Large load request shot down
WORTHINGTON -- A request from a truck driver wanting to haul 90,000-pound loads of soybeans to the Minnesota Soybean Processors facility near Brewster was denied by Nobles County Commissioners during their board meeting on Tuesday.
Nobles County Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder brought forth the request, saying that recent legislation makes it possible for people to haul loads over the legal limit of 80,000 pounds if they get permission from the road authority and pay the permit fee.
The request was to use County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 35 to transport the soybean loads.
"At this point, we don't have a process to set up a permit like that," said Schnieder. He cited concerns about the process, specifically that the permit fee must be turned over to the state, leaving the county to cover the costs of any road damage created over time by the heavier loads.
"I don't think it's fair we get the loads, do the work and the state gets the money," Schnieder said. The permit fee is $300, but if a road needs to be fixed, it costs approximately $180,000 per mile to do so, he added.
"I'm against increasing this," said Commissioner Diane Thier of the heavier load request. "We have enough trouble with our roads now."
Commissioner Gene Foth was concerned that denying the permit would send the wrong message to the county's ag industry.
"We're in an agricultural community," he said. "We're seeing larger and larger loads all the time. We want to help the producers -- we want to help MnSP if we can."
Thier said her family's farming operation hauls a lot of loads, but she's still against permitting the overweight loads because of the damage it does to roads.
"What I'd like to see is our states working together so you don't have four different weight limits coming in from Montana," she added.
The motion to deny the permit was approved on a 4-1 vote, with Foth in opposition.
In other action, the board:
- Accepted a 2010 Emergency Management Performance grant of $21,316.
- Approved the second half appropriation of $11,687.50 to the Nobles County Fair Association.
- Approved the advertisement for bids on several overlay projects and bridge replacements on county roads and county state aid highways. Bid opening was set for 1:30 p.m. July 15.
- Approved disaster abatements and credits for two properties damaged by fires last fall. The property owners applied to the assessor for credit for the months the property was uninhabitable. Credits of $46 for Daniel Braun and $134 for David Reeves were granted.
- Approved a memorandum of understanding with the University of Minnesota to continue providing Extension programs in the county. The memorandum is effective from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2013, and will cost the county $64,900 per year. A clause in the contract allows for a 90-day notice if either the county or the university wants to be released.
- Approved a conditional use permit for Ken Wolf of Adrian to construct a 41-foot by 132-foot total confinement barn and compost structure in the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 35, Westside Township.
- Set 9 a.m. July 16 as the date for a public hearing to discuss cleaning out County Ditch 2, near the city of Bigelow. The public hearing will be in the Nobles County Board of Commissioners Room on the third floor of the Nobles County Government Center.
- Approved the Rock River Watershed's septic replacement loan program. This program will provide low interest loans to property owners within the watershed who need to update their septic systems.
- Appointed commissioners Vern Leistico and Diane Thier to serve on the County Canvassing Board following the primary and general elections in 2010, and approved resolutions authorizing the absentee ballot, UOCAVA and mail ballot boards for the 2010 elections.
- Approved an application for the closure of CSAH 1 and CSAH 14 on July 17 for the Brewster Fun Days parade.
- Received an update from Robin Weis and Joanne Bartosh on the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in Nobles County. In 2009, Nobles County had 342 active volunteers who logged nearly 44,900 hours of service. In addition, 26 caregivers provided more than 1,000 hours of respite care.
- Appointed Maggie Kraemer and Anita Hallum to serve three-year terms on the Nobles County Library Board.