WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MARCH 11, 2014
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 3-04-14 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Potter. Borrell said the last paragraph on Page 1 correctly states that he asked to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss which organizations should receive funding from the County Board. Borrell clarified that he also would like to discuss the way the County funds various organizations, including a fee for service option. He said he did not need to amend the minutes. The motion carried unanimously.
The following items were petitioned to the Agenda: Items For Consideration #2, “Refer Discussion of Compost Facility To Next Building Committee Meeting” (Daleiden), and Items For Consideration #3, “Verify That All Townships Were Invited To The 3-27-14 Committee Of The Whole Meeting To Discuss Transit In Wright County” (Daleiden). Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0:
A. HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement:
A. Office Manager I, Human Services.
Robert Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, asked the Board to approve an informational meeting to discuss a possible redetermination of County Ditch 10 with area property owners. Sawatzke clarified that the full Board was not expected to be there. Hiivala said Commissioners Borrell and possibly Daleiden would attend. Hiivala said any action items that arise would be brought before the Board. Daleiden moved to approve a County Ditch 10 Informational Meeting on 3-13-14 at 6:00 P.M. at Howard Lake Middle School. Potter seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Daleiden moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $316,409.73, with 152 vendors and 234 transactions. Borrell seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Under Items for Consideration #1, Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates, Husom reported on the Wright County Local Emergency Medical Systems Council (LEMS) quarterly meeting. The LEMS is conducting Skywarn training 3-27-14 at 2:30 and 6:30 P.M. in Room 120 at the Wright County Government Center.
Husom added that a fundraiser will be held at the Albertville Fire Department on 3-22-14 from 3:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M. for two emergency medical services personnel who were critically injured in a recent accident.
Husom said she also attended a Safe Schools meeting in Buffalo. She mentioned a free seminar for parents on Monday, 3-17-14 at 7:00 P.M. at the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center regarding how children utilize technology, and what parents need to know. Assistant Principal Brandon Prell and Buffalo Police Department Resource Officer Josh Erickson will speak.
Sawatzke said four Board members were at a meeting with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Several organizations were there, including Tri-County Action Program (Tri-CAP) and Trailblazer. Sawatzke said Trailblazer brought 10 to 12 people, including their director and commissioners from other counties, and gave a presentation. Sawatzke said the Board needs to evaluate whether the County should be a part of that process.
Cathleen Gabriel, an attorney with CGW Law Office who contracts with the County for child protection cases, presented an annual report on the number of cases and hours she worked in 2013. Gabriel said she was assigned 55 case filings, the highest since 2008. The hours required averaged approximately 22 per week, compared to 19.6 in 2012. Her contract was based on 20 hours per week. Gabriel said the hours for 2014 may be over 20 hours per week.
Gabriel said she filed one appeal and participated in one complete court trial in District Court. She said three other trials occurred in 2013, but matters were resolved in various ways. Gabriel said preparation for trial takes a great deal of time. No cases were declined by Gabriel due to client conflicts.
Gabriel said there were 30 Emergency Protection Care (EPC) hearings in 2013. She explained that these hearings are set immediately when a child is removed from the home. The case must be presented in court within 72 hours. Gabriel said she makes a concerted effort to attend these hearings. In 2013, Gabriel attended 29 out of 30. She said last year was the first time since 2008 that she missed one EPC hearing. Gabriel was assigned to all but two EPC cases.
Gabriel said in 2008 the State transitioned funding to the County level. The County pays for her services. She is on a State list of attorneys who meet training, education, and experience requirements. Gabriel participates in continuing education every year. She is one of two people on the State list whose primary residence is in Wright County.
Husom asked if the 30 EPC cases were part of the 55 case filings for the year. Gabriel said all of the 30 EPC cases are included in the 55 case filings. A case starts one of two ways. The first is when the situation is so critical that the child has to be removed from the home immediately. The second is when other services step in, acquire court jurisdiction, and begin working with parents to remedy the situation. Some cases do not require EPC hearings.
Tom Kelly, County Attorney, commented that Gabriel has done nothing but succeed. She has forged good relationships with his staff. Gabriel’s contract does not require her to go to EPC hearings. Gabriel attends them because a lot can be accomplished when attorneys and their clients first meet the judge. He is very pleased with her performance.
Tony Rasmussen, Senior Property Appraiser, Assessor’s Department, asked to schedule a date and time for the 2014 Board of Appeal & Equalization (CBAE). He said the CBAE may meet on any meeting day after the second Friday in June, and for up to ten meeting days. State statute specifies that the Board must hold at least one meeting that does not recess or adjourn prior to 7:00 P.M. If the Board does not offer a meeting until 7:00 P.M., the Board must meet on a Saturday. For county boards that require appointments, appointments must be allowed as late as 7:00 P.M. or on a Saturday, and the requirement for an appointment must be clearly stated on the valuation notice. Notices must be sent out ten days before the CBAE meeting. Daleiden moved to schedule the CBAE meetings for 6-16-14 from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. and 6-17-14 at 11:00 A.M. as an additional date if needed. Daleiden also requested that Rasmussen email a schedule of all the local Board of Appeal and Equalization meetings to the County Board. Sawatzke seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested that the Board set a date and time for a Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting. The agenda includes:
1) Review input and finalize updated Cost Participation Policy;
2) Review upcoming jurisdictional changes;
3) Review federal funding project awards; and
4) Update on Public Works Building Master Plan Study.
