Wright County Board Minutes

APRIL 16, 2019
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
Borrell moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Potter. Husom made the following correction was made to the minutes: Page 3, paragraph 1, first sentence should read, “Strobel introduced....” (Husom). The motion carried 5-0.
Petitions were accepted to the Agenda as follows:
- Add Consent Agenda Item E2, “Refer To 4-24-19 Personnel Committee Discussion On Hire Of Social Worker Above 12% Of Minimum Hire Range” (petitioned by Jami Goodrum-Schwartz, HHS Director)”
- Add Auditor/Treasurer Timed Item #8, “Approve Renewal Of Seasonal On-Sale And Off-Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Olson’s Campground Contingent Upon Silver Creek Town Board Approval” (petitioned by Bob Hiivala, Auditor/Treasurer)
Potter moved to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Borrell moved to approve the Consent Agenda. He referenced Item A1 relating to the cancellation of Boy/Girl Day due to the lack of participation. Board members conveyed that they hope students see the value in participating and that the event is held next year. It is important to get people interested in state and local government. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0:
1. Cancel Boy/Girl Day Scheduled For 4-16-19 Due To Lack Of Participation
1. Claim - Madden, Galanter & Hansen, LLP, 03-2019 Services, $3,332.97
1. Approve Temporary Liquor License For Church Of St. Mary Of Czestochowa For Event On July 21, 2019
2. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between March 27, 2019 And April 9, 2019
1. Position Replacement:
A. Social Worker III
1. Refer Vacant Collection Officer Position To The 5-08-19 Personnel Committee Meeting
2. Refer to 04-24-19 Personnel Committee Discussion On Hire Of Social Worker Above 12% Of Minimum Hire Range
1. Position Replacement
A. Highway Maintenance Worker
1. Refer To Technology Committee:
A. Enterprise Resource Planning
B. O365
C. Project Portfolio
1. Accept The Findings And Recommendation Of The Planning Commission For The Following Rezoning:
A. JAMES A. GROSKREUTZ - (Rockford Twp.) - Planning Commission Unanimously Recommend Approval of the Request To Rezone That Part Of The Parcel Lying North Of Road, Approximately 45 Acres, From AG General Agricultural To A/R Agricultural-Residential.
1. Position Replacement:
A. Building Inspector
Cancellation Of 4-16-19 Public Hearing At 10:00 A.M. Related To:
A. Adoption Of A Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan
B. The Issuance Of General Obligation Bonds To Finance Construction Of A New Government Center And A New Law Enforcement Training Facility Within The County
Lee Kelly, County Administrator, said the public hearing was originally scheduled for 10:00 A.M. today. Publishing requirements were not met so the public hearing is cancelled for today. The request is to reschedule the public hearing for 4-30-19 at 9:30 A.M.
Reschedule Public Hearing For 4-30-19 At 9:30 A.M.
Daleiden moved to reschedule the public hearing to 4-30-19 at 9:30 A.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Adopt Resolution Sponsoring The Wright County Wetland Appeal Board For Membership In The Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT)
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, said the newly created Wetland Appeal Board is between Wright County and the Wright Soil & Water Conservation District. To have membership with MCIT, the group must have sponsorship which would be provided by the County.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #19-45 sponsoring the Wright County Wetland Appeal Board for membership in MCIT. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Adopt Resolution, Joint Powers Agreement With Benton, Sherburne & Stearns County For A Coalition Advancing Healthy Families
Grosshuesch said the Joint Powers Agreement is required to accept the grant and expend funds. The grant is from the MN Department of Health for the provision of programming known as Healthy Families America and Nurse Family Partnership. The four counties intend to have the funds managed by a governing board known as the Central Minnesota Home Visiting Coalition.
Daleiden made a motion to approve Resolution #19-46 approving the Joint Powers Agreement with Benton, Sherburne and Stearns County for a coalition advancing healthy families. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
At today’s County Board Meeting, the Board discussed the minutes. Shawna Athman, Business Manager-Sheriff’s Office, said the estimated cost for the tower replacement is between $30,000-$60,000 and the funding source needs to be identified. The Site Improvements line item is a possible funding source identified. Kelly stated that fund is set for such incidences that are not typically a maintenance-related facility item. He suggested consideration of a not-to-exceed figure.
Borrell requested that the minutes be amended to spell out acronyms the first time they are referenced and to not list the first names of commissioners. Husom made a motion to approve the 911 Planning Committee Minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. CAD-To-CAD Project
II. Great River Energy Plant Tower Decommissioning
III. Fire Paging
IV. Siren Paging
V. 911 Hardware Refresh
Captain Hoffman started the meeting with an informational piece on a proposed Minnesota State Project initiated by the ECN (Emergency Communication Network) Board. They would like to share CAD to CAD, meaning share real time information between local dispatch centers. However, this would be costly as there is currently no standard software program.
Captain Hoffman stated the Great River Energy antenna/tower is due to be torn down in September of 2019. This antenna sends out ARMER (800 MHz Radios) communications and also serves as a fire paging system to local fire departments. Some areas that have a poor signal already are Albertville, St. Michael, and a little bit of Hanover. We are currently working with Granite Electronics. The cost of moving the equipment is approximately $30,000.00. One location option for the antenna is to use a city water tower and place the antenna on top. There are two relay options which are the T1 line or a Microwave line for transmission. This cost will be between $30,000.00 - $70,000.00 which is not currently budgeted for. Seth shared that he prefers the Micro over the T1.
The backup paging system in individual fire stations need to be replaced, sooner than later. Currently, if towers go down, dispatch will call the City Fire Chief, who then must go to the fire station and push a button to page out fire fighters. This is a very old system. The sirens are owned by the cities. Cokato is the only city out of 17 that has been updated. There is a cost associated with this update, and the question is, who is going to pay for it. Seth is going to investigate alternatives. Captain Hoffman stated that it would be nice if all cities and townships could synch with the Excel Energy siren frequency, but that is unlikely to happen. There have been reports that some sirens have not been going off. This is a problem that needs to be addressed. A suggestion was made that a letter be sent to the cities/townships advising a retool to the frequency, requiring a software change. The estimated cost is $1,000.00 - $2,000.00 per city/township.
