Wright County Board Minutes

BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MARCH 20, 2018
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 3-13-18
The minutes were corrected as follows: Page 7, Item 8, last sentence should read, “The Committee plans to hold quarterly trainings starting in 2019” (Husom). On a motion by Vetsch, second by Husom, all voted to approve the 3-13-18 County Board Minutes as corrected.
REVIEW & APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
The following items were petitioned to the Agenda by Chief Deputy Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office: 9:07 Item 2, “Schedule 911 Planning Committee”; 9:07 AM Item 3, “Sheriff Joe Hagerty, Recognition Of Pam Benson, Communications Officer, For 27 Years Of Service.” Borrell moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
CONSENT AGENDA
Vetsch moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Claim - Madden, Galanter, & Hansen LLP, Feb 2018 Services, $4,994.04
B. ADMINISTRATION
1. Authorize Attendance Of County Board Members At The Following:
A. Mayor’s Association Meeting, 3-21-18 @ 6:00 PM, Bison Creek, Buffalo
B. Township Officers Association Meeting, 4-05-18, Southside Township Hall
C. Volunteer DAV Drivers Appreciation Luncheon, 4-18-18 @ 11:00 AM, Mill Creek Restaurant, Buffalo
C. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between 3-07-18 And 3-13-18
D. HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT
1. Position Replacement:
A. Inventory Control Person Position
E. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer to the Technology Committee:
A. Project Portfolio
B. ERP Update
C. Office 365 Update
F. PARKS & RECREATION
1. Acknowledge Submittal Of The Wright County Parks & Recreation 2017 Annual Report
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Approve 1-24-18 Ditch Committee Minutes
Vetsch moved to approve the Ditch Committee minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom. Vetsch asked whether Matt Detjen, Ditch Coordinator, had heard anything back from Rinke Noonan on the status of Ditch 33. Detjen attended a MN Association of Drainage Inspectors Meeting yesterday and learned that once the process is done, there is interest in doing a redetermination of benefits on Ditch 33. Vetsch asked whether the original agreement is being nulled and the Ditch is going back to its original state. Detjen said that is correct. He said it is a unique situation having portions of a ditch transferred, and the County would probably want to take that back. In response to Daleiden, Detjen said there are as-builts for Ditch 33. The motion to approve the 1-24-18 Ditch Committee minutes carried 5-0. The minutes of that meeting follow:
Hiivala opened the meeting with a brief history of CD 33. There has been two separate petitions by the City of Monticello in 2005 and 2006 to outlet storm water into the drainage system. Detjen stated that the first petition by the City of Monticello was on behalf of the Carlisle Village development which allowed the city to outlet storm water under the condition that $167,000 was to be used towards creating a new 48” tile outlet for this system. Hiivala questioned whether this outlet was created. Detjen replied that as of today it had not been, and that the money was to be transferred into the CD 33 ditch fund after 3 years if the outlet was not created. Commissioner Vetsch had spoken with the City of Monticello and suggested a meeting between both parties to resolve the issue.
The second petition discussed was on behalf of the Hidden Forest and Niagara Falls developments’. Detjen stated that that these developments were never built, but from speaking with John Kolb, of Rinke Noonan, Kolb advised that this petition was adopted and could still be pursued. Kryzer stated that the petition transferred branches 1 and 2, as well as the portion of the ditch north of outlet structure #2, over to the city. All drainage rights would be maintained as a part of the agreement, but the benefitted landowners’ on these areas would be removed for future ditch assessments.
Commissioner Daleiden asked about the current state of the system. Hiivala stated that repair requests had recently been received on the ditch system. Detjen commented that very little maintenance had been done on the ditch since its establishment, and that significant repairs would likely be needed. Vetsch suggested that an engineering report should be done on the system to review the current records and to provide recommendations on the repairs needed. Kryzer inquired about the current benefits of the system. Hiivala responded that the last redetermination was done in 1917. Detjen recommended that a redetermination of benefits would likely be needed in order to repair the system, as the current rolls do not reflect current land values.
Daleiden recommended that the petitions’ in question be sent over to the City of Monticello in order for them to review the findings and to determine if the fund provided were still available. An agreement was reached to order an engineering report of the system and to schedule a meeting in March with representatives of the City of Monticello to discuss the two petitions.
(End of 1-24-18 Ditch Committee Minutes)
ALICIA O’HARE, WATER RESOURCE SPECIALIST, WRIGHT SWCD
Authorize Representative To Approve North Fork Crow 1W1P
O’Hare stated the North Fork Crow 1W1P (One Watershed One Plan) is currently in a public comment period. A public hearing will follow the current 60-day public comment period, and is scheduled for 4-16-18 at 5:30 PM in Litchfield. The Plan will then be released for a 90-day comment period for public entities. It is the hope that all entities will approve a draft of the Plan via a representative at the public hearing, and that would be Commissioner Borrell as he serves on the Policy Committee. That will speed up the process rather than coming back in a month to ask for approval.
On a motion by Husom, second by Potter, all voted to authorize Borrell to serve as Wright County’s representative at the public hearing and approve the draft of the Plan.
Vetsch made a motion to authorize the Policy Committee of the North Fork 1W1P to release the Plan for the 90-day public comment period. The motion was seconded Borrell and carried 5-0.
CHIEF DEPUTY TODD HOFFMAN, SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Request Board Approval Of The 2018 MN DNR Boat & Water Safety Grant In The Amount Of $17,459.00
Hoffman requested approval of the annual grant that supports the Sheriff’s Office Boat & Water safety activities. The funds will be allocated as set out in the 2018 budget. Discussion followed on whether the funds can be used toward the Park Ranger position. Hoffman stated that a portion of the funds could be used toward that position during the summer months. It is not a matching grant but the DNR likes to see County funding put toward this.
Borrell moved to approve the 2018 MN DNR Boat & Water Safety Grant for $17,459.00. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried unanimously.
911 Planning Committee
Hoffman said the 911 Planning Committee is not listed on the Committee/Advisory Board Listing. Past records reference Borrell and Husom being appointed to this Committee. He requested the Committee be reinstated. Per State requirements, the Committee should meet at least quarterly.
On a motion by Vetsch, second by Husom, all voted to reinstate the 911 Planning Committee, appointing Borrell and Husom to the Committee and Potter as the alternate. Staff members on the Committee include: Assistant County Coordinator, IT Representative, Planning & Zoning Administrator, Sheriff Representative, Emergency Management Deputy Director, GIS Coordinator, Communication 911 PSAP Manager, Business Manager-Sheriff’s Office, Facilities Services Director, and Risk Manager.
Borrell moved to schedule a 911 Planning Committee on 4-10-18 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. Due to a meeting conflict, Borrell amended the motion to change the time of the 911 Planning Committee to 4-10-18 at 1:00 P.M. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0. Agenda items include 911 Plan Update, Text to 911, Committee Duties, 911 Backup, and GIS.
Sheriff Joe Hagerty, Recognition Of Pam Benson, Communications Officer, For 27 Years Of Service
Sheriff Hagerty presented Pam Benson, Communications Officer, with a plaque recognizing her 27 years of service with Wright County Sheriff’s Office. Benson was thanked for her service.
ADAM TAGARRO, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR
Authorize Travel For The IT Director To Attend InfoTech LIVE In May
Potter moved to authorize the IT Director to attend the InfoTech LIVE Conference being held Toronto on May 8-10, 2018. The motion includes the Premium Admission, $2,247, and hotel expenses. Funding will be from the IT training budget. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
VIRGIL HAWKINS, HIGHWAY ENGINEER
Award Meridian Ave S Bridge Replacement Project SAP 086-599-028 Franklin Township Bridge No.86J17 to Midwest Contracting In The Amount Of $111,355.00
Hawkins said bid opening was held on 3-02-18 with 11 bids submitted. The engineer’s estimate for the base bid was $182,303. He recommended awarding to the low bidder, Midwest Contracting, $111,355.00.
Husom moved to award to the low bidder, Midwest Contracting, in the amount of $111,355.00, for the Meridian Ave. S. Bridge Replacement Project (SAP 086-599-028), Franklin Township Bridge No. 86J17. The motion was seconded by Potter. Daleiden asked how many box culverts need to be upgraded/replaced in the County. Hawkins stated that all bridges are inspected as part of the bridge safety inspection program. Any culvert over 10’ in width is considered a bridge. Townships are informed of any repairs needed so they can apply for Township Bridge funding through the State (gas tax funds). Hawkins said Wright County is in good shape comparatively to other counties in the State. When he was hired 23 years ago, a bridge replacement was completed annually. Now that is done about every 3-4 years. There are two timber bridges that will need replacement in the near future. The motion carried 5-0.
Approve Agreement No.17-52 for CSAH 38 SP 086-638-006 With The City Of Otsego. The Agreement Outlines The Funding Participation, Construction, And Maintenance Responsibilities Between The City Of Otsego And Wright County. Project Will Be Constructed In 2018-2019
Hawkins said this is a collaborative project and includes federal, city and county funding. Otsego has approved the Agreement.
Potter moved to approve Agreement No. 17-52 for CSAH 38 (SP 086-638-006) with the City of Otsego. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0.
Approve The 2018 Maintenance Agreements Between Wright County and Six Cities: Delano, Elk River, Maple Lake, Monticello, Montrose And Waverly.
Hawkins explained the maintenance agreements relate to reimbursing the named cities for snow plowing of highways located within cities.
Husom moved to approve the Agreements, seconded by Borrell. The motion carried 5-0.
