Wright County Board Minutes

October 18, 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 10-11-05, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #5, “Tile Repair Near Collinwood Park, Stockholm Twp.” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #2, “MEADA Report, Orange County Florida” (Heeter). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Russek referenced Item A2, “Acknowledge Reappointment By Minnesota Association Of County Administrators Of Richard Norman As Representative On MCIT Board Of Directors, Two-Year Term.” Russek extended appreciation to Norman for his work with the MCIT Board of Directors and the County benefits realized because of this appointment. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: A. Duerr, A. Gillham, P. Terveer, Aud./Treas.; N. Tallman, Ct. Svcs.; C Burton, M. Lauer, N. Eldred, Sheriff.

2. Acknowledge Reappointment By Minnesota Association Of County Administrators Of Richard Norman As Representative On MCIT Board Of Directors, Two-Year Term.

3. 2005 Voluntary Leave Without Pay Program.


1. Authorize Signatures On Amendment #5 Renewing The Contract With Aramark For Jail Food Services.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said a request was received from Clem Matter for repair to County Drainage Ditch #34 (Franklin Twp.). Russek said that last year, authorization was granted for repair to a tile line running onto private property. The repair was completed but did not work and the claim has not been paid. The cost of repair at that time was $500. Russek requested authorization to obtain a repair cost estimate from Dave Matter. Eichelberg made a motion authorizing Russek to contact the contractor for a cost estimate, seconded by Russek. The motion was amended to include authorizing repair up to a $500 maximum. Anything beyond this amount must be brought back for Board approval. The motion carried 5-0.

Hiivala requested the Board reschedule the Deferred Compensation Committee Of The Whole Meeting as the consultant, Tom Jones, had a conflict with meeting on 10-25-05. Sawatzke moved to cancel the 10-25-05 Deferred Compensation Committee Of The Whole Meeting and reschedule it for 11-15-05 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. The Agenda item is Fiduciary Responsibilities.

With the upcoming Special Election for State Senate District 19, Hiivala requested appointment of two Commissioners to serve on the County Canvassing Board. The Canvassing Board will also include the Auditor/Treasurer, District Court Administrator, and Mayor of the most populated City in Wright County. This year, that changed from Buffalo to St. Michael. Russek moved to appoint himself and Commissioner Eichelberg to serve on the Canvassing Board on 11-03-05 at 10:00 A.M., seconded by Heeter. Heeter questioned whether another Commissioner should be appointed to the Canvassing Board in place of Russek, due to Russek’s involvement with Sawatzke’s campaign for the District 19 seat. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, did not feel there would be a problem with Russek serving on the Canvassing Board. The motion carried 5-0.

Hiivala was contacted by Mike Geagan on a request for repair to a tile on property he purchased near Collinwood Lake (Stockholm Twp.). Geagan thought the tile was draining to Collinwood Park. Eichelberg moved to authorize Mattson, Russek, Hiivala and Marc Mattice (Parks Administrator) to make a site visit on 10-24-05 at 9:00 A.M.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala referenced a claim on page 9, National Institute for Truth Verification ($1,440), for conference registration for Todd Hoffman, Sheriff Department. County policy calls for out-of-state travel requests to be placed on the Consent Agenda. The training Hoffman will attend is in Wisconsin. Payment for the registration is due 30 days from the invoice date (9-26-05). It was the consensus that the claim should be approved. On a motion by Heeter, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, recommended approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with French Lake Township for storage and purchase of sand/salt. Russek moved to approve the Memorandum of Understanding, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

