WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
MAY 29, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, and Thelen present. Commissioner Eichelberg was absent.
Russek moved to approve the 5-15-12 County Board Minutes. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-0.
The following item was petitioned to the Agenda: Item For Consid. #3, “Legislative Roundup” (Sawatzke). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.
The Consent Agenda was discussed. Russek requested that Item B1, “Highway, Accept Resignation Of Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, Eff. 8-07-12 @ 4:30 P.M.” be removed for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: S. McCauley, Atty.; D. Oliver, R. Hickman, A. Wendorf, Bldg. Care; B. Bersie, V. Hawkins, B. Leinonen, Hwy.; L. Cavalliere, IT; P. Bailey, S. Bliven, J. Domino, A. Minea, Sher.
2. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, $1,761.45 (Service For April, 2012).
3. O/T Report, Period Ending 5-12-12.
4. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Form LG220, Dassel Cokato Regional Ice & Sports Center, 4852 Reardon Ave. SW, Cokato MN 55321 (Cokato Twp.).
5. Refer Repair Of The Human Services Parking Lot To The Building Committee.
C. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
1. Refer To Personnel Committee Request To Hire Two IT Interns.
Discussion occurred on Consent Agenda Item B1, “Highway, Accept Resignation Of Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, Eff. 8-07-12 @ 4:30 P.M.” Russek asked about the process to fill the Highway Engineer position once the Board accepts the resignation. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said position openings normally are sent to the Personnel Committee for review. As part of today’s Board Agenda, Norman has a request to schedule one Committee Meeting date per month for the summer months. This position would be referred to the Personnel Committee Meeting of 6-20-12. Sawatzke asked whether this will create any timeline problems with Fingalson leaving on 8-07-12. Norman said that ideally, the replacement would start prior to Fingalson’s departure to allow for transition. If this position is referred to the 6-20-12 Committee Meeting date, it would preclude having someone work with the Highway Engineer prior to his retirement. If the Board authorizes replacement today, Personnel could start the application process right away (advertise, screen, and schedule interviews). That process will take a few weeks to accomplish. Russek moved to approve Consent Agenda Item B1, accepting the resignation of Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, effective 8-07-12 @ 4:30 P.M. The motion includes authorizing Personnel to advertise for replacement of the position. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Russek said summer is a busy time for the Highway Department with construction, overlays, etc. and supports filling the position as soon as possible. Mattson feels the Personnel Committee would recommend replacement of this position anyway. Sawatzke agreed, stating the Personnel Committee is not going to deny a request to replace the County Engineer position. He felt Statutes require the County to have a County Engineer. The motion carried 4-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the 5-16-12 County Ditch 10 Meeting Minutes. At today’s County Board Meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0:
Jack Russek began the meeting at 1:35 PM by stating that there was a Petition for a Repair of County Ditch 10. Bob Hiivala explained that this was an informational meeting to let property owners know that the repairs could be quite extensive.
Questions were asked about when the ditch was established, and exactly where the ditch was located. Hiivala displayed a map of the original County Ditch 10, and documents that stated the original ditch was created in 1906.
Joel Toso from Wenck Associates described the steps needed to determine the extent of the repair. Some things that would be examined would be the sediment accumulation and the impact on the lakes involved. He stated that Wenck Associates will only be looking at the main stem of County Ditch 10 at this time because the information obtained from these samples would also be representative of the impact on the laterals.
Fred Bengtson, Area Wildlife Manager, stated that there was a Wildlife Management Area that would be affected, and that they would be willing to have a discussion about possible mitigation and restoration for the WMA.
Kerry Saxton briefly described that the Lake Ann Association was working with landowners on the East side of Lake Ann, where a private ditch is located. The County may want to consider extending the outlet to cover the private ditch to ensure the ability to maintain this area. Also, he explained that there is a possibility of using a sand filter to help with the impact on the lakes, and there may be Legacy funds available for this filter. Dick Mattson questioned the availability of Legacy funds, and Saxton responded that the Legacy funds would more than likely be available for this type of filter.
Hiivala talked about the cost and extent of the ditch repair, and that the County is limited to assessing $100,000 per year unless bonds are issued to fund the ditch repair. The repair may have to be done in stages. Hiivala explained the process of redetermining the benefits for the ditch. The viewers are extremely busy and there will be a waiting period before they could view the ditch.
