Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 26, 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.

The minutes of 6-19-07 were corrected as follows: Page 2, 1st line, change from “…hire grant writers.” to “…hire grant writers on a percentage basis.” (Russek); Page 4, 4th line, change from “A requirement of partnering is the contribution of $5,000-$10,000” to “A requirement of partnering is the contribution of dollars or an in-kind contribution. Eichelberg and Sawatzke suggested a contribution of $5,000-$10,000” (Sawatzke); Page 4, 7th line, correct the spelling of the word “The” (Sawatzke). Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A5, “Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, St. John’s Catholic Church, St. John’s Education Center, 17260 Hwy. 12 SW, Cokato MN 55321 (Cokato Twp.)” (Norman). Sawatzke moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Performance Appraisals: D. Maurer, Aud./Treas.; S. Guffey, A. Richardson, Recorder.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 6-15-07.

3. Set Negotiation Committee Of The Whole Meeting For 7-09-07 @ 9:00 A.M. (Closed Session).

4. Refer Law Enforcement Contract To The Ways & Means Committee.

5. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, St. John’s Catholic Church, St. John’s Education Center, 17260 Hwy. 12 SW, Cokato MN 55321 (Cokato Twp.)


1. Approve Renewal Of On Sale 3.2 Beer License For “Albion Ridges Golf Course,” (Albion Twp.).

2. Approve Renewal Of On Sale Liquor License & Optional 2AM Closing License For “Boonedock’s Saloon,” (Rockford Twp.).

Russek presented a retirement plaque to Ruth Bonk, Veterans Services/Civil Defense Office, for 11 years of dedicated service to Wright County. Russek said it was with mixed emotions that the plaque was presented. Although it is great that Bonk is able to retire, the County will be losing a valuable employee. Bonk stated that she has enjoyed working for the County and with other staff members.

Gloria Gooler, Administrative/Confidential Secretary, presented the Auditor/Treasurer’s Agenda items. The first was a draft Agreement with Minnesota Pipeline Company to allow placement, construction, operation and maintenance of a 24” steel crude oil pipe line across a portion of Wright County and under a single crossing of Joint Ditch #15 with fees as follows: $500 per mile of pipeline, as per MN Statutes, Section 216G.07, Subd. 6; and an additional inspection fee of $100 for the Joint Ditch 15 crossing. A memo was sent from Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, indicating that he had reviewed the Agreement. Mattson moved to approve the Agreement and authorize signatures, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke referenced the $500/mile fee for the pipeline and inquired whether the County would receive payment. Mattson felt the County would. It was the consensus that inspection for the Joint Ditch #15 crossing should be completed by the SWCD and payment would be forwarded to them. Mattson said the same Agreement is being used by other counties as well. Sawatzke wanted those individuals who were to be involved informed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, suggested that a copy of the Agreement be placed in the Joint Ditch #15 file. The motion carried 4-0.

The claims listing was discussed. Eichelberg referenced a claim on Page 2, Albertville Body Shop Inc. ($2,950.82) for repair to Squad 972. He felt this should possibly be coded to the Sheriff’s Department instead of General Government. Norman responded that this is an insurance claim. Due to the increase of the County’s deductible to $5,000, the County will be responsible for the entire payment. Eichelberg moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 5, Buffalo Hospital ($34.28) for copies of medical records and inquired whether the copy request could be covered under the Jail’s contract. Capt. Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, said most of the medical records for the Jail are obtained through a company at a fee. Medical records for the Sheriff Department are generally for a criminal investigation. The motion carried 4-0 to approve the claims.

Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, presented a change order for the West Parking Lot project. Paul Otto, Otto Associates (Project Engineer), said a lot of export material was removed from the sight. When export occurred, more top soil was found than predicted. An additional 8-12” of top soil was discovered in addition to the 12-18” anticipated. In response to Sawatzke, Otto stated that soil borings were not completed by Otto Associates. He was unsure whether the contractor took soil borings. The specifications reflected that the bid should be based upon a minimum of 12” of top soil (standard is 12-18” of top soil). Otto felt that if the contractor knew there was over 2’ of top soil, the bid price and overall construction costs would have been higher. The only way to have avoided this situation would have been to complete soil borings, but this would have increased the cost of the project. Otto explained that the contractor chose to haul out the extra topsoil material at no cost. The change order relates to the cost to bring extra material to the site (approximately 500 yards). Otto felt the $9.93/cu. yd. cost was fair. The contractor hauled in the new material prior to Board approval. This was done as there would have been more time and expense involved if rain occurred over the weekend. The contractor is waiting for change order approval in order to proceed with work on site. Mattson moved to approve the change order for $4965, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-0.

