The Polk County Commissioners met on Tuesday morning and approved the bids on several highway projects.  Knife River Materials out of Bemidji was awarded the project on Maple Lake’s east shore that will create back in diagonal parking along the beach for $434,548.15. 

Polk County Engineer Rich Sanders said there will be an increase in congestion and noise around the beach this summer but believes people will like the final benefits of the project. “Bid letting was yesterday at 2:00 p.m.,” said Sanders.  “The lowest responsible bidder was Knife River at a little over $400,000 for the project.  They are supposed to be completed by October so this summer you’re going to have some construction happening on County Road 10 at the beach on the east shore.  Hopefully, we’ll have room there for people to park on either side of the project and still use the beach, but it’s going to be a little bit congested and probably louder.  But once this project is done, I think people will like the benefits to the project and be able to use the beach a lot better.”

Knife River Materials also was the lowest bid for the road project on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 3 to CSAH 30 north of Fosston.  The entire road will be resurfaced in addition to an additional 1.5 miles of paved road being added to CSAH 3 between CSAH 6 and CSAH 30.  “North of Fosston we let the project yesterday at 2:00 p.m. as well,” said Sanders.  “The lowest responsible bidder for that project was also Knife River Materials out of Bemidji at a little over $3.4 million.  And work is going to begin in the next couple of weeks, and they need to be completed by October 1 as well.”

The commissioners also approved a bid to Bertil’s Construction out of Crookston for the work to replace a culvert along County Road 224 for $9,370.00.  The county will also purchase a culvert from Advance Drainage Systems of Buxton for $5,023.00 explained Sanders. “County Ditch 125 runs south from Trunk Highway 2 to the river along County Road 224,” said Sanders.  “On the very south end of 224, a township road/farm approach washed out this spring as part of the flooding.  We received quotes from contractors to replace that culvert last Thursday.  The board approved hiring Bertil’s Construction out of Crookston to replace the culvert which the county will purchase.”

The commissioners approved the appointment of Aaron Rongen, of Fertile, to the serve as the District 1 appointee to the Extension Committee.  Rongen’s term will run through 2021.  The board approved their consent agenda including auditor warrants and a payment of $276.50 to Hewlett Packard of Boston, MA.  And they passed a resolution authorizing Tri-Valley Opportunity Council to administer funds for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Family Homelessness Prevention and Assistance Program in Polk County. 

The board also began reviewing its goals and objectives for the 2020 budget.  That discussion included several primarily capital projects that may be addressed in 2020, including the new financial system, continued facility improvements in East Grand Forks, staffing changes and possible roof replacement projects.  The board also agreed to meet Tuesday, June 18 with the Grand Forks County Commissioners to discuss the Merrifield bridge plan explained Polk County Administrator Chuck Whiting.  “Grand Forks County asked to have their commissioners meet with our commissioners regarding bridge crossing options, specifically the Merrifield option that the MPO has been working on,” said Whiting.  “We’ll go over there on the 18th at 10:00 a.m. and meet with them to have a discussion.  There is no action to take, but we’ll see what flushes out as far as issues.  Then we’ll come back to Crookston and have our regular meetings in the afternoon and into the evening.”

Following the June 18 meeting with Grand Forks County, the commissioners will hold their regular meeting at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Room at the Polk County Government Center.  They will then hold their Board of Review meeting at 6:00 p.m.