WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
APRIL 1, 2008
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the 3-25-08 County Board minutes.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #5, “Set Reimbursement Policy For Personnel Board Of Appeals” (Asleson). On a motion by Heeter, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.
On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: C. Pearson, Aud./Treas.; J. Eaton, A. Fashant, M. Laurent, M. Lindquist, C. Neuenschwander, D. Scherber, Sher./Corr.
2. Authorize Entering A Contract With Silver Creek Township For Law Enforcement Services.
3. Acknowledge MPCA Approval Of The Solid Waste Management Update.
4. Authorize Voluntary Leave Without Pay Program; May 5, 2008 Through September 19, 2008.
5. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Amendment To Law Enforcement Contract, City Of Monticello.
1. Refer Reorganization Of License Bureau To Personnel Committee For Approval.
1. Approve Hire, Bryan Hendricks, Engineering Tech I, Eff. 4-02-08 @ Step 5.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the February Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for approval. He requested approval to work on different formats of presenting this information to the Board. It was the consensus that Hiivala will continue to provide one copy of the current format to the Board. In addition, he will provide copies of a six-month summary that will provide additional information and comments. Mattson expressed concern on overtime costs, currently $13,662.25 over budget or a pace of $169,946.96 for the entire year. He did not understand how some departments could get their work done in eight hours and others cannot. Russek said the Highway Department incurs overtime hours mainly during the winter months. Mattson responded that although that may be true, overtime amounts for each department are raised annually and departments still exceed the amount budgeted. There are other departments that spend nothing and budget for overtime anyway. He felt it is a discouraging situation and desired a time when overtime amounts would not be exceeded. Hiivala felt this would be a good topic to discuss on a department-by-department basis. One situation that could affect overtime is coverage for unfilled positions. Although overtime hours may be used, the line item for salaries may be under budget. Russek moved to accept the February Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, said in 2007, their office acquired three retired squad cars. He requested approval to review the squad cars which will be offered at the 2008 Wright County auction in hopes of acquiring one vehicle for office use and possibly upgrading existing vehicles if recommended by the maintenance department. The automobiles have saved on travel reimbursement and also help to identify County staff while in the field. The additional vehicle will not have a negative impact on parking or the 2008 budget. Sawatzke moved to approve the request, seconded by Russek. Sawatzke questioned whether Assessor staff is trained to identify problems while in the field. Kramber said the appropriate entities are informed for such issues as health concerns or mortgage fraud. The motion carried 5-0.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, and Bob Quady, DNR Forestry, provided an update on the forest thinning project at Montissippi Park. Quady said the project was completed last week. Most of the jack pine trees were removed. Dead pine and downed trees were removed. Clear cutting and row thinning of red pines was completed. White pine and other trees were planted as well. Quady said this greatly decreases the fire hazard. Work was completed while the ground was frozen to minimize damage to the trails and roads. In the future, there will be a re-growth of jack pine trees. A pocket of jack pine trees were left along the road as a screen. During the project, 300-400 cords of wood were removed. Approximately 1/3 of the trees were dead. The trees were ground for landscape chipping or sent to District Energy. The nicer bark was ground and will be used for paper. Quady explained that the trees initially were not planted for esthetics but for timber production. Once trees are planted in rows, it is hard to convert them to a natural setting. When trees are planted for esthetics, plantings are scattered. Mattice extended appreciation to Quady for his assistance during the project. The next step planned is to clean up areas where trees were cut and along trail edges. An Arbor Days Celebration is planned at Montissippi Park where 200 seedlings will be planted in the spring. In the fall, the regeneration process will be evaluated and plantings for 2009 will be planned to provide a more natural, scattered look. They will continue to monitor invasive species. Mattice said the Park looks different since the clearing. The contractors commented on the amount of people who visit the Park each day. Mattice has not received any phone calls to date on the work that was completed and felt people overall were happy with the work. Through the bid process, $2,580 was received which will be used toward replanting and reclamation for areas of the Park. This was provided as an informational item.
