Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MAY 27, 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 Mattson, all voted to approve the 5-20-08 County Board Minutes as presented.
Heeter moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Heeter moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced Aud./Treas. Item #1, “Approve Jail & LEC Draw #11 Invoice, $4,377,655.61” and said the Board reviews and approves payments for the Jail/LEC project. Mattson said the Board is very concerned with costs. Russek added that the Owner’s Committee reviewed the request for payment prior to sending them to the County Board for approval. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: P. Bailey, J. Rivers, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, Frank Madden & Assoc., $849.62.
B. ASSESSOR
1. Approve Abatement, PID #155-800-332301, Northern States Power Co. (City of Monticello).
C. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Approve Jail & LEC Draw #11 Invoice, $4,377,655.61.
2. Approve Tobacco License For Croix Convenience, Formerly dba Albertville Mobil (Albertville City).
D. HIGHWAY
1. Approve 2008 Maintenance Agreements Between Wright County & Seven Cities.
Steve Jobe, Surveyor, said it was an honor and privilege to present a retirement plaque to Michael Minnick, Senior Survey Technician for his dedicated service from 1974 to 2008. During his employment, Minnick worked for four Surveyors and served as the interim Surveyor when required. Minnick provided a history of how he became employed with the County. He felt he had been fortunate to work for the County for over 30 years and extended thanks for the support shown by his wife, co-workers, and County Board. Minnick was thanked for his years of service.
Jobe requested appointment of Mike Pooler as Wright County’s representative and voting member of MCGISA (Minnesota County GIS Association). MCGISA is an association of county professionals whose mission is to advance GIS technology in Minnesota county governments by providing leadership, support, and advocacy. Goals of the group include providing a forum to share information and experience among the members of the Association. Pooler would be classified as a Full Member (voting member for Wright County). Any other County membership would be as an Associate Member (non-voting). Each County will have one vote. The Board requested that the Information Technology Department be involved with what the MCGISA group is doing. Jobe explained that he and Pooler meet monthly with Bill Swing and Cheri Nelson, Information Technology. Swing or Nelson can elect to be an Associate Member of MCGISA. Mattson moved to appoint Pooler as Wright County’s representative and voting member of MCGISA, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a list of applications by governmental subdivisions for conveyance of tax forfeited lands for public use. A total of 18 applications have been received thus far from 6 of the cities and townships. Each application needs to be signed by the Board Chair and Auditor prior to being submitted to the State. Once approved, the appropriate municipality will be billed for the cost of recording. Each municipality has approved by resolution the request to take the land for public use. Hiivala said the Tax Forfeit Committee met in July, 2007 to review 61 eligible properties. The list was submitted to the State. The State returned the list in March, 2008 with 56 properties listed. The 18 being presented today are included in the first batch of properties with more to follow at a later date. Russek moved to authorize the Board Chair and Auditor to sign the applications, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
City of Buffalo 103-106-000020
City of Clearwater 104-010-040070
City of Delano 107-028-002100,107-029-001012, 107-030-002071, 107-060-000020, 107-060-000030, 107-500-122203
City of Rockford 113-021-000010, 113-021-000040, 113-022-000010, 113-025-000020
City of Monticello 155-080-000010, 155-080-000020, 155-090-000060, 155-500-144100, 155-500-144200
Woodland Township 220-000-294302
On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 5-14-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter moved to approve the minutes, not including the recommendations. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. The minutes follow along with discussion which occurred at today’s Board Meeting (in italics).
MAIN SWITCHBOARD CONCERNS.
Hiivala stated that staff has issued two concerns regarding the main switchboard desk: increased level of background noise, and intense brightness during morning hours. The increased level of background noise is due to new security measures at both entrances into the Government Center. Staff has stated that the amount of noise has made it difficult to hear when screening calls. Noise cancellation headphones are not a practical solution as it will alienate the receptionist from relevant outside noise, and would constantly need to be removed when assisting visitors. Hiivala proposed a Plexiglas enclosure as a potential solution. Heeter questioned Hiivala on how often and how noisy the front reception area gets. Mattson stated that voices carry as the lobby area is like an echo chamber. He stated that he does not think that there is anything to do to prevent the noise. Hiivala requested that Debbie Maurer, Office Assistant, join the meeting to describe her experience in the reception area. He commented that he has seen her with her headphone on one ear and a finger in the other ear in order to hear an incoming caller. Maurer stated that her issue is with the background density of the noise, it is a constant murmur. She stated that particularly during property tax payment deadlines, the Government Center is very busy. People congregate at either door, talking with the bailiffs. Mattson asked if the voices and background noise would roll over a Plexiglas barrier. Hayes proposed that an enclosure could serve as a dual purpose: eliminate noise and block sun glare. Hayes proposed obtaining an estimate from a carpenter to create a defined area for deliveries and inquiries. Heeter stated that she is concerned about the aesthetics of a Plexiglas enclosure in the main lobby of the Government Center. Norman expressed concern that an enclosed receptionist area could affect the receptionist’s line of sight. Hiivala asked if there is a film that could be placed on the windows to block direct sunlight. Heeter stated that she has seen a cellophane film that adheres to glass and effectively blocks sun glare. She stated that the film is easy to maintain and is aesthetically pleasing. The film can be cleaned with a squeegee. Heeter requested that Hayes seek out a price on the sun-filtering film. Heeter stated that she is not in favor of paying for a consultant, however, she thinks it would be beneficial to consult with an acoustics firm to seek ideas on how to dampen the noise level. Hayes stated that the entire lobby area is a hard surface, and thought that the total area would have to be softened with acoustic panels to lower the level of noise. He stated that there is an acoustics firm in St. Michael that may be able to provide some insight. Hayes stated that he will try for the smallest, most effective fix: acoustics and film. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize Hayes to seek information on acoustics and pricing on sun film.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Heeter said the Committee discussed the request to enclose the reception area and they did not feel it was needed. There was also discussion at the Committee level on additional Plexiglas. The receptionist has indicated that the noise is constant. Although Heeter understood the concerns, she did not support enclosing the space. Heeter discussed the situation with the receptionist and found that they do not want too much Plexiglas. Heeter moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson requested that the recommended correction should be presented back to the Board for approval. Russek said the Committee recommendation is for the Purchasing Agent to research low cost alternatives. That information will be brought back to the Building Committee for recommendation to the County Board. The motion carried 5-0.
