Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 2, 1999

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 2-23-99 as presented, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Russek moved to approve the Agenda, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Mattson removed for discussion Item C1, "Authorize Purchase Of Van For Wright County Court Services". Sawatzke removed for discussion Item E1, "Authorize Signature on COPS Grant for Communications Officers". On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: M. Schafer, Surveyor.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 2-19-99.


1. Claim, Facility Systems, $359.97 (Fund 34-PW).

2. Claim, Loberg Plumbing & Heating Co., $1,643.46 (Fund 34-HSC).

3. Claim, Case & Associates, $1,011.75 (Fund 34-PW).

4. Claim, General Rental of Buffalo, $47.95 (Fund 34-PW).

5. Claim, Frank Madden & Associates, $843.73 (Fund 01 & Fund 11), Approved 2/23/99.


1. Approve Attendance of Tom Salkowski at National Planning Conference, April 24-28, 1999.

Item C1 "Authorize Purchase Of Van For Wright County Court Services" was discussed. Mattson inquired whether this is the replacement van authorized during budget sessions or a new van. Sawatzke responded that the Board did reduce the amount requested for a replacement van to $9000 during the last budget session. The request is to purchase a van for $15,500 and the remainder of the funds necessary to purchase the van will be made up through use of revenue accounts generated through Court Services programs. Jude moved to approve the request, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously. Item E1, "Authorize Signature on COPS Grant for Communications Officers" was discussed. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Norman said that by signing and submitting the form, the grant funds will be received. Sawatzke questioned the definition of "2.4 redeployed officers". Norman said he was not sure, but that these were the first communication officer positions funded through a grant program. Jude moved to approve Item E1, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

At the request of Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #99-14, authorizing Gruber to be in charge of investing funds on Wright County's behalf with Prudential Securities, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson questioned claims on page 10 associated with medical costs for a Jail inmate, Monticello-Big Lake Hospital ($470.79) and St. Cloud Hospital ($3,521.83). He felt some of these costs should be recovered. Jude referenced previous discussions in this regard and the fact that the County must pay for the services first. If the inmate has insurance, reimbursement is sought. Norman will request an explanation from Capt. Gary Torfin as to why the inmate was cared for in St. Cloud rather than in Buffalo. On a motion by Jude, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Gerald Kritzeck, requested that the Board establish the County Board of Equalization dates for 1999. Jude moved to set the following dates: June 16, 1999 (9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.); June 18, 1999 (1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.) if necessary; June 22 (8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.) if necessary. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested that the Board approve agenda items for an upcoming Transportation Committee meeting. The agenda items will include: 1) Detour/Haul Road Agreements for TH12 projects; 2) Update on township projects & review agreements; 3) Review proposal from Albertville RE: Outlet Mall project; 4) Review funding status of proposed projects and their impact on 5-Year Plan; 5) Jurisdictional changes & agreement associated with Hanover Project (CR146); 6) Update from meeting held involving St. Michael which may impact CSAH 19, TH 241 & CSAH 35. Mattson inquired whether townships were informed of detour routes. Fingalson stated they are sent copies of the unofficial detour policy which is set by the State, offering the townships an opportunity to contact Mn/DOT directly. Mattson responded that unofficial haul routes are not included in some agreements and that a township might find out about use of a township road after the fact. Fingalson will send out the notices again. Mattson moved to set a Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting for 3-10-99 at 1:30 P.M., Public Works site, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Fingalson stated that Mn/DOT is using a new procedure this year for spring road weight restrictions, giving a three-day notice in comparison to a seven-day notice in the past. Analysis has shown that this seven to ten day period prior to posting restrictions being implemented can decrease the overall life of the pavement by five to ten percent. As the restrictions will be effective on 3-3-99, Jude requested that trucks hauling feed to dairy farmers be given consideration and assistance. Fingalson said they do their best in trying to accommodate people, but a toll free number has been available to call to check for the 3-day notice. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #99-15 authorizing the Highway Engineer to implement the spring road weight restrictions, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Fingalson requested authorization to obtain proposals and hire an engineering consultant for the traffic signal design at the junction of TH 241/CSAH 35/CSAH 19 in the City of St. Michael. This would be funded by the City, State and County. Fingalson learned at a Mn/DOT meeting he attended last week that the State is unable to fit the design of this intersection into this year's program. Jude referenced the last time a consultant was hired for traffic light design and the cost was much higher than anticipated. He did not want this to occur again. Fingalson stated this would be a basic, temporary signal and projected a cost of approximately $120,000. The future of this intersection is still unknown and a solution has yet to be determined. Jude moved to approve the request to obtain proposals and hire an engineering consultant for the traffic signal design, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, presented a request to approve a Rural Planned Unit Development (PUD) for James D. Fenning in Franklin Township. Four public hearings were held by the Planning Commission bringing forth a unanimous decision to approve the establishment of the PUD. Salkowski stated the PUD is a unique feature of the Zoning Ordinance. It is a rezoning decision which comes to the County Board unlike the preliminary plat which is approved at the Planning Commission level. Sawatzke stated that although today's meeting was not a public hearing, public comment would be taken. Jude said the land is designated Ag Residential in the Land Use Plan and the property has already been rezoned.

