Wright County Board Minutes

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Borrell moved to approve the 6-24-14 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
Items were petitioned onto the Agenda as follows: Consent Item I.1, “Position Replacement: Highway Accountant” (Hawkins); Timed Agenda Item A5, “Zuercher Payment, $392,865.50” (Hiivala); Timed Agenda Item A6, “Approve Liquor License Renewal, Cokato Town & Country Club” (Hiivala); Timed Agenda Item A7, “Approve New Liquor License, Lantto Store” (Hiivala); Item V, Items For Consideration, Item B, “Schedule Committee Of The Whole Meeting To Discuss Negotiation Strategies” (Kelly). Sawatzke moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
Approve Memorandum Of Understanding With I.U.O.E. Local No. 49 RE: Wright County Fair.
Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Understanding With Teamsters 320, Assistant Wright County Attorney’s Association, Wright County Deputies Association, 49ers, and AFSCME For Donation Of Vacation Time To An Employee.
Authorize Non-Union Employees To Donate Vacation Time To An Employee.
Refer to Building Committee: Request to Utilize Room S169A And/Or I3 for Assessor’s Office Record Retention with the understanding that it may be temporary.
Approve Abatement, PID #118-052-006020, Richelle Evans (City of Otsego).
Approve Renewal Of Annual Off Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Olson’s Truck Stop (Silver Creek Twp.).
Position Replacement: 1. Information Systems Specialist, Fiscal/Technology Unit.
Position Replacement:
1. Jail Sergeant & Backfill As Necessary.
Position Replacement:
1. Highway Accountant.
(End of Consent Agenda)
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, asked for Board approval to conduct an informational meeting on County Ditch 13 to discuss the extent of repairs, cleanout required, and a possible redetermination. The original benefits are $3,866.63. Kerry Saxton, SWCD, has been to the Ditch and identified the needs. Borrell moved to set a meeting for Ditch 13 on 7-16-14 at 6:30 P.M. The meeting location will be determined but suggested locations include the Buffalo Township Hall or the Wright County Government Center. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. Kerry Saxton and the recently hired Drainage Inspector will be invited to the meeting.
A Board of Appeal and Equalization Meeting was held on 6-16-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0.
The May Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines were laid over to the 7-15-14 County Board Meeting.
Hiivala requested approval of Payment 1 to Zuercher Technologies, LLC, in the amount of $392,865.50. The contract with Zuercher was recently approved by the County Board. The payment will be funded through the Capital Technology Fund with a portion reimbursed through the E911 Fund. Daleiden moved to approve the payment, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Borrell, all voted to approve renewal of the annual On Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License for Cokato Town & Country Club (Cokato Township).
Borrell moved to approve a new annual Off Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License for Lantto’s Store (French Lake Twp.). A new License is required as it is a new owner. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
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 $210,016.20 with 190 vendors and 247 transactions.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, distributed the 2013 Road & Bridge Annual Report at the last County Board Meeting. Since that time, revisions were made to Pages 8-10, 8-11, and 8-15 of the report. Daleiden moved to accept the revised 2013 Annual Report for Road & Bridge, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
Hawkins requested the Board reschedule the Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting scheduled for 7-15-14 at 1:00 P.M. The following Agenda Items were referred to that Meeting: 1) Discuss next steps in regard to PW Building Master Plan Study (Hwy./Parks/Surveyor Depts.); 2) Rhoades Avenue update (Parks/Stockholm Township); 3) Discuss Transportation Funding Options for 2015 Budget (Hwy. Dept.); 4) TH 25/CSAH 75 (Hwy. Dept./City of Monticello); and 5) Clearwater 75 Erosion (Parks/Hwy.). Hawkins requested the addition of a 6th item, “CSAH 4 Culvert, Cokato Township.” Borrell moved to reschedule the 7-15-14 TCOTW Meeting to 7-21-14 at 2:00 P.M. and to add Item 6 as requested. The motion was seconded by Potter. Sawatzke asked Hawkins to restructure the TCOTW Agenda so that items with guests from other jurisdictions are placed earlier in the meeting and with an estimated time. The motion carried 5-0.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, presented a draft resolution concurring with the Declaration of the City of Buffalo for a No Wake Restriction on Buffalo Lake. The City of Buffalo passed their resolution on 6-24-14 setting a no wake zone restriction of five miles per hour for watercraft within 300 feet of the shoreline on Buffalo Lake. The restriction expires 30 days from the date of the declaration if no extension is granted by the MN DNR. The City’s resolution further states that in no case shall the no wake zone restrictions continue beyond the time when the Lake reaches a level of .10 feet below the Natural Ordinary High Water Mark of Buffalo Lake. Husom said three Townships (Chatham, Rockford and Marysville) share Buffalo Lake. She did not feel the County should pass the resolution without their approval. At the last County Board Meeting, Sawatzke said he would support approval of this type of request because of the high water situation; however, he favored lakes becoming part of the County’s Water Surface Use Ordinance that provides a 300’ buffer from the shoreline on some lakes. It was adopted by the County a couple of years ago.
