WALKER -- The Cass County Board voted Thursday to decline Leech Lake Reservation's request to exchange land for a 141-acre county site near Northern Lights Casino to enable the reservation to install a sewer system for the larger casino now under construction.
The board also voted to form a committee to draft a countywide policy on using county land for community sewer systems.
Board action followed receipt of a wastewater task force report to the board that discouraged the land exchange.
The task force sponsored seven meetings this fall to develop its recommendations. Commissioners Virgil Foster and Joanne Pels and Leech Lake Band representative Harry Entwistle did not vote on the final recommendation.
Those who did represented Breezy Point Road Area Association, Tri-County Leech Lake Watershed, Turtle Lake and Shingobee townships and the city of Walker.
The task force cited a need for a Y Junction of Highways 371 and 200 and need for further study of alternate sewer system designs and land areas where sewage treatment could occur.
The task force recommended any sewer system meet regulatory requirements and that public input be received on any future wastewater facility construction.
Board Chair Jim Demgen said the board's denial of the land exchange does not prevent Leech Lake from requesting the use of the 141 acres for a drainfield or other use. He said the decision means only that the county will not exchange that parcel for one the Leech Lake Band owns.
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