Wright County Board Minutes

MAY 8, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the 5-01-12 County Board Minutes as presented. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #2, “Approval of 5-08-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes” (Hiivala). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: B. Asleson, L. Dixon, T. Frazier, M. Muehring-Paulson, Atty.; N. Carlson, Hwy.; K. Crandall, IT; M. Treichler, Sher.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 4-28-12.
3. Approve Charitable Gambling Application Form LG240B, Stockholm Lutheran Church, 16133 County Rd. 30 SW, Cokato MN (Cokato Twp.).
1. Disband The County Broadband Task Force.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, presented the claims listing for approval. On a motion by Mattson, second by Russek, all voted to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit.
A Tax Forfeit Committee Meeting was held on 5-08-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Russek moved to approve the minutes and recommendations. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Hiivala said that at a future Board Meeting, he will present Jacobson’s request to re-purchase the property. With the Henshaw property, they may work with a legislator to campaign the County’s cause to be able to sell the property. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the minutes and the recommendation. The minutes follow:
The purpose of the meeting was to review and determine classification of two tax forfeit parcels.
PID# 219-000-142202 (Carol & David Jacobson): The Jacobson’s are interested in repurchasing the property. An aerial view of the property was reviewed. The amount of delinquent tax and current value were noted. After some further discussion, it was the recommendation that the property be classified as Non-Conservation in order to begin the process for possible resale.
PID# 201-000-143300 (Henshaw Lake): This property slopes down to the lake and was tax forfeited many years ago. The DNR had shown some interest in the property but never followed through, and the property has sat idle for many years. The County undertook a cleanup to prevent contamination. An aerial view of the property was reviewed, and after further discussion, it was the recommendation of the committee that the property be classified as Non-Conservation in order to begin the process for sale.
(End of 5-08-12 Tax Forfeit Committee Minutes)
Pat O’Malley, Jail Administrator, presented a draft resolution proclaiming May 6-12, 2012 as Corrections Officer Week in Wright County. Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-28, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
Proclaiming May 6-12, 2012
As Correctional Officers Week in Wright County
WHEREAS, In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5187 creating “National Correctional Officers Week”;
WHEREAS, The Wright County Board recognizes that the duties of the corrections personnel has become increasingly complex and demanding;
WHEREAS, The Wright County Board recognizes that correctional personnel are called upon to fill, simultaneously, custodial, supervisory and counseling roles;
WHEREAS, The Wright County Board recognizes the professionalism, dedication and courage exhibited by our correctional personnel throughout the performance of these demanding and often conflicting roles deserve our utmost respect;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the Wright County Board of Commissioners, do hereby acknowledge the week of May 6 – 12 as “Correctional Officers’ Week” in honor of the dedicated professionals who supervise the County’s inmate population.
President Ronald Reagan (May 1984). Proclamation 5187
(End of Resolution 12-28)
O’Malley requested signatures on a Department of Corrections (DOC) Contract to house work release inmates. This is the same contract that was presented to the Board three months ago for signatures. The DOC’s fiscal year runs from July 1 – June 30, so a new contract must be signed. O’Malley said this is a small Program but the County is paid to house these inmates. The Jail will have one inmate arriving shortly and expects several others this summer. Eichelberg moved to authorize signatures on the DOC Contract, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0.
Wayne Fingalson, Highway Engineer, requested approval of a Construction Cooperative Agreement with McLeod County. This relates to the CSAH 3 Project in Wright County. Bids are scheduled to be opened at the next County Board Meeting. The bids will include an alternate for white topping into McLeod County. A concrete surface will be applied south of the County line to connect with the existing concrete road in McLeod County. That surface is currently blacktopped. Approval will authorize Wright County to act on McLeod County’s behalf. The Agreement has been approved by McLeod County. Total cost of the project is $9,914,129.98 (Wright County’s total cost is $9,756,904.78; and McLeod County’s total cost is $157,225.20). Mattson moved to approve the Agreement, seconded by Russek, carried unanimously.
A Wright County Board Meeting was held on 5-02-12 at Corinna Township Hall for a Public Revocation Hearing. The meeting was attended by Commissioners Thelen, Sawatzke, and Eichelberg. Russek and Mattson did not attend. The Board Minutes of the 5-02-12 meeting follow:
Chairperson Thelen called the meeting to order and introductions were made. The Public Hearing portion of this meeting was officially begun.
1. Revocation Statutes – Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney
Kryzer explained that the process of revoking a County Highway to a Township is addressed in Minnesota State Statute 163.11, Subd. 5A. The purpose of this meeting is to receive public comment regarding the proposed revocation of that portions of County Road 123 which is located in Corinna Township (hereinafter referred to as ‘Corinna’), back to Corinna. According to this statute, the County is required to hold a public hearing and to notify the Township Board via certified mail, 30 days in advance of this hearing. Notices went out in March, and notice was published in the official Wright County Newspaper and also published on the Wright County Board calendar. The purpose of the public hearing is to receive public comment and to describe the road and the planned improvements. The County is required to repair the road to a standard comparable to other similar roads on the county system and to record the legal description of the right of way, either through easements or fee title. After the recording is completed, the County is responsible for maintaining this roadway for a period of two years.
2. History of Road/Purpose of Road – Wayne Fingalson, County Engineer
Fingalson said that CR 123 in Corinna is one of the roads identified in two major jurisdictional studies as a revocation turnback. In 1987, the State mandated a jurisdictional study that was statewide and involved all counties. A taskforce was set up with representatives from townships, cities, and counties to see if current roads were being maintained by the appropriate jurisdictions. Another transportation plan was completed by Wright County in 1994, which also looked at jurisdictional change possibilities, which produced results consistent with the 1987 study. CR 123 was one of the roadways identified in each study that clearly fits the definition of a township road. This is defined by the role that the road plays in transportation needs and by the flow of traffic. When roads are identified as township turnback candidates, the revocation is usually set to coincide with the time that improvements are made. Usually, there is little or no discussion, but that has not been the case in this situation. Three meetings have already been held by the Transportation Committee of the Whole (TCOTW) Board, which is a committee of the County Board, but on which all county commissioners serve. Extensive discussion has already been held at the TCOTW, which is a less formal setting that a County Board meeting. Recommendations are made by this committee to the County Board for formal action at a following County Board meeting. Revocation of CR 123 to Corinna has been discussed by the TCOTW on January 4, February 15, and March 26, all in 2012. Extensive discussion was also held at the following Board meetings. Fingalson said that the good news is that the Township Board members recognize that this road does fit the township road system, and unfortunately, it is not a high priority for the County. There is much less traffic than on other county roads, and that’s one of the reasons why it is identified for turnback. As Thelen stated previously, the main purpose of the hearing tonight is to receive public comment and testimony. The Corinna Township Board already indicated that they would be willing to take this road back, but only if additional money would be paid to them to improve the road to a bigger road and safer road, eliminating snow traps and widening shoulders. However, the County can’t do that because it doesn’t have the financial resources to do so. Wright County is consistent with the statute when agreeing to improve this road by doing a mill and overlay. So far, the decision has been made by Wright County not to give Corinna additional money. There had been consideration to give Corinna the amount of money that the County would be paying the contractor to mill and overlay this road, based on actual figures which would be known after the bid, with alternates, was accepted. However, the decision was made to go ahead with the improvements.
