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Cass County Board: Commissioners adopt buffer ordinance in line with state laws

Cass County courthouse, Walker, MN. File photo

WALKER—Cass County Board adopted a county buffer ordinance Tuesday to meet the newer state laws requiring a vegetative buffer between cultivated farm fields and waterways.

For this county, it definitely is not the issue it has been for some southern Minnesota farmers.

Not only did no one come to Cass's public hearing on the new ordinance, but also Environmental Services Director John Ringle said he does not believe anyone in the county has failed to comply with the ordinance before it was adopted.

In other county business:

The commissioners continued a second public hearing Tuesday until the next board meeting, Jan. 16, at the land department building in Backus, on amendments to the land reclassification section of the land use ordinance. They asked for wording clarification in one section before the next meeting.

The board set a public hearing for 9 a.m. Feb. 6 at the courthouse in Walker in response to a request from landowners who seek to have Pine Lake Township take ownership of a road currently not being maintained by any government agency. It is identified as Plantain Trail.

The county board will hear the issue during that meeting if they receive a petition from at least five landowners. Former Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie has given his opinion the court ultimately will decide whether Pine Lake Township must upgrade and maintain the road as a town road.

In information provided to the commissioners Tuesday, the road is described as a cartway that has been dedicated to the public.

Cass officials interviewed nine of the 11 applicants for assistant county attorney before selecting Jessica Marie Plotz to fill the vacancy created when Ben Lindstrom was appointed county attorney.

Plotz graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2011 and received her law degree from Hamline University in 2015.

Plotz completed five internships in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Anoka County between 2011 and 2013. She worked briefly in the Ramsey County Attorney's office before becoming a law clerk the last two years for Fourth Judicial District Judge Kathryn L. Quaintance in Hennepin County.

She will start as assistant county attorney in Cass County Jan. 16.

The commissioners approved the sheriff's department's Cass County Emergency Plan, which outlines the response from multiple agencies and the community in the event of emergencies or disasters.

They accepted a $100 donation from Margaret M. Brown for the sheriff's K-9 Yankee, a $200 donation from Boy River American Legion and an anonymous $11 donation for the Veterans Transportation Program and 20 Super One Foods gift cards worth $50 each from Walker American Legion for local veterans in need.