Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 29, 2016
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Borrell, Daleiden, Husom, and Potter present.
Borrell moved to approve the 11-15-16 County Board Minutes, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item A2, “Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Workers Compensation Issue & Hiring Practices” (Pat O’Malley). Daleiden moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
1. Refer Procurement Policy To The 12-14-16 Ways & Means Committee Meeting
2. Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Workers Compensation Issue & Hiring Practices
1. Request to hire 67 day Social Services temporary employee
1. Schedule Sealed Bid Opening On 12-20-16 @ 9:30 AM For The Public Works Roof Replacement
1. Set The 12-27-16 County Board Meeting To Be A “Claims Only” Meeting
1. Approve Procurement Card Transactions For The Period Ending October 25, 2016 For A Total Of $24,984.95.
2. Approve Fleet Card Transactions For The Period Ending October 25, 2016 For A Total Of $14,298.34.
1. Approve Claims As Listed In The Abstract, Subject To Audit, For A Total Of $451,701.15 With 255 Vendors And 500 Transactions
1. Refer IT Expansion Update To The 12-14-16 Building Committee Meeting
1. Request For Cancellation Of December Technology Committee Meeting
1. Accept the findings and recommendation of the Planning Commission for the following rezoning:
A. TOM & BARBARA ELLETSON - (Buffalo Twp.) Planning Commission unanimously recommends approval of the request to rezone approximately 31 acres from AG General Agricultural to A/R Agricultural-Residential.
1. Request position replacement for 1 deputy
Sheriff Joe Hagerty presented a retirement plaque to Judie Brown for over 25 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Wright County. Brown served as a Communications Officer, and was described as caring person and great co-worker. Brown stated it has been an honor to serve the community.
Potter moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. It was noted that the Facilities Director contacted Waverly Lock and they are unable to bid the project. Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said it is yet to be determined who will be responsible for the tarp over the conveyor system. They are waiting for information from the contractor’s subs.
Sawatzke suggested potentially using Highway Department staff and a bucket truck. The motion carried 5-0. The 11-16-16 Building Committee Minutes follow:
I. Public Works Deferred Maintenance & Remodel
Wilczek provided updates on the status of the Public Works Building Modifications. The interior modifications bids were opened at the Nov. 15th board meeting. Wilczek is working through the bids to qualify the low bidder and verify the scope and notes in the bid. A start date of December 5th is anticipated. Wilczek stated the spray foam installation of the east and west walls of the Public Works Building are complete. There will be a contractor walkthrough on Nov. 17th to verify a quality application and thorough coverage. The LED lighting retrofit in the mezzanine area is mostly complete, however some lamps on the upper level still need to be converted. The LED light fixtures for the wood shop, welding shop, and vehicle shop are ordered and will be installed by custodial staff when delivered. There was an estimated lead time of 10 business days when ordered, so delivery is anticipated the week of the 28th given the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mattice discussed and presented several items for consideration:
- An estimated painting cost of $4200 to complete painting of the walls in the welding and wood shops.
- A cost of $1,300 to provide new remotes, a controller, and reprogramming of the overhead doors in the shop.
Mattice stated he has been working with Hegle Doors to identify the needs of the system.
- An estimate for furniture in the newly remodeled areas of the building at $29,542 from Hero Office Systems. A proposal from Alternative Business Furniture is also being developed and is expected soon. The scope of the work includes dismantling the cubicles where the new conference room is being constructed, new tables and chairs for the conference room, new tables and chairs for the break room, installation of desk/furniture systems in the new offices utilizing components from the old cubicles, and reconfiguring the lobby walk-up counter to allow for an ADA height transaction surface.
- Installation of a new drive-on truck lift at a cost of $10,999. The lift would be paid for from the Parks budget as funds were budgeted for tools and equipment associated with the remodel/reuse of the building and there are funds remaining. Mattice will also be seeking a proposal to clean the pit of one lift in the shop as it is leaking fluid.
The leaking lift is in poor condition and will be decommissioned after cleanup.
- A revised proposal for rekeying of the Public Works Building from Russell Lock of $10,500. There was discussion about the number of doors included and how many of the doors need locks. Mattice and Daleiden discussed the door locations, hardware types on the doors, and plans for changes or modifications. Wilczek stated he would communicate with Waverly Lock to also provide a proposal on the work.
Wilczek stated that B&B roofing has completed repairs to the EPDM roof of the structure as recommended at the 10-25-16 meeting. Also, the dust collection system and the overhead door installations are complete.
Wilczek initiated discussion on the conveyor system at the Recycling Facility. It was stated at a previous board meeting that county staff would be installing a tarp cover over the system to prevent water infiltration over the winter. A picture was presented to demonstrate the size of the system and Wilczek stated that he and Hatfield agree it is not a safe task for custodial staff given the size configuration of the equipment. The conveyor enters the building at roughly 27’ and the concrete stem walls are approximately 9’ tall. There isn’t a way to maneuver the lift we own to get to the top of the conveyor for securing the tarp. Working from the conveyor itself is not an option as it is approximately 9’6” to the concrete above for attachment. Wilczek suggested it is not within the capabilities of the custodial staff and does not feel it is safe for in-house staff to complete the work.
Recommendation: It was recommended by Daleiden and Potter to seek another painting estimate and proceed with a NTE cost of $4200, to move forward on the door remotes and programming with Hegle, to move forward with furniture modifications at a NTE cost of $29,542 (pending the proposal from ABF), to proceed with the new lift installation and clean-up of the old equipment, and to proceed with either Waverly Lock or Russell Lock on the rekey at a NTE cost of $10,500. It was also recommended to have the contractor that takes the tipping floor structure down install the tarp or poly material to cover the conveyor.
(End of 11-16-16 Building Committee Minutes)
Request To Schedule Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting To Discuss Proposed PTO Policy For Non-Union Employees
Hesse stated that the Committee met to finalize details of the PTO Policy but a consensus was not reached on accrual rates, maximum accruals, and bereavement leave. Sawatzke said his understanding from when the Board met as a Committee Of The Whole on this topic that there was a consensus to proceed with the 21-33 accrual range for PTO. Potter and Borrell affirmed that was their understanding but Daleiden did not recall. Potter clarified that this was agreed to but the direction for staff was to obtain more information from other counties. Hesse understood that included finding out whether other counties included bereavement leave in PTO hours. Husom thought the direction was to obtain additional information and make a recommendation based on that. Potter made a motion to refer the PTO Policy for Non-Union Employees to the Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting scheduled for 12-13-16 at 10:30 A.M. (last item on the Agenda). The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
Adopt Two Separate Resolutions Related To A Grant Application Through The Transportation Alternatives Program For Phase 1 Of The Crow River Regional Trail (CSAH 17)
A. Sponsor Agency Resolution
The grant application is due 1-13-17. If awarded, funds will be available for the project in 2021. In 2011, the Board adopted the County Wide Regional Trail and Bikeway Plan. The existing aggregate trail was completed in 2009 as part of a larger project on CSAH 17. An average of $4,000/year is spent on maintenance of the trail. Estimated project cost is $600,000. The grant request will be submitted for $500,000. If awarded, the Parks Department will seek to secure additional grant funding to offset any local contribution prior to 2021. Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #16-66, seconded by Borrell. In response to Potter, Mattice said the County will continue to be responsible for maintenance of the trail segment in Wright County. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
B . Resolution Agreeing To Maintain Facility
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #16-67, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The Parks And Recreation Director To Sign And Enter In An Agreement With The Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources, Related To Reconstruction Of The Fishing Pier Within Beebe Lake County Park
Mattice explained that this has been a joint project with the DNR for many years, and the DNR would like to extend the Agreement to 12-31-41. The DNR will provide the structure, frame, floats and lumber for reconstruction of the Pier, and the County will provide the labor and hardware and agrees to operate and maintain the Pier. Potter moved to adopt Resolution #16-68, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Request permission to apply for a OSHA Safety Grant (matching funds)
An employee was injured in April, 2016 while removing a sander from a plow truck. The recommendation is for removable stands designed to hold sander boxes in place during the installation and removal process. The grant is a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10,000. For 23 stands, the cost would be $18,400. The County will seek $9,200 from the Grant and $9,200 will be from budgeted funds (Highway Department Safety Committee Budget). Potter moved to authorize applying for the Grant, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
Review & Approve 10-20-16 Owners Committee Minutes
Potter made a motion to approve the 10-20-16 Owners Committee Minutes, seconded by Daleiden, and carried 5-0. The Minutes follow:
1. Project Update – Open Issues
Roofing: Preparation for corrective work was done on the roof, a sample area was rolled, and the membrane appears to have readhered to the decking. A test cut was taken to verify that the membrane was imbedded and not just lying flat. Wilczek said that the procedure appeared to work and that it bonded tight. A lot of time was spent heating up the surface, and the warmer days of the summer will help with the success of the outcome, which is why Central Roofing will come back early in the summer of 2017 when the weather is hot. A backup plan will be to fix the wrinkles and reinstall a new membrane if necessary. All payments to them will be withheld until the roof is fixed, and Central Roofing will hold their performance bond open until that time. The bonding company sent an inquiry asking about the status of the bond, and they were told that so far the results were not acceptable. Francois said that the capping has recently been completed around the building. Sawatzke asked if any effort had been made to see where the moisture had settled in order to check for mold. Francois said that testing had been completed on the outside of the building, and there is a low chance of future problems as there are no organics where the water seeped, and no mold can grow on the mineral walls. If drywall got wet, there should be some evidence of that, and if so, tests can be done. Wilczek agreed that any damage would be minimal, and Francois said that it would be easy to fix. Sawatzke asked about any seepage to ducts or outlet openings, and Francois said that most of the outlets are in the block, thereby preventing water damage. Wilczek said that a moisture probe will be able to measure for moisture in the sheetrock. A small piece can be cut out of the wall to check for moisture or mold. Moisture trapped in a wall will typically dry out unless insulation is holding it in, andFrancois said that he would have someone come out and take a look above the ceiling in certain areas where moisture was noted. The County will not be paying for any required work/repairs, and the roofer will be responsible for all costs.
Overhead Door Thresholds: Donlar will be on site next week to review with the County steps that need to be taken to fix the current problem with the thresholds. Hawkins, Jans, and Meyer met with Donlar to discuss doing two sample doors, but the decision at that time was to consider waiting until after the winter season. At this time, reconsideration has been given to implementing the procedure before winter, and epoxy will be applied to two thresholds, with timing of that operation to be discussed with Donlar next week.
Trench Drain Grates: Josam (trench drain grate vendor) has hired a local welder to weld a strip of steel on the sides of some grates to make them wider so that they can bear a weight rating of 130,000 lbs. over the trenches in the concrete flooring. When the grates first arrived on site, they were shrink wrapped, and some grates had more wrap than others. The wrap was not removed before the grates were placed over the inserted trenches prior to the concrete pour, and the concrete was poured around the trenches, with the grates in place. When the wrap was removed from the grates and they were placed back down over the trenches, it was discovered that there was too much “wiggle room” on the concrete lip, where the grates are placed above the trenches, thereby causing some of them to fail. A whole strip along the side of the grate will be welded, rather than adding tabs, as was first suggested. Five of these grates will be welded for testing purposes, and if this action produces acceptable results, the remaining grates can be corrected and the concrete will not have to be cut up. Hawkins said that he would prefer that grates in high-traffic areas are chosen as the test candidates so that results will be more predictable in the other grates. Potter expressed his support for this action, and Francois said that Josam will have to maintain their warranty, so that if something happens and the grates don’t hold up to the weight rating, Josam will be responsible for another solution. He will check the length of the warranty, most of which usually have a minimum of at least one year labor and materials, but often materials have a longer term. Potter suggested extending the warranty, and Francois agreed that this would be appropriate, perhaps for two years. Jans said that he would like an even longer warranty, because it might not weld well in the long run. Though not all grates need to be welded, Francois will request a blanket warranty for all of them. The plan is to weld and then paint the grates. Several will be done to see if they meet the specs before doing all of them.
Hose Reels: Two quotes were received for new hose reels, one from Pump & Meter for $20,916 and the other from Benco for $15,535. The Benco representative was out for a site inspection and walk through. Jans said that he met with him and found a few items that will require a revised quote, and if it is still substantially lower and Pump & Meter’s, they will probably go with them. Benco is also going to offer a price for the existing reels, and Jans will get this to Hawkins. Hawkins asked if he had permission to move forward if the price looks good. He will forward the numbers to both Sawatzke and Potter for their approval. As long as the price is not above $20,000, the matter doesn’t have to go to the Board before purchase is made; however, the Board will still receive the appropriate information about the cost/purchase. The trade-in on the original hose reels will also help with the cost. [Attachment 4: Final quote of Benco on 11-7-16 including deduction for trade-in reels. Action will be taken to move forward on purchase of reels.]
2. Punch List
Francois said that there are still a few items on the punch list that need to be addressed, such as a couple of door locks, the gate on the mezzanine, and some landscaping. Some of the bushes need to be replaced, and the company will come back in the spring to see what did and did not make it through the winter.
