The Kanabec County Board of Commissioners declined to take action on a petition regarding the north quarter-mile of Hornet Street in Hillman Township during Tuesday’s meeting.
The board unanimously voted to adopt a resolution stating that the county lacks legal authority or jurisdiction to act on the petition, which was brought to the board by Hillman Township residents Renee and Andy Crisman on March 7.
Board chair Rickey Mattson said the 2022 appellate court ruling regarding the road’s maintenance was a key factor in the legal guidance the county received.
"The Court of Appeals ruled that a piece of ground in dispute is no longer a town road," Mattson said. "Once something is no longer public property, or subject to public interest, the public interest is gone and can't simply come back because a later group of officials or electors wish the prior action had been taken."
During the public comment period, Andy Crisman said the resolution misrepresented the Court of Appeals opinion.
"The specific statement that is most disturbing is that the board lacks any authority because the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the roadway portion is not a road," Crisman said. "Now, that's a quote from the county, presumably the county attorney's office. This statement is simply incorrect, and it's a misrepresentation of the appellate opinion."
Hillman Township has refused to maintain that stretch of Hornet Street.
In a press release, the Crismans expressed disappointment in the board’s decision.
Pine County gets a new judge
Governor Tim Walz has appointed a new judge to Pine County.
Judge Jason Steffen replaces Judge Patrick Flanagan, who left his Pine County post to take a position in Washington County.
According to Judge Krista Martin, who addressed the Pine County Board during a meeting on June 6, Judge Steffen is not new to Pine County.
"He comes to us by way of the Pine County Public Defender's Office, he was a public defender here for a while, and then when he joined the bench last month, he came from the Chisago County Prosecutor's Office" Martin said.
Judge Martin says that Judge Steffen has a PHD in philosophy from the University of Minnesota as well as a law degree from Harvard.
He was sworn in publicly on June 1.
Driver killed in fatal crash south of Princeton
A Honduras man was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 169 south of Princeton on Saturday.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a Chevrolet Corvette traveling southbound in the left lane of Highway 169, approaching Sherburne County Road 38, lost control while changing lanes.
The rear of the Corvette struck the front left of a Honda Civic heading southbound in the right lane, sending it off the roadway, where it struck nearby trees.
The driver of the Civic died at the scene of the crash. Two passengers were treated at Mercy Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
The Corvette’s driver, a 23-year-old Zimmerman resident, and passenger, a 21-year-old from Princeton, were not injured.
Pine City Ambassador Program applications have been extended
The deadline for Pine City ambassador applications has been extended to this coming Monday.
The program is open to senior candidates ages 16-19 and junior candidates who completed kindergarten by June and have a physical address within the Pine City School District.
Applications can be found on the Pine City Chamber of Commerce website. They are now due by June 12.