WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JANUARY 22, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
On a motion by Potter, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the 1-15-13 County Board Minutes.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, “11-27-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #3, “Board Of Adjustment Appointment” (Riley); Item For Consid. #4, “Evening Meeting Topic” (Borrell). Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Daleiden questioned Consent Item A2, “O/T Report, Period Ending 1-05-13.” Daleiden said the O/T Report has a line item titled “Non-Union Non Exempt” and questioned what employees that includes. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said he will provide that information to the Board. It could be hours incurred by employees in various Departments. On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: K. Horsch, Aud./Treas.; M. Johnson, J. Wilson, Hwy.; J. Gagnon, K. Joerg, B. LaRose, D. Nystuen M. Pacelli, P. Standafer, Sher./Corr.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-05-13.
3. Claim, MCIT, $519,410, Property/Casualty Premium, 2013.
4. Claim, MCIT, $591,144, Workers’ Compensation Premium, 2013.
1. Approve Abatement, PID #210-015-000030 & 210-015-000040, Paul & Kathleen Yager (Maple Lake Twp.).
1. Approve Renewal Of 2013 Tobacco License For Cruiser’s (Monticello City).
Tom Kelly, County Attorney, introduced John Bowen who has been hired as an Assistant County Attorney. Bowen started in the position on 1-14-13. Kelly requested that the Chair and County Coordinator be authorized to sign an Approval of Appointment and Oath for John A. Bowen, Assistant Wright County Attorney. Potter moved to authorize signatures on the Approval of Appointment and Oath for Bowen, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board schedule a Tax Forfeit Committee Meeting with the following Agenda items: 1) 114-500-144106 & 114-500-144103; 2) 104-010-026-050; 3) Update on Sherwood Forest; and 4) 101-500-013104. Sawatzke referenced Sherwood Forest and inquired whether there has been a reduction in the previous values, as they were viewed as high and created some problems. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said there is a possibility a reduced sale price will be set. The Homeowners Association would be notified of this. There is no recommendation on that today. Daleiden made a motion to schedule a Tax Forfeit Committee Meeting for 1-29-13 at 8:30 A.M. in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Conference Room. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Potter.
Hiivala presented the 11-27-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes for approval. Hiivala said action was taken relative to Carrigan Estates at the 12-18-12 Board Meeting. Potter moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
The purpose of the meeting was to consider two items:
1. Conveying six parcels in Carrigan Estates to the City of Waverly for public use and set the terms for the conveyance.
2. Update Status of Sherwood Forest parcels located in Maple Lake Township.
1. PID’s 116-026-001010, 116-026-001070, 116-026-003020, 116-027-001060, 116-027-001160 and 116-027-002110: Mayor Connie Holmes was in attendance for discussion on these parcels. Asleson reported that the Board had adopted a Resolution previously conveying several similar narrow parcels to the City of Waverly at the fee of $1/parcel for public use. The six parcels on today’s agenda were not eligible for tax forfeiture at that time, and the City would now like to acquire them in much the same manner. Mayor Holmes said it is the City’s intent to replat and convey the parcels to the homeowners for their use. In response to a question from Mattson, Holmes confirmed that the park dedication fees were paid when the original plat was recorded. Hiivala displayed an overhead of the parcels involved, and Asleson and Gillham summarized that most of the parcels are bare lots in commons areas. There is a larger lot on the lake that is State owned, which may be sold at a Sheriff’s sale in the future. Asleson said that action is needed today to determine the classification of the parcels and the terms of conveyance. There was some further discussion relating to the history of the property. It was the consensus of the Committee to classify the parcels as non-conservation land and set the conveyance amount to be paid by the City of Waverly at $1/parcel. Asleson will prepare a Resolution and bring it to the full Board of Commissioners for approval at a future date.
2. Update on Sherwood Forest parcels (Maple Lake Township): Asleson reported that Maple Lake Township had sent a letter on October 19th requesting a six month extension of the County’s offer relating to three tax forfeited strips of land in Sherwood Forest, with possible discussion at a Town Board meeting in November. These 40 foot strips of land were labeled “lake access” on the original plat. And in several instances landowners within the subdivision have been granted a “perpetual easement” over such lake access by deed when they purchased their property. Asleson sent a letter to the Town Board advising that the best option for the parcels would be for either the Township or the Sherwood Forest Homeowners’ Association to own them. Asleson has not been advised of any discussion or decision by the Township relating to these parcels to date. Asleson said that in the event that the Township declines to take ownership, the County Board would have the option of selling these strips by nonpublic sale. After further discussion it was the consensus of the Committee to lay that matter over, contingent on receiving a decision from the Township, at which time the matter would be brought back to the Tax Forfeit Committee for action.
