BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MARCH 3, 2020
DATE APPROVED: MARCH 17, 2020
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Potter, Daleiden and Borrell present.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 2-25-20 MEETING
Vetsch moved to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
Potter moved to approve the Agenda. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0.
Vetsch moved to approve the Consent Agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0.
1. Claim - Madden, Galanter & Hansen Attorneys At Law, January 2020 Services, $8,326.94
1. Authorize County Board Attendance, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Journey Mapping Meeting, 3-17-20 @ 1:00 PM, Law Enforcement Center Community Room
1. Award Justice Center Courtroom Audience Seating To Sauder Courtroom Furniture, $142,403.40, & Authorize Contract Signatures
1. Cancel 3-10-20 County Board Workshop Meeting Due To Attendance At The Strategic Planning Workshops
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between February 19, 2020 And February 25, 2020
2. Approve Budget Amendment 01 2020 to Carry Forward Funds From 2019
3. Appoint Commissioner Vetsch And Commissioner Daleiden To The County Ditch #33 Work Group
F. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Position Replacement
A. Information Systems Specialist
B. Case Aide
C. Social Worker
G. HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
1. Cancel The 3-09-20 Health & Human Services Board Meeting
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS
BOB HIIVALA, AUDITOR/TREASURER
Approve the Findings & Order Directing Repair To Wright County Ditch #31 Pursuant To M.S. 103E.701 Subd. 2; 103E.715
Greg Kryzer, Assistant County Attorney, requested approval of the Findings & Order for Ditch #31.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #20-16 approving the Findings & Order directing repair to Wright County Ditch #31 pursuant to M.S. 103E.701 Subd. 2; 103E.715. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell said meetings have been held with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) on drainage problems. The DNR has implemented a higher-level appeals group. Borrell hopes that efforts will provide some relief to the farmers in that area because their field tiles are not working properly. Potter stated that county ditches are a rural stormwater system that belongs to residents of the ditch. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
Approve the Findings & Order Directing Repair To Wright County Ditch #10 Pursuant To M.S. 103E.701 Subd. 2 From Stations 254+00 To 241+00
Kryzer stated this system is within the Grass Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the section known as East Grass Lake. The engineer has determined repairs are necessary to restore the hydraulic function of County Ditch #10.
Borrell moved to adopt Resolution #20-17, approving the Findings & Order directing repair to County Ditch #10 pursuant to M.S. 103E.701 Subd. 2 from Stations 254+00 to 241+00. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. Borrell said this work will directly affect landowners on Lake Ann who are subject to flooding. The motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
KAREN PUNDSACK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - GREAT RIVER REGIONAL LIBRARY
Great River Regional Library (GRRL) 2019 Activities
Pundsack shared a PowerPoint on the Great River Regional Library 2019 activities. Also present for discussion were Marla Scherber, Library Services Coordinator-Monticello Library, and Nancy Bunting, Library Services Coordinator-St. Michael Library. Below are some of the highlights of the presentation:
- 2019 marked the GRRL’s 50th Anniversary. Three of the original libraries included Buffalo, Delano and Howard Lake.
- GRRL libraries in Wright County include Annandale, Buffalo, Clearwater, Cokato, Delano, Howard Lake, Monticello, Rockford and St. Michael.
- There are 30,302 library cardholders in Wright County
- Total borrowers in the GRRL System is 107,162, with about 28% of them being in Wright County.
- 2019 saw an increase in digital checkouts at 213,036 (7%). Continued growth is expected in digital checkouts.
- Conversation circles are offered two times per month for those who have English as a second language.
- Other free programs offered to the community include handicrafts and topic specific programs.
- The Summer Reading Program had 5,137 Wright County participants out of 12,030 region-wide.
- Library Programing included 4,329 programs and attended by 102,819 people. Pundsack said grant funding makes this achievable.
- The GRRL has removed fines on all children’s materials. This helps gets books back in the hands of children.
- Adults can lower fines owned by participating in ‘read down your fines.’ For 15 minutes reading in the library, $1 of a fine is waived. This is made possible through fundraising.
Bunting referenced a program that was held for second graders. The student experience includes obtaining a library card, earning a free book through bingo, and participating in a race to the library. The idea is to keep second graders engaged with the library because they are the future readers. Scherber said the Monticello Library has a program for kindergartners which provides a tour the library and the children are read a story.