Steve Jobe, Surveyor, provided an update on the Aerial Photography and LiDAR Project and requested authorization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Mn//DOT to provide an independent check of project data (120 test shots). Mn/DOT’s Photogrammetric Unit has the experience and expertise specific to Aerial Photography and LiDAR and has partnered with other counties on similar projects with success. There would be no cost to Wright County. Wright County and Merrick (the Aerial Photography Company) will be provided a complete report of the results. One set of data will be provided to Mn/DOT. As the product has value, Mn/DOT will not share it with other agencies. Jobe said that Wright County will deal with the company if the product does not contractually meet specifications. Mattson moved to approve the MOU with Mn/DOT for accuracy tests, seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke referenced the drier conditions being experienced and felt that it would more advantageous to have the project completed during a year with standing water. That information could be used when land is developed to reflect where water pools. Jobe said it is actually preferred to have a drier year for the LiDAR Project as it provides a good elevation model. That data can be compared to high level water marks. Sawatzke felt this may be preferred in areas near lakes and rivers but possibly not in other areas. Jobe provided an overview of the Project schedule. Aerial targets are being placed and LiDAR/DACS Acquisition will occur in April (weather permitting). They hope to have that completed by the end of April. On 6-27-08, they will receive the first deliver of raw data of LiDAR. On 9-12-08, they will receive the first deliver of aerial photography. By the end of November, the County will have both sets of DTM’s (the County will be split in half from north to south). Somewhere between 6-30-08 and 7-15-08, the County will be provided with two test areas (2 mile x 2 mile square areas) reflecting how well the photography and LiDAR data is working. Jobe said the contractor will work with 75 control points to control the flight and LiDAR. Some of these targets will be outside of County boundaries. Y-shaped targets (vinyl or paint) are being used. New in 2007 is the National Geodetics Survey along with Mn/DOT’s Geodetic Unit which readjusted all the control points in the County. They readjusted it to a 2007 global, international coordinate system. Wright County is using that system for the first time and Jobe understands Wright County may be the first county to use it. It is a more accurate system which will provide better quality. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with Mn/DOT.
The Board discussed a request from Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, to waive the $20 collection fee for televisions collected at the Wright County Compost Facility on 4-22-08 to coincide with and promote Earth Day, 2008. Stephens was unable to be present for discussion today as he was at the Compost Facility to cover while staff attends training. Russek said the proposal is for one day but Stephens would be willing to extend the collection to two days if desired. Sawatzke thought the collection should either be offered for an extended time period on 4-22-08 (longer than 9:00 A.M. 3:00 P.M.) or the collection should occur on two days. After discussion, Heeter moved to waive the $20 collection fee for televisions collected on 4-22-08 and to recommend to Stephens the Board’s desire to have extended hours of operation that day. Stephens can research options for coverage at the site including volunteers. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
An Owner’s Committee Meeting will be held today at 1:00 P.M. Sawatzke requested that if an Owner’s Committee Meeting is required the week of 4-22-08, it should be held on an alternate date due to Boy/Girl Day and the collection at the Compost Facility for Earth Day. Norman said it may be necessary to hold an Owner’s Committee Meeting during this time frame. On 4-29-08, there is a Quad County Meeting. The consensus of the Board was that if 4-29-08 does not work to hold an Owner’s Committee Meeting, it should be held on 4-28-08 (2:30 P.M.), on 4-28-08 (8:00 A.M.), or on 4-29-08 (2:00 P.M.).
