The Crow Wing County Board Tuesday authorized a timber auction on land to be cleared on the west side of the new airstrip at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.
The trees are being removed to meet federal regulations regarding the flight path. Work currently is continuing on the new runway.
In other business, the county board:
Heard an update on forest certification from Land Commissioner Tom Cowell. He said the certification is a way to show others sustainable forestry is being practiced. Cass and Aitkin counties are certified. Cowell said the state is promoting certification.
And financial benefits may be intertwined as markets seek products created from certified forests lands. Cowell was promoting a forest certification seminar in September and said if the county procrastinates it could affect the ability to sell timber.
Heard from two county residents regarding different issues before planning and zoning and the Board of Adjustment. The individuals were at times emotional and frustrated.
Commissioners responded any appeal to the Board of Adjustment (in this case for a variance to the lake setback ordinance) had to be directed to district court. Commissioner Dewey Tautges expressed frustration with the Board of Adjustment's inconsistency in decisions that went against staff recommendations for either approval or denial. He said the staff recommendations should mean something.
Commissioner Terry Sluss said the county board's role was to appoint people to the Board of Adjustment who were familiar with the law or willing to work with staff. Tautges said the problem is people bring their own bias to the board.
Roy McPherson, 75, Merrifield, said he was being harassed by planning and zoning. While McPherson said he was being threatened with court action, the county's planning staff and assistant county attorney both said no such action was filed.
McPherson had not yet had a septic system inspection as triggered by a building permit approved in December. He was required to have the inspection by June 1. As of Aug. 10, the county had not received information regarding the inspection. McPherson said quality of service was lacking and he was ashamed of the board.
"You are not being threatened by anyone," Sluss told him.
Sluss announced a five-minute break and stood up from the table ending the discussion.
Later in the meeting, attendees who had worked with planning and zoning praised the staff.
Tabled action on bids received for phase one of the Cuyuna Lakes Trail as bids came in too high.
Heard the county was presented with a special achievement award at the 14th annual Midwest Region "Big Ten" Food Stamp Program Improvement Conference. The award was given for continued commitment to payment accuracy.
For fiscal year 2003, the county had a payment accuracy rate of 100 percent. For the last three years the county's payment accuracy rate was 96.79 percent. Crow Wing County was one of four Minnesota counties receiving awards.
Heard Social Services, with other agencies such as Bridges of Hope, the Crisis Line, foster and day care providers, were awarded a state grant, expected to be $105,000 to develop a crisis nursery.
Found child support disbursements were at record levels. The county disbursed $6.76 million in child support in 2004. The amount was $400,000 more than 2003. And $460,083.57 was disbursed in June, the most ever in a month.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.