WALKER -- The Cass County Board voted Wednesday to pursue moving County State Aid Highway 50 or Upper Ten Mile Lake Road away from houses where it now passes about 20 feet from them.
This option was one of four a committee report presented to the board suggested as ways to deal with heavy dump truck traffic running past those houses.
Another option would have been to move the road even farther north through U.S. Forest Service property. Due to current forest service policies against new roads through forest land, it likely would not get approval even after about a two-year review period, according to Jim Tande, U.S. Forest Service.
The plan the board will seek to implement will require approval from Minnesota DNR Division of Waters in Bemidji to cross a wetland area and provide mitigation for that crossing.
Other options involved no change or upgrading the road where it is. The latter would have required widening the road and would not have moved it any farther away from houses.
County Engineer David Enblom told the board the plan to cross mostly private property could be ready, with DNR approval, for construction at the same time CSAH 71 is expected to be improved around the northwest side of Ten Mile Lake in 2004.
Enblom obtained board approval to award construction contracts this year to overlay pavement on CSAH 8 from Federal Dam to Bena, to improve County Road 130 from Highway 200 to CSAH 4 and for a Birch Lake Township road improvement running by that town hall.
The board voted to start charging property owners $300 per driveway culvert obtained from the county and to require installation designs prior to installing a culvert.
Cass has received a $252,947 reimbursement from Federal Emergency Management Agency for road repairs made last year following July 4 storms.
Enblom said the county received about $90,000 last year and still has an application pending at FEMA for another $92,000 reimbursement.
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