The Crow Wing County Board voted 4-1 to accept 11 goals for the Brainerd Regional Community Plan Tuesday.
The community-based plan is a volunteer program for counties, cities and townships. The program provides state assistance for area planning and creates statewide guidelines and goals for local comprehensive plans.
The county board discussed the goals at its Oct. 22 meeting and wanted to hear from a Minnesota Planning Department representative before making a decision.
Commissioner Terry Sluss, who is part of the task force for community-based planning, said the task force needs to have the goals approved before it can go forward to talk with other municipalities to see if the communities want to participate in the program.
He said the objective of this program is not to duplicate services the county already has, but to expand the community plan to a regional level.
Commissioner Dewey Tautges said he agrees with the goals, but did not vote in favor of the motion for several reasons. He said he is concerned about losing the local authority and having one more government entity. He also said he was concerned about whether it was the right time for this work.
"I'm a land-use person and I wonder if we should wait until the comprehensive plan is done," Tautges said. "I'm worried about time and redundancies."
Sluss said the goals are only the first stage of the planning process and the county would not be bound by any agreements with the state because it is a voluntary program.
County Water Planner Bonnie Finnerty said at first she was concerned about the program but now believes it will help area communities come together at a regional level.
So far 16 counties are participating in the community-based planning.
Some of the goals accepted were to promote cooperation between communities to work toward the most efficient, planned and cost-effective delivery of services; to provide economic opportunities throughout the region that will achieve a balanced distribution of planned growth; and to protect and enhance the region's resources, including agricultural land, forests and surface water.
In other county business, the commissioners:
Were informed Assistant County Attorney Mark Liedl resigned effective Nov. 30. County Attorney Don Ryan said Liedl resigned to pursue a restaurant business. Liedl and his wife own Culver's Restaurant.
Heard that 71 of 130 parcels on the 2002 tax-forfeited land sale list were sold. The 71 parcels are valued at $430,776.
Agreed to advertise for construction manager services to assist the county with planning, remodeling and other related building and ground improvement needs.
Appointed John Adair of Oak Lawn Township to the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Board.
Appointed Keith Simar of Brainerd to serve on the Crow Wing County Lands and Forestry Advisory Committee.
Approved a shared service contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services for laundry services for inmates. The charges for laundry services increased from .5048 cents a pound to .5443 cents a pound.
Voted 4-1 to approve a rezone from future to residential in the Unorganized Territory as requested by Dean Smith for a 12-acre plat called North Oaks Second Addition. The property will be rezoned for eight lots.
Commissioner Ed Larsen voted against the rezone.
Approved a rezone of 21 acres in Fairfield Township from green space to rural residential for seven lots and two outlots. The request was from Fraser Enterprises and Ed Kirchner for a plat called Timber Estates.
Agreed to rezone 1.99 acres from rural residential to residential in the Unorganized Territory. The request was from Ray and Lavonne Billman.
Agreed to rezone two tracts of land from agricultural to rural residential in Lake Edward Township. The request was from Michael and Jo Lynn Johnson.
Approved to rezone 3.14 acres in Lake Edward Township from agricultural to commercial. The request was from David Luke.
Agreed to rezone 1.7 acres from rural residential to residential in the Deerwood Township. The request was from Michael Perzel.
Appointed Cindy Terwilliger of Brainerd to the county extension committee.
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