County looks at roads and windows

by Paul Rignell

Contributing writer

Road construction season might not appear to be here, but many jurisdictions, including Sherburne County, are preparing by approving contractors for their summer jobs.

The county board voted April 9 to award the year’s scheduled overlay projects to Knife River Corporation, which submitted the lowest of four bids at $5.18 million. A second bid came within $70,000 at $5.25 million, while the others were closer to $5.9 million and $6.9 million.

Roads that will be affected by this work in 2013, to begin after July 4 and continue through August, include county roads 30 and 121 (both in Elk River) along with county state aid highways 4, 5, 9, 15 and 16. The city of Becker plus Clear Lake and Becker townships are obligated to contribute about $114,000 toward the overlay work, according to County Engineer Rhonda Lewis. The county’s share will come from budgeted levy dollars.

Turn lane projects to coincide with the overlay work were contracted out to Helmin Construction, of Foley, by county board vote March 12. The turn lanes will be built in May and June, Lewis said.

Overlay work for some county roads is planned as part of each annual budget. The combined overlay and turn lane contracts came in about $220,000 below this year’s budget. “We do different segments of different roads each year,” Lewis added.

Window work

The Sherburne County Government Center atrium is a bright, attractive center between the board room, Sheriff’s Office wing, the Health and Human Services department and other branches and hallways on the main floor. The windows that circle the atrium’s peak are known to let in some sunshine, but also some dampness.

Building and Facilities Director Kevin Anderson told the board April 9 that it has been an issue throughout his time with the county for moisture to enter near the windows (or in the roof attic) and creep down the walls at times of certain conditions.

“The sheetrock tape is coming loose, and I think it’s time we figure out what’s going on in there,” Anderson said.

Commissioners authorized spending up to $8,600 from budgeted land and building funds for Inspec, of Minneapolis, to assess the cause of the problem and recommend solutions.