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County Board shocked at demo bill

By Staff | Jul 12, 2015

A recent agreement to share costs for a building demolition has again turned out to be twice as expensive than expected for the county.

In April, the Faribault County Board agreed to participate in a cost share with the City of Wells to demolish the old Frank Brothers Elevator.

When the County Board was originally approached with the request, the total cost for the project came in at $26,625 for demo and clean up.

However, now that the demolition is complete and the final bill has been submitted to the county, the commissioners are finding that the cost has more than doubled.

“If someone quotes me something the actual cost has to be within reason,”?commissioner Tom Warmka said. “We were told our share would be $12,000 now it has doubled. I?voted against this the first time and I will again.”

Without looking at the scope of work performed, most of the commissioners were not sure what portion of the work caused a larger bill. However, one commissioner learned that some portions of the work did cost more than expected.

“The trucking and disposal was more than they thought,” commissioner Bill Groskreutz said. “But, I agree they didn’t do a very good job estimating the work.” The commissioners were also originally unsure of helping out with the cost of returning the lot to a buildable status.

“Putting it back to a buildable lot is not the taxpayer’s responsibility,”?Warmka added.

Without adequate information, the County Board voted to pull this bill from the other bills which needed to be approved for payment.

After doing so, they approved the other bills with the exception of the cost share of the demo in order to look into the situation further.

The board not only discussed demolition of buildings but the sale of tax forfeited buildings as well.

They passed two resolutions regarding tax forfeited properties in Faribault County.

The first resolution was setting the sale price on 16 properties located around the county.

The sale prices were set to the starting price for the land sale.

Other properties had previous assessments on them, however, those assessments were canceled.

“All special assessments are canceled,”?County Auditor/Treasurer/Coordinator John Thompson says. “But any assessments that took place after the forfeiture would be added to the sale price.”

The commissioners also passed a resolution setting a sale date of Aug. 19 for tax forfeited properties.

In other business:?

Michele Stindtman of Soil and Water Conservation District and Faribault County Planning and Zoning was present at the meeting for the approval of a conditional use permit for Paul Obermeyer.

The CUP?was for a feedlot consisting of more than 1,000 animal units in Foster Township near the city limits of Walters.

Stindtman said there were people at the public hearing with questions but none of Obermeyer’s neighbors were against the CUP.

The commissioners approved the CUP.

Joel Swanson attended the meeting to give an annual update from Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT).

The update included numbers on worker’s compensation, insurance, risk management and more.

The County Board approved the purchase of a new transit bus. The total cost was $64,893 with an 80/20 percent split between the county and Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Dawn Fellows, of Central Services, announced they hoped to have the updated personnel policy rolled out to all the staff by the end of the month.