Wright County Board Minutes

NOVEMBER 3, 1998

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

On a motion by Russek, second by Jude, all voted to approve the 10-27-98 minutes as presented.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consid. #3, "Set Budget Committee Of The Whole Meeting" (Norman); Item For Consid. #4, "Cancel County Board Meeting of 12-1-98" (Norman); Item For Consid. #5, "Closed Session" (Rose); Item For Consid. #6, "Announcement" (Jude). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: S. Leinonen, Sheriff.

2. O/T Report, Period Ending 10-16-98.

3. Approve & Authorize Signatures, Change Order #HS-5, Human Services Center, $7,490.00.

4. Approve & Authorize Signatures, Change Order #PW-3, Public Works, Credit of $3,071.51.


1. Approve Tobacco License, Cub Foods (Monticello City).

2. Claim, Reimburse Wright County Highway Dept., $4,407.00 (Pave HS Parking Lot) (Fund 34).

3. Claim, Citi-Cargo & Storage, $90.53 (Pub. Wks.) (Fund 34).

4. Claim, Buetow & Associates, Inc., $2,707.78 (Fund 34).


1. Accept 1997 Wright County Highway Department Annual Report.

2. Approve Partial Payment #4 ($331,148.54) to Buffalo Bituminous for Contract 9801.

LaVonn Nordeen, Court Administrator, introduced Jennifer Gordon who was recently hired as Records Clerk in the Court Administration Office. Gordon was welcomed.

A Deferred Compensation Committee meeting was held on 10-27-98:

Review Amendments to the Deferred Compensation Plan. Nelson referenced a letter he had received from Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel and based upon their review recommended adoption of the amendments. Nelson clarified the amendments require approval only and do not require further submittal to the IRS. He stated a request has been made to Barry Clegg at Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel to scan the document onto disk. Upon receipt of the disk, Nelson stated his office would print out a complete final copy with the amendments included as an attachment to the current plan for Groshens to provide to vendors. Rose stated the consensus of the Committee is to adopt the amendments as proposed. Groshens will submit a resolution to adopt the amendments, as provided by the County Attorney, for approval at the November 3, 1998 Board Meeting.

At today's meeting, Jude moved to approve the minutes as presented, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously. Approval of the amendments will take place at a future meeting.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 10-28-98:

Performance Appraisal, Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator. Based on the review of five appraisals submitted, the Committee recommends an overall rating of "Exceptional."

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

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 10-28-98:

Discuss Jail Medical Options. Discussion centered on the service requirements and whether the Big Lake/Monticello Hospital or Buffalo Hospital could better meet those needs. Torfin reported that historically local facilities have been used and there would be more continuity of services to continue with Buffalo. Sawatzke stated Buffalo seems to be an advantage because of location, but comparable information regarding specific services and cost is lacking. Sawatzke recommended a listing of essential service requirements, desired requirements, cost, etc. be drawn up in order to receive proposals from each hospital for comparison purposes. Rose requested Torfin prepare such a list and obtain proposals from both hospitals.

Establish Policy and Fee Schedule for Tobacco and Liquor License Applications. Sawatzke reported this issue surfaced because of two occasions in recent months where emergency sessions of the Board were called for the purpose of liquor license approval, and recommended a procedure be established to deal with applications which are not received in time to be acted upon at the regularly scheduled meetings. Asleson reviewed statute language. Discussion included whether authority for approval could be delegated to the Auditor/Treasurer, who has authority to deny, current level of fees, and staff time and effort required to call and hold emergency sessions. Hozempa stated the current process is working and recommended that in those situations where an emergency session would need to be called there be an additional flat fee of $250 regardless of type of application. There was consensus for a flat $250 fee to be assessed for an emergency session of the Board to be held, provided there would be a quorum of the Board in attendance.

At today's meeting, it was clarified that the emergency sessions will only be held for specific purposes (tobacco and liquor licenses). Norman was directed to draft a policy which will set a procedure to be followed in the case that an emergency meeting is requested. The applicant will be required to provide a $250 cashiers check and will be responsible for contacting their Commissioner to schedule the meeting. Approval of the Auditor/Treasurer will be required. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes and to request that Norman draft a policy consistent with discussion. The policy will be brought forth for Board approval at a future meeting. Motion carried 5-0 on a second by Jude.

