Wright County Board Minutes

MAY 13, 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 5-06-08 minutes as presented.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda under Items For Consideration as follows: #4, “Committee Assignments” (Heeter); #5, “Change Capital Improvement Plan Meeting Date” (Russek); #6, “MCIT Meeting-Managing Human Resources” (Russek); #7, “Two Change Orders-Administration Department Remodel” (Norman). Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Heeter moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced Item C1C, “Highway-Discuss Establishing Offices For Maintenance Crew Supervisors.” He questioned whether this would be discussed only by the Building Committee. It was the consensus that the Building Committee will review the request and if it needs further discussion by the Committee Of The Whole, that will be their recommendation. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: B. Leinonen, Hwy.; J. Adams, J. Brown, T. Halberg, Sher.
B. ASSESSOR
1. Approve Abatement, PID #118-204-003060, 003070, & 003250, Builders Dev. & Finance Inc. (City of Otsego).
2. Approve Abatement, PID #208-200-323402, Ricky & Juliet Vredenburg (Franklin Twp.).
3. Approve Abatement, PID #114-267-000020, Omann Brothers Properties II (City of St. Michael).
4. Approve Abatement, PID #155-011-000130, Bondhus (City of Monticello).
5. Approve Abatement, PID #114-101-001240, Jennifer Keller (City of St. Michael).
6. Approve Abatement, PID #107-400-000040, Olymic Oil Co. Inc. (City of Delano).
C. HIGHWAY
1. Refer To Building Committee:
A. Discuss Fence Options For The Public Works Site.
B. Discuss Gate Options For Sheriff Impound Lot.
C. Discuss Establishing Offices For Maintenance Crew Supervisors.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Heeter referenced claims paid for a Jail inmate and questioned whether this person is a long-term inmate. Capt. Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, stated that the inmate has been incarcerated for some time. There is pending court activity which could result in relocation of the inmate. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 5-06-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, it was noted that the Committee minutes reflect the next meeting will be held on 5-20-08 at 10:30 A.M. Since the Committee Meeting, the date has been changed to 6-17-08 at 10:30 A.M. Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0:
I. TOUR COURTROOMS #1 AND #5.
Sawatzke stated that he requested a tour so that the Board could visually associate the proposed remodeling costs to the designated courtrooms. At the 4-23-08 Building Committee Meeting, Nordeen presented a breakdown of the requested Courtroom revisions (see attached). Mattson stated that he is not in favor of remodeling the Courts area now. He would be more in favor of revisiting options after the Sheriff’s Department moves out. Heeter stated that she is not familiar with the daily function of the Courts and is in favor of touring the Courts area for a better understanding. Nordeen and Schubert provided tours of Courtrooms #1 and #5. Nordeen explained that Option A for Courtroom #1, with an estimated cost of $120,000, is to remove a storage closet to provide an additional jury row (see attached plan). The closet stores a ladder and sound system equipment. The architect had eliminated a row in the audience; however, Nordeen stated that she would insist on keeping the row because arraignment days are full. Option B for Courtroom #1, with an estimated cost of $50,000, would leave the closet in place. The changes would call for building out the clerk’s desk to accommodate two clerks. A modification would be made to the Judge’s bench so that files could be passed from the clerk’s desk. As the Courts’ calendar increases, two clerks are needed to keep the calendar and court functioning smoothly and efficiently. The additional space is needed to facilitate training. The roomier stations would also accommodate computers and printers, which are currently located outside of the clerk’s desk and produce a lot of noise. Options A and B allow for reupholstering of the gallery seating, chair replacement, and carpet. Heeter asked Nordeen how often three felony courtrooms would be scheduled and remain busy. Nordeen stated that it is not very often when the current courtrooms are all busy at the same time. However, Courtroom #5 is typically not available, as the Bailiffs favor the accessibility of the courtroom from the Jail. All new arrests, warrants, and new charges are brought into this