Wright County Board Minutes

June 14, 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 6-07-05, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0. Heeter abstained from voting as she was not present at the last County Board Meeting.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A3, “Refer Property Tax System To Technology Committee” (Norman); Consent Item A4, “Refer Personnel Policy 601 To Personnel Committee” (Norman); Item For Consid. #2, “Summer Intern, Extension Office” (Russek); Item For Consid. #3, “Washington Fly In Report” (Heeter). On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Performance Appraisals: J. Borrett, Assr.; L. Dixon, T. Voigt, Atty.; A. Riebel, Parks; J. Baker, R. Mossman, P. Seaman, Sher.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $1,418.47.

3. Refer Property Tax System To Technology Committee.

4. Refer Personnel Policy 601 To Personnel Committee.


1. Approve On Sale Liquor License, “Silver Springs Golf Course,” (Monticello Twp.).


1. Set Letting Date For CSAH 12 Project (SP 86-612-16) For 9:30 A.M. On 7-19-05.


1. Aerial Photography Update.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole for 6-21-05 at 10:30 A.M. to discuss the status of the Capital Projects Fund. Russek moved to approve the request, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Hiivala was contacted by Chatham Township requesting a 60’ easement on the west end of Government Lot 7 owned by the State of Minnesota through tax forfeiture. Road easement is needed for a road improvement project connecting Colbert and Coburn Avenues to install a 70’ culvert and slope road bank, eliminating two dead-end turnarounds for township equipment. Questions arose relating to whether this was the only parcel needed to connect the roads and details on the exact location of the easement. Heeter moved to lay this request over for one week to obtain further information, seconded by Russek. Hiivala will contact Chatham Township to obtain more information. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, felt if the request were approved, the Township would provide the County with a document for signature containing the correct legal description. Hiivala was directed to contact Planning & Zoning to determine if this request was associated with the Neske plat in Marysville Township. The motion carried unanimously.

The claims listing was discussed. Hiivala referenced page 2 and made the following clarifications: CDW Government ($272.24) was for the purchase of an Olympus Camera; and MN Counties Computer Coop ($1,764.00) was for the June Tax Support/Data File. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, was contacted by Dave Perry who is the realtor representing Craig & Debra Gruenhagen, sellers of the parcel

adjacent to the Wright County Fairgrounds (Parcel #212-000-334300). A proposal has been submitted by the sellers covering crop rental for 2006-2008. This is a separate agreement and the purchase agreement is not contingent upon County approval. The main issue the sellers had was the question on whether to leave the land as it is after harvest or whether it had to be plowed back. The sellers would like to continue renting the land and previously made a proposal of $65/acre. The proposal being reviewed today reflects an offer of $95/acre for 2006-2008. Asleson researched past land rental by the County and it appears the average is approximately $100/acre. When the property was listed with MLS, the acreage for sale was listed as 27.6 acres. The survey indicates there are 26.38 acres. Taking away 2 acres used by the Fairgrounds for parking, there would be 24.38 tillable acres. Sawatzke said the proposal should contain language relating to the land being plowed back in the Fall. Asleson referenced a line in the proposal, “Wright County to supply seed to seller by 4-01-06.” Perry indicated that the seller is willing to plant the 2 acres and cut the hay for the County. Russek’s experience with land rental is that if the lease is long term (2+ years) the renter purchases the seed. If there is a chance the renter may not rent the land the second year, the landowner buys the seed. If the renter is not charged rent for those 2 acres and is able to obtain the hay from the land, he thought they should supply the seed. Asleson said the closing date for the property is 10-31-05. This is due to the County writing in a provision of plowing the land back at the end of the year. The seller indicated they did not agree and would charge the County back. The purchase agreement is not yet final. Both parties have indicated they do not want this issue to cancel the sale. Asleson said the proposal for rental of crop land would be made contingent upon the successful closing of the purchase of the property. Sawatzke moved to approve the rental agreement removing the line, “Wright County to supply seed to seller by 4-01-06.” He did not feel the agreement needed to reflect that the seller is to provide the seed as removal of the sentence would imply that. The renter will plow back the property at the end of the 2008 crop year. The motion was seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Asleson submitted a Notice and Order for Approval of a Variance for the Paul J. Hansen property in Corinna Township. Tracy Janikula, Feedlot Administrator, distributed a sketch reflecting the possible building site requiring a 30’ side setback required with this zoning. In the R2a zoning, the road setback is based on the average of homes nearby, and the neighbor next door is approximately 90’ from the centerline of the road. Normally with a state highway or county road the setback would be 300’. The house is proposed at 70’ x 34’ including an attached garage. The large circle on the sketch reflects the 300’ setback from the feedlot, which meets exactly with the home. Janikula suggested the Board consider a 5’-10’ leeway or otherwise the home could be redesigned. The proposed layout would not prohibit any future expansion of the Ransom feedlot. Janikula said the feedlot would be expanded to the south and east because of land conditions. Eichelberg questioned whether the applicants would be required to apply to Planning & Zoning if they wanted to put up a small storage shed. Janikula replied that if the shed is detached from the home and meets regular setbacks, the 500’ setback does not supply. This is because of the R2a zoning, where the average of the homes in the area is taken into account as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance. Asleson said the Planning & Zoning Administrator has suggested that one of the conditions of approval would require sealing of the well in the SE corner of the property. Janikula felt the well is too close to the feedlot and may be contaminated. There is a 100’ setback requirement but she was unable to locate the well records. Sawatzke said the building near the well was built without a permit and at one time was a residence. When permits are applied for, that is the proper time to bring the property into compliance.

