WALKER — "Other people are asking how we reached an agreement that works," Leech Lake Reservation Chair Carri Jones told the Cass County Board Friday at a meeting of the two governing bodies. The board met at Northern Lights Event Center by Walker with the tribal council for the first time since the two bodies signed a memorandum of understanding a year ago to formalize the cooperation that has been increasing between the Leech Lake and the county. "It shows everyone in this room cares about people," Tribal Councilor Penny DeVault said. "The willingness to share money shows the high l
BACKUS - Kevin Dahlman, assistant land commissioner, presented that department's annual report to the county board Tuesday. Cass commissioners set a no-net-loss policy several years ago concerning the amount of land the county manages.
BACKUS - Four family centers in Cass County reported Tuesday to the county board about the programs they offered and supported in 2014. Pillager Family Center has operated for over 21 years, according to Betty Doss, director. They help parents with young children learn about growing stages and to improve their parenting skills. They offer a community playground; fax, telephone and copying services; and information and referral services. Pillager food shelf served 239 unduplicated adults and 153 unduplicated children in 2014.
BACKUS - Methamphetamine, heroine and prescription drug abuse are on the rise statewide, Victor Moen told the Cass County Board Tuesday. Moen is the northeast district supervisor for Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC), a nine-county area that covers from Morrison County to the Arrowhead. Methamphetamine use dropped for a while after Minnesota made it harder to purchase some over-the-counter drugs to manufacture it locally, Moen said.
BACKUS - Assistant County Engineer Kris Lyytinen obtained Cass County Board approval Tuesday to begin implementing his revised program to replace satellite county highway garages. Since the county's newest garages at Hackensack and Pillager likely will not be replaced for about 15 years, only office space at those garages and more storage at Pillager will be added now. Floor repairs will be done to both existing garages. The Cass Lake garage will be the first to be replaced this summer at an estimated cost of about $339,915.
BACKUS - Assessor Mark Peterson informed the Cass County Board Tuesday the county's overall property valuation rose about a half a percent this year to $6,095,125,500. The $43,495,100 in new construction was the primary difference. Cass's value had been as high as $6,873,379,600 in 2008, before dropping to $5,947,675,900 in 2013. New construction had peaked in 2007 at over $120,000,000. Countywide, most existing properties held steady or saw a slight decline. The only exception was agricultural land southwest of Pine River.
BACKUS - State proposals for child protection could have a huge impact on the process for responding to child abuse accusations and on the cost to counties. Michele Piprude, Cass County social services manager, and Director Rene Wells explained the changes coming from the Governor's Task Force on the Protection of Children. It could swing the pendulum 180 degrees if the Legislature adopts all the proposed changes, they said. In the last 20 years, social workers have focused efforts on providing enough support to families with the goal to keep families intact.
BACKUS - Col. Scott St. Sauver, Camp Ripley commander, described Tuesday for Cass County commissioners activities planned this year at the camp. The military site lies immediately south and west of Cass and Crow Wing Counties. Its 2014 annual expenditures ran $146,314,803, St. Sauver reported.
WALKER - Cass County will hold a public auction of selected tax forfeited land at 9 a.m. June 27 at the courthouse in Walker. Parcels to be sold range from city lots to 80 acre tracts. A list of the parcels will be posted on the county web page, www.co.cass.mn.us , after May 15. Minimum bids must be at least appraised value. Those values will be listed with the parcel description.
WALKER - Sheriff Tom Burch presented his annual report to the county board Tuesday. Burch and Chief Deputy Erick Hoglund head a staff comprised of one administrative assistant, two lieutenants, four sergeants, four investigators, 21 patrol deputies, three recreational deputies, one civil process deputy, one welfare fraud deputy, one jail program coordinator, 12 correction officers, two transport officers, one sentence to serve crew leader, two bailiffs, one chief dispatcher, 10 dispatchers, an emergency management director, a records coordinator and three support staff. The county board appr