Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 17, 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 10-10-06, seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson was contacted with a concern on the cost of the Jail/LEC. He emphasized that the Schematic Design was approved by the Board and a lot more work will be completed before the final plan for the Jail is approved. The motion carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Jail Administrator Item #2, “Jail Construction Type” (Torfin). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Hayes, M. Nolan, Admin.; J. Ahlm, S. Halonen, P. Heitland, B. LaRose, E. Picht, C. Poirier, J. Rivers, Sher./Corr.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 10-06-06.


1. Authorize Signatures On Utility & Drainage Easement For Otsego Truck Station Site.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, provided an update on Ditch 34. The County is awaiting a decision by the City on their petition to outlet storm water to Ditch 34. Russek said this issue is scheduled on the City’s Agenda for this evening. He plans to attend and explain the County’s perspective on this issue.

Hiivala presented the September Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for approval. The County is anticipating a State correction on sales tax. Russek moved to accept the Guidelines, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

The County Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet on 11-09-06 at 9:00 A.M. As requested by Hiivala, Russek moved to change the time of the meeting to 2:30 P.M. on 11-09-06. Hiivala said the random sample of precincts will be completed at this meeting. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Mattson referenced claims on Page 10, Wright County Highway Department ($25,335.71) and Page 18, Centra Sota Lake Region ($16,099.28) for fuel costs for the Sheriff and Highway Departments. He inquired whether the time period was for more than one month. Hiivala will pull the claim information for review by Mattson after the meeting. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, asked the Board to consider retaining a consultant to perform a feasibility study for a private water tower at the new Jail/LEC. KKE Architects has indicated they do not have the expertise to complete the specifications, feasibility study and cost estimates for the tower. KKE estimates the cost of a feasibility study at $2,000-$6,000. The cost to connect to City sewer/water services is $850,000, of which 90% of the cost is for water. Before proceeding with the consultant, it was felt that the City would need to be contacted to determine if they will allow an on-site tower. Russek stated that the City of New Germany is erecting a water tower at a cost of $700,000. Mattson said the Architect was aware of facilities in two other States so they have some history on the subject. Ongoing maintenance costs would need to be determined as well. Russek made a motion, pending well approval by the City of Buffalo, for the County move forward to contract with a consulting firm to complete a feasibility study for a water tower and the Jail/LEC site. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. It was noted that 3-4 bids will be obtained on the study. The motion carried 5-0.

Torfin explained that KKE Architects would like the County to determine which type of jail cells will be constructed at the new Jail site. Two options being considered are precast concrete and steel. A third option would include truss walls. Out of state travel would be required to review other construction methods. Torfin’s preference was precast concrete walls, although this will require an increase in building footing size. Steel is less expensive, but there are issues being raised on whether this method will be able to support the roof. With steel, the footings would be downsized. Sawatzke questioned the use of concrete block. Torfin felt the cost would be more due to labor involved with block layers, steel workers and plumbers on site. With precast concrete, items are factory installed. Torfin will consult with A&P to determine whether their cost projections for steel vs. precast concrete were on a cell to cell comparison basis or actual construction costs. Sawatzke, Eichelberg and Torfin recently attended a seminar on steel cells. Although Sawatzke felt a viable option, Torfin had concerns with acoustics and maintenance. Torfin added that steel does not have the structure that precast offers. Torfin went to Ramsey County last week where precast concrete cells are used and then to Isanti County where steel is used. The buildings do not look much different but the structure is different. Previously, Isanti County had serious acoustical problems. Acoustical panels were installed on the walls. Torfin said steel is a viable option but will change the way the roof is supported. Either option will provide for double bunking. KKE supports the use of precast concrete cells. Mattson felt KKE should have informed the County Board of this and provided a comparison during their presentation at the last meeting. In response to a question by Mattson on reimbursement to KKE for precast cells, Sawatzke said the contract with KKE is a flat fee. The architect will not earn more if there is an increased project cost. The estimated cost increase for precast concrete is just over $1 million. Torfin said KKE was directed to cut costs where possible. They wanted Board direction so they can provide accurate figures at the 11-07-06 Meeting. In response to Russek, Torfin said the precast concrete would increase the size of the footings as well as structural support. Mattson questioned whether this item should be laid over to the next meeting for approval, as it was an action item. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, suggested that since KKE is scheduled on the 11-07-06 County Board Agenda, Board direction could be for KKE to complete revised cost estimates based upon the precast concrete method. The Board could then review those figures. Sawatzke was not opposed to laying the issue over for one week and doing so would allow Mattson to ask additional questions if desired. Based on the fact that this item was petitioned onto the Agenda, Sawatzke moved to lay this issue over for one week, seconded by Mattson. Russek questioned whether KKE should be asked to provide an estimate of construction costs due to the extra costs associated with the precast cells. Sawatzke responded that their estimate should have taken this into account. Torfin is to verify whether acoustical panels and other costs were included in projections. Torfin said regardless of the type of cells constructed, acoustical issues will need to be addressed and they will be included in the project from the start. The motion carried 5-0.

