6/7/2018 2:00:00 PM Cass Board tables land use ordinance changes
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
WALKER-Cass County Board voted Tuesday, June 5, to table proposed changes to the Countywide Land Use Ordinance until the section limiting allowable animal units per property is clarified, so it clearly does not apply to farms.
In current wording, the proposed limit of six animal units (equal to six horses or six cows) in the non-shoreland district does not specifically state this applies primarily to residential properties and not to agricultural land.
The revisions will come back to the board for final approval at a future meeting.
Cass has had countywide zoning since 1997. Commissioner Jeff Peterson asked County Planner Paul Fairbanks to have the planning commission review whether the county really needs to have countywide zoning or whether it should revert to only shoreland zoning. Fairbanks will report back on that issue as well.
The board also tabled a request from Leech Lake River One Watershed, One Plan for $21,360 additional funding to pay for committee members to attend additional meetings for the project.
The project is being funded by a state Board of Water and Soil Resources grant.
Commissioner Jeff Peterson questioned why those working on the Leech Lake project are being paid at all. He said those working on a comparable plan for the Pine River Watershed are volunteering their time.
Kelsey Schwartz, the county's new payroll and benefits and human resources official was introduced to the county board. She has been the payroll and human resource official for Pillager Public Schools the last year.
Prior to that, she processed loans and credit applications for U.S. Bank at Pine River. She has a bachelor's degree from Bemidji State University in business administration and accounting.
Elections Specialist Sharon Anderson obtained board approval to hire DS Solutions of St. Cloud to prepare an election judges training program for the county.
Cost will be $1,500 for initial course set-up, $9.90 per participant per calendar year, $500 annual maintenance and $125 per hour for alterations and customization.
Anderson also obtained board approval to engage Nixle to provide an election and ballot notification system for the county for $1,084.60 the first year and $1,800 the second year.
The commissioners approved paying $1,125 to Deep Portage Learning Center for 75 Cass Lake-Bena middle school students to participate in a one-day environmental education program there.
They also approved paying $2,800 to Deep Portage for a two-day environmental education program for Pine River-Backus middle school students.
Future Forests Inc. was the only one of four potential bidders contacted to submit a bid to win a contract to prepare county sites for tree planting and spray competing growth in plantations. They bid $14,390 for site preparation and $12,648 for release.
Site preparation will be done in Homebrook, Loon Lake, Boy River and Polar townships.
Plantation release is planned in May and Blind Lake townships.
The county awarded haying contracts costing the hay cutters $25 each to Larry Converse in May Township, to Rodney Aker in McKinley Township and to Terry Mejdrich in Smoky Hollow Township.
Mike's Sand and Gravel was the lowest of three bidders to win a contract to place Class 5 gravel the Deerfield Trail where it had been damaged.
After being approved earlier by the planning commission, the county board gave final approval Tuesday to the following land reclassifications:
Wynn Neumann, 77.8 acres from commercial to rural residential-1 acre, Pine River Township; Janice Sorenson, 3 acres from agricultural/forest to rural residential-1 acre, Pine River Township; and Dale and Debra Hanson, a portion of 35 acres from agricultural/forest to rural residential-5 acres, Poplar Township.
Minnesota Legislature changed the law in 2016 on what counties can recover from the estates of persons receiving some forms of benefits, with a retroactive clause. This affected one case in Cass County.
Tuesday, Health, Human and Veterans Services obtained board approval to pay three heirs on that estate $10,672.99 each for a total refund of $32,018.97 to comply with the law change.
The board authorized paying $5,000 to Cass County Historical Society.
Fairview Township donated $500 and Shingobee Township donated $250 to the sheriff for the Lakes Area Dive Team. Turtle Lake Cemetery of Hope Lutheran Church in Walker donated $400 for the Sentence to Service program.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.