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Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 21, 2003

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 10-14-03, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item C1, "Approve Seasonal On Sale Beer License, William Haldy, Benefit At Silver Creek Sportsmans Park" (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #4, "Ditch 13 Update" (Mattson); Item For Consid. #5, "Ag Society Annual Meeting Report" (Heeter). Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Anderson, Recorder; C. Engel, G. Findley, P. Jude, M. Koscianski, M. Passig, E. Picht, Sher./Corr.

2. Cancel Meeting Of 11-11-03 (Veterans Day Holiday).

3. Approve Change Order No. 4, $26,490.

4. Approve Placement Of Senior Property Appraiser On Class H Of The Salary Schedule.


1. Acknowledge Appointment, LaVonne Mielke, Corrections Officer, Eff. 10-22-03 (Step 1).

2. Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion RE: Hiring A Deputy To Fill One Of Two Deputy Positions Vacated By National Guard Call Ups.


1. Approve Seasonal On Sale Beer License, William Haldy, Benefit At Silver Creek Sportsmans Park.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor, presented the claims for approval. Mattson moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Brad Wozney, SWCD, said two openings currently exist on the Water Management Task Force (WMTF). One is the citizen-at-large position and the other is the Sportsman's Federation representative. Letters of intent were received from Sue Roskowiak and Curtis Forst for the citizen-at-large position. The Sportsmans Club has submitted a recommendation of Allen Moy as their representative. Discussion followed on the importance of including a representative from the ag industry. The County as a whole is approximately 65% agriculture and policies which affect agriculture will be addressed by the Committee. Wozney suggested the possibility of creating a 10th voting member on the WMTF who could be strictly an ag producer. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, was unsure whether the WMTF Plan addresses the membership of the Committee. He was aware of separate bylaws the WMTF had created which the Board approved within the last couple of years. Wozney felt a motion by the County Board changing the bylaws would be sufficient. Wozney will contact Warren Krause or Pat Fitzsimmons to see if they know of an ag person who may be interested in serving on the Committee. Sawatzke moved to lay this issue over until such time that Wozney can readvertise, focusing on agriculture, in an effort to obtain applications from ag individuals. Wozney will bring forth all applications received at that time (including the two presented today). Roskowiak and Forst will not be required to reapply. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. Mattson moved to appoint Allen Moy of Waverly as the Sportsman's Federation representative, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Tom Zins, Assistant County Attorney, presented A Settlement Offer from CM Land Development for consideration. CM Land previously applied to rezone AG zoned land in Southside Township to A/R which would include a PUD. The Planning Commission denied the request. Formal findings were adopted by the Planning Commission and County Board. The decision was appealed to District Court in Wright County and was rejected. CM Land now offers a settlement to the County which would allow nine new lots under A/R and in exchange, they would forego their threatened appeal to the MN Court of Appeals and the request for a PUD with extra bonus lots. Zins did not recommend approving the Settlement Offer. Russek serves on the Planning Commission and stated there were sound reasons for denial. Russek moved not to negotiate and to reject the letter of 10-10-03 from James Neilson, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

A Drainage Authority Workshop was held on 10-14-03. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Overview of Minnesota Drainage Law Under Minnesota Statutes 103E and Role of County Commissioners as Drainage Authority. Kurt Deter, Rinke Noonan Attorneys At Law, provided handouts and a review on the history of the drainage system, difference between public and private drainage, the role of drainage authorities, types of drainage projects, and various state statutes pertaining to drainage. The drainage system was built in the early 1900's for agricultural purposes with relatively little upgrade since that time. It was clarified the ditch system is not owned by the County, but is a private system owned by the citizens on the assessment roll. The role of the drainage authority is to protect the interests and rights of those on the assessment roll by assuring that state statutes are followed and the ditch system is maintained. The entity of the drainage authority is separate from the County Board and where a Watershed District exists, the Watershed District is generally the drainage authority.

Overview of Proposed Development in City of Monticello and Review of Location of County Ditch #33. Deter referenced a map of County Ditch #33 and the proposed Carlise Village development and used it as an example of various types of ditch issues which can exist. Although there was considerable discussion regarding Ditch #33, it was clarified that Ditch #33 was only being used as an example by Deter and the purpose of the workshop was to review applicable laws and procedures. Deter stated Minnesota Statute 103E.401 provides for a person seeking to use an established drainage system as an outlet to petition the drainage authority and for a hearing to be scheduled. At the hearing the drainage authority is to consider the capacity of the outlet drainage system.

Discussion of Interaction of Development, Municipal Drainage System, Use of County Drainage System as Outlet, Impact on Wetland Conservation Act and Law Pertaining to Transfer of County Drainage Systems. Deter stated at the time the ditches were built the intent was to drain lowland for agricultural purposes. In later years wetland conservation became a concern and in 1991 the Wetland Conservation Act was established. There was discussion on the natural flow of water, blocking an outlet, and a municipality taking over all or a portion of a ditch system.

Discussion and Input by County Board Members, County Staff and Others, As Authorized by the Wright County Board of Commissioners. Questions raised pertained primarily to Ditch #33. Brad Weiss, Monticello City Engineer, expressed interest in the City and County working together to come to a solution regarding development and drainage into Ditch #33.

Other Discussion and Action as County Board Directs. It was mentioned that as development continues there will be other situations similar to the development issue on Ditch #33. Asleson suggested developing a general policy or flow chart to be used as a reference when ditch issues arise. Deter stated some of the counties with policies already in place have issues completely different from Wright County's and suggested the possibility of collaborating with neighboring counties.

At today's Board Meeting, Sawatzke said he was contacted by a property owner in the Ditch 33 area (south of the Carlisle Village Development). The property owner has been involved with the re-creation of wetlands and holds contracts for them. The Carlisle Village Development proposal would take 15 acres of watershed. This is another issue that the SWCD will review. Russek questioned whether the County needed to develop a ditch policy due to the number of requests which could occur. Asleson referenced the previous discussion with Deter who indicated there are not necessarily right or wrong answers with regard to ditches. Statutes would have to be consulted to determine what should apply. The difference lies on whether an area has previously been assessed for work on a ditch. Although Deter is involved with ditch policies in a number of counties, he has indicated that none of those are comparable to Wright County (being on the fringe of the metro). Asleson plans to contact Hennepin County and neighboring counties that border the metro area for input on how they have dealt with ditch issues. An outline will be drafted. Asleson will contact Deter to schedule a meeting (tentative date 12-2-03 at 1:30 P.M.). Mattson felt the issue has moved from being a study on the Stone Arch Bridge to a development issue. He felt the focus should be both ag and development.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, provided an update on the Ag/Horticulture Position. A letter was previously received from McLeod County expressing interest in a shared position. Since that time, they have elected to partner with Meeker County and so that is no longer a viable option. Sherburne County is still interested in partnering on a shared position. Mattson said there are many options available and this will be discussed at the next Extension Committee meeting. Discussion followed on the fact that Wright County has not received a contract from the University of MN for review. It was the consensus that a recommendation by the Extension Committee on this issue will be discussed at the 11-4-03 County Board Meeting.

On a motion by Heeter, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the following recommendation of the Labor Negotiation Committee Of The Whole: County offices will be closed to the public starting at Noon, Christmas Eve. Employees wishing to take half a day off on Christmas Eve must use vacation, floating holiday, or no pay. Employees who are not able to take advantage of the time of will remain on their normal work schedule. This is being done on a pilot basis and is only in effect for Christmas Eve, 2003. Compensatory time or flexible scheduling are not an option that can be used for time off on Christmas Eve.

The Swanson Brothers were able to trap six beavers on Ditch 13 and the problem should be resolved.

