Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 9, 2010
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, and Thelen present. Commissioner Eichelberg was absent.
Russek moved to approve the 3-02-10 County Board Minutes, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0.
Russek moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Sawatzke requested removal of Item B1, “Refer To Building Committee Request To Move Sink” for discussion. Sawatzke made a motion to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried 4-0:
1. Performance Appraisals: K. Triplett, Assr.; B. Heiskary, Hwy.
2. Schedule Wright County Public Auction, 5-22-10 @ 10:00 A.M., Public Works Building.
3. Approve Renewal Of “Post Employment Health Care Savings Plan Provisions For Non-Union Department Heads.
1. Authorize Signatures On Qwest Contract For Local Telephone Service.
Discussion followed on Item B1, “Refer To Building Committee Request To Move Sink.” Sawatzke questioned whether the request involves moving a restroom to another location. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said he knows very little about the request. It is being referred to Building Committee to find out whether it is a necessity. Norman said the Human Services Center and Government Center have nursing mothers rooms. Norman felt State requirements are being met. He suggested the Committee Meeting include a tour of the Human Services location. Sawatzke questioned why the County would create a room to accommodate nursing mothers when there is already a designated location. He felt that more explanation of the request would determine whether a Committee Meeting is required. Norman referenced the quote from Ernst General Construction which involves removing a 12 sq. ft. section of wall tile and sheetrock and application of new tile and grout. The request is more extensive than just moving a sink. Sawatzke moved to direct Human Services to send a letter to Norman explaining the request and to lay the issue over until more detailed information on the request is received. The motion was seconded by Russek. Russek suggested that the Building Committee could review the information. Sawatzke said Norman is in charge of the management of the facilities and does not have a good understanding of why the work is requested. Sawatzke felt that Norman should be convinced of the necessity of the work prior to the Committee meeting on it. The motion carried 4-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, brought forth discussion on the Levy Stabilization Fund. Hiivala said at this time, he does not recommend a transfer. He suggested leaving turn back dollars in the General Fund until there is an audited position. He feels the County should discuss an appropriate fund balance. Russek moved to support the recommendation, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0.
Hiivala provided a Joint Ditch Policy update. Meeker County would like to hold a conference call with Joint Ditch Members (including Thelen and Mattson) on a variance request from the pipeline company to cross at a shallower depth than required on Joint Ditch 3. They are working with Kurt Deter. Russek said on Joint Ditch 15, the request is to cross at a height of 41” (Statute requires 54”). Russek said they are waiting for Kerry Saxton’s (SWCD) recommendation. Mattson said Saxton should approve of the requested action on Joint Ditch 3. Hiivala said the location of the crossing request is in Meeker County. Hiivala will contact Saxton to have him review Joint Ditch 3. He will also contact Meeker County and inform them that the Wright County Board is seeking Saxton’s approval. The Joint Ditch Agreement has been amended to include Wright County’s signatures. It is now being presented to the Boards of the other signatories. Kandiyohi County may also join. Russek said Carver County is considering joining. Mattson said Carver County is in the MET Council District and questioned whether they would need MET Council approval. With Planning & Zoning issues, he understands that Carver County must have approval from the MET Council as well. This was provided as an informational item.
Hiivala provided statistics on the online tax payments for 2009. There were 886 online ACH payments (use of e-checks) for a total of $1,213,396.40. There were 295 credit card transactions for a total of $325,804.15. The convenience fee is paid by the person (not the County) to US Bank. This was provided as an informational item.
The ATM Machine was installed in December, 2008. Since that time, the machine has been utilized 2,201 times. The County receives $.25/transaction. Hiivala felt it was a good decision to install the machine as it has been well utilized.
