The golden shovels that have tossed symbolic dirt clumps at two other major Crow Wing County building projects got another workout Tuesday.
The county board took part in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new downtown jail in the afternoon between cloud bursts of frozen rain pellets. Sheriff Eric Klang said the groundbreaking was the culmination of efforts that began more than two years ago.
"These buildings will be around long after we aren't here," Klang said.
Staff from the sheriff's department and Construction Analysis & Management of Brainerd attended along with Crow Wing and Cass County officials. Brainerd Mayor James Wallin pointed to another construction project blocks away to put up an office building and he credited the county's building project in the city's downtown for spurring renovation efforts.
"This is a big day for me," said Cass County Commissioner Jim Demgen. "For two counties that are joined at the hip, that really serve the same constituency, this is a big plus."
Commissioner Gary Walters was absent from the board meeting Tuesday.
In other business, the county board:
Canceled an Environmental Assessment Worksheet determination, prompted by a citizen petition, for the Kevin Banick property in Unorganized Territory. Banick was requesting a conditional use permit to construct a commercial wood-drying kiln at the corner of Crow Wing County State Aid Highway 3 and Executive Acres Road. Commissioners were told Banick may be moving the operation to Pine River instead.
Heard concerns with the county's dog ordinance and the city of Crosby. The state is shutting down Crosby's kennel. The board agreed to meet with Crosby officials regarding the dog ordinance.
Scheduled a joint Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp.- and county-sponsored meeting for 11:30 a.m.-1:15 p.m. May 23 at Timbermist in Merrifield.
Filled openings with the Thirty Lakes Watershed District by reappointing Ray Wilson and appointing Martha Peisch to the board of managers.
Delayed action to review the procedure for an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for consideration of an off-highway vehicle riding area because Mike Kearns, facilities and parks director, had not had time to meet with the county attorney on the issue.
Heard from County Attorney Don Ryan that the shoreland planned unit development moratorium ends June 1. The task force will meet Tuesday and is expected to have a recommendation. The county board expects to revisit the issue May 10.
"I think we are rushed right now but I also think we can get it done," Ryan said.
Learned the next joint powers board meeting with Morrison County in regard to Central Minnesota Community Corrections is 10 a.m. June 1 in Little Falls.
Approved a land exchange with Troy Wood that provided public access to 700 acres of landlocked county lands in Perry Lake Township. The trade will include cleanup of the property off Moritz Road, including removal of mobile homes and burying of refuse.
Heard CSAH 19 and CSAH 36 construction activities should resume about May 15 after road restrictions are lifted. Highway Engineer Duane Blanck reported paving should be concluded by June 1 with the projects completed soon after.
Approved a land exchange allowing the public to gain 120 acres in Little Pine Township by trading 80 acres in Jenkins Township.
Appointed Kathy Sauve, Pequot Lakes, to the Human Rights Commission.
Learned Social Services average staff cost per hour is $53.90 compared to the state average of $110.17. The metro counties average staff cost per hour was $134.67.
Approved an Anderson Brothers contract of $375,482.87 for 5.1 miles of the Cuyuna Lakes Trail Phase One passing through the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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