Wright County Board Minutes
February 8, 2005
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Russek and Eichelberg present. Commissioner Mattson was absent due to a family funeral.
Russek moved to approve the minutes of 2-01-05, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda under Items For Consideration as follows: #2, “Resolution, Charitable Gambling Application, Albertville Lions Club” (Norman); #3, “Claim, MCIT, $9,642.00” (Norman); #4, “Shoreland Volunteer Program” (Heeter). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: W/ Workman, Hwy.; J. Cooper, E. Kunkel, A. Peterson, Sheriff.
2. Transfer $5,000 From Budget 820, Professional Services, To The Historical Society.
3. Approve & Authorize Signatures, Amended Law Enforcement Contract, City Of St. Michael.
4. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-28-05.
5. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Form LG220, Friendship Ventures (Corinna Twp.) & Waive 30-Day Waiting Period.
1. Approve 2005 Tobacco Licenses: Monticello Country Club, JP’s Sports Bar (Monticello City).
C. COURT ADMINISTRATION
1. Withdraw Approval To Hire Lisa Peterson, Court Attendant, Which Was To Be Effective 1-24-05.
2. Acknowledge Hire, Elissa Bleess, Court Attendant, Eff. 2-07-05 (Class B, Step 3).
D. COURT SERVICES
1. Accept Resignation, Jim Weinber-ger, Agent, Eff. 2-18-05.
2. Promote Janelle Webb From Case Aide To Agent, Eff. 2-21-05. Authorize Replacement Of Case Aide Position.
E. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Accept Resignation, Kathy Bennig, Technical Project Leader, Eff. 2-15-05 & Authorize Replacement.
F. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Accept The Findings & Recom-mendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings:
A. Approve Request To Rezone From AG & S-2 To R-2a & S-2, Darrell Langager (Southside Twp.).
1. Acknowledge Appointment, Charles Ankney, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-16-05 (Grade 3).
2. Acknowledge Appointment, Jessica Dupre, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-16-05 (Grade 5).
3. Acknowledge Appointment, Lance Stine, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-16-05 (Grade 3).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said the December Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines were previously distributed. All departments have been asked to review for coding changes. A final December Guideline will be distributed in the next couple of weeks.
The claims listing was reviewed. Russek said expenditures continue for jail medical but there is no choice but to fund inmate medical costs.
Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, seconded by Sawatzke. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced a claim on page 5, Charles Fradella ($115.90) for uniform reimbursement. Norman said the annual uniform allowance for deputies should have been paid by 1-31-05. The Union Contract allows for reimbursement in the line of duty. It was noted that Fradella holds the position of Civilian Bailiff. Norman felt the motion should stand and payment of the claim could be made as long as the claim is according to the Courthouse Union Contract. The motion carried 4-0.
A Committee Of Whole Meeting was held on 2-01-05. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-0:
Multi-Media Proposals. Swing distri-buted information relating to the proposals received (attached) for upgrade of the County Board Room. The proposals would satisfy minimums necessary to bring the room up to today’s standards. Conducting Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment and other select meetings would leverage the investment. The purpose of the upgrade is to enhance presentation and recording capabilities. Impacts on staff attending meetings should be minimal. Swing said the primary concern is simplicity. Three proposals were received including: EPA Audio Visual Inc., Rockford ($38,095); Comp View, St. Paul ($42,112); and Alpha Video, Edina ($47,310). These prices include sales tax. Swing recommended approval of the proposal from EPA Audio Visual at $38,095 due to price, preferred solution, local support and track record with the County. Additional costs will be incurred associated with wiring of the Board Room (Loberg Electric) and fine tuning of the system. Swing said the total expense would not exceed $40,000. Anything required beyond this amount would come back to the Board for approval. Estimated time of installation is approximately 1.5 months after approval is gained. The Committee recommendation was for a price to be obtained from Loberg Electric on wiring. Swing should contact EPA on the following issues.
