The Houston County Board of Commissioners cast a number of unanimous votes on May 7.

The first was to approve the quote of the single bidder for a large paving project involving CSAH 4 and County Road 249. Mathy Construction was awarded the work for $2,657,448.

Four bidders competed to provide calcium chloride for the county and townships, County Engineer Brian Pogodzinski reported.

He recommended low-bidder Freeborn County Co-op at 84¢ per gallon. The total is 8,000 gallons, which would be split approximately in half for dust control on county and township roads. Commissioners approved the quote.

A cooperative agreement for MnDOT to place signage along U.S. Bicycle Route 45 (the Mississippi River Trail) also brought unanimous approval. Those three signs are along CSAH 29 in La Crescent.

Commissioners approved three up-to-67-day hires for three separate departments.

Ryan Meiners will assist the Highway Department with surveys for road projects, while Samuel Kratt will help out at the Surveyor's Office with several survey-related projects, including Iowa line work.

Joseph Tollefson was approved as a roster driver at Veteran's Services, pending a VA background check.

Also approved was moving social worker Melissa Foth from probationary to regular status.

Lieutenant Brian Swedberg presented the board with two grants for water safety patrols on the Mississippi River.

The first from the State of Minnesota totaled $6,998. The second was a federal grant for $5,000. Both were approved.

Commissioner Judy Storlie was appointed to serve on the Bluff Country Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Another vote appointed Al Jacob and Joe McManimon to the Houston County Water Planning Board.

In other news, Pogodzinski reported that the state fire marshal had inspected the county's highway shop on May 1 per an OSHA recommendation, and updates to exit signs and lighting, as well as some minor wiring and the new exit door previously mentioned will be required.

The fire marshal's report is expected soon, after which the county will have 90 days to comply.

"From what I can see there aren't any major issues," he said.