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Cass County Board: Agreement to improve forest roads

BACKUS - Cass County commissioners approved an agreement with U.S. Forest Service Tuesday that will enable more revenue from forest service timber sales to be used locally to improve forest roads.

The USFS representative from the Walker office Darla Lenz said about 30 percent of USFS timber sale proceeds currently come back to the local office. The USFS uses this money to contract road maintenance on some of the forest service roads. Some of those roads also are township roads in the county's unorganized township areas.

Lenz said she expects this Master Stewardship Agreement will enable the Chippewa National Forest to receive 40 percent of timber sales revenue in the future for road maintenance. The USFS representative Todd Tisler said that could be $200,000.

County Engineer David Enblom said he expects the additional revenue will enable some repair work to be done on the forest roads and potentially could cover culvert or bridge replacements in the future.

Enblom obtained board approval for the county to act as fiscal agent for a Cass Lake-Bena Safe Routes to schools grant. The grant will enable installing a hiking and biking trail from the school to a paved trail running parallel to Highway 371, which goes to the city of Cass Lake. This will enable more students to walk or bike to school, Enblom said.

The board approved briefly closing a bridge on County Road 120 (Wabedo Pass Road NE) next July Fourth for a wedding.

Administrator Robert Yochum said he understands the bride-to-be accepted a proposal from the groom-to-be on the bridge on the condition that their wedding vows be exchanged on the same bridge at a future July Fourth.

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