Wright County Board Minutes

JULY 21, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Husom moved to approve the 7-14-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Items were petitioned to the Agenda as follows: 9:16 A.M., Auditor/Treasurer, “Set Official Amount of Public Works Bond Issuance” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. B, “Authorize Attendance, MSP Regional Indicators Dashboard 2015” (Potter); and Item For Consid. C, “Discuss County Website Calendar” (Daleiden). Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
Authorize Signatures On 2014-2015 Law Enforcement Contract Addendum with City of Albertville, increasing contract hours by four per day, , Eff. 7-01-15 through 12-31-15
Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, June Claim - $13,009.23
Appoint Tony Rasmuson as County Assessor through 12-31-16
D. Auditor/Treasurer - Claims
Approve Claims as Listed in the Abstract, Subject to Audit, for a Total of $368,354.02, with 159 Vendors and 224 Transactions
Position Replacement:
1. .8 Health Promotion Coordinator
Position replacement:
1. Technical Support Specialist
Position Replacement:
. Office Technician I Position
SHANNON NOLAN – (Southside Twp.) Planning Commission unanimously recommends approval of the rezoning of approximately ten acres from AG General Agriculture to R-2a Suburban Residential
Position Replacement:
1. Deputy
Position Replacement:
1. GIS Specialist
Adam Tagarro, IT Director, introduced Nikki Shiwakoti who was recently hired as a Programmer in the Information Technology Department. Shiwakoti was welcomed.
Tony Rasmuson, County Assessor, recognized Greg Kramber, former County Assessor. A reception is being held in recognition of Kramber’s service today from 1:00-4:00 P.M. at the Government Center. Kramber recently resigned from his position as County Assessor to continue rehabilitation from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Kramber was presented with a plaque honoring his 22 years of service to Wright County.
Rasmuson described Kramber as an extraordinary man with drive and determination, and someone who has been an inspiration to those that know him. Rasmuson stated that he and staff from the Assessor’s Office will continue to support Kramber as he continues to rehabilitate.
Kramber extended thanks to the County Board and Wright County residents for the opportunity to serve for 22 years. Potter thanked Kramber who offered vision for the future of the Assessor’s Office. Kramber said staff in the Assessor’s Office are dedicated.
Randy DesMarais, former Chief Deputy Assessor, has known Kramber for 26 years. He said Kramber expressed interest in working for the County and was hired in 1992. In 2001, Kramber was hired as the County Assessor. DesMarais said Kramber was a great boss and leader. He congratulated Kramber on his retirement.
Sawatzke said the former County Board was supportive of the hire of Kramber as Assessor due to his attitude and enthusiasm, and the Board has never regretted that decision. He described Kramber as dedicated and a great employee that often worked Saturdays. Sawatzke also recognized the staff of the Assessor’s Office. He thought Kramber’s enthusiasm and leadership transpired through the Department, resulting in the positive attitude that exists. He also received calls from constituents who conveyed that they had met with Kramber about their assessed values. Although it ended up that they were not happy with their assessed values, they said Kramber treated them with respect. It was so outstanding that they passed that compliment onto Sawatzke. Board members thanked Kramber and wished him well in the future.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, and Mike Young, Wright County Ditch Inspector, requested approval to proceed with repair/clean out of County Ditch 30. Young said bids were sought on the repair, with only one contractor submitting a bid:
Ed Rettman Jr Excavating, Hutchinson MN
Clean 10,500’ of Ditch 30, level and disc.
Remove trees from slopes one rod wide from top of slope, burn and spray.
Mobilization and two tile outlets included. No seeding included.
Insurance certificate furnished upon acceptance of bid.
