Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
APRIL 24, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Eichelberg moved to approve the 4-17-12 County Board minutes. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-0 (Russek abstained as he was not present at the last County Board meeting).
The 4-24-12 Agenda was discussed. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, referenced his Agenda item request to schedule a Deferred Compensation Committee meeting to review County survey results. He amended his Agenda item to include presenting the results of the survey at today’s Board Meeting in lieu of scheduling a Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting. Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: D. Anderson, D. Lee, T. Rasmuson, Assr.; B. Aanerud, Aud./Treas.; G. Gerads, S. Hegarty, S. Kunkel, J. Olson, Sher./Corr.
2. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, $474.70 (Service For March, 2012).
3. Meeting Notice, Leadership Team Spring Retreat, 5-03-12, 8:00 A.M. – 3:30 P.M., Ney Park Nature Center.
At 9:05 A.M., Commissioner Thelen welcomed those present for Boy/Girl County Day. The County Board introduced themselves and the areas they represent. Thelen explained the redistricting process the County Board is going through. The Board fielded questions from the students. As part of Boy/Girl County Day, students toured other parts of the Government Center and attended a lunch at the American Legion.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, said that at the last Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting, the Committee recommended approving the Roth Plan option once the County Deferred Compensation Plan is amended and allowing loans and in-plan Roth Conversion. The Committee also requested a survey be completed of Minnesota counties providing that service. Hiivala completed the survey, and the seven Counties that responded include Rice, Swift, Chisago, Lyon, Morrison, Itasca, and Pine. Those Counties offer the loan participation program through Nationwide and Valic, the providers that Wright County utilizes, and have not had any problems. Wright County’s Deferred Compensation Plan will be amended to reflect that this option will be limited to the providers that the County utilizes. Sawatzke said the County has already taken action reflecting that Hiivala can authorize loans against these Deferred Compensation Plans. Sawatzke clarified that the retirement plans involve only the employee’s money. Hiivala plans to bring forth the revised Deferred Compensation Plan at a future date. Until the revised Plan is approved, employees will not be allowed to participate in the new Plan options. The revised Plan will be forwarded to the SWCD first for signatures. This was provided as an informational item.
The claims listing was reviewed. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
Hiivala said that at the last County Board Meeting, the March Revenue/Expenditure reports were distributed. At that meeting, he indicated he would be making salary adjustments in April based on negotiations. Hiivala said that statement was made in error as he had referenced negotiation data from 2011. The budgets have not been amended so the reports are correct as distributed.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, received a request from a landowner adjacent to Robert Ney Regional Park for a cost share on a fence along the common line boundary of the Park. The landowner owns cattle and has requested the County fund half the cost of the fence. The total length would be 1,320 feet at an estimated cost of $3,159.21 ($1,579.61 County share). The property boundary was recently surveyed but not in conjunction with this request. Sawatzke said the fence provides no benefit to the County and questioned whether the County is required to cost share by law. Mattice thought Statutes indicate that a cost share is required with fence lines in common dealing with livestock. He recalled a similar situation at Harry Larson Park in the past and recalled there have been two other similar requests since he has been the Parks Administrator. Mattice felt the cost with this fence is less than the previous two the County cost shared on. At the request of Mattice, this item was tabled for discussion later in today’s meeting. Mattice will contact Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, for his perspective on the Statute requirements.
Sonja Guggemos, Staff Counsel for Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT), provided the MCIT Annual Member Report. MCIT is a joint risk sharing insurance pool formed under MN Statutes 471.59 and 471.981. Of the 87 MN Counties, 81 are members of MCIT along with 386 other public entities. MCIT provides broad coverage to meet the unique exposures of public entities (property, automobile, inland marine, liability, workers’ compensation, and employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty bond). Guggemos said that 85 percent of public entities nationwide belong to some type of pooling arrangement. One of the benefits is risk management loss control services. MCIT is member focused and looks for emerging risks with the goal of adequate coverage for members and to inform members of potential risks. MCIT monitors new legislation (in particular changes to caps and the statute of limitations on State tort claims, the MAGIC Act and resulting activities of members), growth of joint powers entities and agreements, claims involving law enforcement, and reinsurance costs. As a pool, the rates, services, and coverage are not based solely on an individual member’s experience but on the members as a whole. The goal is to remain fully funded. The actuaries look at rates on a rates and exposure basis. Contributions need to be adequate to meet the obligations of the expected losses. Member wide, the factors that influence rates include the cost of reinsurance, the cost of claims administration, tort caps, and inflation. There are also member specific factors influencing rates. These include the types of property owned and characteristics, the number and types of employees, the types of services the member provides, the amount of property to be covered, pay scale, and the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims.
