Wright County Board Minutes

AUGUST 21, 2007

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 8-14-07 minutes as presented, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Mazer, Sher./Corr.

2. Claim, Frank Madden, $2,124.75.

3. Refer Job Evaluation Results To The Negotiation Committee.


1. Approve “Post Employment Health Care Savings Plan Provisions For Non-Union Department Heads.”


1. Approve Plat Corrections To WRIGHT COUNTY HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY PLAT NO. 56.

Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, brought forth discussion on Ditch 31. Russek stated that a meeting was held with benefited landowners on 8-20-07 at the Woodland Township Hall to discuss possible repairs to the Ditch. After discussion on repairs and cost, the landowners voted 9-3 not to move forward with the repairs. The Ditch will remain as is for the time being. Hiivala said the petitioners may present a future request for cleanout of a portion of the Ditch. Russek felt there may have to be a re-determination of benefits if the Ditch is repaired. This was provided as an informational item.

The July Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines were discussed. Hiivala said the tax line item reflects the anticipated tax settlement. The Recorder’s Fee line item, 01-101-5501, will experience a shortfall with a $950,000 budget and receipts anticipated at $800,000. Hiivala said the County is doing very well on interest and will exceed the anticipated budget in this area (budgeted $850,000 with a current balance of $813,000). This overage may be used to help fund the shortage in the Recorder’s Fees. Mattson referenced Page 27, ROW Easements. He hoped ROW expenses would balance out by the end of the year. Hiivala said Road & Bridge explained that they will utilize the State Aid allotment to pay for ROW expenses. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced Page 27, Bond Payments for the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD) reflected at 111% of budget. Hiivala said this line item should be labeled Bond Payments and includes bonding for the City of Monticello. In this case, the City of Monticello did not include the additional months of interest. The correct figure is $311,000. Mattson moved to accept the July Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

Hiivala presented a draft resolution to classify a list of tax forfeited properties as conservation or non-conservation land. A meeting was held recently to review the list and was attended by Commissioners Russek and Mattson, Greg Kramber (Assessor), Brian Asleson (Chief Deputy Attorney) and Hiivala. If approved, the list will be forwarded to the DNR for review. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #07-40 to classify the list of tax forfeited properties as conservation or non-conservation land. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced medical expenditures for inmates and inquired what line item would reflect reimbursement received from inmates who carry their own insurance. Hiivala felt this would be receipted against the expense but will follow up with the Jail to confirm this. Hiivala will provide a report at the next Board Meeting on this as well as what percentage of inmates are insured. Norman referenced a claim on Page 18, Delano Rental ($404.25) and inquired whether this claim should be coded to Equipment Rental rather than Safety Improvements. Hiivala stated the claim reflects the charge was for a compactor trench roller but the bill does not reflect what it was used for. Hiivala said the claims could be approved subject to audit and coding of the claim could be changed if needed. Heeter moved to approve he claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, with the recommendation for Hiivala to confirm the coding of the claim to Delano Rental. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously. Mattson referenced Page 25, Engineering Design Initiative ($5,029.20) for the Jail/LEC Project which was coded to Dept. 150, Roll-over From Prior Years. Hiivala explained that Dept. 150 in the Capital Projects Fund contains four areas where rollover funds are placed from year-end surpluses. Costs for the Jail/LEC project are being placed into this area. Hiivala has presented a resolution which will allow for reimbursement of those expenses.

