GRANITE FALLS - Yellow Medicine County Parks Director Myron Hagelstrom delivered his report on the results of the park satisfaction survey to the county commissioners for the last time at their regular meeting on Thursday.
Customer satisfaction with the parks and campgrounds is high, though it slipped a few points since last year, Hagelstrom said.
Hagelstrom was a part-time summer employee of the county for the past 33 years and is putting in his papers.
"My wife retired a few years ago, and she keeps going back to work," Hagelstrom said. "It's about time we really retired."
By really retired, Hagelstrom means he'll officially retire at the end of the year and donate his services gratis to help break in the new park director when the board hires one.
For many years Hagelstrom taught school in Wood Lake and Lakeview during the school year and worked as park director for the county during summers, supervising more than 40 part-time employees, many of them students he recruited.
The commissioners expressed their appreciation for Hagelstrom's work in building a park system the county could be proud of.
County Attorney Keith Helgeson added his personal appreciation.
"I worked for Myron 30 years ago," Helgeson said.
In other business, the board refused to have a public hearing on a request for a tax abatement by owners of the Subway Restaurant in Canby, ending any possibility of an abatement for 4Lancers, Inc., which built the restaurant in 2011.
"Unless you can show me a financial statement that shows you're going to fold without an abatement, I'm not in favor of it," Commissioner Gary Johnson said.
The company was requesting a 10-year tax abatement of $1,100 per year. The city of Canby has already granted the company an abatement.
"I'm in the restaurant business," said Commissioner John Berends, owner of Bootleggers Supper Club, "and if the county granted any other restaurant in town an abatement, I'd be upset. I've had bad years, and I've had to dip into my savings, but a thousand dollars doesn't make that much difference for a restaurant."
In the end, only Commissioner Louis Sherlin voted to schedule a public hearing.
At the request of Property and Public Services Director Janel Timm, the board scheduled an auction of two tax-forfeited properties in Granite Falls and Wood Lake for Jan. 23. Both are lots whose structures were demolished and seized by the county after forfeiture.
Timm also reminded the commissioners the county owned seven parcels of forfeited land for sale for an amount equal to their appraised value - one in Canby, one in Clarkfield, two in Granite Falls and three in Hanley Falls.
The board also voted unanimously to grant Sheriff Bill Flaten and Helgeson a 5 percent raise for 2013.
At Berends' request, Flaten enumerated some of his duties that are not typically part of a county sheriff's responsibilities. In addition to the sheriff's office and county jail, Flaten is also system administrator of the ARMER emergency radio system and oversees emergency management.