PINE RIVER -- Officials from seven Cass County cities attended an organizational meeting Thursday night to form an Association of Cass County Cities.
Those attending delayed selecting officers for the organization until a second meeting when the county's seven additional cities have another opportunity to send a representative.
The second meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Community Resources Center in Pine River.
Topics of interest raised Thursday included cooperative sewer and water systems with surrounding townships, where to find sufficient funding for such utilities, sharing equipment and management or inspection services or employees among cities, joint legislative lobbying to fight against unfunded mandates, uniform sign and zoning codes and developmental spread surrounding cities.
The merits of cooperative boards and consolidating services with surrounding townships versus annexation also were debated. Ways to attract businesses to Cass cities was a concern.
Attendees discussed the importance of keeping current with court rulings and law changes for cities having or wanting to write ordinances governing adult oriented businesses.
Next month, members will prioritize their list of issues to focus on ways to jointly resolve mutual problems.
It was suggested Region 5 might assist with some projects and provide information helpful to the cities. Another suggestion was to invite legislative candidates to listen to the cities' concerns.
Township representatives might be invited to exchange problem-solving ideas with the city association once members finalize their priorities.
For cities bordering neighboring counties, those attending have found the additional need to work across county lines with neighboring cities and townships not located within Cass County, the Lake Shore and Cass Lake representatives noted.
Those attending Thursday included:
Backus: council member Fred Smith.
Cass Lake: Mayor Ardean Brasgalla and council member Eleanor Kirkpatrick.
Chickamaw Beach: Mayor Mike Mills.
Lake Shore: Clerk-treasurer Patti McDonald.
Longville: Clerk-treasurer Arlene Schossow.
Pine River: Mayor Robert Fladung and council members Merril Nelson and Jim Sabas.
Walker: Clerk-treasurer Stephen Michael and council members Ken Bresley and Scott Bruns.
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