Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 24, 2006

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 10-17-06, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Items For Consid. #2, “Cancel 10-25-06 Personnel Meeting & Reschedule To 11-08-06” (Eichelberg); Items For Consid. #3, “City/County Meeting@ (Heeter). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: T. Rasmuson, Assessor; B. Haynes, Hwy.; L. Lehmberg, B. Wall, IT; D. Ernst, VS/CD.

2. Refer To Budget Committee: Proposed Fee Changes.

3. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Memorandum Of Agreement With AFSCME For Donation Of Vacation Time.

4. Claim, Frank Madden, $15,460.03.

5. Transfer $1,183,454 From Budget 820, Personnel Services To The Various Departments In The General Fund.


1. Refer To Personnel Committee: Change Of 4/5th Secretary Position To A Full Time Position.


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

A. Steve Johnson (Corinna Twp.). Planning Commission Unanimously Recommends Approval Of The Rezoning Of 37 Acres From B-2 To I-1.

Tom Kelly, County Attorney, introduced Thomara Karvel. Karvel was recently hired as an Assistant County Attorney and will be working with child protection. While in college, Karvel worked as a clerk in the Child Protection Unit for Hennepin County, as a clerk in Benton County, and also worked with Friendship Ventures. Her mentor in law school was 10th Judicial District Judge Michelle Larkin. Her new responsibilities will include the CHIPS Program (children in need of protective services); termination of parental rights; the child abuse team; and she will serve as liaison on the Children=s Justice Initiative. Karvel was welcomed.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented a retirement plaque to Wayne Luetgers for his 29 years of dedicated service to the Wright County Highway Department and the citizens of Wright County. Luetgers served in the position of Shop & Equipment Maintenance Superintendent and was thanked for his service.

Fingalson presented for approval Cooperative Agreement #06-55 with the City of Monticello for a portion of CSAH 75. It was discovered that a portion of CSAH 75 that the County anticipated giving to the City is not within City limits but in the Township. The land involves ROW for the railroad. The Agreement was approved by the City on 10-23-06 contingent upon Board approval. Fingalson concurred with this action. In response to Mattson, Fingalson stated he was unsure whether the Township was aware of the situation as it was only discovered yesterday. The City has agreed to take this portion of CSAH 75 over and to pay the County $25,000 for lost State Aid. If the Agreement is approved, the City would remove the median in this area to allow full access to a developer. The County placed the median for safety but there is not as much traffic now. The City is anxious to remove the median and would do so upon County Board approval of the Agreement and the City starting the process on annexation. Sawatzke felt approval of the Agreement should be laid over until the Township is advised of the situation. He suggested the City should inform the Township Board at their meeting on 11-06-06. The County could then discuss the Agreement at their meeting on 11-07-06. Sawatzke moved to lay the Agreement over for two weeks so that the issue can be sent to the Monticello Township Board. This will provide the Township the opportunity to understand what is happening and they can then provide their position to the County Board. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. The intent of the motion includes the stipulation that there will be no changes in the roadway (i.e., removal of the median) at this time.

Due to the action taken on CSAH 75, Fingalson withdrew his request for adoption of a resolution which would revoke a portion of CSAH 75 in the City of Monticello.

Fingalson presented a draft resolution which would revoke a portion of CSAH 22 and CR 121 in the City of St. Michael and would designate a new alignment for CSAH 22. The language of the resolution is consistent with the Agreement previously approved between the County and the City of St. Michael on the Bernings Mill Bridge project. The resolution is required for State Aid, revoking and modifying the alignment of CSAH 22 and officially revoking CR 121 off the system, as it will be taken over as a City street. Access issues for the turn lane on the north side of the bridge will be handled by the City and are outlined in the Agreement. The City will be required to adopt a resolution as well. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #06-65, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Laid over from the last meeting, discussion resumed on the award of Contract #0612 to Sundblad Construction, Inc. of Cokato Minnesota, Silver Creek Township Bridge Project, $40,802. Fingalson said this project was delayed due to funding issues which still exist. Due to communication problems between the State Aid Office and Highway Department staff, the bids were prematurely opened (prior to the plan being approved). There are two courses of action. The first is to accept the bids and go through a variance procedure, and the Variance Board does not meet until 12-14-06. Approval of the variance has about an 80% probability factor. If the project commenced prior to that time, the County would be required to up front the costs for the project. The other option would be to reject the bids and obtain new bids on 11-06-06 (for award on 11-07-06). The bids would be structured so the contractor can either complete the work this year or by mid-June, 2007. The same terms would be required, including a bid bond. Faxed bids would not be accepted. The Township does not have a strong desire to have the work completed yet this year. The Town Bridge Account will fund $30,000 if approved by the Variance Board. The Township’s contribution is $10,000. Mattson moved to honor the bid from Sundblad Construction and to proceed through the variance process, seconded by Russek. Russek stated Sundblad Construction was the low bid and they have done well on culvert constructions. Sawatzke requested clarification of the motion, whether Sundblad was awarded the work to complete now or in the Spring. Sawatzke was not opposed to the variance process and preserving the County’s guarantee of $30,000 in Town Bridge funding. Fingalson said the key question is whether Sundblad should start the work prior to the Variance Board decision on 12-14-06. Sawatzke supported awarding the bid to Sundblad contingent upon the variance being approved. He did not want to risk $30,000 in County dollars if funding can be received from the State. Fingalson said bids are good for 30 days from date of opening. Therefore, the County would need to obtain permission from Sundblad to proceed in this fashion. It was the position of Mattson and Russek that the motion would stand to award the bid, to begin the work immediately, and to apply for the variance. The motion carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote. Fingalson will bring the variance resolution to the 11-07-06 Board Meeting.

