Wright County Board Minutes

AUGUST 14, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present. Commissioner Mattson was absent.
Eichelberg moved to approve the 8-07-12 Wright County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #2, “Joint Ditch 15” (Russek). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: P. Forare, Hwy.; M. Sandquist, Atty.; K. Olson, Patrol.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 8-04-12.
3. Authorize Wellness Committee To Sponsor After Hours Yoga Classes For Employees, Two Sessions (9-13-12 to 10-18-12 & 11-01-12 to 12-13-12), Location Old Jail Gym.
4. Authorize Wellness Committee To Sponsor After Hours Zumba Classes For Employees, Two Sessions (9-18-12 to 10-23-12 & 11-06-12 to 12-18-12), Location Old Jail Gym.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said a Joint Ditch 15 repair request was filed by Byron Sangren. The repair relates to cleanout of the Ditch. Commissioner Mattson and Engineer Mortenson from Meeker County previously met with Sangren. There was consensus between Mattson and Mortenson that the request should be granted. Today, Russek said he met with four vendors on site on 8-10-12 to discuss the repairs. The vendors include Dean Terning, Fyle’s Excavating, Ed Rettman, Jr. Excavating, and Wuetherich Drainage.
The repair includes two miles of cleanout starting where Joint Ditch 14 ends and Joint Ditch 15 starts. Russek feels several things should be addressed: 1) Should the trees be removed on one or both sides of the Ditch; 2) Should the contractors burn the brush and wood. If not, what should they do with it; 3) The level of the spoils; and 4) When bids should be due. Russek said one of the vendors, Rettman, supports removal of the trees on both sides, including spraying the stumps. Rettman thinks that otherwise, the trees may fall into the Ditch within the next 10 years. Russek’s recommendation is that the bids should break down the cost of tree removal for each side of the Ditch. The bids should also include burning the brush, cleaning up the brush, and leveling of the spoils.
Hiivala stated that Joint Ditch15 is a joint ditch with Meeker and McLeod Counties. Up to $40,000 can be expended for repair. Hiivala has notified the two Counties of the repair request. If those Counties have any bills against the Ditch, it will limit the amount that can be expended for this repair. The Wright County Board can authorize repair if it does not exceed the limit; otherwise, a Joint Ditch Meeting is required. Joint Ditch 15 is in Wright County only. Joint Ditch 15 benefits extend into Meeker County as Joint Ditch 15 is the outlet for Joint Ditch 14. Russek stated the repair includes removal of 2’ to 4’ of fill in Joint Ditch 15.
At the request of Hiivala, Russek made a motion to authorize advertisement of bids for repair work to Joint Ditch 15. Bids will be received by the Wright County Auditor/Treasurer until 8-27-12 at 4:30 P.M. Bids will be opened at the 8-28-12 County Board Meeting. If the bids exceed $40,000 or the amount repairs are limited to, then the bids will be submitted to the Joint Ditch Authority. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. It was agreed that anyone wishing to bid on this repair work should contact the Auditor/Treasurer to set up an on-site meeting with Russek so repairs can be explained. The motion carried unanimously.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, stated that Wright County currently has 120 tax court petitions. A trial date for an executive home in Otsego has been set for 11-13-12. The appeal relates to 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 assessments. Kramber requested the Board authorize appraisal work by William R. Waytas, Nagel Appraisal and Consulting. The initial appraisal fee is $1,800. After submitting the report, Wright County will be billed $100/hour for any meetings and/or appraisal revisions, updates, upgrades, hearing preparation, discovery, and testifying. Kramber requested approval of expenditures not to exceed $5,000 so they can properly prepare for trial. Funding will be from Budget 100, Professional Services. Sawatzke asked about the home value and the arguments against the assessments. Kramber stated the appeal relates to an executive home in Otsego located on the fork of the Crow River on the Mississippi. The property size is 70 acres and includes a 24,000 sq. ft. home (16,000 sq. ft. without the basement). The value started at $4 million in 2008 and because of the economy has reduced annually to $2.2 million in 2011. The appeal is to have each of the four years’ assessments valued at $1.9 million. Russek moved to approve the appraisal work by William R. Waytas, Nagel Appraisal and Consulting as requested. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, presented a draft resolution reflecting Wright County’s support for the development of the Mississippi River Trail in Wright County (U.S. Bicycle Route 45). The 3000-mile Trail System will run from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. The route utilizes bicycle friendly roads and multi-use pathways. The Trail started in the early 1990’s between New Orleans and St. Louis. MnDOT is focusing their efforts on the Minnesota route and will rely heavily on road shoulders, low volume paved roads, and separate pathways. Approximately 60% of the route in Minnesota will be established on local, township, and county roads; 25% will be on State roads; and the remaining will be on State, Regional and local trails. The Mississippi River Trail (MRT) generally parallels the Great River Road. MnDOT will be providing signing, marketing, and websites. On 10-05-10, Wright County passed Resolution #10-35 reflecting support of the collective efforts of MnDOT and other road and trail authorities that comprise the MRT. The Resolution authorized the Parks Administrator to represent Wright County in the ongoing collaborative effort in general.