A discussion followed with general questions relating to redetermination of ditch benefits, and how the benefits were originally determined. Hiivala showed an example of the original benefits, and how the benefits would change based on a hypothetical $100,000 repair.
(End of 5-16-12 Ditch 10 Meeting Minutes)
Hiivala presented the 5-18-12 Joint Ditch 14 Meeting Minutes. The Joint Ditch is located in Wright, Meeker, and McLeod Counties but the bulk lies in Wright County. Wright County hosted the Joint Ditch 14 Meeting and McLeod and Meeker Counties were represented. Notices of the Meeting were sent to benefited property owners. There is a significant repair proposed by Brian Paumen. Paumen was not present at the meeting. Hiivala said the meeting was informational only, but he wanted to inform the benefited property owners of the proposed repair. Hiivala said quotes will be obtained. Russek said at the Joint Ditch 14 Meeting, discussion occurred on whether to proceed with the redetermination or repairs, with opinions both ways. Russek felt if a redetermination is going to be completed on Joint Ditch 14, it should be completed prior to repairs. If the repairs are completed first, then the cost cannot be assessed to any future benefited property owners. He envisioned high costs with this repair. The ditch is 12’ deep in some places. Hiivala said a redetermination was completed on Joint Ditch 15 in the 1970’s so there may be information on Joint Ditch 14 included with that redetermination (as Joint Ditch 14 outlets into Ditch 15). It could take 18 months to complete a redetermination which means the repair would be completed in 2014. There are property owners who have indicated that land cannot be farmed unless the repair is completed. Since the Joint Ditch 14 Meeting, Hiivala has been in contact with the Viewers Association and Ron Ringquist. Hiivala recommended setting up a meeting with those parties to discuss the County’s options. He felt that Ringquist would know whether information for Joint Ditch 14 could be gathered from the Joint Ditch 15 redetermination. Russek moved to approve the Joint Ditch 14 Meeting Minutes and to move forward and obtain quotes. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Mattson said Brian Paumen was not at the Joint Ditch 14 Meeting and he is the largest stakeholder in the proposed repairs. Mattson said they need to obtain Paumen’s input. Hiivala said the purpose of the 5-18-12 Joint Ditch 14 Meeting was to provide benefited landowners with information on the repair and to obtain their input. Vendors will be contacted for quotes. The motion carried 4-0:
Kerry Saxton opened the meeting with an explanation of a Joint Ditch, and stated that there were three counties involved with JD 14. He commented that the Commissioners in attendance needed to hear from the landowners to determine which direction they wanted to take with the repair. There are basically two options: 1) A redetermination of benefits, or 2) a repair without a redetermination. There is the possibility of spending up to $100,000 per year.
Saxton continued to explain that he went out to Brian Paumen’s property and viewed the ditch; they discovered that the line was not laid properly originally. The line is not lining up as it should, and it is near the surface. This may be due to the ground (which is peat) changing over time. A map was distributed, along with a list of benefitted owners in Wright County. The red line indicates the main stem of the ditch; the green line is Branch 1 it is not known what condition the tile is in on this branch; the purple line represents Branch 3 this branch doesn’t appear to exist, it is believed to be an alternative line that was never constructed.
Discussion ensued about the cost of a redetermination and the time involved in having a Viewer available. Saxton also mentioned “farm banks,” and talked about restoration. Questions were asked regarding what could be done during a repair, could the ditch be laid deeper than originally constructed? Ronald Mortensen explained that if the ditch is near wetlands there are special permits and considerations that the DNR requires. Bob Hiivala stated that he could verify with Kurt Deter whether the ditch can go deeper than originally constructed.
Discussion continued as to whether there should be a redetermination of benefits first, or if repairs should begin before the redetermination. A comment was made that a redetermination would be the fairest way to proceed; if the repairs are done, and then a redetermination is made, the repairs will all be paid for. The statement followed that repairs have been needed for quite some time, and the property owners were willing to go forward with them. The time involved in a redetermination and waiting for a Viewer to be available was extensive. Mortensen stated that repairs can still be done if a redetermination is going to be made; but you can not delay the cost for the repair until the redetermination is done. The repair and assessment must be in the same year.