3. Proposed Improvements – Virgil Hawkins, Assistant County Engineer
Hawkins said that the improvements planned for CR 123 are consistent with improvements that are made to other similar roadways. Hawkins showed ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of CR 117 in Buffalo and Monticello Townships, which received the exact type of improvements in 2011 that are proposed for CR 123. Two inches of the existing pavement will be milled off and taken back to the plant to be used in the new mix. This new mix will be put back down, and an additional 1.5 inches of bituminous will be put down on top of that as the wear course. This improvement would also change the designation of the roadway to a 9-ton status from its current 7-ton status. Another feature that would become part of this roadway would be the installation of a safety edge, which is a 30-40 degree angle to help prevent tire scrubbing if the gravel gets washed away. If a driver hits the edge, the safety edge will help prevent over correction, which could cause the vehicle to go into the oncoming traffic lane. An additional feature of this project would be to replace all current mailbox supports with swing-away mailboxes, which will help eliminate the dangers that can be present if a collision occurs with other mailbox posts.
4. Township Board/Public Comments
Shane Nelson, from Hakanson Anderson & Assoc., Inc. was hired by Corinna Township to evaluate CR 123. He was asked to look at the pavement surface as well as the process. He mentioned that this is his first presentation to the Township Board, as well. A written report entitled “CR 123 Street Study” was distributed to County and Township officials. This 51-page report [Attachment B] is available for review at the Office of the County Coordinator. Nelson visited the site last week to observe some conditions and got a survey crew to do some cross sections to help in his review. The first notable observation was that a whole reconstruction would not be necessary, as had been earlier thought. After evaluating the pavement, he said that there are some areas showing some real signs of distress, but he didn’t see a prevalence of extensive weak subgrade values, which lowers the cost of rehabilitation for whomever rebuilds this road. Nelson referred to Page 2 of his report, Figure 1, showing a cross section at station 2+50 where there are some fairly steep slopes. Generally, engineers don’t present their own opinions, but refer to safety standards such as the ones set by the universally recognized AASHTO. Recommendations are that the inslopes be no steeper than 4:1 or 5:1 to give drivers a better opportunity to recover when they leave the road. They also look for clear zones of 10 feet from the edge of the travel lane. MnDOT also has some safety standards, and if Corinna were a city following city state aid standards, a 15-foot clear zone would be required for this level of Average Daily Traffic (453 ADT) that is present on CR 123. Looking through other cross sections, Nelson observed similar steep inslopes and steep back ditches, which create a safety concern for those drivers who lose control of their vehicles. Page 5 shows photos of the first curve with a recommended speed of 20 mph with a fairly sharp radius, which adds to a lack of good sight distance when traveling north bound on CR 123. While attempting to make a left-hand turn, it is hard to see oncoming traffic. It is not fully blind, but the stopping sight distance is less than 150 feet. Nelson then referred to an area where the adjacent grade is about nine feet higher than the road, which contributes to snow traps and maintenance concerns of keeping the road clear. It has a greater potential of icing up, which can lead to loss of control of vehicles as there is not a sufficient recovery zone to bring the vehicle to a stop or to regain control. Other deficiencies in the roadway are similar and are summarized in the cross sections. There is a concern with the condition of the surface. Nelson said that he understands that the County has solicited bids for a mill and overlay and agreed that this is a rehabilitation measure, but he said that he expected that there would be an extensive amount of reflective cracking in the future as there is a lot in some areas now. He is concerned that when cracks reflect to the surface, it becomes hard to treat these cracks. When they get as prevalent as they are on this roadway, they can’t be routed. The cracks will reflect through the overlay and will act as a direct conduit for water, penetrating the subgrade and causing instability to the roadway. He is not here to make a recommendation about who should pay for this but rather a recommendation as to what he thinks is the best rehabilitation plan to follow for the best use of public dollars. He has a concern that with a mill and overlay it will only be a short period of time before cracks would reflect through, and it would be difficult to maintain them. Reflective cracking is discussed on pages 10-19 of his report, with pages 14-15 discussing what happens when cracks are present in the bituminous and allow water to get into the aggregate base. Nelson recommends that the road have 12-foot travel lanes with two-foot shoulders, and that the entire pavement thickness be reclaimed, adding a mix with some granular base and using a 9-10 inch aggregate base. That technique does add some cost, but some cost would be saved by not trucking the milled pavement back to the plant. He also recommends an inslope of 4:1 to meet safety standards with a minimum two-foot ditch bottom and a 4:1 backslope. Nelson said that the recommendation for rehabilitation wouldn’t be a total reconstruction. The road bed would not be disturbed. The milling could be placed with new bituminous, and the roadbed could be left intact. Some material could be brought in to make the slopes flatter. It would not be that intrusive to flatten the slopes. It could be dumped out and shaped to help provide a safer slope. Material cut out of a cross section could be used as fill in another section. He said that it is all explained in the report. Cutting back for a 4:1 slope at the nine-foot elevation difference would require some temporary easement and cooperation with landowners, and in his experience with public projects, landowners cooperate in allowing these temporary easements. The estimated total construction costs would come to about $650,000. (See page 23 of report.) Soil borings would need to be obtained, and there is some history, but he doesn’t know exactly what is under the road to make sure that the assumed pavement is in line. A topographic survey would be required, which would identify the work area easement and earthwork quantities. This estimate includes resurfacing. When asked if soil borings would be done on the roadbed itself, Nelson answered that they should be done before any further work is done, but at this point, no one has authorized it. The approximate cost of the mill and overlay on Corinna’s portion of CR 123 is $340,000. This is only the construction cost. Soil borings and survey and engineering costs would all be additional. Nelson did obtain a quote from a geotechnical firm and received an estimate of $2,000-$6,000 for soil borings. He estimated engineering costs at 10-15% of the project costs for fulltime construction observation, which is also necessary for a mill and overlay. There would probably not be any easement costs. Sawatzke asked how this estimate compared to a previous estimate that the Township Board had received. Fingalson said that the previous estimate offered to the Township Board was very close to that number of $650,000. Naaktgeboren said that they had talked to bituminous people and to grading contractors to get that estimate.
Wayne Dearing said that when he was on the Township Board 30 years ago, there were a lot of snow traps on the township roads, and the Township began rebuilding roads when it came time for new surfaces. This road was built in 1930 with horses and scrapers for Model As and Model Ts. He stated that he didn’t like the idea of getting the road back in poor shape that doesn’t meet any specs. He feels it is very wrong for the County Board to turn around and give back a road that isn’t up to standards.
Charlotte Quiggle commented that all those who drive CR 123 know how dangerous it is, especially during mid-to-late winter with all the heaves. She expressed her surprise that a plow hasn’t caught a blade *on the uneven surface]. She likened the plans of the County for spending $340,000, milling off and putting on a new layer resulting in a sub-standard road to putting lipstick on a pig. She said they might as well take that money, put it in the toilet, and flush it. In two years the road will continue to have reflective cracking unless the County is willing to warranty the road. It is just irresponsible to turn it over in this condition.
Dick Naaktgeboren, speaking on behalf of the Corinna Township Board, first expressed his thanks for the attendance this evening. He thanked the staff of the Wright County Highway Department and the County Commissioner for the opportunities to give input. He read from a prepared statement. [Attachment C]
Judith Feenstra read a letter addressed to the County of Wright and Corinna Township and signed by herself. [Attachment D] She then stated, after reading about her first concern regarding lack of adequate shoulders, that she had had a very scary event when her vehicle left the road and almost did a rollover. She added, after reading about her second concern regarding significant erosion due to inadequacy of a culvert in heavy rains, that the resulting erosion is starting to get closer to the road and closer to her property. She foresees that erosion will eventually undermine the road and cause it to crumble.
Rosemary & Larry Hinkemeyer Letter, read by Dick Naaktgeboren. [Attachment E]
Nancy Smith said that her family built a house near the intersection of CSAH 7 and CR 123 in 1973, and she has watched a lot of traffic throughout the years. She urged, if nothing else is done, that the corners are widened at this intersection. Especially during the snowy time, she has seen cars in the ditch and watched the school buses have trouble navigating the corner. She realizes that this is also important for summer traffic and thinks the County should step up to do their part.
In response to a question asked by Thelen, Fingalson said that a decision was made by the County Board to consider the offer from the Corinna Township Board to provide additional funding over and above the amount that was to be spent on the mill and overlay. The County Board denied that request and the decision was made to proceed with the planned improvements. The members of the Township Board indicated that they weren’t keen on the improvement, but they didn’t want to spend their own money on the extra improvements. Fingalson said that he understands the report drawn up by Nelson and understands the desire for wider shoulders and less steep slopes, but these improvements are not in the cards as long as this is on the county system. Yes, the county has more resources than the township, but it also has more roads…530 miles of road. There is already a large backlog of projects and Wright County is in the hole with state aid money. As far as safety is concerned, there is nothing more important to the Wright County Highway Department and to Wright County than safety, but given the current financial condition that Wright County is in, these additional improvements will not happen as long as this road is on the county system. When word was first out there that this road could be turned back to the Township, further improvements were mentioned by the Township, but there is an impasse of who should pay for them. Fingalson displayed a map showing crash sites on this portion of CR 123 over the past 10 years. He said that there isn’t a history of safety problems in the reported crashes. This ties in with the amount of traffic using this roadway, and that’s the big issue. It would be great, and the Wright County Highway Department would love, to proceed with rebuilding this roadway as much as the Township would like that, but it can’t because of other priorities for roads with more traffic. Fingalson stated that CR 117 from Monticello south to CSAH 34 is a similar roadway, with maybe not as many snow traps, but that has five times the traffic that CR 123 has. A mill and overlay was completed on CR 117 last year, and there just wasn’t the luxury of widening it. When a road is resurfaced, reflective cracking will come through, and this is the case even on a new roadway. CR 123 was last overlaid in 1995, and this was not reclamation or a mill and overlay, but rather, just two inches of overlay. Since that time, cracks have been sealed and the road was sealcoated over the past 17 years. This new mill and overlay will last far more than two to three years, and there will be some cracking, but there would be some cracking with a complete reclamation too. Assistant Engineer Hawkins and the Highway Department staff have done a good job using the latest information and research to determine the best options for the money available. If this road stays on the county system, a mill and overlay is what will be done with it. If Wright County agrees to give Corinna Township an additional $300,000 to $400,000, this would set a precedent for other roadways that are scheduled for turnbacks. That is what makes it so tough…whatever is done here will dictate what is done for others. Thelen said that she thought from the Board minutes on March 27, 2012 that this project was going to be put on hold until the revocation decision was made. Fingalson said that the contract has been awarded. If the County Board members would decide that they did not want to have this improvement made as scheduled, even with the staking and work already done on the driveways, they would have to decide soon as the time table has milling beginning this week, followed by paving next week. The contractor did agree to hold off on milling on this portion of CR 123 until after this meeting was held. Thelen said that she understood that we were going to hold off on the starting of this until a decision had been made on the revocation. Sawatzke said that the Board had voted to support the bid.
Richard Kunniainen commented that “It sounds like you’ve made your decision…have you or not?” Fingalson said that the decision left to be made is whether the County Board is going to turn the road back to the Township. The decision has already made regarding the work that should be done on it. Kunniainen asked if this decision had been made in haste and wondered why the County didn’t hold back and see if any negotiating could be done. He stated that it seems like this is wasting money, and there is enough waste already. He said that the County should think about it a little bit, and this meeting is worthless if they’ve already made the decision. Sawatzke said that no decision has been made yet. Fingalson said that the question tonight is the turnback, and Sawatzke agreed that the official purpose of this meeting is to determine whether or not this (CR 123) would be turned back. Kunniainen said that this money spent is money out of his pocket, and Sawatzke said that it is money out of his pocket as well. Kunniainen stated that he thought the total reconstruction/improvement should be done.
Tim Young, Attorney for Corinna Township (as well as for Silver Creek Township), said that he wanted to follow up with a couple of questions. Kryzer mentioned that two steps needed to be completed before a resolution by the County Board could be adopted to revoke the road back to the Township. One step would be the completion of repairs and improvements, and the other would be to record the County interest in real estate. He brought this question to the Silver Creek hearing [earlier this evening] and it was his understanding that this interest in real estate right of way would be through a road plat. Then there is a question about how much right of way would be transferred. The width of right of way is dependent in part on how the road jurisdiction is acquired. If it acquired by use, the maximum width is 66 feet. Assuming there is a road plat, there would have to be a follow up to Nelson’s report where there appears to be a big elevation difference, and the users’ portion of the road may be less than 66 feet. Roads acquired by use (prescriptive easements) is an issue between the County and the Township. The position is that the County could deliver a 66-foot right of way or it would be narrower based on use, as least in the cuts shown. Fingalson said that this is an excellent legal question. Things that enter into that would be ‘what is usage,’ and is snow storage considered usage? Wright County would contend that prescriptive easements would be for 33 feet of right of way on either side of centerline. Kryzer said that he would concur with Fingalson, but they would have to look at the property and see what is being used. He is not currently familiar with it. Fingalson added that this would be extra challenging because this will be another step to go through, and Wright County would go with a plat if they proceed.
Larry Smith said that he is a farmer who lives along that road, and he agreed that the shoulders are too narrow, especially when driving equipment on it. He sees how many people walk that road, and when the sun is just right, it is very difficult to see them. On that sharp 90 degree corner it is hard to see people. He referenced the comparison of CR 117 by Monticello, but he said that there are different soil conditions, and CR 117 would not crack as bad. When he asked about the new weight limits after the mill and overlay, Fingalson answered that CR 123 would increase to 9-ton from its current status as 7-ton. He explained that according to state law, every paved road in Minnesota is rated as a 10-ton unless otherwise posted. Wright County posts during springtime restrictions, and this newly overlaid CR 123 would be a 9-ton design during that time. Smith added that Knife River has already started their work, and he said that they don’t know how to build a road approach, because there are now huge bumps in the driveways.
