Wright County Board Minutes
AUGUST 8, 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 7-25-06, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #2, “Request For Cleanout, County Ditch 10” (Hiivala). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Paripovich, Atty.; B. Aanerud, L. Pulvermacher, Aud.; J. Joos, C. Nelson, IT; K. Davis, T. Finch, C. Flemming, J. Kramber, C. Mazer, P. Palmer, D. Scherber, Sheriff; M. Pooler, Surveyor.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 7-14-06.
3. Charitable Gambling Application Form LG 220, Rotary International (St. Michael-Albertville Rotary Club), Silver Springs Golf Course, 1854 Co. Rd. 39, Monticello 55362 (Monticello Twp.).
4. Charitable Gambling Application Form LG 220, Delano Ducks Unlimited, Rockford Township Hall, 3039 Dague Ave. SE, Buffalo MN 55313 (Wright).
1. Approve Abatement, PID #208-200-091401, Dion & Susanne Yanish (Franklin Twp.).
1. Tobacco License For Waverly Municipal Liquor (City Of Waverly).
1. Set Bid Opening Date Of 9-05-06 @ 9:30 A.M. For CHSP Street Lighting Project.
2. Approve Cooperative Agreement #06-52 Between Silver Creek Twp. & Wright County.
E. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Bryan J. Reitzner (Maple Lake Twp.) - Planning Commission unanimously recommend approval of the request to rezone 40 acres from AG & S-2 to A/R & S-2.
1. Appoint Lt. Greg Howell As Wright County’s Alternate To The Regional Advisory Committee On The 800 Mhz Radio Project.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, was contacted by Bruce Jagodzinski with a request for clean out of County Ditch #10. Jagodzinski is a benefitted property owner on Ditch 10 who would like to clean out 50’ at his own expense. Jagodzinski would be instructed to contact Kerry Saxton, SWCD, for his direction on clean out. Mattson moved to approve the request pending approval by Saxton, seconded by Russek. Hiivala expected Saxton would provide a report on the repair completed. The motion carried 5-0.
The claims listing was discussed. Hiivala referenced an expenditure on the last page for the final payment for the Masys system ($38,219.92). This is being funded by the Capital Improvements Fund. The County Board recently authorized transfer of $3 million to this Fund and Hiivala wanted to keep the Board informed of expenditures. Hiivala understood the investment in this system would carry over to the new Jail. Mattson had concern with equipment becoming obsolete. Heeter said both communication and technical systems will become obsolete at some point and that the Board would have to trust that the correct decisions are being made. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Laid over from the last meeting, the Board discussed approval of an amended Youth CEC Position Description which would provide youth members voting rights and allow them to be paid a per diem and mileage. The County Extension Committee voted for approval of the request. Jeff Burns, County Extension Committee, distributed information on MN §38.36 and counties which currently have student representation on their committees including voting privileges, per diems, and mileage. MN Statute 38.36 reflects that a county’s extension committee must have nine members. Two members must be county commissioners appointed by the county board. The county auditor or the auditor’s designee must be a member, and six members must be appointed at large by the county board. Burns said other counties have interpreted this as minimum requirements for the committee because the Statute does not provide information on youth representation. Sawatzke questioned whether the nine members cited in Statute were to include student representation. Although other counties may have interpreted youth representation in this fashion, it may not necessarily be legal. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, referenced an email recently sent to Board members indicating that Statutes mandate nine members on the Committee. Instead of saying it is mandated, he probably should have said the Committee must have nine members. The Statute is open to interpretation and could be written more clearly. If it was felt to be a serious enough issue, the Statute may need to be fixed by the Legislature. Another possibility would be to appoint them as non-voting members. Asleson said approval of the request would not violate law, but rather the County was interpreting Statute as has been done by other counties. Mattson made a motion to appoint two youth to the Extension Committee, seconded by Russek. The motion includes payment of a per diem and mileage for the two members. The motion carried unanimously.