The claims listing was discussed. Hiivala said included in the listing is a payment from Fund 34 as part of the Energy Efficiency Grant for the boiler. There is also a final payment to Geocomm for a Board-approved project that has been completed. He said $62,740 is coming out of the Levy Stabilization portion for Capital Projects. On a motion by Russek, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, presented two local government sponsor resolutions for Regional Park & Legacy Grant Applications for the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project. The Grant Applications were discussed as part of the 2-16-10 Public Hearing and the 3-02-10 Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Thelen moved to adopt the first resolution, seconded by Sawatzke. Russek stated that the County continues to apply for grants and there is always a County match. He felt the County should hold off because of the economy. The suggestion has been made that if grant funding is received, it can be turned down. Russek said the funding has not been turned down to this point. He thought the County should to do our maintenance first before buying land, park land, or anything. Russek said he would vote against the motion. He feels the County needs to save funding for absolute necessities as things are going to get tougher. The State’s prediction for 2012 is that there will be no funding available and that there will be a State deficit of $6-$7 billion. Russek said the State has to make this up someplace. He did not feel the County should continue to raise property taxes for these things. If the funding is available through private industry, he felt that was fine. As far as County dollars, he felt enough is enough. Mattson said the message at the State level is cuts, even daycare programs are being cut. The message is not positive. Mattice stated that the Regional Park Grant Fund will receive Federal funding through the Land & Conservation Fund (dedicated funding from offshore drilling). That fund has been reduced every year. The funding is given to individual states for grant programs. The Legacy Park Grant is at 3/8ths of 1% (dedicated funding). Mattice said there is a small amount of money in these programs. He understood that sales tax is not bringing in quite as much revenue as expected. Sawatzke stated that the funds the County will apply for are dedicated for these types of purchases. The funds can only be used by law in a specific manner because of the way in which the money was received. Mattson questioned whether matching funds are required. Sawatzke stated the County and the City of Monticello would share the match. Thelen said the County is not obligated to accept the grant funding if it is awarded. Russek stated the County has not turned anything down yet. He felt it was a lot easier to not apply for the funding than it was to turn it down afterwards. Russek did not feel there will be any money available to make the matches. Thelen said the County does not know that yet. She felt there were a lot of people supporting the acquisition of land and parks, and it would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to obtain grant funding. Mattice said the County will find out in July whether the grants will be awarded. Thelen said the County will know more at that time about the State’s budget situation and cuts. Sawatzke said this project has risen to the top time and time again compared to requests by other counties in the State. Indicative of this was a grant that was available for $266,000. Sawatzke stated the Bertram project received all of the funding and is recognized State wide as a project at the top in significance. Mattson had concern with the price per acre for the Bertram land. Mattice said they have paid upwards of $7,000/acre for park land. The property is unique as it is on an undeveloped lake and includes 6 miles of lakeshore. If the grant funding is received, it must be expended by 2012. Thelen said in the meantime, she would be interested in determining what the Levy Stabilization Fund can be used for and what projects will compete. She felt it would be short sighted to pass up the opportunity for grant funding because of the struggles at the State level. She commended Mattice for his efforts in obtaining grant funding. Mattice said the grant applications are due 3-19-10. The motion failed 2-2 with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes. The issue was tabled until the next meeting. Mattice was instructed to submit an Agenda request for the next meeting.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-02-10. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendation. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 4-0:
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, stated that Wright County and the City of Monticello have been working as partners to create a regional park known as the Bertram Chain of Lakes. The partnership was awarded $1.2 million in grant funds in 2008. In 2009 applications for a variety of funding sources were completed. Currently, the partnership has received three more grants totaling $916,249 (see handout). In 2010, the County and City have drafted applications to the Park Legacy and Non-Metro Regional Park Grant Programs to fund another phase of the acquisition. Wright County would match the amount at $139,062.52 and the City of Monticello would match at $139,062.52 (see handout). Additional grant applications will be needed to cover the remaining project needs. In January, 2010, Metro Greenways stated that due to an uncompleted project, they would be willing to give $250,000 to the Bertram Chain of Lakes project if the application and purchase takes place prior to 06-30-2010. Metro Greenways has reviewed the Bertram Chain of Lakes project and feels that it could be a successful and meaningful project. Currently, the Advisory Council is meeting with the YMCA to discuss the sale of land parcels by June 30th. Mattice stated that Wright County originally borrowed monies to the City of Monticello at the first closing. In January, 2010, the City of Monticello was invoiced for the first payment of $338,000 which was received and receipted under Fund 34 CIP/Levy Stabilization Account. The City of Monticello will be invoiced for the remaining $331,500 in February, 2011. Mattice stated that if necessary, these revenues could be used to offset the County match requirements in 2010 and 2011. Norman questioned if the YMCA agreed to the land purchase by June, 2010. Mattice commented that the sale has been agreed upon and that maps are being discussed (see handout). Sawatzke stated that Wright County will be obtaining more of the eastern shore line of Long Lake. Mattice stated that an appraisal would be conducted and Wright County will not pay more than the appraised value. Thelen requested clarification on page two; Note. Mattice stated that there is a possibility of obtaining an additional $40,000 to be added to the grant award from Metro Greenways; however, he has not been contacted at this time. He continued that if this is an option, he will bring it before the Board for approval. Discussion took place regarding who will be responsible for maintaining the purchased property. Mattice stated that the Advisory Council is working on a master plan which includes several sub committees. The sub-committees are putting together concept plans for development. In addition, there is a sub-committee to discuss the athletic field. Before moving forward, the Advisory Council will convey a plan for the land and present it to the public for review. Currently there is a 15 – 20 year vision. Sawatzke commented that in the future, a managed campground could be on the site and that the YMCA would be able to use the campground along with the rest of the public. He continued that Wright County would oversee the campground facility while the City of Monticello would be responsible for the athletic field. RECOMMENDATION: Encumber $139,062.50 to come out of Fund 34-150 Levy Stabilization fund as matching requirement to Metro Greenways Grant with purchase to take place prior to June 30, 2010.