Ken Johnson, Ag Inspector, provided an overview of the 2006 Annual Report. Johnson’s main focus is to be liaison between the Department of Ag and Wright and Sherburne Counties. The Department of Ag has relocated to new offices near the State Capitol. The main pesticide applicator licensing has been moved to that location. Johnson has tried to offer applicator training in Buffalo, especially for those needing training right away. He also has provided training for residents of neighboring counties. Along with the new headquarters, the Department of Ag has a new seed lab. The emphasis has been to work with businesses to assure outdated seed is not being sold. Johnson also works on the prevention and treatment of invasive species. The Department of Agriculture performs testing of fertilizer at the barge terminals. Johnson works locally to monitor local dealers and to field customer inquiries and complaints. Johnson has established noxious weed programs for the County. He inspects County/State roads and spot checks township roads, U.S. & State wildlife areas, and conservation contract areas. He also works with waste pesticide container disposal. Mattson asked whether Johnson would be attending the Township Officer Association meeting on 7-11-07 at Corinna Township Hall. Johnson said he would make himself available at the meeting to answer questions by the townships. The ag side of weed control problems is practically non-existent. The focus will be on developers. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to accept the Ag Inspector Annual Report.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested authorization to attend the NACo Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia on July 16-17, 2007. Fingalson will be attending the NACE BOD meetings held in conjunction with the NACO Annual Conference. The new State Director will not attend so Fingalson, as past State Director, has been asked to attend. The MCEA (MN County Engineers Association) will pay Fingalson’s transportation, lodging and other expenses from July 13-15. Approval would allow Fingalson to represent the County at the NACO meetings which end on July 17. The estimated cost is $950. Eichelberg moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Sawatzke. In response to Sawatzke, Fingalson said he felt the Conference fee of $450 includes the majority of meals for the Conference. The motion carried 4-0.

Fingalson requested that a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting be scheduled and proposed the following Agenda: 1) Braddock Avenue Options. One issue that has been discussed at the Owner’s Committee Meetings involves the elevation of the road and use of gravel. Fingalson felt a good indication of cost may be obtained by the later part of July. This would be one of the main items on the Agenda.; 2) Discuss Snow/Ice Proposal. Discuss budgetary implications for snow/ice control; 3) Crosswalk Policy; and 4) Public Works Building Space Issues. This would include discussion on space needs affecting the Departments of Highway, Parks, and Surveyor. Mattson moved to schedule a TCOTW Meeting on 7-23-07 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson questioned how City specifications for rebuilding Braddock Avenue would compare to County specifications. Fingalson said this has not been researched but County standards would be more stringent. With regard to addressing, there are several different names for this road. The County has named the road CR #148; the Township named it Braddock Avenue; and the City has recently assigned the name of 1st Avenue NW. Sawatzke suggested that the County dialogue with cities on development in rural areas, to encourage use of the County’s addressing grid because of the emergency management system. Fingalson felt this would be a good topic of discussion when the County meets with the Mayors. Fingalson said the intent for the meeting on 7-23-07 would be to discuss costs associated with changes to Braddock Avenue and whether it is cost effective to mine the gravel. Fingalson said he could check with the City of Buffalo on addressing. It was his understanding that the City named the road 1st Avenue NW. The consensus of the Owner’s Committee was that the road should be referenced as Braddock Avenue during the construction period. Fingalson said it is not unusual for cities to name county roads which extend into cities. The County assigns a road number and the City assigns a name. It was not his intent to discuss this at the TCOTW Meeting however. Sawatzke restated his position that the rural addressing system needs to be discussed with cities. This could be done through a meeting or a survey. An official position on the subject should be obtained from the Sheriff Department as well. Fingalson said the Surveyor will be present at the TCOTW Meeting to discuss space issues and that the addressing could be added as another agenda item. It was the consensus that the rural addressing system would be added to the TCOTW agenda. Sawatzke requested that the Highway Department survey cities prior to the meeting to determine whether they are using the County’s addressing system. Fingalson said this will be done as time allows. Through the County Engineer’s Association website, he will query all 87 counties to find out what type of system they are using. The motion carried 4-0.

An Owner’s Committee Meeting was held on 6-19-07. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following change was made to the minutes: Page 1, 2nd paragraph, 6th line, change to “Springsted” (Mattson). With regard to the power poles, Capt. Torfin stated that if the poles are placed at the current elevation, they will need to be placed twice. The road elevation needs to be determined so the depth of the pole placement can be determined. Fingalson said Highway staff spent 2.5 days watering the trees which were moved to the site. Watering had not been completed initially by the firm hired to move the trees. Fingalson did not feel Highway staff could continue watering. Sawatzke suggested that Parks could water if rain is not received. The Owner’s Committee Meeting will not be held on 7-03-07. Norman said that in order to hold a meeting that day, the Agenda items must be submitted by 3:00 P.M. on 6-28-07 in order to meet the three-day posting requirement. Sawatzke noted that to date, the project is on schedule and there have been no change orders or delays. The only thing being paid for is what was bid. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-0:

PERMANENT POWER TO SITE. Streich stated that Buffalo Utilities is planning to move forward with placing twelve new poles along the west side of Braddock Avenue up to the residential area, and trenching the utilities underground to the Jail/LEC site. Temporary power is needed on site by this Fall. Therefore, the work needs to be completed soon. The transformer is also coming in the Fall. The concern is for the future of Braddock Avenue and its reconstruction. Fingalson stated that he has attempted to contact Joe Steffel, Utilities Director, City of Buffalo, in regard to this subject, and hasn’t received a return call. Streich stated that Steffel contacted him on 6-15-07. Torfin stated that Buffalo Utilities would need to have an idea of the elevation for the road so that they can bore the utilities under the road. However, the power poles will most likely need to be moved once the road has been reconstructed. Fingalson stated that he estimates that the road grade (surface) will be dropped approximately 15’. He stated he was hopeful of convincing the County Board to lower the road for two reasons: to gain the gravel that will be in short supply in a few years, and for the visual appeal, as it will tie in nicely with the surrounding land. Sawatzke asked where the underground utilities would cross under the road. Streich stated that the utilities will be bored north of the site’s driveway, therefore the concern for future road reconstruction in that area won’t apply. The main concern will be the placement of the poles. Fingalson stated that he agrees with Streich, although staff has not performed a study of the area yet. Fingalson also expressed other reasons why he felt lowering the elevation of the road would be aesthetically pleasing and explained that a sight security concern would be alleviated (in relation to the Jail facility) by eliminating the burm along the easterly side of the road. Fingalson stated that he thought the County would be able to eliminate expensive ROW acquisitions and be able to widen the roadway with shoulders. Fingalson stated that he would have the design and cost information ready for the Budget presentation in August, or a Transportation Committee of the Whole Meeting at an earlier date if desired. Discussion took place on the appropriate timing of the reconstruction of Braddock due to construction traffic, scheduling and seasonal weather conditions. Sawatzke stated that the County needs to determine if road aesthetics are worth the reconstruction expense. Fingalson stated that he is hearing that there is an immediate desire for his staff to determine the complexity and the cost of the reconstruction project. Norman stated that he would verify with Springsted Financial Advisors that roads are ineligible under the planned bonding. Sawatzke stated that he could not support a road reconstruction project until he knew the costs involved. Fingalson explained that because the grading is the main concern, the Highway Department would do the grading fairly soon, and hold off on the asphalting until the heavy construction has been completed. The road would remain as a gravel road until the heavy construction has been completed. Sawatzke asked that Fingalson put together the cost information and determine whether the County has money in its budget to purchase the material to do the grading. RECOMMENDATION: Assume the road elevation will not change, and the utilities will be unaffected due to being placed further north than the proposed future road reconstruction. Fingalson will prepare budget estimates for Board review.

ROAD RESTRICTIONS 2008. Streich stated that in anticipation of the Spring 2008 construction schedule, he would like to request that the road restrictions be waived on Braddock Avenue. The concrete contractor will be hauling and pouring a lot of concrete at that time. A five ton road restriction could shut down the project for 2-3 months. Streich explained that on a five ton road, a concrete truck can only haul 2 yards at a time. On a 9 ton road, a concrete truck can haul a full load (7-8 yards). Fingalson stated that he is aware that there is granular soil under the road. However, there is a critical time period (of approx. 2 weeks) where damage to the road is inevitable. Fingalson stated that if there is an assurance that repairs will be made to the road shortly following the 2008 Spring construction period, then Highway would not place restrictions on the road. Fingalson noted that staff, in cooperation with Streich, will monitor the road to determine when the road will need to be temporarily shut down. Discussion continued on alternate routes for the Jail/LEC construction traffic. Sawatzke asked if both the North/South and East/West access roads would be waived from road restrictions. Streich stated that the East/West road is a 9 ton road and is unrestricted. Sawatzke stated that he is nervous about the County “playing by a different set of rules”. Fingalson stated that this is a unique situation as the County is taking over a township road. RECOMMENDATION: Temporarily waive Road Restrictions on Braddock Avenue in 2008 for concrete delivery.

