GRANITE?FALLS?- Yellow Medicine County Assessor Connie Erickson gave the county commissioners an overall assessment of county property values at its board meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Erickson, residential and commercial property valuation based on sales had remained fairly stable, but farm land values had "skyrocketed."
Erickson told the commissioners there had been 21 sales of agricultural land in 2012 and 46 sales of residential and commercial property. In a typical year, there are 40 to 45 sales of agricultural land.
According to Erickson, though residential and commercial property sales were down from previous years, there had been no change in property values, except in Clarkfield where there had been an 11 percent increase in values based on six sales of residential properties, Echo; 6 percent on two sales, and Porter, 3 percent on two sales.
However, out of 21 third-party transfers of tillable acreage, the increase in values ranged from 28 percent in Echo Township and the Sioux Agency, to 52 percent in Lisbon Township, for a county-wide average of 36 percent.
In other business, at a Ditch 36 repair hearing, the board decided to table consideration of a request by Buesing and Buesing LLC to replace about 2,600 feet open drainage ditch that runs across cultivated land owned by the company in Hazel Run Township with buried 30-inch tile. The board decided to delay consideration of the request after 10 farmers with land along the ditch objected.
After viewing a presentation by representatives of Wold Architects and Engineers, the board voted to go ahead with the next step in a plan to renovate the former Fagen Building into county offices.
Representatives of Wold presented preliminary floor plans to turn the structure into a board meeting room and county offices with better public access than the present arrangement at the county courthouse.
The estimated total project costs are $550,000, a little higher than the county's original estimate of $500,000.
The board's decision authorizes Wold to go to the next step of drawing up actual blueprints and specifications to present to the board for approval to begin construction. If approved, and all goes according to plan, the new county offices should be open toward the end of next summer.
After some discussion, the board voted to approve a $14,500 contract with Springstead Incorporated to search for a new county administrator but deferred a decision on appointing an interim administrator.
Yellow Medicine County Administrator Ryan Krosch's last day in office will be Dec. 28. Krosch told the board Springstead might find an acceptable replacement by March 2013.