Wright County Board Minutes

January 4, 2005

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Mattson, Sawatzke, Russek and Eichelberg present.

Bob Hiivala, County Auditor/Treasurer, called the meeting to order and asked for an election of the Chairperson for the coming year. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to elect Mattson as Chairperson for 2005; and then Commissioner Mattson presided at the meeting.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to elect Heeter as Vice Chairperson for 2005.

The minutes of 12-28-04 were corrected: Page 1, middle of 1st paragraph, change from, “Since the approval of the signal, he had not been contacted by one person thanking him for doing so” to “Since the approval of the signal, he had not been contacted by one person thanking the Board for doing so” (Mattson); Page 5, 4th paragraph, 6th sentence, change from “Funding with either...” to “Funding will either...”. On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to dispense with the reading of the minutes of 12-28-04 and approve them as revised.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to transfer back any unused funds in the County Attorney’s Contingency Fund, the Sheriff’s Contingency Fund, and the Incidental Fund to the Revenue Fund.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to recall all unused clerk hire and unused budgets for 2004.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Heeter, all voted to set the County Board’s regular sessions for every Tuesday for 2005. The meetings shall be called to order at 9:00 A.M.

The Chairperson presented the 2004 list of committee memberships and asked the members of the County Board to convey their preferences and suggestions regarding committee designations for 2005. Heeter said she desired to serve on the Safe Communities of Wright County Committee due to her involvement with the Highway 55 Coalition. Eichelberg was the 2004 appointment and said he did not have a problem with Heeter serving on this Committee. Discussion led to the Detention Committee and the need for a replacement for Judge Douglas. It is the desire of the 10th Judicial District Judges to have the Court Administrator replace Judge Douglas on this Committee.

On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted that the appointments of committees for 2005 be made by the Chairperson with the approval of the Board and that the first member named act as Chairperson of the committee and the County Coordinator act as Secretary. Alternates are designated on the committee by ( ). The includes the appointment of the Court Administrator to the Detention Committee replacing Judge Douglas.


Area Transportation Planning (ATP); Mattson

Budget; Russek, Mattson, Aud./Treas.,(Ex-Officio),Norman, (Sawatzke)

Budget Committee Of The Whole; All Commissioners

Building, Furniture & Equipment; Heeter, Mattson (Eichelberg)

Capital Improvement/Finance Committee; Heeter, Russek, Aud./Treas., Attorney, Norman (Eichelberg)

Central MN Jobs & Training Jt. Powers Board (JTPA) Workforce Center; Eichelberg

Civil Defense; Heeter, Sawatzke

Committee to Inspect Roads; All Commissioners

Committee to Inspect Ditches; Two Commissioners as appointed by Board, Aud./Treas.

Compost Finance; Russek, Sawatzke, C. Davis

County Extension Svc.;Russek, Mattson

Court Security; Mattson, Norman

Deferred Compensation; Heeter, Sawatzke

Delegates to AMC; All Commissioners, Aud./Treas., Coordinator, Hwy. Engineer

Detention Facilities; Mattson, Heeter, Court Administrator, Sheriff, Court Services Director, Norman

Drug Task Force; Mattson

EMS Joint Powers Board (Regional); Heeter (Sawatzke)

Forfeited Tax Sales;Russek, Mattson

Great River Regional Library Board; Eichelberg

Highway 55 Coalition; Heeter, Russek (Fingalson)

Labor/Mgmt. Health Insurance; Rus-sek, Eichelberg, Coordinator (Mattson)

Labor Management/Loss Control; Mattson, Eichelberg, Coordinator, Civil Def. Dir., Spec. Proj. Admin., 1 Rep. from Teamsters/LELS, AFSCME, 49’ers and Teamsters

Law Library Board; Eichelberg

Legislative Matters; All Commissioners

Personnel & Employee Relations; Eichelberg, Sawatzke (Heeter)

Planning & Zoning; Russek

Public Works Labor/Management; Russek, Norman (Mattson)

Purchasing Steering; Eichelberg, Mattson, Purchasing Agent (Heeter)

Solid Waste Task Force; Eichelberg, Sawatzke

Technology; Eichelberg, Heeter, IT Director, Aud./Treas., Highway Engineer, Human Services Rep., Sheriff Rep. (Russek)

Transportation; Eichelberg, Mattson, Highway Engineer

7W Transportation; Mattson

Union Negotiations; Russek, Sawatzke (Eichelberg)

Water Management Task Force; Eichelberg

Ways & Means; Mattson, Sawatzke (Russek)

Wright County Community Action Council; Heeter, Eichelberg, City Representative


(Ex-Officio Members)

Clearwater Watershed District; Heeter

C.R.O.W.; Russek (Mattson)

East Central Joint Powers Board; Sawatzke, MacMillan

Economic Development Partnership Board; Sawatzke

Historical Society; Sawatzke

M.E.A.D.A. (Meth Education Drug Awareness); Heeter

Mid Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D; Russek

Parks; Eichelberg

Safe Communities of Wright County; Heeter

Soil Conservation; Russek

Wright County Ag Society; Heeter

On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to accept the Advisory Board (Ex-Officio Member) appointments as recommended. This includes the Safe Communities of Wright County representative change from Eichelberg to Heeter.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.

Eichelberg moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced Item C3, “Accept Resignation, Maxine Franke, Office Assistant, Eff. 1-07-05 & Authorize Replacement.” Mattson extended thanks to Franke for her years of service with Wright County. The motion carried 5-0:


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Engel, Assr.; J. Carpenter, R. Halverson, K. Hoyne, B. Kothman, J. Kramber, M. Pacelli, M. Treichler, J. Wikkula, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, MCIT, $464,079 (2005 Property/Casualty Insurance Premium).

3. Claim, MCIT, $366,760 (2005 Workers’ Compensation Premium).

4. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-17-04.


1. Approve Abatement, PID #116-800-333300 & 116-800-333404, City of Waverly (City of Waverly).


1. Approve 2005 Tobacco License Renewals: Albertville Mobil., Pat’s Shell, Casey’s General Store #2412 (Albertville City); Holiday Stationstore #254, Beatty Humphries Post #323, Clearwater Travel Plaza, Clearwater Ashland (Clearwater City); The Marketplace (Cokato City); Lake Center Bar & Grill (Corinna Twp.); Holiday Stationstore #24, Snyder’s Drug Store #5002, Quik Shop, Delano Wine & Spirits (Delano City); Madigan’s Bar & Grill, Lake Region Coop (Maple Lake City); Monticello American Legion, Holiday Stationstore #196, Snyder’s Drug Store #5032, Locust Street Tobacco (Monticello City); Quik Shop, Woody’s On Main (Rockford City); American Legion, JR’s Pizza Pub & Grill, Tran’s St. Michael Liquors, Oasis Market #5308 (St. Michael City); South Haven Municipal Liquor (South Haven City); Mark’s Service Inc. (Waverly City).

2. Approve 4/5 Time Work Schedule For Joanne Zander, Office Assistant, Eff. 1-01-05.

3. Accept Resignation, Maxine Franke, Office Assistant,Eff. 1-07-05 & Authorize Replacement.


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

A. Approve Request To Rezone Appx. 36 Acres From AG To A/R, 10-24 Developers Inc. (Chatham Twp.).

Hiivala brought forth for approval a Plat For “COUNTRY ESTATES” which was laid over from the last County Board Meeting. There had been an unresolved issue relating to easements but the easements have since been recorded and the plat is ready for approval. On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve a plat, “COUNTRY ESTATES,” as submitted by William Rathkamp, as Trustee of the Ione M. Rathkamp Trust, dated August 21, 1995, Ione M. Rathkamp is the fee owner of the following property described in part as: Part of Government Lots 2 and 3 and Government Lot 4, Section 23, Township 118, Range 27; reciprocal quit claim deeds and appropriate trustee documents were filed and recorded as well as the necessary blanket easements for the relevant parties to convey Outlot F to an exception owner in return for vacating the easement; all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, have been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#104153); the new road has been accepted by Victor Township with a road bond on file with the Wright County Auditor/Treasurer; and Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, has reviewed the mylars and recommends approval of the plat.

Hiivala opened the two bids received for the 2005 Official County Newspaper. Russek moved to accept the bids and lay them over for one week for tabulation, seconded by Eichelberg. The bids received were read:

Line Length Pica; Lines per Inch In Legals; Length of Lower Case Alphabet (1 ca) in Points; Cost Per Column Inch for Legals

Dassel-Cokato Enterprise Dispatch

12; 8; 102; $.24

Howard Lake Herald

12; 8; 103; $.14

Hiivala said the Howard Lake Herald Bid included an alternate bid. A new State law went into effect 8-01-04 relating to public notices allowing contracts to be entered into for three years if approved. Russek felt that all newspapers would have to be given the same time period for bidding or the County would be obliged to stay with the one-year contract. At the request of Sawatzke, Hiivala will research whether the County is required to publish the minutes in the newspaper due to Internet accessibility to the minutes. Sawatzke felt many residents accessed the minutes through the Internet. He asked that Hiivala verify there are no exceptions. The motion carried 5-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 3, Minnesota Elevator Inc. ($2,041.00) for a Jail elevator service call. He said the service date was around the time when it was determined the elevator was not repairable. Hiivala spoke with the Jail Administrator and learned two separate repairs were completed on the Jail elevator. The claim is for repair of a seal in October. On a motion by Heeter, second by Sawatzke, all voted approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

The meeting recessed at 9:19 A.M. and reconvened at 9:25 A.M.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, requested the Board accept the findings and recommendations of the Planning Commission for denial of the following rezoning and authorize signatures of the Notice & Order of Denial: Helen Mattila (Owner-J. Belzer, French Lake Twp.). Planning Commission on a 6-1 vote recommends denial of the rezoning in accord with Findings prepared by counsel. Russek serves on the Planning Commission and said a site inspection was completed. The request was to make three lots out of one. The second lot would not have been accessible without crossing a parcel of land. The applicant requested withdrawal about one month ago but the Planning Commission proceeded as the Findings had been drawn. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to accept the findings and recommendations of the Planning Commission for denial of the following rezoning and authorize signatures of the Notice & Order of Denial: Helen Mattila (Owner-J. Belzer, French Lake Twp.). Salkowski requested the record reflect that no one was present to represent the applicant today. The Findings were presented to the applicant’s counsel at the Planning Commission Meeting.

Salkowski presented a request for the Board to accept the Findings and recommendations of the Planning Commission for the adoption of Amendments to the Wright County Zoning Ordinance regarding Sexually Oriented Businesses. A Public Hearing was held by the Planning Commission on 12-16-04. No one from the public attended the Public Hearing. Response was received from six townships, with all of them recommending approval of the adoption of the Amendments. Tom Zins, Assistant County Attorney, said the draft being considered was that approved by the Planning Commission and that a considerable amount of study had been completed. The overall justification for approval is found on the first page of the draft. These studies have been available for review, both at Committee level and by the Planning Commission. The justification outlines that problems are associated with these types of businesses if they are not properly zoned. The purpose of the Ordinance Amendment is to allow for expression but in a manner most feasible for the community. This will be a permitted use in the industrial and business zones under strict licensing conditions. The zoning is fairly routine with regard to the building. The licensing provisions are issued by the County Board after an investigation of those applying for the permit has been completed by the Sheriff’s Office. Russek moved to adopt Ordinance #05-01 accepting the Findings and recommendations of the Planning Commission for the adoption of Amendments to the Wright County Zoning Ordinance regarding Sexually Oriented Businesses. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0. These amendments to the Wright County Zoning Ordinance are too lengthy to be practically included herein in full. A complete copy is available from the Wright County Office of Planning and Zoning and is on file and available for inspection in the Wright County Coordinator’s Office. Pursuant to M.S. 375.51,Subd.3, the ordinance amendments can be summarized as: the creation of an “Adult Uses Overlay District” (AU), the adoption of definitions related to Adult Uses and the adoption of specific Licensing and Performance Standards for Adult Uses.

