February 28, 2020

Utility Infrastructure Safety - AGC Digs In on Needed Change
It is a good bet that few contractors were not impacted by last summer's unprecedented failures in the critical utility locate process. Much of the disarray was brought on by utility owner and locate service provider breakdowns along the string of accountability. The failures quickly snowballed into an industry crisis that severely hurt construction business, caused project delays and unnecessarily put lives at risk. In response, AGC of Minnesota is bringing needed focus and purpose to these concerns. The 2019 experience exposed flaws and weakness in the locate processes and brought heightened awareness of how crucial this aspect of construction is to construction safety and timely project completion.  

The AGC team has been working with our members and various regulatory authorities and this week produced comprehensive legislation that will bring about a more accountable, timely and risk-balanced underground utility locate process. A workshop was held on Feb 18, where the legislation was discussed, and advocacy strategies were shared. AGC of America Utility Infrastructure (UI) Division Director Allen Gray was on hand to share and discuss the many UI resources available to members at the national level. AGC's presence in Washington is vast and members are fortunate to have Allen working on their behalf with members of Congress and federal regulatory authorities. Allen has roots with the Carolinas AGC Chapter, and he shared information about the work accomplished there to revamp state utility locate laws and create a more responsive and risk-balanced process. AGC of Minnesota members are encouraged to interface with Allen's network of contacts and resources by joining his semi-monthly contractor-focused conference calls and related UI resources.  

Allen has written articles on topics such as the responsibilities of utility project owners in the 811 process, and aggressive billing/questionable collection practices.  A webinar on frivolous claims and collections can be viewed here.

AGC Pipe-Layer Training Curriculum Recognized
The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has officially recognized the pipe-layer training curriculum developed by AGC of Minnesota as training meeting Minnesota Statutes, section 326B.46, subdivision 1(a) related to performing water and sewer pipe-laying work.

The pipe-layer training is yet another service offering AGC provides as Your Trusted Resource
improving members' competitive advantage as the very best in the industry. Please contact Doug Swenson with questions regarding AGC's Pipe-layer Training Curriculum.

Tim Worke
Traffic Safety Update
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reached out to industry associations with concerns about incidents involving commercial motor vehicles on MN Trunk Highway 55 and the area of Doyle Path.  Read this safety alert.
For more information, reach out to Ca ptain Jon Olsen, Minnesota State Patrol at jonathan.olsen@state.mn.us or via phone at (651) 350-2012.
MnDOT Request for Letters of Interest
MnDOT has posted a Request for Letters of Interest for the Southbound TH 52 Improvement Design-Build Project (SP 2506-83). 

More information is available on MnDOT's Design-Build Sharepoint siteTo access the Sharepoint site, please contact Peter Davich.  The site is open to all, but each individual must request access, after which you can view all DB procurement information indefinitely.

When to Consider a Property Tax Appeal

Developers, real estate investors and business owners are appropriately focused on creating profit and high rates of return. Managing property taxes may not be a terribly high priority. However, property taxes are usually the most significant real estate expense incurred by real estate users and have a direct impact on profitability and rates of return. Read More

By  Timothy A. Rye, Property Tax Appeals, Real Estate Litigation
Larkin Hoffman Real Estate
Gopher State One Call Seeks Stories of the Unexpected
Gopher State One Call has officially announced their Learn From the Unexpected Facebook series project. This series aims to bring the excavation community together over the shared goal of safety and damage prevention. GSOC is currently calling for story submissions in which excavators encountered something unexpected at a jobsite and shares  the steps they took to keep the project on schedule.

