Four file for open county commissioner seatThe Lake County Commissioner seat left vacant by Paul Bergman’s passing will be filled just after the New Year.
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
The Lake County Commissioner seat left vacant by Paul Bergman’s passing will be filled just after the New Year.
Filing for the January special election ended yesterday and four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the term that runs through the end of 2014. Jeremy Hurd, Mary Rosati, Amy Stark and Richard Sundstrom will compete for the seat.
The primary election for the District 4 seat will be held on November 5 and the general election will take place on January 7. District 4 includes about half of the City of Two Harbors as well as a portion of the county south of Two Harbors along the shore of Lake Superior.
ATV ordinance moves forward
An extensive conversation about ATV ordinances opened Tuesday’s Lake County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Commissioners, Department of Natural Resources conservation officers, Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson and administrator Matt Huddleston tackled a proposed ordinance that would allow ATVs on some county roads.
“We’ve worked on this for a long time and very hard,” Commissioner Rick Goutermont said.
The draft ordinance would allow ATVs to ride on county roads 7 and 8 and Mitiwan Lake Road. Two sticking points were a possible speed limit and whether the ordinance should allow ATVs on some or all county roads. The board ultimately decided to add a speed limit and keep the ordinance limited to three roads.
Under state statute, ATVs are not allowed to drive at unreasonable speeds, but Sheriff Johnson expressed concern that it would be almost impossible to consistently define unreasonable speeds and enforce the ordinance based on that criteria.
“It’s probably not a bad thing to set a speed limit,” he said. Goutermont proposed a speed limit of 40 miles per hour for ATVs riding on roads, and Huddleston said he would add it to the draft.
Goutermont said he’s discussed similar ordinances with commissioners from area counties, and most of them have opened all county roads to ATVs rather than a select few. Goutermont and Johnson said they were concerned that opening just a few would confuse ATV riders. In addition, a primary goal of the county is to connect the Two Harbors and Silver Bay ATV trail systems. The proposed ordinance would not do that.
“Having these three (open) doesn’t help us in the Two Harbors area and also adds to confusion,” Johnson said.
The board agreed they would consider expanding the ordinance in the future to include all county roads. They also moved to add language specifying that ATVs must ride single file along roads. A public hearing seeking input will be held on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Clair Nelson Center, 6866 Cramer Road in Finland.
Land sale slated for Oct. 25
The county will be auctioning off 10 parcels of tax-forfeited land in October. The parcels have been released to the county because of unpaid property taxes, and bidding will open at 12:30 p.m., Oct. 25, at the Lake County Law Enforcement Center, 611 Third Avenue, Two Harbors.
The parcels are located all over the county, with four in Crystal Bay Township. The appraised values range from $8,200 to $144,000 and the acreage from .2 to 76.6.
More information will be available on the county website in the 30 days before the auction; visit www.co.lake.mn.us for more information on the parcels and the bidding process.