Nisswa's draft comprehensive plan update is available to the public for review and comment through April 22. The draft plan is on the city website at www.cityofnisswa.com.

The city council agreed Wednesday, March 20, to release the draft plan for a 30-day public comment and seeks community input to guide future planning and development efforts in the city. The planning commission will review the comments in May, and the city council could adopt the plan at its May 15 meeting.

The current comprehensive plan dates back to 2007. It was updated in 2017, but after nearly a year of work the council ultimately voted 3-2 in December 2017 not to adopt the plan but rather to send it back to the planning commission for further revisions. Four of the five council members need to vote for the plan for it to be adopted.

A comprehensive plan is an expression of a community's vision for the future and a strategic map to reach that vision. Comprehensive planning is an important tool for cities to guide future development of land to ensure a safe, pleasant and economical environment for residents to live, work and play.

The city's Comprehensive Planning Steering Committee has sought to engage the community's input throughout the planning process by providing information on the city's website, conducting a community wide survey and hosting a community listening session.

The steering committee, planning commission, city council and city staff have worked not only to seek public input throughout this process, but also to translate that community input into tangible goals and policies that both city staff and elected officials can use to guide the community in the coming years.

This public review and comment period is one more opportunity for members of the community to participate in the comprehensive plan update process.

People can submit comments in writing or via email no later than the end of business hours Monday, April 22, to: Jenny Max, Administrator/Clerk, City of Nisswa, 5442 City Hall Street, PO Box 410, Nisswa, MN 56468; jmax@ci.nisswa.mn.us. For more information, call 218-963-4444.

Gull Lake Trail

The council approved two resolutions supporting parks and recreation department applications to the Department of Natural Resources for funding for the Gull Lake Trail.

The city is applying for $250,000 in Regional Trail Program grant dollars to build 3.5 miles of paved trail for the Gull Lake Trail, which requires a 25 percent match ($62,500).

The city is also applying for $150,000 in Local Trail Connections Program funding for property acquisition to develop the trail, which requires a 25 percent match. The city is working with ETOC (Grand View Lodge) to secure a long-term easement of ETOC land to use for the trail and to use as the 25 percent match.

Public safety

The Nisswa Police Department welcomed Conner Collette as an officer. Collette is from East Gull Lake, attended Nisswa Elementary School and graduated from Brainerd High School and the Central Lakes College Law Enforcement program in 2018. He was a full-time officer for the Pine River Police Department since June.

February police activity included 134 calls for service, 38 traffic warnings, 11 traffic citations, six arrests, nine emergency medical services calls, 26 agency assists and one criminal citation.

The council approved the 2019 fire department budget and fire contracts for Lake Shore, Lake Edward Township, Pelican Township and Pequot Lakes.

The budget of $227,024 reflects a 3 percent increase from 2018.

Fire contracts are based on the land and building values of each entity the department serves. Contract amounts, including amounts for the relief association, are: Nisswa, $90,726; Lake Shore, $78,721; Lake Edward Township, $65,502; Pelican Township, $5,341; and Pequot Lakes, $1,736.

Firefighters had 26 calls in February, including 17 emergency medical services calls, three fire alarms, three snowmobile accidents, two carbon monoxide calls and one vehicle fire.

In other business March 20, the council:

• Held a public hearing regarding TDS Telecom's cable television franchise application to offer competitive video service to the northwestern corner of Nisswa, where the company offers telephone and broadband services. The public hearing was held to assess whether TDS has the qualifications to provide this service in that part of Nisswa. No one from the public spoke.

• Heard from Bill Brekken, District 2 Crow Wing County commissioner, who introduced himself and said he would help Nisswa in any way he can.

• Heard from Holly Holm, Nisswa Chamber of Commerce president, who introduced herself.

• Approved a public works committee recommendation to request an engineering services design proposal from Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm for infrastructure improvements throughout the Grand View Lodge area.

• Authorized the city attorney to contact a property owner regarding an easement at Hills Crossing.

• Approved a resolution regarding the abatement of hazardous property on Birch Avenue. The city attorney will try to contact the property owner one more time after numerous previous attempts.