Rail improvements create un-budgeted County expenses


Improvements to the Minnesota Prairie Line will result in un-budgeted expenses for Sibley County’s Public Works Department.

Darin Mielke, Public Works Director, Tuesday, explained to Commissioners that two railroad crossings, on CSAH 9 just west of Arlington, and CR 61 just east of Green Isle, have left a drop-off adjacent to the through lanes which used to be filled with gravel shouldering.

In July, the Minnesota Valley Regional Rail Authority, by a 3-2 vote, approved paying the additional expense to provide planking for the road width. However, the Rail Authority, earlier this month, rescinded its motion, feeling that it would set precedence when rehabilitation work in completed in other counties.

Mielke said that it is estimated to cost $2,000 to fix the CSAH 9 crossing. An estimate is not yet available for fixing the CR 61 crossing.

Commissioners unanimously supported repairing the crossings before winter.

In other business, the County Board of Commissioners:
• Learned that the CSAH 11 and CSAH 12 Intersection Safety Projects are currently at the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s central office. It is hoped that the project will be bid later this fall.

• Were informed that the County is waiting for Department of Natural Resources and Corps of Engineers permits in order to begin the Rush River Park Stream Bank Stabilization Project. This is will paid with federal emergency funds.

• Learned that the federal government will pay for 75% of the cost to repair the CSAH 6 box culvert. The state has yet to decide whether or not it will pay toward the repair.

• Approved purchasing an e-mail encryption solution for transmission of private data to state agencies, other counties, and medical facilities for a cost of $6,370 annual. Currently this information is being faxed.