YMC OKs ditch project, courthouse construction contract

GRANITE FALLS – A public hearing on the establishment of Lateral M to Yellow Medicine County Ditch 1B was held during the Yellow Medicine County Board’s regular meeting Tuesday.

Roughly a dozen land owners were in attendance to hear final project details from engineer Duane Hansel and three viewers that estimated benefits. The project is estimated to cost $355,915.80 and benefit 396 acres. The current timeline estimates that construction could begin in late August or early September, but it would be best to wait until the crop is harvested. The board approved the project, starting a 30-day appeal process and allowing for preparations to accept project bids.

In other business, the finalized construction management contract with Contegrity Group was approved by the board. The $320,000 management fee is based on a $5 million project total, six-month pre-construction phase and a 15-month construction phase.

The board approved a proposal brought forward by County Finance Manager Michelle May to expand and change the county’s credit card payment system. The current system only accepts credit cards for tax payments online. The new system from Forte would allow credit card payments as an option for other county fees and allow people to pay over the phone and in person. Cardholders will pay the 2.35 percent convenience fee, which is lower than the current 2.75 percent fee charged by Official Payments. The new system will allow Human Services, the sheriff’s office, Property and Public Services and the Parks Department to accept credit card payments. May said that the new system would “offer additional opportunities for people to pay fees.”

The board approved two bids, one from R&G Construction for $161,980.51 for construction work on Yellow Medicine County Road D9, and another from Cretex Concrete Products for $57,674.10 for culverts. Then the Yellow Medicine County Highway Department updated the board on its summer road construction projects.

The reconstruction of three miles of Yellow Medicine County Highway 36 is nearly completed, with the final ditch finishing and turf work to be completed as soon as possible. The Highway Department then moves west to reconstruct four more miles of Yellow Medicine County Highway 36 early this summer. The construction is expected to last eight to 10 weeks, and the county plans to reconstruct the remaining portion of Yellow Medicine County Highway 36 in 2015.

Two miles of Yellow Medicine County Road D9 will also be reconstructed later this summer. The three- to four-week project involves grading and metal entrance culverts that will be completed by a contractor and county forces will install concrete centerline culverts, do gravel surfacing and seeding.

A federally-funded safety enhancement project for wet-reflective epoxy edge stripes will take place on Yellow Medicine County Highway 3 for three to five dates later this summer. Yellow Medicine County Highway 7 will receive work later this summer, as well as parts of 15th Street, 17th Street and 9th Avenue within the city of Granite Falls.

Five bridges will be replaced this summer. The bridges to be replaced include L7900 in Swede Prairie Township, L9008 in Hammer Township, L9079 in Lisbon Township and L7912 in Burton Township. A bridge will also be constructed to replace L9001 in Sandnes Township, at the outlet of Lone Tree Lake, as a joint project with the Minnesota DNR. Construction will include a precast box culvert, fish barrier and a variable crest weir outlet control structure.

Because the first August board meeting falls on an election day, the board voted in favor of moving the meeting to Wednesday Aug.13.