Wright County Board Minutes

WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JANUARY 29, 2013
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
The minutes of 1-22-13 were corrected: Page 5, 1st Paragraph, line 5, change from “2-04-12” to “2-04-13” (Norman). Potter moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
On a motion by Borrell, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.
On a motion by Potter, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Performance Appraisals: J. Carpenter, C. Elness, D. Miller, M. Rhodes, Sher./Corr.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-19-13.
3. Authorize Wellness Committee To Sponsor Kick Boxing Boot Camp For Employees Not To Exceed Six Weeks Starting April 2013, Depending On Instructor Availability, Mondays 4:50 to 5:50 P.M., Location Old Jail Gym.
B. AUDITOR/TREASURER
1. Approve 2013 Tobacco License Renewal For Westside Liquor (City Of Albertville).
Mike MacMillan, Court Services Director, requested the Board accept the resignation of Nancy Tallman, Office Manager I, Court Services, and approve posting the position prior to the next Personnel Committee Meeting. MacMillan explained that Tallman is retiring 2-28-13 after 20+ years of service. The retirement letter was presented the beginning of January. At that time, it was learned that there would not be a Personnel Committee Meeting until 2-13-13, which would be the normal process to follow to discuss filling the position. MacMillan envisions it will take 6-8 weeks to fill the position (advertisement, application process, interviews). He stated that this position is vital to the organization from a legal standpoint and for the work completed with grants and collections. In March, the Court Services Tracking System is going through a conversion. Borrell moved to accept the resignation of Nancy Tallman, Office Manager I, Court Services, effective 2-28-13, and to approve posting of the position prior to the next Personnel Committee Meeting. The motion was seconded by Husom. Sawatzke provided a history of how open positions have been filled. Because of State Aid cuts about 4 years ago, the County implemented a policy that open positions must be sent to the Personnel Committee prior to filling them. There were a few situations that were allowed to bypass that process. Overall, about 3-4 positions were not replaced which resulted in a financial savings. Sawatzke said the County is still operating under that process and Board members may want to discuss if they want this process to continue. The motion carried 5-0.
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, requested that the Board approve payment of a claim submitted by Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic relating to a Dangerous Dog Appeal Hearing. The invoice was submitted by Dr. John Merz, DVM, for his service as a hearing officer in an appeal regarding a dangerous dog designation. The Dangerous Dog Ordinance indicates that the dog owner is responsible for all expenses related to any hearing they request. Attempts will be made to collect reimbursement from the dog owner in this case. Asleson said the expense was funded previously from the Professional Services line item in the Administration Department. The Offices of Attorney and Sheriff do not budget for this expense as the number and timing of dangerous dog incidences is unknown. Daleiden asked if the Dangerous Dog Ordinance is County wide. Asleson said cities can opt out and adopt their own ordinance. Borrell asked about whether the owner of the dog must pay the expenses no matter what the outcome is. Asleson said there are two main expenses including boarding and cost of care. The boarding is handled through a contract with the Crossroads Animal Shelter, who collects the fees from the owner. The owner of the animal is responsible for the cost of care, whether or not they prevail in the case. Borrell said the County could end up with a debt that is not collected and suggested revisiting the County Ordinance to possibly collect $500 in advance from the animal owner. If costs incurred are less, the amount could be refunded to the dog owner. Asleson said the County’s Ordinance is based on what is seen in other jurisdictions and on language from the Court of Appeals. The Hearing must be held right away and cannot be denied if the dog owner cannot pay. Asleson said the County can collect through conciliation court if needed. Borrell asked about obtaining more in-depth information on the dog owner. Asleson said that information is provided through police reports. Daleiden moved to approve the claim to Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic for $400.00 for the costs associated with a Dangerous Dog Appeal Hearing. Funding will be from the Professional Services line item in the Administration Department. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Borrell.
