Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
AUGUST 9, 2011
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 Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the 8-02-11 County Board Minutes.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #3, “Reschedule Ways & Means Committee Meeting Time On 8-17-11 From 10:00 A.M. To 11:00 A.M.” (Mattson). Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested that Item For Consid. #1, “Discuss Clearwater River Watershed District Appointment” be moved to Aud./Treas. Item #3. On a motion by Thelen, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Thingvold, Assr.; C. Goodrich, P. Kaskinen, B. Major, W. Marschel, Aud./Treas.; S. Kile, Ct. Svcs.; G. Lebovsky, W. Stephens, P&Z; M. Aitchison, K. Clemence, B. Cramb, Sher./Corr.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 7-22-11.
3. Claim, Madden Galanter Hansen, LLP, $10,985.67 (Service For June, 2011).
4. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Law Enforcement Contracts, Delano & Montrose.
5. Tri-County Regional Forensic Laboratory Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes Of 6-13-11 & Draft 2012 Budget.
B. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Approve Tobacco License Transfer For New Walgreen’s #13938, Eff. 8-18-11 (Monticello City).
C. RECORDER
1. Acknowledge Fee Schedule Change: Well Disclosure Certificate Fee Was Increased From $45.00 To $50.00 By State Of MN.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented a request to approve a contract with Mid-America Business Systems to scan historical documents. Betty Dircks of the Wright County Historical Society provided an overview of the method used to preserve historical documents. She brought along the first book of County Commissioner meetings from 1855. Hiivala said Mid America provided a cost estimate of $190.20/book to scan and index the Board Meeting Minute books. The scanning process will protect the integrity of the books. Hiivala said the process would include minutes from 1855 to the mid 1990’s. Board Minutes from the mid 1990’s going forward are already in pdf format so those will not need to be scanned. There are Board documents stored in the Auditor/Treasurer’s cage that are not well protected. The plan would be to forward them to the Historical Society after they are imaged. Thelen referenced discussion which occurred at the Historical Society on the preservation of records and deterioration that can happen with scanned documents as well. Dircks said this can happen. The Minnesota Digital Library has experienced some problems with scanning documents into tif files. It was discovered that tif files cannot be converted. For long-term storage, this is causing some problems. There is no guarantee that any type of technology will last forever. Dircks added that the Commissioner Meeting books will not last forever either. Hiivala stated that the vendor is offering to scan in RAW format. The records will need to be converted into pdf in the Sharepoint System. Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, said this will be part of the document management program that is being implemented. The images will be transferred to the County’s storage area network. As technologies change, upgrades will be required. The County has been imaging in the Recorder’s Office since the mid 1990’s and several upgrades have been required. Conversions will occur. Swing said it is his responsibility to provide storage, protect records, etc. This is a key component in records management. In response to Sawatzke, Hiivala stated the intent is to scan the books, retain the scanned records, and forward the Commissioner Meeting Minute books to the Historical Society. Hiivala said the recommended funding source is Budget 100, Professional Services. The Recorder’s Equipment Fund could also be considered. Those funds were used to image ditch records. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said Hiivala referenced Mid-America Business Systems as the preferred vendor. He asked whether other proposals or quotes were received. Hiivala responded that Mid-America has worked with Swing to provide scanning assistance to the County. AMI was contacted but they were not interested in providing the service. Sawatzke moved to approve the request to authorize Mid America Business Systems to scan the documents with funding from Budget 100, Professional Services. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Hiivala stated that through COOP planning efforts, these documents were cited as ones that were important to retain. Sawatzke asked whether there will be the ability to search historical documents using key words. Hiivala said this was discussed with Mid America. Because of the font used many years ago, especially during the period of 1914-1926, the documents may be difficult to convert into searchable text. The minimum index that will be used is the date and time of the Board Meeting. The motion carried 5-0.
Laid over from the last Board meeting, discussion occurred on an appointment to the Clearwater River Watershed District (CRWD). Thelen was not present at the last meeting so discussion was laid over as the appointment is from her District. Letters of application were received from Marvin Brunsell and Dave Wagner, both of Annandale. Brunsell currently serves as the CRWD appointment and his term expires on 8-13-11. Thelen asked that the Board authorize interviews with the candidates as quickly as possible and asked for guidance on what meeting parameters should be followed. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said State Statutes don’t set out a process. The Statute indicates that if a vacancy occurs in the office of a watershed manager, it must be filled by the appointing County Board. The ultimate appointment is by the County Board but Statutes don’t detail the process up to that point. If three Commissioners meet to interview or discuss the applications, the meeting must be publicly noticed as that is considered a quorum, and the meeting would be open to the public as well. Asleson said the same process is used when a vacancy occurs because of an expiring term. Russek asked whether a complete resume’ was received from Wagner. Hiivala stated that no additional information was received from what was included in last week’s Agenda packet. Thelen asked what information Brunsell submitted. Russek responded that Brunsell provided more detail in his letter and a handout reflecting what the CRWD has accomplished. Mattson said that Brunsell must have the credentials needed, as he is a person that has been reappointed and served as President or Chair of the CRWD each time. He acknowledged the fact that Brunsell came to the last Board meeting to present himself as an applicant for the appointment. Sawatzke made a motion to authorize Thelen and Mattson to meet on the appointment. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 16, Penn Camera Exchange Inc. ($523.00), funded from the Sheriff’s Seizure Fund. Mattson stated he was questioning the funding source, not the purchase. Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, said that seizure funds are from drug forfeitures and used to purchase equipment and implement controlled buys from a suspect. The funds are not included in Budget 201. On a motion by Mattson, second by Thelen, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Jay Hruby, President, EDI (Engineering Design Initiative), said they served as the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology consultants for the construction of the Jail/LEC, which was completed in 2009. EDI was part of the KKE Architectural team for the project. EDI has also worked with Bill Swing on radios. Hruby said the request is for the County to allow EDI to seek a tax credit for the design of the Jail/LEC. The Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 established a tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings applicable to qualifying systems and buildings placed into service from 1-01-06 through 12-31-12. A tax deduction is available to designers of government buildings who design interior lighting, building envelop, heating, cooling, ventilation, or hot water systems that reduce the building’s total energy and power cost by 50% or more in comparison to a building meeting minimum requirements set forth by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001 (Minnesota Energy Code). Hruby stated he is unsure whether the Jail/LEC will qualify. A parallel project was completed in Blue Earth County and Hruby said that project qualified. Hruby feels they may achieve the tax credit for the Wright County Jail/LEC because of the geo-thermal system, the energy efficient lighting, and the prudent decisions made on the building. The value of the tax deduction is dependent on the modeled performance of the building and can range from $0.00 to $1.80 per sq. ft. (maximum). The process to test, document, and certify that the project meets the Federal requirements is very laborious and detailed. It includes: 1) Generating a detailed computer energy model for the building that represents the equipment installed in the facility; 2) Hire of an independent consultant to evaluate the model results and determine if the design qualifies for the Commercial Building Deduction; and 3) If the design meets the criteria outlined by the IRS, the required documents would be prepared for certification by EDI, Wright County, and an Independent Engineer. The form will acknowledge EDI as the mechanical and electrical designers for the project and allow them to seek the Energy Efficiency Building Deduction. It will document information regarding the project, modeled energy performance, system descriptions, and information on the design. The form will require signature from a County representative and will be submitted to the Federal government for the credit. EDI does not want to invest the time into this process without confirmation from Wright County that they will acknowledge and sign the required form at the end of the process. Hruby explained there is no cost or benefit to the County. If a private company is involved, the company could get the tax deduction instead of the designer. Since a government building was involved in this project, the deduction slides to the design team. Sawatzke questioned whether this was part of the bidding process or discussion for the Jail/LEC project. Hruby said it was not. The decisions made through the project were not factored into on EDI’s behalf. Hruby has been in contact with Norman on this for about two years. The delay in bringing the request forward relates to KKE’s merger with DLR Group and issues which arose surrounding that. EDI decided to approach Wright County on their own. Hruby was the Electrical Engineer of record for the project. EDI completed the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and technology work for the Jail/LEC. Eichelberg asked whether another company involved with the Jail/LEC project could present the same type of request. Hruby said this will be the only request. The timeline for submittal is drawing to an end. One of the requirements is that the credit will