Several miles of roads in Isanti County to be sealcoated

By Elizabeth Sias

Several miles of roadways throughout Isanti County will soon be sealcoated.

The Isanti County Board of Commissioners awarded the bid for a sealcoating project to Astech Corp. for $177,961, which is 17 percent under the engineer’s estimate, during the board meeting July 6.

The cost includes bituminous material for sealcoats and traffic control. Sealcoat is applied to asphalt to protect it from the damage caused by winter cracking.

Roads to be sealcoated include 2.6 miles from Highway 65 to the east county line, 1.7 miles from the south county line to County Road 45, 2.8 miles from the south county line to County Road 9 and 4.6 miles from County Road 12 to County Road 18.

“This is just a fine, thin coat of oil, and then they put chipped rock on top of it, which just seals the top of the road — there’s no structural strength gained from this. It’s to help seal up your road, block all the cracks, try to keep the moisture out,” said County Highway Engineer Richard Heilman. “The idea is to preserve your road longer so you can hopefully get a few more years out of your overlays,” said County Highway Engineer Richard Heilman.

Update on prescription drug program

The board also heard an update on a program in Isanti County offering discounts on prescription medication, vision, hearing and dental services.

The service agreement with Maple Grove, Minn.-based TWRx, LLC is a pharmacy prescription drug discount card plan, offered at no cost to the county and participants.

Under the program, participants can use their discount card at participating pharmacies in the area and nationwide. All prescription medications, brand and generic are covered.

Throughout April and May, 72 people in the county used the discount card, filing a total of 136 claims and saving 59 percent.  Commissioners believe the program will become more widely used as awareness of its existence spreads.

Full-Scale Mass Dispensing Site Exercise

Six area Public Health Departments completed a Full-Scale Mass Dispensing Site (MDS) exercise on June 28 involving a workforce of 100 people, 30 of which were non-paid Central MN Responds Medical Reserve Corps volunteers from Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties. Exercise evaluators and observers were from the Minnesota Department of Health and other local public health and emergency management departments.

The operation was held at Zimmerman Middle/High School to test public health plans for distributing medications to large numbers of people, in a worst case scenario. The drill helps prepare state, regional and local public health staff to respond in case of a public health emergency or disease outbreak.

The objectives were to set up a Mass Dispensing Site to serve 1,000 people an hour, to utilize volunteers to staff over 30 percent of the MDS workforce, and to test tactical equipment and communication interoperability at an MDS.

In other action, the board:

• Authorized the purchase of a new transit bus from Hoglund Bus Company for $63,976. The vehicle cost is allocated 20 percent local share and 80 percent federal share.

• Authorized the request for bids for elevator repair. Three elevators in the Government Center, two in the Isanti County Jail, two in Oakview and one in the library are in need of repairs. The bids will determine the cost of repairs.

• Approved the request from the Isanti County Parks Department to waive permit fees of $1,028 for the construction of the picnic shelter at Vegsund Family County Park.

• Approved the request from the Isanti County Parks Department to make a final payment for native prairie seeding at Anderson Park to the SWCD for $28,392. The amount is reimbursable through the Native Buffer BWSR grant program.

• Approved the request from the Isanti County Parks Department to purchase a CT 440 Bobcat Compact Utility Tractor, a Felling FT-12 E trailer, a 72 inch disk harrow and a 42 inch pallet fork frame form Crawford Equipment for $29,057. The amount would come from the department’s 2011 Special Project Budget.

• Approved the request to conduct a sealed bid vehicle auction for 18 vehicles that have been deemed surplus or abandoned property/junk. The vehicles range from several 2005 Ford Crown Victorias to a 1988 Chevy Caprice to a 1982 Harley Davidson.