There being no further items for discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 AM.
(End of 11-27-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes)
The claims listing was reviewed. The following questions were asked:
1. Norman referenced a claim on Page 20, Pleasant Lake Improvement Assn. ($1,000) for a donation made for pondweed treatment. Norman spoke with the Parks Administrator and the Auditor/Treasurer, and he also researched Board Minutes from 2011 when the Board took similar action. At that time, a specific motion was made by the Board to authorize a donation to the Pleasant Lake Association. In order to leave a clean audit trail, Norman suggested the Board consider a separate motion to make this donation in 2013. If approved, Norman viewed the abstract as correct. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said the County has made donations to various lake associations when there is a County park on the lake which has lake or boat accesses. This donation relates to the treatment of curly leaf pondweed in the area of the swimming beach. Donations were made in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. The City of Annandale contributes as well to this cause. Mattice said donations have been made to Beebe Lake as well. Sawatzke clarified that the County does not donate to lake associations for all requests. Donations are made when there are County parks on lakes. In this situation, the County has a swimming beach on Pleasant Lake and the Association will take care of the treatment. Daleiden felt it may be more cost effective to donate to the Lake Association and let them take care of the treatment. Borrell moved to approve the expenditure of $1,000 to the Pleasant Lake Improvement Association for the treatment of curly leaf pondweed. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
2. Daleiden referenced a claim on Page 13, Center Point Energy ($13,106.08), Fuel for Buildings. The claim includes two charges for the Jail/LEC. Two separate charges are listed as fuel for buildings. Daleiden questioned whether those are costs for other County buildings. Hiivala said fuel costs are separated by building. Norman said $1,570.38 relates to the Human Services Center, and $9,900 is for the Government Center. Sawatzke said the system at the Jail/LEC utilizes groundwater to heat the building, so the fuel is more reasonable at that location. Norman said the $153.01 charge for the Jail/LEC relates to the Sheriff’s storage building. Daleiden said the Center Point Energy bill relates to gas for the hot water heater at the Jail/LEC. He stated the electrical costs associated with heating the Jail/LEC are substantially higher. Hiivala said the Highway Department receives a separate gas bill as well.
3. Husom referenced a claim on Page 6, ESRA ($651.58) for a 2013 Arcview Subscription to be paid from the Information Technology budget. Hiivala stated that Arcview is a product used to look at images in Beacon. The license costs are spread to those Departments that use GIS tools. Borrell thought it may have something to do with the satellite being able to shoot images at an angle versus straight down. It was felt Hiivala could research this further.
4. Husom referenced a claim on Page 8, TASC ($656.89) for the January 2013 Administration Fee and asked what TASC deals with. Sawatzke said TASC administers the employee flexible spending accounts.
5. Husom referenced claims on Page 31 to various cities for 2012 4th Quarter Recycling (total of $12,247.80) funded by S.C.O.R.E. She questioned what that relates to. Sawatzke explained that the County receives S.C.O.R.E. grants from the State. When garbage services are purchased, sales tax is paid. This tax is placed into the S.C.O.R.E. Fund and part of that is distributed to counties for recycling, hazardous waste, etc. Wright County receives approximately $200,000 in S.C.O.R.E. grants per year. Part of the grant funds are given to cities and townships for their recycling efforts. The funds are also used toward various recycling or hazardous waste efforts at the County, such as the Compost Facility. Grants are also given on hazardous waste clean up day.
Daleiden moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $292,963.80 and 193 vendors. The motion includes the $1,000 payment to the Pleasant Lake Improvement Association for the curly leaf pondweed treatment. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, presented two draft resolutions for consideration relating to roadways. He worked with Mark Johnson, Highway Department, and everything is in order. The first resolution will vacate a portion of CR 108 south of Buffalo. The CSAH 12 project involved squaring up the CR 108 intersection, which leads to Deer Lake. As a result CR 108 curves a bit to the north, away from the property owned by Ward Carlson, resulting in 1/10th of an acre of right-of-way that is no longer needed. Asleson said action would be to release that area from the easement so the landowner can use the land as they see fit. Sawatzke asked if, in both resolutions, the action relates to easements and not fee titles. Asleson said that is correct. The property was acquired 40-50 years ago. Husom moved to adopt Resolution #13-02 vacating a portion of CR 108. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Asleson presented a draft resolution vacating portions of CSAH 17. The 2009 project included straightening of road curves. The requested action relates to right-of-way that will be vacated to four properties. Less than 1/10th of an acre of land is involved. Potter moved to adopt Resolution #13-03, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said a Parks Commission Meeting was held on 1-14-13. The Parks Commission made the following recommendations to the County Board:
A. Fuel Wood Permits: The Parks Commission reviewed the current language within the permit and suggested the following modifications rather than the denial of permits.
