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Cass County to contract with Family Safety Network

WALKER — Cass County Board voted Tuesday to pay Family Safety Network $5,000 per calendar year for the next three years to assist victims of domestic violence in the county.

Family Safety Network is a nonprofit organization which focuses on preventing domestic violence through education and assists law enforcement and domestic violence victims.

Sheriff Tom Burch said all his officers are instructed to contact Family Safety Network before they leave the scene of a call to a domestic violence situation to ensure victims get support.

The responders help victims through such processes as obtaining a restraining order and provide support where needed, Burch said. Victim services the county attorney’s office offers step in after charges have been filed against a perpetrator, Burch explained.

Until now, Family Safety Network has responded to calls from officers without the sheriff paying the organization any money toward its services, Burch said.

The U.S. Forest Service will pay Cass County $320,683 in secure rural schools money this year, which will be divided among school districts within the Chippewa National Forest.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety will pay Cass $113,700 to operate the county’s wellness court, which serves repeat driving while under the influence of alcohol and drug offenders who are trying to overcome their addictions.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will pay Cass County Sheriff’s Office $7,183 this winter and again next winter for snowmobile safety enforcement.

Amy L. Scott Foundation donated $1,000 to the sheriff’s boat and water safety program. Walker Chamber of Commerce donated $100 and Angels of St. Agnes Church donated $1,900 to health, human and veterans services (HHVS) for gift cards.

The commissioners recognized with certificates of appreciation Wendy Cline, court administration, and Steve Pitzen, HHVS, who are retiring after many years of service to the county.

They authorized paying $5,000 to Cass County Agricultural Association for the county fair at Pine River.

Assistant Veterans Services Officer Stephen Sether obtained board approval to attend the National Association of County Veterans Service Officers annual conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he will receive his initial accreditation and testing to become a certified veterans services officer in June.

Also approved was travel to Fargo for either Sether of Veterans Services Officer Jeff Woodford for quarterly continuing education classes. This is a day trip without overnight expenses.

Through November, Cass HHVS spent 76.15 percent of budget after 91.67 percent of the year. Only 64 percent of the budgeted amount for out of home child placements was spent through November.

Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson reported nine of 12 timber tracts offered for sale at a Dec. 19 timber auction sold. Loggers paid $101,456 for 5,046 cords of mixed wood and 72,300 board feet of pine saw logs.

They paid $22.36 per cord for aspen, an amount the county considers an expected rate. While several other wood species usually go for more than aspen, only the $22.27 per cord paid for jack pine exceeded aspen on this sale.