Wright County Board Minutes

JULY 21, 2009
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, and Thelen present. Commissioner Eichelberg was absent.
Russek moved to approve the 7-14-09 County Board Minutes as presented, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #5, “Cancel Capital Improvement Meeting” (Russek). Thelen removed the following item from the Agenda: Item For Consideration #4, “Monticello To St. Cloud Advisory Task Force For The 345kv Transmission Line Project.” Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: S. Lindenfelser, T. West, Aud./Treas.; C. Flemming, J. Hartmann, C. Mazer, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, Frank Madden, $839.00.
3. Claim, Tekton Construction Co., $3,394 (Jail/LEC Project).
4. Claim, KKE Architects, $63.92 (Jail/LEC Project).
1. Award CSAH 37/CR 119 Rural Safety Project To Knife River, $67,940.
2. Set Bid Opening For CSAH 36 Flood Control Project (CP 86-36-09), 8-25-09 @ 9:30 A.M.
3. Award Bid For SP 86-090-02 (Trail Extension In Annandale) To Hardrives, Inc. Of St. Cloud, MN, $129,293.48.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, was contacted by Chris Kruse, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, to request adding Edward Jones Investments to the list of preferred 457 plan providers. Hiivala said if the Board wants to consider the request, the proper protocol would be to set a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting to evaluate the request. There are criteria that must be met in order to become a provider. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting on 8-26-09, time to be determined.
Hiivala presented data from the State Demographers Office on the annual population and household estimates for Wright County. The data is from 4-01-08. City and township clerks received a copy of their estimates and had the opportunity to challenge the data. Wright County’s population estimate is 119,353 for 2008. This includes a household population of 118,452 and a group home population of 901 (average of 2.7 people/household). Wright County’s population rose 2,573 from the 2007 estimates. Hiivala stated that the information provided is an estimate and the final data will be released by the State Demographers Office sometime in August. No action was taken as this was provided as an informational item.
Hiivala said Wright County received a $969,291.02 sales tax rebate on 7-16-09 from the State of Minnesota for the construction of the new Jail facility. The County was eligible for the rebate based upon the sales tax paid on the material to build the Jail. The rebate was placed into bond proceeds under the Capital Projects Fund as an offset to expenses. There will be a balance remaining and the Board will need to determine whether to roll the funds to debt service or to explore other options. Hiivala reported that A&P Construction provided assistance in getting the documentation to the State. Hiivala was in contact with Scott County recently and they indicated they were subject to an audit after the rebate they received. Wright County will be audited by the Department of Revenue for possible under remittance of sales tax. The audit has already started and documentation is being provided to the State. Hiivala did not foresee any issues.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Jane Hennagir, MCIT Account Executive, presented the 2009 MCIT Member Report for Wright County. She introduced Michael Cowell, MCIT Field Supervisor, and Mark Casey, MCIT Loss Control Representative. MCIT is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. MCIT is one year older than the League of Minnesota Cities insurance pool and has not lost any membership. Wright County has been a member of MCIT since 1980 (29 of the 30 years). There are over 80 member counties and 400 affiliated members. Hennagir extended thanks to Wright County for being visionary and seeing the benefits of group self insurance. MCIT is a public joint powers entity and is not an insurance company. It is a form of group self insurance and the pool provides commonality, economy of scale, and a financial safety net for catastrophic losses. Coverage is tailored to meet a County’s specific needs offering stable rates, enhanced services, and dividends. Letters regarding dividends will be sent to counties in the next couple of months. The program has evolved to include both workers compensation and property/casualty. The pool’s total property/casualty claims came in at $9.8 million in 2008 and the workers compensation claims came in at $6.2 million. Property casualty claims affect rates which are shared across the pool. Individual county workers compensation claims affect premiums paid. Slips and falls are not the most frequent or most severe claims but they are the most common general liability type of claim. Public official or public employee claims are less common but very expensive. Discrimination claims, both with employment related claims and some with the general public, are being experienced. There is also more of an incidence with jail related claims. With regard to property coverage, in 2007 and 2008 there were many weather-related claims. In 2009, it has been relatively uneventful. Auto claims are the most frequent type of