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Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 23, 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 3-16-04, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item E1, “Highway, Set Letting Date For Purchase Of Used Paver, 4-20-04 @ 9:45 A.M.” (Melvin). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Backes, Admin.; C. Nelson, Aud.; D. Weber, K. Triplett, Assr.; R. LaFave, Bldg. Maint.; J. Gutknecht, Recorder; R. DeBlois, T. Strege, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $4,220.10, FLSA Litigation.

3. Claim, Frank Madden, $1,509.20, Service Through 2-29-04.

4. Authorize Voluntary Leave Without Pay Program; May 3, 2004 Through September 24, 2004.

5. Pay Application No. 11, Nelson Building & Development, $31,254.05.

6. Approve Change Order No. 7, $3,460.00.

7. O/T Report, Period Ending 3-12-04.


1. Claim - MFRA, Inc., $849.00, January Services (Fund 61-Sewer).

2. Annual On/Off Sale Beer License, “Cokato Town & Country Club,” (Cokato Twp.).


1. Accept Resignation, Debra Agee, Court Clerk, Eff. 3-17-04 & authorize replacement of any subsequent positions should the position be filled from within expediting the recruitment process.


1. Authorize Signatures On Annual County Boat & Water Safety Agreement.

2. Acknowledge Appointment, Theodore Flanders, Communications Officer, Eff. 3-24-04 (Step 1).

3. Acknowledge Resignation, Deborah Noling, Communications Officer, Eff. 3-15-04 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Highway, Set Letting Date For Purchase Of Used Paver, 4-20-04 @ 9:45 A.M.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Mattson inquired whether the County could file a judgement on behalf of Wright County citizens against inmates who incur medical expenses while incarcerated. Tom Kelly, Attorney, will research the feasibility and provide a report to the Board. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 3-16-04. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Request For New Social Worker Position, Child Protection Unit, Human Services. (Human Services Board Item)

Performance Appraisal - Don Mleziva, Human Services Director. (Human Services Board Item)

Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual. Due to time constraints it was decided to lay this item over until the April 14th meeting.

Performance Appraisal - Kathy Gramsey, Administrative Clerk. Based on review of four performance appraisals the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a draft resolution allowing the City of Clearwater to advance by one year the federally funded enhancement project which is scheduled for 2006. They would like to move the project to 2005. The project qualifies for advance funding from the General CSAH/MSAS Account. Clearwater has a population of less than 5000 so the County must act on their behalf. Correspondence from the City indicates they agree to authorize repayment of funds in the unlikely event that Federal funding is unavailable. No County dollars are involved. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #04-16 allowing the City of Clearwater to advance finance enhancement project, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Fingalson requested approval of a resolution which would indicate the County’s cost participation per Mn/DOT’s street lighting policy. Street lights will be installed at the following State/County intersections in 2004: CSAH 14/TH 55; CSAH 14/TH 12; CSAH 39/TH 24. Cost share will be split 50/50 between the State and County. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #04-17, seconded by Russek. Mattson inquired what the process would be to install lighting at CR 8 and CR 9. Fingalson responded that Bill Cordell, Highway Department, has put together a list of candidates for lighting. He was unsure whether these intersections already were on the listing. This issue will be discussed at a future Transportation Committee Meeting. Fingalson said that the request for CSAH 39/TH 24 was initiated by residents but the other two intersections were initiated by Mn/DOT. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting was held on 3-15-04. A summary of the minutes and discussion at today’s Board meeting follows:

Discuss 5-Year Plan/Bonding Options.

