Wright County Board Minutes

JUNE 2, 1998

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

Mattson made a correction to the minutes of 5-26-98: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, last sentence from "Hwy. 101/9 Junction" to "Hwy. 109 Junction." Motion to approve the minutes as corrected was made by Mattson, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item E1, "Ney Park Claim, Dirkswager Property, $5000" (Groshens); Item For Consid. #6, "Invitation from Extension Service to attend Cluster Program Sampler Meeting" (Norman); Item For Consid. #7, "Authorize Attendance, AMC Leadership Conference, August 5-6" (Jude); Item For Consid. #8, "Closed Meeting immediately following today's County Board Meeting" (Wyman Nelson). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Sawatzke referenced Item A3, "Approve Contract with Ag Enterprises, LLC, 6/1/98-12/31/99; Authorize Signatures." Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated that the contract language remains the same as the past contract except for the contract fee. On a motion by Jude, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: B. Kopff, P & Z; D. Lindell, Sheriff; A. Buskey, Bldg. Care & Maint.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 5-15-98.

3. Approve Contract with Ag Enterprises, LLC, 6/1/98-12/31/99; Authorize Signatures.

4. Authorize Signatures, Amended Law Enforcement Contract with South Haven.


1. Approve Abatement, PID #217-000-274202, Eugene A. Johnson (Southside Twp.).


1. Approve Claim, JLM Communications, $519.50.

2. Approve Tobacco Licenses: Lake Center Bar & Grill Inc. (Corinna Twp.); Quik Shop 66 (Delano); Tom Thumb (Delano); Circle C Convenience (Clearwater City); Dave's Town Club (Delano); Total (Monticello City); Total (St. Michael); Tom Thumb #29 (Cokato City); F&F Food Mart (Otsego); Wessman Oil, Inc. (Cokato City); American Legion Post 131 (Maple Lake City); and Hiway Liquors (Monticello City).


1. Approve Five-Year Highway/Bridge Improvement Public Meeting Minutes, 5-7-98.

2. Approve Partial Payment #10 ($72,745.97) to Glenwood Bridge, Inc. for Contract 9709.


1. Ney Park Claim, Dirkswager Property, $5000" (Groshens).Darla Groshens, Auditor/Treasurer, requested that the Board approve the State Auditor's Contract for Audit Year 1997. Mattson moved to approve the request, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson questioned a claim on page 10, GE Capital Info Tech Solution ($10,504.10). Response was that this covers networking for the equipment at the Human Services Center and a token ring for the Courthouse and will be paid from the Capital Improvement Fund. Mattson moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke.

A Communications Committee Meeting was held on 5-27-98:

Request For Public Telephone, Reception Area, Sheriff Department. Hozempa is requesting a telephone be located at the front counter in his department to allow the public to make local, outgoing calls. The Committee recommends that his request be granted.

Contract Extension, U.S. West, Jail Pay Telephones. Torfin explained that they requested U.S. West upgrade the inmate telephone system to provide for computerized call search/duplication capabilities.

Electronic Directory Assistance. Swing presented information about electronic directory assistance provided by U.S. West. It would provide access to fourteen states through our computer system. The cost would be in excess of $2,000 per year. Swing and the Committee agreed that this is something we would not be interested in at this time.

At today's meeting, Jude moved to accept the minutes with recommendations, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Bill Stephens, Assistant Environmental Health Specialist, introduced Christine Hokkala-Kuhns, a summer intern who will be working in the Planning & Zoning Department.

Stephens requested adoption of the updated Wright County Comprehensive Local Water Plan (CLWP), which will be the final step in the update. The purpose of the CLWP is to provide an objective evaluation of Wright County's surface water, ground water, and related land resources. The Plan is a continual ongoing document and the entire document will have to be rewritten in 2005 and every five years thereafter. Russek moved to accept and approve the CLWP, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

A Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting was held on 5-27-98:

Plan Revisions. Nelson received a proposal from Barry Clegg, Rider Bennett Egan & Arundel, that a restatement of our Deferred Compensation Plan would cost approximately $2,000. The Committee recommends retaining him for this service. The Committee recessed until June 10, 1998 at 8:00 a.m.

