Wright County Board Minutes

DECEMBER 30, 2008
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Heeter, Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek and Eichelberg present.
The minutes of 12-23-08 were corrected as follows: Page 1, 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence, should read, “The minutes of 12-16-08 were corrected as follows:…” (Norman). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Heeter, carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Item C1, “Auditor/Treasurer, Set Interest Rate Of 4%, 2009 Ditch Assessments” (Hiivala); Item For Consid. #2, “Set Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting Due To State Of Economy & The Impacts On Wright County” (Sawatzke); Item For Consid. #3, “Recognition, Karla Heeter” (Sawatzke). On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.
On a motion by Russek, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:
1. Performance Appraisals: A. Pitzl, Atty.; C. Elness, R. Fischer, D. Lang, W. Holland, Sheriff.
2. Schedule 2008 Employee Recognition Ceremony For 3-10-09 @ 10:00 A.M.
3. O/T Report, Period Ending 12-12-08.
1. Reappoint Ralph Douglas (At-Large) To Three-Year Term On The Wright County Planning Commission.
2. Reappoint Don Schmidt (District 4) To Three-Year Term On The Wright County Board Of Adjustment.
1. Set Interest Rate Of 4%, 2009 Ditch Assessments.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing. He referenced a claim on Page 7, Dell Marketing ($398.28) which instead should be paid to Ralph Douglas for reimbursement of costs related to Planning Commission Meetings. The claims listing will be corrected to reflect this change. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 20, North American Salt Co. ($63,766.40) for road salt. Mattson said people expect roads to be clear and this type of claim is a part of the high costs of maintaining highways. Russek said a portion of the salt will be resold to the cities and townships which will recapture some of the County’s costs. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 24, Dynamic Imaging ($15,824.93), for computer equipment. Mattson questioned whether the Owner’s Committee was notified of the purchase of new computers for the Jail/LEC. He understood that a lot of technology equipment was going to be moved to the new site. Sawatzke said that the Information Technology Department has a cycle for computers. If it is time for computers to be replaced per that cycle, new ones will be purchased. Additionally, there may be more computers required at the new site. Otherwise, the computers at the current location will be moved to the new Jail/LEC site. Hiivala stated that those computers replaced under the standard replacement plan may be included in the bond proceeds. New equipment has been coded to the Jail/LEC Project FF&E line item. On a motion by Mattson, second by Heeter, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, to include the correction as noted by Hiivala.
There will not be an Owner’s Committee Meeting today.
Sawatzke requested that a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting date be established, recognizing the difficult economic times. The State’s financial situation will significantly impact the County’s budget over the next couple of years. He felt the Board needed to discuss strategies to implement. He favored taking action sooner than later. Sawatzke said next year’s budget is, for the most part, taking care of the Jail. There was a half-time staff position added in the Information Technology Department. In light of the economic conditions, he was unsure whether that position should be added. Surrounding counties are looking at layoffs and are cautious about adding new staff. Sawatzke requested that any action on the half-time staff position in Information Technology be placed on hold until after the Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting has taken place. Mattson added that the County should look at potentially not rehiring for positions that are vacant versus having to look at layoffs. Sawatzke said there are three departments that have not filled open positions due to the economy and its impact on their volume of business. He wanted departments to know that if this type of action is taken, it will not impact their budget for these positions in the following year. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the position in Information Technology is currently half-time and was scheduled to increase to full-time on January 1st. He felt that the 2008 budget figures for the end of the year should be available for review at the Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Hiivala felt those figures would not be compiled until the end of January. Sawatzke had concern with waiting and felt the Committee could meet to discuss initiatives. Heeter agreed. She said the budget is set and may be reduced by $3-$4 million. Russek said the payment on 12-26-08 was $775,000 short of what the County was told they would receive.
Russek moved to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 1-13-09 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke requested an amendment to the motion reflecting that there will be no expansion of the 2009 budget relating to staff (unless the positions are directly related to the Jail) until such time as the Budget Committee Of The Whole has a chance to act. Russek accepted the amendment to the motion. Sawatzke asked that Norman notify the Information Technology Department of this action. Sawatzke and Mattson recently attended a River Rider Meeting in Sherburne County. Mattson said Sherburne County is looking at various options including freezing wages. Sawatzke said the County does not want to lay staff off and if action is taken sooner, maybe this can be avoided. The motion carried 5-0.
Karla Heeter was honored for her six years of service as a County Commissioner. Sawatzke spoke highly of her accomplishments noting she has been a financial steward for taxpayers, an advocate for the environment, and a leader in the areas of cooperation and collaboration. Russek thanked Heeter for her service and felt the County is a better place because of her efforts. Mattson spoke of her involvement with drug education programs and the positive effect on the community. Eichelberg extended appreciation to Heeter. Heeter stated it has been an honor to represent District 1, as well as all areas of the County. One of her reasons for moving on is that she feels change is good. One of her goals as Commissioner was to bring enjoyment to the group and she felt she had accomplished this. The relationship with other Board members has been harmonious and respectful, even though they may disagree with one another on issues. Heeter was most proud of her work with the Meth and MEADA initiative, the 800 MHz system, the Jail/LEC Project, and efforts to preserve land. When she first started as Commissioner, growth was a large issue. This has all changed. The purchase of the Pelican Lake and the Bertram Chain of Lakes properties are about preserving land for all time. She cited the work of several departments. She recognized the efforts of the Planning & Zoning Department, Planning Commission, and Board of Adjustment on land issues. She appreciated Planning & Zoning Administrator Tom Salkowski’s efforts as a leader and his philosophy on open space and the preservation of ag land. Heeter also recognized Greg Kramber, Assessor, and described the Assessor’s Department as being second to none. She said Kramber has been instrumental in the Green Acres issue. Heeter felt the County has outstanding law enforcement and cutting edge technology. She felt the technology portion was partially due to the leadership of Information Technology Director Bill Swing. She said the County also has an incredible Parks Department. Heeter closed by saying that she learned a lot about people in this position. She extended thanks to those that elected her to serve as Commissioner for two terms.
