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June 20 Board of Commissioners Meeting Highlights

Jun 21, 2017 09:52PM ● Published by Editor

June 21, 2017 – Following are highlights and key priorities covered at the Tuesday, June 20, Board of Commissioners Meeting:

Property Annexation to Lutsen Township
Pursuant to Statute 379 and in response to the petition by Deeryard property owners requesting
annexation into Lutsen Township, and the corresponding Lutsen Township Resolution 2017-04, the Cook County Board of Commissioners held the required public hearing at 10 am on June 20. The only party to speak at the hearing was Dave Morris, property owner, who spoke in favor of the annexation. Auditor Braidy Powers indicated that he had received no communication against the proposed annexation. After the public hearing was closed and the Board Meeting was opened, Commissioners voted in support of Lutsen Township resolution 2017-04 and further directed Auditor Braidy Powers to communicate the boundary changes and population estimates to the State Demographer’s Office.

Riparian Buffer Protection
A riparian buffer is a vegetated area (a "buffer zone") near a stream, usually forested, which helps shade and partially protect a stream from the impact of adjacent land uses. It plays a key role in increasing water quality in associated streams, rivers, and lakes, thus providing environmental benefits. The Board passed a resolution in support of the election of local jurisdiction in Riparian (Buffer) Protection and to elect to receive State aid to fund the enforcement. Although primarily a concern for many of the agricultural counties in the State of MN, enforcement of the Buffer Program and funding for the program has been streamlined by State legislation which makes local enforcement a good option for Cook County Land Services. Estimated funding available for Cook County for enforcement is $40,000 for 2017, and $50,000 for 2018.

Abatement Adjustments
Todd Smith, County Assessor presented a list of abatements adjusting valuations for utility-related parcels for Assessment year 2016, payable year 2017. The adjustments were in response to a change in the formula for these parcels at the State level.

Business Development Park Land Sales
The Board approved the sale of two parcels in the Business Development Park by the EDA to Spectrum Health Companies for the consideration of $1. The two parcels have a combined market value of approximately $60,000. The EDA Development agreement with Spectrum Health Companies calls for the development of an assisted living center with 28-38 beds and a development cost in excess of $3.5 million dollars. Anticipated tax benefit of the improvement is approximately $60,000 annually. The sale of the two parcels had already been approved by the Grand Marais City Council. The EDA now has the authority to execute the development agreement.

Staff Changes
The Board approved the following staff changes.
Resignations/authority to post vacancy:
  • Ronald Gervais, Tofte Transfer Station Attendant – Land Services
  • Kathy Hahn, Administrative Assistant – Attorney’s Office
  • Kaitlyn Croteau, Deputy Sheriff – Sheriff’s Office
Full details of Board Meetings are available through video footage, Agendas and Minutes at
www.co.cook.mn.us. County Board Meetings are open to the public.

Contact: Jeff Cadwell, Cook County Administrator, 218-387-3687 or jeff.cadwell@co.cook.mn.us
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