Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 2, 1999

The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Mattson, Eichelberg, Sawatzke, Jude, and Russek present.

Motion to approve the minutes of 1-26-99 was made by Jude, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #4, "GRRL Appointment" (Eichelberg); Item For Consid. #5, "Letter from Veit Construction" (Eichelberg); Item For Consid. #6, "Jail Medical Contract with PCMT" (Mattson). Richard Norman, County Coordinator, removed Item #3, "Consider Recommendation from Administrative Law Judge RE: Civil Trespass Citations" from the Assistant County Attorney's schedule and referred it to next week's meeting. On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as follows. Mattson referenced the resignation of Steve Safar which was approved part of the last County Board Consent Agenda. Mattson wished Safar the best and noted that he has been an excellent employee.


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Nelson, Aud./Treas.; A. Hermanson, Ct. Admin.; P. Atkins, Hwy.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 1-8-99.

3. Analysis of Change Orders, Refer to Building Committee Meeting of 3-10-99.

4. Consider Application for 1999 Minnesota Cities Participation Program (First Time Homebuyers Program). Authorize County Coordinator to sign Application.


1. Claim, Buetow & Associates, Inc., $2,923.28 (HS Ctr. Fund 34).

2. Claim, KNR Communications, $467.54 (HS Ctr. Fund 34).


1. Acknowledge Hire, Kelly Halvorson, Court Attendant, Eff. 2-10-99, Step 3.


1. Acknowledge Appointment, Eric Kunkel, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-1-99, Grade 5.

2. Acknowledge Appointment, Frank Caruso, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-16-99, Grade 5.

3. Acknowledge Appointment, Matthew Malott, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 2-16-99, Grade 4.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, was contacted by Scott Dahlke, Engineer with Meyer-Rohlin, Inc., with a request to clean out a portion of County Ditch 21 in St. Michael (part of Section 10, Twp. 120, Range 24). Dahlke and Gary Gutzwiller, the property owner where the proposed clean out is located, were present for today's meeting. The requested clean out is from the point where County Ditch 9 ties into County Ditch 21 southerly into Regal Creek and is contained within the Gutzwiller property. All costs would be the responsibility of the property owner. Application has been made to the DNR as well since Regal Creek is considered protected water. Dahlke said the plan on file with the Auditor/Treasurer is dated April 1914 and gives the basic profile of the ditch, as well as the length and grades used. The elevations referenced do not relate to existing road crossings or culverts, but rather to trees located in close proximity. A copy of a subsequent survey completed on 1-25-99 was provided by Dahlke. Eichelberg questioned what effect the clean out might have downstream. Saxton stated that he agreed with Dahlke's opinion that there may be a limited effect downstream but referenced the perception from property owners that this action may result in a larger problem. Russek stated that WACA law should be consulted to determine whether the County could approve clean out in a ditch established for over 20 years. Saxton suggested the Board consult with the County Attorney on improvement of the outlet. If the ditch were extended, notification must be made to all landowners. If the clean out is kept to the Gutzwiller property, requirements within the Federal Farm Program or WACA must be followed. Saxton stated that the hydraulics are difficult to determine in this area and that the survey does not reflect what is occurring downstream. Saxton stated he did not have a concern if the ditch were cleaned out, but more if the clean out area were extended beyond that of the County Ditch. Russek moved to appoint a Ditch Committee (Sawatzke and Eichelberg) and for a recommendation to be brought back to the County Board. Motion seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke suggested that Eichelberg attempt to have three citizen members attend as well. Motion carried 5-0.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Dave Lindberg, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, requested approval of a waterfowl easement on the Jon Hobert property in French Lake Township (T.120N., R28W., 5th P.M.) Lindberg explained that through the agreement, Hobert agrees not to burn, drain or fill the wetland. There is also a cooperative agreement between the two property owners (Jon Hobert and Elroy Strey) for the control structure. Mattson moved to approve the easement, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0.

Tom Kelly, Wright County Attorney, met with the Board to introduce Chad A. Throndset and Matthew G. Frank who were recently hired. Kelly stated these employees were hired to replace Wyman Nelson's position and to cover the increased workload in their office. On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, all voted to sign the Approval of Appointment & Oath for Matthew G. Frank, Assistant County Attorney, and Chad A. Throndset, Assistant County Attorney. Frank and Throndset were welcomed to Wright County.

Russek moved to authorize attendance at the "Growth Knows No Boundaries" Seminar on 2-17-99 at the Earl Brown Center. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Mattson.

