WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
May 27, 2014
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
The following changes were made to the 5-20-14 Board Minutes: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, 3rd line, change from “All three towns…” to “All three counties…” (Daleiden); page 3, last paragraph, 1st line, change to read, “He said it is ironic that they were at the Board Meeting Tuesday with MnDOT and Wednesday a letter is sent out from Mike Schadauer” (Potter); Page 6, 4th paragraph, 4th line should read, “Every one of the discrepancies related to best practices” (Husom); Page 7, 1st paragraph, 1st line should read, “He referenced the request for an extension of three to six months for River Rider” (Potter). Potter moved to approve the County Board Minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda: Timed Items, Aud./Treas. Item B2, “Beer License Renewal, Osowski’s Flea Market, Monticello” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. B2, “Schedule Closed Session, Negotiation Strategy” (Kelly); Item For Consid. D, “Public Records Request” (Daleiden). Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement
a. Financial Worker, Adult Financial Services Unit.
B. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer to Building Committee: Cellular Coverage in new lunch room and Assessor areas.
C. PLANNING & ZONING
1. JAMES HICKMAN - (Rockford Twp.) - Planning Commission unanimously recommends approval of the request to rezone approximately 21 acres from AG General Agricultural and part S-2 Residential- Recreational Shoreland to A/R Agricultural-Residential and part S-2.
1. Refer To Personnel Committee:
a. Backfill request for Sheriff’s Deputy leaving on a one-year military active duty beginning June, 2014.
Sheriff Joe Hagerty recognized K9 handlers Deputy Joshua Tester and Deputy Daniel Cotton for their results at the 2014 USPCA National Detector Dog Competition. Deputy Tester and his K9 partner Vader placed 8th overall at the National Competition. Deputy Cotton and his K9 partner Saber placed 5th overall. As a team they placed 2nd overall. A brief overview of the K9 Program and the Competition was provided.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested that the Board schedule a Drainage Viewer’s Work Group meeting. The purpose would be for Ron Ringquist to go over the preliminary viewers report on Ditch 38. Ringquist has also been hired to complete a viewers report on JD 14. Meeker and McLeod Counties will be invited to attend the Work Group Meeting. Daleiden moved to schedule the Drainage Viewer’s Work Group Meeting on 6-06-14 at 10:00 A.M., seconded by Potter, carried unanimously. Hiivala said this will be an informational/educational session and no action will be taken. Borrell asked whether JD 14 could be added to that Agenda. He said Board action is needed on changing an improvement to a repair. Hiivala said a status update can be provided on JD 14 by Ringquist. No action will be taken at the Work Group meeting. Borrell said the petitioners on JD 14 have requested a meeting where action can be taken. Hiivala said there is not adequate time to notify the petitioners and landowners of the 6-06-14 meeting. A status update can be provided.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Potter, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #14-30 recommending that the Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue convey to Silver Creek Township by State deed tax forfeit property, PID #216-100-151400.
Hiivala requested approval of a 3.2 beer license renewal for Osowski’s Flea Market. The County has received a photocopy of the application, which has been signed by the Township, but not the original application. Proof of insurance has been provided and the fee has been paid. Hiivala recommends approval once the original document has been received and proper signatures have obtained. Sawatzke moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Daleiden questioned a claim on Page 16, Bankers Advertising Co. Inc. ($3,121.02) for the purchase of give away items. Hiivala said the cost will be paid from Nuclear Power funding through Xcel Energy. Daleiden felt it was a questionable use of funds and would rather see the money used for education. Hiivala said he could request an explanation from Genell Reese, Vet Services/Civil Defense Director, on what the items are used for. Sawatzke said the items have been ordered and should be paid for. If there is a concern with the purchase, he suggested the question be asked on what the items are used for and re-evaluated for the future. Potter moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $220,784.35 with 138 vendors and 207 transactions. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
At the request of Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, Potter moved to adopt Resolution #14-31 for final acceptance for the CSAH 3 Improvement Project (SAP 86-603-017), Contract #1202, with Mathiowetz Construction Co. of Sleepy Eye and to authorize final payment of $30,504.49. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, provided an update on the County Website Redesign Project. He announced that the new website will go live on 6-09-14. The redesigned site offers easier access to information. Anything that was found on the current site will be found in the new site. Swing said the County Board functions (agendas, minutes, packets, streaming) will be available with the new site as well. The real work of the website is just beginning and will require engagement from departments. Husom asked how long the supporting documentation for Board Meetings will remain on the website. Swing responded that they are looking to preserve this documentation for a couple of years on the website but it will be on the County network permanently. Daleiden said the website includes an area where a specific department or item can be highlighted. The first highlight will be the website redesign. This was provided as an informational item.