Virgil Hawkins, Highway Engineer, requested the Board authorize attendance of himself and Chad Hausmann, Assistant Highway Engineer, at the NACE (National Association of County Engineers) Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa from 4-21-13 to 4-25-13. Borrell moved to authorize attendance as requested, seconded by Husom, carried unanimously.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Potter, all voted to set a Bid Opening for the CSAH 35 Bridge Replacement Project, SAP 086-635-038, for 3-05-13 at 9:30 A.M. The bridge replacement project is located on CSAH 35 between CSAH 3 and CSAH 4 and is scheduled for the 2013 construction season. Daleiden moved to schedule the Bid Opening for 3-05-13 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
Hawkins requested approval to add the following Agenda item to the 2-04-13 Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meeting: “Discuss CR 119 Improvement Projects (St. Michael); Preservation vs. Reconstruction.” The project is planned in 2013 as a pavement preservation project. Potter contacted Hawkins about part of it being a reconstruction project. Potter stated that there is about 2/3 of a mile of treacherous curves located between Birch and Cady on CR 119 that he would like corrected during this project. There is another portion of CR 119 near Jamison Avenue that he would like reconstructed as well, but that may be more difficult because of the soil conditions. Potter heard from citizens during his campaign who wanted these corrections made. He said the City supports this as well. Daleiden said CR 119 has more traffic than five years ago due to the addition of a high school. Borrell moved to add this item to the 2-04-13 TCOTW Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Hawkins said MnDOT State Aid Division has requested update of the County’s Deficient Bridge Resolution. Three of the bridges listed on the 2012 resolution have been replaced. Hawkins said a new resolution would update priorities and allow the County to apply for grant funding. Potter moved to adopt Resolution #13-04 reflecting Defective Bridges on the County Highway and Township Road Systems that are a high priority and require replacement or rehabilitation within the next five years. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
RESOLUTION 13-04
WHEREAS, Wright County has reviewed the pertinent data on bridges requiring replacement, rehabilitation, or removal supplied by local citizenry and local units of government, and
WHEREAS, the County of Wright has determined that the following deficient bridges on the County Highway and Township Road systems are a high priority and require replacement or rehabilitation within the next five (5) years, and
Bridge No.; Road/Highway; Estimated Project Cost; Bond Funds Needed; Town Bridge Funds Needed; Proposed Construction Year
90700; CSAH 7; $1,100,000; $650,000; n/a; 2015
7164; CSAH 5; $1,650,000; $765,000; n/a; 2016
90687; CR 108; $625,000; $410,000; n/a; 2017
7244; CSAH 2; $793,000; $396,500; n/a; 2018
L9395; Rockwood Ave (Southside Twp); $389,000; n/a; $369,000; 2014
L8128; 57th St. (Middleville Twp); $56,200; n/a; $50,580; 2015
L9396; Meridian Ave S. (Franklin Twp); $87,000; n/a; $78,300; 2016
L9583; 40th St. SW (Cokato Twp); $118,000; n/a; $98,000; 2016
WHEREAS, local roads play an essential role in the overall state transportation network and local bridges are the critical component of the local road systems, and
WHEREAS, State support for the replacement or rehabilitation of local bridges continues to be crucial to maintaining the integrity of the local road systems and is necessary for the County to proceed with the replacement or rehabilitation of the high priority deficient bridges described above, and
WHEREAS, Wright County does hereby request authorization to replace, rehabilitate, or remove said bridges, and requests financial assistance with eligible approach grading and engineering costs on township bridges, as provided by law;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Wright County intends to proceed with replacement or rehabilitation of these bridges as soon as possible when State Transportation Bond Funds are available, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Wright County commits that it will proceed with the design and contract documents for these bridges immediately after being notified that funds are available.
(End of Resolution #13-04)
Bids were opened on 1-15-13 for the 2013 Street Lighting Safety Project, SP 086-070-008. Hawkins recommended awarding the bid to Design Electrical Contractors, low bid, in the amount of $138,756.00. Project funding will include a Federal Safety Grant in the amount of $124,880.40 (90%) and the Local Levy of $13,875.60 (10%). $18,000 of the Local Levy has been budgeted for this project. Husom moved to accept the low bid from Design Electrical Contractors, $138,756.00. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
The meeting recessed at 9:20 A.M. and reconvened at 9:30 A.M.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested the Board approve a Temporary Liquor License Application for an event scheduled on 2-02-13 at Rockford Township Hall, sponsored by the American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education (ABATE) of Minnesota-Lake Chapter. The Application has been signed by the Township, the County Attorney, and the Sheriff. Potter moved to approve the Liquor License Application as requested. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Hiivala introduced Joel Toso of Wenck Associates, who presented a letter on findings for proposed cleaning of County Ditch 10. On 10-16-12, the County Board authorized Wenck to prepare these findings. The scope included a meeting with the petitioners, determining the areas of the Ditch that need cleaning, and a cost estimate. A map was provided showing the areas identified for cleaning at the 12-13-12 meeting with petitioners. Those areas were further investigated using aerial imagery which resulted in the preparation of the following cost estimate for the Ditch:
Preliminary Engineering Estimate for Ditch 10 Cleaning
Contract Item; Units; Quantity; Unit Price; Total
Mobilization/Demobilization; LS; 1; $1,000; $1,000
Tree Clearing (piled beside Ditch); TREE; 100; $100; $10,000
Clearing & Grubbing (brush and small trees <6” DBH); ACRE; 11; $3,500; $39,150
Ditch Cleaning; LF; 14,765; $1.50; $22,148
SUBTOTAL $72,297
Contingencies 25%; $18,074
Total Construction Cost $90,371
The estimate assumes the Ditch in the areas identified will be cleared and grubbed to within one rod (16.5 feet) of the Ditch centerline, and areas of excess sediment to be removed. A 25% contingency was added because the areas have not been walked or surveyed. Toso’s letter further states that the cleaning should be within the budget figure. The next step is to present the information to the Board and prepare bid documents (including a site investigation of the areas defined to be cleaned). The estimated cost of preparing bid documents is $9,500. Toso said that since the estimate, Saxton has taken some additional calls for cleanout.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Toso said the petitioners identified nine areas along the ditch that need to be cleaned. A few laterals were identified as well. Toso said most of the laterals are full of trees. Clearing of the trees is the main issue. He provided examples of areas that need cleaning. Borrell asked why one area of the Ditch may have no trees and another section is overgrown with trees. He wondered if the landowners kept a buffer area maintained to prevent this from happening. Toso said it appears there is a buffer strip between the agricultural land and the Ditch in some areas, so that may be the case. It was found last fall that most of the large culverts on the roads were fairly clean and did not have sediment buildup.
