Wright County Board Minutes

DECEMBER 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 12-13-11 County Board Minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as presented. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Mattson pulled for discussion Consent Agenda Item A4, “Set Mileage Reimbursement Rate At 55.5¢/Mile, Eff. 1-01-12.” On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: A. Svihel, Atty.; S. Lindenfelser, Aud./Treas.; D. Chapman, J. Dinius, J. Kirscht, Bldg. Maint.; S. Denzer, Ct. Serv.; C. Burton, K. Klatt, J. Tester, Sher.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-09-11.
3. Set Negotiation Committee Meeting For 1:00 P.M., 12-27-11, (CLOSED SESSION).
1. Approve 2012 Tobacco License Renewals: Emma’s Express, Casey’s General Store #2412 (Albertville City); Casey’s General Store #1647, Marohn’s Cokato Marketplace, Neisen Liquors of Cokato, Iron Horse Grill & Saloon, Lake Region Coop (Cokato City); Hitching Post at Lake Center (Corinna Twp.); Lake Region Coop, H&H Outdoor Outfitter & Sports Shop (Maple Lake City); Cruiser’s Gas & Goods, Wal-Mart #3624 (Monticello City); Casey’s General Store #1881 (Montrose City); Riverview Liquorette (Otsego City); Casey’s General Store #2156 (Rockford City); Kwik Trip #681, St. Michael Liquors, Ditto’s Bar (St. Michael City); Up The Creek Grill & Bar (Silver Creek Twp.); South Haven Sports, South Haven Municipal Liquor Store (South Haven City).
1. Refer To Personnel Committee, Temporary Sign Person In Engineering Division.
Consent Agenda Item A4, “Set Mileage Reimbursement Rate At 55.5¢/Mile, Eff. 1-01-12” was discussed. Mattson had concern with raising the mileage reimbursement from 50¢/mile with the current conditions in the economy. Many residents don’t have jobs and he suggested leaving the reimbursement rate at 50¢/mile. Sawatzke agreed and said this issue can be addressed in 2012 if needed. He would be more inclined to support an increase if gas prices were higher. Mattson moved to approve leaving the mileage reimbursement rate at 50¢/mile. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Peggy Gentles, Court Administrator, introduced Judge Catherine McPherson who was appointed in November to replace Judge Dale Mossey. Judge McPherson said it is an honor to serve in Wright County. She previously practiced in Hennepin and Anoka Counties. Prior to that, she worked in Wright County as a Legal Aid. Judge McPherson stated she is very impressed with Wright County employees, especially staff from Court Services, Sheriff, Child Protection, and the Public Defenders Office. She said public employees have taken a lot of criticism in recent years. She said Wright County government employees are serving the citizens well. Judge McPherson introduced her staff members including Danette Erickson, Court Reporter, and Allison Henrie, Law Clerk. The Board welcomed Judge McPherson and her staff members.
Commissioner Russek presented a retirement plaque to Don Mleziva, who has served as Human Services Director since 1989. Russek congratulated Mleziva and stated he has enjoyed working with him. Mleziva spoke of both personal and work experiences over this time. He recognized the work of fellow Department Heads and staff in various departments. He said he will always be indebted for the service provided by others. He mentioned Doug Gruber, former Auditor/Treasurer who has since passed away, and said he was one of the Department Heads he thought most highly of. He said Gruber was an outstanding service practitioner who did a lot for others. Mleziva recognized the talent, dedication, and conscientiousness of Human Services staff, and he stated Human Services has excellent supervisors. When he came to Wright County, there were 92 staff members in Human Services with a County population of 67,000. That population has increased to 130,000 and about 205 staff members. He thanked the Board for allowing the Department to grow with the population. The Human Services Department has not hired additional staff in the past three years, despite an increased demand for services due to the economy. Experienced staff has worked to get things done without additional staff. Mleziva said it is a tough time to be a public official, whether elected or appointed. Unfortunately, the public has a lack of information about the positive things being done in government. Mleziva attended the Truth In Local Taxation Meeting held at the Courthouse in early December. He listened to the public make strident and critical remarks of those working in Wright County. He said they may not be informed or aware of the circumstances of the work completed by the County Board or staff. For example, in Human Services about 90% of services provided are mandated by State government. The Agency answers to the State and Federal government on what services must be provided. He does not feel community members may know this. He does not envy those who must continue to work in this type of environment, which may not improve for some time. Mleziva said he hopes Wright County can remain one of the prize counties in the State.
Carol Schefers, Public Health Director, said that Mleziva set up the base of the four main divisions of Human Services (Fiscal Technology, Social Services, Financial Services, and Public Health). She said this will remain as a good base for the future. Schefers said staff admire his leadership skills; he is a quiet leader who listens well. He has been supportive of technology advancements. She extended thanks to Mleziva on behalf of Human Services staff for being a great leader and cultivating the leadership in everyone. Members of the County Board extended congratulations on his retirement and thanked Mleziva for his service. Sawatzke said that the County Board receives State reports on how well Wright County is doing compared to other counties. More often than not, the Wright County Human Services Agency scores near the top of reports issued by the State. During the past several years when budgeting has been tough and expectations on department heads have been challenging, Human Services has really shined. Sawatzke referenced what was done with the Human Services budget to hold down staffing while at the same time incurring huge caseload increases of 25-30%. Overtime was reduced dramatically and staffing was not increased. In the past 2-3 years, Human Services had substantial returns at the end of the year by that budget not having a deficit. Sawatzke extended congratulations to Mleziva for fulfilling his role right up to the end.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board approve a Continuing Disclosure Reporting Services Contract with Ehlers & Associates, Inc. at a total cost of $1,925. In the past, the Report has been required but there was no cost for preparation because the County issued debt. In 2011, there was not any new debt issued so a contract is required to provide this service. This is an annual requirement. A quote was received from Springsted but it was more than the quote from Ehlers & Associates, Inc. Mattson moved to approve the Continuing Disclosure Reporting Services Contract. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Hiivala was notified by several Deferred Compensation Plan providers that Plan changes are required prior to year end. The changes revolve around several Acts to protect employees on having their funds deferred. He said Legislation didn’t want to force employees to take out funds when the stock market was crashing. There was also some language relating to military personnel and their ability to take part of their deferred comp plan if they are deployed for an extended period of time. Hiivala distributed a Section 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan Specimen from Valic. He worked with Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, who feels this Plan can replace the County’s current plan. He said there are changes that would be adopted in the revised Plan that are addressed differently in the County’s current Plan. The current Plan limits the number of employees who can contribute to deferred compensation whereas the proposed Plan will allow all employees to contribute. Another area is the definition of income. The current Plan is more restrictive than the IRS and the proposed Plan would adopt the IRS language for what wages can be included, per diems, and business expense reimbursements. Employees are still limited to the maximum they can defer. Sawatzke pointed out that deferred compensation involves employee money only; there are no County funds involved. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the current County Plan was drafted by outside legal counsel. He concurred with adopting the proposed Plan in place of the County’s current Plan. Hiivala said the current Plan defines the Administrator, that being the Deferred Compensation Committee. The proposed Plan includes an Appendix reflecting that the Plan Administrator will continue to be the Deferred Compensation Committee. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Specimen and Basic Plan Document for the Deferred Compensation Plan, effective 1-01-12.
Hiivala said the County received three bids for the Official County Newspaper. Hiivala opened the bids:
Bidder; Line Length in Picas; Lines Per Inch in Legals; Length Of Lower Case Alphabet (1 ca) in Points; Cost Per Column Inch For Legals
Monticello Times; 9; 9; 99; $0.50
Herald Journal 10.5; 10; 84; $0.39
Delano Herald Journal 10.5; 10; 84; $3.75
Hiivala will tabulate the bids and bring a recommendation to the next Board Meeting. Eichelberg moved to accept the bids and lay them over to the 12-27-11 County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Hiivala presented a MN DNR Registration and Titling ELS Agent Contract with the Deputy Registrar of Motor Vehicles Offices. This is a three-year Contract with the State allowing the Wright County License Bureau to issue licenses for watercraft, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobile, off highway motorcycle registrations, and off road vehicle registrations. Mattson moved to approve the Contract, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 3, Anoka County Juvenile Center ($63,678.00) and stated he has a concern on the cost. He contacted Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, prior to the Meeting today and obtained an explanation on the cost. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said that at the last Board Meeting the Board reviewed the Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. Hiivala was going to research a Highway Shop claim and bring an explanation to today’s Meeting. Hiivala said he has not yet obtained an answer and will bring an update to the next County Board Meeting. The motion to approve the claims carried 5-0.
