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Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 13, 2001

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 11-6-01, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item F1, "Acknowledge Appointment, Jonathan Vandre Vegt, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 11-19-01 (Grade 5)" (Norman); Consent Agenda Item F2, "Acknowledge Appointment, Matthew Sturm, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 11-19-01 (Grade 5)" (Norman); Consent Agenda Item F3, "Acknowledge Appointment, Nathan Erickson, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 11-19-01 (Grade 5)" (Norman); Item For Consid. #5, "Discuss 11-14-01 Committee Meeting Schedule" (Norman); Item For Consid #6, "Discuss Donation Of Vacation Time" (Norman); Item For Consid. #7, "Stemper Property" (Mattson). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Block, K. Gunnerson, Ct. Admin.; K. Eich, Parks; M. Koscianski, K. Perkins, G. Reitan, Sheriff.

2. Appoint Randy DesMarais, Acting Assessor, Eff. 11-19-01, Step 3.


1. Approve Hire, Heather Adair, Lead Clerk, Eff. 11-19-01 (Step 2).


1. Authorize Signatures On License To Cross Protected Waters RE: Charlotte/Martha Sewer Project.


1. Accept Resignation, Dan Weber, Office Assistant-Treasurer Division, Eff. 11-26-01 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Refer To Building Committee Request To Utilize Boardroom For Court Activities. Approve Scheduling Procedure To Be The Same As That Utilized For Other Facilities.


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Jonathan Vandre Vegt, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 11-19-01 (Grade 5).

2. Acknowledge Appointment, Matthew Sturm, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 11-19-01 (Grade 5).

3. Acknowledge Appointment, Nathan Erickson, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 11-19-01 (Grade 5).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented for approval a Letter Of Understanding from the State Auditor for the 2001 audit work. Gruber said this is the same document which was signed last year. Russek moved to approve signatures on the document, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson questioned the claim on page 16, Buffalo Clinic ($872.00). Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated this was for pre-employment physicals. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the 11-6-01 Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes as presented:

County Attorney Budget. Kelly discussed the need for an additional Legal Secretary. He referenced language in the City Contracts that prosecution services shall be provided by the County Attorney. He asked that the Committee consider a hire date of 7/1/02. He would offset the costs associated with the position with revenues from the Worthless Check Program. Recommendation: Revisit the issue in June, 2002 to determine if revenues will offset costs.

Extension Service, Memorandum Of Agreement. Anderson discussed the draft Memorandum Of Agreement proposed by the University of Minnesota Extension. The Agreement would cover the period from 2002 through 2007. Norman stated that he received an E-Mail this morning from Morrison County. Their concern was the current language implied a maintenance of effort. They wanted the unilateral ability to reduce funding for Extension if they were faced with doing the same for other departments. Norman will request a copy of their contract language and share it with Anderson prior to bringing the Agreement to the Board for consideration.

Krishona Martenson, Extension Educator, provided a Master Gardener Program Report. The goal of the Master Gardener Program is to assist and educate citizens on horticulture. There are 36 Master Gardeners in Wright County who spent 1,625 hours in 2001 and reached approximately 18,000 people (2000 school age children). Master Gardeners also teach community education classes, garden classes and provide displays at events and parades. The new main projects for 2002 include a Butterfly Garden at the Wright County Fair, A Fall Garden Bonanza in September, and a program which will be implemented with students relating to Organic vs. Non-Organic Vegetable Production. The Board commended the Master Gardeners on their efforts.

The terms of Richard Nolan and Mary Volkmann on the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) Board of Trustees expire on 12-31-01. Eichelberg indicated that he needs to contact Volkmann on whether she is interested in another term. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to reappoint Richard Nolan to the GRRL Board of Trustees and to lay the reappointment of Mary Volkmann over to a future meeting.

Correspondence was received from Buffalo Hospital relating to the Jail Medical Contract. The cost for the 2002 contract is estimated at $87,000. Norman said that this represents a 14.9% increase over a two-year period. The contract was previously renegotiated due to the Hospital underestimating costs. Mattson moved to approve the contract, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to cancel the County Board meeting of 12-4-01 due to the AMC Conference.

