January 18, 2024 at 2:45 p.m.
BACKUS—County Administrator Josh Stevenson requested the commissioners schedule a public hearing in which a first reading of the ATV Ordinance will be conducted at the regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 16. A motion was made, with the vote being unanimous to hold the public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a second reading to be held on Tuesday, Mar. 5
Stevenson also shared some concerns the committee addressed during the meeting in regards to the ordinance. One concern addressed was spinning tires on gravel or a paved surface, by stating operation of an all-terrain vehicle on a County Highway shall not result in the spinning of tires. Another concern was clarification regarding the operation of ATVs between the fog line and center line, which the ordinance now states ATVs shall not be operated outside of the traveled portions of the County Highway and must stay within the driving lane.
The final concern addressed was the need for Class I ATVs and Class II ATVs to have different speed limits due to the difference in machines and operators. Due to this, an adjustment to the ordinance was made to limit Class 1 ATVs to a speed of 30 miles per hour or less and Class 2 ATVs shall not exceed the posted speed limit.
Highway Engineer Darrick Anderson updated the board on program changes for the upcoming year. It was shared with increased prices last year for striping, the department is reducing striping on paved roads showing traffic of 400 cars or less per day to striping the center line only. This will save the department approximately $62,000 this year. Another cost savings Anderson mentioned is with the chloride program. Currently the county applies chloride at 18-feet wide on a 22 foot road. This year the department is going to select one road per shop and only apply a 12-foot wide strip. Anderson mentioned most people drive the center of the graveled roads and the hope is with rain and blading of the road the chloride will spread, therefore covering the majority of the road. With this reduction Anderson stated the department won’t see any significant savings this year, but if the theory proves to be effective future years could see up to a 33% savings.
In other business, the county board:
• Approved the 2024 Cass County Newsletter for distribution with property tax statements.
• Approved the Cyber Incident Response Plan which will be updated annually.
• Approved sponsoring Over the Hills Gang for grant in aid funding for winter grooming on the Moose River ATV trails.
• Approved final payment to Knife River in the amount of $839,252.06 for phase three of the County Road 103 job from Leader to Wilderness Park.
• Approved drafting a letter of support to increase the reimbursement amount for volunteer drivers and bring the letter back for Board consideration at the February 6, 2024 regular meeting.
• Approved the 2024 Revenues and Expenditures by Fund in the total amounts of $77,948,776 and $77,951,978 respectively.
• Received the 2024 Cass County fiscal year budget that will be published in the Pine Cone Press-Citizen January 23, 2024.
• Nominated Commissioners Neal Gaalswyk and Bob Kangas to represent Cass County at the Sourcewell Representative Assembly to be held Wednesday, April 17.
The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker and commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Land Department meeting room in Backus.
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