Wright County Board Minutes

October 11, 2005

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

The following changes were made to the minutes of 10-04-05: Page 4, 1st paragraph, 1st and 3rd lines, change the cost reflected to be “square foot” instead of “foot” (Norman); Page 4, 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence should read, “Fingalson recommended that this issue be laid over to the next County Board Meeting.” (Norman); Page 6, 3rd paragraph, 8th sentence, change from “flat” to “flap” (Russek); Page 6, 4th paragraph, 2nd sentence, change from “appended” to “amended” (Russek). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. #2, “Ditch 31” (Russek); Aud./Treas. #3, “Writ Of Special Election” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #3, “District V Meeting” (Russek); Item For Consid. #4, “State Mandates” (Heeter). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: B. Wall, IT; T. Doerr, P. Heitland, R. Helgeson, Sher./Corr.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 9-23-05.

3. Claim, Buetow & Associates, $9,325.94.


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

A. Terry & Dorothy Seestrom (Silver Creek Twp.). Planning Commission Unanimously Recommend Approval Of The Request To Rezone From AG To A/R.

B. William (Bill) Westhoff (Corinna Twp.). Planning Commission Unanimously Recommend Approval Of The Request To Rezone From AG To R-2.


1. Authorize One Additional DID Phone Line For The Jail Medical Office Fax.

2. Authorize Signatures On Two-Year State Snowmobile Supplemental Grant Agreement.

Steve Jobe was recently hired as the Wright County Surveyor. Jobe, who previously worked for Mn/DOT for 15 years, said he was looking forward to the opportunity to utilize his skills to serve the Board and the public. Jobe was welcomed.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, distributed information on a Writ of Special Election to fill vacancies in the Office of State Senator of Senate District 19 in Wright and Hennepin Counties and Senate District 43 in Hennepin County, including notice of a special Primary to nominate the candidates for the Special Election. The Primary, if necessary, will be held on 11-01-05 and the Special Election will be held on 11-22-05. The information was forwarded by fax today from the Secretary of State’s Office. Also distributed was a listing of the election voting precincts in Wright County. Of the 39 precincts, 27 will be affected by District 19. Gloria Gooler, Elections Supervisor, said she has contacted ballot and programming vendors to advise them Wright County will need their services. The ballots will be drafted and held for printing until October 24th, which is the last date candidates can withdraw. Photocopies of the ballot will be mailed to military and overseas voters to vote absentee. Once the ballots are received back, the election officials will make an official copy and run them through the precinct counters. Gooler said she would follow the same process as with other elections, this is just a condensed time frame. The Election will also include some School Districts and the City of South Haven. Notice of the Special Election will be published and posted outside of the Auditor’s Office and in each School and City. This was provided as an informational item.

Russek, Mattson and Hiivala made a site visit to Ditch #31 earlier this year. Because a landowner requested Ditch cleaning, Russek walked the site this past Saturday. The water was moving well through the culvert in this area. Between that area and the County road, the Ditch runs downhill and that is where most of the blockage has occurred. Russek did not feel the County should take action unless the entire Ditch is cleaned. Clean out would need to be done at a time when water levels were down with possible assistance by STS. This was provided as an informational item.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala said that for four years, they have been working to consolidate their IFS and Revenue libraries. Jim Benson from CPU was hired to assist with this. As a result, the following department numbering changes were made: Assessor (from 55 to 105), Planning & Zoning (from 127 to 107), Coroner (from 125 to 225). Department 820 has now been moved to the General Fund, Department 100. The Cofars System is what the State put out as a model for the standard chart of accounts. Hiivala anticipated significant changes with the upcoming changes to the Revenues libraries. After November, there will be a combined Revenue/Expenditure report to include Human Services. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said in 2001 the County assessed a number of Lake Charlotte/Martha properties relative to the sanitary sewer project. The basic trunk charge of about $8700 was assessed to properties for a sewer stub (payable over 20 years with interest at 7%). Asleson presented a request for an abatement of a service charge levied against Parcel #215-012-000170, owned by Ruth Sparks and Pamela Bergstrom. The owners applied to the Board of Adjustment for a variance to replace the existing structure with a small cabin. After review, the Board of Adjustment directed staff to prepare findings for denial. Action on the request will take place later this month. Asleson did not feel the parcel should be assessed for a sewer stub if a structure with plumbing is not allowed. In referencing past Board minutes, Asleson found the owners of the parcel did question why they were being assessed in August, 2001. The original assessment was imposed by resolution; therefore, a resolution would be required to abate the assessment. When abatements are granted due to valuation, tax appeal, or taxes collected in excess, the abatement would include interest paid at the rate of Court judgements (4% for the last three years). To date, the landowners have paid approximately $3,600 toward the assessment. This includes payments for 2002-2004 in full and the first half of 2005. Ruth Sparks said the abatement would be agreeable as they are unable to build. Russek moved to forgive the assessment and to return the payments made to date plus interest (at the rate allowed by Court). The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. The motion and second were amended to direct counsel to prepare a resolution consistent with what was stated. The motion carried 5-0. The resolution will be presented at the next meeting for adoption.

