BACKUS - The Cass County Board deferred Tuesday for budget committee consideration whether Cass should charge its prisoners assigned either to the Cass jail in Walker or Crow Wing jail in Brainerd for their room and board. Crow Wing County recently began charging its prisoners a daily rate.
Previous studies on this issue have indicated a high number of Cass inmates might not be able to pay a boarding fee if it were imposed.
Sheriff Randy Fisher obtained board approval to permit a jailer and a dispatcher who recently became Peace Officers Standards and Training Board certified as law enforcement officers to work part time as deputies while continuing the balance of their time in their current positions.
They will fill in for deputy vacancies and vacations, Fisher said.
Cass is in initial stages of joining a newly created Northeast Minnesota Regional Radio Board. Participants include Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake Pine and St. Louis Counties and the cities of Duluth, Hibbing, International Falls and Virginia.
If put into operation, the joint effort would establish interoperability standards, policies and procedures for member counties' and cities' emergency radio communications systems.
It would enable the joint board to apply for and hold licenses for public safety radio frequencies to be used in regional and local improvements, to buy and sell equipment for members and provide regional services where that might improve overall service to members.
Cass County Emergency Services has applied for a $175,000 grant to purchase mobile and portable radios to bring Cass County fire departments up to 2013 standards and for a $145,000 grant to upgrade National Weather Service warning systems at Remer, Cass Lake and Backus and install new systems in Lake Shore, East Gull Lake, Hackensack, Longville, Pillager, Bena and Federal Dam.
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