Wright County Board Minutes

January 24, 2006

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 1-17-06, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #2, “Ag Inspector Contract” (Norman); Item For Consid. #3, “Report On Trip To Houston Texas On Methamphetamine” (Heeter); Item For Consid. #4, “Updates From AMC District Meeting” (Russek). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Mattson referenced Item F1, “Authorize 12 Additional Phone Lines For City Watch Upgrade” and questioned whether this request should be referred to the Technology Committee. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the IT Director did not feel this was required. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: W. Marschel, Aud./Treas.; A. Pulvermacher, Bldg. Maint.; D. Anderson, B. Bersie, K. Mortenson, Hwy.; D. Martin, IT; C. Davis, P&Z; J. Cooper, J. Kramber, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Frank Madden & Associates, $4,910.14.

3. Approve/Authorize Signature On County’s Pay Equity Report. Reaffirm Principles Of Compensation & Pay Equity Plan Established In 1988.


1. 2006 Tobacco License Renewals: Pat’s Shell (Albertville City); Delano American Legion (Delano City); South Haven Conoco (South Haven City).


1. Set Bid Opening Date For 2-28-06 @ 9:30 A.M. For CSAH 37/CR 117/CR 119 Safety Improvements.

2. Set Bid Opening Date For 2-28-06 @ 9:40 A.M. For CSAH 2 Bridge Project, SAP 86-602-11 (Bridge #86529).


1. Refer To Ways & Means Committee Recommended Process For Handling Requests For Changes To County Addresses.


1. Reappoint Bernie Beneke To A Three-Year Term On The Parks Commission, District 2, Eff. 1-1-06.


1. Authorize 12 Additional Phone Lines For City Watch Upgrade.

At 9:05 A.M., Captain Gary Torfin presented a retirement plaque to Robert (Bob) McMullen in appreciation for his 14 years of dedicated service to the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and the citizens of Wright County. McMullen has served as a Corrections Officer since 1991 and will retire as of 1-31-06.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 1-17-06. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

State Audit Exit Conference. Post distributed and reviewed a draft of the 2004 Audit Report. A final copy of the Audit should be received in about a week once it is signed by the State Auditor. The first section of the report covered financial statements, the second summary notes and the third section the management letter summary of the auditor’s results. The following are general comments made by Post:

• Exhibit 1 - 2004 was the first year GASB 34 was implemented and will provide for some comparisons to be made. There was improvement in the cash balance from the previous audit with an increase of approximately $4 million.

• Exhibit 2 - It was typical with the decrease in State funding for counties to show an increase in levies.

• Exhibit 3 - Total assets increased about 10%. The fund balance increased about 20%. With the fund balance increase the County is now in the acceptable 35-50% of total current expenditures range.

• FS-44 - A $1.7 million adjustment was made to reflect city project costs rather than a County improvement.

• FS-48 & 49 - There was discussion on valuation and depreciation of County land with gravel reserves.

• ML-2 - There are no major issues from a federal standpoint. Wright County

has been determined to be low risk.

• ML-3 - Previously reported items not resolved include 96-2) Segregation of Duties, 96-1) Cash Deficits in Ditch System, 97-2) Security Interest in Pledged Collateral, 01-2) Broker Acknowledgment Forms, 96-3) Ditch Special Revenue Fund - Deficits in Equity Balances, and 00-1) Capital Asset Accounting System. Post recommended the cash deficit in the Ditch Fund be eliminated either through a transfer from the General Fund or an increase in assessments. Hiivala stated since 1996 the County has opted to not charge negative funds and accept the findings and recommendations of the audit. There was brief discussion regarding ditch assessments.

Hiivala stated the goal is to eliminate some of the on-going comments and recommendations and that he will also be submitting a written response to the audit comments. He stated the County will be modifying accruals through the end of January and going to a 31-day rule. The County has also moved forward with consolidation of the general ledger system. (End of Budget Of The Whole Minutes)