Guggemos explained that over the past two years, the MCIT Board took a look at the past experience and what was projected by the actuary. This resulted in a rate change. The property/casualty rates have decreased over the past two years (5% in 2011 and 11% in 2012). Workers’ compensation rates have decreased as well (8% in 2011 and 8% in 2012). Dividends have been awarded over the past number of years. In 2011, MCIT’s total dividend was $30,700,000, and Wright County received $685,816. Over the past five years, Wright County has received a little over $2 million in dividends. In 2011, MCIT net paid over $10 million in Workers’ Compensation claims to trust members. The primary claims State-wide are in the areas of law enforcement, highway, and social services. Workers compensation rates are based on three years of historical data. A discount in Workers’ Compensation rates is realized when the history comes in lower than expected. Wright County’s contribution rate has increased slightly over the past few years. For Property/Casualty for the period of 2007-2011, MCIT as a whole had the following experience: Auto 54%, Property/Inland Marine 13%, General Liability 19%, and Public Employee Liability & Law Enforcement Liability 14%. Wright County’s experience for the same period was: Auto 72%, Property/Inland Marine 5%, General Liability 14%, and Public Employee Liability & Law Enforcement Liability 9%. Auto claims can relate to something as small as a minor accident or windshield damage. Wright County’s inland marine percentages relate to hail and water damage losses in the past five years. Another contributing factor to the percentages is the number of claims. MCIT overall had over 6,000 claims and Wright County had 184.
Guggemos provided additional information on how MCIT works to control and reduce costs, including risk management. MCIT offers a number of services. Regional Risk Management Workshops are offered and include discussion on loss control, human resources, open meeting law, and data practices. Wright County was represented at this Workshop. MCIT also puts on State-wide training seminars in land use, workers’ compensation, personnel, and loss control. Wright County has been represented in all trainings they have offered this past year. She extended appreciation for this commitment to risk management and loss control. MCIT also provides webinars, defensive driving training, and the police accredited training (online). They also offer the Employee Assistance Program, a video library, boiler inspections, MN Safety Council Membership, and a website with information and resources to assist and educate members. On behalf of the MCIT Board and staff, Guggemos thanked the Board for their continued participation.
Discussion resumed on the request by a landowner next to Robert Ney Regional Park for cost participation in a fence (discussed earlier in today’s meeting). Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said Chapter 344 of State Statutes has been in existence for about 150 years and relates to partition fences. The Statute reflects that if lands are improved and used (which can mean clearing woods for use for livestock), and if one or both of the adjoining landowners desire the land to be partly or jointly fenced, then the two landowners are to build and maintain a partition fence in equal shares. The Statute further addresses maintenance and disputes on cost. He said if there is a dispute, the township board supervisors decide who pays for what. Asleson said that there was a past request from a landowner near Harry Larson Park and the County paid half in that situation. Sawatzke asked if this Statute applies only in rural areas. Asleson said the Statute reflects that in townships, the township board supervisors are the fence viewers and in cities, it is the city council. He said this does not address platted lots. There is an exemption for lands less than 20 acres. This request involves larger acreage.
Sawatzke said it doesn’t appear there is much choice on the cost sharing request per Statute. With future requests, he said the County will need to make sure fences are being built for the purposes outlined in Statute, not for esthetics. Mattice said the Statute reflects that the fences will be constructed of materials such as woven or barbed wire. The request being considered today meets that requirement. One quote was received from Grassland Solutions for a total cost of $3,159.21. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, asked whether additional quotes were received. Mattice said he will obtain another quote. Russek moved to authorize Mattice to obtain a second quote on the work and to move forward with the lowest quote. Mattice questioned whether the motion could address that future requests have to relate to cattle or livestock boundaries. Asleson responded that each future fencing request should be presented to the County Board for approval. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke. The motion and second include the funding source of Site Improvements. Sawatzke said if future requests are received, the landowner should be informed that the County will only participate in the minimum the Statute requires. He instructed Mattice to obtain a couple of quotes on any such requests prior to bringing them forward for Board approval. The motion carried 5-0.