BID UPDATE. Martin informed the Committee that the construction drawings for Bid Package #2 have been completed and sent to the printers. The bid categories are as follows: 3A Cast-In-Place Concrete, 3B Architectural & Structural Precast, 5A Structural Steel, 5B Structural Steel Erection, and 11A Detention Equipment (including Precast Cells). The pre-bid meeting is on 6-28-07 at 1:00 P.M. in the Community Room at the Government Center. Sawatzke asked for confirmation from Martin that A&P has been monitoring KKE to ensure that the design is not getting too creative. Sawatzke stated that he does not want the Jail/LEC to have design elements that do not add value to the structure which consequently irritates tax payers. Martin and Streich stated that A&P has already done this during the DD Stage. Martin stated that the finishes were reviewed and deemed to be reasonable and practical. Martin stated that the floors in the Jail are sealed concrete which are not polished. A&P had KKE replace the tile design in the front entrance areas with a polished concrete. Norman asked what the maintenance schedule would be on a polished concrete floor. Streich stated that a sealer is placed in the concrete. Streich stated that the floor would need to be polished, however not as often as a VCT floor would need to be polished.

INSPECTION REPORTS. Torfin asked if the Owner’s Committee members would want to see copies of the engineering inspection reports (i.e. soil compaction tests by Braun Intertec). Norman stated that he had copies of the Braun report and forwarded them to the County Board. Norman stated that he was concerned on the findings in the letter he received from Braun dated 6-18-07. The section “Results and Recommendations” stated, “In addition, construction of the footings will not commence until July, 2007. This will result in a 2-4 week delay in the construction schedule.” Norman asked if the delay was still applicable. Streich stated no. Martin stated that the letter is in reference to recommendations Braun had made in the addendum. The addendum is no longer required. Streich stated that the soil compaction tests have been completed, the proper soils have been hauled in, and the compaction has been performed. Streich confirmed that there is not a construction delay. Martin stated that the hard copies of testing results are filed at the job trailer. At project completion, all the paperwork is turned over to the County. The information will also be scanned into CD format. Sawatzke asked if there were any change orders or delays in the project at this time. Martin confirmed that there weren’t any change orders or delays in the project. RECOMMENDATION: Submit all inspection reports to Norman who will then determine if they need to be forwarded to the County Board.

WOOD CHIPS. Torfin stated that the wood chips located onsite belong to Julian Johnson, the earthwork contractor, and the largest pile of chips is from stump grinding. The County can have the chips. However, they need to be removed from the site. Fingalson stated that Parks and Highway do not have a need for the wood chips. Staff did check with the City of St. Michael, who has also decided they do not want the chips for their trails. Sawatzke stated that the Compost Facility would probably be willing to accept the chips, at no cost, to allow citizens to take them. Streich stated that he will coordinate moving the chips with Julian. Torfin stated that the County will need to verify that the gates will be open to the Compost Facility to facilitate the delivery of the chips. Norman asked if the trees that were moved are being watered. Torfin stated no. Sawatzke asked Fingalson if he had any staff available that could water the trees. Fingalson stated that Highway has a water truck that is currently being used for other purposes, however he would check on its availability. Martin confirmed that the trees were marked and Torfin verified that there were 104 trees that were moved along the eastern portion of Highway 25 and around the northeast corner of the church. Sawatzke noted that the 7-03-07 Owner’s Committee Meeting has been cancelled and requested that A&P bring forth any issues deemed to be important immediately to Norman. Sawatzke stated that the Committee cannot wait an additional two weeks for the next Owner’s Committee Meeting if there is something important to discuss. Norman stated that he would still require the normal weekly deadline of 3:00 P.M. on Thursdays in order to provide a mandatory 3 day posting notice. Martin stated that Annandale Contracting will be bringing in on-site utilities within a few days. Streich stated that the City is to be bringing water out to the site soon. Streich asked if any of the Committee Members had an update as to who won the bid, when work is expected to begin, and the anticipated date that the water would be brought out to the site. Fingalson stated that the City held their bid opening 3 weeks ago and awarded the contract at the 6-18-07 Council Meeting. Fingalson recommended that Streich contact Brad DeWolf, City of Buffalo Engineer, to acquire more details. (End of Owner’s Committee Meeting)

