County looking for more from land salesOn Tuesday the Lake County Board of Commissioners and Land Commissioner Tom Martinson discussed getting a master list together of what tax forfeited lands the county may sell in the future.
On Tuesday the Lake County Board of Commissioners and Land Commissioner Tom Martinson discussed getting a master list together of what tax forfeited lands the county may sell in the future.
County Coordinator Matt Huddleston said the list would be created so people are not surprised if public land near homes is sold.
“People are never happy when we sell [public lands],” Huddleston said. “Even if they are on the list, it doesn’t mean they are going to be sold.”
Martinson talked about the various aspects of tax forfeit land sales and had a list of criteria for public properties that could not be sold. According to Minnesota statute, no-sale lands include those in memorial forests, though they can be sold with county board support designating the land as non-conservation. Land on bodies of water is also excluded.
Other lands that cannot be sold under county policy are those with gravel, acres located on contiguous blocks of tax forfeit land, those proposed in land exchanges, lands with recreational facilities and trails, lands with conifer plantations, and hunting cabin lease sites.
In an email to the board Martinson wrote: “The county policies on land sale criteria are not legal restrictions and can be adjusted.”
The forest department’s budget is in the red and the county is looking at transferring $200,000 from its fund balance, which is like a savings account, to the program.
“Typically they make money for the county,” said Tom Clifford, county commissioner.
The forestry department supplements itself through land, timber and gravel sales. The forestry/land department does not operate with tax dollars.
Huddleston said no land was sold last year, which didn’t help matters.
Other county news
- County Commissioner Rich Sve discussed gypsy moths and the upcoming spraying this summer. He went to a presentation in Finland run by the state. There are projections that spraying could begin in June and will include areas in Knife River, Two Harbors and Finland. The insecticide (BTK) used is considered safe but could kill butterflies.
- Sve will be headed to Washington D.C. this week to represent Lake County on an environmental/energy/land use committee for the National Association of Counties.