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Cass board sets upcoming meetings

WALKER – Cass County Board Tuesday changed one April meeting date and set the summer schedule for board meetings throughout the county.

The board will move the 9 a.m. regular meeting first meeting of the month at the courthouse in Walker from April 3 to April 4.

During the summer, the board holds the second meeting of each month at locations throughout the county beginning at 6 p.m. Dates and locations for those meetings include:

May 15 – Northland Area Family Center, 320 Eagle Ave. NE, Remer.

June 19 – Cass Lake City Hall, 330 Second St. NW, Cass Lake.

July 17 – Fairview Town Hall, 10219 County Road 77, Brainerd.

August 21 – Becker Town Hall, 11066 County Road 32 SW, Motley, MN.

September 18 – Powers Town Hall, 850 E. Horseshoe Dr. NW, Backus, MN.

The board also set two public hearings for the 9 a.m. March 6 regular meeting at the courthouse in Walker.

One will be on the proposed county commissioner redistricting plan.

The board expects to adopt a new commissioner district map following that hearing.

The other hearing will be preliminary to the board adopting revisions to the county’s capital improvement plan. Changes proposed for the plan will be posted on the county website,, the middle of this month.

The board voted Tuesday to amend the county business subsidy policy. That policy covers rural areas outside incorporated cities. It has stated since the county adopted a comprehensive plan that no business subsidies would be granted, because the plan called for consolidating business development in cities where sewer, water and adequate roads already are developed.

Tuesday’s action changed that limitation to permitting no business subsidies unless requested by a local unit of government (township) where the business is or would be located.

Cass commissioners declined an offer from the state for the county to purchase state land adjacent to Ah-Gwah-Ching property the county already owns for $200,000. The site includes 55.8 acres.

At the time the county purchased its existing Ah-Gwah-Ching property from the state for $1, the state had advertised the additional acreage for over $340,000, according to Chief Financial Officer Larry Wolfe. Despite the lowered price, the commissioners’ consensus was that the county will not need additional land for future development.

With the county declining to buy that property, a letter to the county indicates the 55.8 acres will be offered for sale by the Minnesota Department of Administration through sealed bids, with minimum bid set at $200,000.

After engineering consultant Bonestroo evaluated three 18,000-gallon propane tanks located on the Ah-Gwah-Ching property the county does own and found the tanks serviceable for many years to come, the board voted Tuesday to have county administration prepare a plan and cost estimate to move the tanks to Walker.

Under the county’s land purchase agreement from the state, government agencies would have to use the tanks.

Agencies that have expressed an interest in using the tanks to covert their heating systems from oil to propane include the county courthouse complex, the county highway department, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District and Leech Lake Reservation.

There currently is no natural gas service in Walker. Administrator Robert Yochum said he contacted the nearest natural gas service provider whose lines run to Cass Lake and was told there are no current plans to extend those lines farther.