Kryzer said the County originally went through the process of a formal No-Wake Ordinance in the summer of 2012. There was a late amendment in December, 2012. After discussion, it was the consensus that the County should look at offering another opportunity for lakes to become part of this Ordinance. Daleiden said major damage could occur by the time the three Townships meet and so he favored moving forward. Daleiden made a motion to adopt Ordinance #14-46 concurring with the City of Buffalo declaration of a No Wake Zone on Buffalo Lake, seconded by Potter. Daleiden said those lakes not included in the County Ordinance should join to avoid this type of emergency situation in the future. He said that the process to do so should be addressed this fall. Sawatzke said when the Ordinance was adopted in 2012, it was controversial. He asked Husom if she had received any feedback from people not supporting the No Wake for Buffalo Lake. Husom said she has not but was not comfortable with taking action without the Township’s input. Borrell said the 300’ setback allows people to utilize the lake and also launch a skier from the shore, so it is not that restrictive. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #14-46, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 3-2 with Husom and Sawatzke casting the nay votes.
WHEREAS, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has approved that local units of government may enact a 30-day temporary emergency water surface use slow wake restriction on lakes;
WHEREAS, June 23, 2014 the City of Buffalo adopted a Declaration of No Wake Zone on Buffalo Lake;
WHEREAS, this increased water elevation is causing harm to the natural resources on and surrounding Buffalo Lake; and,
WHEREAS, a 300 foot slow no-wake area from the shore of Buffalo Lake will assist in protecting the natural resources on and surrounding Buffalo Lake;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby concurs with the Declaration of No Wake Zone on Buffalo Lake and hereby enacts a 300 slow no-wake zone on Buffalo Lake for a period of 30 days or until the water elevation on Buffalo Lake reaches an elevation of .10 feet below or lower than the Ordinary High Water Mark on Buffalo Lake for period of three consecutive days;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Sheriff is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing the slow no-wake restrictions on Buffalo Lake and that all law enforcement personnel acting in the official pursuit of their duties shall be exempt from the controls enacted in this resolution;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a violation of this resolution is a misdemeanor offense as provided under Chapter 6110 of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Rule and Regulations.
(End of Resolution #14-46)
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested approval to retain Kevin Casserly to perform an appraisal for Tax Court purposes. The Assessor’s Office has a Tax court petition nearing some court-imposed deadlines for appraisal exchange and trial. The Board has previously approved hiring Casserly to produce appraisals for several other properties. Most of those cases have been settled by negotiation, and the County has incurred minimal expense. Daleiden moved to approve retaining Casserly, seconded by Potter, carried 5-0.
A Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 6-23-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0. The minutes of the Committee Meeting follow:
I. Technology Overview.
Swing introduced Patrick Irestone, President and CEO of Meritide, Inc. Irestone is working with the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office and the Information Technology Department (IT) to apply technology solutions to streamline business processes. Irestone said Meritide has been doing business for sixteen years and has 500 to 600 customers across the U.S.
a. Customer Service Support Model:
Swing referred to the PowerPoint slide entitled, “The Ways We Provide Services” (see attachments). The three areas include Online, Field Services, and On Site services.
Swing said customers expect the convenience of online services. Online payments will be in place in 2015. Probation officers, Social Workers and Deputies need technology in the field, and taxpayers expect services at the Government Center. Swing said IT is currently working with the Human Services Department on a potential pilot program for Child Protection Social Workers.
