WALKER — Forty-one Cass County property owners who potentially could be asked to share the cost of cleaning Ditch 9 and the public will be invited to a 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26 hearing at the land department in Backus to comment on the proposed project.
Looking at potential costs, the Cass commissioners Tuesday opted to propose the lower cost route available under state law to cleaning the ditch of beavers and their dams. The project calls for removing dams in stages from the ditch outflow at the Crow Wing County lines, back up stream one dam at a time.
Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson explained that by removing one dam at a time, the potential increased water flow into Crow Wing County could be minimized.
The repair petition from a few property owners will be tabled until after this process is completed.
Anderson and County Engineer David Enblom will seek quotes for the proposed beaver and dam removal and present a proposed cost estimate to consider at the public hearing.
Darrin Hoverson, DNR hydrologist, advised Anderson by email the DNR will require the county to submit to their offices a repair plan, but that limiting the work to just removing beavers and dams likely will not require the county to do wetland mitigation.
Land Commissioner Joshua Stevenson obtained board approval Tuesday to allow another office of the DNR to install water monitoring wells on county land in the Farnham Wildlife Management Area near the land Winnemucca Farms recently purchased from Potlatch. This area is southwest of Pine River.
There already are water monitoring wells in other areas of the county, which Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has installed on county administered land.
The county board tabled action until more information is received on a request for the county to support proposed federal legislation calling for increased timber management and logging on federal forest land like Chippewa National Forest.
Also in that bill is funding for secure rural schools projects.
Stevenson reported seven of eight tracts the county offered for sale in an Aug. 29 timber auction sold for $67,195. Aspen sold for $22.44 per cord. Ash brought the lowest at $7.90 per cord, while red oak brought the highest prices at $28.80 per cord.
Red pine saw logs sold for $114.38 per thousand board feet.