TURTLE LAKE TOWNSHIP—Lori Vrolson, Central Minnesota Council on Aging executive director, reported Tuesday, May 21, to the Cass County Board on services that organization provided in 2018 under a $3.7 million budget. The Council on Aging coordinates programs designed to help older Americans remain in their homes longer with support services. It covers 14 counties, including Cass and Crow Wing. Twenty-nine percent of Cass County's population is age 65 or older, compared with 17% statewide, Vrolson reported. Cass' over 65 population is expected to grow to 33.5% by 2030.
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.
Regional Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Director Rita Albrecht gave her annual report to Cass County commissioners Tuesday, May 7. "There is a lot of state recreational land in Cass County," she said, noting it is open for public use. She also said the DNR has a good working relationship with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and regularly works cooperatively with the county land department. Henry Drewes, regional DNR fisheries manager, noted walleye regulations were relaxed this year for Leech Lake. There is now a four walleye limit, with one over 20 inches.
Cass County will receive public comments from now through a public hearing during the 9 a.m. June 4 regular county board meeting at the courthouse in Walker before the board is scheduled to adopt a five-year capital improvement plan. The plan identifies specific expenditures for 2019 and 2020. Only expected building maintenance and highway equipment expenditures are listed for 2021 through 2024.
Cass County Chief Deputy Sheriff Erick Hoglund submitted his notice of intent to retire from the sheriff's department effective May 31 after 34 1/2 years in law enforcement, 18 1/2 of which have been with Cass County. He also is a 20-year military veteran. Sheriff Tom Burch informed the county board at the regular meeting Tuesday, May 7, he has named Lt. Scott Thompson to succeed Hoglund as chief deputy as of June 1. Sgt. Bryan Welk will move up to lieutenant. Erick Alger will move up to patrol sergeant.
BACKUS—Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane Haugen presented to Cass County commissioners Tuesday, April 16, the 2019 Camp Ripley annual update on the Army National Guard facility's activities. Camp Ripley not only trains Army National Guard members for routine and deployment activities, but also serves as a training site for the Air Force Guard and Reserve flight and ground training programs.
BACKUS—Chief Financial Officer Sandra Norikane reported Tuesday, April 16, the Minnesota Department of Revenue negotiated settlements with energy companies in two tax court cases, which will cost Cass County more than $30,000.
WALKER—Probation Director Jim Schneider and Michele Piprude, Health, Human and Veterans Services director, reported to Cass County commissioners on the county's out-of-home placements Tuesday, April 2.
WALKER—The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe donated $30,000 toward the Leech Lake-Cass County Wellness Court operations, Cass County Board learned Tuesday, April 2. That specialized court has a high degree of success in helping repeat driving-while-intoxicated offenders overcome their alcohol addiction. The court, however, no longer has as many grants available for its operations as once was the case.
WALKER—Cass County's local option half-cent sales tax has enabled the county to make more road improvements since it was implemented three years ago, the county's highway department annual report shows. In 2018, the county collected $1,978,411 from the half-cent sales tax. It spent $2,020,324 to reconstruct county state aid highways 12, 38, 61 and 66. It enabled the county to collect $418,000 less from property taxpayers for roads than it otherwise would have, even without doing these additional roads.