Wright County Board Minutes

November 15, 2005

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

A moment of silence followed to remember County Commissioner Basil Schillewaert, who recently passed away. Sawatzke acknowledged Schillewaert’s accomplishments as a County Commissioner, Monticello Township Board Supervisor, and as the 1993 Wright County Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year. Sawatzke said Schillewaert’s efforts with the Historical Society were unparalleled, including teaming up with Glen Dixon to raise funds needed for the first addition to the Historical Society. His volunteer work was also cited. The County Board extended sympathy to Schillewaert’s family.

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 11-08-05, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item A4, “Charitable Gambling Application Form LG 220, Buffalo Knights of Columbus #6608, Silver Springs Golf Club, Monticello Twp. (Salkowski). Salkowski introduced two new employees, Stacy Arp and Scott Deckert. Arp has been hired as an Assistant Planner and will work with shoreland issues, point of sale, and assist with the Board of Adjustment meetings. Deckert was hired as an Assistant Planner and will work with gravel mining, environmental issues, and general issues. He will also assist with Planning Commission Meetings. Both were welcomed. Salkowski will meet with consultants hired for the Comprehensive Land Use Plan next Tuesday and requested a meeting with the Board prior to that time. Sawatzke moved to set a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 11-22-05 at 10:45 A.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.

Russek moved to approve the Consent Agenda with the addition of Item A5, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:


1. Performance Appraisals: B. Rhineberger, P&Z; J. Halberg, Sher./Corr.

2. Refer Fee Schedule for 2006 to the Ways & Means Committee.

3. Claim, DLR Group, $151.82 (10-1-05 to 10-31-05).

4. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Law Enforcement Contract, City Of Clearwater.

5. Charitable Gambling Application Form LG 220, Buffalo Knights of Columbus #6608, Silver Springs Golf Club, Monticello Twp.


1. Approve Abatement, PID# 103-192-001210,Shanne & Mark Minkler. (City of Buffalo).


1. Schedule Technology Committee (11/23/05).

Agenda Items:

A. Update On GIS Senior Specialist (From 8/8/05 COTW).

B. Video Conference In C118.

C. Disposal Of Old Computer Equipment.

D. Multimedia In The Board Room.

E. Ratification Of Manatron Contract.


1. Authorize Signatures, 2005 Annual County Feedlot Officer Report Form (Data From 7/01/04-6/30/05).


1. Refer To 11-22-05 Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting The Wright County Judges Request For Additional Security Officers To Provide Court Security & Additional Bailiffs For New Judges.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a request from the City of St. Michael to acquire a tax forfeit property (Parcel No. 114-500-134300). The property is located adjacent to the City’s lower recreational park and City Hall/Public Works property. The parcel would be used for park purposes. The State of Minnesota would be responsible to monitor the property and assure it is used properly. Eichelberg moved to approve the request, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A request was received from JoAnn Wren requesting repair to a double culvert on Ditch #13. Wren is a resident on CR 113 and a benefitted landowner on Ditch #13. Hiivala was in contact with Steve Meyer, Highway Department, who indicated that it is not the County’s responsibility to repair the culvert. When a property owner builds a road over an existing ditch, the culvert repair becomes their responsibility. Heeter moved to have Eichelberg, Russek, Meyer and Hiivala make a site visit, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to schedule the site visit for 11-21-05 at 1:30 P.M.

Hiivala provided an update on County Ditch #34. At the last County Board Meeting, Russek reported that he had received a cost estimate of $2500 for ditch repair from Dave Matter. He also had been in contact with the two affected landowners. Hiivala was directed to contact the two property owners to determine how much of the repair they would be willing to fund. At today’s meeting, Hiivala said he contacted John Kanz who is willing to fund $1000 toward the repair. Clem Matter would be willing to fund $500. Based upon these contributions, Hiivala provided information reflecting the cost to each benefitted property owner. Hiivala informed Kanz and Matter they would receive an additional assessment on top of their contributions. Russek moved to direct Hiivala to contact Dave Matter to obtain a formal quote reflecting the cost per foot. If the bid is $2500 or less, Hiivala is authorized to contract with Matter for repair. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Hiivala received a request from the City of Clearwater requesting a tax abatement for a property located in the City (Lot 3, Block 1 of the Smith-Nelson 2nd Addition). The City has already approved to rebate its share of property taxes received to the current property title holders, Smith Distributing Company and the Estate of Donald Nelson. The City is requesting the County, the School District, and the Clearwater River Watershed District rebate the taxes paid on the property for tax year 2005. The property will be transferred to the City of Clearwater and used for public purposes in 2005 as soon as title issues have been resolved. Greg Kramber, Assessor, indicated that this type of abatement typically requires the property to be owned and used for exempt purposes. He requested additional time to investigate and determine property use. Heeter moved to lay this issue over for one week to accommodate Kramber’s request, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

