Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 3, 2015
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 1-27-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: 9:04 A.M., “Authorize employee to work out-of-class” (Hagerty); Item For Consid. D, “AIS Budget” (Daleiden). Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
Approve Labor Contract Agreement with Assistant Wright County Attorney’s Association
Approve Labor Contract Agreement with Sheriff Essential Supervisory Unit
Reschedule the 2-04-15 Owner’s Committee Meeting from 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.
Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Church of St. Mary of Czestochowa, 1867 95th St. SE, Delano MN 55328 (Franklin Twp.)E.
Authorize Attendance, North Fork Crow One Watershed One Plan (1W1P) Meeting, 2-04-15 @ 10:30 A.M., Meeker County Courthouse, Litchfield, MN
January 12, 2015 Parks Commission Minutes
Sheriff Joe Hagerty said an Office Supervisor in the Sheriff’s Office will be on a leave until the end of March. The position is one of two that supervises the 18 staff in the clerical division. In addition, they work with the Onbase and RMS/Zuercher Projects, and he would like those projects to continue moving forward. He requested that Office Tech II Joelette Gagnon receive out-of-class pay during the absence. Tammy Bigelow, HR Director, said that out-of-class pay will go into effect when an employee assumes the full responsibilities and authority of the position. Husom moved to authorize out-of-class pay for Joelette Gagnon, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
Jackie Schmidt, Auditor/Treasurer’s Office, presented the Auditor/Treasurer Agenda Items. The first item discussed was the Temporary Liquor License approved at the last Board Meeting for the Maple Lake – Lake Property Owner’s Association. Lake ice conditions were not good so the Event was moved from 1-31-15 to
2-07-15. The State has issued another Temporary Liquor License. This was provided as an informational item.
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 $240,359.27 with 171 vendors and 251 transactions.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested Board authorization to apply for a grant through the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program to construct 6 miles of sustainable Mountain Bike Trails at the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The Grant Program is unique in that legislatively it is specified that the funds must be expended for projects that are strictly motorized as well as projects that are strictly non-motorized, while at the same time encouraging the development of projects that provide for both. The law specifies that 30% of the funds must be used for motorized projects and 40% for projects that can be utilized for both. If successful in obtaining the grant, the funds will first be available no earlier than 11-01-15. All projects awarded through the grant round must be completed by 6-30-17 and immediately available for use by the general public. The maximum permissible request is $150,000 ($1,000 minimum). These grants are 75/25 cash match reimbursement grants. This means that Wright County must complete the project and fully fund it, and produce documentation that shows actual expenditures and a proper procurement process has been followed. Wright County will then receive 75% of what was spent up to the grant award. MORC (Minnesota Off Road Cyclists) has offered to assist with the local cash match in the amount of $8,000 cash and $2,000 in-kind match, leaving Wright County to contribute $27,500. Mattice said the plan would be to complete the project in 2016 so it will have no impact on the 2015 Budget. The County’s match cannot include use of County equipment or employees. Mattice said MORC contributed $8,000 last year and one mile of the trail was completed.
In response to questions by the Board, Mattice indicated that the Grant was not discussed at the last Bertram Lakes Advisory Committee or Parks Commission Meetings. He received the information on the Grant after both of those Meetings had occurred. However, the plan for Bertram includes 10 miles of single-track, stacked-loop mountain bike trails. This grant would cover 6 miles. Sawatzke asked if the decision could be made in the future not to proceed and Mattice confirmed that it could. Daleiden moved to authorize the Parks Administrator to apply for a grant through the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program to construct 6 miles of sustainable Mount Bike Trails at Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #15-05 relating to the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Application which states local support, match contributions, and future maintenance of the Trail. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 1-28-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter stated that since the Committee Meeting, staff from IT and Law Library visited the former Sheriff’s Office area on the First Floor. It was felt the space would not provide a good fit for either area, partially due to the pillars. Potter said the IT Director thought either expanding into the Law Library space or utilizing the space on Second Floor Annex (former Assessor’s Office) may be options. A report will be brought to a future Building Committee Meeting. Sawatzke said IT would like a training room at the Government Center. Currently, employees are trained at the Human Services Center. It has not been determined whether the training room at the Human Services Center will remain or be abandoned. Part of the discussion will be how often employees are trained in that room.
Discussion moved to the Sheriff Impound Lot. Sawatzke said there was discussion on whether lighting should be included in the bid. It was felt there would be advantages to bidding this out separately but that has not been decided. Sawatzke thought the Committee agreed that fencing should be separated from the bid and that it would be completed after the building. The County may want to obtain an opinion from the Architect on lighting. They want to avoid potential problems associated with which vendor is ultimately responsible for lighting.