TH101 Interchanges. Mn/DOT completed a corridor study a few years ago. One stretch of TH 101 between Rogers and Elk River contains four intersections identified for possible interchanges and/or grade separations (CSAH’s 36, 37, 39 and 42). The program was scheduled for 2013 but with the Governor’s bonding acceleration plan, these improvements were moved to 2006. Interchanges are scheduled at CSAH’s 36, 37 and 39 and a grade separation at CSAH 42. The City of Otsego has requested an access to CSAH 42 be made available at a reasonable cost. Problems are the cost of right of way and inadequate spacing. Because of the proximity to CSAH 37, there cannot be an interchange at both CSAH 37 and 42. A split diamond solution is being considered. The project cost will increase by $4.25 to $5 million. Mn/DOT’s funding policy on interchanges on expressways will start at 50% and could rise to 85%. A low interest loan program is available. A total of 15% of the project cost would be $8 million which would be shared with Otsego and St. Michael. The ROW costs will be credited to local share if the land is donated. It is hoped the Legislature will consider exchanging low interest loan money to grant money as there is only a total of $10 million of grant money available for all of the State’s accelerated projects. Otsego supports the split diamond layout but would support the original interchange plan if property owners turn it down. The next step will be the Open House on 3-30-04 for public input and awaiting a decision by the Legislature regarding grant money. Currently, the County’s Five-Year Plan does not include any of the costs for these TH101 improvements. Conceptual plans will be ready the first week of April and formal approval will occur in November. Mn/DOT needs a temporary commitment from the County and municipal approval from the two cities, and then the position can be reassessed in the Fall.

Bridge over the Crow River. The two-year detour proposal by Mn/DOT called for TH 12 traffic following County highways in and around the City. Initial plans include the building of a temporary bridge at an estimated cost of a half million dollars. Due to the cost, construction of a permanent bridge was explored and would be located in Franklin Township. Mn/DOT has endorsed the permanent bridge. Delano would like to move forward with pursuing this idea but would like some funding commitment. They would like to close CSAH 17 at TH 12. Delano would like the repayment of Municipal State Aid Construction funds (to the County) for CSAH 17 to be used to fund the new bridge. Wright County concurs with the City about the safety at CSAH 17 and 12 but hopes for consideration of the grade separation. The bridge is not in the 5-year plan and the City is very ambitious in its schedule to get it in before 2007. Estimated cost of the bridge is at least $2 million, of which $400,000 would come from the State for the money they would have used for the detour. Delano would like to let bids in April 2006 for completion of the bridge in 2007. Mn/DOT would consider a grade separation which would solve traffic issues related to the detour. Members of the TCOTW Committee indicated they had no opposition to pursuing this plan but also have no money to contribute at this point. A public hearing for the TH 12 proposed improvements is scheduled for 3-16-04.

Five Year Plan/Bonding Options. Wright County had asked for $4 million in Federal money for the CSAH 19 project in 2007 and was awarded $2 million out of the $3.1 million available in the Region 7-W area. A letter was received from Mn/DOT asking that the Board pass a resolution indicating that they will approve the local share of $3 million. There is not enough state aid money so another source will have to be found. Two different Five-Year plans were distributed. One showed the use of current funding sources available and one showed the additional use of bonding money. Wright County’s regular state aid account has been depleted to the point that even with advance encumbering for one year, funds are still short for projects. The 2004 projects will be covered with borrowing ahead from the state aid account. Projects slated for 2005 will fall short of funds unless the local levy gets increased. The following amounts will be needed: 2005-$1.2 million; 2006-$2.8 million; and 2007-$3.9 million. A local option sales tax is an option. Fingalson distributed tables showing projected future debt levies for both 10-year and 15-year bonds (as compiled by Springsted). The bonding outlined does not include the interchanges for TH 101. Money needed for the construction of a new jail is also a factor in figuring how much Wright County will borrow through bonding. The decision the State makes about levy limits will have a definite impact on the County’s decision to bond. Fingalson requested a recommendation on the CSAH 19 project scheduled for 2007 (whether the Board would commit to a $3 million match from either local or bonding money). The County must come up with the matching funds or the Federal funding may be lost. He also requested they recommend a Five-Year plan. The Five-Year Plan that does not include the bonding also does not include the CSAH 18 interchange in Monticello, the bridge in Delano, or the Northeast Transportation Plan. Recommendation: It was the consensus of the Committee to recommend to the Board that the Five-Year Plan be approved as presented without the bonding figures. After the Legislature has made a decision about levy limits, this Committee will meet again to determine if they wish to bond and what amount of bonding they would approve.

