WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
NOVEMBER 19, 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 11-12-13 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Add 9:03 A.M. Agenda Item, “State Representative David FitzSimmons RE: I-94” (Potter); Aud./Treas. Item #4, “Signatures On Contract With Blackstone RE: County Ditch 10” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #4, “Question On County Website Calendar” (Daleiden). Potter moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Schedule 2013 Employee Recognition Ceremony For 3-04-14 @ 10:00 A.M.
2. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, $863.60 (October, 2013 Services).
1. Approve Renewal of 2014 Tobacco License for: 152 Club, Don’s Auto Service & Repair (City of Albertville); Clearwater Travel Plaza, Clearwater Travel Plaza Fuel Center, Holiday Stationstore #254 (City of Clearwater); Iron Horse Grill & Saloon (City of Cokato); Town Club, Inc. DBA Dave’s Town Club, Holiday Stationstore #214 (City of Delano); Jonwall, Inc. DBA The Original Tom Thumb (City of Hanover); Holiday Stationstore #196, Holiday Stationstore #344, Kwik Trip #345 (City of Monticello); Holiday Stationstore #378 (City of Otsego); Holiday Stationstore #394; Kwik Trip #681 (City of St. Michael).
C. HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement:
A. Social Worker In Developmental Disabilities Unit.
1. Authorize Signatures On MPCA 2012 County Feedlot Performance Grant.
State Representative David FitzSimmons provided an update on the expansion of I-94. He extended appreciation to the County Board for their support of this project, both collectively and individually. He cited the efforts of Commissioner Potter who has been present at many of the meetings and deliberations. The expansion project is being done through the Corridors of Commerce which was approved at MnDOT’s Central Office. In the past, projects were typically included in plans through a District model. This one is a State-wide plan and is based on corridors with heavy commercial importance and inter-regional connectivity significance. The I-94 project will bring the six-lane highway extension from the Hwy. 101 exit in Rogers to the Hwy. 241 exit in the City of St. Michael. In addition to the immediate impacts, this project will allow a much easier future expansion process as it is needed to Albertville, Monticello and beyond because of it crossing the boundary from the Metropolitan District into MnDOT District 3.
FitzSimmons said there were only ten projects selected through the State from over 400 project submissions. He said there was strong competition. The I-94 Project was allocated $35-$45 million of the $300 million total in trunk highway bond capacity. Final design work will need to be completed, and a lot has been done with regard to traffic flows. Groundbreaking is scheduled for July, 2014 with completion by the fall of 2015.
FitzSimmons said the design that is being worked on by the engineers should really help out. For westbound traffic, there will be four lanes going into the Hwy. 101 exit, including a 3500’ deceleration lane. FitzSimmons cited the underpass at Hwy. 144 where the only at-grade intersection between I-94 and Hwy. 10 is being removed. Between those two things, he thinks things will free up at the Hwy. 101 exit. Potter said the 3500’ deceleration lane was included in the original design and taken out. It will be included in the I-94 project. He thanked FitzSimmons for his work with this project. Daleiden referenced a Letter to the Editor from FitzSimmons which outlines the $35 million cost to widen I-94 compared to the $1.55 billion spent for light rail. I-94 takes care of a lot more people. FitzSimmons responded that I-94 handles a lot of truck traffic as well. Over one-quarter of Minnesota’s total interstate commerce goes through that portion of the highway. He added that one out of every four product dollars that transfers between states (to and from Minnesota) goes through that stretch of highway.
Borrell extended appreciation to FitzSimmons and Potter. He said residents of Wright County and anyone who uses I-94 owe gratitude to those who are working on this project. There are people in St. Cloud who support this project as well. FitzSimmons said that these improvements affect a wider group in Wright County and beyond that really made the impact. They were able to bring to a conclusion that this piece of I-94 was a necessary piece to further steps. He said that really helped in bringing on Albertville, Monticello, St. Cloud, and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce. The Central MN Transportation Alliance, covering the St. Cloud area, put this as their top priority. FitzSimmons felt this was a turning point for Commissioner Charles Zelle of MnDOT that this was not a local project but a regional project.
Daleiden asked whether a deceleration lane is planned for Hwy. 241. FitzSimmons stated it will be for west bound residents, mirroring the current Hwy. 101 exit. The third lane furthest north will be the exit onto Hwy. 241. He said this should address some of the traffic flow issues. Traffic will be stacked in the exit lane. Potter spoke with Terry Humbert, MnDOT District 3, and understands they are looking at various models for westbound off Hwy. 241. FitzSimmons said the final details are uncertain but in almost all scenarios, there will be a vast improvement. The County Board thanked FitzSimmons for the update.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of a resolution which would allow repurchase of tax-forfeited property by the former owners, Backes Companies, Inc. for PID #107-085-002130 and PID #107-085-005050. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #13-41, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A County Ditch 22 and 31 Meeting was held on 11-12-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes. It was clarified that the motion includes the minutes but not any action items. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0:
The Ditch Authority met at 3:00 PM in Montrose at the Woodland Township Hall for an Informational Meeting with Commissioner Borrell and Daleiden present.
Others Present: Jon Dotolo, MN Viewer; Bob Hiivala, Auditor Treasurer; Brian Asleson, Wright County Attorney; Kerry Saxton, SWCD; Jan Edmonson, Auditor’s Office and benefited landowners from County Ditch 22 and 31.
The meeting was called to order by Commissioner Borrell at 3:00 PM. Commissioner Borrell gave an overview of the agenda and reminded landowners that the Ditch Authority by law is required to maintain the ditch. Clean outs on this ditch system have not been done in the past. The benefited lands have not been updated for decades and there is no provision by law to index for inflation over time. The cost of a repair cannot exceed the total value of benefits on record, yet because the ditch has not been maintained in the past for decades, the cost of repairs keeps increasing. Borrell also stated that the ditch authority cannot ignore the fact that the current assessment roles are unfair on both County Ditch 22 and 31. These benefits and associated assessments for repairs can only be updated by a redetermination of benefits. Borrell then introduced Jon Dotolo, MN Viewer.
Dotolo gave an overview of his background and involvement with County Ditches in Minnesota. Dotolo explained the redetermination process and the history of viewer’s reports that were established 100 years ago. Dotolo stated that because of the shortage of viewer’s in Minnesota a redetermination was probably 18 months to 2 years out at least. Dotolo 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. A redetermination updates the benefit rolls. It may add lands, remove lands, or change the amount of the benefits assigned to individual parcels.
Landowners had questions regarding who can decide to order the redetermination. Asleson explained if the drainage authority determines that the original benefits do not reflect reasonable present day land values or that the benefited or damaged areas have changed, or if more than 50 percent of the owners of property benefited by a drainage system petition for correction of an error that was made at the time of the proceedings that established the drainage system, the drainage authority may appoint three viewers to redetermine and report the benefits and the benefited areas. Either way, the decision of whether to go ahead with a redetermination is that of the Board.
Landowners had questions regarding the required buffer strip when a redetermination is done. Dotolo explained that drainage law requires the establishment of minimum 1-rod (16.5 ft.) buffer strips of perennial vegetation along drainage ditches. Land rights for the buffer strips are acquired by the drainage system. Borrell stated harvesting of perennial vegetation remains a right of the landowner. The primary purposes of these buffer strips are to improve ditch bank stability and reduce ditch maintenance by setting back tillage from the top of the ditch bank and to trap sediment and nutrients from adjacent wind erosion and runoff.
A landowner inquired about land enrolled in CCRP prior to right-of-way acquisition by the drainage system. Dotolo explained that for land enrolled in CCRP, the landowner can collect annual program payments for 10 to 15 years, as well as payment for the land rights acquired by the drainage system. Asleson 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 there is 5,000 watershed acres on County Ditch 31 and currently, approximately 2,000 total acres are being assessed. County Ditch 22 watershed acres are 2,000 acres and currently, approximately 570 total acres are being assessed. Therefore a redetermination is going to bring in more land and change the amount of the benefits currently assigned to individual parcels.
Dotolo added that once the redetermination process is completed, the auditor must prepare a property owners’ report from the viewers’ report. A copy of the property owners’ report is mailed to each owner of property affected by the ditch system. The viewers like to hold one meeting prior to a public hearing with the owners of property affected by the ditch to answer questions on a one on one basis. The ditch authority is required to hold a final hearing on the report and confirm the benefits 30 days after the property owners’ report is mailed. A person aggrieved by the redetermination of benefits may appeal from the order.
Landowner were concerned if it would be more beneficial at this time to complete repairs where needed to improve the flow of the ditch instead of proceeding with a redetermination that maybe a lot more costly then the repairs. Hiivala shared the estimated cost of a redetermination that was sent via Email from Ron Ringquist, MN Viewer:
CD 22 would be $8,000 (2,000 acres x $4) and CD 31 would be $20,000 (5,000 acres x $4)
The acquisition of the buffer strips would be above these estimates.
A strong support for looking into getting a couple of clean out estimates was made by the landowners. Once estimates for a clean out are received then the landowners would like to have one more informational meeting to determine if a redetermination of benefits should be ordered or if a clean out should be conducted instead.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:12 pm
(End of 11-12-13 County Ditch 22 and 31 Minutes)
Hiivala presented a contract with Blackstone Contractors LLC for repair work to County Ditch 10. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the Board previously had questions on where the tree material would be deposited after it was removed from the Ditch. This matter was brought back to the Board on 10-22-13. At that time, an email was provided reflecting the contractor will be removing all material from the site and that it will not be deposited on adjacent lands. At that time, Hiivala and Asleson forgot to ask the Board to authorize signatures on the contract. He suggested the Board authorize Hiivala to sign the contract. Daleiden moved to approve the Construction Agreement and to authorize Hiivala to sign the Agreement. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $197,464.32 with 163 vendors and 298 transactions.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested authorization for himself and Assistant Highway Engineer Chad Hausmann to attend the NACE Annual Meeting/Management & Technical Conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on April 13-17, 2014. Husom moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0.
Hawkins requested the Board approve a Resolution of Final Acceptance for the CSAH 19 improvements in Albertville (SAP 086-619-30 & SAP 086-618-10, Contract #07-02) with Fehn Gravel & Excavating, Inc. of Albertville, Minnesota. The motion would also authorize final payment of $9,750.18. The project was completed in 2008 and 2009 and was kept open due to a prevailing wage compliance investigation by the MnDOT Labor Compliance Unit. Hawkins received word that the investigation has closed and the County can proceed with final payment. The final value of the work certified is $3,560,923.86. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #13-42, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, presented the 11-06-13 Committee Of The Whole Minutes regarding Shoreland Management for Corinna Township. Borrell moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0:
Chairman, Pat Sawatzke, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Corinna Town Hall, with all five Commissioners present. Christine Husom, District 1; Pat Sawatzke, District 2; Mark Daleiden, District 3; Mike Potter, District 4; & Charlie Borrell, District 5. Also, present were Sean Riley, Wright County Planning & Zoning Administrator, Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney. Township Supervisors Chuck Carlson, John Dearing and Dick Naaktgeboren, Deputy Clerk, Jean Just. Ben Oleson, Home Town Planning, Township Planner; and several members of the Township Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission. Each Commissioner introduced themselves and the District they represent.
The purpose of the meeting was explained. The State Statute governing shoreland management is Rule 6120. The County Board called the meeting to obtain public input on the request by Corinna Township to obtain this authority. Commissioner Sawatzke explained the County Board cannot take a vote, can only make a recommendation to themselves and a decision will follow at a future County Board meeting.
A presentation followed by Town Planner, Oleson on the background to date. The Statute that allows the Township to take over shoreland management is found under 6120.3900. He explained he is on contract with Corinna Township as their Planning & Zoning Administrator to provide planning services.
History was summarized. Preliminary meetings going back to 2005 is what started the process, when the issue was brought forward at the March 2006 annual Township meeting. The meeting was attended by 85 residents. This started the first phase with several months of meetings to develop the Comprehensive Plan. A public hearing on a Comprehensive Plan was attended by 90+ people. The Township Ordinance was drafted. In August of 2008 is when the Township started zoning outside of the shoreland areas. In 2010 the Township started negotiations on how to move forward and the last few years have reached an annual agreement with the County on shoreland administration. The Township has been administering day-to-day zoning activities and those contractor’s in attendance are familiar with the permit procedures.
Oleson reviewed the State law they have been working under since 2008. State law allows the Township to do this as long as they are as restrictive or more restrictive as the County. To administer the DNR rules the same applies, as well as they must be as effective. The three elements the DNR sets out are: 1) Township cannot pick and choose which part of the regulations they want to enforce; 2) lot dimensions have to be the same as the County, if not more; 3) zoning map cannot include a land use that is not under the County’s map. Also, the Township has to have adequate staff, have proper permit forms and a mechanism for enforcement in place. He stated the Township has demonstrated they have all these in place, the finances and qualified staff. The Township has adopted the Shoreland Ordinance word for word by reference, adopted a zoning map and any changes are forwarded to the County Board. As far as administration, he has provided services on a contract basis the last 5-6 years, they have a contract for building and sewer inspection services that runs into the following year. The last three years they have been on contract for inspection services with the County. He personally makes regular site visits, has local eyes and ears to monitor things, building and sewer inspectors at sites can also bring things to their attention. The Town Board has legal counsel and the Association of Township Officers is another resource available to them.
Oleson noted the Township budget has a large tax capacity of $1,000,000. The facility has a secure place to keep records and provide regular hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 8-3, with more hours during summer months.
Addressing the planning activities since 2007 when the Comprehensive Plan was developed, Oleson indicated they have had a Planning Commission and he is a certified planner. Regular training sessions are made available and members are encouraged to take advantage of other events. Oleson added, good communication and relations with the County Staff for records, obtaining interpretations and inquiries on building and sewer codes is ongoing. Many opportunities are provided to gain public involvement. Using a large screen, he displayed the Township website, where information can be obtained that includes, agendas, staff reports and minutes of all meetings. In addition, the applications and plans for proposals being heard by the Planning Board are available before meetings along with a comment line for on-line public input. The public can view fact sheets and archived agendas, staff reports and minutes on line.
Sean Riley briefly informed the Commissioners he has reviewed this thoroughly with Oleson. He is in attendance to answer questions about the agreements with the Township. The focus of tonight’s meeting is to hear from the public.
Sawatzke opened the meeting for public comment.
Dave Levi stated the County Board has the statute and are asked to make a decision on whether Corinna Township meets the criteria for granting them complete authority. He asked the County Board whether they want to advocate their authority that they are granted by the State. He did not think the County Board should let go of that authority. He referred to a letter they sent to all the principal authorities on this issue, signed by himself, his wife Susan and Warren & Kathy Jonsrud of Cedar Lake. They implore the County Board not to relinquish their authority on shoreland management. He felt this was given to the County for good reason. The County will always be in a better position to make decisions; there is the distance afforded by Ordinance that is administered by reasonable people. He noted the decision to move forward on doing their own planning and zoning was on a vote by two township supervisors, with a letter sent to the County in 2005. They propose a compromise of a permanent sharing of shoreland management rules as provided for under MN Statute 3900. He encouraged them to enter into a Joint Powers Agreement as that would be more logical and provide more consistent management control. They have heard under the current relationship things are working well; however, the citizens are paying for both units of government and there is no savings to be gained if the County were to give authority over to the Township. He feels the County can give public waters more oversight and he estimated 60% of residents on Cedar Lake do not have a vote because they reside outside of the Township. A joint powers agreement makes good sense and good governing. He noted they have the leverage of multiple agencies such as Lake Associations, DNR and SWCD, CRWSD and coalition of lakes. A joint agreement provides important oversight over complex issues of the shoreland management and he did not see why the Township could not maintain a joint powers agreement, with the depth of resources and a capacity for dispassionate value judgments.
Tom Bacon noted the Clearwater Lake Association brought to his attention an e-mail to County Administrator, Riley and the County Attorney, a problem with a sewer that was supposed to be fixed 16 years ago. They believed with sales of the property it would get fixed and brought up to standards. He felt if the Township is given authority, a closer watch over these matters could take place.
