County Engineer Ron Gregg reported at the February 7 county board meeting that more road salt has been ordered at the state price. The county is low on salt and sand due to icy conditions this season.
However, it is not uncommon to run low on salt requiring a February purchase. The 500 ton order will cost $37,000. Gregg said all of the county shops have been depleted. Funds for the purchase are in the 2017 budget.
Approval was given for the purchase of three replacement vehicles for the engineering section of the Highway Department. A 2017 Chevy Equinox ($22,585) will replace a 2002 Ford Explorer which will be sold at auction. A 2017 Ford F-150 4×4 ($28,473) will replace a truck in the engineering fleet that will be rotated to an outlying shop. A 2017 Ford F-250 4×4 ($33,164) will replace a half-ton highway survey vehicle, which will be rotated out to an outlying shop. Gregg noted that the heavier truck will better handle the weight of the survey equipment.
The purchase of a snow plow truck and equipment was discussed. No action was taken. It will be brought back to the next meeting when the board is provided with more information.
Other business in brief
• The board approved an internship for Corinne Haugen. She is a student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She will be a certified student attorney for the county under the supervision of county attorney Brett Corson. The unpaid internship is for 190 hours and will provide course credit for Haugen. She is a Fillmore County resident.
• The early retirement for Cindy Johnson effective March 23 was approved with thanks for her 18 years of service. Human resources officer Kristina Kohn explained the early retirement policy which is available to employees that have served the county for at least eight years. It allows early retirees to keep health insurance until they are eligible for Medicare.
• Adam Hanson was hired as a replacement Highway Maintenance Specialist I effective no later than February 24. Hanson will work out of the Spring Valley shop.
• The Board of Equalization meeting will be held on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. with the regular meeting being held that day at 3 p.m.
• A corrected contract with Brad Johnson for locating fiber optic cable between the courthouse and the county office building was approved. The increase in rates in the corrected agreement is still the lowest bid for this service.
• County Veterans Service Officer Jason Marquardt will speak for Fillmore County on Monday morning, February 13, at St. Paul. He will address the House Veterans Affairs Committee along with a representative of Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA). This is in support of the efforts to have a state veterans home in Fillmore County.
• Commissioner Duane Bakke reported that at this point the Southeastern Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery director is not allowing hunting on the cemetery grounds. On January 3, the commissioners voted unanimously to ban all hunting on county farm property due to its close proximity to the cemetery.