MARC MATTICE, PARKS & RECREATION DIRECTOR
Adopt Three Separate Resolutions Related To Grant Applications Through The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Local Grants Program
1. Resolution For Application To The Natural And Scenic Area Grants - Potential 59 Acre Purchase At Stanley Eddy Park Reserve
The Parks & Recreation Department was contacted by a willing seller in 2017 on a proposed sale of approximately 59 acres adjoining Stanley Eddy Park Reserve. The Board took action on 5-16-17 to move forward with a potential purchase including an appraisal. Mattice said the appraisal came back at $223,000 and the grant request would be for $132,500. Potter said this property meets the criteria for fitting into the Park.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-19 approving application to the Natural and Scenic Area Grants for the 59-acre purchase at Stanley Eddy Park Reserve. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
2. Resolution For Application To The Natural And Scenic Area Grants - Potential 20 Acre Purchase At Stanley Eddy Park Reserve
The Parks & Recreation Department was contacted by a willing seller in 2018 with a proposed sale of 20 acres adjoining Stanley Eddy Park Reserve. The Board took action on 1-23-18 to move forward with a potential purchase including an appraisal. Mattice said this property is surrounded entirely by the Park and is located in the south unit. The grant request would be for $65,500.
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #18-20 for application to the Natural and Scenic Area Grants for the 20-acre purchase at Stanley Eddy Park Reserve. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
3. Resolution For Application To The Outdoor Recreation Grant - Montissippi Park Trail Pavement Overlay
Funding to overlay the Montissippi Park Trails is included the CIP budget as potential projects for 2021. Grant funding would help offset expenses. If awarded, the County would have up to 24 months to complete the project. Mattice said the grant request would be for $87,500 and if awarded, the project would be completed in 2020.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #18-21 for application to the Outdoor Recreation Grant for the Montissippi Park Trail Pavement Overlay. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
BRIAN ASLESON, CHIEF DEPUTY ATTORNEY
Adopt Resolution Containing Finding And Order That An EAW Is Not Required For The CSAH 18 Project.
Asleson said in early February, correspondence was received from Farmer’s Legal Action Group (FLAG) requesting the County cease all planning and development on the CSAH 18 project and asserting a mandatory preparation of an EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheet). A return letter was sent by the County on 2-09-18 indicating the County disagreed on the mandatory EAW for the project. On 3-12-18, the County received a request from FLAG that an EAW be prepared, asserting it is required by the Environmental Quality Board rules. Staff disagrees that the project meets the threshold for a mandatory EAW and believes the project to be exempt from the rules.
Asleson said the County Board is the Responsible Government Unit (RGU) in determining whether an EAW is necessary. He referenced a similar situation in January where the County received a similar request from the DNR for an EAW in a ditch matter. In that instance, the Board adopted a similar resolution finding an EAW was not necessary. Asleson said the recommended action is structured after the action taken in that situation.
Vetsch said the documentation reflects the center turn lane is well under 5000’ in length. He understands the requirement is over a mile. He said it is not a dedicated traffic lane but rather a center turn lane. Asleson said the rules have been in place for a long time. He could not find court decisions on how to interpret what a traveling lane is so that decisions is left to the County. In his view, it would be a closer call if it involved construction of a new lane of more than a mile. He asked the Highway Department what would happen if someone would drive the whole length of the project, once constructed, in that center lane. The response was that they could be issued a ticket as that is not a travel lane.
Potter made a motion to adopt Resolution #18-22 containing the Findings and Order that an EAW is not required for the CSAH 18 Project. The motion was seconded by Husom.
Daleiden questioned what is involved with an EAW and the timeline. Asleson said the last two paragraphs of the draft resolution are included due to provisions in the rules that address certain projects being exempt from the preparation of an EAW. An EAW is meant to gather facts and look at whether there will be environmental impacts. An EAW can be completed on any project even though it is not required by the rules. Staff does not feel this project would even come close to the requirement for an EAW. Vetsch said he would be leery of completing an EAW outside of the scope of the parameters, as it could set precedence. He favored staying within the guidelines.
Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Supervisor, said the timeline of an EAW can run six months to a year depending on the scope of the project and the comments received. Costs could run $10,000 depending on the scope. An EAW is a first step; it is an information gathering document, not a decision making document. It provides information to the deciding body to make an informed decision. An EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) is developed for larger scale projects (landfill or a
160-acre gravel pit). If the project does not meet the requirements for a mandatory EAW, then it is up to the County Board whether they want to pursue that or not.
The motion to adopt Resolution #18-22 passed 5-0 on a roll call vote.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
3-14-18 BUILDING COMMITTEE MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, Potter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Recycling Center Equipment & Construction
Wilczek gave an overview of the site and the storm damage from July 2016. The tipping floor structure was subsequently removed as a result of the damages. MCIT payment was $57,300.
