On Tuesday night, the Watonwan County Board approved a quote of $17,553.49 from Alpha Wireless for a public safety signal booster.

The purchase was made with county dollars. Treasurer Kelly Pauling described there's a booster at the top of a tower that allows calls within St. James to go through. The booster had been down for a couple of weeks, and it was classified as an emergency.

"It's a special booster that can be programmed," said Pauling, "because otherwise, it boosts everything, including baby monitors, which is a problem. So, they had to get a specialized product."

The product was difficult to find after the original company from Texas didn't respond.

The board approved a resolution from Public Works Director Teal Spellman to transfer $130,203 from the municipal construction account to the regular construction account. Madelia pushed a project to 2020, where the city would add a walking or biking path. The public refused the project. The partial trail in the city will remain a dead end.

The department placed the culvert box for CSAH 19 last week, and a concrete distribution slab was poured on Tuesday. The concrete is about seven inches thick. The bridge needs to remain closed for up to seven days so the concrete can cure and set up. It will reopen to traffic within seven days. The crew will be covering the concrete with gravel for the winter and will do the blacktop in the spring.

The other bridge in Riverdale township on 300 St. has not been going as designed.

"I've been making a lot of phone calls," said Spellman, "but it's getting in there. All the abutment piling is done."

Commissioner Bill Miller asked if the trees were cleared as they had previously discussed. Spellman confirmed they were removed back to the right of way.

Commissioner Jim Branstad mentioned the potholes starting to appear on Main Street St. James. Spellman explained there is a maintenance agreement with St. James, and she'll check on the rules.

"Regardless, they'll get filled," confirmed Spellman.

Commissioner Bob Rinne brought forth the Rural Minnesota Energy Board is having a big discussion on solar moving into various counties. A few of the counties don't have their ordinances in place. Watonwan was encouraged to prepare. Actions are not expected to happen for another year. 

Other Approved Items:
–Aquatic Invasive Species (ASI) Oversight Delegation to Land Management–designates the county's AIS prevention efforts to the Watonwan County land management department
–Planning and Zoning Appointments–Liana Frisch for District 2 and Lucas Sandbo District 3
–Training Requests–Karla Doll, 2020 MACO Conference; Jared Bergman, MOCIC Investigators Conference
–Signature to approve Feed Lot Grant Award
–Change position within Extension Committee to full time, same costs to the county, only assigning all duties to one person.
–New desk within the jail department at around $1,034

Commissioner Kathleen Svalland also made her big return from her on-going recovery from a car accident that happened in April.

"Welcome back," said Branstad. "Glad to have you back. Hopefully, you'll be able to make the rest of [the meetings] now. Thank you very much for your commitment over this long, long, long difficult journey."

The next county board meeting is on December 17 at 9 a.m.