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Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 18, 2003

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

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 2-11-03, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A5, "Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Understanding, Teamsters Local 320, Allowing Donation Of Vacation Time" (Norman); Consent Agenda Item A6, "Authorize Board Chair Signature On First Time Home Buyers Commitment Agreement" (Norman); Item For Consid. #5, "Set Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting" (Norman); Item For Consid. #6, "Set Committee Of The Whole Meeting RE: Open Meeting Law" (Mattson); Item For Consid. #7, "Report On Planning Commission Conference" (Russek). Russek moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Heeter requested that Item B1, " ATTORNEY: Authorize Signatures On Extension Of Current Dangerous Dog Contract" be pulled for discussion. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Barthel, M. Wuollet, Bld.Mt.; D. Hierlmaier, Ct. Admin.; B. Jans, D. Schmiginsky, Hwy.; T. Fedor, Parks; J. Hagerty, Pam Loch, Sher.; M. Silbernagel, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $4,137.57.

3. Authorize Delegates To Attend AMC Leg. Conf., 3/26-3/27/03, St. Paul.

4. Authorize Replacement For LaRae Fischer, Recorder Dept.


1. Tobacco Licenses: Delano Wine & Spirits (Delano City); Maple Lake VFW (Maple Lake City); Blackwoods Grill & Bar (Otsego); Silver Creek Corner Bar (Silver Creek Twp.).

Item B1, "ATTORNEY, Authorize Signatures On Extension Of Current Dangerous Dog Contract" was discussed. Heeter said she would be abstaining from the vote as she would be signing the contract as the President of the Crossroads Animal Shelter. Sawatzke moved to approve Item B1, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0 with Heeter abstaining.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board set the assessment interest rates for work completed on Jt. Ditch #14 and County Ditch #10. Work completed on Jt. Ditch #14 was for approximately $8800 and was located at the end of the outlet. On County Ditch #10, approximately mile was cleaned out north of County Rd. #30 at an approximate cost of $9000. Gruber requested that these assessments be spread over several years and carry an interest rate of 5%. If the assessments were run over a five-year period, they would run from $10 to $124 per year. Landowners would be sent a letter allowing payment within 30 days. Russek moved to set the interest rate for these assessments at 5%, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Gruber presented the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for approval. Mattson referenced page 25 reflecting some group's expenses being exactly the same as what was budgeted. Gruber stated that groups such as the Library, Initiative Foundation and Economic Development Partnership all have an exact amount budgeted. Those amounts are sent to them on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis and would be exactly the same as what was budgeted. Mattson referred to page 27, Highway Engineering, reflecting the temporary overtime line item as over budget. Gruber felt this may have something to do with the flooding as extra engineering costs were incurred with culvert replacements. Mattson referenced page 28, Miscellaneous Expenses-Highway Maintenance, showing a $620,000 balance when $6,500 was budgeted. Gruber responded that the culvert contract is included in this amount. Mattson moved to accept the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Mattson questioned a claim on page 15, SWCD, $1,425.00. Gruber said this fee relates to service on tax forfeited properties for certification of wells and wetlands. The fee is $50/parcel but costs can be recaptured from auction proceeds. Mattson questioned a claim on page 16, MN Transportation Alliance, $4,364.44, as to whether this amount is over and above the contract. Russek responded that Wright County is the fiscal agent and this payment may be out of the coalition fund. Mattson said Wright County should not be paying over the $10,000 which was approved. Mattson questioned a claim on page 17, St. Cloud APO, $40.00, for a Transportation Forum. Mattson serves on the 7W Transportation Planning Committee and that group is against the APO expanding into Wright County. Gruber said the claim is for a registration fee for the Highway Engineer to attend the 2003 Annual Statewide Transportation Forum on 2-21-03. Mattson will follow up with the Highway Engineer. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried unanimously.

Todd Hoffman, Sheriff Department, presented the results of the bids for the Evidence Room Storage System:

Vendor; Type of System; Bid Amount

Mid-America Business Systems; Kardex moveable storage system; $19,557.00

Haldeman-Homme; Spacesaver moveable storage system; $19,278.00

Hoffman explained that the Kardex system is metal and is currently used within the Sheriff and Court Administration departments. The Spacesaver system has wood sides. Hoffman recommended accepting the bid from Mid-America Business Systems as the system would be compatible with current systems for future use and because metal would be more desirable in the basement area because of water problems. Mattson moved to accept the bid from Mid-America Business Systems for $19,557.00 with the funding source from Budget 820, Site Improvements. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested approval of two grant resolutions for the following projects:

1) Clearwater/Pleasant for Play Structure Replacement, Disc Golf, and Archery Range. County share in 2004 will be $25,000 cash match if grant is approved by granting agency.

