Private crossing agreement approved

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday with Roger and Marsha Marti for a private bridge across County Ditch 4 in Section 21, Home Township.

The Ditch Authority laid over the matter for future consideration on March 19, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA). A private ditch was built by the Martis with Ditch Authority permission in 1988. It is now an occasional drainage water flow obstruction because of its 36-inch pipe.

According to a bridge agreement, the Martis will replace the existing 36-inch culvert with 60-inch concrete pipe or culvert at their own expense. The County Engineer/Ditch Inspector determined that the size of the proposed pipe/culvert will increase the hydraulic capacity sufficiently to abate the current obstruction caused by the existing bridge/driveway crossing, according to the RBA.

Language added to the agreement read “conclusions reached by and all involvement of the County Engineer/Ditch Inspector is for the exclusive benefit of the Ditch Authority and is not a guarantee or assurance that the new bridge/driveway crossing will always remain suitable and appropriate so as to never become an instruction or other impediment to the ditch system. Owners have waived their right to seek, at their expense, the involvement of their own engineer to assure them concerning the appropriateness and sufficiency of the replacement and/or upgrade of the present crossing.”

Commissioners approved:

Erosion control projects over the Cottonwood River on the Iberia Landing with cost-share from the RCRCA (Redwood-Cottonwood River Control Area) and just upstream of the 260th Ave. bridge in Section 16, Stark Township.

A 25 percent RCRCA Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) appropriation increase over the next biennium. The current RCRCA JPA expires June 30, 2013, The requested annual appropriation from Brown County would increase from $8,040 in 2013 to $10,050 in 2014.

“We get six dollars for every dollar we put into this. We’d be fools not to do it,” said Commissioner Scott Windschitl.

The concept of sharing a new feedlot technician position, .6 FTE Brown County, .4 FTE Watonwan County; direct staff to prepare an agreement for both county boards o consider.

Commissioner Andy Lochner said he wanted to see funding details before final approval. County Administrator Chuck Enter said the position was part of the current county budget.

“It’s certainly worth a try,” said Commissioner Jim Berg.

Purchasing a $34,149.30 Atiz book scanning system and six flat panel monitors for $1,259.22. Scanning provides backup security in case of disaster, saves wear and tear of historical records, safety of people handling cumbersome books and adds public availability via the Internet, according to the RBA. Additional monitors makes current work stations compatible for electronic document recording.

Reviewed the 2012 Brown County Annual License Bureau Report. Transactions totaled 39,616 including 8,795 motor vehicle titles, 21,362 tab renewals, 6,766 driver’s licenses, 1,951 boat/snowmobile renewals and 742 game and fish privileges. The office continues to collect property tax payments. It issues liquor, tobacco, auctioneer, precious metals and transient merchant licenses.

In another matter, Sheriff Rich Hoffmann informed commissioners that his jail staff had saved two lives during the past week by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

“It was intense, but our training kicked in. That’s what we train for,” Jailor Mike Mathiowetz said.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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