County to seek state funds for ditch repairRoundabout proposals to be re-evaluated
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Nobles County Board of Commissioners hosted a public hearing on needed repairs to Judicial Ditch No. 8, north of Worthington along U.S. 59, during their meeting on Tuesday.
Stephen Schnieder, director of Nobles County Public Works, said the side bank along about a 150-foot stretch of the highway has slid down, and nearly two feet of sediment has settled into the bottom of the ditch. His recommendation is to remove the silt, install fabric, rock and a second layer of fabric to prevent erosion. He estimated the work to cost $10,000.
Several residents along the ditch attended the public hearing to ask questions about the cost of the project, where the sediment would be hauled to, and if the Minnesota Department of Transportation was at all responsible for some of the expense.
Schnieder said he had contacted MnDOT about the issue and was told the state was not financially responsible for the matter.
“My take is it compromises the highway more than the ditch system,” said landowner Jerry Perkins.
Nobles County Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Balster said there is $17,000 in the Judicial Ditch No. 8 account — enough to pay for the project’s completion if that was the wish of the board.
Schnieder said the county’s options were to pay for the work to be completed, do nothing or clean out the sediment in the bottom of the ditch and inform MnDOT that the slope is sliding.
Commissioners directed Schnieder to contact MnDOT once again regarding the issue.
In other action, the board:
- Authorized Schnieder to request quotes for replacement of a timber box culvert southwest of Adrian on 260th Street that was damaged by fire.
The insurance company is willing to cover 50 percent of the cost to replace the structure due to its age. The estimated replacement cost is $20,000.
- Learned a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Minnesota 60, will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 21 at the state line, followed by a program at the Bigelow Community Center.
- Approved a resolution to access advance funds from the Township Bridge Account to complete the replacement of a bridge in Bloom Township.
- Awarded bids for 2008-2009 snow removal to Mike’s Mini Excavating for Prairie Justice Center and to Nienkerk Construction for the county-owned lots and Nobles County Government Center.
- Received a request from Gary Prins to re-evaluate plans by MnDOT for two proposed roundabouts on Minnesota 60 at Oxford Street and Interstate 90. Prins is concerned mainly about plans at the intersection of the highway and Armour Road, as well as the access to businesses across the highway including the truck wash and gas station.
As the plans are drawn now, people exiting Armour Road would be required to make a right-hand turn and travel to the roundabout at I-90 in order to travel south on Minnesota 60. At the same time, truck wash and gas station customers would be required to travel south to the roundabout at Oxford Street in order to head north out of Worthington.
Prins said the proposal would be a detriment to business, and would discourage people from utilizing the services along Minnesota 60 south of the interstate.
Commissioners directed County Administrator Mel Ruppert to arrange a joint meeting with the Worthington City Council to talk about the MnDOT proposal.