Mattice said the MRT route in Wright County follows CSAH 75 from Clearwater to Monticello, CR 39 from Monticello to Otsego, and CR 42 toward Dayton. In 2013, the shoulders on CSAH 75 are proposed to be paved and CR 39 is already done. Sawatzke asked about signs on the bike route. Mattice indicated that Wright County will have the opportunity to review the sign plan at the Highway Department. Wright County has requested that the signs be connected to the existing posts and follow Wright County’s sign rules. MnDOT will supply and install those signs. Sawatzke asked if there are any pavement markings planned to inform the traveling public that this is a bike route. Mattice said there are not. Sawatzke said he presumed there is no cost to Wright County because there is no work that is being completed differently than was already planned (i.e., paved shoulders were already planned on CSAH 75 due to high traffic volumes). Mattice said this is also part of Wright County’s overall bikeway plan. Mattice said they are working on sign replacement with MnDOT. On the Great River Road, MnDOT puts up the sign but Wright County replaces them. They are currently negotiating with MnDOT to have them provide the replacement sign. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #12-42, reflecting support for the development of the Mississippi River Trail in Wright County. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Mattice requested the Board authorize himself and Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, to represent the County’s interests regarding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) and to send a letter to MnDOT reflecting this. The letter will reflect the County’s support of the MnDOT application to designate and develop the MRT along the Mississippi River as a United State Bike Route. Mattice and Hawkins will review site plans, signage plans, etc. Sawatzke moved to authorize the letter as drafted. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
A Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 7-31-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following corrections were made to the minutes: Page 1, Members Present, remove “Mattson” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0:
I. Streaming Of Board Meetings To The Web.
Swing said this meeting will include two Internet demonstrations showing how County Board meetings could be streamed via the Internet. The sessions will be performed remotely by the vendors via the Internet and speaker phone. He distributed information about both solutions (see attached).
Swing introduced the representative from the first company, IQM2 Solution (IQM2). He said IQM2 currently provides web streaming services to Stearns and Itasca Counties. Swing said this type of technology is becoming commonplace for city and county governments.
The representative from IQM2 said the name stands for Intelligent Meeting Management. The company works primarily with cities, counties and school districts to automate their meeting processes. They offer three services: MinuteTraq™, Media Traq™, and eBoardroom™.
MinuteTraq™ enables users to manage meeting documents, review processes and procedures, create agenda packets and minutes, web publish, search, and other functions.
MediaTraq™ is the video streaming and webcasting product. This software automates the recording, uploading and web publishing of meetings and events. It also archives all meetings and allows time stamping on the agenda so viewers may quickly find the section of video that discusses their topic of interest.
The third service, eBoardroom™, allows the display of supporting documentation such as maps, slideshows, and websites on a projector. When a motion is made and voted upon, the results are displayed on the screen in real-time.
The IQM2 representative said the County could start with one of the services and add others later as the need arises.
His presentation focused on the MediaTraq™ service. IQM2 provides an Encoder or laptop that plugs into audio visual equipment. As part of their monthly fee, the company provides configuration and set up, the web streaming network, bandwidth, and servers. IQM2 would not use the County’s bandwidth. The representative said the service can handle thousands of viewers at once. The web portal for the County would be designed to look like the County website. Viewers click on a link or go to a page on the County website to view live or archived meetings. Live Streaming and archival services are optional.
