August 20, 2007

Wright County approves technical plan for 800 MHz radio system

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The Wright County board approved a technical plan Tuesday for participation in the regional trunked 800 MHz radio system.

The action does not approve actual expenditures for the plan, but will allow the county to apply for grants to pay for the project.

The estimated cost of the system includes $5,154,160 for infrastructure and county radios and pagers, and $1,631,000 for radios and pagers for emergency management service agencies.

Commissioner Karla Heeter said she expects half of the $5.1 million cost for county infrastructure and radios to be covered by grants.

Commissioner Elmer Eichelberg said the State of Minnesota plans to begin construction on two radio tower sites in the county this fall.

Jail project is back under budget

The board approved a $1.1 million bid from Cornerstone Detention Products for detention equipment at the new jail/law enforcement center.

This bid was less than half of the $2,689,810 estimate for this portion of the bid package.

As a result, the combined total for bid packages one and two is $14,127,142, which is $1,546,736 below the estimate.

New camping reservation policy approved

The board approved changes to the county’s park reservation fee, including:

• a non-refundable $3 reservation fee will be charged for each reservation. The reservation fee and camping fee for the entire length of stay must be paid at the time of the reservation.

• If the reservation is cancelled 14 days or more prior to arrival, the camping fee minus the $3 reservation fee will be refunded.

• If the reservation is cancelled fewer than 14 days prior to arrival, no refunds will be issued for either camping or reservation fees.

The changes will become effective for the 2008 camping season.

The current policy states that park users must pay a $3 reservation fee plus the first night’s camping fee when a reservation is made. If the reservation is cancelled within 48 hours of the arrival date, the county refunds the camping fee less the $3 reservation fee.

Parks Administrator Mark Mattice said that after reviewing the records, he believes that the current policy was being abused.

In other park business, the board approved hiring an appraiser to value a land-locked 20-acre parcel of land adjacent to Stanley Eddy Park in French Lake Township.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• approved hiring a commissioning agent for the jail/law enforcement center project at a cost of $115,260.

• authorized signatures on a $31,501 emergency management performance grant from the Minnesota Department of Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

• acknowledged the Wright County Fair Board for a successful fair. Commissioner Karla Heeter said this was one of the top two fairs in the county’s history.

• approved a change removing the commercial driver’s license requirement from the compost facility manager job description, and authorized advertising for applicants due to a promotion.

• received three bids for repair of county ditch 31 in Woodland Township. Board Chair Jack Russek said the next step will be a public meeting with all landowners along the ditch.

Audtior/Treasurer Bob Hiivala will prepare a benefit allocation for each benefitting property owner.

“It will be up to the ditch owners to decide if the work gets done,” Russek commented.

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