Faribault Co. leaders weigh in on road work

BLUE EARTH – Faribault County commissioners on Tuesday approved a final payment to Ulland Bros. for road work it has done around the county, and that got them talking about construction still in progress.

The board approved the final payment of $224,459 on a $2.3 million bill for work Ulland has performed on County Road 13, 85th Street at Cargill and on County Road 109.

County Engineer John McDonald issued a plea for residents to drive with caution.

“There’s work still going on around the county,” he said.

McDonald also noted some people have been sent notices about blocking the right of way.

“Sent them a letter and they mowed it down,” he said.

Commissioner Bill Groskreutz said people are questioning why the right of way is not the same on all roads.

It’s because roads are different, McDonald replied. Some blacktops have a wider right of way, while gravel roads aren’t up as high and aren’t as wide, so they have a different right of way.

The history of the road makes a difference too, he said.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s right of way designations “vary from spot to spot,” McDonald noted.

Commissioner John Roper asked why County Road 103 near the North Industrial Park north of Blue Earth is still closed after a month and a half. It was being used as a turn-around while dirt was moved at the site to prepare it for buildings.

“A lot of residents are wondering why we can’t get that back,” Roper said.

On another topic, Kim Sasse spoke to the board about the Blue Earth Community Library. She is president of the library board.

She said area libraries have been working well together with Blue Earth director Eva Gaydon organizing some mutual events under the Traverse des Sioux system.

One of the most important things has been making sure the libraries are all compatible with the new Chromebooks that Blue Earth Area District students are using this school year.

In other business, the board accepted a $5,280 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources for the upkeep of the county’s ATV machine. It is an annual grant.

Turning to old business, the board set Oct. 7 for a meeting to discuss security at the courthouse. They will invite department heads to discuss concerns, how office space might be shuffled, check on alternate spaces and see what might have to be renovated.

Offices being considered in the move are probation, county attorney, Extension, Veteran Services and the license bureau.