Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 29, 2011
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Thelen moved to approve the 11-15-11 County Board Minutes as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Agenda.
Thelen moved to approve the Consent Agenda, second by Eichelberg. Sawatzke referenced Item B1 relating to the FEMA Flood Plain Meeting. He clarified that the portion of the meeting that is being held for elected officials runs from 2:30-4:30 P.M. on 12-14-11. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: C. Anderson, Assr.; B. Schlimme, K. Wolff, Atty.; D. Kotila, Hwy.; P. Czech, Maint. LEC; R. Bastien, K. Beauchane, C. Canton, K. Lipelt, J. Mackereth, K. Perkins, A. Pribyl, M. Sturm, Sher./Corr.; D. Ernst, C. Majkrzak, Vet. Services.
2. Approve/Authorize Signatures On Medical Examiner Contract.
3. Acknowledge Receipt Of MCIT Dividend, $685,816.
4. Notice From Silver Creek Township RE: Cancellation Of Law Enforcement Contract, Eff. 1-01-12.
5. O/T Report, Period Ending 11-11-11.
6. Schedule Employee Recognition Ceremony For 3-06-12 @ 10:00 A.M.
7. Claim, Madden Galanter Hansen, LLP, $1,369.50 (October, 2011 Service).
1. Schedule And Authorize Board Attendance At FEMA Flood Plain Meeting, 12-14-11, 2:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M., Wright County Government Center Community Room.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested that the Board authorize Sawatzke to represent the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition as an appointed member to the Minnesota Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Funding Committee. This will be a nine-member Committee with two appointees each from each of the following groups: Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition. The remaining three members will be appointed at large. The Funding Committee will advise the Commissioner of Natural Resources on funding recommendations and budget issues dealing with Park and Trail Legacy Funds. No specific projects will be heard or reviewed by the Funding Committee. The Executive Board of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition has offered the two appointments to Tom Schmitz, City of New Ulm Parks and Recreation Director, and to Pat Sawatzke, Wright County Commissioner. The Executive Board heard Sawatzke testify at the State Capitol and felt he would be a good representative on the Committee. Eichelberg, who is the Parks Commission liaison, said Sawatzke has been involved with the Bertram Chain of Lakes Park project and parks in general in the State. Eichelberg viewed Sawatzke as a good choice. Eichelberg made a motion to appoint Sawatzke to the Minnesota Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Funding Committee. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Sawatzke said this venture will not secure funding for the Bertram Chain of Lakes project. The purpose will be to ensure fair distribution to outstate cities and counties of the 3/8¢ sales tax. Sawatzke said there are current inequities in that the distribution appears to be geared more toward the seven metro counties than all of the other Minnesota counties combined. The motion carried 5-0.
Mattice provided a report on the status of a drainage tile replacement that occurred at the south end of Collinwood Lake in Stockholm Township. A request for repair to a privately owned tile line was originally presented to the Ways & Means Committee on 5-24-11. The Ways & Means Committee met on this issue several times, most recently on 9-20-11. The recommendation of the Committee was for Mattice to work out the cost share with the adjacent landowners and begin the process of repairing the tile line. The County Board approved this action on 9-28-11. Mattice worked with parties participating in the repair and coordinated the paperwork required at the SWCD. Mattice stated that the work is completed, including landscaping and grading. Mattson and Sawatzke extended thanks to Mattice for his efforts. Mattson moved to accept the project report, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0. Sawatzke directed Mattice to make sure the easement is recorded.
Mattice said a Parks Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 6-28-11 to review the progress of the Bertram Chain of Lakes acquisition and to discuss actions necessary moving forward. The Committee’s recommendation was to use approximately $603,000 from the Capital Improvement Account as the funding source for the Phase 3 acquisition. The County Board reviewed this recommendation on 7-12-11 and decided to delay approving the recommendation until after the State shutdown. On 9-20-11, The County Board took action to approve the recommendation. Mattice then moved forward with the seller on the draft of the Purchase Agreement, Shared Use Agreement, and Third Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding. They also proceeded with the survey, appraisal, and contacting the title company to schedule a tentative closing date of 12-19-11. All documents have been reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office and MCIT. On 6-27-11, the City of Monticello approved their share of the local match. The documents were approved by the City Council at their 11-28-11 Meeting on a 4:1 vote.
Mattice said the Shared Use Agreement reflects that the YMCA will allow the County to use the YMCA’s former public access on weekends. The YMCA will be allowed to use three existing buildings that are included in the Phase 3 purchase for their day camp operations. The Agreement has been reviewed by MCIT and Mark Nolan, Wright County Safety Director. The Purchase Agreement includes standard language. The Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding updates the terms and conditions.
Russek stated this is not the time for the County to purchase park land. Many residents are struggling with property taxes. The State has also made cuts to counties. Russek said he will vote against the purchase. Mattson said he has voted against the purchase since it was brought forward. He questioned whether any discussion has occurred on the requirement to purchase a sticker to gain entry into Bertram Park. He felt this would be a source of revenue. Many areas in the State charge to enter parks. Mattice said that in the past, all County Parks were free except for the rental of facilities. The Bertram Lakes Advisory Council has discussed a fee but has not taken action. He felt this could be considered in the future when the facilities are developed. Currently, the public has access to hiking trails. Next summer, the public access will be added. Some of the cost benefits could be outweighed by the costs associated with staffing, gate attendance, etc. Mattice said the Parks Department could complete user surveys or traffic counts if desired. Mattson has been approached by constituents questioning if the County has considered a Park sticker. Mattson felt the County and City would make this decision. He asked whether the YMCA would have any control over that. Mattice did not feel the YMCA would have control on County property. Thelen felt this would be something that could be discussed by the Advisory Task Force. Sawatzke said the issue has been brought up as a possibility but not discussed at length.
Sawatzke made a motion to approve the Purchase Agreement for Phase 3 Acquisition at Bertram Chain of Lakes. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 3-2 with Russek and Mattson casting the nay votes.
Thelen moved to approve the Memorandum of Understanding Third Addendum relating to the purchase, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke questioned language under Camp Manitou operations. He asked whether the language has reverted back to what the YMCA had included in the document or whether it is reflective of what he and Mattice had discussed. Mattice explained that changes were made to the language proposed by the YMCA and vice versa. Mattice said the document includes the language drafted by the County with the exception of the removal of the word “feasibility” under “Camp Manitou Operations.” The word “contemplating” was used instead. Sawatzke referenced the same sentence which includes the following language, “subject to an agreement to be approved by the City and County as well as the YMCA.” He asked whether that language suggests that it is mandatory there is going to be an agreement when it says there is going to be one to be approved. Asleson said in discussions with counsel for the YMCA, they did agree to remove the word “feasibility.” Asleson said he understands that “contemplating” means the current thinking is that the camp is going to be relocated permanently to Parcel 8. The current thought is that it would be moved subject to agreement by all parties. Asleson said it is hard to have the contract be reflective of all things that could happen in the future. This is an Addendum to the existing Memorandum of Understanding. Asleson said the language is okay as is. The word “feasibility” was the most bothersome to the YMCA. Sawatzke asked when the document is sent back to them whether a letter could be sent outlining the County’s understanding of that language. Asleson said this involves a Memorandum of Understanding and language for something in the future. He said the important part is that all parties need to agree in the future. Sawatzke asked for clarification on the following: If the City and County can’t come to a consensus with the YMCA on how they may exist out there in the future, are the County and City bound to allow for the YMCA to be on Parcel 8? Asleson said the way he reads it, if the City and the County, or one of those parties, doesn’t feel Parcel 8 is going to work to permanently relocate the YMCA, then the entire thing would end at that point. Sawatzke wanted assurance that, as property owners, the County and City have the final say and didn’t want the document to include language that gives up something. Asleson noted that Parcel 8 is a future acquisition. The motion carried 4-1 with Mattson casting the nay vote. Russek said if the County is going to buy the land, they might as well agree to this.
Mattice said the Shared Use Agreement is an interim Agreement through the end of 2014. It allows use of their public access on their property which was leased by the DNR up until 2001. The YMCA will allow the County and City to reopen the access on weekends during summer months. The YMCA will open the access on Friday evening and close it on Sunday evening. This will allow better lake access by the public. In turn, the County and City will allow the YMCA to utilize the three existing buildings, but it does not give them exclusive rights to the buildings. It allows transition time as the relocation of the camp is debated. If repair is needed on one of the buildings and the County and City feel they want to keep the buildings, there could be a cost share involved. If the buildings are something the City and County do not want in a few years, it will be up to the YMCA to fix the building. The Shared Use Agreement is one year longer than the Memorandum of Understanding for the total acquisition, which expires 12-31-13, and deals with two specific parcels. The YMCA is responsible for the upkeep of the buildings. Mattson questioned the County’s liability for the buildings because of the use by all parties (YMCA, City and County). Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, stated that paragraphs 4 and 5 of the Shared Use Agreement address this. He said they worked on this language quite a bit. The difficulty is that patrons of the YMCA use the property during certain times (daytime hours, summer months) as exclusive users of some of the buildings. They attempted to maintain the County’s tort liability limits and the immunities that the County has by State law as a public entity. The document was reviewed by MCIT and the County’s Safety Director. Eichelberg moved to approve the Shared Use Agreement, seconded by Sawatzke. Russek questioned how much more land will be purchased for the Park. He said he personally has 120 acres of land available if he could use it from April to November. Sawatzke said the Agreement allows the County to use the YMCA property, allowing public access to the lakes. Currently, people must carry their canoes a quarter mile. The motion carried 4-1 with Russek casting the nay vote. He did not feel the County should purchase land with taxpayer dollars that will be used by someone else.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested the Board consider adoption of a Public Health Nuisance Ordinance and the repeal of Ordinance #05-03, the Cleanup of Clandestine Drug Lab Sites Ordinance. The Public Health Nuisance Ordinance was considered by the Human Services Board and referred to the County Board for approval. Asleson said a public hearing is not required as the Ordinance is not an official control, as is the case with the Zoning Ordinance. The draft of the Public Health Nuisance Ordinance was posted on the County’s website. No comment was received. Notice of the intent to adopt the Ordinance was sent to cities and townships.
Specific sections of the Ordinance were highlighted:
Section 3.01 Prohibitions. This section includes a list of items declared to be public health nuisances but is not all inclusive. In the past when the County has used State Statute to deal with public health nuisances, the problem was that the Statute did not include a specific definition. There was a definition but it was not as comprehensive as the list that is included in the Ordinance.
Section 3.02 Jurisdiction. This section reflects the Ordinance is applicable in all incorporated and unincorporated municipalities (city or township) within Wright County. It furthers states that, “This ordinance does not preempt any ordinances adopted by a city or township related to clandestine lab sites or related to buildings and housing.” Asleson said that if a problem occurs in a city, many times the County is working with the city and their building officials.
Section 6 Additional Requirements for Clandestine Lab Sites. This section reflects the requirements or process used and replaces the 2005 Ordinance language.
Section 7 Costs and Reimbursements. This section provides for recovery of costs expended by the County as per State law. A lien can be placed against the property and collected via tax statements.
Section 8 Appeals. This section was not included in the past Ordinance. It provides a method of appeal for the property owner.
Mattson asked how the new Ordinance will help assist with cleanup of a property in Wright County that has been worked on for some time. Asleson said the property in question already has a lien for $20,000 and the property may not be worth more than that. He stated that a property can be dealt with in various ways. Ramsey County, for example, has worked with people in an effort to have them clean up properties themselves. Asleson said the question is whether to follow this method or send an STS crew out to clean the property. Currently, Wright County does not have the staff available to supervise cleanup of a property and so he is not advocating for that. Thelen said this Ordinance may not help clean up the property Mattson is referencing. The Ordinance addresses times when a property produces a health hazard.
Section 10, Fees. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said this section reflects a fee will be established by resolution. He questioned whether this is a requirement to set the fee by resolution as that has not been the practice of the Board in the past. Asleson said the language is probably patterned after an ordinance from another county. Wright County does set some fees by resolution, dependent on the language of the ordinance. There is no fee proposed at this time. Including the language in the Ordinance will allow the County to set a fee in the future if desired.
Thelen moved to repeal Ordinance #05-03, the Clean-up Of Clandestine Drug Lab Sites Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0. Mattson moved to adopt Ordinance #11-06, Public Health Nuisance Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Thelen and carried 5-0. A summary of Ordinance #11-06 follows:
The Wright County Public Health Nuisance Ordinance is designed to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of Wright County pursuant to powers granted the County under Minnesota Statutes Chapters 145A, 375 and 152.0275. The principal objectives of this Ordinance are as follows:
1) to prevent injury and illness to occupants of the property and the public, especially children and vulnerable adults;
2) to provide countywide standards for the abatement of public health nuisances including, but not limited to, clandestine lab sites;
3) to establish responsibility of involved parties and assure that people are not unnecessarily exposed to dangers of public health nuisances; and
4) to ensure proper actions are taken to remediate or abate public health nuisances.