Stephens provided a recap of the equipment value and history. Approximately $95k offered in 2014. Now the same group said it would not pay for the equipment, but remove at no cost. Another company proposed a cost of $19k to remove. Stephens proposed that we should maybe wait and see what scrap metal prices do over the next several months or year.
Husom asked why did we not remove for the $95k? Stephens said that we were waiting to see what happened with the site and if it would be a long term hold facility. The plan is now to keep the site and programs long term, so it should potentially be removed to provide space for current operations.
Wilczek gave a recap of the building functionality and the cost. If the tipping floor shell was rebuilt at a lower clearance height, it would be around $200-225k. Spending that money would not improve the flow of the facility for the programs currently operating, would not provide a hazardous material storage area with proper ventilation, provide an office work space for staff, etc. The existing facility was not designed for what it is currently used for and really isn’t efficient.
Potter indicated maybe we should hold the project and do it right with long term planning in mind to better serve our residents.
Dahl stated that MCIT has determined they would not fund the remaining approximate $60k in depreciation holdback money unless the site was issued a certificate of occupancy prior to July 5, 2018.
Potter and Husom commented that we need to do this right. The remaining funds are a sizable chunk of money, but spending money to build a shelter on the tipping floor and not being set up the way we want to be is not a good use of the money out of pocket. We should be planning this for long term because we now know we are keeping the building and improving programs to better serve residents.
Stephens commented that there is a significant amount of money in the SCORE fund and he will do a little more research into the availability of those funds for improvements to the site & facility.
Recommendation: Hold on the reconstruction and equipment disposition for now and organize a plan to have it designed correctly. Look into who other Counties have used for design of their facilities and explore Architect options.
(End of 3-14-18 Building Committee Minutes)
3-14-18 PERSONNEL COMMITTEE MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Under Others Present, change to “Barb Petersen” (Husom). Vetsch referenced the requests being presented to Committee to hire above 12% of the minimum hire range. He does not want to set precedence prior to the Compensation and Classification Study. He understands that some positions are hard to fill but feels the requests may be a bit out of control. Husom said she struggles with this as well as more requests come in. The flip side is there is value in hiring a person with experience. She said the Board could decide to only look at the requests on a rare exception until the Study is completed. Vetsch suggested a matrix which would reflect compensation percentages above minimums based on experience. Potter said when the last Classification Study was completed, it was during a recession and did not include a market study. On a motion by Husom, second by Potter, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations. The minutes follow:
I. Request To Hire Highway Technician Applicant 12% Above Pay Scale, Highway
Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins reported that they have a candidate for the Highway Technician I position. The candidate is currently employed by another county. Assistant Highway Engineer Chad Hausmann stated that they would like to make an offer to this candidate The candidate has 3 years of experience as a Highway Technician in another county. The Highway Department would like to offer the candidate more than 12% above the minimum pay for this position. The preferred candidate is currently making $23.74 per hour and will receive a pay increase in May to $24.69 per hour.
Assistant Highway Engineer Hausmann said that once the candidate obtains 6 years of experience, he will then be eligible to transition to a technician II position. The Highway Department is requesting to offer this candidate the Highway Technician I position at $25.00 per hour. This would result in a pay increase just above the wage that he would be receiving at his current employer.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked if this would hiring would negatively impact any of the current Highway Technician employees.
Assistant Highway Engineer Hausmann replied that all of the current technicians are at the top of the pay scale for the Highway Technician II compensation plan.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson commented that all of the Technician II positions are currently making $33.09 per hour.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked Highway Engineer Hawkins what the percentage increase would be if this person started at $25.00 per hour. Highway Engineer Hawkins stated that this is roughly a 22% percent increase from the starting wage rate.
Commissioners Husom and Daleiden were agreeable to approve the hiring of the Office Technician I at $25.00 per hour.
Recommendation: Approve the Hiring of the Highway Technician applicant at $25.00 per hour.
II. Reclassification Of Operations Specialist To Technical Support Specialist, IT
Information Technology Director Adam Tagarro explained that part of the information technology reorganization plan is to reclassify the existing Operations Specialist position to a Technical Support Specialist. Information Technology Director Tagarro stated that after reviewing the Technical Support Specialist position description and the job responsibilities for the Operations Specialist that they are very similar and will assist the department in further clarifying staff member’s roles and responsibilities. The IT Department has one staff member that is in the Operations Specialist position. The current Operations Specialist position would be eliminated and that staff member would be reassigned to a Technical Support Specialist position. The Technical Support Specialist position is one grade level higher in the County’s compensation plan and will result in a pay increase for the current staff member affected by this change.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked if this was in conflict with what the Personnel Committee considered a couple weeks ago regarding the compensation and classification study and wanted to make sure that any action taken is fair.
