Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 17, 2009
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Eichelberg, and Thelen present.
On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the 11-10-09 County Board Minutes.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: C. Anderson, Assr.; L. Paumen, Auditor, B. Peterson, Ct. Svcs.; C. Canton, D. Clemence, Sher.; D. Ernst, Vet. Svcs.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 10-30-09.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, introduced Colleen Allen, Wetland Specialist, from the SWCD. Allen was present to provide an update on a County Ditch 34 project in the City of Delano. Russek stated that the City would like to make a connection to the Ditch. An application has been made to replace broken tile. Allen provided a history of the project. The City of Delano wanted an industrial park and petitioned for an outlet permit. The application was denied due to the condition of the Ditch. Allen said a meeting was held about a year ago with Russek, the City, and the SWCD to discuss how to get the Ditch in repair. The Application presented today is the outcome of that discussion. The application was run by the Technical Evaluation Panel to address their concerns. The application makes sure they are in compliance with Wetland Laws. Allen did not think landowners on the Ditch have been informed of the project and felt it should be introduced to them. They will have concern with costs, limitations of the work, etc. She suggested a Public Hearing. Russek said the City is not rushing into this project and it may not occur for three years. The cost of this cleanout will be incurred by the City, so there will be no expense for landowners. The plan includes pre-development runoff rates. Russek said he would contact the landowners where the cleanout will occur. He thought prior to informing the 20-21 Ditch residents, they would see what happens with the application. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the County Board held a Public Hearing in October, 2006 on a petition by the City to outlet storm water into the Ditch in the same area. The County Board did not take action as the drainage authority. Instead, the Board directed Asleson to write the City indicating the Ditch needs repair and there were concerns by the residents on whether the Ditch can handle more storm water. Asleson said if the City is going to outlet into the Ditch, there should be another Public Hearing as the last one was three years ago. The Public Hearing should also address the proposed improvement (going from a tiled area to an open ditch). Asleson said the City is willing to pay the costs of repair in lieu of an outlet fee but want to factor in future development. Allen said a development proposal is included for an industrial park, which was approved by the Board about two years ago. The Board discussed the Public Hearing and it was felt an informational meeting could be held at the City prior to the Hearing. Residents will then be informed of the project and any concerns may be addressed prior to the Public Hearing. Sawatzke asked whether the City is a benefited property owner on the Ditch. Russek stated they are. Sawatzke clarified the City will pay for this improvement in its entirety and their share in the future. Allen said right now, there is an open application on the wetland permit which is different than the Public Hearing. The permit is for wetland exemption. She felt residents should be informed of the Public Hearing on the County Ditch proceedings and she offered to work with Asleson to generate a letter in this regard. Russek moved to schedule the Public Hearing for 1-12-10 at 10:00 A.M. for the purpose of taking public comment on the City outletting storm water into Ditch 34 and the proposed improvements to Ditch 34. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0. Asleson will publish the legal notice.
On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Jeff Berg and Paul Coglitore, B&C Consulting, Inc., serve as insurance brokers for the County employees health insurance. Recently, quotes were received for Preventive Dental Renewal, a Voluntary Comprehensive Dental Plan, a Voluntary Vision Insurance Plan, and Senior Gold Medicare Supplemental Coverage. The information was shared with the Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee at their November 10th meeting. Today, Berg and Coglitore presented their recommendations:
Preventive Dental Renewal, Effective 3-01-10.
The recommendation is to remain with Delta Dental of MN for those employees who have medical insurance through the County. There will be no increase in premiums. Quotes were also provided by Met, Principal, United Health Care, Health Partners and the Standard.
Voluntary Comprehensive Dental, Effective 3-01-10.
The recommendation is to offer this benefit through Delta Dental of MN. Additional quotes were provided by Met Dental, United Health Care, Health Partners, and The Standard. Delta was slightly more expensive than a couple of the other carriers but they only require 10 employees to enroll in order to offer the Plan. The other carriers required a 15-20% participation level being this is the first time this benefit has been offered to County employees. Delta Dental also has no waiting time for restorative services. Thelen asked whether all the plans were tied to one another (if you have preventive through Delta then you must have the voluntary through Delta). Coglitore stated this was true. Thelen questioned whether the Health Partners plan is cheaper. Coglitore said Health Partners had two different bids. One had waiting periods and one matched the Delta Dental plan cost and did not have a waiting period. The Health Partners plan that did match had a slightly lower rate but required 15% participation. Thelen asked when the decision must be made. Coglitore said from their standpoint, early to mid January. Lori Pawelk, Personnel Representative, said a decision must be made as quickly as possible. Open enrollment information is sent to employees the beginning of January. Once the open enrollment period ends, it takes about two weeks for the information to be entered into the system. It is then sent into the insurance company. The process is expedited in an effort to get insurance cards to employees as soon as possible (preferably by March 1st). Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said the Delta plan only requires participation by 10 employees. The other plans would require over 100 employees to sign up. The County does not feel the level of participation would be that high at the onset of the program. Eichelberg questioned the difference between Basic Restorative and Major Restorative. Coglitore stated Basic Restorative includes such things as fillings, and endodontic and periodontic work (non-surgical). Major Restorative includes crowns, dentures, and endodontic and periodontic work (surgical). All come with a $1,000 maximum per enrolled person. Berg said that at the last Employee Benefits Fair, employees expressed an interest in having Voluntary Comprehensive Dental Insurance.