Steve Jobe, Surveyor, brought forth discussion on survey services for the Jail/LEC site. There is an extensive list of survey requirements. Jobe sought direction on his involvement. He has not been involved with the work completed thus far on the site and felt it may make more sense to have KKE or AJA (subcontractor) gather the information required as they are completing the site plan. Three options were discussed including: 1) The County seeking proposals for a qualified provider; 2) The architect seeking proposals on the County’s behalf; or 3) The County completing the work. Jobe said his past experience with similar projects has shown that survey work is ongoing throughout a project and information may be needed in a timely fashion. Jobe felt he could be involved with boundary survey work, but thought the engineering firm should handle such things as site elevation, utility location, and site preparation. Sawatzke felt the County Surveyor and Highway Engineer should be involved to oversee work being completed. At the bare minimum, Jobe’s role should include the outside perimeter of the property. KKE has not asked for additional funding to complete the work, so it may be included in the contract. Sawatzke said the RFP should be reviewed to assure the County is not being asked to provide something that is included. Mattson said KKE did not mention anything about Jobe’s involvement when they presented the Schematic Design to the Board. Russek moved to lay this issue over for one week, directing Jobe to research the scope of what is required and what is KKE’s role/responsibility. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a draft resolution relating to an Agreement with Mn/DOT for lighting systems on TH 24 (five locations). The roadway is scheduled for rebuilding next year. County cost is $30,000. The majority is budgeted, although Fingalson did not anticipate the cost to be this high. The Highway Department Budget will cover the expenditure as they will not be spending as much on pavement marking. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #06-64, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Fingalson requested the Board schedule a Five-Year Transportation Improvement Public Meeting to establish a 5-Year and 10-Year Work Plan. Input received would be discussed at a Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Mattson moved to schedule a Five-Year Transportation Improvement Public Meeting on 11-15-06 at 1:00 P.M., County Board Room. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. It was noted that this is a public meeting, not a hearing. Cities and townships will be notified.

Eichelberg moved to schedule a Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 11-28-06 at 1:00 P.M., Public Works Building. The Agenda will include: 1) Safety Audit Review; 2) Chouinard Property; 3) Five-Year Plan Discussion; and 4) Official Mapping Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

At the request of Fingalson, Sawatzke moved to lay over for one week the recommendation to award Contract #0612, Silver Creek Township Bridge Project, to the low bidder, Sundblad Construction, Inc. of Cokato, Minnesota. Fingalson said this action will be delayed for one week due to funding issues. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

At 10:00 A.M., Heeter closed the regular meeting and opened the Public Hearing on the Water Management Plan. The Board recessed the Hearing and reconvened at 10:09 A.M. Joe Jacobs, SWCD Water Resources Specialist, said the Plan is updated periodically per State Statutes (103B.311subd 4). The Plan being reviewed is for 2006-2010 for action items but the Plan spans to 2015. The action items will be readdressed after a five-year period. The purpose of the Plan is to identify existing and potential problems and opportunities for protection, management and development of water resources and related land resources in Wright County. The Plan covers the concerns and goals laid out by the public. Information was received through surveys and during previous public hearings. Jacobs provided a detailed outline of the following priority concerns:

1. Ground Water Quality. The first objective is to increase the available background information of Wright County’s groundwater through monitoring, analysis, outside data sources, and better information distribution. The second objective is to prevent failure of ISTS and related sewage pollution in Wright County. In the past five years tests have been conducted on 31 areas lakes. A total of 23 of those have been identified as impaired or not meeting standards. The goal, through water management and planning, is to take the impairments and offset and mitigate them. If the County does nothing, roughly 2/3 of the County will be impaired by 2008 (including the Crow River). This affects property values and development possibilities. Most problems relate to nutrient loading. Key contributors of water quality include agriculture, urban/suburban development; and rural residential (including lake lots). Action items were provided.

