WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JANUARY 22, 2008
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
Russek moved to approve the minutes of 1-15-08 as presented, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
Russek moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Mattson. Mattson questioned whether the Owner’s Committee had reviewed the claims on the Consent Agenda for the Jail/LEC project. Norman said the claims listed under the Auditor/Treasurer were evaluated at the last Owner’s Committee Meeting. Sawatzke asked Norman about the claim to the City of Buffalo. Norman said the claim to the City of Buffalo for development fees goes back to an agreement signed in 2007 (mid-summer). He was unsure whether the claim was for full or partial payment of the building permit. He assumed the building permits had been paid previously as construction has commenced. The motion to approve the Consent Agenda carried 5-0:
1. Performance Appraisals: R. Bonk, Hwy.; R. Darsow, R. Halverson, K. Kramer, M. Olson, A. Sturm, J. Wirkkula, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, City of Buffalo, $855,565.00 (Jail/LEC Development Fees).
1. 2008 Tobacco License Renewals: Oasis Market #5308 (St. Michael City), South Haven Municipal Liquor (South Haven City).
2. Claim AP Midwest LLC $62,564.60 Jail/LEC.
3. Claim AP Midwest LLC $89,861.05 Jail/LEC.
4. Claim Standard Iron $432,986.25 Jail/LEC.
5. Claim Old Castle Precast $619,875.00 Jail/LEC.
6. Claim Stellar Concrete $66,874.30 Jail/LEC.
7. Claim Cornerstone Detention Products Inc $1,900.00 Jail/LEC.
8. Claim SGH, Inc $16,128.14 Jail/LEC.
9. Claim Phasor Electric $134,520.00 Jail/LEC.
10. Claim Thelen Heating $108,680.00 Jail/LEC.
11. Claim Hanson Structural Precast Midwest Inc $1,503,290.14 Jail/LEC.
1. Set Letting Date For 2008 Overlay Contract (0802), 2-26-08 @ 9:30 A.M.
1. 1-14-08 Park Commission Minutes.
1. Refer To Personnel Committee Request To Amend 3/5 Clerical Position To One Full-Time Position.
2. Authorize Signatures On Annual 2008 Boat & Water Safety Agreement.
3. Authorize Signatures On:
A. Mutual Aid Agreement For Disaster Response.
B. Emergency Plan For High-Risk Offenders, Wright County Court Services.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a draft resolution authorizing the repurchase of Property ID #101-013-002030, 5696 Main Avenue, Albertville MN 55301 by U.S. Bank. U.S. Bank has a vested interest in the property and pursuant to M.S. 282.241 is eligible to repurchase the property. The parcel was forfeited to the State of Minnesota on 1-11-07. The draft resolution was reviewed by Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney. Russek said situations like this occur when contract for deeds are involved and the person with funding may not be aware of the situation until after the fact. This way, the property will be placed back on the tax roles. U.S. Bank will pay all fees. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #08-05, seconded by Heeter. Mattson questioned whether the property was close to any projects pending on highways where right of way will have to be re-purchased. Asleson said the property is located on Main Street in Albertville. The motion to adopt the Resolution carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
The claims listing was discussed. At the last meeting, Mattson had questioned a claim to Aramark that was paid in January and related to November services. Since that time, Mattson has learned there was a mistake and the claim should be paid. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 1-15-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said response has not yet been received from Anoka County on the revised Agreement (date changes to 2008, signature page reflecting Eichelberg as Board Chair, last page to reflect amounts contributed by each county). Approval today would authorize signatures on the revised Agreement. Mattson initially was not in support of the language in the Agreement. However, he now feels that Wright County would want the same power if in the same position. The minutes follow:
JOINT POWERS AGREEMENT, REGIONAL CRIME LABORATORY. Miller stated that the County has been working on this Agreement for many months. The County Boards from Anoka and Sherburne Counties have approved and signed the Agreement. Miller stated that he felt it was time for the County Board to make a decision. Miller stated that Asleson and Sawatzke recently met with the Sherburne County Board to determine whether Sherburne shared Wright County’s concerns; specifically the amount of control by the non-owners. Asleson distributed copies of the “Joint Powers Agreement For Regional Crime Laboratory”. Asleson reviewed the Committee’s concerns that were discussed at the 10-10-07 Ways and Means Committee Meeting. Asleson referred to page 4, Section 7.01: Establishment of Committee, stating that there were questions about who would be assigned to the Advisory Committee. Asleson noted that the paragraph was revised and now states, “…the Board of Commissioners of each Member County shall appoint (1) the Sheriff or designee of that county and (2) a County Commissioner or their designee from that county and (3) law enforcement representative of that county to the Committee.” Asleson noted that the third county representative would not have voting authority. The third position was designed to be filled by a person who has expertise with the crime lab. Asleson stated that voting authority is discussed in pages 5 and 6, Section 7.03: Voting. “The Sheriff and Commissioner of each Member County shall have one vote. The designated law enforcement representative shall not have voting power.” Asleson stated that there would be six votes. Asleson stated that in order to have a majority vote, the Committee would have to reach a 2/3 vote. Sawatzke stated that the concern he has expressed throughout the discussions is that the Advisory Committee does not have any authority. According to the Agreement, the County of Anoka has final veto power. Sawatzke asked if the County Board is comfortable with Anoka County having complete control. Asleson referred to subparagraph 5 of Section 7.02: Duties of Committee. It states, “The Committee shall review a proposed yearly budget. If any Member County objects to the proposed yearly budget, it shall notify the rest of the Member Counties of the objection and the Member Counties shall work in good faith to resolve any concern raised. If the Member Counties are unable to resolve the issue, the remainder of the Member Counties may modify the budget. It can define the scope of services, the cost and carry forth on a new allocation. The objecting Member County shall not have access to the objected to service and cost but shall be deemed a Non-Member County for the objected to service.” He clarified that Wright County would have the right to opt out of a service. Sawatzke stated that subparagraph 2 of Section 7.02: Duties of Committee, states that “The Committee shall have the following duties: Review and approve a yearly budget for defined services to the Member Counties.” Sawatzke stated that the Agreement defines two budgets: one for member services, and one for the facility. Anoka County has the final say on the facility budget. Sawatzke stated that the discussion with Sherburne County in Elk River on 12-20-07 was to determine how well an Advisory Committee was going to work when Anoka County has the final authority. The perception was that Sherburne County was more comfortable with the Agreement than Wright County. Sherburne County’s Sheriff stated that the Anoka County Board of Commissioners does listen to committee recommendations. Russek referred to Article III which gives Wright County the right to terminate membership. It states that “This Agreement shall be automatically renewed for an additional five (5) year period upon the same terms and conditions, unless any party provides a ninety (90) day written notice…” Sawatzke stated that Wright County is automatically a member (upon signing the Agreement) for five years. It is not until after the five year period that the County has ninety days to terminate the relationship. Sawatzke referred to page 6, Section 8.01: Annual Budget, which stated that “Anoka shall prepare an annual operating budget for the Facility for the following calendar year and present it to the Advisory Committee for review.” He then referred to page 7, Section 8.03: Services for Non-Member Counties, which states, “The fees for the delivery of these services shall be set by the Anoka County Board of Commissioners…” He stated that he thought it would be more sensible for the Committee to set the fee amounts. Asleson confirmed that Anoka County does have the final authority. Miller reminded the Committee that Wright County has the right to opt out of a proposed service. If Wright County makes a change and requires service, Anoka County would charge the County according to the Non-Member Counties pay scale. Miller stated that Wright County had initially agreed to the concept. Anoka County has listened to the concerns of Sherburne and Wright resulting in several rewrites of the Agreement. Miller stated that the Agreement has been driven by the concerns from Sherburne and Anoka. Miller stated that Anoka County will not surrender control, as they are providing the services, the facility, and the employees. Miller stated that if there is a factor of mistrust, the County should not move forward in any capacity. Miller stated that Anoka County has provided the County with a budget and an estimate of fees. Wright County is not entering the Agreement blindly. Russek stated that he is in favor of approving and signing the Agreement. He stated that Wright County has an opportunity to work with two other counties. The three counties have worked well together in the past. The Agreement may provide an opportunity to access bonding for the project. Miller stated that regardless of the bonding, Anoka County has made their commitment to build the facility. Mattson stated that he is in favor of approving and signing the document because Section 9.06: Termination of a Member County, allows termination of participation through non payment of services. Sawatzke stated that the County would be obligated to pay for a contractual amount of five years of service. Heeter stated that she is in favor of approving and signing the Agreement. She noted that Wright County would have written a similar Agreement as owner of the facility, however, understands Sawatzke’s concerns. Norman noted that the date on the first page of the Agreement needs correction. He also highlighted that the signatory page should reflect Elmer Eichelberg as the Chair. Asleson stated that the blanks on the front page would need to be completed with the session laws. Russek stated that Anoka County has a strong desire to work with Wright County. They want a partnership. Kelly stated that he could foresee more counties becoming members. Mattson stated that the smaller populated counties might opt into the Agreement once the larger populated counties sign on, causing the rates to decrease. Asleson added that a nine person Advisory Committee might have more influence than a six person voting Committee. Eichelberg noted that there is a consensus amongst the Committee members to authorize signatures on the Agreement. Norman asked Asleson if he could present the Agreement, with above noted changes, to the Board at the 1-22-08 Meeting. Asleson stated yes. RECOMMENDATION: Approve and authorize signatures on the Joint Powers Agreement For Regional Crime Laboratory. (End of Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented the 1-04-08 Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Minutes. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following correction was made to the minutes: Page 5, Recommendation, should read, “It was the consensus of the TCOTW that application be made for safety improvement funding to include the Dynamic Signing (Vehicle Detection Advance Warning System) for four intersections and street lighting for six rural intersections” (Norman). Discussion at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
Carswell explained that when Wright County adopted its new “Crosswalk Policy,” four of Rockford’s crosswalks were closed. Along CSAH 33, there is a lot of residential area that leads to parks and school grounds. The City Council is concerned about the safety of pedestrians who cross this highway. There is a trail along CSAH 33 from the north side of town to the older part of Rockford that crosses over to High Street and jogs down to Ash Street. There is only one remaining crosswalk in this widely traveled area, and there are parks on both sides of the highway. Carswell said that she thought the speed limit contributes to the problem, as the speed limit is 45 mph at the north end of town and drops down at the south end of this stretch of road. The City/County had put up an electronic speed sensor (driver feedback) on the speed limit sign in an effort to remind drivers to keep their speeds within the limit. The Council would like to work with Wright County to see how they can still have some safe pathways along the county road. There is no trail on the east side of CSAH 33 at the north end of the city, because that is in the township. However, there probably will be a trailway on that side someday. Until that happens, Carswell said that people are crossing over to go the Middle School fields or parks at various unmarked locations along the