• Camera capabilities with regard to focus and zoom features.
• Portable microphones.
• Volume control of microphones.
• Whether the current pricing includes the large format for the ELMO hard copy projector.
• The price of digital transfer equip-ment.
Once this information has been obtained, it will be presented to the County Board for review.
Other. Backes provided information relating to airing of the County Board Meetings on Cable TV (attached). The meeting is currently aired on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 P.M. The Charter Communications Access Coordinator explained that the meetings will be aired two times per week (one evening and the following morning). He requested the County select a preferred air time and they would try to accommodate the request. Charter Communications will continue to require VHS tapes as they are unable to provide playback in DVD format at this time. Mattson requested that once Charter Communications has determined the air time for the Board Meetings that this be communicated to cities and townships. This could be included in the city/township newsletters to inform the public. Recommendation: Backes is to contact Charter Communications and request that the County Board Meetings be aired on Cable TV on Thursday evenings and Friday morning. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Jay Wittstock, Surveyor, requested approval to solicit proposals for aerial photography. With an estimated cost of less than $50,000, Wittstock requested authorization to solicit proposals from 12 firms instead of going through the sealed bid process. It was the consensus of the Board that this would be acceptable and felt that more firms may respond in this manner. Wittstock and Bill Swing, IT Director, recently met with the Wright County City Administrators to discuss partnering on web portal and aerial photography. Wittstock referenced correspondence from Phil Kern, City of Delano, on behalf of the Wright County Administrator’s Association supporting such an effort. City administrators will recommend the aerial photography partnership to their councils in February. To accommodate this, Wittstock suggested the following time line: February 8, 2005-Solicitation of Proposals; February 22, 2005-Proposals Due @ 2:00 P.M., Public Works Bldg.; February 23, 2005-Present Proposal Results to Technical Committee & Discuss Status of Partnerships with Cities; March 1, 2005-Select Successful Contractor for Project. Eichelberg moved to refer the results of the Aerial Photography Proposals to the Technology Committee on 2-23-05, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0.
Sheriff Gary Miller introduced Sgt. Joe Hagerty of the Sheriff’s Department and Bob O’Brien and Jean Ryan from the Department Of Public Safety. Due to Wright County’s successful participation in the Safe and Sober Program over the past three years, a video camera ($4,000 value) for a marked patrol vehicle was awarded. Sgt. Hagerty explained that a county participates in the Safe & Sober Program for three years and then refrains from the Program for one year, allowing other law enforcement agencies to participate. The Safe & Sober Program is a Federal grant program with distribution of funding through the State, who tracks statistics on the Program. Hagerty referenced the Safe Communities Program which has the same goal - to promote public safety on roadways. The Safe Communities group is very involved in the schools and the community. Statistics were presented on the Wright County Safe & Sober Program. There were over 6,000 traffic stops with only a handful of complaints. There were 53 DWI arrests from Safe & Sober cars. There were 4,000 tickets and warnings issued for speed and 918 tickets relating to seat belt usage. Jean Ryan, Safe & Sober Coordinator, conveyed appreciation to Hagerty and the Sheriff’s Department for their efforts with the Program over the past three years. She said they followed the program including enforcement, which is a key piece. Last year in Wright County, 20 lives were lost and half of them were alcohol related. The State average for alcohol related deaths is 40% and Wright County was at 50%. Bob O’Brien, Law Enforcement Liaison for the Department of Public Safety, has worked with Wright County for 10 years. O’Brien recognized Sheriff Gary Miller’s efforts towards safety on Wright County roadways. Three major factors are focused upon in fatalities including DWI’s, seat belts and speed. The State’s seat belt usage is at 82%. The remaining 18% of the population is involved in 60% of the fatalities. Most fatalities involve speed and/or alcohol, which is the number one cause of death for ages 1-34. Cameras allow deputies to tape interviews, and these tape recordings prove to be a valuable resource when a complaint is issued. Also distributed were crash report statistics for 2002.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 4-0 to adopt Resolution #05-09 approving a Charitable Gambling License Form LG 230 for the Albertville Lions Club, Monti Club (Monticello Township)
Richard Norman, County Coordinator, requested approval of a claim to MCIT in the amount of $9,642.00 representing the balance due on the 2005 property/casualty insurance. A claim was approved earlier this year for a reduced amount, which included credits applied toward the total due. Since that time, it was discovered that MCIT issued a check to Wright County for these credits. Therefore, the entire amount of $9,642.00 is due. Russek moved to approve the claim, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
Heeter announced the Shoreland Volunteer Program being offered on 3-12-05 in Maple Lake. This Program will offer an opportunity to learn about Wright County water issues. Space is limited to 50 people. Registration fees are $15.00. Interested parties should contact the Wright County Extension Office.