Another optional tool is called Minutes Maker. This tool allows a viewer to click on a live meeting, perform searches, jump to an agenda item, vote on an item, and view Board member profiles, voting and attendance records.
The representative said the Encoder could be set up in the Control Room closet in the Board Room. He played a sample web cast. He said most clients choose to do both Live and Video On Demand (VOD) Streaming. Available features include automatic start and stop, unlimited archives, time stamping of agenda items, accessibility to iPhones and iPads, web searching, closed captioning, ceremonies and training videos.
The representative played a live Stearns County web cast. He said the County could opt to either use the IQM2 web portal or post the streaming on the County web site. The advantage with the IQM2 web site is that County Agendas would be searchable. He said prior agendas may be added to the archives as far back in history as the County chooses to post.
The IQM2 representative displayed the MediaTraq™ Encoder software features. There is a ten second delay with Live Streaming.
Thelen suggested the Committee check out the Stearns County website to see how streaming works from the viewer’s perspective. She asked what the cost and time involved would be for existing staff. Swing said either option presented today would work with existing County technology.
Sawatzke asked whether archived meetings stored on the IQM2 web portal could be retrieved by the County if the contract with IQM2 was terminated in the future. The representative said all County documents and data remain the property of the County. The software allows documents and data to be downloaded in standard formats such as Windows Media platforms and MP4. IQM2 has no proprietary formats, so transferring to another vendor would be a smooth transition.
The IQM2 representative confirmed that there is no initial cost for equipment. A single monthly fee provides unlimited streams and viewing. He said the County could cancel at any time. The monthly fee also includes all updates for software, setup, the Encoder, and staff training. There is 24/7 phone support. The web portal is fully hosted, supported and backed up by IQM2. There are no terms or commitments.
Sawatzke asked what data was available regarding the average usage of web portals for government entities. Would the County be able to track usage? The IQM2 representative said the recording is built into the software. Thelen asked whether the County would be able to track hits. Swing said he could provide reports.
Thelen asked how much staff time would be involved for the Information Technology and Administration Departments. Swing added more information is needed to understand the time it takes to index Agenda items. The representative said indexing is optional. IQM2 imports the Agenda from a Word document. The Agenda items show up on a list. The staff member clicks the button next to the Agenda item, and the time stamp is inserted.
Thelen asked if IQM2 does the indexing. Swing asked whether the County sends IQM2 the Agenda. The representative said a County staff member would import the Agenda from Word, select it in the IQM2 system, read through the document and import the Agenda titles into the IQM2 tool. Then the County staff member associates the time with the Agenda item. The representative said this could be done during the meeting or afterwards. He said some clients write down the time on paper and type it into the IQM2 tool after the meeting. The cost for this solution would be $7,800 annually.
Ken Kunkel of EPA Audio Visual, Inc. co-presented the second presentation with a representative from Leightronix. Swing said the City of Buffalo is a current client of Leightronix. Kunkel said PEG Central, the software provided by Leightronix, is similar to the IQM2 solution. He says more viewers use Video On Demand (VOD) than Live Streaming, as it is more convenient.
The representative from Leightronix explained the difference between VOD and Live Streaming. VOD is “video when you want it,” and Live Streaming is “video as it happens.”
The representative explained how to upload the video to the Internet. A box called a PEGvault SD is used to transfer video and audio automatically to Leightronix servers, which immediately send data to the Internet. Leightronix offers:
1) Hosting on their network instead of the County network. The County would not have to maintain servers or bandwidth;
2) Easily managed VOD web interface;
3) Customized Uniform Resource Locater (URL), website name and web page header graphic;
4) 500 hours of video storage;
5) Ability to index points to meeting videos;
6) List price of $2,988 per year or $249 per month.
The Leightronix representative showed a sample slide of a city web portal page, as well as examples of actual PEG Central client sites. She described how the videos could be listed with a still photo from each video as a thumbnail next to the title or descriptions. Another option allows videos to be organized in folders by committee or other meetings using a drop down menu.
She showed the City of Buffalo PEG Central page. Index points on the Agenda may also include hyperlinks to additional documents or attachments presented at the meeting. A large link at the top of the main page could be inserted to bring viewers directly to the meeting agenda.