road. There are 90 homes in Maplewood Manor, and residents cross at High Street rather than go down to Ash Street where there is a marked crossing. Drivers have been very considerate for pedestrians on that road. Russek commented that the crossing close to the hill has two things against it, there is no sidewalk and the speed limit is higher. Using Wright County’s ‘Video Log’ system, Cordell was able to show the view from a vehicle driving south along CSAH 33 in Rockford. The northern most crosswalk was not requested; the City just painted the markings. There are no signs there and the speed limit is 45 mph. Cordell commented that even under the County’s old policy, this crosswalk would not have been approved, and Carswell agreed that this crosswalk is unsafe. Cordell suggested that a pedestrian tunnel be considered at this point, where there are 51 homes on the east side of the road. Underground tunnels have been constructed at several golf courses throughout Wright County and have proven to be very useful. Traveling south, there is a trail and sidewalk on both sides of CSAH 33, but the next crossing ends in the middle of an intersection with nowhere to go. Carswell agreed that this situation is not good. The next crosswalk was allowed mid-block because an elementary school was located there; but since that school is no longer in operation, the crosswalk was removed. Carswell said that she did not have a problem with that decision. Signs were installed for the fourth crosswalk viewed, and the County agreed to allow Rockford to keep this one. The next crosswalk studied does not lead to a trail or to a sidewalk, but if the City were to install a sidewalk or trailway, the County would allow it to remain in place. With the school and a park located on one side of the road, lots of school children cross at this point. Cordell said that it is never a good idea to “dump” people into a street; but that if a pathway or sidewalk were installed, there should be no problem with having a crosswalk here. Right of way would need to be purchased by the City from the landowner at this location. Carswell said that the City would pursue this. Carswell also asked the County to notify Cities before a policy change affecting them is made so that they can offer input during the process. Cordell apologized for the County’s oversight regarding this policy change.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek said he attended the City Council Meeting last Tuesday where it was agreed that a sidewalk will be put in. Many children cross the road in the area because of the school.
Review/Recommend Project Nominations for Federal Transportation Funding
Fingalson explained that this is the annual opportunity to recommend projects for federal funding for the year 2012. Wright County has been successful in being awarded federal funds for a number of projects. Over the past 10-12 years, Wright County has been awarded the equivalent of almost one project per year, while other counties might get funds for a project only every four to five years. The high traffic volumes in Wright County probably contribute to the success of getting funds, and about $10 million in federal funds has been awarded since 1998. Based on crash data from Bill Cordell, it looks like the CSAH 6 project would rank the highest when using the point criteria for ranking projects. This project would include the reconstruction of a 6.7 mile portion of CSAH 6 between TH 55 and CSAH 35. Reconstruction work is scheduled for CSAH 6 north of TH 55 in 2009, so improvements south of TH 55 would be a continuation of this project. Phase II of CSAH 3 is also a consideration for submittal and includes a 3.2 mile portion location between Cokato and the South County Line. State aid money has been earmarked for the Phase I project from Cokato south, which is currently scheduled for 2011 on the County’s 5-Year Plan. The CSAH 3 project was submitted last year for federal funding but was not chosen. One case against submitting it again is that it has already been turned down, and the crash data on CSAH 6 might give it a higher ranking than CSAH 3. However, if CSAH 3 is not improved, there will be a section that does not match the rest of the highway. Mattson commented that McLeod County has improved their CSAH 2 to a 10-ton road, which then becomes CSAH 3 in Wright County, a 7-ton road. Improving CSAH 3 to a 10-ton road would be a reasonable consideration so that truck traffic would have a continuous route. Hawkins said that there could be value in submitting the same project two years in a row, especially because of the continuity that would be provided by having a 10-ton route. If CSAH 6 were awarded funds, perhaps construction could be deferred a year so that CSAH 3 could be improved in 2012. He said that he would have official rankings completed by Tuesday’s County Board meeting, but a recommendation from the TCOTW is needed before these projects can be submitted for funding requests. Fingalson cautioned that recommending a project with lower ranking over one with higher ranking might not be considered wise. If the Board would like to recommend CSAH 3, even if it comes out with a lower ranking, then it would probably be better to submit CSAH 6 at a later time. Fingalson said that the CSAH 35 bridge between CSAH 3 and 4 is structurally deficient and is a good candidate for bridge funding. It will be expensive because it needs extensive approach work. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that CSAH 3 (south of Cokato to the County Line Road) reconstruction project and the CSAH 35 Bridge (between CSAHs 3 and 4) replacement project be submitted as candidates for Federal Transportation Funding. [This was approved at the 01/08/08 Board meeting.] The City of Maple Lake submitted a request for Federal Transportation Funding for funds to construct a path from the school property in Maple Lake east to the public beach area located adjacent to TH 55. Fingalson said that the City has been having some problems with snowmobiles using the trail that is already in place north of the city. It was the City’s intent that no motorized vehicle use the trail, and they would like to put up signs to that effect; but this cannot be enforced (according to a Sheriff’s Deputy) because the trail is in the right of way, and therefore motorized vehicles are granted the privilege of using the paved trail. Fingalson will be checking with Sheriff Miller about the validity of this position. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that the project for the construction of a path from the school property in Maple Lake east to the public beach area located adjacent to TH 55 be submitted as a candidate for Federal Transportation Funding. [This was approved at the 01/08/08 Board meeting.]
