County approves contract with survey firm

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer


The Morrison County Board approved a contract with surveyor Sam DeLeo of Kramer Leas DeLeo (KLD) of St. Cloud to develop and direct the process for compiling current land survey data in the county.

The existing data will be scanned and indexed to electronically store the land survey-related records in digital format.

The current county surveyor appointment of Kevin Festler expires Sept. 1. DeLeo’s contract also runs through Sept. 1.

DeLeo will be paid on an hourly basis, at a cost not to exceed $15,000. Funding is covered by the County Recorder’s Office compliance fund.

DeLeo will also be working with county department heads to formulate a recommendation for a long-term county surveyor solution. Regular surveyor services include plat checking, special projects and general duties.

Professional advice from KLD will be utilized to form a long-term plan for a public land survey corner maintenance project.

KLD is a diverse company which does public and private surveying. They have surveyed entire townships and counties.

“The county has always had an appointed surveyor with an informal, undefined agreement with no set expectations or compensation,” said County Administrator Deb Gruber. “We talked with a number of different counties to see what our options are.”

The County is aiming for fewer discrepancies in land surveys and property line disputes.

“Morrison County needs a more accurate database,” DeLeo said. “(The monumentation project) is a monster, but we can take baby steps. The goal is for every corner to have a monument with a certificate; Morrison County is a long way from that.”

“The county has talked about monumenting since 1987. We’re at the point where we’re constantly running into problems where things don’t look right,” Auditor-Treasurer Russ Nygren said. “It’s going to take years to get where Sam says we need to be. If you don’t deal with a problem for 80 years, it takes years to play catch-up.”

“Anything under 40 acres requires a survey,” said County Planning and Zoning Administrator Amy Kowalzek. “We base daily decisions on information which is not accurate. We need someone with the surveying background we don’t have.”

“This will be a trial period to see if the relationship works,” Gruber said.

“In the short-term we will be indexing all records,” DeLeo said. “The next step is to do a township or two at a time.”


Other business that came before the Morrison County Commissioners Tuesday included:

• Approving a request by Social Services to replace the office support position at the front desk due to resignation;

• Approving an annual license for a new establishment, the BeseHive in Swanville, owned by Lori Beseman;

• Approving out-of-state travel for the geographic information systems (GIS) specialist and an administrative specialist-real estate to attend a Schneider Corporation training for GIS and the Beacon website. The training was budgeted, but Board approval is required since it is out-of-state. “These systems are used every moment of every day by the dispatch center and other offices,” said Commissioner Jeff Jelinski;

• Approving 29 annual liquor license renewals;

• Approving a 2 a.m. closing time for Twelve Mile Tavern and Morrill Bar and Grill;

• Approving temporary one-day liquor licenses for the Pierz Commercial Club for Freedom Fest, July 6 and Habitat for Humanity for an event at the Falls Ballroom, Oct. 4;

• Approving annual precious metal dealer licenses for Goldsmith Jewelers, Melgrams Inc. and RSC Jewelry and Coins;

• Rejecting one of five bids received for 18 electrical lighting projects, from Electrical Systems Inc. due to incompleteness. “In any process there are requirements that need to be met,” said Commissioner Kevin Maurer;

• Awarding the electrical lighting project contract to low bidder Rum River Electric for $135,134.98. Funding is split at 90 percent from the state and 10 percent from the county’s regular maintenance dollars;

• Approving a solid waste hauler license for Hengel Ready Mix and Construction Inc. of Pillager;

• Approving a resolution for completion and final acceptance of a contract for aggregate production at the landfill by DLL Excavating; and

• Approving a resolution for completion and final acceptance of a contract for pavement marking by Traffic Marking Service Inc. for various highways, streets and roads in the county.

The next County Board meeting will be a planning session Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. in the board room of the County Government Center.