298.22 Iron range resources and rehabilitation.
Subdivision 1. (1) The governor shall appoint the commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation under section 15.06.
(2) The commissioner may hold other positions or appointments that are not incompatible with duties as commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation. The commissioner may appoint a deputy commissioner. All expenses of the commissioner, including the payment of such assistance as may be necessary, must be paid out of the amounts appropriated by section 298.28. The salary of the commissioner must be set by the legislative coordinating commission and may not exceed 75 percent of the salary of the governor.
(3) When the commissioner determines that distress and unemployment exists or may exist in the future in any county by reason of the removal of natural resources or a possibly limited use of natural resources in the future and any resulting decrease in employment, the commissioner may use whatever amounts of the appropriation made to the commissioner of revenue in section 298.28 that are determined to be necessary and proper in the development of the remaining resources of the county and in the vocational training and rehabilitation of its residents, except that the amount needed to cover cost overruns awarded to a contractor by an arbitrator in relation to a contract awarded by the commissioner or in effect after July 1, 1985, is appropriated from the general fund. For the purposes of this section, "development of remaining resources" includes, but is not limited to, the promotion of tourism.
Subd. 2. There is hereby created the iron range resources and rehabilitation board, consisting of 11 members, five of whom shall be state senators appointed by the subcommittee on committees of the rules committee of the senate, and five of whom shall be representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, their terms of office to commence on May 1, 1943, and continue until January 3rd, 1945, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. Their successors shall be appointed each two years in the same manner as the original members were appointed, in January of every second year, commencing in January, 1945. The 11th member of said board shall be the commissioner of natural resources of the state of Minnesota. Vacancies on the board shall be filled in the same manner as the original members were chosen. At least a majority of the legislative members of the board shall be elected from state senatorial or legislative districts in which over 50 percent of the residents reside within a tax relief area as defined in section 273.134. All expenditures and projects made by the commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation shall first be submitted to said iron range resources and rehabilitation board for approval by at least eight board members of expenditures and projects for rehabilitation purposes as provided by this section, and the method, manner, and time of payment of all said funds proposed to be disbursed shall be first approved or disapproved by said board. The board shall biennially make its report to the governor and the legislature on or before November 15 of each even-numbered year. The expenses of said board shall be paid by the state of Minnesota from the funds raised pursuant to this section.
Subd. 3. Whenever the commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation has made determinations required by subdivision 1 and has determined that distress and unemployment exists or may exist in the future in any county by reason of the removal of the natural resources or a possible limited use thereof in the future and the decrease in employment resulting therefrom and deems that the acquirement of real estate or personal property is necessary and proper in the development of the remaining resources, the commissioner may acquire such property or interests therein by gift, purchase or lease. The commissioner may purchase insurance to protect any property acquired from loss or damage by fire, or to protect the commissioner from any liability the commissioner may incur by reason of ownership of the property, or both. If after such property is acquired it is necessary in the judgment of the commissioner to acquire a right-of-way for access to projects operated on property acquired, by gift, purchase or lease, said right-of-way may be acquired by condemnation in the manner provided by law.
Subd. 4. Whenever property has been granted and conveyed to the state of Minnesota in accordance with an agreement made by the commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation and the commissioner of administration for the necessary and proper development of the remaining resources of any distressed county, such grants, and conveyances or leases are hereby accepted in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof.
Subd. 5. In order to carry out the terms and provisions of this section, the commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation and the commissioner of administration may lease any property acquired hereunder for a term not to exceed 20 years upon such terms as they may determine, provided that such property shall not be leased to any person in such a manner as to constitute a direct contribution of working capital to a business enterprise. Such lease may provide that in the event the property is ever sold by the state to such lessee, the lessee may obtain a credit on the purchase price covering the rentals paid under the lease or any renewals thereof and that said real estate can be conveyed by the commissioner of iron range resources and rehabilitation and the commissioner of administration and the said commissioners are hereby authorized to make such conveyances.
Subd. 6. Equity participation. The board may acquire an equity interest in any project for which it provides funding.
Subd. 7. Giants ridge recreation area. (a) In addition to the other powers granted in this section and other law, the commissioner, for purposes of fostering economic development and tourism within the Giants Ridge recreation area, may spend any money made available to the agency under section 298.28 to acquire real or personal property or interests therein by gift, purchase, or lease and may convey by lease, sale, or other means of conveyance or commitment any or all of those property interests acquired.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, property conveyed under this subdivision and used for residential purposes is not eligible for property tax homestead classification under section 273.124 or for a property tax refund under chapter 290A.
(c) In furtherance of development of the Giants Ridge recreation area, the commissioner may establish and participate in charitable foundations and nonprofit corporations, including a corporation within the meaning of section 317A.011, subdivision 6.
(d) The term "Giants Ridge recreation area" refers to an economic development project area established by the commissioner in furtherance of the powers delegated in this section within St. Louis county in the western portions of the town of White and in the eastern portion of the westerly, adjacent, unorganized township.
HIST: 1941 c 544 s 4; 1943 c 590 s 4; 1949 c 739 s 22; 1951 c 713 s 31; 1957 c 882 s 1; Ex1959 c 49 s 1; 1969 c 399 s 43,49; 1969 c 1129 art 8 s 9; art 10 s 2; 1971 c 25 s 59; 1973 c 613 s 1; 1974 c 406 s 67; 1975 c 271 s 6; 1977 c 305 s 34; 1977 c 423 art 10 s 8,9; 1980 c 607 art 7 s 3; 1983 c 301 s 183; 1986 c 444; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 2 s 49; 1987 c 404 s 162; 1988 c 719 art 19 s 16; 1995 c 224 s 92; 1996 c 452 s 34; 1997 c 200 art 1 s 71; 2Sp1997 c 3 s 14