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BELTRAMI COUNTY: Commissioners reconstructing PTAC committee

BELTRAMI COUNTY -- The sun has set on the controversial Beltrami County Park and Trail Advisory Committee. Commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday that the committee is due for a redesign.

"We need to be thinking about the big picture and what's going to be here 100 years from now," commissioner Jim Lucachick said.

The PTAC was formed in 2006 as a way for the county to receive feedback and recommendations pertaining to planning, programming, evaluating and funding of park, trail and recreation facilities and programs. The committee went from meeting quarterly to an as-needed basis and now commissioners feel it is time for an overhaul that includes clearly communicating the role of the committee.

Commissioner Jack Frost said the word "advisory" created the notion that it was a watchdog group for forest management. Frost, who sits on the PTAC with Lucachick, announced he filed an affidavit last week retracting his run for the District 1 position in the November election and will no longer be on the Beltrami County board come January.

Commissioners heard an update on the county's park and recreation plans for 2014. Recreation resource manager Shawn Morgan said road closure barricades have been installed to deter people from driving down woodsy roads and dumping garbage. Plans to install cameras at both Three Island Park and Movil Maze were mentioned. A snowmobile trail at Three Island Park is due for a repair and adding park closure gates was also discussed.

During the regular county board meeting, commissioners reappointed County Engineer Bruce Hasbargen to another four-year term. Commissioners also held a public hearing to accept comments regarding a proposed 40-acre for 40-acre land exchange in Langor and Cormant townships. No opposition was raised.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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