Wright County Board Minutes

MAY 16, 2000

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

Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes of 5-9-00 as presented, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A4, "Accept Resignation, Gene Hansen, Building Maintenance, Eff. 5-15-00 & Authorize Replacement" (Norman);

Consent Agenda Item A5, "Refer Time Reporting & Overtime to Personnel Committee" (Norman); Hwy. Eng. Item #3, "Approve Resolution/Cooperative Agreement with Mn/DOT for compensation of road life consumed by the TH 12 Detour in Cokato" (Norman);

Hwy. Eng. Item #4, "Letter from St. Michael Resident" (Norman); Item For Consid. #2, "Letter from Hanover" (Russek); Item For Consid. #3, "AMC District 5 Meeting" (Sawatzke); Item For Consid. #4, "Correspondence from Al Hoekstra RE: Wodtke Property Purchase" (Norman);

Item For Consid. #5, "Discuss Negotiations Committee Meeting" (Norman). Sawatzke noted that two resolutions were distributed prior to the meeting relating to the Sheriff's appointment at 9:05 A.M. and take the place of the resolution originally included in the Board packet material. On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.

Jude removed Item D from the Consent Agenda for discussion. On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: G. Gooler, Aud./Treas.; J. Tazelaar, Ct. Admin.; J. Baker, R. Erickson, D. Munsterteiger, T. Pippo, P. Schloesser, K. Schwietering, Sheriff.

2. Refer Cost Estimate For Paging System, 4th Floor, To Building Committee.

3. Claim, Frank Madden & Associates, $5,281.65.


1. Approve Abatement, PIN #114-500-313402, Eugene & Sheila Blandford (City of St. Michael).


1. Claim, Buetow & Associates, $3,838.53, (Fund 34-Courthouse), Services 4/19-5/2, 2000.

2. Claim, E.M. Branstrom Associates Architects Inc., $6,548.37 (Fund 34-Fairgrounds) Professional Services & Expenses.


1. Approve Ernst General Construction quote of $650 to remove carpet and tile "LAN Room" in preparation for wiring project starting 6-1-00, with the recommended funding source being Capital Improvements.

Discussion followed on Item D1, HIGHWAY, "Approve Attendance, NACo Conference, July 16-18, Charlotte NC." Jude did not support attendance by Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, due to the existing policy of allowing only one out-of-state conference per year.

Jude did not support Fingalson being absent during construction season, especially due to the shortage of help the Highway Department has been experiencing.

Sawatzke said he did support the request due to the expenses associated with the conference being paid by NACE as Fingalson is the State Director. It was pointed out that Fingalson will be attending NACE meetings from Friday-Sunday and is asking for authorization to attend the NACo Conference from Monday-Wednesday.

Eichelberg stated he supported the request as the Highway Department has qualified staff which will be able to fill in during Fingalson's absence. Russek moved to authorize attendance at the NACo Conference as requested, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote.

On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #00-21:

WHEREAS, Don Hozempa, Sheriff, has announced his retirement effective 5/27/00; and

WHEREAS, the current term of office runs through December 31, 2002; and

WHEREAS, M.S. 375.08 states when a vacancy occurs in the office of Sheriff the County Board shall fill it by appointment;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners on this 16th day of May, 2000, does hereby appoint Capt. Gary Miller as Sheriff of Wright County, effective May 27, 2000.

Jude moved to adopt Resolution #00-22 setting the salary for Gary Miller, seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke stated that he would vote against the motion. He supported the appointment of Gary Miller as Sheriff but did not support the salary at $79,524.

As his rationale, he cited Sheriff Hozempa's 12 years serving as Sheriff and his 1999 salary of $74,597. Roll call vote carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote. Resolution #00-22 follows:

WHEREAS, Gary Miller has been appointed Sheriff effective May 27, 2000;

BE IT RESOLVED, that his salary shall be $79,524, prorated for the remainder of 2000.

Sheriff Hozempa said the appointment of Gary Miller as Sheriff is a historic occasion in Wright County. Since 1855, Wright County has had 26 people serve in the capacity of Sheriff with Miller being appointed as the 27th Sheriff.

In addition, this is the third Sheriff appointment in Wright County which is unusual (Darrell Wolff in 1963, Hozempa in 1989, and Miller in 2000). Normally, the position of Sheriff is filled through election. Hozempa congratulated Miller and conveyed support for his new role as Sheriff.