An Owner’s Committee Meeting is scheduled for 6-26-07 at 1:00 P.M. As there are no Agenda items, Norman requested the meeting be cancelled. Sawatzke moved to cancel the meeting, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke said if something of urgency occurs in the next two weeks, a meeting notice should be posted for three days and Committee members notified. Sawatzke noted that the 7-10-07 Owner’s Committee Meeting will be held with A&P. The motion carried 4-0.

Eichelberg moved to authorize attendance at the AMC Leadership Summit being held August 15-17, 2007 at Lutsen Resort. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Norman requested being informed of any Board members who will attend as he is preparing the schedule for budget sessions. Russek indicated he would attend. Most of his mileage and hotel will be covered by AMC. The motion carried 4-0.

Norman provided a copy of a Jail Development Agreement received from the City of Buffalo. KKE Architects will be asked to fill out the majority of the Agreement with the City filling in the remainder. Norman will present the Agreement for approval at a future date. Any questions or comments should be forwarded to Norman prior to that time. No action was taken as this was provided as an informational item.

Russek recently attended an Upper Mississippi Basin Meeting in St. Cloud where discussion occurred on apportioning out discharge ability for river sheds. This was the first meeting which occurred. This was provided as an informational item.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop. $2,950.82

Allina Med. Laboratories 539.50

Allina OCC Med 225.00

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 153.21

Aramark Corr. Services 11,213.88

Arrowwood 178.66

Auto Glass Center Inc. 479.56

Auto. Garage Door & Firepl. 604.00

Peter Behrends 3,325.00

Scott Behrends 8,135.00

Boyer Truck Parts 160.13

Browns Chem-Dry 213.00

Burdas Towing 177.86

CDW Government Inc. 148.04

Center Point Energy 1,073.04

Climate Air 1,158.30

CPS Technology Solutions 262.00

Daren Demarais 125.00

Karen Determan 702.00

Embarq 188.90

Debbie Ernst 269.67

Fastenal Company 132.80

Firstlab 117.00

Gateway Companies Inc. 2,719.67

GCS Service Inc. 119.70

Geocomm Inc. 2,200.00

Going Under Dive Center 215.81

Gould Towing 133.12

Karen Hayes 104.28

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2,649.47

I State Truck Center 57,137.25

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Knife River 1,003,102.65

Lakedale Telephone Co. 112.70

LaPlant Demo Inc. 546.11

Lawson Products Inc. 177.51

Rebecca Lindsay 1,860.00

Marco Inc. 3,238.68

Martin Marietta Aggregates 533.57

Menards - Buffalo 178.69

Mercy Hospital 1,053.00

The Metro Group Inc. 5,832.79

MN Counties Comp. Co-op 325.00

MN Counties Ins. Trust 264.00

MN Co. Engineers Assoc. 225.00

MN Dept. of Revenue 413.00

MN Prevention Resource Ctr. 130.00

Morries Buffalo Ford Merc. 2,171.08

N Suburban Towing Co. 457.94

Northern Safety Tech. 665.31

Office Depot 1,726.31

Otto Associates 859.00

Precision Prints of Wright Co. 190.64

Public Safety Labor News 150.00

Qwest 523.33

Royal Tire Inc. 3,371.38

Russells Security Resource 177.32

Ryan Chevrolet 168.67

Shell Fleet Plus 827.07

Software House Int’l In 1,127.84

Spectrum Solutions 548.50

Sunrise Specialty Cont. 5,080.00

William Swing 441.07

Tires Plus 348.91

Total Printing 659.55

Larry Unger 280.17

Uniforms Unlimited 807.94

Dave Vogt 212.30

Voss Lighting 500.93

Ervin Wachman Jr. 34,595.00

Jeremy Wirkkula 863.18

Wright Henn. Co-op Elec. 402.35

Wright Henn. Electric 625.03

Xcel Energy 373.22

Zack’s Inc. 1,112.71

25 Payments less than $100 1,389.87

Final total $1,176,560.99

The meeting adjourned at 10:09 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal July 23, 2007.