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.
Cass County will hold its annual surplus equipment and vehicle auction at 10 a.m. Sept. 7 at the county highway garage in Walker. Kevin Lee, North Memorial Ambulance Service, reported to the county board Tuesday the Longville Ambulance District will be able to meet expected expenses without any increase in district taxpayer contributions in 2014.
BY MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent Quotes Cass County received to prepare a plan (not including any costs for engineering work or wetland mitigation to be done) for a complete cleaning of Ditch 9 southwest of Pine River and northwest of Jenkins would cost $24,000 to $31,000 just for the plan, the Cass County Board learned Aug. 6. The plan would establish the original ditch location and grade and estimate costs to engineer restoring it.
Two couples residing on Man Lake east of Hackensack will open their gardens to the public for a free art and craft fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13. To reach the fair from Hackensack, take Cass County Road 5 east from Highway 371 8.2 miles. From Longville, take County Road 5 9.3 miles to 14th Avenue, then follow the signs to 4405 Buxton Road N.W. and 1306 44th St. N.W. At the Dietrich home, Linnea and Gary Dietrich will offer personal pan pizza and organic bread from their new wood-fired oven.
Hackensack’s new fire chief and assistant chief bring plenty of experience into their new roles. Chief Tony Peterson represents the middle generation of three generations of fire department volunteering. His dad, Jack Peterson, served many years on the Hackensack department. Tony has been on the department 35 years. His son, Gavin, has been a firefighter for Hackensack 10 years. His son, Dane, has been a firefighter for more than three years. Assistant Chief Dana Stanko has been a Hackensack firefighter for 27 years.
Hackensack Area First Response will hold a reunion Saturday, April 27, of team members and other area emergency services personnel they worked with through the last 35 years, followed by an open house for the public at the Hackensack Fire Hall. The potluck reunion will run from 1-3 p.m., with the open house scheduled from 3-5 p.m.
While revenue from timber sales has declined, Cass County Land Department has increased its revenues by selling more land. This does not mean the county owns less land, however. A $557,000 grant in 2011 and another $619,633 grant in 2012 from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage fund created by the three-eighths cent sales tax has enabled the county to more than replace land sold those years. The county receipts from land sales were $37,900 in 2010, $35,800 in 2011 and $750,175 in 2012. The county bought 785.36 acres in 2011 and 2012 and sold in those years 583.4 acres.