Fingalson requested approval of a Memorandum Of Understanding with the City of Albertville for the storage and purchase of salt for the 2006-2007 snow/ice control season. This would allow the City to purchase sand/salt and also use the County’s loader. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agreement with the City of Albertville, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

At 9:43 A.M., Heeter opened the Public Hearing for the purpose of considering a petition by School District #2687 to outlet storm water from its planned high school site into the County Ditch #10 drainage system. George Ladd, School District Superintendent, was present for discussion as well as Mike Murphy and Derek Meyer from Larson Engineering. The area is south of Howard Lake. Meyer explained the SWCD, MPCA and the County were consulted on the pattern of water flow and permitting requirements. Water runoff could not be increased from current conditions, and the design needed to match pre-settlement conditions. Ponds are being used to control the rate and treat water, allowing for an additional 11% in capacity. An outlet control structure will be used to limit runoff in small storms. Increased flows will run over the structure wall to match current rates. In addition to on-site retention ponds, grass swales will be used to treat water from parking lots prior to entering the ponds. Superintendent Ladd stated the School is being annexed into the City. Orderly annexation must move from the north to the south and remain contiguous. It will be a slow process and leapfrogging will not occur.

Joe Jacobs, SWCD, referenced an email reflecting Kerry Saxton’s request. In summary, the school has designed the plan to reach pre-settlement rates and substantially reduce rates over what is currently there. Jacobs received a phone call from a landowner to the south of the proposed development who had concerns with flow to the Ditch and flooding. Jacobs told the landowner that rates are being reduced to pre-settlement conditions. Any time impervious surface is added, there will be more volume. Through the incorporation of grass swales and ponding, water will be allowed to soak into the ground. Russek stated this is a functioning Ditch.

The Public Hearing closed at 9:56 A.M. and the regular meeting was reconvened. Russek moved to direct the County Attorney’s Office to draw up findings consistent with approval of the request, seconded by Mattson. Superintendent Ladd stated that bids for the project were approved last evening and groundwork is expected to start in the next three weeks. The motion carried 5-0.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, brought forth discussion on Clementa Avenue culverts located on Ditch 36. Justin Kamas, Bolton & Menk, Inc. provided information reflecting that the City of Montrose is reconstructing Clementa Avenue from TH 12 to 1.25 miles north of TH 12. As part of the reconstruction, all culverts are being replaced at the same elevations and size as the existing culverts. One culvert will have a concrete weir wall placed on the east end of the culvert (Station 62+62) to bring the inlet elevation for the culvert up to the pre-construction elevation. Mattson questioned whether all land involved was annexed into the City, whether the Township has been involved, and whether the City will be a benefitted owner on the Ditch. Kamas stated that the Township is aware of the work being completed. A Feasibility Study has been completed for the Township. Adjacent property owners on the Ditch are not being assessed. Mattson felt that all land from the railroad tracks north should have been annexed into the City. Heeter stated that the City would have to address that issue. The City will recoup costs as areas are developed. In response to Russek, Kamas said the weir wall will not restrict the flow of water as there is an opening on top larger than the culvert. The culvert work has already been completed as they were unaware that County approval was required. There is no cost to the County. Further discussion occurred on who the benefitted property owners would be when areas are annexed into the City. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the ditch benefits should be apportioned or the City should be listed as a benefitted landowner. Kamas said an area east of the culvert has been annexed for a number of years, and is called the Forest Creek Development. Russek said to the south there is a development near Waverly. The land is now in the City but was previously benefitted acreage. Sawatzke felt these situations needed to be researched to see that benefits are attached to someone. Hiivala said staff have been researching the Ditch location. There is a 1969 listing that identifies areas east of Clementa but there are no other records for the Ditch crossing Clementa Avenue. Mattson moved to approve the work done on Ditch 38, seconded by Russek. Jacobs said he hadn’t reviewed the plan but asked about how the increased flow would impact downstream landowners. Kamas stated that the north culvert previously had a series of stacked culverts, with a 15” functioning culvert on top. A 12” culvert below was 75% plugged. An 18” culvert is being used as a replacement. Kamas felt the reason for the stacked culverts is they placed additional ones in when the others became dysfunctional. Multiple culverts are normally placed side by side. Sawatzke felt the new culvert was about 15% smaller than the other two combined but would provide more open flow. The other culvert replacements were made at the same size as the previous culverts. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the work completed.

