Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 20, 2012
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 Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the 3-13-12 County Board Minutes as presented.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke referenced Items A3 and A4 dealing with Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) for donation of vacation time to an employee. Sawatzke understands that the MOA dealing with the Union will be signed by the County and the Union involved. He questioned who signs the MOA relating to Non-Union Employees. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said he and the Board Chair sign the MOA, which is consistent with how MOA’s have been treated in the past. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Fox, V. Horn, K. Kramer, J. Miller, K. Walker, Sher.
2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, Minnesota Rodeo Association, Silver Bullet Saddle Club Arena, 17363 Cty. Rd. 7, Clearwater MN 55320 (Clearwater Twp.).
3. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Agreement With Non-Union Employees To Allow Donation Of Vacation Time To Employee.
4. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Agreement With Teamsters, Local 320, Courthouse Unit, To Allow Donation Of Vacation Time To Employee
1. Approve Signatures On Mortgage Satisfaction, 6897 Quinn Avenue NW, South Haven MN 55382, PID #217-000-321-113 (Part Of Section 32, Township 121, Range 28, Southside Twp.).
1. Approve Renewal Of 6 Mo. On Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Church Of St. Mary Of Czestochowa (Franklin Township).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the 3-12-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes for approval. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and assign classification of conservation or non-conservation status and to set the minimum bid price for the next batch of tax forfeit parcels. After determining individual classifications and minimum bid price, a recommendation to present the draft Resolution to the County Board was made.
(End of 3-12-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes)
Mattson moved to adopt Resolution 12-21 requesting authorization from the MN DNR for acceptance of parcels as Non- Conservation Land to be sold for Tax Forfeiture and setting minimum bid amounts for each parcel. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Hiivala said a Request For Proposal (RFP) was previously developed to obtain bids for County Ditch 10 engineering services. The RFP requested engineering services to provide an opinion on the impacts to Lake Ann if Ditch 10 is cleaned. The RFP included an Alternate for a feasibility study for extending the Ditch. The bids are for engineering services only (not repair). Hiivala opened the bids:
Bidder; Bid Amount
Wenck & Associates; $11,954.00 Base Bid plus $7,612 for the Alternate Bid
Huston Engineering (Maple Grove); $11,600.00 includes both the Base Bid and the Alternate Bid
Hiivala suggested laying the bids over for review and recommendation from the Ditch 10 Committee. Russek made a motion to acknowledge the bids and to refer the bids to a Ditch 10 Committee Meeting on 3-27-12 at 1:30 P.M., Auditor/Treasurer’s Conference Room. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.
Hiivala provided a reminder of the informational Ditch Meeting which will be held on 3-28-12 at 6:30 P.M. in the Community Room, Wright County Government Center. Wright County is hosting the meeting. A presentation will be made by Rinke Noonan covering ditch topics (i.e., the basic drainage process, what is considered a repair or improvement, and redeterminations). This was provided as an informational item.
The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Russek. Russek questioned payment of claims by all departments to Citrix Systems Inc. Hiivala said that involves a reoccurring bill for licensure for remote access to systems. The cost is prorated to each department. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke asked for continued discussion on the tax forfeit properties. He referenced Parcel 213-030-001120 on the list of tax forfeited properties that the Tax Forfeit Committee reviewed. There have been previous requests to build on this property or to haul in fill, and those requests have been denied. The property is adjacent to County Ditch 33 and occasionally there is flooding. Sawatzke estimated the parcel size at about one acre. Sawatzke asked that if the parcel is sold through the tax forfeit process, that full disclosure is made to the next property owner that the property is not buildable. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said tax forfeit properties are sold “as is” and conditions can be attached. The County can specifically indicate that any development of the lot will have to be approved through Planning & Zoning. He said this parcel has significant limitations. He did not know whether there is room on the site for septic. Sawatzke said many of the lots sold through tax forfeiture may be unbuildable. With the size of the parcel, it may appear to the buyer that there are more options available. He did not want someone purchasing the parcel to later find out they cannot bring in fill or a trailer, for example. Sawatzke asked that this be relayed to the purchaser in advance.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, presented a draft resolution in opposition to House File 389 and Senate File 270 restricting the ability of local units of government to impose moratoriums. Riley said some progress has been made on the Senate file version but it is uncertain on whether compromise will be reached between the House and Senate. Riley suggested that the proposed resolution would maintain pressure on the process. Thelen asked if this would limit the capacity of townships, cities, and counties on moratoriums for any sort of unplanned development. Riley said the original bill version included a loophole allowing incomplete applications to be exempt from moratoriums. That loophole has been closed. It is up to the County Board members to decide whether the resolution should be adopted to keep the pressure on. Thelen said that local response did make a difference in the House. Riley said the Association of Minnesota Counties has withdrawn opposition. They are unsure of the outcome at this point. Thelen said the thinking is that the amendments are not much better, although the Senate version is better than the House version. Mattson inquired as to whether anyone has talked with the Legislative Delegation on their positions as he feels this is important. Riley and Thelen said they have not made that contact. Thelen hopes the resolution will make them take notice of the issues involved as it will greatly weaken local control. After review of the draft resolution, the consensus was that wherever the word “counties” is used in the resolution, that it be replaced with “counties, cities, and townships.” Sawatzke said the County has used moratoriums in the past. An example is when the County enacted a moratorium on cell phone towers, as it was a new technology. A study was completed and the Ordinance was removed. The County has used moratoriums on such issues as feedlots, solid waste, mining, and adult uses. It provides an opportunity to study the issue and respond appropriately. Russek said a moratorium provides a year timeline to develop a policy to deal with issues. A study is required while the moratorium is in place. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #12-22 opposing House File 389 and Senate File 270. The motion includes revising the Resolution language to reflect “counties, cities and townships” in place of “counties” in all instances. Mattson said looking back, the County should have moved forward with the company that was planning the cell phone towers at that time, as there are many areas in the western part of the County where cell phone coverage is not available. Russek said providers can erect towers to allow coverage for those areas, but they need to meet certain restrictions. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board was developed a number of years ago. Membership consists of two City Council Members, two County Commissioners, one Wright County Parks Commissioner, one City Parks Board Member, one School District Representative, one Township Representative, one Monticello Community Center Board Member, two At Large Citizens from Monticello City, and two At Large Citizens from outside of the Monticello City limits. The County Board Members appointed to the Advisory Board are Thelen and Sawatzke. Martyn Dibben was recently appointed to the Parks Commission and he took the Parks Commissioner seat on the Advisory Board. That opened up one of the At Large Citizen appointments. At the last Advisory Board meeting the other At Large Citizen Member, Larry Hance, resigned because of personal reasons. That leaves the two At-Large Citizens positions open. The openings were advertised on the City and County websites and through a press release. The Advisory Board reviewed the applications and recommends the appointments of Jim Hayes (Maple Lake) and Tom Jahnke (Buffalo) as the Citizen At Large appointments. Sawatzke stated there were four candidates with impressive backgrounds. Sawatzke moved to appoint Jim Hayes (Maple Lake) and Tom Jahnke (Buffalo) as the Citizen At Large appointments on the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
Mattice presented a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Wright County and the City of Monticello for the YMCA/Bertram Lake Park Project. The MOU was drafted in 2006 along with an agreement for the intent to purchase the YMCA Camp Manitou property. Upon review of past Board action, the MOU was not formally executed. The MOU formalizes the current partnership between the County and the City. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board unanimously supports the adoption of the MOU. The City Council authorized signatures on the MOU on 3-12-12. Mattice said if successful this year in the bonding request, there is legislation language calling for this MOU to be in place for bonding. This is done so that the interest in the land is memorialized. Senator Koch has authored the bonding bill on the Senate side. Representative Dean Urdahl and Representative Bruce Anderson have co-authored the bill on the House side. The MOU formalizes that both parties agree to match grant dollars equally, and addresses undivided interest in the property and general concepts which they have been operating under for the last 5-6 years.
Russek said there is no dollar amount attached to the MOU. He has voiced all along that the cost will not only involve purchasing the Park but future costs as well. No one has ever been able to say how much this cost will be. Now there is an agreement being presented that the County will split everything 50/50 with the City. With no dollar amounts provided he had trouble approving the MOU, not only for the present but for future Boards as well. Mattice said Items 8 & 9 of the MOU reflect that future spending has to be agreed upon. Action today is memorializing the MOU and that monies appropriated would have to come to each representative Board or Council for approval. Sawatzke thought the MOU was approved by the County Board approximately five years ago. Mattice said it is unclear. He worked with the Administration Office to research past minutes. One thing found was that it was approved for signatures with one alteration. He could not identify that alteration but believes it is in the first paragraph, adding the language, “The purpose of this document is to establish the terms, conditions and responsibilities of the parties.” Sawatzke said it appears there is confusion on whether the MOU was approved previously and whether the document was revised in that fashion. Thelen feels the MOU reflects the intent of the verbal agreement that they have been operating under.
Sawatzke said the City and County are already maintaining 400 acres of park land at the site. Mattice said $2,500 has been placed into the County Parks Department annual budget for this purpose. That was done a couple of years ago. He has not asked for additional funds. Sawatzke said the open space allows the public to hike, bike, and canoe. There is very little maintenance being done at this time. Obviously, there will be more maintenance required as the size of the Park grows and the activities increase. Sawatzke said the County owns the Park with the City. There needs to be an understanding of how things will be handled over time. He said the MOU is not a final document. It includes language that references a more formal agreement in the future. Mattice said that is correct. Item 13 reflects, “In the event that the City and the County acquire the property in entirety, the parties intend to adopt a formal Joint Powers Agreement to memorialize the terms and conditions of ownership, maintenance and capital improvements of said property going forward. Said Joint Powers Agreement would establish an appointed Joint Powers Board responsible for governing the park.” Sawatzke said the MOU being considered at this time shows how to manage and share costs in the interim, until the entire property is acquired. In the future, greater discussion will be needed as the City has plans for things (i.e., ball fields) that the County may have no interest in maintaining. Sawatzke said there is a proposal for a campground. The County runs campgrounds at other parks so he felt that would be something the County will be involved in. Once the property is acquired, he feels there needs to be a greater discussion and agreement with the City on who does what. There are certain things the County will take care of and there are others that the City will take care of. That debate can happen at that time.
