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Wright County Board Minutes

DECEMBER 18, 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 12-11-01: Page 1, 6th paragraph, last sentence should read, "It was clarified that the motion includes Asleson sending correspondence to A&M Liquor informing them that the Board was considering not renewing their license." (Sawatzke); Page 4, 6th paragraph, 4th sentence should read, "Sawatzke said the MPCA standards call for the residential dwelling setback to be less than 1000 feet away and yet the County adopted a stricter standard of 1000 feet." (Sawatzke); Page 6, 1st paragraph, last sentence should read, "The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0." (Sawatzke). 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 A5, "Approve Charitable Gambling Permit, Buffalo Knights of Columbus" (Norman). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Barnaal, Barbara Peterson, J. Moe, Ct. Svcs.; Dirk Anderson, W. Augustin, R. Bonk, K. Mortenson, James Nelson, J. Niebolte, J. Putnam, Hwy.; Paul Johnson, J. Koenig, Matthew Walker, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Frank Madden $951.51.

3. Claim, VSI Construction, $840.05.

4. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-7-01.

5. Approve Charitable Gambling Permit, Buffalo Knights of Columbus.


1. Tobacco License Approvals: Hackenmueller's Liquor (Albertville City); Petrol Pumper #66, Clearwater Marathon, Coborn's Liquor, Coborn's, Eagle Trace Golfers Club (Clearwater City); The Marketplace, Cenex Lake Region Coop (Cokato City); Coborn's (Delano City); Roger's Amoco (Maple Lake City); Pump 'n Munch #29, Hawk's Sports Bar (Monticello City); Squire Inn (Montrose City); Ditto's Bar (St. Michael City).

2. Approve Transfer Of Heather Becker From Recorder Dept. To Aud./Treas. Dept. As Office Assistant, Eff. 1-2-02 (No Step Change).

3. Claim, J.L. Schmitz & Sons, Joint Ditch 14 Services, $8,844.60.


1. Authorize County Signatures On Funding Participation & Construction Agreement With City Of Buffalo And LGK, Inc. For CSAH 35 Project.


1. Authorize Signatures On 2002 Greenview Contract For Caretakers At Beebe Lake, Otsego, Clearwater/Pleasant & Fairhaven Mill.


1. Acknowledge Hire, Karen Davis, Lead Clerk, Step 5 (Eff. 1-2-02).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, referenced the November Revenue & Expenditure Summary. He distributed an update to the Auditor/Treasurer portion of the report which reflects the correct figures for the Mortgage Registry Tax and County Deed Tax line items. Minor corrections were made to the report after a meeting with Richard Norman, County Coordinator. Norman indicated that the transfer of $200,000 from Court Services to Human Services for out-of-home placements has not been made but is being processed. Court Services receives the grant funding and pays Human Services. A transfer will also be made from the SCORE funds to Planning & Zoning. Eichelberg moved to acknowledge the Guidelines, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Gruber explained that the GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) has taken action to recommend that capitalization thresholds should not be set less than $5000. He presented a draft resolution amending the fixed assets policy incorporating this suggestion. Gruber said assets less than $5000 will continue to be tracked but not reported on the financial statement. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #01-88.

Laid over from the last meeting, discussion followed on the tobacco license renewal request for A&M Liquor. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, distributed a summary of findings with regard to appeal periods. Section 13 of the County's Tobacco Ordinance specifies that the decision of the Board can be appealed to District Court (no appeal period specified). If an appeal period of 60 days from the notice of decision were used, the appeal period would have expired. His recommendation was for the Board to adopt an Ordinance amendment in 2002 that would set this appeal period to 30 days making it similar to that of the Board of Adjustment appeals. Asleson recommended that the license renewal be granted unless the Board is willing to use the single violation as grounds for non-renewal. Nonpayment of fines under the Ordinance can be added to Section 6 of the Ordinance as basis of denial. He recommended until such change has occurred that this not be used as a basis for denial of the license. Eichelberg moved to renew the tobacco license renewal for A&M Liquor, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Asleson will pursue collection of the $75 fine through conciliation court.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced page 12, Buffalo Hospital Optical ($1,222.45) and questioned whether these costs were outside of the contract. Gruber explained that they were and felt it was probably for eyeglasses. Mattson referenced page 17, Stevens Drilling ($750.00). It was explained that this was for well abandonment at the Stemper property. Mattson thought the cost was high for this type of work. Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

