homepage logo

County votes to sell tax forfeited land

By Staff | Aug 25, 2014

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution last Tuesday that will allow for the sale of several forfeited parcels of land.

The resolution was passed in response to comments made at the Aug. 5 County Board meeting about tax forfeited property in Faribault County that could be sold to generate tax revenue.

It was also voiced at the meeting that certain properties on the list may qualify as being hazardous because of possible chemical contamination on the abandoned parcels of land.

In such cases, it is the responsibility of the previous land owner to clear the land of all contaminants that could border farmland and waterways.

“As part of a state statute, landowners can’t dodge responsibility once they sell the land by just walking away,” said John Thompson, Faribault County Auditor/Treasurer.

As of last Tuesday, 40 properties were on the forfeited tax sale list for 2014. However, the Board of Commissioners reserve the right to add or remove parcels of land from the list.

According to County Commissioner Bill Groskreutz, county residents can expect to see a forfeited tax sale sometime in November.

If interested, a municipality may also request that a piece of land be withheld from public sale for up to six months.

The Board of Commissioners also heard from Michele Stindtman, Faribault County Soil and Water program administrator.

Stindtman had been working with members of Hope United Methodist Church on obtaining a conditional use permit in order to put up a new “animated” sign located on Hope UMC property.

“An ‘animated’ sign is the only one that requires a permit,” Stindtman said.

Because of size, movement and illumination of the proposed sign, the Department of Transportation could see it as a driving distraction, therefore requiring a permit.

The Board of Commissioners approved the conditional use permit for the Hope UMC sign, but the sign cannot contain lights, words or noises that mimic an emergency response vehicle and the sign must be located at least 100 feet from the center line of the nearest road.

In other business:

Faribault County Engineer John McDonald announced that construction on County Road 13 is now complete.

The $1.9 million project began last summer and was intended to fix and resurface the road which goes through Blue?Earth City Township and Elmore Township.

“It’s a good example of cooperation between two townships,” McDonald said.

Mary Schimek and other members of the Faribault County Historical Society requested additional funds to repair wooden shingles on the Wakefield House.

The shingles were destroyed during the windstorm that hit the county in late June.

“We’re trying to be proactive and fix the problem before water comes through the roof,” Schimek said.

The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution granting the Faribault County Transit Service a 15 percent increase in funding for 2015.

A check for $1,000 was presented to the Board of Commissioners on behalf of the Faribault County Fair Board. The money came from donations given at the Saturday morning Veterans Program that was held July 26 at the Faribault County Fair.