1. Limit cutting to one cord per permit.
2. Permits should be granted for a maximum of 30 days.
3. Cutting shall be allowed on weekdays from sunrise to sunset, with NO cutting allowed on holidays or weekends.
4. All trees removed by permittee shall already have been felled by natural occurrence or by County staff and must be within five feet of the maintained trail edge.
5. There shall be no stacking or piling of slash/branches or debris, and any slash/branches or debris should be scattered so that the site remains as natural as possible.
6. Small garden or compact tractors or ATV may be used, and any machinery used must stay on the maintained trail.
7. The permit will be issued only for parks within 15 miles of the primary storage site or residence of the permittee.
8. The permittee(s) must have the permit in their possession during wood cutting activities.
9. Fuel wood harvested is for the personal use of the permittee only and NOT for commercial use or sale.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattice said that permits are issued to people to allow them to cut wood in parks. The original permit was approved in 1982. He provided an overview of the above changes. The permit previously was date specific. With regard to Item 3, this will be implemented so that cutting is not done during heavy use times. On Item 4, the language was amended to include the stipulation that it is within five feet of the maintained trail edge to prevent people from going deep into the woods so as not to affect fragile eco systems. On Item 5, the original permit said the wood needed to be stacked. On Item 6, the language was amended to reflect that the equipment or machinery has to remain on the maintained trail. Item 7 was included with a 15 mile radius because of the concern with transporting of fire wood (emerald ash bore).
Sawatzke asked whether there was consensus by the Parks Commission on the language changes to the Fuel Wood Permits. Mattice said there was a consensus but a motion was not made. Borrell said the Parks Commission could consider next year allowing people to clear further off from the trail. Thick areas with downed wood could be a potential fire hazard. Borrell felt he could support that. Sawatzke asked how many people cut wood per year. Mattice felt there would be 12-15 permits per year. Sawatzke felt that there would be enough wood for people within the five foot area for that number of permits. Daleiden said the concern of the Parks Commission was that people may try to cut live trees. The five foot limit from the maintained trail edge would be to eliminate that from happening. Borrell asked if there is plenty of wood available. Mattice said there is. It there is a storm event where a park may have too much downed wood causing concern for plant matter, the Parks Commission supports the Parks Administrator making the determination to allow wood removal beyond the five feet. Sawatzke said it is acknowledged that the recommendation includes allowing the Parks Administrator this discretion. Potter made a motion to approve the language modifications to the Fuel Wood Permits as presented by the Parks Administrator on behalf of the Parks Commission. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell asked whether the Fuel Wood Permit includes language to allow the Parks Administrator this authority. Mattice said it does. Daleiden said the language presented today only addresses the changes. The Permit contains more language. The motion carried 5-0.
B. Seasonal Camping Sites: The Parks Commission voted to recommend to the Wright County Board of Commissioners that the number of seasonal sites at Collinwood Park be increased from six sites to eight sites, and that the two additional sites follow the established lottery procedure for reservations the first year.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattice said that the Policy has been to allow six seasonal sites at both Schroeder and Collinwood Parks. Seasonal sites are rented for the entire summer to one individual. When a vacancy occurs, notice is posted. A lottery process is followed using a mail list of people that are interested in seasonal sites. It is felt that approval of two extra sites at Collinwood Park will bring the Park up to the level of Schroeder Park, which has a high amount of camping locations. The current seasonal rate is $1,900 per season (7 days/week). At Collinwood Park, more money is made by renting a site seasonally because of the potential for sites to remain vacant. Daleiden said increasing the sites at Schroeder Park would actually come at a loss. Mattice said there are 40 modern sites (electric) at Collinwood and this will take two sites away. Daleiden said they may look at increasing the number of seasonal sites next year at Collinwood if many of the sites are empty this year. Daleiden moved to approve increasing the number of seasonal sites at Collinwood from 6 to 8. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
Mattice requested that the Board schedule a meeting with Stockholm Township Supervisors to discuss long-term solutions, responsibilities, and partnerships for Rhoades Avenue. Mattice said that in late October, 2012, this issue was discussed by the County Board. It was decided at that time that it would be best handled by the new Board members. Mattice recommended that this item be added to the Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting Agenda scheduled for 2-04-13 at 1:30 P.M. at the Public Works Building. Borrell moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
Capt. Pat O’Malley, Jail Administrator, brought forth the Inmate Medical Care Contract with Allina/Buffalo Correctional Services. The Jail has been contracting with Allina since the mid 1990’s. The Contract allows for medical personnel in the Jail, including hospital benefits. When inmates are taken out of the Jail for medical services, they typically are brought to the emergency room. When possible, staff members are given direction on how to provide care so inmates do not have to go to the emergency room. That reduces the overall cost. O’Malley said that during budgets, a 5% contract increase was anticipated. The actual increase is 9% and relates to salary and benefit costs. The proposed Contract includes 64 hours/week of RN coverage and 3 hours of on-site Doctor services. The on-call Doctor and emergency room are always available. The Jail purchases most supplies through Allina at cost. The Jail medical line item is budgeted at $375,000. The Contract with Allina is for $240,000 which leaves $135,000 for other medical costs. Last year, about $322,000 was spent and the contract with Allina was approximately $220,000. About $102,000 was spent on outside medical services for things they could not take care of in the Jail. Based on the contract rate, the cost is about $44/visit.
