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Board updated on proposed St. Charles Rail Facility

Fri, Sep 14th, 2012
Posted in All Government

Geoff Griffin, G-Cubed in Chatfield and project engineer for Minnesota Proppant LLC, spoke during the citizen input portion of the September 11 county board meeting. He went on to inform the board as to the latest proposals for the rail facility in St. Charles.

If the proposed multi-loop rail loading facility is built near St. Charles, there is an additional plan for a six-mile sand slurry pipe. The injection point for the 30-inch underground (below the frost line) pipe would be near Winona County Road 6. The sand would be flushed to the St. Charles facility where it would be washed and the water and waste materials would be flushed back to the mining site through another 21-inch pipe. Griffin suggested there could potentially be a second injection site near Highway 30, another four miles. About every one and one-half miles there will be a pump above ground.

The slurry system would save wear and tear on the roads and keep fines from blowing around. Sand would be hauled to the injection sites with off road trucks. Griffin maintained the water would be recycled and a typical residential well would be adequate to provide water.

Chemicals, namely polyacrylamide, would be used in the washing process. The chemical would also be used at a clarifier. Griffin insisted there is no chance of contaminating the ground water. After going through the clarifier, the product left is dry cake which can be spread back on the site for reclamation. The clarifier can run year round under roof in a sealed system. The clarifier will be located at the CR 6 site. The low level of polyacrylamide has a half life and will be gone within two weeks according to Griffin.

Griffin stated the Environmental Quality Board determines the governing body to oversee the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW). Minnesota Proppant has requested that the government entity to oversee the study be Winona County. Griffin said he is confident that the more arduous Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be required.

2013 Budget/Levy

County Coordinator Karen Brown reviewed the preliminary budget/levy for 2013. The overall budget for 2013 reflects a 7.6 percent increase over 2012. The preliminary levy for 2013 is 4.79 percent higher than in 2012. That is an increase of $18.79 per capita or a total cost of $411.47 per capita.

A total of $320,000 of fund balance will be used. The board unanimously approved the preliminary budget and levy for 2013. The levy can be lowered, but not raised when the final levy and budget is approved prior to December 15.

The preliminary 2013 budget and levy public hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. on December 11, 2012.

Other Business In Brief

•Commissioner Chuck Amunrud gave a brief update on the proposed Veterans Cemetery. He said the access through MnDot property is being finalized. The boundary work is finished. They are working on two or three conceptual sites, designing the entrance. He concluded everything is moving along.

•Human Resources Kristina Kohn noted there are two county engineer finalists. The Personnel Committee is comfortable with offering the job to either candidate. A negotiated offer with a starting salary of $97,200 with a four-year guaranteed appointment had been agreed to by candidate A. Chairman Tom Kaase said he was an experienced engineer and could hit the ground running.

The board agreed to work with Ronald Gregg with a tentative start date of November 2 or 9. There will be some overlap of the new and current engineer and duplication of income with John Grindeland retiring at the end of the year.

•Five people submitted bids for the county farm lease for 2013-2014. The high bid submitted by Mitchell Berry was accepted for a total of $19,826 per year.

•County Recorder David Kiehne requested a salary of $60,500. or a $4,300 increase for 2013. Sheriff Daryl Jensen requested a salary of $86,912, or a four percent increase of his base salary. His salary includes payment for his Emergency Management duties.

•A replacement half ton GMC pickup for the highway department will be purchased at the state bid price of $23,021.92 from Nelson Auto Center.

•Access permits for a new or wider access were approved for Milo Broadwater, Carimona Township; Craig Kinsky, York Township; Alex Mensink, Carimona Township; Robert Prinsen, York Township; and Joseph Mulhern, Fountain Township.

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