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Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 11, 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 6-4-02, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, "Approve Sale Price For Tax Forfeit Parcel, City of Delano" (Gruber); Item For Consid. #3, "Schedule Closed Session RE: Superior Litigation" (Asleson); Item For Consid. #4, "Trails Meeting Cancellation" (Jude); Item For Consid. #5, "Historical Society" (Mattson). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: A. 'Duis, Atty.; M. Aitchison, J. Baker, K. Clemence, D. Johnson,

D. Lindell, R. McMullen, K. Nagorski, G. Windler, Sher./Corr.

2. Transfer $1,250,062 From Budget 820, Personal Services To General Revenue Departments.


1. Annual On Sale Beer License, "Buffalo Gun Club," (Buffalo Twp.).


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

a. Approve Request To Rezone 80 Acres From AG To A/R, Darrell Watkins (Maple Lake Twp.).

John Sander and Barry Fick, Springsted Inc., presented the County Board and Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, with a plaque commemorating an increase in the County's bond rating from A3 to A2. This upgrade reflects the financial soundness of the County and will lower the interest rate on future loans. Fick commended County staff for their strong administrative backgrounds and legal assistance which resulted in this increased rating. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, questioned the savings of basis points due to the new rating. Fick responded approximately five basis points and explained that rating agencies have three grade variations (1, 2, 3). A higher benefit in points is realized when moving from a rating of 3 to 2 than from 2 to 1. Sander stated that current bonds will be reviewed for refinancing.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, distributed a map outlining a tax forfeit property (PID #107-500-123421) located in Delano which the City of Delano would like to purchase. The parcels located to the right of this property are owned by one party. The land will be used as part of a town home development. Gruber understood that no tax increment financing was involved. Pending special assessments on the property, including penalties & interest, total $47,805.97. This is the amount the City proposes to purchase the parcel for plus recording fees. Gruber recommended proceeding to allow the property to be placed back onto the tax roles. This property has been tax forfeit since 1997. Jude moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced page 15, Buildings Consulting Group ($989.96) and questioned what services they provided. Norman explained that the claim is for engineering services for the Fairground Bleachers ($252.00) and Sewage Grinder ($737.96). There will be an additional bill for the final inspection of the bleachers. On a motion by Jude, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, reviewed the County Auction results with the Board. A correction was made to the Net Sales Column as follows: Buffalo City $2,465.70 and Cokato City $4,389.33. The County's net sales were $62,546.60. There is a $4,800 outstanding bad check for one of the squad cars sold at the auction. Felony charges have been filed. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, indicated that the County's best chance for collection would be through the criminal process once felony charges have been resolved. This is due to the fact that the title on the vehicle had been transferred and the County would have to sue civilly to get the vehicle back. Sawatzke moved to accept the report as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented for approval the 2001 Highway Department Annual Report. Eichelberg moved to acknowledge receipt, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 5-29-02. A correction was made to the minutes: Page 1, last paragraph, sentence 3, should read, "CSAH 16 is going to be rerouted and will require the removal of one house." At today's meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes and action at today's meeting follows:

Review/Recommend Approval of TH 12/CSAH 16/CSAH 17/CSAH 30 Layout in Delano. Mn/DOT presented TH 12's altered route through Delano involving CSAH 16, CSAH 17, and CSAH 30. Of the current 72 accesses to highways in this area, 32 will be eliminated with the design. A new stoplight is planned at CSAH 30 and TH 12, a new bridge crossing is scheduled for 2004, and a new railroad bridge over CSAH 12 is planned for 2005. The County will only incur costs for their portion of the traffic signal at the intersection of TH 12 & CSAH 30. The remainder will be funded by Mn/DOT. Mn/DOT has approved the plan both at the State and district level. The City will hold a public meeting on 6-12-02 in Delano. The Highway Engineer said it would be a good time for the Board to make a decision on moving/eliminating the Delano Shop facility. Highway Department staff feels eliminating this shop would be a cost effective step. Recommendation: This Committee recommends that this plan dated May 20, 2002, for the construction of TH 12 as it is routed through the City of Delano be approved.

Discuss Agreement with City of Otsego for Waterfront Development. This large development is being proposed near the intersections of CSAH 42/CSAH 39/TH 101. The County, City and State have met with the developer on necessary road improvements and the installation of a traffic signal. The developer plans to cover costs associated with these improvements. A draft agreement was forwarded to the City but it was not approved. Of concern is the access near CSAH 39 and CSAH 42. The church entrance will have a right in/right out with a median on CSAH 39. The closest access to the north provides access to several current businesses which are connected by a frontage road. Concern is with the traffic affect on the TH 101/CSAH 39 intersection. The State's projection is that this will work for the time being. A second phase is planned to the north and then development is planned for the east side of TH 101. The proper time to add the access to the north is when the area is annexed to the north. Once approved by the City, the agreement will come to the County for approval. The agreement states that if and when the increased traffic creates a safety problem, the road authority will have the option to change the intersection to a right in/right out or to modify it at their discretion. Stop lights are planned for the intersection of CSAH's 39 and 42 and for the intersection 1/4 mile north of there also. The developer has agreed to pay for the materials and the installation of both of these. The County will be responsible for the controller and the City will be responsible for the relamping and power.

Discuss CSAH 14 Issues. Difficulty was encountered when attempting to purchase right of way for the project. Property owners expressed resistance to the prices offered. The Assessor provided an opinion that sales of this type vary between the western and eastern portion of the township with both values being higher than that suggested by the appraiser. The budgeted amount for right of way acquisition is $330,000. Offers were based upon the rate schedule approved by the County Board. Recommendation: This Committee recommends that the revised schedule of right-of-way rates be accepted for the CSAH 14 project. These new rates will reflect the increase to an $8,000/acre ceiling on tillable agricultural land and a $6,000/acre ceiling on pasture land. Action was taken at the last County Board meeting. On a separate issue, the Committee was asked to consider approving an adjusted project construction schedule. It is proposed that the letting date be scheduled for later this Fall. Federal dollars can be used until 4-15-03. It is hoped that the bridge and realignment of CSAH 14 as it connects with TH 55 will be started this year. There was general consensus that the original construction schedule should be altered if the delays caused by the right-of-way acquisition and permit processes make this a desirable adjustment.

Review Construction Schedule and Budget for 2002. Fingalson distributed a revised Road & Bridge Construction Five-Year Summary (2000-2004). Revision were due in part to the higher labor rates, overlay bids, and patching material costs. At today's meeting, Fingalson said the budget reflects a deficit of $4.6 million at the end of 2004. He said the main source of funding, the State Aid Regular Fund, is diminishing quickly and that the County cannot advance encumber more than one year's allotment of funds (just over $3 million). Due to higher patching rates, the County will perform some of this work instead of contracting for the service. Fingalson referenced the traffic signal at TH 101 and CSAH 37 which is estimated at a cost of $300,000 (County portion $75,000). Fingalson and Meyer met with Mn/DOT last week to discuss reimbursement for haul road detours. Approximately $79,000 (less overlay costs) will be paid to Wright County for the use of CR 107 as a result of Mn/DOT's work on TH 12.

Snow/Ice Control Written Policy Status. Previous Committee recommendation was for the County Attorney's Office and MCIT to be consulted as to their opinion on the policy. Both have since expressed support. Fingalson has requested copies of policies from other counties. The consensus of this Committee is that Fingalson should draft a snow/ice removal policy and bring it back to them for their review at a later date.

Laid over from the last meeting, discussion followed on a draft "Letter to the Editor" relating to transportation funding. Fingalson submitted two new drafts for review. Mattson did not support sending the letter and said the Transportation Alliance could do so if they desired. He felt it was overstepping boundaries. Sawatzke said that in review of the draft letters, he was uncomfortable with the message being sent. He supported additional funding for the road and bridge fund and felt it would be logical through the gas tax. Problems result when side issues are added (commuter rail, etc.). Norman pointed out that the goal of educating the public on the lack of transportation funding may have already been accomplished by press coverage of the last two meetings. Jude moved to table the letter (not voting one way or another), seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Jude, second by Sawatzke, all voted to schedule a Closed Session RE: Superior Litigation for 6-19-02 at 1:30 P.M.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 6-4-02:

2003 Budget. Discussion centered on three issues. First, the State is facing a significant budget problem in the next biennium. Second, the maximum allowable mileage reimbursement rate was increased to $.365 effective January 1, 2002. Finally, a survey was presented reflecting meal reimbursements.

A. State Budget. There is a good chance that local units of government will be greatly impacted by the projected State budget deficit. In anticipation of this, it is proposed that any requests for new positions in 2003 have a start date of 7-1-03.

B. Mileage Reimbursement Rate. The majority of the Committee recommends that the rate be set at $.365, effective January 1, 2003.

C. Meal Allowance. The majority of the Committee recommends that the 2003 meal allowance be set as follows: Breakfast, $7.00; Lunch, $10.00; and Dinner, $13.00.

At today's meeting, Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke said he did not support Item C reflecting an average of 50% increase on meal reimbursements. Russek responded the comparison with other counties reflected Wright County is on the lower end for reimbursement. The motion carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.

A Long Range Planning Committee meeting was held on 6-4-02. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Long Range Space Needs. Space needs was a discussion item at the recent spring retreat with Department Heads and the County Board. As a result, a Long Range Planning Committee and Short Term Planning Committee have been formed. There was general consensus that long range encompass a 5-10 year period of time. Russek stated he contacted Auger approximately a year ago regarding whether the City of Buffalo would be open to the possibility of joint office space. Auger stated public works space is the City's most immediate need but that the City Council is open to exploring all areas. Discussion included: property north of the Public Works Building, vacating streets and adding onto the Courthouse, a jail/court complex, moving remaining Human Services staff off third floor, public works shop space and equipment shared between the three departments, increasing jail population, and funding source possibilities for sharing space with another government entity. Norman felt a 5-year capital improvement plan should be established to use as a guide in the annual budget process. Gruber stated there has been discussion of the State driver testing office moving to another location within the City and that he received a call from the State inquiring about the possibility of the County License Bureau sharing a space with them outside the Courthouse. Kramber mentioned a vacant building in the industrial park as a possible expansion site. MacMillan felt projected department space needs over the next five years should be updated. Auger will provide Norman with a copy of the City of Buffalo's Capital Improvement Plan. Auger will also obtain information on the water/sewer capacities for 500 people on the property north of the Public Works Building. Recommendation: Fingalson and Auger meet to discuss possible joint options for sharing public works space. Place establishment of a Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan on the County Board Agenda for approval. Request departments provide an update on projected space needs over the next five years. Analyze property north of Public Works and the vacant building in the industrial park. Schedule the next meeting for June 25, 2002 at 10:30 A.M.

On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, all voted to cancel the 7-9-02 Wright County Board meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesday's in July.

Jude said the Wright County Trails Meeting for this evening at 7:00 P.M., Ney Park, would be cancelled. The Parks Department will attempt to contact those who attended the last meeting.

Mattson and Sawatzke extended congratulations to the Historical Society for the outstanding job they did on the open house held this past weekend.

Bills Approved

ANCOM Communications, Inc. 809.41

ANCOM Technical Center 776.12

Annandale Advocate 149.00

Annandale Rock Products 1322.88

Arch Wireless 250.59

Arrowstar 241.62

Associated Bag Company 237.39

BEST, Inc. 4485.19

BLM Technologies, Inc. 135.00

Borrett, Jim 162.51

Brewsters Sea & Ski 5830.60

Buffalo Clinic 279.00

Buffalo Hospital 105.92

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 1049.00

Buffalo City 24,617.15

Buildings Consulting Group, Inc. 989.96

Cameron, Tim 125.00

Centra Sota Lake Region, LLC 15,621.98

Climate Air 1129.69

Contech Construction Product 2561.20

Crysteel Distributing, Inc. 5169.51

Dales 66 202.36

Delano City 1341.22

Demarais, Richard 151.98

Dental Care Associates of Buff 402.00

Determan, Karen 136.68

Dixon, Anita 2896.50

E-Z Flush 507.28

Enterprise-Dispatch 171.00

Erickson, Josh 257.38

Exemplar International, Inc. 228.00

Finance and Commerce 117.85

Freestyle Sales Company, Inc. 1238.99

Gall's, Inc. 179.99

Gau, Todd 206.04

Gholson, Janet 245.48

Gordy's Foods 189.24

Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. 487.12

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 985.43

Holiday 1459.28

Industrial Container Services 170.19

Interstate All Battery Center 564.02

Interstate Battery Sys of Mpls 239.47

Junction Towing & Auto Repair 110.23

KNR Communications Servies, In 22,000.00

Kramber, Greg 128.86

Lakedale Telephone Company 529.61

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 478.00

Marks Standard Parts 3833.15

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix, Inc. 442.35

Minnesota State Bar Ass'n 1183.00

MN Board of Aelslagid 120.00

MN Department of Corrections 15,044.85

MN Sheriffs Association 200.00

MN Supreme Court 1089.00

MN Viewers Association 125.00

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 873.07

Monticello Times 229.50

Monticello Township 2508.60

Nextel Communications 987.40

Office Depot 1602.91

Oryans Conoco 115.00

Lynn Peavey Company 591.86

Performance Office Papers 679.79

Photo I 680.12

Rasmuson, Anthony 243.44

Record Preservation, Inc. 262.49

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 4425.79

Rigid Hitch Incorporated 227.57

Rockford Transport & Recovery 133.13

RS Eden 1421.70

Russek, Jack 139.74

Russel's Lock & Key 705.47

Leslee Scott, Inc. 464.68

Shoplifters Alternatives 1144.64

Sprint 153.07

Staloch, Raymond 1414.50

Star Tribune 210.60

State of MN Intertech Group 731.35

State Supply Co. 196.29

Streichers 3639.38

Sunrise Specialty Contracting 5292.50

Superior FCR Landfill, Inc. 337.00

Superior Service - Central MN 915.34

Thermal Technologies, Inc. 2538.00

Total Printing 347.41

Trimin Systems, Inc. 12,726.75

Vorgert, David 5213.50

Waste Management TC West 470.72

Wessman Oil Co. 124.86

West Publishing Company 3026.76

West Publishing Payment Ctr 330.69

Woods, Diane 102.40

Wright Co. Radiator Repair 199.75

Wright County Highway Dept. 398.65

Wright County Journal Press 145.40

Wright County Surveyor 5135.13

Wright Lumber & Millwork, Inc. 369.94

Young, Katherine 973.50

Zachman, Earl 128.94

38 payments less than $100 1532.43

Final Total $193,292.05

The meeting adjourned at 10:08 A.M.

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