By State Statute, the County must provide medical care to inmates. Many inmates may not be in good health or take good care of themselves. The Jail deals with some serious health issues including diabetes, blood pressure problems, mental health issues, and drug abuse. Detox is done at the Jail and costs about $500/person. The closest detox treatment facility is in St. Cloud. If inmates are brought there, there are costs associated with transport. If the inmate has a medical problem, they are brought to the St. Cloud Hospital. O’Malley said the Jail also treats inmates brought in on the weekend. Medical staff assists Jail staff in dealing with inmates with mental health issues. Some of these individuals are brought to the Jail as they are not taking their medication or taking care of themselves the way they should be. Several years ago, the State closed the Willmar Regional Treatment Center and went to smaller treatment units. There is a treatment facility in Annandale and those placed in this facility are not only from Wright County. There are several assaults per year in this facility, which can be due to residents not being compliant with their medication regimen. Daleiden asked about Mantoux testing. O’Malley said the Jail must perform Mantoux tests for inmates that are at the facility for over 14 days (tuberculosis testing).
Husom asked how the 64 hours per week schedule was determined for the RN’s. O’Malley stated it is difficult to find people who want to provide this service on weekends. Monday and Tuesday are very busy days for medical, as well as court. There are two primary nurses. One works Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and specializes in cardiac and diabetic care. The second is an Emergency Room Nurse who works Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. There are a couple of additional Nurses who provide assistance for extra hours on Monday and Tuesday and during vacations.
O’Malley said it is an advantage to have Allina provide nursing staff. Public Health does not want to do this. Corrections is a unique environment, and very few Jails in MN use Public Health for these services. About 80% contract with a local health provider or private companies. The services provided in house are more than what Public Health Nurses would provide. To utilize Public Health for Jail medical would probably require additional staffing. He said Public Health does not have experience dealing with inmates, and it may not be easy to find those that will work with this clientele. By contracting for services, fewer inmates are required to leave the Jail for medical services as things can be done in house.
Husom was previously an employee in the Jail and said things have progressed drastically in the past 20 years. At that time, she completed a college research paper on the topic of solving jail budget problems caused by inmate medical care. At that time, the average daily inmate population was about 25 inmates. In 1988, cost for inmate medical care was around $10,000 (taking all inmates out of the Jail for medical care). By 1990, that figure increased to almost $15,000. Husom said inmate population has risen (average daily population in 2012 of 115) and so have the associated medical costs. Having worked in the Jail, she understands the problems in addressing different medical conditions. There are a lot of off-site medical costs. O’Malley invited the Board to come to the Jail to see first hand what they are doing and to review costs in more detail. About two years ago, the State passed a Statute which entitles Jails to claim the MA rate for off-site inmate medical care that the County pays for. All bills from off-site providers are reviewed to assure accuracy and are sent to the State and re-priced for MA rates. O’Malley said the Nurses and Doctor do a fine job of determining what is medically required. Some inmates come to Jail and want medical attention for things that are not medically required. Typically, inmates are short term and are told that if something is not medically necessary, it can wait until they are released. However, there are medical conditions that must be addressed. They are constantly evaluating the process for treatment of inmates to determine if anything should be changed.
Norman asked whether the 9% contract increase relates to staff time. O’Malley said Allina was in a deficit with regard to how much they were paying for wages, salaries, and benefits. A breakdown of the Contract reflects about $165,800 ($49/hour) for nursing and $20,000/year for the physician. The benefits package is about $54,000. Borrell responded that the County could hire a Public Health Nurse specifically to work at the Jail. O’Malley did not view hiring an employee to provide services as saving money. The cost of the Contract includes more than just wages and benefits. Borrell asked whether Jail medical services were bid. O’Malley was unsure when this was originally done. They approached Allina as they did not have anyone to provide medical services at the Jail. They did look at other vendors. The last time this was done was three years ago. Allina came within 5% of other vendors.
