Repairs for County Road 3 approved by commissioners

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners unanimously approved a request Tuesday for more extensive and expensive repairs on a paved county road rated in poor condition in the southwest corner of the county.

Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stevens said the county’s initial plans to do cold in-place recycling on four miles of bituminous (paved) surface of County Road 3 in Stately Township were not adequate after soft spots were found in the road.

Repairs on the road from the south county line north, need to be revised to include grinding and recycling sub-grade, and adding two inches of overlay for added strength, Stevens said.

“(Without the added repair), the road will fail,” Stevens said. He estimated the added work would cost about $450,000. Gravel for added repair will have to come from outside the county, adding to the cost.”

Stevens said the county highway budget has contingency funds plus surplus money from the CSAH 16 (former TH 258) turnover project that could be used to help cover the added cost.

Brown County Attorney Robert Hinnenthal said county commissioners are legally allowed to consider a resolution on the highway project without seeking bids if the added work is “an emergency situation.”

Commissioners voiced interest in seeing all county roads on their annual road/park tour on Thursday, Aug. 29.

Commissioners approved:

Seeking new health insurance quotes for the 2014 plan year. Health Partners’ initial renewal quote indicated an increase of about 19 percent. A reconsideration request by the health insurance committee resulted in a revised quote of a 14 percent increase, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA).

After lots of discussion and considering county co-worker feedback, the committee decided Health Partners’ proposal was unacceptable and recommended Brown County commissioners make a final request for an improved quote, according to the RBA.

A $10,454 annual maintenance agreement with Election Systems & Software, LLC, which is for election software.

A 15-county salary survey committee recommendation to revise the list to five adjacent counties, and by population based on the most recent census, five counties with populations above and below Brown County’s population. If adopted, the 15 counties designated would be used at least until the next census.

Receipt of a letter dated June 25, 2013 from Sleepy Eye Let’s Go Fishing Chapter President Lorraine Schroepfer, seeking support for the chapter’s budget that rose to $8,500.

“We will have great difficulty reaching our goal without support from Brown County. … Please help us continue to bring our every enthusiastic guests to Brown County,” Schroepfer wrote.

She added that the chapter relies on donations to cover expenses including a $5,000 association fee that covers liability and inland marine insurance, attorney counsel, CPA, state and federal tax work, public relations and program development.

Schroepfer wrote that the chapter had 13 cruising and fishing reservations during the last week of June. She added that last year, the chapter had more than 100 reservations for 904 passengers served by all-volunteer captains, captains mates, maintenance men, boat keepers and board members.

Commissioner Richard Seeboth said he’d like to see the Let’s Go Fishing funding request as a board action item.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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