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Wright County Board Minutes

JANUARY 14, 2003

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Mattson, Russek and Sawatzke present. Commissioner Eichelberg was absent.

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 1-07-03, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested a Closed Session at the end of the meeting relating to pending litigation. Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke requested that the following items be pulled for discussion: A2, "Approve Contract Amend. No. 1, Buetow & Assoc., $37,500; Authorize Signatures"; A3, "Approve Contract Amend. No. 2, Buetow & Assoc., $10,500; Authorize Signatures"; A4, "Claim, Buetow & Assoc., $9,375"; and A5, "Claim, Buetow & Assoc., $2,625." On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: D. McCalla, Aud./Treas.; M. Abraham, Ct Admin.; D. Anderson, R. Bonk, W. Workman, Hwy.; K. Heaton, K. Kremer, D. Lange, S. Quern, M. Steffer, P. Walker, Sher.; J. Carpenter, B. Petersen, Sher./Corr.; D. Evjen, Surv.

6. Claim, Frank Madden, $3,310.81.


1. Tobacco License Renewals: Divot's Bar & Grill, 152 Club, Coborn's Liquor (Albertville City); Holiday Stationstore #254, Flintstone's Lounge, Circle C Convenience Center, Clearwater Travel Plaza (Clearwater City); The Marketplace (Cokato City); Cokato Lake Camping & RV Resort ( Cokato Twp.); Lake Center Bar & Grill (Corinna Twp.); Tobacco Warehouse, Holiday Stationstore #214, Delano Bowling Center (Delano City); Roger's Amoco, Madigan's Pub & Grill (Maple Lake City); HiWay Liquor, Hawk's Sports Bar & Grill, Holiday Stationstore #196, Monticello American Legion Post #260 (Monticello City); Wright County VFW Post #1901 (Montrose City); D&R Liquor, Riverwood Inn & Conference Center, Tom Thumb #287, Riverview Liquor (Otsego City); J. Michael Tavern & Grill, Red Vest Bar & Grill (Rockford City); Dale's Wine & Spirits, Tom Thumb #296, Circle C Convenience Center, Hi 101 Liquor (St. Michael City); South Haven Municipal Liquor, South Haven Conoco LLC (South Haven City); Rocky's Bar & Grill, Pete's Grocery (Waverly City).


1. Accept & Sign 2002 Annual County Feedlot Officer's Report.

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

A. Approve Request To Rezone Approx. 50 Acres From AG & S-2 To A/R & S-2, Leon Stumpf (Clearwater Twp.).

B. Approve Request To Rezone Entire Property From AG To I-1, Great River Energy (Rockford Twp.).

C. Approve Request To Rezone Approx. 16 Acres From AG to R-2, Roger A. Georges (Franklin Twp.).


1. Approve Sentencing To Service Contract; Authorize Signatures.

Discussion followed on Consent Items A2, "Approve Contract Amend. No. 1, Buetow & Assoc., $37,500; Authorize Signatures", A3, "Approve Contract Amend. No. 2, Buetow & Assoc., $10,500; Authorize Signatures," A4, "Claim, Buetow & Assoc., $9,375," and A5, "Claim, Buetow & Assoc., $2,625." Sawatzke referenced a recent meeting held on the Government Center remodeling where heat pump and lighting replacement was discussed. The plan is to temporarily move staff out of the offices while remodeling occurs. Sawatzke said this had not been discussed previously. He questioned whether the Board should revisit completing the replacements in some areas if it will cause disruption. Russek responded that many of the heat pumps are beyond their 20-year expectancy and will have to be replaced. The efficiency of the new heat pumps are projected to have a 3-4 year payback on energy savings. With reconfiguration, the heat pumps will be placed in the optimum location for maintenance and will be connected to a central control for efficiency. Sawatzke said he was disappointed that the Board was not informed of the disruption. Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, said that he was unsure whether it originally was the Architect's recommendation that all departments move. After the recent meeting on remodeling, it was the consensus of the group that moving departments would result in a quicker remodel, less cost and less disruption. The plan is that staff from Building Care & Maintenance will move the departments. Sawatzke referenced the request to approve the contract for $37,500 for the improvements and the request for payment for 25% of the work. He questioned how 25% of the work could be completed when the contract has not been signed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, responded that when the Board approved the minutes for replacement of the heat pumps and light fixtures, the Architect proceeded with preliminary work for bids. Both the electrical and mechanical engineers have been on site working on the plans for the bid specifications. Sawatzke questioned whether the minutes reflected a specific dollar amount for the work. Norman responded that the Architect told us he would be bringing the Board the figure. Sawatzke felt this figure should be agreed upon before the work begins and payment for 25% of the work is made. Norman said the figure could be applied to the estimated cost of the project to see what percentage is being charged. The three items included in the amendment include the heat pumps, replacement of existing light fixtures, and the replacement of the existing fire alarm system. Lighting will be bid as an alternate. Russek moved to approve Consent Items A2, A3, A4, and A5, seconded by Heeter, carried 4-0.

