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Wright County Board Minutes

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

The following correction was made to the minutes of 3-18-03: Page 4, 3rd paragraph, Court Administration, 4th sentence should read, "The State funds $330,000 worth of services" (Norman). Heeter moved to approve the minutes of 3-18-03, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item #7, "Authorize Hire, Gina M. Anderson, Court Attendant, Eff. 3-31-03, Class B, Step 1 " (Norman); Aud./Treas. Item #5, "2003 County Levy Adjustment" (Gruber); Aud./Treas. Item #6, Stemper Property Contract Payment" (Gruber); Item For Consid. #2, "Attendance, 2003 Annual Drainage, Wetland and Land Use Conference" (Heeter); Item For Consid. #3, "Update, Solid Waste Grant Legislation" (Asleson); Item For Consid. #4, "Set Committee Of The Whole Meeting With Outside Counsel RE: Superior Landfill" (Asleson). Gruber requested that Item C1 of the Consent Agenda be removed as it was approved last week, "Tobacco License: Cedar Creek Bar & Grill (formerly Divot's), Albertville City." Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda with the addition of Item A7 and removal of Item C1:


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Weber, W. LaSonne', Assessor; M. Elliott, Ct. Svcs.; M. Kaczmarek, T. Sandin, T. Wachter, Sheriff.

2. Refer To Building Committee The Letter From Don Mleziva RE: Government Center Building Security.

3. Approve Charitable Gambling Application LG 220, Friendship Ventures (Corinna Twp.).

4. Claim, DLR Group, Jail Windows, $1,058.99.

5. Authorize Signatures On Contract With Nelson Building & Development, Inc. For Government Center Remodeling Project.

6. O/T Report, Period Ending 3-14-03.

7. Authorize Hire, Gina M. Anderson, Court Attendant, Eff. 3-31-03, Class B, Step 1.


1. Move Elizabeth Larson (Liberato) From Attorney I To Attorney II, Eff. 3-25-03 (Step 1).


2. Tobacco License: Whispering Pines Golf Course (Corinna Twp.).


1. Acknowledge February Parks Commission Minutes.

2. Refer to 4-9-03 Ways & Means Committee Discussion RE: Historical Markers In Wright County Parks System.

3. Request Approval To Hire Seasonal Parks Maintenance Staff As Per 2003 Budget.


1. Approve Hire, Sharon Anderson, Office Assistant, Eff. 4-7-03 (Step 1).


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Robin McKay, Communications Officer, Eff. 4-1-03 (Step 1).

The Board Meeting was recessed at 9:06 A.M. and the Public Hearing was conducted for the Capital Improvement Plan. The County's intent is to issue bonds in the amount of $2,515,000 for remodeling of the County Government Center, replacement of the Schroeder Park septic system, improvements for the Public Works shop building, expansion of the Historical Society, and ground and concrete work around the Government Center.

Diane Kovyew, Buffalo resident, did not feel adequate notice was provided of the Hearing and also felt an evening meeting should have been held so more people could attend. She said the hearing was not announced in the Journal Press. Kovio requested additional clarification on the remodeling. She referenced the economic crisis, the State cuts and the impact on those who will lose their jobs or seniors with limited spending.

Eichelberg responded that the County's legal newspaper is the Howard Lake Herald and notices of public hearings are published there. Coverage in the Journal Press is provided through the article covering the Board meeting. John Sander, Springsted Financial Advisors, indicated that by law, the notice is published not less than 14 days and not more than 28 days from the date of the hearing. Residents are allowed to submit comments in writing and those would be submitted into record. The remodeling project will include portions of the I st and 2nd Floors, Annex, to include heat pumps, lighting, carpet, and increased space for departments. The former location of the Court Services and Attorney offices (Courthouse) will be remodeled for occupancy by the offices of Extension, Veterans Service/Civil Defense, and a portion for the Sheriff. Russek said in the past ten years, residents have realized a very low increase in County taxes. Doug Gruber, Auditor, said the County is required to levy for 105% of the bond payments. Historically, the County collects approximately 98% of the property taxes each year but a reserve is built for this purpose. With the refinancing and refunding of two bonds last November and early in 2003, it is projected that the County will not have to levy for payment of the $2,515,000 bonds until 2013. The reserves and savings realized by refunding will make the payments for this bond issue until that time. The Public Hearing was closed at 9:22 A.M. and the regular County Board meeting was resumed.

