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Rough gravel roads

By Staff | May 26, 2019

Road construction was a big part of the agenda for the Faribault County Commissioners when they met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 21. But before discussion began on new business with regards to highway improvements, the commissioners first talked about the condition of the county’s gravel roads with Mark Daly, the public works director.

“I have driven a number of the county gravel roads in my area as well as some of the others and I would have to say they are in as bad of shape as I have seen them in any spring,” Chairman Bill Groskreutz commented. “I think we need to be looking at something different in regards to what we are doing with our gravel roads.” Commissioner Tom Warmka agreed the roads were in poor shape.

“I have never seen the roads so bad, but it is the weather,” Warmka stated. “We froze up wet last fall and they froze deep. We need to get some warm, dry weather to get them to settle down.”

Groskreutz and Warmka agreed there is need to find better gravel to put on the roads.

“The product we are using now, when it rains it is mud,” Groskreutz said.

While there was also some talk on the roads having too heavy of loads being transported on them, commissioner Tom Loveall offered another opinion.

“I don’t think it is any one thing,” Loveall explained. “I drove up in Le Sueur County this weekend and the roads are terrible up there too. It isn’t just Faribault County.”

The commissioners directed Daly to devise possible strategies for improving the county gravel roads in the future.

Next, the board moved on to matters relating to upcoming road projects.

Loria Rebuffoni, planning and zoning administrator, presented the board with a conditional use permit (CUP) for Croell Inc. and Neal Mensing. The CUP would allow five acres of farmland to be converted to a concrete batch plant for use during the construction which will take place on Interstate 90 in 2019 and 2020.

The CUP was approved with the added condition of including a development agreement in the final documents.

In other road matters, the board approved the low bid from Ulland Brothers, Inc., for overlays on County Road 12, County Road 15 and the work to be done in the Blue Earth Industrial Park. The total cost was $2,859,727.

Daly reported there has also been some movement by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) regarding the turnback of trunk highways 253 and 254.

MnDOT maintenance will power patch the potholes and then add a one inch bituminous overlay to the roads, which could last up to five years, according to Daly.

As part of the proposal MnDOT will also add miles to Faribault County’s County State Aid Highway (CSAH) funding formula which will help fund future road repair and maintenance along with a check for $8.7 million.

Bids for purchasing a new half-ton pickup were presented to the board by Daly. The budgeted amount for the purchase was $40,000. The board approved a bid of $31,496 from Marthaler Dodge, of Worthington, for a new Dodge pickup.

The board also approved one other CUP during their meeting which will allow Stonekings, LLC, Josh Raimann and Matt Troska to sell crushed concrete, black dirt, clay and wood chips and to pile/crush concrete.

In other matters, the board:

Approved the hiring of Ellen Eckhardt as a secretary in the Veterans Services Office.

Accepted the resignation of William Goo from the public works department effective in July.