WALKER - Cass County, East Gull Lake and Fairview Township have spent $800,000 to cleanup road areas from the July 12 storm and will spend another $100,000 to shred another 50,000 cubic yards of public road tree debris. County Engineer David Enblom told the county board Tuesday he expects the final total to exceed $1 million. The county board approved keeping open the two county tree debris collection sites until Nov. 1, so private property owners can continue to bring tree debris there for shredding through the fall even though road debris shredding will be completed by next week.
WALKER - Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust will pay Cass County a $167,569 dividend this year. Of that $108,382 is based on workers compensation insurance experience and $59,187 is based on property/casualty insurance experience. Cass commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday to allow Jacob Wolfe of Walker to undertake a renovation of the target shooting area at Deep Portage Reserve as a project toward earning his Eagle Scout badge.
WALKER - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plans to sell five-year exploratory leases to bidders interested in mining DNR owned non-ferrous (non-iron ore) mineral rights under land in Cass County. The sites are located in Thunder Lake, Smoky Hollow, Crooked Lake and Beulah townships. The DNR also has surface ownership of much of the proposed land, but some private property owners own and occupy land surfaces in the area proposed for mining. Vicki Sellner, DNR representative, appeared before the Cass County Board Tuesday night at Leech Lake Town Hall to answer questions about the proposed sale. She said she did not attend the meeting to receive any county formal position on the sale.
WALKER - Kitchigami Regional Library is asking Cass County for a 4.7 percent increase in financial support in 2016. The county will pay $342,336 in 2015. The request for 2016 is $358,479. Cass has branch libraries in Pine River, Longville, Walker and Cass Lake.
WALKER - Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services Director Reno Wells informed the county board Aug. 4 he expects child out-of-home placement costs to run $2,157,304 this year or $750,000 more than the county budget anticipated. Administrator Robert Yochum said the county share of that excess amount likely will be $600,000.
WALKER - County Engineer David Enblom reported to the county board he has been working with the city of Walker on a city project to replace sanitary and storm sewer lines under Fourth and Fifth Streets and Michigan Avenue and to repave both in 2016. Fifth Street is a municipal state aid highway, so would be a county project. The county also plans to pave its gravel south parking lot across the street from the courthouse in 2016. Walker is working on a storm water retention plan in connection with this sewer and paving project.
WALKER - Cass County Environmental Services Department issued 20 more land use permits for new buildings, additions and private sewer systems the second quarter this year than in 2014, ESD Director John Ringle reported to the county board Tuesday. This continues the first quarter trend when 53 more permits were issued in 2015 than 2014. Overall the first half of 2015, ESD issued 747 zoning permits, up from 509 in 2014. "We have not experienced activity levels like this since 2007," Ringle said, adding, "We believe the early spring and relatively dry start to the summer have improved buildin
LONGVILLE - Minnesota State Demographer's Office thinks Cass County's population rose between 2010 and 2014 by a net gain of only three people. The demographer's office shows the 2014 estimated population at 28,570. The report shows a slight overall decline in population in four of the county's five commissioner districts, with only the southern most district showing a 133-person increase to offset declines elsewhere. Sylvan Township gained 106 people. The city of Lake Shore gained 29 people and Fairview Township, seven. Pillager lost two people.
LONGVILLE - Cass County will receive $547,616 federal payment in lieu of taxes this year, down slightly from the $591,996 payment in 2014, but higher than payments in 2013 and 2012. The county will retain $383,332 of that and pay $164,284 of the PILT to townships lying within the Chippewa National Forest. Those townships are north of a line running east and west across the county about three miles south of Leech Lake.
LONGVILLE - Cass County's investment in new, high-priced communications equipment in the last two years, coupled with emergency service training paid off during the July 12 Brainerd area storm event, Sheriff Tom Burch told the county board Tuesday night. The commissioners were holding their regular second meeting of the month Tuesday at Longville Fire Department. Pillager radio tower went out of service for a while, but other towers picked up the calls that would have gone through that tower, Burch said.