At the last County Board Meeting, Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a request from F&F Foods (Otsego) to have their tobacco license fee prorated due to the closing of their business. Hiivala was directed to obtain more information for discussion at today’s meeting. Brian Brehmer, F&F Foods Manager, was present for discussion today. The store has received a written evacuation notice for 3-05-06. The business is attempting to have that date extended but will be out by the end of April. Brehmer explained that the building will be demolished as the property will be utilized for an exit ramp. There is the possibility the business may open in two years on a property nearby. It was the consensus of the County Board that this was a unique situation in that the property was being condemned and used for a government project. Russek moved to accept the $50 prorated tobacco license fee for F&F Foods (Otsego), seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Hiivala referenced page 22 and claims scheduled to be expended from the Capital Improvement Fund: Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. ($133.13) for packer rental; and Marietta Aggregates/Martin ($882.92) for granite. These expenditures relate to the construction of a storage building at the Public Works site. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said his understanding of the project was that the building and electricity were approved to be expended from the Capital Improvement Fund. The claims in question today are for granite material and a packer for the Highway building. Other expenditures approved from the Capital Improvements Fund include those from Automatic Garage Door, Loberg Electric, and Structural Specialties. He discussed the funding with the Highway Engineer who felt that claims up to the $172,000 figure could be taken from the Capital Improvement Fund. Any additional claims would then be from the Road & Bridge budget. Heeter’s understanding was that site preparation and floor materials would not come from Capital Improvements. Sawatzke recalled that class 5 gravel would be used. Sawatzke questioned if any other additions are planned for the buildings other than what was proposed. Mattice responded that would include overhead garage door openers. The openers for the smaller building will be funded from the Parks budget. There will be additional bills for electrical work, door opener mechanisms and from Structural Specialities. It was the consensus of the Board that the claims to Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. ($133.13) for packer rental and Marietta Aggregates/Martin ($882.92) for granite be funded from the Road & Bridge budget. Hiivala will make this correction. If this is not agreed to by the Highway Engineer, the claims will be pulled and brought back to the Board for discussion. Hiivala said expenditures from the Capital Improvement Fund should be limited to those approved by the Board. Mattson moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, including the corrections to the Highway Department claims. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, referenced discussion in November relating to the possibility of land acquisition (181 acres) by Stanley Eddy Park. At that time, the Parks Commission recommended to the County Board that they be allowed to contact landowners to pursue their goal of a connection from the South Unit of Stanley Eddy Park to the proposed parcel in French Lake Township. Mattice and the Parks Commission have since met with landowners and have come to a verbal agreement on the proposed connection. It was the recommendation of the Parks Commission that the grant application process begin by obtaining appraisals for both the property and any necessary easements associated with the purchase. Mattice envisioned the property would be used as a reserve and there would be no major facilities. Mattson felt the Parks Commission member who has a private interest in the land acquisition should not be involved with the process. Mattice noted that he abstained from voting on the recommendation and his role was to introduce Mattice to neighboring landowners. Eichelberg moved to authorize Mattice to continue the process to obtain appraisals and move forward with the grant application, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Mattice said there is a landowner near one of the regional parks who is interested in a possible lifetime lease. It is a small but significant piece of land adjacent to one of the parks. Mattice requested this be referred to Committee with inclusion of the Attorney’s Office to discuss legal issues. Eichelberg moved to send this issue to the Ways & Means Committee, seconded by Russek. The motion and second were amended to indicate this portion of the Ways & Means Committee will be held in closed session due to the discussion of purchase price. The motion carried 5-0.

Mattice said that last year, funding for the CR 117 trail was applied for and half was awarded. The trail was constructed to the point known as Krienkeville. The remaining portion of the trail was discussed at a past Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting where it was felt that application should be made for the remainder of the trail. Mattice presented draft resolutions of support, one for the Federal Recreational Trail Program and the other for the Regional Trail Program. Both will be submitted in hopes of obtaining one of the grants. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #06-07 supporting the Federal Recreational Trail Program application for the Delano to Luce Line Trail. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #06-08 supporting the Regional Trail Program Application for the Delano to Luce Line Trail.

The final stage of the CSAH 12 Trail will be completed in 2007 (15th Street to the City limits of Buffalo). At the 11-21-06 Board Meeting, Mattice was authorized to reapply for grants for the final stage as it is unlikely that another extension will be approved for the original grant. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattice presented draft resolutions of support, one for the Federal Recreational Trail Program and the other for the Regional Trail Program. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #06-09 supporting the application for the Federal Recreational Trail Program for the Buffalo to Montrose Trail. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Sawatzke, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #06-10 supporting the application for the Regional Trail Program Application for the Buffalo to Montrose Trail.

Sawatzke moved to refer to the Building Committee the Park Shop Remodeling Project. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, was contacted by bond counsel for the Park View Care Center. In 2001, the County Board issued tax exempt Health Care Facility Revenue Bonds to finance improvements at Park View Care Center. Park View would like the County to issue Refunding Bonds to qualify for a lower interest rate. A public hearing is not required. This would not count towards the County’s limit for 2006 bank qualifications and would not subject the County for any payment liability. Kathy Youngquist, Park View Care Center, said the interest would be lowered from 7% to approximately 5.2%, resulting in an approximate $40,000 savings annually. This refinancing would not extend the term. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #06-11 giving final approval to Park View Care Center Project and the issuance and sale of Health Care Facilities Revenue Refunding Bonds by the County. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Technology Committee Meeting was held on 1-17-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. Mattson requested that the Board Minutes reflect comments made by Sawatzke at today’s meeting while providing an overview of the minutes. These comments will be reflected in the minutes in italics. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke:

The 1-11-06 Technology Committee Meeting was recessed and reconvened today at 1:30 P.M.

