WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
FEBRUARY 21, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Russek moved to approve the 2-14-12 County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Parks Administrator Item #3, “Discuss Campground Manager Position, Collinwood Park” (Mattice). Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: L. Pawelk, Admin.; D. McCalla, Aud./Treas.; R. Miller, Parks; K. Day, L. Schallock, Recorder.
1. Approve Settlement Agreement And Authorize Signatures On Stipulation For Dismissal On Mathiowetz Construction Company v. Wright County v. City of Buffalo (Ct. File No.: 86-CV-11-5111). (Funding Source: State Aid Funds).
C. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Accept The Findings And Recommendations Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezoning:
a. L&N Estates LLP (Stockholm Twp.) Approve Request To Rezone Approximately 36.5 Acres From AG General Agricultural To A/R Agricultural-Residential.
Chris Uecker, SWCD Board Chair, said Ron and Lisa Denn were selected as the recipients of the Conservation Cooperator of the Year Award by the SWCD Board. He read the following statement relating to the award:
“The Denn’s have a cow calf operation and plant about 650 acres of corn, beans and hay. The farm has been in the family for 75 years with father Franklin still involved at the age of ninety. Ron has converted all of the row crop production to no-till. Along with the use of a hay rotation, these practices are protective of the soil and water resources. The no-till practices are very noticeable as the fields will have very high residue amounts in spring after planting which greatly reduces erosion and resulting pollution of the adjoining waters. This is a technique that is still quite revolutionary in agriculture in this area. Ron has placed many of his fields into the Pelican Lake Working Lands Initiative Project. This project has established grassed areas and food plots for the improvement of wildlife and water quality. The area around the farm has good wildlife populations and is used heavily by migrating waterfowl in the spring and fall. Ron has also placed about 15 acres into the CRP program near a small lake to provide secure nesting cover for all bird species.”
Ron Denn was present at the Board Meeting to receive the award. He was congratulated and thanked for their efforts.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board approve a revised County Credit Card Policy as recommended by the Human Service Board. The last time the Policy was approved was in April, 2008. The draft reflects a change in the purpose of the Policy, adding the following language: “Credit card use is secondary to the primary method of purchasing; i.e., purchase requisitions/purchase orders.” Hiivala said the intent is for departments to follow that method when possible. The language in Item #5 was modified relating to conferences and meetings. That language has been removed and incorporated into a new Item #6 in the draft. Item #5 was also modified to include the language, “Committee authorized supplies for clients based upon case plan.” Hiivala said the language was added in direct response to a request by Human Services to use the County’s credit card for client type supplies. Hiivala said County Board action should include approval of the revised Policy and increasing the credit limit of the credit card from $5,000 to $10,000. Mattson said that when an employee attends a conference, it is the normal procedure for the County to reserve the room but the purchase is by the attendee. Hiivala said the Policy is being revised to allow use of the credit card to reserve rooms and to register for conferences. That is a change to the County’s current process. Employees can still use their personal credit cards if they so choose.
Mattson asked whether Administration agrees with this process. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said he worked with Hiivala and is in agreement with the recommendation. Eichelberg moved to approve the revised Credit Card Policy. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve increasing the credit card limit from $5,000 to $10,000.
Hiivala said Alicia Gillham, Auditor/Treasurer’s Office staff, is working with the confession of judgment files in his Office. Gillham came across the Statute dealing with confessions of judgment (M.S. 279.37, Subd. 3-7). The Statute reflects that “The county auditor notifies the county board of the offer by the property owner or taxpayer to confess judgment under the 10-year plan. However, the county board does not have to approve the confession of judgment.” The Statute reflects that “the county auditor delivers a copy of the offer by the property owner or taxpayer to confess judgment under the 10-year plan and a copy of the installment contract to the administrator of the district court.” At today’s meeting, Hiivala provided notice to the County Board acknowledging Confession of Judgment for PID #118-026-003130. In the future, he said he may not bring these confessions before the Board. He wanted to let the Board know that the County did enter into an agreement with a taxpayer.
