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Pope County News & Announcements

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING AND INTENT TO ADOPT

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING AND INTENT TO ADOPT

The Pope County Board of Commissioners shall have on its agenda a proposed ordinance and shall conduct a related public hearing on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 9:00 am, or as soon thereafter as the matter can be heard, in the Courthouse Third Floor Boardroom on the proposed adoption of Ordinance 2023-01, a moratorium prohibiting the establishment of new uses or the expansion of existing uses related to sales, testing, manufacturing and distribution of cannabis products. The proposed ordinance directs a study to be conducted on the subject during the moratorium period, and will set forth temporary local controls and penalties for violation of said controls regarding cannabis-related land uses during the moratorium period. The draft ordinance may be viewed on the Pope County website here, at www.popecountymn.gov under News and Announcements. The draft ordinance may also be viewed at the County Administrator’s Office in the Courthouse, 130 Minnesota Ave. E., Glenwood, MN. Citizens may offer oral or written testimony before the Board at said hearing.

DEPUTY JOSH OWEN MEMORIAL OVERPASS DESIGNATED AND SIGNS RAISED IN POPE COUNTY

DEPUTY JOSH OWEN MEMORIAL OVERPASS DESIGNATED AND SIGNS RAISED IN POPE COUNTY

(September 15, 2023) Last week, on September 8, 2023, Pope County and Minnesota State officials gathered with the family of Pope County Deputy Sheriff Josh Owen and local friends and donors to see the Department of Transportation raise signs publicly designating the State Highway 29 overpass north of Glenwood as the Deputy Josh Owen Memorial Overpass.

State legislation was carried in the last legislative session in St. Paul by local officials, Representative Paul Anderson of Starbuck and Senator Torrey Westrom of Alexandria. The official designation of the overpass in memory of Deputy Josh Owen was contained in last session’s transportation bill.

The signage for the overpass, required to be purchased privately by the State, was made possible by a donation by former Pope County Sheriff Mark Hedner and his wife Rosie.

The signs are located on the north and south sides of the overpass approaches on State Highway 29 as the highway crosses over State Highway 55 and the Canadian Pacific Railway north of Glenwood in Pope County.

Deputy Josh Owen passed away from injuries sustained in the line of duty on April 15, 2023 while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Cyrus.

More photos of the sign raising and additional details can be found in the September 11, 2023 edition of the Pope County Tribune.

Minnesota Department of Transportation workers installed the new sign on the south side of the overpass. Photo by Tim Douglass, Pope County Tribune.

A group gathering to mark the new signage on the “Deputy Josh Owen Overpass.” From left are Pope County Commission Chair Gordy Wagner, Shannon and Rylan Owen, wife and son of Josh Owen, Pope County Deputy Eric Thesing, Sen. Torrey Westrom, Mark Hedner and Rosie Hedner, who donated to pay for the signage, Sheriff Tim Riley, Deputy Nathan Brecht, and Rep. Paul Anderson. The MnDOT workers who installed the signs were also in the photo. Photo by Tim Douglass, Pope County Tribune.

FREMAD SITE PROJECT DEBRIS REMOVAL PHASE BEGINS; HIGHWAY 104/FRANKLIN ST DETOUR TO END LATE FRIDAY

FREMAD SITE PROJECT DEBRIS REMOVAL PHASE BEGINS; HIGHWAY 104/FRANKLIN ST DETOUR TO END LATE FRIDAY

Demolition activity is in progress on the Fremad redevelopment project site in downtown Glenwood, with work now moving to the debris removal phase.  As work continues in and around the site in downtown Glenwood around 1st Avenue South and South Franklin Street, the public is reminded to watch for and obey signage in the area of the project. Parking will be prohibited in and around the site while activity is taking place, and some streets around the site may be blocked for shorter periods of time for safety reasons. Any such restrictions will be clearly marked by contractors. Please stay out of marked restricted areas during the course of the project.

The short section of State Highway 104/South Franklin Street that has been closed to through traffic is planned to reopen later in the day on Friday, September 8.  In the meantime, the official detour route for through traffic is State Highway 28, State Highway 55, and County Highway 18, with allowance for local detoured traffic on the adjacent open blocks in downtown Glenwood.