Hiivala asked whether County Ditch 19 had been petitioned onto the Agenda at the beginning of the Board Meeting. He said Kerry Saxton, SWCD, wanted the Board to authorize repair to the Ditch. Mattson moved to add this item to the 12-27-11 County Board Agenda. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
At 9:41 A.M., Russek called the Public Hearing to order for the 2012 Solid Waste Service Charge. Asleson said that the County is required annually to hold a Public Hearing before setting the Solid Waste Service Charge for the upcoming year. An analysis of the Solid Waste Fund was distributed reflecting the history of the Service Charge amounts and the proposed fee of $22.00 for 2012. Hiivala said the cash balance of the Fund as of 12-16-11 is $162,112.90. The County anticipates another $12,000 in the final tax settlement, bringing the cash balance in the Fund to $174,112.90. That cash balance is subtracted from the 2012 Debt Service of $1,285,932.38 to calculate the assessment for the next year. The net amount of $1,111,819.48 is divided by 50,384 units to come up with the Solid Waste Service Charge needed. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #11-61 setting the 2012 Solid Waste Service Charge at $22.00. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
WHEREAS, Wright County has solid waste management authority under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 400; and
WHEREAS, The Wright County Board of Commissioners has adopted a Solid Waste Management Service Charge Ordinance pursuant to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Section 400.08; and
WHEREAS, This Solid Waste Management Service Charge will be imposed against all parcels of real property as well as against certain personal property located within Wright County, unless said property is otherwise exempted by action of the County Board; and
WHEREAS, The Wright County Solid Waste Management Service Charge Ordinance specifies that the County Board shall establish the amount of the service charge by Resolution;
1. That the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby imposes a Solid Waste Management Service Charge for 2012 upon real and personal property located in Wright County as follows:
(A) All real property parcels containing structures, except those containing apartment buildings with four or more units; $22.00
(B) Real property parcels containing apartment buildings with four or more units; $22.00 (per unit)
(C) Manufactured homes and other structures taxed as personal property parcels; $22.00; and
(D) Bare land and any other type of property notisted above; $0.00
2. That, insofar as the Solid Waste Management Service Charge produces revenue used to pay off the cost of the bonds for the Wright County Compost Facility, this service charge shall be designated on the tax statements as the “Solid Waste Debt Service Charge”.
3. That the Wright County Board of Commissioners intends this Resolution to be effective immediately with the “Solid Waste Debt Service Charge” to be collected through the 2012 property tax statements issued by the County.
(End of Resolution #11-61)
Joe Jacobs, SWCD Water Resource Specialist, requested approval of the FY 2012 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement. The Grant period is from 9-01-11 through 6-30-13 for $104,168. The Grant is used toward Natural Resources projects. Thelen moved to authorize signatures on the Grant, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke asked for the 2011 Grant amount. Jacobs did not have that information available for the meeting but thought the amount for 2012 is less than last year. Sawatzke said he would only need to know the amount if there was a substantial difference. The motion carried 4-0 (Mattson absent).
