Wright County Board Minutes

APRIL 12, 2016
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, and Potter present. Commissioner Borrell was absent.
The following correction was made to the 4-05-16 Board Minutes: Page 2, add new paragraph after paragraph 5, insert the following language: “On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to set a Road Tour for 5-16-16 at 9:00 A.M. Hawkins will develop a schedule for the Road Tour.” The language was omitted from the Minutes in error. Daleiden moved to approve the 4-05-16 County Board Minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried unanimously.
Husom moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 4-0.
On a motion by Potter, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Approve Claims as Listed in the Abstract, Subject to Audit, for a Total of $160,036.27 with 157 Vendors and 245 Transactions
1. Position Replacement
A. Case Aide
Rasmuson introduced Brice Nelson who was recently hired as a Property Appraiser in the Assessor’s Office.
Approve Detour Agreement With MnDOT
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #16-23 approving Detour Agreement Contract #1002847 with MnDOT for CSAH’s 3 and 35. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote. The Agreement provides for payment by the State to Wright County for road life consumed on CSAH’s 3 and 35, which will be used as a temporary detour required for the MnDOT resurfacing project on TH 12.
Dahl introduced Roxy Foster, Regional Director for Minnesota Communities Caring for Children (MCCC). MCCC is a statewide nonprofit organization that empowers parents and builds the capacity of communities to create environments where all children thrive. MCCC’s mission is to empower individuals and communities to stop child abuse and neglect before it starts through awareness, education, support, and leadership leading to action. Foster stated MCCC partners with Crisis Nursery on mutual self-help groups for families, and announced that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Dahl presented information on the Crisis Nursery, whose mission is to keep children safe and families strong by partnering with parents to find solutions to their stress/crisis, thereby preventing child abuse and neglect. The 24-hour helpline is 763-271-1681. Crisis Nursery provides crisis care and counseling, mental health services, supplies, and resources and referrals for families with children age birth-17 (some exceptions) in Wright County. All services are free. Funding is partially through grants. The Crisis Nursery partners with Allina and the University of Minnesota. Volunteers are needed. Thanks were extended for services provided by the County.
The Crisis Nursery Annual Spring Fundraiser will be held on 4-22-16 at the River City Extreme in Monticello from 6:00 to 9:30 P.M.
The 2016 Pinwheels for Prevention Award was presented to Wright County. The Award, presented by MCCC, recognizes communities that exemplify a strong commitment to the prevention of child abuse and neglect through collaborative efforts of public, non-profit, and community services, activities, and initiatives. The Award recognizes the year-round prevention efforts of the Wright County Crisis Nursery and other prevention programs in the County.
Potter moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Husom, and carried 4-0. The Committee Minutes follow:
The meeting was brought to order by Chair Sawatzke, who welcomed those present and invited Kelly to comment on the purpose of the meeting. Kelly gave a little background about events that led to the calling of this meeting, including discussions he had had with both Mattice and Jobe. He added that it was good to revisit these discussions relative to what can be addressed by the Capital Improvement Plan in terms of improvements to the current PWB when it is vacated by the Highway Department, a move planned for the Summer of 2016. Issues such as deferred maintenance are important items of consideration in order to bring certain conditions in the building up to code and/or to increase the functionality of the current facilities.
Jobe gave a brief overview of what he and staff have discussed in terms of revamping certain areas in the building to better fit the needs of the Survey Department, such as changes to the current sign shop, creating areas for supplies and equipment within the current building, additional accommodations for vehicles for better loading/unloading activities, and work benches, etc. Sawatzke suggested that it might first be good to have an opportunity for those present to take a look at these facilities rather than hear a description about them. He expressed his concern that in order to make good decisions he would first like to see the areas that are being proposed for changes. Jobe agreed that a walk through would serve a good purpose, and that the tour of the front office area would also be appropriate in order for the commissioners to see that the current front counter area is not big enough for the public that the Survey Department is serving. He said that both Mattice and he had talked about the deficiencies of the current building, such as an inadequate roof, poor insulation, leaky windows, etc. He would like to know who is leading the discussion on this and wondered if it had already begun. Potter said that part of this came forward because of discussion at the Building Committee and the desire to come up with a good plan for reconfiguration of this building, such as whether or not another department should be moved here to share this facility, and how that figures in when considering adding more room for the Courts at the Government Center. The topic and decisions necessary to formulate a constructive plan are important and should be addressed by all the commissioners, not just the Building Committee members.
