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St. Croix County Board of Supervisors, Dec. 19, 2006

proceedings of the


Regular Meeting December 19, 2006

Invocation given by Pastor Paul Lovestrand of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Baldwin, Wisconsin. Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Meeting called to order by Chair Malick at 9:00 a.m.

Roll call: 29 present; absent and excused: Supr. Wentz and Supr. Troyer

Administrative Coordinator Report: Administrative Coordinator Chuck Whiting explained the budget resolution contained a wrong tally because it did not include the revised net new construction amount. He reported the Finance Committee dealt with this issue in November and the choice was made not to come back to the County Board to change the levy. Whiting reported there is a settlement with the LAW union which will come before the County Board today. Whiting announced Eileen Graham, Personnel Manager, has submitted her retirement for mid-March 2007.

Chair Malick reviewed the agenda and announced cake will be served at break in recognitions of the 25th anniversary of County 911.

Consent Agenda: Motion by Supr. Mortensen, 2nd by Supr. Habhegger to adopt the consent agenda approving the minutes of the October 31, 2006 County Board Session; setting the next County Board meeting for January 16, 2007; approving rezoning for Tom and Tony Dallman, Town of Pleasant Valley, Ag to Ag-Res (Ordinance # 741(2006)); Valley Land Company, Town of Troy, Ag to Ag-Res (Ordinance #742(2006)); Kerry Licht, Town of Pleasant Valley, Ag-Res to Ag (Ordinance #743(2006)); Eagle Ridge Property Management, Inc., Town of Troy, Ag to Ag-Res (Ordinance #744(2006)); Dan and Vicky Wine, Town of Baldwin, Ag to Ag-II (Ordinance #745(2006)) and approving mileage and per diem for October, 2006 in the amount of $9,722.70. Carried unanimously.

Chair Malick explained the county's mileage reimbursement rate for 2007 will increase to $.485 per mile on January 1, 2007 per the IRS rate. Chair Malick noted another change adopted by the Finance Committee is to make meal tips reimbursement up to 15% of the cost of the meal. Malick explained if the County Board wishes to act on these changes, he is willing to schedule action for the January 2007 County Board meeting. Borup asked why it wasn't part of the budget process. Malick had an informal discussion with the Finance Director who indicated the change is estimated to be under $5,000 for the year.

Appointments: Chair Malick in consultation with Vice Chair King re-appointed Supr. Mortensen to the Indianhead Federated Library System (IFLS) board for another three year term beginning January 1, 2007. In addition, Art Feyerheisen resigned from the Council on Aging and Chair Malick and Vice Chair King appointed Inge Bleier to the Council on Aging to complete the remaining term of Mr. Feyerheisen.


1. Resolution #46(2006) to Approve Plats of Fourth Addition and Fifth Addition to Willow River Cemetery. Motion by Supr. Habhegger, 2nd by Supr. Burri to approve. Carried unanimously.

2. Ordinance #746(2006) Establishing a Temporary Moratorium on Permanent Signs. Motion by Supr. Habhegger, 2nd by Supr. Ruetz to approve. Supr. Awsumb asked if this was taking rights away from personal property owners and asked why this is important. Planning and Zoning Director Dave Fodroczi confirmed discussions were held regarding that matter with the committee and town officials who attended the public hearing. Fodroczi stated the existing sign regulations are outdated and there has been a significant increase in sign applications in recent years. There was a concern that the County take a deliberate approach and work with the public and town officials to develop sign regulations that are contemporary and make sense for everyone involved. The exceptions include an opportunity during the six month period people could have temporary signs. Question regarding electronic billboards. Fodroczi stated this will be addressed. Supr. Struemke asked if temporary signs need to comply with existing ordinances. Fodroczi stated there are specific standards to apply to temporary signs but temporary signs will be allowed by land use permit. Fodroczi stated the towns which commented are in favor of the moratorium. Carried.

3. Resolution #47(2006) to Approve Amendment to the Town of Hudson Zoning Ordinance. Motion by Supr. Habhegger, 2nd by Supr. Ruetz to approve. This resolution approves an amendment to Section 105-13 B, Industrial District, of the Town of Hudson Zoning Ordinance which created subsection 14 regarding automotive maintenance and mechanical repair facility, excluding collision repair. Carried unanimously.

4. Approval to issue ID Badges to County Board Supervisors. Chair Malick stated this is a suggestion from Emergency Management/Emergency Communications Committee. Mehls expressed the need to show identification when attending out-of-county meetings. The badges would not work as keys, only identification for County Board Supervisors. Mehls stated the cost is approximately $.50 - $.75 each. Mehls indicated the data on card is yet to be determined. Discussion regarding the purpose of the badge. Malick asked the committee for a one-page policy on the badges for Supervisors. Supr. Struemke requested the card be adaptable if future changes are made and could be used as access to rooms in the Government Center; others disagreed.

5. Recognition of the 25th Anniversary of County 911 System. Supr. Mehls provided a history of the county 911 system, which began in 1978. St. Croix County was the fifth county in Wisconsin to use 911. Supr. Mehls credited Steve Bahneman for his work on this system. St. Croix County went on the system on November 13, 1981. Supr. Mehls thanked Communications Director Gary Kollman for his work. Kollman stated 911 is still evolving with the use of cell phones and thanked the County Board for approval of the funding for the E911 project. Applause.

Recess at 10:30 a.m. - reconvened at 10:40 a.m.

6. Nursing Home Report. Fred Johnson reported on October 31st the Health and Human Services Board (HHS) offered a resolution to move ahead with Requests for Proposals (RFP) which was approved by the County Board. With the assistance of Wipfli, the RFP was distributed on December 1st. Supr. Caflisch expressed concern regarding the item in the RFP stating, "Enter into a partnership to construct and operate a newly constructed nursing home and/or assisted living facility in New Richmond, Wisconsin." and cautioned Supervisors to take extreme consideration before entering an agreement for a construction project. Supr. Awsumb summarized the nursing home project in St. Peter, Minnesota where the city entered into a partnership with a non-profit organization to build a nursing home and assisted living facility. St. Peter will use its bonding power to construct and pay for the building.

Supr. Raymond expressed concern regarding the additional consideration containing the language "may include the contiguous county land". Chair Malick explained this is included because the Health and Human Service Board's perception of a modern nursing home is connected to related buildings for elderly apartments and assisted living. Supr. Raymond asked there not be an unbounded contiguous. Supr. King stated there is plenty of time for the Health and Human Services Board to review and to bring forward recommendations to the County Board. Chair Malick indicated there is a committee working on this and asked Supervisors if the committee should continue on and asked for input from Supervisors.

Supr. Caflisch reminded Supervisors the County has been subsidizing this operation for a number of years. Chair Malick noted the limitation of time when dealing with the 2008 budget. Supr. Awsumb stated there are over 100 employees at nursing home and it is the intent of the Health and Human Services Board to continue to employee these people with a new entity. Supr. Raymond requested evaluation criteria for the County Board to review.

Whiting summarized the Health and Human Services Board is trying to determine inherent value the current facility has for the County so the County Board can understand the value of the facility to the public.

Fred Johnson stated RFP responses are due February 15, 2007. A decision will need to be made quickly on how to evaluate the proposals.

Chair Malick indicated the working committee consists of: Dr. Michael Kretz, Supr. Awsumb, Supr. Wentz, Fred Johnson, Bill VanOfferen and Chuck Whiting. Supr. Luckey stated as member of the Health and Human Services Board she is not adverse to open decision making to a large group including folks not on the Health and Human Services Board. Supr. Dowd suggested the committee be made up of County Board members because as elected officials those members would be more accountable to the taxpayers. Supr. Cranmer asked about adding members of the Finance Committee. Chair Malick stated this will be added to Finance Committee agenda if recommended by the County Board. Chair Malick confirmed that whatever is done it will be ratified by the County Board. This will be placed on the Finance Committee and Health and Human Services Board agendas. Chair Malick stated we need to articulate criteria for evaluation in advance and who should be the group to evaluate in the first instance the proposals that are received.

Johnson stated an additional consideration is the building itself and distributed a copy of an overhead of the facility.

7. Request for New Position Description Approval in Health and Human Services - MDS/Staff Education Nurse. Motion by Supr. Luckey, 2nd by Supr Burri to approve. Fred Johnson explained there were two administrative nurse positions, one on the first floor and one on the second floor of the nursing home. Through some re-organization there is now one nurse manager and one MDS/Education Nurse who is taking over responsibility of the second administrative nurse. Johnson explained the MDS nurse is responsible for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. The proposed position description accurately reflects the MDS/Education Nurse position. Carried unanimously.

8. Resolution #48(2006) Authorizing Transfer of the St. Croix County Community Development Block Grant Business Revolving Loan Fund to the Regional Business Fund, Inc. Motion by Supr. Krueger, 2nd by Supr. Malick to approve. This resolution authorizes participation in the regional business fund and the transfer of the current funds and loans existing in its state-funded revolving loan fund portfolio to the Regional Business Fund, Inc. when West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission notifies the St. Croix County Administrative Coordinator that all administrative procedures are in place to effectuate the transfer. Carried unanimously.

