Ideal township property, tax-free, withdrawn from the sale of land, could become a park



Crow Wing County Council on Tuesday July 13 agreed to remove the parcel from the forfeited public land auction set for July 23 at the request of Ideal Town Council. Township supervisors passed a resolution recommending that the county delay the sale of the property for one year, giving township residents time to consider options for the property’s future.

One option for the land, which is Kittens Corner of the 110-acre Uppgaard Wildlife Management Area, is to become a park, said Dave Peterson, chairman of the city council.

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“Ideal Township is 44% water and we don’t even have a park adjacent to the water, so this would be an opportunity to do that, if it works that way,” Peterson said in an interview. telephone Wednesday. “It could be a natural park with a few trails, as well as access for kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding.”

Peterson pointed out that the planning is in its infancy and is primarily driven by the property’s neighbors, who have petitioned to delay the sale to County Commissioner Bill Brekken and City Council.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Paul Koering said acceptance of the township’s request would be in line with previous decisions of the board.

– Dave Peterson, President of Ideal Township

“I think it’s county council practice that if a city or township… wants us to take something out of the tax forfeiture auction, we have,” Koering said. “… This is nothing out of the ordinary. If the supervisors ask for it, I’m all for it. We can wait a year to sell this.

Brekken, who virtually attended Tuesday’s meeting and represents the region on the county’s board of directors, said he believes residents have been briefed on the impending sale in the short term and that the opportunity for them to donate their opinion is important. In a telephone interview on Thursday, Brekken further explained that he believed the situation revealed a flaw in the county’s notification practices. While township officials received information several months ago regarding the county’s plan to divest scattered and smaller plots of land confiscated in favor of consolidation, Brekken said neighbors of those properties had not learned of the potential sale only 30 days in advance.

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“It really shows that we need to work a bit and make sure we let residents know when these things are going to come with a better time frame,” said Brekken.

Allowing time to formulate a plan could result in a proposal for public use from the township, or give residents time to pool their resources to purchase tax-confiscated property themselves, noted Brekken.

A third possibility is the acquisition by the Northern Waters Land Trust, a non-profit organization working in Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard and Aitkin counties to preserve the lands in the name of water quality and preservation. of the environment. Ryan Simonson, supervisor of environmental services, said the organization was considering seeking grants to purchase the property, in turn donating it to the township or the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Before the board of directors agreed to take the 31.97-acre property off the auction, the original offer price was set at $ 138,300. It is zoned Rural Residential 5, which means residential lots must be no less than 5 acres and have a lumber value of $ 6,500. The property is described by the county as having all elevated land and approximately 200 feet of water frontage on Little Round Lake. It has been tax exempt since 1937, according to Simonson.

Simonson said the county asked the township for permission to sell the property in 2020 and got it because the board had offered no response within the required time frame. Still, the parcel was removed from the 2020 public land auction at the behest of MNR, which requested a public easement along an existing trail. The county sold timber from the property 10 years ago, but otherwise it has been largely untouched and acts much like other land in the county – open to the public, primarily for hunting purposes, Simonson said. .

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“It’s a classic example of, it’s hard for us to manage,” Simonson said in a phone interview Friday. “There are roads that cross it and all these neighbors. The timber harvest is disruptive. … We like to get rid of these plots because we think they are better off in private ownership.

Simonson has estimated that there are about 50 other plots over 30 acres – those that are not adjacent to other land owned by the county – that the county intends to sell in future land sales.

– Ryan Simonson, Crow Wing County Environmental Services Supervisor

A similar situation presented itself to the board of directors in 2019, when the city of Nisswa requested the removal of several tax-forfeited properties from the auction for potential conversion to a nature park. In a 3-2 decision, the board of directors voted against removing the properties from the sale, highlighting a missed opportunity to participate in a public hearing specifically established for such requests.

Nisswa’s property did not sell and earlier this year Nisswa Town Administrator Jenny Max asked the board to hand over the property to the town at no cost. Another split decision resulted in the approval of Max’s request, but there remained a disagreement between the commissioners over whether giving the land for park purposes was in accordance with an internal land management policy. land assets.

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If the Council of Ideal Town asks the county for a park plan for the Little Round Lake property, this could provide the council with another opportunity to discuss the application of this policy, which is more restrictive than the law of the State governing the transfer of land for public purposes. .

Nearly 300 properties will be offered for sale starting at 10 a.m. on July 23 on the front lawn of the Crow Wing County Property Services building, 322 Laurel St., Brainerd. You will find information on the properties offered for sale on See the full list at

CHELSEY PERKINS can be reached at 218-855-5874 or Follow on Twitter at


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