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Wright County Board Minutes

June 1, 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 5-25-04, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #3, “Pelican Lake Land Acquisition” (Sawatzke); Item For Consid. #4, “Resolution, Wright County Snowmobile Association, 2004-2005 Season” (Sawatzke). Heeter moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: A. Buskey, Bldg. Care; C. Davis, Hwy.; L. Hellerud, J. Rivers, P. Seaman, Sher./Corr.

2. 1st Quarter Training Reports.

3. Claim, MCIT, $7,499 (2003 Vehicle Final Adjustment).

4. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Memo Of Agreement, Donation Of Vacation Time.

5. Authorize Participation In Cooperative Purchasing Venture Program & Payment Of $1500.00 Comprehensive Subscription (To Include Cities & Townships Of The Fourth Class). Offer Participation To Townships & Cities At A Cost Of $40.00.


1. Approve Cooperative Agreement No. 0302 With City Of Albertville For CSAH 19 Improvements.


1. Recommendation To Vote Against Pursuing RFP For MCCC Property Tax System.


1. Accept The Findings & Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings:

A. Approve Request To Rezone 40 Acres From AG To A/R, Scherber Companies, LLC. (Buffalo Twp.).

B. Approve Request To Rezone Appx. 34 Acres From AG To A/R, Al Hoekstra (Clearwater Twp.).

C. Approve Request To Rezone 20 Acres From AG To A/R, Clyde & Pat Rumpza (Franklin Twp.).

D. Approve Request To Rezone From AG To R-2a, D/K Braun Enterprises, Ken & Kathleen Braun (Corinna Twp.).

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, presented the April Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for review. Mattson moved to approve the Guidelines, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Hiivala requested approval of a new annual on sale beer license for Lake Region Coop (Maple Lake Township). The license application has been approved by the County Attorney and Sheriff. Mattson moved to approve the license, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced a claim on page 8, Central MN Mental Health Center ($310.00). It was felt that a portion of the claim ($240.00) was for a mental assessment of an inmate. Mattson moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, brought forth discussion on proposed amendments to Section 14 of the Wright County Solid Waste Ordinance. This issue was laid over from the last meeting where two changes and some renumbering of the draft were requested by the Board. In the draft being reviewed at today’s meeting, Asleson outlined the changes made. The first was in Section 14, Subsection (4) which reads, “a ‘cubic yard’ of mixed municipal solid waste shall be deemed to weigh 600 pounds.” The second was in Section 14, Subsection (8), which clarified the effect of the solid waste surcharge and reads, “The fee shall be set by resolution of the County Board, with the fee as set to become effective 60 days from the date of the resolution.” Distributed was correspondence from Chris Basgall, Onyx FCR Landfill General Manager, relating to the proposed amendments. The letter questions the definition of the 450 lb./cubic yard weight-to-volume conversion ratio for construction and demolition debris, and further states that it is contrary to the ratio employed by the State for tax collection purposes. Onyx states that 600 lb./cubic yard is also the conversion ratio used throughout the industry. The County is currently negotiating a Host Fee Agreement with Onyx which reflects a 450 lb./cubic yard level. Asleson said that for consistency purposes, using 600 lb./cubic yard for construction debris may make the collection task by the Auditor’s Office easier. Asleson said Wright County came up with the 450 lb./cubic yard figure after contacting a landfill in Dakota County. A waste study was not performed. Asleson said basing the figure on a State Statute would hold more weight if the issue were ever challenged in court. If a study were performed, information on what other counties are using for the conversion ratio (msw) would be helpful.

Asleson referenced the 2nd page of the correspondence from Onyx and supported their request for the following language changes: 1) Section 14 (8) - A facility that measures the volume of the waste that it accepts must pay the fee per cubic yard of the waste accepted at the entrance of the facility; 2) Section 14 (9) - A facility that does not measure the volume of the waste that it accepts at the facility but that measures the weight of the waste that it accepts, must pay the fee per cubic yard based on the equivalent cubic yards of waste accepted at the entrance of the facility, as provided in Section 14 (4). Asleson noted that the proposed language in Section 14 (8) would be numbered Section 14 (9) and the proposed language in Section 14 (9) would be numbered Section 14 (10). The draft reviewed by Onyx was an earlier version and the numbering has subsequently changed.

Asleson referenced a draft resolution which would set the amount of the surcharge at construction debris disposal facilities at $.50/cubic yard. If a landfill has a liner, they would be eligible for a discounted rate of $.375/cubic yard. The resolution would be effective 8-02-04 (60 days from adoption of the resolution).

Discussion followed on whether changes to the Ordinance could be adopted to commence the 60-day period. Meanwhile, the County could perform a study of other counties, to include their conversion ratio, and determine whether the 600 lb./cubic yard which the State uses for sales tax purposes applies. With the implementation of 600 lb./cubic yard, the County would collect less money in less amount of time. Under statute, there is a cap on what can be collected on construction debris. Asleson supported the 600 lb./cubic yard figure. This figure could be changed after the study has been performed. Russek moved to adopt Ordinance Amendment #04-03 revising Section 14 of the Wright County Solid Waste Ordinance as follows:

• Section 14 (4b): A “cubic yard” of mixed municipal solid waste shall be deemed to weigh 600 pounds.

• Section 14 (9): A facility that measures the volume of the waste that it accepts must pay the fee per cubic yard of waste accepted at the entrance of the facility.

• Section 14 (10) A facility that does not measure the volume of the waste that it accepts, but that measures the weight of the waste that it accepts, must pay the fee per cubic yard based on the equivalent cubic yards of waste accepted at the entrance of the facility, as provided in Section 14 (4).

The amendments adopted today will allow the County to collect a fee per cubic yard of construction debris deposited in waste disposal facilities located in Wright County. A complete copy of Section 14 of the Wright County Solid Waste Ordinance can be obtained by contacting the Wright County Coordinator’s Office. The motion to adopt Ordinance Amendment #04-03 was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0. A report on the study of other counties will be discussed at the 6-15-04 Board Meeting.

Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-31 setting the fee for disposal of construction debris at $.50/cubic yard from operators of construction debris disposal facilities located in Wright County, effective 8-02-04. A 25% discount to $.375/cubic yard is provided to lined facilities. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A 290-acre parcel along the northwest short of Pelican Lake (Monticello Twp.) has become available. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested that Chairman Sawatzke be authorized to sign correspondence indicating the Board’s support of the acquisition and protection of the land by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pheasants Forever, and other nationally recognized organizations. Eichelberg moved to authorize signature indicating support, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Mattice said the Wright County Snowmobile Association receives grant in aid funding from the State. Reimbursement of funds are handled through the County. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-32 authorizing signature on grant documents for the 2004-2005 season, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

DLR Group provided the final site evaluation of the Public Works Site for its suitability for a future jail and/or law enforcement center. Present were George Fantauzza, John Crump, and Ed Muehlberg. Crump said the site is centrally located within Wright County on TH 25, which is a primary conduit between I-94 and TH 55. Inmate transfer has been a point of discussion. The proposed site would be two miles from the Government Center. Mn/DOT has planned an upgrade of TH 25 to four lanes in 2010. As part of the upgrade a signalized intersection will be at 35th St. NE, museum access will be from Braddock Avenue, and there will be a non-signalized intersection to the residential district along Pulaski Lake. As part of the study, a spreadsheet was completed reflecting the gravel reserves and value from 2004-2037. The current value is $5,034,000 and reduces to $306,464 in 2037.

The basis for the site review was a generic 256 bed jail of 130,000 sq. ft., an expansion pod of 256 beds and 200 parking stalls. The future value of the gravel and loss of access to gravel has been calculated in each of the following three options:

Option 1: Southwest has the primary advantage of least cost (due to existing utility location and prior gravel mining). This option would facilitate sharing vehicle maintenance with Public Works but does limit the expansion of Public Works. It creates a barrier between the gravel excavation area and gravel work area for sorting and storing adjacent to the Public Works sheds. Site development costs for this location are estimated at $1,938,000.

Option 2: Northwest has the primary advantage of flexibility in expansion and future uses of the site. This offers the best location for environmental quality due to the upwind location from gravel operations when compared to prevailing winds. The impact on the residential zone is minimal. Additional costs would be realized due to increased utility distances and some gravel reserves left in place to maintain site drainage. Site development costs for this location are estimated at $2,863,000.

Option 3: East Central provides the best access to Hwy. 25 should Mn/DOT place signals at the proposed future intersection. The boundaries allow the least expansion potential while creating the greatest impact on the adjacent residential zone. Site development costs for this location are estimated to be $2,088,000.

Crump said with Option 2, mining of gravel ceases at the elevation of 1010 as some of the gravel must remain intact for drainage. All three Options will leave varying amounts of gravel in place for drainage purposes. DLR Group supports Option 2 as it leaves the most flexibility for future use. Additional costs associated with Option 2 are related to utility location and construction costs. The difference between the most and least expensive (Option 1 vs. Option 2) is $415,000 of actual construction costs. This is a small portion of the actual construction costs based on a $30-$40 million project.

Fantauzza felt a benefit of Option 2 was the water/sewer connection, as it would help future development on the west side of Braddock. The utilities include an 8’ water main and 6” sanitary sewer located on the west side of the site. If development would occur on the west side, the developer would be asked to pay the upgrade. The Jail could get by marginally on a 6” line.

Discussion led to gravel revenue loss. Sawatzke referenced Option 2, which reflects a loss of $1,350,000, and questioned whether it was worthwhile to build upon a resource of that amount for 8 acres of land. He made the suggestion of mining the gravel and purchasing 8 acres elsewhere. Fantauzza said the projection is the gravel revenue cost for a 30-year period. He said the suggestion to mine the gravel and build elsewhere may be a viable one.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said when the advantages/disadvantages are compared for the three Options, Option 1 would appear to be the best Option. Fantauzza said they have not completed a weighted comparison. Option 1 would limit future development. He said it would be the Board’s authority to make that decision. Mattson felt Option 1 would be the best selection for the Buffalo community. He thought the further out they go, the less desirable it would be for development surrounding the land.

It was the consensus that DLR should revise their projections to include calculations of what it will cost to remove the gravel from the land, including what it would cost if an independent company were hired to mine. This will provide a more accurate projection of the land value. DLR will provide the calculations with the gravel reserve having a zero value at the end of 30 years and also what the cost would be to provide fill to the 1010 elevation.

Fantauzza brought forth other issues which need to be addressed including what would happen to the existing Jail space, what offices would be located at the new site, judicial functioning, etc. He suggested that the County contact their financial consultant regarding bonding and its impacts. In order to meet the 2008 project timeline, the bid opening would need to be in 16-18 months and would provide 28 months for construction.

Russek questioned Tom Kelly, Attorney, on how many prisoners are transported. Kelly estimated 70-100 inmates would need to be transported per week. Many of these are in pretrial detention. Those sentenced would not require transport as they are serving their sentence. Video arraignments may be a future consideration. Kelly suggested obtaining input from the Judicial District on court issues.

It was the consensus that DLR should update their spreadsheets. Russek moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 6-15-04 at 11:00 A.M. for further discussion. There is currently a Board of Equalization eeting scheduled for that day at 10:30 A.M. If it is determined that the meeting will last longer than 11:00 A.M., the Committee Of The Whole Meeting will need to be rescheduled. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.

A Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 5-25-04. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek. The minutes were changed as follows: 1st paragraph, last sentence, delete “and townships.” Sawatzke said if the minutes had included a specific recommendation for DLR Group, he would vote no. The motion carried 5-0: Discuss Topics From Leadership Team Retreat. Kramber stated at the Leadership Retreat there was discussion on a number of topics related to County growth. The purpose for today’s meeting was to set goals or develop a plan of action to address future facility needs and an overall comprehensive plan for growth within the County. Discussion centered around the following three issues: 1) Jail/Sheriff/Courts complex including location, use of old Jail and Sheriff Administration area; 2) space/facility needs of other departments; and 3) comprehensive planning. There was general agreement that a consultant is needed with the scope of the issues. Norman stated there are budget implications which need to be built into the budget planning process. While growth has an impact on the County’s staffing and facility needs, it was felt that the comprehensive plan is a different issue involving cities and townships and should be addressed separately. It was noted that some of these issues will likely be discussed at the June 22, 2004 meeting with cities. The status of the current Jail Study being conducted by DLR Group was discussed. There was general agreement that the Jail Study needs to continue to move forward. There was discussion on whether the Jail Study should be expanded or a separate consultant should be hired to address space issues beyond building a new Jail. While it was felt there are advantages to expand the study with DLR Group, concern was also expressed regarding the studies being done by an architectural firm who may have interest in bidding on the project. Eichelberg recommended using DLR for an expanded study in order to keep the project moving. Sawatzke was opposed to DLR doing both studies because of possible conflict of interest. Heeter also expressed concerns, but felt the information DLR Group already has regarding the space issue is advantageous over starting with a new consultant. Russek stated he could support DLR Group and that the County can determine the cost involved for an expanded study. Norman was directed to draft the parameters and goals of an expanded study which will be presented to DLR Group for a response from them regarding cost, etc. Norman was also requested to contact DLR Group regarding when they will present their report on the current Jail Study. The meeting was recessed to 10:30 A.M., Tuesday, June 1, 2004 for Norman to draft parameters for expansion of the Jail Study to also include other County space needs. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 5-26-04. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Personnel Policy & Procedure Manual. The Committee continued its review of the Manual beginning with Section 706. On 708.02 the word “employees” was changed to “employee’s.” Section 803.03 will be updated to include the new dollar limits for bidding. The title of Policy 512 was changed to “Personal Appearance Of Employees.” This section will be reviewed at the next Committee meeting. Other policies to be reviewed will include Employee Recognition and Pre-Employment Physicals. New policies to be discussed deal with weapons and free speech/assembly rights.

Performance Appraisal - Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer. Based on review of four performance appraisals the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Superior.”

Request For New Social Worker Position, Child Protection Unit. (Human Services Board item) (End of Personnel Committee Minutes)

Russek moved to adopt Resolution #04-33, approval of R/W Condemnation Resolution for SP 86-622-01 (CSAH 22 between TH 241 & South County Line in St. Michael). The motion was seconded by Eichelberg, and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

At the last County Board Meeting, a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting was scheduled for 6-04-04 at 8:30 A.M. At that meeting, it was the consensus that if the Legislature went into Special Session the meeting would be delayed. At today’s meeting, it was the consensus that the TCOTW meeting would be held as scheduled.

Bills Approved

Ameripride Linen/Apparel $391.56

AMI Imaging Systems Inc. 836.10

Aramark Correctional Serv. 4,794.21

Arch Wireless 395.19

Arrow Star 135.12

B & B Products Inc. 1,558.85

B & D Plumbing/Heating 893.00

BLM Technologies Inc. 2,330.52

John Bodin 136.35

Bound Tree Medical LLC 280.72

Buffalo Hosp.-OTPT Comm. 3,104.05

Cardiac Science 1,000.00

CDW Government Inc. 510.22

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 431.90

Central MN Mental Health Ctr. 310.00

Crystal Welding Inc. 144.79

City Delano 1,530.00

Granite Pest Control Serv. 115.02

Henn. Co. Bar Assoc. 115.00

Hickman Service Inc. 128.87

Intereum 31,675.12

Internat’l Public Mgement. 1,520.60

Jerry’s Towing and Repair 101.18

Kids Are Worth It, Inc. 377.40

LaPlant Demo Inc. 302.30

LexisNexis Matthew Bender 255.13

Loberg Electric 1,811.32

Marco Business Products 5,739.44

Menards 556.99

Minnesota CLE 235.00

MN Co. Attys. Association 155.00

MN Supreme Court 872.00

Robert Mossman 349.44

Nat’l Business Furniture 128.95

Nextel Communications 128.29

Office Depot 873.42

Ross Pool 312.50

Portolite Products 452.63

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 293.20

Record Preservation Inc. 179.41

Reliable Medical Supplies 101.00

RS Eden 400.00

Sharon Schubert 126.38

Sprint-Local Telecom Div. 186.76

State of MN Intertech Group 1,930.00

Sterling Drug 2,760.16

Timemark Incorporated 195.62

Total Printing 306.45

Verizon Wireless 608.94

Walmart Store 01-1577 826.74

Wright Co. Human Services 240.00

Xcel Energy 113.41

27 payments less than $100 $1,140.33

Final total $74,396.58

The meeting adjourned at 10:43 A.M.

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