Wright County Board Minutes

January 11, 2005

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

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 1-04-05, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item #B2, “Approve Hire, Jill Arens, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, Eff. 1-31-05, Step 3” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #3, “Clearwater River Watershed District” (Heeter); Item For Consid. #4, “Sherburne County Jail Facility Tour” (Heeter). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Mattson referenced Item E1 of the Consent Agenda and extended thanks to Hans Engstrom for his service to Wright County. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Performance Appraisals: R. DesMarais, E. Kloss, Assr.; M. Doppenberg, L. Martie, Atty.; D. Anderson, J. Niebolte, Hwy.; J. Adelman, IT; K. Walker, A. Weis, Sheriff.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-31-04.


1. Approve 2005 Tobacco Licenses: Smackdown’s Sports Bar & Grill (Albertville City); Tom Thumb #581 (Hanover City); Broadway Kwik Stop, Cruiser’s, Tom Thumb #583, Hi-Way Liquors (Monticello City); Holiday Stationstore #3539 (Otsego City); A&M Liquor (St. Michael City).

2. Approve Hire, Jill Arens, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, Eff. 1-31-05, Step 3.


1. Authorize County Board Chair Signature On The Federal Wright County Emergency Response Plan For The Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant.


1. Withdraw Approval To Hire Kim D. Hartje, Court Attendant, Eff. 1-3-05.

2. Approve Hire, Lisa Peterson, Court Attendant, Eff. 1-24-05 (Class B, Step 3).


1. Accept Resignation, Hans Engstrom, Engineering Tech II, Eff. 2-02-05 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Refer To Technology Committee: 1) Jail Inmate Phone Contract (Torfin); 2) 2005 Computer Installation Schedule & Policies; 3) Web Portal To Government Entities - No Fee Policy.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, distributed a tabulation of bids for the Official County Newspaper. These bids were opened and read at the last meeting. As a followup to a question Sawatzke had last week with regard to publishing requirements, Hiivala explained that he contacted the State Auditor’s Office. The only change in requirement is a contract for bidding under Statute 471.345. The claims and minutes must be published in the official newspaper. AMC is reviewing the ability to publish these items on the website. Hiivala said with only two newspapers submitting a bid, both will be awarded. The Howard Lake Herald will be chosen as the Official County Newspaper as they submitted the lowest quote. Russek moved to accept the Howard Lake Herald as the Official County Newspaper and the Dassel Cokato Enterprise Dispatch as the alternate. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Heeter noted that approximately $9000 was expended for medical bills associated with a person in detox who spent 2.5 days in intensive care. On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

A Detention Committee Meeting was held on 1-04-05. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Discuss Public Input Process. DLR Group displayed a mock-up of a table presentation and provided examples of a tri-fold brochure, public information booth, and brochures used by Scott County. It was clarified the intent of the materials is to inform the general public of the process to date and provide an opportunity for public input. Jon Crump, DLR Group, reviewed the brochures and displays and facilitated discussion on the timeline, information to be included, and ways to best disseminate the information. The general consensus of the Committee is to conclude the public input process by June. Placing the information on the website was suggested as well as e-mail addresses for the public to respond to. Surveys, mailings, property tax implications, cost comparisons of the various options, Q & A materials for presenters, and district public meetings were discussed. Beecher, who lives close to the proposed site of the new jail facility, stated she has taken vacation to attend several meetings, and that the information she has received has given her a much better understanding of the County’s situation. She feels the general public is not aware of the need for a new jail and has other misconceptions and that providing information is vital. The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for Tuesday, January 25, 2005, 1:00 P.M. to work on specific details of the table presentation and talking points. DLR Group will contact Scott County to schedule a tour of their jail currently under construction. Suggested dates were the afternoon of January 31, February 2, or February 7. It is anticipated the tour will last an hour to hour and a half. Recommendation: Set a working session of the Committee for 1-25-05 at 1:00 P.M. DLR Group will schedule a tour of the Scott County jail construction. (End of Detention Minutes)