Sheriff Gary Miller presented James Carlen with a retirement plaque for his 30 years of service with Wright County (1973-2003). Carlen worked in dispatch, patrol deputy, court security, warrants & transfers, and court security. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2002. Miller spoke of the efficient division Carlen ran and thanked him for his loyalty and dedication. He said Carlen exemplifies what every peace office would like to be. Carlen is looking forward to retirement and spoke of the many friends he had made over the years, both citizens and co-workers. The message he passes along to new deputies is if they give respect they will receive respect. Carlen was thanked for his years of service.

John Sander, Springsted Financial Advisors, recommended the date and time for the sale of $2,515,000 General Obligation Capital Improvement Plan Bonds, Series 2003A, for 4-21-03 at 12:00 Noon, with consideration for award by the County Board on 4-2203 at 9:00 A.M. The bonds will mature annually December 1, 2004 through 2023. The bonds are being issued pursuant to MN Statutes, Chapter 475 and Section 373.40 and are being used to finance various capital improvement projects as outlined in the County's 2003-2007 Capital Improvement Plan. The Bonds will be general obligation of the County, to be paid from general ad valorem tax levies. The County will make its first levy for the Bonds in 2003 for collection in 2004. Other than the first interest payment due on 12-1-03 which will be paid with funds on hand, each year's first half tax levy collection will be used to make the interest payment due on June 1 and second half tax levy collection plus surplus first half tax levy collections will be used to make the principal and interest payment due December 1 in the year of collection. This cycle will continue for the life of the bonds. The County may elect on 12-1-13 and on any date thereafter, to prepay the Bonds due on 12-1-14 at a price of par plus accrued interest. The County's current general obligation credit rating is "A2." Since the County does not expect to issue more than $5 million in tax-exempt obligations in 2003, the County qualifies as a small issuer and is exempt from rebate. Proceeds will be reinvested at the highest interest rate available. Sander summarized the remainder of the recommendations for the bonds including the debt service schedule. Interest rates are estimated at 1.4% to 4.75%. It was noted that the figure in the first paragraph of the draft resolution will be changed to $2,515,000. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-22 giving preliminary approval for the issuance of the County's General Obligation Capital Improvement Bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,515,000 and providing for the competitive negotiated sale of $2,515,000 General Obligation Capital Improvement Bonds. The sale date and time will be 4-21-03 at 12:00 Noon, with consideration for award by the County Board on 4-22-03 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. The resolution reads as follows (the attachments referred to in the resolution are attached to the resolution and not to these minutes):

A. WHEREAS, the County Board of the County of Wright, Minnesota (the "County") proposes to issue its general obligation capital improvement plan bonds (the "Bonds"); and

B. WHEREAS, the County has caused notice of the public hearing on the intention to issue the Bonds to be published pursuant to and in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 373.40, Subdivision 2; and

C. WHEREAS, a public hearing on the intention to issue the Bonds has been held on this date, following published notice of the hearing as required by law; and

D. WHEREAS, the County Board of the County of Wright, Minnesota (the "County"), has heretofore determined that it is necessary and expedient to issue its $2,515,000 principal amount of General Obligation Capital Improvement Bonds to finance various capital improvement projects within the County; and

E. WHEREAS, the County has retained Springsted Incorporated, in Saint Paul, Minnesota ("Springsted"), as its independent financial advisor and is therefore authorized to sell these obligations by a competitive negotiated sale in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, Section 475.60, Subdivision 2(9).

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the County Board of the County of Wright, Minnesota as follows:

1. Preliminary Approval. The County hereby gives preliminary approval for the issuance of up to $2,515,000 aggregate principal amount of the Bonds.

2. Authorization. The County Board hereby authorizes Springsted to solicit proposals for the competitive negotiated sale of the Bonds.

3. Meeting; Proposal Opening. This County Board shall meet at the time and place specified in the Terms of Proposal attached hereto as Exhibit A for the purpose of considering sealed proposals for, and awarding the sale of, the Bonds. The Clerk or designee, shall open proposals at the time and place specified in such Terms of Proposal.

