County in Good Financial Shape

Barnes County Commissioners approved the county’s financial statement for the period ending in Dec., 2012 and moving $100,000 each from the general fund into the corrections and the homeland security funds, during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The financial statement, presented by accountant Harold Rotunda, shows that the county’s general fund had an ending balance of $1,748,200.
“The county is in pretty good shape,” Rotunda told commissioners.

The homeland security fund needed an infusion of funds because the county is waiting for grant money from the U.S. government. The commission discussed the possibility of raising the mill levy for the corrections department in the future. The cost of medical supplies for the Barnes County Jail is a big contributer to the corrections department’s budget.

The commission also approved naming engineering firm KLJ as the engineers for two upcoming road projects and accepted bids for them. The first is a two-part project and includes finishing emergency flood repairs on County Road 7 near Meadow Lake. This portion of the project includes raising the road, making it wider, and adding asphalt. The project also includes County Road 32, making a gravel road around Meadow Lake.

The combined project was bid at $1.8 million.

The second project includes County Road 3, the Urbana Road with two grade raises. The estimated cost of the project is just under $1 million.
A discussion was held regarding repairs on County Road 10, near Eckelson Lake. The project will include widening the road, laying asphalt and adding rip-raf to the lake. The project is estimated at $1.4 million and bids are to be let in April, though Barnes County Road Superintendent Kerry Johnson said most of the bids have been coming in under estimates.
The last road project is County Road 21 at Ashtabula Crossing. The project includes hill slide repairs and is estimated at $700,000. Bids for this project are also to be let in April.

The commission discussed an obstruction of a county right-of-way. The obstruction consists of various objects intended to keep snowmobilers out of the ditch. The commission agreed to have the State’s Attorney, Lee Grossman, contact the landowner to have the obstruction removed.
Commissioners appointed Bret Fehr to the water board and Derek Bruns to the weed board.