Becker County gets great price on Mountain Link Trail
Becker County scored a great price on the construction of a length of multi-purpose trail that will link up to the Heartland Trail.
The first phase of the Mountain Link Trail will run from County Road 54 (the Hidden Hills Road) to an existing box culvert that runs under Highway 10. The trail will run roughly parallel to Highway 10.
The winning bid of $162,581 from Hough, Inc. of Detroit Lakes was 18% under the engineer’s estimate for the project, and substantially lower than the $275,705 bid by Sellin Brothers Inc. of Hawley and the $334,034 bid by Mark’s Sand and Gravel Co., of Fergus Falls.
This first phase of the project encompasses about a third of a mile, but eventually Mountain Link Trail will wind its way up to the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area.
Late quote from DL firm cuts remodeling project cost in half
Commissioners were also pleased with a $16,000 price quote from a Detroit Lakes company, AAA Construction of Minnesota Inc., for COVID-19-related renovation projects at the County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office and the Becker County Attorney’s Office.
A second quote for just under $39,000 was received from CoBuilt Construction of Menahga.
The quote from AAA Construction was received verbally, and will have to be confirmed in writing to make sure the county is comparing apples to apples when it considers the two quotes, but the project will go to AAA if the quotes hold up.
At the Auditor’s Office, the work involves creating separate office space for the technology, accounting and auditor’s staff to ensure safe physical distancing.
At the County Attorney’s Office, the project will create physical distancing for victims, victims' families, and other trial witnesses by remodeling a former rolling file room to create a space for them.
Federal COVID-19 relief funds will be used for the project, which must be completed by Dec. 1, according to state rules.
Motor Vehicles Office will shut down Nov. 11-15
Don’t wait too long to get your license plate tabs renewed: The Department of Motor Vehicles office in the Becker County Courthouse will be closed Nov. 11-15 due to a state computer program conversion, said Becker County Auditor-Treasurer Mary Hendrickson. The new state system, called MDRIVE, will merge the current driver’s license system (FastDs) and the existing motor vehicle system, called MNLARS. The office will resume normal operations on Monday, Nov. 16.
County Canvassing Board to meet 10 days after Election Day
Expecting quick election results this year? Think again. Due to state requirements, Becker County has changed the date of its General Election Canvass Board meeting to Friday, Nov. 13. The original date was Nov. 6, three days after the election.
But the state this year is allowing seven days after Election Day to process mail ballots, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day. The state requires counties to canvas the general election vote on either Nov. 12 or Nov. 13, Hendrickson said.
By the way, she recommends mailing ballots in weeks before Election Day, if possible, or dropping them off in person at the Auditor’s Office. About 6,000 ballots have gone out so far, but only about 2,000 had been returned as of Tuesday. Absentee ballot requests continue to come into the office at a rate of 40 or 50 a day, she said.
“I hope they don’t wait too long (to turn the ballots in),” she said. Even in quiet times, it can take mail five days to reach the courthouse from eastern Becker County, she added.