SPACE NEEDS FOR COURTHOUSE SECURITY/BAILIFF DIVISION, 2009.
Howell stated that following the Department’s move to the new Jail/LEC, the Department has determined that the Jail Administration Office would be a logical headquarters for the Security/Bailiffs Division. Moving to the Jail Administration Office would allow Todd Korbel’s current office to be vacated, granting Court Administration two additional office spaces. The newly placed Bailiff headquarters would be a gathering place, small storage facility, and a place for the Bailiff’s mailboxes. The current Bailiff’s room in the Court Administration area has become too small for current staffing needs. Korbel also proposed using the Jail Library as additional space for the Bailiffs. Korbel stated that the Jail Library, located on the second floor, would be unusable to any other department. Korbel stated that the Jail Library would be large enough to accommodate a break room, office space, report writing, checking emails, and monitoring the security cameras. Howell stated that the Bailiffs could monitor cameras from their computers. Korbel stated that there are ten computers in the Library area. Heeter stated that she likes the proposed proximity of the Bailiff’s office to the rest of the Government Center if it were to be relocated in the Jail Administration Office. Korbel responded that he would be the only go-to person for law enforcement once the Department moves north. The Jail Administration Office is accessible to departments and visitors. Korbel stated that currently they have eleven Bailiffs, and following the move, Transport staff will be accessing the office as well. Norman stated that Commissioner Sawatzke wanted all discussions regarding future use of Sheriff space dealt with at a Building Committee of the Whole Meeting. Heeter stated that today’s discussion is an appropriate discussion. Korbel stated that he is not requesting to take over any other space, other than the space his Department already occupies. Mattson stated that he would not be in favor of funding remodeling and structure rebuilding in order to meet his request. Korbel stated that the Jail Library would not require any remodeling as it is already set up to meet their needs. He stated that the area might require chairs and modular furniture. Howell stated that the original plan was to move Gary Torfin’s furniture out to the new building, however, with this relocation, Torfin’s furniture would remain as-is. Hayes stated that office space is a valuable commodity. The Jail does not lend itself to office space. He proposed that if the Bailiffs needed storage space that they use a portion of the Jail rather than using office space. Howell stated that the amount of storage for the Bailiff’s would be minimal: shotguns, vests, etc. A storage locker would suffice. Korbel stated that he would be satisfied staying in his current location on the second floor, however, it does not seem practical. The Jail Lobby and Jail would remain as-is. A brief discussion occurred on the future of the Jail gym being a records management area due to its controlled climate. Heeter stated that she is willing to recommend that the Bailiffs move into the Jail Administration Office, giving Bailiff presence on the first floor and freeing up space for Court Administration. Hayes stated that the largest expense would be in moving the cameras and alarm wires. Hayes stated that the panic buttons are another future consideration once the Department vacates the Government Center. The Government Center is under the jurisdiction of the City. There are 64 panic buttons throughout County offices. Korbel stated that it is guaranteed that someone is watching the panic button in the Bailiff’s office. Korbel proposed a tour of his current office. He stated that he is very confident that there will be very minimal cost with the move. Mattson stated that he would be in favor of the move as long as there are not any remodeling costs, and the move would not affect the functionality of the future vacated space. RECOMMENDATION: Approve relocating the Bailiff/Security Division to the Jail Administration Office and Jail Library upon the Sheriff Department vacating their space in 2009.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty said that in order to utilize the 2nd Floor of the Jail (where the Library is located), the Bailiffs will have to be unarmed. In addition, wiring for network connection will be required. The Courthouse Security Unit has 8 full-time, 2 part-time, and 1 seasonal employee. Hagerty asked for an amendment to the request to include the use of the current Bailiff’s office (Room C259) and the current Jail Administration Office (Room C116). Sgt. Todd Korbel’s office (Room C222) would be vacated. Sawatzke inquired on the monitoring of panic buttons. He referenced recent discussions on the enhanced 9-1-1 system in the Government Center. He questioned whether the 9-1-1 system will allow a call to be pin-pointed to a specific phone and whether this would be redundant to the panic buttons. Hagerty explained that panic buttons currently are monitored by Dispatch, Sheriff Administration, and the Bailiffs. Lt. Todd Hoffman explained the 9-1-1 System pinpoints the department but not the exact desk location of the caller, as the County did not select this option. Hoffman said the County will need to determine whether two separate systems will be utilized. The panic buttons may work better in some areas or situations (i.e., medical issue, reception). The Safety Director has requested further discussion on the systems. Mattson inquired whether the Government Center will be under the jurisdiction of the City once the Sheriff Department moves to the new Jail/LEC site. Hoffman stated the Government Center has always been under the jurisdiction of the City. The Sheriff Department may have responded to calls for service because of their proximity to the calls. Hagerty said moving the Bailiff’s office to the location of the current Jail Administration office will provide the law enforcement presence. In the past, the City of Buffalo has handled thefts, etc. at the Government Center. The Sheriff Office has taken care of calls at the Government Center for rapid response. If something happens at the Jail, the Sheriff has handled the case internally. If there is a death in the Jail, the Buffalo Police respond and would be the primary unit on the case but the Sheriff Department may still be involved. Currently, the Sheriff Department responds to calls within the Government Center that relate to upset clients. Once the Sheriff Department moves, he was unsure whether the Buffalo Police Department would respond to the call or the Sheriff Transport Division would handle calls for assistance. Hagerty said they will meet with the Buffalo Police Department as their role will probably change. Heeter said moving the Bailiff Division to the main floor will provide presence in the Courthouse and they will have the ability to monitor security cameras by computer. The County will need to address panic buttons and where they will be routed. She felt the County Board today could make the decision to approve to relocate the Bailiff’s Office and to vacate Korbel’s Office. Sawatzke moved to approve the concept of relocating Bailiff Security in 2009 to the current location of Jail Administration. Details are to be worked out by the Building Committee and brought back to the County Board for review prior to that time. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried 5-0.
(End of Building Committee Minutes)
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, presented the May 2008 Parks Commission Minutes which include a recommendation to approve a temporary construction easement for French Lake Township. This is a 17-foot temporary easement beyond the current 50’ road right-of-way and would run from the Park entrance west. This would be for road improvements that will accommodate safety, drainage, and slope stabilization. Russek moved to approve the request, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0. The Parks Commission also reviewed the latest draft of the Archery Range Lease Agreement. The Parks Commission recommended submitting identified issues to the County Attorney and the County insurance carrier for review and comment. Mattice said these issues have been forwarded to Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, and Mark Nolan, Safety Director. Once finalized, the draft of the Agreement will be forwarded to the County Board for review. Sawatzke referenced the draft Agreement, Item 4D-County’s Obligations, which states, “Except as provided for in Article 5(1), to provide for the general maintenance and upkeep of the range, including the purchase and installation of new cores and backstops as needed.” He requested that Asleson review that language further to determine the County’s obligation. Mattson referenced the Parks Commission Minutes and discussion regarding whether to allow horses in Ney Park. Mattice said it was his understanding that when the property was purchased, the agreement was that riding would be allowed. This has never been advertised in Parks brochures. The Parks Commission wants to review what trails will be used as horse trails. The consensus of the Parks Commission was to “sign the self-guided interpretive trail ‘No Horses,’ while leaving the remainder of the park ‘as is’ until the July Parks Commission Meeting, at which time Mattice will provide trail information on both Stanley Eddy and Ney Parks so that the Parks Commission can make recommendations on future trail uses.” Mattson supported strict rules on when and where horses can be allowed.
Mark Nolan, Safety Director, attended the MN Safety & Health Conference on May 14-16, 2008. On behalf of Wright County, he received the Governor’s Safety Award for excellence in workplace safety and health given by the MN Safety Council. Since 1934, the Governor’s Awards have spotlighted Minnesota employers with above average safety records. Applications for the award are submitted reflecting the number of employees, hours worked, and injuries which have occurred. These applications are compared with other State and National entities. They also review past performance and ongoing safety programs. Awards are given at three levels. In the past, Wright County has received the Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Achievement Awards. This year, the County received the Award of Honor. There were 59 entities that received the Award of Honor, including three Counties (Dakota, Norman and Wright). The Board extended congratulations to Nolan for the great job he has done in the area of safety. The Award will be displayed in the Lobby of the Government Center.
