Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 17, 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 2-10-04, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #2, “Ditch 33 Assessment” (Sawatzke); Item For Consid. #4, “Update, Clearwater Pleasant Park Severe Weather Siren” (Asleson). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Russek requested that Item D1, “Set Letting Date For 2004 Culverts Project, 4-13-04 @ 9:30 A.M.” be moved from the Consent Agenda to Highway Engineer Item #5. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: W. Marschel, Aud.; M. Lund, Ct. Admin.; W. Workman, Hwy.; K. Hayes, IT.

2. Claim, Buetow & Associates, $3,460.

3. Claim, Frank Madden, $1,687.05.

4. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, Ducks Unlimited Wright County Chapter, Silver Springs Golf Course (Monticello Twp.).


1. Approve Two Additional Telephone Lines.


1. Accept Resignation, Anita Nathan, Court Attendant, Eff. 2-09-04 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Refer To Technology Committee: 1) Record Management Project-Update; 2) Request For Phone Switch Items; 3) Updates & Discussion: Web Portal To Land Records, Technology Fair, and Geographic Information System.


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Charles Fradella, Civilian Bailiff (Half-Time), Eff. 2-18-04 (Step 3).

2. Acknowledge Appointment, Michael Fox, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-18-04 (Grade 5).

Sawatzke received a phone call from a property owner on Ditch #33 who received an assessment notice for work completed on the ditch. The property was sold to the State of Minnesota in 1993. Upon research, there was no transfer of benefits found when the property was sold. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, recalled in the last couple of years an informal petition for Ditch #38 involving parcels split since the original ditch lien. Statute requires a petition from the landowner to change the ditch lien. The Board would be required to publish notice and hold a public hearing to apportion a lien. Asleson felt the Attorney’s Office could draft documentation for signature for those situations where a mutual agreement is reached. Asleson suggested the hearing process be conducted for State property. The next step would be for the property owner to submit a petition to have the property apportioned. Sawatzke said assessment notices indicated no interest would be charged if payment was made by the due date. He inquired whether it would be acceptable to set the due date back 60 days for this property while it is being studied. Asleson was not aware of anything in statute that would provide for action. Property owners are required to follow through to have a lien removed from a property and did not feel anything could be done if the lien were still attached. In the past when a property were split, the Auditor’s Office was notified of the transfer. However, the portion of the office dealing with ditches was not notified. Procedures may be implemented to correct this in the future. The Board discussed prior action on a ditch apportionment in 2003 for Florek property in Ditch 38, Woodland Township. The Administration Office was directed to research past Board action.

Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, noted the purchase of squad cars was funded from the capital note. He requested that the Auditor’s Office periodically provide a running total of the capital account, including expenditures.

Chris Basgall, Onyx FCR Landfill, provided an update on the Gopher Resource Corporation disposal issue. He provided copies of a 2-6-04 letter from the MPCA to Onyx FCR Landfill including a Notice of Violation. The Corrective Action indicates that within 30 days the regulated parties must (in summary): 1) Submit a chronology of events related to the acceptance of the hazardous smelter slag waste from 11-1-03 through 1-05-04 including maps, depth, quantity of smaller waste, and manifests and paperwork associated with the transportation of the material; 2) Submit a proposed modification of the Industrial Waste Management Plan to include procedures ensuring hazardous waste is not accepted, including procedures for waste confirmation testing; 3) Submit both Excavation and Health and Safety Plans for the removal of the hazardous waste per the 1-6-04 MPCA letter; 4) Submit a cost estimate for removal, transportation, and disposal of the estimated 2300 tons of hazardous waste currently in the landfill. Basgall said a sister company of Onyx FCR Landfill also received a violation for hauling the material. Onyx is currently working with Gopher Resource Corporation and has a few weeks remaining to study the material. A meeting is anticipated on March 1st or 2nd to seek resolution. Discussion followed on the procedures to report a violation. Basgall explained that samples taken during an annual audit of Gopher Resource Corporation came up bad. They had been non-detect since 1998. MPCA had previously indicated that they would have six weeks to research the problem but they have since issued the Notice of Violation. Before any additional material is placed in the Landfill, MPCA must be satisfied on the new sampling procedures. One of the things Gopher is working on is new analytical procedures. Gopher will assume costs for removal of the material. Basgall said a contract is not held between Gopher and Onyx Landfill. Gopher guarantees through annual certification that the material is okay and the process for testing has not changed. Onyx Landfill does not impose penalties for violations. The hazardous material in the Landfill is a slag from a smelting process. Basgall said the lead is encapsulated in the material and will not leach. Leachate tests were run for lead and PCB’s. The material will be removed or treated on site, as determined by the MPCA. Basgall indicated he would return with any updates to the situation.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting was held on 2-9-04. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today’s meeting follows:

Annandale Area Community Team The Parks Department adopted a regional trail plan in 2002. Since that time, civic groups have developed their own trails to coincide with Wright County’s plan. The City of Annandale had hoped to receive TEA 21 funding for their trail system in 2007 but their project was not identified as a top priority. Other funding was pursued. They want to work out a cooperative agreement with the County and townships on maintenance responsibilities outside of the City. Cost of overlaying the trails in the future is estimated at $15,000-$20,000/mile. Recommendation: It was the consensus of this Committee that they would be willing to re-visit this issue of trail maintenance when more information on the operation (funding maintenance) of other trail systems in the state is compiled by Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, and presented to them.

Discuss Options For Bonding: 5-Year CIP & 10-Year Work Plan Discussion. A plan was presented that incorporated some bonding for certain projects. There are still questions on a couple of major projects involving Mn/DOT. A major project has been planned in Monticello involving CSAH’s 18, 75 and 39 (by I-94) in 2005. The original County cost estimate was $700,000 but that has increased to between $1.7-$2.4 million. Funding for this project is not included in the 5-Year Plan. The costs for the proposed traffic signal at CSAH 35 and Bison Boulevard have been revised and the engineering fees are less than expected. The project will be funded with local funds; however nothing is budgeted for the 25% County portion. Another project involves the overpass on TH 101 north of Rogers. This has been placed on the accelerated bonding list by Mn/DOT. Mn/DOT has revised their cost sharing policy. As a result, the Wright County share could run as high as $10-$13 million. The project was moved up to 2006 from 2013, and the State may make some of this money available on a low-interest loan basis. Fingalson testified at the House Transportation Finance Committee Meeting in an attempt to convince them to offer grant money rather than loan money on accelerated projects. Correspondence was received from Otsego expressing concerns on the safety of CSAH 37 and TH 101, requesting immediate action. Sawatzke suggested that the CSAH 37 project be put on the County’s 10-Year work plan. Fingalson discussed with Springsted possible bonding for projects in order to free up local and state aid money for certain necessary projects that have not been included in the budget. The City of Waverly requests their project be moved up to 2004 instead of 2005. A 2004 Spring road restriction map was distributed. There are still 120 miles of 5-ton roadways. With bonding, they would hope to reduce that amount considerably. To maximize dollars, road overlays are scheduled for roads which share the same area. Wayne Kessler, St. Michael City, inquired how the NE Transportation Study would affect funding. Fingalson responded if the Board votes to accept the study, the potential for more allocations for the county and cities will increase. It was agreed that decisions on the 5-Year Plan need to be made prior to budget meetings and will be discussed at the March TCOTW meeting. Relating to funding of the CSAH 35/Bison Boulevard traffic signal, the County agreed to cover 25% of the costs and the City of Buffalo and the School District agreed to cover 75% of the costs. The City has proposed bonding through the County and paying the County back with interest as the City has bonded the maximum amount allowable. The Legislature established a provision in law to reinforce the need for partnerships. Using this provision eliminates the levy limit restriction according to Mert Auger, City of Buffalo. Recommendation: It was the consensus of this Committee to put the Traffic Signal Agreement (CSAH 35 and Bison Boulevard) with the City of Buffalo on the Board agenda and recommend it for approval. The source of funding will be determined later. Fingalson will contact the Springsted representative and get more specific information on bonding options prior to the next TCOTW meeting.

At today’s Board Meeting, Mattson voiced concern with the bonding partnership with the City of Buffalo. He felt the City of Cokato would like to complete the CR #3 project and they possibly would like the same type of arrangement. He felt all should be treated the same. After discussion, Fingalson indicated that he would be contacting Springsted to obtain financial information with this type of action. A TCOTW meeting will be set and this issue can be discussed at that time. Fingalson stated the City can fund their share but proceeding with bonding would allow the funding to go further. Sawatzke requested a historical perspective on what the County owed from the 1980’s to the present. The cost of the proposed jail should also be considered. The Board would then need to determine what an acceptable debt level would be for the County. He felt at some point, the County’s bond rating may be affected. Fingalson felt it would be appropriate to have this discussion at the TCOTW meeting in March. Norman and Gruber will be included in this discussion. Sawatzke said the historical perspective on the debt and future costs should be obtained from the Auditor.

