Wright County Board Minutes

DEC. 19, 2000

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

The following correction was made to the minutes of 12-12-00: Page 2, 2nd paragraph, 1st sentence should read, "Sawatzke moved to accept bids for the Official County Newspaper until 9:00 A.M. on 12-26-00 at which time they will be presented to the County Board" (Gruber). Russek moved to approve the minutes as corrected, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously.

Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Consent Agenda Item A1 was amended to add the following performance appraisals: "B. Asleson, Attorney and J. O'Dowd, Sheriff" (Norman). Jude moved to approve the Agenda as amended, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

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


1. Performance Appraisals: K. Horsch, M. Ruzicka, Aud./Treas.; S. Stemm, Ct. Svcs.; M. Peterson, Extension; B. Jans, R. Marquette, C. Otterness, Highway; R. Bastien, M. Froslie, A. Habisch, G. Holm, M. Walker, Sheriff; D. Evjen, J. Hendricks, Surveyor; B. Asleson, Attorney; J. O'Dowd, Sheriff.

2. Claim, MCIT, $3,106 (Bldg. Appraisal Adjustment).


1. Claim, Scott Builders Inc. (Fund 34-Collinwood) $18,195.00.

2. Claim, Scott Builders Inc. (Fund 34-Consulting) $1,425.00.


1. Approve Hire, Jim Nelson, Highway Maintenance Person, Eff. 12-13-00 (Step 1).

Don Mleziva, Human Services Director, announced the receipt of two awards received by Public Health, one from the Governor's Office and one from AMC. In 1995, the Human Services Board teamed with the Allina Foundation and Buffalo Hospital to secure funding for a Wellness On Wheels Program (WOW), which is a mobile medical clinic providing health services to the public. The Program started with a remodeled ambulance and was replaced in 1998 with a 35' vehicle. Some of the services include immunizations, health screenings for diabetes, blood pressure checks, medical management for seniors, and referrals when preliminary diagnosis indicates follow-up is required. Mleziva said this has been a unique and tremendous opportunity to work with practitioners who support the program. The Oddessy Certificate Of Commendation received from the Governor's Office in September 2000, was presented for the value of the WOW Van for seniors in the community. AMC presented an Outstanding Achievement Award in December 2000, for service that was unique and outstanding. In preparing the award nominations, it was found that there is not another comparable program such as this in the state and that there is only one other program close to this nationally. A nomination is being submitted to NACO for a possible national award. Mleziva recognized and commended staff for their efforts with the program: Carol Schefers (Public Health Director), Nadine Myers (Public Health Nurse) and Jan Bjore (Public Health Nurse).

Doug Gruber, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the November Revenue/ Expenditure Guidelines for approval. A journal entry will be made to correct a payment incorrectly coded to the GRRL budget. Russek moved to approve the expenditures, seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

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

Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said OSHA regulations require employees to wear cut-resistant boots while operating a chainsaw. Parks Department employees attend chain saw training annually. This year, employees borrowed cut-resistant boots which were required as part of training. Mattice said that boots would be carried in Parks vehicles and would be worn only when using a chain saw. The cost is $245/pair. Jude moved to authorize the Parks Department to purchase five pairs of protective boots out of Budget 820, Safety line item, 2001 budget. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

A Parks Commission meeting was held on 11-21-00. Today, Mattice reviewed the recommendations from that meeting.

Set Ways & Means Committee RE: Beebe Lake Park, Lease/Purchase: Currently, Beebe Lake Park is leased from Hennepin County. Hennepin Park District has indicated that they are interested in selling the property to Wright County Parks. The lease expires in two years, but Wright County must provide their intent to Hennepin County one year prior to expiration of the lease. The Parks Commission recommended that the issue proceed to the Ways & Means Committee for approval and discussion on possible purchase.

At today's meeting, Eichelberg moved to refer this issue to the Ways & Means Committee for discussion, seconded by Sawatzke, carried 5-0.

Collinwood Park Comfort Station Update: The tentative deadline for completion is 1-16-01. Due to weather conditions, that date may be extended. Mattice is pleased with the work completed thus far and the rapport with the contractors.

