Wright County Board Minutes

DECEMBER 11, 2012
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Sawatzke, Mattson, Russek, Thelen, and Eichelberg present.
Two County Board Meetings were held on 11-27-12. The regular session was held in the morning. A special session was held in the evening to discuss the proposed 2013 Budget and Certified Taxable Levy. At today’s County Board Meeting, both sets of minutes were presented for approval. Thelen made the following correction to the 11-27-12 County Board Minutes, AM Meeting: Page 5, 4th paragraph, 2nd to last sentence should read, “Thelen said that the Board packet included a number of staff reports dating back to January.” Russek moved to approve the 11-27-12 County Board Minutes, AM Meeting, as corrected. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0. On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the 11-27-12 County Board Minutes, PM Meeting.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Aud./Treas. Item #5, “Authorization To Apply For Extension Of Ditch Modernization Grant” (Hiivala); Aud./Treas. Item #6, “Wal-Mart Credit Card Bill” (Hiivala); Items For Consid. #12 “Public Health Event Announcement” (Thelen). Russek moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0.
On a motion by Eichelberg, second by Russek, all voted to approve the Consent Agenda:
1. Performance Appraisals: C. Anderson, Assessor; M. Ruzicka, Aud./Treas.; R. Hill, Bldg. Maint.; A. Backes, J.S. Wolff, Hwy.; B. Hilden, I.T.; R. Bastien, M. McGill, Sher.
2. O/T Report, Period Ending 11-24-12.
1. Approve 2013-2015 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Between Wright County and University Of Minnesota Extension For Providing Extension Programs Locally And Employing County Extension Staff.
Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer, provided the following informational ditch updates:
Ditch 10: There is a meeting scheduled with landowners on County Ditch 10 and the Engineer, Wenck Associates. The purpose will be to scope out needed repairs. The meeting will be held at the Victor Township Hall on 12-13-12 at 1:00 P.M. Notices were mailed to each benefited landowner.
Ditch 16: A report was received from Kerry Saxton, SWCD, indicating the Ditch is functional again and a bill will be submitted from the contractor. This involves the Lantto property. Mattson asked whether the DNR is assessed on Ditch 16. Hiivala will check to see if they are included on the list of benefited landowners.
Ditch 38: An update from Saxton indicates that a large bill is forthcoming.
Ditch 41: Hiivala stated that Kurt Deter previously held the opinion that the Ditch Authority (County Board) does not need to be involved with a petitioner’s request to disconnect part of the County Ditch tile and lay private tile to connect to a private ditch. Deter has now changed his opinion and indicates that to disconnect does require the Ditch Authority’s approval. Mattson asked if a portion of Ditch 41 is closed off whether all landowners have to sign off. Hiivala said Kurt Deter said there must be a public hearing if any portion of the Ditch is removed from the Ditch System. This has to be approved by the Ditch Authority.
Joint Ditch 15: Saxton has received a number of complaints on the repair work completed. Fyle’s Excavating had been approved to complete the repair work. Saxton spoke with Brad Fyle on doing a better job of completing the work. Hiivala said as of yesterday, there was another repair request. Russek said this relates to cleaning a portion of Joint Ditch 15 from Ternings to Highway 12. Hiivala said the repair request was sent to the Joint Ditch Authority. If their action is to move forward, Hiivala will update the County Board of that at a future date.
Joint Ditch 4: Russek expects a cleanout request on Joint Ditch 4 from Carver County. This will probably happen in 2013. Carver County has three votes, Wright has one vote, and McLeod has one vote.
Hiivala requested the Board take action to approve a $500 change fund for the Sheriff’s Office for the purpose of making change when customers use large denomination bills. Eichelberg moved to establish a $500 change fund for the Sheriff’s Office. The motion was seconded by Russek. Mattson inquired whether there will be one person responsible for the funds. Hiivala said there will be a clear line of responsibility on who will monitor the funds, although there may be more than one person designated. The motion carried unanimously.
Hiivala said it is his intent to present to the County Board next week a list of ditch assessments. Upon approval, he will send out letters and spread the bills to the landowners. Russek attended a SWCD Board meeting last evening. The SWCD Board voted not to charge the County for the first 150 hours of service annually. This decision was made because the County subsidizes the SWCD. Hiivala said that Saxton does spend many hours on ditches. Russek stated that Saxton will itemize how much time is spent on each ditch. That will be billed to the various ditches. Hiivala suggested that the County appoint a Ditch Inspector in the future. Mattson asked if Saxton’s time is reflected in the SWCD budget. Hiivala does not feel it is. Russek feels a bill for Saxton’s total time is coming. Hiivala said the amount of time Saxton spent on Ditch 38 was way above what was anticipated. On Ditch 16, he used SWCD staff to complete the manual work. Mattson inquired whether Saxton has stayed within the plan and budget of Ditch 15. Hiivala said Saxton didn’t indicate any additional charges for Judicial Ditch 15. This was provided as an informational item.
Hiivala stated that in March, 2011, the County Board approved participation in a Ditch Modernization Grant in the amount of $52,747. The sole purpose was to modernize records. There has been concerted effort since that time to modernize Wright County’s records, and an employee was used to review images and get the records ready. The plan is to utilize a third party vendor to assist with providing information to the public on the website. The original Grant, signed by Hiivala in 2011, ends in December, 2012. Hiivala said application was made and the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will allow extension of the Grant for another year. He asked the Board for authorization to sign the extension through the end of 2013. Russek moved to authorize Hiivala to sign the Ditch Modernization Grant extension as requested. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0.
Hiivala said he paid the Wal-Mart bill on an Auditor’s warrant in the amount of $632.89. As the Board did not meet on 12-04-12, he needed to pay the bill in order to avoid finance charges. This was provided as an informational item.
The claims listing was reviewed. Russek referenced claims on Page 30, Allina Hospitals & Clinics, totaling $36,717.00, for November and December contracted medical services. Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office, stated the December bill was submitted under Jail Medical in an effort to have it paid out of the 2012 Budget. Richard Norman, County Coordinator, referenced a claim on Page 30, Aramark Services, and asked that the description be changed to read “Jail Meals”. Mattson referenced claims to Group Health Plan Inc. on Pages 30 & 31 totaling $826.82 for inmate medical. Mattson asked whether the vendor is being paid for a contract for prisoners. Hiivala said he would have to follow up with the Jail. They are trying to research all avenues on payment of medical bills outside of tax levy dollars. Lt. Hoffman said that about three months ago, an inmate was arrested in the metro area which resulted in fairly substantial medical bills. These bills probably relate to that. At the time, they consulted with the County Attorney’s Office who indicated they wanted the inmate arrested. Russek said the inmate ended up in the hospital at a cost of around $17,000. Russek moved to approve the claims as listed in the abstract, subject to audit, for a total of $804,113.78 and a total of 324 vendors. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried unanimously.
Greg Kramber, Assessor, presented proposed 2014 and 2015 assessment contracts and rates. The County currently contracts with 10 cities and 5 townships. The proposal includes a two-year contract with the assessment rates of $10.50 per parcel for all of the districts that Wright County provides assessment services for. This contract includes a new construction fee of $25.00 for each new home, a $25.00 fee for each new commercial/industrial/apartment with an estimated market value of less than $500,000, and a $100.00 fee for each new commercial/industrial/apartment with an estimated market value of greater than $500,000. The new construction fees are only applied in the districts that issue their own permits. These are the same rates used during the 2012-2013 contract. The contract has been reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office. Kramber contacted seven neighboring counties and found the proposed rates to be competitive. Eichelberg asked whether the proposed fees were included in budget discussions. Norman said this was included in the revenue projections for the Assessor’s Department. Sawatzke moved to approve the recommended rates, seconded by Russek. Mattson referenced Item 5 relating to the term of the Agreement and termination language. Kramber said the contracts will be sent out to the cities and townships for approval and signatures. Once the signed contracts are received back, he will forward a copy to the Auditor. The Agreement begins on 1-02-13 and terminates 6-30-15. Sawatzke asked why the Agreement has a June 30th end date. Kramber explained that when he reviewed the Agreement with the County Attorney’s Office, it was decided that the ending date of June 30th would provide a 120-day window for either party to terminate. Once the Agreement is signed, the Agreement is locked into a two-year time frame. The motion carried 5-0.
