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County gives OK to highway equipment, advertising for bids

At its Feb. 24 meeting, the Wadena County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of a variety of new items of equipment for the Highway Department, and advertising for bids for fuel and project plans.

County Engineer Ryan Odden explained the need for each piece of equipment and presented the set of quotes received for it. Commissioners voted to approve the low quote in every case.

The new equipment items were two disc mowers from Aldrich Tractor, Inc., and a McCormick tractor from Aldrich Tractor, Inc. The bids for diesel fuel were requested for the 2012 construction season, and are due March 30. The bids for highway projects include replacement of a bridge over the Cat River, pavement repairs on CSAH 30 north of the Crow Wing River, and bituminous pavement repair on CSAH 30 from CSAH 2 to McGivern County Park.

Odden told the board that the Highway Department had received approval for an additional highway project in 2016, and will be awarded $321,600 in federal funds for that project. The project will be reconstruction of CSAH 4 from TH10 to CSAH 54.

In other business, the board:

• agreed to take over payment of the monthly $25 electric bill for Stigman's Mound County Park. The City of Nimrod had been paying this bill.

• agreed to be the fiscal agent for a grant awarded to Trail Breakers Snowmobile Club to install a snowmobile bridge over an unspecified river in Wadena County.

• approved a request by employee Jean Birch to participate in a health savings plan after she retires.

• set the date of June 18 for the 2012 county board of equalization meeting at the courthouse.

• approved the membership of the Wadena County Extension Committee as presently constituted.

• learned that the county's fuel purchase credit cards issued by BP have not been honored because of mix-ups in the invoicing and paying of multiple bills from BP.

• approved the hiring of Julie Sibert as a Public Health Nurse, at Grade 54 PHN, Step 4, to start March 12.

• approved the hiring of Margie Wateland, RN., as a casual permanent employee at Grade 53 RN, Step 10, to start March 1.

• approved the appointment of Merlyne Bissell to a three-year term on the Public Health Advisory Board.

• approved CPR training for up to 20 county employees in 2012 as part of required job duty and safety training.

• approved an agreement with the Wadena-Deer Creek School District to permit a monitoring well requested by the MPCA to be placed on county property at the fairgrounds.

• approved FMLA for Jo Dooley, Assessor's Office Employee.

• learned that the redistricting of the Minnesota Legislature will change the county's legislative districts such that the southern 4/5 of the county will be in Legislative District 9A, and the northern 1/5 of the county will be in legislative district 2B. The southern 4/5 of the county will be in Senate District 9, and the northern 1/5 will be in Senate District 2. The changes are effective for this year's legislative elections.

• learned that the county's commissioner districts are likely to change, but the new boundaries are not known at this time. They must be adopted by May 1.