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Amendments made to tobacco ordinance

WALKER — The Cass County Board held a second reading and approved amendments to the county tobacco ordinance Tuesday. The revised ordinance takes effect Nov. 15.

 The board also set a fee schedule for violations of the ordinance, which for the first time will hold employees selling tobacco products to underage people liable as well as the license holder.

 Clerks and employees will now be charged $50 per violation if they sell to minors.

 License holders where such a violation occurs will be charged $75 for the first offense, $200 for a second offense within two years and $250 for the third offense within two years. Additionally, business with a third offense will have their license suspended for not less than seven days.

 Anyone selling tobacco products without a license will be fined $200 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense within two years and $300 for the third offense within two years.

The board appointed Commissioners Bob Kangas and Neal Gaalswyk to represent the board on a committee to consider whether the county should offer business subsidies such as tax increment financing in areas outside cities.

The board passed a moratorium on business subsidies in April 2003 “due to budget and levy constraints.” This moratorium has not prevented cities from offering subsidies within their city limits.

 In 2010, the county reviewed the policy and continued it. The current review is at the request of Cass County Economic Development Corporation.

Chris Trout, Cass 4-H director, and Mary Sauber, a 4-H member, gave the board an update on 4-H activities in the county as a part of National 4-H week. They also brought homemade cookies and muffins 4-H members had baked.