Wright County Board Minutes

MARCH 31, 1998

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

Motion to approve the minutes of 3-24-98 was made by Mattson, second by Sawatzke, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #3, "NACO Convention" (Jude); Item For Consid. #4, "Department Head Review of Points To Pay" (Jude). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent

Agenda as follows:


1. Set Wright County Auction for 5-30-98 at 10:00 A.M., Public Works Building.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 3-20-98.


1. Approve Hire, Rhonda Thielen, Lead Clerk, Step 2, Eff. 4-1-98.


1. Claim, KUE Contractors, Inc., $27,358.98.

2. Claim, Otto Associates, $629.50.

3. Approve Renewal, Seasonal On Sale Beer License "Whispering Pines Golf Course" , Corinna Twp.


1. Authorize Partial Payment #7 ($27,341.74) to Glenwood Bridge, Inc. For Contract 9709 (SAP 86-619-23).


1. Acknowledge Termination, Joanne Ross, Half-Time Cook, Eff. 3-20-98 & Auth. Replacement. A Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 3-24-98. A summary of the minutes follows. Two meetings have been held by the Color Committee. KUE Contractors was sent a letter from the Planning & Zoning Administrator with instructions to obtain a letter from their subcontractor on the location of disposal for demolition materials. The Committee approved the billing from KUE Contractors ($27,358.98) for reimbursement for building permits. Committee consensus was to inform KUE of the process which is to be followed for bills they submit to the County. The Committee discussed a potential water drainage problem in the Pamida lot. The consensus was to refer the issue to the Building Committee to work with the Highway Department and Surveyor and will not be included as part of the Capital Improvements Projects. Parking, the status of remodeling, and the time line of the project were discussed. Although unable to attend the meeting, the MIS Director requested an extension of the Human Services move of up to a two-month time period. The Committee did not foresee a problem with the request, but felt that the move should be coordinated so departmental areas within Human Services are moved at one time. The Committee discussed the move of Human Services supervisors' office furnishings to the Pamida site. Potential reimbursement through the Federal Government may be available for a portion of newly purchased Human Services office furnishings. The Committee discussed ideas for expansion of offices at the Government Center. The consensus was to refer to the Building Committee a request from the Fair Board to use the Pamida Sign. Committee consensus was to recommend a transfer of $325,000 from Budget 820 Site Improvements to Fund 34, 6605 Site Improvements and to transfer $429,000 from the Road & Bridge Capital Reserve to Fund 34, 6605 Site Improvements for a total of $754,000. At today's meeting, Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

A Deferred Compensation Committee meeting was held on 3-25-98:

Amendments to Plan. The Committee recommended the County retain a consultant to update the deferred compensation plan to meet current compliance rules. The Committee also recommended that Barry Clegg from Rider, Bennett, Egan, and Arundel, LLP be the consultant retained due to his familiarity with the plan.

At today's meeting, it was clarified that the contract has not been entered into and will be presented to the Ways & Means Committee, with final approval by the County Board. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

On behalf of the Sheriff's Department, Chief Deputy Don Lindell presented Marvin Peterson with his retirement plaque for dedicated service from 1984 to 1998. Peterson has worked in the areas of Dispatch, Jailer, Patrol and most recently Bailiff. Lindell stated that Peterson was very professional and enjoyable to work with. He was wished well in his retirement.

Melvin Borell was also scheduled to receive a retirement plaque but did not attend the meeting today. Borell has been employed with the Wright County Highway Department since 1959. He was recognized for his dedicated and outstanding service.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 3-25-98:

Performance Appraisal, Bruce Thielen. Based upon the review of five performance appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Superior".

Performance Appraisal, Don Mleziva. This was rescheduled for the next Personnel Committee meeting due to Don Mleziva being unable to attend.

Confidential Secretary, Attorney Department. Nelson requested that Linda Dixon be designated his Confidential Secretary and be placed in Class J of the 1998 Wright County Non-Union Salary Schedule. He stated he currently does not have a Confidential Secretary and believes Linda Dixon's excellent performance warrants transfer from her current Legal Secretary position to the Confidential Secretary position. The Committee recommended approval based on Richard Norman's (County Coordinator) concurrence. The Committee also recommended that placement on the salary schedule would be according to County policy.

At today's meeting, Sawatzke asked for Normans' recommendation on the Confidential Secretary classification in the Attorney's Department. Norman said he would recommend approval of the request with the understanding that all similar requests be treated equally. Sawatzke moved to approve the recommendations and minutes, seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 3-25-98:

Bid Opening: Seasonal Requirements. Bids were opened and will be analyzed for awarding at the April 7, 1998 County Board Meeting.