Sawatzke asked whether the Highway Engineer will be assisting with the grading quotes and whether the Highway Department will provide material or perform some of the work. Potter responded that a soil analysis was completed, and the cost of grading went up because of the amount of topsoil. The base material will be provided by the Highway Department. Sawatzke said the County will be able to use this topsoil elsewhere.
Daleiden referenced Sawatzke’s comment about the fence being done later. He said it actually needs to be completed first because of the need to move vehicles from the Highway Department to the Impound Lot. Capt. Todd Hoffman said timing will be dependent on final approval by the County Board but said it would be best to complete the building and the fencing at one time. This is because 225’ of the building is part of the fence structure. If they are able to complete the building and the fence at the same time, they may be able to complete that within the Highway Department’s time frame. He will work with the Highway Department on when vehicles need to be moved. There is the option of using temporary fencing for the 225’.
Potter said the Purchasing Agent suggested using the State Contract for the fencing versus a regular contractor for a possible cost savings. Sawatzke said lighting may be through the State Contract as well. Capt. Hoffman understands that fencing will be off the bid specifications for the impound lot. With regard to lighting, the building can have lighting for the impound lot along the 225’ section of the exterior of the building. However, that is where the concern came in with the potential of two electrical contractors. Those items will be brought back to the Building Committee and Board to make those final determinations. Sawatzke made a motion to approve the 1-28-15 Building Committee Minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously. The Minutes of the Building Committee Meeting follow:
I. Possible Relocation of Law Library.
Potter said this topic is related to the potential future expansion of the Information Technology Department (IT). He mentioned three possible options for consideration:
1) Expand IT into the present Law Library office space.
2) Occupy the area that previously housed the Sheriff’s Office prior to construction of the Law Enforcement Center (LEC).
3) Utilize the former Assessor’s office on the second floor of the Annex Building as additional IT work space.
Sawatzke asked Tagarro to explain the additional space needs of the IT Department. Tagarro said if the IT Department adds staff in the future, they are limited in their present space. The Law Library space would be ideal for training. Currently, the IT Department had to move an existing storage space to make room for a workstation. Long-term, Tagarro said a contiguous space would work best. There are different divisions within the IT Department, but they work together.
Potter said the consensus during Budget 2015 discussions last fall was to give Tagarro time to formulate plans for the IT Department, as he had only recently been hired. Tagarro will bring forward requests for additional staffing when it becomes necessary. Tagarro said he is still considering a Records Manager position, as well as an OnBase person. They are also waiting for a second level technical support person, and are restructuring IT Help Desk staffing.
Sawatzke asked who uses Room 153. Kelly said primarily IT and the Law Library. Sawatzke asked whether it made sense to remodel the former Assessor’s office and the Law Library, or just do one remodel. There are some advantages for IT to take over the former Assessor’s office space, as it is immediately above the IT Department.
Potter said moving IT to the second floor would allow less continuity than keeping the entire Department on the first floor. He did not have a cost comparison between moving IT into the Law Library space or upstairs to the former Assessor’s office. Potter said the latter option requires very little remodeling, and may be the most cost-effective option for the Law Library in the event the Courts move out of the Government Center (GC) in the future.
Sawatzke asked how many square feet are in the Law Library area. Hayes said it is 1,301 square feet. The former Assessor’s area is 2,021 square feet. Sawatzke said he felt the current Law Library space is adequate, and the need for additional office space for weekly attorney meetings with clients can be accommodated with other conference rooms. He expressed concern about the Law Library relocating to the former Assessor’s space and then expanding into the additional 700 square feet.
Norgren said she could downsize her space needs somewhat. The main issue is finding space for the three volunteer attorneys who counsel clients every Thursday. They do not have enough space to provide private meetings for the clients. She said they sometimes utilize Room 120 across the hall.
Potter said they asked Barb Gabrelcik, County Recorder, whether her Department could use some of the former Assessor’s office space. She said she has no need to expand, as they are in the process of converting to electronic records.
Sawatzke asked the availability of computer training space in County Buildings. Kelly said the Human Services Center (HSC) has a computer training room. Tagarro said it has dedicated computer work stations. Sawatzke asked whether there is space by the new Assessor’s Office in the former Sheriff’s area. Hayes said there is none. Sawatzke asked about the former Attorney’s Office area across the hall. Hayes said there is 2,912 square feet in the vacant offices on the first floor of the Courthouse, with one conference room, eleven offices, and one restroom. However, part of that space is currently rented out. The tenant could be relocated elsewhere in the GC if that area was determined to be the best option for the IT expansion.
Tagarro said another goal is to create a space for IT staff who currently work at HSC and LEC. They have to find an empty cube or share a spot on someone’s desk when they come to the IT Department to work.
