on 7-29-09 from 9:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. The County would be responsible for the disposal costs. Last year, a similar event was held for the collection of televisions. A vendor took the items collected and recycled them. The economics are not the same this year as the County will fund the collection. If the same amount is collected this year as last, the cost of disposal will be about $20,000 (254/lb.). SCORE funds will be used. Stephens said that fund has remained stable with a balance of about $600,000. The focus this year will be mainly on computers but they realize that some residents may still have televisions that need to be recycled. The vendor this year will be Dynamic Recycling, from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The County is required to utilize vendors registered with the MPCA as recognized companies that handle material properly. STS crews will assist with the collection. Thelen moved to waive the $20.00 disposal fee for the 7-29-09 Collection Event. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, said bids were opened on the CSAH 6 Reconstruction Project on 6-09-09. Since Federal money was involved, Mn/DOT had to check on the good faith efforts for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). The contractor, Dennis Fehn Construction, meets the requirements and the project can now be awarded. Fingalson said there was an error in the bid and it came in $23,000 less than what was reported at bid opening. Fingalson recommended awarding the bid to Dennis Fehn Construction at the new bid amount of $2,375,175.36. This is about 19% below the amount budgeted of $2,835,000 (80% Federal, 20% State Aid). Sawatzke asked whether the same amount of Federal funding will be received. Fingalson said there is about $200,000 in additional Federal funding that will go into a fund for the 7W counties. Wright County will have an opportunity to get a portion of that. For example, several weeks ago Wright County was able to secure an additional $632,000 for a project in 2011. That money came from a similar project in another county. Russek moved to award the CSAH 6 Reconstruction Project to Dennis Fehn Construction, $2,375,175.36. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0.
A Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 6-22-09. Fingalson presented the minutes and recommendations (discussion at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics):
Request from Otsego for Kadler Avenue.
Robertson gave an update on the proposed improvements that would affect Kadler Avenue, making it into a County Highway, perhaps 10 or more years in the future. Improvements would include an improved interchange at I-94, and steps are being taken now to approve an official map so that property can be preserved for the right-of-way needs. Nafstad explained that this change was part of the recommendation of the Northeast Study prepared by St. Michael, Otsego, Albertville, Mn/DOT, and Wright County, which showed the need for a future road in this area. Mapping would include that area from 70th Street (CSAH 37) to south of the freeway [by Apex] to CSAH 18 by the St. Michael/Albertville High School. The city would like to preserve the right of way, and then if property owners wanted to build in the right of way, the city would have the first right to purchase the property in order to preserve it for the future roadway. Actual construction for an overpass is quite a few years in the future, and then hopefully an interchange would follow. A bridge over the Mississippi would have to be in at that time. This new roadway would get regular traffic away from the commercial districts, and it is consistent with the Northeast Plan. The official map would help protect the corridor so that development can’t occur. The next step in this process will be a public hearing. Fingalson said that the Northeast Study identified CSAH 19 through Otsego, Albertville, and St. Michael as an eventual city street, and the bypass route (new County route) would connect to a river crossing in the Elk River area. Sherburne County is aware of and cooperating in these efforts.
Update on I-94 Project from Albertville.
Kruse and Nafstad said that they have been working for six years on a project which will create a westbound collector/distributor interchange connecting I-94 to CSAHs 19 and 37. CSAHs 19 and 37 are two of the busiest highways in the county and are getting close to the maximum capacity. CSAH 19 by the interchange is the business section of County Highway in the county. They are fast approaching a point where this highway needs to be improved and/or other ways need to be considered for channeling of traffic. Albertville is looking at the first phase of creating a collector/distributor road between CSAHs 19 and 37. The cost of constructing the westbound portion of this collector/distributor system is about $9.5 million, $1.7 of which has already been spent by Albertville for the preliminary layouts and the environmental approvals. The final design is now being worked on by SRF Consulting, and the approved final design and all permits and approvals should be ready by January 2010, with an anticipated letting date of April 2010 if funding is found. This project is consistent with the Northeast Transportation Plan and its safety and mobility issues. This will open up or assist with traffic generated by significant development and growth in the Albertville and Otsego areas. The City of Albertville is applying for federal funding for help in paying for this, as it is too expensive for the City to pay for it on its own. If significant federal funding is approved (somewhere in the 80% range), Albertville would like to ask the County for help in paying for the remainder of the costs. The improvement being proposed at this time is a northwest bound collector/distributor road. There are currently two accesses to I-94, one at CSAH 37 and one at CSAH 19. The project that the city is pursuing would allow traffic access to CSAH 19 closer to the CSAH 37 access. Westbound I-94 traffic would get off on a high-speed “frontage road, but the existing CSAH 37 access would still be maintained. Currently, westbound traffic has to exit I-94 at CSAH 37 and drive through town to access CSAH 19. There have been lots of crashes at that intersection (37/19), and this would help reduce further occurrences because of the traffic that would go directly to the mall. There are existing businesses on the CSAH 37 corridor that are experiencing traffic congestion that makes it difficult for people to access their businesses. A number of crashes and access issues have become more of a problem as growth has occurred. Lots of work has been done on preparations for improvements, and they are nearing the “shovel-ready” stage and have the support of both federal and state agencies. The next hurdle will be the funding. Albertville would like to ask the Wright County Commissioners that this project be considered on the next 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan. They would like to continue working with representatives of the board and staff to strategize for opportunities in order to be able to realize this project. The interchange at I-94/CSAH 19 would be an extended diamond interchange and not a diamond interchange. If a person is westbound on I-94 and wanted to go to the mall, they would be able to get off at CSAH 37 and continue on a high speed collector roadway and get off at CSAH 19. The interchange at CSAH 37 would be a full one and the one at CSAH 19 would be a half one. Signage will be posted to let people know where to get off the freeway in order to get to the outlet mall. This high speed collector roadway would serve a similar purpose as a frontage road but would move vehicles faster. It will support both north and south traffic from CSAH 19 and help alleviate the local congestion. People will get off the freeway on CSAH 37, go to the stop light, and then choose which way to go, or they could bypass all that and exit off at a high speed and continue to the mall. They have been working with the State to ensure that this project complements the six-lane improvement project the State is currently working on. The CSAH 37 Bridge is wide enough to handle an extra road and an extra freeway lane. People heading to the east after leaving the mall will use the same route they currently use. Phase II of this project would be the development of the eastbound collector distributor. Plans initially included a ramp to the east, but due to limitations and mobility on the freeway, Mn/DOT won’t allow that. Albertville would like to see a ramp, but the regulatory authorities said that this would not be in the best interest of freeway travelers. Kruse said that this would have been a possible candidate for stimulus money, but it was not “shovel” ready at the time that applications were due. The plan was submitted to the State over a year ago, but it did not get reviewed until recently. It has been submitted for other funds, but these funds are pretty limited. They hope to apply for federal funding and get 80% of the project costs from that funding, but that still leaves 20% local share. Kruse said that the interchange proposed by Otsego and the two proposed by Albertville are all necessary in the future. Sawatzke asked if business owners would contribute to the costs of the project as they did in Monticello, and Kruse said that this situation is somewhat different because the area is already developed and it is harder to assess for improvements after the fact. However, they will look at whether businesses should help pay for improvements. Of the expected $10 million price tag, the City has already spent $1.7. If the project gets 80% funding, there is only a small percentage of the project unfunded. The City is not asking for money at this point, but they would like to be considered as part of the County’s 5-Year Plan. The final design should be completed in December of this year at which time they should be “shovel” ready. There has been some talk of unused stimulus money, and if this is the case, this project would be eligible for that. Spending $1.7 million up front has been a stretch for the city, but unless this project is ready to go, there is no chance that it will receive federal funding. Proper planning is crucial to a successful outcome, and this would be a good candidate for the road tour. Fingalson said that the results of the solicitation of funding for $5.4 million from the Greater Minnesota Interchange Solicitation Program should be known soon. An announcement of recipients will be made on July 15, and Albertville applied for $5.4 million.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson stated a meeting will be held today with Representative Tom Emmer and Senator Amy Koch to discuss this project. The Commissioners were invited to attend.
Speed Zoning on CSAH 37 in city of Maple Lake.
Fingalson explained that the City of Maple Lake has requested review of a decision made by Mn/DOT to keep the speed limit at 55 mph on a section of CSAH 37 that approaches CSAH 8 [near the Maple Lake High School] in the City of Maple Lake. Both Dumont and Brannan, speed zoning experts and traffic engineers from Mn/DOT, were on hand to explain the State’s speed zoning laws and how appropriate speed limits are determined. Brannan said that the county had requested a speed study at that area, and Mn/DOT studied it but determined that a lowered speed limit was not desirable at that location. Basic speed law (MS 169.14 subd.1) dictates that the driver should drive at a speed reasonable for the conditions. If the speed limit is set at 55 mph but driving conditions are poor, then the speed of the vehicle should be kept to a lower level. A driver is also required to be attentive, and use of cell phones, for example, contributes to inattentive driving. If the roadway is winding and curvy and then straightens out, the driver has to adjust constantly, and it is the responsibility of the driver to drive safely to avoid a crash. All of this is defined in the Minnesota statute. The local road authority can set speed limits on areas of the roadway that are contiguous to a school. The State would not be involved in setting a speed limit for the school zone in Maple Lake, as the law says that the road authority responsible for the road next to the school has to make that determination. However, there are guidelines that have to be followed as prescribed by the Commissioner of Transportation. Provisions in place are designed to prevent a crash, not just slow it down. There is no safe speed to hit a pedestrian. Education is the best tool for proper use of the roads, especially when walkers and bikers are present. There used to be budget funds available in Public Safety for this education, but funds have been cut. If there are no signs present, the speed limits are dictated by law. For instance, 30 mph is statutory (M.S. 169.14 subd 2) in an Urban District (169.01 subd 59); 55 mph is statutory on two-way, two-lane roadways; 65 mph is statutory on expressways and urban interstates; and 70 mph is statutory on rural interstates. All other values on the roadways have to be authorized by the Commissioner of Transportation (M.S. 169.14 subd 4 & 5). When a speed study request comes in to the District Traffic Office, Mn/DOT takes steps to prepare a study that will determine a safe speed limit. This is done by Dumont’s office, and they prepare a report and submit it to the Central Office staff for their approval. Conditions are reviewed using current guidelines, and a uniform and consistent policy is very important. The same standards must be followed on all requests, and installation of the new signs that might result from the study is the responsibility of the road authority. Wright County would be the road authority for CSAH 37. Various factors are considered in the study, including road type and surface, location and type of access points, length of the roadway in that area, current traffic control devices, crash history, traffic volume, sight distance, and speed study of traffic using that roadway. A radar gun is used to collect the speeds of the drivers at all times, and it has been documented that drivers don’t change their speeds in short zones. The speed at which 85% of the drivers are moving is generally considered the common sense speed and the speed at which the average reasonable driver is moving. Mn/DOT does not set speed limits above that value. An engineering tool used to determine how crash frequency is related to speed is called “Solomon’s Curve.” Through the use of this tool, it has been determined that the lowest crash probability lies within 7 mph of the recommended speed limit. Five mph over the speed limit is actually the lowest point of crash frequency. If speed limits are set lower than studies determine are appropriate and safe, crashes actually start going up. Speed differential is one of the main factors that causes crashes, and keeping the speed limit at a level that seems reasonable to 85% of the drivers will keep the crash probability at its lowest point. For that reason, it is desirable to set the speed limit that matches this 85% percentile. People read the road and the signs, and if they don’t match, people process their own risk management and make a decision about what speed they want to drive. If the road tells them faster than the sign indicates, they usually go faster. You can’t make most people follow a speed limit by putting up a sign, and speed variation causes a lot of problems. Eliminating speed variation makes the road safer. The 85% percentile of travel speed is used as a parameter for determining many traffic control devices, such as the size of the letters on a sign, pavement markings, signals, no pass zones, railroad crossing arms, and guardrail. Guardrails are designed for the impact of the speed at which 85% of the drivers travel. This is part of a uniform safety system. Highway speeds are part of a safety system which is well defined in the Minnesota Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MMUTCD). Safety practices have proven to be most effective when uniformly applied. Uniform reactions by drivers lessen confusion and reduce crashes. It is Mn/DOT’s goal to make responsible decisions so that crashes do not happen. Mn/DOT is also liable for its actions, so if it sets the wrong speed limit, it is liable. They want to make sure they do the right thing because they have to defend that action in court. After studying CSAH 37 and its traffic volume and use of road crash history, not lowering the speed limit is the best option. When there is a high crash history, or if there is a curve coming to the school or the church, a change could be made to a lower value to match that situation. However, that data is not the only thing that factors into the decision. Turning traffic should also impact a driver’s choice of speed. Sidewalks are also a factor, especially broken sidewalks that prompt pedestrians to step off the sidewalk and onto the roadway at times. The safest situation is when the highway and sidewalk are separated, and Maple Lake Schools has put up a fence separating school grounds from the highway. The last speed study was conducted in October 2007. It was mentioned that additional construction has been going on with increased parking and the removal of an entrance off Moland Avenue. The only entrance out of the north parking lot is right next to the church, so that might affect the outcome of a new speed study. The volume of traffic will be increased because the bulk of the students will be parking in the north lot. Brannan said that anytime conditions change (more students, traffic patterns, accesses), the situation could be reevaluated. He complimented the fence that had been installed by the School District and said that this was a real positive factor for safety. He also suggested that a sign be posted indicating where the entrance to the school parking lot is. If drivers are told correct information, they react pretty well. A sign should be put on a post above fence level so that it is not hidden, and the school might have to work with Fingalson to improve the school entrance. Generally, turn lanes are not safe for pedestrians, but there is relatively little or no pedestrian traffic at that entrance. CSAHs 37 and 8 and TH 55 are all danger zones for students, so the school buses all of the students. Thelen asked if posting a warning sign ahead of a drop in speed limit would be effective. Brannan answered that anytime a speed limit changes by 15 mph or more, a ‘reduced speed ahead’ sign is posted 1,000 or 1,500 ahead of the change, but when there are speed variations on a roadway, good traffic flow is affected. The speed limit sign is the beginning of the speed zone, and the reduced speed sign is an advisory to drivers giving them time to prepare. If the traffic conditions have changed and there are more turning changes, a new speed study might be warranted. Dumont said that the school is fairly close to the stop sign, about 900 feet away, and that already acts as a transition zone in slowing down. The situation on TH 55 on the north side of the school is similar with traffic slowing for a traffic signal, but it also has a curve that interferes with sight distance. The primary entrance to the school and the bus entrance to the school come off TH 55, and that factor when combined with a curve that interferes with sight distance, warrants a drop in the speed limit. Drivers need to be prepared to stop on CSAH 37, not to reduce speed. Placement of signs and adding a sign can also affect how drivers react. Fingalson will work with Dumont about the speed issue; and if a speed study is done, Mn/DOT will let the county know the results. Fingalson said that at the city’s request, Wright County has refreshed the rumble strips for westbound drivers approaching the stop sign at CSAH 8. Cordell commented that generally the school speed zone is designed for pedestrians where there is no fence or sidewalk; but in this case, it would not be an appropriate action because there are no pedestrians. A comment was made about the T-intersection where CSAH 37 meets CSAH 8, and that this is more like a 90 degree curve at the stop sign. Vehicles that don’t stop could hit the house. If they were going slower, they could apply the brakes and stop. However, Dumont said that if these drivers don’t pay attention to the rumble strips or the stop sign, a lower speed might not help anyway. He said that Mn/DOT looked at this intersection, and some street lights were put up there by the city to help improve that situation. Perhaps a street light could be put up by the school entrance, or a sign could be lighted so that drivers are more aware of where the school entrance is located. Dumont said that he couldn’t find any record of crashes at the entrance, and they don’t want to make any changes that might cause crashes. If a lower speed limit is posted at the location, there is a good probability that the only persons following it would be the elderly, and this would create some problems. There doesn’t seem to be a big safety problem here. He did a speed check at the church entrance where the speed limit is 55 mph, and found that 85% of the people are doing 55 mph or less. Brannan commented that if the entrance gets busier, a ‘no passing zone’ might be appropriate here. Cordell said that this was already done in 2007, though the video log they are viewing does not show it. Perhaps a double yellow out to the airport would help prevent vehicles from passing large trucks that are accessing CSAH 37. Some concerns had been brought to the attention of Maple Lake City about trucks that are accessing CSAH 37, both in the morning and in the evening. There was some discussion about the traffic that approaches Maple Lake from the north on CSAH 8 and how well drivers obey the posted speed limit as it drops to 30 mph at the edge of the residential area. If the speed limit were posted at 30 mph at the airport, would drivers obey that sign also? Dumont said that CSAH 37 by the airport is a totally different environment from the north side of Maple Lake on CSAH 8. The road design is more urban and there is a lot of residential housing, unlike CSAH 37. CSAH 37 is a rural environment by the airport and drivers will drive at faster speeds. Enforcement could be present and tickets could be issued, but if it appears to be an unreasonable requirement, they will stop enforcing that area and drivers will lose respect for other postings. Mn/DOT tries to stay consistent state wide with their postings. The church has expressed concerns because they have a lot of elderly members who access CSAH 37 after services, but out of 200 vehicles tracked at that site, the speed range was between 36 mph and 62 mph. It would be a challenge to post it at 30 mph. Brannan said that the guidelines for setting school speed limits are being rewritten, and that the state is trying to stay in compliance with the national guidelines. For areas where the speed zone has been lowered in school zones, generally the speed reduction is within the first 500 feet of a school zone and then the speed picks up in the zone toward the end. Proper placement of a speed zone sign is critical. If it is placed too far away from the zone, it will be ineffective in slowing traffic by the school. Cordell said that the manual dictates that a school speed zone sign should be placed 100 feet before the property or 100 feet after the property, with a 700-800 foot zone being the best. Dumont said that the local authority can do that on its own and the state doesn’t get involved. The major concern here seems to be getting onto the highway from the school and from the church and exiting the highway to get to either location. Brannan said that he could get together with Fingalson and Dumont to discuss the concerns regarding the current sign placement at the intersection of CSAHs 37 and 8. Perhaps a chevron could be placed at that end. A sign indicating the school/church entrances would also be an opportunity to improve traffic by giving drivers more information. If drivers had more information, they would be more respectful of others getting onto the road. The school might also want to consider managing the internal traffic in the parking lot. Mn/DOT’s decision is to maintain the current speed zone, and Cordell said that it doesn’t meet the criteria to be classified as a school speed zone. Everyone wants to do the safe thing, even though there are different philosophies on how to achieve that. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Wright County continue to work with the school district and the city. Superintendent Redemske said that he would like to sit down and explain what changes have been made to the entrance that might affect the decision for speed limits. Cordell said that traffic can be monitored when school opens up to consider both usage and types of conflict that are present.
Rumble StripE Concerns – CSAH 35.
Cordell gave PowerPoint presentation about the retroreflectivity of glass beads in pavement markings and how applying these markings to grooves helps enhance the nighttime visibility. Light from a vehicle’s headlight shines onto the glass beads that are in the marking paint, and these reflect back to the vehicle so that the edgeline is visible to the driver. However, when the markings are covered with water, there is no reflection back to the driver. Grooves in the pavement that are painted with pavement markings allow for rainwater to settle to the bottom while leaving some exposed pavement marking on the vertical face, which then reflects back to the vehicle. The pavement has a crown, so even in heavy rains, the rainwater drains to the outside leaving the top half of the groove exposed. The standard depth of the groove is one-half inch, but some rumble stripes were ground deeper than that in some locations in Wright County. Wright County highways have rumble stripes on four highways, including CSAH 35 (from CR 134 to St. Michael), CSAH 36 (from I-94 to TH 101), CSAH 18 (from Jamison to Fenning), and CSAH 8 (from Silver Creek to I-94). The travel lane where rumble stripes are used is one foot wider than roads with standard edge stripes. This is a relatively new, low-cost strategy consistent with Minnesota’s Strategic Highway Safety Program to help people drive properly at night. The idea behind this safety measure was to get good nighttime reflectivity to help prevent run-off-the-road crashes. All rumble stripes were installed in 2008, except for those that were done on CSAH 8 in 2007, and federal money was received to help pay for this safety improvement. If these rumble stripes are removed, the federal funds would have to be repaid. A few residents have been negatively impacted by the noise that is generated by the grooves when motorists cross over them as they wander out of the lane of traffic, and some of these residents attended today’s meeting. Cordell indicated on a map where these residents live in relation to the rumble stripes. One complaint was received from a resident on CSAH 36, one complaint was received from a resident on CSAH 18, numerous complaints were received from one resident on CSAH 8, and complaints were received from several residents on CSAH 35. Several hubcaps have shot out into one resident’s yard, probably caused by the vibration when the cars crossed the grooves, and one of these hubcaps narrowly missed a young child who was outside at the time. A car mechanic told a resident that the tires on her car were