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Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 2, 2001

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

The following corrections were made to the minutes of 9-25-01: Page 1, 5th paragraph, 3rd to last sentence should read, "Mattson thought maintenance agreements should be utilized with townships for maintenance of township roads" (Mattson); Page 4, 5th paragraph, 2nd to last sentence should read, "These parcels will be placed back on the tax rolls for taxes payable 2002" (Gruber); Page 4, last paragraph, 3rd sentence, change from "Transportation Alliance" to "Transportation Planning" (Mattson). Mattson pointed out that Quad County was referenced in the minutes and clarified that the counties include Sherburne, Stearns, Benton and Wright. Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A3, "Accept Resignation, Rhonda Thielen, Lead Clerk, Assessor, Eff. 10-12-01 & Authorize Replacement" (Melvin); Item For Consid. #4, "Discussion RE: Joint Meeting with Sherburne County on 10-9-01" (Jude). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Kuhn, Ct. Admin.; A. Backes, R. Benedict, M. Minnick, Surveyor.

2. Claim, MFRA, $6,485.70 (Charlotte/Martha SSD).

3. Accept Resignation, Rhonda Thielen, Lead Clerk, Assessor, Eff. 10-12-01 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Approve Abatement, PIN #105-500-342201, City of Cokato.


1. Accept The Findings & Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings:

a. Approval Of Request To Rezone Approximately 21 Acres From AG To R-2a, Roger Seely (Rockford Twp.).


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Edward Picht, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 10-2-01 (Grade 5).

2. Accept Resignation, Patrick Geiken, Deputy, Eff. 9-21-01 & Authorize Replacement.

Doug Gruber, Auditor Treasurer, requested approval of a resolution transfering Outlot A, Meadow Oaks 3rd Addition, to the City of Monticello. This property is part of the trail system and was to be transferred at the time the plat was recorded. It was not and the property went tax forfeit. The resolution will allow the County to transfer title to the City. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #01-72, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Gruber provided minutes of a Joint Ditch 15 Meeting held on 8-29-01 in Cokato. Ken Johnson, Weed Inspector, explained his dilemma regarding cost of ditch spraying. The consensus of the Ditch Committee was that the County needed to proceed based on his proposal as taxpayers' dollars are being utilized. The Committee consensus was to proceed with fixing the Joint Ditch 15 outlet once quotes have been obtained and to contact Ewald Anderson about his lateral. At today's meeting, Gruber said the proposal calls for tubing instead of concrete tile for approximately 100-150 yards and for the work to be completed this Fall. Mattson moved to accept the Joint Ditch 15 minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve a plat, "MERIDIAN ESTATES," as submitted by Randy L. & Kristine R. Hickman, husband and wife, fee owners, of the following property described in part as: the E1/2 of the SE1/4 of the SE1/4 and the S 200 ft. of the W1/2 of the SE1/4, Sec. 12, Twp. 121, Rge. 26, AND also part of the NE1/4 of the NE1/4, Sec. 13, Twp. 121, Rge. 26; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#85087); there are no new roads involved; and the mylars and title opinion letter prepared by Greg V. Smith, attorney, have been reviewed by Assistant Wright County Attorney, Thomas Zins, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson questioned whether the County could increase Jail booking fees. Captain Gary Torfin said that State Statute, updated within the last 3-4 years, indicates a $10 booking fee may be charged. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Chris Basgall introduced himself as the new General Manager for Superior FCR Landfill. He has worked in landfill operations for the past fifteen years. Basgall said he hoped the County and Superior Landfill could work together for the benefit of the citizens of Wright County. He was willing to meet to answer questions or concerns about the Landfill. Basgall was informed that Chuck Davis, Planning & Zoning, was the contact person for Wright County.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 9-25-01. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Human Services Budget. Mleziva stated that the August Financial Report reviewed by the Human Services Board yesterday is projecting a $742,000 deficit. Much of this deficit can be attributed to out-of-home placements. He then reviewed the Fiscal Report prepared for today's meeting (attached). He summarized the factors precipitating the reduction in reserve funds. He developed a list of initiatives that are projected to increase revenues and reduce or control expenditures. He will keep the Board updated on progress in meeting these goals.

