County Engineer Ron Gregg presented a list of proposed road and bridge projects for 2019 at the October 23 meeting of the county board.
Projects using federal funding include the concrete overlay of CSAH 1 south of Spring Valley and a culvert project on CSAH 12 near Preston.
State Aid projects include pavement reconditioning of a short section of CSAH 34 outside of Mabel, the Lanesboro Fish Hatchery Rd., a bridge replacement in Carimona Township, a bridge replacement on Morgan Rd. in Jordan Township, a bridge replacement on CSAH 1 north of Ostrander, a bridge replacement on CSAH 4 near Washington, and the reconstruction of CSAH 5 within the city of Wykoff. The work on CSAH 5 within the city of Wykoff will be done in coordination with the city’s utility work.
Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) funding will be used to recondition CR 115 from Highway 52 to CSAH 21 near Canton. Because the CR 115 project was moved up in the schedule, other scheduled LOST projects including CR 101 bridge replacement in Jordan Township, CR 104 bridge replacement in Pilot Mound Township, and chipseal projects will be delayed until 2020 due to limited funding.
Another source of funding, the Wheelage Tax, is being used to chipseal about 15 miles of roadway.
Chairman Mitch Lentz maintained that infrastructure needing attention in Fillmore County can’t be properly maintained due to lack of funding. Commissioner Randy Dahl said he supports a new gas tax if it is dedicated specifically and solely to roads and bridges.
Gregg said we have to rely on the criteria from the “pavement quality index rating.” Roads can go from a good rating to a poor rating in a year or two. The desire is to chipseal roads that have been reconstructed or reconditioned after a period of a few years to increase the life of the roads. The average life of a road is 25 years.
The list of 2019 proposed highway construction projects was approved as presented.
The final payment to Allied Blacktop Co. in the amount of $31,518.91 for 2018 chipseal project was approved. The total contract was $662,466.94.
Other business in brief
• The resignation of Jay Meyer, highway maintenance specialist, was accepted with thanks for his two and a half years of service, effective October 11. Approval was given for advertisement for a replacement highway maintenance specialist. The opening is at the Preston Shop.
• The hire of a replacement case aide effective October 26 was approved as recommended by the social services director and the hiring committee.
• Approval was given to advertise for a replacement full-time dispatcher as recommended by the sheriff and the personnel committee.
• A letter from Law Enforcement Labor Services, Inc. was addressed to Fillmore County commissioners informing them that “newly hired deputies have not been issued body armor prior to beginning their duties.” Or, they have been issued body armor that has expired or is unsound. Dahl asked if the letter was correct, insisting these are our employees and this is a liability issue. Commissioner Duane Bakke asked Sheriff Kaase if everybody working today now has body armor, acknowledging that some a couple of months prior may not have had proper body armor protection. Kaase said yes, everybody now has body armor.