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Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 10, 2004

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 2-3-04, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #4, “Bond Sale Update” (Russek). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Mattson requested that Item C1 be removed from the Consent Agenda, “Auditor/Treasurer, Letter & Revised Job Description from the University RE: Assignment of Maribel Fernandez to the 50% Technical Advisor Position.” Clarification is required on possible vacation time. Mattson moved to lay item C1 over to a future meeting, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. Russek moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Banyai, Ct. Admin.; J. Cooper, M. Fiske, Sheriff.

2. HAY Job Evaluation Results.

3. Approve Change Order No. 6, $17,199.00.

4. Claim, Nelson Building & Development, Inc., $38,971.85.

5. Claim, Scott Builders, Inc., $832.00.

6. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-30-04.

7. Authorize County Board Chair Signature on MN Cities Participation Program Agreement & Authorize Payment of $14,524.33 to MN Housing Finance Agency.

8. Claim, Cy-Con, Inc., $24,774.30.

9. Authorize Signatures, Law Enforcement Contract, City of South Haven.


1. Approve Hire, Debbra Garrett, Legal Secretary, Eff. 2-23-04 (Class K, Step 3).

2. Approve Hire, Kristi Brantner, Legal Secretary, Eff. 3-01-04 (Class K, Step 2).


1. Acknowledge Resignation, Kristi Brantner, Court Clerk, Eff. 2-27-04. Request authorization to fill the position be granted immediately due to the current vacancies already within the department and the lengthy training period.

2. Recognize Termination of Dianne Hierlmaier as Court Clerk, Eff. 2-3-04 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Approve Appraisals For CSAH 6 Bridge R/W Acquisition.