Information Technology Director Tagarro said that his intention is not to make any changes at this time to the technical positons or the structure of the department, but only to move this position into the Technical Support Specialist position because it is an existing position and is more in-line with the job duties that this employee performs.
Human Resources Representative Barb Petersen commented that the Operations Specialist used to be classified as a grade higher.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden recalls that it was adjusted during the last compensation and classification study.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson stated that he has spoken with union representative due to some confusion with the impacted employee regarding this proposed change in positions. Mr. Johnson explained to the union that this employee would benefit from this change due to the increase in pay and that IT Department benefits from the continuity that this change would create in the IT Department.
IT Director Tagarro stated that he felt that the current Operations Specialist could handle these new job responsibilities. He reported that she is currently at the top of the grade scale for the Operations Specialist position and would be moved to the top of the grade scale for the Technical Support Specialist positon. Information Technology Director Tagarro said that with this reclassification the new Technical Support Specialist would not serve a new probationary period.
Recommendation: Approval to reclassify the Operations Specialist position to a Technical Support Specialist position.
III. Request To Hire Telecom Specialist Applicant 12% Above Pay Scale, IT
Information Technology Director Adam Tagarro stated that he has a candidate for the open Telecom Specialist position and he is recommending that the preferred candidate be offered $69,000 per year, which is greater than 12% above the minimum pay rate for this position. Information Technology Director Tagarro provided a brief description of the candidate’s background which included over 20 years of experience in the IT field. The preferred candidate also has experience working with the 800 ARMER megahertz radio system.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked if the candidate is currently working in the private sector. Information Technology Director Tagarro stated that the candidate is currently working in the private sector.
Commissioner Husom said that it is refreshing to see individuals come from the private sector, commenting that they recognize the job security that a County can offer.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson reported that the pay range for the Telecom Specialist position is $25. 81- $36.13 per hour. County Coordinator Lee Kelly stated that the proposed starting wage would be 29% above the minimum wage for this position. Information Technology Director Tagarro requested that the preferred candidate be offered a starting salary of $69,000 per year.
Recommendation: Approval to Hire the Telecom Specialist Applicant at $69,000 per year (29% above minimum wage for this position).
IV. Request To Allow HHS To Work With Robert Half To Recruit A Temporary Accounting Technician
Business Manager Christine Partlow reported that they have had 3 Accounting Clerks resigned in the last 2 months. The department has also promoted 1 Accounting Clerk to an Office Technician II in the Fiscal Technology team.
Business Manager Partlow said the accounting clerks that are accepting external positions are typically receiving $3 to $4 more per hour and the Office Technician II is also a higher grade level.
Ms. Partlow mentioned that she knows the Board of Commissioners will include this position in the upcoming Compensation and Classification Study, but also wanted to share a brief historical information of the position’s classifications since 2002. This position was classified as an Accounting Clerk in 2002 and was later reclassified to an Accounting Technician. In 2013, it was reclassified back to an Accounting Clerk in which resulted the salaries being frozen for some staff members. She added that the employees in this positon that were hired prior to 2013 had an average tenure of 9.6 years in this position. Employees hired after 2013, tenure average was roughly 1.3 years. Ms. Partlow stated this makes them in a constant hiring and training mode.
After receiving the 3rd resignation, Ms. Partlow said that she and Health & Human Services Director Jami Goodrum-Schwartz discussed using a temporary employment agency. They were interested in the possibility of using the Robert Half Agency for temporary employees.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked how many applicants are there for the Accounting Clerk position.
Human Resources Representative Barb Petersen reported that they have received 45 applicants so far with the position closing on Sunday.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson added another option would be to add to the job posting an applicant review date and that the job posting will remain open until filled.
Health & Human Services Director Jami Goodrum-Schwartz would like to keep the current temporary professional they are using throughout the hiring and training process.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson suggested that she should communicate her intentions with the union and inform them that temporary staff they are using will remain during the transition period until the positions are filled.
Recommendation: Approved the posting of the Accounting Technician position with the job posting including an applicant review date and a statement that the position will remain open until filled.
IV. Performance Review – Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator
Recommendation: Based on four (4) performance evaluations received, the Committee recommends a rating of “Meets Expectations”.
(End of 3-14-18 Personnel Committee Minutes)
3-14-18 TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE MINUTES
At today’s County Board Meeting, Chief Deputy Todd Hoffman referenced Item IV, Zuercher Police Department Integration, and said the fees are for County systems such as OnBase and Active Directory. The costs are not associated with each police department’s fees and annual maintenance. Vetsch moved to approve the Technology Committee minutes, seconded by Potter, and carried 5-0. The Technology Committee minutes follow:
I. Request To Hire Highway Technician Applicant 12% Above Pay Scale, Highway
Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins reported that they have a candidate for the Highway Technician I position. The candidate is currently employed by another county. Assistant Highway Engineer Chad Hausmann stated that they would like to make an offer to this candidate The candidate has 3 years of experience as a Highway Technician in another county. The Highway Department would like to offer the candidate more than 12% above the minimum pay for this position. The preferred candidate is currently making $23.74 per hour and will receive a pay increase in May to $24.69 per hour.
