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Wright County Board Minutes

JULY 24, 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 7-17-01 as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consideration #3, "Letters From 7W and Mn/DOT" (Mattson). Petitions were accepted to the Consent Agenda by Hiivala as follows: Item D1, "Claim, Kent Mutterer, $300, Fairgrounds Sheep Barn"; Item D2, "Claim, Sydell Inc., $8920.66, Fairgrounds Sheep Barn"; Item D3, "George Mead, $838.72, Fairgrounds Sheep Barn"; Item D4, "Tobacco License Approval: Twin Cities Avanti Stores LLC, St. Michael City." Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Sawatzke requested that Item B1 of the Consent Agenda be removed for discussion, "Move Sheriff's portion of 7-25-01 Personnel Committee Agenda to a Personnel Committee Meeting on 8-2-01 @ 9:00 A.M." Mattson noted that he had checked with the City of Howard Lake and there was a building permit for the Fairgrounds Sheep Barn. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: D. McCalla, Aud./Treas.; J. Vos, Ct. Admin.; Dirk Anderson, T. Decker, R. Erickson, D. Glunz, Highway; G. Holm, Sheriff.

2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Rivers Of Hope, Silver Springs Golf Course, Raffle 10/13/01 (Monticello Twp.).

3. O/T Report, Period Ending 7-6-01.

4. Authorize Signatures On Safety Grant Contracts $3,186.64 RE: Chainsaw Safety Program.


1. Approve Hire, Michael True, Automated Mapping Specialist, Eff. 8-6-01 (Step 2).


1. Claim, Kent Mutterer, $300, Fairgrounds Sheep Barn.

2. Claim, Sydell Inc., $8920.66, Fairgrounds Sheep Barn.

3. George Mead, $838.72, Fairgrounds Sheep Barn.

4. Tobacco License Approval: Twin Cities Avanti Stores LLC, St. Michael City.

Item B1, "Move Sheriff's portion of 7-25-01 Personnel Committee Agenda to a Personnel Committee Meeting on 8-2-01 @ 9:00 A.M." was discussed. Sawatzke questioned whether this issue could be referred to the next regularly scheduled Personnel Committee meeting on 8-8-01. Sheriff Gary Miller responded that the date of 8-2-01 was selected as the Jail Inspector would be available on that date. Sawatzke moved to approve Item B1, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Sheriff Miller presented a retirement plaque to Michael Super. Super was hired in 1974 and served as a Patrol Deputy until 1991. He then was transferred to Assistant Supervisor in Corrections and thereafter to the Warrant/Transports Division where he worked until present. In 1994, Super developed a Policy and Training Regimen relating to use of force, which has been used to train all sworn officers. Sheriff Miller stated that the training has resulted in a low incidence of litigation. Sheriff Miller added that he would be remiss if he did not acknowledge Super's dedication and the sacrifices made in his career. Super was thanked for his years of service.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor, requested approval of a draft resolution which would classify those properties on the Tax-Forfeited Land #01-1 as non-conservation land, that the parcels be approved for authorization for a public sale of the land on 9-19-01 at 10:00 A.M., that they be sold for not less than the basic sale price, and that all sales shall be full payment. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-54, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The claims listing was discussed. Mattson questioned a claim on page 13, Greenview Inc., $11,028.85. Hiivala said the claim was for the period of June 5-19, 2001 and the hours were broken down by Park. Due to the amount of the claim, Mattice will be contacted and an explanation of the amount will be brought to the next meeting. Hiivala was instructed to pay the claim. Mattson questioned a claim on page 18, University of Minnesota, $2000 for a Community Resource Person. Russek and Mattson will research the claim. Russek questioned a claim on Page 13, Annandale Rock Products, $343.15 for gravel and culverts for the Parks Department. Russek felt culverts were generally purchased through the Highway Department. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Ken Wendinger, Church Of St. Michael, requested that the Board consider the economic growth of Wright County and address the County need for an HRA staff person. Also present were Sue Berning-St. Michael, Marlene Stumpf-Johnson-Catholic Charities, and Wayne Kessler-St. Michael Mayor. Wendinger said that conservative projections indicate that 48,000 new jobs will be developed before 2006 along the I-94 corridor in Wright County, with 50% of these jobs being in the service/trade/health sectors with earnings under $15/hr. He said this influx of jobs provide a sound economic base, helps offset property taxes and provides the County with an opportunity to establish a sound economic base. He felt affordable workforce housing was needed to attract workers to current and future businesses. Berning suggested implementation of inclusionary housing (percentage of every housing development to be affordable) and community land trusts (created to acquire and hold land for the benefit of community residents). Resources include foundations/grants, State and City funding, and ISIS. Stumpf-Johnson referenced seeking affordable housing for people through Catholic Charities. The 2000 Census stated there were 34,355 housing units available in Wright County, with 4905 being rental units. The housing vacancy rate was 1.1% with rental