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Wright County Board Minutes

MAY 20, 2003

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

Russek moved to approve the 05-13-03 minutes as written, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Items For Consideration, #2. "RC&D Meeting Update" (Russek); #3. "Extension Update" (Russek); #4. "C117/C118 Partition Update" (Melvin); Under Auditor/Treasurer, #2. "Appoint U.S. Bank Bond Registrar" (Gruber); #3. "Letter From Tom Ryan RE: Washington Fly-In" (Gruber). Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Heeter moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke questioned whether E. 1, "Acknowledge Appointment Of D'Arcy Holm-Bourdon, Communications Officer, Eff. 5-12-03 (Step 1)" was a position which was approved to be filled prior to the policy of sending vacancies to the Personnel Committee for review. It was felt that was the case. Motion carried 5-0.


1. Performance Appraisals: P. Miller, Extension; S. Kile, N. Tallman, Ct. Svcs.; S. Guffey, A. Richardson, Recorder; M. Heaton, Sheriff.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 5-09-03.

3. Authorize Participation In Cooperative Purchasing Venture Program & Payment Of $1500.00 Comprehensive Subscription (To Include Cities & Townships Of The Fourth Class). Offer Participation To Townships & Cities At A Cost Of $40.00.


1. Approve Abatements, PID #218-000-112303, Dale & Elizabeth Barfnecht, PID 218-000-112301, Carol Davis (Stockhom Twp.).

2. Approve Abatement, PID #217-000-212101, The City Of South Haven (City of South Haven).

3. Approve Abatement, PID #114-105-002020, Hanover, St. Michael & Albertville Joint Powers Board (City of St. Michael).

4. Approve Abatement, PID #104-020-001010, Dennis & Donna Albrecht (City of Clearwater).


1. Beer Licenses: Annual Off Sale, "Lake Center Store" (Corinna Twp.); Annual On Sale, "Osowski's Flea Market" (Monticello Twp.).


1. Set Letting Date For Franklin Township Bridge Replacement Project (SAP 86-599-024) For 6-17-03 @ 9:30 A.M.


1. Acknowledge Appointment Of D'Arcy Holm-Bourdon, Communications Officer, Eff. 5-12-03 (Step 1).


1. Refer To Personnel Committee: 1) North Hennepin Community College 2003-2004; 2) Plat Signatures In County Surveyor's Absence.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, requested signature on an agreement appointing U.S. Bank as Bond Registrar of the Capital Improvement Bond. Russek moved to approve the appointment of U.S. Bank, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Gruber distributed copies of a letter from Tom Ryan, Excelsior, MN, to the editor of the Wright County Journal Press along with a check in the amount of $300 to underwrite one half of the cost for Wayne Fingalson, County Engineer, to attend the Washington Fly In to lobby for county road funds. Sawatzke extended thanks to Ed DeBois from the Journal Press for delivering the check. Russek moved to approve acceptance of the check, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Gruber presented the claims listing for review. Eichelberg stated he had received an explanation on the claims he had questions on prior to today's meeting. Sawatzke questioned a claim to DLR Group which included printing and copying services at what appeared to be a cost of $150/hour. Gruber stated the purchase order reflected a total cost for the jail window modification and when the bill was received showed a breakdown of costs. Sawatzke requested the Purchasing Agent review future bids to determine whether printing and copying services are involved and whether they can be done inhouse for less money. Sawatzke moved to approve the claims listing subject to audit, seconded by Mattson. On page 16 Mattson questioned a claim to the Transportation Alliance in the amount of $1,500, and what services are received. It was clarified Wright County serves as the fiscal agent and only contributes the County's portion. Russek stated the Hwy 55 Coalition will be cutting back on services from the Alliance because of shortage in funds. Motion carried 5-0.

Bescye Burnett, GRRL Director, presented the Great River Regional Library's 2002 Annual Report, 2002 Audit Report and 2004 Budget. She noted the reserve fund balance was down in 2002 primarily due to decreased interest income and federal and state grants. The 2004 Budget goal is to retain current staffing, materials, and to look for alternative funding sources.

At 9:30 A.M. Eichelberg closed the acceptance of bids for the CSAH 14 project.

Burnett continued review of the GRRL budget stating the intent is to submit a 2004 Budget at the 2003 level. The amount individual counties are responsible for will change depending on registered borrowers and population statistics from the State. She stated the Board of Directors is considering hiring a fund development director. Sawatzke felt caution should be taken in hiring a fund raiser and to not underestimate the ability of people already in the organization to obtain grants or assist in raising funds. Burnett noted that Eichelberg, who serves as the GRRL Board President, has a coy of the fund plan.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, opened the two bids which were received for the CSAH 14/Bridge Project. Both bids included a bid bond and addendum acknowledgment. The bids were as follows: Buffalo Bituminous, Inc., Buffalo, MN - $3,592,150 and Duininck Bros., Inc., Prinsburg, MN - $3,875,866.97. Russek moved to lay over the awarding of the bid for one week for the Highway Department to review the bid documents, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Fingalson presented Cooperative Agreement No. 03-03 with the City of Delano for the CSAH 17 Improvement Project for approval. This is the standard funding participation and construction agreement with cities. The project includes grading, base, surfacing and utility improvements. Russek moved to approve the agreement for CSAH improvements, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Fingalson requested Resolution # 03-40 be adopted for the CR 123 Bridge 86J11 Project (SAP 86-398-04). He stated a resolution is required whenever a grant has been obtained from the Minnesota State Transportation fund. Sawatzke moved to adopt the resolution, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested approval of supplemental comments to be submitted to MPCA RE: Superior Landfill Expansion. The MPCA granted an extension of time to 5-20-03 for Wright County to submit additional comments on the application for a permit modification for their 40 acre expansion. Dr. G. Fred Lee, a landfill expert from California, prepared a report on behalf of the County approximately three years ago in preparation for the Federal Court litigation with Superior. Dr. Lee has updated that report and prepared the additional comments to be submitted to the MPCA. Sawatzke felt the document was impressive, noting Dr. Lee's expertise in the area of landfills and having done work on five continents and throughout the United States. Mattson and Russek mentioned Dr. Lee confirmed their concerns on possible ground water contamination from the landfill. Russek moved to authorize submission of the comments to the MPCA, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

A Budget Of The Whole meeting was held 5-13-03. A summary of the meeting follows. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Fees For Service Proposed fee changes were received from the following departments: Assessor, Auditor/Treasurer, Highway, Planning & Zoning, and Surveyor. It was clarified the changes made by the Parks Department and proposed changes by Court Services do not require a public hearing. Discussion at the meeting focused primarily on fees in the Assessor's Office and Planning & Zoning in regard to an additional fee per parcel for new construction for the 2004 assessment contracts. Kramber will contact the Attorney's Office for clarification on charging the fee to cities and/or townships. According to a survey by the Highway Department Wright County's Utility Permit fee of $25 is very low in comparison to other counties which charge a fee. There was consensus to change the proposed fee for Utility Permits in the Highway Department from $50 to $75. Recommendation: Schedule a public hearing for changes to Fees For Service to be effective 7-1-03.

A Civil Defense meeting was held 5-14-03. A summary of the meeting follows. Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

RFP's, Emergency Operations Plan. The Committee elected to interview EPTEC and Elert & Associates regarding proposals for updating the Count's Emergency Operations Plan. During the interviews it was apparent that the Request for Proposal failed to accurately describe the scope of he project which is beyond that of simply "updating" the existing Plan. It was decided that these two companies would be asked for a revised proposal and additional proposals might be solicited from companies that had not submitted a proposal in the past, but now might based on the change in scope of the project.

At today's meeting, Heeter moved to extend the deadline to submit a revised proposal to 5-23-03, and to set a Civil Defense meeting to review the revised RFP's on 5-28-03, seconded by Sawtazke, carried 5-0.

A Committee Of The Whole meeting was held 5-13-03. A summary of the meeting follows. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0, with Russek out of the room when the minutes were approved.

Jail Bed Rental, Sherburne County

The possibility of renting jail space from Sherburne County was discussed at a recent Quad County meeting. Miller stated Sherburne currently has a total of 380 beds with an average bed use of 210 by the federal government. They would like to expand their jail facility to add another 120 beds and are willing to enter into an agreement with Wright County if there is interest, before extending the number of beds in the federal contract. There was discussion on the $80/day rate at Sherburne versus lower rates in other counties but with higher transporting costs. Miller reported projections from DLR Group and State demographers show Wright County is 6-10 years ahead of projections in population growth and jail bed needs. Torfin and Miller feel it is risky to try to predict the number of guaranteed beds that would be needed in the next 5-10 years if entering into a long-term agreement. Miller stated some counties are expanding their physical facilities now rather than when building costs are higher in the future. They are renting additional beds as needed and not adding additional staff. Site location, time frame and when current jail bonds will be paid off were mentioned in regard to building a new jail facility in the future. It was Torfin and Miller's opinion that Sherburne County could not charge Wright County less than $80/day as the federal contract required them to establish a per diem rate. Heeter suggested Pat Melvin gather demographic statistics and building cost information for presentation at a work group session in order to develop a specific jail plan. Recommendation: Melvin to gather statistical information for presentation at a work group session.

Open Meeting Law

Asleson distributed a handout on MN Statutes Chapter 13D, Minnesota Open Meeting Law and provided an overview of the main points of the statute. A question was raised several months ago whether a commissioner could sit in on a committee meeting to observe and whether it was a violation of the open meeting law. At that time it was Asleson's opinion that since the meeting was an open meeting the commissioner had the same rights as any citizen to attend. In researching the open meeting law statute, Asleson stated he found an opinion from the attorney general which states attendance by a commissioner is not a violation of the open meeting law, but should not participate in discussion unless a special session has been called. Asleson felt that overall Wright County does a good job in adhering to the open meeting law.

A Transportation Committee meeting was held 5-14-03. A summary of the meeting follows:

Use of Wash Bay By Functional Industries Functional Industries is requesting the use of the wash bay at the Public Works Building to wash four buses. A letter has been received stating they will furnish a copy of their insurance policy and be responsible for any damage that may incur and will sign a hold and harmless agreement. Thole stated they will pay for soap and water and are flexible regarding time. They anticipate washing the buses once a month and would assign 2-3 people this responsibility; to be trained by the County in the use of the wash. Eichelberg stated he discussed the proposed arrangements with Fingalson and the Highway Department is agreeable to the arrangement. Mattson suggested a six month trial period with Norman to initiate a review at that time. He also suggested a 30 day notice from either party to terminate the agreement. Recommendation: Approve use of the wash bay by Functional Industries on a six month trial basis. Functional Industries to provide a copy of their insurance policy and sign a hold and harmless agreement with the County.

At today's meeting, Mattson referenced a memo from Fingalson regarding concerns on use of the wash bay by Functional Industries. Mattson felt Fingalson's memo should have been received prior to the meeting and that another meeting with Functional Industries should be held. Mattson moved to approve the minutes as read, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Mattson moved to set another meeting of the Transportation Committee to meet with Functional Industries. Fingalson stated he was in agreement with the recommendation of the Committee and had contacted Elaine Thole, Functional Industries to talk about costs which were not discussed at the meeting. His memo recommended a $7 charge based on what Functional Industries is currently paying, and to recommended that an agreement covering liability concerns, costs, etc. be signed and approved prior to the start of the trial period. Heeter did not feel it was necessary to schedule another meeting. Russek did not feel a meeting was necessary if Functional Industries agreed to the $7 charge and signed an agreement. The motion failed without a second. Sawatzke moved to include a $7/wash charge in the agreement and for Fingalson and Asleson to work out the details of a standard type agreement, seconded by Russek. Russek suggested when a signed agreement has been received from Functional Industries to place the issue on the County Board Agenda for signature authorization. Motion carried 4-1 with Mattson voting against the motion because he did not have the memo at the time of the Transportation Committee meeting.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held 5-14-03. A summary of the meeting follows. Heeter moved to approve the minutes, approved by Russek, carried 5-0.

Court Attendant, Court Administration

Nordeen distributed and reviewed a handout on judge assignments. Overtime and temporary help budgets were discussed. Nordeen stated four staff members have been out on leave and in spite of overtime and temporary expenditures are approximately $40,000 under budget overall in personnel. Recommendation: Approve replacement of the position.

Court Clerk, Court Administration

Nordeen distributed a handout on case files and explained the additional judge time is based on types of cases and how much time is needed. Brown stated $8,000 was cut from the advertising budget in the County Coordinator's Office and after internal postings will attempt to use existing lists of applicants whenever possible. Recommendation: Approve replacement of the position.

Victim/Witness Coordinator, Attorney Department

Kelly stated Barb Johnson was hired in 1992 as a result of mandated services on behalf of victims. Johnson has been on an extended leave due to health reasons which has forced her resignation. A temporary appointment has been working in the position and will end soon. Brown stated there was a large number of applicants for the Victim/Witness Coordinator position in the Sheriff's Department and the same list would be used after the internal posting. Recommendation: Approve replacement of the position.

Case Aide, Court Services

MacMillan stated the juvenile summer crew will begin in approximately three weeks with summer being a high volume time. There are two Case Aides which rotate the work crew along with their other job duties. MacMillan stated in addition to this vacancy he currently has 1 employee out on maternity leave, 1 employee out due to surgery, and two employees who will be out on family medical leaves. Recommendation: Approve replacement of the position.

Lead Clerk, Sheriff Department

Miller stated the vacancy is the receptionist position in the Sheriff's Department. Brown stated the employee had been in the position for about a year and was previously employed in Court Services. The resignation was due to family relocation. Recommendation: Approve replacement of the position.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held 5-14-03. A summary of the meeting follows.

Water Tower, Howard Lake Asleson stated the last time the Committee met for discussion on the water tower was 10-23-02. Following the 10-29-02 County Board Meeting the City was requested to sign the original agreement with an 185,000 gallon water threshold. The City of Howard Lake sent a recent letter requesting a meeting be scheduled to continue discussion on the issue. Smith stated the City is proposing vacated streets in the Fair Grounds be exchanged for the water tower land along with an easement to the water tower. Smith distributed a plat map (attached) showing the vacated streets and the Fair Grounds for discussion. Sawatzke requested the Attorney's Office research the legal entitlement of a vacated street and wanted the record to show that he is open to discussion on these issues with the understanding that at this point he has not agreed to the concept of the exchange. There was also brief discussion on the issues of the water meter, sewer charges, and whether the Sheriff's Department has any plans for a tower on the water tower property. Recommendation: Asleson will research the legal aspects of vacated streets and a land exchange; and work with the City attorney on details of the various issues. Contact the Sheriff's Department regarding a tower antennae.

At today's meeting, Russek questioned what happened to the original agreement with the City of Howard Lake as well as the agreement that the County receive half of the rental from tower antennaes placed on the water tower. Mattson stated the antennae on the water tower is a local contractor's and no money is being collected. He indicated the water tower is not high enough for other antennae use. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Russek reported a RC& D meeting was held 5-15-03 in Benton County. Stearns County requested verbal support for a field day on ag waste. A resolution for support will be forthcoming at next week's County Board Meeting. Russek will bring trail maps to the 6-19-03 meeting which will be held at Ney Park in Wright County. Mattson questioned the benefit for Wright County in being involved in the RC&D. Russek stated federal funding will supply an office and staff of 1.5 for the four counties. Russek is currently attending meetings for informational purposes and at this time Wright County has not committed to entering into a joint powers agreement.

Russek reported that he and Mattson met with Lee Raeth, U of M District Extension Director. A letter has been received regarding further cuts in the University of Minnesota Extension program. There is a possibility that 20 regional offices will be established throughout the State. Of particular concern to Wright County is remodeling and relocation of the County Extension Office which is currently underway. There was discussion as to what extent Wright County might be considered for the Regional Office location. This was provided as an information item.

At last week's meeting, Sawatzke requested confirmation on the remodeling deduct amount the County would receive for not installing the retractable curtain in C117/C118. Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, stated the Purchasing Agent received information that the actual cost savings will be $13,260.00.

Bills Approved

Advanced Filing Concepts, Inc. 468.59

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 209.37

Ancom Communications, Inc. 1672.05

Ancom Technical Center 318.88

Anderson Engineering, LLC 4430.61

Anoka County Juvenile Center 2664.00

Aramark Correctional Services 4937.27

Area Map Service 159.50

AT&T - Universal Biller 4383.13

Bowman Distribution 203.03

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 155.82

Buffalo Communications, Inc. 532.50

Buffalo Hospital 7897.00

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commierci 123.70

Buffalo City 620.17

Burton, Craig 342.21

Case Credit 165.64

Catco Parts Service 1024.07

Center Point Energy 2885.44

Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 2751.69

Central McGowan, Inc. 148.33

Climate Air 2065.50

Crowne Plaza Hotel 262.80

Culligan of Buffalo 197.20

Decorative Designs, Inc. 175.53

DLR Group 154.76

East Central Regional Juvenile 7661.00

Engstrom, Hans 230.00

Ernst, Debbie 155.00

Exxon Mobile 385.02

Facility Systems, Inc. 214.07

Frontier Precision, Inc. 179.95

Fundingsland, David 539.39

Glunz, Raymond 450.00

Going Under Dive Center 938.61

Gordy's Foods 106.40

W Grainger, Inc. 149.10

Annette Habisch-Peterson 271.88

Herald Journal Publishing, Inc. 291.14

Hewlett Packard 6810.93

Holiday 2818.85

Humane Society of Wright Cty 134.88

Interstate All Battery Center 138.61

Isuzu Diesel Midwest 1306.74

KNR Communications Services, In


Lake Region Coop Oil 117.80

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 670.24

Laurent, Michael 124.60

Lexisnexis Matthew Bender 265.78

Loberg Electric 104.00

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 653.56

Marco Business Products 204.48

Marks Standard Parts 3173.92

Masys Corporation 5257.74

Mattson Well Company 123.95

Meeker County Sheriff 1500.00

MN Assn of Women Police 125.00

MN Counties Computer Co-op 151.47

MN County Recorders Assoc. 279.09

MN Transportation Alliance 1514.87

Monticello Auto Body, Inc. 100.29

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 3158.21

Motorola, Inc. 2918.96

Mountain Stream Sports & Appar 651.60

Novell 17,498.93

Office Depot 3736.78

Performance Office Papers 174.02

PMI Computer Supplies 127.87

Postmaster-Buffalo 800.00

Qwest 7859.34

Recall Document Management Ser


Record Preservation, Inc. 374.22

Redepenning, Dennis 165.00

Reed Business Information 267.54

Ricmar Industries 270.19

Royal Tire, Inc. 560.19

Russells Security Resource, Inc. 712.81

Ryan Motors, Inc. 251.19

Sawatzke, Pat 144.00

SEH 939.20

Sherburne County Sheriff 2080.00

Sourcecorp 10,700.00

Specialty Seeds, Inc. 241.00

Springsted, Inc. 17,607.80

St. Cloud Times 588.28

State of MN 103.56

State of MN Intertech Group 1144.98

Stepp Mfg. Company, Inc. 555.23

Stratus Technologies Ireland L 8068.00

Streichers 3013.09

T&S Trucking 7890.00

Total Trucking 529.36

United Rentals Highway Technol 372.96

University of Minnesota 1970.00

URS-BRW 436.87

Verizon Wireless 149.61

Waste Management TC West 845.16

Waverly City 136.59

Weinberger, James 214.56

Weste Central Industries 1077.75

West Group Payment Center 410.57

Wright-Hennepin Electric 3140.18

Wright Lumber & Millwork, Inc. 162.59

Xcel Energy 235.91

Zip's Diesel Injection Serv. 1116.29

40 Payments less than $100 1945.62

Final Total $186,044.35

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 A.M.

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