Gruber presented a draft resolution and handout relating to tax forfeit parcels in townships. Those properties with the 200 series are non-conservation parcels. The minimum selling prices are also listed as determined by the Board, Assessor and Gruber. With the Board's approval, the tax forfeit property listing will be forwarded to the State. This information has been provided to the DNR as they are involved with properties that are under water. A sale will be held in late spring on all of the tax forfeit parcels. Cities and townships have first option before they proceed to public sale. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #03-01, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.

Gruber said the Board has already approved the sale of tax forfeit parcels in cities (those properties with the 100 number series). At the time the sale was approved, the appraised values had not been determined. Russek moved to approve the minimum bid prices for the parcels, seconded by Heeter, carried 4-0.

Gruber presented for approval a claim from Fyle's Excavating & Honey Wagon ($5600) for work completed on Ditch #19. When approval was obtained for repair, the proposal was open ended as it was unclear as to the amount of work required west of County Road #3. The bid was submitted with an estimate and the actual bill includes 200' of additional repairs at $5.00/foot ($1000). Gruber was contacted when the work was being completed and authorized repair of further blockage. Russek moved to authorize payment of the claim, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Gruber referenced page 8, National Camera Exchange ($2704.93), for the purchase of cameras and supplies coded to operating supplies under the Sheriff's Department. In review of the claim, Gruber felt the claim should be coded as an equipment purchase. Mattson questioned whether this type of purchase is reviewed by Committee. Gruber responded that it would not be necessary to send this to committee for approval, that cameras are purchased by various departments. Mattson said he serves on the Technology Committee and would like to see some type of explanation when higher dollar values are involved. Bill Swing, Information Technology, said that his concern would be whether the equipment should be standardized to allow for compatibility with other equipment throughout the County. Russek thought these may be cameras used in squad cars. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, and directed Gruber and Swing to verify the compatibility of the cameras with County equipment. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-0.

Bill Swing, Information Technology, requested approval to move to Microsoft Word as the County's standard word processor. Currently, Wordperfect is the most widely used software system in County offices. A software system survey was completed on 65 counties. The results reflected that 62 counties are currently using Microsoft Word. Swing said the conversion will take 12-18 months. Swing has met with all departments and the consensus is to proceed. The County currently pays $238/license for Wordperfect but will pay $163/license under the Microsoft agreement, resulting in a savings of approximately $30,000. The County is not paying for any more Wordperfect licenses but rather working off the licenses purchased three years ago. Swing said that the Court Services Department must switch to Word to be compatible with Strategic Technologies. Other positives would include less training effort with new hires and the sharing of documents being more facilitated. Swing said the County would enter into an agreement with the State of Minnesota through the enrollment form. The strategy of implementing Word into departments is still being worked out. Other costs associated with the transfer to Word will include training and the need for minimum hardware configuration of Windows 98. Swing said upgrading would be an issue either way and that there would not be an increase in computer purchases because of the switch. Swing felt approximately 30% of staff have Windows 95. The main issue will be document conversion. Heeter moved to approve Microsoft Word as the County's standard word processor, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to authorize signatures on the Microsoft State & Local Government Select Enrollment Form.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested approval of two resolutions of support for transportation enhancement projects for federal funding for FY 2006. At the Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting held last Friday, presentations were made by the River County Regional Trail Group and Maple Lake representatives for their trail projects. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution 03-02, resolution of support from the sponsoring agency for the River County Regional Trail Project. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-03, resolution of support from sponsoring agency for the Maple Lake/Wright County Trail Development Project-Phase II. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote. Fingalson explained that a prioritization of the two projects is required. The TCOTW recommends the River County Regional Trail Group project be placed on a higher priority. Russek moved to place the River County Regional Trail Group project as the first priority and the Maple Lake/Wright County Trail Development Project-Phase II as the second priority. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 4-0.

