Wright County Board Minutes

January 25,2005

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, and Russek present. Commissioner Eichelberg was absent at the beginning of the meeting.

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 1-18-05, seconded by Heeter, carried 4-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #5, “Sesquicentennial Update” (Sawatzke). The 9:15 A.M. Agenda Item, “Presentation of Squad Car Video Camera By Safe & Sober Representatives” was removed from the Agenda and referred to the 2-08-05 Board Meeting. Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, motion carried 4-0 to approve the Consent Agenda:

A. ADMINISTRATION

1. Performance Appraisals: A. Pulvermacher, Bldg. Maint.; K. Triplett, Assr.; B. Bersie, Hwy.; T. Piram, P&Z; M. Rhodes, M. Steffer, Sheriff.

2. Approve & Authorize Signatures, Amended Law Enforcement Contract, City of Rockford.

3. Claim, MCIT, $2,500 (Deductible, W. Nelson Claimant).

4. Authorize Signatures On Stipulation Of Settlement, Douglas Short, Scott Halonen, et. al. v. Wright County.

5. Approve Designation Of Parking Spaces In Annex Garage.

6. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-14-05.

7. Final Payment, Nelson Building, $10,000.

B. ASSESSOR

1. Approve Abatements, PID #101-500-012110, 101-500-012111, 101-500-012112, 101-500-012126, 101-500-012117, 101-022-002090, 101-022-002100, 101-022-002110, 101-022-010010, 101-022-010020, 101-022-010040, 101-053-000050, 101-062-000030, 101-081-000020, 101-083-000010, 101-083-000020, 101-093-000010, 101-093-000020, 101-093-000030, 101-093-000040, and 101-096-000010, The City of Albertville. (City of Albertville).

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

C. AUDITOR/TREASURER

1. 2005 Tobacco License: Kamal Inc. (Clearwater Twp.).

D. COURT ADMINISTRATION

1. Approve Hire, Georgia VanGeest, Office Assistant, Eff. 2-02-05 (Class A, Step 3).

2. Approve Hire, Sarah A. Arens, Court Clerk, Eff. 1-26-05 (Class D, Step 3).

E. PLANNING & ZONING

1. Authorize Tom Salkowski To Attend 2005 APA National Planning Conference, March 19-23, 2005.

F. SHERIFF

1. Acknowledge Appointment, Christopher Hendrickson, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 1-26-05 (Grade 5).

2. Acknowledge Retirement, Terry Dehmer, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 1-18-05 & Authorize Replacement.

Commissioner Eichelberg arrived at the meeting.

Mattson requested that Earl Dierks (Maple Lake) be appointed to the GRRL Board. The requirements for an appointment reflect that an appointee must be from Wright County, not necessarily from a particular district. Heeter moved to appoint Earl Dierks (Maple Lake) to the GRRL Board, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented two claims for approval from Fyle’s Excavating totaling $2603 ($2,078 + $525) for Ditch #33. Kerry Saxton has reviewed the claims. Sawatzke said that last year, more extensive repair had been completed on Ditch #33 which resulted in a reduction of water to the main line and provided the ability to solve other problems. The claims being reviewed today involve work that was completed to repair one branch allowing water to move in that area. Sawatzke moved to authorize payment of the claims to Fyle’s Excavating for $2603. The motion includes deducting $150 from the payment to cover final grading in the Spring. The motion was seconded by Russek. Hiivala indicated there are 316 assessments ranging from $.13 to $180. The motion carried 5-0.

