Wright County Board Minutes

SEPTEMBER 22, 1998

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

The minutes of 9-15-98 were corrected as follows: Page 2, 4th paragraph, 4th to last sentence should read, "Jude moved to authorize Groshens to proceed with setting a date for the sale of the property with the conditions that the starting bid be a minimum of $1.00, that the buyer assume all responsibilities, and that the building must be removed within 90 days of the date of purchase or they must negotiate a separate date with the County Board." (Jude); Page 3, 3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence, replace the word "insulating" with "installation" (Russek); Page 5, 2nd paragraph, 1st line, replace "$2.000" with "$2.00" (Russek); page 7, last paragraph, 2nd sentence, replace the word "towers" with "antennas" (Russek); 7th page, last paragraph, 2nd to last sentence should read, "Sawatzke moved to appoint Mattson and Russek to continue meeting with Howard Lake and to direct Norman to work on a meeting date if the soil borings reflect that the soil is favorable." (Russek). Motion to approve the minutes as corrected was made by Russek, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

Heavy Truck Wheel Balancing Capabilities now in Cologne, MN
Mid-County Auto, Truck and Tire Center has new Hunter® equipment for balancing wheels of all sizes.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #4, "Set Communications Committee Meeting" (Groshens); Item For Consid. #4, "Letters From AMC" (Rose); Item For Consid. #5, "Request From LaVonn Nordeen To Refer To The Building Committee The Proposal For Modification Of Courtroom #3 & #4 Sound System" (Norman). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0. Mattson requested that Item For Consid. #6 be added, "District 3 Transportation Meeting, St. Cloud, October 6, 11:30-2:00 P.M." Jude moved to amend the Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Jude requested that Item A3, "Claim, Briggs & Morgan, $355.54" be removed for discussion. Sawatzke removed for discussion Item A4, "Accept Low Quote For Snow Plowing, H.S. Center Parking Lot." Jude moved to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously:


1. Performance Appraisals: J. Knowles, Ct. Admin.; P. Mackie, S. Poirier, Sheriff.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 9-4-98.

5. Authorize AMC Delegation Attendance At Policy Committee Meetings, Sept. 24 & 25, 1998.

6. Law Enforcement Contract between Wright County and the City of Delano.

7. Police Contract Increase-1999.


1. Approve Partial Payment #1 ($603,991.54) To Buffalo Bituminous, Inc. For Contract 9806 (CSAH 19).


1. Approve Legal Action Against Robert Benson (French Lake) and Brad Karja (Maple Lake).


1. Approve Attendance, Joint States/Utility Workshop, Oct. 15 & 16, 1998, Eau Claire, WI. Item A3, "Claim, Briggs & Morgan, $355.54" was discussed. Jude distributed an analysis of the vendor payments to Briggs & Morgan. He presented this subsequent to discussion at the last County Board Meeting where he stated that a running total for claims should be brought forth. The total amount paid to date is $71,448.11. Of this amount, $50,936.41 is from the Professional Services Line Item, General Fund; $15,040.99 is from the $2.00 Surcharge Fund; and $5,470.71 is from the SCORE Fund. Sawatzke moved to approve payment of the claim to Briggs & Morgan, $355.54, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.

Item A4, "Accept Low Quote For Snow Plowing, H.S. Center Parking Lot" was discussed. Quotes were received for plowing and snow removal at the Human Services Center. Recommendation was to accept the low quote of C&G Trucking for rates as follows: Hourly Rate $36.00; Loader Rate $45.00; Dump Rate $45.00. Sawatzke questioned why these services would not be provided by Wright County employees. Response was that Highway staff would perform snow removal on CSAH routes first, and the Parks Department clears the Government Center lots. It would be advantageous to remove snow from the H.S. Center lot prior to the arrival of employees. The Highway Department staff would haul snow out as needed unless there was a major snow storm, and then the contractor would be hired to perform these services. Sawatzke moved to accept the bid from C&G Trucking, noting that the Highway Department would be expected to load and remove snow except in extreme cases. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Jude.

Darla Groshens, Auditor/Treasurer, distributed the August Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for review and approval at the next meeting.

On a motion by Russek, seconded by Mattson, all voted to approve a plat, "Maria Country Estates," as submitted by Investors Together, Inc., a Minnesota Corporation, and fee owner of the property described in part as: That part of the S-1/2 of the SW1/4 of Section 35, Township 122, Range 26, commencing at the SW corner of said S-1/2 of the SW1/4; and also part of the N-1/2 of the NW1/4 of Section 2, Township 121, Range 26; with all outstanding taxes, including green acre liability, if any, having been paid; the park dedication fee has been paid; a performance bond has been filed with the County Auditor-Treasurer for completion of street work in the amount of $88,800; a Title Commitment in favor of Wright County from Preferred Title, Inc. and a mortgagees consent to plat from Preferred Bank have been reviewed by Thomas C. Zins, Assistant Wright County Attorney, who finds the plat to be ready for recording.

