WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
AUGUST 18, 2009
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Mattson, Eichelberg and Russek present. Commissioners Sawatzke and Thelen were not present as they were participating in the Monticello Nuclear Plant exercise.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 8-11-09 County Board Minutes.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #2, “Modify Agenda For 8-24-09 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting” (Eichelberg). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: K. Tilbury, K. Willis, Atty.; S. Kile, Court Services.
2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, Delano Ducks Unlimited, 3039 Dague Ave. S.E. Buffalo, MN 55313 (Rockford Twp.).
3. Approve Memorandum Of Agreement With Teamsters Local #320 Authorizing Donation Of Vacation Accrual To An Employee.
B. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Schedule Technology Committee For 9-09-09.
a. Brief Update On The 800 MHz Project.
b. Public Works Generator Upgrade (800 MHz Project).
c. Radio “Code Plug” Development (800 MHz Project).
C. PLANNING AND ZONING
1. Authorize Signatures On Natural Resources Block Grant.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the July Revenue/Expenditure Expense Report for approval. Eichelberg moved to accept the Report, seconded by Russek, carried 3-0.
The claims listing was presented. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 1, Anoka County Corrections, $11,970.00 (July Detention Fees). He asked whether this a monthly fee assessed to Wright County. Russek stated that this is a monthly fee the County pays for a guaranteed number of beds. If beds are leased to someone else, Wright County will be reimbursed at the end of the year. The motion carried 3-0.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 8-12-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, requested that the following changes be made to the minutes: 1st paragraph, 1st sentence, remove “(attached)”; and 2nd paragraph, 3rd sentence should read, “Repairing one zone on the south side of the building will include repairing the electric ice melt system.” Russek and Eichelberg agreed to amend the motion to include the changes. Norman said the Committee recommendation is not clear on whether it authorizes signing an agreement and proceeding with the work or if other steps are required. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, said the Committee directed him to clarify the bid from F.H. Schmidt, Inc. In contacting F.H. Schmidt, he learned that the proposal will include two bids. One bid will be to repair the electrical zone and the other to complete the remainder of the concrete work. F.H. Schmidt, Inc. has provided a proposal in the amount of $66,760 for all concrete work. A proposal has not been received for the heat zone repair. Mattson said the Committee wants to have all of the information available so there are no change orders. Russek questioned whether the electrical work on the south side is part of the $66,760 proposal. Hayes said that it is not. Norman said the Committee minutes do not reflect what portion of the project is being awarded or the funding source. He suggested this be done by separate motion. The motion to approve the minutes as corrected carried 3-0. Russek moved to proceed with the project, excluding the south side electrical work, and to accept the proposal from F.H. Schmidt, Inc. in the amount of $66,760. Funding will be from Site Improvements. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 3-0. The Building Committee minutes follow:
VARIOUS CONCRETE REPAIRS.
Hayes distributed a proposal from F. H. Schmidt, Inc. for concrete repairs needed at the Government Center. A tour took place to review the work to be completed in each area. Work to be completed includes bringing handicap accessibility up to code as well as fixing deteriorating areas which are a safety hazard. A bond will not be necessary to perform work. In addition the City of Buffalo is responsible for doing the appropriate curb repairs needed.
This project includes concrete work and the installation of a hot water ice melt system outside of the old Sheriff’s area. This system does not pose implementation problems due the close proximity of a boiler located in the vacated Sheriff’s area. Repairing one zone on the south side of the building will include repairing the electric ice melt system. Electrical work will be completed separately. Hayes requested a five year warranty on the heating system to avoid complications if the system fails and additional concrete work is needed. Hayes stated that the County is getting a very competitive price. The work will be started as soon as possible with the goal of having this project completed before the first frost. RECOMMENDATION: Obtain a reasonable warranty on the ice melt system. No bond is recommended. Verify the proposed price with all the required work. F.H. Schmidt will bill the City of Buffalo directly.