A Public Comment Session was held on a proposed trail along CSAH 17 from Delano to the Luce Line Trail. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, distributed informational packets and provided an overview of the material. The information included why the Regional Trail Plan was developed and the planning process, the Wright County Park Plan and Delano Trail Plan, and various maps outlining the proposed pathway along CSAH 17. Also included was a proposed budget reflecting a total cost of $500,000 for a paved trail and $394,000 for an unpaved trail. Development of the Regional Trail Plan reflected a desire to connect the southeast corner of the County to the Luce Line Trail. As CSAH 16 is located in a flood plain, CSAH 17 was the next viable option. The County does not have abandoned railroad trails and it is cost prohibitive to build a scenic trail. An attempt is made to work with the Highway Department during reconstruction of roadways. CSAH 17 is scheduled for that process in 2006. Grant funding may be applied for with a 50% County match. If a paved trail is desired, the County can apply for $250,000 in grant funding. There is $700,000 available Statewide for regional trail grants. The City of Delano currently has a trail to their southern City limits. There is a trail connection to Rebecca State Park and plans for connection to Crow Hassen Park Reserve.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, provided an explanation of the cross section of a road and how it relates to CSAH 17. The proposal for the road is a 12’ lane (same as current road). An 8’ paved shoulder (standard) would replace the 1’ to 2’ shoulders that currently exist. A 4:1 slope will be used from the road to the ditch. The typical cross section would place the multipurpose trail 26’-40’ from the edge of the travel lane. Due to wetland restrictions and homes, some of the areas may only have a 6’ separation from the edge of the shoulder to the edge of the path.
The public comment portion for the trail followed. John Steinmetz, Delano Mayor, applauded the County for consideration of a trail extension. He said Delano has worked with the County, State, and Three Rivers Park District to achieve an integrated park system. The Three Rivers Parks District is looking at extending the trail system to all parks. He explained how the trail system might work, extending from Watertown to Lake Rebecca Park and extending into the Crow Hassan Park District. Steinmetz said Lake Independence is very close to this area and offers a beautiful park. He felt the proposed trail was a good idea and encouraged support of it.
Daniel Anderson, resident, said many of the residents have been there for a long time. With the proposed trail, there would be many residences that would not have a yard and there is also low land involved. He was opposed and did not see a benefit of the trail. Anderson is a snowmobiler who pays a license for trails. He said bicyclists do not pay for any permits and do not generate revenue as compared to other forms of recreation.
Sue Topel, resident on CR 17, inquired whether the trail would be located on the east side of the road. Mattice responded that with the current alignment on CR 17, the trail fits most appropriately on the east side of the road. This has not yet been determined but the east side would be favored. Topel said that is the side of the road she resides on. If the trail were placed 26’-40’ from the edge of the existing road, that would locate it in her front yard. Topel does not see bicyclists using CSAH 17 and felt an 8’ shoulder would be adequate for this use. She was against the trail.
