Wright County Board Minutes

OCTOBER 14, 1997

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

The minutes of 10-7-97 were approved on a motion made by Russek, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #5, "Tax Forfeit Issue, City of Clearwater" (Groshens); Item For Consid. #4, "Refer Agenda Item to Transportation Committee RE: Southside Twp." (Jude); Item For Consid. #5, "Request for Rivers Of Hope Display in Lobby of Government Center" (Mattson). On a motion by Jude, second by Rose, all voted to approve the Agenda as amended.

The Consent Agenda was reviewed. Sawatzke requested that Item A4, "Approve Lake Charlotte LID Assessment Hearing Minutes of 8-18-97" be removed for discussion. On a motion by Rose, second by Russek, all voted to approve the remainder of the Consent Agenda as follows:


1. Performance Appraisals: C. Hayes, Admin.; T. McAlpine, Assessor; A. Gilbertson, Ct. Admin.

2. Refer Discussion Of Casual Dress Day To Personnel Committee.

3. O/T Report, Period Ending 10-3-97.


1. Approve Partial Payment #4 ($201, 745. 98) to Glenwood Bridge, Inc. For Contract No. 9709.


1. Acknowledge Resignation of Kris Haley, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 10-25-97 and Auth. Replacement.

2. Acknowledge Appointment, Sandra Leinonen, Lead Clerk, Eff. 10-27-97.

3. Acknowledge Resignation of Dennis Groth, Deputy Sheriff, Eff. 10-31-97 & Auth. Replacement.


1. Approve Hire of Robert Benedict, Survey Tech I, Step 3, Eff. 10-27-97. The Lake Charlotte LID Assessment Hearing Minutes of 8-18-97 were reviewed. The consensus of the Board was that changes needed to be made to the minutes. Jude moved to acknowledge receipt of the Lake Charlotte LlD Assessment Hearing Minutes of 8-18-97. The minutes are to be sent back to the LID for clarification and they will be brought back to the Board to officially adopt when they are corrected. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Russek.

Wyman Nelson, County Attorney, requested that the Agenda be amended to include Item for Consid. #6, "Refer to Ways Means Committee Discussion RE: Misdemeanor Prosecution." Jude moved to amend the regular Agenda, seconded by Rose, carried 5-0.

At 9:05 A.M., Darla Groshens, Auditor/Treasurer, referenced bids received last week for Joint Ditch 15. Russek moved to accept the low bid from Fyles Excavating at a cost of $2,768.00 per repair area. Russek will contact Kerry Saxton, SWCD, to determine correct pipe size. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.

A letter was received from SEH relating to Pilot Land Development Company's concept plan for a golf course and residential development on the majority of land west of CSAH 19 and north of CR 118 within the City of Albertville. The majority of this land drains directly to County Ditch No. 9. The concept plan has received preliminary approval from the City Council. Pilot is preparing detail plans, including a grading and drainage plan, for a PUD agreement. The developer proposes to clean out and regrade County Ditch No. 9 with costs to be paid by Pilot. The City supports the plan and agrees that cleaning the ditch is necessary to provide proper drainage for the area. With this development, the City would acquire the detention ponds for maintenance. The letter states that it would be appropriate for the City to take over maintenance of County Ditch No. 9 and requests information on the process for the County to turn back the ditch. At today's meeting, Rose indicated that Albertville has passed an ordinance that new construction can only increase water flow by half. County Ditch No. 9, in its present state, would not be able to take additional water flow. After clean out, it would become part of the storm water drainage area. Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, spoke with Mike Couri, City Attorney, in regard to the statute which would apply when a city takes over a county ditch. It is unclear what statute would apply. Rose moved to refer this to the Ditch Committee to discuss the process involved with abandoning the Ditch and to research who served on the Committee previously. Kerry Saxton, SWCD, will be contacted, and Rose and Sawatzke will serve on the Committee. The motion was seconded by Jude and amended to include assistance by the County Attorney's Office. Nelson suggested that the DNR Hydrologist be involved as well. Motion carried 5-0.