O’Malley said the Contract includes other things that are of benefit to the County that another health care provider may not be able to provide as they do not have access to them. There are four exam rooms at the Jail, and Allina has provided tables for the rooms at no cost. Allina also provided two hospital beds at no cost, as well as smaller equipment items. O’Malley said there is a benefit to be associated with a local health care provider. Allina is a private company but they are the local health authority. No matter who the County contracts with for inmate medical care, Buffalo Hospital will be used as it is the closest facility to the Jail. A contract is held with Allina Transport Services for local transport from the Jail to the Buffalo Hospital at a flat rate of $500 (rather than the $1,500 that is charged for a typical ambulance transport across town). All of these items are tied to contracting with Allina. Sawatzke recalled that when bids were requested about 15 years ago, Allina did not even bid. Gary Torfin, former Jail Administrator, said at one time the County contracted with a private vendor to provide Jail medical but the vendor went bankrupt. Sawatzke said Jail medical is one of those areas where the County has to spend money. The County is receiving good service. O’Malley said Wright County is in good shape compared to some other counties where costs are double what Wright County is paying. Daleiden asked if inmate medical is required by the State to be provided with no reimbursement. O’Malley said that is correct.
Daleiden moved to authorize signatures on the Allina/Buffalo Correctional Services Contract for inmate medical services for the period of 1-01-13 to 12-31-13. Sawatzke referenced the effective date of 1-01-13. O’Malley said he was on vacation at the end of December and reviewed the Contract upon his return. The Contract is identical other than typographical errors. There was a written amendment on the end that needed correction, so O’Malley sent that back to Allina for correction. Sawatzke said if the County is thinking of doing anything differently, it would not be practical for this year. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 10:09 A.M. and reconvened at 10:16 A.M.
Stan Vander Kooi, Wright County Fair Board, requested a letter of support for grant funding to construct a building at the Fairgrounds. A copy of the “County Fair Arts Access and Cultural Heritage Grant Application” was provided. Vander Kooi explained that three years ago, the State Legislature increased the State sales tax from 6.5% to 6.875%. Funds obtained from the 3/8% tax increase went to a Legacy Fund that is used for projects relating to the environment, trails, etc. and also for the Legacy Arts Fund. The portion of the Legacy Funds for County Fairs was approved on a biennium basis at $1.4 million (split into $700,000 for 2012 and $700,000 for 2013). Each Fair received $7,700 to develop legacy or cultural programs. These funds were utilized at the Wright County Fair last year for historical and presentation events, with hands-on activities for Fair attendees.
Vander Kooi said what is being presented today for Board review relates to competitive funding for a Legacy Grant. The Fair Board would like to construct a Performing Arts Center which would be used all five days of the Fair. Activities planned would include various historical, agricultural, and cultural heritage performances on stage. The permanent building will allow a wider variety of performing groups in a weather protected building. This would allow for better lighting, safety for fair attendees, comfortable seating, and better sound than the temporary structures used at the current time. The building would protect the investment in stage sound and lighting equipment and would increase the comfort level for the performers on stage.
Vander Kooi said they can apply for Grant funding up to $50,000. An important part of the Grant Application is to include information on the plans for programming for cultural and heritage type activities. In the southern part of Wright County, there are not many facilities that can provide space for large groups in a weather protected building. The Fair has utilized a 40’ x 100’ tent in the past to accommodate larger groups. The proposed building is 60’ x 100’. The Application reflects that the Fair Board does not have a budget allowing them to fund the entire project. Even though the 2012 Fair showed a business net of $22,943.65, the previous 2011 Fair showed a loss of $23,597.87. The Application reflects that the Fair Board would find additional sources to fund the remaining cost, and it would be a public-private partnership that would benefit the community. The building would also generate storage revenue during winter months to pay off the matching dollar cost of the building. Once the building is paid for, the storage income will be used to compensate performing artists. By eliminating the $1,000 cost to rent the tent, renting the building to other organizations in the off-season, and utilizing the winter storage income, the Fair Board will be able to repay the matching dollar cost of the building. The Application reflects the specifications of the building, including large sliding doors to allow an open air concept, large display units, and access for winter storage items. A portable stage will be housed inside the building.
