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Gravel road maintenance top priority for Highway Department in June

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MORRIS, Minn. – The Stevens County Highway Department is about a month behind on their normal maintenance schedule because of lost working days in April, but plans to be busy in June to catch up, County Engineer Brian Giese told the Stevens County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

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The department's top priority is blading gravel roads, followed by roadside mowing and weed spraying. The department will also start applying CaCl dust control during the second week of June, Giese said during his monthly report.

Both summer construction projects – a township sign replacement program and a mil and overlay on 13 miles of CSAH 13 from Chokio to Grant County – are slated to begin this month as well.

Workers have begun locating the signs that need to be replaced and will spend most of the summer working township by township, Giese said.

The CSAH 13 project will start with sidewalk and curb adjustments, followed by the bituminous work later in June.

Other business

• The board approved a change to the joint powers agreement for a five-county adult mental health initiative, an organization that receives grant money from the state that is used to fill gaps in mental health services across the five counties.

The new governing board for the program will include human services directors, county commissioners, providers and consumers of mental health services, said Human Services Director Joanie Murphy.

• The board accepted the resignation of a financial worker in the Stevens County Human Services office and authorized Murphy to hire a replacement.

• The board approved a change to the county's meal reimbursement policy to state that automatic gratuities will be reimbursed.

• Human Resources Director Janet Raguse told the board that she put out a request for proposals for insurance agent services to be used in the event that the county changes its health benefits to offer group health insurance for employees. The county's Health Benefit Advisory Committee will meet this month to review the proposals. If the county selects an agent, the agent will help the county prepare, distribute and evaluate proposals for group health insurance.

• The board approved a liquor license for the Pomme de Terre Golf Club.

• The board authorized County Engineer Brian Giese to advertise two loaders for sale. Sealed bids are due to the Stevens County Highway Department by 3:30 p.m. on July 10.  

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Kim Ukura
Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing. 
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