In 2007, the bylaws were amended to remove the county board’s jurisdiction and control over the board. Audit findings have repeatedly noted that this does not comply with state statutes, and the bylaws must be corrected to recognize the county’s jurisdiction.
Kaela Brennan, representing the Heritage Living Center, explained that the Minnesota Management and Budget Office (MMB) reviewed the state auditor’s findings and received a copy of the proposed changes.
“From MMB’s perspective, there will not be any real changes to pay equity,” Brennan said, adding MMB will keep a copy of the bylaws in their file.
The HLCB circulated the amendments in August “to allow ample time for review,” and did not take action until September, she noted. Any changes must be approved by the county board.
The first article of the bylaws was revised to read: “The Heritage Living Center Board, consisting of eight members, was designated under the jurisdiction and control of the Hubbard County Board of Commissioners to supervise Heritage Living Center and constitute its administrative board for the county.”
Brennan said, “This language really tracks the language in the statute and is meant to specifically address the state auditor’s finding.”
In the fifth article of the bylaws, the wording was altered to say HLCB “shall have authority to develop and approve an operating budget for the day-to-day operation of the facility, without approval or veto by any separate body.”
“This language is really meant to clarify the existing budgeting approval process,” Brennan said.
HLCB recommended approval of these changes.
County commissioner David De La Hunt asked how the county exerts “jurisdiction and control” over HLCB.
“It’s true that the statute does not define ‘jurisdiction and control,’ and so it seems to me that there is some discretion on the county board’s part as to how it wishes to implement the statutory language,” Brennan. “As I understand it, throughout the history of the campus, board has overseen the employees, the day-to-day supervision of the facility and the responsibility for the budget and financing.”
De La Hunt asked if jurisdiction only means the county may create or dissolve HLCB.
“It has those powers to create or dissolve the board. I would also note in the bylaws and in practice here, the county has two commissioners who serve on the campus board,” she replied. “The county board also approves any amendments to the bylaws.”
County commissioner Tom Krueger suggested that HLCB should comprise seven members, including two county commissioners, so that “there can be no stalemate.”
He also proposed that HLCB nominate board members, which the county board must then approve.
The county board then tabled this matter until the HLCB had an opportunity to review the suggestions.
In related and other business, the county board did as follows:
Approved the low responsible quote of $21,713 from G&R Controls of Fargo for a Global Plasma Solutions bipolar ionization system for the Heritage Living Center, with payment to be made from CARES Act funding.
Approved funding the Equitable Cost-Sharing for Publicly-Owned Nursing Facilities (ECPN) program for Heritage Living Center for the year 2021, at the current rate of $11.24 per resident per day.
Approved the low quotes of $28,945 for recording software called the Capture911 System, and $2,765 for maintenance from MacTek of Apple Valley, as recommended by the Hubbard County Sheriff.
Accepted a professional services proposal from DDA Human Resources, Inc., to conduct a search for a county administrator, at a cost of $21,000.
Refinanced two outstanding bonds, resulting in a new single bond issue of $4,065,000. The county will realize a substantial interest rate reduction, a gross savings of approximately $272,340 and a present value savings of approximately $263,631.
Approved the hiring of a third assistant county attorney, with the position to be filled after Jan. 1, as recommended by the Hubbard County Attorney.
Approved a conditional use permit application by Best Properties, Inc. in Henrietta Township on Long Lake.