Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 2, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, and Borrell present. Commissioner Potter was absent from the meeting, attending the Transportation Fly In in Washington, D.C. Vice Chair Borrell presided at the meeting.
Daleiden moved to approve the 5-26-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
On a motion by Husom, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Daleiden requested that Consent Item G, “Sheriff’s Office-Corrections, Position Replacements: Five Correctional Officer Positions” be moved to Capt. Pat O’Malley’s timed Agenda items for discussion. On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Authorize Attendance, AMC District 5 Meeting, 6-11-15 @ 8:00 A.M., Sherburne County Courthouse
1. Refer Security Camera Upgrades to Building Committee
1. Approve Claims as Listed in the Abstract, Subject to Audit, for a Total of $192,760.92, with 112 Vendors and 152 Transaction
1. Approve Renewal of Annual Club On Sale Liquor License for Cokato Town & Country Club in Cokato Township
2. Approve Renewal of Seasonal On Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License for Clearwater Lions in Clearwater Township
3. Approve Renewal of Annual Off Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License for Olson’s Truck Stop in Silver Creek Township
1. Position Replacement:
A. County Assessor
1. Request that Sgt. Albert Lutgens be temporarily classified as a Lieutenant, and a deputy to be named be temporarily classified as a Sergeant, Effective 7-09-15 through 9-27-15, & Approve Work Out Of Class Pay
Jackie Schmidt, Auditor/Treasurer’s Office, presented the April Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report for approval, which was tabled from the 5-26-15 meeting. Daleiden moved to approve the Report, seconded by Husom, carried 4-0.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, recommended approval of a resolution authorizing eviction at a tax forfeit property located at 1262 County Road 5 NW in Albion Township. The property went tax forfeit last week because of nonpayment of taxes. Asleson said this has been a problem property for a number of years with junk and inoperable vehicles. The resolution will authorize commencement of the eviction action, to include eviction of anyone on the property and their personal possessions. Asleson learned of cleanup efforts by the former owner. Before proceeding with eviction, the property condition will be checked.
Sawatzke asked whether the eviction would stand, whether or not the property is cleaned. Asleson clarified that a certification of forfeiture is recorded so the property is listed in the name of the State. If anyone wishes to contest this action, it would be done through the Courts. The eviction is primarily pointed at people living on the property or their personal property/vehicles. If the property is a bare lot, there would be no need for eviction. If the former owners move back onto the property that would classify as trespassing as they no longer own the property. Asleson said there have been people living on this property even though there are no legal structures.
Borrell asked whether the former property owners can get the tax forfeited property back. Asleson said a property can be repurchased by the prior owner if the County Board adopts a resolution approving the repurchase under the following circumstances: 1) The County Board finds there was a hardship; or 2) The County Board finds it is in the best interest of the property. Based on the history, he thought the Board would be hard pressed to find either one of those reasons.
