Wright County Board Minutes

FEBRUARY 29, 2000

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

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 2-22-00 as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item I-1, "HIGHWAY, Approve Hire, Raymond Anderson, Highway Maintenance, Eff. 3-1-00 (Step 1)"; Consent Agenda D2, "Approve Hire, Joshua Erickson, Case Aide, Eff. 3-7-00". The presentation of a retirement plaque to Glenn Dixon scheduled for 10:00 A.M. was removed from the Agenda due to Dixon being hospitalized. On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.

On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Jude, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as amended:


1. Performance Appraisals: K. Mottl, Attorney; L. Peterson, Ct. Admin.; R. DeBlois, Sheriff.

2. Approve Contract, Authorize Signatures, Collective Bargaining Agreement, I.U.O.E., Local No. 49.

3. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Church of St. Luke (Clearwater Township) and Waive 30-Day Review Period.

4. Authorize Signatures On Contract, E. Branstrom Assoc. Arch. Inc. (Fairgrounds Facility).

5. Approve Proposal To Fill Vacant Lieutenant Position, Sheriff Dept.


1. Approve Abatement, PIN #211-000-174104, Ben & Sandra Laski (Marysville Township).


1. Acknowledge Promotion of Lisa Peterson from Records Clerk to Court Attendant, Eff. 3-6-00 (Class D, Step 1).


1. Accept Resignation, Jan Klein, Senior Clerk II, Eff. 3-9-00 & Authorize Replacement.

2. Approve Hire, Joshua Erickson, Case Aide, Eff. 3-7-00.


1. Approve Hire, Pat Miller, Part-time Clerk, Eff. 3-1-00 (Step 3).

2. Approve Hire, Jan Klein, Lead Clerk, Eff. 3-10-00 (Step 8).

3. Acknowledge Overage, Budget Line Item #6016, Overtime.


1. February 2000 Parks Commission Minutes and Activity Report.


1. Approve Request To Rezone From AG & S-2 to A/R & S-2 & Establishment of Rural PUD District, Ann Farr (Franklin Twp.).

2. Approve Request To Rezone From AG & S-2 to R-2a & S-2, William Lieb (Corinna Twp.).

3. Approve Request To Rezone From AG to A/R, G.P. Land (Buffalo Twp.).


1. Accept Resignation, Matthew Malott, Deputy, Eff. 3-5-00 & Authorize Replacement.


1. Approve Hire, Raymond Anderson, Highway Maintenance, Eff. 3-1-00 (Step 1).

Chief Deputy Don Lindell congratulated Lenny Walker of the Sheriff's Department on his retirement and presented him with a plaque. Walker was hired in 1979. His service was in the areas of Deputy Sheriff, Narcotics Investigation and Patrol, Rescue Diver, Accident Investigation & Reconstruction, Wright County Drug Task Force Supervisor, Sergeant and Lieutenant. Walker said he will miss those he has worked with over the years and thanked the Sheriff for the many opportunities provided him in his law enforcement career. Walker spoke of the positive experience with working with staff from the different Wright County offices, as well as the youth of the County. Walker was commended for his service and his work with the Drug Task Force.

Mary Barrick approached the Board with a request to waive penalties and interest associated with delinquent 1999 real estate taxes (due in 2000). Barrick purchased a home in April, 1999. She requested that her name not be published as a delinquent taxpayer. Her original request was to have the Board also address and prove that the taxes were indeed owed. Barrick explained that since the time of the letter, she had received answers to this question. She understood that the money paid for taxes at closing had not reached Wright County. The City of Buffalo will forward to the County our portion of the taxes. There is still a question as to a check from the closing company which has not cleared the bank for the other portion of the taxes owed. Barrick felt the County should reimburse her for $397.04 (penalties and interest). Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, responded that the original property tax was $2836.00 ($257.00 property tax and $1579.00 special assessments). The transfer of ownership occurred on 2-24-99 and was recorded on 3-5-99. At the end of 1998, the property was in the name of Builders Development Finance Inc. and that was to whom the tax statement was sent. In investigating the situation, Gruber learned that the closing company was supposed to issue a check to the County to balance the special assessments. According to the closing company, the check was written but never canceled. Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, indicated that he was not familiar with the facts in this instance but said the County collects the tax from the property owner. The mistake could have taken place by the closing company or the former property owner. Gruber stated that tax abatements are done through a formal application. To date, one had not been filed. If the Auditor does not approve of the application, it is not forwarded for Board approval. Sawatzke explained to Barrick that the Board would have no authority to act until the Auditor approved the application. Gruber stated that Barrick's name will not appear in the delinquent tax notice published in the newspaper as the taxes were paid in full yesterday. Barrick disagreed with the Board's position stating she felt that procedures were not in place between the City and County. Barrick left the meeting and no action was taken.