(End of 3-02-10 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #10-13, resolution of final acceptance for the CSAH 17 Construction Project, Contract #0801, Mathiowetz Construction Co., Sleepy Eye, MN, and to authorize final payment of $74,838.74. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote.
The meeting recessed at 9:31 A.M. and reconvened at 10:00 A.M. for the Employee Recognition Ceremony. Each year the Board recognizes employees for individual and group achievement. The recipients were announced for the 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 Year Service Awards. Each recipient received a Certificate of Recognition and a coffee mug to honor their years of service.
Capt. Gary Torfin, Jail Administrator, received the Individual Achievement Award. Chief Deputy Joe Hagerty presented the award on behalf of Sheriff Gary Miller who was unable to attend today’s Ceremony. Torfin was nominated by Sheriff Miller for various reasons, including his 30 years of service to Wright County. He was also nominated due to his outstanding efforts toward the planning, construction, and opening of the new Jail/LEC. Ten years of planning went into the Jail/LEC project, and Hagerty explained that Torfin was there every step of the way. The project was completed under budget and on time. His input and guidance, combined with his experience and patience, served the project well. Hagerty said the Jail/LEC is a state-of-the-art facility. Torfin was described as a humble man who has a work ethic that is second to none. He serves on a team of professionals who have the best interest of the citizens they serve at hand. Torfin said it has been a privilege to work with a terrific group of employees and felt he was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work on the Jail Project. He thanked the Board and the Owners Committee for having the faith in him to allow him to participate at the level he did. He described the award as the crown to his career in Wright County and that it really makes the 30 years seem worthwhile. He conveyed thanks to the Board and to the Sheriff for nominating him. The Board extended appreciation to Torfin for his outstanding work with the Jail project and for his service over the 30 years.
The Group Achievement Award was presented to the Jail/LEC Building Care & Maintenance staff. Employees in this group include Brad Hatfield (Supervisor), Peter Czech, Allen Wendorf, Randy Hickman, Dana Oliver, and Joseph Kirscht. Capt. Torfin nominated the group. Torfin stated that before the County took full ownership of the Jail/LEC, the group had already assumed responsibility for a lot of the cleaning during the finishing of construction. They also provided whatever was necessary when gaps in work were realized in the bid packages, security detention hardware, and painting. The group provides assistance with locks, cameras, and security equipment. They also work on stainless steel welding repairs, constructing cabinets, painting, and repairs. This is in addition to keeping the Jail/LEC clean. Torfin commended staff for tackling the unpleasant tasks that come along with the position. He expects the Jail/LEC will stay in like new condition because of their efforts. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, is the Department Head responsible for Building Care & Maintenance staff that work in the County facilities. He said that taking over a new building can be challenging because every scratch, dent, etc. is magnified. Norman has received many positive comments on the service provided by the Jail/LEC Maintenance staff and feels the award is well deserved.
