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Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 6, 2001

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

A correction was made to the minutes of 2-27-01. On page 3, last paragraph, the aerial photo bids should be listed as follows:

Company; Bid Security; Bid Option 1 (Bidder Owns Negatives); Bid Option 2 (County Owns Negatives).

MARKHURD; Yes; $74,548.94; $89,999.96.

Horizons, Inc.; Yes; $65,075.00; $70,975.00.

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 2-27-01 as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda Under Items For Consideration as follows: Item #3, "PERA Funding Resolution" (Norman); Item #4, "Set Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting" (Norman); Item #5, "House Bills Discussion" (Norman). Norman requested that the 9:40 A.M. Agenda Item, "Sheep Barn At County Fair" be removed at the request of Dennis Moeller, U of M Extension Service. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, requested that the date of Item A2, "Schedule Boy/Girl County Day For April 17, 2001" be changed to May 1, 2001. Mattson requested that Item C1, "February Park Commission Minutes" be removed for discussion. Sawatzke moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda with the date change to Item A2. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.


1.Performance Appraisals: L. Thingvold, Assr.; B. Lutes, T. Zins, Atty.; R. Hagel, R. LaFave, Bldg. Maint.; N. Tallman, Ct. Svcs.; W. Stephens, P&Z; S. Bakeberg, J. Hermansen, B. Johnson, T. Wachter, D. Wold, Sheriff.

2. Schedule Boy/Girl County Day For May 1, 2001.

3. Refer Letter From Frank Madden RE: FLSA To Negotiation Committee Meeting Scheduled for 3-12-01.

4. Refer To Building Committee Repair Of Jail Faucets & Shower Valves.


1. Tobacco License: Whispering Pines Golf Course (Corinna Twp.).

2. Annual On Sale Beer License, Whispering Pines Golf Course (Corinna Twp.).

The Board addressed Item C1, "February Park Commission Minutes." Mattson referred to the first paragraph of the Parks Commission minutes where discussion relating to Wright County's Bikeway Plan had occurred. Mattson inquired whether this related to the Pedestrian/Bicycle Path to Ney Park. Eichelberg responded that a Mn/DOT representative and the Wright County Highway Engineer were present to discuss the pros and cons of bike trails, signs and designated park trails as well as the County Ordinance requiring 8' shoulders. The discussion was informational. Eichelberg moved to approve Item C1, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, brought forth a request on behalf of Gerald R. Lapp for a public hearing to discuss his petition for detachment and annexation of a Parcel from ISD 877 to ISD 885. Lapp's residence is in ISD 885 but his lot is non-conforming. Lapp wishes to acquire 3.5 acres of land lying in ISD 877 enabling him to hook up to the St. Michael City sewer system. Gruber explained that administrative problems could occur, as the City requires one parcel identification number when a parcel is added onto. With bond obligations for school districts, those obligations remain with the parcel. This would require manual tax calculation on this parcel. The most recent action was the City of St. Michael sending correspondence to Lapp outlining four restrictions in order to consider his request. These include: 1) A variance would be necessary to deviate from the required minimum 2-acre lot size; 2) A variance would be necessary to allow a minor subdivision without using a building entitlement from the present owner's property; 3) The non-conforming lot would be deed restricted and could not be issued a building permit on its own; and 4) The Lapps would be required to sign an agreement that the proposed and existing lot must be sold together. The consensus of the Board was to hold off scheduling the Public Hearing to see whether Lapp can come to an agreement with the City. Russek moved to lay this issue over for one week. If it is resolved in the meantime, it will not be placed on the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried unanimously.