Quiggle asked Kryzer about the comparable standards that are referred to in the state statutes when revoking roads to townships. She asked if the soil conditions or number of vehicles determine which roads are comparable to each other. What exactly are the comparable roads that you are using and what are the standards? Kryzer explained that there are two different types of roads under the jurisdiction of the County. The County State Aid Highways (CSAH) are paid for by gas tax dollars. CSAHs 7, 39, and 6 are all CSAHs, and those roadways have additional shouldering and are built to a higher standard. Triple digit roads, such as CR 123, are not paid for with CSAH funds and are built to lesser standards. A comparable road to CR 123 would be CR 117. Fingalson said that roads designated with three digits, such as CR 123, are considered county roads, and roads designated with one or two digits are CSAHs. The Highway Department looks at the design to consider how wide the shoulders should be. Highway 7 is a CSAH, but that is a roadway that doesn’t have wider shoulders. He would like to be able to improve all CSAHs, but there just isn’t enough money to do that. CSAH 8 is pretty decent, as are CSAHs 6 and 35, but CSAH 7 would be nice to improve as well. The design team looks at back slopes, shoulders, inslopes and a number of different factors when determining how the road should be improved. Quiggle said that she is now talking about the sub-grade where a road is structurally sound, what are the standards to make it sound? Does CR 117 match the structural standards? Has soil boring been done? Has the bottom been looked at? Fingalson said that formerly road building was a matter of taking materials from ditches and putting them in the center of the road. Now days, when rebuilding, they get rid of all unsuitable materials during grading operations. That is what they would do if there were money available to rebuild. For resurfacing projects, we don’t look at building four or six-foot shoulders or 4:1 or 6:1 back slopes, because we don’t have the resources to do that on all of our roads. Borings are taken to verify pavement thicknesses on resurfacing projects. Corinna has done a very good job on its town roads with wider shoulders. Wright County doesn’t have the luxury to rebuild all of its roads. CSAH 7 is scheduled for improvements in 2014, and that will be resurfaced but not rebuilt, even though it is a County State Aid Highway.
Thelen said that she would like to suggest that even though Wright County doesn’t have the money for rebuilding all roads, we need to reconsider the position of the County that this is adequate, especially considering the independent engineer’s point of view. She believed that this meeting was a public hearing to consider these concerns. Thelen expressed her surprise that there were already stakes out on CR 123…she thought that they were going to hold off on the work. Fingalson said that going back to the minutes of the County Board and the recommendation from the TCOTW, the decision was made to accept the low bid, including the alternates, and begin work as soon as Knife River was ready. The overlays were to be Knife River’s first project after spring weight restrictions were removed. Any decision regarding the turnback to either Silver Creek Township or Corinna Township would be addressed at a later time. The issue for this public hearing/meeting is the revocation of the roads to the Township. There was the discussion at the County level about whether anything else was to be decided other than awarding the bid. That decision was made. Sawatzke said that he is feeling some anxiety about this, too, and he is sharing Thelen’s frustration about that work which has already begun. He is disappointed that the project has started to some extent and that money has been spent. He read from the County Board minutes of March 27, 2012 where he understood “the County has the ability to back out. With approval today, they are approving something where dialogue can still exist.” Sawatzke said that he was not happy about money being spent and would not have voted in favor of it at that meeting if he had known how this would progress. Hawkins said that there is pertinent language in the contract with Knife River, and there has been no milling or pavement as of this date. Sawatzke wanted to know why based on the discussion at the Board meeting that any work has been done on CR 123. Fingalson said that it was his understanding that the Board opposed spending any additional money over and above the contract. Sawatzke said that he didn’t intend to give the whole nine yards, but again read that portion of the 3/26/12 minutes stating, “With approval today, they are approving something where dialogue can still exist.” He said that he agrees this is more a township road than a county road, but he is disappointed about what has transpired in the last two weeks. Fingalson said that if there is a feeling that the Board might want to rescind this, he could have Knife River hold off on the milling and discussion could be reopened. His understanding was that this hearing was strictly for comments on revocation. Thelen said that she had thought that the milling and overlay would be adequate, but now she has information that it wouldn’t be. Maybe the road could be revoked after considering Corinna’s offer. Fingalson asked Thelen if she got more information tonight, and Thelen said it was good to get more information. Fingalson said that what was presented here tonight was consistent with what the Township Board said, but if the County Board wants to spend additional money on a local purchase, they could hold off for a couple of weeks. Sawatzke said that he was not suggesting a change of heart, and he’s not saying that suggested additional improvements are or aren’t needed, but what Corinna expected from the County a month ago was beyond what he was willing to go to. He was hoping to find something that they could meet on, as he thought that $300,000 plus was more than it ought to be. He doesn’t think the County should pay to bring it up to higher standards. Wright County is limited and can’t rebuild every road with minimal traffic volumes. Thelen said that she sees street lights in the middle of nowhere and would like to think that a public hearing influences the thinking of the commissioners as they received more new information. Perhaps the County can keep the road, can keep doing the mill and overlay, and it will continue to cost us money over the next 18 years. Or a good faith gesture could be considered, and the County could spend an additional $300,000, which is what they would spend maintaining it over 10 years. This is a need, and the Township has no money, but it is still a need and the County should consider it as a need. Maybe they should just give it back to them or address the need. There needs to be some sort of accommodation, a give and take. The County can’t use one standard that they can’t afford it and then turn on 10 new lights after dark.
Roger C. Foss asked why Corinna Township residents would want to take this road back. Any school bus that turns over is on the County watch. Sawatzke said that if the County built every road with eight-foot shoulders and 45 mile per hour curves, there wouldn’t be enough money to correct all the roads. Foss said that this is just one road. Sawatzke commented that the County should fix just one road but not the others? Feenstra asked if the State has mandates for standards. Fingalson said that the Highway Department tries to use the same standards on the roads, and though he understands the passion about CR 123, this is not a safety issue, and there is not a safety history here. Sawatzke asked how this road compared to other roads in the county, and Fingalson said that it is very low in incidents in terms of safety.
Thelen asked how many miles of road had been turned back and how many are candidates for turnback. Hawkins said that the jurisdictional study has prompted the turnback of 16 miles of road so far, with 24 miles remaining. Thelen asked if all these roads were as bad as CR 123, and Steve Meyer said that there are some roads in as tough shape or worse shape in Woodland Township.
Nelson said that there were a couple of points that he failed to mention, his first point being his appreciation to the County staff and commissioners for listening to the concerns. He agrees that the County has priorities that it has to deal with on a daily basis, and he appreciates that resources need to be allocated for roads with more dangerous situations that others. One thing that was not discussed is that on the county system 425/cars per day is a fairly low traveled roadway, and he agrees with that. He said that he is sure the county has some roadways that blow that traffic count out of the water, but a point not brought up is that on a township system this is a pretty heavily traveled system. A lot of local roads provide access to local residents, and generally, there is not a count as high as 425/cars a day on township roads. One concern with the Township taking this road back is that it creates an immediate financial burden for the Township. Most of Corinna Township’s roads are in good condition and meet safety standards at a higher level than this proposed improvement. If the Township takes over this road, it would move to the top of the list and create financial strain. Nelson stated that he had traveled CR 123 through Silver Creek previously in the week and again this evening. Although the portion in Silver Creek has some similar deficiencies, its condition is not as bad as the portion in Corinna. His suggestion is to encourage the Board to look at the condition of the portion in Silver Creek compared to that portion in Corinna and the difference in cost to upgrade each of them.
