WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
APRIL 27, 2010
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
The minutes of 4-20-10 were corrected as follows: Page 2, last paragraph, 7th line should read, “Russek moved to authorize Hayes to create bid specifications and solicit quotes for the demolition of the goat barn with an opening at the 5-04-10 County Board Meeting at 9:45 a.m.”(Sawatzke). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Cavalliere, B. Malinski, IT; T. Coon, D. Cotton, N. Flesher, J. Olson, J. Scheierl, J. Thinesen, G. Wakefield, Sher./Corr.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 4-16-10.
3. Claim, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, $8,107.11 (March, 2010 Payment).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a draft resolution authorizing repurchase of tax-forfeited land, PID #118-500-333100, by Gerald Zachman on behalf of the Bernadette and Allen Zachman Trust. The land is located in Otsego. Hiivala has received payment of back taxes and fees. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #10-16, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
WHEREAS Gerard Zachman (Applicant), on behalf of the Bernadette and Allen Zachman Trust, the former owner, has applied to repurchase the hereinafter described parcel of tax forfeited land, in accordance with the provisions of Minnesota Statues, Sections 282.241 282.261, which land is situated in the County of Wright, Minnesota, and described as follows, to-wit: The South One Rod of the Northwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 33, Township 121, Range 23, Wright County, Minnesota. PID# 118-500-333100
WHEREAS The Applicant has agreed to pay all delinquent taxes, assessments, penalties and interest owing on this particular parcel, along with all other costs related to the repurchase; and
WHEREAS Allowing the repurchase will either correct an undue hardship or injustice resulting from the forfeiture, or will promote the use of the lands that will best serve the public interest;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Applicant’s repurchase of the above described parcel of tax forfeited land is approved, and the Wright County Auditor/Treasurer is hereby directed to permit such repurchase and is authorized to apply for a State Deed conveying the property to the Bernadette and Allen Zachman Trust.
(End of Resolution #10-16)
The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala said the Highway Department pulled two claims to Xcel Energy listed on pages 18 and 21 of the claims listing. These claims are not included on the signature copy. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced claims on Page 17 for Wayne Fingalson ($241.41) and Virgil Hawkins ($241.41) for air travel reimbursement associated with the NACE Conference. He questioned whether the County normally reimburses an employee before they have returned from a Conference. Hiivala said the County Board adopted a policy to reimburse employees after attendance at a Conference. He understands that Fingalson and Hawkins are currently attending the NACE Conference. Hiivala said the claims could be pulled and placed on the next County Board Agenda for approval. Mattson said throughout the claims listing, there are examples of where the total of a claim is listed three times. He did not feel this was necessary. Hiivala said they are working with the vendor to correct this. Sawatzke referenced a claim on Page 19, Wal-Mart Community BRC ($185.97) coded to Traffic Controls. Hiivala said the Wal-Mart Community card provides the ability to make purchases at Wal-Mart. Sawatzke asked how the claim relates to traffic controls. Hiivala said the purchase is for batteries and a latch box and could not confirm whether the claim was coded appropriately. He said the claim could be passed subject to audit. He would then follow up with Highway staff to assure the claim is coded properly. Sawatzke referenced a claim on Page 19, Qwest ($116.50) coded to traffic signals. Hiivala reviewed the claim and said it appears the claim relates to telephone lines. Hiivala said both claims have due dates prior to the next Board Meeting. He suggested the Board approve the claims for Qwest and Wal-Mart as part of the claims listing, subject to audit. He will follow up with the Highway Department to make sure the claims are coded appropriately. Sawatzke stated he would like to know what Hiivala finds out on the coding of the two claims. Thelen moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. Russek said he would second the motion, noting that the motion includes removal of the claims to Hawkins and Fingalson for travel reimbursement. The motion carried 5-0.
