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Goodhue County Board and Health briefs

Purchasing policy gets approved

The Goodhue County Board adopted a new purchasing policy at Tuesday's board meeting. While there wasn't an exact date in mind to begin using the policy, Goodhue County Finance Director Carolyn Holmsten said she would like to see it put in place as soon as possible.

"I don't have a problem starting it today even," Commissioner Jim Bryant said.

The policy aims to bring consistency. Some of its goals are to maintain accurate records of purchasing and payment transactions, assure cash flow availability and maintain an effective and economical system for purchasing.

High bids halt construction project

With several contractors' bids coming in about 25 percent higher than expected for County Road 53 bridge construction, the Goodhue County Board decided to hold off on moving forward with the project until next year.

Public Works Director Greg Isakson said the project was estimated to cost about $826,000, but bids reached as high as $1,044,404.

"We think the major reason is the time of year we're looking at right now," Isakson said, explaining how contractors would be in a time crunch if the county wanted construction finished before winter set in. Isakson recommended rejecting the bids and re-advertising for the job in January and February.

"We can hit the contractors when they're first setting up their schedule for the year," he said.

"Will this push other projects that you were going to do next year back at all?" Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel asked.

It will, but what's pushed back isn't a timely issue. Isakson said a paving project planned next year for County Road 53 would be held until the following year after the bridge project is wrapped up.

Meeting watch<?B>

Tuesday's board meeting lasted one hour. Commissioners Ron Allen and Richard Samuelson were absent.

-- Compiled by Regan Carstensen, staff writer