At the last meeting, bids were received for the Public Works cold storage facilities. The Board took action to lay this issue over for one week to allow a site review by the Commissioners. At today’s meeting, discussion resumed on the issue. Fingalson distributed a handout reflecting the proposed location of two cold storage buildings, justification for the request, proposed layout for use of space by Highway & Parks Departments vehicles/equipment, and associated costs. Estimated cost of two buildings including electrical is $137,453.00. Building #1 is proposed at 64’ x 176’ and Building #2 at 44’ x 128’. Mattson questioned whether Fingalson had been in contact with Don Mleziva, Human Services Director, on storage of the WOW van due to the potential grant funding available if the WOW van were stored in one of the buildings. Fingalson responded that he had not been in contact with Mleziva. However, the building would possibly need to be extended to the west to accommodate storage of the 37’ van. The van is currently being stored at the Compost Facility. Discussion followed on funding and options for the building. Fingalson said they are trying to work within the budget and felt it was most important to meet long-term storage needs. Concrete for the buildings may be requested at a later date. Russek did not support concrete for the buildings, as most farm storage sheds have dirt floors. Fingalson said at this time, they are requesting electrical and the movement of the southwest door to improve efficiency. Heeter was previously not in favor of two buildings but has changed her perspective due to space confinements. Eichelberg also felt the two buildings worked better and would accommodate future needs. Eichelberg moved to approve the concept of what was presented plus adding electricity to the two buildings, seconded by Heeter. It was clarified that the building sizes approved are Building #1, 64’ x 176’ (includes an additional 32 feet) and Building #2, 44’ x 128’ (includes an additional 24 feet). Sawatzke referenced previous discussions where Fingalson indicated the larger building could not be made longer unless the berm was removed. He questioned why Fingalson suggested lengthening the building to accommodate the WOW van. Fingalson responded that the building could be expanded to the west but this would not look as good and would impact the traffic in this area. Sawatzke said his concern was that Fingalson would expand the building for the WOW van but not for the Highway Department. Constructing two buildings would be 50% more expensive per square foot than if one building was added onto. Russek noted that a wider building would be more expensive than what was bid because of truss requirements. He felt the 32’ addition requested could be used for storage of the WOW van. Fingalson said that without the 32’ addition, the space remains status quo. The additional space would accommodate future needs, including a vehicle for the Surveyor. Sawatzke felt there was a difference of opinion on what needs to be stored in a building. Passenger vehicles that did not include equipment could be parked outside. Fingalson said outside elements effect resale value and have a negative impact on hydraulic hoses, tires, and vinyl/leather seats. Russek offered a friendly amendment to the motion indicating that if the original motion passes, that an attempt is made to accommodate storage of the WOW van because of the 32’ addition to Building #1. Heeter seconded the friendly amendment. Eichelberg had no problem with the amendment but questioned whether it would be a staff or Board decision to determine if this would work. Russek said the intent of the motion is to attempt to find room for the WOW van when the building has been completed. Mattson said storage of the WOW van should only be switched if grant funding comes along with it. Norman noted that any grant funding received for the van would be a reimbursement to the General Fund. It was clarified that the Building #1 addition should be 32’ not 37’. Fingalson will contact Mleziva to review and find the most efficient storage for the van. The vote on the amendment to the motion carried 5-0. It was clarified that the original motion includes electrical for the two buildings, that Building #1 would have a 32’ addition and Building #2 would have a 24’ addition, and the bid would be awarded to Structural Buildings. The vote on the original motion as amended carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.

At 9:45 A.M., the Public Hearing on County Ditch 20 was reconvened. The Hearing was continued from the 10-04-05 County Board Meeting to allow Kerry Saxton, SWCD, an opportunity to provide an opinion on the request by the City of Maple Lake to outlet storm water into County Ditch 20. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, has been in contact with Saxton who met with representatives from Bogart Pederson last week. A decision was made at that time to run new hydrological modeling on different data. As Saxton would be unable to review the new modeling prior to today’s meeting, the request is to continue the Public Hearing to the 11-08-05 Board Meeting. Asleson anticipated presenting a document at that meeting setting terms and conditions for approval of the City’s petition. Heeter suggested a road tour of the area due to the complicated hydrology and effect on the Park and Lake Mary. Mattson felt Saxton should meet with residents to explain what can be done. Heeter said residents would be welcome when the road tour occurs. Asleson will contact Saxton to schedule the on-site meeting for the last week of October or first week of November. Sawatzke noted that it was not Saxton’s responsibility to design the water flow. He could respond to what has been designed and whether it would be problematic. Mattson said that until it is proven that the water will not cause damage, he does not plan to move forward with the request. Heeter questioned the time constraint voiced by the developer at the 10-04-05 meeting. Asleson said that it related to a financing issue for the developer. The developer is aware of the delay. Heeter moved to continue the Ditch 20 Public Hearing to 11-22-05 at 9:45 A.M. The motion would provide several weeks for review of the data by Saxton. Residents should contact Heeter or Mattson with concerns. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to offer the following dates to Saxton for a possible road tour: 10-31-05, 11-07-05, 11-14-05.

