Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 16, 2010
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the 11-09-10 Board Agenda as presented.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #2, “Joint Ditch 14 Update” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #4, “Reschedule 11-17-10 Technology Committee Meeting” (Thelen); Item For Consid. #5, “Acknowledge Receipt Of MCIT Dividend” (Norman). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Martinson, Hwy.; C. Schulz, P&Z.
2. Approve Abatement, PID #103-209-001190, DEF Inc.
3. Increase Employer’s Contribution Toward Insurances By $50.00/Month, Eff. 3-01-11, For Non-Union Employees.
1. Approve Abatement, PID# 103-209-001190, DEF Inc.
1. Tobacco License Transfer As Submitted By New Owner, Northern Tier Retail LLC For: SuperAmerica #4267 & SuperAmerica #4479 (Monticello City) & SuperAmerica #4554 (St. Michael City).
1. Authorize Purchase Of Replacement Vehicle For The Wright County Compost & Recycling Facility.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, provided an update on Joint Ditch 14. Hiivala was contacted by Brian Paumen who feels the repair area in Stockholm Township identified by Kerry Saxton, SWCD, would be a band-aid approach. Paumen feels there are more areas in need of repair. Paumen will contact Meeker and McLeod Counties to request a Joint Meeting on 11-22-10. Russek and Mattson are unable to attend. Hiivala said Saxton could attend and advise the County Board on what additional steps need to be taken. Mattson asked that they look into the capacity of the tile, as that is what starts blow outs. Hiivala said Paumen’s main concern is the capacity of the tile for today’s water levels. Hiivala suggested that the Joint Ditch Meeting be held with Meeker and McLeod Counties. Saxton can attend and advise the County. If the Joint Ditch Meeting is not held next Monday, it could be held in December. This was provided as an informational item.
The claims listing was reviewed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced a claim on Page 4, Association of MN Counties. The claim incorrectly codes a conference registration for Bob Hiivala to Administration. It will be corrected and charged against the Auditor/Treasurer’s budget. On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, including the one change noted.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the Board authorize signatures on a Master Subscriber Agreement for Minnesota Court Data Services. The County Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, and the District Court, in conjunction with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), are moving ahead with implementation of eCharging, the electronic filing of criminal complaints. The Agreement is with the State Court System. The County already has an Agreement, also called a Master Subscriber Agreement, for the MNCIS System, allowing access to the State’s Court database. The new Agreement allows input of data into the State’s system as opposed to viewing rights only. The Agreement has no additional cost implications. A fee is already being paid. The Agreement will cover any County office that has access to MNCIS. Eichelberg moved to authorize signatures on the Agreement, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Asleson brought forth discussion on the repeal of the Wright County Tattoo and Body Piercing Ordinance. The 2010 Minnesota Legislature adopted Legislation which became Minnesota Statutes Chapter 146B, regulating Body Art. Although the new laws, designed to take effect 1-1-11, allow for counties and cities to continue their regulation of such establishments, Wright County Public Health has indicated that it would prefer to have the Minnesota Department of Health take over licensing, inspections, etc. in this area. Asleson said Wright County passed its Ordinance in 2002. There are two tattoo establishments presently operating in Wright County. One is in Monticello and one is in Buffalo. The establishment in Buffalo is licensed through the City. Asleson said the State is aware that Wright County may repeal its Ordinance, and the State is willing to take over the review of the one establishment. Asleson was unsure whether the City of Buffalo will give up their licensing authority of the business located in Buffalo. Although the State is gearing up for this effort, he was unsure whether the State has adequate staffing levels. Asleson asked that the Board set a date to consider repeal of the Ordinance. Notice will be published and the two establishments in the County will be notified. Thelen moved to consider repeal of the Wright County Tattoo and Body Piercing Ordinance at the County Board Meeting of 12-14-10 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Asleson said there have been complaints that these activities are occurring in private residences. Wright County’s Ordinance does not allow for this and so investigations have occurred. He said Wright County’s Ordinance addresses the public health issue. The motion carried 5-0.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said a Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-08-10. The meeting was attended by County Board Members, Parks Department staff, Corinna Township representatives, and a couple of property owners. The meeting included a site visit to the Clearwater/Pleasant Regional Park. The goal of the meeting was to discuss maintenance issues on Lathrop and Kramer Avenues. The recommendation of the Parks Committee Of The Whole was:
“That Wright County Board of Commissioners direct the County Surveyor to work with the County Recorder, the County Attorney, and all others necessary to review all land records past and present, including deeds, plats and surveys that are pertinent to this easement/road in question and to develop a report regarding the ownership status and rights to same.”
