WALKER-Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson informed the Cass County Board Tuesday the market for the county's timber is getting pulled both up and down and has gone in new directions.
Some people were burning turkey droppings, mixed with wood chips. When bird flu hit the Minnesota turkey industry last spring, that cut off the turkey dropping supply for these burners.
So, Stevenson said, loggers cutting Cass timber sold their logs to companies shredding it to feed burners having no turkey droppings to burn. This was a totally new market, he said.
In the near future, a trade agreement with Canada will expire, he said. That leaves a potential for a flood of Canadian timber into the northern U.S. market and prices being driven down, he said.
For now, the county sold all nine tracts of timber offered at an Oct. 29 auction, with aspen prices at $29.92 per cord. The other two larger volume species sold were basswood, selling at $24.69 per cord, and oak, selling at $43.17 per cord.
Environmental Services Director John Ringle and the county board recognized Ron and Cheryl Brown for their service to the county as septic system inspectors. The Browns terminated their contract with the county to inspect new septic systems, because they plan to retire this winter to Arizona.
Ringle said his staff will inspect the remaining systems this fall and will advertise for a new contractor for 2016.
The board voted to extend a contract with Larry Overcash and D & L Management to manage the Walker-Hackensack garbage transfer station north of Hackensack another two years. The extension will increase the monthly management fee paid to Overcash from $850 per month to $950 per month.
October bills paid $46,750.76 for aquatic invasive species inspection wages, an AIS meeting and rain suits. That is paid from a state grant.
Cass County will receive a state Board of Water and Soil Resources $132,061 grant in the state fiscal year of mid-2016 to mid-2017 for local water management, wetland conservation, shoreland management, septic treatment system upgrades and incentives.
The board awarded a contract to low bidder Kurt Sawyer, not to exceed $7,900 for Deep Portage snowmobile trail improvements.
Sawyer also was low bidder to win a contract at $125 per hour, not to exceed $1,800, to remove garbage and building materials from a recently tax forfeited properties in Barclay, Byron and Trelipe Townships. He was the lowest of four bidders.
The commissioners awarded a contract to the lowest of nine bidders, Ulteig for $3,450, to appraise four land parcels the county plans to purchase with Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund money.
Villeneuve Demolition and Excavating was the lowest of five contractors at $4,850 to remove two underground storage tanks from a recently tax forfeited property in Ponto Lake Township.
American Disposal was lowest of five bidders to win a $2,695 contract to demolish a trailer house and dispose of garbage from a tax forfeited property at Bena.
Bieniek Abatement Services was lowest of five bidders at $2,400 to win a contract to dispose of regulated materials from a tax forfeited house at Cass Lake.
Storlie Construction won four demolition contacts from among five bidders. Subject to approval from Shingobee Township, they will demolish the old Shingobee garage for $4,700.
Storlie also will demolish two houses and sheds at Cass Lake for $5,300 and $3,000. They will demolish two trailer houses and clean garbage from an Oak Point property for $4,700.
The Oak Point disposal and Cass Lake regulated materials bids are subject to approval from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.