Virgil Hawkins, Assistant Highway Engineer, and Richard Marquette, Engineering Assistant, requested approval of appraisal rates for R/W acquisition on CSAH 17. This is a 4.2 mile project from South County Line to the Southern Limits of the City of Delano. Meetings were held with landowners through April 2006. Public informational meetings have been held. The City of Delano has approved of the project. The approximate 75 parcels being acquired require independent appraisals to be used as a basis for the purchase price. A land value schedule was distributed, which was prepared by Jeffrey Namie, Independent Certified Appraiser, and is based on land sales recently completed in the project area of Wright County. With approval of the rates, a review appraisal will be completed as per Federal Acquisition Guidelines. Offer letters will then be sent to each parcel owner. The main construction is targeted for 2007. Acquisition costs are around $985,000 (State Aid Funds) with approximately $80,000 projected for the trail (State & Federal Grant Funding). Mattson moved to approve the appraisal schedule as presented, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Hawkins provided an update on the River County Regional Trail (Phase I) located in Clearwater. Bids were opened at the 7-25-06 Board Meeting and tabled to today’s meeting. The City met last evening and approved the agreement to fund the local share for the trail project. The City will hold a Public Hearing on 8-21-06 for bonding for the City’s share. The intent was for the City to make a decision thereafter. Russek moved to table this issue to the 8-29-06 County Board Meeting, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
Asleson requested the Board schedule a date to consider a tax abatement for the Honeywell Property, PID 103-089-002014. Asleson and the County Assessor have worked for a number of years on tax court petitions on this property. They have negotiated a settlement for several years Tax Court petitions, including consideration of the abatement of the payable 2004 taxes. There was no tax court petition filed payable 2004. The proposed abatement would be in the range of $25,000-$40,000 depending on how the TIF monies are treated. By Statute, the County must provide at least 20 days notice to the City and School District when an abatement exceeds $10,000. Asleson said the County tried a case before the Tax Court in 2002 for the several years preceding. The decision was not made until May 2003, which by that time the 2003 assessments had passed. The value was set at $4.2 million for taxes payable 2004. Because of the potential refund of more than $10,000 for that year (because of the property valuation in 2003), the City and School District must be notified for an opportunity to comment. Sawatzke questioned whether the legal criteria had been met as the tax petition wasn’t filed for taxes payable 2004. Asleson responded that State Statute 375.192 allows the County Board to consider an abatement of the current year and two years prior. The tax court petition is to be filed by the end of April for any given year. As this was missed in 2004, the process through the County Board is being used. Eichelberg moved to schedule consideration of the tax abatement for the Honeywell Property, PID 103-089-002014, for 9-05-06 at 9:45 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Asleson said the County has been approached by Elim Care, Inc. on the potential for issuance of Health Care Facility Revenue Bonds. Elim Care, Inc. owns both the Lake Ridge and Park View Care Centers. The County Board has issued similar bonds in the past allowing Elim Care, Inc. to take advantage of better interest rates. The County is not obligated for the debt service on those bonds. The current request would fund the construction of a 46-unit assisted living and adult day care facility near Park View Care Center. The total issuance would be $7,560,000. Kathy Youngquist, Chief Financial Officer for Elim Care, Inc., presented a diagram of the new building location. The County has a $10 million bank qualified limit. The previous two refinances do not count against the $10 million limit. If the Board were considering any bank qualified financing this year, the agreement with Elim Care, Inc. would need to reflect the bonds would not be bank qualified. Russek moved to establish a Public Hearing for 9-05-06 at 10:00 A.M., seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #06-49 giving preliminary approval to certain health care facility revenue bonds and a project under the Minnesota Municipal Industrial Development Act. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Asleson withdrew his request to authorize an expenditure from the General Fund for a printer for the sitting Child Support Magistrate. The printer is being provided by the 10th Judicial District.
At 9:35 A.M., Commissioner Heeter closed the Board Meeting for a Public Hearing relating to the drainage petition for County Ditch 33 by the City of Monticello for Hidden Forest/Niagara Falls Developments. Asleson said the notice of the Public Hearing was sent to benefitted landowners on the Ditch and was published. The last time the City addressed the Board on Ditch 33 was for the Carlisle Village Development. At that time, indications were that the City would proceed with an outlet to the Mississippi River to alleviate some of the problems with Ditch 33. The petition being considered today was for two other developments, both located in Section 17 in Monticello Township. The three possible action items the Board was to consider included: 1) whether to allow outletting of stormwater from the developments into the Ditch; 2) whether to allow impoundment of Ditch 33 waters for stormwater control and water quality improvement to be made into an open watershed; and 3) whether to consider the possible transfer of a portion of Ditch 33 to the City of Monticello.
Phil Elkin, Water Resource Engineer-WSB, was present representing the City of Monticello. The two developments are proposed as single-family residential developments which include a large wetland restoration project, a new storm water outlet for Ditch 33, and an outlet control structure for water entering the remaining portions of Ditch 33. The proposal would serve existing flows and also future development as it would occur along the ditch. Elkin outlined the existing flow of the Ditch on a map and the proposed outlet to the Mississippi River. The water is at an elevation of 919’ at the low point where the water enters the ditch and outlets to the Mississippi River. Elkin also referenced an existing point that feeds to this area involving a pipe recently installed as an improvement to the Ditch on the southeast corner of the wetland. There is a break between this portion of the Ditch and the northwest portion. The northwest portion is 1/4 of the size of the entire watershed and the flow enters through Branch 2, which is a large pipe under I-94. This area is not impacting problems on the Ditch. In the design of the wetland and outlet for the proposed developments, the elevation of 927.75’ was used, which is about 8’ above the outlet pipe. This elevation would be used to service the rest of the watershed. The assumption is that either of these development districts will be single family residential developments with about 75% of the area being impervious surface and was what the model was based upon. Under this assumption, the development would meet the City’s stormwater requirements, the wetlands would be restored, and stormwater ponds would be provided. The pipe size from the new development would be 48”, which has potential flow when the rate reaches 150csf. The existing capacity of this area is 32csf if cleaned out and functioning as designed, which Elkin did not believe was the case. It is important that the creek or outlet be retained as an amenity behind the homes in the area and have consistent flow. Currently the City does not have easements to maintain the portion of the Ditch in Monticello Township and it is up to the residents to maintain this. The new outlet is designed for an increased discharge rate and to handle future discharge. The natural low area would be converted to a wetland for water quality.
