Wright County Board Minutes

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Potter moved to approve the 9-03-13 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, “Ditch 10 Rebid” (Borrell). Potter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Borrell removed Item B1, Attorney/Court Services, “Refer To Building Committee Discussion RE: 4th Floor Security.” On a motion by Borrell, second by Potter, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: A. Duis, Atty.; J. Dinius, R. Hill, Bldg. Maint.; J. Ashley, J. Baker, K. Klatt, K. LaFromboise, M. Silbernagel, Sher./Corr.
2. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Labor Agreement With Wright County Deputies Association.
3. Approve Law Enforcement Contract For The City Of Albertville.
4. O/T Report, Period Ending 8-31-13.
Discussion followed on Item B1, Attorney/Court Services, “Refer To Building Committee Discussion RE: 4th Floor Security.” The background information reflects that due to the change in metal detectors, Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director and Tom Kelly, County Attorney, would like to discuss the following security options for 4th Floor: Video, Locked Lockers, Scanning Wands, Use of Extra Metal Detector, Panic Button, and Bullet Proof Glass. Borrell said if this is approved, there will be no end to the requests departments may submit. Daleiden recalled that previous discussion included the consideration of scanning wands and panic buttons. He supported continuing discussion. Husom agreed. She was in favor of a security audit to discuss potential issues and felt that was a reasonable request. Borrell thought the request could wait until the security audit has been completed. Sawatzke said he was unsure whether there would be an audit. Husom said the Board talked about moving forward but also discussed a pre-audit. Borrell did not support changing items that affect customer service. Sawatzke supported discussion on some of the items such as the panic button but did not see the need for bullet proof glass. Daleiden stated that these Offices serve a different sector of the population. Husom agreed and said it is a different environment than other offices. Arrests are made. She supported referring this to the Committee for discussion.
Husom moved to refer the request from the Court Services Director and County Attorney to the Building Committee, seconded by Potter. The motion includes discussion of the following security options for 4th Floor: Video, Locked Lockers, Scanning Wands, Use of Extra Metal Detector, Panic Button, and Bullet Proof Glass. Borrell moved to amend the motion to include referring to the Building Committee discussion on the video and panic button only. He then stated that locked lockers could be added to the amended motion. Husom asked whether scanning wands could be added to the items being referred. Borrell did not want that added to the amendment. The amendment to the motion failed for a lack of a second. Sawatzke felt the bullet proof glass is beyond what is needed. Husom said referring the items to Committee will allow discussion. Borrell stated he is not in favor of the bullet proof glass. Sawatzke said he does not disagree as everyone that goes to Court Services is not a criminal. However, for those that have committed crimes and are found guilty, they do then live within a different standard. He said possible use of the extra metal detector or scanning wands could be discussed, but probably not use of both. Sawatzke is unsure about the bullet proof glass. Borrell viewed the bullet proof glass as impersonal. He said if that is the type of customer service desired, he will vote against the request. The original motion carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
At the request of Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, Potter moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 9-17-13 at 10:30 A.M. for the Audit Exit Meeting with LarsonAllen. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Hiivala said the County has obtained specifications and bids for repair work on County Ditch 10. The County previously rejected the bids, and Borrell asked about re-advertising. Borrell said to get the work completed by fall, this needs to move forward. Information needs to be sent to all contractors so there is an opportunity for them to bid. Hiivala has a list of local contractors that will receive notification. It was the consensus that Wenck Associates does not need to be involved in the re-bid process. Bids will be opened in the Board Room. The bid specifications will reflect work completion by 4-01-14. Hiivala questioned what will be done with the debris and whether that needs to be clarified in the bid specifications. Daleiden suggested that the dirt be spread and the trees piled up and burned. Potter moved to schedule a bid opening on 10-08-13 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
The claims listing was discussed:
• Daleiden referenced a claim on Page 11, SHI International Corp. ($20,700.07) for Netmotion Maintenance for 2013-2014 in the Sheriff’s Department. The claim is coded to Furniture and Equipment and Daleiden felt it should be under Data Processing. Hiivala stated the claim reflects it is for the acquisition and maintenance of a wireless system and two licenses. Hiivala will verify the accuracy of the coding.
• Sawatzke referenced a claim on Page 14, Wood Chuck Wood ($500.00) for wood bundles for resale under the Parks Department. He questioned why the Parks would need to purchase wood. Daleiden said there are times when there is not enough precut for fire pits. Sawatzke suggested utilizing the STS Crew to cut wood when the Parks employees do not have time to do so.
• Daleiden referenced claims on Page 16, Fastenal Company ($7,233.30) for nuts and bolts for the Sign Shop, and Page 18, Klatt True Value Electric ($9.73) for nuts and bolts for repair parts. Sawatzke thought Fastenal had patented items that require a special tool to remove them. This may be to prevent public removal of signs. Daleiden will follow up with the Highway Engineer on this item.
Daleiden moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for $914,869.75, 136 vendors, and 188 transactions. The motion was seconded by Borrell. In response to Hiivala, the Board confirmed that approval includes payment of the claims referenced during discussion. The motion carried 5-0.
Tamara Bigelow, Human Resources Director, requested approval to revise Wright County Personnel Policy 508.03, Flex Time. She stated the Leadership Team met on 8-01-13 and discussed the Policy. The Leadership Team has recommended a revision to allow Department Heads to approve flex schedules for employees rather than that being a function of the Human Services Board or County Board. This would allow better flexibility for departments when making decisions on how best to staff the department on a daily and/or weekly basis. Bigelow said the request includes both a regular flex schedule (consistent schedule week by week) and a non-regular schedule. Bigelow said there are situations where employees have worked 40 hours by Friday at 12:00 PM. Department heads may want to have the option of sending the employee home to avoid overtime. Otherwise, the request has to go to the Human Services Board or County Board for approval. On the flip side, an employee may ask a department head or supervisor if they can work from 7:00 AM-3:30 PM because of an appointment on a specific date.
Sawatzke said this was not discussed at the Leadership Team Meeting that the County Board was involved in. If the Leadership Team wants to take that authority from the County Board, he said that discussion should occur at a meeting that the County Board attends. Sawatzke serves on the Personnel Committee and has seen the problems that flex time can cause. Sawatzke asked whether the County Board can attend the Leadership Team Meeting to discuss this issue as those Agendas are not normally posted. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, suggested that this topic be referred to a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting because of the process by which decisions are made. Sawatzke said there were problems approximately 12-15 years ago associated with one department in the organization allowing roughly 40% of their staff to work a flex schedule. Payroll had trouble determining how to pay them. When the department was questioned, it was discovered that some of the schedules were to accommodate the employee’s schedule (working another job, volunteering, etc.). Sawatzke said the question becomes whether the employee is here for the benefit of the citizens of Wright County. Sawatzke said he would not oppose flex scheduling if it is done for the benefit of the organization. Doing it for the benefit of the employee can cause problems in the organization. One such situation would be if one department allows flex scheduling and another does not. Bigelow said she wanted to take responsibility for this Policy coming to the Leadership Committee. She did so as she was being approached with questions on the Policy. Husom moved to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 9-25-13 (next Committee Meeting date) to discuss Wright County Personnel Policy 508.03, Flex Time. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. Sawatzke said changes to the Personnel Policy typically go to the Personnel Committee, unless it involves a minor wording change or language change because of State Law. Because of schedule conflicts with holding the Meeting on 9-25-13, Borrell moved to reschedule the Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting to 9-24-13 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Husom, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the schedule for the County Coordinator interviews on 9-20-13 as presented by Bigelow.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 8-30-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Borrell moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0:
I. Discuss Reduction Of Contracted Law Enforcement Service Hours
Hagerty said there is an eight-hour reduction in contract hours for 2014, with four hours reduced from each of the Cities of Clearwater and Monticello beginning 1-01-14.
In addition, Hagerty said there is the separate issue of two authorized positions that have not been filled for several years. The mutual understanding between the Board and the Sheriff’s Office was that those two positions could be filled whenever the demand increased, at which time the Sheriff would bring a request to the Personnel Committee. They have not done so until this meeting.
In 2007, Hagerty said the Sheriff’s Office had 144.5 authorized positions. Vacancies began to be replaced with civilian employees. Hagerty explained that the operation of the Sheriff’s Office is fluid. He said Tamara Bigelow, Human Resources Director, has provided assistance with several recent employee issues. Hagerty said there are also several military people on staff that are periodically deployed. The Sheriff’s Office no longer tries to backfill for a military person on leave.
Hagerty said their targeted authorized strength is 137 people. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office is authorized for 140 positions. Once the metal detector on the west side of the lobby is eliminated this month, the number of authorized positions will drop to 139. Hagerty said two will leave when the city contracts for Clearwater and Monticello expire in January 2014.
Hagerty said the loss of revenue from the contract reductions will be $182,000. Miller said the demand for the 8-hour contract is 2,920 hours. Sawatzke asked the gross income of the two fulltime deputies. Miller replied that the average earnings for a deputy are $38.99 per hour at Step 7 plus benefits or $81,000 per person. Multiply that by two positions and the total is $162,000.
Sawatzke asked Hagerty if he was agreeable to reducing the number of authorized employees from 139 to 137 due to the loss of the contract. Miller said the two contract deputies equal 1.7 employees, including the shift relief factor. If relief was not considered, Miller said the contracts would equal 1.5 deputies.
Sawatzke said if the deputies work seven days per week and the shift relief factor is included, the number would be greater than 1.7 employees lost. Miller said this is calculated by multiplying 8 hours per day times 365 days per year, equaling 2,920 hours. Divide 2,920 by 1,700 (the average hours the regular full time employee actually works after accounting for vacations and sick leave), and the shift relief factor is 1.7 positions needed for a particular shift.
Miller said the metal detector position on the west side of the Government Center lobby requires 2,080 hours (8 hours x 5 days per week x 52 weeks per year). Divide 2,080 by 1,700 (again, the number of hours the regular full time employee actually works), and the result is a shift relief factor of 1.22 positions. In other words, Miller said it takes 1.22 people to fill the position at the west metal detector station. Sawatzke said the Sheriff’s Office is losing a total of eight hours per day in contract revenue. He said 2.5 deputy positions could be eliminated.
Miller asked Sawatzke if he agreed that the Sheriff’s Office has 2,920 contract hours to fill. Sawatzke said yes. Miller divided 2,920 by 1,700, which equals 1.7 employees needed to fill the shift. Husom said if 1,700 is subtracted from 2,920, the difference is 1,220, or 3/4 of a position. Sawatzke countered that he was not referring to a 40 but a 56 hour work week for the contracted positions. He asked Hagerty if he would agree to reduce the number of approved positions to 137 from 139 due to the reduction in contracted law enforcement hours. Hagerty said if they agree to that, the Sheriff’s Office will request replacement of the two authorized positions that have not been filled for several years. Miller added that their goal is to fill 137 approved positions. Currently they are at 136.
Miller said if, for example, the City of Albertville wanted to add eight hours of coverage, the Sheriff’s Office would request that the Personnel Committee recommend approval to fill two deputies for the relief factor. Miller said they have nine bailiff positions at the Government Center (six for judges, two at the metal detector and one that roams to different stations as needed). The Sheriff’s Office only has nine bailiffs assigned. If relief is needed, staff is reallocated from patrol.
Sawatzke asked Hagerty if he was willing to cut 1.22 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) out of the part time budget. Hagerty replied that the part time line item is for bailiffs. Sawatzke said the Sheriff’s Office is losing $20,000 in contract revenue. He said it doesn’t make sense to hire two more people but not reduce the part time budget.
Miller responded that the Sheriff’s Office gave up two patrol deputies. Hagerty said they need 1.2 deputies. Miller stated that the bailiff position at the west metal detector station is a 1.22 position. The .22 time is being filled by temporary employees.
Miller said 25 percent of the Temporary line item in the Sheriff’s Office budget is not solely for bailiffs. The Sheriff’s Office spent $56,000 on temporary staff last year for a Dispatcher. Sawatzke said the discussion is about .22 of one position. Whether this person is part time or a temporary, the cost to pay them is taken out of that budget line item. Sawatzke said it would be a wash.
Miller said a deputy is working at the west metal detector. Demand will be strong next year, and the Sheriff’s Office will have to fill that position with a $35 per hour employee versus a $19 per hour employee. Currently they have a part time person staffing that station.
Sawatzke referred to the Temporary line item. He said the Sheriff’s Office only hires temporary help when they are needed. If a deputy is available, they can backfill the position. Miller replied if a deputy is available, the Sheriff’s Office will pay overtime. He said they will exceed the Temporary line item budget this year.
