var sid = 454; var aid = 3;

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.

The following corrections were made to the minutes of 12-16-03: Page 6, 1st paragraph, 4th sentence should read, "It was a difficult process and just after an agreement by both parties, the Township Officers did not favor it." (Sawatzke); Page 6, 2nd paragraph, last sentence should read, "Sawatzke said he invited him to attend and that there were also people in City Hall who heard that discussion." (Sawatzke). Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item C1, "Acknowledge Appointment, Dennis Nelson, Communications Officer, Step 1, Eff. 12-23-03." (Norman). Russek moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: M. Doppenberg, J. Paripovich, L. Serfling, L. Winterhalter, Atty.; K. Horsch, D. Reddemann, Aud./Treas.; J. Tazelaar, Ext.; K. Mortenson, J. Putnam, Hwy.; T. Dehmer, B. Kothman, M. Pacelli, S. Quern, M. Sturm, Sher.

2. Approve 2.5% General Salary Increase For Non-Union Employees Effective January 1, 2004.

3. Approve Increasing Employer's Contribution Toward Insurance For Non-Union Employees By $75/Month, Effective March 1, 2004.

4. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Law Enforcement Contract, Delano & Montrose.

5. Authorize Signatures On The Minnesota Cities Participation Program Application.

6. Claim, Pfeifer Construction, $76,694, Museum Expansion Project.


1. Claim, MFRA, $98.40 (November Services, Fund 61, Sewer).


Acknowledge Appointment, Dennis Nelson, Communications Officer, Step 1, Eff. 12-23-03.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a summary of the bids opened at the last meeting for the legal newspaper for 2004. The Howard Lake Herald submitted a bid of $.25 per column inch for legals. The Dassel Cokato Enterprise Dispatch submitted a bid of $.50 per column inch for legals. At the recommendation of Gruber, Mattson moved to accept the Howard Lake Herald as the primary newspaper for legal publications for 2004 and the Dassel Cokato Enterprise Dispatch as the secondary newspaper. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Russek questioned the claim on page 4 to Commissioner Sawatzke for mileage reimbursement, as it was coded to the Auditor/Treasurer's budget. Gruber explained this was brought to their attention and the correction had been made on the signature copy. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced claims on pages 18 & 19 for the Extension Service. The claims related to various publications, business cards, and payout of vacation time for a full-time person ($14,800). Gruber explained that the County is billed quarterly by the University of MN Extension for salaries for employees (about $40,000/year). This amount is approximately what would have been paid this year if the claim being discussed today were included. He would have to verify whether this is what the claim is for. Sawatzke stated his understanding is that when the Extension Agents became University employees, all supplies would be covered by the University. Eichelberg also referenced a claim on page 18, In Focus Corporation ($1,899.00) for a projector for the Extension Office. He questioned whether the projector would remain in County offices. Norman stated he sent a letter to Hovde that all publications, equipment, and furniture was to remain in the County offices. Gruber said some departments were confused about the cutoff date for submitting claims for 2003. Normally, Extension claims are approved by the Extension Committee and paid through the Auditor's warrants. They may have run the claims through the Commissioners' warrants to meet the time line. Sawatzke moved to approve the claims with the exception of the Extension claims which will be reviewed by the Extension Committee this afternoon. A report will be provided to the Board at their next meeting. The motion was seconded by Heeter. The motion and second amended to include that if Mattson, Russek and Gruber agree that the claims are appropriate, they can be approved and not come back to the Board. If there is any disagreement, the claims should be brought back to the Board. The motion carried 5-0.

Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, acknowledged receipt of a certificate for outstanding experience in workers' compensation for the plan years 1998-2002. The certificate was presented by MCIT at the annual AMC Conference. Wright County has done exceptionally well and has come in below average on the experience modification rate. This is reflected in the County's premium. Melvin cited the direction given by Norman for employees who have been involved in a workers compensation injury to be placed on light duty assignments. The County has also been proactive in following up with building maintenance issues to take care of events which have happened. Melvin extended congratulations to employees. Melvin was commended for his work in this area.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said both the WMTF and the SWCD Board recommend adoption of a Zero Phosphorus Ordinance on a county-wide basis. State Law requires a 3% phosphorus limit. More restrictive standards can be adopted. A 0% limit has been mandated in metro counties. The concept was approved by the Board on 8-19-03. Sawatzke questioned limitations on what products can be sold. Asleson will contact Brad Wozney, SWCD, but envisioned an education process for retailers. If the 0% limit were adopted, exceptions would still be made (new lawns). Russek said the County may have to enact the ordinance in 2005 as stores may have already placed their orders for 2004. There are currently 6 of 17 cities in Wright County who have the 0% limit in effect. Mattson said lake associations support this action. Russek moved to schedule a Public Hearing for review of the proposed Ordinance on 1-20-04 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said on August 5, 2003 he brought to the Board's attention three possible land areas for sale. Two options were next to Ney Park and a third was next to the Stanley Eddy Park North Unit. At that time, Mattice was given direction to negotiate on the Ney Park options and to hold off on the Stanley Eddy negotiation for one year. The first option was for 61.312 acres of land owned by Susan & Stuart Klitzka. They have since sold their home with a portion of the land. The remainder of the land was sold to a realtor, who is now selling the land at an increased value. The second option near Ney Park involved land owned by Henry Potter, 140.142 acres. Recently Mattice approached the Potters with paperwork but Mrs. Potter decided to wait a couple of years before selling. Therefore, Mattice requested that he be authorized to proceed with negotiating purchase of the John Hasselberg property, located adjacent to the Stanley Eddy Park North Unit (31.508 acres). The process would involve submitting a grant application with the option to purchase (2004 purchase). An appraisal of the land is being completed. A grant, if received, would fund half of the purchase price. Sawatzke and Eichelberg felt this was a good opportunity to potentially move toward the connection of the three units of the Stanley Eddy Park. Past Park dedication funds can be utilized but future funds cannot be. There is about $125,000 in the Park Dedication Fund. Heeter made a motion to move forward with the appraisal on the John Hasselberg property which adjoins the Stanley Eddy Park. The appraisal will be brought back to the Board. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

In 2003 the Parks Department submitted a grant application for improvements at Clearwater/Pleasant Regional Park. This application was denied funding. Mattice requested that the necessary changes be made and the application be resubmitted in 2004 (County match of about $26,000). The improvements would be for a playground, interior park trails, disc golf and archery. Sawatzke and Russek voiced concern with archery in the Park due to safety and the use being unsupervised. Mattice said this portion of the project is minimal and discussion had involved removing it from the project. Mattson moved to resubmit the grant application, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 12-17-03:

Remodeling Project Update. Randy Engel stated the project is on schedule for the Auditor/Treasurer's Department to move back the first two weeks in January. The following PR's were presented and discussed:

PR#28 - $134 - Lower existing ceiling grid in Room 221 meeting room. Engel requested approval. Recommendation: Approve.

PR#29 - Approx. $8,000 - Second floor corridor wallcovering. Engel feels the price is too high and has asked the contractor to recalculate the price. There was discussion as to why this was not included in the original bid. Engel explained wallcovering was not included on the north side of the corridor because of earlier discussions regarding the possible future expansion of the Assessor and Recorder Departments into the corridor. Norman felt the corridor wallcovering should be replaced before the new carpet is installed. Heeter and Sawatzke requested Hayes obtain additional cost estimates for comparison. Recommendation: Engel to obtain a revised price from the contractor for consideration at the 12-23-03 Board Meeting. Hayes to obtain cost estimates for the wallcovering to be replaced independent of the remodeling project.

PR#30 - Approx. $320 credit - Existing lights are being used on second floor over the counters with new ballasts resulting in a credit. Engel requested approval. Recommendation: Approve.

Mailroom - Gruber requested two mail slots with receptacles be installed in the wall of the new mailroom location for personal mail and Midland claim forms. This would provide additional security for these items, and restrict access to the mailroom to authorized staff only. Recommendation: Approve, not to exceed $1,000.