Beebe Lake Milfoil Treatment. The Committee discussed with members from the Beebe Lake Association the milfoil problem existing at Beebe Lake. The Beebe Lake Association members explained they are approaching the County for a contribution to control the problem. They also explained they are undertaking a considerable fundraising effort and would appreciate any contribution the County may be willing to make. Thielen stated the problem at Beebe Lake is a situation of rare occurrence due to the amount of milfoil. The Committee recommended a one time donation of $200.00 to the Beebe Lake Association for removal of milfoil at the park area of Beebe Lake

At today's meeting, Jude moved to accept the minutes with the recommendations noting that the $200 donation to Beebe Lake would be funded from the Parks Budget, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Bill Swing, MIS Director, was not in attendance but requested approval of a Joint Powers Agreement with the City of Buffalo for the Buffalo Wide Area Network-Fiber Project. The Agreement specifies that the City will lease to the County for a three-year term "fiber runs" for a price not to exceed $135.00 per fiber run per month. The charge for the fiber run between the Government Center and the Human Services Center will be $125.00/month. The Agreement includes the Wright County Public Works Building and the future Human Services Center. The first stage of the fiber run is in, and the second stage will run fiber to the Pamida location, the Jr. High and the Wright County Public Works location. Sawatzke questioned Item 7 relating to a management board, and inquired who would sit on this board. Wyman Nelson referenced Item 2 regarding Service and Performance, stating that the County is requiring strict performance standards. Mattson suggested that Item 13, Termination, might include a 30-day termination clause. It was felt that Item #6, Membership, should include the Schools. Mattson moved to lay the Agreement over for one week to request that Swing be present to answer questions about the Agreement. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

Darla Groshens, Auditor, presented two quotes received for work on County Ditch No. 41 in Cokato Township. The request for repair was made in 1995 by Loren Borg, asking that tiles be replaced and the culvert be extended. Fyles Excavating submitted a quote for $2,595.00. The quote from Morris Excavating was $1,854.89. The last repair made to the ditch was in 1985. Cost was approximately $4500 and was completed by Morris Excavating. Mattson moved to accept the low quote from Morris Excavating at $1,854.89, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson questioned a claim on page 1, American Bar Association ($49.03) for pencils/folders for Court Administration. He inquired whether they should have been purchased through Office Depot who holds the State Contract. Groshens indicated the pencils were purchased for Celebrate Your Freedom Law Day. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract subject to audit.

Russek moved to authorize attendance of the County Board at the NACO Convention being held July 17-22, 1998. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Jude.

Jude inquired whether the Board should review the points to pay classification for the Parks Administrator's position and also the job description. Norman said that this position was submitted for evaluation last summer. The Parks Administrator position fits within the current classification with two positions below in the same class (Surveyor and Chief Assistant in the Attorney's Office) and two positions above (Planning & Zoning Administrator and Assessor). Jude said when a Department Head vacates a position in the future, this should automatically be checked. In addition, he suggested that the Personnel Committee Of The Whole review the job descriptions. Jude said that although he is not comfortable with the job description of the Parks Administrator, his question had been answered with regard to points to pay.

The Board recessed at 9:28 A.M. and reconvened at 9:33 A.M.

The County Board discussed the proposed Wright County Tobacco Ordinance. Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, stated that the proposed Ordinance comes as a recommendation from the Ways & Means Committee. In 1997, the State Legislature changed Minnesota Law which formally permitted cities and townships to perform their own licensing with regard to the sale of tobacco products. Wright County is now in the position of licensing retailers if cities and townships elect not to do so, which is the purpose of establishing the Ordinance. Wright County will be required to perform compliance checks annually for establishments which are licensed through the County. In a poll of the cities and townships, it appears that many wish to pass the licensing responsibility onto the County. Although the draft is approximately equal with State Law requirements, cities and townships may elect to impose stricter provisions if they perform their own licensing.

An issue left open by the Committee includes the establishment of an appeal panel or licensing officer. Asleson referenced the draft, Section 13 (Violations), Subd. 3 (Hearing Panel), stating that under the draft, the Ways & Means Committee of the County Board would serve as the hearing panel. In review of other county ordinances, Asleson did not recommend that the County Attorney's Office be designated due to the potential of representing the County if future litigation occurred. Another issue left open by the Committee was the establishment of licensing fees. Tobacco licensing fees charged by other counties polled range from $25 to $200 annually. Asleson said the draft resolution would allow change in these fees for subsequent years. Jon Young, Wright County Public Health, said a 1998 grant may cover the costs of compliance checks performed by Wright County.

