WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
DECEMBER 24, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 12-17-13 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows under Items For Consideration: #2, “River Rider & Letter From Sherburne County” (Borrell); #3, “Refer To Building Committee Continued Discussion RE: Jail/LEC Showers” (Daleiden). Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-07-13.
1. Approve Renewal of 2014 Tobacco License for: Dooley’s Petroleum, Inc. DBA Emma’s Express, LLC (City of Albertville); DG Retail, LLC DBA Dollar General Store #10460, Kirk Asplin Oil Company, Inc. DBA Kirk’s Travel Plaza (City of Cokato); Hasty Truck Stop, Inc. DBA Olson’s Truck Stop (Township of Silver Creek); W&S, Inc. DBA Corner Bar (City of St. Michael).
Jackie Schmidt, Office Manager, presented the Agenda Items on behalf of Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer. Hiivala asked that the November Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report be laid over for one week as he was unable to be at the meeting. It was the consensus to refer this to the next Board Meeting.
The claims listing was reviewed. On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $527,850.18, with 200 vendors and 381 transactions.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 12-17-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, provided an update on the Jail Showers. He stated that Brad Hatfield, Building Maintenance Supervisor-LEC, was in contact with Diversified Coatings. They indicated they will look at the showers in disrepair that are not in use and will make the repairs at no cost to the County. Daleiden moved to accept the Building Committee Minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0:
I. 3rd Floor Remodel.
Human Services staff was unable to attend this meeting. Hayes said the Human Services Board referred this request to add five work stations. Hayes said the five work stations take a portion of the existing third floor lunchroom.
Recommendation: Refer to the next Building Committee meeting.
II. Jail Showers.
Daleiden referred to the 12-12-13 Memorandum from Kryzer to the Building Committee entitled “Attorney-Client Privilege Communication Protected Attorney Work Product” regarding Jail Showers in the Law Enforcement Center (see attachment). The attachment states that the County’s legal options for redress have been exhausted as the statute of limitations passed on January 12, 2012.
Daleiden said Sawatzke and he spoke with a representative of Adolph & Peterson Construction (A&P), the prime contractor for the project, at a recent Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) conference. Daleiden said the A&P representative stated they will contact the County. Daleiden asked Hatfield to let him know if A&P contacts him.
Daleiden asked what happened. The process implemented on the Jail showers was not done properly. The contractor supposedly fixed the problem, which was not alleviated.
Hayes said Hatfield followed the proper steps when the problem was discovered. Daleiden reiterated that the County has no legal recourse because the statute of limitations expired in January 2012. He asked who was responsible for following up with the problem.
Hayes responded that Building Care and Maintenance staff followed through appropriately. Hatfield said during the one-year walk through, they addressed the cracked paint in the showers. A&P was aware of the problem. They were the County’s main contact at that time. Subsequently, several representatives from Diversified Coatings, Inc. patched the paint. After that, sheets of paint came off the showers. Initially the ceiling cracked. Hatfield said there continued to be many more failures. He said perhaps there should have been a warranty period for the paint. Hayes said there usually are no warranties on paint. Daleiden said there should be. Potter asked whether the County Board at that time was aware of these issues.
Hatfield said Joe Harrison, President of Diversified Coatings, Inc., told him he was still waiting for an answer from the concrete curing company. Hatfield said he believed the area was not properly prepared. Some of the painted surfaces are fine.
Daleiden said if it was a preparation issue, Diversified Coatings, Inc. is responsible. Hayes said it may also have been an application issue. Hatfield explained that once the epoxy is mixed, it is possible to determine whether there are problems. Someone must watch the material being applied to verify whether the application was faulty. Hatfield deferred to A&P or the construction management company. Hatfield said the specifications did not request a warranty.
Hatfield said other facilities have experienced similar problems. Daleiden asked about the possibility of a class action lawsuit. Kryzer reminded him that the statute of limitations has expired. Potter said he would like to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Hayes said Hatfield did everything he should have under the circumstances. Hatfield said he told the representative to come out whenever he could to review the situation. He has the warranty list, and knew that it was past warranty.
Hayes said there is a large specifications book for the project. The County hired a consultant, who focused more on the mechanical aspects than the finishes. The County relied on the architect to specify the correct finishes. Daleiden said a letter should have been sent to the architect, KKE Architects, Inc. Hayes said the Board went through a lot of work before selecting KKE. He said any problems encountered were dealt with. Overall, the LEC project went well. The Jail showers were the worst issue.
Potter suggested the Committee work with A&P for redress. In the future, the County should implement practices to avoid such problems. He hopes the next building project will have fewer challenges and tighter specifications to protect the County against these types of issues. Checks and balances should be installed and everyone kept informed.
Hatfield asked the amount of the showers. Hayes said the County did not receive a breakdown of the cost to paint the jail shower areas. Hayes said the company that painted them came in to repaint six showers. Hayes said they painted one block as a test. Potter said it is holding up.
Hatfield said not every shower needs to be repaired. Daleiden asked how the contractor was chosen. Hayes said they looked at three processes before choosing one. The vendor, Prime Coat, was recommended by a person in the Chief Engineer’s Guild to which Hatfield belongs.
Daleiden said the County should work with A&P to see what can be done. Hatfield said there are more showers to be repainted depending on the plans for Jail occupancy.
Daleiden asked whether Diversified Coatings has seen the shower where the product is peeling off the walls. Hatfield said the representative from Diversified Coatings said he will check with the company that cured the product.
Daleiden suggested contacting Harrison again since his last contact was in 2011. Harrison was going to investigate and get in touch with Hatfield. Daleiden said they didn’t follow through and have a poor product, and it’s costing taxpayers a lot of money. Hatfield said he would email Harrison. Hatfield said if he hears from A&P, he will let the Committee know. Potter said A&P is probably running the case through their legal department first. He asked staff to find out whether Diversified Coatings has had other problems with this product and whether the customer received any resolution.
Kryzer said if anything appears to be negligent construction or errors in the building to contact the Attorney’s Office immediately. Daleiden said procedures need to be implemented. If procedures have been drafted, then they must be followed to ensure this type of situation never happens again.
Recommendation: Authorize staff to follow up with Adolph & Peterson and Diversified Coatings, Inc. to pursue possible remedies.
III. Showers/Lockers In Former Sheriff Department.
Kelly said he brought this item to the Committee since the new employee lunchroom will soon be open. The restrooms have showers and lockers. Kelly asked whether the Committee wants to allow employees access, as well as establish rules or regulations relating to their use. After the Sheriff’s Office vacated the facilities, no one was sanctioned to use the space. Kelly said the upcoming push for wellness activities may be an incentive for some people to use the showers. Potter asked whether this is an insurance liability issue. Kelly said there are liability as well as maintenance issues.
Potter thought one of the two alcoves in the new lunchroom area could house a few treadmills or stationary bikes. The other could be a reading nook. Since the lunchroom allows access to the outside, more people may use the showers if they run outside during lunch and want to clean up before returning to work. Daleiden said Wellness Committee participants said employees would like to bike to work, but don’t want to arrive hot and sweaty. Hayes explained that there is only one shower per bathroom.
Potter asked whether allowing employees to use the showers and lockers was a significant procedural item. He would prefer they be used as part of promoting wellness. Potter suggested rules be put in place.
Kelly said there is an increased risk of liability. Potter asked whether Kelly should talk with Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT). Kelly said he would, adding that the risk may be mitigated by signage.
Kelly said if the direction from the Board is to allow employees to use the showers, he would like the Administration Department to draft guidelines.
Gentles asked whether access to the showers is controlled. Kelly said the general lunchroom area is accessed by card key. He will work with MCIT and Tim Dahl, Risk Manager, and bring recommendations to the Board regarding use of the showers. Gentles asked whether the shower door can be locked. Hayes said it is not locked as it is part of the bathroom area. Gentles asked whether that was a safety issue. She thought it would be for employees. She is not worried about people walking in by accident. Access to the shower area should be controlled.
Daleiden directed staff to inform employees via the Intranet to empty any possessions they may have in the lockers in the bathrooms prior to a specified date.
Kelly asked whether the new lunchroom area can be maintained with the current Building Maintenance staffing levels. Buskey said he would like one more custodian. Hayes said they will review the square footage/custodian ratios. Kelly said he would like to discuss that at the next Personnel Committee meeting.
1) Kelly will confer with MCIT and Dahl about potential liability issues regarding providing exercise equipment and shower facilities for employees;
2) Kelly will draft guidelines for employee use of showers and lockers, and will present them to the County Board for approval;
3) Administration staff will publish a notice on the Intranet requesting all employees with locks on the lockers to remove them along with any contents in the lockers prior to a specified date;
4) Kelly and Hayes will review square footage / custodian ratios and present their findings to the County Board.
