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Cass County Board: Commissioners approve another emergency declaration in wake of damaging storms

About $240,000 in damage was caused to Cass County infrastructure from the June 20 and June 23-25 storms.

Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Brainerd Dispatch
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WALKER — For the third time this spring, the Cass County Board has been asked to approve an emergency declaration for severe storm damage within the county.

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Chad Emery, emergency management coordinator, provided commissioners with information and pictures concerning the June 20 and June 23-25 severe storms at the Tuesday, July 5, regular meeting.

Emery said drone photos taken of the storm were submitted to the National Weather Service in Duluth to assess the localized damage.

About $240,000 in damages to Cass County infrastructure was determined from the June 20 and June 23-25 storms, Emery said. Two emergency declarations qualified for federal assistance but this latest storm will probably only qualify at the state level, Emery added.

Commissioner Jeff Peterson motioned to adopt a resolution declaring an emergency declaration for the storms, with Commissioner Rick Haaland seconding the motion. The resolution was approved unanimously.

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Renee Lukkason with Health, Human and Veteran Services presented the 2022 County Health Rankings report to the commissioners, where Cass County ranked 85 out of 87 counties for health outcomes, which is a better ranking than last year. Cass County is ranked 84th for health factors. Lukkason said the rankings are determined for both health outcomes and health factors. Health outcomes are determined by length of life, which ranked 85, and quality of life, which ranked 79. The individual health factors and rankings are 35th for physical environment, 85th for social and economic factors, 80th for clinical care and 82nd for health behaviors. A couple of factors that reflect negatively on the county is access to food and no hospital in Cass County, Lukkason said.

Land Commissioner Mark Gossman presented the 2022 land sale activity as of June 20. Nineteen parcels totaling 118.66 acres were purchased for $534,800. Four of the parcels were sold over the counter for $64,000, and the remaining 15 parcels were sold at the public land auction June 11. Gossman said tax-forfeited property inventory is down with 188 acres being up for sale in 2023, however, that number could change if property owners are able to pay their back taxes, he said.

In other business, the county board:

Heard a report from a recent budget committee meeting regarding workforce housing within Cass County.

Heard an update concerning the primary election, with over 240 election judges, head judges and clerks receiving in-person training during the week of June 13.

The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting 6 p.m. July 19 at Birch Lake Township, 3611 40th Ave. NW, Hackensack; and commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. Aug. 2 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker.

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