Capt. Greg Howell, Sheriff’s Office, requested approval of a Regional Logger Participation Agreement with the Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board (MNNESB). A Resolution expressing intent to participate in this Project was approved by the County Board on 2-21-12. Howell explained the Logger is what records phone calls and radio traffic into the communications system. There are 11 counties involved. No dollars are being committed by Wright County with this Agreement. Wright County’s contribution is existing recorder equipment that will no longer be needed. Staff supports moving forward to realize a cost savings by working with other counties. This effort will also provide a redundant regional design that promotes high system availability and disaster recovery. Sawatzke referenced the draft resolution which reflects the following language, “The Board of Wright County, Minnesota hereby acknowledges that while grant funding is available to defray a portion of the initial costs of the regional logging system project successful completion will require a commitment of local funding to complete and maintain the regional logging solution.” Sawatzke said that language suggests funding might be requested from Wright County. Capt. Howell stated that Wright, Meeker, and Kandiyohi Counties are unique in that they already have some equipment in place from when they moved to the 800 MHz System. That equipment is going to be donated into the system so Wright County will not have to expend any more dollars. Some of the other counties may have to. Capt. Howell said there will be ongoing maintenances costs that will be split with the other counties. He said Wright County is basically getting into this at no cost. Sawatzke asked whether the resolution statement referenced is inaccurate. Capt. Howell said the resolution language is being adopted by all 11 counties. Wright County’s contribution will be some of the already purchased equipment. Sawatzke asked whether he was absolutely sure of that and Howell said he is. Eichelberg said this was stated at the Regional Radio Board Meeting. Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-67 authorizing the execution of the Regional Logger Participation Agreement with the Central Minnesota Emergency Services Board and Wright County. The motion was seconded by Mattson and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
At 9:30 A.M., the Public Hearing was held on the proposed Wright County Water Surface Use Ordinance Amendments. The Public Hearing Notice states the proposed Amendments will place restrictions on the operation of watercraft and seaplanes on lakes located in Wright County. The restrictions will also create no-wake zones and/or high water no wake zones on Lake Ann and Pleasant Lake. The seasonal no-wake restriction on Lake Ann is also proposed to be amended from 100 feet to 150 feet. Violation of the Ordinance is a misdemeanor where the maximum penalty could be 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the Wright County Water Surface Use Ordinance was originally adopted on 8-21-12. It was then sent to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for review. The DNR has requested that the County change the Seasonal No-Wake Ordinance on Lake Ann to be consistent with the restrictions for personal watercraft. The Board can either act to amend the Ordinance by changing the seasonal restriction to 150 feet or it can act to repeal the restriction. Additionally, the Pleasant Lake Association has requested to be included in this amendment. The proposed Amendment language follows under Section 4.00 – Surface Zoning of Waters and Restrictions on Speed (changes are crossed out and added language is underlined):
Subd. 4. Lake Ann (86019000). The following surface water restrictions shall apply to Lake Ann.
(a) No person shall operate a motorboat, including seaplanes, in excess of slow-no wake speed within 150100 feet of the shoreline, 24 hours a day, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water.
(b) When lake level reaches or exceeds an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety feet and Six inches (990.50 feet) above sea level, motorboats shall be restricted to a slow-no wake speed within Three Hundred feet (300 feet) from all shorelineunless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water. When high water levels have subsided and have remained below an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety feet and Six inches (990.50 feet) above sea level for three (3) consecutive days, said restriction shall be promptly removed.
Subd. 5. PleasantLake (86025100). The following surface water restrictions shall apply to Pleasant Lake. (a) When the water level at the Grass Lake Outlet Dam (860243TW) reaches or exceeds an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety Two feet and One inch (992.1 feet) above sea level, motorboats shall be restricted to a slow-no wake speed within Three Hundred feet (300 feet) from all shorelineon Pleasant Lake (86025100) unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water. When high water levels have subsided and have remained below an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety Two feet and One inch (992.1 feet) above sea level at the Grass Lake Outlet Dam (860243TW) for three (3) consecutive days, said restriction on Pleasant Lake shall be promptly removed.
(End of proposed Amendments)
Brandon Vetsch said his question relates to the water valve and how frequently it has been closed over the last 5 to 10 years between Memorial Day and Labor Day. He understands the Lake Association has put together a petition. Vetsch has not seen the petition and did not know if residents had either. Thelen asked if the valve is located on Pleasant Lake. Vetsch said it is the valve from Pleasant Lake to Clearwater Lake.
John Sedey, Pleasant Lake Improvement Association Chair, said the proposal to amend the Ordinance was presented to the membership at the Pleasant Lake Association Annual Meeting last May. Those present directed the Association Board to study the situation and choose the option that made the most sense. The level at which the outlet valve is controlled between Pleasant Lake and Clearwater Lake was established by the DNR and controlled by the Clearwater River Watershed District. He said the valve is controlled by a third party so that the valve is not shut arbitrarily. Sedey said the valve was closed in 2011 and in 2002.
Brandon Vetsch asked how many attended the Lake Association Meeting where this item was presented and what representation there was by the Association, City, and County. John Sedey estimated 40 people attended the meeting. The Lake Association represents about 75% of the residents on the Lake. The Association has a newsletter that is published and sent to all residents on the Lake, not just the Association membership.
John Sedey referenced high water that occurred in 2011. Residents used sand bags and the County Park on the north side of the Lake lost shore due to erosion. He welcomed the support of Wright County at that time in passing a temporary Ordinance. He supported passing something now so they don’t have to look at doing something in the event of an emergency situation in the future.
Brandon Vetsch asked the Board to consider a more formal public notice to the entire County or at minimum, the City of Annandale, given there are County and City Parks on the Lake. He felt notice by the Association does not necessarily represent all those that use Pleasant Lake.
Derek Vetsch asked if the Ordinance Amendment passes, what the County dollar amount will be for enforcement. He asked how the County will provide education on the 300’ setback and whether buoys will be used. Vetsch thought it could be a bad allocation of County dollars for enforcement. He asked if other solutions have been looked at. He suggested 300’ restrictions on those shorelines most affected by high water levels and maybe not include the Lake at large. He thought removing the boating population from 1/3 of the Lake and putting them in the center could cause a dangerous situation.
Thelen asked Lt. Todd Hoffman, Sheriff’s Office to respond. Lt. Hoffman said that the Sheriff’s Office has a Recreational Services Division that patrols lakes. Minimum staff is available for all of the Wright County lakes, and there is currently no education programs on setbacks. The Sheriffs Office plans to request a meeting to address the setback and signage issue. A letter from the DNR states a government entity should be completing the lake level readings. Those decisions will be made later this winter.
Thelen asked if Pleasant Lake is an additional Lake that is being included in the Ordinance. Kryzer stated that is correct. Adding Pleasant Lake to the Ordinance has been approved by Corinna Township. Kryzer understands that the City of Annandale has also reviewed this and approves. Sawatzke asked whether approval is only required by those two entities. Thelen said that is all that is required.