A MIS/Communications Committee meeting was held on 9-26-01. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:

Record Management Project. The proposal for establishing a centralized records management function ($131,300) was deferred to 2003. The Committee recommended approval of an agreement with Patti Zimmerman, Info Logic, in the amount not to exceed $18,000 to be funded out of Professional Services Fund 820 and to authorize signatures on the Letter of Engagement for work in 2002. This includes: 1) Introduce State approved retention schedule to each department; 2) Introduce Records Management Manual to each department; 3) Assist in generating disposal plan for those record series eligible for destruction; 4) Develop analysis for record series recommended for other media.

Report from Property Tax Offices Automation Meeting. A meeting was held on 9-12-01. Topics discussed were Web Site, Assessor's Photos on the Network, Overview of 2002 projects; Data Issues; RECAP Update, FTP Update, GIS Project Leader, Public Access Terminals. Committee recommendation was for implementation of the web access to: (1) Property tax information, accessible via PIN and address only, and (2) Recorder records as designed by the MIS Department.

Recommendations from Brenda Shald & Associates. Swing reported on recommendations from a letter of Agreement with the County to find ways of lowering "phone expenses." Committee consensus was to have Swing, Gruber, Asleson and Norman meet with Shald to clarify the process.

Voice Recording System-911 Dispatch. Committee recommendations was to approve the upgrade with a Mirra Series 2 Voice Recording system distributed by Replay Systems, Oak Brook, IL under a three-year lease arrangement at $1,055.65/month with a two-month security deposit. Funding of the system will be from the 911 surcharge fund which currently has a balance of $26,200.

Phone Switch Upgrade. Figures were reviewed which reflected a significant savings by changing from the current analog local service to digital local service. The Committee recommended approval of the upgrade to local digital service as presented with no additional dollars to be allocated. Upfront one time cost is $19,754. Authorize signatures on the Hickory Tech Contract and Qwest Contract.

Addressing Concerns. Committee recommendation to change five French Lake Township addresses due to the road name change to Porter Avenue. The Auditor/Treasurer's Office will notify appropriate parties.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, referenced correspondence from Bryan Oakley, MFRA, who has served as Project Engineer for the Charlotte/Martha SSD Project. The original agreement for engineering services was effective through the award of the bid which took place in August. The request is to continue work on the project through completion to include construction observation, shop drawing review, processing of change orders, review of contractor payment requests and other construction administration tasks. The total cost of the services is a not-to-exceed figure of $105,000. The costs will be assessed to the residents in the SSD. In response to a question by Jude, Gruber indicated that bond proceeds have not been received. Once they have been, the County will be reimbursed for any funds expended to date. Russek moved to approve expanding the scope of engineering services with MFRA, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

At the 9-26-01 Ways & Means Committee meeting, the recommendation was to receive bids on rental of three parcels of land owned by Wright County. These include the new Ney Park acquisition (125 tillable acres), the Stemper property (25 tillable acres) and the Rasset Pit (30 tillable acres). Per grant specifications, the Ney Park land can only be rented for one year after which it will be enrolled in the CRP Program. The bid specifications will call for the renter to submit conservation plans and will be subject to approval of the Parks Department. The other two properties will be rented for three-year terms. Mattson moved to approve advertising for bids for the three properties. The bid opening will occur on 10-16-01 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

The County Attorney's Office received correspondence dated 9-21-01 from Michael Elsenpeter of A&M Liquor. The letter relates to a tobacco ordinance violation. Elsenpeter indicates that if the fine imposed for violation is forgiven by the County Board, he will not proceed in filing a lawsuit. The recommendation of the County Attorney's Office was for no action to be taken with respect to the ordinance violation. Asleson said that after the Tobacco Ordinance Appeals Hearings which occurred in August, their office sent out the notices of findings. Subsequently, all fines have been collected from the violators with the exception of the A&M Liquor fine. The Attorney's Office will continue to pursue the $75 fine.

