|Commissioner's Minutes - May 5, 2012|
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE COOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Grand Marais, Minnesota
The Board met in regular session this 8th day of May, 2012, at the Courthouse in Grand Marais, Minnesota.
The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. with the following members present: Commissioners Hakes, Hall, Johnson, Martinson, and Sobanja. Absent: None.
County Board Chair Hall led the Commissioners in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Motion was made by Sobanja, seconded by Johnson, and carried to adjust the agenda for the meeting as presented.
No citizens were present for the Public Comment portion of the meeting.
Braidy Powers, Auditor-Treasurer, appeared before the Board with several issues. Powers presented a gambling permit application from Birch Grove Foundation to conduct a bingo event on July 4. Following discussion, Commissioner Hakes moved the adoption of the following resolution and upon seconding by Commissioner Johnson was adopted by unanimous yea vote of all members present:
RESOLUTION # 2012-48
MINNESOTA LAWFUL GAMBLING LG-240B APPLICATION TO CONDUCT EXCLUDED BINGO
Powers and the Board reviewed a proposed revision to the Cook County Purchasing Policy regarding Sheriff and Attorney forfeiture funds. Powers noted that those funds supplement the budgets for the Sheriff and Attorney's Office and are controlled by those elected officials. Motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Martinson, and carried to revise the Cook County Purchasing Policy to reflect the Sheriff and County Attorney authority over said forfeiture funds.
David Betts, County Engineer, and Russell Klegstad, Maintenance Supervisor, appeared before the Board with several issues. Betts reported that Ulland Brothers, Inc. would like to crush approximately 4,000 cubic yards of Bituminous Aggregate in the County-owned Airport pit located on County Rd 27. This aggregate would be used for the CSAH 8 road construction project. State Aid rules require that the County charge a market rate for aggregate on a construction project. Betts noted that the Forest Services currently charges $1.35 per cubic yard and the Minnesota DNR charges $1.55 per cubic yard. Following discussion, motion was made by Martinson, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to allow Ulland Brothers, Inc. to crush approximately 4,000 cubic yards of material in the Airport pit as requested and to authorize the Highway Department to charge $1.50 per cubic yard for said project.
Maintenance Supervisor Klegstad presented a capital purchase request for a Miller 951401 TIG welder. Klegstad noted that three quotes were obtained, with the low quote from Steve's Sport and Auto in the total amount of $9,098.27, which includes sales tax and shipping. Motion was made by Martinson, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to approve the capital purchase of the welder as presented.
Klegstad presented a capital purchase request for an RCA-302 Hollow Ram Pistol Cylinder, with low quote from Tools Unlimited in the amount of $1,095.47, including sales tax and shipping. Klegstad noted that this item was included in the 2012 budget and is a new piece of equipment for the Highway Department. Motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Hakes, and carried to approve the capital purchase of the cylinder as requested.
Betts reported that Highway Accountant Anne Zellner submitted her resignation, effective May 18, 2012. Zellner has been employed with the County since 1984. Motion was made by Hakes, seconded by Martinson, and carried to accept Zellner's resignation with regret and appreciation.
Betts requested permission to temporarily appoint Highway Dept. Clerk Lisa Sorlie to the Accountant position, advertise to fill the Highway Department Accountant position on a permanent basis once the job description is updated, and to allow him to hire a full-time temporary Highway Clerk to assist in the office until the Accountant position is filled. Motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to approve the staffing plan as proposed.
Betts noted that spring work has resumed on the County Road 8 project. No action was needed by the County Board.
Auditor-Treasurer Powers appeared before the Board on behalf of Assessor Mary Black. Powers presented an abatement application from Wayne and Ann Russ, as their parcel should have been split between classified homestead and rural vacant land. Motion was made by Martinson, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to approve the abatement for the Russ parcel (# 53-236-3450), due to the clerical error that occurred when assessing the property.
Powers presented an abatement application from Joel and Kathryn Lewis (parcel # 55-224-2200), due to a fire which made their cabin uninhabitable from June through Dec. 2011. Motion was made by Sobanja, seconded by Martinson, and carried to approve the Lewis abatement as requested.