Sawatzke asked why Pleasant Lake was not included months ago when the Ordinance was adopted. At that time, maps of the lakes were available which provided a visual of the setback area of each lake. The lakes involved at that time were substantial in size. When the restriction was put into place, it was estimated that about 90% of the lake was available for surface use. Kryzer stated he did not have a map of Pleasant Lake available today. He had requested a copy from the Surveyor’s Office but has not received one. Kryzer said it may have been due to staff resources. Kryzer referenced information he provided on the water level gauge for the Grass Lake outlet dam (10 years of data). Kryzer said the gauge is not located on Pleasant Lake but is located on a fixed dam. Pleasant Lake drains to Clearwater Lake which then drains to Grass Lake, and the outlet dam is monitored fairly regularly. Kryzer said data back to 2003 shows the valve has been closed twice in the last two years. Sawatzke asked why Pleasant Lake was not included in the original Ordinance passed last summer. Kryzer said that Pleasant Lake came forward late with their request. Because the public hearing is required for the other amendment to the Ordinance, he opened it back up to Pleasant Lake. Thelen asked Sedey to comment on why Pleasant Lake did not submit their request earlier this year. Sedey said the Pleasant Lake Annual meeting was held in late May and they were directed by membership to complete a careful study on how to proceed. By the time they completed that, it was late in the process to be included. When this most recent opportunity arose, they were allowed to submit a proposal.
Fred Anderson said the transfer of the spillway goes from Clearwater Lake to Grass Lake. He suggested that this spillway needs to be better maintained, as it fills with cattails. Thelen said Anderson should contact the Watershed District as they maintain the spillway. Anderson said the spillway has been shut down almost every year. He usually calls and lets the Watershed know and then they open it up. Anderson also requested that a more formal notice be sent to the people around Pleasant Lake so they are aware this is being discussed.
Jeff Harkman, Annandale, resides on Pleasant Lake and serves on the Pleasant Lake Association Board of Directors. He overwhelmingly supports this initiative. He said the damage to the Lake and residents has been severe. He viewed it as a reasonable approach on the rare occasion that the valve is shut off.
Sawatzke said the letter from the Association reflects that approval was requested by Southside Township. Sedey said that last week, action was taken by the City of Annandale, Southside Township, and Corinna Township to approve the request to include Pleasant Lake in the Water Surface Use Ordinance.
Brandon Vetsch said that the County Park is heavily used on Pleasant Lake. If the Ordinance Amendment is adopted and the beach is closed for the summer, it would heavily impact the use of the Park. Vetsch asked that more time be spent reviewing other options and to allow for more public notice. He felt a larger article should be run in the newspapers. He happened to come across a one line item in the Monticello Times about today’s meeting. Vetsch said this may not be like other lakes in the County; this involves a well-funded County Park on Pleasant Lake that is used by many citizens. Russek asked Vetsch whether he lives on Pleasant Lake. Vetsch said he does not.
At 9:53 A.M., Thelen closed the Public Hearing and the Board Meeting was reconvened.
Sawatzke asked John Sedey whether all property owners on Pleasant Lake were notified that there would be discussion on this at the Annual Meeting. Sedey said it was published in the newsletter that was sent to all residents. Sawatzke asked about cabin owners on the Lake. Sedey said all property owners are notified through the newsletter. They generally publish the Annual Meeting Notice and Agenda in the Annandale Advocate. In addition to discussion at the Annual Meeting, there have been two newsletters since which talked about putting together this proposal.
Fred Anderson said he is a Pleasant Lake property owner. He said he was not notified, and the only reason he found out was that his neighbor told him. He felt there was poor communication to the people on the Lake on what is going on with this issue. Thelen said it appears that Anderson was sent something because of Sedey’s comments.
Lynn Vetsch is a property owner on Pleasant Lake. She received an email from her neighbor reflecting they did not know about this either. That neighbor is not a year-round resident. They leave Labor Day and return in the spring. She said the neighbor did not know there was a proposed ordinance. Thelen said the Ordinance would apply when there are high water conditions. Kryzer said that is correct. It would only apply with high water levels.
Eichelberg said it would be nice to know how much of the Lake surface area will be affected with a 300’ setback. Kryzer stated this is a fairly good sized Lake and the majority would remain open. In the past two years when it was closed, it was only for a fairly short duration. Thelen referenced the comments made about the significant damage that occurred to the County Park from high water a couple of years ago. She said the County Parks Director was very concerned and that she was involved with getting contacts for properties that had significant damage on the Lake. She said this did not occur last year, as Lake levels were low. It will not be an every year occurrence. With an ordinance in place, they would be ahead of the curve if high water levels occur.
Sawatzke said he did not hold a position against the request except with the concerns raised on proper notification and who is involved in that process. Thelen said it is a large task for lake associations to notify everyone. However when the County Water Surface Use Ordinance was adopted, it was decided that the lake associations would be the driving force. Russek said that the County Board needs to take into consideration that the City of Annandale, Corinna Township, and Southside Township are in favor of this Amendment to the Ordinance. Eichelberg asked Kryzer if there is a process to remove the Lake from the Ordinance if that is requested in the future. Kryzer said if a petition is presented, he would provide that to the County Board for consideration.
Russek made a motion to adopt Ordinance Amendment #12-03, seconded by Mattson, carried 5-0:
Section 4.00 – Surface Zoning of Waters and Restrictions on Speed.
Subd. 4. Lake Ann (86019000). The following surface water restrictions shall apply to Lake Ann.
(a) No person shall operate a motorboat, including seaplanes, in excess of slow-no wake speed within 150100 feet of the shoreline, 24 hours a day, between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water.
(b) When lake level reaches or exceeds an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety feet and Six inches (990.50 feet) above sea level, motorboats shall be restricted to a slow-no wake speed within Three Hundred feet (300 feet) from all shoreline unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water. When high water levels have subsided and have remained below an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety feet and Six inches (990.50 feet) above sea level for three (3) consecutive days, said restriction shall be promptly removed.
Subd. 5. Pleasant Lake (86025100). The following surface water restrictions shall apply to Pleasant Lake.
(a) When the water level at the Grass Lake Outlet Dam (860243TW) reaches or exceeds an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety Two feet and One inch (992.1 feet) above sea level, motorboats shall be restricted to a slow-no wake speed within Three Hundred feet (300 feet) from all shoreline on Pleasant Lake (86025100) unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water. When high water levels have subsided and have remained below an elevation of Nine Hundred Ninety Two feet and One inch (992.1 feet) above sea level at the Grass Lake Outlet Dam (860243TW) for three (3) consecutive days, said restriction on Pleasant Lake shall be promptly removed.
(End of summary of Ordinance Amendment #12-03)
The meeting recessed at 10:02 A.M. and reconvened at 10:15 A.M.
Dennis Beise, Fair Board, stated that last year 64,000 people attended the Fair, which is the largest attendance thus far. He and Ron Denn, Fair Board, were present today to provide an update on what is happening at the Fair. Denn presented information on mud bog racing. This is a marketable event that would target the 18-35 year old segment of the population. He stated that age group is the future of the Fair and this would offer an event for them to participate in. Denn is a firm believer that the Fair should offer a little of something for everyone. Mattson referenced bike racing with jumps that was held 4-5 years ago. He supported that event and said there was a large draw of people, even though the weather was not good.
Sawatzke asked where the mud bog pit would be located at the Fairgrounds. Denn said it will be located in the southwest corner. He said this is a low area and many times is not used for parking because of this. Spectators will either sit on the hill or use bleachers which will be located on the very back side. Guidelines were obtained from the SWCD.
Russek asked if there is any action requested of the County Board. Denn said there is not. This is an informational item. Russek supports moving forward with the mud bog event. Denn hopes the County can still provide assistance through the Highway Department (gravel). Sawatzke asked how many days mud bogging is planned. Denn said the car demo derby sells out. The past combine demo derby event sold out as well. He feels that event is on its way out as they cannot get combines. Denn said the Cass County Fair was struggling and decided to hold a mud bog event. The event was a success. Denn viewed the Wright County Fair as leading edge and said Wright County residents should be proud of their Fair. At this point, he said the Mud Bog event would be held on Saturday as that is the largest day of the Fair. An event or two may be held off season, but that has not yet been determined. Russek asked whether this event should compete with the tractor pull. Denn said they have mixed feelings about that. He believes the events attract different crowds. If the events go long enough, he feels people may attend both. However, Denn said the area may not be large enough to accommodate the demand.