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

Tracy Janikula, Feedlot Program Administrator, requested Board direction on how to proceed on proposed amendments to the Feedlot Ordinance. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said a task force was appointed when the Feedlot Ordinance was adopted. The purpose of the two amendments are to bring the Ordinance up to date due to State law and rule changes. In addition, Janikula has some suggested changes after administering the program for a number of years. There are not many substantive changes so Asleson did not feel a task force was needed. A public hearing would be required by either the County Board or Planning Commission. Direction was sought on whether the issue should be referred to committee for feedback on suggested changes. Janikula is recommending adopting the State rules on manure management. As part of State rules, larger feedlots will be required to have a manure management plan by next Fall. The rules would allow an exemption for family members for variances. Russek moved to refer the proposed Feedlot Ordinance amendments to a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 12-13-05 at 11:00 A.M., seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.

Janikula requested that the Board schedule a Public Hearing for a variance request to the Feedlot Ordinance to build a home for Scott & Karen Diers 250’ from a feedlot (family member/employee of the registered feedlot owner). On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to set a Public Hearing for 12-20-05 at 9:30 A.M.

Kevin Geisinger, Robert Frappier, and Marge Soeffker requested time to make a presentation to the Board on “Land-Wright County’s Greatest Asset.” Geisinger was unable to attend today’s meeting. Soeffker, resident of Southside Township, said the DNR Division of Lands and Minerals is responsible for ensuring mining operations are environmentally sound and mined areas are reclaimed to be safe, free of pollution and suitable for future use. Soeffker was concerned that the County may run out of land for future development if the construction aggregate program continues to exist as it is today. She obtained the following information from the Wright County Parks and Highway Departments, as well as the State of Minnesota, and noted this information is approximate. There are 458,240 acres in Wright County. The cities take up 138,880 square acres, lakes-18,692 acres, Parks-2,957acres, State roads-7,684 acres, County roads-4,496 acres, and Township roads-8,000 acres. The acreage is unknown for 225 gravel pits, the landfills, and the railroad. These figures make up about half of acreage in the County. She said a 100-acre piece of land with 200 homes will produce income for the County. If the land is used for a gravel pit, it produces nothing. Southside and Monticello Township currently has 43 gravel pits each. She said it appears the Board probably has no power to insist gravel pits need to be reclaimed, are free of pollution, etc. and suggested following the State guidelines for mining requirements. Soeffker requested a moratorium on construction aggregate permits until the 225 gravel pits in the County have been reclaimed. If the County decides to grant additional permits in the future and if landowners want to mine construction aggregate on their properties, she thought they should post bond and fund an EIS for each permit (regardless of size). Soeffker felt what has happened to the land is tragic. Robert Frappier, holds a Bachelors Degree in Biology and General Science, a Minor in Earth Science, a Masters Degree from St. Thomas, and is 15 credits away from his PhD in Environmental Studies. He has been a resident of Southside Township most of his life and is very concerned with the gravel pits in the County, specifically in Southside Township. Frappier realized that construction aggregate is needed but his major concern was with the reclamation of pits. He requested a policy for this purpose. The policy should limit the number and size of pits, operation times, and duration. He also thought there should be a restriction of pits from wetland areas and near lakes and that pit operators should post a $1 million security bond for each resident in close proximity to a pit. Frappier referenced a former pit near his residence. After the operation was complete, the mining company smoothed the land and planted native grasses. He thought this should be required of all pits. The pit near Southside Township Hall was referenced. He said there is a large area of standing water on the floor of that former pit which has not been reclaimed. The pit was dug down to the water table and pollution could enter the water table at this point. Pits have holes the size of football fields exposing groundwater and reclamation does not always take place. He felt it ironic that property owners are required to hire a person to certify a well has been capped prior to digging another well. He said reclamation should stipulate that land is returned back to a much more eye appealing, safe environment for citizens. Frappier felt Wright County is becoming “the pits” and hoped that the County Board, as guardians of the County, would take action to make this a more environmentally conscious process. Soeffker and Frappier were thanked for their comments and informed the County is currently working on a Comprehensive Land Use Plan which will identify aggregate resources.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, distributed a draft purchase agreement between the County, City of Albertville, and Albertville Medical Building, LLC. The intent of the Agreement is for the County to sell the Albertville truck station site to the City, who would then sell the property to Albertville Medical Building, LLC for the construction of a medical clinic. Asleson said the agreement includes standard language but highlighted those areas of interest:

Item 2(a) reflects the total price of $595,216 based upon $8/sq. ft. Item 5(a) reflects the County is required to provide various documents relating to the property, including Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments. Fingalson has been in contact with Braun Intertech to complete basic soil borings. Estimated cost will be $1,700. Item 10 relates to standard items such as no wells or individual sewage treatment systems on the property. Item 10(i) indicates the County would be required to remove any above ground or underground tanks. There is currently an above ground fuel tank which will be used elsewhere by the Highway Department. The main garage contains a trap for grease and oil in the floor drain. The septic for the bathroom also needs to be addressed. Clarification is needed on what action the County is required to take on those items. Item 11 indicates a closing on or before 2-28-06. Item 17 relates to the lease of the southern portion of the property to the County until 8-01-06 or before (at no cost to the County). This will allow the County to secure a new site. Item 18 stipulates that the County will remove the pole barn and storage shed no later than 8-01-06. The County will be required to remove the runoff pond/liner for salt (sometime in 2006). Item 19 deals with contaminated soils. If the cost to remove contaminated soils exceeds $50,000, the County and City have the option to terminate the Agreement. Mattson questioned the use of petro funds toward cleanup. Asleson responded that he understood that petro funds are to be used toward underground tank situations. Item 20 indicates that the City and County have the right to terminate the Agreement on or before 12-31-05. Item 22 reflects the county will reserve an additional 10’ of permanent easement for highway purposes on the property adjacent to both CSAH 18 and CSAH 19.

Asleson has not received a response from the developer’s attorney and expected to bring the Agreement, with minor changes, before the Board next week. Sawatzke questioned whether the total price included land within the ROW. Fingalson confirmed this. Sawatzke referenced Item 2(c) which reflects that if the developer decides not to construct a

medical office building of at least 12,000 sq. ft., they shall pay the City an additional $1.00/sq. ft. ($9.00/sq. ft. total). He said when the decision was made to sell this property to the City, it was with the understanding that a medical building would be constructed. If the developer would decide to instead construct something else, he did not feel the City should profit. The County should receive the extra compensation, which would equate to about $70,000. Sawatzke added that the County did not seek bids on the property as they wanted to work with the City on their desire to have a medical facility in this community. Fingalson thought this was an extra incentive put in place by the City so the medical facility is constructed. Heeter felt that this was the City’s business, as they would be selling the property to the developer and questioned why this was drafted as a three-party Agreement. Asleson said this was done so the County could convey the property to the City. If the property were sold on the open market, the use cannot be stipulated. Sawatzke again voiced concerned with the selling price of $8/sq. ft. if the property were used for something other than a medical clinic. Russek said the County agreed to sell the property for that price and the County should have asked for $9/sq. ft. at the time of sale if that was what was desired. He hoped a medical clinic would be built as the area needs it. Eichelberg agreed with Russek. He added that the value of the property would not be as high without the acreage connected to it. If the economy took a downturn, the value could decrease. Sawatzke said the deal was made with the intent to build a medical clinic. Russek responded the deal was made to sell the property to Albertville. Sawatzke felt that Item 2(c) could be amended to reflect that if a medical clinic is not constructed, that Wright County would have the ability to terminate the Agreement. Fingalson was unsure whether the developer had agreed to the language, as this provision was not in the original document received from the developer’s attorney. This draft Agreement came from the City. Asleson said there are several items that need to be addressed, including this issue. The City Council will review the Agreement at their meeting on 11-21-05. He felt it would be appropriate to refer the Agreement to the next County Board Meeting after the City has had a chance to respond to the County’s concerns. Sawatzke moved to lay this issue over for one week, seconded by Russek. Russek questioned whether they should be directing Asleson to discuss this with the City’s attorney. Mattson felt the minutes of this meeting could be reviewed by the City and concerns responded to. Sawatzke said it is not typical for Wright County to sell a property directly and that the County was leaning toward putting it out for bid or auction. It was the concept of the needed medical clinic that resulted in this action. He thought it should be explained to the City that if this does not become a medical clinic, it was not what they bargained for. Fingalson said it was appropriate to delay approval of the Agreement for one week as they had just received it today. He wanted to make sure the Board was comfortable with the overall Agreement, with the exception of the issue brought forth today. It was the consensus that the Agreement should be laid over and that any concerns by Board members should be directed to Asleson. The motion carried 5-0.

Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, referenced correspondence received from the Central MN Housing Partnership (CMHP) on the HOME Rental Rehabilitation Program. This program provides funding to private and non-profit owners of rental properties as a deferred loan at a 0% interest rate. Wright County has been involved with the program since 1997. A summary was provided reflecting funding distributed per county for the period of 1996-2005. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-60 allowing the CMHP to administer the program on Wright County’s behalf. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson 286.63

Adv. Drainage Systems, inc. 142.30

American Instit. Supply 310.17

Ameripride Linen/Apparel 238.91

Ancom Technical Center 283.53

Anoka Technical College 350.00

Aramark Correctional Serv. 5,150.61

Kirk Asplin Oil Co. 151.81

B B Products-Rigs & Squad 818.90

B & D Plumbing/Heating 196.00

Jim Borrett 119.31

Buffalo Bituminous 389,656.13

Buffalo Computer Co. 900.00

Buffalo Hosp. Otpt.Comm 1,006.32

Campbell Abstract 356.00

CDW Government Inc. 935.20

Center Point Energy 409.78

Centra Sota Lake Region 38,811.72

Cintas First Aid & Safety 131.29

Climate Air 12,895.96

Conney Safety Products 412.98

Culligan of Buffalo 227.46

Deatons Mailing Sys. Inc. 1,025.00

Diamond Mowers Inc. 449.31

Carter Diers 578.92

E-MDS 835.43

Election Sys. & Software 1,260.00

Josh Erickson 160.05

ESRI 4,437.13

Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. 4,652.99

Tom Feddema 293.16

Franz Reprographics 155.47

Fyles Excav./Honey Wagon 9,808.44

Gateway Companies 2,952.00

GCS Service Inc. 102.94

Janet Gholson 210.49

Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 133.12

Graphic & Printing Serv. 1,345.00

Karla Heeter 285.66

Hennepin Co. IT Dept. 1,800.00

Brian Johnson 102.43

Jessica Joos 121.69

Junction Towing/Auto Repair 227.38

Keeprs Inc. 132.75

KNR Communications Serv. 1,164.55

Lakedale Telephone Co. 381.46

Lilia Lantto 100.00

Michael Laurent 194.62

Law Enforcement Targets Inc. 221.36

Marco Business Products 867.77

Mariposa Publishing 281.16

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 350.00

Middleville Twp. 1,141.30

MN- PIE 100.00

MN Office/Enterprise Tech. 1,335.00

MOSTCA 130.00

Nextel Communications 751.18

N. American Salt Co. 9,596.64

Office Depot 1,670.91

Onsite Medical Service 671.00

Prosource 2,385.00

Publishers Group 7,875.00

Reflection Irrigation 185.00

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge 336.54

Ryan Motors Inc. 1,518.98

SBC Paging 897.06

Schedule Soft 375.00

Software House Int’l 140.58

St. Cloud Times 221.00

Star Tribune 215.80

Sweeney Brothers 227.82

William Swing 225.55

Synergy Graphics 11,290.53

Tilsner Carton Co. 234.43

Total Printing 780.11

Triple A Asbestos Removal 1,800.00

Uniforms Unlimited 1,980.57

Verizon 1,516.13

Voss Lighting 137.60

Waste Management TC West 308.80

Western Container Co. 981.88

Wright Hennepin Electric 530.00

Wright Lumber & Millwork 164.60

38 Pymts. less than $100 3,888.11

Final total $542,033.41

The meeting adjourned at 10:17 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 12, 2005.