Wright County Board Minutes

September 12, 2000

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

Russek moved to approve the minutes of 8-29-00 as presented, seconded by Sawatzke, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #9, "Advance the date from 7-1-01 to 1-1-01 for new Property Appraiser" (Norman). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Item C1, "Acknowledge Retirement, Marcia Lantto, Wright County Recorder, Eff.

9-29-00 & Refer To Personnel Committee The Appointment To Replace Filling Out The Term" was removed for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: J. Palm, Bldg. Maint.; L. Peterson, Ct. Admin.; P. Forare, Hwy.; R. Borell, Parks; J. Carlen, T. Doerr, S. Poirier, M. Super, Sheriff.

2. Approve Uniform Settlement Form, LELS, 2000-2002.

3. O/T Report, Period Ending 8-18-00.

4. 2nd Quarter Training Reports.


1. Approve Request To Rezone From AG & S-2 to R-2 & S-2, Michael & Joanne Tichy (Maple Lake Twp.).

2. Approve Request To Rezone From AG To A/R, S.E. Held (Buffalo Twp.).

3. Approve Request To Rezone From AG To R-1, Luke, Robert & Joan Riley (Rockford Twp.).

4. Approve Unanimous Recommendation From The Planning Commission To Adopt Ordinance Amendment To The Wright County Zoning Ordinance To Add "Commercial Day Care Center" As A Conditional Use Permit In The R-1, Urban/Residential Transition Residential Zone.


1. Accept Resignation, Melanie Enge, Corrections Officer, Eff. 9-10-00 & Authorize Replacement.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, introduced Tracy Janikula who was hired as the new Feedlot Program Administrator. Janikula was welcomed by the Board.

The next item discussed was Item C1 of the Consent Agenda, "Acknowledge Retirement, Marcia Lantto, Wright County Recorder, Eff. 9-29-00 & Refer To Personnel Committee The Appointment To Replace Filling Out The Term."

Due to the effective date of the retirement, the Board felt a replacement should be appointed immediately and that the current Deputy Recorder, Barb Gabrelcik, be considered for this appointment. At the request of Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, Jude moved to lay this issue over until later in today's meeting to allow him to review statutes. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 4-0.

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented his Agenda items. Referred from the last meeting, discussion followed on the requested name change for Twin Lake. Present were representatives from Lake Sylvia and Twin Lake, and Glen Yakel, DNR.

Carl Swanson, President, Lake Sylvia Association, provided a history of the lakes. The PCA considered the lake to be at risk 25 years ago but since that time the lake quality has improved dramatically. Swanson said that the name "Twin" is generally used only by representatives of the PCA, DNR, etc. and that local residents use the name of "Sylvia."

The name "Greater Lake Sylvia Association" reflects the Association's awareness of the two lake names. The intent of the Association is to send a ballot in their next newsletter relating to the requested name change.

Jan Evenson, resident, indicated that during research of real estate listings around the lake in the last five years, she found that the 110 listings only referenced the name "Sylvia."

She only found out about the name "Twin" after she had lived there several months. Phyllis Latour, Lake Sylvia resident and realtor, said the name "Sylvia" is always used when property is sold. She felt it would be beneficial to have one name for the lake and not use "east" or "west."

The County Board can only make a recommendation to the DNR on their position. The final authority rests with the DNR. Jude moved to schedule a public hearing on the Name Change for Twin Lake on 10-17-00 at 10:30 A.M. Written comments will be accepted. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting on 9-26-00 at 10:30 A.M. The purpose of the meeting is the 1999 State Auditor's Exit Interview.

Sawatzke moved to set a Communications Committee meeting on 9-27-00 at 1:30 P.M. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 4-0.

Referred from the last meeting, Chuck Plowe, Plowe Engineering, requested permission to discharge storm water runoff into Ditch #9. Since the last Board meeting, Plowe has provided Kerry Saxton, SWCD, with additional information relating to Saxton's concerns.

One was the replacement of a 24" pipe (945.61 elevation) with two 36" pipes (943 elevation). Plowe stated that an agreement has been reached to replace the 24" culvert at its original elevation. Another concern was the impact on the neighboring wetland. Plowe said a meeting will be held with the Wetland Technical Panel to address this issue.

Saxton said he did not object to replacing the 24" pipe as long as the details of elevation can be worked out. The developer wants to place the pipe at a 949 elevation but that elevation needs to be verified. Otherwise, he would support a 950 elevation. Saxton complimented the developer on the work completed with the ponds in this development, but had concern with the water flow upstream.