Dick Anderson and Tommy Thompson, Greater Lake Sylvia Association, addressed the Board to petition for a new EAW on the proposed Annandale Rock Products Gravel Mine. Anderson referenced a letter dated 3-31-08 from Assistant County Attorney Tom Zins to John E. Mack, Attorney for the Lake Association, which reflects, “…the only way the County Attorney’s Office will take another look at the EAW process, is if you petition the County Board and make a direct argument to them for reconsideration of their decision.” He referenced a 12-05-07 letter from Wenck Associates to Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer for Wright County, which outlines their concerns. He referenced a 5-17-08 letter from Mack (on behalf of the Lake Association) to the County Board on the petition for the new EAW. He read a portion of the Wenck Associates letter, Page 2, Item #5:
“Water Use/Groundwater Impacts – The response to Question 13 indicates that the water table mounding under the pits is anticipated to be ‘less than 1.5 feet above current conditions’ but there was no groundwater study information provided to support this assertion. The groundwater modeling study referenced in the response should have been appended to the EAW; otherwise the reader has no way of confirming if the alleged ‘(demonstration) that mining above the water table in the vicinity of Lake Sylvia will result in negligible changes in flow rates to lakes, groundwater flow direction, and groundwater quality.’ Also, the groundwater system at the Proposed Project would not necessarily behave the same as the system in the vicinity of the Section 35 project, so the other study is not necessarily relevant to the Project area.”
He read further from the Wenck Associates letter, Page 4, 2nd paragraph:
“In our opinion, the greatest cumulative potential effect in this geographic area in which the Project is located is an impact on groundwater hydrology and water quality. Comment #5 above describes the potential groundwater impacts from the Proposed Project – these impacts could result from any/all of the mining in the area, resulting in cumulative potential groundwater effects. The groundwater discussion in the response to Question 29 was limited to a reference to the modeling study in Section 35, which may or may not be relevant to other mining areas and which does not address potential cumulative effects, since it was specific to the proposed mine in Section 35. We believe that a more extensive discussion of cumulative groundwater impacts, and their potential impact on water quality and hydrology of area lakes, should have been included in the EAW. Given the extent of the aggregate resources in the area, this issue may be potentially significant enough to warrant preparation of an EIS to address this cumulative potential effect.”
Russek said the request from the Lake Association is for a new EAW. He explained that the DNR orders the EAW and the County does not have control of this. An EAW is automatic over so many acres. The County deals with the EIS and the County Board took action previously to decide an EIS is not required. Sawatzke questioned whether an EAW has been completed. Anderson stated it has been and that it was prepared by the RGU, which in this case was Bill Stephens of Wright County. The EQB reviews the EAW and sends it back for a 30-day review. Anderson said this is the time they sent the Wenck report outlining their concerns on gravel mining in that area. Eichelberg asked whose responsibility it would be to complete the second EAW if it is granted. Anderson referenced the 3-31-08 letter from County Attorney Zins to Mack reflecting that the Lake Association would petition the County. The letter states the only way the County Attorney’s Office would look at the request was if it was petitioned by the Lake Association.
Zins said his role as an Assistant County Attorney is to provide the Board with the law. He does not tell the Board how to make policy. Most of what has been raised by the Lake Association is fact issues. Those issues have already been decided. The most recent correspondence from Mack, dated 5-17-08, is about facts and not about the law. If they could come up with some type of law of significant importance that came out of the Kandiyohi County case that was overlooked, that could be reviewed. In terms of the fact issues, they have already been reviewed. Zins referenced the letter dated 5-17-08 from Mack, reflecting they are petitioning for an EAW. Zins said the EQB should be petitioned for an EAW and the Lake Association is in the wrong place for the request. He said they have not been timely over the entire range of hearings and EAW process. They were invited to make comment and petition the Board a full six weeks ago. They have also missed other deadlines along the way. The issue is now before the Planning Commission where they have made a preliminary determination to approve the gravel mining operation contingent on staff drawing up a final motion. The process is far beyond raising these types of issues which is basically foreclosed by the rules. For an EAW, Rules 4410.1100, Subp. 3 & 4, indicate they should contact the EQB to petition for what they want. Notice would need to be provided to Annandale Rock Products. Zins said none of that has technically been done. The project is also exempt under Rule 4410.4600, which states that the project is exempt once it has had the proper environmental review and it has been completed. Basically, the Rule says it is not looked at again. The third legal point has to do with the Statute of Limitations which provides 30 days to appeal from the time the first negative determination is made (3-28-08). The Lake Association didn’t appeal to District Court. He summarized them being at the wrong place asking for the wrong things and not doing so in a timely fashion. There is an exception in the rules in cases where there has been a significant change in the project design by the applicant or if there has been a significant change at the local level (County level). Zins did not see significant changes that would justify this. The EAW can be redone anytime before the final determination, which he felt would be in June. Zins said in review of Mack’s March letter, he didn’t find anything that was overwhelming against the project. There has been nothing new submitted since that time so he felt the best thing to do was nothing at all. Zins said the most recent letter raises fact issues, not legal issues. Most of those fact issues have already been raised and a decision made, or the fact issues should have been raised within the process that they are now outside of. The first time around, Mack basically argued that Stephens had it wrong as he followed the wrong checklist, which was obtained from the EQB. They argued further that the EQB had the law wrong because of the Kandiyohi County case and the checklist had not been changed. The argument was that Stephens had the wrong checklist and therefore did not provide the Board with the correct information. Zins said that is not exactly what the case was about. The Supreme Court went on for 18 pages trying to argue the difference between impacts and effects and things that may not necessarily be relevant. They eventually stated that what got Duininck Brothers in trouble in Kandiyohi County was that they misstated the law when they categorically stated that if you took a series of gravel pits, each of which did not have a significant impact on the environment, and added them together there was no impact. The Supreme Court did not like that theory as they felt every gravel pit would have some sort of impact, even if it is minimal. If they were added together they may be significant. Zins said Stephens could have stated things better but he did not misstate the law. It could be argued whether there were enough facts to support the conclusions.
