Wright County Board Minutes

OCT. 3, 2000

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

Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes of 9-26-00 as presented, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #6, "Department Of Commerce Energy Meeting" (Sawatzke). Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, requested a Closed Session at 1:30 P.M. today with John Baker relating to the Superior Litigation. Asleson requested that Item For Consid. #2, "MN Federated Humane Societies Bill RE: Feeding of Buffalo" be laid over for one week. Eichelberg moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: B. Holmquist, Hwy.; J. Ahlm, M. Miller, Sheriff.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 9-15-00.

3. Claim, MFRA, $442.60, Lake Martha/Lake Charlotte Sewer Project.


1. Advance the date for new Property Appraiser from 1-1-01 to as soon as possible.

2. Approve Abatement, PIN #110-038-004010, Jon Lambrecht (Maple Lake).


1. Approve New Tobacco License, Monticello Tobacco (Monticello City).


1. Award Contract No. 0009, CSAH 30 Culvert Project (SAP 86-630-18, Bridge No. 86J08) to Landwehr Construction of St. Cloud, $48,970.00.


1. Refer "Application Specialist Position" To Personnel Committee.


1. Approve Hire, Todd Troskey, Assistant Planner, Eff. 10-16-00 (Step 3).

At 9:05 A.M., Mattson opened the Public Hearing on the adoption of a resolution to increase the property tax rate. Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, referenced a draft resolution distributed at the last meeting and stated the resolution must be adopted if the property tax rate (excluding debt service) is increased compared to the previous year. Russek moved to close the Public Hearing at 9:06 A.M., seconded by Jude, carried 5-0. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #00-44 as presented.

By Statute, the County must schedule the Truth In Local Taxation Hearing on the first Thursday in December. At the request of Gruber, Sawatzke moved to schedule the Truth In Local Taxation Hearing for 12-7-00 at 7:00 P.M., seconded by Russek. Gruber requested the Board also establish a second hearing date in case it is needed. The motion and second were amended to include scheduling a second Truth In Local Taxation Hearing for 12-14-00 at 7:00 P.M. The motion carried 5-0.

Gruber requested the Board set a Joint County Ditch #15 meeting relating to special assessments for 2001. Preliminary figures estimate the work at $44,000. Mattson, Jude and Russek will attend the meeting. The consensus of the Board was to have Gruber contact the other counties involved and bring back suggested meeting dates.

Gruber said the Auditor/Treasurer, Assessor and two Commissioners serve on a Committee to determine the minimum value of tax forfeit parcels which will be sold by auction. Gruber contacted Kerry Saxton, SWCD, who would be willing to complete the well certificates on fifteen tax forfeit parcels in the Spring at $50/parcel. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Sawatzke, all voted to have Jude and Mattson continue to serve on this Committee.

The claims listing was reviewed. Mattson questioned the purchase of ten computers for the County Attorney's Office from Gateway Companies Inc. ($16,470.24). Asleson thought this cost may be related to the move to an Internet based legal research system. Jude moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.

A Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 9-26-00. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

State Audit Exit Conference, 1999 Audit. Pietrick stated that once again we will have an unqualified audit. He reviewed the draft audit and made the following comments:

FS-9. The County has changed the dollar threshold for recognizing a fixed asset. The County recognizes per parcel charges for the compost facility, not special assessments.

FS-46. At the recommendation of Norman the second paragraph was revised to read: "The County pays unused accumulated vacation to all employees and vested sick leave to some employees upon termination."

FS-71. The increase in cash and undesignated fund balances are well within the acceptable range of one-half of property tax revenue and one-half of total expenditures.

FS-72. The decrease in investment income is the result of recording investments at market value. Also, the Great River Regional Library budget is now included in the general Fund.

He then reviewed the Management and Compliance Section summarizing the findings as follows:

Reportable conditions in internal control were found not to be material weaknesses.

No instances of noncompliance material to the financial statements were disclosed during the audit.

No matters involving internal control over compliance relating to the audit of the major federal programs were reported

Wright County was determined to be a low-risk auditee.

A Building Committee meeting was held on 9-27-00. At today's County Board meeting, Eichelberg moved to approve the minutes with funding for the Courtroom repairs to be from Site Improvements. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 5-0. The Building Committee minutes follow:

Renovations of Fairground Bleachers. In order to comply with State Building Code, renovations must be made to the Wright County Fairground bleachers by January 1 of 2001. The Committee reviewed the Revised Report of Recommendations for the Renovation of the Wright County Fairground Bleachers as prepared by Buildings Consulting Group, Inc. The cost for these renovations which would bring the Fairground bleachers up to code, is $30,000 to $40,000 as outlined in the following report.

Recommendation: Dennis Beise will further review the above mentioned report. Courtroom No. 1 Repairs. Quotes were provided for renovation of the sound systems in Courtroom 1, 2 and 5. These Courtrooms, in order to accommodate a microphone at the front of the bench, have required splitting the microphone with the witness stand and compromising the sound quality from both. These sound system renovations would provide extra microphones to improve sound quality and include renovation to improve the hearing impaired sound systems.