Gary Miller said he was honored to be appointed as Sheriff and understands the great responsibility which he has undertaken. He said he will work hard to follow the high standards which Sheriff Hozempa and past Sheriff Darrell Wolff have set.

He spoke of the high degree of competence amongst the Sheriff's Department staff. Their work ethic is to be accountable to the people and accessible to the people, and to give the community the sense of well being and safety. Miller was congratulated on his appointment and Hozempa on his retirement.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, referenced the March Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines. Russek moved to acknowledge receipt of the Guidelines, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0

The claims listing was reviewed. In response to a question by Mattson, Gruber explained that claims listed under Administration on the Consent Agenda are not included in the claims listing and are paid after Board approval.

However, those listed under the Auditor/Treasurer on the Consent Agenda are included in the claims listing. This is done in the Auditor's Office for efficiency purposes. Mattson questioned the claim to Branstrom Associates Architects ($6,548.37) on page 25. It was explained that the claim is for pre-engineering services. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, discussed the Annual Road Tour with the Board. Jude moved to schedule the Tour for 6-16-00 at 7:00 A.M., seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

At 9:30 A.M., the bid process for Contract 0005, Bituminous Overlay Improvements and Patching, was closed. The Engineer's estimate for the project was $2,500,000 (including Alternate #1, $2,601 and Alternate 2, $4,335). On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to lay the bids over for one week to provide the Highway Engineer an opportunity to review them and make a recommendation.

Name of Bidder , Bauerly Companies; Base Bid, $2,466,371.81; Total Base Bid with Alternates, $2,476,171.81; Bid Bond Included, Yes; Acknowledges Both Add- endums, Yes.

Name of Bidder , Buffalo Bituminous; Base Bid, $2,290,303.15; Total Base Bid with Alternates, $2,297,784.05; Bid Bond Included, Yes; Acknowledges Both Add- endums, Yes.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) meeting was held on 5-1-00. At today's meeting, Jude moved to accept the TCOTW minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. A summary of the minutes and recommendations from the Transportation Committee and discussion at today's County Board meeting follows:

1. Introduction of New Highway Department Employees.

2. Discuss Requests from Franklin Township including 40th St./Crow Springs Park: Concerns were brought forth from the Township relating to a heavily traveled road (40th Street). The Township requested that the 1 mile segment on 40th Street and one mile segment on 36th Street connecting to CSAH 12 in Marysville Township, and a connecting segment of Meridian Avenue South be taken over as a County Road. The recommendation is that this road be included on the annual road tour of the County Commissioners.

3. Discuss Proposal of Mn/DOT for TH 241 Turnback in St. Michael: Discussion involved the turnback of TH 241 to the City of St. Michael or to Wright County. The road is scheduled for improvement in 2002 at an estimated $3 million, but the improvement will not take care of future needs.

The State's projected traffic counts are considerably lower than St. Michael's projections. Jude suggested that Mn/DOT take over CSAH 35 as an extension of TH 241 to TH 55 in Buffalo. The Highway Engineer and City representatives agreed discussions on this subject should continue. Eichelberg stated that this had been discussed with Mn/DOT previously, but Mn/DOT has not completed the O/D study to help determine volumes of regional traffic on CSAH 35.

One possible source of funding is "turn-back" funds, available to those entities which take a road over from the State. These funds are in addition to the regular funds received from the State for upkeep on CSAH or MSAS routes. The earliest that funds would be available is 2006 or 2007.

There is concern about capacity and safety of the road until that time, along with concern about depleting funds for other projects. Due to this, the Highway Engineer feels a backup plan is needed and suggested a task force with members from the City and County be established to determine the best options for TH 241.

All present indicated that they prefer that the State be the authority for maintenance of the road, along with CSAH 35 to Buffalo, but other options will be explored in the event that this is not a likely outcome. The recommendation was to set up a Task Force to develop recommendations on this issue.

3. Discuss Proposal of Mn/DOT for TH 241 Turnback in St. Michael (cont.):

At today's County Board meeting, considerable discussion took place readdressing this issue. Fingalson pointed out that if CSAH 35 were made a four-lane highway from Buffalo to I-94, the County would not take over the roadway until potentially 2007 or 2008.

The County would have the ability to set up an agreement whereby they would not take the road over until it was upgraded to four lanes.

