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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.

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 8-26-03, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, "Ditch 34" (Russek). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: B. Aanerud, L. Pulvermacher, Aud.; K. Jopp, P&Z; A. Chaney, A. Fashant, T. Olson, M. Pacelli, Sheriff.

2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application LG220 & Waive 30-Day Waiting Period, Delano Ducks Unlimited (Rockford Twp.).

3. Approve & Authorize Signatures On Contract With Midwest Forensic Pathology, P.A. (Coroner Services).

4. O/T Report, Period Ending 8-15-03.


1. Defer Award Of CSAH 3 Overlay Contract Until Further Notice.


1. August Parks Commission Minutes.


1. Authorize Up To 6-Month Leave Of Absence For Deb Noling, Communications Officer, Eff. 9-15-03 & Refer Temporary Replacement Of Position To Personnel Committee.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a plat for approval. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve a plat, "TOPFERS SUGAR LAKE BEACH SECOND ADDITION," as submitted by John W. Topfer, single fee owner, of the following property described in part as: Part of Government Lot 5, Section 11, Township 121, Range 27, beginning at the SE corner; with no park dedication fee required; Corinna Township has agreed to complete the road work; there are no outstanding taxes including green acre liability; and the title opinion prepared by Timothy L. Young, attorney at law, has been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

Russek was contacted by a Township Supervisor regarding Ditch 34 and Dague Avenue being under water in the Spring. A blowout was found 15' from the ROW. Sawatzke moved to authorize Russek to obtain a minimum of two bids and to present them to the Auditor to be placed on a future Board Meeting Agenda for approval. The motion was seconded by Mattson. The motion was amended for the bids to include the bid price plus a price per foot beyond where the blowout is estimated. The motion carried unanimously.

On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

At the last County Board meeting, bids were opened for Government Center Concrete Surface Repairs. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, said Buildings Consulting Group has recommended accepting the low bid from Cy-Con (Base Bid-$108,000; Alternate 1-$52,000; Alternate 2-$32,000; Alternate 3-$13,000). Alternate 1 is for a snow melt system for the Plaza; Alternate 2 is for a snow melt system at the Sheriff's SW entrance; Alternate 3 is for removal of the planter on the Plaza. Hayes said the recommendation is not to accept Alternate 3. Several years ago, a water test was completed and repairs were made to a leaking liner. He did not feel the benefit may be there to remove the planter and was unsure whether it contributed to leak problems. The Engineer's Estimate is $170,000. It was unclear without consulting records how much was set aside in bond proceeds, but Hayes estimated $170,000. If both Alternate 1 & 2 were selected, the total would be $192,000. The additional $22,000 would be funded from Capital Improvements. Regarding Alternate 2, Hayes felt if the Sheriff/Jail were to move to another location in 5-6 years, patching may be preferred as the replacement is for a 20-year sidewalk. Patching the sidewalk is included in the base bid. Sawatzke supported patching only at this time. If the electrical system works well in the Plaza, the same type of system could be installed in the Sheriff SW entrance when the concrete is replaced. Sawatzke moved to accept the bid of Cy-Con, Base Bid of $108,000 plus Alternate 1 at $52,000. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 8-27-03. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations: Request For Glass Security Front, Reception Area, Human Services Building. An 8 foot glass security front in the reception area was previously approved at a cost of $2,200. At today's meeting Schillewaert stated the 8 foot design results in blind spots from the reception desk and requested a 12 foot glass front be installed for full visibility of the reception area. An estimate of $3,200 has been received for the longer glass front. Discussion followed on the intended safety and security purposes of the glass front. Engel raised questions on whether there were any federal standards which need to be met in order to qualify for matching reimbursement. Recommendation: Hold over for Schillewaert and Engel to meet on 9/3/03 at the Human Services Center to review the area and identify specific security concerns which need to be addressed. Building Remodeling Update. Engel provided an update on the closure of Phase II of the remodeling project on the South side of the first floor in the Annex. Engel and Scott will do a final inspection of Phase II next week. According to the construction schedule (attached), Phase III which is remodeling the North side of the first floor Annex, is set to begin September 8th with November 10th scheduled for the next move. Engel reviewed the following future proposal requests for informational purposes: 1. PR #16 - replace rubber hose with copper on approximately five heat pumps which are not being replaced. This was not originally in the project, however, there has since been an incident of a leaking rubber hose and it is recommended they be replaced at this time. Scott anticipates this to be a minor item. 2. PR #19 - install emergency power connections to the four new coiling shutters. This is a safety issue which would prevent the door from coming down on people standing at the counter in the event power goes off. This is particularly a safety issue in the License Bureau where the counter is receded. 3. PR #20 - this is a request from the Fire Marshal for a stair tower sprinkler flow switch and zone tamper valve on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors. This was installed on the fourth floor at an approximate cost of $3,000. Scott recommended it be put on a proposal request and if the cost is not comparable to the cost on the fourth floor to have it done separate from the remodeling project. 4. PR #15 - required fire alarm changes. There was discussion on the number of items, costs to date, and problems which arise working off inaccurate drawings. The total cost will not be known until the completion of the project. Engel stated he has a record of all the change orders in the event the contractor's updated drawings are not complete. Proposal Request No. 13. This is a change in the type of shower head to be installed with a revised cost of $318 instead of $1,900. Recommendation: Approve Proposal Request No. 13 contingent upon cost breakdown. Proposal Request No. 18. This is the result of additional ductwork needed in the ceiling of the Narcotic Office area resulting from 1991 drawings not accurately reflecting the existing ductwork. Recommendation: Approve Proposal Request No. 18 contingent upon receiving detailed breakdown showing the quantity and costs of materials, and labor.

A Negotiation Committee Meeting was held on 8-27-03. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations: Authorize Sergeant Pay For A Deputy Temporarily Assigned To Work Out Of Classification. Norman presented pertinent sections from union contracts. He stated there is a past practice of not paying work-out-of-classification pay because somebody is on vacation. Miller explained the unique situation in the warrants/transports unit. Recommendation: Pay Deputy Steffer for work-out-of-classification. Miller will notify Norman in advance of any additional work-out-of-classification requests. These will only be considered if an individual is being assigned the full duties and responsibilities of a classification for five or more consecutive work days. HAY Job Evaluation Results. The Committee formulated a negotiation strategy for two positions recently evaluated. Norman will negotiate the County's position with the business agent.

Norman said in review of the last Detention Committee minutes, it was recommended that a Detention Committee Of The Whole meeting be scheduled. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Heeter, all voted to schedule a meeting on 9-16-03 at 10:30 A.M.

Heeter moved to reappoint Glen Litfin to the Wright County Community Action Board of Directors for a three-year term. Litfin's current term ends 9-13-03. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

The meeting recessed at 9:27 A.M. and reconvened at 9:34 A.M.

The Public Hearing was opened for County Ditch 33. Phil Elkin, WSB Project Engineer, provided correspondence and exhibits relating to the Carlisle Village Development and drainage impact to Ditch 33. The development is located in the southeast corner of Monticello and is currently part of Monticello Township. This watershed drains to Ditch 33 through a 36" pipe under CSAH 18. It first reaches a large wetland and is then routed through a 72" culvert underneath I-94, where it connects to Branch 2 of Ditch 33. The entire watershed is 125.85 acres and the development site is 76.72 acres. Existing runoff runs through the 36" pipe with no ponding and the entire site is sloped towards this pipe. The proposed conditions for this site would include the entire watershed which can reach the City's storm sewer system routed through a large storm water pond on the west edge of the property. The remaining 52.68 acres of this site (both developed and undeveloped) which cannot reach the City's system would be routed to another storm water pond on the north edge of the site before it reaches the 36" culvert. The pond would have a control structure which would control the allowable runoff rate at which water enters Ditch 33. A total of 73.17 acres would be diverted to the City of Monticello from Ditch 33 storm water. This project would result in a net reduction in the volume of storm water runoff from this watershed and a net reduction in the rate at which water enters Ditch 33 from this watershed.

Elkin said the City has been under the directive from the County that Ditch 33 is not available to take any more water. The City has tried to accommodate requests from developers by routing water through Gillard Avenue. Mattson referenced the shaded blue area of the map (area removed with Sunset Ponds Wild Meadow project) and inquired whether the City would be responsible for that water. Elkin responded that this area would drain through the City's storm water system. The City's direction to the developer at the time the Carlisle Village development was proposed was that Ditch 33 was unavailable and that water would have to be routed to the City's system. Site characteristics are a high back end and low front end, too low to be serviced by the storm system because of gravity. The City then requested the developer reduce the quantity and rate of water flowing to Ditch 33. It was proposed to take 124 acres of the watershed (outlined in orange on Exhibit 1) to a 13 acre storm water pond and then to the Gillard Avenue system. As they were unable to move all the water that way, the proposal would include creation of another 13-acre large capacity pond, with a control structure as the outlet replacing the 36" pipe. This would allow the water to be backed up in the pond and released at a slower rate, through the wetlands and to Ditch 33. By reducing the amount of acres and building the pond, they would be able to slow the outlet control by 70% and reduce the overall volume by 40%. In response to Sawatzke, Elkin said the pipe size is 12".