Sawatzke expressed his disappointment that not much has been accomplished with the thresholds and the water in the walls since the last meeting. He attended a Township Officers meeting and informed them what was being done to rectify the various issues, but he’s frustrated that there seems to be no progress in the past few weeks. Francois said that they had looked into the insulation issues and had been following through on the change orders. Windows were checked to see if they were a possible leakage source but proved not to be. The cap around the building roof was done immediately after the last meeting. Sawatzke said that one main concern of his was the possibility of mold that develops after the infiltration of water, and that possibility is very alarming for many people. Francois assured him that the mineral content of the walls/building are not susceptible to allowing mold to grow, and he apologized for not cutting into the walls sooner to see the interior conditions. Sawatzke said that it wasn’t so much one thing that was upsetting, but rather that progress hadn’t been made on several things, including the fix for the overhead garage door thresholds. He would have liked to been able to view the epoxy fix today, but added that he is happy to hear that action is being taken and solutions are being formulated for the grates and trenches. He wants to be sure that it is done right for the future of the County. Francois agreed and said that is frustrating for Kraus-Anderson as well. Previously, the only solution for the grates seemed to be the cutting of the concrete. Since that initial consideration, a new possible solution of welding the grates has emerged, one that will be checked out by Braun Intertec, a firm that is qualified to make an accurate assessment of the welded product. Hawkins explained that the first solution of putting tabs on the grates was considered but then later abandoned. The cutting of the concrete would have been a very disruptive and expensive procedure and was considered the only solution, perhaps, until the idea of welding the grates came up, which is showing good promise for success. Kelly said that an important point to remember is that Wright County is not paying for the corrections, and that we need to be extremely critical in inspecting the final product. Jans agreed that Wright County can deem it unacceptable if there is reason to believe that the solution won’t be permanent. Kelly added that these situations often occur and other actions must be taken when the initial plan did not work out as expected. After three or four of the grates are completed and tested, Wright County can still determine whether or not they will accept them. No one wants Josam to lose a lot of money over this, but Wright County wants it done right. It would be more difficult to cut out the concrete in the maintenance garage (rather than in the storage garage) because of the in-floor heating in that area. However, test grates will be done in each area to determine the quality of the fix. A lip on the edge of the grate, in order to hold it above the trench, could be considered, but that would also interfere with the flow of water to the drains. Jans said that the trenches are not square on the side and that they taper in, with a slight angle from the top to the bottom. They have to be made tight on the top and square on the bottom. Josam is communicating with the welder regarding requirements and proper outcome. Their local rep will be out here to check on the progress. Potter indicated his desire to be here when the rep is here, or at the very least to be informed of what transpires. At this time, the welder would like to do the work on site in the maintenance areas. Jans expressed his concern that the integrity of the grates could be compromised with the welding, and all agreed that Braun Interec should be consulted for their recommendation and approval before the product is accepted. Jans said that he would rather rely on the recommendation from Braun than from Josam.
Francois said that he will see that a small hole is made in the wall to check on the moisture in areas where some leakage occurred. He will also see that the area above the window is checked. If the worst areas prove to be okay, then it is probably safe to assume that the lesser areas are also okay.
Potter said that he would like to be present when Donlar comes out to review the epoxy solution for the door thresholds.
Francois said that Donlar will probably hire someone who is specialized in that field, so it might be someone other than a Donlar rep.
Hawkins said that Wright County has received an estimate on the rebates for the electrical system that was installed, but he doesn’t have the papers here. This figure will be added to the budget revenue line identifying it for what it is. The rebate figure is close to $48,300, according to Wilczek. Actual cost for the aggregate base will also be identified, which is $19,336. Sawatzke suggested that another column be added to the table so that the budgeted cost can be directly compared to the actual cost, and Francois agreed to do that to the current Overall Project Budget [Attachment 5].
3. Set Meeting Date:
A meeting date for the next Owners Committee was set for Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 10:30 a.m., to be held in C- 200 in the new Highway Building. This will be a good time to get an update on continued progress on the outstanding issues.
(End of 10-20-16 Owners Committee Minutes)
Review 11-01-16 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes & Act On Recommendations
Potter moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Borrell. Discussion followed on Borrell’s request to consider reconstruction of a one-mile portion of CSAH 9 north of TH 12 in Waverly in coordination with the City’s water and sewer construction project. Currently, the County’s CSAH 9 project is a pavement preservation project. Borrell said it makes sense to reconstruct at this time. State aid funding could be used if another project is moved back. Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, said he would like to build all highways to State-Aid standards but that is not likely because of funding. It would be a Board decision. If built to State-Aid standards, the City would like a separate sidewalk. The City has a plan in place and is ready to bid in 2017 which includes wider shoulders to allow for pedestrian traffic. Connie Holmes, Mayor of the City of Waverly, stated that if a larger project is not approved the City will proceed as planned. Hawkins said the reconstruction would add an estimated $1.2 to $1.4 million to the cost. Additional discussion included the funding formula used for cities and potential condemnation issues. Hawkins said the City Engineer has put together a complete set of plans and the City is ready to bid. Mayor Holmes said two public meetings have been held on the City project, and the reconstruction project was not discussed at those meetings. Residents along CR 9 want a wider road for safer pedestrian travel around the Lake. The project is anticipated to be bid in early February. Daleiden suggested the City contacting residents to obtain their input. The motion to approve the Minutes carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote due to the recommendation of Item 5, HCM Additional A/E Fees for New Highway Building. The 11-01-16 TCOTW Minutes follow:
1. Introductions
Chairperson Sawatzke called the meeting to order. Hawkins was invited to present to the committee various items for consideration/discussion.
2. Utility Setback Ordinance
Hawkins distributed and read a summary of the background information [Attachment 2] leading to this discussion and the suggestion to implement a Wright County Utility Setback Ordinance. This ordinance would not affect the utility companies’ right to place their facilities in Wright County’s right of way, but it would require a variance from the ordinance if they wish to place their facilities outside the right-of-way boundaries within 130 of the center of the roadway. The proposed amendment to Article 1, Chapter 155 – Zoning [See Attachment 3A, replaced by Attachment 3B with additional modifications as a result of this meeting], refers specifically to § 155.098 (D) ESSENTIAL SERVICES and (D) Exemptions (1) and (2). When located within the county right of way, utility companies must bear the cost of relocating their facilities in the event that construction affects the width of the right of way and necessitates the removal of these facilities to another location. In some previous instances, utility companies have received permission from private parties to place their facilities on private land, within several feet of the current right-of-way boundary. When a highway is widened and the right of way needs to be widened as a result, it is the road authority’s (Wright County) responsibility to pay for the cost of moving the utilities that are outside the right of way. An amendment to the current ordinance, specifically related to Exemptions [Attachment 4], defines what would be exempt from the conditional use permit requirements, essentially forcing all utility facilities to meet the setback requirement if placed outside the right of way on private property or to meet the conditional use requirements for that location. Conditional use could be granted within this setback area with the requirement that the utility move its own facilities at its own expense, in the event that a change in right of way, due to a change in the roadway, necessitates the removal of the facility to another location. This would eliminate the County’s responsibility for paying to have these facilities moved/removed in the event of construction affecting the right-of-way boundaries. An addition to (D) Exemptions states that “County and Township structures and support facilities are considered a permitted use in all zoning districts.”
