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Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 2, 2004

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 2-24-04, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item G1, “Approve Tobacco Licenses: Renewal For Albertville Off Sale (Albertville); Renewal For Osakis Market #5308 (St. Michael); Ownership Change For Kirk’s Travel Plaza, formerly Wessman Oil (City of Cokato)” (Gruber); Item For Consid. #3, “Letter Of Thanks, Assessor Department” (Russek). Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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

A. ADMINISTRATION

1. Performance Appraisals: W. Augustin, C. Webb, Hwy.; J. Bean, N. Borrett, R. Dubois, R. Erickson, Sher./Corr.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 2-13-04.

B. COURT ADMINISTRATION

1. Acknowledge Hire, Farah Cartwright, Court Clerk, Eff. 3-3-04 (Class D, Step 3).

2. Acknowledge Hire, Jennifer Sorensen, Court Clerk, Eff. 3-3-04 (Class D, Step 3).

3. Acknowledge Hire, Debra D. Agee, Court Clerk, Eff. 3-3-04 (Class D, Step 3).

C. EXTENSION

1. Letter & Revised Job Description from the University RE: Assignment of Maribel Fernandez to the 50% Technical Advisor Position.

D. HIGHWAY

1. Approval of “Wright County Highway Right-Of-Way Plat No. 47” for Bridge Replacement Project S.P. 86-606-05 on CSAH 6.

E. SHERIFF

1. Acknowledge Resignation, Steven Bakeberg, Deputy, Eff. 2-27-04 & Authorize Replacement.

F. VETERANS SERVICES/CIVIL DEFENSE

1. Authorize Attendance of Genell Reese & Debbie Ernst at Nuclear Conference in Eau Claire WI, March 17-19, 2004.

G. AUDITOR/TREASURER

1. Approve Tobacco Licenses: Renewal For Albertville Off Sale (Albertville); Renewal For Osakis Market #5308 (St. Michael); Ownership Change For Kirk’s Travel Plaza, formerly Wessman Oil (City of Cokato).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, informed the Board that the License Center will be closed on 3-8-04 to allow the office to move back to its original location on the First Floor, Annex. This is due to the photograph system for license renewals being down. Notice was published in the newspapers and signs have been posted.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve waiving the 30-day comment period in order to modify TIF District’s #1-11 and #1-12 as requested by the City of Maple Lake. The request for TIF District #1-16 was approved at the last Board Meeting.

Gruber stated the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines were distributed some time ago and corrections were made at the last Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting on 2-24-04. Mattson moved to acknowledge receipt of the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

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

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 2-24-04. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes follows: Review 2003 Budget Results: Last year, the State Auditor provided a report on unreserved fund balances based on financial reports as of 12-31-01. Wright County had a fund reserve of 27.6% which the State Auditor viewed as a low fund balance. The acceptable fund balance would be 35-50% of total current expenditures. When County staff reviewed balancing the 2003 budgets, three methods were considered: 1) Cut budgets or expenditures; 2) Raise revenues; 3) Fund the remainder from General Revenue. Expenditure cuts totaled $571,590, estimated revenue increases totaled $501,500, and reserves funded the balance of $411,686. Hiivala provided an overview of the three major budget areas.

General Revenue, Revenues: The 2003 year end budget summary reflects that the total Revenues exceeded budget by $656,000. This made up for the State Aid cut of $583,000. The surplus was realized in both the Auditor/Treasurer and Recorder Departments.

General Revenue, Expenditures: Gruber commended departments for coming in under budget in most cases. One exception was Corrections which was due to boarding of prisoners. The other was Civil Defense which relates to expenditures prior to receiving reimbursement through Homeland Security grant funding. The last page of the handout was referenced, reflecting a $1,248,000 surplus for General Revenue. The report also reflects the Year-End Cash Balances by fund.

Road & Bridge, Revenues: The Revenues portion of the report has changed from previous years to reflect revenues by functional area.

Budget 820, General, Line Item 5561, Disaster Funds Reimbursements. Wright County collected approximately $1.5 million in FEMA disaster funding that showed as a deficit last year.

Budget 820, General, Line Item 5780, HACA. This line item reflects a deficit of $106,000. Departments proportionally absorbed State Aid cuts.

Road & Bridge, Expenditures:

Department 310, Administration. The total surplus was about $32,000.

