Brown County commissioners spent the better part of an hour approving tax resale deeds on Monday. Bids on dozens of properties were accepted, and, in most cases the buyers will be paying approximately 10 cents on the dollar on what was owed in back taxes.
But, as Precinct 4 Commissioner Larry Traweek pointed out when a $20 bid on a property that had languished for years and had $2,366.64 in back taxes owed, “This gets these properties back on the tax rolls. We haven't been getting taxes off of them, now we will.”
The list of properties filled almost half of one page and a full second page, all single spaced and margin to margin. When each one had been described and approved, the total being paid for the properties came to $26,797.40.
The total owed in back taxes was $249,840.54.
But, Traweek also pointed out, some of the properties had been abandoned for a long period of time.
“Some of these are pretty trashed up, it's going to take a whole lot more money to get them cleaned up than they're paying for the property,” he said.
In some cases, Traweek said, he thought that was the goal, such as the case for the first set of properties, where the Tamarack Mountain Owner's Association bid $280 on three lots in the subdivision where $644.79 was owed.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Richard Gist presided over the meeting at the request of Brown County Judge Ray West, who said he would be delayed. In each case, Gist would read what school district or city (if applicable) were the taxing entities for the properties.
At one point, Precinct 1 Commissioner Bob Clark asked if those entities had approved the resale.
“Oh yes,” Traweek said, “the county's the last one.”
Also on Monday, commissioners signed a proclamation for the Child Welfare Board, designating May as “Foster Care Appreciation Month.”
Court members did consider a burn ban, but decided with the forecast of rain through the week they could wait.
“We just need to warn people to watch what they're doing if they're burning,” Traweek said.
Other action included:
• Approval of a speed limit of 40 miles per hour on the straight-of-way and 15 mph on the curves of County Road 237, in Precinct 1, which Clark explained is the “paved road that runs to Indian Creek” between County Roads 45 and 586.
• Approval of a “suitcase welder” and a small McCulloch Cutter for the sheriff's office maintenance. Cost will not exceed $2,300 and funds will be taken from either the sheriff's office's discretionary funds or the jail inmates phone fund.
•Approval of a publication request for bids for emergency management radio equipment that will be used by the sheriff's department and other law enforcement personnel. Cost will exceed $50,000, and money is available through a grant that was awarded the Brown County Emergency Management office.