County busy battling winter

FAIRMONT — Martin County commissioners on Tuesday heard from County Engineer Kevin Peyman, who gave an update on county roads in light of recent weather patterns.

“Last week on Monday, our plows started about 5:30 a.m. that day and they stayed out until about 4:30 p.m., long enough to get everything open,” he said. “We consider our first round is just to get the main lines open, then we try to come back and taper back.

“Then Tuesday it was blowing and drifting pretty bad, our plows were out from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. that day. It [drifting] was pretty bad so it was one of those days where we were kind of chasing our tails. Then Wednesday was the extreme cold, and we had a really hard time keeping our trucks on the road that day. We had fuel gelling up and that kind of extreme cold is just not good on equipment. But we did get all the main lines open. Then, on Thursday, we got things done in about eight hours, and everything was pretty much cleaned up. On Friday we got everything cleaned up and tapered.”

Peyman also commented on the ice-covered roads that appeared Sunday night.

“We started early at 6 a.m. Monday and basically did a little clean up on some of the gravels [roads],” he said. “For the most part, it was salting and sanding on the ice.”

Sheriff Jeff Markquart was also present to discuss winter driving.

“I don’t believe we’ve had any crashed as far as our county trucks go, but I did get an email from the state,” he said. “With the visibility and the cold, they had about 25 state trucks that have been hit, so they’re just asking us to get it out there to slow down a little bit. Just about all of the crashes have been [vehicles] crashing into trucks.”

In other action, the board heard from management information systems director Steve McDonald, as he brought forth options concerning a new security system for the County Attorney’s office.

Quotes were received from Hawk Alarm Systems, Inc. in Mapleton and 1st Choice Security in Lake Crystal. Commissioners approved a motion to allow McDonald to move forward with the purchase of the system offered by 1st Choice, for a total of $1,058, with cell and monitoring services fees of $29 per month.

The board also passed a resolution to approve a conditional use permit for American Tower LLC, which is proposing to install a 260-foot self-support wireless communication tower located in an “A” agricultural district.