Value of county land increases

ESCANABA – The value of land in Delta County has experienced an increase from 2012, as highlighted in an equalization report presented to the Delta County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

The county board received the 2013 equalization report at Tuesday’s statutory county board meeting.

“The recognized 2013 equalized value for Delta County is $1,413,634,884,” said Delta County Equalization Director Rick Lindstrom at the meeting. “That’s a 2 percent increase over 2012, or almost $28 million. We’re moving in the right direction.”

The biggest reasons for the increase were the addition of two medical buildings in the city of Escanaba and the Garden Wind Farm in Garden, he noted.

The total equalization values account for all 14 townships in Delta County and the cities of Escanaba and Gladstone. The city of Escanaba’s equalization value was the highest with a total value – which includes both real and personal property valuations – of $332,261,338. The next highest was Wells Township, with $244,761,960, followed by the city of Gladstone with $113,956,801 and Escanaba Township with $111,429,225.

The board unanimously voted to approve the equalization report as presented.

Lindstrom said these totals will now be subject to state equalization. Personnel from the State Tax Commission have reviewed and compared their numbers to those in the report and are anticipating no changes.

The State Tax Commission in May will then equalize counties and if there are no changes there, these numbers will become the official 2013 state equalized values.

The board also voted to allow for the thinning of red pine trees in an approximately 10 acre area by the Delta County Service Center. The wood will be added to, but kept separate from, timber sales by the Delta Conservation District with revenue benefitting the county.

In other business, the board:

adopted a resolution of support to amend the Next Michigan Development Act, which lends support for an economic development initiative in the Escanaba area.

appointed Judith Haulotte to the Jury Commission.

heard harassment concerns brought forth by two county residents.