Chuck Carlson commented that it’s hard to compare safety statistics because a lot of the incidents don’t get reported. If damages aren’t over $300, a report isn’t necessary. What is missing from this summary is the number of cars that go into the ditches. Sawatzke said that these same types of things don’t get reported on other roads either. Carlson commented that he’s not pulling people out of the other ditches, only out of those on CR 123.
Fingalson said that he understands the concerns about the project and about continuing with the current schedule. He asked if it is the feeling of the board members here tonight, even though this is a revocation hearing, that Wright County plan to not proceed with the work until after the upcoming Wright County Board meeting. Sawatzke repeated that he thought by accepting the bid as they did gave them the ability to ago ahead or not go ahead. One option at one point was to not do anything and save the work until later. He feels that some of those things were taken off the table at this point. If there is a delay for two or three weeks, will there be damage claims by the contractor? He is frustrated that he feels boxed into a corner and there will be some loss if anything other than moving forward is done. Thelen said that she has talked to other commissioners from other counties, and they have talked about bringing the roads up to a fairly significant standard before they turn them back. Maybe Wright County should be putting more into this before giving the road back. Fingalson commented that he would like to know what other counties are doing that. Eichelberg said that he was here to listen to the options and feels frustrated because he thought there was room for discussion before the work was to begin. Fingalson asked how it would be different if gravel had not been placed on the driveways, and Sawatzke said that it was his understanding that Wright County had at least a couple of weeks more before any money would be spent on this project. If there is a change now, there will be extra costs. Fingalson said that the decision was made to award the contract, and Sawatzke said that was with the understanding that Wright County could pull out from any part of this. Hawkins said that he wasn’t at the board meeting, but it was his understanding that the alternate was to be awarded. Thelen asked how much money would be lost if the project were to be stopped, and Hawkins said that he could call and have it stopped for probably not a lot of money, perhaps a few thousand. The award was made and this segment could have been deleted.
Sawatzke again read from the minutes of the board meeting of March 27, 2012 where he had asked “whether the County can hold off on completing the Corinna portion, with no penalty or additional cost and without any further agreements, contracts or clarifications with the contractor….Fingalson said that is correct.” At this point, Fingalson apologized for not reviewing those minutes. He asked if these minutes imply that we can stop the project and back out after awarding the contract. Thelen said that she thought the County could back out. Fingalson added that a prior decision has been made to award the bid, with alternates. He said that the alternates could have been taken out, but the Board chose to award the bids. This is a revocation hearing.
Thelen then asked for any further comments. Receiving none, the Public Hearing was declared officially over at 8:55 p.m.
The Board meeting resumed at 8:55 p.m.
There was some further discussion about making a motion to get Knife River to stop their work on CR 123 until Tuesday, which could cost about $3,000 to interrupt the work. Sawatzke said that it is his opinion to repave the road, mill and blacktop, and then just keep it. The County should mill and overlay and keep it under County ownership. Thelen asked why it shouldn’t be improved, and Sawatzke answered because we’ve already started it. He reiterated that this is a hearing with no preconceived outcome. Maybe some people had an opinion on the matter, but minds can be changed. This is a hearing. Thelen said that she would prefer to proceed and not turn it back. Fingalson commented that what makes this a little unorthodox is that of all the public hearings that have been held regarding road revocations, this is the only one that was set as a County Board meeting.
Sawatzke made a motion that the County Board not revoke this road to Corinna Township, but that motion died for lack of a second.
On a motion made by Sawatzke and seconded by Eichelberg, all present voted to table this discussion and decision about the future jurisdiction of CR 123 in Corinna Township until the County Board meeting on May 8, 2012. (
End of 5-02-12 Wright County Board Minutes for the Public Revocation Hearing, Corinna Township Hall)
At the 5-08-12 Wright County Board Meeting, discussion occurred on the 5-02-12 Public Revocation Hearing at Corinna Township Hall. Thelen referenced Item 4, where Shane Nelson from Hakanson Anderson & Assoc., Inc. provided a CR 123 Street Study. She asked that Fingalson review the part of the meeting where Nelson talked about the best use of public dollars and the recommended fix by the County not being a good use of public dollars. She said Nelson referenced concern with mill and overlay and the period of time before cracking could occur. Fingalson read from the 5-02-12 Board Minutes relating to Nelson’s comments which reflect that, “He has a concern that with a mill and overlay it will only be a short period of time before cracks would reflect through, and it would be difficult to maintain them. Reflective cracking is discussed on pages 10-19 of his report, with pages 14-15 discussing what happens when cracks are present in the bituminous and allow water to get into the aggregate base.” Fingalson said that Nelson did not elaborate on what a short period of time would be but indicated when a road is rebuilt, whether it is reclaimed or milled and overlaid, reflective cracking will come through over time. He said the improvement made 17 years ago included 2” of bituminous. There was not any milling or reclamation with the improvement so cracking occurred. Fingalson said they have not denied the need for crack sealing and possibly sealcoating in the future.
Thelen referenced Page 11 of the report prepared by Nelson. She said it reflects that in 1-2 years, reflective cracking will occur and it is fairly expensive to maintain those cracks once they start. Thelen said this is consistent with what Corinna and the public suggested when they met before, and inconsistent with the County Highway Department’s position that the repair will last 18-20 years. Fingalson responded that the Highway Department has not said there will not be reflecting cracking; he said they have indicated there will be reflective cracking and has stated so all along. This occurs on all roads that have work done. CR 123 was resurfaced 17 years ago. There are problems as the road was never re-graded, there has been some settlement, there has been some differential movement, and there are cracks. Fingalson said it has not been their position that the road will last for 20 years without cracking. This is a given in Minnesota. With the process of reclamation and milling and filling, it will retard the cracks and reduces the amount of time the cracking will come through. It could be 2-3 years, but it will be a long time before the cracks will need a major seal (routing and seal). Crack sealing allows the cracks to be sealed. The process is completed to prevent water from getting into the sub-grade of the road. Thelen said she wanted to make sure this got into the record, as that was part of the discussion.
Fingalson said if funding was no object, the best thing to do would be to rebuild the road and put on wider shoulders. That would involve purchasing more right of way and addressing snow traps. The County does not have that luxury.
Fingalson said toward the end of the 5-02-12 Board Meeting, the Board discussed that the contractor had already started some minor work on the road. The work was completed faster than he anticipated. At that Board Meeting, Sawatzke referenced the 3-27-12 County Board Minutes which reflect discussion of the opportunity not to proceed with the Corinna Township portion of the project if new information came forth from the Public Hearing. Today, Fingalson said that was correct. He apologized, stating he should have followed through with conveying that work should not be started to Highway Department staff and the contractor. Fingalson felt it was a settled issue anyway because of the lengthy discussions at the Transportation Committee Of The Whole Meetings, and the subsequent action at the Board Meeting. He said the majority of the Board wanted them to proceed with the project and that is what has been done.
Fingalson said they did stop the contractor from doing any milling. Work that was completed includes adding material to approaches and preliminary work. The milling machine was scheduled to be there last week but it was stopped. There has been no activity and there will not be until after today’s meeting. There was discussion on what has been expended to date financially by the contractor, which will be the County’s responsibility. The estimate was $3,000 but Fingalson has since learned that this figure has increased to $5,400. Fingalson said he takes full responsibility for not making sure the work was not started. As stated previously, he felt it was somewhat of a settled issue since the majority of the Board voted to proceed with the project including the alternate.