Charlotte Quiggle Chairman of the Corinna Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission, added she is also a member of the County Board of Adjustment and as a resident of Sugar Lake; she has a vested interest on lake quality issues. The Township is requesting administering the rules to maintain the Township goals as they all share goals of protecting their water resources and want to be good stewards of the land. She summarized the Township meetings started in 2005 to take over administering the land use plan. A crowded annual meeting in 2006 supported this. Quiggle felt they have made applying for permits more convenient for contractors by coming to the town hall and after hours are able to use a drop box. The Town officials are familiar with the property and people. Site inspections are required of Commission members before public hearings; whereas, at the County, limited site inspections are made. Notices are published in two local papers The Maple Lake Messenger and Annandale Advocate; where in the past, public notice was in the Howard Lake Herald where few property owners would see it. Notice to property owners is extended out a distance of one-half mile and the County notifies residents one-quarter mile. She felt the local government can be more nimble and are using today’s technologies to meet their goal of being as transparent as possible. She referred to the web site displayed earlier that shows the Township encourages an e-mail notification system so property owners can keep apprised of public meetings and comments can be received from where ever the resident is at. The entire file is made available to residents on the website, including site plans, building plans, applications, staff comments, a staff report for public meetings is posted a week before the hearing and involvement is encouraged. Where in contrast, two other Townships in the County that are doing their own zoning administration, Middleville has minimal information, no public agendas or minutes posted; and, Stockholm Township does not have a web site. The Town Board has hired Oleson who has a Master’s degree in Planning from the Humphrey Institute, has superior knowledge in planning since 1999, served as Todd County’s Planner from 2001-2003, been asked to serve on a collaborative 22-member Board when the DNR had an update project. In 2007 the Supervisors, Clerk and other officials attended land use training and is ongoing; they have regular planning seminars on issues. An upcoming Planning Commission seminar on balancing property rights and land use regulations will be attended. The Township has invited other units of government, i.e. SWCD and Environmental Services, to provide presentations and updates on sewer rules as they differ from the State. In addition, shoreland training is provided by email and seminars. The Township is paying for these educational opportunities. In contrast, she has not been offered any education as a member of the Wright County Board of Adjustment. Corinna Township makes certain every property request for a project in need of a variance has met proper erosion controls and provides that with a plan; also a storm-water plan is in place prior to a variance. The County is not requiring this. The Township has sent a letter to excavating contractors that outlines their expectations in projects, the calculations on whether a project requires a permit or not.
In summary, Quiggle felt the Township has spent the last eight years as more responsive and are better informed with local issues and the residents have demonstrated approval by approving the Township levies since 2006. The Township offers more education not only to their officers, but contractors; are as restrictive as the County and more restrictive in some areas and apply the same Statutes when applying land use decisions. The Township provides more notification to people and staff is comparable to the County staff. Unless the Commissioners can point out something, she felt a vote against giving the Township Shoreland authority would be arbitrary and capricious.
Steve Hoff, resident on Sugar Lake and member of the Township Planning Commission informed the County Board he was asked to serve on the Planning board because of his varied experience as a manager of a fertilizer plant he has access to many of the local farmers, he owns a real estate company and is a lake resident interested in managing lake quality. He felt this gives him a broad perspective of the varied issues. He stated he tries to maintain an unbiased view of the issues. As Oleson has explained, the members are given information on steps they have to take to make sure they are in compliance with Wright County and State laws. The point he wants to make is that he as an individual living in the Township, a lakeshore owner and member of the Board, his personal experience with Oleson and the Town Board is they have taken the steps to make sure they are making informed decisions on the right basis. He felt they are striving to do the best they can and will continue to do so.
Arv Klemz resident of Sugar Lake relayed an incident over a year ago when another landowner next to him was cutting down trees in the bluff of a shoreline. He called the County and received no response. His concern was potential for erosion. He called the Township who had people out there within a couple hours. Quiggle was out a couple of times to the site along with Oleson and the neighbor was told to get a permit. He read a letter sent to the Township thanking them. He then called for a show of hands for those wanting the Township to administer shoreland and then a show of hands for residents who want the County involved.
Mel Dykhuizen stated he lives in Franklin Township, owns land on Cedar Lake and a farm near Indian Lake. He would offer support for the Town Board administering the shoreland rules.
Trish Taylor member of the Township Planning Board indicated she is knowledgeable on land because of her husband’s land surveying business. She lives between Clearwater and Bass lakes. She has learned a lot about what it means to have local control. As members of the Board they look at things carefully and they deny some requests. This is an opportunity for the Board to get to know the people of the Township.
Commissioner Daleiden questioned when the trees were removed and number of lakes in the Township. Quiggle indicated the tree removal incident was 3-4 years ago. Riley reported the County sent a cease and desist order. Dykhuizen indicated there are 11 lakes in the Township. Daleiden indicated he has only seen communication from two lake associations. He indicated his parents have property on Indian Lake and are not concerned because they are not looking for any permits.
Town Supervisor, Dick Naaktgeboren, stated a letter from Indian Lake Association was received. Potter presented a copy of a letter received from Steven Berg, Indian Lake.
(It is noted: Other correspondence, not read into the record, were provided to the Commissioners for their consideration and are made a part of the public record.)
Carter Diers Cedar Lake resident stated he attended the meeting with an open mind on the issue and wanted to learn more. As far as the Township applying the same things and they can take over the regulations, that has not been his experience or his neighbors’ experience. There are things that have happened that have stuck in their “craw”. He believes that Quiggle believes the things she has said, but it has not been the case. He does not see the value in the residents being taxed twice for the same services. He asked why they want to add another layer of government. He did not see the value of Ordinances on top of Ordinances in the County. If there is a value in that, he has not seen it and it has not been his experience. In the past the Town Board was making decisions, and since has distanced themselves from Planning and Zoning decisions. That was a good step to try to keep decision unbiased and hopes that continues.
Dick Naaktgeboren in response to Diers comment, noted the Town Board was asked to do that and they did. Commissioner Sawatzke clarified that was recommended by the County 18 months ago.
Barry Schultz member of the Planning Board is not a resident on a lake, is a life-long resident of the Township. He did not have a positive experience with the County a few years back when he built his home. He felt the Township is on the right path; they will keep things open and felt they have earned the right to handle shoreland themselves.
Larry Smith is a member of the Planning Board, is a farmer and contractor as a contractor he feels the permit process is simple; staff and Oleson are doing a good job getting them the answers they need. Oleson talks with Riley on questions that arise. As a farmer he has had dealings with Tracy Janikula, County Feedlot Officer, and they follow the codes.
Kathy Jonsrud Cedar Lake resident they have heard from a lot of passionate people. There are two important issues she wanted the County Board to consider, noting a Township in Hennepin County that has decided they do not want to do their own planning and zoning anymore. She asked if they would be able to sustain the quality of people, such as the commitment they have with Quiggle, or other caring involved people on the Town Board. As they move forward, they have to be able to make dispassionate decisions. She felt the County is in a better position to make these dispassionate decisions and gives good over-sight. She would suggest a joint powers agreement.
Alan Guck resident off Isaak Avenue felt the Township is doing a great job; the presentation by Oleson was good. He did not think getting bigger is the way to go. Felt they need to keep this open and small.
Commissioner Daleiden asked if there were many lakes in the Townships of Stockholm and Middleville. It was noted there were very few, but the Crow River runs across Middleville.
Dean Flygare resident on Clearwater Lake and excavator working in the area stated he has been to the Board of Adjustment both at the County and Township and felt these people are doing a good job. He does not see any local favoritism. He has known Riley and Piram and they do a terrific job, but he did not know why taking this work off them would not be a good thing. He thinks Corinna Township is able to do a good job.
Commissioner Daleiden stated in talking with Planning & Zoning Administrator he did not get anything negative out of him, there are no hard feelings on the issue either way. It was pointed out all but one member on the County Board is new and the issues are new to them.
Sean Riley County Planning Administrator contrary to what he usually hears daily about too much regulations, it was nice hearing support for it. He explained this decision is not about personalities. When he talks with the Commissioners on this matter, it is who has been caught in the middle are the taxpayers and property owners in Wright County. So in an attempt to try their best to process permits, they have been assisting Oleson in any questions related to the Ordinance and Land Use Plan. The decisions to be made should not be about emotions, but the merits of the case. He thinks the Township Planning Board, Supervisors and Oleson want to do things right. He does not think they are trying for a “good ‘ole boy network” and the intentions are good. However, the County has had over 30 years of records and knowledge. He likes local too, but they have to deal with State building, sewer and shoreland codes and feels the County does a good job balancing what they are told they have to do by the State and taking in local concerns. The majority of what the County and Township are required to enforce comes from State and Federal levels. To address the sewer Bacon pointed to, he noted this is one transaction in many thousand transactions that have occurred since the “Point of Sale” Ordinance the County has been administering since 1995, way before other Counties were requiring septic certifications. He emphasized he was not here to point things out. The input and control over shoreland authority is not about personalities or emotions, but are to judge if it can be done properly. He thinks the County has a good model for enforcement of State regulation and a key part of that is with township’s input. Does the law allow other models to take place? Yes, but he would say the County has a good Staff that is sincere in their efforts to protect resources. It can be difficult to make decisions and do this job, with the landowners and farmers.
