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Wright County Board Minutes

JAN. 9, 2001

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Mattson, Eichelberg, Sawatzke, Jude, and Russek present.

The minutes of Jan. 2, were discussed. Jude made the following corrections to page two: Under Committee appointments, from "Orderly Annexation Boards" to "Monticello Orderly Annexation Board"; and under Advisory Board appointments, from "County Fair" to "Wright County Ag Society." Jude added "C.R.O.W." to the Advisory Board appointments with Russek as the appointee and Mattson as the alternate. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item F1, "Appoint Jeremy Wirkkula, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. Jan. 2, Grade five" (Norman); Consent Agenda Item F2, "Appoint Ronald Smith, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. Jan. 2, Grade three" (Norman); Consent Agenda Item F3, "Appoint Matthew Treichler, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. Jan. 11, Grade five" (Norman); Item For Consid. #5, "Appointment to C.R.O.W." (Jude); Item For Consid. #6, "Rinke-Noonan 2001 Annual Drainage, Wetland and Land Use Conference" (Russek); Item For Consid. #7, "Farm Forum 2001: Farm, Food & Community" (Eichelberg); Item For Consid. #8, "Resolution Appointing County Recorder" (Norman). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Performance Appraisals: A. Pulvermacher, Bldg. Maint.; R. Bonk, T. Latour, J. Niebolte, Hwy.; T. Piram, P&Z; R. DeBlois, T. Endreson, K. Kremer, P. Miller, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $1,387.30.

3. Claim, Annual NACo Dues, $1,269.00.

4. Authorize Signatures On Agreement For Placement Of Vending Units.

5. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-22-00.


1. Tobacco Licenses: American Legion Post #323; Clearwater Marathon (Clearwater City); Marketplace; Cenex Lake Region Coop (Cokato City); Lantto's Store (French Lake Twp.); H&H Outfitters & Sports Shop; Roger's Amoco (Maple Lake City); VFW 8731; American Legion 260 (Monticello City); Squire Inn (Montrose); Jubilee Foods; A&M Liquors (St. Michael City); South Haven Municipal Liquor (South Haven); Pete's Grocery (Waverly City).


1. Accept Resignation, Rebecca Linder, Case Management Deputy, Eff. 1-16-01 & Authorize Replacement. Authorize Replacement Of Subsequent Opening Should Position Be Filled Internally.


1.Authorize Replacement For Richard Miller, Highway Maintenance Person, Transferring To Parks Department 1-29-01.

2. Adjust Non-Contract Right Of Way Appraisers Salaries For 2001.

3. Authorize Hire, Dirk Anderson, Highway Maintenance Person, Eff. 1-10-01 (Step 1).


1. Approve Transfer Of Rick Miller From Highway Maintenance To Park Maintenance, Eff. 1-29-01.


1.Appoint Jeremy Wirkkula, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 1-2-01, Grade 5. (Norman)

2.Appoint Ronald Smith, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 1-11-01, Grade 3. (Norman)

3.Appoint Matthew Treichler, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 1-11-01, Grade 5. (Norman)

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the Understanding of Services for the 2000 State Audit which was received from the State Auditor's Office. Preliminary work has commenced for the 2000 audit. Eichelberg moved to acknowledge receipt and to authorize signatures on the document. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried unanimously.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to schedule a Communications Committee Meeting for 1-24-01 at 1:30 P.M. The purpose of the meeting will be to receive an update on cell phones.