wearing down faster than is customary, probably caused by traveling over the grooves as she leaves the highway thru lane when approaching her driveway. A number of residents present at this meeting described the frequency of the noise and the high decibel level, which causes interruption to conversations, peace and quiet, and sleep. One resident would like to sell his house, but one potential buyer was not interested because of the noise of the rumble stripes. Those present today said that they would like to see this noise eliminated, either by filling in the grooves or by altering them so that they are less intrusive. There was some discussion about the effectiveness of rumble stripes in preventing run-off-the-road crashes and whether there were any statistics to indicate an improvement. Cordell commented that this is a very new safety measure with a low cost, and Wright County has since been told by the safety experts that rumble stripes may be most effective on roadways with narrow shoulders and lower volumes of traffic than on these particular roadways. Wider shoulders can cause drivers to wander a bit onto the shoulders as they become more relaxed. Dumont explained that a rumble strip is grooves on the edge of roadway and is separated from the pavement stripe. This is a proven strategy around the United States that reduces run-off-the-road crashes up to 70 percent. The rumble stripe was a strategy that was developed as a method to enhance the reflectivity on rainy nights with a relatively low cost. However, there are a very limited number of days that would benefit from this enhanced reflectivity, and the noise is a negative factor in some areas. Finding the balance between public safety and public concern can be a challenge. Both Michigan and Missouri are going state wide with the installation of rumble stripes. Eull presented a petition [see attached] from residents of the Wildflower edition [sic] indicating their desire to have the rumble stripes along CSAH 35 either filled in or removed. Discussion continued about possible solutions to eliminate the noise generated by vehicles crossing the rumble stripes. Crosshatching was added to the rumble stripe area on CSAH 8 near the home of the resident who complained of the noise. Brannan said that some rumble stripes have been filled in by the complaint areas in other areas of the state or nation, and the inside of curves seem to be the area generating the highest number of complaints. However, not all problem areas are in curves. Most vehicles that run off the road do so on the outer edge of the curve, not the inner edge. Some of the problems are generated by the great number of SUVs on the road and the driver’s apparent inexperience in handling the vehicle properly if it goes off the edge of the road. It would be good to have residents observe what side of the road the noise is coming from when a vehicle hits the rumble stripes. That would help develop guidelines of what areas could be filled in and perhaps a compromise could be reached. Public safety is valuable, but so is property value. Cordell said that the grooving was very aggressive in some areas, and there was not compliance with the specs, but it is too late for recourse at this time. Putting sealcoating in the grooves might help with noise reduction, and Meyer said that it would be possible to put sealcoat down on a narrow strip. Most agreed that rumble strips are not a problem, but rumble stripes (when the pavement marking is in the grooves) are more of a problem because people generally keep to the outside edge of the roadway where the striping is and are more likely to hit the grooves. When the pavement marking is on the inside of the grooves (rumble strips), there is far less occurrence of vehicles running over them. Fingalson said that the intent of putting in rumble stripes was positive and was intended to improve safety for those people driving on rainy, dark nights. But unfortunately, this noise problem because an issue. Sawatzke suggested that the grooves be sealcoated and the noise be monitored before more striping is put down to see if a problem still remains. Drivers tend to be a little less attentive on roadways with wide shoulders, so part of the problem might be generated from the greater width of these highways. Mn/DOT is sending out a team to do some decibel testing so that they can compare that data with noise on TH 55. (TH 55 between Buffalo and Maple Lake has both edgeline rumble strips and centerline rumble strips which have been sealcoated.) Sawatzke suggested that the Highway Department sealcoat a couple of problem areas and then come back with a report to see how and if this changed the sound before the entire roadway is done. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the Wright County Highway Department sealcoat several areas of rumble stripes, get a noise analysis done in conjunction with this, and then report back to the TCOTW with their findings. The areas in which the rumble stripes will be sealcoated as a test will be those areas already identified by the residents attending this meeting today. Decisions on pavement marking in those areas will be delayed until data is collected about the effectiveness of the sealcoat measure.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said that if the County elects to fill in the rumble stripes, Federal funding may have to be paid back in the amount of around $12,000. As noted in the Committee Minutes, drivers tend to be less attentive on roadways with wide shoulders, so part of the problem might be generated from the greater width of these highways. Eichelberg stated it may have to do with the higher volume of traffic on CSAH 35. Fingalson said there is more traffic on CSAH 35 than other roads with rumble stripes; however, comments have not been received from residents on other roads with rumble stripes. Mn/DOT is developing a set of criteria for rumble stripes. Last fall and this spring, they attempted to test decibel levels but it was too windy. This is still being planned by Mn/DOT. Fingalson said that since the TCOTW Meeting, the Highway Department has looked into the potential of sealcoating the stripes with an oil product. It is then covered with a granite material. This can be done at less cost than hiring a contractor. He asked if the Board still wants several areas sealcoated. Russek said that is what the residents are expecting. Fingalson said the residents want the stripes filled in completely. Eichelberg responded that the residents want to see if partially filling them in addresses the sound concerns. They may come back to discuss the issue further after that is done. Fingalson said he will attempt to complete this work as early as next week.
Project Updates.
• Fingalson said that the CSAH 19 (St. Michael) and CSAH 17 (Delano to the south county line) projects are essentially completed, and both turned out very well.