Groshens received a call from Debbie Millner, Clerk-City of Clearwater, with concern of a safety hazard on a parcel located within the City. The parcel is officially tax forfeited and has been reviewed by Groshens and Jude. lt would be scheduled for sale next spring during the tax forfeit sale, and the parcel does not hold any special assessments against it. Expense of clean up will be paid out of the General Revenue fund. Jude moved to authorize Groshens to proceed in securing the site and to allow expenditures to be placed against the parcel to be recaptured during the tax forfeit sale. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke.

Groshens distributed the September Revenue/Expenditure Guidelines for review and approval at the next County Board meeting.

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

A Building Committee meeting was held on 10-8-97:

Requested Changes, Courtroom No. 2. Judge Douglas and Nordeen explained the changes for Courtroom No. 2. They include modifying the bench and clerk desk area, adding electrical outlets, adding a storage area, recarpeting, and sound deadening panels on the back wall. Recommendation: Hayes will get quotes including alternates on carpeting a portion or all of the floor area. He will also research the ability to deaden the sound of the doors or replacement costs.

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

A Communications Committee meeting was held on 10-8-97:

Greer Avenue Addresses, Albion Township. Uhde explained that a new subdivision will extend the existing Greer Avenue to the East. After reviewing the plat, the consensus of the Committee is to change the old portion of Greer Avenue to the North to Greer Lane. Swing will be responsible to draft a letter to be sent to the seven houses affected by the change.

E911 Contract Renewal, US West. Helgeson stated that Sheriff Hozempa has expressed interest in getting a proposal from Lakedale Telephone. It was agreed that the Sheriff will present Lakedale's proposal at a future Communication Committee meeting.

Multi-Line Telephone Request, Court Services. MacMillan requests an additional multi-line phone for reception clerical staff. Currently, back up clerical staff can only take one call at a time and can't tell who is currently on the telephone. Estimated cost is $700 and would be paid out of the Court Services budget. Recommendation: Approve request.

Call Accounting System Enhancement. Swing explained that the current system is approximately seven years old, is obsolete, and in need of repair. A new cost accounting system would cost approximately $11,800 including sales tax. The cost would be spread to the various departments. Recommendation: Approve request.

At today's meeting, Jude moved to approve the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Rose, carried 5-0.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 10-8-97:

PERA Contributions, Holm & Leukuma. A research of Board Minutes and payroll data provided additional information. However, there are still several questions that need to be answered. They are as follows:

Were there notice requirements?

ls there a statute of limitations for these type of claims against the Employer?

Could PERA buyback happen even if the employer contributions ceased for a period of time?

How long was Holm eligible to serve under Title VI?

Was Leukuma hired under Title lI, PSE and if so how long was he eligible to serve?

Once these questions are answered, the Committee will meet to discuss the issue further.

Scott Sandberg's Step Placement On Salary Schedule. Nelson stated that on September 19th Sandberg moved to Step 5, Attorney lI. He is requesting that Sandberg be promoted to Attorney III, Step 3. As an Attorney Il he would move from Step 4, $45,561 to Step 5, $47,960. With the promotion he will move to $46,864, but the top of the salary range is significantly higher. Recommendation: Approve request effective 10-15-97. At today's meeting, Sawatzke moved to accept the minutes, seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

At 9:30 A.M., Wyman Nelson addressed the Board on the renewal of the Wright County Moratorium Ordinance for land uses in the agricultural zoning district. The original ordinance was put into effect on 11-5-96. In April 1997, the moratorium was amended lifting the restrictions on communications towers. Nelson said that Statute permits extension of the moratorium for one year. He made reference to discussions he has had with Rod McGillivray, Superior FCR Landfill and their Attorney, Bob Cattanach. Nelson said that although his recommendation would be to extend the moratorium for one year, he would ask the Board to express their intent to move as expeditiously as practical. Nelson's recommendation to the Board was to do this without identifying a time period. He indicated that today's discussion did not involve a public hearing and that statute did not require one for extension of the moratorium. Nelson recommended that those present be given an opportunity to briefly speak. He stated the hearing was not for an interchange of ideas, but that it was a meeting for the Board to have an opportunity to decide whether or not to extend the moratorium pursuant to statute.

Rod McGillivray, Superior FCR Landfill, felt that the extension of the moratorium would adversely affect them. He was disappointed with the lengthy process of the moratorium and felt the one year time frame should have been adequate. He met with the planner in May of 1997, who did not see why the moratorium would extend beyond the original time frame. He made reference to his attendance at public meetings and the fact that the waste industry has been remiss in informing the public of waste management practices. He said many people are unaware of the technological advances which have taken place and been installed in landfills. Since Superior purchased the landfill in 1994, McGillivray stated they have improved or reduced the threat to the environment. He said they have taken all precautions to assure they are operating in an environmentally sound fashion. He hoped that people understood that they are a business which is there to grow and to provide a return to their stockholders, and that they could not afford to take environmental risks. He was advised in a letter that once the public informational meetings were held through the County, they may be contacted to provide information to the Planner and the County. He assumed he would be contacted for input on waste planning issues. McGillivray extended the invitation to the Board to tour the landfill and to discuss any concerns they may have.

Greg Fontaine, Attorney-Dorsay & Whitney, reemphasized that Superior Landfill will work with the County to come to resolution by the end of the year. He said Superior Landfill has plans for expansion and is currently working with the PCA. They expect to have a new cell open for acceptance of waste by next summer. The moratorium will affect this, and Fontaine said the next 30 days are crucial for exchange of information to work toward resolution. Fontaine stated he had legal points to bring forth for the record. Although they are aiming at cooperation, they have questions regarding the authority to extend the moratorium as it is being recommended. They did not question whether an emergency had been established and believe planning is being done. They felt the decision was ready to be made. They thought the remaining issues were operational ones regarding what can be done under State law, and did not feel the moratorium necessarily was to address those sort of issues. Fontaine voiced concern that Superior Landfill is the only landfill in the County and is being singled out. He said he had a number of documents compiled for submission into the record (Note that these documents were not left at the meeting by Fontaine).

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, stated that the Feedlot Committee intends to meet one more time to finalize details on a proposed feedlot ordinance for Wright County. He felt that education of the ordinance was essential throughout the County. Part of the reason for the proposed extension of the moratorium is due to inadequate time to publish and hold public hearings, which are required to adopt an ordinance prior to 11-4-97.

Nelson said all of the attention has been focused on Wright County and the need for the County Board to act quickly due to some type of crisis. He referenced information provided to the Wright County Journal Press by Superior Landfill stating that approximately 237,000 tons of MSW went to the landfill during 1996. Nelson said that in 1996, the Compost Facility was also operating and took in approximately 40,000 tons of solid waste from Wright County. Of this 40,000 tons, approximately 20,000 tons remained after the rejects from the Compost Facility went to the landfill. Based on figures obtained from the State Planners and Chuck Davis, Planning & Zoning, Wright County could generate 120 tons of MSW per day (actual figures have been in the area of 100 tons per day). Nelson said under the assumption that Wright County would generate 120 tons per day, that is only 18.5% of the total (15.4% if 100 tons/day were generated). The remainder of the waste delivered to the landfill would be from other sources. Nelson said if there is an emergency, it is a business emergency. He felt that pressure should be placed on other counties as well. Notice has been received from five city councils regarding the moratorium. Although Nelson had not contacted the cities, he was wondering whether those councils had been advised by Superior that Wright County generated 15.5% to 18.5% of the solid waste in 1996.

Greg Fontaine commented that Superior FCR Landfill does not agree with the figures that Nelson presented. in response to a question by Mattson, Fontaine indicated that they will provide any information the Board requests.

Virgil Scherping said he had concern with the extension of the moratorium, but understood that the process takes time and information should be carefully reviewed. He alluded to winter approaching and the onset of the spring construction season. He said it has been demonstrated that feedlots can be run successfully in Wright County.

Margaret Millerbernd said she was in favor of the moratorium being extended to allow further study on feedlots.

On a motion by Russek, second by Rose, all voted to approve the Wright County Moratorium Ordinance Renewal, extending the moratorium for a period of one year, up until 11-4-98, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 5394.34. This interim renewed zoning ordinance, extending the existing moratorium, may be lifted on a use by use basis as studies, hearings and appropriate draft ordinances and land use controls are enacted. Nelson asked the Board for a formal expression of their intent to move expeditiously as practical, not as possible. He asked that this request be made of County Departments and staff as well. Sawatzke moved to request staff to move forward as practically as possible without harming the process, and to do it accurately and positively. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Jude. The full text of the Wright County Moratorium Ordinance reads: On this 14th day of October, 1997, at its regular weekly meeting, notice of which was published in advance, the County Board of Commissioners has concluded and decided as follows:

WHEREAS, on November 5, 1996, the Wright County Board enacted an interim ordinance establishing a moratorium pursuant to Minn. Stat. 5394.34-County Board Minutes, pages 263-264;

WHEREAS, said moratorium governs and restricts land uses in the agricultural zoning district of Wright County as specifically designated;

WHEREAS, said moratorium was enacted because of the rapidly changing character of land uses in the agricultural zoning district, due to regional growth patterns and new technologies;

WHEREAS, said moratorium was enacted to provide adequate time for Wright County to study its options, obtain public comment, explore alternative draft ordinances, pursue studies and hire planning professionals, consider alternative policy choices, study relevant technologies, and to further the best interests of the public health, safety and welfare of the community;

WHEREAS, on April 18, 1997, the aforementioned ordinance was amended, deleting paragraph 1.a. and thus lifting from its restrictions the establishment and construction of communications towers- County Board Minutes, page 356;

ALTHOUGH extensive study and progress has been made during the past eleven (11) months related to all areas covered by the Moratorium, limited additional time is necessary to complete on-going studies, hearings and draft components for an up-dated agricultural zone ordinance.


1. That the Wright County moratorium ordinance, enacted on November 5, 1996-as amended on April 8, 1997-is renewed for a period of one year, up until November 4, 1998, pursuant to Minn. Stat. 5394.34.

2. This interim renewed zoning ordinance, extending the existing moratorium, may be lifted on a use by use basis as studies, hearings and appropriate draft ordinances and land use controls are enacted.


At 10:00 A.M., the Public Hearing for the Water Management Plan was held. Bill Stephens, Asst. Env. Health Officer/Water Planner, provided a brief summary of the process involved in updating the plan. He anticipated that approval from the County Board will be sought in January 1998 after the plan has been received back from the State. The main focus of change was Part 3, Implementation, Goals and Actions. The Water Management Task Force determined which actions were relevant to Wright County and removed any areas which had been completed. Stephens said the State does supply a Natural Resources Base Grant, allocating funds to certain areas. A portion of the program funding is for feedlot management. The State may be looking at an additional component for on-site septic system funding, but it is a proposal at this time. There was no official action on the proposed Water Management Plan today. Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, said the GIS System is going to become more important as this plan is implemented. He hoped that the Board realized that assistance of the County Surveyor's Office is a major part of the GIS System. He offered words of support on behalf of the recruitment effort to for the Surveyor's Office as this will affect the future of the GIS System.

Salkowski commended Bill Stephens for his work done this past year on the Water Management Plan, as well as his efforts on the Feedlot Committee and in the Planning & Zoning Office. He said Stephens has shown a lot of initiative and has done an excellent job. Russek and Jude commended Stephens for his efforts while serving on different committees.

The Public Hearing was closed at 10:12 A.M.

On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to schedule a Building Committee Of The Whole Meeting for 10-27-97 at 10:00 A.M. for discussion of Human Services building issues.

A Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 10-3-97. The minutes were summarized at today's County Board meeting:

The intersection of CSAH 3, CSAH 31 and Co. Rd. 37 was discussed, prompted by a fatal accident that occurred on 10-2-97, which is the third accident at this intersection in the last year. Review of traffic at the intersection reflects fairly equal traffic on all legs of the intersection. The consensus was to have the Highway Engineer place a 4-way stop with temporary flagging at the CSAH 3 and 31 intersection as originally proposed for the week of 10-6-97.

Proposal from City of Cokato: The Committee meeting was called in response to a letter from Cokato Mayor Mel Swendra proposing an alternate site for the County's future highway maintenance shop on City owned property near the CSAH 4 and TH 12 intersection. At today's meeting, Rose said the site has some advantages including more acreage, good access, city utilities, and neighbors are not in close proximity. Request by the Highway Engineer is to have the County Board authorize the Highway Department to determine the value of County property in Cokato. Board members felt the appraisal should be performed by the Assessor's Office.

Status of CSAH 53: At the 5-9-97 Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting, the Committee discussed a proposal to present to the City of Cokato which would revoke the 1.30 miles of State Aid Highway No. 53 to the City over a 4-year period. This would free up state aid mileage to be used on other routes that better fit the state aid highway system in Wright County. At today's meeting, Rose said that newer City Council members had concerns but wanted to work with the County. Future discussions will be held.

Pathway Along CSAH 35: Rose attended a Buffalo City Council Meeting where discussion involved a proposed separate pathway along CSAH 35. The pathway would be constructed from the primary school to the new high school due to the number of students rollerblading along CSAH 35 and the traffic counts. The City of Buffalo proposed that the pathway be constructed along the outer edge of the County right of way as long as it does not interfere with ditch drainage. There are three major landowners as wells as a gas company that would be involved if the path is constructed outside of the right of way. The Committee felt that the concept, if feasible, was a good one in the interest of safety. Request by the Highway Engineer would be to contact the County Attorney's Office to discuss liability concerns of a pathway along CSAH 35 and to authorize the Highway Department to work with the City of Buffalo on design considerations for the proposed pathway. Rose moved to accept the minutes including the two action items, noting that the appraisal for the property located in Cokato should be performed by County staff. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Sawatzke.

Jude attended a Southside Township meeting. The Township requests to be placed on the next Transportation Committee Agenda to discuss options on 80th Street. Jude said more than two County Board members will be in attendance as he plans to attend as well. Rose moved to have this issue referred to the Transportation Committee. Jude seconded the motion, stating that meeting notices are to be sent to Otto & Associates and Southside Township. After discussion, the motion and second were amended to change the meeting to a Transportation Committee Of The Whole meeting. Motion

On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Rose, all voted to authorize Rivers of Hope to have a table display in the Lobby Area of the Government Center for the remainder of October, recognizing Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.

On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, all voted to approve the County Attorney's request to refer to the Ways & Means Committee discussions on misdemeanor prosecution.

Bills Approved

Abaci Inc 623.13

Airtouch Cellular 765.61

American Institutional Supply 793.10

Annandale Advocate 121.50

Best Disposal Services 316.02

Buff 'N' Glo Inc 211.93

City Buffalo 29019.99

Clearwater River Watershed 444.95

Computer Parts & Services Inc 5414.93

Emergitek Corporation 286.24

Functional Industries 969.15

Gateway 2000 1852.00

Glenwood Bridge Inc 201745.98

Gregorys Foods Inc 110.79

Harkers 276.21

Heart of the Lakes Pumping 540.00

IBM Corporation 334.42

Lakedale Telephone Company 292.51

Larsons Ace Hardware 175.00

Mattson Well Drilling 1778.00

Minnegasco 1244.76

Monticello Times 184.00

Office Depot 485.38

Quinlan Publishing Co 134.95

Thomas Salkowski 261.43

Sharp Electronics 491.69

Simplex Time Recorder Co. 135.50

Dorothy Stuhr 133.52

Sysco Food Services of MN 1738.26

Winsted Publishing Inc 458.34

Wright County Journal Press 131.84

Robert Zrust 1186.43

Robert Adams 515.15

Aladdin Synergetecs 402.53

Ameridata Service 581.76

appert Foods 2150.31

Bryan Rock Products 469.58

Buffalo Clinic 611.00

CE & D 138.00

Collins Communications 4159.69

Computer Systems Products 5766.98

Food Services of America 1263.17

G & K Services 1313.88

Geotronics of North America 223.98

Greenview Inc 8862.20

Douglas Gruber 304.43

Mark Hayes 1200.00

Holiday 1275.16

Warren Krause 446.42

Larson Publications Inc 118.20

Maple Lake Lumber Co 1733.41

Midland Corporate Benefits Srv 315.25

MN Sheriffs Association 250.00

Margaret Munson 208.94

Paging Network of MN Inc 363.65

Bruce Raisanen 250.00

Scharber & Sons Inc 1306.00

Sign City 452.63

Southern Minn. Construction 1575.00

Sunrise Specialty Contracting 1672.00

White Glove Auto Detailing 134.90

Wright County Human Services 739.73

Wright Lumber & Millwork Inc 102.06

3Com Corporation 780.00

49 payments less than $100 2,264.43

Final Total $294,608.00

The Board meeting adjourned at 10:45 A.M.

Dick Mattson, Chairperson


Richard W. Norman

County Coordinator

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