1. Accept the Findings & Recommendations of the Planning Commission for the following Rezonings:

A. Approve Establishment Of Standard Planned Unit Development District, Carl Greku/Joyce Johnson (Cokato Lake).

B. Approve Request To Rezone From AG To I-1, Greg Thiesen (Rockford Twp.).


1. Accept Resignation, Michael Passig, Deputy, Eff. 2-08-04 & Authorize Replacement.

Sheriff Gary Miller presented Sergeant Donald Pribyl with a plaque recognizing his 20 years of volunteer service with the Wright County Sheriff’s Reserves. Pribyl has not only provided service to the Sheriff’s Department but to the citizens of Wright County. Sheriff Miller said Pribyl’s enthusiasm has not diminished and felt this characteristic was very unique after 20 years in a volunteer position. Pribyl referenced the accomplishments and friends made through the position. Due to the terrorism situation, he has decided to continue with his position. The Sheriff Reserves donated over 4000 hours in 2003 which is a tremendous benefit and tax savings to Wright County. Sheriff Miller said the level of service has increased over the past few years. He referenced the 1997 storm in Monticello and other parts of the County. Many of the members of the reserves placed their own family needs second to the needs of the citizens. Pribyl was thanked for his service.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, distributed material relating to the terms and conditions of the remaining capital equipment note. Bruce Kimmel, Springsted, said this is part two of the capital note process that commenced last month with acceptance of the bid from Security State Bank of Howard Lake for $600,000. The remainder of the issuance for 2004-2006 is $3,885,000 and will be offered competitively to local banks and investors (both regionally and nationwide). Bids will be accepted on 3-08-04. Kimmel would provide the results of the bid sale at the 3-09-04 County Board meeting, where he will request an official award of the bid. The notes will mature on December 1st in years 2004-2006. Interest payments will commence on 12-01-04 and will be paid for with ad valorem property taxes. A credit rating will be applied for on the notes, asking for reaffirmation or upgrade of the A2 rating. Page 2 of the documentation relates to technical material on bank qualifications and rebate requirements. The notes are bank qualified. The interest earnings are tax exempt and yield an overall lower interest rate. Due to the potential refunding of the solid waste bonds sold in 1994 for the Compost Facility, the County may be subject to a rebate recalculation and the potential of turning interest earnings over to the Federal government (amounts exceeding $10,000,000). If the County saves substantially on the debt service, the County would be required to rebate extra earnings. If the County decides not to proceed with refunding, then the recalculation would not have to be completed. Proceeds will be available the end of March or first part of April. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #04-06 providing for the competitive negotiated sale of $3,885,000 General Obligation Capital Notes, Series, 2004B. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Herman Wittsack, President of the French Lake Improvement Association, addressed the Board with a request for clean out of cattails on County Ditch #19. Wittsack sent a letter to the Auditor in September addressing some of the issues. He received a letter from the DNR outlining suggestions for improvements including installation of a culvert and removal of cattails between Oliver Avenue and French Lake. Wittsack understood that any work completed would be the responsibility of those benefitted properties along the ditch. He inquired on the ability of the County to assess French Lake residents for the clean out as he felt they would also benefit. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated that the standard assessment applies to those benefitted landowners on the ditch. The County does not have the ability to assess those on French Lake. There is a statute which allows for external sources of funding, including flood control. Funding from grants or lake associations can also be used to fund this type of work. Asleson recommended that any work completed in a ditch be approved by the County Board, as the ditch authority, no matter what the funding source. This is to make sure the work is completed properly and according to the ditch records retained by the Auditor. Fyle’s Excavating has estimated clean out of a portion of the ditch at $7000-$10,000. Wittsack felt if the work was not completed this Winter, they would again be subject to high water potential in the Spring/Summer. Wittsack said there are 102 property owners on the Lake. Farmers in the nearby area also run water into the lake. Sawatzke said that property owners may have different opinions as to lake levels. John Roller, French Lake Improvement Association, said there were not cattail problems 20 years ago in this area, which has caused the elevation of the Lake to rise. He felt the Lake level could be reduced 14”-15” if there were no restrictions in the ditch. With all of the tiling systems running into the Lake, Roller felt it was important to make sure the water is flowing out. Mattson suggested that Fyle’s Excavating complete spot cleaning to see if this would alleviate some of the problems. It was noted that previous clean out of the ditch further downstream was funded by benefitted property owners. Asleson said the County Board, as ditch authority, has the responsibility to keep the ditches flowing freely. The Board can decide to take on repair projects without a petition. The County Board doesn’t own the ditch but rather is the decision making body for those benefitted owners. He suggested a public meeting to discuss clean out alternatives. Under ditch law, a redetermination could be completed to assess all benefitted owners; however the cost would be more than the estimate to fix the ditch. The County would have to form some other type of group different than what is out there in order to assess lake owners for the project (i.e., forming a watershed). The only reason the County would hold a public hearing would be if a formal petition from a benefitted landowner was received. Otherwise, the County Board can hold a public meeting even without a request from the benefitted landowners. Russek moved to schedule a public meeting (not a public hearing) on this issue on 3-2-04 at 10:00 A.M. (part of the Board Meeting). Wittsack will mail a survey to French Lake property owners to determine interest in having the Lake level lowered and whether they would be willing to contribute toward the cost of the repair. The County will mail notices to benefitted property owners. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to set a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 2-24-04 at 10:30 A.M. to review the 2003 Budgets.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala referenced the two claims which were pulled from last week’s claims listing for clarification (St. Cloud Technical College, $333.60 and Philip Thinesen $67.25). Thinesen attended supervisor training and not college classes. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Norman referenced a claim on page 7, Superior Ford $160,120.00 for 8 squad cars. It was the consensus that a transfer will be made from the Equipment Note Fund to the General Fund, Budget 820. The motion carried 5-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested approval of a resolution and the establishment of a public hearing for the Clearwater/Pleasant grant application. This is for play structure replacement, disc golf, and trail improvements. If the grant is approved, the County share in 2004 will be $31,200. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #04-07 authorizing application for the grant and to schedule a Public Hearing for 3-09-04 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the Board schedule a public hearing for a feedlot setback variance request by Mark and Patti Blackwell (Franklin Twp.). The request involves a situation where the applicant was advised to get a variance for their barn which is 50’ from the property line and the Ordinance requires a setback of 100’. Heeter moved to schedule the Public Hearing for 3-02-04 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A Public Hearing was held on 12-16-03 to review a list of supplemental charges for Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha Subordinate Service District. At that meeting, there were a number of objections or questions raised on assessments. Eichelberg, Russek and Brian Oakley, MFRA, met with those property owners on 1-20-04. The draft resolution being reviewed at today’s meeting sets forth the assessment amounts for those properties. Asleson referenced several of the parcels.

