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Campground keeps permit for another 8 weeks

Goodhue County Board voted Tuesday to postpone a resolution that would revoke a conditional-use permit for Hidden Valley Campground in Welch.

Campground owner Cory Axelson has until the May 20 board meeting to bring to the county a plan addressing numerous concerns over alleged permit violations and a lack of state licensing.

“I think the board here, a majority of them are looking for you to keep operating,” Commissioner Jim Bryant told Axelson before forwarding a motion to table the decision. “But the onus is on you, not us.”  

Bryant’s motion passed 4-1, with Board Chair Ron Allen voting against it.

“Cory, you’re a lucky man, because if I wasn’t the chair I’d make the motion to close you down,” Allen said.

The decision came after a lengthy testimony from county staff detailing a series of alleged permit violations dating back as far as 2006, including unauthorized expansion, exceeding the 200-campsite limit and operating without a license from the Minnesota Department of Health.

But Axelson disputed much of county’s evidence, which he said does not show violations on the tax parcel specifically covered by the conditional-use permit.

“This is another hurdle that I had to meet today,” Axelson said after leaving the meeting Tuesday night. “I’ve got a plan set up, and we’re going to move forward, fill out all of the proper paperwork and show (the County Board) that I’m serious.”

Read more about the decision in this weekend’s Republican Eagle print edition.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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