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.
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.
Pine River Mayor Jim Sabas successfully appealed to the Cass County Board on Oct. 15 for $10,000 toward a feasibility study to determine whether the Norway Lake Dam can be replaced or repaired. The city has engaged its city engineering firm, Bolton and Menk Inc., to do the feasibility study and to identify possible funding sources for the work, Sabas said. The study is expected to cost $25,000 or more.
It will take a minimum of two years and at least four public meetings before Cass County decides on a design and construction plan to reconstruct County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 77 in Lake Shore, County Engineer David Enblom told the county board Oct. 15. The board authorized Enblom to contract with WSB & Associates Inc. for engineering services at a price not to exceed $210,212. Also authorized is up to $18,340 to conduct a federally funded environmental process if a federal grant can be obtained for that.
The Cass County Board set the 2014 preliminary levy Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the same dollar amount as in the last five years, $20,046,613. That levy includes $19,585,613 for county operations and $461,000 that is levied only against properties in the Longville Ambulance Service district to operate that service. Because the county’s land value has continued to decrease since the recession, this will mean levying the same dollars still will increase the county portion of the levy rate by 2.5 percent, from 30.268 to 20.948 percent.
Cass County Board approved one improvement in a regular meeting held Aug. 20 in Barclay Township and tabled until 2014 another for the county’s recycling and garbage transfer station, located north of Pine River. The board awarded a contract to Sebeka Homes Inc. to install a new 60-by-80-foot building at the site. It will be used for recyclables storage, primarily to be used to cover cardboard. Dry recycled cardboard brings a higher price than cardboard which has been outside in rain.