Andrew Dahlgren, SWCD Water Resource Specialist, presented letters of intent from the following candidates for the open citizen-at-large position on the Water Management Task Force (WMTF): 1) Dan Hinrichs (Mink-Somers Lake Association President); 2) Gloria Grant Wynnemer (Lake Mary-Howard Lake); 3) William Krause (Hanover); 4) Mike Olig (Lake Mary-Howard Lake). Discussion involved geographic representation of current members. It was felt that the eastern portion of the County was well represented. Dahlgren noted that two of the candidates are from Lake Mary. This is due to concern with water quality issues associated with Lake Mary being highly utilized during summer months. Heeter supported selecting a candidate from Lake Mary and has experience working with Gloria Grant Wynnemer previously. The consensus was that all who applied were excellent candidates and should be thanked for their interest. Heeter moved to appoint Gloria Grant Wynnemer, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The two other positions requiring appointment on the WMTF are the Township Representative and the Mayor Representative. Sawatzke moved to acknowledge the recommendation and formalize the appointment of Rose Thelen as the Township Representative on the WMTF, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. Sawatzke moved to acknowledge the recommendation and formalize the appointment of Charlie Nelson as the Mayor Representative on the WMTF. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-01 in support of the 800 Mhz Planning Resolution, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a Speed Zoning Resolution for a section of CSAH 35 (by CSAH 9) and CR 147. Wayne said the request to have the Commissioner of Transportation check the safe and reasonable speed was prompted by residents in these areas. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #05-02, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 1-05-05. The following corrections were made at today’s County Board Meeting: Page 2, Item 2, last sentence, change from “$40,000” to “$20,000” (Sawatzke); Page 3, 3rd paragraph, 4th sentence, should read, “Mattson expressed his concern that the Transportation Alliance and AMC have a tendency to follow party lines. He feels they should both stay neutral on this subject and work with both parties.” (Mattson); Page 4, Item 3, 2nd paragraph, add the following as the third sentence, “Carlson advised the TCOTW members that they will not be requesting County financial assistance for these projects.” (Sawatzke). The following are the minutes and discussion which occurred at today’s County Board Meeting (shown in italics):

Review/Prioritize Federal Funding Candidates from Cities/Townships for FY 2008. The City of Annandale was the only City/Township to submit an application for consideration of funding by the Central Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership as part of their 2008 Area Transportation Improvement Program (ATIP). The ATIP is a prioritized list of transportation projects that the Partnership recommends for inclusion in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Once in the STIP, projects become eligible for federal transportation funding. Cardarelle gave a brief synopsis of Annandale’s proposed project. They submitted this project last year for consideration but were not chosen, so they are submitting it again this year with minor changes. Annandale is undergoing much residential development at this time, and the trail would help provide a connection for the residents to the city by walking or biking. The trail would begin at TH 55 at the signal light and head south to CSAH 38. At CSAH 38, the trail will head westerly and connect to an existing bituminous trail in the Triplet Farms development within the city. The new trail will then exit the development and proceed southwesterly to Southbrook development. It will then exit Southbrook and run north to CSAH 38, follow CSAH 38 to Lake John, turn north, run along the lake, and continue to CSAH 39. From there it will turn east and run along CSAH 39 to connect with an existing trail system. Two significant barriers are TH 55 and the railroad bridge, which will both be controlled by using pedestrian crossing signs. Eventually, they would like to consider tunnels at these two locations if funds can be obtained for that purpose. The benefits of this trail include providing new developments access to the existing trail system of Annandale and Wright County. Mattice suggested that it might be beneficial to mention the connection to possible future trails, such as the one planned for TH 24. Cardarelle said that she will plan to do this at the meeting when submissions will be discussed by the Transportation Partnership. She added that this proposed trail fits in nicely with the City’s plan to more fully develop their ‘Heart of the Lakes’ trail system that could eventually connect to Clearwater and to the Lake Wobegon Trail. There was some discussion about the impact on homes that are close to the road, but Cardarelle said that there are actually very few homes close to where this trail is mapped. Once approval is given and funds are available, a better look will be taken at where the trail will actually lie. Cardarelle said that the plans for road construction on CSAH 38 and the current development are what make it possible to consider this trail system. Fingalson said that reconstruction of CSAH 38 is on Wright County’s five-year plan for 2006, but because of the condition of the infrastructure, Annandale would like to do it in 2005. Wright County wouldn’t be able to pay them the County’s share that soon, and in fact, it may take two or three years to pay them back because of financial restrictions. Cardarelle said that one goal of this trail system would be to provide a connection to the schools in the city. The crossing at the signal light on TH 55 helps make this a clear, safe route. Fingalson said that the County Board has to pass a resolution on this submission so that it can proceed to the regional level where a member of the trail group can make a presentation. Recommendation: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the County Board approve a resolution on January 11, 2005, supporting Annandale’s application for Transportation Enhancement Funding for further development of a trail system.

At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #05-03, Resolution of Support for the Annandale Trail Enhancement Project. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Review the State Aid Cash Flow Status for 2005/Approve County Projects for FY 2008. Fingalson reminded the Board members of the resolution that they passed on December 21, 2004, approving the request to ‘advance encumber’ funds from state aid money. Since that time, the State Aid Office has told Fingalson that they are not sure how much, or if any funds will be available ahead of time. It is almost definite that Wright County won’t get the full amount of $1.4 million they requested to use for scheduled 2005 projects. Currently, the Highway Department is in a deficit and was hoping to use ‘advance’ state aid funds to help cover the shortage in funds that will occur if all scheduled projects are completed. A 2005 project summary, as prepared by Hawkins, was distributed showing the cash flow situation for both Regular and Municipal State Aid Construction accounts. A few of the projects may carry over into 2006, which would delay payment until that year, thereby reducing the burden on the 2005 funds. Sawatzke commented that the figures don’t seem to be any more unusual than those in past years, but Fingalson said that the difference is the fact the Wright County may not be able to ‘advance encumber’ funds as they have in the past. Sawatzke said that it was likely that one or more of the projects scheduled for 2005 wouldn’t be completed until 2006, and that would help avoid the deficit. Fingalson said that there are some projects that have come up since the 5-Year Plan was approved, and they will end up costing the County additional money. One of those projects is a traffic signal proposed for the intersection of TH 25 and CSAH 37. Mn/DOT plans to install that this summer (2005) and Wright County’s share of the total cost is tentatively at 5%, or $20,000.

Fingalson said that the Minnesota County Engineers Association has asked the County Engineers to come up with projects that could be delivered for $300,000 that would greatly enhance the safety at a particular location. This will be part of the proposal to the Legislature for a Local Road Safety Program. He said that the intersection of CSAH 37 and CR 117 would be a good candidate because of the site distance problem and because of the number of fatalities that have occurred there in the past. There was general agreement that this is a dangerous intersection and that corrections could be made to improve the safety.

Fingalson also asked the Board to decide if they are willing to submit any County projects for 2008 ATIP funding. If advance encumbering is not allowed, Wright County may have to consider bonding to pay for the County’s share of any project approved by the ATIP. The project that he would recommend submitting for consideration is the reconstruction of CSAH 6 from TH 55 to TH 24, about 2.5 miles. This is a $2 million project and Wright County’s share would be $400,000 if approved for funding by the ATIP. Recommendation: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the County Board support the application for the Wright County CSAH 6 reconstruction project (between TH 55 and TH 24) for federal TEA-21 funding for the fiscal year 2008.

At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-04 approving the CSAH #6 (regrading, base, bituminous) candidate project for submittal to Mn/DOT to apply for federal TEA 21 funding for Fiscal Year 2008. A copy of this resolution was not included in the material being reviewed today. Approval of this resolution is contingent upon receiving the resolution today. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.

Fingalson asked if the Board members were interested in putting together a news release that highlights the dilemma the County is facing for transportation funding. The Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) has decided that it supports raising the gas tax to bolster transportation funding. A press release supporting the AMC Transportation Funding Package might be helpful to educate the public about where this gas tax money will be used, and what projects may get delayed or eliminated altogether if the gas tax is not raised. Mattson expressed his concern that the Transportation Alliance and AMC have a tendency to follow party lines. He feels they should both stay neutral on this subject and work with both parties. Fingalson encouraged the Board members to support the AMC proposal and to consider following up with news releases about the County’s position. That may prompt citizens to contact their Legislators in support of raising the gas tax. Fingalson suggested that a resolution be approved at the upcoming Board meeting and that the Transportation Committee could discuss what type of marketing approach should be used. Dick Mattson expressed his preference to wait until the Legislature has addressed the issue before any action is taken. Sawatzke said that he is skeptical about whether a press release would be successful, but the County Board could address the Legislature and let them know they are in favor of the AMC Transportation Funding Proposal. He said that part of the reason that this decision gets shelved in Legislature is because counties disagree among themselves about the formula that would be used to divide the funds. Fingalson agreed and said that the AMC’s proposal is a step in the right direction for showing unity in the transportation funding area. The current state gas tax is $0.20/gallon. Fingalson showed a chart giving the gas tax in all other states. Minnesota is in the bottom third. Fingalson said that Sawatzke was part of the AMC Transportation Funding Task Force that developed the AMC Transportation Funding Package. The Task Force accepted it on a vote of 13-2. It was approved as part of the AMC legislative platform at its annual meeting last month. Wright County’s share is favorable and Fingalson encouraged the Board members to recommend acceptance. Recommendation: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that a resolution be drawn up by Fingalson supporting the AMC Transportation Funding Package. It was further recommended to wait with the development of a press release until later this month (after we find out how much we can advance encumber).

At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #05-05 supporting AMC’s Transportation Funding Package. Sawatzke indicated that it is difficult to keep up with road maintenance costs. He supports funding of maintenance through user fees rather than through property taxes. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Fingalson said that an additional item to consider is Waverly’s request to be paid for the County’s portion of the expense of the CSAH 9 rerouting, a total of about $280,000. The language in the agreement with them states that they will be paid when the money is available, and that may not be until after 2005. Sawatzke stated that he would rather Waverly didn’t have to wait for their money and Heeter agreed. Hawkins said that if Waverly is paid this year, there is a good chance that there won’t be enough money to pay Montrose this year. Russek said that Waverly moved their project forward to 2004, but that they still should get paid in 2005, as originally planned. Fingalson said that they had agreed to wait until the County can pay them. Sawatzke said that he would like to see that Waverly gets something now.

Fingalson expressed his concern about running out of money if Wright County is not allowed to advance encumber, especially in the Municipal Construction account. He should find out at the Annual County Engineer’s Conference in two weeks just how much, if any, money they will be allowed to advance. The Board will wait until after that information is available before they make a decision on paying Waverly. Recommendation: It was the consensus of the TCOTW to wait until the State Aid Office makes a decision on the total funds Wright County will be allowed to advance encumber before they decide when and how much Waverly should be paid in 2005 for their work in 2004.

Future Issues. Fingalson said that members of the highway staff have been working with SRF to update the County’s transportation plan (combined with the Northeast study and the TH 55 Corridor Transportation Plan) so it can be brought before the Screening Board to earn funding for future miles of highway. Hopefully, more dollars will be added to the funding for Wright County and the shortage of funds won’t be so severe. Other counties are trying to do the same planning and competition is stiff, because the more money Wright County gets, the less that goes to the other counties. Fingalson will give an update at a later meeting.

Fingalson introduced Pete Carlson, who then gave a brief update on the transportation changes being pursued by the City of Albertville. They would like to have a full interchange at CSAH 19 and I-94 and are working with the City of St. Michael to prepare an interchange access application for a full upgrade at both CSAH 19 and Naber Avenue. Carlson advised the TCOTW members that they will not be requesting County financial assistance for these projects. The City of Albertville prefers a traditional diamond interchange at both CSAH 19 and CSAH 37 as they intersect I-94. Mn/DOT has some safety concerns and is not in favor of two full traditional diamonds at both locations. There are four options that they are considering, and the range in cost is $3.5 to $15 million. Whatever type of interchange they decide on, CSAH 19 will be affected and the City will keep the County informed. The City of Albertville will be over 5,000 population after an official letter is received from the state demographer in April, which means that they will be able to make their own application for 1-11-05 ATIP funding rather than seek funds through a resolution of the County Board. The City’s primary focus has been the upgrading of CSAH 19 between St. Michael and Albertville. Having the interchange will help the city tremendously. Carlson said that Larry Kruse, City Administrator, is very interested in becoming more engaged with the County Board so that he can understand their issues and they can understand the City’s.

