Citizens to get spare ditch funds

BLUE EARTH – Faribault County commissioners got good news Tuesday about construction on County Ditch 26, and passed the savings along to property owners.

Travis Winter, engineer with Bolton & Menk, gave a quick recap of the construction on Branch A of Ditch 26, northwest of Frost.

Cost of the project has been $339,559, but estimates were $478,216.

“To the best of our knowledge, the project has been completed,” said Winter, noting the board would need to approve a final payment of $38,000 to Hodgman Drainage.

Several landowners attended the hearing. David Murray said the soil still needs to be leveled on his land.

The board discussed holding back some of the money to ensure the contractor completes the work in the field, or pay the full amount to activate the warranty period.

“The work is substantially complete, so this would be a warranty item,” Winter said.

“The incentive is to get this done before they put the crops in,” said Commissioner Greg Young.

The board approved withholding $5,000 of the final payment until the work is done.

Auditor John Thompson informed the board that the fund to pay for Ditch 26 improvements still has $35,000 in it.

“Each system has its own set of books,” Thompson explained.

He asked board members what they wanted to do with the money, and suggested returning it to landowners.

The board approved redistributing the money to landowners. Those who paid in full will receive a rebate, while those paying through assessments will have them reduced.

In other business Tuesday, Dawn Fellows of Central Services asked for the board’s approval to hire Jeremy Haugh as a part-time jail/dispatch/transporter.

The board approved Haugh’s hiring.

Fellows also requested the board purchase two Philips HeartStart Onsite AED defibrillators, one each for the courthouse and public works. Each defibrillator will cost $1,123 and will include a four-year battery pack, an eight-year warranty, wall cabinet and carrying case. Fellows said federal standards recommend that defibrillators be available.

The board approved the purchase.

In other news, the board:

o Approved the purchase of a 2014 Dodge Charger for $26,554 from Nelson Auto in Fergus Falls.

o Approved the purchase of a 2014 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan for $25,618 from Fairmont Ford.

o Approved appointing Dennis Kozolek to the Planning Commission, and Duane Ehrich to the Board of Adjustments.