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Rental rehabilitation deferred loans to continue in Crow Wing County

Crow Wing County Board members agreed to continue administering a loan program aimed at helping improve rental properties.

Central Minnesota Housing Partnerhip (CMHP) Tuesday sought county approval for its rental rehabilitation deferred loan program. The program comes at no cost to the county.

The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency created the pilot program. The Legislature approved funding for two more years. The rental rehabilitation program provides 0 percent deferred loans for 15 to 30 years to owners of affordable rental properties.

Deanna Hemmesch, CMHP executive director, said funds may go for such items as repair or replacment of windows, roofs, siding, or to help with water conservation. Rental properties with six units or more may be able to get $25,000 per unit with a maximum of $300,000. Hemmesch said they are currently working with Indian Carry in Deerwood, which received $82,000 toward its parking lot, exterior lighting and new water heaters. This year CMHP is requesting $2.5 million. Hemmesch said requirements include income limits of $58,000 for tenants and landlords must be able to cashflow their properties. Each application is looked at individually with no one county in the service area receiving more than 50 percent of the allocation.

In other business, the board:

Noted a new hire with Sarah Schouveller as technical/administrative specialist in Community Services.

Approved entering into contracts for the 2014 annual March township election coordination services with Bay Lake, Center, Crow Wing, Fort Ripley and Ideal townships.

Supported a cost sharing agreement with Crosslake to reconstruct County Highway 3. The total estimated project cost was $3,874,786 and Crosslake’s share is estimated to be $219,502. The county noted the majority of the amount is attributed to curb and gutter costs with the city wanting to go with 8-foot wide paved shoulders instead of 6 feet.

In addition, the county approved a cost sharing agreement with the city of Fifty Lakes for the Highway 3 project. Fifty Lakes’ share is estimated to be $70,210, with most of the amount related to the wider paved shoulders.

The county entered into a $3,540,161 contract with low-bidder Anderson Brothers Construction for the reconstruction project. The engineer’s estimate was $3,874,786.

The work is between county highways 37 and 1. The county expects construction to begin in April and be completed by September.

Distributed the 2013 tax-forfeited surplus revenues of $229,276 with $45,855 to the budget for parks and $68,783 for buildings and building improvements. Previously, the county budgeted $12,547 for parks and $19,000 for buildings.

Re-classified four parcels, two as part of the Gilbert Lake bed and two parcels part of an unnamed lake as conservation parcels. The parcels are platted as Dal-mar Estates and the first addition to Dal-mar.

Withdrew a tract of land in Crosby from the unsold tax-forfeited land sale list to re-appraise it and offer it again at a future auction. The 2012 estimated market value was $32,600 and the 2014 estimated market value is $21,300. Kirk Titus, land services supervisor in public land management, reported the assessor reviewed the value and felt there was justification to reduce the value. Commissioner Paul Thiede suggested adding a cost, perhaps $500, to re-appraise the land. Titus noted this land wasn’t going to a direct sale to a neighbor for instance, it was going back to public auction. Thiede said if someone comes in and says a parcel should be re-evaluated and it’s on the forfeit list, the county should recoup the appraisal cost. Administrator Tim Houle said there are pros and cons to doing that, but staff would look into it as an option.

Noted the recent water-main break coming into the law enforcement center (LEC) had water, sand and soil rushing into the LEC’s mechanical room damaging a transformer and two electrical switches. The county had to dig up a small patch in the parking lot to repair the water line, which cost about $9,400. The electrical transformers were less than $10,000. Additional costs are expected with ground thawing and water jetting. Houle said most of the costs will be covered by insurance.

Noted a Mississippi Headwaters Board (MHB) meeting is planned at 8:30 a.m. April 2 at Chase on the Lake in Walker. Thiede said the last legislative session more than doubled the MHB funding with options to do regional work focused on water quality.

Established a priority list of bridges to be replaced, rehabilitated or removed within the next five years that are eligible for state or town bridge funds.

On the list, in no specific order, are bridges (also considered culverts) on: Melinda Shores Road on the Rush Lake channel, and Dream Island Road on Little Pine Lake in Crosslake; Cullen Road on Lower Cullen outlet and Hazelwood Drive on Clark outlet in Nisswa; 30th Street on Daggett Brook in Daggett Brook Township; County Road 122 on the Little Nokasippi River in St. Mathias Township; County Road 36 on the Little Pine River in the county; Spruce Grove Road on Dean Brook in Second Assessment District of Unorganized Territory; County Highway 66 on Daggett Brook, County Highway 3 on the Mississippi River and County Highway 31 on Rabbit Lake Narrows, all in the county jurisdiction.

Construction is planned for the summer of 2015.

The bridges on Highway 23 at Daggett Brook, Highway 3 at Pelican Brook and Highway 10 at Cedar Brook were replaced in 2012 or 2013. Guardrail safety improvements were made on Highway 10 on Cedar Brook in 2013 and the bridge on Highway 36 over Mud Brook was removed from the list as a new load rating for the bridge was performed last fall meaning replacement was deferred to a later date, the county reported.

Met in closed session for a performance review of Land Services Director Mark Liedl and Administrator Tim Houle. By statute, performance review results are to be made public the next time the board meets. The county is trying a new method of reviewing the evaluations together once completed and determining final evaluations at that time, meaning results should be available in a couple of weeks.

Commissioner Doug Houge was absent.

RENEE RICHARDSON 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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