Toso outlined the next steps for consideration:
1. Public hearing to present results and plans.
2. Consider redetermination of benefits (identify the requirements and schedule).
3. Prepare engineering plans and specifications.
4. Obtain bids for the work.
5. Award contract.
Husom asked if private property is involved. Toso said there is an easement on either side of the Ditch (16.5’ or more). Sawatzke thought more property could be used with the permission of property owners. Borrell stated at the meeting held in December, the majority of those in attendance voiced concern in the areas of Lake Ann, Lake Emma, and downstream. Toso said the meeting was dominated by conversations relating to Lake Ann and areas downstream of Lake Ann where cleaning is requested. Discussion last fall included the impact on Lake Ann. That study assumed a lot more ditch would be cleaned. He said this project only involves Ditch 10. What is being presented involves three miles. Lake Ann may realize a reduced impact. Borrell did not feel the project would significantly affect Lake Ann but thought a large rainfall could. He referenced the impact on Lake Ann resident’s homes from heavy rains in 2002.
Hiivala said this is being pursued as a ditch repair and there is a limit on what can be spent. He introduced Kurt Deter, Rinke Noonan, to explain the process. Deter stated that the County is the drainage authority and must follow State Statutes, Chapter 103E, Drainage. Chapter 103E.701, Repairs, reflects that the Drainage Authority must maintain the ditch system. Chapter 103E.715, Procedure for Repair by Petition, outlines the process of a petition to repair Ditch 10 Systems or portions of it. It allows for an engineer’s report which has already been completed. Once the repair report has been filed, a public hearing shall be held if proceeding under Chapter 103E.715. However, Chapter 103E.705 allows for the Board to order this by motion and spend up to $100,000 even though that exceeds the original amount of the benefits from 1910 or whenever this Ditch was originally constructed.
Deter said that if the County Board would complete this project at this time, it would be assessed against the current assessment roll. Deter asked Hiivala whether a redetermination of benefits occurred on Ditch 10 in the past. Hiivala did not recall this. Deter said if the assessment role is from 1915, it clearly will not be fair. The way they assessed in 1915 as compared to the way a redetermination of benefits is completed now is two different things. If the County orders the repair now, it is bound to assess to the 1915 assessment roll. The other option would be to order the repair contingent upon a redetermination of benefits. A redetermination of benefits can be done if land values have changed or the assessed areas have changed. He said clearly that would apply in this situation, as it would all over the State. The County would then appoint three viewers who would complete an up-to-date report that more fairly distributes the benefits of this project. The problem lies in that there are only four lead viewers in the State. They are working with Ridgewater College to try to come up with a program for ditch viewers. In Renville County, only 2 of the 151 ditch systems that will be redetermined have been completed. Martin County is also doing all of their ditch systems.
Deter restated the County’s options. Under Section 103E.701, repairs could be ordered up to $100,000 by motion. Since there is a petition and a repair report, under Section 103E.715 they are obligated to hold a public hearing. The County may want to hold the public hearing anyway as the cost is close to $100,000.
Deter referenced Lake Ann. He said what is being done is a repair. Right or wrong, in 1910 it was determined that the outlet was adequate. Even though the County may be sensitive to the issues in that area, the statutory authority requirement is to maintain the system. The County would not want to purposely cause an issue. The people within the Ditch 10 System have a statutory right to have that System maintained.
