County enters into multiple JPAs for Southwest Reconnection Project

The agenda was packed for the Carver County Board’s March 4 session, touching on subjects in multiple areas of the county’s goals.
At the meeting, the Board heard the annual update from the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) and its plans for 2014. This year, the MMCD wants to continue to manage its budget, expand testing of its control materials, incorporate new technologies, refine its disease risk reduction services, and both evaluate and redefine the District’s sustainability programs.
The MMCD cover 2,900 square miles and 2.7 million people in the metro area, although with 70,000 wetland and 30,000 woodland habitats. The MMCD’s main emphasis is on larval control, mostly through helicopter applications of dry product. Staffers are also working on adult control, including treatment of public areas, as well as education about insect-born illnesses like West Nile Virus and LaCrosse Encephalitis. Commissioner James Ische serves as the Chair of the MMCD Board, while Commissioner Tom Workman is also on the board.
The Carver County Board held a public hearing at its March 4 meeting to call to a 2014 bond sale. The approved 2014 budget includes up to a $31 million bond sale for road and bridge projects. The size of the sale is increased dramatically by the Southwest Reconnection Project state turnback funds.
In a related item, multiple joint powers agreements were approved by the Board for the Southwest Reconnection Project. The Board approved a JPA with the city of Chanhassen to share the costs of County State Aid Highway 61, and the majority of Chanhassen’s costs will fall with the trail, landscaping and other aesthetic items associated with the project.
The Board approved a JPA with Scott County, which includes measures that both counties will take responsibility for snow and ice control on the bridge and surrounding area. Carver County will be responsible for the safety inspections, in which Scott County will pay 25 percent. Routine maintenance, bridge repair, and flood clean up of the project area will be pro-rated according to where it is needed.
Finally, the Board approved a resolution with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, transferring jurisdiction of Trunk Highway 101 from the state to Carver County, who will convert TH 101 to a county state aid highway. In exchange, MnDOT has designed the new 101 bridge, will provide construction oversight for the entire project at no extra cost, and will pay the county a lump sum of $21.3 million towards the cost of the project.
The Southwest Reconnection Project is the county’s largest project in history and will replace the existing Highway 101 bridge between Chanhassen and Shakopee. The new bridge will be four lanes, with shoulders, and include a trail. It will be above the 100-year flood plain. In the process, Carver County will also reconstruct the CSAH 61/“Y” intersection to ease traffic concerns.
The transfer of 101 will be completed by April, with bids for the project opening April 17. The bid should be awarded in early May, with construction starting in early June and ending in the fall of 2015. After construction is completed, the bridge will be jointly owned by Carver and Scott counties and should last approximately 100 years.
At the same session, the Board also approved a budget amendment for the 2014 year, after approving a contract with the Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. This marks the first time that housing for homeless individuals has been included in the annual budget.
Community Social Services proposed to contract with Beacon to provide housing for a family of three for one year. Beacon will help implement the Southwest Families Moving Forward program which helps families get back on their feet. Beacon has plans to building a space to serve four families at any one time, for approximately 16 families each year, beginning in May.
The next meeting of the Carver County Board is April 1 at 9 a.m.

Contact Melissa Marohl at melissa.marohl@ecm-inc.com

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