County holds public hearings on capital improvement plan

Jake Keohen, Montgomery Messenger

The Le Sueur County Board of Commissioners held two public hearings during its regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 2 - one on the capital improvement plan and bond sale, another concerning possible policy for culvert/bridge replacement on county ditches.

The Le Sueur County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a multi-year guide to the construction and/or improvement of county roads and facilities and the acquisition of capital equipment. Through the process of preparing and updating a CIP, the county meets the needs for orderly maintenance of the physical assets of the county. The CIP is intended to serve as a planning tool.

Bruce Kimmel of Springsted Inc. presented recommendations for the issuance of $2.555 million general obligation capital improvement plan bonds, with proceeds to be used for 2008 highway work as part of the CIP. The bonds will finance improvements to CSAH's 2,13 and 26.

Kimmel said bids will be accepted until 1 p.m. November 5, with award by the county board November 6.

The board approved a resolution adopting the CIP 2007-2011 and authorizing the sale of bonds.

Ditches

The public hearing for discussion on culvert/bridge replacement was moved to the American Legion Club across the street from the courthouse because of an anticipated large attendance. There are more than 80 ditches in Le Sueur County affecting hundreds of landowners, but just over 20 people attended the hearing.

County Auditor Ron Germscheid said the hearing was being held to hear comments and opinions on public vs. private culvert/bridge replacement, public referring to landowners with property on a ditch system. He said the present policy in such matters is inconsistent and often leads to problems among property owners.

Attorney John Kolb of the law firm Rinke-Noonan of St. Cloud, retained by the county because of expertise in water issues, explained the current situation and statutes affecting the ditch systems.

The county board is the ditch authority and can establish a policy to avoid conflict in the future

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