Thelen asked again whether this solution involved more time for County staff. Kunkel said the County Board Room control system can have a button added to allow indexing during the meeting. When the Agenda item changes, the staff member would tap the button to load the time stamp. The Leightronix representative demonstrated how to index points on the Agenda. There are many fields and ways to customize how the published page appears to the public. She added that the County could opt to imbed the videos in the County web site versus the PEG Central portal. However, the PEG Central web site provides information regarding the date, time, and length of time a viewer watches a video, as well as how much band width is used.
The representative also demonstrated other areas of the web site that allowed customizing the web portal, as well as additional ways to monitor viewing, available storage left, and bandwidth.
Swing asked whether the County videos are archived in a standard format so they are easy to download in the event the County discontinues the Leightronix web streaming service. The representative responded that it is not possible to download the meeting video off the PEG Central site. She suggested recording a copy of the meeting. Thelen asked whether the video would be accessible to the public. Swing said this copy would be for archival purposes. The Leightronix representative then described the Live Streaming option.
Sawatzke asked how quickly the VOD function would be available online after Board meetings. The representative said they are ready to be viewed within a matter of hours after the file is transferred and transcoded. She encouraged the Committee to view meeting videos on the City of Buffalo website and other Leightronix client sites that use PEG Central. She described the hardware and software needed and how they function to provide Live Streaming. Leightronix has the band width capacity to allow thousands of simultaneous viewers via a 500 kb/outbound stream. She said Live Streaming provides instant availability on the Internet. Leightronix hosts the web site and would give the County the URL. Alternatively, the County could opt to imbed the live stream in the County website if desired.
The representative said Leightronix has been in business for more than thirty years, and has primarily served government access and municipalities. There is a five year parts and labor warranty. If the County opts to use the PEGvault-SD Digital Video Encoder and the PEG Stream box, the warranty is provided at no extra cost. Leightronix provides free technical support for the life of the product. There are no annual fees. The software and firmware updates are also provided free of charge for the life of the product. No subscriptions are necessary.
Swing thanked the representative and said the Committee would discuss these options with the Technology Committee. Thelen requested feedback from Stearns County and the City of Buffalo regarding their experiences with Live Streaming and VOD. Russek asked who provides these services to the City of Delano. Kunkel believed Delano uses the Wright County Consortium. The Leightronix representative said the company has clients in the Delano area who use PEG Central in varying degrees. She encouraged the Committee to view the websites of these clients. She also showed web sites of clients in Pennsylvania and Savannah, Georgia.
Sawatzke asked what percentage of viewers use VOD versus Live Streaming. The representative responded that more customers are interested in VOD, especially if their budget limits them to choosing between Live Streaming or VOD. She had no statistics, but said the demand indicates VOD.
Thelen asked about up front costs to install and implement VOD. Kunkel said there is hardware that must be purchased, such as PEGvault and PEGstream. Sawatzke asked Kunkel to verify that the initial cost of $13,300 is the same whether the County decided on VOD or Live Streaming. Kunkel replied that the other company (IQM2) provides the hardware at a higher monthly fee. Leightronix asks the client to buy the hardware initially, but invoices at a lower monthly cost. Regardless of the level of service, the same hardware is needed.
Russek asked the level of staff time involved to implement and maintain this service. Kunkel said the County is currently recording meetings via a camera mounted on the wall. The camera records to a DVD and video that is provided to Charter, and Charter plays the meeting back according to a designated broadcast schedule. With PEG Central, the video and audio would be fed into a PEG Central box which would then transmit the signal.
Thelen said Swing could check with Stearns County and the City of Buffalo regarding the time commitment this system requires of their staff. Norman said the current camera requires changes in camera angle to be made manually.
Swing suggested that he, Norman and Backes get feedback from cities and counties regarding their level of satisfaction with the system. Sawatzke said the current system is adequate, as the County is not expected to provide broadcast quality similar to the evening news. Sawatzke said the viewer still gets the necessary information.
Kunkel reminded the Committee that VOD or Live Streaming features give the County more access than is currently available via cable. No subscription is needed. Thelen added that video cannot be indexed with cable broadcast. Sawatzke said cable operates according to a set programming schedule. Viewers have to look for the program. This option would allow residents to view the meeting whenever they have time.
