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County board briefs

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ATV trail hits another snag

A grant Lake County was hoping to receive to fund an ATV trail has been denied.

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The county applied for a Parks and Trails Legacy Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to finish a trail being built to connecting Two Harbors to Silver Bay. The agency didn’t grant the request.

“We’ve got to chase other sources,” county administrator Matt Huddleston said at Tuesday’s county board meeting.

He said the county needs about $250,000 to finish the trail, which will connect the Lake County Demonstration Forest to the Red Dot and then to the Moose Walk/Moose Run trails in Silver Bay.

Huddelston said the DNR received requests for about $30 million in funding from around the state, but t had around $3 million to dispense.

Commissioners in D.C.

A contingent of commissioners is in Washington, D.C., with Huddleston to attend a meeting with the Federal Communications Commission and Frontier Communications.

In November, the county filed a complaint with the FCC asking the commission to help resolve conflict that have arisen between the two entities over the placement of copper and fiber optic cable strung on utility poles throughout the area. This is just one of many disagreements that Frontier and Lake Connections have had to settle since the county embarked on its broadband project. According to a Lake Connections press release issued last fall, the county filed the complaint “based on Frontier’s demand that, as the incumbent telephone company, it is entitled to the bottom position on all utility poles and Lake County must pay to move Frontier’s existing copper cables down on all utility poles, while placing Lake Connections’ new fiber optic cable above Frontier’s cables.”

Sheriff’s Office looking for a pickup

Sheriff Carey Johnson addressed the board on Tuesday with a request for a new vehicle. The sheriff’s office currently owns a 2007 Ford Expedition, but is looking to purchase a four-door pickup that Johnson said would be more useful.

Johnson solicited bids to trade the seven-year old SUV for a truck. Sonju Motors in Two Harbors offered the office $9,000 on trade for its Expedition, which has 65,000 miles. The money could be applied toward the purchase of a 2008 Chevrolet Crew Cab with 66,000 miles. After the trade, the vehicle would cost the county $15,000.

Wehrs Chevrolet in Bangor, Wis., offered a similar deal. The Expedition could be traded in for $8,000 and the county could purchase a 2008 Chevrolet Crew Cab with 55,000 miles for $16,450 after trade-in.

Johnson told the county board that the best value was to purchase a truck from Sonju outright and hang on to the SUV, which could be reused in another county department.

Members of the board said they plan to make a motion next week keeping Johnson’s recommendations in mind.

Lake Connections launches Facebook photo contest

Lake County’s publicly funded broadband provider, Lake Connections, has launched a Facebook contest to gather images for its website.

To enter the contest, aspiring photographers must “like” the Lake Connections Facebook page and submit their photos by either posting it on the Facebook page or “tagging” Lake Connections in the photo.

One winner will receive a $50 Visa gift card. Lake Connections will use a number of the photos on its website indefinitely.

The contest is open until 4 p.m., Feb. 14.

Note: In the Jan. 17 issue of the Lake County News-Chronicle, the date of the FCC hearing with Frontier and Lake County was misprinted. The actual date of the hearing is Feb. 7.

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