The meeting was recessed at 9:35 A.M. and reconvened at 9:40 A.M.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said an appraisal was received on the land adjacent to Stanley Eddy Park. The parcel was appraised at $180,000 for 32 acres ($5,600/acre). The parcel has one building entitlement. The landowner is willing to sell, possibly on a three-year contract for deed with 5-7% interest. Mattice informed the property owner that the purchase will be contingent upon what transpires with the acquisition of 140 acres near Ney Park. Mattice said a new statute was enacted on 6-01-03 indicating that 75% of Park Dedication Fees must be allocated in the township unless it is agreed by the township officials that the funds can be spent elsewhere. Mattice said there was approximately $149,000 in the Park Dedication Fund. If a regional park grant were received for $90,000-$100,000, funding of $49,000 would be required from the Park Dedication Fund. Sawatzke moved to accept the appraisal and submittal of the grant application for the property adjacent to Stanley Eddy Park, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. Mattice anticipated bringing to a future Board Meeting discussion on the land acquisition for the property near Ney Park.

Mattice met with the County Board on 11-16-04 and received approval to explore development of a trail on CSAH 17 from Delano to the Luce Line Trail. Delano has received grant funding toward the project. This project is also identified on the Regional Trail Plan. The total estimated cost is $392,000 (easements & ROW costs, $180,000; grading $85,000; aggregate, $125,000; and signage at $2,000). If the trail is paved, there would be an additional cost of $108,000. The Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program allows application for funding up to $250,000. There is an area of the trail (less than 1/8 of a mile) that does not connect to the Luce Line. It is located where the Carver/Hennepin County roads meet. There are 8’ shoulders in this area. Mattice has been in contact with the MN Trails & Waterway Division and it is felt that this would not be a significant connection to make. There is one controlled and one uncontrolled intersection involved. Sawatzke suggested that public input on the trail be sought early in the process. Mattice said that upon scheduling of the public hearing on the grant application, a letter will be sent to landowners rather than just publishing the notice in the newspaper. Funding options were discussed. Mattice said that if an aggregate trail were approved at a cost of $392,000, half of the funding would be through the grant. If $57,000 were taken from the Park Dedication Fund, that would leave the County with a match of $139,000. If the trail were paved at a cost of $500,000, the grant funding would be $250,000. If $57,000 were taken from the Park Deduction Fund, that would leave the County with a $193,000 match. It was noted that the Luce Line is not paved. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Mattice said that 80/20 grant funding is available for projects three years out. Sawatzke said if Park Dedication Funding were used, he would like to have Franklin Township’s input as the County has not previously taken this funding and spent it on trails instead of land. Russek moved to approve the request to proceed with the Federal Recreational Trail Grant Program application, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, brought forth discussion on the 2005 Dangerous Dog Contract with Crossroads Animal Shelter. The only proposed change to the contract is an increase of $500 for a total of $2500/year. Heeter noted that the County has budgeted $3000 for this service in 2005. The funds in excess of the Contract will be used for euthanasia or to pay charges that an owner will not pay. The Contract has been in place for two years. Prior to that, the County was expending $6000/year to the Wright County Humane Society for this service. Heeter said Crossroads Animal Shelter has realized more paperwork than envisioned. Heeter distributed information summarizing the Shelter’s statistics. Sawatzke moved to approve the Contract, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0. Heeter abstained from voting as she is the current President of the Crossroads Animal Shelter.

Thanks was extended to Sawatzke for his service as 2004 Board Chair.

Bills Approved

Assn. of Metro. Cty. Offc. $205.00

Best Western Kelly Inn 161.28

BP Amoco 390.02

Cardiac Science 7,217.00

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 285.31

Central MN Mental Health 160.00

Climate Air 298.00

CPS Technology Solutions 195.00

Dept. of Commerce-Notrn. 160.00

Fairview Northland Reg. Ho. 745.59

Gall’s Inc. 894.44

W. Grainger Inc. 314.63

Heartland Appraisal 1,450.00

Karla Heeter 148.12

The Lee & Assoc. 185.67

Frank Madden & Associates 6097.91

Marco Business Products 1,758.32

Minn. Elevator Inc. 2,041.00

MN Recreation & Park Assn. 168.00

MN Sheriffs Association 4,067.00

National Ass’n of Counties 1,429.00

Nextel Communications 1,830.08

Office Depot 1,301.59

Phoenix International 2,576.50

Voss Lighting 172.02

11 Payments less than $100 455.90

Final total $34,707.38

The meeting adjourned at 10:03 A.M.