WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
FEBRUARY 15, 2011
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 Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 2-08-11 Wright County Board Minutes.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A5, “Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Salary For Hiring Assistant County Attorney I Position” (Asleson); Aud./Treas. Item #4, “Schedule Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting To Discuss A Hardship Withdrawal” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #3, “Scheduled Closed Meeting Of The County Board” (Norman). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda with the additions, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:
1. Performance Appraisals: R. Bonk, C. Webb, Hwy.; A. Weis, Sheriff.
2. Schedule Boy/Girl Day For 4-19-11.
3. O/T Report, Period Ending 2-04-11.
4. Refer The Following Agenda Items To The Labor Management Loss Control Committee:
A. Update On Loss Control Activities.
B. 2010 Risk Management Summary.
C. Hands Only CPR. D. Safety Concerns; If Any.
5. Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Salary For Hiring Assistant County Attorney I Position.
B. COURT SERVICES
1. Authorize Temporary Phone Extension (Direct Inward Dial) For “Alternative Suspension” Schooling Program Between 2-22-11 & 6-17-11.
1. Authorize Signatures On 2011 Boat & Water Safety Agreement With The DNR.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board authorize signatures on a Farm Rental Agreement with Scott Kohls for PID #112-500-264-102 (CR 12, Montrose). This is a tax forfeited parcel owned by the State of Minnesota. The County Board previously approved the rental fee of $2,700. Eichelberg moved to authorize signatures on the Rental Agreement, seconded by Sawatzke, carried unanimously.
Hiivala requested the Board authorize an increase in the License Bureau Change Fund from $700 to $1,000. The fund is to accommodate interchanging fees with the public. Thelen moved to approve the request, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
Hiivala requested the Board schedule a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting to discuss a hardship withdrawal request from an employee. Sawatzke moved to schedule the Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting on 2-23-11. The time of the meeting will be established when the Administration Department drafts the Committee Meeting schedule. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
The claims listing was discussed. Hiivala referenced a claim on Page 12, PTS of America LLC ($1,139.40). The claim has been pulled at the request of the Sheriff Department and is not included in the signature copy. Sawatzke referenced a claim on Page 4, Greg Kryzer ($34.00) and questioned the amount of the mileage reimbursement. In review of the claim, Hiivala said the listing will be changed to reflect reimbursement at $28.00 for mileage and $3.50 for parking. Thelen moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, including the change in the claim to Greg Kryzer to be paid at $28.00 plus $3.50. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.
Pat O’Malley, Jail Administrator, requested the Board authorize signatures on a Joint Powers Agreement with the BCA for new Data Master Breath Test Equipment. The BCA is replacing the existing equipment. The BCA provides the equipment and maintenance. The County is responsible for the disposable and consumable components (paper, toner, mouthpieces, etc. for the equipment). These components are provided for the current intoximeter machine. O’Malley explained the County pays about $.15/mouthpiece and uses about 50-70/month. Ink and paper costs are on top of that. They do not expect increased costs with the new equipment. The Agreement has been reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve authorizing signatures on the Joint Powers Agreement with the BCA for the new Data Master Breath Test Equipment.
O’Malley requested the Board authorize signatures on an updated Turnkey Corrections Vending Service Agreement. Turnkey has been used since late 2007 for the Jail’s canteen services. The updated Agreement includes changes to some of the software and equipment used. The current Agreement does not have an end date. The revised Agreement is for 36 months with two, one-year renewal options. Commission is being increased from 15% to 17% based on gross sales. Wright County does not incur any out-of-pocket expenses. The Agreement has been reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office. O’Malley explained that the services include an accounting program to track inmate monies. This process has been validated by the Offices of the State Auditor and County Auditor. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced Section 9, Insurance, and questioned whether the Agreement language meets tort limits in Minnesota. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated he would review Statutes in this regard. Eichelberg moved to authorize signatures on the Agreement subject to further review by the County Attorney’s office. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the Board authorize signatures on an Amendment to the Law Enforcement and Prosecution Agreement with the City of Delano. The City is being required to enter into this Agreement with the BCA for the purposes of the Wright County e-Charging Initiative. The Amendment relates to the County’s obligation to notify the BCA that Wright County is fulfilling Delano’s obligations relating to “Prosecuting Attorney” and “Police Department.” Thelen moved to approve the Amendment, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 2-09-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following changes were made to the minutes: Page 1, Members Present, should read “Sawatzke (for Mattson), Eichelberg, and Norman.” Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes as corrected and the recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:
1. REQUEST FOR PASSPORT/VOTING STATION INSTALLATION.
Hiivala stated that the US Passport Agency does not allow a Department to issue drivers licenses, birth certificates, and passports from the same office. Therefore, the passport function was removed from the License Bureau and moved upstairs to the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. The License Bureau still takes passport pictures and collects the fee for that service; however the applicants go up to the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office to complete the rest of the process. He noted that the persons completing their passport applications often come as a family and can take up the entire counter space at the open window of the Auditor/Treasurer’s Department. Often times, there are other customers or citizens waiting in line behind those completing their applications forms.
