Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 2, 2010
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 1-26-10 Board minutes.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Russek requested removal of Item A2, “Claim, Prairie Country RC&D, Annual Payment, $8,353.00 (Crow River Watershed District)” for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: W. Workman, J. Wilson, Hwy.; T. Baxter, R. Darsow, M. Silbernagel, J. Vollbrecht, Sher./Corr.
3. Claim, City of St. Cloud, Central MN Regional Radio Board, Annual Payment, $2,089.54.
4. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-22-10.
1. Approve 2010 Tobacco Licenses: Emma’s Express LLC (Albertville City); Quik Shop (Delano City); Roger’s BP-Amoco (Maple Lake City). C. HIGHWAY 1. Approval Of 2010 Maintenance Agreements Between Wright County & The Cities Of Delano, Elk River, Maple Lake, Monticello, Montrose, & Waverly.
2. Change Time Of 3-03-10 Transportation Committee Meeting From 9:00 A.M. To 10:00 A.M.
Consent Item A2, “Claim, Prairie Country RC&D, Annual Payment, $8,353.00 (Crow River Watershed District)” was discussed. Russek said that grant monies have been obtained and projects will be completed in this area. In the past, projects have been in the southern part of the Crow Watershed. He said Stearns County made their payment but considered not doing so because of the economy. Russek moved to approve the annual payment to Prairie Country RC&D in the amount of $8,353.00, with the understanding that payments will be made on an annual basis. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Mattson questioned whether there is a signed contract. Russek was unsure but will inquire at the group’s next meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the year-end Revenue & Expenditure Reports. Russek moved to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 2-23-10 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 13, Allina Health Systems, $33,786.00, for Jail Medical for January and February. He inquired whether the County’s practice is to pay for these services prior to the end of the month that is being billed. He understands the County must pay per contract but does not feel the payment should be made prior to the service. It was the consensus that this claim should be paid but that Hiivala should consult with the Jail Administrator to determine when future payments should be made. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, requested that the Board set the 2010 County Board of Appeal and Equalization meetings. By State Statute, meetings are to be held after June 11th and finished within 10 days. One meeting must be held until 7:00 P.M. Thelen moved to set the 2010 County Board of Appeal and Equalization Meetings on 6-22-10 from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and on 6-23-10 at 1:00 P.M. Sawatzke asked for an update on property values. Kramber explained that residential values have realized an estimated 8%-9% reduction. Commercial values have dropped about 10%. There were about 1,500 foreclosures last year and new construction had declined dramatically. There are over 5,000 empty lots in Wright County. Green Acre values remain the same but agricultural values reduced. The motion carried 5-0.
Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the Planning Commission recommends adopting an Amendment to the Wright County Zoning Ordinance relating to Wind Energy Conversion Systems. The original draft Amendment was based on a model from AMC and the Minnesota Association of Planning & Zoning Administrators. It was revised to fit Wright County’s needs. A draft was sent to the townships in May, 2009. The draft was modified based on feedback received. In October, 2009, official notice of the Amendment was sent to the townships and cities, and the Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on November 19, 2009. A meeting was then held with the Township Officers at their January Quarterly Meeting. Their suggestions were incorporated into the draft. At their January 21, 2010 meeting, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended adoption of the Ordinance Amendment as written. Russek said the Planning Commission hearings revealed that things are changing rapidly with wind energy generators. He felt the Ordinance would be subject to change as new things arise. Large generators are regulated by the State but the County’s ordinance would regulate the small generators. Salkowski referenced newspaper articles on wind energy conversion systems. The articles reflect that the systems would not be built if not for the tax breaks and subsidies available. This sometimes happens to boost implementation of technologies. Salkowski said they have learned more about the wind energy systems from those erected in southwest Minnesota and from across the country. They have done their best to promote them while at the same time making sure they are not a nuisance to neighborhoods. Mattson recently attended a Wright Hennepin Electric Meeting and it was relayed that there are six wind days per month in this area. Russek said at the last Fair Board Meeting, he learned the average January wind speed is 8 mph in this area. The Wright Hennepin wind conversion system generates about $350/month. Mert Auger, Buffalo City Administrator, stated that the wind conversion systems in Buffalo are owned and financed by MPPA. The systems are thought to be only a part of the solution to energy resources. Russek moved to adopt Ordinance 10-02, approving the Amendment to the Wright County Zoning Ordinance relating to Wind Energy Conversion Systems. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0. Due to the length of these Ordinance Amendments, they are not published in entirety in these minutes. The following summary is offered pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 375.51 Subd. 3., and a copy of the entire set of amendments is available from the Wright County Office of Planning and Zoning.