The meeting recessed at 10:23 A.M. and reconvened at 10:30 A.M.

An update was provided on County Ditch 34. A quote was received from Fyle’s Excavating in the amount of $5,160 for repairs to the Ditch. With the pending request from the City of Delano to discharge into Ditch 34, Russek was unsure whether the County should repair the blowouts at this time. He did not want to assess landowners if the City would redo the area in the next few years. Russek moved to lay this issue over for two weeks to provide the opportunity to discuss the repairs with the landowner. The motion was seconded by Mattson. If the property owner wants to wait on repairs, Fyle’s will be contacted to let them know it was decided not to proceed with the work. The motion carried 5-0.

Hiivala received an employee request for a hardship withdrawal from their Deferred Compensation account. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to schedule a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting on 11-07-06 at 8:30 A.M. The meeting will be held in the Administration Conference Room.

The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala referenced a claim on Page 3, Masys Corporation ($11,957.67) for travel. This claim should have been paid from the Capital Projects Fund and was corrected on the signature copy of the claims listing. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced a claim on Page 7, Tracy Janikula ($101.50) for mileage. It was incorrectly charged to the Fuel/Lube line item and will be corrected to the Travel line item. Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried unanimously.

Laid over from the last meeting, discussion occurred on the jail construction type and the water tower for the new Jail/LEC Site. Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, provided information from Bolton & Menk, Inc. on behalf of the City of Buffalo. KKE will provide information and costs on jail construction types at the meeting of 11-07-06. Three vendors have been contacted and various cost configurations will be presented for comparison. With regard to the water tower, the information provided by Bolton & Menk indicates that any development within the City must connect to both sanitary sewer and water service. The cost of sanitary sewer is estimated at $56,000 and the water main at $730,000. In a subsequent meeting between the City and the County, it was noted that once flows and loadings are known for the Jail, the City will develop an agreement for cost participation of the water main based on the fact that the trunk water main would benefit a larger area of the City. At today’s meeting, it was the consensus that further discussion needs to take place on the water loop, who it will service, and cost sharing. Sawatzke said the City has electric rights to the site. After consulting with the County Purchasing Agent on this issue, he suggested staff meet with the City to discuss use of electricity with the City and potential peak shaving discounts if a generator were used, as well as any other activities which would offer rate reductions. Torfin was directed to obtain 3-4 dates from the City that will work for this meeting.

Also referred from the last meeting was discussion on survey services for the Jail/LEC Site. Steve Jobe, Surveyor, said he reviewed the KKE contract and Wright County is responsible for the survey work. Jobe met with AJA, a consultant for KKE who is providing engineering services, and he now has a better understanding for what is needed for the project. Specifications were recently delivered to two local survey companies. Jobe estimated a cost of $6300 (billed at an hourly rate) for the survey work to include such items as utility locates, additional topography and drainage information. Given the magnitude and time line of the project, Jobe recommended using a consultant to complete the survey work. Jobe said his recommendation is based upon the size, expertise required, and the time line of the project. In response to Russek, Jobe stated that the $6300 covers the surveying prior to construction. A question still remains on future construction staking costs and responsibility. The reason AJA wants detailed information on the front end is to identify concerns to avoid change orders. With regard to liability, some assurances are provided with having a third party involved. One of the survey firms contacted confirmed they could meet the November deadline for initial work. The other firm has not indicated a time line. Mattson felt it was strange that the County=s responsibility for survey work was not brought forth for discussion by KKE. Heeter said building a Jail is new for the County. Unless the contract is read word for word, there are things that the Board may misunderstand. Sawatzke said survey work is included in the project soft costs. Russek moved to authorize Jobe to consult with a local firm to complete the survey work up to $6300, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

