Wright County Board Minutes

JANUARY 9, 2007
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present. Commissioner Heeter was absent.
Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 1-02-07, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #3, “Marvin Brunsell, CRWD, RE: Update of Project & Financing” (Gooler); Item For Consid. #2, “Quad County Meeting” (Norman); Item For Consid. #3, “AIA Documents” (Norman). Mattson moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced Item A4, “Review & Approve Conditional Use Permit Application To City Of Buffalo, Jail/LEC Site.” Norman received an email from KKE Architects inquiring whether the County Board wanted to review and approve the CUP documents prior to them being forwarded to the City of Buffalo. Review would include the Site Development Plan, Dimension Plan, Grading Plan, and Landscape Plan. After discussion, it was the consensus that KKE Architects should review this information with the Board at their meeting on 1-16-07. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: E. Kloss, Assr.; W. Biros, Bldg. Care & Maint.; J. Niebolte, Hwy.; C. Grew, W. Holland, D. Lang, Sheriff.
2. Refer Contracts/Grant Manager Position To The Negotiation Committee.
3. Authorize Norman To Attend Association Of Governmental Risk Pool Conference, March 12-14, 2007.
4. Review & Approve Conditional Use Permit Application To City Of Buffalo, Jail/LEC Site.
5. Claim, Mid-MN Mississippi River RC&D Dues, $150.
6. Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, Buffalo Ducks Unlimited, Rockford Township Hall, 3039 Dague Ave SE, Buffalo MN 55313 (Rockford Twp.).
1. Authorize Signatures On Warranty Deed For Sale Of Parcel #212-000-181101.
1. Approve 2007 Tobacco License Renewals: Coborn’s Liquor, Coborn’s (Albertville City); Coborn’s Liquor, Coborn’s (Clearwater City); Cenex Lake Region (Cokato City); Lake Center Bar & Grill (Corinna Twp.); Quik Shop, Coborn’s, Holiday StationStore #4073 (Delano City); Roger’s BP-Amoco, Cenex Lake Region (Maple Lake City); Hi-Way Liquors, VFW Post #8731(Monticello City); The Ugly Bar (Montrose City); Red Vest Bar & Grill, 4-Alarm Bar & Grill (Rockford City); Cash Wise Liquor (St. Michael City).
1. Set Letting Date For 2007 Overlay Contract (0701) For 2-27-07 @ 9:30 A.M.
1. Refer To Ways & Means Committee Repairs to The Compost Facility.
1. Authorize Signatures On FY 2008 & 2009 STS Contract.
Gloria Gooler, Administrative Confidential Secretary, presented two plats for approval. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve a plat, “PRAIRIE MOUNTAIN,” as submitted by Donald R. Blowers, a single person, fee owner of the following property described as: The S1/2 of the SE1/4 of the NE1/4 of Sec. 25, Twp. 121, Rge. 26 AND Lot A of Gov. Lot 9, Sec. 30, Twp. 121, Rge. 25; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#116590); there is a written agreement on file from the Township to accept any new roads; and the title opinion prepared by D.A. Schroeppel, Esq., and the covenants drafted by Jan Larson, Esq., have been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve a plat, “HICKORY HILLS,” as submitted by Duane E. & Muriel A. Harkess, husband and wife, fee owners, and State Bank of Delano, mortgagee, and Harkess Construction Services LLC, contract purchaser of the following property described as: The NE1/4 of SE1/4 of Sec. 36, Twp. 119, Rge. 25, AND All that part of the SW1/4 of Sec. 31, Twp. 119, Rge 24, lying on the Wly side of the S fork of the Crow River; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#116939); there is an agreement on file from the Township to accept any new roads; and the two title opinions prepared by Paul W. Oberg, Esq., and the covenants submitted by Steven R. Little, Coleman, Hull & vanVliet, have been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.