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, requested that the Board extend the deadline of the 2010 Joint Zoning/Shoreland Agreement with Corinna Township. The Agreement expires 12-31-11 and more time is needed by the Township and County to prepare framework to make a final decision on Corinna shoreland authority. The Amendment will be amended to reflect the effective dates of 1-01-11 to 5-01-12. The remainder of paragraph 11 will remain unchanged. Thelen moved to extend the Agreement deadline to 5-01-12. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
Appointments to the Wright County Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment were discussed. Riley said a number of terms expire at the end of 2011. Members serve three-year terms. Eichelberg made a motion to reappoint Don Schmidt to the Board of Adjustment (4th District). The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. Thelen moved to reappoint David Pederson to the Planning Commission (1st District). The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0. Riley said Ralph Douglas is willing to serve again. Mattson moved to reappoint Ralph Douglas to the Planning Commission (At Large). The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0. The County Board member on the Planning Commission will be reappointed at the first meeting in January. Thelen said one additional appointment to the Board of Adjustment will presented in the near future. The Board of Adjustment will be short one member for their January meeting.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said he is the Department Head representative on the Wellness Committee. Discussion today will focus on a couple of Wellness programs brought forth at the 12-08-11 Leadership Team Meeting. The Leadership Team did not take action as there was not a quorum but there was support for the activities. The Wellness Committee was directed to bring the programs forth for approval because of the use of building space during and after work hours. Nick Neaton, Wellness Committee/Extension Office, presented information on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. The request is to host a CSA Fair for Wright County employees. Neaton provided an overview of the Program. He said it provides a unique relationship between growers and farmers. The Program would allow employees to work directly with farmers to receive produce on a weekly basis. The share is paid at the beginning of the year. The season is 18 weeks with an average cost of $15-$35/week. The reason this is being proposed for employees is that it provides an opportunity for healthy eating options and there is also possible health insurance discounts. Neaton said this also shows County support of small farms. The CSA Fair would be held at no cost to the County except for the use of space for the Fair. It is proposed to host the Fair from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. so employees could attend over a lunch period. The request is for permission to use the Community Room for the Fair and to distribute promotional material. Neaton said if approved, he will work with the Crow River Sustainable Farming Association and other resources to identify the CSA farms in the area who may want to be a part of this. Sawatzke asked whether it is the intent for employees to attend the Fair during their lunch period so that it will not include any work time. Neaton said that is the proposal. Mattson asked about maintenance of the gardens. Neaton said some CSA farms involve working members, others do not. Each farm may be unique in what is offered. The Fair will provide an opportunity for employees to talk with farmers. Norman requested that discussion on the CSA Fair be referred to the Ways & Means Committee for the purpose of discussing procedures if the County decides to participate in the Program. Mattson moved to refer the CSA Fair to the Ways & Means Committee for further discussion. The motion was seconded by Thelen. It was clarified that the next Ways & Means Committee Meeting will be held 1-11-12. Thelen supports this and stated it fits in with the S.H.I.P. efforts and Public Health Live Right goals. Neaton said it is an opportunity for Wright County to set the example for other counties or workplaces. The motion carried 5-0.
Mattice said the second Wellness Program request involves the offering of a Yoga Class at the LEC. A Yoga Class was held this fall after work at the LEC for employees and was well attended. The cost was $35/employee for a 6-week Class (offered 1-time/week). Positive comments were received on the Class. No Building Maintenance time was used as Wellness Committee members volunteered to set the room up. Mattice said the Leadership Team recommended the request for the second Yoga Class be brought to the County Board for approval since it involves use of a County Facility after work hours. The Wellness Committee did not request approval for the first class as they felt it was within their parameters to hold it. The second Class would be held in January and would be publicized through a flier to employees. Each participant would be required to sign a waiver. Thelen moved to approve holding the second Yoga Class at the LEC, seconded by Eichelberg. Norman asked that discussion on the Class be referred to the Ways & Means Committee to discuss process and protocol. Thelen and Eichelberg rescinded the motion to host the Class. On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to refer the issue to the Ways & Means Committee.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 12-14-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg stated that the City of Buffalo has agreed to install a raingarden on County property. The City, with the SWCD, has indicated they would help maintain the raingarden. One question is whether to plant shrubs or flowers. Eichelberg felt the County should choose whatever involves the least maintenance. Russek said the City of Buffalo has a raingarden at Sturges Park. Mattson said the City is backing the raingarden on County property, and the SWCD and Extension have agreed to participate. He mentioned a flower plot his daughter has and said after five years, it turned to switch grass and alfalfa. He would like to know this won’t happen with the County’s raingarden but said the County could always reseed if necessary. Mattson said the City’s raingarden uses shrubs, which may be the best route for the County’s raingarden. The proposed location is in the front of the building where there will not be much public exposure, so Sawatzke felt the County should strive for a low maintenance raingarden. Mattson said Al Buskey, Building Maintenance, attended the Committee Meeting with maintenance questions. Buskey was going to view the City’s raingarden and convey any concerns he had prior to the Board Meeting. Mattson said Buskey did not contact him. Eichelberg said his largest concern is the upkeep. The Master Gardeners and the SWCD have agreed to help maintain the raingarden, with the help of the custodial staff. Norman said a Maintenance and Operation Plan was received from the SWCD and will be placed on the Consent Agenda next week for signatures. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0:
