LaSalle land exchange called off
The land exchange between Hubbard County and LaSalle, LLC ended not with a deal, but a whimper. Wednesday, county commissioners accepted the developer's withdrawal from the proposal near LaSalle Lake. Commissioners resolved to discontinue the exc...
The land exchange between Hubbard County and LaSalle, LLC ended not with a deal, but a whimper.
Wednesday, county commissioners accepted the developer's withdrawal from the proposal near LaSalle Lake.
Commissioners resolved to discontinue the exchange process after receiving a Jan. 11 letter from developer Jay Echtenkamp.
"Certain last minute requests were made by the county board regarding additional lands adjacent to CSAH 9," wrote Echtenkamp. "Therefore, because these requests are above and beyond the parameters of our original agreement, it is necessary to cease further discussions at this point in time."
Echtenkamp and his business partner, John Zacher, first proposed a land exchange with the county in January 2007.
The developers eventually worked out a trade of 50 acres of property north of CSAH 9, including a quarter-mile of land bordering the Mississippi, for 50 acres adjacent to property on LaSalle Lake.
During public hearings in October and November, the county discovered a former right-of-way along CSAH 9 would grant public access to La Salle Lake via La Salle Creek.
Commissioners contested ownership of the narrow strip of land between the old and new portions of CSAH 9 owned by the developers. The county proposed adding the land to the exchange instead of condemning it.
"I'm afraid, down the road, we will wish we kept the two issues separate," said commissioner Lyle Robinson. "In the big issue, we are the losers on this deal."
County land commissioner Bob Hoffman agreed the riverfront parcel would have been better for resource stewardship.
Hoffman said the county will not pursue condemnation of the contested land unless it receives complaints from the public about access to LaSalle Lake.
In other public works action Wednesday, commissioners:
??Learned results of the January timber sale.
Hoffman said about 35 bidders paid a total of nearly $460,000 for an estimated 15,785 cords of wood.
Jack pine sales did especially well, said Hoffman, fetching almost double the estimated price at $38.49 per cord.
Chair Cal Johannsen asked if the county needed to sell more wood than it has been auctioning off.
Hoffman said the county is following the plan formulated in 2006 and harvests about 2 percent of its resources per year, more than most other counties.
"I hear loggers say they can't get enough wood, but we do have to follow our plan," Johannsen said.
??Learned solid waste administrator Vern Massie finished negotiations for scrap metal and appliances with Crow Wing Recycling of Brainerd.
Massie said the new contract will pay more for scrap metals and will not charge the county to dispose of appliances, for a savings of about $14,000.
??Accepted low bids and quotes for: a 2.5-ton truck for recycling from Wallwork of Fargo, the lower of two quotes at $49,850; five computers for natural resource management by the state contract; and GPS equipment for the land survey office from Frontier Precision, Inc. of Bismarck, at the state bid price of $17,504.