Thomas Casey, Attorney retained by Wayne Arnold and Mr. & Mrs. Mark Lotz, reviewed a letter he sent to the Board outlining why they felt the proposed development did not satisfy the requirements of the Wright County Zoning Ordinance and Land Use Plan. He suggested that the Board table the issue in an effort to obtain additional information before it is sent back to the Planning Commission. Casey explained the proposed development has inconsistencies with the Land Use Plan. Casey said that Section 612 of the Zoning Ordinance was consulted by the Planning Commission, but Section 505 was not. Section 505 deals with the criteria used to grant a conditional use permit (CUP). Casey said there were three criteria which the PUD must satisfy. In this case, he felt the PUD did not meet these criteria. The three criteria are that: 1) The PUD is consistent with the County's Comprehensive Plan; 2) The PUD is an effective and unified treatment of the development possibilities on the project site and the development plan provides for the preservation of unique natural amenities; and 3) The PUD can be planned and developed to harmonize with any existing or proposed development in the areas surrounding the properties. In addition, he referenced Shoreland Zoning requirements stating that the DNR must be provided a 10-day notice prior to public hearings relating to variances, amendments or conditional uses. Casey said notice had not been provided to the DNR in this case. In summary, he requested that either the proposed development be denied or that the matter be tabled so that the law could be followed and so that the facts could be developed consistent with law.

Russek serves on the Planning Commission and spoke on their behalf. He said one of the first things considered is Township Board approval which was obtained in this request. The Township serves as the road authority in the area and would be responsible for maintenance of the road. He also stated that the land had not been farmed for two years and did not think there was much tillable land in the area.

Wayne Arnold, property owner on the southern border of the proposed development, stated that the land was farmed until it went up for sale. Arnold raises alfalfa and corn on his property. He addressed two issues that the Planning Commission did not discuss. The first was a concern for protection of the land on the North Fork of the Crow River. He referenced a new watershed being developed and felt that development along the river should have to conform to any rules developed instead of being grandfathered in. The second issue Arnold raised were the defects he felt were in the PUD. He did not have an objection to the sale of the land. He felt that the PUD as presented posed a public safety issue in that entrance can only be gained one way into the development. He found offense in that the road was stubbed at the edge of his property. Arnold stated he does not have plans to sell his property. He requested that the request be reviewed again to look at other alternatives.

Jim Fenning, property owner of the proposed PUD, said the drain tiles have been located and that repair will be made to any that break. He said they would not cause any water problems and were working on a conservation easement. He did not anticipate asking for any variances. Jude pointed out that the County has building inspectors for the purpose of assuring that sewer systems are installed correctly.

Mattson inquired whether the rules and regulations of the Upper MN Watershed District were consulted. He referenced Wright County's consideration of entering into a proposed watershed district and felt similar guidelines would be followed. Salkowski responded that surface water management is reviewed by the SWCD but did not have any information regarding watershed districts. Jude serves as a liaison for the Clearwater Watershed District. He said the watershed no longer is involved in the permitting process due to the history of the SWCD and the Planning & Zoning Department. Their efforts are consistent with State rules.

