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County board approves HRA levy request

Al Glaeseman, Dee Peshek and Sarah Alstead from Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority went before the Douglas County commissioners Tuesday, July 17 with the HRA's 2019 levy request.

Although the levy requires approval from the commissioners, it is not part of the county's budget. The HRA's levy is $700,000, which is slightly more than .01 percent of the taxable market value in the county.

The maximum levy amount for the HRA is a little more than $1 million, Glaeseman said the HRA is only requesting 68.5 percent of that.

Rental assistance from the Douglas County HRA is being provided to 230 households, plus 36 subsidized units owned by HRA, according to information provided to the commissioners. Each month, an average of 110 landlords receive housing assistance payments totalling $76,549. That amounts to $918,588 per year. The average annual income for the 230 households is $15,539, with 21 of those households making less than $5,000 per year.

Glaeseman said the budget and levy is a work in progress and something the HRA has been working on since January.

Commissioner Charlie Meyer noted that the HRA does not increase its levy amount each year and in fact, he said that last year was the first time in seven years it was increased.

Commissioner Jim Stratton said he applauds the HRA for the work it does.

The board approved the levy as presented.

Other items

In other action, the county board:

• Approved the design for a bathhouse, with a projected cost of $165,000, that will soon be built at Lake Brophy County Park. The design will feature four handicapped-accessible family-sized bathrooms/changing rooms. The park is on the north side of Lake Brophy along the Central Lakes Trail, west of Alexandria.

• Accepted five donations to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office for a total of $2,010. The donations were designated to the honor guard, K-9 unit and for fitness equipment.

• Approved a joint powers agreement between the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

• Approved three conditional use permits — McCleary Development LLC for a building expansion; David and Loni Kjos for 100 percent credit for pervious pavers with a stormwater plan; and Lake Miltona Family Cabin LLC for a private vacation home rental with an overnight guest capacity of 20.

• Approved three contracts for Douglas County Public Works for enhanced pavement messages, reconstruction of County Road 3 and replacement of culverts in Miltona Township.