Hubbard County buys 46 acres for Itasca-Heartland Connection Trail

The proposed route of the Itasca-Heartland Connection Trail passes through this parcel, located northwest of Emmaville in Clay Township.

Hubbard County is purchasing a 46-acre parcel, adjacent to existing county tax-forfeited lands and 554 acres that will be donated to the county. <br/>
Map by Hubbard County Natural Resource Management Department
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The Hubbard County Board agreed to purchase 46 acres from The Conservation Fund (TCF).

The proposed route of the Itasca-Heartland Connection Trail passes through this parcel, located northwest of Emmaville in Clay Township.

TCF is a nonprofit organization that strives to preserve land as working forest, conservation land or public recreational land.

Land Commissioner Mark “Chip” Lohmeier explained to the board at their April 19 meeting, “This is part of the larger 600-acre tract that the Trust for Public Lands is acquiring and would donate to the county.”

Trust For Public Lands (TPL) – a national, nonprofit land conservation organization – has Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) funding to purchase 554 acres of former Potlatch land from TCF.


Lohmeier reminded the board that this 46-parcel was split off from the TPL acquisition because LSOHC prohibits use of its funding to buy land that will be developed into recreational trails.

“We’re looking at purchasing this separately using county funds, then we can put the trail on there without restrictions,” Lohmeier said.

He reported TCF is looking to complete this real estate transaction in the same time frame (June 15) as TPL will be acquiring the adjoining 554 acres.

TCF offered to sell the 46 acres for $66,249, with a $1,000 deposit and closing date of June 15 or earlier.

According to Lohmeier, the current assessed value of the land is approximately $1,665 per acre. TCF is offering land at approximately $1,438 per acre, giving the county a savings of over $10,000.

Once the parcel is acquired, Lohmeier said the county could complete a Class B land exchange with itself using tax-forfeited lands for the exchange. The tax-forfeited status would then transfer to the parcel acquired from TCF and the county could sell the other tax-forfeited parcel. This would make the acquired parcel eligible for payment in lieu of taxes. Parcels involved in a Class B land exchange must be largely of the same value, Lohmeier reported.

In other business, the board did as follows:

  • Accepted the low quote for 2022 noxious weed spraying from B&P Weed Control of Bemidji in the amount of $37,523. The quote includes application of herbicide along 173 miles of various county roads. Hubbard County Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin said this will cover the northern one-third of the county, adding this contract will free up Hubbard County Agriculture Inspector Greg Hensel’s time so he can spray more townships. Nordin noted that the county’s one natural preservation route, on CSAH 37 by Kabekona Lake, will not be sprayed so that native flowers are not killed.
  • Accepted the low quote of $72,115 from Sir Lines-a-Lot of Edina for the annual pavement marking contract.
  • Approved the $12,545 purchase of Canon large-format plotter/scanner/copier for the county highway, survey and natural resource management departments. The contract is with Sheldon Business Solutions, LLC of Duluth. 
  • Reviewed results of April 11 timber auction, where 10 tracts sold for $390,336. Lohmeier reported that the total value of all timber sold so far in 2022 is $794,070. This is approximately an $84,000 increase in value of timber sold at this point in time last year. “And last year was a pretty good year. Trends are in the right direction,” Lohmeier said.
  • Accepted low quote of $2,438 from Potty Shacks of Park Rapids for renting four  Porta-Potty units. The units will be located at the Stony Lake and Garfield Lake swimming beaches and at the south Long Lake access and Fish Hook Lake access.
  • Authorized participation in a regional project to study the future of demolition landfill management and committed up to $15,000. Hubbard County Solid Waste Administrator Josh Holte said nine counties, including Hubbard, applied for a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the project, but it was denied. The counties decided to move ahead using county dollars for the $133,050 study.
    Allen and Mary Scheider are ordered to remove this hazardous building at 15699 Dakota Shores Drive on Long Lake.
    Photo by Hubbard County Environmental Services Office
  • Approved an order to Allen and Mary Scheider to remove a hazardous building at 15699 Dakota Shores Drive on Long Lake. The county determined the former cabin is dilapidated and in disrepair.
  • Approved the hire of a Social Services supervisor (adult services).
Gladen Construction Inc. of Laporte was awarded the bid to construct a tunnel under U.S. Hwy. 71.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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