I. Discussion RE: Constructing A Raingarden On County Property.
Postels shared research she compiled on raingardens since the last meeting 11-16-11. The City of Crystal (The City) installed a raingarden and provided her with excellent information regarding how to install and maintain one (see attached). She exhibited a photograph of one raingarden (see attached). She said the City developed extensive educational programs around the raingarden, including workshops designed to encourage residents to install them on their own properties.
Postels said the City was required to develop a plan by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to reduce runoff. The City utilized the raingarden concept as their plan to get residents involved in the effort. Postels said the City has conducted 600 workshops for the public and assisted in the installation of more than 1600 private residential raingardens since 2006. She was not certain how the City funded the process, but they offered to help residents install raingardens at a reduced price and maintain them the first year at no charge. Postels said raingardens became neighborhood projects with neighbors helping each other. The City also issued news releases to promote the effort.
Postels also spoke with Jackie Froemming, Local Extension Educator, Water Resources and Consumer Horticulture for Crow Wing County. Postels said Froemming indicated they’ve had a problem with maintenance in the past on the raingarden at the Crow Wing County Courthouse. Initially their maintenance department took care of it, but since they lost staff, Master Gardeners have assumed this responsibility.
Postels said Froemming advises using native shrubs for raingardens installed on public land as they do not require as much maintenance. Postels said the raingarden is not as beautiful with such plants, but reduced maintenance may be a positive tradeoff. She showed a picture of a neighborhood raingarden with native shrubs. Postels explained that the raingarden plants absorb water that would otherwise become stagnant in depressions or low lying areas.
Postels said there are a wide variety of plants and materials to consider. Sanoski discussed maintenance issues. Hayes asked whether, under the current proposal for a County raingarden, would the City of Buffalo (Buffalo) offer a choice of plants. Postels was not sure. Hayes asked whether Buffalo said they would install the plants. Postels said she thought Buffalo would do the excavating, but she was not clear. Norman said Buffalo is responsible for the grading, construction of the drain tile system, placing planting soil, planting plants and placement of mulch. Postels asked which entity would purchase them. Norman said Buffalo will cover the initial cost.
Postels said Sanoski installed a raingarden at the Fairgrounds next to the Crops building. Master Gardeners will help explain the purpose of the raingarden to the public and put up signs. Eichelberg asked whether Master Gardeners will maintain it. Postels said yes, but not much. Buskey asked whether the raingarden will need to be irrigated. Mattson said the spot already has a sprinkler. Postels said there is an indentation now. Norman said the bank will have to be reshaped.
Sanoski said raingarden size is determined by the adjacent impervious surface area (referring to parking lots and other hard surfaces). In general, Sanoski said raingarden depressions are designed about a foot deep to catch runoff. He waters the Fairgrounds raingarden with a yard hose. Sanoski recommended watering about once per week for the first year to keep the moisture content about a half inch on the surface. After that, the garden should be self sustaining. He recommended using prairie grasses and flowers. Sanoski said the County could plant annuals if Buffalo residents prefer, but they must be replaced yearly. Native plants are self sustaining after three years and may require a little transplanting if they grow too thick, but otherwise are fairly low maintenance. He said the SWCD crew will mow the garden every five years.
Mattson asked whether Buskey is the main person assigned to care for the raingarden. Buskey asked how much runoff the new raingarden will handle. Sanoski said the County raingarden is only designed to capture the first one inch runoff of a one-year storm event. If there is a two inch rainfall, once the raingarden fills up, the holding pond will reach equilibrium with the curb cut and storm water will bypass the garden, flow down the street and into the rain gutter. Sanoski said the raingarden should not overflow if designed correctly. The runoff is designed to infiltrate groundwater reserves within 48 hours.
