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Courthouse bid goes to local firm

DETROIT LAKES - With the addition to the Becker County Courthouse nearing completion, the County Board approved a bid for the second phase of the courthouse project Tuesday.

The second phase, which will include remodeling and updating the heating and cooling system in the existing courthouse building, is slated to begin construction on June 1, said County Administrator Brian Berg.

"Phase 1 (which also includes a third-floor prisoner walkway from the county jail to the new addition, where the courtrooms will now be located) is on schedule for completion in May," Berg added.

Bob Bristlin & Son of Detroit Lakes submitted the low bid of $1,473,000 for the project, which the board approved along with an $11,186 alternate for adding a security room in the main entrance.

In other business Tuesday, the board appointed Bill Majerus to serve on the County Planning & Zoning Commission, replacing Waldo Johnson.

County Recorder Darlene Maneval informed the board that her office has entered into a contract with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah for scanning the county's land records that are 90 years and older. According to Berg, the church is attempting to compile an archive of state land records dating prior to 1918, and will scan the records at no cost to the county (which will receive its own copy of the records).

Don Kleven, representing the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, came before the board to request certification of a planned property purchase of 76.63 acres from Clayton and Joann Schott of Detroit Lakes. The board endorsed the sale, with the stipulation that the City of Detroit Lakes be informed of the purchase, as the land falls within two miles of city limits.

The board also approved the purchase of a tandem plow truck for the Becker County Highway Department, to replace a 1994 model that has been in use for 15 years. The cost of the truck is $170,900.

The board also voted to concur with the actions of the County Planning & Zoning Commission at its Feb. 19 meeting, thus putting its stamp of approval on the following applications:

n A conditional use permit for Gary and Lynette Dahl to allow horses on their property in Lake Park Township. Though the property is in an agricultural zone, the permit was requested as the Dahls do not have an active farming operation; a plan was provided for waste removal and feed as part of the permit application.

n A conditional use permit for Ronald Lass to replace existing retaining walls on his Cormorant Township property with new timber retaining walls and native plantings. A safe walkway will also be provided using existing cuts on the hillside to provide lake access on the property.

n A change of zone from agricultural to residential for an existing five-acre tract of land in Erie Township owned by Byron Nolan.

n A request to rescind a change of zone from commercial to residential on a property owned by Steven Anderson and James Schaefer in Audubon Township. The change of zone was requested in July 2007, and granted, but the owners have since learned that it would not be needed.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454