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home : cass county news : cass county news
October 19, 2017

10/9/2017 11:53:00 AM
County could qualify for emergency assistance for storm damage
Cass County Correspondent

WALKER-Preliminary reports indicate Cass County will exceed the $51,420 minimum required to qualify for state emergency assistance from the Sept. 20 windstorm that blew through Cass and Crow Wing counties.

Those preliminary Cass County reports show Crow Wing Power sustained $45,000 in damage, city of Lake Shore, $10,000; Loon Lake Township, $5,000; and Fairview Township, $4,000, he said. Other township reports are pending.

If approved, the state will reimburse the local electric utility and local governments 75 percent of their losses, he said.

Cass commissioners Tuesday declared a state of emergency, an action required to seek state emergency funds.

In other county board action:

Assessor Mark Peterson reported second quarter 2017 property foreclosures remained about constant for the last four years at 10. The vast majority have shifted to mostly properties valued at under $100,000, though one property this year was valued between $600,000 and $1 million.

Only one was homesteaded this year, while the rest were cabins or other residential.

The number of arms-length sales of properties in Cass County increased from 408 the first six months of 2016 to 453 the first half of 2017, Peterson said.

Ninth Judicial District Tax Court Judge Bradford S. Delapena filed a decision Aug. 28, determining the county set the land value for Mann Lake Ltd. in Hackensack too high. He dropped the value from the $2,663,300 the county appraiser had set to $2,194,000.

This resulted in a lower property tax due for years appraised in 2015 and due in 2016 and appraised in 2016 and due in 2017.

Tuesday, the county board approved tax abatements reflecting these changes for taxes due in 2016 and 2017.

The county will refund $13,032 of Mann Lake's taxes paid for 2016. This includes taxes that had been collected for not only the county, but also the city of Hackensack, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District, Region Five and state general tax.

Since the second half of 2017 taxes are not due until Oct. 15, the county will lower those second half taxes by $11,780 to reflect the refund due for taxes payable for 2017.

The other government agencies ultimately will have to pay their share of the refunded and lowered amounts.

On a grievance the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 filed on behalf of

Tom Hill, who is contesting his separation from employment with the county highway department, the county board voted to deny the grievance.

If Local 49 appeals the denial, the board voted Tuesday to waive the mediation option and proceed to arbitration. The board voted to hire labor counsel Dyan Ebert to represent the county if arbitration occurs.

The commissioners voted to hire Tinjum Appraisal Company for $4,800 to appraise three land parcels in response to a petition for a cartway. Tinjum's bid was the lower of two received.

Probation Director Jim Schneider reported the county was successful in its application for a Minnesota Office of Justice Programs Community Crime Prevention grant for the probation department's pre-trial program.

The county will receive $100,000 to be used Dec. 1, 2017, through June 30, 2019, and another $100,000 to be used July 1, 2018, through Nov. 30, 2019.

The sheriff's department will receive a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources $29,932 grant to be used over two years through June 30, 2019, for off-highway vehicle safety enforcement.

The Minnesota Sheriff's Association donated $200 to the Cass County sheriff's honor guard.

The commissioners referred to the planning commission for a public hearing Jeanne Hardy's application to reclassify from agricultural/forest to rural residential 5 a 1-acre parcel in Poplar Township. It will be combined with a 4-acre parcel if the reclassification is approved.

They referred to the citizen budget committee Cass County Agricultural Association's request for the county to increase its support for the Pine River Fair from $5,000 a year to $10,000 beginning in 2018.

Kirk Titus, land commissioner, reported the county sold $79,910 worth of timber from county land at Sept. 28 auction. Loggers paid $36.93 per cord for aspen. Loggers paid as high as $39.59 for red pine and jack pine pulp.

Area counties will pay $40.86 per hour to the National Joint Powers Alliance to oversee county contracts with group home service providers. Annual cost for their expected 1,560 hours of service will run $63,741.60.

Charges will be split as follows: Cass, $11,154.78; Crow Wing, $24,859.22; Morrison, $12,748.32; Todd, $9,561.24; and Wadena, $5,418.36. Shares are based on population.

Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.

Bill Hansen Realty

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