Amount of Bid: $35,000
Young stated that Ditch 30 is located in Cokato Township and was redetermined in 1984. The work is anticipated to begin shortly after award. A map of the area was referenced. The trees near the bottom of this portion of the Ditch are large and dense. Some landowners on the Ditch have cut down trees but they will need to be moved. A number of outlets will need to be repaired, but the remainder will just require clean up around them. Potter asked whether the SWCD has been involved. Young said that there are no wetland issues with this Ditch. Discussion led to maintaining the Ditch. Sawatzke suggested Young work with the SWCD to obtain suggested cover crops. Information could then be sent to landowners indicating that without them adopting maintenance practices, future costs could be expensive.
Hiivala said at the 7-20-15 Committee Of The Whole Meeting, Kurt Deter provided information on a new law requiring a buffer on both sides of ditches. Sawatzke said trees can be in a buffer area but can create future problems. He thought the County should provide information to landowners on maintaining buffer areas. Hiivala said the plan would be to notify landowners on the Ditch. He supports programs offered through the SWCD. Borrell said that Deter explained at the Committee Of The Whole Meeting that buffers are a good thing. Borrell does not support the forced action, but thinks most farmers see the value in the buffer.
Discussion followed on holding an informational meeting for landowners on Ditch 30. Discussion can include the new law on the required one rod buffer strip and maintenance of the Ditch. The notice of the meeting will also indicate that work will be performed in the ditch.
Tyler and Scott Carlen are landowners along Ditch 30. They conveyed that maintenance has not been done on the Ditch and is overdue. They spoke of the efforts expended in trying to maintain the Ditch, including removal of 54 beavers and multi-tier dams since 1998.
Sawatzke asked about where spoils will be deposited. Young said spoil banks are allowed but the contractor will disc them. Seeding is not included in the bid. This is the landowner’s responsibility per the new State law. Daleiden has concern that the work will be completed and the area not seeded. Another option would be spraying of the Ditch. S. Carlen suggested that the Board authorize landowners to spray the Ditch for trees, possibly twice per year. It will be a benefit to the Ditch and cost less to landowners to maintain over the years. Sawatzke stated that this maintenance cost will be the responsibility of benefited landowners; the County cannot expend funds to maintain the Ditch. S. Carlen referenced the property at the end of this section of Ditch 30. He said the property is owned by a church and it may be hard to get them to have interest in maintenance. Sawatzke thought the renter of the land could take care of the buffer area.
Hiivala said that maintenance of the Ditch should be discussed at the informational meeting. The requested action today would be to approve the bid from Ed Rettman Jr. Excavating. Borrell moved to approve the bid from Ed Rettman Jr. Excavating to clean 10,500’ of Ditch 30, level and disc, at a cost not to exceed $35,000. The motion was seconded by Husom. Daleiden offered a friendly amendment to the motion to authorize proceeding with the work but to make sure that letters are sent to all benefited landowners on Ditch 30 and that an informational meeting be set up. Borrell and Husom accepted the friendly amendment to the motion and it carried 5-0. Hiivala asked for clarification on whether the informational meeting needs to be held prior to work being started. Daleiden said the letter should be sent to landowners prior to the work commencing so they are aware of the repairs to Ditch 30. The letter should reference the State Law that Deter cited in his letter and include information on where a person can go to look up the information.
Hiivala asked the Board to set the bond amount for the new Public Works facility, as requested by bond counsel. Discussion followed on issuance costs, which include underwriters and financial advisors. Daleiden moved to set the official amount of the bonding at $17 million to include issuance costs. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
Duane Northagen, Wright County Economic Development Partnership (WCEDP), said a marketing strategy for the EDP was approved in the 2014 budget. Last fall, assistance was solicited from Janna King, Economic Development Services, Inc. He introduced King, and WCEDP Board Members Mike Bauer, Tim Zipoy, and Wayne Bauernschmitt who were present for discussion today. King provided an overview of a PowerPoint presentation on the marketing strategy.
