Wright County Board Minutes

AUGUST 12, 2008
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 a.m. with Sawatzke, Heeter, Mattson, and Russek present. Board Member Eichelberg was absent.
On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the minutes of 8-05-08 as presented.
On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Mattson requested that Item C1, Sheriff, “Authorize Signatures, Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG), $42,185.00” be removed for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, to approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Schmidt, Parks; J. Hartmann, P. Fladung, C. Kuhlman, Sher./Corr.
2. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG220, Pelican Lake-Wright County Chapter Of MWA, Rockford Township Hall, 3039 Dague Ave. SE, Buffalo MN (Rockford Twp.) & Waive 30 Day Waiting Period.
3. O/T Report, Period Ending 7-25-08.
4. Claim, Frank Madden & Assoc., $1,566.83 (July, 2008 Service).
5. Authorize Hiring Brad Hatfield, Building Maintenance Supervisor, Step 4, Eff. 9-02-08.
B. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Tobacco License Application For CVS Pharmacy #5311 (Delano City).
Item C1, Sheriff, “Authorize Signatures, Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG), $42,185.00” was discussed. Mattson stated that he read through the grant and is confused on how the grant is a benefit to Wright County. Mattson noted that the funds are made available through a matching grant, and stated that he feels this is yet another cost to County taxpayers. Heeter stated that she believes this is an operations grant, offsetting the salary, and fringe benefits, for the Emergency Management Coordinator’s position. The grant is saving taxpayers $42,185.00 through a match agreement. If the grant were not available, the County would solely cover the cost of the position. Sawatzke asked if this is an ongoing grant. Heeter stated that she recalls that this is an ongoing grant. Norman stated that the grant is included within the Sheriffs Department budget. Mattson stated that he would like to see a breakdown of how $84,370.00 is expended. Sawatzke proposed laying over the item. Norman stated that the grant period is effective from January 1st to December 31st of this year. Heeter asked if the County received this grant prior to Steve Berg’s employment as the Emergency Management Coordinator. Norman replied that the County received a couple of Homeland Security Grants that weren’t specifically related to Berg’s position. Mattson made a motion to lay this Agenda Item over to the 8-19-08 County Board Meeting and request a breakdown on how $84,370.00 will be expended. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 3-1 (Heeter). Sawatzke requested that Norman enlist the aid of the Sheriffs Department to provide a breakdown of how the matching grant would be expended. Sawatzke stated that Mattson’s request is reasonable considering it is the duty of a Commissioner to ask how County monies will be spent.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, stated that every two years, two Commissioners are appointed to serve on the County Canvassing Board for the Primary Election. He requested that two Commissioners attend the proposed meeting date on 9-11-08 at 8:00 a.m. Russek moved to appoint Sawatzke and Mattson to serve on the County Canvassing Board for the Primary Election with the meeting to take place on 9-11-08 at 8:00 a.m. The motion was seconded by Heeter and carried unanimously.
Hiivala stated that he received a letter from Bolton & Menk, Inc. regarding the restoration of the Wastewater Treatment Facility to Annandale, Maple Lake, and Howard Lake. He distributed the letter as part of the Board packet for informational purposes. Sawatzke stated that he hopes that the restoration efforts will screen the unsightly view of the treatment facility. Russek stated that a restoration plan would be available through Planning and Zoning.
Hiivala submitted the claims listing for approval. The claims’ listing was discussed. Mattson questioned the cost of a pair of “Chain Saw Boots – Safety” on page 20, Road & Bridge Fund, of the claims listing. The amount displayed in the claims listing was $372.70 and Mattson questioned if the claim is for one pair of boots. Hiivala pulled the claim from M&M Express for the Commissioner’s review. Hiivala noted that the total claim amount is $587.48, and the $372.70 portion is coded to 03-380, and the remaining amount, $214.78, is coded elsewhere. The claim itemizes truck parts and one pair of boots. On a motion by Heeter, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Fred Bengtson, DNR Area Wildlife Manager, stated that over the past 20 years, the water depth of Smith Lake in Cokato and Middleville Townships has increased. Smith Lake is a shallow lake that has seen an increase in the amount of carp and bullheads. Ducks Unlimited and the DNR partnered to install a fish barrier in 2005 to prevent fish from entering Smith Lake from downstream. Because of the increased water depth, existing fish populations have failed to winterkill. The draft management plan calls for a temporary drawdown to control existing fish populations and improve waterfowl habitat and water quality. The DNR is seeking a Wildlife Lake Designation under M.S. 97A.101 in order to implement this plan. Bengston introduced Nicole Hansel-Welch, Brainerd Lakes Area DNR, who’s primary responsibility is to perform wildlife lake surveys. Bengston stated that currently, there are 40 State Wildlife Lake Designations. Pelican Lake is the only designated lake in Wright County. Hansel-Welch stated that the lake designation is a statutory process. It is a process that the DNR undergoes when interested in managing a lake, its water quality, and water levels. The Statute was originally passed in 1969 and was changed slightly to allow some surface use. The Statute requires a public informational meeting, and if there is public support, a public hearing is scheduled. Hansel-Welch stated that the landowners on Smith Lake have engaged the DNR to pursue management. The residents and townships have been provided the plan for review and input. As the process continues, the plan will be revised via comments from local units of government. The public informational meeting, Public Hearing, and news releases will notify the land owners of the continued progress. The Commissioner of the DNR will review the feedback and make a determination based on public support to formally publish the designation to propagate and protect wild animals. Russek asked for clarification on the process of lowering the water level of the lake. Hansel-Welch stated that the lake will be temporarily drawn down to kill off the rough fish and to restore water clarity. She stated that the DNR works with engineers to design an outlet structure. The amount of lowering is limited by the capacity of the downstream elevation. Mattson asked if the townships have been contacted. Hansel-Welch stated that the townships have received a packet and have been asked to review the plans. Mattson stated that there is a lot of history affiliated with Smith Lake. Hansel-Welch stated that their office does have a lot of history, including information stating that there has been a desire for management dating back to the 1970s. Mattson asked if she is requesting a resolution. Hansel-Welch stated that from the DNR’s perspective, they would desire the support of the County Board via a resolution. Bengston stated that the DNR has almost received universal land owner’s support. The DNR is confident that the designation will be granted. Russek asked if fishermen have expressed any opposition. Bengston stated that there are two bait dealers who have expressed they would like fewer bullheads. On a motion by Mattson, seconded by Heeter, roll call vote carried 4-0 to adopt Resolution # 08-30 Supporting Management Of Smith Lake In Cokato And Middleville Townships.
