By Roz Kohls
Meeker County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to allow MnDOT to use 2.5 miles of Meeker County roads as a detour this summer.
The state is building a roundabout north of Hutchinson on Trunk Highway 15. For an estimated 65 days, 4,800 vehicles will be detoured from Highway 15 to McLeod County State Aid Highway 12, and then north to the Meeker County line. There, the road changes to Meeker County State Aid Highway 14.
When vehicles continue north to CSAH 18, they will be directed east to rejoin Highway 15. MnDOT will pay Meeker County $6,300 for use of the detour, according to county highway engineer Ron Mortensen.
In other highway department business, the county board approved purchasing a Handy Hitch Model 90-inch Profile packer/roller attachment for a road grader for $22,283, not including sales tax, from RDO Equipment of Sauk Rapids. The packer can apply up to 6,000 pounds of pressure on the road surface, Mortensen said.
Highway department employees tried the unit for a week to make sure they liked it. The Handy Hitch is manufactured in Winnipeg, Canada.
The other quote received was $23,670 from LyCox Enterprises of Billings, Mont., for a Walk ‘n’ Roll Model WR 90-inch Oscillator. LyCox charged $500 for mounting. County employees will mount the Handy Hitch themselves, Mortensen said.
The county board also opened seasonal highway bids, but they need to be reviewed by Mortensen before the board can make a decision on them.
In addition, the board agreed with Northstar Survey of Litchfield for surveying services, subject to approval from the county attorney, Stephanie Beckman. Meeker County has 1,770 monuments and only about 300 of them have been identified by GPS, according to Paul Virnig, county administrator.
A two-man survey crew will be paid a total of $105 an hour. The principle surveyor, Doug Huhn or Larry Huhn, will be paid $90 an hour, according to the agreement.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• sent a letter in support of a bill before Congress that prisoners in jail will keep their public assistance for health care until they are convicted. The current policy is that prisoners lose their public assistance and veterans’ benefits as soon as they are incarcerated, even if they are innocent, and counties pay for their health care, according to County Commissioner Amy Wilde.
• listened to an annual report from the Sauk River Watershed District by Virgil Rettig and Starla Arceneau. Stearns County representatives on the watershed board have been making an issue of how many votes it should have, because most of the watershed is in Stearns County, Arceneau said.
• granted a homestead classification to Jedediah and Kate Hurley of Dassel for property in the City of Kingston.