WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 20, 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 9-13-11 County Board Minutes as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Thelen, seconded by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Winterhalter, Atty.; A. Bixby, A. Gillham, K. Green, Aud./Treas.; B. Haynes, Hwy.; R. Borell, Parks; E. Adams, E. Knoop, M. McGill, S. Poirier, L. Salls, S. Sims, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, Madden Galanter Hansen, LLP, $3,670.98 (Prof. Svcs., Sept. 2011).
3. Overtime Report, Period Ending 9-02-11.
1. Approve Abatement, PID #114-500-234400, Carl & Linda Goeb (City of St. Michael).
1. Authorize Signatures On Grant Application For Emergency Funds From The Department Of Public Safety For 2012, $600, Victim/Witness Program. No Matching Local Funds Required.
D. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer To Personnel Committee Request To Hire IT Intern.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the August Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for approval. Hiivala said at 67% of the year, he did not have anything to draw the Board’s attention to. Eichelberg moved to approve the Guidelines, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
Hiivala said 2011 is the last year of the contract with ACS Enterprise Solutions, Inc. (ACS) for the property tax and CAMA software. The MCCC user group is looking to a five-year contract with ACS with a moderate increase each year. Hiivala asked the Board to acknowledge that Wright County intends to support that contract. At the next MCCC user group meeting, each county will indicate support for the contract. Hiivala said Wright County does not have an alternative as Manatron is not an option. The five-year contract will provide time for Wright County to evaluate the vendor or look at alternatives. After the user group meeting, the contract will be ratified and presented for approval at a future Board Meeting. Sawatzke made a motion to indicate to the MCCC user group that Wright County intends to participate in the contract. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.
The claims listing was discussed. Russek referenced a claim on Page 9, Steven Jobe ($140.50), for mileage reimbursement. Russek’s understanding is that Jobe has a County vehicle. He left a phone message for Jobe requesting more information on the claim but had not heard back from him by the time of the Board Meeting. Hiivala said the claim is for travel to the MSPS summer meeting in Fairmont, August 18-20, 2011. The claim reflects Jobe used his personal vehicle. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 13, El-Jay Plumbing and Heating ($814.00), for a truck charge for Building Maintenance at the Jail/LEC. Hiivala said the claim reflects $736.00 in labor costs and $78.00 for a truck charge. Hiivala said the date of the invoice is 9-06-11 with payment terms of Net 30. Mattson moved to pull the two identified claims from the claims listing and lay them over to the next meeting for more information. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried unanimously. On motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the remainder of the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, asked that a Ways & Means Committee Meeting be scheduled to discuss data and information gathered on the drain tile issue for Collinwood Park and the adjacent drainage system. At the 8-17-11 Ways & Means Committee Meeting, staff was directed to obtain additional information from the DNR and to establish elevations for the wetland, the drain tile, and the two lakes. The information has been obtained. Sawatzke moved to schedule a Ways & Means Committee Meeting for 9-28-11 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
A Parks Commission Meeting was held on 9-12-11. At that meeting, the Parks Commission voted to approve the Wright County Parks Geo-Caching Guidelines as presented. The Guidelines reflect where Geo-caching is allowed in the Wright County Parks, the guidelines for placing items in the Parks, and that any items placed must not be offensive, dangerous, or illegal. Mattice said the State recently developed Geo-caching Guidelines, so people are asking for Wright County’s guidelines. This was the driving force behind establishing the Guidelines in Wright County. The other action item at the Parks Commission involved the new picnic shelter at Collinwood Park. The Parks Commission reviewed the site and the plans. The Parks Commission voted to keep the existing fee schedule for rental of the picnic shelter at Collinwood at $50/day for 2012. Eichelberg moved to approve the recommendations of the Parks Commission, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
