Big Difference in Asking Price | News, Sports, Jobs

County Road 29, north of Wells, is ready to be paved next week, the county council announced last Tuesday.

A small parcel of land located in Foster Township was the focus of much discussion when Faribault County Commissioners gathered for their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 19.

“This relates to land that the county took possession of in September 2000 due to a tax forfeiture,” said county auditor/treasurer/coordinator Darren Esser. “A neighboring landowner has come forward to buy some of the land.”

Esser explained that the land the county owns consists of 26.84 acres of Minnesota Reinvestment Perpetual Easement (RIM) plus an additional 4.64 acres of what currently appears to be pasture.

“To my knowledge, there are no conservation restrictions on grazing”, Esser told the council. “A survey has been carried out to subdivide the land and separate the 4.64 acres from the larger parcel.”

Then the commissioners passed a motion directing Esser to seek approval from the Department of Natural Resources (MNR) to sell the land since it contains shore land.

The final piece of the puzzle in moving forward with the sale of the land was to set a price.

Esser told the commissioners that the county assessor’s office determined the fair market value was $29,900 for the 4.64 acres.

Commissioners Bruce Anderson and John Roper moved to set the initial price at $2,000, which was the cost of the survey, but this motion was defeated by a 3-2 vote.

A motion to set the price at $29,900 passed, with Anderson and Roper voting against the motion.

The property must first be offered to the three adjacent landowners. If none of them wants to respect the proposed price, the land will be put up for public auction.

All of these scenarios still require MNR to first approve the sale of the land.

Also at the meeting, the Commissioners were introduced to the new Director of Central Services, Pam Krill. Krill told the board that it was only her second day on the job, but she was thrilled to be at work.

Director of Public Works Mark Daly was present at the meeting to announce that the full reclamation was complete on County Road 29 northbound from Wells.

“This part of the process ended last night,” Daly commented. “Paving should start next week.”

Daly also shared that county signing Pat Campbell resigned on July 11.

“We have conducted internal interviews and our new sign man is Bryce Werner,” Dally said. “Bryce was our parks manager, so we will now be looking to fill that position. Randy Ficken, who was our signer for many years until he retired a few years ago, has agreed to come back part-time and help Bryce learn the trade.

Daly also said he still hasn’t received a start date for work on the Unity Trail near Blue Earth.

“I am not concerned” he stated. “Ulland Brothers estimate it will only take two days to do the job and they have until October to complete the job.”

The council also tackled a few items on the agenda concerning the Courthouse HVAC project (heating, ventilation, air conditioning).

“We learned that we will need more air-conditioned storage space to store various documents during the works at the courthouse,” Esser remarked. “I recommend that we enter into a month-to-month lease for approximately 960 square feet that is available at the agricultural center. The cost of the lease is $55 per month.

Council passed a motion to lease the space.

A motion to approve a contract with Institute for Environmental Assessments, Inc. in the amount of $34,200, which will provide final approval for systems, components and controls related to the courthouse HVAC project, was approved.

“They will check the air quality to make sure the system is working as it is supposed to,” Esser said.

The board also:

• Approval of a $200 per month lease with Bevcomm for the use of a fiber optic strand between the courthouse and the law enforcement centre.

• Passed a motion to approve a budgeted payment of $10,000 to the 2022 Fair Council (Ag Society).

• Approval of a resolution to adopt and implement the Shell Rock River and Winnebago-Wapsipinicon Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan, which affects approximately 500 acres in the Township of Kiester.

• Passed a motion to grant the training requests of Vincent Do from the Sheriff’s Department to attend LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) training and Todd Hanevik from the Sheriff’s Department to attend the 40th Annual Prison Administrators Conference.

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