At the request of Groshens, Mattson moved to schedule a Communications Committee Meeting on 9-29-98 at 1:30 p.m. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Jude. The meeting will be held to discuss street signing issues with Gopher Sign Company.

On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.

Dennis Beise and George Mead, representing the Wright County Fair Board, stated that expenses incurred while making upgrades to the Fairgrounds parking lot and lighting were higher than projected. Specifically, costs from the electrical contractor are approximately $10,000 higher than anticipated. They requested that the Board approve use of $10,000 in funds appropriated to the Fair Board in 1999. The expenditures for other projects in 1999 would then be decreased by $10,000. Rose reminded the Board that they had instructed the Fair Board to borrow funds from the County instead of from another institution. After discussion, Sawatzke moved to provide a $10,000 advance to the Fair Board budgeted through Budget 820, Fair Board line item this year and reduce the allocation amount by $10,000 next year. Motion seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0.

Bill Swing, MIS Director, requested Board authorization to issue a letter of intent to Stratus, Inc. for an upgrade to the Stratus Computer, as reflected in the 1999 budget ($31,000). The upgrade will be used to address network stability and response issues, to satisfy the Sheriff's request to hold 30 days of MDT records, and to accommodate the new State-funded fingerprint printer being installed in Booking. Swing said the actual purchase will be made in January, but there is a lengthy lead time for the upgrade to be installed and operative. Stratus, Inc. is providing a discount of $11,000 if the letter of intent is submitted before October 1st. Mattson moved to approve the request, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, reviewed the September 15th Parks Commission Meeting Minutes and Parks Board recommendations.

Clearwater Lake Public Access: The Parks Commission recommendation is to draft a letter of support to the MN Department of Natural Resources for an access. Mattice stated that this effort would pose no financial consideration to the County. Mattice will draft the letter. Russek moved to send the letter of support signed by both the Parks Commission and the Board of Commissioners, seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

Schroeder Park Parking Issues: Mattice explained there may be the potential of purchasing property next to Schroeder Park which would alleviate parking problems. There is approximately $39,000 remaining in the Park Dedication Fund. Mattice requested authorization to continue negotiating with the landowner. Russek reminded the Board that Schroeder Park generates income of $12,000-$15,000 per year and that some expense may have to be incurred to upgrade the Park. Jude moved to authorize the Parks Department to proceed with negotiations, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Fall Field Day: This event will be held on September 22, 23 & 24 at Ney Park in cooperation with the SWCD. All Wright County 5th grade students will attend.

Ney Park Trail: Mattice requested approval for a trail improvement project at Ney Park and water permit application needed to complete the project. The project would consist of constructing a culvert within a stream bed, to allow for completion of a loop trail and accommodate maintenance efforts. Jude said Mattice would need to work with the DNR and SWCD due to Ditch 20 being involved. Russek moved to authorize Mattice to continue pursuing the trail improvement, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

ADA Improvement Project at Collinwood Park: The project would consist of creating one ADA acceptable camping site and other components that would meet ADA standards. There are funds available in the Site Improvement Line Item. Sawatzke stated that Mattice can proceed with this without Board approval as there are funds available in the line item.

Five Year Plan: Preliminary work has begun on the Plan for the Wright County Parks Department.

Stanley Eddy Horse Trails: This issue will be discussed at a future meeting.

At today's meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, stated that the bids opened at the last County Board Meeting for the CSAH 35 & CR 134 Signal Project were reviewed. The Engineer's estimate of the project was $320,000.00. A tabulation of the bids was presented: Buffalo Bituminous, $436,683.75 and Hardrives, Inc., $448,806.60. Fingalson's recommendation was to reject the bids received and possibly rebid the project with a larger project next year. In reference to the traffic signal component of the bid, Fingalson felt that $15,000 could be saved by letting the project next year due to timing of the project. He felt the bituminous costs were higher due to the small quantity involved. Grading costs are affected by the limited days remaining to work this fall. Fingalson said this project was first estimated at less than $200,000 but has increased in cost due to items such as turn lanes required, etc. Jude stated the importance of having a bidders conference next year. Fingalson responded that this will be their goal. Mattson questioned whether the funding provided by the School District and City of Buffalo on this project will also increase due to the increased costs realized. Rose said she has informed them of the bids received and that the project would probably be rejected this fall.