Bill Stephens, Assistant Environmental Health Specialist, provided an update on the Household Hazardous Waste Program being implemented at the Wright County Compost Facility location. Stephens distributed a summary of materials collected thus far. He anticipates another shipment of materials to be removed from the site before the end of 2001. A 50-drum minimum is required for an individual site pick up, otherwise material is picked up in coordination with other sites. The amount of material collected through the first half of 2001 meets or exceeds the amount collected in the 9-month period of 2000. Although notice of the collection site has been advertised in local newspapers, Stephens feels much of the awareness has been through word of mouth from those who have used the site. The hours of operation are: Tuesday (9AM-3PM), Thursday (9AM-6PM), and the 4th Saturday of the month (8AM-12PM). Residents should call 763-682-7338 or 1-800-362-3667, Ext. 7338, between 8AM and 4:30PM to schedule an appointment. Stephens estimated that he is using approximately 50% of the processing floor, 30-40% of the tipping floor and the flammable liquids storage shed. Discussion followed on the request for the Compost Facility to be the collection site for yard waste (branches, grass, leaves, etc.) from cities. Chuck Davis, Environmental Health Specialist, explained that cities and townships were originally given a $1000 grant to start their own composting site. If the Compost Facility site were to take on larger quantities, the County may need to research a change of permit and additional staffing. Volume would need to be studied to determine what the site could handle. Any resident can deliver to the site. The question today related to large volumes of material delivered by cities. Also discussed was the need to maintain equipment at the Facility. Gruber was directed to provide the total payoff amount for the Compost Facility and interest owed at the next Board meeting.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 9-26-01. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:

Fringe Benefit Package, Recorder. Larry Unger was appointed 2-5-01 as the Recorder replacing a retiring elected officer. The County Board adopted the option of making the Recorder position an appointed one with formal appointment of Unger to this position effective 10-1-01. The Committee recommendation was effective October 1, 2001 to place Unger at the 11-year vacation accrual level with the ability to use up to 20 days at any time during the first year (October 1, 2001 to October 2, 2002). Effective October 2, 2002 vacation will be accrued on a basis of 6.15 hours/pay period. Effective October 1, 2001 a retroactive balance of 62.73 hours will be credited to sick leave with an accrual rate of 3.69 hours/pay period. A Floating Holiday will be granted to be used this calendar year.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 9-26-01. The following correction was made to the minutes, Page 2, 3rd paragraph, add "Planning & Zoning and Highway" to those appointed to the aggregate task force. Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:

Ordinance Review With Planning & Zoning and Attorney Departments. The issue pertained to the review of the Ordinance relating to encroachment on neighboring properties. Sharon Groehler, Patrick Groehler, Ann Stumpf and Bill Klein were present at the Committee meeting and voiced frustration with the process of reconciling their situation with a neighbor's building project. Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the property in question was the most heavily inspected of any and the property owner had submitted detailed plans. Salkowski did not feel the ordinance needed revision but rather it was an enforcement issue. The Committee recommendation was for the residents to consult with the SWCD and the Township relating to water diversion issues. Planning & Zoning will continue to monitor the situation to make sure the work is completed according to plans.

Land Rental: Ney Park, Stemper Property, Rasset Site. The Committee discussed rental of the land at Ney Park (130 acres), Stemper Property (25 acres) and Rasset Site (30 acres). Per grant specifications, the land at Ney Park can only be rented for one year. The land will be enrolled in the CRP Program after one year of ownership. Recommendation: Direct Mattice to work with Asleson on the Ney Park bid specification. Direct the Highway Department to work with Asleson on the Rasset Site and Stemper Property bid specifications. The bids will be opened at a future Ways & Means Committee meeting. The request to advertise for bids will be presented at the next County Board meeting. The advertisements will run in the Howard Lake Herald, Wright County Journal Press and Maple Lake Messenger newspapers.

Water Tower, Howard Lake. This has been an ongoing issue between the County and the City of Howard Lake relating to the construction of a water tower by the City on County property. An agreement was discussed between the two entities, approved by the County Board, but never approved or signed by the City. The Committee discussed rent, water usage at the Fairgrounds, and a Hold Harmless clause for the County. It was the consensus of the Committee that Asleson draft a letter to the City, for Ways & Means Committee Minutes (cont.): review by the County Board, requesting signature on the original agreement or requesting that the City pay rent and hold the County harmless from liability.