Auditor/Treasurer Conference Room - Gruber requested furniture to equip the new conference room which will be located behind the new mailroom location (former VC/CD Office area) at a cost of approximately $7,000. The conference room will be available for use by other departments. Gruber distributed a summary of the Capital Projects Fund through 12-16-03. Discussion followed on the amount of money remaining for furniture in the Capital Fund as well as individual department budgets. Sawatzke expressed concern over furniture funds being available for departments scheduled at the end of the remodeling project. Norman recommended payment from Site Improvement if there is not sufficient funds in the Capital Fund since the conference room will be available for use by other departments. Sawatzke requested further breakdown on encumbrances and remaining funds. Recommendation: Approve with funding from the Capital Fund if the furniture balance is $44,000, otherwise from Site Improvement.

IT Department Requests - Hayes stated the IT Department has requested $1,470 in furniture additions and $1,461 to place IT on the same security system as the rest of the Government Center. There was discussion on the amount remaining in the furniture line item of the IT budget. Recommendation: Approve with payment for the furniture request from the IT furniture line item budget, and the security expenditure from Site Improvement before the end of the year.

Shelving in the Assessor's Department - Hayes stated the Assessor's Department has requested $1,650+ taxing and shipping for a shelving system for field books. Recommendation: Approve with payment from the balance of the Assessor's furniture line item budget.

Third Floor Annex Remodeling. Mleziva has requested cosmetic updates to the third floor Human Services area. Hayes presented estimates of $41,000 to replace the carpet and $55,000 for wallpaper replacement. This would require the relocation of approximately 60 Human Services employees. Hayes also provided estimates of $104,450 to update the heat pumps and $15,000 to update the lighting. Hayes stated the Annex third floor will be the only area of the building which has not had the HVAC system updated. Hayes, Norman and Buskey feel if staff is moved for remodeling that lighting and heat pumps should be upgraded at the same time. Mleziva stated Federal reimbursement would cover two-thirds of the costs and that the wallpaper could be left as is. Heeter stated she did not favor another remodel project at this time because of finances and already being involved in a remodel project. Sawatzke noted the number of years it would take to receive the reimbursement and questioned that it would continue if Human Services were to be relocated from third floor. He felt if carpet were replaced now it would be torn up in a future remodel. Recommendation: Deny request.

Jail Water Heater. Hayes stated one of the Jail boilers supplying hot water is leaking around the base and is not repairable. Since this is considered an emergency repair it is not necessary to obtain bids. The Jail has two heat boilers and two hot water boilers which are oversized as they were designed for four floors instead of two. Buskey and Hayes have been working with CE Johnson, mechanical contractors, and Climate Air, with whom the County has a service contract. One option is to replace the bad hot water heater with a similar unit at an approximate cost of $16,000 and 70% efficiency. A longer term solution is to add a pulse type boiler, 98% efficient, to provide hot water and most of the heat at an estimated cost of $64,000. The current heating boilers would be backup heat on high demand days and the second hot water boiler would remain as hot water back up. An efficiency study from CE Johnson was distributed. Hayes stated Climate Air has reviewed CE Johnson's proposal and recommends the pulse type boiler. Heeter and Sawatzke requested Hayes obtain additional proposals with costs by the 12-23-03 County Board Meeting, if possible. Recommendation: Obtain additional proposals if possible for comparison purposes prior to the 12-23-03 Board Meeting.

Boiler Room Heat Exchangers. Hayes stated this is not being addressed until Spring when the heating season is over.


Quarry Tile - Mismatched tile on the first floor corridor will be replaced. Two different dye lots were received from the tile supplier.

South Entrance Concrete - According to the contractor the electrical parts should be here by the end of this week. The remaining $47,000 due to the contractor is being held until the caulking issue is resolved.