Salkowski said a watershed district can do as they please to a certain degree. The Shoreland Management Act reviewed by the DNR will address setbacks and flood protection. His understanding of a watershed district is that they primarily review surface water drainage and quality. In review of the whole situation, he said this was not an easy decision for the Planning Commission but that four public hearings had been held. He felt it was a judgment call. He clarified that the DNR had been notified of the hearings and that he had discussed the issue with them. The CUP will be addressed at the April 15, 1999 Public Hearing and Section 505 of the Ordinance will be addressed at that time.

Casey replied that the DNR had not been given property notice. He said his clients were also not aware of the wetland easement that Fenning referenced and felt that should have been included as part of the review process. He referenced Fenning's comment that a variance would not be requested, and the fact that the cul-de-sac will be 800' long. He felt variances would also be required in the shoreland areas. Salkowski stated that a PUD is in many ways a large variance. The zoning district requires 10 acre lots 300' in width. A PUD is to vary from standards. He felt that the shoreland frontage requirement has been rectified but that variances may be needed with regard to the road size and cul-de-sac length.

Sawatzke referenced the fact that the property is zoned A/R with the requirement of 1/10. On December 17th, the Planning Commission denied the request for a PUD and placed certain requirements on the PUD before they would approve it. These included a maximum of 10 residential lots and for each lot to have a minimum of five dry acres. At the February 18th Planning Commission meeting, the PUD was approved although these requirements were not met. Today, Sawatzke asked if Salkowski knew why the Planning Commission had voted to approve the PUD. Salkowski said he did not have an explanation, but that one of the members who moved to impose the specific requirements was absent from the February 18th meeting. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Salkowski said the dead end road did concern him quite a bit. He said when dead end roads are involved the road is extended to the next rational development area. Mattson said developers should be required to conform with and pay for all sewer and water improvements. He thought that there may be times when the Township Board approves things without being presented all of the facts. Sawatzke said he was more supportive of the criteria established at the December 17th meeting.

Jude moved to approve the request to establish a Rural PUD on the James D. Fenning property in Franklin Township as recommended by the Planning Commission, seconded by Russek. Salkowski stated that approval today is for the general layout and number of lots. Although there may be minor changes, he thought that the April meeting would be to address design issues, water and roads. Sawatzke said although he felt the Planning Commission did a good job, he would vote against the request as he felt the PUD should have a maximum of 10 lots. Mattson said he had some concerns and felt the issue should be referred back to the Planning Commission to place further restrictions on the development. Motion carried 3-2 with Sawatzke and Mattson casting the nay votes.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 2-23-99. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Review 1998 Revenue/Expenditure Guideline. Gruber and Hiivala provided a 1998 Year-End Budget Summary for expenses and revenues. It was the consensus that we finished the year in good financial condition. Hiivala volunteered to analyze the Miscellaneous Revenues line item in Budget 820. It was also pointed out that the rent paid by the Law Library appears to be low compared to the square footage it is occupying. After further discussion it was the consensus that the General Revenue account should be reimbursed for expenses related to the building project. Reimbursement would be for expenses prior to the receipt of bond proceeds.

A Communications Committee meeting was held on 2-24-99. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously:

Individual Addresses Along Nevens Avenue. Uhde stated that Nevens Avenue is a township road. The homes that need to be readdressed are along a private easement. There are seven homes along the private easement that need to be changed. Uhde suggests naming their private easement "Nevens Circle". Swing will write a letter to the property owners, township, and telephone company notifying them of the address changes. It will be pointed out that the change is necessary for emergency responders. The township should make sure new street signs are installed.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 2-24-99. Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

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

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

Performance Appraisal, Richard Norman, Coordinator. Based on four appraisals submitted the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Superior".

