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Cass County Board: Population growth not as projected

CASS LAKE--In the 1990s, the state demographer predicted Cass County would have about a 20 percent population growth annually by now. The estimated population increase that office actually saw from 2010 to 2015 was only one-half of 1 percent or 1...

CASS LAKE-In the 1990s, the state demographer predicted Cass County would have about a 20 percent population growth annually by now.

The estimated population increase that office actually saw from 2010 to 2015 was only one-half of 1 percent or 151 people.

Administrator Robert Yochum told the county board at Tuesday's meeting at Pike Bay Town Hall that most growth now is occurring in the metropolitan area around Minneapolis and St. Paul, with little out state growth occurring, even in the lake country areas.

Cass County has seen a drop in the number of people per household between 2010 and 2015, though the number of households is up 1 percent.

The county board postponed a continuation of the public hearing on zoning ordinance changes to the 9 a.m. board meeting at the land department in Backus, because the planning commission did not meet to review the changes July 11 as expected. The planning commission will hold its review July 25.

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Cass cannot make its new connections to the Walker city sewer and water improvements until the state approves its plumbing plan. That approval could take up to another three weeks, Central Services Director Tim Richardson reported.

The plumbing work is holding up the county's plan to replace the apron and sidewalk by the county's garage for bringing prisoners into the jail.

Richardson said additional brick replacement on the outside wall between the two garage stalls will be required, because salt contributed degraded the brick. The brick will have to be replaced, he said.

He obtained board approval for a maintenance agreement with Motorola to service the 800MHz radio system another year for $55,819.60 or 1.5 percent more than the prior year.

It covers preventive maintenance and response to problems with the county's emergency radio system and towers.

The commissioners approved agreements for the county to accept $100,000 from the National Joint Powers Alliance to participate in a regional branding project to seek a larger workforce and more businesses for this area. The agreements also designate Cass County Economic Development Corporation to manage the county's participation in this project.

Minnesota Department of Corrections oversees probation for adult convicted felony offenders in Cass County.

Tuesday, Victor Moen, District supervisor, reported to the county board the number of adult felony offenders increased in Cass from 439 to 483 between 2014 and 2015. Some of these people had multiple cases against them, he said.

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Despite the rise, the number of felony offenders who committed a new felony offense within three years after leaving probation in the county was 21 percent , compared with the statewide average of 29 percent.

He said drug use is a major factor in felony offenses. Of those on probation for the top five felonies, 199 were for drug offenses, followed by 45 for assault, 38 for DWI, 33 for theft and 25 for criminal sexual conduct.

Mary Hoglund, who has been a felony probation officer with the corrections department over 30 years, announced she plans to retire by year end.

The county board authorized Sheriff Tom Burch to accept a donation of $850 from Sylvan Township for the Lakes Area Dive Team and $50 from Outing Volunteer Library for having Sentence to Service crews help set up their book sale.

Cass County earned $576,165.87 interest on investments the first half of this year or 9 percent more than the budget anticipated. This is also more than the $471,758.93 earned in the same period last year.

Related Topics: CASS COUNTY BOARD
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