The handout provided reflects the budget for the Grant: Equipment ($7,415.00); Rental Fees ($10,000.00); Publicity Expenses ($1,000.00); and the Performing Arts Center Building ($71,253.75). Subtracted from the total of $89,668.75 is the Legacy Grant Funding of $50,000, leaving matching dollars required of $39,668.75. The proposal is to either borrow the matching dollars from Wright County or from a local bank. If the Grant award is less than $50,000, the Fair Board would request a larger amount from those sources. The other matching dollar amount of $1,000 for Publicity Expenses would be from the Wright County Fair Budget. The Grant Application is due 1-28-13. The Fair Board will learn on 4-15-13 whether they are approved for the Grant. The Fair Board has obtained an estimate from Diers Electric for the equipment ($7,415.00) and from Wright Lumber & Millwork ($71,253.75).
Borrell asked what the Fair Board will do if Grant funding is denied. Vander Kooi said they will continue to utilize the tent. Borrell asked for more detail on the stage. Vander Kooi said they will use a stage on a flat bed trailer to save costs. Sawatzke received an email last week from the Fair Board suggesting that if the County provides the $39,668.75 in funding, the Fair Board will pay it back. Vander Kooi stated they will use the money obtained from winter storage and rental during non-Fair time to pay the County back. Sawatzke informed the remainder of the Board that the Fair Board is allotted $76,000/year from the County. That amount has remained stable for some time. The County has provided the Fair Board with more land and resources as well to allow them to make more money. Sawatzke hopes if the County agrees to up front the money for this building that the Fair Board will not ask for additional money at budget time. He viewed that as giving the Fair Board more money to pay the County back. Vander Kooi stated that the dairy barn generates $5,000 with winter rental storage. The proposed building is about the same size and should generate $4,000. They plan to use that money to pay the County back. Sawatzke said the County Highway Department may be able to provide assistance as well. Vander Kooi referenced County gravel resources that could potentially be used as well. The Fair also has some of their own dirt. Borrell asked whether the Fair Board plans to go out for bids if Grant funding is received. Vander Kooi said bids will be obtained. Borrell asked if Grant funding would reduce if bids came in lower for the building. Vander Kooi responded that the Grant funding would not be reduced but the amount needed to borrow would reduce. Husom asked if private donations have been sought. Vander Kooi said they plan to place a donation sign near the building once it has been completed. That was done when the dairy barn was constructed. He anticipates the building will be completed by 6-30-13. Norman referenced the bid process. Since the County owns the buildings at the Fairgrounds, the County should handle the bid process.
Sawatzke said the request of the Fair Board today is for the County to approve a letter of support for the Grant Application, signed by the Board Chair. The Fair Board has indicated they may come back to request the County front the money for the project, which may be easier than obtaining a bank loan. Vander Kooi said a payment schedule would be developed. Sawatzke stated that as Norman mentioned, this is County property and so this project should have support of the County Board. If the Board is in agreement, they could authorize a letter in support of the Grant Funding. Norman asked whether this application would compete with Parks Department Grant applications for Legacy Funding. Sawatzke said Parks applications would be to a different pool of funding. Daleiden moved to authorize a letter of support for the Fair Board’s Legacy Grant application for funding to construct a building at the Wright County Fairgrounds. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Norman presented for approval the revised Wright County Board Rules of Procedure. Item #7 of the Rules of Procedure, last sentence, will be modified to reflect, “An item may be added to the Agenda at the start of a Board meeting provided it is non-controversial, involves an expenditure identified in the County Budget, or is deemed to be of an emergency nature.” The Rules of Procedure are being revised as a follow up to a question Sawatzke raised at the 1-08-13 Board Meeting on the language of Item #7. Husom moved to approve the revised Wright County Rules of Procedure, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
Daleiden brought forth discussion on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). He understands there was not a CIP last year, and he suggested that it may be time to revisit this again. In conjunction with that, he proposed the County hold a contest amongst County employees and departments to bring forth ideas for efficiencies, cost savings, etc. Daleiden said the reason would be two-fold. The first would be to identify possible future CIP ideas. The second is that if State Legislators pass the Minnesota Accountable Government Innovation and Collaboration (MAGIC) Act, the County will have identified possible ideas and not be coming from behind. Daleiden suggested that he and another Board member establish ground rules for the contest. Husom supported this effort. Sawatzke said he viewed this as being much broader than just the CIP. The CIP involves larger expenditures, and these cost savings ideas may fall outside of that realm. Daleiden said some suggestions may be small but others may involve planning for the future. Norman said this topic could be discussed at the Leadership Team Meeting this morning. He said the County did not update the CIP last year. The employee that normally updates the CIP was involved with the Classification Study. This winter and spring, it is Norman’s intent to have the CIP updated and provide it to the Board prior to the 2014 Budget process. The process will involve meeting with each Department Head to discuss projects envisioned in the next five years that are outside of the annual budget process. That way, the Board can set priorities on what can be accomplished against other Budget requests they receive. Sawatzke said the CIP provides a feel for what Department Heads see as needs. Some things may happen in the next 5-10 years, and others may not happen. It was the consensus to have further discussion on these topics at the Leadership Team Meeting later this morning.