WALKER—Cass County's long-standing requirement that sewer systems be inspected for compliance with any new permit application has been so successful, the vast majority of non-compliant systems were updated, planner Paul Fairbanks told the county board in June. Therefore, changes the board adopted July 3 to the countywide land use ordinance will relax sewer inspection requirements for some new permits.
WALKER—New blue recycle bins replaced old, rusted green bins at Cass County recycling collection sites this summer, but that does not mean rules have changed on what people can recycle. These bins now accept commingled recyclables, with a separate bin for paper/cardboard. The Cass Environmental Service Department issued a plea to recycle bin users to be sure items they put in the bins are clean, approved items for recycling.
WALKER—Cass County commissioners Tuesday, July 3, declared a state of emergency to make the county eligible for a 75 percent state reimbursement for the cost to repair flooded roads. The most significant event occurred June 17, according to Emergency Services Director Chad Emery, but the state is leaving open eligible damages since that date, because heavy rains have continued to damage roads. Emery said townships also qualify to participate in the county's declaration.
WALKER—Cass County commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday, June 5, to support a joint effort to seek state money to buy land within the county for future preservation. The resolution passed on the condition any specific land purchases must first be approved by the board and that those purchases must follow the county's policy of no net loss or net gain of county public land.
WALKER—Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane obtained county board approval Tuesday, June 5, for the county's five-year capital improvement plan. The plan had no major changes since presented at the May 1 board meeting. It calls for adding about $1,155,004 from $170,000 in levy dollars, various equipment sales, various grants, a revolving equipment fund and some reimbursements. It calls for spending $2,856,423 in 2018. This would draw down the capital improvement fund from $15,093,689 at the beginning of the year to a net $13,939,108 at the end of 2018.
WALKER—Cass County Board voted Tuesday, June 5, to table proposed changes to the Countywide Land Use Ordinance until the section limiting allowable animal units per property is clarified, so it clearly does not apply to farms. In current wording, the proposed limit of six animal units (equal to six horses or six cows) in the non-shoreland district does not specifically state this applies primarily to residential properties and not to agricultural land. The revisions will come back to the board for final approval at a future meeting.
BENA — Cass County commissioners voted Tuesday to extend a cooperative agreement for the Gull Lake Walking and Biking Trail with Crow Wing County; the cities of East Gull Lake and Nisswa, and Fairview Township. The agreement was initiated in 2010 and extended in 2015. Tuesday's vote calls for another three-year extension. Lake Shore, East Gull Lake and Fairview already have signed the extension.
BENA—Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane presented proposed amendments to the county's liquor ordinance Tuesday at the county board's regular meeting at Bena City Hall Tuesday night. This was the first of five regular meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at remote locations around the county in the summer. The liquor ordinance proposal calls for the county to add the possibility of issuing on- and off-sale brewer taproom licenses in the same manner as it issues intoxicating liquor licenses.
WALKER—Cass County Highway Department annual report submitted to the county board Tuesday shows the newer local option sales tax the county now collects for highway improvements will add over $1 million annually for more projects. The roads listed may be paved in stages, so the year listed may be for only a portion of that road. The department plans to do repaving on county state aid highways 12, 38, 61, 66 and 77 in 2018. The sales tax will pay $2,070,000 of the cost. State aid will pay $2,650,000. Federal aid will pay $169,384.
WALKER—Cass County Environmental Services Department issued 212 land use permits for new construction and new sewer systems the first quarter of 2018. This is six less than in 2017. The largest number were issued in central Cass with 26 in Woodrow Township, 17 in Wabedo, 13 in Shingobee and 11 in Powers townships. For southern Cass, there were 16 issued in Sylvan and 13 in Crooked Lake townships. All other townships had less than 10 each.