Mattson referenced problems with flooding in the Albertville area and whether there was a similarity in design. Elkin responded that he has not reviewed the problems in Albertville. The City of Monticello, when performing their hydraulic calculations, based them upon sump pumps in each basement. Ponds were built to a 100-year storm water event (5.9" in 24/hr period). Anything above that would run through emergency overflow. The City's regulations require 2' of basement above this high water level plus another 1' for the emergency level. He was unsure of Albertville's standards. Russek referenced the 13-acre pond with a 12" outlet and inquired what would happen if the pond were full and another heavy rain was experienced. Elkin stated that the proposal builds a water storage area where there currently is not one. Depending on the event and amount of rain, the water would flow to the overflow structure. If it increases high enough, it would flow to the 36" pipe. If it would increase from there, it would flow across the road. The development was designed so they are comfortable that the water will not flood basements. As part of the plan review, calculations were based upon the normal recognized high water level and the high water level above that. Sawatzke inquired how familiar Elkin was with the actual ditch. Elkin said he has discussed the ditch with Saxton and also visited the location. After the 8" rainfall, Elkin shot pictures of the proposed development area and toward Branch 4. Sawatzke said the ditch is substantially deficient and in disrepair, and that it should be recognized that with only two rain events in 8-9 weeks the ditch is running at full capacity.

Sawatzke voiced concern with the development pushing to the east. He said there would not be capacity to handle the development of the entire watershed and that requests must be treated similarly. Elkin responded that he would like to see a long term hydrology plan. Sawatzke agreed that a comprehensive plan was needed to handle all development requests. He referenced stake markers for potential future development and felt that it was time to address requests. He said Ditch 33 was not a modern day storm sewer system and that the 1916 storm tile was not acceptable for urban development. Some properties have already suffered substantially but fortunately much of this is undeveloped land. There are approximately five homes which are in jeopardy.

Bret Weis, City Engineer-WSB Associates, said Sawatzke was correct in that Monticello will continue to get development pressure. At this time, the City has indicated to developers that they must have an outlet to the Mississippi River and that solution must also address what will happen in the future. Currently, the City does not have the water or sewer capacity for future development but a lift system or pump can be installed. The City is dealing with development pressure to the east. However, if development is allowed the situation will need to be addressed. Several possible areas of development were noted on the exhibits. To the west, problems will be experienced with Pelican Lake.

Sawatzke questioned whether Weis felt more development would occur next to the Carlisle Development if it were approved. Weis responded that developers continue to approach the City even when told they do not have the service available. Developers are told they must meet certain criteria. He was present with the request today because the development is reducing the water flow to the ditch by 40%. If the request is not approved, the developer will need to build a lift system to direct the water to the City's lift station. Weis envisioned the development pressure to be more to the west. If it does move to the east, Ditch 33 and capacity problems will need to be addressed. Sawatzke felt there was at least 250 acres of proposed development on the east side and questioned a double standard to approve flow to Ditch 33 on the southern side. Weis said the proposed area on the exhibit is 126 acres and will reduce flow to Ditch 33 by 40%. Others who may develop along the tile line will need direct access to the Mississippi River as 100% of their flow will go their. He did not feel it was a double standard. Sawatzke said the Carlisle Development has an option to do this also, but it will result in more cost to the developer. Weis explained a pumped outlet is less reliable than a gravity lift station and creates long term maintenance..

Public input was then accepted.

Louis Henegar owns property on Hall Avenue on the Mississippi River (where Ditch 33 meets the River) and has resided there for 23 years. He does not want any properties to be under water nor wants to see the water increased. He questioned what branch this was on. A branch he referenced had a slope of 1" in 100'. Henegar thought the City should be required to fix the problem and suggested the City establish a fund to assist with this repair. He felt the problem was with the small drainage tile. When Henegar consulted an attorney, he was told that a developer cannot add any more water to the ditch than what previously was flowing. He questioned how open ground could be equated to runoff from a townhouse development. Henegar felt the solution would be to require the City to provide storm sewer service. Ditch 33 is a County ag ditch and the law cites ag drainage.

James Jones resides on Ditch 33 north of CR 39 on the Mississippi River. Water sits on his land every time it rains but recedes when the Ditch allows it to. This has been a problem since his grandfather owned the land. He supported developments paying their portion. The land that gets flooded is ag land and potentially future development land.