Correspondence was received from the Monticello Trailblazers Snowmobile Club relating to Otter Creek. The Club will be using YMCA land South of CR 39, Section 9 and 10 and their request is to cross Otter Creek. Gruber explained that the ditch appears to be a County Ditch called Otter Creek. The Auditor's concern related to erosion or restriction of water flow if a bridge were constructed across the ditch. After further discussion, Mattson moved to authorize a meeting between Gruber, Saxton (SWCD) and a representative of the Snowmobile Club. Gruber is to bring back additional information and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the On Sale Liquor License transfer "Harley's Pub & Eatery" (formerly Mallard's Cock 'n Bull) in Rockford Township.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced claims on Page 7, Sheriff/Corrections, relating to inmate medical costs. He has forwarded to Representative Mark Olson his concerns relating to costs associated with inmate care and out-of-home placements. He does not support taxpayers having to fund these expenses. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Jerry Uhde, Surveyor, presented a plat correction for "Shady Nook Replat and Addition." The survey work was completed by Tony Ellestad. Today, Ellestad stated that the plat is located on the Lake Sylvia peninsula. There have been problems associated with lot boundaries due to it being an asymmetrical piece of property. The legal description was rewritten. Ellestad stated that replatting will not have a negative affect on any property owners as the boundary lines were not changed. Uhde did not have any objection to the plat correction. Mattson moved to approve the plat correction for "Shady Nook Replat and Addition," seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated that the "County Day At The Capitol" discussion was incorrectly placed on the Agenda and should have been referred to the 1-30-01 meeting per previous Board action. Mattson moved to refer this issue to the 1-30-01 meeting, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to appoint Jonathon Ryan to the Water Management Task Force.

Eichelberg moved to appoint Denise Safranek to the GRRL Board of Directors, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Norman provided a historical perspective for MCIT premiums and dividends:

1995 Property Casualty Insurance Premiums $240,431; 2001 Property Casualty Insurance Premiums $264,361

1995 Workers Compensation Premiums $342,012; 2001 Workers Compensation Premiums $193,129

1995 Dividend $73,705; 2000 Dividend $285,612.

Norman stated that the net cost to the County has decreased $288,604 since 1995. Russek complimented the MCIT Board for their efforts. Norman is a member of the MCIT Board of Directors. Russek moved to pay the 2001 premiums ($264,361 & $193,129). The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Dave Weirens, Association Of Minnesota Counties (AMC) provided an update on the AMC 2001 Legislative Priorities. These include: 1) Reform & Restructure of Property Tax System; 2) Adequate Funding for County Probation Services; 3) Balanced Solution to the PERA Funding Deficiency; 4) Rededication of highway trust fund dollars and long-term transportation funding; 5) Local Bridge Program; 6) Welfare Reform - 60-Month Time Limits/State Safety Net; 7) State funding Out-Home-Placements for Children; 8) Coordinating Services for the Elderly; 9) Family & Children Services-Increase funding for family health services, including maternal & child health funding; 10) Solid Waste Management Tax: Allocating 100% of the revenue from the Solid Waste Management Tax to solid waste activities; 11) Local Road Wetland Replacement: Funding the State's obligation to replace wetlands impacted as a result of local road projects. Major issues facing counties include the $3 billion available in State funding, tax proposals, and redistricting. Weirens encouraged participation in the County Day At The Capitol and utilizing AMC's website and e-commerce. Other issues discussed included highway funding, out-of-home placements, and the impact on local jail systems by lowering the legal alcohol limit.

Tom Kelly, Attorney, expressed appreciation to the Board and staff from Administration, MIS and Building Care for their assistance with the move of the Attorney's Office to the 4th Floor Annex. Kelly presented the Wright County Bad Check Restitution Program. The Attorney's Office currently has 21,000 criminal files, not including civil files. Each year, there are approximately 1300-1400 bad checks prosecuted. Kelly explained that the process to collect checks in the past has involved a large amount of staff and court time at the taxpayers' expense. With the Bad Check Restitution Program, the American Corrective Counseling Service has been retained to work with offenders through a diversion program. The diversion program allows offenders to pay restitution and instead of facing criminal charges, they are sent to a class with the goal of holding the checkwriter accountable. The diversion program will come at no cost to the County. The County will become involved if the offender does not attend or fails the class, or does not pay restitution. To learn more about the Bad Check Restitution Program, businesses are encouraged to access the Wright County Attorney website ( or call 877-593-2874.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, distributed a list of proposed projects to submit for TEA-21 Funding for 2004:

CSAH 12 - Regrading, Base & Bit. So. of CR 108 to TH 12

CSAH 2 - Bridge No. 7192 North Fork of Crow River

CSAH 6 - Bituminous Overlay From Howard Lake to South County Line

Twp. Road-Farmington Ave. From CSAH 33 to CSAH 34

Delano-Trailway System Improve-ments Various Locations in City

Maple Lake- Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail From TH 55 to Ney Park, includes culvert under TH 55.