Sawatzke asked how much temporary staff is paid per hour. Miller said licensed deputies earn $19 per hour. Sawatzke said ten percent could be taken from the Deputy line item and add it to the Temporary line item. If the Sheriff’s Office goes over on the Temporary line item by $1,200, so be it. Sawatzke asked if Hagerty would agree to reduce the Temporary line item from $60,000 to $54,000 for the 2014 budget. Hagerty said they will probably exceed that amount. Sawatzke suggested the amount be reduced by staffing with employees hired at the lowest compensation level.
Miller said one argument revolves around staffing demand, and the other is the ability to hire people already authorized by the Board. Sawatzke said the two positions are not authorized in this year’s (2013) budget. Miller said the Sheriff’s Office is not at the full complement of 140 authorized employees. Sawatzke explained that the Board deducted 85 percent of the funding for unfilled vacancies from the 2013 budget to balance the levy. Sawatzke asked Hagerty if he would agree to take $6,000 out of the Temporary line item. Miller said he estimates that the Sheriff’s Office will spend $62,000 on temporary employees this year and substantially more next year.
Sawatzke asked Hagerty whether he would agree to reduce the Sheriff’s Office 2014 Temporary line item to $54,000, decrease the number of authorized positions from 140 to 137, and add in the two unfilled vacancies. Hagerty said yes. Their temporary employees cost less per hour, but there are limited areas in which they can be utilized. Hagerty said they usually work at the lobby metal detector stations or in clerical positions. If they are posted in the clerical division, they earn less than a regular full time employee who may be on leave.
Regarding the two unfilled vacant positions, Hagerty said criminal cases have become increasingly complex and require more time and staff. Cyber crimes are up, and so are the required search warrants. The Sheriff’s Office will assign a person to work cyber crime next year. Community policing has increased significantly, and the Sheriff’s Office utilizes volunteers, unpaid reserves or Explorer Scouts whenever possible. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office has about 18 employees working in recreational enforcement. Hagerty said work in that area has increased substantially.
Hagerty said the Sheriff’s Office has not asked for a relief factor person since about 2007. More is now required of deputies than in the past.
Miller said when the Sheriff’s Office backfills a bailiff position, they frequently have to take deputies off the road. The Sheriff’s Office is currently at a licensed deputy count of 136. They would like to proceed with hiring to increase that to 137.
Sawatzke clarified that the Sheriff would like to replace both unfilled vacancies. He proposed that they fill one position on 1-01-14 and the second on 7-01-14. Delayed hiring of the second position will save $35,000 in 2014. Sawatzke authorized 137 licensed deputies for the Sheriff’s Office next year.
Sawatzke added that once the metal detector at the west entrance is removed, the number of authorized positions in the Sheriff’s Office will decrease to 139. At the end of 2013, the number will drop to 137 when the two city contracts expire.
1) Authorize 137 approved positions for 2014;
2) Replace two vacant licensed deputy positions, the first starting 1-01-14 and the second starting 7-01-14; and
3) Reduce Temporary Staff line item from $60,000 to $54,000.
(End of 8-30-13 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Lee Kelly, Interim County Coordinator, brought forth discussion on adopting the resolution establishing the 2014 Draft Budget and Certified Levy. A draft resolution was included in the Board packets distributed last week. At today’s Board Meeting, Hiivala distributed a revised draft resolution which incorporates the sales tax savings that are anticipated. Hiivala and Kelly worked with departments to obtain information on estimated tax savings and their interpretation of sales tax law, as required by the State. Through the review process, the Sheriff’s Office justified their anticipated savings to be less than what was included in the first initial draft Budget and Levy presented in the Board packets. There will still be a savings but not to the degree that was reflected on the first draft. Sales tax is paid by the County when competing with private business in the delivery of service.
The draft 2014 Budget is proposed at $102,355,468 which is a $500,000 reduction from the 2013 Budget of $102,850,890. The 2014 Certified Taxable Levy is proposed at $50,590,962 which is a .08 percent increase from the 2013 Levy of $50,550,634. The process is for the Board to adopt the draft Budget and draft Certified Taxable Levy. Once the draft is set, the Budget and Levy cannot increase but can decrease. The figures adopted will be used when generating the property tax notices for 2014. The Board will hold a special meeting in late November or early December for public comment on the draft 2014 Budget and Levy. In December, the County Board will approve the final Budget and Certified Taxable Levy.
