Meeting heats up
A?project update given by Faribault County engineer Mark Daly became a major point of contention between the County Board members at their meeting last Tuesday morning.
The project on County State Aid Highway 18 has been in discussion for a number of years, and according to Commissioner Tom Loveall, it has been on the five-year plan for several years.
This required acquisition letters to be sent to land owners who usually are given 30 days to respond to the letters.
“We sent the acquisition letters out on Friday (April 15),” Daly said. “But I’m just not feeling optimistic about this project.”
Daly explained there are 11 parcels involved in the road work with 10 different owners.
“We wanted to give 30 days to respond but we have had to speed the procedure up,” Daly said. “But, we’ve got four federal aid projects going on.”
This brought up some comments from some of the county commissioners.
“So, what I’m hearing is, we don’t have enough time to pursue the right-of-way issue?” Loveall asked.
He added this is why the county has an engineer and should be a priority on his workload.
“This should have been thought about,”?Loveall said. “Why is this being brought forward now and not in October? At this late point, to get this answer, no, I am not buying it.”
Daly explained that they are dealing with a total of 5.75 acres of right-of-way easements and 15.64 acres of slope easement at $800 per acre per year.
“I think with the timing we are going to end up paying more for crop damage, too,”?he said.
Although Loveall didn’t agree with the hold up, the other commissioners said this is not something that usually comes up for an engineer.
“This isn’t something, following up with letters, that an engineer does,” commissioner Greg Young said.
“There are too many big projects going on, I?don’t think this is our engineer’s fault,”?commissioner Tom Warmka added.
Daly also briefly discussed the project on the Main Street bridge in Blue Earth.
“We originally estimated that we would need two months, but we would like to start advertising now,” Daly said, asking for board approval to move forward.
Three of the commissioners voted yes to begin advertising for the project, with Loveall voting no.
“If that’s the way it is going down, I’m opposed,” he said referring to the CSAH 18 project being possibly postponed. “I am tired of this stuff.”