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Wright County Board Minutes

APRIL 1, 2003

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 3-25-03: Page 3, 1 9t paragraph, I 5' sentence should read.... "parcel in the City of Montrose." (Russek). Russek moved to approve the minutes of 3-25-03, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item # A.4, "Authorize Signature On Contract Amendment With Nelson Construction For Alternative #7 (Norman); Item For Consid. #3, "Reschedule Committee Of The Whole Meeting RE: Open Meeting Law" (Norman); Consent Item # D. l, "Set Bid Opening For CR 123 Bridge Replacement, 5-6-03, 9:30 A.M." (Fingalson); #D. 2, "Approve Agreement With Canadian Pacific Railway RE: CSAH 14 & lo'h Street" (Fingalson); following Gruber add: Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, "Approve Hiring Four Seasonal Employees For Engineering Division". Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Sawatzke requested A.2 "Authorize Norman To Attend Public Risk Managers Assoc. Annual Conf., May 17-21,2003, Reno, NV (Funded by MCIT)" be removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion. Sawatzke then moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda with the addition of A.4, D. l, and D2, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Sawatzke stated because of the budget situation he wished to clarify whether Norman ' s attendance at the Risk Managers Association Annual Conference would result in any cost to the County. Norman confirmed all expenses will be paid by MCIT. Sawatzke moved to approve Norman's attendance, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Backes, K. Gramsey, Admin.; L. Davis, K. Labo, Auditor.

2. Authorize Norman To Attend Public Risk Managers Assoc. Annual Conf., May 17-21, 2003, Reno, NV (Funded by MCIT).

3. Acknowledge Appointment Of Wayne Kessler As Mayor's Association Representative On Water Management Board.

4. Authorize Signature On Contract Amendment With Nelson Construction For Alternate #7. (Norman)


1. Claim, Wright-Hennepin, $31.28, Lake Charlotte/Martha Sewer District (Fund 61 -Sewer).

2. Claim, McCombs Frank Roos, $2,972.80, Lake Charlotte/Martha Sewer District (Fund 61-Sewer).


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

A. Approve Request To Rezone From AG & S-2 To A/R & S-2, Anita Romfo (Franklin Twp.).

B. Approval Of Establishment Of Rural Planned Unit Development District, Bob Bauman (Franklin Twp.).


1. Set Bid Opening For CR 123 Bridge Replacement, 5-6-03, 9:30 A.M. (Fingalson)

2. Approve Agreement With Canadian Pacific Railway RE: CSAH 14 & 10'h Street. (Fingalson)

Doug, Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Public Hearing date for Ditch #38 lien apportionment be changed in order to meet the requirement that notices be sent out ten days prior to the hearing date. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, the public hearing date was rescheduled for April 15, 2003, 9:30 A.M. Motion carried 5-0.

Gruber presented a resolution reducing the 2003 tax levy by a sum of $572,028.00 to a total corrected levy for 2003 of $24,889,311.00. The resolution is to formalize action taken at the 03-25-03 County Board Meeting. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #03-23, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The claims listing was reviewed. On Page 9, Gruber referenced a Parks Department claim with the wrong vendor code number. The correct vendor is #2991, ZEP Mfg. The correction has been made to the signature copy. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 7 in the amount of $4,429.40 to the Buffalo Hospital for an inmate stating he hoped steps are taken to recover as much as possible. Mattson also thanked Norman for a letter notifying the Board that the company that bought Best, Inc., which provides the Jail food service, will continue to furnish the same services at the same cost. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, seconded by Sawatzke. On Page 6 Sawatzke requested information on the acronym of a claim for $ 15 under the Sheriff' s Department to MDIAI for dues. It was clarified the deputy is assigned to the Drug Task Force and the dues are to Minnesota Division of International Association for Identification. Motion carried 5-0.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested approval to hire four seasonal employees for the Engineering Division. Two would work in the construction area doing loose volume truck counts, collect bituminous tickets and work with the survey crew. Fingalson noted the Highway has two federal projects this summer and federal funding requires proper inspections be done. The other two would work as sign maintenance aids each being assigned to work with a full-time employee on the two sign trucks. Fingalson stated he was not requesting seasonal help for Highway Maintenance and normally hires 5-6 seasonal employees. He also mentioned there would be no returning seasonal workers and all hires would be at the starting rate of pay. Discussion followed on budget implications. Sawatzke moved to authorize three seasonal employees with Fingalson to prioritize their work assignments, seconded by Heeter. Discussion continued with it being noted that summer is the Highway Department's busy season. Mattson expressed concern with the Highway Department running over budget. Motion to authorize the hire of three seasonal employees carried 4-0 with Mattson voting against the motion.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 3-24-03. Sawatzke provided a summary of the minutes. Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.


Mattice distributed a handout outlining the impacts which would occur if a reduction of seasonal staff occurred. A reduction in or cease of Parks patrol was discussed. Parks patrol begins in April and continues into the Fall. The Sheriff Department realizes revenue of $ 10,000 for this service. With regard to the Furniture & Equipment line item, a reduction of $4240 could be realized if the following were not purchased: picnic tables, grills and file cabinets. Mattice said $ 1000 could be saved if the Parks Department did not have a booth at the County Fair. Volunteers are utilized as much as possible. Also discussed were the fees at County Parks. Revenues are projected at $90,800 for 2003, mostly recouped from campground fees. It was noted that $ 115,000 is expended for summer contract help and the fees should possibly be increased to offset this expense. Seasonal sights have been awarded and campground reservations commence on 4-14-03. By increasing the fee for camping $1 to $15/night, an estimated $6,118 in revenues could be generated. The consensus of the Committee was to: Increase the campground fees to $15/night (will require a public hearing); reduce the Parks patrol to half time (maximum of $5000), giving Mattice direction to discuss this with the SheriffDepartment to determine whether it should be entirely cut; and to not purchase any additional items through the Furniture & Equipment line item. The budget figures will not be changed but a notation will be made on these recommendations.


A handout was distributed reflecting the number of plats and lots checked, as well as revenues generated (Years 20002002). Three revenue sources include plat checking, preparation of ROW maps for the Highway Department, and map sales. Plat checking fees were increased last year. It was estimated that $5000 could be realized by increasing plat checking fees and $10,000-$12,000/year for lot fees and would make Wright County fees more consistent with metro counties. It was the consensus of the Committee to proceed with increasing this fee (public hearing required) with a possible May 1 st implementation date. The Surveyor' s Of fice is currently assisting the Highway Department with three projects: Of ficial Mapping for the Highway 55 Corridor, the Highway 12 project from Buffalo to Montrose, and the Berning Bridge project. This will move funds from one department to another. Map sales for 2003 are at $7000 for the first two months. Regarding expenditures, a large majority ofthe $6000 budgeted in the Furniture & Equipment line item relates to a Project Leader position which currently has a 10- 1 -03 start date. If the Board decides not to authorize the hire of new staff for 10- 1 -03, these expenditures will not be realized. The temporary line item will be reduced to zero as the temporary intern will not be hired. Line item 6338, Conferences and Meetings, was increased to $2300 this year due to plans to attend an out of State conference. This will be cut reducing this line item to $ 1000. Norman referenced Line Item 6301, Repairs & Maintenance, which was budgeted at $5000 in 2002 but only $500 was spent. Wittstock said this number fluctuates and will increase due to maintenance and upgrade of software. The consensus of the Committee is that the following will be recommended: Line Item 6621, Furniture & Equipment, will be decreased; Line item 6104, Temporary Help, will be reduced to zero; and Line item 6338, Conferences and Meetings, will be reduced to $1000.

Information Technology.

Swing was unavailable to meet with the Committee today.

Update On Levy.

Gruber was contacted by the Department of Revenue indicating that Wright County is $500,000 over the levy limit. Two handouts were distributed and reviewed reflecting fees which are assessed and what can be levied outside of levy limits. Tax statements were scheduled to be sent to the printer on 5-21-03 but were not, due to this most recent information. Three options were presented: I ) To reduce the levy this year by $572,000; 2) To reduce the levy by this amount next year; and 3) To spread this over a three-year period. The first option was preferred by the Department of Revenue. Relative to the State indicating that rent should not be charged to the Court Administration Department, Norman said all departments are charged rent. This is shown as a revenue in Building Care & Maintenance to get down to the levy limit. Norman suggested option 3 as the State will take over the Court System on 7- 1 -05. The Department of Revenue would be required to approve this option. The cashbalance in the General Revenue fund as of 12-31-02 was $1,565,000. Gruber felt an additional $500,000 could be realized through activities in the Auditor & Recorder's Office through refinancing, deeds, mortgages, etc. The total to pay off the Stemper property is $213,000. An annual payment of $ 117,500 for the Stemper property is due this year and will be paid out of the Site Improvement line item. In light of the discussions with Parks and Surveyor this morning, Norman suggested that the Fees For Service schedule be revisited to decide whether other fees may need to be increased. A 7-1-03 implementation date was suggested. The issue of freezing the request for all new stafffor 10-1-03 should also be addressed. A savings of $217,688 would be realized through not hiring these positions. It was the consensus that Gruber present to the County Board on 3-25-03 figures which substantiate how much the levy must be reduced.

Veterans Service/Civil Defense.

Funding for nuclear drills and training is paid for by NSP. No County dollars are involved. Reese did not identify any reductions to the 2003 budget. The staffperson approved as part of the budget was delayed until 10- 1-03. A proposal being brought forth at the 3-25-03 County Board meeting involves hiring an independent consultant with grant monies ($21,000) to update the County-wide Emergency Management Plan. Reese said these funds cannot be used for training and drills, that fire departments receive funding for this through separate grants. The Nuclear Plan is a separate plan, although both fall under Emergency Management. The process of creating a Mitigation Plan is in the works. A Flood Plan will be developed. Relative to the Emergency Management Plan, Heeter indicated that the EMS Council felt a consultant could be hired who may already have a template for this type of plan. It was the consensus that Reese provide a copy of the grant application paperwork to the Board and Norman.


Line Item 5559, Miscellaneous Other Revenues, was at $3500 at the end of 2002. This is not actually revenue but recapturing costs from expenditures through the Photocopying and Postage Line Items. The Parenting Through Divorce Program saw revenues of approximately $12,000 and is running slightly short of paying for itself. The cost of the program has been raised to $55 with an additional fee for non-County residents. They are reviewing increasing this fee to make up for the shortage. The Program is State mandated and has been successful. Doug Malchow previously held the Four-County Community Resource position serving Wright, Stearns, Benton & Sherburne Counties. Malchow has relocated to Southeastern Minnesota and that position will probably not be replaced. Last year, Wright County' s share ofthepositionwas$7,870. Ifthepositionisreplaced,AndersonfeltthefundingformulawouldbedifferentasExtension is now regionalized. Any consideration for Wright County' s funding participation for this position would be presented to the Extension Committee. Gruber questioned the Contract Program Coordinator, budgeted at $14,000. Peterson indicated the State is reimbursing Wright County for three years (starting 7-1-03) for 30% of the 70% funded 4-H Program Assistant Position. This totals $9,405.76 for 2003. This position will be filled on 4-1-03.


Kramber said a possible increase in the contract fee for assessing services is being reviewed. The fee is currently $8.75 and they are projecting $10.00. All contracts held with cities are on an annual basis. The Assessor's Office could entertain a building permit fee or new construction fee. Kramber has talked with the City of Buffalo about possibly incorporating an inspection fee into building permit fees (public hearing required). Townships do not require a building permit if the size of the structure is not changed. Cities require a permit for most things. He projected revenues of $32,000-$40,000 per year if a $10/permit or $25 permit/new house is assessed. Additional stafftime has been spent in response to the increased home and commercial sites in the County, as well as tax court petitions. Kramber estimated that 10,000 homestead applications were processed but a fee is not assessed. Some counties charge a $50 fee for abatements that are not the County's fault. Currently their of fice charges a $3.00 parcel information fee when there is information requested on three or more parcels. The Furniture & Equipment line item is budgeted at $ 16,000. A total of $ 10,000 had already been cut from the original budget proposal (for software). Once the of fice is reconfigured during the upcoming remodel, Kramber anticipates the furniture will be taken from the project fund. Other expenditures from the Furniture & Equipment line item include a laptop computer and digital cameras. It was the consensus that Kramber should draft a suggested fee schedule and anticipated revenues for building permits.

The next Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting will be held on 4-1-03 at 10:30 A.M., to meet on the Administration, Auditor/Treasurer, County Board, Information Technology, and Non-Departmental budgets.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 3-25-03. Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Request Child Support Officer Replacement; Job Share Reauest; and Performance Appraisal - Don Mleziva, Human Services Director were Human Services Board items. Performance Appraisal - Kathy Gramsey, Administrative Clerk. Based on review of four performance appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional". Work-Out-Of Classification Request. Judy Ahlm, Secretary. Ahlm has assumed a portion of the duties of the Assistant Jail Administrator position while it has been vacant. Gary Torfin has also assumed some of the duties. In order to meet the qualifications of the request, Ahlm must be performing 100% of the job duties of the Assistant Jail Administrator position. Also, while the Teamsters, Courthouse Unit contract has a provision for work-out-ofclassification, the Sheriff Supervisory Unit Contract and the County ' s Personnel & Procedures Manual do not. The job description for Ahlm's position (Secretary) is currently being rewritten and will be submitted to Hay for evaluation. Recommendation: Work-Out-Of Classification request denied.

Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #03-24 approving the Tri-County Action Program as the designated administering entity for the MHFA program. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Norman requested the April 9,2003, Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the open meeting law be rescheduled due to a conflict. Russek moved to reschedule the meeting to May 6, 2003, 10:30 A.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Sawatzke moved to reschedule the April 9,2003 Deferred Compensation meeting to April 23,2003 due to a conflict in Gruber's schedule. Seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. Sawatzke requested Norman distribute a revised meeting schedule for April 9, 2003.

Norman suggested the Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for 3:00 P.M. this afternoon be moved from the Commissioner's Conference Room to the Board Room.

Mattson mentioned the Swanson Brothers are checking beaver dams in Victor Township. Sawatzke questioned the status of sentence-to-serve and Ditch #33. Gruber stated he has calls in to Mr. Thompson and the Sherrif' s Department. Gruber mentioned the intent to schedule a ditch inspection for April 16th.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop, Inc. 1444.27

Ancom Technical Center 765.74

Anoka County Juvenile Center 226.00

Aramark Correctional Services 10,361.02

B&D Plumbing & Heating 859.80

Barker, Bob Co. 352.41

Boise Cascade Office Products 468.60

Buff'N'Glo, Inc. 192.65

Buffalo Bituminous 3747.92

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 4429.40

Buffalo Transmission 2483.72

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 198.22

Randal Desmarais 153.36

Emergency Physicians Professio 582.00

Exxon Mobil 628.82

Gateway Companies, Inc. 4697.74

Government Training Service 199.00

Granite City Cash Register 107.79

Harper Cleaning Products 326.09

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2633.22

Jordan David 144.96

Greg Kramber 249.12

Lakedale Telephone Company 105.77

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 561.54

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 101.96

Marco Business Products 4560.11

Masys Corporation 2628.87

McCombs Frank Roos Associates


McLeod County Auditor 696.71

Nextel Communications 111.30

North Star Fence, Inc. 725.00

Office Depot 1109.06

Phillips Petroleum Company 898.75

Qwest 394.25

Ray Allen Mfg. Co., Inc. 119.95

Record Preservation, Inc. 1300.90

Russek, Jack 190.80

Sherry Schliesing 276.48

Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 1032.00

St. Michael Veterinary Clinic 194.33

United Parcel Service 101.62

University of Minnesota 253.89

Verizon Wireless 148.28

Victory Corps 161.40

Wal-Mart Store 01-1577 213.06

Wright County Ag Society 400.00

Wright County Highway Dept. 21,330.96

ZEP Manufacturing Company 420.46

Ziegler Cat 1068.57

22 Payments less than $100 $1,162.84

Final Total $78,494.41

The meeting was adjourned at 9:54 A.M.

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