Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 5, 1999

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 9-28-99 as presented, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve the Agenda as presented.

Jude requested that Item A2, "Claim, Briggs & Morgan, $13,958.57" be removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion. On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda:


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Hohl, L. Winterhalter, Atty.; A. Duerr, G. Gooler, Aud./Treas.; Janet Klein, Ct. Svcs.; Jennifer Klein, P&Z.

3. Claim, Frank Madden & Assoc., $1,093.04.

4. Approve Charitable Gambling Application, Church of St. Luke (Clearwater Township) and Waive 30-Day Review Period.


1. Refer "Copier Fees To Public" To Ways & Means Committee.


1. Approve Tobacco Licenses: "Casey's General Store" (Rockford City) and "The Monte Club" (Monticello Twp.).


1. Approval Of Highway ROW Appraisal Rates For CSAH 14 Bridge Replacement Project On Crow River; Authorization To Convey Offers To Landowners.


1. Parks Commission September Meeting Minutes & Parks Dept. Monthly Activity Report.


1. Accept Resignation, Sheila Dehne, Part-Time Juvenile Holdover Attendant, Eff. 10-12-99 & Authorize Replacement.

Consent Agenda Item A2, "Claim, Briggs & Morgan, $13,958.57" was discussed. Jude voiced opposition to having the claim placed on the Consent Agenda and felt it should be listed under the Auditor/Treasurer. He also protested the cost, which included services rendered through June. He said the County has lost twice in court and that additional dollars should not be expended with only a 5% chance that the case will be heard in Supreme Court. Russek serves on the Planning Commission and stated that the County should seek to uphold the ordinances which are created, whether the case is won or lost. Otherwise, the ordinances are created only for the poor. Jude pointed out that Briggs & Morgan was hired for the property line dispute for the Board of Adjustment and that the County is represented in other matters by MCIT. The vote to proceed with presenting the case to the Supreme Court was held in a closed session, but Jude thought this should have been acted upon at a regular County Board meeting. Sawatzke said that closed sessions are held to address issues such as lawsuits. The opponent would not be speaking in a public setting on their strategies and neither should the County. Sawatzke agreed on the issue of upholding the ordinances for the integrity of all County residents. In response to Jude's statement that there is only a 5% chance the County's case will be heard by the Supreme Court, Sawatzke said he understood that 5% of the cases receive a hearing which suggests that the good requests receive a hearing. He pointed out that the cost of composing a five-page document is minimal. Russek moved to approve the claim to Briggs & Morgan, $13,958.57, seconded by Mattson, carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote.

Bob Hiivala, Chief Deputy Auditor/Treasurer, presented the August Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for approval. Mattson moved to acknowledge receipt, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.

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

Dennis Moeller, University of MN Extension Service, provided an update on 4-H events. There were 100 State Fair participants, 25 participants at the State Wildlife and Shooting Sports Contest, and 20 participants at the State Horse Show. There were 369 members exhibiting at the County Fair, which is 70% of 4-H enrollment (394 in 1998). The number of exhibits increased to 1,984 (1,901 in 1999). Attendance figures were 43,585 (59,267 in 1998). Moeller attributed the decrease partially to the hot and stormy weather which occurred during the County Fair. Revenue was $76,645 ($90,228 in 1998). Moeller extended thanks to the Board for their support of the Fair Board, the Fair and the 4-H Program. Russek said the strength of the 4-H Program is reflective of the Extension staff and the great volunteers in Wright County.

As requested by the Labor/Management Committee, Russek asked that the Board revisit the Wright County Foot Protection Policy for the Highway Department. The Policy currently states that employees are reimbursed up to $80 per pair of boots per year if needed. Employees have found that safety boots may need to be replaced before the 12-month period has expired. Russek moved to have the County Coordinator amend the policy to state that replacement will be at the discretion of the supervisor. This language will replace that which calls for a 12-month replacement period. The amended policy should be presented to the Board for approval. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Jude.

The Board reviewed a draft Vehicle Lease Agreement between Wright County and Wright County Human Services for the purchase of a Wellness On Wheels Vehicle with the cost of the vehicle not to exceed $120,000. The Agreement calls for Human Services to reimburse Wright County over a four-year period. The Auditor/Treasurer's Office will coordinate payment. Jude moved to authorize signatures on the Agreement with funding from the County Capital Improvement Fund. Payment and reimbursement will be completed according to the Agreement. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Eichelberg.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, reviewed plans for the reorganization of solid waste and water management activities. Prior discussion in this regard has taken place during the budget process, SWTF meetings and County Board meetings. Salkowski wanted confirmation from the Board in proceeding with the changes outlined, which included: 1) Develop and enter into an agreement with the Wright SWCD (Soil & Water Conservation District) regarding Water Management Planning and implementation; 2) Amending the feedlot ordinance to extend final implementation to July 1, 2000 and extend registration accordingly; 3) Finalizing the annual Natural Resources Block Grant (includes water management, wetland, shoreland management and feedlot grants) to reflect Year 2000 expectations; 4) Reassigning the duties of Environmental Health Officer Bill Stephens to emphasize solid waste activities; and 5) Approving the continued use of the Compost Facility for household problem material drop off.