Marvin Brunsell, Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) Chair, provided an update on their water quality improvement project. Merle Anderson, who gave a presentation at a recent Board Meeting on the project, was also present. The scope of the project has reduced to approximately $355,000. The CRWD has received prepayments toward the project of $161,000. Brunsell wanted to discuss the balance of the financing (about $190,000-$195,000) and associated interest costs. The CRWD has been in contact with the County Attorney and Auditor/Treasurer on borrowing the remainder of the funding from the County. It is felt that the project is too small to issue a bond. The project may commence this winter, dependent upon ice conditions. It is anticipated that funding would be borrowed from the County and requested in 3-4 sections as work is completed over a one-year period. The CRWD held a public hearing on the project and established an assessment roll which was provided to the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office in early December. The interest rate to be charged to residents on the loan would need to be determined as soon as possible so that the Auditor/Treasurer can place the special assessment for the District on the tax rolls. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, and Auditor/Treasurer’s Office staff met with the CRWD and reviewed State Statutes. Asleson said the interpretation is that the County is responsible for funding the project with reimbursement by members of the District. The assessments would be spread over a five-year period that the County would collect. Monies collected would be reimbursed to the County for amounts forwarded to the District. The interest rate assessed to District members would be 1% greater than that of the loan to cover administrative costs. Sawatzke questioned the need to charge residents an additional 1% interest rate as the County is not theoretically borrowing money to the District. Asleson said that question should be deferred to Hiivala. The interest rate would need to be established prior to mailing of the 2007 tax statements. Norman requested that the CRWD provide a written request on the exact amount they would like to borrow from the County. The terms and conditions would then be established. Asleson said the CRWD held the public hearings and adopted the assessment roll, which was provided to the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office. He referenced Statute 103E, Assessment Law, which requires the County to collect the assessment as if it were a County ditch assessment. The next step would be for the County to establish the interest rate. It was the consensus that this issue should be laid over to the next meeting for a recommendation from the County Attorney and Auditor/Treasurer.
The claims listing was reviewed. Russek referenced a claim on Page 4, National Association of Counties ($1,676.00) for dues. Russek said a claim was paid to this vendor last week in the amount of $1,117.34 for dues. It was the consensus that this claim be pulled and referred to the next meeting. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, not including the claim to the National Association of Counties.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented the 1-05-07 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes (TCOTW) and recommendations. Discussion and action at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
Railroad Grade Crossing – Improvement Project in Franklin Township.
McMullen was present to request the County Board’s support for Franklin Township’s and the City of Delano’s intention to improve a railroad grade crossing by installing railroad crossing gates at the intersection of Franklin Township Road 44 /72nd Avenue. Both the Township and the City share in the ownership of this road and intersection, and both have agreed to split the 10% matching costs according to the percentage of ownership. In this case, Franklin Township would be responsible for 75% and the City of Delano would be responsible for 25%. McMullen said that this is a very dangerous intersection, and Russek agreed with him. A copy of a letter [Attachment A] sent to Mn/DOT from the Township was distributed, and Bloch said that Delano had drafted and sent a similar letter. If this project were chosen to receive federal funding through the ATP process, those funds would cover 90% of the total costs, estimated to be about $225,000. Mattson said that the Railroad might be required to pay something toward the safety improvement, and McMullen said that he would check into that. The Township and the City are not asking the County to contribute any funds, but rather are asking for support at the ATP to give this project a high priority ranking. Russek commented that having an agreement between the Township and the City already in place is a positive factor. Fingalson said that both the Township and the City should consider attending the Region 7W meeting scheduled for February 7 in St. Cloud to present their request. He said that he would notify them when he receives the specific schedule information. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW to support Franklin Township’s and the City of Delano’s request for federal funding to make a safety improvement in the form of crossing gates at the railroad crossing located at Franklin Township Road 44 and 72nd Avenue. The County will not be required or asked to contribute any money, but will support this request in hopes that it will receive a high priority ranking from the ATP.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the recommendation. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0.
Review SAFETEA-LU Projects (Enhancement and County Projects)
Two Cities, Hanover and Maple Lake, submitted applications for SAFETEA-LU funding.
