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MICHAEL PETERSON OF WAYZATA shot this 10 point buck north of Ortonville Friday, Nov. 10.

Landowners bring concerns to county on property issue

At the Nov. 7 Big Stone County Board meeting, Dennis and Sandy Foley of Beardsley presented concerns over property they purchased four years ago just east of Paradise Retreat at the north end of Big Stone Lake, along Highway 7.

The concerns are with a driveway and culvert  that was supposed to be removed by Barb Anderson, who owns  the adjoining property to the south.

According to minutes from the Aug. 11, 2017 meeting of the Board of Adjustments, the Anderson house was built 12 feet from the property line, which resulted in a complaint filed by the Foleys. According to the complaint,  Anderson was backing a vehicle across the line onto the Foley  property.

The Foleys did  not want  to sell the lot, so Anderson applied for a variance, which resulted in a mandate to move the garage door and concrete apron from  the north side to the south side of the garage. She then was to build a new driveway on the south side of the garage.

Anderson then left the old driveway in because the variance findings did not stipulate that they had to remove the old driveway.

Big Stone County Environmental Officer Darren Wilke admitted that he overlooked the driveway at the hearing because the issue at hand was the garage location. The variance application only asked for the variance for the house.

The Board of Adjustments members stated that Anderson would have to remove the driveway or apply for a variance. Since then, the road still exits and according to Wilke, they continue to work and try to resolve the issue.

“I’ve addressed this issue over and over,” said Wilke. “The Board of Adjustment addressed the house issue and the ruling was not appealed. We are still working on getting the driveway moved.”

The Foley’s also addressed the issue  that Anderson dumped 15 to 20 yards of  foundation-grading spoils onto their property.

Wilke stated he works for the Board of Adjustments and County Commissioners and has no citation authority.

Big Stone County Chairman Jay Backer informed those in attendance that this is an issue that needs to go back to the Board of Adjustments for further review.

“This is not the meeting for this,” said Backer. “We ask that you go to the Board of Adjustments to address them with this issue.”

In other business, Darwin Karsky, Big Stone County  Maintenance Supervisor, came before the board with information about a new county garage building. At the previous board meeting, it was noted that they were looking at three possibilities for a new facility.

Karsky informed the board that he has had discussions with Steve and Andy Strei on roughly 5.3 acres of land they own in the hilltop area. They are giving the county first chance of the property, which is roughly 5.3 acres of land at a cost of $53,000.

As stated at a previous meeting, the current facility is getting outdated and too small for the equipment they need. This area fits the needs of the count. The board approved unanimously to move forward with the purchase of this property.

Also during the meeting,, the board approved the annual Tobacco Compliance Contract with Countryside Public Health.

The board approved an extension of 2017 Engineering services with Stevens County. The original contract ended in October and the new contract was set to begin in January, so the board approved extending the current contract through the end of 2017.

The next meeting of the Big Stone County Board will be Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 8:30 a.m. in the board room of the courthouse.

Voters approve Ortonville School District Referendum

Voters in the Ortonville School District #2903 approved all three Referendum questions on the 2017 ballot over a 10 year period.

The first question proposed to increase the general education revenue by $302 per pupil unit for a period of 10 years. This would raise approximately $150,000 per year. Of this amount local taxpayers would be paying approximately $101,000. The additional  $49,000 would come to the school as state aid. The “yes” vote was 496 to 302 “no” votes.

Question 2 would authorize Ortonville Public School to issue $1,500,000 in bonds that would provide funds for the districts technology programs. This would give the district the ability to access $150,000 per year for a period of 10 years in the area of technology. $54,450 would be state aid with $95,550 local taxes. There were 496 “yes” votes and 304 “no” votes.

The third question  proposed to increase the general education revenue by $158 per pupil unit for a period of 10 years. This would raise approximately $78,000 per year. Of this amount local taxpayers would be paying approximately $48,000. The additional $30,000 would come to the school as state aid. There were 510 “yes” votes and 290 “no” votes.

The unoffical totals will be canvassed and approved at a Special Meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14.

According to Superintendent Jeff Taylor, on questions one and three, this  will be levied through the county after the board approves the levy at the Truth-In-Taxation meeting in December.  This money will then be available for the 2018-19 school year.

As for question two, the bonds for technology, they will need to work with their financial company to organize the selling of the bonds. This money would then become available to the school to use for their technology programs.

“The yearly payment on these bonds will also be a part of the levy that would be approved at the Truth-In-Taxation,” said Taylor. “ We will be working on putting together a plan to prioritize our technology spending with the intent to access $150,000 per year to be put into our budget for technology.” 

“It’s a Wonderful Life - The Musical” this weekend at OHS

This weekend, a holiday classic story will come to life in” It's a Wonderful Life - The Musical” by James W. Rodgers, with music by John Higgins. 

Set in the time directly before and after WWII and based on the film by Frank Kapra, this dramatic portrayal of a man who finds himself at a crossroads in his life is a powerful testament to our interconnected life in a small community and a poignant reminder of our many blessings and opportunities to make a difference: "Somehow, some way we're all connected.  Without each other, who survives?  In ev'ry word and ev'ry action, we touch so many people's lives." (song: The Greatest Gift)

“The script of It's a Wonderful Life - the Musical stays quite true to the original film,” says Lisa Berdan, director. “The addition of the original music, however, adds an extra element of fun and emotional impact. The ballads, dance numbers, gentle love songs --and even a villainous waltz-- will charm you with toe-tapping rhythms, moving melodies, and meaningful lyrics. Our young people have been working  hard to make this a memorable event and an inspiring story full of heart for our audience members. We hope that you can make it a kick-off event to a season of celebrations and blessings.”

The cast is led by seniors Matt Wellendorf (George Bailey), Jonathon Swenson (Clarence), Kelsie Ehrenberg (Mary Hatch Bailey), Sonja Wollschlager (Ma Bailey), Isaiah Pelowski (Uncle Willy), Allison Plathe (Aunt Tillie), Erin Fryer (Mr. Gower), Molly Hartman (Miss Crabtree), and Juniors Jason Helgeson (Mr. Potter), Cassandra Dragt (Violet), Brenden Wojahn (Harry Bailey), Maycee Hartman (Miss Carter), Mackenzie Stegner (Mrs. Hatch), Michael Larson (Pop Bailey), Hannah Berry (Miss Andrews.  The music is provided by a combo including piano, flute (Christ Petersen, and bass (Matt Carey).

The musical is directed by Lisa Berdan, assisted by Laurie Maas. (See ad in the entertainment section for dates, times, and ticket information.)


The Ortonville Independent can now print posters and