The Board reviewed a draft resolution submitted by the Court Services Department which would authorize signatures for the Office of Juvenile Justice Program in the MN Department of Public Safety for the JABG Grant (grant period from 7-01-07 to 6-30-08). In the past, the Court Services Department has received funding from the Office of Justice Programs and this is a continued grant. The grant amount was included as revenue in the Court Services budget. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #07-41, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The Board discussed an upcoming tour/meeting with Commissioner Tom Hanson, Senator Amy Koch, and potentially other members of the Wright County Legislative Delegation. The meeting is being held to tour the Regional Park in Monticello, the Jail/LEC site, and the Rockford levee. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, has been in contact with Senator Koch’s office to arrange the Monticello portion of the tour. The plan is to meet at the Monticello City Hall at 9:00 A.M. on

9-07-07. The Regional Park task force will highlight tour locations and provide a presentation (estimated 1.5 hours). He understood that the County Board, Monticello City Council, and Legislative Delegation are invited to attend that portion of the tour. Mattice said Commissioner Hanson’s Office would like an Agenda for the remainder of the time spent with County representatives. Sawatzke said previous Board discussion occurred on bonding for the Jail/LEC project and that it was to be determined whether the project was worthy of bonding. This was not completed by the deadline and therefore he questioned whether the County would be eligible for funding. Norman stated that another jail in Minnesota installed the geo-thermal system but he was unsure whether State funding assistance was obtained. He suggested discussing geo-thermal and other regional projects (Crime Lab, 800 MHz project) with Commissioner Hanson as well. The consensus was for Norman to prepare a draft agenda for review at the next County Board Meeting. A brief Jail/LEC tour could be held with a luncheon meeting in the Commissioners’ Board room following. Sheriff Gary Miller and Bill Swing, IT Director, will be invited to attend due to their involvement with the regional projects. It was suggested that the Anoka and Sherburne County Sheriffs be invited to attend. Sawatzke said the Regional Park task force met a few weeks ago and their hope is to provide several ATV’s for the purpose of touring the land. Limited space will be available for that portion of the tour. Norman said Senator Koch’s Office is inviting other Representatives of Wright County to attend. It was the consensus that Sawatzke, Heeter and Eichelberg will attend the Regional Park portion of the tour. As discussed, a draft Agenda will be brought forth at the next meeting for review.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, presented a draft resolution in support of an application for an LCCMR funding request. Wright County and the City of Monticello are in the process of drafting an LCCMR proposal for land acquisition funds to be allocated for a joint Regional Park/shore land protection projects. As part of the proposal, a resolution of support from each of the participating units of government is required. Proposals are due 9-04-07. Sawatzke said a 1/3 funding split would occur between each of the participating units of government (State, County and City). Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution 07-42, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, presented a draft resolution which would establish a fee for retail fireworks licenses. Heeter currently meets with Wright County Fire Chiefs and had fielded concerns regarding firework stands in rural areas. Asleson researched State Statutes and found that any governmental unit can set a fee for the sale of fireworks. There is not anything that addresses regulation on a county-wide basis. Currently, there are several cities which have a detailed ordinance regulating the sale of fireworks within their borders. In recent years, some sale locations have been set up in the unincorporated portions of the County. Discussion has involved treating the retailers as transient merchants but a decision was made to recommend that the County license such locations under MN Statutes, Section 624.20, which is specific to the sale of fireworks. Another area of concern is stands which sell illegal fireworks in addition to those that are legal in Minnesota. The resolution being considered was drafted after a meeting held with Sheriff Miller, Hiivala, Asleson and a couple of Wright County Fire Chiefs. Per Statute, the County would be allowed to charge an annual fee of up to $350 for businesses selling only fireworks and an annual fee of up to $100 for any other retail business selling fireworks. The intent would be that each location would have their own license (i.e., multiple stands owned by one person would need a license for each location). Heeter indicated that places such as Wal-Mart are governed by the City’s Ordinance and they pay a fee to the City to sell fireworks. The proposed resolution would cover those who sell in unincorporated areas. Asleson said the City of Buffalo assesses $50 for inside sales (i.e., Wal-Mart) and $250 for outside sales (tent). The City of Monticello has a fairly detailed Ordinance but they do not have fees. Heeter suggested a fee of $350 so it encourages stands to be within City limits. Those stands would then be governed by the City’s Ordinances and would be regulated by the Fire Chief’s Association. She said the Sheriff indicated that the calls for service relating to fireworks were out of control this year (excessive noise, safety issues, etc.). Heeter moved to adopt Resolution #07-43 setting the annual license fee at $350 for any retail business selling only fireworks and an annual license fee of $100 for any other retail business selling fireworks; that the retailers make application to the Office of the Auditor/Treasurer; and that the effective date of the Resolution is