Kunkel said hardware is needed for each system presented today. Leightronix asks the client to purchase the hardware in advance.
Thelen said the ideas discussed today should be brought before the Technology Committee. Swing suggested that information be gathered from Stearns County, the City of Buffalo, and their respective websites before the Committee makes a decision. Sawatzke asked Swing to query existing clients of IQM2 and Leightronix about whether their websites receive more hits with VOD or Live Streaming. Swing said Itasca and Stearns Counties both use IQM2.
Recommendation: For informational purposes only.
(End of 7-31-12 Technology Committee Minutes)
The meeting recessed at 9:27 A.M. and reconvened at 9:30 A.M.
Commissioner Thelen closed the bid process for the Safe Routes To School Trail Project in the City of Montrose. The Project includes a trail and sidewalk system in Montrose. Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, said Wright County is the sponsor for the Project as the City has less than 5000 population, and it allows them to qualify for Federal funding. The Engineer’s estimate is $155,000. Justin Kannas, City Engineer, opened the bids:
Bidders; Total Amount Bid; Bid Bond
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix, Annandale MN; $196,538.20; 5%
Omann Brothers Paving, Inc. , Albertville MN; $190,255.44; 5%
Kannas said the initial plan was to come back to the County Board next week with a recommendation on the bids. As the bids exceed the grant amount, Kannas will need to review the bids with the City of Montrose. Russek moved to accept the bids and to lay them over to a future date. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0.
Bills Approved
Palmer Printing $3,655.12
All Wheels Recovery 376.73
Allina Medical Laboratories 157.90
AMEM 130.00
Amer. Inst. Advance. Forensic 170.00
Ameripride Services 161.27
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 2,230.95
Barnes Distribution 443.30
Berntsen International Inc 484.38
Bottiger/Shawna 150.00
Boyer Truck Parts 694.06
Bryan Rock Products 311.78
Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm. 7,677.98
Buffalo/City of 83,633.17
Burdas Towing 134.09
Center Point Energy 112.92
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 28,201.13
Central MN Mental Health 450.18
CenturyLink 3,614.60
Climate Air 2,257.03
Corporate Payment Systems 1,928.48
Cottens Inc 3,068.62
Culligan Of Buffalo 497.51
Election Sys. & Software Inc 15,077.50
Excel Systems 300.00
Fibernet Monticello 359.80
Final 3 Feet LLC 130.00
Granite Electronics 281.60
Green Interiors 4,795.00
Hardings Towing Inc 187.03
Herald Journal Publishing Inc 209.13
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 828.01
Holiday 21,250.86
Johnson Materials Inc 26,633.31
Karels Towing 175.30
Kindred Family Services 910.32
Lake Region Coop Oil 321.93
LaPlant Demo Inc 446.44
Lawson Products Inc 148.28
Marco 2,710.33
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 800.00
Matt Legal Services 100.00
Menards - Buffalo 399.55
Metro Group Inc/The 14,384.82
Mini Biff LLC 533.12
MN Chief Engineers Guild 100.00
Montrose/City of 502.75
Morries Parts & Service Group 2,401.94
Multi Health Systems Inc 357.50
Neopost USA Inc 570.34
Office Depot 346.44
Office of the Secretary of State 240.00
ORyans Conoco 100.00
Otto Associates 4,878.50
Procise Solutions Inc 105.00
Purick/Ryan 100.00
Ramacciotti/Frank 100.00
Rhodes Lock & Glass 380.24
Royal Tire Inc 2,426.94
Southside Township 804.60
St Croix Solutions 3,270.23
Swing/William J. 281.48
Synergy Graphics 1,170.66
TASC 1,069.00
Towmaster 368.97
Twin City Seed Company 1,221.81
United Parcel Service 143.01
Veolia ES Solid Waste Midw. 387.34
Voss Lighting 143.64
Waste Management-TC West 2,636.31
Wright County Surveyor 11,015.10
Wright Hennepin Electric 216.12
Youngs 403.80
Zacks Inc 150.85
30 Payments Less Than 100 1,494.76
Final Total 268,910.86
The meeting adjourned at 9:33 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 10, 2012.

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