Department 320, Highway Maintenance. This fund reflects a $122,000 surplus from budget to actual expenditures.

Department 340, Shop Maintenance. This fund reflects a $47,000 surplus.

Department 380, Non-Departmental. This fund shows a deficit of $12,000 and is due to the County’s share of insurance.

Human Services, Revenues: The first page of the document reflects revenues compared to budget by department. Sawatzke noted that revenues were down but expenditures were down twice as much.

Department 420, Income Maintenance, Line Item 650, Medical Assistance. The surplus of $84,536.99 is a formula driven reimbursement based on activity.

Department 430, Social Services, Line Item 710, Children Services: Collaborative funding is flow through money and included in this line item. The total revenue bottom line figure is misleading as these funds are included in there. The Collaborative suffered cutbacks in revenues this past year.

Department 430, Social Services, Line Item 720, Children Services-Court Services: The State started paying child care bills mid year, which is reflected in expenditures.

Other.

Equipment Note. Swing was informed that he could not purchase equipment until after 3-9-04 (equipment note sale date). Discussion followed on whether a purchase order could be generated and payment made prior to receipt of the equipment note funds (anticipated in April, 2004). Squad cars are lacking equipment and Human Services has orders pending. Norman did not have a problem with issuing purchase orders and payments as long as the County can be paid back from equipment note money. This has occurred with general obligation bonds. It was the consensus that the Auditor’s Office should research alternatives. Swing said another issue involving the equipment note is the $150,000 designated for the squad car project. Those figures were not included in the Sheriff’s budget but under the equipment note. Norman said $600,000 of bond proceeds were received from Security State Bank of Howard Lake. Swing was instructed to forward the $150,000 claim to the Auditor’s Office with funding from Fund 34.

Homeland Security Grant. The County received notice two weeks ago that a Homeland Security Grant is due by 3-5-04. There are two types of grants available. The first is a State Homeland Security Program where each county receives a $50,000 allocation. This program is not ready to be implemented at this time. The second is a Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to law enforcement. The potential is for $3.5 million in grant fund availability to Wright County (total $65 million to the State). The priority is the 800 megahertz radio system which would provide the ability to communicate with other agencies in the State. Miller will approach the County Board requesting authorization to hire a consultant to guide the County through this grant process. A preliminary portion of the grant may be submitted by the March 5th deadline with a more detailed grant to be submitted for other items. (End of BCOTW Minutes)

Sheriff Gary Miller presented a worksheet for the 2004 Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program grant for a potential of $3.5 million in funding. The application reflects the best estimate of what the entire project would cost. A consultant has not been hired at this point. The seven county metro area and State Patrol are converting to the 800 Megahertz radio system. The project will extend to the St. Cloud and Rochester areas this year and will allow transfer of digital data, photos, etc. Miller said it is vital to communication between agencies. Bill Swing, IT Director, said it is critical that his staff work closely with the Sheriff Department on this project as data and voice travel over the same system. He said the County’s record management system is approaching its end. The County went through significant upgrades in the 1990’s and Swing felt the County was at the same threshold. He felt it was an opportune time for the grant. Swing said if approved, the document would be electronically submitted on 3-5-04. Signatures would be provided by the Sheriff Department. Russek moved to approve the grant application, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 2-25-04. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0: Remodel Project Update. Hayes reported the project is on schedule. A fire alarm inspection was held on 2-16-04. It was recommended that horns and strobes be added in 15 locations where the alarm may not be heard, such as conference rooms, restrooms and court rooms. The architect will provide cost information. There was brief discussion on the South entrance concrete project. This continues to be on hold for warranty resolution and for the caulking to be done in the Spring. Tile replacement on the first floor corridor is to be completed this weekend. Hayes was asked to followup on removal of the contractor’s trailer from the parking area. A summary of the Capital Projects Fund as of 2-25-04 was distributed. A transfer of funds will be on next week’s County Board Agenda. (End of Building Minutes)

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested authorization to advertise for bids for the septic system construction at Schroeder Park. The plans have been drafted and the specifications written. This project was bonded for in 2003. Eichelberg moved to schedule a bid opening on 3-23-04 at 9:45 A.M., seconded by Russek. It was clarified that the advertisement will be run in the Howard Lake Herald for three weeks, with the last publication date being 3-22-04. Advertisement will also be placed in the construction bulletin. Mattice will obtain a list of sewer installers from Planning & Zoning. The motion carried 5-0.

