Friday, February 23rd, 2024 Church Directory

County establishing absentee ballot board

Sherburne County is being proactive when it comes to making sure this year’s elections are free and fair. Tuesday, the county board passed a resolution establishing an absentee ballot board and an UOCAVA (Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Voting Act) absentee ballot board for elections in 2024 as required by state statute.

The ballot board is tasked with bringing uniformity in processing, accepting or rejecting returned absentee ballots in Sherburne County.

The absentee ballot board will consist of a sufficient number of election judges or deputy county auditors trained in the processing and counting of absentee ballots. That number is also set by state statute

“We want to make sure we are all properly staffed, and with this resolution, this will enable us to  get started with that process,” said Sherburne County Auditor/Treasurer Diane Arnold.

She said the process of selecting members would start later that day.

Road Project

In one of the most competitive road construction bids in recent years, the board awarded the contract to reconstruct Co. Rd. 28 from Co. Rd. 19 to the East County Line in Baldwin Twp. to Knife River Corporation-North Central at $1,135,464.51.

Twelve different firms submitted bids on the project, with Knife River getting the nod. Other bidders on the project were: Kraemer Trucking & Excavating Inc. - $1,135,746.44; OMG Midwest Inc d.b.a. Minnesota Paving & Materials - $1,164,149.11; Helmin Construction Inc. - $1,194,996.69; Duininck Inc. - $1,211,467.22; Veit & Company Inc. - $1,319,965.18; New Look Contracting Inc. - $1,336,610; Douglas-Kerr Underground, LLC - $1,370,266.30; Forest Lake Contracting - $1,424,687.48; Meyer Contracting Inc. - $1,457,835.69; Park Construction Company - $1,523,907.17; PWS Inc. - $1,552,292.10.

The engineer’s estimate was $1,255,631.15. Construction dates will be contracted from Feb. 26 through Aug. 11, 2024.

Attorney Agreement

The board approved a Court Appointed Attorney Service Agreement that provides mandated legal representation and professional services for ongoing and newly filed Sherburne County Court cases. The service is an unfunded mandate from the State and State Courts. The county budgeted $172,000 in 2023 for these services, up by about $50,000 in the past two years. The agreement covers the period from Jan. 1, 2024 to June 30, 2024.

Park Improvements

The board approved the final contract payments of $14,641.05 and $30,039.25 to Safetyfirst Specialty Contracting for Grams Park Improvement phases A & B. The total contract amounts were $292,821 for Phase A and $527,160 for Phase B.

SWCD Agreement

The board approved a professional services agreement with the Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) for natural resource services within county highway right of way and in county parks.

Services include wetland delineations, control of invasive terrestrial plant species with non-chemical strategies, native plant inventories and installation of native plant materials.

The three-year agreement obligates the county to reimburse the SWCD for services provided in an amount not to exceed $10,000 per year for park work and $10,000 per year for wetland delineations along roads.

HHS Staff Change

The board approved a request by Health & Human Services to transition a fulltime case aid position to two part-time positions in the Income Maintenance Unit. The move will result in a savings of $10,808.

Other Business

In other actions the board:

• Approved a MN Lawful Gambling Application Premises Permit to the Becker Big Lake Ice Association to be utilized at Gateway Bar in Big Lake;

• Approved a MN Lawful Gambling Application Premises Permit to Conduct Excluded Bingo at Travelers Country Club on the Mississippi in Clear Lake;

• Approved fourth quarter 2023 donations received by the Health & Human Services Department from various organizations totalling $6,504.64;

• Accepted a donation from the Eddy Family Foundation to the sheriff’s office ($4,000), reserve unit ($4,000); mounted patrol ($2,000) and Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) ($1,000);

• Accepted a donation of two fire suppression tools from the MN Masons in Princeton. The tools cost the Masons $1,000 each. The donation is a combined effort from the local lodge in Princeton, the MN Grand Lodge and Masonic Charities;

• Approved the addition of one patrol deputy position to the sheriff’s office staffing complement to provide contracted law enforcement services to the City of Zimmerman. The City of Zimmerman pays for the position and future wage increases;

• Approved the Preliminary and Final Standard Plat for “Meadow Estates South,” consisting of 10 lots on 37.03 acres at 174th Street NW in Big Lake Twp.;

• Approved the Residential Preliminary and Final Simple Plat of “White Tail Run Second Addition,” consisting of three  lots on 8.99 acres  on 131st Street NW in Livonia Twp.