Cost estimates from EPA Audio Visual, Inc. for renovation are $13,205. Also discussed was the deteriorating condition of Courtroom 1. The cost to repair the oak plywood, sound board and sheetrock in Courtroom 1 was estimated by Ernst Construction to cost $14,500. Recommendation: Proceed with renovations to the sound systems in Courtroom 1, 2 and 5 and have Ernst construction repair Courtroom 1.

A Communications Committee meeting was held on 9-27-00. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the minutes and recommendations. It was clarified that the E911 requests will come from E911 funding and the Auditor/Treasurer budget will fund the purchase of the License Bureau fax machine. The Communications Minutes follow:

911 Agreement, West Hennepin Link. This agreement documents West Hennepin Link's commitment to fulfill the provisions set forth in the 911 Emergency Telephone System Agreement as entered into with proposed Wright County and the State of Minnesota. Recommendation: Approve request.

911 Agreement, Qwest. After having reviewed the 911 agreements, it is suggested that Qwest, formerly U S WEST, should be awarded the five year contract for 911 services for Wright County. This decision is based on the significant enhancements which Qwest has to offer over competing vendors. This agreement would be for a five year term. Recommendation: Approve request.

Direct Inward Dial Line, Human Services Training Room. Wright County currently contracts with an outside vendor to provide computer training to County employees in this Training Room. The availability of an outside line in the Human Services Training Room would benefit the instructor in being able to consult with other individuals in cases of trouble shooting or with other problems that may arise during a training session.

Recommendation: Approve installation of direct inward dial line in the Human Services Training Room.

Phone Line For License Bureau Fax Machine. Doug Gruber informed the Committee that starting in November individuals will be able to go to any County License Bureau and obtain a copy of various personal documents, such as birth certificates. This is in contrast with past practice whereby an individual had to go to their County of origin to receive a copy of these personal documents.

This is done by individuals completing a Tangible Interest Form which will be faxed between Counties. The License Bureau currently does not have a fax machine and retrieves its faxes from the Auditor/Treasurer's Department. Purchasing a fax machine for the License Bureau would provide more efficient and effective communication with other Counties and the State Department of Health. Recommendation: To approve the installation of a phone line for the License Bureau fax machine.

Address Changes, Otsego. It was determined that address changes for owner Linda J. Vasseur and Gary E. Anderson was informative only and did not require any Committee action other than to recognize that the address changes would have to be input into the County's address system.

Letter RE: Verizon Wireless Notice, 9-13-00. Verizon Wireless notified some Wright County employees that their personal cellular service would no longer be available and that individuals, if they wish to retain cellular service, would have to purchase another Verizon Wireless calling plan. This cellular service was initially purchased through Verizon Wireless and defined as a government employee benefit.

There appears to be confusion with some employees who believe Wright County is responsible for revoking or at least causing their cellular service to be canceled. The above referenced letter will be brought to the attention of Verizon and a request will be made to Verizon to clarify that the County is in no manner involved with this recent Verizon decision or the personal cellular calling plans that these individuals have held.

Cellular Phones, Request for Proposals. Currently four vendors provide communication services to Wright County and it is thought that a cost savings will be realized by having one vendor provide this service to all departments within the County. Each of the seven proposals submitted were evaluated based on low cost, coverage area and the level of service.

Based on this evaluation, Nextel was identified as the first choice vendor. The difficulty with having one vendor for the entire County was cited in the example of the Sheriff's Department Investigators that travel and need nation-wide coverage, whereas the Deputies need only County wide coverage. Nextel will allow the County to have a 60 day trial period during which time the County could determine if Nextel's service meets the County's communication needs. Recommendation: Continue to discuss the options with Nextel and proceed with the 60 day trial.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 9-27-00. Sawatzke moved to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Reappointment, Gerry Kritzeck, Assessor. Based on review of four performance appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional" and approval of a four-year term commencing January 1, 2001.

Uniform Shirts For Custodians. Norman stated that he wants to discuss the possibility of the County providing uniform shirts for Custodians. It would make them more visible and identifiable, both for employees and the public. Sawatzke suggested that this item be laid over to see what the badges made by the new machine in Veterans Services/Civil Defense could do to help identify employees. The Committee agreed to lay this item over.

At 9:30 A.M., Mattson closed the bidding process for the Collinwood Park Comfort Station. Gene Branstrom, E.M. Branstrom Associates Architects, opened and read the bids submitted. The Alternate is for a metal roof system. The Architect's preliminary estimate was $157,000 but did not include demolition. Jude moved to table this issue until the return of a recommendation later in today's meeting, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0:

Company, Spectra Building Group; Base Bid, $192,298.00; Alternate Bid, $13,000.00; Bond, Yes.

Company, R.A. Associates; Base Bid, $249,000.00; Alternate Bid, $18,000.00; Bond, Yes.

Company, Scott Builders; Base Bid, $178,404.00; Alternate Bid, $3,676.00; Bond, Yes.

Dennis Moeller, Extension Service, provided a summary of the 4-H Exhibits at the 2000 Wright County Fair. There were 385 members exhibiting which is 69% of 4-H enrollment. The number of exhibits increased from 1,983 in 1999 to 2,057 in 2000. The number of exhibits in the 4-H building increased by 74 exhibits.

