The Cass County Board met Aug. 6 to approve revisions to the 2020 road construction schedule.

Certain projects scheduled for construction in 2019 are being delayed due to permits and archeological reviews. Included projects are County Road (CR) 157 and 128 reconstruction, and CR 136 and County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 73. These projects will be pushed to 2020 construction schedule and bids will be sought this coming winter.

Pavement reconditioning on CSAH 5 between CSAH 11 and Longville city limits, and CSAH 46 delayed until 2024.  The county will instead replace all aging culverts on CSAH 5 between 371 and Longville doing a mill and overlay within the city limits of Longville and completing a subgrade correction on CSAH 46 south of CSAH 5.

The two projects will be completed in 2020. The county may seek federal funding to rehabilitate the pavement on CSAH 5 from Hwy. 371 to Longville in 2024. Originally the 5-year plan had CSAH 5 being done in segments in 2020 and again in 2024.

The county moved CSAH 14 from 2020 to 2021 to line up with their CSAH 42 project in Pine River.  

The county has moved up CSAH 72 from 2022 to 2020 due to poor road conditions and to coordinate with the other paving projects in the area.

The 2019 construction program includes reconstruction of CSAH 17, shouldering of CSAH 2 and a bridge replacement on CR 117.


Local Reps. Talk Legislative Session

Dist. 5B State Rep. Sandy Layman (R-Cohasset) and Dist. 5 State Senator Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) discussed the previous legislative session.

Both Reps. touted the defeat of a gas tax increase as a GOP accomplishment as well as helping to curtail taxes relating to transportation going to bridge and road maintenance rather than to the general fund. Both legislators touted expanded broadband funding as an accomplishment as did Dist. 5A Rep. John Persell (DFL-Bemidji) when he spoke at a board mtg. earlier this summer.

Cass Co. Family Centers’ Annual Report

Executive Directors Betty Doss,  Pillager Family Center, and Leslie Bouchonville, Pine River-Backus Family Center,  presented 2018 annual reports from the Northland Family Center, the Pillager Family Center, and the Pine River Backus Family Center.

All programs are geared towards individual community needs and serve as a one stop shop for families offering services such as child care, Veteran’s services, financial services as well as partnering with WIC, and well child checkups, to name just a few.

Payment in Lieu of Taxes

 Sandra Norikane, Cass County’s Chief Financial Officer, reported that there was  “no significant changes from the 2018 distribution.”

Previously Cass County experienced a reduction related to its reassessment year  in 2017 which increased due to the state raising payments from $1.50 per acre to $2 per acre in 2018.

The townships’ 10 percent allocation will still be allowed based on appraisals; cities are excluded from this allocation,  per the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Cities do receive a small portion of PILT for trust and other lands that are subject to the $2 per acre payment.

Highway Department Report

 Four request for proposals went out to local engineering firms to provide preliminary design services on CSAH 70. These services include survey, right-of-way, preliminary design, public involvement, geotechnical investigations, and a federal project memo required for funding.

Three proposals were received: Bolton & Menk, Inc. $271,942; WSB $343,307 and Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. $585,000. Bolton and Menk was selected; their contract will be funded through local and State dollars.

A contract with Anderson Brothers for crack leveling on CSAH 4 was awarded. Two quotes were received for this work: Anderson Brothers at $140,000 and Bargen, Inc. at $190,800.

Environmental Services Department

Solid waste disposal contracts were finalized and approved in four different service formats.

Grinning Bear Inc. was awarded a contract to transport solid waste from rural sites to the main facility in Pine River.

Waste Partners of Pine River were approved for two contracts. They will manage the recycling bin sites across the county as well as oversee the main facility in Pine River.

Evan McAllister was contracted to bring solid waste to the metro area from the county’s main facility in Pine River. The county’s former contractor, KRD, will continue their services, with an approved $50,000 a month until the transition period is completed.

Cameras to be installed at recycling bins

A new addition to the recycling bin sites will be the installation of cameras to help stop typical household solid waste from being dumped with and contaminating recyclables, which results in a penalty fee to the county. Educating the county population to why this is important will be undertaken in the following months.  

Request to be Heard

Gary Grunig, a Cass County resident from the from rural Hackensack/Backus, spoke to the Board about an ongoing issue with a neighbor’s dog. Grunig alleges that he walked to his neighbors to resolve the issue when he was bitten by the dog. While Cass County does not have a nuisance dog ordinance, it does employ an Animal Control Officer and leaves nuisance animal issues to the cities and townships.  


Closed Session

The board convened a closed session at the end of the regular meeting to hear about land use violations.


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