Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

County hears from townships

Munster Bridge project to begin this summer

At the Eddy County Commission’s regular meeting on Tuesday, May 8, commissioners received an update about ongoing discussions with township officials regarding zoning and floodplain management.

Emergency Manager Lisa Thompson said that New Rockford Township, after originally agreeing to sign over their zoning responsibilities last year, has requested that they retake that responsibility for themselves.

Once the county carries a motion to approve that change, Thompson said New Rockford Township will agree to sign over their floodplain management responsibilities to the county.

The county commissioners had no issue with the plan, and unanimously approved a motion to give zoning responsibilities back to New Rockford Township.

The commissioners also passed a resolution to accept the signing over of zoning and/or floodplain management authorities by 15 townships to the county.

Fourteen townships have agreed to sign over both floodplain management and zoning, while one township – Grandfield – will retain their zoning authority but have agreed to sign over floodplain management.

Townships included in the resolution are Bush, Cherry Lake, Colvin, Eddy, Freeborn, Gates, Lake Washington, Munster, Pleasant Prairie, Tiffany, Grandfield, Superior, Hillsdale, Paradise and Rosefield.

Regarding the three remaining townships, New Rockford Township appears to have come to an agreement with the county. Sheldon and Columbia, meanwhile, have not yet come to a decision.

Thompson said Sheldon Township is polling their residents to determine a path forward, while Commissioner Glenda Collier is working directly with Columbia Township to come to a resolution.

Thompson said some of the hold up appears to be uncertainty among some township residents regarding plans underway to develop a wind farm in Eddy County.

David Fite, a township official from New Rockford township, appeared at the county commission meeting on Tuesday to express some of his concerns about the project. Several of his questions regarding public notices were also answered by the commission.

Also at the county commission meeting on Tuesday, the commissioners approved a bid for the Munster bridge rehabilitation project.

The Munster Bridge spans the James River on County Road 12 in western Eddy County, and the bid to complete its rehabilitation came from Knife River Materials in the amount of $688,811.14.

The improvements will include repairs to the abutments, deck and approach slabs, in addition to a retrofitted guardrail being added to address safety concerns.

According to Eddy County Road Superintendent Todd Weber, every cent of the Knife River bid will be paid for with federal money. The only costs left to the county will be for engineering. The county's request for proposals for engineering services is published on page 10.

Weber said construction of the Munster Bridge project will begin this summer, and should be completed by September 15.

Before adjourning their regular meeting, county commissioners also appointed four individuals to the Eddy County Zoning Board, and officially hired Kristy O’Connor to be the county’s deputy auditor under Becki Schumacher, in addition to her existing role as Tax Equalization Director.

The four individuals appointed to the zoning board were Jamie Allmaras and David Allmaras, who were previously on the board, as well as Bob Hanson to replace Casey Weber, and Shauna Laber to replace Patty Williams.

The county’s next regular board meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 4 at 8 a.m. in the basement of the Eddy County Courthouse.