Ted Holker lives on the north end of Pelican Lake. He delivered a letter from Bernard Hirsch who was unable to be present today. Holker said Kirsch lives at the head of the ditch and there is water standing on his farm. Flow is through a 10" tile. Holker check the area from Hirsch's property to Barry Hanson's and found the water was flowing but not at full speed. It has been two months since rain and there are still 6 acres of water to remove from the top end of the Ditch. He referenced the exhibits and the 36" pipe installed 7-8 years ago to the River, which was supposed to have handled the water. Russek felt it was strange that Kirsch's land still has water on it as normally the highest point drains first. Holker said that it was not all flooded but the water is not moving very fast. He felt the tile was possibly plugged in the last branch line.

Jesse Olson lives on the property next to Hanson's. The culvert has been running at full capacity and water just dropped on the Olson property 4-5 days ago. Several years ago, corn was planted in this area.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to acknowledge and enter into public record letters from Bernard Hirsch, Corrinne Hajek and Judy Hansen . The letters were read in entirety and a summary of their concerns follow: 1. Bernard Hirsch did not support dumping one-half of the storm sewer water from the Carlisle Village Development into Ditch 33. Ditch 33 was installed in 1918 to drain ag land, and there are a multitude of problems with the Ditch besides its age. Hirsch cited problems which may occur with running half of the storm water from 122 acres into the Ditch. He referenced the heavy downpours from 2002 and 2003 leaving land under water, but felt it was understandable due to the problems with the Ditch. He felt if the water were allowed to flow into the Ditch, those residents south would almost always experience standing water except in extremely dry years. When the City annexed property for purposes of development, he felt they must be prepared to deal with the problems (including engineering mistakes). 2. Corrinne Hajek provided two photographs taken after the 6-24-03 rain. The water covered 40 acres and in places was more than 5' deep. The water did not go down or drain into Ditch 33 until 8-9-03. During that time, problems were encountered with mosquitos and odor from rotting vegetation. Each year the water problems on their property worsen due to undrained water into Ditch 33. Hajek did not feel the ditch could take on any more water. 3. Judy Hansen has lived on Ditch 33 on 90th St. NE for 14 years and had directly witnessed the inadequacy of the ditch. Each year the ditch overflows and floods one-third of her property. Problems encountered include mosquito's and odor from stagnate water. These conditions were experienced all of last summer and ended this summer with the drought conditions. She is unable to use 1/3 of her property or enjoy her yard, and requested the County to look into the problem.

Collin Kiefer resides at Haug and 84th Avenue where water problems have been experienced. He has 2' of water in the corner of his lot. He questioned the cost of a lift station versus a 13-acre pond and supported utilizing a 2003 lift station rather than a 1916 ditch. He was aware of several people in Monticello who have had flooding in their basements.

Weis responded that those who had water in their basements may not have had sump pumps. He was unaware of any water which came from ponds into basements. Referenced was an article that claimed the City proposed to add more water to the Ditch Weis clarified that approval of the Carlisle Development request would allow water to continue to discharge into Ditch 33 at a reduced amount. In addition, the City expended a lot of money and effort working with the State and Wright County to come up with a solution by installing the Gillard Avenue pipe. A larger pipe was proposed to the County and State to deal with the I-94, Mn/Road and Ditch 33 problems but funding participation was rejected. The City spent $700,000 and received funding from Mn/DOT for their portion that drained to that location. Funding was not available at that time to accommodate future needs.

Weis said the developer cannot discharge additional water to the Ditch other than what is being currently done. That is the reason the City is bringing this request forth, because there is a reduction. The only question would be whether the development has a right to discharge into the Ditch at all. He felt there had to be some consideration both ways.

Eichelberg noted that if nothing is done, the conditions on Ditch 33 will not improve but continue to be a problem. With this development and future developments, it will reduce the amount of water flowing to the Ditch. He felt it would cost millions to replace the tile and fix the problems. He supported a compromise.

Sawatzke referenced the comment by Weis about trying to work with the County several years ago on the Gillard Avenue pipe. He clarified the economics did not work for the County at that time. Weis said if the area does develop and allows outlets to the River, there will soon be a situation where the County will have to address how large the pipe needs to be. The pipe will have to be large enough to accommodate what was there in the past plus new development. Sawatzke responded that the request today is creating a potential problem.

Louis Henegar agreed with Sawatzke, stating that if more water is allowed into the Ditch it will make the problem greater. The City must be forced to plan ahead and provide water and sanitary/storm sewer. This is not the only development which will occur. Sawatzke felt the costs should be borne by the developer not the City, as the developers are the ones realizing the financial gain.

Dee LaSham, Monticello Farm Estates, said she was not against development. Her concern was with increasing water on neighboring properties when new homes are built. She felt the swamps should be left alone. When the LaSham's purchased their property, they built on the highest portion. Since their driveway goes through a wetland, they cannot bring fill in to elevate the level. Eventually, their property may be condemned. She questioned who the ditch was helping as all she hears is complaints.