Robert G. Johnson ($492.00). The assessment applies to a large storage tank with a baffle in the middle. Johnson was charged for pumping two tanks as the volume is the same as two tanks. Johnson also accepted $100 in lieu of the contractor completing the landscaping as Johnson wanted to complete it on his own. The consensus was that the $492.00 assessment should stand.

Lon & Julianne Voigt ($1129.14 & $654.36). The $654.36 deals with whether one or two tanks were pumped. The Voigts were supposed to have provided proof that only one tank was pumped but Russek received a message that they could not verify this. The other assessment dealt with plumbing work that both Voigt’s contractor and the contractor for the project state they completed. It was the consensus that $492.00 should be subtracted from the original assessment of $1621.14 (net result of $1129.14).

Allen Miller ($770.30). Allen was present at today’s Board meeting and stated he accepted this assessment amount. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-08, list of supplemental charges for the Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha Subordinate Service District. The motion includes setting Lon & Julianne Voigt’s assessments at $1129.14 & $654.36 and setting Robert G. Johnson’s assessment at $492.00. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The meeting recessed at 10:07 A.M. and reconvened at 10:14 A.M. for the Employee Recognition Ceremony. Employees were recognized for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of service. The Individual Achievement Award was presented to Nathan Miller, Court Services. Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, nominated Miller. Miller holds the position of the Restorative Justice Probation Agent and works to restore the community to a whole after a crime has been committed. Miller works closely with and trains members of Human Services, Sheriff Department, school districts and volunteers. Miller also serves on both state and local boards, is the Wright County Family Services Collaborative Chair, and is involved with Habitat for Humanity. MacMillan noted Miller’s qualities as dedicated, loyal, a team player and an employee who always places the department first. The Group Achievement Award was presented to the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Team which includes Jon Young, Christine Austin-Roehler, and Denice Tracy. The Team was nominated by Ann Benson. After the events of 2001, funding was provided to prepare citizens for emergency situations such as bio-terrorism. Benson said the Team has done an excellent job of taking on the task of preparing a plan, which is still in the process. They have attended many trainings and trained not only staff but those in the community. They brought together agencies, departments and members of the community to work on projects. Benson thanked and congratulated them on the Group Achievement Award. The Board also recognized those who were nominated for the Individual and Group Achievement Awards: Al Buskey, Building Maintenance (Individual); Ellen Dressel, Human Services (Individual); Sue Elletson, Human Services (Individual); Social Services Children’s Services Unit of Human Services (Group); and Information Technology (Group). The Board expressed congratulations and thanks to all the employees. The Board also recognized the Awards Review Committee Members for their work in selecting this year’s recipients. A reception was held in the Community Room following the Board meeting.

The meeting recessed at 10:40 A.M. and reconvened at 10:47 A.M. Ken Johnson, Wright County Ag Inspector, distributed the 2003 Ag Inspector Report. The report was not required by the Department of Ag this year. During the last Legislative Session, discussion included Department of Agriculture funding. In the end, the weed law which mandates the Ag Inspector position was still in effect. During the budgetary process, the weed and seed section was pared down (from 12 to 4 employees). Whatever is completed in this area will be done at the local level. The actual time spent on the weed and seed program has decreased as farming and business has changed. Johnson concentrates on developers, crop land, and making sure that county and state roads are taken care of with regard to weed problems. Seeds are being sampled at the point of origin for large dealers. Smaller seed producers are monitored. Johnson anticipated he would be handling seed and fertilizer calls also. He does not work with the feed side as most things are mixed with drugs and require FDA approval. A large part of the Ag Inspector position deals with pesticides. Johnson felt he could assist the County with education and enforcement of the Zero Phosphorus Ordinance and requested Board direction on what they would like completed. Sawatzke said Johnson should visit hardware stores and educate the owner/manager on site that the Ordinance is effective 8-1-04. He felt an information card should be posted near the product to educate the public. He thought a newsletter should be sent to lake associations informing them of the Ordinance. Johnson said he has an opportunity to interact with lawn services and golf courses also. His philosophy is to educate the public the first time he finds something wrong and ask that the problem be corrected. If this does not happen, then he follows up. Otherwise, he likes to work with people to bring them into compliance.