Personnel Representative Staffing. Norman stated that Kuklok will be submitting her resignation later this year with a projected effective date approximately November 1, 1999. Her expertise in human resources will leave a large void and impact the level of service the department can provide its customers. He requested authorization to hire her replacement so that the individual can work with her for a minimum of three months, up to a maximum of six months. He showed net costs to the County not including the $2,000 in the temporary line item in budget (attached).

Recommendation: Based on the cost analysis the Committee recommends that the new Personnel Representative be allowed to train with Kuklok for a period of three months before her resignation date.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 2-24-99:

Aggregate Material Tax. Norman developed a question/answer summary regarding the tax, how it is collected, and how the revenue is distributed. If the County decides to implement the tax we would need legislative approval. After lengthy discussion it was decided that Gruber would research revenues collected by Hennepin, Sherburne, and Carver and try to determine how much of this is a result of importing minerals from Wright County.

Tax Forfeit Property, City of Cokato. Hayes presented bids for demolition. The low bidder is Veit & Company, $27,397. Total County costs for this project now total $47,871.80. Asleson stated that Sentence-To-Service crews are currently not available to help with interior clean up. This needs to be coordinated with Chuck Davis and Marc Mattice. He said this Saturday the owner is scheduled to remove the ovens from the building. Jude stated that at this point the costs far exceed the benefit to the County of demolishing the building. He suggested that Asleson write a letter to the City Administrator asking if they would be willing to let us capture the taxes off this parcel until we break even. There was consensus to send the letter. It was also the consensus to proceed immediately with clean out of household hazardous waste materials and other interior debris. The asbestos contractor will be notified that he is not to start work until a "Notice To Proceed" is issued by Hayes.

Irregularities, Tuition Reimbursement Policy. Jude stated that it came to his attention that an employee terminated employment prior to the designated time after completion of a course. Thus, according to Personnel Policy 505.06, this individual should reimburse the County $750.00. The Committee discussed the current procedures being used for tuition reimbursement. It was the consensus that Gruber and Norman will meet to establish better administrative procedures. Recommendation: Norman will notify the individual of the obligation to reimburse the County for tuition paid in 1998.

At today's meeting, Jude made the following correction to the minutes: 2nd sentence under Irregularities, Tuition Reimbursement Policy, the sentence will read "Thus, according to Personnel Policy 505.06, this individual shall reimburse the County $750.00." In reference to the tax forfeit property in the City of Cokato, Mattson said the person interested in the ovens could not remove them alone and it will be expensive for him to have someone remove them. Jude suggested working with the demolition contractor as they may assist with this and would also be insured. Discussion also involved the expense of cleaning up the property and recapturing monies spent in doing so. Jude moved to approve the minutes as corrected and the recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

The Board reviewed the draft resolution asking for repeal of the Local Option Sales Tax. In 1991 the State requested that local units of government impose a one-half percent sales tax to help offset State budget cuts in aid to local units of government. The resolution requests repeal of the tax as it has served its purpose in helping to balance the State Budget and would exempt local units of government from sales tax. It was further explained that every county in the State adopted the resolution as the alternative was to lose state aid if they did not do so. Ruben Bonk requested that when the resolution is adopted, that the townships and cities are included as well. He said over 1/10 of the Township's budget is spent on sales tax. Mattson moved to adopt Resolution #99-16 asking for repeal of the Local Option Sales Tax, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

A draft resolution was presented which would amend Resolution #99-03 & #99-13, authorizing signatures on a Joint Powers Agreement with the MN Dept. Of Public Safety for defibrillator units. Norman explained that originally, the County passed a resolution based upon a draft supplied by the State. Subsequently, the State requested that the County draft their own (not to use the sample provided). The County did so and again the State has asked that it be revised. On a motion by Mattson, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote was unanimous to adopt Resolution #99-17 amending Resolution #99-03 & 99-13, authorizing signatures on a Joint Powers Agreement with the MN Dept. Of Public Safety for defibrillator units.

Sawatzke announced that Ken Antil, former Wright County Sheriff's Department employee, was awarded the State Snowmobile Instructor of the Year Award.

