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Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 19, 2002

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

The minutes of 2-12-02 were corrected as follows: Page 3, 1st paragraph, 3rd sentence should read, "Mattson mentioned that the road restrictions cause a hardship for agricultural vehicles who need to use the roads" (Mattson). Mattson moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consideration #6, "Genell Reese RE: Domestic Preparedness Grant" (Russek). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: M. Franke, Aud./Treas.; J. Hagerty, R. Smith, Sher.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $15,617.04.

3. 4th Quarter Training Reports


1. Authorize Promotion, Heather Adair To Assessment Assistant, Eff. 2/25/02, Step 1.


1. Approve Tobacco License For Longshot Bar & Grill (Albertville City).

2. Approve On Sale Seasonal Beer License For St. Mary's Men's Club (Franklin Twp.).


1. Acknowledge Hire, Dianne Hierlmaier, Case Intake Deputy, Eff. 2/20/02, Step 5 (Class C).


1. Parks Department 2001 Year End Report

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

On behalf of the Wright County Fire Chief's Association and Wright County EMS Advisory Council, Genell Reese, Vet Services/Civil Defense Director, presented a request for the County to cover up front costs associated with the FY 2000 and 2001 Domestic Preparedness Equipment Grant. Items would be purchased and receipts submitted to the County for payment. The County would pay for the items and request reimbursement from the State. The grant total is $28,878.75. It was the consensus of the Board that if the grant is approved by the State that all purchases are coordinated through Craig Hayes, Wright County Purchasing Agent. Jude moved to approve the request for up front funding not to exceed $28,878.75 for the Wright County Fire Chief's Association/Wright County EMS Advisory Council. Purchases are to be coordinated with Hayes to they are completed in an effective and efficient manner. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Due to inaccuracies in the list of purchases, the motion and second were amended to include directing Reese to bring back a corrected listing. Sawatzke also requested that Hayes be contacted to obtain assurance that this process will work. The motion carried 5-0.

Dick Marquette, Wright County Engineering Assistant, and Jim Cassidy, Certified General Real Property Appraiser, presented a Right Of Way Appraisal Schedule associated with the CSAH 14 project between TH 12 and TH 55. The total ROW to be acquired is 35 acres. It was clarified that an alignment shift will be made by Dean Lake and another where CSAH 14 connects to TH 55. Jude moved to approve the ROW Appraisal Schedule as presented, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 1-30-02. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today's meeting follows:

Discuss/Prioritize Construction Projects: Representatives from Montrose, Delano and Waverly attended the meeting. Discussion involved the TH 12 improvement plans North of Montrose, the CSAH 17 project in Delano, and the CSAH 9/Atlantic Avenue project in Waverly. Montrose agreed to have their portion completed over a two-year period allowing adequate funds in the State Aid account to complete both projects. Recommendation: Based on the information presented at this meeting and upon plan approval at the State level, the Committee agreed by consensus to participate in the proposed projects in both Montrose and Delano with the use of State Aid Funds in the year 2002. The project for Montrose will be a two-year project and State Aid Funds from 2003 will be used for that portion that is constructed in 2003. They also agreed to immediately pursue the possibility of receiving bonding money for the Waverly project and to use State Aid Funds for that project in the year 2004, giving Waverly the option of beginning the construction with bonding funds in 2003.

At today's meeting, Fingalson said the County will receive an additional $1 million toward the Crow River Bridge project and the State is responsible for the interest on the bonding. Mattson moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson referenced the Waverly project and any County liability associated with the 4" water main. Jude responded that the City allows development and should be conscious to assure the utilities can handle the demand. Utilities can also be installed in road ditches if so desired. Also discussed at today's meeting were the Spring road tour, Five Year Plan, and utilizing the potential gas and gravel taxes as revenue sources. The motion carried 5-0.

Heidi Peper, Economic Development Partnership of Wright County, requested approval to increase the size of the loan awarded last year to Caille Farms from the Wright County Enterprise Fund. The original project was awarded a $19,800 loan to assist with the construction of two buildings. The additional request is for $5,200 to cover construction overruns. Revenue and expenses are both at a higher level than projected. The request has been approved by the Partnership's Loan Committee and Board of Directors. Eichelberg moved to approve the request, seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke questioned the financial stability of the business based upon figures provided, stating the current ratios reflect that the ability to pay off the short term debt is not great. The Enterprise Fund shares a mortgage behind the bank and the SBA. Peper said there is a need to provide the additional capital to assist with the project moving forward. Peper explained that the MN Community Capital Fund program will work differently than what has been seen in the past. Jude agreed with the concern expressed by Sawatzke but felt that the request should be supported and monitored closely. The motion carried 4-0 with Sawatzke abstaining. Sawatzke said he was not comfortable voting either way.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 2-12-02. At today's meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:



A. General Revenue. Revenues showed a positive variance of $760,665.83. Expenditures showed a negative variance of $792,843.17. Thus, the General Revenue Fund had a year-end budget deficit of $32,177.34. Expenditures during the year that had a big impact were the purchase of the Stemper property, $220,681.74, aerial photos, $65,075, and a transfer of designated reserves for workers compensation to the Capital Account, $405,097. Hiivala stated that the Capital Account had a year-end fund balance of $281,000. Jude asked that in the future the "Other" category under Year-End Cash Balances be detailed. The "Other" category includes such items as the law library, debt service fund, ditch fund, sewer fund, and park fund.

B. Road and Bridge. Revenues showed a negative balance of $1,627,253.39. Expenditures showed a positive variance of $1,737.540.02. Thus, the Road and Bridge budget had a year-end balance of $110,286.63. After discussion, Hiivala stated he would research the payment of rent in 2000 and 2001.

C. Human Services. Revenues had a positive balance of $1,216,921.89. Expenditures had a negative balance of $1,051.768.12. Sawatzke pointed out that line items 760 and 770 under Social Services should be a deficit and not a surplus. Hiivala stated he would correct the spreadsheet and redistribute copies to the Committee. The Human Services budget had a year-end balance of $165,153.77. It was the consensus of the Committee that a detailed analysis of the budgets will have to be done at the next meeting.

GASB 34. Gruber stated that we have to begin reporting GASB 34 on the Financial Statement for 2003. This year will have to be used to mock-up for next year. The larger counties have to implement this year. Olmstead County has already spent over 1,000 hours on the infrastructure reporting requirements. Gruber suggested a committee be used to deal with the implementation of GASB 34. Recommendation: Refer implementation of GASB 34 to the Budget Committee. Mleziva, Fingalson and Gruber will participate in these discussions.

2002 STATE AID CUTS. Discussion centered on the various budget proposals being debated to balance the State's budget this biennium. It was the consensus that we closely monitor the process for potential negative impacts on our budget and on the property tax. The meeting was recessed until 10:30 A.M., February 26, 2002. The meeting will be held in the Commissioner's Conference Room.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 2-13-02. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today's meeting follows:

Tobacco Ordinance Enforcement Procedures. A survey to tobacco vendors reflects 98 out of 103 responses were returned. The survey indicated a high level of support from vendors to fine the offending clerk. Other responses included a desire for additional training and a more timely notice of violations. Three procedural changes were recommended with conducting the compliance checks: 1) mail violation notices out within 2-3 days following the compliance check violation, 2) send in an adult at the time of the compliance check to witness any violation, and 3) followup with the vendor manager the day following a violation in order to identify the clerk and cite the clerk by mail. A copy of the proposed amendments to the ordinance were reviewed. Minor changes will be made to the proposed amendments to the ordinance. Copies will be mailed to licensed vendors prior to the public notice date. The possibility of increasing the license fee will be included in the public hearing notice. Recommendation: Adopt the procedural compliance check changes as recommended. Set a public hearing date and mail proposed ordinance changes to licensed tobacco vendors.

Bauerly Co. Pit Operation: Zins stated he has been in contact with Bauerly Co. and they have informed him that they would have reclamation plans to Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning, by February 27th. It was recommended a meeting be scheduled for March 13, 2002 at 11:00 A.M. regarding reclamation plans and also hours of operation. Zins and Salkowski will determine whether Bauerly Co. should be in attendance at that meeting.

Water Tower, Fair Grounds: Asleson would like to continue to pursue an answer to the County's proposal to pay for water usage above 185,000 gallons. Liability insurance, the possibility of charging rent for location of the water tower on County property, and taking action through the court were discussed. A recent article in the Howard Lake paper regarding fair ground buildings built on City land because lst street was never vacated was mentioned. Asleson did not feel this was an issue as the township did not put a road there. It was requested that City minutes be researched back to the time that the City let the contract for building the water tower which should have included a description of where the tower was to be built. Asleson expressed interest in attending a City work session which was mentioned in the newspaper article regarding issues with the County. Recommendation: Asleson will have City minutes around the time the water tower was built researched. He will continue to pursue a response from the City on the County's proposal regarding water usage.

