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
WALKER - Cass County Probation Director Jim Schneider called the recidivism rate for teenagers assigned to Northwest Minnesota Juvenile Center (NMJC) "a challenge needing to be addressed." He cited the 2014 annual report from NMJC showing 758 teen admissions, with 458 of those being re-admissions. Michele Piprude, social services manager, reported on the county's screening team, a multi-department group who screens children needing placement outside their own home before entering placement.
WALKER - Cass County Board selected low bidder of six, Tri-City Paving, to reconstruct about four blocks of municipal state aid streets in Pine River for $893,285 this summer. This approval is contingent on the city of Pine River also approving the contract winner.
BACKUS - Cass County Board approved the last of labor agreements Tuesday to cover Cass's employees through Dec. 31, 2016. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees bargaining unit for health, human and veterans services have approved the agreement. Like agreements approved earlier this year, it calls for 2.5 percent raises in 2015 and 2016, plus a mid-year step increase that will be about 3 percent. People who have worked for the county 10 years and reached top step will receive, instead of the step increase, a lump sum longevity payment in December.
BACKUS - Frank Sherf, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, presented five alcohol breath testing devices to Cass County Sheriff's Department at Tuesday's county board meeting. The presentation is in recognition of Cass Sheriff's Department being one of eight agencies statewide to be recognized as an outstanding agency in implementing the Toward Zero Deaths enforcement program in the fourth quarter. Sherf said the state's high for traffic deaths in a year is 655.
BACKUS - It looks like it is more cost effective to pave roads than to repeatedly re-gravel and apply chloride to gravel surfaced roads, County Engineer David Enblom told the county board Tuesday. For this reason, Enblom said he plans to prepare a proposed paving plan for additional roads to implement when the up-front money to pave more roads is available. He said he would like to be able to begin more paving while oil prices are down. He said he has done some rough calculation.
BACKUS - Veterans services and Longville Ambulance Service presented their annual reports to Cass County commissioners Tuesday. Veterans Services Officer Jeff Woodford said the number of veterans coming to the Backus office and satellite offices in Cass Lake, Remer and Pillager rose significantly in 2014, though about seven fewer vets visited the office in Walker. The veterans transportation program, where vets can get rides to medical appointments, continues to be a popular service.
WALKER — Probation Director Jim Schneider obtained Cass County Board approval Tuesday to apply for a MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge Grant. If this grant for up to $150,000 is approved to permit the county to plan how to keep fewer people in jail, then the county could apply for another grant to implement the plan. Schneider said nearly 75 percent of pretrial and sentenced people here are in jail for non-violent crimes such as traffic, property, drug or public order offenses.
WALKER - Townships will have to provide a building with a modern electrical system, heated to at least 55 degrees and free of mice, skunks and other creatures if they want to continue to use county voting equipment for elections. Towns also must show they consistently can recruit a sufficient number of election judges and alternates to continue have an in-person voting precinct at their town hall. Cass County Board adopted these requirements Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson recommended as part of her report to the board Tuesday about the pending purchase of new voting machines. A state gra