Sandy Ransom, feedlot owner, and David Ransom, feedlot operator, addressed the Board on the Findings presented by the County. They were not provided a copy and wanted to make sure some of their concerns were addressed. The first had to do with a buffer, and Mrs. Ransom felt that the language should clarify the type of vegetation and depth. It was explained that the conditions state “The existing area of natural vegetation and trees must be maintained to the east of the existing driveway, to provide a buffer between the residence and the feedlot, so as to minimize problems due to noise, odor, flies and dust.” Mrs. Ransom inquired what conditions could be placed on the owner if the trees would die. Sawatzke indicated that the County could not require the owner to reforest the area if the trees were damaged in a storm, as a specific standard cannot be made for one person. The existing area of the buffer cannot be clear cut and if a storm occurs, the area must be left in its natural state. The Ransoms said they were happy that the County included a provision on the sealing of the well. Mrs. Ransom said the property owners and their lawyer are not concerned with installation of another fence. She favored one as it would provide them some legal protection and safety for children. Sawatzke said that whoever lives on this property would not necessarily have children. A similar scenario would be the requirement of a fence along a river if children are present. It is up to the property owner. He did feel that if a daycare were located on the property, Planning & Zoning may want to require a fence. Asleson suggested that an Item 5 be added that stipulates, “The abandoned well on the property must be sealed prior to the issuance of any building permit.” Bob Adams, Attorney representing the Hansen’s, said the proposed Findings were reviewed by his client and were agreeable, as long as they could continue utilizing the well for the purpose of watering vegetation. The buyer of the property would be put on notice that the well could no longer be used. Heeter moved to adopt the Notice and Order approving the Variance for the Hansen Property in Corinna Township including the noted Condition #5 relating to the well. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

At the last meeting, Russek requested that a draft resolution presented by the Highway Engineer be laid over to assure that the City of Waverly had an opportunity for review. The resolution would revoke a portion of CSAH 9 in Waverly and redesignate a new alignment for the revoked portion, and would revoke CSAH 62 in Waverly as a County State Aid Highway. At today’s meeting, Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-35, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Russek met with Mary Anderson, Extension, and Richard Norman, County Coordinator, regarding a summer intern position in Extension. The consensus was that if a half-time 4-H Coordinator position is not filled, the intent would be to hire an additional intern to assist through the Fair. The position will be offered to the second-ranked candidate that applied for the part-time position. It is anticipated that the expenditure to fund the intern position will be less than the contract amount through the U of M Extension Service for the half-time 4-H Coordinator position. The position will be paid $10.00/hour. Russek moved to hire a second intern for the summer through the County Fair with the maximum expenditure not to exceed $5,000. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

Heeter provided an overview of her attendance at the MN Transportation Alliance Washington Fly In. The purpose was to visit with Legislators on funding for the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition. While there, the House and Senate met in conference committee to finalize the six-year re-authorization of the Federal Transportation Bill. It is their goal to complete work before the 4th of July break. The Coalition received a $1.5 million appropriation two years ago. Not all of this funding has been expended, which must be done shortly or it may hinder future appropriations. While there, a fax was received from Mn/DOT indicating they may not be able to provide the match for the $1.5 million as well as the match for the potential future appropriation of $5 million. Oberstar, Kennedy, and others held meetings to make sure this would happen. Heeter said the cultural resource study and contaminated properties study have been completed but the EIS still needs to be done, both in the Metro and District 3. Heeter also met with Coleman and Kennedy while in Washington. Coalition members were unable to meet with Ramstad and Dayton, however Ramstad did address one of their morning meetings. Speakers and lobbyists noted the importance of attendance at these type of meetings. The decision on the $5 million appropriation should be made by September with receipt of the funding by October. If received, the funding would be used to repair safety trouble spots in the Highway 55 corridor and to possibly purchase ROW. Heeter said they had a full agenda from start to finish and felt attendance at the Fly In was time well spent.