Future focus will be on first time user experiences with a goal to have those people return to the library. Another focus will be to reach out to new members in the community. At all GRRL branches, assistance to the public will be offered on the census and registering to vote.
Potter said the GRRL delivers the service for about 20% of other systems in the State. The goal is to get books into the hands of patrons for the least amount of cost.
Pundsack provided information on the Sartell Locker System pilot program. This is a three-year pilot in the City of Sartell and is located at the Community Center. It allows patrons to access materials outside of the library’s open hours. It is a self-check out locker system that has seen great success. Further discussion will occur on how to continue with this type of access to library materials. The system drops materials 2 times/week and picks up 3-4 times/week. Pundsack said it is about a $90,000 initial capital investment for startup.
SECOND AMENDMENT DEDICATED COUNTY RESOLUTION
Commissioner Vetsch said the following changes are being proposed to the draft resolution in the Board packet:
- Move the following language from the “Whereas” section of the resolution to the “Now Therefore” section of the resolution:
“That the Wright County Board of Commissioners wishes to express its intent to stand as a County Dedicated to Second Amendment rights and to oppose, within the limits of the Constitution of the United States and the State of Minnesota, any efforts in the future to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the rights of the citizens of Wright County to keep and bear arms, and”
- Add the following language to the resolution:
“That the Wright County Board of Commissioner will refuse to directly appropriate any Wright County resources to enforce any mandate, law, policy or any directive which unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, and”
Vetsch moved to approve the amendments to the resolution. The motion was seconded by Borrell. It was clarified that the Board was voting on allowing the amended language to the draft resolution. The motion was seconded by Borrell and carried 5-0. The revised Second Amendment Dedicated County Resolution was the document being considered from that point forward in the meeting.
Husom asked for public comment.
Gloria Caballero, District 1 resident, is a retired Deputy US Marshall. She cited two things with the passage of the resolution. The first, as elected officials, would offer Board members the opportunity to do what citizens have elected them to do. The second would provide the opportunity for them to become leaders as other counties watch the vote. It could be used as an opportunity to send a message to lawmakers in St. Paul that senseless gun control laws that ultimately infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens will not be tolerated. Caballero said the American Revolution was not started because of taxes, it was started as they wanted to take guns. She urged passage of this resolution.
Caballero introduced Rob Doar to speak on their behalf as to the reasoning for the resolution. Rob Doar said the resolution will send a strong message to State government and to residents of Wright County that the County is willing to defend the Second Amendment rights. He said there has been misunderstanding on what the resolutions do. One such instance is whether the resolution language will nullify State law, but it does not. He said the County Board is delegated with the responsibility of allocating County resources and protecting the rights of citizens. That is what this resolution affirms. Doar referenced the budget, and said the resolution reflects that the Board will not allocate those resources in unconstitutional means. This resolution will send a message to residents that the Board is mindful of the Second Amendment rights of residents during those budget discussions. The resolution states the Board is willing to use any legal means to defend those rights. If passed, Doar said Wright County will be the sixth Minnesota County to recognize use of legal means to protect citizens. That will send a very powerful message to the State Legislature and to the Governor that all of these counties will be advocating for the rights of their citizens.
Sheriff Sean Deringer stated he appreciates God, family, country, faith, and the Second Amendment, and he believes the Second Amendment allows people to enjoy the other God given freedoms in this country. Deringer said he stands with them today and as long as he serves as Sheriff. He referenced the positive relationships he has with the County Attorney and staff, and the senators and legislators that represent residents at the Capitol. He will watch this issue closely. Sheriff Deringer said he stands before them today committed to the Second Amendment.
Sheriff Deringer offered a word of caution. He referenced Facebook posts where several individuals took the opportunity to speak on his behalf. He welcomed anyone that has questions about how he feels to contact him directly. That will provide him an opportunity to inform the resident about his positions and how he will continue to work in defense of the Second Amendment rights. Sheriff Deringer said there are over 13,000 permit-to-carry holders in Wright County. He is in his 4th year of teaching a conceal and carry class in Annandale. Sheriff Deringer said he will continue to stand with Wright County citizens and will continue to do everything in his power and the power invested in him to protect all of the constitutional rights of residents, not just the Second Amendment rights.