Dr. Quinn Strobl, Medical Examiner, provided the 2011 Annual Report which is a summary of medical examiner involvement for deaths occurring in Wright County. In 2011, 387 deaths were investigated by the Medical Examiner’s Office, which is a small decrease compared to 2010. Not all deaths are investigated by the Medical Examiner. Of the 387 deaths, 151 were registered hospice and 274 cremations were approved. Thirty percent (117) required a scene investigation. Jurisdiction was assumed in 81 cases. There were 47 autopsies performed, which is the same as in 2010. Of these, 16 deaths were attributed to natural causes (ages 2 months to 65 years). Thirteen were found to have a form of heart disease. The youngest descendents (ages 2 months and 9 years) died of myocarditis. In 2011, 4 people died in motor vehicle related crashes, 2 of which were alcohol related. In addition, a pedestrian, under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine, was struck by a train. Seventeen deaths were classified as accidental, non-motor vehicle related. Of these, 2 involved substance abuse: A 19-year-old male used heroin and a 25-year-old woman died due to inhalant abuse. A 46-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman died due to misuse of prescription medications. The death of a 28-year-old man was attributed to fresh water drowning with acute alcohol intoxication. A 51-year-old man died of cold exposure attributed to complications of underlying natural disease. Eleven deaths were in the elderly population (81 to 95 years) and were attributed to complications of injuries sustained in falls from standing height. There were 18 deaths due to suicide in Wright County in 2011, one less than in 2010. The descendants ranged from 16 to 79 years of age, with 5 females and 13 males. Eight were caused by gunshot wounds. Two deaths were classified as homicide in 2011. There had not been a death classified as homicide since 2008. Three separate incidents involved recovery of bones which were subsequently deemed non-human. Two of the cases involved consultation with a forensic anthropologist. Dr. Strobl was thanked for her report.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, said a Highway 55 Corridor Coalition Meeting was held on 4-20-12. Discussion involved the future of the Coalition due to the lack of Federal funding for projects. MnDOT also does not have extra funding to help with projects that the Coalition is working on. The Coalition talked about disbanding or continuing on with fewer meetings. It was a unanimous decision of the Coalition to continue on to utilize the Federal dollars they have received for existing projects. Approximately $428,000 of Federal funding received will be split equally between Wright and Hennepin Counties ($213,830 each). The funds in Wright County will be used toward the City of Buffalo’s Settlers Parkway Project (intersection of TH 55 and CR 147). Hennepin County will use their funds for a project in Medina (intersection of TH 55 and CR 116). Fingalson said that Wright County has received $2.37 million thus far (about $200,000 more than Hennepin County). Other funding that will be utilized toward the Settlers Parkway Project includes a little over $1 million in Federal funding from the ATP, $100,000 that was allocated by Wright County, and local improvement funding that was applied for. That project will commence as early as next year and with Federal reimbursement following.
Fingalson said the Coalition supports renewing the contract with the Coalition’s consultant. Sawatzke said the Coalition has been in place for a number of years and has studied TH 55 to determine trouble intersections and locations. He questioned the need for a consultant since the Coalition knows the condition of the roadway and what improvements are needed. Fingalson said this was discussed by the Coalition. Neither Hennepin County nor Wright County has the staff available to facilitate meetings. The consultant handles this plus coordinates the reviews needed for different legislation that affects TH 55. The Coalition has been meeting 4 times/year and is looking to reduce that to 2-3 times/year. Those meetings will be held to address anything that has come up, either with new projects or with either of the two projects that are being funded. Sawatzke said he is not taking away from what that Committee has done or the issue of improvements needed on TH 55. The County Board put a plan in place so there is no encroachment along that road. He has concerns with holding meetings when there is not any funding available for projects in the foreseeable future. Fingalson said Coalition Meetings have been canceled when there is not a specific item to discuss. The amount paid to the consultant is around $20,000/year. The consultant also keeps the website up to date and is working with MnDOT on a proposed resurfacing project. Fingalson said Wright and Hennepin Counties do not have staff available to do this work. The consultant’s contract is funded 80% by federal funds. The Coalition currently has about $38,000 to pay toward the local share. Thelen felt this topic could be a future committee item. Fingalson said Wright County is involved with a Joint Powers Agreement for the Coalition, and Wright County holds two votes. A decision was made last Friday by the Coalition to proceed as outlined; however, he could present this issue at a future Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meeting if desired. Mattson serves on the Coalition and said it was the consensus to review the consultant’s services to see what is needed in the future. It was also decided to meet two times or less per year. Mattson added that work that is being completed will not have to be redone when the time comes to make TH 55 in to a four-lane road. This was provided as an informational item.