King said that marketing is a good county-level role and an up-to-date website is important. Daleiden said the City of Otsego has commercial sites listed on their website. He suggested that realtors and developers contact the EDP on properties that are available. King said that culture needs to be created and utilized collaboratively on a regular basis. The MN Commercial Association of Realtors changed their platform and resulted in an increased charge to the State to utilize the information. The result is that platform is no longer available. Sawatzke was surprised to hear that. He formerly served on the WCEDP and that website was a large selling point. It was to be a clearinghouse for the greater Twin Cities area. King said that information was available for about five years. Then MNCAR wanted to charge over $100,000/year to DEED and $70,000/year to MSP. The Metro MSP passed the website to the Greater MSP.
Potter said Wright County is competing with other counties and states for growth. The County needs to prepare and be ready for development opportunities. King said that it is about building trust, and being responsive and consistent.
Sawatzke said that when businesses choose a location they look at customer base, suppliers, where raw materials will come from, and whether there is a labor pool. Another significant factor are transportation corridors. He said new websites provide value but often underestimate these things that businesses and corporations are looking for when choosing a location. He conveyed that if there is a price tag associated with a new initiative, the WCEDP needs to understand that this is a partnership and the costs will not be borne only by the County. Daleiden said he agreed on a lot of these aspects but said that Scott and Hennepin Counties could be potential locations for businesses interested in Wright County. He thought it would be important to let the businesses know about Wright County. Sawatzke said Wright County is a desirable location because of the items mentioned. Northagen agreed with the assessment that Wright County has a lot to offer. He learned through the grant writing process that many people do not know about Wright County or its location. Marketing is a key part of the WCEDP efforts. He said this is an area that he hopes to improve upon through better strategies and new ideas presented by King. Northagen plans to meet with the WCEDP management team in the next few weeks to discuss budget and future marketing strategies. He thought there may be outside funding available to assist with this. Daleiden suggested the use of interns. Northagen has contacted St. Cloud University and expects to hear back from them shortly. This was provided as an informational item.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 7-13-15. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0. The minutes of the meeting follow:
Kelly said the purpose of this meeting is to discuss the budget implications of the new Public Works Building (new PWB) on the Highway, Parks, Surveyor and other County Departments. The Highway Department (Highway) will be moving to the new building in 2016. The Parks and Surveyor Departments (Parks and Surveyor respectively) will utilize the existing Public Works Building (existing PWB). He referenced the document entitled “2016 Survey / Park Building Report” developed by Parks Administrator Marc Mattice (see attached).
Kelly said traditionally the Highway Department received rent from the Parks and Surveyor Departments. Highway took care of utilities and building maintenance. One decision to be made is whether to add at least one Building Maintenance position to maintain the interior of the new PWB. Currently there is one Building Maintenance person on staff to clean the interior of the existing PWB. Kelly said Mattice had two suggestions:
1) Maintain the status quo at the existing PWB, meaning that Parks and Surveyor would pay building maintenance and utilities costs; or
2) Assign the responsibility of cleaning the existing Public Works Building to Building Maintenance, and charge Parks and Surveyor their portion of the services.
Borrell asked how maintenance of the new PWB will be handled. Kelly said he and Facilities Manager Brad Hatfield discussed the budget implications. They decided that interior building maintenance will be handled by County Building Maintenance staff. Kelly said he and Hatfield calculated that an additional one, or possibly two, positions will be needed. Building Maintenance staff will need equipment to facilitate that effort in the new PWB.
Potter said equipment could be ordered for the new PWB, and the existing equipment could stay at the existing PWB. Kelly said he had that discussion with the Parks and Surveyor Departments. A lot of equipment at the current facility will be moved to the new PWB. Kelly asked whether the expense of new equipment should fall under their Department budgets. Potter asked for clarification regarding whether the shared items also include office equipment.
Kelly referenced the third page of the document, entitled Items With In Welding and Mechanic Shop Tools. Kelly said this page lists the items and equipment Mattice inventoried, including parts, furniture, and so forth. Mattice said the Departments share a lot of equipment in the mechanic’s shop, the fabricating facility, and so on. Mattice said the third page itemizes the items used for welding and the mechanic’s shop, and the fourth page of the document lists Items Not Included To Be Left By Highway Department, and Items Related To Operations For Discussion. Mattice said Jans felt confident that Highway would leave certain items at the existing PWB. He said his staff did not discuss office furniture, but the Surveyor may have more concern about such items.