Russek presented the 8-05-08 Owner’s Committee minutes and recommendations. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendations made by the Owner’s Committee, seconded by Mattson. Mattson stated that he was concerned that there will be a redundancy with the three radio systems. Sawatzke stated that they are seeking the advice from GeoComm on all technology related issues. He stated that they trust the consultants. The motion carried 4-0.
Torfin requested that “IDENTIX Livescan Fingerprint System” be added as Item I.E. He stated that he obtained quotes as discussed at the 7-22-08 Owner’s Committee Meeting. Hayes requested that Item I.F. be added to discuss “Furniture Connectivity” as he has a rough estimate on Phasor Electric’s and Loberg Electric’s hourly rate.
A&P.
A. PROJECT UPDATE. Streich provided a project update (see attached “Schedule Look-A-Head” dated 8-05-08). Streich stated that the permanent power was brought into the building. There were no problems with the hook up. He stated that they also started up the generator. It took several attempts, but, it appears to work well. They have not tested it yet. Sawatzke commended A&P for the tour they provided the Commissioners and Historical Society staff. He asked if another tour should be scheduled for the end of October. The Committee agreed that another tour should be scheduled.
B. PCO’S REQUEST FOR OWNER APPROVAL. 1. PCO #069 – BP#3 PR#027 Security Electronic Changes - $21,843.00. Buikema stated that there are three components to PCO #069. The first component is to add an interview room recording system for a value of $15,534.69. The second component is to relocate the AV recording system from an office to an Interview Room. The value of this would be $2,760.38. The final component is to relocate all the equipment in the Equipment Room to the Viewing Room. The value of Item #3 is $6,188.38. Hoffman explained that the necessity of item #1 is being debated. They are asking the Committee’s approval of items #2 and #3. Hoffman explained that the layout of the Jail Booking Area had not been finalized at the time of the release of the bid packages. It has since been determined that the recording and digital/audio equipment should be relocated to an Interview Room. Hoffman stated that item #3 is to address overall staff efficiency and functionality. The goal is to place two servers in one location. Russek stated that he could support approval of items #2 and #3. Sawatzke stated that the dollar amount allows the Committee authority to approve the requests.
C. PROJECT CONTINGENCY $1,110,370.00. Prior to approval of the above two items, the contingency amount is $745,517.00.
D. POSTAL EQUIPMENT – TODD HOFFMAN. Hoffman distributed a proposal from Deaton’s Mailing Systems, Inc. Hoffman stated that with Committee direction, he contacted the Auditor/Treasurer’s office regarding their mail usage and options after the move into the new building. After monitoring the Sheriff’s mail usage, Deaton’s proposed a smaller machine (NEOPOST IS420 MAILING MACHINE) with a 10 lb. scale. The purchase price is $2,212.00 with a 120 day warranty, installation, and training. The first ink cartridge and batch of mailing tape would be free. The yearly maintenance fee would roll into the Sheriff’s budget. The mail machine would require a phone line. Much discussion occurred on the advantages and disadvantages of the Sheriffs Department having their own mail system. Hayes stated that he did not feel it was practical because the Sheriffs Department would have to make inner-office mail deliveries daily, and they would have to find staff to deliver the outgoing mail to the Post Office. The Buffalo Post Office is located near the Government Center. Hoffman stated that it might be difficult meeting the Auditor/Treasurer’s daily deadline for outgoing mail of 2:30 p.m. Hoffman stated that much of the Sheriffs outgoing mail is certified pieces which can be completed in one step on the NEOPOST IS420. Through the Auditor/Treasurer office, it is a two step process. He stated that they have the room and the staff to take care of the Sheriffs mail. Hoffman also noted that the Jail/LEC would have a different mailing address than the Government Center. The Committee requested that Hoffman contact the Post Office to see if they provide pick-up service of their outgoing mail. The Sheriffs Department produces approximately 800 pieces of mail a month. Human Services, Attorney, and Court Services, are the top producers of outgoing mail. Norman proposed that the Sheriffs Department continue to have their mail handled through the Auditor/Treasurer’s office after the move. He proposed that the Sheriffs Department monitor the mail process and reassess, the need, during the budget process in 2009. RECOMMENDATION: No action at this time. Blotske reported that the Project FF&E Budget stands at $1,879,314.00. The current available FF&E amount is $1,586,355.00. Sawatzke inquired on the status of the master list of items anticipated to be funded out of FF&E as discussed at the 7-08-08 Owner’s Committee Meeting. Buikema stated that he provided a copy to Hoffman. Norman requested that Buikema email the list as part of his agenda. Administration will distribute copies with the next Owner’s Committee Agenda.
