Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JUNE 28, 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 Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the 6-21-11 County Board Minutes as presented.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #4, “Resolution RE: Performance Measurement Program” (Norman). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke asked to remove for discussion Item A2, “Refer Administrative Clerk Position Opening To The Personnel Committee.” On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: D. Maurer, Aud./Treas.; C. Barthel, R. Hagel, R. Hill, R. Jenson, D. Pace, W. Vogel, Bldg. Maint.; K. Schrode, Hwy.; B. Malinski, IT; C. Hemming, E. Leander, J. Rivers, R. Rolfzen, G. Sorensen, P. Walker, J. Wirkkula, Sher./Corr.
3. Set Closed Meeting, 10:30 A.M., 7-19-11, RE: Hagerty Litigation.
4. Claim, Madden Galanter Hansen, $1,176.18.
B. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Approve Renewal Of Annual 3.2 On Sale Malt Liquor License For “Albion Ridges Golf Course” (Albion Twp.).
C. HIGHWAY
1. Set Bid Opening Date For CSAH 34 Reclaim/Overlay, 8-02-11 @ 9:30 A.M.
2. Approve Funding Participation/Construction Agreement With City Of Hanover For Trail Construction Along CSAH 19.
Sawatzke made a motion to move discussion of Item A2, “Refer Administrative Clerk Position Opening To The Personnel Committee” to Items For Consideration #1, during review of the Personnel Committee Minutes. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried unanimously.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said the County Board previously approved renewal of the contract for the ATM in the Government Center. He requested approval to place an ATM at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). A $700 cost is involved to run a data jack. Hiivala proposed this be funded from Site Improvements. On a motion by Mattson, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the request.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, recommended setting an electronics collection for Wright County residents on 8-20-11 from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. and to waive the $20.00 collection fee. The collection will be held at the Wright County Compost and Recycling Facility. Stephens has received comments from the public and Commissioners on a possible weekend collection. Assistance will be provided by the Sentence-To-Service (STS) crew. Stephens asked for Board consideration on overtime pay for Planning & Zoning staff that day since the event will be held on a Saturday. After discussion, it was suggested that an agreement could be worked out with the Union that in lieu of overtime hours, the employees could agree to take time worked off another day (hour for hour, not computed at an overtime rate). Sawatzke said given the professional and highly skilled staff in the Planning & Zoning Office, the hourly rate paid would be much higher than if they hired someone else to do it. Stephens felt staff may be agreeable to this type of an arrangement. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the County has a Memorandum of Agreement with the 49er’s relating to the Fair. The 49er’s prefer an hour-for-hour basis for the compensatory time calculated, although there is a provision for overtime. Norman could negotiate with the Teamsters Union to see if they would be amenable to that type of an arrangement. If participation is considered voluntary, then employees would not be required to work at the collection. Sawatzke stated that if the Teamsters Union is not agreeable, then Planning & Zoning staff should be asked to volunteer. Mattson referenced the balance of the SCORE Fund and asked whether those funds could be used toward the cost of employee time at this collection. Stephens said most of the funds are used toward recycling and operating costs of the Compost Facility. He felt employee hours at the collection would be an eligible use of SCORE funding. It was the consensus that employees should not incur overtime for hours worked at the collection. Sawatzke asked for the estimated volume of material that could be brought in and the expected cost. Stephens said they are working with Dynamic Recycling out of Lacrosse, Wisconsin. The County will pay $.15/lb. for television and electronics. The County receives a rebate on CPU’s. Dynamic Recycling will send a check to the County for any materials they market. In the past, the County has received $3,000-$4,000 from Dynamic Recycling from the normal collection. The collection in 2008 came at no cost to the County. In 2009, the County received around $8,000 from Dynamic Recycling. He said the County’s total cost was $3,000-$4,000 for the entire collection. Sawatzke moved to authorize Stephens to offer the electronics collection day on 8-20-11 from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. and to waive the $20.00 collection fee that day at the Compost Facility. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0. Sawatzke made a motion to authorize the Coordinator to work with Planning & Zoning Administration to develop an agreement for an hour-per-hour trade in time for that day (allowing the employee to take time off at a later date). The motion was seconded by Thelen. Mattson inquired whether the STS crew will be assisting. Stephens said that they will be present. The time frame of 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. was selected as that is when the STS crew is available. It would be difficult to hold the collection without the STS crew. In the past, 20-30 people have assisted with the collections. Mattson asked about liability insurance. Stephens said he has contacted the Administration Office in prior years on liability issues with volunteers. He would have to look at past files to determine coverage. The motion carried 5-0.
Stephens asked that the Board authorize signatures on an updated MN Department of Agriculture Cooperative Agreement for a waste pesticide collection and on an amendment to the Cooperative Agreement increasing the local program cost reimbursement. The current Agreement stipulates that Wright County will accept only non-agricultural or non-commercial waste pesticides. Two agricultural and commercial waste pesticide collections conducted in Wright County by the MDA in 2008 and 2009 yielded 1,331 lbs and 605 lbs of collected material, respectively. Stephens recommended expanding the Agreement to include agricultural and commercial waste pesticides based on these figures. The current Agreement with the MDA compensates the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program $.25/lb. for overhead costs related to collecting non-agricultural or non-commercial waste pesticides. Stephens said the amendment to the Agreement will add an additional $.10/lb. for the HHW Program as the County will complete the record keeping and data entry. He said these things were being done for the most part already. Thelen made a motion to authorize signatures on the updated Cooperative Agreement with the MDA for Waste Pesticide Collection and on an amendment to the Cooperative Agreement increasing the local program cost reimbursement. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
Commissioner Mattson left the meeting at 9:19 A.M. to attend a funeral.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, presented the 6-07-11 Kramer Avenue/Corinna Township Task Force Meeting Minutes. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Thelen. Russek said he has a problem with making Kramer Avenue a County road. He viewed it as a private road and was unsure why the County would want to take it over. The property owners could be given an easement to utilize the road through the Park. Kryzer said that this is considered County Park property. The goal is to resolve the issue of ownership and who controls the road. Kryzer presented two draft resolutions. The first would declare Lathrop and Kramer Avenues as a County road. The second would declare Lathrop and Kramer Avenues as a Park road and as a minimum-maintenance road. Sawatzke shared Russek’s concern. He said the residents of Wright County own the road and the County has jurisdiction over it. He did not want to turn the road into something it is not. An easement allows property owners to travel through the Park to gain access to their properties. If that makes it a County road, then so be it. Eichelberg said he understands this is the process that must be followed (the resolutions) in order to make the road a cartway. Thelen said Lathrop Avenue has been maintained by the Township. The Township receives reimbursement through the annual mileage reimbursement sheet. She said that is the whole problem; it is fairly ambiguous on who owns what and who is responsible for maintenance on each tract. Sawatzke asked for clarification of whether a minimum maintenance road is a cartway. Kryzer said under MN Statute 163.11, there is a process for vacating a road and making it a cartway. Following that process would open it up to a person filing a petition within 30 days against the County for vacating it and then they can go after damages. After research, Kryzer said the process would be geared more toward a minimum maintenance road. A minimum maintenance road, according to Statute, may be maintained at a level less than a minimum maintenance standard for a state aid highway but it must be maintained at a level required to serve occasional intermittent traffic. Kryzer said there are currently 8-10 in-holdings and most of the people live there on a seasonal basis. There is one homeowner that lives there year round and the road is basically being maintained for that traffic. Kryzer stated that if the resolution is adopted, the County would most likely have to maintain the road. In going forward, the thought is to take over the road and then negotiate an agreement with Corinna Township. Thelen said maintenance is not discussed in the resolutions. She asked whether Kryzer intended to table the resolutions. Kryzer said his intent is to table them and then to contact Tim Young, the attorney representing Corinna Township, to discuss some type of agreement. One unresolved issue in the maintenance agreement is who owns the road. Corinna Township does not want to forfeit their rights and neither does the County. Following this process is a way to declare it as a County road and then move on to the maintenance issue. Thelen said maintenance is the issue. Currently, the road is not being maintained and it is rapidly deteriorating due to washouts. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, visited the site yesterday. He said maintenance was recently completed on the road and he assumed this was done by the Township. At this point, the road is in nice condition. He agreed that it was not in good condition a week ago. Thelen asked Kryzer for a timeline. Kryzer said he will contact Tim Young based on conversation of the Board today and try to get something developed. Corinna Township only meets twice per month and the County would also need time to negotiate. It was the consensus that the Board would not act on the two resolutions today but would authorize Kryzer to contact the Attorney for Corinna Township. The motion carried 4-0 to approve the Task Force Minutes:
Kryzer opened the meeting by distributing a copy of a letter and a proposed Road Maintenance Agreement (with Corinna Township) that he had received from the firm of Young & Brown, LLP (referencing Minnesota Statutes, Section 160.05) and a copy of the Minnesota Statute (163.11) that addresses the issue of road authority under certain circumstances. The purpose of the meeting today was to discuss the agreement that has been proposed by Corinna Township and to formulate a response to them. Kryzer stated that he has some concerns with the agreement and would like to discuss possible changes that would protect the interests of the Wright County. Kryzer stated that there is somewhat of an ambiguous understanding of who owns this particular road (Kramer Avenue). He would like to have a consensus that this is county owned and needs to be declared as such, and Corinna Township needs to acknowledge this. Without that step, the County will not be able to move forward with any decisions regarding the maintenance on it. Mattice said that he is not interested in being responsible for the maintenance of this road, but Kryzer said that since this is county property, the agreement should be drafted with the maintenance premise in mind. Thelen commented that she thought it was unclear about the road. She knows it is a county park, but asked if the roads could be private easements even though nothing is recorded relative to that. Kryzer said that he found one easement for one property in the far northwest section, and that is the only property with an easement to it. The surveyors have pinpointed the road so that they know exactly where it is according to the record. Eichelberg asked what right that gives them, and Kryzer stated that it is defined by what it says, which gives them the right to travel up and down the road, but it implies no responsibility on the part of the County to keep it maintained. He referred to Minnesota Statute 160.165, which addresses transfer of ownership of property, after improvements and/or maintenance have been taken care of for a period of five to six years by a user but a non-owner, and said that case law is pretty much against taking of county property in instances like this. Eichelberg said that if the County agrees that all of the land within the park, plus the roadway, is county property, then Wright County has the authority to decide what will be allowed to be done with this roadway. Jobe said that his research acknowledges that the county owns property, except for the in-holdings. There is no doubt that there has been a road, or trail, for a long time, but there has never been a claim that this is a township road or a document to that effect. Thelen added that if the county owns the land, then the county also owns the road, and Kryzer agreed with her. There was some discussion about Lathrop Avenue because it leads to the disputed area, a short roadway that ‘Y’s’ off to the southeast and northwest. Corinna Township maintains that Lathrop and Kramer Avenues belong to the Township and that they have been maintaining them for a number of years and have been claiming them on the Township Mileage Certifications reports that are due annually. However, Jobe said that the easement starts at the county road, follows Lathrop to Kramer Avenue and goes northwest from there. That easement is from Wright County. What people are claiming is clouding who really owns it and who should maintain it. Kryzer emphasized that the County needs to resolve, one way or the other, who owns the road. If it is determined that this is Wright County property, it will always be park property and it should be maintained as a county right-of-way access. If we want to allow Corinna the right to maintain it, that would be fine also. Mattice commented that he doesn’t have either the equipment or the staff to maintain that road. Jobe suggested that this could be thought of as a minimum maintenance system or as a cartway. Mattice said that Wright County used to have an agreement with Corinna Township for Lathrop where they did the grading and Wright County paid a share of that cost, this agreement was for Lathrop. He said that he understood that this was more of a ‘handshake’ agreement and that it occurred before he came to the Wright County Parks Department. Thelen again reminded everyone that Corinna Township includes Lathrop on the maps that they submit annually and asked if there is anything the County can do for Corinna to make the prospect of maintaining this roadway more attractive. Kryzer said that it is important to first establish that this is county property. Eichelberg said that he tends to lean toward making this a county road and then get figures from Corinna Township of what it costs to maintain it. Perhaps the County could give assistance in maintaining it. He thinks that the County would have some responsibility before Corinna does, but he is not ready to decide on a dollar amount just yet. He said that if this is designated as a county road, then there will be a better base to start negotiating and it will be for the benefit of the people who live along that road. Mattice said that this issue of road maintenance/ownership has been a problem for a long time. The goal was to pay attention to what people are using and not using, and if further encroachment occurs, the County would talk to the landowners about it, which would be more than just a road issue. He said that there has always been a handshake agreement that Corinna Township did the maintenance on Lathrop. The Parks Department used to do some wood splitting activities at the end of Kramer Avenue, but they don’t have the shed anymore and they don’t have the equipment to maintain this road properly. All landowners, since the park shed was torn down and Corinna Township now maintains the roadway, can at least drive on the roadway to their homes.
Thelen suggested that this be designated as a county road and that the County pay Corinna Township to maintain it. She doesn’t think that Corinna should share in the cost of maintaining it. Eichelberg suggested that the County take it over and then revert it to a cartway, which would require minimal maintenance and not cost as much to maintain as it has in the past. Perhaps the Wright County Highway Department could maintain it during the summer months. Mattice said that he thinks that maintenance is defined well in the proposed agreement, and Kryzer said that it is a fine definition, but it doesn’t say anything about the costs. Mattice said that the Parks Commission doesn’t feel that this roadway benefits the parks system at all since there is no activity at the end of the road. It is not a designated access for fishing, so it can’t be identified as such. Kryzer said that if the County takes this road over, he would work with Young & Brown, LLP to develop a new agreement. He suggested that they be contacted to inform them that this is a county road before moving forward. It should be acknowledged that this is a county road and county property, and then an agreement could be considered. Mattice said that this would be taking a virtually non-existent road and turning it into a public road. Kryzer commented that some governmental agencies do not take specific action to protect private property, and that there needs to be a greater public benefit if improvements are to be done. Perhaps the access point could become a public access point. Mattice said that if this were to be promoted as an access point, then there would have to be a designated parking area; but there is not room to have a parking area, so that would leave the impression that the Parks Department is promoting driving on ice in the winter, and they will not do that. He suggested that this be designated as public benefit for wildlife viewing and scenic value, and Kryzer agreed that there could be a consensus that there is a public benefit for viewing and nature area.
