Wright County Board Minutes

March 15, 2005

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 3-08-05, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #4, “Board of Equalization Training” (Russek); Item For Consid. #5, “State of MN Public Utilities” (Sawatzke); Item For Consid. #6, “Detention Committee Alternate” (Eichelberg). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: T. Zins, Atty.; R. LaFave, Bldg. Maint.; J. Nyren, Ct. Admin.; G. Eldred, L. Goenner, L. Hellerud, M. Meemken, R. Nevala, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $1,632.84.


1. Claim, MFRA Inc., $56.00, Professional Services Thru 1-31-05 (Charlotte/Martha Service District Fund).


1. Authorize Signatures On 2005 County Boat & Water Safety Agreement.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Mattson referenced claims under Sheriff/Corrections for inmate pharmacy, noting that prescriptions are being filled at Cub as well as Sterling Drug. He voiced concern with costs associated with inmate care. Heeter moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-08-05. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:

Review 2004 Revenue/Expenditures. Hiivala provided an overview of the attached 2004 Year-End Budget Summary for General Revenue, Road & Bridge and Human Services, reflecting budget to actual figures. Also included was a Four-Year Trend Analysis for each of the three budgets.

I. General Revenue-Revenues. The following areas were highlighted:

A. Court Administration. Reflects a $71,539.72 surplus mainly due to collection efforts by Human Services. An increase over what was budgeted was seen in Fees For Service and Fines.

B. License Bureau. A deficit of $41,044.10 was realized mainly because of online registration procedures implemented by the State.

C. Corrections. Pay to Stay Fees exceeded budget by $51,149.79.

D. Civil Defense. The revenues and expenses are over budget due to the Homeland Security Grant.

E. Non-Departmental, Property Taxes. The County collected 99% of the current year’s taxes and improved the collection of delinquent property taxes. The figures reflect that more was collected than levied. This was due to TIF decertifications.

F. Non-Departmental, Miscellaneous Revenues. This line item shows a surplus of $361,217.02. The 2003 and 2004 MCIT Dividends were receipted in 2004. In previous years, MCIT Dividends were held and receipted in January. With GASB 34 implementation requirements, the Dividends must be receipted immediately. It is unknown whether a Dividend will be realized in 2005.

G. Non-Departmental, Interest Income. A deficit of $117,725.13 was realized due to lowered interest rates.

General Revenue-Expenditures. Several departments were under budget for personnel related expenses because of turnover, leaves, etc.

A. Recorder. The report reflects $37,342.74 over budget. The Recorder does not budget for equipment funds. It appears the budget has been exceeded but expenditures actually come from the equipment fund.

B. Building Care. Expenses were exceeded by $59,420.82 due to utility payments and expenses associated with repairs.

C. Corrections. The expenditures were $78,317.34 over budget due to boarding of prisoners and jail medical costs.

D. Non-Departmental, Professional Services. The budget was set at $125,000 for this line item but actual expenditures were $251,041.91 due to FLSA Litigation.

E. Non-Departmental, Site Improvements. The budget was established at $300,000 with expenditures of $100,377.43, resulting in a surplus of $199,622.57. Many items that could have been charged against this line item were paid for out of the Capital Account.

General Revenue-4 Year Financial Data. The net surplus of the revenues/expenditures less the Recorder’s equipment fund results in a $1.6 million surplus from the 2004 activity. Norman said large ticket items not budgeted for included the $900,000 FLSA litigation settlement and the $200,000 telephone switch upgrade. This reduces the surplus by $1.1 million. The litigation was not covered by MCIT as it was an exclusion from coverage. In light of this, Norman suggested that the County build a reserve fund for such circumstances. The phone switch upgrade was funded from the Capital Account. Each department will be assessed a monthly fee based upon number of headsets. Hiivala was in contact with Bruce Kimmel, Springsted Financial Advisors. When the 2004 equipment note was issued (bonds sold in April 2004), the County was supposed to levy for the debt service anticipated. This was not done and cannot be completed subsequent to the event. The County did budget for this in 2005. The Debt Service fund also reflects a negative cash balance and has been corrected by a journal entry (not reflected in this document). The total cash amount is correct. The areas of Human Services Collaborative, Mental Health Initiative, Sewer Subordinate District and Highway 55 Corridor all involve pass through funding.

