Wright County Board Minutes

APRIL 28, 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 4-21-98 was made by Jude, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #4, "Addendum to Bituminous Overlay and Patching Contract" (Jude); Item For Consid. #5, "Construction Issues" (Rose); Item For Consid. #6, "Authorize Signatures on Quit Claim Deed" (Asleson). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Mattson, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Riley, P&Z; D. Scherber, Sheriff.

2. Claim, Briggs and Morgan, $27,103.51.

3. Claim, Dahlgren Shardlow and Uban, $313.65.

4. Sentencing to Service Quarterly Report.

5. Set Labor Management Loss Control Committee Meeting, 5/13/98 at 9:00 a.m., Commissioner's Conference Room.

6. 1st Quarter Training Reports.

7. Voluntary Leave Without Pay Program, June 1 - September 30, 1998.


1. Renewal of On Sale Liquor License - "Rasset Store" (Chatham Township).


1. Authorize Hire, Jason Panaz, Maintenance Person, Eff. 5/4/98, Step 1.

2. Approve Funding Participation Agreement No. 97-03 with City of Hanover, RE: CSAH 19.

3. Set Letting Date for Three Maintenance Equipment Items on 5/26/98 at 10:00 A.M.

Darla Groshens, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. Mattson said he has requested clarification and an update from the vendor on the Jail medical contract. Wyman Nelson, County Attorney, clarified that he has been reviewing the contract with Captain Torfin and will present information to the Board soon on reporting requirements. Mattson referenced the claim on page 5 to Decorative Designs ($167.18). Norman affirmed that this is the monthly rate for plant maintenance. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract subject to audit.

Sheriff Don Hozempa presented Berlyn Birkholz with a retirement plaque. Birkholz was honored for his dedicated service from 1970-1998 with Wright County. Birkholz worked in the areas of Patrol Deputy, Investigations (Arson, Internal Affairs and Background), Emergency Response Team, Hostage Negotiator and Supervised the areas of Transports, Warrants and Bailiffs. Birkholz was thanked for his dedicated efforts both with the Sheriff Department and to the citizens of Wright County.

A Building Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 4-21-98. A summary of the minutes follows. Issues discussed involved soft water, refrigerant in existing roof top condensing units, gas service, plumbing, insulation, water line reductions, door locks, relocation of walls and fixtures, dry block and material for the exterior of the Public Works Building, replacement of doors, tile, roof stair relocation, card access, vinyl wall covering, and floor cracks. Also discussed were the procedures and communication between the Architect, Owners Representative and Contractor. Projected and actual costs were addressed, and a summary of the changes made are summarized on the last page of the minutes. Quotes will be obtained on enlarging the garage doors and correcting an access door problem at the Public Works site. The Committee addressed the time line of the project and storage of equipment. Also addressed was roof repair and furniture for the Human Services Center.

At today's meeting, Jude said another issue discussed was the limited storage space available for County Departments. He cited the Sheriff's Department specifically which currently rents storage space. He will place this issue back onto a future Agenda as he feels this issue should be dealt with this Summer. On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve the minutes as presented.

Rose said that she was contacted by Craig Hayes, Purchasing Agent, regarding repair of the roof at the Human Services Center. As part of the Building Committee Of The Whole meeting, Hayes was directed to proceed with repair of leaks at a not-to-exceed figure of $17,800. Subsequent to the meeting, a complete determination of roof problems was completed. Hayes asked for Board direction on whether to compile specifications bringing the roof to 10-20 year standards. Jude felt it was important that the bids be good for an extended time period (30, 60 or 90 days). Jude moved to authorize Hayes to proceed with writing specifications and to obtain bids. The bids should be for an extended time period. The motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek. Discussion led to the significant roof leaks. It was felt these should be repaired right away through temporary patching and cost of repair should be kept minimal. Russek moved to direct Norman to authorize the repairs and temporary fix of the Human Services Center roof, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. Norman stated this would be funded out of project costs.

Another leak was identified by the Public Health Nurse Door in the Human Services Center. Consensus was to remove the old sheet rock and replace the insulation rather than hiring an engineering firm to assess the problem. Motion was made by Jude to direct Scott Builders to work with Hayes to negotiate this as an add with KUE Contractors. A cost should be provided back to the Board. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

Dave Lindberg, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, requested approval of a Habitat Easement for Elroy Strey, which would entail purchasing all but Strey's recreational rights to the property. Strey will not be able to build or develop the property. As this is an easement, it remains on the tax roles. Four wetlands have been restored on this property. Mattson moved to approve the easement, seconded by Sawatzke, carried unanimously.

