Wright County Board Minutes

June 28, 2005

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

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 6-21-05, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #4, “Highway Easement Contract With Chatham Township” (Hiivala); Aud.Treas. Item #5, “Township Establishments Liquor License Update” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #3, “Jail Summit Report” (Heeter); Item For Consid. #4, “Cable TV Program Update” (Sawatzke); and Item For Consid. #5, “Rental Contract, Gruenhagen Property” (Asleson). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Dilley, W. Peterson, T. Praska, Assr.; M. Even, D. Olson, Sher.; D. Johnson, R. McMullen, P. O’Malley, J. Rivers, Sher/Cr.

2. Reappoint Lauren Bodin To 3 Year Term On Wright County Personnel Board Of Appeals.

3. O/T Report, Period Ending 6-17-05.


1. Approve Tobacco Licenses: Smackdown’s Bar & Grill (Albertville City) and 4-Alarm Bar & Grill (Rockford City).

2. On/Off Sale Liquor License Renewal: Lake Center Bar & Grill (Corinna Twp.).

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented two plats for approval. On a motion by Russek, seconded by Heeter, all voted to approve a plat, “BAREFOOT ADDITION,” as submitted by Jerome & Beverly Kiehn, husband and wife, fee owners of the following property described in part as: That part of Gov. Lot 1 of Sec. 23, Gov. Lot 1 of Sec. 26 and SW1/4 of SE1/4 of Sec. 23, all in Twp. 121, Rge. 28, commencing at SE corner; except that part that lies within 33 ft. of beginning of Point A; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any having been paid; no park dedication fee is required; the Township has agreed to accept the roads; and the title opinion prepared by D. A. Schroeppel, attorney, has been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Russek, all voted to approve a plat, “BEISE ADDITION,” as submitted by Dennis A. & Janet A. Beise, husband and wife, fee owners of the following property described in part as: The W1/2 of the NW1/4 of Sec. 22, Twp. 119, Rge. 25; except part of the NW1/4 of NW/14 of Sec. 22, Twp. 119, Rge. 25 commencing at NW corner; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#107812); the Township has agreed to accept the roads; and the title opinion and covenants prepared by Michael C. Couri, attorney, have been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

Hiivala presented an update on County Ditch 7. He and Mattson met with Faribault Foods and reviewed plans for plant expansion. They do not see the expansion creating any problem with the Ditch, in fact the proposed retention pond could help Ditch 7 by holding some of the runoff water. Mattson stated it is a well designed plan and will be an asset to the City and County. This was provided as an information item.

Hiivala presented a highway easement contract with Chatham Township for a 33 foot permanent highway easement and a temporary 60 foot temporary construction easement in Government Lot 7, Section 34, Township 120, Range 26 of Wright County; and requested authorization to sign the contract. This was discussed at an earlier Board Meeting and Hiivala was requested to return with a contract agreement. Hiivala stated Richard Marquette, Wright County Highway Department, worked with Chatham Township in drafting the contract and it was reviewed by the Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney. Russek moved to authorize Hiivala to sign the highway easement, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Hiivala updated the Board regarding the status of licensure of the five liquor establishments in the Townships. To date, three have effectively renewed their licenses and two are at risk of their licenses expiring 6-30-05. Jeff Drexler, owner of the Boonedocks Saloon (Rockford Township) was present at today’s meeting. He stated he bought the investment last November and came to the Government Center on 6-27-05 to renew the license and was not aware it needed to go before the County Board for approval. Sawatzke and Mattson expressed opposition to holding a Special Board Meeting because of last minute applications. Gooler, Auditor/Treasurer Department, explained the process, the necessary forms, the fee, and requirement for approval by the Wright County Attorney, Sheriff, and the Township. Asleson reviewed statute language and stated statute does not prohibit the County from approving the license contingent upon approval by the Township. Gooler stated Drexler has completed all the necessary paperwork with the exception of obtaining Township approval. The next Rockford Township Meeting will be held Tuesday, 7-5-05. Hiivala stated the Rassat Bar & Grill (Chatham Township) has been advised their liquor license will expire 6-30-05, but the Auditor/Treasurer’s Department has not received a response from them. Russek moved to approve the liquor license application for the Boonedocks Saloon contingent upon approval by Rockford Township, seconded by Sawatzke, carried. 5-0.

