More enforcement of Crow Wing County non-motorized trails is expected along with an effort to educate the public about appropriate use.
Land Commissioner Tom Cowell told the county board Thursday that land management meetings included a call for more enforcement and in the past the county has put up signs and hoped for the best. Cowell said his department was looking at coordinating an enforcement effort in selected non-motorized areas during this fall's hunting season. Non-motorized areas are blocked against vehicle use and have posted signs notifying people of the restrictions.
"We can be more proactive," Cowell said. "... We need to educate the public. We need to make a presence."
Cowell suggested the education about non-motorized area use and issuing warning tickets as needed for violations.
Access for people with disabilities to use a motorized vehicle is available with a permit. Although there was note of at least one violation where a permitted vehicle added a trailer to haul eight or nine able-bodied individuals to remote areas.
Board Chairman Ed Larsen said in the last weeks he received about 20 calls for abuse of non-motorized county trails, including wetlands.
Commissioner John Ferrari suggested working with township boards.
In other land issues, Cowell reported the former Kenny's Oil building in Merrifield was demolished. Ferrari said another building the county needed to look at was the abandoned Riverton School. Tax-forfeited land along Twin Lake was confirmed for use as a public access to the lake. There had been a dispute previously with a private individual about personal property on the site.
In other business, the board:
Agreed to put the subject of lighting at the intersection of Highway 371 and County State Aid Highway 16 on the next agenda. Larsen said it was an emotional issue and adding lighting may be less money than a signal intersection and help respond to safety needs.
Accepted a St. Joseph Equipment Co., Duluth, quote of $18,894 for two 10-ton trailers for the highway department.
Set the tax-forfeited land sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 14 in the Service Building meeting room, which is adjacent to the Crow Wing County Courthouse on Laurel Street.
Accepted an application for repurchase of tax-forfeited lands in Breezy Point on one lot for $460.
Approved out-of-state travel for John Sausen, assistant county attorney, to attend training on exploited children in Virginia.
Authorized sending Sheriff's Lt. Skip Rudquist and Investigator Todd Hines to the annual Regional Bomb Technician training seminar in St. Louis, Mo., from Sept. 23 to Sept. 27. All expenses will be paid from the Bomb Squad Training Account.
Reported looking at examples of sanitary sewer districts and wastewater treatment options in Cass County and at Mille Lacs Lake.
Reported the canvassing board --for the primary election Tuesday for the 12 B representative's seat being vacated by Steve Wenzel -- found a 6.5 percent voter turnout with 636 voters from 9,786 registered voters. District-wide, the turnout was 13.96 percent.
Adopted a resolution condemning the terrorist attack on the East Coast and encouraged residents to donate blood.
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