2010-08-26 / News

Wadena County asks for property tax relief

Torndado damaged commercial and residential
By Rin Porter
Wadena County reporter

At its Aug. 19 meeting the Wadena County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution asking the State of Minnesota to provide property tax relief for owners of property severely damaged

by the tornado on June 17

under MN Statutes 273.1231 -1235.

The request designates 105 properties that had 51 percent or more of their value destroyed by the tornado, according to calculations prepared by the County Assessor’s Office. Both commercial and residential properties are included.

Owners of the properties will receive letters from the county instructing them on how to apply for the property tax relief. No one will receive property tax relief unless an application form is completed.

The board heard a request from Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan for an extension of time for a county employee to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The employee, Tammy Ehrmantraut, was scheduled to take a road test on June 23, but because of the tornado, the road tests were not held.

The cancellation meant that Ehrmantraut did not obtain the CDL during the six-month probation period set by the board as a condition of her employment as a supervisor in the Solid Waste Department. Hanan said Ehrmantraut should be given more time because the cancellation of the road test was beyond her control.

Commissioner Dave Schermerhorn and Commissioner Lane Waldahl said they thought the tornado counted as “an act of God”, which interfered with Ehrmantraut’s attempt to fulfill the conditions of her employment. The two made and seconded a motion to give her an additional 90 days to obtain the CDL. The motion passed.

In other business, the board:

o appointed a committee to consider the request of the Wadena VFW to expand the display of war materiel in the Veterans’ Park beside the courthouse. A suggestion was made to move the park to the county fairgrounds where there would be more room for the helicopter, howitzer, wall of names, mural and other items the VFW would like to add.

o learned that the assistant county attorney has given notice of her resignation from her position, effective September 30, 2010. County Attorney Kyra Ladd has begun the search for a replacement.

o appointed Steve Burton as the labor attorney to consult with county officials regarding labor negotiations.

o appointed Commissioner Bill Stearns and Commissioner Lane Waldahl to represent the county on the Wadena 2.0 committee.

o approved a request from MIS Director Kevin Stensrude to reallocate budgeted funds from several accounts to pay for needed remodeling in the MIS office.

o approved the low bid of Midwest Contracting, LLC, and the use of bridge bonds for two bridge projects located on CR 164 and CR 118, to be done in the fall.

The next meeting of the Wadena County Board of Commissioners will be held on Tuesday, September 7, at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse.

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