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Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 9, 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 10-02-01: Page 2, 4th paragraph, 3rd sentence, change from "show" to "shop" (Norman); Page 4, 2nd to last paragraph, 2nd sentence should read, "However, a Quad County Meeting (Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright) is scheduled for 10-30-01 at 10:00 A.M." (Norman). Mattson referenced the last meeting where the new Superior FCR Landfill General Manager introduced himself to the County Board. He questioned whether the Board meeting was the correct forum for such matters. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said requests to address the Board are generally not denied but the Board could set parameters if so desired. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 10-02-01 as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda under Items For Consideration as follows: #3, "Set Bid Letting Date For French Lake Township Bridge Replacement Project" (Norman); #4, "Reschedule Ways & Means Committee Meeting" (Norman); #5, "Set Negotiation Committee Of The Whole Meeting" (Norman); #6, "Letter From Genell Reese" (Russek); #7, "Newspaper Article" (Mattson); #8, "Discussion RE: KUE Contractors & Repair On Public Works Building" (Mattson). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Stemm, Ct. Svcs.; M. Peterson, Extension; R. Helgeson, D. Miller,

D. Munsterteiger, G. Torfin, Sheriff.

2. Claim, MCIT, $2,500 (Deductible, Kienholz v. Wright).

3. Acknowledge Reappointment By Minnesota Association Of County Administrators Of Richard Norman As Representative On MCIT Board Of Directors, Two-Year Term.

4. Approve Hire, Dorene Chapman, Custodian I, Eff. 10-10-01 (Step 1).

5. O/T Report, Period Ending 9-28-01.


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

a. Approve Request To Rezone Approximately 20 Acres From AG To R-1, Larry B. Miller.

b. Approve Request To Rezone Approximately 10 Acres From AG To R-2a, Robert & Marilyn Dahl.


1. Refer To MIS/Communications Committee Discussion RE: 10-4-01 Meeting With Brenda Shald.


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Todd Rathbun, Communications Officer, Eff. 10-15-01 (Step 2).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, received a request from Eldon Glessing to install a field crossing on County Ditch 10. Russek moved to authorize Mattson, Gruber and Kerry Saxton (SWCD) to review the request. If it appears the request is in order, the motion gives authorization to proceed with the crossing. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Eichelberg referenced page 6, Grand View Lodge, $310.00. He noted that the lodging expense was coded to Operating Supplies. Gruber will correct and have the expenditure taken from the Travel line item. Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #01-73 authorizing execution of a grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Drug Policy & Violence Prevention, authorizing a cash match of $82,740.00. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Russek moved to authorize the Board Chair's signature on a letter to the MPCA urging them to continue monitoring efforts at the Metro Dairy site. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to cancel the Ways & Means Committee meeting scheduled for 10-10-01 and to reschedule it for 10-24-01. The Agenda will be the Tobacco Ordinance and the Procedures surrounding the Ordinance.

Russek moved to schedule a Negotiation Committee Of The Whole meeting for 11-13-01 at 10:30 A.M., seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Jerry Uhde, Surveyor, was contacted by Horizons, Inc. (aerial photo contractor) who has requested a one-week contract extension. The contract called for the work to be completed by 10-19-01. In addition, Horizons, Inc. has five aerial photos which must be redone as the full section was not included in the photos. Two remedies were offered: 1) Provide the current photos and perform a reflight in the Spring; 2) Perform the reflight in the Fall. Russek moved to approve Uhde's recommendation to allow a one-week extension for the photos and for Horizons, Inc. to perform the reflight on the five aerial photos this Fall. The motion was seconded by Mattson. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Uhde said that the retake of the five photos is in the Albertville City vicinity. As they are not concerned with elevation in these photos, it would not make a difference if the photos were taken in the Spring or the Fall. Under contract terms, the County still would have the right to reject the photos taken this Fall. Norman noted that by allowing an additional week for completion, the County is waiving the penalty clause contained within the contract language. Final payment will be withheld until a satisfactory product is received. The motion carried 5-0.