9. Resolution #49(2006) Establishing Condemnation Commissioners' Compensation. Motion by Supr. Krueger, 2nd by Supr. Caflisch to approve. This resolution approves the rate of compensation for condemnation commissioners be $20.00 per hour, the condemnation commission chairperson be reimbursed for actual out-of-pocket expenses in connection with a condemnation hearing, and that the rate of reimbursement for mileage be the mileage rate annually established by the Internal Revenue Service. Carried unanimously.

10. Resolution #50(2006) on LAW Contract Settlement 2007-2008. Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. Krueger to approve. Standafer stated with assistance of Suprs. King and Leonard negotiations were completed on the LAW union contract settlement. Standafer added they reached an agreement for a two year settlement for 2007 and 2008 including a two percent increase on January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2008; and a one percent increase on April 1, 2007 and April 1, 2008. LAW bargaining unit ratified the contract. Carried unanimously.

11. Resolution #51(2006) Approving 2007 Wages and Wage Grid for Non-union Employees, Nursing Home Non-union Employees and Temporary Employees. Motion by Supr. Krueger, 2nd by Supr. Standafer to approve. The resolution provides the Finance Committee recommends an annual wage increase of 2.5% for non-union (including permanent part-time and seasonal employees but excluding non-union nursing home employees) and temporary employees; and to replace the present five-step pay grid with a revised seven-step pay grid with more uniform step increases and pay grade tiers; and additional but limited pay grid adjustments to specific positions based on the County's application of the SAFE position pointing evaluation system. The resolution also recognizes the cost of implementing a 2.5 half percent wage increase in the 2007 budget may not account for all step increases or proposed adjustments, causing a department budget for wages and salaries to possibly exceed its 2007 budget and recognizes that the Finance Committee proposed to deal with possible department wage overruns through the Contingency Fund, if any occur.

Whiting introduced Scott Guinter, St. Croix County's Classification Compensation Specialist. Whiting stated Guinter has worked with the Position Administration Work Group committee and has developed options for changes in the pay grid. Guinter presented the proposed for 2007 non-represented pay plan. Compensation terms and principles reviewed including percentage between steps and pay grades. Guinter stated the proposed change is going from a five-step grid to a seven-step grid. The advantages of moving to a seven-step grid were reviewed. Guinter noted 85 to 90 percent of the non-represented employees are at the top of their scale and will transition from level five of the old grid to seven of the new grid. Guinter added approximately fourteen people between levels 1 and 5 will need to transition into the new grid. The proposal is a 2.5% increase January 1st and any step-increase on the employee's anniversary date. Discussion regarding transitioning to the new grid and the affects on employees. Guinter highlighted the Springsted process and progress. Guinter provided a regression analysis identifying positions over the line of best fit and under the line of best fit. Guinter stated Planning and Zoning area positions warrant some review for Senior Planner and Land Information Manager. There were no pay adjustments when the positions were approved. These positions have been re-pointed and the recommended effective date for these adjustments is January 1st.

Whiting summarized the Finance Committee's action. Supr. Lucky asked if the overall affect is increase, decrease or neutral. Whiting stated the intent was to be as close to neutral as possible. Supr. Speer asked why we had Springsted. Whiting replied that Springsted put job descriptions in one place and the County has not abandoned Springsted. Discussion regarding the PAWG Committee and who applies the point system. Whiting explained the decisions are by consensus of the PAWG Committee. Currently the PAWG committee is made up of Chuck Whiting, Greg Timmerman, Michelle Pietrick, Fred Johnson, Tim Ramberg, Scott Guinter, Sheriff Hillstead, Dave Fodroczi, Esther Wentz and Tom Boron. Whiting added the Finance Committee ultimately approves the points.

Discussion regarding amount budgeted for wage and step increases. Finance Director Pietrick stated her calculations are not to exceed $25,000.

Motion by Supr. Standafer, 2nd by Supr. Habhegger to move the previous question. Carried by a show of hands. Action on motion passes by a show of hands.

Supr. Leonard left at 12:03 p.m.

12. Plan for a Plan Action Step - Consultant Services Presentation. Jeff White from Valuation Specialist and Dennis Welsch from Barsness Consulting were present.

