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Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 12, 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 3-5-02 were reviewed. At the request of Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, the following paragraph will replace the 2nd paragraph on page 3, "At 9:35 A.M., a Public Hearing was held for the DNR Outdoor Recreation Grant-Ney Park. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said that the County purchased 240 acres in 2001 to expand the Park. The grant is for native plant restoration on 125 acres which will reduce the need for noxious weed control. Plans for this area will also include trails. If grant funds are received, the project would be budgeted for and completed in 2003. The total cost is estimated at $36,000 ($18,000 grant/$18,000 County match). No public comment was received and no action was taken as the Hearing was part of the application process. The Hearing closed at 9:40 A.M." Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda under Items For Consideration as follows: #2, "RC & D" (Russek); #3, "Nutrient Management & Farm Bill Update Seminar" (Mattson). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Dickerman, Assessor; J. Nyren, L. Peterson, Ct. Admin.; D. Bickman, E. Ross, C. Webb, Hwy.; W. Stephens, P&Z; R. Nevala, D. Wold, Sheriff.

2. Sentence To Service Quarterly Report (October-December, 2001).

3. Schedule Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Meeting For 4-24-02 @ 9:00 A.M.

4. O/T Report, Period Ending 3-1-02.


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

A. Approve Request To Rezone Approximately 45 Acres From AG To A/R, Chuck Zumbusch & Russell Peterson (Maple Lake Twp.).


1. Approve Hire, Cynthia Kangas, Office Assistant, Eff. 3-18-02 (Step 1).


1. Acknowledge Retirement, Gary Holm, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 4-12-02 & Authorize Replacement.

2. Accept Resignation, Jonathan Vander Vegt, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 3-1-02 & Authorize Replacement.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor, presented the claims listing for approval. Mattson referenced page 9, Compuserve ($24.95). Mattson said he receives internet access at home for $21.95 through Compuserve. Jude moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion includes directing the County Coordinator to contact the MIS Director regarding the Compuserve claim, inquiring why internet service is being purchased when we have County internet service already. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 3-5-02. At today's meeting, discussion included the 2nd paragraph relating to the capital expenditures. Sawatzke clarified that if the County had not made the expenditures outside of the budget, there would have been a surplus of approximately $600,000. With the expenditures, the County is about $10,000 to $20,000 under budget. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the County departments did a good job of keeping within their budgets. He clarified that the capital expenditures were actually out of Reserves and not the General Revenue budget. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0:

General Revenue Budget. The discussion focused on an analysis of revenues and expenditures for each department. Norman will seek clarification from department heads on questions raised during the review. It was the consensus that line items 5004, 5058, 5060, and 5064 be eliminated from Budget 820 over a three to five year period. It was agreed that without the capital expenditures for Ney Park, Stemper Property, and Aerial Photos, the General Revenue budget had a positive year-end balance.

Park Fund. The balance in the Park Fund is approximately $45,000. It was agreed at the time we purchased additional property next to Ney Park that the Fund would be discussed at the end of each year. It was the consensus of the Committee that the Fund be reviewed in July. A certain balance should be maintained in anticipation of having to replace the sewer system at Schroeder Park.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said a coalition of collar counties (Wright, Sherburne, Stearns, Chisago, Douglas, and Olmstead) have been discussing developing an LCMR (Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources) proposal for the next legislative session. The proposal would be to meet the existing and future needs of the parks outside of the seven county metro area. With the growth in this area, the funds would be utilized to acquire and develop park land. Matching funds are required for land acquisition (75/25) and development (60/40). The strategic plan would be reviewed to prioritize projects. Mattice said that the proposal will reflect the lack of funding at local levels and the need for land acquisition due to the rapid growth of counties just outside the metro area. Jude moved to authorize Mattice to continue to pursue this proposal, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Sheriff Gary Miller introduced Allison Moser, Coordinator of Pieces of Peace. Miller said the Sheriff Department has been involved with this collaborative effort since its inception. The mission of both groups is to keep peace in the County. The group works to educate that violence is not an acceptable means to solve conflict. The organization is a Wright County effort focused on ending family, community and workplace violence. Moser provided an outline of the activities of the five action teams: Children and Family (strives to reach younger children to understand what violence looks like), Community Awareness (manages publicity about violence in the home, community, and workplace), Health and Medical (trained staff to screen patients and identify signs of violence in a sensitive and confidential manner), Interfaith (hosts workshops for faith communities), and Youth and Education (shares violence prevention message with secondary school students). The teams collaborate with local school districts, faith communities, and other violence prevention efforts already in existence.

Patrick Riley, President of Microtech Research Inc., (Mentor, Ohio) addressed the Board on use of the Wright County Compost Facility. A copy of their proposal and products were included for review. Riley explained that their company has developed a Master Batch Pellet which renders plastics biodegradable. They have also manufactured a biodegradable plastic bag. Riley toured the Compost Facility yesterday and projected that it could be utilized by his firm. He outlined three processes which would be used at the plant to achieve profits: 1) Processing of organic waste and wood pulp converting them into a wood burning pellet to create electricity. 2) Processing of bioremediation compost made from organic matters such as lawn, leaf and wood clippings. Through a process whereby chemicals are added to it, it has the ability to clean up hazardous soils. 3) Selling biodegradable bags (60, 30 and 18 gallon capacity) to County residents. Riley said he met with Wright Hennepin Electric and discussed using a steam generator on site to burn pellets and create electricity. He also talked with First Energy and CEI who felt there would be no problem with selling the fuel pellets.

Riley referenced a lab test performed on the bioremediation compost. Crude motor oil and antifreeze were added to samples. Through the process, all toxins were totally removed from the soil. Riley felt their company could produce a very good bioremediation compost at the Wright County Compost Facility. He said phenomenal results (reflected in the material received) were achieved on a pellet test recently performed with the assistance of Beta Electric Company. This pellet could be sold or used to create energy on site at a profit. Riley said the biodegradable trash bags would be sold to residents at a reduced cost and the County would share the profits. Riley referenced the Medina Solid Waste Facility which is rated #10 in the nation for processing waste. Riley indicated that the person which runs that facility would be interested in running the Wright County facility. He felt the name should be changed for a fresh start. Riley said he met with Superior Services and Waste Management who both indicated they would be interested in delivering waste to the facility. However, the tipping fee would have to be reduced and $27/ton was discussed. Sawatzke said the proposal reflects more of a composting scenario, where discussion today included discussion on burning and electricity. Riley responded that the pellet testing had just been completed and that is why it was not included with the proposal material. They now have a pellet which will work and burn clean. He said that would be their number one goal, and that they will meet with Wright Hennepin to place a steam generator on site to burn pellets. Riley said there are many hazardous sites which need cleanup so there will be a need for their bioremediation formula.

Jude brought up the odor issue. Riley stated there will be odor. There is a 55-gallon drum available containing perfume to mask odors. The drums would be placed at certain points at the Facility. The drums are run on a timer to mist the perfume into the atmosphere. Jude felt the proposal should be discussed further with the assistance of the Attorney's Office. The PCA would need to be consulted. Mattson referenced the $14 million debt and thought the County had tried everything. Sawatzke compared the proposal today to what the people who built the Compost Facility fifteen years ago were trying to accomplish. Although he would like to believe the proposal would work, he was skeptical. He referenced the processing chart and the sale of compost at $.08/lb. or $160/ton and said the County ran the Facility for three years and never sold a ton of compost. Riley explained that the costs referenced by Sawatzke were for the bioremediation formula which is used to clean up hazardous soil. The hazardous soil could be cleaned on site or shipped to the Facility to be cleaned. They could also provide regular compost for residents to purchase but Riley said it would be a much better quality compost than that which the County produced. Riley said they are not currently operating any plants around the country, and that his would be the pilot plant to show other places. Riley said they either would use the Compost Facility site or raise $25 million to build a plant. Mattson suggested they buy the Compost Facility for $14 million. Sawatzke questioned whether Riley knew of any solid waste composting facility making money. Riley said the Medina Compost Facility was making a profit each year and they are now starting to make pellets. In regard to a plan for rejects, Riley did not envision any rejects. Plastics would be burned and glass removed for recycling. However, small pieces of glass would not be removed but he did not feel this would pose a problem as the bioremediation formula is used to clean hazardous sites.

Sawatzke requested that Chuck Davis, Environmental Health Officer, contact the Medina Compost Facility to obtain more in-depth information on their budget and any other information Davis felt was pertinent. Sawatzke asked Riley how important the sale of the biodegradable bags are to the success of the project. Riley said that it was important if they wanted to make a profit. Sawatzke was not sure whether the County would have the legal ability to require use of the bag and that may pose a stumbling block for the project. Russek said the Board will hear another proposal to use the Compost Facility within the next few weeks. Riley closed by stating there are a lot of hard feelings amongst the waste haulers due to lawsuits. Riley did not feel they should have to depend on the tipping fees for profit but rather the income generated through the fuel pellets, compost and bags. He felt an ordinance could be adopted to require use of the bag. He said it would not be guaranteed that all residents' waste would be brought to the Compost Facility, as some will be brought to landfills. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said that statutes would require the County to go out for bids if they were to sell the Facility. However, the statutes provide broad authority relative to leasing and operating agreements. When the County reviewed proposals to build the Facility, they did not go with the cheapest. The bids were evaluated as to what would be in the best interest of the County. Regarding adopting an ordinance requiring use of the biodegradable bag, Asleson was not sure if it were legal to do this. He said policing would also be a problem.

The County Board previously scheduled 4-16-02 at 9:30 A.M. as the time to review a proposed Tattoo & Body Piercing Ordinance. Due to a conflict in Asleson's schedule, Jude moved to reschedule review of the Ordinance for 4-23-02 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Asleson presented a draft RFP for dangerous dog services which was drafted at the request of the Board at their last meeting. The RFP will be mailed to the Humane Society, Crossroads Animal Shelter and Adopt-A-Pet. The RFP will be provided to other parties upon request. It was the consensus that the cover letter convey that the County desires to minimize costs to taxpayers and to convey any costs appropriate to the pet owners. It was felt that the registration fee could be set to cover some of the costs associated with recordkeeping, microchip implantation, etc. At this point the County does not have a registration fee but if required, the contractor could be allowed to keep all or part of the fee to cover costs. The Board concurred that the County does not want to make money on this effort but does not want costs passed along to taxpayers either. Asleson said an ordinance would be required in order to require registration on potentially dangerous dogs. Sawatzke moved to have Asleson send the proposal to the businesses listed and any other organization requesting one. The proposal is to reflect the County's desire to minimize costs to Wright County. The RFP's will be opened by the County Board on 4-23-02 at 10:00 A.M. and will be referred to Committee for review. The term of the contract will be from July 1st through December 31, 2002. Contracts after that date will be on an annual basis. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 5-0.

Russek brought forth information on Wright County potentially joining an RC&D (Resource Conservation and Development) area. The proposed district would include the following counties: Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Dakota, Scott, Carver and Wright. This area would be proposed as one district. At their meeting last night, the SWCD Board's consensus was not to recommend doing so as it was another layer of government. Mattson moved to not proceed with becoming part of an RC&D area, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to authorize attendance at the Nutrient Management & Farm Bill Update Seminar being held in Willmar on 3-18-02.

Bills Approved

ABM Equipment & Supply, Inc. 72,082.50

American Institutional Supply 184.15

American Public Works Assoc. 141.25

AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 162.00

Ancom Communications, Inc. 1859.83

Ancom Technical Center 721.00

Anderson, Earl, Inc. 851.24

Annandale Advocate 364.20

Annandale Rock Products 2171.50

Aspen Equipment Company 5000.38

Auto Class Center, Inc. 872.32

B&D Plumbing & Heating 207.50

Backes, Joe 212.84

Beaudry Propane, Inc. 1803.13

Best, Inc. 4096.30

BLM Technologies, Inc. 364.11

Bowman Distribution 263.41

Budget Lock & Key 965.60

Buffalo Clinic 544.00

Buffalo Communications, Inc. 619.95

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 185.80

City Buffalo 21,708.92

Cameron, Tim 125.00

Canadian Pacific Railway 4020.25

CDW Government, Inc. 457.48

Central McGowan, Inc. 4238.43

Cintas Corp. No 748 180.38

Commercial Door Systems, Inc. 4177.36

Conoco, Inc. 139.68

CPS Technology Solutions 250.00

Crow River Tools 139.60

Cruser, Preston 338.49

Dental Care Associates of Buffalo 146.00

Determan, Karen 126.82

East Central Regional Juvenile 9222.00

Enterprise-Dispatch 216.00

Exemplar International, Inc. 228.00

Force America, Inc. 216.92

G&K Services 1531.12

GCI Systems 253.47

Goodpointe Technology 1725.00

Howard Green Co. 960.26

H&H Sport Shop 114.00

Hatch, Jim Sales Company 1042.00

Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. 569.21

Hickorytech 683.46

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1569.28

Holiday 1179.52

J Craft, Inc. 124.27

KNR Communications Services In 13,735.25

Lakedale Telephone Company 416.06

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 1293.92

Lawson Products, Inc. 529.28

Lee's Farm & Garden Store 145.97

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 1260.00

Maple Lake Lumber Company 331.49

Maple Lake Messenger 215.55

Marco Business Products 766.28

Marks Standard Parts 2014.24

McLeod Treatment Programs, Inc. 3228.33

Menards 326.53

Minnesota Elevator, Inc. 391.04

MN Auditors and Recorders 150.00

MN Counties Computer Co-op 3215.02

MN Transportation Alliance 961.38

MNATSA 220.00

Moeller, Dennis 361.44

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 1152.50

Monticello Times 675.70

Monticello City 12,536.00

Nextel Communications 456.84

North American Salt Co. 35,626.34

Office Depot 1546.92

On Site Monitoring 13,838.00

Oryans Conoco 135.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 246.02

R&G Towing 101.18

Record Preservation, Inc. 701.54

Reds Auto Electric 262.91

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 6352.87

Royal Tire, Inc. 2212.05

Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 3232.32

Software House International In 253.47

Sprint 153.01

State of MN Intertech Group 731.35

State Supply Co. 153.67

Stepp Mfg. Company, Inc. 4247.58

Streichers 1964.91

Superior Ford 144,417.00

Survivalink Corporation 1110.77

T&M Towing and Snow Plowing 101.18

Tires Plus 161.97

Total Printing 394.05

Trimin Systems, Inc. 519.36

United Rentals-HT Branch 229 2246.61

University of Minnesota 400.00

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 1357.61

Verizon Wireless 1807.32

Vibes Technologies, Inc. 113.44 Wal-Mart Community BRC 136.27

Waste Management TC West 686.51

Wessman Oil Co. 107.28

Wright County Journal Press 388.00

Wright Lumber & Millwork, Inc. 129.62

Xcel Energy 319.95

54 payments less than $100 2119.13

Final Total $422,161.78

The meeting adjourned at 10:42 A.M.

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