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Board passes mini truck law

Drug activity and corresponding arrests are up in the region, Sheriff Cory Aukes told the Hubbard County board Tuesday.

That was the same day that Paul Bunyan Task Force commander Gary Peterson visited the Beltrami County Board to say virtually the same thing, adding that heroin is making its presence known.

Aukes acknowledged drug agents have been busy making controlled buys and arrests.

Peterson said for the most part, heroin is being found on Indian reservations so far, but is seeping into surrounding areas.

After Aukes was elected, Hubbard County re-joined the task force, one of two it participates in.

In other business, the board:

n Passed a mini truck ordinance allowing the vehicles on county and township roads if properly equipped with headlights and other safety features.

A public hearing was held last winter on the ordinance, but it was placed on hold pending Legislative consideration of the issue.

The Legislature never did take the matter up, so the Hubbard County ordnance was ready to go.

It will require an inspecting and permitting fee of $75 that is good for three years. The ordinance goes into effect Aug. 1.

There remain some questions as to whether Park Rapids will pass its own ordinance regulating the trucks within city limits and whether the county ordinance permits the trucks in the city.

Commissioners agreed it would be up to the city council to regulate the trucks.

"We sure made a mountain out of that molehill," board chair Dick Devine said when the lengthy discussion ended.

The trucks are not permitted on state and federal highways.

n Set a bid opening date of July 18 to award contracts to bidders for the county renovation project above the jail.

The project has been broken down into 14 separate contracts to allow smaller local contractors a chance to compete. The space will be renovated into offices, where the Social Services Department will eventually move.

n Approved a funding request of $7,933 to construct an open-air shelter in Lindquist Park for seniors to use. The amount will be matched by the city of Park Rapids.

n Approved a $1,000 donation, at the recommendation of the Parks Committee, to install playground equipment at the Guthrie Town Hall.

n Discussed hiring a GIS technician on a full-time basis.

Commissioner Kathy Grell questioned if this was fiscally prudent, and requested a specific job description be drafted.

The commissioners agreed to contract with Pro West in the interim to maintain the parcel map, a contract to be drafted.

n Approved a quote of $3,050 from Williams Construction to repair the picnic shelter at Heartland Park.

n Approved final payment of $116,288 to DLL Excavating, Inc. from Little Falls for aggregate surfacing.

n Approved an offer of $5,300 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the acquisition of 3.54 acres for improvements on Highway 200 west of Laporte.

n Approved a liquor license for Backwoods Bar & Grill, the former Blue Moon Saloon.

n Learned that jail bookings resulted in $7,000 of revenues for the county in June, according to Aukes. Inmates from Becker and Cass counties have been staying at the Hubbard County facility.

n Approved the purchase of a new ATV 2-seater machine with trade-in from 34 East in Park Rapids. After trade-in, the machine will cost $5,717.81, which is paid for with grant funding.