At 9:35 A.M., the regular meeting was closed and the Public Hearing was held on a Feedlot Ordinance setback variance request by Mark and Patti Blackwell (Franklin Township). Notice was published in the legal newspaper and mailed to those within 1/4 mile of the property. The applicant was before the Township Board on 3-1-04 and the request was approved. The Township’s approval was based upon the information supplied by the Planning & Zoning Office that an existing building on the property could be used for the purpose intended and use was supported by a neighborhood petition. Tracy Janikula, Feedlot Administrator, said the Blackwells were provided incorrect information on setbacks by the Planning & Zoning Office. This potentially occurred at the same time the Feedlot Ordinance was being implemented and staff followed the Zoning Ordinance, which only requires a 50’ setback from the property line. The Feedlot Ordinance requires a 100’ setback or whichever is more restrictive.

Marc Blackwell said the property was purchased 3.5 years ago with the intention of residing there and having a small horse farm. They were informed that the existing barn could be used and the 50’ setback met requirements. They have made extensive investments in updating the property. They discovered the setback rules had changed about the same time they moved in. The purchase agreement for the property was submitted in early September, 2000 and the purchase occurred in November, 2000. They have between 4-8 horses on the property. He said many of the neighbors are in support of what they are trying to do with the property. Janikula explained that there is some concern by one neighbor on manure spreading but felt the issue was taken care of. The Blackwells were not required to register under the Feedlot Ordinance unless they exceeded 10 animal units.

Jill Anderson & Chuck Anderson are property owners of seven acres next to the Blackwells. Jill Anderson said they have been trying to get the situation corrected since the Blackwells moved in. There were too many horses for the property and there were more than Blackwell had indicated. The manure was being spread next to their property. Brown dust from the manure has spread onto their property, destroyed plants, and caused odor. It makes their property unusable in the Summer. She has resided there for 30 years and did not feel other animal odors could compare. She felt the proximity of the horses was too close to their property due to the number of horses and how the manure is spread. She spoke of an increase in insects. They have reported the situation to Planning & Zoning many times but were told nothing could be done as the Blackwells have 10 acres. If the variance were granted, she felt their property would be useless in the Summer. Jill Anderson voiced objection to the variance request and stated that other neighbors in support of the request live at least 1/4 mile away. When the Blackwells moved in, she understood they would be purchasing the 10 acres adjacent to the property for pasture and manure spreading. There is also an issue with runoff from the Blackwell’s property pooling around the Anderson’s well. Chuck Anderson said he has counted as many as 15+ horses on the Blackwell property. They contacted the Blackwell’s about 1.5 years ago on the manure spreading near their home. Blackwell agreed to and complied with their request for a short period of time. They did not understand when Blackwell purchased the property that it would be turned into a feedlot. Jill Anderson said there is a water holding area from drainage ditches in the back of the Blackwell property. She felt that manure should not be placed in this area or it could pollute the Crow River.

Of the 12 acres, Blackwell said there are 4.5 acres of pasture in the front and a rear pasture. A spreader is used for the manure. They have tried to respect the request from the Anderson’s to stay away from their property. One time last Fall, manure was spread too close to the Anderson property. Janikula said the Feedlot Ordinance allows for ∏ animal unit/acre. Once 10 acres is exceeded, the Ordinance does not restrict the number of horses. A permit would be required in that case, which would include a manure management plan. Any acreage that is considered taxable is considered as acreage for feedlot requirements.

Heeter owns horses and did not feel the odor from the manure was high as compared to other animals. She stockpiles shavings and manure and allows them to decompose. Jill Anderson said they also have horses and there is odor. Blackwell indicated that the company he works for hired a professional real estate agent to assist with locating a property to fit his needs. He would apply for necessary permits or provide a management plan. He thought they had been more comprehensive with their property care than others in the area and they have invested substantially in their property. He said the Anderson’s have also piled manure 10-20’ from their own well. Jill Anderson stated that their barn is downhill from the well so it does not affect it. She did not have a problem with the number of horses or the way the property has been kept. The problem is with the manure. Anderson said their manure is occasionally spread on a neighbor’s field. Russek thought the property was grandfathered in as ag. It is in the 1 per 10 A/R zone but may have never been rezoned.