• A newsletter was sent to residents affected by the upcoming federally funded CSAH 6 project just east of Annandale. The low bidder, Dennis Fehn Construction, will be starting work without a contract and doing unauthorized work until he receives DBE clearance. Wright County is not able to issue a contract until this clearance is given. The bid came in low enough that no state aid money will have to be used for this project.
• The 2009 Overlays have begun, with CSAH 32 (between TH 55 and TH 25) being the first leg of the project. Work will begin on CSAH 8 (south of Waverly) today, and fly ash will be used to reinforce a 1,000 foot stretch of highway. Rather than removing bad materials, fly ash will be added to the material to strengthen it. Using the material rather than removing it will save about $85,000. Overlays in the Delano area (CSAHs 30 and 17 and CR 139) will begin after the 4th of July so that the holiday celebration will not be impacted by this work.
• The intersection improvement/signal installation project at TH 55/CSAH 12 has begun and will take about three weeks to complete. This will eventually result in a “quiet” or “whistle-free” zone at the railroad crossing, and the City of Buffalo paid for the improvements that were necessary for that.
• The TH 55/CR 134 intersection improvement/signal installation project is pretty much completed, with the exception of some signing on the mast arms.
• Word has been received that Mn/DOT received some GAP funding which will allow it to install a traffic signal at the intersection of TH 25/CR 138 at no cost to the county. The City of Buffalo will be responsible for paying for the power and a three-party agreement is being drafted.
• Bids were received for the rural intersection safety lighting project (seven different intersections throughout the county), and the contract was awarded to Granite Ledge Electrical on June 16.
• Bids will be opened on July 14 for the intersection improvement project at CSAH 37/CR 119.
• The 7-W Policy Committee approved the recommendation from the 7-W Technical Advisory Committee and awarded an additional $632,000 for the CSAH 75 construction project (between Clearwater and Monticello), which should cover about 40 percent of the cost.
• The flood control project on CSAH 36 should be ready for a letting date soon and will be a fall project with an estimated cost of $600,000.
• The Highway Department has been working with the City of Buffalo on the 2010 CSAH 12 project (TH 25 to 20th Street). Wright County will be taking care of the rural area, and the City of Buffalo will be taking care of the right of way and utility design in the city. A bridge will need to be replaced as part of this project.
• The Highway Department is seeking a bridge designer for the CSAH 40 Bridge, just south of Clearwater, that is scheduled for 2010 construction.
• The Highway Department is waiting to hear from the Railroad to see if the CSAH 75 Bridge over the tracks (west of Monticello) can be replaced with an at-grade crossing.
• The Highway Department is still working on dynamic signing plans and will install these at some problem intersections. Lights will flash in order to give drivers an extra warning when movement of oncoming traffic is detected. Funds received for this have to be used by the end of 2010.
Discuss/Set Date for 5-Year Public Meeting (Consider Road Tour prior to meeting).
Fingalson said that a public meeting should be held no later than mid-November, and it would be reasonable to hold a road tour prior to that, and maybe even prior to the budget meetings in August. A PowerPoint presentation might be adequate prior to budget meetings to review and discuss possible road projects for 2010, but a road tour would be desirable before a public hearing. A combination of the two might be effective also. Possible dates were discussed and the commissioners will get back to Fingalson on this.
At today’s County Board Meeting, discussion took place on setting a road tour. Fingalson preferred September or the first part of October. Sawatzke said that will be after Budget Sessions have ended. Eichelberg stated that a power point demo could be used during Budget Sessions. It was the consensus that at the 7-14-09 County Board Meeting, Fingalson will present some possible dates in September for a road tour.
Discuss Signing Former Chouinard Property (Referred from previous TCOTW meeting).
This property was purchased as part of a right-of-way acquisition for the CSAH 22 Bridge Project and efforts to sell it for an acceptable price have been unsuccessful. The value according to the Wright County Assessor’s office (2008) is $280,000, and the value assigned to it by the Highway Department’s R/W Agent is $230,000 (+gravel). Bids were invited in January of 2007, and a minimum acceptable bid of $600,000 was set, but no bids were received. A public auction was held in August of 2007, and the highest bid of $275,000 was not accepted. Since that time, a number of inquiries have been made about the property, and Fingalson asked if the commissioners were interested in listing this property for sale again. There is no cost to list it on MLS. The owner (high bidder) of the adjacent property might also be interested. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the high bidder (August 2007) be contacted by the Highway Department to see if he is still interested in purchasing the former Chouinard property for his original bid price of $275,000.
Discuss Options for Former McNamara Property along CSAH 19 in St. Michael.