Norman said when the Building Committee met on 11-16-11, they discussed having the juvenile work crew do the weeding and other basic maintenance. Postels said that would work as long as the youth are supervised. She said during the first year it can be hard to distinguish between weeds and prairie plants. She thought the raingarden would provide a good opportunity to incorporate workshops into the project to get community members involved. Workshops would attract residents to the site as it is being established and help them identify plants versus weeds. Eichelberg asked whether 4H groups or Extension would participate. Norman asked whether Master Gardeners would be interested. Postels said for Master Gardeners to volunteer their time, there must be an educational component. If the County incorporated a workshop into the raingarden project, she could get a group of Master Gardeners to volunteer.
Hayes said an uninformed person may see the raingarden as a weed patch. Norman said if the goal is to reduce maintenance, they should use shrubs. Sanoski said Buffalo used native grasses and flowers. He added that mulch really cuts down on maintenance as it holds down moisture but also prevents weed growth. He said after three years, native vegetation will cut out weeds completely.
Mattson asked whether the project would involve cutting down trees. Postels said none would be cut down, and Norman confirmed that.
Postels said as plants grow thicker, they choke out weeds. Mattson said after the first three years, other plants like alfalfa may push through. Norman said he can see the value if it is not a burden for Maintenance to care for the garden. He said it would help if the County could depend on juvenile work crews to maintain the raingarden. He said the County is short two custodian positions; one at the Law Enforcement Center and one at the Government Center. Sanoski said the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will do the technical design at no charge. He does all the construction oversight on County raingardens, as well as follow up and maintenance. He offered to work with Postels to set up workshops. Sanoski added that Buffalo has a great crew. Norman said it would show a positive cooperative effort between the SWCD, the University of Minnesota Extension office, the County and the City of Buffalo. Eichelberg agreed it would be good to have all entities working together. He said Extension and 4H might be interested. Sanoski said the SWCD would provide financial assistance. Sanoski said Kerry Saxton at SWCD wants to get a raingarden on County property. The SWCD does cost sharing up to 75 percent. He said they need to get the appropriate paperwork together. Norman added that if Buffalo is building the raingarden, they will have to reconstruct sprinkler system water lines.
Sanoski said Buffalo has contacted him. He said it is important to have an attractive project from the start. Hayes said once the raingarden is designed, the County can establish a maintenance plan and have the sprinkler system relocated. Buskey said the area is staked out. Mattson said Buffalo must have a plan. Hayes asked if anyone has seen the details. Norman showed him the map (attached with 11-16-11 minutes). Mattson said they must have a layout. Eichelberg said his biggest concern is the continuous maintenance required and whether the County will get a commitment from SWCD and Buffalo. Mattson asked whether heavy rains could wash out the raingarden before it is established. Buskey echoed his concerns. Hayes said the garden will only hold a certain amount of water. Sanoski said the curb cut would be blocked to force the water to bypass the raingarden to allow the new plants to become established. Once the vegetation is established, the raingarden will go online. He suggested giving the garden a month for the grass to green up. Buskey said a heavy rain will wash out mulch. Sanoski said yes, but it can be put back in place.
Mattson said the County should have a contract. Norman said the County has an agreement to sign with Buffalo that delineates the responsibilities for both the County and Buffalo (see attached). This was reviewed at the last meeting. The County assumes responsibility for the raingarden maintenance after Buffalo installs, plants and adds mulch.
Sanoski said Sturges Park in Buffalo has the closest raingarden. Buskey expressed interest in seeing the raingarden and talking to their staff about it. Sanoski said it is designed under a similar concept as the County raingarden, although it does not have a curb cut. Mattson said that garden is not as large as the County raingarden. Sanoski agreed, saying they had to accommodate more water at Sturges. Eichelberg said the Committee could move a recommendation to the full County Board and work out arrangements for installation and maintenance.