Mattson said a number of parks in Hennepin County charge a fee to utilize a park. He has not seen where discussion has taken place on a fee for Bertram Park. He feels there should be discussion on income that could be generated. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Project has moved forward on a 3-2 vote by the County Board (Mattson and Russek voting against), and Mattson would like to see information on future income brought forward. Sawatzke said they could consider fees in the future. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Park, once acquired, will be different than any other Park in the County. The Park will be 1000 acres in size, but the amenities will be similar to parks in Hennepin County, although those parks may be 2000-3000 acres in size. Thelen felt this would be taken into consideration. For now, the MOU is a basic agreement that reflects who is responsible for what. Sawatzke said in the near future, the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Board will ask for special restrictions on the four lakes as it pertains to motors, etc. The Advisory Board does not have the authority to make that decision. The County Board will be asked to make a decision on whether these lakes are unique compared to others in the County and whether they want to give the public a unique experience out there. Sawatzke said the Park is currently 400 acres. He did not view it to be different than Ney Park at this time so he was unsure that there should be special fees to use it. In the future, however, he felt this discussion should occur. Sawatzke made a motion to approve the MOU between Wright County and the City of Monticello relating to the Bertram Chain of Lakes ownership, maintenance, and operations intent. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 3-2 with Russek and Mattson casting the nay votes.
Mattice said they have been working with the City of Clearwater for a number of years on turn back of Clearwater Wayside Park to the City. The City Council met with Mattice and Thelen on site. The City questioned if a community center and additional improvements would constitute it remaining as a park. The City was asked to present their request to the Parks Commission. This issue was then brought to a City Council meeting where citizens voiced an interest in improvements to the Park. They do not want a Community Center. Mattice feels the issue has been dropped for the County to turn the land back to the City. However, the request has come forward for Park improvements. Mattice obtained information from the citizens who would like to see the improvements. This information was brought to the Parks Commission for discussion on priorities. Mattice does not feel there has ever been a boundary survey completed and suggests this as a first step. The Parks Commission is recommending to the County Board moving forward with completing a boundary survey, including contours of the land. The information will provide the necessary data to allow for further discussion regarding possible improvements. The action requested today is to direct the County Survey Office to do a complete boundary survey.
Russek asked for parcel size and how the land was acquired. Mattice said this is about a 7-acre parcel and was acquired as part of the I-94 project (old Hwy. 152). It was previously a MnDOT wayside rest. Part of the turn back to the County included the wayside rest. The Highway received the right of way and the Parks received the wayside rest. Russek said there may be restrictions on what the land can be used for. Mattice said there are no restrictions. Thelen said the boundary survey will not tie the County to making the improvements. Eichelberg asked that the Parks Commission Minutes be corrected to reflect that he was not in attendance. Russek moved to direct the Survey Office to complete a boundary survey at Clearwater Wayside Park. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0 (Mattson absent).
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 3-14-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek referenced Item B, Office Assistant, Extension Office. He said that Chur stated at the Committee Meeting that an attempt was made to figure out how to save money while getting more summer help for the Extension Office for the County and State Fairs. Sawatzke said he may not have supported the request for the summer intern without the package they put together showing a reduction in staffing. Their plan provides assistance in the Extension Office when it is needed and savings to the County. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0:
A. Office Assistant, Auditor/Treasurer.
Norman summarized the history of this position request, which first came before the Personnel Committee (Committee) in December 2011. The Committee authorized replacement and advertisement of the position. Advertising commenced, but Hiivala decided to postpone hiring until he could talk to the Committee.
Hiivala said there is still a need for the position. After he studied similar positions at other counties, as well as proposed and current job descriptions, Hiivala said he would prefer to classify this as an Accounting position versus Office Assistant. Norman asked the title of the new position. Hiivala said the position would be called Accounting Technician, and would include ditch components in addition to other functions. The technical nature of the Accounting Technician duties would require exercising more latitude and independent judgment, as well as understanding of applicable laws. Sawatzke asked how long it would take the Accounting Technician to finish work on the ditch project. Hiivala said he obtained a three-year grant for catching up on County records. He also believes work on County ditches will take even longer. Sawatzke asked whether this is a full time position. Hiivala said it would be more than part time. The grant is for $50,000. Some of the funds will be used for equipment for the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Hiivala said the balance is $40,000. The County must match the grant to pay salaries.
Norman asked whether the Accounting Technician position is in a higher classification than Office Assistant. Hiivala said yes. There is about a $2,000 per year difference between the two annual wages in the existing classification structure. Norman said it has not been determined in which classification the Accounting Technician position will fit under the Classification Study. Hiivala compared job descriptions for the new Accounting Technician position and highlighted similar responsibilities. Sawatzke asked whether the classification consultant needs to see this job description. Norman said no. The consultant is reviewing job descriptions based on meetings he had with Department Heads to determine what information will be incorporated into the updated job descriptions. The County has not yet received the final classification study. Norman was concerned about promoting an employee, if the new study indicates no promotion is warranted. Norman asked Hiivala if he intends to promote someone into the Accounting Technician position and then backfill the Office Assistant position. Hiivala said he has staff qualified for the Accounting Technician position. His request is to make the Office Assistant position an Accounting Technician. He would then select an Office Assistant from the pool of candidates from the recent external posting.
Norman said if the Accounting Technician position is considered a promotional opportunity, it should only be posted internally. Hiivala agreed. Sawatzke asked what happens if the position is ultimately not classified as a promotion. Norman said there is a new job description for Accounting Technician. Hiivala said the job description did not change much, with the exception of adding the words “latitude” and “independent judgment.” Thelen suggested the Committee assume it would be a promotion. Norman said at this time the Accounting Technician and Office Assistant positions would be two different classifications. The Committee has to use the existing job descriptions as the new one has not yet been approved by the County Board.
Hiivala clarified that the open Office Assistant position may be re-titled as Accounting Technician, and the resulting vacancy in the Office Assistant position be filled from the existing pool of candidates. Sawatzke agreed it would make sense to move ahead to avoid having to re-advertise.
