Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 3, 2017
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
Vetsch moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Agenda. Daleiden seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0:
1. Schedule Owners Committee Courts Facility Meeting, 10-12-17, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, Room C118.
Agenda Items:
A. Review Of Design Development Level Cost Estimate
B. Virtual Building Tour
1. Schedule Owners Committee Of The Whole Courts Facility Meeting, 10-17-17 @ 11:00 AM, County Board Room. Agenda Items:
A. Review Of Design Development Level Estimate
B. Update On Remaining Design Phase Schedule
C. Virtual Building Tour
1. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, LG240B, Monticello Soccer Club, Bertram Athletic Club, Briarwood Avenue, Monticello MN 55362 (Monticello Twp.)
1. Refer Facilities Staffing To Personnel Committee
1. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Law Enforcement Contracts: Cokato & Waverly
1. Authorize Signatures On Revocable License For VA Parking In Wright County, Eff. 10-15-17 To 4-14-18
1. Authorize Attendance, AMC District 5 Meeting, 10-23-17, Center City MN
1. Authorize Attendance, Transportation Alliance 124th Annual Membership Meeting With The Construction Forecast, 11-08-17, St. Cloud
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between 9-20-17 and 9-26-17
1. Position Replacement:
A. Corrections Officer
1. Position Replacement:
A. Deputy
Approve Application For Property Tax Abatement Re: PID # 103-040-000036 (City of Buffalo)
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the County Board has abatement powers to correct errors in the tax system for current plus two years. He referenced a map of the McDonald’s property in Buffalo (three parcels). The triangular parcel on the east end (1/10th of an acre) was mistakenly assigned to Lake Region Coop when the area was reconfigured and the frontage road put in. Lake Region Coop received and paid tax statements through 2012. At that point, Lake Region realized it was not their property and stopped making tax payments.
While reviewing tax forfeit parcels, County staff came across the error. McDonalds was never notified that taxes were due. The request to the Department of Revenue would be to abate taxes for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and the first half of 2017. Tammy Vaith, Property Tax Administrator, said the small parcel will be deleted and the value added onto the McDonald’s property. Daleiden moved to approve the application for property tax abatement for PID #103-040-000036 (City of Buffalo). The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Schedule Public Hearing For Joint Ditch 15 In The Month Of November To Accept The Viewer’s Report From The Redetermination Process
Hiivala stated the public hearing will be held as part of a Joint Ditch Meeting with Meeker and McLeod Counties. The Viewers will hold informational meetings in Stockholm Township a week prior to the public hearing to explain the process used to assign benefits. Information will be sent to benefited landowners.
Husom moved to schedule the Public Hearing on the Joint Ditch 15 Redetermination Process for 11-14-17 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Approve Of Retaining Kevin Casserly and Dwight Dahlen To Perform Appraisals For Purposes Of Tax Court
Asleson stated that Casserly would be retained for PID #101-500-363200, a commercial property in Albertville. Dahlen would be retained for PID #114-293-001010, a commercial building in St. Michael. Both would be for payable 2016 and 2017. On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to approve retaining Kevin Casserly and Dwight Dahlen to perform appraisals for purposes of tax court.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Former Marysville Township Hall (County Property) Repairs
The Board of Commissioners met at the former Marysville Township Hall to review the condition of the site and discuss a plan of action for the building. The structure was constructed in 1892, but is no longer actively used. Wright County took ownership of the site through a right of way purchase for a highway project, and the building is in need of repair. The Commissioners reviewed the condition of the building inside and out, then gathered for some discussion. It was agreed by the group that there is significant risk with leaving the site in the current condition. The building is partially supported by large stones at the base, and there is a gap underneath in which someone could be injured. The paint and the accessibility ramp are also significantly deteriorated and in need of repair or replacement. Wilczek said he obtained a proposal from a contractor lift the building, place support piers in the ground, replace the rotted support beams, reset the building, and skirt the opening around the perimeter at a cost of $29,815.
