Wright County Board Minutes



JULY 11, 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 6-27-06, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #4, “Set Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting” (Hiivala). Hiivala petitioned onto the Claims Listing a claim to the Ag Society for $192.50 for Booth Rental. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Eichelberg moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced the approval of two Beer Licenses on the Consent Agenda and inquired whether either of these businesses were non-compliant during the recent alcohol compliance checks. Gloria Gooler, Administrative Confidential Secretary-Auditor’s Office, indicated that Albion Ridges Golf Course was fined for non-compliance during the most recent compliance checks. However, the application has been approved by Albion Township, the County Attorney, and Sheriff. The motion to approve the Consent Agenda carried unanimously:


1. Performance Appraisals: W. Peterson, T. Praska, Assr.; A. Riebel, Parks; S. Guffey, A. Richardson, Recorder; M. Aitchison, M. Brandenburg, B. Cramb, J. Hartmann, J. Hinton, D. Johnson, R. Mossman, G. Sorensen, Sher./Corr.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 6-30-06.


1. Annual On Sale Beer License Renewal: Albion Ridges Golf Course (Albion Twp.).

2. Annual Off Sale Beer License Renewal: Lake Region Coop (Maple Lake Twp.).


1. Approve Annual Maintenance Contract For Nortel Telecommunications Systems, i.e., Phone System, with Spectrum Solutions.


2. Authorize Signatures On Supplemental Federal Boating Safety Grant Agreement.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said the City of Hanover received a Federal Election Assistance Grant Award in the amount of $1,850 to be used to update polling equipment. Hiivala and Gooler previously met with township and election officials indicating that additional funding was available for this purpose. The City of Hanover was the only entity to apply and receive grant funding. This was provided as an informational item.

Laid over from the last meeting, the May Revenue/Expenditures Guidelines were discussed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, was in contact with Hiivala since the last meeting and was able to obtain answers to his questions. Russek moved to accept the Guidelines, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Hiivala requested that a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting (BCOTW) be scheduled prior to the upcoming budget cycle to review year-end figures, project funding sources, and to kick off the budget process. The meeting is requested prior to August 1st to meet the deadline for ordering two tandem trucks (as requested by the Highway Engineer). Action on this request has been laid over until after the BCOTW meets. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a BCOTW Meeting for 7-18-06 at 8:00 A.M.