At their meeting last week, the consensus of the Budget Committee Of The Whole Committee was to transfer $780,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund. This action is normally taken at the end of each year. Russek moved to approve the transfer, seconded by Sawatzke, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to schedule a Communications Committee meeting for 3-22-00 at 9:00 A.M.

The claims listing was reviewed. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced page 9, Buffalo Collision Repair Inc. ($8,600.73). This claim should have been charged against Budget 820 Liability Insurance instead of against the Sheriff Department and is for repair of a squad car. The County has been reimbursed by MCIT less the deductible. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract as corrected, subject to audit.

Asleson presented a draft resolution for the expansion of the Lake Charlotte LID Powers. The resolution was drafted by Tim Young who represents the LID. Asleson spoke with Larry Kramka, DNR, who had no suggested changes to the draft. Discussion followed on whether the resolution should contain language which was specific to what could be done by the LID. It was noted that the last paragraph of the resolution authorizes the LID to exercise all powers of a LID as provided in statutes. Jude moved to adopt Resolution #00-10 which modifies the powers of the Lake Charlotte Improvement District, striking "invasion by exotic species, uncontrolled drainage and runoff, and other natural and man-made conditions;" from the 6th Whereas, and striking "by the prevention and eradication of exotic species, by the regulation of drainage and runoff, and by other measures reasonably designed to promote a sustainable lake environment" from the 7th Whereas. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke said he would vote for the resolution but hoped that farmers would not be unjustly assessed. He felt the Board should have some authority to be involved with the assessment process and is hopeful that St. Michael will take the same position for farmers in that area. The resolution passed 5-0 on a roll call vote:

WHEREAS, the Lake Charlotte Improvement District was established by the Wright County Board by Resolution adopted June 18, 1985;

WHEREAS, the Resolution establishing the Lake Charlotte Improvement District granted all powers permitted by law to the District "except the power to acquire property by eminent domain and that the powers under M.S.S. 444.075 and M.S.S. 116A remain exclusively with the County Board;"

WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has received a Petition requesting that the Board modify the powers of the Lake Charlotte Improvement District by granting the District the powers previously reserved to the Board;

WHEREAS, the Petition is signed by more than 60% of the property owners within the District being an absolute majority of the affected property owners;

WHEREAS, a public hearing on the Petition was held by the County Board at the Wright County Government Center at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, 2000;

WHEREAS, the public health and safety of persons and property within the Lake Charlotte Improvement District and the quality of the waters of Lake Charlotte are threatened by failing private on-site septic systems, lack of suitable land areas for replacement of private on-site septic systems, and inadequate services for holding tank pumping and disposal;

WHEREAS, the public health and safety of persons and property within the Lake Charlotte Improvement District and the quality of the waters of Lake Charlotte will be benefited by the availability of municipal sanitary sewer service within the District;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Wright County, Minnesota

1. The power of the Lake Charlotte Improvement District are hereby modified to grant the District the powers previously reserved to the County Board, and the District is authorized to exercise all the powers of a lake improvement district as provided in the Lake Improvement District Law, Minnesota Statutes, Sections 103B.501 to 103B.581.

