The next meeting of the Kanabec County Board of Commissioners is 9 a.m. Dec. 1, 2020 in the Kanabec County Courthosue at 18 S Vine St, Mora. The meeting is also held via WebEx telephone or video access. 

Board tables public land predicament

A landowner who wants to see his land restored to native prairie then sold to the MN DNR for use as a publicly accessible Wildlife Management Area may be denied by the Kanabec County Board of Commissioners. 

Landowner Shaun Fiedler with representatives from the Minnesota DNR and Pheasants Forever made the request, however, the Kanabec County Board of Commissioners has a policy to deny new DNR acquisition of land. 

Fiedler said he felt the county was denying him his right to do what his wishes with his property. Commissioner Dennis McNally defended the purpose of the board policy is to keep private property on the tax roles.

The issue was tabled to give the commissioners more time to review their policies in more detail. 

This is not the first time the board has battled over requests to transfer private property to the DNR for use as WMAs. The commissioners previously made an exception to their policy for a parcel of property on Ann Lake.

A Minnesota local government aid program called Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) provides funds to counties for state-owned, natural resource lands to make up for what the counties would have gained in property taxes from the land. 

In the case of Fiedler’s 226 acre parcel, PILT payments would be approximately $5,900 while property taxes from the property are $2,500.

County health plan net income rebounds in 2019

South Country Health Alliance CFO Scott Schufman reports 2019 finished with a higher than anticipated net income of $1.8 million. South Country had budgeted for a $780,000 net income. This is a significant improvement from 2018 with they suffered a net loss of $12.3 million. 

South Country Health Alliance is county-based purchasing health plan owned by eight Minnesota counties including Kanabec County.

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