There was a general consensus that this roadway should be designated as a county property, and then after that, it should be designated as an “existing travel route,” after which time the County could move forward and contact Corinna’s attorney and work out an agreement for maintenance.
(End of Kramer Avenue/Corinna Township Task Force Minutes)
Eichelberg moved to table the two resolutions on Lathrop & Kramer Avenues until such time that Kryzer has an opportunity to speak with the Corinna Township attorney to let him know that the Kramer Avenue/Corinna Township Task Force Minutes were approved and what the intent of the Board is at this time. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 4-0.
A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting was held on 6-20-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented the minutes. The minutes are reflected below along with discussion which occurred at today’s County Board Meeting (reflected in italics):
Mattson said that he would like to bring to the attention of this committee Doug Triplett’s (Albion Township Treasurer) concerns about that portion of CSAH 6 between CSAHs 35 and 37. Triplett thought it was on the five-year plan and said that it is in very poor condition. Mattson said that he researched his own records and couldn’t find evidence that it had been part of a five-year plan, and Fingalson agreed that it had not been on the five-year plan, but that it is on the 10-year work plan. Hawkins concurred with that. Fingalson said that the condition/needs of this road can be reviewed and assessed, and the Board can determine if they wish to add it to the five-year plan when a meeting is held (possibly later this year) to discuss changes.
Otsego Levee
Kryzer said that he had received signed easements for two parcels on the Otsego levee on the Mississippi River and is waiting for the others to be returned. He had a discussion with Otsego’s acting city administrator, and the council will be asked to approve an easement for Parcel 11, which is city owned. Kryzer presented a copy of a proposed maintenance agreement that came about as a result of concerns that Parcel 1’s owners had about the potential for damage to their property during maintenance activities. He said that under levee rules, the damage would have to be fixed anyway, but the owners indicated that they wanted a separate agreement. This agreement would not require more than the levee rules already require. If the owners want this agreement, Kryzer said that he would probably put it on the County Board’s consent agenda without contacting them further. If other property owners want the same agreement, he will run those through on the consent agenda also. Again, this does not require any additional maintenance over what the levee rules require.
The owner of Parcel 15-31-13 would like to donate his property to the city or the county. It is currently assessed at $2,000 and he has no use for it. Sawatzke suggested that someone go out to the site and see if there might be any value to it or determine if it would be a liability instead. If the county doesn’t want it, maybe the city would take it. If it were to be acquired, then it would need to be maintained and mowed and brushed out. Kryzer said that he had had a discussion with the owner, and the owner wanted him to present this to the Board. Eichelberg suggested that someone from the City of Otsego go with if a site inspection is done, and Fingalson said that there is already adequate access to the levee without acquiring that parcel.
Kryzer said that he also wanted to make the Board aware that there are lots of trees in the 15-foot setback area of Parcel 26. The Army Corps of Engineers required that there be a 15-foot area, closest the levee, clear of trees and brush. Meyer said that these trees were not disturbed when the levee was built. They are original trees along the river itself, and he thought that they might be better off leaving them there. The Corps is saying that they want them taken down because they weaken the levee. Kryzer said that the property owners on both Parcels 25 and 26 are very accepting that the trees be taken down. One of the other owners would also like to see the County remove a shed that is on the property. It is a steel-sided barn shed, two stories tall, and he doesn’t want it anymore. Sawatzke said that this might be another reason to go to the site and take a look, and Russek added that he is not sure if the County should get involved in taking down private property. Kryzer said that this is on private property. The trees in the 15-foot setback area along the river can be observed, and then they can go from there.
Kryzer said that the last issue to discuss is the box factory that is on Parcels 22 and 23. According to the Army Corps, a structural stability analysis needs to be done, because this covered structure exists on the levee crown with a retaining wall cut into the landside slope of the levee. The retaining wall was not likely designed as a flood control structure and is susceptible to failure during a flood event. Kryzer contacted Braun Intertec for an estimated cost to do the study, and they quoted a price of $23,138. This would include drilling service, soil observations and testing, staking and utility clearance, and engineering consulting services. It would not include any repair or reconstruction work. It would only result in a recommendation of what work is needed to repair the damage. There was some discussion about the availability of services from the Army Corps itself, but apparently they are not willing to do this study. Kryzer said that he could try to work out something with the property owner and maybe split the fees. Perhaps if the county paid for the study, the landowner might agree to pay for the corrections. Fingalson said that the figure of $23,000 seemed high, and Kryzer said that he was surprised by the amount. Technically, the county does not have an easement to this property, so the owner can do pretty much what he wants. Mattson said that he had worked with Braun Intertec a number of years ago and they provided very qualified services, and they were the least expensive firm at that time for the services he needed. Thelen suggested that Kryzer seek estimates from other consultants, and Sawatzke suggested that a site inspection be done on this property.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that three actions be taken:
1) Kryzer contact other consultants (with Fingalson’s help) to get financial estimates for a geotechnical evaluation to determine the structural stability of the levee on Parcels 22 and 23 and to share that information with the County Board members at a future time.
2) That the Army Corps of Engineers be contacted to find out what they recommend be done with the trees that are on the river side of the levee where they seem to add to rather than detract from the stability of the levee.
3) That Sawatzke, Russek, Kryzer, Fingalson, and Meyer do a site inspection of these parcels (22 & 23, 25 & 26, and 15-31-13), and that Dana Werner (Army Corps) and Otsego City be invited to join in this site inspection.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, stated that he will provide some possible dates for a site inspection at a future Board Meeting. Dana Werner, Army Corps, is involved in flood relief efforts in Minot, North Dakota, and so there has been a delay in scheduling the inspection.