These amendments include a new section of the Wright County Zoning Ordinance to regulate the installation and operation of Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) within Wright County not otherwise subject to siting and oversight by the State of Minnesota.
(End of summary of Ordinance)
Salkowski received correspondence from the City of Buffalo relating to the Buffalo Municipal Airport Zoning Ordinance (adopted 9-30-74). The City is proposing to make safety improvements to the airport. This does not include a new runway. There will be a new taxi area, safety improvements, and the addition of about 200’-300‘ on either end of the existing runway. The improvements will not expand the type of planes allowed or capacity of the airport. With State and Federal monies involved, the City is required to update their Airport Zoning Ordinance. If the runway is extended, the airport safety zone will extend into Buffalo Township and Rockford Township. The City is required to put together a Joint Airport Zoning Board to review the model ordinance from Mn/DOT. The City has asked the County to appoint two members to that Board. Salkowski was in contact with Gordon Weber, Planning Commission member, and Wayne Fingalson, County Highway Engineer. Both are willing to serve on the Joint Airport Zoning Board. Sawatzke said he was going to suggest Salkowski as the ideal candidate as Planning & Zoning Administrator. Salkowski said he would be involved with the process. However, Mn/DOT feels the Joint Airport Zoning Board should not include elected officials or zoning administrators because of possible conflicts of interest. Sawatzke said the letter from the City references rezoning around the airport, which he felt was a significant matter. He inquired as to the current zoning in this area. Salkowski said the best way to explain this was to view the Airport Zoning similarly to that of the Shoreland Overlay Zone. The County’s zoning will still be in force and the airport zone will have some use limitations. This will include such things as height restrictions and where buildings can be placed. The City has purchased easements in these areas. On the south end of the airport, there is City land, wetlands, and TH 55. The Airport zone crosses TH 55 into Rockford Township so there may be some effect on the land there. On the north end, the land is zoned agricultural. Sawatzke questioned whether there would be any impact on the underlying County zoning. Salkowski said it might result in stricter zoning.
Sawatzke asked whether the Joint Airport Zoning Board would discuss compensation for landowners who lose something through improvements to the airport. Salkowski said those involved will be notified and hearings will be held. It will be up to the City Council to address compensation for landowners. Russek was in contact with Dennis Beise, Rockford Township Board, who indicated the Township will not appoint anyone to the Joint Airport Zoning Board. The Township Board did not feel the changes would affect Rockford Township. Salkowski said the City has purchased easements where use of land is restricted to the point where nothing can be done. Eichelberg said Buffalo Township will not appoint anyone to the Joint Airport Zoning Board but they will attend the hearings. Salkowski stated the County Board does not have to appoint anyone and can leave the changes up to the City. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #10-08 authorizing to reconvene the Joint Airport Zoning Board for the Buffalo Municipal Airport and appointing Gordon Weber and Wayne Fingalson as the County representatives on that Board. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 1-27-10. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0:
I. Performance Review, Larry Unger, Recorder. Based on the review of four Performance Reviews submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”
II. Performance Review, Genell Reese, Veterans Services/Civil Defense Director. Based on the review of five Performance Reviews submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.”
III. Performance Review, Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer. Based on the review of four Performance Reviews, the Committee recommends an overall rating of “Exceptional.” The Committee recommends re-appointment to a four-year term as Highway Engineer.
