At the June 26 Fillmore County Board meeting, Ronda Allis, District 6 planning director, gave an overview of the state’s 10-year construction plan, 2019-2028, in Fillmore County.
Allis explained that projects through 2022 are funded. Planned projects from 2023-2028 do not have commitments, funding has not been identified, and plans will change.
MnDOT is in a preservation mode, preserving the current system, not expanding it. This includes pavement preservation, bridges, safety measures, and in urban areas bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Less than $1 million over six years is targeted for expansion of the system.
A website is being developed to show the sources of transportation funding and where it goes www.minnesotago.org/funding.
The majority of maintenance projects will be mill and overlay.
Allis said they will meet with communities where projects are planned for the out years, those where funding is not identified and plans can change. “We are interested in what you have to say about our 10-year plan. Even more important is to let us know what is missing.” In July and early August there will be meetings with communities about planned 2024 projects. In the plans for 2024 is the repaving of Hwy 52 from Hwy 80 to Fillmore County Road 5 and the replacement of box culverts over streams. Also in 2024 is the repaving of Hwy 80 from Hwy 16 to Hwy 52.
Fillmore County area state projects include 2019 repaving of Hwy 30 from Hwy 74 to Rushford West city and the repaving of Hwy 16 from I-90 to Tracy Rd. in Spring Valley. In 2021 there will be the repaving of Hwy 250 north of Lanesboro/rural. In 2022 there is the reconstruction of Hwy 30 in the urban section of Rushford. In 2023 the repaving of Hwy 43 from Hwy 44 near Mabel to Hwy 16 near Rushford is on the latest 10 year plan, but not funded yet.
Currently, MnDOT is doing a repaving of Hwy 52 southeast of Preston to Harmony. There were questions about the shoulders and use by the Amish. Allis said this is a category they are looking at going forward; the shoulders could potentially be paved wider at a future time.
Commissioner Duane Bakke described the unsuccessful effort to get MnDOT to pave the shoulder on a short section (about a quarter mile) along Hwy 16 between the campground and Whalan for safe bicycle passage. Allis suggested it could be looked at as a stand alone project. Commissioner Randy Dahl said this was frustrating that MnDOT could not come up with the funding for this small project.
Doug Lind, Aaren Mathison, and Mike Fenske of the Fillmore County Ag Society thanked the commissioners for their past support. Lind listed a number of improvements including electrical upgrades, fans in barns, updated toilets, additional outlets for campers, conversion of old beer barn, trees planted, an added exotic animal display, and the repainting of the roof on the big barn. This year working with the Southeast Minnesota Drug Task Force there will be a display, Hidden in Plain Sight, for adults only to help parents/care givers learn what to look for in a teenager’s bedroom.
This year there also will be a bounce house free of charge, an amateur radio display, and additional open class shows.
Lind said they are looking at a project that needs to be done that is expected to cost $15,000 to $20,000. The concrete apron and a portion of the inside floor of a building is in poor shape. This building is rented by Rochester City Lines 11 months of the year for bus storage. Lind noted they have $7,000 of the project cost and are looking to the county board for help. County Engineer Ron Gregg will be asked to look at it. Lind said we should do the work before winter.
Other business in brief
• Sheriff Tom Kaase reviewed the 2018 jail inspection report. Most of the corrective actions were changes in process by the staff and have already been corrected. The need for a staff member to work on programs and activities raised some questions involving the union, whether the sheriff should assign the extra duty, and compensation for the additional responsibility. This was referred to the Personnel Committee.
The state wants a plan to remodel or expand the current facility to provide space for physical exercise and recreational activities inside and outside when weather is appropriate.
The jail was reduced to a 90 day facility in February 2017. The report listed several improvements which have been made to the facility over the last year.
• County Attorney Brett Corson and Zoning Administrator Cristal Adkins updated the board on enforcement of subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS). There currently is litigation with four Amish litigants. The county has brought a motion asking the court for the opportunity to go to these properties. Many have incoming water to the house, either gravity or motor fed. The county is asking to look at drains and out houses/privies. The Amish want to use a mulch or peat moss system which is not approved by the MPCA.
Corson said two cases are finished and four are pending. Bakke noted some have come into compliance without going to court.
The land transfer policy was discussed concerning required inspections of SSTS with sale and transfer of property. Adkins admitted it slows down the recording process, but the 10 day compliance for recording is still being met. Corson added the paperwork also should be filled out for septic systems that are within a city limits. Adkins noted over 400 parcels within city limits have septic systems.
• A promotional upgrade offered by Pictometry International Corp. to enhance the aerial imagery for the spring 2019 flight to six inches at no additional charge was approved. The enhanced imagery will be about 50% better than current images. County Recorder David Kiehne said it doesn’t change our contract.
• Social Services Manager Kevin Olson requested the renewal of telecommuting agreement for Deb Ristau, Jennifer Peterson, and Kari Cahill. The agreement was renewed.
• The hauler agreement with Winneshiek County Area Solid Waste Agency was approved from July 2018 through June 2019.
• Staffing changes to the coordinator, zoning, veteran services, and extension offices were recommended by coordinator Bobbie Vickerman. The changes were approved as recommended and will save the county about $11,000.
• There was a lengthy discussion about Managed IT Services and a related backup option for technology data. Marco has proposed two options for complete Managed IT services: 24/7 coverage or 8/5 coverage (eight hours for five days per week). Chairman Mitch Lentz noted the choice is between complete Managed Services versus on site services with our own team. Commissioner Marc Prestby said he wanted to look at it for another week. These items were tabled until the next meeting.
• The following policies with updates were approved: AED policy, Code of Ethics policy, Tobacco Free policy, Fleet Vehicles policy, Grievances policy, and Mileage and Travel policy
A request to retire from Kenneth Rislov, shop foreman, was approved with thanks effective no later than October 31.
• Katie Isenberg was hired as full-time account tech in the sheriff’s office effective June 29.