Sawatzke asked about the land rental contract for the adjoining land and whether the mud bog pit would create problems for the farmer that is renting the property. Denn said the area planned is not prime hay ground, and the hay crop will need to be reseeded. The area that will be utilized for the pit is less than an acre and is not easy to farm. Sawatzke asked whether use of the area will result in having to pay the renter damages or whether the renter will pay one less acre of rent. Sawatzke said the Fair Board needs to take that into consideration. Denn said the land rental contract is for one year and the Fair Board has been handling that contract.
Mattson suggested obtaining a certificate of insurance from all participants to avoid lawsuits due to injury. He also said participants should not be allowed to consume alcohol. Denn said that this is an important issue with all grandstand events. Because of MCIT’s coverage, the Fair Board has to buy up supplemental insurance coverage. This is something the Fair Board needs to be aware of. The key is management. If handled properly, he did not view the event to be as dangerous as it may appear. Denn traveled to Spokane, Washington, and became educated on the rules and organization of such an event. This was provided as an informational item.
Ben Oleson, Corinna Township Zoning Administrator, and representatives from the Corinna Township Board were present to respond to County Board action taken two weeks ago on granting Shoreland Authority to Corinna Township. The County Board took action at that meeting to authorize a five-year extension of the Joint Powers Agreement for Shoreland Authority. Oleson said Corinna Township is not comfortable with the five-year extension and prefers an Agreement no longer than one year. Insurance issues need to be addressed. Oleson said based on discussions with the Association Of Minnesota Township’s attorney, the request is that the Joint Powers Agreement be changed to a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU). Oleson said the Corinna Township Board requests an MOU for no more than one year.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said an MOU would be fine. The Township could draft something that will work with their insurance provider and then forward it to the County for review. Russek moved to proceed toward an MOU with Corinna Township for a one-year period. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Kryzer asked for clarification of the motion, whether it is subject to review of the MOU at a later date. Russek said the motion was to move forward, but it is not approved until after legal staff review. Sawatzke asked if that means Russek is agreeable to the concept. Russek said the motion is that he is agreeable to the concept of moving forward. He said he didn’t say he agreed with it. Thelen asked for further clarification, as she was not sure she understood the intent of the motion. Russek said it is to move forward. The Board will receive a final report from the County Attorney’s Office on whether it will work or not after they receive a copy of the MOU from the Township. Oleson asked whether that will be placed on the 12-18-12 County Board Agenda. Russek said it will depend on when the Township can forward the Agreement to the County for review. Sawatzke said they would ideally like it placed on the 12-18-12 Agenda, as the 12-24-12 County Board Meeting will be short.
Bill Arendt, Vice President of the CLCC (Cedar Lake Conservation Club), agrees a five year extension of the Agreement is too long, although a one-year extension may be too short. He asked whether the Board would consider having the Agreement expire on June 30th. He said the Board has received comment that many of the Lake residents are here only part of the year. By having this discussion now, many of the people on the Lake are not available to come to the Meeting. If an MOU were drafted for one and a half years, there may be more people involved versus a handful. Sawatzke asked the Township Board if they would be acceptable to the one and a half year MOU. The Township Board members present responding by shaking their heads no. Russek said the motion was to move forward with drafting an MOU for one year. Sawatzke said another option would be a six month MOU. However, with four new County Board members starting at the beginning of the year, he thought they should have more opportunity to serve and experience how things are working. Sawatzke did not feel six months was long enough for that to occur. Thelen said this is not the sort of action that requires a public hearing. The Township Annual Meeting and other meetings are held to monitor the effectiveness. The motion carried 5-0 to move toward the Township drafting an MOU for review by the County Board.
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, requested the Board authorize signatures on two documents relating to the Bertram Chain Of Lakes Regional Park. The first would be a Purchase Agreement for Phase 4 acquisition and the second an Amended and Restated Shared Use Agreement. These Agreements are between Wright County, the City of Monticello, and the YMCA Twin Cities. Mattice said on 1-10-12, the County Board approved two separate grant awards, one from the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund in the amount of $500,000 and the other from the Regional Parks Grant Program for $333,333. Both grants are related to the Phase 4 acquisition of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. Along with this action, Mattice was authorized to move forward with negotiations with the seller and to draft the necessary agreements, survey, and appraisal. All documents have been reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office and by the Bertram Chain of Lakes Negotiations Task Force. At the 1-10-12 Meeting, the County Board approved a local match of $204,000 and directed that it be allocated from the Capital Improvement Account. Typically, an addendum to the original MOU is adopted. However, the MOU is not complete at this time and will be brought before the County Board for consideration and approval prior to closing. Wright County will be the first party to sign these agreements. If the documents are approved and signed by the County Board, Mattice will deliver the originals to the other two parties and submit a fully executed original to the County Coordinator. Mattice said the Agreement is pretty much a boiler plate Agreement. He referenced Page 4, Item 12E, which relates to there being no underground storage tanks or wells on the property. Mattice said the signature copies reflect that Item 12E has been removed from the Purchase Agreement as there is an operable well on the property.
Sawatzke moved to authorize signatures on the Purchase Agreement for Phase 4 acquisition, Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Russek feels there will be a constant drain on the County budget when the Park is up and operational. The County is buying YMCA land and allowing the YMCA to use it. Sawatzke stated that this land has four undeveloped lakes, and the area being created for use by the YMCA will involve 10 acres and will only be used during three months of the summer. During other parts of the year, the 10 acres will be available for public use. Mattice said involving the YMCA will alleviate some costs and fill a programming need, providing programs for youth so the County does not have to do so.
Thelen said use of the Park by the YMCA was part of the original Agreement, and it does benefit Wright County youth who will be able to utilize the YMCA programs. Sawatzke said Wright County youth will be able to experience an up north camping experience in Wright County at an affordable cost. He said that when the property was acquired, it was purchased at a discounted price for the tradeoff that the YMCA will be able to use a portion of the Park for future programming. Mattson asked what portion the City of Monticello is maintaining and what portion Wright County is maintaining. He said the Parks Department has a large budget already. Mattice said the County will be responsible for maintaining passive use areas and the City will maintain the active use areas (ball fields). Sawatzke said information was shared a couple months ago relating to revenues and operational costs once the Park is built out (excluding acquisition). He asked Mattice if he recalled the figures on operational costs. Mattice said the estimate was around $130,000 for operation and maintenance of a fully developed campground and beaches. The revenue projection was to break even on that, similar to what is done with other campgrounds in the County. The revenues should offset the operational costs. That does not include the cost of land acquisition or any buildings constructed. Sawatzke said there are grants available for those things as well. He said there will be costs associated, but operational revenues should meet the expenses.
Thelen said it is important to talk about the benefits of attracting people to the community. It is an investment in the future. Mattson said he has not seen any reports on revenues and when any sort of fees will be implemented. Mattice said revenues will be realized once the Park is developed. The fees will be similar to the fees for other County Parks (reflected in the County’s Fee Schedule). The motion to authorize signatures on the Purchase Agreement for Phase 4, Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, carried 3-2 with Russek and Mattson casting the nay votes.
Mattice requested the Board authorize signatures on the Amended and Restated Shared Use Agreement between the YMCA, the City of Monticello, and Wright County, allowing use of the YMCA facilities. This is also part of the acquisition. The last acquisition involved a Shared Use Agreement that allowed use of some of the YMCA facilities and called for the YMCA to start phasing out some of their programs. The Amended and Restated Shared Use Agreement is being presented as more facilities are being purchased. The water sports camp in the old Agreement was to 2014. One of the goals of the Bertram Lakes Task Force is to remove motorized boats on the lakes in the Park. At this time, there is a Park rule that the public cannot use motors but the YMCA is still operating their motor sports camp. That program was shortened by a year and will end next summer. In trade off, the YMCA will be allowed to run an extra year of their horse camp. Mattice said the Bertram Task Force wants to remove motors from the lakes as soon as possible. The Agreement also mentions the buildings, and Mattice said those dates have not changed. The YMCA can use the Arts and Crafts building until they redevelop (which may start in 2013). The public can use that building as well. The Parks Department handles scheduling of that building.
