WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
AUGUST 27, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Sawatzke made the following correction to the 8-20-13 County Board minutes: Page 1, Paragraph 5, Line 7, “Borrell said the property can’t be subdivided and involves a small, natural environment lake” should be deleted. Potter moved to approve the County Board Minutes as amended, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
The Agenda was discussed. Borrell requested that Item For Consideration #5, “Weight Loss Challenge Acknowledgement” (Borrell) be addressed whenever the guests involved arrive. Husom moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Daleiden, and the motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Borrell, seconded by Potter, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: D. Schreiner, Admin.; M. Sandquist, L. Winterhalter, Atty.; B. Hatfield, R. Jenson, Bldg. Maint.; B. Mingo, C. Hausmann, Hwy.; T. Jorgenson, C. Nalezny, Sher.
2. Approve Law Enforcement Contract For The City of Monticello.
3. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, $10,954.28 (August, 2013 Service).
4. Position Replacements:
A. Safety Director Position.
5. Authorize Signatures On Engineering Design Initiative Ltd. (EDI) Documents: Allocation Of Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction & Certification Of Energy Efficient Commercial Building Property.
1. Approve & Authorize Signatures On Grant Application For Emergency Funds From The Department Of Public Safety For The Year 2014 In The Amount Of $600 For The Victim/Witness Program. No Matching Local Funds Required.
1. Approve New Tobacco License For JLM LLC (City Of Otsego).
D. HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement:
A. Replacement Of The Chemical Dependency Case Aide Position.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the 8-19-13 County Ditch 22 and 31 Draft minutes. The purpose of the meeting was to talk to land owners about these Ditches. Daleiden and Borrell attended, along with Attorney Kurt Deter of Rinke-Noonan. Hiivala said they discussed with property owners whether the Ditches need to be established and perhaps redetermined. He said there appeared to be strong support for redetermination. Borrell concurred. He said there were questions regarding the cost. Borrell said they will schedule another meeting when Ron Ringquist of the Minnesota Viewers Association could attend and answer additional questions. Sawatzke asked whether any action was required apart from approving the minutes. Daleiden said the next step is to meet with a Viewer to answer questions and provide cost estimates.
Hiivala said he is seeking approval of the 8-19-13 Ditch Committee minutes. He contacted Mr. Ringquist and has given the Viewers Association the watershed information and maps of all the County Ditch Systems so Mr. Ringquist could present an initial estimate to land owners. Daleiden moved to approve the 8-19-13 County Ditch 22 and 31 Draft minutes. Borrell seconded, and the motion carried 5-0:
Benefited landowners, Woodland Township Employees and members of the Ditch Authority were present.
The meeting was called to order by Commissioner Borrell at 2:00 PM. Commissioner Borrell gave an overview of the agenda and than introduced Kurt Deter, from Rinke-Noonan.
Deter gave an overview of his background and involvement with County Ditches in Minnesota. Deter explained the redetermination process and the history of viewer’s reports that were established 100 years ago. Deter stated that because of the shortage of viewer’s in Minnesota a redetermination was probably 2 years out at least. Deter went on to explain some of the processes current viewers complete to determine who benefits from a watershed. Parcels are listed in different categories (A,B,C,or D Land). Viewers estimate the increase in the value of the land which comes from having a drainage system. Most viewers look at soils information, aerial photos, and assessor’s records of land sales and consider the income which may be derived from improving crop productivity.
Various landowners had questions regarding original depth on culverts, which they feel would improve the removal of water. Landowners felt that the culverts had been replaced at different depths in addition to improper compaction around the culvert. Deter pointed out that the road authority would be obligated to pay for the replacement of a culvert, if it was proven that the original grade was different.
Landowners had questions regarding current repairs needed, the clean out required and maintaining the ditch. Borrell stated that piece meal repairs seem to lead to complaints and requests from other landowners both up and downstream. The county wants to better manage the ditches then in the past. A more comprehensive approach is needed rather than reacting to individual landowner requests. A complete repair on all areas that have not been recently cleaned to date would be expensive. However, once cleaned the maintenance of the ditch would be minimal. Expenditures could be spread out over several years so that landowners would not be assessed for high dollar amounts in one given year.
Bob Hiivala let landowners know that the County has recently purchased the Drainage Modernization and DrainageDB Software from Houston Engineering. It is a one stop web based drainage management portal. HEI has common software for counties to manage information and be proactive on responding to issues. Landowners will be able to view historic documents, track activities, workflows, processes and proceedings along with GIS integration and mobile inspections.
Borrell informed landowners that the Ditch Inspector duties include inspection of ditches, tiles, bridges, and culverts. Also inspectors assure vegetation is maintained and 1 rod on each side of the ditch is enforced. Therefore, once the ditch is repaired and cleaned out from one end to the other, it will be maintained. The inspector will also be able to take site photos of the ditch and upload them to the web for landowners to look at.
Deter reminded everyone that the decision to be made is whether to just complete repairs at this time or order a redetermination. Daleiden pointed out that a redetermination does not stop us from doing minor repairs on the ditch. If there are areas that need immediate attention, those can be completed prior to the redetermination.
A fairly strong support for looking into a Redetermination of Benefits was made by the landowners, but they wanted a little more information and possible expenses after talking to a viewer. It was recommended by Deter that one more Informational Meeting take place, with Ron Ringquist (MN.Viewer) being present and he could then address questions or concerns. Many of the landowners would also like clarification as to where County Ditch 22 and 31 start or end.
It was agreed upon to schedule one more informational meeting in the future.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 pm.