Norman said the Committee would need to recommend approval and authorize signatures on the raingarden agreement with the City of Buffalo. Mattson asked whether the SWCD would sign the Buffalo agreement. Sanoski said he would send an SWCD contract to Norman that could be approved at a later date. Norman said the Committee minutes will reflect a separate agreement with SWCD. The County Board will vote on the agreement with Buffalo. The project will likely not proceed until spring of 2012. Sanoski said he believes the stakes at the County site outline the side slopes, the bottom and top of the holding area and the bottom of the raingarden.
Mattson said he approved bringing the matter to the full County Board, and if Buskey has questions related to Maintenance, he may address them to the Board.
Norman thought the County raingarden would set an example to the public and provide the education illustrating the benefits. Postels said the more people that participate; the more it helps County lakes.
Recommendation: Approve And Authorize Signatures On The Raingarden Agreement Between The City Of Buffalo And Wright County.
II. Installation Of Two “Reserved” Sign Posts, HSC. (Human Services Board Item).
(End of 12-14-11 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 12-14-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0:
I. Position Openings:
A. Office Assistant, Auditor/Treasurer.
Hiivala asked to fill an Office Assistant position vacated in October. His plan is to automate ditch records in the next three years with a $50,000 grant. The plan will include perfecting the records that are imaged, the assignment of benefits to the ditches, and the identification of parcels with GIS layers. Moving forward, he will seek a grant to automate records. He felt the best structure would be one dedicated Office Assistant to aid in this process. Consistency can be lost when the tasks are spread between numerous people. The person will also be cross trained to assist with coverage of other positions in the Office as needed (i.e., covering vacation, sick time, etc.).
Sawatzke asked what positions are vacant in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office and what the future is of the Office Assistant position once the project is completed. Hiivala stated the positions of Office Assistant and Assistant Finance Director are open at this time. He estimated the ditch records will be up to date in about three years. Sawatzke asked what the $50,000 grant can be spent on. Hiivala stated it is a two-year grant requiring a 1:1 match including in-kind services. The County is not reimbursed for salaries but salaries count towards the grant match. The SWCD is looking to purchase a piece of equipment which qualifies for grant funding. The bulk of the grant dollars will be spent with Huston Engineering to automate the process. Sawatzke asked how the match will be met if the Office Assistant is not hired. Hiivala responded that time spent on this effort by other staff members or the SWCD staff counts toward the in-kind services. Sawatzke said that in the time it takes someone to complete the ditch system update, another employee may leave and the Committee can discuss whether replacement is warranted or not at that time.
Petersen suggested waiting until the start of 2012 to advertise because of the holiday season. Sawatzke felt the position could be advertised mid-January to save another month of salary. Hiivala said he needs to converse with Kurt Deter, Rinke Noonan, on proceeding so that the schedule is acceptable.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of Office Assistant position with advertising to take place the week of 1-17-12.
B. Microcomputer Specialist.
Swing said historically, the staff of the IT Department has remained stable. Over the past two months, the Board approved the hire of a Lead Developer. Mike Janckila was hired into that position and left his position of IT Programmer. Two employees recently resigned in the IT Department, including the Network Analyst and a Microcomputer Specialist. Swing said that in 2008, he conveyed that the Lead Developer and Network Analyst positions were placed incorrectly on the Salary Schedule. The employee that recently resigned from the Network Analyst position was hired in the same position in Carver County for $30,000 more. Nelson stated that three Microcomputer Specialists are rotating their work schedules to support the Human Services Department until the vacant Microcomputer Specialist position is filled.
Sawatzke asked whether the IT Programmer position has been filled. Petersen said the position closes today for both the IT Programmer and Network Analyst positions. Petersen suggested advertising the Microcomputer Specialist position on the MN Job Bank and the County’s website after approval through the first part of 2012. The position requires a background check which extends the hiring process by about a week. Swing said the correct title for the position is IT Technician. He requested that the Union Contract be updated to reflect this change during the upcoming Union Negotiations. The Contract currently lists the position as Microcomputer Specialist.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of Microcomputer Specialist. The position will be advertised upon Board approval through 1-07-12.
C. Financial Worker Positions.
Maloney requested replacement of a Financial Worker position. The employee has given notice of their resignation. Reimbursement for the position is estimated at 70%. Another Financial Worker will be on FMLA starting in January. Maloney requested the temporary hire of a former Financial Worker (67 days maximum) while the Financial Worker is on leave.