Hiivala presented a reorganization plan for Shark Industries that was received from Noel LaBine, Wright County Economic Development. The request is for Board approval of the plan which lowers the interest rate but does not forgive the loan. Sawatzke said a previous email from LaBine indicated that the City of Rockford and the Initiative Foundation were in agreement with what had been proposed. The only other option was for the debtor to claim the loan was unsecured as the value of the property was not sufficient to cover the loans. By extending the time line, there was a chance to collect on this loan rather than writing it off altogether. Sawatzke moved to approve the agreement and authorize signature of the Board Chair, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve a plat, “WHEELERS RIDGE,” as submitted by Farmers Development Inc., a Minnesota Corporation, fee owner, of the following property described in part as: The E1/2 of SE1/4 and SW1/4 or SE1/4 all in Sec. 24, Twp. 118, Rge. 25, except part commencing at the S1/4 corner; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#103278); Franklin Township has agreed to maintain the roads; and there is a letter of credit on file with the Auditor/Treasurer for road construction; and the title opinion prepared by Ralph H. Tully, attorney, has been reviewed by Assistant County Attorney Thomas C. Zins, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced claims on Page 12 associated with an inmate and said approximately $51,000 has been expended thus far. He voiced frustration with the expenditures. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.

Russek moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 2-01-05 to discuss Multi-Media Proposals for the County Board Room. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Information was received from AMC relating to AMC County Days at the Capitol 2005. AMC hosts and assists counties that travel to St. Paul to visit with their legislative delegation and attend committee meetings. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said in previous years the Board has chosen to contact legislators during the AMC Legislative Conference. The Conference is scheduled for the end of March. Norman suggested scheduling something later in the Session, if possible, when the February forecast will be out. The Board directed Norman to contact surrounding counties to see if they would be interested in attending as a group.

Sawatzke moved to authorize Board attendance at the Aggregate Mining Conference scheduled for March 30-31, 2005 in St. Cloud. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Sawatzke said the Sesquicentennial Committee was recently formed to plan events for Wright County’s 150th Anniversary (1855-2005). The 150th Anniversary date is 2-20-05. On 2-22-05, the Committee would like to schedule a commemoration of the event as part of the County Board Meeting (11:00 A.M.). A reception would follow. Local officials (city/township) and past commissioners will be invited. Another upcoming activity will be a larger celebration held at the Historical Society on 6-25-05. Some of the activities may involve traditional dance and ethnic foods. More information on this event will follow. Members of the public are encouraged to join the Sesquicentennial Committee. If interested, they should contact a County Board member or the Historical Society.

Mattson announced that Mary Anderson’s father passed away and expressed sympathy to the family. Anderson works in the Extension Office as an Educator.

Greg Kramber, Assessor, provided a copy of a memo from the MN Revenue Property Tax Division relating to County Board of Appeal and Equalization Meetings. Statutes provide for two different options including the last 10 meeting days in June or any 10 consecutive meeting days in June, after the second Friday in June. Russek moved to schedule the County Board of Appeal and Equalization Meetings for 6-15-05 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was amended to include 6-16-05 at 9:00 A.M. if needed. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

The meeting recessed at 9:27 A.M. and reconvened at 9:31 A.M.

Jay Wittstock, Surveyor, requested authorization of the County Board Chair signature on a letter of support for the IAAO/ESRI Technology Foundation Introductory Start-Up Grant Program Application. The grant is for GIS software, web-based training and books. One license of software would be deployed in the Auditor/Treasurer Office for updating lot splits in the Tax Parcel Map. The other software license would be deployed in the Assessor’s Office for tax analysis. Russek moved to approve the grant application, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Correspondence was received from the Metropolitan Council inquiring whether Wright County would like to participate in their aerial photography. The imagery would be flown at 20,000 feet with a 2’ pixel size, 10 meter accuracy. Wittstock distributed sample photography reflecting resolutions as they relate to pixel size. Wittstock said the 10 meter accuracy would not meet the needs of the land records department. Wittstock recommended not participating with the Metropolitan Council on their aerial photography flight. Board action on 11-23-04 approved plat checking fees including an aerial photography fee of $5/lot. Wittstock and Bill Swing, IT Director, will attend a City Administrator meeting on 2-03-05 to discuss aerial photography and cost sharing. A letter will also be sent to cities on the same issue. Russek moved to decline the offer from the Metropolitan Council for participation in their aerial photography program and to continue with our own program, seconded by Heeter. Wittstock will send a letter to the Metropolitan Council declining their offer. The motion carried 5-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested authorization of signatures on the 2005 Greenview Contract for caretakers at Beebe Lake, C/P, Fairhaven Mill, and Ney Park. The Contract is signed annually and allows elderly workers to assist with daily maintenance and operations. The Contract is for the period of 1-1-05 thru 12-31-05 at a cost of approximately $74,000. Sawatzke moved to approve signatures on the Greenview Contract, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Heeter moved to schedule a Ways & Means Committee Meeting on 2-09-05 at 9:00 A.M. for the purpose of reviewing the property appraisal next to Ney Park and to discuss options with landowners. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

