Board reviews year’s surveys, 2015 highway projects
By Jean Ruzickajruzicka@parkrapidsenterprise.com The Hubbard County Commissioners received a "progress report" on land surveys conducted during 2014, surveyors working primarily in Arago and Clover townships to re-establish corners. The county is...
By Jean Ruzicka
The Hubbard County Commissioners received a “progress report” on land surveys conducted during 2014, surveyors working primarily in Arago and Clover townships to re-establish corners.
The county is home to 3,677 corners, survey technician Ryan Miller explained, originally defined in the 1860s to 1870s.
To date, 2,614 corners have been certified or in the process, employing GPS (global positioning system) coordinates, accurate within a centimeter, he told commissioners.
A total of 176 new corners were set this year, exceeding the annual goal of 100, with 1,163 remaining. In some instances, trees are cut to gain exposure for satellites, he explained of the GPS process.
“We will continue to knock the numbers down,” Miller told commissioners.
The Land Survey Department is in the process of updating corner certificates with county coordinates that will be available on the website.
Projects in 2014 included working with the 52-mile pipeline in the county, “surveying to avoid different section corner locations.” Eighty corners were established and set.
Survey work was conducted in Clover Township in the Coon Lake area and on the Crystal Beach Plat on Long Lake for the Recorder’s office. Lines were established in the west half of Clay Township and Clover Township, required for several proposed timber cuts.
Three easements required field work and an encroachment survey was conducted for Natural Resource Management, commissioners learned.
Contracted surveyor George Coulombe was introduced to the board.
In other action, the board:
n Reviewed proposed legislation calling for “removing cancellation of local special assessments from state law, allowing cities to receive the funding validly assessed and counted on to fund local infrastructure improvements.”
This would shift the burden on the county, not just the city, land commissioner Chip Lohmeier explained.
The proposal stems from cities looking to recapture lost revenue. Cities must follow complex, time-consuming special assessment procedures. If a property goes into tax forfeitures, the auditor cancels special assessments, resulting in lost funds for the city.
If the property returns to private ownership, the city must go through a cumbersome notice and hearing process to regain the assessment.
n Approved advertising and letting bids for highway projects, including reclaim and bituminous overlay on CSAH 9 between CSAH 45 and the Cass County line in Farden Township; aggregate shoulders and bituminous on Co. Rd. 101 from CSAH 9 to Highway 2 in Farden Township, aggregate shoulders and bituminous on Co. Rd. 98 from CSAHs 9 to 35 on the east side of Lake Plantagenet and aggregate shoulders and bituminous on Co. Rd. 100 from CSAH 16 a half-mile north in Hart Lake Township.
n Approved advertising for bids for liquid chloride, aggregate surfacing contracts in the northern part of the county, a sign truck and tandem snow plow truck.
n Learned the interior of the highway department shop in Nevis is nearly complete.
n Approved the Park Rapids City Council’s use of the county board room for its meetings on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
Questions had been raised about a conflict if the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment’s Monday meetings are continued.
Commissioners agreed the PC/BOA will meet in an alternate location if this happens.
“If the economy picks up we are going to need the second date,” Eric Buitenwerf told commissioners.
The PC/BOA had passed a motion stating it would like to keep the current meeting dates to accommodate members and staff schedules, noting that as a county entity, they ought to take precedence over non-county groups when scheduling the board room.
Members indicated, however, they would be amenable to meeting the first Monday and Tuesday of the month (as opposed to the last Monday).
Buitenwerf said the dates were “purposefully selected to distribute departmental workload. Moving the meeting dates to the first Monday and Tuesday of each month would unnecessarily compress departmental workload and thereby create inefficiencies and difficulties in meeting various standing timelines/deadlines,” he cautioned in a memo.
n Reviewed a suggestion from Sheriff Cory Aukes to use Social Service funds for the proposed additional investigator position, approximately $90,000.
Commissioner Greg Larson questioned if using existing staff is an option.
“If you took a deputy and made him an investigator, are there enough people for shifts?” commissioner Cal Johannsen asked.
“Probably not,” Aukes replied.
Board chair Kathy Grell noted the department is significantly exceeding the overtime budget.
The sheriff’s department is reimbursed at 30 percent for overtime via grants, Aukes said.
“Going forward, it would save headaches if we know where the overtime’s going,” Grell said. “Will adding an investigator cut down on part-time and overtime expenses?”
“This will cut down on future part-time and overtime expenses,” Aukes assured her.
The board will review the proposal prior to the final budget approval.
n Approved the purchase of overhead cabinets in the Law Enforcement Center squad room at a cost of $5,188.
n Approved a purchase- of-service agreement with CHI St. Joseph’s Area Health Services for public health services.
RaeAnn Mayer reported on St. Joseph’s Toward Zero Deaths Joyride program collaboration with Park Rapids Taxi.
“This is to raise awareness of planning for a designated driver,” she told commissioners. “It’s not just about keeping DWIs down but saving lives and keeping emergency room costs down.”
Plans call for expanding the program to the Nevis area, she said.
n Agreed to waive the solid waste tipping fee for the Heritage Living Center demolition material, a cost of $43,200.
“That’s a year’s worth of demo,” Solid Waste administrator Jed Nordin noted.
The commissioners approved a service-elevator bid of $82,000 for the new HLC structure, with an additional $2,950 for electrical work.
Commissioners approved issuing a taxable general obligation bond of $10,240,000 for the project.
n Will present Employee Service Awards at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 16.
n Updated the Hubbard County Committee list, naming commissioners to specific boards, including newly-elected Vern Massie and Ed Smith.
n Welcomed Bobby Wilkins on board as the county facilities maintenance manager. He began duties Dec. 1.
n Nominated Dist. 4 commissioner Dan Stacey for the 2015 board chair position.
n Appointed Ted VanKempen to the PC/BOA to complete the term of the Dist. 5 representative.
n Set PC/BOA per diem at $150 for lot viewing and $150 per meeting with an additional $25 per event adjustment for the chairperson’s paperwork services, plus mileage.
n Set committee per diem at $30 per half day and $60 full day. Meetings of less than four hours, including travel time, will be considered half-day.
n Will consider commissioner per diems and salary at the Dec. 16 meeting.
n Approved the following license applications: Sunday liquor – Becida Bar & Grill in Fern Township, Backwoods Bar & Grill in Rockwood Township and Family Inn in Arago Township; off-sale liquor - Dorset Corner Liquors in Henrietta Township, Becida Bar & Grill and Backwoods Bar & Grill; wine – Hilltop Inn in Hubbard Township and Emmaville Store in Clay Township, and on-sale – Becida Bar & Grill, Backwoods Bar & Grill and Family Inn.