Captain Hoffman introduced the E911 Invoice Hardware Refresh. The equipment in dispatch needs to be replaced, as it is over 5 years old. This is the guts of dispatch, including computers, servers, hardware, software, etc. The cost of this refresh is approximately $190,000.00. In addition, a proposal was made to include a dispatch backup center, with a cost of $90,000.00. We have a little over $400,000.00 dedicated funds for dispatch and can use the 911 funds to cover the refresh and expansion. Commissioner Borrell advised to use those funds first. If more funds are needed, he stated to come back to the Board. Commissioner Husom agreed.
Captain Hoffman stated that once the antenna tower is up at the new Justice Center, we can likely vacate the one at the Public Works building. This equipment can be used for backup towers for dispatch. Captain Hoffman advised that we need a good inventory of what equipment we have. We need a plan. It would benefit us to hire a consultant to devise a replacement schedule for equipment, vendors, etc. We don’t want to have the seller/vendor to tell us what we need. Ancom and Granite City are the two main communication vendors in the area. Commissioner Husom feels that it is wise to consult with a couple companies. Captain Hoffman stated that he has a couple of names already and is ready to get some quotes. This is a separate proposal from the dispatch Refresh project. We cannot use the 911 fund for this project.
Athman recapped the meeting so far with 3 key points:
o We will get 2 or more quotes for equipment consultants
o We do not need to go in front of the Board to proceed with the dispatch Refresh project
o The tower replacement information and plans need to be completed before September
GIS Coordinator Alec Halverson gave us an update on the cleanup of our GIS System. This is a 5-step process. We have completed step 1, which was community validations. Step 2, which is street name validations, is in progress. This validation process is to ensure that the geographical data we have within Wright County matches.
Hailey DuBois stated that on January 7th, 2019 dispatch began having the ability to receive 911 text messages. So far there have been 4 messages. DuBois feels that this method takes longer to process information, as there is a lot of texting back and forth. This new way of contacting 911 has not been shared on our social media web page, as it is preferred to actually talk to a person.
The funding for the relocation of the antenna towers needs to be discussed further. Sue Vergin will be getting in touch with Lindsey Meyer, Auditor’s Office, for advisement.
911 Planning Committee Minutes submitted by Kim Hofman, Sheriff’s Office
(End of 3-21-19 911 Planning Committee Minutes)
Approval To Proceed With Wright County Fire Paging Transmitter Relocation Project
Shawna Athman, Business Manager-Sheriff’s Office, presented the request on behalf of Capt. Hoffman.
Potter made a motion to approve proceeding with the Wright County Fire Paging Transmitter Relocation Project to include the microwave transmitter. The motion was seconded by Borrell. Potter asked whether cities have been notified. Athman replied that discussion at the 911 Committee Meeting included potentially having discussions with cities due to updates required for equipment. Seth Hansen, Emergency Management Director, explained this relates to siren upgrades that will be required for cities. Funding for the upgrades is handled by the cities and townships as it is their equipment. Potter suggested informing cities and township of the type of equipment the County is updating to, so the equipment matches. The motion carried 5-0.
Approval Of A Joint Powers Agreement With The MN BCA To Participate In The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force
The Agreement will allow access to investigative tools and resources through the MN BCA (Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) to investigate financial crimes in Wright County.
Daleiden moved to approve the Joint Powers Agreement with the MN BCA. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Adopt Resolution Accepting A Grant Through The DNR For The Purchase Of Specific Water Related Equipment
Treichler said a grant was received from the DNR in the amount of $29,529 and will be used for the purchase of two 2019 personal watercraft and five full-dive equipment outfits. The Sheriff’s Office is scheduled to replace equipment in 2019, so the grant funding will provide a benefit. The County is required to provide a 25% match for the dive equipment which is already budgeted.
Potter moved to adopt Resolution #19-47 accepting the DNR Grant for the purchase of specific water related equipment. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Conveyance Of Tax Forfeit Parcel To The City Of St. Michael (PID 114-500-262200)
Brian Asleson, Chief Deputy Attorney, referenced a map of the area. The western parcel is requested by the City for road right-of-way. The eastern parcel may be sold.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-48 conveying Tax Forfeit Parcel, PID #114-500-262200, to the City of St. Michael. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Conveyance Of Tax Forfeit Parcel To Wright County For Public Road Right-Of-Way (PID 204-100-364400)
Hiivala said the parcel is being requested by the Wright County Highway Department. It was previously used as a gravel pit. Clearwater Township has indicated they are not interested in the parcel.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-49 conveying Tax Forfeit Parcel, PID #204-100-364400, to Wright County for public road right-of-way. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve Resolution Conveyance Of Tax Forfeit Parcel To The City Of Monticello (PID 155-159-000010)
The City will use this parcel for existing and future right-of-way.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-50 conveying Tax Forfeit Parcel, PID #155-159-000010, Outlot A, Sunset Ponds, to the City of Monticello for right-of-way. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve March Revenue/Expenditure Budget Report.
Daleiden moved to approve the March Revenue/Expenditure Report. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0.
Approve Minutes From County Ditch No. 10 Public Hearing On April 2, 2019
Husom moved to approve the 4-02-19 Ditch Committee Of The Whole (COTW) Minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0. Daleiden suggested the County discuss funding of ditch repairs in general and repayment by benefited landowners on the ditches. Matt Detjen, Ditch Coordinator, said that relating to Ditch 10, he is having ISG come up with a new repair estimate as things have changed. This will provide more realistic repair figures. The Ditch COTW Minutes follow:
1. Commissioner Vetsch gave the following Statement as County Board Chairperson
This is a public hearing on the redetermination of benefits and damages on Wright County Ditch 10 under statutes section 103E.351.
The Drainage Authority would like to welcome everyone who has come today. Under consideration at this hearing is the redetermination of benefits and damages for Wright County Ditch 10 which includes the acquisition and valuation of buffer seeding areas.
The purpose of this hearing is to review the viewer’s report and receive comment from those affected by or interested in the proposed redetermination of benefits and damages report.
This is an evidentiary proceeding. The proceedings are being recorded to preserve the record.
The order of business for the hearings will be as follows. First, the Drainage Authority’s legal will present the procedural and legal requirements. Following the staff presentation one of the viewers will make their presentation. After the viewer has made his presentation, the chairperson will open the hearing for public comment. The Drainage Authority would like to hear the public comments on the proposed redetermination of benefits and damages of the drainage system and any information relevant to that purpose.
Specifically, the Drainage Authority is interested in:
• Whether it is missing information used to define the public benefit, damage, or valuation.
• The extent and basis of any benefits or damages.
• Whether and how a landowner’s parcel(s) drains to the public system
• Whether a landowner has concerns with the soil classifications as presented by the viewers.
• Whether the seeding and right of way acquisition area and valuation is correct or missing information.
• Whether a landowner has concerns or issues associated with any portion of the benefits of damages assessed to their property
• Whether the recommended benefits and damages creates other material concerns the Drainage Authority should consider prior to adopting the viewers report
Though information may be presented regarding the current condition of the drainage system, this hearing is not an appropriate time to discuss issues related to possible, future actions such as a repair unless the repair or lack of an ability to make a repair will alter the benefits or damages of the system. If repairs are warranted, the Drainage Authority will initiate separate proceedings to discuss those issues. However, if a landowner has an immediate concern, the Drainage Authority invites the landowner to contact our drainage coordinator, Matt Detjen.
The purpose of this hearing is to review the viewer’s report.
During the public hearing, commissioners may ask questions of staff or the viewers making presentations and of commenters, to clarify any testimony.
In addition, if a member of the public asks a question and a commissioner believes that a response from the Drainage Authority staff or a viewer can readily resolve the question or enrich the testimony, the commissioner may ask the chairperson to have the appropriate staff member or viewer speak to the question. Commissioner Vetsch, as Chairperson, will exercise his judgment as to whether to allow such discussion.
However, commissioners’ expression of their positions and general discussion concerning the subject of the public hearing should be avoided during the public comment portion of the public hearing. Board discussion will occur after all members of the public have had a chance to speak and the public comment period has been closed. Board discussion may occur and be concluded at this or a subsequent meeting, as the Board decides.
If a member of the public would like to make a comment, please stand and address the Board when the chairperson recognizes you. Speak clearly and state your name and address for the record. If a member of the public has a specific question concerning the proposed viewers report, the Board may ask our drainage coordinator, one of the viewers or legal counsel to respond. If a member of the public has anything in writing they wish to submit, they can provide it to Commissioner Vetsch before the close of the public comments and Commissioner Vetsch will note its receipt in the record.
Vetsch inquired if any of the board members wished to offer any further remarks before beginning?
There were no further comments so Vetsch turned the meeting over to Wright County Attorney, Greg Kryzer.
2. Attorney Comments by Greg Kryzer
I. This is a public hearing on the redetermination of benefits and damages of Wright County Ditch 10. The drainage system is in Victor and Stockholm Townships, Wright County. The drainage area is developed for agricultural land use, rural residential, industrial and commercial.
II. As part of the viewers analysis of the drainage system, the viewers have provided the Drainage Authority with a report showing the following:
• A description of the lot or tract, under separate ownership, that is benefited or damaged;
• The names of the owners as they appear on the current tax records of the county and their addresses;
• The number of acres in each tract or lot;
• The number and value of acres added to a tract or lot by the proposed drainage of public water;
• The damage, if any, to riparian rights;
• The damages paid for the permanent strip of perennial vegetation under MN ST section 103E.021;
• The total number and value of acres added to a tract or lot by the proposed drainage of public waters, wetlands, and other areas not currently being cultivated;
• The number of acres and amount of benefits being assessed for drainage of areas that would be considered conversion of a wetland under United States Code, title 16, section 3821, if the area was placed in agricultural production;
• The amount of right-of-way acreage required; and
• The amount that each tract or lot will be benefited or damaged.
III. To properly manage the drainage system in a way that recognizes its intended, beneficial public functions, the Drainage Authority initiated proceedings to redetermine the benefits and damages over the system. The Board initiated the redetermination of benefits and damages process by resolution adopting findings and an order dated August 1, 2017.
IV. The Drainage Authority adopted the Resolution because the original benefits or damages do not reasonably reflect current land values or because the benefited or damaged areas have changed.
V. Pursuant to the requirements of 103E.351 subd, 2, the Board mailed notice of this final hearing to all property owners benefited or damaged by the drainage systems on March 13, 2019. Other interested parties were provided notice by publication in the Herald Journal. The notice was published on March 15, 22, and 29th, 2019. Evidence of all notices are on file with the Drainage Authority.
VI. Substantive comments received during today’s hearing, if any, will be incorporated into the final findings for the Board.
VII. Evidence of all actions in this matter, including the viewers report, preliminary orders, appointments, oaths, affidavits of mailing, publication or posting as well as hearing agendas and presentation materials shall be considered the record of proceedings in this matter.
VIII. At this hearing, the viewers will present their report. The viewers will also provide an explanation of the process and information used to determine the benefits and damages and valuation and acquisition of the right-of-way of the drainage system.
IX. The intent of this proceeding is to confirm the benefits and damages and the benefited and damaged areas and to also acquire any permanent strips of perennial vegetation under Minn. Stat. § 103E.021
X. The redetermined benefits and damages will be used in all subsequent proceedings relating to the drainage system.
XI. Based on your comments and testimony today, the Drainage Authority may make one or more of the following decisions:
• Rise and report to the full board an order accepting the redetermination the benefits and damages as described in the viewer’s report
• Direct the viewers to further review the area or portions of the drainage systems and determine if adjustments should be made to the proposed benefits and damages and perennial strips of vegetation.
• Rise and report to the full board that it adopts an order rejecting the viewers report and directing a new report be conducted.
• Direct the viewers to adjust and submit a revised report.
XII. As requested by the Drainage Authority, please limit your comments to the Redetermination of benefits and damages. Comments related to repair of the drainage system are not germane to this public hearing unless the repair or lack of ability to make the repair will alter the benefit or damages of the system.
XIII. The decision standard for the Board is whether, based on the proceedings herein, the evidence presented at this hearing and the testimony of the viewers and the public, the Board finds that the viewers report accurately reflects the benefits and damages of the watershed for Wright County Ditch 10.
Vetsch inquired if any of the Board members had questions for the attorney. Since there were no additional questions for the attorney, Vetsch turned the meeting over to the viewers.
3. Viewers’ report presented by John Cunningham and Ron Ringquist
John Cunningham began the discussion by introducing Vern Ruschmeyer and Richard Kvols who were also viewers on County Ditch 10. Cunningham then gave the following details about the viewing process:
County Ditch 10 was established in 1906 and the viewing process has changed quit a bit since then. In the 1900’s government parceled out land in 40-acre plots. Now viewers look at each tract and parcel within the watershed boundary, which was 15,332 acres on CD 10 compared to the very few acres in 1906. County Ditch 10 is partially located in 17 sections in Stockholm Township, Victor Township 26 sections, Middleville Township 3 sections, and 1 section in Cokato Township. The viewers were asked to complete the redetermination process when the Drainage Authority determined that the original benefits determined in a drainage proceeding no longer reflected reasonable present-day land value and that the benefited areas have changed.
By using acres, soil types, location and other factors, the viewers determine how much each parcel benefits from the drainage system. A percentage is then allocated to each parcel to be used to determine assessments for future repairs and maintenance on the county open ditch or county tile. Other sources viewers use:
• Aerial satellite images
• Yield averages are used
• Production costs are taken from the University of Minnesota
• Average commodity sales prices
• Land sales data is used from the County Assessor
• Visual inspection of each 40-acre parcel or less
After the redetermination process the viewers report now indicates that land values are $5,406,155.63. The four things that determine a landowner’s total benefits are:
• Acres within the watershed area
• Distance away from the open ditch or tile
• Soil type
• If a landowner has tile on their property
The total benefits, including road benefits were $5,568,630.08. There was some confusion due to the decision to send out the property owners’ reports indicating a cost figure of $2.3 million levy for repair, buffer strip acquisition, and redetermination of benefits assessed in a single year. It got a lot of the landowner’s attention and there were about 120 people who attended the informational meeting held on March 27th. The viewers also met with landowners, one-on-one, on March 28th and 29th to answer questions or concerns. After those meetings, some changes were made to the viewers’ report.
Daleiden wanted to clarify for the public that original benefits from 1906 included 1,600 acres compared to the 15,332 acres from the redetermination process.
Borrell asked for an explanation for the public as to how the land types are determined by the viewers.
Cunningham explained that property located right on the county ditch system receive 100% of total benefits. Benefits drop 10% each 40 that a landowner is away from the open ditch.
The viewers use four benefit classes of land for assessing benefits and costs as follows:
• Benefit Class “A” land that is frequently flooded
• Benefit Class “B” land that is occasionally flooded-medium crop classification
• Benefit Class “C” land with wet subsoil and medium-high crop classification
• Benefit Class “D” are upland areas not needing drainage (on top of the hills)
On County Ditch 10 some of the “A” land did not have much drainage capacity, even if the system was repaired to its original condition, and therefore had lower benefits.
As there were no further questions from the board for the viewers, Vetsch opened the hearing for Public Comment.
4. Public comments or questions
Ryan Bakeberg; 6804 County Road 30 SW, Waverly MN
Bakeberg wanted clarification on the property owners report regarding the total assessment amounts and percentages as there seemed to be some confusion as to the correct amounts. Bakeberg also wanted to remind the drainage authority that if the outlet at Lake Emma is not fixed, all the water is going to backup in this area. Bakeberg thought someone had mentioned that a drainage system could be extended one mile to a more adequate outlet and was wondering if that process had begun on CD 10.
Borrell said he would need clarification from the attorney, but that there is a scenario where you can, by petition extend a drainage system downstream one mile. However, another possibility would be to construct a new county ditch system that outlets to Lake Emma. The good news is that the 12-mile creek was never put on the Minnesota public waters inventory, so the DNR would not have concern for that. There are wetlands that may be impacted.
Vetsch added that based on the presentation by the engineer from ISG, the model simulated accommodating for up to a 10-year rainfall. There wouldn’t be water backing up until a 20-year rainfall. Borrell stated that ISG did have plans for some flood control measures. The proposed option is a 10-acre pond on the Brose property. Hopefully we can work with the DNR and use Grass Lake as the outlet channel.
Detjen gave a clarification on the property owners reports that were mailed, regarding the assessment amounts. The estimated costs that our engineer provided for the total repairs was included. Normally on a viewer’s report, it is based off a flat $100 thousand. In this case, for CD 10, we added a lot of engineering costs so that landowners would have a better idea, if that much work was completed, how much the estimated assessment would be. So, the assessment on the report was based on the $2.3 million. The viewers report shows a percentage of total benefits, that adds up to 100 percent. If a landowner has 1% of benefits and the drainage authority proceeds with a 100-thousand-dollar repair, the landowner would pay one thousand dollars. The assessment increases based off your percentage of total benefits with the cost of the actual repair that is completed.
Ringquist added that within the viewers’ report, we did use the engineers total to determine an individual’s cost if it was levied as a single one-year levy at the $2.3 million. It was explained to the landowners, at the informational meetings, that if that high of a dollar amount was spent the board would have the choice of levying that over several years. Minnesota Statue does allow for up to 23 years. Most bond sales are between 15 to 20 years at the longest. Matt Detjen had looked at that and said there may be grant funds available for a portion of the $2.3 million. It was a potential cost, not a fixed value.
