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Hwy. 71 construction inadvertently shifting traffic to County 18

The Hubbard County Board heard a complaint Tuesday about speeding on County 18, north of Fishhook Lake. (Shannon Geisen/Enterprise)

While crews are resurfacing 20 miles of the highway between Park Rapids and Itasca State Park, some drivers may be using County 18 as an undesignated detour.

At the Oct. 2 Hubbard County Board meeting, county commissioner Char Christenson told County Engineer/Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin she received a complaint from a grandmother about logging trucks and dangerous speeding on County 18, north of Fishhook Lake.

Nordin referred Christenson to the county sheriff. "We've done everything we can do. There's 11 30-mph signs along there. We can't go any less than 30, so then it becomes an enforcement issue if they're just not obeying the law," he said.

Board chair Cal Johannsen said speeding has been a perennial problem on County 18.

Nordin said the flaggers have been holding traffic for a long time on Hwy. 71 — up to 30 minutes.

"That's a long wait, so I don't blame them for trying to avoid that," Nordin said. "You've got an interesting project going on there, with the milling right ahead of the paving for the most part, so your train is a lot longer."

Mark Sand and Gravel Company of Fergus Falls is the primary contractor for the $1.9 million resurfacing project, which is expected to last through mid-October.

Later in the meeting, Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes agreed to place a speed trailer or extra patrols on County 18.

In other business, the county board did as follows:

• Approved two temporary work space agreements and one road lease between Enbridge Energy and Hubbard County for the Line 3 construction project. The agreements give Enbridge access to county forest roads. Enbridge agrees to pay $122,891, plus repair any road damages. "There will also be timber damages when they remove the timber and start clearing their right-of-way. They'll pay for that as well," added County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier.

• Approved a MnDOT agreement to pay $5,371 to Hubbard County for the use of CSAH 36 and 16 as a detour route during bridge construction on U.S. Hwy. 71.

• Approved the low quote of $1,917 from Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls, Inc. for the purchase of five 6-foot, recycled plastic park benches for Heartland Park.

• Authorized Hubbard County to act as the local sponsor for the Round River Drive ATV Trail System for the 2019 Minnesota Trails Assistance Program Grant for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.

• Approved the transfer of a garage site lease agreement from James and Theresa Wynne to Brad Christiansen, Section 17, Schoolcraft Township, as recommended by Lohmeier.

• Established the county's 2019 annual recreational lease fees of $300 per cabin, $200 for an 80-acre parcel, and $20 per acre for a four-acre parcel. The fees are unchanged from 2018.

• Approved final payment of $34,992 to Envirotech Services, Inc., Greeley, Colo. for liquid calcium chloride.

• Approved the auction sale of two 2013 Ford Taurus PI Sedans, as recommended by the county sheriff.

• Accepted the resignation of GIS Technician, Kevin Trappe, effective Oct. 10, and authorized filling the vacancy.

• Accepted the resignation of Eligibility Worker, Tina Johanning, effective 11/30/18, and authorized filling the vacancy.

• Approved the repurchase of a tax-forfeited parcel in Guthrie Township by Mark H. and Tracy J. Olson, for the sum of $1,883, plus recording and other associated costs, as recommended by the county auditor/treasurer.

• Approved the repurchase of a tax-forfeited parcel in Lake Emma Township by Michael F. and Lisa K. Moore, for the sum of $18,800, plus recording and other associated costs, as recommended by the county auditor/treasurer.