4. Terms of Proposal. The terms and conditions of the Bonds and the negotiation thereof are fully set forth in the "Terms of Proposal" attached hereto as Exhibit A and hereby approved and made a part hereof.

5. Official Statement. In connection with said competitive negotiated sale, the County Clerk and other officers or employees of the County are hereby authorized to cooperate with Springsted and participate in the preparation of an official statement for the Bonds, and to execute and deliver it on behalf of the County upon its completion.

Gruber requested approval of a permanent easement on Parcel #112-012-005071, which is a tax forfeit parcel in the City of Montrose. The easement is necessary for the improvement of that portion of Highway 12 which is a part of a joint Wright County, City of Montrose improvement project. Russek moved to approve the permanent easement as requested, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Correspondence was received from Donald Bickmann relating to ditch problems in County Ditch #10, Section 27, Victor Township. Bickmann would like approval to fix his field crossing and to have a beaver problem addressed. Mattson moved to schedule a date for review of this area to include Kerry Saxton, Gruber, Russek and Mattson. Gruber will try to schedule this meeting the same date as the meeting for Ditch #23, Section 29, Woodland Township (requested by Cliff Borg). Included with the motion is the direction for Mattson to contact Swanson Brothers for review of the beaver dam. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Gruber was informed that when the levy certification was calculated, he did not have the proper information required to calculate the exempt amounts under Court Administration. In summary, his directions were to take the 2001 certified budget amount and add a growth factor of 12.63% and deduct the fines and fees the County keeps. The figure he came up with was $ 1,145,310. Gruber received a call from the Department of Revenue stating the County was $572,028 over the levy limit. The difference is made up of items which the State pays for, rent (by statute they don't have to pay), and petit jury costs. The levy is set at $25,461,339. The corrected figure which can be levied for is $24,889,311 so the levy must be reduced by $572,028. This issue was also discussed at the Budget Of The Whole Meeting on 3-24-03. Gruber said the cash on hand balance increased by $1,565,000 last year and recommended taking the reduction this year. Sawatzke moved to reduce the 2003 levy by $572,028, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The Board previously authorized paying off in full the Stemper property (5 year contract which ends next year). In light of the levy adjustment, Gruber recommended not paying off the entire contract but to pay to the terms of the original agreement. Sawatzke moved to approve payment for the contract portion for 2003, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced claims payable to Best Foods. He understood that Best was purchased by Aramark Correctional Services on 12-5-02. He questioned whether the contract would have to be approved by the Board. Sawatzke said they may have bought out the contract with the same terms and conditions. Gruber indicated that the claims to Best Foods were for the employee recognition ceremony. Russek referenced page 5, a claim to Performance Kennels Inc. ($319.50). Heeter had researched the claim and found that this expense was for boarding the police canine dog during switching of handlers. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried

Genell Reese, Veterans Service/Civil Defense Director, requested approval of an Appropriations Planning Grant for $21,734.00 to hire an independent contractor for the purpose of updating the Emergency Management Plan. Heeter said they are hoping the grant monies will cover exercising the plan as well. Mattson moved to accept the Appropriations Planning Grant for $21,734.00 for updating the Emergency Management Plan, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Reese requested approval to apply for a Domestic Preparedness & Training Grant. The breakout of eligible grants are as follows: DOJ grant ($47,789.00), MN Equipment ($30,076.00) and MN Training ($71,504.00). No local match is required for the DOJ or MN Training Funds, but a local match of 25% is required for the MN Equipment grant. Some of the equipment being purchased is for the Fire Departments to use if there were a problem at the Nuclear Plant. Sawatzke questioned whether nuclear funds could be used for the 25% match and requested Reese to research this option. Norman figured the 25% match to be $7,519.00 instead of the $10,025.00 which is reflected in the paperwork. Reese will also verify this figure. Norman suggested that the 25% match be reflected as an expenditure in the Furniture & Equipment line item of the Civil Defense budget. Sawatzke moved to authorize Reese to submit the grant request and authorized the 25% match, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A Building Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 3-18-03. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today's meeting follows:

Construction Bids. The low bid of Nelson Building & Development Inc. from Buffalo was recommended by the Architect, $916,600 with eight alternates provided. Alternates 1, 2, 7 and 8 are included in the original estimate. Alternates 3, 4, 5 and 6 were added by the County. Bid prices are good for 30 days. A subcontractor listing will be provided, but it appears that Loberg Electric and Envirocon will be used. Hayes requested that the Committee not elect to include Alternate 8 at this time as different floor covering alternatives are being researched. Alternate 7 relates to use of parabolic lighting in place of current lighting. The bid of $29,900 and the estimate of $ 18,000-$ 19,000 were referenced. Engel will consult Nelson to assure these figures are correct. The original estimate provided a 7-8 year payback but the current bid would a 12-year payback. The current lighting was installed in 1992 and Sawatzke questioned the value of replacement. Eichelberg felt replacement may be preferred over costs associated with future maintenance problems. Norman said the new lighting would provide a comfort level versus the conditions under which employees are currently working. Engel requested an opportunity to research these costs and if the numbers didn't change, that alternate should not be selected. The Board could consider a change order. Sawatzke understood putting employee comfort into the mix but did not recall past reference to the problem. He thought the reasoning was efficiency versus payback. M&E Engineering said the lighting would provide more comfort for employees due to the degree of cutoff of light. Parabolic lights are used on the 4th Floor, Annex. For the first years of the bond issue, the indebtedness will be paid from excess bond proceeds in the bond account. What is paid out of future levy dollars will depend on the bond sale. Discussion followed on the mail room. Gruber requested that the mail room be moved from the basement to the area being vacated by Veterans Service. This will provide more security. The consensus was that a concrete wall will not be required and insulation proposed as part of the remodel will address soundproofing issues. Movement of the mail room to 2nd Floor, Annex will be at no additional cost to the County as long as the location and room are okay with the Auditor. The consensus of the Committee was to award the bid to Nelson Building & Development Inc. at a base bid price of $916,600 and authorize Alternates 1-6 (Removal of Alternates 7 & 8). Alternate 7 will be addressed at the next Board meeting. Engel was directed to contact Nelson Building & Development for clarification on the lighting and to provide an update to Norman. At today's Board meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. Discussion followed on the light replacements. An explanation was received from the architect on the bid price for the lights. The architect recommended proceeding with replacement. Sawatzke said he would vote against the motion as when the light replacement was explained to the Board, it was an economics situation. The cost has come in 50% higher than estimated and when it was clear the payback was not there, a new argument arose about employee comfort. He asked an employee whether the parabolic lights had made a difference and they said they did not notice any. He felt the light replacement would extend the length of the project and did not see a value in it. Russek responded that access to the ceiling will be required with replacement of the heat pumps and some of the lights will be moved anyway. He supported replacement now. Eichelberg said that the November 25th Building minutes reflect that previous discussion occurred on the parabolic diffusers providing more efficiency and less computer screen glare. Sawatzke said he was not disputing the minutes. He referenced the March 18th Building meeting where the Architect said if the bids for the lights did not change, the alternate should not be selected. Now a week later, the Architect has a different recommendation. Russek moved to accept Alternate 7 for the use of parabolic lighting, seconded by Heeter, carried 3-2 with Sawatzke and Mattson casting the nay votes.

A Building Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-19-03. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:

Proposed Modification To Jail Cell Window Security. Bruce Omtvedt, DLR Group, distributed and reviewed portions of the proposed project manual to retrofit steel bar assemblies in each jail cell. The County's intent is to decrease suicide risk by the addition of interior steel assemblies closing the gap between the existing glass and the bars with a detention grade steel closure assembly. DLR Group proposes the work be performed by a local general contractor using common metal fabrications according to detailed requirements and standards. The projected cost of retrofitting the 112 steel bars in 56 cell windows is $30,000. Torfin estimated the cost of moving prisoners at $55 per day x 15 for 14 days. There was general consensus to proceed with obtaining quotes according to the proposed specifications. George Fantauzza gave a brief overview of a demonstration DLG Group would like to present to the County Board on building assessment used for planning the repair/replacement of high cost maintenance items. A brochure will be sent to the County Board for their information and review. Recommendation: Obtain formal quotes to be presented at the April 22, 2003 County Board Meeting.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all vote to authorize attendance at the 2003 Annual Drainage, Wetland and Land Use Conference in St. Cloud on 4-9-03.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, updated the Board on Solid Waste Grant Legislation. A bill which would release the County of the $2 million grant obligation with the State passed the Senate Committee and has been sent to the Finance Committee for review. The House Environmental Finance Committee will hear the companion bill on 3-27-03 at 8: 15 A.M., Room 5, State Office Building. Asleson and Heeter plan to attend.