Options for Heritage Center Parking Lot and Driveway
The parking lot at the Heritage Center is in need of a new surface, and an estimate for seal coating (from Seal King) is about $2,600, while an estimate for a total rebuild is about $38,000 - 46,000. Meyer said that he has a call into Pearson Brothers, the same company that was awarded the 2011 seal coating contract for Wright County highways this year. They recommend a different rock, which is better for walking traffic, but it may be more expensive than the quote that was received from Seal King. Sawatzke said that if a sealcoat could preserve the surface for three to five years, perhaps a rebuild could be done when TH 25 is reconstructed, currently planned for 2015. The entrance may be changed at that time, and then would be a good time to do the rebuild. He recommended going with the lower cost of seal coating, and hopefully, that will last until TH 25 is reconstructed. Sawatzke said that Wright County is responsible for 100% of the maintenance of the parking lot/driveway of the Historical Society. Meyer said that it would make sense to check out the work that Seal King has done and see how the product is holding up. The estimate from Pearson Brothers will be higher, because the rock (trap rock) they use is more expensive. It lies flat and is easier to walk on than traditional seal coat rock, and it lessens damage to the surface from turning movements (by tires on hot days). Sawatzke suggested that the staff check out a couple of jobs that Seal King has completed, get a quote from another firm, and then make a recommendation to the Board. A rebuild won’t be considered at this time.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that the Highway Department check out the quality of seal coating jobs done by Seal King, that they get a quote for surfacing from Pearson Brothers, and that they make a recommendation to the County Board at the June 28, 2011 meeting.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson stated that he has not received a quote from Pearson Brothers for the Heritage Center parking lot. Steve Meyer recently looked at one of the seal coating jobs completed by Seal King. Although it looked nice, Fingalson said Meyer was not overly impressed and compared it to the look of black paint. Fingalson said Meyer feels a preferred product would be a seal coat with more of a trapped rock surface. Fingalson said that type of product is more appropriate for parking lots. Since the TCOTW Meeting, Fingalson has learned that due to funding, the TH 25 project has been modified. The State is not looking at completing the portion of TH 25 between CR 106 and CR 138. The portion that will be completed with be from Buffalo to the north, just past CR 138. The improvements will not go as far as the Heritage Center. On the north end of TH 25, the improvements will be from Monticello south to CR 106. Given that information, Fingalson said that he can obtain an estimate from Pearson Brothers and other sources. Russek said the product selected should last a minimum of 3-5 years. Fingalson said the Seal King product will provide a nice looking surface. He had this surface applied to his private driveway about 4 years ago and it is holding up. The difference at the Heritage Center is that there will be more turning movements so it is probably not a good comparison. It is an emulsion product with some stability but it does not have the surface to resist wear from more turning movements. Leander Wetter, Historical Society President, said there are a few times during shows where there are tractors on trailers that use the parking lot. He felt the Historical Society Board and staff would like to see something with sand or rock applied to the surface. With the recent changes in the TH 25 project, he suggested the selection of a product that may last longer. The preference would be a better type of seal coat rather than an overlay. Sawatzke questioned cost estimates of the two products. The minutes reference an estimate of $2,600 for the Seal King product. Fingalson felt the seal coat product would be around $3,500-$4,000. Sawatzke felt the County should proceed with the seal coat product given the difference in cost. Russek said that the recommendation is for Fingalson to seek quotes and obtain further information. Eichelberg suggested that if the price difference between the two products is only $1,000-$2,000, the recommendation of the Highway Department should be adequate. Russek said the consensus is that if the work can be done for under $4,000, the Highway Department should proceed. If the cost is over that, Fingalson should bring the topic back for discussion.
Township Signing Program
Wright County townships have been chosen to participate in a federally funded program to replace all township signs, including their street names signs, with new upgraded signs. The townships will have to pay a 20% match of the estimated $839,000 total. A consultant will be hired to do all the inventory for both counties (Stevens County is also included in this project) of all the regulatory and warning signs, map out the replacements for each county, and develop a sign inventory data base for all the townships for the purpose of maintenance. Townships will be responsible for the maintenance of their signs, and if they don’t properly maintain them, the county will be charged (since the federal government deals directly with the counties, not the townships). Fingalson asked if the county would be willing to front the money or if the townships should be required to do so. He plans to update the townships at the July 6th Wright County Township Officers meeting. The amount for each township would be determined by the number of signs they have, but the average would be $7,000 - $12,000, depending on how long the federal money lasts. Thelen asked about the required sign upgrade for townships, and Fingalson said that all townships in Minnesota will be required by the Federal Government to upgrade their signs by January, 2015, but the townships in other Minnesota counties will be required to pay for this on their own. Wright County townships should be very pleased that they have been chosen to participate in this program. There was some discussion about whether townships would have the necessary reserve funds to pay their portion up front, and most do have a reserve of some kind. The inventory of signs will probably begin over the coming winter months; and in the spring of 2012, the county will look at selecting a contractor to do the installation in all 18 townships, to be completed before the end of 2013. Wright County will be doing the inspection of the installation, and Fingalson said that the County is also doing the administration of this program. Fingalson said he had no recommendations on how the payments should be handled, and Thelen commented that she didn’t think the money would be a problem for the townships. Russek said that the township budgets are set in March the year prior to the budget year, but two payments could be made, one this year for the materials and one the next year for the installation costs. The suggestion was made that if the townships do not have the funds at the current time, the county could front the money for them and charge back three percent (3%) to the townships until which time they pay back the funds. Fingalson said that Stevens County is fronting the money for the townships, but Mille Lacs County (who participated in an earlier program) had all their townships pay up front. He said that a due date of September 1 could be set, and the townships could be given a 30-day period in which to pay this bill. Russek agreed that if the payments are in two different calendar years, the townships should be able to take care of them. The townships could be asked how they want to handle it, and if paying up front creates a financial difficulty, they could be given the option of having the county front the money. They could then pay the county back that amount plus a two to three percent handling and interest charge, as this would cause extra work for the office to bill and collect. Fingalson said that he has a meeting regarding this program on Wednesday, June 22, and he will get a better idea as to what the dollar amounts are. The figures shared today are just general estimates, and he doesn’t know how it will affect each township. Mattson asked if the township would have this information ahead of time, and Fingalson said that they know about the program, but they don’t know what the county’s position is on fronting the money. They will be given an option on how they choose to pay. If a township has a hardship in fronting the money, they would then be given the option to borrow from the county.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that townships be provided the option of either paying up front or borrowing from the county for a two-three percent fee.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said he met with the State the day after the TCOTW Meeting. The State conveyed that the townships will have to pay at least a 20% match of the estimated $839,000 total for the whole program (including installation phase). The inventory phase estimate for Wright County is $170,000. The township 20% share of that would be $34,000 (about $2,000 per township). Fingalson asked whether changes could be made to the TCOTW Minutes to reflect this information. Norman stated that the minutes reflect what transpired at the TCOTW Meeting. If information was obtained since the meeting, the minutes should not be changed to reflect that. Any clarification would be outlined in the Board Minutes.