(End of the 8-19-13 County Ditch 22 and 31 Committee Minutes).
Hiivala turned to the July Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. He said there is nothing new to report. Appropriations have gone out. The second half of property taxes has not been collected. He anticipates turning back funds in the Personnel category.
Regarding personnel costs, Sawatzke said there are a few hundred thousand dollars that were deducted from the levy. Whatever matches that amount would be to cover what was deducted and anything beyond that will be turned back. Hiivala said the July Guidelines reflect the allocations of monies from Department 100 to the various Departments.
Daleiden moved to approve the July Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Husom. Hiivala said the public may find the Budget guidelines on the County web site by doing a quick search using the word “Budgets.” The motion carried 5-0.
On a motion by Borrell, seconded by Potter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total amount of $240,499.88, 140 vendors, and 195 transactions.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested approval of a Resolution of Final Acceptance for the 2011 CSAH 40 Bridge Replacement Project, SP 086-640-002, Contract #11-01, with Redstone Construction Co., Inc. of Mora, Minnesota. The final payment amount is $32,840.51. Hawkins said the County partnered with Stearns County. They received $288,000 in Federal money and $179,000 in bridge bonding grant funds. He said of the total cost of $652,000 to construct the bridge, the County paid about $100,000 out of the State Aid Fund.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution # 13-26 for the Final Acceptance for the 2011 CSAH 40 Bridge Replacement Project, SP 086-640-002, Contract #11-01, with Redstone Construction Co., Inc. of Mora, Minnesota, in the amount of $32,840.51, seconded by Potter. The Resolution carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
BE IT RESOLVED that, all work having been satisfactorily completed and Engineer’s Certificate of Performance having been submitted, the Wright County Board of Commissioners does hereby accept Contract #11-01 for the 2011 CSAH 40 Bridge Replacement Project with Redstone Construction Co., Inc. of Mora, Minnesota, and does hereby authorize final payment.
(End of Resolution #13-26)
Daleiden presented the 8-21-13 Building Committee minutes. The Committee discussed two issues: 1) Moving the metal detector from the front (east) main entrance on the same level, but closer to the elevator and stairwell leading to the Court Administration corridor; and 2) Construction of a Coordinator’s console in the Board Room.
Daleiden said there was a great deal of discussion regarding whether locating the metal detector on the main level but closer to the Court Administration elevator and stairwell would be feasible. The issue of controlling the flow of traffic from the lower level to Courts and back was not resolved during the meeting.
Daleiden made the following correction to the 8-21-13 Building Committee minutes: Page 3, Paragraph 5, should read, “Daleiden said they are considering relocating the Drivers’ License Testing Bureau to space in the former Sheriff’s office space.”
Daleiden said the Committee recommendation, after much discussion, was to conduct a security audit to determine the best place to locate the metal detector. He said the hallway is narrow on the main floor by the stairwell and elevator to Court Administration. Electrical power would also need to be installed as none exists in that location at present.
Daleiden added that Judge Mottl provided additional information on courthouse security and personal safety in public spaces.
Daleiden said the new camera system being installed in the Board Room precipitated the proposal for a Coordinator’s console in the Board Room. The new camera system will also include the ability to show the Coordinator on camera, which is not currently possible. The purpose of the console is to hide the wires and cables currently in view under the table where the Coordinator sits during meetings. The console will also provide space for monitors that allow the Coordinator to change camera angles and monitor live streaming of the meeting to the Internet. The work station at the console will be more ergonomically correct for the person taking minutes. Daleiden said Ernst Construction provided a quote of $2,750 for construction of the console using the same type of wood as the Commissioners’ dais. The Committee recommendation was to approve $2,750 for the total cost of the Coordinator’s console, to be funded from the Budget 100 Site Improvements line item.
Borrell moved to approve the accuracy of the 8-21-13 Building Committee minutes as corrected. Husom seconded, and the motion carried 5-0. Borrell then moved to authorize Ernst Construction to build the Coordinator’s console in the amount of $2,431; cable management/electrical work in the amount of $319, for a total amount of $2,750, to be funded from the Budget 100 Site Improvements line item. Daleiden seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke turned to the first item on the 8-21-13 Building Committee Agenda: Building Security. Borrell said he thought if one location didn’t work, it would not be that difficult to try another location. Daleiden replied that he looked at the Courts corridor and believes the location of the monitors showing the Courts schedule and the restrooms cause logistical problems. The Committee decided that a security audit would be the next best step. If the metal detector went too far down the Courts corridor, people using the restroom would have to go back through security to return to the courtrooms. His biggest concern with the main floor location is how to bring power to that location.
Borrell and Daleiden discussed difficulties with monitoring the flow of people moving up and down the stairs to and from the Courts corridor. Borrell said the metal detector can be unplugged and moved to an alternate area if that becomes necessary. He added there is virtually no expense with moving it.
Husom said she concurs with the recommendation to conduct a security audit to facilitate discussion between the Sheriff’s Office and the Courts. Borrell said he may vote against the security audit. Husom said it would be different if the Courts, County Attorney and Court Services were all in the same location. Borrell countered that the County is one of only perhaps two in the State that have metal detectors. The County also has a police presence, as do other counties. Daleiden referenced information in the Board packet that discusses how many counties have metal detectors. Borrell said Wright County is the only county with a metal detector in the Government Center, not just the Courts. Potter interjected that the County is legally obligated to protect the Courts. Husom said reading through the 8-21-13 Building Committee minutes, she agrees with the recommendation to perform a security audit.
Kelly clarified that the recommendation included a security audit of both the Courts area and the Government Center. Borrell said that audit would be very expensive due to its broad scope. He said it would be better to move the metal detector to one spot and see how it works. Perhaps the Board would decide to vote for a security audit after that, but Borrell felt it would be pointless to do a security audit for the Courts knowing the area is open.
Daleiden said the County is not required to provide a metal detector. Sawatzke said Court facilities in Hennepin County have areas with no metal detectors at all, although there is a move to add them.
Sawatzke voiced concerns that a security audit will lead to a retraction of the decision to move the metal detectors from its current location at the main entrance. If that is the case, Sawatzke said he will oppose a security audit. He said the security standard maintained at the County far exceeds those of 85 other counties in the State, to the detriment of County citizens. Why does Wright County require that of their residents? Sawatzke does not believe Wright County citizens are so dangerous that they should be required to submit to such searches before entering the Government Center. He added that the metal detector and security staff at the back (west) main entrance door is a waste of $100,000 per year. Sawatzke said the savings realized from eliminating the back entrance security station would easily compensate for any cost to bring electrical power to the metal detector if moved to the proposed location closer to the Courts Administration stairway and elevator. Sawatzke said the Government Center is not secure, nor are the Courts. He asked whether the goal is to move the metal detector after the security audit, or retract from the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee recommendation approved by the Board at the 8-06-13 County Board meeting. Sawatzke asked whether the security auditor will be told that the metal detector is being moved, and queried regarding what they consider to be the most effective location.
Husom said that was part of the question. There are other things that must be considered, such as the number of bailiffs. She said the Board Room sometimes serves as a courtroom, and security measures must be considered for those situations as well. Husom said she did not mean to imply that a metal detector was a necessity for the Board Room. She said she would like to see what security measures are suggested.
Potter said when the Board voted to approve the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee recommendations, the decision was made. Sawatzke said that is the decision of the Board. Potter replied that Roberts Rules of Order say the decision has been made.
Borrell said the person doing the security audit will not know better than the Board what the most effective location would be for the metal detector. He reiterated his view that the metal detector could be tried in several locations to determine the most effective place.
Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office will go along with whatever decision the Board makes regarding the location of the metal detector. He said there is a need for some type of after-hours barrier for the Courts corridor. A security audit could determine whether a barrier such as a gate or a glass door could be utilized. There is an order signed by the Chief Judge that defines the Judicial Corridor. The Judicial Corridor extends past Court Administration. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office complies with the court order that bans guns from certain areas of the building. Husom said the barrier would have to be a door so someone could get out.
Sawatzke asked who would do the security audit, and what type of credentials should be required. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office does not do security audits, but they will work with the Coordinator to find a qualified person. Daleiden asked whether Administration staff had obtained a cost estimate. Kelly said not yet.
Sawatzke said if a security audit is done for the entire Government Center, the auditor should be told the intent is not to lock down the entire complex. He has no issue with providing better security for other areas of the Government Center, but does not want all but one exterior door locked to the public.
Daleiden said long term he would like the Drivers’ License Testing Bureau relocated to the former Sheriff’s Office on the main level of the Government Center. That would require the west employee entrance to remain open to the public. Daleiden said his understanding was that the west door would remain an employee-only entrance. Husom said that was part of the recommendation but could be reconsidered. Sawatzke said if there is limited parking for the public on that side, the public won’t use the west door. Borrell thought the west door could be left open. Daleiden assumed people taking drivers tests would want to come in that door. Husom said this issue would be addressed in the security audit.
Public comments were heard. Dewayne Bauman of Montrose said it is ridiculous to consider doing a security audit. He felt it was too expensive, especially since property taxes rose substantially this year. He felt going through the metal detector is offensive and the expense for security personnel and equipment excessive. Bauman said the County can determine security needs without an audit. He also felt County employees should also be required to go through the metal detectors every time they go in and out of the Government Center.
Calvin Brant of Delano said the metal detectors are not needed at all, even in the Courts. He said the County should take down the “No Guns Allowed” sign. Criminals see those signs and know no one in the building has a gun. Brant said people with permits to carry guns will not harm the public. He recommended the County get rid of the security system altogether.
John Tackleberry of Franklin Township said the County has an excellent Sheriff’s Office and local police. The County has enough resources to determine what is best. It is not necessary to hire outsiders to advise the County regarding security measures.
Borrell said the Sheriff’s Office and the Buffalo Police Department could provide input prior to getting a security audit. Sawatzke said he spoke with Sherburne County Commissioner Bruce Anderson. Anderson told Sawatzke that the Federal government did a security audit for Sherburne County free of charge several years ago. Perhaps the County could utilize the Federal government for a security audit at no cost. He is not suggesting the County get a security audit. If the Board decided for an audit, perhaps this is a way to get one free of charge. Sawatzke said Sherburne County does not lock down their government center. Citizens do not need to go through metal detectors to pay their taxes. The only place in Sherburne County where the public goes through metal detectors is in the Courts area. Sawatzke said he did not want to wait nine months for a security audit. If the Board decides to conduct a security audit, he prefers that the auditor be told the purpose of the audit, and not given any indication of a specific outcome or preference.
Husom favored a Federal government security audit at no cost. Sawatzke said the County decided eight years ago to hire more staff and move them to the entrances eight years ago without the help of a security audit. He said the security personnel are outstanding employees and do a great job with the public. He doesn’t feel the public should have to go through metal detectors when they come to the Government Center.
