Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 24, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
The following correction was made to the 3-17-15 Board Minutes: Page 5, 3rd paragraph, 3rd sentence should read,
In the application where it asks for enforcement information, he thought the language should reflect, “As money becomes available from the State or other public funds, that we will justly compensate the landowner for the taking of their property, so as not to violate the takings clause of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Borrell moved to approve the County Board Minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried unanimously.
Husom moved to approve the Agenda as presented, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0.
The Consent Agenda was presented for approval. Daleiden requested removal of Item E1A, for discussion. Daleiden made a motion to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0:
1. Claim, Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP $3,172.15
1. Delay Effective Date of Wright County Personnel Policies Revisions on Various Employee Leaves to 7-01-15.
1. Appoint Dale Graunke to serve on the Region 7W Transportation Policy Board.
1. Approve renewal of Motorola Services Agreement for 800MHz radio infrastructure.
1. Refer to Technology Committee:
b. Update on fiber ring infrastructure upgrade
Daleiden asked for discussion on Item E1A, Information Technology, Refer to Technology Committee, “Discuss role of Technology Committee.” Adam Tagarro, Information Technology Director, said he would like the focus of the Technology Committee to be more of a steering committee that can help to prioritize large County projects. The purpose of the Meeting will be to define that role. Tagarro would like the Technology Committee to keep the Board informed of projects. Daleiden moved to approve Item E1A, seconded by Borrell, carried 5-0.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, requested approval of the January Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report. In January, appropriations are distributed for the first quarter or first half of the year, so those line items may appear to be above budget for this time of the year. A memorandum will be sent out to departments on new line items, and some budgets may need to be modified based on this. On a motion by Daleiden, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the January Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report. It was the consensus that the County Board Agenda Packets will include a link to the Report published on the Auditor/Treasurer’s website.
Hiivala requested the Board schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole for the 2014 Year End Review. Daleiden moved to set the Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 4-16-15 at 6:00 P.M. in the County Board Room. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
The claims listing was reviewed. Daleiden referenced a claim on Page 12 to Morphotrust USA Inc ($1,100.17) for waterless wipes. Daleiden said the purchase appears to be for the annual amount used. On a motion by Daleiden, second by Borrell, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $262,582.46 with 136 vendors and 221 transactions.
Dr. Quinn Strobl, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, presented the 2014 Medical Examiner Report. The report is a summary of Medical Examiner involvement for deaths occurring in Wright County. A total of 456 deaths were investigated, which is an increase of about 3 percent over 2013. Of those deaths, 157 were registered hospice patients and 338 cremations were approved. Jurisdiction was assumed in 76 cases with 53 autopsies performed. Two incidents of found bones were investigated and deemed non-human.
Dr. Strobl stated that 14 of the deaths requiring an autopsy were attributed to natural causes (decedents ages 19 months to 62 years). The majority were found to have cardiovascular disease. Other deaths involved a 19-month old-child with complications of congenital anomalies. Two deaths were from complications of chronic alcoholism, 1 death was from an endocrine disorder, and 1 was from meningitis.
Motor vehicle-related crashes, classified as accidental, claimed the lives of 12 people which is 3 more than in 2013. There were 4 incidents that involved alcohol intoxication; 2 separate incidents were associated with icy road conditions; 2 incidents involved motorcyclists; 1 incident involved a vehicle turning into the path of an oncoming vehicle; and 1 incident involved a vehicle being struck when not yielding at a stop sign.
Dr. Strobl reported that 22 deaths were classified as accidental, non-motor vehicle related and 13 required an autopsy. Of those 13 deaths, 6 were due to drug toxicity, 5 were associated with acute alcohol intoxication; 1 incident was a work-related injury; and 1 involved blunt force injuries from a fall.
Of the non-autopsied accidental deaths, 8 people (aged 65 to 92) had complications of injuries sustained in falls from standing height, and 1 incident involved choking on food.
There were 13 suicides in 2014 which is 1 more than in 2013. The decedents ranged from 16 to 68 years with 10 males and 3 females. Dr. Strobl stated that 7 deaths were caused by gunshot wound, 7 decedents were intoxicated with alcohol, and 2 were under the influence of methamphetamines.
The death of a 36-year old man, injured in Hennepin County, was classified as a homicide. In addition, the Medical Examiner’s Office, along with a forensic anthropologist and odonatologist, are investigating the death of an adult male who was reportedly injured in Wright County.