The Board discussed Medical Examiner Services. Norman was previously directed to contact the MN Regional Medical Examiners Office to determine whether they were interested in providing a quote for Medical Examiner Services. A response was received that they would not be providing a quote. The proposal received was from Anoka County. Sawatzke said the proposal was 10% higher than he favored and inquired whether there would be room for negotiation. Norman said that at a previous meeting, Dr. Amatuzio stated this was a possibility but he had not discussed this directly with Anoka County. The estimate received from Anoka County reflected a four year contract (6% increase each year based on a per capita formula). Sherburne County has not taken formal action on Medical Examiner Services but they are leaning toward a contract with Anoka County. Eichelberg moved to enter into formal contract negotiations with Anoka for a three-year contract, seconded by Russek. The projected costs were included in the 2007 budget. A number of other counties are awaiting the decision of Wright County and Sherburne County as it will impact their contracts. The County has not received the notice of cancellation for the current contract with Midwest Forensic Pathology, P.A. Negotiations will probably include the Anoka County Administrator and Human Services Director. The motion carried 5-0.

Eichelberg moved to cancel the 10-25-06 Personnel Committee Meeting at 11:00 A.M. and reschedule it for 11-08-06. The meeting is being rescheduled due to the unavailability of two Board Members due to other commitments. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Heeter said a City/County Meeting will be held on 10-25-06 at 7:00 P.M., Maple Lake American Legion. The County Board and Department Heads will meet with City Mayors, Administrators and Council Members for a social event and Agenda items. This is being held in an ongoing effort to establish partnerships with other governmental agencies.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop. $7,888.72

Allina Health Systems 500.00

Allina Medical 153.00

Allina OCC Med 922.00

American Business Forms 290.91

Ameripride Linen & Apparel 224.36

Aramark Corr. Services 5,393.24

B & B Products-Rigs/Squads 2,316.76

B & D Plumbing & Heating 2,627.00

Baers Body Shop Inc. 2,848.62

Barker Co./Bob 228.02

Big Tyme Collision Ctr. 265.17

Bound Tree Medical LLC 702.09

Buffalo Hospital 18,540.30

Buffalo Hosp.Otpt Comm. 2,425.50

Busch/Ryan 537.12

Cardiac Science 1,176.83

CDW Government Inc. 301.95

Centra Sota Lake Region 16,194.82

Climate Air 4,038.47

Comm. of Transportation 8,895.60

Cons. Radiologists LTD 142.40

Culligan of Buffalo 300.00

Denn/Franklin E. 404.29

Diers/Carter 574.41

Embarq 188.20

Erickson/Mark 131.31

Ernst/Debbie 235.02

Gateway Companies Inc. 633.68

Gopher State One Call 101.45

Greenview Inc. 14,028.74

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,783.17

Imageware Systems, Inc. 8,311.79

Inst. of Police Technology 400.00

Intl. Public Management Assn. 1,357.71

Interstate All Battery Center 225.62

Interstate Automotive 159.25

J & L Wood Design Inc. 191.70

Janikula/Tracy 101.50

KNR Communications Serv. 1,600.60

LaPlant Demo Inc. 538.11

M & M Express 154.70

Marco 142.08

Marco Business Products 1,754.04

MASYS Corporation 11,957.67

McMaster-Carr Supply Co. 392.00

Menards-Buffalo 117.80

Metro Cardiology Cons. 323.40

MN Co. Attorneys Assoc. 105.97

MN Fall Maintenance Expo 665.00

MN Office of Enterprise Tech. 370.00

MN Sex Crimes Investiga. 340.00

MN State Auditor 7,227.07

Monticello Times Inc. 100.00

Municipal Software 10,688.00

Numara Software 10,172.64

Office Depot 2,485.13

Omann Brothers Inc. 2,517.76

Phillips 66 Conoco 76 138.24

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 137.33

Qwest 3,545.49

Qwest 2,120.46

Royal Tire Inc. 5,327.13

RS Eden 598.50

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge 308.86

Scharber/Elizabeth 106.88

Software House Int’l. 596.41

Star West 187.00

Stratus Tech. Ireland Ltd. 8,254.83

Super Express 172.53

Total Printing 914.31

United Locating Services 390.00

United Parcel Service 102.43

United Rentals Hwy. Tech. 641.13

West Payment Ctr 875.36

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 1,827.41

Wright Co. Sandblasting 1,050.00

Wright Hennepin Electric 4,055.96

Ziegler Inc. 107.71

29 Payments less than $100 1,346.97

Final total $190,197.43

The meeting adjourned at 11:11 A.M.

Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 1, 2007.