Looking back on the year that was
By Annette Tait
Oliver County Commission
The Oliver County Commissioners began their year with controversy, when changes in BNI Coal’s mining operations led to the company’s application to close roads in its new mining permit area. Initially, there was opposition from residents, particularly related to changes needed for school bus routes. Discussion over a period of months between BNI, commissioners, landowners and Center-Stanton Public Schools ultimately led to a satisfactory agreement that provides options for reopening the route if future circumstances warrant.
The commission’s challenges continued with siting of five power line structures in the ditch south of 23rd Street SW. Concerns were expressed about potential safety issues due to the structures’ proximity to the roadway. The commission and Minnkota Power have met regularly to discuss options, but have not yet reached an agreement as to how to proceed.