Strobl said 2014 was a busy and complicated year. She said it is an honor and privilege to serve as the Medical Examiner and to work with the Law Enforcement community to serve residents.
Husom referenced the Medical Examiner Statistics table that noted a “Natural” category for the years 2010-2014. The numbers in these fields show 208 in 2010 but decline substantially to +/- 30 for 2011-2014. Strobl said this is due to the fine tuning of numbers in a new case management system. The “Natural” category refers to deaths where the Medical Examiner’s Office signed the death certificates. The “Reportable Declined” category deaths are natural deaths where the primary physician signed the death certificates. In response to a question by Daleiden, Dr. Strobl explained that histology relates to the study of tissue samples under a microscope to assist in determining the cause of death.
Daleiden moved to approve the Medical Examiner’s Report. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried unanimously.
Barbara Chaffee, CEO, Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Services (CMJTS), and representatives from CMJTS provided an update and overview. The Central MN CMJTS serves an 11-County area (Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Laces, Pine, Renville, Sherburne, and Wright). Programs include Public Assistance and Senior Services, Adult and Dislocated Worker, Youth, Workforce Development, and Registered Apprenticeship.
The meeting recessed at 9:58 A.M. and reconvened at 10:08 A.M.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator, requested approval of a Memorandum of Agreement for the North Fork Crow River Water Planning Partnership. The MOU would be between the County Boards and SWCD’s for Kandiyohi, Meeker, Pope, Stearns, and Wright Counties, the Board of Managers for the Middle and North Forks of the Crow Watershed Districts, and the Board of Directors for the Crow River Organization of Water (CROW).
The Agreement reflects that the parties recognize the importance of partnerships to plan and implement protection and restoration efforts for the North Fork of the Crow River. The purpose of the Agreement is to collectively develop and adopt, as local government units, a coordinated watershed management plan for implementation per the provisions of the Plan and the BWSR content requirements. The Agreement would be effective upon signature of all parties in consideration of the Board of Water and Soil Resources Participation Requirements for One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) and will remain in effect until canceled through provisions of the Agreement.
Riley stated that Borrell attended a workshop approximately one year ago for input on setting up the Agreement. Information was taken and revisions were made. Riley said several of the organizations have passed approval of the Agreement. The Agreement is to get started on the 1W1P for the North Fork of the Crow River process. It is not the Plan itself but the Agreement to move forward with it.
Borrell said at that time of that workshop, he understood the effort would be for planning. His concern was that this will turn into a watershed with tax assessments. He was assured that would not be the case. Borrell referenced Agreement language relating to the Purpose,
“The parties to this Agreement recognize the importance of partnerships to plan and implement protection and restoration efforts for the North Fork of the Crow River…”
Borrell asked for clarification, as he thought it was supposed to strictly be a plan. He is concerned that they may be told one thing but the Agreement language will be what is followed in the future. Saxton said the Agreement relates to planning but not implementation. The State wants the Plan taken to implementation once the Plan is approved. There are provisions in the Agreement that allow them not to accept the Plan. Borrell was concerned that the County may be financially penalized if a decision is made to opt out. Saxton suspected the County would not be penalized but rather would not realize the rewards that might be possible if the Plan is approved. The State wants the Plans to work and so will fund the Plans that go to fruition. If the County opts out, they would return to the current plan and funding would be available as it is now.
Borrell understands one of the goals is to come together and apply for one grant for the watershed, instead of individual entities competing for grant dollars. Saxton said that is one of the outcomes expected. The grant will be applied for by the larger bodies, who will then prioritize projects. The County Board will be a part of that. A lot of the Plan will be the prioritization. Saxton said one of his concerns is that the target area is the main stem of the Crow. He thought Wright County citizens will be more interested in lakes than the main stem of the Crow, so that is one thing they will make sure is included. Potter said that Wright County has lakes that have a hydrological connection to the Crow. Therefore, cleanup of the lakes will clean up the Crow. Saxton said that is correct, but there are number of lakes not connected. However lakes that are cleaned up will affect waters downstream.
Potter said the Agreement includes a 12-31-16 termination date and a 30-day opt out clause. Saxton thinks Wright County is in a good position being the largest land area in the group. The group will be sensitive to what Wright County wants. If Wright County opts out, that could be damaging to the Plan.