Shannon Bye, Monticello Township, said the engineering portion was secondary to her concern. She was most concerned with the status of the Mississippi River and its scenic status. History reflects that the Ditch has not worked correctly for years and she would like to see the situation rectified. She referenced the notice of the Hearing and asked if it had been provided to those downstream who might have water quality issues. Bye felt the River already had an impaired water status and referenced increased nutrient flow, silt and possibly fecal matter and questioned the water quality monitoring process after permits have been obtained. She referenced the City and County’s efforts on comprehensive plans and thought environmental issues were not being addressed properly and the Ditch should be treated as an amenity rather than an outlet.
Elkin responded to the water quality issues by stating the system is functioning to drain wetland and low areas. The Ditch was established in 1917 to preserve ag areas to allow farming. The area is seeing a conversion from ag to development and is identified in the City’s stormwater management plan for restoration of wetlands and stormwater quality ponds prior to discharge. The proposed development would allow for sediment and phosphorus to settle prior to flowing out through the wetland. The Ditch would be relied upon as a stormwater outlet rather than an ag tile drain. It is the intent to address water quality issues by pre-treating prior to discharge.
Sawatzke referenced an area near the Sunset Ponds Development, which has a drainage pond with quite a bit of erosion. He questioned what the City has done to monitor and correct the situation. Elkin said the situation involves the developer being short fill for that area. The grading is not completed so there is no cover crop. He recognized the erosion problems. Kerry Saxton, SWCD, said this area is part of a tile system that drains to Ditch 33. Some protection is offered through a berm which captures silt. Once the area is stabilized, he did not feel it would pose a problem. The current situation does allow for some sediment to move to the Ditch system. Elkin said the process involves the identification of wetland areas. A silt fence is put around them. Ponds are graded and the area has a silt fence installed. When the stormwater ponds are constructed the holes are dug, the pipes are placed, and then the area is seeded. This is prior to any roads or infrastructure. Sawatzke responded that when the City asked for approval of the Sunset Ponds, they did not indicate it would take 5-6 years to complete. Elkin said in that area, the infiltration system is in place. The other ponds have vegetation established and the buffer is complete. This one area involves the builder not being able to obtain fill. The City has been monitoring the site every two weeks. Another issue involves silt fences being knocked down, which needs to be addressed by both the developer and builder. Blocks are placed in streets so the catch basins do not fill up with silt. Sunset Ponds Development is not complete. Sawatzke felt that the easiest solution would be to not issue another building permit to the developer until this issue is resolved.
Nortan Nelson, who lives at the end of the Ditch, questioned whether this was the proposal that was discussed at the City. Elkin responded that it was. In response to questions on water flow, Sawatzke said the goal is to keep the Ditch flowing due to requests by a number of neighbors at the City meeting. The pipe is proposed at a higher level. If approved, project construction would commence this Fall. Nelson felt many of the Ditch problems were located upstream from the area being discussed. Sawatzke said there are issues but they cannot be resolved until the northern areas are fixed to avoid flooding those residents in the north.
Jim Biegler said he was unaware that the outlet was being changed from a 919’ elevation. He questioned whether the ponds would be dug or whether a berm would be added to hold more water back. Elkin stated the water level was being raised and that is why the drainage easement was obtained from Biegler. Drainage is projected at an elevation of 926’. They are not installing a berm but raising the elevation to 924’. The normal high water level is 924’ to 926’. Biegler understood the elevation would be at 919’ as originally stated. Elkin said this was never the intent. After review of Elkin’s records at today’s meeting, Biegler restated that he understood the agreement he signed was at an elevation of 919’.
Richard Oftedal lives on 90th Street where Branch 3 is located. He recalled that 8-10 years ago, the State built a road. At that time, the State completed engineering and calculations and the project was not supposed to affect anyone. Oftedal said that shortly after that time, his neighbors were flooded out 2-3 years in a row. He questioned what reassurance there would be that the situation would not be repeated and whether the City would share in maintenance costs of the Ditch if they take it over. As he understood ditch law, those who reside on the ditch pay for maintenance. A watershed district would involve more people to assure it would run properly. Oftedal is a mechanical engineer and asked what water fall rate was used to design the system. Elkin said a 100-year design was used. Elkin referenced the map reflecting retention ponds which will be used to maintain the normal water level and to manage stormwater. They will coordinate water levels with the DNR. Backflows of water will not occur. Oftedal said rainfalls of 12” have been experienced in 3-4 days in recent years. With regard to the City maintaining the Ditch, Elkin could not commit on behalf of the City. The proposal would provide a better discharge rate for the system. Oftedal referenced Sawatzke’s comments on the Sunset Ponds development and agreed that these issues should be addressed by the City and possibly tied into this request. Sawatzke added that the new tile and maintenance of the line within the City’s jurisdiction would be at the City’s expense. Conditions could be placed in the agreement which would specify funding. The City would then decide whether to accept the conditions.
