YMC Board updates zoning ordinances

GRANITE?FALLS?-?The Yellow Medicine County Board unanimously approved updates to the county zoning ordinances on Tuesday.

County Planing and Zoning Administrator Randy Jacobson presented the updated ordinances to the board at a public hearing during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting. There were no members of the public at the meeting, and changes to zoning ordinances were minor or additions copied directly from state and federal regulations.

One modification to zoning of rural preservation areas changed the category of Manufactured Homes Type I from a conditional use to permitted.

Jacobson explained to the board that since many elderly retirees in rural areas want to move from a multi-story dwelling to a single-story home, the change would save them $600 in fees to obtain a conditional use permit.

Another change eliminated a 35-foot height limit on farm dwellings.

However, an entire section was added to the zoning codes restricting use of a closed landfill southwest of U.S. Trunk Highway 212 solely to closed landfill management and agricultural use.

County Veterans Services Officer Michelle Gatz reported that health care services to veterans would not be affected by the government shutdown, but claims for service to the Veterans Administration, already backlogged, would be slowed down further.

“The federal government first asked the VA to shut down their offices,” Gatz said. “Then they said OK but don’t see anyone. This to me is a terrible, terrible thing because the VA is already behind in claims. If this continues, it could be a problem for veterans, adding a couple months on to the claims that are already there.”

County Finance Manager Michelle May and Chris Balfany, drainage and land use inspector, reported on projected costs and funding options for the County Ditch 9, Branch R improvement project.

According to May and Balfany, total costs of the project amount to an estimated $875,000.

The costs would be split between loans from the county ditch system of $550,000 and from the general revenue fund of $325,000.

May presented the board with reimbursement options to pay off the project costs either now or spread out over 10 to 15 years.

The board directed May to look into interest rates on funding options and present them to the board at a later date.

In other business, the board granted a conditional use permit to crop consultant Dorian Gatchell to expand his business at his home on 10 acres in Stony Run Township.

Gatchell said he plans to expand into dealing crop input supplies and will have customers coming to his home rather than going to their property.