Volunteers sought to serve on Cass panels
BACKUS – Cass County is looking for volunteers to serve on county committees and commissions. Openings and application forms are posted on the website at www.co.cass.mn.us.
Applications must be submitted by email to email@example.com or mail to Cass County Administrator’s Office, attention Linda, P.O. Box 3000, Walker, MN, 56484, to be received by Nov. 20.
The county board expects to make appointments during the 3 p.m. Dec. 6 board meeting at the courthouse on Highway 371 in Walker.
The board conducted annual performance evaluation interviews with county department heads Oct. 23. The board concluded all department heads meet the requirements of their position.
Tuesday, the board re-appointed Assessor Mark Peterson to another four-year term.
The board discussed the success of the county’s wellness court with Probation Director Jim Schneider and program coordinator Michelle Nistler during Tuesday’s meeting. Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) will recognize that program with an achievement award during the annual AMC conference Dec. 3 in St. Cloud.
Wellness court here is a cooperative program involving Cass and Itasca Counties and Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Judges from both counties and Leech Lake plan to attend to accept the award, along with probation and law enforcement officers.
Nearly 60 high-risk DWI offenders have successfully graduated from the program here. Schneider said the program will track participants for the rest of their lives to ensure they continue to keep their lives turned around and alcohol-free.
Schneider reported Cass and six other counties will receive a U.S. Department of Justice grant to implement culturally-based probation programs in cooperation with Red Lake, Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Indian reservations to improve the success rate of probation programs and improve public safety.
If the program is successful, the concept will be adapted for other cultural groups, he said.
Based on a recommendation from Chief Financial Officer Larry Wolfe, the county board voted to close the county debt service account and transfer the remaining $157,953.26 to the county capital projects fund.
Wolfe noted the county has had no debt for several years, but the account had been maintained to receive late payments due to judgments and other legal obligation belated payments some people had been making.
Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services spent only 58.67 percent of its 2012 budget through the first 75 percent of the year. A large share of the savings came from the fact the county only spent 43 percent of what was expected through the same period for out of home child placements.
Cass spent $1,057,621 of a $2,473,510 budget for emergency shelters, foster care, group homes, correctional facilities and miscellaneous through September.
Cass County Sheriff’s Office reported 38 people participated in Sentence to Serve in the third quarter this year, with 29 completing the program. Working in crews averaging 5.7 people per day, they completed $18,500 worth of work for Minnesota DNR, the county, cities, townships, other state agencies and non-profit agencies.
They worked off $1,624 in fines.
The sheriff’s office received $200 from Sylvan Township for the sentence to serve program and for the chaplaincy program, $200 from Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, $50 from Judy Gustafson and $50 from Roderick and Jane McKinley.
Sheriff Tom Burch obtained board approval to purchase seven new squad vehicles under the state bid for 2013.