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Wright County Board minutes 6/7/22

BOARD MINUTES
BOARD OF WRIGHT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS JUNE 7, 2022
DATE APPROVED: JUNE 21, 2022
The Wright County Board met in regular session at 9:00 A.M. with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden, Wetter, and Kaczmarek present.
COUNTY BOARD MINUTES 05-31-2022
Commissioner Mary Wetter requested a change to the name of a meeting she attended as reported under the Advisory Board Updates from the second Paragraph, “Minnesota Recovery Connection Meeting” should be changed to “Minnesota Rural Counties (MRC)”.
Commissioner Christine Husom corrected the spelling of the names of individuals who spoke at the public hearing. In addition, on Page Five in the second to the last paragraph she requested to add the phrase, “In their township” to the sentence “Rhineberger said that Buffalo Township’s Moratorium exempts out any application that was accepted and was pending by the county”.
Commissioner Michael Kaczmarek noted some names with incorrect spelling on Page Five, and these were relayed to the minutes taker.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden moved to approve the County Board minutes from Tuesday, May 31, 2022. The motion was seconded by Wetter with the corrections. The motion carried 5-0.
AGENDA
Commissioner Darek Vetsch requested to add onto the Items for Consideration the Gravel Work Group discussion, specifically the make up of said group and the I-94 Western Corridor Coalition Washington D.C. trip. Husom added as Items Two and Three in the agenda.
Vetsch moved to approve the agenda. The motion was seconded by Daleiden. The motion carried 5-0.
CONSENT AGENDA
Kaczmarek requested to remove Item A1 Subsection iii from the Consent Agenda for further discussion.
Daleiden moved to approve the Consent Agenda with Item A1 Subsection iii being removed for further discussion. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek. The motion carried 5-0.
*Item removed for further discussion
A. ADMINISTRATION
1. Refer Items to Personnel Committee on June 22, 2022.
i. Taxpayer Services/Elections Organizational Discussion.
ii. Revisions To Personnel Policy 301.07 Extend Sick Leave Bank.
iii. *Request Approval to Fill Positions of Risk Management Specialist.
2. Schedule Committee of the Whole Meeting for Tuesday, June 14 at 11:00 AM.
i. Discussion with BKV regarding Government Center Extra Services.
A. ADMINSTRATION – FINANCE
1. Acknowledge Warrants Issued Between May 25, 022 and May 31, 20222
2. Motion to Approve the Reimbursement of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) Funds as Follows: Approval of Use of ARP Funds from 01-099-496-8428-6261.
$4,525.00 7.1 Consultant Support.
B. ADMINISTRATION – HUMAN RESOURCES
1. Request Approval and Authorization of Signature of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to Allow Wright County Deputies Association (WCDA) Members and Non-Union Staff Members to Donate Accrued Vacation and Sick Time to Sheriff Deputy Michael Nordin.
2. Position Replacement Reports:
i. Review Monthly Termination Report – May 2022
ii. Review Monthly Hire Report – May 2022
ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT AGENDA FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION
A. Administration
1. Refer Items for Personnel Committee on June 22, 2022
iii. Request Approval to Fill Positions of Risk Management Specialist.
Kaczmarek recalled that in December the board had a lot of discussions around the addition of two Assistant County Administrators in Wright County among several other possible positions. While the hiring was approved to hire the Assistant County Administrators, it was agreed that the board would not fill one of the Administration Assistant positions and the Assistant Risk Manager Position at that time. Kaczmarek said that now, just months after this discussion and before budget time, these positions are up for approval again. Kaczmarek wondered what had changed and recommended sticking with the board’s original decision. He further asked what the point of holding off on filling those spots and then bringing it back up after the hiring of two positions with six-figure salaries. Husom stated this was done to send the question of hiring to the Personnel Committee, unless there was a broader discussion to be had. She said this vote to send the question to the committee was not for a vote. County Administrator Lee Kelly stated the two positions in question were held open due to the reorganization proposal discussed in December. This was left in such a way that if Administration wished to ever pursue these positions in the future, they should be presented to the board to consider.
Kaczmarek asked if the board was aware of any other county that worked with more than one risk manager. Both Husom and Vetsch acknowledged that no research had be done yet. Vetsch said such information would come forward in the Personnel Committee. Vetsch stated information regarding this question in addition to looking at the current workload and staffing vs. the addition of more staff and the ramifications that came with it would be discussed at either the Personnel Committee meeting or a Committee of the Whole (COTW) meeting. Kelly reminded the board that this was voted on in the 2022 budget, time had now passed, and he felt it prudent to update the information that had been brought forth at the time of the original vote. Kelly acknowledged with the changes in the reorganization and in finance where positions had been eliminated, duties had been changed and some positions had been added it would be appropriate to look at the overall picture. Wetter requested to know who was on the Personnel Committee, Kelly answered that it was Vetsch and Daleiden.
Vetsch said that while he respected Kaczmarek’s desire for the county to diligently ensure it is not overstaffing, it was important to look at all requests, weigh the pros and cons, and give staff the opportunity to present all relevant information. This would allow the Committee to make a decision based on the merits of what was presented. Husom added that whatever the committee recommended the matter still had to come to the board for approval. Husom stressed that this deserved to be looked at, especially with all the reorganization in the past couple of years, if the board didn’t feel like a position works, it is addressed. It is important to see what is being offered and consider all the options once all the information is known.
Kaczmarek motioned to decline pursuing A1 Subsection iii Personnel Committee for discussion, the motion was seconded by Wetter. Motion failed 4-1 with Husom, Vetsch, Daleiden and Wetter dissenting. Daleiden motioned to approve item A1 Subsection iii on the Personnel Committee agenda on Tuesday, June 21, the motion was seconded by Vetsch. The motion passed 4-1, Kaczmarek dissenting.