• Hanover: Nielsen distributed a summary [Attachment B] to committee members that outlined Hanover’s plan to extend an existing trail and create a new trail for a total of 5.3 miles at an approximate cost of $1,300,000. The application requests funds to cover Phase I, which would extend the existing trail down CSAH 19 and 16th Street in St. Michael to Hanover’s Historic Bridge over the Crow River. In addition, this trail would then continue on CSAH 19 to River Road, turn on CSAH 19, and then follow CSAH 20 to a proposed park area that will be located along the river when more homes are built to the west. CSAH 20 along this trail route is actually in the township, but the City expects that this area will request annexation soon. Phase II of this project is on the Hennepin County side of the river, accessed over the pedestrian bridge in Hanover. Hennepin County will be submitting an application next year for Phase II, but they have already committed to supporting the project, as has the Three Rivers Park District. Hanover is looking for support from the County, because the City of Hanover is under 5,000 and is not State Aid eligible to apply on their own. They need the County to be their sponsor. Phase I has a total length of 4 miles, and Phase II has a total length of 1.3 miles.
The design is for a 10-foot bituminous path, with 2.5 inches of bituminous and 6 inches of aggregate base. Plans show a 1,200-foot retaining wall along CSAH 19 north of downtown Hanover, to avoid wetland conflicts, and five feet of turf re-establishment on each side of the path. Phase I will cost about $990,000. If this application is chosen for funding, federal funding will cover 80% of that cost and Hanover and St. Michael will split the remaining 20% of the cost. The cost for Phase II is estimated at $308,000, with both phases being estimated in 2011 costs. Fingalson said that the question always comes up during the application review whether or not the applicant is willing to accept less than the total 80%. Would the City be willing to accept this as a project if the full amount is not awarded? Nielson said that the City would be absolutely willing to accept any amount. The desire was to make a loop around the city, and they would like any opportunity to receive any federal funding. Russek suggested that the City might have a better chance of being considered for funding if the trail were shortened and the cost reduced. The area south of downtown is not completely developed yet, so this portion of the trail could be eliminated from this year’s application. Nielson said that if the Board thought a reduced project would be better, they would consider revising the application. In response to a question from Sawatzke, Nielson said that the City does not anticipate asking for money from the County. He said that the City would try to fund through its own park funds. Sawatzke said that he does not want to support something now that will cost the County money later. Sawatzke also commented that creating trails along county roads could prove to be problematic in rural areas. He expressed his concern that he does not want to support a project, be instrumental in getting federal funds, and then find out that the people along the trail don’t want this. He asked what Hanover has done to fine out what the people want. Nielson said that there has not been sufficient time to hold an official hearing, but Buchholtz said that during the planning process the trail component was made very clear and no objections were raised at that time. Most of the trail will run along a property owned by one person, and this person has been talking about annexation into the city. Buchholtz doesn’t think that there would be significant issues. The Council will take the time to hold neighborhood meetings. The trail is planned for the side of the road opposite the river – there would probably be some objections if the trail were planned for the river side of the road. Nielson said that residents north of the downtown area have responded very well to plans for that trail. Nielson said that the trail might have to be brought up to the shoulder along the wetland just south of the 8th Street extension along CSAH 34. They will be trying to stay within the existing right of way. No provisions have been made for right-of-way acquisition. Nielson said that Hanover would be having a meeting with Hennepin County and the Three Rivers Park District. They would all like to have this trail connect between communities. Russek expressed his concern that no provision for right of way has been made. If the township area where the trail would run is annexed, then right of way could be designated for the trail. It is the City’s intention to maintain the trail year around. Meyer said that there could be a conflict with clearing the roads and clearing the trail, but Neilson said that the roads come first. After they are cleared, the trails can be cleared. Buchholtz said that the City has been able to get additional easement at no cost for the current trail. They haven’t had any issues with people using them. Clearing trails is the last priority in snow/ice removal. Fingalson asked which segment of the trail is the top priority. He said that he is concerned about the cost of the total project. He suggested breaking it down to two different segments for better consideration. Buchholtz said that the northern leg would probably be the first priority. If the Board recommends splitting this trail planning into two phases, they will do that. Both Russek and Fingalson agree that splitting it up would give it a better chance for consideration. Nielson said that a new, revised application (for one leg of the project) could be ready by Tuesday’s Board meeting. Currently, both Phase I and II of the Hanover trail plan are in District #3, but Phase II would be applied for by Hennepin County under separate funding. Phase I can be broken down into two portions. Fingalson said that these projects are well received when the applicant is willing to pay more than 20% – it shows the ATP and Region 7W people that the community really supports it. Nielson said that the overall cost plus engineering fees brings Hanover’s participation to 36%, which is almost double the requirement. Nielson said that if the entire plan were broken down into three phases–first being north of downtown, second being in Hennepin County, and third being the southern leg along CSAH 20–the application for the first leg would probably be closer to $550,000. Fingalson suggested that Hanover have 14 copies of the revised application completed and submitted to the County by the County Board meeting scheduled for January 9.
• Maple Lake: There were no representatives present from Maple Lake, so Fingalson updated the TCOTW on that City’s application. He said that Maple Lake had been awarded federal funds for the first phase of their trail project, and the Wright County Board gave them first priority last year for Phase II. But since the first phase of this project has not yet been completed, the Region 7W Transportation Advisory Committee was reluctant to award them funds for the second phase of this project, which totaled $244,000 last year. If the first phase of this project is not completed this year, Maple Lake will lose that funding. This year’s application for Phase II now totals $280,000. If Maple Lake finishes Phase I this year, they will be in fine shape for Phase II. However, the decision for funding is made in February and Phase I will not be done by then. Fingalson asked how Hanover’s and Maple Lake’s trail plans fit in with the County’s comprehensive trail plan, and Mattice said that the County’s plan doesn’t include trails within city limits. The County’s comprehensive plan connects communities, but it does not map within the city limits. Mattson suggested that Maple Lake be prioritized in first place with Hanover following in second place. Fingalson suggested that Hanover divide its plan into two phases and stated that the State still has some concerns with Maple Lake. The process for using federal funds is very complicated, so MnDOT required attendance at an Enhancement workshop. Hanover did not attend. However, WSB (Hanover) has a good track record for these projects. Fingalson said that he would check with Maple Lake and find out if they are going to get Phase I completed this year. He added that it would be hard to bump a project to second place when they had been deemed worthy of first place last year. Hanover ties into the County’s comprehensive plan well, and sometimes an application is given extra consideration if it is submitted more than one year. Fingalson will report to the County Board at their meeting on Tuesday, January 9, and inform them of Maple Lake’s intentions.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Fingalson check with the City of Maple Lake and find out if they can guarantee that Phase I will be completed this year, 2007. If so, their application for Phase II of their trail project will be given top priority status to the Region 7W Transportation Advisory Committee. If Maple Lake cannot guarantee that Phase I will be completed this year, 2007, Hanover’s application for their trail project will be given top priority status to the Region 7W Transportation Advisory Committee.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said the City of Hanover presented completed applications yesterday with a breakdown of Phase I in two different phases. The cost split will be roughly 50/50 and the $990,000 was divided into two phases ($477,000 and $554,000). The highest priority will be the loop on the northern part of the City.
With regard to the City of Maple Lake’s project, Fingalson said they will attempt to complete the project this year even though the plan has not been approved to be submitted to the State. The draft resolutions which Fingalson will present today for approval do not identify project priorities. If there is a change in the status of the projects prior to the February 7th meeting with the Transportation Advisory Committee in St. Cloud, a change can be made on the project priorities. As of last Friday, the recommendation is to proceed with the Maple Lake project as #1 priority and the Hanover project as #2 priority.
Dan Buchholtz from the City of Hanover extended thanks to the County for sponsorship of their trail project application. With regard to project ranking priorities, he said it was expressed by the Parks Administrator at the TCOTW Meeting that the Hanover trail project appears to fit in better with the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Phase IB of the project is physically in the Plan and Phase II of the Plan implements the goal of the Plan to make a connection between Wright County and Crow Hassan Park. The Maple Lake project is not even listed. The City of Hanover is ready to fund the project and implement it as soon as they find out if the project is funded. He asked that the County Board consider this when making their decision. Hanover is not saying the Maple Lake project is less important than theirs but rather the project fits in better with the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
Mattson responded that the Maple Lake Trail project involves a safety issue as there is no means to safely move the public to the beach. Russek said this is one of the reasons the project was moved to the top. The project was number one last year but Phase I was not completed. If Maple Lake demonstrates they will not get the project done, the priority can be switched. It was the consensus that if Fingalson receives any new information which may affect the recommendation to proceed with the Maple Lake trail as the number one project, he should bring the information back to the Board. Mattson moved to approve the recommendation from the TCOTW, seconded by Sawatzke. The motion and second were amended to direct Fingalson to check with Maple Lake by February 7th to make sure they are ready to proceed with their project. If not, Maple Lake should be placed as the top project next year. The motion carried 4-0.
Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #07-02, Resolution of Support from Sponsoring Agency, Maple Lake Trail Project (Swimming Beach Link-Phase II). The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #07-03, Resolution of Support from Sponsoring Agency, Hanover City Trail Project-Phase I (from 16th Street to Downtown Hanover). The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Hawkins said that the County had two grading projects that they considered submitting for funding to the Region 7W Transportation Advisory Committee: reconstruction of CSAH 12 from TH 55 to CSAH 37, and reconstruction of CSAH 3 south of Cokato, which is already on the County’s plan. Based on a technical ranking analysis that helps determine which project is more worthy, the CSAH 3 segment south of Cokato should clearly receive a higher priority than CSAH 12 for federal funds. Hawkins recommended that improvements for CSAH 3 be submitted for federal funding. Since this is already on the County plan for improvement, federal funding would benefit the County even more.
The bridge on CSAH 40 near Clearwater is also a candidate for improvement. Stearns County is responsible for half of the costs on this bridge.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the Wright County Board recommend that reconstruction of CSAH 3 south of Cokato and improvements to the CSAH 40 bridge near the City of Clearwater be recommended as funding candidates to the Region 7W Transportation Committee. A resolution to that effect will be submitted to the County Board on January 9, 2007.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson questioned whether the total cost of $360,000 for the CSAH 40 Bridge was the County’s cost. Fingalson responded that this was correct. The County may get 80% in Federal funding toward the project and the remainder would be paid from bridge bonding money. Stearns County supports this project. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #07-04, authorizing the County Engineer to submit an application to Mn/DOT for FY 2011 Federal Funding (SAFETEA-LU) for the CSAH 3 project (Cokato to 3.25 mi south) and the CSAH 40 Bridge Project (#90685). The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
Fingalson informed the TCOTW committee that he had just received new information about the planned traffic signal project proposed for the intersection of CSAH 12 and TH 55. Originally, Mn/DOT had estimated this project to cost about $400,000, based on the cost of the signal that was installed at the intersection of CSAH 37 and TH 25. Unfortunately, they had not taken into account the close proximity of the railroad crossing on CSAH 12, just south of TH 55. With both this information and inflation included in the equation, the total cost of the project is now closer to $1,000,000. The County had earmarked $80,000 for their share of this project. Now, the County’s estimated share could be as high as $457,000, or $377,000 more than was budgeted for this project. Mn/DOT plans to pay for the expenses that involve improvements to TH 55, but the railroad crossing is on CSAH 12 and is not the State’s responsibility. A “quiet zone” is planned for this crossing, and the City of Buffalo is willing to pay for the extra expense that this designation will add to the project. Sawatzke said that the growth of the city is driving this improvement, and Heeter said that CSAH is the County’s responsibility and they need to figure out how to get this done. Without funds from the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition, the County’s share could be as high as $601,000. If funds become available from the Corridor Coalition, Wright County would receive 1/3 and Mn/DOT would receive 2/3. [Information received since this meeting indicates that the fund split would actually be 2/3 County and 1/3 Mn/DOT.] Fingalson added that his latest information about the funding indicated to him that it is not likely that funding will be available from the Corridor Coalition because Congress still needs to act on the Technical Corrections bill. Sawatzke said that the expense involved with the railroad crossing is driven by the traffic on TH 55, so he thinks that Mn/DOT should be responsible for a greater share of the expense. Fingalson said that Mn/DOT has asked that the County let them know if the County is planning to proceed with this project so that Mn/DOT knows if they should continue with their design work. Heeter said that she would like to see this project move forward, because regardless of the cost, the improvement is needed. However, she doesn’t think that the County should be responsible for such a large share of the cost. If this project is delayed, the cost will be even higher, and the need will not go away. Sawatzke asked if the City of Buffalo might be willing to contribute funds to the project. Russek suggested that Fingalson see what Mn/DOT might be willing to contribute beyond the current cost split, and Heeter said that she would be willing to meet with the City to see if they would contribute to the project. Hawkins said that even though the costs are higher than originally estimated, the need for the traffic signal isn’t any less. Heeter said that she would contact Mert Auger at the City of Buffalo to see if he would be available for a meeting with her and Fingalson to discuss the City’s participation in the traffic signal improvement at the intersection of CSAH 12/TH 55. Fingalson said that timing is critical, because Mn/DOT State Aid will be determining on January 12, 2007 which counties get advance encumberances. He said there is still time to revise our Mn/DOT request for advance encumberances. Fingalson will ‘firm up’ the numbers with Mn/DOT.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said he received clarification from Mn/DOT on project costs. The project has escalated. To Mn/DOT’s credit, they took into account the close proximity of the railroad and associated costs. Fingalson distributed a handout reflecting the cost breakdown. The cost of the railroad system alone is $225,000 plus $68,000 for the railroad crossing. The total project cost is $956,000, of which $601,000 would be County cost and $355,000 would be Mn/DOT cost. Use of Hwy. 55 Corridor Coalition Funding ($380,000) is available only if the Technical Corrections Bill passes in Congress. Mn/DOT is not able to fund additionally toward the project as they have a $15 million deficit if all their projects are completed.