Discussion led to fines imposed under the draft Ordinance, Section 14 (Penalties), Subd. 3 (Minors). Mattson suggested that the proposed fine of $50 to minors found in possession of or attempting to purchase tobacco products should be raised to $75 and that the County should impose 25 hours of community service. He did not feel raising licensing fees to retailers would stop youth from smoking, that the youth needed to be targeted. Sawatzke responded that this was discussed at length by the Ways & Means Committee and that Mattson's concerns were taken into consideration. The problem with issuing community service to youth is that this would result in costs to the County to run the program (vehicles and personnel). The Committee felt a $50 fine with the option of using the fine toward smoking cessation classes may assist individuals in stopping smoking. Discussion also involved the process of tracking fine payments and course attendance. Jude referenced Section 13 (Violations), Subd. 3, (Hearing Panel) and said he was opposed to having a Committee of the County Board serve as hearing officers due to final approval being made by the Board.

Jerry Smith, Jerry's Super Value (Howard Lake), spoke of his commitment to the community and his industry. He has been very involved with State Laws passed in this regard. He concurred with Mattson, stating that the youth should be fined as opposed to imposing stricter regulations to the retailer. He said he works hard to assure compliance regarding the sale of tobacco products. He felt that those who are breaking the law should be penalized. He referenced youth smoking before and after school. He asked that the ordinance not be made any more stringent than State Law for retailers. Smith felt the $50 fine to youth should be increased. He asked that the Ordinance address those who intentionally break the law.

Joe Backes, Wright County Probation Officer, spoke of his efforts completing diversions for tobacco offenders. Generally, first time offenders are involved with shoplifting or possession of tobacco. Through the diversion program, first time offenders are required to write a paper on the harmful effects of tobacco, complete five hours of community service, write a letter of apology to their parents and are on probation for 90 days with minimal supervision. If they meet all due dates, they are discharged from probation after the 90-day period.

Jim Lindberg, Monticello High School Counselor, said he works with the Monticello TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use) group which involves 54 trained students who educate youth in Grades 5-7 on smoking hazards. The St. Michael Group has 25 trained students. During the period of April to November, 1200 students were reached through the program. He believed it was beneficial to have students educating other students. He agreed that offenders should be fined and that educational programs should be utilized. He asked that the Board hear from the students involved with the TATU group.

Barb Lynch, St. Michael/Albertville Counselor, referenced the work of the TATU group. She claimed many youth and high school students are making the decision to smoke, and felt it was important to reach them before they become addicted to tobacco products.

Jenna Hasse, Joel Dehmer, Brenda Vetsch and Curt Zachman are students involved with the St. Michael TATU Program. Each of them addressed the Board and spoke in support of the proposed Ordinance, suggesting that the proposed $50 fine for students be made higher. Another option suggested was to increase the fine and reimburse back a portion of the fine to youth who attend educational courses. They said teenage smoking is a big problem.

Janice Grant, member of the TATU group in Monticello, explained the process they use to educate youth. She felt enforcement of tobacco sales and identification checks in restaurants needed to be addressed. She thought youth in both the elementary and middle schools needed to be educated on the dangers of smoking. She supports the fines imposed to youth and supports raising the fine for the second offense. Grant also suggested that parents attend the smoking cessation classes with students.

Discussion led to Section 13 (Violations). Mattson suggested that the hearing process also involve instructing the schools to hold a hearing with the parents, student and school officials. Sawatzke said that it would not be appropriate to mandate this to the school district. However, the County Board could consider such a request if it was initiated by the school district.

Mattson moved to support the ordinance only if under Section 14 (Penalties), Subd. 3 (Minors), the fine is changed to $75 and that the minor must attend educational courses or perform community service. Motion seconded by Russek. Discussion followed on the number of hours of community service and the resources that would be required to make such a program work. Sawatzke said depending upon the number of violations, this could become unmanageable. Sara Nelson, student from Monticello, then asked that instead of having a choice of community service or education, that the Board consider making education mandatory. She felt education would have an effect on the minor and that part of the fine could be refunded to the minor upon completion of the class. The motion and second were amended to remove community service work from Subd. 3. This section will stipulate that the administrative fee is $75 and the minor would be required to attend a tobacco education or cessation program at the cost of the minor. Norman suggested that repeat offenders fall under Section 14, Subd. 4 (Misdemeanor). This would remove the minor from the administrative process and into the court system. It was noted that the minor can be charged both administratively and through civil court. The motion passed 5-0 to amend Section 14, Subd. 3.

Sawatzke said Section 14 (Penalties), Subd. 2 (Other Individuals) were the largest offenders of all. The penalties in this section relate to those individuals supplying youth with tobacco products. Sawatzke moved to change the administrative fee from $50 to $75 for the 1st violation and $200 for the 2nd offense committed within a 24-month period. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Mattson.