Hiivala presented the claims listing for approval. He distributed a copy of a claim added to the claims listing, Wright County Ag Society ($192.50), for County Fair booth rental. Hiivala and Gooler received training on the HAVA (Help America Vote Act) machine and they would like to demo this at the County Fair and at the Auditor’s Office. The signature copy of the claims listing included this claim. Sawatzke referenced a claim on Page 20, MN Transportation Alliance ($500.00) for the 2006 Washington Fly In, funded from Staff Training. Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, explained that the $500 was a per person fee for Fingalson and Russek and related to conference expenses (meals, transportation, space). Fingalson clarified that the accounting codes for the Highway Department include Travel and Staff Training. Therefore, registration fees were funded from Staff Training. Sawatzke noted that the claim on Page 20, payable to Wayne Fingalson for Washington Fly In expenses ($113.93 & $25.50), was approved as part of the last claims listing. Hiivala said these claims were removed from the last claims listing for payment. Russek said that was not the intended motion. On a motion by Mattson, seconded by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Laid over from the last meeting, the Contract for the Design/Build of the Salt Storage Facility at the Maintenance Shop in Otsego was discussed. Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, said the recommendation is not to award the contract. The City of Otsego’s Planner has some concerns with certain aspects of the building. Fingalson has not had the opportunity to review the concerns to date. Approval for the building and the overall site plan for the salt shed has been delayed and will not be addressed until the Council’s meeting on August 14th. Bids are guaranteed for 30 days. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to lay this issue over to the next County Board Meeting.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to lay over to the next County Board Meeting the approval of the request by the Highway Engineer to purchase two 2006 tandem trucks for delivery after 1-01-07. This issue was laid over from the last Meeting and will again be laid over as the BCOTW will discuss funding for projects at their meeting on 7-18-06 at 8:00 A.M.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said that on 6-27-06, during tobacco compliance checks conducted by Public Health and the Sheriff’s Office, Quik Shop 66 of Delano failed by selling tobacco products to a minor. The last violation for this establishment resulted in a $250 fine and a 7-day suspension of the tobacco license. The violation is its third violation in a 24-month period. The Wright County Tobacco Ordinance provides for a $250 fine and a license suspension of “not less than 7 days.” The Ordinance adopts the minimum penalties set forth by State Law. The first of the four violations at this establishment dropped off as it was older than 24 months. The other two violations were within the 24-month time frame. Paul Singh was present on behalf of Quik Shop 66. Asleson said there are communities in the metro area that have suspended license for as long as one month. The County Board would have the ability to revoke the license. From the standpoint of being a regulatory agency, it is the goal to the see the establishment succeed. Joel Torkelson, Public Health, indicated that letters were sent out in the Spring offering training opportunities. A total of 40 replies were received out of the 120 businesses that received letters. The training is completed by representatives of Public Health and the Sheriff Department at no charge. Alcohol training is offered to retailers as well. Asleson said notices were already sent to those establishments with standard penalties for their 1st & 2nd offenses. Asleson requested direction on how to proceed with the Quik Shop violation. Formal notice of the violation and appeal process will be sent in writing. In response to a question by Mattson on past practice, Asleson recalled that the County Board upheld a penalty of 7-day suspensions for establishments in Maple Lake and Cokato. The business in Maple Lake appealed to District Court but the County prevailed. Eichelberg inquired whether there was a minimum age limit for those selling tobacco products. Asleson researched this at the request of Public Health, due to a compliance check involving the sale of tobacco products by a 14-year old to a minor (not Quik Shop). Asleson was unable to locate anything in State Statutes on age limitations so he was unsure whether this could be made a part of the County’s Ordinance. Another option would be to encourage age limits during educational efforts. Asleson suggested that the issue be laid over until later in the meeting to allow the Sheriff and Public Health representatives an opportunity to work out an appropriate penalty with the business. Heeter wanted a strong message sent on compliance and that she was not concerned with the profitability of the business involved. Sawatzke added that it would be unusual to ask those who violate rules what would be the appropriate corrective action. Staff training was viewed as a possible corrective action. Heeter felt training should be periodic and at least twice annually. Heeter is involved with MEADA and said facts indicate that users of methamphetamine don’t start that way, they generally start with cigarettes. There is a tremendous cost to society and health care from smoking. Sgt. Eric Leander, Sheriff Department, said businesses are sent information indicating that compliance checks are upcoming. A lot of employee time (and overtime) is involved with these compliance checks. Both alcohol and tobacco compliance checks statistics are high for Wright County, and Sgt. Leander said the County needs to send a message that those numbers should decrease. Training is being offered but statistics are not decreasing. Another type of violation which may need to be addressed in the future is the selling of drug paraphernalia. One incident occurred during tobacco compliance checks (currently under investigation). Russek said if businesses don’t voluntarily use the training and fail the compliance check, training should become mandatory and at a fee. Asleson said the County has the ability to assess civil penalties or administrative fines which could fund the training. State Law and the County’s Tobacco Ordinance read that a fine of $250 must be imposed for a 3rd violation and the license suspended for no less than 7 days. He did not feel there was flexibility with imposing a fine. Mr. Singh was offered an opportunity to speak on the issue but declined. Mattson made a motion to impose a 14-day license suspension and a $250 fine with mandatory training for all employees, seconded by Russek. Businesses will be encouraged to review age levels of those selling cigarettes. A 30-day notice is required for an appeal. The motion carried 5-0.

At 9:47 A.M., Heeter opened the Public Hearing for a proposed project and the issuance of a revenue note under MN Statutes, Sections 469.152 through 469.165, as amended, on behalf of Village Ranch Inc. Asleson referenced a draft resolution allowing for refinancing of outstanding indebtedness which was involved with purchasing or construction of the business. The intent is to obtain lower interest rates by financing through a public entity. Asleson has reviewed and approved of the documents. The County is not obligated financially. Scott Bakeberg, Director of Village Ranch Inc., said they wish to secure the debt for a 15-year period of time. The request is to refinance and it would not involve any additions to the building. At 9:50 A.M., Heeter closed the Public Hearing and reconvened the regular Board Meeting. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #06-45, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, presented action items from the 7-06-06 Technology Committee Meeting. The minutes will be presented at a future date for approval.

