WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MAY 31, 2011
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Thelen moved to approve the 5-24-11 Board Minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: S. Backes, J. Brown, Admin.; C. Davis, Hwy.; R. Vaa, Parks; M. Barthel, S. Bliven, J. Brown, M. Flemming, J. McMackins, R. Nevala, R. Smith, R. Wirkkula, Sher./Corr.; A. Halverson, Surveyor.
1. Approve Renewal Of Annual On Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Cokato Town & Country Club (Cokato Twp.).
2. Approve Renewal Of On/Off Sale Liquor License For Hitching Post At Lake Center (Corinna Twp.).
1. Approve 8-10 Hours Supplemental Support In The Extension Office Until Seasonal Backfill Is In Place.
D. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer To Building Committee: Review Bid Responses To Request For Quotes, Door Access & Badge ID Security System.
2. Refer To Technology Committee:
A. 800 MHz Radio.
• Review Of Grants.
• 2012 Budget.
• Letter To Cities.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of a two-year Contract with ROI Moving Supply, Annandale, for the ATM located outside of the License Bureau. The current Contract is up for renewal. Hiivala said an ATM may be placed at the Law Enforcement Center. If approved, the Contract would be sufficient to cover ATM’s placed at multiple locations. Mattson moved to approve the two-year Contract with ROI Moving Supply, seconded by Thelen. In response to Sawatzke, Hiivala said the County receives a monthly commission based on the $0.25/transaction amount. The County receives between $25-$50/month. The motion carried 5-0.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, introduced discussion on the City of Delano’s petition to outlet storm water into County Ditch 34 from an industrial park development. Asleson presented a draft Findings and Order Document. The document outlines background on the petition. The Findings include language addressing Statute requirements on how to address this type of request. Items #1 and #2 in the conditions section outline the fee to be paid by the City of Delano. Those fees are to be placed into a repair fund for future work on Ditch 34. Item #3 outlines conditions suggested by the SWCD on discharge rate. Item #4 will require the County Board and the City to maintain the drainage rights of landowners on the Ditch. Item #5 relates to increasing the City’s portion of ditch benefits by 3.5% as suggested by Ron Ringquist, a consultant hired by the County to provide an expert opinion on how the proposed petition will affect the Ditch. The change in benefits will be effective once changes in land use occur on the property. Item #6 relates to the City sharing in future ditch assessments. The City will be billed directly by the County rather than assessing each individual landowner within the City’s development. Item #7 reflects that the City must reimburse the County for costs associated with the petition including the hiring of the consultant and public hearing costs. Mattson referenced Item #4 and said the County holds the checkbook for the benefitted landowners on the Ditch. He asked if the County Board should be liable for maintenance. Asleson said that any requests for repair must come to the County Board, as drainage authority. County funding is not used for ditch repairs. Thelen referenced Item #3 relating to discharge rates and asked what will happen if the City does not maintain the levels outlined. Asleson said in terms of remedies, the County Board, as the drainage authority, can take action against the City. He said the situation will involve the maintenance of storm water ponds and whether those ponds are clean and serve the functions they are supposed to serve. Russek added that the plans and specifications will have to be reviewed and approved by the City’s engineer and Kerry Saxton, SWCD. Thelen again referenced discharge rates and asked whether there have been scenario’s such as this where an industrial park says they will not tax the system and it happens. Asleson said he could not site specific examples but the improvements would have to be properly designed. It will involve a maintenance type of situation which will be the City’s responsibility. Being this development will be on the County Ditch, the County will have an interest as well. Thelen asked whether this type of situation happened in District 2. Sawatzke said there was an issue in Albertville where there was a request to build a housing development. The City of Albertville was under the impression that their storm sewer plan would work. A dispute occurred between Albertville and the SWCD, as the SWCD didn’t feel the plan would work. Ultimately, the plan did not work and homes were flooded. Sawatzke said the difference in that situation is that the County was not comfortable with the request and therefore did not let them develop. Sawatzke is unsure how the City resolved the flooding issue. Thelen asked whether the SWCD feels the City of Delano’s petition will work. Sawatzke said the opinion of Saxton is that the petition will not increase the rate of water but it will increase the volume of water. Sawatzke said he is unsure how ponds work when they are full and additional heavy rainfall is received. Russek said if ponds are designed properly, they work.