Darrell Hicks, Buffalo Bituminous, stated he wanted to speak as the low bidder of the project. Their estimate of costs for the project at this time of year were $403,000 with a variance of 2%-3%. He said costs were higher due to small quantities required for the project. Hicks felt that the bid submitted was legitimate. He referenced the $400,000 Buffalo Bituminous saved the County in the Spring on the County Overlay Program. In response to a question by Russek, Hicks indicated that lower project costs could be realized if the work were combined with a larger project. Russek stated that although the Board does not like to reject bids, there are only so many funds available. Jude added that without competitive bidding, there would be no savings to the taxpayers and that the County appreciates all bids received. Russek moved to accept the recommendation to reject all bids and to do a complete analysis before going out for bids in the Spring. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Mattson. Discussion followed on overlay bid penalties to contractors.

Fingalson requested approval of a resolution regarding the advance encumbrance of municipal construction funds from State Aid, in accordance with the approved five year construction program to be used on the Hanover portion of the CSAH 19 Project (SP 86-619-19). Fingalson stated this is a vehicle to best use funds available to complete projects over a five-year period. The advance encumbrance does not place restrictions on projects (i.e., they do not have to be completed within one calendar year). There is a two-year maximum on advancing funds. Jude said he felt uncomfortable using the funds in the scenario that they then would not be available in the future if a project came up in his district. He felt that most funds are used for the eastern portion of the County. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #98-53, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote. Sawatzke directed a comment to Jude that when the five-year plan was voted on, the plan was approved and that Jude was in support of the project. Jude responded that he wanted it to be recognized that the western portion of the County needs funding also for road projects.

The Board then addressed the request to confirm the promotion of Rebecca Linder from Records Clerk to Case Intake Deputy (Court Administration) at Step 2, effective 9-23-98. Norman said he placed this under Items For Consideration for discussion. Although he is fully in support of the promotion, he was not in support of the starting pay at Step 2 as it is against County Policy. Linder is currently on the 4th Step, Class A of the Salary Schedule and is projected to move to Class E (4 class promotion). Linder currently is paid $8.49/hour. Step 1 of Class E is $9.00/hour where Step 2 is $9.38/hour. In addition to the request being against County Policy, there is also a signed Memorandum with the Teamsters Union which outlines step movement.

LaVonn Nordeen responded that unless the interpretation has changed, another employee in her department was promoted in 1995 from Class B to Class F (4 steps) and was allowed to move to Step 2. She referenced that new employees are occasionally given consideration for past experience and allowed to start at a higher step. This position was posted as an internal promotion and was not advertised in the local newspapers. Norman was questioned on his recommendation for the request if the position had been advertised. Norman stated he would still be opposed due to the signed agreement with the Teamsters Union. Sawatzke commented that this type of request can sometimes be justified when an employee has experience in the same position at another County. This is sometimes seen in the Human Services Department where the position falls in the same class as defined through the Merit System. He felt this request differed in that the person was being promoted four levels to a different position and felt Norman's recommendation should be followed. In response to a question on training requirements, Nordeen stated that Linder will require some additional training. She will be building upon skills obtained as a Records Clerk and when she temporarily worked in her new position (although not deputized). Nordeen felt that having her move into this position would be preferred over hiring a new person without experience. She did not feel it was appropriate to start Linder at Step 1. Jude said although he agreed with Sawatzke regarding setting a precedence, he felt that Linder's work as a temporary should have some merit. Sawatzke moved to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Director and to remain consistent with County Policy and the Memorandum with the Union, confirmed the promotion of Rebecca Linder from Records Clerk to Case Intake Deputy, Step 1, effective 9-23-98. Motion carried 5-0.

Rose referenced her participation in the Safe Communities of Wright County and stated she has recently been selected as Co-Chair. The Safe Communities project is a three-year federally funded initiative organized to involve the citizenry of eastern Wright County in an effort to reduce the number and impact of traffic crashes in communities. Funding has been received through a collaborative grant of the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Association of Health Plans. Local support has also been received through the Allina Health System. This pilot project is one of three nationally testing the ability of a community collaboration of health care, public and private organizations to work together to address this important public safety issue. The group is looking for an endorsement letter stating that the Board agrees with what Safe Communities is doing and the time Rose is donating. The letter would not be an endorsement of funds. She anticipated that Public Health and the Sheriff would also provide an endorsement letter. The current funding runs through 2000. When questioned about future funding, Rose explained that funding would be from the health care industry and not government. Grants would be used to pay salaries. There will also be specific projects which organizations will want to participate in. She did refer to items which have been purchased by the group which have benefited the County, including a software package to analyze crashes which will be used by the Highway Department, a traffic counter for the Sheriff and Highway Department, and a laser gun for speed checks. Funding is also being used to pay overtime for Sheriff Department personnel. Rose will research how the Sheriff's Department is being reimbursed for this expenditure. Mattson moved to support the endorsement letter noting that no future expenditures are to be asked for from the County Board. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

A Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 9-15-98. A summary of the minutes follows.

