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Cass County Board: Permit activity continues to climb in Cass County

However, total permit revenue is down 9.31% over the previous year.

Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Brainerd Dispatch
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WALKER — Overall permit activity for 2022 continues to slightly increase over the near-record year of 2021, county officials reported at the Tuesday, Nov. 1, meeting of the Cass County Board.

Although permit activity is up 2.4% over 2021, Environmental Services Department Director Jeff Woodford said total permit revenue is down 9.31% over the previous year. Woodford said he believed the decrease is due to a later spring start and fewer large-scale homes, additions and septic systems installed and more accessory structures and smaller additions permitted.

Due to this decrease in revenue the department plans to have the Environmental Service Department’s Growth Solutions Committee discuss and potentially propose an increase to fees for 2023, which will be considered during a Dec. 8 public hearing for the 2023 budget.

Woodford also said solid waste volumes continue to be at record levels. A total of 15,328.72 tons of garbage was collected through September versus 14,423.82 tons during 2021, which is a 6.27% increase. Recycled material has also shown a 1% increase during the first three quarters, from 2314.4 to 2337.44 tons.

Lt. Chris Thompson discussed the annual jail inspection report with the board. Thompson said there were a total of 10 mandatory non-compliances. Out of those 10, two were non-compliances with concerns. However, Thompson said, the jail is expected to have a 100% compliance rating and after the inspection had a 93.6% rating. Some of the compliance issues are minor issues requiring signatures or the needing of a written policy documented, he added.

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In other business, the county board:

Heard a report from the Growth Solutions Committee and approved the recommendation of having Tessia Melvin with DDA Human Resources Inc. change the grade rating for the position of Environmental Service Department deputy director to county planner.

Approved a memorandum of understanding between the counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Itasca and St. Louis to plan and implement protection and restoration efforts for the Mississippi River-Grand Rapids Watershed.

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The net income margin for the ambulance service is negative 2.9%, with the goal net margin being positive 10%.
The committee’s recommendation is based on cost increases in 2023 for labor contract negotiations, gas and diesel fuel costs and utility costs.
On Election Day Nov. 8 absentee voters will place their ballots in a ballot box where election judges will collect them and place them into the larger ballot tabulator.

Approved the updated guide to requesting information from Cass County and the inventory of non-public data on individuals, and the allowance to post on the Cass County website.

Approved the final payment for a contract which included pavement messages applied to county roads at railroad tracks and stop locations throughout all of Cass County on paved roadways. The total contract cost was $98,599.11.

Approved the final payment for a contract, which included resurfacing County Highway 1 from Pine River to the east county line. It also included a safety improvement at the intersection of county highways 1 and 44 with the construction of a new roundabout. The total contract cost was $1,789,821.43.

The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Nov. 15 at the Land Department Meeting Room in Backus; joint meeting with the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe, 10 a.m. Nov. 28 at Northern Lights Casino, 6800 Y Frontage Road NW, Walker; AMC Annual Conference Dec. 5-7 at DoubleTree Hotel Bloomington-Minneapolis South, 7800 Normandale Blvd., Minneapolis; and commissioner’s board meeting 3 p.m. Dec. 8 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker, along with the 6 p.m. 2023 Cass County fee schedule, budget and property tax levy consideration.

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