David Trelstad, Buffalo resident, brought forth concerns on the stoplight proposed by the City of Buffalo at the intersection of State Highway 25 and Montrose Boulevard. Trelstad distributed a letter outlining his concerns, copies of Wright County Board Minutes where the stoplight was discussed, and information relating to the study performed by the City of Buffalo in 2004. Trelstad also brought pictures depicting his property before and after remodeling. His home is located on the NW corner of the intersection. He does not have room for parking to the rear of his property and cannot afford to give up his street parking. He referenced a past Board Meeting where the stoplight was discussed with the City. At that meeting, the City referenced two surveys as justification for the stoplight. The first was a traffic survey performed by Mn/DOT in April of 2004 at the intersection of State Highway 25 and CR 12. In May, construction began on TH 55 and many cars used Bradshaw Avenue as a bypass. This activity continued through the Summer. On June 30th, the City requested that Mn/DOT perform a traffic count. This was done at the height of construction on TH 55. He did not feel the June 30th survey should have been used in the consideration for the stoplight. The second survey was sent with 1500 residents responding. Trelstad went to the City to review the survey results. A total of 1408 residents made no comment on this intersection even though the Mayor and Council said (at previous meetings) that this was the number one area identified as a problem. Trelstad obtained copies of the 92 responses with comments and reviewed them. He said one survey mentioned the intersection, one said to leave it alone, and one said to remove the stop signs. He did not feel three comments on this intersection would create a mandate to expend several hundred thousand dollars on a bogus traffic count. He did not feel either survey had merit. Trelstad referenced the 11-05-04 Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Minutes reflecting a summary of Mayor Naaktgeboren’s position that “building lanes for turning at the stop signs would probably create additional safety issues. The City will have to acquire more property in order to construct turn lanes, with or without a signal. They have not yet approached the property owners in regard to this.” Trelstad said property owners have not been contacted in this regard. At the December TCOTW meeting, Tom Dumont from Mn/DOT indicated that the waiting time at this intersection was graded at Level E on an A-F scale (A being the best). Even through the construction project, Trelstad said the rating remained at Level E. Trelstad referenced the 12-14-04 Board Minutes which he said reflected Heeter’s position that the survey was influential in her decision to support the City on this request. Trelstad said the Board should be able to trust the City to provide correct information to them as they are in the same business which is to protect the public. Trelstad said he had not been contacted by the City or had emails answered. He had called and discussed the intersection with Brad DeWolf. He felt another traffic survey should be completed some time after the TH 55 construction project has been completed. Trelstad said the Commissioners were welcome to review the survey results at his home.

Mattson commented that he has been contacted by residents inquiring why a signal is needed. He had not heard from anyone supporting the signal. He felt Trelstad had endured a tremendous disservice. Russek said that during previous discussions on this intersection, he inquired why the stop signs would be removed when they are working and why they would instead place a stoplight which may cause accidents. He did not receive an answer.