Sawatzke asked how many square feet Tagarro needs for a training room. Tagarro said the Law Library space would work, as would the former Assessor’s area. Hayes said the training room would require individual computer stations. Tagarro said there are other options, including virtual desktops, which wouldn’t require new computers. They plan to test some Digital Visual Interface (DVI) systems.
Sawatzke said he could foresee the day when IT moves into the current Law Library space. However, he did not want the Library to have to move twice in the event a new Courts building is built, as the Law Library would likely move with it.
Sawatzke asked how many offices there are in the former Assessor’s area. Hayes said there are two enclosed offices and a semi enclosed space. Tagarro said the open space is ideal for the training room. Sawatzke said one of the offices would work as a meeting place for attorneys and Law Library clients. Norgren said the visits usually stretch to two hours. Norgren said she and her employee make their offices available for the attorney/client meetings.
Sawatzke said conference room 153 would be a viable option for the IT Department to absorb in a year or so, as that room could be replicated elsewhere. Planning & Zoning also have a conference room across the hall. Riley said that room is frequently in use. However, it could be available short-term on Thursday mornings. Kelly said at some point the Courts area will be added onto the existing LEC building. At that point, the Law Library and Court Services would move with Court Administration. He said a comprehensive study of all facilities would be prudent.
Sawatzke said the County is moving forward on an $18 million project for the Highway Department. Once that commences, the County will incur the largest debt in its history. He said the present Library space is working, and he saw no need to relocate it. He suggested that IT move part of their Department into the former Assessor’s office area or the former Sheriff’s office space. Tagarro said they have a network closet in the former Assessor’s area already.
Potter asked if Sawatzke would prefer to move IT to the former Assessor’s office. Potter said perhaps moving IT into the former Assessor’s office would prove to be more cost effective. Sawatzke said a decision should be made to determine whether this would be a temporary or permanent move. Simply adding a training room would not require much investment. There are two offices in that area. Sawatzke said they could be made available for the attorney/Law Library client meetings when needed.
Tagarro said there is a natural division in IT between Development and Infrastructure/client services. He said the Development team could move to the second floor, and the training room could be built there.
Potter said he would like Tagarro to look at the former Sheriff’s space on the first floor of the Courthouse and decide between that space and the former Assessor’s Office. Sawatzke said he envisioned the former Sheriff’s space as a permanent training room. He asked Tagarro if that presented problems for IT. Tagarro said it did not.
There was discussion regarding which spaces were most appropriate for a training room.
Kelly suggested they look at the former Sheriff’s space and the former Assessor’s Office area, and bring back a few proposals. The Law Library will remain where it is. Sawatzke said that location is easier for the public to find. He would prefer a permanent solution.
Recommendation: Direct Information Technology Director to evaluate both the former Sheriff’s area and the former Assessor’s space for future expansion, and report back at a future Building Meeting.
II. Sheriff Impound Lot.
Potter read the recommendations from the 1-14-15 Building Committee minutes:
Authorize the following:
1) Liman Post & Beam to draft project specifications at a cost not to exceed $1000;
2) Coordinate presentation to Buffalo Township Board and the County Planning Commission with the County Planning & Zoning Department.
3) Purchasing will obtain the cost of installing card key locks, an alarm system and cameras to the project;
4) Verify the exterior lighting plan;
5) The Sheriff’s Office will obtain quotes to move vehicles from the existing Impound Lot.
Hoffman said he met with Liman Post & Beam (Liman) this morning. He distributed four drawings of the proposed storage shed layout, including preliminary elevations to be distributed at the Buffalo Township (Township) and Planning & Zoning (P&Z) meetings in February (see attachments). Hoffman said the square footage is the same. The Liman representative drew in floor drains. He will also include a waste trap for flammable liquids in the specifications. Riley said neither the waste trap nor the floor drains flow into the septic system. Code requires them to be separate.
There was discussion regarding the drainage area at the site.
Hoffman said rest rooms were also redrawn. Sawatzke asked how many staff will be in the building at one time. Sawatzke pointed out that the drawings indicate two restrooms. He asked Riley to check with Craig Schulz, County Building Official, regarding the necessity for having two restrooms in the proposed storage building. Riley said he will also review the need for both floor drains in the restrooms. Hoffman said Schulz indicated that two restrooms were required due to the size of the building. Hoffman will not object if one can be eliminated. Potter said questions were raised at the 1-14-15 Building Committee meeting regarding whether the restrooms should be segregated by gender. Sawatzke said Riley will investigate whether one restroom will suffice. Riley said State building code requires it.
Hoffman said there is a sixteen foot sidewall with a fourteen foot door. The three foot line on the side of the building is a different color tone to break up the appearance. There will be two different panels with trim. Liman said there would be a small labor charge, but due to the building size, it will not be significant. The trusses were changed to 12.375 instead of a 12 pitch. Riley said he will go over the details of the code with Schulz. Hoffman said these plans are for the Township Board and P&Z. Riley said they are conceptual drawings.