Bob Bauman, Franklin Township Supervisor, said he understood there may be a trail but nothing had officially been announced. At the Township Meeting held on 2-07-05, the consensus of the Township Board was that the trail would not benefit the Township. They felt it would be okay for Delano. The Township was asked to utilize Park Dedication Funds toward the cost of the trail. Bauman said this was not possible as an agreement was worked out with several other townships to use the funding as regional park money. Russek responded that two developments in the
Township could benefit from the trail. Bauman said there was no input from residents at the Township meeting on this issue last evening. Sawatzke said Bauman indicated that the Township did not desire to use Park Dedication Funds toward the trail project. He asked what the Township’s position would be if there would be no contribution requested from that fund. Bauman responded that more input would be needed from the constituents. What he had heard thus far indicated that residents did not want to give up their land for the trail. Russek said the land would be required for road right-of-way and additional land would not be required for the trail.
Roger Nelson, resident, indicated he is a bicyclist. If the trail is placed on the side of the road he resides on, he inquired how that area would be filled in as there is currently a steep slope. He has many trees that he does not want to lose and inquired who would fund replacement or damage. Russek responded that some of the large inslopes would be flattened but he was unsure of the requirements. The road plan is not completed and the intent today is find out whether or not there is support for the trail. Nelson did not want to see his property ruined but he may use the trail if it is built.
Mike Day, resident, said there should not be a trail along CSAH 17 for several reasons. He felt it was a frivolous expense for entertainment purposes and the only purpose was for expansion into the Township. He felt the land used to be beautiful farmland which has now been ruined and did not think additional growth should be encouraged in the Township. There were many greater social needs and he thought the funds could be given to the schools or to the poor. Rebuilding the road would only encourage more growth. He called upon the Board to do everything in their power to reduce growth rather than to encourage a project like the one proposed. Day felt their greatest duty was to provide stewardship for the land. He suggested reduction in the speed limit to 40 mph. Day objected to the trail and said his final reason was there were too many influences in an attempt to bring more population into the country. He thought these influences should be reduced to make the area beautiful farmland again.
Tom Lemmerman said he has been a resident for 22 years and rides his bike on CSAH 17. His concern was the traffic speed in the Summer months. If the road is widened, that traffic would be 20’-30’ from his home. He was comfortable with riding his bicycle on CSAH 17 and did not want land taken away.
Jackie Singer, resident, inquired whether landowners would be assessed on the cost of the project. Sawatzke said this has not happened in the past. Singer has planted trees between her property and the road. There have been past problems with 4-wheel vehicles. Mattice confirmed the trail would be non-motorized. Singer questioned enforce-ment and said she was opposed to the trail.
Karen Larson said their property borders CSAH 17 on 117th Street. She said the current structure of the road is dangerous due to a curve with poor visibility and attributed a portion of the problem to speed. Larson’s family rides bikes and she would like a safer way to reach the Luce Line Trail. She supported something that would make the entire situation safer.
Carol Carbonell said she submitted a letter and inquired whether it would be read. The response was that letters submitted would be made part of the public record. Carbonell said the trail does not reach the Luce Line Trail and inquired how that would be addressed. Mattice confirmed the trail would end 1800’ from the Luce Line Trail. There are 8’ paved shoulders to follow to the Luce Line Trail. One uncontrolled intersection would have to be crossed. Mattice hopes to work with Carver and Hennepin Counties on this issue.
Sue Topel said part of the problem is the lack of communication on the road widening scheduled for 2006. She learned of this project through a piece of paper she found. Subsequently, she received a letter on the trail. She said there was no way to know of the previous meetings held on the trail. Sawatzke responded that the previous meetings held were for the County-wide trail system. Notice was provided in newspapers of the meetings and cities and townships were invited. It would be cost prohibitive to mail notice to every County resident. Sawatzke said 75 residents did attend. A decision has not been made to build the trail. The Board just started looking at this project over the past couple of months. Today’s purpose was to take public comment.