Nortan Nelson thought that the ponds and water levels should be at a lower elevation and did not feel placing the development at a higher elevation would benefit anyone upstream for drainage purposes. Sawatzke responded that the pond is in an area with a substantial drop (estimated at 8’-10’). Sawatzke asked whether the proposed elevations would cause an impact on properties located in a cul-de-sac nearby (near the inlet to the tile). Elkin said it would not because of the sharp elevation change. A road is proposed in that area and a control outlet will be located on the east side of the road.
Franklin Denn, Monticello Township Board, said a good portion of Ditch 33 is on the opposite side of the freeway from the proposed developments. These properties would not gain anything from the proposal and there was concern voiced on how this will be financially managed. Ditch 33 has always had problems. It is a large ditch and covers a lot of ag areas. The proposed improvements will involve residential areas and more maintenance. People in the ag areas are concerned they will be held accountable. If the City takes over a portion of the Ditch, it will be maintained by two governmental agencies and two standards. He felt people on the Ditch didn’t have adequate information. The major question is the financial responsibility of the landowners on the Ditch. Sawatzke restated that the City will be responsible for the new tile line and maintenance and for the storm pond upgrade and maintenance. The County could not look to the City financially outside of City limits. If this creates a system from the pond to the River that works, it is a better solution that what is currently there.
Shannon Bye referenced the increase in water flow and elevation. If water flows were increased to a point where Ditch levels were impacted, erosion problems could result. She referenced erosion patterns in St. Michael (8’ of soil erosion) and felt some assurances should be in place to resolve issues in a timely and fiscally responsible fashion.
Nortan Nelson said the existing Ditch handles the water flow as long as the existing pipe is kept open. Last year, he cut out limbs and removed rocks from the Ditch. There are large logs which could be removed. The Ditch is approximately 20’ wide where the water flows out of the pipe. Sawatzke estimated the pipe size at 24”. Nelson reiterated that problems with the Ditch are upstream and those issues should be corrected so water flows into the ponds as designed. Russek stated the overflow is designed for 924’ and the pipe will not be used until water reaches this level.
The Public Hearing was closed at 10:32 A.M. and the regular meeting was reconvened. Asleson said the Board could direct him to bring back an order on the request in a few weeks, especially with respect to the area involving impoundment where the City would take over the Ditch. The order would deal with the structures on the north end of the impoundment and provide responsibility, assuring upstream residents on Ditch 33 the same drainage as in the past. Statutes call for the City to maintain drainage rights for those upstream with the transfer of a portion of a county ditch. Sawatzke referenced past County Board authorization for the Sunset Ponds development and questioned what could be done to make sure this project is completed in a timely fashion. Asleson was not sure what that order outlined, but said the City should work this out with the developer. Most of the County’s approval allows the City to take certain actions, such as petitioning to outlet stormwater. The City works with the developer. Sawatzke said perhaps the County could withhold action on this request until the Sunset Ponds issue is resolved. Saxton said he had the Sunset Ponds Development plans. They had staff on site and had discussions with the City on outstanding issues. There were a couple of other areas which needed to be taken care of and they were recently handled. The City of Monticello has been working on their erosion management control and is coming along as well as any other city. However, there are still problems. The MPCA is overwhelmed. The easiest solution would be for the City not to issue additional building permits. There was a problem involving another pond that was eroding over a sediment fence. This has been corrected. Saxton had more concern with that area as the water flowed directly to the River. Saxton thought Bye’s concerns on the River were important.
With regard to the proposed design, Saxton said there is a tremendous amount of ponding. The City should meet the requirements to make sure that it works. With regard to Elkin’s statement on the area being 75% impervious, he felt it was more like 35%. Industrial development would be at a higher rate. The City will need to be cognizant that what is designed is not exceeded or the design will not work. He did not feel the current system was in good shape. Although he has not taken the time to review the entire plan, it is realistic but calls for phenomenal amounts of ponding over the wetlands that currently exist. In some areas, a large amount of fill will be required for home construction. Saxton said the County should address Branch 1 along with this request. Elkin said their plan abandons Branch 1. A rain infiltration basin will be used (perforated pipe in a rock bed with a cover crop). This allows water to infiltrate into the area and silt/sediments are removed. This type of system is used in the metro area. Saxton supported this technique and said it slows down runoff. This is a practice they would like to see more of. Under MPCA rules, if they are actively grading a site it does not have to be stabilized. He did not agree with this practice and felt the areas should be stabilized. Elkin said the City’s stormwater plan restricts run off rates to .1csf per acre. If there is more intense development, the runoff would be restricted based on the impervious surface. The development outside of the City limits is unknown, but most at this point has been single family residential. With a different land use, different requirements would be used as to determine how much impervious surface is allowed.