Sawatzke referenced the Agreement and said it is lacking signatures by McLeod, Carver, and Hennepin Counties but they are listed in the watershed. Saxton said that Hennepin County is under the Metropolitan Water Management Act so it was felt unnecessary. The Agreement has been set up so that if there is a very small area of land involved, a County can opt out. The major land areas need to be involved. Saxton said if this progresses to the South Fork of the Crow River, Wright County may not want to opt in due to the amount of land involved.
Borrell said Wright County is the largest County in this Agreement and will put the most money into the CROW, yet Wright County will only have one vote. He thought this should be more equitable. Daleiden said that in this situation, what happens in other counties above Wright County will benefit the CROW in Wright County. It is their job to monitor the situation to make sure something is happening. Otherwise, they can withdraw. Borrell said Wright County will still invest in keeping Wright County lakes and waters clean. He felt he would be on board if there were more assurance that this involves grant funding for planning for the North Fork. He stated that is what they made it sound like at the workshop he attended. Saxton thought that was correct and thought that is the way things will go this first round. He is unsure what this will transition into in the future. Relating to Borrell’s question on implementation, Saxton said there may be another body or voting regime at that time. At that time, there will be discussion on whether to continue and whether changes are necessary. He said that is the time to address the voting structure on how funds are spent. Borrell said his concern is not necessarily the money spent on implementation, it is where the funds are coming from (i.e., if a county is going to be assessed). Potter said that Pope County is small enough where they could have opted out. He said they obviously care about the Crow River. Borrell said he does not want a watershed with taxes or assessments.
Daleiden moved to approve the Memorandum of Agreement for the North Fork Crow River Water Planning Partnership, seconded by Husom. Borrell said this is for planning. In two years, a lot more detail will be brought forth and at that time they should be conscious of the language associated with putting this into a more permanent form. The motion carried 5-0.
Laid over from the last Meeting, discussion occurred on the Clean Water Fund Buffer Compliance Inventory Grant (buffer grant). Riley provided an overview of the Grant Survey, which serves as the application, that was filled out by Joe Jacobs, SWCD. The County, SWCD, and Watershed District are shown as partners. Saxton said the majority of the Grant funding has been spoken for. The State has indicated there may be more funding available.
Saxton said the Survey reflects the County will discuss what will be done if landowners don’t voluntarily complete the work. The SWCD has discussed handling this through point-of-sale (brought up to code when the property is sold). It may not necessarily be done, and the Grant will be over by the time they reach that point. Sawatzke is unsure whether he would support that. When sewers were made a part of point-of-sale, he thought that made sense because a property needs an inspection to verify that things are working properly. With this situation, a buyer can visually verify whether land is plowed within so many feet of a water body. It would be effective but he is unsure whether it is as an acceptable approach. Borrell stated that with corporate farms, the title does not transfer so this would not work in that situation. Daleiden said they would have to figure out another way to do it. Borrell said he will not vote in support of the Application as written. He said with the language Commissioner Sawatzke put in, it is not enforceable because they can’t enforce without compensation to the landowner. Borrell said the Board needs to do their best to make sure the Constitution is followed. They cannot take someone’s property without compensation.
Saxton said that the Point of Sale is one method that could be reviewed in several years if it is decided there is not enough compliance. Daleiden said the Grant being reviewed at this time is to complete the inventory to figure out compliance issues and how the residents can be best served. Saxton said it is not clear where buffers are required. He said it is required by lakes but where buffers are required by streams has not been identified.
Discussion led to possible changes to the Survey. Sawatzke suggested striking the following language from Item 5:
“One option that will be considered is to:
Those who chose voluntary compliance may enroll into existing local, state or federal incentive programs.
Create a program where- All land will have a Point-Of-Sale review ensuring County Buffer Compliance.”
Borrell suggested removing the following language in Item 5, in addition to what Sawatzke suggested striking:
“After a 2-3 year period using these procedures a review of the compliance situation will be conducted and if need be discussion of further actions to obtain compliance will occur with the Water Management Task Force, the SWCD and the County Board.”
In response to Borrell’s suggestion for striking language, Saxton said they wanted to include something that the State will feel is viable over time. Borrell stated that this can’t be enforced and he will not take land without compensation. Potter thought Sawatzke’s suggestion to remove language would address that, leaving the final way with the County Board. Saxton says the Survey does not say that there will be enforcement; it says it will be considered. The Grant will be done by the time they get to that point, and it will be up to the Board at that time what is done. Borrell thought the County should be sending a message to the State that it is unconstitutional to take someone’s property.