At today’s Board meeting, Mattice said that he supports this recommendation. Mattice consulted with Assistant County Attorney Greg Kryzer. After review of the documentation, Kryzer feels that the County should consider having Campbell Abstract complete research on the property and provide their professional opinion. Thelen made a motion to accept this recommendation. She questioned whether a time frame should be established as she felt it would be good to establish ownership. Kryzer stated that this morning he received 5-6 abstracts from the Auditor’s Office dealing with this Park property. He personally spent 10-15 hours researching this property in the Recorder’s Office. Kryzer stated the County definitely owns the property and it is clearly Park property, including the land under the road. Kryzer was having difficulty finding the easement buried within the records that go back quite some time. He said the County may have to engage Campbell Abstract, but hopes the Surveyor can find this. He felt that a report can possibly be done by the end of the year, dependent on the Surveyor’s schedule. Sawatzke suggested having Barb Gabrelcik from the Recorder’s Office provide an opinion. Kryzer said if the County requires the services of Campbell Abstract, he will place this back onto the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke asked whether the findings will reflect what the County owns and clearly indicate the rights of the County as opposed to the Township (i.e., the limitations and restrictions the Township has in enhancing, improving, and maintaining). Kryzer said that would be his intent. He has been actively researching the park regulations. Thelen said she would like the research to include the private easement holders as well. Sawatzke said the information should include the private owner’s rights versus the Township’s rights. Kryzer said everything within the tract will need to be looked at in completing the abstract for this property. The properties within the Park boundary along Clearwater Lake will probably fall within this and the easements will be reflected. Thelen asked whether this research will go back beyond when the ownership of the Park was developed. Kryzer explained that his search went back 40 years, which is the State standard for doing an abstract. He said that there is a need to go back further than that as 40 years ago is when the Hennepin County Park District acquired the property. Wright County acquired it in about the mid 1980’s. Sawatzke noted that about a year ago, a sign was placed on site reflecting that it was County property and there would be limitations on what could be done. Mattice explained the sign has since disappeared. Sawatzke said during the tour, he noted that there were trees that were marked. He inquired whether they had been taken down. Mattice said they have not been taken down. Sawatzke said he did not like the idea that 22” trees would be removed prior to the research being completed on the property. Mattice has been in contact with the Township and the trees will not be cut down in the meantime. Sawatzke questioned whether a letter should be sent to the Township reflecting that the County does not agree to any trees being cut down and if tree cutting does occur, they are risking action that may be taken by the County. Kryzer stated that he will take care of sending a letter. He would look at it as criminal damage to property. Norman clarified that the motion will include approval of the Parks Committee Of The Whole Minutes and the end-of-year deadline for the abstract work to be completed. The motion carried 5-0. The Board directed Norman to contact Department Heads that should be involved to ask them to work on this issue. The minutes follow:
The Parks Committee of the Whole meeting began at the Wright County Public Works Building. Members of the committee, along with Parks Department staff, traveled to Clearwater/Pleasant Regional Park. Prior to arriving at the site, the Committee reviewed two letters, one from Corinna Township and one from David and Dianne Wilkie. [See attached.] They were joined at the park by two members of the Corinna Township Board and three property owners. Upon arrival, committee members were surprised to find that Corinna Township had already added gravel to the easement/road in question. It was determined that this work was completed sometime Thursday, November 4, 2011 or Friday, November 5, 2011. The committee spent considerable time discussing ownership rights and formulating a recommendation. At the completion of the site inspection, the consensus of the committee was to refer the following action to the Wright County Board of Commissioners: Recommendation: That Wright County Board of Commissioners direct the County Surveyor to work with the County Recorder, the County Attorney, and all others necessary to review all land records past and present, including deeds, plats and surveys that are pertinent to this easement/road in question and to develop a report regarding the ownership status and rights to same.