Mark Nolan, Wright County Safety Director, introduced Bob Goede of MCIT (Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust). Goede is Wright County’s Risk Management Consultant, and is part of the newly formed Risk Control Unit at MCIT. Goede provided an overview of the 2009 Annual Report. MCIT celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2009. Their efforts included reducing the reliance on service providers and increasing risk control efforts to protect the fiscal health of the trust. MCIT changed its name from “Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust” to “Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust.” Goede said MCIT is quite different than it was 30 years ago when the first Commissioners decided to form the organization. The name change made sense as MCIT is not an insurance company; it is a joint risk retention pool. MCIT provides service to 81 of 87 counties in Minnesota, 92 SWCD’s, 22 Community Action Agencies, and 270 other public entities that are county related. Goede said MCIT strives to keep rates stable, to enhance services, and return dividends when possible. Public entity risk sharing pools in Minnesota do not compete with one another or take members from one another. Other pools include the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, Minnesota Association of Townships Insurance Trust, and Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust. The MCIT Board is comprised of County Commissioners, Auditor/Treasurers, and a representative from the Administrator/Coordinator group. There is no incentive to raise rates as those on the Board must go back to their respective counties and live with the decisions made. MCIT must operate subject to data practices, the open meeting law, and the investment strategy must follow MN Statute 118A. The Board has representation from a diverse group, with members being located from one end of the State to another and from both large and small counties. MCIT is aware they must be good stewards and pay attention to five key areas including:
• Investments. In 2009, MCIT was involved with a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, which they coordinated with the League of Minnesota Cities and the City of Bloomington. It concerned a security investment that did not meet Statute requirements. MCIT recouped $1.2 million or about 96% of that investment. MCIT is no longer involved in that security with Wells Fargo.
• Reinsurance. This is required for catastrophic claims both on the property and casualty side. The property cost portion increased in 2009 due to an increase in the value of members’ properties. On both the property and casualty side, MCIT retains the first $500,000 of any loss. It then goes to a reinsurer and a premium must be paid for the reinsurance. Every year, MCIT takes this to the marketplace for bids. The property coverage remained with the same insurer with an 11% premium increase (not a rate increase to counties) and is due to the values being higher than the previous year. On the casualty reinsurance, the same insurer was selected but the rate increased by 3%. This is due to the insurer being slightly uncomfortable with a few of the losses in law enforcement. With Workers Compensation reinsurance, MCIT cannot go to the marketplace for bids. In Minnesota, Workers Compensation reinsurance is monopolistic; there is no choice but to be a member of the Workers’ Compensation Reinsurance Association (WCRA). Last year, the State found that the WCRA was underfunded and an assessment came to everyone belonging to the WCRA. The initial assessment to MCIT alone was $900,000 but was reduced to $600,000 after negotiations. This was paid from the MCIT fund balance and was not assessed to individual members. The State has implemented a three-year process for WCRA to be fully funded. He was unsure what members would pay in 2010 and 2011.
• Rates. An actuary is used to set rates. For 2010, the MCIT Board reviewed the actuary’s numbers and a 2.3% increase resulted on the property side. Part of the property/casualty increase relates to the increase in property values. The cost is based on replacement cost, not market value. On the liability side, in 2009 there was a tort cap liability increase on limits. On the Workers’ Compensation side, a 2.5% aggregate increase was approved. Goede said medical costs drive Workers’ Compensation claims. Each MCIT member has an experience modification factor which is based on three full years of loss experience. For 2010, Wright County’s modification factor is at .959 (below the average of 1.00). When contributions are figured for Workers’ Compensation, the factor of .959 is used, decreasing Wright County’s contribution by about 5%. Goede said this reflects that Wright County is conscious of safety. The better performance, the less is paid.
• Dividends. Dividends are based on performance of the past year. MCIT has a history of returning dividends to members since 1996. Wright County has received dividends of about $850,000 in the past three years. In the same three-year period, Wright County paid about $2.9 million in contributions. This is approximately a 29% return in the form of a dividend.
• Risk Control. A final element of making sure MCIT remains good stewards of the County’s dollars is the shared commitment with counties in risk management and loss control. They “mine” data, looking at what has happened from a claims stand point and pay attention to trends. They also collaborate with other organizations such as Sheriff and Jail Administrators, Human Resource Professionals, and County Attorneys.
Goede reviewed claims data, both for Property/Casualty and Workers’ Compensation:
• Property/Casualty. The data reflects frequency and severity of claims. Over 8,000 vehicles in the State are insured through MCIT. Examples of claims are broken windshields, deer accidents, or serious accidents with liability involved. A large portion of the severity claims relate to Public Employee Liability coverage (employment claims, land use, larger law enforcement claims). As an example, Goede stated that in the past three years, three claims arose that were law enforcement related. The total paid was $4.5 million and $3.2 million was recovered from reinsurers. Reinsurers look at these things which can result in premium increases.