Hoffman said the Township or P&Z may require changes. Once they are finalized, the plans would go to the engineer selected to draft code plans, placement of the fire wall, and so forth. Hayes said his understanding was that the County Board wanted the builder to do the engineering plans versus the County contracting with an engineer. Hoffman said the reason for the potential $1,000 expense with Liman is because they would help the County with bid specifications to provide continuity with plans that go out for bid. Once bids are received, Liman would provide engineered plans.
Hayes said Borrell expressed concern that competitive bids are received. Sawatzke said he didn’t read any directives regarding architects from prior meeting minutes. Hoffman said they discussed costs of up to $2,500 for engineered plans. His concern is that the plans are comparable. Hayes said they were close to having plans sufficient for sending out bids, rendering architectural services unnecessary. Sawatzke asked who will determine the specifications without engineered plans. Hayes said the County has done this for two buildings at the Fairgrounds. The low bid is reviewed by the County Building Official to ensure it meets code. Hoffman said the Fairground buildings were more basic than the proposed Sheriff’s storage building, which has a fire wall. The engineer will provide those plans for $2,500.
Riley said neither P&Z nor the Township requires engineered plans. That decision is up to the Board. Sawatzke said they want the engineer to draw the plans so that multiple companies can bid.
Hoffman said his initial thought was to submit the plans to Buffalo Township and Planning & Zoning first. Once the plans are finalized, they would go before the County Board, who would approve going forward with the selected engineer.
Sawatzke asked if the Board approved the $2,500 expense for engineered plans. Potter said he recalled the discussion but not a vote. Kelly concurred.
There was discussion about the steps, the mezzanine, the types and number of vehicles, and the utilization of space.
Hayes asked for clarification regarding whether the plan was to hire an architect or ask for a design/build model. Potter said a design/build model would save money. Riley said it would have to be stamped and certified by an appropriate professional. Sawatzke asked if the County could create specifications. Hoffman said he has concerns with a design/build model. Hayes said Schulz will advise them regarding code issues. Sawatzke said he wants the building to meet the needs of the Sheriff’s Office. He also wants to obtain competitive bids.
Hawkins said these plans are the layout of the proposed storage building. The County can either hire for construction drawings, or do a design/build. There may be three or four contractors vying for the bid. Hayes clarified that Hawkins thinks they should hire an architect and do the design internally. Hawkins said that improves the chances it will be done right. Hoffman said $2,500 is the estimated number. Potter said if the County hires an architect, the result will best meet the needs of the County, and will provide the desired plan.
Hoffman referred to the issue of card key access for the proposed building. He said Cheri Nelson, Information Technology Manager, spoke with the City of Buffalo regarding extending Buffalo Fibernet into the Township to reach the proposed storage building. Hoffman said Nelson was told it would not be a problem, as the City already has a conduit there.
There was discussion about how the overhead doors would be opened. Hoffman said most will have a push button on the inside.
There was discussion about the pole barn construction. Hoffman said it would be insulated, with footers for each post, and steel interior walls. Hayes said the entire structure will be tempered or heated. Hoffman said it will have four zones. The shop area for squad conversion will have a supplemental furnace, as the rest of the building will be kept at 50 degrees in the winter.
Hayes said perhaps the Highway Department will do the site preparation for the exterior lighting. He asked whether the County should do the exterior lighting and fencing outside of the project. He said there are two state contract bids on fencing with good pricing. There was additional discussion regarding the needs of the electrician, and screening the site to minimize disturbance to neighboring residents. Riley said the storage building site should be screened with a fence, trees, shrubs, and berms not exceeding five feet high along the property line. The screen is not yet on the plans. Riley said the lighting will have standards for glare and lumens. He said they need a plan for lighting. The lot may be treated differently than the perimeter of the site. Sawatzke said the bid should include bringing the conduit to the power box at the correct location and capping it in preparation for the construction of the building.
Hawkins said they could draft a construction plan for site grading.
There was additional discussion about the types of screening, and how much of the site needs to be in view from the Law Enforcement Center. Hawkins said they can get quotes on the grading plan now. They will obtain a State permit and get several quotes so they can mobilize when the weather allows. Potter said they received an estimate of $150,000 for grading due to the extra topsoil. Potter and Sawatzke agreed that Hawkins should proceed with quotes on grading. Hawkins said they will supply all the material. That should save the County $100,000.
Hayes said they have submitted the Conditional Use Permit application to the Planning Commission. The Township meeting is 2-09-15 and the Planning Commission meeting is 2-12-15. Riley said they should be prepared for feedback from neighboring residents. Hayes said they will use LED lighting that is directed downward, and show them the building. There may be discussion about screening. There was discussion about potential objections from neighbors. Hayes suggested they research fencing options.
