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County may hire auctioneer for tax forfeited land sale Sept. 6

Wadena commissioners are considering hiring a professional auctioneer to conduct the Sept. 6 tax-forfeited land sale at the courthouse.

More than 90 parcels of land are slated to be up for sale that day. The parcels include city lots, 40-acre plots, 80-acre plots and many more. Many of the parcels are good hunting and recreational land. Quite a few have lake or river frontage. Others have timber resources.

Generally, a tax-forfeited land sale is conducted by a county's auditor/treasurer. Judy Taves, Wadena County's auditor/treasurer, was expecting to carry out the duties of selling the parcels, but commissioner Rodney Bounds told the board at its Aug. 5 meeting that he thought bringing in a professional auctioneer would earn the county more money.

Bounds pointed out that Taves had never done an auction before and had only attended one land auction in her life. He said that it would be her first time doing an auction, and while he was sure she could conduct the sale properly, he didn't think she would know how to get the most money out of the buyers present.

Commissioners discussed the idea, along with suggestions for ways to advertise the sale on the radio and in newspapers. After thoroughly talking it over, commissioners voted to have Taves contact several local auctioneers to see who was available on Sept. 6 and what kind of flat fees would be charged by each one to conduct the sale. They also voted to run ads in the local county papers, plus the Fargo Forum, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Outdoor News. Taves will also contact local radio stations to see whether the county can obtain ads for the sale there as well. She will report back to the board on Aug. 12.

Commissioners also voted to accept the report prepared by the Economic Development Authority Committee, facilitated by Region 5, with its recommendations. At the Aug. 12 meeting, commissioners will appoint a new Economic Development Committee to issue requests for proposals to county agencies that are qualified to provide economic development services to the county.

In other business, the board:

• Restored language inadvertently deleted from amendments to the county's zoning ordinance passed recently.

• Authorized a letter to be sent by the board to MnDOT requesting a plan to deal with the flooding that occurs in Verndale after every substantial rainfall, in the area of CR 115 and U.S. Hwy 10.

• Rejected the sole bid received for the Safe Routes to Schools pavement marking and signage contract because the bid was 46 percent above the highway engineer's estimate. The project will be rebid later.

• Learned that two new employees have been hired by the Highway Department to replace retirees. The two are Erick Anderson and William Paurus. Both have already begun work in maintenance worker III positions.

• Approved a new county logo. The logo will be used on all county correspondence and will be installed on the doors of all county vehicles, via a bidding process to take place soon.

• Tabled action on the county's new tax abatement policy, pending a date for a public hearing.