Hubbard County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier told county commissioners Tuesday that he was contacted by the owners of Val Chatel.
“Apparently, they are in the market to sell it,” he said of the former ski lodge and supper club located at 32546 County 4. “They’ve been contacted by a gentleman from the Trust for Public Land, probably weeks ago, and said they had inklings that property was up for sale and they may have some funding available to purchase that property to give to the county, whether it be for a park or campground, whatever.”
Lohmeier said the 270-acre property, valued at $1.12 million, was worth discussing. He did not know what the sale price would be.
County commissioners Tom Krueger and David De La Hunt said they would be interested in touring the facility.
De La Hunt suggested involving the Heartland Lakes Development Commission in the conversation about potential uses. He pointed out the success of the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area in Detroit Lakes. “It’s a very unique property that could turn into something like that again,” he said. “Many of us that grew up (here) still wish it existed. … I used to ski there all the time.”
In other business, the board did as follows:
Appointed Jamie Freeman as the new Hubbard County assessor, with a start date of April 5 and annual salary of $84,250.
Approved the purchase of a used dozer for the county solid waste department. The 2008 Komatsu D51PX-22 has 950 hours on it and will be sold by Road Machinery and Supplies Co. of Virginia, Minn. The cost is $102,300.
Approved quotes for 2021 fluorescent tube and bulb recycling from Veolia ES Technical Solutions, LLC of Port Washington, Wis.: 18 cents for 4 foot and under, 34 cents for greater than 4 feet, 34 cents for compact bulbs and varying transportation costs.
Agreed to act as the sponsoring agency for a Local Road Improvement Program project identified in Arago Township at 230th Street and 141st Avenue, off of U.S. Hwy. 71. “Pretty significant route there, definitely in need of some reconstruction, so we would support that project,” said County Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin.
Adopted 2021 spring road restrictions, prohibiting vehicles upon any county highway or county state aid highway where the gross weight on any single axle exceeds five tons on an unpaved street and 10 tons on a paved street. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will start spring load restrictions in the north-central and north frost zones at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 8.
Approved quotes from the sole bidder, Future Forests, Inc. of Askov, Minn., for site preparation on recently harvested sites, including 91 acres of trench and herbicide application and 58 acres broadcast herbicide application. Lohmeier noted there are only two operators in the state. The quotes were $90 per acre for trenching, $75 per acre for broadcast spraying, $87 per gallon for Tordon K herbicide, $95 per gallon for Garlon XRT and $30 per gallon for Liberator herbicide. Lohmeier said the contract has shrunk in size each year, “as our jackpine has been depleted and we have fewer and fewer acres that we really need to plant.”
Interim County Administrator Kay Mack made a “strong recommendation about how items that are not clear county issues may be put on the agenda.” She suggested that, at the close of each meeting, the board chair invite commissioners “to identify future work meeting topics. This provides board members the ability to suggest a topic and for there to be discussion among board members. If there is not clear consensus between the board members that an item should be placed on a published agenda, a board member can ask that there be consideration at a separate (future) meeting to vote on whether the item should be placed on the agenda of a later meeting. This essentially means that an item deemed as potentially controversial or divisive would become a three-meeting process.”