Fingalson presented for approval a Traffic Control Signal Agreement #12-51 with the City of Hanover. The Agreement relates to the construction, maintenance, and operation of the new traffic control signal system at the junction of CSAH 19 and CSAH 34. The Agreement has been approved by the City. The project is part of the 2012 Road & Bridge budget using Municipal State Aid Construction funds. The County share is estimated at $150,000 but Fingalson said that figure may be closer to $125,000. The Municipal State Aid Construction funds can only be used in cities with a population under 5,000. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agreement, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.
Correspondence was received from Wright County Community Action (WCCA) requesting that the County provide a letter of support for continued funding for the WCCA Head Start Program. WCCA has provided Head Start services to children (ages 3-5) in Wright County for 46 years. Due to law changes, Head Start programs now need to compete for grant funds provided by the Federal government. The WCCA is expecting to submit an application for continued funding in May, 2012. If funded, the Program will help approximately 297 low income children living in Wright and western Hennepin Counties. The expected application amount is $1,641,451. Eichelberg moved to authorize a letter of support, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.
A Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 4-17-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and recommendation, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-0 (Russek abstained as he did not attend the Committee meeting):
I. REVIEW PROPOSED COMMISSIONER DISTRICTS.
II. PUBLIC HEARING RE: REDISTRICTING.
Hiivala stated that he did not receive any redistricting plans in addition to the ten Options posted on the County website (see attached). He invited anyone present to bring forth additional Options they wish the Committee to consider.
Mary Wetter of Rockford Township questioned why the Committee was not pursuing expanding the County Board of Commissioners to seven members. She said the rules for redistricting allow the creation of another District in an area of increased population growth, and does not require adherence to the maximum population deviation of 10 percent. Her husband drafted an Option for a seven-member Board of Commissioners creating a separate District for Otsego, but she did not bring it to today’s meeting once she heard the Board had decided to stay with a five-member configuration.
Thelen asked Hiivala if Wetter’s husband could submit his map for consideration. She thought the Committee had determined previously that a seven-member Board would not meet the 10 percent population deviation guideline. Hiivala said the Committee discovered seven Districts were not feasible due to the 10 percent rule when they first looked at the initial population data. He said Wetter was correct about the potential exception for Otsego due to extensive population growth. However, since the Committee had already determined that creating seven Districts was not a workable scenario, they did not present such a plan.
Wetter commented that a seven-member Board would provide more representation for the public. Thelen assumed there would be additional costs with more Commissioners. Wetter countered that would most likely consist of per diem expenses for meetings. Thelen responded that Commissioners get a salary in addition to per diems. She encouraged Wetter to send in the map with seven proposed Districts. Thelen was not certain whether new maps would be considered at this time.
Kryzer said maps are filed as soon as the County receives them. He added that the Commissioners set the policy regarding the number of Board members. Staff understood that the Board decided to stay with a five-member Board. The Committee may still consider seven District plans at this time. Thelen said she thought it would be worthwhile, although two more Commissioners may cost the County an additional $100,000 with salaries, benefits, mileage and per diem.
Hiivala said any plans submitted to the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office that met the criteria presented in the guidelines would be considered. He confirmed that his Office will still accept plans until 4-23-12. Thelen encouraged others with plans involving seven Districts to send them in for consideration.