Thelen asked Fingalson to mention the motion that failed at the 5-02-12 meeting. Fingalson said the 5-02-12 Board Meeting was different in that the revocation hearing was held as a Board Meeting. Normally, a revocation hearing is held by the Highway Department. Fingalson read some of the discussion at that meeting which reflects, “Sawatzke said that it is his opinion to repave the road, mill and blacktop, and then just keep it. The County should mill and overlay and keep it under County ownership. Thelen asked why it shouldn’t be improved, and Sawatzke answered because we’ve already started it.” Fingalson said that Sawatzke made a motion at the 5-02-12 Board Meeting, “that the County Board not revoke this road to Corinna Township, but that motion died for a lack of a second.” Fingalson said Russek and Mattson were absent from the 5-02-12 Board Meeting. Thelen said she couldn’t second the motion at that meeting as she is the Chair. At their 5-02-12 Board Meeting, the County Board unanimously voted to table the discussion and decision about the future jurisdiction of CR 123 in Corinna Township until the County Board meeting on 5-08-12.
At today’s Board Meeting, Sawatzke asked whether the contractor has requested payment for the work that has been completed as the contractor was asked to cease work for a week. Fingalson said he felt in addition to the $5,423 expended thus far, the contractor could make the case that they had gone ahead and crushed bituminous material for CR 123. He would have to clarify that with them. Sawatzke wanted to know if the County would incur any financial damages in excess of the $5,423 figure because of telling them to wait a week. Fingalson did not think so for that reason. However, if the decision would be made not to complete the road improvements, then there could be some potential damages for the crushed material for the bituminous on that portion. Fingalson said the contractor has been working with the County on this project.
Sawatzke said since Russek and Mattson were not at the revocation hearing, he wanted to clarify that at the Board Meeting of 3-27-12, it was indicated that there would be no construction or activity before the Revocation Public Hearing and, in fact, the Board could pull that portion of the bid. When the Board learned at the Revocation Public Hearing that work had been completed, that is where some of the consternation came from. Fingalson restated that he apologized.
Thelen asked for more discussion in terms of how the Highway Department schedules these types of things. When discussion occurred at the 3-27-12 Board Meeting, Thelen said Fingalson suggested that the project wouldn’t start until mid-May and that there would be an opportunity for dialogue. She said Fingalson suggests now that he did not communicate that effectively to staff and Knife River. Fingalson stated that is correct. She asked whether Fingalson has a schedule of projects that is filled out and given to staff and the contractor. She asked if there was any institutional step that would be taken to communicate that and whether he neglected that step this time.
Fingalson said that Virgil Hawkins, Assistant Highway Engineer, takes the construction projects and proceeds with them. He conducts the pre-construction conferences. Fingalson said that would have been the appropriate time to convey to Hawkins to tell the contractor to hold off work on that portion because of the concerns and because the Public Hearing that still would be held. Fingalson said Hawkins does not attend Board Meetings but does attend Transportation Committee Of The Whole (TCOTW) Meetings, where this issue had been discussed at length and the majority of the TCOTW members came forward with a recommendation to proceed. He said the focus of the revocation hearing was whether the road should be given to the township, not what improvements would be made. Fingalson said he was surprised that it had evolved into this. Fingalson said the Highway Department staff communicates frequently but in this instance, it did not happen. He said he will take responsibility for what occurred.
Thelen asked Fingalson what the corrective action would be and what he would do differently next time if he received direction from the Board on holding off. She said at the TCOTW Meeting, members did not know they were required to hold a Public Hearing. Thelen consulted Kryzer and he indicated that the County did have to hold a Public Hearing before a decision could be made. Fingalson knew that a Public Hearing would need to be held with Corinna Township, but was unaware a Public Hearing would be required for Silver Creek Township.
Addressing Thelen’s question on what could have been done differently, Fingalson said he would have made sure the contractor did not complete any work, including the $5,000 spent on gravel work, prior to the Revocation Public Hearing. At the Hearing, they would have listened to testimony to see if there was any new information. Then a decision would be made today whether to proceed with award of the contract. Fingalson again stated he felt this was a settled issue as there had already been four votes to proceed with the improvements. The Revocation Public Hearing was to receive testimony on whether Wright County should revoke the road to Corinna Township or keep it after the improvements were made. That is what staff felt was the purpose of the Revocation Public Hearing. The Highway Department normally holds the revocation hearings and the first time revocation is discussed is at the hearing. In this situation, five meetings have been held and the issue has been discussed at length. It made it a confusing process.
Russek said that Silver Creek Township has indicated they will take their road back. It will be milled and overlaid just as if it were being done for the County. Discussion on that Revocation Public Hearing will occur at the next County Board Meeting. Fingalson said the question relates to when the road will be given back (two years versus four years). Fingalson said there was some discussion at the Revocation Hearing that Silver Creek Township may not want to take the road back. The Township is not questioning the proposed improvements. At next week’s County Board Meeting, the Board will need to decide whether to proceed with the next step of turning the road back to them. In that case, the County would maintain it for a period of two years before giving it back to them. Russek asked whether two years of maintenance is typical. Fingalson said it is. However, Silver Creek Township is looking at whether the County would revoke the road in two years and maintain if for an additional two years after that (four years total). Fingalson felt this was inconsistent with Statute.
Thelen said that is not inconsistent with Statutes, whether the County gives the road back in 2 years, 4 years, or 20 years. The Statute kicks in at the point in which the road is given back to the township. Fingalson said that is correct. What he was trying to convey is that in all the other revocation hearings that have been held, there has never been discussion other than the two year period. The County has not received a request for four years. There is normally a two-year delay and then the Statute kicks in.
Thelen said Russek and Mattson were not at the 5-02-12 Board Meeting so she wanted them to know most of the discussion related to whether it was fair to turn back CR 123 to Corinna Township. The opinion of those that live on the road, the people who run the township, and the independent engineer is that the cost of $340,000 to fix the road (mill and overlay) is a band aid approach. It was also their opinions that they will be stuck with the cost of road improvements that will be required to prevent high cost maintenance and to protect the base from the sort of damage that can occur from reflective cracking. Thelen said discussion at the Silver Creek Township Revocation Hearing included the feeling that there was no choice in taking back the road and some discussion on not taking it back at all.
To Fingalson’s statement about this being a settled issue and that there was already a majority of people who felt it would be given back anyway, Thelen said she thought that the Revocation Public Hearing was to bring in more information for consideration. They were informed initially that these improvements would be good for 18-20 years. Testimony received at the Hearing from residents on the road and an independent engineer was that the improvements would not be good enough. The opinion of a learned engineer at the hearing was that the improvements would not be good enough. Thelen consulted with other county commissioners about mill and overlays, and road turnback. She learned that most counties don’t do more than that for any township road. One contact indicated they do more and negotiate with the townships. That contact said the road does not have to be given back.
Thelen feels like public comment should be considered in this decision. It involves public dollars. She feels this is unfair and it will come up again with another township. When the County talks about not having the money for improvements to CR 123 in Corinna Township, she said the County doesn’t have money for anything. The County Board prioritizes what should be funded and raises funds in the ways it can (i.e., property taxes, etc.). If the priority for fixing the road is that there is not enough traffic on CR 123 or that no one has died yet, she feels the County needs to re-examine their priorities and needs. She said revocation would convey an inferior road that the County has owned for a long time to a smaller number of people. In reference to the County not having the money for this, Thelen said the County Board decides what gets funding through principles and shifting of priorities.
