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Commissioners approve $1.7M bid for CSAH 13 reconstruction project

MORRIS – On Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners accepted a bid of approximately $1.78 million from Central Specialties of Alexandria, Minn. for this summer's 13-mile road reconstruction project on County Highway 13.

The mill and overlay project will start where CSAH 13 meets Highway 28 in Chokio and extend north to the Grant County line.

When the project was presented in February, engineering estimates put the total cost at about $2.1 million. The cost of the project will be covered using state aid funds.

The project estimate is higher than the amount of state aid money that Stevens County is allotted each year, so the county will be advancing about $518,000 from the 2014 allotment.

In other highway department business:

• The board voted to rejoin the Western Area City-Council Cooperative (WACCO). Stevens County Engineer Brian Giese told the board he plans to participate in a tractor lease program through Amundson Peterson, to secure calcium chloride applicators and to purchase road salt next winter.

• After being authorized to purchase a new wheel loader, Giese told the board he decided to lease a Case loader from Titan Machinery through Kinetic Leasing for $12,000 plus tax for one year.

“I think we've got a pretty attractive deal here,” said Giese. “I just don't see how we can own one for this price.” 

Finalists for sheriff deputy position selected

Stevens County received 26 applications for the open deputy sheriff position. A committee interviewed five finalists on Thursday, April 11. The finalists include Matthew Flogstad of Donnelly, Minn.; Leah Schmidt of Williston, N.D.; Ron Hensinger of Hancock, Minn.; Brian Eichers of New York Mills, Minn.; and Jeffrey Beck of Cape Coral, Fla. Beck was interviewed via Skype.

Other business

• The board approved a revised joint powers agreement for the Pomme de Terre River Association. Under the new agreement, the association will split off as a separate entity from the Stevens Soil and Water Conservation District.

About 40 percent of the total watershed is in Stevens County. Each county will be asked to contribute a percentage of seed money for the organization, but Watershed Coordinator Brett Arne said he believes the organization will remain supported by grants.

• The board reviewed three property rental agreements. Two of the pieces of property are being rented as farmland, while the third has been used for county material storage.

The board voted to leave the agreements in place for this planting season, but planned to revisit the rental rates and consider selling some of the property later this year.