Updated: 02/25/2014 10:37 PM
Created: 02/25/2014 6:15 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
The Saint Louis County Board drew quite the crowd Tuesday in Hibbing. Many realtors were there because they said a piece of the housing market was on the line.
"It seems like a waste of time, energy and headache to penalize buyers from purchasing a property they've fallen in love with because of an escrow ordinance," realtor and contractor Dan Traylor said.
Ordinance 61 will update septic system regulations. It passed with a vote of 5 to 1. Commissioner Chris Dahlberg voted no and Commissioner Pete Stauber wasn't there.
A majority of the ordinance received no backlash, but there was one sticking point.
"Our biggest concern was with the escrow requirement," DAAR President Sarah Wisdorf said.
Under the ordinance, if you have a failing septic system and you're trying to sell your home you need to fix the system or set the money aside in an escrow account. The escrow account is also required if you have working system older than ten years, but can't test it and want to sell.
"Inspections can not be performed in this area year round because of frozen groundwater conditions," realtor Sherri Puckett said.
Despite the debate, Ordinance 61 got the green light. Commissioners in favor said it boiled down to protecting our water.
"We really want to protect the groundwater," Board Chair Mike Forsman said. "Groundwater isn't just where the lakes and rivers are; groundwater is everywhere."
Forsman said the escrow requirement at point of sale is key.
"This is the time to try to get the dollars out there to get the system fixed," Forsman said.
While the new septic system rules passed Tuesday, commissioners emphasized it's a living document. In a year, it will be reviewed to make sure it's working.
Fitger's 5K Raises $20K For Young Athletes
It may not have felt much like spring today, but thousands signed-up to voluntarily run outside. It was the 25th Annual Fitger's 5K this morning and that means racing season in the Northland has officially started. This year, the race raised $20,000 for the Young Athletes Foundation.
Post-rehab, Injured Snowy Owl Released in Superior
A rare snowy owl that was hit by a bus in Washington D.C. and sent to Minnesota for rehab is back in the wild. The owl was released outside Superior Saturday.
Circle of Native Nations Pow Wow Celebrates Winter's End
The 25th annual Circle of Nations pow wow took place at the UWS First Nations Center on Saturday. The center's director calls it a celebration of life, especially after the long winter.
Electric Fetus Parties for International Record Store Day
The Electric Fetus in Duluth held an International Record Store Day event on Saturday. The party featured live music, limited-edition releases, snacks and prizes.
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
The Depot held a breakfast with the Easter bunny on Saturday morning. Guests could eat, play games and take pictures with the giant bunny before the big day.