The next two cases proposed by Lindberg were fee purchases, one for Lucille Schultz and the other Charles Smith. A signed purchase agreement has been obtained on the 220 acres for the Lucille Schultz property. Township approval was acquired. A signed purchase agreement has not been obtained on the Smith property (120 acres). Charles Smith is in the process of settling the Linda Smith Estate and is willing to sell the property to the Fish & Wildlife Service. Lindberg stated he would like to present these adjoining properties to the State Land Exchange Board on May 3rd. He felt the 340 acres would be the last large tract in Wright County to be sold due to development pressure. Pheasants Forever, MN Turkey Federation and MN Ducks Unlimited have all expressed interest in this property. Land use will be allowed through December 1998. Rights to farming would return to the current operator. Mattson moved to approve the request subject to obtaining a signed purchase agreement on the Smith property, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, requested the Board adopt the proposed amendment to the Wright County Land Use Plan for Corinna Township. The Corinna Township Board has been working on the plan since 1997 and appointed a committee of Township residents who have met monthly with Salkowski. County Policy and neighboring township plans were reviewed. Meetings were held with Annandale and Maple Lake cities. An informational meeting was held on 11-18-97 to take public comment. The narrative which Salkowski provided today was adopted by the Township at their February meeting, and the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Plan after their Public Meeting.

Salkowski said Corinna Township is unique to acreage and water, and development which has occurred set the pattern for the proposed changes today. Approximately 520 acres is proposed to be changed from Ag to Major Growth in the area South of Annandale and the Northwest side of Maple Lake. This area South of Annandale is identified as the primary growth area in the future, as it is the only direction the City can expand. The City of Annandale and Corinna Township concur with this change. Sections 28, 33 and 34 would be changed from Ag/Residential to Residential Large Lot. This area is not intensely farmed, includes recreational facilities, and has good roads and highway access. The slightly more dense residential development is proposed to accommodate rural development in an area that is not suited to long term ag use. Additional new residential large lot areas are designated adjacent to such areas that already exist between Clearwater and Bass Lakes west of State Hwy. 24. In the same area north of Clearwater Lake and West of Hwy. 24, a new Ag/Residential area is proposed. Sections 4, 5, 8 and 9 does include tillable farmland, but it is not prime farm soil. The Township proposes that use of PUD designs when this land is developed can save the best tillable land as open space and allow limited development to occur. Several hundred acres of new Ag/Residential designation also will occur in Sections 2, 3, 10 and 15 west and Southwest of Sugar Lake. This area is not suitable for agriculture due to steep slopes, numerous small wetlands and poor soils. The Township has invested heavily in road improvements in this area to service the preexisting development and limited additional development can be easily accommodated. A small area of new Ag/Residential designation at the south end of Cedar Lake is proposed which has land inappropriate for farming, is adjacent to existing developed areas and served by existing roads.

Salkowski stated the Township gave consideration to the effect this would have on the ag community and it is what they strongly recommended. The Planning Commissioner unanimously recommended approval of the plan as presented. Russek moved to adopt the Amendment to the Wright County Land Use Plan for Corinna Township, seconded by Jude. In response to a question by Mattson, Jude explained that MnDOT has proposed to rebuild Hwy. 24 in 2002. He said the State is aware of the problems with this road and the R/W which will have to be purchased by them for rebuilding. Mattson referenced the 1000' setback proposed as part of the Feedlot Ordinance, and questioned what effect this will have on expansion with the proposed amendment. Salkowski said these areas are not well suited to long term animal or ag expansion due to the proximity of lakes. Most expansion areas are next to Annandale or around an existing lake development. Sawatzke questioned whether Salkowski had developed a written process for Townships to follow when amending Land Use Plans. Salkowski responded that although not in written format, he has developed a process which is followed by Townships. The reason the Land Use Plan is set up in sections by Township is so that each plan can fit the uniqueness of the Township while still maintaining County Policy regarding ag preservation and development around cities. Motion carried 5-0.