At this time, the property owners and the two Corinna Township Supervisors left the meeting.
The committee toured improvements made at Collinwood Regional Park, including the day use area and the new tent camping facilities. The Committee also discussed future park infrastructure improvements, including relocating the fish cleaning house, campground expansion, shore line restoration, parking area improvements, and construction of the new picnic shelter.
The third area visited was the restoration area at Robert Ney Regional Park, the second largest county owned park in size. The committee viewed the water control structure and wetland restoration project that was funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department under the stimulus program and viewed the hardwood restoration sites.
The last park on the tour was Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The committee was updated on the acquisition project, minor improvements, and funding outlook. Mattice has received notice from the granting authority that Wright County/City of Monticello were selected for an allocation of nearly $411,000, bringing the current available grant total to $1,079,974. Mattice indicated that this amount, when added to local matching funds, would allow the partnership to execute Phase 3 of the acquisition. The Negotiations Committee is currently meeting to develop a recommendation to the Wright County Board of Commissioners and the Monticello City Council.
(End of 11-08-10 Parks Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
A Parks Commission meeting was held on 11-08-10. Mattice said the Parks Commission had quite a bit of discussion relating to campground policies and improvements. Eichelberg moved to approve the following recommendations brought forth from the Parks Commission, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:
1) It is recommended to the Wright County Board of Commissioners that the Parks Department be allowed to implement site-specific reservations for Collinwood and Schroeder Parks.
2) It is recommended to the Wright County Board of Commissioners that the seasonal site policy be updated to state: Current site holders have the ability to retain their site by submitting a renewal notice, including a down payment of half the seasonal rate, by January 7, 2011, and in future years by the end of the camping season to have their seasonal camping site permit renewed, and that any site not renewed within that timeframe be entered into the general lottery drawing held in February of the camping year.
Paul Coglitore and Jeff Berg, B&C Consulting, are the County’s insurance brokers for the medical and dental insurance benefits for employees. They were present to discuss the bid process for the March, 2011 insurance renewals. This year, B&C Consulting contacted all available carriers for bids. Responses were received from Blue Cross, Medica, and Health Partners. A handout was provided reflecting an analysis of the current and alternative plan proposals. The carriers were asked to match the County’s current benefit levels as closely as possible. The carriers were able to do this with one small exception through Health Partners. Blue Cross and Medica reflect Out of Pocket maximums (calendar year) for Plan 2 of $750 for each family member. Health Partners has an Out of Pocket maximum (calendar year) for Plan 2 of $1,500. This is a slight improvement over the current level. Otherwise, all other benefits levels match the current insurance levels. The County’s loss ratio experience was over 111%. The rates received from the carriers were very strong considering the County’s high loss ratio.
Blue Cross; Medica; Health Partners
Percentage of Renewal increase compared to the current Blue Cross Plan:
4.01%; -0.27%; -1.44%
Rate Caps for Future Renewals (2 years):
13%/15%; 10%/15%; 12%/15%
Annual Proposal Difference(using Blue Cross as the Base):
N/A; -$336,253.68; -$427,623.12
2011 Proposal Increase/Decrease:
$314,718.00; -$21,535.68; -$112,905.12
Health Initiative Dollars (3 years):
$0/$0/$0; $25,000/year; $50,000/$20,000/$20,000
The Health Initiative Dollars can be used to implement Wellness Programs. The idea is to reduce future claims by employees becoming healthier. Alternative Plan Proposals were requested and include such things such as the out-of-pocket maximum and office visit co-pays. The office visit co-pay would move from $10 to $25 under the Alternative Plan Proposals. The urgent care co-pay would move to $25 and the emergency care co-pay would move to $95. Currently, there is a two-tier pharmacy co-pay of $11. The Alternative Plan would allow for a three tier pharmacy co-pay of $5-generic/$35-preferred brand name/$85-non-preferred brand name. Compared to the current Blue Cross Plan, the following reflects the Combined Plan percentage change through the Alternative Plan Proposals:
Blue Cross; Medica; Health Partners
Annual Proposal Difference (using Blue Cross as the base)
N/A; -$90,866.88; -$295,639.56
2011 Proposal Increase/Decrease
-4.45%; -5.60%; -8.22%
Both Medica and Health Partners will allow a deductible and out-of-pocket maximum rollover for claims between 1-01-11 and 2-28-11.
