Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 25, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, and Borrell present. Commissioner Potter was absent.
Daleiden moved to approve the 6-18-13 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: 9:04 A.M. Agenda Item, “Brad Fyle, Fyle’s Excavating, RE: Payment Of Bill” (Brad Fyle). Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Daleiden, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Bowen, G. Kryzer, J. Paripovich, Atty.; T. Haag, T. Hackenmueller, T. Laage, J. Russell, J. Sturges, T. Waldron, Hwy.; L. Cavalliere, I.T.; B. DeRaad, M. Olson, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim: Madden, Galanter, Hansen LLP, $2,970.72 (Service For May 2013).
Brad Fyle, Fyle’s Excavating (Monticello MN) stated that he recently completed cleanout on Joint Ditch 15 in Stockholm Township south of Cokato. Payment by the County requires approval of the work by Kerry Saxton, SWCD. Fyle said Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested a statement from Saxton so he can release payment, but Saxton has not responded. Fyle said he completed the list of items that were outstanding in May. In one area of the Ditch, he was asked to leave at the request of an upset property owner. The Ditch clean out was completed in that area but there are 8-10 trees remaining on the bank. Fyle did not feel the trees will impede flow. Borrell recalled that Saxton indicated previously that some of the trees that were cut required treatment. Fyle stated he agreed to that and has completed the work. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated he will contact Hiivala in an attempt to resolve the situation. If there are outstanding items, a partial payment may be an option. Sawatzke asked that this either be resolved by 7-02-13 so it is included in the claims listing, or there should be discussion at that Board Meeting.
Sawatzke stated the County recently opened bids for clean out of County Ditch 10. He asked Fyle if he was aware of that project, as Fyle’s Excavating generally bids on most ditch repairs for the County. Fyle stated he was not aware of the project. Generally, he receives some type of notification from the County and does not watch the newspaper or County website. Sawatzke asked Fyle if he would have submitted a bid if he had known. Fyle responded that it would have depended on the scope of the project. Sawatzke said this may be why the people who regularly bid on ditch repairs did not bid on the Ditch 10 project.
Cathleen Gabriel, Attorney, CGW Law Office, requested approval of the renewal of the CHIPS/Legal Services Contract, effective 1-01-14 through 12-31-16. Gabriel has held a Contract with Wright County since 2008, performing legal work in child protection matters. The Contract covers legal work on Court appointments for parents in child protection cases and on Appellate matters. The only proposed change in Contract language relates to the effective dates (2014-2017). The scope and compensation would not change.
Gabriel said she attended the 2-05-13 Board Meeting and provided an update to the Board on her activities. Gabriel attended a training last month where the process used by Wright County for CHIPS cases was used as an example of what should be followed. Gabriel said she is proud of that and wants to continue to make Wright County her priority.
Sawatzke said that about five years ago, the State stopped handling CHIPS cases and counties were required to do so. At that time, Gabriel was hired on a contractual basis. About three years ago, another Buffalo law firm expressed interest in providing this service as well, but Gabriel was selected.
Gabriel said the proposed Contract offers a 30-day opt out clause. There is a new law which requires certain credentials and certification for attorneys to provide these services. She said this is a very complex area of the law, and she understands that the Courts are happy with her work and the process. Asleson said the County Attorney’s Office supports the extension of the three-year Contract. The State’s roster of approved attorneys includes ten attorneys and two of those attorneys are based in Wright County. Gabriel is one of them. Asleson said when the State stopped handling CHIPS cases, many counties handled the obligation by hiring attorneys at an hourly fee. It appears many counties are moving toward contracts. If there is a system that is working well, usually the cases proceed through the system faster and that is in the child’s best interest. Borrell moved to approve the Contract for Legal Services, Child Protection, with Cathleen Gabriel effective 1-01-14 through 12-31-16. The Contract will be for the same scope of work and cost (not-to-exceed $72,800) that is reflected in the current Contract. The motion was seconded by Husom. The motion carried 4-0.
Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, requested the Board schedule a Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the following items: 1) Overview of the Current State of Technology in the County; 2) Key Strategies; and 3) Proposed Capital Improvement Projects. Daleiden moved to schedule the Meeting for 7-09-13 at 10:30 A.M. The motion carried 4-0 on a second by Husom.
Gloria Gooler, Office Manager I, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of the 6-17-13 Board of Equalization Minutes. Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Husom, carried 4-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $162,857.19, 108 vendors, and 162 transactions.
Ted LaFrance, Director, Wright County Economic Development Partnership (EDP), asked for approval of a project utilizing the EDP’s Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund. The loan is for expansion of a clothing manufacturing business in Cokato. There are currently 39 employees and the expansion will create 6 jobs with benefits (401K, Dental, Health, and Life). The primary lender will be First Minnesota Bank ($987,500). Other partners include the City of Cokato, the Initiative Foundation, and the CMDC who will provide a 504 small business administration loan ($790,000). The owner will be responsible for $197,500 of the financing. Of that $197,500, the amount of $125,000 is made up of land equity. This creates a funding gap of approximately 75,000; half of that would be $37,500. However, LaFrance said his request is for up to a 50% maximum gap of $50,000 to ensure funds are available if needed. The $37,500 will be serviced by the Initiative Foundation as one loan payment. The payments will come back to the EDP’s Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund. The Fund currently has a balance of $185,000.
Sawatzke provided a history of the Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund. In the early 1990’s, Standard Iron sought to complete a project in Monticello. Monticello obtained financing through the State but there were limits. Wright County was asked to sponsor a loan to Standard Iron. Repayment of the loan funds included the principal being sent to the State and Wright County receiving the interest. Those funds can only be used for economic development purposes, and that is how the Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund was created. Loans are given and funds paid back (principal and interest) go directly into this Fund for gap financing.
Discussion led to the confidentiality of the loan applicant. LaFrance stated that the identity of the applicant is kept confidential until the loan comes to fruition. Sawatzke asked Asleson whether there are any concerns with divulging this information to the public. Asleson said data practices include a couple of sections on economic development. Action today involves preliminary approval and the name of the applicant will be included on the final paperwork that is signed at a future date.
Daleiden moved to approve the use of Enterprise Revolving Loan Funds with up to 50% participation (maximum of $50,000) for the expansion of a clothing manufacturer in Cokato, Minnesota, as requested by the EDP. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 6-19-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 4-0:
A. Financial Worker
This item was addressed at the May Personnel Committee and placed on the Agenda in error and was not discussed.
B. Office Technician II
Schwartz explained the position (see attached) and stated that the position is also 66% funded by the Federal Government. Husom stated that this position would need intense training and questioned if Schwartz had an employee to cover the extra work during the hiring process. Schwartz stated that the work has been divided and that there will be an extra employee helping two afternoons a week. Sawatzke questioned if the job title had been adjusted. Schwartz stated it was formerly called a Senior Office Support Specialist. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Office Technician II.
C. Financial Assistance Supervisor
Schwartz stated that the Financial Assistance Supervisor currently supervises 13 Financial Workers and 2 Office Technician Staff. This position works with family cases which require more one on one time that makes it the busiest unit. Sawatzke questioned the enhanced reimbursement for this position. Schwartz stated that it would likely be around 50% reimbursement. Sawatzke questioned if Schwartz was expecting internal candidates. Schwartz stated she was not sure but was hoping there would be a few. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Financial Assistance Supervisor.
D. Accounting Technician
Partlow stated this opening is due to another employee being promoted. Partlow stated she was able to meet with this employee and find out her exact duties. She described the position (see attached). Husom questioned if Partlow had an employee in mind for this position. Partlow stated she did not and that the position would be posted externally. Pawelk stated that with the reclassification this position is now called Accounting Clerk instead of Accounting Technician.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Accounting Clerk.