Alan Glessing; 8715 Grover Ave SW, Waverly
“I live on Lake Emma and every drop of this water is going to go through my pasture. Land north of Emma has tile that does not work anymore due to the fact the ditch never gets emptied out before the next bunch of water comes. If we would start this project and do it right, by Highway 12 there is plenty of fall and then work our way back where there is a wetland. Get it so that the water gets away. I am willing to give up ground in my pasture to put up a retainer to keep Lake Ann and Emma the same height. My Aunt, who is 80 years old got assessed for eighty thousand dollars. There is no way she is going to come up with that kind of money no matter how many years it is spread over. Let’s fix the bottom end of the system.”
Vetsch stated that he appreciates the comments by Mr. Glessing and stated this is some of the issues that will be discussed when we go through the engineer reports. Borrell added the problem is, beyond Lake Ann it is not part of the county ditch 10 system anymore. There are three options the landowners downstream would basically have:
• Petition to get added on to County Ditch 10
• Construct a new County Ditch
• Or get together privately to clean it out
Chris Yukel representing Donald and Carolyn Dangers Trust; 9643 66th St. SW, Howard Lake
“My father Donald Dangers is deceased, and my mother is in the nursing home. So, 25 years from now I will probably be selling their land. I sure like the idea of completing the repair process in stages and about working at the other end of the system by Lake Emma and Ann. The water has to have somewhere to go. That is a big price tag attached to the repairs, 25 years ago the farmers did not want to clean out the ditch, and now isn’t the time to have a big price tag either. Farmers median income last year took a huge hit and we don’t know what our government is going to do about all these trade programs. I don’t think that big price tag on taxes is a good idea for a lot of people.”
Detjen stated that staff has done a multipurpose drainage management plan with grant funding through soil and water. Andrew Grean from SWCD was the one who completed all the paperwork to apply for the grants. That study did include the entire watershed. On top of that, staff did realize there were some potential issues with Lake Ann and Emma, so an outlet feasibility study was completed to look at how could resolve those issues. Obviously, the main part of this proceeding is to determine who pays what benefits for any repairs. The information from the studies done will be used in the future when the drainage authority comes to some type of conclusion with the repair proceeding. That process is not happening yet. There is a Public Hearing on the 10th of April dealing with the storage pond. Soil and Water did get some grant funds to help put that storage pond in. The idea being that the storage pond would hold some water in on the land temporarily and help eliminate the issues downstream.
Vetsch wanted to clarify that the process on County Ditch 10 is to portion the costs to the benefitted landowners as we receive them. The board will not assess the whole 2.3 million immediately. The Drainage Authority will have to address looking at spreading the assessments over a length of time. Detjen added that the Drainage Authority has not received a former repair report yet from the engineers. There has been some discussion and estimates. ISG will hopefully come back to the Drainage Authority in a month or two with a final report, so that the board has a better idea of what it could potentially cost and then those decisions can be made.
There was no further comments or questions from the public. Borrell made a motion to close public comment at this time, 2nd by Husom. Motion carried 4-0. Vetsch stated there being no further testimony from the public, I close the public comment portion of the hearing.
5. Legal recommendation to the board by Kryzer
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Board directs staff to prepare an Order on the redetermination of benefits and damages of the public drainage system consistent with viewer’s report, the public hearing comments and guidance from the Board and move to continue the public hearing on April 30th, 2019 for considering and adopting an Order.
Kryzer added that Mr. Ringquist has agreed to provide staff with a final Viewers Report to attach as Exhibit “A” to the resolution which will note the proposed changes made after the one-on-one meetings with landowners.
Borrell mentioned he had spoken with Roger Heuer and inquired about the Heuer property located on the east side of County Road 6 SW in Howard Lake. Ten or fifteen years ago the Heuer land was crop land. Currently the land has been wet, and Mr. Heuer has not been able to yield a crop. How do the viewers access this type of property?
Ringquist stated that the viewers understood that this ditch does not meet NCRS standards for recommended capacities for todays farming practices. The viewers made adjustments for two different things. One was the hydraulic capacity and the impacts. Those properties immediately adjacent to the ditch will never go back to the way they were in 1906. We adjusted it to where the “A” acres along the ditch are only getting 40 percent of their potential benefits. Based on the viewers evaluation of highest and best use, even though some acres may have been farmed, if the land is at an elevation and the highest and best use would have been pasture, we valued them as pasture. The viewers are not trying to manage individual farms, but instead evaluating on what the viewers feel the best the ditch system will provide. The “B” acres were at 70 percent of their potential benefits. Because of the limited capacity the viewers valued the “C” and “D” acres at about 85 percent of their potential benefits. That is without consideration of the location adjustment as well. That does leave dollars within that to bring the design up to the NCRS design standard if it can be done. With the wetlands and regulations, it may never be accomplished. The viewers looked at what does the ditch provide. We worked with ISG and got a copy of their report which provided us with the estimated capacities and frequency of floats that would be accommodated in that ditch. The viewers addressed all of this in their evaluation, but the viewers cannot guarantee that farmers are going to be able to go back and farm land that was farmed in the 1960’s when it was drier and not everybody drained as much water.
Borrell questioned if Heuer’s land did improve over the years, but still couldn’t get back in the field to produce a crop, would Mr. Heuer have an opportunity to come back and request that his benefits be changed. Ringquist stated the first thing the viewers would look at is how did that land get valued? Did it get valued as if it were corn or beans or did it get valued as a lower value because the viewers knew the ditch would probably make it marginal anyway. The viewers try to error on the wetter side, not that the ditch is going to work better. As the current law states, I do not think there is a way to amend a viewers’ report without completely redoing a redetermination of benefits. Ringquist stated he is trying to work at the State level to get incremental changes allowed to the report. The board can correct obvious errors, but once the report is adopted, you can not go out and change the report because the ditch system did not do what we thought it was going to or if there is a change in the use of the land.