Agreement with McLeod County (Wright County CR 103 /McLeod County CR 56). The agreement is documentation of what has been done in the past rather than a new approach on the maintenance of a 4-mile stretch of CR 103. Maintenance costs have been shared but there never has been a written agreement. Wright County will take the lead on a reclamation/overlay project scheduled for the Summer of 2004. Recommendation: It was the consensus of this Committee that the “Agreement for Maintenance and Construction of McLeod County Road 56 (Wright County Road 103)” be recommended for approval by the County Board.

Hennepin County Bridge Maintenance Claim (as referred from February 3 Board Meeting). Wright County has an agreement with Hennepin County to share (at 50%) in the maintenance costs of the three bridges that are located on the county line between the two counties. Due to staff turnover in Hennepin County, Wright County was not billed for work completed in 2000, 2001 and 2002 until recently. The bills were not paid in corresponding years so there is not enough in the budget to cover the entire amount of $113,000. Recommendation: It was the consensus of this Committee that the bills from Hennepin County for bridge maintenance in 2000 ($12,718.77) and 2001 ($17,708.94) be paid and that payment on the 2002 bill ($82,829.16) be delayed until a satisfactory agreement is reached with Hennepin County for sharing costs on shared portions of CR 139 and CSAH 17.

At today’s meeting, Fingalson explained the reason there is not enough in the budget to cover the entire bill of $113,000 is that previous experience was $10,000 or less per year. However, Hennepin County incurred expense with the Berning Mill Bridge in 2002 and this was not budgeted. The agreement with Hennepin County may be modified to allow more Wright County input on expenditures. Eichelberg moved to approve the 2-9-04 TCOTW Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Fingalson requested approval of a resolution authorizing Fingalson to set the 2004 Spring weight restrictions as appropriate. The restrictions are consistent with what is set State wide. Copies of the resolution will be made available to cities, townships and the information will be posted on the County’s website. The announcement will be made three days prior to implementation. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-09, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Fingalson requested approval of Agreement No. 04-01 with the City of Buffalo for the traffic control signal system at CSAH 35 & Bison Boulevard. The City has approved the Agreement and a consultant firm has been hired to design the signal system. A kickoff meeting will be held on 2-17-04 with the City and School District. Fingalson said the Agreement will be with the City, who is acting on behalf of the School District. There will be a separate agreement between the City and the School District. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agreement, seconded by Heeter. Mattson referenced a recent report by Mn/DOT given at a Transportation Meeting relating to the alarming rate of accidents at traffic signals. Fingalson responded there is no guarantee that putting signals in at this intersection will solve the problems. Mn/DOT recommended the traffic signal be put in at this intersection due to the benefit cost ratio. Mattson was recently at this intersection on a sunny day and did not feel anyone would be able to see the light. Fingalson said this problem was discussed but the decision was to proceed. The motion carried 4-1 with Mattson casting the nay vote.

Fingalson said as part of the CSAH 9 project, the City of Waverly wants to improve Atlantic Avenue. The request is to change the designation of CSAH 9 to the Atlantic Avenue portion allowing the City to benefit from State Aid funds. The approximate cost to rebuild the road is $500,000. In order for the City to use State Aid funding, the curve has to be an improvement. Standards call for a 30 mph curve. To accomplish this, one home would be removed and the City does not want to acquire more ROW. The proposal is for a 20 mph curve which would require a variance. This variance must be presented to the State Aid Variance Committee which meets on 3-31-04. Requests must be submitted by 3-1-04. A requirement of the variance is that the County would (in summary) indemnify, save and hold harmless the State of Minnesota from claims, demands, actions arising out of or by reason of granting of the variance and agrees to cover costs associated with any claim. Fingalson had concern with the proposed elevation of 6%, which would make this a steep curve, and thought a revision may be necessary. The draft resolution is generic in that the recommendation is for something lower than a 30 mph curve. What is proposed is less sharp than what is currently there. The City would like to move forward with the project this year. Payment will be over a 2 year period (2005-2006). The City will finance the project. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-10, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The item, “Set Letting Date For 2004 Culvert Projects, 4-13-04 @ 9:30 A.M.” was moved from the Consent Agenda to the Highway Engineer’s items for discussion. Plans and specifications have been prepared for replacement of eight centerline highway culverts on the following highways: CR 109 (2), CR 117, CSAH 33, CR 116, CSAH 30, CR 103, and CSAH 13. Funding has been budgeted with local levy maintenance dollars. Russek inquired whether all levy dollars would be used. Fingalson responded affirmatively, stating no State Aid funding would be used. The figure of $105,000 was placed in the budget for this project. State Aid funding could be used if other projects utilizing those dollars were eliminated. Russek moved to approve setting the letting date for the 2004 culvert projects for 4-13-04 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 2-11-04. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:

Remodel Project Update. Engel reported he will be reviewing the first four final inspection reports that have been signed by the contractor later today. The contractor is currently working on the fifth punch list. Phase six is underway with the Assessor’s Office returning to their department and the Recorder’s Office is in the process of moving out. At this time the project is ahead of schedule with all work anticipated to be completed by the end of March. Engel mentioned agreement has not been reached on the cost of an addition to a fire damper on the 2nd floor. A cost of $617 was received, however, it is anticipated the final cost will be lower. There was brief discussion on replacement of the tile in the first floor corridor. Mattson questioned who would be liable if there was damage to equipment because of dust from cutting the tile. Engel indicated it could be a gray area if covering equipment or the contractor putting up a plastic barrier was not covered in the contract with the contractor. Joe Scott reported resolution on the waterproofing warranty covering the cement project on the south entrance is still underway.

Modular Furniture, Sheriff Annex. Sheriff Miller presented a request for modular furniture for the Sheriff Department space in the old Attorney’s Office area on the first floor. A plan layout from Facility Systems was distributed. Hayes stated the cost estimate was based on all new components, however, once the remodeling project has been completed he expects the amount can be reduced by using pieces in our inventory. Hayes also suggested recarpeting the area modular furniture is installed. Recommendation: Place this item on hold until the April 14, 2004 meeting in order to obtain firm figures for carpet replacement and modular furniture cost after an inventory of modular components on hand has been completed.

A Civil Defense Committee meeting was held on 2-11-04. Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:

Emergency Operations Plan. The January 28, 2004 meeting was recessed until February 11, 2004 at 9:00 A.M. for Helgeson, Reese and Berg to meet and thoroughly review the Plan for corrections and revisions. Berg will prepare revised copies of the Plan and provide a new cd copy to be submitted to the State. There was discussion on distribution of the Plan. It was noted that the Plan will need to be exercised and continually updated. Recommendation: Request the Plan be approved at the February 17, 2004 County Board Meeting in order for the Plan to be submitted to the State and the grant funds be dispersed by the March 1st deadline.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 2-11-04. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Hire Deputy To Fill Vacancy Due To National Guard Call-Up. Miller stated that a third deputy has now been called to active duty. The latest deputy called to active duty will be gone until sometime in mid-2005. When deputies return from active deputy we can resolve authorized staffing levels by not hiring a replacement for a resignation, retirement, or new position. Recommendation: Approve request.

Personnel Policy And Procedure Manual. The Committee reviewed Sections 200 and 300. Section 200 was accepted as written after discussion on the last sentence under “Intern”. The list of benefits in Section 301.01 will be checked to make sure the cross-referencing is correct. In Section 304.03 the word “official” will be changed to “paid”. Section 304.04, 2, will be revised by deleting the word “two”. The Committee will review Sections 400, 500, and 600 at the next meeting to be held February 25, 2004.

Correspondence was received from NACO relating to the Five Star Restoration Challenge Grant. The Program provides modest financial assistance on a competitive basis to support community-based wetland, riparian and coastal habitat restoration projects. There is a March 1, 2004 postmark deadline for applications. The material was just received last week. A copy of the information will be faxed to the SWCD and the CROW organizations. Any proposed projects could be brought forth to the County Board at their next meeting.

Also received from NACO was “The Planning For Results Guidebook.” Norman said this may be a useful document when we revise the comprehensive plan for the County. The document will be available for review in the Administration Department.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the Parks Administrator presented a request to the County Board three weeks ago asking for permission for the Clearwater Lake Property Owners Association to place a severe weather warning siren on Parks property. At that time, the Board indicated they wanted an agreement in place, proof of insurance, etc. Since that time, it was found that the Association worked through Wright Hennepin Electric for the siren. Wright Hennepin holds an easement to access an existing power pole on the property. The cost of the siren is $2300. Wright Hennepin Electric will install the siren and provide the power. Asleson drafted a hold harmless agreement indicating the Association would not hold the County responsible for any damage or costs. The County would not have any obligation for maintenance or proper operation of the siren or power pole. This pole is located in an undeveloped part of the Park. There is a garage located in this area for Parks storage. The Association is willing to sign this document. A copy of the Agreement will be provided to MCIT. Asleson did not see a reason for the Association to provide proof of insurance coverage for the property. A copy of the Agreement will be forwarded to the Parks Administrator for the records.