Eichelberg questioned whether restrictions could be included with approval of the variance. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated that the difference with the situation is that the variance request is specific to the building. If there were more than 10 animal units , the Blackwells would be required to register under the Feedlot Ordinance. Janikula said the setback requirements under the Feedlot Ordinance are 100’ from wells and 100’ from residences. She felt a review of the slope of the property was required due to the concern with the well. Blackwell said they own a total of 11 horses but 4 are out for training. He did not envision a time when they would have more than 10 horses.

At 10:05 A.M., the Public Hearing was closed and the regular meeting reconvened. Russek said at the time Blackwell purchased the property, he did so in good faith per information received from Planning & Zoning. The Feedlot Ordinance was formed after the fact. Eichelberg felt there were two separate situations. One was the manure spreading in areas which may affect water supplies. He felt Janikula could be instructed to observe and monitor this situation. The other issue relates to granting a variance to the Ordinance. Janikula said the difference is what is in the Ordinance for setbacks and best management practices. Janikula said if a pollution hazard is found, under ordinance and statutory rules there is no enforcement if there are under 10 horses. The solution reverts back to the person being a good neighbor and doing what is correct for the environment. Asleson said if the Board wanted to attach conditions, Janikula should complete research on the property and come back with something that the applicant is agreeable to. He suggested that if the Board were to grant the variance and instruct staff to work with the neighbors, they should do so today. Otherwise, if pollution activities were occurring as suggested, they should not act on those. Mattson moved to grant the variance and request the Planning & Zoning Office to work out the issues brought forth by the neighbors. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Sawatzke said he favored review of Janikula’s reports before supporting the variance request. Russek did not feel the variance was needed as he thought the property was purchased before the Ordinance was changed. The motion carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested approval of a Highway Easement for a portion of CSAH 7 in Howard Lake and to approve revocation of the old easement to the City of Howard Lake. A copy of the easement was distributed with the new realignment. Mattson moved to approve the request, seconded by Heeter. It was noted that the document was not signed by the Mayor. Asleson said it was his understanding that the Mayor was vacationing. His intent was to gather signatures from the County, then from the City, and then to record the document. Fingalson was instructed not to act on this request until the document has been signed. The motion carried unanimously.

Fingalson requested approval of a revised Joint Powers Agreement and resolution for the State Highway 55 Corridor Coalition. The Agreement calls for parties to work to preserve the Highway 55 corridor between I-494 in Hennepin County and the western limits of the City of Annandale to increase safety, provide additional capacity, and improve access and transit services along the corridor. Eligible parties are the Counties of Hennepin and Wright; the Cities of Annandale, Buffalo, Corcoran, Greenfield, Independence, Loretto, Maple Lake, Medina, Plymouth and Rockford; and the Townships of Albion, Buffalo, Chatham, Corinna, Maple Lake and Rockford. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-12, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

At 10:21 A.M., a Public Meeting was held relating to County Ditch #19, French Lake Outlet. Distributed was correspondence from Dale Homuth, DNR, dated 11-12-03 relating to a survey of the outlet and recommendation to replace the culvert under Oliver Avenue to reduce peak flood levels on French Lake. Asleson understands that the Township has installed an extra culvert under Oliver Avenue. At the 2-10-04 Board Meeting, John Roller and Herman Wittsack of the French Lake Improvement Association approached the Board with a request for clean out of cattails to assist with water drainage. At that time, they were instructed to 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 mailed notice of today’s meeting to benefitted property owners.

At today’s meeting, Roller said Wittsack was unable to attend. Their concern was the amount of water running into French Lake in comparison to what was flowing out in a downpour situation. The Lake Association sent letters to six agencies last August, including SWCD, Mattson, Gruber, DNR, and other places. Two responses were received including Mattson regarding the County ditch situation. The DNR did respond indicating that cattails could be cleaned out and another culvert could be installed. The last survey completed was in 1995 and a problem was identified at that time. Nothing was done to correct the situation. The Township had concern with cleaning out the ditch before the culvert capacity was increased. Mattson said he had not walked the area of the ditch in question but that clean out had already occurred from CR 3 to CR 37. Roller said their concern was the cattails which were blocking water flow. He questioned whose responsibility it would be to clean the ditch if a flooding situation occurred and homes or land was damaged. Russek explained that those listed as benefitted landowners on the ditch don’t require clean out. The County cannot assess those who live on the Lake as they are not included on the ditch roles. The County cannot assess four property owners to drain French Lake. Roller said notice was mailed to approximately 100 residents and 15 responses were received. In the past 2-3 weeks, Roller proceeded with contacting as many property owners as possible. Many of them are gone until April or May and he felt the ditch work needed to be completed prior to that time. Approximately 60 people were in agreement with the work at an estimated cost of $100 each. Mattson said the estimate provided by Fyle’s Excavating to perform clean out was $6,000 to $10,000. Out of the 85 people reached, 60 were in support of clean out and 3 were not. The Board then read a letter in opposition to the clean out from Tom Otto who was unable to attend the meeting today.

