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Cass board OKs amendments to sewer ordinance

WALKER — Cass County Board Tuesday approved amendments to the Subsurface Sewage Treatment System Ordinance.

The board and planning commission conducted a series of public hearings prior to the adoption. The revised ordinance will take effect May 1.

The commissioners approved disbanding a joint powers board consisting of representative from Turtle Lake, Leech Lake and Shingobee Townships. That board had been formed in 2005 to carry out compliance inspections on all properties riparian to Leech Lake on the southwest shore. Those inspections are complete.

No funds remain in that program, Environmental Services Director John Ringle told the county board.

Ringle obtained county board approval to extend the county’s contract one year with Ron Brown to inspect newly installed individual sewage treatment systems throughout the county for $75 per inspection.

That rate is the same as the 2013 rate.

Auditor Treasurer Sharon Anderson reported an update on Ditch 9. About eight beavers were trapped from the ditch last fall and a beaver dam was removed.

This spring, she said the ditch is free flowing from County Road 115 to the county line.

There is an ice plug at the outlet of Jokela Lake that is holding back lake water at a depth of about four feet. There also is a lip at the outlet. It remains to be seen when the ice melts if that will hold water at a higher level than desired.

The current ditch depth is about two feet at the west end and about 1.5 feet on the east end, she reported.

Kelly Condiff reported at a March meeting with landowners in the area that the lip at Jokela Lake could be an old beaver dam that has been there a long time.

Wilson township may have expended funds more than once to remove this old dam in the past, he said. If that can be documented, it may help for future permitting to determine the historic lake level.

If more beavers move into the area after the spring thaw, they will be trapped this spring.

Anderson reported Cass County will receive a higher allotment from the state this year for its share of sales taxes collected on Leech Lake Reservation.

The 2013 share the county would normally receive would be $83,650.

The state reviewed back payments and decided there had been an overpayment to Cass in 2012 of $17,028. However, the state’s review also turned up the fact Cass had not been paid its share of taxes collected from three businesses between 2004 and 2012, so found the county was underpaid $104,603 during those years.

The net difference will give Cass including this year’s share a total 2014 payment of $171,225.

Cass commissioners passed a resolution recognizing the 430 people who volunteer for the county. Volunteer Week is April 6 to 12.

The county’s volunteers include 22 sheriff’s posse/mounted patrol, 70 boat and water safety, 22 dive team, 51 TRIAD, 15 sheriff’s chaplains, 150 for highway department, 40 for health/human/veterans services and 60 who sit on board appointed committees.

Doug Shultz, Walker area DNR fisheries supervisor, obtained board support for Department of Natural Resources plans to obtain a three-acre tract on Rogers Point abutting Miller Bay of Leech Lake.

He said the site will be preserved for wildlife habitat, but will not be open to hunting, because it is in a developed area.

Minnesota Department of Human Services recognized Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services Department (HHVS) for meeting all financial reporting requirements on or before deadlines and in perfect order in 2013.

HHVS spent 15.22 percent of the budget the first two months this year (16.67 percent of the year). Only 12 percent of the budget for out of home child placements was spent in the same time period.

Region Five Development Commission and the counties of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena Counties are looking into a possible Initiative Foundation grant to do a study of transit demand and feasibility for Highway 210 between Staples and Brainerd.

Cass County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Gail Leverson reported she has completed assistance to Northern Sales and Manufacturing, which plans to begin manufacturing and sales of Ice Castle Fish Houses at Pine River this spring, and to Lee’s Welding and Repair, which will open a business in Lake Shore.