Mattson moved to adopt the Findings and Order relating to the petition by the City of Delano to outlet storm water into County Ditch 34. Russek said the County Board will need to determine the outlet fee and the amount the City will reimburse the County for costs related to the petition. At a previous meeting, Eichelberg suggested an amount between $10,000-$20,000. Eichelberg said that initially he felt the City’s outlet fee should be $20,000. Item #2 of the document says these fees will be placed into a repair fund for the Ditch. He suggested a fee of $15,000. Sawatzke said the County Board needs to keep in mind that this request involves 110 acres. The City’s storm water access fees are thousands of dollars per acre, if not more. He felt the number should be larger given the size of the property and the volume of water. Mattson suggested $20,000. The Board asked about the County’s costs relating to the consultant and the public hearing fees. Asleson said the consultant’s fee is $1,000. There may be some additional costs related to the publishing of the Public Hearing notice. Asleson felt $1,050 would cover the costs. He suggested the fees be due in one month to allow the City time to process their claim. The motion includes setting the outlet fee at $20,000 (Item #2). The motion includes City reimbursement to the County in the amount of $1,050 by 6-30-11 (Item #7). The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.
The Findings and Order document follows:
IN RE: A PETITION BY THE CITY OF DELANO TO OUTLET STORM WATER INTO COUNTY DITCH 34 FINDINGS AND ORDER
The above mentioned matter was considered by the Wright County Board of Commissioners (County Board), as drainage authority for County Ditch 34, at a public hearing held on May 10, 2011, with continued discussion at meetings held on May 17, 2011 and May 31, 2011. The petition concerns a request by the City of Delano (City) to outlet storm water from an industrial park development into the County Ditch 34 drainage system. The lands involved in this request are located in the East Half of Section 3 and the Northeast Quarter of Section 10 of Franklin Township (T.118N. R.25W.) (Subject Property)
WHEREAS, the County Board, as ditch authority for County Ditch 34, has received a petition from the City, requesting that the City be allowed to outlet storm water into County Ditch 34; and
WHEREAS, this matter has properly come before the County Board pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 103E.411, with notice provided by publication three consecutive weeks in the Herald Journal, the County’s legal newspaper, as well as mailed notice to all benefitted landowners on the ditch; and
WHEREAS, the County Board has considered the evaluation and recommendations of Ron Ringquist, contained in his letter of April 12, 2011;
THE COUNTY BOARD, AS DRAINAGE AUTHORITY FOR COUNTY DITCH 34, MAKES THE FOLLOWING FINDINGS:
1) That the lands in the Subject Property are part of the natural watershed for County Ditch 34 and have always drained to the ditch.
2) That the City has shown the necessity for using the drainage system as an outlet and that using the drainage system will be of public benefit and utility.
3) That through the use of storm water ponding and other methods, the City proposes to reduce the discharge rate from the Subject Property to pre-settlement levels.
4) That the City recognizes that they will need to satisfy MPCA and NPDES regulations in designing the storm water system for any industrial development on the Subject Property;
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
That the City of Delano shall be permitted to use County Ditch 34 as an outlet for municipal storm water from the industrial development located on the Subject Property, with the following conditions attached to that approval:
1) That the City shall be assessed an outlet fee of $20,000.00. Said fee shall be paid to the Wright County Auditor prior to any earthwork or other construction related to commercial or industrial development on the Subject Property.
2) That the funds from the outlet fee shall be placed into the repair fund for County Ditch 34 and shall be used for repair work on the ditch as deemed appropriate by the County Board, as drainage authority. Once deposited, these funds shall be expended before any additional ditch assessments are levied against other landowners on the ditch.
3) That the discharge rate from this industrial development shall be controlled so that it is at pre-settlement levels for a 2 year, 10 year and 100 year storm.
4) That all existing rights to a drainage outlet are preserved for property assessed for benefits on County Ditch 34, both upstream and downstream from this industrial development, with those rights to be maintained at least equal to the hydraulic capacity that existed on the date of this Order.
5) That the benefits on Ditch 34 assigned to the Subject Property shall be increased an additional 3.5% of the total benefits on the ditch, thereby proportionally decreasing the benefits to other benefitted landowners on the ditch. Said change in benefits shall be triggered by any earthwork or other construction related to commercial or industrial development on the Subject Property.
6) That, taking into account the increase in benefits contained in the preceding paragraph, the City shall proportionally share in any ditch assessments for future repair or improvement work on County Ditch 34. This condition applies to any land areas within the city limits for which stormwater is outletted into Ditch 34, and this condition shall not attach until the Subject property has been platted for commercial or industrial development. Once that has occurred, the County Auditor may forward any billing statements to the City rather than the individual landowners.
7) That the City shall reimburse the County Auditor in the amount of $1,050.00, said amount representing the cost of the public hearing in this matter and the cost of the County Board’s consultant. Said amount shall be paid by June 30, 2011.
(End of Findings and Order Document)
The claims listing was discussed. Russek referenced claims on Page 16, Integra Realty Resources ($9,000) for appraisal services and Rinke-Noonan ($1,135) for acquisition fees. He asked whether the County does its own appraisal work. Asleson stated that Integra was hired in connection with the CSAH 6 project for the Whispering Pines Golf Course. A condemnation hearing will be held on 6-01-11. The County normally hires an outside appraiser in preparation for a court hearing. Asleson said costs will also involve an hourly fee paid to the appraiser to testify. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 13, Wright County Snowmobile Trail ($8,137.32) for a snowmobile grant. Hiivala explained the Snowmobile Association received State grant funding and the County serves as the pass through agency to accept the funds. The funds received 5-25-11 will be sent to the Snowmobile Trail Association. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, requested the County Board appoint one or two Commissioners to review the draft Road Maintenance Agreement from Corinna Township. Any recommendation upon review would be subject to approval by the County Board. Staff requests further direction before proceeding. Mattson moved to appoint Commissioners Thelen and Eichelberg. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated that a date and time should be established and minutes of the meeting should be taken since there will be two Commissioners present. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Russek said the date and time will be set by those involved but that the meeting should be posted and minutes should be taken. Sawatzke asked Kryzer for his opinion on the draft Agreement. Kryzer felt there will be major revisions. Sawatzke felt Kryzer understands what the Board is trying to accomplish, and Commissioners Eichelberg and Thelen will be present. Sawatzke said he wants a deal but he doesn’t want to give up the County’s rights. He did not want people thinking they can cut down trees, pile up loads of gravel, etc. Norman restated that the Agenda reflecting the date and time of the meeting should be posted three business days in advance of the meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
Bruce Westby, Monticello City Engineer, was present to discuss the City of Monticello’s cost share request for a CSAH 75 underpass between West River Street and the Monticello Nuclear Plant, in conjunction with the County’s CSAH 75 realignment project. Westby was present at the 6-10-11 County Board Meeting with the same request. Discussion was laid over to allow Commissioners an opportunity to attend a Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting held on 5-24-11 to review the draft County Bike and Trailway Plan. The existing CSAH 75 bridge over the BNSF Railroad is being removed as part of the CSAH 75 realignment project. The bridge provided a grade-separated pedestrian crossing for Xcel Energy employees who walked between their facilities. With the removal of the bridge, the construction of an underpass during the CSAH 75 realignment project represents the most cost-effective opportunity for providing another grade-separated pedestrian crossing for CSAH 75. Westby said in the past, he has consulted with the Highway Department to allow an at-grade pedestrian crossing on CSAH 75. The position of the Highway Department, based on studies, is that marked pedestrian crossings on high speed roads (>45 mph) tend to create a false sense of security and pedestrians take chances crossing the roads. The City of Monticello is not able to receive a marked pedestrian crossing for CSAH 75. The only option is a grade-separated crossing on the west end of town. There is a crossing two miles to the east but pedestrians will not navigate two miles to cross at that location. The proposed underpass would be located through an existing low-lying area of the CSAH 75 realignment. This will require minimal grading reducing construction costs. If the underpass is not completed as part of the realignment project, other future options would include an open cut or putting one in by jacking it under CSAH 75. Westby said either of these options would cost at least two to three times more. The City recently completed plans and specifications for a 10’H x 14’W concrete box culvert. The design meets State Aid Standards and is being bid as an alternate to the CSAH 75 realignment project. Bids will be opened 6-07-11. The underpass would include bituminous pavement, interior lighting, and guardrails. The plans include the construction of a pathway connecting the underpass to the City’s existing CSAH 75 pedestrian path that terminates at West River Street, grading for a future path connection to the City’s ball fields at the west end of West River Street along I-94, and grading for a future path connection to Montissippi Regional Park. Storm water ponds are proposed to be constructed with the underpass improvements to prevent flooding of the underpass. Since the ponds and connecting pipes will serve as trunk storm sewer facilities, the City is proposing to pay for this work, as well as the rough grading of the future pathway segment connections. If the County proceeds with a pathway between Clearwater and Monticello on the north side of CSAH 75, Westby said a grade-separated crossing will be needed to connect to the City’s existing pathway on the south side of CSAH 75. The underpass is proposed in close proximity to Montissippi Regional Park and the ball fields. Westby said the underpass will benefit both the City and County by connecting the two pathway systems and will provide access to local and regional facilities. The City requests a cost-sharing contribution of $75,000 from Wright County, or 50% of the estimated construction costs. The City has expended more than $20,000 to prepare plans and specification so the underpass improvements can be bid as an alternate to the CSAH 75 realignment project. Xcel Energy owns significant areas of land on both sides of CSAH 75 so an underpass will benefit Xcel by providing a safe pedestrian crossing. Xcel Energy has agreed to reimburse the City up to $3,500 for the preparation of plans and specifications. Xcel Energy has agreed to provide easements over about 4.5 acres of their land to accommodate the proposed storm water ponds and future pathway segments. Discussions are ongoing between the City and Xcel Energy to determine if additional contributions to the project may be warranted. To date, Xcel has not agreed to provide additional funding. If additional funding is secured, the City and County contribution will be reduced equally. Westby said that the engineer’s estimate for the project is $150,000 but there is the possibility that bids may come in lower than the estimate.
Mattson referenced the underpass improvements completed by Albion Golf Course that cost between $75,000 and $80,000. He asked for an explanation why the cost of this proposed underpass is double. Mattson said the County did not contribute to the Albion Golf Course underpass. Westby said he is unfamiliar with that project and so he could not compare the size, lighting, etc. Mattson would like the City to contact the contractor who worked on the Albion Golf Course underpass. Westby stated that the Golf Course should have funded that improvement as it is for private use. Eichelberg felt the CSAH 75 underpass would be used mostly by residents of the City of Monticello and Monticello Township. When the City of St. Michael constructed an underpass, they funded the project. He referenced the possible trail connection to St. Cloud. The railroad bed was turned back to landowners and the chances of getting that back for a trail are slim to none. Although Eichelberg feels the CSAH 75 underpass is an excellent project, he does not support using County dollars toward the project. Russek said there are not available County highway funds to be used. The County has not paid for an underpass previously and he did not want to set precedence.
Sawatzke felt the City needs to be cautious when it comes to the possible trail connection from Monticello to Clearwater. The concept is being reviewed but it is only one of the things that are proposed in the Trail and Bikeway Plan. The goal for that trail was to use the railroad bed but that is not practical due to the ownership of the properties. There may not be willing sellers. Another possibility that has been discussed is to use the power pole right of way to construct the trail. That right of way crosses CSAH 75 from the south to the north at some point, and he was unsure whether it crosses back again. From a commuter biking standpoint, a trail there would make sense. However, with the noise from the freeway, he did not envision it to be a pleasant ride. Although the trail from Monticello to Clearwater is not a concept that has been dismissed, it is far from certainty as well. He said unfortunately, twenty-five years ago the County returned the railroad bed to the landowners and there is not the ability to get it back. He does not oppose the concept but feels the challenge would be cost, politics and dealing with landowners.
Russek referenced the $3,500 contribution to the underpass project by Xcel Energy and said they could be a more generous corporate neighbor. Westby said they are continuing their discussions with Xcel. Xcel has an existing path segment that runs along the south side of CSAH 75, crosses the railroad tracks, and heads under the existing bridge. Westby felt Xcel Energy wanted to see what the County is willing to contribute. They have a safe crossing that is being removed as part of a County project. Sawatzke said he understands that discussion today involves this specific issue and he does not debate Xcel’s role. However, he wanted to point out that Xcel has been an outstanding member of the community in Monticello. There are four ball fields on Xcel property, which are some of the significant ball fields used by the community for free. He said Xcel has given a lot back to the community. In this project, Xcel has been a player with regard to trading land and right of way. He said other businesses could have taken advantage of that. Sawatzke said Xcel has been a good corporate citizen to this project and to the community. Eichelberg agreed. However, he said the County has to be careful not to set precedence with regard to funding as it relates to a proposed trail. He said it may be many years before an actual trail will lead to another part of the County. Mattson referred to the Albion Golf Course project. He said government is spending twice as much on the underpass. He said if the golf course can build the underpass for $70,000-$80,000, he felt the City should be able to as well.
Sawatzke asked Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, for an alternative crossing option if the economics don’t allow for an underpass. Fingalson said there is not a safer alternative. He said to place an at-grade crossing where it does not belong will create a false sense of security. Studies show that it is better not to put anything in. The best option is a separated crossing. He referenced two areas in Buffalo where there is an at-grade crosswalk and the safety issues associated. He said people do not honor the signs. Eichelberg said it would depend on the speed in the area. Fingalson said this is true but he knows of at least one person who has been hit by a car in the crosswalk by the Post Office in Buffalo. Fingalson said the underpass is clearly the safest option on CSAH 75 and that is why he signed the letter of support.