claim but not the most expensive. There is an average of 130-140 deer accidents per year. Wright County has about 947 open/reopened workers compensation claims. The most frequently injured body parts are the low back, knees and fingers. The most frequent incident type is lifting, slips/falls, and being struck by or against something. The most severe injuries occur on Monday. The Wright County workers compensation contribution analysis reflects a significant decrease in the experience modification. The modification reduced to 0.799 and is based on claims from 2005-2007. The net result is a $113,219 cost savings. Hennagir pointed this out as counties are looking for ways to cut costs and save money. She encouraged Wright County to continue to be active in loss control and prevention. Although it may take some time, counties can reap the benefit of safety procedures. Hennagir provided an overview of Wright County’s actual contribution and dividend history. The primary increase was realized in 2007-2008 when the Jail/LEC project was started. The average cost for coverage over five years is about $617,000. The dividend total for the same time frame is $1.3 million. Dividends look to the past and rates look to the future. She said Wright County’s investment in MCIT has been worthwhile. Hennagir stated the evolution of the pool has been from paying claims to claims management. Loss control services have evolved as well. MCIT offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees and their family members. During times of stress, an employee’s personal or family life can affect work performance as well as losses. The EAP offers four free counseling sessions per issue for employees and their family members. On the risk management side, they complete the Member Report, coverage review and on site trailing as needed. Hennagir extended thanks to Wright County for the continued partnership. Mattson asked whether MCIT works with fraud investigators on cases. Hennagir stated surveillance and various other methods are used if necessary.
Brad Hatfield, Building Maintenance Supervisor, and Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, provided an update on the landscaping at the Jail/LEC site. All areas planted previously are being cared for but there are some areas that may need replacement. Hatfield said the main point today is to consider a proposal for areas past the prairie or natural seeding areas. This includes areas toward the gravel pit and where construction trailers were located. The area is from the building west to Braddock Avenue, which wraps south. Some of the area not disturbed during construction (east of the gravel pit) is fairly level and may not have to be addressed. Hatfield said the main area of concern is straight west of the LEC and includes approximately 8-11 acres. The proposal from Davis Construction, totaling $2,000, would chop down the growth followed by work with a disc (the cost estimate for the total project is estimated to be $3,500). Afterwards the debris would be removed, utilizing services of the STS crew. Spray would be used for regrowth and seeding would follow in the fall. One idea is to seed with alfalfa and to possibly rent the land. With regard to the existing prairie grass, there is a contract that was approved by the Board as part of construction. It calls for the prairie grass to be maintained for three years. Under the contract, the area will be mowed, seeded, and trimmed during that time. At the end of three years, the County will be provided with a maintenance plan. Part of that care includes burning the prairie grasses off periodically. Hatfield said Mattice is very well versed in this process and is a great resource. Sawatzke asked whether the 4,000 sq. ft. of sod was replaced. On May 19th, the Owner’s Committee requested obtaining a couple of bids for sod replacement. Hatfield said the plan is to slit seed, which can be done as long as there is a water source. This is planned for the north end of the building where the side walk was added. The larger, rough area may have to wait until fall. Sawatzke asked Sheriff Gary Miller whether there is interest in a garden that would be cared for by inmates. Sheriff Miller said this has not been discussed at length but could be considered anytime in the future. Discussion followed on the type of seed to plant. Russek suggested planting alfalfa. Mattice recommended something like grass/hay with the thought of controlling weeds and because it rejuvenates annually. Broadleaf weeds cannot be treated with alfalfa. If the area is flattened and rocks removed, the land could be rented. After discussion, Mattice said they will do a site preparation this fall with Davis. A Roundup application will be applied at a cost of about $30/acre both in the fall and in the spring. They will inter-seed oats with alfalfa and look for a farmer that may have interest in cutting it for a couple of years. Mattice said it involves 11-12 acres on the west side of the building and is outside of the general contract for the Jail/LEC. Russek moved to authorize Hatfield and Mattice to proceed with the work as described with a not to exceed figure of $3,500. The motion was seconded by Thelen. This will be funded by bond proceeds. The motion carried 4-0.