Hiivala said the Wright SWCD is participating in the Wright County Deferred Compensation Plan. Since the County’s Plan was revised, the SWCD needs to ratify their desire to continue to participate in the Plan. The SWCD has signed the request to use the Plan. Sawatzke moved to authorize signatures approving the Wright SWCD participation in the Wright County Deferred Compensation Plan. The motion was seconded by Russek. Sawatzke said the Deferred Compensation Plan involves employee funds being invested into a retirement plan. There is no cost to the County or the SWCD. The motion carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Hiivala referenced a claim on Page 4, Integrated Fire & Security ($6,975.00) for final payment of the card access system. The claim is incorrectly coded to Administration (031-6411) and will be changed to Budget 100, Site Improvements (01-100-6605). At the last Board Meeting, the County Board questioned a payment to the Wright County Jail ($5,578) for Pay to Stay Fees. Hiivala said that in researching the claim, the Jail paid twice and the claim is reimbursement for the second payment. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested the Board authorize signatures on the 2012 Maintenance/Native Plant Community Restoration Agreement at the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council received a donation from the Cargill Foundation for native plant community restoration efforts. The plan is to establish an oak savannah area with the cost being covered by the donation from Cargill. Mattice said in the past, there was a farming agreement with Mark Holker of Monticello. The proposed Maintenance Agreement will require Holker to perform the necessary maintenance activities to assist with the restoration of lands into native plant communities. The farmer will be responsible to put in the proper cover crop in the growing season of 2012 to allow for restoration efforts to begin in 2013. Since the County has to dictate the farming process and the crop rotation, Mattice said the Maintenance Agreement with no cost to the farmer is the proper way to proceed. Mattice said if the Agreement is approved by the County Board, he will have the landowner and City sign. Eichelberg moved to authorize signatures on the 2012 Maintenance/Native Plant Community Restoration Agreement at the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. Russek asked about future maintenance costs to the County. Mattice said that the donation will cover the cost of planting the trees. However, there will be future staff time and labor costs. The motion carried 5-0.
Mattice said that at the 1-09-12 Parks Commission Meeting, the Parks Commission recommended that the County Board pursue moving forward with a partnership between the County and the MN DNR to install ground water observation well(s) at Collinwood Regional Park. The Parks Commission further recommended the County Board authorize signatures on an Agreement between Wright County and the MN DNR for this purpose. Mattice said that in November, 2009, a similar agreement was entered into with the MN DNR for monitoring wells at the William Anderson County Park. The agreement allowed monitoring of groundwater fluctuation of the Mount Simon Aquifer. The current request is for evaluation of other minor and shallower aquifers and is concentrated on the eleven county metro area. Five of the six locations in Wright County will be on State-owned properties. The study will concentrate on the Prairie Du Chien, a heavily used aquifer from which nearly 60% of all ground water is pumped. The goal is to build a strong network of monitoring wells, not only to figure out how much water there is, but also to monitor how the spring melt, runoff, rain events, and other weather patterns affect the recharge capability and what type of event provides the best recharge to the aquifers. Mattice said the monitoring site at Bill Anderson County Park has been restored properly and maintained well. Wells are monitored electronically and the data is sent to St. Paul. Russek moved to authorize signatures on the Agreement between Wright County and the MN DNR to install ground water observation well(s) at Collinwood Regional Park. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
Mattice was contacted on Friday evening with news that the Collinwood Park Campground Manager has passed away. Mattice said this leaves a void in the Parks Department, as the Manager was very well organized. Because of these efforts, Collinwood Park has realized improvements and seen an increase in use. Collinwood Park will begin taking camping reservations on 4-16-12. If the position replacement is referred to the next Personnel Committee Meeting on 3-14-12, Mattice did not feel it was likely there would be a replacement hired by 4-16-12. This is due to the timeline involved with hiring a replacement (3-14-12 Personnel Committee Meeting, 3-20-12 County Board Meeting, 7-day internal posting, 7-day external posting, and interviews). Eichelberg asked if the Board should consider holding a Personnel Committee Meeting on 2-29-12. Norman offered the suggestion of holding a Personnel Committee Meeting on 2-28-12 following the County Board Meeting. Otherwise, he said the Personnel Committee could meet on 2-27-12 and the recommendation could be brought to the 2-28-12 County Board Meeting for approval. Sawatzke asked for additional information on the Campground Manager position. Mattice stated that this is a 6-month position (26 weeks) with the first day of work being 4-16-12. Phone calls to the Park prior to that date receive a message on upcoming campground reservations and the contact number of the Parks Department. Phone calls will be answered at Collinwood Park starting on 4-16-12. At the onset, the largest tasks will involve taking reservations, cleaning the facilities, and making sure the sites are ready on 4-27-12 for the first day of camping. Mattson moved to schedule a Personnel Committee Meeting on 2-28-12 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Mattson asked whether a church group can rent or use the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Mattice said they have allowed various groups to use Wright County Parks for functions. The Bertram Park land has not been used for this purpose yet. Sawatzke said the plan is to allow this type of use in the future.