Brad DeWolf, City of Buffalo Engineer, said Mn/DOT performs traffic counts different times of the year. The one completed in April, 2004 at this intersection was done as part of the State Aid System. A survey is completed every two years when a roadway is on the State Aid system. The survey completed in June was by Mn/DOT and reflected results relating to signal justification (turning movements) as well as traffic counts. The transportation survey was reviewed by the City’s Transportation Committee and 95% of the respondents said that something needed to be done with State Highway 25 as a whole. The City is reviewing State Hwy 25 as a whole for options to increase traffic capacity. DeWolf said he has discussed the situation with Trelstad but has not been able to provide answers. A field survey was completed approximately one week ago. City staff met to develop a layout which would minimize the impact on Trelstad’s property. The layout would not affect Trelstad’s driveway and would not require any ROW from him. Before this layout is presented to Trelstad, the City and the County Board, it has been forwarded to Mn/DOT for review. Once he has heard back on the layout, he will meet with Trelstad.

Russek referenced the idea of a potential bypass from State Hwy. 12 to TH 55. If that did transpire, he felt the stoplight requirements would be void. He suggested that prior to installation of the stoplight, the future of State Hwy. 25 should be determined. DeWolf said he was part of previous bypass discussions. The City’s long range Transportation Plan reflects CSAH 34 connecting with State Hwy. 25. At the present time, development is not proposed in that area that would push that project forward. He did not feel it would be a bypass but rather an alternate route from State Hwy 25 to TH 55. A long range railroad plan has also been submitted to CP Rail relating to desired locations for crossings. The extension of CR 134 to TH 55 was included in that plan. DeWolf said the new CR 35 route will be extended to State Hwy. 25 in 2006. The original discussion on a railroad overpass was due to public safety but DeWolf said that has changed with two fire stations. DeWolf said the City will not push the stoplight project forward without talking with property owners. They also want to obtain Mn/DOT’s approval that what is being presented will minimally impact neighbors.

Sawatzke said when this issue was discussed about 1.5 months ago, one concern was adjacent property owners. His understanding was the City would meet with property owners and the parking lane would be turned into a turn lane. Impacts on property owners were to be minimal and his decision to support the stoplight was under that pretense. Having seen Trelstad’s property, Sawatzke understood Trelstad’s concerns. Beyond the proximity to the house, there are driveway issues. Trelstad may have a difficult time navigating onto the road due to having to cross lanes of traffic and inclines in the winter. At some point, a contract between the City, State and County will need to be formalized. Sawatzke suggested that the City work with Trelstad so that the County can support the contract.

DeWolf said he asked the layout designers to identify issues and Trelstad’s driveway was the number one issue. It is currently at a 13% grade and any widening makes it steeper. If the design is approved, the grade will remain as is. The curb movement would occur after his driveway.

Mattson said even though the turn lane occurs after Trelstad’s driveway, the traffic will back up in front of it. He said the City took Trelstad’s money when he applied for permits for his driveway and feels they now don’t care what happens to him. He did not know of anyone in support of the signal. Mattson drives that area 7 days/week and the longest he has had to wait was 1 minute, 50 seconds on a Sunday morning. Sawatzke said he was contacted by three residents who were happy the stoplight was being installed. He said the several minutes saved per day at the intersection adds up to a number of hours over a one-year period. Sawatzke said he supports the stoplight and still does. He does feel Trelstad has concerns that need to be alleviated as much as possible. DeWolf said on all projects he works closely with property owners on concerns. He felt confident that this will happen in this case. He will obtain a response from Mn/DOT on the layout and then work with property owners.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the Board schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the property for sale adjacent to the Fairgrounds. Asleson was in contact with the Howard Lake City Administrator who indicated that the City is not interested in the parcel as a whole but may be interested in a portion. The parcel is not in the City limits but is identified for governmental use in the City’s long range plan. The City may send representatives to the Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Russek said the Township should be invited as well. Asleson wrote to the Township for a copy of their Land Use Plan but has not received it. With regard to the street access issue, he questioned how the Fairgrounds would be affected if someone were to purchase the property and the City annexed the parcel. The street would run through the Fairgrounds. Sawatzke said if the County acquired a portion of the property, that land could stay in the Township and not be annexed into the City. Mattson said the Township is aware of the property being for sale as it is owned by one of the Township Supervisors. Asleson did receive a copy of the annexation agreement between the City and Township. That agreement includes this land. To be annexed into the City would require a request by the property owner and a City resolution. The current property owner is not requesting annexation. Sawatzke moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 2-08-05 at 11:00 A.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Asleson requested approval authorizing signatures on a quit claim deed to Cokato Township. In 1984, the Board passed a resolution revoking the access road to Cokato Township off of CSAH 4. The access was deeded to the DNR. Asleson could not locate a recorded deed revoking the road to the Township. There were some discrepancies on the legal description. With the assistance of the Surveyor, a legal description was developed for the quit claim deed. The Township would own fee title for the roadway. Sawatzke moved to authorize signatures on the quit claim deed, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