Borrell said the outlet goes from Lake Ann to Lake Emma and then into a private ditch. In 1910 when the outlet was determined to be okay, that private ditch was cleaned out. They had sent a steam shovel all the way from where the drop off goes into Little Waverly. Borrell said that is severely obstructed now. He asked Deter for an opinion on options, as there are landowners at risk if heavy rains occur. Deter responded that as it sits now, the County does not have any jurisdiction beyond the established system. There are three options to consider:
1. Those with a private system can clean it out subject to wetland regulations.
2. They could petition for an improvement, which allows the County to go up to one mile downstream from the end of an existing system.
3. There is a Section under Statute that allows the Drainage Authority, by their own motion, to seek a better outlet and create an extension farther down.
Deter said the problem is that a redetermination takes time. Those that petitioned for repair may have waited for a couple of years in this situation (since the petition for repair was presented). They may ask for some high spot cleaning and tree cleaning while other options are looked at.
Borrell has talked with farmers downstream from Lake Emma. He was wondering if an extension to Ditch 10 could be created. Deter affirmed this could happen. Borrell asked if that was done, whether it would be better to do the reassessment at that time to the entire Ditch 10 System. Deter said those two (the extension and redetermination) could be piggybacked. Borrell stated that landowners from Grass Lake downstream are benefiting from that section.
Deter said all that was assessed in 1910 were wet acres (swamp grass). The desire was to take that land and turn it into pasture land. It was never designed for the type of row cropping that is done today. There are many systems, especially in the southwest area of the State, that are being improved from 10” mains to 30” mains. Farmers want this done as soon as possible because of the costs associated with crop loss.
Borrell asked the time involved if the County would decide to extend Ditch 10 from Lake Emma to Little Waverly. The goal would be to improve quality of the water flowing into Little Waverly. He said when 12-Mile Creek gets close to Little Waverly, there is a large drop causing erosion. This has created a large dirt bar in Little Waverly. Farmers have suggested the use of sediment ponds. Where the drop occurs, the water could flow through some type of tube to prevent erosion. Deter said Legacy Funds cannot be obtained for pure drainage. However, Legacy Funds have been obtained when water quality and drainage issues have been combined.
Deter said it will take a minimum of two years to get viewers. By Statute, a viewer is a disinterested resident in the State of Minnesota. He said the Ditch Authority determines the qualifications; ditch viewers do not have to be licensed appraisers. There is a MN Viewers Association. The 4 main lead viewers in state are Ron Ringquist, Jim Weidemann from Redwood Falls, Jerry Bennett from the Red River Valley, and Wes Tennis from Albert Lea. Deter said if a redetermination is going to be completed, it needs to be done correctly. Up to several years ago, there wasn’t that much going on so the four lead viewers could handle the demand. Now a viewer may accept a project but say they won’t get to it for 18 months. That is why the MN River Board is working with Ridgewater College on a program to train more viewers.
Deter said that if in 1910, 40 landowners paid 4% of the cost of constructing Ditch 10, those 40 landowners will pay 4% of this project. That does not change until a redetermination of benefits is completed. Daleiden said the completion of the redetermination prior to the public hearing would provide landowners with those results. Sawatzke said it should be determined how much a redetermination will cost before it is completed. He does not think, for example, that $200,000 should be spent on a redetermination with $90,000 in benefits. Deter said with a redetermination, one rod grass strip on each side of a ditch must be acquired and the ditch viewers will indicate how much per acre it will cost. The one rod grass strip can be an expensive part of the project.
Borrell said it would make sense to move the water out of Lake Emma so that flooding does not occur in Lake Ann and downstream. If that is the County’s goal, which Borrell thought it should be, he asked whether it would make more sense to hold off on the redetermination. Deter said he assumes those on the system are getting frustrated. The County has a repair report reflecting anticipated expenditures of about $90,000. There is also the issue of whether there should be a redetermination of benefits. Deter said his recommendation would be to hold a public hearing and air the two issues. The County could then make a decision on whether to order the repair and/or the redetermination and in what order. At the same time, there would probably be discussion on downstream extensions.
Potter said that some may not understand that the one rod grass strip is part of the process and that comes at a cost. Deter said about 60% of what he does around the State is to educate farmers on ditch law in Minnesota, including the one rod grass strip requirement and on redetermination of benefits. Borrell assumed the one rod grass strip would need to be maintained in the future. Deter said that is correct, and a commodity cannot be planted in that strip. He said it appears that some of this area is probably in a buffer strip program. Deter said he is a strong supporter of buffer strips. Whether it is for water quality or maintenance, farming should not be allowed in the slopes of ditches because of erosion and sediment problems. About 10 years ago, the Legislature looked at mandating the one rod grass strip. He felt this will eventually be mandated.