Fingalson said that one of the goals in the Township Signing Program is to reduce the number of signs. The fewer number of signs the township has, the fewer they will have to maintain. By law, the only signs the township is required to have is for railroad crossings and for restricted bridges. Examples of signs which may be eliminated through this process are “Watch for Children”, unauthorized speed limit signs, or “Stop Ahead” signs. Fingalson said there is a goal to eliminate 10-15% of the signs on the township system. The more signs a township has, the more it will cost to install the new signs. Sawatzke said that he might have a problem with not having a stop or yield sign at a four-legged intersection. Fingalson said many people do not stop at stop signs. Fingalson said it will be good for Commissioners to attend the upcoming kick-off meeting where the Township Signing Program will be discussed. This could be held as early as September with the townships. Fingalson wanted the Board’s input on funding prior to attending the Township Officers Meeting on 7-06-11. The cost to each township will be dependent on the number of signs. The average would be $7,000-$12,000 depending on how long the federal funding lasts. Fingalson said this study was talked about two years ago and the money ran out. An agreement was entered into at that time with each of the Townships outlining what they are responsible for in terms of maintenance. New agreements are required and the Township Association is developing them. Fingalson hopes those agreements will be available for the meeting of 7-06-11. Fingalson suggests that the agreements reflect that the townships will maintain the signs. If the townships don’t maintain the signs, the County could have federal funding removed from the Program. He felt the agreement should contain language that puts the onus on the township to maintain the signs and if they don’t, the County can deduct this from the township. All townships will be required to update their signs by January, 2015. Thelen requested clarification on what signs are optional. Fingalson explained all signs are optional with the exception of railroad crossing and restricted bridge signs. She asked whether Federal legislation requires those two types of signs be replaced by 2015. Fingalson said that was not correct. The legislation requires that all signs meet retro reflectivity requirements. He felt that not all signs will be removed except those two types of signs, as townships will want certain types of signs such as warning or stop signs in certain areas. There will also be speed limit signs. He again suggested that the Board attend the kickoff meeting where this will be discussed. Once a consultant is hired, that person will meet with the townships and explain the process. The goal is to reduce approximately 10-15% of the signs that are presently in place. Thelen asked if those signs are reduced, if that would bring the project to a total cost of $839,000. Fingalson said no, that there is $839,000 available in federal funding. There is not the potential of receiving any additional federal funding. The local township share is 20% or $170,000. That is the same cost as the inventory. Thelen asked whether the $839,000 includes the possible reduction in the number of signs. Fingalson explained that $839,000 would not be adequate to cover the costs if there is not a reduction in the number of signs. If there is not a reduction in the number of signs, the townships will have to fund more than 20%. Sawatzke asked who will be responsible to assure signs meet the retro reflectivity requirements. Fingalson stated that Wright County receives the federal funding to replace the signs. Technically, the County is required to see that the township replaces signs or there could be a reduction in the $839,000 in federal funding. Sawatzke felt it was ironic that there are signs that the township has up that are not required, but even if they leave them in place they must meet the retro reflectivity requirements. Fingalson said that is the law. If the signs are in place, they must meet retro reflectivity requirements. He felt that if Commissioners attend the kick-off meeting, they will gain a better understanding. Fingalson said this will take some selling to the township. In the pilot program four years ago, an attempt was made to work with townships on eliminating some of their signs. The townships were adamant on keeping the signs and that is why the cost was so much higher. Fingalson was told that there would not be money remaining for the program to involve other counties. However, because of the economy, signs were purchased for less and there was money remaining to complete the program in two more counties. Wright and Stevens Counties were selected. Fingalson said the recommendation of the TCOTW was for townships to be provided the option of either paying up front or borrowing from the County for a two-three percent fee. It was the consensus of the Board to uphold the recommendation. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, stated that if townships borrow from the County, it would be at a two percent rate.
CR 119 Cross Walk Request
Eichelberg said that he wanted to discuss the request for a crosswalk on CR 119 in an area where the speed limit used to be 45 mph but has now been adjusted to 40 mph. Cordell said that the cross walk is being requested, near Maple Way, and the current policy allows for cross walks at 40 mph; and if a formal request is submitted, it will receive approval. Cordell said that the City of St. Michael installed some pedestrian crossing signs on another county route without a permit, and they were not the correct signs, and the city is in the process of taking steps to remove them. Cordell said that before an application can be approved, the old signs will have to be removed, and Bot said that this will be done and a formal application will be submitted.
Cordell also shared that Wright County applied for grant money for several safety improvement projects, and they have been awarded both grants in the total amount of $415,000. One grant will help fund the installation of chevron signs the first year, and the other grant will help fund street lighting and rumble strips the second year.
CSAH 34 Funding Issue
Fingalson explained that he is hoping to complete an overlay on the final three miles of CSAH 34, between CR 120 and CSAH 19 in Hanover, with state aid money. With the estimate for the CSAH 75 project having been based on concept and more state aid funds being necessary than originally thought, there is now a need for more state aid money to complete the overlay on CSAH 34. If this project is going to get done, Wright County will have to request more state aid funding through an advance encumbrance resolution, which can be presented to Mn/DOT’s Department of State Aid tomorrow for approval before the anticipated state shutdown. Fingalson said that we would be looking at $825,000, which would be money from Wright County’s state aid account in 2012 to be able to complete the CSAH 34 project this year. Another option would be to delay this project to a later time, but it is unlikely that we would get as good a price, and the overlays planned for 2012 are in the northwest portion of the county. Both Buchholtz and Bot commented that this portion of CSAH 34 is a very needy candidate, and both strongly recommended that the Board adopt the resolution tomorrow to allow for advance encumbrance of funds. Russek asked if this would affect the planned projects for 2012, like CSAH 3, and Hawkins explained that this would be a topic for discussion at the upcoming budget meeting. This advance encumbrance should not affect our work on CSAH 3. An aerial view of the proposed construction area of CSAH 3 was displayed (reconstruction planned for 2012-2013), and Hawkins showed where some changes are proposed in the alignment. Several Highway Department staff members met with the Stockholm Township Board on Monday evening (6/13) and the landowners on Thursday evening (6/17), and there were many positive comments about the improvement of this highway; and the residents are looking forward to the improvements that will be made to the shoulders and to the vertical curves. The shoulders will be paved with bituminous, but the traffic lanes will be Wright County’s first concrete surfaced project. Sawatzke asked why concrete is being used rather than bituminous, and Hawkins said that the cost for concrete is less than that for bituminous, as had been previously discussed. Sawatzke asked if there is a reason that both bituminous and concrete can’t be bid, and Fingalson told him that this would require two separate designs. Sawatzke asked about the buckling of the concrete highway, as happened in various areas around the state as a result of the recent hot weather. The only highways that buckled were concrete. Fingalson said that this was due to older concrete designs, and the newer designs are better able to withstand this kind of heat. Mn/DOT also has a new method of finishing work so that the noise isn’t any louder than bituminous. Upfront, the costs of building this road are pretty equal with bituminous or concrete, which is due to the slumping housing industry and the low demand for concrete (basement and foundation work). Fingalson said that the process for right-of-way acquisition has already begun, and construction is planned for next year with the paving planned for the following year (2013). The highway would be gravel over the winter. There is far less traffic on CSAH 3 than there is on CSAH 12, so maintenance of this highway will be easier than it has been on the gravel surface of CSAH 12 over the winter. Sawatzke commented that if we don’t do the overlay on CSAH 34 this year, we will have to do it next year. If something has to be trimmed out next year, the decision will be made at that time. The advantage of doing it now is that the overlay work is already in this same area. He added that there is also a benefit to the people to have the work completed in one year rather than disrupting everyone twice. This should be submitted to state aid and then a look should be taken at setting a letting date in the next few weeks. Russek said that this sounded good to him. Fingalson said that he hopes for a good bid, and plans are to go with a warm mix, which has lower costs (because of less heat required, thus less fuel required) and is as good a product, or is possibly a better product. Buchholtz commented that Hanover has already experienced a disruption due to construction in the area, so getting this done in one year would be a good option.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that Wright County adopt a resolution to advance encumber state aid construction funds at the June 21, 2011 County Board meeting.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said this action was taken at the last County Board Meeting. The resolution was forwarded to the State by the deadline and it was approved. The bid opening will be held on 8-02-11.