Commissioner Vetsch stated it was too much money to spend on the site given it wasn’t used any longer, and it ultimately would be more money than that if you included painting and replacement of the entrance ramp. Sally Stevens asked the group to consider the purpose of the building before looking at the repairs. She stated that the Board should first have a discussion about if Wright County wanted to keep it, and if so, for what purpose? All agreed it would be nice to be able to keep the building because of its long history, however there is risk to doing so and it might be more risk than is worth carrying. Mattson offered that a group of Swedish visitors during the summer of 2017 indicated they might be willing to contribute to some costs of rehab, however he did not indicate at what levels because they didn’t know what kind of repairs would be needed.
The consensus was to have Sentenced to Serve (STS) scrape & repaint the building. In addition, the front access ramp should be removed and plywood material installed around the base of the building to prevent anyone or anything from getting underneath. The subject is to be revisited again in spring 2018 for a final decision on the building’s direction. In the meantime, there is to be research done about if any organization would have interest in taking over the preservation of the building and if fundraising could be done to pay for the necessary repairs.
Recommendation: Sentenced to Serve to scrape & repaint the building. Remove the front access ramp and fasten plywood material around the base of the building.
(End of 9-19-17 COTW Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Request to Hire IT Position Above 12% of Beginning Hiring Range
Husom said the Information Technology Department (IT) hopes to hire a project Portfolio Analyst at the top of the pay range. She understood that they would initially offer a lower amount, but want the latitude to go higher if necessary.
Strobel said the candidate currently works at the State of Minnesota. She is a Senior Project Manager, and has been there for a few years. Strobel said they were impressed with her answers to methodology questions, as they are similarly aligned with those IT follows.
Husom said the County has set a precedent of previously hiring candidates who were making lateral transfers from other agencies. Nelson said this candidate is very communicative and positive, and would work well with other departments.
Nelson said the pay range of this position is $57,200 to $80,000 annually. Their initial offer would likely be $76,000, which is less than the candidate currently earns. Strobel said the candidate manages a portfolio of 80-90 projects at the State, similar to the number handled by the County IT Department.
Recommendation: Approve request to hire Portfolio Analyst position above 12 percent of the beginning hiring range, and as high as the top of the range if necessary.
(End of 9-27-17 Personnel/Employee Relations Committee Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Husom moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. The Board discussed the $150 license fee and whether an increase was needed to cover costs. A sampling of other counties’ fees was performed, and Wright County’s license fee is on the low end. However, it was explained that the license fees cover the costs of conducting the Tobacco Compliance Checks. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes and recommendations, which follow:
I. Tobacco Ordinance Amendments & Fee Changes
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy County Attorney, distributed a document entitled, “Proposed Amendments to Tobacco Ordinance” (attached). Anna Bohanon, Public Health Promotion Coordinator, distributed a document listing fees for tobacco violations among various counties (see attached).
Asleson went through the language changes in the proposed ordinance. He said there are a handful of seasonal tobacco licenses in the County. Jackie Schmidt, Office Manager I, Elections and Auditor/Treasurer, sends out the renewals in the fall. Some operators don’t open their businesses until April. Licenses run on the calendar year from January through December.
Asleson said Section 5 changes include: “License fees shall be prorated for those licenses issued for less than a full calendar year.” He said this has been done with alcohol licenses. Also in Section 5, the last phrase “and in instances where a license is renewed more than 30 days beyond its expiration date” would be struck. The amended ordinance would say that license fees will double when there is a failure to obtain a current license prior to commencing retail sales of tobacco.
Schmidt said if the tobacco licensee sends the renewal in the fall, the check will not be cashed until the license is issued.
Husom said the licensees should not have more than sixty days to renew. If the County doesn’t receive the fee by then, the license should not be renewed. Asleson said they have to renew by the expiration of the license, or they will be charged a double fee. Schmidt said many renew in January. Asleson said they have to renew by the time they start selling tobacco.
Moving to Section 4, Subd. 8, Asleson said the recommendation is to remove the second sentence, as the language is unnecessary. It states: “The request for a renewal shall be made at least thirty days but no more than sixty days before the expiration of the current license.”
Under Section 7, Prohibited Sales, Asleson said item B was added: “If the person selling or offering to sell such items is under the age of eighteen (18) years.”