Karla Heeter, President, and Sandy Millerbernd,Vice President, Crossroads Animal Shelter, provided an update on the building progress and services of their organization. The new shelter will be located three miles East of Buffalo off Highway 55. The anticipated opening to the public is approximately 11-1-01. The facility will provide temporary housing for 20 cats and 20 dogs. Space was also designed to house dangerous/vicious dogs required to be quarantined. Crossroads is currently impounding for the City of Buffalo and managing animals in foster homes until the shelter is operational. Heeter said the purpose of the update was to identify what services they have to offer. She felt they could be of assistance with the needs of law enforcement (strays, homeless, vicious/dangerous animals). Julie Vergin, Wright County Humane Society, was also present for discussion. They have moved their location from Delano to three miles East of the Crossroads Animal Shelter building. They have 16 kennels available. Vergin explained that letters have been sent to cities and townships on impound contracts, and they currently contract with Wright County and four cities. Sawatzke felt the Board should probably address the distribution of $6000 budgeted for impounding in 2002.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the Planning Commission recommended denial of the request of Tom L. Wymer (French Lake Township) to rezone from AG General Agriculture and S-2 Residential Recreational to R-2 Suburban Residential and S-2. Attorney Tim Young, representing Wymer, referenced the property on maps which is located on the south end of French Lake near County Road #37. The purpose of the rezoning request is for Wymer to be allowed to build a home on the 4.5 acre parcel. Young said there are many parcels surrounding Wymer's which are zoned ag but have residential uses. He referred to Wymer's property as the "hole in the donut," with residential use parcels surrounding it. He felt it would be spot zoning in reverse not to allow the rezoning.

The General Findings of Fact which the Planning Commission based their denial on are:

1) The Petitioner's request to rezone from AG General Agriculture and S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands to R-2 Suburban-Residential and S-2 is not in compliance with the Wright County Land Use Plan.

2) Placing a residence on Wymer's four acre lot would be second tier development on French Lake, and this would not be in compliance with Wright County lake development policy.

3) The lot in question was knowingly purchased by the applicant with a residential restriction in place, and since has been developed and used by the applicant in a way that is incompatible with uses in the R-2 zone. The incompatible use is continuing with the existing commercial type building.

4) Other than the added impediment of the 5,000 square foot building on the Wymer lot, there has been no appreciable change in the neighborhood since the previous rezoning request in 1996.

Young responded in relation to each of the above Findings of Fact:

1) The parcel was created in 1986 by division and a deed restriction stated the property could not have a residence. The value of being a restricted parcel in 1986 was so that it didn't change the character of the neighborhood. Young said that despite the restriction on the parcel, the neighborhood developed anyway. He felt the deed restriction which possibly made sense in 1986 did not fit the circumstances of today. Wymer's parcel was no longer in a position to lead development but rather to follow development which has already taken place.

2) Wymer made the same request in 1996, which was denied by the Planning Commission. Young stated there are more neighbors than in 1996. At that time, there were letters of opposition to the request by Wymer. There have been no letters of opposition with this most recent request. After the rezoning was denied in 1996, Wymer constructed a 5000 square foot building on the lot. Young said the building was a permitted use, and that it was legal to be constructed and still is.

3) Young disagrees with this parcel being viewed as second tier lakeshore development on a definitional basis. He said second tier lakeshore properties access off from roads servicing lakeshore parcels. Wymer's parcel gains access off from CR #37.

4) Young acknowledged the Comprehensive Plan as the most troublesome item in these types of discussions. Zoning proposals are evaluated primarily on their conformance to the Land Use Plan and the Plan is inflexible to unique circumstances. He did not feel it made sense that residential use surrounds this parcel and that this parcel is zoned ag. He said the parcel is useless as ag as it is small with a hill running across it. He felt the split vote of the Planning Commission reflected how common sense was not applied in this issue.

Russek serves on the Planning Commission and said Wymer purchased the parcel with restricted use and has constructed a building that would not fit in a residential zone. He now wants to build a home. Russek said Wymer was informed that if he wanted to build a house, he should not construct a building. Wymer responded that this was not mentioned and that he was told he could build any size of building. Young said that if the property were to be rezoned in the future, it would be a detriment to have a 5000 sq. ft. building on it. However, when the building was constructed, it was the proper size building for the category of property. Russek said the Planning Commission upholds the Land Use Plan. If the Township wants to change this property to ag residential, they should change the Plan. This would simplify the job of the Planning Commission. The property does not qualify for riparian acres as the property does not touch the lake.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, responded to a question by Mattson on properties along Dan Lake which is South of Wymer's property. Salkowski said the French Lake map does not reflect an update of parcels along Dan Lake split into one house per 40 acres. Everything in this area is zoned ag except the lakeshore lots on French Lake. Young stated that the way the area was developed, it created a residential neighborhood. He said zoning is a form of government tyranny that is accepted and a regulation of society. However, zoning loses its legitimacy and popular support if results are absurd. He said the Board members were elected officials who set policy. The Planning Commission supports the policy decisions set. When odd situations occur, he felt the Plan should be reviewed and fixed when there is a flaw in it. He did not support sending this request back to the Township. Young said he would be surprised if there were many situations like Wymers but if there were, they should also be corrected. Russek said the Plan starts at the Township level and that the Planning Commission respects the Township and the Land Use Plan. It would be up to the Township to decide whether to consider changing the zoning.