Hawkins said that a number of counties already have this type of setback ordinance in place, which helps eliminate the county’s cost to have the utility facility moved in the event of road construction. There was some discussion about situations where a township had been responsible for the costs in a situation like this, but which could be avoided if a setback ordinance were in place. A recent situation affecting Wright County was the location of an electrical pole just outside the right of way on CSAH 3. Because the cost of relocating this pole line was estimated to be about $20,000 -$30,000 per pole (at Wright County’s expense), the design of the roadway reconstruction was adjusted to avoid having to move the pole line. A setback ordinance would help prevent poles from being placed too close to the outside boundary of the right of way and eliminate the necessity of moving them at the county’s cost, thus allowing acceptance of the best design for the roadway.
This proposed amendment would be for Wright County’s use, but townships could adopt one identical to it or similar to it if they felt it would benefit them. Riley said that there was some other language amended throughout Chapter 155 as seen appropriate. All future utility facilities would be located in the county’s right of way or meet the setbacks, and all essential services would need a conditional use permit outside the right of way, unless there is specific language that says they do not. If easement is granted on private property, the utility would have to purchase or rent the property and still meet the setback requirements as defined in the conditional use permit. It will be up to each township to adopt/enforce a permitting policy of its own along its roads and right of way. Daleiden suggested that a letter be sent to all townships informing them of Wright County’s intentions to adopt this amendment. Kryzer said that a public hearing will be required and all townships will be invited to be part of this hearing. A date will be defined identifying the cutoff for all pre-existing permitting/intentions.
There was discussion about revising Item (2) under (D) Exemptions to include township facilities, and after various situations and possible outcomes were considered, the decision was made to recommend that this item read, “County and Township structures and support facilities are considered a permitted use in all zoning districts.” [As included in Attachment 3B.]
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Wright County adopt a “Setback Ordinance,” and amend Ordinance Amendment No. 16-8 to Chapter 155-Zoning to define Exemptions as presented in Attachment 4, and that necessary steps be taken to schedule a Public Hearing as the first step in adopting this amendment and revising § 155.098 Essential Services.
3. Federal Funding Program Updates (HSIP, T. A., Fast Act)
Hawkins explained that various programs being reviewed today require solicitations for three different kinds of funding. HSIP (Highway Safety Improvement Projects) funding will be sought for the years 2018-2021, and an intersection warning system for the CR 117/CSAH 35 intersection will be included in this request. This system would provide flashing lights on the mainline (CSAH 35) when traffic is approaching from the side (CR 117). No lighting would be placed on CR 117, but the flashing lights might encourage CSAH 35 traffic to slow down if the drivers are aware of activity. Application will also be made under this program for “mumbles” (a modified version of rumble strips) and dynamic speed signs. These dynamic speed signs display the speed limit and flash the speed at which oncoming traffic is approaching them, and the intention is to have one installed on every road entering a municipality.
Application will be made to FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) funding in order to help pay for improvements to CSAH 19 in the City of St. Michael (requiring some major construction and some building removal).
TA (Transportation Alternatives) has funding that will be sought to help with the cost of building a pedestrian bridge over I-94. The cities of Otsego and Albertville are applying for these funds, though the application has not yet been submitted. Adam Nafstad, Administrator of Albertville, has been working on the application and has a letter of support from Otsego. It was suggested that Steve Bot, Administrator of St. Michael, be contacted, as there is a good chance that St. Michael would be interested in supporting project as an extension of its trails. A 20% local match is required, and though this project doesn’t fit into Wright County’s funding, a letter of support could be helpful. The granting agency will review the applications and choose the candidate based on a point system.
4) Transportation Study Recommendation (Update on the NE Transportation Study)
Hawkins said that there are a number of Wright County roadways that need to be expanded from two to four lanes due to growth, and these are all located in the northeastern portion of the county. The most recent study (NE Transportation Study) of this area was completed in 2004-2005, and Hawkins said that he would like to have an updated study done. Rather than doing an isolated corridor study, he would like to have an entire portion of the county studied. Potter expressed his desire that this study tie up with TH 25, perhaps along the northern half of the county. Hausmann explained that having a traffic study in place showing needs helps gain points for competition for funding opportunities. The study is also useful at the local level for the Cites of Otsego, St. Michael, and Albertville when they are applying for state and federal funding. The previous study cost about $80,000, and with participation by the three cities, Wright County’s portion was about $20,000. Sawatzke asked if Hawkins would be seeking participation again and he said that he would. The boundaries of the study would be Hanover on the south boundary, up to St. Michael and extending the one-way pair out a bit, westbound out to TH 25, and north and east along Wright County’s border. Hawkins said that he would like to move forward with the process and get the study updated. He will contact the cities and see what they might be willing to contribute toward the study. The City of St. Michael paid the lion’s share for the last study, and Hausmann said that the majority of the calls that come in about traffic and roadways are now from the Otsego area. Perhaps it would be fair to have both Otsego and St. Michael pay a larger portion than either Albertville or Monticello, as more miles of roadway affected are in the first two cities. Hausmann said that it’s good to have a traffic model available so that it could be used to analyze what development will do to the transportation system in the future.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Hawkins proceed with plans to get an updated transportation study completed of the northeastern portion of Wright County (from Hanover north to the one-way pair in St. Michael, west to TH 25, and north along the Wright County border), with requests for cost participation from the cities involved and covered by the study.