One of the action items was to implement a mandatory three-year septic tank pumping program. Tracy Janikula, Wright County Feedlot Administrator, questioned whether Carver County has completed three-year pumping of septic tanks. If so, Wright County’s program could possibly be modeled after theirs. Jacobs stated that the action items require many details to be worked out including who will complete the work and be responsible for associated costs. The document lays the footwork and starts conversation on ways to improve water quality. It sets the stage for adopting ordinances and making land use changes which will be implemented in the future. Fixing a problem is more expensive than preventing one. Jacobs was aware of a successful pumping program in Wisconsin.

Bob Fleskes lives on Lake John. He used to live near Nisswa on Collinwood Lake. When they first purchased that property (1980), they found many water quality problems. An infrared photo series was completed to identify problems. Residents were required to upgrade their systems. He suggested this method to identify problems. Jacobs said Wright County has not used that technology but infrared is a common practice. It would be possible to use this method to identify problems. However, those products do come at a cost.

Ron Wolfe, Maple Lake Township Board referenced the large amount of construction on lakes. Many of these homes have paved driveways that slant toward lakes. Erosion is also seen. He questioned why some type of ordinance is not in effect pertaining to paved driveways and runoff. Wolfe lives in Sherwood Forest, which is a development of 47 homes. One lot was deemed unbuildable and there is perpetual right of way for water to flow through it to a drainage ditch, and eventually under a road culvert and into the lake. About 4 years ago, a person filled in the ditch. Wolfe consulted the SWCD, who said the action was okay as a pipe was installed. The problem exists when frost forms and melts on the farmers field. The water is trapped until Spring. This has resulted in trees dying and water ending up on Wolfe’s property. He consulted the Township and then the County. All deeds reflected perpetual rights but nothing was ever done. He suggested that the SWCD look at these things when ordinances are put into effect. Jacobs responded that he will address this concern later in the discussion.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, supported the goals of the Plan but stated there is no funding or staff to carry out action items. The Plan reflects that a door-to-door septic review will be initiated in 2007 for all lakes in Wright County, along with three-year mandatory septic pumping for the entire County. He reminded the Board that not everyone would be supportive of these actions. He suggested a more realistic time line, especially since budgets have been set for 2007. He reiterated that the goals were worthwhile and he supported them. Heeter said the County needs to determine when the action items are feasible and felt time was of the essence. Water quality needs to be addressed in a fast growing county. Although a costly endeavor, Heeter hoped this Plan would be implemented and not placed on a shelf. In response to Sawatzke, Salkowski stated that inventories have been completed on some lakes with the cooperation of lake associations. Forcing residents to fix their sewers is more of a problem than obtaining data. He suggested using the method of lake associations requesting the County survey a lake. This would be done after a petition by the lake association has been completed. More property owners may be supportive with this method. He saw some problems with the mandatory three-year septic tank pumping requirement, based upon use of properties (seasonal vs. year round). If pumping is done, another method would be to pump septic systems of an entire lake area at once instead of individually calling for service. In addition, there may be a problem with where to dispose of the material. Salkowski was more comfortable calling the action items objectives. He did not want the pubic to misinterpret the Plan and think action items would be completed in 2007. Jacobs said he wanted to partner with the Planning & Zoning Office and that he probably should have spent additional time with Planning & Zoning on the time schedule. To improve water quality in the watershed, problems in the ag, residential and urban areas must be addressed. The SWCD has been working for more than 50 years and most tools have been through volunteer programs. Volunteer programs have brought the water quality to where it is. Jacobs suggested another method of funding programs through tax incentives or disincentives. Some Clean Water Legacy funding is available and application has been made. Funding is generated on a watershed by watershed basis.