On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Russek moved to accept the findings and recommendations of the Planning Commission for denial of James A. Bergeron’s (Franklin Township) petition to rezone from AG General Agricultural to R-2 Suburban Residential; and to authorize signature of the Notice & Order Of Denial. Seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. The denial was based on the request to rezone an odd shaped 3 acre portion of the total 67 acres. The owner was not interested in rezoning the entire parcel.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 6-22-05. A summary of the Minutes follows including discussion at today’s Board Meeting. Heeter moved to approve the Minutes with the recommendations for Items 1, 2, and 3. Seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

1.Request To Install Sound Insulation On Chiller Unit. The chiller causes a considerable amount of high pitch noise in some office areas of the Government Center. A quote of $4,850 has been received to add a two inch thick foam insulation which would be molded and glued to the chiller reducing noise by approximately 40-45%. There was discussion on what affect the insulation would have on repair and maintenance costs to the chiller. Recommendation: Approve with funding from Site Improvements.

2. Request For Expanded Use Of Boardroom For Court Proceedings. In 2001 Nordeen requested to use the Board Room for some court proceedings and magistrate hearings. Use of the Board Room has been on a limited basis for conciliation court when a 6th judge is here through the regular room reservation process. Nordeen stated she is requesting authorization to continue to use the Board Room but on a more frequent basis. Heeter stated that according to the schedule the Board Room appears to have the lightest use on Wednesdays. Norman referenced current use of the Board Room, and stated with the audio upgrade the Board of Adjustment and Planning Commission Meetings will now regularly be scheduled in the Board Room. There was brief discussion on space needs to accommodate a 6th judge chamber and additional district and court administration staff. Nordeen stated she would like to move jury assembly to a different location in the Government Center which would free up additional space within the Department. Mattson recommended Nordeen work with the Administration Office on use of the Board Room through the regular scheduling process. Recommendation: Schedule use of the Board Room through the Administration Office based on availability.

3. Consider Court Administration Workstations As Part Of Facility. Currently all furniture will become property of the State on 7-1-05. Nordeen is requesting the workstations continue to be part of the County facility. She stated it would allow Court Administration to access the modular furniture inventory when a piece is needed as well as return components to the inventory rather than have to find storage space for excess pieces. It was clarified that furnishings for District Court are currently purchased by the State. Nordeen stated if Court Administration is relocated in the future to a new site then the workstations would be County property and could be used by other departments. Hayes estimated the value of the 25 workstations to be approximately $75,000. He stated the County purchases the modular furniture off the University of Minnesota contract as part of a cooperative effort in order to receive the discount price. It was noted that as future positions are added in Court Administration the County would be responsible for workstation costs if they are determined to be part of our facility. Heeter stated she understands Nordeen’s situation, but also wants a clean break with the State. Nordeen stated that if the County undergoes remodeling that the County is responsible for furnishings as part of the remodel. Heeter recommended discussion be continued at the next County Board Meeting in order to obtain input from the entire County Board. Nordeen stated if the Board Room is to be used as a courtroom a State flag should be displayed in addition to the US flag. Recommendation: Nordeen purchase the flag and a stand to match the one in the Board Room.

At today’s meeting there was discussion on the expectation that the County cover the cost of furnishings forCourt remodel projects or a new facility. Nordeen stated there is a distinction between staff space and public space and that public space is considered the County’s responsibility. Mattson sugested the possibility of meeting with someone from the State. Sawatzke felt it would be best to have a clean break with the State, but questioned whether there was anything that would prohibit Nordeen and the County to continue to cooperate regarding the taking and returning of modular furniture components to the inventory. Norman stated a legal opinion would be needed, and mentioned the State may have different standards and want different workstation configurations. It was noted that to tear down and reconfigure the modular furniture is costly. Heeter made a motion for the modular furniture workstations to become State property 7-1-05, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

4. Furnish Office Located On Third Floor Dressel presented a request to furnish the corner office in the lunchroom area. The intent is to move Kunkel into that office in order to make room for the new financial worker position which had been approved for 7-1-05. Because of the uncertainty of the State budget, Dressel stated furnishing the office would be contingent upon being able to fill the new position. According to Dressel, 66% of the cost would be eligible for reimbursement. In response to supervisory concerns expressed by Norman, Dressel stated she is confident that Kunkel will be able to continue direct supervision of her staff from the corner office location. Recommendation: Approve with the understanding that furnishings are not to be ordered until final authorization to fill the position has been received.

At today’s meeting, Sawatzke requested this item be laid over for discussion at the second Human Services Board Meeting in July, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Sawatzke requested Norman advise Mleziva, Human Services Director.

A Civil Defense Meeting was held on 6-22-05. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

1. Report From Steve Berg. Berg distributed and reviewed his work plan for the months of May and June (attached). Filipek reviewed the NIMS course requirement, resolution requirement for all cities and townships to adopt the mitigation plan, and city and township EOP’s. Filipek also mentioned 2006 funding changes and a shift away from equipment grants to regional response plans. Funding will no longer come directly to counties. Wright County will be part of the West Central Region with one fiscal agent for all 18 counties for regional projects. 2004 grant requirements and restrictions were discussed.