Wright County purchased this property as part of the CSAH 19 Improvement Project in St. Michael. The house and garage were removed and the old on-site well was sealed. The lot has been leveled, scrub trees have been removed, and the public sewer and water service lines have been marked. The lot measures 9,900 square feet in size and is valued between $30,000 and $35,000. After some discussion, the TCOTW decided that an attempt should be made to sell this property. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that a sign be posted on the former McNamara property asking for sealed bids of no less than $25,000. A $1,000 cashiers check must accompany the bid in order for the bid to be considered valid.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said that since the TCOTW Meeting, he consulted with the County Attorney’s Office on the sale of this property. The property will have to be advertised for 3 weeks in the official County newspaper and 1 week in the newspaper where the property is located. Fingalson requested additional time for consultation with the Attorney’s Office. A recommendation could be brought back to the 7-14-09 Board Meeting on setting a date and time for the sale. A sign could still be placed on the property if the Board wants to do so. Sawatzke said that when the Board asked to have the sign placed, they understood a notice would be required. He felt advertising in the newspaper will only reach 5% of the population where a sign will reach everyone that drives by. He said the sign does not need to be fancy. It should reflect that the property is for sale by sealed bid and who to contact. Fingalson plans to bring a suggested bid opening date to the 7-14-09 County Board Meeting. Russek moved to approve the 6-22-09 TCOTW Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg. It was clarified that part of the recommendation of the McNamara Property is to continue moving forward on this. The motion carried 4-0.
(End of 6-22-09 TCOTW Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 6-24-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Thelen asked if other counties are looking to rent jail space. Russek said a Commissioner from McLeod County asked him about this. The Committee recommendation is to start taking prisoners from other counties on 9-01-09 at a cost of $55/day. Sawatzke noted that the Jail may accept a few prior to that date if needed. The Jail will be able to take up to an additional 20-25 inmates. If this total increases to 30-35, another pod would be required and the cost goes up considerably from there due to staffing requirements. Thelen asked who pays the per diem for inmates from Wright County. Sawatzke said the taxpayers of Wright County are responsible for the inmate’s cost. The inmate does pay $20/day to the State if they have the money. The average cost for an inmate is about $100/day. If only one inmate is added, it costs about $15/day more (to cover food, laundry, etc) as the current staff can supervise the inmate. The County may make some money on the $55/day rent charged to other counties as long as the inmate total does not exceed what the current staff can supervise. If it does, the cost would go up to about $104/day. On a motion by Thelen, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Ways & Means Committee Minutes:
Contract Cities Rates, 2010-2011.
Norman requested this issue be referred to Committee to discuss setting rates for the next two-year period. Copies were distributed of the 7-11-07 Ways & Means Committee Minutes, a overview of the 2008 and 2009 Sheriff Department budgeted line item totals (personnel services section), and a memorandum from Sheriff Gary Miller providing documentation on city contracts (attached). Norman did not had a chance to review the analysis prior to the meeting. He requested the Sheriff Department provide input to the Committee on the city contract rates and for the matter to be referred to the next Committee Meeting. Gary Miller said their responsibility is to accurately calculate and cover costs associated with providing law enforcement coverage to cities. This does not prevent the County from charging above those costs. The National Sheriff Association views the Wright County Sheriff Department as resource experts in this field. Wright County is used as a model to other agencies entering into the business of providing such services. Miller stated that since he has been Sheriff, city contracting hours have increased 86% to meet the needs of the citizens. The concern is if cities indicate they can’t afford costs for patrol. Hours could be reduced and some cities may recommend not signing contracts. Discussion followed on the County’s costs. The information provided by the Sheriff Department reflects that the 2008 Contract rate was $54.00/hour. Using the costs calculated by the Sheriff Department, there is a net difference of $7.88/hour. This rate does not include prosecution services or secretarial and lieutenant staff. Gary Miller stated Wright County provides effective law enforcement at a reasonable cost. He felt that was part of the efficiencies realized in a large scale operation. Dave Miller said approximately 70% of the Sheriff budget is related to Personnel costs. Sawatzke noted that 70% of the budget will be increased 2.5% for COLA, plus some employees will realize a step increase. Sheriff Miller estimated the turnover rate to be 5% this year. Dave Miller explained that the calculations provided are based on a Grade 3 deputy salary and five Sergeant positions (including a 2.5% COLA and fringe benefits). In her position as Personnel Representative, Petersen completes a cost analysis of positions. Petersen’s calculations reflect a deputy’s compensation for 2009 at $71,407 including fringe benefits or $24.96/hour in just wages. Dave Miller said their figures are based upon a deputy for 2009, but does not include such things as workers compensation and fringe benefits. Their figures also include the wages for five Sergeants. Norman noted that the deputies will all move up one Grade next year. Dave Miller stated that new deputies stay in patrol and are generally at the Grade 3 level. After considerable discussion, Norman requested time to analyze the document and possibly meet with Sheriff staff. A recommendation can be brought forth to the next meeting. Norman’s concern is that if the rate increases in contracts are set too low and do not cover the County’s costs, other budgets may end up subsidizing this effort as the levy limit may be small next year. Gary Miller said most cities spend 40-50% of their budget on law enforcement and fire department services. He recommended that the County not enter into contracts with cities requesting less than what equates to 17% of their budget. Recommendation: Lay this issue over to the 7-22-09 Committee Meeting to allow staff to review information.
School Resource Office Rate, 2009/2010 School Year.
Norman said the rates were last discussed at the 2-27-07 Personnel Committee Meeting. The minutes reflect that schools are charged 9/12’s of a deputy’s wage (Grade 5, not including benefits or vehicle). The salary was figured at the lowest possible wage so the costs can be incrementally increased. The SRO Contracts are automatically extended for successive school years unless the School District provides notice prior to July 1st of any year that it wishes to discontinue the contract. Either party may terminate with a 60 day notice. Sawatzke asked whether the Contract costs remained the same for 2008 and 2009. Gary Miller said that the costs were adjusted based on the entry level wage. This is outlined in Item #4 of the Contract. Recommendation: Continue with the same formula of 9/12’s of a deputy’s wage (entry level, not including benefits or vehicle).
