WALKER -- The Cass County Board set the date for the annual county retreat Tuesday for Jan. 18 at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve.
Rather than assessing future county government goals, the retreat this year will focus on reports from citizen planning committees.
These groups have been evaluating the future of the whole county in preparation for revising the county comprehensive plan next year.
The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. with a presentation on the comprehensive planning progress.
Reports will be received from planning committees on water, private land use, public infrastructure and public land planning.
Additional issues for 2002 will be discussed following a noon lunch.
The public is welcome to attend by making a reservation with the county administrator's office before the event. Walker-Hackensack area residents should call the county administrator's office at (218) 547-7419. Those outside that area can call toll free at 888-547-3301.
By MONICA LUNDQUIST
Cass County Correspondent
WALKER -- The Cass County Board approved a five-year county highway construction plan Tuesday.
Because there appears to be a potential for additional federal highway funding in the immediate future, County Engineer David Enblom told the board he has expanded the plan into 2006 since the board's road project tour this fall.
Projects added for 2006 since those reported earlier for 2002 to 2005 include re-paving 1.4 miles of city streets in Cass Lake, grading and gravel base on four miles of County State Aid Highway 35 from CSAH 34 to Highway 210 in southern Cass, resurfacing 11.4 miles of CSAH 4 from Remer to CSAH 65, bituminous surfacing on County Road 114 and new gravel base on County Road 116 north of Backus.
Tuesday, the board accepted the lower of two quotes from WSB and Associates to engineer the CSAH 60 repaving project for $128,962.
That road runs past Leech Lake Health Services at the north edge of Cass Lake to the Bingo Palace and Casino, passing a heavily populated residential area.
Enblom said average daily traffic count on that former state highway is 3,000 vehicles.
He reported the county will provide maintenance services on the Boy Lake Road east of Leech Lake under an agreement with Rogers Township.
Also known as Indian Service Road 6, residential and resort property owners living along that road fought about a 10-year battle to have the road upgraded.
Leech Lake Reservation was able to improve the road this year under a federal grant program that offered services of military personnel to do the work.
Now that the road has been improved, the township has agreed to cover future maintenance costs.
It took more than 10 years of negotiations between Leech Lake Reservation, Bureau of Indian Affairs (which manages reservation road funding), Cass County and the township to resolve problems on the badly deteriorated road.
At some points during that time, the reservation had agreed to give the road to the county, because it lies away from their population center at Cass Lake and is used by a larger percentage of non-Indian residents.
However, the Bureau of Indian Affairs refused to recognize the county-reservation agreement to transfer ownership early in the 1990s.
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