WALKER — Probation Director Jim Schneider obtained Cass County Board approval Tuesday to apply for a MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge Grant. If this grant for up to $150,000 is approved to permit the county to plan how to keep fewer people in jail, then the county could apply for another grand to implement the plan. Schneider said nearly 75 percent of pretrial and sentenced people here are in jail for non-violent crimes such as traffic, property, drug or public order offenses.
WALKER — Human Resource Director Joshua Stevenson presented a chart to Cass County Board Tuesday listing potential key position retirements over the next five years. Though the commissioners took no immediate action on the proposed timetable for seeking replacements, they did indicate board action will be likely later this year for retirements likely to occur in 2016. The board already has authorized advertising to replace retiring environmental services resource specialist Retta Freeman, who has retired, and to add a new permit intake person to that department, who will also specializ
WALKER — Townships will have to provide a building with a modern electrical system, heated to at least 55 degrees and free of mice, skunks and other creatures if they want to continue to use county voting equipment for elections. Towns also must show they consistently can recruit a sufficient number of election judges and alternates to continue have an in-person voting precinct at their town hall. Cass County Board adopted these requirements Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson recommended as part of her report to the board Tuesday about the pending purchase of new voting machines. A sta
WALKER — Cass County Board decided Tuesday to begin now to replace county highway garage buildings in four cities. Two more garages still would be replaced 10 to 15 years from now. The county had been on a program to repair and upgrade existing highway garages to try to buy 10 years before replacement would be needed.
Cass County Environmental Services Director John Ringle obtained county board approval Tuesday, Feb. 17, for a 2015 aquatic invasive species (AIS) budget using state allocated money for that purpose. The $450,000 budget will use $171,000 left over from Cass' 2014 state and local AIS funds and $279,000 from the 2015 state grant.
Emily Senta, Cass community health specialist, reported to the county board Tuesday she has begun initiating programs to help people learn more about simple recipes to make better use of fresh foods for meals. She is expanding upon tools available from the state health improvement program to make people who use the food shelves and the general public more aware of how to make more use of fresh meat and vegetables in their meals, she said. Classes, cooking demonstrations and videos are all means to get the message to the public, she said. Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk suggested making cooking c
Jail Administrator Joel Norenberg reported Tuesday the number of Cass County jail inmates has increased. The number of female prisoners has risen to the point the county is having trouble finding available jail cells to board them, he added. Male and female prisoners must be held in separate housing areas of a jail under state regulations. Currently, Norenberg said, Cass has eight women held in a separate pod of its jail in Walker. Another eight are held at Crow Wing County Jail.
Cass County Board accepted a 2015-16 wage agreement with Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees' Union for county sheriff patrol and jail employees. The new contract follows a uniform county pay scale, which includes a 2.5 percent increase from the 2014 scale and gives another 2.5 percent raise in 2016. It also follows uniform clothing allowance changes as approved in agreements signed last month with two other bargaining units. Each employee also receives a step increase on the pay scale July 1 each year to recognize another year of service to the county.
Judge David Harrington swore into office Tuesday, Jan. 6, newly elected Cass County Commissioner Scott Bruns, who replaced retired commissioner Jim Dowson. Also taking their oath of office were re-elected officials County Attorney Christopher Strandlie, Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk and Recorder Kathryn (Katie) Norby. The county board convened its first meeting of 2015 by electing Gaalswyk chair and Jeff Peterson vice chair. The board accepted the lowest bid of three from Walker Pilot-Independent for publishing all county legal notices except the second financial statement.
WALKER - Scott Wilson, Cass County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) director, obtained a $30,000 one-year operating loan from the county Tuesday. This came after several county commissioners expressed their reservations about the one-time loan. Commissioner Dick Downham was the only one who voted against the loan in the end.