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County has 5-year plan for highways

By Staff | Dec 9, 2018

The proposed construction plan for Faribault county highways and bridges was the main topic of discussion for the Faribault County Commissioners last Thursday, Dec. 6.

Although it is a five year plan, the first two years, 2019 and 2020, garnered the most attention because costs and available money are more subject to change in years three through five.

Mark Daly, the county engineer said, “We have been in discussion with several cities, so we have made some modifications to accommodate what they would like to do.”

The roads scheduled for work next year include County State Aid Highway 12, located west of Winnebago, CSAH 15 in the Delavan area and CSAH 23 south of Bricelyn. An overlay in the industrial park in Blue Earth is also on the schedule for next year. A total of 12.1 miles is involved in these projects.

“Next year is pretty much etched in stone because we’ve already done the work we need to do for next year,” Daly stated.

The plan for 2020 is to resurface 18 miles of roads. This includes Minnesota Stub highways 253 and 254. Highway 253 goes north, approximately 6 1/2 miles, from County Road 2 in Bricelyn to the Interstate 90 Highway exchange. Stub Highway 254 covers a 4 1/2 mile stretch from Frost, north, to the I-90 exchange.

“We are resolving a few budget issues with the Minnesota Department of Transportation,” Daly explained. “My budget for those two highways, doing full depth reclamation and bituminous overlay, came in higher than what MNDOT was offering.”

The guard rails on both of the I-90 exchanges in this project are deficient and will be replaced. The railroad crossings on these highways, one in Bricelyn and one in Frost, have already been updated. A total of 11 crossings were replaced in the county.

Once these roads have been resurfaced, the state will be turning them over to the county, Daly says.

County Road 17, going south out of Frost to the Iowa border, is also scheduled to have a four inch overlay in 2020. Leland Parkway in Blue Earth from Child Street to Highway 169 is also scheduled to be resurfaced.

Daly also gave a report on Woods Lake Park.

“We drained the pond in the park; we hope to be done digging the muck out of the pond this week,” Daly stated. “We are able to dig right down to the sand.”

According to Daly, the “muck” that is being dug out is made up of silt and mud and is close to three feet thick. It will be replaced with clay and then a layer of sand will go on top of the clay. The idea is for the deepest part of the pond to be six to seven feet deep but to have it slope up towards the shore so that young children will have a shallow area to enjoy.

“We installed a new drain valve last year to replace one that didn’t close correctly,” Daly commented. “The new valve prevents backflow from the river getting into the pond.”

Dawn Fellows, Central Services director, informed the board the website committee started a process back in July to do an update to the county website. At present they have had eight companies, including their current vendor, who have put in bids to do the update.

An evaluation of the proposals is underway with the goal to present the board with the finalists next year at the Jan. 22 meeting.

“There are two definite favorites of the committee, one has 30 other counties in the state of Minnesota they service, the other one has done work for 17 counties in the state,” Fellows said.

Fellows also stated that negotiations with the unions are nearing completion.

In other business:

The commissioners gave their blessing to the relocation of the Economic Development Authority office in the Ag Center. The new office will be in the same building but be used by both the county and Blue Earth EDA.

The board approved the request to increase the credit limit to $3,500 for the county issued credit card in the name of Gertrude Paschke, County Assessor, for the uses approved in the Faribault County credit card policy.