Commissioner Borrell asked the Town Board how the members of the Planning & Zoning Board are appointed. He pointed out how the County Board can have one member from each District and there is a member at-large. Daleiden asked if the Board of Adjustment is different members from the Town Planning Commission and do they advertise for applicants. Quiggle answered they have one Board. Supervisor, Naaktgeboren, explained the Township Supervisors pick the members. They try to obtain people to represent a good cross-section of interests. Daleiden suggested the Town Board have a procedure with applications to pick members from. He noted when he served on the Frankfort Town Board, this was a procedure used to avoid problems and keeping the process open. Naaktgeboren asked if that process is used at the County. Daleiden stated he currently does not have a representative, however, at the end of the year, he would be asking for recommendations from the City. Potter stated he asked for recommendations from the Township in his district.
Kathy Campbell resident of Cedar Lake relayed her experience with an issue with the Township that showed a conflict of interest. A decision went against people that have interest of shoreland at heart. This was matter started, brought to County. Most of Cedar Lake residents would like to see things remain the way it was.
Quiggle indicated Campbell was making reference to the Cedar Lake Campgrounds. An issue that has been ongoing since the 1970’s. This had been brought to the County’s attention prior to the Township getting involved and the County did nothing. It was only when the Township got involved that there were limits on how many people could be there. This was a situation where no one was happy.
Commissioner Sawatzke stated they are looking for comments and not a debate. Quiggle responded that there are still a lot of people grinding axes. Campbell added that is why they feel there is a need for checks and balances.
Wayne Dearing former Town Board member over a 30 year period relayed that this property was originally a park and the outlots were developed. People pay taxes on these and the use had nothing to do with zoning. The people can use these outlots.
Public input was closed at 8:20 by Sawatzke who informed the audience that the Commissioners wanted to obtain ideas and input from the public.
Borrell felt it is a good idea to have term limits for members of the Board.
Potter addressed Point of Sale Certification and was a member serving on the committee in the 1990’s to develop this. He questioned the differences. Riley stated the County has some differences from State code. Borrell was concerned it could cost some people more; he agrees it is important in the shoreland areas, but out in the middle of the country it might be unnecessary. Potter explained the program was adopted with the idea of protecting our lakes.
Riley noted Quiggle made the comment the Township had some training on sewer code differences. They are required to make that public and have informed the Township. He does not agree that his office is not doing enough or ignoring some. Quiggle agreed Riley and Staff are doing a fabulous job. The shoreland rules talk about the Township doing as well or being as effective and she believes the Township is as effective or more effective within their community. They are not saying the County is not doing a good job.
Alan Guck has property on Lake Kronis and Rice Lake and notice was given within one mile of the lake that owners had to upgrade their sewer systems within a specified time frame. He asked if that could not happen in this County or Township. Commissioner Sawatzke responded that that has been done in Wright County in the past. At the request of individual Lake Associations the County was asked to assist in sewer upgrades. Riley noted there was a back story to the project on Lake Kronis, which took 20-30 years to take place. In Wright County they have the certification program. Sawatzke agreed it is a better way to do it through Point of Sale certifications or when a building permit is requested. This is not a State requirement, but has become more common in other Counties as well. He noted it makes sense to catch people through a sale when they are at the bank.
Ben Oleson stated he has worked with cities, townships and counties and a potential good thing is it allows a jurisdiction to customize their rules. He is not saying they want to make mandatory upgrades. He noted at the County level it can cause a revolt, because people across the County might not have the same ideas, but getting down to a city or township level they can do some customization.
Daleiden stated it has not seen a benefit in his experience to do it for just one township.
Oleson, relayed his experience with City of Alexandria, Alexandria Township where the Township can do something more restrictive and the County is off the hook by letting the local unit govern.
Potter asked about the Comprehensive Plan and need for education. The State issues licenses for hours to get certified, not the County.
Quiggle responded that local units, such as Stearns County, can require licenses to make sure the contractor’s know the shoreland rules for any work done in their jurisdiction and have continued education classes every two years. Potter noted that was through a grant provided by the State of MN. Daleiden asked if that is not needed to do work in their County. Quiggle indicated yes.
Commission Husom asked if residents are not getting taxed twice. Residents have talked to her about that concern. She asked if this does not create another layer of government. This question does not have to be answered tonight, but she is looking for those answers. Quiggle noted the question on taxation is not part of the 6120 criteria. Husom stated she is not judging it on that, but thought it is of interest to the taxpayers. She is interested in knowing as the matter was raised by several people whom she represents.
Commissioner Sawatzke agreed it is important and asked Attorney Kryzer prior to the meeting about the complete version of the criteria the Commissioners are to address, noting Oleson touched on some of them. This decision cannot be made on the popularity of the issue, but pertains to the criteria.
Kryzer referred to the Statement of Need & Reasonableness (SONAR) and the language for the criteria should be made available to the Commissioners. Agreed this is not a question on whether it is popular.
Potter asked how a Town Board member would address a situation they are faced with when an applicant is family or neighbor when dealing with variances. Quiggle explained a member would recues themselves from voting. She had an experience with a neighbors was purchasing land from her and she removed herself from the Board. Potter asked if they could have a situation where a couple people are related and not have a quorum left. Naaktgeboren these are not heard by the Town Board, rather the Township Planning Commission. Oleson noted with the number of Board members, including an alternate, there would have to be quite a few conflicts of interest on any one issue. That is an unlikely scenario.
Commissioner Borrell indicated he was faced with this as the County Board representative on the County Planning Commission. The County Attorney had advised him how he could proceed and was able to participate as long as his decision was unbiased.
Trish Taylor as a member of the Planning Commission she has known a couple of the applicants, they understand they are in a position to follow the guidelines and rules and once that is explained, people understand. The Board has an alternate that can step in if there is a conflict.
Daleiden questioned the Deputy Clerk, Jean Just; present on the number of ballots cast is generally 60 or less. Just responded that she is new and has not been at Corinna during an election, but usually there are about 60. Supervisor Carlson noted when there are more than one filing for a seat, they have had 310 votes. Sawatzke noted that is typical in Township elections, when no one is running.
Township noted that the election is in March where some Townships have changed elections to November when there is a better turn out at the polls.
Commissioner Husom thanked the people for taking time to come out, understands the feelings on the issue are personal and the Commissioners appreciate the passion and participation by all.
Jerry Liebard indicated he attended the meeting and is sitting on the fence without a strong opinion on it. On the one hand he thinks Oleson is doing a good job, but finds himself trying to stay under the radar for fear if he speaks out it could be held against him in the future. He is not sure whether giving the Township authority is a good or bad thing. He understands people want to look out for people in the Township, but if someone like himself were to speak out it should not impact what they want to do later. Commissioner Daleiden noted the recourse is you sue them. Liebard indicated he is not interested in suing, but feels like he should keep his head down so that when his time comes for a permit it is not held against him. Commission Borrell noted on the County level an appeal on a variance is to District Court, a Planning Commission decision is the Court of Appeals. Sawatzke noted this is outlined in State Statute. Kryzer confirmed a rezoning is decided by the County Board and if the decision is appealed, it is heard by the Court of Appeals.
Cheryl Wagner her experience with the issue at Cedar Lake has been that the County should never give up the shoreland authority as it is her opinion that unbiased protection can be better provided at the County level.
Commissioner Sawatzke thanked everyone for providing the County Board input on the issues.
(End of 11-06-13 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, discussion continued on whether to grant shoreland authority to Corinna Township. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, provided a letter to the Commissioners regarding the regulations and laws which govern the County Board’s ability to grant this authority. Also provided were copies of Minnesota Rule 6120.3900 and the relevant sections from the DNR Statement of Need and Reasonableness. Corinna Township has made a request under Rule 6120.3900 to be recognized as the shoreland administrator for all shoreland located in Corinna Township. Kryzer said the letter reflects the criteria that the County Board must use to review this matter under Subpart 4a of this Rule. Three steps that can be taken: 1) Staff could be directed to draft a resolution consistent with approval/denial; 2) The request could be referred back to a committee for further discussion; and 3) The request could be tabled for discussion at a later date.
11-19-13 WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES Page 12 of 22
Daleiden suggested a contract that reflects shoreland authority would revert to the County in a situation where something goes wrong. Kryzer said that type of contract could be drafted but he was unsure whether Corinna Township would sign it. Borrell said this is not required of Stockholm and Middleville Townships who do their own Planning & Zoning. Kryzer said if Corinna Township ceases doing Planning & Zoning, the County would take this responsibility back. If something is done that is outside of bounds or is less restrictive, legal action can be pursued. Daleiden thought an upfront contract would prevent having to complete a lot of steps at a later date. This suggestion is in an effort to appease some of the concerns and to avoid the potential of legal action in the future at a cost. Daleiden asked Corinna Township for their opinion on whether they would sign the contract.