Hiivala requested that the County Board authorize the set-up of modular furniture in the hallway across from the open customer window at the Auditor/Treasurer Office. The modular furniture would be used to accommodate persons completing their passport forms, and serve as voting booths during elections. Hiivala stated that Gloria Gooler, Administrative Confidential Secretary, would like one of the sections of the modular furniture to be wheelchair accessible.
Norman asked if the Auditor/Treasurer’s Department utilizes the three computer stations across from the Assessor’s Department. Hiivala stated that one of the computers at the three stations is broken and has been partially removed.
The Committee took a tour to see how the current computer stations are set up. Sawatzke asked how long the current stations have been set up. Hiivala stated that he thinks they have been used for approximately three years. Hiivala stated that if the Auditor/Treasurer’s Department were to use the three existing stations, the modular walls would not be high enough to facilitate voting booths. Sawatzke noted that the general election occurs every two years and stated that elevated work stations would not be used very often. Hiivala agreed with Sawatzke.
Sawatzke asked Hiivala whether he would consider using one of the stations to complete passport applications. He stated that if the monitor is removed from the station with the broken computer, it could be used for passports and elections.
Norman stated that he would be more in favor of using the existing stations in lieu of adding additional modular stations. He stated that more furniture in the corridors causes more work for the custodians. They have more surfaces to clean and more obstacles to vacuum around.
Eichelberg asked whether there is a need for tall voting stations. Hiivala stated that his Department could still utilize the old voting stations and have the custodians set them up for each election.
Sawatzke stated that he is in favor of labeling one of the stations as an area to be used to complete passport application documents. Hayes suggested that if the station with the broken computer was extended by 2’, and equipped with an extra chair, the area could accommodate two people as they complete their paperwork. Sawatzke suggested that the stations could be raised for voters when the time is necessary. Eichelberg stated that there does need to be a wheel chair accessible station.
RECOMMENDATION: Extend one of the existing stations 2’ and designate the station as an area to be used by the Auditor/Treasurer’s Department for customers to complete passport application materials.
(End of 2-09-11 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 2-09-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson voiced concern with layoffs and the 7% of unemployed residents in the County. He referenced a report by Tom Gillespie who indicated that the population that can pay taxes has decreased. Mattson said the County is getting double hit on tax revenues. Mattson said he was providing this as an informational piece. He did not have anything against the motion. Eichelberg agreed but said these are the areas in Human Services that are being hit the hardest due to the economy. Thelen stated this would explain the increase in usage. Russek said a recent article referenced taxes and how residents of Minneapolis are complaining about their taxes. The motion carried 5-0:
I. POSITION OPENINGS.
Norman stated that he received a request from Jami Schwartz, Financial Services Manager, asking whether the Committee would consider adding an Agenda item regarding filling an immediate Financial Worker vacancy. The Committee agreed to add this position opening to the Agenda.
A. Case Aide II (2-04-11).
Charbonneau distributed a handout, “Request to replace Truancy Case Aide II”, which summarizes the duties of the position. The position is partially reimbursed by grant funding. She described the need for prevention in truancy cases and answered the Commissioner’s questions regarding the education and professional qualifications required for the position.
Charbonneau stated that this position has regular contact with local schools on all court involved cases and referral cases. Sawatzke asked what the person in this position does during the summer when the schools are not in session. She stated that they work on following up on grant requirements, developing and tweaking programming, and preparing for the new school year.
Sawatzke and Eichelberg stated that they were both in favor of filling this position.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize Human Services to advertise and hire one Case Aide II position.
B. Financial Worker.
Antl distributed a handout, “Financial Worker Position Replacement Request”, which explains the background behind the vacancy and medical circumstances regarding another Financial Worker position. She stated that she would like the County Board to authorize an immediate advertisement and replacement of the vacant Financial Worker position.
The handout (see attached) also explains the duties of the position, as well as the increase in cases the entire financial services unit has undertaken since June, 2010.
Antl described the training requirements for the position. The new hire has to undergo six weeks of training with the State, and is hopefully trained within four months in the unit.
