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VALEDICTORIAN AND SALUTATORIAN FOR THE OHS CLASS OF 2015 were Dan Sitter, left, Valedictorian and Jerika Eppel, Salutatorian.  Dan is the son of Steve and Mary Sitter and Jerika is the daughter of Terra and Jamie McTighe.

Residential garbage rates to decrease $2 starting June 1

Paul Kalibabky of Waste Management was present at the City Council meeting on Monday, May 18 to discuss residential and commercial rates for residents and businesses in Ortonville.

Kalibabky presented a new proposal to the city that will see residential rates in Ortonville drop by $2 per home. He also stated that some commercial rates will see a reduction rate as well. The new rates will go into effect beginning on June 1.

Adam Ellard of Off the Green and Paula Bailey of the Odessa Fire Department were present to ask for approval to sell pull tabs at the Ortonville Golf Course.

Ellard, who is a member of the Ortonville Fire Department, stated that he had discussed this with the Ortonville Fire Department and that they had no interest at this time to sell pull tabs.

“This would be a great way to help out an area fire department to help purchase new equipment or other items that they may need,” said Ellard. “Area fire departments work together and this would be a way to help out.”

Bailey explained to the council how they work and will go through the proper procedures to make this work. The council approved the request.

In other business, the council approved the swimming pool wages for the summer and also approved the hiring list of employees of the pool for the summer.

A resolution was approved increasing the golf course superintendents cell phone allowance by $20 per month until April of 2016.

Council members selected June 15 at 5 p.m. in the Library Media Center for a public hearing on the OAHS nursing home.

The council approved an IT Service  Agreement with Marco, Inc. for services at OAHS. They have worked with the company in the past and they find them to be knowledgeable, responsive and fair in their dealings. The motion passed on a 5-1 vote with Mayor Steve Berkner casting the lone no vote.

The next meeting of the Ortonville City Council will be on Monday, June 1 at 5 p.m. in the Library Media Center.

County Board approves two Conditional Use Permits

The Big Stone County Board approved two Conditional Use Permits at their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 19.

Jerry’s U-Save Inc., located near Johnson, had requested a conditional use permit to add a 50’x59’x3’ diked containment area with six 15,000 gallon above ground fuel tanks and pumping station to the property which is located within an A-l Agricultural District.

Bituminous Paving Inc. of Odessa had requested a conditional use permit to establish a gravel pit on a 26 acre parcel with active processing one month of the year over a five year period. This property is located in an A-2 Agricultural District.

Both requests comply with the Big Stone County Land and Related Resource Management Ordinance.

On May 7, the Big Stone Planning Commission conducted a public hearing at the Clinton Memorial Building to consider both applications. There was no opposition either in person or in writing to the conditional use permits.

Joel Swanson, Risk Management Consultant with Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT) was present to present their annual report.

MCIT is a joint powers entity made up of counties and associated public entities that pool resources to provide property, casualty and workers compensation coverage to members. They also offer risk management and loss control services.

Swanson discussed Big Stone County’s programs they are involced in and the dividends that the county has received.

Liz Auch of Countryside Public Health gave an update on her office and the different items that they worked on last year. They included water tests and studies, restaurant inspections, immunizations among others.

A Public Hearing was held at 9 a.m. for adoption of a Business Study Policy. The county will evaluate each request for a business subsidy on a case-by case basis. There was no one in attendance for the hearing so County Board Chairman Roger Sandberg closed the meeting at 9:01 a.m. The board then approved unanimously the Business Subsidy Policy

In other business, the board approved the Lakeshore RV Park Off Sate Beer License.

The next meeting of the Big Stone County Board will be on Tuesday, June 2 at 8:30 a.m. in the courthouse meeting room.

Ortonville EDA acquires “Hilltop Corner” property

At a special meeting May 18 Ortonville's Economic Development Authority agreed to acquire the property where Hilltop's Theatre of Seasons Cafe was located at the junction of Highways 75 and 12 in Ortonville.

Bob and Sue Kulbeik, owners of Ortonville Hardware had purchased the property in the fall of 2013 when it  went into foreclosure and was sold at auction at the Big Stone County court house. The Kulbeiks were the only bidders on the property at that time.

In December of that year, the EDA loaned the Kulbeiks, $60,000 from the EDA's revolving loan fund to purchase the property from Minnwest Bank.  Loan stipulations included that the Kulbeiks put up a new building on the property for the expansion of their business with significant building construction to be underway by Jan. 1, 2017.

If they didn’t move forward by that date, the EDA had the right to acquire the property at the original price, plus any hard costs which would have been incurred. The EDA placed a lien on the Kulbeik's residential property in Milbank, SD to be used as loan collateral.

The Kulbeiks contacted the EDA earlier this month to discuss the “Hilltop Corner” property. They informed the EDA Board that they had a potential buyer for their residential Milbank property and asked the EDA to release the lien.

The Kulbeiks said after much research, they realized the cost of putting up a building the size they would need, would be much too costly. "We also had numerous people from the community stress their desire for the hardware store to remain on Ortonville's main street," said Sue Kulbeik.

The EDA passed a unanimous motion at last week’s meeting, to release the lien, and take ownership of the "Hilltop Corner" property upon paying the $6,379.24  in principle payments it had received on the loan.

The EDA Board had said during the meeting that if the Kulbeiks do move forward with their development plans, the EDA would certainly work with them again on the property if it was still available, said Vicki Oakes EDA community development coordinator. 

Seth Parker