New Richmond Property. Whiting introduced Jeff White and his assistant Renee from Valuation Specialist in Eau Claire. White explained his work relates to a portion of the parcel on the County Farm property south of the highway. He has determined of the approximate eighteen acres, there is roughly twelve acres of buildable land. He added a portion of this parcel contains low land. He has determined the market value for the twelve acres is $1,015,000 (approximately $2.00 per square foot). White stated access is limited to this parcel. White listed several conditions the City of New Richmond has placed on a developer of this property. Supr. Habhegger stated he thought the buildable portion of this land would be more than twelve acres. He asked if this is determined to be more than twelve acres, could the County increase the price of the property by that amount. Supr. Habhegger asked the buildable portion be looked into.

Government Center Property. Whiting explained the Finance Committee is following the same process on the Government Center and is at the point of discussion with the City of Hudson regarding rezoning. Whiting introduced Dennis Welsch of Barsness Consulting. Welsch stated Barsness prepared a proposal with a significant goal to maximize effective county and public use for Government Center campus site. Welsch introduced a four phase plan proposal including: establishing an action plan to work with the Finance Committee and County Board to formulate the process; determine the financial objectives for the disposition of the land; identifying effective land use; determining location of roads and utilities. Welsch added there will be a public information discussion phase and assuming the city and county approve, create a Request for Proposal to allow the Finance Committee finite development goals. Welsch estimated eight months of work beginning in January.

Committee and Department Reports:

District Attorney: Eric Johnson highlighted what his office does in terms of prosecution. Johnson stated in 1988 he had five assistant district attorneys and now has 3.7 assistant district attorneys. The DA's office contracts out bad check cases. Johnson highlighted the meth issues and stated St. Croix County is still number one in meth cases and highlighted activities and groups formed regarding the fight against meth. Johnson highlighted the stop drug calendar and recent award ceremony he organized.

Victim Witness: Ann Gustafson, Victim/Witness Program Coordinator provided a written report. Gustafson summarized the history and duties of the program.

Supr. Norton-Bauman left at 2:21 p.m.

Child Support: Child Support Administrator Katy Kapaun highlighted case load increases. She indicated her department employs 8.9 staff. Child Support has entered into a cooperative agreement with the District Attorney's office relating to criminal non-support actions. As of September 30, 2006, the Child Support agency collected over $11,000,000 in child support payments. Primary collections came from income assignments. Kapaun highlighted claims for reimbursement and stated revenues exceeded expenses. Notable achievements and challenges for 2007 include St. Croix County being selected as one of two agencies to pilot EBT (electronic deposit and access to child support payments). The St. Croix County Child Support Agency now offers employment and training services to parents who are experiencing difficulty finding and maintaining employment.

Sheriff's Department: Sheriff Dennis Hillstead provided statistics and comparisons to previous years regarding the number of warrants issued, requests for service, accidents, fatalities, citations, arrests, civil process, and sheriff foreclosure sales. Total warrants issued as of December 12, 2006 was 1372. Hillstead highlighted fuel usage by the Sheriff's Department - total paid as of December 12, 2006 was $114,631.78. Requests for service as of December 12, 2006 was 11,276. Sheriff Hillstead stated accidents and fatalities are down slightly in 2006. Sheriff Hillstead noted a significant increase in foreclosure sales. Jail census as of November 30, 2006 was 4 paying inmates, 75 county inmates, and 35 huber inmates.

Chair Malick mentioned the Ad Hoc Meth Committee sunsets in 2007 and asked Supervisors to think about organizational methods for dealing with the spectrum of addictions.

Medical Examiner: Casey Swetlik highlighted Medical Examiner activities in 2006. Case types were reviewed including phone reports, scene reports and cremation authorizations. Swetlik provided information by reported deaths. Swetlik highlighted concerns regarding fentanyl which is a prescription drug. He stated, if abused, it will result in a death. There have been three fentanyl related deaths in St. Croix County so far in 2006. Swetlik provided his efforts in informing the public about this drug. Donor services were reviewed which is a proactive role to help fulfill the wishes of a donor and their next of kin.

Supr. Standafer left at 2:33 p.m.

Finance Department - off-site storage presentation: Dana Baker, Management Systems Specialist provided information relating to the county's status of the digital and hard copy storage. Baker provided costs and expenditures to date relating to hardcopy storage. Information Technology Department's 2006 budget contains $25,000 for optical imaging. There being no optical imaging purchases in 2006 the funds were used toward hardcopy storage. To date $8,827 has been spent from this account on hardcopy storage. The breakdown is: $7,100 on temporary and overtime pay, $600 in supplies, $193 for transportation, $250 for shredding and $600 spent on storage. Baker summarized the current usage of the off-site storage. Don Jordan left at 12:36 p.m.