The meeting recessed at 9:49 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M.

Mattson opened the Public Hearing for the purpose of a variance request to the Feedlot Ordinance as requested by Calvin Brandt. The variance relates to the construction of a barn approximately 66’ from the west property line. The Ordinance requires a 100’ setback from a livestock building to the property line. Tracy Janikula, Feedlot Administrator, provided an overview and a letter outlining the request. The letter reflects that Franklin Township approves of the request due to the location. Neighboring landowners have signed a statement that they agree with the location for the barn. A building application was made 4-08-05 and a permit issued with the understanding the barn would be located to the west farmland area near the middle of the property. This would meet all required setbacks. The proposed area was dry in April but has since become very wet as it is several feet lower in elevation than most of the property. The southern half of the property is wooded and cropping is done in the northeast corner of the property. There is a private airstrip east of and parallel to his driveway. Placing the barn east of the driveway would require a separate driveway off the town road and access to the well would require a water line under the airstrip.

Calvin Brandt said that the road restrictions were lifted 5-12-05 and material was hauled to the site to build the barn at the location the permit was designated for. Lester Buildings offered him $3000 if the barn was built immediately after the road restrictions were lifted. Brandt said that on the weekend he was faced with a decision on where to locate the building due to wet conditions. He contacted Mark Bauman and was instructed to contact John Czanstkowski of Franklin Township. Czanstkowski agreed that the higher portion of the property would offer a more desirable location but instructed Brandt not to proceed with building. Brandt said his dilemma was that he would lose the $3000 from Lester Buildings if the building were not constructed right away. Brandt decided to proceed with the building in an alternate location. His original intent was to construct the building where Janikula had proposed but could not do so because of the wet conditions. He submitted additional pictures to reflect the amount of standing water.

John Czanstkowski, Franklin Township Board, said he had been out to the site with Mark Bauman. He supports the location that Brandt selected to construct his barn. He said he did not know the Feedlot Ordinance rules but felt that seven alpaca would not be considered a feedlot.

The Board discussed setting a precedence by approving a permit after construction has begun. Sawatzke felt the Board should address what action would be taken setting aside the fact that construction had already started. Brandt owns 35 acres which is zoned agricultural and the use is consistent with the acreage. He noted that there is generally a double fee assessed when construction begins without a permit. Brandt did have a permit but not for the current location of the building. From a feedlot standpoint, Sawatzke felt the current location was more desirable as there would be no runoff issues. The low area will be re-seeded to a pasture area. He asked Janikula’s position on the issue. She indicated the other option for the building would be on the farmland across the runway and driveway. This is open land that is higher. However, it would require another road access and culvert. The current location would save over an acre of farmland. Asleson said the Ordinance looks at some of the same criteria as the Board of Adjustment. The question becomes whether formal findings are required. As Brandt received the support of neighbors, he did not feel there was a need for findings to be drawn. Mattson did not want the actions of the County Board to affect future decisions of the Planning Commission or Board of Adjustment. Sawatzke felt that if the building had not been partially constructed and a permit applied for, it would be one that would be approved with the 66’ setback. He felt there were good arguments with elevation, preservation of farmland, and the existing operation. In addition, the Township and neighbors support the location. Janikula said there are less than 10 alpaca which equates to .2 animal units, therefore he is not required to meet the registration requirements for a feedlot. The reason a variance is needed is because there are animals in the barn requiring 100’ from the line, otherwise the setback is 50’ or 30’. Sawatzke said another argument for approving the request is the size of the operation.

The Public Hearing was closed at 10:25 A.M. and the regular meeting reconvened. Russek moved to allow the building of the shed up to 66’ of the line as there are animals in the barn, not to exceed 10 animal units. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke amended the motion to include approval being based upon the following conditions: Town Board approved, no opposition from neighbors, preservation of tillable land, and it is a site of higher elevation. The applicant will also be assessed a double fee on the variance request, which is a typical requirement when construction starts without appropriate permits. Russek accepted the amendment to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

ADP Screening/Selection. $152.00

Advanced Drainage Sys. 139.74

Advantage Emblem Inc. 274.83

Albertville Body Shop Inc. 1,813.41

All American Towing/Recovery 156.73

American Instit. Supply 157.16

Ameripride Linen/Apparel 495.20

Ancom Technical Center 1,257.83

Annandale Rock Products 167.71

Aramark Correctional Serv. 10,515.36

Kirk Asplin Oil Company Inc. 183.77

A T & T 119.38

Auto Glass Center Inc. 1,117.19

B & D Plumbing/Heating 212.00

Joe Backes 242.97

Black Box Resale Services 102.25

BLM Technologies Inc. 174.65

Boyer Truck Parts 1,712.64

Darnell Brethorst 115.05

Bristows Kawasaki/Polaris 112.87

Bryan Rock Products 173.66

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt Comm. 3,732.24

City Buffalo 320.31

Burdas Towing 148.54

Nick Carlson 100.00

CDW Government Inc. 491.58

Center Point Energy 6,083.18

Central McGowan Inc. 318.90

Chamberlain Oil Co. 1,268.36

Climate Air 1,038.00

Commissioner of Transport. 1,190.07

Consolidated Container Corp. 328.02

Contech Const. Product 426.00

Crow River Tools 265.81

Cub Pharmacy 1,098.29

Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo 295.00

Carter Diers 388.44

E-Z Flush 702.60

Josh Erickson 127.92

Ernst General Const. Inc. 764.00

Extractor 1,530.00

Tom Feddema 139.23

Fisher Scientific 130.95

Force America Inc. 223.94

Frontier Precision Inc. 1,071.15

Gale-Tec Engineering Inc. 3,800.00

Todd Gau 117.00

Raymond Glunz 200.00

Goodpointe Technology 2,940.00

Gov. Training Institute 1,890.00

W. Grainger Inc. 313.83

H & H Sport Shop Inc. 154.00

Head Lites Corp. 774.61

Denny Hecker’s Monti Ford 820.69

Rolland Helgeson 280.02

Holiday 6,763.51

Insight Public Sector 12,939.84

Interstate Automotive 106.50

Interstate Battery Sys. of Mpls. 162.83

J Craft Div of Crysteel Mfg. 2,261.00

Junction Towing/Auto Repair 185.85

Kramers Hardware 198.07

Kustom Signals Inc. 251.72

Lakedale Telephone Co. 574.56

LaPlant Demo Inc. 297.50

Michael MacMillan 169.00

Marco Business Products 4,265.01

Marks Standard Parts 3,127.90

Marriot-Kansas City 645.00

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 350.00

MASYS Corporation 2,628.87

Richard Mattson 101.40

The Metro Group Inc. 4,970.57

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 361.44

Miller Trucking/Landscaping 409.23

Minnesota State Bar Assn. 200.00

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 1,764.00

MN Counties Ins. Trust 547.00

MN County Attorneys Assn. 213.00

MN Hwy. Safety/Research 1,164.00

MN Safety Council 1,440.00

MN Supreme Court 218.00

MPELRA 275.00

MTI Distributing Inc. 150.15

National Assn. of Counties 415.00

Office Depot 4,347.37

Wallace Peterson 189.15

Powerplan OIB 250.46

Tom Praska 198.90

Reds Auto Electric 214.51

Royal Tire Inc. 2,600.27

RS Eden 7,303.00

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge 228.98

Ryan Motors Inc. 476.48

SBC Paging 754.93

Software House Int’l Inc. 140.58

Specialty Turf & Ag. 1,051.59

SRF Consulting Grp. Inc. 474.83

State of Minnesota 1,500.00

Super Express 195.96

T & S Trucking 268.00

Cynthia Theisen 260.00

Gary Torfin 106.37

United Rentals NW Inc. 157.24

Unlimited Electric Inc. 319.58

Varitech Industries Inc. 6,656.25

Verizon Wireless 1,077.97

Walmart Community BRC 112.04

Waste Management TC W 1,895.13

Weather Watch Inc. 1,920.00

West Payment Center 3,244.02

Westside Equipment 5,037.86

Wright Co. Journal Press 301.60

Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc. 319.81

Wright Soil & Water Cons. Dist. 160.47

Keith Wurm Construction 3,950.00

Xcel Energy 349.02

Zack’s Inc. 122.43

Zarnoth Brush Works Inc. 1,035.18

Zee Service Company 126.88

4 M’s Communications Co. 230.33

39 Payments less than $100 2,140.45

Final total $149,742.67

The meeting adjourned at 10:27 A.M