Daleiden said the Personnel Committee date was Wednesday, June 22, not Tuesday, June 21.
TIMED AGENDA ITEMS – None
ITEMS FOR CONSIDERATION
**Items to be moved to a future meeting.
ADMINISTRATION
Topics for Discussion at the County Board Workshop on Tuesday, June 14:
i. Schedule Meetings as Needed
ii. **Rental of Government Center/Justice Center Conference Rooms to Outside Agencies.
iii. Central MN Council on Aging/Health and Human Services (HHS) Senior Services (10:00 AM)
iv. **2021 Community Health Assessment Report/ARP Fund Allocation
v. **Update American Rescue Plan (ARP Program
vi. 2023 Budget Forecast
vii. **Government Center Café Space
viii. Board Meeting Schedule & Agenda Process and Timeline – Kaczmarek
ix. **Update on Emerald Ash Borer – Grants & Centralized Disposal
x. Hybrid & Flex – Work Basic Expectation
Kelly started by acknowledging the 10 items on the list to be discussed at the next County Board Workshop. He had spoken already to Kaczmarek regarding the Wright County Fair Board and work that was done at the fairgrounds. After speaking with staff about the number of items on the agenda, Kelly recommended to prioritize the topics and possibly delaying some items to a future date. A COTW meeting with BKV was scheduled at 11:00 a.m. that day. After discussing this with Kaczmarek, Kelly recommended adding the Fair Board item where the staff wanted to discuss logistics of improvements to the bathroom areas. Kelly added that scheduling meetings was needed as a standing item ensuring the Board could keep business moving forward. On the second topic, the rental of the Government Center and Justice Center conference rooms by outside agencies, Kelly noted that there had already been discussions so it could be laid over. With regard to the cafeteria space, Kelly noted The Wellness Committee had posted a survey so this could be moved to the July meeting. Kelly said after speaking with Project Administrator Elizabeth Karels the county could move the ARP update.
Kelly was concerned with short timing the Community Health Assessment Report so did not recommend moving this items discussion. After speaking with Assistant County Administrator Marc Mattice, Kelly recommended this discussion could move to July as it was not time sensitive. Kelly recommended including the remaining Items One, Three, Six, Eight and 10 and include the Fair Board item if acceptable. Kelly hoped this would prioritize the board’s time as there were some additional meetings that day. Daleiden asked to clarify whether Item 10 would be deferred, and Kelly reiterated this item’s discussion should happen sooner rather than later and was included. Kelly then offered to break one or two of these items out into a COTW. Vetsch noted the difficulty of bringing six items into a COTW meeting of two hours stating each item could take 15 to 30 minutes depending on the depth of discussion so this could be a challenge. Daleiden said the board could add more COTW meetings if needed. Husom agreed and mentioned that if something was taking too much time, the board could send it to a future meeting for further discussion.
Daleiden moved to send the items discussed to the County Board Workshop on Tuesday, June 14. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek. The motion passed 5-0.
COMMISSIONERS
Gravel Workgroup
Vetsch introduced the desired makeup of the Gravel Workgroup, he was looking at putting together a proposal for two commissioners, two township members, an industry expert and two team members from the Planning Commission to be on the panel. He clarified this seven-member panel would be a citizens panel. It would not be a voting group rather it would make recommendations to the board. Husom asked for clarification on whom among the townships and which townships would be included. Vetsch clarified that it would be reasonable to include townships with gravel pits.
Kaczmarek said he had received a call from a specific individual who was interested. Vetsch requested the names to be addressed at the workshop if it was to be added to the workshop agenda. Kelly recommended it be discussed at the workshop when discussing the scheduling of meetings as needed. Daleiden said he was planning on bringing this up to the Planning Commission that week. In addition, Daleiden recommended two businesses be brought into the workgroup to ensure all that is involved in the process would be taken into consideration. He said mining has changed so dramatically over the years that having two businesses on this workgroup would be helpful. Kaczmarek stated he was disappointed no one from the gravel industry showed up to the public hearing when regulating mining was brought up. He mentioned the board should ensure the representatives would not necessarily be the biggest companies. Kaczmarek stressed quality over quantity when filling the seats to ensure productive involvement. Vetsch stated he wanted to be careful the workgroup would not be too large. He stated it was the citizens who brought to the board the moratoriums, it would be helpful to have two businesses to allow for explanation of what was involved. Husom agreed two businesses would be good to help illustrate all that went into the work. Daleiden stated he hoped this would get moving by July, since he would only be around until the end of the year. Ideally this would lead to a six-month moratorium. Husom hoped to start meetings in June. Daleiden felt June was too quick. Vetsch recommended two board members, two township citizens with a gravel pit in their community, two industry members and two Planning Commission members make up the workgroup. Daleiden asked how the board would decide which townships would be included. Vetsch expressed concern that it would take too long to go through an application process which could push the workgroup back to December. Daleiden argued it should be up to the township boards to decide who was sent to the committee, he also said townships can always hold emergency meetings. Vetsch was concerned about the timeline and would like at least one meeting before the applications would be due. Daleiden voiced concern that the number of applications might be overwhelming. Vetsch recommended having two to three township citizens joining for a good cross-section of districts. Daleiden asked Kaczmarek if he was interested in serving on the workgroup. Kaczmarek deferred to Vetsch due to concerns stemming from his district. Vetsch said he would be happy to serve. Vetsch recommended sending out requests to townships ASAP. Appointments would take two to three weeks.
Vetsch would like staff to send the township invitations out. Daleiden asked to clarify who would choose the businesses to be involved. Planning and Zoning Director Barry Rhineberger addressed the commissioners and said he had been having internal discussions with Environmental Health Inspector Scott Deckert on the best companies to work with. Rhineberger recommended that staff make a list of names that would include companies believed to be good for this role. Kaczmarek mentioned he supported Daleiden and Vetsch to be on this board due to the number of gravel pits in their districts.