be allocated to the primary designer. EDI published and certified the documents relating to heating, cooling, electrical, lighting, and geo-thermal. Sawatzke stated that his initial observation is that there was not agreement in advance for this. EDI got paid for the work completed. Sawatzke said he is trying to think globally about the Federal government that has no money. He questioned taking action to give tax credits when the Federal government has received a downgraded Standard & Poor’s rating. He said this is not necessary and there is no loss or benefit to the County. He felt it was late in the game to be requesting this. Thelen stated these types of buildings are encouraged. She felt this was a worthwhile expenditure and something to encourage. Sawatzke stated that the County paid for the services at a greater cost to do the correct environmental things. The County did not realize a discount in the engineering fee for the project. Hruby said EDI did offer some free services to the County when the design work was completed. EDI worked with Swing on developing the RFP for radio work and was not compensated. He referenced Thelen’s comment and said this type of credit provides an incentive for companies to push themselves to a level where they are trying to design sustainable systems that are good. That is the purpose of the credit. Hruby said EDI is taking a risk requesting the tax credit as they are unsure whether the building will meet the energy targets. They are prepared to take on the investment. Thelen asked whether this involves any type of endorsement or recognition to the Board who worked with them to develop the energy efficient system. Hruby said in going through the modeling process, the Board will be able to learn more about the building and long-term performance issues. He said EDI can assist the County on that front. It will be a measurement to see how the building is performing. Hoffman said the Sheriff’s Office has discussed with Brad Hatfield, Jail/LEC Building Maintenance, the efficiency of the building, including the electrical costs associated with the operation of the heat pumps and the possible installation of a boiler. The information obtained through the modeling may help to determine how to proceed. Sawatzke asked whether that information could be provided if the study is not completed. Hruby said they would not have that information. Sawatzke asked Hoffman whether he feels there is some sort of issue at the Jail/LEC. Hoffman said there are concerns with the high electrical usage related to heating. Hruby said with the geo-thermal system, the building is 100% electric. There is no natural gas bill as everything is run off from electricity. The question has become how to manage the rate structure and the demand charge. He said the controls could be looked at and the model could also provide some insight. Sawatzke said the County should obtain advice on the electrical cost issue, whether or not this model is completed. Hruby said he would be willing to assist and answer questions. He actually stopped at the Jail/LEC last week but was unable to connect with Hatfield. Mattson appreciated Hruby coming forward and the willingness to provide the services to Wright County at no charge. Mattson moved to approve the request by EDI to pursue the tax credit, seconded by Thelen. Eichelberg did not see a down side and felt something may be learned through the modeling. Russek said he had intended to vote against the request but changed his mind after listening to Hoffman’s comments. The motion carried 5-0.
Bill Stephens, Environmental Health Officer, said on 7-26-11 the Board directed him to obtain quotes for replacement doors at the Wright County Compost & Recycling Facility. Four contractors were contacted on replacement of three service doors and two door frames at the Facility. Three contractors visited the Facility to review the work required. Two contractors submitted quotes by the time the documents were required for the Board Agenda. Quotes were received from Ernst General Construction ($4,561) and Dave Peterson Construction ($3,800). Stephens asked the contractors to include in their quotes the replacement of weather stripping for the overhead door of the processing floor. Heat escapes from the processing floor around the door tracks during the winter. It is estimated the repair will pay for itself in reduced heating costs. Russek noted the difference in detail on the quotes (price and proposed work). He stated that the Peterson quote does not reflect replacement of door frames and questioned whether that will be included in the quote. Stephens said the two door frames on the tipping floor do need replacement. He felt Peterson understood this but it is not specified in the quote. He said the Board could use this as a factor in their decision. Sawatzke moved to authorize the work to Dave Peterson Construction, $3,800, with the understanding that the approval is for all work including replacement of the door frames, seals, and everything discussed today. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Mattson asked Stephens to take before and after photographs of the work. The motion carried 5-0.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said a Public Hearing was held on 6-14-11 relating to proposed amendments to the Wright County Point of Sale Septic System Ordinance. The Public Hearing was closed at that time but the comment period was extended twice to today’s meeting. This was to allow time for the cities and townships to provide response to proposed changes to the Ordinance. Kryzer said the Board packets include the responses received. He distributed one additional response from Middleville Township that was received after the Board packets were distributed. The responses have been mixed but there was general approval within the townships for the amended Ordinance. The negative comments related to not receiving a copy of the document which outlined the changes (strikethrough or underlined). Kryzer said it was a complete re-write of the Ordinance. He had trouble producing a document that showed the strikethroughs. The Board minutes address the changes and staff tried to convey these changes to the townships.