Eichelberg wished everyone a Happy New Year. The Board extended thanks to Eichelberg in his role as Board Chair in 2008.
Bills Approved
Allina Medical Laboratories. $124.60
AMI Imagings Systems Inc. 6,725.03
Aramark Correctional Services 5,575.38
Joe Backes 214.70
Bob Barker Co. 125.90
Barnes Distribution 1,705.71
Lawrence Bauman 446.00
Berntsen International Inc. 3,272.51
Black Box Resale Services 844.00
Blaine Lock & Safe Inc. 222.50
Jacob Bohnsack 181.35
Braun Intertec Corporation 212.00
Darnell Brethorst 158.54
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc. 131.54
Buffalo Hospital 4,235.60
Ryan Busch 877.50
Canon Business Solutions - Cen 563.66
Center Point Energy 2,892.45
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 4,353.00
Cokato Motor Sales Inc. 132.99
Comm. of Transportation 3,155.89
Cottens’ Inc. 3,507.85
Crysteel Truck & Equipment 4,602.93
Cub Pharmacy 599.17
Dell Marketing LP 26,686.16
Diamond Surface Inc. 2,981.96
Carter Diers 178.43
Ralph Douglas 398.28
Dustcoating Inc. 9,968.40
Dynamic Imaging Systems, Inc. 15,069.75
E Central Regional Juvenile 2,388.00
Elmer Eichelberg 267.84
Anthony Eicher 30,224.00
Embarq 264.22
Emergency Physicians Profess 257.25
Ernst General Construction Inc. 200.00
Joyce Farrell 6,546.00
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 169.20
Force America Inc. 244.79
GBR Inc. 325.22
General Office Products Co 1,435.49
Goodpointe Technology 2,250.00
Grainger 2,051.90
Amy Hertzog 115.25
Hillyard Floor Care Supply 40,075.95
Hometown Plumbing & Heating 2,449.00
Neal Huemoeller 180.77
Intereum Inc. 547.74
Interstate All Battery Center 366.10
Intoximeters Inc. 220.83
Thomas Kelly 168.48
KKE Architects Inc. 21,102.22
LaPlant Demo Inc. 512.41
Law Enforcement Technology 7,411.67
Lawson Products Inc. 651.20
C Lunser Co. 815.00
M & M Express 909.98
Michael Macmillan 984.13
Marco Inc. 2,514.02
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 1,600.00
Mid-America Business Systems 1,549.89
MN Chemical Company 924.67
MN Counties Computer Coop 975.00
MN Onsite Wastewater Assn. 340.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 298.20
Margaret Munson 213.52
Naaktgeboren Decorating 3,488.75
Henry Neuenfeldt 5,100.00
Nextel Communications 993.39
North American Salt Co. 63,766.40
North Suburban Towing Inc. 295.47
Office Depot 1,666.30
Olsen Companies 225.09
Pakor Inc. 762.54
Lynn Peavey Company 934.80
Positron Public Safety Sys 30,529.87
Powerplan OIB 1,554.50
Precision Dynamics Corp 1,772.00
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 302.46
RS Eden 10,683.75
John Russek 590.98
Ryan Chevrolet 159.89
Thomas Salkowski 100.01
Pat Sawatzke 280.80
Sherry Schliesing 248.63
Screen Tech 290.91
Shell Fleet Plus 296.50
Sherburne County Sheriff 20,625.00
Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 2,921.60
Software House International 2,077.83
Tammi Solarz 405.99
Specialty Turf & Ag 4,073.63
Spectrum Solutions 5,040.79
Sprint 6,987.42
St. Joseph Equipment Inc. 915.81
Brian Stoll 101.79
STS Consultants Ltd 2,266.90
William Swing 291.57
T & M Towing and Snow Plow 111.18
TCF Mortgage Corporation 2,482.30
Tims Tower 2000 29,491.00
Tools Unlimited 1,908.85
Total Printing 1,649.41
Keith Triplett 138.76
Verizon Wireless 1,915.54
Walmart Store 01-1577 1,051.64
Weather Watch Inc. 918.70
Janelle Webb 130.46
Gordon Weber 215.10
West Metro Ophthalmolgy 217.68
Westside Equipment 2,720.00
Willen Inc. 7,480.00
Winter Equipment Co. Inc. 1,928.70
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec 3,978.67
Xcele Energy 1,729.66
Gary Zahn 7,960.00
42 Payments less than $100 8,667.58
Final total $476,140.32
The meeting adjourned at 9:28 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 26, 2009.

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