2) Ney Park Reclamation and Trail. County Share in 2004 if grant is approved by granting agency will be $16,000 to $20,000. This total match is both in-kind and cash. There will be $16,000 in the fund that was part of crop land rental for this match.

In October, 2002, the County Board authorized application for the grants. The resolutions being presented for approval are part of this process. The second part of the request is to set a public hearing date in March. Sawatzke referenced past action by the Board to approve this process and said at that time they did discuss the State's financial situation. He felt that they may need to reevaluate the grants and thought there may not be grant funding available. If the play structure is inadequate he thought it should be replaced but was unsure whether new programs should be started during a budget dilemma. Mattice explained that the play structure is approximately 90% of the $50,000 project cost. Regarding trail reclamation, Mattice explained that $16,000 would be funded through farm rental and the rest would be in-kind dollars. Sawatzke questioned the safety and liability of an archery range as it would not be supervised. Mattice responded that a number of surrounding counties have these ranges and have had no problem. Mattice said an extension was granted last year on the Ney Park grant with regard to the land being for public use. Eichelberg supported continuing with the application and felt the Board could make a decision on whether to proceed with the projects if the grants are approved. In response to a question of whether the golf and archery range should be included in the grant application, Mattice explained that they would not need to be but it may make the project more appealing to the governing board that reviews the applications. He felt it was also good to show legislators that needs still exist. The Parks Board discussed and prioritized projects. It was felt the archery range and disc golf were more beneficial to the area than paving the trails. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-12 for Clearwater/Pleasant for the Play Structure Replacement, Disc Golf and Archery Range. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #03-13 for the Ney Park Reclamation and Trail project. Sawatzke moved to schedule a public hearing on the grants for 3-11-03 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 2-11-03. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today's meeting follows. The following corrections were made to the minutes: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence, change from "2003" to "2002"; Page 2, 4th paragraph should read, "Recommendation: Approve replacement of the Office Assistant in the Recorder's Office."

Discuss Budget Ramifications Resulting From State Budget Deficit. Norman recommended that in dealing with the budget situation, the theme should be plan, prepare and don't panic. He felt cuts for 2003 could be handled with the real problem being in 2004 and 2005. Reviewed was a budget perspective prepared by Peggy Ingersol, the State Budget Director, which had been presented at a 2-07-03 meeting. Norman proposed strategies to include: 1) Revenues - perform a trend analysis, analyze Fees For Service, and maximize reimbursables; 2) Review of Expenditures to include Personnel, Operations (Purchases), and Programs/Projects. Also referred to this meeting were two requests to authorize replacement of employees who resigned and were pulled from the County Board/Human Services Board agendas. Mattson favored not filling a vacant position rather than layoffs. Eichelberg said employees are needed in departments bringing in revenue and they cannot be overloaded even more. The suggestion was made for departments to review their budgets to see where cuts could be made and for a plan to be developed between now and July 1st. Another item discussed was review of end of year budget results. At the Committee meeting, a motion by Sawatzke failed with split support to push the July 1st hire date for new positions back to October 1st. Further discussion followed on the effects of that action. Recommendation: Approve replacement of the Office Assistant in the Recorder's Office.

Review End Of Year Budget Results. Reviewed were the 2002 year end summaries for General Revenue, Road & Bridge, and Human Services. The turnback amount is a little over $1.2 million. Gruber recommended that Budget Committee Of The Whole (BCOTW) meetings be held with departments to discuss 2002 year end budget revenue and expenditures and possible areas for 2003 budget reductions. Recommendation: Pay off the balance of the Stemper property purchase from Capital Improvement, and fund GIS equipment and evidence room storage from Budget 820, Site Improvement. Norman will develop a schedule of BCOTW meetings with each department following Tuesday Board Meetings.