2. Discuss Department Name Change. Filipek has recommended the name of the Department be changed from Civil Defense to Emergency Management to be in line with current terminology. Sawatzke felt Veterans Services/Nuclear would more appropriately reflect Reese’s responsibilities. Filipek stated each County is directed to have an EMS Director and that nuclear is only one component under the umbrella of Emergency Management. She stated the role of the EMS Director is to coordinate the various components that fall under emergency management, assist with planning and obtaining resources, and ensure that the County meets requirements. In the event of a disaster all money goes through EMS. There was discussion on the need to delineate responsibilities between Berg and Reese. Filipek requested a letter from the County Board defining the roles of Berg and Reese, an organizational structure of each of them, to review the EOP ordinance and specify the EMS Director or Directors with clean delineation of responsibility or authority.Recommendation: Schedule a meeting for July 27, 2005, 11:00 A.M. Reese and Berg to identify their roles and level of responsibilities in different types of emergency situations for discussion at the next meeting.

A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 6-22-05. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

1. Job Share Request, Kleeberger & Sparrow (Human Services Board Item)

2. Clarify/Revise Policy 601. Norman recommended 601.02 Eligibility be revised as follows to be consistent with wording in the law. Employees will be eligible for up to twelve (12) work weeks of Family or Medical Leave, following 1,250 hours of work (excluding sick, vacation, holidays, etc.) during the twelve month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave. Recommendation: Approve revision effective 7-1-05.

3. Performance Appraisal, Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator. This item was layed over until the next meeting date.

A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 6-22-05. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes. Heeter seconded the motion with the correction that Sawatzke was not present and Heeter was. Sawatzke questioned continuing to pay ACS if there are issues with that vendor and whether it has been looked into from a legal aspect. Discussion followed on paying both vendors concurrently during the transition period. It was clarified the recommendation at this time concerns staff voting. Motion carried 5-0.

1. Property Tax System. Swing said the vendor for the Wright County property tax system has changed twice since he has been IT Director. During the past two years, the MCCC has taken a strategic look at property tax systems in the State. Wright County is 1 of 49 counties on the MCCC Property Tax System. The current vendor is ACS which is located in St. Cloud. Swing is a member of the MCCC Infrastructure Committee and Denise McCalla, Wright County Auditor’s Office, is a member of the MCCC Evaluation Committee. On 6-30-05, MCCC will take a vote on whether to proceed with a new vendor, Manatron. Swing and the land records departments (Recorder, Assessor, Auditor and Surveyor) support Manatron as a vendor who has the tools to assist with integration of current systems. Swing requested direction on how Wright County should vote. He said this vote would not obligate the County in any way. A contract would follow at a later date. If Manatron is selected by MCCC, the Five-Year Summary of costs reflects Wright County’s obligation (last page of the attached handout). Costs are subject to contract negotiations. The current contract with ACS would continue through 12-31-08 (second to last page of handout). Support from the current vendor is required due to the elaborate process to change over all 49 counties to a new system. Kramber said there have been issues with the current vendor meeting deadlines and providing support. He thought the move to Manatron would be a proactive decision. Swing said collaboration makes sense and in order to attract or retain large counties, MCCC needs to proceed with Manatron. Unger provided information on a bill being passed to increase recording fees. Wright County’s fee has not been raised for 15 years and the State is the third to the lowest in the country. With new technologies, title companies now want documents processed right away. A collaborative effort with those involved in real estate and title companies brought forth the bill to increase fees. The Recorder’s Fee Bill (attached to the Crime Bill) will increase the recording fee on every document to $10. The County will also generate an $11 unallocated fee from each document. It is the County Board’s discretion how the $11 unallocated fee will be spent, but this could be utilized toward costs associated with the Property Tax System. The fee will be effective 7-01-05 and the funds could be utilized starting in 2006. Recommendation: Direct staff to vote in support of Manatron for the Property Tax System at the 6-30-05 MCCC Meeting.

2. Inmate Telephone Contract. Due to a long standing relationship, the County has elected to utilize Qwest and AT&T for the inmate telephone service for many years. Qwest has provided the pay phones and AT&T has provided the long distance service. With the inmate telephone system, the vendor is required to also provide the pay phones for the Courthouse and Human Services Center. Qwest and AT&T have now diversified themselves of public access phones. The Qwest contract has been acquired by FSH. The three-year contract was signed October, 2001 and expired in October, 2004. With the automatic renewal, it is in effect until October, 2005. If the County does not take action, it will automatically renew to October, 2006. The AT&T contract was signed in December, 2002 and expires in December, 2005. Contract provisions provide for two one-year extensions. The contract will expire unless an extension is agreed to in writing. A 30-day notice is required for Qwest and the AT&T contract could be allowed to expire. Torfin felt a 30-day notice would be appropriate for AT&T as well. Torfin explained that the County is required to provide inmates free phone calls to their attorneys. The software service provided by Qwest was unable to accommodate the free long distance attorney calls, so the County has to fund these calls. He envisioned that other vendors would be able to provide this service. Other than the costs associated with the free long distance attorney calls, there were no costs to the County last year and $37,000 in revenue was generated from the pay phones. Torfin brought forth names of two vendors he supported obtaining proposals from which included Securus Technologies and Reliance Telephone Systems, Inc. Recommendation: Torfin, Swing and Helgeson will obtain proposals from 2-3 vendors and bring forth a recommendation.