2. Surface Water Issues. The first objective is to identify and prioritize all the impaired river systems and General Development and Recreation Lakes of Wright County. The second objective is to expedite the tmdl process for all of the 303d listed waters in Wright County. Action items were identified. Funds have been secured for a “T”-tube monitoring program for the Crow River watershed to look at water quality, and the plan is to incorporate this into lake tributaries. This can be done at a relatively low cost and is very useful. Quality data is expected in the Spring. To access State funding for the Healthy Lakes & Rivers Program, an approved tmdl study must be completed.

Elaine Fleskes, Lake John, said another problem is obtaining answers from the many divisions of the MPCA. Two developments wanted to build on Lake John. Both the DNR and SWCD would not say whether they could, only that the problems were not insurmountable and the development was better than some previous developments. She commended the Planning & Zoning Office for upholding MN Statutes and the seven page Findings Of Fact which resulted.

Don Peterson, Sugar Lake Association Chairman, supported the Plan and said change is difficult but necessary. They participate in a citizens lake monitoring program, have a survey of the lake and a management plan, and have participated in the Healthy Lakes Program. This has all been done with limited funding. There are matching funds available. The Healthy Lakes Program has been a great help. With regard to septic problems, he felt enforcement was the hardest part and only included a small percentage of cases. He supported the Plan and was enthused about it.

Craig Johnson, Sugar Lake. With regard to septic systems, he said an understanding of the scope of the problem was needed. By making an investment in a less abstract approach, they would be able to determine the scope of the problem.

3. Development Pressure. The first objective is to guide new development with comprehensive planning, accessible information, and consideration for natural resources. The second objective is to influence existing developments and landowners to use practices which reduce and/or mitigate negative human impact on natural resources. Action items were identified. Jacobs said from their experience in water planning, there is not enough legal staff and enforcement personnel to address the issue. He proposed accomplishing this through a different method, including incentive and disincentive programs. With this type of program, landowners not participating would fund a solution. Sawatzke questioned whether State property tax laws would allow this. Jacobs said he would have to investigate whether it would be allowed.

4. Agricultural Land Uses. The first objective is to convince agricultural operators to use practices which reduce and/or mitigate negative human impact on natural resources. The second objective is to continue the County’s partnership with the MPCA to ensure all County feedlots are in compliance with 7020 rules.

Bob Fleskes questioned whether developers could be required to set aside funding in escrow based upon the size of the development. This funding could be used in the future for any problems with water, runoff and sediment issues. Fleskes said many times developers are not around to fix the problems created and so it is up to the residents, city, or lake associations to do so. If the land is worth developing, the developer should guarantee the results of their work. Jacobs said this issue is addressed in the Erosion Ordinance which they are in the process of completing, as well as the funding source and who is responsible for implementation/enforcement.

Sawatzke questioned the legality of some of the suggestions made today. Although good ideas, he was unsure whether the County had the authority to do so. Other than Park Dedication Fees, Salkowski said the County is prohibited by the State Legislature to charge developers for anything that cannot be directly justified and quantified. Other states are more aggressive with impact fees. The Builders Association has a strong lobbying force in St. Paul. Salkowski said they are struggling with storm water management plans. In some cases, a condition of the PUD approval is that the property owner is responsible. In other cases where the township is willing, they take over maintenance of the storm water ponds. This often happens along with the township maintaining the road.

Dale Gustafson, Lakes & Rivers Alliance of Wright County, said their group is not a formalized 501c3. They have held meetings over the past few years and participation has been encouraging. Members are strong and active. The group is pleased with the County’s attention to the Plan and supportive of moving forward. Having said that, Gustafson said water issues are often times difficult. On a public radio broadcast yesterday, it was conveyed that on the majority of issues before voters on water quality most have been approved. There is a percentage of residents willing to pay for these things. Their group wants to help with solutions and are willing to work with the County to help protect the waters.

Bob Fleskes provided the Board with two articles, “A wetlands primer” (Annandale Advocate) and “Benefits of shoreland zoning” (MN DNR). These articles reflect that people are interested in preserving and maintaining water quality.

Mattson questioned whether the Crow River water quality had been tested from Meeker County to Wright County. Jacobs responded that Diane Sander, C.R.O.W., has done extensive testing on the entire stretch of the Crow River and would have specific data. Russek said the C.R.O.W. has assisted with cleaning up 12-mile Creek by Litchfield and are now working on Buffalo Creek. Jacobs said the MPCA has the legal control to treat pollution after a tmdl study has been completed. At this point, no tmdl studies have been completed in the County.

With regard to action today, Jacobs said he would continue to work with Planning & Zoning on time lines. He asked that the Plan be adopted with the caveat that start dates may be adjusted in the Plan and potentially some wording changes indicating when the process would be started. The Plan would then be sent to the State for review.

The Public Hearing was closed at 11:35 A.M. and the regular meeting reconvened. Heeter commended Jacobs for the work put into the Plan. Water quality is of the utmost concern to the Board, particularly with the growth being realized. Eichelberg questioned whether the Plan had been distributed to City Engineers for their comments. If not, he questioned whether action should be delayed. Jacobs indicated the Plan is on the SWCD website. Storm water and Erosion Ordinances which are being developed are tied to the Plan but Jacobs did not want approval of the Plan held up. It was felt the Ordinances would be presented for review the first part of 2007. Lengthy discussion evolved on whether to approve the Plan today with minor changes or to lay the Plan over for one week to allow the Plan to be revised and brought back for approval.

The meeting was recessed at 11:51 A.M. and reconvened at 11:55 A.M. Jacobs summarized by stating that implementation of certain aspects of the Plan should reflect 2007, as the budget process has already been completed. Those areas which require additional funding sources would be pushed to 2008. The Board could then discuss whether those action items were feasible during the budget process. Sawatzke suggested the use of interns, in conjunction with the efforts of lake associations, to contact homeowners on compliance issues. Possibly a few lakes could be completed during the Summer months. He also stated the budget process would be tough over the next few years due to the Jail/LEC project and criminal justice increases. Heeter did not want the document language softened to the point where it was forgotten about, nor did she want the Plan and its objectives to be placed on the back burner. Many calls from constituents relate to water quality issues. Mattson felt letters could be sent to lake residents informing them ahead of time that staff/interns may be contacting them. Sawatzke said in more problematic areas, staff from Planning & Zoning may need to be involved. Salkowski said there will never be a time in Wright County where all lakeshore properties have compliant septic systems. It is a goal but will not realistically happen. Sawatzke moved to approve the Wright County Local Water Management Plan for 2006-2010, noting the following changes: Page III-4, Item #3, should read, “Expand the septic review program for lakeshore properties to ensure all lakeshore properties have compliant septic systems” and to change the time line to “Ongoing” (removing 2007); Page III-4, Item #4, should read, “Study the feasibility of a mandatory septic tank pumping program” (removing three year); Page III-7, Item 1, 3, 4, and 5, change the time line to “2007.” The motion was seconded by Mattson. In response to Sawatzke, Jacobs confirmed that amendments to the Plan can be made within the five-year period. Heeter wanted the record to reflect that Item #3, Page III-4 was soft and fluffy and did not have much teeth to it. The motion carried 5-0.

A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 10-09-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Norman indicated that the MN Regional Coroners’ Office has decided not to bid for Medical Examiner Services. The only other responder was Ramsey County and their services are abbreviated. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations:

