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Nisswa: Sportland Corners intersection to be improved

County Roads 13 and 77 at their intersection with Highway 371 in Nisswa are in line for improvements. File photo by Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

Improvements likely will be made in July to the Highway 371/County State Aid Highways 13/77 intersection at Sportland Corners in Nisswa.

The Nisswa City Council had a workshop before its regular meeting Wednesday, Dec. 19, to hear updated plans for a safer intersection. Safety improvements are needed because of traffic that will result from the American National Bank being built off CSAH 13 and the expansion at Grand View Lodge off CSAH 77.

Ron Bray, transportation engineer with WSB & Associates civil engineering firm, explained the conceptual plan to the council. Basically, the plan adds left turn lanes from CSAHs 13 and 77 onto Highway 371. The stoplights currently don't offer green arrows for lefthand turns from either county road onto the highway.

Construction is targeted to begin after the Fourth of July.

"One way or another we're going to get into the heart of summer," Bray said.

Comprehensive plan

After not adopting a revised comprehensive plan last year and instead sending it back to the planning commission to streamline, the council adopted a new revision. The revision replaces the comprehensive plan that was last adopted in 2007.

Recycling

Tom Blomer, public works director, said in his written report that more signs will be put up at the city recycling center because people are leaving unaccepted items there.

People are leaving paint and vegetable at the petroleum recycling container. Those items should be taken to the Crow Wing County facility for disposal.

People are leaving electronics, such as TVs and computers, which also must be taken to the county facility. Each TV or computer costs the city $5 to dispose of it at the county site, as well as labor costs of about two hours to take the item there.

"So each time we have to bring an item to the county for disposal it costs us about $50," Blomer wrote. "This cost ends up on city property taxes. This is happening several times a year. Please let people know not to dispose of these items here."

Public safety

The council approved a Nisswa Fire Relief Association request to change the retirement contribution from $3,000 to $3,700 per year of service. Upon review and consideration of the 2 percent fire aid contributions from contracted cities and current financial status, this increase will keep the department's financial status healthy and won't require any municipal contribution, according to a letter to the council.

The department received its new fire truck. Officers were elected: Shawn Bailey remains chief and Joe Hall chief 2. Captains are Justin Stahnke, Nate Peters and Matt Jorgens.

Firefighters had 20 calls for service in November, including 15 emergency medical services calls. Police had 178 calls for service in November, issued 71 traffic warnings, six traffic citations and two criminal citations. Police reported 23 agency assists and 10 arrests.

In other business Dec. 19, the council:

• Established city hall as Nisswa's polling place.

• Approved a Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm proposal for engineering services for Hazelwood bridge improvements for $28,700.

• Agreed to rezone 13.03 acres of land on the south side of Poplar Avenue, north of Hills Crossing Drive and east of the Paul Bunyan Trail from Central Business to Urban Residential as requested by Rusty Gibbons. Council member John Ryan abstained from voting because his property abuts this land.

• Approved ordinance amendments revising regulations pertaining to parking and loading standards on a 3-2 vote after much discussion. Council members Ross Krautkremer and Ryan were opposed.

• Sent a proposed ordinance amendment revising stream classifications and resort development standards back to the planning commission for further work after much discussion and after hearing from a couple of resort owners.

• Appointed Robert Fier, Joshua Young and Gary Harris to staggered terms on the planning commission/board of adjustment.

• Thanked Krautkremer for his service on the council at his last meeting.