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Negotiations on the agenda to purchase Holt house

By: Dorothy Bloemendaal, staff writer

February 28, 2007

Murray County Commissioners
Each year the Murray County Board of Commissioners sign an agreement with the State of Minnesota for a Snowmobile Trail Assistance Program. The agreement gives the county grant money for maintaining the trails.

Representatives from the American Cancer Society presented a Proclamation signed by the board proclaiming March 5 - 11 “Daffodils in Murray County. “

A grant proposal by Chris Hansen and Mike Bambrick was given a letter of support to the southwest Initiative Foundation called the “VALSPAR Minnesota Beautiful Program”. This program would provide paint or help the county complete restoration and beautification projects. Hansen will apply for up to 60 gallons of paint for fairground buildings. County staff and volunteers would apply the paint.

The last water sampling done on Beaver Creek was in 2004. A contract was signed with the DNR as part of a Clean Water Partnership Grant for sampling to be done together with the Environmental Protection Agency on the flow through the bridge on Highway 30 west of Currie. EPA will monitor the flow rating at a cost of $8,400 for two years. The cost will be part of a $62,000 grant of the CWP. Steve Robinson, SEH engineering - Worthington, requested of the board a budget for the proposed Human Services building. A budget was at $30,000 for a floor plan and estimated cost plan. Robinson will meet with agencies that would be using the space and the facilities committee to prioritize needs. The board discussed appearance of the building, square footage inspection during the building etc. Commissioner Sauer said we need to proceed. It is expected the building would not be ready for occupancy for a year.

A motion was passed to purchase the Legion property for $27,500. Included in the negotiations were the Legion could store some equipment (flags, etc.) at the former food shelf building at the fairgrounds. They could also rent the 4-H building twice a year for meetings. A purchase agreement will be drawn and the accident memorial to remain in place.

No one attended the open forum session. Christy Surprenant reported that a comment was made at the Farm and Home Show that more young people should be encouraged to join the American Legion.

Michelle Miranowski, transportation director, said drug and alcohol testing was reduced to 25 percent random testing of participants. The testing is quite costly and only done at certain time at the clinic thus it may be necessary to have the testing in other clinics.

The drivers for the transportation program are required to have a zero tolerance. An addendum to the drug testing program as required by Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust (MCIT)was also received by the highway department.

Personnel classifications were changed for Terry Fisher and Nancy Pieske. Murray County Medical Center human resources position was moved to a exempt salaried position. Excessive overtime hours was the reason.

Bids were opened for shoulder widen, and bituminous reclamation on County Road 30 from the county line south for seven miles. The low bid of $566,846.13 was submitted by R&G Construction of Marshall. Three other bids were considered. The board was pleased with the low bid as engineer’s estimate was $928,861.40. Early bidding contributed to the low bid.

There was discussion of where the poles would be set from the new proposed substation on the south edge of Slayton. The county previously would allow poles in the right of way, however, if it was decided to go underground the city would make that decision.

Approval was given to Lisa Saner to attend a conference May 9-11.

Bids were opened for new truck for the highway department. The truck would replace a ‘93 International with 295,000 plus miles. Groves and Wally Gregory recommended a 2008 Mack truck. The International is offered for sale locally and available after the snow season. The new truck has a price tag of $90,485 without trade of $8,000 plus the box and equipment.

The staff at the highway department revamped the oil room. New equipment for oil dispensing will cost $2,650 and will save in labor cost.

Groves said as reported previously the project of the dam at Fulda was not nearing completion. There is a discrepancy as to the plans that are used.

The meeting was recessed to allow Commissioners Sauer and Vickerman a conference call with Lyon County commissioners concerning a ditch project.

Several members of the Murray County Historical Society expressed their opinions on the purchase of the Holt house. Gary Stoner of the tourism committee said it would be a real enhancement to the city and Murray county and asked the board to “show friendly consideration” (to the purchase). It is not often you get a second chance for the opportunity such as this to buy the house, said Don Swanjord. He continued he has several objects from the house and would be willing to give them back. Real estate considers location, location, location former Slayton neighborhood resident of the house and asked the board to look seriously at acquiring the property. He related his growing up years and working for the Holt family. Texas Swanjord has been involved in historic preservation and regarding the house a good place, (you) can’t count the money but need to look at the value and what it can do for the community. Caryl Busman, museum director, expressed what the house could do for the community and the county attracting visitors and also the impact on the museum. Among them was an addition to the museum would not be necessary and would be an asset to the historical area of the museum buildings. No county money has been used for the Sierk building nor the Wornson cabin.

Holly Miller explained the staff is excited at the prospect and many new projects could be entertained.

Commissioner Magnus said there may be matching funds to assist in updating the house or restoring it.

Representing the realtors, Dale Pavlis said they have not received a written offer on the house. The board approved a unanimous roll call vote to have the building committee negotiate the purchase up to the asking price of $169,900.





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