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Tracy Frank, Published July 07 2009

Quick fix for Cass County Veterans' Service Office

The Cass County Commission has approved a temporary solution to fill the void left when its veterans’ service officer resigned.

Jim Brent’s last day was April 9. At a June meeting, commissioners did not reach a consensus on two finalists for the job.

Monday, commissioners approved overtime of up to five hours a week for interim director Mike Vandrovec, Chanelle Lende and Marlys Potter.

They will use the overtime to try to make up the veterans’ service officer’s work and to keep wait times down for veterans.

They are now working extra and through breaks to get the work done, Vandrovec told commissioners.

“We’re just taking care of veterans. That’s what we do,” he said.

The Cass County Veterans’ Service Office helps veterans, their widows and dependents with benefits claims.

Commissioners also approved asking the state Department of Veterans Affairs how their office can work with the county’s office during this interim period.

Commissioners expect to discuss what to do about the veterans’ service officer position in the next month or so.

“I think we have to move on this as fast as we can,” said Robyn Sorum, commission chairwoman.

Commissioners also narrowly approved purchasing a lot in Chrisan Subdivision.

The property, 7402 S. University Drive, is vacant and is between two lots the county already owns.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to buy the lot for $5,000.

Darrell Vanyo and Ken Pawluk did not support the purchase.

“I don’t see any value to the taxpayers of spending this $5,000,” Pawluk said.

Scott Wagner said it’s better to buy a vacant lot now than to have to buy out a half-million dollar home later.

“Overall it’s just a cost-savings to the taxpayer,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526