The demolition of the buildings is part of a redevelopment of this forfeited, blighted property, and solicitation of requests for proposals for redevelopment are planned to be publicly solicited sometime after demolition is complete. Redevelopment costs are intended to be recouped through sale of the land as well as from proceeds from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) on the valuation of the redeveloped site.

Questions on the project can be directed to the Pope County HRA/EDA at (320) 634-7847.

FREMAD DEMOLITION AND REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN PROGRESS; BRIEF CLOSURE AND DETOUR SET FOR HIGHWAY 104/FRANKLIN ST TRAFFIC BY SITE

FREMAD DEMOLITION AND REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN PROGRESS; BRIEF CLOSURE AND DETOUR SET FOR HIGHWAY 104/FRANKLIN ST TRAFFIC BY SITE

(September 6, 2023) Demolition activity has begun on the Fremad redevelopment project site in downtown Glenwood, with work started on the western back side of the site already commenced.

As work moves to the eastern front side of the site, a short section of State Highway 104/South Franklin Street will be closed to through traffic as an extra safety precaution.  This closure is expected to last for one to two days depending on the progress of work on site.  The road closure will begin late in the day today, Wednesday, September 6, and work on the site is expected to continue beginning at 7:00 am tomorrow morning, Thursday, September 7.

A detour for through traffic on State Highway 104 will be designated and signed, with the official detour route as State Highway 28, State Highway 55, and County Highway 18.  A map of the detour appears below:

The public is advised to continue to watch for and obey signage in the area of the demolition project. As stated previously, there may be some areas where parking will be prohibited in and around the site while activity is taking place, and other streets around the site may be blocked for periods of time for safety reasons. Any such restrictions will be clearly marked by contractors. Please stay out of marked restricted areas during the course of the project.

The demolition of the buildings is part of a redevelopment of this forfeited, blighted property, and solicitation of requests for proposals for redevelopment are planned to be publicly solicited sometime after demolition is complete. Redevelopment costs are intended to be recouped through sale of the land as well as from proceeds from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) on the valuation of the redeveloped site.

Questions on the project can be directed to the Pope County HRA/EDA at (320) 634-7847.

 

UPCOMING COMMUNITY MEETING, BYLAWS, FUNDING APPLICATION DISCUSSED AT POPE COUNTY OPIOID SETTLEMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL’S AUGUST MEETING

UPCOMING COMMUNITY MEETING, BYLAWS, FUNDING APPLICATION DISCUSSED AT POPE COUNTY OPIOID SETTLEMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL’S AUGUST MEETING

(August 22, 2023) The Pope County Opioid Settlement Advisory Council met on August 22, focusing on planning and preparation for its annual community meeting set for October 24th.

The “Pope County Consultation and Partnership Opioid Meeting” is set to take place on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 12:00 noon in the County Board Room on the Third Floor of the Pope County Courthouse at 130 Minnesota Ave. East in Glenwood. This annual meeting is part of the terms and conditions of the opioid settlement agreements through which Pope County is receiving its community funding. This public meeting is meant for other local government agencies and community stakeholders to receive information and offer feedback on opioid settlement and Advisory Council activities.

The group also engaged a final review of the Advisory Council’s bylaws and funding application, formally approved at its last meeting.

The Advisory Council will not meet in September, but will hold its next meeting in conjunction with the aforementioned “Pope County Consultation and Partnership Opioid Meeting” with community members on October 24th.

Horizon Public Health, as the facilitator and organizer of Pope County’s community response, will be providing information on the Task Force’s activities in Pope County, as well as efforts in the other four counties in the Horizon service area — Douglas, Grant, Stevens, and Traverse Counties.

Visit Horizon Public Health’s website here for more information on the Pope County Opioid Task Force and its activities, as well as activities elsewhere in their service area, as the initiative progresses in the coming months.

FREMAD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT TAKES NEXT STEP WITH SITE DEMOLITION STARTING SEPTEMBER 5

FREMAD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT TAKES NEXT STEP WITH SITE DEMOLITION STARTING SEPTEMBER 5

(August 17, 2023) The public will soon see demolition activity on the Fremad site and surrounding lots in downtown Glenwood as summer comes to a close.

