WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
JUNE 27, 2017
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden, Potter and Borrell present.
6-20-17 COUNTY BOARD MINUTES
Daleiden moved to approve the Minutes, seconded by Husom, carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows: Item For Consideration B, “Discussion RE: Zebra Mussels in Cedar Lake & Treatment Options” (Mattice). On a motion by Vetsch, second by Daleiden, all voted to approve the Agenda as modified.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0:
1. Approval of Wright County Deputies Association (WCDA) Tentative Agreement & Authorize Signatures on Labor Agreement
1. Approve Renewal of Annual On-Sale Liquor License for Norm’s Wayside in Rockford Township
2. Approve Renewal of Annual On-Sale and Off-Sale Liquor License for Up the Creek Grill & Bar in Silver Creek Township
3. Approve 6-12-17 Wright County Board Of Appeal And Equalization Minutes
1. Approve Claims As Listed In The Abstract, Subject To Audit, For A Total Of $313,487.36 With 181 Vendors And 358 Transactions
D. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement:
A. Financial Worker
1. Position Replacement:
A. Office Manager I, Highway
F. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission for the following rezonings:
A. STEVEN J. & PAMELA A. CHENEY - (Marysville Twp.) unanimously recommend approval of the rezoning from AG General Agricultural and S-2 Residential-Recreational Shorelands to A/R Agricultural-Residential and S-2
B. JAMES C. ANDERSON - (Clearwater Twp.) unanimously recommend approval of the rezoning from AG General Agricultural to A/R Agricultural-Residential
G. PLANNING & ZONING
1. Refer To Personnel Committee Discussion Of Staffing Levels At The Wright County Compost Facility
H. SHERIFF’S OFFICE
1. Refer To Building Committee Discussion On The Sheriff’s Office Firearm Training Range
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Informational Item: The License Bureau Will Be Closed For Motor Vehicle Transactions - Including Tabs - On Thursday And Friday, July 20 & 21, 2017. We Will Be Open To Process Driver’s Licenses, DNR Licenses And Game & Fish Licenses. This Is A Statewide Mandatory Shut Down Of Motor Vehicles Due To The Installation Of MNLARS (MN Licensing And Registration System).
Becky Aanerud, License Bureau Supervisor, said MNLARS is a system developed by the State to replace the 30-year old system. The current system is two part. The first part involves staff receiving titles and assigning plates. The second involves entering information into the State system and mailing the documents to the State. With MNLARS, the data will be entered into the State’s system at the counter and immediately updated. Titles will have a turnaround time of 3 days compared to the current 6-8 weeks. Information will be updated immediately. The down side is that it will take longer with each customer as they are waited on. The License Bureau will be closed on July 20-21, 2017 for this upgrade for motor vehicle transactions only, including tabs. The License Bureau will be able to assist with other items such as licenses (Drivers, Game & Fish, and DNR).
Decide Whether Or Not To Sign A Petition For The Creation Of A Lake Improvement District For Maple Lake, PID R-210-100-352300, PID R-210-100-352302, PID R-210-129-000020 (Tax Forfeit Property)
Hiivala received a petition to establish a Lake Improvement District (LID) for Maple Lake. Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, and Commissioner Vetsch attended an informational meeting on 6-23-17. If signatures of the majority of property owners are gained, then the petition to establish the LID will be presented to the County Board. Two of the parcels include lake access on CR 37 and are owned by the County. Statute indicates local governments have the right to sign the petition as they can be assessed. The third parcel is a tax forfeit parcel located in Sherwood Forest that is owned by the State. One signature is allowed with multiple parcels. If the Board supports the formation of a LID, action would be to authorize the Auditor/Treasurer to sign on the County’s behalf.
Vetsch stated that the Maple Lake Association has used fundraisers to manage such things as weed control, AIS inspections, and inlet/outlet control. Poor weather conditions for ice fishing contests resulted in cancellations and less funding raised for these efforts. Establishing a LID would open up grant opportunities that would otherwise not be available. There are about 290 people in the LID and roughly 140-145 would be required for the petition. Vetsch said the Maple Lake City Council may address this at their meeting this evening.
Discussion followed on setbacks for inclusion in the LID, SWCD’s involvement, how assessments may be applied, and membership of the LID Board. Asleson said if formed, the LID would be in existence until terminated. Terminating the LID would require a petition process. Vetsch said the final details will be presented to the Ways & Means Committee to define the bylaws of the LID.