Voluntary Vision Insurance Plan, Effective 3-01-10.
The recommendation is to offer this benefit through Eye Med. Additional quotes were provided by Avesis and Principal. Coglitore said Eye Med rates are guaranteed for four years. Benefit options pay for eye glasses, contacts, and discounts on Lasik surgery. Eye exams are currently covered under health insurance so a savings was realized. The Eye Med Plan requires participation by 10 employees. Coglitore felt there was a nice network of providers in this area.
Senior Gold Medicare Supplemental Coverage.
The recommendation is of offer the Group Medicare Solution through Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MN. It is for retirees who have Medicare Part A & B. Currently the County extends the group plan offering to these people. The Plan provides a better benefit than can be purchased on the open market, especially with the prescription drug benefit. It provides full-insurance coverage options, national coverage, no risk to the active or pre-65 rating structure, a guaranteed renewable medical plan, and a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug benefit providing coverage in the “donut hole” or “coverage gap.” The County is currently in compliance with Chapter 488, offering a product to retirees. In addition to providing enhanced benefits which can’t be purchased on the general market, it would remove retirees with this coverage from the general group population. Therefore, their experience would not affect the experience rates for the current employee group. Berg said this is positive because it comes at a very high cost, particularly in the claims experience. Coglitore said there are two parts to the Plan. The first is the medical insurance piece. The Plan will pay at a higher rate than the County Plans and has a lower cost. The second is the prescription drug benefit. There were a few different options but the recommended option provides a better benefit, especially when it comes to specialty drugs. Rather than have a percentage based copay, there is a $60 copay for drugs. Generics are covered at 100%. After out-of-pocket drug costs of $4,550/year, members pay the greater of $2.50 for covered generic or multi-source preferred brand drugs and $6.30 for all other covered drugs; or 5% of the cost of covered drugs. Coglitore felt it was good to remove this risk from the employee group plan. This comes at no cost to the County and Blue Cross bills directly to the individual. There is guaranteed renewal for all those able to be on that plan. Eichelberg questioned whether a spouse could be added if an employee has single coverage. Coglitore said this was the case. Eichelberg questioned what is included in the eye wear discounts. Coglitore said he would provide that information the next time they meet. He envisioned this to be a 20% discount. There is also a $20 fitness discount plan (similar to what employees have). Those who purchase this insurance do not have to reside in Minnesota. The plan moves with them.
Russek moved to approve the recommendations presented, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke questioned whether the Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee discussed and recommended approval. Norman said the quotes were shared with the Committee to make them aware of what was received. They did not ask for Committee approval or for the information to be taken back to the bargaining units, as there is no need to do that. This is not like the health insurance plan, it is strictly voluntary. The Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Meeting was held to inform and let members know what the County is doing. Thelen said a letter was received from Lori Adams, Representative for members of the AFSCME Union group. The communication is that the Union Representatives on the Committee would like to have more time to provide meaningful input. Thelen realizes that the County does not need to obtain input, but she feels an opportunity would be lost not being able to consult with those who are consumers. She questioned if the timeline was tight because the concept of voluntary coverage came up late. Russek stated that unions were made aware of this during contract negotiations that it would be offered in the next year. It was conveyed that coverage would be voluntary. In response to Russek, Norman stated that the County would not be contributing additionally toward the voluntary coverage. Thelen noted that Voluntary Dental is tied to the actual Preventive Dental. She questioned whether there are any implications to the ongoing Preventive package the employees receive. Norman said the Preventive Plan is the same as what employees currently have at no additional cost. Coglitore stated that Delta was the lowest bidder for Preventive Dental. Sawatzke supported the services provided with Delta. The County had a different provider in the past and many dentists did not support the provider. Berg added that they are the incumbent carrier so the County is not treated as a new customer. Thelen supported providing an opportunity for those using the Plan to weigh in on it, even though the timeline is short. In the future, she requested more time with the process. Those on the Committee were only given a week and may have felt they would be given an opportunity to weigh in on it as opposed to just being informed. Thelen viewed this as a lost opportunity and said she would not vote in favor of this. She preferred for the decision to be tabled until unions had the opportunity to consult their membership (within the time frame needed) to see if it is something they want to do. She said they may come up with the same recommendation after weighing all the factors. On the other hand, this is unknown. She extended thanks to B&C Consulting for their work. Sawatzke stated that the important thing is that the outcome is good. There were 17 Committee members present at the Labor/Management Health Insurance Meeting and only 1 spoke against the offering. Thelen stated she contacted a number of Union Representatives who were at the meeting who were concerned with the timeline and process. One difficulty they may have are those who have a working spouse that needs to know insurance needs by January 1st. Pawelk said there are so many variables with insurance. That is why the County has B&C Consulting carry out this process. They try to obtain as much information as they can. This is an opportunity for employees to take voluntary coverage. There are seven different unions that may not all agree on what should be offered. However, the County will still offer the voluntary plans. Thelen said she is still concerned with the process. She felt there might be time yet for review and get consensus by the unions before the County’s timeline is reached. Pawelk said the Committee meeting was set up to deliver the information to the union members, but not to have them vote on it. She said B&C Consulting is hired to complete this work for the County and the County places their trust in them. Thelen felt it was good to have a viable committee representing another point of view. Pawelk understood that the Committee agreed previously to support offering these types of programs. The motion carried 4-1 with Thelen casting the nay vote.
