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Crow Wing County Board: Board approves land services remodel

A $772,000 remodel of the land services building received approval Tuesday from the Crow Wing County Board. The county entered contracts with 13 companies to complete the project, which will create a centralized customer service counter in the la...

This artist's rendering shows what the customer service counter in the Crow Wing County Land Services Building will look like following a remodeling project. The county board approved a capital projects expenditure Tuesday for the remodel, which is part of the reorganization of the county recorder's and auditor-treasurer's offices. Submitted photo
This artist's rendering shows what the customer service counter in the Crow Wing County Land Services Building will look like following a remodeling project. The county board approved a capital projects expenditure Tuesday for the remodel, which is part of the reorganization of the county recorder's and auditor-treasurer's offices. Submitted photo

A $772,000 remodel of the land services building received approval Tuesday from the Crow Wing County Board.

The county entered contracts with 13 companies to complete the project, which will create a centralized customer service counter in the land services building. Employees tending this counter will handle all land-related transactions, including the review and acceptance of real estate documents and the acceptance of property tax payments.

The physical remodeling is one element of a reorganization of county government that began with eliminating the vote for the county recorder and the county auditor-treasurer. Land-related functions once statutorily bound to those elective positions are now free to be organized into one office of county government.

The remodeling project also includes an update of the main level atrium and the addition of a moveable wall in between two meeting rooms to accommodate larger groups.

The schedule calls for the counter to officially open to the public in March. County Administrator Tim Houle said in December he would like the land services department to be ready to accept tax payments by May 15, when the first half of property taxes are due.

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In other business, the county board:

Approved a request of services agreement with the Brainerd Jaycees for onsite law enforcement at the $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza on Gull Lake. The agreement requires the Jaycees to pay a rate of $70 per hour per deputy, which covers a deputy in uniform and a sheriff's office squad car. The total agreement was set not to exceed $6,580.

Approved a resolution to advertise for sealed bids for the reconditioning of county highways 31 and 34. These projects were originally planned for 2017 and 2018 on the county's highway improvement plan, although the implementation of the countywide sales tax allowed them to be moved up to 2016, a request for board action from County Engineer Tim Bray stated.

The projects were chosen because of their proximity to three other similar projects on county highways 30, 32 and 36.

Banned parking on Dellwood Drive from Novotny Road to County Highway 49 at all times. The improvements to that stretch of road includes a bike lane on the paved shoulders, and does not provide for parking on both sides of the street.

Approved land use map amendments for multiple parcels. One was a parcel in Fort Ripley Township on Highway 371. The change switched a parcel from Rural Residential 5 to Rural Residential 2.5.

The other involved 11.65 acres of land along the northern shore of South Long Lake, which was approved to switch from Shoreland District to Commercial 2. The parcels were recently purchased by The Harbor on Crescent Bay RV Resort, which intends to expand. Chris Pence, land services supervisor, noted several variance requests by the resort were denied, including a request for campsites to be closer to the lakeshore and a request to build a privacy fence along adjacent private property. The planning commission instead suggested vegetation be used for privacy purposes.

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Assigned the duties of land commissioner to Pence under the authority of the land services director.

Entered an amended grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety for reimbursement of expenses related to violent crime enforcement. The amendment provided an additional $35,000 in funding and extended the timing limitations through Dec. 31, 2016.

Entered an agreement with the Minnesota Court Data Services Governmental Agencies to gain access to electronic court documents now available through e-filing.

Approved grant agreements for adult mental health in the county and Region 5+ as well as an agreement for adult and children's crisis response services in Region 5+.

Approved the hiring of Wendy Johnson, social worker in community services.

Accepted the departures of the following employees: Jenna Hemphill, technical/administrative specialist in land services; Margie Young, senior technical/administrative specialist in community services; Glen Olsen, public health nurse in community services; and Connie Knowlen, financial worker in community services. The board also approved replacement staffing for the financial worker position.

 

CHELSEY PERKINS may be reached at 218-855-5874 or chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchChelsey .

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This artist's rendering shows what the customer service counter in the Crow Wing County Land Services Building will look like following a remodeling project. The county board approved a capital projects expenditure Tuesday for the remodel, which is part of the reorganization of the county recorder's and auditor-treasurer's offices. Submitted photo
This artist's rendering shows what the customer service counter in the Crow Wing County Land Services Building will look like following a remodeling project. The county board approved a capital projects expenditure Tuesday for the remodel, which is part of the reorganization of the county recorder's and auditor-treasurer's offices. Submitted photo

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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