Sawatzke asked if the process of a redetermination would require the acquisition of 16.5’ on either side of the Ditch. He asked how it works if someone voluntarily created a buffer along a ditch. He did not feel it would be fair for them to pay for someone else’s buffer. Deter said that the person may have done things right for 40 years, but this is a community system paid for by the community. Sawatzke said the County may actually acquire an easement from some of these people. If a landowner had a voluntary buffer strip, they could plow that up at any time so that easement would have to be purchased as well. Deter said that is correct.
Discussion led to setting a meeting on Ditch 10. Husom made a motion to move forward in the process with establishing a public hearing. Hiivala will check for possible locations and available dates (with those that should be in attendance including Ron Ringquist and Kurt Deter). More information will be presented at the next County Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
A written County Ditch 38 Report (dated 1-23-13) was received from Kerry Saxton, SWCD:
Ditch 38
The Board should review earlier report dated July 26th and October 29th 2012 for background material and work that has been done on this system. This system installation was completed in 1919 and was discussed for repair and extension work as early as 1926 which appears to have been denied. There was some repair work done in the 1950’s. The ditch seemed to be extended in 1969 into Section 35 of Marysville Township and new benefited land was added to the roles at that time but some irregularities exist in the record.
It’s questionable how well the ditch functioned from the very beginning with a request for repair seven years after completion but the record does not detail that well. The original purpose likely was to create pasture and or hay land in the large swamp area that is bisected by US Highway 12. In recent history this area has flooded for prolonged periods of time. In the last two years it appears this is getting worse and the area has flooded for long periods through much of the summer. The area has been used sporadically for pasture and hay land. It may or may not have been used for cropland in the distant past. Discussion on repair and rerouting around the Trailer Park and under the train tracks has occurred as early as 1972 with the conclusion that it would be too expensive for the current benefitted land roles.
In the last two years we have investigated the system and completed “Band-Aid” repairs in an attempt to keep the system functioning and improve flow. As stated in the October report there is a steel line that goes under a trailer that is rotted to the point that it might collapse at any time. If this should occur the area would flood to the point where it would eventually overland flow. We have not verified at what elevation that would happen. What damage would occur when and if that happens should be determined to help create a contingency plan for emergency implementation if need be.
The question of what future actions should be undertaken should be discussed this winter to have a plan in place to proceed with repair or replacement of this ditch system. A number of options exist for future action and all present some opportunities and costs. To elaborate on a few: repair on the existing line could be undertaken to reroute a new plastic line around the one trailer and re-hook to the concrete line on the other side of the trailer to remove the rotted line from the system. This would be the least expensive option but the concrete tile is old and showing serious signs of deterioration as evidenced from cracks on the sides of tiles and weakening of the line where exposed. This may work for some time but other problems will likely develop and should be viewed as a very temporary fix at best. Rerouting a new line around the Trailer Park offers the best solution for a long term fix. Problems include high expense, possible wetland issues, getting through the train track and the increased movement of water downstream and the attendant issues with that. The County may want to discuss the possibility of the city serving this area with a storm sewer system in the future as the tile is under sized for current conditions.
In any event the County should hold a meeting this winter to discuss various options and either move forward with the re-determination which will have a cost to benefitted landowners, with an eye on what ultimate plan is to be instituted. Another potential conclusion is the cost to reroute is too costly for the benefit and landowners would prefer to remove and replace the steel pipe from the system and see what happens and save the cost of a redetermination. The costs associated with getting under the tracks and who pays for it might have a large influence on that decision. The County Board should give some direction on who and what actions they want to see over the next couple of months.
(End of Ditch 38 Report provided by Kerry Saxton, SWCD)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Saxton provided a map and photographs of Ditch 38. One of the photographs includes a tile that was dug up near the trailer park previously at the direction of the County Board. The Board asked that the area be dug when the water was high. That line had to be re-buried to stop the water from gushing. When the area was dug, they located a steel line that runs under a trailer that is in disrepair. Saxton feels this line could fail at any time. He said it is assumed the line continues under the trailer park. They located the line again through a manhole. They were able to feed a wire through part of the line, which was located with pipe locators. He referenced pictures of that area. The line was compromised sometime in the past, and there was an old tin sign and asphalt shingles placed over it. Saxton said someone had done some type of repair. The pictures reflect that the line is cracked on the side. The integrity of the line could be compromised any time the line is dug up. Saxton said they were not able to fix the steel line under the trailer. Instead, they placed a 12” line inside of the steel line and removed all of the steel back to the concrete line. They ran an additional inlet with a tee. The line jogs around an old sewage treatment pond. They are unsure of the shape of the line in the area.