At 9:30 A.M., Mattson closed the bid process for remodeling in the Courts. Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, said the project would include conversion of the public lounge to Courtroom #6 and remodel of an existing room to a Judge’s chamber by adding a bathroom. Randy Engel, Buetow & Associates, opened and read the bids. The architect’s project estimate is $128,000. Alternate 1 is estimated at $5,000-$8,000 and includes acoustical panels (2” thick) on the four interior walls of the Courtroom. At Engel’s recommendation, the consensus of the Board was that Hayes and Engel could review the bids and bring them forth for recommendation at 10:15 A.M. today.

The bids are as follows:

Bidder’s Name; Base Bid; Alternate 1; Acknowledge Addendum #1; Bid Security; No. of Days to Substantial Completion

J.S. Cates Construction; $134,000; $10,000; Yes; Yes; 90

Ernst General Construction; $133,444; $12,358; Yes; Yes; 90

Gopher State; $130,441; $6,017; Yes; Yes;150

Lund Martin Construction; $115,900; $5,500; Yes; Yes; 180

Merrimac Construction; $191,314; $5,515; Yes; Yes; 120

Nelson Building & Development; $114,200; $4,950; Yes; Yes; 75

Prestige Builders; $149,900; $5,500; Yes; Yes; 180

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, referenced the bid opening which occurred on 10-04-05 for safety improvements to CSAH 37/CR 117/CR 119. Since last week, it has been determined that the safety grant funding may be extended into next year. The key is that the bid award is made prior to the Legislature convening in March. Fingalson anticipated a more favorable bidding climate after the first of the year. The main project is at the intersections of CSAH 37 and CR 117. All ROW has been secured and the cost is estimated at over $200,000. Fingalson suggested potentially not proceeding with improvements at CSAH 37 and CR 119 due to costs and one landowner not in agreement with the project. Sawatzke felt the CSAH 37 and CR 119 project should be bid as an alternate due to potential funding from the State. Fingalson said the project could be left as is and more discussion could occur prior to the next bid letting. Discussion followed on signing near the CSAH 37/CR 119 intersection in an effort to prevent accidents. Fingalson said oversized signs have been used but the problem is with the westbound traffic, as they are unable to see left hand turn movement near the curve. Fingalson will explore additional sign options. Russek moved to reject all bids and to bring this issue forth at a future meeting, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Fingalson presented a draft resolution requesting the Commissioner of Transportation to determine the safe and reasonable speed for a section of CSAH 12 (from a point in the City of Montrose to CR 107-approximately 1.496 miles in length) and for a section of CSAH 39 (from CSAH 5 @ CR 101 to TH 24- approximately 1.526 miles). Fingalson said that after the Montrose project is complete, he wants the State to establish the safe speed on CSAH 12. The same would be true with the intersection created by Mn/DOT near Annandale. Both roads carry a 55 mph speed limit. Mattson questioned completing this review while CSAH 12 is under construction. Fingalson responded that the speed study will be conducted during the winter months. The road will be hard surfaced and there will be no detours. The road construction signs will be up.

