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Menahga City Council considering sale of land strip

The Menahga City Council is considering the sale of a 20-foot-by-140-foot slice of land that’s currently part of Greenwood Connections, which is owned by the city.

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At their May 31 work session, the Menahga City Council will review the possible sale of a narrow strip of land that's part of Greenwood Connections' property. <br/>
Map courtesy of Menahga City Hall
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The Menahga City Council is considering the sale of a 20-foot-by-140-foot slice of land that’s currently part of Greenwood Connections, which is owned by the city.

The Greenwood Connections Board also recommended the sale.

The council discussed the proposal at its May 9 meeting.

An individual is interested in purchasing adjoining, tax-forfeited land (TFL) on Twin Lakes Road.

“It’s been in tax foreclosure for many years. It hasn’t had any income since 2012,” temporary technician Jensine Kurtti reported to the council.

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By adding the narrow strip to the sale, the TFL will be squared off and won’t need a variance to be split into two parcels.

“It’ll be back on the tax rolls. We’ll have two new water users,” Kurtti said of the purchaser’s intent to build on both parcels this summer.

Mayor Liz Olson suggested talking to a city assessor about a sales price for the strip.

The council moved the matter to its May 31 work session.

In related business, Greenwood Connections Administrator Laura Ahlf said Minnesota Department of Health surveyors visited the facility in early May. They found no deficiencies for resident care. The fire marshall found some minor deficiencies, which have been corrected.

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Work has begun on Menahga's new, 100,000-gallon water tower. The city is using a combination of American Rescue Plan Act funds, reserves and a $614,500 loan from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund, which is administered by the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority.
Shannon Geisen / Park Rapids Enterprise<br/>

In other business, the council did as follows:

  • When the meeting started, Olson noted it was the third time that council member Art Huebner was live streaming the meeting to his personal Facebook page against council resolution.
  • Approved a letter of understanding with CarlsonSV of Fergus Falls. The firm will complete the 2021 city audit. It’s estimated to take 125 hours and cost approximately $18,000. Interim City Administrator Betty Thomsen noted that the 2020 audit cost $39,000. This was due to the previous city administration’s inability to reconcile its main checking account. 

Olson thanked the current staff – Thomsen, Kurtti, Alvina Kytta and Dustyne Hewitt – for their hard work and their expertise to make this audit possible. The motion passed 3-1, with Huebner opposed and council member Robyn Keranen absent.

  • Approved a variance request from Matson of Minnesota, Inc. for two lots Lyle Matson owns in Odland’s Pines Fourth Addition. He asked to split the lots into four parcels and allow for a reduced side yard setback (10 instead of the required 15 feet in the city ordinance). The only condition of this variance is that any building placed on these lots must remain under one ownership, as recommended by the city planning commission.
  • Learned from the financial advisor that of the city’s eight bond issues, three of them are not callable and five, if refunded, would not generate sufficient savings to merit consideration.
  • Upgraded city hall’s 11-year-old exchange server and domain. The total cost of $5,586 includes a $3,266 overdue payment to West Central Telephone Association (WCTA). Thomsen said the city will reduce its monthly bill from $1,455 to $761 with the new system. The city email will be Menahga.com.
  • Approved the purchase of a security camera for the fire station from WCTA, costing $390.
  • Approved the purchase of GPS for 10 city-owned vehicles through Verizon. The motion passed 3-1, with Huebner opposed.
  • Approved the hiring of James Moeller for a part-time summer mowing position at $15 per hour.
  • Approved the running route for Miles for Michael, as requested by Nate and Angie Erickson. Their son, Michael, was 17 when he was accidentally shot by a friend in 2020. The memorial run is planned for Sept. 17.

Olson told the Ericksons, “I think it’s an admirable thing to do. I’m sorry for the loss of your child.”

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The council donated an old city seal and check protector to the local history museum.
Shannon Geisen/Park Rapids Enterprise

  • Donated an old check protector and a seal that says “Village of Menahga” to the Menahga Area Historical Museum.
  • Approved a 2022 snow removal contract between Spirit Lake Lumber and the city.
  • Proclaimed May 8-14 National Skilled Nursing Care Week.

The council is holding a work session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31 at city hall.

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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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