Gruber presented a draft resolution requesting DNR approval to proceed with the Tax Forfeit Sale of non-conservation parcels. There are 28 parcels listed as non-conservation (eligible for resale) and 3 listed as conservation (not eligible for resale). A letter will be sent to the cities describing the parcels that may be available for sale. The cities would have 60 days to respond. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-17, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Bids for aerial photos of Wright County were opened at the last meeting. Two options were bid. Option 1 allows the contractor to retain the negatives and Option 2 allows the County to retain the negatives. Uhde recommended accepting the low bid from Horizons Inc. for Bid Option 1 at a cost of $65,075.00. Uhde stated that with Option 1 if additional work were performed, the County would not have the ability to bid the work but would have to purchase the information from Horizons. Horizons Inc. will use the negatives to sell aerial products, but Uhde said their product line differs from that which the County provides. The last time the County contracted for aerial photo work, the County did not retain the negatives. Russek moved to accept the low bid from Horizons, Inc. for Bid Option 1 at $65,075, seconded by Mattson. The motion and second were amended to designate the General Fund as the funding source and for the General Fund to be reimbursed as maps are sold. The motion carried 5-0. Sawatzke moved to direct Uhde to research the fee schedule and bring a recommendation back to the County Board on increased fees, with the intent of having it implemented when the new photos are available. Sawatzke said the purpose of increasing fees is to have the users fund the aerial photos expense instead of the general public. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

A Ways & Means Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 2-27-01. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes as presented:

Land Adjacent To Ney Park. Saathoff and Havel presented a counter offer to the purchase proposal made by the County. After discussion, the Committee stated that its original offer to purchase would not be adjusted. Any purchase would still be contingent on the County securing grant funds equaling at least 50% of the purchase price and an acceptable appraisal of the property. Havel and Saathoff stated that they would reply to the County's offer within the next day or two.

Relating to the discussion at the 2-27-01 Ways & Means Committee Of The Whole meeting, Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, presented for approval a purchase agreement for land adjacent to Ney Park. The purchase agreement outlines the following requirements: 1) It is contingent on the County obtaining grants of at least 50% of the purchase price; 2) The Agreement will remain open until 9-1-01 with the County having the ability to purchase without a grant; 3) If the property does not close by 9-1-01, the Buyer and Seller agree to sign a cancellation of Purchase Agreement and the earnest money will be returned to the County; 4) The Purchase Agreement is contingent on an appraisal of the property acceptable by the County on or before 3-31-01; 5) If the property sale is closed by 9-1-01, the Seller is to receive all land rental for 2001; and 6) The seller has the right to continue marketing the property and accept back up offers, which the seller may close on after 9-1-01.

The purchase price of the land is $831,250, of which the County would attempt to obtain $415,625 in grant funding. Mattson questioned the funding source. Mattice responded that there are $140,000 in Park Dedication Funds available and anticipated holding a fund raiser. Sawatzke also had funding concerns but did support the purchase of the land. He referenced the recent purchase of the land north of the Public Works building and the lack of funding for that purchase. He felt future Park Dedication Funds could be utilized for the Ney Park land. Sawatzke moved to sign the purchase agreement based upon the terms outlined including the 50% minimum matching grant through the DNR. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 3-2 on a roll call vote with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes.

Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #01-18 authorizing signatures on a DNR 50/50 Regional Park Program Grant Application for Otsego Park Playground in the amount of $60,000 with the County share match of $25,000 over the next two years. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #01-19 authorizing signatures on a DNR 50/50 Natural and Scenic Grant Application for $831,250 for the Ney Park expansion, seconded by Sawatzke. Mattice said there is the potential to regain some of the value through the CRP application process. The County is obligated to the purchase if the appraisal comes in at the per acre purchase price and the grant funding is received. The motion carried 3-2 on a roll call vote with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes.

Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #01-20 authorizing signatures on a DNR 60/40 Regional Park Grant Program Application for $831,250 for the Ney Park expansion, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 3-2 on a roll call vote with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes.

A Budget Committee meeting was held on 2-28-01. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:

02-28-01 Budget Committee Minutes (cont.):

Discussion Consolidation Of Accounting Functions. The Committee was provided an overview of how account funds are kept between General Revenue and Human Services. No general administration costs are spread to various program accounts but

direct administration costs are. A software revision would be required to bring the General Fund and Human Services funds together. Human Services is more complicated because of the Federal and State Programs. The cost/benefit to revise the software program will be determined. The Committee recommendation was to provide the Human Services Board with the quarterly State report for Social Services. Mleziva, DeMars, Gruber, Hiivala and Norman will develop a sample budget format for review by the Committee at a future meeting.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 2-27-01:

Review End-Of-Year Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines.

A. Human Services. Revenues showed a positive variance of $1,523,239.28. Hiivala stated that the property tax settlement appears to have been spread disproportionately between Income Maintenance, Social Services, and Public Health. Mleziva will have DeMars research how the spread was done. Expenditures showed a negative variance of $1,489,456.14. Mental Health and Out-Of-Home Placements caused most of the variance. For the year, Human Services showed a positive variance of $33,783.14.

