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Board talks highway shop agreement

October 17, 2012
By Deb Gau , Marshall Independent

MARSHALL - Lyon County will officially have a new auditor/treasurer starting later this month. At their regular meeting Tuesday, members of the Lyon County Board voted to appoint E.J. Moberg as auditor/treasurer, effective Oct. 29. Moberg will serve the remainder of Auditor/Treasurer Paula VanOverbeke's term, after VanOverbeke retired.

Moberg was the board's choice to offer the position, after conducting candidate interviews earlier this month. Moberg is currently an audit director with the state auditor's office and has worked with Lyon County in the past.

Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said Moberg had accepted a salary offer of $80,000 a year for the position. When the current auditor/treasurer term expires in 2014, Stomberg said Moberg's position would be up for election, or open for appointment if the county gets approval to make auditor/treasurer an appointed position.

A lot of the discussion at Tuesday's board meeting concerned a proposed contract for highway shop space in Cottonwood. After the county lost its Cottonwood highway shop in a fire early this year, commissioners have been working with the city of Cottonwood to find a possible shared shop building. A suitable building was found in the Cottonwood industrial park area.

On Tuesday, Cottonwood City Attorney Mike Cable and Cottonwood Clerk/Administrator Kathy Dahl said the city would be getting financing for the building through a lease-purchase agreement with North Star Mutual Insurance. Cable and Dahl presented a proposed resolution and contract to sublease one-third of the building to the county.

Cable said the city was looking for a total of $707,000. About $360,000 of that total would be for the purchase of the building, and $135,000 would be for the purchase of telemetry equipment for the city. Lyon County would be responsible for one-third of the building cost.

Both the sublease and the city of Cottonwood's lease would run through Feb. 1, 2039, Cable said. After that, the county would own one-third of the building, and the city of Cottonwood would own two-thirds.

County commissioners had several questions about the proposed sublease agreement. Some commissioners questioned Cottonwood's telemetry equipment purchase being included in the agreement.

Commissioner Steve Ritter said he wasn't comfortable with the county taking on more debt than anticipated. Both Stomberg and commissioners asked if the agreement could include language giving the parties a course of action should the city or county default on the lease, or if either party wanted to end the partnership before 2039.

Cable and Dahl said the city was willing to work with the county on its concerns, but time was of the essence if they wanted to close on the building. Commissioners called a special meeting at 8 a.m. on Oct. 23 to hopefully settle on a contract.



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