Mattice stated a Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 6-28-11 to review the progress of the Bertram Chain of Lakes acquisition and to discuss necessary actions to move forward. The recommendation from that meeting was to use approximately $603,000 from the Capital Improvement Account as the funding source of Phase 3 of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. This recommendation was reviewed at the 7-12-11 County Board Meeting, where the County Board took action to delay approval until after the State shutdown. Mattice said the County has since completed the budget process. The City of Monticello approved their share of the local match on 6-27-11. Russek asked for the funding source of the $603,000. Hiivala said those funds are in the Levy Stabilization Fund, earmarked for the Phase 3 purchase. Russek said Mattson commented at the last Board Meeting that he wanted to see a zero budget increase. Russek felt this would be one large step toward accomplishing that. He did not feel this would be the time to buy park land. Sawatzke said this purchase is not in the levy. Sawatzke made a motion to approve the recommendation to fund the local match for the Phase 3 acquisition at the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Eichelberg’s opinion is that Phase 3 is a crucial area between the two lakes which ties the area together. Russek questioned a plan for the Bertram Lakes once the land is owned. There will be costs associated with maintenance and improvements. Mattice said there is a development plan that the Advisory Board put together, including a cost analysis. He suggested scheduling a Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting to review future plans, maintenance, and development. Russek replied that he did not see the economy turning around in the near future. He said he will vote against the purchase as that funding could be used to reduce the 2012 budget. Sawatzke acknowledged there will be costs associated with implementing the plan. He said he has stressed to Mattice and the Task Force that the plans are something which will occur over a period of many years and, in some cases, decades. The critical concern of the Task Force is to have control of the Park, which will be accomplished over a 15-20 year period. This cannot happen if the land is not acquired. As a member of the Task Force, Sawatzke stated he is not concerned about a rushed implementation of the plan. He is more concerned with preserving the resource so 20 to 30 years from now, the plan can be complete. The current expenditures are those associated with boating, hiking, and cross country skiing. Mattice added that the lots are plowed and mowed, and the trail access is mowed as well. Sawatzke said there will be greater costs in the future but it will not happen overnight. Mattson said he keeps hearing about how this Park is so unique. He questioned if a park sticker has been considered as a revenue source for the Park. Mattice said this has not yet been discussed by the Advisory Board. It has been mentioned that this may be a fee based Park. If so, it would be a fee specific to the Bertram Chain of Lakes Park. The other Wright County Parks do not have an entrance fee. Mattson said he will not vote in support of the purchase but encouraged looking into this in the future as an added income for the Park. Thelen felt a way of offsetting costs is the attraction the Park would hold for those visiting the area and the businesses moving to this area with these types of amenities. She viewed it as an economic engine and a critical piece to prepare for the future as the economy improves. Mattson referenced Thelen’s comment about businesses moving here because of the Park. He said the Mayor of Minneapolis previously stated businesses would move near light rail and that did not happen. The motion carried 3-2 with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes. Mattice said with this action, they will move forward with the landowner on the purchase agreement, surveys, and updating the memorandums of agreement. Signatures will be obtained at a future meeting.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 9-14-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson questioned whether the positions considered by the Committee affect the 2012 budget. Sawatzke responded that all of the positions are in the budget. The Case Aide in Court Services is 100% funded, and the Family Based Services Provider in Human Services bills out more than the expense of the position. The two Civilian Correction Officers come at a cost. Staffing levels need to be met per State Statute. Unless the Sheriff would agree to modify a different plan for the State, those positions have to be filled. Sawatzke referenced Item D1, paragraph 1, last sentence which reflects that the Family Based Services Provider will earn about $15/hour less than a Public Health Nurse. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, clarified that the Family Based Services Provider makes about $15/hour less than a Public Health Nurse once they reach Step 9 and beyond of the Salary Schedule. Step 1 for the Family Based Services Provider is $15.61/hour. Step 1 for the Public Health Nurse is $26.72/hour. The following changes were made to the minutes: Page 2, Item D, Paragraph 1, last Sentence should read, “The Family Based Services Provider will earn about $15/hour less than a Public Health Nurse at top step” (Sawatzke); Page 1, Item B, Paragraph 1, first sentence should read, “Swing said the Lead Developer position was originally requested with approval to hire on 7-01-08” (Swing). Sawatzke moved to approve the 9-14-11 Personnel Committee Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:
I. POSITION OPENINGS.
A. Case Aide, Court Services.
A Case Aide was promoted a couple of months ago to an Agent position. This created a Case Aide opening which was laid over to August. Court Services also has a vacant Senior Clerk position that was created because of an employee retirement. MacMillan stated filling of the Senior Clerk position was laid over until October. He informed the Committee that he would like to complete an analysis of the Office prior to discussing filling of the Senior Clerk position. He will bring the Senior Clerk position forward to a future Committee meeting.
A handout was provided reflecting justification for filling the Case Aide position (attached). The position is 100% funded by State Case Load Reduction funds (approximately $49,000). Munson stated the Department previously had two full-time Case Aides and a Summer Crew Leader that worked with juveniles. The Crew Leader position was removed from the budget in 2009. The position would be hired at Step 1 of the Case Aide Salary Schedule.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the position.
B. Lead Developer, IT.
Swing said the Lead Developer position was originally requested with approval to hire on 7-01-08. In 2009, the Office Assistant was increased from a half-time to a full-time position. The Network Analyst was also hired in 2009. The Lead Developer position was then put on hold, along with positions in other departments.
An outline of the justification of the position was distributed (attached). Swing feels the position will improve service and reduce costs. Technology is an area where cost savings may not be realized at the onset. The position will work with operations and new development. If the position is not filled, the Department may be able to maintain operations but it would be difficult. He did not know how they would move forward to support the development and deployment of planned platforms and systems. Some of the risks associated with not hiring include higher security risks, poor web service to the public, and movement toward redundancy of systems and tasks. Swing said they do not want departments to become frustrated because of response time and try to solve issues on their own. The challenge in IT is to make all systems compatible with each other. The handout information reflects enterprise operations which the Lead Developer would support. These are enterprise functions that, for cost and efficiency reasons, must not be performed outside of IT. The conversion of the Web Based Applications and Security was recently outsourced at a cost of $22,848. Having this position filled would have saved the County that expenditure.
Sawatzke requested that Swing put together information on cost savings that will be realized by hiring the Lead Developer. Sawatzke indicated that he could support the position based on that type of information.
Recommendation: Swing will develop data showing potential cost savings which will be realized by hiring the Lead Developer position. This information will be presented to the County Board.
C. Civilian Corrections Officer (2).
O’Malley and Pippo were not present because of attendance at a conference. Information provided by O’Malley reflects that Corrections is seeking to fill two Civilian Corrections Officer positions. Corrections previously had five open positions and recently hired for two (one on 8-30-11 and another on 9-15-11). With these two positions being replaced, Corrections is short three staff. Two of these three positions are being presented for replacement today.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of two Civilian Correction Officer positions.
D. Family Based Services Provider, Human Services.
Nesseth presented a request to fill a .8 position with a full-time replacement in an effort to reduce the number of part-time staff in Public Health. The Public Health area has .2 of a FTE Public Health Nurse remaining to work with. The Family Based Services Provider will earn about $15/hour less than a Public Health Nurse at top step.
Nesseth distributed an outline of justification for the position (attached). Home visiting is a mandate for Public Health. This position works under a Public Health Nurse doing most of the home visiting and instruction to families. The position is fully funded through a variety of grants and through PMAPS. The services provided by this position may be expanded in the future as it is more cost effective than a Public Health Nurse.
Recommendation: Authorize changing the .8 Family Based Services Provider position to a full time position, using the .2 FTE available from the Public Nurse area. Authorize filling the position.
