The regular meeting of the Houston County Commission was held from 9-11:08 a.m. on October 26. Commissioners Eric Johnson, Bob Burns, Teresa Walter, and Greg Myhre attended in person, and Commissioner Dewey Severson participated in the meeting remotely.
Commissioners removed action item number 11 regarding the Environmental Services Director position from the October 26 agenda before approving it. Commissioners also approved the meeting minutes from the October 12 regular board meeting and the October 19 workgroup session.
On behalf of the Crooked Creek Watershed Board, Bob Scanlan appeared before the commission to ask for their support. The Watershed Board is looking into the acquisition of land that includes the drainage pond in Frank’s Addition.”Questions from the commissioners centered on the county’s liability and whether a fence would be installed around the drainage pond. The commissioners agreed that the Crooked Creek Watershed Board should move forward and acquire the property and that it should be up to the Watershed to decide whether to build a fence around the pond or not.
Lee Langager, tech clerk I, employment status changed from probationary to regular. Ryly Patterson is the new Highway Maintenance specialist pending a successful background check and obtaining a Class A CDL before his start date.
Commissioners all agreed that county employee, Chris Hatley, be assigned a county pickup to take home from November 7, 2021, through March 26, 2022, for the sole purpose of after-hours road inspections due to inclement weather. However, the board emphasized that the vehicle is not to be used for any personal errands.
The commissioners unanimously approved the County Veterans Service Office Operational Enhancement Grant Program agreement.
County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski brought nine action items before the commission. Chairman Burns chuckled as he announced action item number three stating that this is the smallest dollar amount request he expects the commissioners to see from Pogodzinski. The commissioners are asked to approve the additional cost of $77.28 for the correct chair castors, which are for the chairs at the new highway facility. The castors included in the original quote could cause premature wear on the news floor as the chairs slide across the floor. Approved.
The culvert lining project at the airport is complete. Commissioners approved the final payment of $51,401.00 to Subsurface, Inc.
The commissioners accepted the $47,692.50 quote from Kay Tank Corp for Highway Fuel System. Three vendors submitted quotes.
After reviewing the results of the MnDOT survey, the commission did not approve the letter of support for the City of La Crescent’s Safe Routes to School project. The project will modify the intersections along County Highway 6 and Elm Street in La Crescent, near the elementary school. La Crescent is asking for a letter of support to submit with two grant applications. Pogodzinski confirmed that there will be future grants to apply for.
Action item number five was tabled while the county engineer investigates the cost of leasing equipment to dispense the oil. They received a quote from Severson Oil for a total of $10,425.14 to purchase the equipment.
For decades, the county plowed Evans Hill Road and Tschumper Road in Mound Prairie Township, until a few years ago. The Township decided to contract with someone else to plow the roads in hopes of saving money. Unfortunately, the Township did not realize the savings they expected and asked the county to resume plowing the roads. Commissioners approved the agreement, which will be used as a template with other Townships. Commissioners asked Pogodzinski to contact Hokah Township regarding the short section of the road located in Hokah Township.
Commissioners approved Resolution 21-51 Final Acceptance of Contract #316 – Scott Construction Inc. completed CP 2021-06 Seal Coating for a total cost of $317,895.66.
Pogodzinski presented five Highway Facility project Change Orders for approval. Change Order request #29 was canceled. Commissioners approved all five Change Orders, including pressure washer hose, ADA signage, lights for five interior doors, air conditioner, and wash bay lights.
The commission approved the Red Baron Flyers’ request to install a concrete floor within Hanger number three. There is no cost to the county.
Commissioners approved transferring $2,200,000 from the highway fund to the capital projects fund to pay the final construction costs expected to come in before the end of the year for the new highway facility. The $700,000 left in reserves is the remaining contingency funds, and the balance is to pay any expenses incurred at the beginning of 2022.
The next meeting of the Houston County Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, November 2, at 9 a.m. in the County Commission Board Room 222 located on the second floor in the Historic Courthouse, Caledonia, or via the county conference call line (312) 626-6700 and entering meeting ID: 994-7297-7175 and password 368422.