Ground breaking was Tuesday for the new Steele County Public Works Building. The site is on old Highway 14 just west of Aldi's. Building a new complex had been discussed for a number of years. In 2010 the floods got the upper hand on the Highway Maintenance Shop.

The project will be done in two phases. Currently a practice called "scarffing" is being done. In a nut shell the damp soil, which is a combination of clay and peat, is turned over so it will dry. There will also be grading and road construction along with the building of a fuel island and a salt/sand storage building, which will take place this summer.

Phase two will be the building of the actual complex.

The highway department spends $5,500 to $6,000 a day on personnel.

The state bonding bill is providing $4 million, with an additional $1.6 million coming from the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management division of FEMA.