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County facing more building demolition costs

By Staff | Mar 9, 2015

Winnebago and Blue Earth have both recently completed demolition of abandoned buildings.

However, the Faribault County Commissioners are finding this will not be the last they hear about old buildings in the county.

At their meeting last Tuesday, they accepted a conveyance of ownership of a piece of land which the owner intended to forfeit.

The parcel of land is located at the address of 204 Willis Street in Elmore and shares a wall with the old bakery building which is located on Main Street and has also been forfeited.

“Statute does allow that to happen,” county auditor/treasurer John Thompson says.

And by doing so, the commissioners felt the county was being proactive.

“By accepting this conveyance, it would be cheaper to demolish the two buildings at the same time,”?Thompson adds.

According to statute, if the owner has no intention of redeeming a parcel of property, they may chose to convey the legal ownership voluntarily rather that waiting for the period of redemption to expire.

The owners of the building in Elmore say that because of water leakage from the old bakery building over the years, their property is no longer useable.

“I’m glad to see Elmore moving ahead with these things; good to see this come forward,”?commissioner John Roper said.

Some of the other commissioners brought up the point that this seems to be a reoccurring problem in the county.

“It’s getting to be a hot topic for taxpayers,”?commissioner Tom Warmka said. “We’re going to have to start budgeting for these.”

Commissioner Tom Loveall agreed, saying that a plan should be formulated as more abandoned buildings come forward.

“I think the snowball is rolling downhill quickly now,”?Loveall says. “There’s going to be this question about how proactive we are and he will have to sort out what our policy is going to be. We will need to be more proactive.”

The County Board also heard from Dawn Fellows about the progress of the joint transit program between Faribault and Martin counties.

According to Fellows, both counties were going to give $10,000 in start up funds and were asked to take official action to do so during their meeting.

“A transit grant from MnDOT?is going to fund most of it,” Fellows said.

The board approved adding to the start up fund.

Fellows also updated the board on some staffing matters. Two individuals were approved for hire in various areas in the Sheriffs department and the interview process will be wrapping up soon for both the engineer position and for the transit department.