Further discussion followed regarding Wright County’s notification that Mn/DOT has given permission to Wright County for the advance encumbering of $3.7 million of 2009 funds for use on projects in 2008. However, Fingalson said that the “Technical Corrections Bill” did not pass in Congress, so federal funds for construction will not yet be available to do any projects in Wright County, including the signal light projects at TH 55/CSAH 12 west of Buffalo and at TH 55/CR 134 east of Buffalo. This bill will have to be reintroduced, voted on again by both the House and the Senate, and passed in order for these construction funds to become available. The City of Buffalo is considering fronting the money for the TH55/CSAH 134 intersection with the expectation that they will be reimbursed when and if the federal funds are released. Perhaps the County needs to consider fronting the money for the CSAH 12/TH 55 project, which is not in the City limits. Heeter commented that this is a critical project that needs to be done. Fingalson said that it might become even more important if the 47-unit apartment building proposed for an area adjacent to CSAH 12 just north of the railroad tracks receives approval from the City. The necessary work on the railroad crossing has already been completed, and that cost about $85,000. When Rockford dropped plans for an approved project, $550,000 in approved funding from the TH 55 Highway Corridor Coalition was released to be used on TH 55/CR 134. However, those funds can only be used for the purchase of right of way and cannot be used to cover construction expenses. Approximately $1 million is needed for the improvements at CSAH 12 and $2.5 to $3 million is needed for the signal system (and TH 55 widening) at CR 134. Fingalson said that he would be talking with Representative Oberstar, Chair of the House Transportation Committee, and others about the importance of passing the Technical Corrections Bill. Depending on state cash flow issues, Mn/DOT may not be able to contribute their designated share either. RECOMMENDATION: When more information on funding options is available, Fingalson will set up meetings for discussion.
Discuss/Recommend Project Candidates for Three Safety Programs.
Fingalson presented to the Commissioners (with handouts and a PowerPoint presentation) a summary of the safety programs that have been implemented in Wright County. He also discussed future programs. Wright County is considered a leader in safety among counties and was the second Minnesota county to use a safety audit as a tool for determining proper safety adjustments. The Bison Boulevard/CSAH 35 intersection was the focus of this first study. Wright County adopted a Rural Intersection Street Lighting Policy in 2002 and upgraded street name signs from six inches to 10 inches from 2001-2003. Between 2002 and 2007, lighting has been added at 53 rural intersections with 13 more intersections to be completed as soon as the poles arrive. With the use of Rural Road Safety funds, improvements were made to the CSAH 37/CR 117 intersection in 2006. Rumble StripEs were applied to CSAH 8 in Silver Creek Township as part of the 2007 Overlay Project, and more will be applied to both CSAHs 35 and 18 in 2008. Sign improvements, such as “Stop Ahead” and junction signs, have been made at rural county intersections, which is a suggestion that came out of a District-wide safety audit. Wright County has many ongoing safety improvements that include guardrail improvements, sign pavement markings, clear zone improvements, shoulder paving, and guide signs (distance and directional signing). Mn/DOT Office of Traffic, Safety, and Operations is soliciting for two years of local projects for three different programs, two of which Wright County is eligible for. These two programs are the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the Safety Funds County Projects. Applications are due on or before February 1, 2008. Wright County’s project considerations are the intersections at TH 25/CR 138, TH 25/CR 106, TH 55/CSAH 6; cobra head street lighting at 13 different intersections; dynamic signing; and vehicle detection advance warning system, which includes intersections at CSAH 6/CSAH 35, CSAH 9/CR 107, CSAH 35/CSAH 8, and CSAH 12/CR 138. A dramatic example of success after safety improvements are made is the intersection of TH 25/CSAH 37 where traffic signals were installed in September, 2005. Prior to installation, there were 71 crashes there over a 10-year period. Since installation, there have been only 3 crashes at that site, none of which were right-angle crashes. Prior to that, 49 of 71 were right-angle crashes. The pre-flashing light also helps improve the safety at that intersection by warning traffic of a signal change. Fingalson said that the first two intersections (TH 25/CR 138 and TH25/CR 106) on the list of considerations do not meet the ‘crash data’ criteria. The State already made some improvements to TH 55/CSAH6, so this doesn’t appear to be a good candidate because of land costs and the railroad. Mn/DOT does not have the funds to pay for their share of TH/County route intersection lighting, so Wright County is now down to six intersections for street lighting. There is a new Intelligent Transportation Signing (ITS) program, which creates the opportunity to inform drivers if a car is coming, and this is being considered for four intersections including the intersection of CSAHs 8/35. Sensors would be installed to detect an approaching car, and the sensors would then activate solar-powered flashing lights to warn oncoming traffic at that intersection. Cordell said that this would be used at four-legged intersections to give drivers a reminder to drive defensively. Though the system is not fully developed, the aim of this program is to post a warning sign across the intersection that would light up to notify drivers of cross traffic. The approximate cost per four-legged intersection is $36,000, and Mn/DOT has identified this as a “proactive” project. At the intersection of CSAHs 8/35, the benefit/cost ratio is 9.95, and at the intersection of CSAHs 6/35, the benefit/cost ratio is 41.36. The highest benefit/cost ratio is found at the intersection of CSAH 9/CR 107, which is 223.8. Mn/DOT has said that Wright County stands a