Maloney said there are 1600 cases split between the four Financial Worker positions. The position replacement is being requested at this time because of the length of time it takes to train due to the complexities of the position.
If the temporary Financial Worker position is approved as requested, minimal re-training will be required. The person will assist with paperwork so the other Financial Workers can train the new Financial Worker and manage the caseload. The temporary position will be hired at Step 1.
Recommendation: Authorize proceeding with the recruitment process and interviews for replacement of the Financial Worker position. The hire date will be the date of resignation of the current employee. Authorize hire of a temporary Financial Worker while an employee is on FMLA, up to 67 days, at Step 1 of the Financial Worker Salary Schedule.
(End of 12-14-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Bills Approved
10000 Lake Chapter ICC-M $150.00
5th District Jail Administrat 380.00
All Wheels Recovery 133.59
Allina Hospitals & Clinic 15,625.00
Allina Hospitals & Clinics SP 231.15
Allina Medical 214.36
Allina Medical Laboratories 184.30
Anoka County Juvenile Cent 63,678.00
Anoka County Sheriff 8,824.24
Aramark Services Inc. 11,746.56
Barker Co/Bob 337.32
Benchmark Computer Learn 12,000.00
Borell/Ralph 230.68
Brothers Fire Protection C 1,814.49
Budget Lock & Key 140.00
Buff N Glo Inc. 130.00
Buffalo Clinic 269.16
Buffalo Country Store 117.00
Buffalo Hospital-Otpt com 1,000.00
CADD Engineering Supply 2,214.75
Carbonell/Carolyn S 59,260.00
Cardiac Science 1,309.22
Center Point Energy 7,008.82
Central Fire Protection 309.00
CenturyLink 6,383.44
Collins Brothers Towing 164.59
Commissioner of Transport 11,609.93
Constellation of Justice Sys 22,550.63
Consulting Radiologists Ltd 172.20
Dell Marketing LP 1,029.98
Dynamic Recycling 2,686.14
Eichelberg/Elmer 647.03
Emergency Physicians Prof 588.75
Engel/Dale L 575.00
Erickson Engineering Comp 2,520.00
Felger Ramos LLC/Maria 100.00
Fingalson/Wayne 264.02
Fire Safety USA Inc 6,649.80
Foxe Fyre Gallery 217.82
Frontier Precision Inc. 4,315.64
GPS Intelligence LLC 3,115.00
Grainger 1,494.83
Granite Electronics 292.24
Greater MN Regional Park & 150.00
Hennepin County IT Dept 1,800.00
Hennepin County Sheriff 140.00
Hewlett Packard 3,877.10
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 1,294.40
ICC Upper Great Plains 399.00
Janckila/Michael 134.00
K2 Corporation 1,552.42
Kirscht/Joseph 125.00
L3 Communications Inc 10,787.97
LaPlant Demo Inc. 451.35
MAAO Region 3 100.00
Mattson/Richard 481.03
Menards - Buffalo 119.80
Minneapolis Radiology 117.05
MN Association of County O 283.22
MN Department of Labor & In 423.40
MN Monitoring Inc 276.00
MN Sheriffs Association 100.00
MN Society of Prof Surveyor 940.00
Neil’s Floor Covering 1,758.01
Norman/Richard W 398.03
Office Depot 1,495.94
PMI Computer Supplies 1,113.90
Regents of the University C 31,862.49
Rhodes Lock & Glass 585.93
Russek/John 492.03
Schmidt/Elmer A 33,048.75
SGA Group Inc. 2,500.00
SHI International Corp 3,234.96
St. Croix Solutions 487.50
St Michael Veterinary Clinc 135.59
Stoll/Brian 198.00
Tomar Electronics 12,323.84
Total Printing 331.95
Unlimited Electric Inc. 166.73
Walker Trucking/C 700.00
West Payment Center 970.98
Westside Wholesale Tire 296.05
Windstream 276.68
Wright Hennepin Electric 159.66
Wright Lumber & Millwork 187.89
24 Payments less than $100 862.39
Final total $369,823.72
The meeting adjourned at 10:20 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 16, 2012.

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