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Wright County Board Minutes

April 6, 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 3-23-04, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item #C2, “Acknowledge Hire, Babeth Saboe, Court Attendant, Eff. 4-20-04, Step 3” (Norman); Consent Item F1, “Extension, Refer To Personnel Committee Request To Hire Temporary Help” (Norman); Consent Item A8, “Authorize Signatures, 2004 Natural Resources Block Grant” (Norman); Aud./Treas. Item #6, “Update, Ditch 19” (Hiivala). 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:


1. Performance Appraisals: M. Franke, Aud.; B. Jans, L. Oestreich, Hwy.; L. Schallock, Rec.; T. Andersen, E. Kunkel, Sher./Corr.; R. Bonk, VS/CD.

2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, Humane Society of Wright County (Rockford Twp.).

3. Approve Charitable Gambling Application From LG220, St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Clearwater Twp.), 6-6-04.

4. Approve Charitable Gambling Application From LG220, St. Luke’s Catholic Church (Clearwater Twp.), 8-29-04.

5. Refer To Negotiation Committee Request From LELS To Establish Post Retirement Health Care Savings Plan.

6. Reappoint Members To The Personnel Board Of Appeals:

Name Reappoint Through

Lauren Bodin 6-30-05

Connie Lounsbury 6-30-06

Osborne Arlien 6-30-07

7. O/T Report, Period Ending 3-26-04.

8. Authorize Signatures, 2004 Natural Resources Block Grant.


1. Approve Tobacco License: Mickey’s Market (St. Michael).


1. Acknowledge Hire, Brenda L. Benkowski, Court Clerk, Eff. 4-7-04 (Class D, Step 1).

2. Acknowledge Hire, Babeth Saboe, Court Attendant, Eff. 4-20-04, Step 3.


1. Refer To 4-24-04 Building Committee: Report on Government Center Voice/Data Wiring Project.


1. Authorize Commissioners Sawatzke & Heeter to attend National Institute Of Corrections Training, Managing Jail Design & Construction, July 18-23, 2004, Longmont, Colorado. NIC will provide for airfare, lodging & meals.


1. Refer To Personnel Committee Request To Hire Temporary Help.

Kerry Saxton, SWCD, provided an overview of a request for repair on County Ditch #8 (Section 10 & 15, Cokato Twp.). There is a dispute between two property owners relating to the size of a private tile which runs across two properties and into the County ditch. The tile was damaged as a result of the heavy rainfall over the past few years. As a result, the 12” tile was replaced with a considerably smaller tile. Saxton understood that the area below the tile did flood quite often in the past and that is why the flow was restricted. The Foss property has a crossing on it where pipe is tipped the wrong way. The remainder of the ditch is very shallow. Saxton felt it would be costly to re-dig the ditch and that not much would be gained. He recommended discussions with the landowner and/or an order to fix the crossing with the proper pipe. Mattson’s major concern was the land north of the Polzin’s, where the ditch had been dug deeper than the original tile to an approximate depth of 10’. He also felt the wetland was being drained. Saxton said he did not know the original depth of the ditch. The tile is the ultimate outlet. The area which was dug out to drain the wetland is below the ditch and probably allows back flow when the field drains. The issue of filling this area back in is still being debated. Mattson said the only water flow is north of the township road and he has pictures of stagnant water. Saxton said the new outlet was surveyed and the culvert is tipped, causing the water to build up higher than needed. As it is a private tile, the County has no control for downsizing. Emergency funding had been applied for to return the culvert back to the original size. However, there is still a dispute. As it is a private crossing, other benefitted property owners on the ditch would not be responsible for the cost. The County has control over the ditch and could require that the crossing be installed properly. Discussion followed on past Board action providing approval for the crossing. Saxton said even if the crossing had been Board approved, the area would still need to be fixed. The Board could authorize the repair and that would become part of the ditch record. Saxton could research aerial photos to provide some idea of when the crossing was installed. The ditch is not in the best repair and there is some brush that could be removed. At the end of the old tile, the ditch is not very deep. If a ditch clean out were envisioned, a meeting would be held with benefitted property owners. Saxton recommended that the culvert be replaced with the appropriate size and that it be tipped properly. Russek requested the ditch records be consulted to see if a crossing was permitted. Russek moved to authorize Russek and Mattson to view the ditch, specifically the crossing where the culvert needs to be replaced. A recommendation is to be brought back to the Board. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, referenced the 2003 Gravel Tax Settlement Analysis for Wright County which reflected a breakdown between Road & Bridge, Municipality and Reserve (required by law for reclamation). The report does not include the 4th quarter of 2003 as that is billed in January. Staff from the departments of Auditor and Planning & Zoning worked to verify pits located in the County. Payment of the tax is based on an honor system. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, explained that contracts entered into or bids let prior to the implementation of the tax are exempt. Checks have been sent to the municipalities along with the information that the Board was reviewing today. Hiivala was unaware of any reports of pits which were not listed. This was provided as an informational item.