RFP For A Permit & Inspection System, Results & Recommendations. The County Board authorized proceeding with the System on 5-27-06. The RFP process was jointly conducted by the departments of Planning & Zoning and Information Technology. Six responses were received with four vendors invited to demonstrate their products. The evaluation was based on three requirements of the RFP including: 1) Improved Service; 2) Strategic E-Government Direction; and 3) Vendor’s Integrity, Experience and Strength. Swing presented the recommendation to proceed with CityView Software at a cost of $170,194 (including sales tax) with funding from the Recorder’s Compliance Fund. The $13,400 annual maintenance fees would be funded by Planning & Zoning. Russek moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Schedule Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting For 8-02-06 @ 1:30 P.M. The four Agenda items will include: 1) 800 Mhz Radio Planning; 2) Web site development; 3) Geographic Information System Plan; and 4) Network Vulnerabilities & Plans For Enhancements. Russek moved to schedule the Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 8-02-06 at 1:30 P.M., seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Endorse Redesign Of The Wright County Web Site. Swing requested County Board endorsement of the redesign which will be discussed as part of the Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Eichelberg moved to approve the redesign of the Web Site, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 6-28-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke referenced the security additions and did not feel they were warranted. He was in contact with Stearns County and they have metal detectors only in their courts area. He was unaware of any other counties making this type of move. He felt it was too much security at too great of a cost. Heeter disagreed and felt there was exposure in the building. The upgrade would include the addition of one metal detector and one staff person. Norman felt all departments should be as secure as Court Administration. Mattson viewed this as being proactive and felt the Board would be comfortable with the upgrade. Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote:

SECURITY ADDITIONS. Hayes presented costs associated with security upgrades for a total of $15,274.37 (plus tax):

• Cost to add door in the corridor behind Courtroom #5 $4,537.13 plus tax

• Cost of adding metal detector to the Lobby $6,700.00 plus tax

• Cost of making East Annex Door carded both ways $4,037.24 plus tax

The door behind Courtroom #5 would be a card access door from the jail but free access from Court. With regard to the metal detectors in the Lobby, the metal detector from Courts would be moved to one entrance and another purchased for the other entrance. All other building entrances would be card access doors for employee use only. One additional bailiff will be required with the added metal detector in the Lobby. It was the consensus that the upgrade to the East Annex door and purchase of the metal detector should be coordinated with the west parking lot expansion. The addition of the door in the corridor behind Courtroom #5 will be completed right away. Discussion included the replacement of the 10 Courtroom doors. Replacement is a priority for security reasons. One bid totaling $18,568.00 was received from Nelson Construction. Another bid is expected. Recommendation: Authorize the security upgrades as outlined for a total of $15,274.37 plus tax. Authorize the hire of one bailiff for operation of the metal detector. The replacement of the Courtroom doors will be laid over and brought forth when the second bid is received.

USE OF MEETING ROOMS BY OUTSIDE GROUPS. The Committee discussed the use of conference rooms by groups that are not funded by or provided an allocation by the County (non-profit groups). This issue was brought forth because of possible conflicts with scheduling internal meetings. The Committee was provided with a survey on conference room policies for neighboring counties (attached). Recommendation: The Administration Office was directed to draft a policy addressing use of space (conference room, weddings, etc.) and security issues. This will be brought forth at a future meeting (possibly in the Fall). (End of Building Committee Minutes)

A Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting was held on 6-27-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, it was noted that action was taken on the recommendation at the last meeting. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Request To Withdraw Funds, Unforeseeable Emergency. The Committee reviewed an employee’s request to withdraw funds and determined that the circumstances meet the definition of an unforeseeable emergency. Recommendation: Allow employee to withdraw from the Deferred Compensation Program. (End of Deferred Compensation Committee Minutes)

A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 6-28-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Performance Appraisal, Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator. Based on the review of five appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional”.

Reimbursement Policy for Meals. Revisions were made to Policy 506, Business Related Expense Reimbursement from a prior Personnel Committee Meeting on June 14, 2006. Payroll expressed concerns regarding the definition of when a meal is or isn’t reimbursable. Certain criteria need to be met in order for reimbursement of meals. Melvin distributed a revised Policy 506 addressing reimbursement of meals. If a meeting occurs outside the County over a meal period, reimbursement is allowed, providing no meal was offered at the meeting. If the meeting occurs over the dinner period, concludes after 5:30pm, and is more than 1 hour away from the Wright County border, a dinner is eligible for reimbursement. If a meal is offered at a meeting, going out to eat elsewhere is not a reimbursable expense. A full detailed receipt, including location, time, price and menu items ordered needs to be attached to the claim for reimbursement. It was noted that Human Services deviates from the Policy Manual by allowing reimbursement for meal expenses for clients. Human Services should not be writing policies that conflict with the Policy Manual; they should be going through the County Board to establish consistent reimbursement guidelines.

