The Cass County Board held an election-day meeting Nov. 3 at the Land Department building in Backus when they voted to continue limiting public access to County buildings through Jan. 5.

With sky rocketing COVID-19 cases being reported for the past few weeks, county offices will keep limiting contact as they have been during the pandemic with court proceedings remaining open.

Cass County Lieutenant Chris Thompson provided the jail inspection report from the Minnesota Department of Corrections.  Thompson reported that the jail is currently housing approximately eight inmates, and that all 40 beds in Crow Wing County, under current contract with Cass County, remain full.

Thompson also noted that the facility received a 100 percent compliance rating for mandatory requirements and a 97.98 percent compliance rating for essential requirements.

Thompson noted that the inspectors said that for a facility of it’s age, the jail was very clean and maintained well, and that it was apparent the Sheriff and Jail Administrator take pride in the facility.

Thompson noted that alternatives for juvenile detention continue to be explored with safety and personal well-being as priorities.

County Engineer Darrick Anderson provided an update on Whipholt Beach Road, and on the status of all four segments of the highway right-of-way that included quiet title action on segment two, and the revocation of segments three and four to the Township (maps of the highway can be viewed at the Cass County website).

Anderson reported that recent conversations with property owners and legal counsel for Pine Lake Township provided notice that the portion of Whipholt Beach Road from 19th Ave NW. East to Huddles Resort property (known as Segment One) is no longer being maintained by the township.

County staff confirmed specific items so that the township would return to maintaining segment one, including the Town’s concerns with regard to the claim that the Town is the road authority and is spending funds on a road without interest in the public right of way where the road is located.

Anderson also noted the county requests that the Town keep track of its costs with regard to the ongoing maintenance of the road, which should largely be snowplowing, with the understanding that the county may be required to cover maintenance costs for two years in order to transfer public right of way interest to the Town Board in accordance with Minnesota Statute.

Additionally, the county and the town need to agree that the town’s maintenance of the road is in the interests of public safety and cost efficiency with the understanding that the township board maintains another township road adjoining Segment one.

The last item reported was that the township board will review a possible long-term resolution at its upcoming November regular meeting. Anderson reported that county staff is eager to come to an agreement to resolve any known right of way interests and maintenance agreements not currently documented between the two governments on any remaining portion of Whipholt Beach Road.

Environmental Services Director John Ringle provided a contract agreement to haul brush and yard waste from the Walker-Hackensack Transfer station to the gravel pit in Hiram Towhship for disposal.

Tyler’s Backhoe Service’s bid was approved with the low bid of $9,000. Other bids came in at $9,480, $12,000 and $13,740.

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