Hoffman asked whether it would be beneficial to get an estimate from an architect to bring to the next Building Committee meeting. The only quote received so far is the $2,500 quote from Liman. Sawatzke directed Hoffman to get a firm number from an architect. If it exceeds $2,500, they can get another bid.
Recommendation: Authorize obtaining quotes for grading and a firm bid from an architect.
(End of 1-28-15 Building Committee Minutes)
A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 1-28-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom made a motion to approve the Committee Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Borrell. Borrell said he has received positive feedback from constituents on the Drainage Inspector’s activities. Husom said the Drainage Inspector may make several trips to check an area and doesn’t necessarily bill for each individual trip. Daleiden voiced concern the engineers retained may be asking the Drainage Inspector to complete work that is supposed to be within the scope of the work they are being paid for. He cited providing ditch elevations but is unsure whether that is included as part of their job. It was agreed that contract review and discussion is needed to assure this is not happening. Sawatzke said a goal for the Drainage Inspector is to annually inspect about 30% of the ditches. The Drainage Inspector should speak with the Commissioner representing a particular District on ditch repairs being completed so the Commissioner is aware of the repairs. Daleiden said the Ditch Inspector should determine whether a ditch is functioning as a County ditch and if not, it should be removed from the ditch system. Sawatzke said in some cases, there may be property owners that may not even be aware of a system and are okay with how nature is handling the water. The ditch may not have functioned for decades. In those cases, the ditch could be removed from the ditch system. The motion to approve the Committee minutes carried 5-0. The 1-28-15 Ways & Means Committee Minutes follow:
I. Jail Medical Contract-Health Technician Position (Laid over from the 1-14-15 Meeting).
O’Malley said he talked with the health care provider. They looked at options to reschedule the current Health Technician to cover medication passes. The health care provider does not believe it is possible to hire someone for fewer hours per week. They would have to work for two hours and come back later in the day for another couple of hours. O’Malley said another disadvantage with this arrangement is that there would still be a few medication passes that would have to be done by Corrections Officers. This inconsistency could be problematic and increase the potential for more errors. They have decided to retain the existing process for now. His original request for additional Health Technician hours was purely due to a desire to reduce liability exposure for the County.
Husom said some people are more detail-oriented than others. She suggested O’Malley target those staff that are best suited to such work. He said they already do that, but the Corrections Officers work rotating schedules. It is not possible to assign one person to do medication passes.
There was discussion of corrections case law. O’Malley said they work hard to respond quickly to complaints, which has kept issues to a minimum.
Recommendation: No action taken.
II. Drainage Inspector Compensation.
Michael Young, County Drainage Inspector, distributed six documents (see attachments):
1. Aerial photo of County Ditch 31 Elevations;
2. Aerial photo of Joint County Ditch - 14 Phase I;
3. Summary of Activity July 2014 – January 2015;
4. Payee Report 1-01-14 through 1-01-15;
5. Page 1 of the Appointment by the County of Wright for a Drainage Inspector contract;
6. Drainage Inspection Report for the 1-28-15 County Ways and Means Committee.
Young said he turns in mileage reports monthly. The duties in his report are divided into three parts: Basic Inspections, Elevation Inspections, and Engineer Reports. All sections include equipment and skills needed.
Young said the basic inspections were described in the position posting. He has no issues with that category. Since he was appointed, Young said he has spent fifty percent of his time in the second category doing elevation checks. This requires a durable computer. He has a wireless connection that he carries to the site to enable him to connect to the Continuously Operating Reference Station network (MnCORS) through the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). Young said this allows him to retrieve elevation data on site.
Young said his vehicle is necessary to do elevation checks, as he has driven fifteen miles through plowed fields to get data. The mobile base station, the software, interacting with engineers, and the additional computer skills required is more than what he initially perceived would be required for the Inspector position.
Young said he attempted to do a compensation comparison with the County Surveyor. He was unable to reach anyone regarding what they would charge the County to do a map similar to his aerial map of County Ditch 31.
Young contacted Westwood Professional Services regarding what they would charge to obtain culvert elevations for Ditch 31. They said they would send a crew for an afternoon. Young said it would not take them an entire afternoon, but with travel time, creating the map, use of equipment and mileage, it would be four hours at a cost of $1,000. Young said in 2014 it cost benefitted land owners about $90 for him to do the same work.
Young referred to the Joint Ditch 14 attachment. He made this document for Bolton & Menk, Inc. (Bolton). This document represents almost two full days of elevation checks, digging, and exploratory digs. Young said someone has to be there to get the ground and top of the tile elevations, and determine tile condition. This project is about fifty percent completed. Young has spoken with Bolton and verified that this is the type of data they need for their reports. Young said in his report that he does not have the skill set to do engineer reports, but is able to provide them with data at a savings to benefitted land owners. Both maps required the additional equipment and skills that he possesses.
