Road flooded

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Nicollet County Road 12 was under water Thursday.

Nicollet County

commissioners hear flood concerns, OK County Highway 12

proposals, contracts

ST. PETER — Nicollet County commissioners heard a number of people voice safety concerns due to the flooding of County State Aid Highway 12 June 12.

Courtland Rural Fire Association member Robert Hulke, Fire Department Board member and town board member Larry Luepke and Courtland landowner Bruce Hulke expressed concerns about flooding and pumping a slough.

Nicollet County Sheriff Dave Lange said motorists moved road barricades and traveled on the road when they should not. He said the county public works department should hard barricade the road to prevent barricade removal.

Nicollet County Public Works Director Seth Greenwood told the board there were about 10 inches of water at the centerline of County Highway 12 on June 11. He said if the county pumps the water, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit that includes many application requirements will be needed.

In addition, he said if the Drainage Authority petitions for a ditch outlet to County Ditch 38A, a public hearing would be held and the process could take a significant amount of time. Approval to outlet into CD 38A is not guaranteed.

Commissioner John Luepke questioned if the county could pour rock on the edges and gravel the road as a temporary solution. Greenwood said that would not be a viable option and a permit would still need to be obtained from the DNR for the process.

Greenwood said road reconstruction gives the best chance of success and the least amount of future liability to general taxpayers.

Hulke voiced concerns about the road being closed and getting emergency services to Brighton and Courtland Townships in a timely manner.

Greenwood presented County Highway 12 reconstruction consultant contracts to realign County Highway 12 which has been determined to be a priority. Stonebrooke Engineering would develop plans and specifications for $343,686.50 and Bolton & Menk, Inc., would provide a right-of-way plat and monumentation for $25,980.

Greenwood said several other firms would be hired but they would not have to be approved by commissioners.

A motion by Commissioner Kemp, seconded by Luepke, to approve the proposals and contracts and authorize Greenwood to sign them was unanimously approved.

Commissioner Dranttel asked about moving the road away from the flooded basin. Greenwood said there is a lot of wetlands in the area and if the road is moved, the county would need to buy more land.

Brent Kohn said raising the road is just addressing a symptom of the problem and that the basin needs an outlet. Luepke said he’d like to see the county put pressure on the DNR about the issue.

Commissioners approved a Minnesota Anti-Heroin Task Force Program Joint Powers Agreement, on motion by Kemp seconded by Luepke. The program will provide overtime reimbursement as allowed under the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Anti-Heroin Task Force Program.