Kryzer stated that staff drafted two proposed Amendments to the Point of Sale Septic System Certification Ordinance for review. Staff recommends Amendment No. 1, given the discussion of the County Board on 6-14-11. Staff also recommends that the Board not exempt shoreland. The following reflects the recommended Amendment No. 1 to the Ordinance:
PROPOSED POINT OF SALE
AMENDMENT NO. 1
REMOVING EXEMPTIONS
The Wright County Point of Septic System Certification Ordinance is amended as follows:
Section 4.01 - Exempt Transactions
A new Certificate of Compliance, as required under section 4.00, does not need to be obtained and filed with the Point of Sale Form if the closing and property transfer involves at least one of the following circumstances:
(1) The property is vacant, or all septic systems on the property have been properly abandoned pursuant to Minnesota State Law.
(2) A Certificate of Real Estate Value is not required to be filed with the County Auditor, as provided under Minnesota Statute, section 272.115.
(3) The transaction is exempt from the imposition of tax pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 287.22, subparts (6), (10), (11), (12), (13) (14), and (15). References to this exemption may be omitted or listed separately on the point of sale form.
(1) All dwellings and other buildings with plumbing fixtures that are connected to a municipal wastewater treatment system.
(5) The transfer is due to a tax forfeiture. The exemption of this paragraph applies to the transfer of the property from the tax debtor to the taxing entity. The exemption may be omitted from the Point of Sale form.
(6) The sale or transfer completes a contract for deed.
(7) A valid Certificate of Compliance (existing systems) or Certificate of Compliance (new construction or replacement) is on file with an LGU. This exemption requires the following conditions to be met:
a) The existing Certificate of Compliance must be on file with the LGU.
b) The LGU must verify the validity of the existing Certificate of Compliance pursuant to the applicable Minnesota Statutes and Rules which govern the regulation and inspection of subsurface sewage treatment systems prior to the closing and property transfer.
c) The LGU must sign the Point of Sale Form and certify the “valid thru” or expiration date for the Certificate of Compliance on the Point of Sale Form.
d) The closing and property transfer must occur prior to the certified “valid thru” or expiration date.
Section 7.00 - Effective Date
This Ordinance amends and replaces, in its entirety, the Wright County “Point of Sale Certification Ordinance For On-Site Septic Systems” adopted on March 14, 1995. This ordinance is effective the day following final adoption.
Adopted by Wright County Board of Commissioners this 9th day of August, 2011.
(End of proposed Amendment No. 1 to the Ordinance).
Thelen made a motion to adopt Ordinance #11-02, including Amendment No. 1, ordaining and adopting the changes to the Wright County Point of Sale Septic System Certification Ordinance as presented during the public hearing on 6-14-11 and amending the 6-14-11 proposed Ordinance by adopting Amendment No. 1 as presented by staff. This action amends the Point of Sale Certification Ordinance for On-Site Septic Systems adopted 3-14-95. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Sawatzke asked whether Wright County’s Ordinance is consistent with surrounding counties relative to family transfers and CRV’s (selling to family members versus giving). Kryzer said the proposed Amendment will make Wright County’s Ordinance consistent with other counties, only it is a little more restrictive. Wright County was previously less restrictive than other counties. Kryzer said there are still some family transfers allowed. One item removed from the draft Ordinance relates to when a co-owner is petitioning out their undivided interest. He felt there are some counties in the surrounding area that still allow for this. Stephens said the direct transfer to a family member has been removed from the Ordinance. With the CRV exemption, there are some situations where a family member can receive property and not have to meet the requirements of upgrading the septic system. These situations have been cut down dramatically by eliminating some of the other exemptions that were in the Ordinance. Although the changes make Wright County’s Ordinance a little more restrictive, a family member may still be able to receive property without having to upgrade the septic. Sawatzke asked whether Wright County’s Ordinance will be the most restrictive. He said previously it was less restrictive, and he understood the goal was to be near or consistent with the neighboring county ordinances. Stephens said the reason Wright County was less restrictive before was because the Ordinance allowed for a direct transfer from a parent to a child, where other county ordinances did not. That language has been removed and makes Wright County’s Ordinance more consistent with other ordinances. Mattson asked whether the townships were contacted after the most recent comments they submitted relating to suggested changes. Stephens said they did not contact the townships due to meeting the timeline of the original comment period. Staff tried to provide the townships with as much information as possible. When the comment period was extended the second time, they did contact the townships. The comments received are included in the County Board packets. Sawatzke asked for a comparison of Wright County’s Ordinance to other county ordinances (what other