2. The boundaries of the Lake Charlotte Improvement District shall remain unchanged. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested approval of a resolution for application to the DNR for funds for Montissippi Park to construct a picnic shelter, play structure, parking and trail linkage improvements. The application total is $125,000 with a County cash match of $50,000 over two years. The application deadline is 3-31-00. Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution 00-11 authorizing Mattice to submit the application and establishing a Public Hearing date for 3-14-00 at 10:00 A.M. The motion was second by Russek, and the resolution passed 5-0 on a roll call vote.

As part of TH12 improvements, MnDOT has suggested that Wright County apply for grant money for vegetative stock for landscaping the Dustin Historical Wayside. MnDOT has given $23,100 for replacing and/or relocating the monuments, trash and restroom enclosure, and picnic shelter. Jude moved to adopt Resolution #00-12 authorizing signatures on the Community Roadside Landscaping Partnership Grant Application, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A Budget Committee meeting was held on 2-23-00. Today, Sawatzke requested that the Committee address at their next meeting whether families of children involved with out-of-home placements could contribute more to the cost of the services. Mattson was in contact with Tony Onnen on this issue. Onnen will provide the County with contact names. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes as presented:

Discuss Out-Of-Home Placement Costs. Mleziva stated that they were $970,000 over budget for out-of-home placements in 1999. Approximately $955,000 of this is court order related. They have implemented a Screening and Review Team to analyze all Human Services related placements. The big problem is that even though the number of kids they deal with has remained fairly stable, the costs have escalated tremendously. MacMillan said the number of clients they deal with hasn't increased greatly either. However, in 1999 they had seven sex offenders that are ordered to be placed for one year. This costs $175/day for each client. While the national average of state funding is 58%, Minnesota is at 12%. The difference has to be made up for with Federal dollars (20%) and local property taxes. The Social Services Directors Association is seeking legislation through the Association of Minnesota Counties to increase the State share. We are spending over $3 million on placements costs. It was agreed that the Committee will meet again on May 24th to see if current trends are continuing.

Human Services Budget/Financial Reporting Format. Revisions to the existing format were discussed. Mleziva and DeMars agreed to incorporate these changes into the 2001 budget process.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 2-22-00. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the minutes as presented:

Year-End Budget Review. Gruber and Hiivala presented a summary of the General Revenue Budget year-end results. Norman reviewed the year-end results and put his questions/comments in a letter to the County Board. There was a positive variance in revenue of $1,364,908. Expenditures had a positive variance of $415,099. It was the consensus to transfer $780,000 to the Capital Improvements Account.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 2-23-00:

Performance Appraisal - Jerry Uhde, Surveyor. Based on the review of five appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional."

Performance Appraisal - Bill Swing, MIS Director. Based on the review of five appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional."

Performance Appraisal - Richard Norman, Coordinator. Based on the review of five appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional."

Request From LaVonn Nordeen, Court Administrator. Nordeen requested a pay level adjustment. She cited factors such as case load, Judge need, staff size, and budget. Norman presented a salary survey which included counties in the 10th Judicial District plus Carver, Scott, and Stearns. Nordeen presented a comparison group which the Sheriff used in his salary appeal. Recommendation: Keep the 2000 salary at $65,907.

Extension Service Staffing & Work-Out-Of-Class Request. Moeller stated that they will probably be going over budget in their overtime line item. It was the consensus that Bamford be retained to work the "Knowledge Bowl" that will be held on March 4th.

Contract Employees. Norman provided the history behind this issue. Bonlender stated that they contract with Country Services, Inc. for CD Case Management and CD Assessment. The hourly rate for 2000 is $39. They don't have to use merit system in their hiring. Norman recommended that Frank Madden review the contracts and give us his opinion. The Committee concurs with this recommendation.

