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Supervisors deny St. Ansgar’s request for paving funding

Supervisors deny St. Ansgar’s request for paving funding

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Stan Walk headshot

Walk

At the Nov. 17, Mitchell County Supervisor’s Meeting, supervisor Stan Walk moved to allocate an estimated $70,000 of funding for four blocks of paving in St. Ansgar, but the motion died for a lack of a second.

During the Sept. 29 meeting of the Supervisors, Mayor Keith Horgen of St. Ansgar had come before the supervisors asking for the funding.

The T-26 blacktop (Foothill Avenue) south of St. Ansgar is scheduled to be resurfaced with six inches of cement in 2021.

Horgen asked the Board to pay for the paving from the southern city limits of St. Ansgar to Fourth Street, which is the east-west main Street in the town.

During that meeting, both supervisors Barb Francis and Steve Smolik asked that the matter be taken up at a later date, so they could have time to consider the request. Horgen asked that the matter not be delayed too long, so the city could plan its 2021 budget.

At that time, supervisor Walk had wanted to vote on the measure, and then requested County Engineer Rich Brumm provide information showing where the County had aided other towns with similar projects in the past. During the Oct. 20 meeting, Brumm provided that information to the Board, which showed the funding received by Mitchell County towns in the past.

The request for the funding was later placed on the Nov. 17 agenda, and Walk moved to approve the request, but there was no second. After the measure died for a lack of a second, a discussion ensued.

Francis pointed out that in the past, before she was on the Board, that the county had done things that she felt weren’t in the best interest of county funding, and she believes it is time to correct those practices. She informed Horgen that he could come back after the new Board was seated in January, and resubmit his request to the newly elected Board.

“I thought maybe the county could help us out,” said Horgen.

Supervisor Smolik said he believes there was other available funding that the city could apply for at this time. Walk stood firm in supporting the measure.

Horgen later stated he thinks the Board should continue to use TIF Funding to help with county progress. Walk agreed with Horgen. Both Francis and Smolik countered, stating they think some of the county’s TIF debt should be paid off before more TIF borrowing occurs.

In other concerns before the Board:

• Sheriff Greg Beaver said he thinks the county jail’s population has been higher lately because the virus has caused court delays. He also informed the Board the new laptops for his department’s vehicles are here, but still need to be installed. The laptop technology will make communications easier between officers in the field, and with other law enforcement in the area who have the same technology.

• Assistant County Engineer Jim Wherry, who was recently elected to the new Board, told supervisors he will be retiring from his position in the near future, but hasn’t set a definite date. He thanked the Board for their past support.

• Librarians from Osage, St Ansgar, and Riceville were present to give their annual report, and make their request for future funding, but Walk suggested they needed to return after the new Board is seated. It was decided the three librarians should return next year to give their reports and make their requests.

Jerry Smith is sports editor and special projects editor for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at jerry.smith@globegazette.com or by phone at 641-421-0556. 

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