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Wright County Board Minutes

FEB. 20, 2001

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

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 2-13-01 as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A1 amended to add Performance Appraisals for K. Mottl, Attorney and B. Johnson, Attorney (Norman); Consent Agenda Item F1, Auditor, "Approve Hire, Dan Weber, Office Assistant, Eff. 3-5-01, Step 5" (Gruber); Item For Consid. #4, "Payment-Buffalo Herd" (Mattson); Item For Consid. #5, "Remodel Procedures" (Mattson). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Russek removed Item A3 for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: J. Brown, Admin.; C. Barthel, Bldg. Maint.; R. DuBois, T. Hoffman, M. Silbernagel, Sheriff; K. Mottl, B. Johnson, Attorney.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $966.72.

4. Approve and Authorize Signatures, Law Enforcement Contract, City of Montrose.


1. Acknowledge Hire, Cynthia Cohen, Court Attendant, Eff. 2-21-01 (Class B, Step 3).

2. Accept Resignation, Jackie Knowles, Case Management Deputy, Eff. 2-28-01 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Authorize Signatures, Contract With Caritas Family Services For Custody Study Services, $79,965.00.


1. Accept Resignation, Patrick Atkins, Mechanic, Eff. 2-28-01 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Acknowledge Resignation Of Scott Halonen From Lieutenant Position and Return To His Previously Held Sergeant Position, Eff. 3-3-01 & Authorize Replacement.

2. Refer To Negotiation Committee Discussion RE: Salary For Lieutenant Position Vacated By Halonen.


1. Approve Hire, Dan Weber, Office Assistant, Eff. 3-5-01, Step 5.

Item A3, "Approve Quad County Meeting Minutes Of 12-18-00" was discussed. Russek stated that the Quad County minutes incorrectly list Eichelberg as attending the meeting instead of Russek. The minutes will be corrected. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, said Wright County received a Certificate of Recognition from the U.S. Census Bureau in appreciation of assistance provided during Census 2000 and will be displayed in the Government Center Lobby.

The claims listing was reviewed. In response to a question by Mattson on page 2, American Health Care Supply ($91.85), Gruber explained that the Auditor's Office purchases telephones for the entire courthouse. The phones are billed to the appropriate departments when installed. Mattson referenced a claim on page 9, Motorola Inc. ($5,586.12) for a laptop computer. It was thought that the laptop was purchased for a squad car and that is why it was funded from vehicle purchases. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Gerald Kritzeck, Assessor, requested that the Board establish the 2001 County Board of Equalization dates. Mattson moved to establish the dates for 6-13-01 (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.), 6-14-01 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m. if necessary), and 6-19-01 (8:30 a.m.-9 a.m. adjournment). The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.

A Budget Committee meeting was held on 2-14-01:

Discuss Consolidation Of Accounting Functions. Norman stated that during the 2001 budget process, a couple of Commissioners inquired as to the outcome of the consolidation issue discussions. As far as can be determined, the staff subcommittee never met. A parallel issue regards the budget formats and progress reports. Progress reports are sometimes hard to compare to budget line items because the information is provided in a different format. Hiivala stated that some counties have a Finance Director while others are looking at creating a liaison position to help meet the information needs of county boards. Another impetus for such a position has been the GASB 34 requirements. Basically, GASB 34 changes the way financial reporting has to be presented. Our modified accrual system will have to move to a full accrual system. Infrastructure has to be inventoried, valued, and depreciated. Gruber said that this has to be implemented for the 2003 financial report. It was decided that the Committee would discuss these issues further on February 28th.