courtroom. Nordeen stated that the purpose of this remodel is to address the needs of the Courts for 8-10 years. Nordeen explained that the proposed remodel for Courtroom #5 would flip-flop the location of the witness stand with the clerk’s desk (see attached plan). The clerk’s desk would then be enlarged to accommodate two clerks. The Court Reporter’s station will remain. Shubert stated that the current setup does not provide any wiggle room for the two clerks. They both sit perched on a platform, with no room to pass files, is ergonomically deficient, and risk falling off the platform. The carpet is proposed to be replaced throughout the courtroom. Hayes explained that sound system enhancements would be required for Courtrooms #1 and #5. Nordeen stated that the upgraded sound system would grant control to the Judges at their bench, and accommodate the hearing impaired. Sawatzke asked if the sound systems would be moved to the new Courts when they move out of the Government Center. Hayes stated that it would be unlikely they would be moved. Schubert stated that some systems are not compatible, particularly with the new digital equipment. Nordeen stated that sound quality is often affected when joining two systems together. The Committee reconvened in the Commissioner’s Conference Room. Sawatzke stated that he did not support remodeling the two courtrooms solely for clerk training. He stated that the other courtrooms would provide ample space for clerk training. Nordeen affirmed that space is needed for two clerks. Training is a small component of the remodel. Sawatzke asked how many clerks the State granted the County. Nordeen stated that there is an implied need of 30 clerks. Due to budget cuts, they have 28 clerks. Court Reporters are not included in this count. Court Reporters are the Judges’ staff. Eichelberg stated that the extent of this remodel depends on the length of the Courts’ stay within the Government Center. Sawatzke stated that the County is not growing fast, so the pressure to move the Courts has been removed. Heeter stated that she feels the assumption is that the Courts will remain in the Government Center for at least five years. Russek stated that he feels the carpet in both courtrooms will not last for five years. Hayes stated that the carpet in Courtroom #1 was replaced approximately 12 years ago, and the carpet in Courtroom #5 dates back to 1995. Sawatzke proposed recessing the Meeting in order to attend the 5-06-08 County Board Meeting at 9:00 a.m. RECOMMENDATION: Recess the Building Committee Of The Whole meeting until 5-20-08 at 10:30 a.m. (End of Building Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
The Board addressed a request from the Parks Administrator to adopt a resolution relating to the Wright County Snowmobile Association for the 2008-2009 Grant In Aid Program. The Snowmobile Association receives funding from the State and reimbursement funds are handled through the County. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #08-20, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, presented the 5-07-08 Transportation Committee Of The Whole Minutes (TCOTW) for review. The minutes follow along with discussion which occurred at today’s County Board Meeting (reflected in italics):
Discuss Status of Federal Technical Corrections Bill
Fingalson said that he was encouraged by information he had received indicating that the Federal Technical Corrections bill is likely to be passed. Both the House and the Senate have given their approval, but President Bush’s signature is needed to finalize the process. Upon passage of this bill, funds will be released for the signalization of the intersections of TH 55/CR 134 and TH 55/CSAH 12 in Buffalo. This will make it possible for the projects to be completed before the end of 2008. The City of Buffalo has already taken steps to proceed with the TH 55/CR 134 project with the understanding that Mn/DOT would reimburse them for their share of expenses, even if reimbursement would not happen for several years. If this bill is passed, funds could be available as soon as the end of June 2008. Heeter expressed her appreciation to the City of Buffalo for its leadership in working on this project. Fingalson said that the TH 55/CSAH 12 project can still be done yet this year, also, when funding is secured.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson said the Technical Corrections Bill needs to be signed by President Bush. It is hoped that this will be completed by the end of June, allowing the TH 55/CSAH 12 and TH 55/CR 134 projects to move ahead.