Medical Examiner Services. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Medical Examiner Services. The County currently holds a contract with Dr. Amatuzio, Midwest Forensic Pathology, P.A. Dr. Amatuzio will cease to provide service through Midwest Forensic as of January, 2007 and will instead provide Medical Examiner services through Anoka County. Staff from Midwest Forensic will become Anoka County employees. In order to continue with her services, the County would be required to enter into a contract with Anoka County. The County has contacted Ramsey County as a possible source for these services. Ramsey County has provided information on their services but no detailed cost estimates. An estimated cost was provided of $95,000 for 55 autopsies. Dr. Amatuzio made a presentation on revisions to MN Statute 390 for Coroners and Medical Examiners, an overview of the duties of death investigation systems, and a comparison of the current system utilized by Wright County as compared to others. Dr. Amatuzio operates under MN Statute 390. The Statute does not require law enforcement to complete death investigations. The major change to the Statute is the types of death which must be reported (previously 4 and now 21). The new Statute reads that the Coroner or Medical Examiner must determine the manner of death and the extent of the death scene must be defined. Dr. Amatuzio assisted with writing the Statute but has been following these practices for about 10 years. Dr. Amatuzio said the death investigative services being provided by her firm are a collaborative effort with personnel from local law enforcement, fire departments and the EMS . It is a seasoned system that works well. Miller said Sheriff Department personnel are trained to investigate crimes (evidence, weapons) and not forensics. It is important that the two investigations run parallel but remain separate. Kelly cited Dr. Amatuzio’s expertise in Grand Jury trials. Testimony is included in the cost of Dr. Amatuzio’s services, as well as followup with families in non-criminal cases. Her firm was the first private practice in the nation and the second in the State to be accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners. Ramsey County follows a simplified method of death investigation. In that scenario, the County Attorney determines that an investigation is necessary which is completed by the Sheriff. A recommendation is made on what type of autopsy is required. The Medical Examiner must apply to a judge for the authority to perform an autopsy. The Sheriff takes charge of custody of the body. The problem with this type of system is there is no independent investigation by a Coroner or Medical Examiner and it abandons the parallel system. Heeter questioned who would perform the autopsy in this type of situation. Dr. Amatuzio said the County could contract with an independent Medical Examiner or through another county to provide these services. Currently, Dr. Amatuzio and her death investigators respond to crime scenes. Their services include transport of the body to the morgue, death investigation, toxicology, x-rays, testimony, pathology at the scene and education. These services would no longer be provided if Wright County does not contract with Anoka County. Either the BCA or the Sheriff Department would respond and have costs associated. The Committee discussed past efforts to hire a doctor to perform autopsies, prior to hiring Dr. Amatuzio as the Coroner. An RFP was sent out with no success. Miller added that other issues impacted the decision to proceed with Dr. Amatuzio. These included the Sheriff Department and doctors not being trained in this capacity, as well as the quality of the death scene investigation. Miller felt the simplified system would be a quantum leap backward and did not favor training staff to perform death scene investigations, family followup, etc. Wright County is rapidly becoming an urbanized County with complex cases. Currently the Sheriff Department has nine investigators. If the County were to perform death scene investigations, this would result in a substantial increase in staff. Although the County needs to be fiscally responsible, the quality of service and how the public is served must be addressed as well. Death scene investigations are highly charged and publicized. Handouts were provided on a comparison of Death Investigation Systems, financial information for Coroner services for 2003-2006, and correspondence from Jerry Soma, Anoka County, addressing Medical Examiner Services (attached). The financial data was for the Counties of Anoka, Crow Wing, Meeker, Mille Lacs and Wright. The per capita costs in Wright County were $1.33 from 2003-2005 with a projected $1.47 in 2006. This figure is projected at$2.50 per capita in 2007 (including transportation) with a 6% increase per year from 2008-2011. Population and demographics drive costs through required services (number of autopsies, transports, etc.). A younger population results in such things as more traffic accidents, drugs and homicides. Norman questioned the increase in costs from 2006 to 2007, citing the potential seamless transition with her staff becoming employees of Anoka County. Dr. Amatuzio explained that under the Midwest Forensic contract, costs were never met. This was due, in part, to four-year contracts. Her firm subsidized Wright County. The goal of the services provided through Anoka County is to do it correctly from the start to avoid potential lawsuits. Anoka County’s cost per capita is at $2.50. They will also subsidize Dr. Amatuzio’s costs for the remainder of 2006. Costs for Wright and Sherburne Counties are projected to decrease by $24,000 if both Counties elect to proceed with Anoka County (estimated at $2.35/capita). In planning for the increased cost of service, the 2007 draft certified levy includes the highest estimate provided by Anoka County. Although satisfied with Dr. Amatuzio’s services, Sawatzke favored contacting other agencies to make a more informed decision. If these costs were close to contracting with Anoka County, it would make sense to proceed with Anoka County. However, if they were substantially different it may be worthwhile to discuss other options. Recommendation: Norman was directed to contact the MN Regional Coroners’ Office to see if they are interested in providing Medical Examiner Services to Wright County and at what cost. The Anoka County scope of services will be sent to them so that a comparison of services can be completed. This information should be obtained in the next 7-10 days. (End of 10-09-06 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 10-10-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following change was made to the minutes: Page 1, 1st paragraph, 6th sentence, should read, “With regard to maintenance, it was suggested that the County....” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek. Norman said the minutes are correct in that they reflect the County has over $50 million in debt limit available. A meeting was held yesterday on the 800 MHZ Project, which was attended by Bruce Kimmel, Springsted. The $50 million debt limit includes the LEC but not the Jail. The $50 million debt limit must also include the 800 MHz project, the possible purchase of the YMCA property, and the LEC. The County may be close to the Capital Improvement Plan debt authority limit. In response to Sawatzke, Norman said the square footage costs of the Jail will be higher than that of the LEC. The motion carried 4-0 (Mattson absent) to approve the minutes:

Review & Discuss Memorandum Of Agreement & Joint Powers Agreement Between The City Of Monticello & Wright County. An Agreement was distributed (attached) which was drafted by City and County staff. The Agreement authorizes the City and County to make an offer on the YMCA property under the terms set forth. A future Joint Powers Agreement would be an option. A Joint Meeting to discuss the purchase will be held on 10-23-06 at 5:00 P.M., Monticello City Hall. A 50/50 joint ownership of the property is desired. With regard to maintenance, it was suggested that the County would be responsible for 90% of the land and the City 10% of the land. The following change was made to the draft Agreement: Page 2, Item 7, remove the words “and prorated.” Mattice received an opinion from the Auditor/Treasurer on financing. The County has the authority to issue Capital Improvement (GO) Bonds under MN Statute 373.4 to acquire parks land and incidental building (maintenance and outdoor recreation, not indoor sports facilities). Springsted recommends issuing the entire bond and entering into a Joint Powers Agreement with the City for half of the costs. A Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) would be required. The County would be required to hold a public hearing on approving the CIP and a separate hearing approving the issuance of the bonds (both could be held the same day). There is a 30-day reverse referendum opportunity. A petition with signatures equaling 5% of votes cast in the 2005 election has to be filed within 30 days following the public hearing. The County could pull the proposal or put the item on the November ballot. The Auditor/Treasurer indicated the County has conservatively over $50,000,000 in debt limit available. It was felt this figure was arrived at after taking the Jail/Law Enforcement Project into consideration. With regard to other substantial financial obligations, Norman is scheduled to meet with staff and the consultant on 10-16-06 to discuss the 800 MHZ System. Heeter added that the County will be responsible for a one-time $25,000 assessment and an annual $2,500 maintenance fee related to water quality enhancements for Schroeder Park. Heeter was originally in favor of a Joint Powers Agreement however this would require a completely separate accounting system. For the current time, she favored partnering with the City. A committee could be formed with representation from the City Council, County Board, Parks Administrator, and Park Commissions for both entities. Norman said the advantage of a Joint Powers Board is insurance and liability issues are handled by that Board. Recommendation: The Committee requests that Bruce Kimmel, Springsted Financial Advisors, attend the 10-23-06 Joint Meeting with the City of Monticello. (End of 10-10-06 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)

A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 10-11-06. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0 (Mattson absent):

REQUEST TO BRING 4/5’s POSITION TO FULL TIME. The position under discussion is at the front desk switchboard. The previous switchboard operator worked a four day work week, per her request. Since her retirement, a temporary employee has been covering the switchboard. It is requested that this position go to full-time so hiring can take place. This will also help alleviate the need for staff from the Auditor/Treasurer Department to cover the switchboard other than for breaks and lunch. Recommendation: Approve request to bring 4/5’s position to full time.

FLEX TIME REQUEST (H/S BOARD ITEM) (End of Personnel Committee Minutes)

A Ways & Means Committee Meeting was held on 10-11-06. The following changes were made to the minutes: Page 1, 1st paragraph, 1st sentence, should read, “The acre parcel of land in Middleville Township under discussion for sale is a parcel of pasture land not suitable for a building site” (Sawatzke); Page 1, under Recommendation, 1st sentence, should read, “Set a bid opening date for 11-14-06 with a minimum bid price of $4,400” (Sawatzke). Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendations and to schedule a bid opening date for 11-14-06 at 9:30 A.M., seconded by Eichelberg. Norman will contact the Chief Deputy Attorney and direct him to meet publishing requirements of the bid opening, including the requirements of the parcel not being buildable and tying it in with the adjacent property. The motion carried 4-0 (Mattson absent):

