Wright County Board Minutes

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Bob Hiivala, County Auditor/Treasurer, called the meeting to order and asked for an election of the Chairperson for the coming year. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to elect Russek as Chairperson for 2011; and then Commissioner Russek presided at the meeting.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Sawatzke, all voted to elect Thelen as Vice Chairperson for 2011.
On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to transfer back any unused funds in the County Attorney’s Contingency Fund, the Sheriff’s Contingency Fund, and the Incidental Fund to the General Revenue Fund.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Mattson, all voted to recall all unused clerk hire and unused budgets for 2010.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to set the County Board’s regular sessions for every Tuesday for 2011. The meetings shall be called to order at 9:00 A.M.
The Chairperson presented the 2010 list of committee memberships and asked the members of the County Board to convey their preferences and suggestions regarding committee designations for 2011. The following changes were recommended: Delete Detention Facilities Committee as it has not met for some time (Norman); Delete Owners Committee as the Committee was put in place when the County was in the process of building the Jail/LEC (Norman); Delete Drug Task Force (Mattson); Delete Court Security (Sawatzke); and Delete Compost Finance Committee as it has not met for some time (Norman). Sawatzke felt issues that normally would be referred to Compost Finance Committee could be referred to Ways & Means. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to eliminate the committees as recommended and to approve the remainder of the committee appointments as listed, including the members. The motion includes that the appointments of committees for 2011 be made by the Chairperson with the approval of the Board and that the first member named act as Chairperson of the Committee and the County Coordinator act as Secretary. Alternates are designated on the Committee by ( ).
The following is a list of 2011 Committee appointments:
Area Transportation Planning (ATP); Mattson
Budget; Mattson, Russek, Aud./Treas., (Ex-Officio), Coordinator (Sawatzke)
Budget Committee Of The Whole; All Commissioners, Coordinator
Building, Furniture & Equipment; Mattson, Eichelberg, Coordinator (Thelen)
Capital Improvement/Finance Committee; Russek, Thelen, Aud./Treas., Attorney, Coordinator (Eichelberg)
Central MN Jobs & Training Jt. Powers Board (JTPA) Workforce Center; Eichelberg
Civil Defense; Sawatzke, Thelen, Coordinator
Committee to Inspect Roads; All Commissioners
Committee to Inspect Ditches; Two Commissioners as appointed Board, Aud./Treas.
County Extension Svc.; Mattson, Russek
Deferred Compensation; Sawatzke, Thelen, Coordinator, Aud./Treas., Chief Deputy Attorney
Delegates to AMC; All Commissioners, Aud./Treas., Coordinator, Hwy. Engineer
EMS Joint Powers Board (Regional); Thelen (Sawatzke)
Forfeited Tax Sales; Mattson, Russek, Coordinator
Great River Regional Library Board; Sawatzke
Highway 55 Coalition; Russek, Mattson (Highway Engineer)
Labor/Mgmt. Health Insurance; Eichelberg, Russek, Coordinator (Mattson)
Labor Management/Loss Control; Eichelberg, Mattson, Coordinator, Spec. Proj. Admin., Safety Director, Emergency Management Coordinator, 1 Rep. from each unit, Teamsters Unit, WCDA, AFSCME Unit, and 49’ers.
Law Library Board; Eichelberg
Legislative Matters; All Commissioners
Personnel & Employee Relations; Sawatzke, Eichelberg, Coordinator (Thelen)
Planning & Zoning; Russek
Public Works Labor/Management; Russek, Coordinator (Mattson)
Purchasing Steering; Mattson, Eichelberg, Purchasing Agent, Coordinator (Thelen)
Solid Waste Task Force; Sawatzke, Eichelberg
Technology; Eichelberg, Thelen, IT Director, Aud./Treas., Highway Engineer, Human Services Rep., Sheriff Rep., Surveyor, Coordinator (Russek)
Transportation; Mattson, Eichelberg, Highway Engineer, Coordinator
7W Transportation; Mattson
Union Negotiations; Sawatzke, Russek, Coordinator (Eichelberg)
Water Management Task Force; Eichelberg
Ways & Means; Sawatzke, Mattson, Coordinator (Russek)
Wright County Community Action Council; Eichelberg, Thelen, City Representative
The following changes were recommended to the Advisory Board listing: Add Regional Crime Lab (Norman); Add Wright County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Planning Committee (Norman). It was the consensus of the Board members to add the suggested Advisory Boards and appoint Russek to the Regional Crime Lab and Thelen to the Wright County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Planning Committee. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Thelen, all voted to accept the Advisory Board (Ex-Officio Member) appointments as recommended with the recommended additions and members.