The first three identified are on the County Highway System. For cities with population under 5000, the County must serve as the conduit for Federal funding. Farmington Avenue is a route that connects CSAH 33 and CSAH 34. This is a route that is identified in the Transportation Plan as a candidate for turnup. It is identified as a minor arterial route. In the proposal given to Rockford Township and Buffalo Township last year, the proposal called for the road to be brought to County standards before the County would take it over. The Townships have indicated that the cost to do this is higher than what they can fund themselves, estimated at $750,000. That is why it is being presented for Federal funding. The Townships have requested that Wright County be a 1/3 partner in local costs. They have since agreed that the County could provide engineering services in lieu of contributing local costs. This request has been incorporated into the five-Year Plan and will not require a separate resolution if approved. The Delano-Trailway System Improvements and Maple Lake-Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail will require resolutions if approved. Fingalson noted that the State has a new rating system (technical rating). The projects, after being rated, will proceed to the tech group, the policy group and finally to the ATP. Fingalson's recommendation was for the projects to be submitted. Mattson indicated that in conversations with Steve Voss, Mn/DOT, the recommendation is to use signals for the Maple Lake project instead of an underground culvert. Jude responded that the School Board, Chamber of Commerce and City Council are in favor of the culvert project, due to 75%-80% of the children living on the south side of TH 55. They would like to proceed with the safest remedy. Fingalson said he would expect notification on whether these projects make the Area Plan by April-May, 2001. The projects are then forwarded to the State for approval. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to authorize submittal of the following projects for TEA-21 Federal Funding for 2004: CSAH 12, CSAH 2, CSAH 6 and the Twp. Road-Farmington Avenue. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-02 naming Wright County as the sponsoring agency for the Delano Trail System Improvements project, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #01-03 naming Wright County as the sponsoring agency for the Maple Lake Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail project, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Wright County is acting as the fiscal agent for the Maple Lake Pedestrian/Bicycle Trail project but has not approved financial support.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting was held on 12-20-00. The following changes were made to the minutes: Page two, lst paragraph, fifth sentence should read, "Pat Sawatzke commented that more people are using the road and Ken Jude agreed that much of this traffic is generated locally" (Jude); Page three, third paragraph, remove the following sentence, "Sawatzke agreed that the resistance to eliminating the parking area is probably greater from the residents than from the businesses" (Sawatzke); Page five, fifth paragraph, first sentence, change the word from "and" to "aid" (Fingalson); Page seven, second paragraph, third sentence, change the word from "ineligible" to "eligible" (Fingalson); Page seven, third paragraph, first sentence, change from "Hennepin County 114" to "Hennepin County 116" (Fingalson). Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes with the changes and the recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. The following is a summary of the minutes:

CSAH 75: CSAH 75 was scheduled in the Five-Year Plan as part of the 2002 Overlay Projects. Due to Mn/DOT's delay in plans for construction on TH 12 and plans to use CSAH 30 as a detour route in 2001, it was decided to move the delay the Overlay projects for 2001 (including CSAH 30). The overlays scheduled for 2001 were delayed until 2002 or later and the 2002 overlays were rescheduled for 2001. The City of Monticello would like to incorporate other major improvements into the CSAH 75 overlay. As the City's infrastructure for CSAH 75 is 80-90 years old and in need of updating, the best time to complete the project would be before the road is resurfaced. A task force was set up to study CSAH 75 and the following are their goals: 1) Improve pavement surface and infrastructure; 2) Left-turn channelization with minimization of conflict points; 3) Maintain parking on both sides; 4) Maintain existing curb line; 5) Minimize median maintenance; 6) Improve roadway character; and 7) Replace street lights. The highway measurements required by the State Aid Standards are slightly different than what the Task Force is recommending and approval for a variance from the County Board (road authority) is required before the project can be considered for State Aid monies. Acquiring a variance will lower the cost of the entire project, if the project is approved. Recommending a variance does not commit the Board or the City to this project. It was the consensus of the TCOTW that this Committee recommend to the County Board that application be made for a variance as discussed for improvements on CSAH 75.

