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Cass County Board: Foreclosures continue to drop in Cass County

Assessor Mark Peterson reported Tuesday to the county board the number of property foreclosures in 2017 was 30. That was down from 37 in 2016 and half the number of properties foreclosed in 2014. Metro Creative Graphics, Inc.

WALKER — Assessor Mark Peterson reported Tuesday to the county board the number of property foreclosures in 2017 was 30.

That was down from 37 in 2016 and half the number of properties foreclosed in 2014.

Two were commercial properties. Twelve were homesteads. Sixteen were cabins. Five were located on lakes.

Two-thirds were valued under $100,000, but one was worth over $1 million.

Peterson also reported the number of arms-length property sales in 2017 finally is moving closer to pre-recession levels, with 1,110 sold.

In 2006, 1,250 properties sold, but sales declined to an annual low of 644 in 2011. The 2017 sales are up 95 from 2016.

In other county board action:

Minnesota Department of Human Services sent Cass County a letter recognizing the county for perfect performance on meeting that department's reporting requirements in 2017.

This means the county will qualify for the full amount of state and federal funding for its local collaborative time study, Minnesota Family Investment Program consolidated fund, client statistics, SEAGER, income maintenance expense, social services fund, Title IV-E and BRASS-based grant fiscal report.

To qualify, the county's health, human and veterans services financial division has to complete 32 reports within the state's timeline requirements.

Cass County has joined with many other counties ranging from Dakota in the south to Lake County in the north for their sheriffs' departments in a mutual aid program to transport each other's inmates between jails.

Under this program, a Cass sheriff's department employee who might be transporting a prisoner to Crow Wing or Morrison County might bring a Morrison inmate back to Crow Wing or Cass where that inmate might need to appear in court — or a Morrison deputy could transport a Cass inmate when he is traveling to Crow Wing County.

Administrator Joshua Stevenson said this will be a transportation cost savings for all counties involved.

Cass County sheriff's deputies will patrol the Chippewa National Forest from May 1 through Dec. 31 this year. They will be paid from a $10,150 U.S. Forest Service grant, to be billed as services are provided.

Undem Law Office donated $250 to the sheriff's chaplaincy initiative.

An anonymous donor donated $100 to the county veterans transportation program.

The county board approved a new agreement with Waste Management to continue accepting and processing the county's garbage and recyclables at their Elk River landfill.

Municipal solid waste and recyclables are collected at the county's facility north of Pine River, then transported to Elk River.

The commissioners approved a contract with HyTech Construction $8,351 to do wall repairs on one building and $37,290 for a second building at the county's garbage and recycling collection center north of Pine River.

KDR, the county's contract operator of the site, will pay for these repairs. HyTech's bid was the lower of two received.

Loggers paid at a Feb. 22 auction $75,141 to log timber from county managed land. They paid $32.67 per cord for aspen, $30.04 per cord for red oak and $19.80 for bur oak. All five tracts offered were sold.

Stonemark Land Surveying was low bidder to survey lines on county managed land at $15,800 in Crooked Lake Township and for $8,870 in Poplar Township, preliminary to future timber sales.

Northern Engineering will survey county property in Woodrow Township for $15,896. Nyberg Surveying will survey county property in Moose Lake Township for $5,558.

The commissioners approved a contract with Josh's Place to provide semi-independent living services for persons age 18 and older.

Commissioners accepted a $1,100 payment and waived the balance of a $2,203.96 claim for overpayment of Medical Assistance to one client who has been trying to pay off the balance she owes in $10 per month payments. The client is unemployed.