Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Brogle informed the Backus City Council of reports of suspicious people and activities recently. The council and those present Monday, Aug. 5, gave Brogle information about additional concerns.

Brogle said some reports concern one individual seen regularly in town. Brogle said they have spoken to him and determined that they have no reason to think he has done anything illegal.

Council members told Brogle about other suspicious activities. In one case a resident had told council members the same individual was seen with a chainsaw. When he noticed that someone was watching him, he hid the chainsaw in tall grass. Brogle said he has no reports of a chainsaw missing.

In addition, there have been reports by local residents of two parties exchanging large bags and acting suspicious in other ways.

The council informed Brogle where these behaviors had been seen most so that deputies can watch more carefully in those areas.

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In other business Monday, the council:

  • Agreed to seek a nuisance permit for a group of foxes located in a residential area that appear to have no fear of humans. The foxes are reportedly willing to get close to residences and bark at humans and pets.
  • Accepted a Department of Natural Resources matching grant for the Backus Fire Department for the purchase of structural turnout gear, radios and pagers. The DNR will match up to $3,000 that the department pays on these items.
  • Approved a plan to have Short Elliott Hendrickson engineering firm begin a study to create a cost estimate for work on Point Road.
  • Decided to seek additional quotes for several paving jobs after seeing a quote from Anderson Brothers. Mayor Kurt Sawyer said the quotes are likely high because Anderson Brothers is busy this year.
  • Agreed to seek a contract with Oasis Propane company for propane services at a rate of $1.099 per gallon with a $0.799 per gallon charge for the first fill on all city tanks. The city also received an automatic delivery of propane from Lakes Gas at a rate of $1.19 per gallon even though the company offered a $1.099 per gallon contract deal. Council members were unsure if they were still under contract with Lakes Gas. If not, they agreed that the propane should never have been delivered and they should offer Lakes Gas $1.099 per gallon for this fill.
  • Approved a Backus Cornfest fireworks permit.
  • Approved a final payment to Neo Electric for $28,508.15 for work at the municipal airport.
  • Agreed to proceed with 2020 airport projects in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which will pay 90% of the costs.
  • Agreed to purchase new flag poles for the city hall property. The current flag poles get damaged in most wind storms. The new poles will have 10-year warranties.
  • Set a hearing for 6 p.m. Oct. 7 to name Cass County Economic Development Corporation the city's local development organization. Doing so, the LDO will take over control of revolving loan funds the city holds.