Wright County Board Minutes

July 12, 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 7-05-05, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Russek moved to approve the emergency meeting minutes of 7-07-05, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #6, “Petition To Review Ditch 41, Woodland Twp.” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #3, “Cancel Meeting Of 8-02-05, Five Tuesdays In August” (Norman). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Russek requested removing Item E1A, “Accept The Findings & Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings: Doug & Dave Schmidt (Chatham Twp.) - Planning Commission recommends approval of request to establish a Rural Planned Unit Development District.” He said the Planning Commission approved the rezoning contingent upon Township approval. The Township will not meet on this issue until this evening. Eichelberg moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:


1. Performance Appraisals: J. Paripovich, Atty.; T. Hackenmueller, Hwy.; T. Finch, H. Gillham, J. Hinton, G. Howell, Sheriff.

2. Refer Court Administration Space Issues To The Building Committee.


1. Approve Abatement, PID #218-000-201100 & #218-000-201200, Carlson/Berens (Stockholm Twp.).


1. Approve Renewal Of On/Off Sale Beer License, “Cokato Town & Country Club,” (Cokato Twp.).

2. Approve Renewal Of On Sale Beer License, “Albion Ridges Golf Course,” (Albion Twp.) and “Osowski’s Beer Garden,” (Monticello Twp.).

3. Approve Renewal Of Seasonal On Sale Beer License, “Clearwater Lions Club,” (Clearwater Twp.).


1. Schedule Technology Committee For 7-26-05 @ 1:00 P.M.:

A. Inmate Telephone Contract (from 6-22-05 meeting).

B. Update On Phone Switch & 2006 Items.

C. Update On 800 Mhz Project.

D. GIS Division In The IT Department.


1. Accept The Findings & Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings:

B. Paumen Properties (Chatham Twp.) - Planning Commission

recommends approval of the request to rezone 40 acres from AG to A/R.


1. Authorize Phone Installation In Scanning Room For Normal Operational Communications.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented an Application for Cancellation of Tax Forfeiture for Lots 20, 21, and 22 of Block 2, Pulaski Lake Shores Unit Number Four (PID #103-125-002220-City of Buffalo). The owners of the property paid all of the delinquent taxes on the last day of the redemption period. At the time of payment, the Auditor’s Office did not collect the 2004 taxes. Due to this, the Auditor’s Office continued with the tax forfeiture process. The property owners subsequently paid the 2004 taxes. As this was an error made on the part of the Auditor’s Office, Hiivala requested the Board adopt a resolution cancelling the forfeiture filed with the State of Minnesota. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-39 approving this action, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Hiivala said a term expiration notice was received for a position on the Clearwater River Watershed District Board of Directors. The two Wright County appointments on this Board include Marvin Brunsell and Marc Campa. Brunsell’s term expires 8-13-05. In the past, the County has advertised openings in two newspapers (Annandale Advocate and Clearwater Tribune). Hiivala requested permission to advertise with a closing date of 8-08-05 for applications. It was noted that Brunsell is interested in applying for the position. The Board discussed the advertising process. The County has always advertised for open positions, which may be due to their bylaws. Heeter made a motion to authorize Hiivala to move forward on this item, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Hiivala received correspondence dated 6-24-05 from WSB & Associates on behalf of the City of Monticello to petition Wright County to allow portions of the Carlisle Village development to drain to County Ditch #33. A copy of the map was provided. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said at an April 2005 Committee meeting, information was presented on a complete study of the Ditch 33 watershed. In 2003, the City petitioned the County on behalf of Carlisle Village to outlet storm water into Ditch 33. The area of Carlisle Village is not among the assessed and benefitted acres on Ditch 33, although the water has always drained into Ditch 33. A larger part of the water from the development is being diverted to the Gillard Avenue storm sewer. Asleson referenced the crosshatched portion in blue on the map, reflecting the area where water is being diverted to the Gillard Avenue storm sewer. The northern portion of Carlisle Village is what is proposed to continue to drain into the Ditch 33 watershed. The area on the map outlined in green is new development on Branch 2, which will have fairly significant water storage. It was suggested that the City take over that portion of the Ditch. This would require a public hearing, as does the Carlisle Village request to drain water into the Ditch. Asleson said the request only includes Carlisle Village and he needed to clarify with the City whether the petition included both requests. A three week notice is required prior to the public hearing. The County did not complete this in 2003 but a notice was mailed to all residents on the Ditch. Notice would again be mailed to landowners on the proposed hearing. Advertisement costs may be funded by a storm water fee paid to the City by the developer. These costs could be included in an outlet fee assessed by the County. Sawatzke said as a result of a tour taken of the area in April, he was concerned about the impact of the water on other parts of the ditch. The water travels a different way than he and some residents had anticipated, going around many of the problem areas. There may be some areas of concern north of the freeway where the water ponds. He referenced the letter from WSB and the following sentence, “Runoff from this site does not contribute to flooding in other parts of the watershed.” Sawatzke said he did not necessarily agree with that statement. He referenced the map and said there are several homeowners that are affected by high water. Another sentence in the letter was referenced by Sawatzke, “The issue was tabled by the County Board at which time the City began looking for alternative storm water routes.” He said this was untrue, that the County had not received a complete application from the City. Asleson said there also was the publication issue and that Kurt Deter, Rinke-Noonan, had advised them not to act upon the issue. Sawatzke said Deter said the City had to provide a more substantial request. He asked if this request met the criteria of the law. Asleson said there are 4-5 things that should be touched upon in the petition. Deter reviewed the petition and felt it was sufficient. The only issue was to clarify whether the City would want to take over a portion of the Ditch. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to set a Public Hearing on this issue for 8-16-05 at 10:00 A.M.