On Site Services were discussed in more detail under Enterprise Content Management. Swing said the future Business Analyst will save IT money that is currently outsourced for professional technology services. Swing said a solid foundation of governance, technical infrastructure, and support is critical to delivering excellent customer service. He said 25 percent of IT staff efforts are devoted to new development, and 75 percent to supporting existing systems.
b. 2014-2017 Road Map:
Swing provided a brief overview of the projects listed on the “Technology Roadmap” slide.
c. Governance & Standards:
Swing referred to documents entitled “Wright County Technology Governance” and “Wright County Technology Standards” (see attached). As the County grows, Swing said there is a need to better define best practices and standards so Departments have guidelines. Swing asked the Board to endorse the Technology Governance and Standards. He said changes include clauses that the IT Department, the IT Director and County Coordinator meet on a fixed schedule minimally every two months to assess technology projects. Swing said Department staff (versus IT employees) should chair the committees listed in the Technology Governance document. He added that IT staff should act as advisors to the Departments.
Swing said it is a challenge to integrate systems between Departments. Nelson said IT staff is not always involved in early discussions. Kelly said bimonthly technology meetings (every two months) are beneficial to all Departments.
Daleiden directed Swing to place the Technology Governance and Standards on an upcoming Wright County Board Meeting Agenda for official adoption.
II. Web Site (Kelly, Hiivala, Swing):
Sawatzke asked Swing if the new website is completely updated with current information.
A member of the public told him they were not able to access meeting information times and dates for Planning and Zoning. Swing said the Web Committee meets 6-27-14 and welcomes feedback.
Swing said ideally the Administration Department would chair the Web Committee. He foresees the Administration Department owning more of the County web site home page as well.
Kelly said Administration and Information Technology are central services Departments. He said Administration should provide leadership to the County. Susan Vergin, Assistant County Coordinator, consistently maintains website content on the Administration page in an effort to keep it fresh and current.
III. Enterprise Content Management (Hiivala, Pat Irestone, K. Hayes); and
IV. Records Management (Kelly, Swing):
These two items were discussed concurrently.
Irestone said the County asked them to translate the needs of the organization and apply appropriate technology. Irestone said they started by helping the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office define their business requirements to enable them to apply SharePoint software to the plat worksheet process. The result will be an automated plat worksheet process.
Irestone said SharePoint is ideal for the plat worksheet process, as it is flexible, provides workflow, collaboration, and content management. The County also utilizes OnBase software. The integration of data from two systems allows a seamless flow of information County-wide.
Borrell said the plat worksheet originates in the Surveyor Department and starts out as a manual document that is frequently amended. Irestone said the goal is to track all the working notes on the plat as it moves through the process. Irestone said by the time the plat is filed, the worksheet has become institutional knowledge for the County. Borrell asked whether the plat process is public information and available to be shared. Irestone replied yes. He said the technology should mirror County policy.
Swing said Meritide identifies training needs within the business requirements of each Department. Irestone said connecting training to the work functions is more efficient and effective.
V. IT Department Strategies (C. Nelson, Swing):
Swing directed attention to the slide entitled “Department Of Information Technology” regarding the organizational structure of the Department.
Nelson explained that currently IT technicians are assigned directly to a Department or Departments. The technicians have different levels of expertise and skills. Their workload varies depending on the year and the needs of the Department. Nelson proposed creating a help desk. All calls would be routed to a first level of support that are triaged and dealt with immediately. More complex calls would be directed to a higher tier of support.
Nelson said last year at budget time their first initial goal was to build up the infrastructure by hiring a Network Analyst and a Business Analyst. She said it has been difficult to do so. Consequently, there has not been sufficient staff available to provide second-tier help desk support.
There was discussion on restrictions related to use of interns.
Swing said CivicPlus, the company that hosts the new County web site, will be a key partner. Daleiden said the new web site will allow Departments to upgrade their own web pages. Swing said the responsibility for the web site now falls on County Departments. Daleiden asked if any Departments are not taking ownership. Swing said the job descriptions do not cover web site maintenance. The County is drafting a Technology Coordinator job description. Schwartz felt the model is good. Human Services is now utilizing a Technology Coordinator.
Swing said ideally the development wing of the IT Department will include the Business Analyst and Programmer.
Swing referred to the “Proposed Expansion Plan, I.E. 2016” slide for the IT Department. Nelson said the plan proposes a way to effectively use the first floor Government Center Annex space in the future.
Schwartz said the Human Services Center (HSC) has a training lab with nine spots. They would welcome a centralized training center. That would eliminate the need for the training lab at the HSC and make more office space available. Nelson said the proposed training space would allow IT staff to use it as a testing lab as well.
Recommendation: Refer adoption of Wright County Governance and Technology Standards to the Wright County Board.
(End of 6-23-14 Technology Committee Minutes)
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 6-16-14. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Potter, carried unanimously. The minutes of the Committee Meeting follow:
1. Drainage Inspector Interviews.
The Committee met to interview candidates interested in serving as the County Drainage Inspector.
