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Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 19, 2002

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 3-12-02, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #3, "Nutrient Management & Farm Bill Update Seminar" (Mattson). Item For Consid. #2 was corrected to read "Committee Meetings Scheduled For March 27th" (Norman). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: A. Mohaupt, Atty.; S. Meyer, D. Pullis, Hwy.; T. Fedor, R. Miller, Parks; J. Eaton, E. Kunkel, P. Thinesen, A. Weis, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Frank Madden & Assoc., $3,974.97.


1. Tobacco License Renewal For Whispering Pines Golf Course (Corinna Twp.).


1. Acknowledge Promotion Of Gail Bernards From Court Attendant To Case Management Deputy, Eff. 4-1-02, (Class D, Step 2). Authorize Replacement To Fill Court Attendant Position.


1. Authorize Signatures On Annual County Boat & Water Safety Agreement.

Commissioner Mattson presented a certificate of appreciation to the Waverly Group Home, Sheriff Youth Program, for their efforts with the Adopt-A-Highway Program.

Greg Kramber, Assessor, introduced Heather Adair. Adair was hired in November 2001 as a Lead Clerk. She was recently promoted to the position of Assessment Assistant due to the retirement of Claire Solien. Adair was welcomed.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 3-13-02. At today's meeting, Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. Mattson commented that he would like the Sheriff's Office to present a way to fund the fencing without affecting their budget due to the large cost involved.

Space And Workstation For Project Leader, MIS. Swing is requesting that two demountable walls be removed, the carpeting be patched, and the ceiling grid be modified. The quote from Ernst Construction is $1,200. The workstation will be purchased out of MIS budgeted funds. Recommendation: Approve request. Space modifications to be funded out of Budget 820, Site Improvements.

Improvements To Sheriff's Impound Area, PWB. The Sheriff explained that they have experienced a theft of a snowmobile, other minor thefts, and trespassing. It is felt that a fence should be installed to safeguard the vehicles that are towed and stored. After discussion, it was the consensus that they bring back a design layout and cost estimate.

A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 3-13-02. At today's meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:

Members discussed the newly formed Technology Committee (as a result of combining the MIS Steering & Communications Committees). The Technology Committee will be represented by the four large areas: Sheriff (Court Services/Attorney/Sheriff/Court Administration), Human Services, Public Works, and Land Records (Attorney/Recorder/Assessor/Surveyor). It was the consensus of the Committee to continue to review the address change requests to see what part the MIS Department plays in these requests. If it is determined that MIS involvement is not required, these requests may be referred to another Committee.

GIS Update. Swing reviewed the minutes of 2-7-02. Issues addressed included the Central GIS repository/directory on FS1, the Shape file, Data Update, VB Application, Arcview Licenses, PIN Number Assignment, and GIS Grant. Relative to the Data Update, Swing stated that the County is working with the cities of Buffalo, Otsego and St. Michael to deliver data via the website. These cities can now query and download information. This is being done to streamline efforts and eventually other cities will be included.

Parcel Workgroup Minutes. The group met on 2-15-02 and reviewed the existing process for assigning Parcel Identification Numbers. Future discussion will include MSAG (Master Street Addressing Guide) Records.

Application For NACO/ESRI Technology Foundation Grant. The GIS Committee recommends approval of the grant for software and training. The grant is for $15,000 and requires no match. Application deadline is in April 2002. Recommendation: Approve grant application and authorize signatures.

Record Management Project Update. The County is waiting for approval from the State of the Record Retention Schedule. Due to budget problems, the Department of Administration Records Retention position has been cut so the Department will neither approve or disapprove of the Schedule. The frustration lies in that Records Retention is State mandated. Swing is working with the Sheriff and Attorney offices on record management/destruction without approval required from the State. There will be some adjustments to the Schedule which Swing will continually update on the master copy. Patti Zimmerman, Active Logic, is under a professional services agreement (not to exceed $18,000) to continue to work on this project. The scope of this project will eventually entail a full time employee for records management and potential redesign of the basement storage area to include a computerized system.

Remove Caller ID On County Trunk Lines. When a call is placed from the County to an outside number, the party who is receiving the call will see on their caller identification that a County office is calling. The request is to have the caller ID removed from the County trunk lines. It is felt that some parties may not answer their phone if they see a County office is calling. Swing discussed this with several departments who were very much in favor of the move. The Sheriff's Office had an investigation compromised due to this issue. Swing said that some calls may not go through because some residences do not accept unidentified callers. This is correctable with the local phone company. Swing said that the Committee will discuss moving to local digital service at an upcoming meeting and the caller identification feature would not be included with that service anyway. Recommendation: Move forward with the request.

Address Change On 106th St. NW. This issue was laid over to the next meeting as Gruber was absent.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor, presented for discussion the February Revenue/Expenditure Report. Hiivala referenced page 22, Parks, line item 6615 (Building and/or Improvements). The budgeted amount is $25,000 and the report reflects $43,000 has been spent. Hiivala that the line item will have a $55,000 balance with the $30,000 grant bringing it in line with what was budgeted. Hiivala referred to page 22 and page 11, Rentals and Leases for Parks & Surveyor Departments. The departments reflect being at 98% for the year. Hiivala explained that these two departments' expenditures reflect the balance for the entire year whereas other departments allocate these expenditures on a monthly basis. Jude moved to acknowledge the report, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Eichelberg questioned whether the claim on page 10 to Buffalo Hospital (7,250) was for the annual contract and whether there would be additional charges outside of this contract. Sawatzke said this appeared to be the monthly contract amount for the Jail nurse and that some expenditures would be realized outside of that contract. Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Scott Vandenheuvel, Veit Companies Environmental Manager, presented discussion for Veit to lease a portion of the Wright County Compost Facility. Vandenheuvel reviewed a revised proposal offering to operate and manage the current Permit by Rule yard waste composting operation at the Facility. The offer states that Veit would supply yard waste and other acceptable materials in compliance with the Permit by Rule from around the area. The request is to lease the outdoor rear portion of the facility for this activity, the hanger area for windrowing, and the cure pad area for staging and mixing of incoming feedstock. Veit would provide a mobile grinder, loader, windrow turn, and final screening plant for the processing of organic yard waste compost. Veit Companies would like to lease the hanger area and cure pad in the rear of the Facility for $200 per month with an annual renewal. Either party has the right to terminate the agreement with a six-month notice. Veit proposes to manage the Wright County yard waste program. This waste will be tracked and managed along with all other waste collected by Veit from within and outside the County. Veit would provide Wright County residents with limited amounts of finished compost at no charge.

Vandenheuvel said the long range goal would be to move toward a Source-Separated Organic Composting Program. Veit is an industry leader in recycling and services and is working on several products in the Source-Separated Organic Recycling process. Products such as biodegradable bags and food service ware are available which are made from bio-based materials. Vandenheuvel said their product has a high value as there is no plastic in the end product. He said the proposal to lease the Facility for $200/month offers a $1000/month lease value over the next year. An alternative would be for Veit to pay the County a similar fee and charge the County back for operating the resident recycling program. Relative to hours of operation, there may be longer hours of use and more truck traffic in the Spring and Fall. He didn't believe any hours of operation would be beyond what is already being experienced in that area. In response to a question on time schedule, Vandenheuvel said they would like to move swiftly as yard clean up is approaching and they would like to secure the sources. In addition, acting quickly will expedite the process of moving into Source-Separated Programs.

Jude questioned the current status of the permit for the Facility. Chuck Davis, Environmental Health Specialist, said the permit must be renewed every five years. Davis submitted all materials to renew the permit in 1996 and did not receive anything back from the MPCA. The MPCA informed him that the permit will remain as it was. The same situation occurred when Davis went through the renewal process five years later. Davis felt the current permit was intact.

Davis indicated that in his conversations with Vandenheuvel, he did not foresee any changes in the current recycling program the County operates. Veit's process would not interfere as the same areas would not be utilized. When asked about acceptance of commercial wood, Vandenheuvel said that the lawn & landscape business is one market they will target as it supports the carbon source needed. Companies would be charged for material dropped off. He said they would be willing to work with the County on storage of County vehicles at the Facility which is something that is currently being done.

Sawatzke felt the proposal may be one that would work but thought there would need to be enough value in it for residents. At $200/month that would provide a benefit of $.025 to $.03 per resident. Vandenheuvel responded that the overall value is $1000/month. He pointed out that the high tech equipment would not be used and the facility would remain open for current activities. Their vision for the future is to go from yard waste to Source-Separated Organic Recycling. Vandenheuvel said the OEA (Office of Environmental Assistance) was present today to explain how the region is developing in this area. He said the OEA and MPCA buildings are utilizing their products and it is hoped that the products will be used in an increased recycling effort at the commercial, private and residential sectors in the future. Sawatzke felt that this type of operation could be run on farm land. Vandenheuvel said they have discussed this approach and it would cost far less than what they are offering the County. However, they want to move forward with the Source-Separated Organic Recycling Program and that could not be done on farmland. In addition, the Facility is permitted for this type of use.

Russek said he was contacted yesterday by a firm interested in purchasing the equipment at the Facility. Jude was encouraged that companies are stepping forward with offers to use the Facility. He felt more should be done than the current recycling program. Jude moved to refer the requests for use of the Facility to a Committee Of The Whole. Staff will be invited to attend so details can be worked out. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, suggested that if the Board would decide to sell or lease the Facility that maybe an RFP process should be used. He felt this may provide an opportunity for the County to make more than $200/month. Jude had a similar concern but did not want to lock out any requests. He felt that the proposals should be reviewed as they are received. Salkowski was concerned that the only notification was through local newspapers. Tom Kelly, Attorney, echoed Salkowski's concerns. He suggested the Board discuss with staff the direction of the Facility. He did not feel that the newspaper articles invited proposals.

Ginny Black, OEA, offered to attend the Committee Of The Whole meeting as she felt her input on planning and programs would be valuable. She said the OEA has resources at the national level if they did choose to complete an RFP and would target a larger audience. Discussion followed on SKB, a company who previously made an offer to use the Facility. Black responded that SKB's facilities were purchased by Energy Processing Solutions. She said the trend is for facilities to start with acceptance of yard waste and proceed to source separated waste. The programs can be run through the County, a public/private partnership, or with multiple county groups.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, supported a more formal process for audit purposes. Since a Committee Of The Whole Meeting will be held, he suggested that they discuss the short term lease potential bridging to a potential of a longer term arrangement if they went through an RFP process. He felt the RFP process would be lengthy due to advertising nationwide and receiving/reviewing proposals. Jude supported the Commissioners meeting on the use of the Facility long range and bringing in others for input. Sawatzke said he was not specifically against Veit's proposal but felt the County should look at whatever would be most financially advantageous. He felt it unfortunate that Veit did not submit the proposal several months ago and did not feel the County should be required to act immediately. He thought there was merit in Veit's proposal but that taking yard waste from other counties to make compost did not benefit Wright County taxpayers. It could be potentially advantageous however if they moved to source separated waste in the future.

Discussion resumed on the permitting process. Vandenheuvel said that the current activity at the Facility is permitted. Under the Permit by Rule, they could begin composting yard waste today. There may be local ordinances which would apply. The MPCA would have to approve future uses beyond yard waste. He said that the urgency to proceed is brought on by the Microtech proposal to use the Facility and the upcoming yard waste season. He said if the Board voted today to approve Veit using the Facility, it would not circumvent the MPCA and public hearing process as well as review of RFP's. Jude reemphasized that the Board needs to discuss options with the County Attorney and staff. The issue could then be referred to the SWTF if so desired.

Sawatzke moved to amend the motion calling for the issue to be referred to the SWTF for a meeting to be held within 10 days, seconded by Mattson. Russek referenced Norman's recommendation to meet as soon as possible to discuss the proposal further. Russek felt that the Committee Of The Whole should meet as the original motion stated and the issue could also be referred to the SWTF if so desired. The amendment to the motion failed 2-3 with Jude, Russek and Eichelberg casting the nay votes. The motion to refer the issue to the Committee Of The Whole on 3-25-02 at 10:00 A.M. passed 3-2 with Mattson and Sawatzke casting the nay votes. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to establish a meeting of the SWTF to be held within 10 days of the 3-25-02 Committee Of The Whole meeting. The SWTF is to review any action of the Committee Of The Whole so they can provide an opinion to the County Board. This process should be completed as quickly as possible.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a draft resolution calling for Wright County to commit $1,893,950 of local and/or State Aid funds to leverage federal funding approved by the ATP for the CSAH 17 reconstruction project. Fingalson said the County was fortunate to obtain $1 million toward the $2 million project. Otherwise the project would have been funded entirely by State Aid dollars. Fingalson was commended for his work on the Technical Advisory Committee which makes recommendations to the 7W Transportation Policy Board. Mattson was also thanked for his efforts on the Transportation Policy Board. Jude moved to adopt Resolution #02-22, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Transportation Committee meeting was held on 3-13-02. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke. Fingalson made the following corrections: Page 1, paragraph 1, 2nd sentence, change from "vegetative" to "vegetation"; Page 1, paragraph 1, 5th sentence should read: "Quotes will be based upon amount of work required and driving time, with and without traffic control"; Page 2, 1st paragraph, 1st sentence, change from "While visiting the Detroit Lakes area" to "On the way to the Detroit Lakes area"; Page 2, 1st paragraph, last sentence should read, "The estimated cost for both signs and flashers is $6000."; Page 2, 6th paragraph, 5th sentence should read, "State approval may be required for use of these funds which are generally targeted at asbestos."; 7th paragraph, 1st sentence should read, "Recommendation: Fingalson will draft a Memorandum Of Understanding to install two school speed zone signs and flashers with a speed limit of 45 mph at an approximate cost of $6000, with funding to be split on a 1/3-1/3-1/3 basis between the City, County and School District." Eichelberg and Sawatzke agreed to amend the motion to include these changes and the motion carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows:

Services For Ditches, Wright Hennepin Electric. Representatives from the County, Wright Hennepin and Phillips met previously to discuss services. The County's integrated vegetation management program was explained. The County will work with them for cleanup and storm activities and possibly ROW work. Quotes will be obtained.

Truck Traffic, Fair Grounds. Discussion involved the truck traffic on 1st Avenue through the Fair Grounds due to concern of the Fair Board. Shelly Reddemann, City of Howard Lake, explained the Council has not met on this issue. The City Administrator position is vacant and they are addressing issues as they can. Discussion followed on use during the Fair and CSAH 6 improvements. It was the consensus that a meeting should be held with representatives from the City, County and the Fair Board to address this issue.

Discuss Options For CSAH 35 Adjacent To Buffalo Senior High School. A Mn/DOT speed study reflects that the existing speed limits are appropriate. Fingalson proposed two flashing speed zone signs to the Safe Schools Committee and received endorsement from both the City and School representatives. The signs would flash from 7:00-8:00 a.m. and 2:00-3:00 p.m. During these times the 45 mph speed would be enforced. When the lights are not flashing, the 55 mph speed limit would apply. The County will increase the current 300' left turn lane (onto Bison Boulevard) to 600'. Recommendation: Fingalson will draft a Memorandum Of Understanding to install two school speed zone flashers with a speed limit of 45 mph at an approximate cost of $6000, with funding to be split on a 1/3-1/3-1/3 basis between the City, County and School District. The City would be responsible for electrical costs and the County would be responsible for maintenance costs. The County will restripe the roadway.

A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 3-13-02. A summary of the minutes and action at today's meeting follows:

Bauerly Company Pit Operations: Correspondence was received on 3-12-02 from Bauerly requesting a meeting the first week of April. The County sent Bauerly's a letter proposing hours of operation be continued until 2008, at which time they would need to comply with the same hours of operation as other operators. Bauerly's indicated that this is an insufficient amount of time. Also discussed was restoration. Recommendation: Salkowski will schedule a meeting for the beginning of April between staff and Bauerly Brothers. This issue will be continued until the Ways & Means meeting scheduled for April 24, 2002, 10:00 A.M.

