Commissioners seeking damage assessment for flooded areas, review upcoming road project in Carrolton Township

By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

Fillmore County commissioners convened on Tuesday, June 12, reviewing documents drafted by the county’s emergency management director, Don Kullot, regarding the flooding that took place during the June 9 and 10 rainstorms which dumped over half a foot of rain on Fillmore County’s fields and caused erosion.

The county is seeking assistance to conduct a preliminary damage assessment for a state public assistance program to help determine exactly how much damage the heavy rainfall caused. Kullot noted county and township roads washed out, the just-planted fields were inundated with flash flooding and animals had to be moved to higher ground to ride out the storm.

Board Chairman Mitch Lentz signed the letter to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management that states the initial county assessment shows damages met or exceeded 50 percent of the county’s federal damage indicator.

Highway Engineer Ron Gregg presented bids for a Carrolton Township Local Road Improvement Project (LRIP) to the lowest bidder, that being Rochester Sand & Gravel with a bid of $538,564.50. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $563,546.75.

Gregg noted the Rochester Sand & Gravel bid was the only one the county received for the project and the bid amount was over the state bid of approximately $474,000.

The engineer suggested that Carrolton Township’s board be notified of the difference in the amount, as the township would be responsible for the extra funds.

Commissioners questioned whether the Carrolton Township Board knows that it is to pay for the difference for certain projects. With a township meeting upcoming, Gregg concluded along with the board, that while the township officers may be aware of some of the implications, it would be best to table the matter until the financial liability issues can be properly addressed at length.

Gregg also noted other bids for projects in that township will be opened on June 25.

Human Resources Officer Kristina Kohn came before the board with the first reading of proposed updates to the automated external defibrillator (AED) policy and also to policies regarding code of ethics, tobacco-free workplace, fleet vehicles, grievances, mileage and travel and severance pay policies.

Coordinator-Auditor-Treasurer Bobbie Vickerman checked in with the commissioners regarding the proposed timeline and budget for the coming fiscal year, as she has been preparing to start working on a preliminary budget so that it is ready at the end of September when due.

She informed the board she would be asking county department heads about what items they felt would be necessary in the coming year and what items would not be as important.

She also asked the commissioners what they thought should be included in the preliminary budget, and the board concluded she should compile a list of priorities from each department and bring it forward for perusal.