Commissioner Daleiden moved that we direct staff to prepare findings and an order consistent with the proceedings, including responses to all comments received through the public comment process; that the draft findings and order be written to affect the redetermination of benefits and damages of the public drainage system consistent with the viewer’s report and recommendation; direct recording of the order to reflect the redetermination of benefits and damages of the public drainage system record; and that we rise and report this matter to the Board’s regular meeting on April 30th, 2019 or by adjournment to an appropriate time on the Board’s agenda, at which meeting we will consider findings and an order for the proposed viewer’s report on the redetermination of benefits and damages of the public drainage system records.
Commissioner Husom second the motion. Motion carried 4-0.
Meeting was adjourned at 2:25 PM
County Drainage Authority Minutes Submitted by: Janice Edmonson, Drainage Administrator
(End of 4-02-19 Ditch Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
Husom moved to set a Ditch Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 5-03-19 at 10:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. Topics for the Ditch COTW will include:
- Buffer Enforcement Grant and Expenditures
- Possible Retainer/Partnership with Engineering Firms for Drainage Systems Engineering Services
- Ditch Repair Funding Sources and Policy to Spread Costs to Benefited Landowners
Discuss Three Separate Repair Requests On County Ditch No. 35
Detjen stated that an informational meeting was held on 7-30-18 to discuss prior repair to Ditch 35, drainage law, and how assessments are spread. After that meeting, it was decided to send notices for minor repairs and inspections. A repair request was received from a landowner in December, 2018. The ditch review was delayed to spring because of weather. Detjen had further contact with landowners who were worried about potential repairs, cost, and who would oversee work that is completed (licensed engineer). Since the notice was sent, two additional repair requests were received. Detjen said this has moved to a more large-scale repair. The benefit of roles is outdated, and it may make sense for a redetermination of benefits.
Discussion followed on repair to Ditch 35 which occurred a couple of years ago. Vetsch requested corrective actions to include ordering a redetermination of benefits on Ditch 35 and identifying a funding source to correct problems associated with the prior berm repair.
Borrell made a motion to order a redetermination of benefits for County Ditch 35. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Detjen was directed to obtain two quotes. The motion carried 5-0.
Regarding the prior berm repair, Vetsch asked for approval to proceed with repair of Ditch 35 for removal of the horseshoe berm. Detjen had the Highway Engineer review the area and provide a recommendation. He suggested involving a hydrologist as well. The prior repair report was read.
Daleiden made a motion to move forward with the repair. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Discuss Proposed Culvert Replacements Along County Ditches 36, 39 And 24 As Part Of The I-94 Road Improvement Project And Provide Direction To The Agricultural & Drainage Coordinator.
Detjen was contacted by WSB Engineering regarding a future road improvement project along I-94 between Monticello and Clearwater. The project crosses over three ditch systems and would involve the replacement of culverts along Ditches 36, 39, and 24. The project includes an in-kind replacement plan, which would replace the culverts at the same size and same elevation according to recent surveys by WSB. It is unknown whether the culverts are set at legal ditch grade. The Board could choose to hire a qualified drainage engineering firm to conduct soil borings near these crossings to determine legal ditch grade. The cost would be borne against the benefited landowners.
Daleiden moved to approve the hire of an engineer to look at the County ditches along the I-94 improvement project. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Approve Renewal Of Seasonal On-Sale And Off-Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License For Olson’s Campground Contingent Upon Silver Creek Town Board Approval
Daleiden moved to approve the renewal of the Seasonal On-Sale and Off-Sale 3.2 Malt Liquor License for Olson’s Campground contingent upon Silver Creek Township Board approval. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
At today’s County Board Meeting, Vetsch made the following correction to the minutes:
- Page 2, 3rd paragraph, 1st sentence should read, “Vetsch is projecting about $400,000 for new personnel costs for 2020 and will subtract about $125,000 from that for the SRO’s, which leaves about $275,000 for the rest of the departments for next year.”
Potter moved to approve the minutes as amended and the recommendations. The motion was seconded by Husom. Daleiden said the SRO (School Resource Officer) positions are beneficial. The County needs to let school districts know of the actual costs. There are other school districts in the County that can’t afford SRO’s and he viewed it as unfair for those districts to subsidize costs for other districts. Potter said the idea is to have further discussion to identify actual costs, determine funding gaps, and figure out how to address. The motion carried 5-0 to approve the amended minutes and recommendations. The minutes follow:
I. Sheriff’s Office Request For Additional School Resource Officers
Sheriff Sean Deringer said the St. Michael Albertville (STMA), the Rockford Area (Rockford), and the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose (Buffalo) School Districts are each requesting one additional School Resource Officer (SRO) for the 2019-2020 school year.
Deringer said the Districts will pay 2/3 of the cost and the County will pay 1/3. Daleiden said the County is charging a starting Deputy salary, but new deputies are not being used as SROs. Commission Chair Darek Vetsch said the first-year cost is closer to a 60/40 split. Captain Todd Hoffman said that is true for the first year because the new deputies will backfill positions vacated by experienced deputies who transfer to the SRO positions. The cost goes up the second year of the contract.
Deringer said the SRO funding formula has not changed in 20 years. School safety is on everyone’s mind. County SROs have taken nearly 1000 calls for service. If an SRO is not in the building, patrol officers come in off the road. SROs solve crimes, build relationships with students, and respond to mental health problems, vaping, marijuana and other drug issues. The Sheriff’s Office responds to numerous calls to schools regarding substance abuse. If the funding formula is changed, the schools would have to make difficult decisions. The SRO formula has worked well. The Sheriff’s Office sees the fruits of their labors regarding solving crimes. Commissioner Mike Potter said now is not the time to change the formula with mental health issues pervading schools throughout the State.
Deringer suggested that the County budget $40,000 to $45,000 per SRO position.
Schawn Johnson, Human Resources Director, said the starting salary for deputies is $25.32 per hour, or $52,665.60 per year. With benefits, the cost to the County per new deputy is $68,400 annually. Deringer said the three additional SROs will bring the total number to 11.5 SROs. SROs are cross-trained in community services and perform other functions when schools are not in session. The Sheriff’s Office covers 66 school buildings and 58 campuses in the County.