vacancy at 3.1%. The recommended vacancy rate is 5%. Through her work with Wright County Community Action, affordable housing was the largest need identified. The Central MN Partnership also performed a housing study which reflected a lack of apartments in general and that they were not affordable. With her experience in Catholic Charities she has found it difficult to find housing. Results of this have been people moving in with relatives/friends or becoming homeless for 1-2 months. Stumpf-Johnson stated that mentally ill people have particular distress in finding housing due to the HRA office being located in St. Cloud. Many individuals must rely on County workers for transportation. Although past requests for a Wright County HRA have failed, she encouraged the Board to revisit the issue to assist those with lower incomes and mental illness. Kessler requested that the Board hire an HRA person as he said many cities are too small to hire their own. This person could address housing issues and be a coordinator for a Wright County Community Land Trust if that position was established. Kessler asked that the County adopt a County Inclusionary Housing Policy. Kessler was informed that some Wright County cities, smaller than St. Michael, already have HRA Programs. Sawatzke cited a problem in Monticello where residents who have built homes in developments are upset that lower income housing has been placed near their residences. Wendinger responded that people need a place to live that is affordable and felt that this type of housing should be spread across the County. The new fair market rental standards reflect that from 2000 to 2001, the cost of a 3-bedroom apartment ranged from $925/month to $1045/month in Wright County. Sawatzke said that economics suggest that salaries should be raised. He said people want to provide for themselves rather than receiving handouts. Sawatzke was also opposed to requiring cities to have a certain percentage of low income housing. Russek said if the County were to implement a land trust program, the County would purchase the most affordable land and therefore the properties would not be spread throughout the County. Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, stated the County is involved with the MN Housing Finance Agency First Time Homebuyer Program providing $1.5 million in funding in 2001 to lower income first time home buyers. In response to Jude, County Attorney Tom Kelly said he would have to research the County's authority over cities as it relates to requiring affordable housing. The consensus of the Board was they did not want to become involved with city issues and felt that cities should have control of their own future in regard to planning & zoning. This issue may be referred to Committee at a future date to discuss.

Bill Weldele met with the Board on the status of closing the Pelican Lake access. Weldele met with the Board on 1-23-01 on the same issue. At that meeting, the Board voted to place "No Parking" signs on the East side of CR #117 up to Weldele's driveway. Sawatzke stated that the DNR would like to purchase Pelican Lake property and the County could then close the access. Weldele felt the DNR should be given a deadline as to this action. Weldele and his brother had been approached earlier by the DNR to purchase land but the Weldele's had declined. In response to Sawatzke, Weldele stated that he was not being negatively impacted by the landing but was concerned with safety issues. Eichelberg stated that the Sheriff's Department has been patrolling the area. Sawatzke suggested approaching the DNR asking them to hold the County harmless from any liability relating to the access. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated the County is the road authority and does have the ability to close the access if they feel the access is unreasonably endangering the traveling public. He said this action could result in a battle not only with the DNR but those who use the access. He said the frustrating part is the County has the traffic hazard problem, but the solution is held by the DNR and the Weldele's. Mattson questioned Weldele on whether he has tried to work with the DNR. Weldele responded that they won't meet with him.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a revised Facilitator Contract with the MN Transportation Alliance for the TH55 Corridor Coalition. The previous contract called for Hennepin County to provide $10,000 in seed money. Since then, Hennepin County has found they cannot contribute $10,000 to Wright County even if Wright County were identified as the lead agency for the coalition due to time parameters. The revision provides for payment of $1500/month ($750 from each County) to the Transportation Alliance, funded from the Road & Bridge budget, effective 8-1-01. Any additional charges would be added onto this amount. At the beginning of the Year and once the Coalition is established, the billing would be taken over from the Alliance to the Coalition. Other entities would then be approached to assist with funding. Fingalson anticipated a new agreement at that time. Eichelberg moved to approve the new contract contingent upon Hennepin County approving a similar contract, seconded by Russek. Sawatzke supported the concept but felt cities should be approached at this time to assist with funding and would therefore vote against the motion. The motion carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.

