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County OKs demolition of tax forfeited properties

About 50 tax forfeited and distressed properties around Otter Tail County are ready to be demolished.

At a meeting with county commissioners last week, County Auditor Wayne Stein and Sentence to Serve Coordinator Pat Griffin shared pictures and information about the properties, which are in various conditions. 

Commissioners unanimously authorized the clean-up of these properties, starting with some in Dane Prairie Township, Friberg Township, Clitherall, Urbank and Dalton.

Stein was authorized to obtain quotations on the work, and proceed with demolition. After these initial properties are dealt with, others will be cleaned up and demolished as time permits.

Commissioners also authorized the East and West Otter Tail County Soil and Water Conservation Boards to review the properties for the purpose of identifying non-forested marginal land and wetlands.

Properties become “tax forfeited” when delinquent property taxes are not paid, and title to the land and buildings is forfeited and vested in governmental units. 

Following a review period, these properties are classified and open to the public to purchase. In most of Minnesota’s 87 counties, these properties are sold “as is” and there is no warranty that the land is buildable.

Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent