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County board briefed on housing initiative

Fri, May 11th, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Wayne Stenberg of the Bluff Country Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and Hall Clapp of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund Program (GMHF) briefed the Fillmore County Board on these programs at their May 8 meeting. The board agreed to go ahead and look into the levy initiative and matching funds to build or rehabilitate county housing. Houston County has also agreed to go ahead and do a study over the next 30 to 45 days.

The initiative would involve a levy at a maximum of .0144% of a property's market value. The levy funds would be used to aid in development, financing of affordable housing, or redevelopment. The levy could increase property taxes on a $200,000 home a little over twenty dollars. Commissioners were concerned about the tax implications. GMHF provides technical assistance and matching funds for projects or programs using an increase in the HRA Levy for funding.

Stenberg noted that because the housing market is soft, the focus now is to fix current homes and improve their energy efficiency rather than new construction. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud asked if the money levied in Fillmore County would stay in the county. Clapp suggested that Fillmore and Houston Counties could have segregated accounts.

Amunrud said that there was a real need for rehabbing homes and maintaining affordable housing for senior citizens.

The next step for the county is to have a financial expert like Mike Bubany come in and help educate the board on the initiative so that the board can make an informed decision. There will also be a public hearing to let citizens air their concerns.

Garrison Keillor in Lanesboro

David Harrenstein of Lanesboro asked for and received approval to close CSAH #8 at the intersection of CSAH #17 from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, June 1 for the Garrison Keillor live radio show being taped for national broadcast. Harrenstein noted that his committee has raised enough private money to cover expenses. The road closing is to eliminate traffic noise for the taping. He said that none of the businesses in the area have a problem with the road closure as long as it is well publicized ahead of time. Sheriff Jensen and Highway Engineer John Grindeland have approved the closure. The second show on June 2 will not be taped and will not effect the road usage. Harrenstein called Keillor's appearances, "a great thing for Fillmore County."

New Staffing Positions

Shirl Boelter, Auditor/Treasurer received approval to advertise in house for Account Technician, Lead to replace the vacancy left when she was elected to the Auditor/Treasurer position. The board decided to postpone action on a request for another position titled Senior Account Technician.

County Coordinator, Karen Brown, requested a new position to be established called a Human Resource Officer. She suggested that her office needed the additional staff position to keep up with the work load. Duane Bakke was concerned about the several unrelated areas her office oversees. Commissioners wanted her to bring back comparisons from other counties.

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