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Beltrami County Board to dole out resources monies to northern causes

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Northern Beltrami County causes could receive $190,000 in grants after commissioners take into account state budget issues.

The money comes from the state, either through payment in lieu of taxes on state-managed lands or natural resources sales from Consolidated Conservation lands.

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The review is part of the Beltrami County Board's regular agenda 5 p.m. Tuesday when it meets at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave. The board will also discuss highway right-of-way encroachment policy,

During the board's 3 p.m. work session, commissioners will discuss a possible ordinance permitting mini trucks on county roads, as allowed under 2009 legislation.

A committee met Oct. 5 to consider requests for funding from 2009 PILT and 2010 Con Con funds. Normally considered at separate times of the year, the "process was put on hold during the unallotment discussions," County Auditor/Treasurer Kay Mack said in a memo.

There was also an internal review of PILT requests on whether "they met the definitions of public safety or economic development," Mack said.

Commissioners on Tuesday, with input from Commissioner Quentin Fairbanks, will consider the panel's recommendations for funding.

"Many (PILT) grants were deemed to not fit that funding criteria and were returned to the applicant," Mack said of meeting public safety or economic development criteria. " In those cases, the applicant could decide whether they re-apply for Con Con funds."

The panel targeted $100,000 to be awarded in PILT grants and is recommending $99,620.

Recommended awards include $25,000 for Northwest Beltrami Affordable Housing Program down payment assistance, $24,000 for a Kelliher sewer and water project, $10,425 for Kelliher-Waskish-Saum First Responders equipment and expenses, and $10,000 each to a Kelliher business assistance program, and a Kelliher housing incentive program.

In Con Con grant awards, the panel targeted $128,000 and is funding $90,080 in projects from $148,531 in requests. It is also recommending that $37,920 be retained in reserves.

Among those recommended for funding include $10,640 to North Beltrami Community Center for building improvements; $10,000 to the Upper Red Lake Trails Association for clearing trail, bridges and signs as part of a three-year commitment; $10,000 to Waskish Township for park improvements; $10,000 fir a Marshall-Beltrami cost share program with landowners for natural resource development; and $9,000 to Waskish Township for road dust control.

Minnie and Steenerson townships also won recommendations for beaver control funding.

Denied funding were $15,000 for Holte Grygla Fourtown American Legion veterans memorial, $10,000 for Grygla School playground equipment, $3,500 for Kelliher city holiday street lights, $12,000 for Marshall-Beltrami Thief River Weed Management Project, and $12,951 for North Beltrami Sportsmen's Club storage shed for trap/archery range.

Also part of the board's regular meeting is a review of proposed highway right-of-way encroachment policy, after County Highway Engineer Tyler Koos and County Attorney Tim Faver have revised a draft to address existing encroachments.

Koos seeks to remove any building, fence, sign, billboard or other structure within the county road right-of-way, and from a designed "recovery area" as measured from the road centerline.

The draft requires that "all existing encroachments must be removed at the time of any major reconstruction of a county road in the area of the encroachment."

The board during the regular agenda will award a bid for Shooting Sports Park road construction of $79,394 to Northern Contracting of Bemidji Inc.

During the board's afternoon work session, commissioners will receive an update on the Polk County Incinerator operations and review the commissioners per diem list.

They will also discuss a possible ordinance permitting mini trucks. The bill, authored by Rep. Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids, would allow road authorities to permit such vehicles as golf carts to travel on their roads even though they are not required to be licensed through the state of Minnesota.

The bill also defines minimum equipment standards for mini trucks. They include electric or internal combustion engine small trucks with cabs used for farm hauling or hunting. Many are like small pickup trucks with less power and weight.

The County Board's consent agenda includes county bills and warrant payment listing, decertifying a Fairgrounds Tax Abatement District, and authorizing credit cards for the County License Center for a passport mail account and to the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force for travel expenses to be repaid by the state.

Also, commissioners will be asked to approve a three-year contract with Larson Allen for conducting the annual county audit, approve liquor license renewals and renewing the contract with Minnesota Life to provide life insurance coverage for Beltrami County.

The consent agenda includes approving resolutions for old County Road 19 right-of-way vacations, to demolish the old O'Brien Township highway garage, and receive monthly Health and Human Services Department reports and licensure and monthly bills.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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