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.
WALKER — Cass County Board voted Tuesday to form a partnership with Leech Lake Reservation and the city of Cass Lake to seek federal Environmental Protection Agency money to do a Countywide Brownfields Assessment. Levi Brown, Leech Lake land and environmental director, explained to the board that Superfund sites are those where pollution is caused by a known responsible party, while a Brownfields is usually a smaller site where the responsible polluter is unknown. He said Leech Lake Band has been trying to apply for a Brownfields assessment grant, but has not been successful, because t
WALKER - Only one property owner came to the Cass County Board 2015 budget and levy public hearing Tuesday evening, but that person had a question about their property valuation and not the budget or levy. The meeting opened at 6 p.m. and adjourned at 6:05 p.m.
WALKER - Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District's (SWCD) first-year effort to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) from lake to lake began with monitoring accesses to 22 lakes this summer. Environmental Services (ESD) Director John Ringle told the county board Tuesday he expects the inspection program to expand to additional lakes in 2015 if there are sufficient people willing to train to inspect and willing to devote time to doing inspections. Inspectors identify any invasive species attached to boats and trailers before letting them enter or leave a lake.
WALKER - Financial assistance supervisors Wanda Reed and Sarah Smythe informed the Cass County Board Tuesday the public has made good use of the county's outreach offices in Backus and Cass Lake. One adult services and one family services worker now staff each of these outreach offices rather than working from the main office in Walker, they explained.
WALKER - State Sen. Tom Saxhaug and Reps. Tom Anzelc and John Persell discussed upcoming legislative issues with Cass County commissioners at the regular county board meeting Tuesday. All three, who represent portions of Cass County, are DFL lawmakers. Saxhaug said he has been meeting since August with a bipartisan rural Minnesota group of legislators who want to address economic development issues.
BACKUS - Cass County Board Tuesday added county personnel director to Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson's duties. In his role as personnel director, Stevenson will be paid at Grade 43, comparable to the county's chief financial officer, which will have the effect of giving him a 3 percent pay raise. While the county personnel and insurance committees will continue to be involved in some personnel issues and Administrator Robert Yochum will continue to be involved in some day-to-day personnel issues, Stevenson's new assignment will focus directly on overseeing the county's expected transitio
BACKUS - Cass County Board voted Tuesday to contribute $30,000 toward completing a geologic atlas of the county. The money will come from environmental services and land department funds and a $5,000 contribution from Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District. Minnesota Geological Survey already has contributed $70,000 toward the project of an anticipated $350,000 to $400,000 total for Part 1, which will identify aggregate resources (gravel deposits) in the county. Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson informed the board this will help the land department identify tax forfeited properti
BACKUS - Assessor Mark Peterson reported Cass County foreclosures dropped significantly in the third quarter this year. In 2013, there were 31 third quarter foreclosures. That dropped to 21 this year, with the largest decline shown in non-homesteaded residential properties (vacation homes). The highest number continues to be for lower valued properties. The third quarter this year there were 11 foreclosures valued $100,000 or less.