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Brown County board approves landfill action

BROWN COUNTY — The Brown County commissioners unanimously approved cost estimates and timelines for excavating and construction of Cell 21 at the Brown County Landfill, Tuesday.

Mathiowetz Construction will install a two-foot clay baseliner, complete 60 mil. composite prep work and add a leachate collection system.

Leachate is water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constitutes. In the case of a landfill, leachate is water that passed through garbage and other waste. Leachates usually contain various toxic organic pollutants, heavy metals and other compounds. This project will allow leachate to flow from the Brown County landfill to the south where it can be collected and pumped to a leachate storage pond.

This project should help the county reduce the overall amount of leachate in holding ponds. The landfill rot off should quicken and create room for additional garbage at the landfill.

Anticipated costs are $626,495. This is under the initial estimate for the project. Work will begin Aug. 15 and be completed before freeze-up with suitable weather.

Commissioners also approved:

• The purchase of a new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police vehicle from Ranger Chevrolet for $38,957.76. This vehicle will replace an existing Sheriff’s Department squad vehicle that was damaged on call.

• The purchase of an F250 from Chuck Spaeth Ford for $28,831.34. The vehicle was purchase for the Highway Department. The low bid came from Chuck Spaeth Ford. In addition to the vehicle, a survey box for the truck was purchased for $9,437.80 from Highway Products. The Highway Department recommended the survey box from Highway Products because it was the lowest bid, but also because it would be easiest to remove from the truck if the vehicle use ever changed.

• A school health services agreement for the 2021-2022 school year with District 84. The agreement was negotiated Sleepy Eye Public school for Public Health Nursing services and was signed by the school board. The hourly rate is $45 per hour and did not change from the last agreement. The budgeted amount is 925 hours for the school year, $45,575.

Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s made other arrangements for school health and is not part of this agreement.

• The commissioners tabled two items. The first involved the purchase of a new vehicle for the Park’s Department. Lake Hanska County Park needs a new maintenance vehicle. The current 2005 F350 needs significant repairs. An evaluation of the vehicle estimated at least $3,244 in mechanical repairs with another $4,000 in body repairs.

Two options were presented to the board. The first was to purchase a 2022 GMC 3500 Chassis Cab plus an E-Tipper dump box and repairs to the current truck. This would cost roughly $52,381.80. The second was to purchase a 2022 Ford F350SD Regular Cab and repairs to the current truck for $38,190.68.

Both options would give Park’s Department two vehicles to carry out significant maintenance at the park. Commissioners were hesitant to authorize purchasing a new vehicle and repairing the old one.

Commissioner Scott Windschitl said all that was needed was to repair the original vehicle. A second park vehicle was unnecessary

Commissioner David Borchert was uncertain about paying to repair the old F350 because it could be the start of other mechanical problems. He suggested trading in the F350.

A rough estimate of the vehicle’s current trade-in value is $3,000. Windschitl recommended the commission determine the actual trade-in value of the F350 before making a decision.

The commissioners held off on approving the joint powers agreement with the South Central Service Cooperative for employee benefits until the board could clarify if the county could seek other bids before the contract expired.

The commissioners agreed the benefits of joining the cooperative were strong, but Windschitl was uncertain if the county could seek other options under the agreement. The wording in the contract suggested the county could not go out for bids for different benefits agreements within five months of the agreement expiration. Windschitl felt that was information the county needed to know before entering the agreement.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to table the approval until they received clarification on this issue.

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