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Cass capital improvement plan to be reviewed

BACKUS — Cass County commissioners will review a preliminary draft April 1 and hold a public hearing May 6 at regular 9 a.m. board meetings at the courthouse in Walker on an updated capital improvement plan.

That plan sets expected major expenditures over the next five years.

Tuesday, Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson reported the county came in slightly over budget projections for interest earned on investments for 2013, with $758,000 projected and $763,675.95 actually earned.

This is below the $879,160.29 earned in 2012.

She said she saw a slight uptick in interest rates on earnings for 2013.

Anderson reported Cass County property taxes abated to lower amounts for prior years totaled $1,362.87 and for the current year to $3,702 in 2013. That compares with $5,564.38 for prior years and for the current year at $9,078.25 in 2012.

Reasons for lowering taxes on properties in 2013 included value reductions, damage to the property, a building on the wrong parcel due to survey errors and classification change.

The tax court also ruled a total of $1,434 abatements affecting taxes due from 2011 and 2012.

Jeff Woodford, veterans services officer, reported Cass had 3,406 veterans living in the county in 2012. Of those, 1,475 used Veterans Administration medical services.

A total of $21,070,000 federal money was spent on Cass veterans for pensions and compensation, vocational and educational services and medical care in 2012.

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs paid $94,343.59 to assist veterans in 2013 and provided a $12,500 outreach grant.

Cass County’s veterans transportation program to take vets to medical services served 298 riders and drove them 79,951 miles in 2013.

A total of 129 vets visited Cass’s veterans services office in Walker in 2013, with another 362 visiting the office at the land department building in Backus and 45 the satellite office in Cass Lake, 26 the satellite office in Remer and 27 the satellite office in Pillager.

Cass commissioners approved paying $3,188 to HOWA Family Center at Walker, $3,459 to Cass Lake-Bena Family Center, $4,500 to Pillager Family Center, $3,250 to Northland Family Center at Remer and $4,056 to Pine River-Backus Family Center to reimburse them for programming costs in the last quarter of 2013.

The board approved paying the county’s annual $1,500 support to Mississippi Headwaters Board.