He said the Wetland Technical Panel will be concerned with the impact on the wetland and the County Board should address the flow of the ditch. Jude moved to allow storm water drainage into Ditch #9 with the overflow elevation to be determined by the Technical Panel, seconded by Russek. Asleson supported the motion as statute indicates that the County Board gives approval to outlet this flow into the County ditch and that regardless of what the Technical Panel does, the water will end up in the ditch.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, questioned if households in the development would be benefited land owners on the ditch. Asleson responded that in the past, there was not an additional outlet fee if the land originally drained into the ditch.

The acreage was assessed in the past. There is a Joint Powers Agreement with the Cities of Albertville and St. Michael for those entities to assume repair and maintenance of the ditch. Costs for cleanout in the next year would be paid by these Cities and assessed to the landowners. The motion carried 4-0.

A letter was received from Dick Rentz indicating that the application for a Lake Improvement District for the Sugar Lake area was withdrawn. The Sugar Lake Advisory Board was dissolved.

On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve a plat, "Hawk View," as submitted by G.P. Land Corporation, a Minnesota Corporation, Fee owner of the following property described in part as: That part of the SW1/4 of the NW1/4 of Sec. 4, Twp. 120, Range 25, lying east of the easterly r-o-w of MN State Hwy. 25; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid (#78888); there are no new roads involved; and the title opinion documentation was reviewed by Assistant County Attorney Tom Zins, at his request typographical errors were corrected, and Mr. Zins now finds the plat to be in order and ready for recording.

On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to appoint Sawatzke and Mattson to serve on the Canvassing Board which will meet on 9-14-00 at 10:00 A.M.

The claims listing was reviewed. Norman will meet with Gruber following the meeting to discuss line item changes which need to be corrected. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all voted to approve the claims listing as presented, subject to audit, noting that there will be line item changes.

The bid process for the sale of the Montissippi Park Land was closed at 9:30 A.M. One bid was received from Daniel Kellas, Monticello, for $3000 and an offer to exchange a parcel which is nearly as large as the one being sold. Kellas donated a larger parcel to the County in the past for the Park. The $3000 will be placed in the Parks Dedication Fund. Sawatzke moved to accept the bid from Dan Kellas with the conditions noted and with approval of the transaction by the Attorney's Office. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 4-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested approval of a 36-acre land donation from Eloraine Heagle in Rockford Township. The assessed value is $73,700. The following restrictions are included on the deed: 1) the property is to be used by Wright County for park preserve only; 2) the land is to be kept in a natural state to the greatest extent possible with improvements limited to hiking trails, a small picnic area, and such other improvements as would be consistent with a park preserve. Mattice said that the requested name by Heagle is "Heagle Roost County Park." Sawatzke moved to accept the donation, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, introduced Jeff Roos, St. Michael City Engineer. Roos gave an overview of the MFRA Feasibility Report for Sanitary Sewer Collection Improvements in the Lake Charlotte/Lake Martha Sanitary Sewer District.

The report is formatted to include pertinent information no matter what method of financing the project uses, and includes all statutory requirements for the cost analysis, scope of the work and description of the area.

The total project cost is $2.395 million and includes service to all existing homes (120 homes) in Phase I of the project, including trunk lines, local lateral system components and the individual sump/grinder pumps. Each resident would have the option of paying over time or all costs up front. Relating to the delineation of the sewer district boundaries, Roos said they tried, where possible, to use existing property lines.

In some cases, large parcels were severed. The limitations of the sanitary sewer system were used as a guide. There will be two phases to the project. Phase I was designed to serve all parcels adjacent to the lake area. In Phase II, other residents will be given the option to connect and will not be charged until hook up is completed (hook up plus cost of extending the pipe to the property). In response to a question by Jude, Roos indicated that there is not a uniform charge between residents.

The base cost per resident reflected in the draft report is $6726 but will vary dependent upon additional costs (location of house and sewer). Asleson stated that the County Board can establish a subordinate sewer district by resolution after holding a public hearing or the residents can petition for one. His suggestion was to schedule a public hearing for

10-30-00. Within 30 days of that hearing, the Board would make a decision on whether to establish the subordinate sewer district. Within 30 days after the publication of the minutes of such action, a reverse referendum can occur when 51% or more of the residents in the district petition to do so.

Sawatzke was concerned with future development and the costs associated with hooking up at a later date. He did not want a resident to have to lose their equity in property due to pending assessments. Roos responded that the annual adjustment is figured by taking the construction cost index over a three-year period and averaging it (approximately 3.0-3.5%).

Sawatzke suggested that this method be used with a not-to-exceed figure as a cap. Jude wants to see Rockford Township work with other parties to take this project over. He thought if the County established the sanitary sewer district, requests from other lakes may follow. He was not against the project but felt local units of government should work together. Russek moved to accept the feasibility report, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0. Roos anticipates an informational meeting will be held for residents on 10-3-00 (time to be determined). Roos will forward notices to residents. The Board will set the public hearing date at their next meeting.

Asleson requested a closed session at 11:30 A.M. or after today's meeting to discuss the commercial tax rate litigation.

Darrel Hicks, Buffalo Bituminous Inc., met with the Board to discuss his company's hot mix plant in Silver Creek. He read a letter he drafted relating to asphalt permits. On 4-20-00, the Planning Commission allowed permits until 9-1-00 subject to review at a later date. Upon review of the permits in August, the Silver Creek Township Board approved the permit until 12-1-00.

At the 8-17-00 Planning Commission Meeting, the permit was only extended until 10-15-00. Hicks' letter indicated there were only two complaints received by the Planning & Zoning Office which were unrelated to the operation of the asphalt plant. He did not see the basis of the Planning Commission's decision to refuse operation for the full construction season.

He introduced his Attorney, Charles Dayton. Dayton said the termination of the permit in the middle of the year creates uncertainty for a company which needs to bid jobs. He referenced the $300,000 which was invested in the bag house by Buffalo Bituminous. Dayton did not feel anyone was served by having a battle over this permit every year and encouraged changes to the ordinance which would allow for a five-year permit.

He thought residents should be informed that although a temporary permit is issued, the gravel needs to be utilized and the plant will continue to operate in the future. The suggestion was to form a committee to review the situation. This committee could have representation of the County Board, Planning Commission members, residents and Buffalo Bituminous to discuss long range solutions.

Discussion followed on the potential of obtaining a permanent permit vs. a temporary permit. The gravel could then be mined when needed. Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said that when the application for the Holthaus pit was submitted, it was for a permanent permit and was not approved.

Temporary permits have traditionally been used so pits can be moved in relation to where the work is being performed. Hicks felt with the growth of the County, the issue of permanent plants will need to be addressed. Hicks said that they are permitted by the PCA whether or not a bag house is used. The Planning Commission required one at the Holthaus location. Salkowski clarified that when the application was made for the Holthaus pit permit, the application was granted for the mining.

The application for the hot mix plant was denied with the understanding that once the level of the floor of the mining operation got further down into the pit that Buffalo Bituminous could apply for a hot mix permit. In response to a question by Mattson, Salkowski explained that the Ordinance allows a temporary mining permit to include a bituminous plant. In the past, pits were seldomly used.

Salkowski thought permanent permits may need to be addressed due to the growth, especially in the Eastern portion of the County. If permanent sites were considered, the operators would need to invest more into the site and work more with neighbors.

He questioned the likelihood of approval of a five-year permit if approval for a permit could not be obtained for an additional three months. He requested that Buffalo Bituminous name a contact person for the business to assist with the communication problems which have arisen in the past. This person could be contacted by both residents and the Planning & Zoning Office. Hicks named the plant operator, Brad, as this person.

Wayne Luetgers, who lives across from the plant, spoke of the smell and how it permeates his home. He said he would like to compromise with Buffalo Bituminous and requested that plant locations be moved around in order to provide residents a break.

He felt the May 1st to December 1st season was longer than a 6-month season. When the Planning Commission reviewed the permit in August, he said that Buffalo Bituminous did not present the amount of work they had to do at that point. The Planning Commission based their decision on the information provided and made a compromise with the residents and Buffalo Bituminous.

Del Aleckson, who lives across from the pit, said the pit did not exist when he moved there. He referenced the smell and the dust and how he was reluctant to make large home improvements due to how the pit has affected his property value. Aleckson felt the pit has dramatically affected property values and was opposed to Buffalo Bituminous obtaining a permanent permit for the site. He did not think this pit should supply all of the blacktop for Wright County and surrounding areas.