Swing requested the Board schedule a Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting. The purpose will be to bring the Board up to date on existing projects and to discuss technology strategies and the roadmap into the future. Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said that today’s Agenda includes his request to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting. The purpose of that meeting will be to obtain consensus from the Board on several budgetary items so he can provide direction to the department heads in preparation for the upcoming budget sessions. Kelly suggested the Board meet on both requests as a Committee Of The Whole. Potter moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 6-23-14 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Transit in Wright County was discussed. Husom read a letter she received from Mike Schadauer, MnDOT Director of Transit, dated 5-23-14:
“I am writing to confirm the decision that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) made through Chief of Staff Eric Davis regarding Transit in Wright County.
On May 15, Eric listened to the proposal made by Commissioners Sawatzke and Potter to have RiverRider continue service beyond July 1, 2014 while Wright County procures a third party transit operator, either on its own or with the help of Tri-CAP. Eric made it clear that MnDOT’s first preferred option was to go with Trailblazer if Trailblazer could work out an arrangement with cities of Wright County and Functional Industries. The proposal to continue RiverRider while procuring a third party operator, with without assistance of Tri-CAP, would be the second and third options. Trailblazer was able to work out that arrangement so Eric contacted Commissioners Potter and Sawatzke on May 16 to inform them that MnDOT is moving in that direction. There is no point in continuing to pursue the other options.
The Trailblazer Board confirmed their commitment at their meeting on May 21. MnDOT provided an amendment to their 2014 operating grant contract to provide service in Wright County and an additional grant contract to assist Trailblazer in the transitional tasks to necessary for that expansion. While these contracts run through calendar 2014, they are intended to set a foundation for long-term service. Through these contracts, MnDOT assisted the cities in paying their $150,000 share of the Trailblazer operating capital while the cities set their budgets to complete their buy-in within five years.
MnDOT staff will continue to work with RiverRider on transferring buses to Trailblazer for service in Wright County by July 1, 2014. In the dissolution of RiverRider, nine buses for which MnDOT holds vested value were assigned to Wright County.
I believe the citizens of Wright County will enjoy the service Trailblazer will provide. Unfortunately, due to the late date of commitment, Trailblazer is unlikely to be able to provide a full level of service on July 1. However, they are staffing as quickly as possible to improve that. They will also be working with the cities and Functional Industries on plans for 2015 and beyond for mutually agreeable increases in service.
We at MnDOT hope that Wright County will join or replace the cities on the Trailblazer Board in the future. We look forward to helping provide the citizens of Wright County with a necessary service to meet their transportation needs.”
(End of MnDOT letter)
Borrell referenced the statement in the letter which reflects, “Eric made it clear that MnDOT’s first preferred option was to go with Trailblazer if Trailblazer could work out an arrangement with cities of Wright County.” The letter further states, “Trailblazer was able to work out that arrangement...” Borrell questioned how that can be worked out when the cities do not have a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with Trailblazer. He referenced an article from an Otsego newspaper which indicates the City is basically pulling out as there is no reason to enter into a JPA. Borrell questioned how Trailblazer could have made an agreement with cities when the cities haven’t even worked it out themselves. He said the City is expressing concerns including having no idea of what costs will be.
Husom understands that five cities have signed a JPA with Trailblazer. Sawatzke said a City official suggested to him about a week ago that they wanted Sawatzke to try to set up a meeting and convince cities to go with a different approach. Sawatzke informed the City official that five cities have already signed a JPA and the official’s response was that there wasn’t even a JPA created yet. At today’s Board Meeting, Sawatzke asked whether there were any city officials present that have signed a final JPA. David Burd, City of Annandale, indicated they have. Sawatzke said the County Board has been told all along that entities may have signed a JPA but it appears no one has because there isn’t one. The communication gap has been unfortunate.