Hagerty had not heard of the Federal government providing security audits. He said Sherburne County has a Federal jail contract, which may be the reason they received a free security audit. Sawatzke said Anderson thought the Federal security audit would be available for Wright County as well. Hagerty said he would contact Sherburne County today.
Borrell moved that the metal detector be relocated on the same level it is currently, but closer to the Courts Administration stairway and elevator so security personnel can monitor traffic flow. Hagerty said previously the metal detector was on the second floor in the Courts corridor. He said it was hard to control all the activity. The space was too tight with Court Administration in the vicinity. Hagerty thought the location on the main floor but nearer the elevator and stairway was best, as long as staff can make sure anyone getting on the elevator at the lower level has to come out on the main floor, go through security and then continue on the elevator to the second floor Courts area.
Sawatzke asked how many people use the elevator each day, including disabled persons, staff, and the general public. Hagerty estimated the usage was minimal. He said many people with wheelchairs use the ramp. If they were going to the Courts corridor, they would come in the front door and go through security. He did not think it would be difficult to develop a secure system in the proposed location.
Daleiden asked how people would go down to the lower level to get to Veterans Services or Extension. Hagerty said they could go from the second floor Courts area all the way down to the lower level. He said they would work with people going downstairs. Daleiden asked if security staff would separate the stairs. Hagerty said they would monitor the stairs. There will be two security personnel at that station. Daleiden said he was concerned about people going down to the lower level. Hagerty responded they would already have gone through security. Daleiden asked if they will have to come back through security a second time. Hagerty said security would focus on traffic going up to the Courts area on the second floor.
Borrell suggested that the metal detector be moved to the location on the main floor near the Courts area. The lower level could be cordoned off. Persons with disabilities could take the elevator. Hagerty replied that there may be disabled people in Veterans Services who are also going to Court.
Borrell made a motion to move the metal detector on the main floor toward the Court Administration elevator and to investigate sealing or locking the elevator at a later date. Sheriff Hagerty will also inquire about a free security audit from the Federal government. If a free Federal government security audit is not available, the Board will consider whether they want to pursue other options.
Potter said he would only second the motion if it included the provision that the Building Committee was directed by the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee to relocate the metal detector, and since the Board approved those minutes based on the Personnel Committee recommendation, following Robert’s Rules of Order, the County is obligated to proceed in this manner. Potter said even though he is on record for opposing the move, the decision has already been made. Robert’s Rules of Order are in place so no one tries to circumvent a decision that has already been made. Potter said he wants to maintain the integrity of the process.
Sawatzke asked if that was a second to the motion recognizing there was a 3-2 vote to eliminate the metal detector at the back (west) main entrance and lock down the Courts. Potter said it was 3-2 and the Personnel Committee gave the directive to move the metal detectors.
Sawatzke asked Potter if he was seconding the motion. Potter said he would if that is included in the motion. Sawatzke replied that Potter wanted the motion to include that the motion is consistent with the direction of the Board and the recommendation of the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee minutes. Husom added that the motion should include that the County will proceed with a security audit. Sawatzke said Hagerty will check to see if the County could receive a free security from the Federal government. Sawatzke clarified that if the Federal government cannot do a security audit for the County at no charge, the Board will have to look at alternative ways of accomplishing the same goal.
Potter seconded the motion. Sawatzke asked whether a timetable should be stated within which the metal detectors should be moved. He did not want the process to be drawn out. Borrell suggested within thirty days.
Husom asked for a clear direction from the Sheriff. She felt an audit would be appropriate. She agreed with moving the metal detector.
Borrell said he would support an audit if there is a cap on the cost. Sawatzke said the Federal security audit is free. The Board will find out by the 9-03-13 Board meeting whether the County can obtain a free Federal security audit, and if so, within what time frame.
Hagerty said he is bound by law to protect the Courts. He has to be able to control access from the lower level. He cannot allow people to go from the lower level directly to the Courts on the second floor. Borrell said they would look into ways to control traffic on the elevator and stairs within the next thirty days. Sawatzke agreed with members of the public who feel the County can determine security needs without an audit. However, an outside perspective may be clearer, although he does not expect to hear suggestions that have not already been discussed.
Hagerty said the elevator is his main security concern. He will provide information at the 9-03-13 County Board meeting. Sawatzke said he respects Hagerty’s expertise and is confident he is capable of generating viable options. Potter seconded the motion with the stipulation that it must be consistent with the previous direction of the Board and the recommendation of the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee minutes.
The motion carried 5-0 to move the metal detector on the main floor toward the Court Administration elevator and to investigate sealing or locking the elevator at a later date. Sheriff Hagerty will also inquire about a free security audit from the Federal government and report back to the Board at the 9-03-13 County Board meeting. If a free Federal government security audit is not available, the Board will consider whether they want to pursue other options. The 8-21-13 Building Committee Minutes follow:
I. Building Security.
Daleiden said the purpose of today’s meeting is to determine where the metal detector should be placed in order to provide security to the Courts area. Lee Kelly read the recommendation from the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee:
1) Move the metal detector by the front lobby door near the Court Administration area on the same level as the front entrance.
Daleiden interjected at this point, saying that cannot be done because it does not work. Kelly continued with the recommendations from the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee:
2) The Sheriff’s Office will work with Kelly regarding construction details related to moving the metal detector and adding the TSA scanner. The construction proposal will be brought to the Building Committee.
3) No person will be laid off; however, one position will be removed from the list of authorized staffing when a vacancy arises.
