WALKER - Commissioner Jeff Peterson will chair the Cass County Board this year. Commissioner Virgil Foster was elected vice chair.
The board selected low bidder Walker Pilot-Independent to continue as the official county newspaper at a rate 3 percent higher than last year. Also bidding this year was the Cass Lake Times.
The Mississippi Headwaters Board office has moved from the courthouse in Walker to the land department building in Backus to enable the county to provide more space in the old courthouse building in Walker for court administration services.
The board authorized commissioner Jim Demgen to represent the county at the annual National Association of Counties convention in Washington, D.C., in March. Demgen serves on the NACo finance and public affairs committee.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has approved a $91,225 grant to Cass County Economic Development Corp., which will be loaned to Ridgeline Manufacturing in Pillager for development of that business. Cass County served as grant applicant.
The Child, Girl and Woman Lake Association will receive $6,120 from the county to defray half the cost that association incurred last year to complete voluntary testing of septic systems for lakeshore property owners. That association had more than 500 sewer systems inspected the last three years.
Environmental Services Director John Sumption told the board almost 6,000 private sewer systems have been inspected through lake association voluntary inspection programs in recent years in the county.
Sumption obtained board approval to begin updating the 1998 county Wetland Ordinance and Wetland Management Plan.
Breaking a longstanding policy against transferring land into non-taxable Indian trust lands, the county board voted Tuesday to support Leech Lake Reservation's request to the U.S. Department of Interior to have 40 acres near the Leech Lake College designated trust land.
If used for college purposes, the land would become non-taxable regardless of whether it is placed in trust for the reservation. Board members indicated they wanted to show support for the reservation's educational programs.
Administrator Robert Yochum said if not used for college buildings, the site is a likely location for student housing.
Land Commissioner Norm Moody reported the county sold $194,709.14 worth of timber to loggers from county-managed land at a Dec. 27 auction. Loggers paid $30.12 per cord for aspen. The lowest price paid was $16.06 for maple and highest, $46.73 for white spruce.
Moody obtained board approval to negotiate with a Potlatch real estate investment trust to purchase 40 acres in Pine River Township adjacent to existing county land. The site lies between Boot and Eagle Lakes, north of Mildred Bible Chapel.
The DNR has approved funding for maintenance of Goose Lake Cross Country Ski Trail east of Hackensack through Dec. 31, 2012.
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