Representative Dean Urdahl brought forth discussion on the Little Crow Transit Way Corridor Study. He distributed information on the Little Crow Transit Way and supports having the Mn/DOT Railroad Transportation Study include a possible commuter train along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad route (parallels State Hwy. 12). He feels that West Central Minnesota, Central Minnesota, and just west of Minneapolis are a black hole as far as Mn/DOT’s Transportation Plan. Twenty years ago, a four-lane highway was a possibility on State Hwy. 12. Now that is not possible. There is no airline or rail passenger service. There is currently a Study being completed by Mn/DOT’s Transportation Department. Representative Urdahl wants to make sure the Little Crow Transit Way is at least considered in the State’s Plan. Resolutions have been distributed to various cities, townships and counties for consideration. In Wright County, resolutions of support have been received from the following cities: Cokato, Howard Lake, Waverly, and Montrose. He felt Delano has passed a resolution as well, but was unsure of Maple Plain’s position. Meeker and Kandiyohi Counties have passed resolutions. Representative Urdahl highlighted several items from the handout. Passenger service was discontinued in 1997 when Amtrak made changes in the rail service route. The western route would complement other lines such as North Star, Duluth, and Red Rock. He added that if this were to happen and it makes economic sense, it could run from Sioux Falls to Chicago through Minneapolis. There is substantial growth to the west of Minneapolis. Representative Urdahl noted that Wright County is the 52nd fastest growing County in the nation. Willmar is an important regional center and they would like to relieve some of the congestion on I-394. The road bed is in good condition and existing track will be used. The railway currently has freight rail service at 60 mph but passenger rail could go up to 89 mph. The railway is not heavily used (approx. 9 trains/day). Some of the changes needed include additional passing sidings, stations, changes in signaling to accommodate faster passenger trains, and a maintenance facility. Representative Urdahl said one of the main things which needs to be studied is the cost of operation and maintenance. Building it may be the easy part, and he does not want the State to be responsible for large maintenance costs. Russek felt that 9 trains/day along the railway was low. Representative Urdahl stated this is the figure given by Burlington Northern. Sawatzke referenced efficiencies and whether the project makes economic sense. The Northstar line was opened yesterday and runs from Big Lake to Minneapolis. He understands the fare is $14 but the cost is about $45. He questioned how one determines cost effectiveness or efficiency and at what point is the project so far along that it must be completed even though it may not be cost effective. He did not want a study completed at a cost of $1-$2 million only to determine that the project must be completed because of what has been expended. Representative Urdahl responded that he did not feel there is a governmental definition for cost effectiveness. The determination of whether other lines will be completed is modeled by what happens with the Northstar route. The Mn/DOT Study will be completed and the inclusion of the Little Crow Transit Way does not add any cost. State Law requires the completion of the State Rail Study. The Study will be completed whether the proposed resolution is passed or not and all other transportation corridors are being included. Thelen extended appreciation for Urdahl’s efforts. Although there is a cost for transit, there is also a cost associated with maintaining highways. She supports transit and the inclusion of the Little Crow Transit Way in the Study. Russek questioned who would be responsible for subsidizing this project. Taxpayers will fund 2/3 of the cost when someone uses the Northstar line. With the State’s financial situation, he asked who will make up that deficit. He envisioned this to be millions per year. There are taxes to maintain roads (sales, gas) but the train cannot be taxed. Representative Urdahl stated this will need to be outlined in the Plan, including how they plan to pay for operations and management. He serves on the Capital Investment Committee, and the Federal Government is asking for bonding money to be apportioned to meet their commitment. In terms of construction, 80% is Federally funded and 20% is State funded. For operations and management, he has heard that a 75%/25% split is being considered. The unknown is the cost, how much fares will be, and how the remainder will be funded. That should be outlined in the Plan along with possibilities. Representative Urdahl is studying other areas as well, including a bus route for that same part of the State. Mattson said all of the cities in his District have passed the resolution of support. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #09-45, seconded by Thelen. Sawatzke referenced the North Star project. The project initially was to run from Minneapolis to St. Cloud. It ended up covering only half the distance and cost 60% more. Those things concern him. Someone buys into something and later gets something different. He said Benton County pulled out of the project due to costs. Representative Urdahl said if things were not working with the Northstar line, it would certainly affect what happens with this project. Russek referenced the Federal funding for the project and said taxpayers are the source of those funds as well. He felt there was borrowing to the point of never catching up, such as what happened in 1983. This resulted in 22% inflation and 18% interest rates. Representative Urdahl responded that is why they need to proceed cautiously and do what makes sense. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Representative Urdahl serves on the Capital Investment Committee, which has looked at the Bertram Chain of Lakes site. He asked how committed Wright County is to the project this year. He was in contact with the Governor’s Office and it appears there may be a smaller Capital Investment Bill this year. He estimated $500-$800 million, but felt it may be closer to $500 million. Representative Urdahl had not talked personally with the Governor but felt the focus may be in the areas of infrastructure identified as major needs (flood mitigation, local roads and bridges, maintenance of colleges and universities, PFA money, wastewater and clean water). He was unsure whether there would be money for Parks and other things. Sawatzke said the City/County officially had a request into the Bonding Committee for $3.9 million for the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project. The Senate group visited the site. The project was unsuccessful in obtaining funding through LCCMR. This was learned a few weeks ago. They are being sent in different directions to look for funding sources. One of these is the new 3/8ths of a cent sales tax, but the formulas do not leave much money for acquisitions in rural Minnesota. Representative Urdahl stated he is on that Committee and is fighting that battle. Sawatzke said there are a number of outstate Legislators trying to improve this but felt there was not much money to work with. He hoped the Bertram Chain of Lakes project would receive something through the bonding bill. Thus far, a considerable amount of acreage has been acquired with the intent that the entire property will be acquired over time. The County is not interested in acquiring just a 200-acre parcel for a park. Without State assistance, the project will not continue. He requested that funding for this project be included in the bonding bill. An agreement has been worked out with the YMCA where land can be purchased a parcel at a time through a phase-in process. Sawatzke extended congratulations to Representative Urdahl on his efforts to preserve open space and park land. He referenced Urdahl’s efforts in Meeker County assisting significantly with a number of parks. Sawatzke hopes that he will be successful in helping with the Bertram Chain of Lake Project.
At 10:12 A.M., Russek moved to close the regular Board Meeting and opened the Fees For Service Public Hearing. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0. The County Board reviewed the proposed Fees For Service changes. Norman stated that during the 2010 Budget process, several department heads indicated that they would be bringing forth some recommended changes in fees. That information has been compiled and is reflected in the material being reviewed today. Mattson questioned whether it was essential to have all of the fees raised this year because of economic times. Norman said departments look at the cost for providing the service and do a comparison with neighboring counties and municipalities. He did not feel the requested changes were out of line. Mattson said other counties may cut their fees and felt Wright County should live within its means. He did not think they should compare fees to neighboring counties. Russek heard on the news that Wadena County will not be providing medical care for inmates any longer unless they have insurance. They are charging booking fees. Lt. Pat O’Malley, Jail Administration, stated that Wright County is required by State Law to provide medical care to inmates. He felt the cost to the County would be greater if an inmate gets sick in Jail, resulting in death or permanent damage. Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, referenced the changes requested for the Planning & Zoning Department. He spoke to some clarifications and some reductions in what is proposed:
• Clarification. There are three fees under Land Alteration Permits. There may be some confusion because of the different standards in shoreland areas. The $200 fee for “Under 50 Cubic Yards in Shoreland” is for those that require a permit. There are projects under 10 Cubic Yards that do not require a permit and they do not charge a fee if no permit is required. Salkowski referenced “Over 500 Cubic Yards” and “Under 500 Cubic Yards.” The fees are correct for both but for “Under 500 Cubic Yards” there is no permit required except under certain circumstances, unless shoreland is involved. Salkowski said he is not proposing any changes to this area, he just wanted to clarify the fees.
• Change In Fee. Salkowski said the “1 per 40 Cluster” relates to a large farm with several entitlements. With 3+ lots, a hearing is required. If there are 4 lots there would be a $600 hearing fee, which is more than subdivision approval. He suggested the following change: Under the Planning Commission, the fee for a “1 per 40 Cluster” was listed at “$150/Lot”. This was changed to be the same as “subdivision approval”, which is “$250 1st 5 lots + $50/lot over 5 lots.”
• Change. Sawatzke discussed the Septic System fees with sewer installers and inspectors. Where there is a requirement for a variance to install a sewer system and there are no other variances required, the variance hearing fee would be $400 and the sewer permit could be $300-$400. They want to encourage the installation of sewer systems and they don’t want to give anyone a reason not to put in a sewer system where it is needed. Salkowski recommended adding a note to the bottom of the schedule, after the existing notes, as follows: “The fee for a septic system other than a holding tank shall be reduced by $200, IF a variance hearing was required solely for the installation of the sewer and a variance is approved.” This will allow part of the fee paid on the variance to be applied to the sewer permit fee.
Salkowski stated their fees, on average, are a little less compared to other counties. It has been almost 10 years since changes have been made. They tried to standardize fees with the States but the fees are not as high as recommended by State Building Code. He understands it is not a good time to raise prices for anything. However, the fees will lessen the impact on taxpayers if people using the services pay for them directly. Thelen asked whether the 1997 UBC Table within the Fee Schedule is the most recent one. Salkowski said there is a more recent table but it has drastic increases. The 1997 UBC Table is being used by most. The Wright County fees are less than what most cities charge, exclusive of SAC/WAC charges.