Capt. Greg Howell, Sheriff Department, said the Sheriff’s Office records 911 calls and radio traffic in the Communications Center. The Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board (CMNESB) is looking into the concept of regional logging equipment which can be shared by counties. The CMNESB wants to identify if there is interest in this regional system. Howell said Bill Swing, IT Director, supports this and that IT is the most impacted department. A draft resolution was presented which would express Wright County’s interest in the regional logger. This would not commit Wright County to participation in or funding of this endeavor. Maintenance costs should be substantially less than what Wright County is currently paying. When Wright County went forward with the 800 MHz System, a logger was purchased. The CMNESB could leverage Wright County’s equipment, and Wright County would be credited the price paid. This would result in participation for Wright County at no cost. However, the cost to participate is unknown until the CMNESB finds out which counties are interested in participating. Howell thought that Wright County currently pays approximately $20,000/year for maintenance costs. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-19 expressing Wright County’s intent to participate in the CMNESB Regional Logger Project. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested Board approval of Wright County Highway Right Of Way Plat No. 67, for the reconstruction of CSAH 3, SAP 086-603-017. Reconstruction of CSAH 3 from the South County Line to the South City limits of Cokato is scheduled for the 2012 construction season. Right-of-way acquisition is required to widen the roadway. Approval of the plat will allow acquisition of the right-of-way and recording of the easements. The Highway Department has been working with landowners to acquire the necessary easements. Mattson moved to approve the Plat. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Allina Hospitals & Clinic $18,358.50
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 179.94
Ameripride Services 118.72
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 238.08
Anoka County Corrections 14,873.00
Apollo Glass Company 1,133.44
Aramark Services Inc 13,165.64
Association Of MN Counties 650.00
Beaudry Propane Inc 2,267.78
Boyer Truck Parts 655.46
Buff ‘N Glo Inc 150.00
Buffalo Auto Value 135.30
Catco Parts Service 503.33
Center Point Energy 10,165.05
Centra Sota Coop.- Buffalo 57,893.96
Climate Air 3,004.73
Dell Marketing LP 4,844.36
Greenview Inc 834.90
Hardings Towing Inc 213.75
Health Care Logistic s125.30
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 3,486.87
Howard Lake/City Of 1,911.05
Integrated Fire & Security 6,975.00
Intereum Inc 1,265.06
Laplant Demo Inc 447.94
Lawson Products Inc 616.12
Matt Legal Services 100.00
Mcleod County Auditor 773.92
Menards - Buffalo 272.95
Middleville Township 563.40
MN Monitoring Inc 410.75
MN Native Landscapes 900.00
MN Viewers Association 125.00
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 1,207.44
Multi Health Systems Inc 280.80
North Suburban Towing Inc 133.59
Office Depot 589.37
Performance Kennels Inc 182.78
Royal Tire Inc 5,278.20
RS Eden 2,178.50
SHI International Corp 248.81
St Cloud Medical Group PA 329.08
Strategic Equip. and Supply Co .126.33
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PA 253.15
The Sign Man Of MN Inc 256.34
Truck Utilities Inc 578.20
Us Internet 325.00
Valuation Group/The 4,500.00
Village Ranch Inc 792.80
Westside Wholesale Tire 1,750.60
Wright Co. Highway Dept 66,568.08
Wright Henn. Coop Elec 5,883.23
Wright Hennepin Electric 2,081.40
Wright Soil & Water Cons 35,009.00
21 Payments less than $100 921.67
Final total $382,665.78
The meeting adjourned at 9:34 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal March 12, 2012.