Borrell suggested use of the Recorder’s Compliance Fund to offset the increase in the Levy. Sawatzke said that can be part of future discussions. He said the County needs to be cautious with using that Fund because of the potential to realize an increase in a future Levy. Borrell recently attended the AMC Policy Committee Meetings. The range of budget increases from those counties polled was from a very small reduction to some counties realizing an 8% or 14% increase. The counties anticipating higher increases were realizing the increase as a result of past use of reserves. They had used reserves hoping things would improve, but they did not. Sawatzke said that is his concern with the suggested use of the Recorder’s Compliance Funds in Wright County.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #13-27 adopting the draft 2014 Budget of $102,355,468 and the draft 2014 Certified Taxable Levy of $50,590,962. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Kelly stated that the application process for the Ag Inspector position closed on 9-06-13. Five applications were received. He asked for Board direction on how to proceed. In response to Sawatzke, Kelly stated that it is his understanding that the applicants understand they are applying with the same terms and conditions held by the previous Ag Inspector. Husom moved to refer discussion on the Ag Inspector position to the Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting being held on 9-24-13 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
Kelly was contacted by Ben Oleson, Corinna Township Zoning Administrator, with a request to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for the purpose of discussing the shoreland zoning administration determination, which has to be completed by the end of 2013. On a motion by Husom, second by Daleiden, all voted to schedule the Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 10-08-13 at 10:30 A.M.
Bills Approved
Albertville Body Shop Inc $689.26
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 20,038.92
Ameripride Services 229.04
Annandale Advocate Inc 374.26
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 811.40
Aramark Services Inc 7,005.23
Black Box Resale Services 211.00
BMC Software Inc 5,454.99
Boyer Truck Parts 1,227.81
Buff N Glo Inc 205.00
Buffalo Hosp.-OTPT Comm. 1,045.95
Buffalo/City of 97,885.26
Cenex Fleetcard 860.11
Center Point Energy 142.81
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 56,094.00
Climate Air 380.00
Consulting Radiologists LTD 121.11
Cornerstone Chevrolet 138.76
Cottens Inc 4,588.52
Delano Rental Inc 187.83
Dell Marketing LP 3,104.90
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 747.06
Excel Systems 307.54
Fastenal Company 7,233.30
Fred Bonk Gravel 304.00
Gopher State One Call 454.15
Grainger 185.01
Green Interiors 482.07
Hancock Concrete Prod. LLC 2,604.55
Hegle Door Co 141.30
Holiday 19,533.64
Husom/Christine 152.50
Inside The Tape 620.00
Intoximeters Inc 167.63
Jerrys Towing & Repair 335.94
JMJ Transmission Inc 1,227.63
Knife River 378,181.38
Kryzer/Greg 114.47
Kustom Signals Inc 405.80
L3 Communications Inc 250.62
LaPlant Demo Inc 1,099.37
Laurent/Michael 151.51
Loberg Electric 1,801.54
Marco Inc 1,102.95
Martin Marietta Materials 886.28
Mathiowetz Construction 133,840.37
Metro Group Inc/The 594.43
MN Area Assoc. of Realtors 1,368.00
MN Counties Comp. Coop. 1,362.46
MN Supreme Court 508.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 334.71
North American Salt Co 27,645.71
Office Depot 956.74
Powerplan OIB 159.46
Reliable Restoration 6,110.00
Royal Tire Inc 3,147.32
Russell Security Resource Inc 456.62
Safelite Fulfillment Inc 183.60
Savance 250.00
Sawatzke/Pat 332.50
SHI International Corp 20,700.07
Specialty Turf & Ag 390.95
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PA 266.54
Sun Press & Newspapers 104.34
Towmaster 327.68
Traffic Marking Service Inc 91,484.59
United Parcel Service 101.11
Waste Management-TC West 2,555.91
Westside Pest Solutions Inc 175.00
Wood Chuck Wood 500.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 293.90
Zee Medical Service 277.72
25 Payments less than $100 $1,155.62
Final total $914,869.75
The meeting adjourned at 10:00 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 30, 2013.

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