Darla Groshens, Auditor/Treasurer, presented for approval a request from the Highway Engineer to upgrade a culvert on County Ditch 10 (SAP 86-599-19) in Victor Township. This project involves a State-funded bridge project that the Township applied to receive funding for. Mattson moved to approve the upgrade, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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

Barb Johnson, Victim/Witness Coordinator, asked that the Board authorize signatures on a Crime Victim & Witness Advisory Council Grant in the amount of $4,000. State grant funds are received and used specifically for helping victims with property crimes. Last year's grant amount was $2,350. Jude moved to adopt Resolution #98-56 authorizing signatures on the grant documents, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Marc Nevinski, Economic Development Partnership, presented two requests for approval. The first was a request to release funds ($15,000) for the second expansion of Eden Electronics in Montrose. The Partnership Board of Directors approved a loan of $25,000 in June for $15,000 at 7.5% interest over five years. To conform with the Enterprise Fund's lending limits, the CMIF's Linked Deposit Program was utilized to provide an additional $10,000 worth of collateral to the primary lender. Approval of the loan had been approved by the County Board previously and today's action would release the funds. Mattson moved to approve the release of funds for Eden Electronics second expansion, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

The second request was for the approval and release of funds ($14,000) for the Jeff-Ex Muffler and Brake expansion in Montrose. The expansion of the business has realized unforeseen cost overruns due to further engineering costs associated with making the building site suitable for development ($24,000) when it was initially believed to be acceptable for construction. Additionally, building codes changed requiring a ventilation and sprinkler system to be installed ($44,000). The business owner was able to reduce the cost of the project by eliminating amenities lowering the cost over runs. Sawatzke stated that one year ago, the criteria had been established that a livable wage was required per hour plus benefits. He questioned Nevinski on the current criteria for livable wages as several of the employees of Jeff-Ex Muffler and Brake would not be meeting this wage. Nevinski responded that the livable wage was established at $8.00 per hour plus benefits. The Partnership Board will be adopting a policy to use the MN Department Of Economic Security standard which is approximately $10.00 per hour. Sawatzke said that although the County Board should not determine what businesses pay employees, he felt that those businesses receiving loans from the government should abide by the livable wage criteria established. For that reason, he would be opposed to the request for Jeff-Ex Muffler and Brake. He noted that three of the four positions are well under the $10.00 per hour rate. Nevinski stated that the Partnership has not adopted the $10.00 per hour livable wage criteria, so the loan would be following the $8.00 per hour criteria. Mattson moved to approve and release the funds for the Jeff-Ex Muffler and Brake expansion, seconded by Jude. Russek referenced the fact that the County contributes funds toward the Partnership for loans and that the County does not receive tax dollars back until TIF Districts are completed. Motion carried 3-2 with Russek and Sawatzke casting the nay votes. Nevinski stated he would provide a set of complete standards and plans for the Partnership by the end of the year.

Tom Salkowski, Planning & Zoning Administrator, referenced the petition he received from the EQB (Environmental Quality Board) for an EAW (Environmental Assessment Worksheet) relating to the proposed gravel mining and bituminous plant operation by Duininck Brothers (French Lake Township). The Planning Commission held a hearing 10-29-98 to consider the proposed gravel mining and temporary bituminous plant. At today's meeting, Salkowski asked that representatives from the Greater Lake Sylvia Association (petitioner) and from Duininck Brothers be allowed to comment.

Tom Dunwald, Attorney representing the Greater Lake Sylvia Association, provided an overview of both an EAW and EIS (Environmental Impact Statement). He stated the EAW is a 32-question document which basically provides all parties with the same factual information. The standard under State Statute is that if the project may have the potential for significant environmental impact, an EAW should be prepared. The EAW has much lower standards compared to the EIS and they serve totally different functions. The EIS is prepared to ascertain the environmental impact standards.

The first concern Dunwald brought forth was the cumulative impact situation. As the County lies just outside the metro area, the County may see more gravel pits due to its geology and location. Although he did not feel there was a problem with more pits, he felt that it was important to have them controlled. Dunwald felt the EAW would provide information which would assist with placing conditions on use of the site. The second concern voiced was that the project may have a phased impact. The proposed mining area is between three and seven acres, but there is an option to mine a considerably larger amount of gravel. He questioned the time frame and scale of the project. He referenced environmental impacts which could result from the gravel pit. These could include fine dust particles which could affect the health of the public as well as have an effect on fish spawning. Dunwald also sighted the potential for contamination of the groundwater table which feeds the chain of lakes (including Lake Sylvia). Dunwald stated the EAW would provide more information during the conditional use permit process and asked that the Board approve the EAW.

