LITTLE FALLS - It's a good thing that the Morrison County Board approved a conditional use permit Tuesday requested by Ripley Township to build a new town hall.
The old town hall - built in 1891 - was demolished Monday.
Darvin Keehr, Ripley Township board chair, said in an interview Tuesday that the town hall needed much repair and the township didn't want to spend the money repairing the 117-year-old building.
The new town hall will be built at its same location on 175th Avenue in Ripley Township and cost about $35,000. The hall will be 24 feet by 42 feet and will be handicapped accessible. Keehr said the town hall is anticipated to be completed by Sept. 14 to be ready for the fall primary election.
Tom Heying, Ripley Township clerk, said in a telephone interview that the township wanted the Morrison County Ag Society to preserve the town hall at its fairgrounds, but it was too costly.
Heying said Ripley Township was established in 1881 and the original town hall was built 10 years later. The town meetings at first were held at Patnaude Farm and then held at township board members' homes. Heying said the original town hall was built for $364 by James Gravel.
Heying said the first thing the township bought was an old wood stove for $8.87.
"That same stove was there until the late 1980s and stood on three iron legs and rocks," said Heying. "They added electricity to the hall in 1949."
In other county business, commissioners heard from Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, and Rep. Al Doty, DFL-Royalton, who talked about the tough economy. Koering said the county shouldn't expect a lot from the legislators in the next few years because of tough financial times.
"Now is not the time to pile on the taxes," said Koering.
Doty said it's been tough work for legislators because of the budget and the economy. Doty said he supports the idea of spending down the budget reserves.
Approved a 2008 annual license for a new lodging establishment in Pierz called Hillbilly Haven.
Agreed to purchase the Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home building in Little Falls at a cost to not exceed $200,000, plus 50 percent of the cost of a commercial appraisal. Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home recently built a new funeral home at a different location in Little Falls.
County Administrator Tim Houle said the purchase of the building, which is across from the Morrison County Government Center in Little Falls, will help address the county's future infrastructure needs.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.