Young said the required equipment and skill sets were not discussed in the Appointment Contract. He has no problem doing the first tier of duties at the negotiated wage. If he continues with the second tier, Young said the skill set is high enough that he has to ask for an increase.
Husom asked what hourly rate Young was seeking. Sawatzke said Young asked for $60 per hour at a previous Board meeting. Sawatzke said Young is doing a great job, and that Commissioner Borrell said the same. Husom said Young is performing beyond her expectations. Sawatzke said they were not initially seeking someone with surveyor skills. He said a two-tiered compensation plan may be problematic, depending on the level of duties performed. Young said he asked Borrell about that, and he didn’t think it was workable.
Sawatzke said $60 per hour is more than the County Surveyor earns. Husom said the County provides the Surveyor with equipment. Young said that is a significant factor. The County provides the Surveyor with equipment, a vehicle, a subscription to MnCORS, 4G mobile broadband, and the computer needed in the field. Young said all of those things add up in cost, including ink for his printer when creating maps. He is fine with doing the first tier of duties (Basic Inspections) for $30 per hour. Sawatzke said that is comparable with adjacent counties. Young agreed. He asked whether the County wants him to do the second tier of duties (Elevation Inspections). Sawatzke said he has expanded into duties the County had not foreseen, but they are pleased that he is doing them, as long as his work is accurate, which he believes it is. Young said he views the elevation inspections as gathering data for decision makers, not as surveying.
Sawatzke said it may be harder for Young to find baseline elevations. Young said he spoke with Bolton about that. He does not provide sea level elevations. He only works off of relative elevation. Young said the engineers take his figures and converts them to sea level elevations.
Sawatzke said the Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) had acted as the County’s unofficial drainage authority. They provided information like this in the past. They are not licensed surveyors, although he assumes they have some training. The SWCD could be used as a resource and do some surveying.
Young said response times can be longer with the SWCD because they have other projects scheduled. Husom said it isn’t easy to coordinate projects with several different parties. She said Young’s proposal appears to save money, even at an increased hourly rate. Sawatzke said he thought $40 per hour was appropriate, as Young said he is doing more basic inspections than elevation inspections. He reminded Young that once he does an elevation check, he will most likely not have to do another one. Sawatzke said Young may need to look at brush or beaver dams and that if he keeps good records, the costs for determining elevations should decrease. Elevations do not need to be done twice.
Young countered at $45 per hour, which is lower than he initially wanted. He agrees that after elevation checks are done and he moves forward with ditch cleaning, those tasks will become less frequent. This year he will be pushing his equipment a lot.
Husom said she was comfortable with $45 per hour. Sawatzke countered at $40 per hour for 2015, retroactive to 1-01-15, with a review at the end of this year. Young suggested splitting the difference at $42.50 per hour through 2015, retroactive to 1-01-15. Sawatzke and Husom agreed.
Young thanked the Commissioners and said he enjoyed the work and is looking forward to making progress in 2015. Sawatzke said he gave a good report. He asked Young to include mileage per ditch next year, and include breakdowns of the cost if outside parties do work on a ditch.
Recommendation: Increase the hourly compensation of the County Drainage Inspector to $42.50, retroactive to 1-01-15.
(End of 1-28-15 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Correspondence was received from MnDOT District 3 requesting that Wright County appoint one municipal elected official from within Wright County to fill a vacancy on the Region 7W Transportation Policy Board (TPB). The position was previously held by the City of Monticello’s former Mayor Clint Herbst. Wright County may appoint a mayor or councilperson, and preference should be given to appointing elected officials from Municipal State Aid (MSA) cities. MSA cities have a population of over 5,000. Counties with three or more MSA cities outside of the St. Cloud APO’s planning area are entitled to two municipal members. Councilman Vern Heidner from the City of Otsego is Wright County’s other representative serving on the TPB. Potter presented the name of Rob Olson from the Albertville City Council as a potential candidate to fill the vacancy created by Herbst. Olson has a background in engineering and transportation. Potter said this appointment was discussed at the Mayor’s Association Meeting. After discussion, Daleiden made a motion to table discussion for one week and to direct the County Coordinator to email City Administrators in Wright County MSA Cities to seek interest. Potential candidates are to be submitted by the time of the next County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
The Board discussed the County’s contribution to the I-94 West Corridor Coalition. Correspondence was received from the Coalition that includes the 2014 highlights, 2015 State of Minnesota Legislative Priorities, and an invoice for $10,000 for Wright County’s 2015 Membership. Potter said the ultimate goal is to extend the six lanes of I-94 to St. Cloud but the push now is to get to Monticello. Representative Marion O’Neill has introduced a Bill for the section from Albertville to Monticello, and Representative Lucero has introduced a bill for the section of St. Michael to Albertville. If passed, construction would be in 2016. He said the push now is because both parties have an appetite and possible funding for the request. He thought otherwise it may take a couple of years before it is considered again. MnDOT District 3 is looking at spending $5 million in a rehab project between Monticello and Albertville. He stated it would make sense and be more efficient to extend the six lanes now and save the $5 million.
