BACKUS — 2020 proved to be a challenging year in the Cass County Highway Department.

County Engineer Darrick Anderson presented the 2020 annual highway department report to the Cass County Board Tuesday, April 20.

Anderson said with restrictions of COVID-19, design staff shifted into the field earlier than normal and completed much-needed inventory of culverts, light poles and signage.

Related: Cass County Board: County permit requests at levels not seen in more than a decade

Anderson shared a summary of highway maintenance costs, specific maintenance projects, equipment sold and purchased and an update on construction projects in progress and when the projects will be completed.

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In 2020, the total regular maintenance cost for County State Aid Highways was $2,907,142. Of that total, $2,556,513, or 88%, came from state aid funds. The remaining $350,629, or 12%, came from county funds. Anderson said although all maintenance costs for County State Aid Highways should come from state funding, in the past the county still had to pay for a portion. Anderson also mentioned the state Legislature is presenting a 5 cent per gallon increase on gas taxes, considering there has not been an increase for quite some time. He also noted with more people purchasing electric cars there will be less revenue available from gas taxes.

Related: Cass County Board: Timber sales were up in 2020

In other highway department business Tuesday, the county board:

Approved the final payment to Allstates Pavement Recycling and Stabilization for the edgeline rumble strip project on county state aid highways 7, 8, 9, 45 and 78 in the amount of $95,388.

Approved the county highway driveway/entrance access policy and application. Cass County residents are required to fill out an application and pay a refundable $500 deposit when requesting to construct a new entrance to a parcel.

Approved the county highway access management policy which states that each parcel of land 40 acres or less in size shall have one highway access.