WALKER -- Cass County commissioners elected Commissioner Bob Kangas chair and Commissioner Scott Bruns as vice chair for 2022 during their first meeting of the year, Tuesday, Jan. 4.

   County Administrator Josh Stevenson presented the 2022 meeting rules of business for approval, along with a schedule for the regular meetings. The schedule remains similar to 2021 with regular meetings set to begin at 9 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the courthouse in Walker and at 9 a.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the land department building in Backus.

   Exceptions will be during the months of May, June, July, August and September, when the commissioner’s begin their “road show” meetings. Those will be the meetings that are held the third Tuesday of the month and will begin at 6 p.m. at city and town halls throughout the county. Locations will be announced within the next month and in the county newsletter that comes with property tax statements. An additional meeting has been added to the calendar to be held on April 12 at 6 p.m. in Lima Township for a road revocation. 

   Another exception will be made in December when the first meeting will begin at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8, at the courthouse in Walker and will precede the annual 6 p.m. truth in taxation public hearing on the county’s proposed 2023 budget and levy. The second December meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 21 at the land department building in Backus rather than at 9 a.m. 

   The commissioners approved the 2022 committee appointments with little change in which commissioners serve on each committee. Commissioner Jeff Peterson requested serving on the budget committee, as he stated it has been several years since he’s served on that committee. Peterson replaced commissioner Neal Gaalswyk on that committee and all other committee appointments are posted on the Cass County website.

   Stevenson also reported to the board a summary of the budget committee meeting held Tuesday, Dec. 21. One item discussed at the meeting was the need for medical services at the Cass county jail. It was reported that the committee is currently looking for bids for 24 hour medical on-call service and requested the board to approve the use of the remaining $426,000 American Rescue Plan Act grant funds from the Home, Health and Learning category towards payment of this service for the next three years.

   The committee also updated the American Rescue Plan Act grant application to add additional categories and provide information to the public on where previously spent money has been distributed. The budget committee also agreed to hold another meeting and include representatives from Cass County Economic Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to discuss workforce housing projects and using American Rescue Plan Act grant funds.

   In other business, the county board: 

   • Approved Walker Pilot Independent as having the low bid to serve as the county’s legal notice publication for most notices in 2022, with the Pine Cone Press Citizen winning the bid for second publication of the financial statement.

   • Approved the production of the 2022 annual newsletter and discussed possible topics to be included.

   • Recognized Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District for receiving the annual Exceptional Regional Partner Award by the Region Five Development Commission in 2021.

   The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the Land Department meeting room in Backus; commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker and AMC Tribal/County Relations Training, Thursday, Feb. 3 through Friday, Feb. 4 at Grand Casino Hinckley, 777 Lady Luck Dr, Hinckley.