Salkowski said several things will be affected as a result of the reorganization. Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, has investigated the movement of water management planning to the SWCD Office and will need to draft an agreement between the County Board and the SWCD Board. Russek serves as liaison on the SWCD Board and said they approved of the concept but want to review a copy before finalized. The MPCA has indicated that the County may be entitled to a grant for the entire year, as opposed to the half-year anticipated, once an inventory has been completed.

Jude serves on the Negotiations Committee and had concern with the reassignment of Stephen's duties prior to a job evaluation being completed by Hay Management. He noted that the previous Facility Manager's wages were lower than Stephens' wages and thought the description was being tailored to the individual. He felt that in fairness to all employees, the reevaluation should be completed. Salkowski stated that the County Coordinator did review his recommendation. Sawatzke requested that Salkowski communicate with the County Coordinator to determine whether the position needs reevaluation. Salkowski added that the whole solid waste industry is in a state of flux and that the job requirements may change. As things change, he felt a job reevaluation may be in order.

Asleson questioned the intent of the Board on the agreement with the SWCD Board relating to water management activities. Sawatzke responded that the Plan calls for the County to retain ownership of the plan so it can be amended or changed. The County Board would be asking the SWCD Board to carry out implementation of the plan created. Discussion followed on the future of the WMTF (Water Management Task Force). Asleson did not feel Statutes required the appointment of a WMTF and said the Board should address this before he proceeded with drafting the Agreement. Kerry Saxton suggested that the WMTF meet to discuss their future. The SWCD Board could review their thoughts and present a recommendation to the County Board. Saxton said the SWCD Board is looking to revitalize the WMTF, as there have been difficulties with reaching a quorum at some of the meetings. Russek moved to approve the plans for reorganization of solid waste and water management planning as outlined by Salkowski, seconded by Mattson, carried unanimously.

William Johnson, Appert Foods-St. Cloud, said the company is based in Central Minnesota and currently is a food vendor for the Jail. He said it is a family owned business which supports other locally owned businesses. He asked the Board to reconsider their decision to contract with Best, Inc. for food service in the Jail. Johnson said many people are employed with companies that provide services which support the Jail. He thought that taxpayer dollars should be recirculated within the County instead of paying an outside source. He did not feel the County would realize a savings and that Best, Inc. would experience problems with the labor market just as the County did. Russek responded that staff made the recommendation to contract with Best, Inc. and that the Board needs to follow their recommendation. Sawatzke said the County was unable to contract for food service locally. Best, Inc. was able to provide references which supported that their business could provide this service. Mattson referenced the problems associated with the past Jail Medical Contract with PCMT. He felt the County should proceed with a six-month trial period with Best, Inc. The Board suggested that Johnson possibly contact Best, Inc. to serve as a supplier to them or to consider offering the same type of service as Best, Inc. Johnson requested that the Board reevaluate the situation at a future date and Appert Foods be reconsidered as a food vendor. Sawatzke said the decision to change to Best, Inc. was solely due to the inability to obtain and maintain the workforce.

Gene Branstrom, E.M. Branstrom Associate Architects, Inc., presented a recommendation to proceed with the low bid from Spectra Building Group (Monticello) at a new low bid price of $150,320. Since the bid opening last week, Spectra was able to reduce their bid by $3,720 due to a change in the location of the sprinkler, sprinkler line and gas line. The original bid was for $154,040. Branstrom indicated that Base Bid 1 and Base Bid 2 must both be completed and by the same contractor. There were no other items which could be removed from the project. Construction would take place yet this year. When questioned why the Architects Estimate ($110,000) was low in comparison to the bids, Branstrom said the preliminary cost projection done in May included three items. As the entire project was not selected, the unit costs were higher and increased construction costs have been realized. Betty Dircks, Historical Society, confirmed the Historical Society had raised between $37,000-$38,000 for the project. At the 6-22-99 meeting, the County Board voted to earmark $30,000 of Historical Society funds and up to $80,000 of County funds toward the project.