Daleiden motioned to work with the Gravel Group Memberships, Vetsch seconded the motion. The motion passed 5-0.
I-94 West Corridor Coalition Washington DC Trip
Vetsch spoke about the push for the transportation grant for the gap funding on the work to be done on I-94 from Albertville to Monticello where the highway goes from three lanes to two lanes. Vetsch would like a strong representation from the group. He stated the board had a number of meetings planned with the Federal Transportation Board and a strong cross-section of Congress from Washington, D.C. The Coalition felt optimistic with this grant opportunity. Vetsch laid out the desire to get a staff member or board member to attend. Kelly agreed that there should be staff or board member representation on the trip. Kaczmarek wondered if there was any community member who had been involved and wanted to go. Vetsch mentioned the Mayor of Monticello was, St Michael had a representative attending as well. Wetter asked if anyone from Albertville was going, Vetsch confirmed City Administrator Adam Nafstad was believed to be going.
Looking at his schedule, Vetsch was hesitant to commit to going, but was willing to. He expressed a desire to have a backup in case it did not work for him to attend. Daleiden mentioned he would prefer another board member go, but he was willing to be the backup. Daleiden mentioned that St. Michael City Administrator Steve Bot would be going as he was on the coalition and was a great attendee to include due to the work he had already done especially on the bridge crossing project. Vetsch added it would be great to include Assistant County Administrator Clay Wilfahrt as well.
Vetsch moved to approve the Washington D.C. trip for Wilfahrt, Vetsch or Daleiden. The motion was seconded by Kaczmarek. The motion carried 5-0.
COMMITTEE MINUTES
COTW COMMITTEE (06/01/2022)
Husom recommended to change the phrase, “she thinks it is a budgetary issue”, in the third paragraph. Husom changed the phrase to “Athman did say there was a potential budgetary impact.”
Daleiden moved to approve the Committee of the Whole meeting minutes to include the changes from Wednesday, June
1. The motion was seconded by Vetsch. The motion carried 5-0.
I. Discuss a School Resource Officer (SRO)
Request and Supervision Span of Control for the Unit County Board Chair Christine Husom called the meeting to order. Sheriff Sean Deringer made a request for an additional School Resource Officer (SRO) who would be shared throughout all the schools in the district. Deringer said there should be an office added for the SRO out of Cornerstone at the Government Center. He added that Wright County has the largest SRO group in Minnesota and the county currently only had one SRO sergeant on staff. Post-pandemic issues within the school system were causing the SRO to be overloaded with mental health issues. Deringer told how he had seen classrooms destroyed by outbursts and kids acting out. He emphasized that the SRO is the person that teachers and schools call when they need assistance. He added that he had also seen a rise in sexual assaults and threats in the school system. There are 13 SROs and one D.A.R.E. instructor working within the school districts, and he said this was not enough to meet the county’s needs. He appealed to the board to approve the Sheriff’s Office request adding that his office had the funding in the budget for this addition. Deringer said it was the county’s duty to do address this growing need in the community. Deringer referenced the handout from Sheriff’s Office Administrator Shawna Athman that broke down baseline salary requirements for this additional position. He understood that most school districts are laying off staff at a rate of $40,000 -$70,000 per year. Deringer said that when he had asked the board for another freeze on the charge to schools for SROs for this year, the board granted it and he was thankful. He added that this position would be paid from taxpayer dollars either way and he thought that the schools’ need should be addressed. Deringer used Monticello Schools as an example because they now had two SROs, one at the middle school and one at the high school. Prior to this with no SROs, both daytime deputies would have been tied up at the schools all day, every day. He reminded the board that there was a base level of service that all members of the county expect. Looking too at the state of the nation, and especially when considering events from the recent Texas school shooting, there was an undeniable need for more SROs. Husom said that it was not just the school districts who were in need of a police presence, but also the communities those schools were in that did not have their own police departments. She wondered if resources should also be provided to the city who were going to be receiving school resources as well. She was concerned about the funding, in the current economy people were struggling already. Husom said she was in favor of this proposal but wanted more discussion about the processes to go about enacting th is change and asked if Deringer was requesting two SROs. Deringer confirmed that he was asking for two. He added that this SRO position was one of the most stressful jobs in the Sheriff’s Office as incidents are a daily and regular occurrence. He clarified that one of the SRO positions would be a sergeant position that would be able to supervise the other SROs in the county. Commissioner Darek Vetsch asked if he was asking for two full-time employee positions or one full-time position and an internal promotion. Deringer said it was two full-time employee positions that were being requested. Husom asked if it would be a roaming SRO position, or an SRO specifically designated to one school. Deringer said it would be a roaming SRO along with a supervisor position. Husom understood the request and thought it was a fair ask from the Sheriff’s Office. Deringer knew that since Husom sat on the Safe Schools of Wright County Board, she would have already had firsthand knowledge of what was happening in schools and the great need. Husom wondered how the decrease in students returning to in-person schooling would affect these issues long-term in regard to staffing. Deringer understood her concern and stated that currently he had seven deputies out on extended injury leave ranging from surgery to cancer, seven retirements, and 10 other deputies leave the county. He said how devastating this was for staffing and how it had been a huge loss for the department. Deringer said that six down on his staff leaves the department at a disadvantage and being 17 down was a huge loss. Deringer said the Sheriff’s Office had only 19 deputy applicants this year. He was hoping for an increase applicants after police academy graduation season, but there is no guarantee.