Jobe said the three Departments shared several copiers at the existing PWB. Highway holds the copier contract with Marco. Parks and Surveyor pay per usage. Surveyor shares large format plotters with Highway. Jobe said those cost about $8,500 each. There are two color plotters now, but one is not working and is obsolete. There is also a black and white plotter that works. They all have scanners on them.
Potter said the new building should get new equipment, including copiers. Mattice said he has printers at campground locations and in the office. He said between Surveyor and Parks, it costs about $10,000 per year or more for the Marco and individual printer contracts.
Potter referenced the second page of the document, titled Items Needed Either Way. He asked about the $46,000 item listed as “Welding and Mechanic Shop Tools and Equipment.” Mattice said he itemized all the tools and equipment under that category on the third page, Items With In Welding And Mechanic Shop Tools.
Kelly said opening the new PWB in July of next year creates a budgetary challenge, and his goal is to make sure expectations are aligned regarding how the budget will work.
Jobe said Highway, Parks and Surveyor have shared tools. Mattice wants to restock supplies once Highway moves. There was discussion regarding equipment, costs, and whether equipment would stay or move to the new PWB.
Hiivala said this is an opportune time to talk about the way utilities and maintenance are budgeted. He said Daleiden said he would like many items divided out by Department. However, Hiivala said this is a situation where the County could actually consolidate utilities and provide Departments with a report. All maintenance costs would be allocated under Department 111. Kelly could explain how much each facility is spending. Hiivala said it helps the accounting process to have one code to which charges would be allocated. It provides a better view of all expenses. Hiivala advocated consolidating all utilities and maintenance costs in the General Fund, and divide costs up by Department afterwards. Each Department would be charged rent. Kelly said that would provide consistency. Hiivala said it would have an impact on the budgets that Departments submit. This process would take maintenance and utilities costs out of the purview of Departments.
Potter asked whether the new PWB coming online in mid-2016 creates a transitional year for the budget. Hiivala said the he is able to figure a half-year budget. Potter asked whether it wouldn’t be better to wait until 2017 to implement centralizing maintenance and utilities costs. Hiivala said the new PWB will have utilities expenses, and new maintenance people will be hired. It is easier to make the change now instead of doing it one way for six months and changing it in 2017. Hiivala said if Kelly submits a budget for new staff, it will be under Department 111.
Jans asked if Highway pays rent for the new building, will Building Maintenance take over snow removal, care for the grounds, and building maintenance? Kelly said that needs to be determined. If Building Maintenance takes over those functions, they will need to buy more equipment. Currently Highway is plowing the existing facility and Parks is mowing the grass. Kelly said his question is whether they should gradually transition these functions over to Building Maintenance, or do it all on a certain date? He wants everyone to have the same understanding. Building Maintenance doesn’t have all the equipment they need to accomplish the changeover as of 7-01-16. Kelly asked for direction from the County Board regarding the preferred path to take.
.Daleiden asked whether the need is for one maintenance person for each building, or one to take care of both buildings. Kelly said currently there is one full-time person that cleans the existing facility. The thought is to add one or possibly two to keep the new building clean. If Building
Maintenance will be assigned grounds maintenance and shoveling as well, one person won’t be able to get it all done. Kelly said they need to determine whether it is more cost effective to contract out those services or buy more equipment. Daleiden said he questioned the efficiency of contracting out for those services when County staff can perform those functions. Kelly agreed, but said the challenge is there are not enough Building Maintenance staff to keep up with the demand, especially in the winter.
There was discussion regarding how many additional maintenance positions to add, what equipment stays at the existing PWB, which items move to the new PWB, and what equipment needs to be purchased.