Individual Honorable Mention (nominations for Individual Achievement Award) included Terrie Piram (Planning & Zoning), Paul Mackie (Sheriff’s Office), Kristen Hoyne (Sheriff’s Office). Group Honorable Mention (nominations for Group Achievement Award) included the Public Health and Financial Worker Units of Human Services. The Board acknowledged the Awards Review Committee members (Cindy Hohl, Lee Kelly, Marc Mattice, Andrea Richardson, and Dorothy Schillewaert).
Bills Approved
3 D Specialties Inc.. $902.74
Abrahamson/Brian 149.00
Aecom Usa Inc. 1,233.75
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 239.72
American Institutional Supply 247.50
American Messaging 629.45
American Soc. for Public Admn 100.00
American Tower Corporation 3,480.00
Ameripride Linen and Apparel `217.34
Annandale/City of 485.00
Anoka County Sheriff 8,508.12
Aramark Correctional Serv. 6,850.00
Assn. of Minnesota Counties 920.00
Auto Glass Center Inc. 668.47
B & F Fastener Supply 243.67
Black Moore Baum. Magn. 400.00
Bottiger/Shawna 150.00
Boyer Truck Parts 131.91
BP AMOCO 1,638.37
Brethorst/Darnell 174.00
Buffalo/City of 69,729.38
Business Ware Solutions 473.09
Catco Parts Service 294.50
Cenex Fleetcard 398.00
Center Point Energy 4,664.62
Centra Sota Lake Region LLC 21,170.19
Centurylink 243.66
Chamberlain Oil Co. 1,732.51
Clearwater River Watershed 9,804.21
Climate Air 57,191.29
Commissioner of Transport 904.57
Consulitng Radiologists Ltd. 112.20
Cottens Inc. 1,964.92
Crow River Tools 305.58
Dell Marketing Lp 1,516.33
Design Electrical Contractors 182.50
Determan/Karen 259.00
Dustcoating Inc. 10,624.87
Dynamic Recycling 4,569.69
Elk River Municipal Utilities 103.82
Emergency Physicians PA 492.75
Fastenal Company 261.87
Feddema/Tom 164.00
Force America Inc. 200.48
Geocomm Inc. 7,740.00
Glunz/Raymond 120.00
Grainger 147.89
Greenview Inc. 871.12
Hardings Towing Inc. 106.88
Hewlett Packard 167.70
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 1,275.06
HSBC Business Solutions 120.84
Impact Proven Solutions 41,026.50
Junction Towing & Auto Repair 106.88
Kaplan Professional Schools 1,700.00
Karels Towing 320.63
Kimberlys Brokerage Inc. 293.58
Kustom Signals Inc. 158.05
LaPlant Demo Inc. 618.29
Lostetter/Carol H. 100,00
M & M Express Sales 170.37
Maple Lake Lumber Company 170.34
Maple Lake Messanger 285.00
Marco 352.21
Marco Inc. 1,975.04
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 228.43
McLeod County Auditor 219.40
Midland Corporate Benefits Svcs 997.75
Mies Outland Inc. 104.65
MN Alcohol Traffic Safety Assn. 205.00
MN Chemical Company 709.12
MN Copy Systems 113.06
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 180.00
MN Supreme Court 634.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 911.35
Munson/Margaret 218.16
National Assn. of Cty. Engineers 900.00
North American Salt Co. 87,075.29
North Metro Realtors Assn. 105.00
Northland Chemical Corp. 423.50
Office Depot 1,091.46
Olsen Companies 175.28
Pryor Seminars/Fred 399.00
Qwest 116.38
RDO EQUIPMENT CO. 129,447.00
Reds Auto Electric 462.54
Reitsma/Stoffel 600.00
Royal Tire Inc. 236.37
Sherburne County Treasurer 108.54
Simplex Grinnel LP 431.78
St. Joseph Equipment Inc. 109.89
Towmaster 116.47
Tri State Surplus Co. 4,101.31
University of Minnesota 950.00
Verizon Wireless 118.07
Walmart Community BRC219.05
Walmart Store 01-1577 797.56
Westside Wholesale Tire 218.40
Wright Co. Highway Dept. 1,646.61
Wright Co. Human Services 250.00
Wright Co. Journal Press 661.50
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec Assn 312.55
Xcel Energy 2,032.38
33 Payments less than $100 1,822.03
Final total $514,864.19
The meeting adjourned at 10:27 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal March 29, 2010.

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