WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
OCTOBER 6, 2015
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Sawatzke, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
Daleiden moved to approve the 9-29-15 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Husom moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0. Borrell stated that the Ag Deed Restrictions Agenda item on today’s Committee Of The Whole Meeting will not be discussed as staff from NRCS are unable to attend.
Borrell moved to approve the Consent Agenda, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0:
1. Refer Discussion of Administration Department Organizational Structure to Personnel Committee
1. Approve Claims as Listed in the Abstract, Subject to Audit, for a Total of $367,543.70, with 135 Vendors and 198 Transactions.
C. HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacements:
A. Office Technician II
B. Office Technician I
TIMED AGENDA ITEM
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Approve New Tobacco License for Montrose C Store, Inc. (City of Montrose)
Borrell moved to approve the License, seconded by Daleiden, carried unanimously.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
Adopt Resolution Supporting Funding for Central Minnesota Emergency Medical Services
Lee Kelly, County Coordinator, was contacted by the Central MN EMS Board requesting Wright County adopt a resolution requesting the legislature make sufficient and stable funding of regional EMS services a high priority; and that the State Legislature dedicate a portion of funds raised through State activities to dedicate a portion to support Regional EMS Services. Husom moved to adopt Resolution #15-56, seconded by Daleiden, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS:
GREG KRYZER, ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY
Discuss Proposal for Property Abatement in Buffalo Township
Kryzer stated that litigation occurred about four years ago to clean up the property (PID #202-000-151200). In June, the County Board approved soliciting bids and that process closed on 10-01-15. Two inspections of the property were completed. Interested bidders included Hickman’s Auto and French Lake Auto. Hickman’s did not submit a bid because of the size of the job. French Lake Auto submitted a bid of $110,000 (only bid). Kryzer anticipated this cost would be about $30,000-$40,000. He estimates about 70 vehicles on the property. The advertisement for bids was run for four weeks. Kryzer contacted the two bidders listed as those were the only two he knows of. Borrell made a motion to reject the bid from French Lake Auto and to look into more options. The motion was seconded by Husom. Daleiden stated this will allow the property owner to remove items to recover some of his costs. Kryzer said it has been his goal since the beginning for the property owner to clean the property up. The motion carried 5-0.
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
APPROVE SALE OF 2015 A BONDS
Barry Fick, Senior Vice President, Springsted, said bids were opened on 10-05-15 for $10 million in General Obligation Capital Improvement Bonds for the County Highway Department building project. Ten bids were received. The lowest was from Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC at a true interest rate of 2.4432%. This involved the largest number of bidders for a Wright County bond issuance and the lowest overall rate received. Part of that is attributable to the market and the strong financial status of the County.
Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #15-57 awarding the sale of General Obligation Bonds, Series 2015A, in the original aggregate principal amount of $9,735,000; fixing their form and specifications; directing their execution and delivery; and providing for their payment. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote. Borrell voted against the motion as he does not support the project. Fick indicated that he will return in a couple of weeks to present a resolution setting the sale date for the next bond sale, planned for early December with closing in January.
PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION FOR THE FOLLOWING REZONING:
JADE ZACHMAN-(Silver Creek Twp.) Order & Findings included. Planning Commission recommends on a 5/2 vote the property be rezoned from AG General Agriculture to B-2 General Business
At 9:30 A.M., the Board Meeting was recessed into the Public Hearing for the rezoning. Commissioner Potter stated comment will be limited to the rezoning request only.
Sean Riley, Planning & Zoning Administrator provided a timeline of the process to date. On 5-21-15 the first hearing occurred on the rezoning request. That meeting was continued to 6-10-15. The Planning Commission reconvened on 6-11-15 to discuss the request. The request was continued to allow the Township to clarify their input. The request came back to the Planning Commission on 7-09-15. The applicant asked to continue the item to 8-20-15 to further explore the request with the Township. There were some delays related to full attendance by the Township Board. The request was referred to the 8-20-15 Planning Commission Meeting which was after the site inspection and Township input. The Planning Commission directed staff to put together Findings consistent with that discussion with a recommendation for approval on a 5/2 vote. On 9-10-15, the Planning Commission adopted those Findings for a formal recommendation to the County Board. On 9-22-15, the County Board pulled the recommendation for the rezoning request from the Consent Agenda and scheduled the Public Hearing for 10-06-15.