E. IDENTIX LIVESCAN FINGERPRINT SYSTEM. Torfin stated that the Department’s sole fingerprint system was purchased by the State and will remain in the Government Center. Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 5, the machine is needed as part of the Courts process. A new fingerprinting station is required at the new Jail/LEC. Torfin stated that he acquired a quote from IDENTIX for $21,807.00. Russek asked if the existing fingerprinting machine would move with the Courts when they move to the new facility. Torfin stated yes. Russek asked if this would be funded out of the FF&E budget. Torfin stated that he thought it should be funded out of Capital Improvement as this is a significant piece of equipment. The State provided the initial machine while the County paid for the annual maintenance of it. The second machine would have to be funded by the County. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize purchase of the IDENTIX Livescan Fingerprint system; to be funded out of the FF&E budget.
F. FURNITURE CONNECTIVITY. Hayes stated that the modular furniture is prewired for electric. Hayes stated that there are 19 connections to be made into the building. Phasor provided an hourly rate of $73.25. Hayes estimates that each connection would take an hour. Loberg Electric has proposed an hourly rate at $60 with an additional material charge of $5.00/fitting. Buikema stated that he has yet to review the contract specifics, however, he thought that the connections were already part of Phasor’s contract. Russek and Sawatzke both commented that they would like Buikema to verify whether the connections are part of the electrical contractor’s scope of work. Sawatzke asked if anybody had heard back from the City regarding the new Jail/LEC’s address. Russek stated that the City Council did not formally meet until last night. Torfin stated that he hand delivered the County’s formal request to maintain the Braddock Avenue address.
KKE.
A. PROJECT UPDATE. Buikema stated that KKE has been working with Bill Swing and Gary Torfin on locating the various antennas for the 3 different radio systems. They are working to coordinate them so that they fit into the ceilings at the appropriate locations. KKE is also working on the door keying schedule. Norman asked why the new facility requires 3 different radio systems. Swing stated that the data voice vendors, who provide the wireless data, supply the first antenna system. The new facility has a system of access points. The second radio system would deliver the cell signal into the building and would support the 800 MHz. The third system is the Jail’s UHF system. He stated that there was initial concern that the three systems would cause interference. The consultant has concluded that the three systems will not interfere with each other. Hayes stated that there would be anther radio system for the maintenance staff.
B. REVIEW OF OPTIONS FOR WINDOW BLINDS. Buikema provided two samples of the quoted window blinds from Kustom Blinds: plastic and fabric groover. The base bid called for a plastic blind system, and the alternate was for a fabric covered blind. KKE’s stance is to go with the fabric blinds due to aethetics. The plastic blind shows fingerprints. The fabric covered blind has a softer quality. The plastic blind was quoted at $9,970.00 and the fabric groover blind is $18,770.00. Miller and Torfin both stated that they prefer the fabric blinds. Russek stated that he prefers the fabric blinds. RECOMMENDATION: Approve the fabric groover blinds from Kustom Blinds at a price of $18,770.00 and fund out of FF&E.
BILL SWING, IT DIRECTOR.
A. MICROWAVE & CONNECTIVITY. Swing distributed an updated “Wright County Jail/LEC Technology” spreadsheet, dated 8-05-08 (see attached). They received additional competitive quotes from vendors on the Microwave & Connectivity portion of the Radio technology. The lowest bidder, and the recommended bidder (per GeoComm), was Granite Electronics. Although all the vendors are qualified, Granite has a history as a good vendor with the County and had a significantly lower proposed cost. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize proceeding with the contract and work with Granite Electronics for $154,726.00 (including sales tax). Norman asked if Swing would retain the bid packets from the vendors on this portion of the project. Swing responded that he would retain the bid information.
B. FIBER RING PROJECT – GOVERNMENT CENTER WEST END. Swing stated that the City of Buffalo has moved forward with completing the fiber ring project. The County is to provide the final portion of the fiber ring into the west side of the Government Center. MP provided a quote on 8-05-08 for $3,544.64, with sales tax of $230.40. The City of Buffalo covers the cost of a single entry point. This particular connection is a second entry point into the building. Russek asked if the fiber ring ensures that if someone cuts the ring, there will still be a connection. Swing verified that the fiber ring ensures campus-wide operation if a backhoe cut the ring. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize proceeding with the contract and work with MP for $3,775.00 (add $230.40 in sales tax).
C. IMPOUND LOT – WIRELESS. Swing stated that the wireless connection is being extended in the impound lot. Due to an issue with a line of site to the new LEC, the antenna had to be redesigned into the Public Works Building. The gravel pit was a lot larger than originally anticipated. The redesign is a better design. The impound lot takes care of the wireless portion of the building. A quote was received from Spectrum on 8-05-08 for $5,682.00. RECOMMENDATION: Authorize proceeding with the contract and work with Spectrum for $5,682.00. Hayes asked if there is a landscape plan available. Blotske stated that Torfin could provide Hayes with a full set of drawings. Hayes asked if the work was contracted out. Blotske stated yes. (End of 8-05-08 Owner’s Committee Minutes and discussion.)
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, stated that he would like to schedule a Closed Meeting to discuss Parcel #114-800083300. He proposed a date of 8-19-08, at 8:30 a.m., (prior to the County Board Meeting). Russek made a motion to set a closed meeting on 8-19-08 at 8:30 a.m. to discuss Parcel #114-800083300. The motion was seconded by Mattson, and carried unanimously.
