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Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 24, 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 2-17-04, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

The Agenda was amended as follows: Item For Consid. #3 was amended to include, “Refer To 3-15-04 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting, I-94/TH 10 Interregional Connection” (Heeter). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: J. Brown, Admin.; K. Mottl, Atty.; C. Barthel, R. Hagel, Bldg. Maint.; T. Fedor, R. Miller, A. Riebel, Parks; W. Stephens, P&Z; J. Fox, L. Goenner, P. Loch, Sheriff.

2. Authorize AMC Delegation To Attend Legislative Conference, March 24-25, 2004, St. Paul.

3. 4th Quarter Training Reports (2003).


1. Approve Tobacco Licenses: Super Express (Monticello City); Holiday Stationstore (Otsego); Silver Creek Corner Bar (Silver Creek Twp.).

2. Approve Hire, Lori Herwig, Office Assistant, Eff. 3-1-04 (Step 1).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, said correspondence was received from the City of Maple Lake in November, 2003, requesting the County waive the 30-day comment period in order to modify three TIF Districts. This has been done in the past, aids in speeding up the process, and in most cases is a formality. The three TIF Districts involved include 1-16, 1-11 and 1-12. A copy of the TIF District 1-16 request was included in the information presented to the Board today, but information on the other two TIF Districts was not. Mattson moved to approve the request for waiver of the 30-day comment period for TIF District 1-16. The other two TIF Districts will be addressed at the next County Board meeting. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

Correspondence was received from Eileen Shierts requesting a Ditch #33 lien apportionment. This issue was discussed at the last County Board meeting. Notices were sent to residents on several ditches in the County notifying them of work completed in the past 16 months. The notice provided an opportunity for property owners to pay ahead of time or have the expense placed on the tax statement as a special assessment. The request by Shierts relates to work completed on Ditch #33 in Monticello Township. A portion of the property was sold to Mn/DOT and there was no apportionment of the lien completed at that time. Gruber explained that historically, the County has never reviewed properties when they were split to see if acreage should be apportioned. He felt this may become more of an issue as land is being subdivided more often compared to 20-30 years ago. Shierts is requesting review of two properties, Parcel 21-3000-214200 & Parcel #213-000-281200. The Board did consider a similar request approximately one year ago and a public hearing was held. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said if a public hearing were scheduled notice would be sent to adjacent property owners. Sawatzke inquired whether payment of the assessment in question could be delayed for 30-60 days while it is studied. March 5th is the prepayment date and after that the assessment is placed on the tax statements and may incur interest. Asleson said it would make sense to do so as the petition is in hand. Due to the involvement of Mn/DOT, he felt the hearing should be set out approximately one month. Asleson said the problem is liens or benefits assigned to properties are not recorded. There is no method for tracking unless a property splits. Historically nothing has been done unless a property owner brings forth the issue. A copy of a form used by Kandiyohi County was obtained. This form is used to have parties sign off and then it is recorded. Sawatzke said the land involved was acquired for a Mn/DOT road project. Some of the property owners did not want to sell but were provided the option of selling at the given price or the property would be condemned. Russek moved to schedule a Public Hearing on this issue for 3-23-04 at 9:30 A.M. All interest on payments will be stayed for 30 days after the hearing. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Sawatzke suggested that SWCD review the property to determine benefitted acreage. The motion carried 5-0.

Sawatzke informed Asleson that development is occurring on Ditch 33 and Kurt Deter feels the City should be contacted to determine where the water is going as the development is being built.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced a claim on page 9, Community Education Dept. ($76.00) for facility rentals. This claim relates to use of meeting room space by the Extension Department and is an annual charge. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Asleson said several years ago, Elim Homes renovated the Parkview Care Center in Buffalo with use of bonds sold through the County. Elim Homes recently acquired Ebenezer which is both a nursing home and assisted living center. Their request is for issuance of Health Care Facilities Revenue Bonds through the County. The County is not responsible for payments on the bonds, but Elim Homes would experience a lower interest rate as provided by State Statute. Bond counsel for Elim Homes inquired whether the County was planning on doing any bonding this year. Asleson indicated that the County has equipment notes and may refinance the solid waste bonds, placing the County over the $10 million cap for that type of financing. Asleson was unsure if the request by Elim Homes would affect the County’s ability to do other types of bonding. Kathy Youngquist, Elim Homes Chief Financial Officer, said they are applying for 501(c)(3) exempt status for the Lake Ridge Care Center. Once the exempt status process is complete, they would like to proceed with public financing to finance the purchase. An advantage of bank qualified loans is that banks can buy portions of bonds and interest is exempt to them. Without being bank qualified, the interest exemption applies only to those with exempt status. Youngquist said if Elim Homes would ever go bankrupt or have financial difficulties, the taxpayers of Wright County would not be held responsible. Eichelberg moved to schedule a Public Hearing on 3-23-04 at 10:00 A.M. for this issue, seconded by Heeter. Asleson was directed to contact Springsted to determine whether any rating agencies would consider this as part of the County’s debt and if there would be any ramifications on bond ratings. The motion carried 5-0.

