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Wright County Board Minutes

March 9, 2004

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

The minutes of 3-02-04 were corrected as follows: Page 4, 2nd to last paragraph, 10th sentence should read, “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” (Mattson). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A9, “Acknowledge Hire, Pam Johnson, Lead Clerk, Sheriff’s Office, Eff. 3-9-04, Step 3” (Melvin). Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, corrected Item #4 under the Auditor Treasurer to reflect “Series 2004B” instead of “Series 2400B.” Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Mattson inquired whether the hire of Pam Johnson as Lead Clerk was a replacement of a position or a new hire. Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, clarified that Johnson was hired into a position authorized by the Board as of 1-1-04. On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended.


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Snyder, Atty.; J. Nyren, Ct. Admin.; S. Meyer, Hwy.; G. Eldred, D. Ford, J. Olson, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Buetow & Assoc., $1,307.67.

3. Claim, Scott Builders, $1,404.00.

4. Claim, Gene Branstrom, $2,506.99.

5. Claim, Pfeifer Construction, $77,654.00.

6. Set County Auction For 5-1-04 @ 10:00 A.M., Public Works Building.

7. Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, St. Mary’s of Czestochowa, St. Mary’s Church, (Franklin Twp.)

8. O/T Report, Period Ending 2-27-04.

9. Acknowledge Hire, Pam Johnson, Lead Clerk, Sheriff’s Office, Eff. 3-9-04, Step 3.


1. Approve Hire, Jean Bresin, Appraisal Technician, Eff. 3-22-04 (Step 3). C. SHERIFF

1. Acknowledge Resignation, Douglas Short, Deputy, Eff. 3-9-04 & Authorize Replacement.

2. Acknowledge Resignation, Thomas Ditsch, Deputy, Eff. 2-27-04 & Authorize Replacement.

Gruber introduced Bruce Kimmel, Springsted. Kimmel distributed a handout reflecting the results of the sale of $3,885,000 in General Obligation Capital Notes, Series 2004B, which occurred on 3-8-04 at 1:00 P.M. The notes will be used to fund equipment for the Highway, Sheriff and Information Technology. Seven bids were received from eleven underwriting firms. Cronin & Company, Incorporated was awarded the bid at a true interest rate of 1.4%. The documents reflect a 2% interest rate. Kimmel explained that in an attempt to make the bids more attractive to investors as interest rates are so low, a premium is paid to the County. In this situation, $3.925 million was paid for the notes. The $40,000 premium can be used by the County for equipment purchases or to make the debt service payments. Kimmel said another positive development was the upgrade by Moody’s Investor Services from a bond rating of A2 to A1. Kimmel complimented Gruber and Hiivala’s efforts. Factors contributing to the upgrade were the well positioned tax base, continuation of operating surpluses despite intergovernmental revenue reductions and property tax limitations, and the management direct debt with moderate overall debt burden. Russek noted that the interest rate from Wells Fargo was lower than that of Cronin & Company. Kimmel explained that Cronin would require the County to pay more interest further into 2005 and 2006 whereas Wells Fargo would require payment of more interest today. On a time value of money basis, the money is worth more today than it is in the future. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-14, accepting the proposal on the sale of $3,885,000 General Obligation Capital Notes, Series 2004B, providing for their issuance and levying a tax for the payment thereof. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Proceeds are expected the early part of April.

On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve a plat, “TRUMPETERS PASS,” as submitted by Precedence Homes, Inc., a Minnesota Corporation, fee owner, and Lakeland Construction Finance LLC, a Minnesota Limited Liability Company, mortgagee, of the following described property: The W 659.79 ft. of the W1/2 of the NE1/4, Sec. 9, Twp. 119, Rge. 24; exc the N 605.12 ft. of the W 359.79 ft. of said W1/2 of the NE1/4; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#96603); Rockford Township has a letter of credit on file for the road; and the title opinion letter prepared by David L. Lenhardt, attorney, as been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

Eichelberg moved to accept the January Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Russek referenced page 17, Herald Journal Publishing ($.94) for a Ditch 9 publication. Gruber stated the listing should reflect Ditch 19. Gruber referenced a claim on page 16 to Law Enforcement Technology. The first item for mobile data computer cables ($5,627.94) has already been paid. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, noting the removal of the claim which had already been paid and changing the Herald Journal Publishing claim to reflect Ditch 19. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Mattson referenced a claim on page 16 to Sewage Treatment Solutions ($2,620) and inquired whether this was the first or final payment. Gruber said the bill is for septic system design at Schroeder Park and appears to be the entire bill. The motion carried 5-0.