Mattice discussed Items Needed Either Way on the second page. Regarding remodeling the Park office space, Mattice said they need a public counter on the Park side of the reception area. He also discussed other changes in the current layout. Husom asked if there would also be a counter for Surveyor. Jobe said yes. There was further discussion regarding the future layout of the existing PWB facility, and which doors would be secured and when.
Potter asked whether they will need a workstation in front for a receptionist. Mattice said yes. Potter asked whether Highway was taking all the conference room tables and chairs. Hawkins said they can stay there.
Jobe said his Department needs a large table to roll out projects. He envisions two or three work areas for projects in addition to employee cubes. Records will be stored in the Surveyor office area.
Hiivala said Highway will submit a budget request for the cost to replace equipment that will stay at the existing PWB. Daleiden said they didn’t have to purchase it all right away. He asked if Highway mechanics do all the maintenance now. Daleiden said he did not think it was necessary to order another Analyzer/Diagnostic machine for vehicles at a cost of $3,000, plus more for program updates. He questioned other prices on the list on the third page. Mattice said it depends on whether Building Maintenance takes over these jobs, which would eliminate the need for some of this equipment.
There was discussion about which Department staff plow certain County facilities and mow the grass. Mattice said his staff mows the existing PWB and the County Historical Society. Hawkins said his maintenance crews plow the highways. The mechanics plow the building parking lot. Mattice said his crew plows the Government Center, the County Historical Society, and all County-owned lake accesses.
Daleiden said there won’t be many people in the existing PWB. He asked what the maintenance person would do to keep busy the entire day. Potter said someone could split their time between the two buildings. Kelly said Building Maintenance uses a great deal of substitute custodians, so it would be nice to hire a few additional staff. Mattice said they would not need a Building Maintenance person in the existing PWB for eight hours a day. The new PWB may be a different story. Czech said there is more maintenance with older equipment. Kelly said Building Maintenance staff has always been assigned territories based on industry standards of so many square feet per custodian per eight-hour shifts.
Jobe asked about the schedule for custodians. Currently the custodian for the existing PWB works from 3 – 11 PM. There was discussion regarding the logistics of covering plowing duties and regular maintenance activities, and the number of staff it would take to accomplish everything. Kelly said
Building Maintenance doesn’t have the staff or the equipment to plow the lots. The Parks Department mowers are used frequently in the summer, and would not be available for Building Maintenance to use. He is researching cost effective solutions.
There was discussion regarding the duties of the one custodian who works full time at the existing PWB. Potter asked if one FTE would be enough for both buildings. Borrell said they should talk with Hatfield and the Department Heads involved. Hiivala said the discussion is important for budgetary reasons, but it is staff’s job to deploy employees.
Potter said when Highway moves out mid-year of 2016, it will be the perfect time to tackle the deferred maintenance on the existing PWB. Daleiden said he wants the roof and insulation around the windows completed this year.
Discussion ensued regarding what repairs need to be done. Daleiden asked for quotes for the insulation and windows, as well as replacing shingles and other repairs.
Kelly summarized, saying it appears there is consensus to consolidate Building Maintenance budget lines. The revenue will go into the General Fund, and then the Departments will be charged rent. Each Department will have to budget for the equipment they need.
Borrell asked what the County will charge for the Sheriff’s Office for temperate storage. Kelly said he will look at that option. The County has always been consistent at charging $16.50 per square foot. Borrell said they are capable of plowing their own parking lot. He asked whether they would bill the County back for those services, or whether the County would take care of all the plowing. Daleiden said it’s cheaper to hire a contractor for snow plowing. He said they will have to do a cost comparison between hiring a contractor and having staff do the plowing.
Hiivala said the rent is offset by the revenue in Department 111. The County charges each Department rent, and the revenue goes into the General Fund. He advocated combining the related utilities costs into a centralized area such as 111 – Utilities, as it would streamline payment of invoices. Hawkins said it makes sense to make the changes in billing now.
Recommendation: Staff will arrive at several proposals to discuss at budget time.
