Public Works director Roger Risser was first on the agenda at the regularly scheduled second monthly meeting of the Watonwan Board of Commissioners.


    Public Works director Roger Risser was first on the agenda at the regularly scheduled second monthly meeting of the Watonwan Board of Commissioners. The Public Works directors had the Bridges of Watonwan County on his mind as he presented bids from 7 different contractors on the replacement of  Town Bridge L8765 on 737th Avenue over the south fork of the Watonwan River in?Southbranch Township. Risser was pleased to present a low bid to board members that was 4.27 percent under the engineer’s estimate of $361,325.00. The low bid was awarded to River Construction, LLC in the amount of $345,888.00.
    Risser also sought approval for authorization of bids for Federal and State Aid Bituminous Reconditioning projects of CSAH 3 Shoulder Paving and Madelia Overlays and State Aid Bridge Deck Resurfacing Projects at 3 locations.?Risser presented pictures of the need for resurfacing on the LaSalle Curve on?CSAH 27,?Elm Creek on CSAH 3 and over S. Fork Watonwan on CSAH 13.  These Bridges are in serious need of attention and Risser even presented a picture showing some damage to the underneath structure on Bridge 83506 at LaSalle Curve on CSAH 27. Risser assured commissioners the bridge doesn’t present any danger but the water damage caused by a need of resurfacing does need to be addressed. The Commissioners granted Risser approval to seek bids. Risser estimated the cost of the bridge resurfacing to be approximately $50,000.00. “The resurfacing will be done this year and under controlled traffic conditions,” Risser said.
    A position for a heavy equipment operator has opened at the Highway Department due to impending retirement of Elmer Knaack on June 30, 2010. The Board asked for time to review the county’s financial condition before moving ahead with the advertising for the position. Risser indicated that no one within the department had shown an interest in the position.
    State Homeland Security and Emergency Management(HSEM) Director Kris Eide and SouthWest Emergency Management Director Amy Carr, along with Watonwan County EM Director Julie Peterson, appeared before Board members to explain the importance of Emergency Management in the state and county including the duties of a county EM and who they are accountable to. Peterson’s position was recently increased from 20 to 28 per week as EM and 8 hours per week in the Watonwan County Human?Services. Peterson’s salary is in part funded by an $18,198.00 grant recently received from HSEM. Peterson also announced a $3,000.00 grant from HSEM to help with expenses for a Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness to be given in the county at the end of June 2010.   More in the May 20 Plaindealer.