SELLING OF ONE-HALF ACRE PARCEL IN MIDDLEVILLE TOWNSHIP. The acre parcel of land in Middleville Township under discussion for sale is a parcel of pasture land not suitable for a building site. It was previously used as a gravel mining site and has a depression in the middle of the property. Middleville Township approves a sale with no building entitlement. A couple that lives just north of this acre parcel is interested in purchasing 5 acres just south of their property for their horses. This acre parcel is within this area and all 5 acres could be combined into one PID. A lot line adjustment could be made. None of the 5 acres will have an entitlement. If this property is advertised on a sealed bid, the advertisement could indicate this is not a buildable lot. Carol Stevens-Moorhead, owner of adjoining property, is amenable to this. If somebody buys the property they could be required to consolidate into one PID number. There is no access from County Road 5 to the land. It touches on the right-of-way and drops off steeply from the road. Asleson will draft a Notice of Sale which will run for 3 consecutive weeks in the Howard Lake newspaper. Recommendation: Set a bid opening date for 11-14-06 with a minimum bid price of $4,400. Include in the ad the property is not buildable and, if purchased with adjacent property, the PID numbers will need to be consolidated. (End of Ways & Means Committee Minutes)

Norman announced the postponement of the 10-31-06 Quad County Meeting. Benton, Sherburne and Stearns County Commissioners are hosting a regional MICA Legislative Forum the evening of 10-30-06. Therefore the Quad County Meeting will be postponed until 1-30-07.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson. $116.14

American Instit. Supply 128.86

Amerpride Linen/Apparel 546.28

Earl Andersen Inc 1,338.32

Aramark Correct. Services 5,721.84

Auto. Garage Door & Firepl. 1,325.00

Joe Backes 278.57

Barnes Distribution 350.02

Beaudry Propane Inc. 366.87

Benton Co. Treasurer 2,310.00

Benton Trophy & Awards 129.27

Jean Bresin 130.00

Buffalo Clinic 281.70

Buffalo Hospital 112.55

Buffalo Transmission 1,850.35

Cardiac Science 706.10

CDW Government Inc. 3,114.04

Center Point Energy 3,139.45

Centra Sota Lake Region 16,099.28

Climate Air 5,404.01

Collins Brothers Towing 270.25

Comm. of Transportation 395.00

Cons. Radiologists Ltd. 303.60

Cub Pharmacy 1,491.83

Decorative Designs Inc. 184.31

Dept. of Public Safety 120.00

E-Z Flush 709.10

Emergency Physicians PA 511.50

Maria Felger Ramos LLC 332.80

Gateway Companies Inc. 1,421.78

GCS Service Inc. 334.24

Janet Gholson 224.28

Godfathers Exterminating 191.70

Graphic & Printing Services 955.00

Hirschfields Decorating Ctr. 241.54

Hoisington Koegler Grp. Inc. 206.25

Holiday 9,108.00

Interstate All Battery Ctr. 669.05

JR’s Appliance Disposal Inc. 1,265.00

Kandiyohi Co. Sheriff’s Dept. 1,210.00

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

KNR Communications Serv. 516.32

LaPlant Demo Inc. 314.30

Michael Laurent 225.14

LexisNexis 110.00

Marco 2,445.50

Marco Business Products 256.67

Martin-McAllisters Cons. 350.00

MASYS Corporation 2,628.87

Patrick Melvin 103.24

The Metro Group Inc. 4,580.35

Mille Lacs Co. Jail 1,350.00

MN Co. Attorneys Assoc. 105.00

MN Office of Enterprise Tech. 859.14

Moys Custom Painting 345.00

NADA Appraisal Guides 150.00


N. Suburban Towing Inc. 104.85

Office Depot 1,470.21

Photo 1 654.50

PMI Computer Supplies 166.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 128.87

Qwest 4,062.31

Soc. for Human Resource 160.00

St. Joseph Equipment-Mpls 11,262.38

Thwate Inc. 349.00

Total Printing 793.69

Trans Languages LLC 274.50

Keith Triplett 200.00

University of MN 11,273.28

Voss Lighting 885.31

Waste Management TC W 190.73

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 38,401.75

Wright Hennepin Electric 624.33

Zep Manufacturing Co. 293.81

44 Payments less than $100 1,699.85

Final total $151,560.91

The meeting adjourned at 12:29 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal Nov. 27, 2006.