Janel Timm of the Property and Public Services Department, alongside members of the Clarkfield EDA and administration provided the commissioners a quick overview of the condition of the Clarkfield School. The school has been tax forfeited over to Yellow Medicine County, so an on-site tour was held to determine the damage done to the building during its abandonment.

Janel Timm of the Property and Public Services Department, alongside members of the Clarkfield EDA and administration provided the commissioners a quick overview of the condition of the Clarkfield School. The school has been tax forfeited over to Yellow Medicine County, so an on-site tour was held to determine the damage done to the building during its abandonment.

Problems found included but was not limited to: extensive mold, water damage, roff and flooring damage, no electrical ability due to standing water in the lower level, vandalism, garbage, and school and personal items left over from earlier occupants.
The building had fallen into thehands of the County after a court hearing on April 19.

The clock had began rapidly ticking for the former building owner Einar Agustsson after the meeting. During the hearing, the judge signed an order officially allowing for a process to begin that would start the accelerated turning over of the property into the hands of Yellow Medicine County if  the delinquent taxes were not paid up in five weeks by owner.

In Minnesota, property reclamations  such as this can be accelerated by a process that works by reducing what is normally a three year period for the property owner to become current on their taxes and reducing it down to a short span of only five weeks. Since no payment was received during the five week span, the building reverted over into the ownership of Yellow Medicine County.

Agustsson is the Chief Executive Officer of a technology start-up company called Skajaquoda, and subsequently Janulus, that developed an array of  renewable energy products. Agustsson purchased the Clarkfield school building in May of 2013 for approximately $76,000 with the intent of retrofitting the building into a staffed research lab/facility for his company.

However, Agustsson suddenly had departed Clarkfield due to issues he said dealt with his worker visa not being renewed.

Attorney Heidi Torvik had been handling the issues regarding the Agustsson’s property. In order for the  five week process to be given the green light that it was, certain criteria had to be met first. The city first had to produce an Affidavit of Abandonment stating the condition and state of the property, which was done and according to Torvik, the property was indeed declared abandoned.

Now, he plan is to direct a smaller Task Force consisting of members from the County, the City of Clarkfield, and the Clarkfield EDA to work on possible solutions to the problems with the building.

In other news
• The Snow Drifters snowmobile cub received a state grant of $47,018 for the purpose of maintaining trails.

• The Soil and Water Conservation District will be receiving a state grant of $41,115 towards work to prevent the expansion of Aquatic Invasive Species into local waters.

• The commissioners approved a contract to allow access to the Health Information Exchange data through SPCLink since Yellow Medicine County is a partner with Southern Prairie Community Care, who provides health and social services to a 12 county area. This was done to allow county workers to share information about clients with health providers.

• The board approved a maximum of $27,500 to pave two existing parking lots on the east side of the campus where the Justice Center sits. The Justice Center’s final stages of completion are expected to be finished this fall, which includes the entrance, curb and gutter work, and landscaping.