Daleiden explained that placing the metal detector would not work on the main level because of access issues to Veterans Services and the elevator to Court Administration and courtrooms on the second floor. He said people would be able to get around the metal detector and go up the elevator if it remains on the main floor. Daleiden said moving the metal detector to the second floor will provide greater security to the Courts than its current location on the main floor.
Hoffman asked whether the elevator could be controlled with a penthouse key. Kelly said it probably could, but he was not sure about the logistics. Would people coming from the Veterans Services area go around the metal detector? If they wanted to take the elevator, security staff would be needed at the elevator to allow them up to the next level. Daleiden asked if there would be security stationed near the elevator at the lower level for people who come in through the back door of the Government Center. Daleiden asked if people would have to get off the elevator at the main floor, go through the metal detector and get back on the elevator to go to Courts on the second floor.
Daleiden said he did not know how securing the Courts would work if the metal detector stayed on the same level near the front entrance. Potter said space is too tight on the second level by Court Administration to accommodate the metal detector.
Hagerty said he has attended all the meetings on this topic. He has also worked with Gentles. Their goal is to make sure Court Administration and the Courts are considered as one in this endeavor. The Personnel Committee favored leaving the metal detector on the same level it resides currently. Hagerty said it would still act as a deterrent. He believes concerns about securing the elevator could be remedied. Hagerty said anyone at the lower level would have to go through security on the main floor and then take the elevator to the second floor. He did not know how many people access the Courts area from the lower level. Hagerty said there is generally little traffic on that level. The west exterior door will remain an employee-only entrance. Hagerty said his preference was to keep the metal detector on the main floor, closer to the Courts area. They could determine ways to control access from people who may go from Veterans Services to the Courts area. Hagerty said the metal detector should be placed as close to the stairs going to Court Administration as possible. Security staff could watch for people coming up the stairs from the lower level. He said there is always a chance someone could slip through. Most people use the elevator from the main floor entrance to the second floor.
Hagerty said the metal detector was located on the second floor in the past, with sporadic effectiveness. It was moved to the main floor east entrance in the mid-2000s. Hagerty said the seating area of Court Administration is very busy. There are six courtrooms and seating on both sides of the corridors. Some of the seating would be placed before the proposed location for the metal detectors. Hagerty said that would make it difficult to monitor the traffic flow of people coming and going around the metal detector. It would also interfere with business at the Court Administration counter, and hinder the privacy of people doing business there. Hagerty said security staff would not be able to capture everyone entering the Courts area with the metal detector in that location. Hagerty said he and his staff feel moving the metal detector from the main entrance toward the Court Administration area but staying on the current level would work best. Hagerty said he also spoke with Leesa Sherman of wRight Choice. She was concerned that students would no longer be screened when they arrive. That would not be a problem if the metal detector is moved to the new location on the main level. Hagerty said the metal detector provides a deterrent and a sense of security to Government Center employees and the public. He understands there are concerns, but he feels this location would be most beneficial.
Potter said he likes Hagerty’s idea of placing the metal detector so security staff is able to view the stairs to the lower level. After doing some measuring, Potter said he did not see how it would fit upstairs and allow data privacy for Court Administration clients. He said his understanding was that this issue was referred to today’s meeting for further discussion. His preference is to keep the metal detector where it is now, although it appears that is not what was decided at the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee. Potter concurred with the Sheriff that the main floor is the best location for the metal detector, and if moved a short distance toward the Courts area, staff could still monitor people coming up from the lower level hallway.
Potter asked whether the back entrance (now the west lobby entrance) would be designated as an employee-only entrance. Kelly said it would be open to the public, the same as the east lobby entrance.
Hoffman asked whether there has been any discussion regarding after hours access. Would there be a glass door or some type of physical barrier to the Courts? Daleiden said that has to be part of the security plan. The metal detector only fulfills part of the security function. Daleiden added that does not address the concerns of employees in Court Services and the Attorney’s Office.
Kelly said he assumes all courtrooms are locked up and a security sweep conducted at the end of each business day. Munson said they use that area in the evenings several times per month for a couple of programs. Judge Mottl said there have always been bailiffs in the Courts area for security, and at least two bailiffs during jury deliberations. The courtrooms are locked, but they are with the jurors in the hallways.
Munson said Court Services staff supervises clients during evening programs. Any activity held behind a closed door that would normally be locked is supervised by staff. Otherwise, people sit in the blue chairs in the hallways. She mentioned several evening programs that occupy the Courts area during the month.
Hagerty said at least someone with Court Services is with them to make sure everyone leaves when the programs conclude. In years past, there was a gate in the Court Administration corridor that secured the Courts area after hours. This is now prohibited due to access rules related to fire safety. Hagerty said some construction would be needed to build an effective barrier. Hagerty said it would be ideal to be able to cordon off the Courts corridor after hours.
Hoffman asked whether there has been any discussion on the option to remove the metal detector at the west main entrance and converting that to an employee entrance. The metal detector currently at the east main entrance would remain there. Daleiden said that option was not discussed, and he does not believe it would work. The west (back) main entrance provides good accessibility for the public. Daleiden said moving the License Bureau to the former jail area in the Government Center could maximize this accessibility.
Daleiden redirected attention to the fact that the County Board Room is occasionally used as a courtroom. Gentles said the Child Support Magistrate sometimes uses the Board Room for enforcement cases. If all six courtrooms are in use on the second floor, the Board Room is utilized. Daleiden asked how often that occurs. Gentles said perhaps once per month. Abrahamson said a Truancy Diversion program is held in the Board Room once per month as well. Judge Mottl said a bailiff remains with her in the Board Room until after the class is finished. Gentles said a bailiff is assigned to Ex Pro Court as well. Ex Pro Court participants would not be screened if the metal detector is moved to the second floor. Daleiden said most people would not be screened unless you require them to go through security. Potter asked what time Ex Pro Court is held. Gentles said mornings. Potter said participants could go through security before going into the Board Room. Hoffman interjected that another bailiff would have to be added to the Board Room, resulting in additional personnel. He said there is no way to control people who come up the hallway unless a bailiff is posted at the door.
