WORTHINGTON - Two weeks after Nobles County commissioners discussed a proposal that involved First State Bank Southwest - with Kinetic Leasing of Fargo, N.D., financing a $2.75 million loan to Lismore Cooperative Telephone Co. for completion of a broadband project in the county - the plans have to be tossed out.
Nobles County Administrator Tom Johnson announced during Tuesday’s board meeting that issues arose with the lease arrangement that was discussed.
“The county has to own the asset if we’re the ones borrowing or leasing,” Johnson said, noting a bank loan would not be feasible under state statute.
As a result, commissioners ultimately approved Tuesday a professional services agreement with Northland Securities, at a cost not to exceed $7,480, for guidance through the tax abatement bond process. Commissioner Gene Metz, who serves on the LCTC board, abstained from the vote.
Two weeks ago, Johnson said the tax abatement bond process would be tedious.
“The tax abatement bond has a number of steps and advertising,” he said Tuesday.
In other action, the board:
- Received an update on the Nobles 2 Wind project from Tenaska Inc. Vice President and project manager Scott Seier and others on the 250-megawatt wind farm planned in northern Nobles County. The project will consist of 64 3.5-megawatt turbines and 10 2-megawatt turbines. Construction is slated to start in the fall of 2018, with completion by late 2019. The project will create 230 construction jobs, with 20 people employed by the project once it’s operational.
- Received a 2018 budget for review. County Finance Director Jerry Vyskocil said the budget is constantly changing. The county’s not-to-exceed levy will be set in late September.
- Authorized the county administrator to sign an agreement with Salonek Construction, Springfield, for construction of the Adrian garage addition project at a cost of $714,344, which includes two alternate specs. The addition will include six truck bays. Salonek presented the lowest of seven qualified bids received for the project. All bids came in higher than the engineer’s estimate.
- Amended the county’s lease with the Minnesota Department of Administration for the space occupied by the Workforce Center. The amendment is for a three-month renewal of the lease, from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, for a total cost of $16,601.
- Approved the appointments of Jim Nickel and Ray Konz to the county’s revolving loan fund review committee.
- Tabled action on an ordinance relating to enforcement of the buffer law after Kurt Deter, the county’s legal counsel for ditch issues, submitted a letter of concern after inconsistencies were found in the model county ordinance drafted by the state’s Board of Water and Soil Resources.
- Authorized a request for proposals seeking custodial services for the government center. The existing contract expires at the end of this year.