WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Eichelberg and Thelen present.
The minutes of 9-01-09 were discussed. Mattson felt the minutes did not reflect the question posed by Sawatzke to Tommy Thompson on whether Thompson supported the NW Quadrant Study. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced Page 12, last paragraph, which states, “Tommy Thompson, member of the Aggregate Resource Committee, stated that he endorses the resource area.” Mattson said Sawatzke questioned Thompson a second time on the Study and felt the minutes should reflect this. Norman referenced Page 13, 1st paragraph, 2nd line, which reads, “Thompson commented that the area around Monticello is filled with sedimentary rock which is not good for finished product, so ultimately it will lead to the areas of Lake Sylvia, Lake John, and the Clearwater Lakes. He agrees that there is a lot of work that needs to be done and is in support of this Plan under the condition that aggregate studies will continue.” It was the consensus that the minutes reflect Thompson’s position. The following corrections were made to the minutes: Page 9, Item 9, Line 4, should read, “The date for Road Tour meeting was scheduled all day on 10-19-09 to meet at the Public Works Building” (Russek); Page 11, 3rd paragraph, 3rd line should read, “He feels that gravel pits should be taxed as commercial until they are reclaimed.” (Mattson); Page 13, 1st paragraph, 7th line, should read, “Mattson showed concern regarding a resident in South Haven” (Mattson). Thelen referenced Page 4, the second indented paragraph, 14th line, which reads, “Thelen commented that there has been no analysis completed pertaining to the number of cars that will be removed from the roads, what the decrease in pollution would be, and the needs of alternative transportation. She does not view this as a membership with Met Council.” Thelen said the Northstar commuter rail is estimated to cost about $40/ride and yet the consumer will be paying $7/ride. She said Sawatzke had questioned who would make up the $33 difference. Thelen said her statement was in regard to Sawatzke’s comment that he did not bring forward the analysis of the other benefits and cost savings and the number of cars removed from roads, decrease in pollution, etc. She felt the minutes were confusing and they may have suggested that she was talking about the Met Council study. Thelen said she also commented that she did not view the Met Council study would obligate the County to be members of the Met Council. Thelen changed the sentences referenced to read, “Thelen commented that Sawatzke’s comments did not include an analysis of the overall savings relative to the number of cars that will be removed from the roads, what the decrease in pollution would be, and the needs of alternative transportation. She does not view that this Met Council study obligates us to membership.” Russek moved to approve the 9-01-09 County Board Minutes as corrected, seconded by Thelen. Eichelberg said he would abstain from the motion as he was not present for the portion of the meeting where the Land Use Plan was discussed. The motion carried 4-0 (Eichelberg abstaining).
The Agenda was discussed. Hiivala requested that Consent Item B1, “Auditor/Treasurer, Approve 1-Day Temporary On Sale Liquor License Application, Submitted By Cokato-Dassel Rotary Club For Event At Cokato Town & Country Club (Cokato Township)” be moved to Item #2 under the 9:05 A.M. Auditor/Treasurer Agenda items. Eichelberg added Item For Consid. #3, “Recovery Zone Bonds.” Thelen moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Norman said that Item C1 requests the setting of a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 9-15-09 at 10:30 A.M. Norman requested that Item C1 be changed to “Set Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting For 9-15-09 at 1:30 P.M. To Discuss Assistant Engineer Position.” This is due to a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting already scheduled for 10:30 A.M. that day. Thelen moved to approve Consent Agenda Items A & D, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:
1. Performance Appraisals: K. Green, L. Pulvermacher, Aud./Treas.; M. Janckila, IT;
D. Anselment, A. Fashant, T. Halberg, K. Klatt, V. Klemz, P. Loch, J. O’Dowd, C. Stine, C. Torkelson, Sher./Corr.
1. Authorize Signatures on 2010/2011 Nuclear Grant, $232,400.00.
The Board then discussed Consent Agenda Item C1. Two Commissioners will be unable to attend the meeting if it is set for the afternoon of 9-15-09. After consideration, Thelen moved to set a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 9-14-09 at 1:00 P.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of a 1-Day Temporary On-Sale Liquor License Application, submitted by the Cokato-Dassel Rotary Club, for an event at the Cokato Town & Country Club (Cokato Township). Mattson moved to approve the Application, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Russek referenced a claim on Page 10, Interstate Security Services ($912.00), for uniformed guard services. Hiivala stated the claim is for guarding a female inmate but does not indicate where it took place. Sawatzke referenced Page 10, Kustom Blinds & Draperies, Inc. ($1,150.00) for blind repairs. He inquired what type of repair was completed. Hiivala said the claim does not reflect the type of repair. It was the consensus that Hiivala will contact the Sheriff Department to determine why the repair was made. If the repair relates to damage (i.e., caused by an inmate), it will be paid. Otherwise, the claim will be pulled and brought back for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, brought forth discussion on Tobacco Ordinance penalties to be imposed on Roger’s Amoco of Maple Lake. Wright County Public Health and the Sheriff’s Office recently completed a re-check of tobacco retailers who had failed compliance checks earlier this summer. Roger’s Amoco of Maple Lake sold tobacco to a minor on 8-27-09 (4th violation in the past 24 months). The Wright County Tobacco Ordinance states that with a 3rd or subsequent violation within a 24-month period, an administrative fine of “not less than $250” shall be imposed and there shall also be a suspension of the tobacco license for “not less than seven days.” Since this is the first time a 4th violation in 24 months has occurred, staff is seeking input from the County Board on the appropriate penalties to be imposed. Asleson said there has been one retailer who served a 7-day suspension twice but their last violation was older than 24 months. Roger’s Amoco has been cited for violations on the following dates: 6-10-08, 8-25-08, 7-16-09, and 8-27-09. The 4th violation notice has not been sent. Asleson said when the Tobacco Ordinance was adopted, it was based on language taken from a model ordinance for organizations such as the League of MN Cities. Joel Torkelson, Public Health, said the $250 fine has been paid for the 3rd violation but the suspension has not been served. The history of compliance checks for the business is a failure of 4 out of 5 compliance checks (failed the last 4).
Torkelson has been in contact with the business owner on possible solutions to remedy the problem. Russek asked whether the County offers training for businesses. Torkelson said they have not recently had the time or resources to promote this. Over the years, they had sent notice to businesses on the availability of training but no interest was shown. Mattson asked whether the County was at fault for not following through right away on notification to the business that they had failed the compliance check. He referenced a situation where Wright County did not send notice in a timely fashion to another business on failure of a compliance check. Torkelson explained that the process for notification has changed and is now handled through Public Health. The third violation for Roger’s Amoco occurred on 7-16-09. Their next violation occurred just over a month later on 8-27-09. The business is not generally served with notice of violation right away. Mattson questioned whether the County should waive the second 7-day suspension, based on the County’s timeline in following up. Torkelson said the notice was sent a few days after the 3rd violation occurred. The fine was paid. Sawatzke felt the situation Mattson referenced with the other business was not similar as in that situation the County overlooked sending notice. This was not the case with Roger’s Amoco. Torkelson said no specific plan has been worked out with the business owner. After the 3rd violation occurred, the business owner contacted him. Training will be held on 9-22-09 for employees of Roger’s Amoco. Employees will be charged as a means to help pay the fine. Training will be the number one focus. The business is looking at scanning options but that will have to be worked out with the distributor. Eichelberg said the Ordinance does not reflect what should be done for the 4th violation. He supported imposing the 14-day suspension and leaving the fine at $250. Sawatzke said the Ordinance, by design, was left open for the 4th violation. He felt the 4th violation should carry a stiffer penalty than the 3rd violation.
Irene Hudek, owner of Roger’s Amoco in Maple Lake, said that since 1998 when the program started, they only failed compliance checks once until last year. Violations occurred twice last year and twice this year. It has been frustrating to her as a business owner. Upon reviewing the situation, she realized changes must be made. She has implemented the following:
1) Roger’s Amoco now has a policy that reflects if an employee is caught by Hudek selling tobacco to a minor, they will be charged $100 and terminated.
2) Their policy now reflects that if an employee is caught selling tobacco to a minor by the County, the employee will be charged $100, terminated, and charged for the fine imposed by the County.
3) A mandatory meeting for cashiers of Roger’s Amoco will be held on 9-22-09.
Hudek said that their current cash registers do ask the operator whether the customer is 18 years of age on a specific date. The cashier must answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Hudek felt she will have to train each employee personally how to use this feature. Because of Federal law, Hudek must replace her tills for security purposes by July 2010.
She plans to address what options are available on scanning at that time. Hudek felt there should be more teamwork between the County and retailers. She said she was unaware of the training available but would volunteer to coordinate training annually in her community. Hudek said there is a large turnover in staff in the convenience store business.
