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Local News Summary - September 18, 2019 Edition

Fair Fall Festival combines two events into one
This was the first year for the Fair Fall Festival that took place at the fairgrounds in Atlanta on Sept. 14. The event combines a previous festival that took place as a Halloween event with the bump and run that used to take place during Elk Fest.

Deb Klein, president of the fair board for Montmorency County, told the Tribune the board wanted to host an event for the community when it wasn’t so cold and rainy.

“It’s hard to get volunteers for two different events,” Klein added. “We plan to do it every year.”

The new Fair Fall Festival featured outdoor games for kids, bounce houses, ponies for petting, which are amazingly potty trained, a flea and craft market, concessions, a punt, pass and kick competition, wagon rides, a cornhole tournament, and, of course, the bump and run. The date of next year’s festival will be posted on the fair Facebook page.

County commissioners support land acquisition by the DNR
County commissioners have added to the support for a land acquisition by the Department of Natural Resources. At the regular county board meeting on Sept. 11, Cody Stevens, Atlanta Unit Manager for the DNR, said board members for Vienna Township have also offered support.

At the county meeting, commissioners Daryl Peterson and Bert LaFleche voted against the motion to support the DNR’s acquisition of three parcels in Vienna Township after Peterson pointed out the county gets little tax revenue from state land. However, Stevens explained the rules have changed, and the county would receive normal tax revenue less the education tax.

According to Stevens, the state now pays taxes on land purchased, outright, instead of making payments in lieu of taxes (PILT). While PILT payments are subject to the legislature, Stevens assured the county would be guaranteed to receive tax revenue for the three parcels through the DNR Trust Fund. Kevin Keller, equalization director for the county, said he would like the opportunity to assess the value of the property before the DNR acquires it.

Stevens described the property as a high value toward department goals with ¾ mile frontage on the east branch of Black River and ¼ mile on Rattlesnake Creek.

“It’s home to several endangered species, so it ranks high for our department to acquire,” he said.

If the DNR acquires the property, Stevens said a structure on the property would be removed, and the property would be restored to a more natural condition.

Road commission security cameras proving to be an asset
Security cameras for the county road commission are proving valuable. At the regular Sept. 12 road commission meeting, Todd Behring, road commission manager, said images of 4-wheelers and drivers causing destruction in Lewiston have been forwarded to law enforcement.

Images of three 4-wheelers and drivers as well as a dirt bike and rider were captured causing destruction at the sub garage in Lewiston on a Saturday afternoon. Behring said cameras also captured images of a 4-wheeler and driver at 3 a.m. on another day as well as images of an individual trespassing on Albert Township property.

“It was nice to see the security system working…you want to talk about clear images,” Behring said.

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Carolyn J. Schalk
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Robert L. Schultz
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