The worst case scenario is a County cost of $497,000 and the best is $257,600 (including use of Coalition funding).
Fingalson explained that the County can request an advance encumbrance of funding from the State until this Friday. The County has already requested a $1 million advance from State Aid to deliver the program for next year. Fingalson recommended that the County request an advance encumbrance of $497,000 for this project. If the encumbrance is received, the County does not have to use it. The decision would be known as early as next week.
Sawatzke referenced a meeting held with Fingalson, Heeter and the City of Buffalo relating to the City’s participation in this project. He inquired whether the City will be able to put any funding toward the intersection. Fingalson said the City is not able to fund anything beyond the quiet zone. It will take a special agreement drafted by their Attorney to expend funding outside of City limits. Russek said the quiet zone is at the City’s request. Sawatzke said the County Board supported the intersection when it was projected to cost $80,000. Now the cost for the County has risen to $500,000. He inquired what the accident history was at the intersection. Fingalson said he did not have available crash data but he estimated about five crashes in the last six months. He said the intersection clearly meets the criteria for a stoplight. Mattson felt it would be tough to consult crash history as the School has changed the use of the intersection. Adding the School doubles the concern. Sawatzke said the School is one factor in the development in that area. He did not oppose the stoplights but he felt a fair funding solution was needed, as the cost has increased dramatically. The typical funding formula for an intersection is a 50/50 split between the County and City (if within the City). Generally, intersection improvements are not made far from cities. In the case of the stoplight improvements near the Buffalo High School, he questioned whether that area was within the City limits. Fingalson said in that situation, the City has one corner of the intersection annexed into the City. In this situation, the City limits are a few hundred feet away from the intersection. Sawatzke questioned whether the City has created the need for stoplights at this intersection. Fingalson said the signal would be needed even without the School. With development of the area, the County has the obligation to take care of the road system and work with the City. He said it was made clear to the City that the County was not keen on having to pay for the quiet zone as this is something the City requested.
Russek felt the County should not pass up the opportunity to apply for funding. Fingalson said the County does not have to accept the $500,000 requested. In the situation that the County requests the funding and it is received, Sawatzke asked Fingalson whether he would later tell the County Board that the County will have to expend the $500,000 or otherwise the State will not advance encumber again. Fingalson responded that the State is aware of what happened in this situation and they provided the opportunity for the County to request more funding. This will not adversely affect what is requested in the future. Sawatzke said he would support the request as long as there is the ability to vote against use of the funds in the future. Fingalson said the purpose is to keep options open and prepare for the worst case scenario. Eichelberg moved to authorize Fingalson to request encumbrance of the funding, seconded by Mattson. Mattson inquired whether the railroad has been involved in this discussion. Fingalson said they are looking at working with the railroad on funding for a new crossing. He was in contact with Terry Humberg yesterday on potentially obtaining federal dollars to assist with the crossing. Mattson referenced State Statutes 219.74 relating to grade crossing changes. He felt that Statute 219 should be consulted. The motion carried 4-0. It was clarified that the motion is to seek an additional $497,000 in funding.
