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home : cass county news : cass county news
May 8, 2021

4/10/2021 12:15:00 PM
Cass County Board: County Continues Meeting Benchmarks for Administering COVID Vaccine
By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen

BACKUS - Cass County Health, Human, and Veterans Services continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines, with 100% administration of allocated doses to eligible recipients both within 72 hours and within 7 days, meeting benchmarks set by the state, reported public health nurses Jamie Richter and Gina Zubke.

Richter and Zubke shared the vaccine information during the Tuesday, April 6, Cass County Board meeting. All members were present for the meeting with commissioner Jeff Peterson joining via ZOOM.

Richter said there have been a total of 97 clinics at 26 venues throughout Cass County. As of March 28 Cass County Health, Human, and Veterans Services has administered 1,421 first doses and 1,066 second doses for a total 2,487 vaccines, while a total of 8,280 first doses and 5,494 second doses have been administered in Cass County. Richter also stated that approximately 65% of people age 65 and older have been vaccinated within Cass County and 81% have been vaccinated statewide.

With anyone age 16 and older now being able to receive vaccinations, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is hosting mass vaccination clinics, which Health, Human, and Veterans Services staff has been assisting with. Richter stated that the department is still focusing on vaccinating phase one priority groups through waiting lists, people needing second doses along with offering homebound vaccinations. People wanting to find more information on scheduling appointments or locating clinics can visit or

County Adminstrator Josh Stevenson presented a summary of a recent meeting by the Deep Portage Area With Limitation and Timber Management Committee. Recommendations were made to update the Deep Portage Area with Limitations document to include the mobility waiver language and post on the county website. The committee also recommended the board adopt the revised Deep Portage Forest Resource Management Plan for 2021-2029, which included minor edits to wording for clarification. Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk motioned the above recommendations with Commissioner Scott Bruns seconding the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

Stevenson also presented a summary of a recent meeting by the Solid Waste Committee. It was reported the committee reviewed and discussed a request from Waste Partners to amend contracts for both transfer station and recycle bin. The committee asked staff to meet with Waste Partners and report back with costs associated with the pandemic as it is known that there were increased volumes in 2020.

Another item discussed was an increase of the tip fee. It was recommended to the board that there be an increase of $2.50 per ton tip fee. This would allow for the annual increase of $1.00 per ton, which is in the current contract, a $0.50 per ton city tax increase and an adjustment of handling and loading fees of $1.00 per ton. The board approved increasing the per ton rate by $2.50 from $76.91 per ton to $79.41 per ton effective June 1.

County Engineer Darrick Anderson requested the board award a contract for the 2021 chloride application to Edwards Oil Inc. at $0.9597 per gallon. Anderson stated the bid was for magnesium chloride rather than the normal calcium chloride that the county has applied in the past. Peterson questioned if this was the type of chloride that was used previously that made the roads more slippery after a rain. It was noted that although both types of chloride bind, they have to be applied at a different rate to be effective. A motion was made to award the contract to Edwards Oil, Inc. by Gaalswyk with acting Board Chair Bob Kangas seconding the motion. The motion passed three to two with commissioners Rick Haaland and Peterson opposing.

In other business, the county board:

• Approved the first reading of the Tobacco Ordinance to adopt revisions necessary to comply with current state and federal laws, which raises minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, and consider the second reading and final adoption at the scheduled public hearing at 9 a.m. April 20 during the regular board meeting at the Land Department in Backus.

• Approved the agreement for conversion to UltiPro human resource and payroll administration software through the Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative .

• Adopted a resolution to withdraw from Minnesota Counties Information Sytstem payroll services effective Jan. 1, 2022.

• Awarded contract for the 2021 roadway maintenance striping project to Traffic Marking Serviced in the amount of $95,405.

• Awarded contract on 2021 aggregate surfacing project to Swenson Aggregate in the total amount of $231,480.

• Approved vacating a portion of the old County State Aid Highway 17 right-of-way and post notice and personal service to property owners impacted.

• Set a public hearing for the revocation of a portion of the former County State Aid Highway 17 right-of-way to Loon Lake Township during the regular board meeting at 6 p.m. May 18 at Loon Lake Township Hall, 1346 56th St. SW, Pequot Lakes, MN.

• Set a public hearing for the third reading and final adoption of the Cass County Environmental Definitions Ordinance and the Cass County Land Use Ordinance during the regular board meeting at 9 a.m. April 20 at the Land Department in Backus.

The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner's board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 20; and commissioner's board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 4. All meetings will be at the Land Department meeting room in Backus unless otherwise noted.

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