Thelen said the problem with the contractor starting work on CR 123 is that people came to the Revocation Hearing feeling that they might make a difference. Those people questioned why the work had already started. The County replied that they didn’t feel the work would start until after the public hearing. Then she said Fingalson’s response was that he didn’t convey this to staff but he felt it was a settled issue anyway. Thelen told Fingalson she did not feel it was a settled issue. Fingalson said he wanted to clarify that. He said the settled issue he was referring to was the decision by the Board not to give the road back to Corinna Township, which is the decision being discussed today, but to proceed with the improvements. He said that was a decision at that time, on a 4:1 vote, to proceed with the project as quickly as the contractor could do it. Sawatzke stated that it was a 4:1 vote and he was one of the 4. He voted for that only after the assurance they would have the opportunity to have more dialogue with the Township. Sawatzke felt Fingalson was taking others votes for granted as well. He explained that what happens at the committee level is different than the decisions made by the County Board. Positions taken at committee are not official until they come to the County Board for approval. Sawatzke said that four Commissioners voted yes for this after they understood there would be an opportunity for dialogue. Perhaps they would have voted yes anyway, but they voted yes in this situation with that understanding.
Fingalson said he understands that recommendations come from the TCOTW to the County Board. He was going by the recommendations that occurred. One of the Commissioners was not very vocal at the TCOTW meeting, and Fingalson went by the discussions of the three Commissioners that were more vocal. He said discussion occurred on going ahead with the improvements, not about revoking the road. Perhaps it would have been a 3:2 vote instead of 4:1 vote. He said the County can still stop this project. Fingalson referenced comment made about this being a band aid approach. A band aid is what the Highway Department has been doing for the past number of years on CR 123 (patching and crack sealing). The County is looking at completely redoing CR 123, including milling the surface off and replacing it, which has been done successfully on many other projects. Fingalson said there will be reflective cracking on CR 123 afterwards, as that is what happens in Minnesota. Fingalson agreed it would be better, if there was money available, to rebuild the road with shoulders as the Township requests. In reference to priorities, he feels that is what they are discussing today. The County has other roadways that should be rebuilt that are on the CSAH System. With regard to Highway 7, he said that roadway has narrow shoulders and the County does not have the money to redo that road other than to resurface it. The County was fortunate to receive Federal dollars to rebuild roads, such as is the case with Highway 12 and Highway 3. The County does not have the money or staff to improve roadways the way they would like to.
Fingalson said CR 123 does not belong on the County’s system according to all studies completed. He asked whether the County taxpayers should pay for a road that benefits a relatively few people that use it. He felt the money would be better utilized on other roads in the County that have more traffic. That is the process used throughout the industry. Thelen said she is looking for a more nuanced approach in terms of what these priorities are. She said if a road doesn’t have as much traffic, it may be a low priority in comparison to another road. Fingalson asked her how she felt it should be handled. Thelen didn’t feel the need should be ignored and the situation should be reviewed. She said the County could look at the 26 additional miles of township roadway that could be revoked, what type of corrections are needed, and whether there are ways to negotiate with the townships. In this case, Corinna Township is willing to meet the County half way. Fingalson said the decision is up to the Board. If the County has money available to improve these roadways in a manner greater than what they are able to do now, it will make his job a lot easier. He questioned where that funding would come from.
Mattson stated he would like to see the County’s road history in this type of situation and what is anticipated in the future for roads that need to be turned back. Fingalson said that list was provided at the TCOTW Meeting. Mattson would like all townships to be treated the same. Thelen said at one of the meetings held on this topic, Steve Meyer, Highway Department Maintenance Supervisor, explained that this is one of the worst roads on the system. At the Corinna Township Revocation Hearing, it was mentioned there is a roadway in Woodland Township that is just as bad. Thelen stated the point is that other roads that will be turned back are not this long or this bad.
Steve Meyer said the question that was asked related to the geometrics and comparison to some of the township roads, such as CR 112 and CR 123. Meyer said there are snow traps on CR 123 and it includes some sections that are in tough shape. Thelen said the Silver Creek portion on CR 123 is not as bad. Meyer replied that there are snow traps in that section of the road (near the Sportsman Club). CR 112 has snow traps in the curves, as do some CSAH routes including CR 7.
Sawatzke said he was very frustrated at the Corinna Township Revocation Hearing, as there hadn’t been the opportunity for dialogue. In retrospect he said they shouldn’t have approved the alternates, at least not the one for Corinna Township. The project should have been completed in a couple of years when there was another project in the area. The contractor is out there prepared to work. He referenced the issue of snow traps and said there are snow traps all over the County. Thelen responded that snow traps are not the issue in terms of the cracking. Sawatzke said the road could be rebuilt and cracking still could occur; he wasn’t sure at what rate or to what degree. He said there are issues with roads all over the County. The County Board could look at any road and say for an additional amount of money, improvements could be made. Sawatzke questioned whether the County can do that for every single road in the County that needs an improvement to that extent. He felt they would be looking at millions of dollars. He asked if there was something special about this road, which is one of the roads with one of the least volumes of traffic in the County.
Thelen said she is referencing a group of roads similar to CR 123 that will be turned back to the townships. This group of roads is one that will require a smaller group of people to maintain and improve them. Thelen said this is a special category of roads the County should consider. For a township road, CR 123 has plenty of residents who Thelen did not feel the County should give the road back to Corinna Township if there are going to be high maintenance and improvement costs for a small group of people in the Township.
Russek asked Meyer how soon a sealcoat or crack seal would be scheduled on CR 123 if the County did not revoke it to Corinna Township. Meyer said they closely monitor roads and like to crack seal roads fairly soon with a sealcoat following. The County is behind on their sealcoat program. They are beyond seven years, which is where they like to be. Some roads are out ten years on a sealcoat. Meyer said this is because of budgets. Costs increase but the maintenance budgets hold the same. The Department absorbs those costs. They have canceled sealcoating because of increased winter costs. It is all about balancing. Crack sealing is one of the priorities. He said that CR 123 should probably be crack sealed in 3-4 years.
Thelen felt that the intervening time would have allowed discussion at the Public Hearing on road revocation and possible additional fixes that are being considered as part of the bid award. Fingalson said as Sawatzke pointed out, perhaps the County should have waited with the CR 123 project for two years and done it in conjunction with Hwy. 7. He said the pros and cons of that were discussed at a TCOTW Meeting but doing so would have resulted in additional maintenance costs to CR 123 in the meantime. Fingalson stated that in his opinion, they did not learn anything additional than they have heard from the Corinna Township Board. The Township Board members did an excellent job of conveying the citizen concerns. The engineer’s report reflected what they have been hearing all along. If the County were to rebuild the road, there are actual standards that would be used. These are not being used at the County is looking at resurfacing.