Moeller felt the increased number of dairy participants was due to volunteer assistance and the new arena. Moeller commented on the condition of the sheep barn which may need to be remodeled. Jude concurred, noting that this is one of the things which the Fair Board will be addressing. Moeller was thanked for his effort with the 4-H Program. This was provided as an informational item.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 9-27-00. Russek moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0:

Sale of Railroad Property Near Fairgrounds. Concern was expressed over the purchase of a parcel of land, previously Railroad property, located near the Wright County Fairgrounds. This land served, in the past, as a roadway providing access to the horse barn at the Wright County Fairgrounds. Dennis Beise and Brian Asleson will be meeting with the new property owner in October to learn more about the intent of the owner in purchasing this property. Recommendation: Continue researching this item.

Correspondence was received from Independent School District 728 in Elk River relating to a joint meeting the School Board has scheduled with all city administrators, city councils, mayors, township supervisors, township boards and county commissioners. The meeting is scheduled for 11-16-00 at 7:00 p.m. in Elk River.

The purpose of the meeting is to have city officials discuss their comprehensive planning processes, residential and commercial development plans and plans for utilities. Sawatzke noted that the County does not have influence over the growth issues in this area, as development issues are handled by the Cities of Dayton and Otsego for that portion that lies within Wright County. Eichelberg moved to authorize attendance of Sawatzke at the meeting, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

Correspondence was received from Orpha Illstrup requesting use of the Community Room on 11-16-00 from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. for an American Red Cross Blood Drive. Russek moved to approve use of the room if it is completely vacated by 7:00 P.M. due to the Planning Commission meeting that evening. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 5-0. The Administration Office will contact Illstrup as to whether the Blood Drive is for employees or the general public. The Board had concern with opening it to the general public due to parking issues.

On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to authorize attendance at the AMC District V Meeting in Princeton on 10-16-00.

Sawatzke said there will be a Department Of Commerce Energy Meeting at the Buffalo Public Library on 10-26-00 at 7:00 P.M. regarding the energy policy for the State of Minnesota. Sawatzke moved to authorize attendance noting that there may be more than two Commissioners in attendance. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.

Gene Branstrom, E.M. Branstrom Associates Architects, brought back discussion from earlier in today's meeting relating to the bids submitted for the Collinwood Park Comfort Station. At Branstrom's recommendation, Eichelberg moved to accept the low bid from Scott Builders including the alternate. The motion was seconded by Jude. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, stated that the bids did not include a new water softener and water heater, which will be funded from the Parks Department budget. The Parks Department purchases these items so identical models can be purchased for all Park facilities. The motion carried 5-0.

At 10:52 A.M., the Board recessed until 1:30 P.M. for a closed session to discuss the Superior Landfill litigation.

Bills Approved

Albertville Body Shop Inc 2506.17

Ancom Communications Inc 308.53

AT & T 676.69

AT & T Wireless Services 139.34

Beckius Truck Repair Inc 1072.83

Betmar Languages Inc 722.23

Ralph Borrell 867.95

Buffalo Communications Inc 140.00

Buffalo Drug 564.32

Careertrack 390.00

Case Credit 501.35

Celular 2000 of St. Cloud 487.24

Central Glass 220.51

Chamberlain Oil Co 1544.46

Comfort Suites 413.64

Computer Training Internationl 422.50

Corinna Township 288.00

Cummins North Central Inc 3325.09

Design Electric Inc 1545.43

Diamond Mowers Inc 374.67

Dale Engel 156.00

Gateway Companies Inc 20663.15

Grafix Shoppe 747.40

Hampton Inn 155.96

Healthcomp Evaluation Services 111.00

Heart of the Lakes Pumping 479.75

Robert Hiivala 271.51

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 722.67

KNR Communications Services 218.28

Law Enforcement Solutions Inc 149.00

Lorman Education Services 219.00

M-R Sign Cimpany Inc 128.85

Marco Business Products 1253.07

Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc 2761.72

MN Gis-Lis Conference 835.00

Mobil Oil Coporation 366.56

National Bushing & Parts 139.52

Neldon Inc 900.00

Office Depot 1039.38

Kevin Olson 300.00

On Site Monitoring 4969.00

Park Inn & Suites 219.00

Anne Parker 196.95

Pats 66 224.00

Phillips Petroleum Company 795.16

Phoenix Process Consultants 7200.00

Preicision Prints of Wright Co 249.21

Radisson ­ Duluth 110.74

Royal Tire ­ St. Cloud 6435.43

Ryan Motors Inc 206.56

SEH 436.91

Star Tribune 338.00

State of MN-General Fund 200.98

Stationers Inc 305.97

Teply Equipment Inc 2680.00

Lori Thingvold 153.73

Tires Plus 129.57

United States Plastics Corp 723.48

Matthew Walker 178.56

Wheeler Lumber Operations 326.43

Wright County Auditor-Treas. 204.00

Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc 958.49

38 payments less than $100 2,027.85

FINAL TOTAL $77,398.79

The Board meeting adjourned at 3:25 P.M.

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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