(End of 8-12-09 Building Committee Minutes)
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the County was contacted by Mathiowetz Construction, the contractor for the One-Way Pair project in St. Michael, regarding the aggregate material tax due the County. Present for discussion at today’s Board meeting were Steve Bot-St. Michael City Engineer, Randy Huiras-Mathiowetz Construction, and Kevin Bursch-Bursch Bros. Mathiowetz and their subcontractor, Bursch Brothers, were unaware of the pending increase in the gravel tax when this project was bid in July, 2008. Asleson updated the Board members on what has transpired to date:
• State legislature passed a bill on 5-15-08 increasing the tax from $.10/cu. yd. to $.215/cu.yd.
• The Governor signed the bill five days later with a 1-01-09 effective date.
• The bid letting date was held on 7-31-08 for the One-Way Pair Project and awarded in August, 2008.
Asleson said that Mathiowetz contacted the County when they were putting their bid together and were informed that the gravel tax was $.10/cu. yd. Asleson said it is not unusual for the Legislature to act and for the County to learn of this at a later date. In this situation, the County was informed in October. The Auditor’s Office sent notification of the increase to haulers when paperwork was sent for the last quarter of 2008. Copies were provided of a letter from Mathiowetz requesting a waiver of the increased tax and a handout from Bursch Brothers reflecting the amount of the abatement requested totaling $2,355.20. Asleson said the gravel for this project that was affected by the increase was not extracted until the second quarter of 2009 (April-June). Additional quantities have been extracted since and there are also estimated quantities to complete the job. The requested abatement is approximate but would allow Bursch Brothers to pay $.10/cu. yd. as opposed to the $.215/cu. yd. The abatement is requested because of the timing issues and the fact that they did not include the increased tax amount in the amount bid to the City for this project.
Asleson said the distribution of the gravel tax proceeds was also changed by the Legislature, increasing the amount that is paid to the City. He recalled that previously, 60% went to the County’s Road & Bridge Fund, 30% to the city or town where the gravel was extracted, and 10% to a reserve fund for restoring abandoned pits. The Legislature changed this to 42.5% to both the County and the City. Asleson said roughly half of the requested abatement would go back to the City of St. Michael because that is where the gravel was extracted.
Mattson said a hauler talked with him about gravel that has been extracted and stockpiled. The hauler felt they should pay as they stockpiled it, not bringing it forth into this year. Mattson asked whether this situation would be the same as that being considered today. Asleson said that he had been asked if there were any other similar situations and he was not aware of any. Asleson did receive calls about the situation that Mattson posed. He recalled the law reads that the tax is due at the time the gravel is sold or hauled from the extraction site, whichever is earlier. Asleson said with regard to Mattson’s question whether the material is stockpiled on site, the tax is due when it is hauled from the site. Normally that is when it is sold. It is not usual for gravel to be sold and left at the site where it has been extracted. Asleson can review the statute language if needed. He felt the requested abatement is a different scenario than what Mattson is asking about.
Eichelberg asked a question on the gravel relating to the One-Way Pair project. With the project being bid in 2008, he asked whether it would be considered sold even though the material had not been placed on the road yet. Asleson read from a March, 2008 email exchange with the Auditor’s Office on how the increased tax may apply to material that was excavated in 2008 but not sold until this year. Asleson said the statutory language reads, “the tax shall not be imposed … until the aggregate material is transported from the extraction site or sold, whichever occurs first.” Asleson said that if the material was sold in 2008, it could be interpreted the 2008 tax should be paid and not the 2009 tax but that may be splitting hairs.
Russek said the request is for an abatement of $2,355.20 but it appears only $1,187.03 has been paid to date (does not include gravel from July through estimated). Asleson said he labeled this request as an abatement as it applies to the increased amount paid for the second quarter of 2009. Mn/DOT was asked to review this situation as State funds are involved. Their opinion is that legally, the increased tax is due at $.215/cu. yd. However, they suggested that under the circumstances, a request could be made for the County to abate the tax back to the 2008 rate. Mattson asked whether there are any other contracts out there bid in a similar fashion. Asleson said none have been brought to his attention. Russek said there could be projects outside of the County that companies have bid on.