Coglitore noted a change relating to the lifetime maximum benefit amount. The maximum amount through Blue Cross was $5 million. With the Health Care Act, that amount moved to an unlimited dollar amount. This is a nice improvement no matter which plan is chosen. Sawatzke asked about insurance coverage for dependents to age 26. It was explained that coverage is for dependents to age 26 and is not dependent on student status. Married dependents can remain on coverage as well. Lori Adams, AFSCME, asked whether services offered through Blue Cross would change through another carrier. Coglitore and Berg explained that a copy of the current contract with Blue Cross was supplied to the other carriers. The carriers were asked to match the plans identically. Any service under the Blue Cross Plan will be identical and paid out the same through Medica and Health Partners. The only area that changed slightly was relating to the prescription drug formulary. The drug formulary does not vary significantly from carrier to carrier.
Coglitore said that based on the difference in premiums and other factors, B&C Consulting would recommend the County select Health Partners. There is a known savings of over $100,000 without any plan changes and rate caps for three years to limit the amount of increases the carrier can pass along. Health Partners was also rated slightly higher through the independent rating companies. There are lower adjusted claims costs, especially given the size of the group and how that can affect renewals. Norman said the Administration Office concurs with the recommendation from B&C Consulting to accept the quotes from Health Partners. Employee presentations will be scheduled for November 22nd and 23rd. After that, union and non-union groups will meet and vote on alternative proposals. All groups must support the alternative proposals. If one group rejects, then the County will offer the base plans under Health Partners. On average, companies are realizing a 12-14% increase on premiums. Berg said the average increase is based on a 100% loss ratio, and Wright County’s loss ratio was 111%. B&C Consulting was commended for the excellent work in negotiating such strong offers with carriers, including rate caps. Russek moved to accept the quote from Health Partners, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-09-10. At today’s meeting, Thelen said the Board will discuss whether to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting to meet with Frank Madden, Labor Law Attorney, on salaries for non-union employees and elected officials. Thelen suggested that the minutes be laid over until after that meeting. Thelen moved to lay the 11-09-10 Personnel Committee Minutes over until after the Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting that will be held with the Labor Law Attorney. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke asked Norman whether the purpose of the meeting with Madden is to talk about the salaries for non-union employees and elected department heads. Sawatzke said it is his understanding that elected Department Heads stand alone and the Board needs to look at that group on their own. He felt the concept of throwing them in with others begs the question of being arbitrary and capricious. He questioned whether it would be more appropriate to handle them separately. Norman said it is up to the Board to set the Agenda for the Committee Meeting. The Agenda could include separate Agenda items for the elected department heads and non-union employees. Sawatzke said he thought the purpose of the Committee Meeting was to discuss the salaries of the non-union employees. Thelen said it was her intent to discuss the elected officials’ salaries as well in the context of any deviations that they might consider from the salary adjustment for union employees. The motion carried 4-1 (Sawatzke casting the nay vote) to lay the 11-09-10 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes over until after the committee meeting with the Labor Law Attorney.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 11-23-10 at 1:30 P.M. The purpose of the meeting is to meet with Frank Madden, Labor Law Attorney, regarding salaries of elected department heads and non-union employees.
