12/5/2013 3:11:00 PM Process for road
jurisdiction change begins in earnest
by DENISE MARTIN
Chisago County is working against the clock on township and city road turnbacks. Any state aid that townships and cities would hope to apply for, to help maintain any new miles, gets allocated in the spring of 2014. Lists submitted for funding have to be finalized well before then; so, the County Board has set a March 2014 “target” for finishing the turnback process. Letters are being sent and public meetings are tentatively happening in January-into February. If the deadline passes, townships and cities miss out on qualifying for a year’s worth of outside funding. The road turnback process was discussed at a county Road & Bridge meeting recently.
Commissioner Mike Robinson asked County Engineer Joe Triplett to “...delay Harris as long as you can.” Robinson said Harris has financial troubles and is in no position to accept anymore road miles. He said he has other townships with “trust issues” when it comes to dealing with the county. Engineer Triplett explained that turnback is a lengthy phased-in process. The county remains responsible for maintenance for two years so budgets can gradually be revised accordingly. Turnback roads are also repaired to standards agreed to by all the involved governing parties. Ditches and shouldering get done, tree hazards, culverts and depth of gravel are addressed. The county won’t just be walking away from these stretches of roadway, Triplett stressed. Commissioner Robinson then remarked that the County Board hasn’t been supporting doing road projects in his district, and he would not be supportive of this turnback process unless he gets some money directed to District 5.
Commissioner Lora Walker asked Triplett what she can do to get projects in her district funded too. County Engineer Triplett responded, “Be an advocate” present the facts, and requests for road projects will be objectively reviewed. IN other matters: the Fish Lake Township Board has asked to be given two tax forfeit properties in Cambridge Lake Estates. The DNR approves of the planned use as beach or boat launch access. The county commissioners agreed to convey the lots to the township. There will be a request submitted for state bridge bonding for the Franconia Trail span (between the creek and St. Croix River). The township is interested in replacing the bridge and the county officially forwards the request for funding. Openings on various citizen committees were reviewed and advertising will commence to fill the seats. Commissioner Robinson wanted to add the Extension Committee seat for his District 5, because the appointee never attends and Robinson said he believes the member no longer resides in his district. The staff will look into this and report back.
Citizen applications are being accepted for expiring terms on: ~ At-large member for the water policy plan. ~ At-large member Public Health Commission (3 open seats) ~ Planning Commission seats in districts 1 and 4 now held by Jim Froberg and Frank Storm. ~ County Park Board seats in Districts 2, 4 and 5; held now by Dan Kaiser, Jill Sicheneder, Bob Frandsen. ~ Extension Committee seats in District 1 and 3 held by Dick Daniels and Justin Wilson. ~ A term on the East Central Regional Library Board held by Ray Henderson. ~ Board of Adjustment seats in District 1 and Dist. 4, held by Daniels and Storm.