Sawatzke referenced the Amended and Restated Shared Use Agreement. Item D2a reads (in part), “…and the use of motorboats in conjunction with the water sports camp program during the term or this agreement on Bertram Lake.” The term of the Agreement is through 12-31-15. Sawatzke said Item D2a does not properly reflect that the use of motorboats should cease at the end of August. It was agreed that the sentence should be changed to read, ““…and the use of motorboats in conjunction with the water sports camp program through August, 2013.” Mattice will change the Agreement as discussed. Sawatzke moved to authorize signatures on the Amended and Restated Shared Use Agreement with the change. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 3-2 with Mattson and Russek casting the nay votes.
A Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting was held on 11-20-12. At today’s County Board Meeting, Sawatzke moved to approve the accuracy of the minutes but not the recommendations at this time. Separate action will be taken by resolution on setting the Elected Department Head Salaries. Sawatzke moved to approve the 11-20-12 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes, seconded by Russek. The motion carried 5-0:
I. Discuss 2013 Salaries Of Elected Department Heads.
A. Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer
Norman stated that statutory guidelines require the County Board to consider the duties of elected office holders, as well as their experience, qualifications and performance when determining salaries. Eichelberg commented that none of the officials are on a salary schedule. Norman said that the Auditor/Treasurer and Sheriff are on Classification A of the Non-Union Salary Schedule. Sawatzke asked Norman to verify that their names appear on the Salary Schedule. Norman confirmed, saying Hiivala is at the top of the salary range at $112,862 annually. Only the County Attorney is not on the Salary Schedule.
Sawatzke asked Hiivala whether his last Step increase on the Salary Schedule was last year. Hiivala said it was the prior year. Thelen clarified that Hiivala stayed at the same salary schedule last year. Hiivala added that there was a Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA), which is why his compensation went from approximately $110,000 to $112,862.
Sawatzke asked Hiivala to discuss his experience, qualifications and performance. Hiivala said he prides himself on the way he manages his Office. He tries to continually improve processes. He expressed appreciation for the assistance he receives from the Board regarding his staffing needs. He has seen the necessity of maintaining better, more accurate records. Hiivala said his Office handled the elections extremely well. They also process recounts and passports efficiently. Hiivala added that they have changed the way they disseminate information for budgets. He is poised to initiate electronic timesheets in the near future. He also plans to present a request to require all employees to participate in direct deposit of their paychecks to save the cost of issuing checks. Hiivala is proud of the work he and his staff have accomplished. He is involved with other organizations, and shares information with sister counties. Hiivala believes he is doing an effective job as Auditor/Treasurer.
Hiivala said he does not expect to see any increase this year. He only expects to receive what his staff gets. If they receive zero increases, he does not expect an increase.
Norman said the County has three collective bargaining agreements settled for a three-year period, and a tentative agreement with the Courthouse Unit. The agreements stipulate zero increases this year (2012), next year (2013), and a one percent increase in the third year (2014).
Recommendation: Authorize zero increase to the Auditor/Treasurer’s compensation for 2013.
B. Tom Kelly, County Attorney
Norman told Kelly that he explained to Hiivala the statutory guidelines the Board uses to determine salary increases. Kelly said he understood and will address those points.
Kelly read from four documents in the following order:
1) An email sent to the Board and Norman on 11-15-12 at 9:59 A.M.;
2) A four-page letter from Kelly to the Board and Norman dated 11-14-12;
3) A Wright County Attorney Mission Statement (2 1/2 pages);
4) An email to the Board and Norman dated 11-16-12 at 11:53 A.M.
Kelly also provided a document itemizing the amount of Drug Forfeiture Funds his Office utilized from 2010 through 2012 (see five attachments).
While reading the Mission statement, Kelly commented on a photo he displayed of attorney Brian Lutes and him standing behind 1,400 pages of documents related to a grand jury trial the Office prosecuted. Kelly said his Office is unique due to the prosecution responsibilities he shoulders for 13 cities. He said it is important that his Office works together with local and County Law Enforcement. Referring to Page 2 of the Mission Statement, Kelly said the Social Host Ordinance was not mandated by law, but it was the right thing to do. Regarding the Stop Truancy Program, Kelly said he only appears in court ten percent of the time due to the success of that program.
After reading the Mission Statement, Kelly summarized his position and record of accomplishments. He asked the Board for feedback regarding his request for a raise.
Russek asked what options Kelly has for utilizing Drug Forfeiture funds if portions remain unspent. Kelly said in April, 2012 they used $6,000 for a Constellation Justice Systems software upgrade. Russek asked whether there were any limitations to the use of Drug Forfeiture Funds. Kelly said it was a benefit for the Attorney Office. He uses it for seminars and mileage, for example. He prefers using those funds versus asking the Board for more money.
Sawatzke said Kelly mentioned that on 7-1-12 there was an understanding between the Board and Kelly that his salary could be re-evaluated for 2012. Sawatzke did not recall that the Board made the statement in October, 2011 that they would revisit Kelly’s salary in one year. Kelly said there was a zero increase in 2012. At that time the Board asked him if everyone got a zero percent increase, would he accept the same. Kelly said he told Sawatzke that he would be willing to take zero percent, but if that doesn’t happen, he has every right to come back to the table. Sawatzke did not remember that discussion, and did not believe that Kelly would be allowed to renegotiate his salary. Sawatzke continued that the Board sets salaries one time per year. Mattson said he thought the Board did agree to that. Sawatzke said State Statute does not allow that situation.
Sawatzke read from the first complete paragraph on Page 4 of Kelly’s letter that stated his request for a $3,728 raise would cost the County less than litigation. Sawatzke asked Kelly, “Are you saying if you don’t get that dollar amount, you will litigate?” Kelly responded, “Yes. What is your counter?” Sawatzke replied, “You’ve told us about your good work, but State Statute says the County Board sets your salary. Then you say that if you don’t get a raise you will take the County to court. What is our role? What kind of approach is that? Do we have no status as Commissioners?”
Kelly said he would not rehash history. Sawatzke said his request was unreasonable. Thelen suggested they move forward. Sawatzke reiterated his question. “If you don’t get your demand, you’ll sue us? You said ‘Yes.’” Kelly replied he was requesting a raise of $3,728. Sawatzke asked for clarification again. “If you don’t get it, you will litigate.” Kelly said Sawatzke was correct regarding the duties of the Board. He continued that they are the same as the basis set by Trusight, the employer association hired by the Board. Kelly felt the Board’s decision to grant a zero percent increase would be “arbitrary and capricious” and he would sue if it came to that, but he hoped it wouldn’t. He said he provided the Board with documentation so they have a better understanding of his duties, responsibilities and position on the issue. Sawatzke asked how his statement about suing the County could be construed as a meeting of the minds.
Thelen suggested they choose a non-adversarial approach. She said Kelly has a right to litigate and so does the County. Sawatzke said the County can not litigate. He continued that his question was not unreasonable. Sawatzke was bothered by Kelly’s response that the Board’s opinion has no value. Thelen thought it was fair, just, reasonable and right based on the salaries that were increased in the Attorney Office, and on Kelly’s documentation. She said she has worked with numerous prosecuting offices across the country as well as in the County. She said Kelly runs a very progressive office. They are passionate about their work and do an excellent job. Thelen said she did not know the positions the rest of the Board held on this matter. Sawatzke said Kelly boxed them into a corner. He did not like the comment that if the Board did not approve the $3,728 raise Kelly requested, there will be litigation.
Norman clarified that the salary for 2012 was set at $119,446 in addition to the $4,809 Kelly received in recognition of his enhanced responsibilities for administering city law enforcement contracts. Norman said Kelly’s request for a three percent raise is on the total salary, and not just on the base salary. Kelly said it should be on the total salary. He continued that when the County settled his prior litigation with Madden, Galanter, Hansen LLP, the parties chose to allocate $4,000 toward his work with city law enforcement contracts.
