Cass County Environmental Services Department will get two pieces of equipment from the highway department to use at the main garbage and recycling transfer station, the county board decided Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The commissioners also authorized County Engineer Darrick Anderson to buy a new bucket loader two years earlier than previously planned for about $170,000 and to buy a better semi-tractor without a trailer for $30,000.

The transfer station will modify the bucket on the loader they will get from the highway department and fill the tires with foam to prevent blowouts. It is expected when a new material hauler is purchased, the county can sell the modified old one on a county auction for $80,000 to $90,000.

The material hauler is used to place garbage and recyclables for transport to disposal sites at Elk River and the Twin Cities.

The semi-tractor will be used to move trailers around the transfer station site as they get filled or returned empty. It is expected to sell for about $6,000 when offered at auction when ESD is done using it.

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Proceeds from auctioning these two pieces of equipment will go back to the highway department’s equipment fund.

Tuesday, the board accepted the lower of two bids to buy five new 53-foot trailers, without semi-tractors, for the transfer station from North American Trailer Sales for $88,596 each, to be used to haul garbage to Elk River and recyclables to the Twin Cities.

In other highway business, the board:

  • Voted to contract with Bolt & Menk for engineering for $390,586 for the county’s portion of an improvement project on county highways 1 and 44, which is being coordinated with improvements the city of Pine River also is making in 2020.

The county portion will include a roundabout at the intersection of the county highways. Bolt & Menk is also Pine River’s current city engineer.

  • Awarded a contract to the lower of two bidders, Pipe Dreamz Plumbing and Heating, to replace the electric air exchange system at the newer Pine River county highway garage with a gas heated system for $32,785.

Anderson said while the electric system meets state codes, it does not keep up with the amount of melt runoff from heavy equipment coming into the building covered with snow, so outflow air has been freezing and blocking the heating system. The gas system will dehumidify in cold weather, he said.

  • Approved hiring McLaughlin Auctioneers to conduct the annual surplus county equipment auction from Sept. 27 to Oct. 8.
  • Awarded a contract to the lower of two bidders, Hawkinson Construction, for $105,198 to pave the parking lot for the new county highway garage and Longville Ambulance Service building at Longville. Anderson said that garage should be ready for occupancy later this month.

In other environmental services business, the board:

  • Approved contracting with Paul Reuvers of Iverson Reuvers Condon to assist the environmental services department in reorganizing the county land use ordinance and subdivision ordinance at a cost not to exceed $7,000.

These ordinances were first adopted in 1996 and have been revised many times since, with the result that they have lost their organizational framework, Director John Ringle said.

  • Approved a disposal agreement with Liberty Tire of St. Martin to accept waste tires the county hauls to its site. Last year the county processed 250 tons of waste tires. Residents are allowed to dispose of up to four tires per month without charge.

Ringle said the county’s disposal cost has risen from $150 per ton to $195 per ton. If costs continue to rise, he told the commissioners they may need to initiate a small charge to residents for per tire disposal.

  • Referred to the planning commission for a public hearing a request from Darlene Robinson to reclassify 12.16 acres on Widow Lake in Woodrow Township from Water Oriented Commercial to Seasonal Recreational.