YMC ag land market may change

GRANITE?FALLS – The Yellow Medicine County Board heard a report on a preliminary assessment of property values by County Assessor Connie Erickson at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

According to Erickson, 47 residential property sales and two commercial property sales countywide this year indicate no change in market valuation, with the exception of properties in Canby and Clarkfield.

Eighteen residential properties changed hands in Canby, which showed a 21 percent increase in valuation overall. There were 10 residential property sales in Clarkfield, where valuation showed a decrease yet to be determined.

The report projected a 10.6 percent increase in the market value of tillable land for 2014.

However, according to Erickson, sales of tillable land in October showed a market value of $700 and $800 less per acre, compared to October 2012.

“This is an indication the market is changing,” Erickson said.

In other action, the board approved six contracts requested by the county Family Service Center for a total of $10,438, all within the center’s budget.

The board approved a final payment of $12,430 to R&G Construction for work on County Road D2 west of Clarkfield.

The board approved the hire of Jeanette Duis for a part-time, non-scheduled position as corrections officer/dispatch at a rate of $14.38 per hour.

The board discussed suggestions presented by Finance Director Michelle May regarding the courthouse space study, which cited a number of problems with the courthouse building.

The study presented the alternatives of remodeling the existing courthouse at an estimated a cost of $2.7 million, or building a new courthouse for a cost estimated at $8.87 million.

Commissioners discussed input received from constituents to date and how to inform the public of the relevant information necessary to make an informed decision.

The board had previously solicited input from county residents at public meetings, which were poorly attended.

May presented the commissioners with an outline of the information to be presented to the public and a first draft of a flier to be mailed to all postal patrons in the county at an estimated cost of $5,000.

County residents can see the results of the courthouse study on display at the county courthouse in Granite Falls, or on the Yellow Medicine County website.