Sawatzke asked whether Wetter’s plan designated Otsego as a separate District. Wetter wasn’t certain, as her husband drew the plan. Sawatzke said the average population per District would be about 17,800, and the population of Otsego is 12,981. That would create more than a 20% deviation in population. He asked Kryzer to explain the law Wetter referred to regarding a lower population requirement for a new District in the event of substantial growth in a city or township.
Kryzer responded that the 10 percent rule is set by statute. If that cannot be achieved, the statute provides an exception. It does not, however, specifically reference growth. He said it is important to try to keep District population within the 10% realm. Sawatzke asked whether a redistricting plan could withstand a legal challenge if a five member Board could achieve the 10 percent rule, but exceeded 20 percent with seven commissioners. Kryzer said if the Board elected to go to a seven-member Commission, and it was not possible to meet the 10 percent rule after doing so, he did not believe a legal challenge would stand. If a map worked with seven Districts and kept within the 10 percent deviation, the Board should follow it. Kryzer said the decision whether to have five or seven Commissioners is a decision made by the Board and is not subject to a legal challenge.
Thelen asked whether there were any other redistricting proposals or preferences for existing Options. She read a letter from Robert T. Derus, Administrator for the City of St. Michael that stated the City Council supports either Option 5 or 6 (see attached). Both align St. Michael Precinct 1A with Hanover and Albertville, Rockford and Rockford Township.
Hiivala quickly summarized the differences between the ten Options. There are three main maps: Options 1, 5 and 7. The difference between Option 1 and Option 2 is the way Maple Lake Township is divided. Options 1 and 3 vary in the way District boundaries address the City of Hanover.
Sawatzke interjected that perhaps some of the ten maps could be eliminated after public feedback, excluding the three main maps mentioned by Hiivala. He said Option 1 places all of Maple Lake Township in one District and Option 2 does not. Ideally, he felt it best if Maple Lake Township would fall within one District. That would eliminate Option 2, for example. Perhaps the same could be said for Hanover as well. Sawatzke said the Committee chose three main Options in 1, 5 and 7. He suggested eliminating second and third-tier Options to narrow the focus.
Thelen asked how the numbers work out with Options 1 and 2 keeping Maple Lake together versus dividing it. Sawatzke said the deviation is smaller when the Township is divided between Districts. Eichelberg said Option 2 meets the population criteria. Sawatzke asked whether it is more desirable to have similar population numbers or keep a city or township within one District. He said some of the maps show the population deviation is smaller when a city or township is kept together than when it is split, which would make the decision easier regarding which Options to eliminate. Sawatzke solicited comments from members of the public present in the audience.
Thelen asked whether the Committee has the authority to eliminate any Options, or was public commentary required. Hiivala suggested he continue delineating the differences between all ten Options. For example, Option 1 keeps Maple Lake City and Township in one District and Option 2 divides them. Option 1 keeps all of Hanover together, while Option 3 divides it. Option 1 keeps both Maple Lake and Hanover in one District, while Option 4 shows both are split between Districts.
Hiivala continued, saying that Option 5 preserves Maple Lake in one District, while Option 6 shows Maple Lake divided. Similarly, Option 7 keeps the City of Hanover together, and Option 8 renders the city split. Option 7 shows Maple Lake Township and Hanover falling entirely within their own respective Districts, while Option 9 divides them both. Options 7 and 10 are similar, except for differences in the way Maple Lake Township is divided. There are three main maps (1, 5 and 7) with small variations depicted on the others.
Norman asked to confirm the three redistricting options for the benefit of the audience. Sawatzke said Options 1, 5 and 7 are being given primary consideration by the Committee. Hiivala affirmed those were the three he would choose to present. Thelen suggested they get additional public input, and asked whether anyone in the audience would like to speak.
Wetter said she preferred Options 1 or 7 and not Option 5, which joins Rockford Township in the same District as St. Michael. She feels the two cities are not compatible, as St. Michael is growing faster. Wetter thought Rockford was more compatible with Marysville, Woodland and Franklin Townships. Option 1 is her first choice, as District E in Option 7 is very large.
Douglas Birk of St. Michael said he prefers Option 5. He requested the Committee reconsider expanding to seven Commissioner Districts. He said the current Board has done an extraordinary job of preventing any particular city from dominating County politics. Projects and assignments have been distributed in an equitable manner. However, dividing the largest city in the County into two Districts will create two Commissioners who represent the City of St. Michael. Given this eventuality, Birk suggested there might be more equal representation with a seven-member Board of Commissioners. With Option 5, St. Michael is the only community split. He encouraged the Committee to consider a seven-member Board.
