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Crow Wing County Board: Agricultural land to become residential

The Crow Wing County Board approved a change to the use of land near St. Mathias Township so the property could be subdivided. Nathan and Mandy Sommer of Fort Ripley petitioned to have the land use designation of 240 acres changed from agricultur...

Crow Wing County Environmental Services Manager Paul Herkenhoff looks to his left at an overhead display of a land use map at the county board's first meeting of the new year Tuesday. Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch
Crow Wing County Environmental Services Manager Paul Herkenhoff looks to his left at an overhead display of a land use map at the county board's first meeting of the new year Tuesday. Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch

The Crow Wing County Board approved a change to the use of land near St. Mathias Township so the property could be subdivided.

Nathan and Mandy Sommer of Fort Ripley petitioned to have the land use designation of 240 acres changed from agricultural/forestry to rural residential-20 acres.

"Rural residential-20 acres" means the minimum lot area permitted is 20 acres and the minimum lot width is 400 feet, with a structure height of 35 feet.

"We did get a letter from St. Mathias Township in favor of the request," Environmental Services Manager Paul Herkenhoff said Tuesday at the board's meeting. "The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request tonight."

The reclassification was in accordance with the county's comprehensive plan, was warranted due to changed land use circumstances or a need for more property in the land use district and matches the land use of surrounding areas, according to land services.

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"The property does have direct access off of 20th Street, which is a township-maintained road," Herkenhoff told the board. "To the northeast and south we have ag/forestry and a little bit of shoreland."

According to the county, the large lot sizes south of Brainerd will preserve the rural character of the area. The area to the north, south and east are agricultural/forestry, while to the west is classified as rural residential-20 acres.

Commissioner Paul Koering made the motion to approve the land use map amendment, Commissioner Rosemary Franzen seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously.

In other business, the county board:

Approved the hiring of Amy Getty, administrative services accounting technician; Nathan Gunkel, sheriff's office correctional officer; Kristle Peltier, sheriff's office correctional officer; and Scott Sand, administrative services business and financial analyst.

Approved the promotion of Sandy Houle, community services financial assistant specialist; Sara McKusick, community services financial assistant specialist; and Dawn DeVries-Flinck, community services accounting technician.

Approved the authorization for the chairman and/or vice chairman of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission to act as the authorized representative of the county for all 2018 capital projects for airport operations.

Set the annual minimum salaries for the county sheriff at $67,191 and for the county attorney at $68,575. County Attorney Don Ryan is expected to earn $125,500 in 2018. Sheriff Todd Dahl's salary was established at $111,000 in 2018.

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Approved entering into an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to provide payment by the county to the state of the county's share of the costs of the storm sewer, sidewalk, shared-use path construction and other associated construction to be performed upon, along and adjacent to Highway 6 from 1,705 feet south of County Highway 1 to 2,161 feet north of the highway within the limits of Emily.

Authorized entering into an agreement between the county and the state, acting through its commissioner of public safety on behalf of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, for the sheriff's office to become a part of the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force.

Awarded the 2018 printing and publishing bid to the Brainerd Dispatch, Echo Journal and Crosby-Ironton Courier for first publication of legals and financial statements. The Brainerd Dispatch was designated the newspaper for official publications. Second publication of the financial statement was awarded to the NewsHopper.

I cover the community of Wadena, Minn., and write articles for the Wadena Pioneer Journal weekly newspaper owned by Forum Communications Co.
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