Deringer’s main goal was retention. He had received feedback from cities in the county that were requesting a larger police presence. Deringer wanted to request six more deputies for these cities’ needs. Commissioner Mark Daleiden thought this was an issue that needed to be addressed as the Sheriff’s Office resources were already being spread thin. Vetsch wanted to approve three additional deputy positions Deringer requested and something in the interim while the discussion about addressing city needs would be deferred for another time. Athman said representatives from the Sheriff’s Office had been going to the job fairs to seek out potential new hires and had been proactively pushing recruitment. The ride-alongs that the Sheriff’s Office offered were helping to expose potential applicants to Wright County facilities and opportunities. Vetsch asked if the new city contracts would start January 1, 2023. Deringer said St. Michael would have two deputies starting April 1, 2023 and have another increase on May 1, 2023. He said there would be some fluctuation in the meantime. Vetsch though it a good topic to discuss in order to be prepared for these Spring 2023 contracts. Vetsch asked if the five positions were sufficient for the time being. Deringer confirmed that they were sufficient , but if the board wanted to offer more positions, he would not say no. Athman said they have had five overcompensation positions available and had still spent zero dollars. Athman there may still be a budgetary impact. The Sheriff’s Office had never filled these five over compensation positions because new hires were always filling a need within the county. Athman said that authorizing an addition three positions would be an advantageous move. Chief Deputy Matthew Treichler said it was unclear how long it would take to fill those positions, but that it would give the Sheriff’s Office the latitude to have the positions available. He noted that it was not just a Wright County issue stating that Hennepin County was currently down 40 officers. He emphasized that it was an everywhere, everyone problem. There were jails across the state having conversations about consolidation. Vetsch reintroduced his intention of wanting to add three more positions. He said this would allow Deringer to pull from the recruiting class if he had the need. Deringer stated he would know the impact this would have on the budget by December 2022. He added that these conversations will have to be ongoing as the population of Wright County continues to grow and so will the need for more deputies. Deringer said he felt blessed with the staff he has and the position that Wright County was in, especially when compared with other counties throughout the state that were not so fortunate. Husom asked if Deringer had a deputy in mind for the SRO sergeant position. Deringer said he would be posting this position internally to see if he could recruit a current patrol sergeant. Daleiden had concerns that the salary numbers presented on the handout for the SRO sergeant position were not realistic. Athman said it was the best number she had to use as a starting wage. Vetsch agreed but thought that realistically the salary would be in the $80,000 range. Daleiden asked if Vetsch’s intention was to approve five more positions to include three deputies over compensation positions, one SRO position and one SRO sergeant position. Vetsch confirmed that it was his intent.
Husom said that the three deputy positions would give the Sheriff’s Office the latitude to put more feelers out for hiring purposes. These over compensation positions had never affected the budget. Daleiden asked how many deputy openings the Sheriff’s Office had currently. Treichler said that there are two open positions. Husom asked about the five overcompensation positions that would act as place holders. Treichler stated that the budget had not been affected because every time the Sheriff’s Office hired a new deputy it was always to fill a need not an overcompensation position. Deringer expressed his understanding that long-term injuries were part of doing business in the Sheriff’s Office but said that in 2022 the Sheriff’s Office had been hit especially hard with long-term injuries. Daleiden asked if there would be extra training for the new SROs. Deringer confirmed they did attend extra training and stated that it was a one-week school held in the summer that enabled the new SRO to be ready by the start of the school year in the fall. It was put on by a nationally accredited program specific to SROs and what they will be dealing with. Daleiden asked if the local schools will require additional training. Deringer said he did not think they would require anything beyond the forementioned training. Husom asked if the board agreed to move forward with approval of the five new positions. It was a unanimous decision to approve the positions. Daleiden’s only concern was still about how realistic the projected salaries would be, but he did support the new positions. Athman reiterated what the Deringer had said and emphasized that the Sheriff’s Office was bringing candidates in as fast as they could. The new facilities and opportunities that Wright County offered was a good recruitment tool. Deringer said the Human Resources Department had been a great partner in trying to find new candidates and that he was proud to be part of the team. RECOMMENDATION: Approve three more overcompensation positions bringing the total over compensation positions to eight, approve the addition of an SRO sergeant position, and approve one additional SRO position.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE / ADVISORY BOARD UPDATES
Commissioner Mary Wetter
On Wednesday, June 1, Wetter attended the Policy Committee meeting for North Fork Crow River One Watershed One Plan. At the meeting the committee reviewed expenditures and requests for the implementation funding. In addition, Wetter stated that this watershed program was the pilot program originally written in 2017 and as a result was not very usable as there were so many different items covered. In order to create a more usable plan, the committee was going over the original plan deciding what the basic needs are.
Commissioner Darek Vetsch
Vetsch stated he had left last week’s board meeting early to attend the Energy Transition Advisory Committee and requested guidance on how best to proceed with the large amount of information available to share as this group meets three to four times a month. Vetsch offered to share a summary and explain more at a workshop. Husom recommended to share handouts via email if available or share summaries. At the meeting on Wednesday June 1, Vetsch was able to tour the Sherburne County Generating Station Becker Plant and attend a presentation by Executive Secretary for the Public Utilities Commission William Seuffert. Seuffert spoke on giving people an understanding of the integrated resource process, and the certificate of need in the permitting, and how that process works with these power plants. Vetsch had also a discussion with Cindy Windlin from Community Transition Planning who spoke about the Pennsylvania Plan which was what the committee was trying to base their plan for energy transitioning communities on. The plan was to create playbook or adopt a report for policy to present to the legislators. The Pennsylvania Plan was being reviewed to assess what would work and what does not apply. Vetsch concluded his remarks on this committee by illustrating the many different moving pieces from the various workgroups he is a part of including the Community Engagement Workgroup, the Economic Diversification Workgroup, the Reuse of Asset Workgroup, the Tax Base Financial Assistance Workgroup, and the Workforce Workgroup. Husom acknowledged this was very complex. Vetsch said his goal was to get more definitive answers. Kaczmarek asked if these meetings were put on the approved board and committees for per diems considering the frequency of meetings. Neither Vetsch nor Kelly believed it was on the list. Kaczmarek asked what would need to happen to get it on the list. Kelly said staff could add it to the Consent Agenda to modify the list. Husom agreed this should be added as it was an oversite not knowing what the involvement would be.