Heeter reported that the Ag Society Annual Meeting was held on 10-20-03 with approximately 38 in attendance. As part of that meeting, the Fair Board discussed the $25,000-$30,000 profit realized from the County Fair compared to the approximate $3,000 loss last year. The Fair Board expressed appreciation for the County's financial support. Membership has declined from 150 last year to 63 this year. Heeter requested that a letter be sent to Dan Holthaus in appreciation for his three terms served (9 years). He will be replaced by Sandy Kowalzek. Mattson stated that the Fair Board would not realize a profit without the subsidy received from the County.

Bills Approved

AAA Drain Cleaning 550.00

Abrahamson, Brian 182.16

Albertville Body Shop, Inc. 1648.35

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 139.98

AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 836.10

Ancom Technical Center 576.48

Annandale Rock Products 263.07

Aramark Correctional Services 14,641.38

Auto Glass Center, Inc. 320.93

Automatic Garage Door & Firepl 121.76

B&D Plumbing & Heating 1147.00

Backes, Joe 170.28

Beaudry Propane, Inc. 1148.92

Beckius Truck Repair, Inc. 1105.32

Boyer Trucks 62,320.00

Brethorst, Darnell 102.24

Brock White Co. LLC 1431.36

Buffalo Bituminous 773,617.26

Buffalo Hospital 7897.00

Center Point Energy 1081.33

Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 12,071.85

Central MN Mental Health Cntr 770.00

Chamberlain Oil Co. 751.81

Childrens Medical Center 514.60

Clearwater River Watershed 441.04

Climate Air 2439.02

Clinnet Solutions LLC 114.00

Commissioner of Transportation 426.55

CPS Technology Solutions 195.00

Crow River Tools 135.21

De Lugo, Isaac 360.00

Department of Public Safety 240.00

Dept. of Natural Resources 500.00

Diamond Mowers, Inc. 380.65

Diers, Carter 512.28

Dodge, Charles 360.00

Duininck Bros., Inc. 50,171.01

Eastman, Nicholas 125.00

Elk River Bituminous, Inc. 2038.43

Emergency Physicians Professio 227.00

Eres Consultants 5102.00

G&K Services 1290.91

Gateway Companies, Inc. 11,686.26

Gilson Company, Inc. 264.22

Glunz, Raymond 940.00

Goodpointe Technology 1800.00

Greenview, Inc. 10,719.88

Hedlund Plumbing 540.00

Hickorytech-Wireless 543.57

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1712.79

Interstate All Battery Center 161.03

Kath Fuel Oil Companies 284.36

Kennametal, Inc. 13,298.44

KNR Communications Services, In 18,336.90

Lantto, Lilia 146.25

Lawson Products, Inc. 373.13

Little Falls Machine 501.20

Loberg Electric 257.54

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 450.81

Marks Standard Parts 2482.00

Masys Corporation 10,228.87

Meeker County Sheriff 3505.18

Mid-America Business Systems 8214.96

Midwest Contracting, LLC 10,861.62

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 879.44

Monticello-Big Lake Hospital 2000.00

Mumford Sanitation 140.03

Nystuen, David 180.00

Office Depot 982.77

ONYX 9580.83

Phillips 66 895.39

Royal Tire, Inc. 1290.02

Ross, Eugene 100.00

Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge 336.54

Ryan Motors, Inc. 213.91

Sherburne County Sheriff 320.00

Society for Human Resource Mgt. 160.00

Software House International In 173.60

St. Michael City 3691.80

State of Minnesota ITD 380.85

State of MN Intertech Group 1130.10

Stepp Mfg. Company, Inc. 929.67

Stieg, Theresa 364.50

Stratus Technologies Ireland 7200.00

Streichers 115.82

Sweeney Brothers Tractor 296.45

Total Printing 377.86

Twin City Labor Mngmt 300.00

United Rentals Highway Technol 3686.18

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 1254.02

Voss Lighting 1331.89

Waste Management TC West 763.84

Waverly City 427.60

Wright County Highway Dept 2422.91

Wright-Hennepin Electric 4260.02

Xcel Energy 150.14

Ziegler, Inc. 6762.58

45 payments less than $100 2264.64

Final Total $1,110,022.32

The meeting adjourned at 9:51 A.M.

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