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Commissioners to consider authorizing county as fiscal agent

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County commissioners will consider a memorandum of agreement for Bridge 2110 on Highway 8 over the Minnesota River Tuesday. After review of alternatives with a number of agencies, the Minnesota Department of Transportation Cultural Resource Unit agreed it was necessary to remove Brown County’s last truss bridge and make it available for alternative use. Meanwhile, the bridge remains open to up to 5 ton traffic.

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will meet May 4 and consider authorizing the county to act as the fiscal agent to take advantage of bulk radio purchase savings.

Many county departments are considering either upgrading their ARMER 800 MHz radios or buying them for the first time. The current Motorola XTS radios are no longer manufactured and are unsupported.

The next generation Motorola APX radios are the replacement model.

Motorola offers a $150 discount on each APX6000/6500 radio and 5% off on bulk purchases. APX6000 portable radios cost about $4,200 each; about $6,500 each for APX6500 mobile radios.

Commissioners will also consider:

• A bridge memorandum of agreement for Bridge 2110 on Highway 8 over the Minnesota River. The Peterson or Hale Bridge is the last truss bridge owned by Brown County.

Structurally deficient with a low sufficiency rating, the bridge has a number of serious structural issues but is an historic bridge which makes it hard to replace.

It was closed in August, 2017 after the discovery of a critical deficiency. It was opened in the fall of 2020 after the deficiency was repaired.

The bridge has been load posted at 5 tons for several years due to other structural problems. It is 17 feet wide and 250 feet long over six spans.

With the Minnesota Department of Transportation Cultural Resource Unit’s technical assistance, several agencies were consulted for comment. It was agreed after review of alternatives that it was necessary to remove Bridge 2110 and make it available for alternative use.

Removal requires an agreement between the Federal Highway Administration, Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Renville and Brown County.

• Set a letting date for Highway 34 (St. Mary’s Street & 3rd Ave. N.E.) from Highway 4 to Windsor Rd. in Sleepy Eye and Highway 35 (1st Avenue) from Walnut Street to St. Mary’s Street, all in Sleepy Eye.

The highway department recommends a 10 a.m. June 9, letting date at the courthouse. Results will be considered June 15 by the county board. Projects are anticipated to be rehabilitated in July through October.

• Consider New Ulm Furniture’s $5,199 quote to replace Brown County Recorder Department flooring. Other bids are Miesen’s of Springfield $5,788.40 and Design Home of New Ulm $6,317.83.

• The board meeting begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 4, in the Brown County Law Enforcement Center Training Room. Zoom access is available by calling 507-233-6600.

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

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