Dick Mattson questioned whether the clean out of Joint Ditch 15, which was requested by Byron Sangren, can be combined with the bids for Joint Ditch 14 since they are connected. It was determined that since they are two separate ditch systems, they must be billed separately and handled as two separate actions. Saxton stated that he will obtain quotes for repairs for the next meeting. He urged those present to talk to their neighbors and explain the decisions that needed to be made and to get a feel for whether they wanted to go ahead with a repair or have a redetermination of benefits. Estimates for repairs and for a redetermination will be collected for the next meeting of the Joint Ditch 14 Committee, which will be set towards the end of June. Notices will be sent out to the impacted property owners and the adjoining counties by Wright County.
(End of 5-18-12 Joint Ditch 14 Meeting Minutes)
Hiivala presented a draft Policy for Repairs of County Drainage Systems in Wright County. Hiivala said a policy was discussed in 2006. The draft being presented today was prompted by a beaver dam issue on a ditch in Mattson’s District. Without a policy, the request to remove the beaver dam must be presented to the Ditch Authority (County Board) for approval. Quotes are then obtained and brought back for approval. The draft policy would allow the process to be expedited, as the Commissioner would be able to resolve the issue in their District and report back to the Ditch Authority. The draft also calls for the appointment of a Ditch Inspector. Kerry Saxton, SWCD, was provided a copy for review and his suggested changes were incorporated into the document. A copy was provided to Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, for review.
Russek recalled that the County Board previously authorized Commissioners to spend up to $5,000 in their Districts for such a repair. Hiivala felt that had been done but he was unable to find documentation where this was approved. Sawatzke asked whether the draft reflects what is required by Statute. He referenced Page 9 which reflects, “Requirements: A permanent grass buffer strip of 16.5 feet wide is required along all ditch banks within Wright County.” He asked whether that is required by Statute or whether it is something that Wright County would like to put into place. Sawatzke said there are wooded areas in Monticello Township which would not be able to meet this requirement. It may also require an ordinance. He was unsure whether Wright County is proposing to implement new rules or whether the State’s rules are reflected in the draft Policy. If Wright County is going to make it a new law, then the County Board needs to be educated on whether it is appropriate and have greater dialogue. Hiivala said that current law requires 16.5 feet of buffer strip, so the draft language is not going beyond the statutory authority. He was unsure whether the County is going to require this on all open ditches or on redeterminations to comply with law. Sawatzke said if the County is making new rules as opposed to statutory requirements, he wanted to know that. Thelen asked if the County is meeting statutory requirements with the remainder of the language and whether there is anything out of the ordinary. Hiivala said Saxton could better determine that. Joe Jacobs, SWCD, said there are things included in the draft, such as drop structures and vegetation control, that are above and beyond what is required in State Statutes. He felt more dialogue may be prudent as was suggested by Sawatzke. Thelen said another consideration is whether a public hearing is required. Asleson stated an ordinance would be required if the County is going to enforce things above and beyond State law. The draft being reviewed today is in policy format. One of the things it does best is to expedite the small repairs (i.e., beaver dams). Asleson did not feel there was urgency in getting this adopted. He recalled that a policy was adopted in 2006, but Hiivala said this did not occur. Asleson suggested referring this to committee for more review. He did not have adequate time to review the draft that was provided to him last week. Mattson moved to set a Ditch Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 6-26-12 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0. The meeting will be held in the Auditor/Treasurer’s Conference Room. The purpose of the meeting will be to look at adopting a County Ditch Policy.
Hiivala said that there is a beaver dam problem on County Ditch 10, south of Hwy. 12. Mattson said the owner of the property needs to be contacted to obtain permission to go onto the property. Swanson Brothers can be contacted on cleanout thereafter. Russek moved to authorize Mattson to move forward with the process. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0.