12-01-07. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson felt Minnesota was in a “pocket” in that many things are legal in surrounding states but not in Minnesota. Sawatzke said adoption of the Resolution is, to a certain extent, creating a level playing field for firework sales (within cities vs. unincorporated areas). The motion to adopt Resolution #07-43 carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:


WHEREAS Sales and use of fireworks in Wright County have been increasing in recent years; and

WHEREAS Public safety personnel have been increasingly concerned about the safety of some sales locations and the possible sale of illegal fireworks; and

WHEREAS Minnesota Statutes, Section 624.20 provides that a local unit of government may impose an annual license fee for the retail sale of fireworks; and

WHEREAS The Wright County Board of Commissioners believes it is prudent to regulate the sale of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Wright County;


1. That an annual license fee of $350.00 shall be imposed on any retail business selling only fireworks, and an annual license fee of $100.00 shall be imposed on any other retail business selling fireworks.

2. That such retailers shall make application for a license at the Office of the Wright County Auditor/Treasurer.

3. That any retailer applying for a fireworks license shall provide any information requested by the County, including the sales location and the name of the property owner. Each sales location shall have a separate license.

4. That the Fire Chiefs of the various fire departments in Wright County are hereby given authority to assist in the enforcement of Minnesota law and this Resolution in those areas covered by their departments, including the right to enter onto property in order to inspect said retail sales locations.

5. That the International Fire Code 2000, as adopted by Minnesota Rules, Part 7510.3510, and as subsequently amended, shall be in force in Wright County.

6. That this Resolution shall be effective as of December 1, 2007.

(End of Resolution #07-43)

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Heeter, all voted to schedule a Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 9-25-07 @ 10:30 A.M. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the Space Study, how it relates to future use of the space vacated by the Sheriff Department, and strategic planning for the location of future County functions. Norman said the meeting will be held in the County Board Room as some Department Heads may attend as well.

The Board discussed a draft Speed Zoning Resolution proposed by the Highway Department for segments of CSAH’s 37 and 19. The segment on CSAH 37 would be from CSAH 8 in the City of Maple Lake to TH 25, approximately 8.752 miles in length. The segment on CSAH 19 would be from the bridge over the Crow River at the South County Line in the City of Hanover to CSAH 39 in the City of Otsego, approximately 9.285 miles in length. Discussion followed on whether the requested amount on each roadway was excessive, as a large portion lies within rural areas. It was understood that typically the County requests an entire road segment be completed at once. Sawatzke said that at least there is not a concern within those rural areas that the speed will be increased as the current speed is zoned 55 mph. Mattson said as long as there is no cost to the County, the study of the entire segment may be a good thing as it could provide answers to questions posed by cities. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #07-44, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #07-45, Final Acceptance for the 2007 Sealcoating, Contract #0706, with Astech of St. Cloud and authorize first and final payment of $289,103.32. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The Board reviewed a draft of the Wright County Jail and Law Enforcement Center Development Agreement. Once the Agreement has been executed, the City of Buffalo will issue the building permit. Sawatzke referenced the $786,000 trunk watermain and sanitary sewer construction fee. He inquired whether the County is paying for the entire line and if so, whether the County would receive any rebates as other properties develop along the same line. Norman felt this was addressed in Item #5 of the Agreement which states in part, “…The City shall pay to the Developer a sum equal to the total project cost of the trunk watermain in the amount of $730,000.00 paid by the Developer divided by the total area of the Adjacent Properties and multiplied by the area of the connecting lot (the “Connection Reimbursement”).” After review, Sawatzke said the Agreement provides for the County to be paid back a reasonable portion of the $730,000 when other properties (listed within the document) are annexed into the City. Heeter moved to approve the Agreement, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Russek and Eichelberg recently attended an AMC Leadership Training Seminar at Lutsen. Russek also attended the AMC Director’s Meeting. Highlighted during training was the probability that it will be difficult to hire and fill open positions for employment in the next decade. It is felt that many people will not be dedicated to one location and may hold numerous positions with several employers. Job requirements will far exceed worker availability.

Bills Approved

Albion Township. $829.60

Allina Health Systems 500.00

Allina Hospitals & Clinics 890.72

Allina OCC Med 309.75

American Institutional Supply 215.97

American Office Products 192.00

Ameripride Linen and Apparel 368.07

City Annandale 544.63

Aramark Correctional Serv. 5,348.00

B & B Prod.-Rigs & Squa. 1,178.85

Bob Barker Co. 122.75

Batteries Plus 223.62

Bear Graphics Inc. 454.35

Big Tyme Collision Center 215.17

Black Box Resale Services 152.00

Boyer Truck Parts 111.46

Brothers Fire Protection Co. 205.25

Burdas Towing 168.27

Carlson Construction 1,500.00

Carver Co.-Financial Serv. 3,355.00

Centra Sota Lake Region 29,546.38

Citrix Systems Inc. 939.60

City Cokato 989.38

CPS Technology Solutions 4,153.30

H Cragg Co. 22,301.10

Delano Rental Inc. 404.25

Delta Hospital Supply Inc. 302.50

Diers Plumbing & Heating 1,470.00

Engineering Design Init. 5,029.20

Executive Office Concepts 2,076.75

First State Tire Recycling 875.91

Firstlab 195.00

Gateway Companies Inc. 617.70

Geocomm Inc. 4,400.00

Grainger 205.43

Hance Utility Services Inc. 132.75

City Hanover 593.77

Hardings Towing Inc. 1,002.75

Hay Group 1,000.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,117.08

Holiday 13,186.10

City Howard Lake 1,249.70

Identix Incorporated 229.74

Information Systems Corp. 263.62

Junction Towing & Auto 131.79

Karels Towing 136.50

Cheryl Klinger 100.00

Brent Krause 152.80

LaPlant Demo Inc. 546.11

LexisNexis 110.00

Major Appliance Repair 162.15

Marco 545.28

Marco Inc. 507.43

Marysville Township 601.25

Menards - Buffalo 247.76

MN Chemical Company 252.92

MN Corrections Assoc. 760.00

Monticello Township 1,413.06

City Monticello 5,786.40

City Montrose 606.88

Morries Parts & Serv Grp. 656.44

Nagell Appraisal & Consult 800.00

National Business Furniture 566.85

NMHC Hospitalists 975.27

N Suburban Towing Inc. 101.18

Office Depot 2,103.94

Otto Associates 2,315.50

Qwest 7,258.28

City Rockford 707.54

Royal Tire Inc. 1,415.58

Ryan Chevrolet 671.02

Sherburne Co. Sheriff 19,240.82

Silver Creek Township 597.46

Mike Simmons 132.00

Software House Internat’l 44,737.22

City South Haven 872.25

St. Cloud Times 852.93

St. Joseph Equipment-Mpls 545.22

Star Tribune 1,673.20

State of MN-Office Enterpr 370.00

Tech Depot 247.11

Total Printing 269.98

Trans Languages 324.62

Victor Township 1,011.40

Voss Lighting 212.25

City Waverly 518.75

West Payment Center 785.11

Woodland Township 937.13

Wright Co. Deputy Registrar 7,433.82

Wright Co. Highway Dept. 651.61

Wright Henn Co-op Elec 3,029.63

Wright Henn Electric 548.19

Zee Service Company 193.38

10000 Lake Chapter ICC 100.00

42 Pymts. less than $100 1,838.79

Final total $225,922.27

The meeting adjourned at 10 A.M

Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 17, 2007.