Recommendation: Approve changing the open Office Assistant position to Accounting Technician, post the promotional opportunity internally, and fill the resulting Office Assistant vacancy from current pool of applicants.
B. Office Assistant, Extension.
Chur distributed a document describing the budget, history and rationale for her request to fill a vacant Office Assistant position (see attached). Chur said her goal is to accommodate the Department’s staffing needs creatively and yet provide efficiencies for the County.
Chur requested a .5 FTE Office Assistant plus a temporary full time office support position for 13 weeks during the summer. The temporary position would be requested annually. Norman said Chur and he met last week, and he suggested this scenario. Sawatzke said the proposal made great fiscal sense in that the Department is going from a 1 FTE to .75 FTE, yet meeting the needs of the Department at the same time. Chur said last summer they paid their temporary help $10 per hour. She would like to offer compensation comparable to Step 1 of the Office Assistant wage scale, as $10 per hour did not yield a qualified candidate pool last summer. Sawatzke asked what Step 1 was for Office Assistant, and said that would be an obvious place to start. Chur agreed. She added there would be other savings, since the previous Office Assistant had progressed to a much higher Step level. Chur said Neaton will also be making a request for summer interns. His request will include a slight increase, but temporary staff is an efficient way to get work done during busy summer months.
Thelen said the temporary office support person should not be paid less than Step 1 of the Office Assistant wage scale. Sawatzke said last time they paid $10 per hour. He suggested not going higher than Step 1 and perhaps a bit less. Chur said summer interns have traditionally been paid $10 per hour. Sawatzke asked if they were usually college students. Chur is hoping for a candidate who could work this position year after year, such as a teacher who has summers off. She has no one in mind at this point.
Sawatzke asked what the current County policy states regarding temporary staff. Norman said the pay has generally been $10 per hour, with some exceptions. Norman said Step 1 for the Office Assistant position is $14.69 per hour. He said the Committee could approve that hourly amount if the position was categorized in the past as comparable to Office Assistant positions. If the position was consistently categorized as a $10 per hour position, then that would be the appropriate compensation. Sawatzke said this temporary position has not existed in the past. Norman agreed, but said it is in lieu of a full time Office Assistant. Sawatzke suggested offering in between the Office Assistant Step 1 level and $10 per hour. Norman replied the Committee should do one or the other for consistency. He added the Highway and Parks Departments pay some of their temporary help more than $10 per hour. He offered to check with Personnel for clarification. Norman said because this position is in lieu of a full time job due to Chur’s willingness to trim back to a half time position, he hopes to find a seasonal candidate who wants to return every year. Thelen said since the temporary office support position used to be a full time secretarial position, she thinks the compensation should be at Office Assistant, Step 1.
Chur said last year they hired a temporary staff person, but it did not work out well. The Department did not use them for the entire summer. Thelen suggested the Committee recommend approval of the temporary position since the Department reduced a position from full time to half time.
Sawatzke asked Norman’s opinion regarding the differences in hourly wages for seasonal Parks and Highway employees. Norman said there is a distinction. If Jobe were to say he could hire a Surveyor Technician for a half time position, he would consider paying them more. Jobe said they have done that in the past. Norman said the union contract allows the County to hire a seasonal worker at Step 1. Under the contract, if an employee is defined as seasonal, the County may hire them for up to 120 days, which fits the 13 week period requested by Chur. Sawatzke asked whether seasonal employees receive benefits. Norman said no. Sawatzke said wages for seasonal workers were frozen the last three years. Chur asked whether the temporary staff would stay at Step 1. Norman said at $10 per hour, the County is dealing with a different pool of candidates. Mattice said his seasonal workers get $9.50 per hour to start. Sawatzke asked Mattice what his highest paid seasonal worker receives. Mattice said $12.25 per hour for a seasonal worker who has worked for Parks for 18 years. Sawatzke said he will support Norman’s suggestion. Norman said he recommends authorizing a seasonal employee for Extension to start at the Office Assistant Step 1 level of $14.69 per hour. Sawatzke said the County saves paying benefits and .25 FTE.
Recommendation: Replace a 1 FTE position with a .5 FTE Office Assistant and temporary full time Office Assistant at Step 1 at $14.69 per hour for 13 weeks during the summer of 2012.
C. Social Services Supervisor.
Miller said this position will fill an upcoming vacancy beginning 4-02-12. She distributed a handout summarizing the responsibilities of the Social Services Supervisor in the Mental Health Unit (see attached). Duties include supervision of the Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals (CADI) and Brain Injury Waiver budget, which serves 66 clients. This position is also very involved in the CommUNITY Project with seven counties. The Mental Health Supervisor oversees a total of 15 staff. This position backs up other supervisors as well, and is the primary lead for commitments and external meetings.
Thelen moved to approve the request. Sawatzke agreed since the Department is minus a supervisor. Miller said she recommends Personnel post the position internally and externally. Kieft asked whether that requirement is in the union contract. Norman said no, as the Supervisor position is not in a union. Miller said there are a few staff who are interested, and she has received several external inquiries as well. They are hoping for a decent pool of candidates. Kieft asked if the Department is required to come back to the Committee to backfill a position vacated by the promotion, if the position is filled internally. Norman said yes, the Committee would need to approve replacement of the vacated position.
Recommendation: Approve replacement for the Social Services Supervisor position.
D. Sergeant.
E. Deputy Sheriff (3).
Norman said the Sergeant position opened due to a promotion to Lieutenant. He spoke with Sheriff Hagerty to confirm the number of open positions. They are:
(1) Sergeant position due to a promotion to Lieutenant;
(3) Deputy Sheriff positions. One was promoted to Sergeant, one resigned and one retired.