At the TCOTW meeting, a list of projects on the ten-year plan was presented for review to determine which should be submitted for Federal TEA-21 Funding for FY 2006. The newly revised rating system developed for the ATP was used. Two projects were identified to be submitted. The first is the Highway 19 project to include four-lane urban construction between TH 241 and 57th Street in St. Michael and Albertville. The total cost identified for the projects is $3,000,000 with the Federal portion being $2,400,000. The second will be the CSAH 40 bridge project on the Stearns County line. The total cost identified for the CSAH 40 project is $200,000 with the Federal portion being $160,000. Mattson moved to approve the identified projects as candidate projects for submittal to Mn/DOT to apply for Federal TEA-21 Funding for FY 2006, seconded by Russek. Fingalson referenced several other intersections which were to be submitted as projects by Mn/DOT for funding (Intersection of CSAH 37 and Hwy. 25, Intersection of Hwy. 55 and Hwy. 12, Intersection of Hwy. 55 and CR 147, Intersection of Hwy. 55 and CR 134). However, a list of 100 locations have been identified which have more crashes and therefore these intersections will not be submitted by MnDOT. Although Wright County can submit them for funding, these projects would have competed with the County's projects. Fingalson felt that since State highways were involved, the projects should be through Mn/DOT. It was his recommendation not to submit these projects. The motion carried 4-0.

A Building Of The Whole meeting was held on 1-7-03. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 4-0:

Discuss Potential Building Purchase. Kramber reviewed features and appraisal information on the building and property. There was discussion on future space needs of the County, new and remodeled construction costs per square foot, zoning restrictions, number of years remaining on TIF, the City's position on use of the property, and possibly touring the property at a future date. Recommendation: The meeting was recessed until January 21, 2003 at 10:30 A.M. for additional information to be obtained.

A Personnel meeting was held on 1-8-03. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0:

Sheriff's Request To Move Hiring Date From 7/1/03 to 2/1/03. One officer has been called to active duty for one year. Shifts are currently being filled using overtime. Recommendation: Approve request.

A Labor/Management Health Insurance meeting was held on 1-8-03. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 4-0:

Jim Stamos, Medica Account Representative, provided Committee members with renewal information for the forthcoming plan year of 3/1/03 - 2/29/04. The computation process conducted by underwriters supported a premium rate increase of 23.9% when considering all factors including medical inflation trend, Wright County utilization, pending large claims, etc. Medica initially offered a renewal rate increase of 20%, but lowered it to18% after communications with Norman and Brown. The 3 year average (2001 - 2003) of Wright County's rate increases is 9.47%. Medica has introduced a new prescription drug plan as an alternative to their existing plan. The new plan would require employees to pay a 20% co-pay for formulary prescription drugs, with a minimum co-pay of $10 and a maximum of $25. Members would pay the full cost of non-formulary drugs. The limited network of available dentists continues to be a problem for employees seeking preventative dental services. Medica has been unable to resolve this issue as area dentists do not wish to be participating providers within Medica's network.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-04 authorizing Todd Hoffman to execute a cooperative agreement with the Office of Drug Policy & Violence Prevention in the MN Dept. of Public Safety. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to appoint Janice Severson as the City Representative on the River Rider Joint Powers Board.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-05 appointing Karla Heeter to the Central MN EMS Joint Powers Board. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.

On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to appoint Elmer Eichelberg as a Board Representative to the Central MN Jobs & Training Services. The Board meets March 14, June 13, September 12, and December 12 at 1:30 P.M. in Monticello.

Russek moved to set a Committee Of The Whole meeting for the purpose of a presentation by the Resource Conservation & Development Councils (RC&D). Norman was directed to establish a Tuesday date that will work either following the Board Meeting or in the afternoon. The second and third Tuesdays of the month do not work in the afternoon due to other committee meetings. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-0.

Russek moved to appoint Gordon Weber as a Planning Commission Replacement, District 4, pending receipt of a written resignation from Chuck VanHeel (current representative). The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-0.