Administration Department - county liability insurance presentation: Kevin Murphy, Executive Director of WMMIC and St. Croix County Risk Manager Kristen Ziliak were present. The focus of the Risk Manager is to preserve county assets from the effects of loss. Ziliak stated her presentation focuses on the financing of losses and impact on county's budget. County insurance coverage, claims history, funding and department budgets were reviewed. Ziliak stated the four largest areas are liability, property damage, hospital liability (medical malpractice) and worker compensation. Internal funding was reviewed including workers compensation and liability insurance. Ziliak stated the county currently pays the first $300,000 per worker compensation claim. Excess coverage is purchased from Safety National via WMMIC and WMMIC is third party claims administrator. A summary of workers compensation history by department for the past five years was presented.

Ziliak explained the Liability Fund includes all non-workers compensation costs. Claim payment prevention programs and funding by department were reviewed. Ziliak stated 2007 allocations are based on 2005 expenses. Ziliak provided a review of WMMIC vs. County Mutual quotes received. Dividends from WMMIC average $80,000.

Kevin Murphy stated WMMIC is a non-assessable municipal mutual formed in 1987 under State Statutes 66.30 and 611.11; WMMIC is owned and operated by 14 equity members; members share in the investment income and underwriting profits. St. Croix County's initial investment in WMMIC was $683,181. Premium and dividend history was reviewed from 1988 to 2006. St. Croix County's gross premium paid to date is $2.6 million; St. Croix County's dividends to date are $1.4 million. Supr. Struemke thanked them for the presentation and asked for copy of presentation.

Public Protection Committee Report - constables/deputies assisting sheriff: Supr. Speer stated the Public Protection Committee met on November 10 regarding creating a policy about deputizing town constables. The committee made no recommendation because it's a moot point. Supr. Speer stated there is currently a constable in the Village of Deer Park, Town of Somerset, Town of Hudson and two in the Town of Troy. The Town of Somerset will end their constable as of March 31 2007. Supr. Speer added, the Towns of Hudson and Troy do not want their constables deputized. Sheriff Hillstead stated he will not deputize constables.

Supr. Struemke distributed December 5, 2006 letters addressed to the Public Protection Committee and a letter addressed to Sheriff Hillstead regarding conduct in the November Public Protection Committee meeting. The handout included a resolution approving the support of townships, and the constables, by the Sheriff's Department. Supr. Struemke indicated the County Board Supervisor Handbook states under the description for the Public Protection Committee that it will provide policy guidance to the Sheriff's Department, Medical Examiner and other departments. Struemke stated his proposed resolution does not address him personally. Supr. Struemke requested the bylaw be amended to make the decorum provision apply to committees. Chair Malick will refer this to the Administration Committee and request a report back to the County Board no later than March 2007. Supr. Mehls stated deputizing constables and associated liability issues were discussed thoroughly in the Public Protection meeting. Supr. Struemke stated his motion is withdrawn.

Finance Committee Report - collections clerk position: Chair Malick summarized the plan for collections clerk duties in the Clerk of Court office. Child Support Administrator Kapaun and Clerk of Court Lori Meyer presented their idea for doing collection work. Kapaun stated two staff members from the Child Support office will work in the Clerk of Court office up to ten hours per week to use the tools in locating individuals and realizing some collections for outstanding debt. Meyer thanked Kapaun for her offer. Meyer summarized the duties of the Child Support staff are to attempt wage assignment, locate social security numbers and employers. When all efforts are exhausted it will be turned over to a collection agency. Six month evaluation will be done. Supr. Rebholz commended them for their efforts.

Health and Human Services Board - Long-term Care Reform Report: Report by Ron Lockwood and Kjersti Duncan. Goals include access, choice, quality and cost-effectiveness. Lockwood highlighted main changes including community care, nursing home care and acute and primary health care. Administrator hope to eliminate waiting lists in five years, reduce reliance on nursing home, provide easy access through aging and disability resource centers. Lockwood highlighted the redesign for old and current system and family care / partnership. Reasons for changes reviewed. Care management organizations highlighted by Lockwood. Duncan highlighted aging and disability resources. ADRC is a one-stop for information, assistance, and help. West Central Wisconsin Care Management Collaborative includes Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties.

County Clerk's Report of Correspondence and Rezoning Requests: County Clerk Cindy Campbell indicated there are no new rezoning applications submitted and had no correspondence.

Announcements: Chair Malick reminded Supervisors that Committee Chairs are responsible for personnel reviews of Department Heads.

Adjournment. Chair Malick adjourned the meeting at 2:53 p.m.

Clarence W. Malick, Chair, St. Croix County Board of Supervisors

Cindy Campbell, County Clerk

Copies of resolutions and ordinances may be obtained at the St. Croix County Clerk's office.