Vetsch moved to authorize signature on the petition for the LID for Maple Lake. The motion was seconded by Potter. Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, received information on the formation of the LID which he plans to present to the Parks Commission on 7-10-17. Daleiden favored letting the Parks Board review prior to Board action. Based on that recommendation, Vetsch withdrew his motion. Daleiden made a motion to table the request until a Board Meeting in mid-July. The motion failed for lack of a second. It was the consensus that this item will be brought back to the 7-18-17 County Board Meeting.
Approve 1 Day To 4 Day Temporary On Sale Liquor License For The American Legion Post 323 In Clearwater Township, Event Date July 14 & 15, 2017
Vetsch moved to approve the License, seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
VIRGIL HAWKINS, HIGHWAY ENGINEER
Approve Resolution and Final Acceptance for the CSAH 35 Flood Control Project, Contract 1602
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #17-32, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Set Transportation Committee of the Whole Meeting to Discuss Transportation Items
On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to schedule a TCOTW Meeting for 7-19-17 at 1:00 PM at the Highway Building. The Agenda items are as follows: 1) County Highway 17 Slope Distress in Delano; 2) CR 131 & Fenning Avenue Jurisdictional Change Status/Next Steps; 3) County Road Safety Plan Update; 4) ADA Transition Plan Update; 5) Outlying Maintenance Shop Planning.
PUBLIC HEARING - ORDINANCE AMENDMENT NUMBER 17-1, MANDATORY INSPECTION FOR AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES ON EAST & WEST LAKE SYLVIA, LAKE JOHN, AND PLEASANT LAKE
At 9:30 AM, the Public Hearing was held on the proposed Ordinance Amendment Number 17-1, Mandatory Inspection for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) on East & West Lake Sylvia, Lake John, and Pleasant Lake.
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, said the proposed Ordinance Amendment and public letters received are part of the online Board packet material. In addition, one phone call was received from Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, District 8, Alexandria, and Chair of the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, in favor of the proposed Ordinance Amendment. Potter added that Senator Ingebrigtsen is frustrated with the lack of speed on the part of the DNR and is encouraging moving forward with the Amendment.
Borrell questioned boat inspections and treatment for boats exiting one of these Lakes. He noted that Lake Sylvia has Starry Stonewart, Zebra Mussels, and Milfoil. Kryzer said it will be voluntary and is not part of the Ordinance Amendment as there is not a method of enforcement.
Public comment was received.
Chris Hector, President of Greater Lake Sylvia Association. Hector is in favor of the proposed ordinance amendment and said the list of invasive species is long. Inspections, cleaning, and decontamination are the one opportunity to address all invasive species and do so in a cost-effective manner. A study published in 2012 by the DNR outlines regional inspections, which are estimated to be ten times more cost effective than inspections at ramps. The request is for the opportunity to prove that to be true through the pilot program. Support has been received from the City of Annandale, townships, lake associations, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers, and Minnesota Coalition of Area Lakes. Many of the volunteers believe it is an opportunity to leverage and make more effective use of taxpayer dollars toward this very serious problem.
The lake associations have been working on this for six months. They were able to attain a grant of $623,000 in matching funds from the Initiative Foundation and a donation of land from the City of Annandale. Two committees have been formed comprised of people with expertise to contribute toward the project. Hector stated July will be the last opportunity for funding through the Initiative Foundation. With County Board approval, the official proposal will be submitted to the DNR in order to attain funding.
Hector said others across the State are looking to this project. It is part of Statute and has not been taken advantage of. He viewed this as an opportunity to let the Legislature know that providing funding to counties to be innovative was the right choice. Hector stated it would not be possible to do the Float the Boat concept or any other enhanced treatment at each ramp. A centralized location is required as it will allow hot water decontamination and any other enhanced cleaning.
Kryzer stated that the ordinance would create a mandatory inspection process but it will not mandate a specific location.
Alicia OHare, County Water Planner-SWCD. According to the DNR, the SWCD is the delegated authority for AIS Inspections. OHare provided a draft of the Regional Watercraft Inspection Pilot Plan. With passage of the ordinance amendment, the next step will be to present the Plan to the SWCD Board at their special meeting being held today. If approved, it will then be sent to the DNR for approval. The City of Annandale will meet on the site plan on 7-10-17. After approval by these entities, they will move forward with getting the regional inspection site operational.
