Tuesday, May 28, 2013

County Board Meeting for May 28: Sentence to Serve, County Administrator Job Description, SSTS Ordinance Discussion

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 Meeting. Also in attendance was Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers and Personnel Director/Board Secretary Janet Simonen.

Public Comment
No member of the Public opted to come before the County Board at today's meeting.

Courthouse Remodeling Project
Maintenance Director, Brian Silence, came before the Board with (3) quotes for various Courthouse Remodeling projects.  There was a wide discrepency between the bids coming in at $29,029 (S&C), $14,895 (M-Con Construction), and $7,325 (Bryan Carpenter).  There was concern that the lowest bid didn't include all materials and labor because it was so low.  Of the two remaining bids, the County Board made the award to M-Con Construction as the lowest qualified bidder.

The Board also discussed State bidding laws and how they apply to Cook County bidding procedures.  Braidy Powers, Brian Silence, Tim Scannell, Commissioners Doo-Kirk and Gamble will explore this issue and draft a Cook County policy. Commissioner Hakes suggested the policy mirror State bidding laws and not add layers of unnecessary and costly administration to the process.

Colvill Town Hall 
Brian Silence presented (2) bids for the removal and replacement of the concrete stairs installed by Hall Masonry at the Colvill Town Hall:  $6,170 (Concrete Design and Landscaping) and $1,980 (S&C Masonry).  The Board authorized hiring S&C as the low bidder.  Hall Masonry is no longer in business and therefore unable to do this remedial work.

Sentence to Serve Program (STS)
Victor Moen, Grand Rapids District STS Supervisor, and Gary Jorgenson, Cook County STS Supervisor came before the County Board to review the 2013 State of Minnesota Income Contract and answer questions about the STS Program.  Moen and Jorgenson talked about the benefits of the STS partnership between Cook County and the State Department of Corrections.

Overall, the STS program saves the County money by avoiding costs for out of county incarceration for sentences over 72 hours.  In addition, the program provides an opportunity for rehabilitation, building self-worth, training and mentorship.  Lastly, the STS program focuses on getting work done that would not otherwise get done.

Moen and Jorgenson also explained the steps taken to ensure that the work performed by offenders in the STS Program does not result in the displacement of current employees or seasonal workers.

The County Board authorized the 2013 Sentence to Serve Contract with the State Department of Corrections.

Claims for payment were approved as presented by Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers.

The Board authorized by resolution a request submitted by the Gunflint Lake Property Owners Association for a raffle at their annual festivities at Gunflint Lodge on July 17, 2013.

Powers reminded the Board that on December 18, 2012, the County Board approved the County levy and the EDA levy, ultimately funding the EDA's total request of $209,144 by setting the levy at $150,000 and using fund balance to supply the additional $59,144 to the City of Grand Marais for Cedar Grove Business Development Park bond payments.  The December 2012 minutes reflect an EDA levy of $209,144.  Based on Powers' recommendation, the Board took the following corrective action:

1.  December 18, 2012 motion was rescinded.
2.  A Resolution for the County Budget and Levy was approved showing the correction and,
3.  EDA Levy was approved at $150,000 and payment of $59,144 was approved to come from the County Fund Balance toward the payment of the City's Cedar Grove Business Development Park bond payment.  This approval was made contingent upon getting written agreement with the City of Grand Marais regarding current and future bond payments and income from lot sales and wetland credits.

The Board authorized Commissioners Martinson and Hakes, along with Braidy Powers, to negotiate this agreement with the City of Grand Marais.

Cook County Community YMCA project
Commissioner Hakes reported that the suggestion for ISD166 to pay for the Locker Room/Security Door renovation in exchange for the One Percent project paying for additional bleachers was not going to move forward.  In a conversation with Superintendent Beth Schwarz, Hakes learned that there was no plan for ISD166 to purchase bleachers.

Hakes also reported that the exterior walls of the Cook County Community YMCA were going up.  Some members of the Board expressed concern about the difference in color for the exterior panels; Hakes said she had already asked Wade Cole to look into the difference in color and report back.

County Administrator Hiring Process
The Board was presented with a proposed County Administrator Job Description as prepared by Commissioners Bruce Martinson and Garry Gamble.  Following a discussion of this job description, the Board moved to solicit input on the job description from Personnel Director Janet Simonen, County Attorney Tim Scannell, and Department Heads.  The Board also moved  (4-1 with Gamble opposed) to negotiate a contract with Springsted to assist and consult the County in the hiring of a County Administrator.  Braidy Powers and Janet Simonen, along with Commissioners Gamble and Martinson, will contact Springsted to outline a possible statement of work and schedule a meeting with the County Board.

Pharmaceutical Drop Off Boxes
The Board authorized Tim Nelson to purchase (2) pharmaceutical drop off boxes to be installed at the Cook County Law Enforcement Center and in Grand Portage.  For some general information on medicinal disposal, go to the WLSSD web page.

Cook County Septic Ordinance Discussion Number 58
Office of Planning & Zoning Director, Tim Nelson, along with Environmental Health & Septic Officer, Mitch Everson, led the County Board through the 2nd half of the most recent draft of the Cook County Septic Ordinance Number 58 discussion.  Also present were licensed installers Dean Berneking and Dave Tuttle.  Nelson advised that the next steps in this process would be to incorporate suggested changes and re-route for review.  After that review, a public hearing will be set, most likely for August 2013.  There were issues identified in today's discussion that the Board is eager to hear from the public on.

(Board Chair Jan Hall was absent from the  afternoon session discussing Pharmaceutical Drop Off Boxes and Septic Ordinance Draft.)

Meeting Minutes
Meeting minutes will be made available on the County Website or by calling Janet Simonen at 218-387-3602.  A video of this meeting in its entirety is available by going to Boreal.TV.