(End of 7-13-15 COTW Minutes)
Potter requested authorization to attend the Greater MSP’s Regional Indicators Dashboard 2015 – A Deeper Dive on our Economic Competitiveness. The meeting is being held on 8-12-15 at 11:30 A.M. in Golden Valley. Potter said it is important that Wright County keeps involved and provides a success story with MSP. Husom moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Borrell. Potter will convey to the MSP that the Wright County Board is concerned with the expense and would like to see some tangible benefit to Wright County. The motion carried 5-0.
Daleiden asked that the Wright County website include the committee meetings that are attended by County Board members. This would include Committee Of The Whole Meetings. Daleiden made that motion and it was seconded by Borrell. It was agreed that this will only include the County Committees the Board is appointed to and not various other Boards that the County Board members serve on. The motion carried 5-0. Daleiden plans to discuss this with the Web Committee at their meeting later this week.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates:
Fair Board: Borrell said the Fair Board is gearing up for the Fair which will be held on July 29-August 2. They are expecting large attendance at the bull riding event.
League of MN Cities: Potter attended Jim Miller’s retirement. Miller was the Executive Director of the League. Dave Unmacht has been hired as the new Executive Director starting 8-01-15.
Safe Communities of Wright County: Husom said that people should be aware that speeding is a factor in crashes. Law enforcement is currently doing more speed enforcement.
Bills Approved
Advanced Disposal Services $412.01
Advanced Graphix Inc 200.00
Albertville/City of 81,575.04
American Tower Corporation 12,399.43
Annandale/City of 1,131.00
AP Technology LLC 795.00
Aramark Services Inc 7,726.72
Arctic Glacier USA Inc 526.45
Association of MN Counties 100.00
Black Box Resale Services 126.00
Borrell/Charlie 1,247.50
Boyer Truck Parts 323.77
Buffalo Auto Value 364.77
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 120.00
CDW Government Inc 1,270.97
Central Fire Protection 154.00
Central MN Mental Health Ctr. 150.00
CenturyLink 638.87
CenturyLink 1,403.81
CenturyLink (Hwy Use) 231.29
Chamberlain Oil Co 830.26
Cokato/City of 350.00
Crow River Tools 162.56
Databank IMX LLC 787.50
Design Elect.-Cold Spring Elec. 1,850.70
Ernst/Debbie 162.00
Gopher State One Call 368.30
Grainger 199.20
Greenview Inc 31,771.22
Huston/Tarah 200.00
Integrated Fire & Security 19,000.00
Interstate Automotive 150.00
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 140.00
Kemble Inc 11,250.00
Kjolhaug Environmental Services 150.00
L3 Communications Inc 347.92
LaPlant Demo Inc 1,302.95
Lawson Products Inc 702.66
Marco 2,959.78
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 1,350.00
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc 68,943.92
Mini Biff LLC 756.47
MN Bureau of Crim. Apprehen. 300.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 15,167.90
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 1,429.72
MN Safety Council 3,990.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 861.61
Motorola Inc 16,779.48
North Suburban Towing Inc 150.00
O’Reilly Auto Parts 107.33
Office Depot 1,606.95
Pleasureland RV Center Inc 118.26
RCM Specialties Inc 3,993.00
Reberg/Julie 241.71
Ryan Chevrolet 263.94
ScreenConnect Software, LLC 325.00
Seton Identification Products 289.60
SHI International Corp 770.00
Stearns Co. Auditor-Treasurer 725.00
Stonebrooke Equipment Inc 2,560.00
Suburban Tire Wholesale Inc 148.02
Terning Excavating Inc 26,083.01
True North Steel 7,326.00
Twin City Seed Company 1,044.50
Ultramax 1,080.00
US Internet 3,588.00
Verizon Wireless 9,713.18
W D Larson Companies LTD 305.52
Watson Furniture Group 4,384.80
West Payment Center 1,238.90
Windstream 395.62
Wright County Highway Dept 2,496.28
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 5,267.60
21 Payments less than $100 971.02
Final total $368,354.02
The meeting adjourned at 10:45 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 10, 2015.