WALKER -- The Cass County Board asked Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks to survey private sewer system installers to determine how the department can better serve their needs.
One question to be asked is whether any would utilize weekend inspections of sewer installations if that were available.
Currently, department inspectors normally work only weekdays.
This decision followed a survey department personnel conducted of surrounding counties on the extent of inspection and permit requirements and on the time it takes from application date to permit being issued.
Fairbanks reported the average for applications without problems runs about two days. Similar time tables exist in surrounding counties, he reported.
However, St. Louis County, where on-site inspections are required prior to any permit application, the time frame can run two to three weeks, Fairbanks reported.
There can be a variety of reasons for Cass to take longer than two to three days, he said.
The board asked Fairbanks to conduct this survey after a meeting with Hubbard County Board last month. Hubbard Commissioners reported they issue permits the same day in many instances.
Hubbard officials believe they are able to do that, because they use contract rather than county employee inspectors.
Fairbanks said the two-day time period is necessary in Cass, because every property is checked to ensure property taxes are paid before permits are issued.
Few counties make that check, he said. While not very many violators are found, there are a few, he said.
The time for application processing may run slightly longer in Cass than Hubbard, Fairbanks said, because Cass processed 741 sewer applications in 1999, compared with Hubbard's 462.
Cass issued a total of 1,861 zoning permits last year for various purposes, compared with 1,183 in Hubbard, he reported.
Fairbanks also noted, in an effort to make services more convenient to the public, environmental services employees are at Pillager Family Center from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and will be at Crooked Lake Town Hall noon to 3 p.m. Fridays through September.
Staffing the Crooked Lake Town Hall will be evaluated after September to see whether residents in that area use the service. Pillager area residents do use the service there, he said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.