II. Road & Bridge-Revenues & Expenses. Most of the discussion centered on the Engineering Division Revenues and Expenditures. Fingalson, Ellis, Hiivala and Norman will meet to develop a project summary reporting system. Other items highlighted included:

A. Gravel Tax. The budget was established at $50,000 and actual receipts were $126,035.80 ($76,035.80 surplus). These amounts reflect only the County’s share of the tax.

B. Disaster Fund Reimbursements. A surplus of $79,389.87 was realized. Ellis explained that this is hard to budget for as it is unknown what will be received. Reimbursements in 2004 were from previous years’ disasters. Labor and equipment expenditures may be reflected in different line items.

III. Human Services - Revenues & Expenses. The report reflects information for the three Divisions including Income Maintenance, Social Services and Public Health.

A. Income Maintenance. The Revenue surplus is $108,618.86 but expenditures were $87,000 over budget. Norman, Hiivala and DeMars met and discussed Child Support Revenues. These revenue projections were overstated for 2004. Less revenue is expected for 2005. This should be reviewed for the 2006 budget. DeMars stated that Child Support incentives are not being met, possibly due to staffing issues and personal leaves. Incentives are awarded based upon funds collected. Child Support came in $98,000 under budget but expenditures were also $74,000 less than projected. Medical Assistance was $148,738.68 over budget. DeMars indicated this has resulted due to the State’s ability to shift costs to the County. This pattern is expected to continue.

B. Social Services. Child Care/MFIP and Mental Health Services reflect a surplus in revenues. The Mental Health Services surplus is due to Wright County performing the bookkeeping for a 4-County Consortium. The revenues/expenditures should balance out after the two-year period. With regard to the Child Care/MFIP Program, the State pays for local child care (County no longer pays for). Norman said that revenue projections for Developmental Disabilities seemed to be overstated and should be visited in the 2006 budget. River Rider expenditures were at $14,513.66 compared to $8,000.00 budgeted. It was thought that a second bus was purchased.

C. Public Health Services. Hiivala noted that revenues realized a deficit of $51,409.93. However, expenditures were at $66,573.20 under budget. A Family Planning Grant was received for $20,000 that was not reflected in this handout.

2001-2004 Year-End Trend Analysis. DeMars referenced Line Item 750, Developmental Disabilities and Line Item 760, Social Services-Adult Services, reflecting deficits for 2004. For the most part, staff reimbursement is received. They are starting to realize the effects of tight caseloads. If they cannot meet the needs of the clients, they also lose financially. This will be addressed further in 2006. Year end cash balances went from $5.2 million in 2003 to $5.9 million in 2004. The trend analysis of actual expenses reflects that Income Maintenance is within $21,000 of what was budgeted over the four years. Social Services was $2.9 million under budget for the same period. Public Health Services was under budget by $295,605.66 for the four year period.

Other. Of the $1.6 million overall County surplus, $1.1 has already been utilized for the FLSA Litigation and Phone Switch Upgrade. Norman suggested potentially designating a portion of the remaining funds toward insurance exclusions. The fund balance of the Capital Account is $3 million. Hiivala noted that the remodel project is complete. In January, 2005, the County receipted two TIF decertifications from the City of Buffalo. The County’s share is $750,000 and will be reflected under Budget 820, Property Tax. Another decertification is anticipated which could equate to approximately $380,000 for the County. The January Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines will reflect $750,000 in property taxes which was not budgeted.

