BACKUS - Cass County Board voted Tuesday to hire attorney Paul Reuvers to represent Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch in a pending lawsuit. The sheriff and a private property owner are being sued, because the buyer of the property owner's land has been unable to record the land sale due to insufficient documentation about the land ownership, according to Cass Chief Financial Officer Larry Wolfe. The sheriff has been involved in the dispute, because the sheriff is the person scheduled separately to conduct a tax forfeiture sale of the property Jan. 23. The property has a Torrens title.
BACKUS - County Engineer David Enblom obtained county board approval Tuesday to make a new agreement with the city of Longville to bid the city's sanitary sewer project at the same time as a county highway project there for work this summer. The county and city had tried to do a cooperative project last year, but bids far exceeded estimates and the city and county declined to accept any of those bids. Enblom expressed optimism that results could be better this year with oil prices down. He reported Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) plans to replace a bridge in Longville adjacen
BACKUS - Cass County Board approved contracts with two union bargaining units Tuesday, granting 2.5 percent base raises Jan. 1, 2015, and again Jan.
BACKUS - It has taken eight years for the number of Cass County property foreclosures to drop back to a more normal level after hitting a peak nearly three times as high in 2010. Assessor Mark Peterson reported the county had 61 foreclosures in 2014, falling slightly lower than the 65 recorded in 2006. In between, the number nearly doubled in 2007 to 113, hit a peak of 167 in 2010 before gradually tapering back down. In the fourth quarter of 2014, there were only 12 foreclosures. All were valued under $400,000, with three-fourths valued under $200,000. Eight were homesteaded properties.
BACKUS — Cass County commissioners Tuesday reaffirmed their policy to permit people to demonstrate in behalf of a cause on the courthouse lawn as long as demonstrators do not interfere with people doing business at the courthouse or become unruly. Demonstrators also are not permitted to pound stakes in the lawn, post free-standing signs or drive vehicles or trailers on the lawn.
WALKER - Cass County Board approved final payment for 2014 road rebuilding and paving on County Road 143 and a recreational trail along County State Aid Highway 75 near Cass Lake. That project ran $18,000 under bid price. The board approved final payment for Highway 371 widening and work on Phase 5 of the Shingobee Connection Trail from Paul Bunyan Trail to Walker.
WALKER - Craig Nathan, field operations director for Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program (CEP), explained the work programs CEP offers as Cass County commissioners renewed their contract for services with CEP Tuesday. CEP provided counseling, training services and assistance to people working toward exiting welfare financial assistance. Nathan said he looks at each client's strengths when he begins helping them seek the right training that will help them find a high enough paying job to support their family. Clients in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) can particip
WALKER — Judge David Harrington swore into office Tuesday newly elected Cass County Commissioner Scott Bruns, who replaced retired commissioner Jim Dowson. Also taking their oath of office were re-elected officials County Attorney Christopher Strandlie, Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk and Recorder Kathryn "Katie" Norby. The county board convened its first meeting of 2015 by electing Neal Gaalswyk chair and Jeff Peterson vice chair. The board accepted the lowest bid of three from Walker Pilot-Independent for publishing all county legal notices except the second financial statement.
WALKER — Commissioner Jim Dowson retired from the Cass County Board Tuesday. He attended the last scheduled meeting of 2014. His fellow commissioners and the Leech Lake Reservation recognized him for 47 years of service to the county in a variety of roles. Dowson came to Cass County in 1967 as a young sheriff's deputy. He rose through the ranks in that department until he became chief deputy under then-sheriff Louis Chalich. Chalich retired in 1986.
WALKER - Prahm Construction was the lowest of eight bidders to win the contract Tuesday to install a new bridge on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1 over Stony Brook about 1.5 miles east of CSAH 24. The project will cost $422,602 or 3.35 percent higher than the engineering estimate. Other bids ran as high as 44.49 percent over the estimate. County Engineer David Enblom said he was surprised by high number of bidders.