Mattson asked whether compliance checks are completed during times which are busy at the stores. Mattson used to manage a Holiday gas station and said checks can pose a problem during busy times. Torkelson said over the last two years, they have been completing checks between 10:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. They used to perform the checks in the afternoon and evening. However, he said they cannot control how busy an establishment is and cannot plan for that. He understood that violations may be more likely to occur when it is busy. Sawatzke said kids may try to purchase tobacco at busy times for that reason. He felt it was equally important for retailers to card people when it is busy.
Discussion followed on the penalties. Russek felt the 7-day suspension for the 3rd violation needs to be served. With regard to the 4th violation, he felt the $250 fine should be imposed for the 4th violation but that the 7-day suspension should be waived for one year as long as there are no more violations. He made this suggestion based upon the efforts by Hudek to remedy the situation. Sawatzke felt the recommendation was inconsistent with Ordinance language which reflects that the administrative fine is not less than $250 and the suspension of the tobacco license is for not less than seven days. This is the minimum penalty that can be imposed for the 3rd and 4th violations. He also did not feel it would make sense to give a 7-day suspension on the 3rd violation and not give any suspension on the 4th violation. Russek said his recommendation would provide an opportunity for the business to improve and would result in them not having to serve the second 7-day suspension. If the business violated again during that time period, they would be penalized 14 days. Thelen agreed with Sawatzke’s position on the Ordinance language and noted the language does not mention staying a penalty. Eichelberg said he would support a $250 fine and the 7-day suspension for the 4th violation. The Ordinance says the County may impose stronger penalties. Since the business is attempting to make changes, he would not be inclined to increase the penalty. Sawatzke agreed that the business is making a reasonable effort to correct the situation. Obviously, Hudek is not the one that made the sale but is accountable as the business owner. Sawatzke said the County must consider the precedence being set. Russek said the business has a plan proposed and is working with Public Health. He stated the County worked with a Co-op previously on violations because of their efforts to correct the situation. Sawatzke said another business in Monticello, Broadway Quik Stop, agreed to put in new computers that would allow the license to be swiped. Those violations were not waived.
Asleson provided additional information on the 7-day suspension that has not been served for the 3rd violation. He said a business is allowed a 30-day appeal period. Another 2-3 weeks may go by before the business is contacted on when the 7-day suspension will be served. In this instance, the re-check had already occurred during this time frame. It makes sense for the business to serve the two 7-day suspensions concurrently as the product must be removed from the business during the suspension. Having experience as a manager of a convenience store, Mattson stated it is hard work to manage the age group and there is a lot of training that occurs. He would support Russek’s recommendation at the most.
Sawatzke said that no one wants youth smoking. However, he wanted it understood that the State mandates that counties perform tobacco compliance checks. The sentences in the Ordinance are minimum guidelines set forth by the State. The County cannot impose lesser penalties.
Eichelberg made a motion for Roger’s Amoco to be charged an additional $250 for the 4th Tobacco Ordinance violation and to impose an additional 7-day suspension for a total of 14 days. The timing of serving the suspension is to be determined between the business owner and the County, but the two 7-day suspensions must be served consecutively and completed prior to 1-01-10. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Mattson asked Asleson whether this action will take away the business owner’s right of appeal. Asleson did not feel it would. The notice of violation has not been sent but will be sent upon Board action. The business owner will have 30 days to appeal. They can contact the County to set up the suspension period. The appeal can either relate to the violated rule or the sentence imposed. Both are within the Board’s power. Without agreement of the retailer, the appeal rights cannot be taken away. Sawatzke questioned how the retailer would know to appeal if there is not an established penalty. Thelen said the violation reflects the person trying to buy was born in 1993. The employee didn’t check either the date or the year. She supported the consequences in this case. Russek said he would vote against the motion as there has been a good faith effort by the retailer to correct the situation. He felt the County should stay the second 7-day suspension as a reward for her efforts. The motion carried 3-2 with Russek and Mattson casting the nay votes.
Steve Berg, Emergency Management Coordinator, requested the Board authorize signatures on the All Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Plan was completed by Wright County Emergency Management and Beck Disaster Recovery, Inc. It has been approved by Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Once adopted, the resolution will be forwarded to Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with the resolutions adopted by the 17 cities in the County. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #09-34, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. The Mitigation Plan will be forwarded to the cities and townships.
