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Board OKs county as fiscal agent

NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners unanimously approved authorizing the county to act as the fiscal agent to take advantage of bulk radio purchase savings Tuesday.

Action came on commissioner Dave Borchert’s motion, seconded by Jeff Veerkamp.

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

The next generation Motorola APX radios are the replacement model and will contain the Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

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 unanimously approved:

• A bridge memorandum of agreement for Bridge 2110 on County State Aid Highway 8 over the Minnesota River, motion by commissioner Dean Simonsen, seconded by commissioner Scott Windschitl.

The Peterson or Hale Bridge is the last truss bridge owned by Brown County but is still open to up to 5-ton traffic. 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.

Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stevens said there is interest from a number of parties to buy the old bridge for $1 including the City of Olivia.

• Setting a letting date of 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, at the courthouse, motion by Simonsen, seconded by Borchert for County Highway 34 (St. Mary’s Street & 3rd Ave. N.E.) from Highway 4 to Windsor Road in Sleepy Eye and County Highway 35 (1st Avenue) from Walnut Street to St. Mary’s Street, all in Sleepy Eye.

Results will be considered June 15 by the county board. Projects are anticipated to be rehabilitated in July through October. Funding comes from county regular and municipal state aid, county and city local funds.

Roads were surfaced in 1995 and need pavement rehabilitation. Underground utilities are very old and need to be updated.

• New Ulm Furniture’s $5,199 quote to replace Brown County Recorder Dept. flooring, motion by Scott Windschitl, seconded by Borchert. Other bids are Miesen’s of Springfield $5,788.40 and Design Home of New Ulm $6,317.83.

• Commissioner Tony Berg said it was discussed at a recent meeting to pay dispatchers more for the night shift.

“We have to make it more attractive than our neighbors for at least a little bit of time. We have to do something to get people in the door,” said Berg.

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

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