Vetsch discussed his and Daleiden’s Trailblazer Joint Powers Board (TJPB) meeting. The board submitted its annual application to Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) with the same request from the previous year which was no increases or decreases in the budgetary requests for the Section 5311 public transportation funding. The board did not feel it would make any expansion at this time as there were quite a few openings for drivers and any expansion would not be able to be met. The goal at this time was to fortify the operating budget to ensure stability. There was also discussion on adopting a pay schedule to overcome the challenge of the current situation that has seen Trailblazer operating for years without one. This led to first-year drivers making as much as third- or fifth-year drivers. Daleiden said this was problematic for all drivers.
Vetsch said the software integration issue was not moving forward as there was no software on the market adequate for Trailblazer’s needs. Daleiden addressed the bus issue. Vetsch stated the need for new busses was being pushed out, the older busses were being pushed out to more rural systems. After much research the committee discovered once busses get to 200,000 – 300,000 miles, they are more expensive to maintain. Daleiden added the busses ordered in 2021 may take until 2023 to get delivered. Vetsch said this was the second time the bus order had been pushed back.
County Administrator Lee Kelly
Kelly reminded the board there was the annual Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 8. He said the county was privileged to host the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) District 5 meeting on Monday, June 13. Sheriff Sean Deringer was hosting an open house at the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friday, June 10. The Wright County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) would be having its tour Thursday, June 16. Kelly asked if anyone wanted to attend to let him know so he could alert SWCD Director Luke Johnson. Wetter asked if any help was needed with the AMC meeting. Kelly said he was sure everything was well in hand and requested people arrive at 8:00 a.m. or shortly before the start of the meeting to greet people as they arrive as commissioners enjoy seeing their counterparts.
Commissioner Michael Kaczmarek
Kaczmarek met with the Wright County Fair Board Monday, June 6. The agenda proposed improvements to the permanent county owned restrooms. Specifically, Kaczmarek added the staff wanted to upgrade the hand dryers which were several hundred dollars each. Kaczmarek asked on behalf of the Fair Board if the county purchased the hand dryers, if county maintenance installed them, what the cost sharing would be. This along with some other changes would be discussed at the workshop on Tuesday, June 14. Daleiden asked if someone from Administration, such as an electrician, would be on hand for that discussion. Kaczmarek spoke to Wilfahrt and gave him the updates from the meeting. The understanding was to have the master electrician present. Facilities Services Director Alan Wilczek would have the staff and the time to install if that was the route decided. Kaczmarek added he felt this should be a board decision due to the cost running into several thousands of dollars for the air dryer units and labor. Kaczmarek mentioned the dryers cost $600 each and the Fair Board wanted to know how many it can purchase and install this year, and as it is getting close to Fair time and what the supply looks like. He concluded everything is going well for the planning of the fair this year. Daleiden asked what the Fair dates were. Kaczmarek confirmed the dates of July 20-24. Both commissioners acknowledged this as a board tradition to get the word out on the Fair’s dates.
Commissioner Mark Daleiden
Daleiden reported that on Friday, June 3 the Bertram Chain of Lakes Advisory Council met with both himself and Vetsch attending. Reporting both sides of the park, the passive county side and the athletic field side, are getting heavily used.
Daleiden noted the athletic side was most used on the weekends and believed some state tournaments were either ongoing or coming up. Daleiden said the campground was busy and its reservations were filling up rapidly for the summer. The Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park was renting kayaks and paddle boards, much to the continued delight of the surrounding community. Daleiden also mentioned the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) splash pad. Husom inquired after their previously stated need for an additional board member. Vetsch said they had plenty of applicants so there was no longer a need to advertise this position. Vetsch also mentioned there were usually thousands of people at the park over the weekend and hundreds during the week. He said the popularity of the park would bring up a future collaboration with the Highway Department over the current and growing traffic issues.
Commissioner Christine Husom:
Husom acknowledged Princess Hart, an eighth grader at Buffalo Middle School who was the first-place winner in a statewide Escape the Vape video contest. She made a 33-second animated video called “Vaping is Stressing You Out.” Husom said there were first, second and third place winners in both Middle School and High School level competitions. Husom said on a personal note her grandson was leaving for basic training with the Air Force that day.
The meeting adjourned at 9:57 a.m.
County Board Minutes submitted by Philip Hodges, Administrative Specialist.