At today's meeting, Sawatzke said the Board had received a letter from Nordeen subsequent to the Personnel Committee. The letter requested the Board reconsider their recommendation and refer the issue to the Budget Committee Of The Whole. Sawatzke moved to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

The 2-23-00 Public Hearing minutes of the Lake Charlotte Lake Improvement District were reviewed. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously. A summary follows:

The purpose of the Hearing was to consider a request by the Lake Charlotte LID Board of Directors to expand the powers of the LID. The Lake Charlotte LID approached the County Board on December 21, 1999 with a request to amend the powers granted by the County Board in 1985. The original powers only related to controlling lake water levels. Normally, statutes allow broader powers for LID's, but when the resolution was adopted in 1985 the County Board voted to retain some of those powers. If the County Board would vote to expand the powers, the LID would be able to proceed with pursuing sewer improvements for Lake Charlotte. The formation of a subordinate service district (SSD) for Lakes Charlotte and Martha was voted down in a referendum which took place in November, 1999. Property owners would have been assessed for the cost of installing a sewer line and hooking up to the City of St. Michael wastewater treatment plant. On January 11, 2000, the County Board voted to require the LID to petition landowners on the expansion of the LID powers. The LID has since provided a petition which reflects support by over 60% of landowners in the LID. At the hearing, public comment was received from residents, Tim Young (Attorney representing the LID), Bob Derus (City of St. Michael), Jeff Roos (St. Michael City Engineer) and Larry Kramka (DNR). A meeting will also be held between representatives of the County Board, Rockford Township and the City of St. Michael to research sewer project options for the area beyond the LID boundaries.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting for 3-7-00 at 10:30 A.M. to discuss the Sheriff's request for a Deputy and a vehicle.

A revised report was received from Buildings Consulting Group Inc. relating to the renovation of the Wright County Fairground bleachers. Norman suggested the Board take this report under advisement and to wait until after the Legislative Session to act. He indicated that several bills have been introduced which could modify the bleacher law or extend the time limits. Jude moved to table this issue until after the Legislative Session, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Norman stated that several bills are being introduced which relate to gravel tax. Wright County is seeking to implement an export tax on all product leaving the County. Eichelberg was contacted by Representative Bruce Anderson's office today. They indicated that the gravel tax issue will be heard at 12:30 P.M. on 3-1-00. Eichelberg told Anderson's office that he and Jude would be testifying on the issue. Sawatzke indicated that it would be important to be there as other counties are taxing the gravel since Wright County does not currently impose a tax. He thought that the Legislature may want Wright County to impose a tax on all gravel as that has been the practice elsewhere in the State. The County is not in favor of this as they would then be required to tax the Townships.

Bills Approved

American Management Assn 149.00

City Annandale 1073.00

Bear Graphics Inc 316.47

Buffalo Collision Repair Inc 8600.73

Consolidated Communications 750.00

Decorative Deigns Inc 175.53

East Central Regn'l Juvenile 21398.32

Engineering Repro Systems 183.07

Bridget Falbo 373.90

Chris Jahnike 237.15

Kinderprint Co Inc 224.62

Marco Business Products 740.17

Minnesota Supreme Court 414.00

MN Counties Computer Co-op 1522.00

National Camera Exchange 284.11

Olmsted Cty Community Srvcs 350.00

Phillips Petroleum Co 684.51

B & D Door Repair Ins 144.00

St Michael Veterinary Clinic 479.26

US Cavalry 2082.39

Ancom Communications Inc 4169.64

AT&T 8344.07

Best Inc 4090.43

Bureau of Criminal Apprehensn 120.00

Datalink 467.42

DLR Group 2000.00

Elvin Safety Supply Inc 311.50

Facility Systems Inc 929.02

Going Under Dive Center 157.24

Keepers Inc. Inc 1695.50

Ladens Business Machines Inc 160.00

Metro Commercial Service 221.00

MN Assn of Cty Administrators 260.00

Mobil Oil Corporation 339.71

Office Depot 4937.13

Performance Office Papers 1033.72

Precision Prints of Wright Co 144.63

Specialists in General Surgery 153.00

Nancy Tallman 106.12

Ultramar Diamond Shamrock 113.86

29 payments less than $100 1,267.32

Final Total $71,203.54

The meeting adjourned at 10:19 A.M.

Dick Mattson, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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