Hayes said the problem is how to control access to the elevator going to the Courts corridor. He explained there is a card key system in the elevator in the central lobby for after-hours access that other County personnel could use. He said Court Services and Attorney staffs that use the elevator after hours have to prohibit unauthorized persons from using the elevator, forcing them to act as security personnel. Hoffman said allowing the elevator by Court Administration to run free from the first floor to the second floor is fine if the security station is positioned on the main floor close to the elevator. However, a penthouse key would be used to access the elevator from the Government Center lower level and the main floor. Hayes said that could be done, but Court Administration staff would have to control who gets on the elevator. All staff using the elevator by Court Administration would have to monitor access to it. Gentles said the elevator has to be accessible to those who cannot use the stairs. Hayes agreed, saying some people may want to go to Veterans Services. The elevator issue has yet to be resolved.
Judge Mottl said the exterior door by the License Bureau presents a similar situation when employees have to tell the public the door is no longer open to them. Employees have consistently followed this procedure. She said it is the same thing with the west employee door. She did not see a difference between monitoring elevator access and the other doors.
Daleiden said they are considering relocating the Drivers’ License Testing Bureau to space in the former Sheriff’s office space. In that event, it would be logical to open the west employee door to the public.
Judge Mottl said the County was formerly known as the gold standard in the 10th Judicial District for excellent courthouse security. Isanti County was the last county in the District to update their courthouse security. They worked with the County Sheriff’s Office and Court Administration in the process. Judge Mottl recently sent a notice to the District Security Committee regarding the proposed reduction in Courts security measures at the County. Mottl said the Security Committee expressed great concern about it.
Earlier, the County Board Bench requested that a security audit be conducted. She suggested the Board consider a security audit to get an evaluation regarding the current status of the Government Center security plan and how it could be improved. Judge Mottl said an audit would provide valuable information regarding the best way to carry out this project.
Judge Mottl asked Hagerty how long Sgt. Howell has been stationed on the second floor in Court Administration. Hagerty said it has been awhile. He added that Dick Norman, former County Coordinator and he worked on the security system last year. Security cameras were upgraded. Gentles said Sgt. Howell started in May of this year. Judge Mottl said they postponed discussing Courts security during the transition from the former sergeant to Howell in order to establish a good working relationship. She said the Bench is still interested in a security audit. She feels it may be the best way to proceed before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars changing the system, only to find the security audit deems it in error or ineffective.
Daleiden said he wished Judge Mottl had been at the other meetings regarding this issue. He said they had no arguments with her position.
Mottl distributed research reports to Potter, Daleiden and Kelly (see attached), including:
• Report from the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association in 2012 regarding Courtroom Incidents;
• Data from Future Trends In State Courts entitled, “Courthouse Security Incidents Trending Upward: The Challenges Facing State Courts Today” from 2012;
• A bill introduced by Senators Klobuchar and Franken that passed the Senate last year but failed in the House regarding establishing courthouse security as a priority.
Mottl said the bill will be reintroduced this year. She said she appreciates the level of concern the Board has exhibited for the Courts. Mottl asked whether it was too late to make a decision on where security for the Courts would be stationed. Daleiden said it was not too late. Potter asked T. Kelly if the Committee could legally refer the request for a security audit back to the County Board prior to implementation of security system changes. T. Kelly responded that the Committee has that discretion. He asked that the record reflect again that Wright County has been at the forefront of Courthouse security. Kelly said he felt dejected after the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee meeting. He said in many counties the County Attorney’s Office is located with the Courts complex. Statute says counties only need to provide security for the Courts. He advised the Committee to invest the money now to ensure effective security and avoid potential lawsuits in the future. He does not know the cost for the current security system, but he does not feel security personnel prevent the public from accomplishing their business at the Government Center. Kelly said he did not think moving the metal detector has to take place now. He said the Committee could respectfully request that the Board consider a security audit.
Potter said the County used to be ahead of the curve in security matters. Other counties are ramping up and Wright County is scaling back. Hagerty clarified that the Sheriff’s Office does not do security audits or decide where cameras should be placed. Hagerty said that was a Board decision. He said the Sheriff’s Office is the vendor and provides security. About a year ago he worked with Norman and Hoffman to address security issues. Statute requires him to provide security to the Courts. The layout of the Government Center is not conducive to anything affiliated with the Courts. Hagerty said the Courts deal with family issues and volatile situations, any of which could become violent. It is impossible to prevent every potential occurrence. Hagerty said security personnel will continue to maintain a presence and respond, whether there are metal detectors at any of the doors. He added that one less staff person will not hurt Government Center security. People feel safe. Hagerty added that he is required to provide security for Judge Mottl and the Courts, and he will continue to do so.
Potter asked whether the Statute includes providing security for Court Services and the County Attorney. Hagerty replied that it does not. He wants to work with the Board regarding where the metal detector should go. Wherever that is, he will staff it. In previous Committee meetings the Sheriff’s Office was authorized to staff the metal detector with two employees. Hagerty said two security personnel are needed, especially if they have to watch for people getting off the elevators and going up to the Courts from the lower level.