At their 7-07-05 Emergency Board Meeting, the Board recommended a revision to the Emergency Meeting Policy. The revision would include the requirement of a cashiers check for the liquor license, as well as the emergency meeting fee of $250. Hiivala brought forth the proposed revision to the policy. After discussion of the amount of staff time involved, it was decided that the emergency meeting fee should increase from $250 to $350. The fee would apply to emergency meetings held for the purpose of considering tobacco, liquor, beer, wine and setup and bottle license renewals that were not submitted by the owner in a timely manner. Sawatzke moved to approve the revised policy, to include the increase in the emergency meeting fee from $250 to $350 and to accept payment by cashier’s check, cash or money order. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. After further discussion, Item #6 was amended to read, “This policy shall be effective 1-12-99, amended 7-12-05.” Hiivala was instructed to make this change to the Policy.

Hiivala said Kerry Saxton has requested review of Ditch 41. Saxton was contacted by Pete Kern who indicates there is blockage on Ronald Broll’s property in Section 17 (Woodland Twp.). Russek moved to schedule a ditch meeting for 7-20-05 at 9:00 A.M., seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala referenced a claim on page 15, Wayne Fingalson ($324.00) for lodging at the NACo Conference. Hiivala said the County does not normally reimburse the employee until after the event has occurred. The claim will be pulled subject to further review. Heeter referenced a claim on page 1, Lori Thingvold ($97.50) for mileage reimbursement to be paid from the County Board budget. Hiivala said the funding for this claim will be changed to Dept. 055, Assessor. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract subject to audit, including the removal of the claim to Wayne Fingalson and the change in the funding source for the Lori Thingvold claim.

The Bid Opening occurred for ventilation and heating revisions for the Public Works Facility. The bid received from Alliant Mechanical was received at 9:34 A.M. and so it was not opened. Virgil Hawkins, Assistant Highway Engineer, opened and read the bids. Dan Moulton, M&E Engineering, was present to assist in review of the bids. Russek moved to accept the bids and lay them over until later in today’s meeting, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:

Bidder; Acknowledge Addendum; Base Bid; Alternate 1; Alternate 2

Environ-Con, Inc.; Yes; $92,500.00; $4,800.00; $3,200.00 Deduct

Sentra Sota Sheet Metal; Yes; $109,700.00; $7,220.00; $4,550.00 Deduct

Custom Sheetmetal of Monticello; Yes; $101,097.00; $7,262.00; $2,260.00 Deduct

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to accept the 2004 Highway Department Annual Report.

Jay Wittstock, Surveyor, provided an update on the aerial photography project. The County was flown on 4-13-05. A sample will be provided on 7-20-05 with full delivery on 7-29-05. The in-house process will include additional work by the IT Department and the Surveyor’s Office. The City of Clearwater recently committed to partnering on this project, leaving only one city that hasn’t committed (City of Hanover). Wittstock sent correspondence to surveyors and several firms practicing in Wright County evaluating interest in purchasing the complete Countywide photography. Initial interest was high but only six firms have responded indicating interest in purchasing the photography for $2,000. Wittstock felt once the photography moves in-house, another letter to include sample photography could be sent and may attract more interest. With regard to the budget, four line items have been established to track revenues and expenses associated with the aerial photography program. With additional revenue from Annandale and Montrose, the balance on line item 5601 is up to $16,447.37. Mattson requested that Wittstock attend the Township Meeting on 7-14-05 at the Silver Creek Town Hall to provide an update on the Aerial Photography Program. Sawatzke moved to refer pricing of the new aerial photography data to the Technology Committee, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Russek left the meeting at 10:01 A.M.