E. Social Worker
Erkens presented to the Committee a Social Worker opening and explained responsibilities of the position (see attached).Husom stated that with the funding received from this position, there was really no cost to the County. Erkens stated that was correct. Husom questioned the typical caseload. Erkens stated that by state statute each employee is to have a maximum of 30 cases; however, that number can fluctuate depending on the number of open cases. Sawatzke questioned how many employees are in this particular position. Erkens stated the County has five Social Workers. Sawatzke questioned how many of those cases needed daily contact. Erkens stated it depends on the case but it is required that each case is contacted at least once a month.
Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Social Worker.
F. Request to Reclassify Support Enforcement Aide to Case Aide (HS Board)
G. Highway Maintenance Person
Meyer presented a request to fill a open position due to an employee retiring after 40 years of service with the County. Meyer stated this position was out of the Maple Lake shop and is greatly needed because the late spring has pushed maintenance back at least two to three weeks. Sawatzke questioned if Human Resources would use the eligibility list previously made. Pawelk stated that it would have to be posted internally first, then externally. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of Highway Maintenance Person.
H. Legal Administrative Assistant
T. Kelly stated that an employee left his office on 06-04-13 and he is requesting to fill the open position. He stated that another employee will be out on medical leave in August so he is hoping to have someone hired before then. Husom questioned if Kelly planned on hiring a temporary employee in place of the employee going on medical leave. Kelly stated it was considered but decided that it would be best to hire a replacement for the open position instead of hiring a temporary employee. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Legal Administrative Assistant.
I. Deputy Sheriff (4)
Sawatzke questioned if backup information was received from the Sheriff’s Department regarding this position. Pawelk stated that four deputies recently resigned and that the Sheriff’s Department is starting an eligibility list. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of four (4) Deputy Sheriffs.
J. Office Technician I
Gabrelcik stated that there will be a position opening in July due to an employee retiring after 25 years of service. The position is very detailed work requires accuracy in entering fees. Gabrelcik stated that this position is important because if a mistake is made at this initial step, the employee who balances the fees will need to redo the work. Gabrelcik said she currently as another Office Technician I who would like to be moved into this position. Sawatzke questioned if that was allowed. Pawelk stated it was within the same classification. Recommendation: Authorize replacement of the Office Technician I.
A. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator
This performance appraisal will be laid over to the next Committee Meeting.
B. Barb Gabrelcik, Recorder
Based on three performance reviews submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional”.
(End of 6-19-13 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 6-19-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 4-0:
I. I.S.D. #877 Lease Agreement
MacMillan distributed the 2012-2013 Lease Agreement (Agreement) between the County and Independent School District 877 (District) for 1000 square feet of space in the Wright County Government Center for ten months, August 15, 2012 through June 15, 2013 for the wRight Choice Program (see attached). The District agreed to pay two payments of $6,875.00 or a total of $13,750.00.
MacMillan also handed out a map of the space indicating current space usage with black diagonal lines (see attached). He said the heavy black line in the middle of the space designates the boundary beyond which the District agreed not to occupy. MacMillan explained that the proposed expansion of space (indicated by penciled X marks) provide about twice as much space. He suggested that the $27,000 grant funds cover the expansion space for twelve months with the understanding that there is no school for two months. Currently the District is required to move their files and supplies out for two months during the summer when there is no school.
Sawatzke asked whether the rent was calculated at the same rate as charged to County Departments and multiplied by 10/12. Kelly confirmed that method. Sawatzke had no concerns about the District leaving their supplies in the rooms for two months during the summer.
Sawatzke said the District will not be able to rent the space indefinitely. He asked MacMillan to confirm that the District realizes they may have to move in a few years. Abrahamson verified that the Agreement is for one year. MacMillan said they would discuss the situation with the District when it occurs.
Sawatzke said the Agreement language will continue to specify the lease period as from August 15 through June 15th of the following year. There are no requirements for the District to remove their supplies and materials during the two summer months school is not in session. He asked whether the Agreement should keep that language. Kelly said that can be revisited every year. He asked that the District be required to remove perishable foods and secure confidential data. MacMillan suggested that he and the Coordinator walk through the space during the final days of the school year to ensure those details are addressed prior to summer.