Revisions to Worker’s Compensation Policy. Melvin stated he did some further research and found that Worker’s Compensation reimbursement dollars are based on gross pay rather than net pay. The 2/3 of wage at the date of injury compensation is a ballpark figure, allowed by Statute. The individual employee deduction amounts also need to be considered. Some employees may have fewer deductions than others (i.e., single insurance coverage rather than family, etc). Those with high deductions are better off with Worker’s Compensation 2/3 wage reimbursement than those who have few deductions. The County cannot allow Worker’s Compensation reimbursement and supplemental pay to exceed total gross pay. If the County matches 1/3 gross wage at date of injury, they would never be over the total gross pay and would not be violating State Law. Worker’s Compensation cannot be looked at as wages. The employee may be making more money now at the time of absence than at the earlier date of injury. We could be exceeding the wage at date of injury if collection is 2 years after the injury, depending on deductions. Other counties are allowing employees to use supplemental pay but pay is being granted at 1/3 current wage. If the employee wants to use sick, vacation or compensatory time, they have to make the request. After sick, compensatory and vacation time has been depleted, there would be no supplemental pay. Melvin stated very few employees go out for an extended leave, approximately 2-5 a year. Most Worker’s Compensation claimants see a doctor, Worker’s Compensation pays the bill, and the incident is done. The County could pay 1/3 of the current wage, rather than making up the difference at the time of injury. Worker’s Compensation would pay 2/3 of the rate from the date of injury. Take home pay from the Worker’s Compensation reimbursement plus the 1/3 pay from the County cannot exceed the current gross wage, minus the deductions made out of an earned paycheck. Payroll is computerized and will need only the Worker’s Compensation figure and the difference in pay from what the County provides to calculate the check amount. The County has to be certain they know what the employee is getting paid from Worker’s Compensation in order to stay within State Law. The question was raised that if somebody is out on a long- term Worker’s Compensation claim, are they allowed to accrue seniority and be eligible for their wage step. It was pointed out that they continue to accrue benefits and service time so they would keep seniority and could receive their wage step. The Committee recommended changing Policy 506 to give the employee, upon request, the option to use vacation, sick or compensatory time at the time of injury to supplement their Worker’s Compensation benefits. Union contracts with specific language should be brought to the Negotiations Committee. With LELS the County pays 1/3 compensation without the employee using sick, vacation or compensatory time. The State Statute allows that in a Collective Bargaining Agreement. It was suggested the contracts be presented to Frank Madden, the necessary changes be made, and notify the Unions of clarification of the contract. (End of Personnel Committee Minutes)

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to cancel the 8-01-06 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in August.

Norman placed the request to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on the Agenda for the purpose of reviewing the Construction Manager Requests For Proposals. He did this in anticipation of developing a short list of firms for the interview process. Only three RFP’s were received by the deadline (7-07-06 at 4:30 P.M.). Therefore, all three firms can be scheduled for interviews on 7-31-06 and another Committee Of The Whole Meeting will not be required.

The Board addressed the signing of the contract with KKE Architects for the Wright County Jail and Law Enforcement Center Project. Sawatzke provided an overview of what the AD HOC Building Committee addressed while reviewing the document. The $2,275,000 is a lump sum fee less what is paid for schematic design. This lump sum fee was favored as it was felt that there would be no incentive to drive prices up. The architect will be reimbursed for change order design only if there is a drastic change (over 5%). A typical jail project incurs 2-2.5% in change orders. Reimbursable expenses are capped at $100,000 and must be documented. Costs to print bid sets may be recouped by charging a fee to those requesting copies. Most of the AIA language is standardized. Sawatzke moved to approve the contract with KKE Architects, seconded by Russek. Mattson emphasized that as professionals, the architects should be able to complete this project without many change orders. The motion carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson. $316.20

