Wright County Board Minutes

JULY 25, 2006

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

The minutes of 7-18-06 were discussed. The following corrections were made: Page 2, 4th paragraph, insert the following as sentence 12, “Any parts not on hand could be obtained locally” (Mattson). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item E1, “Highway, Set Bid Opening Date Of 8-29-06 @ 9:30 A.M. For CSAH 8 Concrete Pavement Project At Hasty” (Melvin); Aud./Treas. Item #5, “Release Of Official State Demographer’s Population Estimates” (Hiivala); Parks/Hwy. Item #2, “Approve Agency Agreement/Resolution For Preliminary Engineering @ TH 55/CR 134” (Melvin); Item For Consid. #4, “Wright County Fair” (Heeter). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke requested removal of Item B1, “EXTENSION SERVICE, Approve Amended Youth CEC Position Description (Providing Youth Members Voting Rights & Allows Them To Be Paid A Per Diem & Mileage)” for discussion. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: T. Decker, R. Erickson, Hwy.; K. Clemence, C. Torkelson, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $5,875.07.

3. Authorize AMC Delegates To Attend Policy Committee Meetings, 8-10-06, MCIT Building, St. Paul.


1. Accept The Findings & Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezonings:

A. Russell J. & Martha C. Paumen (Chatham Twp.). Planning Commission unanimously recommend approval of approx. 1.2 acres (riparian land) from AG & S-2 To R-1 & S-2.

B. Greg Theisen/Bob Perry (Franklin Twp.). Planning Commission unanimously recommend approval of the request to rezone from AG to I-1.

C. Dan Hegstrand (Maple Lake Twp.). Planning Commission unanimously recommend the establishment of a Rural Planned Unit Development District for a maximum of seven lots according to the Outline Development Plan submitted.

D. Gerald T. Knott (Albion Twp.). Planning Commission recommend on a 5/1 vote to approve the request to rezone from AG & S-2 that portion of the property that is riparian, as shown on the concept plan.


1. Acknowledge Receipt Of A $9,975.00 Federal Grant Administered By The MN Dept. Of Natural Resources.

Consent Agenda Item B1, “EXTENSION SERVICE, Approve Amended Youth CEC Position Description (Providing Youth Members Voting Rights & Allows Them To Be Paid A Per Diem & Mileage)” was discussed. Sawatzke questioned whether the County Board could legally appoint two youth to the County Extension Committee (CEC). State statute dictates what can be done. He was not opposed to the request. Russek responded that he felt this had been researched. The vote was unanimous by those in attendance at the CEC Meeting to support the request. Sawatzke moved to refer this item to the 8-08-06 County Board Meeting to allow the Attorney’s Office to research State Statutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Jeff Burns, CEC Chair, will be invited to attend.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested authorization to transfer $3,347,676 from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund, based upon discussion at the 7-18-06 Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Sawatzke moved to approve the request, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

The June Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines were discussed. Hiivala said that Steve Jobe, Surveyor, brought to his attention a code change for sales tax transactions. During program conversion, an incorrect code was selected resulting in over-remittance of sales tax in the amount of $46,000. This has impacted the aerial map sales figures which should be considerably higher. The State has been contacted for a refund which will be applied to all departments. Hiivala referenced the Recorder’s Budget which is reflected at 45% of revenue for the year (should be at 50%). It appears revenues are not running as high as projected. Russek moved to approve the June Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Sawatzke moved to schedule a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting for 8-08-06 at 8:15 A.M. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss a hardship withdrawal request. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

Hiivala distributed the State Demographer’s revised population estimates. The three municipalities affected are:

Municipality; New 2005 Population Estimate; May 2005 Population Estimate

Hanover City (part); 1,762; 1,779

Maple Lake City; 1,879; 1,821

Rockford City (part); 3,478; 3,512

The total Wright County population now sits at 110,836 with the changes. Russek moved to accept the State Demographer’s 2005 Population Report (revised as of 7-17-06), seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Hiivala said the claim on Page 3, Election Systems & Software ($220,071.60) was for payment of the HAVA (Help America Vote Act) Machines. Grant funding has been received and the machines will be demonstrated at the County Fair. Mattson referenced claims to Qwest on Page 20 for Human Services. Hiivala stated telephone allocations for Human Services will be reflected on the claims listing in the future. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, and Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, were present to discuss a letter received from the Mn/DOT Office of Environmental Services, Cultural Resources Unit, relating to the requirement for a CSAH 12 Archaeology Study. The information reflects a Phase I Survey is required for archeological sites along the route. State aid funding is being used for the road project so archeological studies are not required unless there is a known site. Because there is a known Indian habitat site and burial grounds, Mn/DOT would like both the road and trail included in the data for the segment (1.6 miles from Buffalo City limits to the bridge). Three architectural firms were contacted and preliminary cost figures range from $4,750 to $10,000 depending on the sites. Costs identified include Phase I only. Fingalson said past experience has shown that a Phase II Study will need to be completed as well. Phase II normally costs around $25,000 and includes hand shoveling to uncover areas. Mitigation of such an area would be difficult and best to avoid. One tentative design is to shift the road away from the identified site. The CSAH 12 project cannot proceed until this survey is completed. Sawatzke moved to authorize expenditures of up to $10,000 for the Phase I Survey with funding from Budget 820, Professional Services. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

At 9:30 A.M., Commissioner Heeter closed the bid process for the River County Regional Trail (Phase I).

Fingalson requested approval of an Agency Agreement and Resolution for Preliminary Engineering at the intersection of TH 55 and CR 134 (Menards intersection). The Highway Department is working with the City of Buffalo on realignment. A traffic signal will be installed. Highway 55 Corridor Coalition funds will be used toward this project. As Federal funding is being utilized, there are a number of steps which must be completed. The first is the proposed Agreement and draft Resolution allowing Wright County (representing the Corridor Coalition) to obtain quotes for preliminary engineering services. Another agreement will be presented at a future date to authorize ROW acquisition. Fingalson announced that this project was included in the technical language bill and was passed by the House of Representatives. He was unsure if the Senate had taken action, but felt it was unlikely that the project would be removed from the bill at this point. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #06-48 approving preliminary engineering at TH 55/ CR 134. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. Russek moved to approve the Agency Agreement, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

The bid opening occurred for the River County Regional Trail (Phase I) located in Clearwater. As Federal funding is involved and the City of Clearwater has a population of under 5000, Wright County has agreed to take the lead on the project. The City will hold a meeting today to discuss financial ramifications. The City may be unable to fund their share. Past County Board action indicated, and the City agreed, that there would be no cost to the County except administrative costs and the bid opening. There were no addendums for this project. Heidi Pepper, SEH, was present on behalf of the City and estimated the project cost at $439,871.75. The bids were opened (listed below). Sawatzke moved to table the bids until 8-08-06 for a recommendation, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Bidder; Bid Bond; Total Bid

Landwehr Construction Inc.; Yes; $486,753.41

Rachel Contracting;Yes; $629,913.20

Redstone Construction; Yes; $518,956.47

Sunram Construction, Inc.; Yes; $522,720.54

Veit & Company, LLC; Yes; $456,023.10

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to schedule a Planning Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 8-02-06 at 10:00 A.M. The meeting is being held to discuss Township Zoning.

At 9:45 A.M., Heeter closed the bid process for the Roll-Off Truck (1992 Mack 400HP, 10 Speed Transmission, Galbreath Tandem Roll-Off Hoist). Chuck Davis, Environmental Health Officer, said the bid specifications called for a minimum bid price of $20,000. One bid was received from Demcon Disposal Services, Inc. of Monticello for a total bid price of $26,850. Russek moved to accept the bid from Demcon Disposal Services, $26,850, noting that the truck is being sold “as is” and any sales tax will be the responsibility of Demcon. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 7-18-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Item II, 1st sentence, change from “authorized spending” to “potential spending” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Mattson. Mattson pointed out that approval was already granted to purchase the two tandem trucks as requested by the Highway Engineer. Russek responded that this will be included in the 2007 Highway budget and would not impact the Capital Improvement Account. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes and recommendation:

REVIEW YEAR END FIGURES. Hiivala presented a General Fund year-end summary for review. For 2005, there was a $4,300,000 surplus. Revenues came in at over 4.2 million. Even though there is a surplus, there are many projects that need funding. One of the handouts shows potential use of the reserves. Also presented were copies of the meeting minutes for 3-21-06, 3-27-06 and 4-1-06 where year end results were discussed. At the 3-27-06 meeting some recommendations on reserve spending were discussed. One of the recommendations was to designate $1,000,000 to reserves. The negative balance in the Capital Project Funds was brought to $0. Property payments of $280,000 for the Potter property and $270,000 for Otsego have been made. The Fairground property purchase has also been paid.