Eichelberg moved to authorize Fingalson to set up a Task Force with representatives from MnDOT (both State and Brainerd offices), the City of St. Michael, two County Board members, and the Highway Engineer to discuss the issue, seconded by Russek.

It was clarified that Eichelberg and Mattson would be the two County Board appointments. Sawatzke questioned whether the Task Force established several years ago to study TH 241 was still in force.

Fingalson explained that Mn/DOT hired a consultant to review the entire segment of TH 241 with the main focus being the St. Michael business community. Environmental studies have delayed a decision on the future of this road.

Fingalson felt that County traffic will be affected no matter what happens to TH 241 and thought the County needs to be a participant in the discussion. The motion carried 5-0.

4. Discuss Proposal from City of Rockford RE: CSAH 33: Dennis Peterson, City of Rockford, was present to discuss the current traffic increase on CSAH 33.

The City completed a transportation study involving certain County routes in Rockford. The City proposes that a "city bypass" be built to alleviate congestion (Haug Avenue extending northerly from TH 55 into Rockford Township and easterly to CSAH 33). The City is looking for County input to plan for the future.

Fingalson commended the City for their long-range planning but indicated that most of the proposed bypass is in the Township. Peterson said the City and Township are cooperating on finding a reasonable and workable plan for future traffic levels.

The City understands that if the bypass becomes a County route, the City would have to assume jurisdiction of the southerly segment of CSAH 33 which connects to CSAH 20. At today's meeting, the TCOTW minutes were changed to reflect the following at the end of Item #4, "Recommendation: These roads will be included on the annual road tour that the Commissioners will be taking soon."

5. Discuss Construction Funding/ Review Projects for 5-Year Plan:

* Mattson stated the City of Howard Lake is looking at property on 70th Street for a new school. They would like to know the County's position on the CSAH 6 realignment on 70th Street as an "urban designed road."

This realignment was brought up previously and residents were not in favor of it. Potentially the City may absorb the whole cost of the sewer work required in an "urban design."

The City normally pays the full cost of sanitary sewer and splits the storm water costs based on contributing flows. The consensus of the Committee was to consider what the City wants and for the City to present to the County a realignment plan (CSAH 6 bypass).

* Jude presented a letter from Silver Creek Township relating to a request to address the visibility at the intersection of CSAH 8 and CR 123. The Highway Department previously reviewed this and sign changes have been made. Discussion included Jude requesting that problems be identified at least one year in advance of proposed overlay work.

However, the purchase of right of way for turn lanes, which happens shortly before the overlay project beings, is usually when the awareness begins. Accident reports filed in the County are good indicators of problems which need correcting.

It was the consensus not to modify the present plans for improvement in this area. At today's County Board meeting, it was the consensus to add this intersection to the Road Tour.

* Discussion included some of the items included in the current Five-Year Plan. The Highway Engineer plans to include in his 2001 budget proposal an update of the 1994 Transportation Plan. At the request of Steve Meyer, all agreed that projecting out further than a Five-Year Plan would be desirable for planning for the future.

6. Discuss Policy with Township/Cities for Bridges and for Roads leading to County Parks:

* The Parks Administrator completed a survey of townships with a varied response on whether the County should be responsible for road improvements. Jude suggested setting up a standard policy to address the County's responsibility to these roads and funding.

Fingalson stated there is currently no funding in the budget for non-budget roads leading to the parks. Other counties do have formulas in place for sharing costs for these types of roads. Fingalson suggested this issue be sent to the Ways & Means Committee.

At today's County Board meeting, it was decided that this issue will be referred to Committee if necessary after the Road Tour.

* Wright County reimburses townships for 50% of preliminary and construction costs associated with bridge replacements. State funding has been increased and the township portion has been limited to $10,000.

Currently, the County attempts to immediately accommodate those townships that ask for bridge work. The Committee recommendation was for Fingalson to bring a recommendation that would allow the County an opportunity to plan and budget better for participation in these township projects.

At today's County Board meeting, Jude moved to adopt Resolution #00-23, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:

Bridge Funding Policy for Townships and Cities

Wright County will only participate in County Board approved federal or state funded projects and then only to the extent of fifty percent (50%) of preliminary and construction engineering costs not paid by the state or federal government.

If a City or Township would like to request that a bridge be replaced, the County must be notified by the Township or City no later than July 15th of the year prior to construction (to allow the County to budget for this cost). This policy applies to replacement and rehabilitation of township or municipal bridges over ten (10) feet in length.