OHare said Lake John and Lake Sylvia will receive the highest priority for inspections. The County provides 42 hours/week, with focus on weekends. Pleasant Lake will receive 12 hours/week with 6 hours of that ideally on the weekend. The majority of lake accesses in the County have similar schedules of 12 hours/week.
OHare said the SWCD has some concerns with the Plan. Both Lake Sylvia and Lake John have significant and aggressive AIS and the Plan removes exit inspections from those accesses. If an inspector is on site and requests an inspection, it is mandatory while they are there. Not having exit inspections is a risk to all lakes that a boater may travel to. She said a consideration would be to leave some inspectors on the accesses temporarily as part of a trial period. This would provide a great deal of education for boaters that may end up being part of the regional inspection. That would be at additional cost.
Another concern is the inspection site which will require significant fill and grading to make it larger. One boat will be inspected at a time and one will be in decontamination. Inspections run 5-10 minutes and decontamination 15+ minutes depending on the size of the boat. This could result in significant wait times during weekends or holidays. If a boat is inspected and requires decontamination, it must be decontaminated or Statute allows imposing charges. While the Plan may be more cost effective, it will cost more overall. To staff a site like this will cost about $117,000 for the period of May through September. The current budget for SWCD is about $35,000 for decontamination and $130,000 for inspections. Funding is available through the Initiative Foundation and the Lake Associations for this effort.
Discussion led to signage with a reminder for inspections. The DNR will allow signs at landings as long as it is not excessive. Permission is required for anything posted on their access. Signs will remind people to do inspections.
Further discussion occurred on the loss of exit inspections as those hours will be used at the decontamination sites. Part of the theory as AIS efforts expand is that there will be less need for exit inspections if all lakes are required to have entry inspections.
Joe Schneider, President of Christmas Lake Homeowners Association. Schneider is also Chair of the Minnehaha Creek Waters, serves on the Board of MN COLA (volunteer Statewide organization that works to protect lakes), and serves on the review committee for the $4 million in initiative grants that is provided for AIS pilot programs. Schneider voiced support for the proposed ordinance amendment. He has been involved in AIS prevention efforts since 2011 and virtually does this full time. Schneider said he will not address the economic impacts of AIS but it is a significant concern.
On Christmas Lake, they have 100% inbound inspection by Level 2 AIS Inspectors from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM for the period of April 15 through October 31. There is a decontamination unit on site. The annual cost for one ramp is $85,000. He viewed wait times as a significant concern and said it may be cost effective to add additional inspector staffing on holidays and weekends. He viewed this ordinance as a solution that breaks the mold. Solutions to date have been less about cost and more about boater convenience. In all solutions, they have been done with no additional cost to the boater. AIS fees on boat registrations have not increased in many years ($1.35-$1.45 per boat), while the State’s spending on AIS has ratcheted up dramatically.
Schneider said the faster the move to inbound inspections for more Wright County lakes, the greater the protection. He commended the Commissioners for addressing this serious problem.
Kathy Jonsrud, Annandale MN. Jonsrud was representing the Wright County Coalition of Lake Associations (WCCOLA) and spoke in support of the regional watercraft inspection pilot. The pilot will change the way that lakes are used, and change is required to protect and preserve their value to the tax base and economy in Wright County. The WCCOLA believes inspections and decontaminations can reduce the spread of AIS. More important is the culture change needed, requiring mindful and consistent decontamination when moving between lakes. This pilot provides a reasonable trial for a required inspection and decontamination process. Jonsrud said zebra mussels were discovered last Friday in Cedar Lake in Annandale, bringing home the point that we can and should do more to protect our Wright County lakes. Passage of the ordinance amendment would show the entire State leadership and wisdom and a model to other counties in protecting this valuable resource. She urged the Commissioners to approve the ordinance amendment.
John Rogers, Clemson University, South Carolina. Rogers is supportive of this pilot project. AIS is moving at an unprecedented rate. He referenced in-lake interventions where the species is present in the lake. He said it is a unique opportunity to address Starry Stonewort in Lake Sylvia, and the species can be dealt with unlike it has ever been dealt with before. Added to this is prevention. Those two things are needed in order to solve this.
Rogers has been working on algae problems for more than 40 years in North and South America, Europe and Africa. He said Wright County has a unique opportunity to move forward with the pilot project and make the changes as needed. He will put a lot of energy into this project to make sure it is successful.
