WALKER -- The Cass County Board voted Tuesday to extend the county's contract with Stockman Transfer, Inc., to operate the county garbage transfer station and recycling center north of Pine River to 2012.
The current contract had been scheduled to expire in 2005.
Brad Swanson, Pine River attorney representing James Kopachek, who owns Mid-state Recycling Services, Inc., asked the board to consider not extending Stockman's contract and opening the contract for bids in 2005.
"The existing contract (with Stockman) gives the county a fair shake," Commissioner Jim Demgen said. "We're satisfied with the way it's being operated. Personally, I'm not looking for a change."
"We've saved $200,000. Why would we want to change that?" Commissioner John Stranne asked.
The extended contract calls for lowering some rates the county pays Stockman Transfer, Inc., and increases the amount Stockman pays the county to process garbage collected outside Cass County for processing at the plant.
Also Tuesday, the board accepted a contract with Waste Management Co. to transport garbage from Pine River to landfills that firm owns in Elk River and Gwinner, N.D., through Oct. 31, 2012, also reducing those costs.
Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks told the county board Tuesday zoning permits issued the first quarter this year exceeded those of last year in all categories.
Department personnel issued 153 land use zoning and sanitary, 14 variance, 11 conditional use, 31 shoreland alteration and four land reclassification permits the first quarter this year.
This compares with 131 land use, 12 variance, five conditional use, 26 shoreland alteration and three land reclassification permits last year.
Development growth here becomes apparent when compared with permits the department issued as recently as 1997, when 49 land use and sanitary, six variance, five conditional use, two shoreland alteration and one land reclassification permits were issued the first quarter.
So far this year, the largest number of land use and sanitary permits for new home or commercial construction were issued in the following townships: Woodrow, 11; East Sylvan, 10; Crooked Lake and West Fairview, nine; Kego, eight; Ponto Lake, seven; and Barclay, Powers and West Sylvan, six.
To better address the growing requests for permits, Fairbanks said county inspectors now will work in four rather than three districts. Two of those inspectors will conduct business from the Community Resource Center in Pine River, as well as from the Walker office.
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