Backus: City properties to get updates

Backus City Council seeks to improve security of city properties.


The Backus City Council approved updates to some city properties Monday, Sept. 14, including installation of new doors and drop boxes, with some of the updates to be paid for with COVID-19 relief grant funding.

The city currently has a drop box for utility payments inside a set of double doors on city hall; however, in light of security and sanitation concerns, the council decided it would be best to have an outdoor drop box. The council approved purchase and installation of a secure outdoor drop box with security posts alongside what is now a handicapped parking space.

The parking space will be moved just one space over and be repainted with a "no parking" designation to allow those using the drop box to pull up, drop their payments and back out. The new box with posts will cost $2,242 and the city will seek to use grants for the purchase.

The council also approved installation of new doors on city hall and the city maintenance garage to increase security of the city facilities. The quote received for the maintenance garage was $1,800.35 with a $2,196.75 quote for city hall and another $322.50 for a vestibule window.

Tax levy


The council approved a $159,000 tax levy for 2021, which is a $5,000 increase over the 2020 levy, or a 1.03% increase.

In other business Monday, the council:

  • Discussed growing concerns over thefts, trespassing and vandalism with some present concerned that frightened, armed citizens might take matters into their own hands if something isn't done to curb the issue.
  • Agreed to review hours of operation for the Cass County Sheriff's Office law enforcement contract. There was some concern that emergency calls have been counting toward budgeted hours with the county, leading to less active coverage during a time when thefts and trespassing are a major concern.
  • Approved an addendum to the new 10-year fire contract with Ponto Lake Township.
  • Tabled a decision on airport improvement projects until October to give the Risk family time to contact the aviation planner to talk about options to possibly save the trees in their yard, which would be cut down due to their location in the approach to the airport.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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