Hiivala said Wright County is making road improvements to CSAH 3 including widening. As part of this project, a culvert needs to be extended and another laid in. He requested the Board schedule a Joint Ditch 15 Meeting date to approve a CSAH 3 crossing. Hiivala said the hydrology was ascertained and it will not impact the 100-year level. This information was shared with Meeker and McLeod Counties. Hiivala asked that a meeting be called so the Ditch Authority can approve the work. The culvert improvement will be done at the expense of the Highway Department as it is part of their road project. Russek made a motion to schedule a Joint Ditch 15 Committee Meeting on 6-01-12 at 9:00 A.M. The meeting will be held at Daniels in Cokato. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0.
At the last County Board Meeting, Hiivala and Bruce Kimmel, Ehlers & Associates, presented information on an opportunity to refinance one of the County’s debt structures for a projected savings of $120,900 ($11,000-$12,000/year). At that meeting, the Board adopted Resolution #12-31 providing for the sale of $1,565,000 in G.O. Sewer Revenue Bonds, Series 2012A. The Board was told that the refunding would provide savings to those residents in the sewer district. At today’s County Board Meeting, Hiivala explained that a mistake was made when the information was presented at the last Meeting. The correct figures were identified but the bonds being refinanced were not correctly referenced. Kimmel stated the correct bonds are the G.O. Capital Improvement Bonds issued in 2003 and the net savings will be $15,000/year. This is a slightly higher estimate than what was provided at the last meeting. The proposal is to accept bids on 6-25-12 and present them at the 6-26-12 County Board Meeting.
Russek made a motion to rescind Resolution #12-31 adopted at the 5-15-12 County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote (Eichelberg absent). On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to set 6-26-12 at 9:00 A.M. for the purpose of considering sealed proposals for and awarding the sale of the G.O. Capital Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2012A. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #12-32 providing for the sale of $1,550,000 in G.O. Capital Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2012A. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0 on a roll call vote (Eichelberg absent). Norman noted that the figure on the Resolution #12-32 is $10,000 less than the figure reflected in rescinded Resolution #12-31. Kimmel stated that is correct.
Hiivala requested the Board approve amending the Deferred Compensation Policy. The Deferred Compensation Committee previously met to discuss an amendment to the Policy that allows employees to contribute to Roth IRA’s and addresses a loan provision. Not all Deferred Compensation vendors offer loan participation; Nationwide and VALIC do. Sawatzke asked whether Hiivala has contacted other counties to determine whether there have been any problems associated with the procedures. Hiivala stated that some counties indicated they will not be providing this option, while others plan to. There are six counties that are currently offering loan participation. If we go forward with companies doing the fiscal reporting, there are no implications for the County. Sawatzke said Deferred Compensation plans involve the employee’s money in a separate, private account. There is no County money involved. Hiivala said this is an optional benefit for employees. He noted the Plan has been extended to include the SWCD District, and Chris Uecker from the SWCD has signed the document. Sawatzke moved to approve the amended Deferred Compensation Committee Plan. The motion was seconded by Russek. Hiivala plans to forward the amended Plan to the providers with a narrative explaining the amendment. The motion carried 4-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. Joe Jacobs, SWCD Water Resource Specialist, requested the Board schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the following: 1) Storm Water & Erosion Ordinance Development; 2) Watershed Project Funding Strategies; and 3) County Based Conservation Incentives. Jacobs would like to discuss water management issues that will enhance the water quality in the County and guide the Water Management Task Force’s direction in the future. Mattson moved to schedule a Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 7-10-12 at 10:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0. Norman requested the Board schedule one Committee Meeting date per month for the months of June, July, and August. Currently, Committee Meeting dates are the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Russek moved to approve the request and schedule the Committee Meeting dates for 6-20-12, 7-18-12, and 8-15-12. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried unanimously.
On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to cancel the 7-24-12 County Board Meeting due to the occurrence of five Tuesdays in July. Sawatzke moved to authorize attendance at a Legislative Roundup that will be held on 5-31-12 from 11:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M., Huikko’s in Buffalo. The Roundup is being sponsored by the Wright County Economic Development Partnership. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0.
