Hubbard County Highway Engineer/Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin and Assistant Highway Engineer Jeff Adolphson will be the county’s inspector for the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project.

The Hubbard County Board designated them as inspectors, per Minnesota Statute 216G.07, at their Nov. 17 meeting.

Nordin said his department was informed by Enbridge that this county representative would serve as a “liaison between the public and pipeline personnel,” making sure the company is following the statute and its plan and investigating “complaints, concerns that arise during construction.” The inspector would be authorized by Enbridge to be onsite, he noted.

Nordin said it would be consistent with other neighboring counties to assign both the county highway engineer and assistant engineer.

The motion passed unanimously.

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At the county board’s Nov. 10 work session, Nordin said Enbridge is required to compensate the county $500 per mile inspected, which will result in a $22,000 disbursement.

While $22,000 is a “nice payment,” Nordin said, “when you think how long this project might take and the controversy that’s involved, this inspector has the potential to be put into some uncomfortable situations.”

Nordin had requested a copy of Enbridge’s plan because the statute requires minimum depths or coverages over pipelines. “You, as a board, can adopt anything you want. You can adopt to follow the plan or adopt to follow the statute on what that is, but that is where some of the complaints can come from the public. They’re watching what’s happening on private land and saying ‘This doesn’t appear to be consistent with the plan,’ and then, of course, this inspector will get involved in that,” Nordin said.

The highway department’s biggest concern would be road crossings, he added. Because private land is involved in the Line 3 project, Nordin said there’s “potential for some face-to-face confrontations.”

In related business, the county board did as follows:

  • Approved the low quotes to remodel the public works building for COVID-19 safety measures: $13,842 from Haataja Contracting, Inc., Menahga, for carpentry; $10,793 from Miran Creek Furniture, Browerville for casework; $6,397 from Heartland Glass, Waite Park for glazing; $18,402 from Armquist Carpet Plus Color Tile, Alexandria for carpet, plus $66,807 for “Alternate 1,” which involves replacing ceramic tile throughout the entire building and will be paid from budgeted public works department expenses, and $8,432 from Lee Davis Electric, Inc., Park Rapids for electrical, as recommended by Nordin, with payment to be made from CARES Act funding.

  • Accepted the retirement of accountant Rhonda Anstine, effective March 27, 2021, and authorized the re-filling of the position.

  • Approved the low quote of $8,875 from Josh’s Well Drilling, Park Rapids, for new well construction at the south landfill.