Jim Kutzner, President of Clearwater Lake Property Owners Association. Kutzner spoke in support of the project and encouraged moving forward. Kutzner said Clearwater Lake straddles Wright and Sherburne Counties, with DNR access points in Stearns County. The Clearwater Lake Association Board discussed the difficulties associated with inbound and outbound boat inspections and recognize the associated costs. He said the Clearwater Lake Property Owners Association is also supportive of this project.
Ron Elsner, Vice Chair of Sugar Lake Association. Elsner said written comment was submitted. The Sugar Lake Association volunteer organization represents a little over 200 of the 325 properties on Sugar Lake. The inspection budget is about 27,000 in addition to County funding. Sugar Lake is active in the process and looks forward to the opportunity to become part of the pilot project when that becomes available. The group supports regional and outbound inspections as well.
Peter Pesheck, Granite Lake. Pesheck described himself as the “water guy” on Granite Lake. His training is in chemistry and bio chemistry. Vigorous inspections and decontamination are needed. As a retired biochemist, he has been working with the Lake Sylvia Association to bring expertise to the problem.
As no additional public comment was given, Borrell closed the Public Hearing at 10:22 A.M. and the Board Meeting was reconvened. Husom said a letter of support was received from the City of Annandale and will be entered into the record.
On a motion by Potter, second by Husom, all voted to adopt Ordinance Amendment 17-1, Mandatory Inspection for Aquatic Invasive Species on East and West Lake Sylvia, Lake John, and Pleasant Lake.
The meeting recessed at 10:24 AM and reconvened at 10:33 AM.
The Board discussed sending a letter of support of to the DNR for the AIS Project on East and West Lake Sylvia, Lake John, and Pleasant Lake, requesting they move expeditiously. Daleiden moved to direct the County Coordinator to send a letter to the DNR, seconded by Husom. The motion carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
SCHEDULE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING TO DISCUSS WRIGHT COUNTY TRANSIT
On a motion by Husom, second by Daleiden, all voted to schedule the Meeting for 7-11-17 at 1:00 P.M.
DISCUSSION RE: ZEBRA MUSSELS IN CEDAR LAKE & TREATMENT OPTIONS
Marc Mattice, Parks Administrator, said that a zebra mussel was discovered last week on Cedar Lake near the access dock at Schroeder Park. Since that time, spot checking was completed by the DNR and nothing else was found. The next step is for a third party to complete a more thorough review at a cost of $2,500 to the Lake Association. Following that, the Lake Association will vote on a pilot treatment. The Lake Association does qualify for a pilot treatment through the DNR. Mattice estimated the cost of treatment at $25,000-$30,000 which would include closure of the access at Schroeder Park for 7 days.
Mattice petitioned this to the Agenda to allow moving forward with the third party investigation and possible treatment. He asked the Board if they would consider assisting with some of that expense. There is a Rapid Response Grant in the amount of $10,000 that the Lake Association can apply for. The Lake Association would then be responsible for the remaining $15,000 unless the County would cost share.
Mattice said the County has accesses on other lakes and rivers. There are six swimming beaches in the County that require good water quality. He referenced the revenues of Schroeder Park that could be affected without use of the swimming beach. Bertram, Collinwood, Pleasant, Beebe and Dog Lakes are others that have swimming beaches. Borrell referenced Lake Sylvia and the use of State AIS funding for treatment. The County didn’t contribute direct dollars. He asked what differentiates this request. Mattice responded that Schroeder Park is a County-owned property on the Lake that includes a swimming beach. The use of other lake accesses, such as Lake Waverly and Lake Moses, will not change with AIS. It is the investment of the Park and the use; a main use of the Park is the swimming beach. Daleiden said Park Dedication Funds can be used for Schroeder and Collinwood Parks.
Daleiden moved to authorize $5,000 from the Park Dedication Funds toward this treatment. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. Mattice said the Parks Commission previously set policy that the maximum treatment request for AIS funding would be $1,000, and the requests have to be submitted prior to budgets. Extra monitoring has been put in place at Pleasant Lake and Cedar Lake through this method. The request today is for a pilot treatment of a known AIS. It was noted that if zebra mussels are found in other locations in Cedar Lake, the treatment will not occur and the $5,000 will not be spent. It was suggested that the Parks Commission discuss how to deal with future requests. The motion carried 5-0.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. AMC Board of Directors Meeting. Potter attended on 6-23-17. Items discussed included the budget and expansion of the current AMC Building, including possible acquisition of adjacent properties that are for sale. Dues will increase by $47,000 for 2018 which is a 3.6% increase overall, and information will be sent to Wright County. The Transportation Funding Work Group also met. It was agreed that the legislature did a good job of providing funding for transportation, but this is the first step and not the final step.
