Humboldt sups discuss LuVerne site

DAKOTA CITY – Progress of the cleanup of a hazardous site at LuVerne was discussed at Monday’s meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

Since February 2011, the supervisors have discussed cleanup at the site of a former DX service station in LuVerne. The county had acquired the site to speed up cleanup of a leaking underground fuel storage tank. The Apex Corp. of Urbandale was cleaning the site with state and federal funding. At that time the supervisors said the city of LuVerne had expressed interest in purchasing the site once it had been cleaned. City officials had asked the county to board up broken windows at the building on the site.

On Monday, Supervisor Harlan Hansen asked about the status of the site. It was not on the agenda but came up during a discussion on the county treasurer’s semiannual report.

“Every time we get a report on it they say it is almost done,” said County Attorney Jon Beaty.

It sounded like the site was almost done when he became county attorney two years ago, Beaty said.

“I don’t know why it is not done,” he said.

Supervisor Jerry Haverly said by the time the site is cleared the building will likely be so dilapidated no one would want to purchase it.

“We are going to be stuck with a building that is going to have to be torn down, in my opinion,” he said.

Supervisor Mort Christianson felt the holdup centered around available funding.

Following the meeting, the board had a budget work session with County Engineer Paul Jacobson.

Jacobson has not yet submitted a formal budget.

He estimated total labor and claims for the secondary roads department at $3.1 million. He is anticipating raising the amount the smaller cities get reimbursed from the county for road repairs from a total of $40,000 to $55,000.

Fuel costs have gone down about $30,000 from a peak in 2011 when $251,000 was spent on fuel. In 2013 $219,000 was spent on fuel.

“I’d like to say we have peaked maybe, maybe not,” Jacobson said. However the cost of tires has increased significantly, he said.

Jacobson said does not anticipate any major equipment purchases in the new budget.