Abrahamson said he spoke with Leesa Sherman, wRight Choice teacher, about securing confidential data. One of their two filing cabinets has a key. He asked that Building Care & Maintenance locate a key for the other cabinet.
MacMillan asked whether the upcoming Agreement should be one or two years in length. Sawatzke said one. Abrahamson said the grant runs for two years. Sawatzke said he did not object to a two-year Agreement. MacMillan said the Agreement includes a Termination clause listed under Item 7 of the Agreement, wherein either party may terminate the Agreement by providing written notice at least thirty (30) days prior to the intended termination date.
Kelly asked whether the $27,000 grant is the total amount funded for the two-year period. MacMillan said it is. The grant may not be used to supplement the District, but only for expansion. Sawatzke clarified that MacMillan calculated the rental rate by adding up the square footage of the space and multiplying the sum by the same rate applied to County Departments. The product is then multiplied by 10/12. The Agreement is for ten months, but does not require that the District vacate for two months in the summer.
Recommendation: Authorize Lease Agreement with Independent School District #877 for 1,945 square feet at the Wright County Government Center for the wRight Choice Program from August 15, 2013 through June 15, 2014. The rent will be calculated at the same rate that County Departments pay. The rent will be payable in two installments of $13,372 due August 15, 2013 and $13,372 due January 15, 2014. The District will not be required to remove their furniture and supplies between June 15 and August 15, 2014.
II. Sheriff City Contracts, 2014 – 2015
Hagerty said the Sheriff’s Office has been contracting with cities since 1969. He distributed four documents: Wright County Sheriff’s Office City Contract Rates from 1972 to 2015; City Contract Deputy Average Wages (Close to Step 7)/City Contract Sergeant Wages (Step 10); 2013 Contracts; and Annual Impact on Cities Based On a $2.00/Hr Rate Increase in 2014 and 2015 (see attachments).
Hagerty said the Sheriff’s Office has increased their contract rates every year. They have to cover their costs and can’t subsidize city contracts with the County’s base level of service. Hagerty said the 13 cities that contract with the Sheriff’s Office are entitled to a base level of service. Miller, Howell and Hoffman have calculated the amount needed to cover costs. As the first document indicates, the hourly contract rate will increase $2 in 2014 from $60.50 to $62.50, and another $2 in 2015 to $64.50.
Hagerty said the Sheriff’s Office has not experienced a decrease in any city contract hours with the exception of Waverly a few years ago. He feels confident that the County can explain the rationale behind the increases to the cities. Hagerty wants to maintain the business.
Kelly remarked that the data includes increases in police and fire contributions. Hagerty said in 2014 staff will receive a one percent raise. Increases in city contract rates were only .75 in 2012 and 2013. He feels the additional revenue will cover expenses well.
Hagerty explained that deputies fill out gas logs so the Sheriff Office can identify fuel usage. Patrol comprises the majority of fuel costs. Hagerty said deputies abide by rules to shut off their engines at accident scenes and other locations. Gas for the Sheriff Office is purchased in bulk at the County shop or at certain gas stations for better rates. Deputies patrol areas close to their homes to save money on gas.
Husom asked why Howard Lake does not contract with the County. Hagerty said they hired a new police chief who will start in several months. He added that Howard Lake has never asked about contracting with the County. When the County contracts with a city for law enforcement services, Hagerty said they try to assign the same deputies for continuity and to build relationships.
Kelly asked regarding the seniority of officers assigned to contract cities. Hagerty said this year the average deputy wage was Step 7, which is the highest it has been. However, the Sheriff Office will have fewer deputies by August 1 due to turnover. Hagerty said the average wage for contract cities will drop as more new deputies are hired at Step 1. Currently their unit is experienced. While the wages are higher, fewer mistakes are made, resulting in less time in court and arbitrations.
Sawatzke said the numbers don’t look bad, but he would not advocate a larger increase to cities. He asked about the possibility of a smaller increment. Miller did not think it advisable to go with less than $2. The Sheriff’s Office has to cover their costs, and the price of fuel has gone up significantly during the last few years. Hagerty said they are trying to avoid a greater increase of $4 to $5 in the future. Miller said the main factor is the maturity of the patrol. The higher the compensation level, the higher the cost to the cities.