John Welch’s residence on French Lake is at water level. He referenced the Otto letter and felt the Otto’s did not have a concern as their home is about 75’ above the water level. Welch said the cattail problem is worse from Oliver Avenue to CR 3 than it is from Oliver Avenue to French Lake. The Lake level is rising and is higher than it was in the Fall. He questioned the responsibility of the County for flood control. Russek responded that those experiencing flooding on the Lake cannot be assessed by the County for work completed in the Ditch as they are not benefitted property owners. Welch said the creek floods CR 5 and CR 37 and should be a part of the standard flood control system. Asleson did not know of any specific authority the County would have to use County funding to clean the ditch. Welch questioned whether the ditch could be cleaned by anyone with the property owners permission. The response was that approval from the County Board would be required prior to clean out.

Larry Hoffman owns land along Oliver Avenue where the culvert was installed. He already was assessed $650 for work completed and inquired what it would take to allow those benefitting from the work to share in the cost. Gruber said it would require an engineer study and would cost more than 10 years of maintenance. Sawatzke said it may cost $70,000-$80,000 for someone to determine benefits and that would not include the cost of repair. Russek said the last time the County was involved in a ditch redetermination, thousands of dollars were assessed and the clean out was not completed due to the expense. State Law governs what can be done.

Asleson said there are several specific uses where a ditch can benefit from outside funding. One is flood control. With the situation of lowering the level of the Lake, the difficulty occurs in collecting from landowners. He suggested the funding be collected prior to the work or at least a portion of it. The remainder, if any, could be assessed back to benefitted owners on the ditch. Long term, he felt the situation may be the same in 10 years. They could form a lake improvement district which would provide a vehicle for lake residents to collect rather than relying on volunteer funding. Kerry Saxton, SWCD, said this is a public ditch and that clean out can occur as long as the ditch level is maintained to the original depth. Any improvement to the ditch would pose a problem. Spoils could be spread in the area.

Marvin Lahti owns property adjacent to Ditch 19. He and his brother had already been assessed $1200. With the proposal, the water would run from the Lake to Oliver Avenue. From that point north, there is drainage that runs from Ditch 19 to their property. If the portion between Oliver Avenue and CR 3 is not cleaned out, the water would back up into his property. With regard to land that Lahti has sold (120 of 160 acres), Lahti was instructed to provide a petition (or letter) to the Auditor’s Office to request division of benefits and assessments. Lahti was told that the lowest area of the property may be the portion which is considered the benefitted area.

Jerry Durst purchased a cabin on the West side of French Lake. Clay was hauled in to build up the front yard. This was done by his neighbors also. He did not feel the $100-$150 cost to lower the Lake was excessive versus the cost property owners may incur from damage. Durst thought the culvert determined the Lake level, not the removal of cattails. Only so much water would be allowed to flow through the culvert no matter what clean out of cattails occurred. He suggested clean out be performed all the way to CR 3 and that improvements made would not be to lower the Lake level but to maintain it.

Roger Rimpy, Annandale, said he has been involved in the ditch business all of his life. Last year he visited with a neighbor that has property involved with the Ditch 19 improvements. He said the culvert under CR 3 would not be able to take any more water from upstream toward Oliver Avenue. He has seen water nearly running over CR 5 but that situation may be cleared up with the installation of a control system by the DNR last Fall. This improvement may help those who live on the Lake. In past years, floating bogs restricted flow but people have cleaned those out. He has spent many years using this Lake and it has not changed. Less water is flowing into the Lake as there is less pasture use. He felt the biggest problem was the County and State allowing residents to build in the flood plain on French Lake and it would be unfair to transfer costs of clean out to those on the west side of CR 3. Rimpy suggested the Lake Association collect for the improvement before it is completed.

