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Wright County Board Minutes


JANUARY 6, 2004

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

Doug Gruber, County Auditor/Treasurer, called the meeting to order and asked for an election of the Chairperson for the coming year. Russek nominated Sawatzke, seconded by Heeter. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to elect Sawatzke as Chairperson for 2004; and then Commissioner Sawatzke presided at the meeting. Sawatzke cited Eichleberg’s role as Chair during 2003 and commended him for being fair with Board deliberations and allowing the public to communicate with the Board.

Eichelberg nominated Russek as Vice Chairperson. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to elect Russek as Vice Chairperson for 2004.

The minutes of 12-30-03 were corrected as follows: page 1, 6th paragraph, 4th sentence should read, “One contract responsibility is the creation of a database to track Wright County Dogs” (Heeter); page 1, 6th paragraph, 6th sentence should read, “There will be no cost change in the 2004 contract but Heeter anticipated there may be an increase next year due to the number of dangerous dogs coming through the system.” (Heeter); page 1, 7th paragraph, last sentence should read, “The motion failed 2-3 with Sawatzke, Heeter and Eichelberg voting against it.” (Sawatzke). On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the minutes as revised.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to transfer back any unused funds in the County Attorney’s Contingency Fund, the Sheriff’s Contingency Fund, and the Incidental Fund to the Revenue Fund.

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to recall all unused clerk hire and unused budgets for 2003.

On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to set the County Board’s regular sessions for every Tuesday for 2004. The meetings shall be called to order at 9:00 A.M.

The Chairperson presented the 2003 list of committee memberships and asked the members of the County Board to convey their preferences and suggestions regarding committee designations for 2004.

The Board reviewed the 2003 Committee appointments. It was noted that the Solid Waste Task Force Appointment should be Eichelberg and not Russek. On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted that the appointments of committees for 2004 be made by the Chairperson with the approval of the Board and that the first member named act as Chairperson of the committee and the County Coordinator act as Secretary. Alternates are designated on the committee by ( ). This includes changing the appointment for Solid Waste Task Force to Eichelberg.


Area Transportation Planning (ATP); Mattson

Budget; Russek, Mattson, Aud./Treas., (Ex-Officio), Norman, (Sawatzke)

Budget Committee Of The Whole; All Commissioners

Building, Furniture & Equipment; Heeter, Mattson (Eichelberg)

Capital Improvement/Finance Committee; Heeter, Russek, Aud./Treas., Attorney, Norman (Eichelberg)

Central MN Jobs & Training Jt. Powers Board (JTPA) Workforce Center; Eichelberg

Civil Defense; Heeter, Sawatzke

Committee to Inspect Roads; All Commissioners

Committee to Inspect Ditches; Two Commissioners as appointed by Board, Aud./Treas.

Compost Finance; Russek, Sawatzke, C. Davis

County Extension Svc.; Russek, Mattson

Court Security; Mattson, Norman

Deferred Compensation; Heeter, Sawatzke

Delegates to AMC; All Commissioners, Aud./Treas., Coordinator, Hwy. Engineer

Detention Facilities; Mattson, Heeter, Judge Douglas, Sheriff, Court Services Director, Norman

Drug Task Force; Mattson

EMS Joint Powers Board (Regional); Heeter (Sawatzke)

Forfeited Tax Sales; Russek, Mattson

Great River Regional Library Board; Eichelberg

Highway 55 Coalition; Heeter, Russek (Fingalson)

Labor/Mgmt. Health Insurance; Russek, Eichelberg, Coordinator (Mattson)

Labor Management/Loss Control; Mattson, Eichelberg, Coordinator, Civil Def. Dir., Spec. Proj. Admin., 1 Rep. from Teamsters/LELS, AFSCME, 49’ers and Teamsters

Law Library Board; Eichelberg

Legislative Matters; All Commissioners

Personnel & Employee Relations; Eichelberg, Sawatzke (Heeter)

Planning & Zoning; Russek

Public Works Labor/Management; Russek, Norman (Mattson)

Purchasing Steering; Eichelberg, Mattson, Purchasing Agent (Heeter)

Solid Waste Task Force; Eichelberg, Sawatzke

Technology; Eichelberg, Heeter, IT Director, Aud./Treas., Highway Engineer, Human Services Rep., Sheriff Rep. (Russek)

Transportation; Eichelberg, Mattson, Fingalson

7W Transportation; Mattson

Union Negotiations; Russek, Sawatzke (Eichelberg)

Water Management Task Force; Eichelberg

Ways & Means; Mattson, Sawatzke (Russek)

Wright County Community Action Council; Heeter, Eichelberg, City Representative

The Board reviewed the 2003 Advisory Board appointments. It was the consensus that Mid Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D should be listed with Russek as the appointment. As Commissioner Eichelberg previously indicated he did not want to be reappointed to the Economic Development Partnership Board, it was the consensus that Sawatzke should be appointed as he indicated interest. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to accept the Advisory Board (Ex-Officio Member) appointments as recommended.


(Ex-Officio Members)

Clearwater Watershed District; Heeter

C.R.O.W.; Russek (Mattson)

East Central Joint Powers Board; Sawatzke, MacMillan

Economic Development Partnership Board; Sawatzke

Historical Society; Sawatzke

Mid Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D; Russek

Parks; Eichelberg

Soil Conservation; Russek

Wright County Ag Society; Heeter

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #2, “Update RE: Capital Improvement Notes” (Gruber); Item For Consid. #2, “MCIT Dividend” (Norman); Item For Consid. #3, “Board of Adjustment & Planning Commission Appointments” (Sawatzke). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Scherber, M. Tuttle, P. Walker, Sher.; J. Carpenter, B. Petersen, Sher./Cr.

