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Hubbard County may be putting land up for sale

At the last Hubbard County Board meeting, the commissioners had asked land commissioner Chip Lohmeier to evaluate scattered parcels of tax forfeited land currently owned by Hubbard County that could potentially be put up for sale in light of the acquisition of land donated by Minnesota Deer Hunter’s Association.

Lohmeier found roughly 40 parcels totalling 1,800 acres of land that could potentially be put up for sale. According to Lohmeier, the lots are mostly timber in rural areas that create difficulty for the county to manage them.

"That’s something we need to work on at a work session, we need to determine how much land we’re going to accept because we’re taking an awful lot of land off the tax rolls and that’s going to affect all of the rest of the residents in Hubbard County at some point," Commissioner Cal Johnannsen said. "And when is enough enough? We can’t control what we get from tax-forfeited properties but we can control how much we take as a donation because people want it to be public."

Commissioner Dan Stacey suggested coming up with a plan to use the land acquired to attract more people into the area that wouldn’t be paying taxes but would be spending money in the community.    

In other business Hubbard County Commissioners: 

- Adopted a resolution approving the Income Maintenance, Social Service agenda and the welfare bills.

- Approved license applications for Firefly Event Barn in Nevis Township and Phoenix Restaurant Group, Inc. in Henrietta Township.

- Adopted a resolution approving the MN Lawful Gambling Application to conduct bingo for Let’s Go Fishing.

- Reviewed and approved the Timber Auction results from July 11. All 15 tracts were sold on the first round of bidding for a total of $378,329.49; ahead of last year’s average.

- Discussed quotes for Truck Axle Scales for Solid Waste. Currently they have an idea of how much weight the trucks are hauling but is nowhere near accurate and they need an idea how much is on the road.

The commissioners requested Jed Norlin get more accurate quotes in order to move forward with a possible purchase.

- Received project updates on the completion of County Roads 4, 25, 81, 109 and 111. The next big project is the truck route scheduled to begin August 29.

The consultant on the water tower project has the proposal near done, once Public Works Coordinator, David Olsonawski receives it, it will be advertised for bids.

- Were notified by Kay Rave about the 2016 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) amount of $1,066,000 which is up from last year.

- Approved a contract with Heartland Homes pending satisfactory approval by the County Attorney.

- Approved a matching funds request from Land of the Dancing Sky. It was determined that for 2017 Hubbard County’s portion of matching funds was reduced from the 2016 total of $6,298 to $4,282.

- Reviewed  the 2017 Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District budget. The SWCD Budget Committee proposed an increase for the County allocation to build local capacity. The commissioners felt there were a lot of unknown variables at this time. It was decided to put the SWCD budget on the work session agenda.