Asleson presented a draft of the “Cleanup of Clandestine Drug Lab Sites Ordinance” for review. The draft is based upon a model adopted by approximately half of Minnesota counties. The main purpose is to set up a procedure by which a county can try to protect public health due to dangerous chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. In addition to chemical cleanup, buildings may also be contaminated. The Ordinance would establish a process for public health officials to clean up a site, either by ordering the owner to perform the clean up or by the county cleaning up the property, in which case the costs would be assessed back to the property. Wright County has not budgeted for this type of cleanup. During the last session, the Legislature appropriated some funds for this purpose. However, the process for accessing the funding is not clear. Asleson understood the County would have to bond for funds loaned by the State for cleanup. Any funds recouped would be replenished to the State first. Passage of the Ordinance is the first step of eligibility to access these funds. The Ordinance would also require that vehicles and properties affected by meth are registered with the Recorder’s Office. Discussion followed on rental properties. Lt. Todd Hoffman stated owners of rental property may be able to recoup some of the clean up costs through the Court system. They are responsible for their property and the clean up of it. Property owners are not contacted when an investigation is being conducted. Residents are encouraged to contact the Sheriff Department if they suspect illegal activity. Clean up of contaminated property may be minor if caught early enough. Heeter moved to adopt Ordinance 05-03, Cleanup of Clandestine Drug Lab Sites Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Norman referenced Section 2.80, B, which states the County Coordinator is authorized to direct funds for remediation of chemical investigation sites and questioned funding amounts and sources. Asleson said this language was patterned after the draft. Although the County has not budgeted for site cleanup, it will occur. The rough or initial cleanup (removal of chemicals, marking the site, etc.) will be completed. Further cleanup of the property could come back to the Board with estimates or quotes. Norman assumed authorities would proceed with cleanup in emergency situations and payment of the bill would follow. Asleson said the Ordinance indicates that law enforcement will notify the public health authority (public health or environmental health), who will be responsible for cleanup of the property after the rough cleanup has occurred. Norman said staff time and other associated costs should be tracked in order to assess the property. Lt. Hoffman said there is funding available through the DEA for the rough cleanup (estimated at $5,000-$10,000). The cleanup of soil, water, house, furniture, carpeting, etc. is a separate issue. Sawatzke suggested that Lt. Hoffman contact Bill Stephens at the Compost Facility who has received substantial training in hazardous waste. After further discussion, Asleson suggested that Section 2.80, B, be removed from the Ordinance. Instead, the Board will be involved with funding decisions for cleanup. In the future, the Board may want to direct the public health authority to expend budgeted funds for cleanup. Carol Schefers, Public Health Director, requested the Ordinance be effective 1-01-06 to allow for all procedures to be in place. If a large meth lab were discovered prior to enactment of the Ordinance, the County could declare a public health nuisance. Asleson said Minnesota Law requires publication of the full Ordinance or summary as part of the minutes. It will take about three weeks for this to occur so the earliest effective date would be 12-01-05. Heeter and Sawatzke amended the motion to include an effective date of the Ordinance (Article 5) to be 12-01-05. The motion carried 5-0. A summary of the Ordinance follows:

The Cleanup Of Clandestine Drug Lab Sites Ordinance recognizes the public health hazard that exists at sites where controlled substances have been manufactured. Chemicals used in the production of these controlled substances, especially methamphetamine, can contaminate surfaces and furnishings in structures, as well as the land and water surrounding them. This Ordinance gives the County Public Health Authority the power to require the cleanup of such sites by the owner. In the event that the owner does not comply, the County would undertake the cleanup and assess the costs against the real property involved, to be collected along with the property taxes. The Ordinance applies County-wide, except for those cities choosing to adopt and enforce an ordinance in a more restrictive manner. The Cleanup Of Clandestine Drug Lab Sites Ordinance takes effect December 1, 2005. Copies of the complete Ordinance can be obtained by contacting the Office of the Wright County Coordinator at 763-682-7378.

At the last County Board Meeting, Asleson was directed to prepare a resolution relating to an abatement of service charges levied and collected against Parcel #215-012-000170, Ruth Sparks and Pamela Bergstrom. The services charges relate to an assessment for a basic trunk charge associated with sewer improvements made on Lake Charlotte/Martha. The abatement was approved as the Board Of Adjustment has denied the request to build on the property. Today, Asleson presented a draft resolution abating the service charges. The owners have paid their 2nd half property taxes minus an assessment for the sewer charge. However, the property owners are responsible for a $25 LID fee, so that amount will be deducted from the amount reflected in the draft resolution. The total amount being refunded will be $3,956.01. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-57, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Asleson presented an amendment to the purchase agreement for property adjacent to the Fairgrounds, owned by Craig & Debra Gruenhagen. The Gruenhagens reserved the right to postpone the closing up to 120 days to accommodate a planned 1031 exchange and have decided to exercise that option, delaying the closing from 10-31-05 to 2-28-06. Sawatzke moved to authorize the Board Chair to sign the amendment, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