At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson distributed a draft resolution and Five-Year Plan for approval. Fingalson said he had taken the liberty of adding the traffic signals to the Plan using State Aid dollars. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-18, Five-Year Highway/Bridge Improvement Program, seconded by Eichelberg. Russek said that the County needs to make sure they can match Federal funding received on projects so those dollars can be utilized. Mattson said Waverly would like to move their project from 2005 to 2004. Fingalson responded there is not funding available to do this. The City’s engineer has been notified of this. A formal request has not been received from the City. This project was moved back to be completed in 2005. There will be an agreement between the City and County relating to funding. If the City decides to proceed with the project earlier, the County will reimburse them when funds are available. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Discuss I-94/TH 10 Connection. Four locations are being considered for a crossing over the Mississippi River: A) Crossing 6 miles west of current TH 24 crossing in Clearwater; B) Current TH 24 crossing expanded in Clearwater; C) Crossing 1.5 miles east of current TH 24 crossing in Clearwater; D) Crossing 8 miles east of current TH 24 crossing in Clearwater, 9 miles west of TH 25 in Monticello. The City of Clearwater supports A, vehemently opposes B, does not like C, and is neutral on D. Sherburne County and the City of Becker both support D. Clear Lake might be in favor of C. Mn/DOT does not technically have a position but there is some word they like Plan C. The last day for acceptance of input is 3-23-04. Recommendation: It was the consensus of this Committee that Plans B and C would be detrimental to Wright County and that Plans A and D might have potential for a positive impact for Wright County, but that they would like the opportunity to find out more about the affected landowner’s/businesses’/resident’s preferences before an endorsement is made. This will be discussed at the Board meeting on 3-23-04.

At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter said that D and C lie in her District. After discussing the options with Clearwater and Monticello and being contacted by residents, Heeter recommended opposing B but not supporting any of the others. Fingalson understood that letters had been sent to those affected informing them of public meetings. The documents were available for review at the Highway Department. Sawatzke said he had received comment against C and D. At the request of Mattson, the TCOTW minutes will be corrected to include the sentence, “Mattson has concerns regarding the APO support of Alternate A.” Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #04-19, resolution regarding the draft environmental impact statement on the I-94/TH 10 interregional connection. The resolution indicates that the Board opposes the selection of Alternate B and remains neutral at this time on Alternatives A, C, and D for the I-94/TH 10 interregional connection. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. The resolution will be faxed to Mn/DOT today due to the deadline. Fingalson made a correction to page 3 of the minutes, last paragraph, 4th sentence, should read, “The two-year detour proposal by Mn/DOT called for TH 12 traffic following County highways in and around the city, which both the City and the County were not excited about.” Eichelberg moved to approve the TCOTW minutes including the two corrections as noted, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

(End of TCOTW Minutes and discussion)

At 9:43 A.M., the regular meeting was recessed and the Public Hearing held to consider a ditch lien apportionment for Eileen Shierts. Shierts owns property on Ditch 33, a portion of which was sold to the State in the 1990’s.

At 9:45 A.M., Sawatzke closed the bid process for the Schroeder Park Septic System.

The Public Hearing continued for the Shierts reapportionment. Gruber distributed a copy of Shierts’ request noting that the number of acres for each parcel which had been sold (22.66 acres-Parcel 213-000-214200 & 6.6 acres-Parcel 213-000-281200). A total of 42 acres were sold which includes another parcel. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated that the last request for apportionment did not include pending assessments. Statute does not address the requirement of benefits but liens. There is no lien until it is recorded. The issue is at the stage where the parties have been notified that costs have been incurred for repair and payment can be made prior to a specified date without interest. The only other requirement would be that any payments of principal or interest are not in arrears. He felt this was the appropriate time for any action by the Board. Eileen Shierts stated she received the bill for the two parcels which total approximately $1,800. She felt that part of this amount may include that area which the State owns. The two parcels are joined on the abstract. The third parcel is separate and the State bought the entire thing. She said that most of the time when a parcel is sold, the abstract is updated. She was never asked for the abstract for either parcel. Shierts questioned whether she was liable to pay by the due date. Sawatzke responded that Shierts was provided extended time to pay while the issue is being researched. Gruber indicated that the third parcel involves approximately 13 acres and the assessment on that parcel is $550. Gruber hoped that through review of maps, they will be able to determine the number of benefitted acres and their location. From there, they will determine what was purchased by the State. It was the consensus that this issue be laid over indefinitely to allow Gruber to research the properties. The Public Hearing closed at 9:58 A.M. Mattson moved to lay this issue over for the purpose of determining how many benefitted acres the State and Shierts are responsible for. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, opened bids for the Schroeder Park Septic System. Anticipated cost of the project was set at $50,000. Eichelberg moved to lay the bids over for two weeks, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:

Bidder Amount of Bid

Fyle’s Excavating, Monticello


Flygare Excavating, Annandale


Davis Construction, Buffalo $75,000.00

Elmer J. Peterson, Delano $69,893.00

A.L. Jordan, Howard Lake $94,648.57

C.W. Excavating Inc., Big Lake


Pat Fitzgerald, Howard Lake $68,635.00

At 10:07 A.M., the Public Hearing was held for the issuance of bonds for the Lake Ridge Care Center as requested by Elim Homes. Elim Homes previously purchased the Park View Care Center and now owns the Lake Ridge Care Center. Asleson said discussion has taken place with Springsted as to whether the County will exceed the $10 million bonding figure this year. If the County does not exceed this figure, interest rates will be more favorable for Elim Homes. It is unclear at this point whether the County will bond for highway overlays. Springsted has indicated that only $500,000 of the refinancing for the solid waste bonds will count against the $10 million figure. The County has equipment notes for $4 million. Elim Care will not proceed until the County decides whether to proceed with additional bonding. The funding Elim Care would obtain will be for renovation of the facility, which is currently a 65 bed nursing home and 28 bed assisted living facility. Springsted has indicated that this would not affect bond indebtedness, it would affect the bank qualified $10 million limit and may affect interest rates. Sawatzke referenced previous discussion with Springsted where it was noted that if the County were to exceed this $10 million threshold, any dollars earned when the County borrowed for equipment notes would have to be turned over to the Federal Government. Asleson said that Springsted indicated if the County would issue $12-$15 million in bonding this year and this conduit financing was completed ahead of time, the County may end up paying a higher interest rate. Some public and private entities have come to an agreement providing that the county be compensated for any difference in the interest rate. Asleson said Elim homes would still like to proceed as the interest rate would be lower than through private financing.

Asleson and Gruber suggested further review with Springsted before proceeding. No action was requested of the Board today. The Public Hearing was closed at 10:17 A.M.

The Board reviewed an application by William & Karen Peterson for placement of a mobile home on their property under the Frail, Elderly, or Disabled Ordinance. The application has been reviewed and reports received from Human Services and Planning & Zoning. Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the role of their office was to send out notice to neighbors and check the site for suitability. There is an older mobile home on the property which he recommended removal of before proceeding with this request. The property has adequate room for a mobile home but he has not received any information on the mobile home yet. Three letters in opposition to the request were received, one of which requested a public hearing. The Ordinance allows the Board to actif there are no objections, otherwise a public hearing is scheduled. The property is zoned ag in the Land Use Plan. Most properties have one per forty entitlements; however this side of the road has smaller lots as they pre-date the Zoning Ordinance. Sawatzke referenced the letter from LeeAnn Thimell which reflects that the Peterson’s request permission for the mobile home so their daughter can provide care for them. The letter references the older mobile home and indicates it was used by the Petersons to care for their in-laws years ago. Sawatzke questioned whether the Ordinance requires removal of the mobile home once it is not utilized for that purpose. Salkowski responded that he has no record of the older mobile home in records. He assumed it was placed prior to establishment of the Ordinance. He said they have made it clear that this is a temporary unit. He requested that any motion adopted be expanded to include that the mobile home be removed within 60 days of when the need no longer exists. Salkowski said there are other mobile homes in the County that have not been removed even though notice has been sent to them. Sawatzke said when the public hearing is held, he would like to see photographs of the property and a sketch where the mobile home will be placed. Information on whether the older mobile home had a permit would need to be provided by the Peterson’s as there is no record in Planning & Zoning. Salkowski will send notice of the public hearing to those who received the previous notice (neighbors within 500’ of the property, Monticello Township, City of Monticello, City of Otsego). It is not required that notice be published in the newspaper. Asleson said the Ordinance only requires that notice be sent to the person requesting the hearing but Salkowski will proceed as indicated. Mattson moved to schedule a public hearing for 4-13-04 at 10:00 A.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a Technology Committee Meeting for 4-13-04 at 10:30 A.M. The Agenda will include: 1) Record Management Project-Attorney; 2) Record Management-Court Administration; 3) GIS Intern Funding; 4) Preliminary 2005 Budget Discussion; 5) Discuss Voice Menu; 6) Visit Records Center (Annex Basement).

