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Condemnation hearing on County 37 continued to settle with landowners

The condemnation proceeding against several County 37 landowners has been continued until Sept. 7 to settle the matter.

At a court hearing Wednesday, Judge Paul Rasmussen granted County Attorney Don Dearstyne's request to postpone the case.

One last parcel along the highway, owned by Benedict of MN Partnership, had yet to settle with the county but indicated it was willing to, Dearstyne told the court.

All of the rest of the opponents to the road project settled, including those who angrily confronted county commissioners at several meetings.

The opponents didn't want the road graded, widened or worked on at all. Eventually it will be blacktopped.

"I've heard from a couple of them they're real happy with the work he's been doing," Dearstyne said of the contractor. Aspen Construction Company of Hackensack has extensive experience in lakeshore projects.

Dearstyne said he's heard the company has taken measures to avoid clearing too many trees and has saved the trees residents posted signs on.

If the eminent domain proceedings were to go forward, it could cost the county as much as $2,000 to hire outside experts to value the property.

"It makes perfect sense to avoid spending public dollars when there's no need for it," Rasmussen told the courtroom.

Dearstyne said he expects the matter to be settled by the Sept. 7 court date. Then he will dismiss the petition.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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