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County supports 80,000 pound weight limit for trucks


Fri, Jan 17th, 2014
Posted in All Government

At the Fillmore County Board’s January 14 meeting the issue of truck size and weight limits was discussed. Commissioners voted to sign on to a letter to Minnesota legislators asking them to maintain the current truck size and weight limits.

The US Department of Transportation is currently studying the effect heavier trucks would have on roads and bridges. The study is to be released in November.

Chairman Chuck Amunrud, a retired truck driver, insisted 80,000 pounds is enough and maintained that it takes a lot of effort to stop this size load at highway traffic speed. In his opinion heavier loads would increase the probability of accidents and increase damage to roads and bridges.

County Engineer Ron Gregg concurred, saying that additional weight raises havoc with roads and bridges.

The letter says, “Maintaining current truck size and weight helps save taxpayer and local government dollars” and “helps to ensure road safety.” Ten percent of Minnesota bridges have already been deemed structurally deficient. The letter notes that engineers agree that heavier trucks will accelerate the damage.

2014 Legislative Platform

At the January 28 meeting of the county board Senator Jeremy Miller and Representative Greg Davids are expected to be present to hear the board’s legislative priorities for the coming session.

One new issue is the required frequency of elevator inspections. The county says an annual inspection is adequate considering the limited usage of the elevators.

One issue that passed through the Senate last year, but not the house is the MAGIC Act. This law would allow counties to take action not prohibited by state law.

Commissioner Duane Bakke expressed concern that the county has to pay for court appointed attorneys, but has no say in who qualifies for a court appointed attorney. Commissioner Marc Prestby agreed, adding it takes an open ended checkbook and we have no control over it.

Bakke said additional transportation funding is needed. If we want better roads, we have to pay for them.

Multiple other issues will be discussed. County Coordinator Bobbie Vickerman had a working draft of numerous items and said she will be asking for more input from department heads before meeting with the legislators.

Other Business In Brief

•The advertisement for bids for the reconstruction of CSAH 1 in the city of Spring Valley was approved. Concrete surface reconstruction is expected to start this spring.

•A photo book compiled by Kristina Kohn of the ground breaking ceremony for the Veteran’s Cemetery will be available through the Veterans Service Office. The board gave her the authority to advertise the book which will cost about $18.50. Those wishing to purchase the book will have to prepay through one of the veterans groups which will put in the order. Books will be distributed by VSO Jason Marquardt to the various veterans groups.

•Because the county is not required to pay sales tax on the AEDs, it is purchasing with grant funds. It will be able to purchase two additional full AED sets with the grant money. AEDs are being placed in many public facilities throughout the county.

•Approval was given to frame the four artist depictions of the Veterans Cemetery at a cost of $100 per frame.

•Commissioner Randy Dahl during a Semcac committee report said that due to reduced funding they are limited to emphasizing early childhood programs (pregnancy through 3 years old). He noted that for every $1 spent on early childhood programs, there is a $5 to $8 benefit.

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