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County looks into costs to clean ditch


Cass County Correspondent

Quotes Cass County received to prepare a plan (not including any costs for engineering work or wetland mitigation to be done) for a complete cleaning of Ditch 9 southwest of Pine River and northwest of Jenkins would cost $24,000 to $31,000 just for the plan, the Cass County Board learned Aug. 6.

The plan would establish the original ditch location and grade and estimate costs to engineer restoring it.

Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson told the board she would meet with those along the ditch who first sought help with flooding from the backed up ditch to see whether they would be interested in first paying to remove beavers and beaver dams to see how much that would help before proceeding with a more costly plan.

If the board decided a full ditch cleaning would be done later, it would be assessed against all properties originally assessed.

The farmland drainage ditch is four miles long and was built in 1918. It is in Wilson Township. It is believed it has not been cleaned since it was installed.

Also on Aug. 6, Ryan Mills Landscaping offered the lowest of four bids and received a contract at $1,545 to landscape around the expanded parking lot at the land department building in Backus.

The Woodshed of Hackensack will provide two custom cabinet units for the land department building after offering the lower of two bids at $3,900.

Veterans Services Officer (VSO) Jeff Woodford introduced the new assistant VSO, Stephen Sether, to the board.

Woodford reported the VSO officers saw 45 veterans at the Backus office, two at Pillager, three at Cass Lake and eight in Walker in July. The officers also made seven home visits. They received 26 calls at Walker and 165 at Backus.

In addition to receiving federal veteran benefits, the Cass officers attempt to make veterans aware of state benefits for dental, optical and other services. In July, Cass has the highest payments to veterans from the state program after Hennepin and Ramsey counties, Woodford said.