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Jenkins: Wilson Township mutual aid road agreement approved. Council to seek engineer review of corduroy road

The Jenkins City Council on Monday, Feb. 11, approved a one-year contract with Wilson Township for mutual aid road maintenance while seeking feedback from the city engineer on the liability of ownership of a corduroy road covered in the agreement.

The Jenkins City Council had a full meeting Feb. 11 to discuss road maintenance mutual aid agreements.
The Jenkins City Council had a full meeting Feb. 11 to discuss road maintenance mutual aid agreements. Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

The Jenkins City Council on Monday, Feb. 11, approved a one-year contract with Wilson Township for mutual aid road maintenance while seeking feedback from the city engineer on the liability of ownership of a corduroy road covered in the agreement.

For many years the city and township have had a mutual aid agreement covering snowplowing, grading and general maintenance of a stretch of road in Wilson Township, but adjacent to property in the city. The city had sought to negotiate a new agreement that simplified the duties of the city and township, which ultimately would split that road into three sections with Wilson taking responsibility of one section, the city of Jenkins taking responsibility of another section and both jurisdictions sharing responsibility for a corduroy road that makes up the third section. The proposed agreement was modeled after an agreement between the city of Jenkins and Jenkins Township.

Mayor Jon Lubke said he was hoping that sharing the corduroy road would alleviate some liability for the city in case the corduroy road ever failed. In that case, he said, the cost would be too burdensome on city taxpayers, none of whom likely use the road very often. The road is also not a city road.

Township representatives said they prefer the current agreement because it has worked for many years and because the corduroy road has proven to be stable and unlikely to fail at any time; therefore, it doesn't likely represent a risk to the city. Township board members also said they didn't want to deal with the hassle if for some reason the city decided the corduroy road required some sort of overlay or expensive maintenance, but the township felt such maintenance was unnecessary.

Council member Charles Hoffman said he would like to extend the current agreement for a year and then direct the city engineer to do a review of the road to determine whether there really is any risk to the city. The rest of the council agreed.

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In other business Monday, the council:

• Accepted resignation of city clerk Krista Okerman and approved posting for a replacement.

• Heard from David Moe from Whitefish Area Lodging Association. Moe asked if the council had had an opportunity to review WALA's amendment and stance on a decision to withdraw the city from an agreement to allow a lodging tax in city limits. The city is awaiting a response from its attorney before making any statements.

• Reported on a meeting for a cost-share agreement with Crow Wing County. Through cooperation, the county and city of Jenkins qualified for state money for a project improving County Road 145. The cost to the city came in significantly higher than the city was anticipating and the city has been trying to negotiate a deal to lessen the burden on taxpayers. The council said it wants to maintain a good relationship with the county, so it is unlikely to completely abandon the deal and leave the county with the cost burden. But the city would still like to continue negotiation.

0219pl-corduroy-road.jpg
A corduroy road or log road is a type of road or timber trackway made by placing logs, perpendicular to the direction of the road over a low or swampy area. The result is an improvement over impassable mud or dirt roads. Corduroy roads can also be built as a foundation for other surfacings. - Wikipedia. Corduroy road. A work of the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Related Topics: JENKINS CITY COUNCIL
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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