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County highway engineer resigns

Tyler Koos, Beltrami County highway engineer for about a year and half, submitted his resignation Tuesday.

The resignation, which County Board members accepted Tuesday, will take effect April 2, he said in a letter.

"I have taken a position with the DNR," Koos said in the letter, referring to the Department of Natural Resources.

"Reasons for my leaving Beltrami County are that the position with the DNR provides greater diversity in the projects I will be working on and the position allows me to better utilize my engineering design skills," he wrote.

Koos served as assistant highway engineer since 2005 under County Highway Engineer Jim Worcester. The former Cass County highway engineer came out of retirement to hire and train someone who eventually could take his place at his second retirement.

Since Koos was elevated to Worcester's job in October 2008, the assistance county highway engineer spot has remained vacant.

Koos has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and master's degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. He taught math and science in New Ulm and Laporte. For more than seen years, he was a consulting engineer for Landecker & Associates in Walker.

County Administrator Tony Murphy said by a law a registered civil engineer must sign off on Highway Department documents pertaining to road and bridge construction, but that job could be contracted temporarily.

"But I don't think we want a private civil engineer running the Highway Department," Murphy said, suggesting that a department head within the county take over the day-to-day leadership of the County Highway Department.

Commissioner Jim Heltzer asked Murphy to provide commissioners at their next meeting with suggestions on how to proceed.

It may take some time to hire Koos' replacement, Murphy said, suggesting that an interim county highway engineer be tabbed for a six-month period.

Koos was at the board's regular meeting, presenting a bid tabulation for a County Road 41 culvert and bridge project.

Gladen Construction Inc. had the low and responsible bid of nine bidders, with $82,446.15, lower than the engineer's estimate of $97,220.