Fingalson said that one of the positive things that came out of the 2001 Legislative Session was that town bridge monies can now be used for engineering fees for town bridge projects up to a maximum of $10,000. For the 2001 budget, approximately $50,000 of Wright County funding was earmarked for the French Lake Township bridge project and approximately $6000 for the Victor Township bridge project. The current funding policy is a 50/50 split with the Township. Fingalson questioned whether the County should continue with this split or require the Townships to pay the entire amount. Using the current 50/50 split policy, the French Lake Township bridge project would cost the Township $5000 whereas if the Township funding the entire amount, the Township would be required to fund $10,000. Fingalson stated this is still much less than the $50,000 the Township had anticipated for the project. Fingalson recommended changing the policy so that the Townships pay for the entire amount up to $10,000. It was felt that both French Lake and Victor Township should be approached to ascertain whether they would negotiate on previously signed contracts. Sawatzke moved to direct Fingalson to draft a revised funding policy consistent with discussions today and bring the draft back for approval. Fingalson is to communicate with French Lake Township and Victor Township on the new funding policy and bring this back for Board discussion. Mattson is to be involved in this process. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Eichelberg and Russek were identified to serve as County representatives on the Berning's Mill Bridge Project Management Team. The next meeting is scheduled for 8-2-01 at 1:30 P.M. Fingalson said recommendations are required from the Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) prior to that meeting. Eichelberg moved to schedule a TCOTW meeting on 7-27-01 at 1:30 P.M. to discuss the Berning's Mill Bridge Project. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke.

Steve Fenlon, Midwest Healthcare Capital, requested approval of a draft resolution which would approve the issuance and sale of a $962,400 Revenue Note, Series 2001 (Bell House Properties, Inc. and 180 Degrees, Inc. Project) and authorize the execution of documents related to the project. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #01-55, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Building Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 7-17-01. At today's meeting, the following change was made to the minutes: Page 2, 4th paragraph, 2nd sentence, change from "Mattson..." to "Jude..." Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. A summary follows:

Short Term Space Issues & Long Range Facility Needs: The Architect provided an overview of the space plan process to date, proposed plans for converting the space vacated by the Attorney/Court Services, and the remodel of the 2nd Floor Annex area. There was a general consensus of the Committee for Engel to look into the feasibility of adding on to the Human Services Center. The soil is questionable in that area and needs to be analyzed. Engel stated he could look at the Human Services Center site and report back within 3 weeks. A Building Committee Of The Whole meeting was set for August 8 at 9:30 A.M. for a report from Engel. Engel requested that depending upon the suitability of adding onto the Human Services Center, the Committee be prepared to make a decision on the proposed remodel plans in order to go ahead with one of the areas. Jude stated that the first priority would be to move VS/CD down to the first floor and then decide if two or three departments would be located in that area. There was a consensus that VS/CD needs to be located next to EOC. Miller stated there would be problems moving youth to the Juvenile Holdover area if the corridor is closed off. Engel stated there would be no need to eliminate the corridor to gain more space if only two departments relocate to that area. Leaving the corridor and not extending the counter out into the hallway would result in significant cost savings. In response to a question from Nordeen, Engel stated that adding on for Court Administration is a separate issue involving State mandates. Jude mentioned that it may become necessary for the Board Room to be used by Court Administration on certain days. Nordeen stated the Board Room would be suitable for arraignments and conciliation court. Recommendation: Engel will look into the feasibility of adding onto the Human Services Center based upon city parking code, how much of the lot could be used for building, soils, fire department access, how much property the County owns, etc. and provide a report at a Building Committee Of The Whole meeting on August 8, 2001 at 9:30 A.M.

A GRRL Service Agreement Amendment was reviewed. The revision relates to the voluntary termination of St. Cloud from the Joint Powers Agreement and will have no financial impact on Wright County. Each signatory will sign the document. Eichelberg moved to approve signatures on the GRRL Service Agreement Amendment, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Mattson referenced letters of support for the Highway 55 project received from Mn/DOT District 3 and Region 7W Transportation Policy Board. This was provided as an informational item.