Demolition activity is set to begin on the site starting on Tuesday, September 5, and will likely last for a few weeks thereafter.

The public is advised to watch for and obey signage in the area of the demolition project. There may be some areas where parking will be prohibited in and around the site while activity is taking place, and some streets around the site may be blocked for shorter periods of time for safety reasons. Any such restrictions will be clearly marked by contractors. Please stay out of marked restricted areas during the course of the project.

After a competitive solicited bid process over the summer, the project was awarded to the lowest qualified and verified bidder, Joe Riley Construction, Inc. of Morris at a cost of $281,107.50.

The main demolition activity was moved to later in the year, to avoid any conflicts with Waterama in Glenwood in late July and the remainder of the tourism season in August.

The demolition of the buildings is part of a redevelopment of this forfeited, blighted property, and solicitation of requests for proposals for redevelopment are planned to be publicly solicited sometime after demolition is complete. Redevelopment costs are intended to be recouped through sale of the land as well as from proceeds from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) on the valuation of the redeveloped site.

Questions on the project can be directed to the Pope County HRA/EDA at (320) 634-7847.

COUNTY STATE AID HIGHWAY 15 CONSTRUCTION PROJECT CLOSES 2023 SEASON WORK ON AUGUST 21

COUNTY STATE AID HIGHWAY 15 CONSTRUCTION PROJECT CLOSES 2023 SEASON WORK ON AUGUST 21

(August 17, 2023) The first phase of the CSAH 15 reconstruction project west of Lake Reno will be coming to a close for 2023 in the coming days.

The project detour route utilizing State Highway 29 along County Road 88 on the north end and County State Aid Highway 28 on the south end will be lifted and the road opened to through traffic by Monday, August 21.

This reconstructed stretch of CSAH 15 between CSAH 28 and the Pope-Douglas County Line has been closed to through traffic for much of this summer.

The final work for 2023, striping of the roadway, is set for completion on Friday, August 18, with opening of through traffic to follow when completed.

The first phase of the project in 2023 consisted of removal of the existing pavement, culvert replacements, reconstruction of the roadbed, and initial bituminous pavement surfacing.

The second phase of the project will be completed during the 2024 construction season, and includes final paving and shouldering work.

Anyone interested in more information on the CSAH 15 project can contact the Pope County Highway Department at (320) 634-7745.

UPCOMING COMMUNITY MEETING, BYLAWS, FUNDING APPLICATION DISCUSSED AT POPE COUNTY OPIOID SETTLEMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL’S AUGUST MEETING

POPE COUNTY’S OPIOID TASK FORCE MEETS, DISCUSSES BYLAWS, PROJECT FUNDING APPLICATION, COMMUNITY MEETING

(July 26, 2023)  The Pope County Opioid Taskforce met for its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 25, taking up the topics of proposed bylaws, development of a project funding application, and setting preliminary date for a County-wide Consultation and Partnership Meeting with other local governments and stakeholders.

The Task Force was formed by resolution by the Pope County Board, and is comprised of a group of local officials and community members that meet regularly and collaborate on potential efforts to address addiction challenges in the Pope County community.  The resolution specified that this group will be “evaluating initiative proposals and making recommendations and decisions related to use of funds awarded to the County” from multi-state opioid manufacturer and distributor settlement agreements.

At its July meeting, the group discussed using the name “Pope County Opioid Settlement Advisory Council” to better reflect its function and purpose.  This new name will be adopted as part of the proposed group bylaws discussed at the meeting.  The group expects to receive an updated bylaws proposal in the coming month that will be ready for adoption.  This document will describe the group’s guiding principles, duties and powers, regular meetings, expectations of members, definitions of membership, provision of voting procedures, and other organizational guidelines.

The Advisory Council also spent time discussing a proposed funding application document.  The goal of the group is to have a funding application ready for community distribution in the fall, whereby local governments, agencies, and community groups may submit relevant project proposals to the Advisory Council to seek funding from opioid settlement dollars received by Pope County.

