Board talks county construction projects

MARSHALL – County construction projects made up the bulk of discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the Lyon County Board. In particular, county commissioners received updates on development for a planned county park and a bike trail connecting the cities of Marshall and Lynd with Camden State Park. Both projects will also be the subject of public meetings this summer.

Roger Schroeder presented commissioners with a preliminary drawing for the planned Twin Lakes Park in Shelburne Township. The park will be located between East Twin Lake and West Twin Lake. Its possible design may include campsites, a shower and restroom building and a multipurpose building or shelter, as well as boat access to East Twin Lake.

Schroeder said there are still some additional factors that could affect the final design, including a realignment of existing roads in the area, and whether the county acquires additional land for the park. County commissioners and the Lyon County Parks and Recreation board will have a joint meeting to discuss the preliminary park design on June 20.

Interim county engineer Aaron VanMoer also said planning work was continuing on the Camden bike trail project. He said the project’s pre-planning consultant was working on preparations for land surveying and acquisition, as well as preliminary trail plans. The preliminary plans, including a possible trail route and cost estimates, will likely be ready this month, he said.

After the preliminary plans are ready, VanMoer said the county and consultant would have public meetings with the city of Lynd and for county residents. VanMoer said he also wanted to meet with individual property owners about land acquisition for the trail.

This summer, the city of Marshall plans to complete the first segment of the bike trail, an extension of the trails at Wayside Rest Park.

In an update on county highway projects, VanMoer said concrete work was ready to begin on Lyon County Road 10.

“It’s been progressing well, even with the rain,” VanMoer said of the project. He said the contractors resurfacing the road wanted to get started pouring concrete on Thursday, weather permitting. July 4 was the tentative goal to have the concrete work finished, he said.

VanMoer said maintenance work was getting under way on county roads. County crews were in the process of filling cracks, although the snowy and rainy spring meant the work was about a month behind schedule. Patching and sealcoating county roads and re-graveling and grading gravel roads, were also scheduled for this summer. VanMoer said the county would also be repairing or replacing several culverts.

Later in the meeting, county Human Resources Director Carolyn McDonald presented commissioners with proposed revisions to the county employee policy manual. McDonald said the revisions were drafted after a meeting of the county policy committee on May 23. While none of the county policies had been changed, McDonald said, she had worked to shorten and simplify the language.

The sections of the manual McDonald presented included a general introduction and disclaimers on the scope of the policy manual, code of conduct policies and classifications of types of county employees.

The proposed revisions prompted some discussion from commissioners. The policies defined full-time employees as regularly working either 37.5 hours or 40 hours per week. McDonald said the job descriptions of some county positions specified 40 hours a week, and some specified 37.5 hours. Commissioners wanted to know if there were other employment options available to the county besides full and part-time designations. McDonald said she would research options like flex-time employment and report back to the board.