Large grant received for Co. Rd. 9 project

By Greg Hunt

Isanti County Highway Engineer Richard Heilman was “very happy” to report to the County Board at its March 7 meeting that his department received a $400,000 state “Local Road Improvement Fund” grant for the Co. Rd. 9 project which is planned for this summer.

The road-widening project on Co. Rd. 9 will span five miles between county roads 45 to 18 in the southeast corner of Isanti County. Total cost for the project, which is still awaiting MnDOT final approval, is $2 million.

• In related planning, Heilman said the second phase of the Co. Rd. 45 project will get underway in mid-July. A portion of the road north of the Cambridge Middle School which runs through a peat swamp was filled last year, with the fill needing to settle this spring before being paved. A 1.7-mile stretch of Co. Rd. 45 south to the Co. Rd. 19 intersection will also be improved this summer.

Assessor’s Office reorganization

When Deputy Assessor Kelly Schroeder submitted her resignation, Isanti Co. Assessor Michelle Moen designed a reorganization of her office, recommending eliminating the deputy assessor position. The county board discussed the idea which could include turning an assistant administrator into a full-time appraiser and hiring a full-time assessor administrator II. Moen projected a cost savings of $9,700 with the reorganization.

• In other Personnel items at the March 7 meeting, the board ratified the hiring of full-time jailers Brad Hiljus and Todd Rudquist, increasing a probation administrative assistant position from .8 time to full-time (along with approving an increase of probation supervisor fees from $125 to $150 to help for the wage increase) and approved Family Services Director Penny Messer’s request for a contracted public assistance fraud collector who will essentially work on commission. Messer commented that there has been a dramatic increase in public assistance fraud, requiring the services of a collector.

Redistricting meeting  April 18

A public hearing on redistricting the county governing areas will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18. The regular county board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. that evening. A special board meeting will then be needed on April 25 (2 p.m.) to adopt the redistricting plan.

In other action the board:

• Approved the $2,500 low bid from Blondo Consulting to perform an archaeological survey at Springvale County Park prior to the improvement projects planned for the park this summer. Parks Director Barry Wendorf said the survey is a Legacy Grant requirement to ensure that no historical or archaeological sites are damaged by the upcoming trail, disc golf and interpretative shelter projects.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 21, 9 a.m.