If the request were approved, Eichelberg inquired whether the parcel could then be split into smaller parcels. Wymer stated that where he proposes to build the house would not allow for another home on the property. Sawatzke said that not much development has occurred in this area other than a few divisions of 1/40. A few years after the deed restriction was placed on the property, Wymer purchased the 4.5 acres for $4000. Salkowski alluded to the potential value of the property if there was not a building entitlement on it because of its proximity to the Lake. Young questioned the fairness of the capitalist system if a person cannot buy something that they felt could be changed.

Salkowski stated the Township Board did approve Wymer's requested change in zoning. It was then forwarded to the Planning Commission where it was denied. Relating to change of the Land Use Plan, the past process has been for the Township to take action at their annual meeting to appoint a committee to start the process. He is currently working with several townships on this process, which takes nine months to one year to complete. An amendment to the Plan is not usually made for the benefit on one landowner. Salkowski provided a history of the property. In the late 1980's, the previous owner split the lot with several acres being sold with the house. The intent at that time was for one of the lakeshore owners to buy the back lot for a common use (sewer, garage, etc.). The lot was broken off and the remainder of the property was restricted. The Board of Adjustment approved of the action with the assumption that one of the lakeshore owners would purchase the back lot. At that time, Wymer owned two lakeshore lots on French Lake. Salkowski referenced a letter he sent on 5-17-96 to Wymer explaining the consequences of constructing a large building. Wymer proceeded to construct a 5000 sq. ft. building after being told it would only be allowed in an ag zone as a storage shed. Wymer has since sold his home on the lake and wants to build one on this lot. Salkowski referenced past concerns by neighbors on use of the property. He said the building cannot be utilized for commerical use, that it must be used as a storage shed. A contractors yard is only allowed in ag zoning. If the zoning were changed to R-2 and Wymer would live on the property, he could not operate a business there. Salkowski referenced the 5-2 vote of the Planning Commission and felt the request did not fit the Plan. Wymer stated he only stores and maintains trucks in the building.

Young felt the Plan, in this unique set of circumstances, was out of wack considering the residential use of the area. He asked for a favorable consideration of the rezoning. Sawatzke referenced Young's comments referencing the parcel being surrounded by residential uses, not residential zones. He thought what was being requested was not allowed in a residential zone (building a home on the parcel with a large building and operating a business). Young said he did not understand that Wymer wanted to operate a business out of the residence.

Russek moved to uphold the Planning Commission's recommendation and support the Formal Findings of Fact to deny the request. Sawatzke seconded the motion. Mattson said he would like the Township Board to review the Land Use Plan around French Lake to avoid problems such as this. He felt a more compatable Plan could be developed keeping ag land as a highlight. Jude said he would vote against the motion as it was a split decision at the Planning Commission and he felt Young did a good job of presenting the information. The motion carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote. Tom Zins, County Attorney, referenced the denial and personnally served Young with the Notice and Order of Denial. Young acknowledged the service.

Tom Kelly, County Attorney, presented for approval an Agreement For Prosecution Services between the County and the City of Buffalo. This was discussed as part of the 2002 budget process. This agreement surfaced based on the financial position of the County and the need for assistance with law enforcement. The prosecution services would include: 1) prosecuting petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor criminal and traffic offenses, including criminal and traffic ordinances and probation violations that occur within the jurisdiction of the Municipality; 2) giving advice and guidance on prosecution matters, procedures and policies; 3) having the Municipality Police Chief become a member of the County's Team Approach to prosecution Task Force; 4) free post credit law enforcement training for the Municipality law enforcement officers when such training is being provided to the County. The contract would be for a three-year period. The City would pay the County $54,224 in 2002; $58,750 in 2003; and $62,599 in 2004. Payments would be made on May 15th and October 15th of each year. The County would prosecute, conduct and take care of administrative services, and provide secretarial and paralegal support. If the contract were to be extended to 2005, it must be settled by 8-1-2004. The benefit to the City would be to provide them with local prosecution services. The County would benefit by being able to utilize the attorney for the County's caseload. Russek moved to authorize signatures on the Agreement, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

At the request of Genell Reese, Civil Defense Director, Russek read the following letter drafted by Reese: "As the Governor stated, Wright County would also like the residents of Wright County to know that our Nuclear Plan is up to date. We exercised this spring with the Federal Government. Our Plan was checked and we received an Excellent rating. The Nuclear Plans are checked as well every year to make sure they are up to date."