Elden O'Brien lives on 83rd Street and said 84th Street is a disaster. He has resided there for 31 years. The situation is getting worse. During the past five years, the problem has gotten worse gradually. He referenced the mosquitos and water not draining. He felt there was either plugged tiles or more runoff.

Sawatzke offered the suggestion of using the services of Rinke-Noonan, who are knowledgeable with ditch law. The County Attorney's Office has advised the Board on ditch law, but Sawatzke felt this was at the point where outside counsel was needed to find out what the County can do to alleviate problems and prevent them. Sawatzke said the ditch system does not work well and this reaffirms to the City that they shouldn't rely on it for an outlet. Sawatzke felt Kurt Deter could be given a tour of the area.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the purpose of today's hearing was: 1) To consider the proposal to remove acres from the Ditch; and 2) That the City was asking for a permit to outlet storm water into the Ditch. Staff has determined that the first issue does not apply. Asleson said the area within the development has never been assessed for benefits on the Ditch. Although it drains there, it is not among the benefitted acreage. Statute says the owner of benefitted acreage can petition the County. Regarding whether it can outlet into the system, Asleson said it is unclear whether the proposal will change. The problem is more about a long term plan for the Ditch and that area. If the County did consult with outside counsel, the process should involve the City and possibly the Township. The County's method of financing improvements in this area is by assessing benefitted owners of the Ditch. As determined in the past, this is not a good method for dealing with the problem. This is one of the reasons the City and Township should be involved in the discussion.

Asleson said another problem is that many acres that should be benefitted acres are not. The County could consider adding those to the Ditch but the problem lies with the long term solution. Regarding today's Public Hearing, it could be left open or closed and rescheduled at a later date. Public notice would be required if it were rescheduled at a later date. He said it may be easier to leave the hearing open and to establish another date.

Dan Biske referenced comments on the lift station versus tile and the possibility of more development. He felt the proposed development should be required to put in a lift station as the process must start somewhere.

Russek thought the public hearing should be closed. A ditch meeting would be required for a major consideration of the ditch. He felt the Board needed to consult with Deter before making any decisions. Discussion followed on the cost to redetermine a ditch. Sawatzke said this was considered a few years ago but it would have cost approximately $200,000. At that time, the Board felt when the property was developed it would have a modern day system installed and would be funded by the developer. As the land developed, it would result in that much less flow to the Ditch. Sawatzke did not feel it made sense to redetermine the ditch. Russek said someone will be required to provide the funding up front for a storm water system. A development can only be required to pay for the portion they require.

The Public Hearing was closed at 10:52 A.M.

Sawatzke moved to request the County Attorney's Office to contact Rinke Noonan to schedule a meeting with Sawatzke, Asleson, Gruber, Saxton and Russek. Notification will be sent to the City and Township. The developer may also attend. This will be an open meeting so the public may attend. The motion was seconded by Russek. The motion and second were amended to include laying this item over until 10-7-03 at 9:30 A.M. The motion carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

AMI Imaging Systems Inc. 336.19

Anoka County Juvenile Center 474.00

Aramark Correctional Services 4,679.61

Assn of Minnesota Counties 160.00

B&D Plumbing & Heating 814.00

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 312.60

Franklin Denn 506.16

Duininck Bros., Inc. 1,128,871.70

East Central Regional Juvenile 6,357.00

Todd Gau 199.08

Granite Pest Control Services 115.02

Hawthorn Suites Duluth 447.48

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 307.47

Identix Incorporated 3,608.00

KNR Communications Services In.


LaPlant Demo, Inc. 265.66

Marco Business Products 5,875.09

Mathiowetz Construction 515,037.68

Metro Group, Inc., The 3,327.91

Mile 225.00

Minnesota Corrections Associat 460.00

MN Assn Of Assessing Officers 470.00

MN Supreme Court 218.00

Nextel Communications 113.11

Office Depot 1,392.24

On Site Monitoring 9,570.00

Record Preservation, Inc. 994.39

RS Eden 768.60

Pat Sawatzke 153.00

State Of MN-Info Tech Div-Dale 217.95

Sterling Drug 2,317.20

Total Printing 329.40

Matthew Treichler 210.18

Verizon Wireless 351.64

Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Co. 127.75

Wal-Mart Store 01-1577 1,086.74

Gordon Weber 344.64

West Group Payment Center 1,516.60

Wright County Highway Dept. 158.80

Xcel Energy 1,230.39

21 payments less than $100 985.23

Final Total $1,695,060.51

The meeting adjourned at 10:55 A.M.

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