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, provided a Memorandum to the County Board outlining terms for the members of the Board of Adjustment (BOA) and Planning Commission (PC). The Memorandum reflects that with redistricting, some appointed members to these Boards are now in different districts and therefore the distribution between districts has changed. Sawatzke said that he would like Dan Mol, Clearwater Township Officer, to be appointed as his District 2 appointee. Nancy Kopff’s term expired 12-31-12 and her schedule no longer allows her to fulfill this appointment. Riley said he has a good working relationship with Mol. He said Township Board representation on these Boards is good as they know the local issues and are able to provide input on them. Borrell referenced the 1-29-13 Committee Of The Whole Meeting that has been scheduled to discuss possibly re-orienting the way terms expire. He asked Sawatzke whether he would have objection to a two-year term for Mol. Sawatzke asked Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, whether the County Ordinance allows for that term. Mol would serve Sawatzke’s entire term. He felt terms of those already appointed would have to be looked at. Borrell said all current appointments to the BOA and PC are due to expire in the next two years. Kryzer said he discussed the County’s Ordinance last week with Borrell and has since drafted proposed language for discussion at next week’s Committee Of The Whole Meeting. District 2 would be incorporated into that with a three-year term, and a phase-in of about four years for all districts would be required. Borrell moved to appoint Dan Mol as the District 2 Representative on the BOA, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
Sawatzke said that because of redistricting, situations have been created where two representatives are from the same district and other districts do not have an appointment. He asked whether Board members are okay with letting those terms run out in those situations. Daleiden noted that Lawrence Baumen’s term on the Planning Commission expired 12-31-12. Riley said the Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 1-29-13 may be a good opportunity to make those decisions. He added that Bob Schermann’s term on the BOA expired 12-31-12 and he would be the last reappointment for that Board. Borrell said that Schermann has done a great job in his service on the BOA. He questioned whether he would be able to reappoint Schermann as there is already another District 5 representative on the BOA. Sawatzke said there is a BOA Meeting on 2-01-13. At a previous BOA Meeting held this year, there was a 2-2 vote on an issue so it was laid over to the 2-01-13 Meeting. Sawatzke feels it is important that an appointment be made prior to that meeting so the same situation does not arise. He did not feel the applicant should have to come back to yet another meeting if a 2-2 vote occurred again. After discussion, it was the consensus that on 1-29-13, the County Board Meeting will be recessed to the Committee Of The Whole Meeting. At the end of the Committee Of The Whole Meeting, the County Board Meeting will be reconvened to take action on the recommended appointments made by the Committee Of The Whole. Norman said the Agenda will need to reflect that action. This will be placed under Items For Consideration.
Sawatzke said they could also discuss the position of those Board members who do not have appointments due to redistricting. Potter said he does not have anyone from his District on the BOA. Don Schmidt has two years remaining (term expires 12-31-14). Sawatzke noted that Husom has two appointments on the BOA and none on the PC. Potter said Rockford Township is going to discuss whether they are okay with Schmidt’s reappointment. Sawatzke said per Ordinance, it is not up to Rockford Township to decide on these appointments. He said Borrell would like to change that for the future but did not think that could be changed right now. Borrell said Kryzer indicated that it would have to be phased in. Borrell said Daleiden does not have any appointments from his district but will after the phase in. Sawatzke said Daleiden is in a unique position where none of his district falls under Planning & Zoning. That could be discussed as well. Under the County’s current Ordinance, he would have the right to appoint someone and they would not have to be from District 3. Borrell made a motion to refer to the 1-29-13 Committee Of The Whole Meeting discussion regarding the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Parks Commission appointments. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Borrell brought forth the idea of holding an evening meeting on the budget review. He suggested a presentation by County officials on the County’s financial situation (where the County is at, what is owed, and what is being levied for). He thought it would be good to obtain public input on where there could be savings or efficiencies. He viewed presentation as an educational piece for himself as well. He thought anyone who is concerned with the financial situation of the County could attend and have input. Daleiden said if the meeting is going to be held, he would like to see information provided on the unfunded State mandates. He felt it would be important to educate the public on these State required services that are not funded. Sawatzke said 90% of services provided are required and the State pays for about 75% of that. Many of those are Federal mandates passed along to the State, and the State mandates counties to provide the services on their behalf. He cautioned the Board members that if a report is given on what is mandated, it would require each department head to be present as so much of what the County does is mandated. Daleiden said they would not have to have each department present. The idea is to educate the public about what the State requires as services. The State may provide funding for these services but not funding for the employees. Borrell said that there would not necessarily need to be a presentation on these items. He thought Norman and Sawatzke could address any questions that came up. Sawatzke feels that probably 98% of expenditures in Human Services are related to mandates. Norman said that AMC put together a list of unfunded and underfunded mandates a few years ago. He suggested that Board members attending the AMC New Commissioner School ask about obtaining that information.