Asleson thought 2010 was the first year of nonpayment of taxes. A judgement came in the early part of 2011, a three-year redemption period followed, and then another notice was required. The property has been delinquent for a long time but the actual Certificate of Forfeiture was signed by the Auditor/Treasurer last week. Borrell asked how much tax remains unpaid. Asleson said the tax amount gets cancelled upon forfeiture. The majority relates to special assessments by the County for cleaning up from the fire and debris. He estimated this at approximately $20,000. The property is a former school building site and is less than a half-acre size. It is undersized for the purpose of setbacks and sewer requirements. Husom moved to adopt Resolution #15-25 authorizing eviction action for the property located at 1262 County Road 5 NW, Albion Township, PID #201-000-293200. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Moved from the Consent Agenda, discussion occurred on the request to replace five Correctional Officer positions. Daleiden had concern with being short that many staff and the associated overtime. Capt. Pat O’Malley, Jail Administrator, said Corrections will actually be short ten staff (eight open, one on military leave, and one resignation received yesterday). The overtime line item was at about 40% at the end of April for approximately 30% of the year. Overtime is being used as these are mandatory positions. O’Malley explained the process to hire for Correctional Officers involving background checks and psychological evaluations. The positions are filled from a list of eligible applicants, and a new list has just been completed. It takes about 2-4 weeks for applicants to return background information. Once received, it takes the Investigator 2-3 weeks to complete the background check, and the investigator processes 2-3 background checks at a time. O’Malley said if an applicant doesn’t pass either the background check or the psychological evaluation, the process starts over and 2-3 months can be lost. Recruitment has been an issue as more positions are open in the private sector. Daleiden moved to approve the request to replace five Correctional Officer positions. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
O’Malley requested approval to renew the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with the MN Dept. of Corrections for Work Release services for FY 2016. He said it is identical to past contracts for work release. Discussion followed on State Law that reimburses counties $55/day for boarding of work release inmates. Sawatzke said the fee has remained constant since 1991. However, when the County renews the Sentence-To-Service Contract with the State, it includes an increase to compensate for increases in salary of State workers. He said counties should be able to receive a percentage increase with the work release contract as he said County employees’ wages have not remained the same since 1991. Daleiden said this is an issue that should be presented to the local legislators. Daleiden moved to to renew the JPA with the MN Dept. of Corrections for Work Release services for FY 2016. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0.
O’Malley presented a renewal contract with Turnkey Corrections to provide jail commissary services. Turnkey has been utilized since 2008 at no cost. It is an agreement that includes accounting software, managing inmate funds coming into the Jail, and several other services. Daleiden moved to approve signatures on the Turnkey Corrections contract renewal, seconded by Husom, carried 4-0.
Launette Figliuzzi, Veteran Services Director, requested adoption of a resolution to enter into a Grant Contract with the MN Department of Veteran Affairs to conduct the “County Veterans Service Office Operation Enhancement Grant Program for FY 2015. The amount of the Grant is $15,000 and funding must be expended by 6-30-15. The intent of the Grant is to increase the operational enhancement of the Veterans Service Office to provide outreach and technological support. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #15-26, seconded by Husom, carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 5-27-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. Sawatzke said that the County must follow comp worth law. There is an exception in law that allows hiring above range if there is a problem with recruiting. Minnesota is the only State that requires points to be applied to every position and pay relative to other positions. It is hard to take market into account because to a certain extent the County is prohibited from doing so except under this exception in the comp worth law. The motion carried 4-0. The Personnel Committee Minutes follow:
I. Hiring & Retaining Qualified Information Technology Personnel.
Kelly discussed the difficulties encountered with hiring and retaining qualified Information Technology candidates in the last year. He said Human Resources has tried a variety of recruitment methodologies. The main issue is compensation. Kelly said the challenge is that the County is competing with both the public and private sectors.
Tagarro said they recently completed their sixth recruitment for a position. The primary challenge occurs with mid-level technology positions.
Sawatzke said counties in Minnesota are required to apply a certain number of points to a position. He asked if other counties are struggling in a similar fashion.
Hesse said she sent out a request for information to six comparable Minnesota counties. The only one that addressed this situation was Carver County. She said they developed an attraction retention salary range specifically for Information Technology (IT) positions. They utilize a Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) with a bargaining unit when they are unable to attract or retain people.
Sawatzke directed Hesse to obtain information from the other counties, and proceed with developing a Market Adjustment Policy. He said this could apply to other Departments as well as IT.
Husom agreed if it helps to attract qualified candidates. She said there are other advantages to working in the public sector over the private, such as stability.
There was discussion about utilizing a Market Adjustment Policy when there is an existing employee working in a similar position and earning less. It was decided that no answer to that question would be obtainable at today’s meeting.
Hesse said criteria must be developed to quantify when a position qualifies for implementation of the Market Adjustment Policy. C. Nelson said the County is not only competing with the Twin Cities employment market, but also St. Cloud.
Kelly said they will move forward with developing a definition of the Market Adjustment Policy and identify solutions, to be brought to a subsequent Personnel Committee. He said this could also be addressed in the County Personnel Policy.
