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County board to consider a road bond increase to $3 million-plus

WILLMAR -- A pubic hearing Tuesday on Kandiyohi County's five-year road plan will have to be repeated next month, and this time the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will consider issuing $3.7 million in road reconstruction bonds, instead of $2.7 million, to pay for projects.

At their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners were told that though the hearing was advertised, the required 10-day public notice hadn't been met, thus requiring another hearing to be held Oct. 4.

The commissioners heard information about the proposed projects in the five-year plan.

They also heard a request for a project that wasn't on the long list of projects proposed by Public Works Director Gary Danielson.

Kim Gorans asked the board to make improvements to two roads in Fahlun Township that get heavy use by the family's poultry business, Gorans Brothers.

The roads turn to mud each spring, he said, making it very difficult, and unsafe, for trucks carrying feed and turkeys.

Gorans has made requests in the past that the county take over 37th Street, which is a township road, and build up County Road 119 to a 9- to 10-ton level to support the traffic. He said the company is willing to contribute financially to the project.

This spring, Gorans said the company put $3,600 worth of gravel on the roads, which he said did little good to improve conditions.

Danielson said until there was money earmarked for the project, it didn't make sense to initiate the process to take over the road from the township and plan upgrades.

The commissioners asked Danielson to bring a recommendation to the Oct. 4 meeting detailing if, how and when the project could be done.

In order to provide funding in case the project is approved, the commissioners agreed to add another million dollars to the proposed bond sale. The sale of the bonds is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 15.

In other action the commissioners:

n Approved a resolution to provide a 10-year tax abatement to the MinnWest Technology Campus as part of the private redevelopment plan.

n Heard an update on the Hawk Creek Watershed project from Loren Engelby, who discussed projects that have improved the water quality from drainage ditches that go into rivers in the watershed, as well as additional improvements that need to be made.

n Agreed to write a letter to Minnesota's congressional leaders to request continued allocation of $3.4 million in federal funds Minnesota receives for preventative health and health service block grants.

There's concern the funding could be cut by 30 percent, said Ann Stehn, director of the Kandiyohi County Public Health Department. Cutting the grants would hurt local and regional programs, including staff to investigate and control infectious disease outbreaks; public health nurse consultants; and the State Community Health Services Advisory Committee.

n Were informed that the county has received a two-year snowmobile grant of $14,402 for patrolling snowmobile trails and providing safety education.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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