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Letter to the Editor (Verndale Sun)

To the Editor:

Lack of housing, substandard housing, highest real estate taxes, household incomes under $45,000 on average and a declining rural population are a fact in Wadena County.

Being on several housing committees, I know that any options to solve our problems are few and most involve government grants and financing, which all come with more control and government involvement.

For most of my term, I have been studying and trying to learn more about options that are growing across the country and Minnesota. Already two counties and several cities have approved ordinances that put these ideas into place.

They require no government money or intrusion. They do not require or permit land splits. They protect productive land and limit sprawl. Our rural areas need students on school buses, people in our pews and folks active in local communities.

They are referred to as ADU (Auxiliary Dwelling Units) ordinances. They are owned by the current resident that builds a small home in close proximity to the main dwelling. They can be for a grandparent, adult children or a friend.

Most people I know want to stay in their communities, go to the same church and maybe have family close. They don’t want to necessarily move to town.

These are nice small homes that add tax capacity and people for local governments and schools. Because there is no land needed to be purchased they can be built new for a fraction of most options. If codes are met they can share a driveway, well and in some cases a septic system with the main home. There are many benefits and looking closer, few negatives.

I believe these can be a game-changer for Wadena County. This has more potential to add housing, neighbors and stronger communities than any initiative I have seen.

If we want to change our direction, we need to do things differently than we have in the past.

Murlyn Kreklau

District 4 Commissioner



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