Borrell disagreed with this clause, as it eliminates employment options for younger teens. Bohanon said the objective was to prevent an under-age teen from selling cigarettes to his or her friends. Husom said the store owner would have to make sure every customer is carded. Borrell said the store owner would be cited in the event of a violation. He preferred to leave Item B out, and said if a problem arises, Bohanon can bring an ordinance amendment back to the Committee. Husom agreed.
Asleson drew attention to the last page, Section 14, Penalties, that states: “Any violation of federal, state or local tobacco control laws or regulations may also subject the licensee to suspension or revocation of their tobacco license.” He said there have not been many incidents of this nature.
Asleson asked whether the Committee felt the license fees should be increased. Originally, the license fee was $75. Currently it is $150. Neither Husom nor Borrell favored increasing the license fee. Bohanon said the cost to conduct compliance checks, applications, everyone’s time, is about $1800.
Asleson said a thirty-day notice must be given before the ordinance amendment is adopted. This ordinance amendment won’t go to the County Board before early November. He will do the notice and send it to the County newspaper.
Approve proposed Tobacco Ordinance Amendment (excluding Section 7, Prohibited Sales, Item B, which states: “If the person selling or offering to sell such items is under the age of eighteen (18) years”).
(End of 9-27-17 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Asleson will publish notice of intent to amend the Ordinance. Statute requires notification to retailers 30 days prior. Husom moved to set discussion on the Amendments to Chapter 110 Tobacco Regulations for 11-14-17 at 9:30 A.M. as part of the Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to authorize Vetsch and Potter to meet with Trailblazer on 10-04-17 at 2:00 PM.
1. I-94 Meeting with MnDOT. Potter and Vetsch attended the Meeting on 9-29-17 with MnDOT. Corridors of Commerce and the project from Albertville to St. Michael were discussed. Potter said the strong showing of Wright County representatives and local Legislators caught the attention of MnDOT that Wright County is engaged in this process. A presentation on Corridors of Commerce will be made at the AMC Annual Meeting. Rules and criteria have changed to qualify for project funding. Daleiden said that MnDOT is using SRF for the scoring process, which is viewed as fair and transparent.
2. State Community Health Services Advisory Committee. Husom attended a meeting on 9-27-17 at Breezy Point Resort. Policies, legislation, and mental health issues were discussed. The group will continue to look for ways to strengthen the public health system.
3. Central MN EMS Region. Husom attended a meeting on 9-29-17. Legislators from 12 counties were invited to the meeting but only 4 of the 36 invited attended. The group is looking for a stable funding source for EMS which includes 237 fire department and rescue groups. Seatbelt noncompliance dollars are used as a funding source but those funds have declined due to the 94-96% seatbelt compliance. The group is providing funding to local EMS agencies to keep personnel certified. Volunteers are reimbursed for mileage. Information was provided on the effectiveness of carbon monoxide detectors. Husom learned the small detectors are not effective. A person should look for one in the $130 range. The group is being proactive in planning for the Super Bowl.
4. Emergency Services Board. Borrell attended a meeting last week where Text to 911 was discussed. Beta testing has been completed in a few areas and they continue to work on getting this implemented.
5. Township Officer’s Association Meeting. On a motion by Daleiden, second by Vetsch, all voted to authorize attendance of the County Board at The Township Officer’s Association Meeting on 10-05-17 at 7:30 P.M. at Albion Township Hall.
6. Health Insurance Meetings with Unions. Daleiden attended a meeting on 9-28-17 where information was presented to unions on health insurance.
7. Web Committee. Daleiden said the Web Committee discussed the website survey results. A free redesign of the website is planned for next year.
8. Meeting with Legislators. Daleiden suggested a meeting in January with Legislators to discuss Wright County’s priorities prior to the next Legislative Session. It was the consensus that this meeting be planned and a date set at an upcoming Board Meeting.
9. Monticello Library Strategic Planning Event. Vetsch attended on 9-27-17 where discussion involved creating more educational opportunities and collaborative efforts between libraries and other entities (schools, colleges).
10. Manufacturing Week. Vetsch said this is Manufacturing Week in Minnesota. He extended congratulations to UMC of Monticello, as the business was honored as the industry of the year for the City of Monticello. Vetsch described the business as a class act in the State, County, and City of Monticello.
The meeting adjourned at 9:51 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 20, 2017.