Sawatzke asked if the Highway Department was going to vacate 100% of the back shop area, and Mattice said that this was the plan. Potter added that acceptance of the alternate bid for the temporary storage addition allowed enough space for storage so that all of Highway’s equipment could be removed from the current building. Jobe said that right now some of his department’s vehicles are in the second shed, and when the rear of this building is vacated, the Survey Department will be able to bring them up here into that portion of the shop. Mattice added that the Highway would still have storage in Sheds A and B and in the old impound facility.
Mattice said that the building assessment report drawn by the architectural firm of HCM (for the new Highway facility) includes a long list of items that should be addressed regarding maintenance and improvements. Items on the list include, but are not limited to, doorways (some might need to be changed to ADA compliant), poor lighting, deteriorated roofing, inefficient or lack of proper exhaust system, park shop dust collection in violation of OSHA requirements, improper fuel storage, capacity of the mezzanine area, re-caulking of windows (or upgrades for better insulation), and the presence of asbestos in some flooring in the older portion of the building. Mattice asked if the commissioners would consider moving forward with discussion with both Kelly and Hatfield regarding these deferred maintenance items and if these items could be part of the CIP. After those items are addressed, talk could begin about space needs and a possible building program. Both Mattice and Jobe have formulated plans that they would like to see implemented for each of their departments. Mattice said that he would like to develop a plan and a timeline to move forward. Sawatzke again expressed his desire to tour the building today in order to get a better idea of what the issues are and where they are located in the building, and he would also like to get a general idea of what improvements/changes are being proposed for various areas in the building.
Potter commented that because of the complexity of the deferred maintenance needs and wish list, the costs would be a significant determining factor on how this will be accomplished, and items might have to be completed in phases. Because there are so many different issues to consider, he felt that it was important that the whole Board be here to listen to suggestions and concerns. Kelly asked if it would be worth paying HCM to get involved again to flesh out a proposed plan of attack. Sawatzke said that they had already presented a plan, and because it seemed ‘over the top,’ the Board had already chosen not to do it. Mattice commented that HCM has already done an analysis of what’s wrong and what needs updating in the building, and perhaps that information could be easily handled by a smaller firm in determining future actions. Sawatzke brought up the issue of asbestos that is present in the flooring in the older portion of the building and said that as long as the tile is in good shape, there is no reason to disturb it. If it is in good repair, it doesn’t present a danger. He asked about the need for ADA compliant doors and was told by Mattice that these are doors that would have to be changed only if a remodel is done and doors are replaced. Mattice said that if a remodel is done, certain items in the remodeling areas would have to be brought up to current code, but only if they are being replaced. There is a certain threshold that has to be met for certain code items, and Planning & Zoning could address these concerns. Hatfield said that work on ventilation and structural changes could need an engineer’s stamp of approval, and for that reason, HCM would be a good firm to use.
With the additional space of the tempered storage at the new Highway facility, plans are to have a parking space for the Veterans Service van that is currently being parked outside. Mattice added that there would probably be room for the ‘Sentence to Serve’ (STS) operations van and trailer in the back of the current shop once Highway vacates that area. Both Mattice and Jobe distributed handouts [Attachments 2 & 3] that showed suggested use of space in the entire building once Highway is out. Jobe talked about space that he would like to see utilized by the Survey Department for equipment storage, office space, work top space, parking, meeting space, and public transaction areas. Jobe suggested designating the current small conference room near the front reception area for Parks offices, redoing the current reception area, and creating a new, larger conference room toward the southwest end of the current office area. His outdoor crew would be situated near the rear door of the office area so that tracking of dirt from outside work would be kept to a minimum.
Mattice’s handout showed parking designations in the shop area that include adequate space for Survey vehicles, though specific stalls have not yet been assigned and would not have to be permanent. His plan showed a parts room, a work shop, wood shop, and a fabricating shop (in the current welding room); and though he would love to move the mechanical area in line with the fabricating shop, it wouldn’t be fiscally feasible because of the ground hoists that are already in place in the Highway shop area. There is an area in the rear of the current Highway shop where he would like to see a garage door installed for more functional storage and movement of equipment in and out of the building. All the supports are there, so installation would be relatively easy. Parks would still be able to utilize outside storage at the compost for firewood, rocks, etc.