Sawatzke asked if the promotion of the Deputy Sheriff to Sergeant has occurred yet. Norman didn’t think so, although Hagerty may have selected someone. The Office interviewed Sergeants for the Lieutenant position. Norman said he did not know whether they interviewed Deputies for the Sergeant position. Sawatzke asked if there were two or three Deputy Sheriff positions open currently. Norman said he believes the person who resigned has not yet left. The person who retired has left. In addition, Norman said another person is retiring from a Lieutenant position. He clarified there are three Deputy Sheriff openings with the promotion of a Deputy to the Sergeant position. Sawatzke and Thelen recommended approval.
Recommendation: Approve replacement of Sergeant and 3 Deputy Sheriff positions.
F. Seasonal Workers/Interns.
1. Engineer Interns, Highway Department.
Carlson requested approval to bring back one summer intern for the Highway Department this summer. The candidate has been with the Highway Department the last three seasons. Carlson said the young man is an exceptional intern. He has two years of training in the field. Carlson said there is a solid six weeks of survey work coming up in addition to overlays and street lighting projects. In the past, the Department requested two seasonal workers, but this year the request is for one.
Norman asked the hourly compensation rate for the intern. Carlson said he is paid $12 per hour. Sawatzke said he cannot disagree if the Department had two seasonal workers in previous years and is only asking for one this year. He asked how many weeks the intern would work. Carlson said the maximum allowable for a seasonal worker. Sawatzke asked whether that was 24 or 26 weeks, and how much the Department had budgeted for the intern. Carlson said $24,000 was the total amount budgeted for seasonal workers. Hawkins said $10,000 of that is for the intern. Sawatzke said that would not be a reduction. Carlson said not if he stays the full amount of time. However, last year there were two seasonal workers. One worked until August. Carlson added the intern he wants back will work until October 2012. Norman asked Carlson if the intern will work the same amount of time he did in 2011. Carlson said there should be some savings for rainy days or when there isn’t enough work on a particular day. Hawkins added there will be a lot of staking to do initially, but when that is completed, there may be lulls in the workload.
Norman asked if the seasonal employees work a normal Monday through Friday schedule. Carlson said yes. Hawkins added they do not work four 10 hour days. Norman said last year the Department asked for $20,000 for interns, and the Committee told them to divide up the time between all seasonal staff to avoid going over budget. Hawkins said the Department followed those instructions.
Recommendation: Approve seasonal Engineer Intern position for the Highway Department at $12 per hour.
2. Sign Seasonal Workers, Highway Department.
Hawkins requested $10,000 for seasonal Sign workers. The goal is to have two sign trucks working concurrently. Hawkins said this request presents a savings, since 1 FTE is vacant due to a Workers Compensation injury. The Department would like to hire two summer seasonal workers to alleviate a backlog of sign work. They are paid $10 per hour. Sawatzke asked whether Hawkins would rehire past workers or new people. He also asked the experience level of last year’s workers. Hawkins said last year their seasonal staff was new but very good. He is hoping to bring them back.
Recommendation: Approve hiring of two seasonal Sign Workers for the Highway Department at $10 per hour.
3. Seasonal Workers, Parks Department.
Mattice distributed a handout with a list of proposed seasonal workers for 2012 (see attached). Note: The handout mistakenly states 2011. Mattice said the data is for 2012.
Due to past budget cuts, Mattice said he has restructured work schedules for the Schroeder and Rover restrooms. The Parks budget for seasonal workers is $56,000 for 2012. He discussed the levels of experience and credentials of the workers.
Sawatzke asked whether Parks workers are affected by rainy days. Mattice said some come inside to work on equipment, others clean restrooms, some work shorter hours. Sawatzke asked if they make up those hours. Mattice said no. He anticipates the seasonal staff will work a similar number of hours as last year. Sawatzke asked if the 520 hours worked last year represent 40 hours per week. Mattice said yes. $56,000 is budgeted. He named two seasonal staff who are returning to Collinwood who will be helpful to the new Campground Manager. He mentioned others who were coming back and those who might not return.
Norman said the $56,000 is a not to exceed figure. Thelen recommends approving the request. Sawatzke concurred.
Recommendation: Approve hiring seasonal Parks Workers not to exceed the budgeted amount of $56,000 for 2012.
4. Surveyor Intern, Survey Department. Jobe requested one summer intern for the Survey Department. The hourly wage is $10.25 per hour for a total budget of $5,000 for 2012. Typically the student arrives mid-May and works until mid-August, depending on their college or university class schedule. The intern will work full time daily. Sawatzke asked if a previous intern is returning. Jobe said the intern the Department had used for the last two years may not return. He is seeking higher pay. Jobe had several inquiries about internships, and he has also contacted the University.
Sawatzke asked why Parks pays $9.50 per hour and the Surveyor pays $10.25 per hour. He also asked what Engineering Interns receive. Norman said the Engineering Intern hired back for his fourth season will earn $12 per hour. Sawatzke asked about the seasonal Sign workers in the Highway Department. Norman said Hawkins said $10 per hour. Sawatzke asked about standardizing the wage for interns. The County lowered the wage the Information Technology Department (IT) pays interns because Bill Swing said he could find candidates at a lower rate. Norman said Swing uses student interns. Jobe said he needs people with training.
Thelen asked if the budget of $5,000 is the same as last year. She recommends approving the request. Jobe said he was surprised to hear the Engineering Intern received $12.25 per hour. He feels Engineering Technicians and Survey Technicians are similar because they require extra training and certification. He values having interns who return because they don’t require training.
