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The "courts" addition to the north side of the Becker County Courthouse has been put on hold for a while because of higher-than-anticipated construction bids. The county board on Tuesday rejected all four courthouse bids, opting instead to redesign the project to save money, then re-bid it this fall. The county received bids "that came in around $200 per square foot," said County Administrator Brian Berg.
In something of a coup for the Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corp. in Detroit Lakes, the agency has been awarded $80 million in federal tax credits. It was the only entity in Minnesota to receive an allotment of tax credits this year, and the MMCDC will focus on projects that involve sustainable energy and value-added agriculture -- such as ethanol plants, wind energy and biodiesel, according to MMCDC President Arlen Kangas. The U.S.
The resignation of Becker County Auditor Keith Brekken came earlier than expected. Brekken will retire effective today.
Road improvement projects in north-central Becker County are moving forward, in spite of higher-than-projected bids because of high oil and fuel costs. The reconstruction of a 4.5-mile stretch of highway from Ogema to White Earth village will cost $2.6 million, nearly $500,000 more than the engineer's estimate of last year. A related project, resurfacing a six-mile stretch of County Road 34 from White Earth village east to Kay's Corner at the junction of County Road 34 and County Road 158, will cost about $816,000 -- 18 percent over the engineer's estimate. The higher bids were not a sur
A drill to test the distribution of medical supplies from the national stockpile -- and their local allocation to essential personnel -- went well Thursday, with 85 bags of placebos distributed in Detroit Lakes. Getting those placebos -- actually M&Ms and Skittles packaged 10 apiece in plastic medical bags -- was no easy matter.
State and local health officials are urging people to prepare for a possible avian flu pandemic by stockpiling necessities. Top state health officials say they have already begun personal stockpiles of food, water and other essentials. Rhonda Stock, director of Becker County public health, says she hasn't started yet, but plans to stockpile enough to last six to eight weeks. By having a good store of supplies at home, people can stay to themselves and avoid catching or spreading the avian flu, if it mutates into a form that can be passed human-to-human. Health officials also predict sh
Public Utilities officials were pleased with a recent test of Detroit Lakes' newly-repaired jet turbine. The turbine, which has provided backup power for the City of Detroit Lakes for nearly 40 years, ran very well and sounded better than it has in a long time, said Utilities Superintendent Curt Punt. "The engine operated flawlessly during this run," Punt said in a memo to the Utilities Commission, which met Tuesday. Repairs were done in Windsor Locks, Conn., and cost about $190,000.
Did the assessed value of your property go up this year?
More and more often, people are tearing down cabins and cottages and building big houses and garages on small lake lots. In the not-so-recent past, the result was often runoff that flooded neighboring property or drained directly into lakes, lowering water quality. Becker County's solution -- adopted last fall -- is to require property owners to take steps to contain runoff, but to let the developer decide what mitigation efforts best fit the property. The county's unique approach to redevelopment of substandard lakeshore lots has won the respect of the state Department of Natural Resour
The Becker County Humane Society finally has a piece of land to call its own. So to speak, anyway. The county board agreed Tuesday to a 99-year lease agreement to allow the society to build an animal shelter on Highway 59 North, with room to board 25 cats and 25 dogs. The lease takes effect May 1. The board took the action despite objections from at least one neighbor, Curt Sittko, who voiced his concerns at the county board meeting Tuesday. But Humane Society members filled the other dozen or so seats in the commissioners' meeting room at the courthouse, and they broke into applause