Zins referenced the 5-17-08 letter from Mack and briefly outlined it. With regard to Mack’s position that there are no physical tests, Zins said that is a fact issue. The Board knew this when the issue was decided. The letter also states that the mine will come within 1’ of the lake level and that it is a very crude operation. Zins said that this was also known and it was within the report. That is also a fact issue and there is no new law that would apply. It was something the Board looked at before. The letter states mining will occur in the Shoreline District. This is not necessarily illegal and the Board reviewed this previously. Concerns were raised on the conveyor belt and crusher placement. This is being dealt with as part of the CUP process at the Planning Commission level. The letter claims there will be an inadequate reclamation plan. Zins said the EAW deals with the reclamation plan and a reclamation plan is built into the analysis of gravel pits. The Planning Commission increasingly is placing more conditions on reclamation plans to make sure reclamation efforts improve in the future. This is another fact issue that was looked at. The letter claims the SWCD was not notified, which is incorrect. The SWCD didn’t weigh in early in the process but they have provided input. This was an incorrect statement in the letter and again it was a fact issue. The letter referenced Blandon turtles. Zins was unsure if there were Blandon turtles in the area, but it was included in the listing. The DNR suggests fence placement or something similar. Zins said on any environmental issue, you have to have something you can react to. Most of that is past and done. Given the fact that Mack was not present at the County Board Meeting and Zins did not see any new law brought forth from what was presented in the first letter, he recommended that the Board do nothing at all.
Russek said the Planning Commission has heard the issue three times. The applicant has been very easy to work with. The Township initially denied the request but has since seen how the applicant has been working with the neighbors and on the reclamation plan. At the last Planning Commission Meeting the recommendation was for staff, the Township, and the applicant to draw up the final mining and reclamation plans to be presented at the second meeting in June. That will be the final action by the Planning Commission. Russek referenced past review of the request by the Board and the Planning Commission, as well as the site inspection. There will be no truck hauling out of the pit. The material will be conveyed. He felt the applicant had done what he could to reduce noise and dust. Russek supported moving ahead. The Township is working with them to possibly vacate the road. The conveyor will run under the road.
In response to Sawatzke, Zins said the EAW was mandatory. Sawatzke asked whether the EAW process has changed. It was explained that the EQB sends the paperwork to the County. The County makes a decision on whether to require an EIS. Sawatzke asked whether there were discretionary EAW’s. Zins said EAW’s must be completed after a certain number of people petition. Otherwise it is based on the size of the project. If there are less than 40 acres involved, a petition can require the Board to have it done.
Mattson previously owned property in Buffalo that contained fuel tanks. When he decided to sell, he was required to hire an environmental engineering firm to assist with monitoring wells. The wells were to prove the water table was not being contaminated. He felt this would be a proactive way to make sure there is not a problem in this situation. Zins responded that the EAW is a quick review to check for obvious problems. If there is nothing obvious, then the Board decides whether to require an EIS. There is nothing in the rules that would require the County to be proactive and look for environmental disasters on the small percentage they might be there. They rely on secondary studies and what they have. He said it is basically a less in-depth review process. If there is any potential, then they move to the more intense review which is the EIS. The Board makes a decision based on the information provided and input from others. He said environmental reviews are more judgment than anything else.
Mattson said the Lake Sylvia area is recognized as an area with one of the highest tax rates in the County. He felt caution should be used when there is the potential to create an environmental problem in that area. Mattson restated that on his property, he had to place monitoring wells 12’ down to assure there were no problems before selling the property. He said the Lake Association has expended a lot of money to keep the area nice and that hasn’t entered into the discussion.
Anderson said Mack was not present today due to the expense associated. Thompson felt Mack had done what the letter from Zins had instructed. The May letter from Mack outlines facts associated with the Lake Association’s concerns and reclamation. He clarified that there will be some trucking from the pit to remove fill occasionally and for rock that will not fit on the conveyor stockpile. He was unsure as to how often that will be. Russek questioned whether there will be any permanent fuel tanks on that site. A representative of Annandale Rock Products stated that the proposal requests a fuel storage tank.
Tom Thompson, Greater Lake Sylvia Association, is a professional Engineer licensed in the State of Minnesota. Thompson said the Lake Association filed documents repeatedly with the Planning & Zoning Board outlining their concerns. He felt this was done on a timely basis but that the concerns were not considered. He referenced a 79-page document published by the DNR dealing with pit mining. The report reflects whenever a pit is to be installed or used next to streams which feed into a lake, extreme caution should be used. First of all, he said the filter media is eliminated that the snow and rain provides to make sure the water flowing into the lake is pure. Secondly, reclamation is extremely important because the filtration cap is removed. In this case, it is down to within 1’ of the stream that flows into the Lake. They feel this is quite serious. The document further states that because of the flow, monitoring wells should be used. He did not feel this had been addressed. As far as restitution, they have not seen anything in writing dealing with this. Thompson said their point is that the EAW was and still is inadequate with the pit on top of Lake Sylvia. That is why they argue for an EAW. He felt their request was timely as they have until the final resolution is passed. It appeared to him there was time for argument and that is why they are present.
