Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29, 2013 County Board Meeting: EDA Board Appointee, USFS/County Land Exchange, YMCA Construction

Board Chair Jan Hall, along with Commissioners Heidi Doo-Kirk, Garry Gamble, Sue Hakes and Bruce Martinson were all present for today's County Board of Commissioners Meeting.  Also present were Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers and Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen.

Public Comment
No member of the Public opted to speak before the County Board.

Maintenance Department
The Board approved the purchase of two vehicles as requested by Maintenance Director Brian Silence:  F150 Truck and Ford Escape for $23,509 and $25,591 respectively.  These vehicles will be paid for from the County Car Fund which Braidy Powers reported has a current balance of $108,000.

Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority Board (EDA)
The County Board reviewed resumes and interviewed two good candidates for an open position on the EDA Board.  Both candidates---Abby Saunders Tofte and Andrew Warren---answered several questions for the County Board.  After some discussion, the Board appointed Abby Tofte as the new county representative on the EDA Board.  It was generally agreed that either candidate would make a good EDA Board member.  Other EDA Board members include:  Mark Sandbo (Chair), Heidi Doo-Kirk (Cook County Commissioner), Hal Greenwood (Vice Chair), Don Davison, Bob Spry (City Council), Scott Harrison.

Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP)
Virginia Danfelt, CCLEP Director, and George Wilkes, CCLEP Member, gave the County Board a high-level overview of 2012 activities and 2013 plans.  Major projects in 2012 included:  Cook County Energy Plan (on-going), Residential Energy Efficiency Program, and the Cook County Family YMCA and Whole Foods Coop energy design support. Year 2013 includes on-going work on these projects as well as studying the viability of a Biomass District Heating Plant in Grand Marais.  For a complete list of CCLEP projects, check the CCLEP website!

Highway Department
The Board approved a Gravel Purchase Agreement between the County and Dean and Roxanne Berglund for the purchase of approximately 5000 cubic yards at a price of $1.50/cubic yard.

The Board authorized the purchase of several items including:  hotsy pressure washer, Ziegler CAT Diagnostic Equipment, Nuss MACK Diagnostic Equipment, Plate Compactor and Torque Multiplier.  The Board also approved the purchase of a Trimble R10 GNSS GPS for $60,428.19; this purchase was necessary to replace the GPS  that no longer functions due to FCC regulation changes regarding bandwidth effective Jan. 1, 2013.  And, the Board approved the purchase of a 2013 Service Truck from Towmaster for $132,184.07.  The current service truck is 25 years old and does not meet current safety requirements.  All of these capital requests are in the approved 2013 Equipment Bond Budget.

Assessor/Land Commissioner
Assessor Betty Schultz provided the Board with an updated priority list for the County/USFS Land Exchange.  This most recent priority list is recommended as a result of a meeting held Monday, January 28 between Betty Schultz, Bruce Martinson, David Betts, Russell Klegstad, Danna MacKenzie, Mitch Everson, and Sue Hakes.  Martinson, Hakes, Schultz, Betts and Klegstad will meet again with the USFS on Monday, February 4.   In addition to prioritization, the County will work to combine parcels to minimize appraisal costs and and identify legal/physical access options to each property.  The County and the USFS will also consider public input in decision-making.

The County Board scheduled the 2013 Board of Equalization Meeting for 6:00 pm on Tuesday, June 11 in the Commissioner's Room.

The Board approved the purchase of (2) scanners to be used in the Recorder's Office and the Office of Planning & Zoning.

Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers walked the Board through the 4th Quarter 2012 Budget Review including the cash balances in funds with resrves.

The Board authorized a change order as requested by Cook County-Grand Marais Airport Manager Rod Roy in the amount of $10,085.11 for additional milling and electrical cables.  This project is funded by the FAA and State Bonding.

The Board authorized the purchase of one new Commissioners Record Book.  Counties are required to maintain one hard copy of the county board minutes for informational, auditing and historical purposes.

Community Center Director Diane Booth
The Board approved an amendment to the Curling Club lease agreement for 2012-2013.

Diane Booth informed the County Board that the Cook County Amateur Hockey Association is entering into an agreement for two garage packages to be built in the Spring of 2013 on Community Center grounds.  The Hockey Association has agreed to spend $28,000 for these buildings to be erected.  The County has authorized $50,000 of One Percent Funding to finish these buildings with insulation, wiring, etc.  ORB Management will oversee the project; the County will own the buildings.

MN Data Practices Request
The County Board designated Braidy Powers and Janet Simonen as the authorized representatives to work with the County Board's Attorney Dyan Ebert to respond to a request for information under the MN Government  Data Practices Act regarding County Attorney Tim Scannell.

YMCA Construction Project
Wade Cole and Mark Kragenbring of ORB Management came before the County Board to discuss the bids for Bid Package 3 (Precast Concrete and Stainless Steel) and Bid Package 4 (Construction of the Building and Outdoor Amenities).  Bids for the project came in $1.966M over the $9.5M budget.

Corrective action is underway.  The Steering Committee met with ORB Management and JLG Architects all day last Friday, January 25, to get the project within the budget.  Most likely the solution will come from a combination of scope reduction and value engineering (VE).

Approximately $1.914M in potential scope/VE reductions were identified at the 1/25 meeting, but no final decisions for recommendations were made by the Steering Committee.  It is likely, however, that a) the depth of the pool will be reduced from 12' to 9' eliminating the possibility of a diving board, b) the gymnasium will not be expanded to provided full court indoor tennis, and c) the size of the building will be reduced by ~3500 square feet.

The County Board discussed the need to adhere to the guiding principles of the project to build a sound, high-performing building, built to last.  And, if necessary, the painful decisions of reducing the scope further will be made.  Hakes specifically asked for board direction in this matter.

The Steering Committee and ORB Management will meet again tomorrow, January 30, at 8:00 am.

County Soil Survey Update
The County Board was updated by Tim Nelson and David Demmer on the Soil Survey currently underway in Cook County.  Four basic areas are being surveyed:  USFS, BWCAW, Grand Portage Reservation, Non-federal land outside FS gross boundary.

Meeting Minutes
A complete copy of meeting minutes will be made available on the Cook County Website or by calling Janet Simonen at 387-3602.  A video of today's meeting will also be made available on Boreal.TV.