Connie Holmes, Mayor of the City of Waverly, said she and the City Council will consider these Options soon. She echoed Birk’s request for a seven-member Board. She said the County is growing in a different pattern between the southern and northern parts of the County. Interstate 94 and Highway 55 corridors will experience more rapid growth than the southern part of the County. She asserted that County residents will have much better representation by 2015 and 2020 with a seven-member Board. Holmes said the Waverly City Council and she prefer Options 1 or 7. They appreciate that Waverly and Montrose are shown in one District. Given the variance in growth between the eastern and western parts of the County, Holmes felt Options 1 or 7 offer constituents the best representation.
Wallace Odell of Otsego did not see much difference for his City between Options 1, 5 and 7. He was not addressing redistricting Options, although Option 5 appears the best to him. Odell said it doesn’t make sense to combine Albertville with Buffalo, as they have few common interests. He suggested the Committee keep Albertville and St. Michael together. Odell also supports a seven-member Board of Commissioners.
Thelen asked for comments from the Board. Sawatzke thought eliminating some of the Options now would be helpful, as long as everyone agrees on the Options to remove from consideration.
Eichelberg asked whether the Board or the community makes the decision to expand the number of Commissioners to seven. Kryzer said once the County exceeds a Census population over 100,000, it is a Board decision whether or not to increase the number of Commissioners to seven. Thelen said the process to do so would not be at a Committee meeting. Eichelberg concurred, saying it would be addressed at a regular County Board meeting. Thelen said any Board member may request it be placed on the County Board Agenda. She requested more information regarding population criteria. Eichelberg thought the issue should be discussed, as several members of the public expressed interest.
Sawatzke said there would be much less equal representation between seven Districts than there are currently with five. Some Districts would fall significantly outside the 10 percent rule and others as much as 20 percent, which is out of compliance with redistricting guidelines. The Committee did not consider a seven member Board because it was not possible to bring the Districts within the 10 percent population deviation parameter.
Eichelberg commented that the only Options mentioned by members of the public were Options 1, 5 and 7. If that is a representative sampling, perhaps some of the other Options could be eliminated.
Sawatzke asked, when looking at Options 1 and 7, does it make more sense for Hanover to be in the same District as St. Michael or Rockford? It changes the deviation a total of 1 plus and 1 minus In Option 3; District A is 131 and in Option 1, District C is 130. Also in Option 3, District C is -2199 and in Option 1, District A is -2198. From the standpoint of population deviation, the difference between the Options is insignificant. The question is whether it makes more sense to place Hanover in the same District as St. Michael or with Rockford. He solicited opinions from others regarding which Option made more sense.
Eichelberg cited the letter from the City of St. Michael that Thelen read earlier. The cities of Albertville, St. Michael and Hanover share many services, including a Fire Department, library, water system, among others. He said it makes sense to keep them in the same District. Option 5 preserves the three cities within one District, and includes Rockford and Rockford Township as well.
Eichelberg said he favored Option 5. When considering the population and where growth is trending, if the District extends to Buffalo, they already exceed the mean and are close to the top of the 10% deviation at 27, 000. If the District extends the other way as in Option 5, the population is better equalized. The only District that is 27,000 is B. Growth may not be as much on the western side of the District. Logic dictates keeping a growth area District a bit smaller.
Thelen said the Committee is not going to narrow to three Options at this time. The question before the Committee is whether to eliminate some of the variations of Options 1, 5 and 7. She said this would be a good time to make a recommendation regarding which of Options 1, 2, 3 or 4 to eliminate. Thelen said Options 5 and 6 are similar in terms of variations around Maple Lake. She would like to address reducing the number of Options outside of 1, 5 and 7 first.
Hiivala stated that Options 3 and 8 keep St. Michael and Hanover together. Sawatzke said Option 4 keeps them together, but divides Maple Lake Township. He said if the goal is to keep Hanover with St. Michael, then use Option 3 or 4. If Maple Lake Township stays within one District, the population deviation is greater than when the Township is divided. He asked which is more important, maintaining a lower population deviation or keeping the Township in one Commissioner District. Sawatzke said there are competing interests. The rules say populations between Districts should not vary much, but at the same time, cities and townships should not be split between Districts if at all possible.
