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Excess state aid will help pay for new county equipment

Everybody likes to have a little money left over after paying for something they’ve been budgeting for over time. Washington County Engineer Wayne Sandberg is no exception — only, he’s decided to put some excess funds to good use.

Sandberg recently asked the Washington County Board of Commissioners to put $262,900 in excess state aid toward the purchase of several new pieces of equipment to better the county’s public works highway operations. His request was unanimously granted at the Dec. 15 county board meeting.

The State Aid Maintenance Funding comes to Washington County from the state, and is typically used for funding the county’s highway operations. The funds pay for fleet equipment, payroll for maintenance staff, snowplowing costs, signal operations and so on.

The county set its 2015 budget with a certain allocation amount in mind, he said, but received an additional $262,900, over what was expected, in state aid maintenance funds.

Washington County has looked for one-time expenditures to use any excess funds in this budget in the past. This year’s excess funds will be used in the same manner.

“This additional revenue here would bring us back close to what we normally would have been budgeting,” Sandberg said.

For the 2016 budget, the amount for capital equipment purchases was reduced. However, by using the excess 2015 state aid maintenance funds, the county can still purchase much of the equipment that would have been part of the capital equipment purchases for next year.

From the 2015 excess funds, Washington County will be able to purchase two 1/2-ton 4x4 pickup trucks, three 3/4-ton 4x4 pickup trucks (two of which will be replacing existing vehicles, and Sandberg expects to receive $4,000 in trade in dollars for the existing vehicles), a skid loader mounted stump grinder, a portable dewatering pump, a rubber tire compaction roller and two tractor mounted snowblowers.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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