Commissioners to act on lighting at intersection of 68 and 29

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners will consider a resolution Tuesday to agree for maintenance and electricity costs for an intersection on TH 68 between Morgan and CSAH 29.

The Minnesota Highway Department (MnDOT) is planning a project on TH 68 between Morgan and CSAH 29 in 2014, with June bid letting. A street light would be installed in one intersection corner if the county agrees to maintain the light and pay for electricity, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA). There would be no associated county construction costs.

Two lights would normally be built in the intersection, but due to overhead power lines in three of the four intersection corners, MnDOT plans to add just one street light. Plans calls for a tall, arching light structure, but a straight pole could be used if the county prefers, according to the RBA.

Electricity is needed because no solar-powered light has sufficient power to last an entire night at recommended levels at this time. The intersection was identified for street lighting in the County Road Safety Plan.

Lighting improves safety because it identifies that intersection from a distance and aids turning traffic. Brown County has had a light at several railroad crossings for many years. The only maintenance would be changing a light bulb when it burns out. Electrical costs are about $500 per year per light, according to the RBA.

Commissioners will also consider resolutions:

To support legislation for local government publication alternatives such as using websites to meet state-mandated publishing requirements. The Brown County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office averages $15,000 a year in publication costs. Brown County expended more than $38,000 in newspaper publications last year, according to the RBA.

Authorizing ordering a new tandem snowplow truck from the state bid (205,000). The trade-in is a 2000 Sterling L8500 single-axle truck. The Highway Dept. recommends an International cab & chassis for $96,527.34 including sales tax.

Freightliner’s bid was $98,125.99. Box, hoist, pump, underbody, plow, wing, pre-wet system bids were $102,995 from Towmaster and $106,476.90 from Chrysteel. The Highway Department recommended Towmaster’s bid.

Setting 2014 spring road restriction postings that usually begin in late February or March. Work done in 2013 improved the strength of road structure on CSAH 16 (old TH 258) from Comfrey to TH 14 sufficiently to upgrade spring road restriction to 10 ton. No other changes are recommended.

Hiring Madsen Surveying for 2014 Albin, Stark, Home and North Home remonumentation projects for a cost of $80,705. Starting date is March 1, 2014, completion date is Feb. 28, 2015. Madsen Surveying would survey field corners before fields are planted or wait until harvest is complete, according to the RBA.

Brown County budgeted $17,000 for the project in 2014. The remaining $63,705 would be paid from the Recorder’s Fund.

A 2014 Ford Ridge DNR bundled wood contract. There are no cost increases. Project revenue offsets STS (Sentence to Service) contract costs. The contract requires no less than 1,600 firewood bundles. Revenue paid to Brown County cannot exceed $4,000, according to the RBA.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the courthouse commissioner’s room.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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