Albertville Body Shop Inc. 1,245.00

Allina Medical Laboratories 172.60

American Hotel Register Co. 534.12

American Instit. Supply 1,237.22

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 224.36

Ancom Communications 186.38

Ancom Technical Center 1,416.93

Annandale Rock Products 108.63

Anoka Co. Juvenile Ctr. 3,718.00

Aramark Correctional Serv. 10,631.65

Auto Glass Center Inc. 254.85

B & D Plumbing/Heating 993.00

Joe Backes 127.71

Barnes Distribution 506.17

Bauerly Bros. Companies 1,527,505.80

Lawrence Bauman 916.87

Berntsen International Inc. 446.50

Black Box Resale Services 517.59

Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 192.50

Ralph Borell 115.20

Bound Tree Medical LLC 441.51

Boyer Truck Parts 4,257.77

BP Amoco 1,730.64

City Buffalo 33,715.79

Burdas Towing 122.48

Ryan Busch 259.88

Center Point Energy 1,298.74

Centra Sota Lake Region 29,270.34

Chamberlain Oil Co. 1,815.63

Climate Air 999.29

CMI Inc. 159.11

CNH Capital 303.64

City Cokato 422.17

Cons. Radiologists Ltd. 244.20

Cub Foods 122.06

Dental Care Assoc./Buffalo 854.00

Diamond Mowers Inc. 1,772.09

Ralph Douglas 499.68

E-Z Flush 565.20

E. Cent. Regional Juvenile 15,120.00

Elmer Eichelberg 205.59

Embarq 241.04

Emedco 263.24

Fair Hills Inc. 350.00

Tom Feddema 178.00

Wayne Fingalson 139.43

Gateway Companies Inc. 2,870.54

Todd Gau 374.69

Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 133.13

Granite City Ready Mix Co. 715.22

Jane Grossinger 210.00

H & R Const. Co. 844.09

Hance Utility Services Co. 343.89

Hardings Towing Inc. 186.38

Herc-U-Lift 748.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2,530.27

HSBC Business Solutions 143.29

ID America 503.44

Imagetech Services 119.12

Intereum Inc. 108.63

Interstate Automotive 133.13

Chris Jahnke 278.18

Jerrys Towing & Repair 133.13

Steven Jobe 169.50

Bernard Kirscht 424.76

KNR Communications Serv. 3,900.00

Kris Engineering Inc. 3,793.19

Lakedale Telephone Co. 376.24

LaPlant Demo Inc. 683.33

Michael Laurent 116.31

William Lieb 506.80

M-R Sign Company Inc. 281.00

Major Appliance Repair 215.23

Maple Lake Lumber Co. 241.68

Marco 15,035.12

Marco Business Products 3,580.71

Martin Marietta Aggregates 283.57

Marks Standard Parts 4,935.60

Dick Mattson 184.23

Denise McCalla 121.04

MCF-RW 1,323.00

Meteorlogix 2,653.89

The Metro Group Inc. 4,580.35

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 42,649.15

MN Counties Comp. Co-op. 4,230.56

MN Counties Ins. Trust 8,052.00

MN County Attorneys Assoc. 155.00

MN Office of Enterprise Tech. 965.00

MN Transportation Alliance 500.00

Monticello Comm. Education 1,500.00

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 563.59

MTI Distributing Inc. 139.09

New Ulm Police Dept. 100.00

Nextel Communications 4,811.05

Northern Safety Technology 427.83

Office Depot 3,218.53

Olsen Companies 1,110.02

City Otsego 800.00

Pakor Inc. 676.87

David Pederson 380.26

Performance Office Papers 227.48

Photo 1 518.60

Edward Picht 399.98

PMI Computer Supplies 396.85

Powerplan OIB 141.32

Prairie Lakes Youth Programs 785.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 541.45

Redstone Const. Co. Inc. 54,116.17

Rigid Hitch Incorporated 138.97

RS Eden 7,441.25

Russells Security Resource 945.79

Ryan Motors Inc. 1,239.70

Robert Schermann 623.39

Donald Schmidt 443.16

SCS Cases 601.42

Segway of Minnesota Inc. 133.13

Specialty Turf & Ag 5,235.12

SRF Consulting Group Inc. 172.42

St. Cloud Acoustics Inc. 343.47

St. Cloud State University 375.00

Streichers 446.71

T & M Towing & Snowplowing 181.06

Tires Plus 437.11

Traffic Technologies LLC 593.21

Tri State Surplus Co. 202.35

Keith Triplett 175.00

Trueman Welters Inc. 349.98

United Locating Services 150.00

United Rentals Hwy. Tech. 1,661.14

Unlimited Electric Inc. 1,159.69

Veolia Environmental Serv. 377.98

Verizon 391.25

Viking Safety Products 428.65

Village Ranch Inc. 2,304.00

Voss Lighting 218.96

Walmart Store 01-1577 301.29

Waste Management TC W 1,108.39

West Central Industries 364.87

W. Suburban Ind. Supply 2,105.62

Wheeler Lumber Operations 1,025.98

Douglas Woodhall 360.00

Wright Co. Ag Society 192.50

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 6,793.98

Wright Hennepin Electric 1,419.25

Wright Lumber & Millwork 485.16

Keith Wurm Construction 1,080.00

Zack’s Inc. 1,465.57

Zarnoth Brush Works Inc. 1,060.74

Zep Manufacturing Co. 256.39

52 Payments less than $100 2,638.21

Final total $1,875,333.14

The meeting adjourned at 10.22 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 21, 2006.