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 7-08-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke referenced the claims that were recommended for approval as part of the Committee Minutes. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated that the Technology Committee recommended payment of five claims. However, the County Board took action at their last meeting to approve two of the five claims as three were not ready to be paid. Thelen moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0:
Swing presented an outline for today’s meeting (see attachment). Today’s meeting is a continuation of the discussion about how the County can plan for better technology and strategic concepts.
Swing presented the strategic concepts and explained that technology will be a subset of the Capital Improvement Plan review. Today he is seeking endorsement from the Board on six concepts (see attachment). He stated that there is a need for a culture shift and he can’t imagine remodeling space without improving technology. Items number 2, my government concept for business community & public, and number 3, access to service “anytime, anywhere”, are very high level and deal directly with the County’s own Mission Statement. This involves delivery of County services via a government portal on the internet. Swing referenced that departmental integration and workflow is a big part of the information that will affect the work flow between all departments. The remote worker concept will affect space planning. The remote worker concept is being utilized currently by the Sheriff, Court Services, Assessor, and Human Services departments. A natural extension to the remote worker is the concept of the remote home office. Swing referenced number 5, System performance & reliability, and stated if you do not have performance and reliability, then the County is taking a risk for their network to fail at anytime. He stated that the County needs to offer 24/7 support coverage versus the current coverage of 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Network and data security are also an important factor. Swing continued that there will be obstacles, however, they will be handled on a 1:1 basis. Norman requested an explanation on 24/7 assistance. Swing stated that most of our information services can be established via the internet. He continued that Scott and Olmstead Counties have the same model which includes delivering services via the internet. Much of the land records and vital statistics services are included. Swing stated that a good amount of what the County does is informational based. He continued that if the County does the job right technologically, most of our informational services can be established via the internet. Swing referenced tactical guidelines and stated that planning should include alignment with the goals of the County Board and departments. The stake holder/departments will be involved as well as the IT Department. It will be the stake holder’s responsibility to present items to the County Board for approval. In addition, Swing stated that planning includes department level technology committee meetings, grant discovery and application, and communication between all groups, as well as accessing the internet to track specific projects. He added that performance measures have to be available to prove to the Board that everything is valid. Swing presented new systems development and deployment. He stated that collaboration with other counties is necessary and getting people trained before a system goes down is key. Swing stated that having one platform of Microsoft is also an option worth pursuing. Application support will be the responsibility of the user groups once IT has the system up and running. Delivery of client services includes establishing a help desk and providing technical and application support. Swing referenced the Technology Planning Worksheet (see handout). He stated that if the County is serious, there are pieces that would fit into each level. If funding does not make sense it can be deferred, but at least we would still have a plan in place. As grants become available, the County would be able to apply for them immediately as the information would be current and accessible. Swing stated that if he can get the six concepts endorsed, the County can move forward over the next 3-5 years.
Miller stated that his department could be looked at as a window into the future. When the Jail/LEC was planned, new growth was incorporated, such as remote access. Field operations have been growing and after 20 years of growth they are performing their work remotely. Swing stated that technology comes around really slow. If the County is on the right track, the County will become more efficient. He continued that opportunities will be lost if the County is not prepared. DeMars stated that the County has to be able to attract young talent which will be hard if we are not up to date with technology. Swing stated that the County’s image will also be affected as it is the public’s expectation to have access to services via the internet. Swing stated that it will be a cultural shift, and wants to know that the Board is serious about moving forward with technology. Eichelberg stated that concepts of moving forward will have to be verified. Swing agreed and stated at least there will be a plan in place and it comes down to what technology can do for the County’s operations. MacMillan stated that staff will need to remain on site within Court Services. He continued that the County needs to move forward with technology wisely and keeping up to date at the State level. Court Services is currently looking at going paperless and using $50,000 in Federal Grant monies to be able to communicate electronically via fax and e-mail.