The Bid Opening for the 2002 Official County Newspaper was held. Gruber opened and read the bids received. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to lay these bids over for one week for recommendation:

Paper; Line Length; Lines Per Inch; Length of Lower Case Alphabet; Cost Per Column Inch for Legals

Maple Lake Messenger; 12.5; 9; 100; $1.68

Enterprise Dispatch; 12; 8; 102; $.99, $.89 if sent via e-mail

Howard Lake Herald; 12; 8; 103; $.76 - Note: The Howard Lake Herald's bid includes continuing to provide an archive of all County Board minutes at no additional charge.

Annandale Advocate; 12.5; 8; 102; $3.96

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, reviewed the 11-20-01 Parks Commission Minutes and recommendations.

2002 Grant Applications: The Parks Commission reviewed priorities in the strategic plan and voted that two grant applications be submitted upon approval by the County Board: 1) Region Park/Outdoor Recreation Grant for Clearwater/Pleasant Park to pave the interior trails and to construct a nine-hole disc golf area; 2) Conservation Partners Grant for reclamation of native plant communities at Ney Park (Havel property). At today's County Board Meeting, Mattice explained there would be a $50,000 match for 2003 and 2004 ($25,000/year). Dependent upon what is completed, he anticipated an expenditure of $31,000-$37,000 for the first request. The second request would involve reclamation of tillable acres. He would apply for the Conservation Partners Grant and CRP funds (if available) for this acreage. Sawatzke felt it would be wiser to apply for grants to rebuild and maintain existing parks than to expand the infrastructure. Mattice replied that grants for existing facilities are hard to come by and that the work usually is completed as part of major construction of a recreation area. Jude said that maintenance is part of the budget. He said the Parks need to continue to grow within the budget. He commended Mattice and the Parks Commission for their efforts. In response to Mattson, Mattice explained that TEA 21 funding cannot be used toward interior park trails. Jude stated he agreed with Sawatzke on conserving but believed having a master plan was the right direction. Proceeding would be dependent upon funding available. He felt a cover crop was needed on the land when it is not farmed any longer. Mattson said he would vote against the request because of the cost of the land. Eichelberg moved to authorize applying for the grants. The motion failed for lack of a second.

Initiative Foundation Grant: The Parks Commission voted to recommend to the County Board to apply for a Planning Grant through the Central MN Initiative Foundation for Ney Park allowing the Parks Department to: 1) Conduct public/user involvement with services of a facilitator; 2) Develop a resource analysis; 3) Develop a plan for ecological impacts; 4) Develop a concept plan for future development with public involvement. At today's County Board meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the request, seconded by Russek. Russek said he would support the request as no matching funds were required. Sawatzke stated that in regard to Ney Park, he felt preservation and ways to enjoy the Parks should be pursued. He voted to purchase the land with the assumption that not much would be expended on the land for 20-30 years. The motion carried 5-0.

MN DNR Shared Staffing Opportunity, Set Committee Meeting Date: The DNR has requested a shared naturalist position for Lake Maria State Park and Ney Park. The position would be used by the County 18 hours/week. This was not budgeted for in 2002. Sawatzke moved to refer this issue to the Personnel Committee (first meeting in January), seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Big Woods Support Letter Request: The letter would be in support of the efforts to preserve the Big Woods area in St. Michael to assist with securing funds from private parties. This would not obligate the County financially in any manner. Russek moved to direct Mattice to draft a letter signed by the Board Chair indicating support of the effort (not financial support), seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Mary Anderson, MN Extension Service, requested approval of a Memorandum of Agreement between Wright County and the University of MN for employing County Extension Educator staff. The following sentence has been removed from the Agreement under Item 6, "Proposed modifications to the previous appropriation for the County Extension operating budget will be mutually negotiated." The Agreement would remain in effect until the end of 2007 with review of the agreement every two years unless otherwise waived. Asleson has reviewed the document. Russek moved to authorize signatures on the Agreement, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 12-12-01. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today's meeting follows:

Sanitary Sewer Debris Problem: Correspondence from the City of Buffalo estimates the cost of a channel grinder at $85,750 from Bolton & Menk, Inc. Hayes contacted Lindell Engineering and received a cost estimate of $35,000 for a "muffin" monster system. Some procedures in the Jail have been changed and there is a reduction in the amount of sewer debris. The Committee recommendation was to forward a copy of Lindell Engineering's estimate to the City Engineer when received for their input on equipment and maintenance. At today's Board meeting, Hayes provided a history of the problem reflecting that debris from the Jail has caused serious problems for the City with their system. Jude noted that a grinder was to be part of the original construction of the Jail but was dropped due to cost overruns. Hayes said that a wire basket was originally installed to catch the debris but clogged very fast. The basket was removed and rebar was installed to catch as much as possible. Hayes will continue to obtain proposals and a reaction from the City before bringing the issue back for discussion.

Building & Court Security Issues: Discussed were security issues including parking, video/recording, points of entry, shipping/receiving, and mail. Norman recommended restricting access to the two main entrances and the Jail Lobby with other doors having card access only. The first step would be the development of a security plan, including internal and external security issues. Security information reviewed by Norman highly advises restricting public parking next to a building. Norman distributed a parking plan changing the 32 deck parking slots from public to employee assigned parking. Also discussed was the potential of a gate access to the deck, garage security, court security and parking by hotel and apartment residents. The recommendation of the Committee was to discuss employee card access at the Personnel Committee meeting. Place implementation of the upper deck parking on the 12-18-01 County Board Agenda for approval with an implementation date of 1-1-02. Obtain cost estimates for other security measures including video/recording, points of entry, metal detectors, etc. At today's Board meeting, Russek moved to acknowledge the minutes and approve the first recommendation (sewer debris issue), seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. Sawatzke and Russek voiced concern with replacing public parking with employee parking. Jude responded that the Committee discussed this at length but security measures call for not allowing public parking close to a building. Sawatzke moved to lay this issue over to a Committee Of The Whole meeting, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 12-12-01. The second sentence of the minutes was changed to read, "Reese stated that she needed 24-hour access to the badge ID equipment which is currently located in the EOC." Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Badge ID's For Employees. Swing's recommendation is to incorporate badge ID's with door access cards (see attached). Reese stated that she needed 24-hour access to the badge ID equipment which is currently located in the EOC. This equipment will not make door access cards. Hayes said that the Sheriff, Court Services, Attorney and Human Services Center are currently on a door access card system. After lengthy discussion, it was the consensus that this issue is referred to the Building Committee Of The Whole and that the agenda include security issues being analyzed by the Building Committee.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 12-12-01. A summary of the minutes and action at today's meeting follows:

Operating Procedures, Lake Charlotte/Martha Subordinate Sewer District: The recommendation was for other sewer districts to be contacted for information regarding advisory boards for the 1-9-02 Ways & Means Meeting.

Rental Of Stemper Property: This issue relates to miscommunication between the former and new renter of the land resulting in the land being plowed. The recommendation was to accept a $250 reduction from the total rent amount due for the 2001 crop year.

Water Tower, Fair Grounds. Representatives of both the Fair Board and the City of Howard Lake were present. Lengthy discussion revolved around the agreement which was not signed, the use of water at the Fairgrounds and antenna installation on the property. Concern was voiced by the City on the use of water at the Fair and the potential for waste of water. The Agreement was amended under Section 5, removing "As in the past, all water service to the County Fairgrounds shall be provided at no cost to the County." and replaced with "The County shall pay for all metered water service provided in excess of 185,000 gallons per year. The County shall take all reasonable steps, including repair or replacement of infrastructure, to avoid the wasting of water at the Fairgrounds." Sewer is not specifically mentioned in the Agreement, however the amount of water run into sewer lines would be minimal in relation to the total water used. The two Howard Lake representatives that attended the meeting will present the revised agreement to their counsel. Jude said it appears that there was miscommunication and the City did not receive the information reflecting free water being provided previously to the County. Jude said there has been a misunderstanding by some citizens relating to ownership of the property. The County owns the property. There is also a misperception on the value of not having to pay rent on the tower. He said this is of high value to the City. Asleson was directed to send a cover letter with the revised agreement highlighting the lower use of the sewer in comparison to the total water used and inquiring what period of the year the City will base the charges on (normally figured on usage in winter months). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and all recommendations including the new language in the Agreement with the City of Howard Lake. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution 01-89 setting the 2002 Certified Taxable Levy & Budgets, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:


BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2002 Certified Taxable Levy as follows:


General Revenue $15,934,020

Road and Bridge $2,563,716

Human Services $5,518,500

Debt Service $ 1,927,134

Lake Pulaski LID $34,800

TOTAL $25,978,170

Less: HACA $ 2,467,200

NET TAXABLE LEVY $23,510,970

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2002 Budgets as follows:


General Revenue $27,424,344

Road and Bridge $21,549,985

Human Services $19,282,100

Debt Service $1,927,134

Lake Pulaski LID $34,800

TOTAL BUDGET $70,218,363

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #01-90 approving a Charitable Gambling Application for the Cokato Lions Club (Cokato Township).

Mattson referenced Sawatzke's compliments toward him at the last meeting and stated that his vote in the Superior issue was based on recommendations from Attorney and Planning & Zoning staff and the Planning Commission.

Due to Christmas falling on Tuesday this year, the Human Services Board Meeting will be held on 12-24-01 at 8:15 A.M., and the County Board Meeting will be held on 12-24-01 at 9:00 A.M. Mattson indicated that he will not be attending these meetings. The consensus of the Board was to refer all committee meeting issues to the first regular committee date in January. The Board wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Bills Approved

All-Data 235.56

American Business Forms 250.41

Annandale City 225.00

B&D Plumbing & Heating 110.00

Benton County Treasurer 1067.98

Best, Inc. 11,893.65

Buff'N'Glo, Inc. 140.00

Buffalo Hospital 6971.48

Buffalo Hospital OTPT Commerci 1222.45

Building Consulting Group, Inc. 1164.90

Bunniss Enterprises 1900.00

Bureau of Criminal Apprehensn 400.00

CPS Technology Solutions 200.00

Dales 66 101.18

Ernst General Construction, Inc. 1750.00

Feddema, Tom 109.14

G&K Services 1484.72

Gateway Companies, Inc. 3607.00

Gau, Todd 140.76

GCS Service, Inc. 176.94

W Grainger, Inc. 210.74

Heart of the Lakes Pumping 117.50

Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. 898.66

Hickory Tech Enterprise Soluti 112.50

HTE, Inc. 756.00

Johnson Performance Graphics 325.00

Jude, Kenneth 248.87

Lakedale Telephone Company 138.66

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 434.90

Marco Business Products 4101.98

Mattson, Richard 211.80

McDowall Company 6252.00

Meeker County Sheriff 12,550.00

Menards 215.65

Midway Iron & Metal Co., Inc. 362.33

MinnComm Paging 191.06

Minnesota Supreme Court 600.00

MN Assn of Cty Probation Ofcrs 150.00

MN Assn of Cvso 120.00

MN State Auditor 1497.35

Monticello Auto Body 101.18

Monticello-Big Lake Counseling 365.00

Norman, Richard 193.44

Office Depot 1584.42

Oryans Conoco 110.00

Pats 66 108.00

Pawelk, Lori 186.00

Postmaster-Buffalo 125.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 132.06

Qwest 6384.28

The Raptor Center 270.00

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 556.71

Retrofit Recycling, Inc. 653.34

Scenic Signs 167.31

J Schmitz & Sons 8844.60

Sherwin Williams 270.06

St. Cloud Times 627.22

Star Tribune 468.00

State of Minnesota ITD 225.27

State of MN 106.05

Stericycle, Inc. 556.80

Stevens Drilling & 750.00

Total Printing 820.38

U S Cavalry 159.52

Uniforms Unlimited 694.62

University of Minnesota 750.00

Verizon Wireless 1908.02

Visionics Corporation 152.35

West Group Payment Center 308.85

Wright County Highway Dept. 358.55

Wright County Journal Press 504.68

Wright-Hennepin Electric 145.52

39 payments less than $100 1677.99

Final Total $92,911.39

The meeting adjourned at 10:38 A.M.

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