At the request of Norman, Russek moved to cancel the Ways & Means and MIS/Communications Committee Meetings scheduled for 11-14-01. Brian Asleson will not be available for the Ways & Means Committee meeting and Bill Swing is unavailable for the MIS/Communications Committee meeting due to training. Both meetings will be rescheduled. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Norman received a request for the Board to consider allowing employees to donate vacation time to an employee in Court Administration who is on medical leave. At Norman's recommendation, Russek moved to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the various Unions and to authorize signatures as they are received. Donated time is to be tracked. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. Gruber inquired whether this includes all Unions. Norman responded that this will be allowed as a Memorandum of Agreement is received from each Union.

Jerry Kritzeck, Assessor, requested authorization to hire William Cushman of Appraisal Concepts, Inc. to prepare a formal appraisal of the Honeywell, Inc. property. A tax court petition has been filed by Honeywell, Inc. (Buffalo facility). At issue is the valuation of the property for tax years 2000 and 2001. Kritzeck said the two years differ as a buiding addition was constructed in 2001. There have also been purchases and sales since the time of the first tax court case filing. Kritzeck recommended Cushman because of his past work and being a member of the Appraisal Institute. Estimated cost is approximately $2500. Court time would come at an additional cost. Mattson moved to authorize hiring Cushman with expenditures up to $3000, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. The expenditure will be from the Assessor's Professional Services line item.

Discussion followed on the former Stemper property which was toured by the County Board at their last meeting. Mattson stated that he wanted the minutes to reflect that the property should not be used by the Drug Task Force for training. Norman referenced the motion made at the last meeting directing County staff to provide the ramifications of selling a portion of the property versus the value of keeping it for mining. A list of upgrades was distributed which would need to be completed to bring the home in compliance with building code, per the Building Inspector. Also distributed was a sheet outlining the cost consideration from Richard Marquette, Highway Department. The first option offers a cost projection of $131,500 to sell and move the house and garage and remove the barn, allowing mining. The second option would be to sell the building site with 1.8 acres at a cost of $220,000 less the lost gravel value ($115,000) plus a new septic system ($8,000), leaving a net gain of $96,500 for the building site. Norman requested a recommendation so that the bids can be advertised. Mattson moved to proceed with advertising for the first option to move and sell the house and garage, seconded by Russek. It was clarified that the bids will not include demolition of the house, only to remove the house. If a bid is not received for removal, the issue will be brought back before the Board. The motion carried 5-0.

John Bower, Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust (MCIT), provided the State of the County Report. The purpose of the report is to highlight MCIT's performance, to examine Wright County's role in the Pool's success, and to recognize the County Board's role as the key leadership in the County. MCIT is a Joint Powers Organization which is governed by a Board of Directors elected by member counties and operates in accordance with Joint Powers Agreement and By-Laws. There are 81 counties in the pool (28,000 employees). Wright County has 607 employees and $60,931,177 in property coverage. MCIT member counties will experience a $17.5 million dividend in 2001. Wright County's contribution in 2000 was $457,920 and a $333,374 dividend will be realized. Wright County's workers' compensation experience has been below average since 1998. Property/Casualty has experienced several losses over the past years as is indicated in the loss ratio. Recent enhancements include equipment breakdown coverage. Future enhancements will include employee dishonesty and faithful performance bonds. The boiler and machinery coverage has also been consolidated with the program. Bower complimented the County on past training participation and encouraged use of MCIT resources for future in-house training. 2002 initiatives include Loss Control, Employee Assistance Program and Internet Interaction. MCIT, Meadowbrook Insurance and RKSCo are now housed together providing greater efficiency, responsiveness and flexibility. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, was thanked for his service on the MCIT Board of Directors. Patrick Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, was commended for the outstanding job implementing the Wright County Safety Program and associated training. Russek felt the five-year lowered loss trends are a result of his efforts. Russek strongly supported the hire of a Safety Director in 2002 but it was cut in the budget process. Norman noted that although MCIT has held the rates down for the last two years, premiums may increase. The premium is based on a formula determined by gross wages, workers' compensation, etc. The report was provided as an informational item.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, submitted for approval revised Agreement No. 00-02 with French Lake Township for bridge replacement. The revision related to a law change allowing engineering reimbursement from township bridge funding. Mike Granquist, French Lake Township Chairperson, said the Township is in support of the revised agreement. Eichelberg moved to approve Agreement No. 00-02, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