Bills Approved

Airtouch Cellular Bellevue 250.67

American Health Care Supply 217.43

Ancom Communications Inc 15245.00

AT&T Wireless Services 205.56

Susan Backes 183.21

Beaudry Propane Inc 1434.87

Betmar Languages Inc 219.22

Boyer Truck Parts 269.19

Buffalo Hospital 474.00

Cargill Inc-Salt Division 131472.68

Central Lock & Safe 286.50

City Cokato 3000.00

Consolidated Communications 747.00

CPS Technology Solutions 150.65

Decorative Designs Inc 175.53

East Central Regional Juvenile 31989.00

Enviro Electric Inc 135.00

Facility Systems Inc 359.97

Gateway Safety Products Inc 7271.82

GE Capital Information Technol 466.47

Hello Direct 182.97

Holiday 1425.36

J Craft Inc 375.79

Kar Products 251.04

Kramer Sales & Mfg 245.58

KUE Contractors Inc 25597.00

Lawson Products, Inc 940.30

LIttle Falls Machine 384.44

Frank Madden & Associates 843.73

Marks Standard Parts 1816.81

McLeod County Treasurer 683.29

Minnegasco 3258.64

Minnesota Supreme Court 414.00

MN Dept of Corrections 120.00

MN Safety Council 190.00

Monticello - Big Lake Hospital 470.79

Norstan 396.73

Northern States Power Co 459.03

Pace Publications 209.50

Phillips Petroleum Co 713.83

Reds Auto Electric 430.16

Royal Tire-St Cloud 1805.02

Sheriffs Youth Program of MN 1650.52

St Cloud Hospital 3521.83

Streichers 401.35

Teply Equipment iNc 4020.38

Thermo Dyne Inc 959.27

Total Printing 454.12

Unitog Rental System 221.09

Albinson, Inc. 216.69

AMI IMaging Systems Inc 550.65

AT&T 280.13

Axle & Spindle Repair Inc 820.00

Barton Sand & Gravel Co 6931.77

Beckius Truck Repair Inc 1024.20

Bowman Distribution 243.49

Buff 'N' Glo Inc 318.72

Tim Cameron 125.00

Case & Associates 1011.75

Centrasota OMS PA 3653.10

Collins Communications 10867.93

Contech Construction Product 315.00

Cummins North Central Inc 1051.84

John Dziuk 515.70

Engineering Repro Systems 134.73

Excel Computer 1899.00

Wayne Fingalson 286.14

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 2452.70

Harms Distributing Inc 244.53

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1059.54

Information Technology Div 103.40

Ken Jude 115.32

Kids House Inc 1458.73

Krone Manufacturing Corp 174.00

Lake Region Coop Oil 18268.46

LECC 150.00

Loberg Plumbing & Heating Co 2687.71

Marco Business Products 1979.87

Matco Tools 147.66

Midway Iron & Metal Co Inc 143.14

Minnesota Copy Systems 157.07

Mitchell Repair Information Co 803.04

MN Division of Emergency Mgmt 100.00

MN Transportation Alliance 2000.00

National Propane Corp 425.60

Northern 512.31

Office Depot 1753.35

Dave Peterson Monticello Ford 402.55

Prairie Lake Detention Center 405.00

Genell Reese 159.56

Ryan Motors Inc 898.03

Snap-on Tools 159.75

State Supply Co 322.79

Tennant 123.00

Thermal Technologies Inc 1984.00

Tools Unlimited 808.81

Twin City Labor Mgmt Council 200.00

University of Minnesota 200.00

Unlimited Electric Inc 858.45

Voss Lighting 292.92

Richard Williams 182.86

Wright Lumber & MIllwork Inc 853.44

Zep Manufacturing Co 592.77 US West Communications 313.48

Williams Steel & Hardware 110.81

Wright Hennepin Electric 3723.46

Zee Service Co 185.08

41 payments less than $100 1,809.96

Final Total $326,565.33

The meeting adjourned at 10:50 A.M.

Patrick Sawatzke, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

Return to Wright County Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Howard Lake-Waverly Herald & Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal
Stories | Columns | Classifieds | Obituaries
Community Guides | Special Topics | Cool Stuff | Shopping | Home Page