Potter moved to set a Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 4-01-14 at 1:00 P.M. at the Public Works Building, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
Dr. Quinn Strobl, Chief Medical Examiner for Wright County, presented the 2013 Annual Report, which is a summary of the Medical Examiner’s involvement with deaths occurring in Wright County. She referenced the Medical Examiner Statistics table that noted a “Natural” category for the years 2009-2012. The numbers in these fields are in the several hundreds. In 2013 there were 31. The “Reportable Declined” category shows 357 that in previous years were reported as zero. Strobl said that is due to a new case management system. They are in the process of refining their statistical reports. Strobl said the “Natural” category refers to those deaths where the Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO) assumed jurisdiction, or signed the death certificates. The “Reportable Declined” category deaths are natural deaths where the primary physician signed the death certificates. The MEO separated the number of natural deaths by ones which they signed and those they did not.
Strobl said in 2013 the MEO office investigated 441 deaths, an increase of 17 percent over 2012. Of those deaths, 178 were registered hospice patients. The MEO approved 317 cremations.
A total of 126 deaths required a scene investigation. The MEO assumed jurisdiction and signed death certificates in 81 cases. The MEO performed ten more autopsies in 2013 for a total of 56. Nineteen of the deaths requiring an autopsy were attributed to natural causes. The decedents ranged in age from two to 70 years. The majority were found to have cardiovascular disease.
Motor vehicle-related crashes claimed the lives of nine people; four fewer than in 2012. Three of the accidents involved teenagers. One fatality resulted when a 27 year-old woman exited a moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Twenty-seven deaths were classified as accidental, non-motor vehicle related. Seventeen of these involved the elderly population. Sixteen people, aged 74 to 100 years, died due to complications of injuries sustained in falls from standing height.
Seven deaths involved substance abuse. Three of them, ages 22, 24, and 38, had used heroin. The oldest decedent had also used methamphetamine. Three people, ages 45, 46, and 57 misused their prescribed medications. One 53 year-old man died of alcohol toxicity.
Twelve deaths were attributed to suicide in Wright County in 2013, the same number as in 2012. The decedents ranged in age from 24 to 59 years, with 10 males and two females. Seven of these deaths were caused by a gunshot wound. Four were intoxicated with alcohol. One 53 year-old man was found dead in his home. This death was classified as undetermined as it is unknown how his injury occurred.
The death of a 42-year old man was classified as a homicide in 2013.
Three incidents of found bones were investigated, but determined, after examination, to be non-human.
Husom commented on the increase of heroin use as supported by Strobl’s statistics. Strobl said methamphetamine use has increased in other counties as well. Regarding prescription drug misuse,
Dr. Strobl added that the MEO has access to a prescription monitoring program. This enables them to determine whether a person was prescribed a particular drug, and the dosage.
T. Kelly said Strobl’s expertise provides critical information for trials.
Daleiden moved to refer a discussion about the Compost Facility equipment to the next Building Committee meeting. He would like the Committee to consider an option to sell the equipment. Potter seconded, and the motion carried 5-0.
Daleiden asked L. Kelly to confirm that notices were sent to cities and townships in the County regarding the 3-27-14 Committee Of The Whole Meeting regarding Transit in Wright County. Kelly replied that he verified the notices were sent after the meeting on 3-10-14.
Ameripride Services $179.78
Annandale Advocate Inc 116.16
Anoka County Sheriff 20,463.34
Aramark Services Inc 7,304.33
Black Box Resale Services 226.00
Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm. 229.11
Buffalo/City of 676.85
Center Point Energy 152.34
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 79,032.86
Chase On The Lake 428.52
Cottens Inc 1,811.64
CRA Payment Center 131.19
Craguns Lodging and Conf. Ctr. 455.70
Crow Wing Mounted Patrol 1,339.00
Dell Marketing LP 6,984.50
DLT Solutions LLC 7,980.32
Elk River Municipal Utilities 131.93
Envirotech Services Inc 20,400.00
Force America Inc 617.25
Frontier Precision Inc 346.00
Granite Electronics 1,285.44
Green Interiors 450.00
Greene Espel PLLP 4,937.00
H & L Mesabi 15,332.00
Hedlund Plumbing 425.00
Herald Journal Publishing Inc 108.28
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 722.95
Integrated Fire & Security 1,255.00
Intereum Inc 214.11
Jeddeloh & Snyder PA 1,200.00
Lockup USA Productions 108.50
M & M Express Sales/Service 462.82
Marco Inc 164.83
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 100.00
Mend Correctional Care LLC 18,422.09
Midway Iron & Metal Co Inc 281.13
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 227.50
MN Dept of Transportation 41,329.05
MN Pollution Control Agency 514.00
MN Supreme Court 1,270.00
Morphotrust USA Inc 450.97
Morries Parts & Service Group 221.31
Nagell Appraisal & Consulting 650.00
National Business Institute 349.00
North American Salt Co 31,888.65
O’Reilly Auto Parts 148.88
Office Depot 1,148.05
Pakor Inc 246.74
Performance Office Papers 108.38
Persian Business Equipment 118.00
Peterson’s Towing & Recovery 157.00
Philip Hanson 238.80
Potter/Michael J 510.94
Powerplan OIB 1,979.28
Royal Tire Inc 382.00
Russell Security Resource Inc 904.26
Safelite Fulfillment Inc 283.40
SCM Engineering 210.00
SHI International Corp 163.00
St Cloud Times #1076 288.03
Verizon Wireless 170.91
Waste Management-TC West 2,291.63
Wright County Ag Society 240.00
Wright County Journal Press 559.86
Wright Hennepin Electric 698.10
Zep Sales & Services 212.79
31 Payments less than $100 1467.90
Final total $316,409.73
The meeting adjourned at 9:47 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal March 31, 2014.