Jail Rental Rate.
Lt. O’Malley provided an overview of a memorandum from Capt. Gary Torfin to Capt. Dave Miller on Jail per diem rates (attached). The suggested rate is $50/day. O’Malley stated that rent is being paid on the full building but only half is being utilized. The building was designed to be most efficient when it is full. The Jail is licensed to operate 167 beds and the cost per inmate is $104. The inmate population is running at between 115-120 inmates/day (up to as high as 125). The County could consider opening an extra 220 beds for boarding of prisoners from other counties. That would result in the cost per inmate to reduce, even with additional staffing. Added costs will be for food, inmate clothing, and laundry. The going rate in other counties for boarding inmates is $50/day. The County does have 30 bed spaces available for boarding of inmates without adding staff. The cost would be an additional $15/day. Sawatzke asked about overtime. O’Malley explained that they currently have staff on extended medical leave and military leave. The Jail is understaffed by three personnel. Sawatzke asked if the inmate population increased from 120 to 145 and the general staffing pattern remained, would that increase overtime. O’Malley did not feel it would. O’Malley said if the County is considering boarding of prisoners, the recommendation would be at a cost of $50/day. Mattson said the cost to Board a prisoner in Sherburne County is $55/day. O’Malley said staff continues to learn the systems at the new Jail and they continue to improve on efficiencies. There are some outstanding maintenance and warranty items. Their goal is to make sure staff is comfortable with the operation of the Jail prior to adding prisoners from other counties. He felt they would be ready in about two months to board inmates from other counties. O’Malley said the Jail charges $70/day to a prisoner that transfers from another county to the Wright County Jail upon personal request (in situations such as allowing them to meet work release, etc.). This is allowed if the Judge says their time can be served here. The person must pay up front. O’Malley stated this assists the person in retaining their job. The goal of corrections is to keep them employed and integrate them back into society. This situation does not occur often. The fee has been $70/day for many years. The recommendation is to increase the fee to $80. Norman said if the fee is not authorized to be set by Statute, a public hearing must be held to increase the fee. Recommendation: Increase the fee for prisoners transferred from other counties at their own request from $70 to $80. A public hearing will be held if required. Set the fee for boarding of prisoners from other counties at $55/day, with the understanding that if additional staff are required this must be presented for approval by the County Board. The targeted implementation date for taking prisoners from other counties is 9-01-09.
(End of 6-24-09 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
There will not be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today.
The meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M.
Bills Approved
Allina Health Systems $1,273.05
Allina Medical 798.33
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 361.63
Aramark Correctional Services 6,505.76
Astech 173,493.74
Beck Disaster Recovery Inc. 15,000.00
Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 255.00
Braun Electric LLC 1,262.90
Buffalo Auto Value 212.98
Center Point Energy 651.28
Chamberlain Oil Co. 1,528.52
Connections Etc. 620.11
Crop Productions Services 1,148.64
Dell Marketing LP 6,759.12
Diamond Mowers Inc. 109.94
Embarq 191.49
Emergency Physicians Prof. 699.00
Federated Propane 2,398.40
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Excav 26,403.23
Wayne Fingalson 148.04
Fitzco Inc. 159.75
Force America Inc. 216.47
Frontier Precision Inc. 48,540.04
Going Under Dive Center 138.04
Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 13,065.73
Grainger 438.70
Granite Electronics 708.05
Heart of the Lakes Pumping 223.75
Helena Chemical Company 660.77
Robert Hiivala 224.95
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 5,689.02
Interstate Battery Systems 665.31
J Johnson Sales & Services 937.20
Pam Kaskinen 261.82
Knife River 899,176.07
LaPlant Demo Inc. 886.74
Wanda Lasonne’ 100.00
Lundeen Brothers Inc. 12,789.68
Marco Inc. 5,990.87
Martin Marietta Aggregates 283.64
Lee Martie 114.36
Menards - Buffalo 194.36
Midland Corp. Benefits Svc 997.75
MN Copy Systems 241.95
MN Counties Computer Coop 580.00
MN Counties Ins Trust 277.00
Morton Salt 741.03
Motorola Inc. 1,034,084.88
Nextel Communications 1,295.91
Northland Chemical Corp 128.82
Office Depot 1,278.78
Lynn Peavey Company 328.50
Barbara Petersen 104.50
Qwest 3,017.64
Frank Ramacciotti 500.00
Regents of the University of M 31,862.49
Research in Motion Corporation 1,340.82
Royal Tire Inc. 3,743.98
RS Eden 9,839.90
Brian Severson 125.00
Shell Fleet Plus 461.32
Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 7,071.62
Sprint 7,217.80
City St. Michael 1,845.05
Star West 12,774.68
Streichers 374.97
Towmaster 1,936.38
United Parcel Service 119.46
Vance Brothers Inc. 2,092.30
Verizon Wireless 218.62
Walmart Store 01-1577 780.96
John Wiley & Sons Inc. 311.32
Karen Wolff 135.00
Wright County Highway Dept. 2,850.40
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec Assn 136.88
Xcel Energy 1,655.62
25 payments less than $100 1,363.24
Final Total 2,363,121.07
The meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 3, 2009.


Return to Wright County Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Search | Home Page