Lincoln County gets ready for the warm season

IVANHOE -?The Lincoln County Board authorized a number of expenditures at its regular meeting on Tuesday, in preparation for the construction and recreation season:

The board voted to accept a bid by Tyler Electric Company of $20,300 to install five emergency sirens at designated locations around the county. The only other bid was by Ready Watt Electric for $39,000.

On the recommendation of Environmental Administrator Robert Olsen the board voted to contribute $1,000 to a joint project of the Minnesota River Board (MRB) and Ridgewater College in Willmar to develop a course to train ditch viewers. There is currently a shortage of trained viewers who are needed to view properties along rural drainage ditches and re-determine the contribution of adjacent property owners for the cleaning and maintenance of the ditches.

The MRB is asking counties for seed money to create the training course, with the benefit to the counties that they will have first chance to hire graduates of the course.

The board also voted to approve $5,000 for Olsen’s request to hire a part-time employee to conduct surveys of county residents using the county dumping and recycling facilities and to educate the public on what cannot be dumped at the facilities.

The board authorized County Engineer Lee Amundson to purchase a John Deere disc mower for $8,000 plus sales tax.

After opening two bids, the board accepted the low bid by Flint Hills Resources to purchase 465 tons of bit material for seal coat and four tons of additional road surfacing material for $265,000. The next bid was submitted by Jebro Inc., which bid $290,000.

Olsen had some welcome news for the board when he told it a sampling of Lake Benton after the surface thaw found no curly leaf pondweed. The invasive species has choked the lake in past years, requiring chemical treatment.

Olsen told the board he would have to examine the lake again but thought the county could forego treatment this year. Lake treatment cost the county about $50,000 last year.

The board voted to formally hire Dan Kuss as part-time Veterans Services Officer. Kuss started work May 1 and will be working about 18 hours per week in the position.

Kuss is a Vietnam-era veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force and retired at the rank of sergeant. Previously, he was news editor of the Lake Benton Valley Journal-News and will continue to work for the newspaper on a part-time basis.