The Wright County Board took action on the following items at its April 16 meeting. They were compiled by John Holler.

• Announced that a public hearing scheduled for the April 16 board meeting to discuss adoption of a Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan and the issuance of bonds to finance construction of a new Government Center was rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the April 30 board meeting. The reason cited for the postponement was that the notice of the meeting wasn’t published in the official county newspaper in time to hold the meeting April 16.

• Adopted a resolution sponsoring the Wright County Wetland Appeal Board for membership in the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust.

• Approved relocating a sheriff’s department fire paging transmitter. The county is currently leasing tower space at the Great River Regional Energy Plant in Elk River for pager transmitting equipment. The county was informed that the tower is going to be taken down in September. Depending on where the county can find a new location for the transmitter, cost estimates have range between $30,000 and $60,000.

• Adopted a resolution creating a Joint Powers Agreement with Benton, Sherburne and Stearns counties for a coalition advancing the Healthy Families America and Nurse Family Partnership program. The JPA was required to access federal funding.

• Approved acceptance of a federal boating safety supplemental grant in the amount of $29,529 for the county to purchase five dive equipment outfits and two Sea Doo personal watercraft for use by the sheriff’s department water patrol.

• Approved a joint powers agreement with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to participate in the Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force. The agreement allows the county to access investigative tools and resources through the BCA to investigate financial crimes occurring within Wright County.

• Approved a request from the sheriff’s office to add three additional School Resource Officers for the 2019-20 school years. The officers would be assigned to the St. Michael-Albertville, Buffalo and Rockford School Districts. The cities would pay two-thirds of the costs in a starting deputy salary, but because the officers are typically experienced officers, which makes the cost split closer to 60/40.

• Discussed the minutes of the April 9 board workshop. Among the items discussed including a transportation funding resolution. Highway Engineer Virgil Hawkins said the county got a grade of D+ for the condition of the county’s road system, which means fair to poor condition and most below standard. There are 300 miles of roads on the county system that don’t meet current state aid design standards. As part of that discussion, the board adopted two resolutions of support for transportation funding to send to the Legislature. Borrell voted against one of the resolutions due to the inclusion of language pertaining to transit, which he felt is a separate issue to road funding.

• Scheduled a committee of the whole meeting for 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 30 to discuss long wait times at the license bureau and a surveyor’s office position in the 2019 budget.

• Approved a claim of $3,333 from the firm of Madden, Galenter & Hansen for union negotiation work done on behalf of the county in March.

• Scheduled a closed session for 9 a.m. Monday, April 29 to discuss labor negotiation strategy.

• Discussed the minutes from a public hearing dealing with a benefits redetermination on County Ditch 10. Borrell said that, due to the antiquated ditch records, every major ditch system in the county that hasn’t already had a redetermination performed in the last decade is going to need one in the near future due to the growth around the ditch systems. 

• Approved the March revenue/expenditure guidelines. Auditor/Treasurer Bob Hiivala said that through 25 percent of the year, both budgets are on track – noting that money generated through the local option sales tax is well above the level of this time last year.

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