WALKER -- The Cass County Board approved a one-year contract agreement Tuesday with Aitkin County to board at least five inmates a day at a cost of $48 per inmate per day.
The per-day rate is the same as an existing contract with Morrison County. The Morrison contract has a 60-day notification clause, which Cass expects Morrison may exercise sometime before the end of this year, because that county's jail is filling with its own inmates.
Cass' jail has been running over capacity for more than a year.
Board Chair Jim Demgen said he has heard a newly opened jail in Owatonna is charging other counties $69 per day to house non-local inmates.
The board approved a 10-year lease agreement to pay the DNR $100 per year for an easement across the Paul Bunyan Trail for the driveway between Highway 371 and the county's garbage and recycling center.
Cass will hold a public hearing 6:30 p.m. March 4 at the Community Resource Center in Pine River on a request from Anchorage Inn for an off-sale intoxicating liquor license.
The board amended the county personnel policy to stipulate county employees' driver's license records may be checked as needed and no county employees may drive a county car or their own car for county business if their license has been suspended or canceled. Department heads must inform job applicants when a license will be required for the job.
In another clause, severance pay for deceased employees will be paid in the name of the deceased employee, leaving determination for beneficiaries to be made by laws applying to their estate or terms of their will or other legal documents.
Sue Dahlhauser of Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust explained to new commissioners how the insurance joint powers program works. She said the advantage over buying insurance from insurance companies is that member counties receive unused contributions to the program back as dividends.
Last year, Cass received about half of its payment for MCIT coverage back as dividends, she said.
The board voted to support a Bi-County Community Action Program grant application to be used for family homeless prevention.
If received, grant money would be used to help those who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless with utility payments, mortgage assistance, rent assistance, transportation, job related and other expenses.
They listened to, but did not comment on, concerns from property owners saying the county permitted loggers cutting a county timber sale to cut trees from their property.
The board declined to comment or respond, because the issue is involved in court litigation. The property is in Blind Lake Township.
Benetta and Manley Olson, Garry and Terri Mayer and Duane and Evelyn Mayer contend they were aware the area marked for logging appeared to encroach on their property and tried to notify the county land department and loggers before the trees were cut.
However, they maintain response was not prompt enough to prevent trees from being cut on land they believe they own. Therefore, they believe they suffered losses, should be compensated and want to prevent that from happening to other people, they told the board.
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