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Cass County: Commissioners support Pillager's bid for equipment funding

Cass County Board passed a resolution Tuesday, May 7, to support the city of Pillager's application to Sourcewell for money to purchase dewatering equipment.

The diesel-powered pump has 6-inch inlet and outlet lines and is used to remove water from the ground, so construction work can take place in a dried area.

Sourcewell's innovation funding goes to projects where multiple local agencies could make use of an item purchased, Administrator Joshua Stevenson said. Cass County Engineer Darrick Anderson told the board the county highway department has used dewatering for road construction projects in the past, so he foresees having this pump available could save money for future county highway projects. He also noted there is a high water table in the Pillager area, so its availability there could benefit several local governments in that area.

The board selected low bidder Swenson Aggregate and Construction LLC to apply 13,400 cubic yards of new gravel on county state aid highways 4, 53, 57 and 68, County Road 158 and Forest Highway 2112 for $168,594.50. All are in the Remer area.

Traffic Marking Service was the lower of two bidders to win a contract to paint white and yellow lane stripes on Cass highways this summer for $93,294.55.

The board voted to add noxious weed control to the sign and bridge engineer's job and approved increasing the job rating for the new position from Grade 26 to Grade 28. The job is currently vacant following a retirement.

The board's personnel committee, consisting of Commissioners Dick Downham and Neal Gaalswyk, had asked County Engineer Darrick Anderson to provide the board with more information on how highway service can be improved if the board were to approve naming a supervisor for each satellite road maintenance garage in its system.

Cass will receive $235,850 from the Chippewa National Forest in 2019. Of that, $117,925 will go to the highway department, with the balance divided among Walker, Cass Lake, Remer and Deer River school districts, which overlap the Chippewa.

The county highway share has steadily declined from the $233,276 it received in 2010.

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