Mattson asked Steve Jobe, Surveyor, to clarify the requested changes to the Surveyor Fees For Service Schedule. Jobe stated that the changes relate to LIDAR and aerial photography, which have not had a fee schedule before. Typical customers are developers. With aerial photography and LIDAR, they offered a product that would be affordable for the average landowner. They are not proposing to increase fees. At 10:21 A.M., Russek moved to close the Public Hearing and the regular Board Meeting was reconvened. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0. Russek moved to approve the changes to the Fees For Service Schedule as presented, including the two changes outlined by Salkowski. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0. The following is a list of the approved changes to the Fees For Service Schedule:
Remove the following item from the Fee schedule (this will be moved to the Surveyor Schedule under Beacon):
Subscription Access to Wright County Parcel Viewer Web Site; $300.00 Annual Fee
Custom Programming for Environmental Programs
Current Rate/Charge: $35.00/hour
Proposed Rate/Charge$35.00/hour/staff person regular hours, plus supplies and materials; $60.00/hour/staff person after hours, plus supplies and materials
Out of County Boarding Fee
Current Rate/Charge: $70.00/day
Proposed Rate/Charge: $80.00/day
Civilian Fingerprints
Current Rate/Charge: $5.00
Proposed Rate/Charge: $5.00 for Wright County residents and Wright County business; $15.00 for Non-Wright County residents and non-Wright County business
Booking Fee
Current Rate/Charge: $10.00
Proposed Rate Charge: $25.00
The entire Fees For Service Schedule for Planning & Zoning will be replaced with the following Fees For Service Schedule:
Proposed fee
Building Permits
Residential Construction
Residential Construction - Building Permit Fee; Fee Schedule Extracted from 1997 UBC, based on current Building Valuation Data from the Department of Labor and Industry.
Plan Review Fee; 65% of Building Permit
Residential Construction Fixed Fees
Fire Repair; $399.50
Temporary Mobile Home; $399.50
Basement Finish on Existing House; $99.50
Dwelling Remodel; $99.50
New Plumbing in Existing Building; $49.50
Re-Roof; $49.50
Re-Siding; $49.50
Window Replacement; $49.50
Mechanical (New or Replacement); $49.50
Fireplace (New or Replacement); $49.50
Other Structures
Detached Accessory Structures - Building Permit Fee; Fee Schedule extracted from 1997 UBC, based on current Building Valuation Data from the Department of Labor and Industry
Plan Review Fee; 65% of Building Permit Fee
Fixed Fees
Retaining Walls> 4 Ft. High; $49.50
Fences >6 Ft. High; $49.50
Swimming Pools >5,000 gal.; $49.50
Commercial Construction
Commercial Construction - Building Permit Fee; Fee Schedule Extracted from 1997 UBC, based on current Building Valuation Data from the Department of Labor and Industry
Plan Review Fee; 65% of Building Permit
State Surcharge applied to all Building Permits (Except Agricultural Buildings); $.50 for fixed fees or per State Building Code sect. 16B.70
Agricultural Buildings
Grain Bins; $25
All Other Agricultural Buildings; $100
Septic Systems
Holding Tanks; $150
Standard System; $300
Non-Standard System; $450
Point of Sale Document Review; No Charge
The Wright County Zoning Ordinance requires that a permit be obtained for any structure over 120 square feet in size. These categories include decks, garages, sheds, boathouses, etc.
Planning Commission
Mineral Extraction; $500
Rezoning; $400
Subdivision Approval; $250 1st 5 Lots + $50/Lot Over 5 Lots
1 Per 40 Cluster; $250 1st 5 Lots + $50/Lot Over 5 Lots
Home Extended Business; $350
Home Occupation; $250
Non-Commercial Contractor’s Yard; $350
Move-in Structure; $350 ($100 of hearing fee will be applied to a subsequent permit fee)
Farm Accessory Mobile; $250
Specific Use Permit; $350
Other, Misc.;$350
Final Plat Approval; $250 + 25/Lot
Board of Adjustment
Lot Line Adjustment; $200
Temporary Mobile Home; $200
Variance; $400
Land Alteration
Under 500 Cubic Yards; $250
Over 500 Cubic Yards; $350
Under 50 Cubic Yards in Shoreland; $200
Other Fees & Services
Land Use/Zoning Review; $50/hr, $50 minimum
Deed Restriction/Administrative Order; $50
Miscellaneous Site Inspection; $50
Water Test; $25
Miscellaneous Services/ Research $50/hr., $50 minimum
Miscellaneous Permit; $50/hr, $50 minimum
911 Addressing; No Charge with Building Permit
Address existing buildings or vacant parcel; $25
Land Use Plan; $30
Zoning Ordinance; $30
Copies, Maps & Data; Per State, County, & IT Department Adopted Policies
EAW/EIS Review; $500 + $50/hr over 10 hours.
Hearing fees before either Board will be doubled when application is made after action requiring a hearing has already begun. A continuation fee of $50 may be required when, due to the complex nature of any matter or lack of adequate preparation by an applicant, a continuation is required.
The fee for a septic system other than a holding tank shall be reduced by $200, IF a variance hearing was required solely for the installation of the sewer and a variance is approved.