Mattson voiced concern on being able to lower speed in one area of the County and not another and with gravel on the roadways. Mattson suggested imposing double fines in construction areas, such as the State does. Fingalson said he could discuss this with the Sheriff Department if the Board so desired. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #05-56 directing the Commissioner of Transportation to conduct the speed studies as outlined, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to cancel the 11-01-05 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in November.

Correspondence was received from the Metropolitan Council indicating a date change for the Metropolitan Council’s Chair meeting with neighboring county officials. The meeting was originally scheduled for 10-11-05 and has been rescheduled to 11-18-05 from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, contacted the Metropolitan Council to inform them that a number of counties hold their Board Meetings on Tuesdays which could result in reduced attendance if meetings were held during this time.

Russek, Eichelberg and Heeter attended an AMC District V Meeting in Milaca on 10-10-05. Russek said one of the issues discussed was State mandates. AMC will compile information received and forward it to the State. Counties will have the opportunity to highlight mandates they are having problems with and forward them to AMC. Norman stated that recent legislation passed allows counties to submit, by resolution to the State Auditor, concerns on mandates and requests for mandate waivers. The State Auditor will hold a meeting on this issue in Wright County on 11-14-05 at 1:30 P.M. Hiivala will forward information to the Board and Department Heads on the meeting. Heeter said that unfunded mandates were talked about at yesterday’s Human Services Board Meeting. She felt it was important to take the opportunity to comment on those and other mandates. This was provided as an informational item.

At 10:00 A.M., Mattson closed the bid process for the Public Works Cold Storage Facilities. Fingalson requested the opportunity to review the bids and come back with a recommendation yet today. A total of $172,000 is available in bonding funds. Bid specifications called for bids on two buildings (Building 1=64’ x 144’; Building 2=44’ x 104’) as well as costs for each additional 8’ section added onto the base building size. Mattice opened and read the bids:

Bidder; Bid Bond; Building #1; Cost for each 8’ Expansion Building #1; Building #2; Cost for each 8’ Expansion Building #2

Maple Lake Lumber; Yes; $110,343.00; $5,675.00; $60,277.00; $4,305.00

Eden Valley Lumber; Yes; $79,826.65; $3,350.00; $49,119.26; $2,365.00

BV Construction; Yes; $68,995.00; $3,100.00; $40,600.00; $2,100.00

Ebert Construction; Yes; $66,900.00; $3,400.00; $45,900.00; $2,800.00

Ram Buildings; Yes; $74,499.00; $2,922.00; $44,141.00; $1,914.00

Liman Post & Beam; Yes; $66,900.00; $2,600.00; $53,900.00; $1,950.00

Structural Buildings; Yes; $64,918.00; $2,730.00; $43,615.00; $1,000.00

AmeriBuilt Buildings; Yes; $63,180.00; $3,247.00; $48,626.00; $2,410.00

Discussion followed on bonding funds available and the request for two buildings. Fingalson stated that dependent upon pricing, it may be advantageous to construct two buildings. Different options for storage were being reviewed including not storing vehicles and equipment together or having Parks in one building. The buildings would be located in the current culvert storage location, just north of the existing cold storage building. This would allow vehicles to be moved out of the shop area. Sawatzke said the cost of constructing one large building would be less than two buildings. It was the consensus to lay the bids over to 10:45 A.M. today for recommendation.

Discussion resumed on the bids opened today for the Courts remodeling. Randy Engel, Buetow & Associates, recommended awarding the bid to Nelson Building & Development of Buffalo at a cost of $114,200 for the remodel of Courtroom #6 and the Judge’s Chamber. The recommendation also includes acceptance of Alternate #1 at a cost of $4,950 with a time line of 75 days for construction to substantial completion. Russek moved to approve the recommendations, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

The meeting was recessed at 10:17 A.M. and reconvened at 10:45 A.M.