(End of 1-27-10 Personnel Committee Minutes)
On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to cancel the 3-30-10 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in March.
Bills Approved
Accurate USA. $264.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc. 4,961.90
Allina Health System 33,786.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel 314.46
Gary Anderson 3,488.00
Annandale Rock Products 165.17
City Annandale 103,434.78
Assn. of Training Ofcrs. of MN 1,000.00
Automatic Garage Door & Firepl 157.68
Bachman Printing 241.33
Beaudry Propane Inc. 1,943.63
Bills Gun Shop & Range 443.05
Richard Bonk 2,721.00
BP Amoco 1,654.02
Brock White Co. LLC 38,475.05
Brothers Fire Protection Co. 943.40
Buffalo Hospital 1,224.90
Burdas Towing 217.77
Ward Carlson 15,000.00
Cenex Fleetcard 747.96
Center Point Energy 5,141.08
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 3,946.41
Clearwater Township 544.00
Cokato Township 265.80
City Cokato 350.00
H. Cragg Co. 1,100.00
Craguns Lodging and Conf. 844.98
A Dean Anderson 8,033.00
City Delano 4,103.20
Franklin Denn 413.00
Duininck Inc. 1,250.44
Dustcoating Inc. 5,927.39
Elk River Municipal Utilities 101.34
Dale Engel 375.00
Fastenal Company 528.24
French Lake Township 462.40
Garrett Electronics 187.00
Grainger 329.78
City Hanover 914.20
Hardings Towing Inc. 213.76
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 1,300.04
Chris Huss 3,848.00
Impact Proven Solutions 3,061.30
Information Systems Corporatio 400.25
Intereum Inc. 633.11
Interstate Battery Systems 117.50
Intoximeters Inc. 961.88
Karns Service Inc. 5,800.00
Ruth Kremer 150.00
Kris Engineering Inc. 12,931.88
LaPlant Demo Inc. 510.34
Lawson Products Inc. 903.93
Carol Lostetter 400.00
M & M Bus Service Inc. 30,459.38
M & M Express Sales 523.53
M-R Sign Company Inc. 362.00
Brian Malinski 169.00
Maple Lake Township 779.00
Marco Inc. 4,636.85
Menards - Buffalo 204.07
Ron Michaels Consulting Inc. 1,265.15
MN Counties Computer Coop 225.00
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 171.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 1,177.55
MPELRA 300.00
MTI Distributing Inc. 123.00
Brian Muckenhirm 2,455.00
Nagell Appraisal & Consulting 3,900.00
New River Medical Center 800.00
North American Salt Co. 42,070.42
Nustar Pipeline Operating Part 661.84
Office Depot 3,248.76
City Otsego 117.43
Positron Public Safety Sys 67,091.60
Powerplan OIB 193.55
Qwest 239.26
John Radford 2,153.00
Frank Ramacciotti 300.00
Stoffel Reitsma 400.00
Rockford Township 1,111.60
Douglas Ruff 8,675.00
Russell Security Resource Inc. 389.52
Saint Paul Legal Ledger 149.00
Scenic Signs 170.65
Scott Schleif 6,789.00
Sherwin Williams 170.09
SHI International Corp 95,653.15
Southside Township 578.20
Sports Supply Group Inc. 185.93
Sprint 11,116.79
St. Cloud Orthopedic Assoc. 132.89
St. Cloud Times 190.64
City St. Michael 5,206.20
TDS Telecom 260.68
US Bank 1,718.75
Verizon Wireless 742.38
City Waverly 554.06
Wright Co. Auditor Treasurer 2,550.04
Wright County Collision 2,374.07
Wright Henn. Coop Elec. Assn 1,058.69
Wright Hennepin Electric 603.28
Xcel Energy 2,327.78
Zep Sales & Services 283.08
Joanne Zutz 2,524.00
26 Payments less than $100 1,309.07
Final total $588,084.28
The meeting adjourned at 9:39 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 22, 2010.

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