Minnesota Road Fee Test Project
Fingalson introduced Lamb, who is one of the consultants working on this project which will involve Wright County drivers. Lamb explained that a program is being developed and tested by Mn/DOT, which would help Mn/DOT collect user fees based on mileage rather than collecting fees through a state gas tax, as is currently being done. As gas prices go up, usage goes down and so do the revenues which are used for building and repairing the roads. Smart phones would be issued to drivers, and these phones would collect information (number of miles driven) from, as well as give information (school zones, construction zones, and speed limits) to, drivers. Different fee rates are being considered for testing purposes, and the attempt will be made to have the user fees be equal to what the gas rates are. Mn/DOT is in the infancy stage of planning this program where a state gas tax would be replaced by a mileage based tax; and it could be 10-20 years before this program is actually implemented. Sawatzke said that this would take away the incentive to be efficient with gas, and those people who invest in electric cars at a much higher purchase price have already contributed more sales tax money, 100% of which goes directly to roads and bridges. Lamb said that there is a separate project that will be looking to develop a policy and looking for ways and criteria to make it more fair and equal. There will be different rates for different classes of cars and heavier vehicles and for those more fuel efficient, but that has not yet been finalized. Fingalson said that this proposed program has already produced a lot of controversy, and Mn/DOT is working on developing a program much like those that have already been proposed in Iowa, Colorado, Oregon, and Michigan. Mn/DOT’s program was so controversial that there was a legislative amendment (which failed) during the last legislative session to repeal the $5 million that was granted to study this proposal. The reason that this is on today’s agenda is because Wright County residents have been chosen to participate in this study, and Mn/DOT will be making an attempt to get 500 volunteers to have their vehicles equipped with a device that will track the miles. Lamb said that the participant will be given the option to turn off a setting that tracks locations but that still keeps track of miles. Privacy is a concern, and participants can opt out of the mileage base for a trip or a group of trips. There have been public focus group meetings, and many understand that a change is needed with the gas prices going up and consumption going down, leaving less revenue than necessary for highway construction and repair. Mn/DOT is trying to find a different way to collect the necessary revenues and is trying to make it as simple as possible. There is a lot of concern about how to configure this program and how to implement it. If the technology proves feasible, they will try to figure out how to use it. Mn/DOT is looking for 500 people who would be willing to participate for a year, and these 500 people will be split into three groups; with the first group scheduled to start on August 1, the second group to start on November 1, and the third group to start on March 1, 2012. The incentive for participation is that the individuals will be able to keep the smart phone, and there may be some compensation based on how well they participated in feedback and meeting attendance during the evaluation phase. Wright County has urban and non-urban traffic and also a fair number of commuters. Mn/DOT wants to see a lot of different environments and different travel patterns, and Wright County can provide that for them. There will be an operations and help center in St. Michael where devices will be distributed to users and odometers will be read. Three odometer readings will be taken, one right away, one after two months, and then one at the end of the program. Bot said that the St. Michael City Council has been informed of this and Mn/DOT will be allowed to have a temporary tent shelter to conduct this business on the days that equipment is distributed and readings are taken. Lamb said that this is just a study to see if the technology will work. Actual policy decisions have not been made yet. Fingalson added that a number of people have volunteered to take part in the program, but Mn/DOT will be making random contact with possible participants in order to avoid any intentional influence on the outcome.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Thelen asked whether the County has to agree to participate. She said it seems that this is one of those obvious areas where money could be saved by not completing the study. It will be 15-20 years before any recommendations are implemented. Russek said this is a Mn/DOT project which they will implement; it is not a County program. Wright County was chosen and has no control over whether the study is completed. Fingalson said something different has to be done rather than continuing with the gas tax. Sawatzke said there needs to be an incentive for people to conserve. He felt there should be some type of reward for a consumer who uses a vehicle that gets better gas mileage. The result is that prices are kept down for everyone and less gas is consumed. Fingalson explained that is a separate study. This study involves review of devices to assure the technology works.
Eichelberg moved to approve the TCOTW Minutes and the recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
(End of TCOTW Minutes discussion)
The meeting recessed at 10:15 A.M. and reconvened at 10:26 A.M.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 6-22-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0:
I. Performance Review, Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator.
Mattice had a scheduling conflict and was not able to be in attendance. His Performance Review will be on a future Personnel Committee agenda.
II. Performance Review, Barb Gabrelcik, Recorder.
Based on four Performance Reviews submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”
III. Request To Fill & Advertise For Administrative Clerk Position.
Norman presented a request to fill two Administrative Clerk positions in the Administration Department. One of the positions was not filled in 2010 and the person in the other position has resigned effective 7-08-11. Norman said if the Committee cannot recommend a full-time replacement for the vacant position from 2010, he would request authorization to fill the position at least half time. Two of the three Office staff positions will be vacant. The positions cover a variety of responsibilities in the Office including taking minutes at meetings. The Committee members stated that they would address the replacement of the position involving the most recent resignation. The other request should follow the normal procedure of referring the request to the Committee through County Board action. Norman asked for Board directive on what can be done if the Office Manager is absent from work (sick, vacation, etc.) on a Board or Committee Meeting day. Training to take minutes at meetings can be a prolonged process so it may be some time before there is back up for the Office Manager. It was the consensus of the Committee members that staff from other departments should be called upon to substitute at meetings as needed (Barb Holmquist-Hwy.; Gloria Gooler-Aud./Treas.; or Terrie Piram-P&Z). These staff members have experience with taking minutes at meetings. Sawatzke said that this is a situation where the organization should pull together in a team effort. Norman requested hiring a 67-day temp. employee to assist with office coverage during the recruitment process, orientation, and training of the new Administrative Clerk position. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of one Administrative Clerk position and the hire of a 67-day temporary employee. Request the Departments of Highway, Auditor/Treasurer, and Planning & Zoning to offer assistance as needed.
