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Supervisors table Ringsted City Hall request

By Staff | Oct 5, 2016

The Emmet County Board of Supervisors tabled a request from the Ringsted City Council for $15,000 to repair the Ringsted City Hall until the next meeting.

“I?struggle with the fairness of financing a city project with rural funds,” supervisor?Jeff Quastad said.

The board reviewed the origin of the rural development local option sales tax (L.O.S.T.)?funds. In 2008, voters passed the referendum to assign local option sales tax funds with half to rural development, which was assigned to secondary road maintenance and repair, and the other half to county betterment.

Projects have included county contributions to the Ringsted ballfields, the Excel building, and the Wallingford Fire Hall.

Supervisor Tim Schumacher said, “I received one call on this from someone in the northern area of Ringsted. [The caller said,] ‘If you do this for Ringsted, the danger is that every other city will line up with its hand out.'”

Supervisor Alan Madden said, “That hasn’t been true since we’ve had this money. I’ve never dreamed we would be looking at $750,000. Before we had this money, we had a pat answer for everyone who came to us asking for money for a project:?’no.'”

Quastad said, “The income is derived from farmers. Are we taking from them [with rural property taxes] and redistributing to the City?”

Tim Schumacher said, “[The L.O.S.T. funds] are the way we provide opportunities for betterment throughout the county.”

Alan Madden added, “That little city hall contributes to the function of the city. I don’t think the one is exclusive of the other. It’s certainly as worthy a project as any we have funded so far. Farmers want a viable community from which they can get goods and services.”?

The board decided to table the issue until the next meeting, to provide a chance for further consideration.

In other business, County Auditor Amy Sathoff provided a report on county benefits paid out in retirement and otherwise post-county-employment. “We had a slight increase over last report [in 2013] due to having more retirees,”?Sathoff said.

County engineer Walter Davis-Oeth was present for the public hearing on increasing the level of maintenance on a mile of road, sharing the cost 50-50 with New Fashion Pork, and maintaining the road at Level A once completed.

Receiving no objections, the board approved the upgrade.

The next meeting of the Emmet County Board of Supervisors is Turesday, Oct. 11 at 9 a.m. in the boardroom of the Emmet County Courthouse.