Bills Approve

Abrahamson, Brian 195.75

Advantage Brands 311.50

Abion Township 1073.20

American Institutional Supply 745.40

American Road & Trans. Builder 125.00

Ancom Technical Center 1257.69

Aramark Correctional Services 4993.05

Auto Glass Center, Inc. 440.05

Backes, Joe 100.87

Barthel’s Auto Body 405.38

Beckius Truck Repair, Inc. 146.92

Bound Tree Medical LLC 331.20

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 239.54

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Commerci 289.20

Buffalo Township 887.00

Buffalo City 26,571.37

Cardiac Science 1377.00

Catco Parts Service 529.95

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 170.40

Center Point Energy 14,681.62

Central Lock & Safe 288.50

Central MN Mental Health Cntr 310.00

Climate Air 11,425.67

Cragun’s Lodging & Conference 731.67

Crow River Tools 217.68

Dales Auto Service, Inc. 146.00

East Central Regional Juvenile 32,089.20

Ernst General Construction, Inc. 720.00

Facility Systems, Inc. 7714.95

Farrell, Joyce 800.00

Franklin Township 35,913.30

Gholson, Janet 205.56

Glunz, Raymond 200.00

W Grainger, Inc. 373.87

Hansen, Craig 450.00

Heeter, Karla 145.13

Hennepin County Treasurer 30,427.71

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 644.11

Interstate All Battery Center 416.25

Interstate Battery Sys of Mpls 131.21

Lakedale Telephone Company 436.06

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 554.46

Lawson Products, Inc. 822.31

Lindquist, Michael 349.44

Lumley, Sheri 100.00

Maple Lake Township 1637.80

Marks Standard Parts 3313.91

Martin-McAllisters Consulting 350.00

Mattson, Richard 125.99

Mid-America Business Systems 1680.00

Middleville Township 1157.20

Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 1495.00

Mies Outland, Inc. 1181.46

MN Assn of Assessing Officers 250.00

MN Assn of Cty Administrators 260.00

MN Highway Safety and Research 412.00

MN Pollution Control Agency 400.00

Monroe, Geoff 100.00

Monticello Ford Mercury, Inc. 1212.42

Montrose City 620.00

Morrie’s Buffalo Chrysler 259.86

MTI Distributing, Inc. 13,053.71

National Assn of Cty Engineers 800.00

National Recreation & Park Ass 150.00

Nextel Communications 2055.41

North American Salt Co. 23,011.63

Office Depot 3775.94

Photo I 695.65

Prairie Land Management 5784.08

Qwest 3127.33

Record Preservation, Inc. 330.18

Royal Tire, Inc. 3514.35

South Haven City 389.80

Southside Township 608.60

Sprint 155.85

Sprint-Local Telecom Division 100.83

St. Cloud Technical College 333.60

Strategic Equipment and Supply 495.81

Superior Ford 160,120.00

Varner Sheet Metal, Inc. 389.60

Verizon Wireless 1223.54

Weinberger, James 243.00

Wessman Oil Co. 105.48

Woodworkers Supply, Inc. 187.42

Wright County Highway Dept. 22,025.63

Wright County Journal Press 390.12

Wright Lumber & Millwork, Inc. 103.13

ZEP Manufacturing Company 223.99

Ziegler, Inc. 4499.63

28 payments less than $100 1,403.21

Final Total $444,238.33

The meeting adjourned at 10:58 A.M.

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