WALKER-Cass County issued 224 land use zoning permits the first quarter of 2019 for new private sewers and new building construction, up from 212 in 2018.

Ten variances were approved this year, up from seven a year ago. No conditional use permits were issued the first quarter this year, but six were last year. Shoreland alteration permits dropped from 23 issued in 2018 to 19 issued this year.

One minor subdivision was filed, but no plats so far this year.

The largest number of land use zoning permits again was issued in Woodrow Township, between Hackensack and Longville at 24, followed by 17 in Sylvan in southern Cass, 13 in Shingobee by Walker and 11 each in Wabedo by Longville and Crooked Lake by Outing.

In other business Tuesday, May 7, the Cass County Board:

Approved a land reclassification for 40 acres from Agricultural/Forested to Rural Residential 10 for Roger Siltman in Wilson Township. The planning commission approved the change earlier.

Referred to the planning commission a request from Brian Erdmann to reclassify 18.44 acres in Beulah Township from Agricultural/Forested to Rural Residential 2.5 and a request from Kirk Smith to reclassify 12.1 acres in Crooked Lake Township from Shoreland Residential to Commercial. Smith also seeks a conditional use permit for boat storage.

Approved a letter of support for Crow Wing County's application on behalf of Leech Lake River Watershed and Pine River Watershed to Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council for $4.2 million in Reinvest in Minnesota funds to enable purchasing conservation easements from willing landowners to protect both watersheds.

This is a partnership between Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties and their soil and water conservation districts.

Approved a letter of support for Northern Waters Lake Trust's application to Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council for a grant to purchase a 116 acre parcel on Wabedo Lake abutting 1,800 acres of other public land. If the grant is approved, Cass County would provide a $37,500 or 5 percent match.

Learned from Land Commissioner Kirk Titus the county sold 7,275 cords of timber from county administered land for $218,568 at an April 25 auction. All eight tracts offered were sold.

Average sale price for the 3,876 cords of aspen was $36.87. The 29,300 board feet of red pine saw timber sold for $110.57 per thousand board feet. Most other tree species sold between $20 and $25 per cord.

Awarded a contract to low bidder Mike's Sand and Gravel to repair the Deerfield Trail for $106.

Learned the Minnesota Department of Corrections grant to help pay part of the cost for electronic home monitoring for low income people will be $8,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Learned from Commissioners Neal Gaalswyk and Bob Kangas, who serve as the board's solid waste committee, that KRD, the current operator of the county solid waste transfer station, is reviewing the terms of its contract with the county and will submit any changes the firm would like to see.

That contract originally was approved with Stockman Transfer before KRD purchased the business from Stockman last year. KRD has paid the $46,183 due for repairs recently made to the facility.

The solid waste committee advised the board KRD apparently was unaware of some details in the contract when they purchased the business.

Among the property tax abatements the county board approved Tuesday were three court ordered ones for power companies' 2019 taxes.

These resulted from challenges the utilities made to values set on their properties by the state, which now result in lower taxes being paid to local governments than those governments expected when they set their budgets.

Allete now will pay $3,132 less for taxes due this year they would have if they had not challenged the value on two parcels they own.

Minnkota Power will pay $284 less after its challenge.

Accepted a $44,365 grant from Minnesota Department of Corrections to help pay a probation officer salary and benefits for the county probation department.

Accepted an $80,000 grant from Minnesota Department of Human Services to pay for welfare fraud prevention in Cass, Hubbard, Todd and Wadena counties.

Accepted a $500 donation from Hackensack American Legion for the veterans transportation program.

Approved paying Kitchigami Library $186,855 for the first half of the county's 2019 contribution to support the library system.

Referred to the budget committee Mississippi Headwaters Board's request for $1,500 funding in 2020.