Norman explained that three bargaining units have settled contracts with the County to date. The three settlements all state zero increases this year, zero increases next year and a one percent increase in 2014. Norman will also present a non-union salary schedule to the Board in December, 2012. He did not think the Board has an appetite for anything other than a zero percent increase. Norman said he presented this to Kelly as a fact. He said Kelly is being paid ten percent higher than any other employee in the County.
Kelly said he did not go to law school to be paid $30,000 less than comparable positions. He added that economic conditions did not prevent the Board from giving attorneys on his staff and other employees increases, or to spend money on Parks purchases. Kelly said his request for an increase is not unfair to other County officials as he has been employed with the County for 29 years, and they do not have his duties, experience, responsibilities or qualifications. Kelly said giving him a raise should not be predicated on negotiations with bargaining units of which he is not a member.
Thelen asked the other Commissioners to provide their input. Eichelberg said he was not interested in taking the challenge, so he will vote in favor of Kelly’s request. Russek said Kelly does a great job, but found it difficult to give him a three percent raise in a year when every other employee gets zero. He said other Department Heads do a great job and are not getting an increase. He said if Kelly takes the County to court, so be it.
Kelly said he gave a presentation to the newly elected Commissioners on 11-16-12 regarding the functions of his position and Office. He explained the responsibility of the Board to set salaries for elected officials annually. Kelly said he told them about his request for an increase and the possibility of litigation in the event the Board did not approve it. He said he did not want to surprise them in January when they take office. Kelly said several of them sent him “good luck” emails.He asked the Board to reconsider their positions on his request.
Norman asked Kelly to verify that he met with the newly elected Commissioners. Kelly said he told them about the functions of his Office and what would happen if he litigates. He did not provide them with the documentation he distributed at today’s meeting. Norman asked Kelly if he presented his salary demands for next year. Kelly said he did not.
Sawatzke said Kelly made it clear that if he does not get the increase he demands, he will sue. Sawatzke said he would not be ordered by the County Attorney the amount to authorize for his salary. The Board has authority for setting the budget. Sawatzke said Kelly is playing outside his role by demanding an increase or threatening to sue. Kelly said he hasn’t received a counter offer from the Board.
Mattson said he was grateful for the work of the Negotiation Committee. He thinks Kelly should also appreciate that they agreed to a zero increase for the two years and one percent for the year after that. Mattson said he was very upset with Kelly’s request. Kelly said he was not part of the Negotiation Committee. Mattson stated he is against the request.
Norman said the majority recommendation of the Board was to deny Kelly’s request. He asked the Board if there were any other options they wanted to consider.
Sawatzke asked if Kelly would consider any other offer. He said he asked Kelly earlier in the meeting whether he would sue the County if he didn’t get his demand. Sawatzke questioned why they should make a counter offer if Kelly intends to sue the County. Kelly asked Sawatzke to make a counter offer.
Thelen asked if a counter would be offered. Sawatzke wondered whether that would be acceptable according to State statute. Sawatzke asked whether Trusight evaluated Kelly’s salary and job description. Kelly said they did not. They looked at other professions.
Thelen asked again whether there was a counter proposal. Sawatzke questioned whether that was possible at this point. Norman said the Board does not need to make a recommendation, but can meet again after taking the matter under advisement. Russek said he would not agree to a three percent increase for Kelly. It was too high. Russek added he did not question Kelly’s capabilities or experience with the County. Kelly inquired whether three percent was really that large when compared to attorney firms that give ten percent or more. Norman clarified that the Board could not determine an increase for 2014. Russek said a one percent increase for that year is out altogether. Kelly suggested a two and one-half percent increase to conclude the negotiations. He did not want to foster an adversarial relationship with the new Board. Sawatzke asked why Kelly thought there would be an adversarial relationship, when he implied they were already in favor of his request. Kelly denied saying that. He said he wanted the new Commissioners to be aware that litigation could be a possibility. He asked Russek to agree with a two and one-half percent increase for 2013, stating it was a fair request. He was not asking for retroactive pay from 7-1-12.
Russek said he did not know if a two and one-half percent raise would be approved. Kelly said Commissioners Thelen and Eichelberg would approve it.
Thelen asked about setting another meeting. Norman said it would be an open meeting. He heard Kelly say to Sawatzke that he discussed his salary with the new Commissioners. Kelly replied that he explained that the Board sets the salary with elected Officials on an annual basis, and that they were going through the process now. Sawatzke asked Kelly whether the new Commissioners saw the documents he distributed today. Kelly said no. Thelen asked Norman his concerns about new Commissioners seeing Kelly’s salary request. Norman said he wanted to ensure the County had not violated any open meeting laws. Kelly suggested the Board ask the new Commissioners what he told them on 11-16-12. He was attempting to build relationships with them. Turning to Russek, Kelly asked if he would vote in favor of a two and one-half percent increase if Thelen and Eichelberg concurred. Russek said he was on the Negotiation Committee and had to consider this situation carefully, as this is a difficult issue. There are several more meetings scheduled.
Kelly encouraged the Board to talk with Madden. Sawatzke said he did not hear Madden say Kelly would not get a three percent increase because unions are getting zero.
Kelly again asked Russek to vote in favor of a two and one-half percent increase. Russek said no. He does not respond positively to threats of litigation. Kelly apologized if Russek felt he was threatened with litigation. He said he distributed his documentation several days before the meeting. He then proposed a two and one-quarter percent increase, stating that was more than reasonable. Kelly said if Russek viewed his comment about litigation as a threat, he did not respond by offering a lesser figure. Thelen told Russek she did not perceive Kelly’s statement of litigation as a threat. She felt that was Russek’s interpretation. Russek said Kelly stated that if he didn’t get a raise of $3,728, he would go to litigation. Kelly apologized to Russek if he viewed his statement as a threat.
Sawatzke said he was confused. His said his first question to Kelly was, “Will you take us to Court if you don’t get the $3,728 raise?” Sawatzke said Kelly responded, “Yes.” Kelly countered with a two percent increase. Sawatzke replied that he would consider one-half of Kelly’s original request. Kelly would not agree to that amount.
Eichelberg agreed with two percent. Sawatzke said half of Kelly’s request is one and one-half percent, which is more than any other County employee will receive. Norman asked Kelly’s thoughts regarding keeping his base salary the same, and accepting $7,000 as the lump sum amount. Kelly said he would agree to a two percent increase. He wished to resolve the issue. Two percent would be fair. Thelen thought two percent was an option to avoid power struggles. She asked Kelly if that was satisfactory. Kelly said he was not happy, but he could live with it. He asked if three of the Board members would agree to a two percent increase.
Sawatzke said two percent is too high. He recognized Kelly’s great work. He said that is the only reason he would consider granting him an increase, but two percent is too high.
Russek said he was debating whether to agree to get the situation resolved. He asked how the two percent would be allocated. Norman said the total comes to $126,740. Kelly asked the amount of the increase. Russek said it would be $2,485. Kelly asked that the base be the same, but to increase the city contract compensation so next year his salary would be $119,446 plus $4809 for administering city contracts plus $2,485 for the increase. Russek said the additional compensation would be $7,294. Kelly said in order to settle the matter immediately, he would take $119,446 as a base salary plus the additional $7,294 for administering city contracts, for a total of $126,740. Sawatzke said he understands the reasoning of his peers, but respectfully votes no.
Recommendation: Two percent increase to County Attorney’s total compensation for 2013.
B. Joe Hagerty, Sheriff
Sawatzke asked whether Hagerty had one more Step increase on the Salary Schedule. Hagerty said he had prepared documentation for the meeting, but did not distribute it in the interest of time. Norman asked Hagerty if he wanted an explanation of the criteria the Board evaluates when considering compensation for elected officials. Hagerty said he understood them.
Hagerty began by saying he has gained a lot of experience in the last two years. The duties and responsibilities of the Office don’t change. He said his Office goes above and beyond the basics. Hagerty said he has information on comparable positions, and the County is below the average. He conceded that the County is not as large as Hennepin or Ramsey. However, his Office responds to the most 911 calls outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul. He loves his work and puts in a lot of hours.