Commissioner Mattson said Lake John residents have requested a meeting with the County Board. The meeting will be held to discuss high speed boat traffic and changes in aquatic vegetation in an area on Lake John. Ray Valley, DNR Biologist, is available to attend on 5-13-08 at 10:30 A.M. The group will make a 15-minute presentation on their concerns. Mattson suggested that Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, attend the meeting as well. Mattson moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 5-13-08 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #08-15 approving Form LG214, Charitable Gambling Application for the Cokato Firefighters Relief Association, Cokato Town & Country Club, 15256 US Hwy 12 SW, Cokato MN 55321. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Correspondence was received from Sherburne County announcing the Quad County Meeting which will be held on 4-29-08 at the Sherburne History Center. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, was in contact with the Sherburne County Administrator who confirmed the meeting will be held at 10:30 A.M. (originally scheduled for 10:00 A.M.) to accommodate the Wright County Board. It was noted that more than two Commissioners will be in attendance at the meeting. Commissioners were instructed to forward to Norman any Agenda items for this meeting.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the Personnel Board Of Appeals recently held hearings to address a termination appeal by an employee who was entitled to a Veterans Preference Hearing. The Attorney’s Office staffs these hearings from the standpoint of advising the Board. Both the County and the employee were represented by legal counsel. The Hearings lasted most of two full days. The Personnel Board of Appeals includes the following members: Ozzie Arlien, Connie Lounsbury, and Laureen Bodin. State Statute reflects the compensation for the Personnel Board of Appeals is set by the County Board to include actual and necessary costs. It has been a minimum of five years since the Personnel Board Of Appeals has met. Research was completed to determine past compensation but nothing was found. Asleson explained that the compensation for commissioners dealing with road condemnations is $300/day plus mileage. Asleson said his intent is to send correspondence to the Personnel Board Of Appeals members requesting more information and a claim. Discussion followed on compensation rates. Sawatzke felt $300/day seemed high in a case where the Personnel Board Of Appeals was only required to meet for a couple of hours. Norman suggested half-day and full-day rates. Those serving are asked to leave their place of employment and sit as a judiciary body making determinations. Since the Personnel Board of Appeals was formed, there have only been 3-4 hearings. Sawatzke questioned the potential of an hourly rate. Norman felt there may be Department Of Labor issues with an hourly rate. Asleson said surrounding counties could be polled to determine if they have a set rate. Sawatzke felt that the Personnel Board Of Appeals may have volunteered in the past and that is why there is no record. He was not suggesting this type of operation for the future. He felt the Personnel Board Of Appeals was set up in 1991 or 1992. It was the consensus that Asleson will send letters to the three Board members with a request for response prior to the 4-15-08 County Board Meeting (2 days compensation plus mileage).
Albertville Pitstop Inc.. $105.84
American Institutional Supply 294.65
American Solutions for Business 792.10
AMI Imaging Systems, Inc. 1,320.00
APEC Industrial Sales & Service 414.23
Aramark Correctional Services 5,455.62
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 167.79
B & B Products - Rigs and Squa 3,962.50
Joe Backes 102.01
BP Amoco 2,899.58
Cargill Inc. Salt Division 5,092.14
Carver Co. Financial Services 4,125.00
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 57,154.22
Central MN Mental Health Center 155.00
Climate Air 2,500.15
Commissioner of Transportation 2,295.53
Cub Pharmacy 4,310.52
Display Sales Company 155.71
Dale Engel 775.00
Ernst General Construction Inc. 692.25
Frontier Precision Inc. 408.41
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc. 1,787.22
Gateway Companies Inc. 3,205.02
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 346.04
International Right of Way 184.75
Steven Jobe 395.39
LaPlant Demo Inc. 868.41
Carol Lostetter 200.00
M-R Sign Company Inc. 819.21
Marco Inc. 4,493.52
McLeod County Treasurer 1,025.73
The Metro Group Inc. 1,152.12
Minncor Industries Central 157.28
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 133.13
City Monticello 5,609.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,386.47
MTI Distributing Inc. 117.11
Mumford Sanitation 129.87
Office Depot 3,444.62
Positron Public Safety Systems 2,433.33
Postmaster - Buffalo 500.00
Quantum Corporation 500.00
Rhodes Lock & Glass 186.83
RS Eden 1,066.05
Pat Sawatzke 312.60
Shell Fleet Plus 417.95
Sherburne County Sheriff 19,291.38
Snowplows Plus 466.36
Software House International Inc. 345.06
St. Cloud State University 375.00
St. Cloud Times 236.60
State of MN - Office Enterprise 172.53
State Supply Co. 122.56
Super Express 210.87
Uniforms Unlimited 322.60
United Parcel Service 221.72
University of Minnesota 154.38
Verizon Wireless 156.70
Walmart Store 01-1577 632.60
Willen Inc. 3,782.50
Winter Equipment Co., Inc. 1,123.68
Wright County Ag. Society 200.00
Wright Co. Auditor Treasurer 3,349.00
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 169.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 362.74
38 Payments less than $100 2,060.86
Final total $161,864.28
The meeting adjourned at 9:54 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal April 28, 2008.