Review/Approve Five-Year CIP for Roads & Bridges:

· Fingalson had concern with deficit spending in the regular state aid construction account. The State will allow the County to advance encumber funds. The situation is caused by the County using state aid money to minimize local funds for CSAH construction projects.

· The County is working on completion of CSAH 18 between CSAH 19 & CSAH 37. The County is discussing the relocation or rebuilding of the CSAH 75 bridge near the nuclear plant with Excel Energy (formerly NSP). The consensus of the TCOTW is to possibly hire a consultant to discuss the bridge design vs. removing the bridge.

· The increased traffic near the Outlet Mall at Albertville will require an additional traffic signal at the entrance. The developer is responsible for costs associated with the signal and widening of the road.

· Mn/DOT plans to rework the intersection of TH 55 and CSAH 8 in Maple Lake to include turn lanes and signals needing replacement. The intersection does not meet warrants for a signal. Prior to 1970, the State and the City split the cost. The warrants are in place to replace the signal if there is an agreement on funding. The TCOTW Committee agreed to finance this signal project using the present policy (County/City split of the local cost).

· Continued improvements to CSAH 14 are scheduled for 2002 and delay of this would cause federal funds to be forfeited. Realignment of this intersection with TH 55 was discussed. As moving the intersection to the east is not an option, another option of moving it to the west was developed by engineering staff. This would eliminate the crossing at 10th Street and alter some wetlands. If approval is received, the contract could be let in 2002 with work beginning in 2003, allowing the County to receive federal funding. The south bridge on CSAH 14 will be replaced using federal funds.

· Municipal state aid funds are available to cities under 5,000. As populations grow, cities become ineligible for that source and the competition grows for the regular state aid funds. If the City of Delano takes back CSAH 54, they would have to wait until 2006 unless state aid money was returned to the State. The County can agree to help the City with the requested project while it is still eligible for municipal state aid funds if the City agrees to take back CSAH 54 in 2006. Russek will contact the City to discuss this arrangement.

· The Committee discussed the need for bridge work at the Bernings Mill on CSAH 22 and Hennepin County 116. Consideration is being given to realigning CSAH 22 and Naber Avenue as they intersect with TH 241. Current traffic counts do not warrant a traffic signal but the bridge improvement may increase the counts to meet the warrants. J&B Wholesalers have offered to help pay for the signal, but the State will not allow installation until the warrants are met.

· Discussion involved the request by Buffalo and Rockford Townships for the County to consider taking over Farmington Avenue. The Committee previously had agreed to consider this request if the Townships would first bring the road up to County standards. The cost of upgrading is over $500,000. Farmington Avenue is a minor collector with approximately 1,000 vehicles/day. In terms of bridge deterioration, it has a sufficiency rating of 46 with 50 and under being the benchmark for eligible improvements. It is currently No. five on the priority list. It was the consensus of the TCOTW Committee for all eligible projects, including Farmington Avenue, to be submitted for federal funding.

· The Committee discussed proposed improvement to CSAH 39 from the bituminous plant into Monticello. Ruts developing on the road are creating unsafe driving conditions. Turn lanes and bypass lanes have been added since the last overlay. Paved shoulders may be considered. Discussion led to deficit funding for highway projects. It was suggested that the CSAH 39 overlay project be scheduled for 2002 and changed to a later year if necessary. The Highway Engineer suggested that the recommendation wait until after the minutes of the meeting are presented to the County Board and the plan can be approved at that time.

· The recommendation of the Board one year ago was to have one truck at the Delano truck station for winter maintenance. Currently one truck from Buffalo and one from Waverly have been servicing the Delano area. The Highway Department feels this has been successful. The Highway Engineer felt it was not desirable for one person to work alone in a small, deteriorating shop. There are also environmental concerns with salt piles next to the river. The consensus of the TCOTW Committee is to have one truck operate this winter from the Delano shop rather than remove it and have the Delano district maintained from other County truck stations.