Discussion resumed on the proposed order. Russek said the County could designate the number of years the City has to complete the project. The County has done this with restoration of gravel pits. Asleson said the last order approved by the Board called for a certain dollar amount designated for construction of the outlet to the River. A provision in the order says the work must be completed in three years, otherwise the money would be paid to the County (Ditch 33 fund). The Board can set various conditions in an order. Russek felt project phases could be used to assure timeliness in completing the entire project. Sawatzke said the County took action on the Carlisle Village request about one year ago authorizing them to outlet to the River. A condition was created for the City to abide by the order stipulating that there would be no development within the runoff area of Ditch 33 until the storm system is in place. He felt the proposed order should reflect, as it pertains to this development and others, that no homes should be constructed until the line and storm ponds are in place per drawings. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Elkin confirmed that both the Niagara Falls and Hidden Forest developments are proposals for single family residential developments. If apartments or townhomes are constructed, slightly greater ponding may be required due to impervious surfaces and it would be dependent upon the size and footprint of the unit. He referenced the exhibit and said the discharge rate was based upon 300 acres. There were generalizations used when developing the watershed but they tried to base it upon what they could foresee happening in the area. This is subject to change. The stormwater requirements would compensate for those issues and discharge rates.
Asleson said County representatives (Asleson, Saxton and others as designated) could meet with the City to put together conditions that could be attached to any approval granted by the County. The conditions could be used as the template for an order the County could consider. He envisioned a two-week timeline. It was the consensus that a member of the Township Board be included in this discussion as well.
Richard Oftedal referenced other development areas and questioned the stormwater runoff. Elkin said the area referenced was outside of the watershed. There is a stub along CR 39 and they would be required to connect. The discharge rate would be dependent upon the capacity of the pipe. The line was sized for extra capacity and stubbed for future connections. Oftedal has lived in the area for 35 years and said there has always been water problems. He referenced the past State project and how that was supposed to make things better but that did not happen. Saxton said the Mn/DOT project did not include any work on the pipe going to the River. The State created ponding. The reason there are problems is the old pipe needs work. The proposal will fix the outlet and install another larger pipe. Sawatzke said that the County must proceed cautiously on what is approved and the conditions. However, what was proposed has the ability to be a positive step for those on the Ditch. He did not feel what was proposed would harm anyone and over time and could possibly help them. It was the consensus to direct Asleson to draft an order for review by the County Board in two weeks. Sawatzke moved to lay this issue over to 8-22-06 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Detention Committee Of The Whole Meetings were held on 7-31-06 and 8-02-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved approval of both sets of minutes including recommendations. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. A summary of the meeting minutes follows:
The purpose of the meetings was to interview three firms for construction management services for the new Jail. The following fees were proposed: Adolphson & Peterson ($1,169,415), Knutson ($1,408,150), and Mortenson ($1,571,149). It was the recommendation of the Committee to schedule a meeting on 8-09-06 at 3:30 P.M. with Adolphson & Peterson to further discuss their proposal for construction management purposes.
A Planning Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 8-02-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter stated that since the time of the Committee Meeting the County has received response from legal counsel for Stockholm Township. The response will be copied for the remainder of the Board. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the minutes:
Discuss Township Zoning. A Public Hearing was recently held at the Planning Commission level on proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance relating to Township Zoning. The Committee met to discuss the amendments and whether further revision was desired. By Statute, townships can administer their own zoning as long as they are at least as strict as the County’s Zoning Ordinance. Salkowski said that although not all townships agree with the proposed amendments, many feel that cooperation is needed between the townships and the County. Some townships may not fully understand all of the responsibilities and legal requirements that are a part of administering zoning. Salkowski emphasized the need for properly trained professionals who will be involved with zoning. Out of 18 townships, the response received reflects that three are in favor of the proposed amendments, three are opposed, and possibly another three may be opposed. The remaining townships did not respond. Currently, Middleville and Stockholm Townships administer their own zoning. Corinna Township is creating a Land Use Plan and has hired professionals to complete the process. Once established, their Plan has to be at least as strict as the County’s and must be incorporated into the County’s Plan. Heeter felt the majority of residents in Corinna Township do not understand what is transpiring. She stated that the purpose of the amendments are to make sure things are being done as required by law. The County does not desire the permitting process to be cumbersome nor to impose double fees. Part of the problem with permitting is the 60-day window that is imposed. Extensions of the 60-day time frame are only granted after the initial application process and for specific reasons which result from the hearing process (i.e., site inspection required). It was felt that it would be difficult to complete the permitting process in 60 days with review by both the County and township. Salkowski said the County recently approved purchase of software for building permit reviews. This underscores the necessity of centralizing all permit data at the County. The County is contacted by outside sources asking for data (sewer certifications, etc). He felt it was much more efficient to have this information available from the County than through the township which may only be staffed on a part-time basis. Also discussed was the County’s position with regard to zoning authority in Stockholm Township. Initial review of the Township’s administration of zoning activities reflected extensive problems. Correspondence was sent to Stockholm Township on 6-20-06 asking for a response within two weeks as to how these problems would be corrected and requested several public documents. Otherwise, the County may elect to intercede to make sure zoning is properly administered. A response was received on 6-28-06 from the Township’s Attorney, Mr. Goodrich, asking for an additional 30-day review period. Wright County staff left word for Mr. Goodrich on 6-30-06, with no response. Recommendation: Zins and Salkowski will attempt to meet with legal counsel for Stockholm Township. Zins will draft revisions to the Ordinance amendments for review by the Committee. Meetings on these two issues will be scheduled at a future date. (End of Planning Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