Sawatzke said this is the third or fourth summer the County has frozen wages for interns. Jobe said prior to last year they would give a slight increase to returning interns. Last year the wage was frozen. That may be why last year’s intern may not return as he feels he can earn more elsewhere. Norman said it would be good to standardize wages for interns across the organization. Sawatzke said the County has four or five different pay rates for staff working in the same building. Perhaps the County could structure pay for temporary workers as No Skills Needed and Skills Needed. Norman said he thinks temporary Bailiffs start at $10 per hour. If a job requires certification, that could demand a slightly higher rate of pay. Sawatzke asked if the Survey Intern requires certification to qualify for the position. Jobe said they are receiving training at school directly related to the field in which they work at the County. The intern position allows real world application of their education. Jobe said there is a distinction between a position that requires an educated or trained person and one that nearly anyone could do.
Sawatzke asked if any of the Survey Interns receive college credit for the internship. Jobe said some do and others do not. Sawatzke said often interns receive college credit and even pay for the opportunity. Sawatzke asked if they should approve the position at $10.25 per hour. Jobe said the wage was frozen last year, and it would be nice to pay more, since this would be the intern’s second year. However, Jobe said he would rather pay $10.25 to stay under budget. He looks for students first. The problem is the Survey Department needs help April through October. Students typically are only able to work three of those months. Norman suggested keeping the pay at $10.25 per hour. Sawatzke and Thelen agreed.
Recommendation: Approve hiring one Survey Intern at $10.25 per hour, not to exceed the budget of $5,000 for 2012.
5. Intern, Extension Service.
Neaton distributed a handout regarding the Extension Office Intern Proposals for 2012 (see attached). He requests one 12-week internship and one 8-week internship. He classifies these positions as internships versus seasonal hires. His current request is increased from last year’s request, which was for 10-week and 5-week internships. The interns work from late May to mid-August and from late June to mid-August, respectively. Neaton said the 4-H Program is reaching more children, and interns provide needed staff to accommodate the increased demand. The 4-H Camps require a 1 to 10 ratio of adults to children.
Neaton said the addition of one staff person will enable the Department to increase program offerings and will also attract a larger, more qualified candidate pool. He said most college students are out of school by May 10. The internship starting late May would appeal to more students and coordinate better with their school schedules. By extending the 5-week position to 8 weeks, Neaton said they will appeal to students serious about pursuing an education or Extension career.
Neaton listed the number of program events held at libraries. He said the addition of interns reduces the comp time for permanent County staff that used to accrue before and after the County Fair. It also represents a cost savings to the Department.
Neaton intends to hire a County resident again, at the same hourly wage of $10. He said hiring through the University usually does not yield a local person, which he prefers, as each 4H county, while similar to others, has distinct characteristics.
Sawatzke said he looks at both Extension requests as a package that represents an overall savings to the County and yet meets the needs of the Department. He appreciates the good things that Extension does. Since the total package comes out to less than 2011, he recommends approving the request. Thelen agreed.
Recommendation: Approve hiring one 12-week Extension Intern and one 8-week Extension Intern, each at $10 per hour.
(End of 3-20-12 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 3-14-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following discussion occurred on issues discussed by the Committee at their meeting:
Item 1, Request For Card Readers in Court Administration. Mattson recalled that the Committee’s recommendation was to approve the card readers based on Bill Swing’s approval of the wiring and access. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, said at the meeting that each card access would cost about $2,000 but Mattson was unsure of that figure. He felt the recommendation was incorrect on this issue as he felt that Swing’s answer was supposed to be obtained. Thelen recalled that approval was pending on referral to Swing. Norman said Swing would not know the cost of the card reader as that is something that Hayes deals with. Norman said Hayes is estimating $2,000/door based on past costs. Mattson said that there will be costs to wire into the system. He said the request involves mechanical doors. Thelen said the request was approved but referred to Swing as the next step in the process. Norman said Hayes completes the legwork to obtain estimates from the card key company. Mattson said if there are additional costs involved, the request would need to come back to the Board. Sawatzke asked whether IFS informs the County of the cost after the work is done. Norman stated that a purchase order is generated by Hayes and that is when the cost is known. Hayes has indicated that this cost is approximately $2,000. Norman said the Board has previously seen similar payments on the abstract to IFS for card readers at this cost. Sawatzke asked whether the cost is provided prior to or after hiring IFS. Norman said in order to generate a purchase order, a cost is obtained. The figure is approximately $2,000. Mattson wants to see complete costs and feels the request should be laid over until it is made sure that $2,000 is the total cost. Eichelberg asked whether funding will be from Site Improvements. Norman felt this would be the logical funding source. Thelen said the request for the card readers is a result of security issues in other counties. Mattson said the doors currently have mechanical locks. Sawatzke said the County has made this type of improvement in the Courts area in the past, only to have the doors propped open or the doors taken off. He asked whether it is the consensus of the Judges to have these card accesses installed. Peggy Gentles, Court Administrator, said the request originated from the Judges. The Sheriff’s Office suggested these additions a number of years ago. At that time, the Judges did not agree with the recommendations. The doors involved are currently free access doors. If the doors are upgraded to card key access, it would be the expectation that they would remain closed. Mattson feels this issue should be laid over.