Borrell referenced Schadauer’s letter which reflects that Trailblazer was able to work out an arrangement with cities. He felt he was accurate in saying the cities do not have a JPA as of now, so he questioned how Trailblazer was able to work out an arrangement with the cities. Daleiden feels Trailblazer has agreed to take over transit in the hope the cities will come up with a JPA. Borrell said that is not what Schadauer is saying. Daleiden said that when the first meeting was held on transit in St. Michael, Trailblazer attended and there were no other providers there. He said it is clear the direction MnDOT was going.
Sawatzke encouraged city officials not to sign the JPA as the State has already set up for the cities to receive service with or without the JPA. He didn’t think they should take the risk. MnDOT is providing considerable funding. Two weeks ago, the County received a letter from Trailblazer reflecting that Trailblazer will provide service in Wright County without a partner for 18 months. Sawatzke said there is no rush for the cities to enter a JPA as the State has transit funded. They have 18 months to let things transpire. He did not want the cities to feel this has to be decided by 7-01-14. Sawatzke said cities should not go into this with Trailblazer laying out the terms and the cities having to accept those terms. There are two other options available and that is recognized in the letter and was verbally stated to Sawatzke and Potter at their meeting with MnDOT on 5-15-14.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 5-14-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, the Board discussed possible methods of selling the equipment at the Compost Facility. Kelly said the County is awaiting response from Buhler Industries, Inc. on an agreement to conduct an assessment of the equipment. Sawatzke said the public continues to utilize the Compost Facility for recycling and that some days it is very busy. Discussion moved to the repair of the emergency vehicle operation course at the Compost Facility. This course is utilized by the Sheriff’s Office. Capt. Todd Hoffman said the Highway Department estimates the cost of excavating and replacing the pavement at $275,000-$325,000. Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, said the course is past the point of pothole repair. The Board discussed potentially moving the course to the Rasset Pit location. Hawkins said the Rasset site has material the Highway Department will use for future projects. A course can be built beyond the area they need to access. Borrell asked how many deputies need the training and how often. Hoffman responded that the Minnesota Post Board requires all licensed officers to have the emergency vehicle operations certification, and the minimum requirement is every five years. Wright County completes training every four years. All new hires go through this certification course along with any deputies that require remedial training. There are 136 deputies. Three trained deputies teach the course. The Sheriff’s Office has received requests from local police departments on the training. Hoffman said because the course at the Compost Facility runs close to the buildings, they have not offered training to others. He stated in-house training also helps with scheduling of deputies. Moving the course to the Rasset Pit location would assist with training, as they would be able to complete the firearms and emergency vehicle operations at the same location. Potter said it would be hard to put money into repairing the course at its current location, as the County does not know the future of the Compost Facility. Borrell suggested the building could be looked at for another use. Sawatzke responded that the recycling services offered to the public at this location are critical. Unless the Facility is used for another purpose, he questioned why they would look at displacing what is there. Hoffman said that they schedule their training around when the Facility is open to the public. Discussion led to the berm repair needed at the three Sheriff’s Firearms Ranges. Hawkins indicated the repair could not be completed by the Highway Department until later this year because of other projects. The work can be completed by a contractor through the seasonal bid contracts. Hoffman said it will require placing dirt on the berm and seeding. Sawatzke felt the Highway Department should complete the work. This issue will be discussed again at the 5-28-14 Building Committee Meeting. Daleiden moved to approve the 5-14-14 Building Committee Minutes. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The minutes of the Building Committee Meeting follow:
I. Compost Facility Equipment.
This meeting reconvened from the 4-30-14 Building Committee meeting.
Stephens said he received a letter from Kloster Commercial Resources (Kloster), an appraisal service (see attached). Their services include site inspection, analysis of the systems and equipment, and valuation, for a total cost of $6,500.
Stephens said Buhler Industries, Inc. (Buhler) confirmed that their representatives could do hardware, electronic and software assessments for eight hours at a cost of $2,400. There would be an additional cost for an assessment of individual equipment. The total costs for the appraisal by Kloster and the assessment by Buhler would be nearly $9,000.
Daleiden asked if Stephens talked with any other appraisers. Stephens responded that he contacted Buhler regarding an assessment. Stephens sent specifications to another appraisal company, but they did not respond. Potter said more information is needed before they can proceed. Stephens recommended following through with Kloster and Buhler. He said the information they provide could make a difference in values received. He suggested that they contract with Buhler to determine the functionality of the equipment, and then proceed with the appraiser. Buhler determines whether equipment is functional, and if there is software available to run it. If equipment is functional, the appraisal value is higher. If not, the equipment will not be saleable. Daleiden objected to the cost.