Gravel Tax Process & Procedures. Legislation was approved authorizing any county to establish an aggregate material tax following a public hearing and notification to the Commissioner of Revenue. The tax is up to ten cents per cubic yard or up to seven cents per ton of aggregate material removed. Wright County's intent was to implement this tax in January, 2002. The Committee heard concerns from local haulers relating to monitoring, enforcement and how the tax would be applied to aggregate material. The County, State and the townships are the highest users of aggregate but that the tax would be captured for road repair. The formula for distribution of the tax to the townships has not been determined. It was suggested that the County implement an aggregate hotline for reporting purposes. Recommendation: Form a task force to assist with a process to implement the aggregate tax. This task force would include representation from the County Board, Auditor/Treasurer, Attorney, Planning & Zoning, Highway, one person from the Township Association, one large aggregate hauler, and one small aggregate hauler. The implementation date of the aggregate tax is uncertain.

Russek received a call from Margaret Millerbernd who voiced support of the PCA monitoring efforts at Metro Dairy. Russek moved to send a letter of support to the PCA encouraging them to continue onsite monitoring annually and to perform annual water tests of well water. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. Russek will work with the Planning & Zoning Office on drafting the letter, which will be presented for approval next week.

The County Board previously voted to cancel their 10-23-01 meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in October. However, a Quad County Meeting (Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright) is scheduled for 10-30-01 at 10:00 A.M. Russek moved to cancel the 10-30-01 County Board meeting instead of the 10-23-01 meeting. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

A Wright/Sherburne Joint Meeting will be held on 10-9-01 to discuss the River Rider Program. The meeting time will change to 1:00 P.M. to accommodate lunch (meeting originally scheduled for 1:30 P.M.) Eichelberg moved to approve the time change, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Advanced Graphic Systems, Inc. 566.30

Ancom Technical Center 853.28

Assn of Minnesota Counties 175.00

AT&T 5398.61

B&D Plumbing & Heating 150.00

Bob Barker Co. 173.04

Bauerly Brothers Co. 20,751.92

Best, Inc. 16,291.97

Buffalo Bituminous 257,411.62

Buffalo Clinic 272.00

Buffalo Drug 846.70

CDW Government, Inc. 1607.79

CE&D 109.00

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 698.94

Central Lock & Safe 201.00

Climate Air 120.00

Comfort Suites 245.24

Compaq Computer Corp. 2938.34

Computer Intelligent Associate 624.90

Corner House 850.00

CPS Technology Solutions 825.89

CT Farm & Country 141.77

E-MDS 4037.00

French Lake Township 2674.28

Gateway Companies, Inc. 275.53

W Grainger, Inc. 113.75

Hamline University 3000.00

Hanson, Chris 129.88

Hiivala, Robert 381.79

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1125.62

Inn on Lake Superior, The 178.54

Little Tikes Commercial Play Sy 44,908.38

Marco Business Products 1790.01

Menards 529.49

Mercer, Mabel 165.60

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 708.50

Mills, Ryan 300.00

Minnesota Corrections Assn 205.00

Minnesota Elevator, Inc. 5355.08

MN Counties Computer Co-op 3600.00

MN Dept. of Corrections 400.00

Moeller, Dennis 355.85

Norman, Richard 125.97

Office Depot 1119.83

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 370.84

Qwest 5320.70

Radisson - Duluth 307.36

RS Eden 1793.40

Sherry Schliesing 300.22

State of MN Intertech Group 431.35

State of MN - General Fund 293.17

Total Printing 192.39

United Parcel Service 141.01

Verizon Wireless 445.54

Voss Lighting 443.27

Washington Cty Sheriff 720.00

West Publishing Company 451.17

Wright County Highway Dept. 3160.56

39 Payments less than $100 1776.05

Final Total $398,880.44

The meeting adjourned at 10:20 A.M.

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