Humboldt supervisors consider using private haulers

DAKOTA CITY — The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors discussed the possibility of using private haulers with Interim County Engineer Ben Loots at Monday’s meeting.

Contractors have already been hauling chips and sand for private construction projects, and Board Chairman Bruce Reimers wondered if there would be any interest from private contractors to haul for the county if the board sought bids.

“I don’t want to put our guys out to pasture, either. I’m not trying to do that,” Reimers said.

He said would just like to see a cost comparison.

“Either way we would be paying the expense to put it on the road,” Loots said.

Loots said he could get quotes, but he would use that as a last alternative if he saw in March the county was running low on material.

If the county hired the hauling done now, come March if there had been a mild winter the road employees might not have anything to do because the stockpiles would be full, Loots said.

“Even though we get a bid doesn’t mean we are going to do it,” Reimers said.

“I’d like to know that information,” Supervisor Erik Underberg said.

But the road employees would need something else constructive to do. He didn’t want to take work away from the employees.

“If there was something they could do I think it would be extremely cost effective,” he said.

A lot depends on the weather, Supervisor Rick Pedersen said.

“The big thing is the wear and tear on the trucks,” he said. “It’s very expensive to replace.”

Right now the department is pretty well caught up on work because of the mild fall, Loots said.

The county used nearly 16,000 tons of material last year, Reimers said.

Loots said he would get a quote to have material hauled to one stockpile for the board to compare.

“My concern is if we do contract haul it might end up where our guys are left with nothing to do on a decent enough day where we are not moving snow but still a cold enough day where it is five below and the wind is blowing like crazy,” Loots said.