Ben Oleson, Home Town Planning, Corinna Township Planner, said the Township Board would have to discuss this. The general principle is that there are processes in place to deal with a situation that goes awry or if the Township would stop doing Planning & Zoning. Borrell said that the number of people who spoke against the request at the Committee Of The Whole Meeting was small and isolated. He did not see a difference between Corinna Township and Middleville or Stockholm Townships. He felt there were processes in place to handle situations that arise.
Husom represents Corinna Township. She has heard from more constituents that they would rather the County retain shoreland authority. Husom said that although she is for the Township and for the County, she first has to be for the people. She understands a different township was looking at handling their Planning and Zoning. When it was taken to vote, 90% voted against it. Husom asked whether a vote has been taken in Corinna Township. Although the majority of people that contacted her are against the request, she said that doesn’t mean that represents the majority of the constituents in Corinna Township. She said one of the questions that have come up is whether it is more costly for the Township to do this work.
Potter said that at the Committee Of The Whole Meeting, it was brought forth that Corinna Township appears to have taken all of the steps necessary to administer this. He questioned the legal entanglement involved if there are problems.
Charlotte Quiggle is Chairman of the Corinna Township Board and Board of Adjustment/Planning Commission. She stated that with regard to Husom’s question on a vote, there were a number of public hearings held. All residents voted as part of the budget and levy, at the initial annual meeting in 2006, and at the public hearings when their ordinance and comp plan were adopted. All materials, applications, and staff reports are sent to Wright County Planning & Zoning for their comment, just as they send materials to the SWCD, DNR, and Clearwater River Watershed District. She said Wright County occasionally comments but that happened more in the first couple of years and less now. Those comments are taken seriously.
Borrell made a motion to direct staff to draft a resolution consistent with approval of Corinna Township taking over their final phase of Planning and Zoning. The motion was seconded by Potter.
Daleiden questioned the legal recourses the County has available if something happens. Kryzer said if a zoning matter is challenged, it would take six months to a year in District Court to obtain resolution. If the County were to look at taking back shoreland authority, it could take up to a year through civil action with extensive staff time. Daleiden questioned whether a contract ahead of time would make things simpler and help address some of the concerns. Kryzer said a contract would need to spell out the criteria but it probably would still end up in court fighting over the meaning of the contract.
Sawatzke referenced Husom’s comment that she is in a bit of a quandary on this issue. He has seen former Commissioners from that District with completely opposite perspectives on this issue. Sawatzke has been a Board member since this started back in 2006, and he said his position has changed some over time. One thing that he did not feel has changed are the SONAR rules. He read portions of those rules:
“Counties and cities are the primary planning and zoning authorities in the State with very few exceptions. Townships have exerted their authority to zone in a number of instances, some with a great deal of success and others with very little success when measured against the purposes of the shoreland program. The problem with the zoning authority of townships is a issue of capability and accountability. The shoreland program is not a small
11-19-13 WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES Page 13 of 22
undertaking for a local unit of government when you consider all of the components of the program. The rule reasonably proposes to establish accountability for the future administration of the program. The rule would require a township to demonstrate to the county that the township ordinance is at least as restrictive as the county’s and that the township has equal or greater capability, staffing expertise and financial capability, to administer the program.”
Sawatzke said he is more comfortable with that than he was a few years ago. He said Oleson has proven himself as a capable planner and the Township has done a pretty good job with trying to meet the criteria. Sawatzke said Riley and Oleson probably have comparable credentials. What he viewed as different with Wright County is the support staff that far exceeds what is available to Oleson, although the Township has contracted with the County in many of those areas in the past. Sawatzke said he will vote against the action today. Using the criteria they are to follow (i.e., staffing expertise and financial capability to administer the program), he did not feel the argument could be made that the Township rises to the level of the County. If that is what the County is to use to make the decision, Sawatzke feels the Township comes up short because in Wright County a lot of resources are put toward this effort and there is a substantial staff. There may be counties that don’t put in as great of effort, and then it may be easier for the Township to meet that burden. Sawatzke said it is not for a lack of effort that Corinna Township does not meet these criteria. He feels it is because the bar has been set so high by the County and the Township has not been able to achieve that. For that reason, he said he would vote against the request today.
Borrell is in support of the request. What he likes about this concept is the accountability. The Township has to follow State guidelines. If the residents are not happy with something, there are three Township Board members that appoint Planning & Zoning members. In one year, they could have a Township Board member voted out. In the next year, they could have control of the Board and in essence, control of Planning & Zoning. Borrell said Corinna Township has term limits and feels the County should consider this as well. Sawatzke said he is not critical of the Township’s efforts. He is looking at the rules the County is to base their decision upon.
Husom inquired whether the County will continue with building inspections. Riley said the County completes building and sewer inspections on a contract basis and hopes that will continue. The contract expires at the end of next year, and he understands that is not tied to this approval. Husom said the Township already has the Planning & Zoning authority for the remainder of the Township; this discussion is based on shoreland authority. She said there has been a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between the County and the Township on this authority. Riley said that MOU has been in existence for about three years and renewed on an annual basis. Husom understands that people have been happy with the MOU. She did state that the majority of people that have contacted her would like the ultimate authority to remain with the County. She asked Riley whether other townships require the landowner to first contact the township for approval and contact the County thereafter. Riley said that is correct. Everything goes through the township. The MOU is short term and has a deadline. Ultimately, County Board action is required before going to the DNR.
Daleiden asked whether the DNR can turn the Township down for shoreland authority. Riley said they can. He does not see the DNR denying the authority, especially with three years established and with County Board approval (if that is obtained). If the County Board does not approve the request, then the DNR will point toward the local level.
Oleson said County and DNR oversight is clearly a part of this. He referenced Quiggle’s comments and stated that the Township will be required to continue to notice the County and the DNR. Everything will continue as it has been under the MOU. There is some confusion as to whether residents and contractors need to go to the County or not for approval. Oleson said his communication with Riley and the Planning & Zoning staff has been going well. It is also unknown whether the Township can do things that are more restrictive in shoreland if they chose to do so and whether that approval is gained from the DNR or County. Oleson thinks granting the Township shoreland authority will eliminate some of the confusion without really changing the Township and County interactions. He said this has been working well for the past three years. Daleiden asked whether the information that is sent to the County by the Township is required. Riley said it is. Oleson said through that method, any issues should be caught before they become problems as the DNR and the County have a chance to comment.
Sawatzke referenced term limits. Although his decision will not be based on that issue, he wanted to convey that he is not necessarily an advocate of term limits especially if someone is doing a great job. He asked what the Township’s term limit policy is. Oleson stated for the Township’s Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment, there is a term limit of three terms of three years each.
Husom said she will vote against the motion. This is not because she is voting against the County or the Township but because she is voting for the people that have spoken at length with her about the issue. That is who she has to vote for and that is what she has done with all of the issues that have come before her so far. Sawatzke restated that the motion is for staff to draft findings that Corinna Township has met the standard and they will be granted shoreland authority. The motion carried 3-2 with Sawatzke and Husom casting the nay votes. The Findings document will be brought forth at the 12-03-13 County Board Meeting.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 11-13-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following changes were made to the minutes: Page 3, change all references from “fiberglass” to “glass” in paragraphs 4, 6, and 7. Daleiden referenced Page 4, Item 1, 4th Floor Security, Item #3 recommendation, which reads, “Proceed with a three-year monitoring contract with WH Security in the amount of $19.95 per month.” He said Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, will negotiate this figure and obtain additional information on the other items. Daleiden moved to table Item 1 recommendations for an update at the next meeting. Borrell questioned whether the $19.95 per month fee for monitoring the panic buttons will remain the same if more offices are added. Daleiden said the monitoring cost will remain the same. There will be additional cost associated with a repeater that is needed for panic buttons for the Veteran Services Office. Borrell said he is not opposed to panic buttons as they are not intrusive to anyone doing business and will only be used in emergencies. Daleiden said that County Attorney Tom Kelly indicated that the $1,230 cost to install panic buttons on the 4th Floor (Court Services and Attorney) can be covered by the Drug Forfeiture Fund. Sawatzke noted that the Fund belongs to the taxpayers. Borrell asked if panic buttons will be installed at other buildings. Daleiden said Human Services has panic buttons that Wright Hennepin monitors. Borrell asked that L. Kelly look at placement of panic buttons in all of the buildings. Sawatzke asked whether the motion includes tabling all six items related to Item 1. Daleiden said it does. Sawatzke referenced the item related to obtaining quotes on bullet resistant glass for the Court Services and Attorney Office reception windows. He asked if anyone knew of an incident in Minnesota history where someone was shot through a wall or glass in a county reception area. If it has not happened in 87 counties in the history of the State, he wondered what they are trying to protect. He felt there are other things that have occurred that are viable concerns that the County should be more concerned with. Borrell wanted to make the distinction that he is okay with proceeding with the panic buttons but not the bullet proof glass. Daleiden said all six items would be tabled for an update at the next meeting. L. Kelly said Hayes met last week with the salesperson and is awaiting quotes on the bullet proof glass. Kelly did not speak with Hayes on the negotiation of services. The motion to table Item 1 was seconded by Borrell. Discussion led to funding for Item II, Information Technology Department Expansion. Daleiden said this would be funded from Budget 100. Sawatzke suggested that no action be taken on Item I, 4th Floor Security. Instead, one motion could be made to approve the minutes and the recommendation for Item II, Information Technology Department Expansion. The consensus was to proceed in this fashion (the first motion was not withdrawn). Borrell made a motion to accept the recommendation for Item II, to approve the Building Committee Minutes as corrected, and to take no action at this time on the recommendations for Item 1, 4th Floor Security. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. 4th Floor Security.