Hagerty said he can present the value and rationale of the $2 per hour increase for 2014 and 2015. He said if the Sheriff’s Office increased the contract rate by $1.75 now, they would have to make up for it in ensuing years. Kelly asked if the Sheriff’s Office calculates the cost for investigators and special property staff. Miller said that is difficult to quantify. Increasing contract rates for less than $2 per hour would make it difficult to cover costs for clerical and property evidence staff.
Miller said their expenses are more than covered, but they are not making a big profit. However, if there were a few big cases, overtime, and higher gas prices, that margin would be lost.
Recommendation: Approve a Wright County Sheriff City Contract Rate of $62.50 per hour for 2014 (a $2/hour increase), and $64.50 for 2015 (a $2/hour increase).
(End of 6-19-13 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Daleiden presented a draft resolution in support of funding for TH 10/Highway 169 corridor improvements. He stated that Sherburne County Commissioner Bruce Anderson asked for Wright County’s support. These improvements are not included in MnDOT’s 20 year plan. The resolution will support MnDOT’s review of these improvements. Husom moved to adopt Resolution #13-17. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
The Board Agenda included an item relating to scheduling a Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss department storage and space needs. Daleiden said discussion should be forwarded to the Building Committee; it does not require a Committee Of The Whole Meeting. This item was discussed at the 6-20-13 Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting. When the minutes from that Meeting are presented for Board approval, the recommendation will include forwarding this item to the next Building Committee Meeting.
Bills Approved
Albertville/City of $50,000.00
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 20,974.04
Ameripride Services 188.10
Anesthesia Assoc. of St Cloud 317.96
Aramark 6,572.51
Beaudry Oil Co 691.80
Beaudry Propane Inc 2,401.77
Beutler/Chuck 103.99
Boyer Truck Parts 570.43
Center Point Energy 888.75
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 2,225.18
Centracare Clinic 471.52
CenturyLink 966.32
CES Imaging 305.00
CMI Inc 256.50
Community Lawn Care 263.72
Constellation Justice Sys. 15,504.00
Edocument Resources 450.00
Emergency Auto. Tech Inc 1,587.80
Emerg. Comm. Network LLC 4,310.00
FS3 Inc 173.67
Gabrelcik/Barb 121.50
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
General Office Products Co. 541.32
Globalstar USA 368.58
Grainger 187.03
H M Cragg Co 1,550.00
Hennepin Co. Medical Center 1,150.00
Herc-U-Lift 197.26
Interstate Automotive 138.59
Janzen/Melissa 140.31
Karels Towing 272.53
LaPlant Demo Inc 713.33
Lindquist/Michael 361.67
Marco 522.35
Marco Inc 876.38
Menards - Buffalo 381.50
MN Counties Computer Coop. 260.00
MN Monitoring Inc 8,254.75
MN Onsite Wastewater Assn 125.00
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 1,322.66
Neopost Great Plains 347.34
Office Depot 1,522.47
Postmaster-Buffalo 592.00
Potter/Michael J 249.50
Ramacciotti/Frank 200.00
Reds Auto Electric 203.63
Royal Tire Inc 339.83
RS Eden 1,793.65
Russell Security Resource Inc 300.00
Sandin/Todd 334.48
SHI International Corp 760.14
St Cloud Hospital 1,842.30
Stamp Fulfillment Services 261.95
Tires Plus 613.69
Total Printing 188.26
Transcend United Tech. 9,346.22
West Payment Center 1,114.78
Westside Wholesale Tire 552.07
Wright County Highway Dept 5,612.73
Wright Henn. Coop Elec Assn 5,254.44
Wright Hennepin Electric 2,268.53
Xcel Energy 1,313.95
20 Payments less than $100 1,037.41
Final total $162,857.19
The meeting adjourned at 9:55 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal July 29, 2013.

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