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Cass board meets at Remer family service center

REMER – Cass County Commissioners held their regular meeting Tuesday evening at Northland Area Family Service Center in Remer.

The family center recently purchased a former private residence with 10 acres on the city outskirts with help for a down payment from the Blandin Foundation, according to Michelle Tessin, director.

The newer home needed little renovation, except to install smaller fittings in bathrooms to serve Head Start children who meet in the facility. Tessin said there are plans to use some of the acreage for children to plant a garden and apple orchard.

Cass has five non-profit family centers located in towns around the county, which provide family support services tailored to fit needs in their community.

This center formerly was located in Longville, but mold was found in that building, making it unusable for public services. The family center at Remer continues to serve residents from Longville and Remer.

Tessin reported to the board the Northland center has had a VISTA volunteer the last two years who is helping the community start a volunteer library at Remer, with hopes it can become part of the Kitchigami Library system in five to eight years.

It will be located at the restored Remer Depot, which also houses the city’s chamber of commerce and a railroad museum.

Hennepin County Library has donated four paperback racks, two tables and eight chairs to the city of Remer for the library. About 1,300 books have been donated so far. A USDA grant application is pending for startup costs to cover shelving, media, computers, wiring and other equipment, Tessin said.

The family center and Eagle Country Snowmobile Club are storing the donated items until more funding is available to convert one room at the depot into a library space. They hope to open the library by Jan. 1, 2013, Tessin said.

Once open, the new library will have to reach a certain level of circulation before becoming eligible to join the Kitchigami system, Tessin explained.