Dan Anderson referenced the width of the road and areas where there is a 15’ drop in elevation. To accommodate a 4:1 slope, this would require 60’ on either side of the road. He inquired why there was money designated for easement purchases if the road would remain in the original right of way. Fingalson said the project had not yet been designed. What he had explained previously was a typical cross section of a road. In areas with steep elevations, they would attempt to maintain a 4:1 slope. In some cases, areas may need to be filled in to blend with the landscape. Anderson said this may require 80’ to 100’ into the property or use of retaining walls, which he felt would be a traffic hazard. Anderson thought it would be better to pave CSAH 16. If CSAH 17 is paved, it will affect many residents. Fingalson said where the road is in close proximity to homes, an urban design would be used (curb/gutter and retaining walls). He restated that the road has not yet been designed. Fingalson referenced a map provided for reference. The area marked with a red line represents the edge of the existing road and the yellow area reflects additional right-of-way needed to accommodate wider shoulders and inslopes. If a path is desired, in would occur within the highway easement.
Bob Bauman inquired about funding for the path. Russek responded that the County can apply for grant funding in the amount of $250,000. Bauman questioned the use of park dedication fees. Russek said these funds are dedicated for purchasing park land but cannot be used for trails. Bauman questioned whether the City would be contributing toward the trail or just have use of it. Mattice said the grant requires a 50% match. If a grant were received for $250,000, the County would be required to match that via park dedication fees, fund-raising, etc. New legislation was recently adopted requiring that 75% of Park Dedication funds must be used within the township and the other 25% can be used for regional trails, connections, and land acquisitions. There is currently $114,000 in that fund and the County has jurisdiction on how those funds are spent. Sawatzke said he recognizes the ability to use these funds for a trail but it was his desire to instead use the funds to acquire park land.
John Steinmetz, Delano Mayor, said they have spent the last 20 years investing in a trail system and they see this as a link between Wright, Hennepin and Carver counties. He felt the trail would be advantageous for anyone in the Township. Over the last couple of years, he said there have been accidents, injuries and deaths so there is a safety factor. He said the City of Delano is committed financially to these trails. He felt the record should reflect that the City is participating now and is willing to in the future. Trails are encouraged not only for recreational use but for safety.
Virgil Hawkins, Assistant County Engineer, said cities such as Albertville, Montrose, Monticello, and Buffalo have all participated in trail systems by funding 100% of costs within their city limits. This has been happening County wide for the last 5-6 years.
Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said copies of written comment received from several individuals were included in the Agenda packet for review.
The grant application is due 2-28-05 at 4:30 P.M. with funding scheduled to be released the end of June.
Sue Topel questioned who would maintain the trails. Mattice responded the Parks Department would maintain the trail system through grading, mowing and trash removal.
The Board Meeting recessed at 10:18 A.M. to provide those present an opportunity to review the map and proposed route of the road. The meeting reconvened at 10:25 A.M.
Bob Bauman questioned whether the trail would provide parking areas. Mattice said there will be trail heads in the City of Delano and at the end of the trail at the Luce Line Trail. Steinmetz, Delano Mayor, said the City would have parking available through lots in parks and on streets.
Mattice extended thanks to the Surveyor for putting the maps together and to the Highway Engineer and staff for the cross section information.
Eichelberg questioned use of the road in the Summer months with no trail or shoulder. Jackie Singer said there is no walking but there is biking and use by 4-wheel vehicles and dirt bikes. Eichelberg said this use will continue and referenced fatalities which could occur. Singer said the 8’ shoulder could be used as a bike path just as it is used on CSAH 6. Eichelberg cited CR 39 where two deaths have occurred through use of the shoulder. If a trail had been in this area, there may not have been fatalities.
Daniel Anderson agreed that CSAH 17 needs road work completed. He was in favor of improvements but not taking additional space for a separate bike path, due to so many homes close to the road. He said about once per year, a number of bicyclists use CSAH 17. He did not feel giving them a separate trail was the answer.