ordinances allow that Wright County does not). Stephens said he would have to do a comparison to provide that information. The main issue at the Public Hearing was the family exemption and that is the one they tried to focus on. Sawatzke thought the goal was to try and accomplish more of what other counties had in their ordinances. Thelen thought the focus was to try to eliminate the grandfathering of failing septic systems as much as possible. She felt the amended Ordinance addresses that. Kryzer highlighted some other changes in the Ordinance including the removal of testamentary, inheritance exemption, and the co-owners petitioning out their undivided interest. Mattson questioned whether the Ordinance will cover concerns of failing septic systems on lakes when property is transferred. Kryzer stated that if a property is transferred and sold, it will require an upgrade of the septic system. Under the CRV exemption, if a property is transferred for less than $1,000 it is exempt from this requirement. Kryzer said in his experience as a real estate attorney, there are many instances where a CRV exemption is helpful such as in title corrections or name changes. He felt removing the CRV exemption would be excessive. Mattson said septic problems are showing up due to the high water problems. Sawatzke asked what will happen in the case of a property being given to a child that has a non-conforming system. Kryzer said if the property is given prior to death, it is exempt. After death, if the transfer is handled through the probate process through inheritance, then it is not exempt. Sawatzke asked what happens if the person doesn’t have the financial means to complete the septic upgrade at that time. Kryzer said staff tries to work with the person. One example would be to install a holding tank versus an $18,000 system. Stephens explained that no matter how well an Ordinance is written, there will always be case-by-case situations. Because of Board direction to try to be consistent with surrounding counties, the CRV exemption was left in the Ordinance. Other counties do have the CRV exemption in their ordinances. One of the directives of the Board was to remove the parent to child exemption because Wright County was the only one with that in their Ordinance. Staff tried to restrict the Ordinance in that regard. It would be up to the Board whether to include the CRV exemption. The motion carried 5-0 to adopt Ordinance #11-02 as follows:
ORDINANCE #11-02
THE COUNTY BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY HEREBY ORDAINS:
Wright County Point of Sale Septic System Certification Ordinance
Section 1.00 –Title
This Ordinance shall be known, cited and referred to as the Wright County Point of Sale Septic System Certification Ordinance (hereinafter WCPOS).
Section 2.0 – Intent and Purpose
This Ordinance is enacted under the general powers delegated to Counties by the State of Minnesota, and pursuant to Minn. Stat. Chapters 103F., 103G., 115, 116, and all enabling State Rules based thereon. It is the intent and purpose of this Ordinance to:
(1) Regulate on-site Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems (hereinafter septic systems) throughout Wright County;
(2) Assure septic systems are regularly up-graded to meet with the minimum State, County and Local Governing Unit (hereinafter LGU) treatment standards, and thereby to protect the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare of the Wright County Community; and,
(3) To conserve the quality of the natural environment.
Section 3.00 – Definitions
(1) Buyer - A person, group of persons, corporation, or other entity obtaining property from a seller by Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Probate Deed, Contract for Deed, Trustee Deed or through an equivalent instrument of conveyance. The Buyer may also be referred to as the Grantee.
(2) Certificate of Compliance (existing systems) - A document properly executed on a State of Minnesota prepared form by an authorized sewer inspector, indicating that the septic system is compliant with current standards. The Certificate of Compliance shall be valid for a period of three years. During that three year time, no new Certificate of Compliance need be obtained by any buyer or seller unless there is evidence of non-compliance. Any changes in the three year time line, as made by State Statute or State Rule, are incorporated by reference herewith.
(3) Certificate of Compliance (new construction or replacement) - A Wright County form or a form used by a municipality located in Wright County which is executed by an authorized sewer inspector. This is typically a final inspection form and it shall indicate that the septic system is compliant with current standards by passing the final installation inspection. It shall be used for situations involving a new sewer on a new building site, or a new sewer on a pre-existing site. Said certification is valid for a period of five years. During that five year time, no new Certificate of Compliance need be obtained by any buyer or seller unless there is evidence of non-compliance. Any changes in the five year time line, as made by State Statute or State Rule, are incorporated by reference herewith.
(4) Closing - The final transaction or meeting between the buyer and the seller, whereby the conveyancing documents are concluded and the money and property transfer.
(5) Environmental Health Office - The Wright County Office or Environmental Health Inspectors charged with the responsibility for administering septic system rules, ordinances and standards.