Thelen said she and Fingalson were involved with the representatives of Xcel Energy with regard to the permit they obtained in order to put up their towers. Part of that approval involved mitigation around a trail. She said Xcel obtained the permit at that time based on the fact they would provide some remediation. She asked Fingalson if he was aware of any further negotiations by the Mississippi River Parkway regarding a trail and by Xcel as far as remediating the visual, visible effects. Fingalson was in contact about one month ago with the Mn/DOT attorney who is involved in this issue. As of then, there had not been a ruling by the Judge. He explained further what Commissioner Thelen was alluding to. The proposal that the County had, supported by Mn/DOT, was that Xcel help pay for paved shoulders on CSAH 75, at an estimated cost of nearly $1 million. The courts have not yet determined a ruling. Xcel Energy is the main company involved in the Cap X2020 project. He said maybe that could be thrown into the mix on the CSAH 75 project. Sawatzke asked if there is funding available, aside from that for road shoulders, to be used for other City and County projects. Fingalson said he was not sure if there was a fund. It involves the profits that are generated from the Cap X2020 project. He said this might be an opportunity to use some of those dollars for mitigation, over and above what they agreed to (signs for Montissippi Park, minor visual things such as berms). Fingalson felt this might be worth pursuing and he offered to check with the Mn/DOT attorney to see if this could be thrown in the mix.
Jeff O’Neill, Monticello City Administrator, extended thanks to the Highway Department for their assistance in the design of the underpass improvements. It has been a cooperative effort to figure out the best way from a technical standpoint to get this accomplished. O’Neill said one of the benefits to the County of the CSAH 75 underpass is that the speeds will be able to be maintained for a long period of time on CSAH 75, as the County will not need to worry about a crossing. He said in the City of Monticello, there are many areas where they wish they had a safe crossing for pedestrians. If they were able to turn back the clock, there might have been instances where they would have put these safe crossings in. Looking forward, the underpass improvement would allow the situation where the County does not have to worry about safety problems. O’Neill said with regard to the issue of setting precedence, he understands that the County would not want to put in a tunnel every time there is a road improvement. In this case, however, the long term opportunity of the railroad overpass has been lost. He viewed the underpass as a replacement. He said in many projects, an off-grade crossing is not being removed. He felt the precedence would be blunted in that the County is replacing one crossing for another. O’Neill extended appreciation to the Board for considering the request and for their support. He said they will continue to work with Xcel to see if they can partner to make this happen.
Fingalson said the bid opening for the CSAH 75 realignment project is 6-07-11 and includes an alternate for the underpass improvements. The bid award will occur on 6-14-11. This allows the City an opportunity to meet on 6-13-11 to award their portion of the project.
Russek said if there was an existing trail on both sides of the road, he might be able to support this request. He said that it may be 20-30 years before there is a trail there. The proposed trail goes along the old railroad bed and as stated, the land was given back long ago to the existing landowners. He did not feel the opportunity would be there to get the land back. He was unsure whether there would ever be a trail there. He did not feel it would be prudent to spend tax dollars on a tunnel to no where. At this time, he did not feel he could support the request.
Fingalson referenced O’Neill’s comments. He said this is an unusual project in that some would feel it is moving backwards to go from a separated crossing to an at-grade crossing. The reason the railroad crossing is being removed is because there was only one train every 4-5 years. He stated that this would make this request unique. He spoke to Mattson’s concerns on the cost difference of the culvert compared to Albion Golf Course. He said that Albion’s underpass is shorter, has no lights, and was constructed 10 years ago so the cost was much less at that time.
Sawatzke asked Fingalson to explain the status of the other funding once it is available (i.e., who controls it, etc.). Fingalson said his understanding that the Cap X2020 group (primarily Xcel Energy with a few other companies involved) had to obtain a permit to place the transmission line along the freeway and CSAH 75. For the privilege of obtaining this permit, there is a mitigation requirement. The County has proposed that mitigation include assistance with placing paved shoulders on CSAH 75 as part of the County’s project. Given the funding situation that exists and the State climate, even though Federal funding will be available, the question is whether there will be enough for the local share. What they attempted to do last fall was to get the Cap X2020 group to commit to paving the shoulders on CSAH 75. Mn/DOT supported the request. Mn/DOT is the chief contact with this group. The issue has been given to a judge who will determine what the appropriate mitigation is. The best case scenario is that the ruling would be that the Cap X2020 project created an eyesore for those that walk and bike in that area. The berms will not completely shield the poles. The request is for them to assist with paving the shoulders on CSAH 75. Fingalson said the Mn/DOT attorney indicated he will contact him as soon as a decision has been rendered. Sawatzke asked the process in determining the cost and reimbursement of the paved shoulders. Fingalson said the amount has already been determined at about $1 million. Thelen said the Wild and Scenic River Group was opposed to the Cap X2020 project coming down CSAH 75. It was a condition of the permit from the Public Utilities Commission and the opinion of the Advisory Task Force (on which Thelen served) that there is a need to mitigate the damage to the river and the river systems. Fingalson said it is the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that will ultimately rule on the mitigation. Thelen said to build along the river is millions cheaper so it was a profitable move for them. Now they are balking at the mitigation. Fingalson said he could contact the PUC to find out whether the underpass project can be thrown in to the mix but he said it may be too far down the line for that. He said that may be a way to compromise since the ruling has not been made yet by the PUC. Sawatzke said Fingalson should make contact to see if this can happen. If Xcel knows they are going to be paying dollars anyway, they may support this underpass being included in the mitigation since they would like to see this happen. Thelen clarified this would be an addition to the mitigation as it is not really on the Cap X2020 line.