Fingalson petitioned setting a date for a Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting to discuss options for the CSAH 36 project, safety project options, CSAH 12/TH 55 project status, and rumble strips. A meeting date of 8-22-08 at the Public Works Building was suggested. Heeter moved to approve setting a TCOTW Meeting on 8-22-08 at 10:30 a.m. The motion was seconded by Russek. The motion carried 4-0.
Fingalson requested approval of a Resolution Authorizing Cooperative Agreement With Mn/DOT For Proposed TH55/CSAH 12 Improvements. He stated that they have proceeded with the agreement; the resolution is a housekeeping task. On a motion by Heeter, seconded by Russek, roll call vote carried 4-0 to adopt Resolution # 08-31 Authorizing An Agreement Project With Mn/DOT For Work On And/Or Adjacent To A Trunk Highway.
Fingalson requested approval of Resolution Of Final Acceptance For Rumble Striping Contract, Contract #0808, With Penhall Company. Fingalson stated that the resolution authorizes final payment of $1,988.02. Fingalson stated that a Performance and Resolution of Final Acceptance was submitted. Heeter moved to adopt Resolution # 08-32 Authorizing Final Acceptance for Rumble Striping Contract, Contract #0808, and authorization of final payment. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Mattson asked Fingalson if he approves of the work. Fingalson stated yes. The motion carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Road Tour Meeting was held on 7-02-08. The meeting on 7-02-08 was the annual Road Tour. Discussion at today’s County Board Meeting is reflected in italics:
Farmington Avenue Stop – Franklin Township’s Request That The County Take This Over.
McMullen met the commissioners at the intersection of Farmington and CSAH 32 (formerly CR 115) and discussed Franklin Township’s desire to have Wright County put Farmington Avenue on the County Highway system. McMullen said that the Township would like to have the County make a definitive decision on whether or not they will do this. He said that this paved township road is in good shape and will be sealcoated this year (2008). If it is in the long-range plan to become part of the County system, why not do it now? Sawatzke said that economics are driving the County’s reluctance to take over this road now, because it would be expensive, it does not meet the County standard, and taking it over would move some other projects to a lower place on the priority list. McMullen commented that the Board should be able to decide where the money is spent, but Sawatzke answered that the Board tries to spend the money where it is needed the most. If the County took over Farmington, it would become the County’s narrowest and windiest road on the system and would then rise to top priority. Fingalson said that the County’s long-range plan places this road on the County system, but it is with the understanding that the Township would bring it up to County standards. However, McMullen said that the Township does not have the money to do that. In certain cases, a swap could be made to put a different road on the Township system in exchange for this one, but there are no candidates that would qualify for that.
Brighton Avenue Stop – Franklin Township’s Request That The County Take This Over.
McMullen and Czanstkowski met the Committee members at the intersection of Brighton Avenue and CSAH 30, at which point Czanstkowski joined the others in the van and McMullen drove his own car to meet the group just south of the TH 12 intersection with Brighton Avenue. Czanstkowski asked if the County could work with the Township to take care of this road, which is experiencing heavier traffic because of the construction work being done on TH 12 and CSAH 17. Fingalson said that local tax dollars are the only funds that could be used on this road, because it would not qualify for County State Aid funds, which are collected through gas taxes, and there are no local dollars available now. He said that in order for a highway to be adopted as a CSAH, it must connect with a trunk highway or connect two other CSAHs. Even though this segment does, the District State Aid engineer has indicated that it must extend southerly to CSAH 13 to get him to approve it as a CSAH. This would be a more ambitious plan. Brighton Avenue could be considered as a future County Road, but Franklin Township doesn’t have enough money to bring it up to County standards. However, Czanstkowski said that Brighton is becoming a major connector route, more so now because of the TH 12 construction. Discussion followed about increased construction traffic (belly dumps) from the CSAH 17 project that is using the bridge on 110th Street SE, located between CSAH 16 and CSAH 17. The Township Engineer suggested that this bridge be inspected and possibly be fitted with steel plates if this traffic continues. Since this traffic is being generated by the CSAH 17 project, Czanstkowski wanted to know if the County could help with the costs. Fingalson said that it is the responsibility of the Contractor to make arrangements for haul roads, and that these arrangements should have been secured with the Township before the contract was bid. If repairs or reinforcements are necessary due to the construction traffic, then the Township is in a good position to charge the Contractor. Fingalson suggested that the Contractor be told that the Township Engineer recommended that an inspection be done and that the Contractor should pay for it. If he is not willing to do that, the Township will no longer allow the bridge to be used as a haul route. Discussion on these two matters (Farmington and Brighton) will continue at the County Board meeting scheduled for July 29, 2008. [This discussion has since been rescheduled for the TCOTW meting on 7/29/08 at 2:30 p.m.]
At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Mattson, and carried 3-0 (Heeter not present for the motion).
A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting was held on 7-29-08. The following reflects the minutes and discussion at today’s County Board Meeting (in italics):
Request from City of Rockford (CSAH 32).