Request from Franklin Township
Bill McMullen said that there are two roads in Franklin Township, Brighton Avenue and Farmington Avenue, that township officials believe have evolved into roads that belong on the county system. Fingalson displayed a map that outlined proposed changes on the 1994 Transportation Plan (approved in 1995). At that time, the County met with township and city officials and identified needs for functional class change, for jurisdictional change, and for access spacing for plats, etc. Both Brighton (from CSAH 30 to TH 12) and Farmington (from CSAH 17 to CSAH 32) [CSAH 32 is former CR 115] were included on the list of proposed jurisdictional changes. A number of those proposed changes have been addressed, but there are still others that are waiting for action. In order for the County to agree to take over a township road, that road must first be brought up to county standards. Russek said that the Township was told that the County would take over Brighton if the Township built the railroad bridge up to county standards. Fingalson said that the Township was told that the railroad bridge would have to be brought up to county standards before the County would even consider taking it over. McMullen said that he feels that the traffic growth on Farmington warrants the County taking it over since it has been in the long-range plan. He said that the Township Board has had a number of discussions about this, and they are unanimous in their desire to have the County take it over. The Township would be willing to share maintenance, such as snowplowing, with the County for a few years if this would help make the adjustment easier. This road was blacktopped in 1992, sixteen years ago, and has been sealcoated every two years since then. It is currently rated as a 9-ton road and is built to county standards, except for the curves and shoulder width. A traffic count was taken and results show 750 vehicles/day during spring break (with no school traffic) and 1,521 vehicles/day when school was in session. McMullen expressed his concern that this road is being used as an “unofficial” detour route for the TH 12 project and that traffic volumes are increasing. It was for this reason that the County agreed to take traffic counts which yielded the 750 AADT. Fingalson said that a preliminary estimate to upgrade 3.5 miles of Farmington is about $850,000/mile. Fingalson showed pictures of the area just south of the bridge on Brighton, where the shoulders are no more than two feet wide. They are narrower on other portions of the road. Czanstkowski said that he has done some research and found out that people from as far as Jordan use this road as a route when they’re heading north for the weekend. There is a lot of traffic on the weekends from people out of the area. Brighton is unpaved except for either side of the new bridge. No traffic counts have been taken on this road, but it will likely become more of a heavy traffic road next year when the railroad trestles are closed down to build TH 12 on the west side of Delano and traffic is detoured to Brighton. Czanstkowski said that residents are already complaining about the dust that is generated from the traffic on this road. Russek commented that traffic would probably increase even more if the road is blacktopped, but at least the dust wouldn’t be a factor. Fingalson said that a preliminary estimate to upgrade Brighton is about $1.725 million ($450,000 for R/W and $1.275 million for construction). McMullen asked if the County would consider taking over the road and making improvements at a later date, but Fingalson said that this would not be compatible with past practices.
McMullen said that he recognizes that Brighton is more of a challenge than Farmington, but Franklin Township wanted to put requests forward for both roads since they are both on the 15-20 year long-range plan. Russek said that he would like to continue to work toward an agreement. State aid probably wouldn’t be available for funding since this road serves as a connector and is not a CSAH now. This route would need to connect with CSAH 13 in order to qualify for state aid status. This would leave a turnback CSAH 13 segment for the township. Farmington might qualify for CSAH aid, but Wright County doesn’t have enough funds to use on this project unless it were to take funds away from another project. Sawatzke suggested that a road tour be scheduled for the commissioners so that they can see the actual roads and locations and get a better feel for what needs to be done. Russek expressed his desire to continue considering the Township’s request as Brighton should have been taken over years ago, and he suggested that a traffic count be done on Brighton so that traffic volumes can be reviewed. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that a Road Tour be organized so that the County Board can have the opportunity to visit sites around the County to become more familiar with areas of concern. Franklin Township will receive notice of the schedule so that they can meet the Commissioners on site at Farmington and Brighton.
Discuss Options for CR 147
DeWolf distributed a handout that showed plans for several future improvements (by the City of Buffalo). One of the projects includes a full median and signalized intersection for CR 134. Eventually, CR 134 might be extended across TH 55 and curve to meet CR 147. The railroad crossing in “Soo Town” (near MacDonald’s) and the 1st Street crossing (near Valvoline) will be permanently closed this summer as part of an agreement with Canadian Pacific Rail, but they will be replaced by a railroad crossing at 5th Street (near Culvers). This will create a continuous traffic flow from CSAH 35 to the new stoplight in Buffalo on TH 25 (Central Avenue). Currently, CSAH 35 is interrupted when it reaches TH 55 (near the Buffalo Liquor store) and then continues at the stoplight on TH 25 (near the Buffalo Hotel). When the “Soo” railroad crossing is closed and the 5th Street crossing is opened, this would probably be a good time to designate the new roadway (from 5th Street to TH 25) as CSAH 35. There has been no real continuity from TH 55 through Buffalo to the downtown area, but now there are frontage roads as part of the TH 55 project and other local initiative projects. The railroad crossing at 2nd Street (near Super America) will remain in operation. As part of the agreement with the Railroad to close two other crossings, future consideration is being given