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home : cass county news : cass county news
May 27, 2018

5/10/2018 10:47:00 AM
Over $1 million expected from sales tax for road projects
MONICA LUNDQUIST
Cass County Correspondent

WALKER-Cass County Highway Department annual report submitted to the county board Tuesday shows the newer local option sales tax the county now collects for highway improvements will add over $1 million annually for more projects.

The roads listed may be paved in stages, so the year listed may be for only a portion of that road.

The department plans to do repaving on county state aid highways 12, 38, 61, 66 and 77 in 2018. The sales tax will pay $2,070,000 of the cost. State aid will pay $2,650,000. Federal aid will pay $169,384.

The county also will replace a bridge on Cass County Road 129 this year.

In 2019, Cass plans new surfaces on county highways 17 and 73 and county roads 136 and 157. Sales tax will pay $1,550,000 of that. State aid will pay $3,100,000. Another $850,000 will come from county road money and $600,000 from the Leech Lake Band.

In 2020, Cass plans new surfaces on county highways 5, 42, 43, 46 and 79 and Municipal State Aid Highway 204. Sales tax will pay $1,450,000. State aid will pay $2,730,000. County road funds will pay $650,000.

In 2021, Cass plans new surfaces on county highways 1, 14, 47, 48, 54 and 55. Sales tax will pay $1,700,000. State aid will pay $2,825,000. Federal aid will pay $700,000. County road funds will pay $550,000.

In 2022, Cass plans new surfaces on county highways 32, 33, 37, 67, 72 and 50. Sales tax will pay $1,475,000. State aid will pay $3,965,000. County road funds will pay $650,000.

In 2023, Cass plans new surfaces on county highways 1, 18, 36 and 70 and County Road 103. Sales tax will pay $1,100,000. State aid will pay $3,320,000. County Road funds will pay $775,000. State bridge bonding will pay the cost for a new bridge along County Road 103.

Amounts and roads scheduled for work are dependent upon available money in years after 2018.

The highway department found it costs $4,012 per mile to maintain its 369.37 miles of paved state aid roads, compared with $6,644.19 per mile to maintain its 130.93 miles of gravel surfaced state-aid roads.

Total state-aid road maintenance cost the county $2,352,161.98 in 2017. Maintaining 31.50 miles of municipal state-aid streets cost $143,201.71.

Cass has 285.61 miles of county roads, which are ineligible for state-aid money. The county uses property tax revenue to maintain those roads. Their maintenance cost $1,767,436.77 in 2017.

Like the state-aid roads, the paved county roads also are more cost effective to maintain. The paved county roads cost $4,214.85 per mile to maintain in 2017, compared with $6,946.69 per mile on gravel roads.

Cass spent $4,487,607.08 on state-aid road construction in 2017, $25,787.26 on municipal state-aid road construction, $996,682.98 on county road construction and used $983,185 local option sales tax for road construction in 2017.

Cass County had been paying between 20 percent and 30 percent of its road maintenance cost from property tax levy since 2013, matched with 70 percent to 80 percent state aid. In 2017, state aid paid 93 percent of maintenance costs on state-aid roads. Cass paid 7 percent of those costs from levy dollars.

Road construction similarly showed a shift away from local county property taxes.

From 2013, state aid has paid about 75 percent to 85 percent of construction costs. With the addition of local option sales tax revenue, the local property tax levy share has now dropped to 5.3 percent of road construction costs.

The sales tax brought in $1,768,759 revenue to the county in 2017, enabling the county to provide $80,000 in property tax relief.

Cass contracted for calcium chloride summer gravel road treatment on higher traffic gravel roads for $444,706.05 in 2017, for $62,257.84 for paved road lane striping and $262,627.35 for gravel added to improve the surface on some gravel roads in 2017.

The highway department sold three old plow trucks, one dating back to 1998, for $62,189 and bought three new 2018 models for $209,716.77 each.

Cass County built the primary county highway garage at Walker in 1958 and made additions, added buildings and improvements there in 1962, 1976, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1995 and 2014.

The county satellite garage at Cass Lake was built in 1971 and replaced in 2015.

The county satellite garage at Longville was built in 1973 and will be replaced this summer.

The county satellite garage at Pine River was built in 1974 and was replaced in 2016.

The county satellite garage at Remer was built in 1976 and was replaced in 2017.

The county satellite garage at Hackensack was built in 1983. It has had improvements and additions in 1998 and 2016. It is not scheduled for replacement before 2024.

The county satellite garage at Pillager was built in 1987. It has had improvements and additions in 1989, 1998 and 2016. It is not scheduled for replacement before 2019.

So far, the county has retained the old garage buildings in towns where they built a new garage. The old buildings are being used for cold storage and are no longer heated.

The county's 2018 operating budget calls for $11,696,974 in revenue and expenses of $917,468 on administration, $1,633,663 on shops and equipment and $9,068,892 on roads and bridges.

Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.


Bill Hansen Realty




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