Busy development season starts

In Hubbard County, summer means three things: road construction, tourists and lakeshore development. To that extent, summer got an early start Wednesday at the Hubbard County commissioners meeting, when several plats came up for discussion. Among...

In Hubbard County, summer means three things: road construction, tourists and lakeshore development.

To that extent, summer got an early start Wednesday at the Hubbard County commissioners meeting, when several plats came up for discussion.

Among the applications was a conditional use permit for Round Bay Resort, a 34-unit RV park on 3rd Crow Wing Lake, developed by board chairman Floyd Frank. Despite protests from Frank's neighbors at a recent planning commission meeting, the plan quickly earned the board's approval Wednesday.

"Everything is removed from view - you won't even see it from the road," said commissioner Cal Johannsen. "It's being done right."

Commissioner Lyle Robinson asked, "There's no special treatment because he's a commissioner?"


"I don't think so," Johannsen replied.

Three preliminary plats were also on the agenda, but all were tabled for various reasons.

The plat for Belle Shores, a planned community on Lake Belle Taine, was tabled because developer Wayne Johnson verbally withdrew the plat Wednesday morning in a voicemail message to Environmental Services officer Eric Buitenwerf.

Buitenwerf said he requires a written withdrawal, and the board agreed to table the plat to give Johnson a chance to submit one, rather than deny the request.

There were a number of issues with the plat, including exceeding maximum density requirements and room for future septic system drainfields.

Bach Woods, developed by Burgess Bach Estates, was tabled, as the developer could not attend the board meeting. The plat deals with 7.85 acres within shoreland jurisdiction of Kabekona Lake, to be developed into four residential parcels.

The preliminary plat for Paradise Cove, a planned community on Lake Belle Taine, was also tabled. The planning commission recommended the plat's approval with several conditions, including that the 12 current units (with the possibility of a 13th cabin) cannot be enlarged, to keep with density requirements.

Developer Robert Schinnert was not satisfied with that recommendation, and asked if the 13th cabin was not added, if the other cabins could be expanded by that total footage, perhaps on a first-come first-served basis.


The board determined the plat should specify what cabins could be expanded and by how much.

"The reason you have a plan is if you added a bedroom on a septic system that's already too small, and you have to move the septic system, that gets real costly," Robinson said.

"You have to keep in mind, once you've sold it and you're long gone, we're still dealing with those owners," Frank agreed.

The board ultimately requested an extension on the plat to allow Schinnert and Buitenwerf to determine what cabins could gain extra square footage without making the plat over-dense. The plat will be presented again at the May 3 board meeting.

At the end of the environmental services agenda, Buitenwerf noted his office's busy season is only beginning.

"Just so you know, May will be the beginning of longer agendas," Buitenwerf smirked. "In all honesty, we could double staff and still have things we wouldn't be able to do."

In other business Wednesday, the board:

??Learned from Sheriff Gary Mills the county has received a $10,000 refund from Minnesota Power, due to the electricity conservation efforts at the new Law Enforcement Center (LEC). Jailer/dispatch administrator Sherri Klasen organized the paperwork to get the refund.


"I wasn't really sure if it was legit at first," she said. "But, we went through the whole process and I was very pleased to see the check."

The board commended the sheriff's office, especially Klasen, for overseeing the LEC construction.

"Most projects that size, we would've hired someone to keep an eye on things, and I think the sheriff's department did a great job," Johannsen said.

? Officially acknowledged May 7-13 as Correctional Officer's Week.

"They work hard and they've got a tough job, and I think this resolution would be a very nice thing for the board to do, to recognize the work they do," Mills said.

? Heard from social services director Daryl Bessler that the eligibility schedule has changed for those services without mandated schedules. It was last modified in 2002-03.

Now, one person can have a yearly gross income of up to $15,960 to qualify for services. A family of four can have an annual income up to $30,693.

"Does it mean we could see more people receiving services free? Yes. A lot? No," Bessler said, noting the new schedule mainly affects mental health patients.


? Dismissed the need for another county attorney. County coordinator Jack Paul said the average attorney-to-judge ratio for Aitkin, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater and Itasca counties is 2.25; Hubbard County's ratio is 1.32. He noted last year, 1,000 cases were submitted to the county attorney's office.

"I believe when cases are dismissed, often it's because there aren't enough attorneys," Paul said.

"I don't agree with that at all," Frank countered, with Robinson agreeing. Johannsen noted much of the legwork is done by the attorney's staff, and that Hubbard County doesn't require its lawyer to sit through its board meetings, like some counties do.

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