When asked how many individuals contact the three different offices via direct visits on site, Holmquist said that anywhere from 10 to 20 visit each department per week. Numbers have recently been up for the Survey Department because of the recently published plat book, and numbers are starting to increase with the upturn in recent construction/realtor market activities. The Parks Department has few walk-in guests who don’t have appointments. Borrell asked why the current front counter wasn’t adequate, and Jobe said that it would be nice to have someone manage the counter after the Highway Department vacates the building. He would like to have an office manager to manage things from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays – Fridays. Mattice said that there are times when no one from the Parks Department is in the building, especially during the spring/summer months, and he agreed that it would be good to have someone at a front counter. Sawatzke commented that the necessity for front counter help differs if the numbers are two/day or 18/day. Jobe said that he still definitely needs the help, and this person could stay busy with giving him assistance with both clerical and record research help. He also needs someone to know where the staff is at all times of the day. He said that he has eight fulltime staff, including survey staff and GIS staff. He is trying to find a way to reach maximum functionality and service to the public. If the County is going to keep the office, then they need to invest in it. He asked that Board members consider how fast supervisors come and go through this department. Borrell suggested that a buzzer could be pushed by customers, as is the case now, and certain members of Jobe’s staff could take turns being on call to service the front counter. Meeting minutes and payroll data input for the Parks Department could be handled in the same manner as they are now, and since they are handled electronically, the work wouldn’t even have to be done in the same building.
Daleiden expressed his interest in having the Extension Office move out to the current PW building and said that they have 1.5 front desk people now. Nothing says that this can’t be changed to two fulltime people, and they could be given more room. The records area could still be accessed, as it is used every day; and if the Extension Office, who works closely with the Parks Department, was moved out here and gained more working space, you could kill two birds with one stone...both the Survey Department and the Extension Office would benefit. Borrell said that improvements could be accomplished if proper planning were done. Sawatzke asked how many square feet of office space there are now for each department, and Mattice said that Highway office totals approximately 3,000 sf, Survey has 2,000 sf, and Parks have 300 sf. When asked what the current square footage of the Extension Office is, Kelly said that he didn’t know, but it was not a large space. Potter agreed that it wasn’t large, and if this office were moved out of the Government Center, Court Administration could take advantage of the vacated space. This might be a good time to move them out to the current PWB site, and it would free up space for the Court study that is currently going on. With the space that will be freed up when Highway leaves the building, and not even counting the common space, there should be plenty of room for growth and for inclusion of the Extension Office. Having them here would also cure the issue of having someone available at the front desk. Meeting minutes and payroll duties could still be accomplished electronically, and not necessarily require that this be done at the front desk. Borrell asked if the Veterans Service Office could be located here, but he was told that the PWB is located within a range (10 miles) of the nuclear plant, which precludes them from having an office here.
Jobe expressed his concern about evening programs and how they might interfere with the day-to-day operations of both the Parks and Survey Departments. Daleiden said that if the meetings are held after office hours, there would be no interference with daily operations. Jobe said that he also is considering a larger size for a new conference room, especially with the limited size of the current front conference room. Sawatzke said that he doesn’t see the conflict but sees it more as a utilization of the current facilities, especially as the facility is probably underutilized in the evenings. If other office areas are blocked off, the inconvenience of using space in the evenings could be overcome.
Mattice asked how deferred maintenance should be handled, should they look at the current report by HCM and determine priorities, or should a new firm be contacted to give an opinion. Kelly asked Mattice for his opinion, and he said that he would favor contracting with a new firm. Sawatzke said that this firm could work with the Building Committee, and Mattice said he will talk with staff about deferred maintenance and come back to the Building Committee and communicate their concerns. Daleiden said that the roofing, insulation, and windows all need to be addressed. Mattice said that if the air flow is corrected, some of the condensation and water problems might also be corrected. He would like to see a recommendation related to deferred maintenance that would allow hiring a space needs firm, such as an architect, who can talk about the needs for both the Survey and Parks Departments. He would also like to talk with the Extension Office about their needs. Jobe added that they will need someone with structural knowledge about the walls, windows, etc., to address the problems, and Sawatzke said that any firm of this type should be able to identify bearing walls, etc.