A complete copy of the newly adopted ordinance can be obtained by contacting the Wright County Coordinator’s Office.
(End of Summary for Ordinance #11-06)
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented for approval a Land Rental Contract with Scott Kohls. The Contract allows Kohls to rent County land, Parcel ID #R 112-500-264102, from April, 2012, through December, 2012. The rental rate is $180.00/acre for 15 acres of tillable land. Rent is payable annually by November 20th. Sawatzke said $180/acre is a good rental rate. If more acreage was involved, the County would want to put this out for bids. Sawatzke asked whether this involves a tax forfeited property. Hiivala stated that is the case. Kohls had an agreement to rent the land with the previous owner. When the property went into tax forfeit, Kohls contacted the County to rent the land (in 2011). Sawatzke made a motion to extend the contract for one year, seconded by Thelen, carried 4-0 (Mattson absent).
Hiivala presented a Retainer Agreement with Rinke Noonan for approval. The Retainer Agreement would allow Wright County unlimited phone and email contact with Kurt Deter at a cost of $200/month to discuss drainage issues in Wright County. Hiivala plans to work on updating and recording ditch records in 2012. Hiivala said Asleson concurs with this request because of the aggressive agenda in 2012 to update the ditch records. Sawatzke moved to approve the Retainer Agreement with Rinke Noonan, seconded by Eichelberg. Eichelberg stated that other County staff members will have access to Deter as well through this Agreement. The motion carried 5-0.
Hiivala requested the Board schedule the Solid Waste Service Charge Public Hearing. The last year of the Service Charge is 2012. Two payments will be involved. Hiivala said the fee needs to be set appropriately so there are not extra funds collected. Sawatzke said it would be impossible to collect to the exact amount and questioned where the extra funds collected would be directed. Hiivala explained the funds could be placed in Debt Service or the General Fund. Mattson moved to schedule the Solid Waste Service Charge Public Hearing for 12-20-11 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Hiivala stated that the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office sent forms to all Wright County newspapers to obtain bids as the official County newspaper. Bids must be submitted by 12-12-11 at 4:30 P.M. Bids will be opened on 12-13-11. This was provided as an informational item.
A County Ditch 10 update was provided. Hiivala contacted Huston Engineering and Wenck Associates and described the engineering services desired. Both companies are working on proposals, which are to be submitted by 12-05-11. These proposals will be presented to the County Board on 12-13-11.
A County Ditch 38 update was provided. Hiivala said the owners of the trailer park have granted permission to view the area. He stated that they will do this when Kerry Saxton is available. Mattson added that Saxton wants to complete an exploratory exam of the tile first. Russek stated that he spoke with the Waverly Mayor who feels the railroad placed a tile under the railroad tracks at some point. This may be an optional route for the tile instead of running it under the trailer park. Mattson said that years ago when State Highway 12 construction was completed, Mathiowetz Construction cleaned out the north side of the road. At that time, a culvert was placed under the railroad tracks. Russek said there should be a record of any action taken by the railroad. There may be a different way to run the tile than under the trailer park. This was provided as an informational item.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to set the cut-off date for 2011 claims for 12-21-11 at 2:00 P.M.
Hiivala requested the Board ratify the ACS Tax and CAMA Contracts. The County Board approved the intent to ratify this Contract and to date, most counties are doing this. It is a five-year contract with a 2% increase each year. The Contracts must be submitted by 12-16-11. Hiivala stated he does not see another option for the County. Greg Kramber, Assessor, stated that his office is pleased with the product. ACS has the only operative CAMA system run by the same company in the State. He also felt this is the only choice. Thelen moved to authorize signatures on the Contracts, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala called attention to a claim on Page 7, Motorola ($22,527.75), which is the final payment for adding a channel to the 800 MHz System. Mattson referenced a claim on Page 19, AmeriPride Services ($6,466.42) for Jail Meals. A correction has been made to change the vendor to Aramark Services. On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
The meeting recessed at 9:52 A.M. and reconvened at 10:03 A.M.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-08-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Thelen made the following corrections:
• Change from “MN Statute” to “MN Rule” through the entire document.
• Page 5, 1st paragraph, 13th line
Change from:
“There was one controversial issue this summer that she was worried about regarding how it would proceed. As the process moved forward, Oleson brought in County staff recommendations, and the Township Board followed Barry Rhineberger’s interpretation to apply for a variance with a nonconforming use.”
To the following:
“As the process moved forward, Oleson brought in his staff recommendations, and the Township Board followed them. They were consistent with Barry Rhineberger’s recommendation to apply for a variance on a nonconforming use.”
• Page 8, 2nd paragraph, line 1
Change from:
“Thelen said last year she worked with the Township to establish criteria the County Board could use to establish whether or not the Township was more restrictive than the County. She said it was difficult to quantify.”
To the following:
“Thelen said last year she discussed with the Working Group (Quiggle, Salkowski, Oleson and herself) the establishment of criteria but they never did because it would be too hard to quantify”.
Thelen then made a motion to approve the 11-08-11 Committee Of The Whole Minutes with the corrections. She said she would like the opportunity to discuss the recommendation regarding granting shoreland management authority to the Township and issues which have arisen since the Committee Meeting. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke clarified the motion reflects approval of the minutes and not the recommendation. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes as corrected:
I. Discuss Joint Powers Agreement With Corinna Township.
Riley briefly provided background on the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) with Corinna Township. The County entered into a one-year JPA with the Township in 2010 for calendar year 2011 to share the duties of planning and zoning, shoreland and flood plain management, and building and sewage code inspection with Corinna Township. The contract states:
“If requested by Corinna Township, Wright County will make a determination as to whether Corinna has demonstrated to the County Board that their proposed ordinance and administration is at least as restrictive as the County’s consistent with MN Rules 6120.3900, Subpart 4a.”
Riley said he assumed that is why Township representatives were in attendance today. He asked Oleson to formally explain the purpose of today’s meeting.
Oleson said the JPA stipulates that a request by the Township for sole zoning authority over shoreland and flood plain must be made to the County between 10-15-11 and 12-15-11. Oleson confirmed the Township Board is seeking shoreland management authority and, per MN Rule 6120, Subpart 4a, is requesting the County determine whether the Township administration and ordinance are at least as restrictive as County Planning and Zoning policies. He said the Corinna Town Board is also willing to work with the County to administer sewer and building code inspections for three more years. Oleson said he believes the County Board will find the Township is at least as restrictive as the County. Oleson provided documents with charts displaying the number of variance applications, and the percentages of variance applications denied, approved, or approved with changes in the Township in 2011. Other documentation showed recommendations the Township made in 2009 and 2010 when the County had ultimate authority over variance decisions. Oleson said the recommendations the Township made during that time closely mirrored County recommendations with occasional insignificant deviations.
Thelen asked them to provide charts regarding variance requests. She said Riley’s Executive Summary dated 11-2-11 stated the County and Township findings were mostly consistent, although he did not have enough data to support his statement at that time. She said Oleson’s information was helpful and would enable the Board to determine whether Corinna Township is as restrictive as the County for shoreland authority. Thelen suggested they discuss the pros and cons of the proposal, and for the Board to review the data.
Olson said Riley referenced State Statutes. He said the relevant Rule is Subp. 4a. Shoreland Management by Townships, Letter B:
The township must demonstrate to the county board that their proposed ordinance and administration is at least as restrictive as the county’s prior to final adoption by the township. Townships must provide for administration and enforcement of shoreland management controls at least as effective as county implementation. Townships that adopt adequate shoreland controls must follow all of the notification procedures in subpart 6. After adequate shoreland management controls are adopted by a township, property owners must only obtain necessary permits and approvals as required in the township shoreland management controls. Property owners do not have to obtain similar permits or approvals under the county’s shoreland controls.
Oleson referenced the first bar chart on Page 1 regarding the number of permits issued in the Township in 2011 (see attached). He said the lackluster economy has resulted in lower applications than in the past. Oleson said the number the Township has dealt with this year is not insignificant.
Oleson’s second bar chart at the bottom of Page 1 exhibits the total number of variance applications from 2009 to the present in 2011. Sawatzke asked him to define the term “land use permit.” Oleson said that refers to building permits issued over the counter. He said the Township deals with building permits and the County with zoning.
Oleson said there were more variances this year than in the two previous years. In 2011, 1/3 of the variances were approved, 50% were approved with changes, and 13% were denied. Oleson said asking for changes to a variance request equates to a denial. Thelen asked whether the County had an opportunity to weigh in on these variance requests. Oleson responded yes, the Township sends a notice regarding every variance request to County Planning and Zoning staff. He said the Township also posts the requests and background information on the Township website. They solicit comments from County staff one to four days before the Township meeting and consider County input.
Oleson said the Township has made an effort to work with the County because it’s required by State law. The Township also wants to ensure the County is informed about the variance requests and permit applications, and to get interpretation from County staff. Thelen referred to the pie chart at the bottom of Page 2 which suggests County and Township decisions are similar. She asked Oleson whether he knew how many variances reviewed by the County were consistent with Township decisions and whether the Township had arrived at different decisions. Oleson said in most cases the comments from the County were included in Township recommendations. He said other cases presented new information or twists on information the Township didn’t know before, which they then provided to their BOA. In every case the Township considers County interpretations. He said there have been one or two cases in the past where the Township arrived at a different interpretation because they were not completely competent regarding the County’s position on it at the beginning of the process. Oleson said he thought there may have been one case where the Township decided differently from the County, but it was not done without serious consideration of the County position. Since then, Oleson said the Township Board has discussed that case with County staff and in the future would likely make a recommendation more aligned with the County’s recommendation. He said this past year was a learning experience for the Township as they worked to coordinate their Board functions with the County Board.
Russek asked who is currently serving on the Corinna Township Board of Adjustment (BOA). He said decisions the County BOA arrives at are final and the Board has no control. Oleson said the Township BOA and Planning Commission (PC) are the same group of five people. He said citizens serve on both the BOA and PC but not the Township Board. There were two Township PC members present at the meeting – Quiggle and Shay. Russek said the County only has one member who serves on both the County PC and BOA per State Statute. Aside from that, Russek explained, the BOA is a separate entity. Oleson said the County and Township statutes are different in the way the Boards are organized. He believes the Township has the authority to organize the BOA similar to the County, but in his experience, townships and smaller cities usually establish them similarly to Corinna Township.
Sawatzke asked Oleson to clarify that the Township Board consists of three members. Oleson said yes. Sawatzke asked Oleson’s opinion regarding elected Board members being more concerned about getting re-elected than following Planning and Zoning guidelines. He said they may be reluctant to rule against a constituent and lose their vote in the next election. Sawatzke said County BOA members are appointed by the Board and have no concerns about re-election. Oleson said he has seen that dynamic play differently depending on the situation. It is not a concern in the Township because a significant percentage of the population lives there seasonally, although he said a large amount of people live there year round as well. Oleson said re-election concerns are a greater problem with smaller populations than in Corinna Township because of the seasonal population and the lakeshore versus the farming community, although he said it certainly could occur. He said in his experience with the Corinna Township Board and observing the dynamics of the population, this is not a significant concern.
Thelen asked Oleson to continue explaining his charts. Oleson referred to the bottom of Page 2, Township Compared to County regarding the two years when the Township gave recommendations to the County. The 45% plus 20% or nearly 2/3 of the total decisions made by the Township were as restrictive as the County or more restrictive. Oleson said this should allay fears the Township is less restrictive than the County. The chart on Page 3 shows the difference between the Township and County variance decisions in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 the County ruled more restrictive in 5 cases. By 2010, Oleson said the chart shows there were no cases when the County ruled more restrictively than the Township. He said the 5 cases in 2009 when the County was more restrictive did not entail significant differences. By 2010 the Township better understood how the County BOA makes interpreted regulations, and they made an effort to align their decisions with historical interpretations. They had no cases where the County recommendations were more restrictive than the Township.