Criminal Justice Information Systems Integration Grants FY 2004. As discussed at the last meeting, the City of Buffalo Police Department cancelled system development work on the software system, PC ENFORS, developed by MaSys-Positron Corporation. Wright County will continue with its plans to upgrade to this System. At that meeting, Swing was directed to provide copies of the grant documents to Committee members and Asleson for review and discussion today. Upon review of the grant documents, it was Asleson’s opinion that although the County was a party to what was reflected in the grant application, the County was not a signatory to the grant. He did not feel the proposal included with the grant application and signed by all parties would bind the County in any way. The termination of the grant occurred on 12-31-05. Since the last meeting, the County was also provided copies of correspondence between the City and State on grant expenditures and compliance issues. Swing suggested that the Criminal Justice Information Systems Integrations Grants FY 2004 handout (attached) be revised to reflect the County’s request for reimbursement of the $14,255.12 expended for interfaces with the cities involved. This reimbursement would be utilized toward the interface between Wright County and the Courts system. Recommendation: At today’s meeting, it was the consensus that the Criminal Justice Information Systems Integrations Grants FY 2004 handout be revised to request reimbursement of $14,255.12 from the City of Buffalo. (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke stated that was for the microwave lines to these cities that we will not be utilizing now for wireless communications. Those lines were put in and now they will not be used. Everyone agreed that we should request those dollars back. His understanding was those lines will not be utilized at this time. Asleson agreed but was not sure about the future.) This will be brought back for review at the next Technology Committee Meeting. ((Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting by Sawatzke: If we haven’t already, and I am not sure if there is officially going to be some of the verbal dialogue back with the City of Buffalo, and if that doesn’t work we will have to go to the more formalized dialogue).

Law Enforcement System Upgrade Agreement With MaSys Corporation. At the last meeting, it was the Committee’s opinion that sales tax would not need to be paid as the upgrade is necessary for implementation of the 800 MHz System. The meeting was recessed to today to allow Swing an opportunity to work on outstanding issues related to the agreement with Masys Corporation. At today’s meeting, Swing distributed a handout (attached) reflecting costs associated with the system upgrade. Total cost of the upgrade (Phase 1-7) would be $838,155 ($63,489 from the 911 Surcharge account and $774,666 from Capital Improvements). These figures do not include sales tax or items supplied by the County. Phase I ($127,609) is scheduled for completion on 6-01-06 and Phase 2 ($59,788) on 10-01-06. County costs over and above the project are $27,200 (Dispatch cabling, a County networked processor/display for Dispatch, and a replication server at Public Works). (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting by Sawatzke: Why are the costs over and above the project? Those are things the IT Department will do themselves so the County is not going to be bidding them out.). The contract does not impose penalties if the vendor does not meet the schedule. However, each phase has its own time lines and payments are phased (20% upon entering a phase, 60% upon completion of hardware, and 20% final payment). Swing recommended that the County proceed with the contract with MaSys Corporation as outlined.

Costs associated with the upgrade were not budgeted (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said that in other words they are not in the 2006 budget) and do not qualify as an expenditure from the Recorders Compliance Fund (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said there was some discussion whether or not this would be acceptable. The position now is that this cannot come from the Recorders Compliance Fund.). Discussion followed on the ease and cost of moving this system to the proposed facility for the Sheriff Department and Jail. The majority of the project relates to software upgrades. Technology for the new Jail facility will be separate from this contract and will need to be addressed. Swing envisioned the IT department taking on the role of moving the equipment to the new site. (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said the short answer is the money spent in this facility will be able to be easily transferred to the new facility. We will not be buying it and replacing it just a couple years later.).

As discussed at the last Committee meeting, per MN Statutes that went into affect on 8-01-05, counties will not pay sales tax on costs related to the 800 MHz project. The Statute specifically names Wright, Sherburne, Stearns and Benton Counties. It was the Committee’s opinion that sales tax would not need to be paid as the upgrade is necessary for implementation of the 800 MHz System. At their 1-17-06 Meeting, the County Board took action to support this opinion. At today’s Committee Meeting, Asleson said the statute may specifically reference the 800 MHz system but may not cover such items as hardware/software. Sawatzke suggested a letter be sent to the Department of Public Safety indicating that pursuant to the Statute, the exemption would qualify as the equipment was being purchased with the ultimate goal of implementing the 800 MHz system. (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said in other words, telling them that is our position and seeing if in fact they differ from that.). Swing said Sherburne County is one phase ahead of Wright County in this project. It was suggested that Sherburne County be contacted on exercising the sales tax option. Discussion included other possible sources of revenue for this project, including the E911 Fund, the Drug Seizure Fund, and Site Improvements. (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said our position at the last meeting that it was tax exempt, we are backing off from that a bit is the best way to put that. We are not exactly sure if all phases would be but we are hoping they are.)