(End of 9-14-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, presented information to support the request for the Lead Developer position in the Information Technology Department. The position went to the 9-14-11 Personnel Committee Meeting and the recommendation was for Swing to develop data showing potential cost savings which will be realized by hiring the Lead Developer position. Swing referenced data which reflects that $19,000 could be reduced from the Professional Services line item in the Information Technology budget. This includes the $14,000 budgeted for “Technical Services-Web Development” and $5,000 for “Technical Services-Planning.” The information also reflects an estimate of $74,000 which Swing feels would have been saved from the Professional Services line item from 2008-2011 if the Lead Developer had been approved on 7-01-08 (the original date this position was approved for budget). The primary goal of hiring the Lead Developer is to reduce costs and improve services through the effective application of technology in streamlining County operations. Swing said there is a large slate of projects in 2012. As presented to the Personnel Committee, the County is at risk of fragmenting unless the Information Technology Department keeps up with plans. Although the County is not at the leading edge of technology, it should not fall behind. The Lead Developer is a key part of this operation. Mattson moved to approve the request to hire the Lead Developer position, seconded by Thelen. Sawatzke indicated to Norman and Hiivala that the levy should be lowered by $19,000 from the Information Technology Professional Services line item. The motion carried 5-0.
Allina Hospitals & Clinics. $17,484.25
Allina Medical Transporta 1,477.00
Ameripride Services 323.22
Angstrom Analytical Inc. 650.00
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv 14,767.25
Aramark Services Inc. 13,698.45
Arctic Glacier Inc. 640.09
Bankers Advertising Co. Inc. 1,693.17
Bauman/Lawrence R. 361.50
Beaudry Oil Co. 765.00
BNSF Railway Company 49,532.34
Buff N Glo Inc. 175.00
Buffalo Floral & Landscapi 320.00
Capin/Cynthia J 1,173.00
Center Point Energy 1,499.38
Centra Sota Cooperative - E 29,829.05
Childrens Hospital & Clinics 227.44
Climate Air 414.40
Corporate Payment System 2,102.03
Cub Foods 204.97
Dell Marketing LP 7,520.25
Dental Care Associates of B 226.00
Design Electrical Contract 12,170.00
Diamond Mowers Inc. 515.45
Engel/Dale L. 112.50
Excel Systems 1,219.36
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc. 4,634.75
Gilson Company Inc. 171.02
Globalstar USA 231.79
Gould Towing 468.12
Greenview Inc. 23,057.89
Hancock Concrete Products 1,563.58
Hardings Towing Inc. 187.03
Herald Journal Publishing 486.63
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 4,314.41
Interstate Battery Systems 138.88
Lab Safety Supply Inc. 119.23
LaPlant Demo Inc. 439.54
Loberg Electric 2,357.82
Lostetter/Carol H 200.00
Menards - Buffalo 121.80
MN Assn of Assessing Offic 305.00
MN Counties Intergovernment 658.00
MN Department of Labor & In 870.55
MN Monitoring Inc. 653.00
MN Onsite Wastewater Assn 340.00
MNCVSO Assistants & Secre 132.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 4,227.27
Morries Parts & Service Group 2,787.90
Office Depot 384.48
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 303.53
Red River Specialties Inc. 589.50
Road Machinery & Supplies 184.07
Rockford Fire Department 150.00
Rockhurst University Cont 149.00
Royal Tire Inc. 2,707.06
Safelite Fulfillment Inc. 348.67
Schermann/Robert D 437.50
Schmidt/Donald M 329.00
SHI International Corp 4,601.25
St. Paul Area Association of 114.00
State of MN-Office Enterpri 965.00
Stockholm Township 1,176.00
The Sign Man of MN Inc. 320.63
Transcend United Technolo 31,275.00
Vance Brothers Inc. 2,215.20
Verizon Wireless 1,198.35
Wagner/H. David 365.50
West Payment Center 970.98
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 5,089.08
Wright Hennepin Electric 183.65
Zee Service Company 243.53
23 Payments less than $100 1,104.62
Final total $275,310.09
The meeting adjourned at 9:44 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 17, 2011.