Cass County Board: Planning and zoning activity slightly slower in 2022 in Cass County

The number of zoning permits issued, however, showed a slight increase over 2021.

Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Cass County Courthouse in Walker.
Tim Speier / Brainerd Dispatch

BACKUS — With most people back to normal work habits, the Cass County Planning and Zoning Department has had a decrease in activity across the board except for zoning permits.

Zoning permits, Environmental Services Department director Jeff Woodford told the Cass County Board at its Tuesday, March 21, meeting, showed a slight increase over 2021.

Though there was an overall decrease of 43 permits from 2021, the planning and zoning department processed 241 more permits during 2022 than 2020, Woodford said, with a revenue increase of $33,479.70. The department had an increase of 101 zoning permits issued but issued 113 less shoreland alterations in 2022 than 2021. The department also had a decrease from 28 to 16 in reclassification applications, but it was still more than the department had in 2020, which was eight.

The majority of the increased activity was in the Woodrow, Sylvan, Shingobee, Crooked Lake, Fairview, Wabedo, Ponto Lake and Meadowbrook townships, which all had more than 60 permits issued.

Woodford said the department expects another season of increased construction activity for 2023.


Commissioner Jeff Peterson had requested the consent agenda item to approve a grant application to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in the amount of $4,950 to be utilized to purchase beetles to assist in stopping the spread of purple loosestrife infestation be moved to the regular agenda for further explanation. Peterson’s main question was what type of beetle was being purchased and whether it was one already found in most people's homes. Woodford said it is a different type of beetle, as the one that would assist in controlling purple loosestrife is a water beetle. He also said the beetles have been previously used on Town Line Lake in a collaborative attempt to control purple loosestrife with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, and showed some success. After the explanation and discussion the grant was approved by the board members.

In other business, the commissioners:

Approved the summer “road show” meeting schedule with the following dates and locations: May 16 at Otter Tail Peninsula Township, June 20 at Sylvan Township, July 18 at Homebrook Township, Aug. 15 at Crooked Lake Township and Sept. 19 at Pine Lake Township, with all meetings beginning at 6 p.m.

Adopted a resolution authorizing the county administrator to execute all necessary documents to ensure participation in the multistate settlements relating to opioid supply chain participants and in the amended Minnesota opioids state-subdivision memorandum of agreement.

Heard a report back from the ATV Ordinance Committee with no current recommendations to the board. The committee’s next step is to meet with local ATV and snowmobile clubs for input before meeting with local township boards.

Awarded a contract for aggregate surfacing on county state aid highways 25, 30 and 41 and county roads 106, 117 and 156 in the amount of $323,261.40 to Swenson Aggregates & Construction LLC

Awarded a contract in the amount of $793,618.25 to Knife River for the final phase of County Road 103 project in and East of Leader.

Approved the final payment to Anderson Brothers Construction Company in the amount of $4,111,391.01 for the contract consisting of the pavement replacement on county state aid highways 33 and 67 and County Road 106, as well as a mill and overlay on County State Aid Highway 32.


The next meetings are as follows: AMC Leadership Summit, noon March 29-31 at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa; commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. April 4 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker; and commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. April 18 at the Land Department meeting room in Backus.

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