· Discussion involved the need for additional building space for vehicle storage and maintenance. There are funds budgeted for a sign truck in 2001 ($80,000-$90,000) which could be used for the building. The purchase of the sign truck would then be moved to 2002. There is also the need to add another mechanic due to the maintenance on the Sheriff's vehicles, but there is no room to add one. Discussion relating to this building as well as moving the Parks shop to the existing cold storage building will be discussed at the next meeting.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #01-04 regarding funding for deficient bridges on the County Highway and Township Road system. The resolution must be adopted to obtain bonding money for bridge projects.

Fingalson distributed a revised Five-Year Plan which incorporates the removal of the Bridge in French Lake Township from Year 2000 as it was not completed and adding Farmington Avenue (CSAH 33 to CSAH 34). There will be a deficit of $3.3 million by the end of 2004, assuming that the County receives Federal funding in 2003 and 2004. Russek stated that CSAH 14 needs to be completed in 2002 or the Federal funding will be lost. Fingalson referenced a memorandum from AMC relating to the Transportation Funding Initiative they will be pursuing for counties. AMC is requesting that counties fill out and return information relating to the 50-year life cycle. Fingalson said upon completing the information, it appears that Wright County will have an $8,350,264 shortfall each year to accomplish the 50-year life cycle identified in the exercise. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-05 adopting the Five Year Plan, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to include the C.R.O.W. appointment to the list of Committee appointments with Russek being the appointee and Mattson the alternate.

Russek moved to authorize attendance at the Rinke Noonan 2001 Annual Drainage, Wetland and Lane Use Conference on 2-1-01 in St. Cloud. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to authorize attendance at the Farm Forum 2001: Farm, Food & Community, being held on 2-10-01 at St. John's University in Collegeville.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #01-06 appointing a County Recorder: BE IT RESOLVED, that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby appoints Larry A. Unger to the position of County Recorder for the term ending December 31, 2002; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that said appointment shall be effective February 5, 2001, with an annual compensation of $67,884, prorated for the remainder of the calendar year.

The Board meetings will be aired on cable television from Thursday through Sunday, 9:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. (normally on Channel 12).

The County Board meeting of 1-16-01 was canceled due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in January.

Bills Approved

A.J Spaniers Co. Inc 36,267.20

Abbott Northwestern Hosp. 9,409.05

Advantage Paper 880.11

Allina Health Systems 225.00

Ancom Communications, Inc. 172.74

Atom 100.00

George Bekeberg 378.00

Bob Barker Co 138.55

Lawrence Bauman 412.73

Best Inc. 3715.42

Beaudry Propane Inc 2079.62

City Buffalo 23,191.05

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 319.78

Central Lock & Safe 602.59

City Water 155,284.33

Deatons Mailing System 970.00

Delano Eagle 383.75

Ralph Douglas. 348.75

Elmer Eichelberg. 519.95

Dale Engle 102.38

Facility Systems Inc. 1,459.55

Freestyle Sales Company, Inc. 515.00

Hartman & Hallet Interpreters 275.00

Lakedale Telephone Company 324.93

Loberg Electric 1,546.28

Maple Lake Messenger 214.50

Marco Business Products 4,740.69

Richard Mattson 165.82

Midland Corp. Benefits SVC 646.75

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 150.00

MN Sheriffs Association 2,504.00

Northwest Anesthesia PA 1,738.62

Office Depot. 1,603.62

Photo I 462.44

PMX Medical .948.67

ProfessionalPortable XRay 200.00

Scott Sandberg 100.00

Sokkia Measuring Systems 525.00

Springsted Inc 1,500.00

Sprint 158.00

Streichers 163.64

Tom's Towing Servicer 212.00

Waste Management to West. 564.39

Wright Co. Auditor­Treasurer 102.00

Wright County Journal Press 305.00

24 payments less than $100. 936.18

Final Total $257,563.08

The meeting adjourned at 10:56 A.M.

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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