8/6/2020 8:14:00 AM Cass County Board:July storm damage warrants emergency declaration, county officials say
By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen
BACKUS - Cass County Commissioners received a request for an emergency declaration following damage from a July severe storm. Deputy Sheriff Chad Emery, joing the Tuesday, Aug. 4, Cass County Board meeting via phone conference, requested the emergency declaration for the July 17, 2020, storm, noting it caused an estimated total of $110,121 in damage. By declaring Cass County in a state of emergency for this date the county will be able to request reimbursement for 75% of the cost from the State of Minnesota.
Commissioners also approved an update to the Cass County COVID-19 Preparedness Plan consistent with the Governor Tim Walz's executive order to change wording from "masks recommended" to "face coverings required" Cass County Administrator Josh Stevenson said.
Central Services Director Tim Richardson requested the board to approve Thyssen-Krupp to remove the elevator cab and rail from the courthouse elevator shaft for an amount not to exceed a cost of $12,500. Richardson said the reasoning for this added expense for the installation of a restroom in the abandoned elevator shaft is due to the cab not being easily removable and the rail that guided the cab cannot be left in the shaft. The addition of this restroom is necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions put into place and therefore will be a qualifying expense under the CARES Act. Commissioner Jeff Peterson motioned to approve this expense with commissioner Bob Kangas seconding the motion, and all board members approving.
Richardson also requested the board approve a bid from NAC Mechanical and Electrical Services for a total amount of $1,036,850 to convert the heating system to natural gas. Currently the boiler system is running on propane and is in need of repairs. With the recent availability of natural gas and the cost being more consistent than propane, the timing of conversion is good, Richardson said. Another benefit to switching to natural gas is there will be less required licensors of staff.
In other business, the county board:
Approved CARES Act grant expenditures in the amount of $176,447. Board Chair Neal Gaalswyk asked how many applications the county has received and if they have received any that have not qualified. Stevenson stated that the four applications the board is approving are the only ones that have been received, aside from applications received since the board packet was printed. There have been no applications that have not qualified for funding so far.
Approved the 2020 distribution of the state in lieu payment in the amount of $1,234,415.06 and the Wildlife Management Lands distribution in the amount of $107,148.75.
Adopted a resolution for the completion of a Phase 2 Archeological Investigation on County State Aid Highway 70 in East Gull Lake.
Approved a Memorandum of understanding with the city of Pine River for the city work on County State Aid Highway 1 this summer. This memorandum addresses the responsible parties for additional work to be conducted during the county state aid highways 1 and 44 construction project this year.
The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner's board meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, at Lake Shore City Hall, 8583 Interlachen Road, Lake Shore and commissioner's board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Land Department Meeting Room in Backus.