Wright County Board Minutes

December 20, 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 12-13-05, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item A5, “Approve Claim, Frank Madden & Associates, $1,450.43, November, 2005 Service” (Norman); Aud./Treas. Item #7, “MN Board Of Water & Soil Resources 2005 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #9, “Drive Wright Program” (Heeter). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

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

A. ADMINISTRATION

1. Performance Appraisals: C. Barnaal, Ct. Svcs.; M. Gardner, L. Westphal, Recorder; M. Erickson, W. Holland, K. Hoyne, Sher./Corr.

2. Make The Following Correction To The 11-22-05 Wright County Board Minutes: Page 3, 2nd Paragraph, 6th Sentence, Change From “150,000 Acres” To “1,500 Acres.”

3. Approve 2% General Salary Increase For Non-Union Employees, Effective January 1, 2006.

4. Authorize The County Board Chair Signatures On The MN Cities Participation Program (First Time Homebuyer) Application.

5. Approve Claim, Frank Madden & Associates, $1,450.43, November, 2005 Service.

B. AUDITOR/TREASURER

1. 2006 Tobacco License Renewals: Westside Liquor (Albertville City); Holiday Stationstore #254 (Clearwater City); Tobacco Warehouse, Holiday Stationstore #214, Snyder Drug Store #5002 (Delano City); American Legion Post #131 (Maple Lake City); Dorchester VFW Post 8731, Snyder Drug Store #5032, Holiday Stationstore #196, Wal-Mart Supercenter #3624, Broadway Kwik Stop (Monticello City); MT Liquor (Otsego City); 4-Alarm Bar & Grill (Rockford City); Corner Bar, Ditto’s Bar (St. Michael City); Mark’s Service (Waverly City).

C. COURT ADMINISTRATION

1. Approve Installation Of Two Phones In Courtroom 6 (New Courtroom).

D. EXTENSION

1. Approval Of Memorandum Of Intent (MOI) Between Wright County & U Of M Extension Service To Maintain The Nutrition Education Program (NEP) In Wright County.

E. HIGHWAY

1. Approval Of Municipal Maintenance Payments For Nine Cities.

2. Add Item To 1-04-06 TCOTW Agenda: Constitutional Amendment Resolution.

F. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

1. Execute “Master Nondisclosure Agreement For MNCIS Government Login Accounts” & Authorize Signature Of Board Chair.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, distributed a revised plat motion for Grand Castle Estates, correcting the plat to reflect Buffalo Township. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve a plat, “GRAND CASTLE ESTATES,” as submitted by Patrick H. & Arvilla Y. Hopkins, husband wife, fee owners, and Grand Castle Development LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company, contract purchaser of the following property described in part as: The SW1/4 of the NE1/4 and the NW1/4 of SE1/4, Sec. 6, Twp. 120, Rge. 25 and including two exceptions; with all outstanding taxes including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the part dedication fee has been paid (#110178); there is a written agreement with Buffalo Township on file to accept the roads; and the title opinion and covenants prepared by Jan C. Larson, attorney, have been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve a plat, “BULLS ISLAND SECOND ADDITION,” as submitted by John J. Waldhauer and Elizabeth B. Waldhauer aka. Elizabeth Bull Waldhauer aka. Elizabeth Waldhauer, husband and wife, fee owners, of the following property described in part as: That part of Gov. Lots 3, 4 and 5, Sec. 33, Twp. 121, Rge. 28, and with the plat legal description including Exception Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; no park dedication fee is required; there are no new roads involved; and the title opinion dated 8-8-05 prepared by Tim Young, attorney, has been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

The November Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines were discussed. Hiivala will now provide a printout reflecting 2004 vs 2005 budget to actual figures (provided on a monthly basis). In the future, an explanation will be included as to why revenues increase or decrease (provided on a quarterly basis). Russek moved to accept the November Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Hiivala distributed a handout reflecting a comparison of the levy/capacity/rate trend analysis for townships and cities for 2004, 2005 and 2006. The information also reflected the median sale and County tax for residential properties, rising from $180,125 in 2004 to $206,400 in 2006. Mattson had concern with retired residents who potentially could be forced out of their homes due to increased property taxes. Greg Kramber, Assessor, said the Legislature addressed this concern several years ago. There is a program available which applies to seniors on a fixed income. The program places a lien on the property which must be satisfied at the time of sale. Kramber said only 60-80 people have taken advantage of the program Statewide as it may not be as beneficial as desired. Hiivala referenced page 2 of the handout reflecting the change in tax capacity from $60,236,934 in 1997 to $104,669,838 in 2006. Residential percentages rose from 45% in 1997 to 68% in 2006. New construction and tax rates had a lot to do with the shift in burden. Sawatzke said that the utility portion decreased from 26% in 1997 to 6% in 2006. The reduction is due to decreased payments and County growth. About 72% of County land is classified as ag land. This was provided as an informational item.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, referenced an invoice received from the State of Minnesota, Office of Administrative Hearings, relating to expenses incurred in the matter of Bob Chantland v. several employees of the City of Montrose. In the past, the County Attorney’s Office has dealt with such issues. In 2004, the Legislature made changes to the Fair Campaign Act. These changes refer such issues to the State and costs are billed to the County Auditor. The State is responsible for bills relating to State or Legislative Offices complaints. With regard to the Chantland matter, Asleson said it was dismissed fairly early in the process as the Judge determined there was no cause to continue. Asleson referenced recent discussions with the State Auditor relating to unfunded mandates. Although this could be viewed as an unfunded mandate, these types of issues previously came to the County Attorney’s office and were funded by the County. If the complaint is serious, the Office of Administrative Hearings will send the complaint back to the Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. Sawatzke moved to pay the invoice as recommended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Hiivala requested the Board authorize signatures on the MN Board of Water & Soil Resources 2005 Natural Resources Block Grant Agreement. The Grant runs from 7-01-04 to 6-30-06 and is for $108,160 (requires County match). Kerry Saxton, SWCD, contacted Hiivala and it was discovered that the funding was not received for the Grant. Saxton contacted the State and they indicated the application required MPCA signatures. Signatures were then obtained from the MPCA. Saxton then found out an allocation agreement needs to be submitted, which he plans to submit to the State soon. Russek moved to authorize signatures on the Grant application, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Heeter referenced a claim on page 25, Rinke-Noonan ($1,200) for Ditch 20 services (legal counsel). It was clarified that the County will recoup $1,500 in legal fees from the developer and the $1,200 was included in this amount. Asleson stated that there may be some slight costs over the $1,500 as at the time this figure was established, he did not have all of the bills from Rinke-Noonan. Those costs would be spread against the landowners on the Ditch. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. Hiivala anticipates providing information on costs associated with ditches, including what costs are paid by property owners and by the County. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Hiivala announced the Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting scheduled for today at 11:00 A.M. would be cancelled. The State Auditor’s Office did not have the information available which they wanted to review. Russek moved to cancel the meeting for 12-20-05 at 1:00 P.M. and reschedule it for 1-17-06 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Asleson requested approval of a resolution placing restrictions on Clearwater/Pleasant Regional Park. According to the terms of the grant agreement under which Wright County received $40,000 for park improvements, the County must impose restrictions on the property contained within the Park. The improvements funded by the grant monies have been completed. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #05-67, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