Hagerty asked when the judicial center will be built at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). Potter said it would be 2020 at the earliest when a number of bonds expire. The County would be eligible to rebond the LEC at that time.
Daleiden asked Hagerty how many counties have a sheriff’s office separate from the courthouse. Hagerty said Kandiyohi County is one of two. Hagerty said many counties build new jails which have certain requirements established by the Department of Corrections. Many of the new jails have been built near their government centers. They utilize tunnels to transport inmates. Kandiyohi County transports inmates in a similar fashion to Wright County, and it works fairly well.
Potter asked T. Kelly if it was appropriate to request a security audit prior to moving the metal detector to ensure the plan accomplishes their goals. The Board does not want to expose anyone to danger, and also respects Commissioner Borrell’s concerns regarding hindering public liberties with cumbersome security measures. Kelly said it would be prudent and within the bounds of the Committee’s authority to request a security audit. However, it must be brought back to the rest of the County Commissioners to garner the support of one additional Board member. Technically, protocol dictates that the 7-17-13 Personnel Committee Minutes have been approved by the County Board. However, Kelly said common sense says that although the Minutes were approved, Potter, by his own acknowledgement, did not realize a decision had been made. Kelly thought the Committee could get one more Commissioner to agree to rethink the process and consider a security audit.
Potter clarified that the recommendation would be to refer the item back to the Board and to conduct a security audit prior to implementation of changes in the Government Center security plan. He said he felt more comfortable with that option. Daleiden agreed. Hagerty said that is something the Coordinator should initiate. He asked if the security audit would cover just the Courts or the entire Government Center. Regardless, Hagerty said the Sheriff’s Office will cooperate with L. Kelly. Daleiden said he thinks the audit should cover the entire building.
Potter said the security audit will answer important questions prior to making any moves. He asked L. Kelly if the item will be on next week’s Board Agenda. Kelly said it would. Potter said in the future he will be clearer on the ramifications of Committee recommendations before casting a vote.
Recommendation: Perform a security audit of the Courts and Government Center areas prior to moving forward with relocation of the metal detectors.
II. Coordinator’s Console.
Daleiden discussed construction of the proposed Coordinator’s console in conjunction with the upcoming live streaming of County Board meetings. Instead of sitting at a table, a console would be constructed of wood similar to the dais to improve the appearance of the Coordinator’s station on camera. The video monitor will be placed at the Coordinator’s console to allow easy access for changing camera angles and to ensure the cameras are working properly. Computer cables will be hidden within the console. Laptops will be plugged in at the console and the work station will be ergonomically configured.
Swing stated the additional cameras will allow angles of the Coordinator, unlike the past. The console is an aesthetic adjustment added to the web streaming project. Daleiden said there will be room for the Coordinator and one support staff to be seated at the console. He added that the Coordinator will also be able to monitor a second screen that will display meetings as they are being streamed in real time.
L. Kelly said the console is a preference expressed by the Commissioners. He does not feel a need for it. Regardless of their final decision, Kelly said tables should still be placed in front of the Commissioners’ dais to accommodate other meetings held in the Board Room.
Swing said Ernst Construction provided a quote of $2,431 for construction of the Coordinator’s console. Swing said there is an additional cost of $319 for cable management and electrical work. The total cost would be $2,750.
Daleiden said his biggest concern is to have assurance the meeting is successfully being streamed live over the Internet, and that the cameras are working properly. The support person taking minutes cannot take time to watch the monitor. Kelly said there will need to be training on the live streaming process. Kelly said he has not worked with it, but Information Technology staff is more familiar with the process.
Hayes said the wooden background behind the dais is not camera-friendly and hinders camera focus. Hayes asked who will be controlling the cameras. Swing said the Coordinator will control them. Daleiden said it will be very simple.
Potter asked if there were enough funds in the Budget 100 Site Improvements line item. Kelly said the amount requested is not large. Potter said he supports Daleiden regarding construction of the Coordinator’s console. Swing said if the price were higher, he would not support this. In June, the Board approved $9,627 for the camera upgrade. The Coordinator’s console is the finishing touch. Kelly said the console is of greater concern to Swing than him. Kelly thinks the console represents a want more than a need, but it is up to the Commissioners.
Recommendation: Authorize Ernst Construction to build the Coordinator’s console in the amount of $2,431; cable management/electrical work in the amount of $319, for a total amount of $2,750, to be funded from the Budget 100 Site Improvements line item.
(End of 8-21-13 Building Committee Minutes)
Borrell read the 8-21-13 Ways & Means Committee minutes regarding advertising and contracting with a Ditch Inspector for the County. Sawatzke asked whether the Agricultural Inspector position has been advertised, and if so, what the closing date is. Kelly replied that the closing date is 9-06-13.
Borrell said that Hiivala found that many counties hire an employee to fulfill the function of Ditch Inspector. It was the consensus of the Committee that an employee was not the best option. The County contracted with a Ditch Inspector in the past. Borrell said the Committee is considering a contract covering hours and mileage. The Committee also discussed the technology involved with this position. Borrell asked if the Drainage DB software will necessitate the need for a Ditch Inspector with technology skills sufficient to take digital photos and upload them to Drainage DB. Whether the County provides a stipend or the equipment for the Inspector, Borrell said the Committee recommended advertising for a Ditch Inspector with experience. The Ditch Inspector should also be insured so the County would be indemnified.