Discussion resumed on the bids opened today for the Public Works Cold Storage Facilities. Fingalson said if two buildings were constructed, only one contractor would be selected to construct both. The low bid received was from Structural Buildings for a total of $108,533 for the two base buildings. Fingalson said their recommendation was to award the bid to proceed with construction of both buildings including the 48’ add ons for each. He referenced past discussions at Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meetings relative to time spent retrieving vehicles/equipment that is stored at the Compost Facility. Sawatzke questioned the practicality of constructing two buildings. Fingalson said that the type of vehicles being stored must be considered. Discussion has occurred at Safety Meetings regarding the door being blocked by Parks vehicles or large pieces of equipment. Steve Meyer, Highway Maintenance Superintendent, said that placing the two buildings in the identified space allows the berm to remain and will also allow water drainage and clearing of snow.

Sawatzke referenced the original request for the building. Fingalson stated it was for a 64’ x 144’ building. Sawatzke referenced the Transportation Meeting held approximately 4-5 weeks ago where lengthy discussion occurred on the request. At that time, he said two buildings were never discussed. Although space was needed, he felt it was more practical and efficient to construct one building. It would cost 50% more per foot for the second building than the cost of the original building. Wayne Luetgers, Shop Maintenance Superintendent, said one longer building may require removal of the berm. With the request for two buildings, they would sacrifice the concrete floor that was requested for the original building. Fingalson explained that the original request was to address safety problems in the maintenance shop. With the delay in the project, further discussion had transpired on the practicality of moving the equipment from the Compost Facility to the Public Works site. With the bids received, they would have the opportunity to obtain storage over and above what they originally requested. This was discussed at the last Transportation Meeting. The bonding available would allow moving of the large door at a cost of $25,000 and the opportunity for storage for both departments. The original building request was for a more expensive building to meet specifications set by the City of Buffalo. Fingalson said it can take an hour for Parks and Highway staff to retrieve equipment from the Compost Facility. Sawatzke did not agree that it would take an hour to retrieve equipment from the Compost Facility. Meyer responded that loading, chaining and unloading equipment can take this long. Eichelberg hoped that a building would be constructed to meet current and future needs.

Mattice said that with his budget proposal this year, he requested a cold storage facility to help alleviate some of the problems. It was suggested at that time to work with the funding available. Mattice felt they had done a good job of putting together a plan which met the original request of Highway and what Mattice presented in his budget proposal. Sawatzke said when the original request came forward, it was for Public Works Storage which includes Parks. Mattice said the original proposal was for vehicle storage and his request was for maintenance storage. Sawatzke said one of the original arguments made was that the storage facility would allow a time savings from not having to retrieve items from the Compost Facility. That confirmed to him that the equipment at the Compost Facility would fit into the building originally requested (64’ x 144’). Fingalson did not agree that was the intent. Luetgers stated it was for engineering and the basic vehicles in the shop that they want to vacate for additional space for trucks. Those vehicles and the engineering vehicles would be in this new storage building. Sawatzke felt the request was going from not having enough space to far more space than needed. He wanted to accomplish something in between.

Luetgers suggested the Board come to public works and review storage requirements. In the winter, one problem encountered is that equipment must be brought indoors and thawed before use. Meyer referenced past consideration of a hoop building (72’ x 200’). That building would not have allowed any site work and removal of the berm and the berm was desired for screening purposes. Past discussion had also involved adding onto the warm storage building, which was not pursued due to cost and space issues. Many of the vehicles now are stored outside and some include GIS equipment. It was the consensus that staff should stake out the various building options including one building, two base buildings, and the two base buildings with 48’ extensions. The Commissioners will make a site visit on 10-12-05 to review the staked areas as well as equipment storage needs. Russek moved to lay this issue over for one week, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Aggregate & Ready Mix/Minn. 775.00