John Deitering, Rockford Township, said the Constitution provides rights to gun owners but they are not unlimited rights. He viewed this action as an effort by the NRA (National Rifle Association) and groups that agree with the NRA to frighten gun owners that someone is trying to take their guns. Dearing did not see a useful purpose served by the resolution except to indicate gun owners are under siege. For 30 years, the NRA has been indicating that someone will take guns away. In the past 50 years, Dearing did not know of anyone having guns taken away, other than convicted felons. He viewed this as an effort to head off universal gun background checks. He stated that a Fox News poll completed in the past 3-4 months reflects that 90% of the population favors universal background checks, 81% favor red flag laws, and 67% favor a ban on assault weapons. Dearing said either the NRA is not speaking the truth or whoever it is that is supposed to be taking the guns away is not doing their job. He recommended the Commissioners ignore the resolution. If that isn’t an option, he urged them to vote against it.
Gregg Beckman, District 1, read information from a news article that references comments by Joe Biden during his presidential campaign about taking guns away. He said Rep. Eric Swalwell also has indicated that AR-15 guns will be taken. Beckman said this answers Dearing’s question on whether there is reason to think guns will be taken away.
Husom closed the public comment period.
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #20-18 adopting the “Second Amendment Dedicated County” Resolution as amended. The motion was second by Borrell. Vetsch said today’s action indicates a change in the political climate. No longer are changes started from a grass roots effort, but more are starting from the top down. To preserve constitutional rights, he will make more of a grassroots effort from the bottom to preserve the given foundation of our nation. Vetsch said he teaches his nine children to be honest, fair, generous, and to follow their pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness is a key foundation of our country. That foundation is protected by our Constitution, and our Second Amendment rights are a key and vital part of maintaining that foundation. Vetsch said this effort is a step in being cognizant of our constitutional rights and to protect them every day; not just the second amendment, but all of them. He asked for Board support of the resolution.
Borrell said for anyone that does not think there is an effort to take guns away, they should look at what has occurred in countries such as Europe and Australia. Borrell said he applauds everyone in support of this resolution and encouraged the rest of the Board to vote in support.
Husom is a licensed MN Peace Officer and knows a number of people that do carry a firearm. She said it is reassuring that law-abiding citizens can help protect others as Peace Officers can’t be everywhere. Situations can be mitigated with people that are carrying. She took Constitutional Law and knows the reasons why rights are given, and understands the Bill of Rights and other Amendments. Husom spoke in support of the resolution.
Potter said criminals are not supposed to have guns, but they will not follow that law. Potter said we need to make sure law-abiding citizens have the right to protect themselves.
Daleiden said as a business owner, he supports the resolution in order to protect his property, business and employees. He stands firm to make sure that we all have rights.
The motion to adopt Resolution #20-18 carried 5-0 on a roll call vote, which follows:
“SECOND AMENDMENT DEDICATED COUNTY” RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), affirmed an individual’s right to possess firearms, unconnected with service in a militia, for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home, and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010), affirmed that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms,” as protected under the Second Amendment, is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment against the states, and
WHEREAS, the People of Wright County, Minnesota, derive economic benefit from all safe forms of firearm recreation, hunting, and shooting conducted within Wright County using all types of firearms allowable under the United States Constitution, and
WHEREAS, certain legislation, beyond existing laws to date, that has or may be introduced in the Minnesota legislature in the future, and certain legislation which has or may be introduced in the United States Congress in the future, could have the effect of infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners is concerned about the passage of any new legislation containing language which could be interpreted as infringing the rights of the citizens of Wright County to keep and bear arms, and
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners wishes to express its deep commitment to the rights of all citizens of Wright County to keep and bear arms, except those prohibited by current law, and
WHEREAS, the Wright County Board of Commissioners wishes to express opposition to any law in the future, beyond existing laws to date, that would unconstitutionally restrict the rights of the citizens of Wright County to keep and bear arms,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Wright County Minnesota:
That the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby declares Wright County, Minnesota, as a “Second Amendment Dedicated County”, and
That the Wright County Board of Commissioners wishes to express its intent to stand as a County Dedicated to Second Amendment rights and to oppose, within the limits of the Constitution of the United States and the State of Minnesota, any efforts in the future to unconstitutionally restrict such rights, and to use such legal means at its disposal to protect the rights of the citizens of Wright County to keep and bear arms, and
That the Wright County Board of Commissioner will refuse to directly appropriate any Wright County resources to enforce any mandate, law, policy or any directive which unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, and
That the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby expresses its intent to uphold the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of Wright County, Minnesota, and
That the Wright County Board of Commissioners hereby declares its intent to oppose any unconstitutional infringement on the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
(End of Resolution 20-18)
The meeting recessed at 9:57 AM and reconvened at 10:05 AM.