Tim Nelson, Planning Director/Solid Waste Officer, appeared before the Board to provide an update of Subsurface Septic Treatment System (SSTS) Legislative changes. Nelson noted that Governor Dayton signed the omnibus bill, which included amendments to the septic program legislation, so that counties can now implement Local Alternative Standards (LAS), regarding septic systems in shore land areas as well as regarding food, beverage, and lodging establishments. Cook County has until February 2014 to adopt a County Ordinance to implement the legislative changes, and could also adopt a highbred ordinance to tailor the rules to suit the local area. Said local flexibilities could be implemented using the 2006, 2008, and 2010 rules. Nelson reported that he and Environmental Health Specialist Mitch Everson would like to draft an ordinance in 2012 that would be adopted by the 2013 septic system construction season. Nelson noted that the Governor also implemented an executive order regarding wetlands, which would allow counties that have a comprehensive wetland management plan to have more flexibility in dealing with wetlands on a case by case basis. No action was needed by the County Board at this time. Nelson will begin the process to update and revise the required ordinance for review by the County Board.
Paul McFarlane appeared before the Board on behalf of the Colvill Fire Department to request a $67,500 loan that would be used to build an addition to the Colvill Fire Hall that would provide for a meeting room, office, and a bathroom with shower facilities. McFarlane noted that the fire hall currently is paying on a $44,900 loan that was used to build the current fire hall and to purchase some additional equipment. The proposal would add the $67,500 new loan onto the existing balance, and pay the total amount back over 15 years at 0% interest. Commissioner Hakes inquired about the financial status of the County, as a number of organizations have recently obtained loans from the County. Auditor-Treasurer Powers reported that there are sufficient funds to approve the Colvill request. Following discussion, motion was made by Hakes, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to grant the $67,500 loan as requested, at 0% interest, to be added to the current Colvill Fire Department loan balance, with the entire amount to paid back over 15 years.
Paul Goettl, Lutsen Fire Department Chief, appeared before the Board. Goettl reported that there is a need to expand both the Lutsen Town Hall and the Lutsen Fire Hall. Commissioner Martinson distributed the proposed expansion plans that were drafted by the Lutsen Town Board. Goettl stated that the total cost for the project is $577,000, and requested that Cook County grant a $350,000 loan at a 1% interest rate, to be repaid over 20 years, to help facilitate completion of the project. Following discussion, motion was made by Martinson, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to award a $350,000 loan to Lutsen Township as requested, with a 1% interest rate to be repaid over 20 years.
Commissioner Johnson moved the adoption of the following resolution and upon seconding by Commissioner Hakes was adopted by unanimous yea vote of all members present:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following claims totaling $ 782,034.22 having been audited and found to be true and correct claims against Cook County, are approved and the Auditor-Treasurer is hereby authorized to draw warrants in payment of said claims:
Correspondence - Memos:
A. U.S. Forest Service Schedule of Proposed Actions, 4/1/12 - 6/30/12. Information.
B. MN Transportation Alliance News Review, 4/24/12. Information.
D. Materials from 4/16/12 Arrowhead Regional Corrections meeting. Information.
E. Materials from 5/3/12 Cook County Soil & Water Conservation Board. Information.
F. Tofte-Schroeder Sanitary Sewer District Board meeting minutes for 3/20/12. Information.
G. Materials for 4/18/12 Cook County Community Center Board meeting. Information.
H. Materials for 4/23/12 Cook County Community Center Steering Committee meeting. Information.
I. Materials for 4/30/12 Biomass Steering Committee meeting. Information.
J. Materials for 4/18/12 Active Living Steering Committee meeting. Information.
K. Cook County Tennis Association newsletter and materials, April 2012. Information.
L. Letter from U.S. Forest Supervisor Jim Sanders, 12/6/2010 and 4/8/2011, re: Superior Resource Advisory Committee proposals. Information.
M. Letter from the MN Chippewa Tribe Finance Corporation, 4/19/12, re: property taxes for Indian- owned lands. Information.