DISCUSS ENCUMBRANCES. There is $2,890,000 of potential spending, which doesn’t count the law enforcement system upgrade payments. There is a three year obligation on that. The County will find out the end of July whether or not Parks will be receiving grants. There is over $1,000,000 in the 2007 levy request for Parks projects. On 3/7/06 the Board approved Regional Park grants of $500,000 to be taken out of the Capital Account if they are approved. An initial investment of $40,000 was paid for Ney Park land purchase, with another $50,000 required each year for the next 3 years.

One of the reasons 2005 ended in good financial standing was due to under-estimating the money we would receive from the State for program aid, which was almost a $2,000,000 difference.

DISCUSS PROJECT FUNDING SOURCES. The County is looking at projects going forward. The County relies on turn back money from General Revenue, to fund Capital Improvements. Norman stated we are tightening the budgets more every year. He feels that there will come a time when the County can’t rely on this source of funds. Interest rates are high. Current revenues are lower than projected, as seen in the 6 month revenue guideline reports. Larry Unger, the County Recorder, estimates $100,000 less revenue next year than this year. Hiivala stated a recommendation be made to the Board to allow transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Capital Project Fund. There was discussion about using the E-911 fund and the Capital Projects Fund for the Law Enforcement System. Money comes in on a monthly basis to the 911 fund (approximately $6-7,000) and, as the population in Wright County continues to grow, the fund grows. The County does need to be careful when using this funding source. There is $13,500 in the PSC Alliance Fund (Wright-Sherburne Project). Stearns County is the fiscal agent and they will reimburse us. The reimbursed money should go back into the Capital Project Fund. Fingalson has requested the purchase of 2 tandem trucks this year, with payments not starting until 2007. If the County approves purchase of these trucks by August 1, a $59,000 savings will be realized. These tandem trucks are at the top on the Highway Department’s list of equipment purchases for 2007. The State contract has gone with International. Since Wright County is a new customer, International will save 2 slots until August 1. The County needs to move on this fairly quickly before the deadline. Hiivala said he needs authorization from the Board to transfer funds from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund. The jail project will create continuous payments to architects over the next year. The more money the County spends, the more liquid they need to be. Bond issuance will be in 2007 but the first payment of principle and interest on the jail begins in 2008. Two other bonds will mature in 2010. It’s possible to have the jail payments lower the first couple of years, but then accelerate after 2010. Any surplus in bond proceeds should be offset by future bond payments. There should be around $200,000 left after 2010. That money could be diverted into paying interest on the Jail bonds. A transfer of funds is recommended. A resolution needs to be made to do the transfer. The Capital Projects Fund will stay in the forefront. Getting the Capital Improvement Software program up and running will help. There is also a recommendation to allow Fingalson to purchase the tandem trucks. Sawatzke stated that we will come out ahead on the Otsego facility; $750,000 is budgeted but the total will be less. On 3-27-06 the $750,000 for the Otsego facility was designated from the Capital Projects Fund. The Board will be asked to transfer this amount from the Capital Projects Fund to the Road & Bridge Fund. Norman commented on relying on surplus dollars for the Capital Fund. He questioned where the $600,000 for overlays will come from. One million dollars will be designated to reserves. Other items add up to $2,000,000; $496,029 is the cost for the Fairground property and $234,000 for the law enforcement system and we can only look at 2006 contributions to the Capital Funds account. He estimates that the figures for the 800 Mhz project will be huge. The only way to fund this is to bond for it. If the Board authorizes Hiivala to transfer $3.3M to the Capital Fund there will be about $2.3M to spend, mostly on current projects. (End of Budget Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a Quad County Meeting for 8-29-06 at 10:30 A.M.