Potter suggested contracting with Buhler first to see whether there is a market for the equipment. That will determine the next step. Daleiden directed Stephens to get Buhler’s estimated cost of $2,400 in writing, and then take the request to the County Board for a decision. Stephens said he would get a contract or a Memo Of Understanding.
Recommendation: Obtain a written agreement with Buhler Industries, Inc. to conduct an assessment of Compost Facility equipment not to exceed $2,400, and present it to the County Board for approval.
II. Additional Security Cameras, Human Services Center Building & Property (HS Board).
III. Repair Of Sheriff’s Office emergency Vehicle Operation Course At Wright County Compost Facility.
Hoffman distributed a copy of the 5-06-14 Request For Board Action and aerial photos of the Compost Facility site (see attachments). Hoffman explained that in 2010 the Sheriff’s Office began to hold annual Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Emergency Vehicle Operation courses at the County Compost Facility. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office saves $400 to $500 dollars per deputy.
Stephens said the facility is more than 20 years old. Hoffman said the blacktop has never been improved. Over the last few years the blacktop has degraded and large potholes have developed. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office uses the entire west side of the hangar area and in between the hangar and recycling center. They also use the dirt path going up the hill onto the cement pad. Hoffman said the cement is in good condition.
Hoffman said they have discussed improving the blacktop with the County Highway Department, but budget and schedule constraints prevent them from assisting with this project. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office decided to ask the County Board if an outside contractor may be contacted for repairs. They do not know the potential costs.
Daleiden asked how much the Sheriff’s Office saves by doing the POST training in-house. Hoffman said they saved an estimated $75,000 since 2010. Deputies are required to take the training once every three years. Hoffman said this has been considered a temporary solution from the beginning. They are also looking at the firearms range at Rasset Pit (see attached following the Compost Facility photos). Hoffman said the firearms range takes up a small portion of the pit. If the Sheriff’s Office continues to provide in-house training at the Compost Facility, Hoffman said the County would have to 1) Redo the blacktop, or 2) Centralize training elsewhere, such as the Rasset Pit location.
Kelly said that has been proposed in the Capital Improvement Plan (C.I.P.) for several years. The grand picture would be to have a training facility some day. He was not sure whether the County should invest more in the Compost Facility. Potter said he preferred the Rasset option. Hoffman said the County does not need an area the size of the St. Cloud training facility. The Compost Facility has been adequate.
Daleiden asked whether there was room at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) site. Hoffman said the issue with the LEC is the way the building is situated. It is the northernmost part of the County parcel. Daleiden said the County owns the lot next to the LEC site. Hoffman said there may be mining issues with that parcel. Daleiden asked the distance of the Rasset Pit from the LEC. Hoffman said seven to ten miles. Daleiden said it would be good to have the Highway Department look at it to determine costs. He said the Highway Department should provide the Sheriff’s Office with an estimate of the costs to improve the Rasset Pit and the Compost Facility.
Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office could draw up a preliminary plan of the training site to compare with any potential properties. Daleiden said this is the time to do it. Potter said it would be less expensive to keep the training in-house than going to St. Cloud.
Kelly said they need to determine: 1) The area of the course at the Compost Facility; 2) What future plans the Highway Department may have regarding the Rasset Pit, and 3) The costs for paving the Compost Facility per the County Engineer.
Daleiden asked whether there is a need for blacktop or gravel in the parking area. Hoffman said gravel is fine. The path serves as a transition from asphalt to gravel. Potter asked whether it would be good to add a concrete area to simulate conditions. Daleiden said concrete roads will not be built if soil conditions aren’t right. Potter said concrete lasts longer.
Kelly asked whether the Committee was inclined to repair the blacktop at the Compost Facility. Potter said he did not want to invest $100,000 in the facility and then sell the property. He suggested getting quotes for using the Compost Facility and improving Rasset Pit. Daleiden said the matter will go to budget discussions this summer.
1) Determine the area of the course at the Compost Facility;
2) Direct the Highway Department to provide an estimate of the cost for paving the Compost Facility site;
3) Inquire of the Highway Department regarding their future plans, if any, for the Rasset Pit.
IV. Site Work At Sheriff’s Firearms Range.
Hoffman said there are three ranges at the Sheriff’s Firearms Range. The berms are made of sand and are eroding. They were constructed for safety purposes. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office asked the Highway Department last year to build the berms up, but their schedule was too full. The sand underneath the cement slabs on which the canopies rest is also washing away, creating a gap of two to three inches underneath. The gaps should be filled in with something other than sand. Hoffman said they would like the berms and concrete pad to be repaired as soon as possible.
Potter asked how high the berms need to be. Hoffman said approximately twelve feet. That would be verified by Sheriff’s Office staff.
Kelly said he did not know what the Highway Department’s schedule is like or what their timeline is. The project could get on the schedule for next year, but that won’t meet the needs of the Sheriff’s Office for this year. He asked the Committee whether they should get outside bids. Potter said he would like to look at the site. Hoffman said he would make arrangements.
Potter said he will look at the range with Sheriff’s Office staff. If the Highway Department is too busy, the Sheriff’s Office can go outside to get cost estimates. Kelly said a certain level of specifications would be needed.
Hoffman asked whether a meeting should be scheduled with Hawkins and Highway Maintenance Superintendent Steve Meyer. Kelly said the information Potter obtains during his review of the Rasset Pit site will drive the discussion with Hawkins. Daleiden said to bring the matter back to the 5-28-14 Building Committee meeting.
1) Tour the Rasset Pit site;
2) Meet with Highway Staff regarding costs and timelines, and;
3) Bring cost estimates to the 5-28-14 Building Committee meeting.
IV. Suggestion Box:
There was a request to purchase 15 lunchroom chairs for the Human Services Center.
Recommendation: Order 15 chairs for the Human Services Center, funded out of Site Improvements.
(End of 5-14-14 Building Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 5-14-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0. The minutes of the Committee Meeting follow:
I. Position Replacement, Building Maintenance Supervisor.
Kelly said this item was pulled from the 5-06-14 Wright County Board Meeting Agenda to discuss restructuring the Building Maintenance Supervisor position as a Centralized Facilities Manager. Kelly said it could be beneficial to have one person oversee all County facilities.
Currently, one Building Maintenance Supervisor oversees the Government Center (GC), the Human Services Center (HSC), and the Public Works Building (PWB). Another Building Maintenance Supervisor manages custodial staff and building operations at the LEC.
Sawatzke asked whether one person could know enough about the four building systems that utilize different boilers and mechanical systems. Kelly said the Facilities Manager would oversee all of the buildings. Job descriptions would have to be reviewed. Husom agreed with the concept.
There is a pool of 16 custodians between all buildings. The GC and LEC each have a Building Maintenance Supervisor and one Assistant. They work different shifts. Sawatzke suggested scheduling the lead person in the middle of the day to span both shifts. There was discussion regarding the functions the present Building Maintenance Supervisors perform.
Dahl discussed security issues. The proposed Facilities Manager could be responsible for the overall security system. Dahl said a Facilities Manager could also be responsible for key contacts and ensure system compliance.
Bigelow said if the Board approves restructuring the position to a Facilities Manager, the Assistant positions could be re-evaluated and possibly reclassified to work directly under the Facilities Manager. An additional custodian could be hired to replace the Building Maintenance Supervisor position that is retiring.
Kelly said custodial functions are being accomplished, but not record maintenance. The Facilities Manager would assist with budgets as well. Some County equipment is old and needs to be repaired. The Facilities Manager would have input and a sense of building systems and OSHA records.
Bigelow said the County’s Human Resources Consultant should evaluate the positions.
Sawatzke said the Assistants/second level supervisors must be able to supervise. There would be two of these positions. Bigelow said the Facilities Manager would coordinate everything to maintain consistency.
Bigelow said she needs a commitment from the Board to the new structure, with the understanding that issues may arise that need to be addressed.
Sawatzke asked where the Facilities Manager would be housed. Kelly said ideally in the Administration Department at the GC.
Recommendation: Restructure Building Maintenance Supervisor position to Facilities Manager.
Re-evaluate Assistant Building Maintenance Supervisor positions.
(End of 5-14-14 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 5-14-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following corrections were made to the minutes: Page 1, 2nd paragraph, last line should read, “Daleiden said the City of Otsego told him the lots are considered unbuildable and he need to get that verified” (Daleiden); Page 2, 1st paragraph, 2nd line, change to read, “…to trade Lot 26 for a tax forfeited property in the County” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes as corrected and the recommendations, seconded by Daleiden, carried unanimously. The minutes of the Committee Meeting follow:
I. Vehicle Fleet (HS Board).
II. Property In Otsego (Daleiden).
Copies of Plat Map No. 52 of the Otsego Levee were distributed (see attached). Kryzer said this discussion pertains to Lots 25 and 26. Also distributed were the 7-15-11 Inspection Of River Levee In Otsego Meeting Minutes and two aerial photos of the Levee (see attachments).
Daleiden said the owner is inquiring about the possibility of the County swapping his property for a tax forfeited parcel elsewhere in the County. Daleiden said the City of Otsego told him the lots are considered unbuildable and he needs to get that verified.
Daleiden said the City told him that if the house burns down, another structure can’t be built.
Kryzer said the basic structure may be rebuilt in the event of fire, with restrictions on expansion. He was not familiar with Otsego regulations.
Sawatzke mentioned the Open Meeting Law since Daleiden was the third County Commissioner present. Kryzer said it is a posted meeting. Daleiden said he is not making a decision about the matter. The property owner asked him to present his request to the County. Sawatzke said Daleiden could present the facts and then leave prior to any decision. Daleiden agreed.
Sawatzke said the owner would like to trade his parcels for a tax forfeited property elsewhere in the County. Sawatzke asked Kryzer if there were any requirements. Kryzer replied that there are two properties available. One has a distressed structure on it, but the parcel is big. Sawatzke asked if the County could make such a trade. Kryzer will research the matter.
The Committee discussed what improvements the County could make to the Levee parcels. Kryzer said the owner of Lots 25 and 26 cannot provide an easement that survives the transfer without approval from the mortgage company. After presenting the request on behalf of the property owner, Daleiden left the meeting.
Husom asked what advantages there are for the County to purchase the property. Sawatzke said the County would have control of the property. The County already maintains the Levee. Kryzer said if the Committee agrees there is value for the County to acquire the property, they could direct the County Attorney’s Office to pursue negotiations. Asleson and he will talk with the owner. This would give the County better access.
Sawatzke directed Kryzer to find out whether the City of Otsego has a greater interest in ownership than the County. He did not want it to be a County Park.
Recommendation: Direct the County Attorney’s Office to determine if the City of Otsego has interest in the property, and continue discussions with the property owner to trade Lot 26 for a tax forfeited property in the County.
III. Law Library.
T. Kelly said the discussion at hand is whether employment of the Law Librarian and her assistant should be shifted to the County from the Law Library Board. T. Kelly said Sawatzke previously raised a concern that there may be potential conflicts of interest if the Attorney’s Office oversees the Law Library if a defendant being prosecuted by the Attorney’s Office sought help from the Law Librarian. T. Kelly said most of the counties he spoke with placed the Law Library under the supervision of the County Administration Department. Regardless, T. Kelly said State Statute says the Law Library Board of Trustees would still manage the daily operations.
T. Kelly said after receiving information on the potential County pay scale of the Library employees, it was determined that the assistant would receive $14.84 per hour. Currently, the Law Library Board pays her $12 per hour. T. Kelly said the Law Library Board would be responsible for the salary for the Law Librarian. He asked Bigelow to clarify that the minimum hourly wage for the Law Librarian, if employed by the County, would be $20.03.
Bigelow said she spoke with Human Resources regarding the classification of the assistant position. It is not clear where this position would be classified, as there are no other 16 hour per week positions in the County.
Sawatzke asked what the union contract states. Bigelow said it is silent. The County employs one Office Technician I for 20 hours per week who receives prorated benefits. The practice is to prorate vacation, sick, and holiday leave pay.
Sawatzke asked what the County Personnel Policy states. Bigelow said everything is based on working 20 hours per week. The County has not hired any positions for less than that. Sawatzke said nothing prohibits the County from hiring the assistant at 16 hours per week. Bigelow said she will call the union to see if they would enter into a Memorandum Of Understanding that employees working less than 20 hours per week would not get health insurance benefits.
T. Kelly asked whether the County will offer no health insurance benefits and 40% proration of vacation, sick, and holiday pay for employees working less than 20 hours per week, or offer health insurance at a prorated cost.