Operating Procedures, Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha Subordinate Sewer District. Kelly Browning reviewed operating and billing procedures that are used by the City of St. Michael and how the accounts are set up. There was discussion on repair and maintenance costs and how they are budgeted and funded. US Filter receives the calls from residents regarding any problems. Asleson mentioned there are some other details such as inspection fees which need to be addressed with Brian Oakley. It was suggested there be a $ .50/month surcharge fee per residence to be used to maintain the line owned by Wright County. Braunwarth explained that delinquent accounts roll over to the County and are included on property tax statements. Gruber stated that some counties charge a maintenance fee for assessing delinquent bills. Browning stated they charge $10 per account plus 8% of the delinquent amount on accounts that are rolled over to the County. US Filter provides information on operating procedures and phone numbers to call at US Filter to residents when they are hooked up. Asleson stated he would review the agreement with the City of St. Michael and work on an operating agreement between the County and US Filter. Recommendation: Asleson will review the agreement with the City of St. Michael and prepare an agreement regarding operating procedures with US Filter for a meeting to be held on March 13th.

At today's meeting, Asleson distributed and reviewed the revised proposed amendments to the Wright County Tobacco Ordinance: Section 6 Basis For Denial Of License, added Item F, "The applicant has failed to pay on a timely basis any administrative fine levied by the County under Section 14 of this Ordinance"; Section 13 Violations, revised Subd, 2 Hearings, "If a person accused of violating this Ordinance so requests, in writing, within 30 days of the date the citation in Subdivision 1 was mailed, a hearing shall be scheduled, the time and place of which shall be published and provided to the accused violator"; Section 13 Violations, revised Subd. 3 Hearing Panel, "The County Board may appoint a hearing officer to handle any requested hearings under this Section"; Section 13 Violations, Subd. 4 Decision, "If the County Board determines that a violation of this Ordinance did occur, that decision, along with the County Board's reasons for finding a violation and the penalty to be imposed under Section 14 of this Ordinance, shall be recorded in writing, a copy of which shall be provided to the accused violator. Likewise, if the County Board finds that no violation occurred or finds grounds for not imposing any penalty, such findings shall be recorded in writing a copy of which shall be provided to the accused violator"; Section 14, Penalties, added Subd. 4 Payment of Fines, "Any administrative fines levied by the County pursuant to this Section shall be paid within 30 days of the date of mailing for the citation or the hearing findings issued under Section 13 of this Ordinance." Asleson elaborated that in the event a hearing officer were used, the final decision would still be made by the County Board. Discussion included citations being issued directly to clerks and the importance of training clerks properly. Jude noted that the County is mandated to perform compliance checks. This process will no longer be grant funded. Asleson thought the compliance checks would occur sometime after the close of the school year. The current Wright County tobacco license fee is $75 which is low compared to most neighboring counties. Discussion involved increasing the license fee to assist with funding the program. Jude moved to accept the minutes and recommendations. The motion includes scheduling a public hearing for 3-26-02 at 9:30 A.M. to review the proposed amendments to the Tobacco Ordinance and a possible increase in the license fee up to $200. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

The meeting recessed at 10:00 A.M. and reconvened at 10:05 A.M. for the Employee Recognition Ceremony. Employees were recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service. Lillian Ogden, Auditor/Treasurer Department, received the Individual Achievement Award. Ogden was hired in 1981and worked with elections, customer service and document processing. Ogden currently processes Commissioner and Auditor warrants, works with the State audit reports, fixed asset system, and training of other employees in warrants and document processing. She helped to streamline office functions and bring the tax forfeit properties up to date. Ogden assisted with placing twenty properties back on the tax roles this year. She was nominated by six individuals from different departments and was described as trustworthy and positive. The Group Achievement Award was presented to the Development Disability Unit, Human Services. Michelle Miller, Supervisor, said their unit was created one year ago when Human Services decided not to continue with case management and contracted with another agency. Seven new staff members have been hired within the last year and Miller is the new supervisor of the unit. In March, the State opened the program and 56 individuals were enrolled. Staff time of 20 hours per person was required to place each individual in the program. There was an implementation cutoff date of June 30th. In addition, staff was required to enroll new people in the programs which these individuals left. Miller described her staff as loyal and committed. Members of the unit include Amy Ristinen, Ed Hance, Cindy Munsterteiger, Denise Lozinski, Bob Holverson, Kim Eekhoff, Chris Byrd, Jill Schweisthal, Nicole Dischinger, Sherry Sheie and Jane McNamara. Russek extended thanks to Miller for her role as the Supervisor. Honorable mention was given to Al Buskey, Building Maintenance, and Diane Lange, Sheriff, for being nominated for the Individual Achievement Award and to the Labor/Management Committee for being nominated for the Group Achievement Award. The Board expressed thanks to all the employees. The meeting recessed for a reception at 10:30 A.M. and reconvened at 10:55 A.M.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 2-13-02. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Change Case Intake Deputy To Case Management Deputy, Court Administration Department. Nordeen currently has an opening in case intake but is requesting that a Case Management Deputy be hired instead. This will allow for reassigning duties in the Civil/Family Division. She explained that a Case Intake Deputy initiates the case files and the Case Management Deputy follows the case through to a conclusion. Recommendation: Approve request, authorize advertising for a Case Management Deputy.