Thelen asked Fingalson to clarify whether what is being suggested for change (removal of the railroad crossing) is what is causing the problem. He said that is correct and what makes this request unique. However, in their negotiations with Xcel, he was surprised to learn they were not concerned. They did not bring it up as an issue. Sawatzke felt that was kind of stretch. He said the public does not use that underpass now as a walkway. The only trail over there is a trail on private property for Xcel that is not utilized very often. He said there is the argument that a member of the public may at some point go under the underpass in the future, but no one has done it in the past. He said there will not be the ability to do that in the future, but the improvements are not taking away from what has been done in the past. If there would have been a regional trail with a lot of volume, that would have been an opportunity. Fingalson agreed with the comments by the County Board that Xcel has been a good partner but it certainly would be an advantage to their employees to have a safe crossing between the plant and the training center. This would provide that. He felt this would be a reason to request more funding from them.
Mattson made a motion to deny the cost sharing request from the City of Monticello for the CSAH 75 pedestrian underpass improvements. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke stated that no action would be an option as well, especially if something is worked out with mitigation on the Cap X2020 project. Sawatzke suggested withdrawing the motion. That would provide an opportunity for something else to be worked out with the request other than giving the City money, whether it is through the Cap X202 funding or something else. Mattson said it would bother him to go forward with approval because of the cost of the project. The motion to deny the cost sharing request from the City was withdrawn by Mattson and Eichelberg. The consensus of the Board was to take no action at this time.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 5-25-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Norman made the following changes to the minutes: Page 1, Item IV, 1st paragraph, 8th & 9th lines should read, “Brad Hatfield, Jail/LEC Building Maintenance Supervisor, did respond to the call. He began what was needed to protect the building from further damage.”; Page 2, 1st paragraph, 1st line, delete the second “current” from the sentence. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
I. WRIGHT-HENNEPIN SECURITY SYSTEM (Human Services Board Item).
II. MOTION DETECTOR LIGHTS @ H.S.C. (Human Services Board Item).
III. FINANCIAL SERVICES PAPER CASE FILE STORAGE OPTIONS (Human Services Board Item).
IV. UPDATE ON H.S.C. REPAIRS.
DeMars asked Elletson to provide an update on how the staff at HSC were notified about the truck accident on 4-23-11. Elletson stated that she received a call from Deb Swanson, Social Services Supervisor, who was out of town. Swanson was notified by another staff member whose daughter drove by the HSC and saw a truck in the side of the building. Elletson stated that she contacted DeMars after she received the call. Wright Hennepin was not alerted of the incident. Hayes stated that Dispatch contacted Al Buskey, Building Maintenance Supervisor, who was unavailable. Dispatch had trouble contacting Don Mleziva and Dick Norman. Brad Hatfield, Jail/LEC Building Maintenance Supervisor did respond to the call. He began what was needed to protect the building from further damage. Hayes stated that he sees there is a breakdown in connecting to the right people; making the decision making channels difficult. Eichelberg asked whether this type of incident is part of the COOP Plan. Nolan stated no.
DeMars stated that Wright Hennepin is confused on who the main points of contact should be in an incident such as this. Hayes asked if Human Services has a written protocol regarding emergency contacts. Elletson stated that Human Services does, however, it is outdated. A meeting is scheduled tomorrow to determine a procedure regarding who should be contacted if there is an electrical outage, loss of temperature control in the data room, building maintenance issues, etc. Nolan stated that there are four different lists of emergency contacts depending on the situation. The lists need to be updated as employees retire or change responsibilities. DeMars stated that he would like some current emergency lists for Wright Hennepin. He asked who would take lead on the creation and updating of the emergency contact lists. Mattson suggested that Buskey, Nolan, and Human Services should sit down and formulate a plan. Eichelberg stated that he would recommend that Human Services write down their concerns and forward them to the COOP Committee for discussion.