At today's meeting, it was noted that the GASB 34 requirements are set by the Government Accounting Standards Board. Required implementation for Wright County will be for fiscal year 2003. The process is still being fine tuned. He envisioned the initial inventorying and valuation to be the most work. As part of the inventory infrastructure, all roads and bridges must be given a value and depreciation schedule. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, requested approval of a reimbursement resolution relating to the Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha SSD Project. The resolution sets the parameters for reimbursement costs out of bond proceeds. Declaration must be made within 60 days after the expense is incurred, with the exception of engineering costs which cannot exceed 20% of the project cost. The draft resolution estimates the cost of the project at $2.7 million. Although the engineer estimated the cost of the project at $2.5 million, bond counsel suggested inflating the figure to allow reimbursement for any additional costs. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-13, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Daniel Tapio brought forth discussion on reform of the animal cruelty law. Tapio has testified before the Senate Agricultural Committee on problems associated with the law. Tapio said the Senate Agricultural Committee has requested his help in obtaining input from the County Board on reform of the law. Tapio's concern lies with private agents (not affiliated with the State of Minnesota) assisting with animal cruelty cases and not being held accountable for their actions. County agents may not have been trained to oversee the actions of the private agents. Tapio stated that the present law also does not differentiate between types of animals (ag versus non-ag). Richard Norman, County Coordinator, suggested that Tapio provide copies of the proposed bill to the County Board upon its draft. The County Board and County Attorney would then have something to react to. In a conversation Mattson had with Senator Dille, it was pointed out that the law had been changed in the past few years which would have prevented the County from being financially responsible for the hay for the buffalo herd.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested approval to replace a box culvert on County Ditch No. 9 under CSAH 18. This would be done as part of highway improvement work on CSAH 18 between CSAH 37 and CSAH 19 in 2001. The recommendation from the hydraulic engineer is to replace the existing 10.5' x 5.7' structure with a 12' x 8' structure. Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, said that the replacement can either be viewed as a replacement of the culvert, or as an improvement to the ditch as it is providing more hydraulic capacity. A hearing would be required if ditch repair is involved. Asleson said that St. Michael and Albertville should be notified as the ditch will potentially be turned over to them. Discussion led to whether permits are required. Richard Marquette said that the Wetland Technical Panel will be reviewing the request on 2-26-01. The cross section on County Ditch No. 9 on either side of CSAH 18 is approximately twice as many square feet as the proposed box culvert and that the culvert acts as a restriction in the flow. Sawatzke moved to approve the request provided there are no negative consequences regarding wetlands or other ditch or creek related flows. If any problems are encountered, they should be brought back before the County Board for discussion. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Correspondence was received from the City of Albertville requesting appointments to a task force which would study the possibility of relocating the County Maintenance Shop in Albertville. Eichelberg moved to appoint Wayne Fingalson, Steve Meyer, Sawatzke and himself to the task force, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #01-14 authorizing final payment ($2,448.50) to Landwehr Construction Inc. for Contract 0009, approving resolution of final acceptance. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Fingalson presented a draft resolution for Spring load restrictions and a proposed 2001 map. Fingalson said their goal is to minimize the amount of restrictions placed on roads. In response to a question by Mattson, Fingalson stated that CR #6 near Howard Lake is proposed as a 7-ton road (currently 5-ton). Mattson was concerned with truck traffic in this area and the impact on the road, especially if it is turned back to the Township in the future. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-15 approving the Spring load restrictions as presented, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Don Mleziva, Human Services Director, referenced the recent Government Board of Innovations Award received for the WOW Van Program. Since that time, an award was received from Partnership MN for Hassle Free Government. Mleziva stated this ties in with Governor Ventura's philosophy in terms of self sufficiency and government being simplified wherever possible. Mleziva commended the Public Health staff for providing an outstanding service to County residents through this program.

The meeting recessed at 9:55 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. The annual Employee Recognition Ceremony was held to honor employees for Years of Service and to honor those employees nominated or selected to receive Group Achievement or Individual awards. Employees honored for Years of Service included those in five-year increments with service from 5 to 30 years.

In addition to receiving a plaque for her 30 years of service, Kate Hoglund was honored with a Certificate of Commendation signed by Governor Ventura for her outstanding service in the child protection field. Don Mleziva, Human Services Director, said Lisa Renee Putnam was a social worker in Michigan who was killed by a family while providing child protection services. In 1997, the Department of Health and Human Services memorialized Putnam with an annual award for outstanding service in child protection. Last year, Hoglund was nominated and is a candidate for this award. Hoglund said she accepted the Certificate on behalf of all child protection workers. She hoped that her success would be measured by the difference made in the lives of abused children.

Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, presented the Individual Achievement Award to Nancy Tallman. Tallman has worked for Wright County for eleven years, working her way from Clerk to Administrative Secretary. MacMillan felt that Tallman's efforts assisted in their Department having the most automated financial and computer system within Minnesota's corrections departments. He stated Tallman saved money for the County through automation and collection of funds. Tallman has been involved with the MN Computer Consortium with the Court Services Tracking System. Tallman commended MacMillan for his leadership, challenges and trust. She extended thanks to Court Services staff for their support and ability to work as a team. Tallman also thanked the MIS Department for their efforts and enthusiasm.