Eichelberg moved to acknowledge the February Revenue & Expenditure Report, seconded by Russek. Mattson had concern with use of overtime by departments, especially as they are basically fully staffed. The motion carried 5-0.

As requested by Hiivala, Russek moved to set a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 4-20-04 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried unanimously. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss arbitrage and refunding of the solid waste bonds.

An update was provided on Ditch #19. Past Board action authorized the Lake Improvement Association to contract for clean out. The work is to be coordinated with the SWCD. Asleson understood that Brad Fyle was the low bidder and that he had been in contact with the SWCD. It was restated that the financial arrangements are through the Lake Improvement Association. The Association is attempting to collect $100.00 from each property owner toward this cause. This was provided as an informational update.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced page 9, Buffalo Hospital ($844.10) for an assault. He inquired whether a judgment could be brought against an inmate for injury sustained by a deputy. Upon review of the claim, a deputy was not involved. The cost related to a sexual assault examination. Mattson referenced a claim on page 12, Aramark Correctional Services ($5,012.16). The claim will be corrected to reflect the period of 3-11-04 to 3-17-04. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced a claim on page 9, A-1 Marine ($14,560.75) for the purchase of two boats. One was charged to Boat & Water Operating Supplies (Line 6412) and the other to Vehicles Purchased (Line 6633). The listing will be corrected to reflect both purchases out of Line 6412. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Chris Basgal, Onyx FCR Landfill, provided an update on the Gopher Resource Slag Disposal. A letter from the MPCA dated 3-26-04 indicates the material must be removed from the Landfill. At a previous meeting on 3-2-04, Gopher Resources had indicated that they wanted to perform additional testing. The MPCA’s opinion is that it is unnecessary and the material needs to be removed. The material involved would be that delivered to the Landfill during the period of October 2003 to January 2004. Onyx has drawings indicating the location of the material. Basgal would like to have the material removed from the Landfill by the end of April. Russek inquired whether Onyx immediately stopped filling on top of the material once it was identified. Basgal responded that they did. The material is being placed in the older portion of the landfill, which has only about 20’ until it is completely filled. The slag may be under 2-3’ of material. However, it is segregated as it makes a good road base material. There may be some construction demolition mixed in. The areas and volumes have been identified.

Sawatzke referenced wind requirements for the Landfill established by the MPCA. He understood that the Landfill should not be operated in certain wind speeds due to material being blown to neighboring properties. Sawatzke understood that Onyx was trying to get that requirement changed to operate at greater wind conditions. Basgal said that when they submitted their expansion plans, as part of the litter control plan they requested that the Landfill be allowed to stay open in the lower elevations with restrictions. That request was denied. Basgal explained that staff continually picks up debris along the roadway and many things are not from the landfill. Basgal said they plan to install more fences and a higher fence along the east side. Sawatzke said he had been to the property east of the landfill and viewed plastic and packing peanuts. He felt the packing peanut material would be more suited for waste energy facilities. Basgal had not seen any of this material delivered but a small amount may come in with a load. He thought this would have happened more often when the Landfill accepted MSW in 1997-1998.

