BACKUS—Jason J. Kuboushek presented a "Land Use and Public Hearing Training" for the Cass County Planning Commission and county board Tuesday, Jan. 15, following the regular county board meeting. It was a close look at state laws governing public hearings, the open meeting law on government meetings, zoning variances, record keeping, conflicts of interest and court decisions, which have impacted how those laws are interpreted.
BACKUS—The Leech Lake River One Watershed One Plan likely will be ready for Cass County Board approval by the end of this summer. This plan is the first of three multi-county water plans, which if approved will replace the county's water plan for a specific watershed. The plans are designed to cover each whole watershed and cross county boundary lines. Kelly Condiff, Cass County environmental services technician, discussed the plan with the county board Tuesday, Jan. 15. The Leech Lake River plan covers about 8,450 acres in Cass and Hubbard counties.
WALKER—Environmental Services Director John Ringle obtained county board approval Wednesday, Jan. 2, to purchase seven iPads for the seven planning commission members. This $2,610.37 purchase will enable the planning commission to access information about variance and conditional use applications for each meeting electronically rather than as a paper packet of information, Ringle said. Environmental services spent $5,900 in 2017 and $6,743 in 2018 to mail packets to
WALKER—Cass County commissioners selected Scott Bruns to serve as 2019 board chair and Neal Gaalswyk as vice-chair at their Wednesday, Jan. 2, meeting in Walker.
Two of the four local governments the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs recognized at a Dec. 13 ceremony for 2018 top innovation and collaboration are from central Minnesota. Leech Lake Reservation and Morrison County were those recipients. Morrison County will receive a $5,000 grant and Leech Lake Reservation, a $10,000 grant to further their initiatives.
WALKER—Chad Emery, Cass County emergency services director, obtained county board approval Tuesday, Dec. 18, for an updated county emergency operations plan. The plan names people who will assume an order of command to respond to disasters and emergency situations such as wildfires, severe winter storms, multiple casualty events, floods, hazardous materials events, civil disturbances, national security/terrorism or pandemic flu events.
WALKER—Cass County received a Minnesota Department of Transportation grant enabling the county to install a new box culvert bridge over a tributary to Home Brook in Homebrook Township in 2019. The grant will pay $199,640 of the new bridge cost on County Road 107. The county will use $29,940 of its state aid funds to complete the project. County Engineer Darrick Anderson said the bridge is in an area where there have been repeated washouts. It will include two box culverts under the road, he said.
WALKER—State Sen. Justin Eichorn and Rep. John Poston met with Cass County commissioners during the Tuesday, Dec. 18 county board meeting to exchange views about the upcoming state legislative session. Sen. Sandy Layman and Rep. John Persell were also invited, but each had conflicts with family matters. Poston told the commissioners he sees producing a state budget, making state law conform to federal tax laws and mental health as the top issues facing the Legislature this session.
WALKER—Theresa Eclov, Faith in Action director, met with the county board Tuesday, Dec. 18, to let the commissioners know about the growing need for volunteers and donations. There is growing demand for that organization's services, she said. Faith in Action is a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving all of Cass County. It began in 2001. Trained volunteers who have passed background checks provide non-medical services to people of any age or income level. Most service users are older or disabled.
WALKER—Cass County Board voted Tuesday, Dec. 18, to adopt the 2019 county levy at 1.023 percent more than the 2018 levy or $22,027,913. That is $223,053 more dollars. Cass' 30.918 tax rate remains the lowest among area counties. The board set the Longville Ambulance Service District's levy at $503,000 and the Unorganized Township levy at $245,000. Both remain the same as 2018. Cass' 2019 budget approved Tuesday anticipates the county will receive a total from the levy and other funding sources of $59,449,100 and will spend a total of $59,197,058.