At 9:58 A.M., the Board recessed and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. Jude closed the bidding process for the French Lake Township Bridge replacement. Fingalson said the project could be started this winter as the realignment will not affect the existing bridge. The Engineer's estimate is $493,000. There were no addendums. Russek moved to accept all bids for review and laid them over until the next County Board meeting for recommendation. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Bidder; Bid Bond; Bid Amount

Duininck Bros., Inc.; Yes; $458,309.20

Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc.; Yes; $499,427.28

M-K Bridge Construction; Yes; $497,848.00

Minnowa Construction, Inc.; Yes; $492,320.90

Robert R. Schroeder Const. Inc.; Yes; $532,080.71

Structural Specialties, Inc.; Yes; $488,223.51

Fingalson provided an update on the Crow River bridge crossing in St. Michael. Fingalson anticipates approval of the layout at the next Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting. An agreement has been worked out with Hennepin County and Hassan Township providing for a left turn lane on the bridge. This would require widening of the bridge.

Bills Approved

Abrahamson, Brian 218.62

AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 177.50

Ancom Technical Center 861.00

Anderson, Pennie 100.00

Annandale Advocate 154.00

Benton County Treasurer 1100.00

Buff'n'Glo, Inc. 190.00

Buffalo Clinic 872.00

Buffalo City 24,527.07

Cameron, Tim 125.00

Clearwater Township 466.80

Clearwater City 44,971.35

Clemence, David 143.75

Climate Air 7,500.00

Corinna Township 913.40

Courrier, Melanie 100.16

Dental Care Associates of Buff. 135.00

Enterprise Dispatch 138.00

Feddema, Tom 167.78

French Lake Township 620.00

G&K Services 1855.90

Gateway Companies, Inc. 3612.00

Gau, Todd 149.60

GE Supply 232.78

W Grainger, Inc. 329.62

Greenview, Inc. 2552.49

Hickorytech 330.00

Holiday 1196.89

Howard Lake City 1360.00

Imageware Software, Inc. 345.00

International Personnel Mngmnt 760.00

JR's Appliance Disposal, Inc. 1313.00

Tammy Klimmek 106.02

Kramers Hardware 136.82

Lakedale Telephone Company 409.17

Loffler Business Systems, Inc. 1879.53

Maple Lake Messenger 121.84

Maple Lake Township 1517.80

Maple Lake City 1279.60

Marco Business Products 2001.67

Martin-McAllisters Consulting 1200.00

Mattson, Richard 423.14

McKesson Med-Surg Minnesota Su 133.40

Meeker County Sheriff 16,450.00

The Metro Group, Inc. 3724.52

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 702.00

Mills, Ryan 110.00

Monticello Times 155.20

Motorola, Inc. 2918.96

National Bag Company 138.28

Office Depot 1357.40

Parker, Anne 198.56

Pats 66 168.00

Photo I 481.46

Record Preservation, Inc. 550.47

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 2569.13

Russells Lock and Key 260.61

Safeshred 119.52

R Salls 327.99

Southfork Recreational Parts 311.83

Star Tribune 570.20

Superior FCR Landfill, Inc. 105.60

Thingvold, Lori 119.34

Tierney Brother, Inc. 554.50

Total Printing 364.38

US Cavalry 174.40

Verizon Wireless 2231.63

Voss Lighting 261.19

Waste Management TC West 611.88

Winsted Publishing, Inc. 561.21

Wright County Auditor-Treas. 1709.00

Wright County Highway Dept. 148.65

Wright County Journal Press 146.06

Wright Cty Court Administrator 535.00

42 payments less than $100 2092.52

Final Total $147,757.19

The meeting adjourned at 10:10 A.M.

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