(6) Local Governing Unit (LGU) - Local governmental unit or “LGU” means Wright County or all cities, or towns lying in whole or in part within Wright County that are recognized by the State of Minnesota to enforce the regulations, statutes, and rules pertaining to subsurface sewage treatment systems.
(7) Notice of Noncompliance - A document properly executed on a State of Minnesota prepared form by an authorized sewer inspector, indicating that the septic system is not in compliance with current standards.
(8) Point of Sale Form - A document properly executed on a form and entitled “Wright County Point of Sale Septic System Certificate,” which has been approved for use by the Wright County Environmental Health Office. The Point of Sale form is further defined to include the Wright County prepared Escrow Summary form when applicable.
(9) Seller - A person, group of persons, corporation, or other entity conveying property to a buyer by Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Probate Deed, Contract for Deed, Trustee Deed or by an equivalent instrument of conveyance. The Seller may also be referred to as the Grantor.
(10) Transfer - Means to convey a parcel of real property from a seller to a buyer by Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Probate Deed, Contract for Deed, Trustee Deed or other equivalent instrument of conveyance.
Section 4.00 – Wright County Point of Sale Form for Septic Certification
Subd. 1. Point of Sale Form. No owner of real property shall enter into a contract for deed, sell, or transfer to another party said property unless the following requirements are met:
(a) The seller shall complete a Wright County Point of Sale Form. The Point of Sale Form shall be signed by both the seller (grantor) and buyer (grantee) to the transaction. The seller shall provide the buyer with a copy of the form, along with the Escrow Summary form or Certificate of Compliance, when applicable. The seller shall file the Point of Sale Form and any attachments with the Wright County Auditor at the time of recording the transfer.
(b) The seller shall attach to the Point of Sale Form an unexpired Certificate of Compliance for existing systems, or an unexpired Certificate of Compliance for new construction or replacement, for all septic systems on the property, unless an exemption in Section 4.01 or Section 4.02 applies.
Subd. 2. Certificate of Compliance. A Certificate of Compliance is valid through the expiration date stated on the certificate of compliance or by the application of Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Rules which govern the use and installation of Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems.
Section 4.01 - Exempt Transactions
A new Certificate of Compliance, as required under section 4.00, does not need to be obtained and filed with the Point of Sale Form if the closing and property transfer involves at least one of the following circumstances:
(1) The property is vacant, or all septic systems on the property have been properly abandoned pursuant to Minnesota State Law.
(2) A Certificate of Real Estate Value is not required to be filed with the County Auditor, as provided under Minnesota Statute, section 272.115.
(3) The transaction is exempt from the imposition of tax pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 287.22, subparts (6), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), and (15). References to this exemption may be omitted or listed separately on the point of sale form.
(4) All dwellings and other buildings with plumbing fixtures that are connected to a municipal wastewater treatment system.
(5) The transfer is due to a tax forfeiture. The exemption of this paragraph applies to the transfer of the property from the tax debtor to the taxing entity. The exemption may be omitted from the Point of Sale form.
(6) The sale or transfer completes a contract for deed.
(7) A valid Certificate of Compliance (existing systems) or Certificate of Compliance (new construction or replacement) is on file with an LGU. This exemption requires the following conditions to be met:
a) The existing Certificate of Compliance must be on file with the LGU.
b) The LGU must verify the validity of the existing Certificate of Compliance pursuant to the applicable Minnesota Statutes and Rules which govern the regulation and inspection of subsurface sewage treatment systems prior to the closing and property transfer.
c) The LGU must sign the Point of Sale Form and certify the “valid thru” or expiration date for the Certificate of Compliance on the Point of Sale Form.
d) The closing and property transfer must occur prior to the certified “valid thru” or expiration date.
Section 4.02 - Closing or Property Transfer Without the Required Certificate of Compliance
If the compliance status is unknown or the existing septic system is non-compliant, and the seller has not brought the system into compliance prior to the closing or property transfer, the closing or property transfer may be allowed upon approval by the Wright County Environmental Health Office, and by establishing an escrow account pursuant to Section 5.00. The compliance inspection, upgrade, or replacement shall take place on the schedule provided in the approved escrow agreement. The buyer shall be responsible for ensuring that the septic system is brought into compliance pursuant to the escrow agreement when a closing or property transfer occurs pursuant to this section.
