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Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 8, 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 10-1-02, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #5, "Ditch 16 & 19" (Gruber); Aud./Treas. Item #6, "Ditch 33" (Gruber); Aud./Treas. Item #7, "Ditch 14" (Mattson); Item For Consid. #2, "Alternate To River Rider" (Jude). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: G. Bernards, Ct. Admin.; E. Leander, K. Walker, Sheriff.


1. Approve Additional Telephone Line For Temporary Employee.


1. Claim, McCombs Frank Roos Assoc., $10,976.00 (August Services - Fund 61 Sewer Fund).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, announced a Joint Ditch #4 meeting which will be held on 10-15-02 at 7:00 P.M., Hollywood Township Hall.

Proposals for repair of Joint Ditch #15 were received from Fyle's Excavating ($17,250.00) and Morris Excavating ($23,865.00). The bid from Morris Excavating includes 60' of tubing per washout, whereas Fyle's bid included 30' per washout. FEMA documents reflect that tubing repair was estimated at 30-40' per site. Morris Excavating subsequently said $1300 could be taken off their bid to adjust for 30' of tube instead of 60'. Gruber explained that FEMA figured the cost of repair at $18,446.48. There is the potential of receiving more reimbursement than what is expended. If this occurs, it was felt the surplus would be placed in the ditch fund to use for future expenses (spraying, mileage claims). On a motion by Mattson, second by Jude, all voted to award the bid to Fyle's Excavating ($17,250.00).

An update was provided on Ditch #38 where a tube was placed in the railroad bed to drain water. From the tubing to where they dug behind the tile to Clementa was a .4 mile segment. Mattson said there is 75% water movement through the current tile and suggested that new tile be run separate from the old tile. Mattson moved to schedule a public hearing to discuss repair to Ditch #38, seconded by Sawatzke. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said repair would involve a change in the realignment of the ditch and asked that this issue be laid over for one week to research statutes. He will review the petition for repair to see if it is sufficient and also who would be assessed for costs. The motion and second were withdrawn to schedule a public hearing. The issue will be laid over as requested by Asleson.

An update was provided on Ditch #16 and #19. Ditch #16 runs into French Lake and Ditch #19 runs out of it. There are not many property owners on those ditches. The person who has requested repair of the ditch is not considered a benefitted property owner. However, the County has an obligation to maintain the ditch and it would not be necessary to have a benefitted landowner request the repair. Gruber suggested clean out of the ditch starting at CSAH #37. It was the consensus of the Board that repairs cannot be completed until the water recedes in this area.

Gruber, Eichelberg, Sawatzke, and Saxton (SWCD) met with Rich and Dee LaSham to review flooding problems, as directed by the County Board at their last meeting. There are problems associated with drainage and water flow from unknown sources. Saxton will send SWCD staff to investigate the origin of the water. Dee LaSham provided a photograph of downstream flow that was not running at the rate it should be. Saxton will also have this area reviewed and provide potential solutions on both problems. The LaSham property is being negatively affected due to too much water flowing into the ditch and the property being located in a low area. Saxton would like to open the tile that runs through their property to see if water is flowing through it. This will not be completed until the water recedes. Gruber was directed to follow up with Saxton on these reviews.

Mattson submitted for reference photographs of Ditch #14 where problems are occurring. Gruber will set up a public meeting in Cokato to meet with property owners in this area to obtain input on repair. This was provided as an informational item.

On a motion by Jude, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed the abstract, subject to audit.

Chris Basgall, Superior Landfill General Manager, presented a letter they received from the MPCA regarding shredder fluff delivered to the Landfill by Schwartzman Company between August 2000 and January 2002. The letter states the material is considered hazardous waste and needs to be removed and disposed of properly. It further states that Superior would be required to revise their Industrial Solid Waste Management Plan to insure all sampling and relevant information is provided to the Landfill to avoid future discrepancies between waste collection procedures and waste acceptance criteria for the Landfill. Basgall said Superior was surprised to receive the letter. They were aware that Schwartzman Company was under investigation. He said the material was acceptable in landfills if the PCB's were kept under a certain level. Basgall had been in contact with Curt Hoffman of the MPCA who indicated that this was the first call for Superior to submit data to the MPCA on how much material there is, whether it can be removed, and the pro's and con's of doing so. Basgall said the purpose of meeting with the Board today was to provide an update on the issue so there would be no surprises. Russek referenced the letter and questioned whether removal of the material was in Superior's Plan. Basgall said it was not and that the Elk River Landfill had received the same letter. Sawatzke said the letter is clear that the hazardous waste should be removed. Basgall said they contacted the MPCA and they have indicated that they will work with Superior. Basgall said the Landfill will not accept waste from Schwartzman until the MPCA comes up with new regulations or rules on how they want it handled. It was requested to have the MPCA send a letter to the County with any conditions which are different from that outlined in the letter.

Mattson said during his campaign, constituents said they avoid traveling CSAH 37 due to odors. Some of the comments were received from those who did not live near the Landfill. Basgall said that residents should contact him so an investigation can be completed. During the past few weeks, Superior has been well drilling so there have been more odors. Sawatzke said in reality, those who live near the Landfill will probably not call the Sheriff or Planning & Zoning as they have come to the reality that this will not make the smell go away. Sawatzke thought the smell was substantial more often than not.

Mike Drysdale, Attorney representing Superior Landfill, said a Plan is being put together as the letter outlines. The pros and cons of removal will be discussed. The submissions from Superior to the MPCA and vise versa will be provided to the County. Sawatzke questioned whether Drysdale saw anything in the letter which was optional. Drysdale responded that the letter was clear and that is why they were surprised nothing had been said to them. The letter does not reflect what the MPCA later told them about wanting to work with them. Drysdale indicated that the County would be copied on future communications.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested approval of Highway Right-Of-Way Turnback documents for three parcels of land on CSAH 18 (SAP 86-618-05) dealing with the realignment of CSAH 37 at CSAH 18. Board approval would allow the posting of the documents for ten days to allow recording.

­ Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #02-56 approving the Vacation Resolution vacating 0.37 acres of easement to the owners of RW Parcel No. 203 and forward notice to them in accordance with Statute 163.15. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

­ Jude moved to adopt Resolution #02-57 approving the Revocation Resolution and Quit Claim Deed revoking a portion of Jaber Avenue (new location acquired by the County) to the City of Otsego. The City has approved of this with a resolution. Action includes approval of a resolution and a Quit Claim Deed as the property was acquired in fee. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

­ Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #02-58 approving a Revocation Resolution and Quit Claim Deed revoking a portion of Jaber Avenue (new location acquired by the County) to Monticello Township. The Township has waived the hearing required by statute. Action also requires approval of a resolution and Quit Claim Deed as property was also acquired in fee. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 9-24-02. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes and action at today's meeting follows:

1. Presentation from City of Albertville RE: CSAH 19 Improvements. The request is to utilize tax abatement financing for CSAH 19 improvements from 57th St. to the Outlet Mall. Tax abatement financing allows a government entity to borrow funds to complete a project immediately and then reimburse those funds from tax monies over a period of time. At the previous meeting, the Board was unwilling to participate but would revisit the issue after more research by the City. Heidi Peper, SEH, presented a summary of her research and addressed issues of the Board. Issues discussed included growth, traffic, and improvements. The City anticipates that taxes from new businesses will generate about $284,000 for the City alone. The City could abate $100,000 covering the project costs for the City's share. The debt service could be scheduled on a 15-year bond requiring annual payments of $145,000-$149,000. It was hoped the County would contribute $50,000/year to cover the shortfall. This improvement is on the 10-year plan. There is currently no money to participate in this project with State aid funds. Sawatzke felt that the improvements from the taxes would directly benefit some businesses and preferred funding the project in a more traditional manner rather than setting a precedent. Eichelberg cited the traffic volumes and the increased cost in future years. Mattson was concerned that both the Waverly and Montrose projects may be bumped on the waiting list. The projects in both of these cities are on the County's 5-year plan and should not be adversely affected. The Committee recommendation was for the City of Albertville to continue to research the financing of improvements to CSAH 19 at 57th Street to the Outlet Mall and return to the County Board with their findings.

Present for discussion at today's County Board meeting were Linda Goeb & Pete Carlson, (City of Albertville) and Heidi Peper, SEH. Peper distributed draft tax abatement policies obtained from Benton, Stearns and McLeod counties. Sherburne County is in the process of drafting a policy. From review of these drafts and concerns expressed by the Board, a draft Wright County policy was presented for review. Peper said if tax abatement financing were used, it would not bump projects as the projects would not compete with one another for funding because of different funding sources. Eichelberg moved to refer this issue to the Budget Committee Of The Whole for further review, seconded by Jude. Sawatzke said utilizing funding in this fashion benefits those businesses where the improvements would be made and would result in increased taxes County wide. Peper agreed but said that these businesses also will be paying taxes of over $250,000 and therefore funding other pieces of the debts in the County. She said these businesses would benefit but this was still a regional corridor. After further discussion, the motion was amended to include setting the Budget Of The Whole meeting for 10-29-02 at 10:30 A.M. The motion carried 5-0.

2. Regional Trail Plan-Marc Mattice. Mattice reviewed a preliminary map with planned routes for a county-wide trail system. A request for plans was sent to each City and Township and those plans were incorporated with the County plans to create a more complete overview for future development of trails. Mattice requested that this be adopted as part of the Wright County Transportation Plan. Public meetings have been held and several trails are already on the schedule. The Committee recommendation was for the County Board to approve adoption of the Regional Trail Plan in concept as presented.

At today's County Board Meeting, Jude moved to approve the Regional Trail Plan in concept, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

3. County Highway Map. The new map is close to being ready for distribution. The cost estimate is slightly more than $2.00 each. Most counties do not charge over $2.00. A request from Carolyn Gullings was received to use this map as an advertising map for various businesses. The County's fee schedule does not include an established fee for this purpose. The Committee recommendation is for the County Board to approve the sale of the new maps for the amount of $3.00 each and submit the request of Carolyn Gullings to the Technology Committee.

At today's County Board meeting, Fingalson said that he had obtained a response from other counties on what they charge for maps. Of the 86 counties contacted, 44 responded back. There were 21 counties which give the map away free of charge but many of these are not colored maps. There were 9 counties which charge $1.00/map, 9 counties which charge $2.00/map, and 5 counties that charge $3.00/map. Some of the counties that currently charge $2.00/map may consider raising their fee when reprinting. Asleson did not feel a public hearing would be required as this was a fee for goods. Normally a public hearing is held when a fee is implemented or charged for a service. The County has the right to recover the costs of development of the map. Sawatzke said he felt $2.00 was adequate and that costs to reprint would be less as there would not be labor involved. Jude moved to establish a fee of $3.00/map, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.

4. Discuss Options for 5-Year Road/Bridge Public Meeting/Road Tour. Previously, it was suggested that this be held in the Fall. It is now the general feeling that this should be postponed until after this Legislative Session to see if any transportation funding surfaces. Distributed were drafts of both a 5-year and 10-year plan beginning in 2002, reflecting a deficit of over $11 million at the end of 2006. Due to the weather, the CSAH 14 project was delayed this year. It appears this project will begin next year. Federal funds will be available in 2003 for this project so it should not be delayed any longer. Grading upgrades on CSAH 12 from 15th Street to Buffalo may have to be delayed a year to 2004. The Committee recommendation is for the County Board to review an updated version of the 5-Year Plan (for years 2000-2004) that was originally presented in 2000 and will not schedule a public meeting at this time but rather schedule one after funding options are determined by next year-s State Legislature.

Discuss Procedures on Plat Reviews in View of 9-3-02 Board Action RE: Waterfront Development. Engineering staff spends much time reviewing plats presented by developers ensuring that all accesses to County highways are in the best interest of safety. In the case of the Waterfront Development, an agreement was reached and signed by the City of Otsego and Wright County. The developer did not agree with the final determination and convinced the City to approve an additional access. The developer could then present a case to the Board to change the accesses in the development. Fingalson was concerned as the Board then voted to allow the developer to modify the access configuration even though both the Otsego Transportation Engineer and himself had recommended denying this request. Fingalson said the time spent by staff reviewing plats and forming recommendations is wasted if the Board does not follow those recommendations. Russek and Jude agreed that this was an unfortunate decision by the Board. Sawatzke said the right to come before the Board cannot be denied to the developer and Mattson said the City had approved the revision first. There was no action taken on this item. (End of Transportation Minutes Summary).

Correspondence was received from the City of Howard Lake offering to purchase from the County the land that the water tower sits on. The City obtained a $24,000 appraisal of the property. The City proposes to purchase the property from the County by allowing the unpaid sewer and water fees from year 2000 and on to go towards the purchase amount. After this amount has reached $24,000, the City will then require all sewer and water charges to be paid by the County. The letter further states that the reason for this offer is that the City feels it is unfair to Howard Lake residents to pay a portion of the County's expenses incurred at the Fair or any other time during the year. At today's meeting, Asleson inquired whether the Board would want this letter referred to the Ways & Means Committee for discussion. Asleson said an article appeared in the Howard Lake Herald last month which quoted the 2002 County water usage at 370,000 which is about double the usage. He referred to a past comment made by a council member that sewer charges may be unfair as much of the water used at the Fairgrounds does not get to the sewer system. Russek referenced the past negotiated agreement with the City which the County Board passed. He said the City went back on this agreement and built the water tower on County property anyway. The Board questioned the legality of passing an agreement, not signing it, and proceeding with the project. Asleson responded that previously, the County was not aware that the City Council had actually approved this at a meeting. He did not feel that their not signing it would make a difference. Sawatzke said the County had no reason to believe the City didn't sign the agreement as the City proceeded with building the water tower on the County's land. Jude requested that Asleson research the legality of the City's motion at the meeting and whether the document is binding even though it was not signed. Jude moved to refer this issue to the Ways & Means Committee, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

In researching bylaws, Jude found that an alternate can be appointed for the River Rider. This issue will be laid over for one week so potential appointments can be brought forth.

Bills Approved

Amerigas 147.39

Ami Imaging Systems, Inc. 165.70

Ancom Technical Center 1,163.66

Annandale Advocate 204.75

Avtex, Inc. 1,597.50

Bauman, Lawrence 748.26

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 424.30

Buffalo City 36,296.65

Cardiac Science 4,460.74

CDW Government, Inc. 1,248.87

Cellular 2000 Of St. Cloud 396.94

Central MN Sane Program 2,000.00

Climate Air 7,234.15

Copy Shop, The 483.19

Demarais, Richard 230.52

Desmarais, Randal 325.95

Determan, Karen 117.64

Diers, Carter 406.98

Douglas, Ralph 409.50

Enterprise Dispatch 261.75

Erickson, Josh 161.50

Ernst General Construction, Inc. 1,392.00

Facility Systems, Inc. 2,843.14

Farm & Home Publishers 266.82

Fyles Excavating & Honey Wagon 675.00

Greenside Up 354.47

Gruber, Douglas 121.18

Hickory Tech Enterprise Soluti 8,650.58

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,264.59

Holiday 1,894.71

Ikon Office Solutions 473.87

Indianhead Specialty Co, Inc. 140.15

Interstate Automotive 133.12

Jerrys Towing & Repair 101.17

Kirscht, Bernard 287.40

KNR Communications Services In


Lilia Lantto 135.00

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 656.00

Larson Publications, Inc. 200.80

Maple Lake Lumber Company 1,439.96

Maple Lake Messenger 106.46

Marco Business Products 1,117.22

Mattson, Richard 112.88

McCalla, Denise 282.20

McCombs Frank Roos Associates 10,976.00

McLeod Treament Programs, Inc. 400.00

Menards 942.63

Mending Path Relationship Cent 500.00

Millner, Roger 508.46

Minneapolis Medical Research F 340.00

Minnesota Corrections Assn 125.00

MN Counties Computer Co-Op 668.04

MN Counties Ins Trust 150.00

Mobile Vision 448.00

Nextel Communications 107.65

Norman, Richard 400.13

Office Depot 1,551.75

Onyx 955.77

Peavey, Lynn Company 240.55

PMI Computer Supplies 393.57

Power-Phone, Inc. 378.00

Praska, Tom 248.13

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 1,627.25

Robert Schermann 402.00

Schmidt, Donald 322.44

Sirchie 261.74

Sprint-Local Telecom Division 158.63

State Of MN Intertech Group 1,031.35

Streichers 878.19

Syntax, Inc. 5,191.88

Total Printing 1,159.47

Van Heel, Chuck 466.96

Verizon Wireless 1,715.31

Weber, Daniel 136.34

Wright County Highway Dept. 27,019.59

Wright County Journal Press 203.70

Zylstra, David 361.20

3M WBY8849 218.96

33 payments less than $100 1,448.78

Final Total $144,673.63

The meeting adjourned at 10:37 A.M.

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