N. Letter from Iron Range Resources Commissioner Tony Sertich, 4/18/12, re: the EDA's Small Cities Development Program application. Information.
O. Cook County Board of Commissioner meeting minutes for 3/27/12 and 4/10/12. Motion was made by Hakes, seconded by Johnson, and carried to approve the County Board minutes as presented, with one revision.
Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers reviewed the documentation that should accompany every travel voucher that is submitted for reimbursement. Documentation should include the purpose, time, date, and location of the event. If the event or meeting does not have an agenda, a copy of an email, letter, or other communication that addresses or captures the required information is acceptable. No action was needed by the County Commissioners.
The County Commissioners discussed the regional Child Support Pilot Project that is being implemented in the Northeast Minnesota area, with cooperation from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Commissioner Hakes moved the adoption of the following resolution and upon seconding by Commissioner Martinson was adopted by unanimous yea vote of all members present:
RESOLUTION # 2012-50
WHEREAS, Minnesota Child Support is a state administered, county run program that works with parents to establish and enforce support orders, and
WHEREAS, Child Support Supervisors from the seven county Arrowhead Region have been meeting over the past year and have suggested a number of enhanced service ideas worthy of exploration, and
WHEREAS, there is a desire among all seven Region 3 Public Health & Human Service (PHHS) Directors to test these options by requesting formal support from the MN Department of Human Services (DHS), and
WHEREAS, there is a potential for greater service to the public and long term financial savings through program and technological efficiencies,
Janet Simonen, Personnel Director, appeared before the Board. Simonen distributed the Cook County Lockdown Procedure that had recently been updated by the Cook County Safety Committee, with input from county employees. Simonen will conduct a training of the lockdown procedure at a future county board meeting.
The County Commissioners discussed various 1% Local Option Sales Tax projects. Commissioner Sobanja noted that the Community Center Steering Committee reviewed a conceptual drawing that would attach the Community Center to the western end of the ISD # 166 School Campus. The committee voted to ask the County Board to allocate funding to conduct more precise drawings for the proposed building and location. Commissioner Hakes noted that Tom Wacholz of ORB Management will come to the May 15, 2012 County Board meeting to discuss this project and proposal. Hakes further noted that the preliminary estimate for the project, including the outdoor areas and recreational facilities, would be approximately $9.3 million, which is approximately ½ million dollars more that originally designated for the project. Commissioner Martinson reported that the Birch Grove projects are being completed, and that the Tofte Town Board will be coming to the County Board meeting on May 15th to request additional funding in the approximate amount of $225,000 to complete the facility. Commissioner Sobanja noted that the Biomass Steering Committee is ending the Phase I Study and beginning the Phase II Study. Sobanja inquired if there was 1% money reserved in the account for the Biomass project. Commissioner Hall noted that Hovland residents are still planning to present a 1% request for a new playground adjacent to the Hovland Town Hall.
Commissioner Hall noted that she met with the County Engineer on May 8th regarding County Road 16, which is sometimes flooded by Otis Creek. Commissioners Martinson and Sobanja noted that they would attend the AMC District 1 meeting on June 15, 2012.
At 10:25 a.m. a motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Sobanja, and carried to close the regular meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners for Attorney/Client Privilege in discussing the Burbach Aquatic issues. Present for this closed session were all five Commissioners, in addition to County Attorney Scannell, Auditor-Treasurer Powers, and County Board Secretary Simonen.
At 11:10 a.m. a motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Hakes, and carried to end the closed session and reopen the regular meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners discussed the interest and need to have the City of Grand Marais participate in operations and maintenance of a new Community Center. Motion was made by Johnson, seconded by Martinson, and carried to declare that Cook County needs the City of Grand Marais to participate in payment for costs of operation and maintenance of the planned new Community Center when the project goes forward. Motion was then made by Sobanja, seconded by Johnson, and carried to declare that Cook County supports the City of Grand Marais declaratory judgment action against Burbach Aquatics and is willing to negotiate an offset of payments for cost of operations and maintenance of the Community Center to support the City's Lawsuit.
There being no further business, motion was made and carried that the meeting be adjourned.