BACKUS—Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane Haugen presented to Cass County commissioners Tuesday, April 16, the 2019 Camp Ripley annual update on the Army National Guard facility's activities. Camp Ripley not only trains Army National Guard members for routine and deployment activities, but also serves as a training site for the Air Force Guard and Reserve flight and ground training programs.
BACKUS—Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane reported Tuesday, April 16, the Minnesota Department of Revenue negotiated settlements with energy companies in two tax court cases, which will cost Cass County more than $30,000.
WALKER—Probation Director Jim Schneider and Michele Piprude, Health, Human and Veterans Services director, reported to Cass County commissioners on the county's out-of-home placements Tuesday, April 2.
WALKER—The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe donated $30,000 toward the Leech Lake-Cass County Wellness Court operations, Cass County Board learned Tuesday, April 2. That specialized court has a high degree of success in helping repeat driving-while-intoxicated offenders overcome their alcohol addiction. The court, however, no longer has as many grants available for its operations as once was the case.
WALKER—Cass County's local option half-cent sales tax has enabled the county to make more road improvements since it was implemented three years ago, the county's highway department annual report shows. In 2018, the county collected $1,978,411 from the half-cent sales tax. It spent $2,020,324 to reconstruct county state aid highways 12, 38, 61 and 66. It enabled the county to collect $418,000 less from property taxpayers for roads than it otherwise would have, even without doing these additional roads.
WALKER—Jeff Woodford opened the Health, Human and Veterans Services annual report to Cass County commissioners Tuesday, April 2, by reporting the number of veterans in the county declined 11.7 percent since 2014. Federal benefit expenditures for the remaining veterans, however, have risen 18 percent in the same period. Woodford attributed the decline in veterans to the fact the average Cass County veteran's age is now 69. World War II veterans are in their 90s. Korean War veterans are in their 80s and Vietnam veterans are in their 60s and 70s.
WALKER—After reviewing the county's 2018 highway department annual report Tuesday, April 2, the Cass County Board voted to support only part of an Association of Minnesota Counties recommended legislative request for more highway funding. AMC asked the 87 counties to ask the Legislature for, but not specify how to pay for, additional new state funding for Minnesota's statewide transportation system. The AMC resolution cites funding for "road, bridges and transit."
WALKER—When the state of Minnesota recently audited Cass County for its payment of garbage taxes, it found the county had both underpaid and overpaid the tax. Cass has two satellite garbage transfer stations — one just north of Hackensack and one at the May Township site where there also is a county highway garage. The county accepts garbage at those from individuals self-hauling their garbage to the satellite.
BACKUS—Environmentally friendly alternatives to calcium chloride gravel road treatment might be an option to try, but the price has to come down first, Cass County Engineer Darrick Anderson told the county board Tuesday, March 19. He said he looked into a southern Minnesota company's soybean-based product, but found it would cost five times as much as calcium chloride. Chloride treatment pricing includes the product, transportation to get it here and the cost for a person and equipment to apply it, he said.
BACKUS—Renee Lukkason, Health, Human and Veterans Services public health team leader, described new debit cards being issued to Women, Infant and Children program recipients at the Tuesday, March 19, Cass County Board meeting. The WIC program serves pregnant women and their children up to age 5 for women whose family of four income is up to about $46,000 a year and up to age 2 for women whose annual family income is up to about $69,000. A yet-to-be-born baby is counted as a family member.