When an application includes both Rezoning and a Conditional Use Permit for a Subdivision, the total fee will be reduced by $50.
The entire Fees For Service Schedule for the Surveyor’s Office will be replaced with the following Fees For Service Schedule:
Subdivision and CIC Plat, or Registered Land Survey; $300.00 per plat + $35 per lot
Standard Maps
Half section tax parcel map; $10.00
Half section aerial photo $10.00 (b&w), $15.00 (color)
Overlay of half section tax parcel map & aerial photo; $15.00 (b&w), $20.00 (color)
Full section aerial photo; $15.00 (b&w), $20.00 (color)
Custom Maps
-Letter Size (8.5’’ x 11’’); $5.00
-Legal Size (8.5’’ x 14’’); $6.00
-Tabloid (11’’ x 17’’); $7.00
-D size (22’’ x 34’’); $25.00 (b&w), $30.00 (color)
-E size (34’’ x 44’’); $48.00 (b&w), $55.00 (color)
Recorded Plats & Registered Land Surveys (RLS); $10.00 per copy
Certified Copy of Official Plat or RLS; $15.00 per certified copy
Add 5’ Contour lines to any standard or custom map; $5.00
Add 2’ Contour lines to any standard or custom map; $8.00
PLAT BOOK; $30.00
All data marked with an asterisk(*) requires a signed license agreement.
Digital Aerial Photography*
2005 Flight (1’ pixel resolution)*; $40.00 per 7700’ x 7700’ tile
2008 Flight (0.5’ pixel resolution) *; $40.00 per Section
Entire County*; $2,000.00 County
5 ft. Contours (2005 Flight); $40.00 per Section, $400.00 per municipality
2 ft. Contours (2008 LIDAR Data)*; $20.00 per Qtr Qtr Section, $250.00 per Section, $3,000.00 per PLS Township, $25,000.00 County
PDF of any Standard Half Section Map; $5.00
PDF copy of Standard or Custom Map products; Same price as print copy
GIS Data
Parcel Shapefile with standard attributes*; $0.10 per parcel ($50.00 minimum)
Road Centerline Shapefile with attributes*; $100.00 per municipality, $1000.00 County
Other County-wide Datasets*, e.g. Municipal Boundaries, Water; $25.00 per layer
Parcel Data Subscription*; $300.00 per year
Parcel Data Update*; $.10 new parcels ($50.00 minimum)
Beacon - Interactive GIS Map Subscription*; $300.00 per year
Postage and handling for 1 to 3 prints; $5.00
Postage and handling for 4 or more prints; $5.00 handling fee + cost of postage
Postage and handling for Plat Book; $5.00 each
Mailing Tubes (additional charge); $4.00 each
Mass storage device for digital data; At Cost
Custom jobs will be performed only as time permits and at the discretion of the Department; $50.00 per hour + print/digital data fee
(End of changes to Fees For Service Schedule)
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, brought forth discussion on the new Federal Transportation Bill. Thelen and Mattson recently attended the Transportation Alliance Annual Meeting. Correspondence was received from Congressman Timothy J. Walz on the urgency of getting the Transportation Reauthorization Bill passed. The letter requests a show of support either by petition or by resolution. Fingalson said they are asking to have the Bill passed by the end of the year, which he felt was unrealistic. On the other extreme, the President’s Administration is requesting an 18-month extension of the current law. Fingalson outlined some of the effects in Wright County. This includes the impact on the TH 55 Corridor Coalition’s activities. Without funding, the improvements will not be done on CR 147, Hwy. 32, the improved connection to TH 55 west of Rockford, and other projects which have Federal funding involved. Russek moved to direct Fingalson to draft a resolution for review at the next County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Fingalson presented for approval Construction Agreement #95633 with Mn/DOT for construction of lighting at the following intersections: TH 55/CR 109, TH 55/CR 138, TH 25/CR 113. This is a standard Agreement with Mn/DOT. It is Mn/DOT’s policy that if lights are added to a roadway system, even if it involves a trunk highway, the right of way becomes the property of the county or city. With these improvements, the County will be responsible for the power costs. If there are any installation costs, there is a split there as well. The State was able to find a safety grant to pay for the County’s share of construction costs ($22,000 paid for by another source). Approval of the Agreement essentially commits the County to pay for the power for the three identified intersections, estimated at $30/month. There are six lights (two/intersection). Thelen questioned whether the intersections identified are separate from the seventeen intersections involved with the rural street lighting project. Fingalson said they are separate. These improvements are on State Highways. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #09-46, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Meeting was held on 11-10-09. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0:
Paul Coglitore and Jeff Berg of B&C Consulting provided rates they received in regards to the Preventive Dental Renewal effective 03-01-10. The renewal rates are the same as the current rates with Delta Dental. They received quotes from several carriers (see handout). Coglitore stated that the County’s choice for preventative would also determine what is used for comprehension. The number of employees currently enrolled was noted and differentiated between single and family coverage.