Section 5.00 - Escrow Accounts Standard for Non Compliant Septic Systems
In situations where Section 4.02 above applies, an escrow agreement is required to be established and approved by the Wright County Environmental Health Office prior to closing or property transfer. The parties to the transfer or closing as well as the escrow agent are responsible for ensuring that the escrow agreement complies with this ordinance. The approval from the Wright County Environmental Health Office shall be limited to ensuring that the escrow agreement meets the standards outlined in this section. The Wright County Environmental Health Office shall not provide or publish a sample escrow agreement. The escrow agreement shall at minimum include the following terms and conditions:
(A) The agreement shall recite the cash amount, irrevocable letter of credit amount, or similar liquid negotiable instrument amount that is being escrowed. The amount to be escrowed shall at a minimum be at least 1.5 times a reasonably calculated bid to meet all septic system inspection, upgrade or replacement costs. The Wright County Environmental Health Officer shall have the discretion to determine whether or not the amount to be escrowed is reasonably adequate.
(B) The agreement shall specify a date by which time a Certificate of Compliance must be obtained, but in no case may the date exceed nine months from the date of closing or property transfer.
(C) The agreement shall clearly identify the person acting as the escrow agent, the company acting as the escrow holder, including the person’s and institution’s full name, address and phone number.
(D) The agreement must identify the banking institution where the funds will be held.
(E) The escrow agreement shall specify that funds can only be released by the escrow agent upon the written approval of the Wright County Environmental Health Office. The Wright County Environmental Health Office can only authorize the release of funds when the property is fully compliant with the terms of this ordinance, and a certificate of compliance had been filed with the Wright County Environmental Health Office.
(F) The agreement shall specify who is supplying or arranging for the escrow money or escrow surety instrument.
(G) The agreement shall be signed by the seller, the buyer, and the escrow agent and dated.
(H) Prior to the approval of any escrow agreement, the Wright County Environmental Health Office may require that the buyer or seller obtain and attach a copy of a septic system permit.
Section 6.00 - Prohibition Against Transfer of Property; Enforcement
(1) No real property in Wright County shall be transferred unless the buyer (grantee) and seller (grantor) to the transaction have complied with the requirements of this Ordinance.
(2) Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity that violates, or assists in violating, any of the provisions of this Ordinance or who makes any false statement on the Point of Sale Form or any attached document under this Ordinance, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(3) Any person, firm, corporation or other entity that violates the terms of an approved escrow agreement as provided in section 5.00 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(4) In the event of a violation of this Ordinance, in addition to other remedies, the County Attorney may institute appropriate actions or proceedings to prevent, enjoin, restrain, correct or abate such violations.
Section 7.00 - Effective Date
This Ordinance amends and replaces, in its entirety, the Wright County “Point of Sale Certification Ordinance For On-Site Septic Systems” adopted on March 14, 1995. This ordinance is effective the day following final adoption.
Adopted by Wright County Board of Commissioners this 9th day of August, 2011.
(End of Ordinance Amendment #11-02, Point of Sale Septic System Certification Ordinance)
Nick Neaton, 4-H Program Coordinator, introduced Catherine Mattson and Anna Lashinski, two 4-H summer interns. A PowerPoint presentation was provided on the 4-H Program and County Fair activities. Neaton said there are 560+ 4-H members and their families. There are more non-farm members than farm members. Neaton thanked the Board for their support of the 4-H Program. He commended the interns for their efforts this summer and during the Fair. Neaton said he is proud of the 4-H Program and feels the 4-H families are as well. This was provided as an informational item.
Thelen presented a draft letter to the Stearns County Administrator for consideration at Stearns County’s Temporary Emergency Slow-No Wake Ordinance Public Hearing on 8-16-11. The letter reflects the Wright County Board’s support for the Slow-No Wake Ordinance, specifically for the border lakes which are located in both Wright and Stearns County. The letter details the action of the Wright County Board on 7-26-11 when an Emergency Ordinance was passed for the following Stearns/Wright border lakes, which are all within the Clearwater Watershed District: Clearwater, Augusta, Louisa, Caroline and Marie, Grass, and Wiegand. The Wright County Ordinance will expire on 10-01-11. It includes a provision that lifts the slow-no wake restrictions as soon as lake levels for the specified lakes drop to less than 6 inches above the Ordinary High Water Level for three consecutive days. The DNR approved the Emergency Ordinance but requires all counties on a lake to adopt parallel ordinances for it to be legally enforceable. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek stated he would vote against the letter as he did not feel the Board should be telling other counties what to do. He said he would sign the letter as Board Chair if that is the outcome of Board action. Thelen said Norman and Asleson recommended drafting a letter to Stearns County reflecting Wright County’s suggestions relative to the Ordinance. It is not telling Stearns County what they should do. It is conveying that enforcement of Wright County’s Ordinance on the named lakes is dependent on their passage of a slow-no wake ordinance in Stearns County. Thelen moved to authorize signature on the letter to Stearns County on the Temporary Emergency Slow-No Wake Ordinance for consideration at their 8-16-11 Public Hearing. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-1 with Russek casting the nay vote.
Mattson said the Ways & Means Committee met on 7-27-11 regarding a drainage tile issue for Collinwood Park and an adjacent drainage system. The meeting recessed to 8-17-11 at 10:00 A.M. Mattson said he needs to meet with a Mn/DOT representative on water problems in Howard Lake at 9:00 A.M. on 8-17-11. Mattson requested that the Ways & Means Committee instead meet at 11:00 A.M. on 8-17-11. He left a message for Mel Terning, who attended the last Ways & Means Committee Meeting, on the time change. He was directed to call if he is unable to make it. On a motion by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, all voted to reschedule the 8-17-11 Ways & Means Committee Meeting to 11:00 A.M.
Sawatzke recognized Cargill of Monticello and Sunny Fresh Foods of Monticello for their donation of $7,548 to the Bertram Chain of Lakes Park, specifically for the restoration of Oak Savanna. The employees raised approximately the first $2,500 and the remainder was matched by various divisions of the Cargill Corporation. He said this is a significant contribution toward a restoration project. He extended thanks to the Cargill Corporation and particularly Sunny Fresh Foods of Monticello.
Bills Approved
Albertville Body Shop Inc.. $800.00
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 5,738.91
Ameripride Services 331.33
Annandale/City of 517.50
Aramark Services Inc. 5,857.18
Asplin Travel Plaza/Kirk 119.92
Buffalo/City of 82,741.28
Chatham Township 794.50
Clearwater Township 1,348.25
Clearwater/City of 591.80
Climate Air 1,205.46
Cokato Township 482.64
Community Lawn Care 260.87
Computer Professionals 2,997.40
Consulting Radiologists Ltd 140.00
Dell Marketing LP 195.60
Forestry Supplliers Inc. 101.38
Fred Pryor Seminars Inc. 128.00
Fyles Excavating & Honey Wa 135.00
Gould Towing 167.26
Grainger 237.83
Hardings Towing Inc. 133.57
Herald Journal Publishing I 423.43
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 3,777.63
Hilti Inc. 4,678.63
Holiday 20,402.82
Howard Lake/City of 1,974.85
Intoximeters Inc. 461.36
Junction Towing & Auto Rep 155.50
Kaplan Proessional School 850.00
Kustom Signals Inc. 367.06
Lantto/Lilia 200.00
LaPlant Demo Inc. 434.97
Larson/RL Excavating, Inc. 188,301.40
Loberg Electric 2,344.92
Maple Lake Township 871.60
Maple Lake/City of 1,994.00
Marco 1,987.28
Marco Inc. 1,371.97
Menards - Buffalo 748.52
Metro Group Inc./The 632.01
Middleville Township 554.40
Midland Corporate Benefits 997.75
Midwest Protection Agency 3,307.221
Mini Biff LC 533.12
Monticello Auto Body Inc. 949.63
Montrose/City of 1,218.75
Novacare Outpatient Rehab 300.00
Office Depot 989.91
Penn Camera Exchange Inc. 523.00
Reds Cafe 336.66
Rockford/City of 2,321.80
Russek/John 157.50
Russell Security Resource 142.50
Savitski/Robert 2,335.34
Software House Internation 759.88
Solarz/Tammi 337.00
South Haven/City of 278.20
St. Michael/City of 7,009.95
Steeles Collision 290.00
Total Printing 305.67
Trophies Plus LLC 113.35
United Parcel Service 114.04
Veolia ES Solid Waste Midw 261.94
Waste Management - TC West 2,672.56
Waverly/City of 451.60
Woodford/Michael 123.00
Woodland Township 544.00
Wright County Journal Press 250.13
18 Payments less than $100 729.02
Final total $365,911.54
The meeting adjourned at 10:13 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Aug. 29, 2011.


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