Eichelberg commented that he would be in favor of filling this position since her unit is essentially down two positions. He would only be in favor of starting the employee at the entry level salary step.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize Human Services to advertise and hire one Financial Worker position at Step 1 on the salary schedule.
II. REQUEST FROM EXTENSION SERVICE FOR TWO SUMMER TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES.
Neaton stated that this request is identical to last year’s request for authorization of two summer intern positions. The two positions are important in preparing for the County Fair. One position is a 10 week position starting June 6th and ending August 12th. The second position is a five week internship starting July 11th and terminating August 12th. The hourly wage is the same as last year at $10/hour. The 2011 County Fair is from August 3rd through the 7th.
Chur stated that they have $6,500 budgeted in their 6401 Temporary Help line item. Last year, they came in just under budget at approximately $6,400. She explained how Extension has two full-time support staff that are Wright County employees. The one support position has taken advantage of the Voluntary Leave Without Pay (VLWOP) program; therefore, Extension was able turn back $33,000 to the County in 2010.
Sawatzke stated that he would be in favor of the two intern positions as long as Extension did not exceed $6,000 in the Temporary Help line item. Eichelberg stated that he is in favor of the two positions.
The Committee discussed how Wright County has the highest participation rate of 4Her’s in Minnesota.
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize Extension to advertise and hire two summer intern positions (10 week, 5 week) at a not-to-exceed amount of $6,000 in the Temporary Help line item.
(End of 2-09-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 2-09-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following corrections were made to the minutes: Page 1, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence should read, “The land at the Stemper and Rassat County-owned properties is considered to be classified for tax purposes as Non-Homestead Agricultural” (Sawatzke); Page 1, 3rd paragraph, 6th line, sentence should read, “Sawatzke questioned whether the land is eligible to be classified as ag homestead” (Sawatzke). Norman distributed information relating to payments made to Anoka County in 2010 for the Regional Crime Laboratory. It appears the payments are based on actual costs versus budget because the payment amounts fluctuate. Sawatzke said he reviewed budget information that was prepared prior to the Regional Crime Laboratory being built. It appears that some things are occurring slower than anticipated. One example would be the hire of a DNA Criminalist. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0:
I. Renewal Of Rental Property Contract.
Information was distributed relating to the land rental of the Stemper and Rassat County-owned properties and recent discussion by the County Board relating to land rental (attached).
The County will be taxed on all rental properties. The land at the Stemper and Rassat County-owned properties is considered to be classified for tax purposes as Non-Homestead Agricultural. Asleson referenced the tax forfeit property that was discussed at the 1-11-11 County Board Meeting. The County will not pay tax on the property as it is State owned and the County does not make money off of it. The property is being managed by the County while it is in the tax forfeit status. Rental receipts are placed into the tax forfeit fund and the proceeds are distributed between the taxing districts.
The land rental contract at the Rassat site is up for renewal. Johnson was in contact with the Parks Administrator about a maintenance agreement for the site. However, the Assessor has indicated that the property would still be taxable since the County receives revenue. Asleson said Statutes reflect that if a property is purchased and rented, it is supposed to be taxed. It is not a lien against the property, as it is exempt. The property is taxed as agricultural land and as though the lessee is the owner. Sawatzke questioned whether the land is eligible to be classified as ag homestead. Asleson will contact the Assessor to determine this. The issue with this type of parcel is that if it is made available to a private individual to use in connection with a business conducted for profit, then there is a tax imposed for the privilege of using the land. The lessee would be responsible for the tax, not the County. The Statute allows for collection of the tax as part of the rental agreement.
It was the consensus that Johnson will contact the party who currently rents the Rassat and Stemper properties to inform them that the properties will now be taxed and to negotiate a land rental price. Mattson said that land rental rates are close to $300/acre. Sawatzke said land values vary dependent upon acreage and quality of the soil.
Recommendation: This issue will be referred to the 2-23-11 Ways & Means Committee Meeting.
II. Regional Crime Laboratory Joint Powers Agreement.
Information distributed included Anoka County’s response to a request for information on the Tri County Regional Forensic Laboratory; budget summaries for the Tri-County Regional Forensic Lab for the period of 2008-2010; and the Tri-County Regional Crime Lab expense for the period of 2007 (attached).
In review of the response from Anoka County for information on the Tri-County Lab and the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA), Sawatzke said the Tri-County Lab budget was only voted on in 2008. Per the JPA, the Committee is supposed to meet semi-annually to make a recommendation on the budget. Sawatzke did not think by-laws were ever created. The JPA reflects that the Committee shall be comprised of the following membership from each County: Commissioner (1); Sheriff; and Law Enforcement (1).
