Cass County Board: Public a no-show at Truth in Taxation hearing
WALKER—No members of the public appeared for Cass County's Truth in Taxation hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, on the county's proposed 2019 budget and levy.
The board will vote to set a budget and levy at the 10 a.m. Dec. 18 regular meeting at the courthouse in Walker. The levy is proposed to increase 1 percent or $223,053.
Earlier in the day at the regular Dec. 6 board meeting, Lt. Chris Thompson reported to the county board on an October state inspection of Cass' jail at Walker.
The state found the county compliant on 122 of 125 items evaluated, he said.
Cass Jail is licensed to operate with 48 of its 60 beds filled. The facility may hold men and women and may hold juveniles 24 hours, not counting weekends and holidays.
The state found Cass should include its cooks and nurses in all its jail training programs when jail staff do training and to keep a record of cook and nurse training.
The state found all prescription medications for individual inmates should be recorded in the jail medication administration records book at Walker whether or not an inmate is transferred between that jail and another where a record was kept in another county.
The state found Cass needs to track better how long an inmate is in Cass or another jail in order to ensure each inmate is tested for tuberculosis within 14 days of incarceration.
The state suggested the county program more activities for inmates.
The state inspector concluded his report by stating: "Many improvements have been made since the last on-site inspection," specifically citing "excellent compliance with well-being checks."
The report praised the facility for providing tablets to inmates for programming.
Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane reported $21,635.81 of the net the county received from an online auction of excess county property will go to the county's capital improvement fund and $63,475 will go to the road and bridge highway equipment fund.
Assessor Mark Peterson reported there were only five foreclosures in the third quarter this year, with the largest decline in seasonal homes.
All forfeited properties were valued at less than $200,000, except one. That one property was valued over $1 million.
Arms-length real estate sales continued to improve with 836 properties sold through September this year, compared with 807 in the same period of 2017. The fewest sales during the recession were only 570 for the whole year in 2009.
In other action Tuesday, the county board:
Authorized paying the cities of Cass Lake $11,994.67, Pine River $1.970.55, Walker $1,285.14 and Hackensack $2,570.29 to maintain state aid streets within their municipalities.
Authorized Central Services Director Tim Richardson to spend up to $980 each for 12 new drinking fountains with a chiller and bottle filling capability, plus installation cost.
He said there currently are no fountains in the sheriff's office, jail or highway department. Drinking fountains in other parts of the county government buildings do not have a water bottle filling feature.
Richardson reported installation of the new roof over the law enforcement center and or the new telephone system will be close to completion by year end.
Appointed Commissioner Dick Downham to serve as the board's voting representative to the Mississippi River Headwaters One Watershed One Plan project. This plan covers the northern edge of Cass County and is the fourth of six water plans currently in process, according to Environmental Services Director John Ringle.
Accepted a $206,878 state grant for 2019 and 2020 to assist people with mental illness by helping them to participate more in their community. This will help people who do not qualify for medical assistance, according to Deputy Health, Human and Veterans Services Director Tom Burke.
Accepted the low bid and awarded a contract to Justin Sawyer for $110 per hour to clean out culverts at the Bull Moose impoundment in Bull Moose Township.
Approve an agreement with Minnesota DNR under which the NDR will pay to maintain the parking area and trails at the Farnham Lake Wildlife Management Area in Byron Township and at the Daggett Brook Wildlife Management Area in Trelipe Township.
Approved agreements with Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Pine River-Backus School Districts to ensure children in foster care will have a school bus drop-off point that will enable them to continue attending their original home school while in foster care.