Hubbard County Hwy. Dept. seeks $100K in federal funds
County Public Works Director Jed Nordin also floated the idea of a roundabout on CSAH 6 in Park Rapids.
The Hubbard County Board approved a $100,000 application for Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) funding.
County Public Works Director Jed Nordin explained that CRP is a new program created by the federal transportation bill, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The purpose of the program is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from on-road highway sources.
President Biden signed IIJA into law on Nov.15, 2021. It established the CRP with $1.234 billion in fiscal year 2022, with an annual increase of approximately 1.9%.
If awarded, Nordin wants to use the funds for designing and installing structural snow fence a couple areas along CSAH 4 and CSAH 28 and any associated right-of-way acquisitions. CRP requires a minimum 20% local match.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), Minnesota will receive approximately $20.5 million annually, with an annual increase of approximately 1.9%.
There is $560,000 available in fiscal year 2024 for Northwest Minnesota Area Transportation Partnership (ATP-2). Nordin said there are 11 counties in the ATP-2 district.
Qualified CRP projects include the following:
- Public transit
- Leasing electric vehicles or installing charging stations
- Planning, design, engineering or installation of transportation alternatives
- Energy-efficient lighting conversion
- ITS and vehicle infrastructure
- snow fences.
Applications were due May 19. Projects will be reviewed and prioritized by ATP-2 on June 22.
At last week’s work session, Nordin reported on federal funding for upcoming county highway projects:
- $1,230,000 for CSAH 13 bridge replacement (2023),
- $2,580,000 for CSAH 13 reclamation (2024),
- $1,400,000 for CSAH 45 bridge replacement (2025),
- $315,000 to improve the CSAH 4 and CSAH 40 intersection (2024),
- $180,000 for rumble strips/solar-powered LED stop signs (2025),
- And $163,810 for 6-inch-wide, latex edgeline striping (2023, 2025, 2026).
Roundabout on CSAH 6?
Nordin said the county “has concerns with the urban portion of CSAH 6.” His staff is working on a design up to the intersection of CSAH 15. He recalled there have been crashes and a fatality there.
“On top of that, we know we have some issues with the road into the transfer station,” he said. One of the challenges is 8th Street’s “jog” in the road to the west, making a center-left turn lane an unsuitable fix. “We’d have to look at either realigning one of those roads to utilize that strategy or possibly we’d consider a roundabout,” Nordin said.
Roundabouts reduce speeds and remove the chance of a severe crash, he noted. “They are tried-and-true crash reduction strategy.”
Nordin said he would acquire quotes for a study.
While roundabouts are expensive to install, Nordin said “I think it could be a real nice improvement to that stretch of roadway. It’s heavily traveled. At that intersection of the transfer station, I think everybody uses it. It’s crazy.”
In other business, the board did this:
- Heard that the Hubbard County Board of Equalization will begin hearing appeals at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 12. Cadwell noted there weren’t as many appeals compared to last year.
- Set a public hearing about the county’s five-year capital improvement plan for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20.
- Learned that the Heritage Living Campus financials have been improving over the past two months. County commissioner David De La Hunt attributed the positive bottom line trend to the elimination of a costly traveling nursing pool, some growth in the census, “a very conservative” budget and some revenue from the VA contract. He noted that competition is growing in the market, however. Cadwell said HLC’s monthly financial statements will be provided to the board under the consent agenda.
- Moved their Tuesday, July 4 meeting to Wednesday, July 5 due to the Fourth of July holiday.
- Accepted the $27,805 quote from ByteSpeed of Moorhead for backup recovery servers.
- Accepted the low quote of $14,112 from Ross Lewis Sign Co., Inc., of Bemidji for construction of new county public works department sign.
- Approved final payment of $837 to Reierson Construction, Inc. of Bemidji for work done on Central Ave. in Laporte.
- Accepted Park Rapids Ford’s two quotes – $45,351 and $41,114 – for two vehicles to be purchased for the sheriff’s office. County Sheriff Cory Aukes reported that current squads in the fleet, that were due for replacement, are approaching 200,000 miles. Maintenance and repairs are getting extremely high, but squads are in short supply.