Statz explained that the City of Rockford has a plat on the western edge of the city that has room for 320 lots. Only one small area is final platted, and before more areas are developed, the City is requiring that an additional access be created on the western end. The developer has agreed to construct this access by the time the last permit is pulled or by 2009, whichever comes first. The area is bound by the river and the railroad tracks, and there is currently an at-grade railroad crossing for CSAH 32 (formerly CR 115) traffic. The original plan was to create a western access to the development and to meet with CSAH 32 by the railroad crossing and to use that crossing at CSAH 32. That plan proved to be non-cost effective because of the land purchase that would be required. Meanwhile, a home constructed in a narrow area between the river and the tracks eliminated this option. A second plan had another connection to CSAH 32, but it would have been too close to the current TH 55/CSAH 32 intersection. The third plan was to build a bridge over the railroad tracks and realign and match up the intersection at TH 55/CSAH 32/Gabler, but at that time there was another developer to the north that was going to share in the costs. However, that developer has ceased all activity in that area and is no longer part of this plan. The current developer needs to have a western access, and building a bridge over the railroad tracks is the only option, but funds that were originally dedicated by the TH 55 Corridor Coalition are no longer available and an adjustment in the alignment had to be made. The City would like to see a bridge built over the railroad tracks on the west line of the pre-platted property and have that road tie into CSAH 32. The intersection of TH 55/CSAH 32 would remain the same, but the existing grade would need to be elevated 30 feet, which would require a large amount of fill. Wright County Highway Department had requested that the westerly access to the development be kept a minimum of 660 feet away from the intersection of CSAH 32/TH 55 for the development of a full bypass lane, and this plan would meet that requirement. The City is asking Wright County to authorize the filling in of this area so that the westerly access to the development can meet up with CSAH 32 at the level proposed for the leg of the railroad bridge. The main conflict is that the new roadbed would have to sit for awhile to give it a chance to settle. The construction itself would also take several months, which would require the road to be closed for a substantial length of time. The City would like to add the fill this fall and allow it to settle over the winter months and then begin the final construction in the spring. They have a large amount of fill available from the nearby development, so hauling is not an issue. The City is willing to be flexible as to when the railroad bridge is constructed, but the developer and a property owner are eager to continue development of this area, and the City will not allow that to happen until funding has been secured for the road construction required for a westerly access. The property owner of the land proposed for development might be unable to secure a letter of credit, but over time he could pay off his share and work with this developer. Hawkins showed a video of this location and indicated that the height of the road, after fill, would be about level with the telephone lines. Center line pipe would also have to be figured out because the sides of the road would have to go out with the raising of the road. Since this roadbed would be on the same horizontal alignment, the City did not think additional right of way would be needed. Slope easements and right of way for the culvert ends would be needed, however. The City of Rockford is asking the County to consider applying the money that is earmarked for reconstructing this segment of CSAH 32 (estimated at $30,000) as a contribution toward the construction of this project. Fingalson said that there are three obvious areas of concern. 1) The impact that this long closure would have on the many people who use this CSAH 32 road segment on a daily basis. 2) The new design would impact the maintenance of this road. Currently, plow trucks turn around at TH 55, but this construction traffic would require some type of additional turn around area. 3) CSAH 32 is a designated truck detour route for the TH 12 project in Delano, and traffic would have to be diverted elsewhere for the coming year (to CSAH 14). Fingalson expressed his concern that the amount of money spent on this road would still not result in a better access to TH 55. He said that there is still a chance that the plan to realign CSAH 32/TH 55/Gabler Avenue could be revived with an opportunity to be included in the new federal reauthorization bill, but there are no guarantees that this would happen. If it were included in this bill, there would be a good opportunity to make this improvement with a 20% local match. Russek expressed his concern about filling in the area to raise the road and then later wishing to realign TH 55 with CSAH 32. Fingalson said that there is no guarantee that request for funds will be approved for the TH 55 improvement. However, realigning that intersection would be his first choice in making improvements, because the current intersection is undesirable. Statz said that it is important for the City of Rockford to maintain security with this current developer and move forward with this western access. He said that the City would like to build the road now so that the developer will share in the cost, as is stated in the agreement with him. Statz said that if the construction is delayed, both the developer and the major property owner would have to sign a new agreement. However, the property owner is eager to get this road built so that he can sell his property, and the development is still growing. They may not be able to come up with an agreement as favorable as the one they currently have. Russek said that he would like to work with the project, but he doesn’t want to build the road up and then have to knock it back down again if the intersection with TH 55 gets realigned. Carswell said that this project needs to be County driven because Townships don’t always cooperate with Cities because of the on-going issue of annexation. Russek said that he is willing to give approval if the person whose driveway meets with CSAH 32 would be okay with this. Sawatzke agreed that a new driveway would be necessary and there would probably be some damages also. Russek commented again that he would like to see this project get completed, but he would rather not see it undone in a few years. The City is requesting that the County consider participating in costs for the construction of the