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373.01 POWERS.
    Subdivision 1. Public corporation; listed powers. (a) Each county is a body politic and
corporate and may:
    (1) Sue and be sued.
    (2) Acquire and hold real and personal property for the use of the county, and lands sold for
taxes as provided by law.
    (3) Purchase and hold for the benefit of the county real estate sold by virtue of judicial
proceedings, to which the county is a party.
    (4) Sell, lease, and convey real or personal estate owned by the county, and give contracts
or options to sell, lease, or convey it, and make orders respecting it as deemed conducive to the
interests of the county's inhabitants.
    (5) Make all contracts and do all other acts in relation to the property and concerns of the
county necessary to the exercise of its corporate powers.
    (b) No sale, lease, or conveyance of real estate owned by the county, except the lease of a
residence acquired for the furtherance of an approved capital improvement project, nor any
contract or option for it, shall be valid, without first advertising for bids or proposals in the
official newspaper of the county for three consecutive weeks and once in a newspaper of general
circulation in the area where the property is located. The notice shall state the time and place of
considering the proposals, contain a legal description of any real estate, and a brief description of
any personal property. Leases that do not exceed $15,000 for any one year may be negotiated
and are not subject to the competitive bid procedures of this section. All proposals estimated to
exceed $15,000 in any one year shall be considered at the time set for the bid opening, and
the one most favorable to the county accepted, but the county board may, in the interest of the
county, reject any or all proposals.
    (c) Sales of personal property the value of which is estimated to be $15,000 or more shall
be made only after advertising for bids or proposals in the county's official newspaper, on the
county's Web site, or in a recognized industry trade journal. At the same time it posts on its Web
site or publishes in a trade journal, the county must publish in the official newspaper, either as part
of the minutes of a regular meeting of the county board or in a separate notice, a summary of
all requests for bids or proposals that the county advertises on its Web site or in a trade journal.
After publication in the official newspaper, on the Web site, or in a trade journal, bids or proposals
may be solicited and accepted by the electronic selling process authorized in section 471.345,
subdivision 17
. Sales of personal property the value of which is estimated to be less than $15,000
may be made either on competitive bids or in the open market, in the discretion of the county
board. "Web site" means a specific, addressable location provided on a server connected to the
Internet and hosting World Wide Web pages and other files that are generally accessible on the
Internet all or most of a day.
    (d) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the county may, when acquiring real
property for county highway right-of-way, exchange parcels of real property of substantially
similar or equal value without advertising for bids. The estimated values for these parcels shall be
determined by the county assessor.
    (e) If real estate or personal property remains unsold after advertising for and consideration
of bids or proposals the county may employ a broker to sell the property. The broker may sell the
property for not less than 90 percent of its appraised market value as determined by the county.
The broker's fee shall be set by agreement with the county but may not exceed ten percent of the
sale price and must be paid from the proceeds of the sale.
    (f) A county or its agent may rent a county-owned residence acquired for the furtherance
of an approved capital improvement project subject to the conditions set by the county board
and not subject to the conditions for lease otherwise provided by paragraph (a), clause (4), and
paragraphs (b), (c), (d), (e), and (g).
    (g) In no case shall lands be disposed of without there being reserved to the county all iron
ore and other valuable minerals in and upon the lands, with right to explore for, mine and remove
the iron ore and other valuable minerals, nor shall the minerals and mineral rights be disposed of,
either before or after disposition of the surface rights, otherwise than by mining lease, in similar
general form to that provided by section 93.20 for mining leases affecting state lands. The lease
shall be for a term not exceeding 50 years, and be issued on a royalty basis, the royalty to be
not less than 25 cents per ton of 2,240 pounds, and fix a minimum amount of royalty payable
during each year, whether mineral is removed or not. Prospecting options for mining leases may
be granted for periods not exceeding one year. The options shall require, among other things,
periodical showings to the county board of the results of exploration work done.
    (h) Notwithstanding anything in this subdivision to the contrary, the county may, when
selling real property owned in fee simple that cannot be improved because of noncompliance
with local ordinances regarding minimum area, shape, frontage, or access, proceed to sell the
nonconforming parcel without advertising for bid. At the county's discretion, the real property
may be restricted to sale to adjoining landowners or may be sold to any other interested party.
The property shall be sold to the highest bidder, but in no case shall the property be sold for less
than 90 percent of its fair market value as determined by the county assessor. All owners of land
adjoining the land to be sold shall be given a written notice at least 30 days before the sale. This
paragraph shall be liberally construed to encourage the sale of nonconforming real property and
promote its return to the tax roles.
    Subd. 2. Road equipment agreements, terms. Notwithstanding any other contrary law,
a county may enter into a rental purchase agreement or conditional sales agreement to acquire
road equipment but the seller shall be limited to the remedy of recovery of the property in case of
nonpayment of all or part of the purchase price. The purchase price shall be payable over not
more than five years.
    Subd. 3. Capital notes. (a) A county board may, by resolution and without referendum, issue
capital notes subject to the county debt limit to purchase capital equipment useful for county
purposes that has an expected useful life at least equal to the term of the notes. The notes shall
be payable in not more than ten years and shall be issued on terms and in a manner the board
determines. A tax levy shall be made for payment of the principal and interest on the notes, in
accordance with section 475.61, as in the case of bonds.
(b) For purposes of this subdivision, "capital equipment" means:
(1) public safety, ambulance, road construction or maintenance, and medical equipment; and
(2) computer hardware and software, whether bundled with machinery or equipment or
unbundled. The authority to issue capital notes for software expires on July 1, 2007.
    Subd. 4. Tax anticipation certificates. The county board of any county may, by resolution,
issue and sell as many certificates of indebtedness as may be needed in anticipation of the
collection of taxes levied for any fund named in the tax levy for the purpose of raising money
for such fund, but the certificates outstanding for any such separate funds shall not on the date
on which the certificates are issued exceed 75 percent of the amount of taxes previously levied
for such fund remaining uncollected. No certificate shall be issued to become due and payable
later than 15 months after the deadline for the certification of the property tax levy under section
275.07, subdivision 1, and the certificates shall not be sold for less than par and accrued interest.
The certificates of indebtedness may be issued at any time after the levy has been finally made
and certified to the county auditor. They shall be numbered consecutively, be in denominations of
$100 or a multiple thereof, may have interest coupons attached, shall be otherwise of such form
and terms, and may be made payable at such place, as will best aid in their negotiation, and the
proceeds of the tax assessed and collected on account of the fund and the full faith and credit
of the county shall be irrevocably pledged for the redemption and payment of the certificates
so issued. Such certificates shall be payable primarily from the moneys derived from the levy
for the years against which such certificates were issued, but shall constitute unlimited general
obligations of the county. Money derived from the sale of such certificates shall be credited to the
fund or funds the taxes for which are so anticipated.
History: (638) RL s 409; 1907 c 310 s 1; 1961 c 539 s 1; 1965 c 56 s 1; 1973 c 163 s 1;
1984 c 437 s 1; 1984 c 629 s 1; 1985 c 108 s 4; 1989 c 26 s 1; 1989 c 176 s 2; 1996 c 471
art 3 s 54; 2003 c 127 art 12 s 8; 1Sp2003 c 21 art 10 s 11; 2004 c 278 s 4; 2005 c 152 art 1
s 6; 2007 c 131 art 1 s 78

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes