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Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 17, 2003

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

On a motion by Russek, seconded by Mattson, the minutes for the 6-10-03 meeting were approved with the following corrections: 1st page, first sentence regarding 1. Ditch #23 should read "Russek indicated he, Mattson, Gruber & Saxton reviewed..." and, third sentence should read "stay at the level of the ditch and go no deeper than the original ditch. Fifth line, land owner should be Cliff Borg, not Barr., 2nd page, first line of 3. Ditch 41, add, "Gruber, Loren Borg, and Saxton..."; Fifth paragraph, second line strike "the County Attorney" and replace with "a part-time County employee". Mattson referenced the minutes on the Weldele matter to clarify the County's position is that turn lanes are required for everyone on any new development.

Norman announced an agenda item that would not be heard, 9:10 A.M.; Paula MacMullan is unable to attend. Petitions were accepted to the agenda as follows: Russek added Extension Committee report on the survey as #4, (however, it was noted this is already an Item For Consideration) and update on the Compost Plant. Heeter moved to approve the agenda with the addition and deletion, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

After review, Russek moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.


1. Performance Appraisals: K. Anderson, Ct. Admin.; M. Aitchison,, K. Clemence, B. Cramb, D. Fundingsland, K. Hoyne, D. Johnson, R. McMullen, G. Sorensen, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $1,289.10.

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

4. Claim, Briggs & Morgan, $808.96 (Landfill Permitting).


1. Approve Hire Of Jennifer Paripovich, Victim/Witness Coordinator, Eff. 6-25-03 (Class 1, Step 2).

2. Authorize Signatures On Release Of Land From Highway Easement Document.


1. Acknowledge Appointment Of Patrick O'Malley, Assistant Jail Administrator, Eff. 6-18-03 (Step G).

2. Acknowledge Appointment Of Thomas Ditsch, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 6-9-03 (Grade 5).

3. Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion RE: The City Of Monticello's Request For Additional Contract Hours.


1. Appoint Dennis H. Kron As Deputy County Surveyor & Authorize Signature Of Surveyor On Declaration Of Authority.

Hiivala was present to represent the Auditor's Office. An offer made by the City of Montrose to purchase a tax forfeit parcel in Montrose was considered. Mattson moved to approve the purchase of Tax Forfeit Parcel No. 112-012-005071 by the City of Montrose, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Mattson questioned a claim by Court Administration, Hiivala stated the State of MN will reimburse the County. Russek moved to approve the claims as presented, subject to audit, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Heeter read the Committee Reports: Building of the Whole. Mattson moved to approve the minutes for the 06-11-03 Building Committee of the Whole as presented, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Mel Moench presented his request to adopt an ordinance similar to one in Stearns County for a "Slow-No Wake Zone" for Little Lake Pulaski. A sample Ordinance was submitted. He explained the lake is small, shallow and connected to the large lake by a channel. He felt the lake is not conducive to large boats and personal water craft which stir up the lake and are a noise nuisance. Large waves create erosion problems. Moench suggested two variations to control this. There could be a 5 mph speed limit from one end to the other; or use buoys to channel higher speeds down the middle. He has heard comments from residents and the Lake Association regarding the waves and noise. He has a dock on the lake. Asleson stated the request is timely.

He is currently working with the County's Recreational Enforcement Officer, Joe Mackereth. The County's surface water ordinance dates back to the late 1970's. This is in need of updating, especially in light of recent calls regarding highwater. Asleson suggested two approaches. 1) Certain lakes could restrict no-wake provisions within so many feet of the shore during highwater. An Ordinance would need the approval of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 2) At the request of a lake association, and working through the Sheriff's Department, no-wake buoys could be placed in a certain area of a lake. He suggested an application process be set up for that. He felt some lake associations may help with the cost of buoys. He noted lakes that lie across County lines will require the Ordinance to go through the neighboring county's Board of Commissioners. He would take Moench's name and number to keep him informed of the process. He expects to complete this in 2003. In response to Eichelberg's question on how to address problems this season, Asleson stated the water patrol has been advising boaters of the dangers and erosion problems, additional water patrols could be placed in areas of concern. The patrol can issue a warning but not a ticket at this time. Eichelberg stated it is the Board's consensus to work on an ordinance in Wright County and submit this to surrounding counties that share border lakes. Asleson stated the problem on Lake Pulaski will be dealt with in a general fashion rather than individually. There are approximately ten lakes that have a high number of problems. Moench indicated he brought this matter up to the Lake Association last week and he will be seeking support for the Ordinance from the City of Buffalo next week. He offered to approach the Lake Association for funds to help with the cost of purchasing buoys. Asleson stated at least one public hearing to obtain public comment is necessary, and possibly a series due to the number of lakes. The results of the public hearing will have to be reported to the DNR.

Wayne Fingalson presented a copy of the Bridge Replacement Project (SAP86-599-024). Two bids received out of 24 plan holders were opened. Midwest Contracting, LLC was $1,515,253.60 and the second bid was Mathiowetz Construction Co. for $1,420,714.94

Russek moved to review and obtain a recommendation from the County Engineers office, and award the bid on June 24, 2003, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Minutes for the June 11, 2003 Personnel Committee meeting were reviewed. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and accept the recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Discuss Forming A Human Services Labor/Management Committee. (Human Services Board Item)

Authorize Replacement, K. Stuart, Deputy Sheriff. After discussion, it was the consensus to recommend that a replacement be authorized.

Discuss Sergeant Position. The Sergeant position was budgeted to start 7-1-03. Board action subsequently pushed all hires back to 10-1-03 and then removed them from the budget. Miller explained that the back fill for this position was authorized earlier since he had staff called to active duty. The Sergeant position will be a promotional opportunity for a current deputy and will be assigned to the Community Services unit. Recommendation: Authorizing filling the position.

Norman suggested a Budget Meeting of the Whole be held after the County Board meeting next week, June 24, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. Russek moved to set the Budget Meeting of the Whole Tuesday, June 24, 2003, at 10:00 A.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Russek reported the MN Extension Survey is being completed and much effort has been made. He complimented the Extension staff, especially efforts by Mary Anderson. The draft is being completed for final approval to be presented to the Commissioners next week. Russek indicated a good job has been done to promote the City of Buffalo and Wright County as a good place for a Regional Center. He reported this will meet the deadline for submission.

Jim Schultz arrived. He explained because section corner markers have been moved, land boundaries do not match occupation lines. The property lines recognized go back 100 years , his property line is now 12-15' off and lines go through existing buildings. He stated this has created a problem for his property as well as his neighbors and disputes could make a gold mine for private surveyors and attorneys. Official corner markers have to be dealt with because every citizen has been affected by this.

Jay Wittstock, County Surveyor, and Wayne Fingalson, County Engineer, were present. Wittstock reviewed the survey history in Wright County. The first County Surveyor, Richard Halvorson, had identified the existing corners as originally set and how this was identified by articles, evidence and notes was explained. Wittstock's predecessor, Jerry Uhde, went through the process used by Halvorson, talked to local surveyors and verified and reset corners. He felt Uhde did a good job with that and it gives private surveyors a point to work off. He presented the monument used today to mark the corners. He explained a Boundary Commission formed in the City of Clearwater is currently working to resolve boundary issues for 23 unplatted parcels. He agreed with Schultz, monuments cannot be moved. He explained the equipment used today is much more accurate. There is a correction line that runs across the County. He reviewed the two ways to describe property, metes and bounds and platted, which makes a difference on how a survey is done. He felt the section corners set are accurate and there was a good job in doing that. This gives a reference point used by everyone. Russek asked if there is any solution for Schultz. Wittstock stated there are a number of options. The least expense to property owners is if they can agree to the changes. Other options are available and there are legal expenses involved. Sawatzke recalled owners that were before the Board when property lines did not match. He asked Asleson why it would have been before them. Asleson stated there may have been corrections that resulted in a plat before the Planning Commission. Another property was the County park. There are more accurate survey methods at this time. He agreed if an owner has the neighbor's cooperation it can be resolved with less expense than the legal remedies. Schultz stated he did not agree with the statements that old survey methods were inaccurate. He felt there should be a process that allows old grandfather lines, but require new developments to go by the new rules. There are two sets of records at the abstract company. Wittstock stated he did not mean to show any disrespect and felt surveyors did the best they could with the equipment they had. He informed Schultz the information on monuments and measurements are at his office and he would be willing to assist him in the field. Mattson asked Asleson if he could look into whether there is something they can do. Asleson stated there are procedures established, but they do not involve the County Surveyor or Attorney, but one private owner with another. If the County Board wants changes in the law or creation of a new way of dealing with these situations, it is a matter for the legislature. Eichelberg indicated the consensus is that this cannot be resolved today, however, if Asleson or Wittstock find a solution they could provide that input.

Regarding the Pelican Lake Access, Asleson stated there is little new information since last week. He made a call last Wednesday to reach Martha Reger, DNR, who deals with access issues. She was out of the office until the 19th. He spoke with Virgil Hawkins (Fingalson was in Washington D.C.) and Wittstock about whether a level could be set for when the access would be closed temporarily. He indicated, no recommendation is ready at this time, a proposal would be prepared and forwarded to the DNR. He would prefer to do this with the support of the DNR, although the County did not get that in 2001. It could be done unilaterally. Representative Bruce Anderson stated he has been working on this with the Commissioner of the DNR and has talked with Patty Fowler. He noted cutbacks in staff and funding at the DNR. He had hoped to obtain help on this from some home owners. He would prefer an alternative to closure, however, he understands the hazard. He indicated Congressman Kennedy has been in contact with the US Fish & Wildlife. He would stay in contact with Fingalson and Asleson to try to resolve this.