DeMars, Hayes, and Nolan provided a brief report on the HSC repairs since the accident. DeMars stated that there has been some discussion within the building regarding when and how much of the carpet within the HSC will be replaced. Hayes stated that 80% or more of the affected carpeted areas will be replaced. Hayes stated that there is a plan that illustrates which areas will receive carpet replacement. The County Board approved the plan and the cost for the carpet replacement. Hayes stated that the areas that were minimally affected by water exposure were dried immediately and sanitized. A claims adjuster came out to the site to view the damage and discuss carpet and tile replacement. Hayes stated that DeMars can assure staff that the County is replacing the majority of the carpet that was stained or severely soaked.
Hayes stated that the carpet has been ordered. He stated that it would be approximately three weeks before the carpet would be replaced. A company has to come in and lift fifteen cubes so that the carpet can be replaced. There was discussion about relocating staff during the carpet replacement project. Elletson and DeMars informed Hayes that a large training session has been scheduled within the training room; therefore, the carpet will need to be replaced in that area by 6-09-11.
Hayes stated that Ernst Construction has been trying to work on the structure but has been delayed by the weather. Ernst Construction estimated that it would be at least five weeks to complete the construction. One of the women’s bathrooms has been closed near the construction zone. Hayes stated that he appreciates staff staying clear of that area.
As of today’s date, Nolan stated that the County has received three invoices for services related to the HSC accident. The three invoices have an approximate total of $2,000. The invoices are from the security alarm and fire company, structural engineer, and the plumber. MCIT has reimbursed the County for two of the invoices. The other invoice is in process for reimbursement. MCIT has been easy to work with during this process.
(End of 5-25-11 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 5-25-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke stated that the Committee discussed at length the Sheriff’s request to extend the Administration hours at the LEC and how the office should try to schedule to avoid overtime. This included discussion on a situation where an employee has a day off and works an extra 1.5 hours on Thursday. This would not put them in an overtime position but would place them in a position to be compensated for 41.5 hours. The Committee does not want this to occur. Sawatzke said the best scenario may be to have the employee report for work 1.5 hours late on Thursday. He said the final recommendation of the Committee was to authorize extension of the hours at the LEC Administration Office on Thursdays to 6:00 P.M. and that employees should not exceed a total of 40 hours per week. Every effort should be made not to exceed the 40-hour work week. The Committee recognizes there may be rare circumstances where this occurs but they want the norm to be keeping the employees’ hours within 40 hours per week. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and actions, seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson referenced the last Overtime Report which reflects that $11.00 has been spent for overtime relating to issuing gun permits. He questioned the cost associated with approval of the request to extend the business hours at the LEC. Sawatzke said they are asking the Department not to incur overtime. The Committee would like the employee who is going to work until 6:00 PM on Thursday to possibly start at 9:30 AM instead of 8:00 AM. The other option would be for the employee to leave early on another day. The goal is for the employee not to exceed 40 hours in a work week. They can also use comp time. Sawatzke said Hagerty felt that this could be done except in rare exceptions, such as when coverage is provided for others on sick or vacation leave. Russek said that this is being done on a trial period and if it is deemed that it is not worthwhile, it will be discontinued. Eichelberg said the success of this can be discussed after a period of time. Sawatzke said the License Bureau used to be open until 8:00 PM on Thursday. They are now open until 6:00 PM. They determined that the majority of people come in by that time. The motion carried 5-0:
I. REQUEST FROM SHERIFF TO EXTEND ADMINISTRATION HOURS.
Hagerty stated that the Sheriff’s Office would like to extend their Administration hours on Thursdays until 6:00 p.m., similar to the License Bureau’s extended hours. Members of the public who are interested in purchasing a Permit to Carry or inquiring about Civil Process often cannot take time off work to get to the Sheriff’s Office by 4:30 p.m. Hagerty stated that extending hours shows that County government is somewhat flexible to better serve the public. He stated that staff would be scheduled utilizing overtime, flex time, or comp time only as necessary. He stated that he did not see this as being a consistent cause for overtime. The Sheriff’s Office monitors the overtime reports and tries to be prudent with its budget. Sawatzke asked Hagerty if he could agree to avoid utilizing overtime. A discussion ensued about how the schedules would be managed to avoid the use of overtime. Petersen reminded the Committee that the County Board does not allow for flexible scheduling. She asked whether there would be a set schedule. Sawatzke stated that he did not think that would work. Hagerty stated that the scheduling would not be considered flex time; employees would be scheduled based on actual hours worked during the week in order to avoid overtime. Petersen asked Hagerty whether he would consider negating the service if he found that people were not coming in to utilize the service. Hagerty stated yes. This request is to attempt to provide some public outreach. Sawatzke stated that the goal is to avoid overtime. Kelly stated that as long as this request should be to serve the public and not to benefit certain employees. Employees should not be allowed to pick the hours they want to work. Sawatzke stated that there is an understanding to keep employees within their 40-hour work week. Eichelberg asked Hagerty not to proceed with the request until today’s minutes have been approved by the County Board. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the Sheriff’s Office to extend their Administration hours on Thursdays to 6:00 p.m. Employees should not exceed a total of 40 hours per week.