(End of 12-17-13 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 12-18-13. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Page 3, 3rd to last paragraph, 2nd line, change from “…he supports the former policy” to “…he supports the current policy” (Sawatzke). Discussion followed on Item II, Weight Watchers Lunch Time Wellness Events. Sawatzke said the request is to allow employees to combine their lunch and two 15-minute breaks to use toward a Weight Watchers lunch event. He stated the time does not include time for employees to travel to and from the meeting. If an employee from any of the other buildings would want to attend, that travel time would need to be added to the total break time. Sawatzke also questioned when the employee would eat and the inconsistencies between how department heads treat the requests. He has fielded complaints in the past from department heads who stated that policies for employees are not administered consistently between departments. Husom said the Wellness Committee presented the idea to the Leadership Team who is supportive of the request. She said this will be up to the supervisor’s discretion. There will be some employees who will not be able to attend due to work requirements. Sawatzke said if the Weight Watchers event were held at 4:45 P.M., then most employees would have equal access. Borrell said breaks are important for an employee to get away and regroup. The breaks benefit the employee and the County in the form of customer service. Husom said it has been suggested the events would be held 1 day/week for a 12-week period. The employee could make up the time if needed. Borrell responded that for certain jobs, it would provide no benefit to have the employee work before or after work hours. He suggested a morning or evening trial period. Husom said some of the issues that arise with holding the event at that time include daycare and other employment. Daleiden said this only involves 1 day/week. Sawatzke responded that it is 1 day/week for one program. He envisioned other requests may surface with the approval of the Weight Watchers event. The discussion at hand mimics that in 2009 where the policy was created and supported by the former County Coordinator. Husom said a survey of employees showed this was what the majority of employees showed interest in and supports the comradery that would be built between departments. Borrell said there are good points as employees would be healthier. However, other clubs or interests could start and an employee could join all of them, basically having a 1-hour lunch every day. Potter suggested limiting the Weight Watchers event to 45 minutes. Sawatzke asked what impact this request could have on union contracts. Kelly said the contracts reflect an employee is entitled to a half-hour lunch and two 15-minute breaks. It was the consensus of the Board that this issue be discussed further at an upcoming Leadership Team Meeting. Potter moved to approve the Personnel Committee Minutes as revised, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0. The Minutes follow:
I. Assessor Department Staffing.
Kramber distributed an organizational chart of the Assessor Department, along with a 2013 Non-Union Salary Schedule (see attachments).
He requested that the organization of the Department be changed. After discussion, the Committee decided not to support the requested changes.
Recommendation: Deny request to change the organizational structure of the Assessor Department.
II. “Weight Watchers” Lunch Time Wellness Events.
Brazelton said several years ago some employees expressed interest in an on-site Weight Watchers program. The matter was brought before the Personnel Committee and the full County Board. There were objections at that time to the one-hour length of the Weight Watchers program. Employees receive a thirty-minute lunch break, and two fifteen-minute breaks during the day.
Brazelton said another objection was raised regarding the selection of Weight Watchers and not another weight loss organization. She said the Wellness Committee conducted a survey, and Weight Watchers was the preferred vendor by the majority. Last year a decision was made to allow employees time to flex their schedules occasionally (not weekly) to participate in longer programs during lunch.
Brazelton said this latest request was brought to the Leadership Team in November 2013. They supported the idea since Department Heads were recently given the authority to allow certain amounts of flex time to employees. At the discretion of their supervisors, employees may take a one hour lunch and no breaks to accommodate a program such as Weight Watchers. The Leadership Team referred the Wellness Committee to this Personnel Committee meeting.
Husom supports the idea. Bigelow reminded her that the employee would not be able to take a morning or afternoon break if they combined them with the lunch break. Bigelow said she has spoken with Brazelton. She has a concern about the weekly commitment required of employees to participate. The Department Heads at Leadership Team felt they could manage the flexible schedules.
Husom asked how many employees were interested. Brazelton said a few years ago there were 40 interested employees. The Wellness Committee has not surveyed employees since.
Husom asked where the meeting would be held. Brazelton said it depends on the number of participants and available conference room space. Kelly said space needs may present a challenge depending on the number of employees involved.
Sawatzke asked what the findings were a few years ago related to the request for a Weight Watchers class. Kelly said in 2009, former Coordinator Richard Norman did not agree with allowing one private group access to employees and free space in the Government Center over other groups. Kelly asked who should make that decision. Husom asked whether it helps that the majority of employees requested the program. Kelly said past minutes indicate the Leadership Team was delegated the task of gatekeeper. The Wellness Committee brings items to Leadership Team and then to the Board.
Sawatzke said there has also been a request to allow hour-long Yoga classes during employee lunch time. The County agreed to make space available to them at 4:45 P.M. Sawatzke said people need to work when customers are present from 8:00 A.M. till 4:30 P.M. Some employees can schedule exercise classes after the work day. Husom said it would take less time for one person to cover for one break than two breaks and a thirty-minute lunch period.