Borrell said he spoke with Hiivala, and Hiivala thought that the budget review meeting is something that could be opened up. Sawatzke said the audit report is coming up and asked Hiivala whether Doug Host, LarsonAllen, would attend the evening meeting. Hiivala responded that this would not be an audit exit meeting. What he spoke with Borrell about was the year-end review. Sawatzke said when the year-end review is held, Hiivala should advise the Board members on all bonds and how much time remains on each of them. He asked that Hiivala come up with some possible topics for the evening meeting and possible dates. Borrell asked if the County will be completing the normal annual budget review in February. Hiivala said that is correct. Since they are still working on closing out the year, he could distribute to the Board the last Budget review to see if there is something they would want to change. Borrell felt the evening meeting should be less formal and would allow for public input. He did not want to require members of the public to be on the Agenda in order to ask a question. Sawatzke stated that in public meetings, the Board can take public input on any discussion point. Most of the items discussed by the Board are not public hearings. However, the public is not denied access to speak on a topic that is on the Agenda. In very rare occasions, there may have been a situation where a member of the public may have abused that right, wanting to bring up an issue for the third or fourth time that the Board has already settled. Sawatzke said if the meeting is going to be proposed in the evening, he would like Hiivala to come up with some topics and some possible dates. Hiivala said he will work with Norman on some possible dates and make recommendations to the Board. This will be included on next week’s Agenda. Hiivala asked whether it should be called a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Sawatzke felt it should be as it will replace the other meeting that was held in the past.
Ameripride Services $255.15
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 2,600.00
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 854.31
Aramark Services Inc 13,064.85
Atrix International Inc 340.00
Bestfriends Veterinary Clinic 293.95
Buff N Glo Inc 342.33
Buffalo Hospital 6,275.94
Buffalo Transmission 156.53
Burdas Towing 197.71
Center Point Energy 13,106.08
Chamberlain Oil Co 2,237.42
Clearwater/City of 745.60
Climate Air 380.00
CMI Inc 111.15
Cokato/City of 855.20
Dell Marketing LP 728.39
Dept of Corrections 28,917.00
Edocument Resources 4,001.25
Engel/Dale L 850.00
Excel Systems 269.35
Gamet Manufacturing Inc 265.48
Gopher State One Call 100.00
Granite Electronics 200.00
H&R Const Co 1,475.89
Helena Chemical Company 179.43
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 2,424.74
J R Nelson & Company 233.88
LaPlant Demo Inc 1,101.80
M & M Express Sales 111.15
M & M Exp. Sales and Serv. 19,586.47
Mapping Solutions 268.00
Menards - Buffalo 347.06
Midstates Equip and Supply 51,387.21
MN Assn of Co. Administrators 640.00
MN Dept of Labor & Industry 446.40
MN Transportation Alliance 3,464.00
Montrose/City of 1,311.40
Morries Parts & Service Grp 214.00
National Assoc. of Counties 1,676.00
Neopost USA Inc 570.34
New River Medical Center 357.60
North American Salt Co 14,672.41
Office Depot 1,132.59
Performance Office Papers 349.01
Pleasant Lake Imp. Assn 1,000.00
Procise Solutions Inc 490.00
Pts of America LLC 405.00
Rockford/City of 2,672.20
Soc. for Human Resource Mgt 418.00
South Haven/City of 309.60
St Cloud Hospital 1,660.67
St Michael/City of 6,353.80
St. of MN-Off. Enterprise Tech 1,150.00
United Parcel Service 247.66
Verizon Wireless 798.29
W D Larson Companies LTD 3,081.60
West Payment Center 1,065.26
Wright County Highway Dept 44,422.61
Wright County Journal Press 619.31
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 5,900.46
Wright Hennepin Electric 2,003.82
Ziegler Cat 4,080.00
19 Payments less than $100 663.88
Final total $292,963.80
The meeting adjourned at 11:05 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 11, 2013.