The potential purchase of two properties for Park land was discussed. Land purchases are dependent upon receipt of grant funding. Discussion led to the designation of funds toward the update of the County’s Land Use Plan. Norman suggested that a consultant or facilitator be hired to assist with that process. RFP’s for consultant services could include either updating the entire County or on a quadrant basis. Hiivala requested that if funds are not transferred to the Capital Account for projects and the funds are instead kept in the General Fund, that an amendment be approved as projects are recommended. Hiivala is required to provide an explanation of the comparison between the financial statements and the budget. At the request of Mattson, Hiivala will provide a summary of the Site Improvements and Capital Account fund balances on a monthly basis. Norman said a copy of Stearns County’s new Capital Improvement Plan is being obtained for review. Hiivala recommended that starting in 2006, departments’ budget include expenditures for capital improvements. Recommendation: A resolution will be drafted designating $100,000 to Capital Improvements and $50,000 to Professional Services for the Land Use Plan Update. (End of Budget Of The Whole Minutes)

Bob Peterson and Brad Hayes, Officers of Wright County Pheasants Forever, invited the Board to the 20th Annual Pheasants Forever Banquet being held on 4-04-05 at the Civic Center. The group would like to honor the County Board for their efforts associated with the acquisition of 290 acres of prime habitat on Pelican Lake by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Tracy Janikula, Feedlot Administrator, requested the establishment of a Public Hearing date for a variance request from the Feedlot Ordinance. A map was distributed. The property was divided prior to the establishment of the Feedlot Ordinance and a home cannot be built on the property without a variance. The applicant is Carlton Willems whose intent is to purchase the property from the current owner, Paul Hansen. Both have signed the application for variance and Janikula felt both would be in attendance at the Hearing. Hansen has owned the property since the current Ordinance was enacted. The sale is pending upon approval for a home to be built on the property. Sawatzke moved to schedule a Public Hearing for the Willems/Hansen variance request from the Feedlot Ordinance for 4-12-05 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Tom Kelly, Attorney, recognized Kathleen Mottl for her service with the Wright County Attorney’s Office. Mottl was recently appointed as a Wright County Judge to fill the position vacated by Judge Bruce Douglas. Mottl was hired in 1991 as an Assistant County Attorney. She worked all duties in the criminal justice system, prosecuted many jury trials, and worked closely with the Wright County Drug Task Force and Law Enforcement Agencies. Mottl was described as a loyal, team player with a great attitude and people skills. Kelly said she was ethical, fair and able to make tough decisions with compassion. Mottl was appointed as Judge by Governor Pawlenty on 3-07-05. Kelly presented her with a plaque commemorating her years of service from 1991-2005. Mottl said she was honored to be able to serve the citizens of Wright County and that her recent appointment to Judge was her dream. Mottl was thanked for her service and congratulated on her appointment.

At 9:30 A.M., Mattson closed the regular meeting and the Public Hearing was held to discuss the acquisition of two parcels for Park land under the Regional Park Grant Program Application:

1. The first parcel is land adjacent to Robert Ney Memorial Regional Park and Nature Center near Maple Lake. A map was distributed reflecting the current Park area and proposed acquisition of 137.642 acres adjacent to the northern boundary of the Park. This would increase the total acreage of the Park to 737 acres, making it the largest regional park in Wright County. The total appraised value is $991,000. The grant request is for $594,600, which would require a $396,400 County match. If the grant is awarded, $115,000 would be funded from the Park Dedication Fund, lowering the required County match. Three payments will be made for the purchase of the property prior to expiration of the grant. No costs would be assessed to area residents. An estimated $24,000 in future costs may be expended for reclamation. Other future costs include trail construction, boundary signs, and grounds maintenance. Heeter received one phone call from a resident concerned with the County expending this type of money when the taxpayers were not provided an opportunity to vote on the issue. The resident lives adjacent to the property. Otherwise, Heeter said feedback received has been positive, supporting preservation of this property. Eichelberg said if the same acreage of land had become available elsewhere in the County, he may not support the expenditure. However, he felt the proposed purchase was a nice addition to Ney Park. Mattson said he has always had concern with land prices but felt this was one of those things that must be done at the appropriate time.