Barb Chaffee, Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Executive Director, requested approval of a Joint Powers Agreement which services 11 counties, including Wright County. There are currently 16 Workforce Centers in Minnesota. When Chaffee became the Executive Director in December, 2000, expenditures were at $4.6 million. In 2003, expenditures were at just over $11 million. The area is growing quickly and serving more people, with service to over 6000 through their programs. She felt strength was realized through County partnerships and noted the partnership survived even though it experienced $2.5 million in budget cuts. Every two years, Chaffee approaches the counties involved to request approval of the Joint Powers Agreement. Chaffee outlined some minor changes to the document. The last page of the document reflects a change from Department of Economic Security to Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The last paragraph of the Agreement also reflects a change in the effective dates to include 4-1-04 to 3-31-06 for youth services and 7-1-04 to 6-30-06 for adult services. Discussion led to the assistance provided to Wright County residents by the Workforce Center with regard to mold problems (program ended 7-1-03). As Wright County had been declared a disaster area, the State applied for a Federal National Emergency Grant and received $250,000. Residents purchased the supplies and the Workforce Center provided crews to put homes back together. Crews of unemployed workers were hired and allowed to earn up to $12,000. Chaffee will provide an update on programs in the next couple of months and will bring reports at that time. The Workforce Center Program is funded equally between State and Federal dollars. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #04-15 approving the Joint Powers Agreement, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

At 9:41 A.M., the regular meeting was closed and the Public Hearing commenced for the Regional Park Grant for Clearwater/Pleasant Regional Park. The grant requires a 60/40 match. Three phases are involved. The first is for a playground to be replaced on the Pleasant Lake side of the Park. The current structure is wood and does not meet ADA Guidelines. The estimated cost is $49,000. The second phase will include installation of a disc golf course area with accessible tee boxes at an estimated cost of $18,000. The third phase will include paving one mile of existing aggregate trails within the Park at an approximate $18,000 cost. The total project cost will be $85,000, and the project would be started and completed in 2005. The grant will require a $31,500 County cash contribution and $2,500 In-Kind for a total County match of $34,000. The grant request is for $51,000. Greenview will provide maintenance. Future maintenance will include reseeding of tee boxes on the disc golf courses, pavement management, and safety surface revitalization on the playground. The match will be budgeted for in 2005 if the grant is awarded. The Public Hearing was closed at 9:50 A.M. Heeter moved to approve the plan for grant submission, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Laid over from the last meeting, discussion involved County Ditch #19, French Lake outlet. The French Lake Improvement Association is requesting clean out between CR 3 and French lake. At the last meeting, it was decided that the Lake Association should contact several contractors. Kerry Saxton, SWCD, was to review plans from the DNR on elevations shot and provide a recommendation. Today, Saxton indicated he had reviewed the information from the DNR which called for larger culverts on Oliver Avenue. He understood this had been done and with the size quoted by the DNR anticipated a more than double water flow. With regard to the 6” blockage of cattails, he had requested photographs from the DNR to show this but had not received them. The Board, as ditch authority, would have to right to order clean out of the ditch back to its original state. Ditch files would need to be consulted to determine levels. It would also need to be determined whether the ditch actually intersected the Lake. If not, clean out would require DNR approval. He felt the installation of the culverts will have more of an effect in dropping peak level waters. He was unsure whether it would be worth the cost to perform clean out of the ditch. The DNR is placing a control structure on Henry Lake which drains into French Lake. The road was also raised and Saxton felt that would control some of the flow, as the water would be directed to the culvert instead. Some homes were built within the flood plain and they may continue to see some problems, although the problems should be for a shorter duration and less intense. With regard to the second area between CR 3 and Oliver Avenue, Saxton did not feel clean out would have much affect on the lake. There may be a slight increase in peak water levels downstream and pastures may remain wet longer. He did not view this as a benefit for the Lake Association. He referenced the DNR plans on elevations and said there is a 2’ drop from the basin downstream to the one near the lake. He felt the installation of the culvert would dramatically improve the situation. Saxton said this is a high flow vs. low flow problem. People want the water removed when a storm occurs. However when periods of drought occur, people do not want 6” taken from the recreational use area.

Saxton said the original ditch profile would have to be reviewed and it would need to be determined whether the ditch intersected the Lake. The profile would then be reviewed to determine the original ditch level. It would not be a problem to return the ditch to its original depth by wetland law. The ditch authority would need to make sure the ditch was not enlarged. He suggested a survey, which would be difficult to do as the ditch is in the middle of a 3’ deep marsh. If the SWCD did not perform the survey, the Lake Association would be required to hire a surveyor to do so. Mattson did not feel the contractors would proceed without knowing the specifications of the ditch.

Herman Wittsack, French Lake Improvement Association President, moved onto the Lake in 1995 and talked about the flooding he has experienced on his property. He felt flooding had to do with more ditch systems being directed to the Lake. Saxton stated that there was replacement of tile to Dan’s Lake which does flow to French Lake. Wittsack referenced flooding in 2002 and how water rose on his property over a 16-day period. In 2002, he lost many acres due to flooding and the water remained for the entire summer. Prior to that time, he had not lost any acreage.

John Roller said the Lake Association wants to clean the ditch out to the original level and is willing to pay for the clean out. He said they would do what was needed to assure the County was not responsible for this clean out. Discussion followed on the specifications and timing. Roller said the work would be completed in April. Mattson inquired if a County ditch could be cleaned out where it runs through private property. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the County would not have authority to clean out on this portion without landowner permission. The contractor should make this contact and obtain permission. The easement of the ditch is limited and additional area is required to move equipment. Roller said the Association would like to be able to get a boat through the ditch so they can maintain the area once the ditch has been cleaned and is back to its original depth.

Saxton said if the Board would direct clean out for cattail mass removal and allow no digging below the ditch level, a survey would not be required. Saxton suggested directing the Association to remove the floating bog and cattail mass no deeper than 1’ to create their channel. Floating bogs would need to be moved from the area. Mattson moved to approve the request to allow the Association to contract for clean out between the Lake and Oliver Avenue with the standard to be created by Saxton, seconded by Heeter. It will need to be determined whether a permit is required from the DNR. Saxton will work with the Lake Association and attempt to come up with something in writing. If this is not completed before they start work, the SWCD will be present while the contractor is digging. The motion carried 5-0.

Marvin Lahti presented a request for a ditch lien apportionment, Ditch #19, Parcel #209-000-104200. This request will be placed on the next County Board Agenda.

Russek moved to schedule a Closed Session on 4-6-04 at 10:30 A.M. relating to FLSA Litigation. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson 209.63

American Institutional Supply 1,527.48

AMI Imaging Systems Inc 28,977.65

Ancom Communications Inc 2,896.80

Ancom Technical Center 726.92

Aramark Correctional Services 5,323.78

B&D Plumbing & Heating 723.00

Joe Backes 243.37

BLM Technologies Inc 248.96

Buffalo Clinic 332.00

Buffalo Communications Inc 6,871.27

City Buffalo 22,831.75

CDW Government Inc 345.98

Center Point Energy 14,718.07

Central MN Mental Health Cntr 150.00

CPS Technology Solutions 195.00

Crescent Electric Supply Co 475.10

Dental Care Associates of Buff 114.00

Josh Erickson 104.25

Facility Systems Inc 1,519.86

Herald Journal Publishing Inc 118.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,734.84

Interstate Automotive 213.00

Kramers Hardware 135.03

Lakedale Telephone Company 172.26

Laplant Demo Inc 528.18

Law Enforcement Technology 10,683.90

Marco Business Products 1,123.57

Masys Corporation 2,628.87

Richard Mattson 104.63

Meeker County Sheriff 148.82

Meeker Cty Memorial Hospital 380.00

Mezzenga Distributing Co 184.45

Millers Sewage Treatment Sol. 2,620.00

MN ASSN of Jail Programs & S 195.00

MN Dept of Corrections 100.00

MN Supreme Court 436.00

Mobile Vision 20,040.00

City Monticello 120.00

Mostca 125.00

Motorola Inc 1,948.95

Neil’s Floor Covering 14,576.00

Nextel Communications 2,077.32

Office Depot 2,631.95

John Reid and Associates 550.00

Rockford Township 3,553.44

Rowekamp Associates Inc 990.00

Safeshred 953.25

SBC Paging 512.30

Sears Commercial One 1,102.26

Silver Creek Township 2,164.00

Smitch Micro Tech Inc 100.00

Sprint 155.74

Stamp Fulfillment Services 210.85

State of MN Intertech Group 965.00

Theresa Stieg 225.00

Rosanne Stoltz 255.00

Strategic Equipment and Supply 240.59

Streichers 956.37

Total Printing 1,824.72

City Waverly 1,963.00

Wright County Journal Press 279.30

Xcel Energy 114.51

Zack’s Inc 605.45

29 Payments Less Than $100 1,103.65

FINAL TOTAL $170,385.07

The meeting adjourned at 10:38 A.M.

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