Fingalson said the issue today is whether to tell the contractor to continue with the project on CR 123 in Corinna Township. That is why they quickly drafted the minutes from the 5-02-12 Board Meeting for discussion today. The next step is to determine whether the road will be revoked to Corinna Township. Contrary to what the Agenda reflects, Fingalson said they are not prepared to present a revocation resolution for approval. If the Board would like him to proceed with that, he will work with the Attorney’s Office and Surveyor’s Office to prepare a resolution for consideration at the next County Board Meeting. The first decision relates to whether to proceed with the work and the second is whether the Board directs Fingalson to proceed with preparation of the revocation resolution to revoke CR 123 to the Township. The County would maintain the road for a two-year period as Statutes require with the Township taking it over after that. Fingalson said the Township wants the road and they would like more money, but the decision was made not to do that. He said that is up for discussion now too. He said that is what he sees must be acted on today.
Russek made a motion to move forward and to proceed with the overlay. This is the same thing the County does for other townships. He does not propose the County start doing anything out of the ordinary. He said his motion is to proceed with the mill and overlay and to begin with the revocation process to turn CR 123 back to Corinna Township. The motion was seconded by Mattson.
Mattson said there are no dollar figures associated with the handout provided on what has been done with other roadways. He asked Fingalson whether he could provide what has been spent on each project. Fingalson said it would take some time but he could research what oil prices were at the time of the projects. Of those projects listed, they typically only involved an overlay. The process changed and now roads receive a mill and overlay. Fingalson was unsure how pertinent the dollar amounts would be for those projects. Basically they involved overlay and revoking the roads or, in some cases, the roads were taken back as they were. Fingalson said none of the projects on the list involved the County paying over and above the cost of an overlay. Russek said the cost will be different, but the action is to do what they typically do now. The County used to just overlay roads. Fingalson said that is correct, unless Thelen can come up with a new program for future roadways. Fingalson said they are doing what they have been doing for 20-30 years. Thelen stated the County does not always necessarily govern by what has been done.
She asked Mattson what difference the information he was requesting would make to him or what he was looking for from the information. Mattson said the document will reflect the roads turned back and the cost. He stated that Wright County is one of the counties with all hard surface roads. This is different from the process used in other counties. Mattson felt Wright County’s roads could not be surpassed. Thelen asked Mattson if that makes a difference on whether the road is revoked and when he wanted the information by. Mattson referenced ditch records kept in the Auditor’s Office that reflect how much was spent on ditches and the minutes of the meetings. Fingalson said that it is possible to do this but the Highway Department is in the midst of their busy time of the year because of projects starting. Thelen asked it the decision in front of them is whether to proceed and whether the revocation decision would be tabled until next week. Russek stated that starting the revocation process was included in the motion.
Thelen referenced the comment by Fingalson that they didn’t learn anything new at the Public Hearing. Thelen said she learned some things. She is not an engineer so it was helpful to have the information. The engineer did confirm what Corinna had stated. Corinna indicated they would meet the County halfway, they would finance the County for 10 years with no interest, and they would pay the additional costs for boring, etc. Thelen said she learned a lot from the public to the extent that they dive into the ditches as they walk along the road as there aren’t any shoulders, the number of people that are pulled from the ditches, and the difficulty that the bus driver has going around the corner.
Sawatzke supports moving ahead with finishing the construction part of the project. He did not disagree that there are issues with the road, but there are issues with roads all over the County. To solve every issue would not be financially feasible. Sawatzke drove CR 123 after the Revocation Hearing last week. The surface is not in good shape and in a couple of areas, the ditches don’t have the best clear zones. He said that is seen with other roads in Wright County. He said he will vote not to revoke CR 123 to Corinna Township as the Township doesn’t want it. Next year, the Board will be discussing the same issue with Woodland Township. A few years ago, there was a road in Monticello Township. The Monticello Township Board said it was the worst road in the Township and they didn’t want it back. Sawatzke said the County did not give the road back. Silver Creek Township agreed to take their road back but when they met last week with the Board, they indicated they did not know they had a choice. They indicated they felt they had to take it and they were trying to get the best deal they could. Sawatzke said the small section of roadway (CR 143) in Silver Creek Township should go back to them. Relative to the discussion today on Corinna Township, he would like to keep the project going but will not support revocation to them unless there is some type of agreement, which he did not foresee. The motion carried 3-2 with Thelen and Sawatzke casting the nay votes.
On a motion by Sawatzke, second by Eichelberg, all voted to approve the 5-02-12 Wright County Board Minutes for the Public Revocation Hearing, Corinna Township Hall. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, requested a date change within the minutes. The minutes reflect a “3-26-12” County Board Meeting and the date should be changed to “3-27-12”. The motion carried 3-2 with Russek and Mattson abstaining as they were not in attendance at that meeting.
Mattson moved to adopt Resolution 12-29 for the Wright County Snowmobile Association for the 2012/2013 season. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. The Wright County Snowmobile Association receives grant-in-aid funding from the State and reimbursement of funds are handled by Wright County.
Bills Approved
Ag Neovo Technology Corp. $135.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc 3,014.25
Allina Hospitals & Clinic 18,358.50
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 227.10
Americinn of Hutchinson 172.12
Ameripride Services 280.35
Aramark Services Inc 6,322.68
Black Box Resale Services 239.00
Boyer Truck Parts 114.19
Buffalo/City of 62,458.14
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 27,986.86
Chamberlain Oil Co 2,037.01
Climate Air 52,504.00
Cokato Township 275.10
Cragg Co/H M 12,557.82
Dell Marketing LP 5,406.09
Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo PA 231.00
Elk River Municipal Utilities 116.65
Ernst/Debbie 170.60
FirstLab 119.85
French Lake Township 449.20
Gabriel/Cathleen 100.00
Glunz Construction 125.00
Gould Towing 185.96
Hardings Towing Inc 104.88
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 4,396.12
Holiday 21,489.42
Howard Lake/City of 1,532.80
Howard/Jolanta 100.00
Indianhead Specialty Co Inc 320.96
Laplant Demo Inc 1,156.95
Law Enforcement Targets Inc 488.74
Luann Stromme 285.60
MAAO 160.00
Maple Lake Township 869.20
Marco Inc 455.83
Mattson/Richard 174.50
McNamara Inc/B 38,603.25
MDIAI 250.00
Menards - Buffalo 636.01
Metro Group Inc/The 118.94
Meyer/Steve 125.00
Midway Iron & Metal Co Inc 361.05
MN Assn Of Co. Probation Ofcrs 285.00
MN Board Of Assessors 505.00
MN Comm. Corrections Assoc 600.00
MN Monitoring Inc 7,245.00
MN Office Of Justice Programs 200.00
Monticello Township 1,329.00
Moore & Moore Advantage 300.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 476.76
Northland Business Sys. Inc 2,641.13
Office Depot 521.00
Precision Prints Of Wright Co 607.05
Ramacciotti/Frank 100.00
Royal Tire Inc 735.22
Russell Security Resource Inc 942.19
State Supply Co 136.70
Streichers 229.75
Suburban Emergency Assoc. PA 173.98
Total Printing 248.75
Towmaster 209.09
Traffic Control Corporation 721.41
University Of Minnesota 130.00
Vance Brothers Inc 2,109.71
Veolia ES Solid Waste Midwst 285.82
Waste Management-TC West 2,877.89
Waverly/City of 437.40
Wright Soil & Water Cons Dist 160.31
37 Payments less than $100 1,579.32
Final total $291,003.20
The meeting adjourned at 10:18 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal June 11, 2012.

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