Sawatzke referenced the Annual Activity Report reflecting cases processed by the Tri-County Lab in 2008, 2009, and 2010. The funding formula for the Lab for the three member counties (Anoka, Sherburne and Wright) is based upon population. Wright County’s share is about 21%, Sherburne County’s is 16%, and Anoka’s is 63%. Based upon the usage statistics, he felt a re-evaluation of the funding formula was needed. He supported a formula based upon usage. For example, the statistics reflect that in 2008, Anoka County utilized the Drug Chemistry Lab Services 87% of the total use by members, but funded 60%. He did not feel it was a question of the quality of the services the Lab performs but of the funding formula. The budget information provided by Anoka County does not reflect the financial participation by member counties. The overall budget for the Lab increased from $450,000 to $770,000 in a three-year period. Sawatzke said estimates of costs were provided prior to construction of the Lab. He felt it would be interesting to compare those estimates to actual costs. Some of the increase in cost may be associated with staff hires.
Hoffman said that in 2010, Wright County sent DWI tests directly to the BCA. The blood and urine exam packages are pre-stamped to be mailed to the BCA. This process has been changed and tests will now be sent to the Tri-County Lab. He felt usage figures will increase in 2011. Hoffman understands services are not being provided for non-member counties. The police departments in Annandale, Buffalo, and Howard Lake were advised that they could utilize the services of the Lab at no cost under Wright County. Hoffman said that the DNA piece has been delayed because of the desire to find a DNA expert. This position was filled in December, 2010. Hoffman anticipated the DNA Lab would be functioning in 2011. DNA equipment expenses occurred in 2010 in preparation for filling the DNA expert position.
Norman said the correspondence from Anoka County reflects three proposed meeting dates in 2011: April 6, August 3, and November 2. Norman suggested that additional meetings take place between April 6 and August 3 to facilitate the budget process. Fees and the funding formula should be discussed. Norman thought that Wright County should have more representation at the April 6th meeting to include two representatives from the Sheriff’s Office, two County Commissioners, and Asleson and himself if they are available. Anoka County would be informed that portions of the JPA are not being met. The goal would be to close these loopholes, making sure everyone is in agreement on the expectations.
Norman referenced the budget information provided by Anoka County. In 2010, a line item was included reflecting “Space Allocation, $26,470”. This line item was not included in the 2008 and 2009 budgets. He questioned why Wright County would pay for space used by Anoka County as Anoka County owns the building. Sawatzke said the project previously received State grant funding and Wright County was listed as one of the grantees. Norman felt this issue should be discussed with member counties.
Hoffman said the 2010 Tri-County Lab budget includes $195,000 for a criminalist. As the position was not filled in 2010, he questioned whether this resulted in an overpayment by Wright County. Norman will contact Hiivala to determine whether Wright County remits payment based on the funding formula using budget figures or actual expenditures. Sawatzke said another discussion topic with Anoka County is what happens to the surplus or deficit realized at the end of each year. Member counties should receive a profit/loss statement. Hoffman stated the main push behind the Tri-County Lab is the DNA testing capabilities. He felt there would be more of a push for services once that service is up and running. With drug cases, there is not the immediate need for test results. However, with DNA cases (rapes, murders, assaults), timely results are imperative so the suspect can be apprehended. He felt results will be timelier through the Tri-County Lab because of the sheer volume processed through the BCA.
Asleson asked how the population formula was figured and whether it was agreed upon between the member counties. Sawatzke said the May 12, 2008 Regional Crime Lab Meeting Minutes reflect that “Commissioner Sawatzke had questions on the methodology used for calculating each county’s share of the operating costs. It was decided the current formula would be used with a review next year.” Sawatzke was told that the Sheriffs of the three member counties agreed to a funding formula based on population. Sawatzke said that funding formula was never agreed upon by those that signed the JPA. Asleson referenced Section 7.02, Duties of Committee, which reflects that the Committee shall, “Establish each Member County’s share of Facility operating, and maintenance costs and any agreed upon costs for upgrade or acquisition of equipment.” Sawatzke said the May 12, 2008 minutes reflect that the funding formula would be based upon population and would be reviewed the next year. At that time, he was told that although Wright County would hardly be using the Lab and paying 21%, the funding would even out over time. Sawatzke did not feel the numbers were balancing out as projected. He thought Wright County is subsidizing services for others.
Sawatzke stated that a funding formula based on usage makes sense to him. This is how the East Central Juvenile Detention Center Joint Powers Agreement has been funded for fifteen years. At one point, discussion occurred on changing the East Central funding formula to be based on population but those involved felt funding had nothing to do with population. The new East Central Agreement will include a funding formula based upon usage.
