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Road upgrades could cost county $50,000

New Fashion Pork requests improvement for confinement

May 8, 2012
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

If Emmet County paid half the cost for upgrading a Class B road to A to serve a hog confinement - a precedent the county set earlier - it could cost rural taxpayers over $50,000.

That's according to an estimate by county engineer Roger Patocka who provided figures to the Emmet Count Board of Supervisors Tuesday showing a preliminary estimate of $103,702 to upgrade a mile of 140th Street north of Estherville.

Supervisor Tim Schumacher said after Tuesday's meeting that the county had a precedence of splitting costs of upgrading roads for confinements. Schumacher also said ag land is taxed countywide to pay for secondary roads.

To date, Schumacher said New Fashion Pork has paid all the cost for four driveways the county put in - also a common practice in the county.

Acknowledging that the board had not yet decided to upgrade 140th Street from Class B to A, Patocka told the supervisors Tuesday he would have to do a more detailed cost estimate if the board decided it wanted to do the upgrade. Patocka said public hearings would be required for the upgrade.

In other business Tuesday, Patocka said in his road report that crews had been hauling gravel, with 86 percent of the gravel supply for the year hauled to date.

Patocka said crews had also been blading, doing driveways and doing prep work on the Riverview bridge that will be replaced this summer..

Patocka noted a dust complaint from Judy Griese who, according to Patocka, said with additional traffic to hog confinements the county should be paying for dust control.

Schumacher suggested those with complaints should contact New Fashion Pork directly.

Supervisor Alan Madden agreed that any further dust complaints should be directed to New Fashion Pork.

Patocka also noted a chemical spill from a WFS truck on 530th Avenue. He said 50 gallons of nitrogen, 70 gallons herbicide and 40 gallons of diesel fuel had been spilled.

Frank Johnson from Secure Benefits Insurance told the board the county would have a 3.72 percent increase for next year. He said that compares with a 12.4 percent average increase.

Johnson said there was no reason to change the county benefits structure.

Dorothy Christensen, Emmet County Mental Health CPC presented the 2013 Mental Health Center Affiliation/Contract document required by the Department of Human Services. This enables the provider the county contracts with, Seasons Center, to receive federal mental health block grant dollars.

Seana Godbold, Soil & Water Conservation, presented Tuttle Lake Filter Strip maintenance agreement and plan plus seeding plan and schedule. Emmet County Conservation will be reimbursed 100 percent of costs and the conservation board has approved the agreement as the applicant. The supervisors gave their approval as the landowner. The intent of the four filter strips is to catch the most possible drainage in selected areas around Tuttle Lake.



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