At 9:32 A.M., Mattson recessed the regular meeting to a Public Hearing being held to discuss a variance request to the Feedlot Ordinance to build a home for Scott & Karen Diers (family member/employee of the registered feedlot owner), 250 feet from a feedlot. Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said this request is similar to several past requests the Board has approved. The County is currently reviewing proposed changes to the Feedlot Ordinance which would provide an exemption to the 500’ setback required by Ordinance for family members working on a farm. The proposal includes a request to build a home on a 1 per 40 subdivision. The Public Hearing was closed at 9:37 A.M. and the regular Board Meeting was reconvened. Russek moved to allow the variance request to the Feedlot Ordinance, allowing for the setback of 250’ from the feedlot. The motion was seconded by Heeter. Salkowski requested the motion reflect that the applicants are family members working on the farm and the request is in compliance with proposed changes to the Ordinance that are currently under consideration. Sawatzke stated that with action taken today, the intent would be to change the Ordinance. The motion carried 5-0.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 12-14-05. Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Request To Furnish Office, Third Floor Annex. Dressel said the request is for a new position approved in the 2006 budget. Estimated cost is $2000 and at least 50% reimbursement is expected. The expenditure would be from the 2005 budget. Recommendation: Approve request. (End of Building Committee Minutes)

A Civil Defense Committee Meeting was held on 12-14-05. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Emergency Management Director Job Description. Melvin distributed a matrix of education, experience and other qualifications from job descriptions received from other counties. The Committee reviewed each of the qualifications for inclusion in Wright County’s job description. Melvin distributed a first draft of the job description duties and responsibilities for discussion. Melvin will meet with Reese and Sheriff Miller to work on final copy of the job description for review at the next meeting. Reese stated grant applications will be completed before the end of the year for the Mitigation Plan and NIMS. Recommendation: Schedule a meeting for January 11, 2006 for final review of the job description. (End of Civil Defense Minutes)

A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 12-13-05. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Proposed Feedlot Ordinance Amendments. Proposed amendments to the Feedlot Ordinance reflect rule changes at the State level as well as some recommended changes from the Feedlot Administrator based on practical application experience. Pages 1-15 of the Ordinance were reviewed and discussed. Discussion focused primarily on clarification of conditional use permit, and land use plan districts on page 12, variances on page 13, and registration on pages 14 and 15. Recommendation: The meeting was recessed to December 21, 2005, 1:45 P.M. for review of the remaining pages of the Ordinance. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 12-13-05. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Elected Department Head Salaries For 2006. Norman stated he provided the Committee with a memo regarding the process for setting elected department head salaries and a copy of the December, 2004 Personnel Committee Minutes. Kelly, Miller and Hiivala distributed a handout reflecting current salaries and a request for a 3.5% COLA increase and 5% for them to contribute into a Post Retirement Health Care Savings Plan. Discussion centered primarily on elected department heads not receiving sick leave or vacation leave and, therefore, not having the same benefit available to them in regards to the Post Retirement Health Care Savings Plan as appointed department heads. Following discussion the Committee is recommending a 2% COLA increase. (End of Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #05-68 setting the 2006 salary for Elected Department Heads: County Attorney $105,060; Sheriff $99,268; and Auditor/Treasurer $86,508.

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #05-69 setting the 2006 salary for County Commissioners at $33,754 exclusive of per diem payments.

The Board discussed the per diem rate for 2006. The proposed per diem rate of $40.00 would not be an increase from the 2005 rate. Heeter recalled that last year, Safe Schools was to be added to the per diem listing. However, the draft being reviewed today did not reflect that. After discussion, the Board directed the Administration Office to research whether Safe Schools had been added to the listing. This issue will be discussed at the 1-03-06 County Board Meeting. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #05-70 setting the 2006 per diem rate at $40.00.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #05-71 for final acceptance of Contract 0307 with Buffalo Bituminous, Inc. and authorizing final payment of $151,577.79.

Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #05-72 for final acceptance of Contract 0206 with Buffalo Bituminous, Inc. and authorizing final payment of $143,695.93. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Russek moved to adopt Resolution #05-73 for final acceptance of Contract 0403 with Buffalo Bituminous, Inc. and authorizing final payment of $90,402.75. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #05-74, Advance Request Resolution for State Aid Funding.