Heeter announced the Wright County Fair being held July 26-30, 2006 at the Fairgrounds located in Howard Lake. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 6:45 P.M. on July 26th. Additional information on the list of events and times is listed on the following website: www.wrightcountyfair.com

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said a Public Hearing was scheduled for 10:00 A.M. to address the drainage petition for County Ditch 33 by the City of Monticello for the Hidden Forest/Niagara Falls Developments. The three action items included: 1) Outlet storm water from residential development areas into the County Ditch #33 drainage system; 2) Impound waters from the County Ditch #33 drainage system for the purposes of storm water control and water quality improvement; and 3) Transfer of a portion of the County Ditch #33 drainage system to the City of Monticello. It was discovered yesterday that notice had not been mailed to benefitted landowners on Ditch 33. The action items requested have separate notice requirements (by publication, by mailed notice, or by both methods). To assure the proper requirements are met, Asleson recommended continuing the Public Hearing to August 8th. Notice will be mailed to benefitted landowners on Ditch 33. The notice will not be republished. Sawatzke moved to schedule the Public Hearing for 8-08-06 at 9:30 A.M. to consider the Drainage Petition for County Ditch 33 by the City of Monticello for Hidden Forest/Niagara Falls Developments. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop Inc. $2,101.94

Amerigas-Cokato, MN 512.38

Ameripride Linen & Apparel 242.20

Ancom Technical Center 369.37

Aramark Correctional Serv. 5,210.18

Aramark Services 5,969.25

Arctic Glacier Inc. 241.52

Auto Glass Center Inc. 513.36

B & D Plumbing & Heating 980.67

Boyer Truck Parts 406.71

Bristows Kawasaki & Polaris 118.66

Bryan Rock Products 188.12

Buffalo Hospital 1,566.70

Catco Parts Service 150.57

Center Point Energy 102.19

Centra Sota Lake Region 21,182.11

Central McGowan Inc. 119.26

Climate Air 699.93

Clinical & Forensic Psych. 1,250.00

Const. Engineering Lab I 1,800.00

CPS Technology Sol. 6,421.95

Cub Pharmacy 1,399.24

Decorative Designs Inc. 184.31

Franklin Denn 521.20

Dept. of Public Safety 1,010.00

Dept. of Corrections 16,947.25

Election Sys. & Software 220,071.60

Embarq 189.82

Ergomate Shoes Inc. 199.78

Fastenal Company 1,203.68

Federated Propane 2,308.60

Wayne Fingalson 153.93

Frontier Precision Inc. 621.91

Gateway Companies Inc. 1,054.99

Janet Gholson 131.72

Glendale 157.00

Grainger 161.80

Greenview Inc. 13,616.46

Hewlett Packard 6,916.11

Imagetech Services 976.03

Interstate All Battery Center 158.37

JR’s Appliance Disposal Inc. 1,390.00

Junction Towing & Auto Repair 680.01

Keeprs Inc. 995.05

Klatt True Value Electric 156.02

KNR Communications Serv. 301.83

Lake Region Coop Oil 262.98

Daniel Lang 439.95

LaPlant Demo Inc. 852.41

Marco 3,206.25

Marco Business Products 2,079.42

Marties Farm Service 104.37

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 1,750.00

McDowall Company 33,474.02

The Metro Group Inc. 6,884.58

Miller Towing Inc. 197.03

Miller Trucking/Landscaping 752.16

MN CLE Inc. 395.00

MN Nursery & Landscape 250.00

MN Office of Enterprise Tech 477.12

MN State Bar Association 250.00

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 1,606.02

Margaret Munson 346.65

Nagell Appraisal & Cons. 3,600.00

Nat’l Business Systems Inc. 376.32

Norix Group Inc. 377.44

Office Depot 5,472.24

Postmaster-Buffalo 800.00

Qwest 2,966.46

Qwest Interprise America 350.00

Reds Auto Electric 124.04

Royal Tire Inc. 1,219.78

RS Eden 940.35

SEH 5,656.84

Shell Fleet Plus 4,927.20

Sheriffs Youth Prog. of MN 1,251.45

Sirchie 131.43

SKC Communication Products 582.24

Software House Int’l Inc. 31,739.85

Stamp Fulfillment Services 442.05

Super Express 172.53

Tires Plus 875.70

Total Printing 652.96

Univ. of Minnesota 11,200.00

Veolia Environmental Serv. 8,577.66

Verizon 551.18

Millie Vetsch 100.00

Gordon Weber 235.60

West Payment Center 627.48

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 33,249.86

Wright Co. Parks Dept. 164.56

Wright Hennepin Electric 4,804.82

26 Payments less than $100 1,104.47

Final total $498,256.25

The meeting adjourned at 10:04 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 28, 2006.