Husom referenced the Survey language that reads:
“One option that will be considered is to:
Those who chose voluntary compliance may enroll into existing local, state or federal incentive programs.
She asked why that language was stricken from the Survey. Saxton said that language was not intended to be removed and should be included. He said that is the idea – to find out locations where there is not compliance and to meet with landowners on program options. He said land may need to be added to the buffer in order to qualify for a program and get paid for that area. The intent is to sit down with landowners and go over options. Saxton said another issue relates to water flowing from culverts from a field into a lake. When those situations are found, a meeting could be held with landowners on some of the voluntary programs for buffering.
Sawatzke referenced changes to Item 5. He suggested leaving in the sentence that says:
“After a 2-3 year period using these procedures a review of the compliance situation will be conducted and if need be discussion of further actions to obtain compliance will occur with the Water Management Task Force, the SWCD and the County Board.
He suggested striking the following language from Item 5:
“One option that will be considered is to:
Those who chose voluntary compliance may enroll into existing local, state or federal incentive programs.
Create a program where-All land will have a Point-Of-Sale review ensuring County Buffer Compliance.”
Sawatzke referenced changes to Item 6. He suggested that section read:
“After the initial grant period, compliance will again be looked at and if problem areas remain, discussion with the Water Management Task Force, the SWCD Board and the County Board will occur to formulate a process to obtain compliance. Options will be reviewed which will continue to evaluate our public water buffers.”
The suggested revision would remove the following language from Item 6:
“When a sale of land occurs the new owner will be informed of the requirement and compliance will be expected.”
Sawatzke said the Board review could occur at the end of three years on what sort of compliance is happening through voluntary means and identifying problem areas. He said the Survey should not list specific options.
Borrell referenced Item 6 and suggested removing the word “compliance” and replacing it with “to obtain the buffer strip.” The first sentence would read:
“After the initial grant period, compliance will again be looked at and if problem areas remain, discussion with the Water Management Task Force, the SWCD Board and the County Board will occur to formulate a process to obtain the buffer strip.”
Daleiden said compliance is the law. Borrell asked Daleiden if he is going to obey that law whether or not it violates the Constitution. Daleiden said no. Sawatzke said right now, the County is supposed to enforce it. Borrell said that is right, but they have taken an oath to obey the Constitution.
Daleiden said the inventory would reflect the severity of the problems and inform residents of potential programs. The Board could also speak with State Legislators. Borrell suggested submitting the grant application for the inventory and not doing anything with enforcement. Potter referenced Saxton’s statement that the grant will be over by the time they would discuss enforcement. Borrell stated the County should possibly wait then to see the result of pending legislation.
Daleiden thinks they still need the inventory to identify problems. Borrell said the enforcement piece should be removed from the Survey. Husom said right now, the grant would be to conduct the inventory. If the County is not awarded a grant, there will not be funding available to complete the inventory and therefore it will be a moot point. The two Townships inventoried did not have many problems. Borrell said there were over 7 acres identified in Victor Township.
Sawatzke is unsure if people understand the law. He said that a majority of farmers are good environmentalists. The County Board is aware of a handful of situations that are not good. Those should be corrected as their actions have a detrimental effect on others. Daleiden said the Survey reflects that procedures will be reviewed to obtain compliance. Saxton said the documents reflect the County will consider options if there is not compliance. Saxton estimated this to be in 3-4 years.
Husom made the following correction to Item 5, line 6, to read, “Records of these meetings……”
Daleiden made a motion to proceed with the Clean Water Fund Buffer Compliance Inventory Grant application as corrected. Potter asked whether the corrections included those strike outs presented by Sawatzke. Saxton stated that the language “Those who chose voluntary compliance may enroll into existing local, state or federal incentive Compliance” will not be taken out. That was the sentence Husom requested should be left in. The motion was seconded by Husom. Sawatzke asked for clarification on the motion. Daleiden said he moved approval of the Summary as it was presented, other than correcting some of the mistakes, because the Survey includes a review. Husom said she liked the striking of the sentence, “Create a program where- All land will have a Point-of-Sale review ensuring County Buffer Compliance,” but she said it is just review.