A County Board Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 4-20-98. A summary of the minutes follows. The Committee reviewed the 8th draft of the Feedlot Ordinance and staffing requirements associated with implementing it. Jude's position was that the County should perform an inventory of feedlots before adopting an ordinance and did not feel registration should be required. His suggestion was to use a summer intern to perform the inventory. Recommendations of the Committee included: 1) Adopt the feedlot setbacks listed in the ordinance without the permitting aspect; 2) Start public relations about the voluntary registration program and why it is being implemented; 3) Indicate that in two years, the County may have an interest in implementing their own permitting process for feedlots without making a full commitment; 4) An implementation plan is needed for registration; and 5) Lift the moratorium. Asleson said a notice of intent is required 10 days prior to adoption of the ordinance. Consensus was that an announcement will be made at the 4-21-98 County Board meeting that a notice of intent to adopt the ordinance will be published and the intent to lift the moratorium.

At today's meeting, Sawatzke made a correction to the minutes: Page 1, 5th paragraph, 1st line was changed to read, "Sawatzke asked how practical an ordinance it would be if the setback requirements and administrative zoning process were only retained." Jude's position was that the State should not be taxing counties to perform functions that they are responsible for, especially due to the State's budget surplus. Mattson stated that having a County ordinance would be preferred to State wide planning & zoning. Jude agreed, with the exception of the duplication of funding by the State and County. He felt the State should be pushed to follow their mandates. The Board unanimously voted to approve the minutes as corrected.

A Smoke Free Policy Task Force meeting was held on 4-21-98:

Tobacco Free Workplace Policy. Norman presented a draft policy statement for review. It was changed to Smoke Free Workplace Policy. A copy of the revised Policy is attached and recommended for adoption.

Implementation Strategy. The Committee will delay further discussion on this issue until it receives the Wellness Committee report.

At today's meeting, Jude questioned the discipline procedures when the policy is not followed. Norman stated that the Personnel Policy & Procedures Manual contains a section dealing with progressive discipline. It is also contained within union contracts. Mattson moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

At 10:00 A.M., Commissioner Rose closed the bidding process for the Phone System Upgrade. Bill Swing, MIS Director, outlined the steps taken thus far. The RFP was developed with the assistance of Dell Comm (project consultant) and published in the newspaper. Direct mailings have gone to Collins Communication, Frontier Communication, US West Communication and GTE Service Corporation. Swing requested that after the bid opening has occurred, that he be given time to review them and potentially award the bid today for the base RFP. The optional items would be reviewed next week. Swing's estimate for the project was $125,000-$130,000. Swing opened and read the only bid submitted from Collins Communications. The total base project bid was $152,893.44, and the total including options would be $157,463.77. Reference was made to the payment schedule proposed by Collins Communications (30% down payment, 50% upon equipment delivery, 10% phase I completion, and 10% phase II completion). It was requested that the vendor consider negotiating the payment terms. Swing was directed to review the cost summary and to bring back a recommendation today on the bid totals.

The MPCA held a meeting on 3-26-98 for parties interested in the lower Crow River Watershed water quality. Copies of comments attained at the meeting were provided for review. Included was a form to volunteer to serve on the Lower Crow River Watershed Steering Committee. Response is required by 5-4-98. Rose stated she volunteered to serve as a County Board representative.

On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to set a Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting for 5-8-98 at 9:00 A.M., Commissioner's Conference Room. Discussion will involve options for the Cokato Maintenance Facility.

Bid Opening for the 1998 Bituminous Overlay and Patching Contract was recently set for 5-5-98 at 9:30 A.M. Bid documents call for Mn/DOT's 2350 specifications. Today, Jude brought forth the issue of an addendum to the bid requesting that bids also be received using the Mn/DOT 2340 VMA specification (last year's specification) to be used for comparison. A contractor told Jude that an estimated $200,000 savings could be realized by using last year's specifications. Jude said the 2350 specification proposed has only been tested for one year by 20 counties in Minnesota. With the increased cost, he felt fewer miles would be covered. Jude moved to request that an addendum be sent out with last year's specifications to obtain cost estimates for comparison, seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke said that he was not necessarily opposed to the motion, but he referenced a memorandum from Virgil Hawkins, Assistant Highway Engineer. The memorandum outlines that all of the State projects being let this year are using the 2350 specification. It further stated that although the cost per ton of mix may be 10-15% higher than last year, the mix should last up to 60% longer than the pavement life expected using the 2340 specifications. The recommendation of Hawkins was to not put together an addendum since it would allow the possibility of awarding the contract without using the 2350 specification, which would not be in the County's best interest from an engineering standpoint. Hawkins was unable to attend today's meeting due to a Hanover Bridge project meeting. Sawatzke said he did not agree with adding this controversial item to the Agenda, especially without a representative of the Highway Department available. The formal bid notice is published in the Howard Lake Herald and addendums would be sent to bidders who have already picked up bid specifications. Russek stated he would vote against the motion as the contractor did not approach the County Engineer with the suggestion, but instead went to individuals on the County Board. Jude responded that he has asked for a bidders' conference the last two years to obtain information from contractors. He said this was never arranged by Highway staff and this issue could have been addressed at that time. Rose indicated that she had visited with the contractor on this issue. Her disappointment was that this change in specification was not brought before the Board. Sawatzke again referenced the projected increase in pavement life versus the cost. He had concern with changing the standard and providing for alternate bids. The other standard to be considered is the smoothness of the road, which is included with the 2350 specification but was not included in last year's specifications. Jude responded that the addendum would only be to change the bituminous mixture, not the specifications regarding smoothness. Motion carried 3-2 with Sawatzke and Russek casting the nay votes.