to adding a crossing at CSAH 34/TH 55 (near Target), which will connect with Settlers Parkway. This will provide a southerly connection to TH 25 when the last piece of the Centex development is completed. The closure of the railroad crossing at CR 147/TH 55, if this happens, will be used as a credit to develop a new crossing at CR 147 (the extension of CR 134). The connection at CR 134 and TH 55 is currently not within the city limits, but the City is proposing extending CR 134 across TH 55 as a future connection to CR 147. The current section of CR 147 that is located between TH 55 and the proposed extension of CR 134 would be closed to TH 55. Buffalo Township banked with CP Rail the railroad crossing at Calder Avenue when they closed it a number of years ago. This credit should be able to be used for future crossings in this area. If the Technical Corrections bill is passed, funds will be made available for the TH 55 construction planned for both CSAH 12 and CR 134. The City of Buffalo was taking steps to fund the improvements to CR 134/TH 55 with the expectation that they would be reimbursed through Mn/DOT in 2013; but the passage of the Technical Corrections bill will make this process less complicated. All agree that the intersection at CR 147 is very dangerous and should be closed where it currently meets with TH 55. Although this is not a programmed project at present, it was felt that this should be considered in the future, even with the potentially high right-of-way cost with relocations, etc. If this happens, homeowners along that stretch would be forced to travel back toward Buffalo on CR 147 in order to access TH 55 at CR 134. Mattson said that he would like to see left-hand turns prohibited from CR 147 onto TH 55. Russek said he would like to eliminate left-hand turns from eastbound TH 55 onto CR 134. DeWolf said that the road through the Centex development has already been developed as a parkway and is a very nice road. There is a center median and landscaping. This will be continued through the platted area that has not yet been developed, and the right of way has already been dedicated for this purpose. He said that the improvement at CR 134 will be designed to accommodate a full intersection in the future, so that a lot of improvements won’t be required when that change is made. There will be a left-turn lane for westbound TH 55 at that intersection, so that the pavement will not have to be removed when the connection is made to the west. The County Board members will view these intersections on the upcoming road tour.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Fingalson distributed a tentative road tour schedule. Russek moved to establish a road tour for 6-26-08 at 9:15 A.M. following the proposed schedule (subject to change). The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson requested that a change be made to page 3, 2nd to last paragraph, last sentence should be replaced with the following two sentences: “Mattson said that he would like to see left-hand turns prohibited from CR 147 onto TH 55. Russek said he would like to eliminate left-hand turns from eastbound TH 55 onto CR 134.” Sawatzke moved to approve the 5-07-08 TCOTW minutes and recommendations, as corrected. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
(End of TCOTW Minutes)
Fingalson recommended that the County Board approve dust control measures on Braddock Avenue due to the amount of truck traffic traveling to the Jail/LEC project site. This effort would control the dust and retain the aggregate. Fingalson contacted Buffalo Township and the County would be able to utilize their contractor for this service. Estimated cost is $2,000 for a one-time activity (includes three passes over the area). Fingalson said the County has a 100% paved system and does not have a budget item for dust control. Therefore, either a Highway Department budget line item could be exceeded or it could be funded from the Jail/LEC project budget. Sawatzke said there is nothing earmarked in the Jail/LEC project budget for this purpose. Russek moved to authorize dust control measures on Braddock Avenue, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. Funding will be from the Highway Department budget.
Correspondence was received from Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Board of Education requesting a Joint Work Session with the County Board to discuss topics of mutual interest. A possible Agenda item will include the stoplight at the TH 55/CSAH 12 intersection. Heeter moved to set a meeting with the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Board of Education on 6-23-08 from 6:00-7:00 P.M. The School District will host the meeting. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Heeter brought forth discussion on Committee assignments as she will not be running for re-election. She serves on the Regional Radio Board which is heavily involved with the 800 Mhz Radio System. At the last Regional Radio Board Meeting it was suggested that the alternate for the Committee, Eichelberg, step up as the appointment to the Committee and that Heeter serve as the alternate. Sawatzke moved to designate Eichelberg as the appointment to the Regional Radio Board replacing Heeter and to designate Heeter as the alternate. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. Heeter also serves on the Owner’s Committee that is currently working with the Jail/LEC project. Heeter felt it would be advantageous for another Commissioner to serve on the Committee as occupancy of the Jail will take place just after she leaves. Sawatzke moved to designate Russek as the appointment to the Owner’s Committee replacing Heeter. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
A Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting was held on 5-12-08. At that meeting, the recommendation of the Committee was to schedule another meeting for 5-28-08 at 1:30 P.M. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek said the meeting time needs to be changed as a Human Services Board Meeting is scheduled for that date and time. Russek moved to reschedule the Capital Improvement Finance Committee Meeting for 5-28-08 at 2:30 P.M., seconded by Heeter, carried unanimously.
MCIT will be hosting a meeting, “Managing the Human Resource” on 6-19-08 at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn. Russek moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.
There will be an Owner’s Committee Meeting at 1:00 P.M. today.