project, given the fact that CSAH 32 was scheduled for resurfacing in the near future. This would involve about 1,300 feet. Statz said that construction could begin as early as October 2008 and could last until August 2009. Once the fill is in place, it would have to settle before pavement could be put down. Realistically, construction could last 9-10 months, but that wouldn’t include the bridge over the railroad. The road could be opened before the bridge is completed. Sawatzke expressed his concern over the extra miles that people would have to travel because of a detour if this road were closed. He wanted to know if it were possible to keep the road open to travel during construction, perhaps even for a period of time from December to mid-March, before road restrictions go into effect. Russek said that he would like to see this project proceed, and if the funds ever become available, design plans to realign TH 55/CSAH 32 can be discussed at that time. The bridge is skewed at about 10 degrees right now, but Fingalson said that this is not a big factor. There is enough room to come up with a new intersection. Russek asked Fingalson when he might know if funds from the reauthorization bill might become available, and Fingalson said that there is no way to know now. It is possible, but unlikely, that this information would be available before 2010. Statz said that the bridge project alone is about $1 million, and the end result is a westerly access for 300 plus homes. Russek said that the City needs to do something and this would be a good start. Nothing can be done with this TH 55/CSAH 32 intersection until the money is available, and this access needs to be built now. Sawatzke said that the property owner with the driveway needs to be taken care of, and if it’s necessary that the road be closed, he would like to see that be for a minimum length of time. This access is being built for the benefit of the developer and is not like other roads where repairs are needed. Russek commented that a lot of the current traffic will no longer be using CSAH 32 when the TH 12 project in Delano is done. He said that the money for repairs on CSAH 32 is already in the budget for 2009, so that could be dedicated to this project. Sawatzke added that the City would have to be prepared to be responsible for all costs associated with problems that might result from poor settling of the road. Several issues would need to be addressed and put into writing to the Highway Department, including approval from the landowner whose driveway would be affected and a plan that would require the road to be closed fewer than 10 months. Hawkins said that the road could be opened with a gravel surface in order to not go over a 10-month closing limit, and Sawatzke said that at least the drivers would have a choice whether or not to take that road. Meyer commented that using salt for snow/ice control would soften the gravel road surface as the weather warms. For that reason, it would not be desirable to open a gravel road to normal traffic. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Fingalson work with the City of Rockford to draw up an agreement, for County Board review/approval, that would allow the City to tie into CSAH 32 from the western edge of the development on the west side of Rockford. This agreement will address the landowner’s (to the west) consent for change in his driveway/access to CSAH 32, the City’s responsibility to warranty the condition of CSAH 32 where fill will be placed, the length of time of the road closure (to be fewer than 10 months), and the County’s cash contribution to this project (the amount that was earmarked for the reclamation and paving of this CSAH 32 segment).
At today’s County Board Meeting, the following discussion occurred. Fingalson noted a correction to the 13th line of page 3 should read “10 degrees”, not “10%”. Fingalson stated that since the meeting he spoke with the City of Rockford about their level of assistance on this project. The City has now said that they are not interested in the project. The City of Rockford has asked the County to consider applying money that was earmarked for reconstructing this segment of CSAH 32 (originally estimated at $30,000, now $40,000) as a contribution toward the construction of this project. The City has also requested that the County fill in the ROW. Fingalson stated that now due to the City’s lack of interest, he would recommend considering whether the payoff is worth the public’s inconvenience, maintenance of the road, and the expended County funds. Russek stated that the City would have to guarantee their portion of the ROW. Fingalson stated that the City was willing to donate the ROW for the new connection, however, their offer has been removed. Fingalson stated that the County still has the option of submitting this project as part of the new Federal Reauthorization Bill, with a 20% local match. Sawatzke stated that it was his understanding that the City wanted this intersection to change. This is an unaligned intersection. He stated that if the City no longer wants to participate, he does not understand why there is any County interest in this project. Fingalson stated that as traffic increases, the intersection will continue to be a safety concern. Sawatzke asked if the reconstruction plan of Highway 55 would be approved in the near future. Fingalson stated that the construction would not occur for another 10-15 years. Sawatzke expressed concern regarding the extra commute for those that would be detoured away from the intersection. Mattson stated that he had concerns about the developer as it appears that more than half of the homes in the development are vacant. He stated that he did not understand how the funding would be available from the developer. Fingalson stated that the developer was at the meeting and he is willing to hold up his end of the deal. The City will hold him to the plan. Russek stated that he would want the County to obtain a guarantee that the project will be completed, once started.
Request from Franklin Township (Farmington & Brighton Avenues).
McMullen appeared before the committee to ask that the County Board consider putting a portion of both Farmington and Brighton Avenues on the County highway system and that they be taken over in their current condition. He said that they are both, in practice, connector roads and lots of through traffic use them to get to other CSAH roads or to a trunk highway. They both fit into the County’s Transportation Plan. McMullen said that when Franklin Township built a new bridge on Brighton, there was some sort of complicit agreement that if the Township built the bridge to state standards, then the County would take over Brighton from CSAH 30 to TH 12. He feels that this agreement is still pending.
Fingalson said that it was his understanding that the County told the Township that they would not even be able to consider taking over Brighton unless the bridge were built to state standards, but there was no agreement that the County would take this road over. Russek said that it was his understanding back when he was on the Franklin Town Board that the County would take over Brighton at some point, because this road is really a true through road and an extension would be created to CSAH 13. This understanding came about at the time that the first railroad bridge was built, which was before Fingalson’s time as County Engineer. McMullen said that Franklin Township would like to see the County take over Farmington in its current condition, without straightening out the curves, and to keep the speed limit at 45 mph, which is a safe speed for this road. The Township just sealcoated the road and it is in good shape. It will need to be repaved sometime in the next five years or so. The annual township budget is $800,000, and they can’t afford to pave and maintain Farmington as a paved connector road between two CSAHs. He doesn’t feel that it would be fair to assess the residents, as they were already assessed when the road was first paved. Now the nature of the road has changed and it is more of a through road than it used to be. Though it would be somewhat unusual to post a county road at 45 mph, he suggested that this be done so that the road wouldn’t have to be straightened. Russek said that this part of the County does not have a county road that crosses it completely. Brighton would be a real good argument for a county road. Farmington has lots of traffic, but it would require more money to make this a county road. Eichelberg agreed that Brighton is a better candidate than Farmington. McMullen said that it works well at the current posted speeds; however, there are a fair amount of non-serious accidents where vehicles run off the road. Meyer commented that if the township loses a road, it would then lose road dollars; but Fingalson said that this would not be a significant amount. Fingalson said that he has talked with the Mn/DOT District State Aid Engineer on the possibility of Brighton becoming a CSAH; and even though it connects with TH 12 and CSAH 30, the District SA Engineer said that he would want to bring it down to CSAH 13 to fit in with the overall flow and the network of the current county system. Preliminary numbers indicate that the cost of bringing Brighton Avenue up to state standards would be about $450,000 for right of way and $1.275 million for improvements down to CSAH 30. Fingalson said that he understands the argument of making Brighton part of the county system, but there is no money to do that. Sawatzke commented that other roads in Wright County could probably qualify to be taken over as county roads, if the same criteria were used for them. However, that would require a considerable amount of money. Russek said that he still thinks that Brighton is one of the most logical candidates and it makes sense to go all the way to CSAH 13, as there already is a road there. Fingalson said that it would most likely not qualify for federal funding, and there just isn’t enough county money to take it over. The connection from CSAH 30 to CSAH 13 is about two miles. The current portion of CSAH 13 that runs from 95th Street SE northeast to CSAH 30 would become a township road if Brighton were to be extended to CSAH 13. McMullen suggested that the portion of Brighton between TH 12 and CSAH 30 be taken over now and that the connection to CSAH 13 be dealt with in the future. He doesn’t see any compelling reason to change CSAH 13 at this time. Russek said that issue is really one of fairness, with only limited County routes in Franklin Township. Sawatzke said that he would like to see a breakdown of county roads by township. Fingalson said that there could be a place for Brighton on the county system, but he doesn’t know where the money will come from to take it over. Mattson commented that he would like to take a closer look at the costs to bring Brighton up to county standards (TH 12 to CSAH 30). McMullen asked that the Commissioners consider the Township’s request and decide whether they will take it over or not. Sawatzke said that this might be possible in the future, but unfortunately, it is not possible at this time. McMullen asked if this road will be on next year’s TH 12 detour, and if so, could the County approach the State and ask that they pave it? Fingalson said that he would call the State and find out what their intentions are. RECOMMENDATION: It was the consensus of the TCOTW that Fingalson contact Mn/DOT to find out if they intend to designate Brighton Avenue as a detour route for the TH 12 project before any further decisions are made regarding its status.
At today’s County Board Meeting, the following discussion occurred. Fingalson stated that he contacted Mn/DOT and a decision has not been made, however, they have indicated that they are not looking at taking over Brighton Avenue. Mn/DOT is leaning toward using both CSAH 30 and County Road 139 as a detour route for next year. Russek stated that he did not think the public would use the designated detour route after the Delano bridge is re-opened. Fingalson stated that he thought that he could discuss with Mn/DOT the possibility of getting assistance for the Township in creating an unofficial detour route. Fingalson stated that as indicated in the minutes, if the township wants the County to take over Brighton Avenue, it should become a Stat-Aid bridge. Fingalson stated that it seems sensible to include both roads in the grid system. He questioned where the funding would originate in order to bring the roads up to County standards. Sawatzke stated that the above recommendation does not provide the Township with the County’s stance on the issue. He stated that it was his understanding that the County would not take over the Township roads unless they met County standards. Sawatzke stated that it was his belief that the residents in that area would not want Farmington Avenue taken over as a County State Aid highway. Russek moved to approve the recommendation made by the TCOTW Committee regarding “Request from City of Rockford (CSAH 32)”. The motion carried 4-0 on a second by Mattson. Russek stated that it is his opinion that Brighton Avenue is a good candidate to become a State-Aid road to CSAH 13. He stated that it would prove to be a good shortcut from the southern portion of the County to Buffalo. Russek moved to authorize sending a letter to Franklin Township informing them of the County’s intent to only take over Brighton Avenue if they brought it up to County standards. Mattson seconded the motion. Fingalson asked if the Board desires adding a specific recommendation that Farmington Avenue not be approved for County take-over. Sawatzke stated that the County would not consider either Avenue unless they meet County standards. Russek stated that he would consider either road if they were brought up to County standards. Russek and Mattson agreed to amend the motion to state that the County would take over either road if brought up to County standards. The motion carried unanimous. On a motion by Russek, seconded by Mattson, all voted to approve the minutes of the 7-02-08 Road Tour and 7-29-08 TCOTW Meeting.
Sawatzke announced that today’s Owner’s Committee Meeting is cancelled due to a lack of agenda items.
Norman stated that a question came up on how to pay the Deputy Sheriffs who are volunteering to work the Republican National Convention. He stated that the question is whether the County is going to allow somebody to earn overtime if on vacation status (i.e. Deputy works a 12 hour shift at Convention at time and a half (18 hours), and takes 8 hours of vacation, for a total of 26 hours of pay in a 24 hour work period). Norman also questioned whether the Sheriffs Department is going to have to backfill the shifts of those Deputies taking vacation to work at the Convention. Gary Miller, County Sheriff, responded that the County will pay the Deputies as normal, and the County is reimbursed by the City of St. Paul. The Deputies are technically working for the City of St. Paul during their vacation. Through a Joint Powers Agreement, Federal requirements for reimbursement have been established. They will not be working overtime for Wright County, they will be reimbursed for overtime by the City of St. Paul. The Sheriffs Department will not be backfilling shifts, because the vast majority of the employees are off-duty personnel. Miller stated that he does not foresee this costing the tax payers of Wright County any additional monies as this is reimbursed via a Federal grant through the City of St. Paul. The Federal Government requires that this be run through the County’s payroll. Miller stated that this is a common practice for officers to take vacation to work at another entity (i.e. State Fair, music festivals, emergencies). The Deputies have to be approved to work in uniform. Heeter stated that the County Board already gave formal action via a Joint Powers Agreement on 7-08-08. Norman stated that today’s discussion would serve as official record in case of an audit and provide direction to Payroll. Miller stated that the timecards would clearly be documented. Sawatzke asked Miller if the Deputies would be taking their squad cars down to the Convention. Miller stated that the County’s transport van would be used to transport the Deputies; parking is limited. The County will be reimbursed for the use of the transport van. Sawatzke requested that a report be provided to the County Board of the reimbursable hours. Miller stated that as a requirement for Federal grant reimbursement, a report would be provided to the City of St. Paul, and will be copied to the County Board.