The Group Achievement Award was presented by Sharon Schubert to employees in the Court Administration Department. Schubert said the Court Services Management Team, as well as the Judges, were proud of staff's efforts during the past year. The nomination letter detailed how the Department exceeded the criteria for the award, struggling through a year with position vacancies and several employees out on medical leave. Staff worked overtime and Saturdays. They were commended for their proven cooperation, ability to adapt, and commitment to their employer.

Honorable mention was given to those nominated for the Individual Achievement Award including Cheri Nelson (MIS), Joanne Zander (Auditor/Treasurer) and Sue Elletson (Human Services).

The meeting was recessed at 10:35 A.M. and reconvened at 11:03 A.M.

A Communications Committee meeting was held on 2-14-01. Mattson moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. Since the last Committee meeting Norman received the publication, "800 Mhz Executive Team Report to the 2001 MN Legislature" which will be forwarded to Rollie Helgeson, Sheriff's Office, for review. The minutes follow:

Discuss 800 Mhz System. Miller reported that the Minnesota Department of Transportation is taking the 800 Mhz system. Therefore, it will not have an impact on the County for several years.

Request For Telephone, Fourth Floor Conference Room. Gruber stated that he received a request to add a telephone that would only be used internally. Recommendation: Approve request. Gruber will provide the cost estimate to Norman.

A Deferred Compensation Committee meeting was held on 1-30-01. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. It was noted that the action requested was approved on 1-30-01. Approval today was of the minutes.

Discuss And Approve Transfer Of Account From American Express To An Alternate 457 Plan. The Committee met to discuss the transfer of a 457 plan that remained with IDS American Express due to the fact that the owner was retired at the time American Express discontinued these plans. The owner is now deceased and his spouse is asking to have the funds released so that they can be transferred to a vendor that maintains 457 plans in Wright County. The consensus of the Committee was to approve the transfer of funds.

A Ways & Means Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 2-13-01. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes as presented:

Discuss Land Adjacent To Ney Park. Jude reconvened the meeting of February 6, 2001. Mattice said that he has not received a reply from the owner's realtor. In response to several questions raised on February 6th, Mattice responded that we could only farm the land for one or two years under the grant conditions. It could be listed under CRP at $66/A per year plus a $5 maintenance agreement. The land would have to remain in CRP for a minimum of 10 years. Another Committee meeting will be scheduled once Mattice receives a response from the realtor.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 2-14-01. At today's meeting, Mattson requested that the Board minutes reflect that the County Board would revisit the per diem issue if the Parks Commission requests. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously:

American Red Cross Link To Web Site. Swing stated that our web site has virtually unlimited capacity. It is his recommendation that the American Red Cross be added under Wright County Links, County Associations. It was the consensus that a nonprofit organization has to have County-wide service to the public in order to be added to the web site. Swing stated that it is not a cost issue, but a design issue regarding the web site and maintaining/updating the information on the web site. In the future we may want to consider an "Emergency Services" link. Recommendation: Approve the request of the American Red Cross.

Per Diems For Various Advisory Boards, Commissions and Committees. Sawatzke reported that the Park Board members indicated to Mattice that they are not interested in collecting a per diem (a quorum of the Parks Board was not present for this discussion). They are now eligible to request mileage reimbursement. Recommendation: Keep all per diem rates at their current level. Professionals drawing a salary from their employer while serving on a committee or board shall not be eligible for a per diem.

The Wright County Board recently met with the Sherburne County Board to discuss the River Rider Transit Program. Don Mleziva has requested that this issue be referred to the Human Services Board for discussion. It was the consensus that this program will continue to be discussed long range.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a Committee Of The Whole meeting on 2-27-01 at 12:00 P.M. to review Ney Park land negotiation.