Eichelberg said based upon the information that Zins and Russek provided, this is not the correct place to request an EAW. Therefore, no action would be required. Mattson questioned whether the County Board had the ability to override the Planning Commission. He questioned the County Board’s role. Zins stated the County Board has the authority on the EAW and they have already exercised that with the Planning Commission granting a CUP. The final authority by Ordinance has been delegated to them and they have the final say. Zins felt the Planning Commission would listen to concerns of the County Board. Mattson asked Zins whether the facts brought forward by the Greater Lake Sylvia Association were important enough to review again. Zins said he tries to avoid the facts that were already considered. The Statute of Limitations has expired. A 30-day window was provided to appeal to District Court. He felt they did not do that for many of the same reasons referenced today (i.e., investing resources). Zins recognized that it is a costly process. He sympathized with that but they did not meet the deadline. With regard to the letter, it was written with the idea that the Board may reconsider (the negative declaration for the EIS). If the Board wants to reconsider, it would require action by one of the Board members who moved to not require an EIS. However, the Lake Association is asking for an EAW and that process begins with the EQB. He felt the EQB would review it and come to the same conclusion that he has, that it has already been done.
Russek referenced the question by Mattson on whether the County Board has authority over the Planning Commission. He said the Planning Commission issues CUP’s. Rezoning requests come back to the County Board after review by the Planning Commission. Zins felt the Planning Commission would listen to concerns of the County Board.
Anderson said he was confused as they did what the letter from Zins asked them to do. Now the County is saying they are in the wrong place. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, clarified that the Attorney’s Office would not reconsider this from a legal standpoint based on Mack’s letter. The work has been completed and the County Board made a negative decision on the need for an EIS. The County Board and the Planning Commission are clients of the County Attorney’s Office. The County Attorney’s Office would revisit the issue if directed by the County Board. That being said, they did not feel there was a need for this based on the information. The word “petition” in the letter may have been misleading. He said maybe that is where things have gotten off track. Anderson responded they are concerned with the environment by the Lake and the economics of all that goes with it. He felt the Board may be looking at the representatives of the Lake Association in a bad light. He wanted them to know they are genuinely concerned and they feel the County should be too. He felt they had possibly been misled. He felt Mack had done what the County Attorney’s letter had requested. Russek did not feel anyone thought they were wasting the Board’s time. The Lake Association feels strongly about the issue. However, the Planning Commission has reviewed the issue three times. Final action is scheduled at their meeting on 6-26-08. Amendments can be considered at that time. The details of a motion to be presented at that meeting are to be worked out by the applicant, Township, and staff. Anderson asked whether they would be able to review the motion prior to it being considered by the Planning Commission. Russek said no further comment will be taken on the issue as the public hearing process has closed. Anyone can receive the information on the proposed motion but it may not be available in advance. Sawatzke said to a great extent, the discussion today is similar to when the Board decided not to require an EIS a couple of months ago. At that time, it was a difficult issue and a lengthy discussion occurred. The Board voted 3-2 not to require an EIS. He felt there may have been some insignificant changes which have come up but he did not feel they rose to the level of reopening the process. He agreed with Zins that the opportunity to appeal has come and gone. He admired the Lake Association’s efforts and said he was not an advocate of the gravel industry. He felt the lack of effort for reclamation in past years has caused many of the problems today with their industry. However, gravel is needed and it is within the Ordinance. He said there will ultimately be conflict. Mattson said he could not figure out why it wouldn’t be required to have monitoring wells at the base of a pit. It would solve the concerns of the Lake Association. If the property is sold, monitoring wells will be required. If he owned the property, he would put monitoring wells in to prove the fact. Sawatzke asked where the nearest private well was, whether it was across the street. Russek said it was close to that area. Sawatzke was unsure of the flow of the groundwater but annual samplings from the well could be required as a reasonable condition. Mattson questioned whether a motion could be made for a new EAW even though legal staff indicates this can’t be done. Russek said the motion (to reconsider the negative declaration on an EIS) would need to be made by one of the three who originally voted against the need for an EIS. No action was taken by the Board.
Norman said the request by Pat Melvin, Special Projects Administrator, to review the space study analysis criteria and endorse efforts to package and evaluate space use options would be laid over to next week’s meeting.
An Owner’s Committee Meeting was held on 5-20-08. At today’s County Board Meeting, the following changes were made to the minutes: Page 2, Item III, paragraph 1, 10th line, change to “Proposals are forthcoming for the hardware/software for two new Dispatch stations” (Sawatzke); Page 3, Item IIIA, 3rd paragraph, add the following to the recommendation, “Funding Source Jail/LEC bonds” (Norman); Page 3, Item IIIB, 3rd paragraph, add the following to the recommendation, “Funding Source Jail/LEC bonds” (Norman).