Fingalson asked the TCOTW if they would support his recommendation to the Minnesota County Engineers Association that safety improvement at the intersection of CSAH 37 and CR 117 would be a good candidate for a $300,000 safety project. All agreed that this was a worthy project.

At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the TCOTW Minutes with the corrections as noted, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

(End of TCOTW Minutes)

Heeter announced the Clearwater River Watershed District was awarded the Watershed District Of The Year Award by the DNR. Congratulations was extended for this accomplishment.

Heeter will tour the Sherburne County Jail Facility on Thursday at 1:30 P.M. and invited other Board members to tour if interested. The other Board members declined. Heeter will also meet with Sherburne County on Wright County’s meth program.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop $193.32

Allina Medical 602.00

Ameripride Linen/Apparel 160.94

Ancom Communications 1,893.05

Ancom Technical Center 1,272.22

Aramark Correctional Serv. 4,927.14

ATOM 750.00

Automatic Garage Door/Frpl 120.50

B & D Plumbing/Heating 993.00

Bachman Printing 225.78

Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 739.25

BLM Technologies Inc. 2,177.93

Bound Tree Medical LLC 2,707.18

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt Commerci 8,545.68

City Buffalo 25,222.92

Cargill Inc.-Salt Div. 6,361.91

Catco Parts Service 1,328.82

CDW Government Inc. 259.64

Center Point Energy 105.81

Centra Sota Lake Region 18,290.48

Climate Air 24,987.05

Construction Bulletin 209.00

H Cragg Co. 1,013.76

Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo 1,247.00

Josh Erickson 249.37

ESRI 6,545.60

Tom Feddema 137.25

Janet Gholson 116.92

Raymond Glunz 200.00

Gordys Foods 225.08

W Grainger Inc. 143.78

Graphic & Printing Services 225.00

H & L Mesabi 1,175.76

Hennepin Co. Med. Center 366.55

Hennepin Co. Treasurer 495.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 3,207.90

Cynthia Hohl 109.00

Jerrys Towing & Repair 110.00

Junction Towing & Auto Repair 315.24

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Lakedale Telephone Co. 339.58

LaPlant Demo Inc. 512.74

Laser Patrol LLC 250.00

Michael Laurent 167.47

Lawson Products Inc. 559.18

M-R Sign Company Inc. 246.86

Marco Business Products 2,895.89

Marks Standard Parts 2,637.74

McCombs Frank Roos Assoc. 168.00

Meeker Co. Sheriff 185.55

Minn Blue Digital Imaging 102.74

Minnesota Bookstore 1,278.00

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 14,125.56

MN Dept. of Corrections 16,250.00

MN Society of Prof. Surveyors 150.00

Monticello Ford Mercury 1,616.28

Monticello Times 302.44

Monticello Township 1,005.62

MTI Distributing 716.07

Munford Sanitation 247.47

Nat’l Society of Professina 235.00

Nextel Communications 636.83

North American Salt Co. 8,062.88

Office Depot 1,643.80

Prosource 795.00

Royal Tire Inc. 2,001.24

Ryan Motors Inc. 753.37

Sirchie 130.29

Software House Int’l In 2,928.75

Sprint 161.40

St. Cloud Times 169.00

State of MN Intertech Grp. 965.00

Streichers 417.05

Trans Union Corporation 146.84

Walmart Store 01-1577 511.65

West Payment Center 582.81

Wright Co. Journal Press 185.78

Wright Co. Court Admin. 100.00

Xcel Energy 168.08

32 Payments less than $100 1,428.95

Final total $183,837.74

The meeting adjourned at 9:53 A.M.