1) Proceed with drafting a Market Adjustment Policy and criteria for implementation; and
2) Identify solutions for attracting qualified Information Technology candidates.
II. MnCHOICES Staff Requests (HS Board).
III. Performance Review – Lee Kelly, County Coordinator.
Recommendation: Based on three reviews received, the Committee recommends a rating of “Exceeds Expectations.”
(End of 5-27-15 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 5-27-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-0. The Technology Committee Minutes follow:
I. Discuss Role of Technology Committee.
Tagarro said this is a continuation of the 4-22-15 Technology Committee discussion. He distributed two documents entitled:
1) “Wright County Technology Committee Charter,” and;
2) “Carver County PM/BA Group – Presentation by Marilyn McCarter. February 28, 2011.”
Tagarro said he created a Committee Charter outlining the mission statement, expectations, goals, and rules regarding how members should prioritize projects. He said he used the word “steering committee” versus “committee” that manages or dictates decisions. He prefers the freedom of operation that the “steering committee” description affords.
Tagarro said the categories listed after the Mission Statement on the charter document include Approval Responsibilities, Membership Roles, and Meeting Schedule and Process. Those will be added to the Charter at a later date.
Partlow expressed approval of the Charter. Borrell confirmed that the County Board will make the final decision with the Technology Committee (Committee) recommendations, as it does with other committees.
Daleiden said this Committee will help the Information Technology (IT) Department manage projects coming in from various departments. Tagarro said this Committee will provide a County-wide view of technology for all departments. There are technology committees at the department level that are unaware of other technology projects. This will keep them informed. Kelly said that is a key point, because departments need to understand where their project falls on the technology priority list.
Tagarro said he would like representatives from every department on the Committee. Daleiden said that will be important, for example, when the County transitions to Office 365 in the future. County-wide training on the new system will be critical. Tagarro said they hope to launch Office 365 in 2017, but planning has begun.
C. Nelson suggested adding training to the Charter. Daleiden said baseline training would be a good idea. Each department will also have their own, more specific training for Office 365. Hiivala clarified that the training being added is enterprise training. Tagarro said he would add training language to the Charter.
Daleiden said the Committee should also discuss whether it would be prudent to bring in someone to conduct department and individual training for Office 365. Tagarro said this Committee would be a good forum for that discussion. Hiivala added that departments will need to be trained on SharePoint as well.
Tagarro said he will complete the last three sections of the Charter (Approve Responsibilities, Membership Roles, and Meeting Schedule and Process) and send the final draft to Committee members for feedback.
There was discussion regarding how often the Committee should meet. The consensus was to schedule the Committee on the second committee day of the month at 11 A.M. The next meeting will be in June, and will be established as a continuous meeting for the time being.
Hiivala asked if Committee members should send a proxy if they are unable to attend. Tagarro said yes. Daleiden said proxy members should be updated by the primary member regarding the topics to be discussed. He asked whether there are other potential Committee members who should be invited. Kelly said there is an established Committee membership listing. They can invite others at the Leadership Team meeting so departments without representation may indicate their interest. Tagarro said he is open to having membership from every department.
Daleiden asked whether Committee agendas will be on the Intranet so all departments have access to them. Nelson said the IT project management list on the Intranet can be updated with Committee information.
Tagarro transitioned the discussion to the definition of “project,” and establishing a process for project initiation. He distributed the second document that was originally presented by Scott County to Carver County in February. Scott County has an IT Governance Committee. This document describes the criteria for defining, evaluating and prioritizing projects. Tagarro said their IT Governance Committee is similar to the County Technology Committee.
Hiivala asked how project requests are channeled. Tagarro said project proposals are first addressed at the department level first and discussed at one of the five sub-technology committees. All major project proposals should initially be routed through one of those committees, and then forwarded to the IT Department.
Tagarro said there are significant behind-the-scenes costs for technology projects, including services, staff time, licenses, and maintenance. He recommended that the Committee utilize the Scott County document as a template for their Committee. He said it would serve as a guide to determine whether the proposed project is forwarded to the Committee. A proposed project would be evaluated regarding how it fits with all other County projects.
Daleiden said the sub-technology committees could use the same template to determine the feasibility of their project, and once IT receives it, they will consider it from an enterprise perspective.
Borrell asked Tagarro to post major projects on the Intranet. Tagarro agreed. Daleiden said it will also be important to define the number of hours it takes to complete major and minor projects.
Tagarro said he will continue working on the Committee Charter. He will also modify the Scott County template to define the evaluation process for projects that come before the Technology Committee.
1) Schedule Technology Committee meetings on the second Committee day of the month at 11 A.M.;
2) Develop Technology Committee Charter and add language that training will be provided for systems used across the enterprise; and
3) Develop guidelines for evaluating projects for review by the Technology Committee.
(End of 5-27-15 Technology Committee Minutes)
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, was in contact with the BCA to schedule a tour for the County Board. The suggested date is 6-22-15 from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Sawatzke moved to schedule the BCA Crime Lab Tour on 6-22-15 at 9:00 A.M., seconded by Husom. The motion carried 4-0.
Husom made a motion to authorize Kelly to contact the Tri County Regional Forensic Lab to schedule a tour, with a suggested tour date of 7-01-15. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 4-0.
Kelly said a letter was sent to the Administrators of Anoka and Sherburne Counties requesting their elected officials be notified of Wright County’s request for a 60 percent population and 40 percent usage funding split for the Tri County Regional Forensic Lab. In phone conversations with the two Administrators, Kelly learned the desire is that the funding formula be discussed at the Tri County Lab Advisory Board Meeting. The letter from Anoka County also reflects that their County Board requests this matter be resolved through the Tri County Lab Advisory Board at their 8-11-15 meeting.
Sawatzke said that Wright County should proceed with providing an opt-out notice for participation in the JPA for the Forensic Lab. He has requested review of the funding formula for 7-8 years and the response always is to push that decision into the future.
Daleiden said he understood that the funding formula came out of a meeting by the Sheriffs of the member Counties. Husom said that was the case, and the County Attorneys from each County attended as well. They became the funding formula committee, which is separate from the Advisory Board. Sawatzke said the discussion should be between the Commissioners of the member Counties, as the Sheriffs and Attorneys have no statutory authority on budgeting. Asleson said he attended a meeting after the Sheriffs had met. He said his role was not that of a decision maker but more for guiding the legalities. Sawatzke said the letter received from Anoka County suggests the matter be resolved through the Tri County Lab Advisory Board, but they do not have the legal authority.
Husom recalled that the funding formula was to be discussed six months after the Forensic Lab became accredited for DNA. Sawatzke said the first time the JPA included funding based on population was a year ago. He asked staff to research history of when the Forensic Lab has been discussed pertaining to the funding formula. Sawatzke said the intent is that if there is not action by 6-23-15, the County Board will provide a notice to opt out of the JPA. Husom suggested a meeting with the County Boards of Anoka and Sherburne Counties. She brought the funding formula up at the Tri County Lab Advisory Board Meeting last August. Sawatzke said the other Counties can be informed that a meeting should be held. He said for about seven years, he has been told that the funding formula will be reviewed. Part of the situation may be that the players change and may not realize what has occurred.
Husom said the Forensic Lab is doing incredible work and the County is fortunate to be able to have evidence analyzed so quickly. She would like to make this work. Sawatzke said he is not against the JPA; he just does not feel Wright County should subsidize Anoka County. Borrell said about 80 Minnesota Counties utilize the BCA exclusively and do not pay anything extra, so they must feel they are being well served. Touring both facilities may bring some insight. He agreed with Sawatzke that there needs to be a way to make the funding formula more fair. Kelly said his intent today was to make sure the Commissioners received Anoka County’s response. The Sherburne County Board has this topic on their Agenda today. He will pass along any correspondence that is received.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
1. Fair Board. Borrell attended the Fair Board Meeting on 6-01-15. Discussion included cement for the hoop building at an estimated cost of about $25,000. They are still seeking contractors to perform the work. Interested contractors should contact Dennis Beise or one of the County Board members.
