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Beltrami County Board: Red Lake seeks land in county to put in trust

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians is requesting the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to allow it to put 11 acres of land in Beltrami County into trust.

The Red Lake Band-owned land is located adjacent to the reservation boundary in northwest Shotley Township with southeast Upper Red Lake shoreline.

The application for trust acquisition will be reviewed by the Beltrami County Board at its 3 p.m. Tuesday work session at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave.

"The BIA notice specifically requests that the county provide specific information and any written comments within 30 days," County Administrator Tony Murphy says in a memo. Also requesting information is Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office.

"The county has not received any direct communications from the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians," Murphy wrote.

"The anticipated use for the parcel is religious and tribal ceremonial grounds," Diane Rosen, BIA regional director, states in a letter to county commissioners.

According to Beltrami County records, the land is classified as non-homestead seasonal recreational and valued at $84,400 in 2008, $108,500 in 2009 and $132,600 in 2010.

Property taxes paid were $1,038 in 2008, $1,310 in 2009 and $1,326 in 2010.

According to a letter from Pawlenty's office, the band is seeking to have about 11 acres "of land in Beltrami County taken out of state and local jurisdiction to be held in trust by the federal government."

"... the purpose for seeking your comments regarding the proposed trust land acquisition is to obtain sufficient data that would enable an analysis of the potential impact on local/state government, which may result from the removal of the subject property from the tax roll and local jurisdiction," the BIA's Rosen says in her letter.

At the start of the 3 p.m. work session, commissioners will hear a presentation on the Bemidji Area Prevention Alliance from Jill Naylor Yarger of the alliance and Ashli Bowen of the United Way of Bemidji Area.

The alliance is a diverse group of leaders and organizations seeking to integrate and align resources to address substance abuse prevention and its companion issues.

After that, commissioners will hear a presentation about the Students First Initiative to improve student success. The initiative seeks to strengthen the connection of students with caring adults and will provide each student with a success plan. The county, as a participant, is being asked to contribute $10,000.

During the County Board's regular agenda at 5 p.m., commissioners will consider the first request under a new policy to allow a county employee to continue part-time employment postretirement.

The board will also hear the results of an OSHA consultation inspection of county buildings and consider a request to the state Department of Labor and Industry for grants to cover up to 50 percent of abatement costs.

The board's consent agenda includes county bills and warrant payment listing, approval to seek bids for trail grooming equipment and approval of plat D&R subdivision, John Huderle owner, in Grant Valley Township.

Also, commissioners will be asked to approve a public defender contract with Tom Kuesel, and approve monthly Health and Human Services child protection reports and family child care licenses.