MARC MATTICE, DIRECTOR OF PARKS & RECREATION
1. Approve 2-27-20 Committee Of The Whole (COTW) Recommendations Related To Development of Support Buildings, Campground Grading and Infrastructure:
Mattice stated bids were presented at the COTW Meeting for the Bertram campground project. Part of the recommendation is to proceed with the two contracts. One is the building contract for camper cabins, comfort station, and the contact station. The request is to authorize signatures on the Notice to Proceed with Phase 3 with design build with Bradbury Stamm Construction. Design work, programming work, and bidding is complete. Action would include proceeding with signing contracts with all of the subs and starting construction of those buildings.
A. Authorize Signatures On Notice To Proceed To Phase 3 Related To The Construction Of The Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park Campground: Support Buildings And Acceptance Of The Guaranteed Maximum Price Of $1,415,966, With Bradbury Stamm Construction.
Daleiden moved to authorize signatures on the Notice to Proceed with Bradbury Stamm Construction. The motion was seconded by Vetsch and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
B. Accept Bids For Campground Grading and Infrastructure & Authorize Proceeding With Contract Development Between Wright County, Peterson Companies Including Alternates A and Alternate P - Site Development, & Loucks Inc - Construction Management.
Vetsch moved to accept the bids and to authorize proceeding with the Contract with Peterson Companies for Alternate A and Alternate P and to approve signatures on the contract with Loucks Inc.Construction Management. The motion was seconded by Borrell. Mattice said the contract with Loucks can be signed by Administrator Lee Kelly and himself because of the contract value. The motion carried 5-0.
C. Approve Budget Adjustments Of $350,000 From Capital Improvement Fund 34 To 2020 Bertram Chain Of Lakes Campground Development, Which Was Part Of The 2021 Parks & Recreation Capital Improvement Plan.
Vetsch explained that because some projects in the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) came in lower than projected, there are unallocated CIP funds that can be transferred. The idea is to increase the 2020 CIP funds by $350,000 and to reduce that amount in the 2021 CIP funds. It was initially thought the project would take two years to complete, but it can be done in one year. Funding from the 2021 CIP will be used in 2020.
Daleiden moved to approve the budget amendments as outlined. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0.
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
ADOPT A RESOLUTION RELATED TO AN OUTDOOR RECREATION GRANT APPLICATION THROUGH THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS TO BEEBE LAKE COUNTY PARK
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #20-19. The motion was seconded by Potter and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote. The local match is included in the 2021 CIP.
ADOPT A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PARKS AND RECREATION DIRECTOR TO SIGN AND ENTER IN AN AGREEMENT WITH THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES RELATED TO RECONSTRUCTION OF THE FISHING PIER WITHIN MUD LAKE COUNTY PARK
Vetsch moved to adopt Resolution #20-20. The motion was seconded by Daleiden and carried 5-0 on a roll call vote.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
1. Administrator Updates
A. The bill for the dental clinic is being heard at the House Capitol Investment Committee today. Wright County’s Public Health Director, Sarah Grosshuesch, is testifying at the hearing. That bill continues to move forward.
B. Economic Development Authority. Kelly asked for potential dates to schedule a COTW Meeting to meet with Bruce Kimmel, Ehlers, Inc. on this topic. It was the consensus that March 26th (afternoon) is a date that works for Board members. Kelly will contact Kimmel and place the scheduling of this meeting on an upcoming Agenda.
