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Wright County Board Minutes

April 13, 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 4-06-04, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item D1, “Information Technology, Authorization To Proceed With Voice/Data Wiring Of (1) Sheriff, (2) Jail, and (3) Courthouse Basement. Vendor: Buffalo Communications.” (Norman); Aud./Treas. #4, “Claims” (Norman); Aud./Treas. #5, “Final Payment Stemper Property” (Hiivala); Aud./Treas. #6, “Claim, Fyle’s Excavating, $962.50, Ditch 33” (Hiivala). The date of the Agenda was corrected to read “4-13-04.” Russek moved to approvethe Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried unanimously.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: L. Dixon, J. Hrdlicka, E. Liberato, Atty.; G. Bicking, Bldg. Maint.; K. Johnson, Hwy.; T. Halberg, Sher.; D. Konken, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, Scott Builders, $884.00.

3. Claim, DLR Group, $1,350.00.


1. Approve Abatement, PIN #155-010-017011, The City of Monticello (City of Monticello).

2. Approve Abatement, PIN #114-043-000010, The State of Minnesota (City of St. Michael).

3. Approve Abatement, PID #103-089-003010, Ekon Powder Coating Inc. (City of Buffalo).

4. Approve Abatements, PID #104-020-001010, Dennis & Donna Albrecht (City of Buffalo).

5. Approve Abatements, PID #208-200-071400, Greg & Lynn Funfar & PID # 208-200-074100, Wallace Cates (Franklin Twp.).


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Melissa Meemken, Deputy Sheriff, Eff., 4-22-04, Grade 5.


1. Authorization To Proceed With Voice/Data Wiring Of (1) Sheriff; (2) Jail and (3) Courthouse Basement. Vendor: Buffalo Communications.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, presented the Auditor’s Agenda items. He first dealt with the Shierts ditch lien apportionment request. A meeting was held and attended by Sawatzke, Hiivala and Wittstock. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, did not attend the meeting but obtained a copy of the map which provided an overlay of the old ditch drawings to the aerial photos taken several years ago. This was provided in an attempt to reflect benefitted land. The bottom of the map showed property purchased by Mn/DOT 10-12 years ago. The benefitted acreage still lies with the original parcel. Asleson provided an apportionment order using the figures provided by Wittstock. Asleson said this apportionment request is more complicated because Shierts is retaining a portion of the benefitted acreage. The draft reflects the original parcel’s benefitted acreage and what will be divided between the parcel owned by Mn/DOT and the original parcel. In reviewing the Shierts property, it was determined that an adjacent property should also be corrected. A small portion (.12%) of the original benefitted acreage that had been attached to a parcel owned by Michael G. and Alice Helfert will be transferred to a parcel owned by the State. State Statute does not require a petition from each owner to remove ditch liens but rather a petition by a benefitted owner. The payment due date for these affected parcels will be extended to 30 days from the date of the Order. If payment has already been made, an abatement can be issued. Otherwise a modified tax statement will be sent. Mn/DOT has been notified of the requested action. The Helfert’s will receive a modified tax statement as they will be having an assessment removed. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #04-22 approving the Apportionment Order, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Asleson brought forth a request for repurchase of a tax forfeit parcel by Clifford and Sharon Abbott, PID #209-018-000030. The Abbott’s were notified in late 2002 that the redemption period was expiring. The Abbott’s forwarded a check for taxes, penalties and interest but the check did not clear. The County attempted to notify them by mail but the notice was returned by the post office, even though the Abbott’s still reside at the same address. The parcel went tax forfeit in March, 2003. The County received a letter from the DNR that this parcel could not be sold at a public sale but indicated that the Trails and Waterways Division of the DNR may be interested in the parcel as a public access. Asleson said he was in contact with the Abbott’s who did not realize the parcel had gone tax forfeit. When repurchase is requested by a prior owner, DNR permission is not required. Permission is granted by the local governing unit. Asleson received a cashiers check for taxes, penalties and interest plus County and DNR fees. The Board must find that either: 1) the repurchase will correct an undue hardship or injustice resulting from an earlier forfeiture, because the applicants would have paid the delinquent tax amounts had they known that the property would be forfeited; or 2) permitting the repurchase will promote the use of such lands that will best serve the public interest, because the applicants are in the best position to get the property back on the tax rolls. Asleson suggested that the first finding would be most applicable to the situation. Russek said when the tax forfeit property was viewed, most of it was under water. Selling the property to the Abbott’s would place the parcel back on the tax rolls whereas the County would not receive anything if the parcel is obtained by the DNR. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #04-23 authorizing repurchase of PID #209-018-000030 by Clifford and Sharon Abbott, seconded by Russek. Sawatzke questioned whether their use of the property has violated any County ordinances. Asleson said this was not the case. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Asleson was contacted by Richard Marquette of the Highway Department inquiring whether replacement of culverts on County ditches required Board approval. Asleson consulted Statutes. In the past, Mn/DOT has petitioned the Board and held public hearings for work on County highways but those have been situations which involved an alignment of the ditch or a change in culvert size. The work that the Highway Department will complete involves no realignment or change in culvert size. Asleson’s recommendation was to keep the Board advised as the Board is the drainage authority. He did not feel formal approval was required. This was provided as an informational item.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala referenced a claim on page 3, Association of Minnesota Counties, $750.00, for Commissioner Registration. This claim was incorrectly coded to the Assessor’s Office and was changed to be paid from the Commissioner’s budget. Heeter referenced a claim on page 18, Motorola Inc., $8,540.00, License & Media for the squad car project and questioned whether this should be paid through the equipment note. Hiivala understood that computer and radios were to be paid out of the Capital Projects fund and that the claim was coded correctly. Mattson referenced claims on page 10 for inmate medical expenses. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Hiivala said that the payments for the Stemper property are normally made on an Auditor’s warrant. Because this is the final payment, $106,517.81, he wanted to bring it before the Board for approval with payment from the Capital Improvement Fund. Eichelberg moved to approve the final payment, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Hiivala requested approval of a claim to Fyle’s Excavating, $962.50, for Ditch 33 repairs. The claim would be for final payment of repairs totaling $19,250.00 and relates to the installation of new pipe. Russek moved to approve the claim, seconded by Heeter, carried unanimously.

A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 4-6-04. A correction was made to the last paragraph of the minutes, 1st sentence, from “April 7, 2004” to “April 8, 2004.” Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Host Fee Agreement. Chuck Davis distributed copies of the 2003 MMSW Landfill Annual Report and MS 115A.919 County fee authority in regard to waste. For background information, Pat Sawatzke stated approximately a year ago he contacted Chris Basgall on a number of issues, one being a host fee agreement. Recently Basgall requested to speak with the County Board regarding a host fee. Chris Peters stated the situation is unique for an agreement to be negotiated after a landfill has been approved and permitted, but that Onyx is agreeable to working with the County to improve communication, cooperation, and public image. According to State Statute the County has the right to impose a surcharge on demolition waste, however, a host fee would allow more flexibility in how the fees could be used. Road repairs caused by trucks hauling to the facility, expanding hours of operation for household hazardous waste at the compost facility, community cleanup days, curbside recycling programs, grinding costs for yardwaste composting, etc. were mentioned as possible uses for the fees. Discussion followed on formulas and the type and amount of waste involved; the basis for determining the host fee amount; and specific benefits each party hopes to obtain by entering into an agreement. Peters stated Onyx is interested in better public education and awareness on the environmental sound design and construction of landfills. Following discussion there was consensus for Chuck Davis to meet with Chris Basgall Thursday, April 8, 2004 at 7:15 A.M. to review the 2003 SCORE Report for a better understanding of various County recycling and environmental activities. Following that meeting Onyx will prepare a draft Host Fee Agreement and forward to the County for review approximately one week before meeting again. The meeting was recessed to 1:00 P.M., Wednesday, April 28, 2004.

At 9:30 A.M., Sawatzke closed the bid process for the 2004 culverts project. The engineer’s estimate was $96,000 for culvert replacement for eight various locations. Sawatzke asked Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, whether it was common procedure to give out the engineer’s estimate. Fingalson responded that their practice has been not to as they do not want to give anyone an unfair advantage. Sawatzke was contacted by a person interested in bidding who indicated that he was unable to obtain the estimate. The person indicated that they needed this information in order to determine if their bond limits would allow for the project. Fingalson opened and read the bids. Russek moved to lay the bids over for one week for recommendation, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. The bids were as follows:

Bidder Bid Bond Total Bid

Midwest Contracting, LLC

Yes $76,034.00

Mathiowetz Construction Co.

Yes $61,333.00

Motzko Companies, LLC

Yes $75,578.35

The meeting was recessed at 9:38 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. for the Public Hearing on the mobile home application by William and Karen Peterson under the Frail, Elderly or Disabled Ordinance. Asleson said that application was made to Human Services and an evaluation was performed. The referral was sent to Planning & Zoning. Staff checks to make sure that the placement of the mobile home meets requirements for setback, septic, etc. Reports were provided by both departments. Notice was mailed to residents within a certain amount of feet of the applicant. Residents are provided an opportunity to respond by mail and may request a public hearing. The public hearing today was being held for the purpose of providing neighbors and the applicant an opportunity to address the Board.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, explained that Planning & Zoning does not make the determination of whether there is a medical hardship. Staff reviews the property to assure there is room for the mobile home and that the request will meet other ordinances. There is currently a mobile home on the Peterson property which Salkowski indicated should be removed whether this request is approved or not. The Feedlot Administrator also made a site visit. Most of the horses are pastured and there are quite a number of horses considering the size of the property. This property was grand fathered in with regard to the Feedlot Ordinance. There does not appear to be a manure problem. The farm was registered under the Feedlot Ordinance when the Feedlot Administrator made the site visit.

Karen Peterson provided photographs of the property. The older mobile home is currently used for storage for their business. The mobile home was approved for placement on the property in 1970 and the house on the property was placed in 1978. Karen and William Peterson cared for Mrs. Peterson’s parents until they went to a nursing home. They own 8.82 acres and their son owns 9.9 acres. The horses pasture on the entire acreage. She referenced a letter they had received recently citing two violations. The first dealt with the County not being able to locate a permit for the existing mobile home. Mrs. Peterson provided a copy of the application and permit at today’s meeting. The second violation relates to the horses. Mrs. Peterson provided proof that they have been in business since 1971. They do have boarding contracts and the mobile home is used for storage for the business. She did not feel they were in violation. Mrs. Peterson thought that the mobile home could only be seen in the winter due to its placement and the amount of trees around it. She explained that they plan to move the older mobile home off when the new one is placed. The new mobile home will be in the same general area but it may be turned.

Joseph Mollenhoff & Jolene Bergquist live on a 5-acre parcel next to the Peterson’s. They attended the hearing to find out the details of the application. They did not know when the older mobile home had been moved in, why it had been placed there, and whether there were time limits for removal. They felt a second mobile home would have a negative effect on their property value. After hearing the discussion at today’s meeting, they realized the first mobile home will be removed and therefore they no longer had an objection. They did have concern with the time limit on the second mobile home. When the obligation has been fulfilled, they asked that the mobile home be removed.

Mrs. Peterson said that they were never notified that the older mobile home had to be removed. Salkowski was unsure what happened in 1978 when the house permit was issued. It would be routine to require the removal of the mobile home if a new one is placed. The purpose of the Ordinance is to provide adequate health care and maintenance to frail, elderly or disabled persons while maintaining the family unit and at a minimal cost to the individual and society. The Ordinance further states that with regard to removal, any permit granted shall become null and void if the need for which the permit was granted no longer exists, that the need of the individual(s) requiring care is not being adequately met by the placement; or that the permit holder has failed to comply with the conditions set forth within the permit. The structure would be required to be removed from the property by the permit holder within 60 days of termination of the permit. Salkowski felt Human Services does follow up when health issues are involved. A report is made to the Board when the need no longer exists and a letter is sent to the property owner asking for removal of the mobile home.

Edith Faber is a neighbor of the Peterson’s. She said she can see the mobile home from their residence. They were told by the Township in the 1970’s that the mobile home was to be removed two years after the home was constructed.

Mary Brinkmoy (?) boards horses at the Peterson’s and provided photographs of the property. She thought the mobile home probably could not be seen in the Summer. She has been friends with the Peterson’s for 7 years and the issue of the mobile home was not brought up until the health issue. Brinkmoy felt the Peterson’s daughter needed to live on the property to provide care for her parents.

William Peterson explained his health condition and that his daughter wanted to care for him. He said he has contributed to the County for 30 years through his business and has not caused any hardships. He said he would appreciate the approval for placement of the new mobile home. His daughter does participate in the horse boarding business. Karen Peterson said there are currently four people who board horses for a total of 21 horses. She felt this was the most they would ever have.

Joseph Mollenhoff requested that when the need no longer exists the mobile home be removed from the property. He had no issue with the horses. Sawatzke explained that the County makes sure that properties are complying in all ways before issuing permits and that is why the feedlot issue was addressed.

At 10:28 A.M., the Public Hearing was closed and the regular meeting reconvened. Eichelberg, Russek and Heeter concurred that the request relates to a health issue and that the older mobile home should be removed. Eichelberg said by bringing in the new mobile home, the sewer will be upgraded to Ordinance requirements. There will be a record of the action and at such time the medical need no longer exists, the mobile home would be removed. Heeter explained that after discussion today, she realized that she knows Peterson’s daughter. She brought this forth as she didn’t want there to be an issue with her voting in favor of the request. Sawatzke said Peterson’s property is fairly well screened with trees. There is a hill in front of the property. In response to Sawatzke, Karen and William Peterson said they understood the mobile home would need to be removed from the property when the medical need no longer exists. Russek moved to authorize the medical hardship placement of the mobile home with the conditions that the old mobile home be replaced and the sewer system be upgraded. The motion also stipulates that the mobile home must be removed within 60 days after it is determined by Public Health that the medical need no longer exists. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Asleson said the 60 days would commence from termination of the permit, although more time may be involved due to paperwork. It was clarified that the motion involves removal of the old mobile home which will be replaced with a new mobile home. The motion carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

A-1 Marine $2,516.00

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 380.80

Ancom Technical Center 812.33

Aramark Correctional Serv. 4,946.19

Assn. of Minnesota Counties 750.00

B & D Plumbing & Heating 150.00

Bound Tree Medical LLC 139.47

Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 266.13

Buffalo Clinic 362.00

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Commer. 291.50

City Buffalo 21,771.99

Center Point Energy 8,821.82

Climate Air 722.00

The Copy Shop 175.90

Dept. of Public Safety 8,430.00

Josh Erickson 199.87

Fyles Excav. & Honey Wagon 962.50

Grafix Shoppe 730.00

Greenview Inc. 401.11

Henn. Co. Treasurer 2,035.00

Herald Journal Publishing Co. 978.32

Hickory Tech Enterprise Sol. 946.25

Holiday 2,922.62

Internat. Public Management 490.50

JR’s Appliance Disposal Inc. 1,088.75

Kandiyohi Co. Auditor-Treas. 517.55

Kandiyohi Co. Sheriff’s Dept. 6,475.00

KNR Communications Serv. 510.00

Kustom Signals Inc. 278.60

Lab Safety Supply Inc. 1,409.08

Lakedale Telephone Co. 482.81

LaPlant Demo Inc. 704.14

Law Advisory 358.00

Sheri Lumley 200.00

Marco Business Products 2,321.39

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 350.00

MN Alcohol Traffic Safety Assn. 185.00

Motorola Inc. 8,540.00

Richard Norman 117.35

North Central Radar 1,715.00

Office Depot 2,069.71

On Site Monitoring 10,417.00

Onyx FCR Landfill Inc. 192.00

Phoenix International SC 1,045.90

Photo I 821.37

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 141.01

Fred Pryor Seminars 139.41

Record Preservation Inc. 390.76

Jack Russek 170.00

Stemper Revocable Intervivos 106,517.81

Brian Stoll 134.62

Upr. Midwest Community Polici 199.00

Verizon Wireless 1,299.32

Voss Lighting 356.42

Waste Management TC West 366.11

West Group Payment Ctr. 1,943.63

West Publishing Payment Ctr. 342.93

Wright Co. Auditor-Treas. 128.00

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 152.84

Wright Co. Journal Press 229.32

48 payments less than $100 2,547.03

Final total $215,059.16

The meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M.

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