A Technology Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 8-02-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:
800 MHz Radio Planning. Jeff Nelson provided an overview of the Radio Communications & Public Safety Technologies Status Update (attached). Nelson has been hired by the County as a consultant in the move to the 800 MHz radio communications system, which is a portion of the radio spectrum that has been earmarked by the FCC for certain communications. In October, 2005, a technical plan was presented for Information Technology upgrades. The “ARMER” Phase 3 (Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response) Program’s goal is to bring unified radio programming across Minnesota. Wright and Sherburne Counties are considering a joint plan to share a radio site due to their common geography along the I-94 corridor. One possibility is to construct a shared 800 MHz infrastructure site in the Monticello area. As part of the shared Wright/Sherburne venture, grant funding was used for the consultant’s fee to perform a study. A series of meetings were held with user groups in both counties and a survey was sent to fire departments. These groups have a fairly significant radio population but a limited funding source to purchase radios. The 800 MHz System will provide the following capabilities: 2-way communication by portable/mobile radio; 1 way paging to take fire department personnel from volunteer status to the scene; and providing data (text/graphic) to public safety vehicles. ARMER has engaged two studies. The first is the Local Enhancement Study intended to give State Radio Board members guidance on funding and allocation of enhancements for local infrastructure. The second is a Business Development Study as an effort to guide the State Radio Board on how to publicize and make potential beneficiaries aware of the program, how to merge into the traffic link, and how to make use of system funding. The Local Enhancement Study was completed in May and sent to the Technical Operations Committee. It will proceed to the Funding Committee. A recommendation will be brought forth on how much of the $9.5 million will be appropriated to each county. The goal is to take that plan to the Legislature to explain the system and associated costs. Another mandated study for a project of this significance is the Risk Assessment, which will identify risks for successful completion and the scope of the plan. The State Radio Board received a proposal on the zone controllers for the system in October, 2005. Whitehead reported that Mn/DOT completed an RFP with Motorola for the basic contract for Phase 3 zone controllers. This would provide zone controllers in St. Cloud and Rochester. A decision was made at the State Radio Board to install the latest version of the zone controller in Phase 3. This would have the longest life cycle and provide the most functionality and future enhancements. These zone controllers would provide enough capacity for the remainder of the State. Nelson is struggling with writing a recommendation for Wright County because of several issues. These include the access to $9.5 million of funding assistance and the determination of how much may be available for Wright County and other participating counties. He felt there was mixed interest by the 23 participating counties with regard to funding. Another issue is the timing of the State’s activities as they relate to Wright County’s plans. One example would be the zone controllers. He was interested in the implementation timeline for Phase III in St. Cloud. The final issue relates to subscriber costs as they relate to dial tone fee. One thing that has progressed is the Technical Committee’s decision to do simulcasting and infrastructure in the Wright County area. This does bear a cost consequence but makes more efficient use of radio channels. With the assistance of Swing and Helgeson, Nelson will draft a letter on behalf of Wright County to Whitehead supporting simulcasting. Another projection in October was that a base radio site was required near Buffalo. This was not part of the original Phase 3 plan for the State’s deployment in this area. Recently, the State decided that a site was needed in the Buffalo area. Casual negotiations are occurring on placement and cost. It would be the goal that there would be no “dead” radio spots in Wright County. Russek questioned the purchase of a 700 MHz System instead of the 800 MHz System. The FCC allocates a ruler with markers, allocating different portions of the spectrum for different purposes. Recently, the NPSPAC Plan was adopted which makes more spectrum available for public safety and mobile communications. Prior to this, an application could not be submitted for a 700 MHz system. This system would assist with bringing data to squad cars in a more efficient manner. The 700 MHz System also has voice capabilities. Nelson’s intent is to lobby on behalf of the County for operation of both the 700 MHz and 800 MHz Systems. The survey reflected curiosity in the system but this interest was tempered by cost implications. Many of the fire departments questioned cost of radio equipment and maintenance. The theme heard was that if implemented, they would need a one-year minimum lead time for funding. Participation by public works personnel should be considered due to their support to police/fire in disasters. Their participation is not mandated. An estimated 269 public works users could be serviced. Annandale has 45 portable/mobile radios. Currently they utilize Nextel for service for the 15 public works units. To have those users transfer, the system would have to be as efficient and cost effective as Nextel. Total subscriber costs (if all user types migrate) are estimated at $2.9 million. Cost examples for Dakota and Scott counties were provided for comparison purposes. Sites in and near Wright County would occur sometime in 2008. Nelson suggested that the County’s migration to the 800 MHz System coincide with occupancy of the new Jail. If the Jail project is to be completed in the next five years, it is more financially advantageous to place the system in the new site to avoid duplication of expenditures. Participation with ARMER will be monitored and the County will be updated as needed. He felt a more seamless transition would be realized if financial assistance were provided to local agencies acquiring radios. There is an exemption in State law which allows counties to exceed their levy limit for participation in the system. Bonding funds can be spent and reimbursed. Due to the time element with ARMER and planning at the State level, Nelson said more focused attention needs to be placed on the data portion of the project to assure the mobile data piece is ready. Swing added that the County is a strong partner in the regional group in central Minnesota. He felt the County was positioned to take advantage of opportunities for grant funding and collaboration with neighboring agencies. Nelson said a decision will need to be made on whether to replace public safety radios vs. public safety and public works. The current system cannot be operated after January, 2013. It was clarified that the 23 county area includes St. Cloud and the southeastern corridor of Minnesota.
Web Site Development. A handout was distributed on Web Development (attached). The goal is to “deliver cost efficient quality services to the public, business community and government entities through the Internet.” The current County Internet site was established in 1997. In April, 2006, a Web Committee was formed. This resulted in re-design of the site, which was approved by the Technology Committee and will be implemented 8-15-06. Significant requests for changes to the site will be reviewed by the Web Committee. Departments will be responsible for the development and maintenance of their web pages. Major announcements from various departments will also be candidates for the site. There are two types of sites including Intranet (services staff) and Internet (services the public). Types of web services include Static Information (i.e., Human Services resources); Dynamic Information (i.e., Property Tax Data); and Transactions (i.e., Parks shelter reservations). E-recording, online payments for property tax statements, and fee based delivery of Recorder documents are anticipated in 2006. Recommendations on fee structures will be brought forth at a future date. Other current projects include GIS Interface Enhancement, Site Redesign, Data Privacy, Upgrades to Underlying Systems, and Web Development for P&Z and Surveyor. Swing pointed out that old systems are difficult to interface with and upgrades will allow easier flow of information to the Website. Trends include development of service portals, collaboration on technology, and integration of local, regional, State and Federal portals.
Geographic Information System (GIS). A report was provided on the County’s GIS (attached). This is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information. GIS is viewed as a strategic technology. Collaboration on projects amongst governmental units yields better standardized systems at a lower cost to each participant. During the past year, Jobe (Surveyor) and Pooler (Sr. GIS Specialist) were hired and have contributed significantly to the advancement of GIS. IT Department staff have designed a Surveyor web page, allowing for the public to obtain more information online with less staff time involved. A history of the GIS activities was outlined, as well as future projects. One recent application was the use of GIS technology with 911 Dispatch. The dispatchers now are able to determine the location of the caller. The IT and Surveyor Departments are working jointly on the development and the maintenance of the County’s GIS. County departments have been polled to determine potential applications for GIS (outlined in the GIS handout material) and these applications will be prioritized. The three main project areas include Data Development, Data Maintenance, and Projects. The list is an interactive tool that will continually change. Some projects may be outsourced. The Recorder’s Compliance Fund is viewed as one funding source. Most of the projects are involved with land records. Those departments that cannot utilize the Recorders Compliance Fund will need to budget accordingly. The 2007 budget requests do not reflect these projects as there was not adequate preparation time. Those departments that will utilize the Recorder’s Compliance Fund for projects will need to reflect this in their budget, with the funding source being identified. Requests for projects should be provided to the GIS Team, who will assess resources and make a recommendation to the Technology Committee. It is anticipated that GIS will involve more collaboration at the State and Regional levels. The key is building the base with additions of layers thereafter. A number of layers have been added since 2003. Those will be finalized and maintenance will follow. Jobe indicated he will possibly request a GIS Technician in the 2008 budget.
Network Vulnerabilities & Plans For Enhancement. A listing of vulnerabilities and action plan were outlined. Backups to the following systems are planned for 2007: Firewall, Core Switch, Backup System, and Internet Connection. (End of Technology Committee Minutes)
The Deferred Compensation Committee met today to review a request for withdrawal of funds under the hardship criteria. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the unanimous position of the Committee was that the request did not meet the definition of a hardship under the Plan. The County has the fiduciary responsibility to the Plan and therefore the recommendation is for denial. As no approval would be granted, Sawatzke moved to lay this item over for action when the minutes are presented for approval. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.