Bills Approved

Albion Township 16,087.99

American Bio Medica Corporatio 230.13

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 148.52

Ancom Communications Inc. 8907.05

Ancom Technical Center 299.38

Aramark Correctional Services 4980.47

B&D Plumbing & Heating 430.00

Bachman Printing 257.73

Bob Barker Co 719.34

Beckius Truck Repair Inc. 199.31

Bergies 102.80

BLM Technologies Inc 199.31

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 267.35

Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc 140.00

Buffalo Bituminous 38,053.50

Buffalo Clinic 183.00

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Com 433.20

Buffalo Township 16,831.03

Burdas Towing 160.82

CDW Government INC 541.09

Center Point Energy 2194.68

Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 10,298.59

Central McGowan Inc. 294.00

Chatham Township 11,383.97

Civic Research Institute Inc. 169.95

Clearwater Township 13,880.95

Climate Air 4131.00

Clinnet Solutions LLC 114.00

Cokato Township 16,630.48

Corrinna Township 24,715.33

City Delano 452,096.71

DLT Solutions 268.00

Ernst General Construction Inc. 3384.00

Debbie Ernst 115.50

Facility Systems Inc. 6729.31

Tom Feddema 277.50

Franklin Township 26,883.18

French Lake Township 15,149.21

G&K Services 1790.35

Gateway Companies Inc. 2182.00

Going Under Dive Center 2135.95

W Grainger Inc. 152.96

Greenview Inc. 567.86

H&H Sport Shop Inc. 152.96

Herald Journal Publishing Inc 101.85

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 3181.26

Ken Hoeschen 1893.97

Holiday 2305.66

International Personnel Mngmnt 299.00

Carl Johnson Mechanical Contra 312.00

Kandiyohi Cty Sheriffs Dept 20,402.00

Kramers Hardware 102.16

Lake Region Coop Oil 246.97

Lilia Lantto 135.00

Kimberly Leclaire 120.40

Loberg Electric 740.86

Major Appliance Repair 132.40

Maple Lake Township 21,140.32

Marco Business Products 952.31

Marysville Township 18,922.30

McMaster-Carr Supply Co 142.57

Meeker County Sheriff 11,195.80

Metro Group Inc., The 1824.61

Mid-America Business Systems 146.01

Middleville Township 14,720.51

Minnesota CLE 230.00

MN Counties Computer Co-op 625.00

MN Dept of Labor & Industry 100.00

MN Dept of Public Safety 320.00

MN State Treasurer 105.00

MN Transportation Alliance 200.00

Monticello Township 31,851.68

Monticello-Big Lake Hospital 875.00

North American Salt Co 7073.89

Northern Tool & Equipment Co 244.09

Office Depot 2838.10

Oryans Conoco 105.00

Anne Parker 110.05

David Pederson 216.92

PMI Computer Supplies 149.50

Qwest 8533.99

John Reid and Associates 450.00

Rockford Township 28,158.48

RS Eden 1022.25

Jack Russek 218.25

Safeshred 402.75

SBC Paging 658.31

Sherry Schliesing 331.34

Shell Fleet Plus 1080.79

Silver Creek Township 24,662.26

Snowplows Plus 192.66

Southfork Recreational Parts 479.75

Southside Township 14,724.27

State of MN Intertech Group 1078.95

State of MN-Info Tech Div-R Ha 768.96

State Supply Co 145.73

Therea Stieg 427.50

Stockholm Township 13,956.62

Superior Ford 180,500.00

Tom’s Snowmobile & Small Eng 434.90

Total Printing 441.93

The Travel Gallery 1367.46

Uniforms Unlimited 172.96

USI INC 169.68

Victor Township 15,428.30

Voss Lighting 367.78

C Walker Trucking 1656.00

Waste Managemetn TC West 680.03

West Publishing Company 310.98

West Suburban Industrial Supply 843.85

Woodland Township 13,867.12

Wright County Highway Dept. 62,255.00

Wright County Journal Press 246.57

Wright Hennepin Electric 3539.03

Xcel Energy 209.33

53 payment less than $100 2,122.42

Final Total $1,210,820.10

The meeting adjourned at 10:27 A.M.

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