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Cass County Board: Area 4-H retention rates increase 30% over 5 years

This year's Cass County Fair saw an increase in participation, with 53 4-H youth and three 4-H clubs exhibiting with a total of 458 entries. Out of those entries 33 of them advanced to Minnesota 4-H regional and state events.

Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Brainerd Dispatch
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BOY RIVER — The Cass County Board of Commissioners’ final “road show” of the summer rolled into Boy River Tuesday, Sept. 20.

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WALKER — Cass County commissioners approved a preliminary tax levy increase of 5.06% above the 2022 levy at the Tuesday, Sept. 6, County Board meeting, which was lower than the department head-requested 6.97% increase.

The board heard from Brooke Remer, 4-H extension educator, who discussed the results of the 2022 Cass County Fair and the future of the 4-H program in Cass County.

BOY RIVER — The Cass County Board of Commissioners’ final “road show” of the summer rolled into Boy River Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The board heard from Brooke Remer, 4-H extension educator, who discussed the results of the 2022 Cass County Fair and the future of the 4-H program in Cass County.

This year's fair saw an increase in participation, with 53 4-H youth and three 4-H clubs exhibiting with a total of 458 entries. Out of those entries 33 of them advanced to Minnesota 4-H regional and state events.

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Remer also said that retention rates over the past five years have increased from around 50% to 80% of area kids continuing with 4-H until they age out at 18 years old. Remer said she is beginning to revive the after-school programs with area schools, particularly the schools in the northern half of Cass County due to the southern half already having a strong program. Remer is currently working with Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. After that program gets established, she then plans on reaching out to Northland Community School and Cass-Lake Bena.

County Administrator Josh Stevenson requested the board approve a contract with Jackson & Associates LLC for $132,000 to replace the flat roofs at Deep Portage main lodge. Stevenson mentioned that during the replacement of the pitched roof, it was discovered that the flat roof was leaking into the kitchen area. The funds to replace this will come from insurance proceeds and the money that was saved during the pitched roof project. The board approved the contract to replace the flat roof, which was noted that now the entire roof will have been replaced.

Stevenson also discussed in detail the expenses of the Deep Portage roof repair activity. The acceptance of proceeds from MCIT insurance in the amount of $124,408.21 and paying $10,428.80 to Real Solar and $15,800 for Mark Beard, independent contractor for Cass County that works on capital projects, was also approved after discussion on two invoices in different amounts received from Beard. One invoice was in the amount of $15,800, which was for the actual hours he worked at the approved rate. The other invoice received was in the amount of $34,300, which included the actual hours at a higher rate due to the fact that he was overseeing 30 plus workers during the project when he had only expected to oversee about half of that. The board approved to pay the lower amount because that is the rate previously agreed upon.

In other business, the county board:

Held a public hearing concerning the second reading of an ordinance to enact golf cart usage on city and county roads within Lake Shore. With no public comment made the hearing was closed and the board approved the ordinance.

Approved adopting a resolution entering into a joint powers agreement with Port Authority of the City of Saint Paul acting as proposed administrator of Property Access Clean Energy for Cass County.

The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Oct. 4 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker; Cass County Association of Townships Fall Conference, 8 a.m. Oct. 6 at Bear Pause Theater or via ZOOM meeting; and commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Land Department Meeting Room in Backus.

What to read next
National 4-H Week is being celebrated locally and nationally this week, Oct. 2-8.
Calendar of events at The Center in Brainerd.
A listing of area meetings and events in the Brainerd lakes area.
Area listings of agendas