At today's Board meeting, discussion involved the Jail boiler repair. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, said he had not received the second quote as of this morning. He estimated a payback of 48,000 in five years. The Jail uses about half of the gas used in the building. The change in efficiency would be from 70% to 98%. This is under the assumption that the Jail building would remain for the next few years. The high efficiency pulse type boiler would supply both heat and hot water. The less efficient boilers would be used as a backup. One of the boilers would remain. Hayes explained he has not received quotes on the 2nd Floor hallway. These will be brought to the Building Committee. Sawatzke noted that the recommendation of the Committee was to deny the $8000 cost and to look at other options. This may be reconsidered if the contractor comes back with a substantially lower bid or an independent contractor submits one. Sawatzke moved to approve the Building Minutes noting that on PR #29, that item is denied at this time for further review. On the Jail Water Heater, the Coordinator's Office will choose the best of two quotes for the project. This will be reported back to the Building Committee so the action can be made part of the public record. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 12-17-03. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Performance Appraisal - Jay Wittstock, Surveyor. Based on review of three performance appraisals submitted the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional."

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-78 setting the annual salary of the County Board at $32,443, exclusive of per diem payments. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. This represents a 2.5% increase over 2003 salaries.

Russek moved to adopt Resolution #03-79 setting the salaries for Elected Department Heads and the Court Administrator. This represents a 2.5% increase over the 2003 salaries. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. The salaries for 2004 are as follows:

County Attorney $100,980

Sheriff $95,413

Auditor/Treasurer $95,413

Court Administrator $79,077

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #03-80 setting the 2004 per diem rate for County Commissioners at $40.00 as of 1-1-04, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Norman stated that the health insurance plan year is March 1st of each year. Norman distributed renewal rates which were received from Medica on 11-26-03. The rates reflected a 9.3% increase in all plans. A Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Meeting was held in December. The recommendation was to hire a broker on behalf of the County to meet with representatives of Medica. The County used B&C Consulting. These individuals used to work for Medica. Norman distributed a second sheet reflecting revised rates at a 6.6% renewal rate in all plans. This is an actual premium savings of $109,574.40. The County's contribution toward health insurance increases by $75.00 on 3-1-04 which will more than cover the rate increase for those with family coverage. This is the first time this has happened in many years. The cost of the broker is paid by Medica, not the County. This was provided as an informational item.

Norman said the Federal mileage reimbursement rate will rise from $.36 to $.375 per mile on 1-1-04. Mattson supported staying with the federal guidelines due to volunteer drivers. Mattson moved to increase the County's mileage reimbursement rate to $.375 per mile, effective 1/1/04, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Norman distributed copies of four architect proposals received for a site analysis of the acreage near the Public Works site. The four firms which submitted proposals are: Buetow & Associates, KKE Architects, BKV Group, and DLR Group.

Different approaches were used on the proposals so cost varies. Russek moved to set a Committee Of The Whole meeting for 1-13-03 at 10:30 A.M. to review the Architect Proposals for the Jail Study. The motion was seconded by Heeter. The Sheriff Department should also be involved. Sawatzke questioned whether the firms would be allowed to speak that day. Norman said they may attend as it is a public meeting. However he felt there was enough information in the proposals to come to a decision. The Board could decide at that time whether they wanted to conduct interviews. The motion carried 5-0.

Correspondence was received from Buffalo Hospital indicating that the Jail Medical Contract should be renewed. Capt. Gary Torfin had not received the contract until today. Upon review, he noted the only change was in the monthly payment which would increase to $8400 (6.4% increase). Heeter moved to approve the Jail Medical Services Agreement, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

A copy of the WOW Van Vehicle Lease Agreement from 1999 was reviewed. Human Services paid $26,000 to Wright County for the vehicle over the past 3-4 years. The van is now paid for. Sawatzke moved to transfer title of the WOW Van from Wright County to Wright County Human Services. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Norman said that Administration staff have been working on review of the Personnel Policies & Procedures Manual and have a draft which should be referred to the Personnel Committee. Review by the Committee will take several meetings due to the size of the manual. Substantive changes are outlined in the Executive Summary at the beginning of the document. The remainder of the changes relate to grammatical and typographical changes. The action is part of the process for Wright County having its own federally certified personnel system, thus removing the County from the State Merit System. Several documents need to be submitted to the State by the first of the Year. The goal is be federally certified by 1-1-05. Russek moved to refer review of the Manual to the Personnel Committee for review, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to reappoint Jerry Durst to the Parks Commission.

Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #03-79 approving of the Traffic Control Signal Agreement with Mn/DOT and the City of Buffalo, Agreement No. 85419R. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The Courthouse will be closed to the public starting at 12:00 P.M. on Christmas Eve.

Bills Approved

American Business Forms 213.10

American Health Care Supply 479.58

Ancom Technical Center 313.03

Andersen, Earl, Inc. 15,276.90

Aramark Correctional Services 9913.16

AT&T 149.74

AT&T - Universal Biller 3841.54

B&D Plumbing & Heating 176.00

Bankers Advertising Co. 2005.48

Bauman, Lawrence 349.68

Beaudry Propane, Inc. 249.41

Bellinder, Donna 221.58

Berntsen international, Inc. 7774.27

BLM Technologies, Inc. 135.00

Brethorst, Darnell 106.92

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 156.48

Buff'N'Glo, Inc. 110.00

Buffalo Clinic 552.00

Buffalo Hospital 15,798.00

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 174.50

CDW Computer Centers, Inc. 1188.96

CDW Government, Inc. 648.74

Centcom Wireless 205.48

Center Point Energy 3146.55

Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 15,705.44

Central Lock & Safe 288.50

Central MN Mental Health Cntr 460.00

Country Chevrolet 21,087.00

Crescent Electric Supply Co. 2307.77

Crow River Tools 134.08

CRS, Inc. 170.00

Dealer Automotive Services 218.56

Decorative Designs, Inc. 175.53

E-S Support Services 300.00

Eichelberg, Elmer 504.36

Eres Consultants 3100.00

Ernst, Debbie 193.14

Exxon Mobile 460.28

Facility Systems, Inc. 868.94

Fingalson, Wayne 203.40

Force America, Inc. 365.14

Gale-Tec Engineering, Inc. 4889.25

GCS Service, Inc. 417.08

Gordy's Foods 639.05

Greenside Up 2072.83

Hennepin County IT Dept. 1800.00

Hennepin County Sheriff 168.00

Hewlett Packard Company 4842.56

Hickorytech-Wireless 228.40

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2234.80

Hirshfields Decorating Center 134.15

In Focus Corporation 1899.00

Jopp, Lou 110.88

JRS 126.00

Lab Safety Supply, Inc. 141.64

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 458.64

Lieb, William 364.80

Little Falls Machine 2247.15

Loberg Electric 1528.12

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 4662.08

Maple Lake Lumber Company 203.88

Marco Business Products 1500.85

Marks Standard Parts 1180.10

Marties Farm Service 109.91

Martinson, Jim 100.00

Mathiowetz Construction 159,520.43

McNeilus Steel, inc. 967.74

Meeker County Sheriff 9665.00

Menards 325.74

Mid-Central Door Company 4883.00

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 747.50

Miller, Gary 361.49

MN Counties Ins. Trust 1000.00

MN State Auditor 4017.29

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 806.78

Monticello City 12,108.34

Morrison Cty Sheriff 13,827.79

MPelra 240.00

Mumford Sanitation 140.03

Norman, Richard 206.64

North American Salt Co. 34,735.89

Office Depot 2014.96

Postmaster-Buffalo 300.00

Qwest 7251.08

Reds Auto Electric 286.56

Royal Tire, Inc. 866.17

Sawatzke, Pat 180.00

Schmidt, Donald 325.92

Shell Fleet Plus 1266.26

Software House International, In 4655.12

Sprint-Local Telecom Division 158.63

St. Cloud Technical College 333.60

Sterling Drug 5734.94

Tab Products Co. 2663.92

Total Printing 544.92

Truk-Mate Toppers, Inc. 470.73

Uniforms Unlimited 125.80

University of Minnesota 18,380.68

Unlimited Electric, Inc. 4254.41

Varner Sheet Metal, Inc. 172.23

West Group Payment Center 200.22

Wright County Highway Dept. 1400.00

Wright County Journal Press 110.31

Wright Hennepin Electric 283.71

WSB & Associates, Inc. 2802.08

Xcel Energy 728.50

51 payments less than $100 1969.93

Final Total $444,163.61

Return to Wright County Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Search | Home Page