Stanley Eddy Horse Trails: The Parks Commission would like to proceed with a comprehensive plan for the Park that would identify natural and cultural resources, management issues and uses of the Park. The Parks Commission recommended (vote of 5-1) that maintenance and data collection be done on both the North and South Unit trails, while keeping the North Unit closed to horse riding for a period of two years, and continue to allow the South Unit to be open to horse riding for a period of two years, unless the Parks Department feels the impacts are great, maintenance is not occurring/working and a plan is being developed. After two years, the Parks Commission will look at rotating the trails to the North Unit, keeping them in the South, or possibly closing trails to horse traffic if data shows a negative impact.

Today, Eichelberg stated that the cost for the study is estimated at $15,000-$20,000. Eichelberg moved to approve the 11-21-00 Parks Commission Minutes and recommendations, seconded by Sawatzke. Helen Myllykangas, who resides in South Haven (Meeker County), indicated one of the reasons she purchased her property was due to its proximity to the Northern Unit of the Park. Myllykangas has attended every meeting of the Parks Commission since the decision by Mattice to allow horses in the Park was overturned. She referenced correspondence from Hannah Dunevitz, DNR, and Mark McNamara, Resource Conservationist-SWCD, indicating that horse riding in the Park has had minimal effects on erosion. McNamara's recommendation was that the number of riders could be monitored and if erosion problems increase, then measures could be taken to restrict the number of riders allowed on the trail system. Myllykangas made three points. The first was she felt the information from the experts in this field had been ignored. The second was that Mattice had not applied for grants for maintenance of trails. The third point was that there was no monitoring of trail usage in place. She requested that the decision be placed on hold until monitoring had been documented. She was also concerned with safety issues related to narrow shoulders on County roads. The motion carried 4-1 with Russek casting the nay vote. Russek felt that people should be able to ride in the Park. In response to a question by Sawatzke, Eichelberg indicated that the same information had been presented to the Parks Commission, as well as additional documentation with the opposite opinion. He said strong arguments had been made for both sides. With a study, the soil type and use could be determined. He felt allowing horse riding in the South Unit was a compromise.

Richard Norman, County Coordinator, stated that a continuation of the 12-7-00 Truth In Local Taxation Hearing was not required. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #00-57 setting the final certified levy and final budget, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2001 Certified Taxable Levy as follows:


General Revenue $14,397,533

Road and Bridge $2,428,874

Human Services $5,304,700

Debt Service $1,924,115

Lake Pulaski LID $36,000

TOTAL $24,091,222

Less: HACA $ 2,564,764

NET TAXABLE LEVY $21,526,458

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2001 Budgets as follows:


General Revenue $25,328,491

Road and Bridge $10,849,450

Human Services $17,793,100

Debt Service $1,924,115

Lake Pulaski LID $36,000

TOTAL BUDGET $55,931,156

A Budget Committee meeting was held on 12-13-00. Russek moved to accept the minutes and recommendations, seconded by Jude, carried unanimously.

Fee For Issuance Of Permit To Carry A Handgun. State Statute allows a fee of up to $10 per year for a permit to carry a handgun. Miller projects at $10 we would collect approximately $11,000 to $12,000 a year in revenue.

A Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 12-12-00. A summary of the minutes follows. The purpose of the meeting was to meet with the Legislative Delegation prior to the upcoming Legislative Session. Issues discussed were Gravel Tax, Out-Of-Home placement, MFIP-Child Care Allocation, Social Services Information System, State Public Health Categorical Grants, Long-Term Transportation Planning/ Funding, State Takeover-10th Judicial District, Deputy Registrar Fees, Deregulation-Electric Utility Industry, PERA Pension Plan, $2 Million Grant-Compost Facility, and the Repeal of the Local Option Sales Tax. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0.