Randy Huiras, Mathiowetz Construction, said the situation occurred as outlined by Asleson. They bid the job in July, 2008 and had several other contractors quote on this work besides Bursch. Mathiowetz is the prime contractor for the job. The other quotes reflect the gravel tax at $.10/cu. yd. He did not feel anyone was aware of the tax increase at that time. They always contact the county involved when they bid a job to ask about the tax rate. After this happened, they contacted Mn/DOT to find out if they could waive the tax. Mn/DOT recommended that they address the County. Huiras said the abatement request is based on the reasoning that they were unaware there would be an increase. If they had known, they would have included the increase in their quote. Mathiowetz accepted the quote from Bursch Brothers, who was also unaware of the tax increase. Huiras said Bursch Brothers is the only supplier for this project. Kevin Bursch said they buy from Peter Marx in the City of St. Michael. Russek said the City is then paying the City. Bursch confirmed this. He was in contact with City Engineer Steve Bot who has agreed to recognize whatever is deemed the solution. The gravel was hauled from an area that is on the border of St. Michael and Hanover.
Eichelberg said he could support abating the increased tax on the gravel that has been used thus far. He was unsure how to handle the yardage that has not been used as that could change before the project is completed. Asleson said the $2,355.20 figure is only an estimate. Any action taken by the Board for abatement should reflect that any aggregate material for this project is assessed at the $.10/cu. yd. rate. Norman asked Asleson whether the County has the legal right to abate a portion of the tax. Asleson believed the County could do this. The amount of the tax is set by statute. It is money that is collected and goes to the county, township and city. None of the tax goes to the State. Asleson felt the ultimate decision on collecting the tax sits with the County Board. Eichelberg moved to abate the amount of the new tax and to use a tax of $.10/cu. yd. The abatement relates specifically to this project. The motion was seconded by Russek. It was clarified that the $2,355.20 is an estimate. Bursch said the potential for an increase in yardage is slim. They only have a couple of lawns remaining on the project and they feel confident of the soils in place. If there is an increase, he felt it would only be by a couple of percent. The amount could decrease if they find salvage gravel. Russek restated that the abatement is specific to this project. The motion carried 3-0.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 8-12-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Russek. Russek clarified that the positions addressed by the Committee are vacated positions, not new positions. Norman made the following correction to the minutes: Page 2, last paragraph, should read, “Recommendation: Agreement that the Highway Sign Technician position is needed. Approve to post and hire a fulltime Sign Person.” Eichelberg and Russek agreed to amend the motion to include this change. The motion carried 3-0. The Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
A. SOCIAL WORKER, HUMAN SERVICES.
Elkerton distributed a justification of replacement of Adoption Social Worker Position (attached). She stated this is a vital role for children services as the Adoption Social Worker completes the adoption process for children under the Guardianship of the Commissioner of Human Services. Elkerton explained the agency is required by the State to conduct searches for possible adoptive families and/or relative or kinship care. The adoption searches may include multiple court reviews, monthly follow up with adoptive families, and the searches my take the employee out of the state of Minnesota. Keeping accurate records is required by the Federal Title IV-E Adoption Assistance Program. Elkerton stated that Human Services is looking at what is best for the children. If relative placement can be found, then they do everything to support this placement, which includes traveling to meet with families. Elkerton stated that other requirements include keeping siblings together whenever possible which can make it challenging to support multiple children during these economic times. Meeting with the family recruits Foster Parents and families that have a high degree of skills. This avoids children being placed in group homes or treatment facilities. Elkerton stated that this position also has a role in step parent adoption and ongoing support groups for continuing education. Elkerton reported that last year eleven children in Wright County were adopted through this process. In 2009 six children have been adopted, and there are eleven children awaiting adoption. Sawatzke questioned who is currently providing these services. Elkerton explained that this position became vacated in June of 09. Since this time the employee who vacated is performing two roles. Elkerton stated that flex-time is being used when possible during times of frequent travel. Mattson stated he is for this position, however, he would like a follow up report in six months. Recommendation: Position approved. Move forward with advertising and hiring process.
