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Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 26, 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 11-19-02, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #3,"Stone Arch Bridge" (Russek). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Kotila, Hwy.; J. Adelman, IT; M. Gardner, L. Westphal, Recorder; Brian. Johnson, J. Koenig, J. O'Dowd, S. Poirier, Sheriff.

2. 3rd Quarter Training Reports.

3. Authorize Signatures, Memo Of Agreement, 49er's Union RE: Donation Of Vacation Time For Employee On Medical Leave.

4. Claim, Holm Brothers Plumbing & Heating, $57,550 (Jail Sewage Grinder Pump).

5. Biennial Holdover Facility Inspection Report.


1. Claim, McCombs Frank Roos, October Services, $13,729.10 (Fund 61 Sewer).

2. Claim, Utility Systems of America, Payment Request No. 10, $39,993.54 (Fund 61 Sewer).


1. Authorize Non-Union Employees To Donate Vacation Time To Employee On Medical Leave.


1. Approve Memorandum Of Agreement With Teamsters Local 320, Sheriff Supervisory Unit, Allowing Donation Of Vacation Time To Employee In County Attorney's Office On Medical Leave.

2. Acknowledge Retirement, Michael Froslie, Jail Recreation Coordinator, Eff. 12-27-02 & Authorize Replacement.

3. Refer To Building Committee Discussion RE: Jail Window Construction Issues.

4. Refer To Building Committee Discussion RE: Sheriff Evidence Room Storage Space Needs.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, introduced Karen Labo to the Board. Labo has been working as an Office Assistant in the Auditor/Treasurer Department since September.

The claims listing was reviewed. Gruber made a correction to Page 2, Election Systems and Software, $15,565,14. The claim was incorrectly coded to Dept. 041, Auditor, and will be corrected to Dept. 071, Elections. On a motion by Mattson, second by Jude, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, requested approval of signatures on the contract renewal with Best, Inc. for Jail Food Service. The contract renewal reflects a 2% increase from 2002 to 2003. In Section 1, there is an amendment which reduces the option of renewal from two years to one year. Future contracts will be adjusted to reflect the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U), all U.S. Cities, Food Away From Home Index, Not Seasonally Adjusted. Previous contracts have used the CPI for the Twin Cities Metropolitan area as compiled by the US Department of Labor. Torfin was unsure but thought this may impact labor increases as well as food costs. Eichelberg moved to authorize signatures on the contract renewal with Best, Inc. for Jail Food Service, seconded by Jude. The motion carried 5-0. It was noted that the effective date of the contract should be changed from November 31st to November 30th.

A Budget Of The Whole meeting was held on 11-19-02. On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes as presented.

Tax Abatement Policy. There was continuing discussion from the 10-29-02 meeting regarding tax abatement funding for road improvements on CSAH 19 in Albertville. Fingalson estimated a cost savings of $160,000 in a comparison of the County's cost using the traditional state aide formula versus tax abatement financing. Sawatzke stated the cost to the County for the road project would be the same regardless of how the County funds its portion and the City can still do their own tax abatement with the County bonding or levying for the funds. Eichelberg noted costs will only continue to escalate and that it's a safety issue with the amount of traffic in that area. Gruber stated if the County were to bond for the funding the $50,000 commitment would be outside levy limits. Peper stated the City would like to begin the project in 2003 and had suggested tax abatement as a possible way the County might be able to assist in funding in order to get the project underway. Fingalson stated he is supportive of the project being done as soon as possible as road use has changed dramatically with the development of the businesses in that area, it is a safety issue, the City is committing more than their normal share of the funding in order to get the project done, and it will cost more in the future. He stated moving up this project would not affect other projects in the five year plan which are funded with state aide money and would in fact be beneficial to other smaller communities with state aide projects to not have CSAH 19 included in the five and ten year plans. There was not support to change the County's tax abatement policy. Peper stated the project has been scaled back from the original design and the longer the project is delayed , the bigger problem there will be with traffic congestion. Fingalson noted the City is also paying for a traffic signal and is looking at a bike path and that it would be advantageous to design it together with the road. Jude felt the project merits being done and is supportive as long as it doesn't bump other projects, and if other requests are received they be addressed on an individual need basis. Russek stated he could support the project if other projects such as those in Waverly, Delano and Montrose would not be moved back. Gruber felt the process would be streamlined if the City were to proceed with the bonding and the County commit $50,000 a year for 15 years to be paid to the City. There was general consensus to proceed with the CSAH 19 road project as long as other projects are not bumped and the first payment is not due until 2004. Recommendation: Approve entering into an agreement with City of Albertville for the County to commit $50,000 funding for 15 years for road improvements on CSAH 19 in Albertville.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, has been working with a civic group on development of the Regional Trail Plan. The group would like to approach landowners to secure options to purchase trail easements along the old RR grade from Clearwater to Monticello. Mattice requested approval of the use of the option to purchase right-of-way for a recreational trail. The option has been reviewed by the County Attorney's Office. Grant funding will be applied for and if approved, the option would be available to proceed at that time. The option would provide for a $50 payment to the landowner (or they can donate it) for the option for exclusive right-of-way for six years. Funding would be from the Parks Department Budget. The group will hold a landowners meeting on 12-3-02 to discuss the project and they would like to be able to present the option at that time. Sawatzke attended one of the Trails meetings at which Jude indicated the County was not the driving force behind the trail plan. Sawatzke felt it may appear that way through the request being presented today. Mattice said someone needs to be the fiscal agent for the land and funds raised. For long term, he envisioned the trail becoming part of the Parks system. Sawatzke said if the grant is received, he wanted the Board to realize that this would be an expensive project. The project would be built to Federal Standards and require an 80/20 match. The 20% could be matched with the Regional Trail Grant resulting in a 10% match. The group has held fundraisers and the City of Clearwater has provided the match for the first phase. He hoped that the City of Monticello would also participate. NSP will be contacted for public use of the trail that goes through their land. Any funds expended beyond the request today would have to be presented for Board approval. Jude moved to approve the request to use the option to purchase right-of-way for the trail, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 11-13-02. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0:

Pay-For-Stay. Torfin and Miller presented a Pay-For-Stay Proposal. After review of the Proposal, the Committee recommends the following: 1) Implement the Pay-For-Stay program at $20/Day; 2) Use Superior Billing, Inc. in lieu of hiring an Accounts Receivable Clerk and the software package; 3) Set an implementation date when the Sheriff notifies the Board that they are ready with the program.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, explained that Committee meeting days are normally the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. The second Wednesday of the month, the Board will be attending the AMC Conference. The 4th Wednesday of the month is Christmas. Norman requested that the Committee date be rescheduled to 12-18-02 which is the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Eichelberg moved to approve the request, seconded by Sawatzke, carried unanimously.

At 9:30 A.M., the Public Hearing was held for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Years 2003-2007. Gruber distributed a revised schedule which reflected the purpose, the planning process, the project summary, State of MN involvement, and the financing of the Plan. Appendix A outlined the items included in the project and estimated dates of completion, for a total of $2,450,000. Completion of the CIP required designating when projects would be completed; however, these dates are estimates and can be changed. The remodeling plan ($1,600,000) will entail two phases. Phase I is to include the remodel of the area vacated by the Court Services and Attorney Departments and will be remodeled for Extension, Veteran Services, and a portion of the Sheriff Department. Phase II covers the 1st Floor, Annex, for the License Bureau, Planning & Zoning, Information Technology and Law Library (to include area vacated by Extension). Phase II also includes 2nd floor, Annex, for the Auditor/Treasurer. This office will obtain space vacated by Veterans Service and some internal offices will be moved. The Assessor's Office will also have a wall removed and work area expanded. The remodeling project will include replacement of heat pumps and lighting on the 1st & 2nd Floors, Annex, and the upgrade of the Fire Alarm System.

In response to Sawatzke, Gruber indicated that Springsted used a boiler plate to draft the Plan. Sawatzke referenced page 9 and language associated with the condition of the courthouse walkways and parking lots. Sawatzke felt the Plan made it sound as though the sidewalks and lots were in disrepair and decades old when this was not the case. Norman and Gruber both commented that the CIP is made generic to provide a flexible planning process for the bond issue. After further discussion, Gruber said he would change the language to be more specific to the Jail recreation area..

Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, questioned the process of addressing the future of Jail space as this was not included in the CIP. It was explained that the CIP proposed is for remodeling and upkeep of the current building. The issue of the Jail would be a separate project of its own. When the Jail was built, it was done through referendum and not through the CIP process.

Gruber referenced Appendix B outlining the debt service schedule with the first payment being due in 2004. The bonds will be issued in early 2003 and interest will accumulate until the first payment. The payment schedule is approximately $183,000 to $188,000 per year. Through refinancing of the 1992 and 1993 bonds through 2011, the savings is almost $200,000 per year. Therefore, a spike in the levy will not be realized. Sawatzke said this would be the case assuming the County bonds for everything. Gruber concurred and said that the County can issue for a lesser bond but this is the maximum amount that the County is seeking. After approval of the CIP, the Board will proceed to decide specifically what projects will be completed and a more specific schedule will be determined. The Public Hearing was closed at 9:48 A.M.

