NEW ULM – Brown County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved setting a July 7 public hearing date for public input on using the county’s bonding authority to assist in financing expansion of the Oak Hills Living Center.
Oak Hills is working with United Prairie Bank and intends to borrow $ 14.8 million on a tax-exempt basis to finance the construction of 15 memory care units, 15 enhanced assisted living units, and renovate 16 existing assisted living units.
Groundbreaking is intended for Friday, July 15.
Action came on a motion by Commissioner Dave Borchert, New Ulm; seconded by Tony Berg, rural New Ulm.
Current plans include using as much of Brown County’s $ 10 million in bank-qualified bonding authority available this calendar year. The balance of the $ 14.8 million would be issued as taxable bonds that would be reissued in January 2023 as tax-exempt.
“It’s a good expansion project for the community,” said Brown County Administrator Sam Hansen.
In another business at Tuesday’s meeting, the County Board was informed that bid results for the CSAH 8 bridge replacement project are at least 10% over the $ 3,580,822 engineer’s estimate. Brown County Highway Engineer Wayne Stevens said more state funding may be available to make up the difference.
Stevens said the county is waiting for approval of the low bidder’s application from the state.
If the approval is granted, the Highway Department will bring the low bid to the board for consideration.
Bridge 2110, sometimes referred to the Peterson or Hale bridge, is the last truss bridge owned by Brown County. It is structurally deficient with a low sufficiency rating and a number of serious structural issues.
The bridge was closed for critical deficiency repairs in August 2017 and reopened in the fall of 2020.
The bridge placement project and approach work on the Brown County side of the river is funded with federal, bridge bond and state aid funds. Approach work on the Renville County side is funded with state aid money.
Washington County plans to move the CSAH 8 bridge to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve to replace an existing bridge used for pedestrian and bicycle travel on a loop trail.
(Fritz Busch can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.)