Sawatzke questioned what the County's policy was on petitioning things onto the Agenda. Norman stated that he asked the same question at a session he attended yesterday outlining parliamentary procedures. Response was that if the majority of the Board votes to add an issue to the Agenda, it can be added. Sawatzke said he had concern with items being petitioned due to providing public notice. Norman concurred, stating that this is a different protocol than what the County has been operating under. His concern would also be if a citizen would have an interest in an issue and would want to attend the County Board meeting. Jude responded that the issue of the addendum for the bituminous mixture would just be providing more options. Mattson stated that with today's technology, things happen at a much faster rate. Sawatzke responded that technology also affects highway road standards and that is what the Assistant Highway Engineer was trying to relate to them.

Russek moved to accept the recommendation of the Human Services Board to authorize signatures on the Quit Claim Deed as requested by the Assistant County Attorney. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke. The Quit Claim Deed would extinguish the claim which Wright County has against a portion of land in Kittson County relating to a medical assistance claim.

At 10:35 A.M. Russek moved to recess the Board Meeting until 11:55 A.M., seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously. The Board reconvened at 11:55 A.M. and reviewed Swing's recommendations regarding the bid for the Phone System Upgrade. Recommendation was to accept the bid from Collins Communications in the amount of $152,883.44. A representative of Collins Communications indicated that the completion of Phase I will be around August 15th. After discussion, the following payment schedule was suggested by Collins Communications: 30% down payment, 30% equipment delivery, 10% time of Public Works move to Human Services Center, 10% operation of Meridian Mail Upgrade, and 20% at the completion of the project. Consensus of the Board was that the payment schedule could be approved contingent upon approval by Collins Communications. Based on the project cost, Collins stated they would submit a $917.36 performance bond to the County Coordinator's Office. Collins has a two-day window to process the contract, the contract is submitted for approval, and then the equipment is ordered. The optional items will be presented to the Building Committee Of The Whole at their next meeting to obtain a consensus. Russek moved to accept the base bid from Collins Communication and to authorize signatures on the contract with the changes made to the payment schedule. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Mattson.

Bills Approved

Advantage Water Conditioning 167.11

AT&T 997.28

Bear Graphics Inc 572.18

Carver Scott Educaitonal Coope 175.00

Decorative Designs inc 167.18

Duerrs Water Care Service 678.41

Institute for Forensic Psych 650.00

Lily Lantto 105.00

Marco Business Products 220.04

Midway Iron & MEtal Co Inc 643.71

MN Assn of Cty Probation Ofcrs 655.00

Prairie Lake Detention Center 248.00

Jack Russek 169.03

Sharp Electronics 218.29

State of MN INtertech Group 238.56

Dorothy Stuhr 183.10

US West Communications 141.86

Wright County Highway Dept 18075.95

Xerox Corporation 192.00

AMI Imaging Systems Inc 375.00

B A Springborg Electric 522.75

Carver County Juvenile Deten 675.00

Catholic Charities 8151.00

Docs TV & Appliance 604.92

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 145.91

Lakedale Telephone Co 132.25

Donald Lindell 218.96

Metro Fire Inc 252.61

MN Alcohol Traffic Safety Assn 125.00

Richard Norman 111.21

Preferred Correctional Medical 7000.00

Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge 211.88

Sherwin-Williams 259.10

Streichers 575.60

Total Printing 192.39

James Weinberger 165.85

Wright Hennepin Electric 1889.24

27 payments less than $100 1,351.91

Final Total $47,458.28

The meeting adjourned at 12:05 P.M.

Judie Rose, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard W. Norman, County Coordinator

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