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Hubbard County Board talks of certifying gravel pits; gives owners new work

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By Sarah Smith

Hubbard County will look into certifying up to 80 gravel pits so operators can bid for more work.

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“We have 84 pits listed on the assessor’s tax list and there are some that are not on the tax list, state and county land pits,” county ag inspector Greg Hensel indicated to the board in a letter.

County commissioners, in frequent meetings with townships, have learned that some gravel pit operators are barred from bidding certain work projects because they aren’t certified.

“We can’t eradicate weeds totally, but a certification process would take care of active weeds,” County Board Chair Kathy Grell said.

Some of those 80-some gravel pits are likely abandoned, she added. But with township interest, it’s an issue the county should give extra thought to.

Hensel indicated it would take 21 days for initial inspections and follow-ups of the pits to be certified.

Then owners must bear the cost of spraying for weeds. “Therefore the cost ranges from $150 - $7,000 depending on the pit,” Hensel added.

The commission will use a special work session next month to look into the matter. A pit would have to be enrolled for seven years in the program, gradually depleting the seed bank by not letting the weeds produce seeds.

The meeting is set for April 8 in the county boardroom.

In other business, the county:

n Agreed on a formula to disburse tax-forfeited land apportionments, giving 15 percent to the Forest Development Office (168,588) and 20 percent to Parks & Recs ($224,782). Other revenues go to townships and cities, the school districts and general revenue, which totals around $730,542.

n Agreed to look into housing some Becker County female inmates on a long term basis. The counties agreed to open dialog and try to work out a plan. The board will meet April 8 on this Purchase of Services Agreement after it discusses the gravel pit certification.

n Accepted two bids by Tri-City Paving of Little Falls for bituminous overlays from CSAH 7 to CSAH 2 in Nevis (997,805) and an overlay from the Wadena County line to Highway 87 ($431,015).

n Approved a conditional use permit by Tim and Deb Skadberg to operate a resort commercial PUD in Lake Emma Township.

n Agreed to refill the Facilities Manager position left vacant last month when Lee Gwiazdon retired. The board also approved an updated job description for the position.

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Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.

(218) 732-3364
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