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FAIRMONT– During the Martin County Commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday morning, Bob Long of Larkin Hoffman provided a legislative update on the county’s bail request for the proposed County Regional Public Safety and Justice Center project. Martin.

Long provided a brief summary of the work that has been done regarding state liaison. He said on March 2, some of the commissioners were able to speak with Senators Julie Rosen, Bjorn Olson and Rich Draheim and all were interested in the project.

He said the challenge now is that there are seven senators sponsoring seven different law enforcement/public safety projects in the state, which includes Martin County, Jackson County and Jackson County. Rice. Although the projects vary in cost, they each come with a hefty price tag.

“That’s a lot of dollars being sought for public safety which totals $143.37 billion among these projects,” Long said.

He said at the same time that there was a lot of support for the project and that it showed that improvements were needed.

On the federal front, after a long delay, Long said last week the U.S. Congress voted on the appropriations bill. He said that means a new cycle will begin and jurisdictions like Martin County will be able to submit spending requests for capital projects.

“These forms go out, we are told, around March 30 and they could be due around 10 days after they are issued, Long said.

Commissioner Kathy Smith asked Long if they had a lobbyist in Washington. Long said they do. Commissioners considered engaging with the company for services and representatives to help the county apply for federal funding for the proposed justice center in the amount of $3,000 for three months.

County Attorney Terry Viesselman said if the county hadn’t hired Larkin Hoffman as a lobbyist, it wouldn’t have received the $2 million it has already received.

Commissioner Steve Flohrs agreed and said: “It’s been a really good investment so far with Larkin Hoffman. I think we should go ahead with the possibility of getting $1-2 million. That would relieve our taxpayers a bit.”

Long said it’s likely they’ll know about state funding, which will be released in May, before federal funding, as those amounts will be affected this summer. Martin County requested $18.4 million in the 2022 legislative session. The council approved moving in with Larkin Hoffman.

While discussing the Justice Centre, the council also considered awarding a bid for construction management services for the proposed Justice Centre. Five companies submitted bids and the county conducted interviews with each bidder and Flohrs, who serves on the justice center design committee, said they were all impressive.

The committee recommended that the position be awarded to ICS. ISC came up with the lowest bid of $1.2 million.

Commissioner Elliot Belgard asked how this would work, as the Justice Center is not a guaranteed project without federal bond money. Flohrs said they would start working and get paid as much as they go.

“If things are closed, they stop and we only pay them so far”, Flohrs said.

Smith, who is also on the committee, added that the fees are already built into the budget for the design phase of the Justice Center.

The board approved the contract with ICS for construction management services for the proposed Justice Center project.

In other news, the council considered a proposal for the courthouse roof drainage system. Several months ago, council learned it was unclear where the downspouts from the 116-year-old courthouse drained. Since then, Day Plumbing has been hired to send a camera into the sewers.

The data was compiled from Day Pluming and, in discussion with ISG, the general consensus is that this roof drainage system is in a very dilapidated condition and would incur significant costs to restore it.

Bob Mickelson of ISG said the best solution, both in terms of cost and long-term solution, would be to add external downspouts. Belgard said external downspouts would affect the aesthetics of the building.

Lon Gorsch of Renaissance Roofing, which is also doing the work on the courthouse dome, said he reviewed the data and recommended copper downspouts. On top of that, Gorsch said the gutters also needed work.

The council was told that they could also do painted steel downspouts, but that copper corrodes other metals, so runoff from copper gutters would work against painted metal downspouts. Gorsch also said some municipalities have had copper downspouts stolen.

Belgard said they want the downspouts to be dark and when the copper discolors in a few years it will be even more noticeable.

The cost is $96,707 for the copper gutters and downspouts and the masonry work is approximately $183,000. Gorsch said painted steel would cost about $2,000 less.

“I think if with a historic building, if the copper turns green, and eventually black, I think that matches the look of the building,” said Commissioner Richard Koons.

The stewards asked several questions regarding the cost and Gorsch said they were “confuse” the job description because it’s a complicated system and that’s part of the cost.

“We have no choice on that. We have to get rid of the water. We have to do this project,” said Smith.

The commissioners approved the installation of copper downspouts to drain the roof of the courthouse.

Moving on to other matters, commissioners held a public hearing for public comment in an effort to appoint the county registrar’s office. Commissioners set the public hearing at the Feb. 15 meeting after learning that current county recorder Diane Sanders had no plans to run again for the job.

Forshee said he believed the offices’ role in the county should remain that of an elected official.

Smith disagreed with Forshee and said she had county coordinator Scott Higgins collect numbers and found that of 87 recorders in the state of Minnesota, 39 are named.

“It’s a job that needs someone with the right qualifications,” said Smith.

She added that she thinks that’s the wave and the direction things are going in the state.

Koons agreed with Forshee while Flohrs sided with Smith. Sanders was asked about the issue and said she would like the position to remain an elected position and shared some of her reasoning.

“Just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for the recorder’s office,” Sanders said.

Commissioners Koons and Forshee voted no and Commissioners Belgard, Smith and Flohrs voted yes and the resolution failed. The county recorder will remain an elected office.



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