Saxton said the written Ditch 38 Report provides some history on Ditch 38. Staff from the Auditor/Treasurer’s Office completed a ditch history and Saxton reviewed the 500 pages of information. In 1969 when an extension of the Ditch was done, the Ditch Committee and viewers added some benefited landowners. There are irregularities on how that was done. He referenced the map and outlined the Ditch and areas that have been developed. There is nothing in the file that indicates how the trailer park was able to be placed over the Ditch line. He said there are requests to clean the Ditch on private land. That is not the County’s responsibility as it is not part of the County Ditch.
Saxton said that a large steel pipe was installed previously in the train track bed. This was done with the idea of rerunning the tile through the pipe. Saxton said this is not possible as it is not deep enough. It may provide effective drainage for surface water but is not placed deep enough from an agricultural standpoint.
The record reflects that the railroad was contacted previously to possibly rerun this line through the train track bed. At that time, it was deemed to be too expensive relative to the benefit realized. That could still be the result. Saxton said former Commissioner Dick Mattson had discussed the idea with the railroad. Saxton also was in contact with one of the railroad employees to discuss this same thing. When the idea was brought to the upper management of the railroad, it did not go anywhere. It is an expensive proposition and there may not be success in accomplishing this if the County would like the railroad to pay for it. The railroad may allow it but it would be expensive as it would involve boring under the tracks.
Saxton said another possibility would be to run the line on the very north side of the trailer park and tie the line into the existing crossing. Saxton hasn’t dug in that area so he does not know the situation. A jetter was previously used and they were able to extend 500’ in each direction from the manhole. They ran into some obstruction. Saxton referenced the picture reflecting a portion of a root that came out in that effort. They did not have a camera when the jetting was completed. There is some degree of water flow in that area.
Saxton said they have not investigated what damage will occur if the swamp fills. He referenced high waters in the past that have threatened an area business. Daleiden asked if there are current flooding issues. Borrell stated that there is flooding on both sides of TH 12. On the north side, there is an area that was once farmed by the Duske’s that is now under 2-3 feet of water. He said the water from development on Carrigan Lake flows into the swamp and not into Carrigan Lake. Saxton said the flow to the system has increased.
Saxton suggested the County meet with the Township and the Cities of Waverly and Montrose to discuss the situation. Consideration should be given to the agricultural benefit gained from the Ditch and whether it is worth repairing from an agricultural standpoint. Borrell asked whether a meeting should be set up as was just done with Ditch 10. Hiivala said Ron Ringquist and the viewers have been contacted to complete a redetermination on Joint Ditch 14 and County Ditch 38. Through the redetermination process, there will be public hearings. Hiivala felt that would be the time to discuss these issues.
Sawatzke asked if there would be no action at this time as the County has already decided on a redetermination for County Ditch 38 and it may take a couple of years to accomplish that. Sawatzke said if a repair is completed prior to the redetermination, that cost would be spread to the current benefited landowners. He thought that would make the redetermination of benefits process useless. Deter responded that could be the case if a redetermination is completed and that report is not used until repair is needed again (which could be well into the future). The timetable has expanded drastically if the work can not be completed for a couple of years. Saxton said the redetermination will not add a whole lot as it is a small system. He viewed this as more of a city system than an agricultural system. Minor repairs could be considered such as rerouting the line around the trailer park and reconnecting to the concrete line. He felt this could be accomplished at a reasonable price.
Borrell said that does not take care of the problems where the Ditch ends in the area of Pat Salonek’s land. Salonek indicated to Borrell that he has been assessed for Ditch 38 in the past and his land is quite a ways downstream. Hiivala said there are assessments north of the railroad tracks.
Deter said there is another option to consider while the County waits for a redetermination of County Ditch 38. Section 103E.812, Transfer of All or Part of Drainage System, allows the transfer of the system to another water management authority, which can be a city. He suggested a meeting with the Cities of Montrose and Waverly to establish boundaries. Rather than money being spent on a redetermination and completing this as an agricultural system, discussion could take place with the Cities to see whether there is a possibility of transferring it to them. The Cities could then treat this as a stormwater system, which is eligible for far more grants than an agricultural system. The meeting could involve MnDOT because of TH 12. Sawatzke asked whether a ditch system has to be entirely within a city for this to happen. Deter said it does not.