Section 13 (Violations), Subd. 3 (Hearing Panel) and Subd. 4 (Decision) were discussed. Asleson suggested changing Subd. 3 to reflect that the County Board shall appoint a designated hearing officer. Subd. 4 would state that if the hearing officer determines there was a violation of the ordinance, the hearing officer would define the violation and penalty in writing. A copy would be provided to the violater. If the hearing officer finds no violation occurred or finds grounds for not imposing a penalty, the findings will be recorded in writing and a copy will be given to the violater. Jude moved to change the draft ordinance as presented by Asleson, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously. Asleson said some counties are electing not to issue tobacco licenses if real estate taxes become delinquent. Consensus of the Board was not to tie the two issues together.

Discussion followed on the effective date of the ordinance. Groshens stated

she will need to order forms and certificates. She stated that some municipalities will review the County's ordinance before determining whether they will handle licensing on their own. Groshens suggested an implementation date of no sooner than May 1st. Jude moved to adopt the Wright County Tobacco Ordinance as amended today subject to a language review of the Ordinance next week, seconded by Russek. Asleson suggested inserting 5-1-98 into Section 18 (Effective Date). He said this could be changed at the next meeting if so desired. Consensus was to leave this date open to discuss at the next meeting. Motion carried 5-0.

Sawatzke moved to establish the licensing fee for establishments engaging in the retail sale of tobacco products at $75.00, seconded by Russek. The resolution adopting these fees will be brought forth at the next meeting. Motion carried 5-0.

The next issue addressed by the Board was the review of bid documents for the sale of the Cokato Garage Property. Asleson stated the document was reviewed by the Highway Engineer. The Phase I evaluation of the site has a three-week time line. Braun Intertec has been contracted to perform an environmental assessment of the site. Asleson said the information could affect bid prices and suggested moving the bid opening to April 28th so that the information from the evaluation would be available. Russek stated that the consensus of the Transportation Committee Of The Whole was that the site would be cleaned up regardless of what was found. Discussion moved to the County occupying the site. Sawatzke said the document does not reference the County occupying the building and the grounds during the 1998 season until the new facility is completed. Asleson said this was not what he interpreted from the minutes. Asleson said the Highway Engineer indicated that it would not be difficult for the County to move several trucks to a different location. Asleson will change the document to reflect that the County will clean up the site and the bid opening will be on 4-21-98. The Board then discussed the definition of contaminants. Salt at the sight is not a pollutant and will quickly and naturally cleanse itself. Consensus was that contaminants would be recognized as MPCA pollutants. Asleson said he will change the document to reflect that clean up of the site will be based upon an agreement with the successful bidder. Sawatzke moved to approve the bid documents and set the date for the bid opening for 4-21-98 on the sale of the Cokato Garage property. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Mattson.

Bills Approved

AMI Imaging Systems Inc. 10,507.25

AT&T Service 966.91

Betmar Languages Inc 172.80

Buffalo Hospital 182.00

Catholic Charities 7,020.00

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 247.60

Collins Communications 4,154.55

E. Cent. Regional Juvenile Ctr. 887.95

Emergitek Inc. 1,278.00

Facility Systems Inc. 868.00

Falbo, Bridget 630.00

Farrell, John C. 363.55

Gateway 2000 1,758.00

GE Capital Info. Tech. Solutions 174.67

General Rental of Buffalo 3,359.15

Glenwood Bridge Inc 27,341.74

Government Training Service 120.00

Grafix Shoppe 861.68

Great River Regional Library 238,928.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 2,930.06 Hutchinson Leader 90.36

In The Line Of Duty Inc. Training 765.00

Institute for Forensic Psychol. 325.00

Int'l. Conference of Bldg. Off. 420.60

Kinderprint Co. Inc. 499.86

KUE Contractors Inc. 27,358.98

Marco Business Products 2,078.79

Medics Training Inc. 135.00

Metro Cash Register Systems 513.00

MN Auditors & Recorders 120.00

MN Counties Computer Co-Op 2,736.85

MN County Attys. Association 100.00

MN Dept. of Corrections 100.00

Montrose, City of 100.00 National Bag Company 169.11

North Memorial Medical Center 775.00

Office Depot 915.43

Otto Associates 629.50

Peavey, Lynn, Company 5,538.87

Performance Computer Forms 914.10

Preferred Correctional Medical 7,000.00

Reentry Services Inc. 386.40

Roche Diagnostic Systems 195.00

Rudge, Kelly Lynn 147.20

Simplex Time Recorder Co 529.72

St. Cloud Technical College 475.00

Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc 657.36

Underwater Schools of America 245.00

Wright County Highway Dept. 43,007.91

Wright-Hennepin Electric 271.23

2nd Wind 5,964.00

The County Board meeting adjourned at 10:50 A.M.

Judie Rose, Chariperson

ATTEST: Richard W. Norman, County Coordinator

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