BACKUS - The Cass County Board voted Tuesday to reject all eight bids received for moving the Pine River depot building, because three of the eight bidders, including the apparent low bidder, failed to fully complete the bid form.
County Engineer David Enblom consulted the county attorney, county administrator and Minnesota Department of Transportation before recommending rejection. The county will advertise for new bids. Federal funds will pay for the project if successfully re-bid.
Cass County Board referred back to the budget committee requests from Cass County Historical Society and the fair boards.
Commissioner Jim Demgen noted the county board has been trying to cut all non-essential expenditures since the depth of state and federal funding shortfalls has developed this year. A motion to cut this funding without first a referral to the budget committee failed on a split vote. Commissioner Dick Downham was absent due to a medical appointment.
Enblom reported the state gas tax portion allocated for township road construction will be $339,133 or $28,272 more than last year. That fund is divided among the county's townships based on a formula for road miles, valuation and township road fund taxation.
The board voted to increase the amount the county highway department charges to rent county highway equipment with an operator from $75 per hour to $85 if used during regular work hours or from $90 per hour to $100 if used during overtime hours.
Medical Examiner Michael McGee reported there were 86 deaths in Cass County in 2008. Sixty of those were from natural causes, 19 from accidents and six from suicides. The cause of one death was undetermined.
McGee completed 39 autopsies with toxicology tests and signed seven death certificates without completing an examination. Private physicians signed the death certificates for the balance of the decedents.
U.S. Forest Service will pay Cass County Sheriff's Department up to $13,500 this year for deputy wages, benefits and mileage to patrol in the Chippewa National Forest. The county will receive $57,037 state boat and water safety funding this year.
Chippewa National Forest will pay to Cass County from the forest service timber cutting receipts $501,654 this year. Of that, $250,827 goes to the county highway department. The balance is divided between Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, Cass Lake-Bena, Remer-Longville and Deer River school districts.
Cass County will receive $13,914.38 this year as its share of the $166,972.55 revenue generated on Pillsbury State lands from 2004 through 2008. Pillsbury State Forest is in Cass County.
The county board approved a 4.34 percent rate increase for Stockman Transfer, operator of the county's garbage transfer station and recycling center north of Pine River. The increase is based on the consumer price index and comparable to a rate increase built into the county's garbage disposal contract with Waste Management. Stockman's contract runs through 2012.
Cass became the first of five counties and nine cities to approve Tuesday an amended Kitchigami Regional Library Joint Powers Agreement. This would be only the third revision since the library system formed in 1969.
Cass' approval is subject to review by Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust, the county's insurer, and subject to review and approval of any changes other member counties make to the proposed agreement.
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