At the Board’s direction, Asleson wrote to the Commissioner of DNR in November on the Pelican Lake Access. Response was received back from the Director of Trails and Waterways Division indicating that a meeting should be held. Eichelberg moved to authorize Asleson to schedule a meeting with the DNR, indicating that the County would like Commissioner Gene Merriam to attend. The meeting will be attended by Sawatzke, Eichelberg, Highway Department representatives and Asleson. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Aedec International Inc. $1622.00

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 185.52

Ancom Communications 9,927.60

Ancom Technical Center 587.94

Aramark Correctional Serv. 10,404.70

Assn. of Minnesota Counties 20,335.00

Assn. of Mn Emergency Mgrs. 135.00

B & D Plumbing & Heating 217.00

Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 130.00

Bound Tree Medical LLC 355.33

Buffalo Clinic 192.00

Buffalo Township 846.00

Cardiac Science 1,799.00

Center Point Energy 2,680.55

Change Masters 5,000.00

Chatham Township 934.00

Clearwater Township 1,051.00

Climate Air 4,765.68

Cokato Township 799.54

Corinna Township 1,080.20

Corporate Express 119.28

Decorative Designs Inc. 184.31

Dept. of Public Safety 8,430.00

Emergency Physicians PA 369.00

Excel Systems LLC 136.80

First State Tire Recycling 592.70

Franklin Township 2,841.70

Hennepin Co. Sheriff 117.90

Hennepin Faculty Assoc. 3,323.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,101.83

Institute of Police Technology 790.00

Int’l. Public Management 299.00

Interstate All Battery Center 447.62

JRS 770.00

Keeprs Inc. 210.71

Peter Kelley 32,157.50

Lakedale Telephone Co. 237.87

Loberg Electric 1,056.33

Lund Industries Inc. 1,035.96

Maple Lake Township 1,961.20

City Maple Lake 581.80

Marco Business Prod. 767.87

Marlin Leasing Corp. 1,069.86

Marysville Township 1,640.80

MN Assn. of Assessing Ofcrs. 690.00

MN Assn. of Co. Adminstrators 355.00

MN Dept. of Public Safety 495.00

Morries Buffalo Ford Mercury 215.79

Motorola Communication 649.65

Office Depot 207.23

Pakor Inc. 340.63

David Pederson 321.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 252.41

Qwest 7,244.07

Anthony Rasmuson 200.00

Recall Document Mngment 100.23

Rice Co. Jail 195.00

Rockford Township 2,546.80

Simplex Grinnell LP 1,865.10

Software House Int’l 2,615.64

Special Operations Training 1,560.00

Sprint-Local Telecom Div. 101.33

St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 224.00

Star Tribune 565.08

State of MN Intertech Grp. 390.28

Sterling Solutions Inc. 600.00

Stockholm Township 355.40

Bruce Stotko 130.00

Streichers 3,103.41

Target 5,700.00

Tom’s Towing Service 201.75

Total Printing 766.59

Verizon Wireless 712.80

Victor Township 998.50

Waste Management TC W 407.63

Deanne Weese 540.00

James Weinberger 204.17

West Group Pymt. Ctr. 5,277.39

Wright Co. Auditor-Treas. 400.00

Wright Hennepin Electric 957.64

41 Payments less than $100 1,944.22

Final total $166,724.84

The meeting adjourned at 10:25 A.M.