Roller said they are not trying to lower the Lake level but have the ability to rid the Lake of excess water more quickly after a rain. He said the cattails have been a problem for many years and the DNR indicated that the cattails are restricting flow. Correspondence from Homuth to Wittsack on 9-5-03 indicated that Homuth was not convinced that significant excavation downstream of Oliver will be necessary if the upstream improvements are made. Roller said the recommendation was to proceed with the culvert (already completed) and removal of the cattails. The elevation cited by the DNR was about 6” difference from the Lake level to the culvert and cattails were restricting flow. He said the problem needs to be corrected in the next 2-3 weeks before the frost goes away.

Mattson questioned if the County would be sued if clean out was performed between French Lake And Oliver Avenue and this adds to a flooding problem between Oliver Avenue and CR 3 (water backing up on land). Asleson said he had not viewed the area but understands that between Oliver Avenue and CR 3 is a County ditch. There is a fair amount of lower pasture land which has backed up occasionally. The question lies in how fast the water is removed and where it flows in the meantime. The toughest part is funding the work through voluntary payments. He was not aware of any authority the County would have to assess these landowners. Relating to the time line, the estimated repair costs would not require formal bids. Past ditch practice has been to obtain a couple of quotes. Mattson said Fyle’s Excavating suggested cleaning a couple of areas and possibly not the whole thing. It was confirmed that the Lake Association is an official, non-profit organization.

Roller said a tremendous amount of water was flowing into the Lake last Fall and not much rain was experienced last year. He felt it may be a grade issue or problems associated with the tile system. He has been on the Lake 4-5 years. The Lake can rise 8” and it takes 2 months for it to go down. They are not talking about lowering the Lake level but removing excess water in a shorter amount of time. Mattson said it is not the responsibility of those on the ditch to maintain the bog. He suggested repair of two small areas to see the effect. Roller referenced the DNR survey which reflected a concern between French Lake and Oliver Avenue (approximately 100 yards) and a spot on the other side of CR 3. Roller said those he spoke with favored completing the repair correctly as there have been 20+ years of problems.

Rimpy said that in 70 years he has seen the Lake level rise and fall. He did not feel any work completed would make a difference. Those who built in the flood plains cannot be helped. Rimpy thought the slow draining was due to more wetlands absorbing water when it rains. If money is spent, he suggested collecting it before any work is completed.

Eichelberg recommended obtaining separate bids for the two areas (French Lake to Oliver Avenue and Oliver Avenue to CR 3). In the meantime, money could be collected and placed into escrow with the intent that it be returned if the repair doesn’t occur. Sawatzke and Heeter agreed. It was felt that repair could not happen within the 2-3 week time frame. Sawatzke felt Saxton should review the area between CR 3 and Oliver Avenue to verify what may need to be done. He did not want to create a problem for downstream residents and if repair work did create this problem, funding for repair would be set aside by the Lake property owners. Heeter and Sawatzke both felt that since so many property owners were in support of the project that it should be completed. The Lake Improvement Association could obtain quotes to be brought back in two weeks. Roller said the survey had been completed by the DNR and a recommendation made for repair. He felt that he could potentially have collected from property owners in three weeks. Sawatzke wanted Saxton to review the DNR report before proceeding. Asleson said the Board could give authorization to the Lake Improvement Association to hire someone for repair but it must be done to the original plans of the ditch. The County would not have any contractual responsibility to the contractor. Sawatzke said the Board needs to know the effects of repair downstream (between CR 3 and Oliver) so funding is available for additional repair if needed. He said Saxton and Homuth can determine this and the problem can be solved as one issue.

Dave Bajari owns 40 acres between Oliver Avenue and CR 3, most of which is low land. He paid an assessment last year for clean out. He said there is area on his property which needs clean out and felt that water would back up on his property if it weren’t completed. Bajari owns the property with his father and would need to consult him on the clean out. Bajari did not want to be assessed again next year for work completed.