Pat Salonek farms north of the Ditch, and said he has been assessed for Ditch 38 since he has owned his farm. He voiced concern on getting rid of water from the south. He did not feel the correct process would include ending the County Ditch in front of his property, assessing him, and then putting water onto his property. He feels something needs to be done on TH 12. He referenced the former Lachermeier property that was developed which increased the water flow to the tile. Salonek said to the northeast of his property is an open creek. There are mounds of dirt (both in that area and in his pasture) from 20 years ago when someone cleaned out the area and assessed property owners. Salonek said if something is done with the Ditch, he would like it continued to the outlet. When Salonek explained the direction of the water flow from his property, Deter said he was unsure why Salonek would have been assessed. Hiivala said there is a viewers assessment abstract reflecting assessments crossing over Clementa Avenue and back. Borrell said it probably was the Ditch at one time but they cannot find the record. Sawatzke said another possibility was that the land could have been split in half. Maybe the benefits should have remained with the lower acreage and not remained with the upper acreage. Hiivala said the owner of the property where the Ditch outlets is assessed on the Ditch. The property owners to the north and west have assessments as well.
Daleiden moved to schedule a meeting with the Cities of Montrose and Waverly to discuss the issue. Connie Holmes, Mayor of the City of Waverly, said she felt the City Council would be willing to meet. The Ditch is not within Waverly City limits but is in an Orderly Annexation Area in Woodland Township. She felt the City of Montrose would be willing to meet as well. Daleiden withdrew his motion so that the City of Montrose could be contacted first. Holmes said the two Cities discussed this informally together when there were water problems this spring. It was the consensus of the County Board that the meeting could include the two Cities, the Township, landowners, MnDOT, and representatives of the railroad. Potter moved to appoint Borrell and Daleiden to serve as a Ditch Committee and to line up an informational meeting with the parties as they see appropriate. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. Deter will also be invited to the meeting.
Hiivala presented a bill to WSB and Associates for $1,060.75. He said the County and Buffalo Township are working cooperatively to rebuild the road in the Grand Castle Estates development. The developer contributed $100,000 toward the effort. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the estimate they received last fall to rebuild the road was $140,000. Anything over the $100,000 will be split 50/50 between the County and the Township. Sawatzke asked whether there are engineers designing the road so there are proper specifications to bid. Kryzer said that is correct. It is anticipated that the bid opening and award will occur in late March with construction sometime around June. Sawatzke stated that the developer went bankrupt and left the road incomplete and in disrepair. The County acknowledged some responsibility in this as the bond lapsed. The Township also accepted some responsibility as their engineer could have followed the project closer and advised that the job was not complete. The investment group that took the Development back contributed the $100,000 toward the road. Daleiden moved to approve payment of the claim to WSB and Associates in the amount of $1,060.75. The funding source will be the Capital Improvement Account. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
The claims listing was reviewed. The following questions were asked:
1. Daleiden referenced a claim on Page 8, C. Walker Trucking ($5,447.50) for plowing of the lots at the Human Services Center, the Government Center, and the Law Enforcement Center. Sawatzke questioned why the County is not plowing the lots. Daleiden referenced the bobcat at the Government Center that could be used. Norman said the custodial staff uses the bobcat to clear sidewalks and the loading dock area. C. Walker Trucking clears the parking lots to the east and west of the Government Center and also plows the Library lot. Sawatzke thought that the Parks Department was responsible for clearing the lots at the Government Center. Norman said they have not cleared the lots for some time. The Highway Department clears the mounds of snow that are piled in the lots. Borrell questioned if there should be a cost analysis of this service. He added that if the County uses Maintenance staff to clear the lots, it may delay when the lots are cleared. Norman said two Building Maintenance staff start at 5:00 A.M. and work outside to clear the sidewalks. Building Maintenance previously was staffed 24 hours at the Government Center. When the Jail was moved to the Law Enforcement Building, the County opted not to fill the custodial position. Husom asked whether it is more cost effective to contract out for this service rather than to use staff. Sawatzke said the Highway Department is busy clearing roads during a snowfall. The Parks Department staff could be called in on an overtime basis to clear the parking lots. Sawatzke asked when this service was last bid. Norman said it has been a number of years. Hiivala provided the Board with the various times and locations the snowplowing was completed by C. Walker Trucking (noted on the bill). Sawatzke said that the bill seems reasonable given that information.
2. Husom referenced a claim on Page 5 for witness fees and questioned why the amount was low ($32.88). Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the statutory rate is used plus mileage for citizens that are called as witnesses (not experts).
