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Ruth Lake residents petition for lake improvement district

Crow Wing County received a petition for the establishment of a lake improvement district (LID) on Ruth Lake.

Tuesday, the board set the public hearing on the LID — which typically works to combat invasive aquatic species — for July 10.

The Ruth Lake petition sets a cost of $13,367 per year to be divided by property owners immediately adjacent to Ruth Lake. Divided by lake properties, the cost would be $90 per year.

There are 153 property owners immediately next to the lake by county records. The county received 93 verified signatures on the petition for the LID, meeting the county’s requirement of 60 percent of property owners.

In other business, the board:

Noted two awards the county received. The county gained two National Association of Counties 2012 Achievement Awards for its lands services department consolidation and zoning ordinance revision. The county is sending two representatives, Chris Pence, land services supervisor, and a commissioner to Pittsburgh to receive the awards on July 15. Cost for airfare is about $400 per person.

Administrator Tim Houle said the award recognition at the national level is in recognition of the county’s results in effective innovation, including greater customer satisfaction scores and budget savings of $3.5 million.

Houle said the awards note the work enhances county government in the United States, not just Minnesota or the neighborhood.

Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom said she was incredibly proud of staff members who work in a real team effort.

Talked at length about entering a joint powers agreement with the state as the judiciary continues its move to be more paperless by 2015 using electronic records. Funding of $19,000 is available to the county for electronic citations, a phase of the paperless movement.

Board members expressed concerns about entering a joint powers agreement before funding was there. Houle said it’s the way the state uses to give its money. If funding isn’t available, the county isn’t obligated to go forward. Commissioners voted to table a related joint powers agreement with the Matt Mallie Law Office. Mallie handles prosecution cases for the city of Baxter.

County Attorney Don Ryan said he had no objection to Mallie having access to information he needs. But the board did question if the joint powers agreement, typically used between governmental units, was the right method. Houle said they could enter that agreement with the city of Baxter, which could then allow Mallie access via a contract.

Appointed election judges for the primary and general elections for Red, White and Blue precincts in Unorganized Territory at a rate of $12 per hour for head judges and $9 per hour for others.

Appointed Commissioner Rosemary Franzen and Commissioner Paul Thiede to serve as representatives on the election results canvassing boards for primary and general elections.

Heard an update on plans to use federal highway safety dollars to put grooved white edge lines on about 35 miles of county highways. Rob Hall, interim highway engineer, said roadways with higher than expected crashes are identified to receive the grooves, which are milled into the pavement and then paint is put in the groove.

Set July 10 for a public hearing to consider the cleanup of two properties in violation of the county’s solid waste management ordinance regarding residential disposal of garbage and tires. One property is on the 7500 block of County Road 13, Nisswa, and 17000 block of Bernard Road, Brainerd.

Approved moving $150,000 from the capital plan in 2013 to 2012 to allow staff to explore options to put in a wireless infrastructure in the county buildings so staff could use mobile devices and have a guest network for others that kept internal county information secure. The county authorized spending up to $150,000.

Approved the release of a road surety bond for Ossie Lake Shores development in Ideal Township. The board looked through photos showing the road construction, silt fence to protect the wetland and successful efforts to grow vegetation to protect against erosion. Pence said with a few minor fixes, the private road project held up well even with the county’s record rainfall in May.

“I think that is just a tremendous success story,” said Thiede, regarding the development.

Heard the Black Bear Miller Lake Levee was certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Noted Crow Wing Canoe Day canceled because of high water on the Mississippi River.

Met in closed session for pending litigation.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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