Recommendation: Authorize signatures on the contract with MaSys Corporation for the Law Enforcement System Upgrade at a cost of $838,155 ($63,489 from the 911 surcharge account and $774,666 from capital improvements) with funding from Fund 34. (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said we haven’t talked about that necessarily before. He said about 1/3 of that would happen in 2006. So we are thinking we can handle that as we will have monies that will be looked at as being turned back at the end of this year so we think that is do-able. We don’t have to bite off that whole $774,000 this year). Helgeson will contact Sherburne County on the sales tax issue. Hiivala will provide a report on Fund 34 showing the balance and encumbrances. The Committee also recommended approval of the expenditure of $17,200 from the Site Improvements line item for County funded items that need to be completed during Phase I and Phase II. (Comments made at the 1-24-06 County Board Meeting: Sawatzke said again those will be carried out by the IT Department). (End of Technology Committee Minutes)

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, was contacted by Ken Johnson, Ag Inspector, regarding his contract which expired 12-31-05. The 2005 contract was for $12,360. Johnson is being contacted by people wanting to obtain licenses for Spring. Norman said Johnson renewed his agreement with Sherburne County. Sawatzke moved to authorize entering into a contract with Ken Johnson as the 2006 Ag Inspector and to increase the contract amount by 2%. Norman was directed to contact Johnson to provide an annual report at a County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Heeter provided a report on a recent visit to Houston, Texas. Heeter was one of several speakers and provided information on methamphetamine community initiatives. The group is newly formed and was looking for some insight as to how to get their initiative implemented. One of the speakers provided information on identifying meth users when they are young so intervention can occur. Another speaker provided information on how meth affects the brain and that it is highly addictive. There is currently an initiative at the Buffalo Middle School called PIF (Pay It Forward) involving women working with a select group of girls to try and make a difference in their lives. Heeter said this was a great opportunity for Wright County to let others know what they are doing through their initiative.

Russek attended the AMC District Meeting on 1-20-06. The 2006 NACo Conference will be held in Chicago in August. AMC may line up bus transportation at a cost of $100/person. The Conference cost is $400. Russek said that AMC donated $40,000 toward the hurricane Katrina/Rita projects. The group recently received a video of the sites and the destruction which occurred. Russek will serve on the AMC Audit Committee.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson $197.88

Advanced Systems Concepts 250.00

Albertville Body Shop Inc. 1,633.62

Allina OCC Med 383.00

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 436.34

AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 885.25

Ancom Communications 1,461.00

APEC Industrial Sales/Serv. 398.84

Aramark Correctional Serv. 4,752.93

B & B Products-Rigs/Sqau 3,089.45

Batteries Plus 149.08

Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 783.22

BLM Technologies Inc. 1,141.17

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 810.50

BSN Sports 137.97

Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Comm 441.95

Cardiac Science 241.44

CDW Government Inc. 316.31

CPS Technology Solutions 368.43

Cub Pharmacy 622.57

Decorative Designs Inc. 184.31

Franklin Denn 349.47

Dental Services Inc. 1,080.00

Excel Systems LLC 1,263.59

Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. 133.13

Fastenal Company 180.03

Tom Feddema 148.41

Hickman Service Inc. 202.35

Hillyard Floor Care 866.07

Intereum 1,602.83

Int’l Public Management 605.00

Lakedale Telephone Co. 112.70

LaPlant Demo Inc. 538.11

Gary Lebovsky 152.77

A Leonard Inc. 146.48

Marco Business Products 1,735.54

Martin Marietta Aggregates 882.92

MCF-RW 945.00

MN Office of Enterprise Tech. 370.00

Northland Pharmacy 485.10

Office Depot 1,132.98

Lynn Peavey Company 400.00

David Pederson 327.16

PMI Computer Supplies 1,028.50

PTS of America LLC 1,445.00

Quality Challenge Coins Inc. 502.00

Qwest 7,080.83

John Reid and Associates 1,575.00

RS Eden 2,305.80

SEH 5,435.09

Shell Fleet Plus 4,198.27

Sherburne Co. Sheriff 38,157.91

Smith Micro Technologies 1,121.50

Sprint-Local Telecom Div. 187.14

St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 113.91

State of MN-Info Tech Div. 388.86

Stratus Technologies Irel 7,950.00

Total Printing 677.67

Trophies Plus 169.15

Verizon 624.18

Shawna Vollbrecht 125.00

Gordon Weber 179.10

Michael Woodford 117.92

Wright Hennepin Electric 1,390.50

21 Pymts. less than $100 1,008.25

Final total $108,126.48

The meeting adjourned at 10:07 A.M