The regular meeting was recessed at 9:35 A.M. and a Public Hearing was held on a request for a setback variance per the County’s Feedlot Ordinance. The request for a variance has been made by Gordon Marquette, Parcel #203-000-334400, Chatham Township. The variance would allow a new residence to be built approximately 150 feet closer to an existing animal feedlot than the Ordinance would otherwise allow. The Public Hearing notice was published in the legal newspaper and notice was provided to landowners within 1/4 mile. Tracy Janikula, Feedlot Administrator, said she will bring forth a proposal to the Board to change the Ordinance to exempt family, which is the case in this request. As the Ordinance stands, a variance must be issued with this request. Reasons for the variance are to save crop land and because of the length of the driveway. Janikula recommended approval. Mattson said the Township Board also approved the request. Sawatzke noted that in agricultural areas, often times there is a second or third home on a farmstead. No public comment was received. The Public Hearing closed at 9:40 A.M. and the regular Board meeting was reconvened. Asleson said the Board of Adjustment adopts formal findings if they feel it will be a contested matter, but did not feel findings would be required with this request. He suggested the Board make a motion approving the variance as requested. Planning & Zoning also uses a form to record the action which is made a part of the record for the property. Heeter moved to approve the variance as this is a family issue and there is no opposition. The motion includes any and all other reasons brought forth today. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said feedback was received from Benton, Sherburne and Stearns Counties that they were not in favor of holding a Quad County Meeting on 3-30-04. They instead favored holding a meeting on 3-24-04 as part of the Legislative Conference. Norman suggested 4:00-5:00 P.M. on 3-24-04. The Agenda has not been determined but Norman felt the discussion would be based on what was discussed at the Conference. Russek moved to schedule a meeting with the Benton, Sherburne and Stearns County on 3-24-04 at 4:00 P.M., St. Paul Radisson, to discuss mutual issues. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Norman will contact AMC to schedule a meeting room. Wright County will host the Quad County Meeting on 6-29-04. The motion carried 5-0.

Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #04-11 approving a Charitable Gambling Application (Form LG230), for the Buffalo Lions Club, Monti Club (Monticello Township). The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The Board discussed setting a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting. It was noted that along with the Agenda items requested by the Highway Engineer, Heeter had requested that the I-94/TH 10 Interregional Connection be included on this Agenda. Mattson attended a 7W Transportation meeting last week where discussion included concern with four-lane roadways on I-94 and Hwy. 10. Mattson said attention should be given to TH 55 and TH 12. Russek said a TH 12 meeting was held recently but he was unable to attend as it occurred at the same time as the TH 55 meeting. Russek moved to schedule a TCOTW meeting for 3-15-04 at 1:45 P.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. The Agenda will include: 1) Discuss 5-Year Plan/Bonding Options; and 2) I-94/TH 10 Interregional Connection.

Bills Approved

Aramark Correctional Services 10,204.56

B & D Plumbing & Heating 174.00

Bob Barker Co 655.66

Beaudry Propane Inc 2,354.90

Buffalo Hospital 8,400.00

Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm 186.50

CDW Computer Centers Inc 396.49

Cellular One 166.82

Climate Air 4,208.80

Decorative Designs Inc 175.53

EPA Audio Visual Inc 9,654.44

Federated Propane 456.11

First State Tire Recyling 426.13

French Lake Township 599.40

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Laplant Demo Inc. 554.46

Loffler Business Systems Inc 2,024.58

Marco Business Products 950.30

Marlin Leasing Corporation 1,069.86

Meeker Cty Memorial Hospital 190.00

MN Assn of Women Police 150.00

Morrison Cty Sheriff 7,600.00

Motorola Inc 2,918.96

Office Depot 1,696.39

Alan Peterson 299.98

PSC Supply 179.12

QWest 1,750.70

Recall Document Mgmt Serv 141.52

Sherburne County Sheriff 2,720.00

Sterling Drug 2,785.49

Streichers 966.51

Thermal Technologies Inc 2,063.40

Uniforms Unlimited 111.14

Universary of Minnesota 751.25

West Group Payment Center 476.00

27 Payments Less Than $100

Final Total 69,020.76

The meeting adjourned at 9:49 A.M.

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