Clearwater Watershed District; Thelen
C.R.O.W.; Russek (Mattson)
East Central Joint Powers Board; Sawatzke, Court Services Director
Economic Development Partnership Board; Sawatzke
Historical Society; Sawatzke
M.E.A.D.A. (Meth Education Drug Awareness); Thelen
Mid Minnesota Mississippi River RC&D; Russek
Monticello Joint Planning Board; Sawatzke
Parks; Eichelberg
Regional Crime Lab; Russek
Regional Radio Board; Eichelberg (Mattson)
Safe Communities of Wright County; Thelen
Soil Conservation; Russek
Wright County Ag Society; Russek
Wright County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Planning Committee; Thelen
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to dispense with the reading of the minutes of 12-28-10 and approve them as written/revised.
Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
Mattson moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0:
1. Performance Appraisals: T. Frazier, G. Kryzer, Atty.; D. Anderson, K. Mortenson, J. Niebolte, Hwy.; P. Benson, S. Deringer, P. Heitland, R. Howell, J. Kramber, M. Steffer, Sher./Corr.
1. 2011 Tobacco License Renewals for: Westside Liquor (Albertville City); Casey’s General Store #1647 (Cokato City); Holiday StationStore #214 (Delano City); Holiday StationStore #196, Holiday StationStore #344, SuperAmerica #4479 (City of Monticello); Casey’s General Store #1881, The Ugly Bar (City of Montrose); Holiday StationStore #378, Riverview Liquorette (City of Otsego); Casey’s General Store #2156 (City of Rockford); South Haven Sports LLC (City of South Haven); CVS Pharmacy #5920, Ditto’s Bar, Holiday StationStore #394, SuperAmerica #4267, SuperAmerica #4554 (City of St. Michael); Mark’s Service (City of Waverly).
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all vote to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Cathleen Gabriel, Contract Attorney, provided a report on Children In Need Of Protective Services (CHIPS) cases and Termination Of Parental Rights (TPR) cases. Gabriel stated the County contracted for her services in July, 2008, when the laws changed so the Public Defender’s Office no longer handled these types of cases. Her contract was recently renewed for another three years. As part of that process, the Commissioners had requested an annual update on CHIPS cases. Gabriel provided the following information:
July 2008 – 2009; Assigned to 39 cases (bulk of cases from attorneys transferring their cases)
Aug 2008 – 2009; Appeared at 23 EPC Hearings, missing none that were scheduled
2009; Assigned 40 cases
2010; Assigned 37 cases, 3 appeals to Court of Appeals, 4 Court trials in District Court; No cases declined by Gabriel due to conflicts; Gabriel appeared at 20 Emergency Protection Hearings. She was assigned to all but 3 of those cases. She appeared on those 3 cases and the case was able to move forward.
Gabriel plans to submit the following information to the Board annually in January: Number of cases assigned, Number of Trials, Number of Appeals, and Number of EPC Hearings attended. Gabriel stated that appeals in 2008 and 2009 were not included in the contract and were billed separately. They are now included in the contract. The four Court trials were civil cases and did not involve jury’s. Each lasted for a minimum of two days. Some cases may have been set for trial but they were resolved ahead of time. With regard to EPC hearings, it is required that the court hearing must be held within 72 hours of when the child is removed. She said even though she is not appointed at that hearing, it is important to be present and feels it helps all parties involved. Mattson asked what expenses are billed outside of the contract. Gabriel stated that there is no cost relating to the child protection cases. She said there may be costs involved with a civil commitment or paternity case. This involves the court appointing her at a cost of $100/hour, paid by the courts. She is also paid to appear at mental health hearings. Gabriel explained that 99% of what she does involves CHIPS cases. If she is unavailable due to a conflict, then a list is used and the cost is $85/hour. Gabriel estimated that 20 hours of her time is spent in this area and is billed at $70/hour. This was provided as an informational update.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested that the Board authorize signatures on the 2011 Park Caretaker Agreement With Green View, Inc. The Contract will be effective from 1-01-11 through 12-31-11. The Contract falls within the approved budget for 2011. The work is performed from the first weekend of May through the last weekend of September. There are contracts for the following Parks: Beebe, Otsego, Fairhaven Mill, Clearwater Pleasant, and Ney Park. Sawatzke recalled that there had been a discussion last year on pay. Mattice stated that last year, the budget was approved to give each person a $.25/hour increase. When the contract came for approval, the increase was not approved. The 2011 Contract includes a $.25/hour increase, following what the State did for their Greenview Contracts. Lead workers would be paid $10.60/hour and regular workers $10.25/hour. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agreement with Green View, Inc. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried unanimously.
Mattice requested the Board authorize signatures on a 2011 Farm Lease at Bertram Chain of Lakes. The Lease was developed by the City of Monticello. Mattice said if approved, the signature line for the County on the Lease will be changed to reflect Russek as the Board Chair. The Lease involves 26.48 acres of land in the SE corner of the Park adjoining the YMCA parcel for a lease amount of $1,324.00 ($50/acre). Mattice said the farmer has been leasing the acreage for a number of years, and leases the majority from the YMCA. Thelen moved to authorize signatures on the Farm Lease for Bertram Chain of Lakes. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Mattson questioned whether the County should seek bids for the rental of the tillable acreage. Mattice said the City has handled the farming. He thought they completed a comparable in that area and the farmer was paying $35/acre for the YMCA land. That was increased to $50/acre. The information was brought to the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council which recommended this price. Mattson said CRP acreage is worth $85. He was unsure whether the County would want to go that route as sign up involves a ten-year period. Sawatzke said the entire field is 26.48 acres. The YMCA has a couple of acres on the end of it and it would be hard to move a large piece of equipment to farm it. He added that the soil in that area is sandy. Russek felt that $50/acre sounded low. He said desirable land is renting for $300/acre. It was the consensus that the Board should review the Lease prior to September, 2011. Mattice will update the Advisory Board at their next meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
Mattice requested the Board authorize the Parks Administrator to draft and assist the City of Monticello with grant applications for the continued acquisition of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park Property. Mattice said applications for both the Legacy Park and Trail Grant and the Non-Metro Regional Park Grant are due 3-31-11 and relate to the Phase Four Acquisition for $1,056,792 and the remaining amount of $5,116,606. The Grant process involves a public hearing in February. Mattice estimated the total County share of the $1,056,792 at $325,000. Russek said residents are asking him not to raise taxes, that they cannot afford any increases. Russek felt the County continues to buy overpriced park land. He did not think this was the time to do this and said he would vote against the request. He feels the land is overpriced and that land is not selling right now. Sawatzke made a motion to approve the first grant request for Phase Four Acquisition for $1,056,792. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Mattson said he has been preaching on this since it started and he would be voting against it as well. Sawatzke said the second grant request relates to the entire acquisition. He felt the County should hold back at this time and move forth in manageable pieces. If the County were to move forward with the entire purchase, he did not know where funds would come from short of bonding. He thought the Capital Improvement Fund could be utilized to purchase the other pieces. Eichelberg said the motion authorizes Mattice to move forward with the grant application process and it does not mean the County has to accept the grant funding. Sawatzke said that it is possible to turn down grant funding. Russek did not recall that the County has turned down any grant funding in the past. The motion carried 3-2 with Russek and Mattson casting the nay votes.
Mattice requested approval to hire Shenehon Company to complete a re-evaluation of land values for Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park and for the Board to identify the proper source of funds. Mattice was in contact with the landowner, and the County and City have held meetings on the re-evaluation of land values. The County and City have agreed on Shenehon Company as they are familiar with the project. Mattice would like authorization to move forward once the City and the Executive Board of the YMCA have approved hiring of Shenehon Company. The total cost of the re-evaluation is $7,500. The YMCA would fund half of the cost and the City and County would split the remaining cost. The total cost to the County is $1,875. The re-evaluation is timely so that values can be adjusted for the grant application just approved. Thelen moved to hire Shenehon Company for the re-evaluation of land values, seconded by Sawatzke. The motion and second agreed that the funding source is the Professional Services line item, Budget 100. Mattson said the County Assessor values property by sales in the area. He inquired how close the re-evaluation will be to the values placed by the County. Mattice stated this is more of a miniature appraisal of the entire land base. They will complete comparables with close proximity markets and the search may have to be expanded. He felt the re-evaluation may trigger more negotiations on land values. The motion carried 4-1 with Mattson casting the nay vote. Russek said he is not in favor of buying the land but if the County decides to do so, the cost of the re-evaluation will be worth it if it reduces the value of the land being purchased.
Russek extended thanks to Mattson in his role as County Board Chair in 2010.
Bills Approved
Albion Township. $1,166.00
Allina OCC Med 190.00
Association of MN Counties 25,523.00
B & B SheetMetal & Roofiing 34,010.00
Cenex Fleetcard 432.50
Climate Air 6,753.04
CPS Technology Solutions 35,002.63
Czech/Pete 125.00
Ernst General Construction 1,775.00
Farm Plan 229.61
General Office Products Co 378.73
Gould Towing 133.59
Hardings Towing Inc. 106.88
Hoisington Koegler Group I 3,197.50
LaPlant Demo Inc. 458.25
MAAO Region 3 100.00
MACPZA 300.00
Marco Inc. 4,449.80
Midland Corporate Benefits 997.75
Millers Sewage Treatment 500.00
MN Assn. of County Officers 3,090.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 22,827.45
MN Counties Intergovernme 1,000.00
MN Department of Health 1,758.40
MN Recreation & Park Assn 188.00
Office Depot 1,041.19
Pederson/David 195.00
Performance Kennels Inc. 176.90
Russell Security Resource 2,076.88
Voss Lighting 249.19
Zixcorp 6,733.13
12 Payments less than $100 612.02
Final total $157,202.44
The meeting adjourned at 9:35 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 31, 2011.

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