Eichelberg moved to approve Resolution #05-38 for final acceptance for Contract 0501 with Mathiowetz Construction and authorize final payment of $85,863.00. Seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Heeter reported on an AMC Jail Summit meeting she attended with Captain Torfin and Lt O’Malley from the Sheriff’s Department. She stated there were good presentations and discussion and participants received useful information and written materials on jail construction.

Sawatzke expressed concern regarding the quality of the airing of the County Board Meetings on cable tv and relayed complaints he has received. He requested the Administration Office determine whether the problem lies with the cable company or with the tape that the County is providing.

On 6-14-05 the County Board took action regarding a rental contract between Wright County and the sellers of the parcel adjacent to the Wright County Fairgrounds. At today’s meeting, Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated the Fairboard is interested in four acres for Fairgrounds parking rather than two, which changes the number of tillable acres to 22.38. The rental contract is being rewritten to incorporate changes agreed to from the 6-14-05 meeting and Asleson would like to include the change in parking acreage. Asleson reqeusted authorization for Board Chair signature on the revised rental contract. Sawatzke moved to change the parking acreage and authorize signatures, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Mattson referenced the Sequicentennial Celebration held Saturday, 6-25-05, at the Wright County Heritage Center. Heeter stated she heard many good comments and wanted to publicly thank the committee and staff for their hard work. Sawatzke and Russek also commented on the success of the event.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson. $196.56

Albertville Body Shop Inc. 2,883.30

American Instit. Supply 157.08

Apex Software 390.00

Aramark Corr. Services 10,318.93

B & B Products-Rigs/Sqau 14,908.85

Bob Barker Co. 183.44

Big Tyme Collision Center 176.17

Ralph Borell 173.57

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Comm. 517.64

Buffalo Mini Mix Inc. 465.94

Central MN Mental Health Ctr. 225.00

CPS Technology Solutions 195.00

Karen Determan 714.82

Stacy Doyle 436.12

E. Central Reg. Juvenile 7,568.00

Emed Company Inc. 784.87

Ernst Gen. Construction Inc. 450.00

Excel Systems LLC 308.79

Gateway Companies Inc. 6,354.00

Gordys Foods 312.23

Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 133.12

Graphic & Printing Services 1,343.40

Greenview Inc. 13,969.69

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,632.78

Imperial Fastener Co. Inc. 125.00

Int’l Public Management 550.00

Intoximeters Inc. 604.39

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Lakedale Telephone Co. 114.39

LaPlant Demo Inc. 515.88

Law Enforcement Targets Inc. 555.05

LexisNexis Matthew Bender 110.00

Marco Business Products 767.87

Mathiowetz Construction 85,863.00

Meteorlogix 5,273.16

The Metro Group Inc. 1,224.90

Mid-America Bus. Systems 6,000.21

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 270.00

Nova 907.95

Office Depot 5,186.39

Pacific Bancnote Company 765.00

Performance Office Papers 487.77

PMI Computer Supplies 826.40

Prairie Lakes Youth Prog. 1,368.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 226.42

Prosource 795.00

Qwest 764.35

Qwest Communications 150.00

R & L Enterprises Inc. 639.00

Recall Document Mngt. Serv. 100.23

Saint Paul Legal Ledger 120.00

Thomas Salkowski 1,361.93

Servicemaster of St. Cloud 5,112.00

Setina Mfg. Co. Inc. 1,100.06

Software House Int’l 7,791.54

Sprint-Local Telecom Div. 187.36

Total Printing 233.55

Uniforms Unlimited 1,859.22

Unlimited Electric Inc. 236.69

Verizon Wireless 654.75

Viking Coca Cola Bottling 172.80

Village Ranch Inc. 4,309.00

Woodbury Police Assn. 100.00

Wright Co. Hwy. Dept. 27,331.10

Wright Co. Journal Press 189.95

Wright Co. Extension Serv. 136.90

Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 650.24

24 Payments less than $100 1,264.54

Final total $231,901.29

The meeting adjourned at 10:20 A.M