2. The second parcel is land adjacent to the North Unit of Stanley Eddy Regional Park Reserve near South Haven. A map was distributed reflecting the current Park acreage and proposed acquisition of 34.5 acres. The appraised value of the land is $180,000. The grant application is for $108,000 with a $72,000 County match. If the grant is received, $36,000 will be funded from the Park Dedication Fund, lowering the required County match. No costs would be assessed to area residents. There are no future plans for development of this land and it will serve as a boundary buffer for the Park. Future costs include grounds maintenance, boundary signs and a property survey. If acquisition of land occurs to the southern edge of the Park in the future, a trail may be planned for the Park. At the time of closing, the property would be surveyed and payment would be made in full (anticipated for October/November, 2005). In response to Mattson, Mattice indicated that the Township incurs the expense of maintaining the road on the north side. Land was also deeded to the County on the northern side due to gravel encroachment. There may be a future opportunity to acquire more land in this area.

As no public comment was received, the Public Hearing was closed at 9:42 A.M. and the regular meeting was reconvened. Mattice requested the Board adopt Local Government Resolutions for these grant applications. The resolutions would support the grant application and give the Parks Administrator the authority to authorize and execute agreements on behalf of the County. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #05-18 supporting the Local Government Resolution for the Regional Park Grant Program Application for the purchase of land adjacent to Robert Ney Memorial Regional Park and Nature Center near Maple Lake. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. A motion was then made by Eichelberg to adopt Resolution #05-19 supporting the Local Government Resolution for the Regional Park Grant Program Application for the purchase of land adjacent to the North Unit of Stanley Eddy Regional Park Reserve near South Haven. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 3-09-05. Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Request For Video Cameras In Hallway Outside Courtrooms 2-5. The County currently has two camera systems. The older system, maintained by the Jail, has cameras inside the Jail and in various outside areas. During the recent remodel of the Government Center, the second camera system was added. Cameras can be accessed by the bailiffs, IT Director, and Helgeson. One of the cameras on the new system is located on the North end of the Court Administration hallway, near the Court Administration Office. Helgeson provided a copy of a photograph depicting the area of the camera. For security, Helgeson suggested installing an additional three cameras. Two would be placed down the hallway further, with each camera recording a different direction. The third camera would be placed by Courtroom 5. This will provide the ability to monitor the entire Court Administration hallway. The camera footage can be used as evidence if needed. A quote was obtained from Russell’s Security for two cameras. The cost for three cameras would be $3,342. The current multiplexor (recorder) has the ability to add up to one more camera. To add another multiplexor would cost an additional $4,995 and would provide the capacity for 14 cameras. The price of the cameras includes the camera, wiring and labor. Recommendation: Approve purchase of multiplexor and three additional cameras. Funding will be from Site Improvements. (End of Building Committee Minutes)

A Civil Defense Committee Meeting was held on 3-09-05. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter. A friendly amendment was made to correct the minutes as follows: Item #3, Business Cards, will read “Wright County Emergency Coordinator.” The motion carried 5-0:

Report From Steve Berg. Berg distributed and reviewed a work plan for the month of February (attached). A major focus has been reviewing and updating the Emergency Operations Plan. The deadline for the required annual review will be confirmed. Berg distributed a Fire Officers and Equipment form which has been developed for an inventory control system. A process will be established to inventory future equipment additions as they are received. Inventory and operation of the new haz-mat and MCI trailers is also in process.

Discussion RE: Emergency Response. Heeter initiated discussion regarding clarification of Berg’s responsibilities versus those of Genell Reese, Civil Defense/Veteran’s Services Director. Areas of discussion included flooding, tornados, major fires, as well as nuclear, bio-harzards, EMS coordination assistance to fire chiefs, public health, the Sheriff’s Department and Dispatch. This item will be carried over for the next meeting for discussion with Reese.