better chance of being chosen if all four intersections are grouped together in one request. Fingalson said that he was told by the Deputy State Aid Engineer yesterday that Mn/DOT is interested in getting counties to try this new program, and they might award up to $10,000 for counties to get into this in a separate ITS program. However, that would cover only a fourth of the expenses for each intersection. Cordell said that this system is solar powered and radio controlled, so conduits along the shoulders would not be necessary. The advantage of that would be that this system could be moved to another location if changes were made in the road that eliminated the need for this system. Mattson commented that it would be a good thing if insurance companies contributed to the cost of improving safety through these means. Fingalson said that in addition to the aforementioned items, the application of Rumble StripEs would also be a candidate for funding. Russek said that he agrees with the concept but that nearby homeowners are subjected to the noise they create. However, he is very much in favor of increasing safety at the bad intersections. Heeter said that she thought it would be legitimate to submit all four intersections in one application and see how much funding would be awarded. Even if funding were received to improve only one or two intersections, it would still be a good way to find out how effective this safety measure would be. The lighting request for six intersections could also be included in the application. Cordell said that the County would have a 10 percent cost share for any projects that were approved for this funding, and Heeter said that it would be a good investment. Cordell said that he has some money in his signal program that would help cover costs, and all agreed that lighting at rural intersections is a good safety precaution. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that application be made for safety improvement funding to include the Dynamic Signing (Vehicle Detection Advance Warning System) for four intersections and street lighting for six rural intersections.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said there is also a new type of Dynamic Signing available for deer crossing areas. The signs flash when an animal is between the signs. The cost is about $50,000. Fingalson said it would be hard to identify one good location for the signing as there are problems with deer all over. The Dynamic Signing for intersections is a solar powered system with sensors. If a car is stopped at a stop sign, a warning signal would identify traffic coming. Likewise, this would occur for through traffic that someone is stopped at a stop sign. The cost is about $36,000 for a four-legged intersection. Sawatzke had concern that drivers may rely on signs identifying traffic, potentially running stop signs. Fingalson hoped that drivers would continue to stop at stop signs. The technology is relatively new and still being developed.
Discuss Status of CSAH 19 Right-of-Way Acquisition
Fingalson reviewed with the TCOTW information about the property located in St. Michael that will be condemned in preparation for Phase II of the CSAH 19 reconstruction project. A representative from Mn/DOT is working with Wright County, because this is a project that involves a relocation for one of the 54 parcels. The resident of the property will have to be relocated to another residence. There are some title problems because the family did not go to probate when the owners of the house died. The City of St. Michael will probably share in some of the costs of demolition, because the poor condition of this property should have been addressed long before the CSAH 19 project affected it. The value of the land is $69,000, but the buildings have no value. The new Eminent Domain rules protect the landowner, and Wright County will have to pay for relocation costs, including the purchase of a different residence and moving and closing costs. The purchase of the property for $69,000 will be split four ways among the surviving heirs of the estate. Fingalson commented that St. Michael is facing a number of complete condemnations for its ‘one-way pair’ project. The total cost of properties that have settled for Phase II is $457,109, with an additional $75,000 for relocation costs of the condemned property. A condemnation resolution will be needed for the properties that are not signed. Properties needed for right of way must either be settled or condemned no later than April 15, or the $2 million in federal project money will be forfeited. Hawkins said that one of the properties (St. Michael’s Catholic Church) was offered $8/square foot but is asking for $10/square foot. He said that $8/square foot seems reasonable, because property just north of there in Albertville was purchased for $4.50-5.00/square foot. Some property along TH 241 was purchased for $10/square foot, but that was prime commercial property. If a condemnation resolution is adopted, a judge will need to issue a ‘right-of-entry’ date prior to April 15. Currently, there are 30 unsettled parcels, which will probably cost about $550,000 more, for a total right-of-way cost of about $1 million. This is a very expensive project, but very much needed. Hawkins and Fingalson expressed their appreciation to both Bill Augustin and Mark Johnson for their hard work and extra hours in taking care of the right-of-way duties on this complex project. Hawkins said that the design of the road had to be changed in front of the cemetery by the Catholic Church because the State Historical Preservation Officer would not allow the fence to be moved without major delays to the project. If this had not been done, another study would have been required and the project could have been delayed for up to two years. Originally, the Church had wanted to replace the old fence with a new, modern fence; but since they did not do this on their own before the project began, the County is not allowed to do this now without further studies. RECOMMENDATION: It was the recommendation of the TCOTW that a Condemnation Resolution be adopted to allow for the ‘early take’ of unsigned properties affected by Phase II of the CSAH 19 reconstruction project. [This was approved at the 01/08/08 Board meeting.]