Hayes distributed a quote from Ernst General Construction, Inc. and WH Security (see attached). The latter addressed the installation of a panic alarm system for the fourth floor Court Services and Attorney receptionist areas. MacMillan would like five panic buttons and another in the fourth floor conference room. MacMillan said the Chief Deputy Attorney also requested a button in the Attorney’s Office. Hayes said this system would place a receiver in the telephone or data room at the east end of the fourth floor hall. The system uses wireless buttons. The receiver covers a 2000 square foot radius. This initial request is for six panic buttons. The system may be expanded to up to 69 buttons.
Daleiden asked whether the receiver will transmit between floors. Hayes said it would. WH Security supplies a repeater that could be put in the Court side of the Government Center, and repeat the signal to the fourth floor of the Annex building. The cost to install the six panic button system for the fourth floor Court Services and Attorney offices is $1,230.
Hayes also addressed the issue of maintenance. WH Security will do an annual maintenance check for an additional $7.95 per month. They want a three-year monitoring contract of $19.95 per month. Their sales representative informed Hayes that County staff could do their own testing on a predetermined schedule. Hayes thought that was a viable solution, and said Swing indicated the same.
T. Kelly asked whether a bailiff would respond once a panic button was pushed. Hayes replied that the panic button alarm is monitored by WH Security. WH Security relays a message to County Dispatch, who then notifies deputies to respond. WH Security monitors the panic buttons 24/7. Hayes said this is the system preferred by County Dispatch. T. Kelly clarified that the signal goes to WH Security, who notifies County Dispatch. He asked whether the bailiffs are notified. Hayes said the Sheriff’s Office preferred that the signal transmits directly to County Dispatch instead of the bailiffs. T. Kelly asked the advantage of a panic button versus having the receptionist dial 911. Hayes said that system worked, too. The panic button provides discrete access to 911.
MacMillan said studies have been done that show panic buttons work better in emergencies than relying on telephones. He did not like the delay from WH Security to Dispatch and then to bailiffs. He asked why the alarm could not go directly to the bailiffs. Hayes explained that the Dispatch did not want to receive an automated message. MacMillan said he would speak with Sheriff Hagerty. Swing said this solution will not notify the bailiffs directly. MacMillan said someone could get killed in the time it takes to dispatch deputies or bailiffs. Swing said WH Security answers quickly. Potter said his experience with WH Security has been similar. Daleiden said County Dispatch can radio the bailiffs. Potter added that there are also cameras in the area. Hayes said the Sheriff’s Office mentioned that bailiffs are not readily available to cover the rest of the building. Their area of coverage is primarily the Courts. MacMillan said bailiffs are called to Court Services two to three times per month, and typically respond very quickly.
Swing said the County has two systems. One is solely for the Courts area. There is also a solution at the HSC. This one will be the standard for the County, without the Courts. He said the testing Hayes mentioned is critical to the maintenance of the system. MacMillan asked Hayes to verify the cost of $27 per month. Hayes said WH Security provides an annual maintenance check for $7.95 per month. The three-year monitoring contract is $19.95 per month. Hayes said they should dialogue about whether they will commit to internal testing or pay to have WH Security perform it. MacMillan said they will test the system internally once per month. Hayes explained that internal testing consisted of calling WH Security and informing them that the panic buttons are being tested. Hohl asked if a password was needed for those calls. Hayes said yes. Hohl replied that everyone in the Department will need to know the password. Hayes said no password was needed to push the panic button. T. Kelly said the only time a password was needed was during the monthly internal testing. Swing said internal testing could be done quarterly, or every six months. MacMillan said J. Miller could do it weekly. T. Kelly said it will cost nothing to do it internally. Hayes said they could pay WH Security to test as an alternative.
Daleiden asked why WH Security would charge the County an additional monitoring fee if the County is already paying for monitoring at the Human Services Center (HSC). He asked if they were separate systems, or if there was a way to tie them together. Swing confirmed that the system at the HSC is separate. MacMillan suggested Hayes negotiate with WH Security on the additional monitoring fee. Hayes countered that the fee is not unreasonable. Daleiden said the County should try to negotiate. Otherwise, they could check with other vendors. Swing said it would be a big project to switch systems at this point. Hayes said the fees are standard for monitoring devices. Potter said it couldn’t hurt to ask WH Security to negotiate. T. Kelly asked what services WH Security provides the County for the $19.95 monitoring fee. Potter responded that someone is there to in person to take the call and forward it to Dispatch.
Daleiden asked the cost to install more buttons in the future. Hayes said the system can accommodate up to 69 buttons. Daleiden said he thought other departments would request them. Swing said when the system is expanded, there will be a cost. Daleiden asked to verify the monthly monitoring fee once the system is expanded. Swing affirmed that this system is the way to go.
Potter interjected that this idea provides more peace of mind for staff. This price point should not have a problem being approved by the full County Board. T. Kelly said the cost is reasonable. MacMillan offered to pay for the cost out of his budget. T. Kelly said he can contribute from his budget as well. Hayes said the cost for the panic alarm system is covered under the Fire Alarms Facilities budget. Potter said the cost is reasonable. MacMillan said this system will work for his Department.
Daleiden asked Hayes to get pricing for additional panic buttons throughout the Government Center. Hayes said there will be no need for an additional repeater if the original one truly has a range of 2000 feet. Daleiden asked if it would be less expensive to tie Veterans Services into the existing Courts alarm system. Hayes said it is a different system that relays a local alarm to the bailiffs. He thought Veterans Services would be on the general system. Daleiden asked Hayes to plan for Veterans Services to be included in the general system.
MacMillan asked that the cost to install the system on the fourth floor be noted separately from the rest of the Government Center system. Potter said the recommendation is to proceed with the installation of panic buttons on the fourth floor and obtain quotes for the rest of the Government Center.
T. Kelly said he has the $1,230 in his budget now in his Drug Forfeiture fund. Daleiden agreed, saying the rest of the expense is budget neutral. T. Kelly asked Hayes to send the invoice for $1,230 to his Department to be processed through the Forfeiture fund. Daleiden asked whether that was fair. Potter said there would be no arguments that way. T. Kelly added that the expense would not be taken out of the main County budget.
Hayes moved to the request to create a bullet resistant barrier in the lobby of the fourth floor. The contractor suggested changing the fiberglass and the barrier below the glass. This would bring the bullet resistance to a UL3 level, comparable to the Law Enforcement Center (LEC). Hayes explained there are a total of nine levels of bullet resistance.
Hayes said Ernst General Construction, Inc. quoted $2,800 to install bullet resistant fiberglass across the lower section of the steel framing by both the Court Services and Attorney receptionists. The cost to install bullet resistant fiberglass across the upper section of the steel framing by each receptionist would total $12,300.
MacMillan asked which company is providing the glass. Hayes said the contractor is purchasing it from a security glass company. MacMillan asked the cost of the fiberglass alone. Hayes said materials comprise about 80 percent of the cost. MacMillan said he called another company, and their quote for the glass was $1,000. He felt the Ernst bid was too high. Hayes said he approached the same vendor that provided similar glass for the LEC. Daleiden said it appears the cost will be lower to order the fiberglass separately and have the contractor install it. Hayes said he would like to itemize the cost of the materials from installation.
J. Miller said American Ballistic Glass quoted $1,021.37 per side (Court Services and Attorney) at Level 1 protection, and $1,527.50 per side for glass at Level 2 protection (see attachments). She will get quotes for Level 3 protection to compare to the Ernst quote. Hayes asked her to also find out the cost to install the glass.
Potter read from the quote that Level 2 withstands three shots from a 357 Magnum, jacketed, soft point, lead core bullet with no penetrations. Daleiden read the attached email that said the installation cost is $975.
Hayes said the original plan included the lower panel by the door as well. MacMillan said they are not sure a lower bullet resistant panel is needed there. The glass is his primary concern. Hayes said the glass barrier will do no good once the client is let into the interior office space. Potter said asking clients to store their personal items in a secured locker prior to entering the space will help. MacMillan agreed. T. Kelly asked about the makeup of the wall between the receptionist and the outer lobby. Hayes said it is sheetrock.
MacMillan said the glass barrier is the most important element. He is most concerned about staff safety. Potter said the glass is reasonable at $1,000. Hayes questioned whether American Ballistic Glass is re-using the old frames. Daleiden said the email says their cost is $975 for each side.
T. Kelly said the existing doors are sufficient. MacMillan said if Ernst does the framework, the cost will be $12,000. He thought Level 2 protection capable of stopping a 357 Magnum bullet would be sufficient. He wants to improve security and protect his staff at a reasonable cost. T. Kelly agreed. He asked Hayes whether the sidelight glass panel on the door would be bullet resistant. MacMillan said yes. He preferred a $4,000 cost to a $12,000 cost.
Daleiden asked J. Miller to have the vendor meet with Hayes about the installation. Potter said the prices will be verified. T. Kelly said he will pay $4,500 from the Drug Forfeiture Fund toward this project. MacMillan said he may be able to find some funds as well.
MacMillan asked L. Kelly about shifting the lockers from the former jail area to the fourth floor. MacMillan asked him to arrange that with J. Miller.
Recommendation: Authorize staff to:
1. Verify quote information from American Ballistic Glass for materials and installation of bullet resistant glass at the Court Services and Attorney Office receptionist windows;
2. Proceed with installation of the panic alarm system for the fourth floor Court Services and Attorney’s Office areas in the amount of $1,230;
3. Proceed with a three-year monitoring contract with WH Security in the amount of $19.95 per month;
4. Move lockers from the former jail area in the Government Center to the fourth floor Court Services and Attorney’s Office areas;
5. Implement regular internal testing of the panic alarm system by County staff;
6. Obtain quotes for installing additional panic alarm buttons for the License Bureau, and other areas of the Government Center.
II. Information Technology Department Expansion.
Swing distributed three documents: an Information Technology (IT) Department layout, a drawing of three work stations by Intereum, and a spreadsheet regarding IT Department Expansion Costs (see attachments).
Swing referred to the Department layout and the eight notes at the bottom. This proposal, Phase I, only addresses expanding the IT Department into the current first floor lunchroom area. There will be a Phase 2 proposal regarding the placement of his staff.
Swing said the goal is to gain access outside his office leading into the main corridor of the Department. Ernst General Construction, Inc. quoted $2,000. Carpeting must be extended, and modular workstation units must be added. Ernst will do the door access, demolition of cabinets in the lunchroom kitchen and finishing the wall for $4,660 (including the $2,000 for the door as previously mentioned). Modular units from Intereum will run $9,903.65. Swing said the Business Analyst will office in the reconfigured space, as will the Network Analyst (approved for hire 1-1-14) and the Data Base Analyst (approved to hire 7-1-14). They are trying to build a stronger help desk to better service County Departments. The total cost of the expansion will be $19,061.78.
Daleiden said the carpeting at $1,962.82 is expensive for the small area it will cover. Hayes said they elected to use carpet squares, as are used in the Human Services Center and the new lunchroom. Daleiden asked whether this carpeting is necessary. He thought regular carpeting might be better. Hayes said he would see if there is a way to reduce the cost. Daleiden thought $1,000 would be sufficient.
Potter asked whether these funds are covered in the IT budget. L. Kelly said it would have to come out of the Site Improvements Line Item. Daleiden asked if there were sufficient funds in that line item. L. Kelly said yes. Swing said Data/Voice cabling is also needed. He believes this list of expenses encompasses everything. There was discussion about whether to leave the kitchen sink in the former break room. Hayes said the rough plumbing will remain in the event it’s needed in the future.
Potter would like the IT expansion to be completed by 1-1-14. Swing spoke with Tammy Bigelow, Human Resources Director. She told him advertising for the new Network Analyst would begin after 1-1-14. Daleiden said the furniture could be ordered next year for tax purposes. Potter said the rest could be set up and ready. Swing will proceed with Ernst to start on the door access.
Recommendation: Authorize moving forward with IT Department expansion in the amount of $9,158.13. Approve ordering modular furniture from Intereum in 2014 in the amount of $9,903.65, for a total
expansion cost of $19,061.78.
(End of 11-13-13 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 11-13-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. L. Kelly stated his recommendation would be to change the title of the Special Projects Administrator position to “Assistant County Coordinator.” The motion carried 5-0. Husom said that although it was not highlighted in the minutes, the Assistant County Coordinator would serve as second in command if the Coordinator cannot be present. The minutes follow:
I. Special Projects Administrator
Kelly distributed a red-lined copy of proposed changes to the Special Projects Administrator job description, along with a fully corrected draft (see attached).
Kelly said he was often questioned about the nature of his duties when he held the position of Special Projects Administrator. He believes his was the only position by that title in county government in the State. Kelly said the title is not commonly recognized. He debated about various titles for this position. He feels a new title might clarify the position for potential applicants. Kelly said some counties name this position Project Manager, and others Assistant County Coordinator or Assistant County Administrator.
Sawatzke said he thought Assistant County Coordinator would work. Husom thought that would clarify the nature of the position for most people.
Bigelow said she spoke with George Gmach of Trusight. He recommended the title of Project Manager. She said they discussed the Assistant County Coordinator title as well. Gmach did the recent classification study. At that time, there was a question regarding whether this position is truly second in charge to the Coordinator, or whether it would be more accurate to classify it as a Project Manager assigned to specific tasks.
Husom asked who assumes Coordinator responsibilities when Kelly is out. Kelly said in the past, it was the Special Projects Administrator. He added that he has seen more Assistant County Administrator positions than Assistant County Coordinator positions because of the difference in county organizational structures.
Sawatzke asked who would be in charge when the Coordinator is gone. Kelly said it would be this position, as it has been in the past. Former Coordinator Richard Norman delegated Kelly to sign claims and attend Board meetings in his absence. Kelly said the clause under “Essential Duties and Responsibilities,” Item 1.5, states that this position “serves as County Coordinator in his/her absence.”
Sawatzke did not have a preference between the titles of Project Manager or Assistant County Coordinator.
Kelly said he drafted new language for the section entitled “Primary Objective.” The former verbiage was more detailed then necessary. Kelly rewrote it with more concise language and noted specifics under “Essential Duties and Responsibilities.” Kelly said the wording captures the scope of duties without delving into the minutia.
Kelly clarified a few points regarding the “Essential Duties” section. Since this position will continue to serve on committees and keep the Coordinator informed, Kelly retained Item 1.3. He removed the clause “internet and intranet website” under Item 1.4 and replaced it with “web presence.” He does not know whether the Department will utilize social media in the future. Kelly deleted the original verbiage under Item 1.5 about conducting special projects as assigned by the County Coordinator and moved it to Item 3. Kelly said special projects represent a significant portion of the position and is better described under a separate heading. Most of the changes in the job description involved cutting and moving language from one section to another.
Kelly said at the time the current job description was written, he held the position of Special Projects Administrator. The County did not have a Human Resources Director, and his position assisted in some of the duties of the Safety Director. As an example, he hopes the new Risk Manager (formerly called Safety Director) will be able to handle the workers compensation and property/casualty insurance budgeting and forecasting duties. That would allow the new Project Manager/Assistant County Coordinator to work on other projects. Prior to the departure of the Safety Director and Kelly’s promotion to Coordinator, the Special Projects Administrator performed those tasks. Kelly was not sure whether the change in duties would affect the points assigned to this position.
Sawatzke thought the impact would be minimal. Bigelow thought the points might go down slightly. Sawatzke agreed, since some of the duties formerly assigned to the Safety Director/Risk Manager would be shifted back to that position.
Kelly said he left the standard communication language under Item 5. The remaining elements of the job description, such as “Minimum Qualifications,” are unchanged. He envisions this position becoming his “right hand person,” taking on day-to-day duties that arise, and freeing him up to work on bigger issues.
Bigelow said the difference between the Assistant County Coordinator and the Assistant County Administrator position is that department heads report to an Administrator, but not to the Coordinator. She said the difference in County structure does not eliminate the possibility of titling the position as Assistant County Coordinator. Wright County department heads report to the County Board.
Sawatzke suggested that the Committee recommend the proposed changes to the job description, and allow Kelly to decide on the title before presenting to the County Board on 11-19-13.
Bigelow asked if she may contact Gmach now, or whether the Board would have to authorize her to do so. Sawatzke said the Board has to approve the changes to the job description first. Someone might also want to make a change at the Board meeting. Bigelow said she wanted to talk with Gmach about whether removing Risk Management duties from the job description would impact the points assigned to the position.
Sawatzke said there is a minor risk that someone will propose a change in duties at the Board meeting. He asked Kelly to decide between the titles of Project Manager or Assistant County Coordinator, and include it in the recommendation. Kelly said he is focused on how the position appears to qualified candidates.
Recommendation: Approve proposed changes to the Special Projects Administrator job description. Authorize the Coordinator to select a title of Project Manager or Assistant County Coordinator prior to the 11-19-13 County Board Meeting.
(End of 11-13-13 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-12-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, L. Kelly stated the 2014 salaries for the elected Department Heads are proposed as follows: Tom Kelly, County Attorney - $128,007; Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer - $113,990; and Joe Hagerty, Sheriff - $115,490. Sawatzke clarified that Hagerty’s salary includes the $1,500 on top of a 1% increase. Potter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0:
I. DISCUSS 2014 SALARIES OF ELECTED DEPARTMENT HEADS.
A. Tom Kelly, County Attorney.
T. Kelly requested that the resolution state that his salary for 2014 would be $120,640, with an additional $7,367 stipend for city contracts, totaling $128,007. T. Kelly said that equals a one percent increase, consistent with the Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) given to other staff. T. Kelly said he and his staff have been very busy with trials. This is his 30th year with the County. Kelly said the County compensates him tens of thousands of dollars less compared to similar positions at other counties. His 2013 salary was $119,446, with an additional $7,294 for contracts.
Recommendation: Authorize an increase of one percent to the County Attorney’s total compensation for 2014.
B. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer.
Sawatzke said Hiivala is at the top step of the Salary Schedule. L. Kelly verified that his 2013 salary was $112,862. Sawatzke said his employees will receive a one percent COLA increase in 2014.
Hiivala said he and his Department have accomplished a lot in the last year. He is asking for a one percent increase like his employees received. He commended his staff for their support and work on implementation of new programs. Hiivala said he has spoken with License Bureau staff as well as those in the Auditor/Treasurer’s office about providing good customer service. He said his employees voluntarily go to the counter to help when the lines get long.
Recommendation: Authorize an increase of one percent to the County Auditor/Treasurer’s compensation for 2014.
C. Joe Hagerty, Sheriff.
Hagerty distributed information about his request (see attached). He said last year he asked the Board to consider a stipend for city contracts. Hagerty said when he began his term as Sheriff in 2011, the wage for his position was dropped by more than nine thousand dollars. Currently he is at the top of the Salary Schedule. He asked that the stipend for managing 13 city contracts be reinstated at the level the former sheriff received of approximately $3,700. This stipend also included five school contracts. Hagerty also asked for the one percent increase given to other employees. His attachment also included a salary comparison between Wright County and other large counties in the State.
Hagerty said Carver County is most similar to Wright County in that they both have 13 city contracts. He pointed out an inaccuracy in the attachment that states the Carver County Sheriff’s salary is $127,000 and not $115,000.
Hagerty said his employees work hard at providing good customer service. He has 250 employees. There are four unions representing his employees. Hagerty said he has some marvelous people on his team.
Hagerty said the one percent salary increase along with the additional stipend of $3,700 for city contracts would bring his compensation back to the level paid to the former County sheriff.
Daleiden asked what Hiivala’s salary will be in 2014. Sawatzke said $113,990.
He said he favored giving Hagerty an additional $1,000 toward the original city contract stipend amount of $3,577. Sawatzke said Hagerty could gradually work up to the $3,577 over time.
Daleiden said he is aware that Hagerty works more hours than some elected officials. Hagerty said he would never complain about the hours because he loves his job. He appreciates the use of a County squad car for business.
Daleiden asked Sawatzke if he would agree to $1,500 for the stipend. Husom suggested the full $3,577. Potter said $1,500 meets Hagerty’s request half way. Sawatzke said that leaves room for an increase next year. Husom suggested half this year and half next year. Borrell agreed to $1,500. Hagerty said that was fine.
Recommendation: Authorize an increase of one percent to the Sheriff’s compensation for 2014, with an additional $1,500 stipend for contract administration.
(End of 11-12-13 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Laid over from the last County Board Meeting, discussion followed on the request by Geronimo Energy for a letter of support for the Aurora Solar Project. This was laid over for an opportunity for Board members to contact the three Townships involved (Buffalo, Corinna and Woodland) and Xcel Energy. Husom spoke with the Chair of Buffalo Township who is in favor of a public meeting to obtain input from residents. Buffalo Township looked at the site and it is rural. They are unsure whether they are ready to make a recommendation. She understands that Geronimo Energy plans to make a presentation at the Corinna Township Meeting this evening. Richard Naaktgeboren, Corinna Township Supervisor, said he was in contact with the neighbors near the site in Corinna Township and they are unaware of this project. He said normally the process includes hearings through Wright County Planning & Zoning and Corinna Township Planning & Zoning. He said it is unclear to the Township who will be responsible for ownership or operation, and what will happen if the project is not successful. He thought it may be a great project as far as alternative energy. Sawatzke said the County Board was informed that this project is exempt from local ordinances. As stated at the last meeting, letters of support for this project are due by 11-22-13. Sawatzke said the County Board will not be able to provide this letter of support for Geronimo Energy’s Aurora Solar Project. By virtue of their own actions, Geronimo Energy notified the County too late. The County does not have adequate time to contact the Townships and Xcel Energy. Borrell moved to table this item, seconded by Daleiden. Borrell and Daleiden withdrew the motion and second because the time line for submitting the letter of support cannot be met by tabling the item. The County Board decided to take no action. This item will not be discussed further unless the County is approached by Geronimo Energy as the deadline is not achievable.
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, requested the Board schedule a date for Human Services Director interviews. Potter moved to schedule Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meetings on 12-02-13 at 10:00 A.M. and 12-03-13 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
Daleiden referenced the County website calendar and the evening Board Meeting which will be held on 11-26-13 to discuss the 2014 Budget and Levy. The calendar reflects the meeting will be held but does not indicate the subject. Staff was directed to change this on the website. Staff will also remove the announcement of Board Meetings on this same calendar once the Meeting Agenda has been posted.
Albertville Body Shop Inc $1,350.00
Albertville/City of 2,734.80
Ameripride Services 245.85
Anesthesia Assoc. of St Cloud 328.38
Aramark Services Inc 7,381.41
BDS Laundry Systems 1,228.63
Buff N Glo Inc 110.00
Buffalo Auto Value 382.34
Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm. 384.44
BV Construction Inc 8,900.00
CDW Government Inc 776.68
Center Point Energy 3,965.33
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 6,741.79
Central MN Emerg. Physicians 342.00
Chamberlain Oil Co 1,624.66
Clearwater/City of 771.40
Climate Air 489.92
Corporate Payment Systems 1,737.27
Culligan of Buffalo 200.00
Dell Marketing LP 8,237.27
Edocument Resources 7,790.00
Farm-rite Equipment Inc 12,895.63
Fehn Gravel & Exc./Dennis 9,750.18
Greene Espel PLLP 533.50
Greenview Inc 5,438.58
Hardings Towing Inc 427.50
Help Systems Il LLC 892.10
Hewlett Packard 6,016.83
Highway 55 Trailer Sales 107.94
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 3,295.44
Interstate Automotive 133.59
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 144.25
Justice Benefits Inc 2,592.92
Kahler Grand Hotel 211.62
Karels Towing 218.83
Kris Engineering Inc 18,154.43
LaPlant Demo Inc 472.40
Marco Inc 3,163.24
Menards - Buffalo 184.29
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 1,755.84
MN Native Landscapes 2,450.00
MN Office of Enterprise Tech. 8,653.33
Monticello Township 1,385.80
Morries Parts & Service Group 118.00
Neopost Great Plains 1,450.94
North American Salt Co 10,782.76
Office Depot 493.58
Persian Business Equipment 118.00
Royal Tire Inc 860.13
Russell Security Resource Inc 791.16
Ryan Chevrolet 112.48
St Cloud Hospital 5,928.02
Total Printing 134.98
Transcend United Tech. 1,127.80
Trimin Systems Inc 6,485.45
Veolia Environmental Serv. 16,693.29
Verizon Wireless 100.00
Verizon Wireless 6,869.37
Waste Management-TC West 291.46
West Payment Center 1,119.68
Westside Wholesale Tire 620.90
Wright Hennepin Electric 252.08
18 Payments less than $100 855.74
Final total $197,464.32
The meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 9, 2013.