Business Cards. Following brief discussion, the Committee recommended business cards identify Berg as “Wright County Emergency Coordinator”. The next meeting was scheduled for April 13, 2005, 11:00 A.M. (End of Civil Defense Committee Minutes)

A Detention Facility Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-09-05. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Discuss Public Input Process. Bruce Kimmel, Springsted Inc., distributed a handout of Jail/LEC/Government Center financing options and reviewed the following three groups of debt structures: 1) Level debt service 100% serial maturities, 2) Debt service wrapped around existing debt service, 100% serial maturities, and 3) Combination of serial and capital appreciation bond (CAB) maturities. The debt structures are listed from lowest to highest overall interest cost. Level debt service will incur less interest expense than “back-loaded” debt that is wrapped around the County’s existing obligations, or a serial/CAB combination designed to smooth out the County’s debt burden completely. Kimmel reviewed Referendum vs Jail/CIP (NonReferendum) Bonds and explained a State program to credit enhance Jail Bonds. This would result in a separate bond for jail items and a separate capital improvement bond for non-jail items. Springsted provided estimated maximum tax impacts for each approach based on example projections of $35 million and $55 million. A referendum would exclude certain types of properties. It was noted population growth would continue to broaden the tax base. Kimmel stated he would not recommend the third option as the interest rate is much higher and with the County’s good existing debt profile could achieve level debt service with option #2. Timing for issuance of bonds was discussed in relation to inflation in development and construction costs, bond markets, etc. The consensus of the Committee is to proceed with the process to build a new jail facility, and based on information provided by Springsted there is not a financial benefit for a referendum to be held and a better interest rate can be obtained with the State enhancement. Kimmel briefly explained the State’s involvement for approval of jail bonds and CIP bonds. A sub-committee met on 3-1-05 to review informational brochures. The main points of the brochures were combined into one multi-purpose mailer with separate fact sheets to provide additional information on specific topics such as tax impact breakdowns. Comments and revisions of the mailer should be forwarded to either Heeter or Muehlberg. There was discussion on whether projected costs include such things as project development, etc. Crump stated programming needs to be discussed as the projected costs will change depending on the specific type of jail programming designed for Wright County. Discussion followed on number of jail beds, courtrooms, current and projected staffing levels, etc. It was recommended a smaller group meet to discuss these issues. Eichelberg noted a site has not been finalized and questioned the amount of lead time needed by the Highway Department to mine gravel at the Public Works site. It was noted that in Option 3 of the mailer the Jail appeared to be a separate building from Courts. Members of the Committee stated they are opposed to separate buildings. Items for discussion at the next meeting include number of beds/double bunking, programming/design and staffing levels, operational savings, construction costs, time schedule, number of courtrooms, site selection, and review public input materials. A meeting of the Detention Committee was scheduled for March 23, 2005, 1:00 P.M. (End of Detention Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

