by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Morrison County is home to hundreds of bridges. Of those, the county is responsible for inspecting 220 of them on a regular basis, 186 of which are on county roadways.
“We have to do an inspection of each bridge annually or biennially,” said Public Works Supervisor Steve Backowski. “Any structure that is at least 10 feet long and spans a waterway falls into this category. If the bridge is in good condition we can inspect them every other year instead of every year.”
In 2013, two bridges are scheduled to be replaced in Buh Township and have funding approval. A third bridge replacement in Buh Township is awaiting approval. These structures are going to be replaced with box culverts.
“There is also a large box culvert that has deteriorated on county state aid highway (CSAH) 47 which will be replaced,” said Backowski.
The process has been initiated to solicit proposals from qualified bridge design professionals for a span to replace the current bridge over the Platte River on CSAH 43, a structure that is more than 150 feet long.
“The engineering and design for bridge construction is specialized and we don’t do it very often. As such, we seek proposals from consultants to do the work to ensure it is done correctly and provides for a safe end product,” said County Administrator Deb Gruber.
Other business to come before the Morrison County Commissioners Tuesday morning included:
• Approving the appointment of Stephanie Fyten to fill a position on the District 4 Public Health Advisory Committee;
• Authorizing a contract change order for the online permitting program with Schneider Corporation. “There is no additional cost,” said Planning and Zoning Supervisor Amy Kowalzek. “They are extending the service contract through December 2017, but capping the service hours at 20 per week;”
• Approving an exempt permit for Morrison County Ducks Unlimited to hold a raffle April 19, at the Falls Ballroom;
• Approving Joe Heying as a delegate to the Minnesota Counties Computer Co-op. Alternates are Bonnie Paulson, Shayla Strack and Cindy Smith. “All the county software comes through this group,” said Auditor Russ Nygren. “That’s why we belong to the co-op; it saves us substantial dollars;”
• Listening to the annual feedlot report given by Feedlot Specialist/Assistant Zoning Administrator Darren Welle. There are 596 registered feedlots in the county according to 2010 data, and the 7 percent of them are required to be inspected every year;
• Approving a tentative agreement with the Law Enforcement Labor Services for the sheriff deputy unit, and apply any relevant provisions to the appropriate staff members. “That was the last unsettled union contract for 2013,” said County Administrator Deb Gruber.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Morrison County Commissioners will be a planning meeting Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 8:30 a.m. in the Board Room of the County Government Center.