Swing stated that having an “on-base” system ties departments together and allows for better communication. He added that the implications are significant and the County has to have a common infrastructure that would be able to assist every department with how they communicate. Swing stated that this integration would include all imaging and manage work flow. He continued that completion of this work is years out. MacMillan stated that Sate and Federal Grants are available and could possibly offset the cost of the plans that are currently being presented. Schwartz stated that her Capital Improvement Plan of $80,000 is being requested as case and client loads are increasing. Clients are coming in with lots of information to present to staff. Human Services is looking at going paperless to accommodate this increase as well as alleviate papers being misplaced or lost. The client would get a receipt and be able to track their process through an assigned case number. In addition this would not result in decreased staff, however, it would assist them in being more productive in their jobs. Information would be on the network and the need for copying and scanning after the file is closed would be eliminated. Schwartz added that currently electronic payments as well as electronic food support is being utilized. Norman requested clarification in regard to the figure of $80,000 for both Human Services and Court Services. Schwartz stated that 44% would be funded back as reimbursement from the State in 2010 and 2011.
Swing referenced the 800 MHz Radio Maintenance Budget and stated that the numbers were presented at the 3-31-09 Technology Committee Meeting for 2009, 2010, and 2011 (see handout). Swing stated that there is a $75.00 fee for radio chargeback that has been updated to reflect the fee starting in 2011 and being re-evaluated in 2012. Howell stated that the fees will be initiated when the warranty ends, 12 months after the start date. Eichelberg questioned if the fee deals with the County or with the Motorola warranty. Howell stated that the fee is coming from the cities to the County. The County does not have maintenance costs from Motorola during the first year, however, there are operational costs associated with renting the tower. Norman stated that when the calculations were presented they actually showed that the maintenance would be higher than $75.00. The Board decided to subsidize this for one year. Thelen clarified that this is a recommendation from the Technology Committee. Norman questioned if the column listed 2010 is a County expense. Howell stated that this is a Countywide system and he is not sure if it should show up in the Sheriff’s budget. Norman suggested that it could be divided up amongst departments per unit. He suggested that the $62,343 be divided by the number of devices in each department. In 2011, when the County receives $75.00 per radio chargeback from other jurisdictions, it will come into the General Revenue Fund. Howell stated that there will be a need for ongoing professional service fees to cover updates. There were previous discussions with neighboring counties to share the cost. Howell stated that the cost is approximately $20,000 for 2010. Norman stated that it should be built into Budget 100 under Professional Services. Swing stated that the expectation was that the County would hire a fulltime manager of the 800 MHz system. The County’s strategy is to handle it on a professional services basis. The County will be utilizing assistance from Sherburne County and Motorola. Maintenance is required on these computers and updates will need to take place. He continued that it is a big concern moving forward with this system. Norman questioned if the $20,000 could be added into the annual radio matrix. Swing agreed and stated that it should be added in directly. Eichelberg clarified that the proposal is taking the $60,000 and adding the $20,000 for upkeep. Norman clarified the person performing the professional services will be on a time and material basis. Swing will edit the spreadsheet and notify departments on what portion they will be responsible for in their budgets. Swing provided a brief update on the numbers. The Bond issue was $4.1 Million for this project. The Motorola infrastructure and the subscriber radios were included in the original estimate. Currently, the County has encumbered about $3.5 Million and the County has not touched the 6% Contingency Fund. Swing is requesting approval on 5 invoices totaling $15,957.00 (see attachments). The Structural Study, Engineer Letter, and the NSPSPAC Frequencies were all part of the original estimate. Swing is proposing to pay for the grounding and ice bridge work at the Public Works Tower totaling $9,167and the 2009 Phase 1 Microwave Maintenance – 6 months work totaling $435.00 from the contingency line item. Norman questioned if the microwave maintenance could be paid out of the 800 MHz bond. Hiivala stated that he did not see why it could no be paid out of the 800 MHz bond. Swing stated there will be another small invoice for VHF frequencies for the fire paging. This was part of the original estimate and he would like to move forward with payment. Swing provided an update on the 800 MHz Radio. The frequencies are solidified and shelters are almost done. Howell added that the infrastructure is all set and the only item left is fleet mapping. Recommendation: Committee recommends payment of the invoices presented today to be included on the next Board agenda. Funding will be out of the 800 MHz Bond issues.