Dale Florek, who lives West of the pit, said he is a licensed real estate agent who thought the property values had definitely been affected by the pit. He also felt the existence of the pit would need to be relayed to prospective property owners due to potential health hazards.

Florek said that in May and June, he did not notice much of a problem with the odor. During the last 1.5 months, Buffalo Bituminous has been working with recycled blacktop, and he questioned whether this would have an effect on the odor because it has increased dramatically. He also questioned the maintenance of the bag house system and whether the recycled material would have an effect on it.

Hicks responded that the recycled material is taken from the highway. The complexion of the asphalt does get denser in this process but he was unsure as to whether the recycled material would produce a stronger odor. Luetgers said that when the oil is reheated on recycled material, it begins to smoke at 280 degrees. When blacktop is made from scratch, the oil is added to the material further down in the mixer and that may have an effect on the odor produced.

Mattson said he was concerned that the Silver Creek Township Board approved the permit to 12-1-00 and the Planning Commission only extended the permit until 10-15-00. Salkowski responded that residents may not have received notice that the Township was meeting on this issue. Those residents at today's meeting indicated that they were not aware of the Township meeting. Salkowski thought testimony was lacking when they made their decision.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, said that the draft certified levy must be set by 9-15-00. The budget process culminates at the end of the Truth In Local Taxation Hearings in December. From today forward, the total certified levy cannot increase but it can decrease. On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 4-0 to adopt Resolution #00-40:

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes draft 2001 budgets as follows:

GENERAL REVENUE, $25,328,491; HUMAN SERVICES, $17,793,100; ROAD & BRIDGE, $10,849,450; DEBT SERVICE $1,924,115, LAKE PULASKI L.I.D, $36,000; TOTAL BUDGET$ 55,931,156.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes a draft 2001 Certified Taxable Levy as follows:


On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Jude, all voted to approve and authorize signatures on Change Order No. 1, $8,776.00. This relates to the Wright County Annex Building/Fourth Floor remodeling project.

Jude moved to lay over until the next meeting the discussion relating to the reappointment of Judie Rose to the Safe Communities of Wright County representing local (county) government. Jude felt Eichelberg should be present for this discussion. The motion carried 4-0 on a second by Russek.

Correspondence was received from Jo Walker, Wright County Mayors Association. The letter requests that Wright County staff work with the Mayors Association to develop policies and procedures for cities to have some control on development which occurs outside their boundaries that will have a direct impact on the future growth of the cities and the orderly urbanization within Wright County.

Salkowski indicated that he plans to attend the 9-20-00 Mayor's Association meeting to explain the process and to answer their questions. Sawatzke moved to direct Norman to write a letter to Jo Walker indicating that Salkowski will attend their 9-20-00 meeting. The letter would be signed by the Board Chair and sent before the 9-20-00 meeting. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0.

Correspondence was received from the Army Corp. Of Engineers relating to meetings which will be held on the Upper Mississippi River Watershed on 9-12-00, 9-13-00 and 9-14-00. On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to authorize attendance by the County Board.

The AMC Annual Conference will be held on December 4-6, 2000 in Rochester. Russek moved to authorize attendance of the AMC delegation, seconded by Jude, carried 4-0. Reservations for the conference will be handled by the Administration Office.

On 8-15-00, Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, updated the Board on a case involving animal neglect/substandard conditions for a herd of buffalo on a farm near Delano. By statute, Wright County is responsible for costs associated with the investigation and feeding of the buffalo. These expenses are paid by the County Treasurer from the General Fund.

Today, Asleson indicated that he has been contacted by the MN Federated Humane Societies regarding the expenses thus far associated with caring for the animals. The hearing involving the owner's request to have the buffalo returned to his care is continued until 9-25-00.

In the meantime, the MN Humane Society must continue to care for the animals under court order. The bill for approximately $4,500 that the Board reviewed today will not be the extent of the charges. As part of the civil case, the County Attorney's Office is pursuing recovery of these costs from the owner of the buffalo. Other options to recover costs would be to sell the buffalo or place a lien on the property. On a motion by Russek, second by Sawatzke, all moved to lay this issue over for two weeks until after the court hearing (scheduled for 9-25-00).

On a motion by Jude, second by Sawatzke, all voted to refer to the Ways & Means Committee the sale of the railroad property adjacent to the Wright County Fairgrounds.