A formal funding participation and construction agreement will be approved by both agencies for each project. This policy supercedes all other Wright County policies dealing with township and municipal bridge funding.

Discussion at today's meeting also involved the bridge replacement in French Lake Township, which may be completed before year end. Fingalson stated he spoke with the Township and they did not have a problem with the new funding process and being reimbursed in 2001.

Jude made a motion that in the event a city or township decides to build a bridge and does not provide notification to the County as per the Bridge Funding Policy for Townships and Cities (Resolution #00-23), the entity can proceed with building the bridge but reimbursement from the County will not be provided until the year it is put in the budget. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

7. Traffic Study/Letter from City of Buffalo, for Two Intersections. The Committee recommendation was to not change the traffic control at the junction of CSAH 35/CR 134 at this time. The Committee also recommended a 4-way stop at the junction of CSAH 34/CR 134. Traffic studies were completed at both intersections.

8. Letter from Albertville Regarding the County Maintenance Facility. The City has environmental concerns and may want the facility moved. Fingalson suggested waiting until the City provides a proposal for review.

9. Pelican Lake Access Issue along CR 117: Representatives from the DNR and Buffalo Township were present for discussion on improving the parking conditions.

The DNR understands the safety concerns but is hesitant to close the access because of its popularity with sportsmen. Upgrade of the current landing is not possible due to rules and regulations relating to fill.

The DNR will consider buying or leasing property for parking space and will pursue options for purchasing property. The long term solution is to find a better access on the lake.

The Committee recommendation is to have the Highway Department remove 0.5 mile of "No Parking" signs both north and south of the access.

10. Review "Danger Signs" Video. Due to time constraints, the video will be shown at the 5-Year Public Information Meeting on 5-17-00.

11. Gravel for Fair Building. The consensus was to allow Dennis Beise of the Fair Board to haul gravel to support a building at the Fairgrounds and for the County to provide the gravel. This was petitioned onto the 5-2-00 Board meeting.

Bill Swing, MIS Director, opened the bids for the Rewiring Project. The estimate for the project is approximately $80,000. When questioned why the bids came in substantially lower than the estimate, Swing indicated that the bids do not include the equipment which the County will purchase. On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to lay the bids over for one week for review and recommendation:

Bidder: Dell Comm, Mounds View, Bid: $46,999.68; Bidder: All State Comm- unications, Sauk Rapids, Bid: $37,061.12.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call voted carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #00-24:

IT IS RESOLVED that the County of Wright enter into Mn/DOT Agreement No. 80152 with the State of Minnesota, Department of Transportation for the following purposes:

To provide for payment by the State to the County for the use of County State Aid Highway No. 4 as a detour route during the roadway reconstruction and bridge replacement to be performed upon, along and adjacent to Trunk Highway No. 12 in Cokato under the State Project No. 8601.50 (T.H. 12=010).

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the County Board Chair and the County Auditor are authorized to execute the Agreement.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, read a letter from H.H. Stahlmann, St. Michael. The letter was addressed to the County Board and cited the excellent condition of County roads. The letter thanked the Board for budgeting sufficiently to make possible the maintenance which exists.

He also extended thanks to the Highway Engineer and staff for the planning and effort in making the condition of the roads possible. With this being Transportation Week in Wright County, Norman thought it was fitting to read the letter.

A Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 5-9-00. On a motion by Jude, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the minutes as presented:

Discuss Sheriff Appointment. Kelly said that State Statutes spell out the procedures to be followed when there is a vacancy in an elected position.

Basically, in this case, the Board appoints somebody to fill out the remainder of the term of office. Based on Hozempa's recommendation, it was the consensus of the Committee to appoint Gary Miller as Sheriff for the remainder of the term in office. After lengthy discussion, the majority of the Committee recommended an annual salary of $79,524, prorated for the remainder of the calendar year.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 5-10-00. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried unanimously. A summary of the minutes follows:

Mel Terning's Drainage Proposal, Collinwood Park. Terning, members of the Parks Commission, SWCD, DNR and Attorney's Office were present for discussion. Terning's request and the Parks Commission's position to deny the request were discussed.

The recommendation was for Terning to contact the property owners regarding replacement of the outlet tiles and work with the DNR, SWCD and NRSC regarding necessary approvals and permits.

Eichelberg recently attended a meeting held with the City of Hanover and Hennepin County Parks. Russek said he will copy the remainder of the Board on correspondence received from the City of Hanover requesting a commitment on park and trail development and open space preservation. This item will be placed on the next County Board Agenda.

