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Mille Lacs County Board seeks public comment on proposed wheelage tax increase - MessAge Media: Government Meetings

Mille Lacs County Board seeks public comment on proposed wheelage tax increase

Public comment will be accepted during June 18 board meeting

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 4:30 am

The Mille Lacs County Board of Commissioners set a date for public comment regarding a proposed wheelage tax increase.

The board will listen to public comments starting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 18.

The wheelage tax is currently set at $10, which generates an estimated $270,000 and is used to complete public works projects. 

Per state statute, the county can increase the tax by up to $20 a year. 

County Administrator Pat Oman said during the board’s June 4 meeting that while public comment is not a requirement, commissioners are encouraging public input regarding the wheelage tax.

The board also authorized a contract with Reliable Tree Service Inc. for vegetation removal on County Ditch 4 for a total of $750,000.

A $1.19 million sale of ditch bonds to Robert W. Baird & Co. in order to finance three projects to remove vegetation on County Ditch 2, 3 and 4 was approved as well. 

The board also approved a $3.97 million sale of general obligation capital improvement and equipment bonds. 

The sale will help finance capital improvements identified by the county’s transportation capital improvement plan and pay for capital equipment.

Of the total bond amount, $2.97 million will be used by the county for road improvements and $1 million will be used to purchase equipment, according to Oman.

A total of $165,500 was authorized by the board to furnish stockpiles of crushed gravel in three separate storage locations. 

Sanders Construction was awarded $47,200 for the Isle Harbor Township location and $54,200 for either the Milaca or Hayland townships location. 

Knife River was awarded $64,100 for the location in either Greenbush or Glendorado.

The board also approved a payment of $67,772.50 to Nolan, Thompson & Leighton PLC for legal services relating to the federal lawsuit filed by the Band of Ojibwe against Mille Lacs County regarding policing rights on the Ojibwe reservation.

In other actions, the board approved:

·Agreements between the Mille Lacs Sheriff’s Office and the Sauk Center, Avon and Baxter police departments for the Mille Lacs Sheriff’s Office to install an automated license plate reader on one of each department’s patrol vehicles.

·Approved a conditional use permit for a disc golf course in Hayland Township.

·Accepted a quote totaling $2,650 from Midwest Valuation for the appraisal of two parcels of land for an off road vehicle park. Midwest Valuation’s quote was the lowest out of the four companies that responded to a solicitation for quotes. The quote is reimbursable under the State of Minnesota ORV Grant Agreement.

·Approved an authorization for an archaeological survey of two parcels of land for an off road vehicle park, which is required by MnDOT in order to qualify for reimbursement from the Federal Recreational Trail Program grant.

·Approved an authorization to solicit quotes for a drone.

·Approved $10,724 to replace tandem air conditioning compressors in the Justice Center.

·Approved payment for overtime to a county intern: $437.53 paid to the University of Minnesota Extension office and $80.28 to the county intern.

·Authorized Mille Lacs Economic Development Manager Mike Wimmer to apply to Gov. Tim Walz’s Task Force on broadband.

·Classified 50 tax forfeited parcels of land totaling over 60 acres as non-conservation land.

Mark Wasson is an APG of East Central Minnesota freelance contributing reporter who covers municipal and county government.

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