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New van for Veterans Services

By Staff | Nov 24, 2008

The Faribault County Commissioners received a pleasant surprise last Tuesday during a routine report at their second meeting of November.

Bryan Schultz, Veterans Services Officer for the county, reported he will soon be ordering a new van to use to transport local veterans.

The best news was – it will come at no cost to the county.

Schultz applied to the Minnesota Veterans Office for a $50,000 grant to purchase a van.

“I really thought we might get half the amount at best,” Schultz told the commissioners. “I was surprised when they approved the whole total.”

Schultz says there is a van in Brown County which is just what they need. It is for sale at $49,285.

“The one thing it doesn’t have is dual wheels in the rear,” Schultz says. “So we are going to add them as an option.”

He explained how the van is a taller vehicle, and the duals will make it more stable on the road.

Schultz says they will be able to pay for the duals as well as the van.

“We have raised $13,000 in donations,” he explains. This includes a $2,000 donation from the Disabled American Veterans group.

The new van will be able to seat ten persons and will primarily be used to transport veterans to the Veterans Hospital in Minneapolis.

Commissioners asked if the new unit will have a wheel chair lift, and Schultz says it will not.

“If a veteran needs a wheel chair van, one is sent down from the Veterans Hospital,” he says. “We have not needed one.”

The veterans officer says the current van is a Dodge Caravan with over 100,000 miles on it. They may replace it in the future as well.

“If we need to transport five or fewer passengers, it makes sense to use the smaller van,” he explains.

The commissioners quickly authorized acceptance of the grant.

Ditch drainage issue

A second round of discussion on a ditch drainage issue failed to get resolved again.

Ron Schmidt addressed the commissioners concerning water backing up from a county road ditch into his field.

Schmidt was represented by Blue Earth attorney David Frundt.

Frundt says his client had a permit to install a road approach, but that later it was changed by the county.

Commissioner Tom Loveall says the county should not allow any type of check valve installed, which could result in water backup and damage to the county road.

Frundt says the problem has not been resolved, and needs to be.

“The culvert which the county installed is causing a problem, and we are here to negotiate a solution,” Frundt told the board.

County Attorney Brian Roverud said he was not able to issue an opinion on the issue without further study.

The commissioners tabled the matter for a second time, and will place it on their December meeting agenda.

Water softener quote

The commissioners officially withdrew to awarding of the water softener contract for the new law enforcement center.

Garlick’s Water Conditioning of Blue Earth had been awarded the contract, but had failed to sign and return the quote contract.

Earlier this month the commissioners had set up a water softener sub-committee to study whether the next step is to award the contract to one of the other bidders, or to re-bid the project.

Commissioners Loveall and Bill Groskreutz are on the committee, and they reported they will be holding a teleconference call with the project manager and the architect.

“We want to see if we need to add specs to the call for proposals,” Loveall said. “We may also want to add a line to find out salt usage for each machine.”

Commissioner Tom Warmka questioned whether asking for zero grains of hardness in the proposals was a problem.

Jeremy Coxworth of Coxworth Water Conditioning was at the meeting and says all of his machines furnish water at zero grains hardness.