A Labor/Mgmt. Health Insurance Committee meeting was held on 12-11-00. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Russek, carried 5-0:

Meadowbrook Insurance Group's Benefits Analyst, Joan Grotjahn, presented her analysis from the health insurance proposals and bids received from Medica, Health Partners, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, PEIP (Public Employees Insurance Plan), and the MCIT (Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust). The Committee members unanimously agreed that Medica provided the most appealing plan offerings. There is an 8% increase in the premium costs of all three health plans offered from last year's contract. A recommendation will be made to the County Board on December 19th to continue with Medica as the County's health care provider. It was decided to poll the union and non-union groups to determine if the MCS 2 Plan should be replaced by the MCS 7 Plan as the County's basic plan. The Personnel Department will distribute an informational memo and voting ballets to the union and non-union representatives, who will then distribute to the appropriate employees. The voting deadline date is January 15, 2001. The only benefit difference in these two plans is MCS 2 has a $10 co-pay and the MSC 7 Plan has a $15.00 co-pay. The monthly premium savings are $12.73 for family coverage and $6.10 for single coverage.

A Personnel Committee meeting was held on 12-13-00. At today's meeting, it was noted that Lantto did not receive a copy of the meeting notice and therefore was unaware of the meeting. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to accept the minutes as presented:

Law Enforcement Contracts. Albertville, Monticello and Otsego are adding a total of 5,840 hours of service in 2001. Miller stated that the additional contract hours require implementation of two additional shifts; one in Albertville and one in Otsego. He is requesting three additional deputies in 2001 and authorization to purchase two additional squad cars. Recommendation: Approve request.

Blood Borne Pathogen Incident Testing. Miller stated that, currently, an employee who may have been exposed to blood borne pathogens or infectious diseases goes to their physician. There is no continuity in the criteria used to determine what action needs to be taken or what information is provided to the employee. Allina's facilities in Buffalo could provide us a centralized location to send employees. The Committee feels that having a central location is advantageous to the employer and employee. Miller will have further discussions with Allina staff regarding a contract and what process/procedures will be implemented.

Lantto's Request For Severance Pay. The Committee briefly discussed Lantto's request and decided, because of the threat of litigation, to close the meeting. The recommended action is to have legal counsel send her a letter regarding her request.

A Personnel Committee Of The Whole meeting was held on 12-12-00. The reclassifications under Item II, Comparable Worth Plan, will be effective 12-29-00. The salaries for the elected department heads will be set during adoption of a resolution being presented later in today's meeting. Jude moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Eichelberg, carried unanimously:

Reclassification, Senior Engineering Technician - Traffic. Fingalson presented a letter requesting that the position be further reclassified from "G" to "F" (Letter attached). After lengthy discussion it was the consensus of the Committee to keep the position in Class "G." Due to extenuating circumstances, it was the consensus of the Committee to make the reclassification to Class "G" retroactive to January 1, 2000.

Comparable Worth Plan. The County has to submit the Plan to the State in January. The data submitted is as of December 31, 2000. The following non-union reclassifications are recommended because they fall below the predicted pay line:

Position ­ Dept. ­ Reclassification

Adm. Asst.­ Planing/Zoning ­ I to H

Adm./Confid. Sec ­ Aud./Treas ­J to I

Adm./Confid. Sec. ­ Hwy.­ J to I

Adm. Clerk ­ Admin. ­ K to J

Cook Supervisor ­ Sheriff ­ J to I

Lead Clerk Sup. ­ Sheriff­ I to H

Lic. Bureau Sup. ­ Aud./Treas.­ I to H

Dir. Pub. Health­Human Serv­C to B

Soc. Serv. Sup.­Human Serv.­C to B

Elected Department Head Compensation. The consensus of the Committee is to set the annual salary for elected department heads as follows:

Attorney $89,722

Sheriff $84,776

Auditor/Treasurer $84,776

Norman will prepare a resolution for County Board approval.

A Ways & Means Committee meeting was held on 12-13-00:

Contract With Humane Society. The County currently supports the Humane Society by levying $6,000 per year. This allocation is intended to help them rent space in Delano. In addition, they are billing the Sheriff Department a "Service Rate" of $30 plus boarding fees for animals that come to them from incidences occurring in the County. They are asking that the Sheriff sign a contract under these same conditions. Sheriff Miller questions why he needs a contract. After discussion, it was agreed that Asleson will research statutes to determine what obligations the County has toward supporting the Humane Society. The Sheriff will write them a letter regarding their request for a contract.