Wittstock brought forth a County boundary administration issue and introduced Denny Kron, Stearns County Surveyor. A map reflecting the Stearns County perspective was distributed. The Clearwater River is supposed to be the boundary between Wright and Stearns Counties. There is property owned by Ted and Deanna Flesner from New Hope that Wright County has been taxing for 102 years. The land records in the Wright County Recorder’s Office date back 102 years. The description of the County boundary contained in the General Statute of 1866 reflects the boundary of Wright County. This is the area where Hwy. 55 crosses the Clearwater River in Southside Township (Two. 121, Range 28W). The first legal description recorded for the parcel in 1903 was a deed from the trustee for the railroad to Clifford Ferson. Part of the parcel lies on the west side of the Clearwater River and part lies on the east side. The part in Wright County was recorded in the Wright County Recorder’s Office. That part located in Stearns County was not recorded. The land was part of a railroad grant from the U.S. Government to the railroad to be used for track location. Excess land was sold to generate revenue to fund the railroad infrastructure. For the past 102 years, Wright County has assessed, taxed and recorded information on this parcel. These land records affect the title so correction of the problem would ensure the title remains marketable for the owners. Kron worked with the Stearns County Title Examiner and developed the idea of registering the property and changing the property from abstract to Torrens. A Certificate of Title shows the current owners and memorializes any encumbrances on the property. The land records would stay in Wright County. The administration of the land transfer records would be changed from Wright County to the Stearns County Registrar of Titles. Stearns County will take the lead in starting the Torrens Action, involving a court process. Wright County and the Flesners will join the petition to the court as willing participants. Total cost will be approximately $3,000, with half to be paid by each County. Kron supported the process and said he would be presenting the request to the Stearns County Board in August. Legal staff from both counties suggested the Torrens Examiner in StearnsCounty handle the transfer. It was also suggested to the Flesners to include all 80 acres in the petition so that all of their property is included in one certificate of title in one county. Heeter moved to approve the concept to be a friendly petitioner on the Torrens process, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-0.

Wittstock will resign from his Surveyor’s position effective July 14th. Wittstock said that three years ago, he and Denny Kron, Stearns County Surveyor, set up a relationship to fill in for one another for vacations, etc. This would include such things as signing plats which require signature by a licensed land surveyor. Kron has agreed to continue the relationship with Wright County until another Surveyor has been hired. Wittstock was thanked for his years of service and expertise, especially in the area of GIS. Wittstock conveyed that he has enjoyed his 3.5 years and thanked the Board for the opportunity.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 7-05-05. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Heeter, carried 4-0:

Capital Improvement Software Package. Kimmel presented a demo on a capital improvement software package. The software would assist in planning capital projects. It could be used as a strategic tool by departments to plan for the future. If purchased, the software would be customized to Wright County at a one-time maximum cost of $5,000. Several training sessions would be included. Norman said Administration could work with departments to build a long term plan and the Board could receive an annual pre-budget update, starting in 2006. Recommendation: Authorize purchase of the capital improvement software package at a cost not to exceed $5,000. Funding will be from excess debt service funds.

Discuss Capital Projects Fund. Hiivala distributed 2004 year-end budget summaries for General Revenue, Road & Bridge and Human Services, and financial data was provided for a four-year period (attached). Also distributed was a handout reflecting Park projects (attached) reflecting a $715,000 County share if grant funding is obtained for projects. The Park Dedication Fund has available $149,000 to use toward the Ney Park Purchase. The Board discussed the status of the three funds and potential fund transfers to the Capital fund. Hiivala has changed investment methods to ensure fund accessibility. Recommendation: Transfer $1 million from the General Revenue Fund to Fund 34, Capital Projects.

Public Works Storage Building. The Committee discussed the various possibilities for a building (hoop vs. pole). Fingalson suggested a 60’ x 180’ building to be located on the north side of the salt storage building (Buffalo Township) at a cost of approximately $170,000. A building this size would accommodate some of the equipment stored at the Compost Facility and address shop safety issues. Recommendation: Seek bids for a building at a cost of approximately $172,000. This would include the alternative of a pole building. (End of Budget Of The Whole Minutes).