At today's Board meeting, discussion followed on positions which have a scheduled start date of 7-1-03 in the 2003 budget. For the positions to be filled by that date, Sawatzke felt advertisements might start in May and the Legislature would not be adjourned by that time. He did not feel advertisement could be done until the State's financial situation is known. He suggested that these positions instead have a 10-1-03 start date, which would also result in savings to the County for the three months those employees would not be hired. He felt the budget crisis was considerably worse than when the 7-1-03 start date had been established for the new positions. Sawatzke serves on the AMC Environment and Natural Resources Committee and said that funding will be lost for grants, SCORE, WACA, Shoreland Management, Water Management Planning and the Feedlot Program. Sawatzke said he would be open to review potentially filling new positions in place of other vacated positions which are less important. Sawatzke did not feel delay of furniture and equipment purchases to next year would save money long term. Russek backed the proposal at the Committee meeting to delay the start dates until 10-01-03. He did not feel an employee should be hired in July with the chance of laying them off in October. Sawatzke moved to approve the accuracy and content of the BCOTW minutes noting the change on page 2, seconded by Russek. The motion and second were amended to include changing the 4th paragraph on page 2 to read, "Recommendation: Approve replacement of the Office Assistant position in the Recorder's Office." The motion carried 5-0. Discussion led to the positions with a 7-1-03 start date in the 2003 budget. Sawatzke felt departments should be informed that if these positions may be more important to fill than another position opening, the Board would be willing to review that request. Sawatzke moved for the positions in the budget with a 7-1-03 start date be delayed until 10-1-03 and to request Department Heads to provide input at the BCOTW meetings if there is a desire to fill those positions instead of other open positions. The motion was seconded by Russek. Eichelberg said Norman will schedule BCOTW meetings with all Department Heads prior to May when the positions would be advertised. At that time, a determination can be made on which positions might be filled. Eichelberg said he would vote against the motion at this time. Mattson also did not support the motion at this time as he felt the decision could be made after the BCOTW meetings. Heeter supported the motion, stating that the motion could be rescinded once more budget detail is known. The motion carried 3-2 with Eichelberg and Mattson casting the nay votes.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 2-12-03. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Weekend Snow Removal, Melvin reported that from the November OSHA inspection the County received a citation for not providing adequate snow removal at the Sheriff's Department and Jail entrances and also the east alley. The County is required to develop a plan for weekend snow removal and submit a Progress Report. The possibility of having the snow shoveled by inmates was investigated and determined to not be a favorable solution. The other option is to have the work done by the custodial staff. Buskey stated he has talked with his staff and several have volunteered for weekend snow removal. It was noted this would require overtime pay. It was clarified this would need to be on a voluntary basis and not on call, and that Buskey would determine when custodians needed to be called in. The intent is that a path be shoveled to these two entrances and not that all sidewalks are cleared. The difficulty of plowing around vehicles in the parking lots and whether vehicles should be towed or tagged was also discussed. Melvin stated the end of February he will be making an appeal to OSHA regarding the citation on snow removal at the east alley. The Attorney's Office has confirmed the alley is city property and Melvin has received an official survey from the Surveyor's Office for that meeting. Recommendation: Implement weekend snow removal with voluntary custodial staff on an overtime basis under the direction of Buskey.

Summary of Loss Control Survey. Melvin presented a summary of the loss control survey conducted on December 6, 2002 by Dan Morgan from MCIT. The summary lists on a department-by-department basis items they feel could be identified as violations by an OSHA investigator. He stated fire extinguishers are mentioned several times noting that rather than an annual inspection OSHA wants monthly inspections. In reviewing the summary it was felt the items mentioned were few and minor considering the number and size of the County buildings. Recommendation: Follow up on the recommendations from MCIT and document they have been done.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 2-12-03. The following correction was made to Page 1, Item 1, 1st sentence should read, "Sawatzke stated one reason he requested this item be referred to Committee was due to the number of members on the Task Force with backgrounds in the solid waste industry." The minutes and discussion at today's meeting follow:

At the start of the meeting there was discussion regarding the open meeting law and disputed whether or not Eichelberg could be in attendance. Prior to the meeting Eichelberg had requested clarification from Asleson. Asleson stated it has been the practice for Commissioners to not attend committee meetings they are not members of but the law does not specifically prohibit other members of a governing body from attending as it is a pubic meeting and open to all citizens. Mattson was opposed to Eichelberg's attendance and left the meeting and returned after Eichelberg deferred and left the meeting. Sawatzke expressed general concern that with a third Commissioner in attendance recommendations could become absolutes without the other two Commissioners knowledge. The general feeling was that if a third Commissioner wanted to attend a committee meeting because of a particular issue that it would be best to schedule a Committee Of The Whole meeting. Asleson cautioned, however, to not get into a situation where the whole Board attends all meetings because of conflict with the open meeting law.

Solid Waste Task Force Members. Sawatzke stated one reason he requested this item be referred to Committee was due to the number of members on the Task Force with backgrounds in the solid waste industry. He noted that from reviewing past County Board Minutes it appears past reappointments were automatic renewals and it is unclear who and how many represent the solid waste industry and in what category the current vacancy exists. There was discussion on whether there is a need for the Solid Waste Task Force to continue since it was established as a result of State Legislation in 1983 and circumstances have changed. It was felt that citizen involvement in this area is beneficial and that it would be better to revise the meeting schedule than eliminate the Task Force.

Solid Waste By-Laws. Each section of the by-laws was reviewed for revision with discussion primarily on frequency of meetings and committee membership. The following revisions were made: 1) Article I - combine Sections1 & 2 regarding frequency of meetings; 2) Article III - remove Section 1 regarding annual review of Rules of Procedure; 3) Article III - Section 2 Amendments: add approval of County Board. Article IV - Membership recommended changes were: Section 1 - B. clarify 5 members - 1 from each Commissioner District; D. reworded to clarify representing city government; E. reworded to clarify representing township government; add F. 1 member-at-large representing the neighborhood near the operating landfill and compost facility. Sentence to be added following F. stating that under no circumstance will a Commissioner District have more than 3 members represented on the Task Force including the Commissioner. Section 2. C - the word "initially" was removed. Section 3 wording changed to "miss three consecutive meetings". With the addition of a member-at-large the Task Force membership will total 11. The current membership was reviewed to identify which membership category they represented and in which two categories there are vacancies. In several instances, it is unclear whether an individual represents a Commissioner District, the city, township or the waste industry. It was suggested each Commissioner identify who represents their District and then match up the other categories. There was discussion on membership criteria and whether or not a member must reside in the County or meets the criteria if employed in the County. Davis suggested he contact each current members regarding their interest in continuing on the Solid Waste Task Force before there is further discussion regarding membership categories or reviewing terms. Recommendation: Continue today's meeting until March 12, 2003, 11:00 A.M. Davis to revise the by-laws with recommended changes for further review, and to contact current Task Force members prior to March 12th.

Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes noting the one correction, seconded by Russek. Lengthy discussion followed between Sawatzke and Eichelberg regarding the makeup and convening of the SWTF. Eichelberg referenced the direction of the Board last April to have an RFP drafted. The Committee met in May and the minutes received a month ago did not list who met. In addition, the bylaws were written based on the May revisions and according to the minutes, were not completed until November. He questioned whether the Committee had reviewed them and why the Board had not received the RFP revisions at that time. He said the purpose of the RFP was to attempt to utilize the Compost Facility in some fashion and a motion was made by this Board to work on the RFP so revenue could be generated. He also questioned why the SWTF would need an 11th member. In review of the Commissioner districts, three of the districts touch the area around the landfill and felt that someone could be appointed from this area. Eichelberg referenced what he called automatic renewals of terms on the SWTF in 1999 and 2000 which were not brought to the Board for approval. He questioned who had this authority. Eichelberg thought that membership criteria discussion was vague relating to County residence or employment. He questioned why the makeup of the SWTF wasn't a concern until he brought forth his first appointment in four years. He felt the appointment could have been made and still had review of the SWTF membership. Eichelberg felt a Committee Of The Whole meeting should be held to discuss the bylaws and to come up with a majority consensus on them. Sawatzke felt some of Eichelberg's statements were inaccurate including the reference to the SWTF working on the bylaws. Sawatzke said there was a special committee formed to draft an RFP for use of the Compost Facility. The bylaws are what were referred to the Ways & Means Committee. He was unsure why it took the length of time it did to develop the RFP but said he and Russek had inquired on the status several times. Sawatzke felt Eichelberg had as much power to deal with the process as the remainder of the Board. Sawatzke supported the addition of an at-large member to the SWTF representing those who live in the vicinity of the landfill. He referenced the waste industry position reserved on the SWTF and felt residents in the landfill area should also have a dedicated position. Heeter stated that she was the one that asked for this issue to be referred to the Ways & Means Committee for review and clarity of the bylaws and that it had nothing to do with the appointment Eichelberg had presented. Heeter supported the inclusion of the at-large member representing those who live near the landfill. Mattson said although he could not find minutes to support it, he felt that he had brought this type of membership forth previously and that residents in that area should be represented. The motion carried 4-1 with Eichelberg casting the nay vote.

Russek submitted his resignation from the SWTF and moved to appoint Eichelberg to fill the position, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Request For Proposals (RFP's) for the Owners Representative for the Government Center remodel were due by 2-14-03 at 4:30 P.M. Seven firms have submitted proposals. Russek moved to schedule a Building Committee Of The Whole meeting for 2-24-03 at 2:30 P.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. Norman will provide copies of the RFP's to the Board for review and ranking prior to the meeting. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, and the Attorney's Office will also be involved in the process.

Sawatzke moved to appoint Heeter to the U.S. Hwy. 10/I-94 River Crossing Committee (replacing Jude). The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

No action was taken on proceeding with a date for County Day at the Capitol. It was the consensus to meet with the legislative delegation during attendance at the AMC Legislative Conference, March 26 & 27.

On a motion by Heeter, second by Mattson, all voted to schedule Budget Committee Of The Whole meetings following Tuesday Board meetings with Department Heads to review their budgets. The first meeting will be held on 2-25-03 at 10:30 A.M. Norman will draft Committee schedules and assign times for different departments to meet with the Board. The larger departments will be scheduled first (Road & Bridge and Human Services).

On a motion by Heeter, second by Mattson, all voted to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 3-12-03 at 1:30 P.M. to discuss the open meeting law.

On 2-13-03, Russek attended an MCIT Forum for planning commission members. There was discussion on the open meeting law and what constitutes a violation. The focus of the conference was to review planning commission issues.

Bills Approved

Aggregate & Ready Mix of Minne 185.00

Albertville body Shop, Inc. 673.20

American Bio Medica Corporatio 442.50

AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 14,696.60

Ancom Communications, Inc. 2795.66

Anderson Engineering, LLC 1023.84

Annandale Advocate 110.60

Annandale City 966.60

Anoka County Juvenile Center 452.00

Benton County Treasurer 1550.00

BEST, Inc. 5078.70

Boyer Truck Parts 103.44

Buffalo Bituminous 30,169.47

Buffalo Hospital 7897.00

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 114.30

Buffalo City 601.68

Catco Parts Service 697.09

CDW Government, Inc. 461.60

Center Point Energy 2114.26

Centra Sota Lake Region, LLC 28,067.95

Central McDowan, Inc. 152.57

Climate Air 2805.07

Cokato Township 577.40

Conoco, Inc. 129.11

Copymed Incorporated 153.34

H Cragg Co. 6219.60

Cragun's Lodging & Conference 724.26

Crow River Tools 628.48

Daley Enterprises, Inc. 101.18

Decorative Designs, Inc. 175.53

Delano Municipal Utilities 300.00

Design Electric, Inc. 158.13

East Central Regional Juvenile 6194.00

Enterprise Dispatch 510.84

Farm Rite Equipment 4719.33

Frontier Precision, Inc. 593.47

G&K Services 1496.35

Gholson, Janet 241.20

Greenview, Inc. 531.16

Head Lites Corporation 189.14

Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. 571.33

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 476.35

Holt Motors, Inc. 225.00

Jerry's Towing & Repair 101.18

JR's Appliance Disposal, Inc. 1290.00

Kandiyohi Cty Sheriffs Departm 22,320.00

KNR Communications Services In 675.52

Kramber, Greg 273.27

Kustom Signals, Inc. 1822.31

Lee's Farm & Garden Store 1456.82

Loberg Electric 5099.14

Lynch, Mike 175.00

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 905.03

Marco Business Products 678.09

Marks Standard Parts 4363.18

Martin0McAllisters Consulting 1050.00

Meeker County Sheriff 3300.00

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 718.25

MinnComm Paging 747.47

Minnesota Cle 195.00

Mitchell 1 727.30

MN Transportation Alliance 4474.44

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 203.10

Morries Buffalo Ford Mercury 180.12

Motorola, Inc. 2918.96

MTI Distributing, Inc. 117.03

National Assn. of Cty. Engineers 350.00

Norman, Richard 124.39

North American Salt Co. 17,272.54

Office Depot 1906.06

Olsen Chain & Cable Co., Inc. 332.89

Qwest 7480.86

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 147.61

Reds Auto Electric 122.81

Record Preservation, Inc. 577.52

Royal Tire, Inc. 2535.31

RWS Investigation LTD 415.00

Sherburne County Sheriff 8617.70

Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 5031.00

State of MN 536.66

State of MN Intertech Group 841.80

Stepp Mfg. Company, Inc. 331.26

Streichers 4187.90

Total Printing 1722.60

Uniforms Unlimited 1928.86

Waste Management TC West 698.10

Voss Lighting 152.64

Weighing Systems & Services 6650.00

West Group Payment Center 907.91

Wray, David Automotive, Inc. 1624.41

Wright-Hennepin Electric Assn. 4379.62

Wright Soil & Water Cons. Dist. 1425.00

47 payments less than $100 2175.57

Final Total $256,654.30

The meeting adjourned at 10:46 A.M.

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