It was the consensus that Norman will contact Brian Benson, Sherburne County Administrator, to inform Sherburne County that Wright County intends to have representation at the April 6th meeting to discuss the JPA and issues brought forth at today’s Committee Meeting. Norman will also notify the Anoka County Sheriff. Sawatzke said the letter to Anoka County should reflect that discussion at the April 6th meeting will include the JPA, overpayments, and budget to actual positive or negative variances for each budget year. Wright County also wants clarification on whether billing is based on the budget or on expenditures for the Lab (not just the DNA portion of the budget).
Regional Crime Laboratory Joint Powers Agreement (cont.):
Recommendation: Direct Norman to proceed as outlined. The issue should be brought back to the Committee if Norman feels there is something that needs to be discussed prior to the April 6th meeting in Anoka County.
(End of 2-09-11 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
The Board reviewed a draft resolution relating to the Spring Load Restrictions for County roads. The map of the restrictions will be placed on the County’s website and sent to cities and townships for display purposes. Thelen moved to adopt Resolution #11-09, approving the Spring Load Restrictions. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 169.87 provides local authorities, with respect to highways under their jurisdiction, for seasonal load restrictions, and
WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes 162.2 subd. 3, the County Board, or the County Engineer if so authorized by the board, may impose weight and load restrictions on any highway under its jurisdiction,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the County Highway Engineer be authorized to place seasonal load restrictions on County State Aid Highways and County Roads within Wright County, and also,
BE IT RESOLVED, that the gross weight on any axle on any vehicle or trailer, shall not exceed the posted limit, and also,
BE IT RESOLVED, that load limitations will go into effect when the signs are erected and will remain in effect until the signs are removed. The timing of road postings, which is dependent on weather conditions, will be determined by the County Highway Engineer.
(End of Resolution 11-09)
Norman recommended setting a Closed Session for the purpose of discussing grievance arbitration/litigation with Frank Madden, Labor Law Attorney. Sawatzke moved to schedule a Closed Session for 2-23-11 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Ameripride Services. $372.19
Anoka County Corrections 7,488.00
Aramark Services Inc. 270.00
Brock White Co. LLC 21,095.72
Buff N Glo Inc. 100.17
Buffalo Floral & Lanscap 160.00
Buffalo/City of 698.63
Center Point Energy 1,282.79
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 24,420.50
Central McGowan Inc. 104.25
Climate Air 15,209.80
Corporate Payment System 542.75
Cottens Inc. 2,922.86
Delano/City of 5,309.20
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 1,054.59
Elk River Ford 230.00
Frontier Precision Inc. 120.00
Globalstar USA 116.41
Hardings Towing Inc. 213.75
Hennepin County Sheriff 140.00
Herald Journal Publishing 697.53
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 272.17
Hoisington Koegler Group 1 1,860.00
International Code Council 180.00
International Personnel M 360.00
Interstate All Battery Cent 187.51
Interstate Battery Systems 337.33
Isanti County Government Ce 100.00
Junction Towing & Auto Rep 110.08
Kustom Signals Inc. 318.00
LaPlant Demo Inc. 460.23
Lawson Products Inc. 192.12
M & M Express Sales & Serv 17,548.40
McLeod County Aud.-Treas. 787.80
Menards - Buffalo 138.32
Midwest Gang Investigation 140.00
MN CLE Inc. 245.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 751.14
Monticello/City of 14,070.00
Montrose/City of 1,173.80
Morries Parts & Service Group 886.76
MTI Distributing Inc. 389.49
North American Salt Co. 52,157.93
Office Depot 1,288.02
ORyans Conoco 155.00
Radisson Suite Hotel St. Clo 230.52
RTVision Inc. 760.31
Safelite Fulfillment Inc. 494.55
Sand Creek Group Inc. 2,932.50
SHI International Corp. 2,356.59
Sigma Aldrich Inc. 420.27
Snowplows Plus 475.50
Star Tribune - Subscriptions 1,082.40
State of MN-Office Enterpris 1,805.00
Synergy Graphics 1,415.24
The Sign Man of MN Inc 299.25
Total Printing 328.64
Twin Cities Abatement Tech 1,800.00
Uniforms Unlimited 494.21
Walker Trucking/C 5,535.00
Waverly/City of 480.25
West Payment Center 924.74
Wright County Collision 1,166.90
Wright Co. Highway Dept 63,965.24
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 103.02
Wright Lumber & Millwork 262.68
Wright Soil & Water Cons. D 134,161.00
16 Payments less than $100 862.38
Final total $434,048.03
The meeting adjourned at 9:40 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal March 7, 2011.