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County seeking ag disaster designation

A resolution was approved by the county commissioners Wednesday requesting the governor petition the US secretary of agriculture to declare Hubbard County an agricultural disaster area.

According to the Farm Service Agency, an estimated 390 farmers in the county have been affected with losses sustained by the following: pasture, estimated 24,275 acres with a 62 percent loss; edible beans, 1,015 estimated acres with a 30 percent loss; corn, 2,516 estimated acres with a 40 percent loss; alfalfa/hay, 14,198 estimated acres with a 50 percent loss; and oats/grain, 4,410 estimated acres with a 50 percent loss.

The following items were on the agenda:

Public Works

The county will be holding 13 timber auction sales; about half are jack pine trees due to budworm, said land commissioner Bob Hoffman.

A bid was approved from Superior Forestry Service for bud-capping projects, the first project at $43.82 per acre for a total of $55,345, the second at $46.74 per acre for $53,517.

Assistant county engineer Jeff Adolphson gave a construction report.

Paving on CSAH 28 is set for completion the last week of the month and grading on the Schoolcraft Township bridge is to be completed this week. Work on the Shell River bridge is underway, and CSAH 30 grading is scheduled to begin over Labor Day weekend.

Solid waste administrator Vern Massie distributed the solid waste fee schedule for 2007.

Residents with year-round residential properties will see a 6 percent increase in solid waste assessments, to $118. The 6 percent increase is for all classifications.

Social Services

The commissioners approved a renewal agreement with the state to provide transportation for the county. This continues a grant for the Hubbard County Heartland Express transit program.

The county will provide a local share of 15 percent of the total operating cost and 20 percent of the total capital cost. Social Services director Daryl Bessler also said they have been looking into working with the Paul Bunyan transit program in the Bemidji area.


Commissioners Lyle Robinson and Dick Devine were appointed to the primary election canvassing board. Auditor/treasurer Pam Heeren noted voting information is now available on the county Web site,

Heeren gave a report of revenues and expenditures in the donations department. The balance for received donations from 2002 through 2006 for the following departments is: Sentence to Serve, $23,502; K-9 unit, $4,044; Sheriff's Department, $2,185; Boat and Water, $1,959; and Drug Education, $835.

Also reviewed were the preliminary requested certified levies and the budget, which were discussed at a work session Monday.

"There's a lot of bare bones," said chairman Floyd Frank, who pointed out a large portion of the proposed budgets for the sheriff's and highway departments was eliminated. "We cut a lot out of there."

The preliminary certified net levy for 2007 currently is set at $10.28 million, up $601,300, or 6.2 percent, from the 2006 levy.

The preliminary budgets and levy will be finalized at the next board meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 6. Truth in Taxation statements will be sent out in November, and are based on the preliminary budget. The final budget will be set in December.

E911 ordinance hearing

Amendments to the E911 ordinance were approved at a public hearing.

"The original ordinance didn't address some issues when initiated in 1999, said rural addressing coordinator Bill Alden, and public and private road names need to be added.

Changes to the ordinance include explaining what E911 road signs are, owner responsibility, parcel splits, sign requirements and sign replacement fees.

The county provides the signs to landowners, who are then held responsible for their signs.

Committee reports

Commissioner Swede Nelson said the trial involving Hubbard County and several Lake Belle Taine shoreland owners has been extended because the plaintiffs' attorney has been appointed trial judge.

Environmental Services

The following were approved:

• The final plat of Common Interest Community Plat 20, A Planned Community, Paradise Cove, developed by Robert and Sharon Schinnert. The applicants requested to amend the plat of a resort conversion to a 12-unit residential planned unit development on Lake Belle Taine, Henrietta Township.

• The final plat of Red Pine Ranch, developed by Milestone Nevis, LLC. The applicant is platting 110.78 acres into 32 non-lakeshore parcels in White Oak Township.

• The final plat of Sand Kasten, developed by Myron Hohnstadt. The applicant is platting 24.78 acres into eight lots in a residential non-lakshore district in Henrietta Township.

• The final plat of Bach Woods, developed by Burgess Bach Estate. The applicant is platting 7.85 acres into four residential lakeshore parcels on Kabekona Lake in Lakeport Township.

• The preliminary plat of Giese Forest Nature's View, developed by Aurora Development LLC, Gary Klatt. The applicant is requesting to plat 42.10 acres into 16 residential lakeshore parcels on Lake George in Lake George Township.

• The preliminary plat of Lost Acres, developed by Phil and Marilyn Wolff. The applicant is requesting to plat 2.47 acres into one residential non-lakeshore lot in Straight River Township.

Also discussed was a suggestion from a contractor to the county about individual septic treatment systems.

He wants the county to consider paying contractors for doing as-builts when county inspectors are unable to fit a system into their schedule, said Environmental Services officer Eric Buitenwerf.

"As-built" is the term for contractor self-inspections, according to Buitenwerf. When weather or other circumstances prevent an inspector from checking a system, the contractor takes pictures of the system before backfilling and submits them along with documentation showing it was an as-built versus an inspected system. No action was taken.

In other business, Michelle Prosser, executive director of the Hubbard County Soil and Water District, reported on the Local Water Plan drafted Aug. 10.

Priority concerns were established, including groundwater/based drinking water protection, surface water quality and quantity protection and wetlands and habitat protection.

A water plan public hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 in the courthouse lower level.