3. Daleiden questioned a claim on Page 6, Ernst General Construction Inc. ($4,769.00) being paid from Site Improvements for Courthouse repairs. Hiivala said this is actually a portion of a $7,355.00 bill. The work includes relocating cabinets from the former Sheriff’s Department to the 3rd Floor Annex ($1,650.00); flooring repairs around new toilets in the Government Center ($617.00); installation of fire related access panel and chase way in the Attorney’s Office ($319.00); and enlarging the data room at the Human Services Center ($4,769.00). Daleiden asked whether this type of work goes for bids or whether it is a company that is used often. Sawatzke said Ernst Construction is utilized often and they provide good service. Some jobs they have bid on but these were not.
4. Daleiden referenced the claim on Page 6, AMI Imaging Systems Inc. ($21,884.54) for Accorde Annual Support and asked what that is. Hiivala said it is for the Recorders Imaging System. Daleiden asked if it is similar to what Human Services has. Hiivala said that is correct but they are two different products. This is the annual cost. Maintenance is paid on the system itself. This is gone over in the Budget process.
On a motion by Daleiden, second by Husom, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, with 122 vendors for a total of $140,611.59. Hiivala stated that the bill to WSB and Associates is not included in the abstract but he will be paying it as the Board authorized him to do so.
The meeting recessed at 10:46 A.M. to the Committee Of The Whole Meeting to discuss the terms of citizens appointed to Committees, including Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment and Parks Commission. The meeting reconvened at 12:16 P.M.
Sawatzke said the Committee Of The Whole met and discussed the terms of citizen appointments, specifically to the Planning Commission and the Board of Adjustment. The Committee did not discuss the citizen appointments to the Parks Commission. The Board will take action on a couple of the recommendations that came out of the Committee Meeting because of upcoming meetings that require an appointment. He recognized there were some other issues discussed at the Committee Of The Whole Meeting. Those issues will be addressed when the Committee Of The Whole Minutes are presented for Board approval.
Borrell moved to appoint Bob Schermann as the District 5 appointment to the Board of Adjustment for a three-year term. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Potter made a motion to appoint Dan Mol to the At-Large Position on the Planning Commission for a three-year term. Mol will fill the dual member role for the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried unanimously.
Bills Approved
Albertville Body Shop Inc $456.97
Allina Health Laboratory 242.90
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 293.26
Ameripride Services 243.73
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 29,721.57
Annandale/City of 1,256.20
Anoka County Corrections 8,155.00
Aramark Services Inc 6,544.98
Assn. of Metro. Cty Officers 175.00
Bankers Advertising Co Inc 1,196.90
Beaudry Propane Inc 1,820.88
Bluetarp Financial Inc 120.04
BP Amoco 2,520.27
Buffalo Hospital-OTPT Comm. 1,783.15
Buffalo Township 757.20
Buffalo/City of 5,447.60
Burdas Towing 232.78
C Walker Trucking 5,447.50
Ctr. for Ed. & Employment Law 159.00
Central Fire Protection 264.00
Central McGowan Inc 234.87
Chatham Township 1,776.50
Climate Air 401.10
Collins Brothers Towing 329.18
Compliance Solutions 425.00
Corinna Township 936.40
Dell Marketing LP 152.23
Ernst General Constr. Inc 7,355.00
Franklin Township 1,168.20
French Lake Township 496.00
Grainger 206.14
Granite Electronics 254.29
Hiivala/Robert 211.00
Impact Proven Solutions 17,280.00
Interstate Automotive 149.64
Jans/Brian 270.00
John Deere Financial 175.21
LaPlant Demo Inc 525.50
League of MN Cities 150.00
Maple Lake/City of 951.80
Marco Inc 2,169.58
Marysville Township 1,028.70
MDRA 414.00
Meeker County Auditor 537.58
Menards - Buffalo 298.76
Mid-America Business Sys. 165.86
Middleville Township 574.40
MN Dept. of Human Services 764.40
MN Assn of County Officers 630.00
MN Monitoring Inc 1,099.00
MN Sheriffs Association 135.00
Montrose/City of 13,500.00
Office Depot 422.37
Reitsma/Stoffel 1,000.00
Rinke-Noonan 200.00
Rockford Township 2,640.40
RS Eden 1,557.26
Simplex Grinnell LP 484.14
Southside Township 860.60
Sprint 8,164.17
St Cloud Hospital 636.57
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PS 103.41
Total Printing 347.34
Verizon Wireless 628.75
West Payment Center 390.63
Woodland Township 531.50
20 Payments less than $100 1,040.18
Final Total: $140,611.59
The meeting adjourned at 12:19 P.M
Published in the Herald Journal Feb. 18, 2013.


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