Assistant Highway Engineer Hausmann said that once the candidate obtains 6 years of experience, he will then be eligible to transition to a technician II position. The Highway Department is requesting to offer this candidate the Highway Technician I position at $25.00 per hour. This would result in a pay increase just above the wage that he would be receiving at his current employer.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked if this would hiring would negatively impact any of the current Highway Technician employees.
Assistant Highway Engineer Hausmann replied that all of the current technicians are at the top of the pay scale for the Highway Technician II compensation plan.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson commented that all of the Technician II positions are currently making $33.09 per hour.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked Highway Engineer Hawkins what the percentage increase would be if this person started at $25.00 per hour. Highway Engineer Hawkins stated that this is roughly a 22% percent increase from the starting wage rate.
Commissioners Husom and Daleiden were agreeable to approve the hiring of the Office Technician I at $25.00 per hour.
Recommendation: Approve the Hiring of the Highway Technician applicant at $25.00 per hour.
II. Reclassification Of Operations Specialist To Technical Support Specialist, IT
Information Technology Director Adam Tagarro explained that part of the information technology reorganization plan is to reclassify the existing Operations Specialist position to a Technical Support Specialist. Information Technology Director Tagarro stated that after reviewing the Technical Support Specialist position description and the job responsibilities for the Operations Specialist that they are very similar and will assist the department in further clarifying staff member’s roles and responsibilities. The IT Department has one staff member that is in the Operations Specialist position. The current Operations Specialist position would be eliminated and that staff member would be reassigned to a Technical Support Specialist position. The Technical Support Specialist position is one grade level higher in the County’s compensation plan and will result in a pay increase for the current staff member affected by this change.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked if this was in conflict with what the Personnel Committee considered a couple weeks ago regarding the compensation and classification study and wanted to make sure that any action taken is fair.
Information Technology Director Tagarro said that his intention is not to make any changes at this time to the technical positons or the structure of the department, but only to move this position into the Technical Support Specialist position because it is an existing position and is more in-line with the job duties that this employee performs.
Human Resources Representative Barb Petersen commented that the Operations Specialist used to be classified as a grade higher.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden recalls that it was adjusted during the last compensation and classification study.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson stated that he has spoken with union representative due to some confusion with the impacted employee regarding this proposed change in positions. Mr. Johnson explained to the union that this employee would benefit from this change due to the increase in pay and that IT Department benefits from the continuity that this change would create in the IT Department.
IT Director Tagarro stated that he felt that the current Operations Specialist could handle these new job responsibilities. He reported that she is currently at the top of the grade scale for the Operations Specialist position and would be moved to the top of the grade scale for the Technical Support Specialist positon. Information Technology Director Tagarro said that with this reclassification the new Technical Support Specialist would not serve a new probationary period.
Recommendation: Approval to reclassify the Operations Specialist position to a Technical Support Specialist position.
III. Request To Hire Telecom Specialist Applicant 12% Above Pay Scale, IT
Information Technology Director Adam Tagarro stated that he has a candidate for the open Telecom Specialist position and he is recommending that the preferred candidate be offered $69,000 per year, which is greater than 12% above the minimum pay rate for this position. Information Technology Director Tagarro provided a brief description of the candidate’s background which included over 20 years of experience in the IT field. The preferred candidate also has experience working with the 800 ARMER megahertz radio system.
Commissioner Chris Husom asked if the candidate is currently working in the private sector. Information Technology Director Tagarro stated that the candidate is currently working in the private sector.
Commissioner Husom said that it is refreshing to see individuals come from the private sector, commenting that they recognize the job security that a County can offer.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson reported that the pay range for the Telecom Specialist position is $25. 81- $36.13 per hour. County Coordinator Lee Kelly stated that the proposed starting wage would be 29% above the minimum wage for this position. Information Technology Director Tagarro requested that the preferred candidate be offered a starting salary of $69,000 per year.
Recommendation: Approval to Hire the Telecom Specialist Applicant at $69,000 per year (29% above minimum wage for this position).
IV. Request To Allow HHS To Work With Robert Half To Recruit A Temporary Accounting Technician
Business Manager Christine Partlow reported that they have had 3 Accounting Clerks resigned in the last 2 months. The department has also promoted 1 Accounting Clerk to an Office Technician II in the Fiscal Technology team.
Business Manager Partlow said the accounting clerks that are accepting external positions are typically receiving $3 to $4 more per hour and the Office Technician II is also a higher grade level.