The bullet points on Page 3 of his handout address procedures now in place to keep the County apprised of public hearings, applications and other Township decisions (see attached). Oleson said the Township does this to comply with State statute and Township standard practices, as well as to maintain open communication with the public to give everyone a chance to comment. He said posting on the Township website, distributing hard copies to County staff and staying in regular contact with the County will enable the County to monitor the actions and decisions of the Township. Between what’s happened over the last three years and certainly during the last year, the Township regards this arrangement as a reasonable partnership with the County. Oleson said they are not trying to shut out the County. He reminded the Board that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has oversight as well. Based on the above findings, the Township requests the County determine that the Township has demonstrated that their administration and ordinance is at least as restrictive as the County. The Township is also willing to contract with the County for sewer and building code inspections for three years.
Thelen said she would like input from Quiggle or Shay, and said she thought the information Oleson presented was good. She asked whether the Township would continue to include the County in their notification process if the Board decides the Township ordinance and administration is at least as restrictive as the County. If the Township were granted sole zoning authority over shoreland, does the Township have processes in place with their planning operation would include the County? Oleson said yes, the public and the County must be notified due to State statute, and the Township would continue to post notifications on their website. He said the Township would do that even if he were not contracted to work with the Township through Community Growth Institute. Oleson said they want to show the value in doing that.
Oleson said County Planning and Zoning staff have been gracious with their time and quick to respond. The Township typically asks them what the County’s past practice has been in a certain case. Oleson said 99 percent of Township cases are done that way. Regarding the three year Inspection contract, the County reviews each application before the Township issues a permit. The Township does not issue a permit until the County gives their approval, and if they point out a concern, the Township responds to it. He said a lot of times the Township recognized a potential concern and dealt with it. In short, Oleson said all of those things would continue in the future.
Sawatzke congratulated Oleson, the Township and County Planning and Zoning staff for working cooperatively together. Oleson said the relationship has been very professional. Thelen echoed Sawatzke’s sentiments, saying she has been very pleased with how well the JPA has been implemented, how cooperative Riley is and their mutual willingness to work together. Thelen acknowledged the JPA has been in place only for a year, and there are several years of data. She said in response to Sawatzke’s comments regarding the local politics, it has always been her hope that in the process of developing policy, agencies can neutralize the politics by having transparent policies that communicate established standards and provide sufficient notice. Thelen said she has been to a few Township planning meetings. They are well briefed and use the same criteria as the County. She said everything appeared to be done by the book. There was one controversial issue this summer that she was worried about regarding how it would proceed.
As the process moved forward, Oleson brought in his staff recommendations, and the Township Board followed them. They were consistent with Barry Rhineberger’s recommendation to apply for a variance on a nonconforming use. Thelen said they could have subverted the process by grandfathering someone in. Although that particular case is not final yet, she is happy to see the policies, procedures and notices are working. She met with Riley, Oleson and John Dearing, Corinna Township Chair, to discuss the Township’s performance. Thelen asked RIley to provide his input and to comment on the chart in Table 1 attached to his letter of 11/2/11, saying she was alarmed by it because she did not see how relevant that was to the matter at hand.
Riley explained that Table 1, A Comparison of Variance Hearings Between Corinna Township and the Wright County Board of Adjustment (see attached) exhibits data requested by the two parties as they entered into the JPA. It demonstrates one of the concepts about which the County was concerned and the catalyst that led to the JPA. Riley said to be fair, the County sends notices to all townships regarding public hearings. He said it’s a basic form asking for a yes or no and invites comments from the townships. The process leaves the burden of change up to the County Board, the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. He said Oleson’s presentation showed their Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment are making modifications to requests that are in line with past County decisions. That’s a judgment for the County Board to make. Riley said Table 1 has 10 years of data versus one year on Oleson’s chart. He acknowledged Oleson only had one year (2011) to work with. Thelen said there are three years on Oleson’s chart. Riley said one of the years – 2011 – is the year the Township assumed administration of the program. Riley said the main similarity is to compare to 2011, when the Township modified requests similar to when the County had ultimate authority. Riley said he was not trying to imply with Table 1 that Corinna Township was doing things right or wrong, but to present County concerns up to this point in time. Riley said the Township had discrepancies between their input and the County Board. Riley said the County Board’s decision hinges on whether Oleson’s data for 2009 and 2010 has relevance to 2011.
Thelen said Riley’s chart has data 2001 to 2010. She said the Township was not even involved in the process from 2001 to 2008. Riley said the County always asked for Township response. Thelen asked whether Corinna Township looks different from other townships. Riley said he didn’t have the numbers, but it is probably similar to Clearwater and South Side. Riley said to be fair, the Township was advising the County BOA, not making the final decision. Thelen said when she was a township supervisor and people made variance requests; she sent them to the County for a decision. After her township became more involved in the process, her township advised residents when it seemed likely the County would deny the request to save the resident the $200 fee. About 2005, Thelen said they started to get more consistent with the County. She was curious about how similar situations transpired between Corinna Township and the County year by year.
Riley said the parties were meeting today to look into the future. He concurred that the relationship has been cordial and effective as Oleson described. The Township has been taking County files and input. He said that begs the question: If the Township is working closely together doing the thing the same as the County, what is being achieved on the Township side? He said that is their decision. He asked what assurance the County has that the process will continue to be effective permanently and that County input is taken into consideration. He questioned whether those assurances or guarantees were even possible.
Sawatzke reiterated the working relationship between the County and the Township during the last year was good and the results reasonable. He said it is hard for the County Board to make a determination when they cannot delve into each case. Sawatzke said the results have not been extraordinary in any way. However, Sawatzke added when this issue arose a year ago, County staff asked for a trial run longer than one year. Ultimately, at the request of Corinna Township and Thelen, a one year term was selected. Sawatzke could not remember whether three or four County Board members voted yes. He asked what harm would there be to extend the current relationship a few more years to further improve on the process. He said Oleson has relied a lot on County feedback and interpretation in order to be consistent. Sawatzke contended one year of experience does not provide enough opportunity to encounter all possible types of cases. He suggested extending the term a couple of years to gather more data and build on the spirit of cooperation between the County and Township. He expressed concern about conferring authority of shoreland management to the Township and the three year sewer and water inspection contract. He said three years comes and goes very quickly.
Sawatzke contended the reason the Township has been successful is directly related to the support they have received from the County. He asked Kryzer to explain the criteria for making the decision. He said there is a document that describes the criteria the County should consider when conferring authority to a township. Kryzer said Sawatzke was referring to the SONAR - A Statement Of Need And Reasoning adopted by the DNR in the 1980s. He said the County has substantially more resources than the Township, and the Township cannot accomplish the necessary functions without County resources. He wondered whether a reasonable approach might be to continue the current project for a few more years. Sawatzke said the good news is the collaboration is not done and the first year was not a disaster, but has instead been working well. He would like to see more cooperation before the County hands it over. Corinna Township is the most active township in the County regarding lake use. Riley concurred the Township is in the top 25%. Sawatzke said there is a lot of activity there and critics say it has done well. Sawatzke said he would like to continue with the trial period for a longer period of time so the County has a better feel a couple years down the road.
Thelen said she did not think that was a bad idea. However, the request is to determine whether the Township is as restrictive as the County or more so. She asked Kryzer whether the County Board could put conditions on their approval. Kryzer said the County may not put conditions on the approval as is possible with a variance. He said if the County Board follows Sawatzke’s recommendation, the Township would withdraw their request and the two parties would enter into a JPA extension for 2 years. He said it’s an either/or question. Thelen said she presented that to the Township and they did not want to renew the contract. She said it is up to the County Board to determine whether the Township is as strict or stricter. Thelen added if the Board cannot make a determination, it would be up to the County to explain why not. She asked what additional information the County would require.
Kryzer said what needs to be proven is explained in State Rule 6120.3900, Subpart 4a Paragraph B, the first few sentences:
“The Township must demonstrate to the County Board that their proposed ordinance and administration is at least as restrictive as the County’s prior to final adoption by the Township.”
Kryzer said at this point he is not sure what the status of their ordinance is as he has not seen or reviewed it. He does not know whether Riley has reviewed it, or whether the Township administration is at least as restrictive as the County. He said the SONAR gives guidance as mentioned previously, such as does the Township have the same resources and staffing capability and so on. He quoted Sentence 2 of Subpart 4a, Paragraph B:
“Townships must provide administration and enforcement of shoreland management controls at least as effective as County implementation.”
Kryzer said those are the two big hurdles the Township has to overcome, and whatever findings the County makes should focus in those areas. Thelen said the Township does not have to have the same level of administration as the County; for example, they do not need a full complement of fifteen people in their office. Kryzer said no. He said the County has four planners for 18 townships, whereas Corinna Township has 1 part-time planner with Oleson plus Quiggle’s time.
Quiggle said she is not an administrator, but she is chair of the Corinna Township Planning Commission. She said she attends almost all of the County BOA meetings to understand the decisions they make. Quiggle said she brings that information back to the Township Board to give them additional input on how the County BOA has been interpreting cases over the years. She has been doing that for the last six years. Sawatzke asked about her education and training. Quiggle said her degree is in French Literature. She said she has a great deal of interest and takes training and classes the State and the Township planner provides. She attends the County BOA because with changes in members of the County Board and State law, the way the BOA considers requests is a continuously evolving process. Six years ago decisions were different than this year. Quiggle said it is incumbent on Corinna Township to know what changes occur. The County BOA has gotten stricter, and she brings that back to the Township Board to move them in the same direction.
Thelen said last year she discussed with the Working Group (Quiggle, Salkowski, Oleson and herself) the establishment of criteria but they never did because it would be too hard to quantify. Thelen distributed a handout listing items she felt supported the concept that the Township is at least as restrictive as the County (see attached) and read it to the meeting participants.
Thelen added the Township followed the right process related to Cedar Acres when they requested 13 camping sites. County staff recommended three or four. The case has not yet been decided. She said the County is involved with inspection services, and the collaboration was deemed beneficial on both sides. Thelen said the Township employed Oleson, a certified planner, Township correspondence is posted on their website, and they have been very thorough conducting the public review process. She said the County is not liable for actions of Corinna Township.
Thelen said the County has some concern regarding the flood plain and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and how that would impact the rest of the County. Kryzer said if the Township submitted an application to FEMA for flood plain authority; it would have no impact on the County. She said that the Township is capable of paying staff. Rezoning would still fall within County jurisdiction. Thelen said collaboration gets the two parties on the same team. Riley referenced his letter stating that the process would benefit from more time, but there has been three years at work already as has been demonstrated. Riley said a more permanent arrangement would be good, but this can not be a condition of them getting shoreland authority. He said Planning and Zoning staff discussed this fully when they drafted the JPA. Riley said it is a free market, and the Township has determined the process works with the County on board. However, it can not be a condition for granting them sole zoning authority. Riley said he thinks the experience has been really positive and can continue to be positive with processes in place. He added he believes the Township is at least as or more restrictive than the County.
Russek asked for consensus. Eichelberg asked Kryzer if a petition is made by Corinna Township and someone files a lawsuit, would the County be named because it involves County shoreland. Kryzer said most likely not. Thelen asked Oleson if the Township would go to court if the County denied their request and said they want another year under the current terms. She asked whether the County had any obligation to make a decision. Kryzer said the Board should say yes or no. If the County Board says no because more time is needed to make a determination, that is fine. He said the Board has the discretion to get more information. It would not be closing the door to potential full zoning authority; it would just relay the Board’s desire to have sufficient evidence to make a determination. Sawatzke asked whether the Board is required to say no or yes, or could the Board say there is not enough evidence at this point. Kryzer said the Board would be declining the request at this time because of insufficient evidence.
Sawatzke said his concern is although the process is working adequately today, it is doing so to a great extent because of County support. He said to say the Township has all the necessary administration in place equal to the County is only due to the support the County provides the Township. Thelen said the only staff and services the Township is using are the Building and Sewer inspectors. She said they consult with Riley as required in the JPA. She added the Township is paying the County. Sawatzke countered the Township calls Riley on every issue and asks how the County would interpret the case. Riley said there is a learning curve and he would be doing the same thing. He added the County is holding the Township to a standard to be as restrictive as the County. The Township is doing due diligence and going back to their BOA. Riley wishes that if the Township were to get sole zoning authority, the County would be permanently involved in a cooperative effort. Technically, Riley said the contract says the County will do building and sewer inspections. On a day to day basis the County provides information from County files, as well as input and interpretation. Sawatzke reminded Thelen her first inclination was to extend the JPA for a couple more years. Thelen said extending the contract is the path of least resistance, but the Township said no and it is their right to reject it. She said it is problematic to suggest that their success is due to the County. She feels it is due to hard work on the part of the Township. She acknowledged the County enhances some aspects of the process, but the Township has worked hard and exhibits strong involvement and esprit de corps. Thelen said they are trying to do it right. If the Board said the Township is doing fairly well but more time is needed and gave them until 10-1-13 to maintain their track record before turning over full authority, there is the possibility that the Township BOA may have different members, causing additional uncertainty.
Russek called for a decision. Mattson asked whether Oleson could say which cases the County ruled less restrictive. Oleson said one of the cases had to do with a septic setback. The Township recommended the owners meet the full setback if they downsized the building. The County felt the situation did not need as much setback. He said it’s hard to say with certainty whether the County was more or less restrictive. At that time the relationship between the Township and the County required the Township to make recommendations to the County, but the County made the final decision. Sometimes the Township requested new information and then provided it to the County, which would then potentially change the recommendation made by the County. Mattson said if that happened in 20% of cases for all five years, that would be a serious concern. Oleson said the cases depended on the circumstances. He said the Township has a thorough, open process, and that is how they protect against political aspirations interfering with correct implementation of policy. Oleson was asked to clarify the nature of the Township’s relationship with County staff. If the Ordinance states something that falls within a gray area and needs interpretation, the Township goes to County staff. However, Oleson said it is not that they have never dealt with this kind of situation, as he and his company staff have dealt with these types of cases repeatedly. Oleson said they are exercising the due diligence Riley mentioned. The Township has a responsibility to be as restrictive as the County. He said they are striving to do more than simply draft ordinance language that is as restrictive as the County. Oleson said the Township wants to understand how the County interpreted similar cases in the past. People in communities are accustomed to the County’s interpretations. Oleson said if there is no good reason to vary from County interpretation, they shouldn’t. If the Township has a strong alternative opinion, Oleson goes to County staff and asks them their past experience and interpretation. He then goes to the Township PC and relays the County information and discusses issues surrounding the question. He also describes decisions made in his experience by other townships with whom he has worked. Oleson said this usually occurs when cases fall into gray areas. In most cases, Oleson said the Township will be very consistent with the County. There have been a few cases when the Township justifiably made different recommendations. Oleson said they are very cautious about not trying to step on toes or make different interpretations without serious thought. He reiterated the Township goes to the County to exercise due diligence in order to ensure they are being as restrictive as the County and understanding the County’s perspective. He said there will always be gray areas and groups of people often come to different conclusions.
Oleson said County staff has provided valuable information and feedback. As far as advantages to be gained by extending the JPA for two years, Oleson said it’s not that staff the Township has contracted is inexperienced in Planning and Zoning. He has ten years of experience in planning and zoning, four or five years of that in a county setting. He said it is a question of doing due diligence to fulfill State statute to be as restrictive as the County. The Township is making every effort to do so. Will the County and Township interpret cases differently sometimes? Yes, Oleson said, that is inevitable. He said one group of five people in a room will come to a different but equally valuable consensus than another group of five people. Oleson asked what will be gained from extending the process, and what will make the County Board more comfortable? Oleson said he has not discussed a game plan with the Township PC. He said they were present to make their request and hear the Board’s response. The Township has a desire to know what will make this process work to the satisfaction of the County. Oleson asked how two extra years would help. He said the Township needs clarity regarding what the County needs to grant approval.
Russek said the Board has heard all the arguments on both sides and again asked for consensus. Thelen said the Township has demonstrated they are as restrictive or more so and there are checks and balances in place. She said they have a right under State statute to do their own planning, and she thinks they’ve done a good job demonstrating that. Russek said so far there is one in favor of granting approval.
Sawatzke said he thinks it would be valuable to have a greater history. He said Oleson made good comments. Sawatzke said instead of asking what the parties would gain by extending the JPA for two more years, he asked what is there to lose by extending the contract two years. He contended all parties would gain a greater history, understanding, and improved relationships during that time. Sawatzke concurred that both sides were cooperating, and some statistics were available, but he was unsure whether Riley had a chance to review them to see if they correlate to County data. Sawatzke said he was sure some of figures were arguable. He said one year is a small time frame to demonstrate consistent application of County standards. More time would be better. Russek said that was one in favor and one for extension.
Thelen questioned the need for extending when the relationship between the parties is going well. Sawatzke said his opinion is the County Board has demonstrated flexibility in their working relationship with Corinna Township, perhaps more so than the Township. He said the initial JPA set a time frame of one year at the Township’s request. Thelen asked Shay and Quiggle for their comments. Shay said if the JPA is continued another year or two, the Township would like some idea regarding the criteria the Board requires. He asked the Board to specify what the Township has not done correctly to date that must be rectified in the future. Russek said he did not think Sawatzke was implying incorrect procedure, just that there is a very short history upon which to base a decision. Shay asked again what the County Board needs to see from the Township.
Russek said if the JPA is extended and the Township maintains the current process, it looks good to the Board. He said all the Board needs is more history. Mattson said he realizes a consensus is needed, but asked Thelen if they were acting as the Board instead of the Committee Of The Whole what her motion would be. Thelen said she would move that the Township had demonstrated they implement their Ordinance as restrictive as or more so than the County. Sawatzke said once the County gives the Township the authority it is permanent. Eichelberg said the Township could decide at some point they do not want it anymore. Thelen said the County should give the Township sole zoning authority over shoreland since it has been going well.
Russek interjected there was still no consensus. Eichelberg said it was tough and he would like more information, but Riley said the Township and County staff are working well together. Eichelberg favored to give them the authority.
Russek said that made two in favor of surrendering zoning authority. Mattson said he voted in favor as well. Russek said that made a consensus with three votes. The item will come before the County Board at a future date.
Norman clarified that the recommendation is to grant shoreland authority to Corinna Township. Russek agreed. Norman asked if that is the only action the Board needs to recommend. Thelen suggested the Board agree to a three year contract as well. Russek said that is a contract that is already in place, and that the only thing the Township was asking was for was sole zoning authority, including shoreland management. Oleson said the Township Board would also like a new three year contract for Building and Sewer Inspection. Thelen said the current contract ends 1-1-12. Norman clarified that the recommendation should also include a new three year contract between the County and Corinna Township for Building Inspection and Sewer Inspection.
Thelen asked Oleson whether the Township will petition FEMA to be recognized as the flood plain authority. Oleson said the expectation is that Corinna Township would petition FEMA and the State for flood plain authority. He continued that the flood plain issue should be addressed. Most DNR documents suggest that flood plain and shoreland authority go together. Oleson said that is the direction they were heading. The only County concern about transferring flood plain authority is if the Township takes over the authority and makes a mistake, then all County residents will be at risk of losing their eligibility for flood plain insurance. He talked to DNR and County Attorney Department staff who said as long as Corinna Township applies to FEMA and receives flood plain authority, if the Township makes a mistake; it affects Corinna residents only and not the rest of the County. Flood plain authority is part of the Township’s request.
Sawatzke told Oleson he will live with the decision. Regarding the parcel of land on the peninsula at the end of Kramer Avenue – he expressed hope that the Township would not allow a situation where someone goes to the Township BOA and asks to build a seasonal house that was previously denied by the County BOA. Oleson said there were issues outside of zoning that would have to be resolved. When that situation went through the Township Board previously, it was approved on a condition that the flood plain issue with the road be addressed. Sawatzke said the County owns the road and determined it should not be altered. He added these are the situations that are clear and obvious regarding the criteria requiring the Township be at least as restrictive or more so. Sawatzke is concerned someone with property on the lake who was denied three or four years ago will think the transfer of shoreland authority is their opportunity to try again. He said the County Board will look closely if that happens. Sawatzke hopes no issues arise in the future. It will be up to the Township to make sure that doesn’t happen. Oleson agreed. Sawatzke said there’s a clear record regarding past history.
Thelen clarified that Riley’s letter mentions what the Township wants from the County: Sole zoning authority over shoreland and flood plain, and a contract with the County for sewer and building code inspection services for three years.
There was discussion with Kryzer regarding whether the County has the discretion to grant flood plain authority to the Township. He said no, he hasn’t seen any issues regarding dealing with flood plain management authority. The Township may independently petition FEMA for it. They need to go through that process. The County gives them the shoreland authority. Norman asked if the flood plain portion of the recommendation should be deleted. Kryzer said yes.
Kryzer reiterated the Township must go to FEMA regarding the flood plain. Mattson said the recommendation must be clearly stated. The people from Corinna Township will be here at the Board meeting if they have any concerns. Norman said Township residents may watch for the Board Agenda notice on the Internet. There is a holiday on 11-11-11, making this a shorter week. Therefore, the minutes of this meeting may not be ready for next Tuesday.
RECOMMENDATION: To grant shoreland management authority to Corinna Township, and to enter into a new three year contract with the Township for building and sewer inspection services.
(End of 11-08-11 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Russek questioned whether the Board wanted to take action on the recommendation of the Committee Of The Whole related to granting shoreland management. Thelen said both she and Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, had information to present today. Riley referenced a draft resolution for consideration. The resolution would declare Corinna Township as the Shoreland Authority for all shoreland located in Corinna Township. If the resolution is adopted, Riley said the Board should act on the Agreement for Building and Sewage Treatment Code Administration as the two are tied together. If the resolution is not adopted, he suggested they not move forward with the Agreement. Riley has received comments of concern from residents through phone calls and emails. There were also people present at today’s meeting to discuss the issue.
The Board referenced an email sent by Dave Wagner to Commissioners Mattson and Sawatzke. The email describes concern of Cedar Lake residents on the Township’s decision to allow camping in a residential neighborhood on Cedar Lake. The email reflects that residents in that area are seeking legal counsel to take action against Corinna Township for their approval of an unsupervised campground on Cedar Acres, which is a residential lot in a residential neighborhood. The email states that “Those of us who have watched the Corinna performance regarding repeated violations of the ordinance restricting camping in residential neighborhoods feel strongly that the Cedar Acres example reflects what others will experience with Corinna and at minimum, Corinna has not proven they are ready to be regulate shore land areas.” The email further states that “If we prevail against Corinna we think it proves Corinna is not ready. At minimum, we would hope the Commissioners will require more proof before you turn over shore land regulation to Corinna.” Sawatzke said although the Board was not holding a public hearing today, he felt those present should be allowed an opportunity to comment.
Kathy Jonsrud is a resident of Cedar Lake and President of the Cedar Lake Conservation Club (the Lake Association for Cedar Lake). She read a letter addressed to the Commissioners on concerns she has as a property owner. She referenced the email provided to the County Board regarding concerns of the neighborhood on the recent Corinna Township variance to allow camping at Cedar Acres. She said they believe the variance is not in the best interest of the Lake or the neighborhood and allows an illegal, unsupervised campground in a residential neighborhood. They have further concerns about Corinna to dispassionately enforce existing ordinances regarding this matter. Jonsrud referenced the proposed resolution to declare Corinna Township as the shoreland authority and asked that the Board not take action until they have had time to thoroughly review the Cedar Acres situation. Jonsrud stated the neighborhood has put the wheels in motion to challenge the decision and they plan to file a law suit in the next two weeks seeking to overturn the variance decision. There are nine families who have made a financial commitment to pursue legal action. Jonsrud stated that the variance decisions regarding shore land need to be held to a very high standard. Only about 35% of those owning Cedar Lake lakeshore property are residents and have Township voting privileges. She said those shore land non-resident tax dollars are a significant portion of the tax base. Jonsrud stated that most of the riparian owners on Cedar Lake must trust and rely on a dispassionate and consistent application of shore land ordinances to protect the lake and their property values. She stated they believe the manner in which Corinna handled the Cedar Acres situation fits neither of those descriptions. In summary, she said they strongly urge that shore land authority be at the County level or at a minimum, to delay the decision until the Cedar Acres situation is fully vetted.
Bill Arendt, Treasurer of the Cedar Lake Conservation Club (CLCC), provided a letter outlining concerns of the CLCC. The letter reflects the CLCC has been stewards of the Lake since 1953. Of the 250 lake shore property owners, approximately 80% are members of the CLCC. The letter reflects that the CLCC participated in the Township variance meetings regarding Cedar Acres and their requests to become a campground. The CLCC Board approved presentation of the concerns being expressed today. These include:
1. They do not support the Township’s decision for the non-conforming variance for Cedar Acres. At the Corinna Planning & Zoning hearing on 11-09-11, they expressed support for a maximum of 2 RV units in Cedar Acres. The Township had previously ruled that 2 RV units were acceptable. The CLCC believes allowing more than 2 RV units for Cedar Acres is not appropriate (Cedar Acres is zoned R-1) and does not fit into any of the Community’s Future Land Use or Comprehensive Plans. The CLCC is concerned with the potential negative impact on the environment if this camping activity increases. There is already a 50-unit public campground on the North End of the Lake.
2. They believe that Corinna Township made a poor decision in the complex shore land zoning matter as it relates to Cedar Acres. At the Corinna Planning & Zoning Meeting on 11-09-11, numerous people (as well as the CLCC) opposed the camping expansion on Cedar Acres. However, the Corinna Planning & Zoning Committee recommended an increase to 4 RV units and sent this recommendation to the Township Board of Supervisors. At the 11-15-11 Township Supervisor’s Meeting, the Supervisors decided not to accept the recommendation of the Planning & Zoning Committee and authorized an expansion of camping to 6 RV units, subject to the Department of Health requirements. The CLCC does not understand how the Township could vote on a very large impact issue with no reference, research, or reasoning supporting their decision.
3. They believe that Wright County should review this expansion of camping by the Township Supervisors before ruling on the continuation of Corinna Township Zoning Authority. The issue of “Practical Difficulty” was never addressed. The letter states that at the Planning & Zoning Meeting, one speaker covered every issue of “practical difficulty” and how the concerns should be addressed. This was never discussed in the Planning & Zoning recommendation and in the Township Board’s ruling. The letter asks that the Wright County Board review this Cedar Acres variance. This non-conforming variance has the potential to have a serious and long-term environmental impact. They asked that the Board consider a full review of this issue before ruling on the continuation of shore land zoning by Corinna Township.
Kathy Campbell, resident of Cedar Lake, said all of the items that are to be covered in a variance request (eight items) were not completed at the meeting on 12-09-11. A vote was taken before looking at the situation and how it would apply to those conditions. Campbell said the residents of Cedar Acres do not own lakeshore but rather deeded access acquired through the developer. She stated that the density of use that camping would allow seriously curtails the individual or family use for fishing, swimming, boating, or large picnics. Over the years, other light sports have taken place in this area off the waters edge. She said allowing camping use creates a dwelling use in this area which the intended deeded access does not describe. It specifies there should be no overnight use. Along with new tax consequences that are undesirable, she said they should return to the intent, which is a park like space for all who live in the Cedar Acres development. Campbell felt that for those who want to camp, party, or house their relatives, Schroeder Park is the answer.
Ben Oleson, Corinna Township Zoning Administrator, said he did not want to get into a direct rebuttal. This is not the first time or last time that Corinna Township or Wright County will deal with a controversial issue. He felt the focus should be on the process. In terms of the Township not considering the criteria for practical difficulties, he said he respectfully disagreed with that. That is very clear in their staff report reflecting that each criteria was gone through and answered. There were differences between the recommendation of the Township Board of Adjustment and what the Township Board did in terms of their exact decision. Those will be revised accordingly. The Township needs to make sure that things are done consistently with how Wright County has dealt with controversial issues (when they take the next meeting to address the findings of fact). Oleson felt they were doing this consistently with Wright County’s practice. The criteria they have gone through may not always come out at the meeting, as it is part of the staff report. The staff report is available ahead of the meeting, and the public has the ability to debate anything on the staff report. Oleson said procedurally, he did not see anything that is less restrictive than Wright County. They develop criteria and go through the practical difficulties standards, whether approving or denying a request. He understands that Wright County typically only does this when they are denying a request. Procedurally, he felt the Township is being at least as restrictive as the County, and maybe more so in some cases. He did not want to dismiss any of the concerns that residents have. There is a procedure in place to challenge a decision and a lawsuit is their right. In terms of making the shoreland authority about whether Corinna Township made a right or wrong decision on Cedar Acres is not relevant according to Oleson. The primary issues include the procedures and whether the Township is as restrictive as the County. Oleson clarified that he was not speaking on behalf of the Township Board.
Sawatzke said he respectfully disagreed with Oleson on procedure versus decision. The two entities could have the same process in place (i.e., requiring application for a variance, public notice being sent to those within a certain distance, allowing for public comment). One entity can look at the Ordinance and apply and respect it, and the other could ignore it. In that situation, process would not make a difference. It comes down to what is allowed in the end. He provided an example of one applicant going through the same process as another in terms of the process to apply for building a cabin. If one applicant applied to one Board and was allowed to build 100’ from a lake and another applicant applied to another Board and was allowed to build 50’ from a lake, he asked whether anyone present would tell him that one Board is not stricter than the other. He said he would disagree if that were the opinion. Sawatzke said he is not intimately familiar with the situation other than what he has learned from the email and comments today. He questioned whether the Township’s decision is as strict. All through the history of when this was governed by Wright County there was an issue with this property. There was apparently a letter sent from County officials enforcing the existing law of 1 RV per residential lot. Sawatzke said that gives him an indication of how Wright County would work with the request. The land is zoned Residential. He did not think that campgrounds would be allowed on residential property. Riley said the request is to expand the non-conforming use. Sawatzke did not think Wright County approves expanding non-conforming uses.
Thelen felt the Corinna Township Planning Commission recommendations that were made were the same as what was suggested by Barry Rhineberger of the Wright County Planning & Zoning Office last summer. At that time, she stated that Rhineberger informed her that a variance application could be made for a non-conforming use. Thelen said there has been some dispute whether the intended use of the land was a park or whether it was a place to camp. She said people camp there, and the land is large enough to hold 4 homes. Thelen said in terms of whether the processes are parallel, the Corinna Township Planning Commission made a recommendation to allow 4 RV units on the property, which she felt was consistent with what Rhineberger had said. Sawatzke interjected that Rhineberger is not the Board of Adjustment. Rhineberger is a staff member that can make a suggestion of what someone could apply for. Thelen said she is talking about parallel processes. It is a recommendation from their planning staff to their Planning Commission. She viewed it as similarly parallel. The Corinna Township Planning Commission followed those recommendations and the issue went to the Township Board, as they are the final authority on Corinna Ordinances. Thelen suggested the possibility of making the Corinna Ordinances parallel to the County’s Ordinances where the Board of Adjustment has the final decision making authority.
Thelen said the findings of fact in this issue will be brought forward. If there are 6 RV sites, the MN Department of Health requires a certain number of amenities (shower stalls, women’s and men’s toilets). She said the potential, or the appearance of the potential, for decisions being made based on politics or personality could be taken care of by making the Board of Adjustment the final decision making authority (like it is with the County). Sawatzke suggested it be kept as is, that the Wright County Board of Adjustment be the final decision making authority. Thelen said she would like the Corinna Township Board of Adjustment Ordinance to parallel Wright County’s Board of Adjustment Ordinance. Sawatzke did not think that townships have Board of Adjustments; he thought they served as Planning Commissions.
Riley clarified that the Wright County Planning & Zoning Office only discussed the process for this variance request. The County’s process would involve review by the Board of Adjustment to include the history of the property and the circumstances. Staff would not state what the County’s Board of Adjustment would decide, as they would not know that without going through the Board of Adjustment process. He said they didn’t say 2, 4, or 6 RV sites. He said perhaps they gave indications of what might be reasonable. Riley said with the County Board of Adjustment, the decision would have stopped there. If the Board of Adjustment would have decided on 4 RV sites, that would have been the number. If there are aggrieved parties, they have the option to file a lawsuit against the decision. The way the Township is structured, the decision is forwarded to the Township Board for a final decision. In this case, the recommendation was modified to 6 RV sites with conditions. Riley said his initial report to the County Board, and the information that was provided to the Township, spoke to that difference and left open the question of whether that is less restrictive. Riley said having a different structure is less restrictive in itself, but he felt whether that can lead to less restrictive conditions is for the Commissioners to decide.
Sawatzke said this is an example of where the structure leads to a less restrictive decision. He does not know if the County’s Board of Adjustment even would grant 4 sites in a residential area with a pre-existing use of 1 or 2 non-conforming sites. He said it would surprise him if they would have granted this. Riley was unsure as the County did not go through that process on this request. Sawatzke does not feel this was a permitted use or a conditional use, that it is a non-conforming, grandfathered use. Riley stated this is correct. Sawatzke understands that non-conforming, grandfathered use can continue to exist but cannot expand. He asked whether that is a fair Planning & Zoning principle. Riley stated that is correct. Thelen interjected that variances are approved on non-conforming uses. Sawatzke said he was unaware of this. Riley said if the County’s Board of Adjustment would have dealt with this variance request, the process would have included review of the circumstances. If there was strong evidence that there was 1, 2, 3, or 4 RV sites, they might have gone with that evidence. If there wasn’t clear evidence, he did not feel the Board of Adjustment would have approved an expansion of use on the property. Sawatzke said the approval would not have expanded the non-conforming use but may have allowed for continued use. Riley said approval may have allowed for the continuation of use. Thelen said the variance request went from the Township’s Planning Commission to the Township Board. The Township Board took action to approve 6 RV sites. Riley was not present at those meetings so he said he can’t speak to that process; he can only comment on the process that would have taken place at the County. Thelen said if this request were addressed by the County, the decision would not have come to the County Board. Riley said that is correct. She said there is a good reason why she is not making those kinds of decisions.
Thelen asked the County Board to consider modifying the Ordinance to take the Township Board out of the decision making process. She said an argument could be made whether the Planning Commission or an elected official will do a better job in terms of a final decision. Even if the Planning Commission is stacked with people who thought a particular way, she thought at least they would have to be involved in a process where decisions are made based on findings of fact. Thelen said this is a contentious issue and in some decisions, a compromise results in no one being happy. She said the Township did not approve 12 RV sites. She was unsure whether there are any problems that might be associated with the decision for 6 RV sites versus the recommended4 sites. That is yet to be determined.
Sawatzke felt Thelen might look at the situation differently if this was occurring on Nixon Lake right next to her cabin. Thelen said she wonders why there are huge houses all over Nixon Lake when it previously was a nice little campground that she used. She said it cuts both ways. She said those are the pressures that are seen. This is not the fault of those who built their dream homes on the Lake and it is not the fault of the people who camped there forever. Resolving these situations is the struggle and difficulty of the Planning Commission and also of the people who reside next to each other in this way.
Russek said the County has heard both sides of this issue. He said Commissioner Sawatzke stated at the first meeting on this issue that one year is a short time for Corinna Township to prove their Planning & Zoning decisions are as strict as the County’s. Russek said if Wright County designates Corinna Township as the shoreland authority, the County will need to observe to make sure Corinna Township’s decisions are as strict; otherwise, the whole thing can be revoked. Russek said the County Board needs to look at the final decision made by the Township Board. Russek is not aware of the conditions the Township Board approved.
Mattson referenced Riley’s previous comment on approval and asked whether the Agreement would be approved if the resolution is not. Riley strongly urged the Board to consult the Township on the contract that was signed implying the Township would potentially gain shoreland authority. The contract is signed, dated, and includes a provision to opt out of the contract. Based on the history of this case, he did not see any reason to impose more negative feelings without consulting the Township on the services contract. Thelen made a motion to delay action on the decision to grant shoreland authority to Corinna Township, that the issue be tabled, until the Township has an opportunity to discuss the idea of changing their Ordinance so it is more parallel to the County’s relative to the Board of Adjustment decisions. She said the Township’s Board of Adjustment is their Planning Commission. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. He said this will allow more time for review and discussion with those involved, with counsel, and to iron out a few more issues. Sawatzke asked legal counsel to provide an opinion on the options of the County Board. Sawatzke felt one option would be to approve the recommendation of the Committee Of The Whole. Another option would be to approve Thelen’s recommendation. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said another option would be for the Board not to grant Corinna Township the shoreline authority. The Board could direct the County Attorney’s Office to develop findings for approval or denial if the Board wants more investigation on the County’s part. The Board could also continue this issue without any conditions. Sawatzke said he is not strongly opposed to Thelen’s request. He questioned whether the motion suggests the shoreland authority will be granted if the Township changes their current practice to designating the Township Board of Adjustment as the final authority. Sawatzke said he was unsure of his position at this point. He felt what Thelen suggested was an improvement over the current system. He said quite frankly, the Planning Commission made an error in granting 4 RV sites. The expansion of the CUP in this case was clearly something that should not have occurred. The County’s Planning & Zoning Administrator explained the expansion of a non-conforming use is not an acceptable Planning & Zoning decision. Sawatzke had concern with that. Thelen asked for clarification, as she understood from talking with Planning & Zoning that variances are granted on non-conforming uses. Riley stated that he agreed with the principle that Sawatzke just stated. As it applies to this case, the case was not before the County so they did not have all of the facts. Sawatzke asked Riley whether, generally speaking, they expand non-conforming lots. Riley said generally speaking they don’t but that does not mean it applies to this case. The principle is accurate. Thelen asked Riley whether the Planning & Zoning Office was involved. Last summer, there was a question on whether the property should be rezoned commercial. Riley said the County Planning & Zoning Office discussed the process but was not involved in the public hearing process, so they were unable to hear from both sides of the case. He understood there was testimony from residents that have lived there since the 1970’s. Riley said he is not familiar with the facts so is hesitant to apply that principle to this case. Sawatzke asked Riley if there were 4 RV sites in the past at this location, if 4 would be acceptable. Riley stated this is correct. Sawatzke said that situation would not be an expansion; it would mean there had always been 4 sites there. Riley said the decision would be made based on the facts presented. Sawatzke said the request from Cedar Acres was to expand an existing, non-conforming use. Riley said he believed they wanted to go to 12 sites.
Chuck Carlson, Corinna Township, said letters as submitted sometimes shed the wrong light. He wanted to correct a few things. He did not feel the property should be called a campground. The Township completed research and drove around. They saw small, residential lots with 2-3 campers. Carlson said if 3 lots are made from the 450’ of lakeshore, the Ordinance would allow 1 house and 1 camper. Applying that to this situation, it would be 3 residential lots with 6 campers. The lot is not open to the public; it is only for Cedar Acres residents. He did not feel it was the same thing as camping at Schroeder Park, for example. Carlson said one time per year, there are 20 tents on the site (Boy Scouts). An attempt was made to stop the overuse. The Township Board added some things the Planning Commission didn’t, in addition to the 4 RV sites. The first is that this situation will be reviewed annually. Another requirement is that with 6 sites, an application must be made to the MN Department of Health for a dumping station and public facilities. He said the effort may not be worth it based upon use. Carlson said in the last 3 years, there have been 8 campers. He did not feel this involves an expansion. He was not present to argue, but felt Sawatzke was against the request because it is being called a campground. Carlson does not want another campground in the Township. However, he said 6 RV units on a 4.5 acre lot is not crowded.
Kathy Campbell said a lot of this could have been solved by the Township’s Planning & Zoning taking the time to go through the conditions for a variance. She felt that process was stopped short. Information was posted on the Internet. The people who came to the Township Meeting expected discussion. That was stopped by a vote prior to the conditions being discussed. Had a vote been taken of those attending, there would have been a predominance of “no’s”. Campbell felt there was a predisposition by the Township Board to allow camping at that location. Whatever camping was done was done illegally and that should be noted. The specifics of the property included no overnight use and daytime use by residents. The meeting included discussion of sanitation and the difference in requirements for 4 and 6 RV sites. She was surprised that it went from the Township Planning & Zoning to the Township Board, and that the Township Board added units rather than being more critical of overuse. She felt the process should have involved residents bringing forth their points at the meeting. She felt there was something going on that was not quite right.
Thelen did not think it was fair to go over the entire Cedar Acres discussion again. There were people who spoke with a different point of view at the Township meeting. She felt the outcome was problematic for both sides. She felt the biggest issue came when the issue went from the Board of Adjustment /Planning Commission to the Township Board and then the recommendation was changed. Thelen has talked with members of the Township and they are not averse to being taken out of the decision making process. Thelen said she knows that people don’t like the 4 sites but that is how it went in this case.
Eichelberg asked Thelen to restate her motion. Thelen said the motion was to table the decision until Corinna Township has changed their Ordinance to parallel the County’s Ordinance relative to decision making on Board of Adjustment matters. She said essentially, the Planning Commission/Board of Adjustment would be the final authority on these decisions. Thelen does like the idea of having the County Attorney’s Office come forward with findings as well. Sawatzke said those findings do not apply to the motion Thelen made. Sawatzke asked if they vote in favor of this motion, can the County Board still reserve the right to vote no at a later time. He felt he could agree to that. He asked whether this would bind anyone in 2-3 months that Corinna is as restrictive as the County and can do as well of a job in the shoreland. Thelen thought the length of time it would take the Corinna Township Board to change their Ordinance would be 15-20 days. Kryzer recalled a 10-day public notice would be required prior to a meeting. He was unsure whether they could still accomplish this in December. Sawatzke said they would have to wait until their next public meeting to agree to change the Ordinance. Then it would need to be published and a public hearing held.
Charlotte Quiggle, Chair of the Planning Commission in Corinna Township, said the December meeting notice for the Township Board has already been posted. If the Township were to consider such an Ordinance, it would probably be at their January Meeting. It would not be until February that they could reasonably have an Ordinance change.
Eichelberg asked whether the vote today would commit the County Board to agreeing to something in the future. Sawatzke said the citizens asked for more time for review and this would provide them that time. Thelen said the decision is being tabled and includes a condition that she felt they would be looking for. Sawatzke said it is asking the Township to bring it back that way. It is not suggesting it will be approved with those changes. Sawatzke said that would be preferable to the way it is now, but he is not committing to voting for it today. The motion carried 5-0.
Russek asked whether this action negates Riley’s request on the Agreement for Coordinated Building and Sewage Treatment Code Administration. Riley said there is a contract for services that expires 12-31-11. Sawatzke suggested approving the Agreement and the Township can opt out if desired. Otherwise, on 1-01-12 the County will not have those services available. Russek said the Township probably would not have time to get another inspector in. Riley said the Agreement includes a 90-day out clause. Sawatzke moved to approve the Agreement with Corinna Township, seconded by Thelen, carried 5-0.
The meeting recessed at 11:10 A.M. and reconvened at 11:20 A.M.
A Building Committee Meeting was held on 11-16-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson stated that he has some concern with runoff, although the City and Postels feel the raingarden will work. More information will be brought to the next Committee Meeting. Eichelberg stated that some of the facts they are gathering is the amount of upkeep during the first couple of years. Eichelberg moved to approve the 11-16-11 Building Committee Minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
Information was distributed on designing, planting and maintaining a raingarden (attached). A raingarden utilizes rainfall and stormwater runoff in its design and plant selection. Typically, the area designated is engineered to withstand the extremes of moisture and concentrations of nutrients that are common in stormwater runoff. Raingardens are positioned near the source of runoff to slow the stormwater as it travels downhill, giving the stormwater more time to infiltrate and less opportunity to gain momentum and cause erosion.
Kannas explained that raingardens are becoming more popular as a stormwater treatment device. The first half inch of rainfall enters the raingarden. Once the raingarden fills, any additional water would flow to the stormwater system and then into Buffalo Lake. The City of Buffalo decided to look into locating raingardens in this neighborhood as there are no stormwater ponds to filter the pollutants prior to the water flowing into Buffalo Lake.
The City of Buffalo stubbed in piping for a raingarden as part of their road project to the west of the Government Center. A pipe was placed under the sidewalk and a catch basin was installed. The proposed raingarden location is the lawn area on the southwest corner of the Government Center property (see attached map). The hatched area of the map is the bottom of the raingarden. A 2’ wide berm (4:1 slope) is placed around this, high enough so that when the raingarden fills, the water backflows through a pipe into the catch basin. When the catch basin fills, the water follows the curb line. The area has been staked.
Raingardens can be different shapes, sizes, and contain various plants. The plants are deep rooted so they can withstand both drought and moisture. Drain tile is installed under the garden to assure there is no water standing. The raingarden is designed to be dry 48 hours after a rain event.
Postels works in the Extension Office and is the Coordinator of the Master Gardener Program. She said the preference is to use perennial native plants, including grasses and many varieties of blooming flowers. Many organizations are encouraging raingardens because of their benefits, including the SWCD. Grant funding may be available for the plants. There is a program through the University of Minnesota. Another option would be for the Extension Service to coordinate workshops around the raingarden, encouraging others to start their own. A workshop could be held for planting the County’s raingarden.
Discussion led to the installation of the raingarden and maintenance. The City will construct the raingarden and the County will be responsible for maintenance thereafter. Kannas said the preparation work is included in the contract and will be completed next spring or summer. Postels said that once the raingarden has been constructed, planting will follow. During the first three years, it will be important to hand weed the garden until the perennial plants mature. Thereafter, the raingarden can be mowed down in the fall. Mattson suggested using the STS Crew for maintenance. He did not feel Building Maintenance should be responsible for pulling weeds and the maintenance of the raingarden. Postels said the Juvenile Work Crew may be another option if given instruction on what needs to be weeded.
Postels volunteered to contact cities that have completed similar projects to obtain information on initial cost, maintenance, funding, and the pros/cons of having a raingarden. Postels was asked to share this information with Al Buskey, Building Maintenance, prior to the next Committee Meeting.
Recommendation: Lay discussion over to the next Building Committee Meeting, to be held on 12-14-11 at 9:00 A.M.
(End of 11-16-11 Building Committee Minutes)
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-14-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
Hagerty and O’Malley took the Committee on a tour of the Jail. The average daily population is running between 98 and 105 prisoners.
Hagerty gave a PowerPoint presentation (see attached) explaining the history and duties of the Sheriff’s Office, including the role of the Sheriff in township and municipal policing, and contract law enforcement services.
(End of 11-14-11 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 11-16-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Mattson asked when an employee is on military deployment if their job is available when they return. Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, said the positions must be held open by law. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said this is done for all County positions no matter which Department is involved. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Position Openings:
A. Secretary, Extension Service.
Chur said the 1.0 FTE position now vacant is due to the death of Jan Klein in October. Klein had been on leave of absence since spring of 2011. Chur requested the Committee consider staffing needs in the Extension Department. She distributed a position description and a copy of minutes from the 11-8-11 Extension Committee meeting (see attached). Chur said the matter was discussed at the 11-8-11 Extension Committee meeting which recommended they fill the Secretary position. Chur noted the Extension Committee minutes state they recommend Tarah Huston move from Office Assistant into the Secretary position. Chur said she is aware the position will have to be posted and Huston will apply for the position as part of the normal application process.
Chur mentioned the other programs the position supports. She said they are all growing programs. The largest is the 4H program with the most adult volunteers. She said the Master Gardener program is also active and large. Eichelberg affirmed there is a definite need. He asked whether Huston is the employee in the office currently. Chur said yes, adding she does a good job. Sawatzke asked if Mattson supports the proposal. Chur said yes, she believed so, as she heard no dissenting votes at the Extension Committee meeting. Sawatzke asked whether the Personnel Committee would be approving the Secretary position and eventually see a request to post for the Office Assistant position in December 2011 or January 2012. Norman said yes. Sawatzke told Chur the position would have to be advertised. Petersen said the position could be posted internally for a minimum of seven days and any County employee could apply. Eichelberg said the request looked good to him as it fills a need. Sawatzke agreed. Eichelberg asked whether there will be training so the new Secretary will be able to step in and continue. Chur said yes. Petersen asked if the position could be posted internally. Sawatzke said not until after the County Board meets 11-29-11.
Recommendation: Recommend Request to Post Extension Service Secretary Position Internally.
B. Civilian Corrections Officer.
Norman, Sawatzke and Eichelberg received an email from O’Malley with information about the request for a Civilian Corrections Officer (see attached). O’Malley said this position would replace Bruce Petersen who will retire 1-2-12. The Sheriff’s Office plans to keep two positions open for Corrections Officer. This position will temporarily bring the number down to one opening, with another coming up in January when Petersen retires.
Sawatzke said it sounds like the Sheriff’s Office has two openings the way it is, or they will have three openings and officers will get overtime. Barb Petersen asked whether they are planning to leave two positions open. Norman said yes. Sawatzke said they may have two positions open unless they consistently house more than 110 inmates.
Sawatzke said based on the facts provided in O’Malley’s email, he recommends approval. Eichelberg recommended the request be placed on the Board Agenda for 11-29-11. Sawatzke asked about the status of the eligibility list. Petersen said her coworker Pawelk coordinates the list.
Norman clarified that Sawatzke approves of the request for a Corrections Officer. Sawatzke said yes, as that still leaves two positions open. Eichelberg asked if that means there will be three positions open when one goes on military deployment in February, 2012. Sawatzke said yes, there will be another opening in February. They do not plan on backfilling the position of the individual going on a military deployment.
Norman said O’Malley is asking to fill this position now so can they can get into field training and be ready to fill the position by 1-2-12. Sawatzke said if they were not already two positions down, they could hire someone immediately after the 11-29-11 meeting.
Recommendation: Approve Hiring Civilian Corrections Office Position.
C. Case Aide II, Human Services.
Lori Schmidt distributed a document that explained the case load (see attached). She said the person who held this position recently accepted a position in Public Health. This was the Case Aide who provided support to the Chemical Dependency area. Schmidt said the Case Aide II position meets with clients in person to evaluate their eligibility for chemical dependency treatment. The County is responsible for approximately 22% of the cost of all treatment provided by the Consolidated Chemical Dependency Treatment Funds (CCDTF). Schmidt said the Department has been aggressive about appealing to the State regarding cases that are not from the County. Schmidt said due to documentation gathered by the Case Aide, the Department saved costs that would otherwise have been charged to the County.