Sawatzke referenced an AMC District 5 meeting notice. The meeting will be held on 6-26-00 in Braham. This was provided as an informational item.

Correspondence was received from Al Hoekstra, Coldwell Banker Burnet, relating to the property at 107 First Ave NW (Wodtke property). The property is ready for a walk through inspection and the owners have requested an early closing if possible.

Jude moved to have Norman coordinate a closing date, seconded by Russek. Norman was instructed to include the Auditor in this process. Motion carried 5-0.

A Negotiation Committee meeting is scheduled today following the County Board meeting. Frank Madden, Labor Law Attorney, will not be attending due to an emergency labor relations issue in another County. Norman said the meeting will still be held to obtain an overview of the issues. The session with Madden will be rescheduled.

Bills Approved

Aero Fiberglass Co 300.00

Airtouch Cellular Bellevue 2552.25

Ancom Technical Center 2177.21

Annandale Advocate 176.75

Annandale Rock Products 1069.69

AT & T 206.01

AT & T Wireless Services 190.64

Best Inc. 3565.60

Betmar Languages Inc 430.85

BLI International 240.00

Bowman Distribution 417.75

Branstrom Associates Architect 6548.37

Buetow and Associates Inc 3838.53

Buffalo Drug 516.77

Buffalo Hospital 6312.50

City Buffalo 779.31

Rod Bunting 362.50

Bureau Of Criminal Apprehensn 240.00

Tim Cameron 125.00

Cathoilc Chaitires 9104.43

CDW Government Inc 603.38

Central Glass 451.93

Central McGowan, Inc 260.35

Cintas-428 102.43

City Clearwater 506.40

Climate Air 6750.00

Computer Training Internationl 1399.90

Copy Equipment Inc 1302.08

Cronatron Welding Systems Inc 386.16

Delano Municipal Utilities 161.43

Department of Public Safety 9000.00

Dominos Pizza 198.90

Doyle Equipment Inc 3408.00

Howard Ellis 371.12

Enterprise and Dispatch 180.93

Fyles Excavtg and Honey Wagn 475.00

G and K Services 1289.39

Gary's Auto Service 106.50

Gateway Companies Inc 12251.76

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 8840.05

Glock, Inc 232.17

W Grainger Inc 124.65

Greif Brothers Corporation 931.30

Annette Habisch 317.38

Holt Motors Inc 692.75

City Howard Lake 888.00

Chris Jahnke 399.25

Kelly Kothrade 120.80

Lake Management Inc 200.00

Lakedale Telephone Company 281.49

Laplant Demo Inc 819.58

Lawson Products, Inc 231.85

Lorman Education Services 100.11

Marco Business Products 1345.51

Masys Coporation 2503.95

Matejcek Impl Co 568.04

Mcdowall Comfort Management 614.09

Metro Commercial Service 109.75

The Metro Group Inc 1877.06

MN Ass'n of Assessing Officers 485.00

MN Assn of City Probation Ofcrs 220.00

Monticello Times 333.77

Motorola Inc 2372.73

MTI Distributing Inc 211.19

Neil's Floor Covering 446.50

Norstan 620.39

Office Depot 1624.15

Pagenet 172.92

Dave Peterson Monticello Ford 2619.38

Photo I 548.17

Precision Prints of Wright Co 328.02

Radisson - Arrowwood 392.52

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 2322.35

Ruffridge - Johnson 214.24

Sears 258.07

SEH 206.74

Sharp Electronics 215.99

State Supply Co. 152.70

Swanson Brothers Trapline Srvc 265.10

TKDA 8385.68

Total Printing 1480.35

Transcor America Inc 2113.72

Mark Tuttle 297.50

US West Communications 7671.82

Carol Vander Kooi 4896.99

Voss Lighting 171.13

Walmart Store 01-1577 150.94

Waste Management TC West 146.84

City Waverly 402.00

West Publishing Company 138.45

Winsted Publishing Inc 524.59

Stewart Wirth 218.40

Wright County Highway Dept 3465.49

Wright County Human Services 432.00

Wright Hennepin Electric 1623.42

Earl Zachman 199.20

47 payments less than $100 1,944.53

Final Total $147,830.48

The meeting adjourned at 10:58 A.M.

Dick Mattson, 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 | Search | Home Page