Discussion resumed on the slag material. Basgal explained that the acceptance of slag is based upon its lead content. The material tested in 1998 through 2001 was non-detect. According to permit, recertifications were sent each year to customers which outlined that the process or material had not changed in any way. In October, 2003, Gopher worked with another company which changed the process. Onyx was not notified of the change. A sampling was taken and the increased lead limit was revealed. This was provided as an informational update.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested acceptance of the bid from Fyle’s Excavatng, $49,990, for construction of the septic system at Schroeder Park as designed. Bids were opened at the 3-23-04 Board Meeting. Eichelberg moved to accept the bid from Fyle’s Excavating, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Mattice distributed a Ney Park Reclamation Budget. A $30,000 grant was received from the DNR Local Grant Program for ecosystem reclamation and trail construction. Another grant was received from the USDA for $31,519 for native planting, cover crops and weed control. The County collected $16,000 from farming agreements the past two years to use as a match for these funds. The total raised for the project was $77,519. With the projected expenditures, there is an approximate $10,000 shortfall. Norman suggested use of the Park Fund as a source for this shortfall. Sawatzke questioned whether Mattice could cut anything from the project to reduce the costs. Mattice explained that the bridge costs came in higher than anticipated. One option would be to have the Parks Department construct the bridge at a $6,500 labor cost. The cost of the bridge itself is $27,556. Mattice anticipated a $1,000-$2,000 shortfall which would be funded from the Parks Department budget. The Board supported the construction of the bridge so no action was required.

Russek moved to adopt Resolution 04-20 approving a Charitable Gambling Application Form LG 230, Clear Lake Lions Club, Monte Club (Monticello Twp.). The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Mattson referenced correspondence dated 2-5-04 from the United States Board on Geographic Names indicating that the name change request has taken place for Twin Lake and Lake Sylvia. Review of the correspondence reflected that it was still unclear as to the specific names assigned. Asleson said he has since received correspondence clarifying the name change as follows: Lake Sylvia will be known as East Lake Sylvia, and Twin Lake will be known was West Lake Sylvia.

Asleson, Gruber and Kramber are part of the Coalition of Utility Counties. They are dealing with rule changes proposed by the Department of Revenue on how utility property is valued and depreciated over a number of years. A draft resolution was received from Sherburne County. The resolution, if adopted, would support legislation to preserve the property tax base of communities and all taxing jurisdictions hosting electric generation facilities and other state assessed utilities. Asleson read a memo from Kathleen Heaney, Sherburne County Attorney, relating to the Metropolitan Energy Task Force. Asleson said that the resolution proposed would be advantageous to any county that has utility property. Part of the reason the draft is striking reference to “electric” on page two is because some counties have natural gas and other facilities which would not be impacted. Russek questioned whether a tax is paid for pipeline running through a county. Asleson said he understands there is a tax on personal property relating to pipelines. He thought cell phone towers were taxed as a structure. If the tower is located on city property (i.e., on a water tower), the tax would be on the lease. The County has been served with paperwork relating to the Aquilla tax appeal. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-21, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Bills Approved