Sawatzke moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole meeting on 4-1-03 at 3:00 P.M. in the Commissioners' Conference Room for the purpose of discussing the Superior Landfill expansion and permit modification. The Committee will meet with Tim Thornton, Briggs & Morgan, to create a County position on the expansion. This will be an open meeting as it does not involve litigation. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

American Institutional Supply 356.53

Amerigas 493.21

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 130.54

Ancom Technical Center 782.23

Aramark Correctional Services 10,172.71

Auto Glass Center, Inc. 299.96

Apec Corporation 272.14

Automatic Garage Door Company 310.19

Avalon Fortress Security Corp 1966.31

Beaudry Propane, Inc. 1361.50

Bills Gun Shop & Range 238.24

Buffalo Hospital 7927.16

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 392.70

Burdas Towing 135.26

Bureau of Criminal Apprehensn 440.00

Carlson Tractor & Equip. Co. 193.77

Catco Parts Service 309.38

Center Point Energy 8464.93

Central McGowan, Inc. 339.94

Cintas Corp. No. 470 383.64

Cokato Equipment, Inc. 2521.92

Decorative Designs, Inc. 175.53

DLT Solutions 3949.25

East Central Regional Juvenile 6683.00

Gau, Todd 110.16

GCS Service, Inc. 202.68

Green, Howard Co. 499.68

Harriman, Franklyn 500.00

Hatch, Jim Sales Company, Inc. 1045.03

Hickorytech-Wireless 120.54

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 752.65

Holt Motors, Inc. 105.77

Industrial Supply Co. 1316.33

Interstate Battery Sys of Mpls 712.01

Jans, Brian 150.00

Kaz Hardware 101.62

Lake Region Co-op Oil 148.35

Lantto, Lilia 440.00

Laurent, Michael 1167.00

Loberg Electric 485.94

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 143.42

Marco Business Products 446.95

Marlin Leasing Corporation 1069.86

Martinson, Jim 100.00

Matco Tools 365.19

McLeod County Treasurer 1461.08

Menards 106.03

Midwest Bank Note Company 790.87

Minnesota Copy Systems 170.40

MN Alcohol Traffic Safety Assn. 350.00

MN Community Corrections Assn. 125.00

MN Counties Ins. Trust 6104.00

MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 390.00

MN Dept. of Revenue 205.00

MN State Treasurer 245.00

MN Transportation Alliance 1732.75

Monroe, Geoff 150.00

Morrie's Buffalo Chrysler 277.18

MTI Distributing, Inc. 578.17

Neil's Floor Covering 8213.00

North American Salt Co. 14,944.16

North Central Radar 1855.00

Office Depot 2614.58

On Site Monitoring 10,683.00

Performance Kennels, Inc. 319.50

Putnam, Jeff 100.00

Qwest 1932.65

Record Preservation, Inc. 128.88

Royal Tire, Inc. 1337.07

RS Eden 894.75

Ruder, Joel 250.00

Ryan Motors, Inc. 465.74

Scharber & Sons, Inc. 596.59

Schmiginsky, Douglas 150.00

St. Joseph Equipment, Inc. 124,792.55

Stamp Fulfillment Services 829.85

State of MN Intertech Group 334.20

Sterling Drug 801.26

Streichers 4582.43

Sweeney Brothers Tractor 245.00

Tom's Towing Service 130.52

Trimble Navigation, LTD 42,984.94

Truk-Mate Toppers, Inc. 511.04

Twin City Labor Mngmt Council 210.00

United Rentals Highway Technol 146.97

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 1408.72

Verizon Wireless 323.31

Waste Management TC West 317.28

Wright Co. Radiator Repair 218.33

Wright Cty Court Administrator 500.00

Wright-Hennepin Electric 4218.90

WSB & Associates, Inc. 7711.78

Xcel Energy 1462.16

Zee Service Company 256.57

35 payments less than $100 1792.17

Final Total $309,231.60

The meeting adjourned at 10:38 A.M.

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