Staples area landowner says he’s denied access to his land

During the public comment held before the start of the regular meeting of the Todd County Board of Commissioners July 5, Citizen Steve McReynolds from the Staples area asked the board how he could go about getting a driveway to his land.

“I have been fighting with soil and water all summer. They told me I could put a walking path in,” said McReynolds.

McReynolds farms the land in question and had access to it in the past on a railroad easement. However, the railroad is pulling his existing access. McReynolds said that according to the information he received, the railroad is pulling all of their crossings federally because they now have to put crossing arms on all of them.

The reason he received from Todd Soil and Water Conservation District for denying him access on the proposed path is because the area in question is partially a wetland.

He said that soil and water had been telling him he needed to get wetland credits.

“How can they deny you access to your land?” he asked.

In order to reach the 150 acres that he has been farming for the past eight years and purchased last year, he said he would have to spend $100,000 to put in a driveway.

An older driveway to the land is too wet to use and hasn’t been accessible for some time which is why he’d been using the railroad easement.

Chair Barb Becker said she would talk with soil and water and see if anything can be done. The area in question is in Commissioner Becker’s district.

In other business the commissioners:

o Approved the transfer of $290,869 to the Todd Wadena Community Corrections fund for their approved 2016 amount.

o Approved the final payment of $3,014.52 to Traffic Marking Services, Inc.. for the 2016 pavement striping contract located along various Todd County highways. This will bring the total paid for the work to $60,290.41.

o Approved a Hold Harmless Agreement Petition from Henry Theisen for ditch maintenance on County Ditch 25 located in sections 24 and 25 of Germania Township. He will be doing the work at his own expense with his own backhoe.

Ditch Inspector Nancy Uhlenkamp said she advised Theisen to be careful because this is the same area another backhoe was lost during a ditch maintenance project a few years ago. She said that the area is very boggy and has “no bottom.”

o Approved the hire of Ethan Korfe as a Season Recreational Assistant in the sheriff’s department pending a background check.

o Approved a contract with Pictometry to complete another flyover of the county and to do 9” resolution for the county and 4” resolution for the cities of Browerville, Long Prairie and Staples. The three cities will share in the project cost which is $102,990.50.

The Todd County Compliance Fund Committee agreed and it was approved to pay $90,752.50 of the project cost with the remaining breakdown of $2,532 for Browerville, $3,798 for Long Prairie and $5,908 for Staples. Payments can be made over a three year period as in previous years. 

The flyover will take place in 2017.

o Approved the purchase of service agreement between Todd County Health and Human Services and Holistic Family Education Services for the period of July 1, 2016, through December 31, 2017, at a rate of $39 per hour.

The HHS department contracts with providers such as Holistic Family Education Services for in-home parent education services.

o Approved the hire of Emera Wershing as a public health nurse in the Adult and Disabilities Unit.

o Commissioner Randy Neumann attended a meeting of the Sauk River Watershed District and asked for a variance of 10 feet to install a dock that was donated by a sportsmans club, but was denied.

o Commissioner Rod Erickson gave an update on the Facilities Committee including some future repair needs like roofs on various county facilities.

o Chair Becker reported that they had done interviews last week with applicants for the human resources/coordinator position.

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Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:;

Deadline: Friday, noon


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