Delta Dental of MN (Delta) originally planned for a 2% increase on premiums for preventative dental; however, Delta offered to have no increase for the 03-01-10 renewal if they remain as the County’s provider. Coglitore stated that four of the bids submitted have unlimited annual maximums. Three quotes were provided as complimentary and have an annual maximum of $1,000, $3,000, and $5,000.
The information provided shows that Met Life and Health Partners are comparable to Delta. United Health Care (UHC) and Principal came in higher by approximately 11%, and The Standard was considerably higher. Based on this information, Coglitore and Berg recommend Delta as the best fit carrier for the County. Delta meets requirements, their renewal offer has not increased for preventative care, and there will be no disruptions with employee’s current coverage.
Coglitore presented the Voluntary Comprehensive Dental plan which is an employee paid benefit. It includes single and family coverage (see handout). An employee would have the choice to stay on a preventive plan or buy into the comprehensive plan. The quotes for single and family coverage reflect total amounts and would be adjusted to reflect the County’s contribution for preventative care. For example, the quote listed for Delta, single coverage is $41.95. After deducting the County’s contribution, $13.95, the amount the employee would be responsible for would be $28.00. The in and out of network annual maximum amount is $1,000 for each member and preventative care is covered at 100%. Major restorative services are covered at 50%. The deductibles are $50 for individuals and $150 for family coverage. It was clarified that the deductions run on a calendar year for out of pocket expenses and that each carrier has guidelines to avoid people buying insurance only when they know they are going to need dental work. For example, Health Partners states that an employee would have to stay on the plan for the entire year and other providers stated that an employee would have to remain on the plan until the open enrollment date.
There are participation requirements for each carrier. Delta requires a minimum of 10 employees whereas other carriers require 15% - 20% enrollment, which may be difficult to reach. Coglitore and Berg recommend Delta based on their minimum requirements. UHC did not have a participant requirement; however, their preventative price was 11% higher and The Standard group preventative price was 31% higher.
Wright County has a long relationship with Delta which enables the costs to remain low and the current renewal to come in at no increase. Health Partners also has competitive rates on comprehension and preventative. Dental implants and orthodontic services are also included with Health Partners, but only if their established providers are used. Coglitore stated that Health Partners offers cheaper rates; however, there is a waiting period in order for dental work to be completed. Another disadvantage is that several carriers require a 15% - 25% minimum enrollment.
It was questioned if employees can have single health insurance and family dental insurance. Coglitore stated that carriers have not specified and that it would be the County’s decision on what to offer. Norman stated that the County would have to look into what would need to be done to accommodate employees. He continued that the Unions should be sent a letter stating that this is a voluntary program and the County will not be picking up the additional costs. If the County is going to offer single health coverage and family dental, internal changes would need to take place. Norman stated this benefit would give employees the opportunity to compare insurance carried by other family members. If they currently do not have dental, it would give employees the opportunity to have single health coverage and family dental coverage.
Sean Riley commented that Health Partners is 30% cheaper than the other plans and feels that more families would participate making the 15% easily reachable. Berg explained that if the County currently had a comprehensive plan in place that the minimum requirements would be met. This would be a possibility for next year after having comprehensive for 2010. Berg explained that Delta may cost more and that all amounts would be pretax deductions. He continued that all the offers are good, but recommends remaining with Delta as they have minimum participation requirements. Coglitore stated that Delta and Health Partners have a large network and he would provide information to human resources for employees to review.
Lorrie Adams commented that it does not leave a lot of time for discussions to take place with the Unions. These are changes that would affect employee’s income and possibly not be available if carrying only single coverage. Norman stated that this is not a reduction in benefits. This is a benefit the County is offering in addition to current benefits and is strictly voluntary. Riley commented that he would like employees to be able to research what is available. Pawelk clarified that B&C Consultants was hired to do the research and come back with their recommendation based on pricing and number of employees. Russek stated that as a member of the County Board, he recommends to move forward with Delta Dental based on the number of employees required.
Coglitore stated that prices are similar across the board. Different coverage’s were discussed and break downs were provided (see handout). Benefit options pay for eye glasses, contacts, and discounts on Lasik surgery. Eye exams are currently covered under health insurance. For some providers there will be deductibles and coverage is determined on what products are purchased. Eye Med rates would be the same for four years. There is a minimum enrollment of 10 employees. Providers can be in and out of network with any of the offers. Eye Med uses bigger providers such as Target and Wal-Mart. Coglitore recommends Eye Med based on the number of participants required and feels it is a fantastic opportunity for families in need of eye glasses.
Coglitore presented the Blue Cross Group Medicare Solution (see handout). He stated that retirees would be allowed to stay on group coverage. Coglitore referenced that retirees staying on the current plan does affect the cost of County benefits due to the number of claims. The Blue Cross Group Medicare Solution would provide fully-insured coverage options, national coverage, no risk to the active or pre-65 rating structure, a guaranteed renewable medical plan, and a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug benefit that provides coverage in the “donut hole” or “coverage gap”. Coverage consists of two parts, Group Senior Gold Medical Coverage and Group MedicareBlue Rx, prescription drug coverage Medicare Part D Plan. There is access to any Medicare-contracted provider with no residency in Minnesota requirements. Billing would go directly to the retiree and not the County. Some of the plan highlights include comprehensive medical coverage which has 100% coverage on most benefits and no referrals required, worldwide emergency care, and guaranteed renewable coverage.
