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Wright County Board Minutes

May 4, 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 4-27-04 were reviewed. Sawatzke made the following corrections to the minutes, page 2, paragraph 3: Move first sentence, “A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 4-20-04” to the second to the last sentence (just prior to the motion for approval of the minutes); change second sentence to read, “At today’s County Board Meeting, Asleson explained that with regard to whether arbitrage would be affected by the Lake Ridge financing, Springsted indicated that any private activity bonds would not count against the $5 million small issuer limit.” Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #5, “Meth Education & Drug Awareness” (Heeter). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Russek moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Heeter. Sawatzke referenced the claim to Pfeifer Construction for the Heritage Center expansion and requested that the Auditor’s Office track payments for this project to assure that the County expends only up to the maximum allotted. The motion carried unanimously.


1. Performance Appraisals: K. Green, Aud./Treas.; V. Hawkins, J. Ruder, Hwy.; M. Janckila, IT; K. Jopp, P&Z; M. Kaczmarek, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Pfeifer Construction, $75,519, Pay Application No. 3, Heritage Center Expansion.


1. Accept Resignation, Sheri Schwan, Legal Secretary, Eff. 5-20-04 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Tobacco License Transfer, “Locust Street Tobacco” (Monticello City).


1. Accept the findings & recommendations of the Planning Commission For the following rezonings:

A. Patrick G. Meuwissen (Corinna Twp.). Approve request to rezone approximately 5 acres from R-2 & S-2 to R-1 & S-2.


1. Acknowledge Termination, Dennis Nelson, Communications Officer, Eff. 4-23-04 & Authorize Replacement.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, presented the March Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for approval. Eichelberg moved to accept the Guidelines as presented, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala said the claim on page 1 to Buck’s Pizza ($92.76) was being pulled for further review and would not be paid with this claims listing. Mattson referenced costs associated with inmates on page 8. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, reviewed the recommendations from the April Parks Commission meeting: Approve a change in the Parks Commission Bylaws regarding meeting dates. Attendance has been low at some of the recent meetings and a quorum has not been met. Members felt meetings every other month would work if they had the option of calling a special meeting during the off month. The Parks Commission voted to recommend to the County Board that the Parks Commission change the Bylaws Article VIII to state, “Meetings shall be held at 7:00 P.M. on the second Monday of January, March, May, July, September, and November. In the event of a conflict with a holiday or special event, a majority at any meeting may change the date and location of the meeting. Special meetings during the off months may be called with advance notice to the Parks Commission members. All meetings shall be open to the general public.”

At today’s County Board meeting, Mattice explained that meetings are currently held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. The language proposed is the same as the current bylaws with the exception of the change in meeting times and the special meeting language. In response to a question by Norman on following the requirements of the Open Meeting Law, Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, explained that special meetings would be those not held on a regular meeting date. Reasons for calling a special meeting can vary. As long as the three day notice of the meeting is met, Statute requirements should be met. Eichelberg moved to approve the change to the Bylaws as proposed effective 6-1-04, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Not to approve request of resident priority when taking campground reservations. Mattice recently met with Heeter and a local resident regarding this request. The resident suggested the first few days of reservation taking be set aside for Wright County residents before the reservations are opened up to non-residents. It was the consensus of the Parks Commission that residents not receive priority in the reservation process.

At today’s County Board meeting, the County Board took no action on this item.

Not to approve a request for change in the Parks Ordinance to allow off leash pets in designated areas. Mattice has received a few requests to allow off-leash pets in one park area with trails (no specific park requested). Concerns of the Parks Commission included disturbing wildlife and other people, and that MCIT may have a problem with liability issues. The consensus of the Parks Commission was to keep the current ordinance which requires all pets to be on a leash.

At today’s County Board meeting, the County board took no action on this item.

Tracy Janikula, Planning & Zoning, requested the Board schedule a Public Hearing for a variance to the Feedlot Ordinance as requested by Allen Glessing (Victor Twp.). Daniel Glessing would like to purchase the lot north of the existing farm and is currently employed at the farm. Russek moved to establish a Public Hearing for 5-25-04 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Asleson presented a preliminary resolution relating to the bonds for the Lake Ridge Care Center. This would need to be adopted prior to the sale of bonds. This bonding will not affect the $5 million small issuance limit for arbitrage purposes. The proposed $2.5 million would count against the $10 million limit for bank qualified financing. Lake Ridge Care Center will proceed with private negotiations through the bank. The bonds will come back to the County Board for approval. The preliminary resolution being considered today allows Lake Ridge Care Center to move ahead. Asleson highlighted the resolution, including that this type of financing does qualify under Statutes 469, the Minnesota Municipal Industrial Act, that the bonds sold are payable solely from revenues from the project, and that the financing shall not constitute a debt of the County. The County will be reimbursed for any costs related to the issuance of bonds and for publication of legal notices. Asleson will review the bond documents to make sure the County will not be held responsible for payments. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #04-27 giving preliminary approval to certain health care facilities revenue bonds and a project under the Minnesota Municipal Industrial Development Act. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 4-29-04. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:

Report On Government Center Voice/Data Wiring Project. Bill Swing provided a report on the voice/data wiring system which has been updated with each of the remodeling projects (attached). At this time it appears the total cost will be approximately $10,000 under the original estimate. Swing stated that in October $20,000 was approved for a paging system to be installed in those areas of the Government Center which currently do not have a paging system. The system will provide total paging throughout the Government Center for emergency situations such as a tornado or fire, as well as paging within an individual department. Paging was previously installed on the fourth floor and in the Sheriff’s Department. The Human Services Center and Public Works are on separate paging systems. Installation should be completed within a few weeks.

A Civil Defense Committee meeting was held on 4-27-04:

Homeland Security Grant Program. The Committee reviewed application paperwork for the 2004 State Homeland and Security Grant Program (attached). Each Minnesota County will be awarded $50,000 ($25,000 for two years) provided application is made. The application deadline is 5-14-04. Program requirements indicate that funding may be used in any of the following categories: Planning, Equipment Acquisitions, Training, Exercise, Management and Administrative. Recommendation: The Committee recommendation was to proceed with applying for the 2004 State Homeland and Security Grant for $50,000 ($25,000 for two years). Grant funding will be utilized to hire a contract person to perform planning activities as outlined in the documentation. These activities would include application, exercising, oversight and coordination of grant programs.

At today’s County Board Meeting, the grant was discussed. Norman said that since the Committee Meeting, he was in contact with the State. A total of $50,000 has been allocated for 2004. Expenditures of the grant funds will be allowed to carry over for possibly 18 months (into 2005). The following year, an additional $50,000 in grant funding might be available. The grant application deadline is 5-14-04. Norman was verbally informed that this deadline will be extended to 6-1-04. Heeter moved to approve the Civil Defense Committee minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. On a motion by Heeter, second by Mattson, all voted to schedule another Civil Defense Committee meeting for 5-11-04 at 8:00 A.M., Administration Conference Room. The purpose will be to further discuss the grant application.

The Board reviewed information on the NACo Annual Conference scheduled for July 16-20, 2004 in Maricopa County, Arizona. The conference is for county officials to network, attend educational sessions and workshops, and to meet with companies that sell products to counties. Mattson said the County limits the amount of out-of-state meetings to department heads to one pear year. He noted that three Commissioners were already authorized for out-of-state meetings and felt requests for this Conference should be deferred to another year. He did not support expending taxpayer funds for this conference. Eichelberg felt that as with any other conference, attendance at workshops is beneficial for the knowledge obtained. Mattson felt the NACo website provided all of the information needed to run a Board meeting. Mattson and Russek attended the AMC Conference previously and provided their recommendations to the AMC State Extension Committee. He felt their input helped to change the atmosphere of State Extension. He supported attendance at conferences if there is a good reason to do so. Mattson made a motion to table attendance at the NACo Annual Conference for one year and not authorize attendance, seconded by Russek. Eichelberg said he did not want a precedence to be set in voting to deny attendance at this conference every year. He felt there may be someone in the future that may want to go. The motion carried 4-1 with Eichelberg casting the nay vote.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 4-28-04. At today’s meeting, Sawatzke offered the following change to the minutes: Item II, Personnel Policy & Procedure Manual, sentence 3 should read (in part), “...supervisor or department head and the Administration Department...” Heeter moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:

Request To Hire Temporary Support Staff, Extension. The Committee reviewed the response from Frank Madden to questions raised at the last meeting. After discussion, it was the consensus that Extension Services be allowed to use the $5,000 from the Temporary Help line item as budgeted. Also, it was the consensus of the Committee that they not be allowed to use budgeted full-time staff funds to hire two temporary help positions in the agriculture/horticulture area.

Personnel Policy And Procedure Manual. The Committee reviewed Section 700. In 703.02, the phrase “which serve to demean or degrade a particular group of people” was removed. Section 703.03 was changed to read, in part, “...supervisor or department head and the Administration Department ...” In 703.05 and 703.06 the word “discharge” was changed to “termination”, wherever found. In 704.01, “Wright County” was removed. In 704.03, B, the word “future” was removed. In 704.03, D, the word “discharge” was changed to “termination”, wherever found. In 704.05 the word “discharge” was changed to “termination.” In 705.03, Step III, the word “dismissals” was changed to “terminations.” In 705.03, Step IV, the word “discharged” was changed to “termination.” Due to time constraints it was agreed to continue the review process on May 26th, beginning with Section 706 - Appeals.

Correspondence from Lee Raeth, U of M Extension Service, was reviewed. This related to the Wright County Extension Office staffing plans. With the departure of Maribel Fernandez, the Wright County Extension Committee has recommended hiring two temporary 1/2 time technical advisor positions to give program assistance in both horticulture and general agriculture. The memo further outlined Raeth’s recommendation for a Memorandum of Agreement with the U of M Extension Service to employ two temporary positions for 13 weeks (June 7-Sept. 3, 2004). The 13-week contract would cost $18,000 (including travel expenses). Advertising for recruitment would be handled through the Wright County Extension Office. Screening, interviews and selection will be handled by the Wright County Extension Committee. Raeth would meet with the Committee to assist in the hiring process. The individuals would be hired, supervised and employed by the U of M. The U of M will work with the Extension Committee to develop a position description and conduct a search process for a permanent technical advisor position. Target start date would be Sept. 7, 2004. Norman stated he reviewed the correspondence from Raeth and did not have any problems from the Personnel Division standpoint. Mary Anderson, Wright County Extension Service, felt what Raeth proposed was acceptable. The Wright County Extension budget currently has $20,000-$21,000 available in the appropriate budget line item for use. Discussion followed on when the Wright County Extension Committee next meets. The next meeting is scheduled for the 4th Tuesday in May. Anderson would like to proceed with the advertisement and screening process as they would like to hire someone by June 7th. Sawatzke felt the County Board should approve the contract. If the Extension Committee does not support this action, they can veto the action at their next meeting. Mattson moved to approve the proposal presented by Raeth, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Eichelberg received correspondence from the Metropolitan Council inviting him to an invitation only Regional Policy Conference on 5-26-04 at the U of M St. Paul Campus. The conference will consist of a series of interactive conversations on the key policy questions facing the region. Participants will include Metropolitan Council members, legislators, local and county officials, state government officials, business leaders, community organization leaders and university faculty. Eichelberg felt the reason he received the invitation was that he was Board Chair in 2003. Norman received an invitation to attend but declined due to the conflict with committee meetings. Sawatzke requested that the Administration Office sign him up for the Conference. Russek moved to authorize attendance by Sawatzke, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Asleson brought forth discussion on the County’s consideration of a surcharge on construction and demolition waste materials. At a recent Ways & Means Committee meeting, Onyx Landfill presented a Host County Fee proposal for review.

Another Ways & Means Committee meeting will be held today to review the proposal. One of the Committee recommendations was for the County to move toward amending the Solid Waste Landfill Ordinance to allow the County to impose a surcharge on construction and demolition waste. Asleson distributed a copy of an amendment to the Ordinance passed in 1985 relating to mixed municipal solid waste disposal fees. The main reason for proceeding would be to place the County in a position of moving ahead with implementation of a surcharge if the host fee agreement does not work out. Notice of intent to amend the Ordinance must be published 2-3 weeks prior to a public hearing. Mattson moved to schedule a Public Hearing on a Notice of Intent to Amend the Ordinance. The Public Hearing will be held on 5-25-04 at 10:00 A.M. The motion was seconded Russek and carried 5-0.

