Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Carlton County snowplowing policy draws phone calls


December 6, 2018

Commissioner Gary Peterson opened a discussion about the newly implemented County Transportation Policy for opening private driveways at the Adjourned Session of the Carlton County Board on November 26. Peterson had received some calls from constituents regarding the snowplowing service.

Peterson reported, “I received a few phone calls from concerned Carlton County residents who have depended on the snowplowing service but question the new cost schedule, the sign up date, and the $450 per winter fee (for the first 1/4 mile) to be paid up front before plowing season begins.”

He continued, “I would like to have a discussion from the rest of the commissioners and hear what input they have received. One elderly person called with concerns and said they had financial difficulties. How many people are signed up for our service?”

County Highway Engineer Jin Yeene Neumann responded, “I believe about 20 applicants requested and filed for county snowplowing, which was down by half from those that had the service last year. Under the old system the county has been losing money. Why should the taxpayers of the county subsidize the snowplowing service of a few households?”

Commissioner Sue Zmyslony commented, “Two people contacted me and said they were not concerned about the cost but thought that a late fee could be charged for a snowplowing service filing that occurred after the November 1 deadline.”

During the discussion, the subject of snowplowing service for unlisted private roads after a historic snowfall such as in 1991 was questioned. County Coordinator Dennis Genereau stated that the county in such a situation would be a standby to handle that type of emergency. No action was taken by the county board at this time.

The County Fair is working to update the horse arena at the fairgrounds. Plans are to increase the arena space five feet wider and 27 feet longer to make it regulation size. A quote from Widdes is $9400 for steel panels, posts, and gates with Rory Butkiewicz working on a quote for the dirtwork. The county board voted to support grant applications to the MN Horse Council, Lake Country Power, Compeer, and MN Power if all of these sources were needed.

The Sewer Water Conservation District (SWCD) has a current legal issue that will unexpectedly cost $2000 in legal fees (about 3 percent of their current support from the county budget). Due to privacy issues, details could not be discussed in a public meeting. This is a one-time request and was approved by the county board.

Listed on the agenda, but removed from consideration, was potential county action of the Proposed Highway 210 Waterline extension from Carlton to the Smithville-Carlton Junction area. Some decision needs to occur before the proposal is submitted for support from the State Legislature.


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