(End of 6-22-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
The Board discussed Consent Item A2, “Refer Administrative Clerk Position Opening To The Personnel Committee.” Sawatzke said the 6-22-11 Personnel Committee Minutes reflect that the request to refer discussion on the vacant position (vacated in the summer of 2010) in the Administration Department should follow the normal procedure of referring the request to the Committee through County Board action. That was the purpose of placing it on the Consent Agenda today. Sawatzke said he would speak against the request. He did not want to open the can of worms where department heads come back and try to have positions filled that they spent a lot of time discussing and not filling. The lay of the land has not changed relating to the State budget. His recommendation was to not send it to Committee for review. The Board approved filling the Administrative Clerk position that will be vacated 7-08-11 and the hire of a 67-day temporary employee during the interim. Eichelberg said that although it is not reflected in the Committee Minutes, it was requested at the Committee Meeting for consideration of a half-time employee after the 67-day temporary was done. He felt this may be advantageous if someone were to leave employment or to cover while the other employee is out (sick, etc.). Sawatzke made a motion to deny the request to send the Administrative Clerk opening to the Personnel Committee. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Thelen said it seems like there are a lot of positions currently open. She wouldn’t feel right in entertaining one of these positions again without a sense of the budget and what is needed where. She felt it would be unfair to entertain this particular one. Thelen said that is her reason for opposing sending it to Committee. Everyone is biting the bullet now in terms of maybe being short as a result of not having positions filled. She did not feel they should make an exception in terms of the Administration Office. The motion carried 3-1 with Eichelberg casting the nay vote.
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 6-22-11. The following change was made to the minutes: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, 2nd to the last sentence, should read, “Thelen stated that this one position could reduce the workload of 700 employees” (Thelen). Thelen moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke referenced the Committee’s recommendation and questioned whether approval of the minutes would be approval to hire for the position. Russek said the intent is to discuss the position at budget time. Sawatzke said the minutes reflect that information needs to be put together. Thelen said the minutes reflect that the timing should be left to Swing and discussed within the budget process. Sawatzke said that what the Committee is suggesting is support of the road map and referring to the Budget Committee Of The Whole dialogue for bringing a Lead Developer position online. Russek said they will discuss whether it is financially feasible to do it at budget time. Sawatzke asked for clarification that the intent is not to go out and hire the Lead Developer position at this time. Thelen said the Committee supports the need for the Lead Developer, but that would need to follow the normal process of looking at the budget, etc. Sawatzke said the minutes reflect something different than the explanation given. Sawatzke asked that the minutes be changed to read: page 4, Recommendation: “Support the Wright County Technology Road Map and recommend the Lead Developer position be discussed at budget time.” The motion carried 4-0:
I. REVIEW OUTLINE OF TECHNOLOGY PLAN.
Swing distributed two handouts: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Vision and Components, and Wright County Technology Road Map. He stated that the purpose of the handouts and today’s meeting is to capture the vision of the County’s major technology initiatives. The Road Map projects initiatives through 2014 and were brought forth by department heads and their staff over recent months. Swing stated that the Road Map looks at the context of various projects that will be coming forward. The Road Map is a strategic plan that seeks the support and direction of the County’s leaders.
Russek asked whether the County will ever be able to catch up with the ever changing technology. Swing stated no, however, the County cannot afford to stand still. He cited the vision statement from his ECM handout that states: “For Public: Any Service, Anytime, Anywhere. For Employee: Information, Anytime, Anywhere.” He stated that he is promoting access and yet is concerned about saving taxpayer dollars.
Kelly stated that the Road Map is in line with the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). A majority of the projects are reflected in the CIP. He stated that current economic times are tough. However, the County is running into space and expansion issues and needs to find ways to be more efficient. Swing cited the Human Services Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) project as being progressive. Kelly stated that Scott County has experienced 40% improved efficiency since their utilization of EDMS. Swing confirmed that the County is moving toward a paperless process. It is going to take years to do this; however, a plan must be in place. The County/Auditor is going to image County Board Meeting minutes; the Surveyor’s Department is imaging all historic surveys; the Recorder will continue their imaging work. Sheriff criminal histories will also be part of the paperless process.
Swing stated that he anticipates going into the 2012 budget process asking for a zero percent increase like everybody else. However, process wise, there needs to be better budgeting and planning at the leadership level. Thelen asked whether the Road Map will require additional funding. She asked for clarification on whether these projects were included as part of each Department’s budget. MacMillan stated that the I.T. Department will ask departments to budget for some of the forecasted project costs. Thelen proposed that Swing include another column within his Road Map to discuss the funding details for each anticipated project. Swing stated that he has been cautioned about bringing dollar values to this type of meeting.
Kelly stated that it does not make sense for each department to have separate imaging systems. They should be streamlined across the departments. Swing stated that a successful imaging program would require ongoing coordination. An electronic records management position would be ideal. Russek stated that he could foresee this as part of a central services position within the Administration Department. Kelly stated that having a records management position would decrease the amount of physical storage space that is utilized. It no longer makes sense to build more storage space. Russek stated that this would be the goal of the County. Swing stated that a records management position has been in the making for approximately ten years starting with a tour of Dakota County and contracting with Patty Zimmerman to develop a records retention schedule. Thelen stated that this one position could reduce the workload of 700 employees. Russek stated that this position would be a vision for the County to look toward.
DeMars stated that Human Services has been very active with the State in its imaging efforts. The State of Minnesota took the Human Services Board Minutes for its preservation purposes. He commented that no further imaging efforts had to be made by the Human Services Department because the State took the records as part of its records retention. Jobe stated that the State of Minnesota did the same thing with the County Surveyor’s original records. He cautioned the Committee that the State does not index the records. They simply house the physical books. It is very difficult to access the records since they have not been electronically indexed and imaged.
Russek stated that he can see how technology is not waiting and will never stop. Russek stated that he was a part of the initial discussion regarding records management and information seeking tour Carver County. Swing stated that another aspect of bringing forth new technologies is providing the County Board with performance measures. He referred to the EDMS project in Human Services. It takes time to generate benefits; however, the improved efficiencies should be communicated to the County Board.
There was a brief discussion on e-Timecards. Swing stated that the Auditor/Treasurer Department did a site visit to Carver County and has developed some conclusions about tying eTimecards into a multi-departmental project.
DeMars stated that another aspect of the Road Map discussion is in taking advantage of the new workforce coming in and tapping into their talents. Swing stated that another component of the Road Map is in sharing backup systems with other cities and counties. There is a lot of information flow between cities and the counties. Thelen asked if the records management position would be part of the Administration budget. Kelly stated that a records management position may logically make sense to be housed within the Administration Department. It does not make sense to have it on its own. Jobe stated that he sees this position as the backbone for all departments.
Swing stated that a large amount of effort within his Department is on Sharepoint and OnBase. These projects require ongoing coordination.
Thelen proposed that Swing present his request for a Lead Developer position to support all departments. She encouraged Swing to bring forward department heads to support his personnel request. She also suggested that Swing pull together a proposal of the cost savings that the County could expect with the position. Russek stated that he does not think it is possible to predict the savings of the position until it has been enacted. MacMillan stated that the County is suffering because of not having the Lead Developer position. Thelen stated that it is important to invest in technology upgrades. Russek agreed with Thelen by stating that Swing should bring in the affected department heads to support his request for the Lead Developer position. MacMillan stated that the County has not added staff even though it is a growing County. There is a need for a Lead Developer position that can manage the growth and change of the County’s technology needs.