The Board Chair opened the Public Hearing to review and take comment on the proposed changes to the Fees-For-Service Schedule. Norman said the Board was provided with documentation on the changes at an earlier Board Meeting. All changes will be effective 1-01-11. Mattson voiced concern with the percentage of increase in fees for the Parks Department because of the economy. Eichelberg said there have not been fee changes for a number of years for Parks. State Parks were consulted and the County’s fees were very comparable. In some cases, they were less. The proposed changes were reviewed with the Parks Commission. As no public comment was received, Russek moved to close the Public Hearing. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0. Russek moved to accept the recommended changes to the Fees-For-Service Schedule. The rate changes are effective 1-01-11. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
On 10-30-07, the Wright County Board approved a Master Partnership Contract with Mn/DOT. This is an agreement that is renewed every five years allowing the Highway Department to work with the State on such things as material testing, appraisal services, and bridge inspections. The Board reviewed an Amendment today which would add Emergency Services to the Agreement. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #10-39, approving an Emergency Services Amendment to the Master Partnership with Mn/DOT. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Thelen said a Technology Meeting is scheduled for 11-17-10 at 1:30 P.M. She requested the meeting be rescheduled as she is unable to attend. Norman was in contact with Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, who called the meeting. Swing is agreeable to the reschedule. Eichelberg moved to cancel the 11-17-10 Technology Committee Meeting and reschedule it to 12-15-10. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried unanimously.
Norman received a dividend check from Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) for the 2010 premium in the amount of $434,539. The 2010 budget had a projected revenue of $302,755 so this is a positive variance of approximately $132,000. This was provided as an informational item.
Bills Approved
AHC Media LLC. $239.00
Ameripride Services 145.81
Apex Software 470.00
Aramark Services Inc. 6,480.40
Assn. of Minnesota Counties 1,950.00
Brethorst/Darnell 239.00
Buffalo/City of 36,438.26
Cassidy Realty & Appraisal 310.00
Center Point Energy 309.26
Climate Air 13,816.14
Corporate Payment System 1,576.86
Cub Foods 464.69
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 134.56
Dominos Pizza Buffalo 117.19
Emergency Physicians Prof 187.50
Employers Association Inc. 3,080.00
Fastenal Company 111.55
Federal Signal Corporation 930.00
GBR Inc. 160.00
Glock Professional Inc. 150.00
Gopher State One Call 232.00
Greenview Inc. 2,721.45
Holiday 15,579.65
HSBC Business Solutions 211.25
Integrated Fire & Security 281.51
Jerrys Towing & Repair 182.43
Keeprs Inc. 278.50
Knife River Corporation - No 105.81
Kustom Signals Inc. 5,976.00
L3 Communications Inc. 49,9990.00
Lake Region Coop Oil 101.03
Lakedale Telephone Co.-Wind 295.85
LaPlant Demo Inc. 474.01
Loberg Electric 356.55
Lund/Kris 956.00
M & M Bus Service Inc. 558.67
Marco 180.65
Martin-McAllisters Consult 800.00
Meeker County Auditor 337.04
Menards - Buffalo 1,241.85
Menken/Julie A 230.00
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 128.89
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 240.47
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,417.01
New River Medical Center 800.00
North American Salt Co. 36,656.41
Office Depot 3,544.77
Pakor Inc. 1,548.66
Peavey Company/Lynn 579.50
PMI Computer Supplies 583.90
Qwest 6,711.11
Ragan Communications 129.00
Royal Tire Inc. 688.24
Russek/John 162.00
Ryan Chevrolet 392.97
Sand Creek Group Ltd 627.50
Servin Plumbing LLC 1,020.15
SHI International Corp 9,548.21
Spectrum Solutions 16,292.51
Star Tribune 129.08
State of MN Intertech Group 370.00
State of MN-Office Enterprise 965.00
State Supply Co. 173.54
Strategic Equipment and Su 517.81
Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc. 4,300.50
Titan Energy Systems 875.00
Towmaster 159.96
Trimin Government Solution 3,915.50
Trueman Welters Inc. 3,740.63
Twin City Seed Company 180.76
Ultramax 3,984.00
Uniforms Unlimited 476.27
Village Ranch Inc. 6,368.42
Voss Lighting 435.69
Waste Management - TC West 232.13
Watchguard Electronic Ho 481.00
Weber/Gordon S. 140.00
Westside Wholesale Tire 2,059.34
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 3,035.47
Wright Hennepin Electric 786.64
Zack’s Inc. 221.99
Zee Service Company 193.73
14 Payments less than $100 815.32
Final total $264,029.65
The meeting adjourned at 10:07 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 27, 2010.

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