Bigelow said the next pay equity report is due in 2015 for all wages. When she talked with the Pay Equity Coordinator, it became clear that someone needs to report the two Law Library positions. T. Kelly said he would like the numbers when he meets with the Law Library Board. The Law Library Board pays benefits but not liability insurance. Bigelow said T. Kelly would be covered for property casualty and Workers Compensation Insurance through Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) if the Law Library employees became County employees. There was discussion regarding insurance for the Library.
Norgren said the County owns the Library books. T. Kelly said that is why it is appropriate that the County employ the Law Library employees. Sawatzke said the Law Library Board would be required to defer to L. Kelly as the supervisor of the Law Library staff if they were designated as County employees.
T. Kelly said he would call a special Law Library Board meeting and ask for their decision. He added that the Library Board Chair will have expenses for accounting, the Pay Equity Report, and health care, if these are not County employees.
T. Kelly asked if the County would give the Law Library employees retroactive credit for the time they’ve been at the County Law Library. Sawatzke said they are currently not County employees. T.Kelly said Bigelow did not need to contact the union before he meets with the Law Library Board. Once he has met with them, another Ways and Means Committee Meeting can be scheduled. Bigelow said she may informally reach out to the union, but won’t start any official language at this time.
Recommendation: Meet with the Law Library Board regarding their decision whether to retain employment of the Law Library staff, or designate the County as their employer. Their decision will be brought to a future Ways and Means Committee meeting.
(End of 5-14-14 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
At the request of Kelly, Daleiden moved to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 6-23-14 at 11:00 A.M. The purpose will be to obtain consensus from the Board on several budgetary items so Kelly can provide direction to the department heads in preparation for the upcoming budget sessions. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
At the request of Kelly, Potter moved to schedule a Negotiation Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 6-10-14 at 10:30 A.M. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss negotiation strategies. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
1. River Rider Meeting. Borrell and Sawatzke attend a River Rider Meeting. Sherburne County is willing to work with Wright County if there is a need to keep River Rider going. Sawatzke said that will probably not happen.
(End of Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates)
Daleiden was contacted on a public records request on public data. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said he handles or works with departments on public data requests so that information should be forwarded to him.
Ameripride Services $110.23
Annandale/City of 461.88
Anoka County Corrections 9,912.00
Aramark Services Inc 7,457.32
Bankers Advertising Co Inc 4,515.19
Borell/Ralph & Laurie 1,461.00
BP Amoco 819.18
Brock White Co LLC 1,001.10
Burdas Towing 190.00
Center Point Energy 2,095.51
Chamberlain Oil Co 909.15
Chevrolet of Delano 104.41
Climate Air 514.20
Craguns Lodging/Conf. Center 1,019.32
Croteau Plumbing 220.00
CST Distribution LLC 1,126.44
Databank IMX LLC 3,500.00
Dell Marketing LP 1,259.18
Election Sys. & Software Inc 7,538.75
Fastenal Company 118.25
GCS Service Inc 1,344.14
Granite Electronics 8,720.64
Hasty Silver Creek Sportmens 3,966.00
Helena Chemical Company 2,548.72
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 249.31
Howard Lake/City of 542.16
J R Nelson & Company 2,050.07
Jody Winters 134.50
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 222.00
Karels Towing 250.00
Marco Inc 2,170.14
Mathiowetz Construction 30,504.49
Menards - Buffalo 331.02
Meritide Inc 787.50
MN Bureau of Crim. Apprehen. 230.00
MN Monitoring Inc 11,079.00
MN State Board of Assessors 160.00
Montrose/City of 21,802.53
Nat’l. Assn. of Sch. Res. Officer 495.00
North American Rescue LLC 1,780.85
Office Depot 1,537.98
Otsego/City of 129.71
RCM Specialties Inc 1,819.08
RS Eden 1,721.05
Schneider Corporation 600.00
Sign Man of MN Inc/The 104.71
Specialty Turf & Ag 626.60
Stationers Inc 1,254.85
Stearns Co. Auditor-Treasurer 160.00
T & S Trucking 5,490.00
Thrifty White Pharmacy 513.16
Trueman Welters Inc. 704.54
Verizon Wireless 165.63
Victor Township 1,810.40
Walter Stephens Jr Inc 339.56
Waverly/City of 229.01
Wright Co. Highway Dept 39,836.41
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,745.83
Wright Soil & Water Cons Dist 112.22
Xcel Energy 1,318.87
26 Payments less than $100 1,468.62
Final total $220,784.35
The meeting adjourned at 10:32 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 23, 2014.