Ms. Partlow mentioned that she knows the Board of Commissioners will include this position in the upcoming Compensation and Classification Study, but also wanted to share a brief historical information of the position’s classifications since 2002. This position was classified as an Accounting Clerk in 2002 and was later reclassified to an Accounting Technician. In 2013, it was reclassified back to an Accounting Clerk in which resulted the salaries being frozen for some staff members. She added that the employees in this positon that were hired prior to 2013 had an average tenure of 9.6 years in this position. Employees hired after 2013, tenure average was roughly 1.3 years. Ms. Partlow stated this makes them in a constant hiring and training mode.
After receiving the 3rd resignation, Ms. Partlow said that she and Health & Human Services Director Jami Goodrum-Schwartz discussed using a temporary employment agency. They were interested in the possibility of using the Robert Half Agency for temporary employees.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden asked how many applicants are there for the Accounting Clerk position.
Human Resources Representative Barb Petersen reported that they have received 45 applicants so far with the position closing on Sunday.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson added another option would be to add to the job posting an applicant review date and that the job posting will remain open until filled.
Health & Human Services Director Jami Goodrum-Schwartz would like to keep the current temporary professional they are using throughout the hiring and training process.
Human Resources Director Schawn Johnson suggested that she should communicate her intentions with the union and inform them that temporary staff they are using will remain during the transition period until the positions are filled.
Recommendation: Approved the posting of the Accounting Technician position with the job posting including an applicant review date and a statement that the position will remain open until filled.
V. Performance Review – Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator
Recommendation: Based on four (4) performance evaluations received, the Committee recommends a rating of “Meets Expectations”.
(End of 3-14-18 Technology Committee Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Page 1, Item II, last paragraph, last sentence should read, “For precincts that exceed 2000 the County will not purchase the equipment” (Kryzer). Borrell asked for more information on the election equipment. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said Wright County will supply election equipment for existing precincts, as they are being grandfathered in. Wright County will not fund the cost of election equipment if a new precinct has more than 2000 registered voters. The cost of the DS200, Poll Pads, and Auto mark totals about $20,000. The DS200 is a tabulator of ballots casted; the Poll Pad is used to register or sign in for voting and will replace the rosters; and the Auto mark assists people with filling out a ballot. Minnesota mandates paper ballots. Kryzer stated that early voting and absentee voting are the most expensive to process.
Borrell moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The 3-14-18 Ways & Means Committee Minutes follow:
I. Motor Pool 2017 Recap & Consideration of Replacing Vehicles
Assistant County Coordinator Vergin provided an overview (attached) of the Motor Pool (MP) since its inception in 2015. The MP started with four retired crown vics from the Sheriff’s fleet. In 2017, two Chev Cruzes were added to the fleet to meet the increased usage demand. Now that the demand has been met, would like to replace two of the existing Crown Vics with Chev Cruzes.
The current charge back to departments is 40 cents per mile. This has kept the MP operating in the black. With two additional vehicles acquired this year, we could re-evaluate the mileage cost for operation in 2019, as these vehicles are cheaper to operate.
Vergin stated that staff is working with Highway on possibilities of improving fleet management countywide. In addition, the location of fleet vehicles was discussed. With the addition of the Justice Center, vehicle locations will need to be addressed. If all departments were to move out to the LEC campus there could be one central location for all county owned vehicles, and management of the fleet would be easier.
The cost to acquire two additional Cruzes is $35,122 ($17,561 each).
RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the acquisition of two additional vehicles to the Motor Pool fleet, and re-evaluate the charge back cost to departments for 2019.
II. Resolution Re: Acquisition & Standardization of Election Equipment
Attorney Kryzer distributed copies of the proposed resolution (attached). The purpose of the resolution is to address the acquisition and standardization of election equipment throughout Wright County. This would provide a program to replace voting equipment, increase efficiencies, and improve the voting experience for the residents of Wright County. The County would assume the burden of purchasing the voting equipment for each precinct. Wright County will require that each precinct have under 2000 registered voters. For precincts that exceed 2000 the County will not purchase the
For 2018, the County will provide poll pads to all existing precincts, there will be one poll pad per 1,000 registered voters. By 2020, the County will provide each precinct with a DS200.
Hiivala noted that the Auditors office would maintain a steady election budget each year, allowing them to use those funds for technology in years that there are not elections. To provide the election equipment identified, the cost is estimated to be approximately $20,000 per precinct. Currently there are 43 precincts. The County is receiving some grant dollars to offset this cost.
Absentee voting is a large cost to the County; these solutions should enhance the voters’ experience, thus reducing the cost of absentee voting.
RECOMMENDATION: Recommend that the Wright County Board approve the resolution as presented, “Creating a process for the acquisition and standardization of election voting equipment in the County of Wright”.