Members of the Owners Committee and other attendees began a tour of the facilities at 11:45 a.m. They reconvened the meeting at 12:30 p.m.
Present: Pat Sawatzke, Lee Kelly, Susan Vergin, Brad Hatfield, Marc Mattice, Ralph Borell, Charlie Borrell, Mike Potter, Chris Husom, Steve Jobe, Mark Daleiden, Alek Halverson, Eric Stennes, and Barb Holmquist.
Sawatzke asked for suggestions on what should be recommended as the first point of action, and Mattice said that he would like to see a process developed to move forward and to have the appropriate parties appointed for that exercise. Sawatzke suggested that these people sit down with the new person who has been recently hired by the County to oversee building operations, the Facilities Services Director, a position that has been developed with the recent vacation of the position of ‘Purchasing Agent.’ Potter suggested that this first step be taken and that they meet with Kelly, and then the Building Committee can become involved and address the recommendations/findings. Daleiden suggested that if relocating the Extension Office here is a consideration, it might be a good idea to meet with them and have them come out here and see if they would be willing to work with Mattice and Jobe. Are they interested? Jobe asked how realistic it would be for Extension to relocate here, and Sawatzke said that it would be very doable. If they do not want to leave where they are, then it is one less area the architect looks at. Potter wants to look at this option to see whether or not it will work. Daleiden agrees that this is part of the equation. Does it make sense and are they interested...if so, then move forward. If not, consider the other option to move them somewhere else.
Mattice asked if he should invite Extension to a meeting without the commissioners, and the number of positions in Extension was discussed. They have a full time and half time secretary, an ag person, a nutrition person, and another position that is shared with McLeod County. Jobe expressed his desire to do something different for the survey counter. Husom said that she likes the thought that there is a greeter instead of the way it’s set up now. Sawatzke said that maybe a better button is needed. Jobe said that he wants more space up front, and Daleiden commented that it would be good to consider all options. Jobe had talked about making a large area into a new conference room and moving records, but Daleiden said that the reality is that there is already a records room. He said that he would like to see the Building Committee take baby steps on any changes for this building. Perhaps some portable walls, such as the cubicles, could be taken out, but the first step would be to figure out what will occupy the space. He added that the Extension Office has some really organized people, and they may even have a better idea of how to arrange the current office space in this building. Sawatzke suggested that the Building Committee meet with the newly hired Facilities Services Director after he starts his employment here. Both Potter and Daleiden could make some inroads with the Extension Office, and Jobe and Mattice could also get acquainted with members of Extension and learn what their vision is.
Sawatzke said that right now they are ahead of the game because it was initially decided that this conversation wouldn’t even begin until Highway vacated the building. Mattice said that he felt it was good timing, because Highway’s move is planned for July. Jobe asked about repairs to the roof and whether it would be necessary to move employees out of the building during the work, but Daleiden said that the work would be done outdoors and shouldn’t be disruptive to the employees in the building. Mattice asked if the Facilities Director would put together bid docs, etc., that would be needed for roof repair/window replacement, etc., and Daleiden said that they would have to figure out first what is necessary. The Building Committee meets the second Wednesday of the month, and perhaps the May 11th meeting would be a good time to come together, which would allow the Facilities Director time to adjust to his duties.
Both Jobe and Mattice will get in touch with the Extension Office and try to set up a meeting with them before the May 11th meeting. They can find out how many people would need accommodations and see if they might prefer a certain location in the office area. Borrell suggested that pictures be taken and shared with a company that is qualified to make changes to the sign shop area. Daleiden suggested that the lunchroom could possibly be considered for changes that would help meet some the needs discussed today. There was some light discussion about the storage of Parks materials and use of the old impound area, and these and other issues will be addressed at a later date.
(End of 3-29-16 Owners Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
1. Quarterly Township Meeting. Husom said all Commissioners attended the Meeting on 4-07-16 where the Solar Energy Farms issue was discussed. It appeared that some townships were not completely aware of what was going on relative to the ordinance and the impact it may have on the townships. Senator Bruce Anderson and Representative Marion O’Neill attended the Meeting. Rep. O’Neill talked about Xcel Energy looking for 24,000 acres of solar farms throughout Minnesota. Currently, solar farms are about 18%-20% efficient, whereas the Sherco Plant in Becker and the Monticello Nuclear Plant in Monticello are running at about 95% efficiency. Husom said another person spoke about how solar panels may become more efficient in the future due to changes in technology.