Item 2, Request to Remodel Vacant Evidence Room/EOC. Genell Reese, Veterans Service/Civil Defense, said the State cannot provide a letter stating the County has to complete the remodel of the EOC. Reese said the remodel needs to be completed prior to the next nuclear exercise. There is currently $60,000 in the Nuclear Fund. Those funds can be used toward the remodel, depending on cost figures obtained. Norman said the Committee’s recommendation is to authorize working with an engineer to obtain bidding documents. Sawatzke asked for more information on the remodel, dimensions of the room, and the 32’ of block wall that must be removed. Reese said the plan is to expand the EOC to encompass the Evidence Room. That space will be utilized during nuclear exercises for people on telephones. Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, said the former Evidence Room is configured in a horse-shoe shape. The block wall that needs to be removed is not only on the perimeter but also runs down the center of the room.
Mattson moved to approve the minutes and recommendations and to authorize Hayes to work with an engineer to draw up specifications to obtain formal quotes. The motion includes laying the first item (Card Readers, Court Administration), over to obtain an exact dollar figure as opposed to an approximate figure. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. The minutes of the 3-14-12 Building Committee follow:
I. Request For Card Readers, Court Administration.
Gentles distributed a memorandum requesting five card key door access readers, and a diagram designating the location of the doors in question (see attachments). Her primary request is for three card key readers (Doors 1, 2 and 3 on the diagram) to control access to the Judges Chambers via the adjacent hallway. This hallway is currently accessed by Court Administration staff and inmates being transported to court. Gentles said Sheriff Hagerty agreed with the need for these three card key readers.
Gentles explained that card key readers would secure Doors 1 and 2 going into the hallway. Door 3 would control access to the remaining three Judges Chambers and the Court Administration Office.
Gentles explained that Door 4 on the public corridor to Court Administration and Door 5 located between Courtrooms 1 and 2 both have mechanical locks. She said one day those will cease to function and Court Administration will need to control access to those spaces. Mattson asked whether Gentles had spoken with Information Technology (IT) Director Bill Swing. Gentles responded she had not spoken with him but she will do so.
Norman said door access was brought up at the 2-08-12 Building Committee (Committee) meeting that Swing and he attended (see attached excerpt of minutes). At that time, the Committee decided future requests for new doors should initially go through IT to determine how the proposed card key reader would fit into an access group. Then the Administration Department will evaluate the request regarding potential issues involving the new card key reader, as well as consider other alternatives.
Norman asked whether Court Administration had any issues with Doors 4 and 5. These doors control access to Judicial corridors on the north and south sides of the courtrooms. Currently, a punch code system secures them. Gentles said there have been no issues, although they both allow the public and inmates access to the courtrooms. Norman asked if inmates are shackled in the courtroom. Gentles said yes, they must be while transported. Their primary entrance is by Courtroom 5 (Door 1).
Hayes said at one time there was a proposal to remodel Courtroom 5 to accommodate in-custody inmates. To his knowledge, the County installed a card key reader, but the door was never used in that capacity. Gentles said it does not meet Court Administration Department needs.
Thelen asked whether there are locks on the Judges’ office doors. Gentles said yes. Norman asked whether a prisoner brought into the courtroom would have his shackles removed. Gentles did not believe so. She said the possibility exists that someone in the courtroom could cause an incident that would pose a security risk. Hayes said the card key access reader is a better system. If a card is compromised, it can be deleted. Thelen felt the request was reasonable.
Hayes said Court Administration did not receive card key access readers when they were installed elsewhere in County buildings. He said there are no plans to add more courtrooms in the near future. Norman suggested the Committee recommend approval pending Swing’s decision regarding access groups.
Hayes said the cost is approximately $2,000 per door. Mattson asked whether the State would help with funding. Gentles said it would not. She requested clarification regarding whether the recommendation was for all five doors or a lesser number. Norman said the recommendation was for Doors 1, 2 and 3, since Doors 4 and 5 have working mechanisms on them.
Hayes explained that one card key access controller operates four doors. He said there may be an existing controller that has room to add another door. Thelen asked about the function of the controller. Hayes said it is the brain that sends messages to the doors. Mattson said they are expensive.
1) Approve three card key access readers (Doors 1, 2 and 3) in the Court Administration Judicial corridor.
2) Refer the request to Information Technology Director Bill Swing to determine the most appropriate access group and who should be granted access.
II. Request To Remodel Vacant Evidence Room/EOC.
Reese summarized the background for her request, saying representatives from the Federal government told her last year that the County needs to provide more space in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for County radios. She distributed a diagram of the existing EOC and Veterans Services Department, and a diagram of the proposed remodeling of the EOC (see attachments). Her request is to expand the EOC into the former Sheriff’s Evidence Room because the wiring for the phones and radios is already installed. Norman asked whether Reese had obtained the Federal recommendation in writing. She said she has tried calling her contact and has not heard back, but will get that commitment in writing. Reese added that the addition will be paid for by funds from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Norman asked whether the steel door in the corridor would be closed off, and how she proposed to match the wallpaper that currently exists in the corridor. Hayes said workers would insert steel studs into the wall, and sheetrock and paint it in a complementary color to blend with the wallpaper. Norman asked if the door to the hallway would be removed. Reese said the entire wall would be taken out.
The Committee and Reese toured the Vet Services office, the EOC and the former Evidence Room.
Reese pointed to cabinets in the EOC that would be moved to the former Evidence Room if the remodeling is approved. She said the phone system is identical to the system at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) to allow sirens to be activated from the EOC. The proposed plan avoids moving these phone lines.