Additional: Borrell asked that consideration be given to reconstructing the one-mile portion of CSAH 9 just north of TH 12 in the City of Waverly in coordination with the water and sewer construction the city plans to do. Delaying the roadwork in that area until the water and sewer are installed would mean that the new surface wouldn’t have to be disturbed. Hawkins explained that Wright County’s CSAH 9 project (from CSAH 35 south to TH 55) is considered ‘pavement preservation’ and not a ‘reconstruction’ project. There is already a draft agreement with the city stating that Wright County will give that portion (approximately $400,000) of the cost of the overlay to the city so that they can use it to complete the surface when water and sewer have been installed. It is likely that the city won’t be ready for their own project until 2018, so Wright County will not do pavement preservation in 2017, as shown on the Five-Year Plan [Attachment 5], on that one-mile portion. Instead, the city will complete the preservation after their own work is done. Borrell said that this portion of roadway is very narrow and carries a lot of cars as the city is growing. The area is dangerous for pedestrians and for traffic entering the road from driveways. Hawkins was able to bring up the video log of CSAH 9 to show this roadway and the proximity of the homes to it. He said that the city has plans for this area and the county has plans to provide the funding for the pavement preservation. There was some discussion about the standards that need to be met for reconstruction and if this portion could be taken off the state aid system and be built to lower standards to keep the price lower. Hawkins said that this is what the city would like to do. Borrell asked if the county could contribute a larger share to improve this section, and Sawatzke said that he would at least like to take a look at it in order to understand what is being proposed. Borrell said that everyone on the lake side would like a wider road, though there may be some opposition on the other side of the road. Hawkins said that the city plans to have a five-foot shoulder for a walking path on one side and then a continuation on the other side. Borrell expressed his concern that crossing this roadway two times is not logical and not safe. He would like to see the road moved to the east and have the entire trail put on the west side of the road. If the county became more financially involved, the road could be expanded to higher (State Aid) standards and be safer. Hausmann commented that if the county agrees to give more money for a city project, other cities will take note and expect the same treatment. Sawatzke said that he feels the extra expense should belong to Waverly, but taking a look at this area makes sense. The ADT (Average Daily Traffic) on CSAH 9 north of the lake is 1,450. Borrell said that CSAH 9 is a regular route from Buffalo to Howard Lake, Hutchinson, Winsted, and TH 7. He would like it figured out how much it would cost to reconstruct and then talk about it, and he would like this done sooner rather than later. If there is a possibility that the county could pick up more of the cost for this project and let Waverly know, it would help with the planning. Hawkins said that Waverly will go out for bids as soon as they are awarded a grant for the water and sewer project. Borrell agreed that he would also like to look at this area soon and have the Board do a site visit while the weather is still nice. Hawkins said that the CSAH 6 project in Howard Lake (pavement preservation in 2017) is similar to the county’s CSAH 9 project, but there is no sewer planned right now. The City of Rockford did a similar water and sewer project and paid for all curb, gutter, and sidewalk, while Wright County paid for the pavement. A request to set a date for a site visit to CSAH 9 north of Waverly will be put on the November 8 County Board agenda. [Site visit later confirmed for Monday, November 14 at 10:00 a.m.]
5) HCM Additional A/E Fees for New Highway Building
Hawkins distributed a copy of correspondence [Attachment 6] from Dan Lind, HCM Architect, outlining HCM’s justification for additional architectural fees for work on Alternate 1 and said that he would like to get some resolution on this matter. Hawkins said that supporting documents are attached, and Daleiden commented that it appears that Wright County agreed to additional fees. Sawatzke said that there was a similar situation in efforts with the proposed new courts facility and, in that situation, they were advised that unless the figure was drastic, they were not to change the ‘not to exceed’ figure. Sawatzke said that $688,000 was the fee for architectural services, and from the beginning neither the Board nor HCM knew how big the facility would be, and they could have bid it the other way. Hawkins said that a lot of the work was done by consultants, who were paid by HCM to complete the new design under a tight deadline. Sawatzke commented that the plan clearly didn’t include the correct specs relative to the water hoses, which are now costing the county $17,000 to $18,000 more because they weren’t in the bid. Hawkins commented that HCM didn’t design that part of the bid, but Sawatzke said that they hired someone to do that and they are responsible for it. They left it out. Hawkins said that he understands that the whole fluids system was put together with input from Pump & Meter and our own staff, so we’ll have to take part of the blame. Other shops have used the same equipment, but it wasn’t liked by our staff after it was tried here. There was more discussion about how Pump & Meter should have been more diligent in making sure that the correct size was bid, but there was nothing in the document to hold them to the size they bid and provided. Sawatzke expressed his disappointment that representatives from HCM haven’t attended any of the past four Owners Committee meetings and feels that this is unprofessional, especially in light of the fact that there are still some significant problems. Hausmann commented that these problems are more related to construction, but Sawatzke said that they designed it and should have been here to help correct it. Daleiden asked if the construction problems are in HCM’s scope of responsibility, and Hausmann said that he didn’t know that they would have had anything to add at the meetings. Borrell recalled an incident in his personal business where he had been called back to a site to reinstall equipment after the customer changed his mind, and Borrell didn’t think it would have been good business to charge more, so he didn’t. Hawkins agreed that reputation is important, and he added that Wright County’s reputation is also on the line. Potter said that the architect designed the building and then alternate bids were added. The first bid was for the smaller size and then new drawings were needed when the larger size (Alternate 1) was accepted. That’s what the additional fee is for. Sawatzke said that this is where the ‘not to exceed’ comes in. Potter said that the scope of the job was changed, but Sawatzke doesn’t agree that this warrants additional fees. Daleiden said that he is willing to agree to pay $7,500.00 and split the difference. Husom agreed that this was apparently a misunderstanding and she would like to see it resolved and supports Daleiden’s suggestion to pay HCM $7,500.00. Upon questioning, Potter said that it seemed reasonable and agreed with both Daleiden and Husom.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Lee Kelly process payment to HCM in the amount of $7,500 for additional architectural fees charged by HCM for the additional design work incurred in the acceptance of Alternate 1 for the completion of the new Highway Department facility.
(End of 11-01-16 TCOTW Minutes)
Schedule Public Hearing for Proposed Assessments
Potter moved to schedule the Public Hearing for 12-20-16 at 9:30 A.M. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Daleiden.
Approve AIA Document Contract With BKV Group, Inc. For The Wright County Courts Facility
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, said the Contract has been discussed by the Bench, Court staff, the Board, and Administration. Kelly stated the Contract accurately reflects what is desired and recommends approval. Sawatzke referenced a meeting between himself, Kelly, and Bruce Schwartzman of BKV Group. In that meeting, Schwartzman conveyed that there would have to be something significant to change the terms of the contract (such as BKV Group doing all of the plans and drawings and the County telling them they would have to move the to a different location). Kelly said Section 4.2 of the AIA Document reflects, “No additional services shall be approved unless prior written approval is provided by the County.” The square footage was increased to 100,000. The Document has been reviewed by the Attorney’s Office and Risk Management.
Borrell moved to approve the AIA Document Contract with BKV Group, Inc., seconded by Potter. Potter expressed that it should be confirmed that IT is part of the BKV Contract. Sawatzke said the motion will include that approval is contingent upon the IT component being included in the Contract, as BKG Group proposed to the County. Kelly said that in the upcoming Kick-Off Meeting for the Courts Facility, it is a critical point that should be clarified on client goals and expectations.
Judge Kate McPherson, 10th Judicial District, referenced Page 9, Article 4, Additional Services, Section 4.1.1, Programming Confirmation, which states, “Confirmation of previously prepared information only.” She said that defines the scope. Judge McPherson said the RFP had a very specific list of requirements gathering that the County expects the Architect to do. She suggested incorporating that scope document into the AIA Contract and referenced Page 20 of the Contract as a location for this reference. Sawatzke said that would work as long as the scope hasn’t expanded beyond the RFP. Things have been confirmed beyond what was originally agreed to. Judge McPherson suggested consulting with the County Attorney for legal advice in that regard. However, she felt the RFP was broad enough and identifies components that need to be included in the requirements gathering performed by the Architect. Some of the items were not included in the National Center for State Reports. An example would be the Department of Corrections being included in the RFP but outside of the scope in the National Center for State Reports.
Sawatzke suggested amending the motion to include directing Kelly to contact Schwartzman and convey that the County will sign the document contingent on confirmation that everything in the RFP is included (including IT) in the Contract. When confirmation is received, then Sawatzke will sign the Contract. Borrell and Potter accepted this as an amendment to the motion, and the motion carried 5-0.
Schedule Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 12-15-16 @ 12:30 P.M., Courts Facility Kick Off Meeting
Potter moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 12-15-16 at 12:30 PM. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Members will need to be defined for the team that oversees the project, in addition to those approved to make decisions and identifying what items need to be presented to the Board. The motion carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Daleiden. Sawatzke made the following corrections to the Minutes: Page 1, Item 2, 3rd paragraph, second line, remove the sentence “A consensus was reached regarding the following issues”; and Page 1, Item 2, 4th paragraph, 6th line should read, “Sawatzke supported accrual rates of 21 days minimum to 33 days maximum.” Sawatzke stated the Committee Minutes reflect there was a consensus on 302.07, Annual Cash Out, but it was agreed the Board needs to discuss further the reduction from 10 to 5 days cash out, along with PTO accrual rates. Sawatzke felt there were things being lost from Committee to Board that are substantially changing things. The potential budget impact of the Annual Cash Out needs to be addressed. This option was included initially as there was no extended sick bank but that has since been added. Some counties have cash out options and some don’t. Sawatzke said that needs to be a discussion point at the Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Husom agreed, saying the Annual Cash Out option was reduced from 10 days prorated to 5 days prorated, but the Committee members did not indicate that was a consensus. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the 11-16-16 Personnel Committee Minutes as amended. The Minutes follow:
I. Starting Wage for Traffic Engineer
Candidate withdrew. Position vacancy has been reposted through December 15, 2016.
II. Proposed PTO Policy for Non-Union Employees
On November 1, 2016 the Personnel Committee of the Whole reached a consensus to move forward with implementation of a PTO Policy effective January 1, 2017. However, the policy was referred back to the Personnel Committee to finalize the details.
Hesse discussed revisions made to the proposed policy language discussed with the Personnel Committee of the Whole on November 1, 2016 based on direction from the committee and in response to questions/clarification from employees.
These revisions include:
• Adding language regarding an expectation employees will follow department request/approval procedures
• Removal of the accrual rates and maximums grid for exempt, full-time employees in recognition of rolling in exempt compensatory time. The Personnel Committee of the Whole reached a consensus on November 1 to roll exempt compensatory time in to the PTO policy. However, instead of offering a separate accrual rates and maximums grid for exempt employees, exempt employees will have more flexibility in scheduling time off for partial days. Training will be provided to department heads, managers and supervisors regarding this flexibility and exempt staff use of PTO in general.
• Adding a provision for the accrual of catastrophic sick leave.
The Personnel Committee discussed additional questions/concerns related the proposed PTO Policy language.
• 302.07 Annual Cash Out – cash out option of five (5) days prorated instead of ten (10) days prorated.
• 303 Extended Sick Leave Bank – PTO exhausted down to fifteen (15) days instead of ten (10) days before able to access ESLB for illness, disability or injury.
A great deal of discussion ensued regarding the appropriate level of accrual rates and maximums. As requested, Hesse provided additional information regarding other County accruals and whether bereavement leave was rolled-in to those accruals or separate and actual sick time usage by Wright County employees. The Personnel Committee did not reach consensus regarding the appropriate level of accrual rates and maximums. Based on the information provided, Husom supported accrual rates of 23 days minimum to 35 days maximum. Sawatzke supported accrual rates of 21 days minimum to 33 days maximum. Both supported rolling in bereavement leave at these levels. Other members present voiced support of the higher accrual rates due to perceived loss of benefit and impact to morale.
RECOMMENDATION: Refer outstanding issues regarding accrual rates and maximums and bereavement leave to Personnel Committee of the Whole for discussion and recommendation.
(End of 11-16-16 Personnel Committee Minutes)
Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Borrell, and carried 5-0. The Technology Committee Minutes follow:
I. Everbridge
Presented by Hannah Woods, HHS
The notification system Everbridge is being planned to be implemented starting in 2017. This will replace the current notification system of CodeRed. Everbridge is easier to maintain and has a larger array of utility purposes than CodeRed. Another benefit to Everbridge is that it has unlimited Admins, effectively this would allow the county to share the utility with Local cities, townships, and other entities (such as fire departments). It is under agreement that a rollout would only be attempted after the County has complete understanding of the tool. Everbridge has been vetted by the State. It is a 4 year contract, Year 1 is $12,400.00, being funded by the departments which are currently funding CodeRed. Years 2, 3, 4 are $26,400.00 annually. Funding sources for subsequent years were discussed, but not finalized.
Recommendation: Approve contract with EverBridge
II. Cellular BDA’s
Presented by Adam Tagarro, IT
Cellular BDA’s (Bi-Directional Amplifiers) allow cellular signals to be boosted inside of buildings with poor coverage.
There are areas throughout the County infrastructure where there is inadequate cellular service. These dead-zones impede efficiency of employee workflow, prevent timely client services communication, inhibits utilizing technology during the workday, and is an inconvenience for visiting constituents. The contractor has worked with the cities of Plymouth & Maple Grove, each stating that it was a good investment. The company also has permission from all 4 Major Network Carriers (Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, and Sprint) to extend their Networks. The plan is to use HWY Project Bonds Proceeds Funds, $33,990, to start in the Highway Building focusing on the Office area. If the test is successful Cellular BDA’s will be rolled out to other Buildings utilizing 2017 CIP funds.
Recommendation: Proceed with installation of Cellular BDA’s
III. Project Prioritization
Presented by Adam Tagarro, Cheri Nelson, and Olga Strobel, IT
There are currently more than 100 projects from various departments that are on the IT To-Do list. IT Management made a more comprehensive project list by adding in decision making factors discussed previously, along with identifying Department personnel who will work on each project. It was suggested that estimated Man-Hours would also be helpful as a determining factor in prioritization. The committee requested that IT create a list of prioritization based on knowledge of projects; to then present this list to the committee at the next meeting.
Action: Information Only
IV. Credit Card Implementation
Brought up by Commissioner Mark Daleiden, clarified by Cheri Nelson, IT
Mark questioned the prioritization of Credit Card implementation. Cheri clarified that the Scope of Credit Card Implementation is currently undefined. She stated that it is most likely under the hierarchy of another project. Departments will be meeting in the beginning of 2017 to discuss what it means to each of them and what their expectations are. The results of those discussions will be likely brought to the technology committee in a timely fashion.
Action: Information Only
(End of 11-16-16 Technology Committee Minutes)
Kelly said the Technology Committee recommends moving forward with the Everbridge Contracts for 2017 and 2018-2020. Borrell moved to approve the Contracts, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
Kelly referenced documents from Black Johnson Kaufman Blustin, LTD. Law Firm relating to the dissolution of the RiverRider Joint Powers Board. Approval of the dissolution is being placed on the 12-13-16 Sherburne County Board Agenda. The documents include Exhibit A outlining how funds will be distributed. This action will follow approval and signatures by both Counties.
Sawatzke referenced Item 7, Capital and Operating Fund Balances, which relates to payment of any remaining account balances. He said there is a small amount that he understands is forthcoming from the State ($3,000-$4,000). That is what will fund the actions in Item 7. Any remaining funds will be split between the Counties with the same percentages.
Daleiden moved to adopted Resolution #16-69 approving the RiverRider Joint Powers Dissolution Agreement, seconded by Potter. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Sawatzke said funds provided to RiverRider from Wright County via the General Levy for operations can return to the County with no restrictions on what the funds can be used for. The majority needs to be used for transit issues. Hiivala plans to receipt into the Capital Projects Fund.
1. Emergency Medical Services Advisory Committee. Husom attended a recent meeting where the following items were discussed: Mobile applications for AED’s, Code Red, Distracted Driving, and Narcan. Only 4 of the 22 agencies applied for the Narcan grant or training. An EMT initial course is being offered by Allina on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6:30-10:30 PM) from January 10 through the end of March.
2. Safe Communities of Wright County received a grant for the Women Who Care Program. A student survey was conducted in Wright County on seatbelt use in the front seat of the car. In 9th Grade, males responded they a seat belt is used 88% of the time, and females 87%. In 11th grade, 87% of males and 93% of females. The group continues to look at grant and funding options.
2. Central MN Mental Health. Husom said Sawatzke was presented with a plaque last evening. At the meeting, the budget was approved for 2017. Dr. Lee continues to look at programs and space use.
Bills Approved
Abbott Northwestern Hospital $289.56
Advanced Disposal Services 156.02
Albertville/City of 2,775.40
Allina Health 285.00
Ameripride Services 675.86
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 3,200.00
AP Technology LLC 795.00
Aramark Services Inc 7,969.22
Association of MN Counties 100.00
B & B Sheetmetal & Roofing 8,615.00
Borrell/Charlie 694.00
Boyer Truck Parts 753.15
Brandel Electric LLC 1,478.60
Brothers Fire Protection Co 898.47
Capitol Report 169.00
Casey/Bob 125.00
CDW Government Inc 35,138.19
Center Point Energy 6,743.75
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 17,241.04
CenturyLink 5,032.92
CenturyLink 1,475.28
CenturyLink (hwy use) 202.06
Class C Solutions Group 4,572.54
Columbia Building Services Inc 4,472.00
Cordell/William 675.00
CST Distribution LLC 863.73
Culligan of Buffalo 209.00
CXTEC 546.37
Databank IMX LLC 5,199.63
Dell Marketing LP 1,226.91
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 274.81
Dude’s Tiling LLC 52,676.48
Eaton Corporation 7,423.42
Emergency Automotive Tech 26,422.84
Engel/Dale L 700.00
First State Tire Recycling 882.63
Force America Inc 1,520.00
Fortres Grand Corporation 2,000.28
Frontier Precision Inc 4,076.95
Gabriel/Cathleen 200.00
General Pallet Inc 1,032.00
Glunz Construction Septic Service 130.00
Grainger 851.35
Granite Pest Control Services 214.00
Gustafson Trailers 5,346.75
Herc-U-Lift 144.36
Hermes/Richard 663.00
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co 2,811.44
Highway 55 Trailer Sales 3,295.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 3,360.52
Hirman/Alex 253.00
Indianhead Specialty Co Inc 244.52
INSPEC 14,400.00
Integrated Fire & Security 263.40
Itasca County 475.00
J & J Marine Inc 180.97
Jerrys Towing & Repair 290.00
John Deere Financial 581.62
Justice Benefits Inc 1,069.86
Keeprs Inc 299.01
Kraus Anderson Construction 77,229.05
Laplant Demo Inc 2,007.39
Lewis-Goetz and Company 280.68
Loberg Electric 1,762.54
Lube Tech ESI 1,141.88
Lynn Peavey Company 1,409.00
Madden Galanter Hansen LLP 7,106.32
Mailfinance 504.84
Marco 2,199.30
Martin & Wagner, PA 100.00
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 2,500.00
McKesson Medical-Surgical 1,350.32
Menards - Buffalo 650.67
Mend Correctional Care LLC 184.34
Minnesota Monitoring Inc 10,133.25
MN Counties Computer Coop 150.00
MN Counties Ins Trust 313.30
Moeller/Lon 1,000.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 873.19
Mountain Stream Sports & Apparel 779.39
Nelson Upper Midwest 2,145.15
Net Transcripts Inc 945.25
New Look Contracting Inc 6,110.00
Office Depot 3,185.08
Office of MN IT Services 159.80
Onsite Medical Service Inc 741.00
Performance Kennels Inc 318.20
Performance Office Papers 120.30
Peterson’s Towing & Recovery 149.50
Potter/Michael J 209.00
Powerplan OIB 235.09
Precision Prints of Wright Co 1,035.50
Procise Solutions Inc 1,085.00
PS DEC Inc 665.00
RCM Specialties Inc 604.96
Retrofit Companies Inc 702.87
Russell Security Resource Inc 217.50
Schmitz/Layne 780.00
Seachange Printing and Marketing 489.81
Select Account 3,194.90
SHI International Corp 1,770.00
SLR15 Rifles Inc 6,785.00
Sprint 4,648.63
Stockholm Township 385.60
Streichers 6,055.00
Suburban Tire Wholesale Inc 599.20
Superior Striping Inc 1,195.00
Surplus Warehouse of Willmar Inc 100.00
SWWC 100.00
T & S Trucking 4,687.50
Terning Excavating Inc 12,645.00
Thomson Reuters West Publishing 1,258.29
Trans Union LLC 127.20
Verizon Wireless 10,764.80
Verizon Wireless 167.19
Voss Lighting 1,578.00
Waverly/City of 476.00
Windstream 219.92
Wold Architects & Engineers 2,390.96
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec Assn 2,602.92
Wright Hennepin Electric 3,545.87
WSB & Associates Inc 6,100.00
Xcel Energy 1,002.24
Zacks Inc 1,479.94
Zee Medical Service 167.80
25 Payments less than $100 1,418.81
Final total: $451,701.15
The meeting adjourned at 10:46 a.m.
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 19, 2016.

NOVEMBER 29, 2016
The Wright County Board met in special session at 6:00 P.M. with Sawatzke, Borrell, Daleiden, Husom, and Potter present.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the proposed 2017 Budget and Taxable Certified Levy. The Budget includes the General Fund, the Road and Bridge Fund, Human Services Fund, Debt Service, and Lake Improvement Districts (LIDs).
Handouts were provided by the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office, including:
• How Your Property Taxes Are Determined
• Sample Property Tax Statement
• House Research, Property Tax 101: Property Tax Variation by Property Type
• Taxable Market Value by Class of Property
• Tax Capacity by Class of Property
• Initial Tax Capacity Rate
• Resolution from 9-13-16 establishing the draft 2017 Budget and Levy
• 2017 Departmental Net Operating Budgets with Prior Year Comparisons
• Wright County Proposed 2017 Budget with three pie charts (Where it comes from, Where it goes, and How the Budget is spent)
• Bar chart entitled Wright County Expenditure Budget by Function
• Bar chart entitled Wright County Expenditure Budget by Classification
• Bar chart entitled Wright County Revenue Budget by Type
• ax Impact Comparison with Prior Year.
2017 Budget Summary
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, reviewed the Budget process for the year. Departments submitted Budgets in July. Seven sessions were held to review budgets and adjust revenues and expenditures for each Department. These meetings did not include discussions on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The County is required by State Statute to adopt the preliminary Budget and Levy prior to September 30 of each year, and to take public input prior to its final adoption in December.
Kelly said the proposed 2017 Budget is $113,868,869, which is an increase of 3.25 percent. The largest increase in the Budget is the General Fund, as shown in the graphs included in the handout. Kelly said most of the expenses related to Personnel costs, including benefits, wages, and pending wage increases. There are seven unions in the County, and their contracts all expire at the end of 2016. Kelly said the County is currently in negotiations with them. A dollar amount was included in the General Fund to cover anticipated costs that may be incurred once contracts are settled with the union groups.
Kelly said another large expense that impacted the General Fund is the new Highway Building that opened in 2016. The County is seeing additional operating expenses related to contract cleaning, an increase of about $133,000 for utilities, and an increase of about $5,000 for ongoing supplies related to the new building.
Another impact on the Budget was a reduction of $42,000 in County Program Aid. Kelly said this is the second year the County received a reduction in Program Aid.
Kelly referred to the Resolution that was adopted on 9-13-16. The proposed 2017 Levy is $58,191,277. This represents an increase of 4.99 percent, or a little more than $2.7 million. Kelly said Property Taxes represent 51 percent of County revenue.
The largest expense incurred by the County is Personnel Services of 55 percent. Kelly said this is common for all counties and many businesses.
Kelly explained that the County does the Levy for LIDs because they cannot levy directly on their own. The amount is included in the County Budget, but is not controlled by the County, and is passed through to the LIDs. Commissioner Patrick Sawatzke added that the only people who pay the LID tax are those who live in a Lake Improvement District, such as Pulaski and Mink Somers.
Tammi Vaith, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, explained the Truth in Taxation Notice. She said the State Department of Revenue has changed the Truth in Taxation Notice, the Valuation Notice from the Assessor’s Office, and the Property Tax Statement in the last few years to look very similar. This can be confusing to tax payers. She explained the process of valuation and classification.
County Assessor Tony Rasmuson said many people mistakenly think this meeting addresses value or classification. This meeting is related to the Budget and Levy. He encouraged those present who had questions about their valuation or classification to speak with Appraisers in the Assessor’s office this evening. The appeals process for valuation notices occurs in the spring at the local, County, and State levels.
Public Comment for the 2017 Budget/Certified Levy
The meeting was opened for public comment at 6:19 P.M.
Comment was taken from Rhonda Rae of Howard Lake. She asked why residential tax rates are increasing and agricultural rates have remained level since 2015. She lives on Ann Lake, which has 21,000 acres of agricultural land dumping waste into it. Rae said she is unable to swim or water ski in the lake or enjoy her back yard, despite her efforts to filter and treat her shore land. She said the lake has flooded the last three summers. She said adjacent agricultural land owners should pay their fair share of taxes. She said the County should balance taxation between residential and agricultural land owners, as well as address the serious water quality issues affecting Ann Lake.
Sawatzke said the increase in residential values is because there are more homes in the County. He said agricultural taxes haven’t changed because the values and amount of agricultural land has stayed the same. The Assessor places values on residential properties based on the market. The State places a rate on them. The County Board can’t change that. The values in Wright County are applied in the same manner as surrounding counties. Sawatzke empathized with her frustration about the pollution. He said there is some money in the budget for those matters, although it is not detailed in the handout for this meeting.
Comment was also taken from Jim Carrabre of Howard Lake, who spoke regarding the poor water quality on Ann Lake. Commissioner Mark Daleiden said he is on the Water Management Task Force. They are seeking solutions for Ann Lake. Carrabre said he would like to get more value out of his lake shore property, considering the amount of taxes he pays. Sawatzke suggested that Carrabre and other concerned residents come to a regular County Board meeting held on most Tuesday mornings at 9:00 A.M. Commissioner Charles Borrell said he intends to bring this issue to a Committee Of The Whole meeting in the future.
Richard Grill of Delano/Franklin Township also provided public comment. He suggested that County leadership look at ways to reduce the Personnel Services portion of County expenses. He also said he was unpleasantly surprised at the high cost of his property taxes. Grill said they are higher than his former home in Minnetonka, yet he receives fewer services. He expressed concern that the cost of taxes will become unaffordable in the long term. Commissioner Mike Potter said of the 87 Counties in Minnesota, Wright is 86th in per capita spending, although it is the tenth largest County in the State.
The Public Hearing on the 2017 Budget and Levy was closed at 6:56 P.M.
Sawatzke asked Kelly if he had any numbers regarding employee insurance costs for 2017. Kelly said he does not have any final figures yet. Sawatzke asked that he bring that data to the next Board meeting. Kelly said he planned to bring information to the County Board meeting on 12-13-16. Sawatzke suggested Kelly provide an alternate Resolution with smaller numbers if applicable.
Commissioner Sawatzke adjourned the meeting at 6:58 P.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 19, 2016.