Mattson made a motion to authorize the Lake Improvement Association to work with property owners to clean out the ditch at the expense of the Lake Improvement Association and not the benefitted property owners, contingent upon the specifications being approved by the Board. The motion was seconded by Russek. Russek inquired whether the contractor could implement a contractors’ lien if they were not paid. Asleson responded the only lien would be a mechanics lien for improvement of real property. The County is the decision making authority for the ditch but does not own the ditch. He suggested the specifications come back to the Board to determine what the project would entail. Relating to the financial end of the issue, he was unsure what the contractor would do. Sawatzke suggested a letter from the contractor indicating they would not place a lien on the County or the underlying property owners. Sawatzke said the area between Oliver Avenue and CR 3 needs review by Saxton to determine what needs to be done. Heeter questioned whether any property owners had the potential for high water other than Bajari and Lahti. Anderson stated there may be some backup from his property to Oliver Avenue. In response to a statement by Roller that Saxton had not responded to previous correspondence, Heeter indicated that the Board is asking him to make this review a priority within the next few days. It was clarified that the motion included this work would be completed at no cost to the benefitted property owners and the specifications should come back to the Board for approval. If necessary, the work should completed all the way to CR 3. The motion and second were amended to include laying this issue over to 3-9-04 at 9:45 A.M. Gruber was instructed to contact Saxton. The motion carried 5-0.

A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 2-25-04. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Performance Appraisal - Greg Kramber, Assessor. Based on the submittal of four performance appraisals the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”

Performance Appraisal - Bill Swing, IT Director. Based on the submittal of four performance appraisals the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”

Performance Appraisal - Dick Norman, County Coordinator. Based on the submittal of four performance appraisals the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”

Job Share, Child Support Officer Position. (Human Services Board Item)

Job Description, Family Based Services Provider. (Human Services Board Item)

Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual. The Committee reviewed Section 400 and most of Section 500. Section 402.01, 2, was changed to read: “The permanent, involuntary separation from County employment.” Section 402.01, 3, was changed to read: “Voluntary separation of an employee who meets the eligibility requirements of a retirement plan.” The phrase, “and the Personnel Division” was added to the last sentence in the first paragraph of Section 402.02. Changed the word “will” to “may” in the first sentence under 402.07. Section 503 was changed to reflect that meal periods shall be taken away from the employee’s work station and employees must not be absent from their work stations beyond the allotted break period and meal period. The phrase “or must receive a passing grade upon completion of the course” was removed from 505.06, E. The word “vacation” was changed to “vacates” in the last sentence of Section 508.054, 3. The Committee will continue its review at their next meeting to be held at 10:30 A.M., March 16, 2004. (End of Personnel Minutes)

A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 2-25-04. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0: Update, Record Management Project. Swing distributed a handout of estimated and actual costs to date (attached). He reported shelving is expected to be installed next week in the Record Storage Center in the basement. The $1,410 for additional electrical and incidentals includes the cost of shredding Human Services files. It was determined the files should be shredded because of client information rather than recycled. Climate control and cleaning the area were mentioned as two issues which need to be addressed. It is anticipated files from Human Services, Sheriff Department, and Attorney’s Office will consume approximately 40% of the space. In October, 2003 approval was received for an outside vendor to process records in the Attorney’s Office at a cost of $17,000. That estimate has been revised to $26,000. Hohl stated some of the secretarial staff is interested in working on the record management project on an overtime basis, and are knowledgeable of the process. A trial basis of one or two months was suggested. Recommendation: Swing and Hohl will return with an overtime request which includes number of employees, cost, time frame, and employee time commitment to the project.

Request For Phone Switch Items. Swing presented a request for $8,400 for phone switch items. The cost will be distributed to departments based on usage percent. Recommendation: Approve.

Updates and Discussion.

Web Portal To Land Records. There will be a presentation and discussion on March 3, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. in C118 with NASCA regarding accommodation of data requests through a common portal to land records.

Technology Fair. Swing reported a Technology Fair for Wright County employees has been scheduled. It will include table setups by a printer vendor, a computer vendor, and staff presentations on the Wright County website and GIS (Geographic Information System). Due to a meeting conflict, Swing will contact the two vendors to reschedule to a different day. It was recommended that Cities and City Administrators also be invited for the presentation on GIS.