Reese demonstrated how Door C123 has no lock and allows free passage into the room. Hayes said there is about 32 feet of block wall that would be taken down between the former Evidence Room and the EOC. Norman said the heating and ventilation system would have to be updated. Hayes said it must also be tied to the EOC system. The sprinkler system pattern is dissimilar between the two rooms as well. Hayes estimates the cost to remodel will be higher than $20,000. He will work with an engineer to write a specification.
Norman asked Reese to get a written statement from the State regarding utilizing their funds to pay for the remodeling. Reese said representatives will be meeting at the County Government Center tomorrow, and she will get the letter at that time. Norman said the recommendation also authorizes Hayes to work with an engineer to draw up specifications to obtain formal quotes. He also asked Hayes and Reese to obtain at least one more additional quote.
Thelen asked whether there were nuclear funds in the County budget. Reese responded that whatever this can’t pay, the State will. Norman said the remodeling will probably cost $80 to $100 per square foot.
1) Request a written commitment from the State to pay for the cost of the remodeling of the Emergency Operations Center out of State Nuclear Funds.
2) Authorize Hayes to work with an engineer to draw up specifications and to receive formal quotes.
(End of 3-14-12 Building Committee Minutes)
Norman provided an update on the City of Buffalo’s street and utilities improvement project. The County was notified on 3-14-12 that the 2nd St. NW portion of the project will commence on 3-26-12. Administration staff met with the City Engineer and worked out details regarding the impacts on Government Center operations, including the arrangement for use of parking lots and traffic flow. The City’s Engineer will be responsible for directional signs for traffic, parking, and building access. They will also be responsible for the public announcements (radio, newspapers).
• During the City’s project, traffic and parking will not be allowed on 2nd St. NW.
• Starting 3-26-12, the east parking lot (currently an employee lot), will become a public lot. Public parking will also be allowed in the parking lot in the front of the building and on the parking deck. Employees will park in the west lot and in designated areas near the Library.
• A map will be posted on the County websites (Internet and Intranet) reflecting parking and traffic flow. A temporary ingress off from CSAH 35 into the east parking lot will allow access to the three lots which will be used for public parking. The traffic will flow through the east lot and will either access the front parking lot via the alley to the right or drive across the alley to access the parking deck. The egress will be via the alley to CSAH 35, with a right out only option.
Mattson referenced the temporary ingress to the east parking lot from CSAH 35 and asked whether there will be adequate distance from TH 25 to allow for this ingress. Norman said there is enough distance from TH 25 for a temporary ingress. A couple of parking spots will be lost in the east lot to allow for the ingress. The traffic from the west already has a left turn lane that can be used to access the ingress. Norman said this was provided as an informational item.
Bills Approved
Allina Health Systems 114.25
Allina Hosp. & Clinics 20,067.95
American Traffic Safety Assoc 240.00
Ameripride Services 192.01
Anderson/Dale E 1,000.00
Annandale/City Of 43,485.44
Aramark Services Inc 6,730.14
Bakeberg/George 313.00
Barker Co/Bob 315.77
Bauman/Lawrence R 289.50
Bersie/Bruce 278.00
Braman Security/Marcille 284.89
Buffalo Floral & Landscaping 160.00
Catco Parts Service 815.82
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 27,277.69
Central Mn Mental Health 367.32
CenturyLink 8,484.84
Citrix Systems Inc 2,789.45
Corporate Payment Systems 3,102.31
CST Distribution LLC 1,203.88
Culligan Of Buffalo 200.00
Douglas/Ralph D 284.00
Firehouse Auto Rep. & Towing 101.65
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
Greenview Inc 803.90
Hanover/City of 386,781.42
Hickmans Service Inc 142.95
Int. Assn. Of Property & I 100.00
Jakes Excavatng 900.00
Janzen/Melissa 102.59
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 135.73
Kaczmarek/raymond J 2,003.00
Karels Towing 376.21
Keeprs Inc 247.96
Kopff/Nancy 200.00
Kustom Blinds & Draperies 1,279.29
Lehmberg/Lavonne 234.00
Lous Gloves Inc 888.00
Lynn Peavey Company 285.05
MACPZA 275.00
Magneto Power LLC 143.57
Marco 273.48
Martinson/Pauline 250.00
Menards - Buffalo 162.74
Midwest Protect. Agency Inc 3,122.86
MN Alcohol Traffic Safety Assn 725.00
MN Counties Comp.Coop. 1,301.29
MN Counties Intergove. Trust 100.00
MN Dept. Of Labor & Industry 100.00
MN Monitoring Inc 13,688.50
MN Sheriffs Association 150.00
MN Transportation Alliance 198.00
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 1,770.87
Office Depot 1,878.45
Pederson/David 195.00
Pryor Seminars/Fred 199.00
Public Agency Training Council 295.00
R A Doran & Associates 395.00
Ramacciotti/Frank 100.00
Ramada Mall Of America 315.39
Rockwood Corporation/The 272.50
RS Eden 188.00
Russek/John 212.50
Russell Security Resource Inc 2,797.35
Scharber & Sons Inc 2,057.27
Schneider Coporation 3,972.00
SHI Corp 1,455.64
State Of MN-Office Enterpr. 1,215.00
State Supply Co 649.86
Titan Machinery 557.95
Total Printing 172.60
US Bank 431.25
Village Ranch Inc 951.36
Webb/Janelle 114.00
Weber/Gordon S 210.00
West Payment Center 970.98
Windstream 287.54
Wright County Auditor Treas. 123.61
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 5,432.04
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,214.34
19 Payments Less Than 100 969.03
Final Total: 562,571.98
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal April 16, 2012.

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