Learn more here.
Minnesota Budget Surplus Remains
Minnesota Management and Budget officials released the 2020 February Budget and Economic Forecast on Thursday. The state's budget surplus has increased by $181 million from the November forecast and totals $1.51 billion for the current biennium. Legislators use this forecast to make decisions during the legislative session regarding their policy priorities. 
AGC is introducing a bill next week to address issues surrounding worker safety and underground damage prevention. Per the CEO Report above, AGC is advocating for this change in the 2020 legislative session. Click here for our issue one-pager.
Check back here next week for the latest developments on this issue and other bills affecting AGC members.
2020 AGC Legislative Committee Meetings
Next Monday, March 2nd
Tuesday, March 17th
Monday, March 23rd is AGC Day at the Capitol
Thursday, April 2nd
(April 3-13 is legislative break)
Thursday, April 23rd
Thursday, May 7th
Thursday, May 21st  
All meetings will begin at 11:30 and end no later than 1:00. Lunch will be provided. All meetings are at the AGC Office and will have a Skype call in option. The agenda will be sent one day in advance. In the event there few updates that do not warrant a meeting, staff will notify the committee and provide any relevant updates in written form.
Next Wednesday: 2020 Labor Negotiations Event
If you have a collective bargaining agreement expiring this Spring, be sure to RSVP to Mike whether you are able or not able to attend the negotiations event on March 4th.

Did you complete the survey on negotiation  issues?  If not, please contact Mike.
2020 Form Contracts
2020 Form Construction Contracts are now available.  AGC of Minnesota offers 3 contracts: Standard Subcontracting Agreement, Master Purchase of Material & Supply Agreement, and Independent Trucker Owner/Operator Agreement.  These agreements have been prepared in consultation with our Contracts Committee, composed of attorneys, general contractors, and subcontractors, and after soliciting comments from sister organizations like MSA. 

The agreements are free to members and can be downloaded here.  Non-members can purchase a license that runs through February, 2021 and includes any mid-year updates.  Technical specifications, license terms, and instructions are available here.
Form Termination Notices
Termination notices are due to unions with whom you have an expiring collective bargaining agreement.  Form termination notices are available  here (if you are a member and do not have login credentials, Renee would love to get you set up).  If you did not receive an email from Mike about this form and are signed to an expiring CBA, please contact Mike as soon as possible.
Next Week: AGC Economic Summit
Where is the construction economy heading?

Is your business model focused on hot markets?

Where are the opportunities?

Which trends are pushing and pulling the industry?

How will materials pricing or challenges in the labor market affect your bottom line? 

AGC is pleased to present a unique opportunity to hear from two nationally-recognized experts, Ken Simonson (Chief Economist, AGC of America) and Jay Bowman (Principal, FMI), as they share observations and insights of significance to the commercial construction industry.

Join us next Wednesday for a peek behind the curtain into local and nati
onal economies and  trends.
Damage Prevention Meetings
The Minnesota Common Ground Alliance invites all who share the goal of preventing damages and increasing awareness for the use of best practices to register for their local  Damage Prevention meeting . Focused on safe digging and best practices education, DP meetings are held by and for the excavation community each year in March and April. Find your local meeting here.
Excavation Safety Conference
The 2020 CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo (March 24-26, Palm Springs) features education for all stakeholders. 
  • Believe in Safety: Know the Risks of Short Cuts
  • Online Locate Requests vs Phone Submissions: Why Go Virtual, and is it Safe?
  • Installing and Mapping Underground Infrastructure While Capturing GPS: Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
  • Learning from Tragedy: How Past Dig-Ins Can Help Improve Safety
Learn more here
Minnesota Construction Crew Spring Hiring Event
The Minnesota Construction Crew is having their 7th annual on Thursday, April 30th at the West Minnehaha Parks & Rec Center. Read more and register here.
AGC Seeks Affiliate (Service/Supplier) Members for Survey
AGC of Minnesota and AGC of America are working to evaluate and strengthen the level of interaction with our Affiliate  members. Your feedback is essential in helping us evaluate how to improve the value of your membership and identify additional opportunities for increased engagement at both the local and national levels. 

Please take a few minutes to answer this short, 15-question survey.



Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

525 Park Street, Suite 110  |   St. Paul, MN 55103