WARRANTS FOR PUBLICATION
Warrants Approved On 5/25/2022 For Payment 5/25/2022
Vendor Name Amount
ALLINA HOSPITALS & CLINIC 2,306.00
AUROMIRA ARCHITECTS LLC 3,500.00
BUFFALO/CITY OF 13,178.83
CC STEEL, LLC 3,950.00
CENTERPOINT ENERGY 2,030.23
FURTHER 2,727.00
MIDWEST LANDSCAPES INC 4,007.10
OFFICE OF MN IT SERVICES 3,489.20
WRIGHT COUNTY JOURNAL PRESS 3,235.88
WRIGHT HENNEPIN ELECTRIC 2,909.93
52 payments less than 2000 21,034.71
Final total 62,368.88
Warrants Approved For Payment 5/25/2022
WEX BANK 27,237.22
Final total 27,237.22
Warrants Approved For Payment 5/25/2022
US BANK-PROCUREMENT CARDS 84,943.50
Final total 84,943.50
Warrants Approved On 5/25/2022 For Payment 5/25/2022
ISD 111 WATERTOWN-MAYER 137,571.95
SD 2687 – HOWARD LAKE-
WAVERLY-WINS 823,662.83
ISD 466 – DASSEL COKATO 506,047.22
ISD 728 – ELK RIVER 3,625,683.45
ISD 742 – ST. CLOUD 243,872.42
ISD 876 – ANNANDALE 1,233,793.54
ISD 877 – BUFFALO 4,004,451.44
ISD 879 – DELANO 1,505,404.60
ISD 881 – MAPLE LAKE 679,406.99
ISD 882 – MONTICELLO 2,706,735.35
ISD 883 – ROCKFORD 586,603.14
ISD 885 – ST MICHAEL
ALBERTVILLE 3,774,083.07
1 payment less than 2000 193.16
Final total 19,827,509.16
Warrants Approved On 5/26/2022 For Payment 5/26/2022
ASSOCIATED BANK 168,862.50
BOND TRUST SERVICES
CORPORATION 1,349,153.13
Final total 1,518,015.63
Warrants Approved On 5/26/2022 For Payment 5/26/2022
HEALTH PARTNERS 889,489.09
HEALTH PARTNERS – DENTAL 26,942.80
PLAGGERMAN/MARGARET M 3,458.61
6 payments less than 2000 4,225.00
Final total 924,115.50
Warrants Approved For Payment 5/26/2022
MN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE 3,570,745.36
Final total 3,570,745.36
Warrants Approved On 5/27/2022 For Payment 5/27/2022
A & L INVESTMENTS 2,000.00
BURDAS TOWING 4,098.75
CANON FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC 2,503.15
CARAHSOFT TECHNOLOGY
CORPORATIO 41,241.60
GREINER CONSTRUCTION INC. 104,886.65
INTEREUM INC 270,966.32
NORTH STAR LANDSCAPING INC. 16,500.00
PEARSON BROS. INC 27,656.25
PNC BANK NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION 137,697.00
QUALTRICS, LLC 9,922.50
ROYAL TIRE INC 2,176.26
RUM RIVER CONSTRUCTION
CONSULTAN 2,886.80
SCUBA CENTER 4,250.00
SUNSET LAW ENFORCEMENT LLC 22,325.00
82 payments less than 2000 37,201.19
Final total 686,311.47
Warrants Approved On 5/31/2022 For Payment 5/31/2022
DELL MARKETING LP 4,639.56
DREWS/JEFF 5,545.00
4 payments less than 2000 4,146.19
Final total 14,330.7
Published in the Herald Journal, date, 2022.

New Germany cable franchise extension

ORDINANCE NO. 118
CITY OF NEW GERMANY
ORDINANCE GRANTING NUVERA
COMMUNICATIONS, INC., A CABLE
FRANCHISE EXTENSION
OFFICIAL SUMMARY
June 21, 2022
The following is the official Summary of
Ordinance No. 118 the regulation of the Nuvera Cable Franchise extension in the City of New Germany.
The Ordinance:
1. Regulations allowing to construct, op‐
erate and maintain a cable system in the City of New Germany.
2. Ordinance 103 is amended by Ordinance 118 to extend the term of the Fran‐chise contract for an additional 10 years.
A PRINTED COPY OF THIS ENTIRE ORDI‐NANCE IS AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AND REVIEW BY ANY PERSON AT THE OF‐FICE OF THE CLERK OF THE CITY OF NEW GERMANY AT THE NEW GERMANY CITY HALL, 300 BROADWAY STREET EAST, NEW GERMANY, MINNESOTA 55367.
/s/ Twyla Menth,
City Clerk-Treasurer
Published in the Herald Journal, July 1, 2022.

Howard Lake ordinance changes

CITY OF HOWARD LAKE
RESOLUTION 22-13
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SUMMARY PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCE 22-04 REGARDING SHORT TERM RENTALS
The City of Howard Lake adopted Ordinance 22-04 amending the City Code regarding the regulation of short term rentals (less than 30 days) of residential dwelling units. Such rentals may be permitted as an interim use permit in residential zoning districts. Licensing of units is required to confirm continued compliance with ordinance requirements.
Passed and Adopted this 20th day of June, 2022.S
CITY OF HOWARD LAKE
RESOLUTION 22-14
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE SUMMARY PUBLICATION OF ORDINANCE 22-04 REGARDING WATER USE
The City of Howard Lake adopted Ordinance 22-05 amending the City Code regarding the regulation of the use of water by requiring connections to the water system when public water is available and requiring the abandonment of disused wells.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 20th day of June, 2022.
Published in the Herald Journal, July 1, 2022.

Lester Prairie School Board minutes 5/16/22

REGULAR MEETING of the SCHOOL BOARD of EDUCATION
Lester Prairie Public Schools
Monday May 16th, 2022 5:45 pm
Lester Prairie School Media Center
Roll call was taken and the following board members were present: Corbey Hentges, Steve Ziermann – remote, Mary Otto, Brian Heimerl, Rebecca Heimerl and Megan Stifter. Administration present: Dr. Melissa Radeke, Jenna Wolff, Alice Daak and Mike Lee. Other Staff: Katie Carmine Guests: Fred Holasek, Sean Tritabaugh, Joe Uhlhorn with H&U, Austin Neaton from Herald Journal.
Pledge of Allegiance was led by Steve Ziermann.