The Board discussed a claim from the Humane Society for $380.00 for the January 2002 Impound Service Fee ($60.00) and the January 2002 Cruelty Investigation Service Fee ($320.00). Sawatzke referenced the breakdown of charges which indicated that some of the investigation services were performed within cities. Some of the cities may have contracts with the Humane Society for such services. If a city contracts with the County for law enforcement services, there is an option of billing those fees back to the city where the claim originated. Discussion included charges for services beyond what the $3000 County donation covered, whether Crossroads Animal Shelter was being utilized for calls, and the process used in the past for these same types of calls. Asleson said that when the Humane Society addressed the Board, they indicated billings were not sent as this was covered by the $6000. When the donation was cut to $3000, they indicated that this would be for dangerous dog services only. Mattson moved to have Asleson research the issues and place them on an upcoming Board Agenda, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Jude moved to acknowledge the report on authorized new hires for 2002, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to schedule County Day-At-The-Capital for 3-27-02. The Board will attend with the other members of the Quad County group (Benton, Stearns and Sherburne) while attending the AMC Legislative Conference.

At the last meeting, discussion involved support for entering into the River Rider Joint Powers Agreement. No action was taken as it was felt that a number of issues should be addressed such as by-laws, personnel issues, which County will serve as the fiscal agent, insurance, and an effective date. Today, the Board reviewed a letter from the Human Services Director indicating that until the agreement is signed by both counties, processing of the needed technical steps with Mn/DOT, PERA, Health Insurance Providers, and others cannot proceed. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Jude, all voted to approve the River Rider Joint Powers Agreement.

Bills Approved

Aladdin Temp Rite LLC 139.04

American Jail Association 175.00

Ancom Communications, Inc. 804.10

Andy's Auto Service 158.69

Annandale Advocate 144.00

Arner, Audrey 380.24

AT&T 6352.51

B&D Plumbing & Heating 231.00

Best, Inc. 3828.14

Buff'N'Glo, Inc. 225.00

Buffalo Hospital 7396.70

Civic Research Institute, Inc. 159.95

CPS Technology Solutions 170.00

Dales 66 181.06

Demarais, Richard 134.98

Digiacomo, Gigi 593.81

EPA Audio Visual, Inc. 672.52

Falbo, Bridget 325.00

Feddema, Tom 200.26

GCI Systems 2042.67

Government Training Service 250.00

Granite Electronics 255.57

Greenview, Inc. 314.70

Hanson, Chris 136.68

Hardings Towing 151.15

Harper Cleaning Products 320.47

Harvest Printing, Inc. 104.05

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 191.96

Hinckley Chevrolet 20,833.60

Imageware Systems, Inc. 1318.72

Karels Towing 105.22

Keepers, Inc. 224.99

Kramber, Greg 101.32

KRWC 162.50

Kustom Signals, Inc. 1822.31

Loaf & Ladle 106.86

Loberg Electric 2397.97

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 579.13

Marco Business Products 2906.79

Mille Lacs County K9 Program 370.00

MinnComm Paging 747.41

MN Assn of Assessing Officers 510.00

MN Assn of Drainage Inspectors 100.00

MN Counties Computer Co-op 1638.00

MN State Auditor 2488.16

Northern Tool & Equipment Co. 145.48

Office Depot 734.33

Olson, Denise 227.12

Lynn Peavey Company 430.45

Peterson, Mary 354.92

Photo I 551.17

Postmaster-Buffalo 334.00

Qwest 6725.38

Rasmuson, Anthony 143.14

Record Preservation, Inc. 811.28

Roberts Group, Inc. 339.90

Software House International, In 509.07

St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 575.97

State of Minnesota ITD 737.03

Streichers 6776.80

Thomas Mfg. Co., Inc. 216.36

Total Printing 352.73

University of Minnesota 273.00

Wright County Auditor-Treas. 204.00

Wright County Highway Dept. 41,767.25

Wright County Human Services 1371.00

Wright-Hennepin Electric 1011.86

41 payments less than $100 1856.86

Final Total $128,901.33

The meeting adjourned at 11:16 A.M.

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