Berg requested that the Board authorize signatures on the Emergency Management Performance Grant Contracts. This is a matching grant in the amount of $42,185.00 which is the same funding as last year. The Grant funding is to be used to run the Emergency Management Program and to complete the items that are required by the State. Russek moved to authorize signatures, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
Norman stated that based on conversations he had with B&C Consultants, the County’s health insurance brokers, it is not recommended to quote health insurance based upon high claim utilization. The advice is to wait one year. It is recommended that the County quote dental and eye care coverage. Quotes will be received by the County Board on 10-27-09 at 10:00 A.M. A Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Meeting will be scheduled for 11-10-09 at 10:30 A.M. The quote analysis will then be presented to the County Board on 11-17-09. Thelen moved to accept this recommendation, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
The AMC Annual Conference will be held in Minneapolis on December 7-9, 2009. Russek moved to authorize attendance by the delegates to AMC, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
Eichelberg said the County Board recently received information on Recovery Zone Bonds by Lee Kelly, Special Projects Administrator. It was the consensus of the County Board at that time that the County has no interest in the bonds and that cities could contact the County if they were interested in them. Since that time, the cities of St. Michael, Albertville and Hanover have expressed interest in the Recovery Zone Bond Program for their Library/Senior Center project. Eichelberg said the bid opening is scheduled for 9-22-09. Due to the short timeline, they would like to meet with the County as soon as possible. The City contacted Administration with a request to be placed on the next County Board Agenda. They contacted Eichelberg as well to see whether they could meet with the County prior to that time. After discussion, the County Board decided that this issue will be discussed at the 9-15-09 County Board Meeting. Norman said Administration is researching the procedures required for the County to give their allotment to one or several of the cities. Whatever information has been obtained will be brought to the meeting. Kelly will be directed to forward the information to the City of St. Michael for review by their legal counsel.
Allina Hospitals & Clinics. $14,250.00
Allina Medical 214.00
Allina Medical Laboratories 1,105.50
Allina OCC Med 685.00
American Jail Association 495.00
American Messaging 578.66
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 103.28
Aramark Correctional Serv. 12,792.91
Bachman Printing 359.64
Bob Barker Co. 574.73
Boyer Truck Parts 2,221.54
BP Amoco 1,683.94
City Buffalo 47,287.34
Cenex Fleetcard 977.55
Center Point Energy 108.92
Clearwater Recreation LLC 1,292.12
Climate Air 663.34
Collins Brothers Towing 147.49
Cub Pharmacy 6,076.48
Dell Marketing LP 1,474.22
Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo 215.00
Design Electrical Contractors 183.22
Elmer Eichelberg 478.50
Emergency Physicians Prof 520.50
Debbie Ernst 290.40
Force America Inc. 907.05
Raymond Glunz 120.00
Greenview Inc 14,842.83
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 384.32
Neal Huemoller 224.40
Interstate Battery Systems 180.51
Interstate Security Services 912.00
Chris Jahnke 237.05
Greg Kramber 120.95
Kustom Blinds & Draperies Inc. 1,150.00
L-3 Communications Mobile Vis 264.34
Lawson Products Inc. 181.20
Loberg Electric 200.32
Magneto Power LLC 203.94
Major Appliance Repair 144.68
Maple Lake Lumber Company 410.29
Marco Inc. 1,124.32
Martin Marietta Aggregates 1,298.40
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 1,605.16
Midland Corporate Benefits SVC 997.75
Mn Assn. of Co. Probation Of 490.00
MN CLE Inc. 670.00
MN CVSO Secretaries Assoc. 222.00
MN Supreme Court 651.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 368.91
Morton Salt 999.20
New River Medical Center 488.21
Nuss Truck & Equipment 221.00
Office Depot 2,061.63
Olsen Companies 106.92
Power-Phone Inc. 897.00
Precision Prints of Wright Co. 213.75
Rhodes Lock & Glass 170.39
Sean Riley 141.90
Royal Tire Inc. 1,632.04
RS Eden 8,535.16
John Russek 151.25
F. Schmidt, Inc. 30,000.00
Sherburne Co. Sheriff 660.00
Sherwin Williams 125.81
Software House International 1,059.14
Spectrum Solutions 1,396.00
State of MN-Office Enterprise 965.00
State Supply Co. 902.29
Total Printing 582.47
Vance Brothers Inc. 2,388.50
Waste Management -TC West 2,724.92
Watchguard Elect. Home Mon 262.50
Gordon Weber 363.25
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 227.48
Keith Wurm Construction 1,277.50
Zack’s Inc. 925.32
37 Payments less than $100 1,904.72
Final total $386,855.32
The meeting adjourned at 10:02 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 5, 2009.