Heeter said a newly formed Meth Education and Drug Awareness Group is working to be proactive with the influx of meth issues facing the community. Meth is affecting families, children, law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Heeter learned that meth affects 90% of child protection work, 50-60% of State Department of Corrections activities, and upwards of 75% of jail inmates. A round table discussion hosted by law enforcement, attorney representatives, and ex-users of meth was aired on May 2, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. That piece will be run on Channel 12 at 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m., and 3:00 a.m. for the next two weeks. A DVD or VHS tape can be checked out from the Buffalo City Hall. The Group is holding a Community Meeting on May 25th at the Buffalo City Hall and is welcoming those who would like to become involved. The Meth Education Drug Awareness Hotline is 763-682-7713. Approximately 20 people will be trained to speak to groups. Asleson said that since January, a task force of County employees has been discussing a civil meth lab ordinance. Several counties already have an ordinance in place. The draft they have been reviewing deals with cleaning up of property or vehicles contaminated by the transportation of chemicals used in the manufacture of meth. The ordinance also touches on the protection of the health of children and vulnerable adults. The task force will meet after the Legislature adjourns. The House and Senate version of funding bills are different. The House version has a revolving fund to send money to counties. Asleson anticipates presenting a draft of the Ordinance in approximately 60 days. The language will allow the County to place a lien against the property involved. Mattson attended a meth presentation by public health at the AMC Conference. Mattson said the Drug Task Force is the enforcement and education agency. He felt other organizations were obtaining funding for training instead of it being directed to the Drug Task Force. Heeter said the Meth Education and Drug Awareness Group is a County-wide coalition which emerged from the Safe School Community group. Eichelberg suggested that all County schools be contacted to make them aware of the video. Norman recently received a packet of information from AMC on meth including a video. Some of the data is specific to Wright County. Heeter also mentioned an AMC Newsletter which was copied for the Committee. This was provided as an informational item.

Bills Approved

Advantage Water Cond. $377.13

Albion Township $1064.80

American Health Care Supply 213.94

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 182.79

Anoka Co. Juvenile Center 345.00

Aramark Correctional Serv. 4,921.50

B & B Products Inc. 18,018.00

B & D Plumbing & Htg. 787.00

Bowman Sheet Metal 261.50

Darnell Brethorst 100.50

Buffalo Communications Inc. 3,400.00

Buffalo Hospital 8,400.00

Buffalo Quality Feed Mill 412.26

City Buffalo 2,543.80

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 129.20

City Clearwater 448.20

Climate Air 3,319.66

City Cokato 1,054.92

Cons. Radiologists Ltd. 455.00

CPS Tech. Solutions 195.00

Tammi Dahlman 126.75

City Delano 4,786.90

Dental Care Assoc. of Buff 437.00

Carter Diers 678.00

E. Central Regional Juv 8,415.00

Debbie Ernst 151.50

French Lake Township 53,201.62

Going Under Dive Center 567.52

Gordys Foods 229.60

Greif Brothers Corp. 1,049.10

City Hanover 1,584.70

Karla Heeter 183.75

Hewlett Packard Co. 226.85

City Howard Lake 910.00

Indianhead Specialty Co., Inc. 224.29

Intereum 5,474.11

Int’l Public Management 431.00

Chris Jahnke 228.38

Jerrys Towing & Repair 101.18

JLR Garage Door Serv Inc. 220.58

Loaf & Ladle 180.00

Loffler Business Sys. Inc. 2,060.24

Loffler Companies Inc. 2,207.74

Maple Lake Township 1,433.50

City Maple Lake 547.80

Marco Business Products 1,015.81

Denise McCalla 241.45

Patrick Melvin 260.74

MN Assn. of Cty. Prob. Ofcrs. 750.00

MN Board of Assessors 495.00

City Monticello 523.83

Nextel Communications 126.87

Office Depot 1,546.64

Olmsted Cty. Comm. Serv. 430.00

Anne Parker 128.25

Performance Office Papers 1,039.44

Prairie Lakes Detention Ctr. 456.00

Fred Pryor Seminars 158.00

Reichels Catering Serv. 241.48

RS Eden 1,171.95

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge 2,041.56

Shell Fleet Plus 968.17

Sheriffs Youth Prog. of MN 381.57

Software House Int’l Inc. 2,718.96

Stationers Inc. 313.12

Sterling Drug 4,117.60

Total Printing 1,182.10

Larry Unger 120.50

Uniforms Unlimited 136.35

University of Minnesota 195.00

Varner Sheet Metal Inc. 115.00

Verizon Wireless 150.16

Walmart Store 01-1577 514.84

City Waverly 432.20

West Publishing Payment Ctr. 538.13

Wright County Ag Society 200.00

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 25,308.18

Wright Hennepin Electric 1,503.40

31 payments less than $100 $1,349.94

Final total $183.159.35

The meeting adjourned at 10.24 A.M.

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