Water Tower, Fair Grounds: Present from the City were Bahn and Reddemann. City Council minutes were researched for information regarding the water tower. The 7-6-99 minutes read that the Memo of Understanding was tabled. Minutes of the July 20, 1999 City Council Meeting read as follows: "6. Memorandum of Understanding: A motion was made by Kutz to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Wright County for the construction of the water tower. The motion carried unanimously after a second by Swanson. Construction of the tower will begin August 2, 1999." The minutes do not include any amendments to the Memo of Understanding. The Committee does support payment for water used above the 180,000 gallons. Recommendation: Bahn will locate the agenda packet for the July 20, 1999 City Council Meeting and fax a copy of the Memo of Understanding included in that packet to Asleson. When weather permits pipes and faucets at the Fair Grounds will be checked for water leaks.

Operating Procedures, Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha Subordinate Sewer District. Recommendation: Asleson will schedule a meeting with US Filter and the City of St. Michael to discuss procedures, rules and regulations to be included in the agreement with Wright County and notify the appropriate lake associations. This item will be continued at a future Ways & Means meeting.

At today's meeting, discussion involved the water tower issue. Jude said they were notified by the City that the original Memorandum of Agreement that the County Board passed was included in the Council's meeting packet from 1999. Jude moved to accept the minutes and to authorize Asleson to add into the Memorandum of Agreement for the County to be charged for water beyond the 185,000 gallons. Asleson is to verify that this is the correct amount of gallons. This motion is contingent upon receiving back the signed original Memorandum of Understanding from the City. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Norman said the normal Committee meeting date is 3-27-02 which is also one of the dates the Board will be attending the AMC Legislative Conference. Sawatzke moved to schedule the Personnel Committee meeting for 3-25-02 at 2:30 P.M. (Performance Appraisals-Don Mleziva & Kathy Gramsey); the Technology Committee Meeting for 3-26-02 at 10:30 A.M. (Address Changes, 106th St. NW); and the Building Committee on 3-26-02 at 11:00 A.M. (Courthouse Security Issues). Eichelberg seconded the motion and it carried 5-0.

Mattson gave a report on the Nutrient Management & Farm Bill Update Seminar he attended on 3-18-02 in Willmar.

Bills Approved

Abrahamson, Brian 400.86

Albertville Body Shop, Inc. 2600.00

American Planning Association 318.00

Apec Corporation 377.05

Bachman Printing 255.39

Bob Barker Co. 144.05

Batteries Plus 1762.70

Benton County Treasurer 3200.00

Brock White Co. LLC 599.60

Buff'N'Glo, Inc. 268.85

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 219.10

Carver County Juvenile Detenti 1305.00

Central McGowan, Inc. 191.97

Chamberlain Oil Co. 1380.73

Climate Air 390.00

Cole Papers, Inc. 457.68

Commissioner of Trans. 31,590.00

Cragg, H Co. 479.25

Cragun's Lodging & Conference 418.00

Culligan Water Conditioning 3870.85

DLT Solutions 268.00

Ernst General Construction, Inc. 143.00

Gau, Todd 113.56

Gholson, Janet 299.20

Grainger, W Inc. 319.14

Greenview, Inc. 267.50

Hickory Tech 124.37

HTE, Inc. 800.00

Junction Towning & Auto Repair 248.10

Lake Region Co-op Oil 23,722.77

Loberg Electric 416.94

Marco Business Products 830.50

Medics Training, Inc. 500.00

MinnComm Paging 600.67

MN Assn of Jail Programs & Srvs 150.00

MN Center for Crime Victim Ser 190.00

MN Chapter IAAI 510.00

MN Highway Safety and Research 784.00

Nelson, Charles 229.76

North American Salt Co. 24,924.69

Northstar Repro Products, Inc. 132.88

Office Depot 1236.57

Pats 66 172.00

Performance Office Papers 924.73

Peterson, G Machinery 122.26

Photo I 629.17

Postmaster-Buffalo 136.00

Qwest 7578.95

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 929.75

Russek, Jack 170.34

Russells Lock & Key 180.00

Scenic Signs 787.08

SEH 2151.24

Servicemaster of St. Cloud, Inc. 5170.58

State of MN 397.84

Total Printing 799.82

Uniforms Unlimited 793.20

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 590.97

Walker, C Trucking 432.00

Wirth, Stewart 573.72

Wright-Hennepin Electric 4037.31

Xcel Energy 153.88

33 payments less than $100 1773.26

Final Total $144,106.35

The meeting adjourned at 10:55 A.M.

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