CHSP Project Discussion.
Fingalson explained that funding was available for safety projects as part of the Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (CHSP) Central Safety Fund. Applications are due February 1, 2007. Wright County had considered asking for funding to do edgeline rumble strips and to install more lighting at rural intersections. He suggested that the Board consider allowing the 2007 overlay contract to include a provision for edgeline rumble strips on CSAH 8 at a cost of approximately $1,000/mile. This would give the County an opportunity to see if edgeline rumble strips are a desirable improvement before a number of roads receive them. Mattson commented that repairs to the shoulder from vehicles that run over the edge already have a cost, and this cost could be decreased with the addition of egdeline rumble strips. Cordell handed out [Attachment C] a graph from our new Crash Tool showing crash data from vehicles running off CSAH 8. Cordell presented to the Board a list of 13 intersections [Attachment D] that would be good candidates for street lighting. The safety audit that was done by Mn/DOT already identified two of these intersections as needing lighting, CR 147 @ TH 55 and CSAH 33 at TH 55. If safety funding is approved for this list of intersections (CSAH 8 @ CSAH 39, west junction; CSAH 8 @ CSAH 39, east junction; CR 147 @ TH 55; CSAH 33 @ TH 55; CSAH 5 @ TH 12, south junction; CSAH 5 @ TH 12, north junction; CSAH 35 @ CSAH 9, west, and CR 109, north; CSAH 19 @ CSAH 39; CSAH 14 @ CR 115, west junction; CSAH 14 @ CR 115, east junction; CSAH 3 @ TH 55; CSAH 8 @ CR 106, west junction; and CSAH 8 @ CR 106, east junction), the County’s share of a $188,500 safety project would be only $6,000. Mn/DOT has agreed to participate 50/50 on the intersections with trunk highways. There was a general consensus that street lighting in rural areas is a good safety measure. Fingalson said that either the street lighting or edgeline rumble strips could be submitted. However, if edgeline rumble strips are added to the 2007 overlays, the Board will have a chance to determine whether or not they like the results. Fingalson said that we may be part of a District 3-wide project to try “Rumble Stripes,” which has proven better for nighttime wet retroreflectivity. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that an application be made to the CHSP for the purpose of obtaining safety funds to install street lighting at 13 intersections (as listed above). Further, it was also the consensus that a provision for edgeline rumble strips be included in the 2007 overlays bid documents for CSAH 8.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke then made the following change to Page 6 of the minutes, 4th paragraph, last sentence, change from “…bid documents for the 2007 overlays” to “…bid documents for the 2008 overlays.” The motion was amended to include this change. The motion carried 4-0.
CSAH 12 and CSAH 17 Timeline / Road & Trail / Grant
Mattice said that he would like to discuss the timeline for the road construction that involves two trails (CSAH 12 and CSAH 17) partially funded by federal money. Last winter, Mattice applied for grant money to complete the trail from CR 108 north to Buffalo along CSAH 12. The $46,000 that was awarded is available for use through 2009, but improvement of this final portion of CSAH 12 has been delayed until 2010 or 2011. He asked the TCOTW members if they would like him to give the grant money back and apply again or if they would like him to ask for an extension. Extending a grant can cause problems for other users because the money that is returned to the fund is not available to anyone else until all grantees have completed their projects. He also said that a letter would be required from the County Board explaining why the extension is necessary. Hawkins said that it would be impossible at this point to move construction for CSAH 12 to 2009. Sawatzke suggested that Mattice ask for an extension and if turned down, the money can be returned at that time. Mattice agreed to check with the agency, find out what their preference is, and then report back to the Board. Mattice also said that Wright County has received two grants for trail work along CSAH 17 in the total amount of $200,000. The first $100,000 is good through June 2007 and the second one is good through June 2008. The contract will be let this summer, 2007, but only the surcharge work would be completed this fall. Mattice said that he will see if he can get an extension of the grant through June of 2008.
RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Mattice seek extension of two grants that were awarded for the purpose of trail construction along CSAHs 12 and 17, as the road construction will not be completed in time to meet the initial grant deadline.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes as corrected, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.
(End of TCOTW Minutes & discussion).
The meeting recessed at 10:10 A.M. and reconvened at 10:20 A.M.