Mattson said a payment was issued to the MN Federated Humane Society in the amount of $8729.00 on 10-11-00. The same day, civil filing fees were paid in the amount of $132.00. These payments relate to the care of the buffalo herd. Mattson had been in contact with Senator Dille who indicated that due to recent law changes, the County may not have been responsible for costs associated with feeding the buffalo. Russek said a $5000 bond was supposed to have been applied toward the $8729.00. Sawatzke moved to direct Asleson to give an opinion on this situation based upon what may be new information. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Discussed at the last County Board meeting, Mattson referenced the repair of the sheetrock in the area previously occupied by the County Attorney. He stated that this type of repair is generally presented to the Building Committee to determine cost and funding source. Norman stated that Sheriff Hozempa made the original request for use of the space by the Sheriff's Office. It was Sheriff Hozempa's intent to use the space without remodeling. The repair of the sheetrock related to mold which had formed following water leakage. Norman considered this a building maintenance issue. Norman added that Joe Scott informed him of a tremendous ice buildup on the Public Works building. In comparison, Norman would consider this to be a building construction issue to be referred back to the contractor and architect. Discussion led to the need to schedule a Committee Of The Whole meeting for the purpose of reviewing the overall space plan.

Bills Approved

American Institutional Supply 1,831.47

Pennie Anderson 100.00

AT & T 252.63

Automatic Garage Door Co. 897.09

B & D Plumbing & Htg. 239.62

Best, Inc. 3,779.35

Buffalo Drug 707.05

Buffalo Hospital 6,691.25

Buffalo Hosp. OTPT Comm. 1,069.26

Cargill Inc.-Salt Div. 4,321.17

Carver Mechanical 319.00

Catco Parts Service 241.92

Catholic Charities 9,236.58

Central Glass Co. 590.22

Chamberlain Oil Co. 566.63

Chatham Township 444.60

Citizens Communication 116.04

Commissioner of Transp. 110.00

H. Cragg Co. 532.50

Culligan Water Conditioning 113.86

Delano Mun. Utilities 128.26

Dept. of Commerce-NOTR 140.00

Dept. of Public Safety 120.00

Ebert Construction 1,089.02

Edens Group 250.00

Grafix Shoppe 4,030.00

Greenview, Inc. 600.56

Holt Motors, Inc. 2,496.03

Hutchinson Leader 109,80

Interstate Batteries 451.18

J. Craft Inc. 2,2125.46

Johnson Emergency Veh. 1,995.13.

KNR Communications Serv. 8,550.00

Greg Kramber 306.44

Lake Region Coop Oil 46,667.95

Landwehr Construction 2,448.50

LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,165.00

Lee's Farm & Garden Store 788.54

Little Falls Machine 2,201.65

Loberg Electric 2,716.40

K-R Sign Company Inc. 183.05

Marco Business Products 2,116.67

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 913.50

McCarty Water & Waste 1,592.50

Meeker Co. Sheriff 258.40

Midland Corporate Benefits 643.50

Midwest Forensic Pathology PA 127,80

Minncomm Paging 600.11

MN Counties Computer Co-op 100.00

MN Dept. of Transportation 282.40

MN Div. of Emergency Mgnt. 110.00

MN Society of Prof. Surveyors 275.00

Monticello Ford Mercury Inc. 420.47

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc. 889.32

Motorola Inc. 5,586.12

Mountain Stream Sports 470.00

Office Depot 3,692.08

Parr Emergency Product 1,403.67

Phillips Petroleum Co. 701.09

Qwest 7,668.55

Reds Auto Electric 124.06

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 249.13

Royal Tire-St. Cloud 1,490.42

Ryan Motors Inc. 197.47

Scenic Signs 993.04

Schraders Law Enforcement 2,683.80

Shoplifters Alternatives 994.64

Sign City 213.00

Speedwell Targets 168.00

State of MN 206.91

Streichers 269.62

Tennant 172.24

Terminal Supply Co. 541.13

Thermal Technologies Inc. 1,984.00

Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc. 198.64

Total Printing 189.89

Unlimited Electric Inc. 1,828.50

Carol Vanderkooi 4,654.04

Verizon Wireless 1,796.93

Warning Lites 294.50

Westside Equipment 207.64

Worth Drapery & Blinds 1,793.58

Wright Co. Journal Press 156.09

Wright-Henn. Electric 267.64

Xcel Energy 339.76

Zack's Inc. 1,649.06

34 payments less than $100 1,659.60

Final total $163,897.72

The meeting adjourned at 11:26 A.M.

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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