Sawatzke said the group has made great strides. He asked for the fund balance of the I-94 West Corridor, where funding is expended, what work is envisioned, a list of other contributors to the Corridor and amounts, and the annual budget. Potter did not have that information available today. He stated that a lot of the funding is spent lobbying legislators and providing them with materials on the project. He said there needs to be a powerful voice in St. Paul. Information is presented to many committees in order to reach a consensus. He said the majority of funding is for the lobbyist to get this pushed through. The Chamber is providing some staff and a place to stay at no cost.
Sawatzke said the I-94 effort started a few years ago. Earlier, the County was involved with the TH 55 Corridor Coalition. At that time, Sawatzke indicated that if the County contributes to the TH 55 Corridor Coalition they should also contribute to the I-94 Corridor. He thought with this request for funding, the I-94 West Corridor would be jumping far ahead of what was contributed to the TH 55 Corridor Coalition. Sawatzke said the project is in his District and he knows the need. Great strides have been accomplished thus far and he is very supportive of it. However, he wants to know who the other players are in the I-94 West Corridor Coalition so that the County doesn’t become the only player, that there is parity in private versus public, and where the dollars are being expended. Potter said the Monticello Chamber of Commerce is a new member. They have also had about six Monticello businesses join. He said Brett Weis and Jeff O’Neil from the City of Monticello attend the meetings.
Sawatzke said a few years ago the contribution to I-94 West Corridor was $5,000; a couple of years later it went to $8,000. Last year, an invoice was received that indicated Wright County’s due were $8,000. Sawatzke said the County Board then approved a contribution of $7,500 to send a message. The Coalition now requests $10,000. He asked whether the cities that are participating had an increase in dues. Potter said the dues are on a per capita basis, but not for the County. He suggested the Coalition request $10,000 to open the discussion. His opinion is that they need to push hard this year to get the project completed. Otherwise, the effort may not receive much interest on the State level for a few years. Sawatzke asked whether the cities are paying the same as they did last year. Potter responded yes, they are paying on a per capita basis.
Sawatzke made a motion to contribute $7,500 to the I-94 West Corridor Coalition, seconded by Borrell. Sawatzke said the Coalition is doing great work and he receives updates all of the time from Potter. However, he does not know why the County’s dues would increase and others would not. Daleiden said this project benefits the County overall and the County is the larger government agency. Borrell said that next year, he would like to see who is contributing and where it is being spent. Sawatzke said he would like to know the private investment as well. He referenced the TH 55 Coalition and recalled about 85% of the dues-paying members were from private businesses. Sawatzke said there needs to be parity and is unsure whether there is, as he does not have answers to those questions. Potter said some contributions may be based on employee count. Some members are paying over $1,000 each. Sawatzke stated he would like to know how many of those types of members there are. Sawatzke said there is also the component of double taxing, although he said residents in Monticello may have more to gain from this project than residents in other parts of the County. Borrell responded that people from other areas use I-94. He referenced MnDOT District 3 looking at spending $5 million between Monticello and Albertville. He agreed with Potter that it would make sense to hold off on that effort if I-94 is expanded.
Sawatzke asked whether Hennepin County has funded any of this project. Potter said Dayton and Rogers are involved. MET Council is involved because of the Brockton Interchange. That project has not received federal approval at this time. St. Michael has received approval for the Naber Avenue Interchange when the funding becomes available. There was much lobbying involved to gain approval. Sawatzke requested that for future contribution requests that data be provided on the cities and private business that partner in the Coalition. Potter said there are many businesses and individuals that are involved. The motion to contribute $7,500 toward the I-94 West Corridor Coalition carried 4-1 with Potter casting the nay vote.