A Building Committee Meeting occurred on 10-11-05. Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke. Norman referenced the quote received and said the request was for 15 chairs. Heeter responded that the Court Administrator indicated they would settle for 14 chairs (12 jurors, 1 alternate, 1 witness). The motion to approve the minutes carried 5-0:

Request To Enlarge Juror Box In Courtroom #2 And Replace Juror Chairs. The juror chairs in Courtroom #2 are old, uncomfortable and some have broken springs. The chairs are bolted to the floor and oversized so alternate jurors must be seated outside the juror box. Hayes reported a furniture vendor has been on site and is researching chair options that would fit more chairs into the juror box. He estimates a cost of $300 each for a decent chair with arms. The Committee requested Buskey remove one of the current chairs to determine condition of the carpet and whether it will need replacement. Hayes stated enlarging the juror box would be costly and difficult to match the wood. Nordeen requested a total of 15 matching chairs; 14 juror chairs and one for the witness. Recommendation: Approve up to 15 chairs with Hayes to provide a cost estimate at the 10-18-05 County Board Meeting.

Request to Furnish Office, Third Floor Annex, For Human Services Supervisor.Dressel requested to proceed with furnishing the corner office previously occupied by DeMars. Hayes estimates a cost of $3,000. Dressel stated nearly all the cost will be eligible for reimbursement. Norman questioned whether the furnishings are in accordance with the standard office furnishings for supervisory staff. Recommendation: Approve.

Dressel also requested furnishing one of the side offices on third floor for the new financial position in the 2006 Budget. Hayes stated it takes approximately six weeks lead time to order from the furniture vendor. Norman stated the 2006 Budget will not be set until after the December Truth In Taxation meeting. Recommendation: Place on the 12-14-05 agenda.

Office For New Lieutenant. This item has been withdrawn. Arrangements have been made within the Sheriff’s Department.

Security Measures At Sheriff’s Impound Lot. Laid over for the next meeting. (End of Building Committee Minutes).

A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 10-11-05. The following changes were made to the minutes: Page 1, last paragraph, change all instances of “SFR” to “SRF.” Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Interview Consultants For Comprehensive Plan Update. SEH, Inc., URS Corporation and Hoisington Koegler Group were invited for interviews. Itwas requested presentations include: 1) introduction of primary team members and their experience; 2) review of relevant work by team members, especially work on comprehensive plans for entire jurisdictions, regional planning for multiple jurisdictions and the issues faced by Wright County in the RFP; and 3) the process for completing the Plan, with an emphasis on the methods that would be used to include cities. Following the formal presentation, time was allotted for questions from the Committee. Questions focused primarily on city involvement in the process; establishing working relationships, and previous or current contracts within the County

SEH. Project Team Presenters - Mark Nolan (project manager & lead urban planner), Lindberg Ekola (Ekola & Associates - land use planner/facilitator), Jamie Sloboden (transportation engineer), and Heidi Peper (community development specialist). Other members of the team will provide expertise in the areas of municipal services, GIS, and community planning. The Barron Area Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan was cited as an example of experience in working with multiple jurisdictions. The firm has experience in updating subdivision ordinances. Their timeline proposed a completion date of Fall, 2006.

URS. Project Team Presenters - Suzanne Rhees (project leader), Jean Coleman (CR Planning - attorney and land use planner), and Jack Forslund (transportation planner). Other members of the team will provide expertise in community planning, natural resources, public utilities, and GIS. A chart was provided listing comprehensive plans, corridor studies, zoning and development regulations, and rural area protection programs where URS and CR Planning have worked together. Polk County, Iowa was discussed as a current project and example. Coleman has experience with growth management ordinances and guidelines for transfer of development rights. They proposed a 12-month timeline with a completion date of Fall, 2006.

HKGi. Project Team Presenters - Brad Scheib (Hoisington Koegler - projectmanager ), Rusty Fifield (Hoisington Koegler - growth management), Monique Mackenzie (SRF Consulting Group - land use & facilitation), David Montebello (SRF Consulting Group - transportation). HKGi/SRF has worked with Woodbury, Ramsey, Eau Claire, Elk River, Plymouth and St. Michael in the area of comprehensive planning. Montebello was involved with the NE Wright County Transportation Plan and the Hwy 55 traffic analysis. A timeline of 12-18 months is projected. Recommendation: Enter into an agreement with SEH to update the Wright County Comprehensive Plan. Salkowski to work with the Attorney’s Office in the development of a contract agreement. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes).