Geographic Information System. There was brief discussion on the status of the mapping service project and some of the addressing issues. At the 10-08-03 meeting $5,000 was approved to fund an intern position to work on the mapping service project, $5,000 for an intern position for the centerline project, and if work continued into 2004 for the balance of the time to be carried as a temporary help line item in the Surveyor’s budget. Swing stated $1,000 was used for consulting services. There was consensus for the $1,000 to be paid from Fund 820, Professional Services. Wittstock estimated it would cost approximately $3,000 to complete the mapping project. There was consensus to approve an additional $3,000 expenditure in the Surveyor’s temporary line item budget with the understanding that this will result in carrying a negative balance in that area of Wittstock’s budget. Recommendation: Payment of $1,000 for consulting services to be paid from Fund 820, Professional Services. Approve the expenditure of an additional $3,000 for completion of the mapping service project to be carried as a negative balance in the Surveyor’s temporary line item. (End of Technology Minutes)

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #04-13 approving a Charitable Gambling Application, Form LG2004R, for the Monticello Lions Club, Monte Club (Monticello Twp.). The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Russek received a letter from a constituent thanking Jim Borrett and Randy DesMarais of the Assessor’s Office for their assistance. The letter will be forwarded to the Assessor.

Bills Approved

American Institutional Supply 822.09

Ancom 351.33

Annandale Rock Products 2,702.01

Anoka County Juvenile Center 805.00

Aramark Correctional Services 5,326.07

Arrow Terminal LLC 323.74

Auto Glass Center Inc. 179.75

Automatic Garage Door & Firep 1,415.37

B&D Plumbing & Heating 603.00

Stephen Berg 20,000.00

Bills Gun Shop & Range 253.47

BLM Technologies, Inc. 1,226.88

Boyer Truck Parts 687.73

Darnell Brethorst 105.38

Brock White Co LLC 21,292.30

Buildings Consulting Group, Inc 1,059.00

Carver County Treasurer 725.00

CDW Government Inc 174.99

Cellular One 683.32

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 109.19

Center Point Energy 7,723.59

Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 28,887.19

Chamberlain Oil Co 1,866.28

Climate Air 1,640.49

Clinnet Solutions LLC 152.00

City Cokato 203.30

Commissioner of Transportation 1,285.53

Consulting Radiologists LTD 302.00

Carter Diers 587.51

East Central Regional Juvenile 3,630.00

Elmer Eichelberg 146.25

Exxon Mobil 1,263.04

Michael Fox 349.44

Frontier Precision Inc 349.71

Todd Gau 154.50

GCS Service Inc 367.87

Janet Gholson 274.50

Glens Truck Center Inc 372.75

Grafix Shoppe 1,530.00

Granite Pest Control Services 115.02

Virgil Hawkins 324.70

Hay Group 896.00

Karla Heeter 149.25

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 974.70

Intereum 5,753.24

International Code Council 106.99

Interstate All Battery Center 254.15

Jerrys Auto Salvage 133.13

Carl Johnson Mechanical Cntr 45,000.00

Bernard Kieser Foster Home 2,071.17

KNR Communications Serv Inc 397.50

Lawson Products Inc 549.49

Loberg Plumbing & Heating Co 1,017.41

City Maple Lake 612.80

Marco Business Products 5,684.20

Marks Standard Parts 1,461.53

McLeod County Treasurer 2,634.19

Medics Training Inc 225.00

Menards 325.67

MID Central Door Company 878.00

Minncor Industries Central 2,117.00

Minnesota Bookstore 123.27

MN Transportation Alliance 170.00

Monticello Ford Mercury Inc 2,802.57

Morrison Cty Sheriff 525.63

MTI Distributing Inc 159.07

National Highway Institute 400.00

North American Salt Co 43,177.57

Northern Tool & Equipment Co 170.98

Office Depot 4,282.60

Olsen Chain & Cable Co Inc 450.00

On Site Monitoring 10,677.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co 137.81

Proven Force 193.95

Qwest 2,175.73

Record Preservation Inc 479.34

Royal Tire Inc 1,155.39

Ryan Motors Inc 165.21

Smith Micro Technologies Inc 3,200.44

Sprint-Local Telecom Division 186.76

Streichers 329.40

Tires Plus 153.97

Trimin Systems Inc 610.24

Keith Triplett 129.38

Unlimited Electric Inc 391.25

Varitech Industries Inc 423.20

Verizon Wireless 611.43

Walmart Store 01-1577 1,116.21

West Central Environmental C 1,900.00

Westside Equipment 215.60

Wright County Highway Dept 24,385.19

Wright County Bag Company 1,380.00

Wright Hennepin Electric 217.89

Xcel Energy 1,719.74

42 Payments Less than $100 2,098.16

Final Total $287,927.69

The meeting adjourned at 12:00 P.M.


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