III. Election Equipment Lease Agreement
The next document presented by Attorney Kryzer was the Election Equipment Lease Agreement (attached). The intent of this document is to enter into agreements with the cities and townships within Wright County for the leasing of election equipment to those entities. The County will maintain ownership; however beginning in 2020 these entities will be responsible for the maintenance costs associated with the equipment.
The maintenance costs will be for 1- AutoMark, 1- M100, the appropriate number of Poll Pads required for the precincts within the entity, as well as other associated equipment necessary for the operation of the election equipment such as jump drives, hot spots, etc.
RECOMMENDATION: Recommend that the Wright County Board approve the “Election Equipment Lease Agreement” as revised to address the appropriate equipment maintenance that will be covered under the agreement, and to proceed with entering into this agreement with the Cities and Townships within Wright County, which will be in effect for the 2020 State Primary Election.
(End of 3-14-18 Ways & Means Committee Minutes)
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #18-23 creating a process for the acquisition and standardization of election voting equipment in the County of Wright. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Vetsch moved to approve the Election Equipment Lease Agreements. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. It was clarified that approval relates to the form. The individual agreements will be brought back to the Board for approval.
AUTHORIZE ATTENDANCE, TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE D.C. FLY-IN, MAY 22-24, 2018, WASHINGTON D.C.
Borrell moved to authorize Potter to attend the Fly-In, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE/ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Coordinator Updates:
- River Rider is closing out. The IRS waived the majority of the penalties resulting in about $1,400 between Sherburne and Wright Counties.
- The bid opening for the Courts Facility is occurring today.
- Kelly attended a meeting on 3-16-18 at Flaherty and Hood Law Firm on HF 1985.
2. SWCD Meeting. Borrell attended a meeting on 3-19-18. A conservation tour will be held on 6-14-18 at 9:00 A.M. and will be similar to the one held in the fall.
3. MEADA. Husom attended a meeting last week. The group elected their officers and awarded four grants.
4. Polar Plunge-Special Olympics. Husom said employees from the Sheriff’s Office participated in the event.
5. 150th Anniversary. Husom said that 3-23-18 marks the 150th anniversary of the Courthouse County Seat moving from Monticello to Buffalo. A celebration will be held at the Historical Society on 3-23-18 from 2:00-3:00 P.M. Cake will be served.
6. Other Meetings. Husom attended the City of Buffalo Meeting on 3-19-18 and the Chatham Township Meeting last week.
7. Mayor’s Association Meeting. Daleiden stated the meeting will be held on 3-21-18 in the evening.
8. Mental Health Task Force. Daleiden attended a meeting last week. The next meeting will be held at the LEC in May with the featured speaker of Capt. Pat O’Malley on mental health issues at the Jail.
9. Trailblazer Meeting. Vetsch attended a meeting on 3-15-18. The group took action to dissolve the Volunteer Driver Program at the end of 2018, as the Program does not meet the model when it comes to requirements and liabilities. There are still 10 open staff positions, mostly in the Glencoe area. New buses will arrive in the next couple of months and will be used in Wright County starting in June-July.
10. COOP Tabletop Exercise. Vetsch plans to attend the exercise on 3-22-18 and hopes another Commissioner will be able to attend.
11. AMC Board Of Directors Meeting. Potter attended a meeting on 3-16-18 where they reviewed feedback from the Day at the Capital, held as part of the Legislative Conference. One of the suggestions is a 5-10 minute overview of the Policy Committees prior to going to the Capital. Other topics included a training in August on millennials, and the number of bills before the House (first bill deadline is 3-22-18).
12. HF 3725/SF 3419. Daleiden encouraged Commissioners to review emails relating to a bill that Legislators Lucero and O’Neill have put forth that could result in a loss to the Sheriff and Attorney Offices on drug forfeiture money. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the bill would repeal forfeitures as they exist and would create a system in which criminals involved in drug trade would be able to profit from their illicit trade of selling drugs. The bill would make it ineffective for the Attorney’s Office to defend.
Kryzer said the current system works well and forfeitures supplement the budget to offset costs related to technology and equipment purchases. An upgrade of the Damian system (database) is estimated at $80,000+ and would be paid for by drug forfeiture funds under the current process. If the bill passes, the expense will be paid by Wright County citizens instead of those that are committing crimes and using the database. Kryzer said this bill would result in a levy increase in Wright County. Vetsch understands there are two separate issues in this bill. One goal is to assist family members of those charged with DWI offenses and vehicles being confiscated.
Kryzer provided an overview of the effect of the passage of the bill on process with the courts system and the timeline. The changes would overwhelm the courts system and involve a lot of staff time. He said the County would basically be an uncompensated bill collector for the State, as in the end the State takes all of the money. Kryzer understands the Sheriff will be testifying on the bill this evening.
The meeting adjourned at 10:59 AM.
Published in the Herald Journal April 6, 2018.