The Committee interviewed two candidates and reviewed their qualifications and experience. The Committee discussed the current status of Ditches in the County. After discussion the Committee desired to offer the position to this candidate.
Recommendation: Offer contract to selected candidate at a compensation of $30 per hour.
(End of 6-16-14 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, requested the Board schedule a Closed Session to discuss negotiation strategies. Daleiden moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 7-29-14 at 10:30 A.M. for this purpose. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates.
1. River Rider. Sawatzke and Borrell attended a meeting last week, which was also attended by MnDOT staff. River Rider is in the process of closing. Four buses were transferred to Sherburne County and eight buses to Wright County. Wright County was originally scheduled to receive nine buses but the transmission went out on one of them. The buses went to the MnDOT garage in Monticello last Friday and from there they were transferred to Tri CAP and Trailblazer. Tires were divided between the two Counties, and Wright County gave their share to MnDOT. In exchange, MnDOT transferred their share of various tools to Wright County. The tools were given to the Highway Maintenance Shop and to Building Maintenance at the LEC/Jail. The radios were authorized to go to Sherburne County (to Tri CAP) as Trailblazer uses a different sort of radio. The furniture was picked up by Sherburne County. The building River Rider was housed in will be available for use until 9-01-15.
Sawatzke said more information was provided relating to reserve funds that may exist at the end of River Rider’s existence. The River Rider Board was under the impression that after the bills are paid and funds retained for unemployment, the remainder would be given to Wright and Sherburne Counties to be used for transit. At the meeting last week, Tom Gottfried, MnDOT, indicated that any leftover funding for Wright and Sherburne Counties for transit that is not spent on something MnDOT approves of within 60 days will be taken back by MnDOT. Sawatzke said his perspective was that the funds would be used by Wright County toward transit but now they are being told it could perhaps be taken away and the State will use it for transit. Daleiden asked whether there will be much left after unemployment is paid. Sawatzke thought there would be as that liability is only for a period up to 18 months. Daleiden said Gottfried indicated last night there would not be much left. Sawatzke did not necessarily agree with that.
Sawatzke said service is being provided in Wright County by Trailblazer and they are looking for a place to operate from. He suggested the Compost Facility as a possible location. Potter said he spoke with Gary Ludwig last evening. Ludwig said that he and Gottfried went to the Compost Facility, and Gottfried indicated the Facility would not work. Daleiden made a motion to send a letter to the Trailblazer Board offering this location. Potter requested that Mike Schadauer, MnDOT Transit Director, be copied as well. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Any associated costs could be addressed if they are interested. Sawatzke assumed Trailblazer’s use would not displace the current use at the Facility. The motion carried 5-0.
Sawatzke said there are some areas in Wright County that do not have transit service and may not for 5-6 weeks. He pointed out that when MnDOT chose to proceed with Trailblazer for transit service, it was conveyed that there would be non-interrupted service to residents on 7-01-14. He now understands there will be a 5-6 week interruption in Monticello. Sawatzke said River Rider could have provided service in the interim or it could have been done through another provider. Potter said he attended a meeting last night and learned that Monticello will not receive service until 8-15-14. Sawatzke said that did not have to happen, and it is not a result of actions by the City of Monticello or the County. Daleiden thought Trailblazer is basically filling the Functional Industries contract at this time. Board members agreed there are various transit companies that could provide this service.
Potter learned at a meeting held last evening that the cities have until 8-01-14 to join the consortium of cities. If cities opt not to be part of the consortium, then they will not be included in the service area boundaries for 2015 except possibly through Smart Ride. Sawatzke referenced an email from Gary Ludwig, Trailblazer, in mid May that states that Trailblazer, with the assistance of MnDOT, will provide service for 18 months in those communities and for 18 months, the cities will have an opportunity to work out an agreement. Sawatzke said 18 months would extend the time period to the end of 2015. Potter said that was his impression as well but understands the deadline is now changed to 8-01-14. Sawatzke said the 18 months for cities to decide whether to join the consortium has gone down to 6 months and in reality, it is only 1 month if cities have to decide by 8-01-14. Borrell felt the Governor should receive a letter reflecting some of the details. Sawatzke said another frustrating component is that the markers keep changing so it is hard to determine which ultimatum or deadline counts. Borrell referenced the first meeting with the cities in St. Michael where Gottfried guaranteed that rides would be available on July 1st. Potter said he wanted to make sure that Sawatzke understood what was discussed at the meeting last evening.