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said there are now 17 unsigned parcels. Fingalson felt all but 1-2 of them will be settled. They must be settled by 4-15-08 or the County may lose $2 million in Federal Funding. Heeter moved to accept the minutes and recommendations with the one change as noted. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. (End of TCOTW Minutes)
Fingalson presented a draft resolution approving Agreement #92184 with Mn/DOT for a detour route during road construction of TH 12 in Delano. The project is scheduled to commence in April, 2008. The Agreement is the standard procedure used for reimbursing the County for use of detour routes during the construction project (CR 139, CSAH 30, CSAH 17). Russek said the $31,847.73 reflected in the Agreement will not go far to overlay the roads which will handle all traffic but large trucks. Fingalson said large trucks will be detoured as well. Mn/DOT has confirmed the trucks will be able to make the corner on the detour route. Russek felt that if the corner were taken out first, the trucks may be able to make it easier. Otherwise all traffic will be stopped. Fingalson said the intent of the Agreement is not to fund overlaying roads. This is the reimbursement method used in the State gas tax reimbursement and will cover hidden damage. Any surface damage will be reimbursed. Mattson questioned whether township officials had been notified of detour routes. Russek said there are no township roads involved. With regard to unofficial detours, Mn/DOT has done well to reimburse townships based on estimation of traffic. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #08-06 approving Agreement #92184 with Mn/DOT for detour routes during TH 12 road reconstruction. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Fingalson presented a draft resolution which would approve Agreement No. 92067R between Mn/DOT, Wright County, and the City of Delano relating to traffic control signals as part of the State’s TH 12 bridge project in Delano. At the last meeting, Fingalson presented a request by the City requesting the Board consider changing the funding policy whereby the City would not be required to fund their 50% portion. The Board’s decision was to uphold the funding policy. Since that time, the City met and has reluctantly agreed to reimburse Wright County for 50% of its share of the CR 30/CR 16/TH 12 traffic control signal. This is due to their concern for the safety of all travelers on these roads. A letter from the City outlines that as well as a request for the City Council to meet with the County Board to discuss the merits of the County’s funding policy and the Board’s decision to pass on the 50% traffic signal costs to Delano residents. Fingalson said the City has requested a copy of an agreement held with Mn/DOT for the CSAH 37/TH 25 intersection between Buffalo and Monticello, with the issue being why the City must assist with funding but the Township does not. Fingalson forwarded a letter to the City to include a copy of that agreement, along with other examples where cities agreed to the rationale of the policy. The letter cites the responsibility of local governments in traffic control and safe accesses and invites them to contact Russek or Fingalson if they want to meet. Russek was unable to attend the City Council Meeting but met with the Mayor afterwards. He felt the Mayor may have a different perspective on the situation now. Russek also visited with one of the Council members and explained that the County’s Policy has to apply to all cities. The Council person was unaware of some of the costs involved and what the County provides.
Fingalson said that due to the reluctance of Delano wanting to sign the Agreement, it is not referenced in the Cooperative Agreement between Mn/DOT and the City. Therefore, Mn/DOT’s attorneys are unwilling to change the specifics of the schedule. The traffic signal Agreement will be between the County and Mn/DOT. The County will invoice the City. Bids on the project will be opened on 1-25-08. Agreement No. 92067R must be approved by that date to avoid the signal being pulled from the plan. Russek questioned whether the City will be able to meet and approve the Agreement by that date. Fingalson said the City Administrator was authorized to sign on behalf of the City and the Council. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #08-07, seconded by Heeter. Mattson referenced page 13 of the Agreement which reflects the document is to be signed by the Mayor. Fingalson explained that the Administrator has authorization to sign during the course of the activity. Mn/DOT is okay with the Administrator doing so. The motion was amended to include adopting the Resolution and approving Agreement No. 92067R. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Fingalson said an issue discussed at the last Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting was the notification that Mn/DOT has given permission to Wright County for the advance encumbering of $3.7 million of 2009 funds for use on projects in 2008. So far, only $2.7 million has been received but he felt another $1 million would be received by mid-summer. The “Technical Corrections Bill” did not pass in Congress. There are six senators opposing the Bill as they are opposed to earmarking projects. A recommendation of the TCOTW is to set up meetings for discussion on the topic once Fingalson obtains more information. Two projects in Wright County will be affected, including the signal light projects at TH 55/CSAH 12 west of Buffalo and at TH 55/CR 134 east of Buffalo. Unless the Bill passes, Fingalson did not see either of those projects occurring unless the County and City decide to front the cost of the projects. Fingalson plans to contact Mn/DOT officials in Brainerd this week to obtain written confirmation of reimbursement. He will then ask the Board to schedule a meeting with the City to discuss the future of those key projects. Another issue is the upcoming end to the reauthorization bill. There is funding designated for both projects but because the Technical Corrections Bill did not pass, the money cannot be used toward those projects and must be used elsewhere. He felt it would be hard to ask for additional funding in Washington if the County has not used this funding. He hoped they would understand the predicament the County is in regarding the Technical Corrections Bill. Mattson questioned whether the ATP Board could assist. Fingalson said the projects are not in the ATP. Fingalson said Congress and Senators need to be convinced to make this happen. With the Bill not passing last year, it will now have to go through the House again.