• Workers’ Compensation. The data reflects frequency and severity of claims. Most claims relate to low back, knees, and finger injuries. In order of occurrence, most claims relate to the following departments: Sheriff, Highway, Hospital or Nursing Home, and Social Services. In 2009, there were fewer claims but the cost was up $2.5 million due to the increase in medical costs.
Thelen referenced the three law enforcement claims mentioned and asked for an example of what those might relate to. Goede responded that an example could be claims involving an assault, battery, or situations where someone felt they were discriminated against. A lot of times, they are filed as Federal claims so the tort cap liability limits are removed, resulting in larger claims.
Goede outlined MCIT Risk Control Initiatives. MCIT offers programs to assist member counties including Defensive Driving (on-site, Web-based, DVD), PATROL, Jail Administrator’s Standardized Curriculum, EAP, Metro State Human Resources Certificate Program, Return to Work, and LiveWell. Other risk control initiatives include publications, a video library, their website (www.mcit.org), webinars, and Risk Management Regional Workshops. Goede said in place of the annual On-Site Risk Management Meeting, they will conduct nine regional meetings in September, 2010 at various locations throughout the State. Goede said the success of MCIT is dependent on the vision that county board members have, the dedication of its members, and the loyalty of counties to MCIT. He conveyed thanks to Wright County for their participation.
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 4-19-10. The following is a summary of the minutes. The purpose of the meeting was to interview consultants for the Classification Study. The firms interviewed included: Bjorklund Compensation Consulting, LLC; Employers Association, Inc.; Fox Lawson & Associates, and Springsted Incorporated. The recommendation of the Committee was to recess the meeting to Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 1:30 P.M. to discuss finalists and to determine the next steps in the process. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following corrections were made to the minutes: Page 21, change the 2:30 P.M. Consultant from “Bjorklund Compensation Consulting, LLC” to “Springsted Inc.” (Norman); Page 16, the 1:00 P.M. Consultant should be “Fox Lawson & Associates.” Thelen moved to approve the minutes with the noted corrections, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Ameripride Linen and Apparel $239.47
AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 9,015.50
Aqua Green Lawns 203.00
Beaudry Propane Inc. 196..54
Black Moore Bumgardner M 300.00
Center Point Energy 1,628.65
Centa Sota Lake Region LLC 24,003.48
Central Fire Protection 403.93
Chamberlain Oil Co. 2,059.08
Climate Air 879.41
Cokato/City of 400.00
Consulting Radiologists LTI 183.60
Cub Pharmacy 3,193.35
Delano Rental Inc. 240.47
Delano Sports Center Inc. 176,87
Dell Marketing LP 5,394.40
Dodge of Burnsville Inc. 19,992.00
Emergency Physicians PA 327.00
Excel Systems 290.00
Fastenal Company 216.51
Forestry Suuppliers Inc. 175.45
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc .5,362.00
Green Lights Recycling Inc. 147.74
Hance Utility Services Iinc. 144.28
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 3,887.76
HSBC Business Solutions 160.30
Hwy. Safety Zone 261.84
Impact Proven Solutions 2,843.05
Keeprs Inc. 170.98
LaPlant Demo Inc. 510.34
Marco Inc. 1,562.50
Menards - Buffalo 268.46
Metro Group Inc./The 7,079.99
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 1,175.03
Mini Biff LLC 130.68
MN Attorney Generals Office 241.57
MN Chemical Company 643.39
MN Copy Systems 131.10
MN Counties Computer Coop 120.54
MN County Recorders Assoc 200.00
Office Depot 3,013.70
PMI Computer Supplies 142.90
Richards/Thomas W 300.00
Royal Tire Inc 169.84
RS Eden 9,846.90
Russell Security Resource 217.12
SHI International Group 733.16
Specialist in General Surge 235.97
Verizon Wireless 757.28
Walmart Community BRC 185.97
Walmart Store 01-1577 500.90
Watchguard Electronic Hom 123.50
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 41,776.20
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec. 774.61
Wright Hennepin Electric 638.84
Xcel Energy 877.14
Zack’s Inc. 481.30
24 Payments less than 100 $1,144.96
Final Total $171,785.28
The meeting adjourned at 9:42 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal May 31, 2010.