2. Lake Martha/Lake Charlotte Subordinate Sewer District (SSD). Potter said a meeting was held last week to discuss the slightly over $2 million shortfall for the SSD. A bond payment was made this year. He clarified at the SSD meeting that sewer systems are not a County function and the debt is the responsibility of the SSD. It was fortunate that the SSD was able to connect to the St. Michael sewer system. The SSD also aided with people’s abilities to sell their homes. It will be verified with the City of St. Michael how many connections are on the system and who has paid. Potter said with regard to the sewer assessments, it was assumed that people would pay a 6.5% interest over time but most people prepaid and it led to the shortfall. Refinancing occurred in 2012. Potter said the SSD residents were told this is not a debt for the entire County. Another meeting will be held at the end of the month.
3. Potter recognized Vetsch for his work at the Capitol to arrange meetings with legislators. Vetsch, Potter and Husom recently met with the legislators, continuing with efforts for Wright County. Husom said they met with Senator Bruce Anderson, Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, Rep. Dean Urdahl, Rep. Marion O’Neill, and Rep. Eric Lucero. They said discussions included other priorities by the Association of Minnesota Counties in addition for the County’s request for dental bonding.
4. CMRP (Central Mississippi River Regional Planning Partnership). Vetsch attended a meeting on 2-27-20. The group is planning community engagement meetings, possibly in April. Information will be presented to the County Board at a future date.
5. Fair Board. Borrell attended a recent meeting. Changes to the Fair Guidebook should be submitted by the middle of the month. The Fair Board voted at their meeting to give away a 4-wheeler at the Fair. The Wright County Historical Society and the Cokato Historical Society will have displays. The 5K run will occur the Saturday morning of the Fair.
6. Midwest Regional Forensic Laboratory. Husom said the lab report for January was received reflecting success stories in solving crimes for Wright County by processing samples. Husom said they are providing a great service, as the information has led to arrests and convictions.
7. City of Annandale Meeting. Husom attended a meeting on 3-02-20. Chief Jeff Herr is retiring on 3-31-20 and was honored at the meeting. He provided information on his 30-year career, including the two homicides that occurred in a short time in Annandale. The Annandale City Council has appointed Pete Standafer as the Police Chief, effective 4-01-20.
8. Flood Insurance. Daleiden said there is information available on flood insurance that will be posted on the Wright County website. There is a 30-day waiting period.
The meeting adjourned at 10:31 A.M.
Minutes submitted by Susan Backes, Clerk to the County Board
Warrants Approved On 2/20/2020 For Payment 2/20/2020
3 D Specialties Inc $22,982.29
Aramark Services Inc 9,218.09
Central MN Guardianship & Cons 3,960.00
Databank IMX LLC 47,376.39
Envirotech Services Inc 56,357.43
Flaherty & Hood PA 5,912.16
Jeddeloh & Snyder PA 10,800.00
Leo A Hoffmann Center Inc 4,788.00
Mend Correctional Care PLLC 40,805.25
Millers Sewage Trtmnt Solution 6,500.00
Minnesota Monitoring Inc 16,035.75
MN Law Enforcement Explorers 2,000.00
MSSA Inc 2,280.00
Nexus Mille Lacs Academy 11,278.73
Omnicare Inc 6,303.13
RCM Specialties Inc 2,073.36
Seachange Printing/Marketing 5,553.55
Village Ranch Inc 13,474.30
WSB & Associates Inc 11,809.68
57 Payments Less Than 2000 22,869.00
Final Total $304,770.03
Warrants Approved On 2/21/2020 For Payment 2/21/2020
Farm-Rite Equipment Inc. $35,108.70
Final Total $35,108.70
Warrants Approved On 2/24/2020 For Payment 2/24/2020
Assetworks LLC $11,600.00
Boarman Kroos Vogel Group Inc. 56,323.34
Ciber Global LLC 50,000.00
Databank IMX LLC 87,898.23
Dell Marketing LP 10,885.41
Hellman’s Outdoor Services Inc. 3,300.00
Motorola Solutions Inc. 16,583.58
On-Demand Services Group Inc. 6,688.50
Sand Creek EAP LLC 2,371.25
Voss Lighting 2,259.00
Wright Hennepin Electric 4,264.09
24 Payments Less Than 2000 16,861.31
Final Total $281,028.77
Published in the Herald Journal March 27, 2020.