A-1 Marine $14,560.75

American Institutional Supply 860.55

Amer. Solutions for Business 290.27

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 712.01

AMI Imaging Sys., Inc. 27,260.62

Ancom Technical Center 173.66

Aramark Correctional Serv. 10,084.97

Arrow Terminal LLC 154.48

B & B Products Inc. 16,069.95

B & D Plumbing & Heating 1,162.38

Keith Babatz 482.08

George Bakeberg 381.00

Bob Barker Co. 527.26

Lawrence Bauman 828.25

BLM Technologies Inc. 464.99

Bowman Distribution 1,027.35

Boyer Truck Parts 768.77

Brown Cty. Eval. Ctr., Inc. 780.00

Budget Lock & Key 755.00

Buffalo Auto Value 276.70

Buffalo Clinic 1,224.00

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Commer. 1,615.25

Buffalo Quality Feed Mill 382.20

Catco Parts Service 223.25

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 114.38

Centra Sota Lake Reg. LLC 17,457.28

Central MN Juv. Center 170.00

Climate Air 4,587.39

Cokato Equipment Inc. 573.80

Cokato Salvage Inc. 971.24

Consult. Radiologists LTD 187.00

CPS Technology Solutions 195.00

Culligan of Buffalo 800.00

Dental Care Assoc. of Buff. 221.00

Karen Determan 178.88

Ralph Douglas 415.62

Melvin Dykhuizen 968.00

Josh Erickson 124.13

Federated Propane 566.29

Force America Inc. 451.98

Gateway Companies Inc. 11,099.96

Todd Gau 291.75

Gordys Foods 193.44

Government Training Serv. 199.00

Greif Brothers Corp. 174.46

Hance Utility Serv. Inc. 259.86

Hickman Service Inc. 237.89

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,210.17

Home Solutions 911.64

Int’l Assn. of Assessing Ofcrs. 165.00

Intereum 2,920.34

Interstate Battery Sys. of Mpls. 331.83

Carl Johnson Mech. Contra. 18,400.00

Junction Towing & Auto Repair 259.39

Justex Systems Inc. 129.00

Bernard Kirscht 406.25

Roman Kruzel 5,513.00

Kustom Signals Inc. 6,094.39

LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,745.20

William Lieb 428.75

M Litfin & Sons, Inc. 150.00

Lund Industries Inc. 1,028.23

M-R Sign Company 505.34

Maple Lake Lumber Co. 149.96

Marco Business Products 5,317.30

Marks Standard Parts 2,973.35

Marlin Leasing Corp. 1,069.86

Mid-America Business Sys. 1,297.17

Midland Corp. Benefits SVC 847.50

Midwest Bank Note Co. 1,208.00

Mark Miller 566.49

Virgil Miller 3,564.95

Minnesota Chemical Co. 294.99

Minnesota Copy Systems 162.19

MN Counties Ins. Trust 2,500.00

Monticello Ford Mercury Inc. 221.12

Monticello Sportsmen Club 1,917.00

Nextel Communications 1,615.35

Office Depot 3,957.43

Olmsted Cty. Community Serv. 410.00

David Pederson 320.25

Persian Business Equip. 390.00

Jennifer Peterson 5,366.96

PMI Computer Supplies 284.50

Timothy Putzke 6,313.44

Ramada Plaza Suites Fargo 173.72

Reds Auto Electric 124.53

Reichs Foster Home 262.40

Royal Tire Inc. 943.88

RS Eden 1,866.45

Russell Security Resource Inc. 238.33

Ryan Motors Inc. 159.89

Paul Saunders 634.86

SBC Paging 1,504.42

Daniel Scherer 200.00

Robert Schermann 137.50

Donald Schmidt 637.79

Sprint 155.74

Sprint Local Telecom Div. 186.76

SRF Consulting Group Inc. 3,308.63

St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 230.58

State Supply Co. 441.84

Sterling Drug 2,971.49

Streichers 472.43

William Swing 107.25

Tires Plus 439.74

Total Printing 1,662.63

Verizon Wireless 161.68

Victory Corps 196.88

Viking Sewer & Drain Inc. 155.00

Walmart Store 01-1577 329.69

James Weinberger 281.63

West Group Payment Ctr. 544.45

Woodland Township 877.18

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 23,512.47

Wright Co. Journal Press 115.63

Wright Co. Surveyor 2,255.76

Wright Co. Ag. Society 100.00

Xcel Energy 957.97

47 Payments less than $100 2,344.48

Final total $251,144.21

The meeting adjourned at 10:13 A.M.

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