The Board discussed a Speed Zoning Resolution for a section of CSAH 18 (from CSAH 37, City of Albertville to Fenning Avenue & School Boulevard, City of Monticello). This item was placed onto the Agenda by the Highway Engineer who was not present for discussion. Sawatzke indicated he was reluctant to adopt the resolution without supporting information from the Highway Engineer as to what this request will accomplish. Eichelberg and Sawatzke both felt more information was needed. Sawatzke moved to lay this item over for two weeks for clarification from the Highway Department on who is initiating the request, for a map on the current speed limits, and what is being accomplished (goal). The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Russek announced Board of Equalization Training which will be held on March 23, 2005 at 9:00 A.M., Government Center. The training is being conducted by the Wright County Assessor’s Office. Russek explained that by 2006, certification must be obtained by one of the Commissioners. Russek plans on attending. Sawatzke moved to authorize attendance by the County Board if so desired, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A notice from the State of Minnesota Public Utilities Commission was received on a Commission Meeting which will be held on 3-24-05 at 9:30 A.M., St. Paul. The Agenda includes the Application by Northern States Power Company (d/b/a Xcel Energy) for a Certificate of Need to Establish an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation at the Monticello Generating Plant. Sawatzke moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A Detention Committee Meeting will be held on 3-23-05 at 1:00 P.M. Commissioners Heeter and Mattson are the Committee appointments and there is no alternate designated. As Heeter is unable to attend the meeting, Eichelberg will attend in her place.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, indicated the Board would recess into a Closed Session to discuss a 27.6 acre parcel for sale west of the Fairgrounds (Parcel #212-000-334300). Correspondence from the realtor indicates the selling price has been reduced. The Board will discuss whether they have interest in acquiring the parcel and the price. The regular meeting was closed at 10:05 A.M. for the Closed Session.

The meeting was reconvened and adjourned at 10:54 A.M.

Bills Approved

American Instit. Supply $332.50

Ancom Technical Center 1,109.40

Sherlyn Anderson 236.45

Apec Industrial Sales/Serv. 795.06

Aramark Correctional Serv. 5,245.22

Kirk Asplin Oil Company Inc. 111.86

Assn. of MN counties 1,200.00

B & D Plumbing/Heating 1,009.00

Joe Backes 140.01

Bob Barker Co. 249.50

Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 155.00

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt Comm. 1,731.84

Burdas Towing 126.74

Bureau of Crim. Apprehensn 135.00

Central MN Emerg. Phys. 272.00

Center Point Energy 16,272.18

Childrens Medical Ctr. 500.00

Climate Air 864.77

Cole Info. Services 534.95

Cub Pharmacy 2,042.62

Dakota Co. Community Cor. 105.00

Delano Municipal Utilities 200.00

Dental Care Assoc. of Buff. 351.00

Karen Determan 123.24

Josh Erickson 202.41

Dale Flom 360.87

Franz Reprographics 386.56

French Lake Twp. 594.80

Gateway Companies Inc. 9,233.16

Goodhue Co. Sheriff 1,806.99

Harper Cleaning Products 175.17

Hennepin Co. Treasurer 2,655.92

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,531.40

Holiday 4,616.51

ICMA 215.00

International Wolf Center 250.00

Kramers Hardware 208.19

Lakedale Telephone Co. 414.14

Lester Prairie Engine 1,597.50

Major Appliance Repair 141.69

Marco Business Products 487.77

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 700.00

MASYS Corporation 2,628.87

Menards 245.45

Midland Corp. Benefits SVC 1,500.00

Mies Outland Inc. 249.35

Minnesota Elevator, Inc. 28,556.00

MN BWSR 1,500.00

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 1,764.00

MN Dept. of Nat. Resources 500.00

MN Supreme Court 436.00

City Monticello 3,301.20

Margaret Munson 124.41

Nat’l Bus. Systems, Inc. 13,100.00

Nextel Communications 2,805.79

North American Salt Co. 13,012.92

North Suburban Towing Inc. 127.80

Office Depot 495.98

Kathleen Ostrom 207.70

Pats 66 116.64

PMI Computer Supplies 304.50

Power-Phone Inc. 578.00

Qwest 1,986.26

Retrofit Recycling Inc. 5,909.31

Royal Tire Inc. 1,283.33

RS Eden 7,711.75

Schuster Co. 463.28

Sterling Drug 1,618.85

Brian Stoll 154.05

Super Express 135.26

Tilsner Carton Co. 527.50

Total Printing 2,118.39

Uniforms Unlimited 205.73

Varner Sheet Metal Inc. 152.84

Verizon Wireless 309.27

Victory Corps 284.46

C Walker Trucking 456.00

Wright Henn. Electric 1,591.21

42 Payments less than $100 2,050.31

Final total $157,933.83