Asleson passed out an air photo taken in April 2002, with the DNR access outlined to show the highwater. Mattson asked if the DNR acknowledged the safety issues and who is liable if there is an accident. Asleson stated the DNR had responded with suggestions and he would expect the DNR and County would both be listed in any action. Sawatzke felt the problem has been getting worse over the last two years. He supports closing the access during highwater periods. Bill Weldele stated water is currently 6"-12" above the gravel parking lot. Mattson recalled 40th Street under water many times in the past.

Roger Marshall recounted a meeting held at the Monti Club a couple years ago that the MN DNR had with landowners. Discussion revolved around lowering the lake. Weldele added a neighbor had agreed to let a tile run through his field if a ditch is cleaned out. This would help lower the water level of the lake. Russek noted it is difficult to lower a lake if there is not an existing ditch there. Weldele noted the lake has to be 6' lower, or he will not be able to get a feedlot permit for his farm in 2010. Russek stated the feedlot regulations are State rules. Weldele stated he has heifers and steers. Fingalson stated the water problems and safety issues go back a few years. There were meetings to address concerns. He recalled a large number of hunters opposed the closing of the access. He noted if the public would abide by the signs posted there would not be a problem. He referred to the signs posted. He agreed there is a problem and safety concerns and questioned what water level could be used to determine when it is closed. We would need the cooperation of the DNR. Eichelberg suggested the matter be continued to make a proposal which can be forwarded to the DNR.

Russek stated a company from Iowa has shown interest in the compost plant and has invited us to take a tour of their plant. He suggested sending representatives on a tour. The deadline for proposals is June 23, at 4:30 P.M.

Sawatzke stated he toured a facility in Hutchinson last week with Chuck Davis. Russek noted a couple Solid Waste Task Force members could also tour. It was noted there may be more proposals coming in, they will bring this up next week, but would lay the matter over a couple weeks to get documents for comparison to see what is viable.

Norman reminded the Board of the AMC District V meeting to be held on Monday, June 23, 2003 at 8:15 A.M. in the Community Room. Norman thanked Tom Salkowski for allowing Terrie Piram to fill in the last two weeks to take minutes in the absence of his staff. Piram was thanked for her work.

Bills Approved

American Institutional Supply 653.09

Ancom Technical Center 283.40

Annandale City 1015.80

Aramark Correctional Services 9607.25

B&D Plumbing & Heating 248.00

Baers Body Shop, Inc. 1099.60

Barker, Bob Co. 373.29

Buff'N'Glo, Inc. 229.50

Cameron, Tim 125.00

Cardiac Science 1195.00

Center Point Energy 282.20

Centra Sota Coop 174.86

Central Lock & Safe 569.50

Climate Air 16,078.80

Cragun's Lodging & Conference 215.00

Defense Technology Corporation 350.00

Demarais, Richard 255.60

Dubois, Robert 103.68

Evident Crime Scene Products 201.96

Feddema, Tom 117.72

G&K Services 1549.00

Grafix Shoppe 637.72

Interstate All Battery Center 420.05

Interstate Automotive 106.50

J-P Fence 6095.42

JR's Appliance Disposal, Inc. 688.00

Junction Towing & Auto Repair 194.36

Kramber, Greg 147.65

Lakedale Telephone Company 382.02

Loberg Electric 624.94

Marco Business Products 1340.16

Martin Marietta Aggregates 142.65

MCP Carstar Collision Center 2558.15

Meteorlogix 2679.75

MN Counties Computer Co-op 1700.00

Monticello City 11,204.82

National Business Systems, Inc. 1062.61

Office Depot 2108.79

Onyx 342.48

Oryans Conoco 130.00

OSI Environmenal, Inc. 305.00

Parker, Anne 199.08

Pats 66 192.00

Performance Office Papers 886.29

Photo I 459.76

Praska, Tom 304.92

Qwest 5742.21

Recall Document Management Ser 112.24

Sheriffs youth Program of MN 635.95

St. Cloud Fire Equipment, Inc. 409.00

St. Michael City 1190.25

State of MN Intertech Group 1144.80

State of MN-Info Tech Div-Dale 595.56

Streichers 571.77

Tom's Towing Service 111.82

Total Printing 121.14

Uniforms Unlimited 232.23

Walberg Siding 10,382.00

Waste Management TC West 1086.03

Weber, Daniel 112.32

Wessman Oil Co. 158.22

Wright County Highway Dept. 909.76

Wright-Hennepin Electric 888.59

47 payments less than $100 2715.96

Final Total $96,761.53

Meeting adjourned at 10:32 a.m.

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