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home : news : news July 24, 2017

6/29/2017 3:54:00 PM
Board awards trail paving and safety crossings

Sunrise Prairie Trail gets some TLC this summer,  with a bid award last week by the County Board.  Hardrives Inc. will resurface 15 miles of the route, with three inches of bituminous.  (The City of North Branch also is using a grant extending the trail, shifted  onto the east side of old Hwy. 61 or Cty. Road 30)

County Engineer Joe Triplett announced “prices were good” of four bids received.  The bid awarded was for $1,079,749, which was comfortably below estimate.   There are also LED crossing lights as part of the bid. These pedestrian-activated lights will help regulate traffic where the trail crosses  over County Road 17 in Lent Township and CSAH 19 in Stacy.
The commissioners also approved the set of proposed revised parks ordinances.  

The ordinances have not been updated for a few years and now address activities like drone use within county parks and overnight camping.  The full ordinance language gets posted at the county website.
Planning and zoning staff and planning commission members are also working on the Comprehensive Plan latest version.  You can view the draft at public libraries and on the county website.  Comments are accepted until August 3, when the County Board is expected to have action on their agenda.

There was a joint planning commission (three commission members attending) and county board work session last week after the regular Board meeting.  Attorney Paul Reuvers, gave the Board options on revamping or refining Chisago County’s planning processes.  He said some county boards have delegated permit applications entirely to the planning commission,  and elected officials only see the big picture land use and zoning requests.

He added, Chisago is one of the better counties he has defended in court. “We win more than we lose,” he reminded those at the work session.

In public microphone one speaker, Denise Barrett, complained about the denial of her residential property valuation to be reduced for calculating property tax.  The appeal was denied 3-1 with Lora Walker absent and George McMahon voting in opposition to denying the valuation appeal.  
This was the one parcel held over for additional assessor  review from the earlier Board of Appeal.  Tax court would be Barrett’s next step in the valuation appeal process.

The assessor explained that his staff had not been granted access to the interior, to do an inspection as the basis for possibly revising the valuation. State statute says if the county has no new information (in this case from inspecting the property) on which to revise the pay-2018 valuation,  the Board “may not” make a change.

The commissioners also voted 4-0 to adopt the market valuation total covering every parcel in the county, which is in excess of $5 billion.

~ The commissioners voted to approve a plat for Neil Greene, who is related to Rick Greene, so he abstained. One 7.5 acre lot is carved out of 65 acres in Franconia Township.
~ Also a 10 acre lot was split off from 75 acres for Dan Nelson, also in Franconia.

~ The next election in November 2018  will see a combined auditor/treasurer position on the ballot.

The Board approved consolidating the two positions 4-0. There are few counties that still carry these offices as two separate posts, the Board was told.

County Auditor Dennis Freed accepted serving as the county’s Auditor/Treasurer a year ago when longtime Treasurer Lee Olson retired.  Freed reminded the Board they did not act to officially consolidate the departments under one leader, so this was the action taken.

And a donation of $1,000 was accepted from Rush Lake Improvement Association charitable gambling  proceeds to go toward the Children’s Water Festival held each fall.

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