Jason VerSteeg, Duininck Brothers, said the lease to mine is on approximately 40 acres and that gravel has been located in approximately 13 acres of this property. The project time frame would be between two and five years. He said the standards for an EAW are for sites 40 acres or greater with a mean depth of 10 feet or more and understood the main concern of the petitioner to be the effect on the groundwater. VerSteeg stated that the excavation will not be near the groundwater tables and that borings taken thus far have not reached the water table. His conclusion was that there would not be any significant effect on the groundwater. Duininck Brothers has not been required to perform EAWs on other pits opened and VerSteeg said it would be an extra expense to all involved. Duininck Brothers will put together a reclamation plan for the land once the gravel has been mined. Due to the proximity to the landfill and lakes, Jude said he was inclined to proceed with the request for an EAW. Dick Anderson, Lake Sylvia, questioned whether the roads will handle the truck traffic. Russek, who serves on the Planning Commission, stated that the project gained approval from the Township who serves as the road authority.

When questioned, Salkowski stated that he would be in favor of the process if the Planning Commission were not holding CUP hearings and that the EAW may be redundant. Staff concerns are the proximity to the landfill and the potential effect on the aquifer. The PCA reviewed the project plans and have required that they be improved, particularly relative to the run off from the proposed gravel pit and the impact on the wetland due to capping the nearby landfill. PCA is in charge of capping the landfill. Salkowski did not envision that the DNR would have much input unless the area would be a historical site. The EAW requires the company to complete the checklist and answer questions. He said the EAW process was very time consuming for staff. Mattson did not feel contractors were neighbor friendly in relation to dust. Mattson moved to approve the EAW, seconded by Jude. The motion was amended to include that the Board approved the request for an EAW because of the proximity of the mining area to area lakes and the landfill, because of the possibility of groundwater contamination, and because an environmental checklist would be completed. Motion carried 5-0.

As part of the Consent Agenda at the last meeting, the County Board approved to refer the discussion of accommodating requests for increased contract hours for the Sheriff Department to the Budget Committee. Norman requested that this issue be referred instead to the Budget Committee Of The Whole due to the implications on the 1999 budget. Mattson moved to schedule a Budget Committee Of The Whole meeting on 11-16-98 at 9:00 A.M., seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

On a motion by Jude, second by Mattson, all voted to cancel the County Board Meeting on 12-1-98 due to attendance at the AMC Conference.

Rose stated that the Board will go into a closed session immediately following today's meeting at the request of the County Attorney. The Building Committee Of The Whole will meet following the closed session.

Jude stated that the Kiwanis Clubs from Annandale, Hutchinson, Brainerd and Little Falls are canvassing Buffalo this week looking for new members. The Kiwanis Club is based upon children and the community.

Bills Approved

A & K Striping 900.00

Acme Typewriter 104.60

American Health Care Supply 268.03

Ancom Communications Inc 2468.20

Barton Sand & Gravel Co 1169.76

Buffalo Bituminous 331148.54

Central Glass 230.45

Computer System Products Inc 101.06

CPS Technology Solutions 260.50

Karen Determan 134.85

Ecolab 832.60

Facility Systems Inc 13565.51

Freestyle Sales Co., Inc. 1159.00

Gould Bros Chev-Olds 1047.91

Justice Planning & Management 150.00

Kimberly LeClaire 186.30

Minnesota Copy Systems 279.48

MN GIS-LIS Conference 650.00

Northern States Power Co 309.63

Novell 200.00

OSM & Associates 220.86

Rider Bennett Etal 572.00

F Schmidt & Sons Inc 19768.00

Sprint Local Telecommunication 148.94

Sweeney Brothers Tractor Inc 458.10

Total Printing 2006.46

United Parcel Service 237.20

University of Minnesota 12027.07

Wheels West RV 250.50

WSB & Associates Inc 606.50

Abbott Office Systems 114.90

Adtec Detention Systems Inc 331.05

American Institutional Supply 252.11

AT&T 243.63

Buetow and Associates Inc 2707.78

Cellular 2000 of St Cloud 547.57

Central Micro Systems Inc 4773.41

Contech Construction Product 6088.80

Crysteel Distributing Inc 1212.50

John Dziuk 156.60

Emergitek Inc 1035.90

First Image Management Co 447.54

Janet Gholson 400.52

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 177.48

Karels Towing 288.69

Marco Business Products 1364.07

MN Counties Computer Co-op 1407.00

Tracy Morris 160.27

Northstar Repro Products Inc 277.93

Office Depot 1804.20

Phillips Petroleum Co 210.41

Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge 874.50

Shadduck, Young & Brown 2821.50

Star Tribune 357.75

Terminal Supply Co 181.63

Twin City Labor Mngmt Council 100.00

Unitog Rental System 206.57

US West Communications 194.01

Wright County Highway Dept 4407.00

Xerox Corporation 538.89

38 payments less than $100 1,765.84

Final Total $426,912.10

The meeting adjourned at 10:12 A.M.

Judie Rose, Chairperson

ATTEST: Richard W. Norman, County Coordinator

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