Bills Approved
Advanced Graphix Inc. $315.00
Allina Medical Laboratories. 123.00
American Messaging 628.29
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 261.58
Ancom Technical Center 383.10
Anoka County Juvenile Center 5,365.00
APEC Industrial Sales & Service 676.28
Aramark Correctional Services 5,650.21
Arrow Terminal LLC 177.88
Auto Glass Center Inc. 263.58
B & D Plumbing & Heating 230.00
Baers Body Shop Inc. 2,318.61
Bob Barker Co. 4,458.02
Barnes Distribution 244.66
Chuck Beutler 125.00
Jean Bresin 100.62
Darnell Brethorst 368.14
Brown Cty Evaluation Center 176.00
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 115.00
Buffalo Country Store 163.66
Buffalo Hospital 11,350.24
Buffalo Hospital-Otpt. Commerci 3,482.90
City Buffalo 52,816.08
Maynard Carlson 250.00
Carver Co. Juvenile Detention 290.00
CDW Government Inc. 109.59
Center Point Energy 4,659.36
Climate Air 10,940.76
Cokato Motor Sales Inc. 12,375.00
Cokato Township 512.01
Compasstools Inc. 4,869.18
Computer Professionals Unlimit 1,242.90
Consulting Radiologists 388.80
Cottens’ Inc. 2,139.58
Delano Rental Inc. 242.29
Denos Excavating & Drainage In 150.00
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 1,301.10
E Central Regional Juvenile 16,915.00
Edens Group 300.00
Excel Systems LLC 3,717.20
Tom Feddema 363.87
Firstlab 156.00
Fyles Excavating & Honey Wagon 175.00
Gale-Tec Engineering Inc. 320.00
General Pallet Inc. 235.00
Geocomm Inc. 4,000.00
Globalstar USA 360.87
Raymond Glunz 120.00
Going Under Dive Center 1,345.93
Gould Bros Chev-Olds 12,782.00
Grainger 735.80
Hancock Concrete Products Co. 6,658.82
Hardings Towing Inc. 106.50
Hardrives, Inc. 79,609.67
Karla Heeter 239.12
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2,231.28
Holiday 19,675.01
City Howard Lake 3,656.55
Hunerberg Construction Co. 395.00
Integrated Fire & Safety 542.54
Intereum Inc. 4,106.19
Interstate Battery Systems Of 281.00
Johnston Fargo Culvert Inc. 511.20
Greg Kramber 194.00
L-3 Communications Mobile Visi 222.06
Lakedale Communications 626.01
LaPlant Demo Inc. 1,343.49
Lawson Products Inc. 384.25
Loberg Electric 1,661.41
Loberg Plumbing & Heating Inc. 199.54
M & M Express 587.48
M-R Sign Company Inc. 32,554.69
Marco 1,288.17
Martin Marietta Aggregates 163.50
Mathiowetz Construction 134,900.00
Richard Mattson 220.54
The Metro Group Inc. 3,628.88
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 91,730.57
Midland Corporate Benefits Svc 997.75
MN Assn. of Assessing Officers 305.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 2,821.47
MN Counties Ins. Trust 285.00
Mountain Stream Sports & Appar 173.95
MTI Distributing Inc. 136.97
Nebs Inc. 194.31
Neopost Inc. 536.12
Nextel Communications 1,936.20
Office Depot 1,771.26
Penhall Company 1,988.02
Leah Petersen 135.00
Playpower Lt. Farmington Inc. 1,383.40
Polar Chevrolet 32,752.23
Qwest 455.74
Frank Ramacciotti 400.00
City Rockford 2,569.60
Rolyan Buoys 926.55
Royal Tire Inc. 5,217.51
RS Eden 10,737.50
Ryan Chevrolet 210.19
Scenic Signs 128.90
Schneider Corporation 4,215.00
Sherwin Williams 142.82
Software House International In 3,087.44
Specialty Turf & Ag 353.58
Spray Control Systems Inc. 378.28
City St. Michael 3,210.75
Streichers 1,016.21
Super Express 230.04
Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc. 567.76
Traffic Marking Service Inc. 9,490.92
Uline 133.92
Veolia Environmental Services 11,343.73
Verizon Wireless 156.95
Waste Management-TC West 4,795.85
Cecilia Webb 279.63
Wright County Highway Dept. 325.37
Wright County Journal Press 236.18
Keith Wurm Construction 5,795.00
Zarnoth Brush Works Inc. 585.75
Ziegler Inc. 6,084.22
22 Payments less than $100 1,085.37
Final total $678,085.00
The meeting adjourned at 10:24 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Sept. 8, 2008.