2. County Auction. Potter said the Auction was held on 6-22-17 in the evening. Turnout was good but not as high as auctions held on Saturdays. Information on the Auction will be available soon. Daleiden supports using the online auction method as it allows for a wider audience.
3. Quarterly Mayors Association Meeting. Husom, Potter and Vetsch attended the Meeting held on 6-21-17.
4. Monticello 2017 Citizen of the Year. Former Commissioner Pat Sawatzke has been named the Monticello 2017 Citizen of the Year and will serve as the Grand Marshall in the River Fest Parade. The Commissioners voiced that Sawatzke is very active in the community and this is a well-deserved honor.
5. Central MN Mental Health Board Meeting. Husom and Vetsch attended the Meeting on 6-26-17, where they were introduced to the new Finance Director. A clean audit was received. The group voted to adopt new bylaws. After attorney review, the bylaws will be brought forth to the County Board. She said there is an organization, “Leaving Love Minnesota” which collects plastic bags so they can be crocheted into 3x6 mats for the homeless. It takes 600 bags to make one mat. Bag collection is occurring at the Central MN Mental Health Center in Buffalo and Monticello.
180 Degrees $4,619.40
Accurate USA 124.50
Advanced Pest Solutions 150.00
ALADTEC Inc 12,475.00
Albertville Body Shop Inc 7,943.36
Alpha Wireless Communications 487.00
ANCOM Communications Inc 350.00
Anoka County Corrections 14,210.00
Anoka County Sheriff 40,799.87
APEC Industrial Sales & Services 898.96
Aramark Services Inc 8,321.59
Bankers Advertising Co Inc 303.01
Big Time Towing 610.00
Boyer Truck Parts 386.69
Buff ‘N’ Glo Inc 209.90
Buffalo Hospital 235.37
Center Point Energy 736.43
Centerpoint Energy 754.47
Centra Sota Coop - Buffalo 19,089.53
CK Septic Service & Toilet Rental 225.00
Climate Air 611.22
Contech Engineered Solutions 2,996.32
Cornerstone Cafe & Catering Co 334.89
Databank IMX LLC 20,812.50
Dental Care Assoc. of Buffalo PA 101.00
DHS - Swift 49,935.35
DHS - Maxis Cashier, Swift 3,989.53
Glunz Construction Septic Service 130.00
Hillyard Inc - Minneapolis 696.42
Holiday Companies Corp. Office 1,750.00
Integrated Fire & Security 286.25
Janet Shaddix & Associates 490.60
Keeprs Inc 772.54
Laplant Demo Inc 923.35
Larson Companies LTD 174.90
Madden Galanter Hansen LLP 5,509.82
Marco Technologies LLC 177.00
Metro Group Inc/The 5,203.96
Mid-Minnesota Hot Mix Inc 1,215.65
Mini Biff Inc 1,278.20
Minnesota Monitoring Inc 3,590.25
MN Counties Computer Coop. 630.00
Monticello Towing LLC 150.00
Morries Parts & Service Group 330.36
Net Transcripts Inc 2,013.37
North Suburban Towing Inc 225.00
Office Depot 2,915.97
Omni Leadership Exchange LLC 215.85
Otsego/City of 139.62
Pakor Inc 198.62
Pts of America LLC 1,945.75
RCM Specialties Inc 607.75
Retrofit Companies Inc 1,306.69
Royal Tire Inc 507.96
RTS Drug Testing 280.00
Ryan Chevrolet 443.08
SEH Design/Build Inc 15,000.00
Shred Right 184.58
SRF Consulting Group Inc 16,381.52
Thrifty White Pharmacy 2,944.73
Total Printing 647.50
Traffic Marking Service Inc 10,097.33
Truenorth Steel 2,400.00
TW Vending Inc 120.62
Wright Hennepin Coop Elec Assn 2,617.56
Wright Hennepin Electric 632.00
Xcel Energy 623.12
39 Payments less than $100 1,932.16
Final total $313,487.36
The meeting adjourned at 10:57 a.m.
Published in the Herald Journal July 21, 2017.