6/4/2013 1:19:00 PM Commissioners discuss
radon, grant tax
abatements for businesses
By Gretta Becay
For the last few months, Dodge County Commissioners and staff members have been searching for ways to deal with the radon gas found in the basement of the old courthouse building.
At the commissioners' meeting May 28, 2013, Matt Maas, the county emergency services director explained possible options for the next step in venting the radon gas, the presence of which forced the relocation of the employees that worked in the contaminated areas.
Holes were drilled in the floors of the rooms with the gas emanations and the amount of radon coming from the holes was measured.
Now, the amount of radon gas in those areas will be retested at the same time, under the same weather conditions and with no air circulation to the rooms. Maas explained that they hope to demonstrate which holes would be the best ones through which to dig out an area underneath the floor. The gas should seep into the holes and then it can be vented out of the rooms.
Maas and Building Operations Supervisor Roger Friedt will place the testing kits in the rooms. The state department of health is giving the county the kits.
In other business, the commissioners approved granting abatements of portions of property taxes for five years to two Dodge County businesses.
Hodgman Drainage Company and Ellingson Companies asked for the abatement of 75 per cent of new property taxes that will be generated by new buildings the two companies are planning.
Hodgman Drainage Co is planning to build a new $1,225,500 building in Wasioja Township and asked for the reduction of an estimated $9,300 in property taxes annually.
Ellingson Co is planning a $1,121,000 expansion to their West Concord facility and asked for an estimated $8,725 annual reduction.
Andrew Barbes, community and business development specialist from Community and Economic Development Associates presented the requests to the commissioners after two public hearings on the subjects.
Barbes said Ellingson has estimated that 40 jobs will be created with the expansion.
Both companies are required to remain in business for at least five years.
Hodgman specializes in agricultural, residential, excavation and municipal services and started up in 1982. The company has 30 existing jobs in the county
The Ellingson business started in 1970 and specializes in agricultural and residential services and construction.
The company had the option of moving this development to their North Dakota location but, "...expressed wanting to stay within Dodge County," the presentation noted.
During the meeting, Ryan DeCook took the oath of office as the new Dodge County Assessor and Recorder. The county combined the two positions after the retirements in 2012 of the previous recorder and assessor. DeCook began work as the Director of Land Records May 1.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
Appointing Clint Patterson as county representative to the Southeastern Libraries Cooperating/Southeast Library System - SELCO.
Trading in the Arctic Cat Z570 for a 2013 Polaris snowmobile for the sheriff's department.
Resident Stephen Dickie spoke to the board about drainage issues on his property. The flooding is apparently caused by County Ditch 7, which appears to be undersized but the county board may not, "...improve, modify, or extend the existing ditch," Lisa Kramer, county finance director explained.
The landowners may start a Works of Improvement Petition to help fix the problem.
The board will meet again at 9:30 a.m. June 11 at the courthouse.