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County Board OKs landfill recycling building bids

NEW ULM — Brown County Commissioners approved a Brown County Sanitary Landfill cold storage recycling building bid from Puhlmann Lumber & Design of New Ulm Tuesday.

Action came on Commissioner Dean Simonsen’s motion, seconded by Scott Windschitl. Commissioner Tony Berg abstained because he said he is related to one of the bidders.

Puhlmann’s low bid for a 40 by 60 foot building with a 14-foot sidewall was $35,203.60 for building materials and labor.

Other bids were ARR Construction LLC, $77,800 including building and all dirt work; Design Home Center, $40,503 for building materials and labor; and Clements Lumber, $32,498.28 for building materials only. Mathiowetz Construction was the only bidder for all dirt work and site preparation at $23,487; and their bid was approved.

Over the past three years, Brown County has seen an increase in recyclable materials collected at each of the mobile events. In addition, there have been comments and suggestions to collect other materials not normally taken at current events, such as fluorescent bults and batteries.

Due to input from residents, contractors, consultants, and other individuals, county staff believes having a facility available for future collections would be of long-term benefit to the county.

Commissioners also:

• Received a Brown County Public Health update from public health director Karen Moritz. She said as of Monday, nearly 82.8% of Brown County residents age 65 and over have received their first COVID-19 vaccination dose, 14.3% of the county are considered fully vaccinated, and 28.1% of the county had their first vaccination dose.

Moritz was thankful for all the volunteers that worked at vaccination clinics.

“Our volunteers are amazing, working at clinics and making phone calls,” said Moritz.

Brown County Public Health posts links to vaccination clinic schedules on Facebook and their website as they are set and open to the public. Priority group individuals can be connected to a vaccinator by calling 507-233-6820.

Vaccination appointments are available for patients age 65 and over at New Ulm Medical Center, for Phase 1B Tier 2 and 3 at Sleepy Eye Medical Center. Pharmacies with online appointments only are New Ulm Hy-Vee and Walmart plus Thrifty White in Springfield.

• Approved the State of Minnesota making minor alterations in County Ditch 72 in and around Sleepy Eye, motion by Simonsen, seconded by Berg. No public comments were heard.

District 7 Senior Hydraulics Engineer Cory James said it was determined a feasible reroute drainage system alternative would permit redevelopment of the existing MnDOT Sleepy Eye Truck Station site without reducing drainage efficiency to benefitted properties. James said the project will impound more surface water by reducing impervious surfaces on the project site.

• Set a public hearing to consider abandonment of lands on County Ditch 38 for 9:15 a.m., Tuesday, April 20 and authorize viewers to consider benefit adjustments for the abandoned portion, motion by Commissioner Jeff Veerkamp, seconded by Simonsen.

Michael Stueber filed an petition for partial abandonment and removed of lands from CD 38, Section 16, Milford Township. The petition is offered as a result of a perpetual conservation easement the State of Minnesota secured. The easement is for restoration of drained wetlands and adjoining uplands.

• Tabled for more discussion and information, proposed revisions to the Brown County Landfill contract with Mathiowetz Enterprises, motion by Windschitl, seconded by Borchert.

• An MRCI 2020 overview and 2021 outlook from MRCI Chief Business and Marketing Officer Tami Reuter.

“We want to thank the county for support during the pandemic,” Reuter said. “MRCI is proud to celebrate the many individuals that served as essential workers during the pandemic and continue to find competitive employment at Beacon, Hy-Vee, and Dittrich Specialties There are many benefits to hiring an individual supported by MRCI and opportunities are still available for employment partnerships. We’re hiring individuals who would like to join our team and drive a van with clients from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.”

• Awarded the CSAH 13 concrete overlay contract between Hanska and 220th Street, near New Ulm to Croell, Inc., motion by Windschitl, seconded by Veerkamp.

The Brown County Highway Dept. recommended the $5,321,133.49 low bid by Croell, Inc. which is 10.23% under the engineer’s estimate of $5,927,362.75. Other bids were $3.41% to 16.81% over the engineer’s estimate.

• Tabled a resident’s request for Installation of “No Engine Brake” signage regarding semi truck noise on CSAH 29 near the TH 4 intersection, in favor of discussion with the county sheriff at the next board meeting, motion by Windschitl, seconded by Borchert.

Highway committee options were to not install signs and leave as is, install a sign at the expense of the property owner making the request, or installing signs at county expense.

• Consider a financial contribution to the Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation (RCEF) at an August budget workshop, motion by Simonsen, seconded by Borchert. Windschitl cast a dissenting vote.

The RCEF is a non-profit entrepreneur and business development organization that provides free, confidential one-on-one business consulting, training, and mentoring to small business owners.

“We’ve looked at this before. I think we’re duplicating services with other organizations. I just don’t see the additional value,” said Windschitl.

The RCEF that includes Bryan Stading and Jim Jensen, began in the summer of 2019 and operates in the New Ulm Area Chamber of Commerce Office. The RCEF requested funding now in order to help create a legislative bill for the 2021 session.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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