Gerald Kritzeck, Assessor, met with the Board to request that the date of hire for a new Property Appraiser be advanced from 7-1-01 to 1-1-01. The City of Hanover has been unsuccessful in hiring an appraiser to perform the assessment duties for the 2001 assessment. Statutes indicate that the County must perform these duties if the local jurisdiction cannot do so. Jude moved to support the request, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 4-0. The salary level for the position is $29,000 and the revenue received will be approximately $5,000.

Referred from earlier in today's meeting, discussion continued on the appointment of a replacement for the Recorder's position. The current Recorder, Marcia Lantto, will retire on 9-29-00. In checking State Statutes, Asleson said that the only requirement is a one day notice to other Board members. With distribution of the Agenda, this requirement has been met. Jude moved to appoint Barb Gabrelcik to the Recorder's position at Step 1, to fill out the remainder of the term. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-0.

Bills Approved

Adtec Detention Systems Inc 708.38

Annandale Advocate 336.50

Annandale Rock Products 437.08

Apec Corporation 1140.98

Associated Bag Company 649.15

AT & T 824.95

Steven Bakeberg 172.46

Best Inc 7226.45

Betmar Languages Inc 1581.98

Buffalo Bituminous 1,121,571.93

Buffalo Clinic 107.00

Buffalo Township 1098.80

City Buffalo 23092.94

Bureau of Criminal Apprehensn 600.00

Careertrack 572.00

Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud 538.43

Centrasota OMS PA 371.00

Chatham Township 432.20

Climate Air 2437.94

Cokato Township 499.25

Computer Training Internationl 422.50

Corinna Township 2204.15

Country Inn 116.94

CPS Technology Solutions 260.50

Delano Eagle 200.40

City Delano 574.34

Sandra Dickerman 174.90

Dictaphone 710.00

Dominos Pizza 223.15

Elmer Eichelberg 461.37

Election Systems & Software In 4329.64

Emergency Product Sales Inc 258.03

Enterprise & Dispatch 398.00

EPA Audio Visual Inc 253.72

DM Erickson Architects Inc 200.00

Enrst General Construction Inc 1574.00

Debbie Ernst 100.10

Eulls Manufacturing Co Inc 297.15

Garys Auto Service 117.15

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 460.49

Glock, Inc 112.89

Hardings Towing 213.00

Holiday 1494.70

Holiday Inn, Alexandria 218.80

Jerry's Towing & Repair 105.53

Kenneth Jude 274.63

Gerald Kritzeck 295.15

Matthew Kruse 300.00

Eric Leander 261.98

Life Resources 652.68

Loaf & Ladle 115.80

Loberg Plumbing & Heatng Co 33459.79

Lorman Education Srevices 219.00

Maple Lake Lumber Company 279.38

Maple Lake Messenger 112.94

Marco Business Products 1392.84

Masys Corporation 9275.00

Mattson Well Company 230.82

The Metro Group Inc 3424.61

Mile 225.00

Minnesota Corrections Assn 1300.00

Minnesota Supreme Court 400.00

MN Assn of Assessing Officers 235.00

Mn Counties Ins Trust 100.00

MN County Attys Association 251.39

MN State Auditor 13917.63

Dennis Moeller 243.43

Monticello Times 1092.33

Monticello Township 1007.00

City Monticello 5590.03

Motorola Inc 1638.69

Napsa 225.00

Norstan 673.63

Office Depot 2467.86

On Site Monitoring 5737.00

City Otsego 3700.20

Precision Prints of Wright Co 595.65

Anthony Rasmuson 119.00

Redstone Const. Co Inc 143620.75

Reliant Energy Minnegasco 1786.93

S & D Door Repair Ins 100.00

Shoplifters Alternatives 994.64

Simplex Time Recorder Comp 196.50

Sprint 151.61

St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 240.12

St. Cloud Times 228.32

Star Tribune 310.00

Total Printing 331.00

USPCA Region 12 100.00

Verizon Midwest 117.39

Verizon Wireless 1987.72

Voss Lighting 1160.26

Walmart Store 01-1577 201.58

Waste Management TC West 443.64

West Group Payment Center 299.26

Willow Creek Concrete Prod 6000.00

Winsted Publishing Inc 488.01

Woodland Township 1593.60

Wright County Highway Dept. 24849.60

Wright County Journal Press 427.16

63 payments less than $100 2,750.02

FINAL TOTAL $1,458,072.44

The meeting adjourned at 11:52 A.M.

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