Cass County Board: Kangas elected board chairman


WALKER—Cass County commissioners elected Commissioner Bob Kangas as 2018 chair and Commissioner Scott Bruns as vice-chair Tuesday.

They adopted the same rules of business for conducting county board meetings as they used in 2017.

Those rules call for meeting 9 a.m. the first Tuesday each month at the courthouse in Walker and third Tuesday—January through April and October through December—at the land department building in Backus.

May through September, the board will have the second meeting each month at 6 p.m. at various locations throughout the county. Locations will be published within the next month.

The commissioners selected low bidder Walker Pilot-Independent as the county's legal publication newspaper for 2018. Cass Lake Times was selected for second publications. The Pine Cone Press-Citizen of Longville also submitted a bid.

The board set the IRS business mileage rate of 54.5 cents per mile as the official county mileage rate in 2018. That rate will be paid to county employees if they use their own vehicles for county business when county vehicles are unavailable.

However, if a county vehicle is available and an employee still chooses to use their own vehicle, they may only claim the reduced rate of 27.25 cents per mile.

Cass County requires receipts for any claims for meals or incidental expenses related to travel to a work-related event. Employees may claim up to $20 per day for such expenses to locations outside the county. No meal expense may be claimed inside the county.

When overnight travel is involved, the county may reimburse employees for meals and incidental expenses up to $51 per day when overnight travel is involved to most locations outside Cass County in Minnesota. Exceptions are up to $64 per day when traveling to Olmsted, St. Louis, Hennepin and Ramsey counties and up to $59 per day when traveling to Dakota County.

The location is determined by where the work-related event occurs.

The commissioners approved paying Cass's annual $14,614 membership in the Association of Minnesota Counties.

They approved appointments to county committees and commissions.

They set 9 a.m. June 23 for the annual sale of non-conservation county land to the public. The sale will be at the courthouse in Walker.

Cass will offer for sale 28 land parcels covering 342 acres and appraised at $558,000. Bidders must pay a minimum of the appraised value for the lot or acreage they want to buy.

In 2017, Cass sold 10 parcels at its auction and 10 more during the year that had not previously sold when offered at auction for a total of $377,000, according to Land Commissioner Kirk Titus.

Parcels being offered at this year's auction range from a lot in Pine River Township and another in Pike Bay Township, each assessed at $1,000, to a 40-acre tract in McKinley Township appraised at $69,308, which includes the timber value.

The commissioners set the minimum salary for the person who wins the November election for county attorney at $97,489.60, for county recorder at $60,715.20 and for county sheriff at $86,590.40. If incumbents win those elections, their actual salaries likely will be set higher than the minimum.

Cass County will publish an information newsletter to be sent to property owners this spring with their property tax bills. Tuesday, the commissioners suggested some topics they would like to see covered in that newsletter.

The board approved engaging Shingobee Township to maintain the former Ah-Gwah-Ching Road connecting Highway 371 and the city of Walker's 73rd Street. The county will pay Shingobee $70 per hour for equipment and an operator, plus Shingobee's cost for any materials used.