- Member for
- 3 years 7 months
Three years ago, Lars Raisanen opened a branch of his company, Backyard Reflections, on Smiley Road in Nisswa. "Basically, our main location is in Annandale, Minnesota," Raisanen said. "We moved to the Nisswa area three years ago. We expanded our company there with a location in Nisswa with a full team of salespeople, landscape designers and install crews. We always try to specialize in more lake properties, but we do landscaping of many scopes and size."
The Cass County Highway Department is constructing a new equipment garage near the Pine River Post Office with the goal of saving costs on maintenance and utilities. The new building will replace a 1970s era steel building currently being used near the Pine River-Backus School bus garage. The current building's deficiencies include energy inefficiency, a connection to only a well and septic tank and other costly deficiencies.
Cities and counties throughout Minnesota are deciding on a local policy regarding a state law Gov. Mark Dayton signed May 12. The law, creating regulation for temporary family health care dwellings (also known as "grandma pods"), has gotten mixed responses from local units of government. Some communities are accepting the new rule, while most are opting out for myriad reasons. The legislation allows municipalities to opt out.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill for new funding for a select number of school districts, Pine River-Backus being among those selected. PR-B Superintendent Dave Endicott estimated that approximately 170 schools applied for the state funding for pre-kindergarten programs. Pine River-Backus was among 74 approved, a decision that will bolster an already growing pre-K program.
The Emily City Council discussed options for relocating an ATV trail onto Bloomquist Drive from State Highway 6 during its July 12 meeting. According to unapproved draft meeting minutes, there are three routing options currently and the council will continue researching them. In other business, the council: • Approved Jason Frieler as a firefighter without pre-employment screening. • Approved up to $2,000 for installation of air conditioning in the meeting room at the fire hall.
During the Monday, Aug. 8, meeting of the Pine River City Council, the council agreed to pay one-third of a $9,212.98 expense the city incurred because of errors in a verbal agreement. The expense was for a consultant fee. The city originally believed it would only be responsible for 5 percent of the fee. Kevin Carlson, formerly of Bolton & Menk, and Sandy Depotty, formerly of the Federal Aviation Administration, verbally reached the 5 percent agreement regarding an airport project. The agreement, however, was not documented and both Carlson and Depotty have left those positions.
The Pine River-Backus School District has been giving students free lunches and breakfasts for the last two years, but that could come to an end. The program depends on the willingness of all parents in the district to submit an application to the school district with information about household size and income. Business manager Jolene Bengtson said that since starting a free lunch program, the school has lost $160,000 because many parents were no longer submitting applications, meaning the school lost some compensatory funding that made free lunch possible.
Incumbent Robert Kangas and challenger John W. Warren will square off for the Cass County District 2 commissioner seat after the primary election Tuesday, Aug. 9. Kangas had 279 votes, Warren had 96, and Edward (Ed) Nelson came in third with 84 votes. The primary brought in a very low percentage of registered voters. Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson said the low turnout may be simply due to the generally low interest in the District 2 race, or the lack of races on the ballot. Or it may even relate to the specific candidates on the ballot.
Board members, volunteers and interested parties broke ground Thursday, Aug. 11, at the future site of Paws and Claws Animal Shelter near Hackensack. The building is to be constructed on 22 acres of land just off Highway 371 south of Hackensack. Construction is estimated to be completed by June 2017. "We will have our dirt work completed by the end of September," said executive director Jim Clark. "I was told by the project manager recently that he expects to have the footings in by the end of September and the framing will start."
The Backus Cornfest theme was "Harvesting the Memories," a theme demonstrated during the Saturday, Aug. 13, parade with classic cars, Backus history themed floats and class reunions. Grand marshal was the Backus Volunteer Fire Department, which was recognized for efforts to open roadways in the city after the July 21 storm that knocked down trees throughout the community. This year's event also featured popular attractions such as the corn eating contest, a money scramble and fireworks at dusk. Newer attractions included the Redneck Olympics with games such as tug-of-war.