Richard Norman, County Coordinator, and Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, presented two change orders for approval relating to the Administration Department remodel. Up to this point, there has been one change order totaling $834.00 to relocate a roof drain. Change Order #2 relates to the framing method used to fill in the stairwell. The method proposed by Larson Architects was rejected by the City Building Inspector and will now require a metal framing setup versus fire-treated lumber. The total cost of Change Order #2 is $1,404.00. Change Order #3 relates to the structure of the wall adjoining the bridge. It was originally anticipated that the block would be demolished to the roof. However, the block serves a structural function and the I-beam must be extended over the doorway. This change order was an unforeseen condition that wasn’t realized until demolition. Hayes explained that Change Order #2 and #3 would have resulted with any of the contractors who bid. The total cost of Change Order #3 is $3,746.00. Russek moved to authorize Change Order #2, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. Sawatzke moved to authorize Change Order #3, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Sawatzke questioned whether the walls were opened up to the point where there would be no additional change orders. Norman responded that the wall in the corridor has not yet been removed so there is the potential something could be discovered at that point. Hayes said the project carries a $10,000 contingency.
Bills Approved
Abbott Northwestern Hospital. $282.00
Robert Adams 1,517.95
Albertville Pitstop Inc. 132.39
Allina Hospitals & clinics SP 656.19
American Messaging 666.36
Americinn 127.96
AMI Imaging Systems Inc. 15,508.71
Ancom Communications Inc. 1,739.15
Ancom Technical Center 998.00
Appraisal Institute North Star 140.00
Aqua Green Lawns 130.00
Aramark Correctional Services 10,692.83
Kirk Asplin Travel Plaza 151.81
Auto Glass Center Inc. 248.07
Bear Graphics Inc. 1,273.18
Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 157.50
Brock White Co. LLC 21,575.71
Buffalo Hospital 177.83
Buffalo Hospital-Otpt Commerci 325.10
City Buffalo 35,759.80
Ryan Busch 495.40
Cassidy Realty & Appraisal Inc. 309.22
Center Point Energy 12,097.83
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 38,329.39
Chamberlain Oil Co. 3,066.17
Climate Air 10,940.76
Cottens’ Inc. 1,346.60
CPS Technology Solutions 509.08
Dental Care Associates of Buff 209.00
Karen Determan 106.05
E-Z Flush 244.97
Election Systems & Software In 4,908.06
Randolph Erickson 125.72
Dennis Fehn Gravel & Excava 43,621.23
Forensic Reconstruction Ser 3,559.85
Forestry Suppliers Inc. 114.78
Frontier Precision Inc. 137.28
Gateway Companies Inc. 2,612.55
Geocomm Inc. 4,000.00
Gilbarco Inc. 175.00
Raymond Glunz 120.00
Gopher State One Call 230.40
H & H Sport Shop Inc. 123.00
H & R Const. Co. 10,068.15
Hance Utility Services Inc. 110.50
Alan Hoekstra 1,237.35
Holiday 20,178.00
Husom Electric 335.80
Interstate All Battery Center 615.87
Kustom Signals Inc. 110.00
Lakedale Communications 302.03
Loberg Electric 316.06
Magneto Power LLC 227.39
B McNamara Inc. 41,002.50
The Metro Group Inc. 174.50
Nathan Miller 437.83
MN Attorney Generals Office 501.19
MN Board of Assessors 715.00
MN Chemical Company 321.88
MN Counties Compulter Coop 2,821.47
Monticello Ford Mercury Inc. 637.15
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,519.62
Cheri Nelson 155.04
Nextel Communications 970.97
Office Depot 1,038.84
Photo 1 251.32
Reichels Catering Service 186.37
RS Eden 840.15
Ruffridge-Johnson 1,125.39
Russells Security Resource Inc. 718.58
Ryan Chevrolet 287.64
Schultz Soft Water Inc. 135.60
Sherwin Williams 217.71
Sigma Aldrich Inc. 179.11
M Smith Publishers 624.00
Specialty Turf & Ag 874.42
Sprint 335.56
St. Joseph Equipment-Mpls 284.56
Sunsource 1,102.64
Super Express 115.02
Total Printing 124.34
Trans Union Corporation 110.10
Truck Bodies & Equip Intl Inc. 104.11
Judy Vanderlinde 1,249.47
Waste Management TC West 1,429.20
WCEC Inc. 2,578.20
Janelle Webb 150.49
Wrigiht Hennepin Electric 1,500.00
43 Payments less than $100 2.023.26
Final total $319,987.26
The meeting adjourned at 9:47 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 2, 2007.