A Building Committee Meeting was held on 1-27-99:

Storage, Public Works Site. Design plans were reviewed in regard to location of the building and the amount of space needed by the Sheriff's Department. Walker stated the amount of storage space will be about the same as is currently being rented and has been designed for future add-on. The Sheriff's Department clarified that current procedures call for vehicles dropped off by a towtruck to be met by an officer at the gate and towed all the way down. Walker stated that in those instances when an officer has not been able to meet the towtruck and a vehicle has been dropped at the top that the Sheriff's Department has promptly made arrangements to have it moved. It appeared that the vehicles in question left at the top were the result of a lack of communication. Walker stated he has been working with Meyer and Luetgers regarding the location and the intent is for site work to begin in the spring. Luetgers stated questions regarding the storage site had been raised during a Labor/Management Meeting. Fingalson was unaware of some of the communications that have taken place and requested he be kept better informed.

At today's meeting, the minutes were corrected to reflect that Sawatzke attended on behalf of Mattson. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

A Personnel Committee Meeting was held on 1-27-99. At today's meeting, Norman requested that the effective date of termination for J. Dulac be changed from "immediately" to "end of the work day, February 5, 1999" and that the minutes reflect this change. He said Dulac is working on a project and the date would be modified to accommodate this. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the minutes as changed:

A recommendation was made by the Personnel Committee to terminate J. Dulac, Sign Technician, Highway Department, effective the end of the work day, February 5, 1999, for personal reasons unrelated to job performance. He has been an asset to Wright County and will be considered for future openings. He is leaving Wright County in good standing.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 1-27-99:

Tax Forfeit Property, City of Cokato: An asbestos survey was performed by Legend Technical Services Inc. on 1-15-99. The estimate to remove the asbestos is $13,830.00 and includes the transite siding, the linoleum, and the paper underneath the siding. Legend did not inspect the roof area due to the poor condition of it but assumed asbestos material was present. Removal of the PCB ballasts will be handled separately. Hayes sent out four proposals for removal of the asbestos based upon the survey and is awaiting response. Discussion involved potentially treating the whole building as asbestos removal, with the debris being brought to a lined landfill by a demolition company. Davis visited the site and determined that there is approximately $4000 of hazardous material present. He explained this figure could change dependent upon what is found through additional cleanup of the building. Asleson sent notice to the former tenants of the building that personal property must be removed within 90 days. That time frame is about to expire. The former tenants have just responded that they would like to remove their property, so Asleson will follow up with them. The consensus was to direct Davis to remove the hazardous material to the Compost Facility with assistance from the Parks Department. Hayes will provide information on the asbestos survey to Davis, who will contact the MPCA to obtain their perspective on what portion of the removal can be classified as asbestos or contaminated waste removal. The meeting was continued to February 10th in order to obtain additional information.

At today's meeting, Mattson stated that the County should follow the same 90-day time parameter established for the public in regard to removal of the building and property clean up. Jude responded that the County is acting in response to the notification of hazardous materials on site. Mattson said that it is generally assumed that asbestos is present in older buildings. Jude moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

A Crow River Watershed Counties meeting notice was received from McLeod County. The meeting was originally scheduled for 2-9-99 at 9:00 A.M. but has been changed to 2-10-99 at 1:00 P.M. and will be held at the Litchfield VFW Club. Russek moved to authorize attendance, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

At the 1-5-99 meeting, the County Board appointed Carol DeMatteis to the GRRL Board of Trustees. As DeMatteis will be unable to serve in this capacity, Eichelberg requested that Mary Volkman be appointed instead. Mattson moved to appoint Mary Volkman to the GRRL Board of Trustees, seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

Eichelberg referenced correspondence dated 1-20-99 from Veit Disposal Systems. In the letter, Veit expressed interest in potentially utilizing the Compost Facility. Eichelberg moved to refer the letter to the SWTF for review, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0. Norman will inform Chuck Davis, Planning & Zoning, to place this issue on the SWTF Agenda.

Mattson referenced last year's Jail Medical Contract with PCMT. The contract language addresses reimbursement to the County for the unused portion of $12,000 in off-site medical costs, with reimbursement to be made within 60 days of termination of the contract. Norman will inform Capt. Torfin that the Board would like an update in this regard.

The meeting recessed at 9:55 A.M. and reconvened at 10:02 A.M. for the Employee Recognition Ceremony.

The annual Employee Recognition Ceremony was held to honor employees for Years of Service and to honor those employees nominated or selected to receive Group Achievement or Individual awards. Employees honored for Years of Service included those in five-year increments with service from 5 to 25 years.

