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The Jenkins City Council approved an increased preliminary general revenue tax levy during its Monday, Sept. 10, meeting, but it's possible residents won't see an increase in the city portion of their tax payments. City Clerk Krista Okerman said over telephone that an expiring tax increment financing agreement will add a large business to the tax roll along with new homes and businesses in the community. That growth makes for a larger tax base, which might make up for an increase in the tax levy.
City council members' eyebrows were raised while discussing the Backus Municipal Airport and various projects Monday, Sept. 10, because of additional costs, delays and malfunctions.
The future of the Pequot Lakes fire tower hinges on a Friday, Sept. 14, meeting of the Governor's Executive Council, residents learned at an informational meeting at the Cole Memorial Building. "They must give their approval before the DNR can sell it to the county," Paul Thiede, Crow Wing County commissioner who represents the area where the fire tower is located, said at the Wednesday, Sept. 5, meeting. "That transaction is $1. Then we would own that 40 acres and the fire tower."
Sarah Blaeser, owner of Latte Da Coffee and Gifts, has had a good six years in her space adjoining The Wild Daisy in downtown Pequot Lakes, but a new building is calling her and Daniella Sutin, of Sweet Life Bakery, to make a move to bigger space. The pair will start a new lease in a building John Poston owns on Government Drive that formerly housed Silver Creek Traders. Sutin will run her custom, made-to-order bakery in the background while Blaeser runs her storefront, which not only displays a small supply of Sutin's products, but a wide variety of other merchandise as well.
The Labor Day crowd made an appearance at this year's Arts Off 84 Art Crawl from Pine River to Longville. Though there were fewer locations during the Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 1-2, event, some shopping centers attract smaller crowds than were parked at some of this year's art sites. Handmade arts and gifts covered the full gamut from food and blacksmithing to basket weaving and pottery. Visitors used the annual guides to journey from Pine River to Longville via Highway 84 in search of special products they will likely find nowhere else.
Pequot Lakes recently became home to two new art businesses, one on each side of town. Faith Boost Art and the soul are Faith Boost's business. Owners James and Shannon Watkins opened their custom sign and craft shop on Front Street in Pequot Lakes not only as a place to display their products, but as a place for people to hold faith gatherings. The business was born from a service James, a remodeler, provided for his customers.
This year in Minnesota I've had a successful harvest of hedgehogs, lobsters, oysters and chickens of the woods. No, I'm not talking animals. I'm talking mushrooms. I have never had a mushroom year like this. It's true I've usually found some success hunting fungi, but usually I have a mediocre harvest of one variety - maybe two, often by accident. This year I've gone on two successful hunts and one not-so-successful hunt, and the result is me trying to figure out what to do with all my mushrooms.
In June, the Pine River-Backus School Board approved a survey through Morris Leatherman Company that will look at public perceptions of the school district. The board discussed the survey again briefly at its Monday, Aug. 20, meeting. The 64-question survey will be taken via telephone. Board member Katy Botz said she had been under the impression the phone numbers would come from voter rolls, though when she voted in the recent primary they did not ask for her number. Superintendent Dave Endicott said he would look into the source for the phone numbers.
Lake water levels and wake are two topics local law enforcement addressed recently at a meeting of the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association held at the Crosslake Community Center. WAPOA president Tom Watson said these two items have been in discussion since two years ago when historic rainfall caused docks and lawn furniture to float out into the lakes. Watson said this year he has had to raise his dock twice because of rising water levels.
Signs warning of impending road work went up on Highway 371 between Backus and Hackensack as a harbinger of a major project slated to start Tuesday, Sept. 4, which will completely close the highway from its intersection with Highway 87 East next to Godfrey's in Backus all the way to County Road 40 in Hackensack.