Public hearing for redistricting in May

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Mower County residents will learn the details of proposed redistricting at a public hearing in May.

The Mower County Board of Commissioners approved the public hearing on redistricting for 11 a.m. May 14.

According to Daryl W. Franklin and Woody Vereide, Mower County will establish new political boundaries following action by municipalities and townships.

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In the case of the city of Austin, the charter commission has established new boundaries using the applicable state statute and census figures.

County planner Franklin, and county auditor Vereide worked with Austin city clerk Lucy Johnson and city planner Craig Hoium to

compute figures and redraw boundaries for the redistricting measure.

Bishop gravel pit approved

Also Tuesday, the county board unanimously approved a conditional use permit for Benjamin Bishop to operate a gravel pit in Udolpho Township.

The Mower County Planning Commission had originally recommended approval of the CUP request. When it was forwarded to the county board, the commissioners said they needed more time to study the request and more information.

Bishop retained the serves of Omni Environmental Inc. to conduct well sampling at residential wells in the area and to conduct a limited limestone investigation.

The commissioners had many questions for Bishop; particularly about the impact of excavation on the shallow sand-point wells in the township, hours of operation and dewatering.

At the recommendation of Richard P. Cummings, 1st District county commissioner, several new conditions were added, swelling the total to 20 conditions overall. Cummings made the motion and David Hillier, 3rd District county commissioner, seconded it. All five commissioners voted to grant Bishop a CUP for the gravel pit.

In other action Tuesday, the county commissioners:

Approved the annual Mower County volunteer recognition banquet for April 22 at the Mower County Senior Center in Austin, beginning at 6 p.m.

Acknowledged the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's review of the Mower County feedlot enforcement regulations and work plan. The MPCA gave the local feedlot program, as well as one conducted in neighboring Steele County, its highest praise.

Approved a bid letting date for May 20 for deck work on bridges across the Cedar River in the City of Austin near the Pizza Hut and South Main Street near Marcusen Park.

Agreed to review the proposed newly revised Mower County comprehensive plan at a meeting 7 p.m. April 17.

Acknowledged sale of a vintage 1962 panel truck used by the Mower County emergency management program at auction last Saturday in the amount of $12,750, a record price for the surplus auctions held by the county.

Agreed to discontinue publication of the Mower County Messenger newsletter. Citing the expense of publication and circulation as well as a lack of readership. County staff recommended cessation of publication to the county board. Instead, the regularly Mower County chairman of the board column will be more heavily promoted to newspapers in the county as well as use of the county's web page and other existing newsletters.

Acknowledged there are still not enough parking spaces in downtown city lots for county employees at the Mower County government center. According to Len Miller, county board chair, county employees are encouraged to use public lots for parking their vehicles.

However, they are allowed to use their "break" time during the work day to leave the workplace and move their vehicles to avoid receiving overtime parking tickets. He said public parking is available in the west lot at the government center and not all the spaces are reserved for public safety and criminal justice personnel.

Call Lee Bonorden at 434-2232 or e-mail him at