Kramber (newly appointed to the Wellness Committee), said the focus of the Leadership Team was to provide more employee enhancement and health promotion activities. He respects Sawatzke’s point of view, but said the Leadership Team felt the Weight Watchers class would be beneficial. Husom said the activity would build camaraderie among employees and between Departments.
Brazelton said this issue came up a few years ago. The County employs a number of people with family commitments who can’t stay after the end of the work day. She said an amazing number have second jobs. This program is offered for those people who have outside commitments but need support with weight lost to become healthier.
Sawatzke understood the advantage the program presents to employees. His primary objection is the disadvantages to the organization. Also, once the County allows one program, then employees will request yoga, self defense, or weight lifting at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC), for example. Sawatzke also asked when Weight Watchers participants will eat lunch. He assumed that would most likely happen on County time. Sawatzke is comortable with the current policy.
Bigelow suggested a pilot program of perhaps twelve weeks. Brazelton said she would talk with the Weight Watchers instructors. Husom asked if they have a condensed program. Brazelton said she did not believe so, as the instructors weigh in participants individually. It takes approximately thirty minutes to weigh everyone, and then conduct the thirty minute program. Husom suggested staggering the lunch periods. Brazelton said the instructors only allocate a certain amount of time. She would have to find one willing to do this.
Bigelow said Benton County tried a twelve week commitment, and then reassessed. She suggested the Wellness Committee invite feedback from the Leadership Team after the initial twelve weeks to determine whether the program disrupted County services to the public. Brazelton said the Leadership Team said the flex time decision could be made at the discretion of individual supervisors and had to be done around customer needs. Sawatzke said not every supervisor will faithfully adhere to the County flex policy. Husom suggested a 45 minute program.
Bigelow said she was at the Leadership Team meeting when the Weight Watchers program was discussed, and heard no concerns from Department Heads. She suggested the twelve week pilot program. Sawatzke asked whether one hour lunches will become the norm. This will only encourage numerous requests such as yoga in the future. His concern is employees will take the full hour for the program, and then spend more time at their desks afterward eating lunch. Brazelton said she had no plans to bring a request for a lunch-time yoga class.
Sawatzke asked whether participants could eat their lunch at the Weight Watchers meeting. Bigelow said it is an informal support group, and eating is allowed. Brazelton said they could promote that expectation. Sawatzke again asked when employees will eat if their breaks have been used up. Husom said the supervisor could have them flex until 5 PM. Kelly said not all positions can do that. Sawatzke was concerned that some supervisors would not require their employees to make up the time.
Sawatzke said the item should be sent to the Board without a recommendation, since Husom supports the request and he supports the current policy. Sawatzke said the full County Board can vote on it.
Sawatzke said the item will be on either the 12-24-13 meeting or the 1-14-14 meeting. He did not anticipate extensive discussion.
Recommendation: Refer to full County Board no decision.
(End of 12-18-13 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Borrell brought forth discussion on the River Rider Joint Powers Agreement. Correspondence dated 12-12-13 was received from the Sherburne County Administrator reflecting, in part, “On November 19, 2013, the Sherburne County Board of Commissioners passed a motion to withdraw its participation from the River Rider Joint Powers Agreement JPA pursuant to Article 17. It is the intent of the Sherburne County Board to explore opportunities to enhance the transportation system within our County and look at the integration of the system with our other modes of transit. Further, on December 5, 2013, the Tri-CAP Executive Committee approved a resolution to collaborate with Sherburne County for the provision of public transit services. Sherburne County’s goal is to complete the transition process and start services with Tri-CAP by July 1, 2014.” The letter further states that “We respectfully request that you identify individuals to work with a team from our County to parcel out legal, employment and transportation issues as we go forward.”
Borrell said the letter references a special group handled the division and separation. He supports having Kelly respond back indicating that Wright County would like the River Rider Joint Powers Board to handle this as they have knowledge on assets and allocations. Daleiden agreed with Borrell and recommended having a member of the County Attorney’s Office present for discussion at the next River Rider Meeting on 1-13-13.