2. I-94 Groundbreaking. Potter attended the groundbreaking event held on 6-30-14 in St. Michael for the expansion of I-94 from Rogers to St. Michael. This is the first segment of the project which will expand I-94 to six lanes to Monticello. Husom extended appreciation to Potter for his efforts on this project.
3. COOP Meeting. Husom attended the COOP Meeting held last week with County Departments to exercise the County’s Plan in the event of a pandemic.
4. GRRL. Sawatzke said the GRRL will hold a special meeting to discuss the resignation of the Executive Director and that hiring process.
5. Central MN Mental Health Center. Sawatzke said the group is reviewing what type of entity they are and the agreement. The agreement has not been revised for 50 years, and IRS rules and guidelines have changed. Husom said they are also reviewing whether the bylaws are up to date.
6. Drainage Seminar. Borrell attended a drainage seminar in Mankato on 6-26-14. The theme of the meeting was drainage and water quality. A law passed in 2012 allows external funding to be used in county ditches for the purpose of improving water quality. In the Mankato area, they have utilized sediment retention ponds near ditches. In some areas, there has been a phosphorus reduction of 30%. Borrell said the SWCD has mentioned this type of process relating to Ditch 10.
Bills Approved
Allina Health EMS $190.00
Alpha Video and Audio Inc 196.00
Ameripride Services 330.90
Ancom Technical Center 1,062.00
Anoka County Corrections 10,334.00
APA Minnesota 295.00
APEC Ind. Sales & Services 1,955.16
Aramark Services Inc 6,943.56
Bond Trust Services Corp. 450.00
Boyer Truck Parts 120.77
BP Amoco 1,401.15
Brico Builders Inc 4,077.84
Buffalo Auto Value 199.92
Cenex Fleetcard 1,870.94
Center Point Energy 2,447.61
CenturyLink 673.73
CES Imaging 651.15
Chamberlain Oil Co 2,206.42
Clark/Kaitlyn 100.00
Claytons Appliance Repair 145.50
Climate Air 1,516.34
Daikin Applied 513.05
Dell Marketing LP 9,223.04
Design Elec. Inc-Cold Spring 146.25
Emergency Auto. Tech Inc 13,533.55
Ernst/Debbie 152.50
Excel Systems 7,625.00
Expert Automotive & Towing Inc 135.00
Forestry Suppliers Inc 198.84
Grainger 1,928.97
Hancock Concrete Prod. LLC 456.00
Hardings Towing Inc 450.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 7,657.73
Humane Restraint 1,975.00
J N Johnson Fire & Safety 880.00
Jobe/Steven 134.50
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 127.00
Klatt True Value Electric 190.17
Kotila/Doug 125.00
L3 Communications Inc 133.00
Laurent/Michael 559.35
Madden Galanter Hansen LLP 3,284.28
Marco 106.75
Marco Inc 4,999.05
Menards - Buffalo 323.35
Meritide Inc 2,847.04
MN Counties Computer Coop 9,405.00
MN Native Landscapes 150.00
MN State Bar Association 230.00
Montrose/City of 486.50
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 2,076.04
Naaktgeboren Decorating 5,698.00
Office Depot 743.26
Pearson Bros. Inc 49,165.00
Philippi/Chase 162.50
Potter/Michael J 1,137.44
Regents of the Univ. of MN 25,055.77
Royal Tire Inc 362.32
Russell Security Resource Inc 362.50
Ruttgers Bay Lake Lodge Inc 586.44
Ryan Chevrolet 376.90
Ryan/Kourtney 138.84
Sherwin Williams 519.31
Sign Man of MN Inc/The 427.60
Solar Winds Inc 1,655.70
Sonex Online 479.00
Sprint 4,182.71
Sprint 2,248.92
Stamp Fulfillment Services 268.30
Stine/Clark 406.74
Total Printing 295.00
Unique Software Corporation 263.56
Veripic Inc 490.00
Verizon Wireless 165.63
Walmart Community GEMB 224.60
Walmart Store 01-1577 528.97
Waverly/City of 123.15
Westside Pest Solutions Inc 150.00
Wheels West RV Inc 1,712.60
Woodchuckers Firewood 972.00
Wright County Highway Dept 989.59
Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc 124.50
Zep Sales & Services 705.68
40 Payments less than $100 2,073.72
Final total $210,016.20
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal July 28, 2014.