NEW ULM — Brown County commissioners will review an historic bridge rehabilitation study and receive public comment at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Gemini Research Historian Sue Granger and Erickson Engineering Design Engineer Tom Wilson will explain the study and answer questions.

Bridge 2110, aka the Hale Bridge, on CSAH 8 over the Minnesota River, is the last county truss bridge. It is structurally deficient with a low sufficiency rating and a number of serious structural issues.

The 17 feet wide, 250 feet long, 6-span bridge is historic, which makes it difficult to replace. It was closed Aug. 1, 2017 after a critical deficiency was discovered. It has been load posted at 5 tons for several years due to other structural problems.

On July 24, commissioners approved hiring an historian and design engineer to assist in preparing an historic alternatives analysis to explore bridge alternatives.



A purpose and need statement and final bridge historical rehabilitation study with 5 options was developed. The study concluded all 5 alternatives did not meet the purpose and need statement so the bridge needs to be replaced.

• A Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) Keep Me Safe 2020 contract for supervised visitation and exchange services at $30/hr. for 2020. It would provide supervised visits and exchange services between parents sharing custody via court agreement in addition to supervised visits provided by family-based workers employed by Brown County.

Generally, county-based workers are used for supervised visits when parenting skills are being taught at the same time or if CADA staff is not available when a visit is needed.

• The 2020 Family Group Decision Making contract with Greater Minnesota Family Services to provide services for families recommended by Brown County.

• The 2020 and 2021 State of Minnesota IVD Child Support Cooperative Agreement between Brown County Human Services, the Brown County Attorney and county staff. A cooperative agreement provides compensation to the sheriff’s department for the delivery of legal documents to clients and to the county attorney’s office for legal services rendered.

The estimated contract cost per year increased to $37,440 in 2020 and $38,563 in 2021 due to more complex cases and a higher number of cases. The County Attorney’s hourly fee rose 3%, from $92.70 to $95.50. The support staff fee rose from $51.50 to $53.

• Approval for Brown County Human Services to submit a DHS grant application to establish fraud prevention investigation program.

• A 2020 Guardianship/Conservatorship Contract with Lutheran Social Services at $320/month/per client.

• The 2020 MRCI Extended Employed and Adult Day Services Contract at $202.62 per month per client for extended employment. Brown County has been contract with MRCI for extended employment services for people with disabilities who are not eligible for a licensed employment program by waiver.

All program clients work at community sites but need the additional support of an MRCI work counselor to maintain and coordinate employment. The contract is 2% higher than the 2019 rate. Program cost was $92,347 in 2018 and $65,490 for the first 9 months of 2019.

• Determining if Brown County will agree to maintain lighting structures and pay electricity for rural intersection lighting. MnDOT estimates a $500 annual power cost for each intersection. The Brown County Highway Committee recommends commissioners approve requests for CSAH 2 and 10 intersections.

The state highway department plans a surface rehabilitation project on TH 14 west of Springfield in 2022. It proposes intersection lighting at CSAH 1 and 2. MnDOT would pay for lighting installation but requests the county pay for maintenance and electricity.

In addition, MnDOT plans to apply for federal safety funds for intersection lighting and improved signage at the intersections of TH 14 and CSAH 10 and 11 south.

• Receiving and order filing a City of New Ulm request to withhold the Marktplatz Mall and George’s Ballroom from public sale for 6 months, from Nov. 26 to May 26, 2020 for potential government acquisition.

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