(End of 7-08-09 Technology Minutes)
There will not be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today.
The County Board discussed the future of the Owner’s Committee and whether further agendas should be drafted. It was the consensus that the Owner’s Committee will no longer meet and future issues that arise will be referred to the Building Committee.
Norman said that annually, AMC seeks out applications for the awards presented at the Annual Conference in December. The three categories include: County Achievement Application, County Conservation Application, and Outstanding Service Application. The material includes the application form and criteria for selection. Norman plans to share this information with Department Heads in an effort to let AMC and other counties know of the initiatives Wright County has taken in the past 1-2 years.
On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to cancel the Capital Improvement/Finance Committee Meeting scheduled for 7-22-09. The meeting is being cancelled since the Building Committee Of The Whole will not meet on space issues until September.
Bills Approved
American Institutional Supply. $400.64
Ancom Technical Center 125.16
APEC Industrial Sales & Service 480.94
Aramark Correctional Services 13,180.16
Arctic Glacier Inc. 510.50
Arrowwood Resort 308.76
B & B Products - Rigs and Squa 5,371.13
Big BS Towing and Recovery 117.15
Buffalo Floral & Landscaping 160.00
Bureau of Crim. Apprehension 120.00
Business Ware Solutions 1,004.91
Center Point Energy 1,842.76
Cub Pharmacy 2,872.01
CVS Caremark 235.74
Dakota Food Equipment Co. 169.77
Dell Marketing LP 733.64
Dept. of Corrections 18,997.25
Emergency Physicians Prof. 298.50
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Exc. 300,974.02
Grainger 473.02
Amy Hertzog 180.40
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 2,097.19
Identix Incorporated 230.86
Interstate Automotive 106.87
Chris Jahnke 141.90
Kustom Signals Inc. 158.10
L-3 Communications Mob. Vis 10,100.50
Lakedale Communications 265.11
LaPlant Demo Inc. 510.34
LexisNexis 116.00
Little Dukes - Clearwater 405.00
Marco 182.40
Marco Inc. 462.76
Midwest Safety Counselors Inc 245.37
City Minneapolis 150.00
MN Assn. of Assessment Person 200.00
MN CLE Inc. 425.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 1,662.39
MN Sheriffs Association 460.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 480.93
Mustang Mapping 136.21
NEC Display Solutions 326.05
New River Medical Center 800.00
Office Depot 3,370.87
Photo 1 206.74
PMI Computer Supplies 224.90
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 129.32
Qwest 5,973.21
Frank Ramacciotti 500.00
Software House International 17,365.34
State of MN - Office Enterprise 1,335.00
Stearns County Treasurer 230.00
Streichers 792.62
Timekeeping Systems Inc. 1,025.00
Total Printing 458.17
Trimin Government Solutions 3,041.25
Trueman Welters Inc. 1,559.53
TW Vending Inc. 179.30
Voss Lighting 102.44
West Payment Center 823.16
Wright Hennepin Electric 171.40
Xiotech 28,569.59
17 Payments less than $100 828.59
Final total $435,105.87
The meeting adjourned at 9:53 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 17, 2009.

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