2. Buffalo Safe Schools. Husom and Potter attended a meeting last week. Discussion included the Crisis Nursery and various programs Safe Schools is working with.
3. National Association of Workforce Boards Conference. Husom recently attended the Conference. One of the sessions related to a career quest program that is held in Michigan for youth in grades 6-12. Those participating attended various information sessions relating to career opportunities. Cards were provided that addressed careers and associated wages, and 87% of participants learned of opportunities they had not previously been aware of. This type of event will be held again in May followed by a job fair.
4. Wright Technical Center. Husom said the Buffalo Rotary recently held a field day at Wright Technical Center. The Center has expanded quite a bit since the 1970’s. There are approximately 700 students with about 25 being in apprenticeships. Funding is through eight school districts. Potter said the Technical Center is in need of instructors and is a good alternative for those who will not be going to college.
4. AMC Transportation Regional Policy Committee. Potter said the group is visiting various parts of the State, most recently in Rochester on 4-11-16. There was dialogue on transportation needs and getting legislators to come up with a solution. Fixing roads is a core function of government. The next meeting location is in Brainerd in a couple of weeks. The group may also visit Mankato and Duluth.
5. River Rider. Sawatzke provided a brief update. MnDOT has requested an appointment in Sherburne County to review some of the audit material for the River Rider. It is expected that meeting will occur in the next week or so.
Bills Approved
American Pressure Inc $306.95
American Tower Corporation 12,616.42
Aramark Services Inc 7,975.33
Bargen Incorporated 4,695.00
BDS Laundry Systems 487.76
Borell/Ralph 171.62
Boyer Truck Parts 384.22
Buffalo/City of 53,090.67
Burdas Towing 147.00
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 240.00
C & C Embroidery 255.84
Cameron/Tim 150.00
Casari/James 125.00
Center Point Energy 266.99
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 1,032.53
Climate Air 932.81
Corporate Payment Systems 5,782.83
Cub Foods 190.64
Culligan of Buffalo 200.00
Department of Public Safety 8,310.00
Dubois/Haley 296.04
Ecolab 365.36
Edens Group 325.00
Engel/Dale L 400.00
Fleetpride 559.14
Grainger 147.84
Granite Pest Control Services 149.00
Green Interiors 450.00
Greenview Inc 308.60
Greystone Construction Company 3,987.00
Herald Journal Publishing Inc 673.40
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 2,278.54
Holiday 9,786.45
Howard/Jolanta 100.00
International Code Council 240.00
Intoximeters Inc 226.40
Jahnke/Ross 119.00
Joint Powers Water Board 108.09
Jones/John 228.00
Lacount Sales LLC 157.13
M & M Express Sales and Service 281.13
Marco 2,959.78
Menards - Buffalo 170.10
Mies Outland Inc 313.95
MInnCor Industries 172.00
Minnesota CLE 270.00
MN Assn of Co. Probation Ofcrs 415.00
MN Board of AELSLAGID 120.00
MN Bureau of Crim. Apprehension 216.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 5,400.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 359.90
Mumford Sanitation 157.95
Nevala/Richard 406.74
NTOA 1,460.00
O’Reilly Auto Parts 203.69
Office Depot 671.12
Pakor Inc 207.13
Purick/Ryan 100.00
Riders Elite Academy Inc 400.00
RTS Drug Testing 180.00
Russell Security Resource Inc 278.72
Service Fire Protection Inc 3,125.00
Severson/Brian F 125.00
St Croix Recreation Co Inc 2,325.00
T J Potter Trucking Inc 397.09
Timekeeping Systems Inc 606.90
Tires Plus 490.17
Towmaster 2,470.00
Triplett/Keith 199.00
Van Stratton, Winer and Assoc. LLC 750.00
Voss Lighting 534.60
Waste Management of WI-MN 2,380.35
Waste Management-TC West 596.89
Wood Chuckers Firewood 3,024.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 114.86
WSB & Associates Inc 6,578.06
Young/Mike 2,040.00
30 Payments less than $100 1,269.54
Final total $160,036.27
The meeting adjourned at 9:47 a.m.
Published in the Herald Journal May 2, 2016.