Rehab program helps 23 households

FAIRMONT – Rehabiliation through a Small Cities Development Program grant of $517,500 is making progress in Martin County.

“We are in the second year of the grant now,” Judd Schultz, housing services director for Minnesota Valley Action Council, reported to Martin County Commissioners on Tuesday. “So far we had 23 projects, all housing. Out of those, 13 are completed or in progress, and four that have applications being reviewed, and six more to finish up by December 2015.”

Out of the 23 projects, eight are from Ceylon, four from Dunnell, five from Northrop and six from Granada. The program is funded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development – DEED.

“Granada was the only town we struggled with,” Schultz admits. “The projects in Northrop and Dunnell are complete and both have interest in more.”

Schultz also reported forward movement for commercial projects in Trimont. Five commercial buildings in Trimont are lined up for renovations, with three more in the process of being approved.

Only one person from the public attended Tuesday’s hearing and had no input.

Also on Tuesday, the board approved a $1,600 donation to the Martin County Veterans’ Services office from the American Legion Auxiliary-Martin County Council.

When the county auxiliary voted to disband in September, one of its last acts was to donate funds to the Martin County Veterans van fund. Whenever donations to the county are received, the Board of Commissioners must give its approval of acceptance for these donations.

“Our Winstar van was due to be replaced at the start of the year,” Martin County Veterans’ Services Officer Doug Landsteiner told the board.

Also discussed was what would become of the Boys and Girls County program that used to be headed by the county’s veterans auxiliary. Landsteiner told the board he asked Martin County Recorder Kay Wrucke for help, and the two of them would be checking into whether some of the remaining city auxiliary groups would be interested in helping to continue the program, which teaches students about county government.

Commissioners also approved and certified individual septic treatment systems loans for 2014, and continued the interest rates of 2 and 4 percent for those loans, to be charged accordingly per income levels of the applicants.