Representing the MEADA group, Heeter recently traveled to Orange County, Florida to make a meth presentation to their 17-member task force. Their task force is comprised of many professional representatives, appointed by the Mayor and Public Safety Director. Heeter was brought in by the group as an expert in community initiative. She provided the task force with media items, press releases, dvd/cd material, etc. so they can proceed with their initiative. Heeter commended the Wright County MEADA group for being recognized not only locally but nationally for their ability to work together on this devastating issue.

Hiivala referenced prior action by the Board today to appoint two members to the Canvassing Board. The Canvassing Board was set for 11-03-05 at 10:00 A.M. for the upcoming Special Election for District 19. Staff has requested the Canvassing Board instead meet on 11-02-05. Russek moved to rescind the motion scheduling the Canvassing Board on 11-03-05 at 10:00 A.M. and rescheduling it to 11-02-05 at 10:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Ability One Corporation. $582.05

Advanced Graphic Sys. Inc. 332.55

Advantage Water cond. 102.00

Albertville body shop, Inc. 2,010.61

Scott Albrecht 489.50

Allina Medical 1,198.00

Ameripride Linen/Apparel 373.27

Ancom Technical Center 1,056.33

Assn. of MN Counties 1,950.00

Beaudry Propane Inc. 3,486.45

Bogart Pederson & Assoc. 382.50

Buffalo Bituminous 267,060.96

Buffalo Hospital 17,600.00

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Comm. 2,159.49

Burdas Towing 145.90

Center Point Energy 199.52

Centra Sota Lake Region 23,109.98

Central Glass Company Inc. 244.04

Clearwater River Watershed 254.04

Cub Pharmacy 1,342.40

Culligan of Buffalo 202.32

Dept. of Public Safety 120.00

Andrew Fashant 181.93

Tom Feddema 125.85

Forestry Suppliers Inc. 110.57

Fyles Exc./Honey Wagon 135.00

Janet Gholson 240.57

Glock, Inc. 300.00

Gould Bros. Chev.-Olds 133.13

Greenview Inc. 13,794.14

Jolene Hartmann 399.98

Hawthorn Suites Duluth 424.88

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,263.02

Mark Hoberg 356.82

Hoglund Bus Co. Inc. 147.72

Hoglund Transportation 510.00

Int’l Assn. of Assessing Ofcrs. 175.00

Interstate All Battery Ctr. 405.18

Jerrys Towing & Repair 133.13

KNR Communications Serv. 1,772.56

LaPlant Demo Inc. 521.31

Michael Laurent 173.68

Michael Lindquist 176.00

Lund Industries Inc. 512.92

Marco Business Products 1,355.08

Martin Marietta Aggregates 889.18

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 700.00

Menards 105.72

Midland Corp. Benefits SVC 750.00

MN Co. Attorneys Ass’n. 334.94

MN Hwy. Safety/Research 5,070.00

MN Sex Crimes Investigators 320.00

Mobile Vision 268.07

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 2,137.91

Nat’l Inst. for Truth Verif. 1,440.00

Nelson GMC 29,053.00

Richard Norman 439.36

Office Depot 4,176.05

Omann Brothers Inc. 1,818.39

Onyx 718.10

Onyx FCR Landfill Inc. 357.51

Lynn Peavey Company 757.20

Photo I 748.01

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 193.24

Qwest 6,065.91

Rainbow Inc. 1,554.00

Reds Auto Electric 189.44

Reed Business Info. 315.12

Rivers of Hope 1,000.00

Royal Tire Inc. 127.75

RTVision Inc. 1,222.71

Ryan Motors Inc. 428.66

Setina Mfg. Co. Inc. 289.28

Specialty Turf & Ag 697.58

St. Joseph Equip.-Mpls 254.54

State of MN-Info Tech Div 601.01

State Supply Co. 213.92

Stepp Mfg. Company Inc. 34,681.73

Super Express 105.44

Sweeney Brothers 107.95

Total Printing 103.41

Keith Triplett 122.31

Uniforms Unlimited 285.91

United Locating Services 270.00

United Rentals Hwy. Tech. 470.68

University of MN 7,129.77

Unlimited Electric Inc. 204.37

Verizon 967.45

Viking Sewer & Drain Inc. 215.00

Wright Hennepin Elec. 2,689.83

28 Payments less than $100 1,203.37

Final total $459,544.20

The meeting adjourned at 10:37 A.M.

Published in the Herald Journal Nov. 14, 2005.