An Owner’s Committee Meeting was held on 1-15-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following change was made to the minutes: Page 1, Members Present, change from “Russek” to “Heeter” (Russek). Heeter moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Russek. Russek questioned whether he should continue as the alternate for the Committee or whether Eichelberg will be the alternate now that he is Board Chair. It was the consensus that this would be discussed at the Owner’s Committee Meeting today. The motion carried 5-0:
PROJECT UPDATE: A&P. Streich stated that installation of the decking is taking place in Area A of the LEC. The lower mezzanine is approximately 50% complete and the upper mezzanine will begin at the end of this week. Yesterday, the slab-on-grade was poured in the LEC garage. Roof blocking will begin at the end of this week. Delivery of the temporary stairs (a scaffold system) will occur on 1-17-08. Streich stated that the windows will be enclosed in the LEC. Installation of the mechanical hangers will occur prior to the start of the roof framing. Roofing will begin, which will enclose the LEC portion of the building, allowing for temporary heat. Once the ground begins to thaw, the pouring of the LEC floor will begin. On 1-16-08, a crane will set the final portion of structural steel in Area B. The crane will move out and some masonry work will be completed. A boom truck will then place the last set of precast walls in the area that the crane once occupied. Above grade masonry (load bearing walls for the precast) will be laid in Area C and completed on 1-16-08. The precast high walls will be set in the gym area (Area F), making way for the precast ceiling/roof on 1-18-08. The precast unit (cells) will be delivered and set on 1-21-08. Upon approval of the unit, four other units will be delivered the following week. With the predicted extreme cold temperatures, the footings in the Jail area may be delayed. Heeter proposed that the inspection of the precast unit take place during the 1-22-08 Owner’s Committee Meeting. She stated that she would like to extend an invitation to the other Commissioners to attend the Meeting. The Owner’s Committee would meet at the usual time, and resume at the Jail/LEC site at 1:30 p.m. Blotske stated that she would be in favor of this as Cliff Buikema is regularly scheduled to attend the Meeting and would be able to provide his approval of the cell. Streich stated that there is a potential that work will not take place on Friday, 1-18-08, as the temperature is predicted to be below zero. RECOMMENDATION: Invite the Board of Commissioners to the 1-22-08 Owner’s Committee Meeting and to view the precast unit cells at 1:30 p.m.
PAY APPLICATION #7. Blotske presented Pay Application #7 for Committee Review. Sawatzke referred to page one of the “Time + Materials Billing” report attached to A&P’s pay application for AP Reimbursables. He questioned the substance of the item “Purchase Card” under the item of “Subsistence & Travel” in the amount of $55.47. Blotske stated that the item was a gas purchase made by Tim Clark. Clark charges gas to the project when he makes site visits. After much discussion, it was determined that since the item “Subsistence & Travel” is a not- to-exceed figure, Sawatzke did not have any further concerns. Torfin asked if retainage is a set percentage amount that is applied to every contractor and supplier. Blotske stated that 5% retainage is applied to all contracts. Blotske stated that some of the contractors are billing for stored materials. A&P requires an insurance certificate plus a list of the material they are storing, so that A&P has proof of the content as well as proof that the material is insured. RECOMMENDATION: Approve payment of Pay Application #7, in the amount of $3,036,679.48. Blotske explained that the cover sheet, “View Draw Request SC”, includes retainage amounts. She clarified that the Board would be approving the work and material presented on the cover page, minus retainage.
ROOF WARRANTY. Blotske stated the cost to upgrade the roof warranty from a 10-year to a 15-year from Carlisle would be $8,790.00. It is to provide additional insurance for five additional years. She stated that she had not realized this information was presented at the bid opening. Sawatzke stated that the warranty proposal was denied.
II. CROPLAND RENTAL CONTRACT.
Mark Johnson stated that he spoke with Dale Gapinski regarding rental of the Stemper site. Gapinski has informed Johnson that he is interested in renting the acreage again in 2008 and is acceptable to paying $65/acre. The amount of available acreage has not been agreed upon. Streich stated that he could coordinate a time to meet with Johnson and Gapinski to outline cropland areas not available for rent in 2008. It was determined that a one year rental contract would be appropriate due to the construction. RECOMMENDATION: Offer Dale Gapinski a one year rental contract of the Stemper site for $65/acre. Available acreage to be determined. (End of Owner’s Committee Minutes)
An Owner’s Committee Meeting will be held at 1:00 P.M. today. The County Board is being invited for a tour of the Jail/LEC site at 1:30 P.M.
At the last County Board Meeting, the Board discussed Corinna Township’s desire to do their own Planning and Zoning independent of the County. At that meeting, Russek suggested that a meeting be held with the Township without legal counsel. At today’s Board Meeting, Heeter moved to invite Corinna Township to the Courthouse on 2-19-08 at 5:00 P.M., County Board Room. Norman said they will have to meet the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. An agenda must be posted. It was the consensus that minutes of the meeting should be taken and the meeting recorded. The Agenda will be to discuss Corinna Township’s desire to do their own Planning & Zoning. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke questioned whether the ground rules would reflect no attorneys for either side. Heeter said this was the case. Norman reminded the Board that this is an open meeting so anyone can attend. Sawatzke said the attorneys can attend but the County Board will try to speak without the assistance of legal counsel. The motion carried 5-0.
Russek met with representatives of Randy’s Sanitation last week. Hennepin County is interested in an agreement between Wright County, Hennepin County, and Randy’s Sanitation to utilize Wright County’s Compost Facility for source separated materials. It is felt the volume will be there as more cities are joining all of the time. Randy’s Sanitation would like to meet with Wright County officials for a tour of a current facility operation. Hennepin County would like to use Wright County’s facility. If that is not possible, they will construct their own. Carver County has also been in contact with Bill Stephens, Wright County Environmental Health Officer, and expressed interest. Eichelberg supported review of the request to see whether it is feasible. He felt the agreement should be between Wright and Hennepin Counties and not with individual haulers. Mattson questioned whether Wright County should first determine costs associated with starting up the Compost Facility. Russek thought Wright County could meet first to find out how much of the Facility would be used. Then if the County is interested, costs to start up the Facility could be sought. Sawatzke supported this as well. He felt that if an Agreement were entered into, it should be with Hennepin County as opposed to with Randy’s Sanitation. Dealing with another governmental entity would have less chance of any lawsuits arising. Heeter was interested in seeing the concept up and running. Her concern was any associated odors with composting food waste. Russek said the tour will include a plant processing source separated materials. The Board can then decide whether to discuss the economics or decline the offer. The following will be given to Randy’s Sanitation as possible tour dates: 2-20-08 (all day); 2-27-08 (afternoon); and 3-05-08 (after 10:30 AM).
Allina Medical Laboratories. $534.00
American Traffic Safety Assoc. 190.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 640.79
Aramark Correctional Services 5,733.50
Brian Asleson 155.32
Aspen Equipment Company 3,621.00
Assn. of MN Building Officials 400.00
Assoc. of MN Counties 9,020.00
Auto Glass Center Inc,. 334.25
Automatic Garage Door & Firepl. 845.78
George Bakeberg 154.92
Barnes Distribution 1,024.26
Chuck Beutler 150.00
Boyer Truck Parts 975.58
Buffalo Chamber of Commerce 230.00
Buffalo Hospital 1,287.40
Bureau of Crim. Apprehension 500.00
Cargill Inc.-Salt Division 63,165.71
Center Point Energy 2,654.84
Centra Sota Lake Region 26,876.77
Central MN Mental Health Ctr. 280.00
Community Education Dept. 114.00
CPS Technology Solutions 440.00
Crow River Tools 271.50
Delano Sports Center Inc. 108.56
Franklin Denn 342.68
Design Electrical Contractors 425.48
Diingmann Marine & More LLC 284.85
Dale Engel 700.00
Envirotech Services Inc. 4,320.66
Fairview Ridges Hospital 1,000.00
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Exc. 6,356.44
Greg Findley 169.95
Force America Inc. 533.63
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc. 4,171.93
Global Equipment Company 127.97
Hennepin Chiefs Association 125.00
Hickman Excavating Inc. 146.44
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1,602.07
Cynthia Hohl 101.51
Hollomar Investments LLC 9,125.00
Louis Huber 150.00
Integrated Fire & Security 378.75
International Public Managemen 1,716.85
Interstate Battery Systems Of 411.89
Intoximeters Inc. 362.10
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 223.65
Lab Safety Supply Inc. 367.77
Law Enforcement Technology 192.13
Yer Lee 20,898.00
Little Dukes 110.00
L3 Communications Inc. 222.74
Charles Marx 150.00
McKesson Med-Surg Minnesota 152.89
Nathan Miller 131.92
MN Counties Computer Cooperati 500.00
MN Co. Engineers Association 400.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 2,883.79
Office Depot 2,667.85
Pearson Education 334.77
Povolny Specialties 325.46
Ray Allen Mfg. Co. Inc. 227.75
Recontrust Company 250.00
Rhodes Lock & Glass 463.06
Scenic Signs 390.40
Schedule Soft 1,300.00
Douglas Schmiginsky 150.00
Software House International In 1,076.72
Special Operations Training As 1,375.00
St. Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc. 135.35
St. Joseph Equipment-Mpls. 181.21
Star Tribune-Subscriptions 112.58
State of MN-Office Enterprise 1,960.19
Sun Press & Newspapers 704.00
U S Banks NA 23,381.00
Uniforms Unlimited 2,173.70
University of Minnesota 363.65
Voss Lighting 153.27
Tong Vue 4,000.00
West Payment Center 785.11
Karen Wolff 296.00
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 2,590.60
Wright Hennepin Electric 774.91
40 Payments less than $100 2,634.80
Final total $243,435.91
The meeting adjourned at 10:13 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 25, 2008.