Borrell made an amendment to the motion to remove the word “compliance.” He thought that would send the State a message that this is not constitutional. Husom asked whether Borrell would be replacing the “compliance” language with “the buffer strip.” Borrell said yes but the language may have to be modified slightly to make it read correctly in the sentence. Sawatzke asked whether Borrell will vote for the entire application with that change. Borrell stated he would. Sawatzke seconded the amendment to the motion and the amendment carried 5-0. The Commissioners then voted on the original motion and it carried 5-0.
Borrell stated that he agrees with buffer strips. There will be places where the property owner should be encouraged to implement a buffer and use program funding. There are going to be other places where the water does not rush into a stream and it is not as important. He said most farmers do this on their own because the land means something to them, and they want to take care of it.
Sawatzke moved to schedule a Labor Management/Loss Control Committee Meeting Of The Whole on 4-28-15 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-1 with Daleiden casting the nay vote. Daleiden did not think the Board needed to deal with topics associated with loss.
Advisory Committee/Advisory Board Updates
1. MEADA. Husom said methamphetamine use is up in the County and is linked with deaths, as reported by the Medical Examiner. MEADA spent $4,975 in Wright County schools during 2014 and served 17,087 people. She stated the 1-22-15 Know the Truth Forum has been posted on the County and Human Services websites.
2. GRRL. Potter said interviews will be held for the Executive Director position.
3. MnDOT Variance Committee. Potter served on the Committee on 3-19-15. The group reviews project requests that may not meet engineering standards.
Bills Approved
A-1 Marine $303.92
Aarestad/Paul 145.00
Abbott Northwestern Hospital 485.42
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 150.00
Anoka Co. Fiscal Services 10,277.00
Anoka County Sheriff 27,344.28
Aramark Services Inc 7,690.85
Assn. of MN Emerg. Managers 130.00
Brock White Co LLC 27,981.05
Buffalo Auto Value 359.80
C Walker Trucking 3,525.00
Carver County 732.00
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 17,714.00
Centracare Health Monticello 361.20
Central Fire Protection 236.00
CenturyLink 1,525.92
Chamberlain Oil Co 1,945.27
Citrix Systems Inc 2,025.00
Climate Air 11,129.00
Compass Minerals America 2,105.45
Dynamic Recycling 2,799.60
Emergency Auto. Tech Inc 945.00
Engel/Dale L 300.00
Expert Automotive & Towing Inc 235.00
Frontier Precision Inc 1,355.31
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
Grainger 215.40
Greenview Inc 1,334.39
Hickmans Service Inc 175.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 2,997.63
Howard/Jolanta 200.00
Integriprint 151.95
International Code Council 225.00
Interstate Automotive 135.00
Janet Shaddix & Associates 788.00
LaPlant Demo Inc 582.06
Loberg Electric 268.49
Marco Inc 643.00
McKesson Medical-Surgical 650.88
Menards - Buffalo 360.36
Midwest Machinery Co 119.20
Minnesota Monitoring 448.00
MN Counties Comp. Coop. 10,528.05
MN Dept of Transportation 30,486.45
MN Safety Council 625.00
MN State Auditor 650.00
Monticello Towing LLC 150.00
Moore & Moore Advantage 255.15
Morphotrust USA Inc 1,100.17
Morries Parts & Service Group 112.45
Munson/Margaret 486.50
Naaktgeboren Decorating 2,100.00
NDR Cables & Networks 232.50
Neil’s Floor Covering 310.50
Nelson Auto Center 25,855.95
Performance Kennels Inc 103.20
Ratwik,Roszak,&Maloney 528.00
Richards/Thomas W 500.00
RS Eden 1,766.85
Schermann/Robert D 170.00
Select Account 3,703.60
Sherwin Williams 192.05
Thrifty White Pharmacy 198.42
Total Printing 195.00
University of Minn/CCE Reg 215.00
USPCA Region 12 120.00
Verizon Wireless 9,493.00
Victor Township 1,850.00
Warning Lites of MN Inc 1,223.25
West Payment Center 1,724.93
Wright County Highway Dept 27,712.79
Wright Henn. Coop Elec Assn 5,480.85
Wright Hennepin Electric 1,728.85
27 Payments less than $100 1,588.52
Final total $262,582.46
The meeting adjourned at 10:58 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal April 13, 2015.