Considerable discussion followed on the request and setbacks for the property. Riley explained that often the Planning Commission will inform applicants that they are required to meet setbacks during the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) process. It will be on record that the diagrams submitted must meet setbacks. From the CUP, it will either be referred back to the Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustment, or both. Sawatzke said he does not want this to impact future road projects.
Public comment was taken.
Gillian Olson, resident to the east of the Zachman property, provided an example of a similar situation with rezoning of a business in Buffalo Township. Potter stated that the industrial zoning was in existence prior to the business locating there. Olson said Zachman’s operate forklifts at night and their inventory is mostly stored outside. She is not opposed to the business going on the corner where there are vacant buildings versus the proposed location next to residential areas. Potter stated that Planning & Zoning likes buffers between commercial and residential. In this case, it is not feasible. There is a road between and trees and berms on the site line. The property is located on a County road adjacent to a freeway interchange. Olson referenced the potential hazard with trucks at the intersection. Potter has been in contact with the Highway Department and there is no crash data to indicate a problem. Commercial property is already located at this location.
Bob Esse lives one mile from the property. He said the property is a narrow strip that should not be classified as agricultural. He thought the request to rezone was appropriate and will allow for expansion of the business. Potter stated that agricultural was appropriate when the property was classified as an abandoned railroad property. Discussion led to the building entitlements and the home on the property. Riley stated that under this request, the property would need to be split in order to accommodate a home and the business. This will need to be addressed as part of the CUP process.
Todd Kempenich lives north of the property and referenced property across the freeway that he said is designated for industrial purpose. He does not want a business located across from his home. Potter said it is reasonable to expect growth or development around an interchange. When the property was no longer owned by the Railroad, it was zoned agricultural. Riley said the property was denied in 1999 for rezoning for the purposes of a storage facility. Sawatzke thought the points raised by Kempenich were valid. However, this situation involves a parcel with commercial properties to the north and south so it makes it different than if a request were presented for another location.
Chris Klein, Maple Lake resident and member of the Silver Creek Township Board, said the request was heard twice by their Advisory Board (comprised of Silver Creek Planning & Zoning and Township Board members). Klein said that the property was a commercial property but at some point was turned into a residence. He referenced the surrounding commercial properties. The property cannot be used as agricultural because of its size. The request fits the Township’s long-term vision of what can happen in that area.
Sandy Forsman, resident and member of the Silver Creek Township Board, said the land is a MN Recreations Trail. She said the County Board’s duty is to decide whether this is good and prosperous to the neighborhood. She said fencing needs to be required for the cars. Forsman is only in favor of the rezoning if conditions are placed through the CUP process. She asked that whatever decision is made, it should be helpful to the residents.
Borrell said that the CUP process will address concerns brought forth. Sawatzke hopes the Planning Commission recognizes that the request has to fit the property. Borrell said they obtained more information during their site visit. Details such as external storage will be addressed.
Brian Larson lives on the other side of the freeway from the Zachman property. He said he and six other people were not notified of any of the meetings. The response was that the County notifies residents within one-half mile of a property. Notice is not sent of subsequent meetings. It is up to interested parties to follow when meetings are held.
Jade Zachman, owner of property that is being discussed, said he wants to work with neighbors. He understands the request will need to be through a CUP process. The property is surrounded by commercial property and is in an area that will expand both to the north and south. In response to Sawatzke, Zachman said there is a CUP for the current site that does not require all stone to be stored indoors. He would prefer to have more storage indoors but can only use 1/3 of the current building as there are other people utilizing the building.
Dave Thompson, member of the Wright County Planning Commission, said he envisions a building with plenty of space and buffering. When asked, Zachman indicated the proposed size of the building is 50’ x 200’.
Julie Blomberg said she lives 10’ from the proposed business. She asked that the County stand up for people that have lived in that area for 20 years. Potter said that 40 years ago, residents may have rejected the idea of homes being built in the area. The request relates to the highest and best use of the property. Blomberg asked that the Commissioners have compassion for neighbors that pay taxes in the area.