Heeter reported on the Drive Wright Program. The Program was recently implemented by the Sheriff’s Department as an option to receive a citation for minor traffic infractions versus receiving a ticket. The citation is offered at the discretion of the deputy and only for low offenders. The fee for the class is $75 and provides a brush up on drivers education. There were 70 participants at the class Heeter assisted with. Pat Hackman from Safe Communities instructs the class and revenues are directed to the Safe Communities Initiative, MEADA and Sheriff Department. The class is held not to dispute the traffic infraction but to educate those in attendance. This was provided as an informational item.

The meeting recessed at 9:54 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. for the Public Hearing on proposed changes to the Fees for Service Schedule. A copy of the proposed changes was provided and reviewed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, requested that the “Property Inquiries-Faxed or Emailed” fee under the Assessor Department be changed to “$5.00 per service plus $1.00/page (cover/invoice N/C).” Sawatzke referenced the fee for Archival Search under the Assessor Department. The current fee is “$15.00 Minimum, up to 1 hr., $10.00 thereafter.” The proposed fee is “$30.00 Minimum, up to 1 hr.” Sawatzke questioned whether a fee should be imposed for services provided after one hour. Mattson questioned increasing the fee as he did not want to impact taxpayers with additional fees. Sawatzke responded that those requesting the service are more likely to be from a title company or real estate office. After discussion, it was decided that the Archival Search fee will be “$30.00 Minimum, up to 1 hr., $15.00 thereafter.” Norman indicated that the Fees For Service Schedule will also reflect any fees that are allowed to be charged by Statute. The Public Hearing closed at 10:09 A.M. and the regular meeting was reconvened. Russek moved to approve the proposed changes to the Fees for Service Schedule including the two changes as discussed at today’s meeting. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. The changes will be effective 1-01-06. The motion carried 5-0.

The Board Meeting recessed at 10:10 A.M. and reconvened at 10:17 A.M.

Paul Coglitore and Jeff Berg, B&C Consulting, provided an overview of quotes received for the employee health insurance renewal. B&C Consulting is an insurance broker firm which represents the County to insurance carriers at the time of health insurance renewal, which is 3-01-06 for Wright County. Bids were received not only from the incumbent carrier, Medica, but from Blue Cross, Preferred One and Health Partners as well. Medica initially proposed an approximate 30% increase. This was based on a 110% loss ratio of claims during 2005 or an increase of 22.8%. The normal underwriting range is 10-15%. After negotiations, the final bids were: Medica-17% increase; Health Partners-9.4% increase; and Blue Cross-9.28% increase. Preferred One declined as they did not feel they would be competitive. The bids from Health Partners and Blue Cross were presented to Medica but they were not willing to offer a lower rate. The bids from Blue Cross and Health Partners both have rate caps for 2007 and 2008. The Health Partners bid includes a $400,000 Breach of Contract Penalty whereas the Blue Cross bid does not. Although rate caps were negotiated for 2007 and 2008, B&C Consulting will continue to work with the selected carrier to potentially lower the rates based on experience. Employee coverage will not change with either carrier. However, the network with both will be improved. In addition to the Breach of Contract Penalty, Health Partners would also charge $1.40/employee/month for an employee assistance program. This type of program is offered by Blue Cross at no additional charge. After further discussion, B&C Consulting recommended the bid from Blue Cross. Norman said staff recommendation is also to accept the proposal from Blue Cross. Norman said the key items would be that there is no reduction in benefits, there is no change in copays, and the employee can continue with their current physician, clinic or hospital. Another benefit would be access to a greater dental network through Delta Dental. An added enhancement would be the ability to access out-of-state providers with in-network benefits. Sawatzke made a motion that effective 3-01-06, the County will utilize Blue Cross/Blue Shield as their medical insurance provider based on the offer proposed today. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

