Tree Removal Bids Accepted
Removing some trees from three drainage districts will be getting underway soon, following action by the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 17. The Supervisors also granted a conditional use permit for a livestock confinement in Ellington Township during their weekly meeting.
Drainage Engineer Rick Hopper of the Jacobson Westergard Engineering firm of Estherville presided over the opening of bids for removal of trees in Drainage District Five, DD 159 and DD 160. The three districts are all connected and located in Emmetsburg and Walnut Townships, northwest of Emmetsburg. A petition for drainage relief had been filed with the Supervisors in 2012, prompting a study of the three ditches. In his initial report a year ago, Hopper indicated that due to a tremendous number of trees in DD 5, his surveyors were unable to determine the extend of any ditch restoration. In order to make repairs to DD5, trees growing in the ditch would have to be removed. Hopper proceeded with developing specifications for tree removal on DD5, as well as DD159 and DD160, two ditches that connect to DD5 at the northwestern end of the district.
Tuesday morning, with several contractors present in the boardroom, Hopper opened the bids for the three ditches. A total of 11 contractors submitted bids for the removal of trees on DD5, the largest of the three projects. Bids ranged from a high of $146,952 from L.A. Carlson Excavating of Merrill to the apparent low bid of $62,446.76, submitted by Michael Son, Inc., of Armstrong. That bid was accepted and approved by the Supervisors.
For DD 159, nine bids ranged from $7,895, submitted by L.A. Carlson, to and apparent low bid of $2,094.80, submitted by Michael Son, Inc., of Armstrong. However, upon a check of figures, it was determined a math error on the part of the Micheal Son bid made their bid $2,228.20. Therefore, the low bid of $2,150, submitted by Marlan’s Excavating of Dickens, was accepted and approved by the Board.
The DD160 project also received nine bids, ranging from $17,150, submitted by L.A. Carlson, to the apparent low bidder, Marlan’s Excavating of Dickens, at $6,805. That bid was also accepted and approved by the Board.
According to Hopper, it is hoped work can begin when the harvest is completed this Fall.
In other action on Tuesday, the board considered a conditional use permit from Scott Frey for the construction of two 50’400′ hog finishing barns in the southeast quarter of Section Six of Ellington Township. The barns would have above-ground manure storage.
“The Planning and Zoning Board met on Monday to consider this permit,” County Zoning Administrator Joe Neary explained. “It meets the requirements for the Master Matrix and the Good Neighbor Policy, but there was a concern raised by Tom and Jody Leuer that then felt the distance was not a full half-mile. So, Planning and Zoning voted to recommend this permit with two conditions.”
According to Neary, the conditions set forth by the Planning and Zoning Board included a request to have a surveyor verify the distance from the barns to the Leuer residence, with the costs to be borne by the site developer, Pinnacle Farms. Kent Krause, who was present at the meeting representing Pinnacle, also committed to plant fast growing trees 400′ along the north side of the property to assist with odor control.
The recommendation, with the two conditions, was approved unanimously by the Supervisors.
The board also granted approval for an overhead electrical construction permit for Mid American Energy crossing 470 Street southeast of Emmetsburg, with a stipulation that the wires be at least 22 feet above the roadway surface. That stipulation was added to the agreement in light of the upcoming paving of 470 Street next summer as the South Bypass project.