2. Claim, Buetow & Associates, $1,559.76.

3. Claim, MCIT, $14,317 (W.C. Audit Adjustment).

4. Claim, AMC, $19,184 (2004 Annual Dues).

5. Claim, MCIT, $448,767 (Prop./Casualty Premium).

6. Claim, MCIT, $258,624 (Workers Comp. Premium).

7. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-19-03.


1. Approve Promotion, Tony Rasmusson, Property Appraiser To Senior Appraiser, Eff. 1-12-04 & Authorize Replacement For Vacant Property Appraiser Position.


1. Acknowledge Resignation, Deputy Matt Heaton, Eff. 1-12-04 & Authorize Replacement.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, said a meeting was held with John Sander from Springsted. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, and Bob Hiivala, Chief Auditor/Treasurer, also attended the meeting. The purpose was to set up a schedule for the equipment note of $4,500,000. In order to bond or borrow from a local bank, the dollars need to be justified. During the 2004 Budget process, the Budget Committee reviewed equipment needs for various departments. A total value of $4,429,460 was determined (calculated by establishing an amount for 2004, which was increased by 10% each year for 2005 and 2006). The amount budgeted and levied in 2004 is $1,329,500. By issuing the bonds for $4,450,000 the County will actually be short $210,000 for the first year in repayment of the bonds. However, the County will collect on the proceeds (over $100,000 in interest income). Gruber suggested equal payments over the three years instead of a spike in the last two payments. Funds could be borrowed from reserves. He anticipated a savings of about $10,000 in interest costs through this method. Gruber recommended following the schedule of payments listed on page 2 of material he distributed. Funds would be borrowed from reserves if required. Eichelberg moved to proceed with Gruber’s recommendation, seconded by Mattson. Gruber said funding will initially be solicited from four banks that have expressed interest in the equipment note. Response is required by 1-16-04. Their rates of interest will then be compared to bonding costs. Springsted will make a presentation to the Board on 1-20-04 with proceeds from the sale being presented on 1-27-04. Sawatzke questioned what equipment was added to the note to increase it by 10%. That information was not available at today’s meeting. The motion carried 5-0. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Gruber said the County would be committed to repayment of the bonds over three years. Any unspent bond money could be used for repayment.

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

The St. Michael City Council adopted Resolution 12-23-03-22 objecting to Wright County Resolution #03-74 regarding City Annexation, Planning and Zoning. This Resolution was forwarded to the County Board for consideration today, requesting that the County rescind Resolution #03-74. Sawatzke stated that the issue had been discussed previously by the Board. Wright County does the land use planning for Monticello Township and that is why they are involved. He said Roberts Rules suggest that unless a County Board member wants to bring this issue up to revisit it, it should probably not be on the County Board Agenda again as it has been discussed three times. He said this should not discourage cities from informing the Board of their position. Unless a Board member wants to change their vote, copies of correspondence should be provided to the Board. No action was taken on this item.

Norman stated that for the 13th year, the MCIT Board of Directors has declared a dividend. The total dividend for Wright County is $293,317.00. On today’s Consent Agenda, the Board approved premium payments for both property/casualty and workers compensation for 2004. This dividend payment represents 41.5% of the premium payout. The dividend was placed in the 2004 Budget as a revenue source. Russek commended Norman for his work on the MCIT Board of Directors. This was provided as an informational item.

Sawatzke requested that Bernard Kirscht from Monticello be reappointed to the Board of Adjustment (2nd District appointment). Mattson moved to approve the reappointment, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Sawatzke requested that Franklin Denn be reappointed to the Planning Commission (2nd District appointment). Mattson moved to approve the reappointment, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Norman reminded the Board of the Committee Of The Whole Meeting scheduled for 1-12-04 at 8:30 A.M. to discuss jail issues.

Bills Approved

B&B Products Inc 568.38

B&D Plumbing & Heating 321.00

Berg Christian Enterprises 104.03

Bills Gun Shop & Range 239.09

Black Hills Ammunition 3,076.50

Bound Tree Medical Llc 2,070.80

BP Amoco 323.93

Cardiac Science 7,205.00

Climate Air 2,928.40

Collins Brothers Towing 132.06

Economic Development Prtnrship 18,000.00

Josh Erickson 193.68

Grafix Shoppe 5,253.00

Hardings Towing 106.50

Karla Heeter 146.88

Hennepin County Sheriff 170.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,003.66

Idexx Laboratories Inc 936.40

Initiative Foundation 2,000.00

Mike Kaczmarek 349.44

Kustom Signals Inc 2,013.37

Laplant Demo Inc 559.00

Law Enforcement Technology Gro 129.92

Loffler Companies Inc 231.11

Lorman Education Services 289.00

Susan Lund 204.80

Maple Lake Lumber Company 120.91

Marco Business Products 3,988.75

Mid-America Business Systems 423.72

Mid-States Organized Crime In 300.00

Mn Counties Computer Co-op 11,223.73

Mn Dept Of Health 263.75

Mn Recreation & Park Ass’n, Inc 168.00

Mn Sheriffs Association 2,797.13

Mobile Vision 538.89

National Ass’n Of Counties 1,390.00

Nextel Communications 126.93

Office Depot 820.69

Phoenix International Sc 447.44

Ryan Motors Inc 2,998.97

Sears Commercial One 319.49

Setina Mfg Co Inc 2,825.70

Sprint 162.49

St Cloud Stamp & Sign 103.79

Streichers 17,917.09

Total Printing 274.77

20 Payments Less Than $100 984.16

Final Total $96,752.35

The meeting adjourned at 9:41 A.M.

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