Sawatzke said Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, will forward an advertisement on the Ditch Inspector position. Applicants will present a plan to the County that proposes their hourly fee and expenses. This will be a contract position. Applicants must demonstrate relevant background experience and knowledge of ditches. Sawatzke clarified that applicants do not need to have held prior positions as ditch inspectors, but must be experienced with drainage and ditches. Sawatzke said once this is approved, the ad will be run. Borrell said the Ditch Inspector ad will be approved by all five Commissioners prior to publishing.
Daleiden moved to approve the recommendations of the 8-21-13 Ways & Means Committee to have Brian Asleson draft an advertisement for a Request For Proposal for a County Ditch Inspector, including a list of required qualifications. The motion was seconded by Husom. Sawatzke asked Kelly to ensure that the draft advertisement is forwarded to all five County Commissioners. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Ditch Inspector (Laid over from 7-31-13 Ways & Means Committee Meeting).
The Committee reviewed information on how several counties handle their Ditch Inspector services (see attached). Discussion included whether to fill the position as an employee or whether to contract for the services. It was the consensus that contracting would be pursued. Borrell stated it is important that the person hired has drainage/ditch experience because of the work that needs to be done on Wright County Ditches. Asleson stated that independent contractors are asked to indemnify the County for the activities they undertake and provide proof of insurance.
Recommendation: Asleson and Kelly will draft an ad for an RFP including a list of qualifications required for the position.
(End of the 8-21-13 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Borrell invited the leaders in the County Lose Weight In 8 Challenge to come forward. He said this team is first at this time, while the Commissioners’ team is in second place. The Commissioners acknowledged the team for the great job they have done and presented them with cupcakes and gift certificates to Dairy Queen, encouraging them to indulge in the treats this week.
Kelly requested that the Board schedule a Personnel Committee meeting to discuss reduction of contracted law enforcement service hours. He said the deadline to complete the 2014 Budget is fast approaching. The Budget must be passed at the County Board meeting on 9-10-13 in order to make the deadline of 9-15-13.
Kelly said it would be good to meet prior to those dates as there are several contract reductions that could potentially impact the Sheriff’s budget.
Sawatzke mentioned several cities that are impacted and the associated costs. Monticello and Clearwater are each four hours a day. With the shift relief factor, that amounts to about two positions. The Sheriff would like to discuss the matter with the Personnel Committee. Potter moved to schedule a Personnel Committee meeting on Friday, 8-30-13 at 1 P.M. Borrell seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Kelly asked the Board to choose which Board meeting date to cancel in October and December due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in those months. Sawatzke said the Board will still meet briefly on 12-24-13 and 12-31-13. He said the Board generally passes a motion allowing the offices to close at noon on Christmas Eve. Staff can either work the full day or take personal time for the remaining four hours, or take off the entire day (using personal time or time off without pay). That memorandum is generally distributed in early December. The Courts are open till noon on Christmas Eve as well. Borrell moved to cancel the 10-29-13 and the 12-10-13 Board meetings, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
Kelly asked whether the Board would like to designate a single Committee meeting day for the months of October, November and December. After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to retain the regular two Committee meeting days in October. Borrell moved to designate 11-13-13 and 12-18-13 as single Committee meeting days. Husom seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke said Potter will have a conflict with Committee meetings on 12-18-13. He asked Kelly not to schedule any Building or Technology Committee meetings at 10:00 A.M. on that date.
Albertville Body Shop Inc $1,507.47
APEC Ind. Sales & Services 2,300.78
Aramark Services Inc 13,665.00
Boyer Truck Parts 1,271.96
BP Amoco 2,271.90
Brock White Co LLC 577.56
Bryan Rock Products 3,364.23
Buffalo Chamber Of Commerce 180.00
Center Point Energy 503.61
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 33,689.48
Central Hydraulics Inc 157.81
Chase on the Lake 138.27
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP 13,100.00
Climate Air 1,075.90
Delano Rental Inc 1,278.49
Dynamic Recycling 2,921.78
Edocument Resources 750.00
Excel Systems 739.95
Federated Co-ops Inc 2,848.10
Force America Inc 123.00
Glock Professional Inc 1,170.00
Grand Casino Mille Lacs 215.36
Granite Pest Control Services 347.94
Hancock Concrete Prod. LLC 2,952.33
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 142.52
John Deere Financial 1,006.76
Keaveny LTC Pharmacy 2,631.83
LaPlant Demo Inc 617.16
Lawson Products Inc 110.54
Loberg Electric 263.00
Marco Inc 1,889.86
Menards - Buffalo 287.48
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc 1,422.10
Millers Sewage Treatment Sol. 350.00
MJ Dunn Company 270.42
MN Assn of Co. Feedlot Officers. 165.00
MN Sheriffs Association 200.00
MN State Bar Association 396.00
North American Salt Co 7,336.37
Office Depot 1,932.08
Performance Kennels Inc 201.99
Redstone Constr. Co Inc 32,840.51
Royal Tire Inc 723.46
RS Eden 2,062.67
Russell Security Resource Inc 160.00
Ryan Automotive 1,193.46
SHI International Corp 1,075.16
State Supply Co 116.95
Stockholm Township 415.00
Tires Plus 1,828.39
Veolia Environmental Serv. 15,350.75
Walmart Community GEMB 273.54
Waverly/City of 105.77
Wenck Associates Inc 888.10
Wright Co. Highway Dept 50,842.95
Wright Co. Surveyor 561.40
Wright Hennepin Electric 2,362.95
Xcel Energy 864.32
Zarnoth Brush Works Inc 1,265.40
31 Payments less than $100 1,273.38
Final total $240,499.88
The meeting adjourned at 10:21 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 16, 2013.