Agenda
Motion by R. Heimerl second by Stifter-Knoll to approve the Agenda as presented and or modified
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Recognition of Communications since Last Meeting:
Communication – Report:
Nice Band Concert
Band Trip was a fun and good time
Open dialogue – none
Minutes and Bills
Motion by Otto and second by Stifter-Knoll to approve the meeting minutes of the Regular Board meeting on 4/19, and pay the bills in the amount of $193,650.34 Building Project bills of $8,950.00and student activity fees of $4,382.69
Discussion – American Express charges Melissa and Alice on Account
Amazon Prime account
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
City Council Report
Sean Tritabaugh – School Liaison
City Park Proposal was present to the Board
Information given to Brian for the new Electronic Sign being installed in front of the school
Joe from H&U sent utility drawings regarding underground pipe
Administrative Reports
Mr. Lee K-12 Principal Report: – highlights
Ben Machemehl – give report on PBIS revamping
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support
a. Revamping program since COVID
b. Big kickoff at the beginning of next school year
c. Matrix for behaviors in areas will be given Teachers
d. Modeling the behaviors and creating a positive culture in the school making it a better place to be
Teacher driven Ben and Jen Brandel leading PBIS
Rose Sweeney International speaker will be coming out school to speak with Teachers
Summer School and camps
34 students participating in Summer School
4 teachers for instruction
5 Summer camps in June 110 students participating
3 Summer camps in July 45 students participating
Staffing – still looking for a Science and SPED teacher
Several Paraprofessional positions open
Wonderful concerts performed by Elementary and High School
Senior Class Trip in Yellowstone National Park today.
Having a great time and are a bit tired
Graduation May 20th at 7pm with Stage in the gym.
Reception in the commons space
May 19th last day for Seniors
May 27th last day for all students
Jenna Wolff AD Report: – highlights
Great stretch of weather for Spring Sports
Sections starting soon
Thanks and shout out to Jim with 4.0 for being flexible with transportation schedule and meeting the needs of the teams
Thanks to the team of past students and staff for stepping in to help umpire recent games. – Zach Jackson, Leighton Buhr, Anthony Frank, Jenna Wolf.
Athletic Trainer
Weight Training provided – requires a commitment from the coaches during and off peak seasons.
Registrations for summer programs coming up
Strength and Agility registration for 7-12 grade is May 26th
Dr. Melissa Radeke Superintendent Report: – highlights
Enrollment – 485 students
June 20th will be celebrated as Juneteenth
This day is on one of the bills as a required observed holiday
Alternative Board meeting set for June 22nd if day passes
ELA curriculum – worked with Karen Schulte from SWWC on options
ELA teachers surveyed on current curriculum and wants and needs
Survey shows current curriculum is out of date
2020 Standards provided to the teachers
Several surrounding districts have purchased same packet
This will help provide collaborative learning with each other
Building Project Update – Joe Uhlhorn
Change order on Agenda
Working through warranty items
Speakers still on order
New call box for front door on order
New gate installed on road north of gym
Change order for $7,641 includes
Add lighting in tunnel
Admin. fire alarm device needed to be removed.
Relocating electrical boxes in precast by Bulldog sign
Wiring additional hoop
Additional horn strobe in south addition
Rewiring rooftop unit
Temping of fax line
Demolition related to front office counter
Bell system demolition
Re-location of data jacks
Adding receptacles in shop mezzanine
Board member Ziermann questioned change order and why so late with several other change order were approved after these changes were completed
Board member Ziermann noted pipe work was not completed from a previous approved change order
11 month punch list walk to be scheduled in July
School Board Reports
Community Ed. – None
PTO – re-scheduled until next Wednesday
Facilities/Maintenance– Shed update. Xcel coming on the 31st to set the pole. Power has been dug in. Power to be connected from pole.
Facility Planning – none
Tech/Media: Smart board survey sent out. I-messenger role out, digital citizenship curriculum roll out by Katie. ERRC – looking at quotes and moving forward with install and scheduling meeting. Still waiting on equipment from E-rate.
Activities: Committee – none
Negotiations –
Certified – none
Non certified – meeting next week
Meet and Confer – none
Policy – none
Legislative – none
City Council – Rebecca and Steve met with Park Board. Park Board to come back with proposal for city field use. Brian checked around with other area communities for city charges for field use. Found anywhere from 0$-$400. District has been charged a lot of money over the years. Summer Rec is not charged by the city for use of the fields. Brian will attend City council meeting. Paying to rent fields and maintain them for chalking and raking. Along with cleaning up bathrooms and provide products. Working through contract with Park Board.
New Business
Motion by R. Heimerl second by Stifter-Knoll to approve the following change order: JT Electric for $7,641.
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Motion by R. Heimerl second by B. Heimerl to approve the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Into Reading K-6 (Version 2) English Language Arts Curriculum purchase for 7 years (print and digital).
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Old Business
Motion by Stifter-Knoll second by Ziermann to approve purchasing BoardBook Premier Tier 1 software for School Board meeting packets.
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
School Finance
Motion by B. Heimerl second by Otto to approve Athletic Trainer position.
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Policy Administration
Motion by R. Heimerl second by Ziermann to approve Policy 902 Use of School District Facilities and Equipment
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Personnel
Motion by R. Heimerl and 2nd by Stifter-Knoll to approve resignation of Kim Heimerl as CO-Coach of LP Cheerleading.
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Motion by B. Heimerl and 2nd by R. Heimerl to approve resignation of Lisa Feltmann as CO-Coach of LP Cheerleading.
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Motion by R. Heimerl and 2nd by Stifter-Knoll to approve resignation of Katie Nelson as paraprofessional effective May 27th.
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Motion by B. Heimerl and 2nd by Otto to approve the following assignments:
Julie Malady – Summer School Teacher
Anna Soupir – Summer School Teacher
Jan Smith – Summer School Teacher
Emma Strom – Summer School Teacher
Megan Tonn – Kids Depot worker
Amelia Meyer – Kids Depot worker
Vote: 6 for, 0 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– yes, Stifter-Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Motion by R. Heimerl and 2nd by Hentges to approve the following contracts for:
Lisa Feltman – Cheer Leading Coach
Emma Strom – JH Volleyball Coach
Shannon Alsleben – JH Volleyball Coach
Joe Scoblic – Head Football Coach
Ross Scheevel – Assistant Football Coach
Derek Zebell – Assistant Football Coach
Tyler Helland – Additional Football Coach
Brian Malady – JH Football Coach
Wes Kapping – JH Football Coach
Blaine Walstrom – Head Girls Basketball Coach
Jacob Oie – Head Cross Country Coach
Amanda Wood – Co School Yearbook Advisor
Discussion – Board member Ziermann requested that the head coaching contracts be voted on separately as this is a program change. Also stated head coaching change was not brought to the athletic committee for discussion of this program change.