Hoffman said there is a national push to have an SRO in every school building. He understands that is not affordable for the County or the School Districts. The Sheriff’s Office prefers to place an SRO at every high school. They do not see the cost benefit to having an SRO at elementary schools. However, there has been an increase in calls at the middle schools. Commissioner Christine Husom said her concern is that all schools will request an SRO. As much as she favors that, the cost has to be covered.
Hoffman said school districts are unique in that they are not restricted by city boundaries. Districts have students enrolled who reside in a number of cities. A city has an obligation to provide law enforcement to its residents. A school district does not have the same responsibility for its students. Hoffman suggested that the County Board look at the 9/12 funding model, the history, and what Deringer and Chief Deputy Matt Treichler have determined to be the base level of service that Statute requires the County to provide.
Vetsch said if the County charges school districts more, they will pull out of the contract, and patrol deputies will have to respond to calls at a higher cost. The demand will remain. Deringer agreed. There are State mandates for core law enforcement functions that he must uphold in addition to his personal goals regarding the level of service he wants to ensure for all citizens of the County. School safety is a huge priority.
Vetsch is projecting about $400,000 for new personnel costs for 2020 and will subtract about $125,000 from that for the SROs, which leaves about $275,000 for the rest of the departments for next year. The Sheriff’s Office would be getting three employees for $125,000. Deringer said the SRO requests were unsolicited by the Sheriff’s Department. He realizes that this could have an impact on future requests.
Hoffman said they will do their best with what they have, but they do not want to tie their hands coming into the budget process for 2020.
Vetsch said this request scores high because it impacts the citizens, it benefits other government entities, and the other parties are investing in the SROs as well. Daleiden said the request adds up to about $140,000 for the three SROs. Vetsch said the personnel budget line item is reduced to about $260,000 to $265,000 in that case.
Daleiden said they do not use marked cars but buy two- to three-year-old vehicles with low miles. The school districts provide office space and computers.
Deringer said the amount of marijuana the Sheriff’s Office recovers in middle schools is startling. Husom said it is important to build relationships with students so that when they are feeling pressured, they will come forward.
Vetsch suggested scheduling a Board workshop in conjunction with the school districts and the public to know the importance and benefits of SROs.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden recapped by saying new deputies will not be hired to perform SRO functions. Seasoned officers will fill those positions and their positions will be backfilled by new deputies. Vetsch said the first-year out-of-pocket cost for the County would be $52,500 per SRO, which is 9/12 of the cost. Vetsch said the total budgetary impact for all three SROs would be $160,000 for the school year 2019-2020, including vehicles and other costs.
Deringer said the Classification and Compensation Study will shed light on the personnel needs of the Sheriff’s Office. He agreed that a workshop would be good to bring everyone to the table. Daleiden said the school districts need to know the true cost of the SRO, which is not a new, but a seasoned deputy.
Recommendation: Approve Sheriff’s Office request for three additional School Resource Officers and proceed with hiring.
COTW Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist.
(End of 4-11-19 Committee Of The Whole Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, the following changes were made to the minutes:
- Page 1, Item II, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence should read, “The purpose of the resolutions is not to promote an increase to gas tax but to communicate to the legislators that we support a sustainable funding package.” (Borrell)
- Page 1, Members Present, remove “Daleiden” (Daleiden)
Vetsch and Hiivala met with the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Revenue regarding the senate file on the time schedule for the state assessed properties. He said the DOR is not willing to move their schedule quite as far forward as desired, but the intent is to still proceed with the bill to include dates. It is moving well in the Senate but in the House, it was included with another bill with an entirely separate issue. The House would like a study completed prior to doing anything. This could be a potential conference committee item at the end of the session.
Husom moved to approve the 4-09-19 County Board Workshop Minutes as corrected. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
I. Regional Transportation Coordinating Councils
Brian Gibson, APO Executive Director, along with Tom Cruikshank, Project Manager (WSB), were present to provide a presentation regarding the proposed Regional Transportation Coordinating Council (RTCC).
MnDOT has committed to fund 100% the first year, with the anticipation of local matches for the second year.
The Board concluded that more information is needed, and would like to know who the key players will be. Could be an observer of the first year to see what transpires. More information to come.
II. Transportation Funding Resolutions
Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins, and Assistant Highway Engineer Chad Hausman provided information to the Board, essentially a “report card” on the condition of Minnesota roads, identifying them as a Grade D+. Meaning that they are in poor to fair condition, and mostly below standard. Hawkins expanded stating that 300 miles of highways in Wright County’s system do not meet current state-aid design standards.
Hawkins identified two resolutions, which he would like to have the Board consider at their next Board meeting. The purpose of the resolutions is not to promote an increase to gas tax but to communicate to the legislators that we support a sustainable funding package. One resolution has been authored by Association of MN Counties (AMC), and the other by the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition. These will be placed on the April 16, County Board meeting agenda.
III. Legislative Update
Commissioner Vetsch stated that he and Auditor / Treasurer Bob Hiivala will be meeting on some of the bills being considered at the Capital tomorrow, April 11, 2019.
IV. Construction Management Contracts
It was questioned if the Board wants to retain Contegrity Group as the construction manager or seek
requests for proposals (RFPs) for these two projects, the Tactical Training Facility and the Government Center. Alan Wilczek, Facilities Services Director stated that the lead time on this is of concern, and that the preference of staff is to continue with Contegrity. If we do an RFP for the Tactical facility we will need to ask for an extension from the FBI, as we will not make the July deadline. Wilczek added that the County is not required to seek RFPs for professional services, and that Contegrity has already been assisting with the Tactical facility, without a contract. Concluded to retain Contegrity for the government center, but seek RFPs for the Tactical facility.
