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FEMA Repair Hearings Conducted by Supervisors

By Staff | Apr 19, 2018

Two separate public hearings were held by the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors on Drainage District 84 and Drainage District 175; the last remaining drainage districts that that were part of the federal disaster in 2014, during their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 17.

“We are doing the two meetings today a little different,” Drainage Engineer Don Etler of Bolton & Menk of Spencer began. “We will be having the bid letting first, then the public hearing and once everything if verified, a contract could be awarded today.”

Seven contractors submitted bids for DD 84. They were:

King Excavation of Cylinder $92,791

Reutzel Excavating of Burt $107,836.50

Luft & Son, Inc. of Rolfe $102,796.50

LA Carlson Construction of Merrill $108,841

McCarty Custom, Inc. of Linn Grove $108,283.60

Cory Juergens Construction, LLC of Estherville $115,680

Valley Contracting Inc. of Estherville $104,385

“We estimated the total repair cost to be $1710,000,” Etler continued. “Average assessment using only the 8,353 acres that are in DD 84, the assessed amount per acre will be approximately $20. However, if we include all the acres eligible for common outlet 23,580 acres, this will bring the price per acre down to $7.

With some further discussion, unanimous approval was given for the repairs and to set an interest rate of five present on ten-year waivers. All contractor bids had been check for accuracy low bid went to King Excavation of Cylinder.

Etler began the meeting of Drainage District 175 with bid letting. Six bids were submitted:

Reutzel Excavating of Burt $427,055

King Excavation of Cylinder $412,796

Luft & Son, Inc. of Rolfe $402,533

McCarty Custom, Inc. of Linn Grove $390,587.50

LA Carlson Construction of Merrill $414,463

Cory Juergens Construction, LLC of Estherville $461,785

Things began to heat up when landowner Kirby Sampson, posed the question, “Who was responsible for letting things slide in the beginning of this process? Someone in this room is costing us money, a lot of money, about $350,000.”

“We hired the engineer,” Supervisor Craig Merrill. “So if you want to blame someone blame the five of us.”

“One reason given was that we weren’t taking care of our drainage ditches, Supervisor Linus Solberg added.

“We have to be a hell of a lot smart with paperwork,” Sampson said.

With some further discussion unanimous was give to begin repairs and to set an interest rate of five percent on 20-year waivers.

The contract for repairs on Drainage District 175 will be awarded next week.