Bills Approved

Accurate USA 272.00

American Business Forms 1,715.61

American Health Care Supply 197.90

ANCOM Communications 40,555.20

ANCOM Technical Ctr. 328.93

City Annandale 1,250.00

Anoka Co. Juvenile Ctr. 1,395.50

Aramark Correctional Serv. 5,351.88

Assn. of Training Ofcrs. of MN 850.00

B & D Plumbing & Heatiing 814.00

Bob Barker Co. 599.05

BLM Technologies Inc. 390.33

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt Commer. 1,020.10

Building Fasteners 111.68

Carver Co. Treasurer 435.00

CDW Government Inc. 287.68

Center Point Energy 8,503.06

Climate Air 13,257.61

The Copy Shop 219.93

Crow River Tools 109.15

Decorative Designs Inc. 175.53

Carter Diers 563.25

Dinos Corner Store Cafe 174.53

East Central Reg. Juvenile. 8,580.00

Emergency Concepts 464.99

Emergency Physicians Prof. 152.00

Exxon Mobil 1,298.70

Tom Feddema 196.88

Gateway Companies Inc. 5,298.70

Harper Cleaning Products 164.48

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2,258.38

Gregory Howell 273.60

Internet Strategies 1,206.00

J Craft Div. of Crysteel Mfg 1,054.77

Carl Johnson Mech. Cont. 2,888.00

KNR Communica. Serv. 20,126.00

Law Enforcement Tech. Gro 5,627.94

Lawson Products Inc. 373.38

Loberg Electric 296.05

M-R Sign Company, Inc. 19,607.63

Marco Business Products 1,681.29

McCombs Frank Roos Assoc. 849.00

McDowall Company 342.00

Midway Iron & Metal Co. 387.01

Minn. Copy Systems 170.40

Minn. Federated Humane Soc. 174.46

MN Assn. of Pretrial Serv. 360.00

MN Dept. of Revenue 235.00

MN Highway Safety/Research 824.00

MN Transportation Alliance 170.00

Monticello Ford Mercury 616.59

Morrison Co. Sheriff 13,626.77

MTI Distributing Inc. 124.02

Mumford Sanitation 177.47

North American Salt Co. 9,756.25

Northern Safety Tech. 441.77

Nuclear Management Co. 140.00

Office Depot 1,719.08

Performance Office Papers 428.13

PMI Computer Supplies 409.76

Postmaster-Buffalo 800.00

Qwest 7,919.82

Ragan Communications 170.14

Recall Document Management 287.96

Redneck Inc. 196.90

Eric Risch 165.20

Russell Security Resource 1,039.60

Scharber & Sons Inc. 140.52

Sherwin Williams 112.04

Software House International 649.65

Source One Supply Inc. 183.57

Springsted Inc. 5,106.11

Stepp Mfg. Company Inc. 115.05

Streichers 956.37

Tool Warehouse Inc. 210.48

Uniforms Unlimited 3,125.31

West Sherburne Tribune 125.68

Woodland Township 800.00

Wright Co. Ag Society 200.00

Wright Hennepin Electric 510.59

Xcel Energy 135.08

38 payments less than $100 2,098.73

Final total $206,127.22

The meeting adjourned at 10:33 A.M.

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