At today's meeting, it was noted that due to Federal statutory changes, amendments to the Deferred Compensation Plan are required. The Professional Services line item will be used to fund the restatement. Jude moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Correspondence was received from American Express Financial Advisors regarding a change in the administration of the 457 Tax Deferred Government Plan. Russek moved to refer this item to the Deferred Compensation Committee Meeting which was recessed until 6-10-98 at 8:00 a.m., seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Norman requested approval to transfer $688,077.00 from Budget 820, Personal Services to Departments in the General Revenue Budget. This transfer is performed annually to reflect increased costs as a result of union contract settlements, including salary and fringe benefits. Jude moved to approve the request, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

A request was received from the State of Minnesota Department of Public Safety to renew the lease agreement with Wright County for rental of the license testing area in the Government Center.The term of the lease would be for three years. Jude moved to refer the request to the Building Committee Of The Whole to discuss future use of the Courthouse Annex, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0. Norman will notify the Department of Public Safety regarding the status of their request.

Correspondence was received from the City of Otsego relating to parking problems at Otsego County Park. The request by the City Council is to have the Board consider expanding the parking lot as part of the 1999 budget discussions. Sawatzke moved to authorize himself, Ralph Borell and a person from Highway staff to meet with Otsego officials to discuss the problems and possible solutions. A report will be brought back to the County Board. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

Doug Gruber, Assessor, brought forth an abatement request for PID #103-041-000031, Richard A. Anderson (Buffalo City), for a reduction in property value for taxes payable in 1998. Gruber said he brought this abatement request forth as it was unique. The property was in the process of being foreclosed upon and the bank held title. The former owners resided on the property until closing and the Assessor's Office was unable to complete an appraisal. Anderson signed a purchase agreement in December, 1997 for $210,000 with a closing date of May 15, 1998. For the 1998 assessment, the Assessor's Office placed the estimated market value at $215,300 based on the condition of the house. The request is to reduce the estimated market value for the 1997 assessment to $215,300 from the current payable value of $315,200. Gruber said he had provided Anderson with a petition to file in tax court, but the filing deadline was 3-31-98 and the property did not close until 5-15-98. Gruber said the buyer understands that the value of the property will be increased upon completion of the improvements. On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to approve the abatement request.

A joint meeting was held between the Wright County Board and the SWCD Board of Supervisors to discuss implementation of the new Wright County Feedlot Ordinance, specifically regarding the inventory and registration procedures over the next 1-2 years. Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, provided a draft resolution and an update to that draft as it relates to the Water Management Plan. Asleson stated the Board should consider a public informational meeting as required prior to inventory. Response was that the SWCD Board would set the date for that public meeting and the County Board will approve it when it has been set. Jude referred to the last paragraph of the draft resolution, inquiring what "increased activity in addressing animal feedlot problems" meant. Rose responded that her interpretation would be that additional grants would be applied for relating to cost sharing and loan programs to help those that do have problems. Jude stated he would suggest to farmers to come in and register the last week of 1999. Rose responded that those registering last would also be the last in the program to receive assistance through grants. Sawatzke read the intent of the Feedlot Ordinance and stated that the intent was to support animal agriculture in Wright County. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #98-30, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote. The resolution adopted is as follows:

WHEREAS during 1997, a Feedlot Task Force appointed by the County Board studied the topic of permitting and regulating animal feedlots, ultimately making its recommendations to the County Board in the form of a proposed feedlot ordinance; and

WHEREAS based upon the recommendations of the Feedlot Task Force, the County Board, on May 12, 1998, adopted the Wright County Feedlot Ordinance, to be effective upon publication; and

WHEREAS the County does not intend to assume permitting and enforcement responsibility for animal feedlots from the State of Minnesota until January 1, 2000; and

WHEREAS the County, with the assistance of the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District, does intend to go forward immediately with a registration and inventory procedure for existing animal feedlots; and

WHEREAS the planned registration and inventory procedure is, in part, designed to help identify those animal feedlots which may be potential pollution hazards; and

WHEREAS various programs are already in existence, along with public funding, to assist animal feedlot owners and operators in finding solutions to animal manure problems; and

WHEREAS the Wright County Comprehensive Water Management Plan, as formulated by the Water Management Task Force and subsequently approved by the County Board and the State of Minnesota, recommends action items consistent with those listed above for dealing with animal feedlot problems;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby expresses its support for increased activity in addressing animal feedlot problems in Wright County, including, but not limited to, completion of a level 2 feedlot inventory, use of enhanced cost-share programs and loan programs, the provision of technical assistance and education to farmers, and the notification of appropriate authorities when necessary for enforcement purposes.

At the 5-26-98, bids for Highway Department Equipment items were opened. Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, brought forth his recommendations today for bids to be awarded:

As recommended, Mattson moved to award the bid for one asphalt storage tank (Stepp STT, 6.5M, Used 1994 Model) to Stepp Manufacturing, Inc., $36,600.00 (savings of $10,400.00 from the budgeted amount). Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

As recommended, Sawatzke moved to award the bid for one new industrial trailer (Trail King TK40RB) to Ziegler's at the low bid price of $25,545.00. The budgeted amount was $17,000.00, so the overrun of $8,545.00 will be funded by monies budgeted for the asphalt storage tank. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Mattson.

