By Kristen Miller
MEEKER COUNTY, MN - Due to budget constraints, the Meeker County Board of Commissioners approved a request to take bituminous bids only for the County State Aid Highway 15 project at its meeting Tuesday.
As recommended by county highway engineer Ron Mortenson, bituminous would be the least expensive of the two pavement structures, with the other being concrete.
Though concrete has a longer lifespan than bituminous, Mortenson said the road does not have enough heavy traffic nor heavy equipment to need concrete.
Work continues on the road this spring and Mortenson is hoping the job will be completed by the end of summer depending on the weather.
Bituminous bids will be open Tuesday, May 12.
Dassel building inspector
The board approved and signed a contract with the City of Dassel stating Meeker County will do all building inspections for the city, but the city will issue the permits.
This is similar to the contract the county has with the City of Darwin, said Kevin Piepenburg, the county building inspector.
New sheriff’s salary
With the resignation of Meeker County Sheriff Mike Hirman, chief deputy Jeff Norlin will finish the term for Hirman beginning May 1 with the position being placed on the November 2010 ballot.
During the April 14 meeting, the board approved Norlin’s salary of $79,200.
In other business
In other business, the board of commissioners:
• read a “thank you” letter from the Dassel-Cokato Schools and Cokato Transportation to the snow plow operators in the Dassel, Kingston, and Cokato areas.
The letter stated how they appreciated the “great job” that is done in the plowing of the road and streets each year.
• approved the hiring of Amy Plath of Darwin for the full-time dispatcher position, pending a background check and psychological evaluation.
• after hiring Randy Celander as communications specialist for Meeker County Sheriff’s Department at the April 14 meeting, approved a fee schedule for work done with other agencies.
The board agreed on $60 an hour for installation and $75 an hour for labor for outsourcing to other municipalities and counties. The board also approved the purchasing of equipment and a van for a total of approximately $30,000.
With the conversion to 800 mega hertz, the county brought Celander on staff rather than contracting him as in the past.
• the commission gave Stephanie Beckman, county attorney, permission to seek legal advice from the attorney general regarding the effectiveness of a letter of resignation from Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA), chairman Ron Johnson.
In a letter to the board, Johnson resigned as chairman effective March 24, which the board accepted.
Johnson later changed his mind and wanted to remain on the HRA board.
Since the board approved the resignation, Beckman is seeking to determine whether or not that board-appointed position is open or vacant.
In addition, Beckman received an e-mail informing her the HRA was seeking legal advice themselves regarding the board of commissioners.