Lincoln County honors engineer Amundson

IVANHOE?- The Lincoln County Board honored retiring County Engineer Lee Amundson with a farewell lunch on Tuesday. Highway Department Office Manager Robin Sterzinger read a letter from the Minnesota County Engineers Association proclaiming May 21 as “Lee Amundson Day.”

Amundson has worked for Lincoln County for eight years and previously worked as county engineer in Mahnomen, Traverse, Stevens, Steele and Lincoln counties for a total of 34 years.

On Amundson’s recommendation, the board appointed engineer’s assistant Dustin Hauschild as acting engineer.

In other business the board approved a request for $13,550 from Curt Madsen representing the Lincoln County Fair Board for extensive modification of the electrical facilities at the fairgrounds.

According to Madsen, the single transformer at the fairgrounds failed last year during the fair. The fair board proposes to split the fairground into two sections, each served by a single transformer.

The motion passed with Don Evers, who is also a member of the fair board, abstaining.

The board heard an appeal from Bob Schiller representing Ready Watt Electric of a decision by the board to award a contract to install warning sirens to a local firm, Tyler Electric.

Schiller argued that although Ready Watt’s bid was much higher, its bid was submitted by the due date April 12. Schiller also argued Tyler Electric had less experience installing sirens and its bid was unrealistically low, citing issues of the depth of the support poles and working with ground water.

County Emergency Manager Jeanna Sommers said because the contract was for less than $100,000, the county was not legally obliged to use the sealed bid process, which was confirmed by County Attorney Glen Peterson.

Sommers said Tyler Electric submitted its bid after examining the sites the sirens will be installed on.

The board upheld the decision to award the contract to Tyler Electric.

On Sommers’ recommendation, the board approved a $57,000 five-year service agreement with Frontier Line for the backup radio line in the ARMER emergency radio system.

On the recommendation of Environmental Director Robert Olsen, the board unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Park Farms for expansion and construction of a dairy feedlot.

Vince Robinson, director of the county Economic Development Association, presented the board with the results of studies by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on the economic impact of the dairy industry, and said the Park Farms expansion could have an economic impact of as much as $27 million per year in the county.

The board voted on Olsen’s recommendation to go ahead with the purchase of a lot in Verdi Township to locate recycling sheds for $1,100, even though the present owner has a judgement against him for about that amount. Olsen said the time to enforce the judgement would expire in five years, and the county would recoup its investment in the lot in two years.

Olsen also told the county a second sampling of Lake Benton produced only minimal evidence of the invasive species curly leaf pondweed, which in the past has been a nuisance on the lake requiring expensive treatment.