Finally, the Advisory Council tentatively set a target date for a fall public meeting with other local government agencies and community stakeholders.  This “Pope County Consultation and Partnership Opioid Meeting is preliminarily set for Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 12:00 noon in the County Board Room on Third Floor of the County Courthouse.  This meeting is required by the terms of the opioid settlement agreements by which Pope County is receiving its community funding.  More details regarding the meeting will be forthcoming in the coming weeks before the meeting.

Horizon Public Health, as the facilitator and organizer of Pope County’s community response, will be providing information on the Task Force’s activities in Pope County, as well as efforts in the other four counties in the Horizon service area — Douglas, Grant, Stevens, and Traverse Counties.

Visit Horizon Public Health’s website here for more information on the Pope County Opioid Task Force and its activities, as well as activities elsewhere in their service area, as the initiative progresses in the coming months.

2023 PRETRIAL, PROBATION, AND PAROLE SUPERVISION WEEK IS JULY 16-22

2023 PRETRIAL, PROBATION, AND PAROLE SUPERVISION WEEK IS JULY 16-22

(July 11, 2023)  Pope County is helping celebrate the 2023 Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week during the week of July 16-22. The theme this year is Stronger Together which highlights how community corrections professionals are working to create opportunities for probation agents at all levels to work together to find solutions to the challenges we face in our field.

Our local probation professionals include Terry Jaworski, Director of Pope County Probation; Keri Powell, Career Probation Agent; and Amanda Erickson, Senior Probation Agent.

Each day, these community corrections professionals conduct demanding, but essential work to help change the trajectory of the lives of individuals entangled in the criminal justice system – both in the juvenile and adult sectors. During Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision Week, we urge you to learn more about this amazing profession, thank these community corrections professionals that serve your community so diligently, and help support the community corrections profession.

The Pope County Board of Commissioners will consider adoption of a resolution recognizing the Week at its Tuesday, July 18, 2023 regular Board meeting.

The annual Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week campaign is a time to engage the public, policymakers, and legislators in recognizing the work that community corrections professionals provide to keep our communities safe. Community corrections professionals oversee persons on pre­ trial conditional release or those convicted of a crime and are outside of jail or prison. Community corrections is administered by agencies with the legal authority to enforce sanctions. Community corrections includes pre-trial supervision which is release from jail pending resolution of a criminal case, traditional probation which is correctional supervision within the community rather than jail or detention facility and parole which is a period of conditional supervised release from prison.

Community corrections professionals have helped drive significant, positive changes in our nation, by helping to provide the appropriate supervision and service to the right person at the right time.

Monitoring may take the form of home contacts, drug testing, making sure the offender attends counseling sessions and helping offenders to find suitable housing and employment. Many probation agents also supervise offenders using electronic monitoring equipment, which requires expert knowledge of newer technologies.

FREMAD REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT TAKES NEXT STEP WITH SITE DEMOLITION STARTING SEPTEMBER 5

POPE COUNTY SHARES UPDATE ON REDEVELOPMENT OF THE FREMAD FORFEITURE SITE

(July 7, 2023) This week, at its July 5th meeting, the Pope County HRA/EDA approved a bid for demolition of the Fremad Building and other connected structures, moving forward with resolving the long-standing issue of the forfeiture property.

After review of the solicited bids, opened June 27, 2023, and bid qualification, the project was awarded to the lowest qualified and verified bidder, Joe Riley Construction, Inc. of Morris at a bid of $281,107.50.

Preparation work for the demolition project is already underway, but the main demolition activity has been scheduled for early August, to avoid any conflicts with the dates of Waterama in Glenwood in late July.

Area residents will already notice sidewalk fencing in place around the Fremad Building and the two connected buildings on the block, as well as parking restrictions on the north side of 1st Avenue SW immediately west of Franklin Street. These restrictions are in place for safety purposes during the course of the project. There also may be additional temporary restrictions on alley ingress and egress and other parking during the project, which will be clearly posted.

The demolition of the buildings is part of a redevelopment of this forfeited, blighted property, and solicitation of requests for proposals for redevelopment are planned to be publicly solicited sometime after demolition is complete.  Redevelopment costs are intended to be recouped through sale of the land as well as from proceeds from Tax Increment Financing (TIF) on the valuation of the redeveloped site.

Questions on the project can be directed to the Pope County HRA/EDA at (320) 634-7847.