B. Road and Bridge. Hiivala stated that in the Road and Bridge Budget all revenues are put under Non-Departmental. Revenues showed a positive variance of $561,847.79. Expenditures showed a positive variance of $65,983.30. Fingalson discussed the reimbursement the County received a couple of years ago for the wind damage caused in 1997. Road and Bridge received $20,000 last November. He feels they should receive an additional $70,878. The consensus was that this could be discussed as part of next year's budget process. The Committee questioned Fingalson on the use of overtime and expenditures out of the Site Improvements line item under Shop Maintenance. He stated the need for another mechanic. He will research the expenditures out of Site Improvement.

C. General Revenue. Revenues showed a positive variance of $75,757.08. Expenditures showed a negative variance of $114,229.93 for an overall net negative variance of $38,472.85.

After discussion, it was the consensus that Gruber, Hiivala and Norman will do an analysis of the debt service and cash accounts. Another Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting will be scheduled when the analysis is completed.

At today's meeting Sawatzke said that based upon the numbers in the report, he felt $70,878 should be placed in the General Revenue Capital Improvement Fund for purchase of the property north of the Public Works site. He also felt Norman should revisit the 2001 budget to determine whether other expenditures could be delayed that do not have as high of a priority. Russek stated that he would support transfer of the $70,878 to the General Revenue CIP Fund if it were guaranteed that this would be applied toward the land north of the Public Works site. Sawatzke moved to apply $70,878 to the CIP Fund for the ultimate purpose of land acquisition north of the Public Works site, which has already taken place. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Gruber explained that the funds were received into the General Fund in 1998 as a revenue when the Highway Department was reimbursed for expenses incurred with the cleanup after the 1997 storm. Therefore, additional funding would not be received. Sawatzke and Mattson withdrew the motion. Mattson moved to approve the Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Sawatzke requested that Norman review the 2001 budget to determine whether any other previously approved expenditures could be used to offset expenses not expected when the budget was established.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 2-28-01:

Discussion RE: Additional Records Storage Space For Court Records. Nordeen stated the need for additional records storage space. Civil judgements must be kept for ten years. Records up to 1984 have been put on microfiche. A tour of Court Administration and the Annex storage area verified that some space is needed. The recommended action is to store approximately 200 boxes of court reporter records off site. This would cost $72 per month. She also received proposals to purge files in the Annex Building basement. Recommendation: Accept proposal of All-Data, Inc. for off-site record storage at a cost of $72 per month. Accept quote of Central Micro Systems, Inc. for purging records at a labor rate of $10.95 per hour. Fund out of Budget 820, Professional Services.

Discussion RE: Move Of Sheriff Department Staff To Area Vacated By County Attorney's Department. Lindell and Miller showed the Committee the cramped office areas within their Department. After touring the Attorney's old office area, it is recommended that the Sheriff Department be allowed to occupy the front portion of the area.

At today's meeting, discussion centered on the additional records storage space required for Court records. Sawatzke supported utilizing vacant Government Center space to store the records. LaVonn Nordeen, Court Administrator, stated this was her original thought. Upon receipt of the proposal which was found to be very reasonable, Nordeen felt it was more advantageous to proceed with off-site storage to avoid having to move the records again when the remainder of the Government Center is remodeled. The records are not eligible to microfiche and have a 10-year retention period, at which time Central Micro Systems would provide the service of purging the records. The records would be accessed very infrequently. Eichelberg moved to approve the Building Committee minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek. Sawatzke was opposed to purchasing off-site storage with vacant space at the Government Center. Mattson supported Sawatzke's concerns but felt that this may be the solution for one year until the County completes remodeling. The motion carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 2-28-01. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes as presented:

Performance Appraisal, Bill Swing-MIS Director. Based on review of the five performance appraisals submitted the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional." Performance Appraisal, Richard Norman-County Coordinator. Based on review of the five performance appraisals submitted the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Superior." Performance Appraisal, Jerry Uhde- Surveyor. Uhde was unavailable today. His review will take place at the next Personnel Committee meeting.

Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #01-21 authorizing signatures on the Monticello Orderly Annexation Agreement Amendment. The Amendment was required due to the County's signature being left off from the original document. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Norman received a draft resolution from AMC relating to the more than $1.2 billion deficiency in the PERA Coordinated Fund Plan. AMC encourages adoption of the resolution and forwarding it to our legislative delegation in the House and Senate, as well as to the members of the Legislative Pension Commission. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #01-22 supporting a comprehensive solution to the PERA funding deficiency including: 1) State funding of .75% of payroll ($27 million) through a direct state general fund appropriation or assistance from the other major State pension plans; 2) Employer and employee contribution rate increases of not more than .375% beginning on January 1, 2002; 3) Extending the amortization period from 2020 to 2031; 4) Changing vesting period from 3 years to 5 years; 5) Reducing the post-age 55 interest on deferred retirement benefits; 6) Allowing enhanced refunds for employees who quit employment prior to retirement; and 7) Prorating service credit for certain part-time employees.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to schedule a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting for at 8:30 A.M. on 3-13-01. Norman said he had received a member request to withdraw funds.

In tracking bills filed in the House of Representatives, Norman found four which either have a direct impact on Wright County or could have some impact in the future. The following bills summary was provided: H.F. No. 665. This bill provides a local planning assistance appropriation of $1.2M. Of this amount, $600,000 is for grants of $50,000 each to regional development commissions or, in regions not served by regional development commissions, to regional organizations selected by the director, to support planning work on behalf of local units of government. H.F. No. 1286. Appropriates money for eliminating trunk highway bottlenecks in the metropolitan area ($200M) and for improvements on at-risk interregional corridors outside the metropolitan area ($200M).

H.F. No. 1290. Amends the process for making certain county offices appointive. A four-fifths vote of the county board is required. A petition requesting a referendum and signed by at least ten percent of the registered votes of the county would place the question on the ballot.

H.F. No. 1340. Permits Wright County to appoint the County Recorder.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said that Public Hearings must be scheduled in conjunction with the grant applications approved earlier in today's meeting for the Otsego Playground and the Ney Park Expansion projects. Eichelberg moved to schedule the Public Hearing for both on 3-20-01 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Sawatzke, carried 3-2 with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson. 534.55

AMI Imaging Systems Inc 12800.15

Mary Anderson 121.19

A T & T 304.19

B & D Plumbing and Heating 404.00

Bear Graphics, Inc. 924.58

Best, Inc 3629.19

Betmap Languages Inc 502.81

Buffalo Clinic 114.00

Buffalo Communications Inc. 140.00

Buffalo Township 501.00

Buikdings Consulting Group Inc2810.00

Central Lock and Safe 343.50

Corrections Product Co. Ltd. 460.51

Karen Determan 137.01

Ernst General Construction Inc. 2652.40

Rick Fischer 289.98

Gateway Companies 1973.46

Todd Gau 140.08

Grinnell Fire Protection System 1017.50

Hartman and Mallet Interpreters 247.50

Hickorytech 4508.35

Killyard Floor Care Supply 346.34

Lou Jopp 123.35

Laplant Demo Inc 389.00

Marco Business Products 6341.03

Mid-America Business Systems 227.14

Midway Iron & Metal Corp. 223.34

Nathan Miller 100.45

Minnesota Corrections Assn. 120.00

Minnesota Supreme Court 400.00

MN Auditors and Recorders 300.00

MN State Auditor 1535.97

Moore Medical Corp. 869.77

MTI Distribution, Inc. 9587.13

Office Depot 2788.22

On Site Monitoring 6732.00

Pizza Hut-Sky Ventures LLC 156.47

Press & News Publications 284.60

Pryor Resources Inc 179.00

Simplex Time Recorder Co. 1505.93

State of MN Intertech Group 493.43

Strategic Technologies Inc 2928.75

Total Printing 255.60

Voss Lighting 309.06

C. Walker Trucking 824.00

Walmart Community Brc. 114.55

West Group Payment Center 609.61

Woodland Township 348.80

Wright County Highway Dept. 1048.06

The meeting recessed at 10:37 A.M. into a Closed Session to discuss the Superior Landfill litigation. Commissioner Jude, Board Chair, reconvened and adjourned the meeting at 11:45 A.M.

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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