II. REPORT ON BAILIFFS WORKING THURSDAY EVENINGS.
Howell stated that Todd Korbel, Sergeant, has been doing his best to schedule his employees in the Government Building later on Thursday evenings without utilizing overtime. This has been done to accommodate the License Bureau’s request for coverage. He has run into a few scheduling problems. Korbel will start to schedule a Bailiff on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. to work until 6:00 p.m. with the understanding that if Howell needs to cover a shift in the morning, he would do so. This scheduling is being done to avoid overtime. Hagerty stated that he has received feedback from Becky Aanerud, License Bureau Supervisor, that the employees find it reassuring to have a Bailiff presence during the extended Thursday hours. Petersen explained that the two part-time Civilian Bailiffs that work the Thursday late shift do not receive overtime. They are also on a different pay scale and classification than Deputies.
III. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL, WAYNE FINGALSON, HIGHWAY ENGINEER. Based on the review of four performance appraisals submitted the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional”.
(End of 5-25-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Sawatzke announced the Bertram Park Family Fun Day event being held June 11th. He thought the event hours will be 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Information can be obtained on the Wright County or City of Monticello websites. This event is being held at no cost to the taxpayers. It is being sponsored by Xcel Energy, Cargill of Monticello, Fibernet of Monticello, Moon Motors, Clearwater Outfitters, Wright Hennepin, Veolia, and New River Medical. Some of the events include a horse-drawn carriage, fishing, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, animals. Concessions are available at a cost, but families can elect to bring their own picnic lunches. The concession stand will be operated by the Lions Club, who will contribute the proceeds to the Friends of Bertram Lakes group.
Albion Township. $1,188.60
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 19,595.56
Allina Hospitals & Clinics Sp 242.17
Ameripride Services 364.38
Annandale Rock Products 250.72
Anoka County Sheriff 14,881.96
Aqua Green Lawns 145.00
Aramark Services Inc. 6,142.17
Barnes Distribution 626.87
Boyer Truck Parts 486.60
BP Amoco 2,365.71
CDW Government Inc. 1,894.51
Cenex Fleetcard 1,576.31
Center Point Energy 1,381.17
Centra Sota Cooperataive - E 62,766.24
Climate Air 3,497.48
Concept Financial Group 113.88
CPS Technology Solutions 525.00
Crop Production Services II 433.65
Croteau Plumbing 530.00
Dakota Cty Technical Colle 180.00
Distagage Com 1,014.00
Emergency Physicians Prof 100.50
Expert Automotive & Marine 270.40
Gilbarco Inc. 187.03
Going Under Dive Center 368.42
Gopher State One Call 159.05
Goulds Towing 165.52
Granite Pest Control Serv 305.89
Highway Technologies Inc. 713.93
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 448.88
Integra Realty Resources 9,000.00
Integrated Fire & Security 424.34
Interstate Automotive 138.93
Interstate Battery Systems 356.75
Kustom Signals Inc. 172.50
LaPlant Demo Inc. 614.55
Lund Industries Inc 117.78
Marco Inc. 2,909.51
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 616.38
Mini Biff LLC 134.58
MN Counties Computer Coop 150.00
MN Monitoring Inc. 2,815.75
MN Safety Council 1,605.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 986.91
Mountain Stream Sports & A 198.18
Mumford Sanitation 1,034.34
Northern States Power Com 528.45
Office Depot 1,173.07
Penn Auto Glass LLC 270.00
Performance Kennels Inc. 176.90
Rigid Hitch Incorporated 135.05
Royal Tire Inc. 2,964.01
Russell Security Resource 390.00
Ryan Chevrolet 2,920.54
SHI International Group 678.66
Specialty Turf & Ag 438.19
Terminal Supply Co. 350.83
Traffic Marking Service Inc. 146,551.68
University of Minnesota 100.00
Vance Brothers Inc. 4,704.15
Verizon Wireless 826.72
Walmart Store 01-1577 2,606.10
Wright Co. Snowmobile Trail 8,137.32
Wright County Court Admin 320.00
Wright County Highway Dept 401.90
Wright Hennepin Coop Electric 4,407.45
Wurm Construction/Keith 6,000.00
Xcel Energy 1,207.94
Zep Sales & Services 707.13
32 Payments less than $100 1,692.24
Final total $346,399.72
The meeting adjourned at 10:27 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 27, 2011.