Sawatzke said with regard to splitting the assets, MnDOT will carry much of the weight in that decision as they paid for 80% of the buses and 85% of other things (i.e., stockpiled tires, tools, desks, file cabinets). Potter asked whether it first needs to be determined what Statute was used to organize. Daleiden said that is why he suggested having the Attorney’s Office involved, including review of the current contract. Sawatzke stated that the notice to terminate the JPA was postmarked December 16, 2013. The River Rider Board has acknowledged that as the date of notification and so June 16, 2014 is the earliest date the JPA can be absolved. Borrell said there are provisions to have a shorter timeline in the Agreement. Sawatzke said this involves dissolution of the JPA, not necessarily the River Rider. He said MnDOT is suggesting this dissolves River Rider but others feel it is dissolving the JPA between Wright and Sherburne Counties. Sawatzke believes that River Rider could exist just in Wright County. Potter said that River Rider still exists; it would be the JPA that would not longer be in effect. What needs to be determined by legal staff is how it was all set up. Sawatzke said that may be true but MnDOT still determines whether to fund the River Rider.
Potter and State Representative Marion O’Neill spoke recently with Commissioner Charles Zelle and MnDOT Chief of Staff Eric Davis on this issue. They are to get back to Wright County on what assistance they can provide. In response to Sawatzke on whether Sherburne County is requesting a response, Kelly stated that the letter does not reflect this but it may be good to follow up. Potter asked that Kelly forward a copy of that letter to MnDOT Chief of Staff Eric Davis.
Daleiden made a motion to refer the Jail/LEC showers to the next Building Committee Meeting, seconded by Husom, carried unanimously.
Allina Hospitals & Clinics $230.37
American Office Products 388.60
American Pressure Inc 5,100.08
Ameripride Services 391.71
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 2,600.00
Anoka County Corrections 3,959.00
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 638.41
Aramark Services Inc 6,906.71
Bachman Printing 576.27
Beaudry Propane Inc 3,511.49
Black Box Resale Services 571.00
Boster/Steven L and Anita M 2,633.00
Boyer Truck Parts 919.94
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc 150.00
Buffalo Auto Value 348.40
Buffalo Equine Prop. LLC 2,490.00
Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm. 902.36
C Walker Trucking 600.00
CDW Government Inc 1,738.13
Center Point Energy 10,026.50
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 61,764.60
CES Imaging 1,603.66
Chamberlain Oil Co 3,382.95
Construction Serv. Diversified 3,526.88
Cornerstone Chevrolet 267.19
Cottens Inc 2,289.87
Countryside Welding Repair 2,175.00
Croteau Plumbing 617.90
Dell Marketing LP 2,168.82
Design Elect. Inc-Cold Spring 27,479.78
Envirotech Services Inc 24,539.79
Ernst General Constr. Inc 37,324.00
Excel Systems 160.59
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc 340.93
Fastenal Company 285.06
Fishnet Security Inc 1,313.00
Force America Inc 629.42
Frontier Precision Inc 9,142.60
General Office Prod. Co. 538.94
Granite Electronics 232.97
Hwy 55 Trailer Sales 3,086.25
Integrated Fire & Security 287.23
Intereum Inc 6,119.56
Jayne F. Hofstad 11,326.00
Karels Towing 739.58
Kris Engineering Inc 2,947.40
Kustom Signals Inc 405.80
L3 Communications Inc 16,840.02
Laplant Demo Inc 1,052.86
Lawson Products Inc 110.28
Loberg Electric 273.21
Mathiowetz Construction 15,678.31
Menards - Buffalo 111.58
Minnesota Monitoring 1,272.75
MN Sheriffs Association 7,044.00
MN Society Of Prof Surveyors 1,490.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,220.76
Nelson Auto Center 22,670.61
Neopost USA Inc 570.34
North American Salt Co 21,812.54
Northland Business Sys. Inc 34,140.15
Office Depot 6,644.43
Overhead Door Company 25,257.00
Potter/Michael J 370.78
Powerplan OIB 553.54
Reds Auto Electric 112.47
Reds Cafe 890.47
Regents of the Univ. of MN 38,326.89
Royal Tire Inc 4,963.27
RS Eden 1,606.76
Russell Security Resource Inc 723.27
Safety Signs 14,083.94
Sawyer Training 900.00
SHI International Corp 1,308.15
Star Tribune 198.25
Stearns Co. Auditor-Treasurer 800.00
Timemark Incorporated 8,751.50
Total Printing 130.82
Varner/Dennis H 3,838.00
Varner/Richard L & Bonita C 4,458.00
Verizon Wireless 165.28
Victor Township 890.20
Village Ranch 1,374.24
W D Larson Companies LTD 1,317.35
W Central/5th Dist Jail Admn 450.00
West Payment Center 1,263.56
Westside Wholesale Tire 3,603.83
Wright County Surveyor 561.40
Wright Cty Explorer Scouts 500.00
Wright Henn. Coop Elec Assn 4,814.08
Wright Hennepin Electric 940.02
40 Payments less than $100 1,619.12
Final total $527,850.18
The meeting adjourned at 9:48 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 13, 2014.