Heeter received several calls from representatives of the Catholic Church indicating that the Catholic School property will be sold. They want toknow whether the County is interested in purchasing this parcel. Sawatzke asked Asleson whether a closed session should be held to discuss selling price, proposals, counter offers, etc. Asleson suggested that an open session would be held if general discussion were to occur. He would review Statutes for more clarification. If the Board were interested in setting a certain time and date to meet, it could be with the understanding that it could be either an open or closed session and posted accordingly. Mattson said the County may have had more interest if this offer had been made prior to discussions on a jail, which commenced several years ago. Heeter echoed that thought, especially since a decision had been made for the new jail site north of town. She felt that discussions with the Catholic Church should still occur, however. Sawatzke said he did not view this as a jail site but possibly for future growth (15-20 years). Heeter moved to schedule a meeting with the County Board and representatives of the Catholic Church to discuss that property. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. The motion and second were amended to present the following meeting times: 11:00 A.M. on 7-25-05 or 11:00 A.M. on 7-26-05. This will be a Committee Of The Whole meeting. The date and time will be brought back to the next County Board meeting to allow for proper notice and posting. The motion carried 4-0.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said that due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in August, one County Board Meeting would be cancelled. He suggested 8-02-05, as that time would allow for work on the 2006 budget. The Board discussed cancelling 8-30-05 because of a nuclear exercise and the Quad County Meeting scheduled for that day. Heeter moved to cancel the 8-30-05 County Board Meeting, seconded by Eichelberg. Norman informed the Board that starting 8-08-05, they should plan to spend Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in budget sessions so the draft can be completed by 9-13-05. Norman has contacted Department Heads to determine what dates they are not available in August. The Budget Committee Of The Whole Agenda will be placed on the next County Board Agenda for review. The motion carried 4-0.

Discussion resumed on the bids which ere opened earlier for the ventilation and heating revisions for the Public Works Facility. Virgil Hawkins, Assistant Highway Engineer, said all three bids came in higher than anticipated. The Engineer’s estimate was $52,000. He requested the Board lay the bids over for one week for review and possible rebidding. Sawatzke said Scott County does rebid and many times, the bids come in lower.Eichelberg oved to lay the bids over to discuss options, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.

Bills Approved

Acme Window Cleaning . $1,491.00

Conrad Anderson 196.17

Krista Anderson 113.46

Kirk Asplin Oil Co. Inc. 189.04

ATOM 800.00

Auto Glass Center Inc. 457.35

B & D Plumbing/Heating 552.00

George Bakeberg 449.84

Batteries Plus 298.16

Boyer Truck Parts 411.72

BP Amoco 1,295.60

Buffalo Mini Mix Inc. 186.38

City Buffalo 30,660.93

Burdas Towing 141.65

Cassidy Realty & Appraisal 400.00

Center Point Energy 2,663.27

Centra Sota Lake Region 6,635.64

Dales Auto Repair/Towing 133.13

Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo 572.00

Dept. of Public Safety 8,430.00

Diamond Mowers Inc. 726.64

Carter Diers 202.02

Ralph Douglas 537.75

Ben Ehlinger 142.35

Elmer Eichelberg 242.19

Josh Erickson 178.62

Tom Feddema 192.66

Frontier Precision Inc. 112.84

Raymond Glunz 200.00

H & H Sport Shop Inc. 2,146.27

Hance Utility Services 206.33

Hello Direct 250.64

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,076.24

Intereum 1,105.94

Kustom Signals Inc. 289.22

Lakedale Telephone Co. 484.96

LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,241.29

Loberg Electric 144.00

Maple Lake Township 885.80

Marco Business Products 1,054.11

Marks Standard Parts 1,693.94

Richard Mattson 155.61

McDowall Company 356.00

Midway Iron & Metal Co. Inc. 189.57

Minnesota Elevator Inc. 235.25

Moys Custom Painting/Coll. 331.76

Bernie Munsterteiger 4,215.00

NASRO 1,275.00

National Sheriffs Assoc. 268.00

Nextel Communications 600.00

Northland Pharmacy 251.36

Office Depot 267.71

David Pederson 376.52

Wallace Peterson 127.92

PMI Computer Supplies 304.50

Prosource One 1,331.53

Quinlan Publishing Co. 154.96

Ranger Joes 1,360.58

RS Eden 6,468.00

Russell Security Resource 297.66

SBC Paging 508.49

Tammi Solarz 119.34

Specialty Turf & Ag 437.61

Sprint 161.82

Brian Stoll 154.05

Tom’s Towing Service 143.75

Trophies Plus 102.60

Uniforms Unlimited 1,643.45

Verizon Wireless 925.28

Waste Management TC West 856.19

Wright Co. Journal Press 123.28

38 Payments less than $100 1,916.63

Final total $94,850.57

The meeting adjourned at 10:26 A.M