Thelen asked Swing whether he places a higher priority on the Lead Developer or the records management position. Swing stated that the Lead Developer person would be the higher priority. Jobe stated that the Lead Developer would be the most sensible because it is the backbone of the system, otherwise there would be no records to manage. Swing stated that he is trying to empower the Departments to perform content management otherwise there will be documents all over the place and nobody will know where they are located. MacMillan stated that each department has to take care of getting their systems up and ready otherwise data transfer cannot happen.
Thelen suggested that Swing put together a fact sheet about the position listing the justification and financial considerations. She stated that having technology attracts and retains a younger workforce. Russek described how it will be important to get the department heads to help Swing develop the position. Swing clarified that the Lead Developer is in his budget. He needs the approval to hire for the position.
Thelen stated that the County Board cannot expect to support the Road Map plan unless the Lead Developer position is hired. Hoffman stated that he thinks Swing is asking for a recommendation to take the Lead Developer position to the Personnel Committee. The timing of filling the Lead Developer position should be left to Swing.
DeMars asked whether all of the duties on the Road Map will be able to be completed by the proposed Lead Developer. He asked whether Swing will need staff support to carry out the initiatives.
Swing referred to the Web Committee which has representation from many Departments. The Web Committee is part of the consensus building of bringing a plan together. The Lead Developer would be supporting this effort.
Thelen felt that the previously stated vision statement, “Any service, anytime, anywhere”, is too abstract. She would recommend utilizing the Road Map and pursuing the resources needed to support the posted technology initiatives. Russek stated that the Road Map needs to be adopted in full. Jobe stated that the Road Map is a snapshot of the County’s major technology initiatives which will tweak itself throughout its development.
Swing stated that he would like this topic further explored at the next Leadership Team Meeting.
RECOMMENDATION: Support the Wright County Technology Road Map and recommend the Lead Developer position be discussed at budget time.
(End of 6-22-11 Technology Committee Minutes)
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Thelen, all voted to cancel the 8-23-11 County Board Meeting due to five Tuesdays in August.
Thelen said the Board discussed the Point of Sale Ordinance at the 6-21-11 County Board Meeting. Discussion on the Ordinance was laid over to the 7-19-11 County Board Meeting to allow townships an opportunity to provide written comment on Ordinance changes. However, the letter informing townships was not sent in time for townships to act. Thelen spoke with Bill Stephens, Planning & Zoning, who understood that all townships met on the second Tuesday of the month. Thelen explained that some townships do not meet until the third Tuesday of the month and referring discussion to the 7-19-11 meeting would not provide the townships an opportunity to respond. Thelen asked that the Ordinance discussion be laid over to 8-09-11. Sawatzke referenced those people who attended the 6-21-11 Board Meeting for the Public Hearing and asked whether they will know if the date changes. Thelen was unsure. Sawatzke said prior discussion included closing the loophole of property transfers from parent to child. At the 6-21-11 Board Meeting, Stephens did not feel other counties allowed for that type of transfer. Since that meeting, Stephens told Sawatzke that every county allows for that exemption. Thelen said further discussion is needed because those exemptions are stated in Statute. She understood Meeker and Stearns Counties do not allow for this exemption. Thelen moved to lay the Point of Sale Ordinance over to the 8-09-11 County Board Meeting, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
06-28-11 WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES Page 16 of 16
Norman said the County Board approved participation in the Performance Measurement Program at their 6-14-11 meeting. Since that time, he learned that the County must adopt a Declaration Resolution reflecting the County is approving entering into the Performance Measurement Program. Thelen moved to adopt Resolution #11-37, seconded by Eichelberg. Russek said Commissioner Mattson indicated the resolution should be laid over but the Board approved participation already so there is no new information. The motion carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Bills Approved
Quinlivan & Hughes PA. $1,500.00
Allina Hospitals & clinic 400.00
Allina Medical Laboratories 401.70
Anoka County Sheriff 10,396.65
Aramark Services Inc. 12,034.42
Arrowwood Resort 389.24
Backes/Joe 325.00
Bauman/Lawrence R. 360.00
Boyer Truck Parts 229.36
BP Amoco 1,461.68
Brock White Co. LLC 8,550.00
Brothers Fire Protection 2,548.02
Buffalo Clinic 168.46
Cartegraph Systems Inc. 2,410.00
Center Point Energy 778.52
Centra Sota Cooperative - E 30,671.69
Central MN Mental Health C 287.16
Chamberlain Oil Co 2,294.86
Climate Air 4,826.34
Cokato/City of 486.68
Consulting Radiologists Ltd 312.00
Cub Pharmacy 2,447.00
Delano Sports Center Inc. 103.65
Dell Marketing LP 14,327.16
Diamond Mowers Inc. 830.05
Donner Industries Inc. 373.78
Dynamic Recycling 2,617.27
E Central Regional Juvenile 14,560.00
Ernst General Construction 1,472.00
Feddema/Tom 272.00
Firstlab 309.71
Gabrelcik/Barb 120.00
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
Grainger 153.83
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 2,923.04
Howard & Tolins 200.00
Inn on Lake Superior/The 224.48
Integrated Fire & Security 4,162.05
Jerrys Towing & Repair 154.97
Johnson Sales & Services/J N 880.00
Johnson/Scott A 165.00
Kopff/Nancy 337.50
Kustom Signals Inc. 706.68
LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,549.56
LeClaire/Kimberly D. 832.20
Lostetter/Carol H. 300.00
Marco Inc. 2,938.00
Markie Communications 227.50
Mattila Electric/Roger 250.00
McDowall Company 1,068.00
Menards - Buffalo 104.32
Midwest Protection Agency 1,792.94
Minnesota Monitoring 3,549.25
Miracle Recreation Equipment 594.91
MN Copy Systems 163.86
MN Counties Ins. Trust 166.90
MN Counties Intergovernment 5,290.00
MN County IT Leadership Assn 250.00
MN County Recorders Assoc 200.00
MN Department of Health 100.00
MN Department of Labor & Ind 500.00
MN LEMA 1,125.00
Morries Parts & Service Grp 999.32
Office Depot 1,569.27
Pleasureland RV Center Inc. 186.00
Purick/Ryan 100.00
Qwest 120.92
Richards/Thomas W 600.00
Royal Tire Inc. 1,495.92
Russek/John 215.00
Savitski/Robert 1,627.50
Schermann/Robert D 340.00
Schmidt/Donald M 262.00
Shell Fleet Plus 683.46
Sherwin Williams 247.20
Specialty Turf & Ag 335.05
Sprint 13,981.05
State Supply Co. 230.08
T & S Trucking 990.00
Towmaster 507.66
Vance Brothers Inc. 2,161.01
Veolia Environmental Serv 15,473.23
Verizon Wireless 818.59
Voss Lighting 317.42
Wagner/H David 367.50
Walmart Store 01-1577 390.50
Webb/Conrad 125.00
Wright Co. Highway Dept 68,676.54
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 4,759.64
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,280.85
Wurm Construction/Keith 960.00
Xcel Energy 788.15
29 Payments less than $100 1,214.92
Final total $271,098.17
The meeting adjourned at 10:49 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal July 18, 2011.


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