Borchert Motors map

This illustration, presented last week to the Rice County Board of Commissioners, shows property lines in blue. Borchert Motors, shown here on the northeast side of the planned roundabout, has a concrete pad that sits on property the county is buying. (Image courtesy of Rice County)

Rice County commissioners, in closed session Tuesday, talked less about acquiring another piece of property and more about how to work with a new neighbor who’s doing business on what will be county land.

While the discussions weren’t open to the public, County Administrator Sara Folsted said that Borchert Motors on Hwy. 3 near 30th Street not only has vehicles on what will soon be county property, a portion of a concrete pad also sits a few feet over its south property line.

Technically, it’s called encroachment, and the county wants to work with the business owners to determine how to move forward.

“There are a lot of options to explore,” Folsted said following the meeting.

The auto repair shop abuts 109 acres of property the county agreed to pay $1.65 million for in September. That property is expected to house a new law enforcement center. Some of it will likely be sold off for other projects, including a road the city of Faribault is planning known as East View Drive. The road is expected to connect with 14th Street near the Cannon River STEM School to create an east-west connection on the north side of town.

Folsted said the Board of Commissioners decided to hold off on any decisions until after it completes the purchase of the 109 acres.

According to plans shown the board last week, the law enforcement center would be east of the auto repair shop site. An access road will likely run along the shop’s eastern property line and around the rear of the law enforcement center where inmates can be brought to or picked up from the jail, and deputies can park their squad cars when their shift is over.

The new center, which is set for completion in 2023, was shown facing East View Drive, which may be stubbed out on its eastern end until city leaders are ready for build out.

The county is continuing to negotiate for a 04-acre site at 302 First Ave. NW, Faribault, currently the law offices of Patton, Hoversten and Berg. It’s the only property on the block not owned by the county.

County records show the property has an assessed value of $150,500 and includes a two-story brick structure built in 1910.

Vaccine mandate

About 30 Rice County employees will now need to prove they’ve been vaccinated. The board approved a policy that keeps the county compliant with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services vaccine mandate.

According to Folsted, only Rice County Public Health employees providing in-home health services covered by CMS will need to adhere to the mandate which goes into effect Dec. 4.

Folsted noted that per the policy, there will be reasonable accommodations for those with “sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances.” Requests for exemptions must be initiated and approved by Dec. 5.

“I can accurately say that it won’t affect services,” she said.

Reach Regional Managing Editor Suzanne Rook at 507-333-3134. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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