Second car replaced in county vehicle fleet in two months
Douglas County Commissioners discussed a range of topics at Tuesday's county board meeting. Tax forfeited lands, a vehicle purchase, bridge replacement and a security committee were key topics.
Two parcels of land in Douglas County will be evaluated for reclassification from conservation-withheld to non-conservation so the county can put them back on the tax roll. The properties were withheld from sale because they are riparian to a public water basin which can be changed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Auditor/Treasurer Char Rosenow said since the properties have less than 150 feet of waterfront there is no need for legislative approval, but the DNR must give permission to sell the tax forfeited lands. The parcels were forfeited for non-payment of taxes in 1993 and 1995.
A buyer has expressed interest in purchasing the property forfeited in 1993 to install a boat dock on Lake Oscar off of Highway 27 in Holmes City. An adjoining landowner wishes to buy the second property located off Highway 10 on Lake Osakis because adding it will increase the amount of pervious surface on their property.
"These are exactly the kinds of things the DNR likes to see," Rosenow said. Once the DNR approves, Rosenow will visit the properties with the county assessor and continue with the sale process.
Another lake is going to see some activity in Douglas County as well. A picnic pavillion is planned for the Wahtomin Shores area on Lake Ida.
ANOTHER NEW CAR
Slowly the fleet of Douglas County vehicles is being upgraded. Commissioners gave the public health department permission to replace a 2005 Taurus with a 2013 Chrysler 200 Touring.
Douglas County will purchase the Chrysler from Juettner Motors for $18,000. The Taurus has almost 122,000 miles. A $2,189 trade value for the Taurus reduced the price of the Chrysler. Two 2013 Malibu's were also considered; one from Alexandria Motors for $18,666 and another from Martholer Chevrolet for $18,241.
In July the social services department was also authorized to replaced a Taurus. Public Health Director Sandy Tubbs reported a smaller than usual amount for hospice donations in July; $114 was received.
Douglas County received a Local Bridge Replacement Program grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation in the amount of $307,789 to replace a bridge on County State Aid Highway 1 at the Chippewa River. The county will be responsible for $937,537 in matching funds.
Minnerath Construction from Cold Spring will be completing the project. Work is expected to be completed by October 31, 2013.
FEMA AND SECURITY
Because Douglas County sustained damage during summer storms it is covered under the Presidential proclamation. FEMA will be setting up a temporary office in the old fallout shelter for one to two months. A security committee is being formed that will include representation from the fire department, police, sheriff's office, public health, coordinator's office, information technology department, Commissioner Jerry Johnson and County Attorney Char Larson.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.