On the bid for one late model used tractor, recommendation was to award the bid to Tepley Equipment Inc. for a 1998 John Deere 7410 tractor (new) with a two-year warranty at a bid price of $51,500.00. The budgeted amount was $31,200.00. The Highway Department will also purchase two new tandem trucks this year. In light of this, Fingalson's recommendation is not to purchase a tractor loader this year as budgeted ($54,000) and to use these funds toward the tractor being considered today. Jude moved to approve the recommendation, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Fingalson requested that the Board consider proceeding with the design of the new Cokato Maintenance Facility in hopes of occupying it yet this fall. The purchase agreement with the City of Cokato has not been officially approved. Several options were discussed. The first would be to hire an architect to design the facility, which would be funded out of public works and would not require publication. The second option would be to proceed with a design/build option (hire a firm which has an architect and engineer on staff). With that option, the Board would have to decide ahead of time what type of facility should be built. Publication would be required. The third option discussed was to investigate the Mid State Equipment property in Cokato which is for sale. Discussion involved contacting other public entities for shop designs they have used, bypassing the expense of an architect. Mattson moved to initiate the process of finding a design with a December 1st deadline for completion of the building, seconded by Russek. It was clarified that this would be to proceed with the design/build option. This option would require publication. Sawatzke moved to amend the motion to require the Highway Engineer to obtain sealed quotes for architectural services to be opened with the design/build quotes with a not-to-exceed figure and a deadline of November 15th, seconded by Jude. After further discussion, Sawatzke offered a friendly amendment to change the original motion to a study issue as opposed to a formal process. Sealed bids would be required in two weeks for architectural services and the design/build option will be researched (not a formal bid process). Motion carried 5-0 on the friendly amendment. Motion carried 5-0 on the original motion as amended. Jude moved to authorize the Highway Engineer to research the sale of the Mid State Equipment property and to bring information back to the County Board for discussion. Rose felt an emergency meeting of the County Board could be called if needed. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek. It was clarified that the architectural quotes should be received by the Highway Engineer, opened by the Highway Engineer and County Coordinator, and a summary of the quotes received will be brought to the next County Board meeting.

A letter was received from the Extension Service inviting the Commissioners to attend a Cluster Program Sampler meeting on 6-17-98 at 6:30 p.m., Zion Church (Buffalo). On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to authorize Board attendance.

An AMC Leadership Retreat will be held in Marshall on August 5th & 6th. Jude said all counties are encouraged to send at least one representative. The retreat will include intensive training and the future of AMC. Jude moved to authorize attendance at the AMC Leadership Retreat, seconded by Russek. Rose clarified that this was formerly referred to as a Chair retreat but now has been designed to be a leadership retreat. There will be space for 100 attendees, with one representative being allowed from each county and the additional space is on a first-come basis thereafter. Jude will attend as he serves on the AMC Board of Directors. Rose indicated interest in attending. Sawatzke offered a friendly amendment which would authorize attendance by Rose. Sawatzke noted that Board vote is not required for attendance at AMC functions. Motion carried 5-0.

Bills Approved

American Institutional Supply 230.74

Central Tractor Farm & Ctry IN 215.67

Computer Parts & Services Inc 270.00

Marvin Dirkswager 5000.00

Garys Auto Service 1816.88

Glenwood Bridge Inc 72745.97

Greenview Inc 958.13

International Wolf Center 150.00

Lake Region Coop Oil 214.83

Loberg Plumbing & Heating Co 250.12

MN Sheriffs Association 250.00

Tracy Morris 166.47

Northern States Power Co 410.19

Reflection Irrigation 9700.00

Roof Depot 464.63

Thomas Mfg Co Inc 224.00

Stewart Wirth 165.27

Buffalo Hospital 119.75

Community Health Fdn OF 6500.00

Data Transmission Network 884.28

Econofoods 115.38

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 12268.10

Going Under Dive Center 900.98

HIllyard Floor Care Supply 2694.36

JLM Telecommunications 519.50

Lee's Farm & Garden Store 204.58

MN Counties Computer Co-op 1407.00

Dennis Moeller 255.74

National Public Safety Info Bur. 267.00

Office Depot 313.36

The Rockwood Corporation 176.00

Kurt Scheurer MD 100.00

USWest The Directory Source 199.20

21 payments less than $100 896.32

Final Total $121,054.45

The Board adjourned at 10:17 a.m. and went into a closed session as requested by the County Attorney.

Judie Rose, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard W. Norman, County Coordinator

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

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