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Highway crews ahead of schedule heading into winter season

Taylor County is ahead of schedule on brush mowing along county highways.

Highway commissioner Ben Stanfley reported that he had originally divided the county into quarters for the road mowing, but had been surprised about how much work they were able to get done this year.

He told members of the county’s highway committee on Tuesday that they were able to get about one-third of the county done and will be able to get on a three-year rotation of mowing along all the county roads. He reported on doing a portion of CTH D this year and how it had not been cut for the past six years. He said with less time between cuts, the entire process would go faster due to not needing as much done by hand.

Stanfley also reported on the county’s efforts to build a new shop in Rib Lake. He was at the Oct. 14 village board meeting to request a variance to the setback limits for distance from the village well.

According to Stanfley, the requirements being asked for by the village are reasonable and they he just needs to put in writing how they plan to address prevention of groundwater contamination.

“We don’t want to contaminate anyone’s water,” Stanfley said, noting they would have been designing it to standards to prevent this as well.

Stanfley said he hopes to have the variance and zoning changes in place to be able to execute the land purchase on the parcel in early January and move ahead with construction to begin next spring.

While looking ahead to the new Rib Lake shop, Stanfley said they have done a good amount of work to improve the Medford shop. The highway crew recently tore out and replaced the front entrance steps including pouring the concrete for a new accessibility ramp leading into the building. He said the previous entrance was crumbling and needed to be redone. Highway employees will also be fabricating the railings for the ramp when the metal arrives.

The building is scheduled to be tuck-pointed next year and the fuel island was cleaned up and needed decals added for safety.

“The Medford shop is up to snuff and right where we