County Board faces full agenda Tuesday

WashCo_logo            The Washington County Board of Commissioners has a full agenda Tuesday including consideration of a variance for a section of county road in both Stillwater and Oak Park Heights, hold an executive session to discuss buying a section of railroad in Hugo and conduct three workshops on separate issues.

The board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the fifth-floor boardroom at the county Government Center in Stillwater.

Among issues on its business agenda, the County Board is asked to approve a variance request from state street design standards for total width with parking on both sides for County State Aid Highway 23 and CSAH 24, the Orleans Street section project in Stillwater and Oak Park Heights.

The CSAH 23-CSAH 24 project repairs deteriorated pavement from South Fourth Street to Fourth Avenue in Oak Park Heights and Stillwater. Work includes adding a three-foot boulevard on north side of the road from South Third Street to Fourth Avenue for snow storage and signs; replacing broken storm sewer pipes and installing a bump-out at South Third Street.

The border of Oak Park Heights and Stillwater generally follows the road centerline and the road runs through a fully developed neighborhood with several homes dating to the mid-1800s.

Residents living on the street have reported difficulty clearing snow from sidewalks once plows remove snow from the road because sidewalks butt up against the back of the curb, leaving little room to move and store snow. There are several signposts in the sidewalk pavement that reduce usable width of the walk, especially for residents with disabilities.

The existing road width is 44 feet, two feet wider than state design standards of 42 feet. The county and two cities propose a narrower, 40-foot road width to alleviate snow removal and storage and sign issues and enhance the residential character of the road and surrounding area.

County Public Works officials note in a memo to the board that a similar street-width variance was approved on CSAH 23 from Orleans to Willard streets last year. The memo adds that the cities of Oak Park Heights and Stillwater have sent letters supporting the request.

Commissioners will meet in a closed session to discuss talks with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad to purchase a portion of BNSF track between 140th and 145th streets in Hugo identified in the comprehensive regional trail plan and a corridor for future transit.

The executive session will focus on compensation options for the purchase of the corridor in an effort to resolve the matter.

After adjourning their regular meeting, commissioners will hold workshops with:

  •           The Community Services Department to discuss child protection services offered by the department.
  •           The Administration Office to review core functions and mandated services in Administration, Accounting and Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Property Records and Taxpayer Services.
  •          The WPW to discuss the design, budget, construction schedule and board actions needed for the Newport Transit Station.