Thelen asked Hagerty to state his request. Hagerty responded that he would like to fall between Carver and Scott in compensation. That would be higher than the County Salary Schedule for his classification. He said the County will continue to grow, which places more demands on his Office. Hagerty assured the Board that his Office is up to the challenge of providing public safety to the County. They have done a lot of changes and received many accolades. He hopes to be re-elected in two more years.
Sawatzke asked which Step Hagerty was on in the Salary Schedule. Norman said he is at Step Eight of nine steps. He earns $109,045 at Step Eight, and will go to $112,862 at Step Nine. Sawatzke said that equates to an increase of three and one-half percent. If he goes to Step Nine, Hagerty will get the largest increase in the County at $3,817.
Thelen asked Hagerty if that was acceptable. Hagerty said yes, that will be fine. He had $3,800 calculated because of the city contracts. He said the trend is for County Law Enforcement to function as a one-stop shop due to funding cuts to local public safety agencies. Hagerty said they will either have to merge or share services.
Norman thanked Hagerty for his cooperation.
Recommendation: Increase the Sheriff’s compensation to Step Nine at $112,862 for 2013.
(End of 11-20-12 Personnel Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Norman presented a draft resolution establishing the 2013 Budget and Certified Levy. The draft takes into account changes discussed at the 11-27-12 County Board PM Meeting (Truth In Local Taxation). With these changes, the total Budget is proposed at $102,850,890 and the total Certified Taxable Levy is proposed at $50,574,019. The Levy did not change from 2012. The changes made to the resolution relate to reducing the amount needed under Unfilled Vacancies by $25,885. This is comprised of a reduction of $2,500 in the Lake Pulaski L.I.D. amount (reduced to $72,500 from $75,000 as that was what the L.I.D. requested) and a reduction of $23,385 in the Medical Examiners Budget (reduced from $354,653 to $331,268). Sawatzke said at the 11-27-12 County Board PM Meeting, it was implied that the Levy would be reduced by this amount instead of reducing the Unfilled Vacancies line item. Norman said the comment was made but it was not necessarily the consensus of the Board members. Sawatzke stated that it is a very good Budget. The only thing he did not support and has been against since it was originally brought up is the Human Resources Director position ($93,961 salary). He is not inclined to support that position. He did not support the position in August and in a subsequent meeting held in September.
Sawatzke made a motion to adopt a resolution on the 2013 Budget and Certified Taxable Levy. That motion includes reducing the proposed $102,850,890 Budget by $93,961 (Human Resources Director position). The motion includes reducing the Certified Taxable Levy from the amount proposed of $50,574,019 by $93,961 (Human Resources Director position) and by $25,885 (reduction for Pulaski L.I.D. of $2,500 and reduction for Medical Examiner of $23,385). Board Chair Thelen passed the gavel to Vice Chair Eichelberg and then seconded the motion. Russek said he will support the Human Resources Director position and felt it is long overdue. He voted previously to support it and will remain with that position. With 670 employees, he said it is time for the County to have a Human Resources Director. Sawatzke said there are three people serving as Personnel Representatives. Russek said the County does not have a Director. Thelen said she supports the Human Resources Director position but objects to the method by which it was decided. She feels a management audit should be done on how best to bring the position in. Mattson said he supported the position before and will again. The motion to adopt the resolution proposed by Sawatzke failed 2-3 with Mattson, Eichelberg and Russek casting the nay votes.
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-68 setting the 2013 Budget at $102,850,890 and the Certified Taxable Levy at $50,548,134. This includes adding $25,885 back to the Unfilled Vacancies line item (from $440,715 to $466,600) and reducing the Total Certified Taxable Levy by that amount (from $50,574,019 to $50,548,134). The $25,885 is comprised of a reduction for Pulaski L.I.D. of $2,500 and reduction for Medical Examiner of $23,385. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg. Sawatzke said he will vote against the motion. He did not want to show disrespect to those voting for the motion. He is voting against the motion as he does not support filling the Human Resources position. The motion carried 4-1 with Sawatzke casting the nay vote. (Note: Resolution #12-68 setting the Budget and Certified Levy for 2013 was rescinded later in the Meeting because of a correction to the Levy figure. A new Resolution was adopted at that time)
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-69 setting the County Attorney’s salary at $119,446 with an additional $7,294 for administering law enforcement contracts. The motion was seconded by Russek. Sawatzke said he will vote against the Resolution. The County Attorney is the most highly paid position in the organization. Other County employees are receiving a $0 cost of living adjustment in 2013. Sawatzke viewed it as unfair that an individual making substantially more than others in the County should get a raise when others don’t. He said other Board members may vote in support of the salary increase as they don’t want litigation to arise if the salary is not approved. He understands why they would vote yes but he will not. Russek said he agrees with Sawatzke’s position. He does not like the proposed salary but thinks it will cost the County much more to fight any litigation. He estimated that may cost $15,000-$20,000 and the County could lose in the end. That is why he will vote in favor of the salary increase, as it will be the cheapest way out for the County. Thelen supports the salary increase requested by the County Attorney. She said most of the County Attorney staff received a 9% increase as a result of the Classification Study. She said County Attorney Tom Kelly also receives between $8,000 and $20,000 less than other county attorneys. His office also provides prosecution services for a number of cities in Wright County. She said the request is justified, that Kelly provided good documentation, and that she supports the request without reservation. Mattson said he does not support the request. He said any person can look around and find someone who is making more money than they are. Mattson feels the organization is running tight. Eichelberg stated he agrees with the salary increase request. The motion carried 3-2 on a roll call vote with Mattson and Sawatzke casting the nay votes:
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the experience, qualifications, performance, and responsibilities and duties of Tom Kelly, Attorney;
BE IT RESOLVED that his 2013 salary shall be $119,446;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners shall provide $7,294 in additional salary in 2013 in recognition of the enhanced responsibilities he has for administering the city law enforcement contracts.
(End of Resolution #12-69)
Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #12-70 setting the Auditor/Treasurer’s Compensation for 2013 at $112,862. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the experience, qualifications, performance, and responsibilities and duties of Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer;
BE IT RESOLVED that his 2013 salary shall be $112,862.
(End of Resolution 12-70)
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-71 setting the Sheriff’s Compensation for 2013 at $112,862. The motion was seconded by Sawatzke and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners has considered the experience, qualifications, performance, and responsibilities and duties of Joe Hagerty, Sheriff;
BE IT RESOLVED that his 2013 salary shall be $112,862.
(End of Resolution #12-71)
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-72 setting the County Board’s compensation for 2013 at $36,527. The motion was seconded by Mattson. Sawatzke said the County Board’s compensation has remained the same for the period of 2008-2013. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote:
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, 2013 members of the Wright County Board of Commissioners shall have an annual salary, exclusive of per diem payments, of $36,527. Said salary shall continue in effect until such time as this Resolution is amended or otherwise modified.
(End of Resolution #12-72).
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-73 setting the County Board Per Diem at $50 in 2013. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Sawatzke moved to adopt Resolution #12-74 appointing Dr. Quinn Strobl as Medical Examiner in 2013. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Russek moved to adopt Resolution #12-75, Resolution of Final Acceptance for the 2012 Overlays, Contract #12-01, with Knife River of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, and authorizing final payment of $25,084.96. The motion was seconded by Eichelberg and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-76, Resolution of Final Acceptance for the2011 CSAH 34 Overlay, Contract #11-08, with Hardrives, Inc. of Rogers, Minnesota, and authorizing final payment of $21,566.62. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
On a motion by Russek, second by Eichelberg, all voted to cancel the 1-01-13 County Board Meeting.
Thelen said a Public Health Citizen Forum on the Environment will be held on 12-12-12 from 5:30-8:30 P.M. at St. Cloud State University. It is an opportunity for citizens to come forward with environmental issues that may affect public health. The forum is being held by the Minnesota Department of Public Health.
The meeting adjourned at 11:15 A.M.