Kris Graeber lives on 159th Street and referenced trails in this area. To rezone the property would require rerouting the trail. She said the State trail is on the former railroad bed. Daleiden asked how that will be affected by rezoning. Graeber said it will not be beneficial to the wildlife nesting area. Rezoning will allow a business that may affect the MN State Wildlife Protection Plan. Discussion led to the trees on the north side of the property. Potter said they will not be removed as they are in the setback. The scrub trees in the front are being removed as they are overgrown. When the railroad property was abandoned, it was sold. Potter stated the property owner should have a reasonable right to use the property. Discussion followed on the trail that Graeber said runs from St. Cloud to Clearwater on the former railroad tracks. When asked, Zachman indicated that he does not have an agreement with the snowmobile association or DNR for the use of his property for the trail.
The Public Hearing closed at 10:46 A.M. and the County Board Meeting was reconvened.
Husom sympathized with property owners but feels the rezoning request was vetted by the Planning Commission. She said the request seems appropriate in this instance and will support the Planning Commission’s recommendation. Daleiden agreed, stating that the property adjoins general business.
Daleiden made a motion to approve the Planning Commission recommendation to rezone the Jade Zachman property in Silver Creek Township from AG General Agriculture to B-2 General Business. The motion was seconded by Husom. Sawatzke asked that when this is presented through the CUP process that the expectation is that they will not lessen the tree planting, berms, etc. Sawatzke said outside storage is not acceptable. He said they also received an email where a person described an open door with dust clouds leaving the building. That would also not be acceptable. He said things need to be enclosed and contained. Borrell assured Sawatzke that they will look at the requirements through the CUP. Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, clarified that the motion is to approve the rezoning and also the Notice and Order for approval of the Application for Rezoning with Findings. He said the Board is approving the Findings. The motion carried 5-0.
The meeting recessed at 10:53 A.M. and reconvened at 11:03 A.M.
DISCUSS TRI-COUNTY REGIONAL FORENSIC LABORATORY
Sawatzke said the discussion of the Tri-County Regional Forensic Laboratory (Crime Lab) was brought forward when the Wright County Board recognized the funding formula was unfair and asked the two member Counties, Anoka and Sherburne, to relook at the formula. Sawatzke said Wright County has not received response from those Counties and the silence speaks volumes. He felt it was the entire Board that agreed that a different formula would be fairer. He noted a correction to the 8-11-15 Tri County Regional Forensic Laboratory Advisory Board Committee Meeting Minutes, Page 6, 2nd to last paragraph, 1st sentence should read, “Commissioner Sawatzke again believes that the formula is not fair and stated that Wright County is subsidizing the other two partner counties, particularly Anoka County.”
Husom said the Regional Crime Lab’s Advisory Committee discussed the funding formula with the recommendation to retain the current formula for now. She said the Wright County Board went along with that recommendation. Usage by Wright County has increased with DNA certification. She also said that the St. Cloud Police Department may be using the Crime Lab in the future.
Scott Ford, Lab Director for the Tri-County Regional Laboratory, said there is not a formal agreement with St. Cloud. As recently as last week, Stearns County as a whole has expressed interest in becoming a member. If that were to occur, it would definitely impact contributions by all members. Husom stated that the buy in would need to be addressed as the member Counties have already contributed millions toward the Crime Lab. Discussion followed on the potential evidence that could be submitted by Stearns County and how that would impact others in the Lab. Daleiden conveyed to Ford that he highly recommends the Commissioners from member Counties meet when cost allocations are discussed again versus having this discussion by Attorneys and Sheriffs from member Counties. County Boards are ultimately responsible for dealing with the budget and taxpayers. Discussion followed on the funding mechanism.