Project Update: The consensus of the Committee was to obtain a cost figure on an additional water location in the break room (Public Works). Consensus was to retain the existing well at Public Works and for Fingalson to complete this. Consensus was to proceed with an exhaust system in the Parks Department as this is a necessary expenditure for health and safety reasons as well as for the Parks Department to maintain their vehicles. Estimated cost is $3,000-$4,000. Consensus was to purchase new doors for the Human Services Center (front entrance), including hardware, for $6,200 using the existing door frames. The Committee consensus was to install a new sink at the HS Center, to remove the old sink, and cap the existing pipes to avoid future water problems. Block options for Public Works were reviewed. The consensus was to go with the two-block strip and for Engel to obtain a price for colored letters that would match the red on the building. A meeting had been held between the Architect, the Parks Department and the Shop Superintendent regarding the doors separating Parks from the unairconditioned portion. Although the original drawing calls for one door, the Architect suggests two doors of the type used in grocery stores. Discussion also included the visibility of the lettering for the outside of the HS Center building. Rose stated the Architect should proceed with the double swinging doors and that no change is approved for the HS Center lettering. In reference to the wooden ceiling at Public Works, the Architect stated the Mechanical Contractor should be contacting him directly with concerns. Likewise at the HS Center, the balancer should be doing the same. Scott felt he needed to rely on the expertise of the person doing the balancing and stressed the need for on-site meetings to resolve problems.

Schedule Update: The November 12th completion date has been changed to December 4th.

Parking Plan, HS Center: Committee consensus was to proceed with Plan A providing for 188 parking stalls.

Insurance Loss Prevention Report: The report recommended that the sprinkler heads in the Jail be replaced, a sprinkler be added to the generator room, and there should be an infra-red scan to indicate circuit overload. According to the firm that installed the sprinkler heads, low pressure was a factor in situations where the heads failed and replacement would be very expensive. Meadowbrook Insurance has requested a written response to the report. Rose requested a response be prepared to Meadowbrook documenting that sprinkler head failure was under low pressure conditions and the Jail has high pressure, for safety reasons a sprinkler is not being installed in the generator room, and the infra-red scan will be done.

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

Rose received correspondence from AMC which related to a Collar Counties Meeting which will be held September 24 & 25. A copy was sent to Salkowski. Another letter was received from AMC and the MN Sheriff Association. They are completing an in-depth survey on Jail beds and how counties can most effectively use them. Norman stated that copy of the survey has been forwarded to the Sheriff.

Jude moved to refer the request from LaVonn Nordeen regarding a proposal for modification to the Courtroom #3 & #4 Sound System to the Building Committee Of The Whole. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke.

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Russek, all voted to authorize attendance of interested Board members at the District 3 Transportation Meeting being held in St. Cloud on 10-6-98 from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Bills Approved

Adtec Detention Systems Inc 191.24

Brent Anderson 200.00

AT&T 5200.29

Buffalo Bituminous 603991.54

City Buffalo 30130.19

Computer Training International 650.00

E-Z Flush 156.98

Edens Group 120.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1526.85

Kindal Buick-Pontiac-GMC Truck 319.00

Loffler Business Systems Inc 239.30

Masys Corporation 2698.48

Midwest Contracting 21930.34

Mpls Medical Research Foundtn 525.00

Office Depot 1226.31

Precision Prints of Wright Co 192.02

Rons Ice 291.58

Sherwin-Williams 252.73

Superior Service - Central MN 853.81

US West Communications 6977.45

Wright County Highway Dept. 339.44

American Business Forms 226.38

Anoka County Juvenile Center 1304.66

Buff 'n' Glo Inc 302.53

Buffalo Glass & Lock 113.86

Computer System Products Inc 588.70

CPS Technology Solutions 410.90

East Central Regnl Juvenile 17759.00

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 14149.46

Chris Jahnke 218.66

Kimberly LeClaire 110.70

Marco Business Products 528.77

The Metro Group Inc 4907.09

MN Sex Crimes Investigtrs Assn 120.00

Northstar Repro Products Inc 211.05

Olympic Oil Company 104.59

John Reid and Associates 770.00

Sharp Electronics 306.97

Spectra Precision Surveying 117.90

Toms Superette 132.06

Voss Lighting 194.26

Wright Hennepin Electric 961.00

33 payments less than $100 1,561.52

Final Total $723,112.61

The meeting adjourned at 10:27 a.m.

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