Annexation of the Jail/LEC Site was discussed. Sawatzke, Heeter, and Capt. Gary Torfin (Jail Administrator) met with the Buffalo Township Board at their 1-02-07 Meeting and requested approval of annexation of two parcels. Annexation is only being requested for the area needed to site the facility. Landscaping or grading may extend beyond the two parcels into areas within the Township. A copy of the action taken by Buffalo Township was provided reflecting approval of annexation of the two parcels under the condition that the County take over the Township road to the northern side of the property. Buffalo Township previously wanted the County to assist with maintenance of the road as the County will be the largest generator of traffic. The Township prefers the road be entirely off from their system. The County Attorney will be directed to draft a document indicating the County will take over the road being transferred from Buffalo Township. The museum is currently within City limits. The annexation will not impact the residential property located in the Township on TH 25 as property across the Highway is within the Township. Asleson said the County currently holds maintenance agreements with other townships and cities on road maintenance. He questioned whether the County wanted to change this to a County road. Sawatzke said this would be the request so there is no uncertainty on road responsibility. Sawatzke moved to request to the appropriate agencies that the City be allowed to annex the two properties. In addition, the County agrees with Buffalo Township that the County will take over the Township road up to the northern end (up to the Stemper property). Norman was directed to send a letter to Buffalo Township indicating that the County agrees to take over the road and that the County Attorney will draft an agreement. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 4-0.
Norman announced a Quad County Meeting being held on 1-30-07 at the Stearns County Public Works Building (Waite Park). Any suggested Agenda topics should be provided to Norman by next week.
Norman said he and Torfin received an email from A&P (Adolphson & Peterson) requesting that the County complete sections of the AIA Document so they can prepare for bidding for the Jail/LEC project. Norman said there are several areas which they would like assistance with and requested a meeting be set with attendance by 1-2 County Board members. It was thought that Sawatzke and Heeter should be designated as they attend the Task Force meetings. Administration staff are working with MCIT staff to complete the insurance section of the AIA document. Sawatzke moved to schedule a meeting on 1-17-07 at 9:00 A.M., seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0.
Bills Approved
Albertville Body Shop Inc.. $204.11
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 419.16
Assn. of MN Emerg. Mngrs. 100.00
Astleford International 164,748.00
Boyer Truck Parts 473.74
Burdas Towing 160.82
CDW Government Inc. 105.60
Centra Sota Lake Region 42,338.61
Central Lakes College 1,162.77
Climate Air 1,886.32
Creative Forms & Concepts 407.49
Embarq 154.89
EPA Audio Visual Inc. 124.61
Fastenal Company 159.57
Force America Inc. 167.61
Raymond Glunz 100.00
Gould Towing 133.13
Lance Hellerud 349.98
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 408.61
Klatt True Value Electric 187.42
LaPlant Demo Inc. 538.11
Michael Laurent 264.99
Lawson Products Inc. 215.58
Lewis-Goetz and Company 271.28
Loberg Electric 188.20
M & M Express 185.10
Magnum Spike 528.83
Maple Lake Messenger 141.75
Marco Business Products 2,249.82
Menards - Buffalo 318.84
Meyer-Rohlin Inc. 6,310.00
MN State Auditor 12,837.75
MN Transportation Alliance 2,885,00
MNJ Technologies Direct 146.97
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 117.15
Moore Medical Corp. 117.48
Morries Buffalo Ford Merc 2,800.11
Margaret Munson 332.42
National Camera Exchange 435.37
National Graphic Supply 250.99
Nextel Communications 436.19
Office Depot 409.33
Paumen Excavating 400.00
Reds Auto Electric 192.74
Royal Tire Inc. 2,032.26
Donald Schmidt 166.02
Total Printing 729.53
Trimin Systems Inc. 21,300.00
Village Ranch Inc. 432.00
West Payment Center 114.49
Josh Wilson 104.90
Wright Co. Hwy. Dept. 4,472.36
Wright Co. Journal Press 156.64
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,950.47
Xcel Energy 1,873.01
Ziegler Inc. 901.48
25 Payments less than $100 1,231.69
Final total $281,831.29
The meeting adjourned at 10:35 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 5, 2007.