IVANHOE - The Lincoln County Board on Tuesday approved an issue of $4.3 million in general obligation road reconstruction bonds for resurfacing about 45 miles of county roads in 2013.
The bond issue was passed on the recommendation of County Engineer Lee Amundson and Carolyn Drude, financial adviser and executive vice president of the public financing firm Ehlers.
The board scheduled competitive bidding on the bonds for 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 20 in the board's chambers. Bidding will be open to investment firms and local banks, and bonds will be sold to the firm that offers the lowest interest rate.
According to Drude, the county will be required to go through a bond rating process again. Lincoln County currently holds an A plus rating by Standard & Poor.
The board also opened bids to rent 105 acres of agriculture land the county owns in Lake Stay Township. Of three bids submitted, Matt Thooft offered the highest bid of $17,325 per year, for a three-year lease. The parcel previously rented for $11,400 per year.
The previous renter, Bill Behnke, had held the lease on the land since 2003. This year Behnke bid $12,425 per year, making him the lowest bidder. There was another bid submitted for $14,805 per year.
Environmental Administrator Robert Olsen came before the board with a suggestion the county authorize him to hire the firm Atech based in Watertown, S.D. to try high-pressure water cleaning of a section of tile in Royal Township that was heavily silted.
"It's concrete tile and it's in good condition," Olsen said. "But it's about half full of sediment."
Olsen said the cost of replacing that section of tile would run up to $50,000, while jetting it out would cost only about $5,000.
Olsen also reported to the board that the cleaning of 2,200 feet of County Ditch 2 had been completed.
There is another 2,300 feet of the ditch that runs through land owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has ordered the county not to enter and clean in a jurisdictional dispute, Olsen said.
According to Olsen, he is quite confident the county does in fact have jurisdiction, including the right to enter USFWS land to clean drainage ditches but recommended waiting until the dispute can be cleared up.