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County 16 scheduled to reopen

By Staff | Oct 11, 2020

With winter season approaching the Faribault County Board of Commissioners received good news at their meeting on Oct. 6 concerning county road projects.

“The construction crews have made good progress on the County Road 16/Leland Parkway project in the last two weeks,” Public Works director Mark Daly told the commissioners. “It looks like the contractors will be finished by the Oct. 30 completion date.”

Daly listed the other projects which are close to completion.

“We should be able to open the road back up on County Road 23 today (Oct. 6) after doing the final paving over a newly installed 84 inch culvert,” Daly said. “The box culvert on County Road 25 will also be completed in a couple of days and we are set to begin work on the box culvert on 590th Avenue in Clark Township later this week.”

Daly also presented a resolution, which was approved by the board, to pay for the 2020 crack sealing on county highways. The final total for all the crack sealing projects came to $92,100.

The final topic Daly discussed with the commissioners was railroad crossings.

“The work is done on the County Road 13 railroad crossing near Marna. The stop arms are in place and everything is functioning properly.” Daly said. “There will also be some work done on the crossing on Main Street in Blue Earth so pedestrians are more apt to be more attentive and look both ways before crossing the railroad tracks.”

Also attending the meeting was Brandee Douglas, the GIS (Global Information Systems) coordinator for the county.

“The GIS department is looking to approve a contract with our GIS consultant, ProWest, for a 20 hours technical support package,” Douglas explained. “We need to update our septic system pumping reporter, which is an online reporting system.”

Douglas told the board she had gotten cost estimates to replace the current system and they ranged from $5,800 to as much as $15,000.

“With the high cost estimate, I have developed much of the new app myself utilizing Faribault County’s ArcGIS online account,” Douglas shared. “I will need the contract hours from Pro West to assist with configuration and to fill in the gaps.”

The board approved spending $2,600, which was part of the 2020 capital outlay budget, for 20 hours of contracted service with ProWest.

The commissioners also took action during the meeting to classify seven parcels of tax forfeited land located in towns around the county as “non-conservation land” and therefore these parcels do not need approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to be offered for sale.

Three of the parcels are in Elmore, two are in Winnebago, one is in Easton and one is in Blue Earth.

“These are considered “blighted” properties with nobody living in them,” county auditor Darren Esser explained. “The properties have been in tax forfeiture for at least 11 months; some for 2-3 years. All the parcels have buildings which need to be demolished or have recently been demolished.”

The board passed the resolution and set the sales price at $100 per property.

Also on the agenda was the reappointment of county assessor Gertrude Paschke.

“Per Minnesota state statute, the County Board is responsible for appointing a county assessor,” Central Services director Lexi Scholten reported. “Paschke’s term expires on Dec. 31, of this year and her reappointment would be for a four-year term ending Dec. 31, 2024.”

The board unanimously approved the reappointment of Paschke as the county assessor.

In other personnel business, the board approved the hiring of Megan Peterson as a full-time correctional officer for the Faribault County Sheriff’s Department. Peterson will be filling a vacancy at that position.

The board also gave approval for Sara Hauskins and Loria Rubuffoni, of the Planning and Zoning office, to attend a GTS Virtual Conference on land use.