BACKUS -- One hundred and eighty vaccines were administered across Cass county in various COVID-19 vaccine clinics conducted by Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services.

Currently only private clinics based on priority tiers are being scheduled at this time, stated Gina Zubke, public health nurse, at the Tuesday, Jan. 19 county board meeting. Cass county is providing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to hospital personnel, long-term care residents and personnel, emergency medical service personnel, COVID-19 testers at large testing centers and COVID-19 community vaccinators.

Zubke also mentioned scheduling has been a challenge because there are 10 doses per vial which must be used within six hours of opening the vial. Therefore, if somebody who was scheduled to receive the vaccine does not show up or cannot receive the vaccine due to not feeling well, somebody else must take their place within a short period of time. Fortunately, no doses of the vaccine have been wasted and there also have been minimal mild side effects.

County Administrator, Josh Stevenson addressed the Cass County delegates on the 2021 legislative priorities. Some of those priorities to include: transportation, mental health, chemical dependency, tribal tax agreements, state ordered valuations, probation, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund and a bonding bill for Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center roof replacement and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Capital Assistance Project for funding a new solid waste transfer station in Pine River. It was noted by Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, that a rather large bonding bill was passed last year, therefore, they may consider passing a smaller one this year but it would not include any individual items on it.

In other business, the county board:

Established a committee of the board to review the policy on county land gravel extraction with commissioners Jeff Peterson and Bob Kangas both volunteering to serve on the committee.

Discussed and approved new designated parking for staff and the public at the Walker courthouse campus to be effective Jan. 25. This plan will restrict employees from parking on street sides to allow for visitors to find parking closer to the courthouse campus.

Awarded the contract to install the new heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration system, in the highway department Walker office area, to Up North Plumbing and Heating for the amount of $59,975.

The next meetings are as follows: commissioner's board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, commissioner's board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 and Association of Minnesota Counties Legislative Conference held virtually Thursday, Feb. 18. All meetings will be held at the Land Department meeting room in Backus unless otherwise noted.