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County approves highway department plan

The Wadena County Board appointed Assistant Highway Engineer Jeff Adolphson to serve as the interim department head due to the resignation of Joel Ulring as the county engineer. Ulring's last day was Oct. 23.

Commissioners also approved additional elements to a highway department continuity plan prepared by Commissioner Bill Stearns, who serves as board liaison to the department.

Todd County Assistant Engineer Ryan Odden will assist the county for up to one day a week at approximately $40 per hour. The cost per hour may be less than that, but Todd County is still calculating the value of his time, Stearns said. Odden's work for the county is dependent on two conditions, according to the plan. He must be outside the chain of command and his contract will end by March 12, 2010, or sooner if the county finds a replacement.

Odden is a licensed professional engineer. Adolphson is not a licensed P.E.

Supervisor Vern Kemper can call Stearns or Schermerhorn if he needs to "run something by someone else," in the event Adolphson is not reachable, according to the plan.

Ulring said it should be a fairly easy transition. Not a lot of P.E. signatures are required this time of year and Adolphson is capable to handle the rest. If any questions arise, the highway department can contact the Minnesota Department of Transportation Engineer for state aid at the district level.