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County revises cost share policy for county/city road projects


Fri, Mar 8th, 2013
Posted in All Government

The Fillmore County Board at their March 5 meeting approved a new cost share policy for county/city highway projects within incorporated city limits. City Administrators Joe Hoffman of Preston and Jerome Illg of Harmony attended the meeting and were pleased with the policy revisions.

The city and the county will now contribute an equal share of the funds for curb and gutter removal, driveway removal, curb and gutter whether new or replaced, sidewalk removal, sidewalk whether new or replaced, and driveways affected by the road construction, as recommended by the Highway Committee. Bikeways may also be included in the cost share, as defined as a bike lane adjacent to the traffic lane between curbs or on the shoulder.

Commissioner Chuck Amunrud explained that the county can use State Aid funding instead of using the local tax levy. Cities under 5,000 population are not eligible for State Aid funding. He continued saying some projects have been held up when the city has had to bear all of these costs.

When asked what they thought of the proposed revision, Illg said it is wonderful and Hoffman added it was a good idea and will be a great benefit to communities.

As projects are proposed and are scheduled in the Five Year Capital Improvement Program, the county engineer or representative will meet with staff of the city to discuss the project. An agreement will be drafted to be approved by both the county and the city.

If a city has to do a repair on utilities under a roadway post construction, it is up to the city to return the roadway to good condition.

Chairman Randy Dahl asked about a situation when the county expends funds to do the engineering for a project within city limits and the city then fails to approve the project. If the project is shelved, the county is out the funds expended for the engineering. County Engineer Ron Gregg responded if the city has not concurred with the proposed project, we will not go forward.

Approval was given for adjustments for security doors and for flooring for the Highway Administration Building remodel. A one month extension to the contract because of delay for flooring materials was approved. It is now expected that the remodel project will be completed by April 10.

Advertisement for the following construction projects was improved: CSAH 23 full depth reclamation and overlay, CSAH 17 resurfacing in Preston from library to bridge, CSAH 35 resurfacing in Harmony, and CSAH 1 a total reconstruction in Spring Valley between Highways 63 and 16. Gregg will analyze which surfacing material will be best for CSAH 24, concrete or blacktop, and bring a recommendation back to the next meeting. Gregg noted anything built at this point will be a 10 Ton road.

Semcac Services

Semcac Director Wayne Stenberg reviewed the programs and services Semcac provides. The organization has been serving southeast Minnesota for 46 years. The main office is in Rushford with a workforce of 235 people covering 79 locations in seven counties. Of the 235 employees, 77 are full-time, 96 part-time and the rest are seasonal. Over 3,500 volunteers donated over 115,000 hours of their time to help provide services.

Dahl, who is one of three from Fillmore County who sits on the Semcac Board of Directors, thanked Stenberg and his staff for their work. The organization runs a lot of programs for the state and federal governments. Dahl said the staff has done a good job over the past few years even with their efforts being complicated by inconsistent funding. Stenberg said it has been a challenging time. He said Headstart will be affected by the federal government sequester.

Semcac programs offered in Fillmore County include Senior Nutrition dining and meals on wheels, senior and caregiver advocacy, retired and senior volunteer program, weatherization and housing services, outreach and emergency services - food shelf, Head start, Transportation, and Energy assistance. Bluff Country HRA is a branch of Semcac.

Other Business In Brief

•The Institutional Community Work Crew contract was renewed with the Minnesota Department of Corrections at the same rate of $55/day for each inmate effective July 1. Sheriff Daryl Jensen called this contract that allows for state inmates to work in the Sentence to Serve (STS) program a “win-win.” Currently, the county has three state inmates. The state inmates guarantee an STS crew every day. A low wage is paid by the county. Jensen said he highly recommended renewal of the contract.

•Sheriff Jensen was granted approval to replace three older vehicles with new. He said the purchase of a replacement 2013 Chevrolet Impala (patrol car) at the state contract price of $20,373.20, a 2013 Dodge Durango (Chief Deputy’s vehicle) at a price of $25,875.00, and a Dodge Grand Caravan (jail vehicle) at a price of $21,000.00, will be at significant savings and under the total budgeted for the three replacement vehicles. The older vehicles will be sold and are high mileage and/or experiencing mechanical issues.

The purchase of four Intoximeters III at $279.00 each was approved. The testing equipment will be partially paid for with Toward Zero Death funds, $460. The purchase of Video Conference (Mspace) Maintenance Renewal at the cost of $1,769.45 was approved. All of this expense will be reimbursed by Region 1 Emergency Management Grant.

•Out of state travel was approved for Veteran Services Officer Jason Marquardt to Fort Bliss, Texas from March 22-March 25. Marquardt will serve as an alternate for reintegration of returning Minnesota National Guard. Costs will be paid if he makes the trip through the National Guard, grant money and county funds up to $500.

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