Further discussion was had and decision to have this discussed further with Athletic committee as process moving forward.
Vote: 5 for, 1 against;
B. Heimerl–yes, R. Heimerl–yes, Otto– yes, Ziermann– no, -Knoll – yes, Hentges – yes;
Other Items for the Board
Meeting was adjourned at 7:02 PM
Steven D. Ziermann, Clerk ISD #424
Published in the Herald Journal, June 24, 2022.

Lester Prairie City Council minutes 6/14/22

Lester Prairie City Council Minutes
June 14, 2022
The Lester Prairie City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Mayor Mike called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
Motion – Dhoore; Second – Krause; Carried – Unanimously; To accept and approve the May Minutes as submitted.
Motion – Thiry ; Second – Krause ; Carried – Unanimously; To accept and approve the May Workshop as submitted.
Motion – Dhoore; Second – Thiry; Carried – Unanimously; To accept and approve the May Treasurer’s Report as submitted.
NOTES & COMMUNICATIONS
Debris around overflow ponds was discussed. A new Hand Held for water reading system, sign on front door and purchase of freezer at the pool.
OLD BUSINESS
Josh Eckstein provided an update on the Pedestrian Crossing on CSAH#9. Discussion took place. It was decided to wait until this could be budgeted in the 2023 budget.
The downtown sidewalk condition was discussed. Josh will provide a full list of his findings that need repair due to possible trip hazards. This expense will be budgeted in 2023.
An update was provided by Clerk Lundin on the Compost cameras. The Council would like the third (3rd) camera purchased per the motion made in the April 12, 2022. Chief Carlson will purchase the camera.
NEW BUSINESS
Councilmember Tritabaugh informed the Council that Bergen Township would like to have an Orderly Annexation Agreement with the City. Discussion took place.
Motion – Tritabaugh; Second – Dhoore; Carried – Unanimously; To not move forward with an Orderly Annexation Agreement per the advice of the City Attorney.
Motion – Dhoore; Second – Krause; Carried – Unanimously; To approve a sanitation waiver to a resident on Second Avenue.
Councilman Tritabaugh introduced the following resolution and moved for its adoption: RESOLUTION NO. 14-22 A RESOLUTION AWARDING CRACK REPAIR/SEALING FOR THE CITY OF LESTER PRAIRIE The foregoing motion was duly seconded by Councilman Dhoore; and following discussion thereon, a vote was taken.
Voting for the motion: Tritabaugh, Dhoore, Mayor Mike, Krause, Thiry
Voting against the motion: None
Abstained from vote: None
Mayor Mike declared Resolution No. 14-22 adopted by unanimous vote this 14th day of June, 2022.
Brian Heimerl was present on behalf of the Lester Prairie School Board to discuss the mutual contract.
Motion – Dhoore; Second – Krause; Carried – Unanimously; To pay the 2022 claims
Motion – Dhoore; Second – Krause; Carried – Unanimously; To adjourn the meeting.
Mayor Mike adjourned the meeting at 8:41 pm.
Doris Lundin
City Clerk-Treasurer
The above is a summary version of the June 14, 2022 Lester Prairie City Council minutes. The Minutes may be viewed in their entirety at the City Clerk’s Office during normal business hours.
Published in the Herald Journal, June 24, 2022.

Wright County public hearing: Sawatzke variance, Marysville Twp.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
THIS IS A NOTICE TO INFORM YOU AS AN ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNER WITHIN 500 FEET, THAT AN APPLICATION FOR A VARIANCE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE WRIGHT COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT BY THE FOLLOWING APPLICANT:
NEAL SAWATZKE
LOCATION: 4999 53rd Street SW – Lot 1, Poplar Heights, according to plat of record and part of Gov’t Lot 5, Section 32, Township 119, Range 26, Wright County, MN (Little Waverly Lake – Marysville Twp.) Tax # 211-000-322300, 211-017-000010. Property Owners: Karen M. Sawatzke Revocable Trust
Requests a variance as regulated in section 155.026, 155.057(E)(1), & 155.090(Table 3) of Chapter 155, Title XV, Land Usage & Zoning of the Wright County Code of Ordinances to allow the construction of a 24.2 ft x 32 ft. two story addition to an existing home that is 41 ft. from Little Waverly Lake (100 ft. required). The request is also to allow the construction of a new septic system that would be 30 ft. from the lake (75 ft. required).
REFERENCE TO THE PROPOSED APPLICATION, YOU WILL BE HEARD ON:
DATE: Friday, July 8, 2022
TIME: 8:30 a.m
MEETING LOCATION: WRIGHT COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER, COMMISSIONER BOARD ROOM, 3650 BRADDOCK AVE NE, BUFFALO, MN
OR YOU MAY SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE PLANNING & ZONING OFFICE, WRIGHT COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER, 3650 BRADDOCK AVE NE, SUITE 1600, BUFFALO, MINNESOTA 55313-1185
PHONE INQUIRIES TO: (763) 682-7338
INTERPRETER SERVICES FOR THE HEARING IIMPAIRED WILL BE PROVIDED ON REQUEST FOR PUBLIC MEETINGS & OTHER COUNTY SPONSORED CLASSES & EVENTS
Published in the Herald Journal, June 24, 2022.