Sawatzke made a motion to provide notice to Anoka and Sherburne Counties that effective 4-06-16, Wright County will no longer participate in the Tri County Regional Forensic Laboratory. The motion was seconded by Borrell. This provides the 180-day notice to opt out of the Contract. Sawatzke and Borrell amended the motion to change the effective date to 4-16-16 to allow time for preparing and sending the notice. Husom did not agree with approaching it this way and said she firmly believes in what the Crime Lab is doing. Daleiden stated he would vote against the motion. His perspective is that the other member Counties don’t care, which is indicated by their silence. However, he doesn’t want to lose this service for the residents of Wright County. Sawatzke said the $367,000 in funding could be used toward designating a person at the BCA or another lab to work on Wright County evidence more expediently when needed. Additional discussion occurred on the type of services provided by the Crime Lab and BCA and how that affects cost. Borrell added that the services provided by the Crime Lab are good. However, the funding formula is unfair. Husom said they haven’t heard from other Counties and the next meeting hasn’t occurred. Sawatzke said it can be presumed that the message was received by Anoka and Sherburne Counties but was ignored. The motion passed 3-2 with Husom and Potter casting the nay votes.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Township Officers Meeting. Borrell attended a meeting on 10-01-15 which included discussion on zebra mussels and solar panels. Zebra mussels have been located in Lake John, which directly feeds to Lake Sylvia.
2. CR 37 & 70th St. Daleiden said the hope is to have 70th Street open for winter with the first layer of blacktop. A stop sign has been erected at the intersection of CR 19 and 70th Street because of accidents and the potential of increased traffic.
3. I-94 Update. Potter said eastbound lanes opened today which is a welcome relief for those who travel that corridor. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on 10-13-15 at 11:00 A.M. at the FedEx Distribution Center in Rogers.
4. East Central Regional Juvenile Detention Center Advisory Board. Sawatzke said the Detention Center held a meeting on 10-01-15. The per diem charged to Wright County will remain at $239/day (member county rate). Wright County has a three bed guarantee. If Wright County does not use them, they can be sold to another user and Wright County would then not incur the full cost. Non-members pay an additional $20/day to utilize the Facility.
5. Bertram Chain Of Lakes Meeting. Sawatzke attended the last meeting. Discussion included the Parks Administrator going forward with the next phase. There will be $15 million in this grant cycle available to State regional parks. Only 23 parks in the State can apply. Sawatzke said this may be an opportunity to complete the purchase of passive use areas.
6. Safe Schools. Husom attended a meeting in Annandale where they discussed violators under the age of 10.
7. Pink Street Party. Husom said the event was held in downtown Buffalo to support those dealing with cancer, their caregivers, and those who have passed. This is an annual event.
1st Choice Movers LLC $ 778.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc 1,637.60
Annandale Rock Products 500.12
Aramark Services Inc 456.50
Assn of Metropolitan Cty Officers 375.00
Association of MN Counties 125.00
Berg/Stephen L 585.00
Boyer Truck Parts 687.99
Braun Intertec Corporation 4,773.75
Buffalo/City of 120.00
Burdas Towing 190.00
Cenex Fleetcard 1,394.71
Center Point Energy 2,205.26
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 18,198.11
Climate Air 1,676.80
Compass Minerals America Inc 81,546.59
Daikin Applied 328.48
Delano Rental Inc 260.41
Greene Espel PLLP 1,626.60
H&R Const Co 2,100.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 3,151.87
Holt Motors Inc 315.00
Integrated Fire & Security 1,010.00
Jerrys Towing & Repair 320.00
Keeprs Inc 1,055.97
Kotila Excavating 691.20
Kraus Anderson Construction 115,552.23
L3 Communications Inc 870.28
Laplant Demo Inc 770.13
Lube Tech ESI 1,249.70
Madden Galanter Hansen LLP 8,292.11
Maple Lake Lumber Company 161.55
Marco Inc 3,382.22
Martin & Wagner, P.A. 100.00
Menards - Buffalo 314.18
Metro Group Inc/The 2,223.75
Midwest Machinery Co 186.24
Morries Parts & Service Group 524.45
Office Depot 2,143.03
Pakor Inc 249.20
Performance Kennels Inc 103.20
Rettmann Jr/Edward H 35,000.00
Richards/Thomas W 100.00
Royal Tire Inc 2,727.06
Schedule Soft 13,860.00
Sherwin Williams Co 198.74
State Supply Co 144.29
Total Printing 345.00
Traffic Marking Service Inc 37,197.99
W D Larson Companies LTD 241.80
Wright County Highway Dept 692.89
WSB & Associates Inc 1,093.00
Xcel Energy 2,098.14
Zep Sales & Services 1,220.38
23 Payments less than $100 1,320.92
Final total $367,543.70
The meeting adjourned at 11:33 a.m.
Published in the Herald Journal Oct. 26, 2015.