American bio Medica Corp.. $442.50

Ameripride Linen/Apparel 451.20

Ancom Communications Inc. 279.56

Ancom Technical Center 128.44

Conrad Anderson 285.46

Anoka Co. Juvenile Ctr. 372.00

Aramark Corr. Services 10,654.20

Kirk Asplin Oil Co. Inc. 151.81

Assn. of MN Counties 10,830.00

Auto Glass Center Inc. 243.18

B & B Products-Rigs & Squa 554.90

B & D Plumbing/Heating 422.00

Joe Backes 308.93

George Bakeberg 330.60

Lawrence Bauman 423.09

Big Tyme Collision Ctr. 457.95

Anthony Boverhuis 404.95

Boyer Truck Parts 349.72

BP Amoco 1,246.62

Darnell Brethorst 241.64

Brothers Fire Protection Co. 390.69

Buffalo Bituminous 57,108.15

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Comm. 1,208.10

Buffalo Transmission 2,784.16

City Buffalo 47,399.60

CDW Government Inc. 330.24

Center Point Energy 2,434.60

Climate Air 7,457.83

Comm. of Transportation 325.00

Crow River Tools 474.82

D & H Fencing 295.00

Dept. of Public Safety 8,430.00

Donald Dick 5,588.00

Ralph Douglas 436.10

E-Z Flush 742.60

E. Central Reg. Juvenile 5,504.00

Nicholas Eastman 125.00

Josh Erickson 207.48

Raymond Glunz 200.00

Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 133.13

W Grainger Inc. 319.32

H & H Sport Shop Inc. 112.00

Henn. Co. Treasurer 1,038,580.13

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,903.57

Hirshfields Decorating Ctr. 147.97

Holiday 10,330.38

Information Systems Corp. 123.34

Interstate Battery Sys. of Mpls. 331.00

Jerrys Towing & Repair 143.78

JR’s Appliance Disp. Inc. 3,575.00

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Greg Kramber 295.89

Kramers Hardware 109.14

Lake Region Coop Oil 387.86

Lake Superior College 325.00

Lakedale Telephone Co. 453.63

LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,912.04

Lawson Products Inc. 202.91

LexisNexis Matthew Bender 244.63

Lorman Education Services 618.00

M & E Engineering Inc. 504.46

City Maple Lake 564.80

Marco Business Products 448.51

Marks Standard Parts 3,708.09

Mattson Well Company 290.80

McMaster-Carr Supply Co. 124.94

Julie Menken 105.00

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 573.50

Minnesota Lawyer 198.00

MN State Bar Assoc. 113.00

MN Assn. of Assessing Ofcrs. 245.00

MN Assn. of Co. Feedlot Ofcrs. 130.00

MN Corrections Assn. 350.00

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 3,363.39

MN Co. Attorneys Assn. 135.00

MN Rec & Park Assn. Inc. 240.00

City Monticello 15,000.00

City Montrose 675,971.79

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 8,988.85

Nextel Communications 963.19

Office Depot 1,144.18

Dean Olson 254.26

Onyx 7,062.00

David Pederson 378.97

Powerplan OIB 114.10

Prairie Lakes Youth Programs 304.00

Tom Praska 349.87

Red’s Cafe 316.84

Rengel Printing Co. 777.26

Neal Roessler 16,721.00

RS Eden 5,998.25

Jack Russek 170.92

Russell Security Resource 237.15

SBC Paging 755.16

Ruth Shackelton 10,164.80

Sprint 156.69

St. Cloud Fire Equip. Inc. 299.50

Star Tribune 721.08

Streichers 296.87

T & M Towing/Snowplowing 238.99

Lori Thingvold 111.66

Stephen Torrel 3,311.00

Steve Torrel 1,655.00

Uniforms Unlimited 315.07

University of Minnesota 700.00

Unlimited Electric Inc. 315.57

Verizon 455.29

Village Ranch Inc. 525.00

Waste Management TC West 463.17

Wright Co. Journal Press 123.28

Xcel Energy 102.21

36 Payments less than $100 1,792.65

Final total $1,999,493.77

The meeting adjourned at 11:09 A.M.

Published in the Herald Journal Nov. 14, 2005.