Jude moved to adopt Resolution #02-68 approving the CIP Plan noting the language change on page 9, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A meeting was held at the Stone Arch Bridge yesterday and attended by Russek, Mattson, the DNR, the Army Corp of Engineers, Jim Moy and property owners downstream of the bridge. Those downstream expressed concern of more water being directed their way. The Army Corp of Engineers has a program available to perform a study of the area which would be completed in 4-6 months, requiring no County dollars. Jim Moy said that he understood the study may take 2-5 years to complete. Mattson responded that the initial study would not take that long. However, if the Army Corp of Engineers were to assist long term on resolving any issues, the time frame then is pushed out. Moy said he did not feel the issue was whether or not flooding would occur again, it was when flooding would occur, especially due to development. Moy said the State put a 126-foot culvert under Highway #12 and the culvert under CR #8 is 96-99 feet. The next culvert is approximately half of that size. Moy thanked the Board for the effort expended thus far and said he would return next Spring to discuss the issue. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to direct Genell Reese to proceed with requesting the Army Corp to perform a study of the area.

Bills Approved

Amerigas 476.10

Ancom Communications, Inc. 23,023.68

Ancom Technical Center 497.02

Apec Corporation 478.08

Appraisal Concepts, Inc. 2,700.00

AT&T 116.11

AT&T - Unversal Biller 5,143.90

B&B Products, Inc. 1,897.09

B&B Sheetmetal & Roofing 339.00

B&D Plumbing & Heating 267.00

Best, Inc. 4.459.44

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 119.83

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 1,489.45

CDW Government, Inc. 258.69

Center Point Energy 2,311.61

Central McGowan, Inc. 110.32

Century Fence Company 7,618.70

Chamberlain Oil Co. 1,604.39

Collins Brothers Towing 125.67

Construction Bulletin 175.00

H Cragg Co. 940.00

Crescent Electric Supply Co. 152.16

Dales Auto Service, Inc. 198.50

Richard Demarais 290.36

Derson Manufacturing, Inc. 459.60

Diamond Mowers, Inc. 118.00

Digital River 169.34

Election Systems & Software In 15,565.14

Epa Audio Visual, Inc. 130.38

Exemplar International, Inc. 152.00

Exxon Mobil 524.31

Facility Systems, Inc. 7,925.30

Farm Rite Equipment 144.99

Foremost Sales And Service 263.78

Frontier Precision, Inc. 119.26

Fyles Excavating & Honey Wagon 897.75

Gateway Companies, Inc. 988.33

Gopher State Waterjetting 345.00

W Grainger, Inc. 392.22

Granite Pest Control Services 104.37

Haegele Underground, Inc. 2,500.00

Hickory Tech 189.92

Holt Motors, Inc. 159.75

Indelco Plastics Corp 936.16

Int'l Assn. Of Assessing Ofcrs. 155.00

Mark Johnson 400.00

Richard Johnson 200.00

Greg Kramber 108.43

Lake Region Co-op Oil 173.90

LaPlant Demo Inc 548.00

The Lawrence Group 11,178.20

Maco 1,800.00

Frank Madden & Associates 1,364.60

Marco Business Products 525.99

McCombs Frank Roos Associates 13,729.10

Meeker County Sheriff 9,480.98

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 734.50

Midwest Childrens Resource Cen 800.00

MinnComm Paging 565.89

MN Department Of Revenue 100.00

W Gis-Lis Conference 190.00

MN Transportation Alliance 750.00

Nat'l Soc Of Professn'l Engnrs 250.00

North American Salt Co. 1,461.14

Office Depot 2,947.56

Omann Brothers, Inc. 520.58

Onyx 7,447.28

Phillips Petroleum Company 582.39

PMI Computer Supplies 348.21

Powerplan 223.32

Qwest 6,789.35

R&L Dirtworks 450.00

Record Preservation, Inc. 358.62

Retrofit Recycling, Inc. 4,603.49

Carol Richards 600.00

Rowekamp Associates, Inc. 4,275.98

Royal Tire, Inc. 1 144.75

RS Eden 1 260.00

Russells Lock & Key 7,134.40

Ronald Smith 338.49

Software House Internatonal In 1,543.20

State Of Minnesota Ltd. 326.84

Streichers 722.07

Alma Sturman 600.00

Uniforms Unlimited 211.35

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 360.00

Utility Systems Of America 39,993.54

Verizon Wireless 501.81

Weather Watch, Inc. 1,920.00

Daniel Weber 103.02

James Weinberger 222.70

Western Container Company 327.49

Wright-Hennepin Electric 2,813.08

Xcel Energy 1 347.81

Ken Yager 1 125.00

31 Payments Less Than $100 1,501.99

Final Total $224,037.75

The meeting adjourned at 9:56 A.M.

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