The Individual Achievement Award was presented to Rod Bunting of the Auditor/Treasurer Department. Bunting was nominated by Doug Gruber (Auditor/Treasurer), Bill Swing (MIS) and Karen Hayes (MIS). Rod received the award for his efforts in helping the Auditor/Treasurer and Assessor Offices become computer automated through the AS400 System. Gruber referenced Bunting's assistance with program problems, answering questions, and training/retraining employees. Bunting offered suggestions to make the offices run more efficiently and streamline efforts. All of these things were accomplished in addition to his regular duties (tax levy, tax settlements, etc.). Swing echoed Gruber's comments and stated that the County was fortunate to have such a capable team member. Hayes felt privileged to work with Bunting and referenced his ability to analyze tax information and to communicate complex ideas in an understandable way. Hayes felt that the project success was due to Bunting's leadership and perseverance.

The Group Achievement Award was presented to the office members of the Public Works Building. Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, and Jerry Uhde, Surveyor, nominated the employees for their efforts and patience during the last year while they were temporarily housed in the Human Services Center. Staff assisted greatly with packing, moving and unpacking. Fingalson stated that an outside firm was not hired to move staff and therefore resulted in savings to the taxpayers. Fingalson referenced the inconvenience to employees with having records and staff at two locations while carrying out their job functions. The employees will move back to the newly constructed Public Works Administration Offices next week.

Honorable mention was given to those nominated for Individual Achievement including Craig Hayes (Administration), Nancy Engfer (Sheriff), Doug Schmiginsky (Highway), and the Home Health Aides.

Bills Approved

Brian Abrahamson 292.33

Airtouch Cellular Bellevue 353.85

AT&T 5785.35

Automatic Garage Door Co. 127.80

Bowman Distribution 480.57

Buetow and Associates Inc 2923.28

Bureau of Criminal Apprehensn 400.00

Chamberlain Oil Co 1071.31

Dakota County Treasurer 170.00

Economic Devel. Partnership 30000.00

Engineering Repro Systems 124.07

Fox Point Sportswear Inc 151.83

H & L Mesabi 15176.25

Holiday 1342.95

Imageware Software Inc 411.30

Information Technology Div 118.02

International Assn of Property 140.00

Interstate Battery System 414.83

Chris Jahnke 308.14

KNR Communications Srvcs In 6001.36

MACPZA 135.00

Marco Business Products 1064.79

Masys Corporation 2698.48

Minnegasco 299.84

Tracy Morris 157.48

National Bushing & Parts 309.31

Office Depot 812.06

Lynn Peavey Company 625.75

Pioneer Rim & Wheel Co 297.69

RDO Truck Center, Inc. 189.47

Cathy Reich 357.00

Royal Tire-St Cloud 8388.67

Smith & Wesson 408.00

Stratus Computer 6325.00

Terminal Supply Co 143.99

Total Printing 240.69

Unlimited Electric Inc 2667.13

USWest The Directory Source 151.53

West ABE Consortium 1200.00

Westside Equipment 968.09

Wright Hennepin Electric 2993.09

Ziegler Inc 7342.20

Advanced Graphic Systems Inc 273.44

Albertville Body & Fender 795.80

AT&T Wireless Services 317.72

Betmar Languages Inc 421.03

Boyer Truck Parts 1519.30

Buff 'N' Glo Inc 425.55

Central Micro Systems Inc 7610.78

Daily Printing Inc 17862.18

Department of Public Safety 120.00

Chad Engel 165.54

Force America Inc 802.21

W Grainger Inc 324.19

Herco Systems 242.00

Holt Motors Inc 1462.43

Industrial Supply Co 249.91

Institute for Forensic Psych 1950.00

International Personnel Mgmt 304.00

J Craft Inc 1921.79

JRM Equipment Depot 7562.58

M-R Sign Company Inc 4973.23

Craig Madson 123.69

Marks Standard Parts 283.96

Medtox Laboratories 230.00

MN Assn for Court Administration 250.00

MTI Distributing Co 12996.19

Northern States Power Co 441.93

Paging Network of MN-Inc 141.26

Dave Peterson Monticello Ford 1665.87

RDO Equipment Co 220.15

Reentry Services Inc 365.40

Marlene Rhodes 321.34

Ryan Motors Inc 343.29

Stoffel Seals Corporation 271.30

Streichers 316.35

Thermo Dyne Inc 1650.00

United Laboratories 183.88

US West Communications 342.31

Victor Township 5488.63

Western Gas Utilities 1549.26

Wright Co Radiator Repair 1011.75

Zack's Inc 596.34

44 payments less than $100 2,419.99

Final Total $184,085.07

The County Board adjourned at 10:30 A.M.

Patrick Sawatzke, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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