I. A&P.
A. PROJECT UPDATE.
Blotske stated that six more precast cells were set. She believed that twelve more cells would be set next week. They are continuing to work on enclosing the jail portion of the project. The LEC has been painted, and the painter will return when more areas becomes available. Yesterday, the well driller hit a gas line. The fire and police departments and CenterPoint Energy were called to the site. CenterPoint Energy was able to cap off the line. Saathoff was informed of the incident and is responsible for all costs involved.
B. PAY APPLICATION #11.
Norman corrected the Agenda so that it read “Pay Application #11” in lieu of “Pay Application #8”. Blotske presented Pay Application #11 totaling $4,377,655.61. She noted that the mechanicals are the largest portion of this pay application.
Thelen Mechanical’s portion is $1,869,895.00. Blotske stated that the mechanical and electrical contractors would continue to be the largest components of the upcoming pay applications. Blotske stated that the project is billed at 55% completion. Russek asked Blotske if A&P has verified that the project has been completed as billed. Blotske stated yes. She commented that everybody is working together and adequately staffing the project. All major materials, including kitchen equipment, have been delivered either on time, if not early. Hayes questioned whether the major mechanicals would be started up within the next few weeks. Blotske stated that Willen, Inc. has requested that A&P delay starting up mechanicals until the building is a bit more dust free. Hayes stated that the County is hoping to have its Facilities Manager on board by that time. Blotske stated that Willen would also like to be present when the mechanicals are started. Willen will be kept abreast of all testing times. Russek asked if all of the precast cells have been delivered. Blotske stated that they are anticipating getting the crane off-site by 6-12-08. All precast cells and panels will be set by that date. She stated that she believes 105 cells have been placed. RECOMMENDATION: Approve payment of Pay Application #11.
II. KKE ARCHITECTS.
A. PROJECT UPDATE.
Buikema was not present. Blotske stated that KKE continues to work on finish shop drawings and security shop drawings. Hayes asked if the bids for the window treatments would come to A&P. Blotske stated that she is not aware of an RFP for the window treatments. She stated that she would contact Roxanne DeCoster of KKE to determine if the value of the window treatments would exceed $50,000 for formal bidding purposes. She also stated that she would research the names of local window treatment vendors and compile a list of local vendors, as well as the vendor list A&P is comfortable using. Blotske stated that depending on the type of window treatments, the windows may require wood blocking, and now would be the time to do that.
III. BILL SWING, IT DIRECTOR.
Swing distributed a revised budgetary cost spreadsheet (see attached) for the “Radio, Data-Voice Network, and Other Technology Items as they relate to the Jail/LEC”. The update is a comparison to what was presented on 7-25-07 at the Technology Committee of the Whole Meeting. The total cost estimate of all three portions from the 7-25-07 Meeting was $2,650,000. As of 5-20-08, those costs are now estimated to be $2,204,752. Swing stated that he felt confident that the number would not exceed $2.2 million. He stated that under the Radio portion, Motorola has presented its proposal for the 7 radio consoles, logging recorder, and supporting infrastructure. Sprint/Nextel has yet to provide its estimate for the bidirectional amplifier. The proposal for the microwave and connectivity was received yesterday. Proposals are forthcoming for the hardware/software for two new Dispatch stations, the Public Works Tower inspection, and the Dispatch project management services. The Data-Voice Network portion was previously approved by Board action. The “Other Technology Items” portion has firm numbers relating to: Data-Storage Area Network (SAN), workstations/printers/phone sets, outside fiber optic, satellite connectivity, system interfaces and professional services. The initial thought was that a satellite dish would be needed for the new building, however, we are going to be able to continue our current technology.