The meeting reconvened at 11:24 A.M. Norman said the purpose of reconvening was to inform the Board that a correction is needed on the 2013 Budget and Certified Levy that was adopted earlier in today’s Meeting. The correction relates to the reduction in the Lake Pulaski L.I.D. special levy. When Resolution #12-68 was adopted, it included the corrected Lake Pulaski L.I.D. amount of $72,500. Action taken by the Board today reduced $2,500 from the Certified Taxable Levy for the corrected Lake Pulaski L.I.D. figure. Therefore the $2,500 amount was reduced twice. Eichelberg moved to rescind Resolution #12-68 which reflected a $25,885 reduction in the Levy for 2013. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 5-0.
Eichelberg moved to adopt Resolution #12-77 setting the 2013 Budget at $102,850,890 and the Certified Taxable Levy at $50,550,634. This includes adding $23,385 back to the Unfilled Vacancies line item (from $440,715 to $464,100) and reducing the Total Certified Taxable Levy by that amount (from $50,574,019 to $50,550,634). The $23,385 reduction relates to a decrease in the Medical Examiner’s budget. The motion was seconded by Russek and carried 4-1 on a roll call vote with Sawatzke casting the nay vote.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2013 Budget as follows:
ROAD & BRIDGE 21,847,642
DEBT SERVICE 4,698,696
TOTAL BUDGET $102,850,890
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby establishes the 2013 Certified Taxable Levy as follows:
SUB-TOTAL $41,830,568
NET TAXABLE LEVY $37,616,134
CORRECTIONS $8,204,804
DEBT SERVICE $4,698,696
SUB-TOTAL: $51,014,734
Bills Approved
Accurate USA 142.50
Advanced Graphix Inc 1,773.73
Allina Hospitals & Clinics 36,717.00
American Messaging 197.40
Americinn 517.14
Ameripride Services 288.87
AMI Imaging Systems Inc 2,800.00
Annandale Rock Products 2,868.15
Annandale/City of 500.00
Antl/Linda I 115.68
Aramark Services Inc 6,438.38
Barnes Distribution 179.33
Beaudry Propane Inc 1,457.72
Bergquist/Kevin 100.00
Bergstrom/Janice 125.00
Berntsen International Inc 243.76
Bob Barker Company Inc 7,171.59
Bond Trust Services Corp 450.00
Borell/Ralph 1,739.11
Boyer Truck Parts 1,193.29
BP Amoco 2,935.68
Brock White Co LLC 511.41
Brothers Fire Protection Co 258.00
Brownells Inc 301.19
Buffalo/City of 55,235.64
CDW Government Inc 484.53
Cenex Fleetcard 160.68
Center Point Energy 365.66
Centra Sota Coop. - Buffalo 29,799.17
CenturyLink 3,371.19
CES Imaging 1,370.32
Chief Supply 467.99
Climate Air 3,222.04
Cokato Township 1,325.00
Comm. of Transportation 1,800.00
Constellation Justice Systems 1,651.00
Corporate Payment Systems 1,258.35
Cottens Inc 6,282.35
Cretex Specialty Products 1,302.71
Croteau Plumbing 215.38
CST Distribution LLC 1,203.88
Cub Foods 197.89
Dell Marketing LP 739.29
Eich/Kurt 125.00
Elk River Municipal Utilities 111.10
Emerson Network Power 900.00
Ernst/Debbie 257.45
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc 1,784.68
Fire Safety USA Inc 5,140.37
Fleet Computing International 775.00
Frontier Precision Inc 1,591.37
Gabriel/Cathleen 200.00
General Office Products Co. 722.83
Globalstar USA 366.76
Glunz Construction LLC 125.00
Gopher State One Call 156.80
Gould Towing 194.51
Grainger 633.27
Grand View Lodge 504.00
Granite Electronics 1,532.79
Granite Pest Control Services 248.82
Green Interiors 482.07
Greene Espel PLLP 1,539.00
Greenview Inc 1,159.48
Group Health Plan Inc 826.82
Hardings Towing Inc 160.31
Hardrives Inc 21,566.62
Helena Chemical Company 149.63
Herc-U-Lift 15,901.93
Hewlett Packard 4,963.49
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 5,693.16
Holiday 19,006.03
Holiday Inn - St Cloud 190.92
Howell/Gregory 126.75
Integrated Fire & Security 13,379.25
Interstate Battery Systems 997.72
Jahnke/Chris 166.00
Jennie Hakes 125.00
Johnson/Randall R 6,500.00
Knife River 25,084.96
Kris Engineering Inc 6,614.49
L3 Communications Inc 34,478.91
LaPlant Demo Inc 539.72
Laurent/Michael 172.65
Lawson Products Inc 3,197.91
Lee/Philip M 5,400.00
Lee/Tina 202.00
Liberty Tire Recycling LLC 43,736.77
Linderman/Rosemary 1,250.00
Loberg Electric 10,136.98
M & M Express Sales 737.23
M & M Express Sales/Service 588.19
MAAO Region 3 100.00
Marco 2,894.16
Marco Inc 4,639.52
Marietta Aggregates/Martin 5,021.16
Martin-McAllisters Consulting 400.00
Martyn Dibben 150.00
Menards - Buffalo 546.07
Metro Group Inc/The 2,544.14
Midwest Protection Agency Inc 840.44
Milana P Tolins LLC 300.00
Miller/Richard 125.00
MN Counties Comp. Coop 55,000.00
MN Native Landscapes 900.00
MN Supreme Court 1,645.00
Monticello Times Inc 391.89
Montrose/City of 136,241.15
Morrell Towing Inc 169.93
Morries Parts & Service Group 390.12
Motorola Inc 13,271.94
Mueller/Craig 175.34
Mumford Sanitation 129.87
Neopost Great Plains 1,257.00
Neopost USA Inc 1,102.58
New River Medical Center 167.60
Norman/Richard W. 255.56
Northern States Power Co 121.40
O’Ryans Conoco Marathon 150.00
Office Depot 4,844.49
Onsite Medical Service Inc 950.00
Postmaster-Buffalo 570.00
Powerplan OIB 2,575.43
Purick/Ryan 200.00
Redneck Trailer Supplies 213.61
Redwood Toxicology Lab 180.73
Reese/Genell K 130.65
Regions Hospital 17,235.25
Rinke-Noonan 200.00
Road Machinery & Supplies Co 804.89
Rockford Fire Department 320.95
Rockford/City of 662.00
Royal Tire Inc 6,435.90
Russek/John 510.58
Russell Security Resource Inc 5,797.65
Schwartz/Jami 130.04
Scuba Center 5,097.83
Setter/Randi 100.00
SGA Group Inc 500.00
SHI International Corp 49,388.01
Skillpath Seminars 133.09
Specialty Turf & Ag 138.72
Sprint 7,433.98
St Cloud Stamp & Sign Inc 134.63
St Croix Recreation Co Inc 1,376.55
Stamp Fulfillment Services 261.95
Stationers Inc 1,173.62
Suburban Emerg. Assoc. PA 371.80
Syntax Inc 935.16
T & S Trucking 1,836.00
Tallman/Nancy 102.25
Tester/Josh 768.84
Total Printing 328.32
Towmaster 162.35
Traffic Control Corp 5,157.79
Trophies Plus LLC 266.92
TW Vending Inc 3,793.56
Twin City Seed Company 155.92
Ultramax 13,733.00
Uniforms Unlimited 203.79
Veolia Environmental Serv 13,658.06
Verizon Wireless 508.50
Waste Management-TC West 2,334.80
Woodford/Michael 139.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 426.17
Zarnoth Brush Works Inc 632.70
43 Payments Less Than $100 2,246.69
Final Total: $804,113.78
The meeting adjourned at 11:26 A.M
Published in the Herald Journal Dec. 31, 2012.

Return to Wright County Menu | Return to Government Table of Contents

Herald Journal
Stories | Columns | Obituaries | Classifieds
Guides | Sitemap | Dassel-Cokato Home | Delano Home | HJ Home