Property Adjoining Fairgrounds. Asleson stated that he talked to Peter Fisher yesterday. He is willing to sign an agreement but only for 2001. He is seeking to have the property rezoned for development. Recommendation: Approve the Memorandum Of Understanding for 2001. Authorize signatures upon receipt of a signed Memorandum from Fisher.

At today's meeting, discussion involved the property which adjoins the Fairgrounds recently purchased by Peter Fisher from the railroad. Mattson indicated that the Surveyor had left a message regarding complications of a survey which could close off the West entry to the Fairgrounds. Mattson instructed the Surveyor to consult with the County Attorney's Office and that action would not be taken today on that item. Sawatzke moved to approve the minutes, not to include the recommendation of Item 2, Property Adjoining Fairgrounds, which will be laid over. The motion was seconded by Jude and carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 12-7-00 Truth In Local Taxation Public Hearing Minutes.

Norman presented a draft resolution to set the salaries for the Elected Department Heads and Court Administrator for 2001. Although the Recorder is an elected Department Head, Norman explained that the County Board will utilize the 2001 Salary Schedule when interviewing candidates and negotiating to fill the position. A resolution setting the Recorder's salary will be presented upon hire of a new Recorder. Jude moved to adopt Resolution #00-58, seconded by Eichelberg, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:

BE IT RESOLVED that the 2001 salaries for elected department heads and the Court Administrator shall be as follows:

County Attorney $89,722

Sheriff $84,776

Auditor/Treasurer $84,776

Court Administrator $70,260

On a motion by Jude, second by Russek, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #00-59 setting the County Commissioners Salary for 2001:

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statutes, Section 375.055, provides the procedures for fixing the County Board compensation for the next year;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that as of January 1, 2001, members of the Wright County Board of Commissioners shall have an annual salary, exclusive of per diem payments, of $28,826. Said salary shall continue in effect until such time as this resolution is amended or otherwise modified.

Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #00-60 setting the County Commissioners Per Diems at $40 for 2001. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.

Referred from the last meeting, Norman brought forth discussion of the 2001 Mileage Reimbursement Rate. The IRS has increased the 2001 deduction for business travel to $.345/mile effective 1-1-01. Currently, County employees are reimbursed $.325/mile for business related travel expenses. Norman said the increase would have an $8,300 impact on the Human Services budget, but the Human Services Director felt comfortable that he had sufficient funds to cover the increase. Sawatzke responded that one month ago, the Human Services budget was within $5000-$6000 of being balanced. When he asked the Director whether the levy could be reduced, it was indicated that this was not possible. Jude stated that some employees are required to use their vehicles for business. With a draft budget of $55 million, Jude felt the $8000 was insignificant. Jude moved to set the 2001 Mileage Reimbursement Rate at $.34/mile due to the excessive cost of gasoline, vehicle costs and the fact that the Board can always lower the rate. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.

At the 11-28-00 County Board meeting, the Board voted to hire Technical Solutions to work on the Jail intercom system at a cost of $6,075 pending review of references/credentials. At today's meeting, the Board reviewed the references provided. Eichelberg moved to approve the recommendation to proceed with Technical Solutions, seconded by Jude, carried 5-0.

On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, roll call vote carried 5-0 to adopt Resolution #00-61, approving a Charitable Gambling Application for Fraternal Order Of Police Lodge #3 (Chatham Twp.).

Brian Asleson, Assistant County Attorney, reviewed a draft Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Howard Lake relating to the water tower which was constructed on the northeast corner of the Wright County Fairgrounds. In 1998, Mattson and Russek met and negotiated with representatives from the City of Howard Lake on this issue. In June 1999, the County Board approved of the Memorandum of Understanding granting an easement to the City for such purposes. Asleson received back the Memorandum in November 2000. Upon review, it was found that changes had been made to the document. At today's meeting, Eichelberg moved to refer this issue to the Ways & Means Committee. Representatives from the City will be invited to attend the meeting to discuss this issue. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0. The meeting will be held on 1-10-01.

Norman indicated that the Personnel Committee Of The Whole meeting scheduled for 10:30 A.M. today will be canceled as the issue had been resolved at the last Committee meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 10:15 A.M.

Bills Approved

Advantage Water Conditioning 289.36

C. Alexander Systems, Inc. 475.07

Allina Medical 266.00

ANCOM Technical Center 1,715.74

Anoka Co. Court Administrat 264.00

Anoka Co. Juvenile Center `533.20

AT&T 4,213.11

Automatic Garage Door Co. 199.00

AVVR Inc. 100.00

Bob Barker Co. 577.95

Bauerly Bro. Companies 46,312.50

Lawrence Bauman 344.00

Benton Co. Treasurer 6,850.00

Best, Inc. 3,700.18

Betmar Languages, Inc. 2,304.45

Ralph Borrell 574.94

Buffalo Bituminous 712.50

Buffalo Drug 649.79

Buffalo Hospital 6,582.54

City Buffalo 835.00

Tim Cameron 125.00

CDW Government Inc. 627.14

Cintas Corp. No. 748 158.76

Climate Air 1,570.83

Comm. of Transportation 1,206.14

Dales Auto Service, Inc. 209.37

Terry Dehmer 102.70

Doc's Tv & Appliance 559.13

E. Central Regional Juvenile 19,249.00

ECM Publishers,Inc. 264.00

Election Sys. & Software Inc. 25,599.81

Nila Ellis 150.08

EPA Audio Visual, Inc. 708.66

Facility Sys., Inc. 202.50

Federated Propane 603.38

G & K Services 1,078.28

Gateway Companies, Inc. 8,503.00

Grafix Shoppe 198.67

Greenview, Inc. 978.00

Hancock Concrete Prod. Co. 550.00

Hillyard Floor Care Supply 3,157.43

IMC Salt, Inc. 19,336.70

Jerry's Sport Center, Inc. 435.66

Kenneth Jude 176.80

Bernard Kirscht 341.60

LaPlant Demo, Inc. 789.00

Loaf & Ladle 180.28

Loberg Electric 2,721.30

Marco Bus. Products 10,172.06

MHSC-Adv. Driving Facility 784.00

Minncomm Paging 300.40

MN Assn. of Cty. Prob. Officers 975.00

MN Co. Auditors Assn. 150.00

MN. Dept. of Corrections 14,687.50

Monticello Times 105.00

National Bus. Sys., Inc. 3,190.82

Richard Norman 356.37

Office Depot 2,126.89

Olsen Chain & Cable Co., Inc. 116.62

On Site Monitoring 6,223.00

Oryan's Conoco 115.00

Performance Office Papers 703.26

Photo I 560.34

Pro Kare Landscaping 3,923.50

QWest 8,139.83

Rockford Township 1,531.06

RS Eden 848.40

Sherry Schliesing 435.58

Donald Schmidt 323.40

Scott Builders, Inc. 19,620.00

Sheriff's Youth Prog. of MN 23,441.27

Southfork Rec. Parts 3,128.44

State of Minnesota ITD 184.90

Streichers 219.90

Target 188.47

Time Maintenance 192.42

Total Printing 3,581.06

Twin City Concrete Prod. Co. 502.14

United Rentals 300.00

Univ. of Minnesota 270.00

Verizon Wireless 1,258.67

West Publishing Co. 448.68

West Suburban Ind. Suppl. 338.85

Winsted Publishing Co. 228.76

Worth Drapery & Blinds 1,414.47

Wright Co. Journal Press 123.20

Wright-Hennepin Elec. 213.60

Wright-Hennepin 548.53

Xcel Energy 154.45

David Zylstra 358.50

36 payments less than $100 $1,721.04

FINAL TOTAL $281.487.93

ATTEST: Richard Norman, County Coordinator

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