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Chuck and Barb Norman of rural Pine River were named the 2014 Farm Family of the Year at the Cass County Board meeting held Tuesday night, June 17, in Homebrook Township. Susan Wake, Cass County Extension Committee member, presented the award. Oscar Norman, born in 1902, first bought 80 acres in Walden Township in about 1927 with money he earned working on coal and iron boats. He built a little cabin there, then married in 1930.
Cass County will hold household hazardous waste one-day collections at six sites this summer. They include the following: June 16: 1- 4 p.m., county highway garage at Walker on County State Aid Highway 12. June 24: Noon-4 p.m., Lake Shore City Hall. July 21: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Slagle's Transfer Site, on Highway 7 east of Longville. Aug. 15: 1- 3 p.m., Crooked Lake Town Hall at Outing. Aug.
The Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) obtained a $5,000 grant from the Minnesota DNR and pledged $5,000 in SWCD funds to begin implementing the county’s aquatic invasive species plan. The county adopted that plan Nov. 5, 2013. SWCD has been charged with carrying out the plan to combat the spread of invasive species into lakes in the county. Tuesday, March 4, the county board voted to spend up to $5,000 to match any funds townships or lake associations contribute toward implementing the plan.
Assistant Cass County Engineer Kris Lyytinen obtained county board approval Tuesday, March 4, to use state aid and county levy dollars for a $3,150,000 match for a $1,350,000 grant to reconstruct and re-pave County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 77. Current plans call for the federal money to be released in 2018. CSAH 77 will be reconstructed and re-paved from the south Lake Shore city limits to CSAH 78. Federal money for this project is part of a $2.5 million allocation to Region 5, which must be shared among five Region 5 member counties.
Cass County received notice from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) that DEED has approved a $107,500 grant to be used as a business loan for the Ice Castle manufacturing business planning to expand into Pine River. Jeffrey Drexler and David Handeland, owners of Northern Sales and Manufacturing, plan to expand their manufacturing business at Marshall to a second facility in the former Chrysler dealership building on the south end of Pine River on Highway 371.
Lake Shore city officials on Tuesday, Jan. 21, obtained Cass County Board approval to apply for a federal grant and obtained a county pledge of $82,000 as a local match to the grant. The city proposes a multi-use recreational trail along County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 77 through the city on the west side of Gull Lake. If successful in obtaining the grant, funds would pay to develop the first (southern-most) 2.25 miles of a paved pedestrian and bicycle trail adjacent to the highway.
Pine River’s newest proposed manufacturing business moved a step closer to reality Tuesday, Jan. 21, when the Cass County Board voted to support the business’ application for a loan the Cass County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) will administer. The board also agreed to serve as a pass-through for the money that will come from Minnesota Investment Fund as a grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to Cass EDC.
Cass County commissioners Tuesday, Dec. 17, set a variety of 2014 rates, including the levy, which will remain $20,046,613, the same as the last six years. Administrator Robert Yochum informed the board Cass and all but three of eight neighboring counties will levy the same or lower amounts in 2014 as 2013. Only Morrison with a 2.3 percent increase and Itasca and Hubbard with 4.6 percent increases will raise their rates in 2014. Statewide, 66 of Minnesota’s 87 counties will raise their levies in 2014, with the highest increase being a 14.5 percent in Clearwater County.
Ford Jensen, whom Cass County maintains built his cabin on tax-forfeited county-administered land, described in a telephone interview Tuesday, Nov. 26, reasons he believes his cabin is on the adjacent land he owns. The county board voted Nov. 5 to hire a special prosecutor to take Jensen to court over the issue, asking him to remove the cabin from county land.
Cass County will hire a special prosecutor to take a private landowner to court. Ford Jensen built a cabin on county administered land abutting IXL Lake in Woodrow Township east of Hackensack and has not acted on any of five options the county offered as a way to resolve the situation, according to Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson.