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Cass County Board: Training requirements remain for new and non-compliant liquor license holders

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WALKER—Cass County will keep the clause in its alcoholic beverage ordinance that requires new license holders and those failing compliance checks to take training.

Heather Rogosheske, Working Together Coalition coordinator, informed the county board Tuesday, Feb. 5, the state no longer offers an updated curriculum for this training except online.

She said in-person training is much more effective and enables participants to ask questions.

She suggested and the county board approved having the sheriff and county auditor's office help her to update the county's training curriculum so her office can continue to offer the in-person training.

Working Together Coalition has routinely overseen a program since 2008 in which designated teens under an adult coach attempt to buy alcoholic beverages from alcoholic beverage license holders in the Pine-River-Backus, Walker-Hackensack and Remer areas.

Those who fail that test and any new applicants then must take the training course. It covers how to identify underage purchasers and how to stop serving adults who are intoxicated, Rogosheske said. The class includes data on DWI offenses and underage drinking for the county, she added. That data needs to be updated, she said. License holders pay an average of $200 per business to have their employees trained, Rogosheske said.

When Cass began the regular compliance checks in 2008, 63 percent of businesses passed the test by not selling alcohol to minors. With the training begun, the percent passing the test improved to 92 percent by 2010 and has been at 99 or 100 percent the last three years, she said.

In other county board business Tuesday, the board:

Heard from Dr. Michael McGee, Ramsey County contracting medical examiner for Cass County, who reported 2018 deaths he autopsied for the county.

There were 100 deaths in Cass in 2018. McGee accepted for autopsy 55 of those cases. Private physicians determined cause of death for the remaining 45.

McGee's office did 35 complete autopsies with toxicology, did six external examinations with toxicology and signed death certificates without examination.

Of the 100 decedents, 62 died from natural causes, 29 from accidents, seven from suicides, and two from homicide.

Referred to the planning commission a request from Thomas Marcum to reclassify a 40.53 acre parcel in Loon Lake Township from Rural Residential 2.5 to Commercial.

The owner wishes to store and park business equipment on the land and to build a heated pole building for an office and work space.

Approved Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane's proposal and accepted content for the annual newsletter to property owners, which will be mailed with tax statements this spring.

Authorized County Engineer Darrick Anderson's office to serve as fiscal agent to process state or federal grants for installing a tunnel under Highway 371 south of Walker by Lucky Moose Restaurant for the Shingobee Connection portion of the Paul Bunyan Recreational Trail.

Currently, snowmobilers and bicycle riders must cross a busy section of the state highway. The tunnel will pass trail riders beneath the highway.

Approved a Grade 20 ranking on the county pay scale for a new job classification for Environmental Services Department administrative technician. The board appointed two existing employees in that department to the newly created positions.

Approved paying the city of Hackensack $60,000 of the approved $65,000 toward that city's installation of a new fishing pier and retaining wall at the city park. The remaining $5,000 will be paid only if needed for the project after final work is done in the spring.

Authorized participating in the planning process and execution of a Hazardous Mitigation Assistance Agreement for Counties to enable updating a HSEM plan.

Emergency Management Coordinator Chad Emery will oversee county staff, city staff and public representatives within an $8,788 budget for the local match for the project to identify improvements, which can be made to minimize the damage from future disasters.

Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay a 75 percent match toward the project.

Authorized Land Commissioner Kirk Titus to spend $4,413, or a 12.5 percent match, if a federal grant is approved to enable Lake County Nordic Ski Club to purchase a new snowmobile, two trail groomers and two rollers for the club to use to maintain the county's cross-country ski trails.

That grant would pay $26,478.

Approved a reciprocal agreement with Itasca County to enable each county to assume taking 911 calls if the other county's system went down.

Approved continuing to accept a $10,000 per year grant through 2020 to pay half the $20 per day cost for electronic home monitoring when a client user is indigent.

Approved an agreement with U.S. Forest Service to allow the forest service to continue doing prescribed burns on 1,199 acres of county administered land in the Boy River, Mud Goose, Leech River and Laura Lake areas at no cost to the county.

Only swampy portions of the county parcels are included in the burn.

Approved an easement for Steven Lockman to cross county tax-forfeited land to access his property in Kego Township. He must provide a certificate of survey and pay easement fees.

Approved the Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment $530,464 budget to provide family stabilization and employment services to Cass County human services clients in 2019.

The goal is to help clients gain 30 hours per week or more employment over three years of support services and transition from receiving benefits.

Accepted an $829.50 donation from Drive Right 365 for the probation department's efforts to reduce impaired driving, distracted driving and/or seat belt enforcement. Drive Right 365 collects the money donated from people participating in its Victim Impact Panel program.

Approved a purchase of service agreement with Pine River Group Home Inc. for semi-independent living services for developmentally disabled persons age 18 and older.

Approved a purchase of service agreement with Woodview Support Services/Oakridge Homes Inc. for adult and children's community support programs to be paid at $38.34 per hour.

Approved a purchase of service agreement with Northland Counseling Center to provide individual, family and group psychotherapy, psychological testing and diagnostic services and mediation management services for adults and children. The contract is not to exceed $5,000 per year.

Approved a purchase of service agreement with Northern Psychiatric Associates for competency restoration community services at $1,000 per evaluation and $250 per hour with a minimum of six hours for court testimony.

Approved a purchase of service agreement with Pat Cortese, Ph.D., for mental health case management supervision and consultation and children's services at $125 per hour, not to exceed $13,000 per year.

Approved a purchase of service agreement with Stellher Human Services for home-based mental health services and in-home family counseling.

Approved continuing to engage Sourcewell staff to oversee the county's licensing for day care operators.

Michele Piprude, Health, Human and Veterans Services director, informed the county board the number of day care providers the county licenses has stabilized at 33 after losing five or six when regulations to operate became more stringent.

She said providers say the additional training they are getting from Sourcewell's license manager is helpful. Sourcewell also provides this service to other counties served by the Region Five Development Commission.

Approved extending an agreement with University of Minnesota Extension Service to oversee the county's Statewide Health Improvement Program to encourage healthy eating, tobacco cessation, breastfeeding and physical exercise.

Funding available to the extension educator will be up to $73,156 between Nov. 1, 2018, and Oct. 31, 2020. Maximum grant funding for Nov. 1, 2019, to Oct. 31, 2020, will be set after the educator submits a budget for that year.

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