Coglitore reviewed the Group MedicareBlue Rx (see handout). Comparison of costs and a flat rate for co-pays would benefit the high costs of prescriptions. Retirees need to have Medicare A & B to be eligible. The Rx formulary is determined by Federal Government regulations, doctors, and pharmacists who review drugs for safety, effectiveness, and cost. There are different options to choose from regarding coverage pricing as well as options including generic coverage at 100%.
Pawelk questioned if the retirees prescription portion becomes their Part D and if someone retires that is not 65 years of age would be offered the same at age 65. Coglitore stated that employees reaching the age of 65 would be guaranteed and automatically added. Previously employed retirees would also be eligible. He suggested that the County could have a special enrollment process for employees that have retired within the last three years. Berg clarified that an employee is not eligible if they are currently working and have reached the age of 65.
Coglitore commented that a decision would have to be made and presented to Blue Cross Blue Shield by 01-01-10 in order to roll out to employees on 03-10. Sample packets would be available for retired employees. Pawelk asked if this option is available to spouses of deceased County employees. Coglitore stated that yes; however, it would be the County’s decision on contacting previous employees and/or their spouses. Brown stated that there would have to be guidelines set in place by the County in regards to contacting retirees. Coglitore recommends this benefit as there is no risk to the County.
Berg commented that the claims have been significant for the County. It is recommended to go to bid next year when the County is required to obtain bids; hopefully, the claims will have decreased and will not affect the County in a negative way.
Lorrie Adams questioned if there is a cost to the County to obtain bids. Berg stated that there is no cost to the County, however, the underwriters will provide a better benefit package if there are no quote requests made now. Adams questioned if the quotes would show an increase for the first of the year with the outstanding claims. Berg stated that the underwriters would consider the County a high risk. He added if the outstanding claims were settled, then it would be the County’s benefit to obtain quotes.
(End of Labor/Management Health Insurance Committee Minutes)
Bills Approved
Allina Health Systems. $2.446.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 178.27
Annandale Advocate Inc. 184.50
Automatic Garage Door & Firepl 685.19
B & D Plumbing & Heating 1,122.00
Bear Graphics Inc. 483.33
Bernie Beneke 100.00
Kevin Bergquist 100.00
Janice Bergstrom 125.00
Center Point Energy 5,265.12
Centra Sota Lake Region Inc. 2,215.20
Central MN Mental Health Cent 200.00
Climate Air 17,039.84
Corporate Payment Systems 666.99
Cottens Buffalo 261.13
Cottens Inc. 1,114.84
Country Chevrolet 29,980.00
Culligan of Buffalo 100.00
Davis Construction Company 7,890.00
Deatons Mailing Systems Inc. 1,152.00
Mario Dematteis 100.00
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 154.73
Jerald Durst 125.00
Dale Engel 437.50
Fastenal Company 687.35
Feder Prairie Seed 8,274.05
Maria Felger Ramos LLC 134.50
First State Tire Recycling 567.70
Food & Health Communications 105.00
Fortes Grand Corporation 996.00
Fred Pryor Seminars Inc. 299.00
General Office Products Co. 2,321.86
James Gerholdt 180.00
Raymond Glunz 240.00
Granite Electronics 696.45
Greenview Inc. 1,554.64
Herald Journal Publishing Inc. 1,554.83
Integrated Fire & Security 281.51
International Code Council 1,062.00
Interstate All Battery Center 247.63
Interstate Battery Systems 218.97
Kris Engineering Inc. 175.39
Kustom Signals Inc. 238.06
Lakedale Communications 389.30
LaPlant Demo Inc. 332.50
Marco 355.19
Menards - Buffalo 455.71
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 2,342.15
Midway Iron & Metal Co. Inc. 2,459.87
Midwest Safety Counselors Inc. 486.39
Mies Outland Inc. 134.87
Mn Assn. of County Officers 1,000.00
Craig Mueller 254.73
Office Depot 2,202.91
Omann Brothers Inc. 770.26
Qwest 8,345.36
Royal Tire Inc. 2,226.00
Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 1,504.40
Ron Smith & Associates Inc. 1,200.00
Software House International 252.23
Tammi Solarz 239.80
Specialty Turf & Ag 110.62
St. Cloud Hospital 808.75
St. Croix Recreation Co. Inc. 3,676.50
State of MN-Office Enterpri 1,335.00
Steve O Septic 400.00
Streichers 352.53
Super Express 141.08
Tools Unlimited 605.60
Total Printing 569.22
Trimin Government Solutions 3,915.60
TW Vending Inc. 209.90
Uniforms Unlimited 411.68
Unlimited Electric Inc. 486.20
West Payment Center 864.82
John Wisecarver 125.00
Wright County Highway Dept. 3,161.19
Wright Henn. Coop Elec. Assn 2,673.34
Wright Hennepin Electric 494.00
Ziegler Inc. 2,195.00
25 Payments less than $100 1,199.71
Final total $140,648.99
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 14, 2009.

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