September 9, 2023 at 2:09 p.m.
Cass County Board:

Commissioners recognize two for service and excellence



By By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

   WALKER — County Administrator Josh Stevenson presented two Cass County employees for recognitions at the Tuesday, Sept. 5 county board meeting. Randall (Randy) Brueland was first recognized for 52 years of service with the Cass County Highway Department. Brueland first began working with Cass County June 10, 1970 and will retire on September 8, 2023.

Board Chair Scott Bruns (left) presented Randy Brueland with a certificate of appreciation along with a clock in recognition of 52 years of service with the County. Photo Submitted.

Michelle DeVries (left) was recognized with the Everyday Hero Award. Renee Lukkason, Public Health Team Leader, nominated DeVries for her work with the Cass County Health Department. Photo Submitted.


   Public Health Nurse Michelle DeVries was then recognized for being the recipient of the 2023 Minnesota Department of Health Women, Infants and Children Everyday Hero Award. Public Health Team Leader Renee Lukkason shared with the board that DeVries is well deserving of the award due to her dedication, enthusiasm and the care she gives to the participants. It was also noted that DeVries is the Personal Centered Services mentor and an advocate and supporter for breastfeeding. Stevenson mentioned that this is only the second time during his employment that an Cass County employee has received this award.

   Stevenson then brought an updated employee recognition program for approval before the board. The current recognition program is over 10 years old and does not align with the programs of neighboring counties. The proposed recognition policy would recognize employees after one year of service with a County pin and then recognition upon retirement or separation in good standing after five years with rewards being given for every five years of service. The board motioned and approved the new policy unanimously.

   Commissioners approved a preliminary tax levy increase of 13.25% above the 2023 levy, which is a total increase of $3,357,127 levy dollars over the 2023 final levy. Stevenson informed the board even though the levy is much greater than years in the past, the net tax capacity increases for new construction and values are showing a 14.45% increase to our estimated tax capacity. Therefore, with a preliminary levy of 13.25% the county would create an estimated tax capacity rate of 22.40% in 2024 which is a decrease from 22.645% in 2023.

   In other business, the county board:

   • Heard from Kevin Lee regarding the second quarter Longville Ambulance report, which stated revenues were unfavorable to budget, but expenses were favorable to budget. 

   • Approved referring the request from Cass County Housing Redevelopment Authority regarding a revolving loan in the amount of $500,000 to Cass County Economic Development Corporation for administration and learning more about the proposed program at the next meeting.

   • Approved the appointment of Jay Edward Sommer as Temporary Assistant County Attorney for a maximum of 14 weeks and extend the employment with Justin Stang as temporary Certified Student Attorney, not to exceed 1,040 hours.

  • Approved conducting a public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17 during the regular board meeting regarding a proposed ordinance for regulation of Use of Cannabis and Cannabis Derived Products in Public Places.

   • Approved the direct sale of parcel 16-022-2201 to Hiram Township for $18,074.90.

   • Awarded the concrete bid for the Highway department sidewalks, curb and gutter to Anderson Brothers Construction Company in the amount of $29,160.61.

   • Approved the final payment to Kern and Tabery for phase 2 of the County Road 103 job from Leader to Wilderness Park in the amount of $1,738,899.70.

   • Approved the final payment to PCI Roads for placing an epoxy-based sealant on the county concrete bridges in the amount of $173,372.05.

   • Approved the final payment to Anderson Brothers Construction Company for road work on County State Aid Highway 1 and County State Aid Highway 201, located in Pillager, in the amount of $926,894.67.

   • Approved the final payment to Anderson Brothers Construction Company for road work on County State Aid Highway 40, located in Hackensack, in the amount of $1,427,251.85.

   The next meetings are as follows: Insurance Committee as a Committee of the Whole 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker, AMC Fall Policy Conference, Sept. 13-15 at Arrowwood Conference Center, Alexandria; commissioner’s board meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at Pine Lake Township, 6724 17th Ave NW, Walker and commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker.


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