Sawatzke suggested the Board tour the area. This would provide an opportunity to discuss ways to alleviate concerns raised today and to provide a better confidence level for the Board to make their decision. They would also view where the trail would tie into the City and Luce Line Trail. Sawatzke suggested viewing CSAH 12 as well due to the concerns by property owners that have not been resolved. A person in the audience requested that CSAH 16 be looked at as an alternative. It was the consensus that this road could be toured as well.
Bob DeWolfe, resident on CSAH 12, said he used to be a member on the Maple Grove Park Board. He suggested that the Board adopt the resolution in support of the grant application as the County should not pass on funding available from the Federal Government. The Board could always decline at a later date. DeWolf said he attended today as an interested party.
Sawatzke moved to lay over to the 2-15-05 County Board Meeting the resolution supporting the regional trail grant application for CSAH 17 and to authorize a Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 2-11-05 at 1:30 P.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. The purpose will be to take a road tour of CSAH’s 12, 16 and 17.
ACE Auto Upholstery $165.00
Ambry International Ltd. 468.25
Ameripride Linen/Apparel 290.95
Ancom Technical Center 817.33
Anderson Professional Training 130.00
APEC Industrial Sales/Service 364.76
Aramark Correctional Serv. 5,231.40
Auto Glass Center Inc. 241.56
Bob Barker Co. 1,373.97
Barnes Distribution 1,032.92
BLM Technologies Inc. 151.67
Bogart Pederson & Assoc. . 2,552.50
BP Amoco 493.62
Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 171.35
Brock White Co. LLC 25,232.22
Buffalo Clinic 333.00
Buffalo Hosp. Otpt Comm. 210.70
City Buffalo 26,969.47
Catco Parts Service 208.07
Center Point Energy 122.28
Centra Sota Lake Region 45,468.20
Climate Air 10,550.97
Corrections Products Co. 918.34
Country Chevrolet 174.53
City Delano 5,007.40
Dental Care Assoc. of Buff. 1,621.00
Dept. of Public Safety 120.00
Stacy Doyle 115.19
Emergency Physicians PA 506.00
Josh Erickson 225.03
Charles Fradella 115.90
Franklin Township 435.50
Gall’s Inc. 182.82
Gateway Companies Inc. 8,254.00
GCS Service Inc. 497.74
Going Under Dive Center 241.54
Granite City Cash Register 120.45
Hardings Towing 227.80
Karla Heeter 169.26
Henn. Co. Medical Center 129.00
Henn. Co. Treasurer 100.00
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,627.30
Horizons Inc. 13,540.00
ID America 196.69
Info. Systems Corporation 465.78
Jerrys Towing & Repair 110.00
Keepers Inc. 1,828.51
LaPlant Demo Inc. 913.18
Loffler Business Sys. Inc. 2,024.58
Marco Business Products 3,083,31
Martin Marietta Aggregates 2,942.47
Marks Standard Parts 2,777.48
Richard Mattson 254.42
MN Assn. of Assessing Officers 250.00
City Montrose 629.20
Motorola Communication 12,343.35
Eleanor Mullin 200.00
Nextel Communications 1,218.45
North American Salt Co. 18,609.14
NU Dell Mfg. Co. Inc. 127.39
Office Depot 2,452.46
Lynn Peavey Company 792.00
RDO Equip. Co. Trust Acct. 59,057.46
RS Eden 1,234.80
Russell Security Resource Inc. 615.75
Sherburne Co. Treasurer 100.00
Snowplows Plus 156.05
St. Cloud Hospital 103.25
St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 143.41
City St. Michael 5,290.40
State of MN Intertech Grp. 1,055,.05
Tom’s Towing Service 111.82
US Bank 1,178.75
Verizon Wireless 1,201.13
Voss Lighting 137.17
Gordon Weber 230.00
Wright Co. Auditor-Treas. 300.00
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 36,094.02
Wright Co. Journal Press 138.69
Xcel Energy 124.80
29 Payments less than $100 1,599.12
Final total $327,414.13
The meeting adjourned at 10:41 A.M.