2. Bertram Chain of Lakes. On 5-30-15, Sawatzke participated with other volunteers in placing 15 dump truck loads of wood chips at the new playground area at Bertram Chain of Lakes. The grand opening of the playground and beach area is scheduled for 6-27-15.
3. Central MN EMS Meeting. Husom attended a meeting on 5-29-15 where highlights from the Legislative Session were provided. The EMS Regional Board had some problems and was looking at moving the eight EMS Regions in the State to be under the direction of the MN Department of Health. Positive changes have been made; therefore, the statutory language will not change and the Regions will remain under the Regional Board. There was also legislation regarding Narcan Grants and providing Narcan to ambulance services so people can be treated immediately. This past year, the Buffalo Police Department and Monticello Fire Department received grants for training of their first responders and for refreshers. About $48,000 in grant funding was distributed for training in the Region.
4. Cedar Lake Conservation Club. The Cedar Lake Conservation Club will hold a Purple Martin Fest and Expo on 6-06-15 from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. at Schroeder Park. There is free parking and no charge for admittance. The key note speaker is Jim Gilbert, Naturalist for WCCO Radio.
5. Operation Groundhog Day. Husom said the EMS is looking for volunteers for the Operation Groundhog Day on 6-26-15 from 11:15 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. at the St. Michael-Albertville High School. Public health agencies will test how quickly they can administer medications in the case of a large disease outbreak. Counties involved include Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Mille Lacs, Sherburne and Wright. They are looking for 200 volunteers. Contact Terri at 763-682-7516 or register online on the Wright County website.
Bills Approved
AGC Networks Inc $1,824.70
Alexandria Technical College 800.00
American Databank LLC 554.80
Annandale Rock Products 484.10
Anoka County Sheriff 27,165.25
Aramark Services Inc 14,880.46
Black Box Resale Services 5,176.00
BP Amoco 187.74
Buffalo Plumbing & Heating 1,780.95
C & C Embroidery 977.00
CDW Government Inc 2,208.08
Cenex Fleetcard 983.44
Central MN Mental Health Ctr. 261.85
CenturyLink 138.71
Chamberlain Oil Co 578.60
Clark/Kaitlyn 250.00
Climate Air 315.90
Commissioner of Transport. 842.37
Contech Construction Prod. t 2,995.20
Core Professional Services 800.00
Croteau Plumbing 465.96
Dell Marketing LP 1,070.04
Duraco Inc 290.97
Emergency Auto. Tech Inc 9,189.25
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
GCS Service Inc 192.42
Grainger 391.94
Granite Pest Control Services 209.45
H M Cragg Co 1,575.00
H&R Const Co 3,575.00
Hagen, Christensen & McIlwain 73,200.58
Hesse/Sunny 166.50
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 1,476.02
Integrated Fire & Security 5,490.00
Intereum Inc 6,118.04
Laplant Demo Inc 1,155.60
Lenneman/Tyler 114.99
Marco Inc 3,002.30
Menards - Buffalo 442.43
Mend Correctional Care LLC 920.88
Midwest Protection Agency Inc 1,737.83
Midwest Safety Counselors Inc 504.05
Milana P Tolins LLC 100.00
Mini Biff LLC 135.66
Minncor Industries 970.00
MN Supreme Court 762.00
Net Transcripts Inc 141.29
Office Depot 791.49
Precision Prints of Wright Co 198.79
Royal Tire Inc 375.89
Russell Security Resource Inc 508.00
Scuba Center 461.00
SHI International Corp 4,807.00
Suburban Emergency Assoc.PA 136.18
Thrifty White Pharmacy 1,706.98
Varidesk 435.00
Victor Township 447.20
Walmart Community RFCS 1,208.37
Windstream 180.33
Woodland Township 881.50
Zacks Inc 764.44
Zuercher Technologies LLC 1,695.00
23 Payments less than $100 1,204.01
Final total $192,760.92
The meeting adjourned at 10:09 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal June 22, 2015.