Accurate USA. $132.00
Advanced Graphix Inc. 335.48
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 836.65
City Albertville 2,159.20
Albion Township 1,156.60
Allina Medical Laboratories 198.00
American Hotel Register Co. 144.24
American Instit. Supply 226.46
American Messaging 626.46
Ameripride Linen & Apparel 753.82
Ancom Communications 7,270.16
Ancom Technical Center 595.81
City Annandale 1,515.36
Aramark Correctional Serv. 10,198.33
Assn. of MN Emerg. Mngrs 250.00
Auto Glass Center, Inc. 229.28
B & D Plumbing & Heating 538.00
George Bakeberg 331.88
Barnes Distribution 335.88
Bauerly Brothers Co. 65,405.45
Big Tyme Collision Ctr. 283.12
Black Box Resale Serv. 349.35
Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 170.00
Boyer Truck Parts 585.75
BP Amoco 1,796.99
Brock White Co. LLC 1,531.47
Brothers Fire Protection 3,244.00
Buffalo Hospital 9,213.84
Buffalo Hosp.-Otpt. Comm. 184.22
Buffalo Township 1,659.40
Canon Business Sol. 676.58
Catco Parts Service 558.38
CDW Government Inc. 2,114.03
Centra Sota Lake Region 29,873.12
Chamberlain Oil Co. 188.74
Clearwater Township 1,599.55
City Clearwater 1,100.00
Climate Air 8,323.21
Cokato Township 1,421.86
City Cokato 1,191.09
Collins Brothers Towing 199.27
Comm. of Transportation 5,504.11
Crow River Tools 261.93
Dash Medical Gloves 293.40
City Delano 1,252.50
Karen Determan 849.47
Carter Diers 702.65
E. Central Reg. Juvenile 10,260.00
Ben Ehlinger 306.16
Elections Sys. & Software 357.49
Dale Engel 128.60
Debbie Ernst 263.89
First State Tire Recycling 800.28
Franklin Township 4,890.50
French Lake Township 1,175.40
Fyles Excav. & Honey Wagon 308.75
Gateway Companies Inc. 3,237.62
GCS Service Inc. 1,281.65
Gordys Foods 178.79
Gould Bros. Chev-Olds 133.13
Jane Grossinger 240.00
City Hanover 3,954.40
Hewlett Packard 5,374.74
Hickmans Repair 181.05
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 6,937.02
Hirschfields Dec. Center 317.68
City Howard Lake 1,536.55
Int’l Assn. of Assessing 379.50
Tracy Janikula 112.94
Jerry’s Towing & Repair 117.15
Junction Towing & Auto Rep. 227.65
Mary Kenning PHD 1,250.00
Klatt True Value Electric 249.83
KNR Communications Serv. 1,203.45
Greg Kramber 189.00
Lab Safety Supply Inc. 201.20
Lakedale Telephone Co. 497.44
Loffler Bus. Systems Inc. 1,936.00
Loffler Companies Inc. 639.00
M-R Sign Company Inc. 5,772.30
Maple Lake Lumber Co. 700.85
Maple Lake Township 1,025.00
City Maple Lake 556.80
Marco Business Products 1,897.83
Martin Marietta Aggregates 536.68
Marysville Township 2,765.30
MASYS Corporation 38,219.92
Richard Mattson 222.06
MCF Red Wing 5,292.00
McLeod Treatment Prog. 5,060.21
Metropolitan Cardiology Cons. 193.05
Middleville Township 1,077.10
Midland Corp. Benefits SVC 750.00
Midway Iron & Metal Co. Inc. 103.44
Minnesota Go-Devil 9,622.27
MJ Dunn Company 1,649.20
MN Chemical Co. 174.69
MN Copy Systems 328.73
MN Counties Comp. Coop 2,779.27
MN Office Enterprise Tech. 1,048.40
MN Sheriffs Association 450.00
MN State Auditor 7,853.02
Monticello Township 1,402.75
City Monticello 1,044.00
Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 946.02
Nextel Communications 3,655.54
Office Depot 2,268.85
Photo 1 715.11
Edward Picht 193.92
Powerplan OIB 1,651.43
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 143.78
Prosource One 219.22
Quetel Corporation 995.00
Rockford Township 6,450.75
City Rockford 438.45
RS Eden 6,928.00
Jack Russek 194.92
Sherburne Co. Sheriff 37,764.63
Sheriffs Youth Program MN 830.25
Sherwin Williams 323.10
Software House Int’l 291.82
City South Haven 779.60
Southside Township 555.60
Specialty Turf & Ag 107.35
Spill 911 1,408.24
SRF Consulting Group Inc. 20,774.24
St. Cloud Appraisal Inc. 1,200.00
St. Cloud State Univ. 750.00
City St. Michael 6,617.52
Stockholm Twp. 680.40
William Swing 255.07
Tech Depot 794.06
Tilsner Carton Co. 459.12
Tools Unlimited 1,222.70
Total Printing 1,834.94
Trimin Systems Inc. 26,625.00
United Rentals Hwy. Tech. 317.37
Tammi Vaith 159.31
Veolia Environmental Serv. 402.99
Victor Township 1,902.20
Viking Coca Cola Bottling 145.95
Voss Lighting 757.17
Walmart Store 01-1577 539.86
City Waverly 957.78
Woodland Township 1,023.75
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 45,518.30
Wright Co. Human Serv. 3,718.00
Wright Co. Journal Press 411.81
Xcel Energy 2,626.71
Zack’s Inc. 1,565.24
52 Payments less than $100 2,841.51
Final total $504,103.00
The meeting adjourned at 11:18 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 4, 2006.