A. OUTSIDE FIBER-CITY OF BUFFALO.
Swing presented a spreadsheet “Phase 4 Project – Estimate for Wright County Loop” (see attached), itemizing the cost to route a fiber ring to the Jail/LEC, HSC, and the Government Center (total cost $76,004.75). The fiber ring will provide resiliency for the data-voice operations. The City will be paying for the portion of the fiber that will run into the eastern portion of the LEC. The fiber ring will occupy existing conduit. This partnership will save the County trenching and boring costs. To install the fiber optic as a separate entity would be cost prohibitive. Swing stated that he had numerous discussions with the City. He stated that time wise, the schedule is demanding that this project get under way. He stated that he has been talking with A&P about this. Hayes asked if the portion of fiber that would run into the eastern portion of the LEC would be “owned” by the City. The City would assume all responsibility of the fiber if there were future problems or maintenance issues. Swing confirmed that the City would assume ownership of that portion. Hayes asked if there is a monthly maintenance cost of the fiber optic ring. Swing stated that the County is paying out $760/month for the current connection service. After extensive negotiations with the City, the County will be paying approximately $1,600/month for maintenance. Swing informed the Committee that this service is not profit-bearing for the City. Hayes asked if the City controls the monthly rate and if the County could negotiate a long term agreement. Swing stated that the monthly charge is like a utility charge. Hayes stated that he has a concern that the City can set the rate and the County will not have any negotiating power. Norman asked what the funding source would be for the installation of the fiber optic. Swing stated that this was part of the LEC construction costs. Norman questioned whether the loop into the HSC was a legitimate cost for the bond proceeds. Swing stated that from a design perspective, the entire loop makes monetary sense. Russek stated that he shares Norman’s concern. He also requested whether Swing could seek a 15-year lease on the monthly maintenance fees. Sawatzke stated that he was concerned that the County would be locked into a long term lease when the technology may become extinct in the future. Swing stated that the monthly reoccurring charges have not been discussed and they will attempt to put the pricing into writing. Further review of the spreadsheet showed that the City is paying $22,267 for service to the HSC. Thus, the question regarding using bond proceeds becomes moot. Sawatzke asked Swing if he needed approval of the $76,004.75 expenditure. Swing stated that the project is overdue and some of the expenses are pass-through dollars. He clarified that there was not an opportunity to bid out the work. RECOMMENDATION: Approve payment of $76,004.75 and proceed with the installation of the fiber optic network loop. Funding source Jail/LEC bonds.
B. CONSOLE PROPOSAL-MOTOROLA.
Swing referred again to the “Radio, Data-Voice Network, and Other Technology Items as they relate to the Jail/LEC” spreadsheet. He stated that Motorola provided its proposal of $1,131,537.00 for seven radio consoles, logging recorder, and supporting infrastructure. Motorola’s portion is the largest component of the entire technology package. Swing stated that a review team has evaluated Motorola’s proposal. The review team has made minor comments that they would like incorporated into the existing proposal. He stated that the price of the proposal would not be affected. The team is seeking the Committee’s authorization to sign the proposal document. Sawatzke asked Swing what he thought needed to be inspected at the Public Works Tower. Swing stated that the inspection is to determine if the tower is structurally sound. He stated that there is a high probability that the tower will pass inspection. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize signatures on the Motorola proposal, contingent that the pricing does not increase. Funding source Jail/LEC bonds.
C. TECHNOLOGY SCHEDULE.
Swing stated that the schedule is critical, as the technology components could be completed by January, 2009. Swing stated that a meeting has been scheduled for 5-27-08 to coordinate the vendors into a schedule. He expects the schedule will be finalized by 5-30-08. The move will consist of three phases: 1) Sheriff, 2) Dispatch, and 3) Jail. Hayes commended Swing on his effort to coordinate the vendors and the schedule. Swing credited a team approach: A&P, EDI, A&O, the I.T. Department, Motorola, GeoComm, etc. for the group effort.
(End of Owner’s Committee Minutes)
Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #08-21 revoking County State Aid Highways 55 and 56 in the City of Howard Lake. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Russek moved to authorize attendance at the AMC District V Meeting on 6-05-08 at the Sherburne History Center. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Bills Approved
Brian Abrahamson $133.32
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 685.49
Anoka County Sheriff 9,839.03
B & B Products - Rigs and Squa 18,329.40
Barthel’s Auto Body 3,002.53
Best Western Trail Lodge 314.96
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 150.00
Business Ware Solutions 357.84
Continental Safety Equipment 11,524.55
CPS Technology Solutions 262.00
Crown Plaza 285.81
Emedco 270.34
Debbie Ernst 250.38
Firstlab 156.00
Grainger 143.78
Granite Pest Control Services 144.58
Hay Group 448.00
Trinity Hazeltine 142.50
Helena Chemical Company 803.17
Amy Hertzog 465.11
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 985.91
Neal Huemoeller 402.52
International Assn. of Assessin 252.45
Chris Jahnke 125.75
Kimberly Jopp 119.68
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 213.00
Kaplan Professional Schools 284.00
LaPlant Demo Inc. 546.11
Larson Associates Inc. 1,137.50
LexisNexis 110.00
Marco 353.41
Marco Inc. 1,799.87
Denise McCalla 100.00
Patrick Melvin 494.62
Menards - Buffalo 157.19
Merrick & Company 16,626.25
Midwave Corporation 214.33
MN Counties Ins. Trust 477.00
Monticello Township 2,417.80
Morrell Towing Inc. 105.44
Mundo Corporation 182.45
National Business Systems, Inc. 293.49
Mark Nolan 142.11
Office Depot 2,663.25
Positron Public Safety Systems 3,875.00
Qwest 455.82
Rhodes Lock & Glass 135.00
Ridgeview Medical Center 175.00
RS Eden 12,614.80
Sherry Schliesing 431.27
Shell Fleet Plus 523.90
Shred Right 371.00
Claire Solien 144.00
State of MN - Office Enterprise 1,335.00
Verizon Wireless 1,175.40
C Walker Trucking 135.00
Walmart Store 01-1577 1,167.60
Wimmer Brothers Construction I 1,267.00
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 37,962.94
Wright Hennepin Electric 271.17
20 Payments less than $100 1,137.48
Final total $141,090.30
The meeting adjourned at 10:49 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 16, 2008.