Gruber provided the name of John Sundman as a potential appointment to the Solid Waste Task Force, filling the term for District 4. Sundman is the former owner of Best Disposal Services. Discussion followed on the makeup of the Committee. Sawatzke said the Solid Waste Task Force has members representing such areas as County Board, education, waste industry, cities and townships, etc. As it was unclear which representative from Eichelberg's district was being replaced, it was felt this issue should be laid over for discussion when Eichelberg was present. Sawatzke felt Sundman would be a good choice if the person from the waste industry was resigning. However, he may not be if it were the citizen representative resigning. Mattson moved to lay this issue over for one week for clarification by Davis, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0.

Bills Approved

Aarvig, Nadine 108.00

American Road & Trans. Builder 125.00

AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 7667.00

Ancom Technical Center 2066.38

Androc Products, Inc. 1124.33

Annandale Advocate 191.10

Annandale Rock Products 230.35

Assn. of Minnesota Counties 150.00

Audio Communications 738.05

Automatic Garage Door Company 303.05

B&D Plumbing & Heating 174.00

Batteries Plus 384.97

BEST, Inc. 9012.17

BLM Technologies, Inc. 214.70

BP Amoco 313.57

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 403.85

Buffalo City 21,195.95

Burdas Towing 121.41

Catco Parts Service 100.83

Center Point Energy 10,105.28

Centra Sota Lake Region, LLC 33,391.98

Cintas Corp No 470 291.54

Climate Air 2709.79

Cokato City 300.00

Corinna Township 190.00

Culligan of Buffalo 200.00

Deatons Mailing Systems, Inc. 709.00

Determan, Karen 132.94

Enterprise Dispatch 217.55

Envirotech Services, Inc. 6728.96

Ernst, Debbie 123.32

Farm Rite Equipment 214.85

Feddema, Tom 128.18

G&K Services 1199.21

GCS Service, inc. 198.00

Global, Inc. 1010.12

Glunz, Raymond 200.00

Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 113.50

GS Direct 106.51

Gullings Excavating 480.00

Jim Hatch Sales Company, Inc. 154.16

Imageware Systems, Inc. 8526.44

Interstate Battery Sys of Mpls 372.48

Jopp, Kimberly 119.68

Lake Region Coop Oil 101.05

Lakedale Telephone Company 424.60

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 598.92

Lee's Farm & Garden Store 456.68

M Litfin & Sons, Inc. 200.00

Loberg Plumbing & Heating Co. 1178.21

Magnetic North Education & Tra 1151.40

Marco Business Products 3431.36

Marks Standard Parts 780.28

Martin-McAllisters Consulting 1050.00

Meeker County Court Service 500.00

Menards 462.04

Minnesota Bookstore 213.00

MN Assn of CVSO 120.00

MN Counties Computer Co-op 2149.87

MN Dept. of Health 263.75

MN Highway Safety and Research 196.00

MN Recreation & Park Ass'n, Inc. 138.00

MN Transportation Alliance 2590.00

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 109.08

Monticello Times 311.50

Morrie's Buffalo Chrysler 379.14

Morrie's Buffalo Ford Mercury 481.77

National Ass'n of Counties 1352.00

National Camera Exchange 2704.93

Nextel Communications 116.88

North American Salt Co. 6961.53

Northern Tool & Equipment Co. 128.62

Office Depot 1494.47

Oryans Conoco 130.00

Pats 66 108.00

Pawelk, Lori 372.75

Performance Office Papers 501.19

Record Preservation, Inc. 395.28

Rockford Transport & Recovery 133.13

Rooney, Maureen 2158.00

Royal Tire, Inc. 812.06

Snowplows Plus 4308.46

Sprint 161.16

St. Cloud Times 169.00

State of MN Intertech Group 1712.66

Sterling Solutions, Inc. 600.00

Target 1480.00

Tom's Towing Service 367.40

Total Printing 1313.14

University of Minnesota 240.00

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 1150.82

Varner Sheet Metal, Inc. 315.00

Verizon Wireless 191.34

Vollbrecht, Shawna 125.00

Waste Management TC West 677.05

Wessman Oil Co. 152.36

West Group Payment Center 951.06

Westside Equipment 270.48

Wright County Highway Dept 23,273.90

Wright County Journal Press 315.95

Xcel Energy 353.16

Zep Manufacturing Company 434.44

4 M's Communications Company 128.25

48 payments less than $100 2108.98

Final Total $188,003.30

The meeting recessed at 10:21 A.M. A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held at 10:30 A.M. The County Board reconvened at 11:42 A.M. and the Board went into Closed Session relating to pending litigation. The meeting adjourned at 11:57 A.M.

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