Bills Approved

ACT Electronics Inc. 1,725.35

Albertville Body Shop Inc. 1,037.50

American Business Forms 387.68

Ancom Technical Center 414.05

Annandale Rock Products 343.15

AT&T Service 4,401.89

B&D Plumbing & Heating 339.98

Baers Body Shop Inc. 1,747.63

Bauerly Brothers Companies 864,902.25

Benton County Treasurer 6,750.00

Betmar Languages Inc. 413.74 Buffalo Clinic 250.00

Buffalo Collision Repair Inc. 317.37

Buffalo Communications Inc. 4,530.00 Bureau of Criminal Apprehension 280.00

Cahners Assoc. Constr. Publ./Cmd. 312.96

Catholic Charities 8,103.51

Central Glass Co. 1,165.80

Citizens Communication 116.98

Cokato, City of 1,544.50

Compaq Computer Corporation 916.88

Computer Training Int'l, Inc. 1,078.50

Connelly, Marcia 100.00

Construction Bulletin Magazine 254.28 Contech Construction Product 530.40

Copy Shop, The 369.52

CPS Technology Solutions 276.14

Crouse, Nancy 125.00

Cub Foods 108.14

Decorative Designs Inc. 175.53

Electric Scientific Co. Inc. 272.28

Fairway Construction Inc. 29,464.05

Farm Plan 390.91

Fernendez, Maribel 115.23

Franklin Township 2,184.10

Gateway Companies Inc. 7,472.09

Going Under Dive Center 311.78

Gooler, Gloria 136.96

Greenview Inc. 11,028.85

Harris Communications 1,071.98

Heuring, Eileen C. 2,682.26

Heuring, Robert C. 72,513.99

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,666.42

Horse 'n Around 115.00

Howard Lake, City of 890.00 Int'l. Conference of Bldg. Offcol. 263.65

Integrated Loss Control Inc. 2,283.00 Jude, Kenneth 185.64

Lake Region Coop Oil 25,343.79

Lakeland Transmission 401.14

Machinesmart 193.00

Marco Business Products 5,420.76

Martinson, Krishona 111.71

Masys Corporation 2,503.95

Mead, George W. 838.72

Meeker County Sheriff 4,632.52

Merek, Jerry 126.00

Metro Group Inc., The 707.16

Middleville Township 1,223.20

Miller, Nathan 643.51

Mississipi Corridor Cluster 500.00

MN Pollution Control Agency 240.00

Monticello Ford Mercury Inc. 528.16

Mutterer, Kent 300.00

National Satellite Antenna Sys., Inc. 250.00

Noran Neurilogical Clinic 266.95

Office Depot 2,257.96

Olsen Chain & Cable Co. Inc. 207.04

Olson, Dean 274.98

Our Back Yard 150.00

Peterson, Mary Ann 172.38

Phillips Petroleum Company 333.77

Prosource One 2,680.61

Qwest 7,462.13

Qwest Government Services 315.00

Reds Auto Electric 112.71

Reese, Genell K. 255.78

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 804.18

Retrofit Recycling Inc. 876.88

Rockford Township 2,319.40

Royal Tire - St. Cloud 3,382.88

Russek, Jack D. 189.04

Russell's Lock & Key 132.79

Scharber & Sons Inc. 343.45

Sherburne County Sheriff 6,156.50

Sherwin Williams 390.37

Software House International Inc. 5,119.99

South Haven, City of 418.00

State of Minnesota ITD 233.28

State of MN 48.16

State of MN Intertech Group 149.11

Stratus Computer 8,657.00

Sydell Inc. 8,920.66

Target 158.67

Trimin Systems Inc. 197.50

U S Cavalry 1,017.38

University of Minnesota 15,253.79

Viking Coca Cola Bottling Co. 130.00

Walker, Matthew 327.99

Waverly, City of 412.60

West Group Payment Center 803.39

Wright County Human Services 324.00

Wright Hennepin Electric 2,415.74

Xcel Energy 268.33

Zee Service Company 100.10

Zep Manufacturing 101.94

55 claims under $100 $1,804.52

TOTAL $1,155,929.33

The meeting adjourned at 10:42 A.M.

Ken Jude, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard W. Norman, County Coordinator

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