Regarding the Community Support Program (CSP), Schmidt said the Department discontinued their vendor service agreement with Central Minnesota Mental Health Center (CMMHC). The program is now administered in-house. The Department had previously utilized CMMHC half-time. The new plan is to have the Case Aide work half time with CSP and half time with CCDTF cases. Schmidt said the budget does not change, except to continue to provide a Case Aide II in the Mental Health Unit. Eichelberg asked Schmidt whether the former Case Aide II was full time. Schmidt said the Department is hoping to either hire vendor service for the remaining half time or find other creative solutions. Norman asked the cost of vendor service versus in-house staff. Schmidt said she prefers to allot the responsibilities to an in-house employee because vendors take more of her time. She said the vendor service employee is paid $14 per hour (not including an additional percentage paid to the company), but the County Case Aide position is paid $15.61 per hour. Schmidt said the Department paid them $30,000 per year. The $50,000 is paid for a half time Case Aide through Public Health. Schmidt said the Department is shifting $25,000 for the Case Aide II position and Public Health and $25,000 set aside for vendor service.
Sawatzke confirmed that the Department never added staff. Schmidt said no, Public Health provided a half time person, so Human Services is paying them for that. Sawatzke said it seems it was a way to avoid laying someone off due to shrinking duties. Schmidt said it was a smart use of staff. They did not lay anyone off. She said the rate for the Case Aide II position is $15 per hour versus $14 for the vendor’s employee, but that rate would go up if the Department used CSP. Schmidt said her dream is to have two Case Aide II position versus vendor servicing. She said the Department will have to contract with vendor service to cover CSP. Norman asked whether the Department was contracting with an agency or an individual. Schmidt said an agency called Action Plus. Sawatzke said the handout says they don’t contract out this service anymore. Schmidt said Action Plus is not comfortable doing CSP anymore, but they will do CCDTF.
Sawatzke said the former Case Aid took a position with Public Health. He asked Petersen what the starting salary is for the Case Aide II position. Petersen said $15.61 per hour. She said CSP provides activities for people with mental illnesses to keep them out of the hospital. Schmidt added there should be no problem filling this position at Step One. Petersen said if the job is posted on the County website and the Minnesota Job Bank, Personnel may get as many as 100 applications. Schmidt said she knows there is also internal interest. She asked that the position be posted both internally and externally.
Sawatzke asked Eichelberg his opinion. Eichelberg agreed. Sawatzke said they approved the request. Schmidt asked whether she had authorization to hire vendor service for the other part of the duties. Schmidt said the Department formerly acquired vendor services through CMMHC. She said the Department purchased a person through Action Plus to perform those duties. Sawatzke said the County paid $80,000 to CMMHC. Schmidt says now the County pays $30,000. He added that was a budget balancing measure. Schmidt agreed. She said the Department paid $30,000 plus room rentals plus another $20,000 which comes to about $55,000 between the Case Aide II and vendor service. That is a $30,000 savings. Sawatzke said he calculated a $50,000 savings because the person in Public Health is on staff. He added that looking at the overall Human Services budget, there is a $55,000 savings. Schmidt said yes, and from this point onward, $30,000 to pay the vendor will come out of the CCDTF line item. Sawatzke said that was fine as the County is $50,000 ahead of the previous budget.
Recommendation: Approve Posting Case Aide II Position Internally and Externally.
D. Micro Computer Programmer I.
Swing said they held only one interview for a prior position, Lead Developer that was recently filled. Of the four applicants, two did not meet the minimum qualifications. The person selected was a Programmer who is a County Information Technology Department employee. Swing said he is well qualified.
Swing said this Programmer position will fill the one vacated by the employee who took the Lead Developer position. Eichelberg asked whether Swing expects more applicants with this posting. Swing said yes. The Lead Developer and Network Analyst positions are in the same classification. He said when the positions were classified in January, 2011, the Salary Schedule for these positions did not increase. He said his Department is seeing the effects of the classification of these positions. Sawatzke asked Swing whether the County got a qualified Lead Developer. Swing said yes. Eichelberg asked whether the County received information yet from the classification study. Norman said not yet. He hopes to bring a report to the Board in December.
Recommendation: Approve Replacement of Micro Computer Programmer I Position.
E. Network Analyst.
Swing said the Network Analyst employee resigned. The employee was offered a position at Carver County for $34,000 more annually for the same position. The employee, Brian Malinski, has been here less than 2.5 years. Swing said he’s very good, and he knew he would lose him. His last day is one week from today. Swing said his Department trains employees and then loses them to other organizations. He said he discussed this position classification with the Personnel Committee, but the pay level was not increased. He requested permission to advertise for the position.
Sawatzke asked whether Swing was concerned about getting enough applicants. Swing said yes. He said the Programmer position will draw a lot of applicants, but the Network Analyst applications will be fewer, similar to the Lead Developer. Peterson said she posted the Lead Developer position at schools, colleges, the St. Cloud newspaper, and a large career website like Monster.com. Two of the applicants did not meet the minimum qualifications, and one applicant that did (other than the one who was hired) called one hour before the interview saying he was too sick to come. She said the Lead Developer position was posted for 2.5 weeks.
Swing said the Network Analyst position may present similar problems since it is at the same level. Petersen said she posted the Lead Developer position at a starting wage of $19.75 per hour. Sawatzke said the County needs to keep the door open to start higher than Step One in cases like this. Norman said the County is trying to hire all positions at Step One, but in unique circumstances he can recommend the Board approve a higher Step. Petersen asked whether there was a Lead Developer position in Scott County that was considerably higher. Swing said he knows his staff looks at Scott and Carver County openings, and Carver has a Systems Engineer position open. He said the Programmer who took the Lead Developer job was looking at another job simultaneously. He said there is great disparity in pay. Petersen said it would be nice to have more leeway when hiring.
Sawatzke said he recommends the Information Technology Department replace the Network Analyst position and allow the Personnel Office to advertise the salary range. The Board is on notice now that someone may start higher than Step One. Norman said the policy states the County may offer as high as Step Three. If the Department wishes to offer higher than that, they may come to the Board for authorization to hire at that specific Step. Sawatzke said two years ago the Board authorized all new employees start at Step One.
Norman said the most recent resignation will be on the 12-14-11 Committee Agenda. He confirmed with Swing that he is asking for authorization to fill the Network Analyst position.
Recommendation: Replace Network Analyst Position and Allow the Personnel Office to Advertise the Salary Range.
F. Office Assistant, Auditor/Treasurer.
Hiivala told the Board he will place this request on the December Personnel Committee Agenda. Sawatzke asked whether this was the position vacated in October. Norman said yes.
Recommendation: None. Item laid over until December meeting.
(End of 11-16-11 Personnel Committee Minutes)
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-15-11. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Thelen. Russek stated the minutes are accurate but he has a problem with the recommendation. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Review Job Descriptions For County Coordinator And Human Resources Director.
Russek said the Board received copies of both job descriptions (see attached). Norman said he was asked at the last Committee meeting to develop job descriptions for both the County Coordinator and Human Resources Director positions. These were developed by Trusight Inc., the County’s consultant. Norman said Trusight based the job descriptions on positions from other jurisdictions of similar size. He believes they accurately reflect the responsibilities of each position. Norman noted that overseeing purchasing functions is not mentioned under the Primary Objective section of the new Coordinator job description, but is noted under Item 7, Essential Duties and Responsibilities.
Norman referred to his current job description (also attached). He said the only difference between his current and the proposed job description is the new one does not include the Human Resources Director responsibilities. Thelen asked about item 9.9 on Page 3 of the Coordinator job description, saying it appeared to be a new item. Norman said this is now included in almost all new job descriptions Trusight develops. Thelen asked whether that was a template for all departments. Norman said it is.
Russek asked whether anyone had questions or ideas. Thelen asked if Russek was referring to the Coordinator position. Russek said yes. Russek said he read the proposed Coordinator job description, and that it includes everything except there is nothing mentioned about purchasing. Norman said oversight of purchasing is in the narrative under Item 7; however, it is not listed under the Primary Objective section.
Thelen asked whether Trusight completed the other job descriptions. Kelly replied only clerical descriptions remain to be completed. Norman said he and his staff met with George Gmach last week. They agreed Gmach would deliver the job descriptions to Personnel last week. Norman asked Personnel whether they received the documents this morning. Peterson replied that she sent them to Gmach on Thursday, 11-10-11 since he stated he would be out of the office for a few days. Norman said Administrative staff and Gmach are close to agreement, and there are only minor revisions to be made regarding some of the clerical positions. He said once those are completed, the new job descriptions are ready for distribution. Norman said his plan is to give Department Heads two weeks to review the job descriptions and provide input. During that time, Norman will work with Gmach to make recommendations to the County Board.
Sawatzke asked whether every job description in the County would get new points and descriptions. Norman said yes. He said the County will switch to the process Trusight utilizes. Hay Consultant, the company the County used previously, is no longer in business in Minnesota. Norman said the County used one of their consultants to do evaluations in the interim after Hay left.
Mattson said he was the swing vote on this issue previously because he wanted to see the difference between the Coordinator and Human Resources Director positions. He said this is a terrible time to hire a Human Resources Director. He said he asked for the two job descriptions to see what they would entail, but he also wanted Norman and the other Board members to know his stance on the issue. Mattson said the County has negotiations coming up, and he realizes a good Human Resources Director will require substantially more than $30,000 to-$40,000 per year. Mattson was not comfortable with changing the job descriptions at this time. Mattson said perhaps next year at this time the Board and taxpayers would be more comfortable addressing the possibility of hiring a Human Resources Director. He said maybe then the County could add a person, but he was not going to lay anyone off. He reiterated that he wanted the Board to know his position on the issue.
Russek asked whether the Human Resources Director position was included in this year’s budget. Norman said yes. Sawatzke asked whether the amount budgeted was the difference between the current personnel position pay and the Human Resources Director pay scale. Norman said yes. Thelen said she heard at the Association of Minnesota Counties District meeting that Stearns County is considering doing management audits to evaluate Departments when key employees retire. She added that Stearns County is also conducting staffing studies before they automatically replace staff. Thelen said she believes there is probably a good justification for a Human Resources Director for Wright County.
Russek asked how Personnel is progressing regarding filling the Humans Services Director position. Norman said the position has been advertised. He said Stearns County used a Community Services Director from Dakota County who lived in Stearns County at one time to do a program audit. Norman explained that person was not looking at staffing requirements. Thelen said she does not want to lay off one person and replace them with a management position and have fewer people to do the work. She also did not feel the Human Resources Director should report to the Coordinator or be in the Administration Department office. She said this position seems more like a manager than a department head. Russek said the Board decided the Human Resources Director position would report to the Coordinator. Thelen said her first objection is replacing an existing staff member with the Human Resources Director. She asked whether the current staff met the supervisory requirements for the Human Resources Director. Norman said those requirements are the minimum Trusight recommends for an organization to adequately fill the position. Thelen asked whether the functions could be reorganized.
Mattson said he thought reorganizing some of Norman’s responsibilities and delegating some to others should be a workable solution utilizing current staff. Norman said he delegates to staff continuously. He asked Kelly whether he is busy. Kelly responded yes.
Norman said if the decision of the Board is to wait until he retires, he believes the Board will have a difficult time filling his position without a Human Resources Director in place. Mattson said he did not imply the Board would wait until then, but he would like to wait until after union negotiations next year.
Eichelberg said Norman brought the job descriptions as the Board requested and the information provided was important. Thelen agreed it looks good. Russek said it was good to get an upgraded job description for the Coordinator position. Sawatzke asked whether a new Coordinator job description exists that has not removed Human Resources Director responsibilities. Norman said yes. Sawatzke said he believes if there were a Human Resources Director, the position should be in the Coordinator’s office to avoid splintering departments and to achieve economies of scale. He said the Human Resources Director and Coordinator can share secretarial staff. He realizes other counties don’t have that arrangement, or perhaps have an Administrator instead of a Coordinator. Sawatzke asked whether Sherburne County Personnel staff reports to the Administrator. Norman said yes. Sawatzke said when a County has an Administrator, the Human Resources Director is often in that department. Thelen said that is the value of a manager audit. She would like to look at the organizational structure of the County, although not at this time. Thelen said she would not lay off a person to make room for a Human Resources Director, and she does not think there is any political will to hire an additional person. She said the issue is moot at this point.
