Bridge replacement plan approved by commissioners
WILLMAR -- A plan to replace nine bridges in Kandiyohi County during the next three years was approved Tuesday by the County Board of Commissioners. Depending on the availability of state funding, the replacement could be accelerated and complete...
WILLMAR -- A plan to replace nine bridges in Kandiyohi County during the next three years was approved Tuesday by the County Board of Commissioners.
Depending on the availability of state funding, the replacement could be accelerated and completed within two years, said Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County public works director.
The total estimated cost to replace all nine bridges is $1.7 million, with an average cost of about $200,000 for each bridge.
"They eat up a lot of money," said Danielson.
Whether or not the Legislature dedicates more money for road and bridges is the "driving force in our arena," he said.
Board Chairman Harlan Madsen, who has advocated for state transportation funding increases, said the state already has a backlog of unfunded road and bridge projects.
He said delaying projects doesn't make problems go away, it only makes them worse.
Although the timeline for replacing the bridges isn't definite, Danielson put four bridges on the 2008 replacement calendar. Two more are scheduled to be replaced in 2009 and three are scheduled for 2010.
None of the bridges has critical needs that pose imminent danger for motorists. "They're not in a state where we're concerned about safety," said Danielson.
Many of the bridges, including large steel culverts, were built in the 1950s and '60s, said Danielson.
A bridge can only "last so long," he said.
Kandiyohi County has more than 100 bridges.
Also Tuesday, the commissioners agreed to provide a letter of support for a $250,000 grant application to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The grant would be used to control Eurasian water milfoil on Green Lake.
Terry Frazee, of the Green Lake Property Owners Association, said Green Lake could be considered for a pilot project to use different methods to remove milfoil, including chemical treatment, divers that dig out the weed and weevils that eat it.
Frazee said if the grant it awarded, he'd like the county to consider providing $30,000 over three years for the project.
While they agreed to support the efforts of the Green Lake Property Owners to seek the grant, the commissioners were not ready to commit to providing county money.
Commissioner Richard Larson said counties may not be able to legally provide money for removing Eurasian water milfoil because it may not be classified as a noxious weed.
In other action Tuesday:
- The commissioners gave final approval to a bid of $2,898,873 from Kue Contractors Inc. of Watkins for construction of a 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Willmar. The county will now proceed with purchasing the property and securing financing from Wells Fargo. The Minnesota Department of Human Services will repay the county for the cost of the hospital over a 10-year period.
- The commissioners approved an amendment to the contract the county has with the Minnesota Department of Corrections for housing 17 additional prisoners at the Kandiyohi County Jail. The county receives $56.10 a day for each state prisoner.
n On a 4-1 vote, the commissioners denied a conditional use permit to the Willmar Rifle and Pistol Club for a shooting range in an agriculture district in Lake Andrew Township. Larson cast the only yes vote. Commissioners Madsen, Dean Shuck, Richard Falk and Dennis Peterson voted to deny the permit, which also was recommendation of the county Planning Commission.
- The commissioners were reminded of public hearings Friday night and Saturday morning on proposals to expand the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District to residents around Nest, Henderson and George lakes near Spicer.
The hearing for Henderson Lake will take place at 7 p.m. Friday. The hearing will be at 8 p.m. for residents on George Lake.
The hearings for Nest Lake will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday for the north shore; 10 a.m. for the west shore residents and 11 a.m. for the south and east shore.
All the hearings will be at the community room of the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, 2200 23rd St. N.E., Willmar.