American Bio Medica Corp. $420.62

American Messaging 2,657.40

Ameripride Linen and Aparel 1,151.68

Earl Andersen Inc. 1,214.10

Annandale Advocate Inc. 151.20

City Annandale 1,324.38

APEC Industrial Sales/Serv. 880.13

Artdirections Inc. 2,845.55

Automatic Garage Door/Firepl. 722.82

Barnes Distribution 254.51

Lawrence Bauman 309.66

Bill’s Gun Shop & Range 242.82

Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 165.00

BLM Technologies Inc. 773.85

Braun Intertec Corp. 5,000.00

Buffalo Bituminous 385,676.47

Buffalo Hospital 26,775.00

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt.Comm. 1,960.40

City Buffalo 2,016.72

Burdas Towing 244.25

Cadd Engineering Supply 11,113.28

Cargill Inc.-Salt Div. 2,579.89

Carriveau & Associates, Inc. 200.00

CDW Government Inc. 228.53

Cellular One 161.76

Center Point Energy 1,873.16

Centra Sota Lake Region 8,238.42

Climate Air 781.23

City Cokato 1,607.31

CPS Technology Solutions 718.13

City Delano 4,953.03

Design Electric Inc. 25,481.17

E. Central Reg. Juvenile 15,000.00

Elmer Eichelberg 363.04

Erickson Fence 7,694.00

Josh Erickson 236.68

Excel Systems LLC 670.49

Greg Findley 161.53

Wayne Fingalson 212.99

Force America Inc. 923.25

Fyles Excav. & Honey Wagon 1,477.50

Greenview Inc. 799.77

Hickman Service Inc. 166.14

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,196.25

Holiday 7,602.31

City Howard Lake 1,498.65

Pete Jonas 105.00

Bernard Kirscht 308.20

Klatt True Value Electric 225.47

Greg Kramber 189.64

Lake Region coop Oil 117.16

LaPlant Demo Inc. 538.11

LexisNexis Matthew Bender 110.00

William Lieb 285.28

Loberg Electric 2,291.38

M & M Express 319.45

Maple Lake Messenger 126.74

City Maple Lake 3,466.73

Marco Business Products 829.64

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 1,750.00

MASYS Corporation 2,628.87

Midland Corporate Benefits 750.00

Gary Miller 239.64

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 7,713.59

MN Co. Attorneys Assoc. 4,391.00

MN Office Enterprise Tech 370.00

City Monticello 11,466.37

City Montrose 407.27

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 277.69

Nagell Aprraisal & Cons. 1,650.00

Nat’l Business Systems Inc. 17,545.00

Richard Norman 241.26

N. American Salt Co. 17,766.79

N. Suburban Towing Inc. 133.13

Office Depot 3,401.63

Olsen Companies 213.80

Phoenix International Ltd. 527.84

Powerplan OIB 409.32

Prosource 2,385.00

Qwest 9,321.95

Rinke-Noonan 1,200.00

Rowekamp Associates Inc. 5,054.76

Royal Tire Inc. 8,210.23

Russell Security Resource Inc. 237.05

Ryan Motors Inc. 299.32

Robert Schermann 297.00

Donald Schmidt 222.80

Servicemaster of St. Cloud 5,857.50

Brian Severson 100.00

Shell Fleet Plus 3,750.80

Sherburne Co. Sheriff 30,470.00

Sign City Inc. 234.30

Sirchie 145.07

Software House Int’l 157.62

Star Tribune 898.60

State of MN-Info Tech Div. 568.98

Stericycle inc. 903.96

Brian Stoll 113.97

Strategic Technologies 3,461.25

T & M Towing/Snow Plowing 159.75

Tri State Surplus Co. 2,388.37

Larry Unger 111.85

Uniforms Unlimited 148.41

Unlimited Electric Inc. 247.65

Voss Lighting 700.45

C. Walker Trucking 460.00

Waste Management TC W 684.35

City Waverly 1,158.18

Janelle Webb 151.82

West Payment Center 603.48

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 508.42

Wright Hennepin Electric 2,617.13

Zack’s Inc. 873.61

26 Payments less than $100 1,175.22

Final total $698,908.33

The meeting adjourned at 10:42 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 23, 2006.