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Road issue brings up some interesting questions

February 19, 2013
Estherville Daily News

The issue of a request to the Emmet County

Board of Supervisors for an upgrade of 500th Avenue for an animal confinement three miles south of Maple Hill probably brought up more questions than answers Tuesday.

Mike Daggett, site owner, is asking the county to foot most of the cost for upgrading the road from Level B to A - a $91,000 cost.

The supervisors seemed somewhat split on the issue. Some questioned why Emmet County taxpayers should pay for an upgrade of a road to a confinement that could take years for the county to recoup in property taxes while others noted the operation was economic development that could bring jobs to the county.

Supervisor Jon Martyr probably said it best when he said, "We need to determine too what our stance is going to be on all these issues and treat them consistently."

There should be no difference in the way the county treats "local" and "outside" interests. After all, if you want to attract outside investors, you don't want to alienate them.

Similarly, if there's a request to build a road for any reason, whether it's for a housing development or for ag use, there needs to be a consistent policy that applies to everyone - Emmet County resident or anyone else.

The issue might be different, of course, if someone wanted to build a 12-unit housing development that would generate a lot more tax revenue than what could come from an ag operation.

But that's not the case. The supervisors have a valid concern regarding the payback for the road upgrade.

As long as everyone's treated fair and square, the board should be able to live with the decision they make.



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