10/19/2018 10:47:00 AM State grants sought for road improvements Cass County Board
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
BACKUS-County Engineer Darrick Anderson obtained Cass County Board approval Tuesday, Oct. 16, to seek Minnesota DNR grants to cooperatively improve two county roads.
The DNR will provide gravel, culverts and other materials, while the county will provide employee labor and equipment to do the work.
On the first project, the county will apply for a $444,000 grant for materials to improve drainage and rebuild 4.1 miles of County Road 161, which provides access to Little Thunder Lake public water access, to Land O'Lakes State Forest and to many area residents in southern Cass County.
Anderson said that road currently has poor drainage, which makes it difficult to keep the road passable in the spring. He said he will not know until April 2019 whether the grant is approved.
For the second project, the county seeks a $240,000 DNR grant for materials to return County Road 139 to a gravel road in northern Cass. New gravel would be added to replace the pavement.
That road was paved in 2000, Anderson said, but has deteriorated rapidly, because the subsoils are too poor to support a paved road. It crosses a swampy area, he added.
Peak vehicle traffic on the road is 50 vehicles per day, Anderson said. The road would have to be completely rebuilt if it were to be repaved. That would not be cost effective for so few cars per day, he said.
The county board also authorized Anderson to apply for a $15,000 Minnesota Department of Agriculture grant to purchase herbicide to spray county road ditches and rights of way in 2019 for Spotted Knapweed, Canadian Thistle, Wild Parsnip, Common Tansy and Poison Ivy.
This would be a spot spraying to eliminate noxious and invasive weeds not killed by prior spaying programs along all county roads.
If approved, the grant would cover about half the county's expected spraying cost.
Cass County contracted with the city of Federal Dam since 2009 to provide road maintenance services to the city. This year, that city will seek bids from private road maintenance services before deciding whether or not to extend its contract with the county, Anderson informed the board.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.