Thelen said there will be another Public Hearing. She suggested giving the Districts in question time to weigh in on the matter. Mattson added that Russek was not present, and that this is a major decision. Russek will attend the 5-01-12 Board meeting when a final decision is made. He prefers to wait for a recommendation from Russek.
Thelen favored waiting to allow further thought on discussion items raised today. She reiterated that Eichelberg favors Option 5. The Committee is taking in data as it comes in from various parts of the County. One of the issues with Option 5 is that it forces an election between two current Board members, reducing the Board by three Commissioners compared to the status quo. While some constituents may consider turnover in the Board of Commissioners a good thing, others may regret the loss of experienced public servants. She said she cannot allow her own self interest to influence her decision on the redistricting process. However, she does not favor forcing an election.
Mattson said he was partial to Option 5. If Russek decides to run again, they would be competing for the same office as well.
Eichelberg said there will be another public hearing if needed. Kryzer said 4-23-12 is not listed as a Public Hearing. It is a public meeting and the public is welcome to attend. The next Public Hearing is 5-01-12 at 9:30 at the regular County Board meeting.
Recommendation: Lay over further discussion until the Committee Of The Whole Meeting of April 23, 2012 at 2:30 P.M. in the County Board Room.
(End of 4-17-12 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
The meeting adjourned at 10:24 A.M.
Bills Approved
Allina Medical Transportation $500.00
American Sol. For Business 2,865.64
Ameripride Services 116.95
Annandale/City of 1,152.20
Anoka County Sheriff 15,329.38
Aramark Services Inc 6,565.12
Atrix International Inc 370.00
B & B Products - Rigs and Sq. 430.00
Beaudry Propane Inc 1,236.97
Buffalo/City of 4,130.60
Bureau Of Criminal Apprehen. 600.00
Center Point Energy 2,313.65
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 8,385.12
CenturyLink 247.64
Chatham Township 833.80
Clearwater/City of 1,148.20
Cokato/City of 1,518.00
Corinna Township 831.00
Corporate Payment Systems 1,387.92
Dell Marketing LP 170.26
Federal Signal Corporation 131.41
Fishnet Security Inc 420.00
Franklin Township 1,827.25
Hancock Concrete Prod. LLC 2,298.88
Impact Proven Solutions 4,282.87
Intereum Inc 119.76
International Code Council 225.00
Interstate Battery Systems 918.64
Intoximeters Inc 211.83
Jore/Dale 125.00
Kustom Signals Inc 247.68
LaPlant Demo Inc 756.73
Laurent/Michael 111.22
Maple Lake/City of 1,036.20
Marco Inc 905.02
Marysville Township 978.50
Menards - Buffalo 193.71
Middleville Township 580.00
Minn. Dept. Of Human Services 270.02
Morries Parts & Service Group 839.65
Norman/Richard W. 144.04
North American Salt Co. 36,817.97
Performance Kennels Inc 101.00
Performance Office Papers 188.77
Prairie Restorations Inc 3,450.00
Putnam/Jeff 125.00
Rasmuson/Anthony 347.00
Rinke-Noonan 250.00
Rockford/City of 1,586.00
Ryan Chevrolet 453.29
Schneider Corporation 4,197.00
SHI International Corp 418.95
Silver Creek Township 968.20
South Haven/City of 398.50
St Cloud Fire Equipment Inc 1,927.39
Total Printing 621.11
Twin City Seed Company 172.44
Uniforms Unlimited 373.51
US Internet 325.00
Vance Brothers Inc 2,360.87
Voss Lighting 249.82
Waverly/City of 123.59
West Payment Center 335.06
Windstream 208.86
Wright County Highway Dept 48,183.86
Wright Henn. Coop Elec Assn 5,134.10
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,559.49
Yuhas/Jonathan 600.00
18 Payments less than $100 936.11
Final total $179,168.75
The meeting adjourned at 10:24 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal May 21, 2012.


Return to Wright County Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Dassel-Cokato Home | Delano Home | HJ Home