Norman said the time to hire a Human Resources Director was probably five years ago. He said he has initiated this discussion at his performance reviews since 2006. Thelen supports a Human Resources Director, but not at the expense of current staff doing the work. She said she has heard from a number of department heads. Norman asked her to clarify that she would be in favor of adding a staff person. Thelen said she would be in favor of looking at that situation once she had a better understanding of staffing. She asked whether Norman could delegate some of the tasks.
Norman said that Thelen has mentioned delegation often, and that he delegates as much as possible. He stated he has a lot on his plate. Norman said it is only possible to delegate so much when there aren’t the numbers of staff available to do the work. He said he would welcome a staffing study because he is confident of the findings that would result. He said the County’s Administration Department has fewer people than other jurisdictions of comparable size. Thelen said she cannot justify laying off someone or adding an additional staff person.
Russek said if the Board approves this position, he hopes one of the three current Personnel staff would apply. Thelen said the qualifications don’t look like they match as current Personnel staff doesn’t have supervisory experience. Norman said the initiative for the Human Resources Director position originated with the Leadership Team two years ago at a meeting in May that he did not attend. The Department Heads requested that the Board initiate research into this position. Norman went on to say he has seen a need for this position for at least the past five years. Thelen said that may be, but she did not understand why hiring a Human Resources Director should create a new Department Head and cut current staff by one person. She said the trend is to reduce management structure, and in this case the County would be adding to it.
Norman said when he retires, the Board may have a difficult time finding someone to do the Coordinator position if it includes Human Resources Director responsibilities as well. Sawatzke said there will be plenty of applicants due to the Coordinator’s $110,000 per year salary. Norman said that depends on the skill set applicants bring to the table. Russek said whether or not Department Heads understood the Human Resources Director would eliminate another position, they said they need a Human Resources Director, even if they do not understand how the Administration Department functions. Russek said the Board needs to respect the Department Heads as they have to work with each other. Thelen said the Board should ask them if they want a Human Resources Director if it means eliminating a staff person. She said six of them said no. Thelen said that would entail a different recommendation than the Board was currently considering. Norman said perhaps those Department Heads would be willing to cut their budgets to fund a new position.
Sawatzke suggested the Board recommend tabling the item for six months if Thelen and Mattson agree. He said he has been undecided on this issue from day one because he sees merit on each side. He agrees with Mattson that this is not the right time to add a Human Resources Director. Eichelberg said if that is the case, the Board should place the issue on the agenda to allow Department Heads to clarify their positions. Sawatzke said the Board should determine the real concerns of Department Heads who advocate for the Human Resources Director position. He believes part of their motivation may be that Norman has a strong backbone. He is a strict follower of policy and some departments are less inclined to do so. Sawatzke said some of the Department Heads who endorse a Human Resources Director position may hope that person won’t be as strict on policy as Norman. Russek said he was probably the first to raise discussion about the need for a Human Resources Director. He says a county of this size with 670 employees requires that position. He added Norman does the best possible job. Russek said the Board has heard Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, say there are things he would like Norman to do that his current workload prevents him from accomplishing. Russek said Bill Swing, Information Technology Director, would also like Norman to be able to spend more time on projects with his Department.
Thelen asked what would change by waiting six months. Norman said nothing would likely change. Thelen said the budget process will not be done at the State at that point, and the Board will have the same set of circumstances. She asked if any were willing to look into a staffing or management audit. She said Stearns County is reporting great success finding ways to combine or cut to make their county organization more efficient. Sawatzke said he didn’t think anyone in their office wants to combine or cut staff. Thelen said Stearns cuts as people leave. She said she would go along with delaying a decision for six months. Norman said nothing will change in six months. He said the Board could wait for him to bring it up at budget time. Sawatzke suggested the discussion be tabled for eight months until the next budget is set. Russek said the discussion will center on the same issues as today. Norman said he talked to cohorts at other counties when he and Kelly were at a fall conference. Those individuals said they did not know how he or the County could function without a Human Resources Director. Thelen responded that the issue is laying off existing personnel to keep the Human Resources Director position within budget and staffing levels the same. She will not support laying off staff.
The consensus of Mattson, Thelen and Sawatzke was to table the discussion regarding creating a Human Resources Director position for eight months until the next budget is determined. Mattson said when the Board goes to budget sessions, the Department Heads battle the Board. Russek said the budget went up not because of Department Heads, as they trimmed their budgets by $3 million last year.
Thelen asked whether the Board would reconsider doing an internal hire as a compromise and not advertise the position externally. She said the Administration Department would still be losing one person to do the work. Norman said from the start that the Board should let the process play out. Thelen said according to the Human Resources Director job description, the current Personnel staff does not qualify. Norman asked why the Board would place someone in a position if they do not meet the minimum qualifications. He said he did not say this to diminish the contributions of his current Personnel staff. He said they are excellent professionals who do their jobs well. He said he has asked Brown a number of times if she wanted to be the Personnel Manager, and each time she said no. Brown confirmed she is not interested in the position.
Recommendation: Delay discussion regarding hiring a Human Resources Director for eight months until the next budget is discussed.
(End of 11-15-11 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Thelen, all voted to cancel the 1-17-12 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in January.
Norman provided a matrix of health insurance and preventative dental rates for employees, effective 3-01-12. Norman said when the health insurance plan was awarded to Health Partners, they guaranteed a rate cap for the second year. The trend analysis and loss ratio reflects an estimated 23-24% increase in 2012. The rate cap ensures an aggregate 12% rate increase for the plan offerings in 2012. Employee open enrollment will occur in February. Changes to an employees plan can be made at that time. The rates are as follows:
Health and Preventive Dental Rates
Plan 1 - Single: Health $755.96, Prev. Dental $15.35, Total $771.31;
Family: Health $1,527.94, Prev. Dental $49.40, Total $1,577.34
Plan 2 - Single: Health $721.73, Prev. Dental $15.35; Total $737.08;
Family: Health $1,458.75, Prev. Dental $49.40, Total $1,508.15
Plan 3 - Single: Health $668.65, Prev. Dental $15.35, total $684.00;
Family: Health 1,351.47, Prev. Dental $49.40, Total $1,400.87
* County Contribution towards health and prev. dental was $945.40 for 2011.
Plan 1 - Single: Health $841.73, Prev. Dental $15.80, Total $857.53;
Family: Health $1,701.31, Prev. Dental $50.90, Total $1,752.21
Plan 2 - Single: Health $805.94, Prev. Dental $15.80; Total $821.74;
Family: Health $1,628.95, Prev. Dental $50.90, Total $1,679.85
Plan 3 - Single: Health $760.85, Prev. Dental $15.80, total $745.05;
Family: Health 1,537.83, Prev. Dental $50.90, Total $1,588.73
Buy-up Dental Rates:
2011; Single $30.75; Family $91.90
2012: Single $31.70; Family $94.65

Norman said the County received an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant On-Site Monitoring Report from the Department of Energy. The U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant was awarded to Wright County on 9-30-09 for $471,200. Six activities were subsequently approved: 1) Variable Speed Drive, $64,077; 2) Damper Replacement, $7,473; 3) Boiler Replacement, $131,480; 4) Heat Pump Retrofit, $149,190; 5) Lighting Upgrades, $34,000; and 6) Steam Boiler Replacement, $84,900. The Monitoring Team conducted a field visit on 10-28-11 and did not identify any corrective actions. Some of the comments made included:
1. The personnel associated with grant administration are knowledgeable and experienced.
2. The grantee staff has captured the intent of the Recovery Act through prudent, diligent, and competent efforts.
3. The monitoring team was impressed by the grantee’s planning and execution, as well as their enthusiasm for these chosen projects. The grantee is in compliance with the grant terms and conditions including expected completion of projects within the grant period.
Norman recognized Lee Kelly, Special Projects Administrator, for writing the grant and meeting all reporting requirements.
Mattson and Russek attended a 4-H Banquet in Waverly on 11-26-11. They extended appreciation to Nick Neaton and Extension Office staff members. It was a great family event with a good turnout.
Bills Approved
Albertville Body Shop. $915.50
Albion Township 1,235.20
Allina Hospitals & Clinic 901.24
Allina Medical Laboratories 191.30
American Institutional Supply 267.91
Ameripride Services 307.95
Annandale Rock Products 466.46
APEC Industrial Sales & Serv. 573.39
Aramark Services Inc. 12,781.56
Assn. of Minnesota Counties 100.00
B & B Products - Rigs and Sq 1,400.00
Barker Co/Bob 728.59
Beneke/Bernie 100.00
Bergquist/Kevin 125.00
Borrett/Jim 113.50
Bound Tree Medical LLC 1,278.83
Boyer Truck Parts 1,172.54
BP Amoco 2,203.07
Buff N Glo Inc. 153.00
Buffalo Floral & Landscap 427.19
Burdas Towing 224.20
Catco Parts Service 1,112.06
Center Point Energy 2,091.74
Central Mn Mental Health 200.00
CenturyLink 2,586.55
Chamberlain Oil Co 521.73
CPS Technology Solutions 1,449.65
Croteau Plumbing 174.00
Dell Marketing LP 3,122.08
Dematteis/Mario 125.00
Dingmann Marine & More LLC 676.70
Engel/Dale L. 450.00
Ernst General Const. 4,283.00
Exceptional Outdoor Serv 221.00
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. 4,007.81
Felger Ramos LLC/Maria 290.00
Forestry Suppliers Inc. 247.94
Gateway Safety Products 166.78
General Office Products 1,393.92
Grainger 230.49
Granite Pest Control Servic 237.35
GTS Educational Events 780.00
Hewlett Packard 2,635.48
Hillyard Inc. - Minneapolis 3,743.55
Houston Engineering Inc. 3,000.00
Howard/Jolanta 100.00
Husom Electric 1,458.00
Impact Proven Solutions 8,846.79
Integrated Fire & Security 1,991.51
JS Seeding Inc. 587.82
Jahnke/Chris 167.00
L3 Communications Inc. 269.32
LaPlant Demo Inc 1,624.99
Lawson Products Inc. 291.33
Lostetter/Carol H. 200.00
M & M Express Sales and Ser 4,166.43
M-R Sign Company Inc. 707.52
Marco 353.14
Marco Inc. 2,526.52
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 203.94
Mathiowetz Construction 39,067.53
Matt Legal Services 100.00
Menards - Buffalo 2,060.85
Messaging Architects Inc. 10,500.00
MFR Valuation 2,000.00
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc. 4,909.26
Midland Nursery 496.93
Midway Iron & Metal Co. Inc 522.63
Midwest Protection Agency 1,223.31
MN-PIE 300.00
MN CLE Inc 230.00
MN Counties Computer Coop 1,451.29
MN County GIS Association 200.00
MN GIS-LIS Conference 1,380.00
MN Sheriffs Association 250.00
MN Society of Prof Surveyors 270.00
Montrose/City of 860.80
Morrell Towing Inc. 138.97
Morries Parts & Service Group 2,900.86
Motorola Inc. 35,121.06
Munson/Margaret 382.50
New River Medical Center 240.55
North Suburban Towing Inc. 134.09
Northern Green Expo 516.00
Office Depot 7,330.89
Onsite Medical Service Inc. 795.00
Otsego/City of 101,801.56
Overhead Door Company 9,057.00
Pakor Inc. 905.64
Pictometry International 21,036.38
Precision Prints of Wright Co .164.59
Pro Motion Marketing 398.15
Public Safety Printing Serv 105.81
Ramacciotti/Frank 100.00
Redstone Construction Co. 154,191.27
Rigid Hitch Incorporated 169.76
Royal Tire Inc. 4,425.08
Russek/John 189.00
Russell Security Resource 690.75
Ryan Chevrolet 102.80
Safelite Fulfillment Inc. 203.80
SHI International Corp 8,344.06
Software House Internat 614.53
Sprint 12,617.15
St. Croix Recreation Co. Inc. 2,178.11
Star Tribune 1,037.03
State of MN-Office Enterpri 965.00
State Supply Co 275.58
Tires Plus 432.74
Towmaster 91,523.48
Traffic Marking Service Inc 393.36
Uniforms Unlimited 380.83
Unlimited Electric Inc. 2,058.27
US Internet 325.00
Varitech Industries Inc. 17,585.69
Voss Lighting 441.61
Waverly/City of 121.15
West Metro Opthalmology 153.52
West Payment Center 1,081.49
Windstream 277.54
Woodland Township 515.00
Wright Hennepin Coop Elect 4,705.99
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,624.84
Xcel Energy 1,151.98
37 Payments less than $100 1,666.03
Final total $640,301.66
The meeting adjourned at 11:40 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Jan. 9, 2012.

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