B. CIVILIAN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, SHERIFF.
Recommendation: No action taken due to non representation.
C. SIGN PERSON, HIGHWAY.
Cordell stated that this position was recently vacated. The Highway Department has two sign trucks that include two technicians per truck in the summer. Currently the Highway Department has three people, however, summer help is coming to an end which will leave only one fulltime technician. If there is only one technician per truck it becomes a safety issue. Many of the signs require two people to install due to size and weight. Having two technicians working together helps avoid accidents. He stated that Wright County has over 13,000 signs in the system and has seven years to complete in order to comply with State Standards. In 2009 Wright County will replace approximately 1900 signs. This does not include resigning new highways or fixing signs that have been damaged. Mattson questioned if there were guidelines to having two technicians to a truck. The County has had two trucks for seven years, however, one was used for back up. He stated that two fulltime technicians are needed to keep the signs up to standard and perform all the required maintenance. Sawatzke questioned if there are specific skills that are required and if it is possible that a Maintenance worker can move laterally into the job. Cordell stated the County recently purchased a computerized sign system that has real-time capabilities. The position will require someone to have basic computer skills to keep the system up to date. Cordell stated that a lateral move would be acceptable. Recommendation: Agreement that the Highway Sign Technician position is needed. Approve to post and hire a fulltime Sign Person.
(End of 8-12-09 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Eichelberg moved to modify the 8-24-09 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Agenda by adding “CSAH 17 Trail” and deleting “Utility Right-of-Way Issues.” The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 3-0.
Alexandria Technical College $150.00
Amerigas - Cokato 441.96
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 241.67
Anoka Co. Corrections 11,970.00
Apollo Glass Company 145.10
Aramark Correctional Services 6,357.53
B & B Products - Rigs and Squa 137.60
Joe Backes 155.10
Boyer Truck Parts 100.52
Breezy Point Resort Inc. 578.59
Darnell Brethorst 128.70
Bryan Rock Products 494.64
Buff N Glo Inc. 164.14
Central McGowan Inc. 104.57
Central MN Mental Health Ctr 200.00
Construction Services Divers 903.63
John Coolen 125.00
Corinna Township 1,000.00
Corporate Payment Systems 606.06
Culligan of Buffalo 700.00
Davis Construction Company 2,000.00
Design Electrical Contractors 182.24
Diamond Mowers Inc. 618.55
Dale Engel 800.00
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. 154.21
Fyles Excavating & Honey Wagon 180.00
General Rental Center of Monti 122.91
Hancock Concrete Products 13,410.84
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 225.01
Intereum Inc. 658.13
International Personnel Manage 1,787.33
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 125.61
Klatt True Value Electric 133.01
Lake Region Coop Oil 225.69
Lakedale Communications 263.35
LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,980.14
Lawson Products Inc. 209.45
Martin Marietta Aggregates 582.79
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 2,334.12
Mies Outland Inc. 112.75
Mini Biff LLC 522.72
MN CLE Inc. 245.00
Office Depot 294.97
Pearson-Radli & Assoc. Inc. 395.00
Chase Phillipi 150.00
Photo 1 205.17
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 1,055.93
Reed Business Information 157.44
Royal Tire Inc. 3,432.19
Southside Township 625.40
Spectrum Solutions 267.19
St. Cloud Fire Equipment Inc. 344.68
Super Express 146.97
Tilsner Carton Co. 1,044.28
Total Printing 176.77
TW Vending Inc. 175.00
Vulcan Systems Inc. 275.00
West Payment Center 864.45
Wright Henn. Co-op Elec Assn 4,130.82
Wright Hennepin Electric 190.07
Keith Wurm Construction 9,642.50
Zee Service Company 193.75
27 Payments less than $100 1,227.10
Final total $83,391.32
The meeting adjourned at 9:39 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 7, 2009.