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Harmony seeks to purchase property from the county

Fri, Sep 26th, 2003
Posted in Features

Mark Thein, Economic Development Authority (EDA), City Administrator Jerome Illg, and Council Member Mark McKay approached the commissioners about the possible acquisition of a parcel that runs just west of the incubator building at 235 2nd St. NW in Harmony. The city has a purchase agreement from a private party, contingent on securing the parcel. The parcel would give the loading docks on the buildings backside more elbowroom. Past discussions on rolling over ownership of the property from the county resulted in the lease of the land to the city for $1. The board took the position that to sell off that parcel would devalue the remaining county property. They are unsure as to what will happen to the county shop that is located on part of the site in question. It would appear premature on the boards part to sell off the land without having determined final action on the county shops future. The parcel has been appraised at $11,900, a far cry from what Harmony has offered. Administrator Illg pointed out the lot is inaccessible, bringing down the value of the property.If the purchase agreement does not go through without this parcel, the city would still be interested in a lease option with the county. Other businessEleanor Junge, Cherry Grove, Administrative Board Member of the SWCD, sought an explanation of the $50,000 cut from their budget during the boards Citizen Input allotted timeframe. Junge presented two main questions: 1) Are all county funds used before the district dollars come into play? And 2) If there are any unused funds from district, does this amount roll over into next years budget? There was no immediate response to these questions.Junge also pointed out that David and Alice Terbeest, rural Canton, would be competing at the state level for their efforts of conservation practices on the farm. This will take place in Bloomington, Nov. 30-Dec. 2. "How much should be invested?" was the magic question as Highway Engineer John Grindeland brought up the CO. Rd 5 dilemma located five miles west outside of Chatfield. Commissioner Bicknese was concerned over the countys liability of an area that needs continual patching. The constant shifting of the approximately 300 strip of road due to water runoff from a hill has plagued the county for years. To bring in experts and complete repair work can run anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 or more stated Grindeland. He would be looking at retrenching the trouble spot, and bringing in rock that would act as a buffer against shedding water. Currently, it costs about $1,000 a year for patchwork. With a dwindling budget, the board liked the sound of a $1,000 per year patch for now. Attorney Matt Opat recommended reviewing the signage in that location to given adequate warning for drivers of the roads condition. Three culvert projects were approved: Canton Twp., Sec. 24 over Prosper Creek at $48,905.72; Harmony Twp., Sec. 1 over South Fork of the Root River at $84,840.30; and Carrolton Twp., Sec. 26 over a Duschee Creek tributary at $103,980.20. All work will be completed by Minnowa Construction.

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