Jude did not feel the request should have been presented prior to the budget process. He was not against the project, but rather felt that all requests for funding should have been addressed and prioritized. Reference was made to funding requests which may come from the Fair Board and Parks Department. Jude said the requests for funding for this project continue to increase and wondered where funding for any overruns would come from. Branstrom did not foresee any cost overruns. Sawatzke said that he was prioritizing this project to the top of the list due to the space limitations at the Historical Society. He felt the only office with comparable space needs was Civil Defense. Russek said that some of the Historical Society's space is taken up for storage of records for offices of the Government Center. Jude confirmed with Betty Dircks that it is not mandated for the Historical Society to keep these records.

Ruben Bonk, Historical Society, said the space being added is for staff to perform office work and also for expansion of the library. He referenced the many hours expended by volunteers. Basil Schillewaert, Historical Society, said this is the first time the Historical Society has asked for money. He said it is very hard to fund a project of this size through fundraising dollars. It was pointed out that the last addition was funded by money raised by the Historical Society.

Eichelberg questioned whether there would be additional funding required, either for overruns or for furnishing the building. Dircks responded that at this point, they only need space. Current office furniture would be moved into the new office area. Mattson moved to proceed with the project. Funding from the County will be $113,000 and the Historical Society is to fund the difference. The motion was seconded by Russek. Jude stated he was not against the Historical Society but against the process in which this happened. Motion carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote. Mattson moved to accept the low bid from Spectra Building Group ($150,320.00) and authorized proceeding with the contract, seconded by Russek. Motion carried 4-1 with Jude casting the nay vote.

Mattson was congratulated on being named to the MN Bowlers Hall of Fame. Mattson is the second person from Wright County to be in the Hall of Fame. The other is Al Joyner of Monticello.

The consensus of the Board was to refer to the next meeting Item For Consideration #3, "Schedule Meeting With Legislative Delegation To Discuss Issues Such As Gravel Tax, Out-O-Home Placements, etc.", so that recommended dates can be brought in by the County Coordinator.

On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to schedule a Ways & Means Committee Meeting on 10-12-99 at 10:30 A.M. to discuss the contract with representatives from Best, Inc.

The County Board will meet in Closed Session on 10-8-99 at 10:30 A.M. regarding Randy's Sanitation vs. Wright County.

Bills Approved

ACS Gov't Information Srvcs 189.60

American Business Forms 286.84

AMI Imaging Systems Inc. 4041.35

Earl F. Andersen Inc., 956.00

Andy's Auto Service 159.75

Assn. of Minnesota 275.00

AT&T 1015.77

AT&T Wireless Services 305.62

Lawrence R. Bauman 756.25

City of Buffalo 18387.00

Buildings Consulting Group Inc 2976.43

Cintas-428 202.22

Computer Training Intern'l Inc 1088.10

Crow River Tools` 137.59

Elk River Concrete Products 165.95

EPA Audio Visual Inc 361.71

Facility Systems Inc. 367.00

Gateway Companies Inc 3645.51

Gateway Companies Inc 1713.59

GE Capital Info Tech Solutions 1308.35

W W Grainger, Inc. 171.66

Douglas M Gruber 201.25

GTE Midwest 122.17

Robert Hiivala 216.73

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 1829.42

Intoximeters Inc. 6283.50

Jerry's Towing & Repair 111.82

JLM Telecommunications 268.45

Keepers Inc. 106.45

Bernard Kirscht 419.52

Klatt True Value Electric 189.43

Kimberly LeClaire 191.70

Loberg Plumbing & Heating Co 3971.64

M-R Sign Company Inc. 542.06

The Metro Group Inc. 3273.38

Mile 225.00

Minnesota CLE 150.00

Minnesota Corrections Assn 115.00

Minnesota Elevator Inc. 9904.80

MN Counties Computer Co-op 2843.85

MN GIS-LIS Conference 240.00

MN Sheriff's Association 223.23

MN State Auditor 15383.75

Nova Care 276.00

Office Depot 2921.51

Omann Brothers Inc. 147.07

Phillips Petroleum Co 409.74

Power-Phone Inc 169.00

Pro Kare Landscaping 1025.00

Rhodes Lock & Glass 104.17

Robert D. Schermann 515.31

Donald M. Schmidt 389.14

Snap-on-Tools 159.75

St. Cloud Stamp & Sign 354.75

Star Tribune 644.50

State of MN INtertech Group 484.45

Stationers Inc 286.16

Sunsource Technology Services 133.33

Total Printing 340.80

Uniforms Unlimited 796.90

University of Minnesota 600.00

Voss Lighting 253.43

Westside Equipment 948.46

Wright County Highway Dept 2020.71

Keith Wurm Construction 1542.00

David Zylstra 443.70

37 payments less that $100 $1,712.35

Total $102,234.09

The meeting adjourned at 10:39 A.M.

Patrick Sawatzke, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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