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County to replace furnace at Post Office

The board voted on Nov. 5 to replace the furnace in the county government and U.S. Post Office building at Pine River this fall for a cost not to exceed $30,000. The county leases space to the post office there.

The current furnace has had insufficient capacity to keep the building warm when temperatures drop below 20 degrees below zero.

Enblom said the furnace is located outside the building. Air returns to the furnace are insufficient, so the furnace draws air from not only the building, but also outdoors, meaning the furnace has to heat some air from 20 degrees below zero, making it very inefficient.

The plan will be to move the new furnace inside the building and create more return air flow from the building, not outdoors.

Beavers have successfully been removed from Ditch 9 south of Pine River, Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson reported to the county board.

The county filed a debris removal plan with the DNR the week of Oct. 28. Potentially hazardous material identified about 180 feet from the ditch turned out to be just a collection of old barbed wire fencing, she said.

Cass County Townships no longer will have to levy a minimum amount for roads to qualify to receive state gas tax money distributed through the county.

State law enacted last year enabled the change.

County Engineer David Enblom reported to the county board that township officials have chosen to seek a change to the county’s formula for distributing the state gas tax money which also would drop town road levy as a component of the distribution formula.

The county board voted to change the formula as recommended and to drop the minimum levy requirement.

The number of township road miles will represent 50 percent of the formula and township market value, 25 percent as in the past. New going forward will be to drop the 5 percent consideration for local levy and shift that to town population, thereby increasing the population component from 20 percent to 25 percent of the formula.

Enblom told the board he does not expect the shift to make a big difference in the relative amount each town receives. The major change to town road budget will be the freedom for town voters to set their local road levy at any amount they choose during their March annual meeting.

Only one Cass Township has no town roads, Lima, and that town will continue not receiving any state gas tax money.

Enblom obtained board approval to purchase eight 1,000-gallon propane tanks for the eight county highway garages where new or converted propane furnaces will replace oil units this fall. Total cost for Gas Services Co. of Walker to provide and install the tanks will be $15,009.75.