Advanced Graphix Inc 1,005.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc 2,289.77
Allina Hospitals & Clinic 1,355.00
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 293.28
Allina Medical Laboratories 288.60
American Institutional Supply 411.90
Ameripride Services 745.71
Ancom Communications Inc 464.91
Annandale Rock Products 522.48
Anoka County Sheriff 12,037.71
Aqua Green Lawns 135.00
Aramark Services Inc 12,776.10
Association of MN Counties 800.00
Bankers Advertising Co Inc 303.97
Barco Products Company 1,331.20
Bestfriends Veterinary Clinic 699.57
Boyer Truck Parts 474.52
BP Amoco 3,269.49
Bryan Rock Products 111.52
Bureau of Crim. Apprehen. 765.00
Carefree Lawn 8,306.73
Catco Parts Service 691.12
Cedar Works Inc 1,302.84
Center Point Energy 1,836.68
Centra Sota Coop. - Buff. 32,729.65
Central McGowan Inc 209.17
Climate Air 1,317.74
Contech Construction Prod. 1,134.50
Country Inn 879.00
Craguns Lodging/Confer. Ctr 362.82
Crop Production Services Inc 1,191.11
Dell Marketing LP 313.41
Denn/Franklin E 274.50
Dental Care Assoc. of Buff 231.00
Election Sys. & Software Inc 3,630.00
EPA Audio Visual Inc 6,273.57
Ernst General Const. Inc 21,845.00
Frontier Precision Inc 341.47
General Pallet Inc 495.75
Going Under Dive Center 1,102.86
Granite Pest Control Services 306.82
Hardings Towing Inc 160.31
Hasty Silver Crk. Sportmens 4,356.00
Helena Chemical Company 7,095.90
Hewlett Packard 5,190.10
Highway Technologies Inc 1,872.45
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 2,091.47
Holiday Inn - Alexandria 131.82
HSBC Business Solutions 102.92
Integrated Fire & Security 2,422.45
Intereum Inc 2,206.28
Interstate Battery Systems 521.34
Jakes Excavating 3,810.00
Jerrys Towing & Repair 154.97
John Deere Financial 516.41
Keaveny LTC Pharmacy 999.41
Klein Heating And Cooling 2,175.00
Knife River 2,331,111.42
Lano Equip. of Norwood Inc 326.49
LaPlant Demo Inc 2,250.80
M-R Sign Company Inc 1,948.12
Marco Inc 3,409.26
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 1,568.18
Matt Legal Services 100.00
McNamara Inc/B 7,353.00
Menards - Buffalo 915.34
Metro Group Inc/The 160.90
Milana P Tolins LLC 100.00
Mini Biff LLC 237.21
MN Assn of Co. Prob. Ofcrs 270.00
MN Dept. of Labor & Industry 826.66
MN GIS-LIS Consortium 300.00
MN Monitoring Inc 951.50
MN Office of Justice Prog. 100.00
MN Onsite Wastewater Assn 125.00
MN Sheriffs Association 110.00
MN State Auditor 460.00
MN State Bar Association 195.00
Montrose/City of 1,023.40
Moon Motorsports 153.86
Morries Parts & Serv. Group 2,232.92
Motorola Inc 12,994.98
Mumford Sanitation 1,034.34
Office Depot 2,544.27
OSI Environmental Inc 680.00
Otsego/City of 4,650.18
Prairiecare Maple Grove 310.00
Precision Prints of Wright Co 178.48
Rhodes Lock & Glass 2,426.76
Rockford Township 968.50
RS Eden 1,166.14
Ryan Chevrlet 120.05
SHI International Corp 1,761.38
Specialty Turf & Ag 134.45
St Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc 133.37
Stericycle Inc 982.32
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PA 127.91
Swing/William J. 200.00
Synergy Graphics 1,120.09
Three M Tool 141.62
Total Printing 857.73
University of Minnesota 270.00
Unlimited Electric Inc 2,501.41
Us Internet 325.00
USPCA Region 12 100.00
Vance Brothers Inc 552.54
Verizon Wireless 1,181.34
Voss Lighting 259.71
Walmart Store 01-1577 834.69
West Payment Center 924.96
Wright County Catering 120.00
Wright County Hwy Dept 51,197.04
Wright Henn. Coop Elec Assn 4,620.14
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,883.54
Wright Soil & Water Cons Dist 259.88
Xcel Energy 888.23
Young & Brown 100.00
Zarnoth Brush Works Inc 632.70
44 Payments less than 100 2,330.05
Final Total: $2,661,600.05
The meeting adjourned at 9:48 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 25, 2012.