Mattson referenced a Journal Press article which covered the last County Board Meeting and comments Jude had relating to the deficit in Human Services. Mattson wanted the public to know that the entire Board is concerned with the deficit and out-of-home placement costs. The Board has met with State Legislators in this regard.

Mattson mentioned a letter drafted by Brian Asleson to the Board relating to insulation repair work completed by KUE Contractors at the Public Works site. Mattson felt that KUE should be thanked for their expedient response to correcting the problem which was under warranty. Asleson stated that he conversed with Jim Kuechle, KUE Contractors, and thanked him at that time.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop, Inc. 651.50

Allina Hospitals & Clinics 1150.50

American Business Forms 607.55

Amoco Oil Company 100.75

Ancom Technical Center 949.40

Anderson, Chris 200.00

Anderson, Pennie 100.00

Annandale Rock Products 296.70

Ass'n of Minnesota Counties 11,000.00

Auto Glass Center, Inc. 554.97

Automatic Garage Door Company 560.00

B&D Plumbing & Heating 110.00

Bob Barker Co. 283.71

Bauman, Lawrence 807.78

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 154.40

Buffalo Township 477.00

Buffalo City 42,104.22

Bureau of Criminal Apprehens'n 240.00

Case Credit 1420.70

Catco Parts Service 592.82

Cintas Corp. No. 748 320.64

Clearwater River Watershed 479.98

Commissioner of Transportation 661.23

Computer Training Int'l 2750.50

Desmarais, Randal 119.00

Douglas, Ralph 526.50

Elk River Concrete Products 111.83

Endreson, Tony 114.34

Fairbanks Scale, Inc. 2005.00

Gateway Companies, Inc. 2524.00

GCI Systems 1117.19

GCS Service, Inc. 568.91

Grand View Lodge 310.00

Granite City Ready Mix Co. 347.72

Greystone Educational Material 113.36

Heart of the Lakes Pumping 855.00

Hickorytech 686.27

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 286.06

Holiday 1926.50

Holiday Inn - St. Cloud 223.95

IMC Salt, Inc. 70,340.33

Interstate Battery Sys. of Mpls. 128.76

Jude, Kenneth 280.16

Kirscht, Bernard 458.48

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 533.80

Lawson Products, Inc. 359.20

M-R Sing Company, Inc. 698.27

Maple Lake Messenger 104.40

Marco Business Products 768.65

The Metro Group, Inc. 4857.68

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix, Inc. 3148.42

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 705.25

MN Counties Computer Co-op 1579.00

Mobile Vision 430.00

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 1374.58

Monticello City 351.85

Morries Buffalo Ford Mercury 251.66

Mpls Medical Research Foundtn 450.00

Mumford Sanitation 140.03

Office Depot 3638.12

Oryans Conoco 110.00

Parker, Anne 146.20

Pats 66 152.00

Pawelk, Lori 300.39

Peavey, Lynn Company 155.20

Photo I 704.09

Press & News Publication 221.80

RDO Financial Services Co. 1283.28

Record Preservation, Inc. 321.91

Reese, Genell 162.86

Riebel, Augie 100.00

Royal Tire - St. Cloud 3023.42

Schermann, Robert 561.84

Schmidt, Donald 431.96

Software House International 233.24

Sprint 152.08

St. Cloud Times 256.53

Superior Service - Central MN 453.00

Total Tool Supply, Inc. 2315.30

Tuttle, Mark 163.48

United Bldg Centers 260.93

Vernon Sales & Promotions 389.39

Vibes Technologies, Inc. 741.66

Wal-Mart Store 01-1577 342.63

Wareforce Incorporated 1233.00

Westside Equipment 333.06

Winsted Publishing, Inc. 409.45

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 24,002.50

Wright Soil & Water 300.00

Wright, Jim 100.00

Keith Wurm Construction 3825.00

49 payments less than $100 2302.12

Final Total $214,496.94

The meeting adjourned at 10:23 A.M.

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