The July 6 Cass County Board meeting began with several county residents voicing their concerns about or support for changing the Little Sand Lake public access in Barclay Township to a boat landing access, from the carry-in access that now exists.
Concerns were based around keeping the integrity of the small lake with minimal boat traffic. Arguments supporting the change include opening the small lake to more people and trailered boats, as well as opening it up more for the handicapped.
The proposed change was denied with commissioners voting 4-1 against. Commissioner Bob Kangas voted to change the access to allow drive-in boats and trailers stating, “no individual owns the lake in Minnesota.”
The board also learned that another round of pandemic funding is being offered through the Cass County American Rescue Plan Act grant application. Direct cash assistance to local businesses and non-profit organizations will be provided to those that qualify. Applications are currently being accepted.
The pool of funding for local businesses is $1.2 million.
County Public Service projects, infrastructure, home health and learning, counseling programs, as well as a fund for future pandemic recovery needs, all have funding available through this plan.
The Solid Waste Committee of the board’s request for transfer station contract amendment was approved, increasing the hourly rate from $35 to $37.50 to receive, sort, load and bale waste, and recyclables for shipping from the Pine River Transfer station, effective July 1.
A request for a recycling bin management contract amendment was denied as American Rescue Plan Act funds from the county grant program may provide the relief package requested, which is consistent with previous pandemic funding.
Another request to continue paper recycling collection from the county and other public buildings by Developmental Achievement Center workers as they did before the pandemic was approved. This work provides meaningful interactions across the community and is a valuable service at county buildings.
The recommendation to the full board was to continue paper collection while monitoring volume and costs compared to historical information.
A request to add a dumpster in Leader for solid waste was approved. The current sole dumpster was added at the request of the host business to prevent garbage from being thrown into the ditches and surrounding public land. However, one dumpster can no longer handle the current amount of garbage being brought to this site.
A request to change the “no-wake” zone on Gull Lake from the City of Lake Shore was denied. It was reported that the Sheriff does not support the change due to the number of deputies needed and lakes that require monitoring and enforcement. The City of Lake Shore does have the authority to change the wake zone themselves at a local level.
In other business the board:
Approved 2020-21 overview of SHIP programs.
Heard State Health Improvement Partnership updates.
Heard a Cass County COVID-19 update.
Heard Cass County health rankings.
Approved a motion to award a contract to replace the salt shed roofs at the Hackensack and Pillager shops to Srock Construction, Inc. in the amount of $35,500.
Approved a contract to Anderson’s Construction in the amount of $3,582,939.66 for road improvements. Other bids included Knife River for $3,681,488.09, Central Specialties, Inc. for $4,196,331.27 and Duininck, Inc. for $4,672,409.13.
Approved a motion to establish a public hearing July 20, during the regular meeting that begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Smoky Hollow Town Hall, to increase fees for certain items where cost is inconsistent with the current sales prices so the county doesn’t lose money.
Approved a motion to approve public comment period that began July 6, establishing a public hearing to adopt the 2021 Cass County comprehensive plan update August 17, during the regular County Board meeting beginning at 6 p.m. at the Cass Lake City Hall. Surveys can be found at the courthouse in Walker or on the Cass County website www.co.cass.mn.us