Workshop Minutes Submitted by Susan Vergin, Assistant County Administrator
(End of 4-09-19 Workshop Meeting Minutes)
At today’s County Board Meeting, Daleiden moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. The minutes follow:
Steve Jobe, County Surveyor, asked for clarification on the new position he requested during budget sessions last year. Jobe suggested that the Highway Administrative Assistant job description be used as a starting point and adding an addendum with language specific to the Surveyor Department position.
Schawn Johnson, Human Resources Director, said $48,000 was approved for the position for 2019, either as an Office Technician II or an Administrative Assistant, which are classified at Grade 6. Jobe said he was not aware of that grade classification. He also suggested the Administrative Specialist category at Grade 8 as an alternative.
Johnson said he received the budget information from Sue Vergin, Assistant County Administrator. The Highway Administrative Assistant position is not comparable to the Surveyor’s position, as the Highway position handles confidential information, similar to the Attorney’s Office and Court Services. Johnson said that argument can’t be made for the Surveyor position.
Chris Husom and Mark Daleiden, County Commissioners, both agreed that the budgeted position was to be classified at the Office Technician II or Administrative Assistant level.
Discussion continued regarding the duties related to the Office Technician II, Administrative Assistant, and Administrative Specialist job descriptions.
Jobe requested that a Committee Of The Whole be scheduled to further discuss his request.
RECOMMENDATION: Schedule a Committee Of The Whole meeting on 4-30-19 to discuss the Surveyor’s 2019 budgeted position.
Personnel / Employee Relations Minutes submitted by Deb Schreiner, Administrative Specialist
(End of 4-10-19 Personnel / Employee Relations Committee Minutes)
Daleiden requested adding to the COTW Meeting discussion on staffing levels in the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Daleiden moved to schedule a Personnel Committee Of The Whole Meeting on 4-30-19 at 11:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0. Topics will include:
- Surveyor’s Request To Reclassify A Position
- Department Of Motor Vehicles Staffing
Kelly presented two draft resolutions on behalf of the Highway Engineer.
- Resolution #1. The resolution relates to encouraging the MN Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign a bill that brings adequate funding to MN’s statewide transportation system. Borrell does not want an increase in gas tax as he feels that is an unfair funding system for those living in rural areas that commute and end up paying a disproportionate amount.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-51. The motion was seconded by Husom and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
- Resolution #2. The resolution encourages the MN Legislature to support the Legislative Funding proposal presented on behalf of the Highway 55 Corridor Coalition to provide additional funding to further improve the safety and operations of Trunk Highway 55 through Hennepin and Wright Counties.
Daleiden moved to adopt Resolution #19-52. The motion was seconded by Potter.
Borrell noted that the resolution references transit in two separate sections. Potter said Highway 55 spans over a couple of counties. Hennepin and Wright Counties are partners in the Coalition. The needs may be different in the two counties. Potter said bus rapid transit will be expanded to Loretto in the future (at least 10 years out) but that will help residents who take Highway 55 to work. Potter said to leverage funding in Washington, D.C., all the items (roads, bridges and transit) need to be part of the planning for it to be considered. Borrell said he could vote for rapid transit, but he does not want to see empty transit buses.
Borrell made a motion to table this resolution in an effort to get the transit language straightened out. He said he could vote for the resolution if it were worded correctly. The motion died for a lack of a second.
The motion to adopt Resolution #19-52 as presented carried 4-1 with Borrell casting the nay vote.
Husom moved to set a COTW Meeting, Closed Session, for 4-29-19 at 9:00 A.M. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
1. WRIP (Wright Regional Inspection Program). Vetsch reported that based on a letter received from the DNR (Department of Natural Resources), the WRIP will not be in operation on Wright County lakes. The SWCD (Soil & Water Conservation District) will transition to what was done in 2016, basically holding random inspections at ramps throughout the County based on size of lake and traffic flow.
Vetsch said the DNR letter reflects that the DNR will allow the WRIP to continue in the same capacity, i.e. not modifying enforcement or adding lakes to the program. He said that through committee discussion and with the Ordinance 19-2 repeal language, the decision is not to continue with the WRIP in that small capacity. He said the Ordinance is no longer in force.
The AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) group will continue to meet and discuss where to go from here. The hope is to attain legislative support to move something forward in the future. At this point, the transition will include providing some type of response on preventing AIS in the County but not in the fashion it was last year.
Husom said what is ironic about the response is that in 2013, the DNR had an AIS Study which showed centralized inspection programs to be cost effective and yet it didn’t get implemented. Wright County moved forward and passed the ordinance in support of the DNR findings, and yet now they found reasons to not allow the WRIP to operate. One thing the DNR was not supportive of was for the County to train on self-inspections. Husom thought it would be better to have more people educated on how to look for AIS. The goal was to train and certify boaters, so they could bypass the regional inspection sites. The Commissioners discussed the potential of sponsoring a self-inspection class. Vetsch plans to bring that topic to the AIS group to discuss whether Initiative Foundation Funding could be utilized to run the class.
2. C.R.O.W. (Crow River Organization of Water). Borrell attended a meeting on 4-10-19. The group voted unanimously to start the process to disband.
3. M.E.A.D.A. (Methamphetamine Education and Drug Awareness Coalition of Wright County). Husom said the group met on 4-10-19 and was renamed to Mentorship Education And Drug Awareness to include opioids, etc. A few grants were approved for schools.
4. Roundtable with President Trump, Burnsville. Husom attended the event on 4-15-19 which included discussion on the economy and tax reform.
5. Highway 55 Coalition. Potter attended a recent meeting. He plans to attend the Washington Fly-In on June 18-20, 2019. It will involve funding for a project from the Arrowhead to Loretto at an estimated $34-$40 million cost. The project is eligible for the BUILD Grant (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) and Corridors of Commerce. The other possibility would be to try to change the federal infrastructure on funding.
6. Administrator Update:
A. Information Technology Recruitment. Kelly reported there are 52 applications for the IT Director position and 25 applications for the IT Manager position.
The meeting adjourned at 11:03 A.M.
Published in the Herald Journal May 17, 2019.