Daleiden provided information on the 2015 AIS Budget. A total of $326,437 was received from the State and will be spent as follows as determined by the Water Management Board:
Education; $16,437; Remaining education budget (some has already been spent) original funding $20,000
Weed Treatment; $60,000; 50% cost share for AIS treatment up to $5,000 per lake per year
Decontamination; $50,000; $50/boat decontamination voucher on high risk non-violating boats
Example: a boat which doesn’t have visible AIS on it but it was last on a zebra mussel infested body of water
Inspection; $100,000; Roving inspectors
$50,000; For off-duty peace officer presence
Reserve; $50,000
Total: $326,437
Daleiden said inspectors can’t issue tickets but off-duty peace officers can. Inspectors will be trained by the DNR. They are working to establish decontamination sites, possibly with marinas or businesses that work on boats. Car washes are not effective unless the water temperature is above 180 degrees. Sawatzke said there is a new effort to build boats so they do not harbor AIS. Daleiden said this was one of the topics at the AIS Seminar in St. Cloud. This was provided as an informational update.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
1. Nuclear Exercise. Husom and Sawatzke participated in a nuclear exercise (hostile action takeover) in Monticello on 1-29-15. Other participants included members of Human Services, Nuclear, Sheriff, Homeland Security, State Patrol, and Sherburne County. Wright County did well in the exercise. At today’s Board Meeting, the Commissioners commended Launette Figliuzzi for her involvement in this activity and also for her presentation at an American Legion meeting in Delano held recently on veterans’ subjects. Figliuzzi was hired in 2014 as the Veteran Services/Nuclear Director in Wright County.
2. EMS Board. Husom said the group is discussing whether to remain with the Emergency Management Regulatory Board or whether they should move grant procedures over to the Department of Health.
Bills Approved
Aarvig/Nadine $148.85
Albertville Body Shop Inc 1,120.40
Allina Health System 228.12
American Alum. Accessories 2,766.66
Ameripride Services 126.19
Anderson/Tamara 100.00
Aramark Services Inc 7,629.21
Boyer Truck Parts 181.83
BP Amoco 688.57
Buffalo Auto Value 483.87
Buffalo Clinic 337.83
Buffalo Township 1,272.40
Buffalo/City of 11,136.80
Cenex Fleetcard 1,290.94
Center Point Energy 2,248.23
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 4,892.04
Central Fire Protection 227.25
CenturyLink 681.49
Cokato/City of 410.63
Compass Minerals America 17,587.32
Databank IMX LLC 975.00
Design Elect. Inc-Cold Spring 130.00
Engel/Dale L 200.00
Envirotech Services Inc 9,863.70
ESRI 21,200.00
Federated Co-ops Inc 510.04
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc 17,627.50
Gladys Triplett 205.00
Glunz Constr. Septic Serv. LLC 130.00
Gopher State One Call 100.00
Grainger 540.15
Greene Espel PLLP 3,931.00
Greystone Constr. Company 9,560.03
GTS Educational Events 325.00
Haldeman-Homme Inc/Anderson Ladd
Hausmann/Chad 175.99
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 2,347.64
Howard Lake/City of 1,562.20
Indelco Plastics Corp 243.08
Integrated Fire & Security 1,493.02
Intoximeters Inc 234.25
Jans/Brian 390.00
Kustom Signals Inc 405.80
Lacount Sales LLC 405.15
Lake Region Coop Oil-ML 136.07
Laplant Demo Inc 599.78
Lawson Products Inc 1,119.10
Loberg Electric 4,005.85
Lynn Peavey Company 705.00
Madden Galanter Hansen 3,530.96
Maple Lake Township 875.60
Marco 178.58
Marco Inc 6,698.82
Mend Correctional Care LLC 260.59
Midstates Equip and Supply 28,934.00
Midway Iron & Metal Co Inc 361.92
Minncor Industries 4,430.00
MN Dept of Human Services 1,205.67
MN Corrections Association 120.00
MN Counties Comp. Coop. 25,318.99
MN Counties Ins Trust 2,500.00
MN Monitoring Inc 168.00
Moms 5,000.00
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 1,534.41
MSC Industrial Supply Co 215.20
Multi Health Systems Inc 372.60
Munson Lakes Nutrition 189.50
NDR Cables & Networks 137.50
Northern Safety Technology 359.12
Northland Business Systems 2,984.35
Office Depot 2,531.00
Olson & Sons Electric 252.50
Precision Prints of Wright Co 295.00
Purick/Ryan 300.00
Ramacciotti/Frank 100.00
Rockford/City of 2,433.70
Rodriguez/Michael 325.00
Smith Micro Technologies Inc 1,011.00
Special Operations Training 970.00
Sprint 4,355.10
St Cloud Times #1076 240.02
TASC 1,185.00
Thingvold/Lori 100.00
Thrifty White Pharmacy 834.06
Walmart Store 01-1577 381.96
Waverly/City of 287.40
Westside Wholesale Tire 1,052.48
Windstream 180.27
Wright County Highway Dept 364.00
Wright/Jim 125.00
WSB & Associates Inc 926.82
Xcel Energy 1,981.71
31 Payments less than $100 1,612.46
Final Total: $240,359.27
The meeting adjourned at 10:28A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 23, 2015.