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.
The Cass Board voted March 19 to approve one of five pending two-year union contracts with county employees. Union membership for Teamsters 320, which represents deputies and jailers, approved the contract earlier.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office received 18,812 calls for service in 2012, according to Sheriff Tom Burch’s annual report. That is an 8 percent increase over 2011. It includes calls for the sheriff’s deputies, city police and fire departments and ambulance services. Since 1997, the lowest number of calls received in a year was in 1999 when there were 13,931. The highest, 21,207, was in 2006.
BY MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent Cass County Board Tuesday approved a request from Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to use county state aid highways (CSAH) 11 and 5 as detour routes while MnDOT installs a new bridge this year on Highway 84 in Longville.
BY MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent Cass County Board voted on March 5 to continue working with the county Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) on projects of mutual interest. The board also received a report on 2012 SWCD accomplishments. Cass was one of five counties to share a $144,000 grant, which was matched with an equal amount of local funding to install 70 shoreland buffers between lakes and lawns on developed properties. One of those buffers is a band of native plants installed at Green Hill Town Homes on Gull Lake.
Hackensack Fire and Rescue lost its two top officers in December through retirement. Clarence “Butch” Moore retired after 30 years as a firefighter, including more than 20 years as chief. He also retired after 21 years as a medical first responder. Russ Smieja retired after 25 years as a firefighter, about half of which he served as assistant chief. They recently reflected on the changes they have seen in emergency response equipment and procedures since they started and reflected on some of the fires they fought.
Timber backlog finally hit Cass County in October when the county sold only five of 17 sites offered for logging at the monthly auction. The price paid for aspen dropped to $15.91 per cord for the first time since the early 1990s, according to Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson. While the county appraises its timber at $15 to $17 per cord, the average price paid has been running about $28 per cord. Until now, 99 percent of the acreages Cass put up for timber auction have sold.
Cass County is looking for volunteers to serve on county committees and commissions. Openings and application forms are posted on the website at www.co.cass.mn.us . Applications must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Cass County Administrator’s Office, attention Linda, P.O. Box 3000, Walker, MN, 56484, to be received by Nov. 20. The county board expects to make appointments during the 3 p.m. Dec. 6 board meeting at the courthouse on Highway 371 in Walker.